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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,094Posts
    • 10,515Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed....
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed.... 12th Feb 17 at 9:56 AM
    £67,031.92. Seriously. £67,031.92. That is a SCARY number. I can't believe our debt has peaked (and it is the peak, I am determined) at this level.

    Our light bulb moment actually happened a few months back, but it's taken since then of wrangling utilities and carefully watching out income/outgoings (using You Need a Budget) to really figure out where we were overspending and how the monthly shortfall of anything from £200-£1,000+ was happening.

    We have literally nothing to show for this debt, it's just crept up over the past 8 years or so, and has always been at manageable levels, but back in October we realised we were spending more on credit cards each month than we were paying off.

    We committed that cardinal sin of taking out a consolidation loan, but alongside it we looked really carefully at our spending over the next couple of months, budgeted realistically for what we spend and have (I think) picked off all the easy 'low hanging fruit' of budget cuts and really identified why we were overspending.

    The main reason for the debt is, erm, me. Not that I'm the biggest spender (neither of us are amazing), but because I am self employed with a hugely variable income and basically worked out our budgets on the basis I would always earn my 'best' month's income. Which was, with hindsight, maybe a TINY bit deluded.

    The aim of this diary is to keep us on track with actually reducing our debt every single month, not doing it in a three steps forward, two (or four) steps back sort of way. Having sat down and put our numbers into the whatsthecost site, it appears that we are looking at 7 years and 1 month of repayments to clear the debt (and that's assuming we can get rid of the shortfall showing below). I REALLY want to reduce this term as that just seems bonkers.

    SOA below, with a couple of explanatory notes.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 3
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 250 (variable, but this is the minimum I have earned in any month in the last 5 years)
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2711.86
    Benefits................................ 192
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3153.86


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 174 (including overpayment for a period when we messed up during a house move 18 months ago and didn't restart the direct debit for the new property. Will drop by a little under £50 after either March or April, can't remember which)
    Electricity............................. 52 (gas and electricity are one combined DD, I haven't checked the exact split but the total is £104)
    Gas..................................... 52
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 104 (also including a debt from previous property, but I think this will be included for another 6 months or so. I'm not sure what our actual usage is)
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.5 (includes internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 85 (£45 for my contract, which I use for work as well, £40 for DH)
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0 (included in landline cost)
    Groceries etc. ......................... 520 (Includes £40 for one lot of school lunches. I am REALLY struggling to reduce this, but feel I could and should be able to!)
    Clothing................................ 100 (growing children, plus see notes below re clothes)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 225 (90% DH commuting costs)
    Road tax................................ 16.27
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 30
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50
    Childcare/nursery....................... 70 (this will disappear in April as child 3 gets free 15 hours)
    Other child related expenses............ 81.85 (music/swimming lessons x2, cubs and beavers, National Trust membership as they love visiting them)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 90
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 135
    Holiday................................. 75
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2707.29



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 210000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 800
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 210800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 173733...(698)......3.14
    Total secured & HP debts...... 173733....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard....................6880.21...156...... .0
    MBNA...........................9614.71...98....... .0
    Parental loan..................20000.....0.........0 (see notes below)
    Tesco loan.....................21000.....377.......10
    Total unsecured debts..........57494.92..631.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,153.86
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,707.29
    Available for debt repayments........... 446.57
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 631
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -184.43


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 210,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -173,733
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -57,494.92
    Net Assets.............................. -20,427.92


    Created using the SOA calculator at stoozing.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    Regarding the (relatively) high clothes expense, it is a combination of 3 growing children (8, 6 and 3), plus the fact that my job is in the fashion industry, and as a self employed person I need to have the right sort of 'look' in order to get work (think along the lines of a self employed personal shopper - people need to see you looking good in order to book with you).

    The parental loan was for a house deposit. The parent in question has no idea about our debts. She is not desperate for the money back and isn't charging us interest, but has asked us to save £150-200 every month into a savings account and then once we've saved a decent sum to either repay them or 'reborrow' it for work on the house (basically they want us to be able to make repayments if they suddenly need the extra income, but meanwhile are happy for us to benefit from it. I am not saving the money while our debt payments are so high - we are hoping to have paid enough off that if the parent ever needs it that we can reborrow it and pay them back). This isn't great, but realistically I think the best solutions is to treat it as the lowest priority for snowballing - once we have paid back the other debts we will throw the entire £630+ at this debt.

    So, there is a freaking enormous shortfall every month, which is somewhat depressing. Most months it is covered by the fact that I earn more than my 'bare minimum', but it is those months where it isn't covered that the debt creeps up again, and I am a total disaster for going 'oh well, we've spent on the credit card, we might as well keep going' and buying more clothes or something for the house - this is probably a significant proportion of our debt problem.

    We have managed to get rid of the balance on the one credit card we were spending on, so the remaining ones are both on 0% deals (although one expires in September). I have not cut up the remaining credit card, because we don't have an emergency fund in case of eg boiler repairs, but it has not been used for all of a month, and I hope to keep it that way.

    A DMP or similar isn't really on my horizon right now - I feel like we should be able to make the cuts to make our budgets balance, and I am optimistic that as my income goes up (when I can work more as child 3 starts school) that we will be able to make overpayments.

    My plan for now is:
    1) Try to wiggle those budget numbers around enough that we don't have a shortfall any more.
    2) Make a plan for any months where I make extra - do I use it for an emergency fund, as a fund to cover future months' shortfalls, to throw money at the debt to try to reduce minimum payments in case of future 'shortfall' months?
    3) Try to make more money. Not quite sure how this will work as I am largely limited to working around DH's working hours (I work evenings and weekends and the 5hrs childcare per week we are paying for for child 3).

    Now that's all down in black and white I am feeling a combination of relieved (to be clear on the numbers) and immensely stressed (by the semi-regular £180+ shortfall).

    Onwards and downwards (for the debt, not me)!

    edited to add: the original £67,031.92 figure was based on the total figure for the Tesco loan, which included all interest payable over the entire term of the loan. I have updated the debt figure in my signature and in all posts going forward as at 4th June 2017 to reflect that actual current debt balance rather than the balance plus interest over the lifetime of the loan. This has knocked £7,911.62 off the debt figure, but means that each monthly payment will have the interest for that month deducted from it, so it won't affect the DFD if I don't make overpayments.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 04-06-2017 at 2:58 PM.
Page 105
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 29th Nov 17, 8:16 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 42: Day 3

    I have moved onto Pinot's first diary, thanks for the recommendation!

    No spending so far this week, which in no way makes up for the insane weekend, but at least doesn't add to the guilt.

    Looking forward to my long train journey home this evening, planning on some diary reading and knitting. Have loved the work I've done this week, hoping I get more of it.

    Not bothering with lists today, no MS to be done as I'm working again, then sitting on a train home, then falling asleep! Normal service resumes tomorrow.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 30th Nov 17, 6:23 AM
    • 4,116 Posts
    • 22,839 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Hypno06 is a MSE legend - she cleared a huge amount of debt - this is her first diary - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=397139&highlight=
    although she was posting on various threads before she started her diary.

    When you eventually get to the last diary PM me and I will give you her new name and link to her new diary as she left a few years ago and has returned but incognito for personal reasons.
    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)
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 30th Nov 17, 11:04 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 42: Day 5

    Just think, if I'd been growing a baby instead of debt busting, we'd be done by now! Almost 43 weeks in. Is it wrong to be pleased it's a debt rather than a baby? No more of those please!

    I am back home and slowly beginning to catch up with everything, but I feel like I have a million and one things to do and no time to do them (what a TOTAL change from normal!). Although I have just realised I am about to invoice for £700 from the people I worked for this week (this week's work and some other bits done this month), which will cover all of December's remaining salary and January's business expenses, and maybe even a bit of January's salary. I can't work it out in my head. £700 feels like a proper big chunk of income (even though it's not all profit) and explains why I have been so busy - it's been lots of little bits of work rather than one big project, so I kind of hadn't noticed it accumulating over the month.

    Thank you for the DFD recommendations. I am really enjoying PG's diary at the moment (2012! Remember the days when you could get properly good wine in Aldi for £2.99?! That's inflation, that is) but have bookmarked the other recommendations too.

    Right, bare essentials that need doing today:
    1. sort out November's budgeting disaster and plan December's budgeting disaster (nothing like a bit of optimism ).
    2. clear emails, work enquiries etc - bare minimum work admin.
    3. put together the DCs' advent calendar.
    4. check whether my mum brought any fabric with her for the tree skirt before she goes.

    To do this week
    1. put advent calendar together.
    2. DO SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - still have no stockings, no presents from another relative who has asked me to buy for the DC, nothing for DH....
    3. fabric for tree skirt - need to check if my mother brought any down with her.
    4. keep on top of work admin so it isn't a nightmare on Thursday when I'm home. Yeah, that went well. Not.

    To do this month
    1. Keep the total spend at the budgeted level - it's high on YNAB this month (£3,842) as it includes the £470 paid off the MBNA card and all our savings pots are actually budgeted.!This is not going well.
    2. Keep a tight record of Christmas spends so I can ensure it sticks to budget as far as possible.!Ongoing.
    3. Keep beavering away at my business goals.!Ongoing.
    4. Make some candles - we've run out! And I know one person really wants another one for Christmas, so will add it to her hyacinth.!Done! Although I'll probably use them up and need to make more before Christmas.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 30th Nov 17, 5:31 PM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Well the numbers for December are slightly horrifying . Thanks to overspending this month, the mortgage payment on the SVR at £780 (as opposed to just under £700), the enormous spend on the car and anything else (mainly our fault) that feels like its come together in a perfect storm of spending, thing are looking tighter than a tight thing.

    I think I'm going to have to relinquish a couple of savings pots I had going for the business (new laptop, a bit of training I wanted to do) which will free up around £200. I am simultaneously regretting and pleased that I reduced my Partnership card limit recently, as the lack of credit there is really forcing me to stick to my Christmas budget.

    Really hoping a couple of booking enquiries I have come to something quickly - I can't extract any more from my business account until I know I have January's salary covered and I need to turnover a few hundred pounds before that happens - I can't take the stress of not having enough in January either!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 30th Nov 17, 8:40 PM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Finished today with another almost-definitely-confirmed booking (client says a cheque will be in the post tomorrow, booking will be confirmed when cheque is received) which reduces stress levels a tiny fraction, although it's really only a small amount of work/money.

    Had quite a nice day in the end today, didn't stress too much, and a friend bought a load of old product samples off me which was another unexpected £50 in; always nice .

    to do today
    1. sort out November's budgeting disaster and plan December's budgeting disaster (nothing like a bit of optimism ). Done. Nicely stressful
    2. clear emails, work enquiries etc - bare minimum work admin. Done.
    3. put together the DCs' advent calendar. Done.
    4. check whether my mum brought any fabric with her for the tree skirt before she goes. Done. She hadn't, but she did pay for the fabric in town as she owed me a tenner for a product I ordered on my work account a little while ago.

    To do this week
    1. put advent calendar together. Done.
    2. DO SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - still have no stockings, no presents from another relative who has asked me to buy for the DC, nothing for DH.... Should probably think about this at some stage
    3. fabric for tree skirt - need to check if my mother brought any down with her. Done.
    4. keep on top of work admin so it isn't a nightmare on Thursday when I'm home. Yeah, that went really well. Not.

    To do this month
    1. Keep the total spend at the budgeted level - it's high on YNAB this month (£3,842) as it includes the £470 paid off the MBNA card and all our savings pots are actually budgeted.!I think we can safely call this a total and utter, unequivocal fail.
    2. Keep a tight record of Christmas spends so I can ensure it sticks to budget as far as possible.!Ongoing.
    3. Keep beavering away at my business goals.!Ongoing.
    4. Make some candles - we've run out! And I know one person really wants another one for Christmas, so will add it to her hyacinth.!Done! Although I'll probably use them up and need to make more before Christmas.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 1st Dec 17, 12:36 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 4,714 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    How dire is the laptop? I'm super impressed that you have (had) money in savings accounts for things like training! I never quite get that far.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    November 2017 - $216,000.00 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 1st Dec 17, 5:25 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 42: Day 6

    Woop, a new month! I do love a clean YNAB slate to budget with. Obviously it would be nice if I was budgeting with rather more money, but you can't have everything, right?

    I currently have £140 in my Christmas budget pot, despite having something closer to £800 left to spend. I have also included DH and my birthdays in the Christmas budget (they both fall within a couple of weeks either side of Christmas, so we tend to agree a budget for birthday + Christmas each, and divide it as we please). And if anybody wants to suggest not doing birthday presents this year, that ain't happening. I am about four years old on the inside and will not be missing out on my birthday presents . I love it when my birthday falls on a weekend, as it does this year - it's at the right time to put up the tree, drink mulled wine and eat mince pies, which is my absolute favourite thing, so it's the perfect birthday activity for me.

    Hoping to be paid some invoices today - I am waiting for about £1,200!

    Armchairexpert - the laptop is not remotely dire, but I know it's going to take me a long time to save, so I was trying to get ahead (that was a resounding success). I had only just started the training pot, so that wasn't terribly impressive either. I should probably focus on getting a few more months ahead in my business account, but that proved such a disaster last time I did - when I spent it all - that I'm nervous about having it all in one 'pot' and feeling too rich.

    I absolutely must phone up Partnership today - my new CC never did arrive, and the old one has now expired, so I can't do more than spend £140 on Christmas until it does!

    Really hope our mortgage happens in the next week or two, in time for January's mortgage payment, and to get rid of the Tesco loan.

    DH has strung up the activities advent calendar with fairy lights and it looks really pretty. The children also have a chocolate one and a picture one each, sent by relatives, so our house is advent-tastic. My lovely step mother also sent me a tea advent calendar, which I'm rather excited about, as I haven't had an advent calendar for years. Feeling quite festive now! I'm really pleased I've managed a full advent calendar's worth of activities, without having to resort to any little gifts - I usually end up bulking it out with a few lego minifigs or similar. I won't say the calendar is exactly budget friendly, as the Christmas eve lego set is fairly enormous and expensive, but it's nice not to have added any tat to it.

    We are off to friends' this weekend, which will be lovely, although we probably all could have done with a weekend at home. They are very good friends though, and will be happy for us to have a quiet weekend, as we're all a bit exhausted!

    Hyacinth experts, should mine be coming in from the dark/cool room yet?

    to do today
    1. pack for weekend away
    2. pack orders for smaller business.
    3. buy gingerbread to eat in the car on the way to friends' house (that's today's advent activity, and I can't face making it!)
    4. do some more Christmas knitting - I am working on a hat for DH, it's a much trickier pattern than I expected, but I'm enjoying learning some new techniques for the first time in a few years (provisional cast on and german short rows, fellow knitters).
    5. ask around for recommendations for goose/turkey legs - haven't ordered yet, would really like a local free range one. We do have four butchers within one mile, so I'm assuming one of them will be able to provide!
    6. check advent activities for the next few days and make sure we have any crafty/baking supplies needed.
    7. order some Christmas presents - Friday normally involves sitting on the sofa with DC3 while she watches TV, exhausted after four days at preschool, so can be quite good for knitting and online shopping .
    8. plan month out in my bullet journal, including business goals.
    9. check on the hyacinths.

    To do this week
    1. put advent calendar together. Done.
    2. DO SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - still have no stockings, no presents from another relative who has asked me to buy for the DC, nothing for DH.... Should probably think about this at some stage
    3. fabric for tree skirt - need to check if my mother brought any down with her. Done.
    4. keep on top of work admin so it isn't a nightmare on Thursday when I'm home. Yeah, that went really well. Not.

    To do in December
    1. finish Christmas shopping!
    2. buy DH's birthday present while I'm doing the Christmas shopping.
    3. make some more candles.
    4. don't try to do too much! I already have a few client bookings and lots of work I want to do, alongside the Christmas stuff. I need to make sure I don't get overwhelmed again.
    5. update debt totals at the end of the month, to ensure we know where we are as we start 2018.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 01-12-2017 at 5:31 AM.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • cocalls
    • By cocalls 1st Dec 17, 5:50 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 1,979 Thanks
    cocalls
    regarding goose for xmas

    my inlaws got goose one year for a change, this was years ago and whenever the subject of what meat to get for xmas comes up FIL always goes on about the year we had goose how expensive it was and how little meat there was-if i remember there was barely enough to cover 6 of us for the meal, he always says never again.

    How about the free range chicken you get, you rarely have meat and with posh HM stuffing it'll still feel like a treat.
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 1st Dec 17, 7:43 AM
    • 4,518 Posts
    • 13,261 Thanks
    Verbatim
    We are usually three at Christmas and buy the largest goose possible, still not very big, and it's delicious but very little meat is left. We do a hfw recipe and confit the legs first and make terrine with the innards, so at least we get another few meals. Much better taste than turkey imo but it is expensive and don't expect leftovers with five.
    Can I suggest dropping candle making from your to do list? Hope the money rolls in quickly.
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st Dec 17, 10:18 AM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,078 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I bought my little (medium) frozen turkey crown in Morries last week and the frozen geese were in the next freezer compartment. They were just £30. I am going to get one for the Sunday before Christmas. I have paid £70 before now for a large goose from the butcher. It was delicious. So was the supermarket one I bought last time for less than half the price. Morries have high animal welfare standards, were the only brand untainted by the horsemeat substitution scandal, source all their meat in Britain and from farms they know.

    Your money, your choice.

    I am loving the activities! I am making Granny's recipe fudge, shortbread and mince pies today, but all for the coffee and craft sale tomorrow. I have some Christmas cellophane bags for the "Made in nnnn" stall and just about to print my recipes for the jars with ingredients and recipes that make good stocking fillers. I must also do a social media alert to some of the things on my n-Bay stall (all buy it now or best offer).
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 01-12-2017 at 10:19 AM. Reason: typo
    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
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 2nd Dec 17, 8:49 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Yesterday's lists...

    to do today
    1. pack for weekend away. Done, at the nth hour.
    2. pack orders for smaller business. Not done, but can wait till Monday.
    3. buy gingerbread to eat in the car on the way to friends' house (that's today's advent activity, and I can't face making it!). Done - outsourced to DH.
    4. do some more Christmas knitting - I am working on a hat for DH, it's a much trickier pattern than I expected, but I'm enjoying learning some new techniques for the first time in a few years (provisional cast on and german short rows, fellow knitters). Not done, but DH is out with his mate today so hoping for time to knit (while in charge of three children. That'll happen...).
    5. ask around for recommendations for goose/turkey legs - haven't ordered yet, would really like a local free range one. We do have four butchers within one mile, so I'm assuming one of them will be able to provide! I had forgotten that the husband half of the friends we are staying with worked on an organic goose farm last year and is friends with the owner, so hoping for some mates rates, he's going to call today and see if he can get us one.
    6. Check advent activities for the next few days and make sure we have any crafty/baking supplies needed. Not done, must add to today's list.
    7. order some Christmas presents - Friday normally involves sitting on the sofa with DC3 while she watches TV, exhausted after four days at preschool, so can be quite good for knitting and online shopping . NOT DONE.
    8. plan month out in my bullet journal, including business goals. Not done.
    9. check on the hyacinths. Not done. Hope they survive the weekend, their hiding place is pretty darn cold.

    To do this week
    1. put advent calendar together. Done.
    2. DO SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - still have no stockings, no presents from another relative who has asked me to buy for the DC, nothing for DH.... Should probably think about this at some stage
    3. fabric for tree skirt - need to check if my mother brought any down with her. Done.
    4. keep on top of work admin so it isn't a nightmare on Thursday when I'm home. Yeah, that went really well. Not.

    To do in December
    1. finish Christmas shopping!
    2. buy DH's birthday present while I'm doing the Christmas shopping.
    3. make some more candles.
    4. don't try to do too much! I already have a few client bookings and lots of work I want to do, alongside the Christmas stuff. I need to make sure I don't get overwhelmed again.
    5. update debt totals at the end of the month, to ensure we know where we are as we start 2018.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 2nd Dec 17, 8:54 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 42: Day 7

    Suffolk lass - good to know about Morries' geese - our local supermarket, so if the mates rates one we're hoping for doesn't happen, that's an option.

    Phoned partnership yesterday, turns out I hadn't changed our address since moving two years ago. Whoops.

    Hoping for a fairly budget weekend - going to friends' child's school Christmas fair today, but no other outings planned. And I have practically no cash on me, so can't spend any more than about a fiver at the fair even if my children hassle me!

    to do today
    1. keep spends to a minimum.
    2. check whether any invoices were paid yesterday.
    3. Christmas knitting.
    4. check advent calendar activities for next week and make sure we have any supplies needed.
    5. do some Christmas shopping (online).

    To do this week
    1. put advent calendar together. Done.
    2. DO SOME CHRISTMAS SHOPPING - still have no stockings, no presents from another relative who has asked me to buy for the DC, nothing for DH.... Should probably think about this at some stage
    3. fabric for tree skirt - need to check if my mother brought any down with her. Done.
    4. keep on top of work admin so it isn't a nightmare on Thursday when I'm home. Yeah, that went really well. Not.

    To do in December
    1. finish Christmas shopping!
    2. buy DH's birthday present while I'm doing the Christmas shopping.
    3. make some more candles.
    4. don't try to do too much! I already have a few client bookings and lots of work I want to do, alongside the Christmas stuff. I need to make sure I don't get overwhelmed again.
    5. update debt totals at the end of the month, to ensure we know where we are as we start 2018.[/QUOTE]
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 3rd Dec 17, 12:14 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 1,885 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    If you check on your hyacinths they should have good root growth and will have grown above the compost level, although they will look yellowy due to being in the dark. Depending on when you are planning to give them, bring them out from the darkened room and leave in daylight, in a warmer temperature than the darkened room so that they can green up. Basically the prepared bulbs have already been tricked to think that they have gone through winter and started to grow when planted. Bringing them into a warmer environment, than the darkened room convinces the plants that Spring has arrived and they start to flower. I usually put some moss around on the top of the compost, so that the hyacinths protrude through.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Dec 17, 5:10 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 43: Day 2

    Good morning! Another week begins...

    Honeysucklelou2 thanks for the hyacinth advice - will pop out and check on them today.

    Finally managed to do some Christmas shopping (online) yesterday. Wanted to get some arts and craft supplies for the DC (we go through them at a crazy rate), and had estimated a budget of £30 per child (so £90). Filled my amazon basket with things I thought they'd like and it came to almost £200. Back in the day I would have taken out a couple of things and probably ended up around £150, and been pleased that I had reduced it from the initial £200, but I stuck at it, really trying to pare it down to what they'd love and ended up UNDER budget. I still need to buy a box for each of them, but my total basket came to £80 in the end, and I had £14 of amazon vouchers leftover from last cashback payout, so I only paid £66. I know it will end up being a little over the £90 in real terms (ignoring the cashback voucher) once I buy three boxes to put it in, but not much, and a heck of a lot better than the £200 I started with. Small victories, right?

    Going to try to get a bit more shopping done today, but we'll see how it goes!

    Today is all about catching up - I've had another provisional booking which I'm hoping will turn into payment in the next day or two, and a few bits of admin to do. I already have my january business expenses covered, and if all these bookings actually happen I'll have half of my January 'salary' covered before I invoice for my contract work at the end of the month too. I would love to be a full month ahead in my business account, but I'm still a fair way off that heady dream!

    I'm sure there was something else I was going to write about this morning, but it has drifted out of my head... I'm sure it will come back to me!

    I have had a low level sinus infection/cough/blocked ears for a week now. It's more irritating than debilitating, but I'd really like it to clear off now. Hoping that a (moderately) quiet week will help me on my way, after a fortnight of crazy.

    to do today
    1. meet client for coffee (really regretting arranging this, am too busy for such niceties - must be stricter with my time)
    2. plan week's work.
    3. Christmas knitting.
    4. do some more Christmas shopping.
    5. pack orders for smaller business.
    6. contract work.
    7. purchase and post a birthday present that needs to go today.
    8. post yet another thing we had to sign for the remortgage. I'm now at the stage of wondering whether it's going to be done in time for January's payment! Must start the process three months before expiry date next time.

    To do this week
    1. finish Christmas shopping.
    2. finish DH Christmas knitting.
    3. get ahead on contract work.
    4. buy Christmas cards.

    To do in December
    1. finish Christmas shopping!
    2. buy DH's birthday present while I'm doing the Christmas shopping.
    3. make some more candles.
    4. don't try to do too much! I already have a few client bookings and lots of work I want to do, alongside the Christmas stuff. I need to make sure I don't get overwhelmed again.
    5. update debt totals at the end of the month, to ensure we know where we are as we start 2018.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Dec 17, 2:45 PM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Just doing a menu plan and food shopping list. Last month was such a disaster - I didn't make enough when batch cooking, and then was away several weekends and some weekdays, so DH ended up buying ready made things for packed lunches or buying expensive ham for sandwiches. Plus we entertained one weekend, and spent probably £50 extra on nice food. So we spent an insane £483.25 on food last month!

    I definitely feel like batch cooking is the way to go, just difficult to fit it in - I have managed to schedule in one a month for the whole of 2018, but more than that is impossible. Anyway, I have a batch cooking day scheduled in for Saturday, so this week's food shop is set to be a ridiculous £110. Fingers crossed it will be low for the next week or two after that before extra pricey Christmas shopping.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 4th Dec 17, 3:08 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    Chrystal
    A big pat on the back TOPM for skimming the DCs craft stuff down.... it proves that your 'mindset' has changed and that must make you feel better.

    Hope your sinus etc clears up soon, it's the type of thing that is really irritating!

    Re batch cooking, if you factor in the money you will save on grocery shopping by doing this - £100 month?- then it definitely needs to be factored into 'money saving time'.... the coffee with the client time could have been put to better use maybe?

    I think it's time to look back and see how far you have actually come... and that's a LONG way. X
    GC. Oct.17 = £261.18/ £300 = + £38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = £354.89/£300 = - £54.39

    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Dec 17, 4:25 PM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    The client coffee time SO could have been put to better use. I am doing some work for her in the new year, but I have decided no more coffees or anything until I have a booking and payment.

    Am anticipating my MSE halo arriving any day now, since I have also come in SEVEN WHOLE POUNDS under budget for another gift. I am starting on the stockings now though, which is always, ahem, something of a weak spot.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 4th Dec 17, 5:59 PM
    • 124 Posts
    • 830 Thanks
    Chrystal
    The client coffee time SO could have been put to better use. I am doing some work for her in the new year, but I have decided no more coffees or anything until I have a booking and payment.

    Am anticipating my MSE halo arriving any day now, since I have also come in SEVEN WHOLE POUNDS under budget for another gift. I am starting on the stockings now though, which is always, ahem, something of a weak spot.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    X
    GC. Oct.17 = £261.18/ £300 = + £38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = £354.89/£300 = - £54.39

    • arsenalbarnie
    • By arsenalbarnie 4th Dec 17, 7:02 PM
    • 241 Posts
    • 1,443 Thanks
    arsenalbarnie
    I would find batch cooking days a bit much and quickly get fed up, it's hard work! Someone I know has managed to get a stocked freezer of staple meals and cakes etc. She then has a list on the wall of how many of each, so when something is taken out of the freezer she changes the quantity so knows when to make say another batch of bolognese. She manages this working full time by only having to usually batch cook or bake one or two items a week. I have never got to this with a big family as every meal is batch cook style!

    It may be worth thinking about as something to aim to so you could maybe do one or two things in the week so you can free up your weekend.
    • EscapingTheAlarm
    • By EscapingTheAlarm 4th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 52 Thanks
    EscapingTheAlarm
    Hello!
    I'm just popping in to say to say that I think you're doing a wonderful job of clearing your debts, still enjoying life and juggling everything else at the same time! Reading your diary makes me envious of all the lovely homemade food that you get to eat with your family while still cutting down your food bill - it's something that I need to work on. I'll be keeping a close idea on your thread for ideas!
    ETA x
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