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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,193Posts
    • 3,709Thanks
    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 35
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 12th Sep 17, 11:27 AM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,141 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    haha thats class

    I am not a Scrooge Macduck much lol
    Debts 16274.64
    Cashback Earnings YTD £162.02 Survey Earnings YTD £485.18
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Sep 17, 3:50 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Managed to be fairly productive today but I could do with having done more work. I'll just need to be super productive tomorrow, especially as I'm finishing at 2.45 tomorrow to take the little guy to a hospital appointment. Something has to give - i'll see how i go!

    We are going swimming tonight with my BIL and nephew, so that'll be around £15 spent tonight but i don't grudge it. We don't see my nephew all that often (his mum and my BIL separated almost 8 years ago) and he loves playing with my kids even though they're quite a bit younger than him so it's nice to do these things when the opportunity comes up.

    Bought a couple of stocking fillers this afternoon from 'the festive season that must not be named' so at least I feel like I've got started

    I went to the opticians at lunch time and it turns out my prescription has changed so i will need new glasses... thankfully we have some savings there that will cover it, but just another expense to add to the list! I'll try to be sensible with my choices - I remember the first pair I bought myself aged about 20 were Chanel ones and set me back over £300... madness! My husband's glasses always cost around that, sometimes more but it's because his sight is so bad and his lenses need thinned the maximum amount. At least I have the option of going for cheaper glasses!
    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 12th Sep 17, 4:11 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Emptied piggy banks
    It's been on my mind that the old £1 coins are out of circulation soon so I thought I'd empty all of our piggy banks.

    We put the kids' banks together, mainly because they both just put any money they get randomly into either and I had a small tub that I put £1 coins in whenever I remember (not very often!).

    The boys had a really decent amount, so we took them out to a toy shop at the weekend and let them spend £30 on something they'd really like so after over an hour in the shop, they both picked something (both were under budget too... ).

    I took the remainder to the bank today - both boys had £50 added to their account each and I had £29 in £ coins in my tub so that went straight into my holiday fund.

    As I mentioned before, I've just been saving from PA in there, not any formal savings at this point, and with the £29 i put in today, the total is £187.48.

    Getting 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*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Sep 17, 9:41 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Not a lot to update today, but I did treat myself to a new tin for £1 and £2 coins. It's ridiculous how pleased this makes me I just need to put it somewhere that i can keep on top of adding to it I love breaking them open and guessing how much has been saved in there. It's bigger than my last one so it would probably hold £600 in pound coins!

    Need to get my finger out.

    I had been trying to track down an Argos catalogue which was proving difficult (not sure if they're trying to phase them out or something) but managed to get one today. Now I'll just strategically leave it out so my son can start thinking about the things that he likes
    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 14th Sep 17, 3:33 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Lucky lunch!
    I didn't have time to prepare any lunch last night so I spent my train journey to work thinking about what I'd get to eat (healthy and cheap) and when I got to work, my colleagues announced that our colleague who is on maternity leave was bringing in her baby at lunchtime and lunch was being bought in for us. Hooray!

    £3 saved and I still managed to avoid bread as planned. I love it when things like that happens - it might not be much, but it still feels like a win.

    I have a busy night tonight - get home from work at 5.45 then i need to quickly whip up dinner (I have chicken thighs marinading but need to make potato salad...) then when we have eaten, we are heading over to visit my husband's aunt and uncle and husband is going to do a job for their neighbour while we are there. The kids love visiting them so it'll be great, but they are so tired lately (life is busy!) so i'm not looking forward to getting them up for school/ nursery tomorrow morning. I'll take their PJs with us so that they can just get lifted from the car into bed.

    On the plus side, i'm hoping to have potato salad left over, so i'll keep some of that for tomorrow''s lunch and have it with cold meat and, perhaps, a couple of eggs if i get round to boiling them up tonight.

    The weekend is looking hellish - Friday, I have work then down to my mum's for a couple of hours then over to my friend's for a couple of G&Ts to celebrate her 30th (official birthday dinner is next week but we want to mark the day); then Saturday i'm taking my eldest swimming at 9am; hair appointment at my house at 10am; Tae Kwon Do at 1230; MIL coming round at 1.30 to look after the kids until husband gets back from work; train to the city at 2pm for my sister's hen night... I am going to be BURST by Sunday!

    Anyway, enough moaning about how busy I am. I think sometimes it helps to lay it all out on here so that I don't forget anything.

    The sun is shining today, and that puts a real smile on my face

    This time in two weeks, my sister will be married and we'll likely be getting pictures taken in the gardens! I cannot wait
    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*
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 14th Sep 17, 3:38 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,141 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Not a lot to update today, but I did treat myself to a new tin for £1 and £2 coins. It's ridiculous how pleased this makes me I just need to put it somewhere that i can keep on top of adding to it I love breaking them open and guessing how much has been saved in there. It's bigger than my last one so it would probably hold £600 in pound coins!

    Need to get my finger out.

    I had been trying to track down an Argos catalogue which was proving difficult (not sure if they're trying to phase them out or something) but managed to get one today. Now I'll just strategically leave it out so my son can start thinking about the things that he likes
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I read something on The Daily Tory website in certain parts of the country they were trying to phase the catalogues out but people were going mad.
    Debts 16274.64
    Cashback Earnings YTD £162.02 Survey Earnings YTD £485.18
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th Sep 17, 4:19 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I get the principle of it Scott, and i work for a renewables company so I should be all about saving the trees/ the planet etc. But my kids need it for Christmas planning!

    Priorities!
    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*
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 14th Sep 17, 4:31 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 1,141 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Yeah that i can totally understand "what would you like for xmas son"

    "Dad give me the Argos book and a highlighter pen"
    Debts 16274.64
    Cashback Earnings YTD £162.02 Survey Earnings YTD £485.18
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th Sep 17, 4:34 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    My 4 year old said this year that he wants to cut out what he would like and make Santa a picture...to be honest I think he's just bored of 'writing' after four weeks at school, but hey! Creative!
    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*
    • monz
    • By monz 15th Sep 17, 9:26 AM
    • 2,727 Posts
    • 7,667 Thanks
    monz
    Reading your posts sometimes makes me hungry or think oooo I want that lol xx
    Debt (1/9/14) £6,702.11 Debt free (30/11/2016)
    house deposit £5,781.18/10,000
    mums xmas vouchers boots (surveys ) 50/50
    sisters xmas vouchers topshop (surveys ) 0/30
    Dads xmas voucher amazon (surveys) 0/25
    Australia 2019 - /5000
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Sep 17, 11:42 AM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks Monz! I really struggle with inspiration for food (food that's healthy, anyway!) so glad to be of assistance

    Tonight will likely be a rushed dinner (not sure what) because I have to pick up DS2, then drop him with husband, pick up DS1 from husband and take him to a new club he is starting. Then i need to go back to my mum's before going home to finish making my friend's birthday present, then go round to hers to celebrate. Jeez.

    I'm willing it to be Sunday already!
    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*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 15th Sep 17, 12:35 PM
    • 1,473 Posts
    • 16,866 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Back after an insane week at work (could not make it up) - "Living the Dream, mate" as an equally stressed colleague responded when I asked him how he was yesterday. I laughed out loud at that response and instantly felt better. That is definitely going in my bank of phrases to use. As is 'the festive season that must not be named'. Thank you for making me smile and I hope you continue to stay on top of things
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8112.39 saved (73.74%) after August - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 61.61/66.66% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Sep 17, 1:10 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thank you Suffolk Lass - that's the beauty of these diaries! I may not be spouting much usefulness in terms of money saving, but I'm glad that my antics raise a smile

    I might adopt the 'living the dream' phrase myself, for particularly stressed moments. Beats swearing under my breath!

    Hope you manage to relax after a crazy week!
    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 19th Sep 17, 5:32 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hey all! I feel like I've had a productive week so far, which is nice. Lots of little things done for the wedding, snuck into my sister's house today when she went to work and did some washing and cleaned her kitchen for her, just so there was one less thing for her to think about with the wedding next week.

    My PA is picking up a bit this week, i'm back up to £17.13 with £2.30 pending so i'll need another survey to tip me over into the £20s where i'll cash out.

    At the weekend it was my sister's hen. I'd budgeted £100 and withdrew that and even with paying for a taxi and buying more than a few drinks for my sister as well as myself, i came back with £45! I used it to pay for this week's shopping and transferred £35 to my holiday account so that I treated it as 'extra money'. The balance is now £222 in that wee account

    It has, however, been a spendy week. I spent £112 on USD for my sister and BIL's wedding present (the second part of their gift is hand made), spent £51 replenishing my foundation and primer which both ran out at the same time (bad timing!) but i did get a discount and cashback on those.

    Really busy week this week in prep for this wedding next week so i'm, yet again, like a headless chicken but i'll get 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*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Sep 17, 4:34 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 3,709 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I’ve been a bit quiet the last couple of days, but only because life is completely and utterly hectic!

    Money matters
    I’m having a fight with the letting agent that runs my flat – they are worse than useless and have been for the almost three years that I’ve wasted my money employing them. This time, they have put a tenant in our flat and moved them in last week without telling us and they still haven’t transferred the month’s rent! My mortgage for the flat comes out in 6 days and they have ignored the last three emails I’ve sent them requesting an update. This is only about 10% of what I'm mad about so I sent them a really sh!ttY email earlier, which they promptly ignored.

    Expensive week ahead
    I have yet another expensive week ahead - i'm visiting a friend and her new baby about an hour away tomorrow which will eat up the rest of my fuel and I need to get a birthday present for a party my son is going to, as well as two birthday cards and a couple of bits and bobs.

    On Saturday night, we are going out for dinner to a nice restaurant for two of my friends' 30ths too, then on Tuesday I am getting my nails done and a spray tan in advance of the wedding on Thursday. Then, there's the wedding!

    This will probably eat up all of the savings that we have left, but it has been an expensive few months so it's fine.

    My husband is also working this weekend and the next three weekends on the trot, so i know the savings will be replenished pretty quickly.

    We have enough food to get us by until the wedding, bar fruit and a couple of fresh bits so i'm not anticipating a big shop this weekend either. Fingers crossed I can keep my sensible head on and not panic spend because of all the crazy business!

    Anyway, must dash - I've got two children to pick up and a train to catch
    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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