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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 860Posts
    • 7,186Thanks
    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 56
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 11th Jul 17, 11:02 AM
    • 4,727 Posts
    • 10,568 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    Thanks for the yoga mat link.........think thats what they use in the gym. Will have look on amazon for one which I will in effect get for free using my Swagbucks points...........something you could utilise to get free stuff like lego storage!
    Make £10 a day challenge Jan/£215.84/ Feb £146.45/ Mar £192.55/Apr £171.20/ May £156.40/june £95.55/ Jul £383.85/Aug £171.60
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1282.95 miles
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 11th Jul 17, 2:08 PM
    • 4,516 Posts
    • 25,274 Thanks
    in need of direction
    can you purchase in stages?
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £81,750.18, target £75,000 by 31/12/17 Offset fund today £3,975.43 target £5,500 by 31/12/17
    Emergency fund £5.5k & £200 cash.
    Current weight loss 1/34 by 28 feb 2018
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Jul 17, 3:44 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    can you purchase in stages?
    Originally posted by in need of direction
    Perhaps - it was a sistema set I was looking at, which they seem to sell in lots of places. I will see how the prices compare.


    Just got confirmatio of (and payment for) a small bit of work next weekend, so almost have the whole of August's expenses and salary, before end of month invoice time. This is good news after eradicating my business cushion entirely. I still think I'm going to continue to live on the edge and only save August and September's money and put everything else towards debt so I can't be tempted to spend the entire cushion on some random 'essential' purchase.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 11th Jul 17, 4:59 PM
    • 507 Posts
    • 2,245 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    There's always tons of Sistema stuff (including sets) in my local TK Maxx, if you've got one near you it's worth a browse.

    Otherwise, if you've got a little bit of time, why not try a survey site? I registered on prolific.ac 2 weeks ago and made £25 in 10 days, although some people seem to be raking in much more than me!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Jul 17, 8:08 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Well my new fancy SIM has arrived and and it looks good, very comfy when I lay on it to test. Not sure I'm ever going to squeeze it back into the bag though!

    Feeling very non-MSE as I'm not making any extra money/doing anything clever with the debt at the moment, but we are sticking within budget more successfully than we have in previous months (I appreciate we are less than halfway through though - plenty of time for it to go horribly wrong yet) and things are just ticking along. I suppose there will be a lot of periods like this in the coming weeks, months and years, but it is rather more fun when you can actually do something with the debt rather than staring at it.

    to do today
    1. bake sourdough. Last loaf of three in the oven now.
    2. bake flapjacks for school snacks. Done.
    3. make pasties. Done, using leftover frozen homemade fillings from last week for extra MSE points.
    4. finish tidying my bedroom. Not remotely done. In fact I think it's fractionally messier than it was 24 hours ago.
    5. return a coat I ordered in the sale on a whim (from my actual clothes money pot!) - it's very nice, but not right. Quite a short returns period so need to sort it. Done.
    6. Make a small overpayment on the MBNA card - I'd budgeted £50 and the minimum payment is only £39, so I need to pay the extra £11 manually. Done.
    7. sew DS1's new badge to his cub uniform. Done. Made a phone call while doing it so I didn't notice how incredibly dull it is sewing on badges.
    8. Pack orders for smaller business. Done.
    9. Continue rearranging all the stuff I've moved out of the dining room and making space for it - nothing like moving things around to make you realise what's useful and what is just clutter. More progress, but not finished. Squeezing things into our teeny house is a constant juggling act!

    to do this week
    1. Order camping gear needed. Done - limited it to new self inflating mat for DH and I and a sleeping bag for DC3 (who never had one while in a cot, but will now she is out on a big bed). That's enough to see us through for now, but will need a single bed for DC3 at some stage (she can share the double bed with DH for the camping trip next weekend as I'm not going). Going to see if I can get through without buying any more equipment this summer, but who knows what will break on the first outing of the year.
    2. Continue with cleaning the house thoroughly one room at a time.
    3. Make strawberry jam with the big batch of strawberries in the freezer. Bought sugar, which was a minor hurdle to overcome, but haven't made jam yet.
    4. Order walking boots for me, preferably on sale or with some cashback to take the sting out of it.

    Aims for July:
    1. Pay some extra off the MBNA card - I'd like this card gone asap. Well, a whopping £15 paid on top of the minimum payment so far, hoping to make another payment before end of month.
    2. Pay for camping holiday commitments out of self employed income rather than adding to debt.
    3. Stick to the budget even more closely than in June!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Jul 17, 7:43 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 22: Day 4

    Not much on today (apart from the usual exciting childcare/work combo). I'm still waiting for my next piece of fast-turnaround work to arrive - I'm hoping it comes in tomorrow or Friday rather than today, as they won't be able to ask for it back before the weekend if it doesn't come today.

    Despite this, I seem to have an inordinately long list today, and none of it looks terribly MSE/money making. Oh well. Hopefully I'll squeeze in a little bit of promo work for my smaller business too.

    to do today
    1. bake sourdough.
    2. make butterbean soup.
    3. finish tidying my bedroom
    4. pack orders for smaller business.
    5. Continue rearranging all the stuff I've moved out of the dining room and making space for it - nothing like moving things around to make you realise what's useful and what is just clutter.
    6. update the camping packing list for DH for the weekend (I could leave him to do this as I'm not going, but since I have always done it I'm more likely to spot any missing items and be able to remove stuff that he won't need because it's such a short trip)
    7. make candles
    8. make jam for teachers.
    9. get at least a couple of loads of laundry on the line - am so behind after not doing any on Sunday then it raining for the last two days.
    10. do the accompanying ironing.
    11. order walking boots for me.
    12. re-pot my windowsill cacti - they have outgrown their little pots!
    13. Walk 10,000 steps - this has slipped again and it makes such a difference to how I feel.
    14. social media for smaller business, and hopefully main business too.

    to do this week
    1. Order camping gear needed. Done - limited it to new self inflating mat for DH and I and a sleeping bag for DC3 (who never had one while in a cot, but will now she is out on a big bed). That's enough to see us through for now, but will need a single bed for DC3 at some stage (she can share the double bed with DH for the camping trip next weekend as I'm not going). Going to see if I can get through without buying any more equipment this summer, but who knows what will break on the first outing of the year.
    2. Continue with cleaning the house thoroughly one room at a time.
    3. Make strawberry jam with the big batch of strawberries in the freezer.
    4. Order walking boots for me, preferably on sale or with some cashback to take the sting out of it.

    Aims for July:
    1. Pay some extra off the MBNA card - I'd like this card gone asap. Well, a whopping £15 paid on top of the minimum payment so far, hoping to make another payment before end of month.
    2. Pay for camping holiday commitments out of self employed income rather than adding to debt.
    3. Stick to the budget even more closely than in June!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Jul 17, 9:45 AM
    • 1,402 Posts
    • 16,431 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Re your strawberry jam - will you add some pectin to help with the set? Strawberry is a bit short on its own, although last time I found mashing them with a potato masher before cooking helped a bit. I still added lemons as I always fear hard strawberries from over boiling - or there are pectin sachets. I love strawberry jam. One of my favourites
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £5617.21/£5500 (51.64%/50%) after June - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 58.88/58.33% including stores after July
    My DFD is here
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Jul 17, 3:19 PM
    • 7,565 Posts
    • 39,417 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Love the image of your self inflating map. Took me a few moments visualising this map and wondering how, why... before I thought you might have meant map. Err mat.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    Now edited!

    TOPM - self inflators - to re-pack, open the valve and roll it up - don't worry about getting out every last scrap of air but it heps to plonk your knees on it occasionally as you go along to force a bit more air out. Once it's rolled, close the valve. Unroll and start again but this time with the valve closed - this stops it trying to reinflate and means you can get the last bit of air out - by the time you get to about 25% of it still sticking out you can reach forwards and open the valve again then finish the roll. I've done this a few times.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 12th Jul 17, 5:37 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 681 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    The first time I made strawberry jam, I was so worried that I added way too much lemon and ended up with strawberry and lemon jam. It was surprisingly delicious and now I always make strawberry and lemon jam
    Debt Totals 01/07/17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents / Currently £12,500 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,000
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Jul 17, 8:09 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Re your strawberry jam - will you add some pectin to help with the set? Strawberry is a bit short on its own, although last time I found mashing them with a potato masher before cooking helped a bit. I still added lemons as I always fear hard strawberries from over boiling - or there are pectin sachets. I love strawberry jam. One of my favourites
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    The first time I made strawberry jam, I was so worried that I added way too much lemon and ended up with strawberry and lemon jam. It was surprisingly delicious and now I always make strawberry and lemon jam
    Originally posted by Silver Queen
    Mine was strawberry and rhubarb, so fewer setting worries, although I did chuck in a lemon's worth of juice too.

    Now edited!

    TOPM - self inflators - to re-pack, open the valve and roll it up - don't worry about getting out every last scrap of air but it heps to plonk your knees on it occasionally as you go along to force a bit more air out. Once it's rolled, close the valve. Unroll and start again but this time with the valve closed - this stops it trying to reinflate and means you can get the last bit of air out - by the time you get to about 25% of it still sticking out you can reach forwards and open the valve again then finish the roll. I've done this a few times.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    That's a great tip, thank you! I will pass on to DH, who will be giving it a test run this weekend without me.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Jul 17, 8:19 PM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Phew, my fast-turnaround work didn't come in today, so it looks likely I'll have the weekend to get it done, which eases the pressure a fair bit.

    Dh got very excited at a huge parcel that arrived today and was very disappointed to find it was a bulk order (money saving!) of epsom salts and castor oil.

    Didn't make as much progress on my list as I wanted today - forgot we had a play date arranged after school when I was writing it! Nice to catch up with friends though.

    to do today
    1. bake sourdough. Done.
    2. make butterbean soup. Not done.
    3. finish tidying my bedroom. Not done.
    4. pack orders for smaller business. Done.
    5. Continue rearranging all the stuff I've moved out of the dining room and making space for it - nothing like moving things around to make you realise what's useful and what is just clutter. Bit more done.
    6. update the camping packing list for DH for the weekend (I could leave him to do this as I'm not going, but since I have always done it I'm more likely to spot any missing items and be able to remove stuff that he won't need because it's such a short trip). Dh has asked to do it himself . He is using my list as a starting point though.
    7. make candles. Not done.
    8. make jam for teachers. Done.
    9. get at least a couple of loads of laundry on the line - am so behind after not doing any on Sunday then it raining for the last two days. Done, four loads!
    10. do the accompanying ironing. Shockingly, not done.
    11. order walking boots for me. Not done, have decided to go to a real shop in a few weeks instead - too much choice and have been stung by returns a couple of times already.
    12. re-pot my windowsill cacti - they have outgrown their little pots! Not done.
    13. Walk 10,000 steps - this has slipped again and it makes such a difference to how I feel. Not quite done
    14. social media for smaller business, and hopefully main business too. Done.

    to do this week
    1. Order camping gear needed. Done - limited it to new self inflating mat for DH and I and a sleeping bag for DC3 (who never had one while in a cot, but will now she is out on a big bed). That's enough to see us through for now, but will need a single bed for DC3 at some stage (she can share the double bed with DH for the camping trip next weekend as I'm not going). Going to see if I can get through without buying any more equipment this summer, but who knows what will break on the first outing of the year.
    2. Continue with cleaning the house thoroughly one room at a time. Ongoing.
    3. Make strawberry jam with the big batch of strawberries in the freezer. Done!
    4. Order walking boots for me, preferably on sale or with some cashback to take the sting out of it. Not going to do this, as discussed above.

    Aims for July:
    1. Pay some extra off the MBNA card - I'd like this card gone asap. Well, a whopping £15 paid on top of the minimum payment so far, hoping to make another payment before end of month.
    2. Pay for camping holiday commitments out of self employed income rather than adding to debt.
    3. Stick to the budget even more closely than in June!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Jul 17, 11:46 PM
    • 4,009 Posts
    • 7,199 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I may be missing something here but bulk buying Epsom salts and castor oil seems a little odd. Not sure I have ever used either of those.

    Do you sell the candles?

    Good idea to make jam for teachers though. Thankfully annual gifts to teachers were not something we ever used to have to worry about when our children were small. Do lots of parents do this?
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 4.5 months to go.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Jul 17, 4:40 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I may be missing something here but bulk buying Epsom salts and castor oil seems a little odd. Not sure I have ever used either of those.

    Do you sell the candles?

    Good idea to make jam for teachers though. Thankfully annual gifts to teachers were not something we ever used to have to worry about when our children were small. Do lots of parents do this?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    they are slightly odd things for normal people! Ashtanga yoga is a full on yoga practice, and Epsom salt baths help achey muscles. The castor oil is used in a weekly oil bath (not actually a bath, but a sort of massage routine), again to help achey muscles, and various other hippy benefits which may or may not actually exist, depending on your level of hippy-ness .

    I don't sell the candles, just make them (mine are not that good!). It has completely curbed my £40-a-pop essential oil scented candle addiction, and they cost me well under £5 a time, even with loads of nice essential oil in. It started when I made a load for Christmas presents and realised they were almost as nice as the £40 ones for about a tenth of the price.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 13-07-2017 at 4:43 AM.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Jul 17, 4:54 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 22: Day 5

    Morning! Going to try to get all the things done today that I didn't get ticked off yesterday, plus a few extra of course.

    One of the things we are going to do in our weekly family meeting tonight is come up with cheap/free summer activities and list them on a big piece of paper so we have lots of inspiration. All ideas that I might be able to throw into the pot are very welcome! We live near the sea so beach trips etc will be on there, but I'm trying to think of plenty of options.

    to do today
    1. make butterbean soup.
    2. Continue rearranging all the stuff I've moved out of the dining room and making space for it - nothing like moving things around to make you realise what's useful and what is just clutter.
    3. finish tidying my bedroom.
    4. make candles
    5. Scale the mountain range that is my ironing pile.
    6. re-pot my windowsill cacti - they have outgrown their little pots!
    7. Walk 10,000 steps - this has slipped again and it makes such a difference to how I feel.
    8. social media.

    to do this week
    1. Order camping gear needed. Done - limited it to new self inflating mat for DH and I and a sleeping bag for DC3 (who never had one while in a cot, but will now she is out on a big bed). That's enough to see us through for now, but will need a single bed for DC3 at some stage (she can share the double bed with DH for the camping trip next weekend as I'm not going). Going to see if I can get through without buying any more equipment this summer, but who knows what will break on the first outing of the year.
    2. Continue with cleaning the house thoroughly one room at a time. Ongoing.
    3. Make strawberry jam with the big batch of strawberries in the freezer. Done!
    4. Order walking boots for me, preferably on sale or with some cashback to take the sting out of it. Not going to do this, as discussed above.

    Aims for July:
    1. Pay some extra off the MBNA card - I'd like this card gone asap. Well, a whopping £15 paid on top of the minimum payment so far, hoping to make another payment before end of month.
    2. Pay for camping holiday commitments out of self employed income rather than adding to debt.
    3. Stick to the budget even more closely than in June!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 13th Jul 17, 5:12 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Summer activities!

    Picnics obviously
    I have friends who swear by geocaching, good in the 5-10 year old age bracket
    Evening country walks with a torch: lots of animals to try and spot that aren't around in the daytime
    Back garden "sports day". Set up obstacles and things.

    Are you really posting at 4am?
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    • warby68
    • By warby68 13th Jul 17, 5:44 AM
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    warby68
    'Surprise' visits - not really a surprise as the adults arrange it but let the children think its a surprise. Somehow that makes a quick call round for coffee or even a 'duty' visit very exciting for them - they can make a low cost gift to take. Turns a non-event into an event. You can receive them too.

    Being up and out to see the sun rise (and set) with picnic breakfast/supper if your little ones can handle the sleep changes

    Some tidying projects (with rewards)

    Camping in the garden

    Do you have any Nectar points? They're running that offer for Vue and Pizza Express again
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 13th Jul 17, 6:51 AM
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    Eager_Elephant
    I don't post much but love reading your to do list!! I would like one but doubt it would be as interesting as yours!

    What about a Treasure Hunt - you can get downloadable ones for parks/woods/beach etc so they have to collect certain items or you could do it as a proper treasure hunt where they follow the clues and then get a prize at the end.

    Where I live (Suffolk) a lot of the nature reserves run by Suffolk Wildlife Trust run free events over the summer and also our Local Authority run free events at places they own like lakes etc - usually I just type summer activities and my county in and I get loads of ideas.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for July
    NSD - 8/16
    (up to 15/08/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 13th Jul 17, 7:07 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    A couple of suggestions for if the weather is not great - Not sure how old your children are but a research project - maybe something related to a local event or history item - could involve going to the location, checking out news stories and compiling "evidence" like a detective project, or a bit of family history with an elderly relative - finding out about memories, family history or their involvement in an event and then looking at information in the public domain about the event.

    Making their own meal with appropriate supervision - I know you bake bread, what about a bit for a pizza dough?

    Helping you by making some candles ready for Christmas gifts - if the children make them with you, the recipients will forgive any imperfections - my Mum still "treasures" a bottle of chilli-oil my Son made her when he was at school (he's 25 now!) - and this gets ahead on some presents at low cost.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £5617.21/£5500 (51.64%/50%) after June - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 58.88/58.33% including stores after July
    My DFD is here
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 13th Jul 17, 8:55 AM
    • 507 Posts
    • 2,245 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    A couple of suggestions for if the weather is not great - Not sure how old your children are but a research project - maybe something related to a local event or history item - could involve going to the location, checking out news stories and compiling "evidence" like a detective project, or a bit of family history with an elderly relative - finding out about memories, family history or their involvement in an event and then looking at information in the public domain about the event.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    My cousins and I used to do this when we were kids, we were inspired by the book My Friend Walter My oldest cousin still has her project on Ancient Egypt, she was very proud of it

    Have you checked out any summer events at National Trust properties close to you? The National Trust is running a series of events for their 50 Things To Do Before You Are 11 and 3/4 campaign
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Jul 17, 11:46 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,186 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Thanks for all the ideas, I will throw them into the pot this evening!

    Just got the quote through from the architect. Scary numbers, but he has really broken it down, so we can see where we are. First stage is a very initial pre-planning meeting with the local planning authority, as there isn't really a precedent for any sort of extending near us, so that's only £120 to save up. After that it's £700 for an initial survey and drawings, then £700 for drawing development through to final plans. Although it's big chunks of money, it feels like manageable goals over the medium term, and the architect is happy to work in stages. So aim one is to get the £120 saved for a pre-planning meeting some time soon after the summer holidays (neither DH or I have the time and energy to think about it before then anyway).

    BUT, even more excitingly, look what has arrived at TOPM HQ!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: ££55,243.13/1st April 2025
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