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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 546Posts
    • 4,386Thanks
    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)!
Page 20
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 11th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
    • 116 Posts
    • 442 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    That is great that you will be able to earn so much more when your little starts school. What a difference that will make to your debt free date. In the meantime every little helps!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 1:10 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    That is great that you will be able to earn so much more when your little starts school. What a difference that will make to your debt free date. In the meantime every little helps!
    Originally posted by Moneywhizz
    I hope so! I've set our DFD on the basis of our current lowest income (i.e. me only earning £120 per month plus child benefit on top of DH's salary), so every extra bit of earning and subsequent overpayment will really help.
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Mar 17, 9:04 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    And here endeth the fourth week! With no fireworks or fanfare, Iím afraid, just steady progress, which Iím more than happy to settle for.

    Speaking of fireworks and fanfare, did the rest of the world know about the special effects you can add to messages between iPhones? Press and hold down the send button after you write a message and there are speech bubble and screen effect options. Totally new discovery to me.

    Had an absolutely lovely afternoon catching up with my friend, and she generously treated me to tea and cake (for no particular reason, she has no idea about our financial situation), so it ended up being totally guilt free on the spending front! And we went for a lovely walk along the canal rather than through town, so no further shopping temptation.

    To do today:
    1. Feed sourdough starter. Done!
    2. ice biscuits for clients. Done!
    3. finish cleaning house for clients. Done!
    4. Post on social media for work. Done, only for one business though.
    5. Knit socks (I'd like to get past the heel on the second sock). Not done yet! Going to sit and knit in bed with an audiobook for a little while in a moment though (this is the kind of indulgence I get up to when my family go away for the weekend. Rock n roll).
    6. Order essential oils so I can make more candles. Done! Found some new scent combination ideas on pinterest, and there was a 4for3 offer on eNaissance, so have gone for four cheap oils - lavender, lemon, peppermint and eucalyptus.
    7. Don't get tempted into browsing shops after coffee with friend - I'll end up blowing the budget! Done!

    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). Done! Not changing right now, will wait until thereís an even better deal around.
    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. Havenít had a moment to do this, itís going on Mondayís list.
    4. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3. I need Dh here to double check Iíve made the best choices, but Iím ready to hit the order button.
    5. Plan birthday parties so anything needed can be ordered in. Havenít done this at all, must get on the case asap or Iíll be paying express delivery for things again.
    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!
    7. Take lots of photos for social media at an event I'm going to on Thursday. Done!

    I feel like this has been a fairly static week for me, debt-wise, Iím hoping to make some little overpayments next week as the food budget for the rest of the month starts to take shape (Iím thinking there should be a little spare money in it) and any other pots that are excessively full can be rounded down a bit. I need the motivation of regular little payments to keep me on track!
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • motivated
    • By motivated 11th Mar 17, 9:15 PM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 1,385 Thanks
    motivated
    And here endeth the fourth week! With no fireworks or fanfare, Iím afraid, just steady progress, which Iím more than happy to settle for.

    I need the motivation of regular little payments to keep me on track!
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Steady progress is good. Any progress is progress
    I agree about the motivation of little regular payments too. I need to find a way of doing this somehow. Even a couple of ££ make you feel like you are doing something.

    Keep going you are doing great
    M
    I have arrived in DMP Land and I like it. I may stay a while
    April 2017 £82,590 - £80.102.88 - DFD July 2024 April 2024

    Short term goal 220/1723.27
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 11th Mar 17, 9:34 PM
    • 5,053 Posts
    • 14,395 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Tea and cake sound lovely TOPM sometimes a treading water week is good IMO xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £8020.30 - 16/04/17 - 65.38% paid off
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Mar 17, 6:09 AM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 5: Day 1

    Last Sunday morning our debt stood at £66,237, and today it stands at £65,931.71. Most of that reduction is just standard DD payments rather than overpaying, which feels less 'special', somehow, but I'm still pleased to see such a noticeable reduction. It will probably only come down by a few quid here and there this week, as I have no particular expected income into my personal account, so it will only be if I shave a little off some budget pots.

    My mission to walk 10,000 steps a day and eat more veg has been going for three whole days and I feel noticeably better for it, I'm surprised how much difference it's making, given that I am already fairly fit and not particularly overweight (could stand to lose a few lbs, am 10lb over my ideal weight, but not an overweight BMI). Going to try to keep it up all week.

    To do today:
    1. Feed sourdough starter.
    2. Tidy up before DH and the children come home this evening.
    3. Post on social media for work (especially the business I didn't do a post for yesterday).
    4. knit socks (I managed about five minutes before dozing off last night!).
    5. Clear ironing.
    6. Put next week's menu plan into MySupermarket and see if I can wiggle the price down a little.
    7. Plan working time for this week.
    8. Check Valued Opinions for surveys.
    9. Start my little challenge of putting a little bit into my 'overpayment envelope ' in YNAB every day by rounding down or moving things around. Minimum 10p!
    10. Change sheets on our bed (will do the children's beds when I've got ours washed and dried - no tumble dryer so I try not to change them all on one day!).

    To do this week:
    1. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    2. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    3. Order any party supplies needed.
    4. Make more candles when oils arrive.
    5. Finish current socks and start knitting a new pair for my dad's birthday.
    6. Pay preschool bill (there should only be one more, smallish, bill after this one, then free hours kick in. Hurrah!).
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 12th Mar 17, 9:27 AM
    • 2,284 Posts
    • 17,687 Thanks
    sashybo
    Congrats on getting the debt total down into the 65s, always a nice feeling to go into the next bracket (as it were).

    Well done on the steps as well, it's actually really hard for me to get anywhere near 10,000 steps in a day as my job is mostly desk bound and I drive to & from work. Will need to get out & about with the pram after the baby is born.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £8106 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £41,106.12
    Loans 1 & 2 £6506.99, Car loans £26,146.06
    • kindofagilr
    • By kindofagilr 12th Mar 17, 10:05 AM
    • 6,015 Posts
    • 20,167 Thanks
    kindofagilr
    You are doing awesome paying this down!!!

    I find getting 10,000 steps on my work days hard to get as I am desk based, I usually do about 8500 on those days, on my days off when I have 3 school runs to do I do about 18,000, but come the weekend I am right down to 5000 lol I expect that will increase as the weather gets nice and we go out with the kids walking etc xx
    At LBM DFD was Dec 2024
    £47,166.44
    /£38,397.15 ~ 25/03/2017
    ~18.59% Paid

    POAMAYC 2017 #87 PD £4097.77/£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/£87,335 (as of 31/03/17) ~ 16.35% Paid

    My Debt Free Diary (Link)
    • Makalu
    • By Makalu 12th Mar 17, 11:46 AM
    • 27 Posts
    • 41 Thanks
    Makalu
    Grocery Shopping & meals
    Hi there

    Well done for even posting all this on here as it can be very daunting. We have been in a similar position in the past and I just wanted to tell you what I did to cut the grocery shop. Firstly I did a menu for the week and then wrote the list, so if I was going to be preparing meals that required two onions I would literally just buy the two. I also did an online shop to collect (for free) so I could see how much I was spending and therefore not getting to the checkout and having a huge bill. I also changed where I shopped so I would go to Aldi and Farm Foods for things like drinks and toiletries etc. It made a huge difference but takes time. Once you have done your first menu its easy. The best thing is when I get in from work and the school run I know exactly what I am making so super organised and pleased with myself. Good luck.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Mar 17, 2:00 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Congrats on getting the debt total down into the 65s, always a nice feeling to go into the next bracket (as it were).

    Well done on the steps as well, it's actually really hard for me to get anywhere near 10,000 steps in a day as my job is mostly desk bound and I drive to & from work. Will need to get out & about with the pram after the baby is born.
    Originally posted by sashybo
    I walked LOADS when my eldest was born, as he would only really nap in the pram! I lost all the baby weight plus another stone inside six months, with daily cake.

    You are doing awesome paying this down!!!

    I find getting 10,000 steps on my work days hard to get as I am desk based, I usually do about 8500 on those days, on my days off when I have 3 school runs to do I do about 18,000, but come the weekend I am right down to 5000 lol I expect that will increase as the weather gets nice and we go out with the kids walking etc xx
    Originally posted by kindofagilr
    I am not desk based, but I hadn't realised quite how sedentary I'd got since we moved closer to school a year ago - some days I literally just walk the couple of hundred yards to school and back. I feel like I'm on my feet all day doing chores, but I'm not actually doing proper stretches of walking.

    Hi there

    Well done for even posting all this on here as it can be very daunting. We have been in a similar position in the past and I just wanted to tell you what I did to cut the grocery shop. Firstly I did a menu for the week and then wrote the list, so if I was going to be preparing meals that required two onions I would literally just buy the two. I also did an online shop to collect (for free) so I could see how much I was spending and therefore not getting to the checkout and having a huge bill. I also changed where I shopped so I would go to Aldi and Farm Foods for things like drinks and toiletries etc. It made a huge difference but takes time. Once you have done your first menu its easy. The best thing is when I get in from work and the school run I know exactly what I am making so super organised and pleased with myself. Good luck.
    Originally posted by Makalu
    Thanks for the advice! I'm still fine tuning my menu planning/food shopping skills, but i can't believe how much more on top of it I am than a couple of months ago.
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • dktreesea
    • By dktreesea 12th Mar 17, 2:15 PM
    • 5,554 Posts
    • 8,662 Thanks
    dktreesea
    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.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil

    Aside from Gloucester Services (M5 southbound between junctions 11 and 12) or Tebay Services (North and South, M6, Cumbria, I prefer Tebay Services south) all of which, what a coincidence, are run by the same family, I wouldn't touch food at a motorway services. They are seriously dirty places. I have never seen so many people in a women's loo leave without washing their hands, so it seems some of the customers are no better. I've put drinks back at M&S, thinking their fridges aren't cold enough.


    Far better to get off and visit somewhere like Waitrose, splitting up the basket, so you can both use your Waitrose cards for a free, very good as coffees go, coffee.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Mar 17, 2:24 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Some little wins and some little not-wins so far today...

    Little wins:
    - £2.80 towards the debt overpayment pot; I'm going to try to add something every day this week, even if itís only 10p, by rounding down other pots or jiggling things a little. I will save it all and make an overpayment at the end of the week.
    - Just checked my YNAB 'envelopes' and realised that thanks to monthly savings and my division of any additional income, we already have £127.88 of the £425 we need for the holiday weíre committed to with family this summer, which feels like a good chunk towards it. Iíd like to have it all paid for by the end of June, which weíre on track for, and then have July/Augustís holiday money to spend on a weekend or two camping.
    - All other savings pots (car, Christmas, kids clubs etc) are on track, so we have £370 in the account we keep for those little pots of money, which feels reassuring, even though every penny of that £370 is already allocated.
    - My business account continues to look relatively healthy - I have all of Aprilís minimum salary there, plus about 1/3 of Mayís. Iíd love to have the whole of Mayís BEFORE I submit my end of month invoices for this month, so they can go towards Juneís money, and i can start to inch my way towards having three monthís salary in the bank.
    - Our emergency fund is growing. It's at a WHOPPING £12.51. Slow and steady.

    Little not-wins:
    - I really can't see how we are going to manage two birthdays for the amount we have set aside for them. Have had to dip into the birthdays pot for two other family birthdays already this month, which means we have about £125 left for our two for presents and party (although hopefully party food will come out of the excess food shopping budget for this month, so it will only be decorations/activities/party bags). I reckon I was probably spending a good £150 on party/cake/party bags etc for each child prior to this, plus another £100 each on presents, so this is a MAJOR cut.
    - Beyond the end of this month I currently have no extra work booked (on top of my regular work that provides the £120 per month minimum income level I need to make for our budget to balance). After a couple of really busy months where we have been able to debt-bust like crazy and build up an extra month's salary that feels quite unrelaxing. I'm trying to see it as a good opportunity to spend some time and energy on my smaller business and get it ticking over again.
    - Our food shopping for next week is currently showing as coming in around the £60 mark on MySupermarket. I would like it closer to £55 to give me more wiggle room for party food at the end of the month, as it's going to be so tight. Will have a play around with planned meals and see what I can do.
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Mar 17, 7:28 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Just waiting for DH and the children to arrive back, then will have a manic hour putting them (the children, not DH) to bed, so thought I'd update on today while I have a quiet moment.

    As I said in my previous post, some financial wins and losses today, but nothing unsurprising really. I just wish I could guarantee an ongoing high income so I can keep overpaying the debt, but I need to remember that even if things are as low as they go, we will still be repaying at a sensible rate and will be debt free one day. Better than the alternative.

    I managed another day of 10k steps and getting five a day. Can't believe how much of a conscious effort I have to make to ensure these two things happen, considering I thought of myself as fairly healthy before!

    To do today:
    1. Feed sourdough starter. Done!
    2. Tidy up before DH and the children come home this evening. Done!
    3. Post on social media for work (especially the business I didn't do a post for yesterday). Done!
    4. knit socks (I managed about five minutes before dozing off last night!). Have done a few more rows, nothing exciting.
    5. Clear ironing. Done! And before it even reached sofa-eating proportions. Proper domestic goddess, me.
    6. Put next week's menu plan into MySupermarket and see if I can wiggle the price down a little. Done! Have knocked a couple of quid off, I think I'll have to be happy with that.
    7. Plan working time for this week. Done!
    8. Check Valued Opinions for surveys. Forgot! Have added it to my list for tomorrow.
    9. Start my little challenge of putting a little bit into my 'overpayment envelope ' in YNAB every day by rounding down or moving things around. Minimum 10p! Done! £2.80 today.
    10. Change sheets on our bed (will do the children's beds when I've got ours washed and dried - no tumble dryer so I try not to change them all on one day!). Not done, ran out of energy after 10k step walk. Have added to tomorrow's list.

    To do this week:
    1. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    2. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    3. Order any party supplies needed.
    4. Make more candles when oils arrive.
    5. Finish current socks and start knitting a new pair for my dad's birthday.
    6. Pay preschool bill (there should only be one more, smallish, bill after this one, then free hours kick in. Hurrah!).
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 12th Mar 17, 8:00 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    ToP you are doing really well and I think its worth remembering that not only have you paid so much off but you have also cut your budget massively in order to not be increasing the debt like you were.
    I understand how hard it is to try bring a party in on budget but remember kids eat a lot less than you plan for so try to keep that in mind. Maybe homemade pizzas or something cheap like that would help? One year my eldest just wanted hot dogs (veggie), a big trifle and a birthday cake (always homemade and now she is an adult she would be disappointed if I didn't home bake one). Would it be worth thinking about what your children's favourite food is and go from there?
    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 4/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 12th Mar 17, 8:03 PM
    • 995 Posts
    • 3,627 Thanks
    angelpye
    Ps. Mini everything always goes down well although is more work...mini pizzas, mini battenburg cakes, mini cinnamon swirls...you get the picture
    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 4/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 12th Mar 17, 8:15 PM
    • 10,537 Posts
    • 67,753 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Hi TOP

    On the birthdays thing, ironically considering my main job, we've only once paid to hire an out of home party venue. Which cost £50 back in 2011. We've used our own venue twice, and have twice held home based parties. The budget has been tiny. We have always picked a theme and then run them between us. One year was a pirate party. We repurposed a box to make a treasure chest and we wrote a treasure hunt, with clues and maps etc. The kids all came dressed up. We then walked them back to our home and had a party tea.

    This year's was a much smaller affair but that seems the norm as kids get older. 8 friends, a theme of a certain trading card game, and we decorated the house with drawings Oh had done of the characters. We turned a game we already owned into that theme and the kids loved it. We did pin the tail on one of the character drawings hung on the back of a door. I made party bags from gift wrap and put all the odds and ends you end up with from other kids parties back into the bags, they all had a home made cupcake and some multi bag Chocs. They did a bit of dancing to some online music played through the laptop then played in the garden.

    The main gift was something that DS wanted and his grandparents both side chipped in so again not much from us.

    I am just thinking of all the ways you could definitely have a great party for £55 per child and I'm sure we didn't spend that much in total on either of the above.

    Hope that helps.

    Bob

    P.S just seen I've cross posted with Angel on the same topic
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £53.62 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1805.58 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Mar 17, 4:46 AM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    The crazy thing is, I have generally spent that hosting a party for a small number of children at home, not a fancy venue party! I always make their cakes and have always gone for elaborate themes, so £20+ on each cake, then another £30 on themed decorations, £20 on party food, another £30-40 on 'nice' party bag bits, maybe £20 on prizes for pass the parcel/treasure hunt/pin the tail etc, £30 on craft activities. So much money, but it never felt insanely extravagant, just lots of nice touches. They have always loved their parties. I am really worried about the elder of the two who has a birthday this month feeling short changed as he will remember his brother's birthday late last year being much 'better' in terms of decorations, cake, presents etc.
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 13th Mar 17, 9:03 AM
    • 864 Posts
    • 2,627 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Do you think you'd be able to prepare your eldest for the party so nothing comes as a surprise? I'm thinking you tell him that you're having an X themed party with Y type of cake, friends over, these games etc. I'd hype it all up to get the excitement going about the party and perhaps he won't even think about what his brother had. I think kids can be resilient - it'll all be about him, all attention on him, presents from you, friends and family and excitement about turning a year older. It wouldn't surprise me if he didn't even think twice about it.

    Alternatively, what age is he? Is he old enough that you can have a 'grown up' conversation with him about the fact that mum and dad are saving money right now so this year, all the sibling's birthdays will be like this... it might not be appropriate, but only you know what your son will respond to.

    In terms of party bags, this year I got packs of 10 books for £10 from The Works (then had a 20% discount code on top of that, so £8 for 10 books) and each child at my son's party had a book and some sweets. You could make cookies/ cupcakes so they could have a book and a cupcake as a takeaway instead of party bags which can cost an arm and a leg and sometimes be full of tat!

    I know why you're feeling a bit anxious about all this, i know i would too, but I'm pretty sure it'll all run smoothly. You're starting off a new 'normal' so it needs to happen sometime so that you can meet your goals
    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Mar 17, 10:01 AM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 5: Day 2

    Monday! I do like Mondays. Fresh start, clean sheet etc etc.

    I have so much work and life admin to catch up on this week, so I doubt there'll be much in the way of debt busting going on. Food shopping this evening, and hoping it will come in under budget so I have a little extra spare for party food.

    My 5 a day/10,000 steps a day mission continued yesterday. The walking is going to be trickier now the children are around again, but I'm going to prioritise it for a few days and see how I go.

    To do today:
    1. Bake bread.
    2. Knit socks.
    3. Change bed sheets and wash (the forecast is good, so if I wash them as soon as DH is up then they'll dry on the line).
    4. Food shopping.
    5. Try to catch up on my work/life admin lists, including, among other things, ordering party decorations, writing and posting birthday cards to family, providing my parents with present ideas for the children.
    6. Check valued opinions for surveys
    7. put a little money into my overpayment pot on YNAB.
    8. Do some batch cooking in case I am busy later on in the week.

    To do this week:
    1. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    2. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    3. Order any party supplies needed.
    4. Make more candles when oils arrive.
    5. Finish current socks and start knitting a new pair for my dad's birthday.
    6. Pay preschool bill (there should only be one more, smallish, bill after this one, then free hours kick in. Hurrah!).
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Mar 17, 7:38 PM
    • 546 Posts
    • 4,386 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Phew, have been nonstop today, but have begun to catch up with myself a bit in admin terms.

    I had good and bad financial news today.
    The good: the food shopping came in miles under budget. It would have been £59.64 (still pleasingly under budget) but I had £12.50 in nectar points so the food shop total for this week was only £47.14! That's some kind of record. To be honest, I'm surprised at how 'easily' (relatively speaking) we are staying within our £75 per week budget. This month is a 5 week month for us in food shopping terms, and it is still on track to come in at £350 (excluding party food).
    The bad: I inadvertently made a huge (£95) overpayment to the MBNA card. This was because with my barclaycard, if I pay more than the minimum payment before the DD date, it doesn't take the DD, and I assumed MBNA was the same, but apparently not! So the minimum payment came out today despite several payments already this month. SO, some manic juggling of figures (mainly dumping all the excess food budget into the credit card pot) and I have reduced that sudden £95 shortfall down to £50. I'm going to cover it by moving some money over from our savings (£30 from Christmas and £20 from the holiday pot). I hate doing it, as i'm worried I'll fail to top those pots up again, but I just don't have any other pots to borrow from. At least I have 8 months or so to top up the Christmas one, and I'll make topping up the holiday one a priority before making any more debt overpayments, as we have this holiday we're committed to. Bit of a nightmare, but it has knocked the DFD forward one more month! Silver linings.

    Anyway, today's lists...

    To do today:
    1. Bake bread. Done
    2. Knit socks. Not done, boo.
    3. Change bed sheets and wash (the forecast is good, so if I wash them as soon as DH is up then they'll dry on the line). Done! All lovely and fresh smelling from the line.
    4. Food shopping. Done! See above.
    5. Try to catch up on my work/life admin lists, including, among other things, ordering party decorations, writing and posting birthday cards to family, providing my parents with present ideas for the children. Have done everything I scheduled myself for today, a few more manic days before I'm fully up to speed again.
    6. Check valued opinions for surveys. Done, up to £5.50 now.
    7. put a little money into my overpayment pot on YNAB. Well, that rather got abandoned after making an inadvertent £95 overpayment. I think I'll call this job done for the week!
    8. Do some batch cooking in case I am busy later on in the week. Some done, but not as much as I was hoping. Will try to double cook tomorrow so there's another meal in the freezer.

    To do this week:
    1. List old unloved handbag on eb@y.
    2. Order birthday presents for child 2 and child 3.
    3. Order any party supplies needed.
    4. Make more candles when oils arrive.
    5. Finish current socks and start knitting a new pair for my dad's birthday.
    6. Pay preschool bill (there should only be one more, smallish, bill after this one, then free hours kick in. Hurrah!).
    £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: £64,738.29/1st August 2026
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