Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 25th Feb 17, 7:12 AM
    • 186Posts
    • 548Thanks
    Dan's desperate dash towards solvency
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:12 AM
    Dan's desperate dash towards solvency 25th Feb 17 at 7:12 AM
    Hi everyone,

    After posting on the DFW board, I have decided to start a diary. My earlier posts can be found here -

    In a nutshell, we 55K in debt with not much to show for it. I have reached a point where something HAS to be done to sort out this awful mess. I do all of our finances and whilst my wife always knew that were in lots of debt, it has only been over the last couple of weeks that I have really started to discuss it with her.

    I put together a budget that would realistically allow us to clear the debt in about 3 years. I sat down with m wife and shared it with her. She was fully on board and agrees that we need to clear the debt before we turn 40 ( 3 & 4 years away for us)

    I still haven't said "we owe 55K" but I have shared with her the rough payments that we will make and the timescale. All of the statements are also there for her perusal and I offered to make her a list of what we owed - she declined. This was the worst part for me and I feel so much better having opened up our communication. My plan from this point onwards is to keep a check that we are both following our budget. I am also going to sit down with my wife every few months and do an update on how we are doing. I don't want to keep talking about the total balance though. It makes me feel physically unwell. Noone else knows about our debt and our friends and family probably think that we are doing well!

    The good news....

    We are able to throw about £1750 at our debts each months. Most are 0% so the majority of this comes off the balance. We take home just under 4.5K between us.

    We have 13K saved. This is saved with my wife's family ( complicated situation that I won't go into on here) . In theory I suppose that this makes our 55K debt 43K. We are not going to use the money to pay debts, not right now anyway, however the psychology of knowing that the money is there is a real help to me.

    I have set our budget so that after all bills and debt payments, we have 200 for food, money to cover diesel, kids clubs, emergency savings and £300 for 'fun' I think that this is realistic and doable. I cannot see a reason why this should fail. This new budget starts from next payday - early next week.

    I still can't believe that we owe such a large amount of money. I struggle with the total figure and am desperate for it to go down!!!!
Page 8
    • motivated
    • By motivated 3rd Apr 17, 6:43 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,389 Thanks
    Hi Dan

    Usually at this time of year I would too buy chocolate eggs etc for colleagues. This year I will be buying a big gateaux from Iceland and dig out some serviettes.

    At break time it will be first come first served. there will be a stampede
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 4th Apr 17, 2:44 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Hi Dan

    Usually at this time of year I would too buy chocolate eggs etc for colleagues. This year I will be buying a big gateaux from Iceland and dig out some serviettes.

    At break time it will be first come first served. there will be a stampede
    Originally posted by motivated
    Great idea!
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 4th Apr 17, 2:55 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    This week I am trying to have at least 3 NSD's. I almost achieved this yesterday but we ran out of milk and I can't survive without a cup of tea!

    I was meant to be doing some extra work this week which would have netted me £30 but that has fallen through today. This has made me think about my SOA more carefully. I think I need to put together a worst case scenario budget that I can revert to if my additional income ever dries up. It would basically mean £250-£300 less coming in so we should be able to absorb it by cutting back elsewhere.

    Each month we have some essential spends such as food, after school clubs, diesel for cars etc. This comes in at around £500 per month. I would like to get to a point where we are a month ahead with these expenses which basically means I need to save up an additional £500. I seem to be developing an aversion for living month to month, despite having done it all my adult life. In fact I have lived at least 12 months ahead of myself based on my current debt level!!!

    I allowed myself some time to look at my debt payments earlier and where I will be in so many months etc. I have been doing this less due to the stress it was causing but today it was quite productive. I realised that in 7 weeks time, there will have been 2 more paydays, taking my total pay off to £6700 by May 28th. I feel really good about this and it won't be long before I hit the magic 10K! Admittedly I will still owe close to 50K, but it will certainly show that this really is achievable. I should have paid off 10K by July 28th. Close to another 10K should be cleared by Christmas ( although I need to mention that a bit later on....). I really need to enter 2018 20k lighter!

    On the topic of Christmas, we have been thinking - do we save now, or do we simply not overpay to such a degree in November? We are currently paying around £800 above minimums. Should be overpay £400 and pay for Christmas with the remaining money? One thing for sure is that this will be a totally credit free Christmas.
    • KxMx
    • By KxMx 4th Apr 17, 3:36 PM
    • 7,182 Posts
    • 10,075 Thanks
    Personally I'd start saving for Christmas now.

    In addition, gifts can be bought anytime when there is a sale deal or Grabbit, and put away in a cupboard.
    • moneyfacts
    • By moneyfacts 4th Apr 17, 9:49 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 117 Thanks
    I would leave Christmas for now and get a bit of a boost with the repayments as you have described. I think you would feel much better about it. It also ingrains your new spending lifestyle for a few months.

    In essence keeping it simple for now
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 5th Apr 17, 4:55 AM
    • 511 Posts
    • 1,733 Thanks
    I put £40 a month into a separate savings account so that at Christmas time it's there to use. Spreads the cost more across the year.

    Have been reading your diary since you started it...well done on the progress so far.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 8th Apr 17, 1:50 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    The Easter holidays have arrived! 2 weeks off work! We are so ready for the break.

    This is going to be a real test for us as it's the first time that we have been off work for an extended period whilst on a budget! I have just been through the numbers and we are fine. We have £870 of 'spare' cash to last until the 26th of April. We have budgeted £200 for our weekend break next week, £100 for food for the rest of the month ( freezer already has quite a bit in it) and £100 for fuel, so in theory we have £470 'unallocated' money. This will go towards debts at the end of the month. I would also like to take my wife out for a meal - nothing fancy, just a pub meal and a couple of drinks. I want to try and do that every month as I think its important. I have signed up to the Harvester app and there are quite a few special offers so perhaps we can go there.

    We also need to buy a few easter eggs for the kids in our family. We have decided that this year we will only but the £1 eggs.

    I hope that you are all enjoying the great weather today. I might sneak in a couple of beers in the garden later ( Aldi own brandd )
    • motivated
    • By motivated 8th Apr 17, 2:15 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,389 Thanks
    The Easter holidays have arrived! 2 weeks off work! We are so ready for the break.

    I hope that you are all enjoying the great weather today. I might sneak in a couple of beers in the garden later ( Aldi own brandd )
    Originally posted by worriedDan
    Enjoy Dan you deserve it.
    Make the most of the weather. Glad you are still so positive
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 8th Apr 17, 6:45 PM
    • 187 Posts
    • 762 Thanks
    Have a good two weeks Dan. We are away on a totally budgeted weekend atm. Knowing exactly what I can spend means I am not fretting about it at all.

    With regards to Xmas. i had been saving £50 a month but I cashed everything in two weeks ago to pay off our big loan. (long story about why I decided this was the right option) so am trying to build that reserve back up again. Go with what feels right for you. Would the possibility of not making the 10k by the end of July because you were setting aside a bit each month upset you, or having to wait to the end of January for the 20k because you halved debt repayment in November be more annoying? Only you know the answer to that. However I will say that by building the saving i to your budget now the habit will be already formed for Xmas 2018.
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 10th Apr 17, 9:08 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Had a really nice couple of days in the garden - bit chillier today but still managed to get out and do a bit of garden tidying. Today has also be a NSD for me, which is great. Today is the first day of my Easter holidays ( 2 weeks off work!) and this can be a really spendy time for us.

    I am going out with my dad tomorrow on one of those gift experience days. It was a gift so it hasn't cost me anything! We are taking sandwiches which we will eat en route. We did say that we might allow ourselves a coffee from the cafe!!

    We managed to get the Easter eggs for our young relatives for 99p each. Really pleased about this. In previous years we have spent loads on eggs and easter gifts.

    My balance transfer is now fully processed. I am really pleased about this was the 27.9% card that was worrying me. I will save masses of interest compared to what it would have cost me.

    We had our first bbq of the year yesterday ( all from aldi) so we are now eating leftovers for the next couple of days!

    Hope all is going well for you guys.
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 11th Apr 17, 8:07 PM
    • 227 Posts
    • 260 Thanks
    Dan, if you have a hungry horse pub local, then try that for your meal out, brilliant value
    • lincs1205
    • By lincs1205 13th Apr 17, 10:28 PM
    • 291 Posts
    • 776 Thanks
    Hi Dan, found you just wanted to say hi and well done for how far you've come. Good luck and I'll keep popping in.
    MBNA 0% ends 08/09/17 £2665.95 - Mine
    Virgin 0% ends 09/06/19 £ 4979.36 - Mine
    MBNA 0% ends 12/03/18 £9302.38 - His
    Virgin 0% ends 17/7/19 £ 7229.26 - His
    Argos 29% £3132.16 - His
    So final figure including the store card is £27,309.31
    • MrsPorridge
    • By MrsPorridge 18th Apr 17, 7:54 PM
    • 1,621 Posts
    • 2,450 Thanks
    Hi Dan, hope it's still going well and that you are enjoying some time off work.
    Getting back on Track
    • motivated
    • By motivated 18th Apr 17, 8:42 PM
    • 2,273 Posts
    • 3,389 Thanks
    Hi Dan I too hope all is going well and you are plodding along nicely.
    I have arrived in DMP land and I like it, I may stay a while
    Short term goal £735/£1796

    SPC # 91
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 19th Apr 17, 1:28 PM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Hi Everyone,

    We are back from our short Easter break. We had a really great time. Lots of relaxing, playing on the beach and eating and drinking! We went with some of my family and it was really good to catch up and let the kids play together.

    In terms of money... we definitely under budgeted for the break. We budgeted £200 for a 4 night break. We stayed in a caravan so totally self catering. We didn't do anything particularly extravagant, however we actually spent just over £300. I am not beating myself up over it as we have still made the debt payments. We get paid next week and there will be a bit of money left so nothing to really worry about, however it has taught me that I need to either budget realistically or not have another break/holiday.

    My debit card was also blocked whilst we were away due to a problem with my online banking! This meant that I had to use my credit card, however I have already paid off what I spent so I essentially used it as a debit card. In previous years I would have used the card without any real plan to repay it.
    It did feel strange using a credit card. This shows just how much my habits have changed over the last 2 months.

    We have got a busy few days coming up with some family celebration. Nothing that will cost us any money thankfully! I am back to work on Monday. I never mind going back to work. I like having time off but I am a creature of habit and I do like my normal routine!

    I hope that you all had a lovely Easter weekend!
    • Mofette
    • By Mofette 19th Apr 17, 1:36 PM
    • 15 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    Still cheerleading from over here for you Dan!

    I'm trying to eat stuff from the cupboards enough that we can push the food shop back a day a week, meaning one week we won't need to spend our weekly budget on food at all!

    I can't believe all the changes you have made and embraced, it's amazing.
    1 Credit Card: PAYDBX 2017 - #131 £1,692.94/£ 6.928,94
    Next Targets: Grow Pension, Reduce Student Loans, Reduce Mortgage
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 19th Apr 17, 6:33 PM
    • 1,597 Posts
    • 17,885 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I'm trying to eat stuff from the cupboards enough that we can push the food shop back a day a week, meaning one week we won't need to spend our weekly budget on food at all!
    Originally posted by Mofette
    Ooh! I like that idea! At the moment I resort to a freezer week about one in 8-12 where we only buy milk and berry fruit and otherwise use up everything we have in (I always overbuy veg)
    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
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 26th Apr 17, 11:38 AM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Hello Everyone,

    Not been on here for several days. Things are ticking along nicely. We both get paid this week so the next round of debt payments are about to be made!

    We are looking forward to the long weekend and will probably have a National Trust day out somewhere with a picnic, weather permitting! It's been close to 3 months now since I first started posting on here. Things are so much better for me now. The debt is of course still there but I have managed to get myself head into a much better place. I actually have days now when I don't really think/worry about it at all! I am also super busy at work which helps as my mind is focused on other things other than money and debts.

    I am continuing to take my medication for the time being. Don't feel ready to risk going backwards just yet, although I do want to stop taking it when I break for school holidays in the summer.

    Hope everyone is doing ok
    • worriedDan
    • By worriedDan 2nd May 17, 10:53 AM
    • 186 Posts
    • 548 Thanks
    Lovely day out yesterday visiting a National Trust house. We took a picnic and picked up fish and chips on the way home. Grand total for day out = £10. very pleased with this. In previous years we would have spent anything up to £100 on a day out.

    I am budgeting £50 this month for garden stuff. I want to get the garden really nice in time for summer. As we are not having a Summer holiday, we will be spending more time in the garden so I figure that £50 is worth investing!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th May 17, 1:29 PM
    • 4,677 Posts
    • 8,777 Thanks
    Sounds like the budgeting and debt repayment plan you made is working Dan.
    5 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 Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,682Posts Today

6,960Users online

Martin's Twitter