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    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 27th Jan 17, 5:30 PM
    • 282Posts
    • 1,045Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Small Steps Out Of Massive Debt!
    • #1
    • 27th Jan 17, 5:30 PM
    Small Steps Out Of Massive Debt! 27th Jan 17 at 5:30 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm so glad that I've found this website because I really need to get serious and DO SOMETHING about my debts. I thought that keeping a diary on this forum would keep me accountable.

    I have taken stock and I have over 35,000 of personal debt on loans and credit cards, which does not include my Student Loan (around 18,000 but I need to check the last statement). I have no savings at all and am living pay day to pay day. I have a pension, which is probably the only semi-financially responsible thing I've done in my whole life.

    I have always had a problem with spending money. I never knew when it was time to stop spending. The idea of a budget was a foreign concept. I'd spend until everything had gone, whether that was my wages, student loan payments or birthday money. I go through phases of pretending to be responsible and looking at debt consolidation, but what usually happens is that I don't close the old accounts so a few months down the line I end up spending money on the cleared card.

    I know that I need to sort out my spending and to take a brutal look at the state of my finances and what I spend money on. I need to stop seeing credit limits as targets to reach (!!!!) and start seeing them for what they are - invitations to get into debt!

    This is what I have outstanding:

    13000 on personal loan
    10500 Barclaycard
    8000 MBNA
    2500 HSBC
    870 on catalog
    800 left on furniture (this one is interest free, there are 9 repayments left)

    I've been reading the advice for newbies threads so this weekend I am going to go through my last bank & cc statements with a fine tooth comb to work out what I am spending money on, and I'm going to find out the interest rates on all my credit accounts.

    Thanks for reading and wish me luck!


    PS. My forum name is from a Duchess in the 1700s. She was so bad with money that after she died her husband found out she was around 4 million pounds in debt. Sadly I could imagine this happening to me if I had access to that much credit
    Last edited by GeorgianaCavendish; 07-03-2017 at 3:31 PM.
Page 17
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 8th May 17, 5:55 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    My downfall is at weekends, I can have NSD's all week, then the weekend comes, husband and I are bored, and we go out to stupid places like ASDA, or into town lol... I really want to have NS weekends! well done !! xx
    Originally posted by Lau0707
    That is usually the case for me too, I don't know what happened last weekend I will definitely spend money this weekend because we're away and will need to buy food (although keeping this as cheap as possible by bringing packed lunch for the activity and picking a chain that accepts Taste card). Also on a typical week I do my grocery shop on Sunday so I always have a fairly hefty transaction waiting to clear on Mondays. Maybe I'll aim for one NSWkEnd a month!
    Last edited by GeorgianaCavendish; 08-05-2017 at 6:02 PM.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • Lau0707
    • By Lau0707 8th May 17, 6:49 PM
    • 54 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    Lau0707
    I think I need to do a NSWkend too... I have two this month as we'll be in America, and money is already packed... so technically that means no money from my card ha ha....

    Husband is still very snobby about picnics where the kids and I love it, and I love them financially too!!! I'll get around him one day!
    Focusing on Student Overdraft: April- 1297 ended on 1239. / May- 1239 ended on.....
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 9th May 17, 1:30 AM
    • 359 Posts
    • 2,456 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Weekends are such a challenge! I didn't realise how much we (*cough* Mr Expert) used shopping as a leisure activity previous to budgeting. Picnics, bike rides, walks around the Botanic Garden are all very well on nice days, but when the weather's bad what's to do? There's only so many weekends in that any one family can stand.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    1 May 2017 $222,634.29
    • Lau0707
    • By Lau0707 10th May 17, 10:20 AM
    • 54 Posts
    • 236 Thanks
    Lau0707
    I completely agree with you, we get so bored at the weekends, its our only time off together during the week and it just seems a good idea to go shopping, until I look at our bank accounts and get really annoyed at how little we have left, and then over analyse things and get annoyed we spent X amount in shops x
    Focusing on Student Overdraft: April- 1297 ended on 1239. / May- 1239 ended on.....
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 10th May 17, 12:15 PM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,629 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Another one agreeing with the big weekend of spending! It's so hard not to when we work hard all week and don't get to spend much time during the week with the kids (5.30pm until bedtime at 7pm) so weekends are our time!

    We frequently go out for brunch or to parks with picnics then spend on ice creams and juice for everyone etc. As soon as our plans involve other people, too, it becomes so much more difficult to rein in the budget.

    Seems its a common pain!
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th May 17, 10:31 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    I think I need to do a NSWkend too... I have two this month as we'll be in America, and money is already packed... so technically that means no money from my card ha ha....

    Husband is still very snobby about picnics where the kids and I love it, and I love them financially too!!! I'll get around him one day!
    Originally posted by Lau0707
    That is a great way of looking at holidays

    My dad is very snobby about picnics and his attitude rubbed off on me too but since the start of my MSE diary & bringing my own lunch to work, I've started to really realise that I could make myself a gourmet style picnic for a fraction of the price for something mediocre in the shops. That really changed my opinion on them
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th May 17, 10:35 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Weekends are such a challenge! I didn't realise how much we (*cough* Mr Expert) used shopping as a leisure activity previous to budgeting. Picnics, bike rides, walks around the Botanic Garden are all very well on nice days, but when the weather's bad what's to do? There's only so many weekends in that any one family can stand.
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    This is really true, I didn't realise how much of my leisure time involved shopping or just idle browsing for things to spend money on. I used to browse ebay or ASOS on my phone when I had a spare half hour, no wonder I always felt like I needed to buy things!!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th May 17, 10:37 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Another one agreeing with the big weekend of spending! It's so hard not to when we work hard all week and don't get to spend much time during the week with the kids (5.30pm until bedtime at 7pm) so weekends are our time!

    We frequently go out for brunch or to parks with picnics then spend on ice creams and juice for everyone etc. As soon as our plans involve other people, too, it becomes so much more difficult to rein in the budget.

    Seems its a common pain!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Those little spends really do add up and I always forget to budget for things like ice cream or drinks. And of course they are much more expensive from an ice cream van or cafe at an attraction than they would be elsewhere.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th May 17, 11:09 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Good news : the sofa can be repaired! It will cost just under 50 which is obviously SO MUCH BETTER than buying a new sofa. Good old G-Plan!

    I've been able to make a small overpayment on MBNA which brings the balance on the first tranche of debt down to 149.85 (this is the tranche on a promotional rate which ends in September). I have been tempted to overpay all the money I made from focus groups, cashback etc but I've got some expenses associated with the professional exams I'm taking through work and I want to set aside money to cover those. (My employer covers 50% of the cost of the course but they reimburse me once I've passed a module, so I need to make sure that I've got the cash upfront.)

    So, my revised target is to have a 50.00 surplus by the end of the month for an overpayment which in combination with the June direct debit will clear that first tranche of debt. I've got a few more things to list on ebay (clothes and a handbag) and I'll keep on with the survey sites (I'm nearly at reward payout point on one of them).
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th May 17, 4:25 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    April Goals : Update
    I just realised that I didn't update on my April goals earlier in the month, so this is how I got on.

    April Goals

    Financial Goals

    1. Revisit the Snowball Calculator and make tackling remaining Barclaycard 27.6% debt the #1 priority Done! Made an overpayment to the B/Card which cleared that 27.6% tranche
    2. Re-do Budget to reflect increases in council tax, utilities and broadband (boo!) Done, reluctantly
    3. Investigate other electricity and broadband providers Done. There were no savings to be had on electricity (the one that looked like a saving involved paying for 18mths upfront and the saving was in the form of an Amazon voucher, not cash. No savings to be made on broadband at all. At least I looked!

    Other Goals

    4. Revisit my study timetable to take into account upcoming assignments and exams Done, sort of. I've got a couple of assignments in for marking at the moment, once I receive those back I'll be having a call with my personal tutor to come up with a plan for when to take the next exams / assignments ... watch this space!
    5. Swap over winter and summer clothes from wardrobe. Do a ruthless sort out of summer clothes and sell/donate anything that no longer fits or wasn't worn last year. Half done. Clothes have been swapped over. I've taken all to-donate items to the charity shop but I still have about 5 things to list on ebay. I also have a couple of things that I need to get repaired.
    6. Step up meal planning to make things healthier, simpler and cheaper Not really much progress on this. Proper meal planning is the first thing to fall by the wayside when I get busy/stressed and I need to find a way round that
    7. Big Fat Spring Clean Nearly done! Got a lot of spring cleaning done ourselves and we saved up for a professional deep clean of the flat which is happening next week (which coincides with our managing agent getting the windows cleaned)
    8. Get shelves up in utility cupboard and boot rack assembled in hall Done! Must be honest, this wasn't done in April ... only got them sorted this week but it makes such a difference!
    9. Walk part of my commute every day, even if that is only one tube / bus stop difference Sporadic success with this. It makes me feel so much better when I do get a walk in, great opportunity to clear my head and I can feel the tension dropping off my shoulders. I need to do it more.
    10. Swimming and yoga every week Not done. I've been swimming once since I originally wrote this list and haven't been to yoga at all

    I'll update tomorrow with a new list for the rest of May and June
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 12th May 17, 11:18 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    May and June Goals
    May and June Goals

    Financial Goals

    1. Revisit Snowball Calculator to prioritise the MBNA debt.
    2. Clear first tranche of MBNA debt (149.85, promo rate runs out in Sept) and get second tranche down to 300 (currently at 550.75, promo rate runs out in Oct).
    3. Revisit budget. I'll be 6 months into my DFW journey by the end of June and I think I've picked up lots of tips from these forums, so I want to revisit my budget and see if I can make any more cuts/savings that can go towards debt repayment.

    Other Goals

    4. Book appointment with tutor and make a realistic plan for next set of assignments/exams.
    5. First draft of Assignment 1 and Assignment 2 submitted.
    6. Get those last few things listed on ebay / get repairs sorted.
    7. Make a realistic meal plan (with view to making things easier, simpler, cheaper and healthier). I need to be realistic about this, I think my failing is that I over-complicate things at the planning stage and in reality I don't have the time or energy to put those plans into action.
    8. Walk part of my commute every day and go for a long(er) walk every weekend.
    9. Swimming and yoga every week. Swimming should be easy to in once a week - I just need to pick a day and stick to it! ; yoga class is a bit harder because the timings don't quite work for me so I'm going to find a video I like and do a routine at home at least once a week. I've heard good things about Yoga with Adriene on YouTube, anyone followed that before?
    10. A nice one - use all the cosmetics/bath products on my newly assembled storage shelves to treat myself to a Home Spa Session. Maybe not once a week but once a fortnight should be achievable
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 12th May 17, 11:31 AM
    • 2,972 Posts
    • 11,081 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Popping in to subscribe will read this afternoon and catch up x

    DFW 328.71/7348.71
    You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.
    Rent Arrears 31.28 /3381.28
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 12th May 17, 11:47 AM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 11,270 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    I've done yoga with Adriene after a recommendation from sashybo and it's wonderful - different ones for different moods etc. Definitely give it a go
    1175/3000 OH BC(60.83% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: 1175/31010.23 (96.21% paid)
    Mortgage - 164,000.00 (O/P 718.83 so far) PAYDBX 17 #006 - 13842.19/14,539.71Make 10 Apr 194.58 Make 10 May 159.75
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 12th May 17, 11:52 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    I've done yoga with Adriene after a recommendation from sashybo and it's wonderful - different ones for different moods etc. Definitely give it a go
    Originally posted by kirtsypoos
    Thanks Kirsty! I will definitely check out her channel now
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 15th May 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,175 Posts
    • 2,672 Thanks
    Naomim
    Usually its just sitting around talking! I've done some in the past where we have to do a little task before the group (bringing clippings of adverts we like; taking photos of makeup displays in shops; making a collage about a holiday destination) but most of them have just been turning up to take part in a discussion. Sometimes they show you an advert or samples of a new product, sometimes they want a more general chat about ideas for a new product and I did a couple at the beginning of the year that involved testing websites or apps and talking through what was good / bad about them. I'd say the average reward for taking part is about 50 but some pay a lot more (one of my friends took part in research about cars and he got paid 300! )
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    I did a Focus group In January it was a 2 part one, I ate lots of chocolate cakes & biscuits and got paid 100.

    Another one agreeing with the big weekend of spending! It's so hard not to when we work hard all week and don't get to spend much time during the week with the kids (5.30pm until bedtime at 7pm) so weekends are our time!

    We frequently go out for brunch or to parks with picnics then spend on ice creams and juice for everyone etc. As soon as our plans involve other people, too, it becomes so much more difficult to rein in the budget.

    Seems its a common pain!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    I also have this problem. I think it's natural to want to "treat" the kids as we're not home for them as much as we'd like. My Dh is also weird about picnics. He just doesn't like sandwiches and my 7yo is so fussy it's a nightmare!

    Good to see your plans coming into fruition GC.

    Naomi
    CC's Nov16 18,609.97 / Feb17 19222.48 Overdraft Nov16 2,416.88 / Feb17 1863.48
    2 savings club #26 48 NSD'S Feb17 2/8
    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 15th May 17, 3:22 PM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Had a lovely weekend away, we did a 14 mile walk on Saturday. Saturday night was very cheap because I was so tired that all I wanted to do was have a bath and go to bed!

    I'm off work today and I've managed to fit a few appointments around the long anticipated and saved-for deep clean at home. I'm sitting in GP waiting room now waiting for my appointment and looking forward to getting home to a sparkling clean flat Oh, and my sofa has been fixed!

    The rest of this week will be really intense at work, we've got a whole load of meetings & workshops going on, plus three dinners out with colleagues. I wish there was a way of spreading them out over the month but it will be nice to catch up with everyone and at least these are paid for by work.
    I've been able to hold off doing a big food shop as I'll be getting lunch and dinner at the workshops & there's enough in the freezer and cupboards to feed my husband for most of the week. I just need to pick up some bread, milk and fruit today.

    I had two eBay sales over the weekend too, so I'm about half way to my target of 50 extra for an additional MBNA payment by 31st May.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th May 17, 8:50 PM
    • 10,542 Posts
    • 67,787 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Hope your place will look marvellous! Sounds amazing.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 16th May 17, 10:19 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hope your place will look marvellous! Sounds amazing.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    It looks fantastic I'm a bit gutted that I will be out so late most evenings this week and won't get the maximum enjoyment out of it.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 16th May 17, 10:49 AM
    • 10,542 Posts
    • 67,787 Thanks
    Bobarella
    It looks fantastic I'm a bit gutted that I will be out so late most evenings this week and won't get the maximum enjoyment out of it.
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    Surely a good thing as it wont get messed up so quickly
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 18th May 17, 9:30 AM
    • 282 Posts
    • 1,045 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Just checking in ... last day of meetings, really looking forward to a rest this weekend! I've had two NSDs this week and aiming for at least one more. Not much else happening on the MSE front other than that!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's April 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan 12,119.60 / MBNA 7591.83 / Barclaycard 6097.95 / Catalog 687.43 / Dreams 431

    And don't forget the Student Loan! 15,199.37 (April 2016)
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