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  • FIRST POST
    • jvr
    • By jvr 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    • 320Posts
    • 1,101Thanks
    jvr
    Changing habits, wanting freedom
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    Changing habits, wanting freedom 3rd Oct 16 at 11:17 AM
    So finally looking at starting a diary, need something to keep me on track! So debt stands at 5,481.43 was originally about 6,000 6 months ago. It’s a mixture of spending due to buying our first house and not adjusting to me being on a much lower income down about 10,000 a year.
    So I am 27 and live with my OH and two dogs and one cat. We want to think about having children soonish and the debt needs to be gone. Complications are due to the fact my OH is
    from SA, every two years we have had about 2,000 to pay out for visa’s we also have to send money back to SA to family over there. Luckily the next visa in 2.5 years time will be for citizenship but could cost about 3,000.

    1 year ago I quit my well paid but horrendous job and started working in admin and a horrifying low wage but without any of the stress. I’m a bit bored now but love my team and organisation so hopeful that I can change my role within the team and have it be a bit more interesting and more money!! Between me and OH we earn just under 40,000 a year so where the hell does it go!?
    Things holding us back – my OH is terrible with money (not that I am perfect) although he is getting better its hard. We also both smoke….. Switched to role ups and have halved the costs but still for our bank balance/ health and hope to have kids we have to stop this. My mental health is also a bit of a problem with on and off depression and anxiety making things tricky.
    I control our spending except for OH’s allowance which he often runs out of far too early considering how much he gets. For last 3 months have stopped putting anything on cards, have redecorated down stairs without making more debt and have paid off about 100 a month. Also started a savings account for Christmas and OH’s car insurance next year in hope to not spend ages paying debt just to get back into it when a big bill comes along! Did all the switching energy suppliers etc to save money but just seems to end up in black hole. Also started cycling to and from work which saves on bus fair and is good for health!
    Other big expense is I am have driving lessons at the moment which is holding back the debt repayment and feeling frustrating but has to be done if hope to get this other job ~(and just because in life it is good idea!!)
    Been reading lots of diarys and found so many people inspiring yet I still seem to run through money with nothing to show for it…. So hoping this will keep my on track!


    If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Jessica; 30-05-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
Page 15
    • jvr
    • By jvr 17th Jul 17, 2:38 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Helloooo


    Thanks for your messages, I have had some time off with OH that has been lovely and he is doing much better and hoping will cope back at work.


    Had the money conversation and he seems on board...... we shall see!


    so I am looking at 9,000 over 10 months to pay for sa and all the debt. whilst also saving for car insurance next year, got the mot coming up, speading fine for OH (idiot), new passport for OH (dogs fault) two weddings! Walk in the park haha. I know I may not make the deadline but gonna do everything I can to get there.
    Did my sums and ready for pay day! will fingers crossed pay off £700 this month while also putting aside for the other bits (if) we can change major habits on spending particularly the nipping to the shop habit
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 18th Jul 17, 9:01 AM
    • 1,598 Posts
    • 12,399 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    A lot on your plate but as I said before, you sound organised and I think that's half the battle.

    Glad to hear the OH is on board. And even if he falls off, then at least you can go back to the conversation you had. You've done your bit.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • jvr
    • By jvr 18th Jul 17, 1:10 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks Speky.


    so something I forgot to mention is we are getting rid of the debit card with the overdraft! Scary but necessary as its always there as back up so as soon as pay day comes the app is going and the card will be chopped up!


    Also I had planned to declutter and then do a car boot sale and nobody in the family seemed interested so in the end just took it all to the charity shop yesterday. Then my sis starts talking about going! Frustrating but honestly just wanted it out of my house and I can consider it my charity donation. Clearer house, clearer mind helps clear debts right?
    Off to bank some cheques that will go off the cc's
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • jvr
    • By jvr 19th Jul 17, 1:58 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Got panicked about 0% offers as getting joint mortgage and account has dragged my credit rating so far down!!! anyway not to worry aside from £600ish is all on 0% till dec 2018 phew....
    Got my spreadsheet all set up ready for pay day and just seen pay slip come out with about £40 more than I thought I would with my pay rise and the standard yearly pay rise
    Going to have another chat with OH as I'm not sure he quite understands what getting rid of the overdraft will mean as he keeps asking about food things and I have to point out Friday is pay day... there is no money till then!!!........... he may not survive this challenge so its a good job we have a large patio I can bury him under
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • jvr
    • By jvr 21st Jul 17, 9:12 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Pay day!!!!


    So first £400 off debt very tight till OH's pay day on the 1st now.... but will manage feeling determined.
    Due to a M&S bank switch earlier in the year I get £10 a month of vouchers had £20 so had a friend for dinner last night and bought lots of lovely food which felt such a treat, was more expensive as she can't have dairy or egg an so is quite limited but means we still have half an apple pie and a pizza left. felt luxuries and cost me 96p out of my pocket.
    Did something stupid the other day and transferred £80 to a closed account of mine instead of the active one, waiting for that back to be able to send my mother in law money. Not being harsh but she will just have to wait!


    Otherwise think I am just about on track..... fingers crossed Monday cheques will have cleared and can make another payment and then more on OH's pay day


    Happy Friday people!
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • jvr
    • By jvr 24th Jul 17, 8:02 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Another £100 payed off today now that a cheque has cleared so £500 payed off so far since beginning of the challenge and that is with two weddings to pay for, speeding fine and OH new passport. Waiting for them to send the forms as you cannot download them, ridiculous you have to send them and envelope to send us the forms! Getting slightly nervous as in my head had about 6 months but actually if they don't get sent back asap we will miss the south Africa trip as takes 4 months for new passport...... trying not to think about it!
    OH back to work this week which he seems okay about
    Did Aldi shop at the weekend and have our first week meal plan so lets see how we do ...... it's a tight month but seeing that £500 so far is awesome I am doing 21st to 21st so still got another 300 hopefully on OH's pay day and we will have done £800 in first month just short of our goal amount. Then another tight month where we have car mot but getting there....... must try not to count all my chickens
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 24th Jul 17, 8:39 AM
    • 1,598 Posts
    • 12,399 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Well JVR, great start. It's a fantastic feeling to see that debt go down especially with so much going on so you deserve a pat on the back.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • JWPopps
    • By JWPopps 24th Jul 17, 11:50 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 1,102 Thanks
    JWPopps
    Hi JVR,

    I've been MIA for a week while I worked on my 3 x 5,000 words assignments (um, they're not finished, but...) so I've just caught up.

    Really pleased to hear the time off is helping your OH feel better, and I completely understand why SA is a must. It sounds like you have a really solid plan and I know exactly what you mean when you say how good it feels to see that £500 GONE - I just got my credit card to under £1,000 and it feels so much more doable now that I've achieved that!! Only problem is keeping it that way...

    I know it's scary to get rid of that overdraft as well but I agree it's a good idea - I really need to think about doing the same with mine but I'm too chicken at the moment!! I've currently got a £600 overdraft which I don't *really* use, but sometimes I go into it a little so I'm trying to save up a £600 'buffer' that I can use instead.

    Hope you mum is ok? I've just had a new placement (which I'm gearing up to write all about!!) and I'm finding this one really challenging so I can feel some of her pain. Glad the YOT are in touch, it's a shame that's the best support she's getting...
    Credit Card Debt: £875
    Loan Debt: £6,454.65
    Savings: £130



    [B]PAYDBX 2017 - #19 : 41% paid 3445/8280[/
    • jvr
    • By jvr 25th Jul 17, 8:45 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Helloooo


    Thanks Speky


    Thanks Popps! For the first time I am really looking at the amount I have and sticking to it rather than just knowing that if worst came could use overdraft
    Other positive changes I had forgotten about is takeaway habit really got kicked... maybe once a month now? Looking back at what we used to eat and spend is a bit horrifying. Bringing food for lunch to work is just second nature can't remember the last time I had to go buy something.
    So far the plan is going well and I'm feeling really motivated, I know this will dip at times and that will be when it's hard but I am enjoying the feeling for now. I was reading last night about all the warnings of how much household debt has risen and the dangers this is posing and it reinforced my determination to get us out of this cycle.
    The boy has left my mums house and gone back home. Basically it was getting too much and my mum couldn't cope he needed constant supervision and we were getting really worried about her. I feel quite sad as he didn't leave on the best terms, social workers came to pick up the last bits of his stuff and managed to stick a bit of a knife in further. Youth Justice guy on the other hand sent her a lovely message saying he hoped she was okay and thanked her for all she had done.... feel very relieved he is working with this guy now and isn't just left to the mercy of this awful social worker!... will catch up on your placement news Popps hope all is okay!


    Not really any other news at the moment just plodding on waiting for OH's pay day to pay more debt
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 25th Jul 17, 9:02 AM
    • 4,443 Posts
    • 44,852 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Well done on Month 1 of the super-serious debt-busting regime. Did you manage to get that £80 back from the closed bank account? Goodness knows it's easy enough to do things like that, and following it up takes a bit off time but it is by doing all of the little things as well as the big things to debt-bust that makes the difference.

    I, too, heard the press stories about consumer debt increasing. It's so, so easy to spend money, particularly now we all seem to have been issued with contactless cards, but it is so hard to pay it all back when we have our lightbulb moments. You're doing really, fantastically well, and the more you post, the more you'll reinforce your new thinking.

    Meal planning and taking lunch to work, coupled with only having a takeaway as a rare treat will show you very quickly just how effective keeping to a budget makes huge inroads into the debts. It seems such a small thing when we're not spending that £3 here and £4 there, but do that three times in a week and that's £10. That's £520 a year. If I'm honest that was the lesson that I learned last and it was the hardest - that the small changes, in the end, make the biggest difference.

    You're doing fantastically well!
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 25th Jul 17, 9:54 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks Honey - not yet I need to chase again today, its the money I normally send to my MIL so maybe that's why I haven't been as obsessed with chasing it haha


    OH back to work today so will have to get used to not having a stay at home husband and start cooking and walking the dogs after work!
    Readjusted the budget a bit as possibly too strict but still on target for £700 this month if the car goes through MOT with no problems in September can make a really sizeable dent then!
    Feel like stretching myself completely with this target is more motivating than just plodding along and having some spare money like my original plan was.... I really am an all or nothing person
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • jvr
    • By jvr 26th Jul 17, 7:46 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Feeling totally panicked. Got the forms through for OH's new passport, turns out you have to some how persuade 'the british authorities' t take your fingerprints and sign it off if you are applying through post. who does that mean? why for Uk visa could we just go to the damn post office!! Just feel sick about it all and wondering if OH can just go to London to sort it next week but you have to be there 9am and we live in Yorkshire has to be sorted asap if we want to be able to go to SA in Jan as it takes 4 months to come through
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 26th Jul 17, 6:33 PM
    • 4,443 Posts
    • 44,852 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    That all sounds like a bit of a nightmare JVR. At the very least, before your OH starts blasting off to London on the off-chance that getting there by 9.00am is the only answer, it's important to do all of your research into what's required and the absolute deadlines. It's no good going off at halfcock on something as complicated as this. At the very least I'd suggest you join a discussion group of other South Africans living in the UK who've been though this process before.

    Don't, whatever you do, book the flights until your OH has his new passport in his possession, and when it does arrive, lock it away where the dogs can't get at it.
    Last edited by Honey Bear; 28-07-2017 at 8:28 AM.
    Keeping it AF
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 27th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
    • 1,598 Posts
    • 12,399 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    JVR, I had a colleague in a previous work who was form SA and had a similar issue. They wanted to see something like 2 years of payslips!! It's a bit of a nonsense. I hope it all gets sorted soon JVR.

    Try not to panic!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • JWPopps
    • By JWPopps 27th Jul 17, 10:22 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 1,102 Thanks
    JWPopps
    Good luck, that sounds really stressful
    Credit Card Debt: £875
    Loan Debt: £6,454.65
    Savings: £130



    [B]PAYDBX 2017 - #19 : 41% paid 3445/8280[/
    • jvr
    • By jvr 27th Jul 17, 12:29 PM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks guys! Was clearly feeling dramatic yesterday..... so dramatic infact I rang our local home office immigration and cried and begged until a lovely man reluctantly agreed to do the fingerprints today! So OH is there at 2.30 fingers crossed all gets sorted.
    We filled out most of the forms last night but some bits don't make sense so I think Monday we will call them and go through each form before we send it off just to be sure. OH came back in a bad mood last night and I lost it.... had done so much to sort out this passport and it was like he barely recognised it!!
    I got an apology.
    Went to pick up a dress from a friend for the wedding tomorrow... its lovely and hasn't cost me a penny! this friend gets married in 3 weeks so borrowing my sisters dress from tomorrow for the next wedding, also saw her wedding dress which is gorgeous and sorted doing her nails, for her and her mum and sister... works perfectly as it can be my wedding present and cost less that £10 in Shellac products for £60 present.
    Aside from the passport stress in back of head feeling really positive. Been checking accounts everyday and I can see huge changes in my behaviour. There are so many things that before, even though I was trying not to spend much I would have got because I 'needed' or 'deserved' and I just haven't, these purchase would have ended up in overdraft. Somehow have more money than I thought :/ about £60 extra in the bills account which is I assume just me overestimating how much I put in and another£100 which is now sitting as a buffer in linked savings account. doing mum and sisters nails tonight so can afford drinks at the wedding tomorrow!
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 28th Jul 17, 8:46 AM
    • 4,443 Posts
    • 44,852 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Aside from the passport stress in back of head feeling really positive. Been checking accounts everyday and I can see huge changes in my behaviour. There are so many things that before, even though I was trying not to spend much I would have got because I 'needed' or 'deserved' and I just haven't, these purchase would have ended up in overdraft. Somehow have more money than I thought :/ about £60 extra in the bills account which is I assume just me overestimating how much I put in and another£100 which is now sitting as a buffer in linked savings account. doing mum and sisters nails tonight so can afford drinks at the wedding tomorrow!
    Originally posted by jvr
    It seems there are several stages to debt-busting. Turning the juggernaut around from being someone whose overdraft and credit cards just seem to accumulate more and more debt while we think we're working on it, to actually paying it down so that it disappears isn't what we initially think it is.

    It's a massive, massive change in attitude and behaviour that doesn't happen overnight because the reality is we don't know how we got into debt and not only do we need to address the financial side of it, we need to address the mindset that made it happen.

    Taking lunch to work every day, not buying coffees while we're out, knowing that 'we're worth it' without spending money isn't as straightforward as it first appears. It's a 180 degree turn, reversing years of consumer spending habits that big companies have spent literally billions of pounds convincing us that the road to happiness relies on us being parted from our hard-earned money.

    The discipline involved in it is hard. Learning new ways of doing things involves a bit of work and a bit of application of our grey matter, but for everyone who's ever made it through to being debt-free, it's been worth it. You'll be a different person, you'll think differently and you'll behave differently but you'll really respect the person you've become, you'll admire her and you'll be a lot happier.

    If you read other debt-buster diaries you'll find that pretty much everyone seems to go through this same process of several lightbulb moments, but we all get there in the end.

    Well done on what you're achieving, even if your OH sometimes takes you for granted - well done for reminding him that you're doing a lot for him and a bit of appreciation is the very least he can give you.
    Keeping it AF
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 28th Jul 17, 8:59 AM
    • 7,012 Posts
    • 33,806 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Wise words HB. Thanks

    You're doing great jvr, good to hear you're there with the passport. We had a dramarama with DD1s before Xmas, few days before we needed it. Complete heart attack inducing time...I can sympathise. Hope it's all sorted, time is on your side.

    Xx
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    August '17 Savings Rate Goal: 25% [July 23.9 %]
    Declutter 100 items before 31.08.17 22/100 ** LSDs Target 5 for August 01/05 **AFDs 8/20 ** Sales Target '17 £750 £140 so far
    **NSDs Target 5 for August xx/05 Trying to be a Frugalista
    • jvr
    • By jvr 1st Aug 17, 8:05 AM
    • 320 Posts
    • 1,101 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks guys!


    So OH went along to the home office and then they said they have no official stamp and the form goes on and on about how it must be stamped! They also said that whenever they deal with anything south African related its a nightmare .... I can only agree! They did the fingerprints and signed who they were etc. Then other half rang the embassy and they said no that's okay so just need to go through all the forms today and send them off


    Wedding was lovely and we barely spent a penny. OH left with my sister early (she has ME so can't do much for long) and then me my other sister and my cousin discovered the wine not drunk at other tables and had a fabulous night drinking free wine lots of dancing and catching up with people. Even more amazing no hangover the next day..........


    ............ the one issue with this is the day after I did my dates and realised I was 'late' two test later and I discovered we do not have ten months to get rid of this debt we have 8!! only just under 5 weeks so very early days.... doesn't feel real but at same time even more determined.


    Suffering caffeine and nicotine withdrawals at the same time is fun but think how much I will save with a good reason to quit!
    10 month debt free challenge + trip to South Africa starting on the 21st of July 2017!

    Starting point: £9000 needed to clear debt and pay for the holiday
    Now: £720£9000 paid......... £8300 to go!
    8%PAYED
    • JWPopps
    • By JWPopps 1st Aug 17, 9:44 AM
    • 219 Posts
    • 1,102 Thanks
    JWPopps
    Oh JVR congratulations!!!!!!
    Credit Card Debt: £875
    Loan Debt: £6,454.65
    Savings: £130



    [B]PAYDBX 2017 - #19 : 41% paid 3445/8280[/
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