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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,278Posts
    • 4,160Thanks
    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: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 37
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th Oct 17, 12:17 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Updated list - things to do to make a difference

    This isn't in any kind of order - just in the order I thought of them.

    1. Sort out tyre pressure as I have an alert in my car to say they're slightly low (keep putting this off because I've never actually done it before in over 10 years of driving...the shame...)

    2. Bring down ALL paperwork from the spare room, sort through it all, throw out all old stuff and put together folders of stuff to keep

    3. Clean make up brushes (I haven't done this in TOO long and keep thikning about it but not doing it)

    4. Clear out all the rubbish and toys from the car - it's become overrun with stuff because I'm only in the car while rushing to get somewhere so 10 minutes will clear the whole thing out and make it nicer to drive in again.

    5. Help my mum to clear out my sister's house while she's on honeymoon - this won't make much of a difference to me, but the help will make a difference to my mum and it'll make a massive difference to my sister when she gets back at the weekend.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th Oct 17, 3:48 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Things to make a difference #1
    #1 is complete.

    What did i do?
    I went to my sister's on my lunch break, even though I didn't really have the time to spare, to help my mum to gut her house. She left for honeymoon the day after her wedding and all of the wedding decor was just dumped in her living room.

    Why did it make a difference?
    It meant my mum didn't need to tackle it herself. It means that my sister and BIL won't come back to a complete shambles after a long flight home. It gave me a break away from my screen.

    What's left on the list?
    1. Sort out tyre pressure as I have an alert in my car to say they're slightly low (keep putting this off because I've never actually done it before in over 10 years of driving...the shame...)

    2. Bring down ALL paperwork from the spare room, sort through it all, throw out all old stuff and put together folders of stuff to keep

    3. Clean make up brushes (I haven't done this in TOO long and keep thikning about it but not doing it)

    4. Clear out all the rubbish and toys from the car - it's become overrun with stuff because I'm only in the car while rushing to get somewhere so 10 minutes will clear the whole thing out and make it nicer to drive in again.

    5. Help my mum to clear out my sister's house while she's on honeymoon - this won't make much of a difference to me, but the help will make a difference to my mum and it'll make a massive difference to my sister when she gets back at the weekend.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Rachel24
    • By Rachel24 11th Oct 17, 6:36 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    Rachel24
    Updated list - things to do to make a difference

    This isn't in any kind of order - just in the order I thought of them.

    1. Sort out tyre pressure as I have an alert in my car to say they're slightly low (keep putting this off because I've never actually done it before in over 10 years of driving...the shame...)

    2. Bring down ALL paperwork from the spare room, sort through it all, throw out all old stuff and put together folders of stuff to keep

    3. Clean make up brushes (I haven't done this in TOO long and keep thikning about it but not doing it)

    4. Clear out all the rubbish and toys from the car - it's become overrun with stuff because I'm only in the car while rushing to get somewhere so 10 minutes will clear the whole thing out and make it nicer to drive in again.

    5. Help my mum to clear out my sister's house while she's on honeymoon - this won't make much of a difference to me, but the help will make a difference to my mum and it'll make a massive difference to my sister when she gets back at the weekend.
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Im going to do something similar jojo. Is this for the week or month? Xx
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Oct 17, 8:05 AM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Can I check if you (I think it was you) have sorted out the final payment on your car personal finance plan yet? Seeing TOPM post on here re make up brushes made me feel I have been nagging her a bit recently so it might be your turn this morning

    If my memory is working right you have that in the next two months?
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Oct 17, 10:09 AM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Im going to do something similar jojo. Is this for the week or month? Xx
    Originally posted by Rachel24
    DIA and I said that we'd try to do something every week that makes a difference so this should technically last me just over a month. However, I won't limit it to once per week. For example, i'm going to make sure those make up brushes are done by the end of the week!

    I'd like this to be a rolling list - I'll just keep adding to it as I think of things.

    Please do feel free to join us! The more the merrier
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Oct 17, 10:11 AM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Can I check if you (I think it was you) have sorted out the final payment on your car personal finance plan yet? Seeing TOPM post on here re make up brushes made me feel I have been nagging her a bit recently so it might be your turn this morning

    If my memory is working right you have that in the next two months?
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Thank you for thinking of me, and I do appreciate being nagged now and again, but it's not me! My car finance still has a good two years left on it i think.

    Feel free to nag me about something else though - god knows, i probably need it.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Oct 17, 3:59 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thank you for thinking of me, and I do appreciate being nagged now and again, but it's not me! My car finance still has a good two years left on it i think.

    Feel free to nag me about something else though - god knows, i probably need it.
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 12th Oct 17, 9:59 PM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 10,161 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    DIA and I said that we'd try to do something every week that makes a difference so this should technically last me just over a month. However, I won't limit it to once per week. For example, i'm going to make sure those make up brushes are done by the end of the week!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I like the idea of one thing a week. I like the idea of a rolling list too. I had a few down days but I am not out I did my pension statement forecast (forward planning )
    Have a good day tomorrow
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Oct 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I haven't been around this week because of the school holidays - it's been a busy week! I also probably won't be around a great deal for the next couple of weeks as I'm travelling long haul with work so will just be popping in when I can.

    We have been really spendy the last couple of days and it's only going to get worse. I have bought a few Christmas presents, ordered travel money for our upcoming trip, replenished a lot of household items that we were running out of... we still need to buy some bits for going away too like shorts for my husband, sun cream etc.

    We just booked our family holiday for Easter next year (paid 25% deposit) but this was taken out of our holiday fund which is down to only £300 now. We'll be saving for the rest to pay in March 2018.

    I have also just purchased tickets, flights and accommodation for a gig next summer. I wasn't planning on doing one of these trips next year but it's a band that I've always wanted to see and they only have two dates (both are 300+ miles from where I live) so just bit the bullet and did it. It's my 30th next year so it's a treat for that and there's 8 of us going.

    Anyway, the above feels a bit like a massive confession (maybe it is) but it helps to write it all down
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 21st Oct 17, 8:06 AM
    • 148 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    helsbell
    I find it hard to spend money as well now, mindset well and truly changed! Everything you've mentioned has sound reasoning behind it though. We can't live without celebrating the things that are important to us.

    I hope you and your husband enjoy your time away. Are the children staying here?
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Oct 17, 9:32 AM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by Helsbell - yes, the children are staying at home this time. My first trip next week is a work trip, the second (the following week) is a work trip which will involve some work but also company gathering with partners. It just so happens this year it's long haul. Great opportunity for a free trip to Asia (somewhere we've never been) but it's a shame leaving the kids behind. It'd be far too long a trip for a 2 and 4 year old for five days anyway.

    However, the holiday that we've just booked for next year is a family holiday for the four of us and I can't wait to take them away properly for the first time.

    I'm the same as you - I find it difficult to spend money like this, especially when I feel like we've been doing really well with saving up but I need to remember that the aim of these savings was always to get us through 2017 - our most expensive year for a while - and to take the kids away on holiday. These are mostly planned spends, it's just crazy when it all comes at once.

    My husband also just forked out £150 on getting his car through its MOT and the following day his alternator went so that was another £200. Again, it all just came out of our savings pot but it's taken a significant hit in the last few weeks and it's definitely depressing to see it so low.

    I need to remember that this time last year, i'd have just been firing all of this on a credit card and that's not happened at all this year so I can be pleased about that progress at least

    Do you have a diary Helsbell?
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 21st Oct 17, 10:31 AM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 10,161 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    The holiday is essential spending in my book and the gig sounds like a well deserved birthday treat. We still have to live! You are only 30 once...

    Bad luck about the alternator (whatever one is) but that is what the emergency fund is for...

    I wish I was a switched on as you when I was 30.

    Have a good weekend
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 21st Oct 17, 6:32 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    helsbell
    I agree it's hard when it all comes at once, but as you say you had very specific savings targets and that's the things you're paying for (mostly). Still, it would be better if you could pay for things and your balance stay the same

    I do have a diary. It's called Finding strength and balance. I have know idea how to link to it on this useless tablet though
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • monz
    • By monz 23rd Oct 17, 9:50 AM
    • 2,868 Posts
    • 8,573 Thanks
    monz
    How are yuo JoJo xx
    Debt (1/9/14) £6,702.11 Debt free (30/11/2016)
    house deposit £6,356.28/10,000
    mums xmas vouchers boots 50/50 sisters xmas vouchers topshop 30/30 Dads xmas voucher amazon (surveys) 30/30
    holiday - £540.43/1064.72
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 1st Nov 17, 2:07 PM
    • 2,185 Posts
    • 10,161 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Hope all is well with you JoJo? x
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 7th Nov 17, 12:51 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi all,

    Thanks so much for stopping by in my absence! It'd been about a fortnight since I last logged on and caught up - between my work trip to the US 2 weeks ago followed by my trip to Asia last week, I've just about caught up.

    Here's a little summary of some good things and bad things from the last few weeks by way of update without boring you to tears...

    Good things
    • We had a fantastic time in Asia, despite travelling 20 hours each way for a 5 day trip
    • We took money from our savings to use as spending money (I thought it was pretty conservative and that we'd need more). Not only did we not need to use an ATM to top up our funds, but we came back with around £40 so i'll need to change that back from the foreign currency
    • We haven't had any 'spends' for the week that we've been away - no fuel, train tickets, food etc so our account is looking healthy-ish
    • I am working from home 4 days out of 5 this week so I have minimal train costs this week too
    • I just checked our freezer and we have a few meals in there - mince with carrots and gravy for 4 and chicken curry for 2.

    Bad things
    • Because I've been out of the office and away from a PC for more or less two weeks, i've got a lot of catching up to do and a MASSIVE project with a final deadline of 15th December
    • I feel very disorganised in my private life - appointments, papewrwork, things to do, kids' birthday parties... it's just all adding up and I know i need to take control but even writing a list seems overwhelming. Where to start?
    • I'm very disorganised with Christmas shopping this year - I have some bits for the kids and a couple of bits for SIL but i need to at least write a list of what I need to get/ ideas for people so that i feel a bit more at peace. We have such a busy December that i'd like to get most of it tied up by the end of the month.
    • Our savings took a massive hit last month between car troubles, spending money for trips, booking holdiay, new suit for my husband... I think we're down to around £600 now from £2k.

    I hope you're all well? I've missed the regular catch ups on here and reading about what everyone else has been up to. I'll spend some time later catching up on everyone's diaries but I'm off now to reconcile October and do an update of the state of affairs in here!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 7th Nov 17, 1:08 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    October update!
    I feel like I say this all the time, but how is it November already? This year has flown in!

    Yet again, another expensive month but it was anticipated and nothing was added to credit cards so all expenses were paid from savings. Phew! Here's a round up of where we stand this month...

    Note: Although we have been paying down debt and saving since Feb 2017, we increased our debt in August to complete our driveway so my debt totals were restarted in August 2017.

    Debts
    MBNA: £3804.52 / £3604.32 £200.20 paid
    Virgin Money:£5027.53 / £4878.21 £149.32 paid
    Sainsbury's loan: £15,000 / £13,406.24 (£1593.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £21,888.77 | Total debt paid: £1,943.28 (8.2%)


    Savings
    Savings account: £658.37
    Holiday savings account: £85.52 - this is low because we used this to pay the 25% deposit for our holiday
    Christmas account: £560 (paying out this week!)
    Credit union: £50 - this is also now low because we used this to pay towards our holiday so starting again from scratch.

    Separate: £41 in Amazon e-vouchers to use towards Christmas all generated through surveys.

    October: Not a bad month, considering.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 7th Nov 17, 8:51 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Good to see you back JoJo and you seem to have the money side of things pretty much in hand or under control. I know what you mean re private life - utter chaos!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 7th Nov 17, 9:41 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 786 Thanks
    helsbell
    Welcome back!
    SPC 11, No. 062

    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 8th Nov 17, 5:00 PM
    • 1,278 Posts
    • 4,160 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by Helsbell and Suffolk Lass - glad I'm not the only one living a chaotic life!

    Speaking of, I need to get things in order. I'm fed up getting to the end of the day and realising that I've let a few balls drop in my personal life because work has taken over or vice versa.

    I've looked out a lovely little notebook that was gifted to me a while ago - it always makes me smile to look at it - and I'll sit tonight after the kids are in bed and write a list of things that I need to get to. Sometimes just referring to a list helps!

    The things that I need to do are not labour intensive, they're not hard work...my brain is just preoccupied with 1001 other things so things are just in my brain fleetingly before they disappear again.

    In positive news, I haven't spent a bean today so this must be the first NSD for a long time!

    I've got significant mosquito bites on my legs after our trip to Asia and I sent pictures to a nurse friend this morning - she's pretty sure they're infected! No wonder I woke at 4am with the itchiest legs alive! I now have some cream to use for a couple of days but beyond that I'll need to get to the doctors with it

    Chicken curry for dinner tonight, so i'd better get a move on and start making it as there'll be three hungry mouths to feed in the next hour.

    DIA - if you're still around and haven't forgotten about me since I disappeared for a couple of weeks - you'll be pleased to hear that I completed all four things on my 'things to make a difference' list a couple of weeks ago! I'm pleased with that, but I'll need to think of the next round of things to keep up the momentum. It's not like I have a shortage of things needing done! Hope you're keeping up with making a difference!

    Right, must dash and get the dinner on!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3554.32 £250.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4829.43 £245 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £12,369.24 (£2,631.76 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,752 | Total debt paid: £3,080 (13%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
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