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  • FIRST POST
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 28th Sep 16, 11:50 PM
    • 18Posts
    • 26Thanks
    lilyflower7
    Plugging the Money Leak!
    • #1
    • 28th Sep 16, 11:50 PM
    Plugging the Money Leak! 28th Sep 16 at 11:50 PM
    Confession time: I have another account on MSE, but I've created a new account in order to start a new diary as most people I see here on MSE are working for a living and the majority of my current income comes from benefits, so I feel like a bit of a fraud posting in the diary section as I don't have any "real" debt and am luckily in the fortunate position of living at home.

    Less than two years ago I was working and had my own flat when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Not long after, a very difficult situation happened with someone I love almost dying, this contributed towards my mental health getting worse and I eventually lost my job and had to move back home. I'm still not well enough to go back to full-time work although have recently started a small self-employed job to get me out of the house and feel like a somewhat productive member of society.

    The reason I've started this diary is because my spends have started getting out of control again. I seem to be frittering money away especially in the last few months - I've been feeling down more and I've noticed that when I do that I tend to splurge on silly things or takeaways to make me feel better, which I know I shouldn't do, but at the same time I'm not sure exactly how much of my money has been spent on genuine needs or frivolity, hence the need for a spending diary.

    As I've said, I live at home so my outgoings are very low, yet I've been robbing my savings to compensate for overspending and then reimbursing my savings in the next pay, which leaves me short, so I end up borrowing from my savings again I really want to break this cycle, so I've decided that October is when I'll start afresh with my income.

    Debts
    I have £170-ish on a CC which will be paid next month - it's a shared CC in my name and my portion is about £90. I spend on my CC each month and always pay it off in full to try to improve my poor credit history, and never spend more than what I have in savings (so if my benefit isn't paid for some reason or is the incorrect amount I won't pay 35% interest), which is why I tend to think of the CC as a monthly bill like electric, gas, etc.

    I borrowed £44 from my holiday money a few months ago and never paid it back Although the holiday is currently a pipe dream, the fact I "owe" that money niggles at me, so I need to work out how to pay that off ASAP.

    The Plan
    #1. Stick to a spending diary to work out where money is disappearing.
    #2. Overhaul finances - have started this, but still plenty to do.
    #3. Declutter - I have lots of things I could sell, but have been struggling to get motivated to do things recently, so this has been on the back burner.

    Apologies for my waffle if anyone is still reading this, I'd appreciate any words of advice you may have
Page 1
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 29th Sep 16, 6:33 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 16, 6:33 PM
    • #2
    • 29th Sep 16, 6:33 PM
    Received £100 for switching one of my bank accounts today, not sure what to do with it though.

    A) Pay £100 to normal savings - earns interest and will be motivational to see a balance increase as I see the balance daily when checking my main bank account
    B) Pay £44 to holiday savings to repay borrowed money and £56 to normal savings - holiday savings is with the credit union so doesn't earn interest, and I don't know when I'll go past a branch next

    Meant to give notice for mobile phone cancellation today (contract ends next month) and forgot to visit the shop. Will go tomorrow while I'm out - means a hour's detour in the opposite direction but the sooner I cancel the better.

    LSD today - £1 for crafting supplies. Almost bought 3 books for £5 on a whim but mercifully common sense kicked in and I put them back on the shelf.
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 1st Oct 16, 9:19 AM
    • 3,931 Posts
    • 11,553 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 16, 9:19 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Oct 16, 9:19 AM
    Confession time: I have another account on MSE, but I've created a new account in order to start a new diary as most people I see here on MSE are working for a living and the majority of my current income comes from benefits, so I feel like a bit of a fraud posting in the diary section as I don't have any "real" debt and am luckily in the fortunate position of living at home.

    Less than two years ago I was working and had my own flat when I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety. Not long after, a very difficult situation happened with someone I love almost dying, this contributed towards my mental health getting worse and I eventually lost my job and had to move back home. I'm still not well enough to go back to full-time work although have recently started a small self-employed job to get me out of the house and feel like a somewhat productive member of society
    Originally posted by lilyflower7
    Hi,

    You're not a fraud Hun, everybody's circumstances are different, it doesn't matter if you're working or not.

    You seem very determined and I'm sure you'll get there

    I have subscribed so I can follow your progress.

    Pmo2
    X
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    BC: £8850.00 Overdraft: £2750.00

    15 NSD - 8/15, 10 LSD - 3/10, 15 AFD - 1/15, Lunches to work 9/20

    20p Savers 2016 £2 Savers 2016 50p Savers 2016 SPC 9 2016 #003
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 1st Oct 16, 8:34 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:34 PM
    • #4
    • 1st Oct 16, 8:34 PM
    Thank you so much for your kind words Pmo2

    Didn't save the £100 yesterday - have transferred it to my main current account while I decide what to do. Also forgot to go to the phone shop so yesterday was largely unproductive.

    Managed to keep spends low though:

    £7.50 bus fare (claimed expenses and awaiting reimbursement)
    65p drink as I was parched
    £2 holiday pot (I save all my £2 coins into this)
    £3.50 2x fitted sheets from a CS
    £4.65 hair dye

    Today's only spend was £50 on a driving lesson but this was budgeted for so came out of my car account.

    To-Do List for tomorrow
    Cancel phone contract
    Process work orders
    Do work accounts
    Dye hair
    Check train tickets for December and try to find a price that isn't £56
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 2nd Oct 16, 8:17 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 8:17 PM
    • #5
    • 2nd Oct 16, 8:17 PM
    Had a nice relaxing NSD today

    To-Do List
    Cancel phone contract done - cancellation will go through when I give a new provider my PAC
    Process work orders done
    Do work accounts - doing this after dinner
    Dye hair - not done
    Check train tickets for December and try to find a price that isn't £56 - done, £46 or I can reduce this to £30.60 if I fork out £20 for an annual railcard

    I was slightly naughty MSE-wise today when I cancelled, I was offered a new contract to stay with my old network which I turned down, but decided to look around for some prices. The cheapest 24-month contract is £125 upfront and £26.50 monthly which works out at £761 for two years. If I buy the phone direct from Apple it will cost me £499, I can use savings for this and repay them at £20.76 a month (will probably round this up to £21) and get a sim only contract at £9 which has more data than the pay monthly. Over 24 months this will work out at £715.

    I could unlock my current phone (potentially at a cost) and save up for the phone specifically instead of reducing my current savings by almost £500, but I'm not sure how long my phone will last as it currently has a badly cracked screen , overheats when you use it if it charges , the display is starting to go dodgy so I can't use one of my banking apps , and it likes to disconnect itself from the network intermittently

    Monday's To-Do List
    Show the 5% bank my ID so I can get my account opened to use for savings
    Make plans with friend for December so I know if I'm booking train tickets or not
    Find out about unlocking current phone in case I decide to keep it a bit longer
    Contact bank to sort out business account
    Chase up car insurance people - was promised I'd receive an email last Tuesday, yet no email
    Revise for theory test!!!

    I'm finding the to-do lists are helping to keep me on track so hopefully this continues
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 7th Oct 16, 12:44 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 16, 12:44 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Oct 16, 12:44 PM
    This week has been full of spending - I am both and

    Train tickets - £30.40 + £2 PlusBus dayrider. Will need to buy railcard later this month / in Nov.
    Shopping - bill arrived and was £80+, all items necessary but some could've waited until later, these spends were when I was feeling low and lost control of my spending this has been paid
    Home broadband - got an email pointing out DDs have bounced and I owe them 2 months should have noticed this but suspect I glossed over it while depressed paying this today
    Mobile phone - has been cut off, still need to pay but money is tight
    CC - still needs to be paid, need to check if I can wait until next payday to settle this one
    Electricity DD - £4 short, has now been paid but I'll get charged £6 for going OD
    Pet food - need to buy today

    I transferred the £100 from switching into my savings so it's there if I need it, but as my spending went completely out of control in August and September, I think this is having a knock-on effect on my finances now instead of my current spending habits. I need to get out of the cycle of robbing Peter to pay Paul... Do I dip into my savings to pay everyone off and start afresh or be super-frugal while paying back everything I've fallen behind on? Bearing in mind payday was yesterday and I now have less than £100 in my current account to last two weeks

    On the plus side... I passed my theory test first time!!

    No to-do list for me today - need to focus on sorting money out. Hopefully my next update will be more positive, it just like everything has come at once this week
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 7th Oct 16, 1:43 PM
    • 14,585 Posts
    • 22,067 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 16, 1:43 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Oct 16, 1:43 PM
    May now is a time to do a lovely spreadsheet with outgoings like electricity, rent?, phone etc?

    My view is that you don't need the latest greatest apple - a 6 or 5SE would do perfectly well, a reconditioned one from Apple even better They have a warranty I believe?

    I appreciate with depression everything becomes a little muddled so writing everything down might help you gain a little control over things?
    DFW Nerd #025
    SPC member #561
    Sept 2016 - £10811 Oct £10166 to clear Cleared Since Sept 16:£645 6% repaid Declutter 25 items in November target: 0/25 Make £10 extra a day in November: £57/£150
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 1:56 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,213 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 16, 1:56 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Oct 16, 1:56 PM
    Well done on your theory test!

    Unfortunately when circumstances demand you budget weekly there will always be weeks like that. I'd say first off you need to focus on being super-frugal for a while and building yourself up a "cushion" to cover weeks like this one, does that make sense? Can you open a savings account online which is linked to your current account, and use that to start building your cushion? Maybe even by transferring odd pounds and pence to in the first instance - so if your current account balance reads £92.76, you transfer the odd £2.76 across? It builds slowly but surely, the trick is just to get used to the fact that it's there to use, and not to feel guilty on digging in to it!

    Options on the phone: Unlock your current one and make it stretch as long as you possibly can; Buy upfront as you've said; or see if you can buy a refurbed one upfront? I know EE sell refurbs, and I guess other networks do, but whether there is enough of a saving there to be worth it is another question. Not sure how much the unlocking is likely to be, but you obviously need to balance that off against how long you *think* it might last. From what hyou've said about the overheating thing, it may well be that it's not the best idea anyway though. I'm sure what I'm meant to say here is if you're that worried about the cost then you should buy something other than an iPhone, but as my 5s is sitting next to me as I type, that'd be a bit hypocritical, no?! Why not take a look at doing surveys and that sort of thing though, with the money you earn from those to be stashed into your "phone fund" - then next time you face the same situation, you'll have some money there ready?

    *Cross posted with Mrs Tinks and we've said some of the same things, I see!*
    Final sentence is VERY true - I was reflecting just this morning how much more content I feel when my life is in some sort of order - and for me writing things down is a very key part of that.
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 07-10-2016 at 1:58 PM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 7th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    May now is a time to do a lovely spreadsheet with outgoings like electricity, rent?, phone etc?

    My view is that you don't need the latest greatest apple - a 6 or 5SE would do perfectly well, a reconditioned one from Apple even better They have a warranty I believe?

    I appreciate with depression everything becomes a little muddled so writing everything down might help you gain a little control over things?
    Originally posted by MrsTinks
    Thanks for your ideas MrsTinks - I do a SOA semi-regularly, did one the other week and I had £300+ a month unaccounted for which is why I started this diary to keep track of my spending and work out where all my money is going

    It's not the iPhone 7 I'm looking at - at the price! - it's the 6S. I currently have a 5S, so it wouldn't be worth the expense of upgrading to a 5SE or 6. I did do some shopping around though - for a brand new 32GB iPhone 6S unlocked to all networks, Apple charge £499. For secondhand, unlocked to all networks, £520, and locked to the new network, £450. I did ask Apple if they sold refurbished phones to reduce the cost, and the answer was no.

    Well done on your theory test!

    Unfortunately when circumstances demand you budget weekly there will always be weeks like that. I'd say first off you need to focus on being super-frugal for a while and building yourself up a "cushion" to cover weeks like this one, does that make sense? Can you open a savings account online which is linked to your current account, and use that to start building your cushion? Maybe even by transferring odd pounds and pence to in the first instance - so if your current account balance reads £92.76, you transfer the odd £2.76 across? It builds slowly but surely, the trick is just to get used to the fact that it's there to use, and not to feel guilty on digging in to it!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Thank you! Yes, I do this at the moment, which is what my "main" savings account consists of. It has plenty of cash in but as you've said, I do feel guilty on dipping into it That said, as mentioned to MrsTinks above, my SOA shows a healthy surplus of cash so I shouldn't need to dip into these savings in the first place. I can dip into these savings with no problem - so don't worry, I won't starve to death but I'd prefer to identify where my spending is getting out of control so I can fix whatever it is.

    Options on the phone: Unlock your current one and make it stretch as long as you possibly can; Buy upfront as you've said; or see if you can buy a refurbed one upfront? I know EE sell refurbs, and I guess other networks do, but whether there is enough of a saving there to be worth it is another question. Not sure how much the unlocking is likely to be, but you obviously need to balance that off against how long you *think* it might last. From what hyou've said about the overheating thing, it may well be that it's not the best idea anyway though. I'm sure what I'm meant to say here is if you're that worried about the cost then you should buy something other than an iPhone, but as my 5s is sitting next to me as I type, that'd be a bit hypocritical, no?! Why not take a look at doing surveys and that sort of thing though, with the money you earn from those to be stashed into your "phone fund" - then next time you face the same situation, you'll have some money there ready?
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    It turns out that my network won't charge me to unlock my phone as I'm at the end of my contract so now I'm unlocked (well, I will be as soon as I put a new SIM in). I did look at refurbs and the best saving I can get is £49 for a phone in decent nick (as I'd be keeping it for 2-3 years ideally, I'd rather not buy one in poor condition) so for that little, I'd prefer to have peace of mind buying from Apple as then I can be sure no-one's fitted third-party parts. I have an iPad Air (bought second-hand two years ago and still going strong, no intention of replacing any time soon) and as I use a lot of the same apps on both devices, I need to be able to sync between them. (That, and I don't speak Android ) I think I've decided for now to eke my phone out for a bit longer, since I don't have to worry about paying £££ to unlock it, and hopefully replace it when my finances are more stable.

    I might open a new account and start putting that £21 a month aside though - and there's always the option to sell my 5S for a few quid which will help towards the cost of a replacement

    *Cross posted with Mrs Tinks and we've said some of the same things, I see!*
    Final sentence is VERY true - I was reflecting just this morning how much more content I feel when my life is in some sort of order - and for me writing things down is a very key part of that.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Yes, keeping this diary is helping. I might total up all my spends and categorise them on Sunday to try and identify any areas of spending that aren't reflected in the SOA or underestimated.

    Thank you MrsTinks and EssexHebridean for all your advice
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 9th Oct 16, 3:58 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    Couldn't sleep, so decided to post my weekly spend total - but have no access to internet banking due to "essential maintenance" so will have to do that later as I need to add things up. Still haven't paid the overdue home broadband bill as needed to check my balance first and the bank website was throwing a strop and wouldn't let me log in, so this will need to be done today (and probably explains the maintenance!)

    Was browsing the Book of Face last night and noticed someone I know is selling their almost-new 6S (which still has some Apple warranty left) for £350... dithered for a bit as I know it's been well-looked after, but it was 16GB and not a colour I like, so decided not to go for it in the end. Was a bit disappointed last night when I made the decision not to message the seller, but this morning I'm feeling pretty proud that I didn't buy it - although it was a £115 saving compared to an identical one (minus Apple warranty) in the secondhand shop, the colour and lack of memory would have eventually given me buyer's remorse.

    Sunday's To-Do List
    Less waffling about iPhones - I'm supposed to be saving money here
    Pay home broadband bill
    Declare weekly spend totals
    Finish tidying upstairs
    Decide if I should make new savings account or add phone savings to an existing one
    Something else I can't remember

    Will check back in later
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 11th Oct 16, 11:56 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    Well I had the best of intentions but then technology decided to conspire against me...

    Bank website refused to work on Sunday
    Internet router broke - temporarily fixed with the use of a first aid box :roftl: - but internet access is intermittent and unreliable
    Tried to buy car insurance online and got the white screen of death after I clicked on Pay
    Tried to register online to manage my new CC (and see if payment of insurance went through)... apparently my details are incorrect even though I gave the right info

    Those issues combined meant I couldn't add up my totals as planned - doing them now though while the internet is feeling agreeable

    £82.95 misc shopping
    £15.95 eating out/on the go
    £4.95 hair dye
    £3.05 unidentified shopping
    £32.40 train tickets
    £50 driving lesson
    £307.60 savings (doesn't include tilly tidies or putting change in my sealed pot)
    £7.50 bus fare
    £12.27 groceries
    £28.90 overdue home broadband bill
    £45 electric

    Failed epically with Sunday's to-do list but will make more of an effort tomorrow! Spent today in bed with a cold then working so not much achieved

    Wednesday's To-Do List
    Check if car insurance was paid - very much doubt it, as received no emails from insurance company
    Complain to CC company re: inability to access account online
    Do breakdown cover comparisons
    Find satisfactory proof of address for the 5% bank... have opened/switched three bank accounts this year with three different forms of proof of address - none of those satisfy this bank!
    Talk to new phone network about sim-only contract and maybe take out new contract
    Pay old phone network bill - have been cut off again because of their incompetence

    Feeling stressed about the Work Programme - asked to be referred last month, they are supposed to be contacting me to set up a first appointment but haven't yet. That said, the deadline is Friday so there's still time - just anxious in case something goes/went wrong.

    Off to make a start with the list and compare breakdown cover...
    • lilyflower7
    • By lilyflower7 14th Oct 16, 6:33 AM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    lilyflower7
    Well, it ended up taking two days to complete my to-do list everything seems to be happening at once!

    Wednesday's To-Do List
    Check if car insurance was paid - very much doubt it, as received no emails from insurance company I was right, the transaction failed, so I know it's safe to try again
    Complain to CC company re: inability to access account online doing this today
    Do breakdown cover comparisons £36.06
    Find satisfactory proof of address for the 5% bank... have opened/switched three bank accounts this year with three different forms of proof of address - none of those satisfy this bank! Miraculously this was accomplished
    Talk to new phone network about sim-only contract and maybe take out new contract Done, have taken out new contract
    Pay old phone network bill - have been cut off again because of their incompetence Done, just waiting for my number to transfer then I am gone forever

    Feeling stressed about the Work Programme - asked to be referred last month, they are supposed to be contacting me to set up a first appointment but haven't yet. That said, the deadline is Friday so there's still time - just anxious in case something goes/went wrong. Went to the JCP and the appointment is taking longer to arrange than usual - completely understand the reason, but it would've been nice if I was informed this was the case...

    Not sure what I'm going to do today. Most spends this week have been necessary bills or travel costs which is good as it means I'm not frittering money away - although I need to do a bank shuffle, so will go do that now before I forget.

    Will be back later to compile a list for the weekend
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