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  • FIRST POST
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 7th Sep 17, 2:57 PM
    • 135Posts
    • 481Thanks
    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 6
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 4th Oct 17, 11:21 AM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,415 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    This sort of behaviour from schools makes me really cross - I honestly wish that parents would fight back more against this sort of thing - it's utterly unreasonable to expect you to come up with that sort of money, plus food, at that notice. It needs enough parents to gang together and ALL respond by saying "Sorry - we need at least 30 days clear notice of that sort of trip to allow for budgeting for it" though. how on earth are parents supposed to teach their children about budgeting and managing their money if schools imagine that this is reasonable?! Grrr!

    Agree with your about throwing garlic into things though - when Al's S6 or Lil's POTW includes packs of garlic I often buy a couple and then roast them - pop the individual cloves out once soft and freeze individually giving me a nice box of roasted garlic cloves ready to add a nice smooth garlicky flavour to anything I think would benefit! (Not to self there is to freeze them on either waxed paper or baking parchment NOT greaseproof as they stick to greaseproof - bet you can't guess how I know this?! )

    And of course - I should have guessed that was where Austerity October came from!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 4th Oct 17, 3:27 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Oooh ...*makes note to self about roast garlic*
    To be fair to Kittys school, they were great up to Y11. It's only since she's been in 6th form we've had any communication problems! We didn't even have anything in the post or by email about when they needed to attend at the beginning of term!
    I'm more kind of annoyed as I'm actually trying to be responsible, and I set myself a budget which allowed for a little entertainment and some saving as well as paying off a bit of debt. So I can either be a hermit all month or take it out of savings. Grrrr!
    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 5th Oct 17, 10:43 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Spoke to school. Kitty doesn't have to do the London trip, provided she goes to a gallery and draws something. This is most definitely achievable.
    The roasted veg risotto lasted for 2 meals each, turned out really well. I didn't use the smoked paprika idea, but did stick some mustard in with the honey as an experiment. Super tasty!
    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 5th Oct 17, 11:41 AM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,415 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Spoke to school. Kitty doesn't have to do the London trip, provided she goes to a gallery and draws something. This is most definitely achievable.
    The roasted veg risotto lasted for 2 meals each, turned out really well. I didn't use the smoked paprika idea, but did stick some mustard in with the honey as an experiment. Super tasty!
    Originally posted by Tea&Kittens
    Seriously?! well they weren't advertising THAT alternative until you asked now, were they!

    LOVE Honey and mustard anything. Got a rather lovely recipe for honey & mustard marinaded pork somewhere which I ought to drag out again...
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 5th Oct 17, 12:03 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Seriously, yes! Glad I spoke to the teacher. I guess it's worth having a look at the syllabus and seeing what is actually required. The teacher was clear that she won't be penalised for not going. There is an exhibition she's really keen to see, but it doesn't open til 18th. It is on for a while though, so a trip there is in the budget as it's education related!
    Honey mustard marinaded pork sounds delish!
    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 5th Oct 17, 12:23 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Sounds like a good compromise. Is Kitty ok with not going?
    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
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 5th Oct 17, 1:02 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Hi Wishing
    If Kitty had been really keen to go I would have cut back elsewhere so that it could happen. She wasn't really keen on going, as we were there a couple of weeks ago, and the exhibition she wants to see isn't on yet. It's also a really long day on a coach - they leave just after 6am and aren't due back til about 9.30 in the evening depending on traffic. As long as it doesn't impact on her final grade, which the teacher says it won't then I'd rather make it so she can go to an exhibition that she actually wants to see for her project!
    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 5th Oct 17, 1:09 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    I assumed she was fine with this as earlier you were looking to juggle things to make it work.
    Sounds like it's worked out for the best all round.
    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
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 5th Oct 17, 1:23 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 4,555 Thanks
    117pauline
    I think this is what's called working as a team.

    The way you describe it, the trip sounds more punishment than treat.

    You can now both plan a suitable trip which will cover her coursework as well as being a pleasure.

    Your daughter sounds as though she has a realistic take on life.

    Nearly the weekend
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 5th Oct 17, 1:57 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    Relief all round here I think!
    Having a work from home day, so made cheese scones at lunchtime (everything from stuff in stock in cupboards!), so now I just need to not scoff them all at once so there's some for tomorrow's lunch!
    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 5th Oct 17, 4:36 PM
    • 8,013 Posts
    • 41,415 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Cheese scones? Oh just stop it! (Or alternatively, lob one over here!)
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£544.67 (17/10/17)
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 5th Oct 17, 9:16 PM
    • 600 Posts
    • 2,215 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Makes me mad when schools go miles away for exhibitions etc, when there are probably things much closer to home .
    Anyway am sure Kitty will enjoy her trip with you when the 18th comes round.

    Not keen on cheese scones (honestly )
    Aug 2017 CC1 £3549 CC 2 £1000

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 5th Oct 17, 10:21 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    The scones turned out well EH! And enough left for me and Kitty for lunch tomorrow, then some spares!
    Feeling quite virtuous as I had visitors earlier. They were hungry and ordered a takeaway. I resisted and had my mask as planned at the weekend. Win!
    Cumbria lass ... I'm sure there are appropriate galleries much closer which would suffice! We're going mid November, when I've had time to plan for a day out. Trains so much cheaper in advance!
    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 7th Oct 17, 2:23 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    After feeling so proud of myself for not having takeout on Thursday, I promptly undid all my good work yesterday by staying for 3 drinks instead of "just the one" with friends. Trying not to be too hard on myself, was lovely to catch up, I it's just eaten into more of my entertainment budget than I'd allocated for this weekend.
    I did manage to do the weekly food shop at Mr Al D for £25 after doing the mask plan, so came in £15 under budget. I was quite pleased with this.
    For people who have been doing this a while, does it ever get any easier? While I know I need to keep on top of things, I find the constant neverending tracking and analysing is so mentally tiring, uses so many spoons. I'm hoping as it becomes more of a regular thing it will come easier.
    Last edited by Tea&Kittens; 07-10-2017 at 2:28 PM.
    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 7th Oct 17, 3:33 PM
    • 450 Posts
    • 1,735 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    It is definitely all about habit.
    I've been using ynab for 4 years now (I think) and it's automatic, money in, money out, tilly tidy, juggle budgets, set plans.

    I also find only changing 1 thing at a time helps, so my 'new' thing at the moment is using my supermarket for my shopping, it takes a while until things become habit and automatic, but, when it does, no spoons are needed.

    Money can sometimes be the only thing I'm thinking about, but mostly I try and set a plan for a day and stick to it. I've started bullet journaling this year and that's helping too. Also, if I have a major slip up I just have to be more careful the rest of the week/month and, because I've been doing this a while I could cover any blow outs from other pots.

    I just wish I could apply these principles to eating and my weight.

    Keep going and keep posting, it really helps.
    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
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 7th Oct 17, 9:24 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 336 Thanks
    Happierdays
    Hi I also find the constant tracking tiresome and am still hoping it gets easier with time! Sounds like it does from what the last poster said so I think it's a case of keeping at it and maybe it won't need so much thinking about once it's an ingrained habit!
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 8th Oct 17, 9:51 PM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    It is definitely all about habit.

    Money can sometimes be the only thing I'm thinking about, but mostly I try and set a plan for a day and stick to it. I've started bullet journaling this year and that's helping too. Also, if I have a major slip up I just have to be more careful the rest of the week/month and, because I've been doing this a while I could cover any blow outs from other pots.

    I just wish I could apply these principles to eating and my weight.

    Keep going and keep posting, it really helps.
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    Ooh I started bullet journaling about this time last year. FInances is just about the only thing I haven't tracked! I've monitored exercise, water consumed, books read, blog posts written - just about everything else! I have now set up a savings page, for all the different pots money needs to go into, and I've been using the Spending Tracker App, which I have diligently entered every transaction into.

    Yesterday went a bit wrong. Free music event in the city centre was great fun, then a friend managed to dislocate/fracture/break a thumb, so after a trip to A&E I ended up having dinner out to the cost of £16.
    Feeling it's all going a bit wonky. When I've tried previously, before I found the forum, at this stage something in my brain seems to make some kind of "denial filter" making it OK to continue to spend money, ignore how much I've spent and top up with a card at the end of the month .... after all, I can try and start again next month right??
    I'm trying to not let that happen this time, and acknowledge that, yes, I have spent more than intended, but I must not stick my head in the sand about it. I nearly didn't come and post here for feeling embarrassed/ashamed about it, but it isn't going to go away without me facing up to it, hence posting now.

    Made a super slow roasted cider cooked shoulder of lamb for dinner. Rest of this will make a leftover curry tomorrow. I didn't manage batch cooking today, but tomorrow evening I'll be sorting out a Tuscan bean stew for the next couple of days, which should last for at least 2 meals (always hard to judge with Kitty, sometimes I can't seem to fill her up!)
    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 8th Oct 17, 10:03 PM
    • 600 Posts
    • 2,215 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    I have just had one of those months , seemed to spend so much then feel guilty and then worry . I think you will get back on track , I find reflecting on why did I overspend and then coming up with a plan to stop it happening again . Hope your friend is ok soon . Tuscan bean stew sounds yummy !
    Aug 2017 CC1 £3549 CC 2 £1000

    Debt Free Nov 2019: earlier if I have my way
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 8th Oct 17, 10:53 PM
    • 315 Posts
    • 4,555 Thanks
    117pauline
    How about using your journal to help you notice the triggers for your spending?

    You might notice that a certain person is always "involved" in your spending. Either as a partner in crime or as one of those individuals who makes you feel ughhhhh.

    Or perhaps you are trying to keep to a budget that simply isn't sustainable long term.

    But please don't wait until the end of the month to start again. Sometimes there are months when just surviving is as good as it gets.

    Have a good week
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • Tea&Kittens
    • By Tea&Kittens 9th Oct 17, 10:11 AM
    • 135 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    Tea&Kittens
    I have just had one of those months , seemed to spend so much then feel guilty and then worry . I think you will get back on track , I find reflecting on why did I overspend and then coming up with a plan to stop it happening again .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    I've got everything written down so I can see exactly where the spending is occurring!
    Hope your friend is ok soon . Tuscan bean stew sounds yummy !
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Friend still finding hand painful, but seeing a specialist today as the weekend injuries clinic weren't 100% sure of what was going on!
    Tuscan bean stew is amazing. It's one of those meals where you chuck stuff in a pot and leave it to cook itself for hours (so the house smells amazing too while it's cooking). It involves lardons, chorizo, loads of garlic and, of course a selection of your favourite beans! It does actually come from a little off-beat place in Tuscany!

    How about using your journal to help you notice the triggers for your spending?
    You might notice that a certain person is always "involved" in your spending. Either as a partner in crime or as one of those individuals who makes you feel ughhhhh.
    .......
    but please don't wait until the end of the month to start again. Sometimes there are months when just surviving is as good as it gets.

    Have a good week
    Pauline
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    Good idea with the journal, Pauline. I'll see if there's any correlation of overspends and people/activities!
    I'm not waiting for the end of the month to start again, I'm keeping at it. This is the difference between now and my usual approach. Now I have here for support, and I really appreciate that people like you, and others take the time to read and respond!
    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!
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