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  • FIRST POST
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 6th Jan 17, 2:18 PM
    • 1,220Posts
    • 2,885Thanks
    Naomim
    A Ditherer's Diary (again) 2017
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 17, 2:18 PM
    A Ditherer's Diary (again) 2017 6th Jan 17 at 2:18 PM
    I'm baaaack.

    When I started my original diary "A Ditherer's Diary" My kids were littlie's aged 5 and 15 months. Nothing except their age and the amount of debt has changed, it's all got higher! They are now 11 & 7.

    Having had a quick read through, a lot of it was me coming and going with a few months/years in between.

    I recently came back to MSE and went straight onto the Debt Free Wannabe board. I posted an SOA . The debts are dire.

    We've recently had an extension and a lot of work done to the house. It was awful, we've had to sack the builder and he owe us a lot of money. The roof is leaking, the house needs re-wiring. The dog is poorly and needs a £4k operation... .

    I know this is all going to take a very long time to sort out. Little by little, step by step I can hopefully creep us out of the overdraft, melt the credit card debts and maybe even have some spare money one day!

    My plans for the following week are:

    Find the new credit card I got for 0% interest balance transfer - activate it and set-up direct debit
    Use the snowball calculator again to see how this has changed.
    Get car insurance quotes
    Make packed lunches every day
    DO NOT buy coffee out.


    I've joined the £2 savers club. I was a member a few years ago and have always saved them. It physically hurts to spend one.

    I hope you'll come and help me along the long and winding path.

    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
Page 5
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 7th Mar 17, 1:35 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    Hello diary,

    I'm sitting at my desk eating my home made egg mayonnaise sandwiches and stinking out the office

    Today I have cancelled Amazon Prime. I usually sign up for the free month in the run up to Christmas then cancel. This time I didn't cancel as our SKY was broken so it gave us something to watch and MrM was interested in seeing the "Road Trip" . I overheard someone at work talking today about the student discount for Amazon Prime which reminded me I needed to cancel. This month's payment had "just" come out so I've cancelled and getting this month refunded.

    MrM's car is in the garage. It failed it's MOT due to the airbag light being on. They have to investigate where and what the fault is. It's been in for 2 days so I can see this being something expensive that we can't really afford The worst thing is my airbag light is also on so likely to be an expensive fix too.

    It never rains but it pours.

    Naomi
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 7th Mar 17, 3:19 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hello diary,

    I'm sitting at my desk eating my home made egg mayonnaise sandwiches and stinking out the office

    Today I have cancelled Amazon Prime. I usually sign up for the free month in the run up to Christmas then cancel. This time I didn't cancel as our SKY was broken so it gave us something to watch and MrM was interested in seeing the "Road Trip" . I overheard someone at work talking today about the student discount for Amazon Prime which reminded me I needed to cancel. This month's payment had "just" come out so I've cancelled and getting this month refunded.

    MrM's car is in the garage. It failed it's MOT due to the airbag light being on. They have to investigate where and what the fault is. It's been in for 2 days so I can see this being something expensive that we can't really afford The worst thing is my airbag light is also on so likely to be an expensive fix too.

    It never rains but it pours.

    Naomi
    Originally posted by Naomim
    Sorry to hear about the MOT. We've got to get ours done this month too, I think it should be ok but you never know.

    Amazon Prime is really expensive, glad that you managed to cancel it speedily enough to get the money back. I've been caught out in the past by not cancelling things in time (last culprit was Taste card ... impossible to get any money back from them too ).

    Enjoy your sandwiches
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 7th Mar 17, 5:30 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    So the car will be about £1k to fix. It's not worth that but it has no MOT so shouldn't be driven really. I'm so depressed, we really don't have the money to spend on a new car. We do have two cars but it's not practical to get rid of one and not replace it. The only way we will probably be able to get one is to use the credit card which again isn't debt busting. We may be able to get a loan but we only just extended the mortgage to pay to put right all the stuff the builder did so I don't really want to apply right now. We want to sue the builder but that's also going to cost with no guarantee of getting anything back.
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 8th Mar 17, 12:36 AM
    • 609 Posts
    • 3,872 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Oh no! Can you survive with one car just temporarily while you get back on your feet? I do sympathise, what a lot of things to go wrong at once. It always seems to be the way when one starts trying to get a handle on the finances, for some reason.

    With YNAB - I think starting from the last pay packet and deducting the things that have come out since that date makes sense.

    The other option is to literally start from the day you're on: you record whatever's remaining in your bank account as existing income and just allocate that, ignoring anything that's been paid this month so far. You might not get to the next pay without going into the red this time, but hopefully you will over time. That's what I did, which meant the first month told me nothing useful in terms of reporting (because some bills had come out pre-YNAB and were therefore invisible) but it did mean I ended that month at zero and when the next pay came in it got a lot simpler.
    Last edited by armchairexpert; 08-03-2017 at 12:39 AM. Reason: simplifying!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    September 2017 - $218,597.77
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 10th Mar 17, 12:57 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    Oh no! Can you survive with one car just temporarily while you get back on your feet? I do sympathise, what a lot of things to go wrong at once. It always seems to be the way when one starts trying to get a handle on the finances, for some reason.

    With YNAB - I think starting from the last pay packet and deducting the things that have come out since that date makes sense.

    The other option is to literally start from the day you're on: you record whatever's remaining in your bank account as existing income and just allocate that, ignoring anything that's been paid this month so far. You might not get to the next pay without going into the red this time, but hopefully you will over time. That's what I did, which meant the first month told me nothing useful in terms of reporting (because some bills had come out pre-YNAB and were therefore invisible) but it did mean I ended that month at zero and when the next pay came in it got a lot simpler.
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    Afternoon,

    What Iv'e done is started as if 1st March was Mr Mr'M's payday and taken out anything that has come out since he was paid. We still seem to be overbudgeting so I need to look at this. I have a lot of stuff in red!

    I've decided I HAVE to look for a new job. I work 4 days a week and asked for full time and they said no a few months ago. I was quite relieved as I don't really want to work full time but I can't keep on worrying about finances and how to pay for something. I've applied for one nearer to home and seen one I really like the look of but it's in Central London. MrM works in Central London and if I work there too it would cause problems with childcare. At the moment I get home at 5pm so 11yo has hour or so on his own and 7yo is at Grandparents until then. They aren't happy about the idea of me maybe not getting there until after 6pm and I'm wondering about how I will feed and get them into bed at a decent time if I'm home much later.

    I've just signed up for an online course to help broaden my skills which should help on my CV so fingers crossed I'll be earning loads and busting those debts soon.

    Naomi
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 13th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    Good Evening diary,

    All I seem to think about is money. MrM moans at me for being so forgetful (I have a terrible memory) but I think most of my brain capacity is taken up with money, lack of it, how to get more. And now thinking about getting another job.

    I've been looking at jobs in my current role. I'm a credit controller - (the irony) and whilst there are jobs out there, from looking at the descriptions of what they expect I have definitely had it easy and been coasting the last few years. This then makes me panic and think; if I change jobs will I be able to do as expected? The online course I signed up for is a MS Excel one. I use Excel everyday but only on a basic level. With the course though I can get an NUS card which will lead to discounts at quite a few places I have found out that through 11yo's school website we can download a free copy of MS Office 365 which is great as the laptop didn't come with it an it's not cheap. It's downloading as I type.

    We have decided we are going to have to bite the bullet and get MrM another car. He's been out and looked at a place near us that does "bargain buys" so hopefully we can pick up a pre-loved car for not too much.

    On a positive note, I budgeted £450 for my monthly shopping but when I added it all up today - I got from my payday 15th-15th, it came it £353 this month. That can hopefully change some of those red figures in YNAB to green! Also had the council tax notice in today. I guessed it would be £170 a month but it's £174.

    Nothing much else to report so I'm going to check out get 11yo into his bed because he conveniently "forgets" the time. By the time he's been to the loo, had a drink, brushed teeth and stroked the dog it's another half hour

    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Mar 17, 12:02 PM
    • 7,776 Posts
    • 40,243 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    When money is a problem it does tend to dominate our thoughts rather, doesn't it!

    I totally identify with the dodgy memory thing too - I'm another sufferer on that front. One thing I've found has really helped is using a notebook, similar principle to the "Bullet Journal" idea but mine doesn't follow the rules, exactly...means I keep everything in one place and really helps to job my mind about stuff I should be doing. (it's not exactly 100% foolproof - I WAS putting my Dad's birthday card through the door at 8am today... but it definitely helps)
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 16th Mar 17, 2:12 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    When money is a problem it does tend to dominate our thoughts rather, doesn't it!

    I totally identify with the dodgy memory thing too - I'm another sufferer on that front. One thing I've found has really helped is using a notebook, similar principle to the "Bullet Journal" idea but mine doesn't follow the rules, exactly...means I keep everything in one place and really helps to job my mind about stuff I should be doing. (it's not exactly 100% foolproof - I WAS putting my Dad's birthday card through the door at 8am today... but it definitely helps)
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    If it's not money then it's job hunting I'm thinking about. There's no room for anything else. I find using the notes section on my phone helps. I can add photos & make lists, even cross things off as they are done. If only I could remember where I put the phone!

    Naomi
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 20th Mar 17, 1:15 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    I had a bad weekend. I'm feeling stressed and do what I normally do, stuck my head in the sand and spent money. In the grand scheme of things, it wasn't much but I just don't have it to spend. A couple of t-shirts for the kids, a couple of coffee's whilst out and about, a pokemon trading game for 7year old and some trousers for me to wear to job interviews coming up. (I work in a relaxed office where jeans and t-shirts are the norm)

    I probably spent about £60 or so but I'm so annoyed with myself for doing it.
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 20th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hope things are going well with you Naomi xx
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 3rd May 17, 6:52 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    Thanks for bearing with me Georgiana. Things are horrible,and tough and I'm so unhappy. Financially we are in a terrible state. We are right upto our overdraft limit and I'm scared that if I go to use the bank card it'll be declined.

    We went to a solicitors to get a letter sent to our builder to try and get some money back. We then got a bill from the solicitor for £750!! MrM was fuming. We don't often fall out but he didn't talk to me all weekend. This hasn't happened since before the kids were born, we've always talked things through. Then MrM went out, got lost looking for a builders merchants and got caught on a camera in a bus lane in the same place 3 times!!!! So that was £195 in fines. .

    The builders were supposed to reply to the solicitors today so we'll see where we are in a couple of days time.If they don't we can take them to court but then the fees are 5% of your claim and for us that would be £1,500. We just don't have it. We're stuck in a catch 22.

    I've applied for lots of jobs but not had any interviews apart from one today. It's a job I really want but it's so hard to tell how the interview went. The hours are standard 9-5.30, as I mentioned before, my MIL isn't happy about the idea of me not getting there until after 6pm.

    I just feel everything is just s**t at the moment. I'm trying to stay happy for the kids but it's so hard.

    One thing I did was be direct with MrM about our incomings and outgoings. I worked out our outgoings were £10 more than our incomings a month. He was spending the best part of £300 a month on cigarettes so he's stopped. He's been vaping this week so I hope this will be a lot cheaper than the cigarettes and eventually lead to him not needing anything to rely on.

    We have some money in a savings account but this is the extra mortgage we borrowed to get the house finished. It's an on-going project so money is coming out of it in dribs and drabs. I was thinking of changing bank accounts so we start with a clean slate and treat the overdraft as a debt, however I'm worried about two things. 1) if we change accounts, will our current bank account take the money from the savings to clear the overdraft as there will be no salaries coming in to it. 2) will they up the interest rate on the overdraft?

    Sorry this is so garbled.. just trying to get my head around everything. As usual I've been ignoring it all but I know I'm far happier when I feel in control which I certainly don't at the moment.

    N x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 4th May 17, 12:28 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hi Naomi, I'm really glad to see you back and really sorry about what an awful time you've had of it lately. I'm really hoping things get easier for you!

    It's great that you've had a frank discussion with MrM about outgoings and the switch to vaping should be better financially and health-wise so that's good Are the bus lane fines cheaper if you pay within a certain amount of time? We got a parking fine the other day and it always feels like a kick in the teeth

    I totally understand that you don't want to feel as though you are going backwards in your debt free journey with the car, but honestly if you really can't do without two cars then I think the best thing is to bite the bullet and pay for it on credit card. Yes it means you'll have to adjust your totals and debt free date but this doesn't mean you'll be in debt forever.

    Re: the builders, I really feel for you. Legal action is expensive, even when you are in the right, and sadly the other parties often wait to see if you'll be bothered bringing legal action against them before they do anything. I'd suggest that if you want to go forward, ask your solicitor to send you a costs estimate in advance and keep telling them that you need to keep the costs as low as possible. At least that way you will know what to expect.

    On the overdraft front, couldn't you set up a no-overdraft account with your current bank? They might be more forgiving if they can see your salaries going in to another account with them. I don't know whether a bank would be likely to take money from savings accounts to repay an overdraft (especially if you weren't in arrears with your overdraft), but if you are worried would it be feasible to move your savings to a different bank?

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you on the job front! xxx
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 4th May 17, 8:38 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    So today I popped into the bank and asked for an updated statement. I don't have a printer at home. The lady was lovely and obviously mentioned the overdraft. I explained about the builders and we're hoping to try and sue and get some money back but she said I could come in and have a free financial review, either on my own or with MrM. So I may book myself in.

    I transferred £13 from Quidco to my bank account too. I think I have about £50 in my paypal so I'll check and transfer that over too.

    On Saturday I'm volunteering at a Children's Nearly New Sale in aid of Cancer Research. I've emptied the garage of my 7 year old's toys that were put in there before the building work started. I've sorted out two boxes of toys to get rid of and a bin liner full of old rubbish. It's been a revelation for her and she's spent the afternoon happily playing with things she'd long forgotten about. After the sale Cancer Research keep 20% but I'll be happy to make a bit of money from the sale of our stuff.

    I also found a box of the dog's toys so I've popped all his soft toys into the washing machine for a spruce up. He's also happy to be reunited, especially with his bunny

    So now my house does look like a complete bombsite as I've run out of energy to do anymore. Tomorrow night I need to label all the things I want to sell. I'm in for a long one!

    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th May 17, 11:40 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    A financial review appointment at the bank sounds like a good idea, they might be able to suggest some options that haven't been advertised.

    I think I am a bit like your 7 year old, whenever I do a clear out I end up rediscovering clothes that I haven't worn for ages and having a bit of a dress up session I totally sympathise with you over the bombsite house though, it takes so much energy to get everything out that I never feel like doing the next bit and tidying it all away
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 5th May 17, 1:21 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    very quickly.. had a response from the builder. Apparently he's applying for bankruptcy so we wont see a penny.

    I know it sounds awful to say I'm pleased he's going to have years of financial difficulty when so many people on this site are in the same position. But, he left us with a house that was practically unlivable, financially we are ruined and my husband has been on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. We've no way near had it easy.
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 5th May 17, 2:05 PM
    • 2,963 Posts
    • 13,192 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    Hi Naomi,

    I've been reading your diary since the first post but I have a memory like a sieve so please excuse me if you've already mentioned this, but if the work is sub standard can you not claim against his insurance rather than direct to him?

    I'm sure this has already been addressed by you but I'm reading and running on a 20 minute lunch break so just wanted to mention it in case that is a route you can go down.
    £450/3000 OH BC(85% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: £450/31010.23 (98.54% paid)
    Mortgage - £161,950.00 (2017 O/P £1774.74) PAYDBX 17 #006 - £16231.98/14,539.71
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th May 17, 2:47 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Oh Naomi, I'm gutted for you! I hope as Kirsty says you might be able to claim against his insurance.
    I know you probably don't want to run up more solicitors costs but have you tried Citizens Advice? Or maybe one of the boards on this site could help?
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 6th May 17, 8:51 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 501 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    Citizens advice is a really good shout. Was he accredited with any of the governing bodies (don't know what kind of trade he was in, but I'm thinking Federation of Master Builders for normal building work, Niceic for electrics etc). I'm sure you've explored all avenues... But I just feel so angry on your behalf. I really hope karma works it's magic and you get some kind of recompense for the pain.

    B*stard!!

    Ada
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 8th May 17, 2:00 PM
    • 1,220 Posts
    • 2,885 Thanks
    Naomim
    Our solicitor asked if he was registered with any trade bodies, he was with NICEIC for the electrics but they are as much use as a chocolate teapot! We tried putting in a complaint with them but they aren't interested at all. He's not/wasn't insured.

    I've had some fantastic help on one of the other forums on this board about the builder and pursuing the case. Sadly the general consensus is that we will have to let it go.

    More to post later but lunch break is over for now.

    Naomi x
    CC's Nov16 £18,609.97 / Jun17 £21032.03 Overdraft 06/17 £4577.44 07/17 £4505.35
    Aiming for a debt free date: April 2024
    £2 savings club #26 lost count but still collecting!
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • paulcol
    • By paulcol 9th May 17, 9:34 AM
    • 1 Posts
    • 3 Thanks
    paulcol
    Hi Naomi - Do you have details of the builder's company name / postcode etc?

    NICEIC can investigate if the electrical work is sub-standard and left dangerously - even if he/she has gone out of business.

    Happy to help if i can. Email me at paul.s.collins@certsure.com
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