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  • FIRST POST
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 7th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    • 138Posts
    • 486Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Everything is possible if you try!
    • #1
    • 7th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    Everything is possible if you try! 7th Sep 17 at 2:57 PM
    Hi all
    Newbie to the forum here. I'm ready to hold my hand up and say "yes, I have a debt problem". I'm also ready to do what I can to climb out of this debt-hole! (Hence the positive title!)

    So, a little bit about me - I live with my teenage daughter (who I shall refer to from here on as Kitty) and two real-life floofs who constantly demand food and attention.

    I've been dithering around in denial for months years, while slowly but surely the debt pile has accumulated. I was doing a really great job of ignoring this, until a few months ago, when I found myself doing the weekly shop on the credit card ("just to tide me over until pay day"), letting things creep up and up, and not repaying those little credit card payments which grew and grew, meaning that month on month just paying off the interest I wasn't getting anywhere.

    I took a long look at what I was spending and where. Admittedly I've been lazier than I should have been with regard to my finances, so I hadn't really bothered to shop around for energy, broadband, car insurance etc deals. I've started to rectify this, and have found cheaper car insurance, energy and broadband. I've also started my little black book for recording moneys in and out, and renewal dates for such things (and discovered that uswitch will save reminders on these too )

    I found this forum a couple of days ago, and your stories have inspired me to feel I'm not too old to get ouf of debt before I retire, and my debts, while a large looming cloud at the moment, should be manageable with some serious organisation.
    I've been having to take a lot of self-care lately, due to health reasons, but looking after finances so I'm not so anxious will be part of that.

    So, this is the beginning of my diary, and journey. Constructive comments and helpful tips are welcomed, but please be gentle with me, as I'm new to this.

    I do have a question for you all - I'm not currently on any DMP or anything. I spoke to a debt management company on the phone, and they recommended an IVA. For some reason the thought of this made me lose nearly a nights sleep and wake several times with severe anxiety chest pains! Hence, I'm trying being accountable to myself, and being open here I think will help, it seems an encouraging group.

    Current level of debt:
    Barclaycard: £15,000
    HSBC Credit Card: £3,000
    MBNA Credit Card: £2,400
    Overdraft (this gets maxed out every month without fail): £350
Page 5
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 27th Sep 17, 12:54 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Oooh lots of helpful advice!

    I'm going to try the 15 minute approach! I don't actually have a proper TV aerial set up, so things I watch tend to be series or films on netflix/amazon prime, so ad-break cleaning isn't such an option.
    I do tend to give the bathroom a quick wipe when I'm in there, but Kitty is (even) less interested in doing such things (and she has really long hair which gets everywhere!)
    Meal plans going well for the week, Kitty was invited out for tea yesterday which meant there's more left in reserve (yay!).
    I've turned down an invitation to go out for sushi this evening, even though it is one of my faves!
    So far, on target for this week's NSDs and lunches.
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 30th Sep 17, 12:08 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    This week has gone by so quickly! Payday has arrived, so I'm squirreling money away into different pots, hopefully this will help. I'm a little short at the moment as child benefit didn't come through for September, but they're going to sort that out ASAP.
    Today will be meal planning and doing the weekly shop. It's a friends wedding do this evening, which I promised ages ago I would attend. If I time it right I can just bus about rather than taxi this evening.
    House really needs a good tidy and clean. Some of the hints and tips I read about keeping things clean (or the cleaning ninjas 8 minute tidy) seem great for somewhere which is not far off to start with. Its just sooooo dull!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Nicnak
    • By Nicnak 30th Sep 17, 3:45 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 391 Thanks
    Nicnak
    I love payday now, as I feel like I accomplish something when I move money from various pots and clear some debt.
    September 6th 2017 start Updated 18th October
    Credit Card £430 now: £0
    Tesco Loan £7500 = £7110
    Car loan £17450 = £17,099
    Total = £25,330 £24,319
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 30th Sep 17, 4:55 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 2,313 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Just got uptodate on your diary , sounds like all going ok. I do all my cleaning in one go usually Saturday but it takes ages as I have loads of breaks ! Having the radio on helps me as well .
    Aug 2017 CC1 £3549 CC 2 £1000

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 30th Sep 17, 5:15 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    I usually have podcasts or an audiobook or something for cleaning/tidying. I do like the end result it's just such an effort to maintain!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 2nd Oct 17, 1:16 PM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,435 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Friday's my day for cleaning and tidying as a rule but I do try to do the 15 minute bursts and S&S kitchen & bathroom through the week too. It's funny - but having the fancy new Kitchen is making me FAR more likely to keep it clean and tidy though! (Although in fairness to me that is partly as it's so much easier to keep clean than the old one was!)
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 2nd Oct 17, 2:18 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Hee hee I like your thinking EH. When we moved into our current house a few years back I had oh such good intentions of keeping it tidy.... I was so woefully wrong about that!
    Had a quick once over on the living room, and the kitchen is clean. Will try and do a quick swish over the bathroom later (assuming I can still function after work). I really need to get Kitty to wipe round after her showers, she has such long hair and it seems to get *everywhere*.

    In other news, one of the felines didn't eat for 2 days, so took her to the vets. Got away with needing to collect a urine sample they can test which will indicate whether she needs blood tests, rather than going straight for the £120 old-cat tests! Still £30 consultation (which thanks to previous overpayment of British Gas was not too much of a problem). Apparently she should now be having a diet of the cat food pouches and oily fish and cut down on the biscuits as she may be having difficulty with them now she's old (she's 16).

    I've signed up for Austerity October, and worked out my monthly budget.
    Did a meal plan, just came out £3 over budget, which while not perfect is much better than the amount I was spending. I will be trying to get this even lower though.

    I'm feeling like progress is slow, so please all keep popping in so that I don't drop off the wagon!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 2nd Oct 17, 9:28 PM
    • 611 Posts
    • 2,313 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Hello T&K have our got a recipe for your honey roast veg risotto ? Sounds right up my street. Would love to make it soon.
    Aug 2017 CC1 £3549 CC 2 £1000

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 2nd Oct 17, 11:20 PM
    • 328 Posts
    • 4,611 Thanks
    117pauline
    I can't see your progress is slow at all.

    I think you may have seen my comment about having an entertainment budget as a bit of a criticism but it really wasn't. When I am stressed/in pain etc I forget huge chunks of my spending and it took a while to get a good exact budget because I'd forget about my three monthly prepay prescription, as an example.

    I am a great believer in a few planned treats help a budget to stay achievable. I am building my treats/self care list to remind myself of little things that help me. A cup of tea is definitely at the top of the list.

    Today I found a photographer's website
    http://www.chrisorange.com/Landscapes

    which reminded me how beautiful the world can be, after the horrendous event in LasVegas

    Take care of you both
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 2nd Oct 17, 11:26 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Hi Cumbria lass! Honey roast veg risotto is lovely, and not too onerous

    Ingredients (to make approx. 4 portions depending on appetite):
    500g carrots
    500g parsnip
    300g risotto rice
    grated parmesan (~40g)
    olive oil
    1 tbsp honey
    1 onion
    1 litre veg stock however you prefer to make it

    Method:
    - Preheat oven to 200C / Gas 7
    - Peel and cut carrots and parsnips into approx 4 cm lengths.
    Mix 1 tablespoon honey with one tablespoon olive oil, and toss the carrot/parsnip with the honey/olive
    oil mix.
    -Spread the coated veg on baking trays, lightly season and roast for 20-30 minutes until golden.

    While the carrot/parsnip is cooking:
    - Heat 1 tbsp oil in deep pan (optional - add a couple of sprigs rosemary for extra flavour if you like it)
    - Add finely chopped onion & fry until soft
    - Add 300g risotto rice, stir until coated in oil.
    - Gradually add stock into rice in portions, letting rice absorb each portion before adding the next.

    Once stock is absorbed, add the roasted carrot/parsnip, fresh rosemary (chopped) and grated parmesan and stir.

    Also works well with sweet potato and or squash added/substituted for the carrot & parsnip.

    Hope you enjoy if you try it!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 2nd Oct 17, 11:40 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Hi Pauline
    Thankyou for your reassurance. I've been trying to be objective about things, rather than taking any comments to heart in a personal manner (I know I overanalyse things, so I've been trying to make an effort not to take any advice people have given on hear as personal criticisms).
    I have allowed myself some "treat" money on the basis that it's probably better that I acknowledge that and budget for it, than try and be overly strict then feel really guilty that I've spent money I shouldn't have.
    My impression that progress is slow probably comes from not being able to see instant results. I know this will take a while. I'm mostly probably a little harsh with past-me for present-me being in this situation. I'm in the fortunate position of earning a good salary and there's a bit of present me being resentful that I can't actually enjoy the fruits of my labour due to living beyond my means and letting everything creep up for so long.
    Happy at least that I am dealing with it now, and if I stick at it, then it won't be forever!

    Tea is definitely something I'll not be giving up. Having a variety of teas in the house keeps me happy.
    I've been reading around the debt and mental health stuff, and this is one of the things which is definitely impacting on me. As an aspect of self-care I'm thinking of getting back to yoga, it certainly has helped in the past.

    Those landscape galleries are stunning, thankyou for sharing A couple of friends and I are thinking of going to see the new exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park when it opens (it's not too far from here, and shared car and parking costs makes a cheap day out). Scenery there is pretty good, plus there's all the art work too!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 3rd Oct 17, 8:42 AM
    • 611 Posts
    • 2,313 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Thank you so much for takng the time to do the recipe , will be making this weekend.

    As for treats my way of thinking is and it is not an excuse, after the debt is paid off I would like to carry on in the same style as I have whilst paying debts off . I think if you go mad and chuck all your money at debt and never have a treat you could soon become fed up. For me this way is more real , I am learning to budget for spends and once it's gone it's gone . It may take me longer to pay off but I am happy with this.

    Hope this helps you .
    Aug 2017 CC1 £3549 CC 2 £1000

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • NelliePie
    • By NelliePie 3rd Oct 17, 11:13 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 291 Thanks
    NelliePie
    I'd just like to echo what everyone else is saying - this is a marathon, not a sprint. You've made some great progress so far and the key thing is that it's sustainable. You can't throw everything penny at the debt and not allow yourself to live because you can't carry on like that. Finding a balance that you can maintain is important because when the debt is gone you can use that money for savings and enjoying life some more. If you budget for treats now you won't feel the need to go crazy when the debt is paid off. This isn't just about getting out of debt now, its about adjusting you habits and attitude towards money now so you can benefit in the future.

    On another note, I too will be using your risotto recipe.

    Well done Tea
    When life gives you lemons, find the tequila!
    MFW: FTB June 2017 £144k. Target 128k June 2019
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 3rd Oct 17, 12:40 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    ..... the key thing is that it's sustainable. .... Finding a balance that you can maintain is important because when the debt is gone you can use that money for savings and enjoying life some more.
    Originally posted by NelliePie
    As for treats my way of thinking is and it is not an excuse, after the debt is paid off I would like to carry on in the same style as I have whilst paying debts off .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Thankyou both so much for this. It ties in nicely with what I was thinking, which is why I have included entertainment and allowed for the odd meal out in my monthly budget. I think the key is going to be finding the balance after having been a little too frivolous and carefree for so long.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to do the recipe , will be making this weekend.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    On another note, I too will be using your risotto recipe.
    Originally posted by NelliePie
    Hope you both enjoy!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd Oct 17, 3:35 PM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,435 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Austerity October sounds like a sensible thing - is that a challenge on here or somewhere else?

    Talking of things that sound good - that risotto....Mmmmm! I'm guessing it would also be delicious if you mix up the flavours a bit by substituting ordinary oil for smoked, and the honey for a smoked paprika or something along those lines...that's got me thinking, now! (See this is why I'm useless at following a proper recipe - I'm constantly thinking ahead to what I could move it on to, and the original dish never gets cooked at all! )

    As for the question of spending/not spending on entertainment type stuff - it's about finding a balance that works for you, and particularly when there are children involved, it's not always practical to not spend out anything in that area. Down the line you might feel you want to cut it a bit more - but that's one to see about as you go along - as you say it will all feel harsher than it might as you've cut back so much on the frivolous spending anyway.

    You're doing fine and making great progress - I always reckon the first few months is as much about changing mindsets and habits, as it is about actually pay off hard cash!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 3rd Oct 17, 6:32 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Hi EH!
    I know what you mean about recipes. I change them about quite a lot to suit personal tastes. I like the thought of the smoked paprika in it... might try it this evening while cooking! I have a tendency to chuck in some garlic in things like this too. In fact, garlic gets into most things here.
    Kitty is 17, so while I haven't gone into any detail, I have told her that we will be cutting back on luxuries and meals out (as that seems to be relatively easy to cut out) to save money for future adventures. She's old enough to understand that. In fact, she went through some old recipe cards from when Sainsbos did their Meals for a fiver recipe cards. (Probably a bit more than that now with price increases, but a good place to start I thought!)

    I'm going for the mindset and habits change. Only a month in so far so I must stay positive!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 3rd Oct 17, 6:35 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Oh, and austerity october is the NST Organise October on the DFW challenges!
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • DebtFreeDuo
    • By DebtFreeDuo 3rd Oct 17, 6:47 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 945 Thanks
    DebtFreeDuo
    You're making great progress and I couldn't agree more with the others. I know how you feel about it being slow, I can't make any extra payments for a few months now and feel like there is no point reporting but keeping this updated is what is keeping me on track I think. Stay positive and if you are feeling like you need a little kick or a reminder then post here and I'm sure someone will be around to give you some positivity and a little motivation to keep going and stick at it but at the same time not judge in any way as we have all been there.
    Debt 14/10/17/20/9/17 5395.16/5690.50 = Loan: 2065.32/2207.38 Car Loan: 2292.94/2419.64 0% CC: 1036.90/1063.48 DFD April 19 (Target Dec 18).
    Make up to £10 a day challenge: £110.51/£150..NSD October 12/15
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 3rd Oct 17, 8:33 PM
    • 138 Posts
    • 486 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Thanks for stopping by, Duo! I'm trying to get into a regular habit of posting here so that if the wheels fall off I'll feel comfortable to come and say so rather than hiding my head in the sand ('cause look where that got me!)

    In other news ... *annoyance*. I need to revisit this month's budget as Kitty has arrived home with a letter about an art trip to That There London on Friday. This is £45, plus child will need food for all day. They're leaving just after 6 am, and won't get back til late, so will require breakfast, lunch and evening food also. Could have done without this, but should be able to figure it out with a bit of jiggling. Probably adjust the amount going to savings.
    October: NSDs 6 / 17 NSDs in a row: 1 / 5
    I started my debtfree journey on 07 September 2017: Total: £20,521 £19847
    Barclaycard: £14659 £14435 Oct 2017 HSBC Credit Card : £3112 £3012 Oct 2017
    Overdraft: 350 £0 Oct2017 MBNA : 2400
    A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. I'm on my way!
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 3rd Oct 17, 11:03 PM
    • 456 Posts
    • 1,770 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Letter today for trip on Friday??? That's not helpful in the planning department....
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017 July : £36,800 8/100 August: £36,411.85 8/100 September: £35,945.66 10/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
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