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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,096Posts
    • 10,533Thanks
    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 92
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Oct 17, 6:09 AM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 35: Day 5

    Yesterday was pretty much as planned, spend-wise - spent a little on coffee and cake and parking, and bought compost and bird seed from the garden centre for a whopping £4.

    Having re-read the courgette cake recipe, I slightly suspect I may have failed to add baking powder. Whoops.

    Had an email from the mortgage broker. She has found some miraculous mortgage deal, which seems far too good to be true. Obviously all credit checks to go through, so we'll see what happens. It's 2.19% fixed for two years, with the Tesco loan added to it, and payments will actually reduce by £10pm. So we'd have various options to do with the £377 that we currently spend on the Tesco loan each month (plus the whopping £10pm mortgage payment saving!). So instead of 10.3% interest on the Tesco loan (well over £1,000 interest over the next year alone), it would be carrying an interest rate of 2.19%, which gives us an awfully long time to worry about overpaying before the total we'd be paying back would actually be more than the original total+interest.

    The plan would be to split the £387 saving per month between giving us £50pm flex in our budget to ease the pressure just a tiny bit, overpaying/saving to overpay at the end of the term (depending on overpayment fees) and saving for the extension.

    I am aware of the horror of securing unsecured debt. For anyone who is wondering, our two priorities are absolutely clear at the moment:
    1. Making inroads, however small, into the debt each month. We are achieving this.
    2. Increasing our bedroom space within two years. We are currently making zero progress towards this.
    Whatever else is ideal, those priorities have to be met first, and if securing unsecured debt helps us do that, I'm at peace with that.

    As I said though, not getting my hopes up until the application goes through.

    In other news, I had a work enquiry yesterday, which will be £75 if it comes through, and made a couple of sales in my smaller business, so another few quid profit in. I also have a booking next week which, assuming it doesn't get cancelled or anything, will be a minimum of £120 profit. Nothing huge, but it will all help add together towards November's expenses/salary, as my contracted work payment will only be about £350 this month (I need to make £540 each month to cover business expenses and 'salary' of £350). I am still longing for an amazing month which will ease the pressure, but at least I'm getting something in.

    Gosh, this is an epically long post, sorry! Last thing...

    I planned out my 2018 working time yesterday. I have been able to up my average working hours to 24hrs per week over the year. My average for this year will end up around 12 hours per week, with a heavy weighting towards this end of the year. It's important for me to keep track of this as it ensures I am actually earning a sensible salary for the hours I work, which I have this year (i.e., I need to be better off than I would be working the same number of hours in Sainsburys!). If I earn the same equivalent hourly rate next year I'll be bringing in £980 a month. I don't for a minute think I will in the first half of the year, but hopefully as things move on with the website etc I will in the second half.

    To do today
    1. Pop to town again for another charity shop trawl, and post office for smaller business posting.
    2. pack return for DC3 clothes - I ordered slightly too much, and although it's only about £15-worth of excess clothes, seems mad to keep them just because they're here. Returns are free.
    3. gather info for mortgage broker.
    4. try to tick off some of the FORTY ONE things on my list. That's a new low. Many of them are tiny jobs though.

    To do this week
    1. Continue to plan Christmas gifts.
    2. Plant 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 12th Oct 17, 7:08 AM
    • 5,748 Posts
    • 19,858 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Loving your lists and fingers crossed on the mortgage application.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th Oct 17, 7:23 AM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I am suitably impressed by the mortgage offer! I did once incorporate unsecured loans into our mortgage, when a change of circumstances meant it was that choice or a much less acceptable route involving down-sizing - so while the advice today is generally do not do this - if you are committed to overpaying your mortgage in the medium-long term it is a reasonable option. You do need to look at the long-term cost of that debt but for your cash-flow (your biggest issue) it will give you some peace of mind, and a time interval to pay down the rest.

    I was going to suggest that while you are trawling charity shops for hyacinth bowls you might also think about tea-pots, cups and cake plates. You mentioned ages ago that you fancied a really nice cup to have a cup of tea and relax with. You could look for pretty mis-matched china in similar colour palette for you or your adult Christmas community. I have been looking at making cake stands as gifts, and for my fund-raising group. Just need to make sure we have the right drill-bit. I was planning to do a place-setting with a cake plate. There is lots of 1930s bone china in the shops near me that could be re-purposed with a bit of effort. I think I can get the cake stand fittings for under £3 each.
    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
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 12th Oct 17, 8:10 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    I admit that I am mildly horrified at securing unsecured debt but from what you've said, it sounds like the best option for you at the moment. It gives you room to breathe and a much more preferable interest rate. What I would suggest, if I may, is that you commit say, £100 of the money that will be freed up from the transfer, to overpaying your mortgage perhaps?
    Debt Totals November 17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents 1 / Now £12,500 £500 Loan from Parents 2 / £500 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,700
    • XSpender
    • By XSpender 12th Oct 17, 9:53 AM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 27,948 Thanks
    XSpender
    I believe people advise against consolidating unsecured debt into secured debt not so much because of the interest rates over an extended term but with any consolidation it is the temptation, without changing habits, it is run back up again. You have changed your spending behaviour so I don't see it as that much of a concern.

    Speaking from experience, when you need to do something drastic to sort out your debt and reduce your outgoings, 2% on £10k over the term of your mortgage is a drop in the ocean.

    Something to be mindful of when looking at mortgage affordability and what to pay off is that when we bought a new house last year we had a small CC balance on 0% and the broker and the mortgage company used 5% as the repayment amount not the 1% we were actually paying. If our CC balances had been as high as they are now I don't think we would have got the mortgage.

    Have you read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover? He is a little too Christian for my taste but I feel the plan is sound.
    EF £1000 - £0
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Oct 17, 10:16 AM
    • 4,833 Posts
    • 9,129 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    2.19% is a good rate if you can get it so fingers crossed.

    The advice not to turn unsecured debt into secured is because generally you pay over a much longer period so works out a lot more expensive, it does not compel the borrower to change spending habits to live within budget and that it puts your home at risk if you default whereas the consequences of defaulting on unsecured debt are much less.

    I would say however you seem to have changed mindset and are dealing with your debt, not as quickly as some would but it is your debt so your call. The rate is much lower than the current Tesco loan and it gives you a chance to get to grips with saving for things you need like the extension and to build up an emergency fund and maybe deal with your longer term problems like lack of pension, car replacement etc etc. You are however using £20k of your fairly low equity to pay off a loan which came about through general frittering though rather than an asset. This may have consequences when you have to finance the extension.

    Incidentally have you asked how much you would save should you not add the Tesco loan as presumably the mortgage payment would still go down although not by £387?
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . 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 12th Oct 17, 3:53 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I am suitably impressed by the mortgage offer! I did once incorporate unsecured loans into our mortgage, when a change of circumstances meant it was that choice or a much less acceptable route involving down-sizing - so while the advice today is generally do not do this - if you are committed to overpaying your mortgage in the medium-long term it is a reasonable option. You do need to look at the long-term cost of that debt but for your cash-flow (your biggest issue) it will give you some peace of mind, and a time interval to pay down the rest.

    I was going to suggest that while you are trawling charity shops for hyacinth bowls you might also think about tea-pots, cups and cake plates. You mentioned ages ago that you fancied a really nice cup to have a cup of tea and relax with. You could look for pretty mis-matched china in similar colour palette for you or your adult Christmas community. I have been looking at making cake stands as gifts, and for my fund-raising group. Just need to make sure we have the right drill-bit. I was planning to do a place-setting with a cake plate. There is lots of 1930s bone china in the shops near me that could be re-purposed with a bit of effort. I think I can get the cake stand fittings for under £3 each.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    That's a lovely idea. I didn't see any today but will keep an eye out. Some nice china for a restful cup of tea would feel like a lovely treat.

    I admit that I am mildly horrified at securing unsecured debt but from what you've said, it sounds like the best option for you at the moment. It gives you room to breathe and a much more preferable interest rate. What I would suggest, if I may, is that you commit say, £100 of the money that will be freed up from the transfer, to overpaying your mortgage perhaps?
    Originally posted by Silver Queen
    The aim is to commit about £330 of the 387 that will be freed up, leaving £50 more wiggle room in the budget. The thought is that we will divide it roughly £150 to overpaying (or saving to overpay after 2 years if we can't overpay without penalty) and £180 to saving for the extension to give us some more room for manoeuvre when we get there.

    I believe people advise against consolidating unsecured debt into secured debt not so much because of the interest rates over an extended term but with any consolidation it is the temptation, without changing habits, it is run back up again. You have changed your spending behaviour so I don't see it as that much of a concern.

    Speaking from experience, when you need to do something drastic to sort out your debt and reduce your outgoings, 2% on £10k over the term of your mortgage is a drop in the ocean.

    Something to be mindful of when looking at mortgage affordability and what to pay off is that when we bought a new house last year we had a small CC balance on 0% and the broker and the mortgage company used 5% as the repayment amount not the 1% we were actually paying. If our CC balances had been as high as they are now I don't think we would have got the mortgage.

    Have you read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover? He is a little too Christian for my taste but I feel the plan is sound.
    Originally posted by XSpender
    NEVER running up debt again, so no fear there. I have the audiobook of the money makeover, but it seemed very inflexible for a variable income like mine. And an attitude to money like mine .
    £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 12th Oct 17, 3:56 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    2.19% is a good rate if you can get it so fingers crossed.

    The advice not to turn unsecured debt into secured is because generally you pay over a much longer period so works out a lot more expensive, it does not compel the borrower to change spending habits to live within budget and that it puts your home at risk if you default whereas the consequences of defaulting on unsecured debt are much less.

    I would say however you seem to have changed mindset and are dealing with your debt, not as quickly as some would but it is your debt so your call. The rate is much lower than the current Tesco loan and it gives you a chance to get to grips with saving for things you need like the extension and to build up an emergency fund and maybe deal with your longer term problems like lack of pension, car replacement etc etc. You are however using £20k of your fairly low equity to pay off a loan which came about through general frittering though rather than an asset. This may have consequences when you have to finance the extension.

    Incidentally have you asked how much you would save should you not add the Tesco loan as presumably the mortgage payment would still go down although not by £387?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    If we didn't add the tesco loan then the mortgage payment would go down by more or less £100pm, so we're saving a fair whack per month by adding in the tesco loan in.

    I'm uncomfortable because of the issue of remortgaging for the extension, but I figure if we're frugal and overpay then we'll still be able to extend, and if we're not then failing to extend is a better consequence than the consequences of having outgoings that are £387 higher and failing to make enough and needing to go down a DMP route or similar. If that makes sense.
    £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 12th Oct 17, 4:39 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Have you looked at any of the images for dividing children's bedrooms online? I had a quick look ages ago and there was a rectangular house with a diagonal criss-cross that divided a large rectangular room into two triangular rooms. I merely mention it in case you want to consider a stop-gap or fallback to extensions - some stud partition and a couple of doors with some good design and artistic flair... your children are still quite young and not pushing for it yet - or private sleeping pods in a bigger room - just loads of good ideas
    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
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Oct 17, 6:59 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Have you looked at any of the images for dividing children's bedrooms online? I had a quick look ages ago and there was a rectangular house with a diagonal criss-cross that divided a large rectangular room into two triangular rooms. I merely mention it in case you want to consider a stop-gap or fallback to extensions - some stud partition and a couple of doors with some good design and artistic flair... your children are still quite young and not pushing for it yet - or private sleeping pods in a bigger room - just loads of good ideas
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    We have considered it, and in an ideal world we won't do it, but if it gets towards the middle of next year and we're still a good 12-18 months away I think we'll have to address it. Triangular rooms is interesting, will have to look into that! DH is pretty handy.
    £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 12th Oct 17, 8:46 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Lordy, work stress is still taking up disproportionate headspace. For the pitiful amount of my income it's caused me inordinate stress this month! I should have things slightly straighter next Tuesday when I have a meeting with someone who can give me more information and I'll be able to make a plan and stop going round and round in circles in my head. Just trying to forget about it until then, but it's very hard.

    Did another charity shop run today and found a couple more nice dishes to use as pots, then got two more in a florists shop for £3.50 each. I think I have enough now. No sign of the actual bulbs though, so have emailed the place I ordered them from to cancel the order and will pop out to the garden centre tomorrow - need to get them planted on Saturday, they're late going in anyway.

    Work enquiry from yesterday turned into a booking, so I have £80 towards November's expenses/salary. Compared to the last few months, that doesn't feel too bad considering we're not yet halfway through the month. I know the last couple of months have been terrible, but I generally feel that I have got so much more on top of my business account this year - lack of control of that was a huge contributor to the debt, as I was propping it up regularly due to bad money management. As it stands at the moment I have nearly the entire fee for the accountant ready to go - each month's expenses have a portion included to save towards the accountant fee. Also have £135 saved towards a new ipad type tablet (which I may not actually need if the work direction change that I'm contemplating happens, but I'll leave the savings there for now. It is also a bit of an emergency fund to cover expenses if necessary), regular professional fees covered for the month each month, a small business development kitty to spend on things like new equipment, stationery etc. It shows how small the profit is once all those things are accounted for, but at least I am actually accounting for all of those things now. The balance of this account rarely drops below £1,000 now because of all the buffers and kitties in there. I'm learning, slowly!

    We had mujadara for dinner, a really cheap and yummy lentil and rice dish - I use this recipe, although I remove most of the onions while the rice and lentils are cooking then add them in at the end, as they always seemed to end up a bit flabby and pale again if they soaked in water for the entire cooking time. I also add plenty more salt than is suggested. The DCs are always a little dubious because it's not the prettiest dish in the world, but quite like it with a blob of houmous and some carrot on the side. We have loads of leftover bits of the last few meals for dinner - a selection of quinoa burgers, leek and potato soup and mujadara for dinner tomorrow, which means tomorrow's planned meal is carried over to next week's menu plan. Getting to grips with this food shopping thing!

    I have set aside one day a month in the calendar for batch cooking too, which I think will make packed lunches less stressful, as I can fill the freezer with quiche, pasties etc. Oh, does anyone send in their DCs with a warm soup or pasta or similar? DC1 has asked if I could send a hot packed lunch, need to check with the school it's ok and buy an insulated food container, but it could be quite nice in winter I think.

    To do today
    1. Pop to town again for another charity shop trawl, and post office for smaller business posting. Done.
    2. pack return for DC3 clothes - I ordered slightly too much, and although it's only about £15-worth of excess clothes, seems mad to keep them just because they're here. Returns are free.
    3. gather info for mortgage broker. Done.
    4. try to tick off some of the FORTY ONE things on my list. That's a new low. Many of them are tiny jobs though. Ticked some off, added some more. A mere 36 items on tomorrow's list. And a harvest service to attend. Sigh.

    To do this week
    1. Continue to plan Christmas gifts.
    2. Plant 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 £3,376.
    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.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 12-10-2017 at 8:48 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
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 13th Oct 17, 1:35 AM
    • 725 Posts
    • 4,714 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    That looks delicious, thank you for sharing it!

    With hot lunches, I do sometimes. You can buy wide-neck Thermoses that work well for things like pasta (anything that you need to be able to dig a fork into). I did stop sending mine with soup because they found it took too long to eat and they want something they can throw down and then go play with friends, but if yours have a mandated amount of time to sit in the dining room and eat (which I imagine they would, if some of them are getting hot lunches?) that might not be a concern. I've done pasta, soup, fried rice, I've also baked chicken wings/drumsticks and then wrapped them in foil and sent with a bit of dipping sauce, ditto corn cobettes.

    Your mortgage deal sounds very good to me!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    November 2017 - $216,000.00 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Oct 17, 5:35 AM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 35: Day 6

    Morning! A day of catching up on house stuff and trying to clear some of my To Do list before the weekend starts (I am working tomorrow, but I like to have a full day's work clear of little nagging jobs when I can). Also have to go and watch the older DCs in their harvest service, which means brining DC3 with food to keep quiet for the duration!

    Christmas present news; I've been keeping a note so far of spends. I budgeted £120 for all the adult presents we need to buy this Christmas (14 adults but mostly couples, so 8 gifts to plan). Have decided on a hyacinth pot and a small homemade candle/hm fudge each for those I'd like to give a little more to (maybe 4 couples). So far the hyacinths have come out at a total of £48 even allowing a generous £25 for the actual bulbs from the garden centre today (in case they are more expensive than the online place). Even if I have to buy some new essential oils and glass jars for candles or baking ingredients, I'm confident I can bring the adult gifts in for well under £100, which I'm really pleased with.

    To do today
    1. menu plan and food shopping list for tonight/tomorrow morning, including batch cooking ingredients for Sunday (this may bump the price up a little as I'd like to get a handful of different packed lunch options made).
    2. 35 items on the To Do list. The mission is to get that clear before the end of the day, and sensibly reschedule anything left, rather than just carrying it over to tomorrow.
    3. buy hyacinth bulbs.
    4. ask school about hot packed lunches.

    To do this week
    1. Continue to plan Christmas gifts.
    2. Plant 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 £3,376.
    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
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 13th Oct 17, 8:46 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    14 adults for under £100 is amazing! I won't even confess how much I've budgeted for Christmas
    Debt Totals November 17:
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 £15,500 Loan from Parents 1 / Now £12,500 £500 Loan from Parents 2 / £500 £2,000 Overdraft Now £1,700
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 13th Oct 17, 9:00 AM
    • 4,659 Posts
    • 35,807 Thanks
    DawnW
    Love your Christmas present ideas TOPM, much nicer than buying items that would probably never get used. Especially for older folks who don't want more 'stuff'
    Remember to ask for 'prepared' hyacinths though, if you want them to flower around Christmas indoors
    NSDs for December 4/15
    Decluttering 13/31

    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 13th Oct 17, 1:27 PM
    • 1,586 Posts
    • 18,084 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I love the fact that you have postponed your planned meal to next week to use up all the leftovers (this is our particular weakness - with a collection of random plastic things of indeterminate origin in the freezer). One of the grocery challenge people decided this was happening so often that she now aims to make her weekly shop last an extra day every week. That is fine if you can change when you shop but I try to buy for four days and adapt what I have in for the rest, which helped me cut down a lot.
    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
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Oct 17, 7:27 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    14 adults for under £100 is amazing! I won't even confess how much I've budgeted for Christmas
    Originally posted by Silver Queen
    Oh go on, it will give everyone someone new to be horrified at .

    Love your Christmas present ideas TOPM, much nicer than buying items that would probably never get used. Especially for older folks who don't want more 'stuff'
    Remember to ask for 'prepared' hyacinths though, if you want them to flower around Christmas indoors
    Originally posted by DawnW
    My mum always says she has enough 'stuff' to see her through till she dies, she likes consumables/things that don't last.

    I love the fact that you have postponed your planned meal to next week to use up all the leftovers (this is our particular weakness - with a collection of random plastic things of indeterminate origin in the freezer). One of the grocery challenge people decided this was happening so often that she now aims to make her weekly shop last an extra day every week. That is fine if you can change when you shop but I try to buy for four days and adapt what I have in for the rest, which helped me cut down a lot.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    We usually freeze leftovers, but for some reason it didn't happen this week, which is why they needed using up - they usually get used as emergency meals or for DH's lunches.
    £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
    • DawnW
    • By DawnW 13th Oct 17, 8:15 PM
    • 4,659 Posts
    • 35,807 Thanks
    DawnW
    I totally agree with your Mum's point of view TOPM.
    NSDs for December 4/15
    Decluttering 13/31

    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Oct 17, 9:22 PM
    • 1,096 Posts
    • 10,533 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Quick list round up before bed

    To do today
    1. menu plan and food shopping list for tonight/tomorrow morning, including batch cooking ingredients for Sunday (this may bump the price up a little as I'd like to get a handful of different packed lunch options made). Done. I think the shop is going to come in fairly expensively, which is irritating, but it should knock a noticeable sum off the shop for the next few weeks. The proof will be in the pudding (or batch cooking).
    2. 35 items on the To Do list. The mission is to get that clear before the end of the day, and sensibly reschedule anything left, rather than just carrying it over to tomorrow. Down to a measly little nine items to add to however many I have planned in for tomorrow. It says something about my schedule at the moment that I am considering this a huge success.
    3. buy hyacinth bulbs. Not done, garden centre in the morning.
    4. ask school about hot packed lunches. Not done, forgot.

    To do this week
    1. Continue to plan Christmas gifts.
    2. Plant hyacinth bulbs.
    3. Charity shop trawl for stocking fillers and hyacinth planters. Done.
    4. Library ebooks. Done. Need to test on DC1's mp3 player, but working on my phone, hurrah!

    To do this month
    1. keep the total spend for the month below £3,500. Currently budgeted at £3,376.
    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
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 14th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    • 641 Posts
    • 2,526 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Hurrah to the library audio books working, need to set mine up.
    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
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