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    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 3rd Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    • 152Posts
    • 208Thanks
    Storm89
    2 years to smash the debt !
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 2:45 PM
    2 years to smash the debt ! 3rd Jan 18 at 2:45 PM
    I'm starting a new diary because I didn't keep my last one up and I'm feeling rubbish about not paying off as much as I had wanted. My last target was to be debt free by the summer of 2020 but I'm determined to set a new target of December 2019. Taking it a year at a time though, so aiming for debt to be £10k by December and savings to be £3k (currently have no savings at all). I need to do this for my kids, I wish I could give them experiences and not have to cut back so much because of the silly mess we're in.

    As it stands the debt is
    Credit Card 1 - £6,330.83 0% ends in March
    Credit Card 2- £7,660.01 0% ends in November
    Credit Card 3- £1,873.59 0% ends in June
    Total - £16,027.43
    I need to figure out how to start shifting some of that debt onto other 0% cards soon I just don't know how to go about it. A card we have with zero balance has offered us 0% for 12 months and the amount we could transfer is around £5100 so not enough to cover the card that's up in March. So I'm not sure what to do really about this. I'm considering getting another 0% card but worry we won't get accepted.
    We're a family of 4 with a 7 year old and 4 year old and income from all sources is
    £2816

    Outgoings are
    £1516.62

    It gives us a surplus of £1299.38. I don't want to put it all on the debt but we're setting aside £500 a month for that. I've also created some savings accounts on my mobile banking that I've named and decided to set aside each month:
    General Savings - £250
    Very- £100
    Clothes- £40
    Center Parcs- £100
    Christmas and Birthdays- £100
    Anything we manage to save on top of this will pay off debt
    Having no savings in 2017 meant I had to use Very to buy things we needed. A hoover, pushchair, washing machine etc. We now have a balance of £1000 on there that's interest free as long as I pay within 12 months of when we purchased the items. I should count this in my total debt but it's too depressing to do so and I'll be paying it off anyway

    I've booked us a little holiday at Center Parcs for October half term. We've not been away at all last year and won't be going anywhere else until then , I just felt that I wanted to get the balance between paying off debt and having a little treat. I'll be using this thread to write my ramblings even if nobody reads it !
    Last edited by Storm89; 03-01-2018 at 2:51 PM.
Page 4
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 9th Jan 18, 9:46 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Today will be a bit of a spendy day, £10 for parking at the concert & similar amount for petrol to get there and back. I think I'd overestimated the petrol costs at £20 for today & it should be closer to £10.
    Will be beans on toast for tea for me, DH and DD then we're heading off at about 4.45pm . Mother-in-law is coming to watch my daughter whilst we're at the concert and I've said it doesn't matter if she stays awake until we get back, she can always have the day off tomorrow if needed. I've never left her in the evening before so I'll be a bit apprehensive, but will enjoy going to watch the concert.
    I also have an irrational fear about terrorism, it's a kids concert with schools from all over the country taking part and after what happened in Manchester, knowing that kids were targeted, I get quite nervous. We won't be able to take DS home after the concert, the bus will take the kids back to school and parents collect them from there at 10.30pm - school doesn't start for them until 10am tomorrow morning so they can have a lie in.
    In other news, the minimum payment for Sainsbury's has gone out - £173 which means I only have the AMEX to pay off on Monday (after using it once more for petrol this weekend).
    Jobs today include
    - re-checking finances to ensure nothing has changed and we still have enough to get us to the end of the month
    -cleaning entire house for mother-in-law coming to babysit
    - calling the school photography people again about ordering photos in february , still haven't had a reply since I called last week.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 10th Jan 18, 9:04 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    The concert was amazing. They said there were 6580 children singing , I got so emotional. It's the first time my son has ever been to a venue that big , let alone perform. My daughter was fine being left with MIL (have never left her before and was really worried) but was still awake when we got back. The bus got back to school at 10pm and the kids didn't end up going to sleep until gone 11pm.
    We treated it like a little night out but didn't want to spend money on food at the venue so we stopped at a tesco express on the way and got some snacks; cookies, drinks etc- cost £5.85 on the debit card. Then DH has topped up with £10 petrol this morning on the AMEX. I had initially budgeted £20 for the petrol to & from the concert but realised it was closer to £10 after, so we could afford the snacks. Then parking cost £10 which I booked online before we got there - via debit card.
    Today will be a NSD as not going anywhere . I think tea will be chicken and leek pies with mashed potato (just need to check what's in date in the fridge) Only 5 more days until we can pay off the AMEX and start transferring the money around. I love our mindset now, we're so focused. We were chatting on the way to the concert about how determined we are to pay off the debt by Christmas 2019. & how our habits will change when it's gone , the way we view credit has totally changed.
    We owe £600 to Center Parcs by 8th August - we figured out though that if we keep putting £100 a month into there from february we will have the money by July. The plan is to keep putting £100 a month in before we go which will give us £3/400 spending money . I'm exactly like debtagh in that holidays are my weakness, but I never relax whilst on holiday cos of fretting about how I'm going to pay it off & having to say no to the kids constantly.
    I hope this positive thinking stays with me throughout the year !
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 10th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    fatrab
    £10 for parking at a venue. Ridiculous amount to be charging really when you think about it, daylight robbery! Unless the venue was Heathrow airport lol


    Glad you had a good time and had the conversation, if you're both in a similar mindset it definitely helps. I'm not convinced that my wife shares my enthusiasm.
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 10lbs lost so far
    10 x £2 coins (#32) - 9/12 NSD in January
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 10th Jan 18, 10:48 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    I know it's extortionate isn't it ! It was at Genting Arena at the NEC in Birmingham.
    That must be difficult if your wife isn't as on board as you, it's hard to keep frugal if you're both not determined to do it. Over the years we've both been in different places with how we feel about the debt but now we're both in the same mindset it's making it easier. Hopefully she'll reach the same enthusiasm as you once she sees the debt going down
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 10th Jan 18, 10:36 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    We've done a little working out for the year ahead in terms of income and outgoings (will do a proper SOA in Feb) and it actually turns out that we should have a bit more money leftover than initially thought , even after putting all the payments into the savings accounts. It worked out at £326 a month leftover after debt repayments, and the money being paid into various saving pots. February and March will be £126 more than this because of no council tax to pay. This was with over-budgeting things like food and petrol slightly so I'm insanely pleased with that.
    I know what you'll all be thinking - stick it on the debt . BUT we're not going to do that. We had merlin annual passes a few years ago and loved them, we considered it for this year but then thought about the added petrol throughout the year of visiting all these places (was proud of us here, in the past we'd have stuck it on the credit card) Alton Towers is very close to us and they're now offering season passes for £55 per person so we've decided that in March , at the start of the season, with money saved ourselves , we'll be getting some. We also have plans for 2 camping trips throughout the summer . one for 1 night (£26) and one for 3 nights (£45) Even with doing these things, we should still have a fairly decent chunk leftover at the end of the year , in addition to the £3000 I want to have in 'general savings' .
    My target is to get the debt down to £10k by December so whatever I am off that by the end of the year, I'll chuck savings at to get it to the target. Going into 2019 we will reassess how to go forward, as we want the debt to be completely gone by Christmas 2019 . Weather that means using up a lot more of our savings at the end of the year, or increasing monthly payments; either way the debt will be gone by December 2019.
    I feel like we are taking the 'middle ground' when it comes to debt repayment. Some people would say chuck all your money at the debt, or at least more than we are doing now. But what if something comes up that we need to pay for and we have no money as we've thrown it all at the debt? we'll have to use the credit card. Children are only young once, we are very fortunate to be able to treat the kids to little trips out whilst paying off the debt we got ourselves into through our own stupidity, not theirs. Last year was a totally different story and a total flop in terms of debt repayment. We didn't have the income we do this year, and we were constantly having to dip into the credit cards, coupled with all the personal issues we had; I was glad to see the back of 2017 is all I'll say !
    Other people might take a slower approach by enjoying themselves alongside paying off the debt and take a lot longer to pay it off. Or may not have the money leftover each month to do anything at all - like us last year. Once people have had their lightbulb moment and are totally committed, everyone's journey will differ. I feel like giving ourselves 2 years is just the right thing for us. I want to build up the savings this year and enjoy ourselves a little (not too much, I won't overspend!) and then we can go into our final year of debt repayment with some savings behind us should anything terrible happen. We all do things our own way, and I'm confident this is right for us.
    I can't explain how content I feel right now , after such an awful time last year and feeling like we were drowning in debt and personal problems, to see the light at the end of the tunnel just 2 years away feels amazing. WE WILL DO THIS !
    • Choccygirl123
    • By Choccygirl123 11th Jan 18, 8:45 AM
    • 67 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Choccygirl123
    Wow storm, just catching up on your diary abd you certainly have got your motivation sorted!

    My friend’s children sang too and she said it was an amazing evening. Its a great experience and there’s not many people have sung to an audience that size.

    I love your last post about everyone’s mindset and each journey is different. I feel like we’re coasting at the minute, but in reality I’m trying to lay the foundations and form the good habits we need for 6 months. Your post has me thinking me need to set a debt free target date to give me something to focus on.

    Hope you have a great no spend day x
    Want to join quidco? If you pm i'll send you a link that gives you a £7.50 credit on your account when you start using it.

    Want to try muscle foods for great quality meat at a brilliant price? use my referral code HL763847 to add a free item worth roughly £5 on your first delivery!
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 11th Jan 18, 9:46 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Hey Choccy thanks for reading - I was just about to go to bed before my last post and we'd had a really good chat beforehand so I think I was just feeling empowered and typed it all down pahaha.
    Yeah the singing was was such a good experience for the kids , I wasn't expecting it to be as good as it was or so many children! I wasn't sure what to expect from it really but like your friend said it was an amazing evening.
    Setting a date is a good idea, it can always change. My target before was August 2020 and then I looked at the finances this year and realised we could do it a lot sooner. I also agree about good habits, I'm trying to stick to them but having little treats each month so we don't end up splurging on something. It's helping that we're both on the same page. March of last year it came out that we had nearly £19k of debt and we just felt so deflated and like we'd never reach the end. We had a big back pay from something in August and were looking forward to paying off some more debt but then the car needed repairs because the gearbox broke, then the carpet needed replacing in the house cos of my daughter smearing, hubby had the accident in the car and then it was Christmas lol. I feel like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel now with being able to save for every eventuality. Looking at your signature, just not adding to the debt is huge because that can easily happen can't it and it's so disheartening when it does.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 11th Jan 18, 9:59 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Onto today - yesterday was a NSD and today will be the same. Hubby has a meeting late tonight so won't be back until 8pm. Me and the kids are having coriander and lime chicken with new potatoes and carrots for tea. It's quite chicken heavy this week because I had lots going out of date haha. Despite only spending £60 a week on food, my fridge is always full and we're having such great meals from the savvy shopper cookbook. We're following the meat free meal plan next week because I feel we've had quite a lot of meat this week.
    We've planned the weekend in advance & my dad is coming over on Saturday to collect his birthday present after my brother's rugby (saves us petrol) & then we're going for a family walk on Sunday . Whenever we plan family walks it never goes brilliantly as my daughter can't walk far and we just end up stressed and shouting at each other , but hey that's family life hahaha
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 11th Jan 18, 11:05 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    fatrab
    Definitely ordering that cookbook!
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 10lbs lost so far
    10 x £2 coins (#32) - 9/12 NSD in January
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 12th Jan 18, 9:46 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Yesterday was, indeed, a NSD. Tea was amazing it's a shame my husband had stale sandwiches at work during the meeting haha. My son has swimming lessons tonight so we'll have tea beforehand. I've spent a couple of days defrosting some basa fillets in the fridge so we'll be having the fish with lemon and butter parsley sauce . Will serve it with some microwavable rice I got in a hamper off the in laws for Christmas and some roasted butternut squash. This is from the cookbook of course ! earlier in the week we had butternut squash risotto which needed half a butternut squash , so the other half will be roasted for today's tea. I really like how the menus utilise everything on the shopping list and nothing ever goes to waste. I still have half a lemon to put on the fish tonight after I used the juice of the other half for the marinade to go on the chicken yesterday. I know I'm rambling now but I'm just so pleased with how much money we're saving and how well we're eating !!
    Jobs for today include cleaning the washing machine and starting this weeks washing. I always do my washing Friday through Monday. I also need to spend the day ironing , need to empty the ironing basket to make room for this weeks clean washing. It's been set in stone now that my dad is coming over tomorrow afternoon to collect his present so I'll have to make sure the house is all clean and tidy for the weekend & get his present wrapped. Hoping for another no spend day today
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 12:12 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 4,336 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi, just wanted to stop by to say hello. I've just read through your diary and really admire your courage in the decision you made - I'm not sure how I'd be when faced with such a dilemma but you have done the right thing for you and your two kids.

    You've got great enthusiasm for getting this debt paid off! We have around £20k of debt that we're tackling but we are also paying it off while living. We are going on holiday this year (ahem...twice...) but are still paying down the debt at around £600p/m with more being thrown at it later this year.

    As you say, everyone is different and we've spent the last 5 years skint because of two mat leaves and £1.4k per month childcare bills. We now want to enjoy life as well as getting rid of the debt so i understand at your reluctance to throw everything at the debt.

    All the best, and i'll keep popping in to see how you're getting on
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 12th Jan 18, 12:56 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Hi JoJo, thanks so much for reading through . Your figure is close to what ours was at the beginning of last year (we had around £19k debt in January 2017) and the same as you again , we've had some really tough financial difficulties which has meant we can't treat the kids as much as we'd like and have had to say NO an awful lot. We're very lucky to have had an increase in salary this year and it's given me the motivation to clear the debts . I think the fact that we have more surplus each month to save for holidays etc, encourages me to cut back on other expenses like unnecessary food and clothes spending. It's very hard not to look back on the decision we made last year and think "if only it had happened now, we have enough money to have made a different decision" but my husband tells me to look at it like "we have this extra money , let's give the kids we have a life they deserve" I think I'll always regret it in some way but I really appreciate you commenting , I'd hate for people to assume we didn't think long and hard about it.
    We will probably increase our payments to £600 a month from next year as we won't have Very to save for. I'll see where we are with savings at the end of the year and probably use a chunk to pay off a bit more debt after Christmas. I'm also wanting another holiday next year , can't help myself haha. Enjoy your two holidays this year , where are you off? x
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jan 18, 1:01 PM
    • 1,329 Posts
    • 4,336 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I don't think anyone could ever accuse you of taking your decision lightly - we've always said that despite not wanting any more kids, we never would go down that route but you just don't know what situation you're going to find yourself in. If your decision is right for you and your family, that's all that matters.

    We are off to Tenerife with the kids for a week in the Easter holidays and then a week in France with my parents, sister and BIL. I love travelling and seeing new places so taking the kids to explore the world a bit is really important to me. As long as I do it within financial boundaries then I'll be happy!

    Reading about your holidays made me think about my financial commitments to holidays this year so i've just laid it all out on my diary to keep me right and accountable.

    2017 brought me a new job with a £5k salary increase and my eldest starting school in August so that was a huge financial burden lifted off us in terms of childcare (£500p/m saving) so we're getting there and trying to arrange money allocation wisely (particularly in 2018 part 2 after the holidays are done).

    I suppose you don't know what the future is going to bring so all you can do is plan well and roll with the punches
    CC1: £3804.52 / £3544.32 £300.20 paid | CC2:£5027.53 / £4781 £295 paid | Loan: £15,000 / £11,954 (£3,156 paid)

    July debt total: £23,832.05 | New debt total: £20,129 | Total debt paid: £3,703 (16%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 12th Jan 18, 1:26 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    we actually did want the third child (had even discussed 4 kids many moons ago) and still ended up making the decision. I remember myself saying "I aren't against it, but don't think I could do it myself" and then I ended up making that awful decision. I don't feel 'done' but I truly in my heart feel I couldn't have another baby now as it would feel like a betrayal.
    I just saw your holidays booked on your diary - once we get into feb and all the money is shifted around I think I'll write up the plan I have in my head for the year. Like you say, the future might not go as we'd like but I'll give it a good go . We'd better have nice weather this year to make up for not going abroad lol.
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 13th Jan 18, 9:14 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Happy Saturday
    Had a little chat with the husband last night about money and although we're aiming for debt to be £10k by the end of the year, any savings we happen to have by then we may chuck a lot at the debt, leaving a £1k float. This isn't set in stone, I think we'll make a decision when the time comes and it depends on how the year goes. Our big aim is to be debt free by December 2019. I have also decided I actually do want a holiday next year. It feels so good having Center Parcs to look forward to this year , I think it helps keep me focused.
    I'm not very happy with hubby at the moment , I went downstairs this morning and he's polished off all the shortbread we had left from Christmas plus ate 4 dairy lea dunkers packets. I think he's fallen off the waggon with his diet but that also leaves the kids with not a lot to snack on. The food had been brought over by my mother-in-law (things she had got for Christmas that they weren't eating, so I was hoping they would last us until Monday when we do the shopping). I have made a pact with myself that I'll only do the shopping once a week , so everyone will have to wait. I am baking daily at least.
    Thai green chicken curry for tea tonight , not sure if the kids will eat it so they can have beans on toast if they want. Then we're going to spend £1 on a bag of sweets for them to share whilst we all watch a film. We used to spend £20 easily on a Friday night, buying hot pizzas from sainsbury's deli, loads of sweets and cookies etc. I dread to think how much money I wasted on food, even walking back from school I'd pop into Sainsbury's and buy sweets or chocolates, probably daily !
    Today will be a little bit spendy. Got dancing lessons this morning £3.50 and then my son has a party next weekend so we will need to buy a present plus a card for the birthday girl. We also need some batteries for some toys in the house. Then tomorrow will be around £20 petrol on the Virgin Atlantic credit card (I think this may take us up to about £200 total on that card).
    Have a great saturday
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 13th Jan 18, 10:24 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    fatrab
    I'm experiencing a similar issue with Mrs fatrab. It's difficult enough to get her to talk about and agree to things (diet and money plans), let alone having eyes on the back of my head to make sure she sticks to them.


    I ordered the cookbook this morning so thanks for that recommendation. Got a used one for £4 on eb@y with free delivery so it hardly broke the bank and when I'm done with it I'll send it to the next person who I see on here that needs it.


    Have a nice weekend
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 10lbs lost so far
    10 x £2 coins (#32) - 9/12 NSD in January
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 13th Jan 18, 11:36 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Hi fatrab that's the trouble I'm having . He didn't understand why I was so mad ! I do think he's on board most of the time though with the money , it's just the food is his weakness. He said he would be more focused if I joined him (I don't have as much to lose as him) so I did and he still can't keep it up lol. I got the book for £4.99 on amazon prime, it might have gone up in price now though it was on offer at the time. I'm using the meal plans off the website , purely because they give you a shopping list too and I can't really think for myself haha.
    I've just had a bit of a drama when I checked the virgin atlantic credit card account. It was showing a balance of £265 which was far too much. Mcafee had taken £90 & automatically renewed the virus software we had. I worked out if we could afford to pay it and we can't. Luckily I contacted them (frantically online chatting with them in the waiting room of dancing lessons) and they've agreed to refund the amount , should be back on my card within 5-7 working days. It does set back the plan for transferring balances but as long as everything is done by 31st January that's fine - will be tight but hopefully we can manage it. They offered to give me 50% off if I agreed to pay there and then but I just didn't have the money. I was so gutted because this would have been perfect if I actually had the money spare. What I'll have to do is pay full price next month using any money leftover from debt repayments and savings accounts (should be over £400 left if I've calculated it right). I'll shop around for a good deal at the time.
    Too much drama for one day - about to make egg on toast for dinner and do a little baking since there's no snacks left for the kids.
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 13th Jan 18, 5:59 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    fatrab
    I did find when I dieted in the past that the only way I stopped eating snacks was if I didn't have them in the house. Not an easy thing to do if you have hungry kids around! Try padlocking the cupboards? (Lol)

    At least you got your money back. Damn auto renew should be outlawed!
    LBM Dec 2017 - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022 - Wannalose 3st in the process - 10lbs lost so far
    10 x £2 coins (#32) - 9/12 NSD in January
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 13th Jan 18, 6:10 PM
    • 599 Posts
    • 2,322 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done for contacting Macafee and getting the money back. I had a similar thing happen last year and it was thanks to a fellow forum user I realised you could do that.

    I try to bake daily too...teenage sons make it a necessity!!

    I can well understand trying to get the balance between living life with young children and getting the debt down. It's striking that balance which is different for each family.
    paydbx #93 £155/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 13th Jan 18, 10:52 PM
    • 152 Posts
    • 208 Thanks
    Storm89
    Thanks guys was pleased with myself for sorting it out . I didn't know it could be done just had a google and it said so on the website. yay to daily baking honeysuckle - I'm enjoying it but hard not to eat it all. We got a bag of sweets for £1.09 tonight which the kids shared whilst watching a film. I'm pretty pleased with that if it's all we spend on a Saturday night.
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