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  • FIRST POST
    • meowie
    • By meowie 15th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    • 3Posts
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    meowie
    What do you forego to pay off your credit cards?
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    What do you forego to pay off your credit cards? 15th Mar 17 at 8:21 PM
    I got married last July and (yes, sadly) we made the mistake of putting some stuff on credit cards. Since, I have had a drop in income due to returning to education and we are finding ourselves dipping in and out of credit cards every month. As soon as we pay one off, it goes back to about 600 due to bills. We pay all our bills on time but there is nothing left to spend on much else. We have some student loans to save us every few months, but these just level off the hole we dig into our credit up to that point.
    We haven't got holidays booked (apart from a trip to my parents abroad - free!) and the only treats we allow are 10 on wine each week or some chippy/curry here and there. We haven't bought new clothes in 8 months.
    I suppose my question is: apart from buying cheaper food, how extreme can you be with savings before it gets to your mental health?
Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 15th Mar 17, 8:34 PM
    • 1,091 Posts
    • 1,150 Thanks
    venison
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:34 PM
    • #2
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:34 PM
    You need to work out a budget, see exactly what you are spending and on what, and more importantly where you can save a few quid.
    You will get some help if you post a SOA over on the debt free wannabe forum on mse.
    #WeStandTogether
    • meowie
    • By meowie 15th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 0 Thanks
    meowie
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    • #3
    • 15th Mar 17, 8:40 PM
    I think the budget is where we are failing. We just had the income drop and it's been difficult since. Keep being refused for balance transfers too...Not good.
    • Dobbibill
    • By Dobbibill 15th Mar 17, 10:14 PM
    • 2,201 Posts
    • 3,344 Thanks
    Dobbibill
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:14 PM
    • #4
    • 15th Mar 17, 10:14 PM
    Stop applying for more credit if you being refused all the time - you will look desperate for credit and lenders will start to dodge you like the plague.

    Can you convert your student finance into a weekly income to help with a regular budget rather than using it as a windfall every few months.

    As above, head to the DFW board and get a SOA up - you'll be surprised where there are savings to be made.
    • MEM62
    • By MEM62 16th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • 1,274 Posts
    • 899 Thanks
    MEM62
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    • #5
    • 16th Mar 17, 10:00 AM
    Maybe the question should be 'What do you forego today because you bought something yesterday that I didn't have the money for?'

    If we all asked ourselves that question before spending money on those 'must haves' we would probably make different spending decisions.
    Last edited by MEM62; 16-03-2017 at 11:42 AM.
    • PeacefulWaters
    • By PeacefulWaters 16th Mar 17, 11:59 AM
    • 6,699 Posts
    • 8,227 Thanks
    PeacefulWaters
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 11:59 AM
    • #6
    • 16th Mar 17, 11:59 AM
    I never forgo anything to clear a credit card debt.

    I only spend what I can afford to repay in full.
    • PasturesNew
    • By PasturesNew 16th Mar 17, 12:05 PM
    • 59,620 Posts
    • 348,222 Thanks
    PasturesNew
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:05 PM
    • #7
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:05 PM
    .... the only treats we allow are 10 on wine each week or some chippy/curry here and there....
    Originally posted by meowie
    I'd see that as excessive for most people who wish to be a bit careful with spending, even more so for people who purport to be trying to clear down debts!

    Wine is a luxury; 10 isn't even the cheapest.

    That's 520/year on wine.

    That's a LOT of wine.

    "some chippy/curry here and there" - sounds a bit flakey ... I bet it's a bit more "here" than there!

    I spend 0/year on wine.
    I spend about 20/year on chippies/curry/pub meals.

    These are discretional spends .... not life's essentials... and there's joy to be had from finding cheaper alternatives to what you currently see as your "norm".
    • ceb1995
    • By ceb1995 16th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 134 Thanks
    ceb1995
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • #8
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    I got married last July and (yes, sadly) we made the mistake of putting some stuff on credit cards. Since, I have had a drop in income due to returning to education and we are finding ourselves dipping in and out of credit cards every month. As soon as we pay one off, it goes back to about 600 due to bills. We pay all our bills on time but there is nothing left to spend on much else. We have some student loans to save us every few months, but these just level off the hole we dig into our credit up to that point.
    We haven't got holidays booked (apart from a trip to my parents abroad - free!) and the only treats we allow are 10 on wine each week or some chippy/curry here and there. We haven't bought new clothes in 8 months.
    I suppose my question is: apart from buying cheaper food, how extreme can you be with savings before it gets to your mental health?
    Originally posted by meowie
    With 40 a month on wine, could you go teetotal for a while or at least find a cheaper wine? I presume you've no chance at getting a student account with an interest free overdraft with the damage already done to your credit rating? Does your university have a hardship fund you can access? Are you living in the cheapest place you possible can?
    Earnings 2017:
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    • CakeCrusader
    • By CakeCrusader 16th Mar 17, 12:20 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    CakeCrusader
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:20 PM
    • #9
    • 16th Mar 17, 12:20 PM
    Wine, fish and chips and curry's all mount up, sadly. Curry's really easy to make yourself, it's just a can of tomatoes, spices, rice and chicken/veg, so it costs less than a couple of pounds. If you buy a take away curry you're paying 20ish. Likewise with wine, a bottle costs 10, but a larger box (equivalent to 2 bottlesish so it may help to make this last a couple of weeks) is 12-15. Fish and chips is 15, but potatoes, frozen cod and a can of mushy peas will set you back a few pounds. Life's dull when you don't have little things to look forward to, but you can still have little treats without spending too much. If you do this once a week, you'll be saving something like 38 a week, just on fish and chips, curry and wine, which is 1,976 a year!

    I don't cut back. If I know I'm going to be short on month because I have a bill to pay, I'll do overtime at work so that I'm in the red and able to pay everything.

    It might help if you post on the debt free board
    • pogofish
    • By pogofish 16th Mar 17, 12:25 PM
    • 7,352 Posts
    • 7,371 Thanks
    pogofish
    At my worst, I needed to forgo everything but the most basic living and transport expenses in order to maximise my repayments - I had to set a very strict budget and stick to it for a very long and draining time until I eventually paid stuff-off and transferred the remains to an interest-free in order to manage it to best advantage.

    Never looked back since and not got into debt again!

    Lots of very valuable advice and moral support on the DFW board - get stuck-in there.
    • molerat
    • By molerat 16th Mar 17, 12:48 PM
    • 16,748 Posts
    • 10,973 Thanks
    molerat
    .............. Likewise with wine, a bottle costs 10, but a larger box (equivalent to 2 bottlesish so it may help to make this last a couple of weeks) is 12-15. ...........
    Originally posted by CakeCrusader
    I can't see that one working
    Last edited by molerat; 16-03-2017 at 1:39 PM.
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    • CakeCrusader
    • By CakeCrusader 16th Mar 17, 3:20 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 161 Thanks
    CakeCrusader
    I can't see that one working
    Originally posted by molerat
    It takes practice, a lot of practice. There's places online where you can buy bottles by the case, and this usually works out a lot cheaper then if you were buying them individually. It depends on how restrained you are, I suppose
    • Nebulous2
    • By Nebulous2 16th Mar 17, 8:41 PM
    • 1,519 Posts
    • 921 Thanks
    Nebulous2
    Different strokes for different folk as the saying goes. Some people spend a lot on things they see as essentials, which others see as luxuries. Much of your spending will be discretionary, lifestyle choices rather than essential.

    I like wine. I go to France most years and buy around 15 bottles of red wine at 4-5 euros a bottle. That lasts me the whole year, including giving the occasional bottle away.

    I occasionally go out for a meal at home and buy a bottle, but most of that will be paid for by a mystery shopping company.

    There is nothing like a drop in income, which you have had, to cause you to re-evaluate what is important. I've done that twice, by choice. The first time we had a good lifestyle, two cars, two foreign holidays a year and thought we were hard-up. Taking a big drop showed us that we had been quite deluded. We discovered, as a pleasant surprise, that we enjoyed a lot of things in life which cost no, or very little money. Walks on the beach, daytrips at home, caravan holidays at a tenth of the price of previous ones, all worked really well for us.
    • jamie_02
    • By jamie_02 16th Mar 17, 9:12 PM
    • 84 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    jamie_02
    Have you checked if you are paying over the odds for gas and electricity? Do you pay for Sky when Freeview would be cheaper? And there are ALWAYS savings to be had on mobile phone sims/tariffs – checknyoure not paying for unused texts/minutes/data but also check you're not going over any allowances. Best of luck, and congrats on your marriage.
    • Ebe Scrooge
    • By Ebe Scrooge 16th Mar 17, 9:47 PM
    • 3,773 Posts
    • 3,137 Thanks
    Ebe Scrooge
    I suppose my question is: apart from buying cheaper food, how extreme can you be with savings before it gets to your mental health?
    Originally posted by meowie
    The answer is - quite a lot, if you need to be.

    The first thing, as others have said, is post an SOA on the debt-free-wannabe board - if nothing else, it makes you take a good hard look at where your money is going.

    But general advice : Food - shop at Lidl or Aldi. Plan your menus. Buy and cook in bulk, freeze portions. When they have special offers on non-perishable goods such as baked beans or toilet rolls, stock up. A substantial and healthy meal for 2 can be had for a couple of quid or less. Phones, broadband, utilities - shop around, make sure you only pay for what you need. Better deals are always available.

    Don't pay for gym memberships or TV packages. Freeview is perfectly adequate, and if you want to keep fit, go for a run ( or even a walk ) around your local area.

    Been there, done that. I've survived on a fiver a week for food before now - sure, it's not fun, but it can be done.

    But really - sort out an SOA, that's the most important thing. You may want to keep it to yourself, that's fine. But post it on the DFW board, and the good folk there will help you. Just realise that they're not being judgemental, just brutally honest. You can get through this if you have the right attitude
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