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  • FIRST POST
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 20th Nov 17, 6:44 PM
    • 17Posts
    • 40Thanks
    millymolly22
    Debt Free Mortgage Free But Still Struggling
    • #1
    • 20th Nov 17, 6:44 PM
    Debt Free Mortgage Free But Still Struggling 20th Nov 17 at 6:44 PM
    I have been debt free and Mortgage free for just over a year all paid by an inheritance and therein, I think, lies the problem. I didn't pay it myself and now I am struggling again.

    Background is I have been in debt since I was about twenty and I now, three children and two marriages later, I am in my mid fifties. It all started with my first car, then a mortgage, then debts, then consolidated loans, re-mortgages etc etc etc and roll on late forties and I am dealing with my debts through Stepchange. I have never been a large earner, preferring to work part time (24-30 hours) and being there for my kids, rather than having fancy holidays, a bigger house and new car. I have always kept separate finances with my DH, after being left in the lurch by my first and probably my stubbornness (or my priorities) have made sure I have always lived from month to month, with little extras and then a calamity would happened and I would reach for the credit card.

    Anyway, twelve months ago that all changed. My mortgage was paid off. My debts were paid off. I was then left with a small balance that I put away for retirement/rainy day (untouchable).

    On paper I have a few hundred pounds a month to play with, to save for holidays, to create an emergency fund, but each month that few hundred disappears to nothing and I have nothing to show for it.

    My problem is weekends....a coffee here.....lunch there.....oh lets have a takeaway I can't be bothered to cook.

    So I am starting to diary to motivate me to have No Spend Weekends. Doesn't help its nearly Christmas (all sorted though!!!) and the weather does not draw me out of the house for fresh air....but I seriously need to find some things to do over the weekend that cost us NOTHING and keep me, my DH and DS entertained (although DS would be happy on Xbox all weekend!!!)

    Hopefully keeping this diary and following other diaries will give me some incentive to save more and spend less

    Anyway today I have spent £6.00 on packed lunch things for the week for my DS and I am aiming to get to Friday without spending a penny. Fingers crossed
Page 1
    • TheMoonandBack
    • By TheMoonandBack 20th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 83 Thanks
    TheMoonandBack
    • #2
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    • #2
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:37 PM
    Good luck with it. Not going to be easy at Christmas, but if you can cut down now, then next year will be easier.
    I came late to spending and debt reduction too. The key for me was Budget, Budget, and Budget !! It has changed my life to control what money is spent where, and be disciplined enough to stick to it - budget for coffees, takeaways etc if you want but when the money is spent, you can’t have anymore until the next month/week however you do it.
    Go for it, there’s lots of support and knowledge on here.
    When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on

    Proud to be dealing with my debts
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 20th Nov 17, 8:43 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:43 PM
    • #3
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:43 PM
    Thanks for reply.

    Think that's the problem I have lived on a such a tight budget throughout my adult life, not having any debts or mortgage over the past twelve months I haven't used a budget at all as I stupidly thought, oh will I can just dip in my savings (not the savings locked away!!!) and now those savings are gone and I am shocked how much I have spent on basically nothing

    I need to get back in my "debt free wannabee" mode and stick to a small budget that we can spend at the weekend and then hopefully I can building up my savings again
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 20th Nov 17, 8:44 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:44 PM
    • #4
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:44 PM
    Roll on payday at the end of the month and I can start a new budget and start all over again
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 20th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • 2,233 Posts
    • 10,720 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Nov 17, 8:53 PM
    I understand the urge to splurge after living frugally for so long Milly.

    If you give yourself a budget for fun things and transfer what's left into a savings account that is hard to access perhaps that would help you to save.

    Good luck with it .
    My Diary http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5716867
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 October 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund
    Emergency Fund 1 = £818/Emergency Fund 2 = £203.76
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 20th Nov 17, 9:01 PM
    • 621 Posts
    • 3,509 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 17, 9:01 PM
    • #6
    • 20th Nov 17, 9:01 PM
    good luck with it millymolly

    I transfer my no spend money to a hard to access account. Have to go to bricks and mortar branch to get it out again, stops me from dipping in casually.
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 20th Nov 17, 9:07 PM
    • 462 Posts
    • 5,647 Thanks
    117pauline
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 17, 9:07 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Nov 17, 9:07 PM
    I think you need to do something rather painful - look through your bank and credit card statements for the last quarter and work out where the money actually went. Then you will have an idea of where your weak spots are and how much you have spent on different categories.

    Then a spending diary to record all purchases, when, where, with whom and your mood. If you haven't had a budget for a year, this might help you pinpoint some more situations where the unintentional spends happen.

    I know this is all going back to basics but it sounds like you feel you need the discipline again.

    You say you have got a Christmas budget which is great. It's hard to start reigning back at this time of year but it would be good to start the New Year without overspending.

    There are so many different categories in a yearly budget, aren't there?

    So if you get your emergency fund full what are you going to save towards?

    Have a good week, keep posting
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 21st Nov 17, 3:51 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 17, 3:51 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Nov 17, 3:51 PM
    Thanks for your replies and help. One of my problems is that it is soooo easy to transfer money from other accounts with my online banking.

    I have four savings accounts. One is a fixed term which will need to be renewed next July. Hopefully I can top that account up to the next £1000 mark and re-invest in the same way for another two years.

    I have just started a regular saver for my DD wedding which is scheduled for 2019. Luckily I don't have to pay much towards the wedding, but I don't want to have to save large amounts nearer the time.

    I then have a basic savings account with £4.00 and then another account with the last of my accessible savings of £500.00. Thinking about it today I am going to put in the basic savings account an amount to cover extras each month and then the balance will go into the other account to create an emergency/holiday fund/fixed term savings top up.

    I am thinking £30.00 per weekend for coffees/breakfast/lunch etc.

    I am pretty good at food shopping. Mr T delivers and I can stick to a budget and meal plan.

    With Christmas coming up, its going to be hard to stick to the food/weekend budget but I am going to try it and then from January onwards I will seriously get my head back into my old way of budgeting.

    Hopefully this diary and reading others will keep me motivated.
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 24th Nov 17, 7:26 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    • #9
    • 24th Nov 17, 7:26 PM
    • #9
    • 24th Nov 17, 7:26 PM
    First "no spend weekend" coming up and it starts on a positive note ....DH has received his winter fuel allowance so half to me....half to him....that's £100.00 in the pot. Any major expenses like holidays are usually split 50/50 as all our finances are separate....that how we roll and its worked for 20 years so if its not broken don't fix it

    With the bad weather this weekend predicted, my DS has his football match postponed and me and DH are full of colds so we have not intention of venturing out of the front door this weekend.

    Its catch up TV and a good book (Apple Tree Yard) for me this weekend.

    Roll on payday next Thursday
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 26th Nov 17, 3:09 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    Well, weekend nearly over and I have spent £18.00 on KFC for tea yesterday and £7 at the local shop for my DS lunches. Although I have spent, its not nearly as much as I would normally waste on food.

    This is our last quiet weekend before Christmas, so am hoping I can keep the food spend down over the next few weekends.

    Stayed up till midnight to book my Mr T's delivery for Christmas and I have a midweek saver delivery paying £3.00 per month which covers what should be a £6.00 delivery charge for the Thursday before Christmas.

    Payday is Thursday this week, next one is the day before we finish for Christmas so I really need to get the last bits of Christmas present shopping done this weekend.

    So even though I have spent, things feel better and more controlled than they have been over the past twelve months.
    • millymolly22
    • By millymolly22 1st Dec 17, 7:19 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    millymolly22
    Pay day was yesterday....have put money away for Christmas gifts and money into my savings. My aim is to spend no more than £20.00 per weekend on food eaten out of the house. That's where my downfall is.

    Bills paid and gas, electric and broadband/phone are all in credit. Need to pick up a few last stocking fillers this weekend.

    Family get together this weekend, but hopefully won't spend too much.
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