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  • FIRST POST
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 15th Jan 17, 1:26 PM
    • 404Posts
    • 1,735Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Boxofpaws is keeping it simple
    • #1
    • 15th Jan 17, 1:26 PM
    Boxofpaws is keeping it simple 15th Jan 17 at 1:26 PM
    Hello lovely MSE-ers!,


    I have been a user of this site for many years but created a new username on 3rd Jan because I had doubled the debt and I was so embarrassed!


    So here I am, £40k+ in debt. The reasons (excuses) are many and varied, so I won't dwell on the past. However, our current situation is good, good income, happy marriage, nice home and we can really make good in-roads to this accumulated debt.


    In the past, we have failed at debt busting, and I think it was down to the plan being too punishing and too complicated. This time, I will set us achievable targets and make it easy to hit them.


    Thanks to anyone who has read so far, I will report back later with my plan.


    Boxofpaws x
Page 15
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 19th Mar 17, 8:39 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    My "budget" workbook divides things into monthly and annual lists. I started with just the obvious big things but now I have added things like "cattery" and "travel insurance" as well as an allowance for things like oil (no mains gas here).

    I like Armchair Expert's suggested categories but I just look critically at each entry to work out how to reduce it a bit. The only thing I can't reduce is Council Tax so far...
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I need to be inventive to get the entertainment budget a bit further.

    My council tax is going up by £9 a month.
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • motivated
    • By motivated 19th Mar 17, 9:01 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,392 Thanks
    motivated
    I need to be inventive to get the entertainment budget a bit further.

    My council tax is going up by £9 a month.
    Originally posted by boxofpaws
    My council tax has gone up by £6 a month too
    Very annoying
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    0/98 payments
    SPC # 91
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 19th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Good things
    • Had two nights away with work and one night was an business evening event, that was absolutely amazing. It didn't feel like work at all, I had so much fun
    • Cashback earned on my hotel stay
    • we were supposed to go away for the weekend with friends this weekend, but to save costs we just had a takeaway on Friday night, then yesterday we had drinks in town (I drove to save us bus fair), then back to the house of the friends we were meant to be going away with who cooked instead. When we said we were a bit too skint for the weekend away, they were really relieved because they were skint too. So we spent £75 instead of £200
    • I am trying the meerkat movie thing. I bought 1 days travel insurance for £2.41 which gives me 2 for 1 on Tuesday or Wednesdays for a year. Have booked to go to see Get Out on Wednesday.
    • My parents in law had a friend who died last year who may have gifted them some money. My MIL basically cared for her in the last 10 years of her life, this lady even moved into the house opposite my in laws so that they could be nearer. When she died last year, we thought that my MIL hadn't been remembered at all, and I felt really sad for her. Anyway, it turns out she left her a cheque but the daughters don't know about it. There is no guarantee that this cheque will clear if it hasn't been done through the will, but the very fact that she did remember my MIL is the thing that matters. That she had made a gesture.
    • If the above cheque does clear, my MIL has given us £1000. She has written us a cheque but asked us not to cash it until she says so.

    Bad things
    • The Friday night Indian takeaway was £30. It was good but not worth that kind of money. We haven't had a takeaway for ages, and it did feel like a waste.
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 19th Mar 17, 11:06 PM
    • 699 Posts
    • 4,503 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    I like Armchair Expert's suggested categories but I just look critically at each entry to work out how to reduce it a bit. The only thing I can't reduce is Council Tax so far...
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Yep, it's also absolutely possible to reduce most of the things you think of as fixed costs...but usually that reduction is limited. Once you've shopped around for the best insurance deal, switched energy providers and haggled with your phone company, that's done - at least in the short term. Whereas I put (eg) groceries in Cat 2 because if you have a really, really tight month you can live off value beans and HM bread and bendy vegetables for a while!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 20th Mar 17, 5:23 AM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 10,153 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Lovely that your in laws were remembered after all - I hope the cheque clears.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 21st Mar 17, 11:18 AM
    • 8,146 Posts
    • 42,981 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Council tax increase here but I can't remember how much exactly - bet it's a similar sort of amount to the rest of you though. On the flip side though our garage rental has gone down by £4 a month.

    That thing about your weekend away that wasn't make me smile Paws - goes to show doesn't it - that it's NOT just you struggling for cash no matter how much it sometimes feels like it - and you never really know how other people's live shape up in comparison. we have an awful tendancy to assume that other people are better off than we are purely based on appearances - but what you can't tell of course is what's going on in the background - whether the "things" you're basing a judgement on are bought (as we usually assume) or whether there's a credit card or loan taking the strain... Glad you had a fabulous time!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£632.77 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 21st Mar 17, 10:11 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Yep, it's also absolutely possible to reduce most of the things you think of as fixed costs...but usually that reduction is limited. Once you've shopped around for the best insurance deal, switched energy providers and haggled with your phone company, that's done - at least in the short term. Whereas I put (eg) groceries in Cat 2 because if you have a really, really tight month you can live off value beans and HM bread and bendy vegetables for a while!
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    Fixed costs and variable costs. I think I've done what I can with the fixed costs. I now have the current spends for variable costs. Next steps is to reduce them. I reviewed it all again last night

    Variable costs
    Budget £672
    Average £749 (not too bad, should be able to shave £77 off that, shouldn't we?)
    Actual in the last calendar month £950

    Lovely that your in laws were remembered after all - I hope the cheque clears.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Thank you, me too

    Council tax increase here but I can't remember how much exactly - bet it's a similar sort of amount to the rest of you though. On the flip side though our garage rental has gone down by £4 a month.

    That thing about your weekend away that wasn't make me smile Paws - goes to show doesn't it - that it's NOT just you struggling for cash no matter how much it sometimes feels like it - and you never really know how other people's live shape up in comparison. we have an awful tendancy to assume that other people are better off than we are purely based on appearances - but what you can't tell of course is what's going on in the background - whether the "things" you're basing a judgement on are bought (as we usually assume) or whether there's a credit card or loan taking the strain... Glad you had a fabulous time!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    Not one person has argued with the 'we're cutting back' comments, people have so far siezed the opportunity to save some cash by doing something cheap with us.

    We are good fun though
    Last edited by boxofpaws; 21-03-2017 at 11:01 PM.
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Mar 17, 10:37 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Glad you had a nice weekend. And also that your MIL was given the cheque. I'm sure she didn't do what she did for money but it is always nice to feel appreciated.
    " 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
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 22nd Mar 17, 1:17 PM
    • 8,146 Posts
    • 42,981 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I'm honestly not surprised that you've not encountered anyone being odd about the cutting back thing - I think so many people feel a huge pressure to keep up - having someone say "You know what, we're jumping off this treadmill for a bit - you can join us or we'll see you on the other side" just gives them such a great chance to say "Great - we'll join you!"
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£632.77 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 23rd Mar 17, 9:40 AM
    • 1,060 Posts
    • 10,153 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I am terrible about agreeing to go for a coffee instead of suggesting a walk, or meeting up with the kids at the local (most expensive in the universe) soft play. It doesn't even occur to me to suggest an alternative, I must give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 25th Mar 17, 8:28 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Glad you had a nice weekend. And also that your MIL was given the cheque. I'm sure she didn't do what she did for money but it is always nice to feel appreciated.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    Exactly

    I'm honestly not surprised that you've not encountered anyone being odd about the cutting back thing - I think so many people feel a huge pressure to keep up - having someone say "You know what, we're jumping off this treadmill for a bit - you can join us or we'll see you on the other side" just gives them such a great chance to say "Great - we'll join you!"
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    We're setting a trend with our friends. Turns out, everyone loves a bit if thrift!

    I am terrible about agreeing to go for a coffee instead of suggesting a walk, or meeting up with the kids at the local (most expensive in the universe) soft play. It doesn't even occur to me to suggest an alternative, I must give it a try. Thanks for the inspiration
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Sometimes you can't beat going for a coffee
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 25th Mar 17, 8:42 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Poor neglected diary, I haven't done a Good Things Bad Things post in days

    Good Things
    • Been paid.
    • Been paid bonuses
    • All expenses up to date
    • Worked in other office - £20 profit
    • Energy switch all gone through now
    • Discovered I will also get £30 cashback from that
    • Did our first meerkat movie on Wednesday, it was fun
    • All vacuuming is done - just the bathroom to do and the house is all clean
    • The Gardens are looking great. The husband has put stripes in the lawns and my colourful bulbs have come up in the back. I love Spring!
    • Going to a hen do this afternoon. A thrifty one. £35 for hot tub and cocktail making and fizz and food in hen's friends garden.
    • So far have not had any urge to splurge with the bonus, which is a minor miracle. I will buy a mattress topper for the new mattress (the husband hates the memory foam one) and the husband wants a lawn edging tool, but beyond that there's nothing I need.
    • Feeling like we have brought the reckless entertainment spending back under control.

    Bad Things
    • No news on whether we can bank the cheque. I hope so because the husband has already given the stepchildren some of it.
    • Exercise and eating not very good at the moment. I have contemplated going back to the personal trainer for 4 weeks to kickstart me on this. With some of my bonus. What do you guys think?
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 25th Mar 17, 8:54 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    If your personal trainer has worked before and will motivate you to work out and get fit, then definitely go for it. You're allowed to use a little bit of your bonus on yourself and that is a very healthy and positive way to use it :-)
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 25th Mar 17, 9:03 AM
    • 1,557 Posts
    • 17,919 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    It is lovely and sunny here this morning. Why not go for a bit of a walk in the country? I will be, in an hour's time - somewhere with Spring flowers and good views to enjoy. For me it beats someone urging me on. I used to train a team of men for their sport and I could regularly impose a bit of pain and suffering. Maybe things have changed in the intervening years but I'd rather go for the walk this morning iyswim
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 26th Mar 17, 9:59 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    If your personal trainer has worked before and will motivate you to work out and get fit, then definitely go for it. You're allowed to use a little bit of your bonus on yourself and that is a very healthy and positive way to use it :-)
    Originally posted by ada-or-ardor
    It really worked last year, a stone off which has more or less stayed off. I would like to lose another 10lb, (to get to 9st). I got down to 9st 6 earlier this year but I'm back up to 9st 10 again and can't seem to get my mojo back

    It is lovely and sunny here this morning. Why not go for a bit of a walk in the country? I will be, in an hour's time - somewhere with Spring flowers and good views to enjoy. For me it beats someone urging me on. I used to train a team of men for their sport and I could regularly impose a bit of pain and suffering. Maybe things have changed in the intervening years but I'd rather go for the walk this morning iyswim
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Well she's fully booked so that answers that dilemma. I will dig out my programme from her for last year and try to follow it.

    Maybe that will give me something else to post about too
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 26th Mar 17, 10:04 AM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Good things
    • Had my mum round yesterday, cooked her lunch and took her to the garden centre and got hers and mil's Mother's Day pressies
    • Went to the hen do which was fun and didn't spend any more money than the £35 I had already paid in feb
    • That's a lie, I spent £5 on a patio rose for the hostess
    • All Mother's Day spends were £30

    No bad things

    Today I am taking a card to my MIL, AP a 80 mile round trip to make sure she gets it today (the husband is going round tomorrow to see her, he's at work today). Then meet my mum for afternoon tea with my sister. Morrisons shop at 4. Need to plant some bulbs.

    Best get moving!
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 27th Mar 17, 9:08 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Good things
    • Planted 95 bulbs
    • Spent only £10 taking mum out
    • Got Mil's card and present to her (although she wasn't in)
    • Have got 64 days free trial on YNAB
    • Ordered cat food on offer
    • bought just what I needed in boots today and wasn't seduced by fancy new things
    • couple more debt payments, signature updated.
    • cf fund looking healthy. It's where I've hidden my bonus. If it's all still there are the end of the month, I'll pay it off the Mbna card, whose 0% deal runs out soon.

    Bad things
    • Spent £110 in boots. That's because the serum I wanted was 3 for 2, but it's still a lot of money, on the plus side, the cost per ml was pretty good.
    • I think I hate YNAB. Maybe it's because I have the snivels but I nearly blubbed in frustration at it.

    No exercise.
    Around 250 cals of choc
    Debt today £37417
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th Mar 17, 10:24 PM
    • 1,557 Posts
    • 17,919 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    What sort of bulbs are you planting at this time of year?

    250 cals of chocolate! I hope it was worth it Paws! (Don't say, "I can have it if I want it..." - I know you can, but it won't shift the 4lbs. Enough of the lecture... )
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 27-03-2017 at 10:27 PM.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 27th Mar 17, 10:39 PM
    • 2,440 Posts
    • 18,627 Thanks
    sashybo
    Hi paws, well done on the bulbs - that is a LOT!

    YNAB - I find it frustrating as well because we are paid 4-weekly and not monthly and it doesn't give you the option to do your budget 4-weekly. At least it didn't last time I attempted it. I think it would be good if I could get it to work for us but I must confess to giving up on it.

    I was in Boots today and managed to resist the 3 for 2 on make-up as only really needed the foundation and found myself hunting for other things to buy just to get the 3 for 2. I realised it was pointless because I didn't actually need the other stuff. If you're going to use the serum and it's a saving I think you can cut yourself some slack.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £8850 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £46,208.98
    Loan £3754.39, CC 0% BT £967, Car loans £24,151.20
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 27th Mar 17, 10:56 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    What sort of bulbs are you planting at this time of year?

    250 cals of chocolate! I hope it was worth it Paws! (Don't say, "I can have it if I want it..." - I know you can, but it won't shift the 4lbs. Enough of the lecture... )
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I planted freesias and gladioli. So late summer bulbs. But I also planted a load of spring bulbs that I gathered up from the garage that I should have planted last year but never got round to. . Crocuses, daffs and narcissi. I hope they'll be alright, I know they won't flower til next year but I just wanted to get them in finally.

    And I know I know about the choc.

    Two embarrassed smileys in one reply

    Hi paws, well done on the bulbs - that is a LOT!

    YNAB - I find it frustrating as well because we are paid 4-weekly and not monthly and it doesn't give you the option to do your budget 4-weekly. At least it didn't last time I attempted it. I think it would be good if I could get it to work for us but I must confess to giving up on it.

    I was in Boots today and managed to resist the 3 for 2 on make-up as only really needed the foundation and found myself hunting for other things to buy just to get the 3 for 2. I realised it was pointless because I didn't actually need the other stuff. If you're going to use the serum and it's a saving I think you can cut yourself some slack.
    Originally posted by sashybo
    YNab - for me I think it's because we get paid on 21st. And it doesn't count the money unless you actually have it. But takes my mortgage off even though I'll get paid again before that comes out. Frustrating!

    There is an article about mid month pay days. I don't think it will help with 4 weekly pay days though.

    I did buy foundation and concealer too at boots, it seems I need to trowel it on these days
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £31900
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