Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 2nd Oct 16, 5:50 PM
    • 62Posts
    • 171Thanks
    BeckyS
    Let's fix this situation
    • #1
    • 2nd Oct 16, 5:50 PM
    Let's fix this situation 2nd Oct 16 at 5:50 PM
    Dear Diary,

    How to start a diary about the fact I'm an idiot who shed blood, sweat and tears to pay off £17,000 of debt (last time I was posting about it (in 2013) was about the last £3k of that) and then got back into £5,677.01 debt (around £3k of it at a ludicrous 34.08% APR *facepalm*)

    Well yeah let's just start it there. Though to be fair the new debt was caused by a series of crises (some my own fault and some unavoidable) over the last year and I'm not quite sure they are over, but if my cashflow goes pear shape again I'll have to find another way to deal with it (Which is what I should have done in the first place). I am swearing off credit cards except for balance transfers.

    First things first - I can pay £200/month towards my debts and according to the snowball I've done the interest will be over £100/month right now. Bleh.

    So I kicked that into touch straight away by obtaining a 18 month 0% balance transfer card and transfering £1080 of the 34.08% debt over to it. Yes there's a fee but the monthly reduction in interest covers it in one month. I did make a slight boo boo though. The eligibility checker said that I would probably get a £1200 limit and that you could transfer up to 90% of balance so when filling in the amount I wanted to transfer during the application that's what I went with. They gave me a £2100 limit. I assume once my card arrives I'll be able too transfer another £888 from the 34.08% card and get the 0% rate? It's not just in application that you get the special 0% rate? I hope so otherwise I'll be cursing myself.

    One way or another I'm hoping over the next few months to get all my interest bearing debt onto 0% cards (I'm spacing out the applications so I don't look overburdened) so all my £200/month (it'll be £232/month once the small amount of rent arrears are paid off) can go to balance reduction.

    And once the 34.08% one is clear I'm closing it down so I can't use it. I've already removed it from my purse for the same reason.

    So that's where we're starting from. Let's fix this situation and never get into debt again. (And also keep posting this time).

    Becka
Page 2
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Oct 16, 10:03 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,222 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    SoA - like I thought about £100. This isn't 100% accurate because it's based on last month and the mobile phone one is due to go down.
    --

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 0

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1248
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1248


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 332
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 75
    Electricity............................. 34 I reckon you could reduce this and your gas - at least a little. Are you reading meters regularly? Is either account in credit? (Although the account that will pay for your winter heating should be, at this time of year.
    Gas..................................... 34
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 37.5 If it's just you then a water meter will save you some on this
    Telephone (land line)................... 38.99 Ouch - is this just phone & internet?
    Mobile phone............................ 79 Glad to hear this is going down!
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 130 Try managing on £100 next month. I've only been spending £20 more than that per month for two of us
    Clothing................................ 20 You could put this on hold for a while and manage with what you have?
    Petrol/diesel........................... 0
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 87
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 11
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 10.77 Have you price compared to see if you can get this down at all?
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 5
    Haircuts................................ 10
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 20 I hate to say it, but you may need to consider whether this is a luxury you wish to forego for now.
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    (Unnamed monthly expense)............... 0
    Washing Machine Rental.................. 21.66 OUCH!! Is this the best deal you can get?
    Total monthly expenses.................. 963.04



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 0


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Cap 1..........................1066......40........34. 08
    MBNA...........................2324......58....... .17.88
    BC.............................1913......44....... .0
    Rent Arrears...................279.05....32.16.....0
    Total unsecured debts..........5582.05...174.16....-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,248
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 963.04
    Available for debt repayments........... 284.96
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 174.16
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 110.8


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -5,582.05
    Net Assets.............................. -5,582.05


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using Firefox browser.
    Originally posted by BeckyS
    OK - this is not so bad. Look at it this way - if you could save £100 across all your monthly expenses, plus what the mobile is going down by, you could potentially have that hideous APR Cap1 cleared in 4 months, or thereabouts. Personally, if it were me, I'd then throw everything at the rent arrears the following month and get that gone. You then have in the region of £300 plus a month to throw at the other debt with interest being charged....
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 9th Oct 16, 2:13 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    OK - this is not so bad. Look at it this way - if you could save £100 across all your monthly expenses, plus what the mobile is going down by, you could potentially have that hideous APR Cap1 cleared in 4 months, or thereabouts. Personally, if it were me, I'd then throw everything at the rent arrears the following month and get that gone. You then have in the region of £300 plus a month to throw at the other debt with interest being charged....
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    My last couple of Utility Bills were to estimates. I've put in cors today and asked for a revised bill. Based on what I looked at today I could save around £18/month but I'll wait to have figures based on firms before I actually initiate the change.

    Yeah the phone is just phone and broadband. Once BT have fixed my line I'll look into changing that as well.

    Clothing... I don't actually buy clothing very often. But sometimes it's needed especially since I'm also losing weight (11lbs so far!). That was me optimistically working out what I project I'll need to spend as I start drowning in my current clothes. I can't go to work with my trousers falling down and I have the sewing skills of an extremely undextrous slug. Other than that shoes are the big issue. I tend to buy cheapies from shoezone but (woe!) they fall apart after a few months.

    Holiday... truthfully I have probably grossly overestimated what I spend on holidays. My holidays consist of me going to visit friends in Scotland - one of whom pays for my train tickets. My only holiday spends tend to be on shortbread for work colleagues. I have no Earthly idea where I pulled £20/month from. I always feel a bit like I'm sponging but they don't seem to mind.

    Groceries - I filled the freezer today and got enough cat food for nearly a month. The food for me should be enough for a month. I spent about £35 (I need to start tracking better) and some of that was stuff I wouldn't usually buy but needed on this occassion. I'll need perishables like milk and bread and I might need to top up the frozen veg (I only have a small freezer). So sub £100 looks doable.

    Home insurance - That's not a bad idea.

    Washing Machine rental - I'd love to find a cheaper place but do many people even rent out washing machines? I got the rental when the launderette near where I live closed (I'd been using it since my old washer stopped working). I couldn't afford a new washing machine and sadly I still can't. The rental may cost a ton but it's a ton in small bites. A new washer is one of the first things I'm saving up for when I'm debt free.

    The rent arrears payment can't come down sadly - it's the minimum they'll take. On the upside it'll be clear after the December rent free weeks (since tenancy agreement insists you pay in full in those weeks if in arrears). I agree about the Cap1 - I could clear it more quickly but as I mentioned I live in fear of the fact I literally couldn't survive more than a week without pay at the moment. It makes me shaky inside just thinking about it. The thought of going perm shouldn't fill me with financial dread.

    On the upside I've started working through the money makeover and I do think I can save £100/month if not more.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 9th Oct 16, 1:12 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Now I'm really worried. I just called BT to try and get my phoneline sorted out (I have no dial tone and my nroadband keeps fritzing) so I can move without the new company immediately having me moaning) . After a number of tests they say they'll send an engineer but if the problem is within my home wiring or the boundary of my property they'll add £129.99 to my phonebill. (And appaently Openeach charrge this so even if I shifted first I would still get charged)

    I can't afford that and it seems completely unfair if the problem isn't my fault. (Even if the damage is outside it's probably the Housing Association's fault when they painted the outside - I have no control over it). I feel like crying because I just know they are going to charge me.

    Becky
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 10th Oct 16, 6:42 AM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    *Nurses coffee and waves sleepily at the board*

    Morning all,

    Just getting ready for work. Bad night's sleep but what can you do?

    I'm a bit calmer about the possible BT fee today. I've done most of the tests in the video on their site and a friend is bringing over a phone so I can check it's not the phone this evening (Though why a faulty phone would make broadband fritz is beyond me).

    In the unlikely event it is I'll cancel the appointment. If it isn't I might still have to pay if it's the outside wiring within what they deem my property but I can't fix that, so I'll have to grit my teeth. Hopefully when the new utility bill comes in it'll be in credit and once I switch the credit will pay the BT charge if it happens.

    Won't be an NSD today or tomorrow. Today I need to get milk this evening as I just put the last in my coffee. Tomorrow I buy my bus ticket for the week (not buying today as I can't amend the starrt date to tomorrow). I'll aim for one on Wednesday.

    Becka
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 16, 12:01 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,222 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I really wouldn't worry too much about the BT thing - I think this is just a standard warning they have to give and if you've done all the tests then it's not likely to be inside. Last time we had to call them out they were completely mystified until they came and looked - and established that while we were on holiday one of their engineers had done some work down the "hole in the road" outside, and somewhere along the line had given our phone line to someone else... We got some compensation out of that one!

    If it's on the outside of the building and was damaged during works being carried out then claim any cost back from the Housing Association.

    Milk is definitely an essential that makes a loss of NSD acceptable, I'd say!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 10th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Good evening, Diary!

    Today I spent 67p. I think that qualifies as an LSD :-D

    Co-op energy emailed me with a PDF of my new bill so I can see it immediately which is nice. And I'm £178 in credit which is supercool.

    Unfortunately it also reminded why I love my current supplier. The excellent customer service. I really don't want to switch but I do need to save money. The cheapest tariff they have would save me £139.51/year. The cheapest that I found on Cheap energy club would save me £231/year but it's with one of the big six (bleh). I know have to bite the bullet and switch because I need every penny I can muster, but meh.

    To cheer myself up about this I've set myself an ambitious target. I want to shave £240 (roughly 25%) off the monthly expenses before debt in my current SOA by working through the money makeover (or the bits that apply to me). It might take me more than one month to achieve but I think it's doable.

    Going to look into getting a water meter. My only queries are 1. would the Housing Association let me have one (there's a form because they class it as an alteration) and 2. Do I share my water supply with my upstairs neighbours? (I think I might).

    If I can't have one I'll have to ask for an assessed charge but even that should help. (Can I have one if it's my landlord refusing to let me have one?)

    It occured to me earlier that one debt I haven't mentioned yet (and I should have, sorry) is £1000 to a friend who's really helped me out this year. So far he's not nagging (or even asking politely) for me to start paying it back but I don't know that he can wait two years for everything else to be cleared.

    Sorry if this post is a bit all over the place. Thinking outloud.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 10th Oct 16, 9:24 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Addendum to above:

    I did bite the bullet and start the switch process. Projected monthly costs are £45/month. So that's £23 towards my £240 target. £217 to go.
    • Poppy3008
    • By Poppy3008 10th Oct 16, 10:28 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 326 Thanks
    Poppy3008
    You should only be paying for what they deem water use in your flat would be. I have just had a sub water meter in stalled as we were on a shared meter with the farm our house is on - it's cost about £350 to install just so you know! But ours might be an exception due to circumstance as I thought usually it's free to install.
    Do check with housing association as they may not mind.
    Looks like you are sorting your budget out well though.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 11th Oct 16, 3:37 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,222 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    One thing at a time on the water meter - get permission from the housing association first of all - if they say yes, you can move onto finding out about getting it installed. If they say no then you can enquire about getting an assessed bill but I've no idea whether that's a circumstance in which they would do that, or not. If you look into getting a meter installed the water company should send someone out to survey the job first - they can sometimes install there and then, other times they need to come back.

    Our water supply gives every impression of being a communal main that runs up through the building, but in fact it's not - ours branches off, then it runs up, so our use could be tracked separately.

    Thinking out loud is good - it's one of the things these diaries are great for!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 11th Oct 16, 7:51 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Good evening,

    Today I spent £20.09 for a week's bus pass and a tub of paracetamol (because I had the headache from hell this morning).

    BT come tomorrow so hopefully landline will be fixed and I can get on with transferring the phone/broadband.

    So far on the Money Makeover list I've:

    1. Set in motion changing my supplier.
    2. Checked my Council Tax band (it was correct *sighs*)
    3. Done a bit of looking on my broadband while waiting for phoneline to be fixed.
    On the other hand I've crossed off the childcare (no kids), boiler cover (housing assoc fix boiler when it goes), digital tv (I have freeview), international calls (I never call abroad) and DDs (I did that months ago).


    Things to do rest of this week and the weekend:


    1. Make Wednesday and Thursday no spend days.
    2. Poke the mobile bill and see if I can't get it down even more than I have.
    3. Email to neighbourhood officer to see if I can have a water meter fitted.
    4. Try and find my contents insurance docs so I can check my renewal dates.
    5. Initiate broadband shift assuming the phoneline is fixed.
    6. Go through cupboards and freezer and see exactly what ingredients I have in stock.
    That should keep me busy.
    Last edited by BeckyS; 16-10-2016 at 5:43 PM.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 11th Oct 16, 9:07 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Another Addendum:

    Okay so I decided to be optimistic that all will be fixed tomorrow (I'm doomed) and start the broadband transfer today. Mainly because today is the last day for that sweet Plusnet offer.

    I had to pay a month in advance and I really need a new router as my current one is oldish (until the phoneline went out I thought that was the problem) so I selected for that. So I need to add £24.98 to today's spend. Definately not a low spend day but we're moving forward towards much lower monthly expenses in the long run.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 12th Oct 16, 7:36 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Good evening

    Today was an NSD.

    I want tomorrow to be one as well but I think I'm coming down with a cold. I'm trying to head it off but I may need to buy some meds. I can't be off work I need to get paid.

    Phone line is fixed and apparently it's no charge, so yay!

    No long rambling post today. I'm making myself a ginger and lemon tea,which I'll have a couple of paracetamol with, and curling up with a hot water bottle.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Oct 16, 8:20 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,222 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Tell the cold to go away. Do it with determination - as though you mean it. Oddly enough does sometimes seem to help. As you say hot drinks and paracetemol - maybe a hot bath or shower before bed too.

    Hope you're feeling better tomorrow! x
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 12th Oct 16, 10:00 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Tell the cold to go away. Do it with determination - as though you mean it. Oddly enough does sometimes seem to help. As you say hot drinks and paracetemol - maybe a hot bath or shower before bed too.

    Hope you're feeling better tomorrow! x
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Thanks!

    Unfortunately I can't have a hot bath because, to add insult to injury, my boiler is broken and won't be fixed until Monday :-( (On the upside at least the housing association pay for that). So it's a bucket in front of the electric fire (which I hate to turn on even for that length of time but I am not washing without heat (and actually it's on now because I was shivering inspite of cardi and blanket)).

    I should go to bed.

    Night all
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 12th Oct 16, 10:21 PM
    • 3,933 Posts
    • 11,554 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Hope you're feeling better soon. Lots of colds doing the rounds at the moment.

    Wrap up warm, take the paracetamol and keep hydrated.
    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
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 13th Oct 16, 6:37 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Evening all,

    In spite of the cold I managed another NSD (yay!) primarily because a work colleague gave me a strip of her cold meds. I really need to get on that mobile phone thing tonight but I'm really tired and snuffly tonight. Might do it over the weekend.

    Tomorrow won't be an NSD as it's payday and I need to pick up a few things that are running low after work (bread and suchlike).

    I'm going to get my hot water bottle and curl up again.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 14th Oct 16, 10:09 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Evening again,

    Not much to report.

    Today I spent £13.94. Most of that is unavoidable topping up but £2.00 was towards team oatcake breakfast and £3.00 is towards team Halloween decorations.

    As a one off I wouldn't have minded the oatcake thing but they are thinking of making oatcake friday a regular event neither my budget nor my waistline will stand for that. I'll have to start taking something with me for Friday breakfast so I can join everyone to eat.

    The cold is still an ongoing issue but I think it's getting better. That might just be the meds. Energy is still really low though.
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 14th Oct 16, 10:32 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Oh today was also rent day. So that's another £90... £82.58 rent and £7.42 arrears.

    *goes to put the £7.42 into her snowball.*
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Oct 16, 11:25 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 35,222 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Maybe with the breakfast thing join in fully once a month and the other weeks eat with them but take your own stuff in?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • BeckyS
    • By BeckyS 14th Oct 16, 11:41 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 171 Thanks
    BeckyS
    Maybe with the breakfast thing join in fully once a month and the other weeks eat with them but take your own stuff in?
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Yeah, that's not a bad idea. I'm sure I can figure something out. :-)
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,861Posts Today

6,161Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Just been to @channel4's #bearhunt premier, a beautiful artist reworking BUT be warned, a surprisingly sad end, mini MSE in floods of tears

  • Going to a very exciting premier right now... with Mrs and mini MSE, to the screening of "we're going on a bear hunt"

  • No. Not a huge fan. Never claimed to be.Just a fan. And one who choose to prioritise family time with his little gi? https://t.co/lZ9uUylk2U

  • Follow Martin