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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,102Posts
    • 10,594Thanks
    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 89
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 8th Oct 17, 7:29 AM
    • 5,748 Posts
    • 19,861 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Well done on the lower food shop! Groceries are always something we can bring down! I'm another one that couldn't get on with YNAB im either note pad and pan or excel now!
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 8th Oct 17, 7:31 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,736 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    The hyacinth idea is fantastic - I am going to do that too and I might do some amaryllis too, because I love amaryllis.

    They will look lovely in vintage pots, but I doubt I will have time to trawl the charity shops so I have sourced some enamel buckets on a florist supplies outlet online ( Michael Dark ) They have some lovely cream, grey and vintage red with a snowflake buckets ( these are particularly nice ! ) costing between £2-£3.80.

    You really seem to have got your head around doing a lovely Christmas for less TOPM. I am convinced you can shave £100s off last year's budget by a bit of organisation and shopping around.

    I wouldn't worry about your boo boo, it is only an accounting error rather than a fundemental problem. Your grocery spends are much better and savings on football and audible books all add up. This will actually be a saving of £17.99 a month and over a year £215. It is often these small changes that will make the difference.

    I am glad you are feeling less stressed, juggling work with a young family is hard and you need to be kind to yourself x
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Oct 17, 8:00 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I tried YNAB and I couldn't get on with it. I use paper and pen, at the start of the month I write down all regular outgoings and then tick them off as they come out of the account. At the start of the month I know how much (little) I have to spend. I do use excel for my savings pots because it all goes in one saving account and gets a bit confusing but even that has got jumbled and my real life total doesn't match the spreadsheet, so I don't think there is an easy way.
    Well done on the food spend, what's the secret?
    Originally posted by emmie26
    Well done on the lower food shop! Groceries are always something we can bring down! I'm another one that couldn't get on with YNAB im either note pad and pan or excel now!
    Originally posted by missymoo81
    I usually get on really well with YNAB, but it all rather fell apart last month when I tried to move the Partnership card from an on-budget account to an off-budget one (as I wasn't going to use it again. Ha). Transactions went all over the place!

    The food spend has literally just been a case of being on it 100% of the time. To be honest, for us, it was eliminating the top ups, which I thought we were immune from as I didn't view them as top ups, they were just 'little extras' (because calling them something different totally made them not count ). Things like going to the health food shop to buy mung beans and coming out with four boxes of lovely herbal tea or going away for the weekend and buying £20 worth of food as a gift. Our actual weekly shop has been fine for some time, as so many of you commented when looking at my 99% vegetarian home cooked from scratch menu plan. I've actually been able to drop some treats back in (the odd Pukka herbal tea, but from Sainsburys not the extortionate health food shop, some avocados every now and again) without it being a problem.

    The hyacinth idea is fantastic - I am going to do that too and I might do some amaryllis too, because I love amaryllis.

    They will look lovely in vintage pots, but I doubt I will have time to trawl the charity shops so I have sourced some enamel buckets on a florist supplies outlet online ( Michael Dark ) They have some lovely cream, grey and vintage red with a snowflake buckets ( these are particularly nice ! ) costing between £2-£3.80.

    You really seem to have got your head around doing a lovely Christmas for less TOPM. I am convinced you can shave £100s off last year's budget by a bit of organisation and shopping around.

    I wouldn't worry about your boo boo, it is only an accounting error rather than a fundemental problem. Your grocery spends are much better and savings on football and audible books all add up. This will actually be a saving of £17.99 a month and over a year £215. It is often these small changes that will make the difference.

    I am glad you are feeling less stressed, juggling work with a young family is hard and you need to be kind to yourself x
    Originally posted by Busy Mee1
    Ooh, good find on that Michael Dark website, will use that if I can't find anything in the charity shops! Might actually be cheaper, given the price of charity shops round here.

    Thanks for putting the Audible and football costs into context, it feels much more significant when you put it like that.
    £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 8th Oct 17, 8:10 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Ooh, the other thing I keep meaning to talk about is packed lunches. Yes, it's taken some time and effort, but I can genuinely say we are achieving the packed lunches for perhaps a total addition of £4 a week to the food shop (a punnet of grapes, a red pepper and some extra cheese, usually). I have been doing a fair bit more cooking, making quiche, pizza whirls, pasties etc, but feel like I'm producing nice healthy packed lunches for a fraction of the school dinner price (which averaged out at £30 per month year round). Hurrah for that.
    £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
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th Oct 17, 8:46 AM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 9,198 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Well done you on cutting down the food shop and only paying £4 extra a week for what sound like lovely packed lunches.

    I can't really follow your explanation re the ynab accounting issue on the partnership card but I thought that was the one you cleared every month? I prefer clear checkbook or spreadsheets to ynab I would have to say but you sound as if you are on top of it.

    I strongly urge you to use october and November to save as much as possible for Christmas even if it means just keeping the debt at this level rather than reducing it and just paying minimums. Putting it on a credit card would cause more problems.
    3 days to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Oct 17, 9:03 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    It is so long and complicated. The partnership is the card I had to use in August/September when I basically didn't earn anything and didn't have a buffer in place in my account (and was planning to clear it with DH's pay rise, which didn't materialise, again). It's been in the paying it off that my maths has gone wrong. Very long and boring money moving fail situation, it took me about an hour to work it out this morning, so I'm not going to attempt to explain it here and confuse everyone! Short version, it will all level out by the end of this month and the numbers will be right, but there will still be a significant balance on the Partnership CC at that stage, as expected.
    £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
    • mumtoomany
    • By mumtoomany 8th Oct 17, 9:11 AM
    • 145 Posts
    • 1,223 Thanks
    mumtoomany
    Me again! If you are still looking for craft ideas for the children, have a look at s&s craft supplies and Baker Ross. Loads of ideas, some very cheap indeed. I think you said you normally buy craft stuff for the whole year at Christmas. Some of their Easter, spring and summer things are in the sale now. Just watch you don't get carried away, (I always do!) Hope this helps someone, M2m.
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 8th Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 166 Posts
    • 1,009 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    My local Asda has a huge amount of supplies such as colouring pencils, sharpies, nice paper etc on clearance at the moment, 12 pack of sharpies reduced from £12 to £3.50... I'm not sure if it's nationwide but if there's one near to you, it may be worth a peek?
    Debt Totals Decemberr 17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents 1 / Now £12,250 £500 Loan from Parents 2 / £250 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,700
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 8th Oct 17, 9:27 AM
    • 519 Posts
    • 1,925 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done on the packed lunch successes. I like the idea of pizza whirls!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th Oct 17, 10:08 AM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 9,198 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Just read your comment about your DC giving up one of the activities and how good it is you are gradually embracing little economies to hopefully get to a point where you are reducing the debt but still managing to live the life you want. It is not only the savings on the club which does not sound much but also you will save on kit/equipment and travel to and from the club.
    3 days to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 8th Oct 17, 10:12 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,736 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Me again with my calculator. So in just these three things ( lunches, audible and football) you have saved a regular £47.99 a month. To earn this amount after 20% tax you would need to earn an extra £60 a month or your husband ( after 40% tax ) would have to earn an extra £80 a month. I think you said you earn about £10 an hour, so the saving you have made equates to 6 hours work. I know this is all a bit obvious but It really helps me value the small savings to look at it in this way.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th Oct 17, 10:22 AM
    • 4,870 Posts
    • 9,198 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    It is so long and complicated. The partnership is the card I had to use in August/September when I basically didn't earn anything and didn't have a buffer in place in my account (and was planning to clear it with DH's pay rise, which didn't materialise, again). It's been in the paying it off that my maths has gone wrong. Very long and boring money moving fail situation, it took me about an hour to work it out this morning, so I'm not going to attempt to explain it here and confuse everyone! Short version, it will all level out by the end of this month and the numbers will be right, but there will still be a significant balance on the Partnership CC at that stage, as expected.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    So am I right that prior to August/September you cleared the card monthly but due to having no buffer in your business account for lower earnings or fund for holiday everyday living costs went on the partnership card?

    You are obviously trying to build up savings (somewhat erratically) but now the savings are going to be needed to cover your shortfall for this month. This really does emphasise the need not only for emergency fund but also savings for things like shortfall in income(should be held in business account). Earlier on in the year I think you spent your business buffer on the garden but this should have been left to subsidise the summer and drop in income. As you have probably found this year all spending decisions have repercussions on other budgets. If you spend the income buffer on something which should have come from house maintenance then your income is short later in the year the result is extra credit card debt. I don't say this to rub it in, you are intelligent enough to know where you went wrong but to stress that saving for things is as important as keeping within monthly budgets and paying off debt.

    Perhaps when and if the pay rise comes in you can use it to top up your savings pots for Christmas, holidays, house and car fund and emergency fund?
    3 days to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Oct 17, 10:32 AM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Not quite - I didn’t use the partnership CC at all from Feb-July, it was only used in Aug/Sept because of lack of earnings. And yes to everything else - as I’ve said before, the lesson about the buffer zone in the business account has been thoroughly learnt! I’m contemplating using the pay rise back pay (assuming it happens) as a Christmas fund rather than making overpayments to the CC and then needing to use it again. I’ll wait and see till it comes in and make a decision.
    £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
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 8th Oct 17, 10:36 AM
    • 4,977 Posts
    • 11,817 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    I agree that savings pots that you do your hardest not to touch is the best way to budget and eventually stay out of debt.

    Difficult when things crop up that arent covered by said pots. I spend my life juggling and trying to put bits away to cover every eventuality but when you have an OH who sees X amount of money "sitting "in the current account.........he has to find a home for it and scuppers my plans.

    Hence I have an account in another bank in my name only that I try to save for holidays/Xmas/birthdays/insurances.

    We didnt do this last year and had to put Xmas, a lot of yearly insurances and then a bug*er it attitude spend on a potting shed, new laptop and something else (which I cant even remember) on a 0% creditcard.

    We then had a debt of £1,800 to pay off. Not a huge amount I know but thats how it starts.

    I have religiously put away for holiday, insurances and Xmas this year and hoping there will be enough left to pay a big chunk off credit card before the interest kicks in.

    It wont be happening again! I hate debt.
    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 £211.60/Sep £282.35/Oct £122.54/Nov £271.08/Dec £80.49
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 8th Oct 17, 10:54 AM
    • 1,587 Posts
    • 18,089 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Not quite - I didnít use the partnership CC at all from Feb-July, it was only used in Aug/Sept because of lack of earnings. And yes to everything else - as Iíve said before, the lesson about the buffer zone in the business account has been thoroughly learnt! Iím contemplating using the pay rise back pay (assuming it happens) as a Christmas fund rather than making overpayments to the CC and then needing to use it again. Iíll wait and see till it comes in and make a decision.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Maybe do half and half TOPM - you will manage to reduce your Christmas costs this year, I know you will. I have watched your attitude change a lot over this year. You always start by justifying your old position on here, then we all get uppity about what you are doing "wrong" and then you modify what you planned to reflect a more reasonable position.

    I am confident that you can do Christmas for less than £1000 - you are already more open to cheaper stocking fillers I think, and you are looking to make presents. I'm not making so many Christmas cakes this year (so time consuming and expensive) but I plan to make mincemeat as gifts (along with fudge and biscuits). I have a large supply of (smallish decorative) Christmas boxes to fill instead of hampers this year too.

    Based on your SOA I am sure you could clear the smaller CC with 18% interest rate with that back pay and still leave some for a special Christmas.

    I bought a frozen turkey crown last year which I cooked for salads and sandwiches (and curry) - and this meant I could do a much smaller, cheaper turkey for Christmas dinner. Nobody noticed the difference. It was after watching a TV challenge of £50 for Christmas dinner. I realised I could make small changes for big benefits.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £9,260.94 saved (84.19%) after October - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 78.56% including stores after October
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • db2016
    • By db2016 8th Oct 17, 5:01 PM
    • 53 Posts
    • 183 Thanks
    db2016
    im a couple of days behind on the topic of xmas spends and kids clubs spending etc,

    BUT, it struck me that, as others you have a lifestyle you wont compromise on, and this worries me.

    i fully expected my experiences to be different from many on here, as the class im in seems to be lower, and thats fine with me.
    given that historically, and including my childhood and my way of (now doing things, post BR), is "if you dont have the cash either in hand or saved for it, you cant have it!").

    for me xmas was and is the standard "british" xmas, lots of food, drink and then a sleep during the post "huge meal" sluggish-ness! and playing a board game or that years "silly game", like the dentist mouth stretcher game from last year, a plastic mouth widener is put in mouth and you have cards and have to say or act out the card, much fun ensues as you get covered in dribble and cant talk coz of the mouth piece, proper belly laughs for £5 max i think it was.

    i also worry about the way your kids do lots of activites etc, the cost for one, but i get the benefit they may get from it. but i also think, your lifestyle and the ones they are in as your children, may get passed down to them when they have kids of grow older. eg they will want to maintain the same level as they have been given and they could themselves also find themselves on here in 202x-203x etc.

    the comment from someone about "soul searching" made me think, are you keeping a level of "middle class" lifestyle and associated spending, because your keeping up with the life you had as a kid?

    i also think you need to swallow some pride and tell people close to you, two fold, you will have a weight off chest, and another reason, if they dont stick by you or support, well then thats a freebie clean up of people you obviously dont really need in your life and a nice by-product of telling them. aka when the S,HitsTheFan you really find out whos there for you, and whos the superficial dross. not to mention i think in your circle there may be a few more who will feel relived to see "we arent the only ones" and you may even find some allies who are in the same boat. which could be good for morale and tips!

    i'm sorry if you find my words harsh, but im calling it as i see it.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Oct 17, 7:11 PM
    • 8,236 Posts
    • 43,673 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Craft stuff is cheap as chips - for years our niece and nephews have been bought "goody bags" rather than a "big" christmas present - as baby's it's something useful/educational, toddlers get a "we remember loving it from our childhood" favourite toy, but once they hit 4 it's the bags all the way and it's the present that they all talk about, we know this from the BIL/SIL's comments! By your standards I'm sure they probably class as full of tat - we do most of it from Pound shops or "Tiger" which is a fab store for oddments and "different" stuff to what you find elsewhere. Hawkin's Bazaar has also been brilliant in the past. Craft stuff - pens, pencils, crayons, packs of papers, card making bits and bobs for the DN, colouring books when they're smaller - all at £1 a piece maximum. I think the trick is to think about what you get extra value on by buying "posh" - so electronics for example, known brands may well be better. Crays, colouring pencils and colouring books though, are mostly what they are, and the DC's won;t give a doodah whether their activity books cost a fiver or a quid!

    One thing I will say - over the years we have seen a LOT of people on here who say that they have found themselves in debt due to overspending to maintain a lifestyle - and something that often comes up from that is that they're basing their lifestyle on what they saw their parents do as they were growing up. In a lot of those cases they find out afterwards that in fact, what they thought was a bought-and-paid-for lifestyle was in fact founded on credit - in one case a few years ago I seem to remember that this came to light after the person concerned lost both parents unexpectedly, and found when going through personal effects the bills and loan/credit paperwork for year upon year of expensive presents etc. It was quite a shock, and I remember that poster commenting that they no longer knew what to believe about their childhood, it had left them questioning everything - all the amazing presents unexpected holidays etc - they found themself thinking "But if I'd not had that they wouldn't have had all the worry about money". Another thing that a lot of folk have said is that having realised how much their folks struggled to buy the big ticket presents or must-have toy that year they've been determined not to create the same illusion of lifestyle for their own family. What I I'm trying to say is - it's not just about the "now" - it's also about the expectations you create going forwards, and that those small people who are just children now, will apply to their own lives as adults. It's natural to want to do the best for your children - of course it is, but a wonderful christmas can be about a LOT more than money - Hidden proves that with what she's said. (And I see the post directly above this - which I'd not seen when I wrote mine - says something broadly similar!)
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 08-10-2017 at 8:32 PM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£702.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Oct 17, 8:19 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Maybe do half and half TOPM - you will manage to reduce your Christmas costs this year, I know you will. I have watched your attitude change a lot over this year. You always start by justifying your old position on here, then we all get uppity about what you are doing "wrong" and then you modify what you planned to reflect a more reasonable position.

    I am confident that you can do Christmas for less than £1000 - you are already more open to cheaper stocking fillers I think, and you are looking to make presents. I'm not making so many Christmas cakes this year (so time consuming and expensive) but I plan to make mincemeat as gifts (along with fudge and biscuits). I have a large supply of (smallish decorative) Christmas boxes to fill instead of hampers this year too.

    Based on your SOA I am sure you could clear the smaller CC with 18% interest rate with that back pay and still leave some for a special Christmas.

    I bought a frozen turkey crown last year which I cooked for salads and sandwiches (and curry) - and this meant I could do a much smaller, cheaper turkey for Christmas dinner. Nobody noticed the difference. It was after watching a TV challenge of £50 for Christmas dinner. I realised I could make small changes for big benefits.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    The back pay won't be enough to clear the whole card (I THINK it will be about £750, but it might be less), so it's very much a decision of whether to pay half the card off or use the £750 for Christmas (which with Sept/Oct/Nov/Dec savings would bring us up to my budget total).

    I am making no cakes this year - I wildly over-baked last year after a mis-calculation, so I have two very well wrapped fruitcakes in the freezer which I'm hoping will be fine to defrost and ice.

    im a couple of days behind on the topic of xmas spends and kids clubs spending etc,

    BUT, it struck me that, as others you have a lifestyle you wont compromise on, and this worries me.

    i fully expected my experiences to be different from many on here, as the class im in seems to be lower, and thats fine with me.
    given that historically, and including my childhood and my way of (now doing things, post BR), is "if you dont have the cash either in hand or saved for it, you cant have it!").

    for me xmas was and is the standard "british" xmas, lots of food, drink and then a sleep during the post "huge meal" sluggish-ness! and playing a board game or that years "silly game", like the dentist mouth stretcher game from last year, a plastic mouth widener is put in mouth and you have cards and have to say or act out the card, much fun ensues as you get covered in dribble and cant talk coz of the mouth piece, proper belly laughs for £5 max i think it was.

    i also worry about the way your kids do lots of activites etc, the cost for one, but i get the benefit they may get from it. but i also think, your lifestyle and the ones they are in as your children, may get passed down to them when they have kids of grow older. eg they will want to maintain the same level as they have been given and they could themselves also find themselves on here in 202x-203x etc.

    the comment from someone about "soul searching" made me think, are you keeping a level of "middle class" lifestyle and associated spending, because your keeping up with the life you had as a kid?

    i also think you need to swallow some pride and tell people close to you, two fold, you will have a weight off chest, and another reason, if they dont stick by you or support, well then thats a freebie clean up of people you obviously dont really need in your life and a nice by-product of telling them. aka when the S,HitsTheFan you really find out whos there for you, and whos the superficial dross. not to mention i think in your circle there may be a few more who will feel relived to see "we arent the only ones" and you may even find some allies who are in the same boat. which could be good for morale and tips!

    i'm sorry if you find my words harsh, but im calling it as i see it.
    Originally posted by db2016
    As I've said plenty of time, telling people isn't an option unless it's literally a choice between telling them and losing the roof over our heads. It's non-negotiable to me. I don't feel any additional weight/burden due to people not knowing, all my worry about the debt is solely related to how it affect myself, DH and our DC.

    I had a lovely lifestyle as a child (far nicer than the one my DCs have ), but my parents NEVER talked about money when I was young, which I think is why I assumed I could continue to lead that lifestyle when I left home, with no real clue about budgeting or money or anything. DH is similar. I don't intend to do this with my DCs, so they will be brought up knowing how to budget and the realities of financial responsibility.

    Craft stuff is cheap as chips - for years our niece and nephews have been bought "goody bags" rather than a "big" christmas present - as baby's it's something useful/educational, toddlers get a "we remember loving it from our childhood" favourite toy, but once they hit 4 it's the bags all the way and it's the present that they all talk about, we know this from the BIL/SIL's comments! By your standards I'm sure they probably class as full of tat - we do most of it from Pound shops or "Tiger" which is a fab store for oddments and "different" stuff to what you find elsewhere. Hawkin's Bazaar has also been brilliant in the past. Craft stuff - pens, pencils, crayons, packs of papers, card making bits and bobs for the DN, colouring books when they're smaller - all at £1 a piece maximum. I think the trick is to think about what you get extra value on by buying "posh" - so electronics for example, known brands may well be better. Crays, colouring pencils and colouring books though, are mostly what they are, and the DC's won;t give a doodah whether their activity books cost a fiver or a quid!

    One thing I will say - over the years we have seen a LOT of people on here who say that they have found themselves in debt due to overspending to maintain a lifestyle - and something that often comes up from that is that they're basing their lifestyle on what they saw their parents do as they were growing up. In a lot of those cases they find out afterwards that in fact, what they thought was a bought-and-paid-for lifestyle was in fact founded on credit - in one case a few years ago I seem to remember that this came to light after the person concerned lost both parents unexpectedly, and found when going through personal effects the bills and loan/credit paperwork for year upon year of expensive presents etc. It was quite a shock, and I remember that poster commenting that they no longer knew what to believe about their childhood, it had left them questioning everything - all the amazing presents unexpected holidays etc - they found themself thinking "But if I'd not had that they wouldn't have had all the worry about money". Another thing that a lot of folk have said is that having realised how much their folks struggled to buy the big ticket presents or must-have toy that year they've been determined not to create the same illusion of lifestyle for their own family. What I I'm trying to say is - it's not just about the "now" - it's also about the expectations you create going forwards, and that those small people who are just children now, will apply to their own lives as adults. It's natural to want to do the best for your children - of course it is, but a wonderful christmas can be about a LOT more than money - Hidden proves that with what she's said.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I know that one of my parents (they are long divorced and remarried) funded a lifestyle on credit to a certain extent, whilst one was very sensible, so no skeletons in their closets. I intend to teach the DCs what we've learned as they get older, but I don't think taking away the things that I feel they deserve in their younger childhood is an appropriate step in that process. If we hadn't accumulated the debt over previous years we'd be more than comfortably able to afford the things we try to provide for them on a budget now (remembering that we would be c.£700pm better off without debt repayments), and I don't see why they should be punished for our previous stupidity.
    £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 8th Oct 17, 8:20 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    On a more general note, there is a definite feeling among many of my lovely readers that I need to do lots of soul searching and have some epiphany. I feel it's only fair, in the interests of you not all feeling like you're banging your heads against a wall, to point out that's unlikely to happen. I've discussed here before that I don't particularly feel my lightbulb is on, I don't particularly get satisfaction from repaying the debt, I don't even particularly mind being in debt, apart from the fact that it costs us £700pm. BUT I am paying the debt. I am intending to continue to pay it (and see no reason that I shouldn't), and I am intending to be debt free one day, so I can have my £700pm back. For now, that's more than enough for me. I don't really have any deeper levels!
    £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 8th Oct 17, 8:27 PM
    • 1,102 Posts
    • 10,594 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Good news - the food shop came to pretty much £80 on the nose, which is perfectly acceptable for a 'stocking up' kind of shop. Hoping to do next week's for <£70.

    To do today
    1. catch up with the ironing (it'll be nice when this ISN'T on my list for maybe one day). Pretty much done. You can actually sit on the sofa now!
    2. make a courgette cake to use up the last of the courgettes! Still not done, due to DH not food shopping until this afternoon (I was missing flour and baking powder).
    3. start to plan stockings. A slow start made.
    4. stick to working during my working hours, not getting distracted by laundry/cooking/cleaning. Done quite well.
    5. check library ebook situation and, if it's working fine, cancel Audible subscription. Not done, due to aforementioned refusal to get distracted.

    To do this week
    1. Continue to plan Christmas gifts.
    2. Plan hyacinth bulbs.
    3. Charity shop trawl for stocking fillers and hyacinth planters.
    4. Library ebooks

    To do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500. Currently budgeted at £3,349.
    2. work a sensible number of hours, even if it means slower progress on the work and debt front. September was rubbish. This is going well so far.
    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
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