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  • FIRST POST
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 10th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    • 44Posts
    • 193Thanks
    katiepants
    Molehill currently feeling like a mountain
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 17, 11:44 AM
    Molehill currently feeling like a mountain 10th Nov 17 at 11:44 AM
    Hi All,

    I've decided to start a diary on here after reading lots of other peoples inspiring stories. My debt is pretty small compared to others - just under £400 on my Nationwide CC, but I just can't seem to crack it. Basically for the last few years I have been living beyond my means - spending every last penny of my pay with nothing left each month to save (and often going well into my overdraft). Then last November I was unfortunate enough to fall Ill and had to take a weeks sick leave from work. I didn't receive any sick pay, so was then £300 out of pocket. Because I hadn't got a cushion to fall back on, this £300 debt has followed me for the past year and I can't seem to claw it back (in fact it has even grown a bit!).

    My biggest struggle is probably my OH, he gets paid well and never seems to worry about money. He often pays for lots of things for me and can't seem to understand my money worries at all. Because of this I find it hard to say no to going out and weekends away etc.


    W split the bills evenly, and they are all pretty reasonable. I am responsible for the food shopping, so it's the one area where I can exert a bit of control and make sure we're not overspending. I do have a very bad habit of thoughtless spending on snacks from local convenience stores. I've suddenly realised that I'll normally nip to the shops about 4 times a week and spend at least 6 or 7 pounds, sometimes up to 10 or 12!!! Now I see this It's no wonder I can't pay back the debt! The other main money pits are meals out and nights away. We like to stay busy and do lots of exciting things but I realise I'm living beyond my means and I need to start saying no before I get in very serious debt and screw up my credit rating which I've been told by Nationwide previously was excellent.


    Also had a particularly bad October where all of my car expenses came out at once (Insurance, Tax, MOT and a new tyre to the tune of nearly £800!). For that reason once of the changes I've made is to set up a new savings account just for my car, saving £60 a month. I've also set up a second savings account for holidays ect. and once the CC is paid off I'm going to start saving into a higher interest account for long term saving.


    Short term, I'm going to start keeping a spending diary to see where the pitfalls are. I've already had a conversation with family and friends re: xmas, and spending for that will be an absolute minumum. and I need to start planning ahead better for the expected expenditure each month.


    Hopefully posting here regularly will keep me on track!
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
Page 1
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Nov 17, 6:54 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,966 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 17, 6:54 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Nov 17, 6:54 PM
    As you say posting on here will help
    You are so lucky to only owe 400 quid.
    Anything you could sell to give you an initial boost?
    Even if you cut out one of your visits to the shop that is 10 quid a week , 40 a month. in 10 months you could be just about debt free
    Break it down into baby steps/ small chunks.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Nov 17, 7:33 PM
    • 4,837 Posts
    • 9,136 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 17, 7:33 PM
    • #3
    • 10th Nov 17, 7:33 PM
    Sounds like a good plan. As the debt is so small it should not take you long to clear it. Setting up savings pots is also a good idea and a spending diary.

    Meal planning and cutting back on food shops could easily net you £40 a month so the card would be cleared in 10 months if a 0% card.
    2 weeks to go until early retirement in December . Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 12th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    • #4
    • 12th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    Thanks both!

    Had a great weekend but it wasn't as expense free as I was hoping.

    Had to go food shopping (twice in fact because I didn't plan well the first time) so that was £15, plus a tank of fuel (£50), and we went to the pub last night (I only had one drink so not too bad).

    I need to sit down and get the meal planning sorted but just don't know when I'll have time... fitness class tomorrow, friends round for dinner on Tuesday...maybe Wednesday...
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 15th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    • #5
    • 15th Nov 17, 12:48 PM
    This morning I've done a quick inventory of our food because I need to go and do a big shop tonight.

    In the fridge:

    Microwave curry ad naan
    2 baking potatoes that could do with being eaten v soon
    Bag of carrots
    1 leek
    Remains of a bag of kale
    Tomato puree
    Grapes
    2 very ripe bananas
    Milk
    Soya milk
    Soya spread

    Freezer:

    3 wholemeal thins
    1 apple crumble
    1 portion of stew
    1 container of homemade gravy
    Broad beans
    Mixed veg
    Spinach
    Peas
    1 pear crumble
    2 portions of veg hotpot
    Pumpkin soup
    Chicken soup
    2 chicken breasts
    4 sausages
    4 mini pizzas
    1 steak pie
    750g mince
    1 croissant (lol)
    500g stewing steak

    Cubbards:

    Brown and white rice
    Noodles
    Cous cous
    Small amount of pasta
    Lasagne sheets
    Selection of flours and sugars
    2 huge bags of porridge outs
    2 tins sweetcorn
    2 tins chopped tomatoes
    1 tin tuna
    1 can soup
    2 flavoured cous cous packets
    2 super rice packets
    Crisps and rice cakes
    1/2 bag poppadums
    Enough flapjack bars to survive the apocalypse

    I've taken the pie out to have with mash and veg later, and will have one of the veg hotpots for lunch tomorrow.

    Have written a list for the shops and will stick to it religiously.

    Just need to work out what to do with the bananas. I cat eat them raw so may look for a muffin recipe to use up some of the oats as well...
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • kiss_me_now9
    • By kiss_me_now9 15th Nov 17, 12:53 PM
    • 1,047 Posts
    • 2,674 Thanks
    kiss_me_now9
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 12:53 PM
    • #6
    • 15th Nov 17, 12:53 PM
    Hey, just popping in! I'm in a similar situation to you - not a lot owing but can see it's just never going to go or will get bigger if I don't sort it. Sometimes I think smaller amounts are worse than big ones because there's not so much urgency and a tendency to say "Oh well, it's only a little bit...". Good luck!

    ETA - Banana loaf, sub in something for the eggs and you'll be golden!
    Masters OT student
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 6th Dec 17, 2:34 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:34 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Dec 17, 2:34 PM
    Oops, it must have looked like I fell off the face of the earth, but posting long updates on my phone is really time consuming and frustrating...


    Currently job hunting with a vengeance. Not that there's anything bad about my current job, it's just I've gone as far as I can progression wise, and I'd like better pay and

    a chance to use my qualifications. It's not all that easy though as I'm sure everyone knows!


    For now, am slowly making inroads on the debt. Just £300 on the CC to shift now which should hopefully be gone by Feb.

    I've been trying to save the pennies where I can, and haven't bought nearly as many snacks as previously. Even when I have, I've chosen cheaper options. Plus managed to

    remember to take a bottle of (tap) water with me every day, so haven't bought a bottle of water in weeks and weeks.

    In exciting, and not debt busting news, I've found a stables very close to home to keep my horse at. It's quite a lot of money each month, but will be offset by savings on petrol,

    and I'm so excited by it. It's actually motivating me to get really on top of my finances and become super frugal.


    I've completely finished all of my Christmas shopping, and wrapped it yesterday so feeling good about that. Managed to do it all for under £100

    Although also had to buy my OH a B'day present as well (December birthdays are v inconvenient!)


    This is going to be an expensive month on the whole, what with all the Christmas meals out, although I try to be cheap by drinking water and making cheap meal choices.

    January is going to have to be very lean indeed, particularly since that's when I'm moving my horse.


    Anyway, I'm rambling now... currently on my lunch break and need to get back!
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 7th Dec 17, 11:43 AM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:43 AM
    • #8
    • 7th Dec 17, 11:43 AM
    Hoping for a very low spend day today. I'm house sitting for my Mum overnight tonight so won't need to worry about getting anything for tea etc.

    Heavy snow forecast overnight, so hoping I can still get to work in the morning!


    It's the wrong time of the month for me right now and I'm at the tail end of a cold so feeling a little mopey and sorry for myself.


    Today's no. 1 job is writing a cover letter and applying to a couple of jobs I've found.
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 7th Dec 17, 12:16 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 1,629 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:16 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Dec 17, 12:16 PM
    Just an idea have you tried doing market research surveys to boost your income have a look at this link and note my signature. That dead could be good in 12 months.

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/make-money-surveys
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.28 Survey Earnings YTD £552.88
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 7th Dec 17, 12:38 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    Yes, have got £20 Amazon vouchers from Swagbucks- that really helped me out with my Xmas shopping! It's just a bit time consuming and boring!
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 7th Dec 17, 6:54 PM
    • 659 Posts
    • 1,629 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Do you just use swagbucks? There is boat loads of sites and yes its boring but 100-150 quid coming in your account can sweeten it
    Debts 15981.64 total paid 2078
    Cashback Earnings YTD £167.28 Survey Earnings YTD £552.88
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 12th Dec 17, 11:43 AM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    Very, very cold here at the moment. Think I need slippers at work. Brr! Heating is doing a good job of warming the house, but still needing to snuggle under a blanket in the evenings.

    Finances are not looking too horrendous at the moment. I have nothing left to buy for Christmas, so will just be usual petrol and food expenses between now and next payday. I have had a couple of unexpected costs recently,!for example the hotel room for OH's work do on Friday night (£20), and the extra present that OH bought the other day and asked me to go halves on!


    Other than that I expect to be going into the new year with £350 owing on the CC, and £200 into my overdraft. Could be better, but could be a lot worse.


    I expect to be able to get a handle on all this in January. I need to be super organised. I've got myself a teeny tiny diary to record my spending, and a separate purse. Decided that I should withdraw 'spending money' in advance and then I know what I can and can't afford.

    With having my horse on livery I also need to make sure I plan ahead for everything...


    No plans tonight, just need to do a little food shopping at Morrisons. Currently have a veggie chili in the slow cooker so that will be a nice warming tea tonight!!
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 12th Dec 17, 3:28 PM
    • 49,020 Posts
    • 181,966 Thanks
    beanielou
    All sounding good.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 12th Dec 17, 5:26 PM
    • 211 Posts
    • 837 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Sounds like you have some firm plans in place.

    Jealous about your horse, I have always wanted one, but I can't even afford to ride anymore. But my daughter does lol! Priorities right?!
    • MMC87
    • By MMC87 12th Dec 17, 5:32 PM
    • 22 Posts
    • 31 Thanks
    MMC87
    Good luck, Katie. It might seem like a mountain now but itís absolutely nothing compared to what it could be if you hadnít have decided to confront it. Most of us where probably like you at some point - with a relatively small amount of debt - and Iím sure we will all agree that it can spiral out of control VERY quickly.
    • katiepants
    • By katiepants 12th Dec 17, 7:01 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 193 Thanks
    katiepants
    Thanks all!

    Ended up going to visit my mum on my lunch break. She lives alone in the middle of nowhere, and in this weather I wanted to check she was OK. Took her a bag of shopping (fruit, chocolate and bread) as well as some kindling as she'd run out.

    Came to about £7 but money I didn't mind spending. She was very grateful and I'm glad she and the animals were all fine.
    Sealed pot challenge 11: number 594
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