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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,009Posts
    • 9,298Thanks
    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 85
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 28th Sep 17, 7:59 AM
    • 1,513 Posts
    • 17,174 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Re your freezer biscuits, I have made twinks hobnobs and frozen them in the pre-cooked golf balls (on a baking tray) then popped them in a plastic bag so I can get them out as I need them. Also shortbread - I make a roll and cut it into 2/3 (depending how big the biscuits are that I'm making) so I just get the roll out and defrost it enough to slice then bake - the recipe recommends chilling them so they taste more buttery anyway. I'm making both today ready for the great MacMillan Coffee Morning tomorrow - in two minds whether to chill or freeze and cook tomorrow morning!

    I love it when the ironing fairy comes to stay here. Sadly My Mum hasn't been this year after three big health things. I have pared back what needs ironing by using my gnu rail, tumble dryer and easy-care cotton in combination - so just bedding now (nothing like crisp white cotton to sleep on)
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8833.96 saved (80.31%) after September - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 70.68/75% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 28th Sep 17, 8:09 PM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Dare I say it? I feel slightly like I've broken the back of the hellish work to do list. Lots still to clear, but the really big jobs have been ticked off. Which is good, as it means I can actually enjoy the weekend rather than spending it stressing. AlthoughI will also be stressing as I have to give a presentation at a conference next week (unpaid, just helping out). It will be to about 100 people and I haven't done a public presentation for aaaaages.

    Got paid a little bit more today, inching towards that October salary (and the closer I inch before the end of the month, the more of my end-of-month invoicing can go towards November's salary)

    Had an interesting email from the mortgage broker today. Our house value has gone up quite a lot and she thinks we'll be able to get a better mortgage rate as our loan to value percentage is therefore much lower (and we have paid off about £6k since we took out the mortgage). Will be good if we can reduce that outgoing even a little bit.

    to do today
    1. bake freezer cookies. Done.
    2. finish contract work for the month. Need to do a final read through, but all done.
    3. enormous to do list of doom. Progress made.

    to do this week
    1. Launch website! Finally.
    2. Spend a little time on smaller business - it has been SO neglected in recent weeks.
    3. Redo SOA once DH has been paid (assuming pay rise finally comes in!).
    4. Prep October's YNAB categories.
    5. Start to plan advent calendars and Christmas presents so I can get a handle on spending.

    to do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500 (last month was miles better than the previous average £3,900, going to try to repeat the feat). More or less on track. Ish.
    2. get my new website finished and launched (crosses fingers, toes and eyes).
    3. just work as much as possible and make some money back to recover the enormous shortfall that faces us this month! Going better than expected, although still need more work in to actually clear the CC
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 29-09-2017 at 5:10 AM.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 29th Sep 17, 2:22 AM
    • 648 Posts
    • 4,145 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    That's great news! What's your current rate?
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    September 2017 - $218,597.77
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 29th Sep 17, 4:59 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    That's great news! What's your current rate?
    Originally posted by armchairexpert
    I think it's 3.14%. I have no idea what a good rate is at the moment, I've kind of been assuming we'd just get the same rate or worse because of the debt! Our debt was about £8k less when we bought the house.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 29th Sep 17, 5:10 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 33: Day 6

    Woohoo, almost the weekend! One last day to limp through.

    Need to do lots of planning today, as will only have a couple of hours on Sunday night to prep for the week and pack everything for a conference on Monday and Tuesday. Also have to squeeze in preparing for a talk somewhere along the line.

    to do today
    1. pack for weekend away.
    2. laundry and ironing.
    3. start October budget planning.
    4. prep invoices for September's work.
    5. redo SOA based on DH's current salary, in case of no pay rise <eyeroll emoji>.

    to do this week
    1. Launch website! Finally.
    2. Spend a little time on smaller business - it has been SO neglected in recent weeks.
    3. Redo SOA once DH has been paid (assuming pay rise finally comes in!).
    4. Prep October's YNAB categories.
    5. Start to plan advent calendars and Christmas presents so I can get a handle on spending.

    to do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500 (last month was miles better than the previous average £3,900, going to try to repeat the feat). More or less on track. Ish.
    2. get my new website finished and launched (crosses fingers, toes and eyes).
    3. just work as much as possible and make some money back to recover the enormous shortfall that faces us this month! Going better than expected, although still need more work in to actually clear the CC
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 29th Sep 17, 11:46 AM
    • 1,513 Posts
    • 17,174 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    When you come to remortgage, don't forget the deals the brokers can't show you. The mortgage best buys in MSE main site tell you about the current offers - looks like Post Office and HSBC are the best short-term deals (26 or 27 months) at the moment but both have fees to set up. They are around 1.23/1.24 if you have 20% equity (80%LTV). Then when you come to look at a new deal in two years time you will be in a great place to either do your extension or shorten the term!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8833.96 saved (80.31%) after September - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 70.68/75% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 2nd Oct 17, 4:53 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 34: Day 2

    Hello! Had a lovely relaxing weekend, very necessary and feeling miles less stressed and wrung out now. You only realise how over cooked you are when you finally get to stop for a little while I think.

    However, havenít yet taken the time to go through Octoberís budgets and make sure everything is as it should be, redo the SOA etc. Realistically itís going to have to wait until iím back from my conference on Wednesday now. Have done my end of month invoicing though, so hopefully will get paid in the next day or two.

    to do today
    1. pack breakfast for loonnnngg drive.
    2. start October budgeting if time.
    3. no doubt field calls from DH all day about the DCs routines, food requirements and activities (I canít complain, he is pretty good really, just out of the loop of their weekday routine because of not actually being here).

    to do this week
    1. social media for website launch.
    2. redo SOA based on DH's current salary (he is still being promised pay rise next month).
    3. October YNAB prep.
    4. start to plan advent calendars and Christmas presents so I can get a handle on spending.
    5. plan working time for October.
    6. check total spend for last month.

    to do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500.
    2. work a sensible number of hours, even if it means slower progress on the work and debt front. September was rubbish.
    3. make any homemade Christmas gifts.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 2nd Oct 17, 5:35 AM
    • 5,823 Posts
    • 19,607 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Morning lovely, well done on a relaxing weekend. Sometimes you need to just stop for a bit. Sounds like you have a busy week again. Keep smiling and have a safe drive today.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Oct 17, 10:52 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Right, a new month. Am slightly nervous to address the situation after the s%$tstorm that was last month's budgeting!

    I've got an hour or so set aside right now to get everything in order, so I'm going to do the following:
    1. Check all balances and add up current debt.
    2. Redo SOA based on current income (I will ignored DH's theoretical payrise for now, as we can't keep waiting for it, and if it comes then fantastic).
    3. Email mortgage broker with the numbers she needs to give us some mortgage info.
    4. If time, redo snowball calculator with current figures.

    My main aim this month is to stay away from the CC - if I can manage it this month, I'm fairly confident that I can continue to do so (at least until Christmas shopping begings, since our Christmas savings currently total a fairly underwhelming £100).
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Oct 17, 11:02 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Right, let's get the rubbish bit out of the way. I can't get the very latest balances on my Barclaycard and MBNA as I can only log in to those on he family desktop and I'm on my laptop, but they are within a few pounds of being accurate.

    Debts:
    Barclaycard £13,381.21
    MBNA £485.63
    Partnership card (the one I used Aug/Sept when the budgets didn't balance) £1,520.83
    Tesco loan £20,292.35
    Parental loan £20,000
    Total £55,680.02

    Right. That's fairly crummy, but actually it could be worse. To put it into context, the debt is £668 higher than it was at the beginning of August and £2,928.11 lower than it was at LBM. The real challenge is going to be keeping away from the CC and continuing to pay debt so that when the inevitable Christmas spending happens, it doesn't take us right back to where we were in February.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 4th Oct 17, 11:34 AM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    OK, SOA time. This month we actually have even less to play with, as instead of piling everything on the Partnership CC at the end of last month we actually spent some of DH's salary. Not sure why, bad maths I think. So the 'income' for this month is the total balance of the account as it stands right now (child benefit has yet to come in).

    I started with our 'ideal' SOA (based on DH's pay rise having appeared, and having his full salary to play with) then adjusted the figures until they matched the income. I really couldn't do it, so I ended up stealing the money that I put aside for work clothes from my business account. I hate doing this, as I know it's going to cause problems down the line, but I literally couldn't make the budgets balance this month otherwise, and I really really want to get out of the CC cycle.

    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................ 3120.13 (start of month account balance)
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 192.3
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3312.43


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 141
    Electricity............................. 112.71 (and gas, all in one bill)
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 95
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.99 (and internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 92
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 350 (this should be fun )
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 240
    Road tax................................ 16.18
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 30
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50 (DH's train fares)
    Childcare/nursery....................... 14 (snacks and drinks at preschool, billed to make up the cost of the 30 hours)
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5 (dentist)
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07 (and contents)
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 100
    Haircuts................................ 50 (two children and I need a haircut. I haven't had one for a year!)
    Entertainment........................... 120
    Emergency fund.......................... 40
    extension savings....................... 0 (this should be £140 a month)
    YNAB subscription....................... 3
    national trust.......................... 9.6
    holidays/weekends away.................. 40 (can't eliminate this as we have to take DC1 up to London for a birthday present trip with his aunt)
    football club........................... 10
    swimming lessons........................ 48
    art club................................ 15
    music lessons........................... 35
    cubs/beavers............................ 35
    pocket money............................ 5
    Children's clothes...................... 60 (new winter clothes, shoes and coats needed, this isn't nearly enough )
    DH personal kitty....................... 10
    My personal kitty....................... 10
    Leftover school lunches bill............ 20 (from end of last term)
    icloud storage.......................... 2.49
    Audible subscription.................... 7.99
    netflix................................. 5.99
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2570.62



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 210000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 500
    Other assets............................ 300
    Total Assets............................ 210800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 172508...(698)......3.12
    Total secured & HP debts...... 172508....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard....................13381.....310...... .0
    Partnership card...............1520.8....40........18
    MBNA...........................485.63....10....... .18
    Tesco loan.....................20292.....377.......10.3
    Parental loan..................20000.....0.........0
    Total unsecured debts..........55679.43..737.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,312.43
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,570.62
    Available for debt repayments........... 741.81
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 737
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 4.81


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 210,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -172,508
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -55,679.43
    Net Assets.............................. -17,387.43


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 4th Oct 17, 12:14 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 316 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Wow, that is one tight budget. I will say the obvious (and I went up stairs to get my calculator to do the sums)...

    You spend £263 per month on children’s entertainment, activities and hobbies. That excludes their pocket money, national trust, audible and Netflix subscriptions, which I would technically also count in, but I appreciate that they may be ‘family’ things.

    These spends on the kids are too much for your current budget. Especially when you can’t technically afford to clothe them. Something has to give in your budget and from my perspective, the only place at the moment is in this area.

    Now, I don’t have kids so I can’t sympathise with the emotional aspect of all this. But, from a practical point of view, I wonder whether there is a way of limiting the clubs and activities to one per child for the time being? Even just for 6 months to allow you to build up an emergency fund? When the pay rise comes through or you start to earn more, start them up again with maybe two clubs... Most families can only afford one activity per child, if at all, and with 3 kids, you have a lot of opportunity to be spending too much money on them.

    Swimming is the most important. You might want to protect that as its own category. But beavers and football and art class on top seems a bit extravagant. It’s a great way to teach kids about prioritisation, decision making and learning to think about what is individually important to them. My mum used to say we could choose one thing to do after school and allowed us to try lots of things out to help us make the right choice- I loved the idea of having my own special thing (it was club swimming!).

    Good luck - it’ll be a frugal month for you but as ever, we’ll all enjoy joining you on this journey.
    Last edited by DrSpendLittle; 04-10-2017 at 12:17 PM.
    Since 1st Sept 2017: CC1: £874/£1,253.73 | CC2: £600/£9,124.15 | CC3: £312.34/£312.34 | Car Finance: £315.82/£1,894.92 Short Term CC Goal: £1,786.34/£4,000 by 1st Jan 2018 (44.65%) | Total Debt Repayments: £2,102.16/£12,585.14 (16.70%)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 1:11 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    The one that jumps out at me is can the London trip not come from the presents budget if it's birthday related? That would free up that money to throw at the winter clothes for all of the children. Beyond that it's the usual - you can free up more surplus by lowering the amount you commit to entertainment - I get what DSL says above about cutting the clubs etc down a bit - that does seem like quite a bit of activity for quite young children I must admit - but equally i can see that you might prefer to trim the "general" entertainment budget a bit - perhaps for this month maximise the NT membership for the stuff "outdoors" and then make a feature of the fact that it ought to be turning rather more cold & damp by planning a couple of "movie nights" with Netflix - so getting your entertainment from the things that you will be paying in any event? It strikes me that would be a far less squeaky way of doing things than your current arrangement - particularly if things like shoes need to be prioritised.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 4th Oct 17, 3:07 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 1,734 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    I've started this message several times and deleted it because I don't want to seem preachy or stress you out even more but....


    What is your plan for Christmas?
    I don't think £100 is going to cover it (and I think you know it too)
    But you've only got November 'unbudgetted' really sort this because December is well, December...

    I'd hate you to stay away from the credit cards throughout October and November and then have to dig them out for December.

    I'm sure lots of people will share their frugal Christmas ways with you - I will, if asked, but won't if not.

    You've had lots of ideas already about you SOA I hope
    You find them helpful.

    Wish.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 August: £36,411.85 8/100 September: £35,945.66 10/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • biglass
    • By biglass 4th Oct 17, 7:28 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 751 Thanks
    biglass
    Hi TOPM!
    I am going to give you very different advice from others! I don't agree on cutting down on your kids activities at all- they are important in order for kids to learn to socialise,work as a team etc and although it seems a lot,it is between 3!
    Also I can't see how you can cut your food budget any more - you sound as if you have a very healthy, additive free homemade diet and no way IMO should you start subbing eg margarine instead of butter for the sake of a few pounds! Health is paramount. FWIT we spend around £500 a month for family of 4 for food,drink,toiletries and cleaning and that's not providing an extravagant diet and we mostly shop at Lidl !! I have no idea how others do it for much less- and I have been trying!
    However I do think you have to be realistic in that your income is limited until your youngest goes to school- so cut yourself some slack and accept that maybe you should simply decide to not add to your debt and just live within your means for the time being ,paying a bit off debt only when you can!
    I think the extension idea has to be shelved though- its clearly unaffordable for the forseeable- I know its not what you want to think about,but realistically....
    And I agree with Wish re Christmas...
    You sound fabulous ,caring parents with a lovely family, a good marriage and a child focused home,sprinkled with a lot of fun such as camping! Enjoy it!
    Last edited by biglass; 04-10-2017 at 7:37 PM.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Oct 17, 11:11 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    I would agree that a lot of money has been committed to the entertainment budget. When ours were young and money was tight it was swimming lessons and brownies/rainbows. We did pay out for music lessons/dancing and horse riding later on but only when finances allowed for it. As your budget is so tight it may be time to prioritise on the extra curricular activities. Your youngest is so little that presumably it is for the two eldest these activities are booked for?
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Oct 17, 11:14 PM
    • 4,410 Posts
    • 8,179 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    That is also a phenomenal amount to spend on petrol/diesel considering your car is only worth £500. If it is an old car then £30 on maintenance is nowhere near enough if you use it that much.
    Countdown to early retirement on 21.12.17 3 months to go.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Oct 17, 6:13 AM
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    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 34: Day 5

    Ooh, lots of things to respond to today.

    First up: the children's budget realistically isn't going to be cut. Yes, it's a lot, but each of the things they do brings a lot to them. The only possible drop is that I think after half term DC1 may have to choose between football and art club as they might be on the same day. I'm sure plenty will disagree with that decision, but that's where we stand at the moment.

    The London trip will use up the weekends away and the presents budget (and possibly more besides) - it's more or less an extra tank of fuel and if we spend anything while we're there then it goes up further. Hoping for a cheap weekend though, maybe lunch at a relatives, and accommodation is free.

    The entertainment budget is comically tight for us anyway, so I don't think cutting that any more is realistic - we will just end up overspending. It covers absolutely anything extra we do, so it usually gets sucked up one way or another. Last weekend we saw friends we haven't seen for three months, DH had already used up his personal kitty buying a shirt because most of his are actually wearing through, and the friend invited him out for a drink. That's a tenner gone immediately, and I'm not going to begrudge DH that when he goes out once in a blue moon and he bought them a pint and a bag of crisps each. A fiver of the remaining tenner went on buying a cake at a macmillan coffee morning - again, the friends we were seeing had stuck their hands in their pockets for various things, so when they suggested getting a cake for afternoon tea I didn't feel able to say 'actually no, you've forked out loads for us, but I'm too tight to spend a fiver.' And suddenly it's more like £5 left for a week, for three people, rather than £20. Moving those other spends into different categories wouldn't change the actual numbers being spent.

    The plan for Christmas and any coats/shoes/clothes that we need to get on top of the budgeted sums is very clear - they will go on a CC. There isn't actually another option. I am intending to avoid purchasing anything as long as possible - the DCs will all probably need coats at some stage over winter, but I'm hoping only one of them will need one within the next month. They also all need wellies, but only DC3 is urgent, so hopefully only hers this month. And hopefully now they're back at school I can get away with minimal clothes too - DC1 is the pressing one here, the other two will be broadly ok. So although it sounds terrible saying new coats, boots and clothes all round, if we're lucky it will come in smaller dribs and drabs and the £60 per month budget will cover it. Christmas will definitely be on CC though, unless I have a sudden and unexpected massive income surge. Since about July when the Christmas pot just wasn't building as it kept being raided for one thing or another, I've known that would happen, and although we'll have a budget Christmas, I'm not cutting away nice food, gifts etc too dramatically. We probably halved our usual Christmas budget last year and still spent a lot, and I don't anticipate cutting it much further this year.

    I'm not really sure how much the car is worth - maybe £1k rather than £500. We bought it for £1,500 two or three years ago, but we've put a lot of mileage on it. It's a great workhorse and does the job, so although I'd like to be saving to replace it, it's not stressing me out too much at the moment. Too many other things to stress about instead! £30 maintenance isn't really enough, but again it's the best I can do right now, and we'll have to address it if and when that becomes an issue. It's just had a service and MOT last month, so hopefully that £30 will have a chance to build for a good few months before anything more needs to be spent. The fuel spend was going to reduce and DH was going to catch the train, but the first train gets him in a bit late, which is fine for occasional use, but his boss has said no to every day even if DH works through a bit of lunch (fair enough). He would need to work the extra at the end of the day or a Friday (when they should finish at 12:30) and neither of those work with train times either. So we're stuck with the fuel bill. About £200 of it is commuting costs.

    One piece of slightly good news - DH's boss showed him the email that allegedly confirms his payrise being approved and back dated to May. Still not believing it till I see it, given all the drama and intrigue surrounding the whole thing (I wouldn't put it past his boss to just lie through his teeth at this stage), but all things being equal DH will receive a good chunk of back pay in October's pay packet. Will need to decide whether to pay a chunk off the partnership CC or use it for Christmas so we can avoid using the CC. Still no extension saving happening, but the deal with myself was that was always the 'bonus' savings once everything else was paid, so it's low down the priority list.

    To do today
    1. catch up with laundry.
    2. text relative re visiting when we're in London.
    3. return kindle (have had a replacement sent as the screen went faulty, thankfully within warranty).
    4. batch baking - flapjack and cake to use up various fruit and veg.
    5. start sourdough for baking in the morning (my current favourite recipe includes an overnight rise).
    6. email mortgage broker the facts and figures she needs.
    7. start to plan our advent calendar - we do a homemade one, it's a huge part of Christmas for us, a mixture of activities and little gifts.
    8. clear work list.
    9. plan homemade Christmas gifts

    To do this week
    1. social media for website launch. Done.
    2. redo SOA based on DH's current salary (he is still being promised pay rise next month). Done.
    3. October YNAB prep. Done.
    4. start to plan advent calendars and Christmas presents so I can get a handle on spending.
    5. plan working time for October.
    6. check total spend for last month. This is all weird on YNAB because I moved the partnership card from a budget to a tracked account and it's sent my spending sums all screwy, so I'm not certain. Under £3,750, probably not under £3,500 is my best guess.

    To do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500.
    2. work a sensible number of hours, even if it means slower progress on the work and debt front. September was rubbish.
    3. make any homemade Christmas gifts.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 05-10-2017 at 6:16 AM.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Oct 17, 10:46 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    If the backpay comes through as planned, use at least some of it to cover Christmas - it's mad putting spending of that type on one card while paying off another, IMO. Maybe a compromise is the answer - once you know the figure then choose a percentage of it to use for Christmas, and then make sure your budgeted spends to fit that figure, and pay the balance off whichever debt needs targeting first?
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Oct 17, 5:04 PM
    • 1,009 Posts
    • 9,298 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    If the backpay comes through as planned, use at least some of it to cover Christmas - it's mad putting spending of that type on one card while paying off another, IMO. Maybe a compromise is the answer - once you know the figure then choose a percentage of it to use for Christmas, and then make sure your budgeted spends to fit that figure, and pay the balance off whichever debt needs targeting first?
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I'm not expecting the figure to be enough to cover Christmas, but you've got me thinking that if it seems even vaguely achievable (along with Oct/Nov/Dec Christmas budgeting) maybe I could challenge myself to stick within that as the Christmas budget. I'm not making any promises till I've seen how much it is though .
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
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