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  • FIRST POST
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 27th Jan 17, 5:30 PM
    • 529Posts
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    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 37
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 27th Nov 17, 1:45 PM
    • 529 Posts
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    GeorgianaCavendish
    Oh! I forgot to mention that I'm having a minor celebration at my desk as the balance on my personal loan is now under £10,000

    Among some of the rubbish Black Friday marketing I received was one from HSBC offering me a consolidation loan. No no no no no!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 28th Nov 17, 10:17 AM
    • 529 Posts
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    GeorgianaCavendish
    Ugh. Reading through some of my earlier entries and trying to rediscover some of the enthusiasm I used to have because I am finding everything such a slog at the moment. It's frustrating not having much progress to report either, but I want to keep posting here to keep myself accountable.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Plush
    • By Plush 28th Nov 17, 10:25 PM
    • 79 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Plush
    Ugh. Reading through some of my earlier entries and trying to rediscover some of the enthusiasm I used to have because I am finding everything such a slog at the moment. It's frustrating not having much progress to report either, but I want to keep posting here to keep myself accountable.
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    I feel the same. Posting here helps keeping on track. I bought something yesterday then realised last night - I don't really need it, do I? Returned today. MSE and YNAB daily logging helps. It pains me to enter reckless spending in YNAB. Reading messages on this forum (and posting) is almost therapeutic

    ps. love your name, just saw the film - the Duchess - it's on Netflix
    current credit debt Nov-2017 £12800 @ 0% // initial debt Sep-2017 £14200
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 30th Nov 17, 11:31 AM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Thanks Plush! Glad to know its not just me
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 30th Nov 17, 11:47 AM
    • 8,234 Posts
    • 43,589 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Talk to anyone on here who's been through the process of paying something off whether debt or a mortgage or both and you'll find that everyone hits that wall from time to time - you can't see the progress, you can't pay anything new, so it all feels a bit meh. Remind yourself how far you've come so far though - and that you ARE still making progress, it's just that it's not always visible at a glance. Little things too - you've planned for a rent increase of X amount but it's come in under - that's great, and will mean that the difference will still be able to go to the debt too - that's great! Stuff like that thing with the toothbrush too - honestly, look back a way, would you have found that out about the warranty? I suspect not - you'd just have gone and bought a new one as it was easier!

    You're getting there. One step at a time remember.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£702.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 30th Nov 17, 11:48 AM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Have decided that I need to go on a reading "diet" before Christmas. Some of the blogs and threads that I regularly read are making me feel awful with the amount of money being spent and drama being caused by Christmas preparations. Hard to explain what I mean, some of it is straightforward feeling a bit envious of someone's Christmas shopping, a bit of guilt at the strictly budgeted Christmas shopping I've been doing for loved ones compared to the enormous amounts of money that people seem to be spending , but there is also a bit of weird second hand stress at reading endless lists of Christmas busywork. Does anyone else ever feel like this? It isn't necessarily things that I need or even want to do, but somehow it makes me feel stressed and guilty that I'm not doing it? Arrrrggggh! I think I have tinsilitis!!

    So, I think I'm going to give a lot of my usual reading material a big swerve until we are well into January! I'm going to focus on reading some of the unread books on my Kindle. I've got the app on my phone so whenever I feel the urge to kill time by checking social media or reading a blog, I'll try to read a couple of pages of a book instead.

    I feel really silly needing a strategy like this but there it is

    I think you have a point GC. I refuse to get stressed by not doing the Christmas activities too and just treating December as a normal time of year. It might be because my son in law who loves Christmas is in hospital at the moment and will be over Christmas too so I cannot get any enthusiasm at all for it this year. I wrapped up a few presents this week and am not going overboard with food and drink this year so am keeping it as low key as possible.
    Last edited by enthusiasticsaver; 01-12-2017 at 2:35 PM.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 30th Nov 17, 11:50 AM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Thank you EH! That is true, I would've just bought a new one in the sales and told myself I'd "saved" £80, regardless of the fact that they are NEVER full price!

    Trying to keep myself inspired but I think this time of year is difficult with all the Christmas kerfuffle and over the top spending that surrounds me.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 30th Nov 17, 12:21 PM
    • 421 Posts
    • 2,897 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    I hate Christmas. Everything about it and if I didn't have small ones I definitely wouldn't take part in anything related to the day.

    I don't have social media but reading around other places I do feel like I should be doing more for the small ones, gifts, events etc. But I think even if I wasn't trying to get rid of the debt or even if I was a millionaire I'd choose to indulge in expensive Xmas things or Huge piles of expensive presents.

    So while some things make me question what I am doing and how we celebrate Xmas I soon snap back to knowing that whatever we do there will always be others doing it differently.

    As long as you're happy with what you're doing and its enough for you then its enough! x
    ďOnce you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.Ē
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Dec 17, 6:17 AM
    • 4,117 Posts
    • 22,844 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    What style of blogs do you read?

    I find the lifestyle/home/family ones are quite cheesy and a lot of it is sponsored content and I always wonder would they post stuff if it wasn't sponsored or if they didn't get money from click through to websites linked on their page.

    Luckily I like frugal and smallholding blogs, they don't seem to have the same one-upmanship that some blogs have and no one goes overboard with anything.

    Good idea to read some Kindle books, the other alternative is to find some diaries on here and have a read. I recently finished reading one which started in 2010, it was like a good book and kept me gripped for weeks. I was almost disappointed to catch up to present day as I have to wait for posts!!!

    Please don't be jealous of people's Xmas shopping, no doubt some people are getting in to debt for it whereas you are not. Your gifts will be appreciated as much as the people who are spending loads.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 15 for November
    NSD - 1/15
    (up to 01/11/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 1st Dec 17, 2:15 PM
    • 287 Posts
    • 2,357 Thanks
    Pauper1
    Weirdly (as it's been mentioned above!), I've spent the whole day reading your entire diary on and off and I just wanted to say how positive and inspirational you are!
    Also, I've taken so many tips and ideas from your posts - I've signed up to the student free trial of YNAB, added the 5 second book and Dave Ramsey books to my Amazon wish list, downloaded AVG as my virus protection ran out ages ago. I feel really motivated again now, so I definitely agree about reading other people's diaries! Thank you for posting
    DMP start 1st May 2014 - £22,850 £39,349.41 Original DFD from Stepchange 6th Sept 2039... Aiming for 1st Nov 2026
    Priorities changed, sold our house, going through the settlement process and hope to be debt free by Christmas 2017
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 2nd Dec 17, 5:22 PM
    • 1,191 Posts
    • 6,623 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hi GC. Just echoing the various posts above about blogs, Xmas spending and debt! Youíve only got to look back through your diary to see how well youíve done. My main online reading and listening these days is the MSE forum and things like Money to the Masses and Dave Ramsey. Iím on Pinterest but Iím saving for a new kitchen so itís solely give me ideas!

    Enjoy reading your Kindle books!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Save for New Kitchen!
    My debt free diary - " Paid off the £31,000 - BUT still scrimping!"
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th Dec 17, 1:45 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Thank you so much everyone! I'm really glad to know that I'm not alone in the blogs etc inducing Christmas downers, and that my thread is helping people save money ... that's something I never thought I'd say!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th Dec 17, 2:10 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Student Loan Question
    I received a letter from the Student Loan Company today and wondering if anyone has been in a similar situation and could help me out a bit? They said that as I've got 2 years of repayments left I would be better off switching from PAYE to Direct Debit repayments, so that I avoid overpaying.

    The balance on my Student Loan is £10,765.93 (based on the last annual statement, including payments up to 1 April 2017). In the tax year ending April 2017 I repaid approx £4400.
    Obviously deductions have been made from my salary every month, but HMRC send these once a year to the SLC. Current monthly repayments are £283 for normal months, with a higher deduction if/when I get a bonus (an annual event, when it happens).

    Before receiving this letter, my plan was to wait until April 2018 to check the balance and then make a decision on whether I would be better off switching to Direct Debit payments.
    (I think the "real time" balance on my Student Loan is around 8.5K, and I'm definitely not going to have paid that off by April!)

    So, my very long-winded question is : would there actually be any advantage to my switching to Direct Debit payments at this time? By my own "back of an envelope calculations" I've got about 2.5 years of repayments left, so I'm not worried that I'm going to overpay anytime soon. I'm not sure if there are any other considerations to take into account?
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 5th Dec 17, 2:17 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    re: the student loan question, I read somewhere that you should only switch to direct debit in the final year of repayments. I can't recall the logic for that but perhaps it has something to do with it being taken out pre tax from your salary.

    I plan to switch to direct debit for the last 12 months (we have a similar level of outstanding student loan debt) but I don't get bonuses at work.

    However, for you, if you get a decent regular bonus at work, you'd get more of that as takehome if you switched to direct debits earlier, which could be a reason to shift over earlier.
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £1,002.21/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £631.64/£1,894.92
    Total CC Repayments: £2,568.28/£10,690.22 (24.02%) | Total Debt Repayments: £3,200.00/£12,585.14 (25.42%)
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 5th Dec 17, 2:22 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    ps. you could use this nifty calculator to see how much you'd get paid with and without your SLC contributions being taken out pre tax and then add up the 'tax savings' over two years to see what the real maths is behind staying as it is vs. excluding it.
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £1,002.21/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £631.64/£1,894.92
    Total CC Repayments: £2,568.28/£10,690.22 (24.02%) | Total Debt Repayments: £3,200.00/£12,585.14 (25.42%)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th Dec 17, 2:27 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Thanks DrS!

    I'm quite torn on this issue because I don't always get a bonus, but this year I got a good one which I was able to put towards my debt repayments.

    Part of me would like to continue repaying my student loan on PAYE so that any future bonuses are automatically partly allocated to Student Loan, the Student Loan is repaid sooner.
    Another (and perhaps more sensible) part of me thinks that the Student Loan is a cheap debt and even if I don't get another bonus, it will be repaid within 2.5 years anyway. So why not make the switch to DD and allocate any potential bonuses towards repaying my commercial debt which is more expensive.

    I guess this would also depend on whether the SLC would set my repayments at my "normal month" PAYE deductions, or would they base it on the past 12 months repayments (which included a bonus), or would they reach a completely different figure. Perhaps I should ring them to ask ...
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 5th Dec 17, 2:43 PM
    • 208 Posts
    • 770 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Aye, definitely ring them to ask as there are no guarantees as to how they'll split up the outstanding debt balance into monthly instalments, or how may instalments they'll ask for.

    From my understanding, SLC debt is a good debt in the sense that it's super cheap and doesn't appear on your credit file. It would be a shame to clear it 'early' with bonus payments. But, it is taken into consideration when applying for a (re)mortgage and I can't recall what your status is on that front but do think about how / if a direct debit payment may be considered differently by lenders vis-vis PAYE deductions.

    I can totally see your point - it would be a shame to use bonuses to 'overpay' SLC debt in place of commercial debt and I can thus see why you would want to shift to DD. I would too.

    But, think 2.5 years ahead and consider how secure you job / salary is likely to be.... If your SLC is done through PAYE, its one less thing to stress about if the proverbial hits the fan.

    It seems there is no clear answer just now, but if it was me, I wouldn't want to make the switch 2.5 years ahead of time, I'd stick to 1 year ahead of time. However, I've been made redundant in the past and still have that anxiety over the immediate loss of income / debt repayment nightmare situation happening again. I'm quite cautious when it comes to long term financial commitments. Generally (and obviously not including CC debt )
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £1,002.21/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £631.64/£1,894.92
    Total CC Repayments: £2,568.28/£10,690.22 (24.02%) | Total Debt Repayments: £3,200.00/£12,585.14 (25.42%)
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th Dec 17, 3:05 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    I just rang them ... If I switched to Direct Debits the monthly payment would be £373.51 for 23 months So that clearly makes staying with PAYE the obvious option for me at the moment

    DrS, really good point about job security and committing to a long term DD repayment. I think that my job is secure but you never know, and if I lost my job I don't think I could find another £283 a month to cover the Student Loan repayment (let alone £373.51 )

    They did say that this figure is based on their estimate of my salary (which was quite a bit higher than my actual salary as they took my bonus into account). I could change this by sending them copies of my most recent payslips and a letter from my employer, but I don't really think there is much point in doing this at the moment.

    So I'm sticking with my original plan to see where I am in April 2018 once the 2017-18 repayments have been updated and then look at the situation again.

    Thank you for all your help with this! It was so helpful to have a sounding board to help me come to a rational decision, not an emotional one!
    Last edited by GeorgianaCavendish; 05-12-2017 at 4:08 PM.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 5th Dec 17, 4:14 PM
    • 647 Posts
    • 2,567 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Hi GC, let me share a tale with you about my student loan.

    I got a similar letter to you. I thought 'stuff it, I'm salaried, they can sod off' I did sign up to the online student loan account though and I set up a recurring card payment of £36 a month to bring my repayments to a nice, round £200 (I graduated in 2004 mind). I also Tilly tidied to bring my pay off day closer.
    Thanks to my payslips and the online account I knew exactly when my student loan would be paid.

    May 2015 came along and my salary slip came in. I had £84 left to pay, I rang them up, paid the £84 over the phone and said 'stop taking my money from my salary'
    'Oh, sorry madam, there's not enough time to stop the June payment'
    Urgh student loans, never mind It will be paid back to me post April 2016 and I'll use the money as a little treat then.

    Then I fell pregnant and thought, I won't chase this up now, it will be a nice little bonus when I'm on maternity leave.
    September 2016 came and they sent me a letter saying 'we owe you money, ring to claim' so I did.
    Approximately £300 was refunded to me. I thought it was odd, I was expecting about £180. But never mind they must be right, they wouldn't give me more money than they owed me.
    (So I signed Pickle and I up to some baby classes I never would have paid for without this money)

    Fast forward to 2017 and because 'hmrc have adjusted your paye contributions to your student loan and you owe use £180' grrrrr hisss incompetence.

    Fortunately I was due a tax rebate due to Mat leave which paid the student loan bill and gave me about £30 to treat myself.

    The moral of this tale?? Don't trust slc or hmrc

    Good luck
    Wish.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 Aug: £36,411.85 8/100 Sep: £35,945.66 10/100 Oct: £35,500 11/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 5th Dec 17, 5:08 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,094 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hi Wish, what an absolute nightmare with your SL! So much back and forwards, I don't know why they seem unable to talk to each other to get correct figures, yet communication works fine when it comes to deducting from salary!
    Glad you weren't left out of pocked though, and hope you & Pickle enjoyed the baby classes
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's October 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £10,225.95 / MBNA £3301.93 / Barclaycard £9961.04/ Lloyds £3489.16 / Tesco 1 £897.50/ Tesco 2 £2327.82

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
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