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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,094Posts
    • 10,515Thanks
    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 90
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 8th Oct 17, 8:30 PM
    • 4,969 Posts
    • 11,796 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    Whilst admiring your enthusiasm and work ethic, I have to say the posts 1776 and 1777 are a combination of what I have been thinking but not wanting to say out loud since the posts about Christmas have been going on.

    Yes.....you are looking at doing things slightly cheaper but you still seem to want the outward appearance of living life like your friends? family? live it.

    Your children are relatively young at the moment but as they grow older.........doing Christmas becomes more expensive as do clothes and feeding them.

    I know you are looking at more income coming in as the children grow but dont let "keeping up with the joneses" scupper your progress.

    I have to say that the clothing from Sainsburys impressed me immensely considering what the other options were!

    I do wish you all the best and hope you keep going in the right direction.
    Last edited by Kantankrus Mare; 08-10-2017 at 8:36 PM.
    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 £46.99
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Oct 17, 8:38 PM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Again, I feel I have to interject with a defence. Lots of you have commented about my 'trying to keep up with the Joneses' or 'having an outward appearance' of a certain lifestyle. This absolutely 100% isn't a factor. I honestly couldn't care less what anyone else thinks of our lifestyle (indeed, certain relatives are regularly filled with horror at certain more hippy aspects of it!). Every decision I have made and make now and will make is based on what DH and I feel is best for us and our family. Yes, we haven't got it right in the past, and I'm sure the future will bring its own mistakes too, but nothing that we do is remotely concerned with a superficial appearance, it is concerned with the things that bring us joy and are right for our family.

    I absolutely don't intend to stop posting on this diary, but the fixation of some posters with a certain line about how I 'should' be doing things (and almost resentment when I choose to do something differently) is leading me to think about posting fewer details and keeping this space more as just a weekly or monthly update on the figures for my own records.

    I have always responded 100% positively to every single comment on here, but I am beginning to think it has led some posters to think that actually an endless on-screen battering is something that I'm here for. I'm not. I should add that so many of you manage to post suggestions and critiques of my plans without being like this at all, and I'm hugely grateful for the time you take.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 08-10-2017 at 8:41 PM.
    £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
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 8th Oct 17, 8:43 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    I follow and enjoy your diary regularly and rarely comment. I have seen many people commenting about your lifestyle and the way you choose to use your money. Mostly though people do so with the best of intentions because they worry that you might end up in even more debt. However as long as you are comfortable with it and think that you will be able to achieve your dream of an extension while continuing with your current spending habits then it is really your choice. I hope that it doesn't put you off keeping your diary which is obviously beneficial to you. My only caution would be to think carefully before adding unsecured debt to your mortgage as it may impact on your ability to borrow the money that you will need for an extension. Good luck with your journey and your plans. It sounds like you have a lovely family life.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 8th Oct 17, 8:46 PM
    • 4,230 Posts
    • 26,459 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    I do think some replies come of quite harsh and it would have put me off replying and posting some time ago had it been on my diary

    I think you do amazingly well with the debt and lifestyle balance. What's right for me won't be right for you and so on.

    I hope I haven't ever come across as harsh as that isn't ever how I've intended to be at all. I love your diary and have 'pinched' quite a few ideas you've given and been given x
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 8th Oct 17, 8:52 PM
    • 698 Posts
    • 1,548 Thanks
    reality_check
    I do love reading your diary, but I am surprised you've kept going, some of the comments I read I look like him ---> I am sure people mean the best and do with the best intentions but there is only so many times you can say the same thing over and over yet be told the same different thing again lol

    I hope you do keep posting often, I am on maternity leave and this is my daily fix reading these diaries and I love reading how you pack so much into a day! Mostly while I am sat on the couch with a cup of tea whilst baby naps and should be doing a million other things!

    Good luck with everything, I'm cheering you on to have that £700 back in your pocket one day xxx
    Starting debt £18,675.63
    Current debt: £8,250
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 8th Oct 17, 8:53 PM
    • 4,969 Posts
    • 11,796 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    Again, I feel I have to interject with a defence. Lots of you have commented about my 'trying to keep up with the Joneses' or 'having an outward appearance' of a certain lifestyle. This absolutely 100% isn't a factor. I honestly couldn't care less what anyone else thinks of our lifestyle (indeed, certain relatives are regularly filled with horror at certain more hippy aspects of it!). Every decision I have made and make now and will make is based on what DH and I feel is best for us and our family. Yes, we haven't got it right in the past, and I'm sure the future will bring its own mistakes too, but nothing that we do is remotely concerned with a superficial appearance, it is concerned with the things that bring us joy and are right for our family.

    I absolutely don't intend to stop posting on this diary, but the fixation of some posters with a certain line about how I 'should' be doing things (and almost resentment when I choose to do something differently) is leading me to think about posting fewer details and keeping this space more as just a weekly or monthly update on the figures for my own records.

    I have always responded 100% positively to every single comment on here, but I am beginning to think it has led some posters to think that actually an endless on-screen battering is something that I'm here for. I'm not. I should add that so many of you manage to post suggestions and critiques of my plans without being like this at all, and I'm hugely grateful for the time you take.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Im really sorry if my post came across as pouring cold water on all your efforts. It wasnt meant in that way at all and please dont stop posting. I love reading your posts every morning as you write so eloquently and amaze me at the amount of things you get through in a day.
    Keep it up
    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 £46.99
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 8th Oct 17, 8:54 PM
    • 884 Posts
    • 4,521 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I think everyone's journey is different , if you are happy with the way things are going then that's how it is. For you it is definitely a marathon more so than many on here. It will be a while longer before your lightbulb comes on fully, and by then you may find it easier to make the necessary alterations to your lifestyle. I enjoy your diary keep posting.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 8th Oct 17, 8:57 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    Actually I was writing my post while you were commenting about feeling a bit battered by some of the responses you have had. I have to say that I too would have found some of the posts quite harsh yet you are indeed always very positive in your replies and try to take on board many suggestions. We need to remember that all we should be doing is trying to give help and advice, but at the end of the day we all live our lives differently and that is our choice. I would miss your diary if you decide to stop posting the way you do, but again you need to do what works best for you. Well done on all that you have achieved so far.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 8th Oct 17, 9:03 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 2,513 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    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!
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil

    I think this is the key post for many people to understand about you TOPM, you've also said before that this is likely to be a 10year plan for you and your family.
    It's just a VERY different approach to many other posters here who want to be debt or mortgage free in the shortest possible amount of time. You are trail blazing the different approach. I can't & couldn't work the way you do, I get the jitters if I owe anybody a penny, and have to pay it back immediately. But that's me, not you.
    I read you posts because I like your style and you have brilliant homemade lunch ideas that have perked up our lunch time nibbles remarkably. Yes there are posts that make my heart stop and give me palpitations, but that's because I'm me. I hope I can add helpful comments and questions now and in the future.

    My question for today however is... does hubby's income after the pay rise take him over the child benefit threshold?im not sure if it's a tapered reduction or if it's a cliff edge one, but much like I didn't want to see Christmas derail your plans, I wouldn't want you getting a massive bill from Hercules, or whoever, to repay the child benefit.

    Wish.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 Aug: £36,411.85 8/100 Sep: £35,945.66 10/100 Oct: £35,500 11/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 8th Oct 17, 9:05 PM
    • 639 Posts
    • 2,513 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Hercules??? Well that's a name the hmrc have never been called before I bet. Stupid auto correct.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 Aug: £36,411.85 8/100 Sep: £35,945.66 10/100 Oct: £35,500 11/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 8th Oct 17, 9:12 PM
    • 4,969 Posts
    • 11,796 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    Hercules??? Well that's a name the hmrc have never been called before I bet. Stupid auto correct.
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    LOL @ Hercules.........I'll always think of the tax man now as a Herculean figure.
    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 £46.99
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1628.14 miles
    • MoneyMission
    • By MoneyMission 8th Oct 17, 9:13 PM
    • 605 Posts
    • 2,997 Thanks
    MoneyMission
    TOPM - I too get my daily fix from your diary posts. You are always so positive and upbeat. I think I secretly love your diary because it seems very 'real'. Whilst there are a lot of people doing the hardcore debt slaying, you have chosen a path of moderation which is totally fine because it's your life and you have made that choice.

    Please keep posting. I am cheering you on.
    MFW 2017 challenge (No.39) £4,469.00 / £3,450.00 (129.54%)
    MFW 2016 challenge (No. 39) £3,791.00 / £3,300.00 (114.88%)
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 8th Oct 17, 9:15 PM
    • 884 Posts
    • 4,521 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I think there are so many people who think that there way is the only way. Well we are all here for the same reason with the odd exception we are all / have been in debt . I for one could do better , but refuse to live a very frugal lifestyle because I know I couldn't sustain it. I am fortunate that although I don't earn mega bucks like some people I do what I can. The last thing we want to happen to TOPM is to give up (not that I think she would ).
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 8th Oct 17, 9:17 PM
    • 8,202 Posts
    • 43,440 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Absolutely agree that it's your diary and your life, but speaking as someone who's been regularly active on here for a heck of a lot of years, and has seen a LOT of posters arrive and leave again for all sorts of reasons, I find it very difficult to read a diary like this sometimes. In some ways I think it's a lot easier to try to be constructive and helpful where someone HAS truly had their LBM and is desperate to get out of debt - oddly those people are usually also those with a far more modest income or even in some cases almost no income at all. that very knowledge though - or how tenuous their grip on their finances is - may be a factor in this, the need for security and knowing that your money is your own is all the more important, the less of it you have. there are a lot of people here speaking frompositions of a LOT of combined experience - and one thing I will say is that there is a decent chance that some of them might be wrong in what they;re saying - but ALL of them? Hmmm....doubtful. Since clearing my own debt I've kept posting on here in part because it helps keep me on the straight and narrow financially, and in part because I appreciate massively the help and support I got whilst clearing a loan, getting out of the habit of monthly overdraft use, and subsequent destruction of the mortgage - I give up my time to post here because I genuinely hope that my own experiences mean I have something to offer in return - to pay back my "MSE Gratitude debt" if you like.

    I'll bid you farewell and unsubscribe at this stage. I've no wish for constructive comments to be a reason for someone to want to leave MSE - and I assure you that anything I've posted here really was intended to be constructive, not some form of "on-screen battering" as you put it. I'm honestly sorry that it was seen that way. I wish you luck with your journey going forwards.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£656.45 (20/11/17)
    SOA Calculator for DFW newbies: Stoozing.com SOA Calculator
    • Mudbath
    • By Mudbath 8th Oct 17, 11:31 PM
    • 5,396 Posts
    • 112,614 Thanks
    Mudbath
    I've been reading your diary over the last few weeks (it's quite long!!!) and it's like i'm reading about the last 10 years of my life. We've got there though it's taken longer than maybe it could have.

    I know there's no right or wrong way but we put family life just above paying every penny towards our debts. We've got there. Lots of good memories and a few sleepless nights but...we are there.

    DD is at university and we're managing to help her as much as we can. DS is in 6th form and hopes to go to university so we're budgeting for that now. Both had jobs from 15 to pay for extras for themselves.

    We didn't let them have everything but we've had a lot of fun along the way and, like you, I wouldn't have it any other way.

    It's all possible and with your enthusiasm you'll get there.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 9th Oct 17, 5:08 AM
    • 1,094 Posts
    • 10,515 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 35: Day 2

    Morning everyone! Thank you to every single person who commented last night, whether in full support or more moderate positivity. I feel like I've said what I wanted to say and I'm not going to dwell on it for now. One of the really interesting things I noted was that some posters actually take tips from me . This made me think I should post/link more of the budget recipes etc that I use, and also celebrate the MS stuff that I do actually do, rather than just focus on the difficult things.

    Meeting a client/friend for coffee today, but I think she's viewing me as a sales prospect (she sells one of those multi-level marketing products), so I'm bracing myself for resisting the sales onslaught - I once bought a candle or a hand cream or something in an effort to be supportive, which was clearly a mistake. I should have said no to coffee really, as I know full well I'm not going to buy anything, and it's possibly just a waste of her time and mine, but said yes in a moment of weakness. Send me strength to say no to the sales pitch!

    Also going to have a quick charity shop trawl for (a) hyacinth bowls and (b) stocking fillers/advent calendar gifts. In other festive news, DH has announced he'd like a knitted hat for Christmas, which is fairly manageable for me. Must finish the project I'm working on first so I don't end up with half knitted stuff everywhere.

    Need to do some cooking today - not entirely sure what I'm going to put in the DCs packed lunches today, after all my packed lunch related smugness! I have one pizza whirl left in the freezer for one of them, the other might have to have <shudder> a cheese sandwich . Veggie quiche is definitely the favourite lunchbox filler of the moment, going to try to make some similar options with plenty of veg in, since both packed-lunch-taking DCs quite often leave their veg sticks (unless it's red pepper).

    DH has advance made quinoa burgers for dinner tonight, which saves me a job. We make these quite often (not usually with all the trimmings, although I am intending to for tonight), they are mega yum. I replace the chipotle with smoked paprika.

    OMG I actually finished all the ironing yesterday, so it isn't on my list today for the first time in about a week. Somebody remind me to actually do it as I do the laundry loads to prevent the ironing mountain situation again.

    Really hope I get some work bookings in soon. Still quite dry on that front. Trying to reconnect with some older clients via my newsletter (which I have been terrible about sending out this year, but have just restarted) so hopefully that will remind some people that I exist.

    To do today
    1. start sourdough (to bake tomorrow morning).
    2. make courgette cake.
    3. make packed lunch stuff to freeze.
    4. continue to plan stockings.
    5. charity shop trawl.
    6. keep the work time focused.
    7. spend some time knitting this evening (such luxury!) instead of working - I have stopped working Monday and Tuesday evenings, as it was getting ridiculously nonstop, and my work was less efficient as I wasn't ever taking a break.

    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
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 9th Oct 17, 6:01 AM
    • 5,748 Posts
    • 19,856 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Morning TOPM. I for one love your diary and have taken many great ideas and inspiration from it!!!

    Have a lovely day x
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 9th Oct 17, 6:15 AM
    • 884 Posts
    • 4,521 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Glad to see you posted this morning., I have used your recipes , the flapjack one . Please share any of your budget ones. Enjoy your charity shop search.
    Nov 2017 CC1 £3329 CC2 £600

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 9th Oct 17, 8:22 AM
    • 4,658 Posts
    • 35,801 Thanks
    DawnW
    Week 35: Day 2

    Morning everyone! Thank you to every single person who commented last night, whether in full support or more moderate positivity. I feel like I've said what I wanted to say and I'm not going to dwell on it for now. One of the really interesting things I noted was that some posters actually take tips from me . This made me think I should post/link more of the budget recipes etc that I use, and also celebrate the MS stuff that I do actually do, rather than just focus on the difficult things.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    You shouldn't be surprised that people take tips from your posts You have an interesting life and angle on things, and you write well. I am sure lots of people would like recipes etc Do you have a blog?
    NSDs for December 4/15
    Decluttering 13/31

    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 9th Oct 17, 8:25 AM
    • 4,826 Posts
    • 9,111 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Stay strong on resisting buying from your coffee buddy. I have started resisting invites from someone I know sells hideously overpriced cosmetics as I know I am going to get a sales pitch. I also once bought hand cream once which was supposed to be cheap but in fact cost me around £40
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

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