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  • FIRST POST
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 6th Oct 16, 12:48 PM
    • 43Posts
    • 16Thanks
    Hayley33
    It's really hard
    • #1
    • 6th Oct 16, 12:48 PM
    It's really hard 6th Oct 16 at 12:48 PM
    We've got quite a lot on the go I won't take out two cars at the same time again and I've just put my debts all in one place and if I can stick to a budget they'll be cleared in 3 years and on paper be £400 p/m better off. I was just in my overdraft before so I just used to switch out what I needed etc, within reason. Now I don't want to get into it again. But I always seem to have such a lot on I can see this is going to be really hard to do. On top of all the bills, the two car payments, the sofa payment, the loan to pay off the debts, there's clothes that my child always seems to need, the school always want something they ask for money most weeks, there's the school dinner bill, there's the endless birthday parties at £5 in the card each time., there's work where there's the constant collections for people, there's the never ending food shopping bill...... I REALLY want to pay off my debts and stay out of my overdraft. I've also opened up a little savings account in the hope that I can build up some money for myself. It's seems absolutely impossible to stay within a budget, you always need the credit card on top. I can't though anymore. I only work part time now around my husbands shifts because we can't afford childcare so my pay isn't the best but it will do until she grows up ( it will have to do). How do you all do it?
Page 2
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 6th Oct 16, 6:50 PM
    • 1,003 Posts
    • 3,044 Thanks
    MrsSave
    I disagree with having no spending/treat money at all. It needs to be budgeted and the budget needs to be stuck to, but I personally couldn't pay off the debts without having any money for 'nice/extra' things. I think that will make it extremely easy for someone to 'fail' and overspend. I am more careful on days out, etc. We often use Tesco vouchers and take a picnic, but then we also buy an ice cream. We sometimes treat ourselves to cupcakes from our local cake shop. I bought my son a book the other day (despite the fact that we use the library and he has lots of books).

    Everyone has their own way of paying off debts, and you need to find a way that works for you. Paying off debts for me doesn't mean going without, it means budgeting, finding ways to make things cheaper, earning extra money (I do surveys and use topcashback, etc), cutting back and just being sensible with the money you have.
    Emergency fund #16 £70/£1000
    Loan repayments: 16/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • determined new ms
    • By determined new ms 6th Oct 16, 6:59 PM
    • 5,558 Posts
    • 29,474 Thanks
    determined new ms
    you could do what i've done and commit to buying NOTHING new for a year. But this doesn't mean going around buying things 2nd hand. I only get something second hand if I need it. We don't eat out much now and at most get 1 take out a month. I've come to the conclussion it's far better to get an expensive/nice pizza in the sm and put it in the freezer for the inevitable night when we cba to cook!

    It might seem extreme but needs must and now I am 4 months into it it's really not hard. I don't know how old your lo is but ours is 3, she really doesn't need expensive clothes. I'm saving her child benefit for the time when she does.

    Toiletries - I bet if you did a thorough stock take you wouldn't need to buy any for some time
    Debt to Bank of oh Mum: £4200/£5700
    Wombling 2016 £263.42 Roadkill £27.21
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 7:54 PM
    • 6,328 Posts
    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I disagree with having no spending/treat money at all. It needs to be budgeted and the budget needs to be stuck to, but I personally couldn't pay off the debts without having any money for 'nice/extra' things. I think that will make it extremely easy for someone to 'fail' and overspend. I am more careful on days out, etc. We often use Tesco vouchers and take a picnic, but then we also buy an ice cream. We sometimes treat ourselves to cupcakes from our local cake shop. I bought my son a book the other day (despite the fact that we use the library and he has lots of books).

    Everyone has their own way of paying off debts, and you need to find a way that works for you. Paying off debts for me doesn't mean going without, it means budgeting, finding ways to make things cheaper, earning extra money (I do surveys and use topcashback, etc), cutting back and just being sensible with the money you have.
    Originally posted by MrsSave
    I agree with this. We've made a point while we've been clearing off the mortgage of ensuring that there has been fun along the way - but we're also always made sure we get the best value from the money we spend on it. It's about small treats - but £300 a month is not "small treats" is it!

    Hayley - Bob said above that he feared you'd not had your LBM moment yet. Umpteen people have also said that you need to budget, and that you need to know exactly where your money is going. You say you have £300 a month after your essential spending, but you don't seem to have a grasp on what is "essential" to be honest. No, for two adults and one child your food bill isn't "Eat Well for Less" style excessive, but you certainly could make a saving there if you wanted to, which would make the feeling of not being able to manage lessen. I suspect there are other areas the same.

    You started this thread by saying that you were struggling to make ends meet, there are a lot of people here telling you why that is, and what you need to do to solve your problem, but at the moment all you seem determined to do is to tell us we're wrong. I imagine put like that, you can understand why we fear that you've not yet fully woken up to your situation?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Sanctioned Parts List
    • By Sanctioned Parts List 6th Oct 16, 8:32 PM
    • 294 Posts
    • 764 Thanks
    Sanctioned Parts List
    That spending diary isn't just a good idea IMO, it's absolutely vital.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Exactly this!

    A spending diary is not the same as a budget - a budget is what you plan to spend, a spending diary records what you actually did spend. An SOA is a summary version of the spending diary - it's what you think you spend, on average, every month.

    Without tracking your real spending, you've actually got no idea where your money's going. You don't have £300 "spare" money, because you don't truly know whether it's needed for food, utilities, entertainment, clothes or is available for savings and/or debt repayment. This is not to say you don't have money at the end of the month, it's to say you don't have a clue how much!

    Until you know what you really spend, month on month, year on year, then any budget you make will be fantasy. This is why we recommend people trawl their previous year's bank statements to make their first SOA...

    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 6th Oct 16, 9:58 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    Thanks guys. All advice taken on board
    Apologies bob I didn't read correctly, I'm with you on that now 'non essential spending' can be cut down. Shall start recording my spending down in a little notebook. I know that all my essential bills are paid so to speak and what I have left (my hubby also has money left I'm talking about my pay) I state £300 as it's not accounted for any specific bills it's just leisure money, when I say toiletries I mean the odd £1 deodorant etc. The majority of toiletries I get in the shopping money. I can definitely cut down. Was aiming to start with £20 a month in a savings account.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 6th Oct 16, 10:13 PM
    • 6,328 Posts
    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Thanks guys. All advice taken on board
    Apologies bob I didn't read correctly, I'm with you on that now 'non essential spending' can be cut down. Shall start recording my spending down in a little notebook. I know that all my essential bills are paid so to speak and what I have left (my hubby also has money left I'm talking about my pay) I state £300 as it's not accounted for any specific bills it's just leisure money, when I say toiletries I mean the odd £1 deodorant etc. The majority of toiletries I get in the shopping money. I can definitely cut down. Was aiming to start with £20 a month in a savings account.
    Originally posted by Hayley33

    Well done you!

    Yep - notebook is a great idea - remember you need to note everything though - it's the only way it works.
    Set some time aside over the weekend to put together your SOA - if you wanted to post it in here I know I speak for others when I say we'll be happy to cast an eye over it and suggest where we reckon you can make savings. While you're about it you might try putting together a meal plan and a shopping list for the week to come as well - this is the thing that really enabled me to hammer down our food bill and also to cut down on waste.

    You can do this - with the right structures in place you can get rid of that debt - and yes, it IS all debt, just some is worse than the rest. Imagine if you can get the loan gone in two years, not three, for a start? How amazing would that be?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 6th Oct 16, 10:37 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    Thanks Essex some really good advice. I have started that with the food shopping doing lists and sticking to. Usher as you know you can just spend and spend with regards to food.

    That would be amazing. I'd love to end up though 3 years now with a nice saving account and everything gone
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 6th Oct 16, 10:38 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    I will post an SOA when I have the chance to do it all
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 7th Oct 16, 2:50 PM
    • 6,328 Posts
    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'm going to make a further suggestion Hayley - look back on ALL your old posts on here, read through the threads, read the advice people have given you, and notice how there are common themes on just about every thread. Make a decision now that you are, once and for all, going to deal with this. Don't consolidate debts again, EVER - you KNOW this doesn't work now, don't you.

    You can do this - all the information as to how is there - but first, you have to want to - and only you can make that decision. What I will tell you though is that there is NO better feeling than feeling as though you're in control of your life, financially. Not owing anyone a penny, for anything. Being able to grab a takeaway without thinking "I can't really afford this". Not dreading opening bank statements. Buying something that you've wanted for a while, and have saved up for, carefully, month on month. Knowing that if disaster struck, you could still cope until things sorted themselves out. If you wonder how I can be so sure of that, feel free to read back over my diaries.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 9th Oct 16, 10:06 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    Thanks Essex I did have a look but I can't seem to find any of your diaries. I can imagine it must be a lovely feeling finally being out of debt. Sorry if I've been posting similar old threads these boards are a good help and thanks for reading
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 16, 10:45 AM
    • 6,328 Posts
    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    To find threads started by a particular user (this works for your own threads, too) click on the username to go to the profile - there is then a row of tabs along the top, one of which is threads. Click on that and get a list of all threads started by that user.

    How's that SOA coming along?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Bedsit Bob
    • By Bedsit Bob 10th Oct 16, 1:55 PM
    • 9,311 Posts
    • 48,764 Thanks
    Bedsit Bob
    Or go to Search>Advanced Search, enter a username, and choose "Find threads started by user" from the pull down box.
    My job is Top Secret. Even I don't know what I'm doing.

    Amount I have so far denied the BBC - £1015-50
    • enjoyyourshoes
    • By enjoyyourshoes 10th Oct 16, 2:08 PM
    • 642 Posts
    • 808 Thanks
    enjoyyourshoes
    1.0 Reconcile you bank account daily ensuring you don't spend more than you have and avoid OD like the plague

    2.0 Save for items and don't buy on 'tick' (sofa for instance). Put savings as a monthly 'cost' on bank reconciliation and stuff initiate highest possible apr account you can find

    3.0 Don't take out loan to pay off all you other loans, its not worth it. So have a different saving strategy in the future.

    4.0 Make sandwiches for kids school dinners and not pay. make from scratch your own evening meals and your own lunches.

    5.0 Food shopping, have list and meal plan and stick to it. Avoid 'the little extras' that are costing you a fortune.

    6.0 Don't go to the birthday parties, or be selective. Buy just a card or even better get kids to make their own. Don't buy pressies, that is not why the kids are being invited, or if it is, don't go !

    7.0 Pay off your debts with as much none sent money each month as you possibly can. You will be paying compound interest if you only pay CC minimum and bank OD with charges and admin fees are crippling you.

    8.0 Get self and partner together to agree plan of attack, what your GOAL is financially, how you can save spending day to day, week to week, month to month, what you will do with this saved monies (pay off debt, highest are first etc), stop sieve effect (booze, fags, mags, lotto, TV subscription, mobile phone tariffs, extended warranties , paying for insurance monthly not annually etc etc
    Debt is a symptom, solve the problem.
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 10th Oct 16, 9:32 PM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    This is my SOA.

    My income partime £870.
    I pay out £435 (bills) £12.50 (phone) £18.00 insurance and £35 per month petrol, and at the moment I save £50 for Christmas.
    The rest then is spending money.

    Believe it or not, I am pretty good at organising things,I always look around for good deals when I'm buying things, always organise the food shopping etc, I know I've taken out loans in the past etc but they've all always been paid etc,as it will be this time.

    The advice I'm really looking for is building up a savings pit.

    With regards to kids parties etc I have to give a gift as they always provide a gift for my LO, I do a mix of home packed food as school dinners I don't spend to much, my sofa and my car packed up at the same time my previous sofa I did pay cash for, I don't mind too much it's interest free and it's lovely.

    I still can't find any diaries only threads.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Oct 16, 10:31 PM
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    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    The diaries are threads - there's nothing different about them and they'll fall within those lists of threads started by a user.

    If that "SOA" is accurate then great - you have £319 a month. To build up savings, allocate £25 a week to yourself - less if you think you can manage on it - and save the rest. That'll total up to roughly £2,400 over a year. From the figures you're telling us, it really is that simple.

    Of course if it IS accurate, you'd have that money anyway, wouldn't you. If you're seriously saying you have nothing left by the end of the month, though, that means you're spending out nearly 4k a year without having ANY idea what on. If it were me, I'd be a bit alarmed by that.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • Hayley33
    • By Hayley33 11th Oct 16, 10:55 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 16 Thanks
    Hayley33
    This is my first month of being out of my overdraft as we put the 3 year loan in place. So I do have the money.
    I know you are right. What I'm going to do is I'm going to give myself £150 when there's morn much on and try to save the other £150 plus I've hidden my credit card it's empty so I can't go impulsively buying. In November, I'm
    Not spending much at all ready for the build up to the crazy month of December/Christmas. I was thinking of giving myself just £100 for that month. This month there's half term now when we'll do the cinema and a few bits, my sisters birthday and a weekend away. But you can't have it all and if you want to save you have to cut back a bit.
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 11th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
    • 14,568 Posts
    • 22,037 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    Call the credit card company and get them to lower your limit to say £1000 for an emergency scenario - that way it can't sneak up again. Ideally cancel it.

    Ditto your over draft.

    Do a full SOA - break down those "bills". I feel like you're listening but not really hearing what people are telling you.

    Ultimately it's absolutely up to you how you wish to proceed, but the people here are giving you some very good advice. Have you started your spending diary yet?

    I'm not saying hardcore DFW is the only way - I'm unique too in my own way because my partner earns VERY well so my debt kind of fluctuates a little... And I could clear it all if I cashed in my immediate assets. It's all 0% and actually a chunk of it is investments. My assets can be realized very quickly and without harping on it's a very considered set of investments. I choose to count them as debts because they are...

    So, we're not saying one hat fits all here. HOWEVER I also agree that you haven't QUITE accepted that your situation is that you fritter away money potentially that could go towards repaying your debt earlier.

    Without a full SOA it's near impossible to tell you where you might be able to easily make savings... Like school meals - does your LO one qualify for free ones? Mine no longer does so she has meals a few days a week and packed the rest because it's not cheap and I'll only cough up if she's going to eat it!!!
    It's far easier for me as I work full time (and some!) - if you work part time I would suggest that you probably have the time to pack them

    Birthdays - There are only so many in a year - I have a birthday present cupboard which I keep stocked with generic presents for these events, like Hobbycraft has one of the build a bears on offer at the moment for £8... Tesco had a Frozen baking set on sale from £10 to £4 a few months ago. Throw in a £1 frozen cupcake pack and tadaaaaaa £5 present for a girls party and no-one would ever know!

    Make a list now for Christmas on who needs cards and presents and set a strict budget!
    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 11th Oct 16, 12:20 PM
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    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    That's a great idea on the present cupboard for kids parties Mrs Tinks - Poundland can be great for goodies like that too - you need to be selective about what you buy but there are some bargains to be found.

    Hayley - Mrs T is right about the OD - if you're serious about not wanting to go back into it then the easiest way to do this is to cancel it altogether. It can be done with one quick phone call to your bank. You know you have the money spare - you just need to learn to budget with it. Until you both accept that, and commit to the learning process though, things aren't going to get any "easier"

    For me - and for others on here - it does appear "easy" - but "easy" usually relates directly back to a lot of hard work and making sacrifices to get to that point. In our case our "debt" at it's highest was around £110k I think - with £103k of that being the mortgage. How many people do you know who, if they were asked "how much debt do you have?" would include their mortgage in there? It's like Mrs T said though - we chose to think of it that way, and we chose to get it paid off as soon as we could. Paying it off 12 years early has saved us around £35k in interest, and we're now living without owing a penny to anyone at all. That wasn't "luck" though - that was hard work.

    Only you can make the decision as to what you really want - to remove yourself from a 5 year-plus cycle of debt and consolidation? Or to SAY that you want to remove yourself from it but then decide it's too hard and walk away again. Sorry to be blunt, but you need to think hard about what you want, and how you can get there. It doesn't just fix itself - there are no easy answers. This is why I suggested you look back over your old threads as this will show you how your pattern is repeating itself.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    • MrsTinks
    • By MrsTinks 11th Oct 16, 12:53 PM
    • 14,568 Posts
    • 22,037 Thanks
    MrsTinks
    I'm in still in awe that you're MF Essex That's a super achievement and one I shall be aiming for!

    The present cupboard was my solution to repeatedly forgetting about parties and having to buy weird stuff on the way there LOL Now I usually have a stash of no less than 4 to choose from. Ditto cards - I try to have a few cute and fluffy ones and a few super hero ones so I can just grab and run LOL

    It DOES mean budgeting for it is way simpler too - and After Christmas I pick up cards for next year for pennies and the kids don't care if it's last years cards - most of the time the super markets re-use designs anyway!
    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 11th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • 6,328 Posts
    • 35,068 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'm in still in awe that you're MF Essex That's a super achievement and one I shall be aiming for!

    The present cupboard was my solution to repeatedly forgetting about parties and having to buy weird stuff on the way there LOL Now I usually have a stash of no less than 4 to choose from. Ditto cards - I try to have a few cute and fluffy ones and a few super hero ones so I can just grab and run LOL

    It DOES mean budgeting for it is way simpler too - and After Christmas I pick up cards for next year for pennies and the kids don't care if it's last years cards - most of the time the super markets re-use designs anyway!
    Originally posted by MrsTinks
    Thanks Mrs T - I'm still stupidly excited but not sure it'll 100% hit home until I actually see the Land Registry entries showing the charge has gone off the title!

    We always buy Christmas cards in the sales after christmas as well - AND wrapping paper, and tags too! As for birthday cards - market stalls are worth keeping an eye on too as they sometimes have those boxes of 10 cards with a theme and just a generic "Happy Birthday" message. Home Bargains are also brilliant for cards - dirt cheap, reasonable quality and well worth a look if you have one locally. I usually have a stash of those kicking around ready.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
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