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  • FIRST POST
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 17th Feb 17, 1:45 AM
    • 48Posts
    • 98Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Getting out of this debt sharknado
    • #1
    • 17th Feb 17, 1:45 AM
    Getting out of this debt sharknado 17th Feb 17 at 1:45 AM
    Over Christmas OH gathered together the paperwork for his various chunks of debt and revealed that his total unsecured debt comes to a horrifying figure of £73500.

    We are 6 weeks into an 8.5 year journey, although I'm going to do my best to trim that down where I can. I'm currently struggling to sleep but keep reminding myself that no one has died and we won't starve. I think a diary will help to keep me on track and help me feel I'm not alone. Sharknado is the most ridiculous horror film I've seen, but has a happy ending and it brings a smile to my face to think that OH and I, like Fin' and Nova, will emerge triumphant in the end. Hence my diary title (and I couldn't think of anything Inspirational! )
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 17-02-2017 at 1:53 AM.
Page 2
    • motivated
    • By motivated 25th Mar 17, 4:31 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Emma

    just popping in to see how you're doing. Hope you are still upbeat and positive
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 13th Aug 17, 7:36 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    It's been over four months since I last posted but I've been plugging away quietly, albeit with some ups and downs.
    We haven't been overdrawn at the bank since January, things are much more under control. Our credit card debt level is still horrendous but has come down to £67,500 (from £73,500 in February this year) so we're slowly getting there.
    September was going to be a big month as we had quite a few 0% deals ending - I wanted to start a DMP to avoid a meltdown in our situation but OH wanted to wait.
    Well it turned out he was right to hang on- we have managed to do one more shuffle around to move the balances so no DMP needed at the moment, hopefully it will stay that way as I've got a bit more confidence that we can manage to get through this ourselves.

    Challenges ahead include my car, which needs some significant money spending on it soon, and increased travel costs for my daughter. Overall though I'm so much happier than in Feb and have still managed to have some cheap Fun!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Aug 17, 8:16 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Although OH has a loan (£20K outstanding) as well as the credit cards, I'm going to ignore it for my debt busting plans as it will tick along in the background with monthly fixed payments until it is paid off on schedule in late 2020.

    If we manage to keep up the current rate of around £1000 a month coming off the balances our debt free date will be Feb 2023, another 5 years 7 months away, but better than the 8.5 years we calculated when we first faced up to our debt after Christmas. When the loan is paid off we'll have another £500 to throw at the credit cards every month so that should shave another few months off the DFD.

    But back to this month- my car needs two new tyres, a service including the timing belt replacing and some electrical issues looking at- will probably be £500+ so I'm considering some matched betting, but I'm not too sure about the ethics of it? And it looks quite complicated!
    DD also needs some stuff for school and we've spent money on some trips out -August is a turning out to be a very expensive month
    • motivated
    • By motivated 14th Aug 17, 9:57 AM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Emma

    Popping in to cheer you along too. That's great news that you haven't been in the overdraft for 6 months and you have paid off a whopping 6k

    As for your car, mine too is going to be needing some work. The MOT is due September and I'm dreading it to be honest. Could really do without it.

    Also the cheap fun you mentioned is something my DH and me have been looking at too. There's lots out there when you look for it. We were bored the other day and went for late lunch /early dinner. It was 2 meals for £8.99. Made a nice cheap change too.

    Keep going
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • Worrierwalker
    • By Worrierwalker 14th Aug 17, 10:09 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 216 Thanks
    Worrierwalker
    Well done- paying off £6,000 of your debt in such a short time is very impressive!
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 21st Aug 17, 5:49 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    worriedDan
    Well done Emma. I remember reading your posts earlier this year. I think that we started out DF journeys around the same time.

    Sounds like you are doing great. I get your point about the loan too. I don't worry about my loan so much as it has fixed payments and a clear end date. I have chosen to include my loan in my debt totals but I totally get your way of thinking.

    Good luck and keep up the good work!
    • foxyloxy11
    • By foxyloxy11 21st Aug 17, 7:38 PM
    • 230 Posts
    • 1,249 Thanks
    foxyloxy11
    Enjoying your thread and pleased you're not feeling as stressed out as you were at the beginning. have you heard of Dave Ramsey? as well as using this site check out his. if you listen to his show(there are links on the site) you can find people doing their debt free screams. it's amazing, motivating and inspiring. I follow his snowball method and by the end of October will have my fully funded emergency fund. this is a must I think as then you don't have to use the plastic if anything goes wrong.
    Good luck and those 5 yrs will be gone before you know it
    £1000 Emergency fund challenge #225 - £700.00.00/£1000 Baby Step 1
    Debt free day October 2019 - End of Baby Step 2
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Sep 17, 2:25 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    I'm feeling a renewed sense of focus about debt busting now that the Summer holidays are over and the first tinges of Autumn colour are appearing in the garden.
    I've always loved this time of year.

    DD2 has started back at school, so far all seems fine. I know it will take a few weeks to adjust as she hasn't been in a classroom for well over a year.
    DD1 will be starting her first year at uni in a couple of weeks- I'm excited for her but will miss her so much. The house will feel very different without the sibling banter.

    On the upside it means that I can start jobhunting in earnest in a couple of weeks. I suspect my earning power is no longer that good but anything I can bring in will make a huge difference to our position. We will also need to help DD out as much as we can at uni as her student loan doesn't even cover her rent. Though our food and fuel bill should go down!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Sep 17, 2:33 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    I checked out Dave Ramsey foxy and am now slightly addicted. He seems to have a very simple approach to debt busting and I love his accent! I've currently got a £1000 emergency fund but this is likely to disappear next week as the car is going in for major work. I'll build it back up again though.

    The student loan debt of some of the callers is eye watering and makes me worry for DD. I know all the arguments about only paying what you can afford and it being written off after 30 years but I feel that we will look back at student loans and the current 'all must go to uni' philosophy as THE great mis-selling scandal of all time sadly. Apparently the CEO of the student finance company is currently suspended pending Investigation?
    DD is determined not to have a credit card or overdraft and has saved £2000 from her part time job- I really don't think she will fall into the same debt trap we've been in since Uni.

    My personal target is to (find a job and) earn at least £2000 by Christmas. Here goes!
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 09-09-2017 at 2:54 PM.
    • Kittychick
    • By Kittychick 9th Sep 17, 3:45 PM
    • 223 Posts
    • 541 Thanks
    Kittychick
    Wow, Emma you are doing so well!! Fingers crossed on the job front I'm sure you will smash this goal too!!
    • Tempus01
    • By Tempus01 9th Sep 17, 4:18 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    Tempus01
    Just subscribed to your diary. You've done absolutely fantastic so far, very impressed
    22.08.2017 start of my journey
    Loan = £8392.32/£7465 (incl interest) Barclays Card = £1631.36 Tesco Credit Card = £2003.17 / £2086.17 NatWest Credit Card = £1422.34/ £1406.43 Littlewoods account = £104 / £40.60
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 27th Sep 17, 3:39 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Well it's the end of another month and the card total currently stands at £66,150. My emergency fund is looking quite sad as the work on the car a couple of weeks ago cost just over £500. I have a few things to ebay which might help but my real focus is finding work. I dropped DD1 off for her first year at uni last weekend and DD2 is now settled in school so I've no excuse not to get stuck in. I just need to get over my lack of confidence from not working for a couple of years and convince myself that someone would be happy to employ me
    OH hasn't had a pay rise or bonus for two years but is hopeful that this might change for 2018 as the company has been doing better. We've agreed that any extra will go straight into paying off the debt.

    The run up to Christmas has always been a bit of a spend fest in our house, it was after Christmas last year we realised how bad our situation was. I need to keep a tight rein on things and not lose focus.
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 27-09-2017 at 3:42 PM.
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Oct 17, 6:40 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    It sometimes feels as though this journey is one step forward and two steps back. In the last couple of weeks I got a payout of almost £200 from Topcashback but then the dog had to have an emergency op which cost over £300, she's fine now thank goodness.

    I'm determined to stick to my YNAB budget so have been moving money between my pots to keep to my planned debt payment for this month.
    This meant my food budget is down to the wire this month. At least DD has school dinners so I've managed on £15 this week by raiding the bottom of the freezer. The low point was old frozen leftover risotto. There are two more minimum card payments to go out this month then the credit cards will stand at £64800. I'm still paying £100 interest a month on these but will just have to focus on getting rid of the interest-charging ones first.
    This time last year we were paying well over £500 Interest per month just on the credit cards- madness!!
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 14-10-2017 at 6:49 AM.
    • Kittychick
    • By Kittychick 18th Oct 17, 7:58 AM
    • 223 Posts
    • 541 Thanks
    Kittychick
    Great to hear you're still plugging away at it. I find that the food budget is something I can make a real difference with. I have old see using up something from the depths of the freezer as a win-that's what you put it there for.. I love my Batch cooking, or more correctly I dislike actually doing it, but i like looking at it all parcelled up in the freezer and just being able to get something out in the morning and have an easy tea that night but not the expense of a takeaway on the way home..
    Good luck in your journey x
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 18th Oct 17, 9:58 AM
    • 153 Posts
    • 451 Thanks
    Happierdays
    Wow you are making great progress and amazing how much less interest you are paying - brilliant!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 22nd Oct 17, 9:19 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Thanks for popping by Kitty and Happier! Last night's dinner was cauliflower cheese using frozen cheese sauce- the freezer is gradually looking emptier.

    I can't believe it is half term already. I've not had any luck so far getting a job in the area I used to work in so really need to broaden my search. If I don't start earning soon things are going to get very tight as DD's uni costs will have quite an impact (her student loan doesn't even cover her rent and her savings are dwindling).
    I promised DD2 that we would visit DD1 in her uni city this week, which I'm really looking forward to.
    OH has remembered that he's got some old Avios points (worth around £200 I think) so I'm investigating whether we can use them for something nice eg meal, theatre but I think it's a bit late for this trip. It's nice to "mentally spend" them and decide how to use them. It feels like such a treat as I've been planning every penny for months now. It's a shame you can't use them for haircuts as I'd love to go to a nice salon.

    The trip will mean petrol, parking and one overnight stay as DD1 can't fit us both in her minute room.
    I'm listing some more things on ebay today to try to offset the cost. I know it's not moneysaving but YNAB gets you to think about your personal priorities and getting the DDs together is definitely mine.

    DD also has a few friends coming for a Halloween get together, but she is scouring the internet for cheap ideas for costumes, food and games and has a strict budget of £20 (£10 from me). This is all good training for later on I'm sure.
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 22-10-2017 at 9:22 AM.
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 30th Oct 17, 2:12 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    It was a lovely week last week and not too expensive. It was great to see that DD1 has settled into her new uni life really well although I think she is currently spending a lot on socialising at the moment. Hopefully things will settle down, I'll encourage her to go through her budget at Christmas. At least she is in halls which include food so she won't starve if she spends too much on a night out.

    It was at uni that I OH and I both started on the slippery slope of student bank accounts with overdrafts, then credit cards so I'm going to do everything I can to stop the same happening to our DC.

    Both OH and I decided will never take out credit ever again once this is all paid so we couldn't care less about our credit scores. However out of the blue OH decided to see whether he could change his existing loan for a better interest rate and shorter term (yes, I know it is a bit hypocritical as it is credit).

    By some miracle, even though his latest MSE credit report said his score was "poor" (though it was "very poor" earlier this year so an improvement!) he was accepted for a loan at half the rate of his existing one (less than 3%- amazing!) and has shortened the term to 2 years. It doesn't make any difference to the size our overall debt but means we'll pay much less interest and will pay it off sooner. The only problem is that the increased payments leave less available to pay down the credit cards so the only option is to increase our income- aargh I need a job NOW!!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 30th Oct 17, 3:13 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    The phone rang before I'd finished. Obviously OH has used the new loan to pay off the original loan so our overall situation looks like this:
    New loan - £19,000 ends Oct 2019 (£50 per month less interest)
    Credit cards 1-3: 4.9% life of balance - £16,800
    Credit cards 4,5: 0% to end of 2018/ start of 2019 - £12,000 - should have paid these off by end of 0%
    Credit cards 6,7: 0% to start of 2018 £17,000 - priority as 0% ends soon
    Credit cards 8,9 : 0% to 3Q and 4Q2019- £19,000
    Total: !!!

    I did a bank account switch that should pay £250 last week, provided I can jump through all the hoops required. It won't pay out until February though.
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 30-10-2017 at 3:25 PM.
    • motivated
    • By motivated 30th Oct 17, 7:16 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,390 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Emma

    It’s good to see your DD has settled into uni life. Also nice to see you are paying less interest. Interest what a bummer isn’t it.

    Anyway you sound positive and organised.

    As for never wanting credit again, I can so relate to that. Our credit scores are atrocious but I don’t even care
    Keep going
    M
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 4th Nov 17, 8:29 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 98 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Thanks for popping in motivated, great to see you. Yes, so many of us on here are learning the perils of credit the hard way.

    My family and friends have no idea of our debt situation but have noticed my zealous moneysaving. and encouragement of the teens we know to avoid taking out "cheap" credit at uni (overdrafts/ credit cards) and being a slave to payments for years into the future (thank you Dave Ramsey!). Unfortunately I don't think there's a way to avoid student loans for most.

    The only trouble is that they probably expect us to be well- off in a couple of years with all our moneysaving. I suppose, relatively speaking, we will be once the debt is cleared.
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