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  • FIRST POST
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 17th Feb 17, 1:45 AM
    • 57Posts
    • 127Thanks
    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 3
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Nov 17, 4:58 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Things have been going well - I've been having a clear out and have managed to sell £120 worth of old bits and bobs on ebay. It has gone straight off the MBNA card.

    I'm debating how much to spend on Christmas. We have literally never had a budget and then stuck to it!
    I would guess that we usually spend around £1500-2000 : £250-300 per child, £200 for each other, £60 per parent ◊4, £30-40 per sibling and sibling-in-law and then ? £400-500 on food and drink (we usually have extended family staying so it gets expensive). So actually nearer £2000 .

    I don't want to look mean and don't want people to know the financial mess we're in so it will take some planning to reduce this. I think I will budget £1000 maximum and OH and I have already said we will buy each other something to unwrap in front of everyone but keep the labels and receipts take them back so that is £400 less than last year. We both want the same thing- freedom from debt

    I'd be interested to know what everyone else is planning on spending.
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 9th Nov 17, 5:05 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    I have only spent £15 on food this week so the amount 'saved' is going towards my Christmas food.
    I'm also doing some serious menu planning for Christmas - we usually have so much stuff left over and I spend a fortune on cheese, fruit, cold meats etc which end up being thrown away.

    DH is working like a Trojan to hit his target at work by the end of the year- it would mean a decent bonus to go towards the cards- fingers crossed. Still no job for me as yet but Ive been doing a short course to get up to date on my skills which hopefully will help.
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 09-11-2017 at 5:11 PM.
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Nov 17, 9:15 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Great news today!!! The total for our credit cards is now in the 50's!! It stands at £59,964- yay! Down from £73,500 at the start of this year.

    I've been going through everything methodically (a la MSE moneysaving) and we have now received the tax refund from OH's completely wrong tax code which is a massive help and means that I have been able to completely pay off the first credit card of our clutch of 9. I didn't post about it sooner as I didn't want to jinx it- I think it's the first time we've actually had money back from the taxman.

    OH changed jobs a couple of years ago and apparently hadn't been on the right tax code since so we got an unexpected windfall- every single £ has gone to debt- until recently we would have used it as an excuse to treat ourselves. I also made £80 on ebay in the last week- it is crazy what people will buy- my old broken junk from the attic!

    I do feel a bit guilty though as in the past I would just given everything to the charity shop (or taken it to the tip). Once we're out of debt I'll start regular giving again.

    I'm running out of things to go through, but think the next might be PPI- we haven't tried to look into this yet. OH definitely had PPI on his credit cards when I first met him (20 years ago!) but the trouble is that he can't even remember which credit cards he had back then and we've changed address a few times so I need to look into how to go about this.

    Happy Tuesday everyone
    • motivated
    • By motivated 14th Nov 17, 9:50 AM
    • 2,289 Posts
    • 3,442 Thanks
    motivated
    Hi Emma
    Itís great to see the progress youíve made. One CC down too

    Donít feel guilty about the charity business, like you said once you are on top of it all you can pick up where you left off.

    Well done and Keep going you sound so positive Iím hoping some of it rubs off on me.
    M

    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£80,059 Dec 17
    Short term goal £790/£1796

    SPC # 91
    PDBX 18 # £0/£2,000
    52 week challenge £7.28
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Nov 17, 11:51 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Sending positive vibes your way Motivated
    I know you and me have got similar amounts to tackle- it's hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel sometimes but we'll get there. I just think back to last Christmas and the horrible feeling I had in the pit of my stomach- it all seems so much calmer now, but it does get tedious chipping away every month. I've never had much patience!

    Have you tried PPI, tax code checking, council tax checking, matched betting (I've still not been brave enough for that one) etc.?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Nov 17, 2:04 PM
    • 4,827 Posts
    • 9,104 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Things have been going well - I've been having a clear out and have managed to sell £120 worth of old bits and bobs on ebay. It has gone straight off the MBNA card.

    I'm debating how much to spend on Christmas. We have literally never had a budget and then stuck to it!
    I would guess that we usually spend around £1500-2000 : £250-300 per child, £200 for each other, £60 per parent ◊4, £30-40 per sibling and sibling-in-law and then ? £400-500 on food and drink (we usually have extended family staying so it gets expensive). So actually nearer £2000 .

    I don't want to look mean and don't want people to know the financial mess we're in so it will take some planning to reduce this. I think I will budget £1000 maximum and OH and I have already said we will buy each other something to unwrap in front of everyone but keep the labels and receipts take them back so that is £400 less than last year. We both want the same thing- freedom from debt

    I'd be interested to know what everyone else is planning on spending.
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    You have done so well I could not let this pass without saying something. Going into debt for Christmas is crazy so if you have saved £1000 for this then that is your choice but that is still a lot of money for someone who has still got heavy debts and committments (kids at Uni) and lots of credit card with deals expiring all with high balances.

    Does it matter if people know you are trying to economise? Who are you trying to impress and how do you know the people around you aren't also in high debt.

    DH and I do not have debt but do not spend £200 on each other. It is usually a token present - no more than £50. We do give our adult children money as they need that more than anything as on tight budgets (high mortgages, childcare etc etc) and a token gift(s) to unwrap so that is usually £50 for each of our DDs and SIL and £200 each to both DDs but if we were in debt we would give less than that unless saved. We usually spend a bit more on our granddaughter. We have stopped buying for most of extended family but still do small gifts for my mum, stepdad and brother as he is single. Nothing for other siblings, grown up nieces or nephews and we agreed with friends a few years ago just to go out for a nice meal together.

    I reckon this year we will spend less than £800 as I retire next month so our income drops. In years when money was tighter I have spent less than £200 or £300. We buy a nice bottle of wine and maybe a sparkling wine but don't go overboard on food and drink as it always just seems to be still sat there in January. I have stopped buying pricey crackers and all the other bits and pieces some people seem to be sucked into at Christmas.
    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
    • motivated
    • By motivated 14th Nov 17, 2:41 PM
    • 2,289 Posts
    • 3,442 Thanks
    motivated
    I just think back to last Christmas and the horrible feeling I had in the pit of my stomach
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber

    Can definitely relate to this one but this year I will not be putting anything whatsoever to do with Christmas on a CC If we cant afford it we cant have it. That way I know that the new year will be a lot less stressful than the last

    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£80,059 Dec 17
    Short term goal £790/£1796

    SPC # 91
    PDBX 18 # £0/£2,000
    52 week challenge £7.28
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Nov 17, 4:12 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    You're both completely right of course and I'm not going to put anything on a credit card, but was planning to use what is left of the emergency fund together with the £400 I have already put aside for Christmas.
    But I'm going to see if I can reduce it down more as even £1000 is ridiculous in our position, I can see that. I might suggest no pressies for siblings though it might be a bit late if other people have already bought stuff.
    I'm honestly not trying to impress anyone, we just used to enjoy spending money (we didn't have, admittedly) on the kids and entertaining at Christmas.
    I just don't want anyone knowing how stupid we've been so am sensitive about people guessing if we drastically change things. Mind you, I have said we're economising and used the excuse of DD1 starting at uni and DD2 probably following her in a couple of years so far.

    Enthusiastic congratulations on your imminent early retirement - debt free and mortgage- free - what an achievement!
    • pelirocco
    • By pelirocco 14th Nov 17, 4:29 PM
    • 7,590 Posts
    • 8,463 Thanks
    pelirocco
    Things have been going well - I've been having a clear out and have managed to sell £120 worth of old bits and bobs on ebay. It has gone straight off the MBNA card.

    I'm debating how much to spend on Christmas. We have literally never had a budget and then stuck to it!
    I would guess that we usually spend around £1500-2000 : £250-300 per child, £200 for each other, £60 per parent ◊4, £30-40 per sibling and sibling-in-law and then ? £400-500 on food and drink (we usually have extended family staying so it gets expensive). So actually nearer £2000 .

    I don't want to look mean and don't want people to know the financial mess we're in so it will take some planning to reduce this. I think I will budget £1000 maximum and OH and I have already said we will buy each other something to unwrap in front of everyone but keep the labels and receipts take them back so that is £400 less than last year. We both want the same thing- freedom from debt

    I'd be interested to know what everyone else is planning on spending.
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    Its very unfair on the shop you buy your 'gifts' from to take them back , every business is struggling these days and this imapcts on their workforce , so think twice before you pay this silly game , What does it matter who knows you are strggling , and it will be a very good lesson to teach your kids now , before they think its ok to willfully spend money . Im not sure you truely have had your lightbulb moment
    Vuja De - the feeling you'll be here later
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Nov 17, 4:54 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    If it was a small local business we were planning to return any gifts to, I would completely agree with you Pelirocco and would not dream of doing that.
    But as far as the massive department stores ie John Lewis, Debenhams, M&S etc.go, to be honest I am so sick of having consumerism forced upon us with constant adverts, glitzy shop windows and non-stop "buy, buy, buy" messages from early November I really feel no guilt at all.
    I have succumbed far too often in the past and it is about time that I use big business rather than it using me for a change! I think they will cope with me returning two gifts
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 14-11-2017 at 5:07 PM.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Nov 17, 6:02 PM
    • 2,176 Posts
    • 10,303 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Don't take any notice of that last post Emma.

    You are adapting to your new situation and change does take time. You need encouragement not criticism and that is what you will get from most people here .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £181.63
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 14th Nov 17, 6:02 PM
    • 18 Posts
    • 26 Thanks
    Working Mum
    I am saddened by the recent couple comments on here - it takes courage to post on this Forum and one of the main request of the site is that we are not judgmental or unsupportive of posters.
    We all have our strategies for dealing with our debt and it isn't helpful to be condemned this way.
    • motivated
    • By motivated 14th Nov 17, 6:09 PM
    • 2,289 Posts
    • 3,442 Thanks
    motivated
    Don't take any notice of that last post Emma.

    You are adapting to your new situation and change does take time. You need encouragement not criticism and that is what you will get from most people here .
    Originally posted by HairyHandofDartmoor


    I am saddened by the recent couple comments on here - it takes courage to post on this Forum and one of the main request of the site is that we are not judgmental or unsupportive of posters.
    We all have our strategies for dealing with our debt and it isn't helpful to be condemned this way.
    Originally posted by Working Mum


    Totally agree Emma. Ignore the people who have nothing constructive to say. You go girl
    M

    LBM £82,590 Jan 17/£80,059 Dec 17
    Short term goal £790/£1796

    SPC # 91
    PDBX 18 # £0/£2,000
    52 week challenge £7.28
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 14th Nov 17, 6:38 PM
    • 117 Posts
    • 528 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    Absolutely uncalled for rudeness in the above comment. Don't give it a moment's thought. You are tackling your debt in the way that suits you and have made great progress this year. Good luck with the job hunting. That will make a big difference to clearing your debt even quicker.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Nov 17, 7:00 PM
    • 4,827 Posts
    • 9,104 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    You're both completely right of course and I'm not going to put anything on a credit card, but was planning to use what is left of the emergency fund together with the £400 I have already put aside for Christmas.
    But I'm going to see if I can reduce it down more as even £1000 is ridiculous in our position, I can see that. I might suggest no pressies for siblings though it might be a bit late if other people have already bought stuff.
    I'm honestly not trying to impress anyone, we just used to enjoy spending money (we didn't have, admittedly) on the kids and entertaining at Christmas.
    I just don't want anyone knowing how stupid we've been so am sensitive about people guessing if we drastically change things. Mind you, I have said we're economising and used the excuse of DD1 starting at uni and DD2 probably following her in a couple of years so far.

    Enthusiastic congratulations on your imminent early retirement - debt free and mortgage- free - what an achievement!
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    I think people would not think twice about you saying you were being careful due to uni costs. To be honest it is no one else's business so you do not need to justify it except as you say if it is on a card it is not your money. Using the last of the emergency fund may not be wise just in case you need an urgent boiler repair or car bill, classic winter occurrences. I understand though that if you have always done it, it is difficult to stop. Why not try testing the water with siblings and suggesting stopping presents? If they have already bought just maybe drop the amount by £10 and suggest stopping from next year. They might bite your hand off and be really glad you suggested it.

    Thanks for the congratulations and yes I am looking forward to my retirement. Never thought I would be able to go at 57 anymore than OH could go at 58 but we are living proof that overpaying into pensions and mortgages eventually gets you to this point. Something to think about once your girls have finished uni and the cards are gone. You are still doing well though in getting so much of the debt paid off and please ignore unsupportive posts.
    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
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 14th Nov 17, 7:47 PM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Thank you for your kindness, support and suggestions guys, it really means a lot to me especially as no one in real life, except OH of course, knows the full extent of our situation.

    My parents in particular would be devastated if they knew and would insist on trying to help, which they could ill-afford. They're at a time of their life when they should be worry-free and enjoying their retirement.

    Writing my little updates on here helps to keep me moving forward and remind myself that I'm not alone in this situation.

    Onwards and upwards everyone- we WILL all get there
    Last edited by EmmaMicawber; 14-11-2017 at 7:50 PM.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Nov 17, 8:46 PM
    • 2,176 Posts
    • 10,303 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    Thank you for your kindness, support and suggestions guys, it really means a lot to me especially as no one in real life, except OH of course, knows the full extent of our situation.

    My parents in particular would be devastated if they knew and would insist on trying to help, which they could ill-afford. They're at a time of their life when they should be worry-free and enjoying their retirement.

    Writing my little updates on here helps to keep me moving forward and remind myself that I'm not alone in this situation.

    Onwards and upwards everyone- we WILL all get there
    Originally posted by EmmaMicawber
    That is exactly why I have never told my family about my debt. I didn't want to worry or upset them and they would have tried to help. However they did know we were very short of money and couldn't afford to spend much on Christmas/holidays etc.
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £181.63
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 3rd Dec 17, 11:16 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    You must be so looking forward to your debt-free Christmas Hairy, amazing.

    I'm feeling really positive as for the first time ever I don't have that out of control feeling about Christmas. I'm tracking everything in YNAB and am keeping a very close eye on spending, particularly on the children, and am probably being much more thoughtful in what I buy them rather than just thinking that spending a lot will show them how much I care.

    The puddings, mincemeat and cake are done. The menus are nearly planned and my next challenge is to find cut price or free activities for everyone as we have quite a few visitors to entertain over quite a few days.

    Right, I must go and do some research on a company and position as I finally have a job interview tomorrow- wish me luck!
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 4th Dec 17, 10:30 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    I've had to move a big credit card balance as the 0% deal was about to expire. The plan is that, if everything stays on track, OH's bonus (if he gets it- he won't know until the start of January) will pay a big chunk off this one but I can't afford to let it revert to 18.9% as that would cost £275 per month in interest alone! The balance transfer fee was 1.9% which isn't great though.

    Current position: £59,280 owed on 8 debt (credit) cards.

    I'm going to start properly snowballing the credit card balances in January as I haven't really done this so far because I've been trying to manage the 0% deal end dates to save money on interest. But, especially as I should be earning (fingers crossed), we're going to start paying them off smallest to largest balance and make 2018 the year we really turn the corner.

    2017 positives:
    Credit card balances reduced from £73,500 to £59,280 (it feels so slow though)
    Kept out of our overdraft for 11 months straight now and have reduced our overdraft facility to £1000
    Loan: switched to a two year one at lower rate - will save over £1300 in interest
    Budgeting: started using YNAB and have budgeted properly for first time ever, including increased costs due to DD1 going to uni. (And DD1 has managed without having an overdraft or taking out a credit card ).
    • EmmaMicawber
    • By EmmaMicawber 7th Dec 17, 11:33 AM
    • 57 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    EmmaMicawber
    Well I didn't get the job It would have made such a difference to our finances and I am desperate to get back to work. I'm not really surprised though, I feel like I've lost the ability to speak any sense as a 'professional' person rather than a mum as I've been out of work for 3 years and probably spoke a lot of rubbish in the interview. I feel I would do pretty well if I could only get the chance to do the job.

    And I can't see how everyone else doesn't spend well over £1000 on Christmas- I must be doing something wrong. All in all not a good day!- I'm putting this here as I need to crack on and put on my brave face for the world and will hopefully look back at this one day when we're out of debt and remind myself what a long hard slog it was so I am never tempted again.

    I went to an amazing Christmas food and gift fair last night (to keep a friend company) - there were beautiful things everywhere and people buying armloads of stuff. I resisted but it made me feel a bit rubbish. It's probably just my hormones. At least there were lots of free tasters.

    Ugh, enough self-pity- all are first world problems.
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