Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 25th Jan 17, 10:45 PM
    • 995Posts
    • 3,627Thanks
    angelpye
    The Marching Minimalist
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 17, 10:45 PM
    The Marching Minimalist 25th Jan 17 at 10:45 PM
    So this is my journey.

    Like so many I have started a diary to motivate myself into staying on the right track...the track that leads to living a more simple, happy, guilt free, low stress, debt free, possession light, experience heavy, financially secure life of freedom. Just the idea of that brings me a moment of peace. I can do this.

    Today was the second thing in a week to go wrong with my car (the first would normally send me into a tail spin and back into denial) so need something to keep me on track.

    How did I get here? Stupidity would be the short answer. The long one is a catalogue of bad behaviour, a series of unfortunate events, a few conscious decisions that have made me money poor but life more fulfilled and spells of low mood. The perfect storm.

    LBM. My finances took a serious nose dive recently due to ill health, bad planning and refusal on my behalf to face it. I am now on the lowest monthly budget I have had in over 13 years...If I got struck by lightening my hair would be an amazing glass sculpture due to the amount of time I have stuck my head in the sand! But seriously, it's bad, really bad (for me) but I can and I will fix it.

    LBM blues...oh how hard the last couple of weeks has been facing up to the mess I made. The guilt, shame and panic has been overwhelming at times but I have had support on here and just reading other peoples plots and plans has motivated me to be brave. Reading peoples signatures has made me believe.

    Time for action. My SOA is tight, so very tight, until April when my income will rise by 150. Not a lot but enough to make it manageable and close enough to make it tolerable. I hope.

    The bottom line. The thing that makes the weight of the debt so heavy is not the amount of debt (although any debt is not good) it's the fact that my budget is so tight there is nothing left to pay the debt off quicker. I have things I can sell so I will have to start there. Things I don't need, don't look at, and are stored. Getting rid of excess belongings and every penny I make by doing so will bring me that one step closer to freedom. My house needs quite a bit of work as I bought a 'project' due to circumstances at the time.

    The good. I am blessed in my life to have wonderful people whom I love and love me. I have a home that is safe and is slowly becoming a beautifully calm place to live as I make the necessary renovations. I am creative and this brings me great joy and challenges my mind. So many things to be thankful for the list could go on and on.

    The aim. At the very least I want to be debt free, house sorted and small emergency fund by my 40th birthday. That gives just over 3 years to achieve that. I can't find the Snowball thing again at the moment but it is telling me about 60 months...nope, not acceptable. These first couple of months will be hard as very little time and the tightest of budget so will be easy to see no progress but I will not accrue more debt so it will still be a win. My income will rise as circumstances change but this low moment is my chance to realign myself to a simple way of living so when finances improve its all about security and experiences.

    I am calling this my 'march' because this is not going to be a walk in the park but with determination I will get there.
    Last edited by angelpye; 25-01-2017 at 11:31 PM.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
Page 9
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Mar 17, 10:23 AM
    • 7,144 Posts
    • 37,989 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    The routine I have got from FL is putting clothes out for the morning, the night before - that REALLY makes a difference to me first thing, particularly on work days. I'm also far better these days about doing washing up before going to bed and things like that. The place isn't immaculate, by any means, but generally speaking it all feels a bit more under control than it used to, and that helps.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 8th Mar 17, 11:03 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    ToP - its like you said on your diary, if the place is less cluttered then less inclined to impulse buy home stuff in order to make it feel better.

    EH - I do the clothes for DD but hadn't thought to do with my clothes so will give it a go - thanks for the tip! I use the Kon Mari method for storing our clothes and it really has helped but I am rubbish in the morning due to low mood so anything that makes morning easier I am willing to try. I would like to get to that feeling of things feeling more under control.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Mar 17, 3:02 PM
    • 7,144 Posts
    • 37,989 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    I've also developed a trick that, for me, makes it even easier - first thing I do when I get home is to change into PJ bottoms so I do the following days clothes thing there and then, while I'm in the right place and dealing with clothes anyway. If there is a suitable top and underwear dry on the airer waiting to be folded and put away then I use those as it's easier to put them out for wearing than put them away...yep i truly AM that lazy! It's all about making life easier, for me. Half the time if I left it until last thing before going to bed I'd just fall in to bed and forget.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 8th Mar 17, 7:59 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    I am pretty lazy too when it comes to clothes so this sounds right up my street. I tend to wear mainly the same clothes at the moment due to creative energies being needed elsewhere and the fact that I put on a few pounds so don't like how my other clothes hang (read cling ). Thank you, all tips welcome!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 9th Mar 17, 10:11 AM
    • 7,144 Posts
    • 37,989 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Ha - another one here with a "limited wardrobe" let's say!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 9th Mar 17, 10:34 AM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,626 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I'll join you on the 'limited wardrobe' front. I've never felt anything really suits me anymore since having kids, so i need to read that damn Konmari book and just get rid of about 85% of it! Then i can start again and identify what I actually need/ what suits me.

    I think I'd also benefit from looking out my clothes the night before, but the issue is that I have nowhere to put them. I don't have a chair or anything in my room, just a bed, bedside table and floor to ceiling wardrobes... hmm... I'm sure I could come up with a solution and shave of a few minutes of pondering in the morning. I also need to get back into the habit of doing that for the kids too, I used to when I first returned to work but then got lazy...
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 9th Mar 17, 11:04 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Morning EH and JoJo, thanks for stopping by! Its like having an enforced capsule wardrobe isn't it?

    JoJo, Kondo clthes method is to grab everything you own - every piece of clothing and put it in one big pile. Then go through each item and ask yourself 'does it spark joy?' - if not it goes, if it doesn't fit it goes (my current situation is easily rectified but I think this is more when you have clothes far too small etc), it if doesn't make you feel good it goes. Work uniform etc is obviously different. She then has these folding techniques you can easily find on a short video on youtube which I love as you can see all your clothes all of the time. Clothes should be arranged in colour - dark to light. I recently found out from someone on here that the whole book is on youtube as an audio book so I have been listening through my phone and earphones whilst cleaning etc. HTH.

    I have two rails of clothes plus a full chest of drawers after clearing out 75% of my wardrobe a year or so ago. - in my old house I had double the clothes storage. I can currently comfortably wear 40% of it but only wear about 20%. Think I need another Kondo clothes session.

    I have lost 3lbs recently and continuing to be sensible with food and use my gym membership so hoping within 2 months I will be at the point of being able to wear 90% of my wardrobe. I only need to loose just over half a stone for this. Meal planning and tight food budget is really helping with weight control - can't eat what I can't buy
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 9th Mar 17, 3:08 PM
    • 7,144 Posts
    • 37,989 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    A friend swears by the Kondo method for clothes but I can't imagine having my wardrobe arranged by colour any more than I can arranging my books by colour! I opt for the wardrobe being sectioned by types of clothes, so trousers, work trousers, work jumpers/cardi's, general jumpers, fleeces, then work tops, going out tops and my 3 dresses. Yes. Three. That way I can go to the item I want in an instant - works for me. I have adopted the storage method of stacking t-shirts into the drawer "upright" rather than laying them on top of one another though - that creates so much more space!

    JoJo - can you do the getting the clothes out thing by using a hanger on the wardrobe door with everything on it?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 1229.00/324.14
    • Doodles152
    • By Doodles152 9th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    • 70 Posts
    • 555 Thanks
    Doodles152
    I think I'd also benefit from looking out my clothes the night before, but the issue is that I have nowhere to put them. I don't have a chair or anything in my room, just a bed, bedside table and floor to ceiling wardrobes... hmm... I'm sure I could come up with a solution and shave of a few minutes of pondering in the morning. I also need to get back into the habit of doing that for the kids too, I used to when I first returned to work but then got lazy...[/QUOTE]


    Ive tried just putting it altogether on a hanger in one end of my wardrobe then in the morning its all in one place ready to go.


    Another tip ive done which is really helping the mornings be easier is to sort packed lunches the night before, so whilst I'm in the kitchen anyway sorting evening meal, I make up the packed lunches and pop them in the fridge, anything that doesn't need refrigerating goes in the little food coolers that get used for taking the lunches to work/school then in the morning its all ready to grab and go, no more rushing trying to make lunches or going to work without anything as no time and then ending up buying something
    Debts to deal with Cap 1 3996.83 3923.43 (0%), Next 1252.21 1211.85 (0%) Very 294.88 282.64, Studio 266.11 256.11 (0%), Halifax card 277.17 466.01
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 9th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    EH, I still have mine in categories but also in dark to light order. I find the colour ordering means I can find stuff quickly. Not sure if Kondo wants it all mixed up but my obsessive tendencies wouldn't be able to handle it! Three dresses? Wow, I have about 12 and thought that was minimal...makes me want to go count them but far too lazy to go upstairs!

    Hello Jane, thanks for popping in. I do the lunch thing and it really helps! I also sometimes make overnight oats at the same time as if I am not returning after school run I need to have breakfast at my destination. Eating first thing makes me nauseous and I am far too lazy to get up earlier!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 9th Mar 17, 8:25 PM
    • 545 Posts
    • 4,381 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Ive tried just putting it altogether on a hanger in one end of my wardrobe then in the morning its all in one place ready to go.
    I do this, makes life easier in the morning. Not every day, but if I'm going to be remotely short of time (i.e. days I'm working) I do. Just all on a hanger on the back of the bedroom door, with undies and everything. I do it when I get my yoga gear out in the evening (I have to do this before bed and put it downstairs so I don't wake everyone up at 4:30am looking for a sports bra!), and it's just become part of my evening routine.

    I am slightly obsessed with capsule wardrobes, it's part of my job
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: 67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: 64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 10th Mar 17, 5:32 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Today I swapped my luxurious 40-head-massage-with-hot-chocolate-and-marshmallows haircut for one at the local college for 9. I was a bit nervous as I have a bit of statement fringe and easy to get it wrong. Luckily its not too bad and within a day or two it will settle in. I did have a numb bum by the end of it though as took a loooong time but I did manage to get some reading done for my course. Overall wasn't the pampering session I am used to but, aside from practically I can't afford that until May and I needed a cut badly, I did walk out with a decent haircut. I will need a fringe trim in between, which at my usual hairdressers is free, so will have to pay for that.

    So seeing it as a win and feeling like me which is always good for motivation

    I find cost cutting on these sorts of things tricky as I have such a busy life that my haircut every 12 weeks (I know far to long in between but hard to find the time) is a treat. Closest I get to being pampered. Glad I did it this way at the moment as just can't justify not feeding DD so that I can have a head massage!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 10th Mar 17, 5:37 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Ps. Paid CC1 today - 17 over the minimum so not fantastic but this part of my journey is about holding my ground, not increasing the debt, until May when my income will increase a little bit. Paying anything over the minimum is a win to me!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 11th Mar 17, 7:58 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 368 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    Don't go and pay for a fringe trim before you try your normal luxurious hairdresser first! Unless you have officially cancelled your business with them and communicated that to them of course? I would say it's well worth popping in and asking, and if they say anything about having had your haircut elsewhere just say you went away with work for a secondment elsewhere in the UK and desperately needed a cut...!

    Well that's what I'd do anyway....!
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 11th Mar 17, 9:01 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Thanks fro the tip ada, no harm in trying right?
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 11th Mar 17, 12:42 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    How brightly the light shines post LBM
    I looked at my updated Noddle yesterday and it really hit me hard as to how silly I have been...this time 2 years ago I had s in savings and now I have 2423 of debt. It really brought me down whilst I thought of all that ridiculous waste and the situation I have put DD and myself in now. I felt sick and anxious again.

    I guess these low moments are a natural part of this process and will hopefully be part of the learning curve but it makes me feel very lonely.

    I am comfortable on my own, most of the time and I don't really have the time or inclination to muster the effort of dating. I do enjoy dating but it does take up time and energy which I don't have much spare of either at the moment. I don't think the loneliness is about a 'partner' though.

    I have so many things I want to see and do! This debt restricts some of that and its so frustrating. I feel quite cross with myself, again. I think the loneliness is about feeling restricted.

    So, as i am never motivated by negativity I have been trying to turn this around by thinking about the things we can do.

    Days out:
    *Gardens: Due to my student status I can get a years membership for Royal Horticulture Society for 10. This gives access to 200 National Trust gardens and there are 5 very local to me. A couple of them are restricted access (so not in August) but mainly all year round. A couple I would have to pay for DD to get in. But in one visit the membership would have paid for itself and we love this kind of day out.
    *Legoland: McD's has half price voucher for up to 5 people on their Happy Meal box at the moment. We don't do McD's as DD doesn't like it but thinking it might be worth the purchase as she loves Lego and would be a lovely day out.
    *Found a special offer for steam train railway in a couple of months which goes to one of the houses on RHS list (have noted to do once budget increases).
    *Locally there are a few free places to go for nice walks and have a picnic.

    Activities:
    *Gym membership: Plenty of swimming etc to be had for no extra cost. I am determined to keep mental health on a level through exercise, I am already paying for it so may as well maximise benefit.
    *Raspberry growing - favourite fruit for DD and she loves growing things. Small outlay but found plants for half price so will order this week taking money from surveys.
    *Cheap cinema slots.
    *Home cinema nights.
    *Picnics on the beach or at the park - its almost time!
    *Usual arts, crafts and baking at home - use online resources effectively for inspiration.
    *I have a couple of meal vouchers for a chain pizza place and will take elder DD for a bit of one to one time.

    I am determined to keep an eye out for any money off vouchers for local facilities and to do any competition I find for similar things. Plus do surveys regularly to use money for fun and research any other student offers on things I will definitely use.

    We have a small break away in the UK for the summer so will be low cost. Will also go camping, we really enjoy it, in the summer to somewhere like Dorset or New Forest - have all the equipment so just need to find reasonably priced campsites.

    Other news:
    Budget: Still checking YNAB and banking app daily which is making me feel in control, reassuring me that we have enough and keeping me focused. I do like the feeling I get from knowing where we are even if its not a very comfortable place at the moment.

    Groceries: Today I just need to to do a tiny top up for bread and milk etc and all food is still on target per my massive meal planning session. That has really helped with the anxiety I had about feeding us healthily.

    Upping income: I have also started to collect things to sell at some point soon. I have survey money to cash out over 30. Plus have a voucher waiting for me to cash out - have chosen M&S as need some new underwear and a few school bits for DD. I also have vouchers from gifts for a few extras I think I need but will Kondo my wardrobe first to make sure.

    Health: Have downloaded fitness app to keep an eye on weight but also nutrient intake. Have continued to go to gym which is helping with low mood.

    I am still feeling down but rationalising it does help. I just need to keep telling myself 'I have got this' and 'this too shall pass'.

    Marching on...
    Last edited by angelpye; 11-03-2017 at 1:14 PM.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 11th Mar 17, 1:51 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    You've got this!!

    I can so relate re. the dating thing. I don't have a child to complicate things, but numerous other things that holds me back, the debt being one of them as I don't want to spend money on "going out". I think there is a right time and place and maybe that will come eventually. I am ok being single, but day to day it can get tiring doing everything on your own. For me it's the little things, such as needing help to lift something heavy, or being able to text the other person to buy milk on the way home, or make them take the rubbish out

    Nearly all of my friends are married/have been in relationships since they were quite young. Sometimes they joke about how easy it must be to keep my house clean not having a man around, etc. I think they forget that I do literally everything myself. The washing up still has to get done, bedsheets washed, vacuum and mop, etc. I guess the grass is always greener. Sorry for the ramble.
    Family Loan $4510/$8000 = -$3490
    Emergency Fund $1575/$10,000
    Mini Cash Savings = $10/$100
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 2:14 PM
    • 545 Posts
    • 4,381 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I think reframing things in a positive way is such a good idea. I must do that when i'm feeling negative. And it looks like you have lots lined up to plan for
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: 67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: 64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 11th Mar 17, 10:10 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Thanks Velvet Freak, I get what you mean about the money side of dating. Having someone to help out would be nice at times - for me when I am ill it would be nice for someone to be around or to go out for the day and hang in cafes etc. But, I also found living with the wrong person can be super irritating too so swings and roundabouts!

    ToP reframing works really well for me. I used to work in a solution focused client support role and it can be really effective. Obviously its important to acknowledge when things are tough but focusing on positives is the only thing that gets me through.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: 2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF 0/4200
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 12th Mar 17, 8:09 AM
    • 107 Posts
    • 368 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    Well done for having the emotional intelligence to be able to reframe! Perhaps you could set yourself a debt-free goal for one of the places you really want to go to, and as your debt reduces you could even start saving early for that little trip or whatever goal it is you want to achieve? Your debt is only temporary, you are doing so well!

    Ada
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

213Posts Today

1,690Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • The strange thing with a 4yr old is having to play & smile while inside feeling sick for those in trauma in my birth town #Manchester

  • Just a quick ta-ta for now. I'm taking the week off for family time with mini and Mrs MSE. So I won't be here much. Back after the bank hol

  • Ugh another one trying it! Beware https://t.co/Ab9fCRA76F

  • Follow Martin