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  • FIRST POST
    • Stb
    • By Stb 21st Feb 17, 10:49 PM
    • 47Posts
    • 71Thanks
    Stb
    Facing tough realities
    • #1
    • 21st Feb 17, 10:49 PM
    Facing tough realities 21st Feb 17 at 10:49 PM
    I am a chronic over spender / optimist, I always tell myself I can sort overdraft within month or two of Christmas with money that will magically arrive! I also tell myself I'll budget better next month and get the credit card sorted.

    Until 5 months ago these deceptions were OK because I "managed" - now my wife wants a divorce and I have to face up to the fact some of her complaints about my unhealthy relationship with money are true. The numbers aren't massive but the problem is real.

    I owe £1,090 on a Virgin 0% balance transfer card and £5,800 on student loan.

    Periodically I go into and then dig myself out of my over draft so I have a debt cycle. I've already done the following:

    - identified an unneeded monthly direct debit for £15 a month and redirected to credit card so now paying £40 a month rather than £25 minimum. But I use it for expenses at work but often fail to repay (as I said silly mistakes)
    - signed up for months free YNAB trial - LOVE IT! I can see what I need now and in 3 months time, allocating to my pots and enjoying not spending when don't need to

    I have £75 to last me until last day of month, I can see if I don't spend it life is slightly easier next month and so on.

    I'm a Dad to two kids and want to smash my poor money management so I can relax and focus on them. So I have small debts and poor money management skills, I want to have no debts and be a money management ninja!

Page 2
    • Stb
    • By Stb 10th Mar 17, 5:33 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Friday
    Spent £3.50 on beer last night, enjoyed the pub visit though

    Bought a £3 salad for lunch

    Decided to cancel plan to attend beer festival in April £8 a ticket and £3 pint so essentially a big night out, have moved the £26 I'd saved for it to emergency fund and things I forgot to pay for.

    £2 in pocket, £1.85 in cash pot - Friday night and beer in fridge!
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 12th Mar 17, 12:38 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Been on YNAB today and my money is 6 days old! 6 days! Only 27 to go and I have a months worth of cash as a buffer! In 6 weeks my approach to money has completely changed, I'm deliberately being tight apart from on kids activities and bits I can expense. Anyway exciting times! Still have my £2 in pocket and aiming for NSD tomorrow but got kids all day so will be a challenge!

    Challenge accepted!
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • freshcotton
    • By freshcotton 12th Mar 17, 7:27 AM
    • 198 Posts
    • 508 Thanks
    freshcotton
    Hi stb.

    I found your diary fascinating, it's really positive that even though your debts aren't massive, you are sorting them out. Your budget is great too.

    The divorce sounds like a difficult time and it's awful that legal aid is no longer available to help people. But mediation is usually the best option. I would however get some advice before handing over big assets if the arrangement is far less than 50:50 division. Anyway, good luck
    Mortgage Start - August 2013 £145,000 ************ Balance at April 2017 - £59,000

    Target - Overpay by £2,500 each month ************** Mortgage free by December 2018!
    • Stb
    • By Stb 12th Mar 17, 8:32 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Thanks Fresh Cotton, first time I've been called fascernating! Good advice on divorce front, I'm trying to put the kids first and make sure they have a roof over heads. Not easy sometimes though!

    I'm trying to tackle the mindset that says spend don't save so the debts don't get bigger! Cheers
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 12th Mar 17, 10:40 AM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    It's up to 8 days now!! Did some updates and didn't spend anything for a while! Woo hoo!

    Just need to:

    a.) try and make today with kids NSD
    b.) remember there's a load of legal fees on the way that need to be paid for, my Dad has offered to help with these but I want to be responsible so that if he does help with that I don;t need it with anything else
    c.) Focus and take one small step at a time, also my current joint account with the Mrs isn't on YNAB (she won't agree to us managing money together, she insists i can't do it and she doesn't need me - terrific!)
    d.) work out where to bank and what structure i want, my current account is first direct, great for free overdraft rubbish for savings interest, contemplating setting up a Nationwide Account to get 5% this year and 2% next - smashes anything else out there with out a fee even at 2% plus they offer a 5% saver (reverting to 2% after a year) in association, just need to work out what i need to do to run both - I'm assuming it's a case of moving money from one to another and back each month
    e.) focus on getting to pay day without spending anything
    f.) be a good Dad and remember the kids come first

    Anyway......8 days!!
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 13th Mar 17, 1:04 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Lunchtime brain splurge
    Afternoon all, it appears we're half way through Monday already, thank heavens for small mercies!


    A few things have been bothering me since I woke up this morning so I am writing them down here so I don't spend the day driving myself mental. They all relate in one way or another to "debt free wannabe" all be it I concede I am not in massive debt at the moment; I think what's driving me at the moment is being worried about getting into debt of the back of all the changes going on and desperately not wanting to compromise my future whilst dealing with the failures of the past.


    New place to live: so I am currently looking at essentially walking away from my interest in the house I share with my wife and kids in order that she and they can stay in the village with friends and in the school, my focus here is making sure changes to the kids are minimised by the divorce thing but it has repercussions for me in terms of where I live and how I buy, I am walking away from over £50K of equity (just my share not all of it) so it feels like a big deal to walk away from, however in reality the money is locked in the house so I think what I am worried about is how I buy somewhere with what I am likely to get (roughly £20K) this won't go very far as a deposit where I live, having said that it's a lot more than others have so I should be grateful for it. I guess I am using my equity share to try and keep kids with the friends and in the school they know, when I think about it in those terms it's a no brainer but I feel exposed!


    Where does anything else I need come from? So at the moment I have £379 in the savings account and £128 in the current account with a few bills still to go out, I think therefore I can get to the end of the month without going into overdraft (primary objective!!) Two weeks ago I would have been delighted with this and deep down I still am. The question now though is how am I going to fund rebuilding my life if my deposit goes on the house, I am planning on leaving most of the furniture in the house with my wife (it's not necessarily to my taste and she won't have money to replace it without depriving the kids - which wouldn't be fair) so the question becomes how do I buy a bed, mattress, duvet, pillows, ironing board, toilet brush and all the other basic stuff I have now and pay child maintenance, get a mortgage, pay for solicitor and court costs etc. The answer of course is I can't so I have to prioritise with what I have but it feels quite scary not being able to do what I need to, coupled with the fact I am loosing the person I would normally confide in about these fears I am feeling a bit lost.


    The answer then is........not sure yet but I think it's something along the lines of save, save, save, try and get some practical agreement with the wife on certain life essentials i.e. I will take a frying pan, wooden spoon etc and then the mountain isn't quite so big.


    I realised earlier that actually there's an opportunity here, I can build my environment how I want it (within reason) over the coming months and years so it's positive and enabling, I am just worried about how I am going to pay for it all!


    Anyway enough splurging, I will be able to focus on work now and can then pick thoughts up again later.
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Happier Me
    • By Happier Me 13th Mar 17, 4:18 PM
    • 355 Posts
    • 758 Thanks
    Happier Me
    It is commendable that you are putting your kids first and are prepared to walk away from the equity in your property, but you still need the means to feed and house yourself.

    You need to consider the bigger picture in a divorce settlement. For instance, do you or your wife have pensions? Because these would form part of a bigger financial 'pot' to consider, if you do. Even if you were to walk away from the house, can your wife actually afford the current mortgage and bills? What happens if she can't? Will you be sharing custody of the kids and how much will you be expected to contribute in child maintenance? What sort of property will you need and where and how much will this cost to rent or buy? Can you relatively afford this without a financial settlement from your divorce?

    Sorry to pose so many questions but there is a lot for you to think about. For what it's worth (and as a mum of two) I would be aiming to achieve a fair financial settlement if I were in your shoes, even if I have to wait for it (property sale when the youngest is 18 or no equity but my pension intact, etc) as opposed to walking away from all the money you have built together as a couple.
    • Stb
    • By Stb 17th Mar 17, 11:34 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Saving
    Good day today, sold my Brompton for £360, straight into bank and budgeted, paid of tent on credit card and allocated the rest to next months expenses.

    Having worried about money it turns out the wife has £7k of savings because I pay for everything. Not worried anymore.

    Age of money upto 10 days
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 20th Mar 17, 11:28 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Can't sleep
    Hi happier me, thanks for the thoughts, you're right of course, I am thinking things through more now so thank you.

    NSD today and have found out getting a bonus and payrise from work so feeling much happier financially and on top of things. Have plenty of cash in bank now just waiting for it all to leave again for divorce! Anyway ought to sleep now
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 24th Mar 17, 12:41 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Friday round up over lunch
    Phew what a week, lot's going on:


    YNAB

    Have decided to take out the annual subscription to this, it's made quite a difference over the last month, apart from anything else I am thinking through every single purchase VERY carefully and on many occasions have decided not to proceed with something I was thinking of buying. Savings up to £624 across all accounts in 8 weeks so not too shabby, I've got to put a bit into the bank for the next week as I didn't factor in the longer month and I'm down to £5.50! Not too worried though as I have £47 of expenses approved for payment so that'll take the edge off and I'm owed another £60 so the general upward trend of the balance will continue once that's paid.


    Work:

    So I've been very lucky this year and been awarded a decent bonus and a 3% pay rise which is a welcome relief. The rough plan is to allocate the bonus to the emergency fund and the divorce costs pot, the contribution from salary to the emergency fund will then go into the divorce pot monthly to keep the solicitors fed and watered (poor dears!); my pay rise isn't massive each month after tax but it's enough to offset season ticket cost increases and put an extra few quid in the beer pot. For the first few months though I am going to save most of it so I can hit some lower savings goals sooner and then divert all the contributions to other areas.


    Changes

    So the family life situation continues to be rubbish, currently looks like I will be left in the house for a few months on my own; the wife has requested I pay her child maintenance once she leaves and then wants me to continue paying the mortgage, the insurance, council tax on the current house (we own it in joint names, she hasn't paid towards the mortgage for years, but I find the fact she's planning to walk away from the commitment bemusing to say the least!); I've done the numbers and I can afford to do both - just! The fixed rate ends on 31/7/17 so payments increase to £756 a month, I am budgeting now to build a cushion to absorb some of this for a month or two if close to selling house. If not I have a fall back plan in place with Mortgage broker to move to a none fee, none commitment mortgage with Nationwide that drops the payments considerably so that risk is covered twice. I've also got a diary note to get the paper work for single person council tax relief which will save a few quid each month.


    Longer term


    I may have found a flat that will do the job for a few years whilst sort myself out but keeping quiet about it as isn't being widely advertised for sale, don't want someone else getting interested or it'll go or the vendor will get greedy. I have also started looking at what I'll need in terms of essentials and luxuries and again there's a budgeting exercise due this weekend to start mapping out how i'll buy them, I've prioritised according to what's essential to keep working (ironing board, iron, bed, linen etc) what I need for the kids (beds, linned etc) and then stuff that I need to have a life - sofa, table, work desk, new TV (I've suggested wife takes the current one so the children can still watch their programmes).


    The only think I haven't thought about yet is how I get a new car, I think the main thing is I don' want to take on any debt so if I need to save for a couple of years to get something safe that's what i'll do. I am thinking either a Toyota Yaris or a Honda Jazz so I need about £5k all in to do insurance, maintenance, buy the car, tax it etc.


    That's about it for now, got to wait and see what the wife does about moving out, if she does I have a plan and the resources to execute, much less worried financially than I was even 8 weeks ago so progress of sorts!


    Credit card down to £1052 too so that's a bonus! On schedule to pay off well in advance of 0% rate expiring at which point i'll get a % purchases card - probably for buying the car above on mainly - get an extra year or two's interest on the money in the bank! (Pipe dreams you gotta love em)
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • bma14
    • By bma14 24th Mar 17, 4:34 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 107 Thanks
    bma14
    Just popping in to say hi - your diary looks really good and you have such a positive mindset I'm a family lawyer and know how difficult this time is. The fact that you are keeping such a positive attitude to your finances during a stressful (and expensive!) time is really great.

    Keep up the good work!
    Total Debt January 2017: £2,001 Total Debt end of April 2017: £815.92
    £1185.08 (59.2%) Paid so far!
    Goal to clear by 1 September 2017!
    • Stb
    • By Stb 27th Mar 17, 9:48 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Thanks bma14, keeping focused on it and my behaviour as these are only things I can really control and don't want to look back in future and regret debt or being an !!!!!

    Appointed Solicitors today, wife issuing paperwork to court tomorrow so it's all systems go I'm afraid. Time to focus on getting through this mess and then can start to rebuild. Realised I might actually be better off emotionally long term the other day which was interesting and made me feel guilty.

    Anyway London tomorrow so off to sleep

    Good night
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 1st Apr 17, 10:33 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Saturday
    So, been a while since I updated this. Here's the latest:

    Divorce: The wife submitted paperwork to the court this week, i will have a letter soon asking me to acknowledge the proceedings and indicate if i want to fight the petition, although it's not really what i want there's no point fighting the process as it is what she wants so flogging a dead horse! I've taken legal advice and all seems to be in line for the court to sign off what we've agreed between us with the equity.

    YNAB: It's helping in some respects but I'm finding it slightly hard to use although practice makes perfect as they say. I have an emergency fund at £650 and some money allocated for legal fees and a couple of other expenses i know are coming.

    Overdraft: Got my spending tracking wrong and went £7.20 into overdraft. Was furious! Now running with a minimum balance of £30 at all times to try and prevent in future. Plan to boost this once finances allow. Credit card down to -£1042.50

    Generally all good
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 4th Apr 17, 7:36 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Comments catch up
    Thought I'd make a few notes on the way home from work: hurrah!

    YNAB - missed a couple of days payment entries, gave up a bit, spent some money, realised that was silly. Fresh start, new budget keeping to it.

    Flat - put in an offer today, if gets accepted lots to do but solves a big issue long term at decent price so happy days. Looking forward to own space and have budget in place for sorting other bits I'll need, including a small emergency fund which will be nice to have.

    Credit card - not great at managing this, checking it tonight if needed will make an additional payment to make sure all sorted. No additional spending just want to be certain all transactions paid for so not accruing any interest.

    Overdraft - not been in it for a while which is good, money budgeted for the month so could be worse.

    That's about it - looking forward to BH weekend! Dad coming to visit, may take him to view flat if can organise. A couple of birthdays coming up but have the money budgeted already and funds available so not worried.

    Off for me tea!
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 6th Apr 17, 9:01 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Random Thursday Update
    Looked at the credit card balance today, it occurred to me I might be able to tackle some of it. Paid off £60 from emergency fund. £40 leaving later this month too so that's £100 off this month.

    Balance now is £992
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Apr 17, 8:48 AM
    • 132 Posts
    • 270 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done! It helps doesn't it when the balance goes below t o the next hundred if you see what I mean.
    paydbx #90 £275/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k in 2012- £1094 in April 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Stb
    • By Stb 10th Apr 17, 12:57 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Yes I do, thanks Honeysuckle.


    On a bit of a downer today, was ok earlier, client kicking off at work today, normally I would have gone home and told the Mrs about it and felt better, now it's essentially just me feels a bit different. Feel more vulnerable to changes beyond my control. Will investigate income protection and a few other bits over the coming days and see what I can sort. In particular want to build up my emergency fund once credit card paid off.


    EF = £600
    Debt = - £992


    Ah well better get on with some work, enjoy the sunshine everyone.


    Cheers
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
    • Stb
    • By Stb 12th Apr 17, 11:50 PM
    • 47 Posts
    • 71 Thanks
    Stb
    Annoyed
    Decided to accept an invite to dinner and cinema tonight, a few guys from the village I know through kids. Started at Wagamama, deliberately chose to have main and a beer for £16. Everyone else had a side for about a £5er more. The bill turns up and suddenly it's oh let's split it evenly so I've ended up being stung for £20 instead.

    Then get to cinema and they've booked the most expensive tickets £14 each! £14!!!

    I know I'm being tight and i have the money but I resent the costs being imposed particularly with the food.

    Anyway here endeth the rant!

    Virgin 0% CC £1092
    Overdraft £0 at 27.02.2017
    Savings target £2000 by year end
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