My diary... becoming debt free whilst still having a life!!!

Hi everyone,
I thought I would join the diary club... and start one of my very own.

It is the 1st September and that means we are a few days off 3 months since our LBM. At that point in time we were living in a very big overdraft every month and it was going to be the first month we would have gone over our limit if we didn't take some very drastic action, hence the LBM. The OD was only one of our many debts (total £26k at LBM):eek:

Here we are three months later and life feels much better, this week I have to pay out the following:

car tax for DH - £101.75
bus pass for DS - £193
childcare for DD - £120
new school uniforms/shoes etc. - £50
new hoover - £100
about £565 in total

and for the first time ever, ever, ever we have the money to pay it. Since the beginning of July I have every week without fail put money aside (and will continue to do so) to ensure we have the money needed to pay for these bills when they crop up. In the past at least two or three would have gone on a credit card. We still owe what we owe, but that is coming down slowly and we have had a whole month without putting anything on CR (and that was to keep my car on the road... I'm sure you will remember me moaning!!).

We have been successful in getting two 0% cc's, the latest being the virgin 15 months, so we are hoping to transfer some of the OD onto that. DH is considering a 2nd job (basic wage) but local and two nights a week, it would mean an extra £300 per month and could be the difference between us staying on interest only on the mortgage or converting back. We swapped over in July to start focussing on these debts and then when they are gone we will convert back and throw all the extra income a month at the mortgage.

I am snowballing, quidco - ing, mystery shopping, ebaying you name it I am doing it. We are withdrawing cash weekly to live on, and menu planning and only spending £60 a week for the four of us. I was worried that once the novelty wore off we would creep back to our old ways, but as we go into month four we are just as determined as we were on day one.

Our view of money, debt and INTEREST CHARGES, has completely changed. I am ashamed to say that I couldn't (before LBM) have told you the rates on my cc, overdraft, next card etc. I had no idea how much my monthly payment was actually taking off my debt each month and hadn't even considered moving things around to pay less!!! drrr... Now I feel in control, like we have a plan, like we are being responsible, mature and sensible about our debt.

I feel like we are lucky.... Lucky to have a nice home, healthy, happy children, jobs, food on the table and clothes on our back. I can sleep at night knowing I am doing as much as I can to improve things and I am pleased that I am no longer in denial.

I think that is it, when I first started coming to this forum, I thought there was no hope for us, now I have HOPE.:T

Thanks to everyone that has taken time to offer advice and support and I will stop waffling now and end this long post.
Snowball balance today £24600:D

The good you do comes back to you.
DFW Long haul supporters No: 134


  • LilacPixie
    LilacPixie Posts: 8,052 Forumite
    Fantastic news. You will start to find that month on month you snowball total will reduce and that will spurr you on.

    I understand totally what you mean about your view of debt. Last year i was of the opinion that a 10 year loan would be paid off in 10 years, a 25 year mortgage would be clear in 25 years. It did not occure to me that while we were spending money on non essential crap we were actually wasting 3-4 times as much by not clearing our debts quicker. As a result I have decided I class my mortgage to be a debt just like i do an overdraft or credit card.
    MF aim 10th December 2020 :j:eek:
    MFW 2012 no86 OP 0/2000 :D
  • Thanks Lilac, I agree in fact I think the real impact of the LBM is to understand the value of every, penny. I can honestly say I used to deal with every spend in isolation, e.g. it's only a £40 top, not bad price etc. This has changed completely now, and instead I think of ALL the things I could buy with that £40 at the supermarket, or how I could overpay something!!!
    The good you do comes back to you.
    DFW Long haul supporters No: 134
  • I thought I would write my money saving to do list for my last few days before returning to work after the six week break:

    Between the 1st and the 8th Sept have a min of 3 NSD
    Check online banking and update spreadsheets
    Write complaint letter to Virgin regarding telephone fiasco (this should result in some financial compensation, e.g. a months bill wiped off, so worth doing)
    Get a new quote for buildings and contents insurance

    Night night.
    The good you do comes back to you.
    DFW Long haul supporters No: 134
  • Hello diary.... (and anyone reading)
    Today is on target to be a NSD, DD has a friend around to play and DS is mooching....!!!! (help me to live with a teenager, we are only 6 months in and some days it is soooo hard).

    I have checked online banking and all 1st month SO and DD are out, so that means FD cc and od have both been sent a payment.

    Couldn't sleep last night, I seem to have these real highs about the fact that we are now in control and they are almost always followed by a low.... of how did we get in this mess etc. etc.

    I go back to work next week after six weeks off, so if anyone sees me signed on here after 11pm, tell me to go to bed!!! I am staying up far too late and then not wanting to wake in the morning, as well as not being able to sleep when I get to bed because I am forever doing sums in my head, or dreaming of how that lottery win would be spent!!

    MUST GET OUT MORE!!!! :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Anyway, better go and feed three hungry children and then crack on with the ironing.

    Hope everyone is well and thanks for reading.
    The good you do comes back to you.
    DFW Long haul supporters No: 134
  • sistercas
    sistercas Posts: 4,803
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
    well done for starting this rubydoiwannabee I will read it it regularly.
    I know what you mean about being able to pay for stuff. we are in a similar situation and this month i have been able to pay for new school stuff without putting it on a cc:j. As you say the debt is still there ( going down very slowly) before joining here I would have had to put it all on a cc even had to put food on a cc before now:eek:

    good luck with the diary and first day back at work ( my DH's first day back today too after 6 weeks)
  • Thanks Sistercas,
    It'll be nice to know someone is popping in regularly. How was your trip to the London Eye?

    The good you do comes back to you.
    DFW Long haul supporters No: 134
  • sistercas
    sistercas Posts: 4,803
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
    london eye was great :j DH didnt think so though he had to sit down and close his eyes while it went over the top:rotfl:
    thought london was fabulous we tried to do all the touristy stuff got blisters 'cos we walked so far. DD's are desperate to go back. they were star struck cos they saw the boy who won Britains Got Talent ( who they both fancy:rotfl: ) and Catherine Tate in Covent Garden.

    glad things are going ok at the mo x
  • Good luck with the diary Ruby. Sounds like you are making really good progress. I am back at work this week too so commiserations. Hope it might be cheaper than with children at home all day though!
    Getting there...slowly! :D

    GC : must do better
    NSD: very rare

    No matter how slow I go I am lapping everyone on the couch.
  • sistercas
    sistercas Posts: 4,803
    Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
    Hope it might be cheaper than with children at home all day though!
    i'll second that!
  • Sistercas, London sounds great I do love it there, although I haven't been on the london eye. Seeing celebrities must have made it better too!!

    Yorkshire Belle, thanks for you kind words. I know what you mean about it being cheaper when the kids go back. DD goes back on Thursday and DS on Friday. I will work from home on Thursday and then go back properly next week.:eek: The only trouble is my petrol bill will go back up to £30pw because I have to drive 25 miles each way to work.

    I managed a NSD today, but have promised the children we will go to the market tomorrow and get fruit for a crumble... so will be spending tomorrow.

    There was a job in our local paper advertising mystery shopping opportunities, so I have emailed then tonight. Also received £10 in the post today for a mystery shop from a few weeks ago.

    I am determined to be in bed and asleep before 11.30 tonight, so quick update on here and sign off.

    Night night.

    The good you do comes back to you.
    DFW Long haul supporters No: 134
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