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  • FIRST POST
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 9th May 17, 8:05 PM
    • 33Posts
    • 62Thanks
    LordNolo
    My diary - over 50k of debt to clear!!
    • #1
    • 9th May 17, 8:05 PM
    My diary - over 50k of debt to clear!! 9th May 17 at 8:05 PM
    Hi all

    My first attempt at doing a diary of this nature so any and all feedback welcome

    Thanks to the support of the money shed and MSE I have now started my journey into the world of saving and earning money over and above my normal income!

    A bit about me first - I'm 32, work full time, live in North Wales (which I love!), have more debt than you can shake a very big stick at and am single with no kids.

    My main objectives for being on here are as follows:

    1. Save money for a trip to America in August (I aim to put aside £2000 in May, June, July and August to do this!).
    2. After I have had my trip to America I aim to start putting money into an emergency fund with a target of £3000 in mind.
    3. Hit the magical figure of earning £1000 a month each month on top of my wages, after tax, without doing any matched betting!
    3. Once I have put my emergency fund in place I then aim to save enough to pay off my hire purchase agreement (currently about £13,500 and my biggest monthly expenditure after the mortgage). By the time I've completed objectives 1 and 2 the monthly payments I am making on my HP will have chipped away a bit at the outstanding balance so I'm hoping that by overpaying each month I'll get the balance to zero in no time.
    4. Move on to tackle other debts (I'm just about to enter a Debt Management Plan for these).
    5. Once all debts are cleared I then plan on making over payments on my mortgage with the aim of being mortgage free by 50 (current mortgage deal runs until I'm 62).

    So some ambitious targets there but I find that if I have set goals in mind it gives me something positive to work towards.

    Thanks for reading and I hope you all enjoy the journey that we're about to go on together.

    :-)
Page 1
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #2
    • 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    Day 1
    • #2
    • 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    So obviously I can't do any of the above without taking action. Over the last few days I've been gradually marshalling my resources and have done the following after some excellent advice from the money shed (by the way you'll learn I love a good list!!)

    1. Signed up for the following survey sites:
    - Global test market
    - Prolific Academic (can't recommend this one enough!)
    - IPSOS-i-say
    - Mysurvey
    - Opinion Outpost
    - Mintvine
    - Panelbase
    - Yougov
    - Populus live
    - Pinecone
    - E4S
    - Surveyyeah
    - Valued opinions
    - a couple of others but can't remember which ones!
    2. Signed up for some pay as you click sites (not such a fan of these though, lots of work for little reward I feel)
    - inbox pounds
    - swagbucks
    3. Downloaded Qmee
    4. Taken in a lodger (£400 a month so a good way towards my £1000 a month target).
    5. Become a mystery shopper for the following:
    GFK
    mysteryshoopers.co.uk
    ESA retail
    tern.co.uk
    reactsurveys.co.uk
    Market force
    6. Applied to my local council to be a poll clerk during the general election (they've added me to their database so fingers crossed).
    7. Applied for jobs with Appen Butler Hill (not heard back from them in the 3 weeks since applying though), applied for a job with Lionbridge and have been pencilled in to take an exam with them after the 22nd of May. I've also applied to be a social research interviewer which I am waiting to hear back on.
    8. Downloaded bemyeye, streetbees and streetspotr.
    9. Following reading Jon's excellent earning money from home toolkit and some research on hotukdeals I have won an auction for an Iphone 5c 8gb on ebay for the princely sum of £31 (fingers crossed it comes through and works ok!) so that I can start using field agent and to replace my smartphone which only charges up when it wants to! I have also ordered a new laptop as the screen on this one only works when it wants to (my technology has a mind of it's own!). Ordered this through the amazon warehouse and got an extra 20% off thanks to hotukdeals pointing out the details of the offer so my new laptop has cost me £168.23. Not bad for something with an HD screen, windows 10, 8gb of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive (they still have some reply here if you want the details).

    Things I am considering doing next:

    1. Applying to Leapforce (although not sure I can do this if I've got an application with lionbridge going through - any advice?)
    2. Starting a blog/videoblog (I enjoy writing and have a lot to say!)
    3. Completing my applications to emarket research and greatcontent.co.uk.
    4. Reading through KatyKickers excellent blog to get more tips!
    5. I have been sucessful in napplying to be a facilitator for idea connection. I want to understand a bit more about what this means in practice.
    6. Daily updates on my diary

    Thanks all for reading and here's to our continued success and happiness!
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #3
    • 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    Monday's earnings
    • #3
    • 9th May 17, 8:06 PM
    One point I missed off the above is that I'm also considering selling things at carboot sales. Has anyone any experience they could share with me of buying and selling at carboots?

    Earnings diary 08/05/17:

    1. Withdrew £11.50 from Bemyeye - goes straight into mother's paypal account as I'm paying £100 a month to her for some money she loaned me a couple of years back. This is actually coming off next month's total as I've already paid this month so it's nice to get a head start!
    2. Had an £8 mystery shop on Bemyeye approved - can't withdraw this yet but it will go to Mother at some point soon!

    That was it for earnings - the rest of the day was focused on doing the day job and signing up for as many mystery shopping sites as I could!
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 9th May 17, 8:07 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #4
    • 9th May 17, 8:07 PM
    Tuesday
    • #4
    • 9th May 17, 8:07 PM
    Earning diary 09/05/17.

    Did a few tasks today.

    3 tasks via streetspotr - these were all about taking pictures of the tariff boards and menu boards in McDonalds and Burger King. Unfortunately neither of the two burger kings near me had a tariff board on display, so I've fed this back to streetspotr - I hope I still get paid as it was £4.50 for all 3 of the tasks and I purchased a drink at £0.99 from burger king so want some money to cover that!!

    Also did a mystery shopping task for GFK - £3.00 hopefully for this one.

    This evening I have to help my lodger find a Dr and a Dentist and have dinner - so i will probably just do a couple of surveys this afternoon if I get the chance.

    Wishing you all well
    • moneyfacts
    • By moneyfacts 9th May 17, 8:50 PM
    • 67 Posts
    • 113 Thanks
    moneyfacts
    • #5
    • 9th May 17, 8:50 PM
    • #5
    • 9th May 17, 8:50 PM
    Hi.
    £50k is a considerable amount of money, have you considered not going on holiday this year and selling your car to buy a cheaper one?

    Clearly it's your journey, however presumably your debts have come from over spending and to truly tackle it, you should be living within your means
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 9th May 17, 9:00 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #6
    • 9th May 17, 9:00 PM
    • #6
    • 9th May 17, 9:00 PM
    Hi.

    Thanks for reading :-)

    Unfortunately the car is worth less than the level of outstanding debt on it at the minute. So not an option. Holiday is already paid for, the 2000 is to make sure air have sufficient spending money when over there (hoping to spend less than half that but air want a safety net just in Case!) My spending has been out of control this year so have now had my light bulb moment and realised I have to stop spending money like I have been. The next few years will all be about reducing expenditure!

    Cheers Nolo
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 10th May 17, 10:50 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #7
    • 10th May 17, 10:50 PM
    • #7
    • 10th May 17, 10:50 PM
    10/05/17

    So my tasks on streetspotr got rejected :-( Photos too blurry apparently. However, my bargain priced Iphone has arrived in the post today so will retry my streetspotr activities with that tomorrow.

    Did some mystery shopping today - £26 in all. Hopefully all of the submissions will get approved and I'll start building towards my America target! Once I've started receving payments into my bank account I will start reporting progress against my ambutious £2000 target. Hopefully I should have some good progress to report by the end of the month. Managed to do a couple of surveys today as well but haven't had as much time as I'd like to do these due to having to focus on the full time job and also going for a run this evening. I'm also working on improving my physical fitness alongisde my financial fitness so hopefully in 12 months time I'll be like a new person!

    I signed up for a few more mystery shopping sites last night and plan to register with a few more this evening. I'm also going to spend a bit of time playing games on the xbox as I think it's important to have a bit of me time that's not about fitness or money

    I hope you all have lovely evenings
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 11th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    • #8
    • 11th May 17, 10:12 PM
    • #8
    • 11th May 17, 10:12 PM
    11/05/17

    Haven't done anything in terms of money earning today really - focus today has been on my full time job and making sure that I've done everything I need to do for that as my boss comes back from holiday next week. This should free up some time for me over the weekend to do a couple more mystery shops, some more surveys and to enjoy the local music festival that's going on in the town.

    The good thing about today was that it was a non-spending day - so hasn't cost me anything! I was also able to pay some money into my new bank account and that went through ok so all seems to be up and running. One slightly frustrating element of today was that my sim card doesn't fit in my new iphone - so a quick phone call to o2 means that a new sim card is in the post for me. Hopefully it should arrive soon and I can get cracking on fieldagent and task360.

    Had a few acceptances in the inbox today from mystery shopper companies that I've signed up with so will spend this evening looking through what opportunities they have in my area - I aim to spend a bit time planning out next week as well so that I can try and take advantage of at least one mystery shopping opportunity a day. As I'm a project manager in my day job I'm hoping that I should be pretty good at planning!

    Also thanks to the money shed I've now been able to sign up to roamler - so am going to spend some time playing with that this evening and see how I get on.

    May not have time to do a diary tomorrow or Saturday but will certainly be back for Sunday.

    All the best :-)
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th May 17, 5:33 AM
    • 4,009 Posts
    • 7,199 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #9
    • 12th May 17, 5:33 AM
    • #9
    • 12th May 17, 5:33 AM
    When is your DFD? I hope you are doing your DMP through stepchange and not one of those companies which charge.

    Can you pinpoint what you are been overspending on?

    Using £2k to go on holiday and paying £200 for a new laptop and iPhone makes me wonder if you really have had your LBM but I sense you will justify it by saying the holiday is already paid for and the new toys were discounted and will be useful for surveys etc.

    Taking in a lodger is a good move.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 4.5 months to go.
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 14th May 17, 1:01 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    Hi

    Thanks for replying. The 2k is a target, I'm not saying that's what I will spend just want to see if it is achievable:-) I find having an ambitious target to aim for keeps me motivated.

    I traded in my old phone and got £54 for it. So after purchasing the iphone I still have £13 left over which is good :-) The repair cost for my old laptop that I was quoted was £110 so decided that rather than pay that and risk something else going wrong it was better to invest in something that has a warranty on it. It'll be essential as well if I am successful in my job application with lionbridge (fingers Crossed!)

    I am indeed with stepchange, a couple of the figures on the dmp are incorrect though so just waiting for confirmation that they've updated it so I can see what my debt free date is :-)

    Thanks for reading.
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 14th May 17, 7:48 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    12/05/17

    Spent the day balancing work and running around the town doing mystery shops! Managed to complete £35 worth of mystery shops so hopefully a bit more towards my America fund. Did a couple of surveys just to build up my points balances. Hopefully I will be approaching cashout on a couple of sites soon. Also logged into quidco and saw I have £30 of cashback outstanding so I'll be claiming that!

    Got a baby shower on the Saturday so don't think there's much to do (I'm very modern in that I get invited to these traditionally women only events!).

    Also due to get some money from my lodger over the weekend when he returns from his trip to Liverpool. It's much needed!

    All the best.
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 14th May 17, 8:06 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    13/05/17

    No money saving or money earned today! Took a day off to relax and enjoy myself as I think it's important to take a break every now and then. Did however, do a few simple at home tasks on roamler as I work towards getting enough XP to start doing paid tasks. Only a couple more tasks away now but they involve me going out into the local supermarket which I will save for next week when I do my big shop.

    Did save some money at the baby shower though by going for a two courses for £6.49 meal deal which was good as I had been expecting to pay closer to £15 for my food!

    Have booked to do a quick mystery shop on Sunday - will then spend the rest of the day catching up on some work for the day job before prepping for the following week. Now my new laptop has arrived I can hopefully start using it to earn some more money as I've not been able to do any surveys or website testing for a few days now due to my old laptop being broken.

    Best wishes
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 14th May 17, 9:43 PM
    • 4,466 Posts
    • 18,198 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Subscribed so I can follow

    Good luck x
    DFW £953.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £391.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £259.95 + £25 Cash + £65 Amazon
    August 17 PA £98.93 + £83.08 Cash + £80 Amazon
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 15th May 17, 12:45 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    Subscribed so I can follow

    Good luck x
    Originally posted by Hiddenidenity
    Thank you :-) You too.
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 15th May 17, 10:25 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    14/05/17 and 15/05/17

    Not much done on Sunday due to setup problems with my new iphone - indeed Sunday and Monday are best filed under the heading 'trials and tribulations'.

    Despite not managing to get my iphone properly set up over the course of the two days I have managed to complete some surveys and do two mystery shops. I have done two more on Monday but they require me to use a scanner. Unfortunately my scanner is apparently not compatible with windows 10, which is what's installed on my new laptop and so I can't scan the necessary documents in until I get to work on Tuesday. They were two pretty demanding mystery shops as well and I had to speak to the co-ordinator a few times through the course of the day so I'm pretty sure they're fed up of hearing from me now! It's all a learning curve though.

    I've put an add on freebay to see if anyone has a windows 10 compatible scanner/printer that they want rid of but not holding out much hope. You never know though! I'd rather not keep using the one in work as it'll get questioned eventually.

    On Sunday night I registered for loads of focus group companies - now going through the emails they've sent me to look at the opportunities on offer. Hoping to find some online or telephone based ones as I don't think there's a huge amount of focus groups going on here in North Wales!

    No mystery shops scheduled for Tuesday, going to focus on the full time job, completing some more surveys and hopefully getting my iphone to work. Then I'm hoping I'll be able to hit the app tasks with vengeance!

    Probably going to look at scheduling my weeks a bit better going forward as well so that I manage to spend enough time looking for money earning opportunities, doing the full time job, performing any money earning tasks and having some time to relax. After today I certainly feel like I need it!

    Wishing you all a good evening :-)
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 16th May 17, 9:33 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    16/05/2017

    So no mystery shops today for me. My iphone appears to be locked to vodafone (I'm on O2) despite the listing on eBay stating that it's unlocked. I've contacted the seller to ask them to get vodafone to unlock the phone but no response from them yet. I've ordered a free sim from vodafone which I have to keep in the phone for 30 days before I can get them to unlock it for free as a contingency but it's a bit annoying!

    Most of today has been focussed on catching up with the work I have outstanding in my full time job as the boss is now back in work. Fortunately I've largely done all of it, just a couple of pieces to finish off tomorrow. I have one mystery shop scheduled for tomorrow and another for Thursday so hoping they go better than the ones on Monday!

    This evening I'm busy signing up for uTest. I've heard people have managed to get some good earnings through this site so fingers crossed I can as well! I've also been doing a few surveys including a £4 for populus live which I was delighted by :-) I do find populus live to be the best paying survey site, alongside prolific so if you're doing surveys and not with populus I'd recommend signing up for them - I just wish I had more surveys through from them - think I get 2 or 3 a week.

    I also did a bit of snatching on snatch last night and have ended up with some nowtv passes - I'm wondering if I can sell these on ebay - has anyone done this before?

    Thanks for reading and I hope you all have a good evening :-)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 17th May 17, 10:06 AM
    • 4,466 Posts
    • 18,198 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Populus will get busier again around voting time it's one of my favourites too. Panel Base. Net is another good one for regular payouts and being cash not vouchers.

    Can't help on the now TV but it does look like there's a few on ebay worth a try? Every penny helps

    Have a lovely day x
    DFW £953.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £391.28/£3381.28

    June 17 PA £121.25 + £70 Cash + £50 Amazon
    July 17 PA £259.95 + £25 Cash + £65 Amazon
    August 17 PA £98.93 + £83.08 Cash + £80 Amazon
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 17th May 17, 10:07 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    Populus will get busier again around voting time it's one of my favourites too. Panel Base. Net is another good one for regular payouts and being cash not vouchers.

    Can't help on the now TV but it does look like there's a few on ebay worth a try? Every penny helps

    Have a lovely day x
    Originally posted by Hiddenidenity
    Thank you - I like panelbase as well - my balance is building up nicely with them. I would say panelbase, populous and proflic are my favourites so all the Ps!

    I had a look on ebay as well and saw some vouchers going so I'm going to give it a try. Every penny helps as you say!

    I hope you're keeping well :-)
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 17th May 17, 10:08 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    17/05/17

    I could call today's diary 'the mystery shop burn'! This isn't because I was rumbled as a mystery shopper but because on one of the tasks I was doing today I actually got a slight burn from a food item that seemed to have what I can only describe as molten lava on it! I kept to the mystery shopper code and didn't complain in store about this, it still hurts now though!

    I'm starting to see some more mystery shopper opportunities come up near me so I've applied for a couple, I'm loving the auto-accepts on them as well - does make me wonder what the point of having an application process is though if simply registering interest is enough???

    My new iPhone was officially pronounced dead today - turns out that it has some issues not contained in the original ebay listing - negative feedback will be left to this affect. The good thing is though that my mother, I think due to frustration at not being able to contact me for a week has bought me an Iphone 5s - it's due to arrive on Friday so it looks like I will have an even better phone soon. This one comes with a 12 month warranty and is confirmed as being unlocked. I shall put the other phone on ebay and use whatever I raise to treat mother to something nice as a thank you.

    The only responses to my advert looking for a windows 10 printer for free on freebay have been from people trying to sell me one...not sure if this is entirely within the spirit of freebay! I have seen one on ebay for a tenner in the local area which looks like it would be up to the job - but I am a bit burned (again!) by my ebay experience with the iphone so not sure whether to use the £30 cashback I've just had from quidco to buy a cheap printer instead.

    In more positive news my lodger has just paid me some rent. So I have £400 ready to go into the bank account tomorrow - my hope is that I'll be able to put all of this into the America fund but I'm hedging my bets until the end of the month when I'll be announcing the grand total saved so far right here!

    Surveys have been quiet today although I have had some submissions approved on prolific so I'm only £7 short of a £20 withdrawal now. Qmee is also helping throw in some additional pennies, it's particularly keen on recommending phone cases to me at the moment for my now dead phone!

    Just had a look at the tasks that I'd set myself for this week and so far I've only done two of them which were to read Katy Kickers excellent blog (can we rename it to that Katy? Calling it Excellent sounds good...haha!) and of course completing this diary. I have done an additional item though which is register for uTest - hoping to work through it a bit more over the weekend and get my head around it as there's a lot more to take in.

    I'm also due to have my lionbridge exam next week but things have quiet on that front so I think I'll get in touch with them if I've heard nothing from them tomorrow.

    There were other things I was going to type about but my mind's gone blank - a sure sign that I need to stop thinking about money and start thinking about relaxing...

    Hope you're all having a good evening
    • LordNolo
    • By LordNolo 18th May 17, 10:35 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 62 Thanks
    LordNolo
    18/05/17

    Evening all

    So today has been a relatively good day. Had my mystery shopping submissions that I've been in an endless back and forth about this week approved with some really good feedback. So that's a relief!

    Did another mystery shop today and managed to wash the car so it's gleaming now - really hoping that the birds stay away from it for at least a few days...

    Also did a fitness class tonight - It's certainly helped show me how totally out of shape I am! Must remember to sign up for next weeks class tomorrow morning (if I'm capable of movement!) - I was the only man in the class so I've gotta do my bit to represent the gender!

    Managed a couple of surveys today and have placed most of the money from the lodger into my bank account (used a bit to do a supermarket shop in aldi - haven't been near a supermarket in nearly 2 weeks so supplies were running desperately low!).

    Tasks for tomorrow are to arrange all my direct debits to come out of my new bank account (now that there's money in it to pay them!). The lodger also wants to take me for a pint which will be nice. New iphone is due to arrive tomorrow as well so dependent upon when in the day it comes I might be able to do some app tasks.

    One positive result last night was cashing out £25.25 from panelbase. For some reason I'd gotten it into my head that I had to get up £50 before I could cash out! So that's some more money that'll be sitting in the America fund. I've realised that my car tax is due next month as well. So I'm thinking of using some of the lodging income to pay for 6 months road tax so that it's not draining my funds every month. I also have my annual car insurance due in September. Historically I've always paid in full for the year, I'm really hoping that I'll have enough saved up by then (after my trip to America) to pay in full for the year again as that'll be one less thing to worry about.

    13 days away from payday now - my plan is to check my bank account the day prior and anything that's in it will go straight to the America fund. That'll then show me how on track I am for my target.

    Still not heard from Lionbridge about next weeks exam so will be in touch with them tomorrow - I get the feeling that tomorrow is going to involve a lot of time on the phone!

    Until next time folks!
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