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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,097Posts
    • 10,537Thanks
    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 106
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Dec 17, 5:23 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 43: Day 3

    Christmas shopping is going on in earnest here. Have ordered all stocking stuff. I don't know how others do it, but we have always pretty much divided each child's present budget in half, one half goes on a main present/s, the other half goes on a stocking. So it's more than just random stuff for a fiver, but not hundreds of pounds. Which is a nice preamble to pre-warn you that I went over budget on the stockings. It wasn't awful, and less over budget than I have ever been, but I had a budget of £65 for each stocking and have spent £84 on two and £79 on one. Some of those presents may get 'upgraded' to main present status when I come to wrap, as there's a total mix of big and small things and I am currently around £15 under budget per child for main presents.

    Total Christmas spend is currently standing at £848.23. I reckon I have another £350 to spend, not including food. As previously mentioned, Christmas budgeting is not my strong suit. A quick round up:
    Good - under budget for main gifts for DC
    Good - under budget for advent calendar activities
    Good - Christmas eve hamper is currently 50% under budget, although this will go up a little with sweets, dvd etc.
    Bad - likely to be over budget for DH's present
    Bad - over budget on stockings
    Ugly - wasted budget on narcissi and pots which now can't be given as they flowered early
    Ugly - spent £31 on wrapping paper, ribbons etc. Should be enough for future wrapping too (I use brown or white paper for all wrapping, with nice ribbon)
    Ugly - spent £50 on decorations when I didn't even slightly need to
    Ugly - went over budget on handmade presents for other grown ups, although again things like oils for candle making will last into the new year for us too - of the £60 I spent on supplies probably only £20 is actually going to go on gifts. Maybe I should reduce that Christmas total spend by £40. That'll make a huge difference .

    In more profitable news, I got another small booking yesterday, so am up to a whopping £130 towards January's salary.

    Need to go and do the enormous food shop this morning for batch cooking on the weekend, must resist the lure of extra Christmas stuff in Lidl! Enjoying having a week at home this week, although still resenting the wasted time with client coffee yesterday.

    arselnalbarnie I am enormously impressed at that level of freezer organisation. If i tried it, it would last until about 3.75 seconds after DH or my mum opened the freezer.

    escapingthealarm thanks for your lovely comment. You've reminded me I haven't wittered on about menu plans and budget meals for a while, must remember to share what I am planning.

    to do today
    1. food shopping - try to keep under the £110 budget!
    2. get contract work done.
    3. Christmas knitting.
    4. phone and say happy birthday to the person I sent the present to.
    5. I know there is more, I have forgotten what it is though...

    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.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 05-12-2017 at 5:26 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
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 5th Dec 17, 7:33 AM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,526 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Please don't shoot me ��But, if you are over budget on stockings, under budget on main presents and some stocking presents have the potential to be main presents. Stop spending. They will have plenty, more than enough.
    I'm pretty sure they are not Dudley Dursley's (from Harry Potter) who counted up each gift at his birthday and then threw a paddy because it was '1 less gift than last year'

    Take the decorations back if you possibly can.

    You can do this debt busting thing TOPM.
    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
    • arsenalbarnie
    • By arsenalbarnie 5th Dec 17, 8:52 AM
    • 241 Posts
    • 1,443 Thanks
    arsenalbarnie
    Ha ha the lady in question was scarily organised. Btw if you like knitting have you got the loveknitting app? It's great they add free patterns to it, I love it. They have lots of cute Christmas tree one on there at the moment and Santa hats for boiled eggs lol. You can save them in a pattern library on there.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Dec 17, 10:40 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Oh Iím all done on spending on the DCs, bar a few chocolates for the stockings. Remaining budget is on tree, wreath, crackers, presents for five other children (very close relatives/god children), cards, present for DH, replacement presents for the early narcissi situation, a secret Santa for a work group I am part of, maybe a couple of other things that I canít remember right now. There is a list!
    £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 5th Dec 17, 10:41 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Didn’t know about the loveknitting app, thanks for that!
    £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 5th Dec 17, 1:02 PM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Right, I definitely need to be banned from supermarkets until after Christmas. On the bright side, I got chocolates etc for stockings, a gingerbread house, another string of Christmas lights, Santa wrapping paper - things that were actually on my Christmas shopping list.

    On the less bright side, I spent £177.40. Of that around £33 was on Christmas bits and bobs and the remainder was food.

    BUT, as well as batch cooking ingredients bumping the price up (ingredients for 8 meals for five of us, homemade packed lunches like quiche, and homemade snacks, so quite a lot), there were loads of special offers on, so I bought 2kg of basmati rice, 2kg of macaroni, herbal tea bags to last me until about March, 32 toilet rolls, three bags of apples and a couple of other things on offer. I suspect I was still over budget - the test will be in how cheap the next two food shops are - but I don't feel it was too insanely indulgent. Just a bit insanely indulgent. I probably didn't need the edible glitter spray, on balance...
    £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
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 5th Dec 17, 2:27 PM
    • 6,636 Posts
    • 48,663 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Could the edible glitter spray become dh's present...?
    NST DDD#1; NSD 4/15; Ex 2/12; craft 11/30 (267); remove /31 (601)
    2017 MFW#63 Pay off: £3708/£4050; 2
    017 sell 351

    Mortgage £23,486 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Dec 17, 3:23 PM
    • 948 Posts
    • 4,240 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Could the edible glitter spray become dh's present...?
    Originally posted by apple muncher


    The trick is to buy things you will actually use (which you probably have done) and then not to waste them either by buying too much or having more at one go because you have lots (I know this last one because I've been having an extra cappuccino rather a lot while they are on offer).

    Perhaps next year the gingerbread house can be a project for the DCs to make from scratch and you could divide up a bag of chocolates between stockings. If you get one of those bags of Q St. from B@ndM and wrap them in a bit of Christmas paper with corkscrew-curled ribbon, a little goes quite a long way. Or even the 'seconds' chocolates from a certain well-known manufacturer beginning with Th... They are rather yummy.
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 5th Dec 17, 3:40 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    I don’t wanna be “that guy” but I am a little bit concerned at the rate that you’re spending at...I love Christmas as much as the next gal but I’m a little bit worried that you’re overcompensating?

    *scuttles back to lurkdom*
    Debt Totals November 17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents 1 / Now £12,500 £500 Loan from Parents 2 / £500 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,700
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Dec 17, 4:03 PM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Could the edible glitter spray become dh's present...?
    Originally posted by apple muncher
    is all I'm saying to that.



    The trick is to buy things you will actually use (which you probably have done) and then not to waste them either by buying too much or having more at one go because you have lots (I know this last one because I've been having an extra cappuccino rather a lot while they are on offer).

    Perhaps next year the gingerbread house can be a project for the DCs to make from scratch and you could divide up a bag of chocolates between stockings. If you get one of those bags of Q St. from B@ndM and wrap them in a bit of Christmas paper with corkscrew-curled ribbon, a little goes quite a long way. Or even the 'seconds' chocolates from a certain well-known manufacturer beginning with Th... They are rather yummy.
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    The gingerbread house is actually the cheapest way of doing it - I've done it from scratch before and by the time I've bought a few varieties of sweets and made the stupid house (which never stands up as well when it's homemade) it ends up costing a lot more than Lidl's £4.99.

    I have overspent a bit, but you're right, almost all of it is genuinely useful as long as I don't get wasteful/overindulgent, and actually use it up rather than leaving it in the cupboard. <obviously I never do this >

    I donít wanna be ďthat guyĒ but I am a little bit concerned at the rate that youíre spending at...I love Christmas as much as the next gal but Iím a little bit worried that youíre overcompensating?

    *scuttles back to lurkdom*
    Originally posted by Silver Queen
    I don't feel like I'm overcompensating (for what?), but as they say, denial is not just a river in Egypt, so I suppose it's possible...

    I don't actually feel too alarmed about the spending so far - none of it is beyond where I thought I'd be, and it's on a par with/slightly below last year's levels still (which was literally about 50% of the year before). I knew my budget was ambitious (for me) and I don't mind if I bust the odd area. I set a budget for £1,300 for Christmas, excluding food, and I'm on track to remain well within that still.
    £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
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 5th Dec 17, 6:30 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    I was worried you might feel bad about any perceived denial of things/fun/etc to your children through the year and are trying to make up for it - if youíre satisfied this isnít the case then fair enough. And as long as youíre happy with your budget then fair enough! It sounds like youíre going to have a brilliant Christmas with your family and I hope you manage to take some time off from work to relax as well

    Ps. For solidarity, you asked me to confess a few weeks ago about how much Iíve budgeted for Christmas. Iím too scared of the wrath of the MSE gods to say it out loud in my diary but the answer is around £650 for gifts for 13 people, which excludes travel, food, going out etc. So I have absolutely no room to judge
    Debt Totals November 17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents 1 / Now £12,500 £500 Loan from Parents 2 / £500 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,700
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 6th Dec 17, 12:29 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 4,714 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    My Christmas budget was $1300 which has the spending power of about £500, including food, but I'm going to go over, so probably about £650 here as well. This is because, although I am in charge of the budget, Mr Expert is in charge of Christmas and he loooooooves Christmas and also we're hosting his Mum and sister this year. So I'm like "let's get a turkey, practical and a high chance of leftovers" and he's like "Or, hear me out, how about a ham, a goose, also a whole baked fish and several dozen oysters! By the way I'd like to buy an entire new set of real silverware, I just think it'll look more festive".

    So there's that.

    I am in charge of stockings, though, because those little bits-and-bobs presents are my favourite to buy. Mine are getting a bag of chocolate coins, a snow globe, a small game (like, travel Snakes and Ladders/Uno sorts of games, not electronics), a pack of slightly-more-upscale-than-usual knickers and socks each, and a book. That'll make the stockings look bulging, hopefully give them something to do before the after lunch present opening, and is about $20/£8 each.
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Dec 17, 12:32 AM
    • 948 Posts
    • 4,240 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    The gingerbread house is actually the cheapest way of doing it - I've done it from scratch before and by the time I've bought a few varieties of sweets and made the stupid house (which never stands up as well when it's homemade) it ends up costing a lot more than Lidl's £4.99.

    I have overspent a bit, but you're right, almost all of it is genuinely useful as long as I don't get wasteful/overindulgent, and actually use it up rather than leaving it in the cupboard. <obviously I never do this >
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Oh me neither. Absolutely not. The very thought.

    Wish I had a Lidl round here.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 6th Dec 17, 4:43 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Yesterday's lists, before I start today....

    to do today
    1. food shopping - try to keep under the £110 budget! Well that went well.
    2. get contract work done. Not done.
    3. Christmas knitting. Tiny bit done.
    4. phone and say happy birthday to the person I sent the present to. Done.
    5. I know there is more, I have forgotten what it is though... Well I didn't remember...

    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.[/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
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 6th Dec 17, 5:00 AM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 43: Day 4

    Well I think perhaps I could stop spending money for a couple of days now. My poor wallet! As well as the food shop from hell yesterday, we took the DC to the town's Christmas market as their advent activity for the day. Most of the activities have been fairly cheap/free (e.g. decorate pine cones, write Christmas cards), but we managed to blow something in the region of £40 on dinner and snacks for us - a fiver each for five hot dogs, two cups of mulled wine at an insane £4 each, and a bag of candy floss for each of the DCs at £2.50 each. I'm never sure if the DC love it that much at the market, even though they ask to go every year. Maybe next year I could wrap homemade hot dogs in foil to take and we could just have the candy floss. I definitely didn't feel we got £40 worth of fun out of the experience.

    It's funny - every week seems to bring a new MSE lesson, even after almost 10 months. I'm hoping I'll have some good tools to put into use next year once we're repeating some of the things we've done (and done wrong) this year.

    Have actually got a full day at home today too - no ill advised coffees, no food shopping, just actual time at home to work and tidy today and tomorrow. I'm quite looking forward to it! Trying (and failing) not to give myself too much to do so I don't go into the weekend knackered and feeling like I haven't done everything. I've got Saturday earmarked for batch cooking then it's my birthday on Sunday and we're getting the tree (my favourite activity) so I don't want to be playing catch up with work.

    Menu plan this week is pretty MSE, not that you'd know it from yesterday's shopping (all made from scratch):
    Wednesday - butternut squash soup
    Thursday - veggie burgers and chips from the bottom of the freezer
    Friday - leftovers/general fridge and freezer scavenge (I know we have lots of single portions of various things that need using up)
    Saturday - black bean chilli
    Sunday - mackerel puttanesca
    Batch cooking - macaroni cheese (one massive, one divvied into single servings for lunches)
    columbian black bean stew (I like black beans! Good source of iron too)
    tuscan bean soup
    flapjacks (might need to make these today, as I think we're running out)
    ginger cake
    Ďchickení bites (chickpea nuggets)
    falafel balls from packet (I bought a packet of mix reduced a few weeks ago)
    leek and potato soup (my mum brought leeks from the garden)

    Armchairexpert and Silver Queen thank you for sharing Christmas budgets - even though mine is miles bigger it makes me feel slightly less awful. We have 14 adults (all our parents are divorced and remarried, plus siblings, and one set of close friends), our three DC and five other children to buy for (writing that down it seems a lot of people - I never think that it is compared to some people, but actually...). Wow. Actually that is a lot of people. Hmmm. Suddenly all those 'agree not to buy with other adults in your family' tips don't seem so irrelevant. Another lesson for next year.

    to do today
    1. CONTRACT WORK. Need to get this at least 50% cleared today, and the rest tomorrow.
    2. Christmas knitting.
    3. Help DC2 practice lines for nativity - he has the main part (weirdly, this is neither Mary or Joseph) and is pretty good already, but needs practise and confidence.
    4. Tidy the sitting room - one room a day should be manageable?!
    5. Make soup for dinner.
    6. Make flapjacks.
    7. Check mortgage paperwork - I'm sure we're supposed to get a text or something when they receive the latest bit of paperwork, and nothing yet (I posted it on Monday).

    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.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 06-12-2017 at 5:06 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
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 6th Dec 17, 2:20 PM
    • 126 Posts
    • 847 Thanks
    Chrystal
    At the rate those lightbulbs are flashing you'll be able to use yourself as a Christmas ornament!

    Lovely to hear you sounding so positive. X
    GC. Oct.17 = £261.18/ £300 = + £38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = £354.89/£300 = - £54.39

    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 6th Dec 17, 8:23 PM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    At the rate those lightbulbs are flashing you'll be able to use yourself as a Christmas ornament!

    Lovely to hear you sounding so positive. X
    Originally posted by Chrystal
    £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 6th Dec 17, 8:27 PM
    • 1,097 Posts
    • 10,537 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Woohoo, have managed to avoid spending money today. And got quite a lot done too. Maybe the two are related.

    I actually was feeling really unmotivated this morning, but I decided to do everything in 10 minute chunks, figuring I could work on one thing for 10 minutes without losing the will to live. So I alternated my contract work, cleaning, knitting and a few other little jobs, spending only 10 minutes on each at a time. It worked surprisingly well, kept me motivated all day!

    to do today
    1. CONTRACT WORK. Need to get this at least 50% cleared today, and the rest tomorrow. Did a little over half, hurrah.
    2. Christmas knitting. Did some, making good progress on DH's hat.
    3. Help DC2 practice lines for nativity - he has the main part (weirdly, this is neither Mary or Joseph) and is pretty good already, but needs practise and confidence. Done.
    4. Tidy the sitting room - one room a day should be manageable?! Done. And half the dining room.
    5. Make soup for dinner. Done. Yum.
    6. Make flapjacks. Done. And granola and sourdough, which weren't on the list but needed doing.
    7. Check mortgage paperwork - I'm sure we're supposed to get a text or something when they receive the latest bit of paperwork, and nothing yet (I posted it on Monday). Not done.

    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
    • baglady1
    • By baglady1 6th Dec 17, 11:29 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 227 Thanks
    baglady1
    Hi TOPM, I haven't posted on your thread before but would just like to say it's one of the first Diaries I read each day. Well done on tackling your debt your way. I can see your mindset changing throughout the Diary. Lots of thougthful & helpful posts (well mostly) to give us all ideas to take into our Debtbusting/Frugal journey.
    All the best for Christmas from Downunder. Cheers BL1
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 6th Dec 17, 11:39 PM
    • 725 Posts
    • 4,714 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Armchairexpert and Silver Queen thank you for sharing Christmas budgets - even though mine is miles bigger it makes me feel slightly less awful. We have 14 adults (all our parents are divorced and remarried, plus siblings, and one set of close friends), our three DC and five other children to buy for (writing that down it seems a lot of people - I never think that it is compared to some people, but actually...). Wow. Actually that is a lot of people. Hmmm. Suddenly all those 'agree not to buy with other adults in your family' tips don't seem so irrelevant. Another lesson for next year.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    That is a huge number of people! We both buy for our mothers (one Dad is deceased, the other is sporadically absent from our lives so I just send a card now), plus a childless sibling each (because they buy for our kids), each other, nieces and our kids. Plus teacher gifts and a thing for under the school Wishing Tree. So 6 children and 7 adults not counting teachers etc.

    It did used to be more until I implemented a Secret Santa thing with the adults in Mr E's family, because there are a lot of them and it was getting ridiculous especially since we live in a different part of the country and the postage fees were killing us.

    As for still learning MSE ways, I'm reminded of the Anne of Green Gables quote.
    "Marilla, isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"
    "I'll warrant you'll make plenty in it," said Marilla. "I never saw your beat for making mistakes, Anne."
    "Yes, and well I know it," admitted Anne mournfully. "But have you ever noticed one encouraging thing about me, Marilla? I never make the same mistake twice."
    "I don't know as that's much benefit when you're always making new ones."
    "Oh, don't you see, Marilla? There must be a limit to the mistakes one person can make, and when I get to the end of them, then I'll be through with them. That's a very comforting thought."
    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
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