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    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 11th Nov 16, 3:08 PM
    • 49Posts
    • 140Thanks
    Single 20 something mum - time to kick myself up the bum!
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 16, 3:08 PM
    Single 20 something mum - time to kick myself up the bum! 11th Nov 16 at 3:08 PM
    Having stalked these forums for a while I've decided to start my own diary to get to grips with getting myself out of 15k debt!

    So a little about me, I'm a 26 (almost 27) year old single working mum of 1 lovely little 3 year old. I think ever since I got an overdraft/first credit card back when I was 19 I've been bad with money. Over 2 years ago my daughter's father split up with me meaning I had to move into rented accommodation, followed by my father passing away unexpectedly, I started stupidly using money and spending money I didn't really have to cheer myself up.

    I currently work 30 hours per week and if I worked an extra day I'd literally just be paying for nursery. Plus I'd prefer the time with my daughter over extra money ANY day! I'm also doing an open university degree in law so that's racking up even more debt

    Now I've come to the realization that I know I need to cut back majorly, get a grip and start paying things off. Not sure how realistic my goal is but I want to be debt free or have at LEAST 80% of debt paid by my 30th birthday in 2020! I have to get over the self pity of how comfortable I could live without having to pay over £300 a month onto debt (I mean I could save a deposit for a house or have a better car/holidays if I weren't paying all that) and get to grips with being frugal and getting it down so I CAN live give my daughter a comfortable life long term.

    I haven't done a SOA as my budget changes monthly (due to getting paid tax credits weekly) so I do a monthly budget on excel every month butttt this is what my typical monthly budget looks like:

    Salary £1,275.61
    Benefits £521.71
    Child benefit £82.50
    Maintenance: £120

    Total: £1999.82


    Rent £575.00
    Nursery fees £368.00 - should get 15 free hours in January 2017 so amount will change then as will my tax credits
    Petrol £80.00
    Council Tax £92.00
    Gas £38.70
    Electricity £27.97
    Water £25.17
    Content insurance £16.19
    Car insurance £34.92
    Car Tax £11.37
    Mobile £19.00
    SKY £36 - tied in until October 2017
    Sofa £35.00 - payments finish August 2017
    Bank account fee £30.00 - I transfer this to cover my account fee of £19 and overdraft charges and what is left (small amount) to pay towards clearing overdraft)
    TV licence £12.12
    Daughter's ISA £25.00
    Savings £50.00 (best friend is getting married in Cyprus Sept 2017 so this is to pay for a holiday)
    GUIDE DOGS £5.00
    Food £120.00
    Other £20 - this covers OD fee on my main account and postcode lottery (because hey I might win £25,000 and all my troubles be over - we can dream )

    Debt repayments
    CC1 £70.00
    CC2 £115.00
    CC3 £30.00
    CC4 £50.00
    CC5 £50.00

    Total outgoings: £1931.35

    Surplus income £67.32

    Now for my total debts

    Overdraft 1 - £300
    Overdraf 2 - £400
    CC 1 - £2,874.99 1.4316% monthly rate
    CC 2 - £4723.41 1.5976% monthly rate
    CC 3 - £1924.72 0% until March 2017 then 2.0751% monthly rate
    CC 4 - £2,393.75 0% - can't remember when until and can't see info on statement but it's at least until December 2017
    CC 5 - £ £2540 0% again can't remember when this is as it's a new balance transfer so will find out when I get the statement
    CC 6 - £234.34 - aim to clear this first

    Total debt = £15391.21

    All of my CCs have been cut up bar 1 for EMERGENCIES ONLY

    I've done two recent 0% balance transfers and unfortunately as my name has just come off a mortgage my credit rating isn't good enough to get any further 0% deals. So my plan is as follows:

    Pay off CC 6 by January 2017
    Pay off as much as possible from CC 2 before 0% interest finishes in March 2017
    Have at least 25 NSDs every month
    Get the 2 x 0% CCs cleared by 0% term then hopefully get another 0% deal for the remaining cards.
    De-clutter my house and sell things on ebay to help towards Christmas
    Lastly save £700 moving fund so I can cut rental cost down to £500 pcm

    Sorry for the long post!
    Last edited by timetobefrugal; 11-11-2016 at 3:16 PM.
Page 4
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 12th Apr 17, 9:05 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    I've been completely MIA bahh!

    So not so frugal month this month that involved 2 birthday's and 2 cinema trips! Pretty much skint for the rest of the month but alllllmost at the under £16000 mark! Selling a few things on eB@y so hopefully the extra pennies will get it under £16000 before the end of April. Feel like I haven't really paid much off since Jan but was set back by balance transfer fees, guess it's better in the long run but increased my debt short term.

    Not much else to report, I've worked out if I up my hours from 30 to 37 then I'd be around £115 better off a month. I think if I can't get a pay rise or a better paid job then this is my only option to be able to live comfortably while paying off the debt quicker. I've already reserved an extra day at nursery for September (my daughter only does 2 days there at the min) so if nothing has changed by then I thing I'm just going to have to suck it up. I NEED a new car and it's the only way I can see me getting by with having to take out extra debt to cover that. How I'm going to be able to keep the house clean, work full time, study part time and get enough time in with my DD I do not know BUT I figured if I can get this paid off in 3 years I'll probably be in a good position to drop a day again.

    We're heading off on an Easter egg hunt at the weekend, we're going to a national trust which I am already a member for so should be a cheap day. My mum is treating me to lunch to say thankyou as I cooked dinner for everyone on mother's day

    I saw some lovely garden furniture the other day, the old me would have said ahh it's only £125 bang it on the CC it'll be paid off in no time. Instead I told myself that by this time next year I'll have saved £200 so I can treat us to a nice set and my daughter a trampoline or swing/slide set - whichever she wants!
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • wegle
    • By wegle 12th Apr 17, 9:46 PM
    • 542 Posts
    • 1,564 Thanks
    I really enjoyed reading your diary. I'm a single mum too with pretty much the same income so it's nice to see someone managing so well and paying off debt! Go you! My budget feels so tight all the time, luckily I'm very nearly debt free though.

    I'm so impressed by your eBay selling and studying. I have a shed full of baby stuff but just can't get the motivation to get it all listed and sold. I've also been wanting to get my BEng forever but always panic that I couldn't afford it and wouldn't have the time but here you are doing it all! Looks like I just need a swift kick up the backside.

    I know you say you use a spreadsheet to do your budget but wondered if you'd ever tried the YNAB web app? I've been using it the last 3 months and it has revolutionised my budgeting and spending, plus it's so easy to use with the irregular pay cycles that come with salary, tax credits, child benefit and housing benefit. They do an initial 34 day free trial and if you email them proof that you're a student you get a year's free trial.

    Keep up the good work and if you do need to get a new car on debt just remember that it's a sensible debt as it will allow you to keep working and paying off your debts.
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 13th Apr 17, 9:28 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Thank you wegle ! It's not easy managing on just one income sometimes as you have nobody to fall back on/save with! I could live month to month if there were no big spends i.e. car/electrical item breaking down but something always happens! With ebay I tend to bag up all her summer clothes and wait until the next summer to list them, the same with autumn/winter clothes! I'm terrible with toys though, I've had a bunch of toys sat on my dining room table for 2 months with every intention of getting them listed on just hasn't happened yet! Well done on nearly being debt free, it can be so hard sometimes so definitely an achievement. I've seen so many people post about YNAB I will have to give it ago, thankyou!

    I've had a productive morning so far, I made teeny payments to 2 credit cards so that they were down to the nearest £ which means an extra £3.89 has gone off the debt. I also transferred £1 to my 'emergency fund' which takes the balance to £1.13 got to start somewhere eh!?

    I can't remember if I posted before but holiday for my best friend's wedding in Cyprus in September is BOOKED wasn't as cheap as I'd like but it's within what I had budgeted for. I had enough in my savings to pay the deposit and pay off the rest I owe for the hen do. The rest of the hol has to be paid either June or July (I'll have to check) but I've been saving £80 per month to pay that off. So the goal is to save £100 spending for the hen-do and £150 to take away with me (we're all inclusive anyway so hopefully I'll have some to bring back).

    Last day at work and then I'm off to enjoy the nice 4 day weekend Have a great Easter!
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 24th Apr 17, 5:58 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Sooooo since I last posed my car died I have had to take out finance to get a new one but I'm not mentally prepared to update my signature yet! Please nobody come on and lecture me I'm delicate ! I've decided to go back up to 5 days as of September to get the debt paid off ASAP, I could just about live but be pretty skint continuing doing just 30 hours but with taking on an extra debt I just feel I need to pull my finger out more. My lovely step gran actually gave me £500 towards my car and I'm so so grateful. I pick it up tomorrow so I am a little excited!

    Today was my day off and I had to take my daughter for her pre-school and mmr boosters jabs which was not fun. This did result in a Mcdonalds as a treat (I'm a veggie so not a treat for me) but was well worth the money for the poor little sausage!

    Had some personal issues going on and I've been feeling really down this week, I think the fact of having to increase my debt along with all of that has just made me feel meh. PLUS I have my last essay due next week then an exam in June (and I HATE exams) so I think my stress level is unusually high for me. I have a family holiday down south in June so I'm looking forward to a break then, hopefully it's nice and sunny! Need to do a food shop but skint until payday on Thursday so think I'll have to raid the cupboard and freezer stash and see how creative I can be until then hope everyone has a good week!
    Last edited by timetobefrugal; 24-04-2017 at 6:05 PM.
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 24th Apr 17, 10:34 PM
    • 10,473 Posts
    • 69,435 Thanks
    Sorry about the car. And you having a bad week. Hugs.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 25th Apr 17, 8:17 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Thank yew bobarella picked up my new car today, good news is it is £0 road tax bad news is it cost me £38 to change over my insurance I had just paid for this months and only have 1 payment left as it's up next month. This wasn't budgeted for and went on my emergency credit card (it's a 0% purchase one which is the only upside) so still feeling meh. Next few months are going to be a frugal few that's for sure! I've got a few last bits to list on eBay so hopefully they will make it up.

    Not much else to report, diet has been crap haven't had the time to exercise in over a week as been so busy. Probably won't get a workout in until Thursday either but I'm going to make sure it's a good one!
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 26th Apr 17, 11:54 PM
    • 10,473 Posts
    • 69,435 Thanks
    Hope you enjoy the new car!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 16th May 17, 4:34 PM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Ooook let's get the negatives out of the way. Due to having to buy my car I've had to pay the remainder of my holiday on a CC it is 0% until next December but I've ended up having to purchase other things on there this month. My dd projectile vomited all over my bed soaking through my mattress topper and pillows, my mattress is already 10 years old and had it it's so uncomfortable without a topper. So I had to buy a new one and 2 new pillows today all went on the cc along with some bits for the garden and house old habits die hard hey!

    However there are some pluses! I've got some toys and clothes to list on ebay and my old car to put on for spares or repairs (had to send off for a new vc5 as lost mine so not been able to list this yet). This should cover spending money for my family holiday in June. I had today off work as my daughter was sick in the night so the house has had a good clean 😁 I also got the best mark so far this year on my last assignment so was really really pleased, just one exam to go in June and I'm done until the next module starts in October. I've also had it confirmed I can increase from 4 to 5 days at work from September. This will help me clear the 0% purchase cc as well as paying off the other debts while still being able to save around £50 a month for an emergency fund. I'll miss the time with my daughter but my holiday entitlement will increase so I'll just take a day off a month with her for some quality time. If my calculations are right I can knock a year off my debt free date!!

    So in summary, naughty me for spending on another cc but I'm done beating myself up about it. I wish there was a support group like compulsive spenders anonymous because it's 100% my issue. Anyway if I ignore the new cc and car finance my debt is under 16k now n in denial much?!?

    On another note, my daughter will be starting school next year, it's inevitable that she will need some sort of after school club or childcare for a few days a week just because of my home-work distance. If anyone could give me an idea of what they pay for such things it'd be really helpful! Thanks
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • RebeccaAnney
    • By RebeccaAnney 21st Jun 17, 10:26 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    Have you had your holiday yet? Hows the new car? Hope all is well! R x
    LBM 07/03/17 (£14,879.52) 15/09/17 £10,584.02
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 5th Jul 17, 10:05 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Ahhh I've been completely MIA! Probably due to the fact my budgeting has been horrendous and I wasn't ready to hold myself accountable yet!

    Holiday was lovely, was so nice to see a part of England I haven't seen before. Took my daughter to Paultonís park for the day which she loved and we also visited Arundel castle which I absolutely fell in love with! So although lovely June wasnít gentle on the budget nor has this month as itís my best friendís hen do this weekend. I had already paid for the accommodation and activities but being the person who has organised it and the chief bridesmaid Iíve had to buy all of the decorations etc. Iím hoping that everyone else will appreciate all of the effort Iíve put in and pay for my drinks on the night! A girl can wish eh!

    Car is running lovely thankyou RebeccaAnney and is so good on petrol so thatís definitely been a save!

    Ok so negatives are that my budgeting has been terrible for the past 2 months, I forgot to sorn my car so Iím pretty sure a DVLA fine is on its way and Iíve got to pay £85 to renew my tenancy so next month Iím going to be absolutely skint. Also gained weight during the holiday probably due to social drinking every evening, so my goal to lose 10lb by September has been significantly stalled, I really need to get focused with this now my uni work is done for the summer I have no excuse! Just seems so much harder to shift the weight as I get older 

    Positives are there are no social events in July or August so should be able to stick to my extremely tight budget and save some spending money for Cyprus in September. Iím going back full time as opposed to 30 hours per week as of September so that increases my income, Iíve worked out what should be my new budget and after everything is paid I should have around £165 spare money per month Ė thatís after putting £50 aside for savings and budgeting to pay off the last CC before the 0% deal expires Dec 2018. My plan is to spend as little and save as much as possible as Iíd like to take my daughter away before she starts school next September Iíve been looking at 3/4 night trips to Dubrovnik and I think I can get us flights and accommodation for under £500. Sheís also desperate for a new bed as she still has a toddler bed and as sheís big for her age sheís completely outgrown it. Iíve said she can have a new one for her birthday in November, but I will need the frame, mattress and bedding! If anyone can recommend decent/cheapish bed placesÖÖ..

    Also made a vow to update my diary at least once a week to keep on track, start as I mean to go on and all that!
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 23rd Jul 17, 10:02 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Well a little update from me! Hen party went really really well, everyone had a good night and I got really drunk and was in bed by 10.15pm so cheap night for me

    I'm starting to get really anxious about doing an extra day at work, finance wise I know it's the only way I'm going to pay a good chunk of £££ off of the debt this year (I think I can knock 5k off in the 12 months if I'm really strict although my minimum goal is 4k) but I'm worried about there being enough hours in the day. I struggle as it is with getting in my workouts, tidying, cleaning, ironing etc especially the months when I have my uni work to do (which is October-June). I don't want to come home in the evenings and not have any time with my daughter because I'm stressing about the house being untidy or the size of my pile of ironing! Monday has been our little adventure day together I'm extremely grateful I've been able to do it for nearly 4 years as I know plenty of people who are still together and both have to work full time to make ends meet so have missed that time with their children.

    On a more positive note, I purchased some wallpaper and curtains for the spare bedroom in the theme of.....Flamingos!!! So our dressing room looks really girly! First time I've ever wallpapered by myself so I was so pleased with myself - I even drilled holes and put a curtain rail up too Ultimately I would like to move to somewhere a little cheaper however, I don't see this happening this year so I want to make it a little more homely. I had already decorated my bedroom and my daughter's so I just need a few bits for the bathroom i.e. a blind, wall art, and upstairs will be done! I also passed uni with flying colours this year so that's another year down, only 3 more to go

    Personal life wise, I had the bright idea it might be a good time for me to go on a few dates (I've been single over 3 years and not been on a single date). I really don't meet new people in day to day life as my life literally consists of work and being home! So I had a look on a few dating to say they got deleted the same night! Think I'll stay single a little while longer......

    Jobs for this week are:
    - Sort through more old clothes and toys and get listed on e@ay
    - Meal plan and batch cook some meals
    - Start clearing through the cupboard in the little bedroom and get rid of junk
    - Get an updated figure on debt total and work out payments for the next 13 months to hit my 5k goal
    - Choose outfit for girls night this Saturday and RESIST the urge of buying something new for the occasion!
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • RebeccaAnney
    • By RebeccaAnney 17th Aug 17, 11:40 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    I love love love anything flamingos!!! Primark have some really cute flamingo fairy lights that I almost bought on Sunday!

    I've not had the pleasure of the dating apps myself but have heard many a horror story about them (and many positive stories too to be fair, its not all bad) but I met my OH where I was working part time 5 years ago. I think I'd have bit of a shock if I became single now as my life consists of little more than home and work and I work for our family business now...

    Glad the Hen Party went well, honestly in bed by 10 is pretty standard for me no matter what the occasion haha. About your extra day at work, time is precious and your little girl isn't young forever. Could you afford to delay the extra day for a while? Such a difficult situation, we don't have children yet but childcare is just frighteningly expensive and our family members work full time too.

    Hope everything else is going well for you x
    LBM 07/03/17 (£14,879.52) 15/09/17 £10,584.02
    • timetobefrugal
    • By timetobefrugal 7th Sep 17, 8:46 AM
    • 49 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Well I'm failing horrendously at updating this diary!

    Probably because old habits die hard and I've struggled money wise. Seems to be a never ending cycle with me, spend more than I have, debt goes up and get awful anxiety about my debt and swear to make a good dent in it. I think my problem is I can't seem to accept I can't live the lifestyle I like to live until I'm debt free. I resent myself because I see myself paying £350+ back on debt a month EXCLUDING my car loan and I think how have you even got here, you could live more than comfortably with that spare a month!

    I started my 5 day week this week and to be honest it's not been too bad, and means I'm pushing up my debt repayments per month to £455 as of next month. Most of the debit is interest free but even with those that aren't I should still hit my 5k target in 12 months. I feel happy that I'll get a good chunk paid off but also abit sad that I'm pretty much working more to pay off debt and that I've let my debt go up since May! I also know that if I drop back down to 4 days when my daughter starts school it'll probably still take me another 2/3 years to pay off the rest but such if life.

    I've looked at my figures for the next 12 months and have set a goal to get £500 in my emergency fund, I should be able to pay the £455 off debt and put £40 into my savings. This should leave me with around £140 leftover a month after all bills, repayments, food etc. I know to some that's pretty good but somehow I manage to get through it and more no problem! If anyone could offer me tips on how they save and don't spend what they have leftover that would be great!

    Anyway, back to work for me! Will update again later
    Total Debt Jan 2017 £16339.86 April 2017 £16025.78 May 2017 £15875.13
    • Singlemumwithplans
    • By Singlemumwithplans 8th Sep 17, 6:39 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    I just wanted to pop in and say how brilliantly you are doing. I've recently become a single mum and it's diaries like yours that are keeping me going with getting this debt gone! X
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