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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 794Posts
    • 6,439Thanks
    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 39
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 16th May 17, 10:48 AM
    • 10,444 Posts
    • 69,018 Thanks
    Bobarella
    I had two very quiet weeks in April. It is scary when the lines go dead so to speak.

    Are there any new platforms you could add your services to? I have just canned one completely but one of mine is a real life line, guaranteed enquiry per day usually. Do you look on local forums for work? Could you put some flyers up somewhere useful? I dont know what is relevant for your world so forgive the random dump of suggestions
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 16th May 17, 1:32 PM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I had two very quiet weeks in April. It is scary when the lines go dead so to speak.

    Are there any new platforms you could add your services to? I have just canned one completely but one of mine is a real life line, guaranteed enquiry per day usually. Do you look on local forums for work? Could you put some flyers up somewhere useful? I dont know what is relevant for your world so forgive the random dump of suggestions
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    Thanks for the random brain dump . I possibly could advertise elsewhere. I could certainly be doing more social media on both businesses which would up my income level. I am actually more struggling with making the time to do these things at the moment than I am with ideas for ways to make money, if you know what I mean.

    Time really is my number one commodity actually - I know I have earning potential, it's making the time to do the earning that's the permanent problem. We are away for the next two weekends, then it's half term, which is making me slightly stressed - even less time than usual to keep on top of everything. I am just a bit knackered at the moment - my day yesterday was not at all atypical, and it just feels like we are living at 1,000 miles an hour without really going anywhere at the moment.

    To be honest, I do often feel like just jacking in the hard work juggling everything and repaying debts for another five months until DC3 is at preschool, and just living off some of the acres of credit we have available to us still (I have an unused credit card with a £9k limit, and there is about £15k of space left on the two cards that have balances on them), and then going for a DMP at that stage. I know we won't actually do it, and it would be totally irresponsible and not in line with our (hanging onto them by a thread) financial principles, and would totally screw any chance of a decent mortgage rate when our fixed term expires in November, but some days it really is rather tempting sometimes. I know that having this diary and feeling somewhat accountable to all of you lot helps stamp on those temptations too, so thank you all for reading along.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 16th May 17, 6:30 PM
    • 470 Posts
    • 2,014 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Hi TOP. I think you've said before that you prefer not to schedule social media posts in advance, but is that something you could look at doing just for the next couple of weeks while you are so busy? It might be easier to find an hour to get this done for several days than trying to find 20 minutes here and there.

    I too feel the stress when social engagements sneak up on me. We've had two weekends away from home and although productive in their own ways, I am feeling really behind on my course work. I want to get this qualification done (realistically will be 18 months at least) because it will ultimately lead to a higher salary, but with my sparkly new MSE attitude I can't use my credit cards on convenience foods etc to compensate for my lack of time. I'm in absolute awe of how much you are juggling and giving myself a bit of a kick up the bum as a result.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £8610.53 / Barclaycard £4,458.69 / Tesco £997.50 / Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • dktreesea
    • By dktreesea 17th May 17, 1:02 AM
    • 5,552 Posts
    • 8,663 Thanks
    dktreesea
    Here you go

    Don't try it just before bed in case you dream you signed a contract to buy a cappuccino every day and it was charging you compound interest...
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge

    What an interesting tool! My cappuccinos only cost 80p, but still, by the time the non essentials added up - there were only 8 things on the list! - they came to two thirds of my income.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 17th May 17, 3:44 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,339 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    TOPM, I also sell my time (I'm a content marketing strategist) and my only suggestions are:

    Charge more! Don't know if this is relevant in your job, but I hit a wall last year and decided that instead of bringing in more work, I was going to bring in better paid work. So I'm slowly increasing my hourly rate and letting go of the lower paid clients I took on when I was starting. That's possible in most fields, it's just a matter of getting laser-targeted and going after the higher end.

    Outsource the social media and any admin you can: there are people in my field who work pretty cheaply, and if it's fairly simple social media (scheduling posts, responding to comments, checking for spam) rather than in depth content development, it might be worth your while to free up that time for the actual work - and when you're not as rushed, you can go after the higher paying niche.

    But also, if you are feeling burned out: there's a middle ground between working-every-hour-of-the-day to pay down debt, and not earning at all and ramping up the debt. What do you need to make to just jog along until DC3is in pre school? Would just earning that much work for you? And lastly (sorry for all the advice when you didn't even ask for it) I think you sound so busy and so stressed that I genuinely don't understand why you are doing things like ironing your husband's shirts. I wasn't joking about that before.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    1 June 2017 $221,986.42
    1 July 2017 $223,199.76 - bit of a backslide: leaving the June total here for inspiration!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 17th May 17, 7:42 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Hi TOP. I think you've said before that you prefer not to schedule social media posts in advance, but is that something you could look at doing just for the next couple of weeks while you are so busy? It might be easier to find an hour to get this done for several days than trying to find 20 minutes here and there.

    I too feel the stress when social engagements sneak up on me. We've had two weekends away from home and although productive in their own ways, I am feeling really behind on my course work. I want to get this qualification done (realistically will be 18 months at least) because it will ultimately lead to a higher salary, but with my sparkly new MSE attitude I can't use my credit cards on convenience foods etc to compensate for my lack of time. I'm in absolute awe of how much you are juggling and giving myself a bit of a kick up the bum as a result.
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    Convenience foods and other 'lazy' options are one of the things I miss most about pretending we had money! So hard to get through a hard day without giving into the easy options, or rewarding myself with a nice coffee in a cafe. Good idea to try to bulk schedule at least a few posts - even if I only managed to schedule a couple a week for each business it would be a start.

    TOPM, I also sell my time (I'm a content marketing strategist) and my only suggestions are:

    Charge more! Don't know if this is relevant in your job, but I hit a wall last year and decided that instead of bringing in more work, I was going to bring in better paid work. So I'm slowly increasing my hourly rate and letting go of the lower paid clients I took on when I was starting. That's possible in most fields, it's just a matter of getting laser-targeted and going after the higher end.

    Outsource the social media and any admin you can: there are people in my field who work pretty cheaply, and if it's fairly simple social media (scheduling posts, responding to comments, checking for spam) rather than in depth content development, it might be worth your while to free up that time for the actual work - and when you're not as rushed, you can go after the higher paying niche.

    But also, if you are feeling burned out: there's a middle ground between working-every-hour-of-the-day to pay down debt, and not earning at all and ramping up the debt. What do you need to make to just jog along until DC3is in pre school? Would just earning that much work for you? And lastly (sorry for all the advice when you didn't even ask for it) I think you sound so busy and so stressed that I genuinely don't understand why you are doing things like ironing your husband's shirts. I wasn't joking about that before.
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    Charging more is an interesting one - I have recently put up my prices a little bit, and I'm comfortable with where they are now, but at least the increase should help a little. I am expensive for what I do anyway (I'm good at it!) and I think there's a limit to what I can reasonably charge. It's interesting to think about it in terms of what is paying me a good hourly rate though - which business, which tasks for each business etc.

    Poor DH and his shirts . He is just as busy as me - he takes over childcare immediately after dinner (we all sit down together as soon as he gets home) and once he's got all the DCs in bed he starts on the usual washing up/laundry type chores, and he does solo childcare on the weekends when I work. He works at least as hard as I do, he's just absolutely rubbish at ironing .
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 17th May 17, 7:48 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 14: Day 4

    Another rainy day here! It held off for an hour yesterday, so I was able to get more gravel laid in front of the house - it is looking so much smarter, I'm really pleased with how it's shaping up. Weather forecast is grim today but I'm hoping to get the pots done tomorrow and the last of the gravel laid. Need to demolish an enormous hydrangea bush first though .

    Wednesday is a 'quiet' day round here - no preschool for DC3 so I only attempt to work during nap time, the rest of the day is spent with her, and no clubs this evening so DH puts them to bed while I work. Hoping to get some of the little jobs off my list today.

    Phew, my last refund from my minor shopping binge last month came through yesterday, so my budgets balance again, even if the figures are a bit pathetic!

    Today's list is very very similar to yesterday's - I was knackered (mentally rather than physically) and did very little, apart from laying gravel!

    to do today:
    1. Ask MIL if she will step in and help out with a one day childcare gap I am trying to resolve (still haven't done this!).
    2. Go through calendar for next couple of months and check we haven't inadvertently booked weekends away on ones when I'm pencilled in to work - I have a vague feeling we've done this so need to rejig my working days if necessary.
    3. clear the remaining ironing.
    4. make sourdough
    5. get DH to submit meter readings, check into online accounts for utilities and check everything is as it should be.
    6. bake some flatbreads.
    7. get a laundry hung out on airers - we have a big backlog and it's forecast to rain for the rest of the week!
    8. catch up on order packing for the smaller business.
    9. top up shop - have managed to avoid doing a full shop for 10 days now, and we're away from Saturday morning to Sunday night, so I'm planning one last top up shop today to get us through until big shop next Monday. We've had some random meals, but I think we've only spent £60 on food in 11 days, so it's been worthwhile. Aiming for get food shop in under £25.

    to do this week:
    1. lose another 0.5kg.
    2. Make my work time more focused - I was very inefficient last week.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 17th May 17, 11:08 AM
    • 10,444 Posts
    • 69,018 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Its pooring down here as well. Since around 5 I think.

    I was offline most of yesterday, and then doing the rounds on social to discover Fishfingergate. It makes you realise how social can be a double edged sword. Mind you I also noticed one of the main 'slummies' had been boosted by around 4k in new followers so far. Not so bad after all Thats what you need to do. Get in there posting about hating ironing!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 17th May 17, 11:18 AM
    • 4,772 Posts
    • 15,237 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Thats what you need to do. Get in there posting about hating ironing!
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    I'd join that group!
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7550.00 Cap 1: £600.00 BC: £4040.00 Overdraft: £2750.00



    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 18th May 17, 7:17 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 14: Day 5

    ACTUAL SUNSHINE outside. My poor laundry bin is more or less collapsing under the strain - drying indoors when it's too warm to have the radiator on is a complete pain. Also hoping to get some of the plants I bought for our front-of-the-house makeover potted up today.



    to do today:
    1. Laundry x1,00,000
    2. Ask MIL if she will step in and help out with a one day childcare gap I am trying to resolve (still haven't done this!).
    3. Clear the remaining ironing. just in time for all the laundry to come in and replace it .
    4. Catch up on order packing for the smaller business.
    5. Research camping weekend with friends in the summer to find the cheapest/best place.
    6. Pot some plants up for the front garden.
    7. Chop down the hydrangea that is preventing us painting the front of the house.
    8. List that chair on eB@y that I mentioned ages ago but never listed.

    to do this week:
    1. lose another 0.5kg.
    2. Make my work time more focused - I was very inefficient last week.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • Mum of 2 monkeys
    • By Mum of 2 monkeys 18th May 17, 4:48 PM
    • 4 Posts
    • 38 Thanks
    Mum of 2 monkeys
    Asking mil about extra day childcare
    Hi - is mil retired or still of working age? I just read something on the book of faces that mentioned people who are looking after grandchildren & of working age may be able to get ni credits to top up their state pension... I can't remember if you mentioned whether they had retired or not & thought it might sweeten the deal slightly if not (not that I'm saying your children aren't sweet enough...)
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 19th May 17, 2:31 AM
    • 510 Posts
    • 3,339 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Poor DH and his shirts . He is just as busy as me - he takes over childcare immediately after dinner (we all sit down together as soon as he gets home) and once he's got all the DCs in bed he starts on the usual washing up/laundry type chores, and he does solo childcare on the weekends when I work. He works at least as hard as I do, he's just absolutely rubbish at ironing
    Yes, this is how it looks in our house as well, Mr Expert does the bulk of the weekly chores because I'm working when I'm not doing childcare. I didn't mean to malign your partner! But I do know that even with all those weekly chores, Mr E is often sitting down of an evening having an hour or so tio himself whereas I'm working until bedtime and beyond, so there's that.

    Anyway. You'll find that balance, I'm sure. If you can just break even until DC3 is at pre school, that's not a bad achievement.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    1 June 2017 $221,986.42
    1 July 2017 $223,199.76 - bit of a backslide: leaving the June total here for inspiration!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 19th May 17, 6:29 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 14: Day 6

    Well half my laundry got rained on yesterday, but I got most of it done, and already have a load out on the line to try to make the most of the forecast sunshine this morning before the rain this afternoon. Also finally cleared the ironing (got DH to help me by sorting socks and pants, which he is less painfully slow at than actual ironing ).

    We also took the time to have a bit of a chat. DH, bless him, is aware I am feeling quite worn out at the moment, and has said he will do the bulk of the childcare this weekend while we are visiting friends, so I can put my feet up a bit, which should help improve my mindset and halt my ongoing pity party. We also decided that as long as we can keep paying of the basic monthly rate we have set (£660), we're not going to stress too much about making additional debt overpayments, just use any extra money for a mixture of fun and business account cushion/emergency fund. I have also signed poor old DC3 up for three full days and one half day at preschool in September, which feels like an awful lot (she will be 3.5yo, she starts school the following September), but I think the benefits to the whole family of having her in more childcare will outweigh the downsides to her of being plonked at preschool. It's by far the most childcare we've used (apart from when we had a nanny, which is a little different, as it was in our home) for any of the children before school age, but I keep reminding myself of friends' children who have been in more or less full time childcare since <1yo and are perfectly well adjusted and civilised children.

    Have had a very low spend few days, which is good - we are down to our last £60 in the food budget, £30 in fuel and nothing else at all! We'll end up over budget this month (for a change....) - no way will £30 be enough for fuel for the rest of the month (two weekends away plus commuting for DH), and inevitably we'll end up spending something on entertainment next weekend when we go to London to visit family, and I need to pay for a couple of trips, but hopefully we can avoid too many other costs.

    to do today:
    1. Get the rest of the laundry done.
    2. Paint the pickets for the front garden fence - I want the fence done before I plant the pots, to discourage anyone from walking off with the smaller pots!
    3. Dig up the hydrangea roots - have chopped down the entire bush.
    4. List that chair on eB@y that I mentioned ages ago but never listed.
    5. Spend a couple of hours working this afternoon so I don't have to work over the weekend while we're away
    7. bake something to take to friends on the weekend - needs to be gluten free. Maybe gluten free brownies, I've heard they usually come out well.
    8. Scrabble around for £3 change to pay for a school trip for DC1 and £10 for DC2's school swimming lessons.
    9. pack for weekend away.

    to do this week:
    1. lose another 0.5kg.
    2. Make my work time more focused - I was very inefficient last week
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • ada-or-ardor
    • By ada-or-ardor 19th May 17, 7:57 AM
    • 131 Posts
    • 493 Thanks
    ada-or-ardor
    Oh I have a gluten free brownie recipe, Roxana's home baking hazelnut flourless brownies!! Uses ground hazelnuts instead of flour - I actually use this as my stock recipe despite being able to eat all the flour I can....! Absolutely brilliant and super easy too. Im a total coeliac novice but pretty sure they are (or could easily be made to be) GF.

    Ada
    • On a Shoestring
    • By On a Shoestring 19th May 17, 8:31 AM
    • 43 Posts
    • 103 Thanks
    On a Shoestring
    Brownies are definitely a good one to do gluten free! I once had a gluten free cookie recipe that were the most delicious chewy cookies... or if you're feeling particularly fancy, how about macarons?
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 19th May 17, 11:32 AM
    • 1,400 Posts
    • 7,503 Thanks
    joeyjimbles
    I've had a lot of success with these providing there are no nut allergies to contend with
    https://www.nigella.com/recipes/flourless-chocolate-brownies-with-hot-chocolate-sauce
    Though I confess that I often just adapt my usual Nigella brownies recipe with gluten free flour. I don't use her very posh chocolate so I take out about 1/4 of the sugar too but that's personal taste and trial and error.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 20th May 17, 6:28 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 1,488 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I've had g/f success with this BBC recipe for banana bread. I'm fairly sure the bananas were so soft I left the milk/vinegar out.
    30 days in June...
    NSDs 9/12, Exercise 8/12, Housekeeping £108.57/£120
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 21st May 17, 1:23 PM
    • 267 Posts
    • 4,374 Thanks
    117pauline
    Your journey has been short but you have saved so much already.

    Is it such a bad thing to consolidate what you have achieved? I would consider you have much to celebrate already.

    Please give yourselves credit for all the family have achieved.
    Pauline

    This journey isn't going to be straightforward - it is better to take extra time if it keeps you dealing with the detail
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 22nd May 17, 7:44 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 15: Day 2

    Morning everyone! Back after a weekend away visiting friends. Minimal spending - took a bottle of wine already had and made brownies, and I think DH bought a round for friend's DH in the pub, but other than that we didn't spend all weekend. This coming weekend will be a different matter - going to London for the weekend - but at least we've been more successful than expected for the weekend just gone.

    Lots of errands to run today, don't think I'll get them all done, but fingers crossed the efficiency gods are on my side today . I finally managed to dig up the huge hydrangea routine the front garden yesterday, so we've been able to get the last of the gravel down, it's looking so much smarter out there already.

    Weighed myself this morning - didn't quite manage to lose 0.5kg last week, but am 0.4kg down, so I'll call that a win.

    to do today:
    1. Do another laundry and get it out on the line (one already done and out this morning)
    2. Paint more pickets for the front garden fence.
    3. List that chair on eB@y that I mentioned ages ago but never listed.
    4. Reply to a couple of work enquiries.
    5. have a bit of a quick tidy up round the house.
    6. make bread.
    7. cook some soup for dinner tomorrow, as I won't have much spare time.

    to do this week:
    1. Finish painting the pickets.
    2. Plan weekend in London for minimum spends.
    3. clean the front of the house ready for painting
    4. Buy the house paint and fence posts (DH thinks he may be able to get the posts cheaply at work, must get him to check before buying).
    5. lose another 0.5kg.
    6. get a little ahead on work so I'm not trying to do any over the weekend while we're away.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 22nd May 17, 8:59 PM
    • 794 Posts
    • 6,439 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Had the most inordinately expensive food shop today. Was inevitable really - we've had two weeks of using up everything in the cupboard, with lots of random meals, and just buying fruit/veg etc. So today's shop was stocking up on all the things that we've been running out of for the last 3 weeks - cleaning supplies, flour, nuts, porridge oats, spices etc. £120, but given that I spent an average of £30 a week for the past two weeks, I'm ok with that.

    Also managed to paint some pickets, I am determined not to lose motivation on doing up the front of the house - it's going to be so nice and smart when it's all done.

    Oh, and finally got a decent work enquiry after a fortnight of absolutely nothing. Money not in the bank yet, but I think it will come off. Only £60 or so profit, but every little helps, and it's only for a couple of hours work. And another tentative enquiry that will be more like £250 if it comes off, but I'm not convinced it's going to happen.

    to do today:
    1. Do another laundry and get it out on the line (one already done and out this morning). Done, and extra laundry washed and dried for good luck
    2. Paint more pickets for the front garden fence. Done.
    3. List that chair on eB@y that I mentioned ages ago but never listed. Cough. Possibly not done.
    4. Reply to a couple of work enquiries. Done.
    5. have a bit of a quick tidy up round the house. Not done. House still unrelaxing. Doing all this outside work has meant the inside being somewhat neglected.
    6. make bread. Done.
    7. cook some soup for dinner tomorrow, as I won't have much spare time. Not done. DH will have to manage (I am working, he is on childcare duty tomorrow).

    to do this week:
    1. Finish painting the pickets.
    2. Plan weekend in London for minimum spends.
    3. clean the front of the house ready for painting
    4. Buy the house paint and fence posts (DH thinks he may be able to get the posts cheaply at work, must get him to check before buying).
    5. lose another 0.5kg.
    6. get a little ahead on work so I'm not trying to do any over the weekend while we're away.
    £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 6th June 17/DFD: £55,820.43/1st May 2025
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