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
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 922Posts
    • 2,839Thanks
    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: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 24
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Sorry to hear you're having childcare issues........I'm a childminder and I'm constantly turning people away which I genuinely feel guilty about but I do try my best to help them find another childminder xx plus I do operate a waiting list in case circumstances change xx
    Originally posted by abba1772
    Thanks for stopping by Abba - yes, my childminder (or ex-childminder!) feels really guilty too and is doing everything she can to help me find another but it looks like an after school club is our only option now. It's a shame because I know she'd love to have him back again (she had him from 10 months until 3 years) so it's just circumstances for her. II honestly thought that childminding was a competitive business, but it seems that my town could do with another 10 quite easily!

    I'm hoping to have it all sorted and confirmed by Friday with one of two after school clubs and then it's one less thing to worry about.
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Jun 17, 11:49 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I have just updated my signature to include my debt totals - i think that will go a long way to helping me to keep on track with where I'm at and what I need to do to achieve debt freedom! I always feel that mid-month I fall into a lull where nothing is happening and I don't know where I'm at, so having easy access to my figures, I'm hoping, will help me to focus on making plans.

    The slow movement of the credit cards isn't doing anything to help at the moment - i feel like they're barely going down at all but I always knew that this year wasn't going to be the year to really hammer the debt. Way too many commitments for that!
    I need to keep reminding myself that I'm not ADDING to the debt and, in fact, I'm bringing it down by £50 per month at the moment, which is better than nothing.

    Towards the end of the year, when our childcare has reduced and many of our financial commitments are out of the way, I'd like to start increasing our debt repayments by £200 per month. We'll be able to do this because my husband has just had a pay increase that should see an extra £320 per month and we'll be saving £300-400 per month on childcare (I hope!).

    So, best case scenario, we have an additional £700 per month which will make such a difference. I think I'd like to split it like this:
    • £400 per month into savings (first ever family holiday in 2018 and new bathroom which is highly necessary!)
    • £100 per month into available spends as an extra buffer for treats/ birthdays/ unexpected things that we generally need to tap into the savings for
    • £200 per month extra on debt which will see both credit cards more than double their repayments. I may even consider paying £250 to the Virgin one (0% ends in 13 months) and keep the other at £50 as the 0% on that is for 33 months. It still won't clear the Virgin balance in time but it'll make more of a dent into it and there'll be less than £2k left to transfer(not including any incidental overpayments). Alternatively, I could throw the £250 at the other card and completely clear it by next summer... hmm...

    If we pay £200 extra to debt, we'll be throwing £295 to the loan, £100 to both credit cards then another £200 to something so almost £600 per month to debt. Wow. It sounds like a lot but I don't grudge it- we got ourselves into this mess. However, I am looking forward to the day in which we can be debt free and have that £600 per month to save/ spend/ do home improvements/ take the kids to see the world. That's the things dreams are made of!

    This is all very well in theory but I suppose i'll need to wait and see what we are actually taking home and how the childcare changes affect the bottom line but I like to have a loose plan in place! #controlfreak
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 15th Jun 17, 12:57 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 5,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Wow. That is a lot of extra money soon to be coming in/saved on childcare each month! You will really notice the difference I'm sure.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £56,025.55/1st March 2025
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Jun 17, 3:13 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I really hope so TOP - That's why I'm trying so hard to make a loose plan for the funds because I know how easily it can look like there's plenty of money in your account and then all of a sudden it's spent and you have no idea where it has gone! Trying really hard to be accountable for the breathing space and make sure that we put it to good use. Phew!

    Surveys
    I just had a REALLY long conference call which I didn't have much input on so I spent the time doing surveys while I listened. Made a little progress on a few fronts as follows:

    Crowdology: £7.28 / £5
    Onepoll: £16.88/ £40
    Opinion Outpost: 50 points/ 200 points for £10 voucher
    Valued opinions: £6.75 / £10.50 for cash out
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 16th Jun 17, 1:44 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Spendy day today - £15 on slippers for DH's father's day gift. £2.75 for my dad's father's day card and £4 in Next for two packs of socks for the kids and a new swimsuit for DS2 (I had a £24 gift card to use).

    I also...*hangs head in shame*...got a parking ticket... It was my own stupid fault, but I had no cash for the machine and needed to collect a parcel by lunchtime or it would be sent back, so left my car for 4 minutes and came back to a ticket. I'll pay is straight away so that I only have to pay 50% but I'm so annoyed with myself!

    Serves me right.
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • HEROWHENZERO
    • By HEROWHENZERO 16th Jun 17, 7:27 PM
    • 76 Posts
    • 143 Thanks
    HEROWHENZERO
    Hi JoJoC

    It's great to see you getting your Sh!t together :-) I find budgeting the only way to make things work and start pushing forward. Thanks for posting on my thread, it really helps me keep going knowing that someone else has read my sh!t.

    One thing I've learnt using YNAB for budgeting is "roll with the punches" which your parking ticket could be well described as.

    All the best
    Hero
    Just for today I will not try to solve all my life problems at once. | DFD: April 2033 April 2029
    Original Debt: £96K Mar 2016 | Current Debt:£85981.73 Jun 2017
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 17th Jun 17, 6:24 AM
    • 1,588 Posts
    • 7,119 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    However, I am looking forward to the day in which we can be debt free and have that £600 per month to save/ spend/ do home improvements/ take the kids to see the world. That's the things dreams are made of!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Won't that be fab
    Have a sunny weekend.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/June 2017=9,600
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 19th Jun 17, 9:21 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi JoJoC

    It's great to see you getting your Sh!t together :-) I find budgeting the only way to make things work and start pushing forward. Thanks for posting on my thread, it really helps me keep going knowing that someone else has read my sh!t.

    One thing I've learnt using YNAB for budgeting is "roll with the punches" which your parking ticket could be well described as.

    All the best
    Hero
    Originally posted by HEROWHENZERO
    Thanks for stopping by, hero. I agree, it makes all the difference to know that someone out there is reading and supporting you, no matter where they are! Also, i think it helps me to hold myself accountable if I know that I'm posting to real people about my slip ups and successes.

    My sh!t will indeed be brought together - not sure how long it'll take but I'm optimistic
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Jun 17, 1:49 PM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Spendy spend spend...
    I feel like all I've done lately is fork out for things - all necessary things, of course, but forking out nonetheless. Here's some of the damage:
    • £50 deposit for after school club
    • £28 at the chip shop after my parents dug me out of a hole last week when trains were cancelled - mum picked up the kids and dad came to get me so i treated them to dinner since it was 6.45pm by the time i got home and no one had been fed!
    • £14.99 for an electric pump so that we can blow up the kids' bouncy castle
    • £30 on art supplies for my husband - he's drawing an idea that I had for my sister's wedding so this will be half of the present
    • £42 on the weekly shop in Aldi (not too bad actually)

    On the plus side, my husband is due to be paid today- the first time he'll receive his new wages after his pay rise so i'll be interested to see if his boss has managed to get it right and if he remembers to pay him on time.

    I made lunch and brought snacks so there'll be no spending today, and I'm unexpectedly working from home tomorrow, so that's one less train ticket to buy. Also, my sister and mum are coming around for a wedding meeting tomorrow night (sister's wedding in a few months) so instead of panic buying something from Tesco Express for dinner in a mad rush to get home in time, i'll be able to use what's in the cupboard and make macaroni cheese and chips for tea.
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 21st Jun 17, 7:34 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    JoJo I definitely understand the feeling of having to fork out for everything all in one go. It's a nightmare! Everything seems to crop up at once.

    You're sounding really organised and hope the wedding meeting goes well
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Jun 17, 10:14 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks Chandelier - it really is a pain in the !!! when these things all crop up at once but I suppose once they're paid, they're out of the way...until next time!

    Looking forward to the wedding meeting tonight - my sister is stressed out and hasn't been sleeping well so i think she could do with the support. My husband is doing a lot of drawing for decorations (he's really arty) so she's bringing some bits round for that which I'm sure will help. Also, I need to put him to work on the wedding picture for the gift i want to give them.

    Trying to be organised but there's always setbacks... i'll keep trying to remain positive!

    SURPRISE SURPRISE - my husband's boss still hasn't paid him! Payday was yesterday so goodness knows when it'll arrive in the bank. We only have £4 left in there (although we do have an overdraft that i'd rather not touch, but it's there as a buffer) so he'd better get paying him soon! I need to stop obsessively checking though!

    I was hoping for today to be no spend but i just used the last of the coffee and I need a 30th birthday card for my friend, so my new hope is that i spend no more than £10 in the supermarket. I also need to buy 4 tickets to my son's graduation which will set me back £12. Gah! Its never ending!
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 22nd Jun 17, 10:26 AM
    • 922 Posts
    • 2,839 Thanks
    JoJoC
    22nd June
    Good things
    • My husband finally got paid, only a day late this time and with his payrise it's an extra £65 per week
    • The balance transfer that I applied for yesterday on my new 0% MBNA card has already gone through and is reflected on my online banking. I transferred an extra £50 to ensure that any residual interest is covered but I don't suppose i'll know the damage until the next statement date which i think is the 6th July
    • I remembered to buy tickets for DS1's graduation in a couple of weeks! £15 gone...
    • I'm not back in the office at all this week because my colleagues are all out of the office at meetings so that's saving me two days worth of travel
    • I made dinner for 7 last night from what was in the cupboards, fridge and freezer! A massive dish of macaroni cheese and oven chips on the side. It went down well and didn't cost me a penny extra.

    Not so good things
    • I have got lots to do at work but I'm really struggling to get my head in the zone for it...not sure why!
    • I'm, again, encountering the issue of my husband having to buy materials for jobs out of our spending account/ bills account which leaves us temporarily short. It won't actually affect bills being paid as long as he is paid promptly and the pots are replenished, but it does confuse things massively for me and makes it unclear where we're at when we appear to have no money but it's not because we've spent it!
    • I've agreed to do about 15 things for my sister's wedding and have no time to do it! haha I'll enjoy helping her out, i just need to fit in some time to do it to help take the pressure/ stress off her
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

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

4,561Posts Today

8,689Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @kcbelsham: @MartinSLewis . This Account would have to pay at least 12% to achieve £1 million in 35 years . Any ideas ( think it is impo?

  • Really? The highest interest rate amount for that volume of cash currently is 2%? You'd need an interest rate explo? https://t.co/6YRk1wLdTl

  • Today's Twitter poll: Is it acceptable to take your shirt off and go topless in the street when it's scorching in the UK?

  • Follow Martin