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  • FIRST POST
    • SatAmongstTheTrees
    • By SatAmongstTheTrees 8th Jul 17, 10:29 PM
    • 2Posts
    • 5Thanks
    SatAmongstTheTrees
    New Arrivals
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 17, 10:29 PM
    New Arrivals 8th Jul 17 at 10:29 PM
    Hi all

    My partner and i are here to gain insights and motivation to help us become debt free! We have a small person in the house, and another on the way, and have some big ideas of what we want to be doing in the not to distant future. BUT, we have focus and motivation issues. We seem, from calculations in this SOA and our budget spreadsheet, to be in a position to shift this debt but haven't been able to yet, and it's because we fall into bad habits. Yes, we created a lovely spreadsheet budget with all our incoming and outgoings, but we always come up short of actually doing what needs to be done. And it gets us down.

    I think what we want from the forum is just to feel a part of something, and have somewhere to be open about the hole we're in and how bad we are at helping ourselves! I've already read the debt free roll of honour and it is so motivating! I know we can do it, we might just need the group to hold our feet over the fire from time to time (is that an expression?)!


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 1
    Number of cars owned.................... 0

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1907
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 945
    Benefits................................ 89
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2941


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 650
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 140
    Electricity............................. 93
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 33
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 31
    TV Licence.............................. 12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 28
    Groceries etc. ......................... 280
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 80
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 130
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 17
    Other insurance......................... 15
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Charity................................. 25
    Adobe................................... 9
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1543



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 0


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Zopa Loan......................13500.....298.8.....3
    MBNA...........................5071......60....... .0
    Total unsecured debts..........18571.....358.8.....-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,941
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,543
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,398
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 358.8
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,039.2


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -18,571
    Net Assets.............................. -18,571


    Created using the SOA calculator at stoozing.com
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
Page 1
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 9th Jul 17, 6:03 AM
    • 490 Posts
    • 1,321 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 6:03 AM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 17, 6:03 AM
    Welcome to MSE

    Your SOA looks pretty good. You have a good surplus each month go tackle your debt.

    There are a few things you could work on and maybe try to cut back.

    - Electricity, are you on the cheapest tariff? If so have a look at the guides on MSE and compare. Also turn everything off at switches when you leave the house/go to bed. There are plenty of tips on how to reduce the amount of electricity you use.

    - Council tax- is it spread over 10 or 12 months.. If the latter see if you can spread over 12 months.

    - Food budget.. There is room to squeeze there and possibly knock a bit off. Check out the old style boards for food ideas and stretching your food budget.

    - Car tax, insurance and maintenance - nothing at all? Set aside something here to save up for renewals.

    - Contents insurance- you need something here. Look on comparison websites even if it's a basic. In the event of something you'd be covered.

    - Entertainment, do you never spend anything here?

    - Presents, christmas will be soon. Set aside some money here to save up and budget.

    - Emergency fund, start saving something here incase anything goes wrong and you have a backup. Start small.

    - Other insurance, what's this?

    - Charity donations? It's personal choice whether you carry on with this but it does seem pretty high when you're in debt. Can you cut back for a while?

    I think there is definitely room for improvement and a couple of things to work on however there is a lot missing as mentioned above.

    Keep a spending diary then you'll be able to see where your money goes.

    There are many ways to tackle this..

    - Use separate pots for your budgets. I.e. Food budget, entertainment budget etc.
    - On payday work out what you really have left over and make a overpayment as soon as you can. Then you won't be able to spend that money.
    - Keep a strict diary.
    - Enter your debts into the snowball calculator to see which debts you should pay off first and set yourself a DFD.
    - Tweak your budget so it's realistic and includes previous items mentioned above.

    I'm sure there will be many others along to advise.


    Check out my Diary
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 9th Jul 17, 6:49 AM
    • 11,057 Posts
    • 8,248 Thanks
    fatbelly
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 6:49 AM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 17, 6:49 AM
    I wonder if youreally have £1000 surplus after your debt payments. If you did, you would have a large savings pot now. You need to check that your soa is realistic.

    Do you spend £70 per week on groceries? If so, the figure is 70 x 52/12 = £303.

    Clothing - a normal figure would be 3-5 pounds per person per week

    Car - a monthly allowance for road tax and insurance and I'd suggest 200/12 for maintenance. Or is this a Motability car?

    I'd expect to see something for presents, haircuts and holiday.

    If you ever need prescriptions, that is going to be £8.60
    • middleclassbutpoor
    • By middleclassbutpoor 9th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 44 Thanks
    middleclassbutpoor
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 17, 9:24 AM
    Step 1
    Look through your last 3 months bank statements to try and understand where your money is going. You need to understand what you are spending your money on. A spending diary may be a good idea if you cant identify this from your statements.
    Are you buying takeaways on top of your food shop - if so add it in..
    Are you paying for doing thing with your child - birthday presents for their friends etc.
    Are you buying things for home, maybe electronics/games/toys.


    I spent £130 yesterday which wouldnt be easy to classify on the SOA list... When you know where you are spending, you can budget and it will be on these things where your debt repayments are being impeded.

    Step 2
    Organise your direct debits

    Get all your DD/SO's to come out as close to your paydays as possible. Consider upping the payment on your most expensive debt to an amount that you feel should be affordable - maybe start by adding £100 if not still clear. I suspect what will be happening is that you are just spending money without thinking too much about it because its there.

    Consider having some savings accounts for those bills that are not regular - car tax, service, birthdays, xmas etc.

    Set an appropriate amount for these then you know what is left is for discretionary spend.

    You could then review the increased debt repayments if you feel there is still room to do so.
    Last edited by middleclassbutpoor; 09-07-2017 at 9:35 AM.
    • tempus_fugit
    • By tempus_fugit 9th Jul 17, 12:26 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 195 Thanks
    tempus_fugit
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:26 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 17, 12:26 PM
    Seems to me that the nub of the problem is the "falling into bad habits", which is eating away at what is left over after the main expenses each month. This doesn't appear to have been allowed for in the SOA, and also it doesn't include anything for the nicer things in life such as holidays and entertainment. The income is decent enough that you should be able to afford these things, and by budgeting something to them it takes care of that side of things but, if done sensibly and, more importantly, adhered to, then you will have a definite amount to throw at the debts each month. So, it also looks like the "bad habits" are not included in the budget, so you need to look at exactly what these expenses are and then allow a reasonable amount for them, whilst also cutting back on them to free up money to pay off the debts - as ever a change in habits is required. Budgeting isn't just about allowing for the essentials, it's about budgeting for the good things too, and not then being tempted to just spend without control or proper goals. It allows you to take control, and that's what's missing now.
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    • 7,556 Posts
    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Jul 17, 11:29 AM
    welcome aboard and well done for acknowledging that things need to change!
    All the budgets in the world are only helpful if you stick to them -
    they also need to be honest and realistic otherwise you WON'T stick to them!
    So - comments on your SOA in red as usual


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 1
    Number of cars owned.................... 0

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1907
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 945
    Benefits................................ 89
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2941


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 650
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 140
    Electricity............................. 93 Does this include gas as well? Either way you can probably reduce it at least a bit. Double check that you are on the correct tariff and then think about ways you can use less.
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 33
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 31 You could probably drop this a bit by going SIM only once your contracts end - but remember that you will need to set aside money for a replacement phone when it's needed.
    TV Licence.............................. 12 OK - picky I know but it's actually 12.12 -
    try to avoid rounding up or down on your SOA as it creates a false picture

    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 28
    Groceries etc. ......................... 280 You could tweak this a bit, no question.
    Take a hard look at what goes on your shopping list each week - in fact do you shop from a list that you've created from a meal plan? If not then it will be worth switching to that method of working as it will almost certainly save you money.

    Clothing................................ 0 Nothing? ever? Not even new pants?
    Petrol/diesel........................... 80
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0 How come you have petrol costs but no car maintenance & running costs?
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0 Never? Not even a hop on the bus or a train ride somewhere it's not practical top take the car?
    Childcare/nursery....................... 130
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 0 OK - I'm going to shout. SORT THIS OUT NOW. It's a false economy not to have it - if you think "why?" then put yourself in the position of those tower block residents who recently lost everything aside from the nightclothes they stood up in.
    Life assurance ......................... 17
    Other insurance......................... 15
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0 You don't buy presents for your little one? Or your nearest & dearest others?
    Haircuts................................ 0 How so? Chaps can cut their own hair using clippers if they're happy with the shaved head look but you rarely find a woman who's happy to do that.
    Entertainment........................... 0 You never go out for a coffee, take your little one out anywhere?
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0 Start building this - as you're renting £500 is a good starting point to aim for.
    Charity................................. 25
    Adobe................................... 9
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1543



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 0


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Zopa Loan......................13500.....298.8.....3
    MBNA...........................5071......60....... .0
    Total unsecured debts..........18571.....358.8.....-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,941
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,543
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,398
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 358.8
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,039.2 Do you have this?


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -18,571
    Net Assets.............................. -18,571


    Created using the SOA calculator at stoozing.com
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Originally posted by SatAmongstTheTrees
    There is a lot missing on there I think - and I suspect that is your problem.
    - Car costs - you're showing no cars in your household but £80 against petrol/diesel?
    - Contents insurance - open a new browser tab for one of the comparison sites and sort this out immediately. It will cost you sub £10 a month. Seriously - this is needed.
    - Entertainment - zero is unrealistic, I find it incredibly hard to believe that you never go out at all.

    Here's a thought - open your wallet right now and check how much money you have in there. Now think about a) which section of the SOA above that money forms part of and b) what you will actually spend that money on. That might go a long way towards working out where some of that surplus each month goes - as let's face it, if you actually had that amount of money in your bank after the bills are paid each month, that 18k debt will be gone in 18 months or less...

    First step - go back over everything on the SOA and really think about it - use bank & card statements to remind yourself what you really spend in various areas. Simultaneously start a spending diary as suggested as that will track down the frittering.

    Finally - be wary of that MBNA balance - I assume that's a 0% card? They have a habit of going to very high rates when the introductory deals end so make sure you know what that rate will be and when the change will come.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
    • chelseablue
    • By chelseablue 10th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    • 2,136 Posts
    • 2,604 Thanks
    chelseablue
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Jul 17, 12:13 PM
    You should be able to spend less on groceries. We're a family of 3 and spend about £160 a month
    Mortgage starting balance 26.02.16 £231,294
    Mortgage after Year 1 £225,078
    • SatAmongstTheTrees
    • By SatAmongstTheTrees 11th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    • 2 Posts
    • 5 Thanks
    SatAmongstTheTrees
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Jul 17, 10:24 AM
    Hi All

    Thank you so much for your time and replies. I think that most of what you have said is correct (particularly not being honest with ourselves), and that these are the reasons why we've got issues. The SOA above is done on a budget we've put together but in don't think we've included everything in there. Entertainment for example, we do go to soft play centres and this isn't captured here.

    Some points in out defense, i sold my car last year so the petrol costs are for a hire car that we use roughly once a month, though that is another £50-80 for the car hire itself that isn't included here (should be in other transport costs i assume). We do have contents insurance, i didn't spot the category when i was filling this form in, so it is under 'other insurance'. Yesterday i switched energy supplier, going from £93 for both to £73 for both. And we all have long hair!

    We have a laziness issue, and end up spending a lot of money on takeaways once DS is in bed. {hangs head in shame}. I think that a meal plan and buying accordingly AND THEN NOT BUYING ANY MORE NOT EVEN LUNCH (shouting at myself) would make a huge difference.

    We'll sit down and do another one of these SOAs and include the actuals.

    Again, thank you for giving your time, i feel very touched that strangers do this for each other.
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
    Lightbulb Moment: 7th July 2017
    Highest Total Debt: £18,573
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 11th Jul 17, 12:04 PM
    • 7,556 Posts
    • 39,406 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 17, 12:04 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jul 17, 12:04 PM
    Hi All

    Thank you so much for your time and replies. I think that most of what you have said is correct (particularly not being honest with ourselves), that's the first step towards being able to put things right - well done! and that these are the reasons why we've got issues. The SOA above is done on a budget we've put together but in don't think we've included everything in there. Entertainment for example, we do go to soft play centres and this isn't captured here. Yes you need to track down all the stuff like this -
    spending diaries for you then!


    Some points in out defense, i sold my car last year so the petrol costs are for a hire car that we use roughly once a month, though that is another £50-80 for the car hire itself that isn't included here (should be in other transport costs i assume). Yep - and use Martin's guides to hiring cars cheaply and economical driving to cut costs too - make sure when you hire a car for example that you purchase third party (that's as in from a third party not as in the insurance sense!) insurance rather than paying for the hire company's insurance as this can be really pricey. We do have contents insurance, i didn't spot the category when i was filling this form in, so it is under 'other insurance'. Phew -
    good - sorry, I get VERY upset about this one as people do tend to see it as an easy economy
    Yesterday i switched energy supplier, going from £93 for both to £73 for both. Good start - now focus on bringing your use down and you can save even more! And we all have long hair!

    We have a laziness issue, and end up spending a lot of money on takeaways once DS is in bed. {hangs head in shame}. I think that a meal plan and buying accordingly AND THEN NOT BUYING ANY MORE NOT EVEN LUNCH (shouting at myself) would make a huge difference. Oh it definitely will. Think about batch cooking and freezing so you've got easy home coked "ready meals" that you can take out oif the freezer and just have ready to heat up when you get home. At this time of year salads are a great quick meal too - then there are things like stir fries to - yum!

    We'll sit down and do another one of these SOAs and include the actuals.

    Again, thank you for giving your time, i feel very touched that strangers do this for each other.
    Originally posted by SatAmongstTheTrees
    It's what we do. Most of us on here have had the benefit of advice from here in the past and it's just passing that on.

    Well done - really sounds like you're making progress - not least by identifying the areas you need to focus on.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£450.55 (14/08/17)
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