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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,280Posts
    • 4,176Thanks
    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 39
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 6th Dec 17, 10:02 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Well, i didn't do too badly on yesterday's to-dos, managed to pick up one parcel from the furthest away shop, got a ton of work done and made up the party bags so i'm getting there.

    I'll try to tackle the rest on Saturday! Gah!

    Birthday party
    I was uming and ahing over how many kids to invite to my son's birthday party at our local soft play. The ones he's been to since he started school seemed to invite the whole class, so i decided to invite his actual friends and the 25 kids from his school class too. EEK!

    Well, only 11 of them RSVP'd! Is this unusual? Only one told me that her daughter couldn't make it and 10 said they'd love to come but the rest have just completely ignored the invitation! I know the invitations made it into their school bags because I gave them to the teacher and she put them in their homework folders while she was marking so are people just not thinking? Forgetting? Can't be bothered?

    I'm fine with that proportion of people not coming - there's 20 in total as it stands with all of his other friends, but I'm so disappointed that people can't just send a quick text message to say yes or no.

    Now I'm really worried that some will turn up that haven't RSVP'd and I won't have enough party bags etc.

    Do i need to just take a chill pill?

    I never had to worry about these things at nursery - everyone seemed to just reply!

    Expensive week
    This week will be an expensive one, lots of stuff has fallen at the same time so i need to get my stuff together.
    - £35 or £90 depending on how many kids turn up to my son's party(over or under 20 are different costs)! I've already paid the deposit.
    - £10 birthday cake
    - £2 birthday balloons
    - £TBC cost of service which is being done today (was £315 but should get a 'significant' discount due to being messed around so much).
    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 6th Dec 17, 7:38 PM
    • 2,207 Posts
    • 10,218 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I don't have kids so maybe that is the way it is now but the mums who have not let you know sound rude to me. How do you know how many to cater for?

    Maybe over cater to be on the safe side?

    Your little one is bound to have a lovely birthday whatever the numbers
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,475
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 7th Dec 17, 5:42 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Oh, i know DIA. To be honest, he'd be happy as long as his four best friends were there but it's just the not knowing. 18 kids (including my two) have confirmed they're coming and I've made 25 party bags up but if everyone that we invited came (only one actual decline!) it'd be about 35 kids! In fact, one mum in the playground yesterday said really casually "oh yeah, i forgot to text you but we'll be there...". Well, thanks for the heads up!

    Chill pill is required on my part. If there isn't enough party bags, there isn't enough.

    Thanks for talking me off a birthday-related ledge!
    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 Dec 17, 6:04 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Bargarific day
    Well, thankfully despite it being a rather expensive week, I managed to not only complete my Christmas shopping, but I managed to get a complete bargain!

    I had £6 worth of Tesco vouchers and they had 20% off all clothes at F&F so I managed to get a Pokemon tshirt for my little boy and a lovely shirt for my husband's aunt for £9.20! The best part is, i saved £3 delivery by getting it delivered to my local Tesco Metro store which is less than a mile from my front door. Really pleased with that

    Getting there with work
    I'm scared of speaking too soon, but I got a massive ton of work done last night once the kids went to bed and it set me up for a productive day today so the deadline next Friday isn't looking quite so terrifying. It means that I might actually get some of my weekend after all, i thought I'd be working around the kids and my son's party etc to make sure everything was done.

    The tip that I call a house
    I have a list the length of both arms of things that I want to achieve in this house, but very little time to achieve any of it. Simple things like clearing out all the kids toys, getting all of the beds changed, pulling out the beds to clean behind, putting the Christmas tree up etc. I just don't know where to fit it in! It's frustrating me. I must figure out a plan of action.

    Eating well
    We are on week three of meal planning and, not only that, but following the meal plan! It means that we're eating a lot better (and we can feel the difference) as well as saving cash on takeaways/ convenience foods or just eating junk because we have no time/ ingredients/ inspiration. I realise that this may go out the window a bit at Christmas-time and I'm prepared for that, but it's nice to see eating a bit better making a difference.

    Hope everyone is well
    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 8th Dec 17, 11:17 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    A busy weekend ahead starts now!
    As the title suggests - this weekend is a busy weekend and it starts this evening! When the kids come home from school and nursery, i want to sit down and do their Santa letters with them. I want to get the tree up this afternoon if I manage to get through my work quickly enough today so i really need to get my finger out.

    Tomorrow is swimming lessons (the last until New Year thankfully!) then Tae Kwon Do with picking up an order from a local shop in between. Then I'm hoping for a quiet afternoon in the house to get some cooking done and get organised. Sunday is my eldest's birthday party at lunchtime so i'll need to be organised for that then I'd imagine it'll be the chaos of presents and calming down all the excitement.

    Organisation is key here, so i've written myself a list!

    My mum, the star that she is, went to the local cake factory shop (bashed boxes but perfect cakes) and got a cake for my son's party and one for his birthday on Wednesday, both character cakes, for a really good price

    Must get my finger out so that I can fire on some festive music and get the place ready for the kids.
    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*
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 8th Dec 17, 11:32 AM
    • 890 Posts
    • 5,177 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi JoJoC

    When it comes to RSVPs / Invites, I think, generally, that it is acceptable to assume that no response equates to not attending.
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 8th Dec 17, 11:36 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi JoJoC

    When it comes to RSVPs / Invites, I think, generally, that it is acceptable to assume that no response equates to not attending.
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    Hi Uncanny - yeah, i thought so too, but my encounter with a mum in the playground on Wednesday taught me otherwise!

    I'm sure it'll all go to plan, just feeling a bit neurotic with all the stuff going on these days!

    How are things with you?
    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*
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th Dec 17, 12:12 PM
    • 4,851 Posts
    • 9,172 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver

    I do already have a bills account, spending account, savings account, holiday savings account, then three kids savings accounts (one each for my son and one for my nephew). I keep thinking that's more than enough to contend with on one internet banking platform, but maybe it'd help me to manage funds a bit easier for different things? I'm not interested in having any more bank cards as such, just savings accounts that I can transfer out when we need to pay said thing.

    Anyone have any thoughts? Will my bank let me have that many accounts? Is it confusing or a lot clearer? Does anyone have any experience of this?
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I have two words in response to this Clear Checkbook.

    It is free.
    Less complicated than YNAB
    Quick to record spends and good reporting tool
    Envelope system will let you use one account for all those savings but in different envelopes so you know how much is in any of them at any one time. Only one savings account needed for all although your sons and nephews money might be better left in junior isas.
    1 week to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 8th Dec 17, 1:11 PM
    • 2,207 Posts
    • 10,218 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Your mum sounds lovely. Great news on the factory cakes.

    You have done really well on the food planning. As you say it will probably go out of the window over Christmas but you can easily get back on track.

    Don't forget to take a few mindful minutes to enjoy seeing your little one having birthday fun
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,475
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 8th Dec 17, 2:22 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks Enthusiastic - I've never heard of that one before so will take a look once I've got today's pile of to-dos out of the way! I always like a recommendation

    Thanks DIA - my mum is lovely She has also just told me that she doesn't want anything for them which is just another example of her sweetness.

    Also, the reminder to take a mindful few minutes is a good one - i can so easily get caught up in the planning and the doing and not entirely appreciating the whole thing and watching the little guy having the time of his life so i'll do my best to make sure that happens. Thankfully, my husband will be there too so he can keep an eye on the little one so that I can chase the kids about the soft play with my camera!
    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*
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 8th Dec 17, 2:26 PM
    • 890 Posts
    • 5,177 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi JoJoC

    Busy, as always

    Have talked myself into providing a tutorial on spreadsheets for budget planning on my diary for this weekend...

    Aye, I'm daft like that lol
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 8th Dec 17, 2:59 PM
    • 2,207 Posts
    • 10,218 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Thankfully, my husband will be there too so he can keep an eye on the little one so that I can chase the kids about the soft play with my camera!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Well even more mindful than that. Chasing the little ones with an appliance isn't mindful. Yes get it recorded but also take a minute or two just to enjoy watching with your eyes and just breathe it all in. That time won't come again and even when you play it back it is a second hand (although still wonderful in a different way) experience.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,475
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 8th Dec 17, 4:23 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    @Uncanny - Daft, perhaps, but helpful - yes! I'm sure a lot of people will benefit hugely from your tutorial so you can take comfort from that

    @DIA - see, this is exactly what I mean! I get carried away with making sure I do everything that the actual simplicity of standing back and taking it all in passes me by Last year, i spent so much time talking to the other parents and swanning around making sure everything was running smoothly, that I barely saw my son. I know he was having a great time, but I'd have liked to see more of it first hand.

    So that's the order of the day! And i WILL report back honestly as to how well I get on...

    Today
    Well, i managed to get another ton of work done but very little of the other stuff which is a bit annoying. Work most definitely took over today! I do feel better going into the weekend with a fair amount cleared off my plate. I'm off on Monday too (festive day out with my mum) so I can rest easy knowing that stuff is ticking along.

    I'm off to write another list of things to achieve this weekend and things I must do otherwise...you guessed it... it won't get done. If i don't write things down they just fall out of my head and don't get done so I'm trying to take more control there.
    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 8th Dec 17, 6:41 PM
    • 1,587 Posts
    • 18,088 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Phew! Just caught up and my word, you sound busy. My list are quite short now:

    Christmas prep:
    • Do everything
    House:
    • Do everything
    Work:
    • Do everything

    It is all going very well really
    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 Dec 17, 11:00 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Suffolk Lass - did you just copy my to do list? They are scarily acurate!!

    I hope you're getting on well with 'doing everything'!
    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 Dec 17, 11:28 AM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Back after the weekend
    I'm finally back in action after a busy and slightly spendy weekend (I seem to be saying that a lot lately...).

    The boy's party was great - everyone seemed to have a great time, although both kids were completely wiped out so had a quiet afternoon afterwards, which I needed!

    Yesterday I had a wonderful day out with my mum - we went shopping (for her, not me!) so I helped her pick some presents and carry the bags We then went for a Groupon voucher lunch and went elsewhere for some cocktails and gin afterwards. It was such a lovely day, although I did spend about £40 i think in total.

    This week is busy! I have:
    - Eldest's birthday tomorrow
    - My work Christmas lunch
    - Friday is eldest's nativity plus Christmas Jumper Day for both kids
    - Saturday we are out with my parents and sister and BIL for the local Christmas market
    - Sunday we are going to have breakfast with Santa which has been pre-booked and paid for already

    Get stuff done
    Tonight I really need to finish off and write the Christmas cards (so that I can distribute them tomorrow night), need to wrap the little guy's presents and blow up the balloons!

    Also need to catch up on some household stuff that has been slightly neglected... catch up on the washing, get to Aldi for some shopping, change all the beds.

    This week I also need to deliver a load of goodies to the local food bank.

    I also need to set up my new printer so that I can print off some vouchers that I've designed for gifts (since I don't have the tickets in hand yet!).

    All in all, i have a LOT to do (and those are just the things on the front of my mind ) and combining that with my massive website deadline this week is slightly unnerving...

    I'll get there!
    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 13th Dec 17, 1:57 PM
    • 2,207 Posts
    • 10,218 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    So glad the boy's party went well. I hope you made to time to stop for a minute or two to appreciate it all?
    Your week sounds like the usual mania. I have had 3 parties since Saturday and I can't wait for the madness to stop so I can curl up with a book and revert to being an introvert again
    Well done on making time for the food bank.
    Lots going on but you are right. You will get there
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/November 2017=3,475
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Dec 17, 12:07 PM
    • 1,280 Posts
    • 4,176 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I did manage to soak it all up DIA - thanks so much for the advice because it was so chaotic at times and I was trying to get round all the parents to speak to them I'm sure I'd have not managed it if I didn't have your voice in my head reminding me. It was so lovely to watch him charge around with all of his friends and watch the innocence of play and friendship that they all have at the age of 5. I was very thankful and grateful in that moment for everything that we have - each other primarily - but also the fact that we CAN have a party to celebrate our lovely boy's birthday. It was a heartwarming moment

    The weather has been atrocious this week where I am - we got a tiny bit of snow but since then there's been a deep freeze and ALL pavements and roads are thick with sheets of ice. It's been horrendous to get out and about and I'm so scared for the elderly people that I see sliding about on the way to get their morning paper and the kids that are slipping and falling on the way to school. I live on a really small street, a cul-de-sac with only about 20 houses and there was two car crashes on my street this morning alone due to the ice. I'd just quite like it to thaw now so that safety can be resumed. I can get around ok because our car has 4x4 option (which is ON!) but it's not easy. Doing my best to make sure the neighbours have what they need since I'm fairly mobile in my car.
    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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