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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 864Posts
    • 2,627Thanks
    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 22
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 18th May 17, 10:04 AM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks so much for thinking of me, both of you! Itís been a really crazy couple of weeks to say the least, for a few reasons:

    1. We were away for our Ďfreeí weekend away so that my husband could work and we could make a weekend of itÖ I got a hideous sickness bug the first day then just as I stopped being sick, my husband had to go to work and my eldest (4) started, while I was on my own and my two-year-old was bouncing off the walls. We spent the whole weekend confined to our room. It was awful!

    2. Iím still recovering from the bug and still feel queasy and exhausted.

    3. Iím still under a lot of pressure at work and will be until mid-June when my project ends, I can take stock, then start preparing for the next big project!

    4. Thereís been a lot of juggling this last week with kids being off nursery, me working from home and two school visits with my son which were great but disruptive taking time out of work when Iím so busy.

    In terms of finances, things arenít all bad but they could be a lot better. Iíve lost my way a bit with being organized (always our problem) and weíve had a couple of takeaways lately which is a downward spiral really. I just need to get my mojo back!

    I had to take £220 out of our savings to clear our previous energy supplierís bill. The way that they had billed me on my final statement didnít make sense and I struggled to get through to them to discuss it so itís been drawn out for a while. They clarified things and the total was in fact £220 so that was a bit of a hit!

    Taking stock
    - Managed to save £200 this month as planned
    - Savings account total is still £608 (after I had to pay the energy company)
    - My husband is working this whole weekend so should manage to make another nice deposit into the savings soon. He is owed around £200 from last weekendís work too, so Iím hoping to boost the savings to £1,000 when the payments for all of this work come in.
    - The next things on the radar for savings to be spent on are: 3 days city break in early July, 4 days city break in early August, School uniform for August before the chaos of September kicks in!

    What do I need to do to get back on track?
    - Get back to meal planning and lunch prepping
    - Get husband back on board with meal planning and lunch prepping
    - Absorb the extra spends from the last few weeks and move on Ė stop beating self up
    - Look at my spreadsheet again, my goals, and whatís coming up to motivate me

    Summary
    Iím fine. Iím alive. Things could be worse. But they could be better. Must try harder!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 19th May 17, 2:25 PM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    It's Friday!
    I'm very much in need of this weekend... not that it'll be relaxing at all, but I'd quite like to try not thinking about work at all this weekend! We'll see...

    Good things
    • My husband was paid for a job yesterday so there's £290 in cash to add to our savings pot when I'm next at the bank
    • He is working this evening, tomorrow and Sunday which, although we'll miss our family weekend, will really boost the money situation. He's also awaiting £300 owed from another job.
    • I'm feeling slightly more organised about work things today - i'm not fighting a losing battle quite so much.
    • I shouldn't need to spend much money this weekend - taking my son to his swimming lesson (paid for in blocks), then to a birthday party (present paid for), then on Sunday we're going to visit my parents (free). Just need to avoid unnecessary spending on food!
    • I'm finishing at 4pm today

    Not so good things
    • I spent £5 on my lunch today - complete lack of preparation!
    • I'm still feeling a bit queasy after a weekend of illness
    • I've got two very close friends 30ths next month and both are having a night out (each) in town...££££

    Hope you all have a great weekend and hopefully I'll be back on Monday completely rejuvenated, feeling on top of the world and with a new sense of motivation for saving!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 22nd May 17, 2:44 PM
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    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Low spend weekend - achieved!
    Well, I was on my own with the kids this weekend while my husband worked and normally I throw money at the 'problem' and take them for food, take them to softplay or just generally anything to keep them occupied. This weekend, i managed to avoid that as much as possible!

    Spends:
    • Chinese takeaway on Saturday night - £15
    • Haircuts for both boys - £12
    • Birthday party in the afternoon, present already purchased - £0

    Sunday was also productive - we spent time with my parents and while my youngest was taking a nap, my mum and I managed to get quite a bit done for my sister's hen weekend which is in three months.

    I did our weekly shop today and spent £44 so it's nice and low, although last weekend was our expensive week so unsurprising. We shouldn't need nappies for the next few weeks as I got two big boxes with £1 each off them at Aldi.

    I also went to the school uniform shop to take a look at my eldest's uniform (he's starting in August) and came away with two jumpers, a tank top, two polo shirts and a jacket! Whoops! My mum was with me and paid for some of it so i only spent £24. Still lots to get but I feel better knowing that I have the first few bits in. I must write myself a list of things still to get!

    This week is a busy one again at work but I'm feeling like I can be on top of it if I just keep the motivation high.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 22nd May 17, 7:14 PM
    • 1,501 Posts
    • 6,732 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done for tackling the school uniform in May.

    I am struggling with motivation but like you determined to keep it high
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/ February 2017=9,600
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 23rd May 17, 9:56 AM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks DIA - our schools go back the second week in August so I figured there's no harm in getting started. I really need to write a list of what I need, the quantity of what I need and, most importantly, the cost! I'll leave shoes and trousers until nearer the time, as he's definitely going through a growth spurt right now. He's eating me out of house and home.

    We can motivate each other, although I'm not sure how! I thought today would be a no spend day but I need to go out at lunchtime to get my son a plain white polo shirt for his nursery graduation photos which are tomorrow. Other than that, no spending! Lunch and snacks are in my bag, so i'm doing better than last week!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 23rd May 17, 11:31 AM
    • 1,501 Posts
    • 6,732 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done on lunch and snacks in your bag. It makes all the difference for me when I do that although I feel like a cart horse with my water, coffee, snacks and lunch
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/ February 2017=9,600
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 23rd May 17, 12:25 PM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yes, i know what you mean! I'm lucky because I keep a box of cereal at work for breakfast (I can't eat first thing) so just need to bring lunch and fruit. I have cereal bars in my drawer and the odd bit of chocolate for emergencies so I don't need to cart about too much.

    My colleague also brought in lots of snacks because we have visitors to the office but she's bought enough for a small country so that'll be plenty of extra snacks to be polished off this week and next!

    I'm only in the office three days this week and two days next week, then i'm in London the following week so its not worth my while spending £90 on a monthly ticket this month. Instead, the cheapest way is just to buy daily returns so in the next three weeks i'll spend £32 on the train instead of £90.

    I need to get back into my spreadsheet and work out what's left for the remainder of the month - I get paid a week today so i'll need to do my sums.
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
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