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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,149Posts
    • 3,533Thanks
    JoJoC
    Getting my shhh together
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    Getting my shhh together 26th Jan 17 at 12:20 PM
    It's January 2017 and I want to make a stand against myself.

    I will let me sabotage myself no more and I will take control and make my finances better!

    Where to begin? Good question! Since my husband and I bought our first house together in 2009, we have bad financial decision after bad financial decision. Not through stupidity, but a combination of naivety, laziness and lack of foresight. We are very impulsive people and it's quite tricky to rein that in when it comes to finances but we've had endless talks over the last few months and 2017 is the year that we sort our sh!t out!

    A combination of astronomical childcare costs, unpaid maternity leave, paying the mortgage for our flat when it isn't let (second property) and a few other things has meant that the last 2.5 years have been really tight and we have built up some debt that I really want to reduce. I'll declare it below!

    Credit card 1: £6,000 (on 0% interest)
    Credit card 2: £3,800 (not yet on 0% interest)
    Overdraft: £600
    Owe to MIL: £120
    Owe to uncle: £700

    I CAN tackle this in 2017 because:

    - My eldest son is starting school in August, meaning i'll be saving on nursery fees
    - I have just started a new job and my earnings will increase by around £200 per month
    - My husband is busy with additional work in the form of 'homers' over the next couple of months

    Hurdles/ challenges/ costly things happening:
    - My sister's wedding in September
    - My sister's hen weekend in September
    - It's my mother in law's 60th and we are going away for a few nights to a cottage to celebrate
    - Husband is going on my brother-in-law's stag weekend to Prague
    - We need to save for spending money as my company is paying for myself and husband to go to Thailand for a week for work.

    As you can see, the opportunities to save, to rein in what we are spending and to pay off debts are there, but it's such a busy year of commitments so I know it's going to be hard going.

    How am I going to achieve this?

    Change the setup of our banking
    It's currently one big bank account for all income, bills and spending but that's not working for us at all, particularly because we have massive outgoings so I want to switch to having a bills account, a spending account and a savings account.

    Spend time weekly on budgeting
    I have set up a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing when money comes in, when it goes out, when money is transferred to savings and when money is transferred to spending accounts. I want to ensure that this is kept on target and we aren't left short so I want to spend time every Sunday night when my husband is at football going through our finances and the spreadsheet to make sure everything is running smoothly and tackle any adjustments that need to be made. I'm paid monthly and my husband is paid weekly so it's a tricky balance.

    Striking the balance
    I need to strike the balance between paying off debt that we have and saving up for the things that we've committed to this year - I know if I focus on debt alone, we'll end up further in debt to cover things. Vigilance is the key and I will need to keep on top of what we can and can't afford to do. Considered choices will work best and looking ahead to see what's coming up will help too. I want to tackle the family debt first, particularly as they are the smallest debts and the ones that I feel bad about the most.

    I appreciate that there's a lot of debt-free diaries on here and this one isn't solely about hammering debt, but I think it's important for me to be accountable and I want to make changes rather than plan then just bury my head in the sand.

    Any encouragement along the way would be appreciated!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 15
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Mar 17, 9:22 AM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Well, it's the start of another week! I'm not really sure where this year is going, I feel like I have blinked since Christmas and now it's almost Easter! I suppose that comes with starting a new job where everything is chaotic for the first few months (I'm still in that period!) so hopefully it'll slow down soon.

    My son is 2 in a few months and I can't quite believe that either! He'll be having a very modest birthday party in the house with family and probably one present and some balloons, nothing extravagant. I'm trying to start thinking about that now so that it doesn't creep up on me! It's my eldest's nursery graduation on the morning of my youngest's birthday so it'll be an action-packed day!

    Spends
    I didn't do too badly yesterday with spends - £40.?? (can't remember the pence) at Aldi, although £17.99 of that was for a pot. It is exactly like a pot that my parents bought in France when I was a teenager and I borrow it every couple of months because it's lovely and deep, so i just couldn't resist. I'm looking forward to using it! I took the kids to softplay (£9) but my brother in law kindly paid for the drinks and we ate lunch back at my house, so I'm happy with that.

    I'm travelling with work and not back until tomorrow night but thankfully all of my costs will be put on my company card. I'm so pleased that I no longer have to do the expenses cycle and be out of pocket by hundreds of pounds every month. I used to lump all expenses on my credit card then by the time I claimed them back, I'd treat it like 'my money' and spend it instead of paying it back in full. What a numpty.

    I'm just off the phone to my bank - they called to say my minimum payment was overdue (WHAT?) which I was pretty confused about. Anyway, I'd set up a direct debit last month and apparently it hadn't worked so she set one up for my on the phone for £50 (min payment is £43.17) but it won't be active in time for next month's due date, so I just paid two month's payments today and my next payment won't be until 4th May. I think I'll mark a note in my diary to make the £50 payment in April anyway, which will be an extra monthly payment if i can manage. Glad they called, as I just assumed it'd come off. Jeez.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 13th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 397 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    Hope you have a great week.
    The modest bday party sounds great
    Gosh, i don't know how parents do it.
    Family Loan of $8000 - Paid off 22/06/2017
    Emergency Fund $2525 / $10,000
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I hope work settles down a bit soon, but great news that you are using the company card now instead of letting it be a debt-causing problem. I think (hope!) that unpicking all of these little behaviours will help us avoid getting into the same problems again once the debt is cleared. I really feel like I've acknowledged and (sort of) dealt with so many spending triggers, but there are still new ones round every corner - like children's parties, as i've recently discovered!
    £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: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 13th Mar 17, 10:13 AM
    • 1,771 Posts
    • 8,053 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    It sounds like a very full day so hopefully you will crash tonight and sleep and not miss the little ones too much. Sorry about rubbish food but at least it will be free rubbish food

    The party is exactly right for a 2 year old

    You are juggling so much and doing so well

    Have a good day
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/July 2017=7,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th Mar 17, 5:40 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Well, I've had a completely uneventful couple of days when it comes to finances. I have eaten like a king, but spent virtually nothing. I had to pay for a taxi in cash because his card machine wasn't working so i'll need to claim that back on expenses (£12ish) but apart from that, it's all dealt with on the company credit card.

    I'll need to buy my monthly train ticket tomorrow (£90) but apart from that, there's not much else on the spending list until the weekend.

    I need to add my son's swimming lessons to my spreadsheet to make sure they're accounted for too.

    Gah, I hate the middle of the month! It's truly uneventful and demoralising. I definitley thrive when I have lots to sort out - money in, money out, balancing the books so to speak. I should be grateful that all is quiet on the western front, really.

    Two more hours on the train... I'm off to read my book!

    Apologies for the dull post - I'm afraid to just not post on quiet days otherwise I might fall out of the habit of posting and we all know the dangers that lurk when you fall away from posting on your diiary...

    I've spent some of my train time doing surveys and uploading receipts to Receipt Hog. The wifi on the train is temperamental and slow so it's been a slog but my balances stand at:

    Onepoll: £8.95 (£31.05 to go)
    Crowdology: £3.52 (48p to go, but I think i'll save these for Amazon vouchers/ PayPal for Christmas)
    Receipt Hog: 271 points (2,850 for payout of £10 so only 10% there)
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 14th Mar 17, 6:07 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,658 Thanks
    angelpye
    I am the same about middle of the month - I am actually excited when a bill goes out because I get to reconcile it all! So sad
    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 14th Mar 17, 6:28 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Oh, feel the same about mid-month too! I can thoroughly recommend making huge inadvertant CC payments to liven things up
    £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: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th Mar 17, 12:49 AM
    • 10,465 Posts
    • 69,321 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Who is if that coined the phrase 'dead zone' for this part of the month? Was it Paws?? Anyway it is a perfect phrase for the bit where you can't really do anything more than be really good and hope to keep to the budget.
    " 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
    • Macey1510
    • By Macey1510 15th Mar 17, 9:37 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 287 Thanks
    Macey1510
    I hate the middle of the month too. I keep writing out my debt free goals and incoming and outgoings even though nothing has changed since the last time I did it.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 15th Mar 17, 12:02 PM
    • 1,771 Posts
    • 8,053 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Same here JoJo. Tempted to make an overpayment just to see things move again...
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/July 2017=7,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • linz4383
    • By linz4383 15th Mar 17, 12:47 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 4,275 Thanks
    linz4383
    I've been reading your diary (just catching up now) your doing fab thought this might help wi th making a bit extra! Every little helps as they say! Earn money playing games lol
    Do you know AppLike? AppLike suggests new games and rewards you with coins and gift cards (Amazon, PayPal, Google Play..) for playing them! Install the app here and you will receive 5555 coins as an initial credit. https://r.applike.info/s/58c68be47a39c
    House deposit £0/£10000
    Loan £6,065.43- £5803.30
    credit card £3,932.25 - £4233.40
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Mar 17, 2:40 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I am the same about middle of the month - I am actually excited when a bill goes out because I get to reconcile it all! So sad
    Originally posted by angelpye
    If you're sad, then so am I!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Mar 17, 2:41 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Oh, feel the same about mid-month too! I can thoroughly recommend making huge inadvertant CC payments to liven things up
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Yes, true, although double payments randomly will really do nothing for my affordability for things like...you know... food and fuel? Not important stuff but still...
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Mar 17, 2:42 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I hate the middle of the month too. I keep writing out my debt free goals and incoming and outgoings even though nothing has changed since the last time I did it.
    Originally posted by Macey1510
    So glad I'm not the only one! Sometimes reshuffling things to make it appear like I've improved it when really, it's just in a different order and I've reaffirmed it.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 16th Mar 17, 10:58 AM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Today
    The Good
    1. SSE announced a 15% energy price hike this week...but I changed to a fixed deal with EDF a fortnight ago, saving us £40-45 per month
    2. My train ticket was due to be renewed on 11th March but it was a weekend...then i was in London on Mon/Tues so didn't need it. I tried to buy it yesterday but the machine wasn't working so ended up with a single and now I'm working from home today and tomorrow, so my £90 train ticket will be purchased on Monday, over a week after it ran out. I know i'll still need to pay it, but it's one less week of train travel that I'll be paying for so i'm happy with that!
    3. I bought myself a wireless mouse this morning for when I'm working from home as my laptop mouse is irritating...but I remembered to put it on the company credit card instead of just buying it and forgetting
    4. I got some YS chicken thighs (x12) that are pre-marinaded in Sainsbury's for £3.58 instead of £6.50 so one pack for tonight's dinner and one pack for the freezer.
    5. We have an additional £320 upstairs from my husband's overtime in addition to our savings in the bank so we should have £700-800 left over after paying the fees for remortgage (fingers crossed)

    The Bad
    1. Got the dentist at lunchtime so that'll be around £15 for check up and I have a feeling i might need a filling/ some work done so i'll need to factor that in
    2. Husband also needs to make an appointment
    3. The house is a tip again - with me being away at the start of the week and knackered since I got back, the place isn't great... must muster some motivation to begin fixing that situation!
    4. Things at work are really full on right now so my head is full of work worries...which means I have an almost permanent headache
    5. The remortgage costs are ever increasing! On top of the £750 excess, £175 broker fees, £190 surveyors fees (already paid), we now also need to pay £325 legal fees to the shared equity company, £100 + VAT to our own appointed solicitor and £36 transfer of money costs so total = £1596 (£190 already paid) instead of the £1300 that we'd generously budgeted. Why can people not make things clear at the beginning what costs will be involved? We have the money there thankfully but it's just frustrating when we're working and saving really hard and they just keep adding costs on. I'll be glad when this is done and we can move on with our lives safe in the knowledge that the home builder can't shaft us again.
    6. I haven't been through my spreadsheet and account to reconcile things so I'll need to do that ASAP so that I know where I stand with the account. I was aiming to add £300 to the savings account this month, but i'll need to see if that's still achievable or if i need to re-evaluate.

    The Ugly
    Nothing really to say here, except I suppose that my stress levels are ugly but I've written a list and I'm trying to work systematically through it and give myself breaks to have a cuppa and relax (ha!) for five minutes.

    Surveys
    Onepoll: £10.75 (£29.25 to go)
    Crowdology: £4.00 (can redeem anytime now but want to build it up)
    Receipt Hog: 285 points (nowhere near)
    Nectar points: £7.34
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 16th Mar 17, 12:09 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,658 Thanks
    angelpye
    Hi JoJo, it is really frustrating when people keep adding costs - takes the control away of managing your own money doesn't it? But you sound like you have been managing to save so at least you have prevented extra stress of finding the money. Well done for doing a list! Be kind to yourself about the house - only so much one person can do and you are doing great.
    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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 16th Mar 17, 1:17 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi JoJo, it is really frustrating when people keep adding costs - takes the control away of managing your own money doesn't it? But you sound like you have been managing to save so at least you have prevented extra stress of finding the money. Well done for doing a list! Be kind to yourself about the house - only so much one person can do and you are doing great.
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Thanks Angelpye, you always know the right thing to say. I'm trying to be kind to myself and not add the house to my list of stresses, but it's hard when everywhere I look there's something else to do. I need to prioritise and right now work is coming before the house, as I have deadlines so need to get my backside in gear to meet those.

    I know, I'm pleased about the fact that we don't need to worry about covering the extra, it's just eating into money that we're saving for other things that we actually WANT to do like get away on a family weekend away and save towards a bathroom and my sister's wedding etc . I know we'll be fine to continue saving towards that but it's just demoralising. I feel like we're giving up family time for my husband to go out and work extra to make more money for nice things and it's being spent on not so nice things. I realise I'm being unreasonable, because this is entirely for our own good. Petulant child, over here!

    In good news, I'm just back from the dentist and although I need a filling and an x-ray next appointment (end of the month), I didn't need to pay for today's check-up. £23.40 at the end of the month. My husband and kids aren't going to be seen until the start of May so quite a while yet (longer to prepare for potential dental bills for my husband!).
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 16th Mar 17, 2:18 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,658 Thanks
    angelpye
    I think we are all allowed a bit of a tantrum about these things - people don't realise how much it can impact but on the up side once its done you will have much more control over a significant family investment and these costs will not come again. Great news on the dentist! Must book us in - thanks for the reminder!
    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 16th Mar 17, 2:19 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,658 Thanks
    angelpye
    Ps. Perhaps blocking out some time in your diary for the house post deadlines will help? If I allocate stuff time it stays in my head less.
    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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 16th Mar 17, 5:21 PM
    • 1,149 Posts
    • 3,533 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yes, you're right. It's totally a control thing so I must learn to loosen the grip a little.

    I think i might book a couple of days annual leave once this next busy spell is over - maybe spend a day getting things done that I never have time to do and keep the kids off nursery the other to spend time with them. I have a few spare holidays (unallocated) for the year so that might be a nice way to spend them.

    Right, must throw the chicken thighs into the oven and go pick up the kids while they're cooking.

    Spending account
    We still have £247 left in the spending account for March, which is ok considering we're over half way through the month now. There'll be two more weekly shops (sundays) from this pot which I'll try to keep to around £45 per week and my husband will need £30-40 fuel too. I might need £20 before the end of the month too as I had a few longer journeys than last month. So with all that accounted for, we should have just under £100 to play with for other spends until pay day.

    14 days until pay day means an average of £7.14 per day or £3.57 per day each. I've got a coffee penciled in next week with a friend after work which will hopefully set me back no more than £5 (unless I get a cake!) but other than that, I have very little planned so should be able to keep a handle on these spends.

    Remortgage
    We should have an official letter stating the settlement figure of the shared equity portion (second charge? is that what it's called? anyway...) and once our solicitor has that, they'll request the excess funds from us and draw down our equity funds. I'll sob while transferring the money (ha!) and then it should just be a matter of days until we receive confirmation.

    Loss of rent - hopefully recouping some funds
    I have also just reminded myself that I need to contact our letting agent as our old tenant (moved out in November a month before the end of her contract) is contesting us applying to keep the deposit as loss of rental income so it went to adjudication and we had to provide all sorts of evidence. They told me they should have a decision by 13th March and that date has now passed so I'll need to chase the letting agent and get them to find out if it's done yet. I'm now paranoid that they probably know already and just haven't contacted me because it's bad news and they're putting it off. But considering we had to pay two mortgages for four months, the deposit (the same amount as a month's rent that she was contractually supposed to pay anyway) would come in so handy. I'd probably just put it into the flat account to make sure we can adequately cover the mortgage for a month if we don't have a tenant again but it's been dragging on a long time now and I just want it resolved.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
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