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    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    • 385Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    From debt to freedom...
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    From debt to freedom... 31st Dec 16 at 4:05 AM
    For a couple of months I have been lurking and reading diaries which have been helpful and inspiring. I thought that I would start a diary to keep myself focussed on getting rid of the debts.

    I am a working mum, recently separated from my husband. I have a large family which makes for an interesting and busy life! I have had a couple of LBMs in recent years and tried to stick to a budget. I had 2 loans totalling 17, 000 at one point. One loan was paid in Aug 2016 and the 2nd has just over £2,000 to go and is due to be paid off by August 2017.
    Other than that, I have a cc with a £475 balance, 2 home improvement loans ( for double glazing) that both have about £1700 outstanding. These have a horrible interest rate of 22%, so I'm eager to tackle these first.
Page 7
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 6th Jul 17, 11:10 PM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you for the links Cherryfudge and thanks for dropping by Chandelier

    I managed a NSD on Monday. But have had a couple of spendy days since. Yesterday I had to take DD1 to her college to pick up her work.Its about an hour's journey. Close by there is a range shop. I find it quite overwhelming with the huge amount of stuff and choice! Yesterday was quite productive as I found 2 activity things for work, a storage box for DD1 and some furniture paint. We have in the garden, wooden freestanding shelving. I think the ex left it there after a garage clearance he did months ago. I thought tnT if we sanded it down and gave it a coat of paint, it would make a bookcase for DD1's room, as she has stacks of books needing a place to be kept. So £12 went on paint to smarten up the shelving,

    My DS1 starts work experience next week for a fortnight. I said to have a true understanding of working life, it would be a good idea if he cooked a meal one night to be able to appreciate combining work with taking care of oneself.I set him a budget to spend on ingredients to feed us all. The girls were then interested so it's become the teenagers food challenge for next week! I've told them that hat they need to communicate with each other so that we don't end up with egg on toast for 4 nights! I'll be interested to see where it leads!!!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Jul 17, 11:58 PM
    • 685 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    That should be fun! What's the betting there are baked beans on the menu?
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Jul 17, 6:56 AM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    They are obviously giving it some thought. I think explaining the amount they had to spend and showing that if I multiplied it by 7 and added on the cost of breakfast and lunches, it mounts up to a larger figure. That was a bit of an eye opener I think, except for DS1 who remembered the cost of the trolley last time he came to Tesco with me! One DD obviously walks round Tesco with me but just doesn't see any numbers as her first reaction was saying she needed to check prices!! I'm hoping it will be a valuable exercise for them and get DD1 into thinking about budgets ahead of her student days.

    I managed to download the C25K app, so just need to get some trainers sorted and I hope to begin!

    DD1 has been asked back for the summer by her previous employer. I'm pleased for her as she really enjoyed her job last year. I'm hoping she can save half of her wages to give herself a buffer before term starts.

    On a downside of debt sorting, I've had to pull out of a school trip abroad. When I added on costs of passport, insurance and spending money, my budget simply will not stretch. It is frustratingly disappointing as I would love DS to go but it just can't be done at this time. Thankfully DS had been ambivalent about going (He had mentioned worry about safety in light of events within the last 12 months) but I still feel bad for him. He has been on trips like school camp so hasn't missed out entirely but even so...
    Juggling debt and family life is a fine balancing act.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Jul 17, 9:27 AM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    A busy week begins tomorrow, with DD1 starting work and DS1 beginning his 2 week work placement. The DDs seem to be taking the food challenge quite seriously. DD1 came to Tescos with me yesterday and was able to get her ingredients with 25p to spare. looks like we've got chicken curry with rice followed by watermelon for dessert. DD2 and 3 are being a little more guarded about their menu plans. DS1 is delighted to have discovered that the local village shop sells frozen pizzas for £1 so looks like it's pizza night. It's quite interesting that despite me cooking from scratch for the majority of our meals, the children are veering towards frozen and convenience foods. Perhaps time I did cooking lessons more so that they can understand how to eat more economically. I am pleased that they taken on this challenge. DD1 is happy to do one meal a week throughout the summer.

    I have huge amounts of work to get through in the next 3 weeks which is somewhat daunting.

    Last week turned out to be more spendy thanI had wanted. DS1 needed new shoes as his had literally fallen to pieces. The dog had chewed through DD5's shoes so she's ended up with a pair of canvas lace up pumps from the Te3co shoe sale to tide her over to the end of term.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Jul 17, 9:32 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I am thankful for the flowers growing at the moment. Yesterday I was able to pick some sweet peas and calendulas, mix with a bit of alchemilla Millie and some briza to make a small bunch of flowers. I used an old cup that had its handle break off and utilised it as a vase. Simple pleasures.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 16th Jul 17, 4:42 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Another busy week at work done. The bulk of the busyness is done for now. The food challenge has been interesting. DD1 did a lovely curry and the watermelon for dessert was great. I'd never thought of doing that before but I can see that will be on the menu again. DS2 stood in for DD2 and did waffles, baked beans and sausages followed by peaches and icecream for his choice. He is only 11 so I was impressed that he wanted to take part and pleased he was interested to cook the meal. It was pizzas all round on DS1's day but he ended up doing a 12 hour day at his work experience placement. The lengths some will go to, to avoid cooking!

    Two of the children had friends round yesterday so I spent a couple of hours replenishing the snack tins. I made flapjacks, chocolate muffins, blueberry muffins, banana bread and a lemon drizzle cake. DD4 and her friend made a syrup sponge cake for pudding which was good. Hopefully enough done to cover packed lunches this week.

    The allotment is in a shocking mess with the amount of weeds. I've had so little time with work commitments but am hoping that I can get there more this week. The tomatoes are all in flower in the greenhouse. I was able to pick some gooseberries and made a gooseberry and elderflower cobbler, using the homemade elderflower cordial. Unfortunately I was too late to harvest the jostaberries. One minute they were just looking as though a couple more days would ripen them, then gone. There are quite a few birds that will have enjoyed those. I know I should probably net them, but it's an expense I can't manage at the moment.

    Nursery fees are the money worry this week. I need to pay £500 to complete this term. Always feel a bit odd paying them. I'd much rather be home with the toddler but know I can't as bills have to be paid but nursery fees is one of those bills! Hoping that in a years time these fees will ease as the toddler will have 15 hours nursery funding by then.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jul 17, 8:15 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    So glad of a warm and sunny day and a DD at home to be able to peg out the washing while I was at work!,
    The food challenge with the children continued today. DD3 knew the budget but wanted to do chicken fajitas so we stocked up the basket. It's been so interesting this challenge, whichever child has cooked has been so appreciative of the thought that goes into a menu plan and the juggling act of sticking to a budget.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 17th Jul 17, 8:27 PM
    • 4,265 Posts
    • 7,722 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    The food challenge is a great idea. We used to make our daughters cook once a week each when they were at school doing A levels to get them used to catering at university. Good life skills to encourage, meal planning, budgeting (looking at food prices) and cooking.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jul 17, 8:34 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I've been surprised at their enthusiasm and hope it will help to prepare them for life, especially DD1.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Jul 17, 10:21 PM
    • 685 Posts
    • 2,113 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    It sounds as though the children are rising to the challenge! Have you come across a website called 'student recipes'? Some marvellous stuff on there including a treacle sponge pudding that you make in a mug in next to no time.
    P.S. I just found something called 'bra pudding' on there! The instructions make me think someone tried it without the clingfilm first time...
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jul 17, 10:55 PM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    No, will have to look at that. Syrup pudding is a favourite in our house. If DS1 knew you could make it in a mug, he would be thrilled and eat nothing else...!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 19th Jul 17, 1:17 PM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Day off today. I've done two loads of washing which are out on the line. Yesterday I paid £260 of nursery fees leaving £260 to pay next week which will be the end of term for us. Had to get diesal today and a few bits like shampoo, but hopefully enough in the house to be going on with. I was given a bag of rhubarb at work, so will make into crumble for tonight.

    Next week I have DD4's birthday so am dipping into the present savings account to get her birthday present. She wants a party so am hoping the weather will be good enough to do a party on the beach. It will only be half a dozen friends plus her older sisters to help.

    I feel I need to list expenses coming up over the next few months in order to keep an eye on what's coming to ensure I've put enough aside or even have enough to meet costs. Some things will be unknown such as mot costs if the car needs anything doing to it to pass the MOT.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 19th Jul 17, 10:47 PM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Took out £60 from the present account. (It's with a different bank to my current account and I have no card for it so have to go in branch to take mney out. The bank's reduced opening hours means that I can only visit on my day off, which does mean it is a considered transaction!) I went to a local toy shop and found an ideal present reduced from £50 to £35. I ended up spending the rest on getting ingredients for packed lunches ( youngest DDs have a school trip tomorrow and need packed lunches, whereas normally they would have school dinners) and buying leggings as part of a costume needed for their trip out. I did also buy a small flask as my old one had broken. This flask was £3 which I thought would be saved quite quickly as I take flasks of coffee from home when I go on long walks or bike rides etc.

    Most of my income is from my salary but some comes from CTC. I had the renewal pack come yesterday, just 2 weeks before the deadline. I'm hoping it will be ok. My earnings are already listed, I guess from my P60 information that HMRC hold. When the ex and I separated I didn't tell them, simply because at the time I wasn't sure what was gong to happen or whether it would be temporary or permanent. Several months later, I know I don't want to go back to living as I was, constantly on egg shells. My problem is I don't know where the ex lives as he won't tell me, so I can say we have separated but I can't give his address as I don't know. He won't tell the children either and when he sees them, he comes here, as not knowing where they would be in case of emergency is very worrying. Because I don't know his address neither can I forward his post.
    Last edited by Honeysucklelou2; 20-07-2017 at 1:25 AM. Reason: Spelling
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 20th Jul 17, 1:22 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    So thinking through the next couple of months, I need to consider:
    4 birthdays (my children)
    2 birthdays ( family)
    Car MOT
    Purchase of oil for winter heating
    Equipment costs for DD2's course (£200)
    Transport for DD2 to get to college (£195)
    Setting aside money to help DD1 with uni stuff (300-500)
    Vet (tablets for one dog to prevent recurrence of FAD)
    School uniform/ shoes - new uniform at one school and shoes for most.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 21st Jul 17, 6:43 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    The secondary age children have finished for the summer holidays today. The younger ones have 3 days to go. Have topped up at Tescos just to get milk, tea bags and bread and butter. Back to baking to fill the tins tonight and tomorrow! I always find the food budget goes awol in the holidays as the children are home and graze more.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd Jul 17, 10:13 PM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I spent a few minutes today ringing the bank and checked balances. The home improvement loans ( for windows) are now at £3258. So much of the monthly payment goes on interest, it's frustrating but at least it's going down. The loan has one last payment to come out on the 1st August. The bank sent a letter to tell me that the last payment will be £40 less than usual. Debating whether to save the extra £40 or knock it off the home improvement loans to get that balance moving downwards, faster.

    I've been trying to dry washing between showers! Made chocolate muffins and fruit scones for the snack tins today. The batch of flapjack vanished quickly yesterday!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 23rd Jul 17, 8:54 AM
    • 19,521 Posts
    • 31,536 Thanks
    Spendless
    Hi Honeysuckle,

    Just caught up on your thread. Re- college fares, how many months of travel will £195 give you? My son has just completed his first year at college and we could apply to our local transport provider and get a card that gives him the same reduced fare that a child pays. In addition colleges may offer a bursary for travel expenses, depending on household income. You can check what's in your area here.

    https://www.gov.uk/subsidised-college-transport-16-19

    Apologies if I'm teaching you to suck eggs as I see you already have an older one leaving for Uni, so may have looked into this already, but just thought I'd mention it in case this child is costing more in travel expenses than the older one did.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 23rd Jul 17, 10:53 AM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    My DD2 is hoping to go to the same FE college that DD1 attended. £195 is the amount I've paid for the last couple of years for DD1. It's for 1 term's transport ( the college is an hour's journey away). That does remind me though to check. I've paid that amount based on a joint household income, despite the ex not contributing to household or child costs. Now that we're separated and it's based on just my wage, perhaps it will go down. I know friends who had a child in the same year, who were on a single income paid about £60 a term. Thanks for that Spendless, I hadn't thought that through.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 23rd Jul 17, 11:12 AM
    • 385 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Just checked the transport page on the college site. I was wrong, it's £205 for the first term! But my income from salary falls below the threshold for help, so definitely worth a phone call this week.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 27th Jul 17, 12:49 AM
    • 385 Posts
    • 1,157 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    At last, the end of term! Feeling absolutely shattered, so looking forward to time to rest, spend time with the children and catch up with the garden and allotment! DD4 has her birthday tomorrow. Her present is ready to go. We went to the beach this afternoon for a small party. I was pleased to be able to get the BBQ working. New territory for me! We toasted marshmallows and hopefully all had a good time. I was so relieved it wasn't raining that I wasn't bothered about the wind! I had to raid the present account to buy the food for the party, but it was definitely a cheaper option than trying to do a party at a theme park or swimming pool etc.

    I have bought ingredients for breakfast pancakes in the morning and will make a birthday cake for DD4 tomorrow. I finished paying the this term's nursery fees on Tuesday - another £260 but al least all is paid for this academic year and don't have to pay anymore until September. The list of things that do need to be paid in the next couple of months does mean that I still do have to watch every penny throughout the holidays. It will have to be lots of free activities as much as possible.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
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