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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 8:56 AM
    • 402Posts
    • 2,614Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed....
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 17, 8:56 AM
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed.... 12th Feb 17 at 8:56 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)!
Page 19
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 9th Mar 17, 11:13 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 1,752 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    You were over 67K just moments ago and now you're in the 65K! Well done!

    I hear you on wanting to spend money to make life easier when the business is busy. Mine is quiet at the moment (deliberately! I fired a couple of low paying clients so I could free up time to find better paid ones, and I'm...in between those two stages, let's say) and my MSE activities have gone up accordingly. When things are frantic, making your own bread and pegging out washing every morning are just not things you want to spend your precious few free minutes on. Last year I was working until bedtime and past it most evenings, so I just flung money at every time saver I could, and it's been a matter of clawing those back ever since.
    MFW

    Feb 17 -$229,371
    March 17 -$230,023
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Mar 17, 11:31 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I've been able to make another debt payment, bringing our grand total down to....

    £65,931.71.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Fabulous! Rejoicing for you
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 3:58 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Thank you all so much! Tiny tiny baby steps, but this feels like real progress.

    I'm not overpaying nearly as frantically as last month (only about £50 in overpayments in total so far this month), as I'm determined not to overpay and then have to put birthday things on the CC (two of my children have birthdays this month), but hopefully this means that in April we'll be able to get back into significant overpayments, especially as a couple of outgoings (nursery, council tax) should drop a bit.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • motivated
    • By motivated 10th Mar 17, 6:00 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    motivated
    Morning TOPM
    Just noticed what time you posted
    Early bird and all that
    M
    I have arrived in DMP Land and I like it. I may stay a while
    April 2017 £82,500 - DFD July 2024
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 10th Mar 17, 6:22 AM
    • 948 Posts
    • 3,371 Thanks
    angelpye
    Morning! Well done on the new debt total! Feels like I blinked and you had jumped another milestone!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: £2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 2/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 6:37 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Morning TOPM
    Just noticed what time you posted
    Early bird and all that
    M
    Originally posted by motivated
    I get up at 4:30am every day to do yoga.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 6:38 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Morning! Well done on the new debt total! Feels like I blinked and you had jumped another milestone!
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Blink again and maybe I'll be down to £0!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • motivated
    • By motivated 10th Mar 17, 6:39 AM
    • 421 Posts
    • 815 Thanks
    motivated
    I get up at 4:30am every day to do yoga.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Wow, I just about put the kettle on
    M
    I have arrived in DMP Land and I like it. I may stay a while
    April 2017 £82,500 - DFD July 2024
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 4: Day 6

    Right, back on the positivity wagon today. Need to stop feeling sorry for myself because I have work to do. Work means money, one way or another! I'm a little less busy for the next couple of days, purely because DH is taking the children away for the weekend after school today, so once they're gone I have fewer bodies to worry about!.

    My Great Ham Experiment this week was a success - rather than buying 2 hugely expensive packets of manky reformed mechanically recovered ham for some ridiculous sum, I bought a gammon joint for £6, cooked it and sliced it up. So far it's done one ham, egg and chips dinner for the five of us, one spaghetti carbonara type meal for the five of us, and the remainder (still about 15% of it left) is going to go into some kind of pasty filling for the children and DH's car journey this evening. Ham win!

    To do today:
    1. Make bread
    2. Bake for clients tomorrow.
    3. make pasties and put together a picnic dinner for DH and the children to eat in the car so they don't have to stop at a services.
    4. clean house for clients tomorrow.
    5. Post on social media for work.
    6. Work on smaller business for a couple of hours.
    7. Plan out weekend working for maximum efficiency while DH and children are away.
    8. Knit socks
    9. Mend fancy dress costumes so they can go away into the cupboard ready for the next dressing up day at school (so many of these at the kids' school, we have ended up with quite a costume collection!).
    10. Order essential oils so I can make more candles

    To do this week:
    1. Look into changing bank accounts and decide whether we want the hassle (I rather like having all our accounts available under one login, not sure I want to open up three new accounts).
    2. Make the statement payment to the barclaycard (it will come out by DD if I don't pay it manually, but I like to get everything lined up as early as possible so it makes my YNAB look prettier). Done!
    3. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    4. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    5. Plan birthday parties so anything needed can be ordered in.
    6. Declutter one room - I feel like the clutter in the house is bothering me again, it's been building up over the past few weeks.Done! Going to attempt to get the kids' room done too by the end of the week.
    7. Take lots of photos for social media at an event I'm going to on Thursday. Done!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 10th Mar 17, 1:28 PM
    • 10,107 Posts
    • 64,672 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Good idea to avoid the services with your picnic ! I hate how expensive they make the coffee there or at the airport. It's nuts!

    Love ham cooked that way. Always do a Christmas ham.
    Last edited by Bobarella; 10-03-2017 at 10:24 PM.
    £378 Debt free by 31/03/17 or bust
    Roadkill 17 £52.30 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1475.90 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    PAYDBX 7 #£397/£760 to go!!
    NST March1 4/15
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 2:01 PM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Good idea to avoid the services with your picnic ! I hate how expensive the make the coffee there or at the airport. It's nuts!

    Love ham cooked that way. Always do a Christmas ham.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    DH secretly loves stopping at services, so I have to make it basically impossible by over-providing on the picnic front to such an extent that there is literally nothing he needs.

    I always do a ham at Christmas, but somehow it has literally never occurred to me to do it at other times of year.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • Peggybabcot
    • By Peggybabcot 10th Mar 17, 3:00 PM
    • 289 Posts
    • 1,812 Thanks
    Peggybabcot
    I've just sat down and created a spreadsheet of our debt with an action plan to pay off as much above the expected payments as possible. You said something about looking at it as a percentage which kinda focused me. I'm finding your thread inspiring. So once again, thank you.
    I suddenly realised I only have about 17 years until retirement *gulp* Where did life go?! *sigh*
    Congratulations on the continued overpaying by the way. x
    Grocery challenge June 2016
    £500/£516.04
    Grocery challenge July 2016
    £500/£503.73
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Mar 17, 7:13 PM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Blimey, I'm tired out! I downloaded a habit tracker app today (I've realised that although I eat moderately healthily and do daily yoga, I'm actually missing some of the basics like getting 5 a day and walking 10,000 steps, plus I want to improve some of my housework habits), and it turns out that 10,000 steps is a long way! I can't believe how low my daily step count has been recently. It's called Productive, and so far I'm really impressed.

    To do today:
    1. Make bread. Done! Two loaves, one now in the freezer.
    2. Bake for clients tomorrow. Done! Need to ice biscuits in the morning, can't be bothered now.
    3. make pasties and put together a picnic dinner for DH and the children to eat in the car so they don't have to stop at a services. Done!
    4. clean house for clients tomorrow. Mostly done! Will finish off in the morning.
    5. Post on social media for work. A tiny bit done, but not enough really.
    6. Work on smaller business for a couple of hours. Nope. Poor little business
    7. Plan out weekend working for maximum efficiency while DH and children are away. Done! I've realised I won't have that much spare time by the time I've seen clients and caught up with one friend, but at least I won't have overly high expectations of achieving loads.
    8. Knit socks. A bit of progress, not finished.
    9. Mend fancy dress costumes so they can go away into the cupboard ready for the next dressing up day at school (so many of these at the kids' school, we have ended up with quite a costume collection!). Not done. Piled up in dining room to make me feel guilty over the weekend.
    10. Order essential oils so I can make more candles. Not done. This afternoon has totally got away from me, most unlike me to fail on so many items!

    To do this week:
    1. Look into changing bank accounts and decide whether we want the hassle (I rather like having all our accounts available under one login, not sure I want to open up three new accounts).
    2. Make the statement payment to the barclaycard (it will come out by DD if I don't pay it manually, but I like to get everything lined up as early as possible so it makes my YNAB look prettier). Done!
    3. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    4. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    5. Plan birthday parties so anything needed can be ordered in.
    6. Declutter one room - I feel like the clutter in the house is bothering me again, it's been building up over the past few weeks.Done! Going to attempt to get the kids' room done too by the end of the week.
    7. Take lots of photos for social media at an event I'm going to on Thursday. Done!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Mar 17, 9:34 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 114 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Blimey, I'm tired out
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Me too... reading all the stuff you've got done.

    That app sounds interesting, I might look into that. I use a habit tracker in a bullet journal but an app might be more thorough.

    Don't get too guilty about the pile of costumes. Maybe you should put them in a neat stack with something pretty on top to let yourself know you can do wonders with your hands and brain?

    Candles sound lovely too... now I want to try making candles even though most of the family get wheezy with scented ones!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 5:19 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    That app sounds interesting, I might look into that. I use a habit tracker in a bullet journal but an app might be more thorough.

    Don't get too guilty about the pile of costumes. Maybe you should put them in a neat stack with something pretty on top to let yourself know you can do wonders with your hands and brain?

    Candles sound lovely too... now I want to try making candles even though most of the family get wheezy with scented ones!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    I love the idea of a bullet journal or similar, and I do have a Filofax which I use for planning my week, but even though I adore notepads and pens, I have accepted that what I actually have with me and to hand all of the time is my phone. Much easier to plan and track most things on there really.

    Re the candles, have you tried pure essential oil ones? I am allergic to most artificial scents, but not to 90% of essential oils (although I put ginger in one candle once, which I am not remotely allergic to as a cooking ingredient, but it definitely disagreed with me as a scent!)
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 5:30 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 4: Day 7

    Gosh, the last day of my fourth week! In some ways it's flown, in others it's been painfully slow. I'm so proud of the amount we've paid off the debt (around £1,100), but hyper-aware of the enormous amount left, and wishing I could do something more proactive to clear it. I'm trying to remind myself that until I have more childcare, I am absolutely working at 100%, I just don't have more hours in which to achieve things. It's not like I ever sit and watch TV and could cut that time to work harder - I work evenings and weekends while DH has the children.

    Busy weekend ahead, mostly working but am indulging in going for a coffee with a friend this afternoon. First time I will have spent any money in a cafe/bar/restaurant since LBM, and I feel very guilty. I do have £115 in my personal kitty which I have been saving for clothes, so the money is there, it just feels very wrong to actually spend it!

    To do today:
    1. Feed sourdough starter.
    2. ice biscuits for clients
    3. finish cleaning house for clients.
    4. Post on social media for work.
    5. Knit socks (I'd like to get past the heel on the second sock).
    6. Order essential oils so I can make more candles.
    7. Don't get tempted into browsing shops after coffee with friend - I'll end up blowing the budget!

    To do this week:
    1. Look into changing bank accounts and decide whether we want the hassle (I rather like having all our accounts available under one login, not sure I want to open up three new accounts).
    2. Make the statement payment to the barclaycard (it will come out by DD if I don't pay it manually, but I like to get everything lined up as early as possible so it makes my YNAB look prettier). Done!
    3. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    4. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    5. Plan birthday parties so anything needed can be ordered in.
    6. Declutter one room - I feel like the clutter in the house is bothering me again, it's been building up over the past few weeks.Done! Going to attempt to get the kids' room done too by the end of the week.
    7. Take lots of photos for social media at an event I'm going to on Thursday. Done!

    Lots still left on my 'to do this week' list: I'll sit down and concentrate on it for a couple of hours this evening.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 11th Mar 17, 6:55 AM
    • 85 Posts
    • 265 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    TOPM, may i ask where you order your oils from? I love burning them and would like some quality ones, but haven't yet found anywhere with a good range?

    You are doing so well just 4 weeks in, go you! Enjoy your coffee today - it's coming out of personal spends and well worth it, so try not to feel too guilty. You're being responsible for your debt and paying back every single penny - you're allowed a treat every now and again too!!

    Ada
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 11th Mar 17, 7:07 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 412 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    I have been following your diary and think you are doing a great job, sticking to your budget and beginning to make a good progress with paying off the debt. You do seem to be managing a very busy life and working a lot of hours round about looking after your family. I just wonder if you would make more money working these hours in a regular job? Have you counted up what your hourly rate actually is from your self employed work? Your initial soa said £250 monthly. Considering the hours you put in, it doesn't seem to be paying you that well. Of course if you enjoy what you are doing and will be able to increase that income when your children are all at school, it is probably worth the sacrifice just now.

    Anyway as you say, you can't work any harder than you are already doing and you have made a great start. Well done.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 7:31 AM
    • 402 Posts
    • 2,614 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    TOPM, may i ask where you order your oils from? I love burning them and would like some quality ones, but haven't yet found anywhere with a good range?

    You are doing so well just 4 weeks in, go you! Enjoy your coffee today - it's coming out of personal spends and well worth it, so try not to feel too guilty. You're being responsible for your debt and paying back every single penny - you're allowed a treat every now and again too!!

    Ada
    Originally posted by ada-or-ardor
    I order from https://www.enaissance.co.uk and https://www.abbeyessentials.co.uk. I don't know how good their ranges are if you're an expert, but I've never failed to find what I'm looking for at one or other place. The both offer a range of sizes for most oils too. There are probably cheaper places, but I'm always worried about the quality when it's somewhere really cheap, as you're basically relying on the honesty of the company to put in 100% the oil that they say they are.

    I have been following your diary and think you are doing a great job, sticking to your budget and beginning to make a good progress with paying off the debt. You do seem to be managing a very busy life and working a lot of hours round about looking after your family. I just wonder if you would make more money working these hours in a regular job? Have you counted up what your hourly rate actually is from your self employed work? Your initial soa said £250 monthly. Considering the hours you put in, it doesn't seem to be paying you that well. Of course if you enjoy what you are doing and will be able to increase that income when your children are all at school, it is probably worth the sacrifice just now.

    Anyway as you say, you can't work any harder than you are already doing and you have made a great start. Well done.
    Originally posted by Moneywhizz
    Possibly I could earn as much in a 'normal' job, but the flexibility that my businesses give me is worth a huge amount to us as a family - if I have a quiet month (where I only earn that £250-ish), then I'm around lots and we do things more as a family, but in a busy month (like January was), I might bring in more like £2,500, and be rushed off my feet (let's not discuss how much money i was throwing away in months where I earned that much pre-LBM!). My hourly rate usually works out at something like £10-12 per hour by the time all my admin time etc is counted in. It's not amazing, but for the flexibility etc it provides, the sum makes sense for now. Obviously I hope to be earning more like £2,000 every month once the youngest starts at school too, and be working more normal hours, and with a higher average hourly rate, which will make these leaner years worthwhile, I hope! And yes, I absolutely love love love what I do, which is worth a lot. I HATED having a 9-5 job, even though I worked in a creative industry with lots of variety.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th February 2017/DFD: £67,031.92/1st December 2026
    debt on 6/3/17/DFD: £65,836.53/1st August 2026
    • kindofagilr
    • By kindofagilr 11th Mar 17, 8:18 AM
    • 5,996 Posts
    • 20,042 Thanks
    kindofagilr
    Well done TOPM you are doing so so well xx
    At LBM DFD was Dec 2024
    £47,166.44
    /£38,397.15 ~ 25/03/2017
    ~18.59% Paid

    POAMAYC 2017 #87 PD £3248.38/£10,000

    POAMAYC 2016 #87 PD £7454.80/£7000


    Mortgage (Start Date 01/04/09 ~ 30 year term, due to end 01/07/39)
    £104,409/£87,587 (as of 28/02/17) ~ 16.11% Paid

    My Debt Free Diary (Link)
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