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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 809Posts
    • 2,357Thanks
    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!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 16
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 16th Mar 17, 5:49 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    angelpye
    A couple of days annual leave sounds just the ticket! Good luck with the adjudication outcome
    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 17th Mar 17, 9:50 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Just posted a nice list for today and the internet crashed and I lost it... i hope this isn't how my day is going to go!

    In summary:
    1. Complete first draft of a project that I'm working on (TOP PRIORITY)
    2. Strip all bedding, get it washed and hung up then make all the beds
    3. Get my whole plan for next week together so that I know exactly what I'm doing and when
    4. Prep dinner
    5. Pick up the kids early if possible.

    My husband is working a little bit late tonight and won't be back until about 7pm instead of his usual 3pm finish on a Friday so that should be a little extra added to the pot.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 19th Mar 17, 10:02 PM
    • 352 Posts
    • 1,351 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Hello JoJoC, I haven't popped by in a while, not sure how I've kept missing you.

    Funny how we have both recently started new jobs and both learning a bit of discipline with expenses. Go, us!

    Annoying about the mortgage fees, but sounds like everything else is going well
    Debt 03/01/17 = £42000
    Debt today = £36933
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Mar 17, 8:55 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Well, that was a busy weekend! I don't think I stopped pretty much the whole time so I'm knackered going into work today!

    Good things
    1. I cleaned my kitchen from top to bottom yesterday, including all cupboards, the floor (scrubbed on my hands and knees), oven, cooker...Basically everything that I could lay my eyes on. My husband tackled the dreaded disgusting bathroom! So glad that those two things are done- it took us three hours!!

    2. I did a meal plan and wrote a shopping list before going to Aldi. Didn't do it last week and it wasn't a good idea...

    3. Husband added a bit more to the pot with some extra money thst he made. It's amazing when he gets all this extra work so I'm making the most of it because it will dry up at some point.

    4. My husband will be working all day Saturday and doing a job on Friday night so that'll be money towards spending money for mil's birthday trip away.

    5. We took the kids out for brunch on Saturday and although it was £13 we didn't need to spend, it was so lovely to have some proper family time.

    6. My mum came to visit yesterday and had bought the kids coats - they're lovely and it's really appreciated. I was just talking the other day about needing to get them new coats so she was very sweet and bought them for us.

    Less good things

    1. My husband ordered his glasses (which he definitely needs!) and they're going to come to £390... There's no way this cost can be brought down unless he goes for the cheapest frames which are only £40 less than the ones he picked so I'd rather he went for the ones he liked. Damn expensive lenses! That's them for another few years though.

    2. I spent more than planned on the shopping budget this week - £72 instead of around £50. This is mainly because my youngest son needed nappies for home and nursery so two boxes set me back £8... And that's before any food was taken into account. Lots needed replenishing like cereal, cheese, pasta etc. Next week's shop should just be fresh stuff and I'll use up whatever I can from the freezer.

    3. I'm still feeling pretty anxious about work...I just hope this week I can crack on and get stuff progressed. I know that'll make me feel better, I'm just tense and I can't shake the feeling.

    Boxofpaws, we are in similar situations, I hadn't even realised! How is your new job going? Don't worry about missing me, I've been a bit sporadic with posting the last week or two as not much has been happening. Ive been reading your diary although not commenting as much so will say hello more when I stop by.

    Miles left in the tank: 100. Will definitely need top up fuel.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 20th Mar 17, 9:07 AM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 5,868 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Morning JoJo

    Well done on the cleaning

    Great to have the family time so don't regret the spend there, especially as your hubby is away doing extra work so often

    Your hubbies glasses make me scared to check out my own glasses

    Wishing you a good week
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/ February 2017=10,492
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 20th Mar 17, 9:10 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    angelpye
    Morning JoJo, sounds like you really tackled that kitchen! Hoping it makes you feel a bit better - you sound like superwoman at the moment! Lovely you managed to take the kids out saturday - that few pounds is really worth it especially when you have been working so hard. Hope the work thing gets resolved have a good week
    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 20th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Morning JoJo

    Well done on the cleaning

    Great to have the family time so don't regret the spend there, especially as your hubby is away doing extra work so often

    Your hubbies glasses make me scared to check out my own glasses

    Wishing you a good week
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Thanks DIA - I definitely don't regret the family time! It was lovely and the kids were so well behaved and had fun so there was no stress, just nice times all round

    The cleaning was long overdue and I'm glad that I got it done. It makes a difference and I'm going to endeavour to keep it as clean as possible.

    My husband's prescription is so bad (-13) so it's the lenses that cost a bomb. They are £245 just for lenses (the standard lenses are £50 I think) and it's just because his need thinned down the maximum amount and some kind of coating put on them. Hopefully yours won't be as bad!

    Morning JoJo, sounds like you really tackled that kitchen! Hoping it makes you feel a bit better - you sound like superwoman at the moment! Lovely you managed to take the kids out saturday - that few pounds is really worth it especially when you have been working so hard. Hope the work thing gets resolved have a good week
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Thanks Angel, I don't feel much like superwoman but I am achieving things which is better than the normal me who is feeling the stress and just shoves her head deep into the sand, ignoring everything that requires brain power.

    I'm working on the work thing right now, so i'm really hoping to get it to a good point today/ tomorrow so that I can feel even a tiny bit better about it. I don't know why I'm getting so worked up about it, i suppose the stakes are higher because it's a joint project with a really high profile partner and I'm a bit intimidated by them. It's all a learning opportunity, i need to keep telling myself that. I just don't want to fail!

    Hope you have a lovely week too, Angelpye!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 2:38 PM
    • 10,310 Posts
    • 66,051 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Where do you get your nappies from? I think Sains big packs are still on special you get 84 for £6, on their own nappies.
    "You're not rich until you have something money can't buy."

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £52.96 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1530.02 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 20th Mar 17, 2:43 PM
    • 481 Posts
    • 3,349 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Sounds like a slightly hectic weekend! Good luck on the work, I hope you feel less anxious as the week goes on.
    £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: £65,133.07/1st August 2026
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Mar 17, 3:32 PM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Where do you get your nappies from? I think Sains big packs are still on special you get 84 for £6, on their own nappies.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    I get them from Aldis - they're £5.99 for a pack of 72 (just checked my receipt) so bought two packs for £12, a bit more than what I recalled from memory. To be honest, I've never found nappies that keep my boys dry (and don't have them smelling of urine) apart from the Aldi ones so I'm loathe to spend money on yet another pack that don't suit. Thanks though! Those boxes should do a couple of months I hope. In fact, I'm going to record this date and check when they run out because both boxes were opened today.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Mar 17, 3:44 PM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Remortgage - a pleasant surprise!
    Well, well, well... a pleasant surprise, indeed!

    I just had word from my solicitor about the final figures to complete the remortgage. She is requesting funds from my new provider today so we should be complete by Wednesday.

    She laid out the figures and we'd expected to pay around £1400 total BUT the figure for us to pay is to complete the mortgage is actually £572.17!! Then we just need to pay £175 to our mortgage broker

    I questioned it, but she's adamant that that's correct.

    It's because the original figures were calculated back in November and we've been paying our mortgage since, so the amount to settle our current mortgage has come down.

    I couldn't be more pleased

    That means that there's £255 left in the savings account and the £1k savings that we'd transferred into the bills account to keep us out of the red (thus saving on overdraft fees) can just stay in there and we're officially out of our £1k overdraft! Hooray!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 20th Mar 17, 6:46 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    angelpye
    Congratulations! Thats a brilliant outcome! And one more debt gone,yes?
    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
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 8:16 PM
    • 10,310 Posts
    • 66,051 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I get them from Aldis - they're £5.99 for a pack of 72 (just checked my receipt) so bought two packs for £12, a bit more than what I recalled from memory. To be honest, I've never found nappies that keep my boys dry (and don't have them smelling of urine) apart from the Aldi ones so I'm loathe to spend money on yet another pack that don't suit. Thanks though! Those boxes should do a couple of months I hope. In fact, I'm going to record this date and check when they run out because both boxes were opened today.
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I do that too on big packs of things have a goal date written on my enormous butter in the fridge #special
    "You're not rich until you have something money can't buy."

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £52.96 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1530.02 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 20th Mar 17, 8:18 PM
    • 10,310 Posts
    • 66,051 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Well, well, well... a pleasant surprise, indeed!

    I just had word from my solicitor about the final figures to complete the remortgage. She is requesting funds from my new provider today so we should be complete by Wednesday.

    She laid out the figures and we'd expected to pay around £1400 total BUT the figure for us to pay is to complete the mortgage is actually £572.17!! Then we just need to pay £175 to our mortgage broker

    I questioned it, but she's adamant that that's correct.

    It's because the original figures were calculated back in November and we've been paying our mortgage since, so the amount to settle our current mortgage has come down.

    I couldn't be more pleased

    That means that there's £255 left in the savings account and the £1k savings that we'd transferred into the bills account to keep us out of the red (thus saving on overdraft fees) can just stay in there and we're officially out of our £1k overdraft! Hooray!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Fab news!!!
    "You're not rich until you have something money can't buy."

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £52.96 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1530.02 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 21st Mar 17, 5:15 AM
    • 481 Posts
    • 3,349 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    OMG that's amazing! What a great little bonus.
    £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: £65,133.07/1st August 2026
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Mar 17, 8:42 AM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks all, I'm so pleased! And yes, Angelpye, one more debt gone

    Of course, with the good news comes the bad news...Although it could be worse. Our council tax has gone up this year by £22 per month to £242! I can't quite believe it...it's so much money. Two years ago, in our flat, we paid £150 and I thought that was a lot. I don't understand why they charge so much

    Anyway, it's a new day! It's really heavy snow here and I was lucky to get out of my street but I made it and am heading into work now. The kids were so excited so hopefully they get to play out at nursery.

    Should be a NSD for me today, don't need anything and I have my lunch with me so fingers crossed for that.

    I'm hoping to get some tax back in this month's wages after I was emergency taxed last month. I still have no clue what my normal wage should be but perhaps by April it'll be normal. A little extra this month would be nice.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 21st Mar 17, 8:48 AM
    • 1,421 Posts
    • 5,868 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Lovely surprise re remortgage.

    i am yet to receive my C/T bill. I expect an increase but hoping it isn't as much of an increase as yours!!

    I have a love/hate relationship with snow but I cannot help but be enchanted when I see it fall The children will love it.

    Good luck with reclaiming tax
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/ February 2017=10,492
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Mar 17, 1:14 PM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I agree - snow is beautiful, but I do prefer it when I have a day at home, not a day of commuting! Sounds like it's calmed down at home, so hopefully by the time I need to head home it won't be too bad and I can get out for some snow play with the kids.

    Fingers crossed for a minimal council tax increase for you!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Mar 17, 1:29 PM
    • 809 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Also, just managed to put £300 into our savings account, as planned since this month is another council-tax free month.

    My husband's job at the weekend has been postponed (although, not cancelled thankfully) so it'll be a couple more weeks before we can add more to the pot but I'm pleased with where things stand at the moment.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 21st Mar 17, 3:25 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,546 Thanks
    angelpye
    Shame about the job but does that mean you get your husband home? Or will he be working elsewhere? Well done for saving again this month! I love snow but we rarely get it...bright sunshine here though so can't complain
    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
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