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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,332Posts
    • 4,342Thanks
    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 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 41
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th Jan 18, 4:32 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Jo 1 - 0 Insurers
    I'm feeling MSE-tastic today and have just struck another small win

    Received an email to say that my buildings and contents insurance was auto renewed, despite having received no communication from them to notify me it was due so i did a bit of digging.

    I was paying £25.47 per month

    The !!!!!!s were putting it up to £34.98 per month

    NO CHANCE!

    So I did a compare the market search and Admiral came up with the goods - exact same policy that I'm on including cover for my engagement ring separately for £19.33 per month!

    I thought I'd have a fight on my hands to cancel it but the guy couldn't be any more disinterested and said he'd cancel it for me today, no problem.

    So that's a nice tidy little saving of £6 per month on what I was paying and £15 per month on what they wanted me to pay on auto renewal.

    Next on the hit list is energy, as my fixed price rate expires on 28th Feb so i'll need to check out Martin's energy page to see what he's saying about that.

    Nice win for a Thursday afternoon
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 11th Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • 2,388 Posts
    • 11,234 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done on your MSE targets
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/December 2017=2,510
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 11th Jan 18, 11:55 PM
    • 1,652 Posts
    • 18,523 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thanks for the tip, Jem! I've been trying to start my day with water for the last week as I wake up so dehydrated in the morning and it's working well so far so i'll continue that.

    In the mornings, my husband gets out of bed at 6.30 and comes back in to say goodbye before leaving for work at around 6.50 so I'm already semi awake when he leaves. My alarm is set for 6.50 then 7am. I don't need to get up any earlier than 7am. But some mornings I haven't been getting up until almost 8am leaving it a massive rush to get two kids up and ready, fed and to school and nursery by 8.55.

    I know myself that it's not good. I don't enjoy it. It makes me start off my day stressed/ grumpy.

    So why do I do it?

    I think I'm just going to have to force myself to consistently get out of bed at 7 and try to focus on how much less stressy the morning routine is when I just get up. Getting us all ready is inevitable - why am i consciously making it hard for myself?

    I also think that going to my bed earlier might help - 10pm would be ideal rather than the 11/11.30 that we go at the moment.
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Two things from me on this - one is go to bed earlier (already discussed but you could move your box-set to a binge session on a Friday night and have an early night 3-4 times in the week... Second, I use a daylight alarm. I have to get up at 05.30 M-Th so it is great. It starts getting light at 05.00 and then fades from 05.30-6.00. It is really for SAD but it has made a huge difference. I was honestly sceptical but they really work.

    Well done, by the way - your system of moving money in only at the pace you use it is a great idea. I do the opposite. I round up every day and transfer the roundings into the emergency fund, so each day ends in a 0. Your way would address my complacency filter - that is when I go and spend on unnecessary shhh because I am feeling more affluent (or should that be with a E ?)
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - my annual target is £10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 budget of £3,500 including stores
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 12:23 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yes, i know getting to bed earlier is the key Suffolk...I need to stop my damn reckless thinking when I'm just desperate for more down time. Good idea about moving it all to a Friday night to binge watch - I might suggest that to my husband

    You'll be proud of me though - last night i went upstairs at 9.20pm Had a quick shower then lights out by about 9.45. I hoped I'd feel fresher this morning but no such luck - i think i'm just a tired human being but at least I know I got plenty of sleep!

    I like your system too actually and have considered doing that before - not sure what is stopping me. Can I ask a personal question - how much on average does that system net you in a month period? Might be worth trying to do something like that too - I do have a fondness for rounded numbers

    Thanks for the support DIA - much appreciated as always
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 12:41 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Disposable income allocation
    I just want to lay out my commitments to paying off holidays over the next few months to keep me on the straight and narrow (and possibly shaming me into not booking another one for the October break!). I'm so pleased we are getting the chance to go away on these breaks - it's really such a huge excitement for the kids and also for me and my husband as we've not had a family holiday since my eldest was 6 months old (he's 5 now). So looking forward to the time spent together.

    Dec-Jan (i.e. all wages until the end of Jan): £510 to holiday company(£140 saved, rest to come from husband's wages next week)
    Jan wage: £510 to holiday company
    Feb wage: £510 to holiday company

    Mar - go on holiday
    Holiday spends will come from my credit union savings which will be at £200 by the time we need to buy currency. We are all inclusive so will need minimal funds.

    Mar wage: £550 to 0% credit card that flights
    Apr wage: £420 to dad for summer holiday accommodation
    May wage: £500 spending money + book car hire
    Jun wage: £500 spending money

    I don't think we'll need as much as £1000 spending money for a week away but I'd like to make sure that we have enough - we'll be contributing 1/3 to food shopping (we're staying in two adjoining cottages next to my parents, sister and BIL) and paying for fuel as well as any eating out (maybe a few lunches and a couple of meals out with drinks) and some treats for the kids. We'll also have continued the savings in the credit union so there'll be another £200 in there but i'd like to just leave that to keep ticking along. I like to forget about the credit union savings until we need it for something.

    Our budget states that we should have £500- 600 per month left over after all bills and expenses (depending on which month as some things are paid quarterly) so as of our July wages, we'll be able to start paying down our debts and building up our savings account. If we can allocate £400p/m to overpaying and £100-200p/m savings then that'd be a great balance for us.

    Also, i mentioned earlier that come August my son will get his 15 hours funded place at nursery (where he already is full time) so we will save an additional £180ish per months for 9 months of the year which can get put to good use.

    We're getting there slowly but surely! I just wish these things were quickly but surely I'm impatient!
    Last edited by JoJoC; 12-01-2018 at 12:42 PM. Reason: missed something out!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 12th Jan 18, 1:20 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    Storm89
    Hi just searched for your diary after you commented on mine. Your holidays sounds AMAZING and I bet the kids are buzzing. I hear you about not wanting to book for the October break. We have center parcs booked for october half term but I saw you were going away at Easter and thought "oooh that would be nice, I wonder if I can squeeze one in for easter?" then slapped myself on the wrist haha. Are you in Scotland with your kids starting in August? I love your list , especially spending quality time with the kids. When we're so busy it's easy for our minds to be elsewhere even when we're physically with the kids. I'll be following your journey and jealous of your abroad holidays - we had a big one in 2016 but I don't think my daughter can remember going on a plane so I can't wait to book up to go again one day.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 1:51 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by Storm89

    I am in Scotland, not far from Glasgow. Where abouts are you?

    It's so true that being with the kids doesn't necessarily mean being WITH the kids - i'm so guilty of trying to do two or three things at a time and not really spending the time with them when there's a million and one other things happening. Quality time is the order of the day in 2018 starting this weekend! My eldest can't go to his club tonight or his swimming and taw kwon do tomorrow because of a wee infection that he has (contagious) so we might attempt some time out the house on the scooters for both of them - the fresh air will do us all good.

    My holidays are so important to me - I don't think we'll be doing 2 next year, maybe try for a fortnight in the summer next year or something but we want to make the most of our first holiday all together and then holiday with the kids' grandparents making important memories for us all.

    We might try to get away camping in October if it's still mild - we generally do wild camping up north so we'll see what the weather is like. If it's over 10 degrees then we'll just grab the tent and go! I draw the line at camping in sub zero temperatures - we're not equipped for that!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Jan 18, 2:13 PM
    • 1,652 Posts
    • 18,523 Thanks
    Suffolk lass

    I like your system too actually and have considered doing that before - not sure what is stopping me. Can I ask a personal question - how much on average does that system net you in a month period? Might be worth trying to do something like that too - I do have a fondness for rounded numbers
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I have sent you a PM with my totals from 2017 by month - you will like them!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - my annual target is £10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 budget of £3,500 including stores
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 2:42 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Legend - thank you Suffolk lass! I'll go and take a peek right now

    Survey success
    Just cashed out £20.45 from PA after getting back into it at the start of the week with a £4-odds balance. That brings my holiday savings account up to £160 so providing all is well on the accounts front, i can take the remainder from my husband's wages next week and there'll be enough left over for me to order both the kids' passports without having to allocate funds from savings. Yes!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 12th Jan 18, 7:19 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    Storm89
    I'm not from Scotland but have friends there from an online baby group I was in and knew their kids started in August. I think they start older as well, they have to be 4.5 don't they? whereas here it's 4 so some kids are going when they've just turned 4 I'm from stoke on trent. That's brill about the surveys, I'll have to look into that.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 11:02 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Our kids start school the August after they are 4 with the cut off date being the end of Feb of the same year I think. We go straight into primary 1 whereas England and Wales has reception then year 1 does my it? Not sure exactly of the difference really! My wee boy started school when he was 4 and 8 months (I was just 4 and 4 months when I started school a few years ago... ha).

    Yes, if highly recommend prolific academic for surveys. I've earned £198 in 7 or 8 months and I've not even been that committed! If you track down Scott Weiland on here, he has great survey tips.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 13th Jan 18, 2:59 AM
    • 736 Posts
    • 1,836 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Thanks for the recommendation always happy to help re peeps earning extra cash.

    Pop in on my diary Storm89 and ask anything
    Cashback Earnings YTD £8.25 Survey Earnings YTD £38.38
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 13th Jan 18, 7:28 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    Storm89
    I think it's far too young here, my friends little girl started school on her 4th birthday. & in reception they do loads of writing and things.
    Thanks Scott I'll go and read your diary now to get some ideas.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Jan 18, 8:54 AM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yes, that does seem rather young doesn't it? When my son turned 4 they were already doing writing, numbers and Spanish at nursery but still in a nursery setting so I wonder if they just do the same things at the same age but just call it something different? In parts of Scandinavia the kids don't start school until age 7 and before that it's mostly play based learning and their kids aren't shown to be at any disadvantage by starting later. All kids progress to the same level on average.

    Pay day
    Pay day seems light years away at the moment- 17 days and counting and although my husband gets paid in between times it's all accounted for.

    He also just had to spend £200 on materials so im transferring that out of the savings to cover it then when he gets paid it'll all go into back into the savings. Not all bad, but my brain doesn't like it when it seems we are spending savings!

    Got an unplanned day ahead - all we know is that we want to get outside if its dry so once we are fed and dressed we'll make some plans. Scooters may be the order of the day!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Jan 18, 9:19 AM
    • 878 Posts
    • 5,026 Thanks
    redofromstart
    That's a great result on the home insurance, but sneaky of them to not tell you up front.

    I don't like getting up in the mornings either. I also hate being late so the mornings can be really high stress for me, less so for the boys who tune out my flapping. I've done as much as I can by advance prep. Everything is ready the night before down to the jug of porridge soaking ready to go in the microwave. I have alarms on my phone to make sure the boys are up at the latest possible time and one ten minutes before we actually have to be in the car so we never quite get into the panic stage. The phone isn't by the bed so I have to get out of bed to switch it off for the going to be late alarms.

    HTH
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Jan 18, 10:23 AM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by redo- flapping in the morning is my forte. I think my problem is that I consistently underestimate how long it takes to get us all out and ready in the morning just to get an extra 10 minutes of peace. I really need to adjust my mindset!

    Wow - you sound super prepared! Thankfully my boys eat at school and nursery so I don't need to feed them before we go but just keeping on top of the eldest to make sure he's doing what he was asked gets me into a tizz.

    "Please get your shoes on" x 450 is a regular occurrence.

    I know I'm not alone in this - I'm sure everyone faces the same morning challenges getting out the house but I know I can make improvements.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Jan 18, 10:54 AM
    • 878 Posts
    • 5,026 Thanks
    redofromstart
    My (teenage) boys have no sense of urgency whatsoever. It drives me mad. It was ten times worse when they were younger though so I feel your pain. It's also why we have such a structured routine or I spend the first hour of my day shouting which isn't good for me and sends them to school in a negative frame of mind. You get bonus points if you manage to say please the second time you ask.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Jan 18, 2:31 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Not surprised to hear it doesn't get better as they get older! I have 8 years until the eldest is officially a teenager so I'll enjoy his youth while it lasts

    Wins for today
    1. NSD!!
    2. Have eaten well and according to plan, avoiding cupboard junk
    3. Have spent some quality time with the kids (board games) and about to go out for fresh air
    4. Booked yoga for tomorrow
    5. Kept the kitchen clean and tidy despite being in and out cooking
    6. Have avoided buying an outfit that I've been coveting for a while despite husband telling me to just get it!
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Mumoffourkids
    • By Mumoffourkids 13th Jan 18, 8:54 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 939 Thanks
    Mumoffourkids
    Hi JoJo, I've just spent the last few days reading through your diary. I saw you post on someone else's about massive childcare bills and I had to find yours. I have two kids in nursery just three days a week and my childcare bills are about £1000 per month and that is with 15 hours funded term time only for my son as I am on a low income so get the two year old funding. I am looking forward to April when my son gets the 30 hours funding and then September when my youngest gets the two year old funding!

    Also even though I only work three days a week, I know how you feel about a busy life. My life seems constantly busy and I never seem to either stop or have time to sort what I need to. This is mainly because I have six kids and am on my own. Everyone says I am crazy and I probably am!

    I'm subscribed and will follow your journey to becoming debt free and getting rid of massive childcare bills!
    Total debt Dec 2017 £20607.44/£23090.83 10.75% paid
    Debt no 1 £0/£593.29 paid Jan 2018 ~ Emergency fund £337.50/£600
    PAYDOBX2018 #97 £2524.42/£12,000 ~ Make £10 a day #16 £98.88/£62
    20p savers 2018 #95
    NSD Jan 2018 2/12
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Jan 18, 2:07 PM
    • 1,332 Posts
    • 4,342 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by to read my diary - it's nice to know that I'm not the only one that struggles with these things! Six kids though...wow! How old are they all?

    It's hard not to wish the time away when you know how much of a saving there'll be once both kids are in school but we will never get their youth back so I want to enjoy the kids while they're young. Once all debts are paid off an both kids are in school we will have almost £2k per month disposable income! That's madness! Of course there's always 101 things to be done, like every single room in the house which needs done from scratch but it all seems a lot more achievable when we have that spare. We are looking at a £20k job to get our kitchen/dining room/ conservatory the way we want it (knocking walls down, new roof...a lot of work!) And I always thought that'd be 10 years away but if we do it properly and save properly it doesn't have to be that far away.

    This weekend
    Spend wise this week hasn't been too bad - we had friends round on Saturday night and they ordered a pizza but my husband and I abstained and ate our planned meal which took a lot of willpower! We did have a lot to drink though so yesterday was a write off completely. We just chilled with the kids for most of the day.

    Shopping this morning came to £53 including nappies for youngest from Aldi then £9 in Sainsburys for the few bits that I couldn't get .

    I'm away with work today and tomorrow so all spends will be on the company. We have a meal plan done for this week including for the kids and husband for while I'm away and a pot of soup made last night will do lunches until Wednesday. It's nice to be organised for a change! Helps with motivation.

    I won't get much of a chance to touch surveys this week so will need to try to slot in some time so I don't lose the momentum. I'm so close with onepoll I think another couple of weeks will do it.

    Still 15 days until pay day... yawn... I hate coasting like this. Feels like no progress is being made.
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
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