Over-spent 12k+ ish, oops. Please help turn me around! Need to save similar amount

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
5 replies 902 views
GlynGGlynG Forumite
89 Posts
Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
I am *useless* with money and pretty useless in general at the moment. I inherited 25k or so from when my gran passed away 5 years back. Some went to clear undergrad overdraft debt and on reasonable things but about 12k ish just seems to have been spent, I'm not really sure where it went (I’ve checked the back of the sofa), but I suspect the majority must have gone on drinking and socialising, (metaphorical) shiny trinkets and bits and pieces of everyday life these last years I guess. There certainly has been a *lot* of drinking and socialising these last years.

I'm 26 and have never really had any idea what I wanted to do with my life - well workwise anyway - until recently when I have come across something I really want to do. Unfortunately it involves leaving work to go back to Uni full time again for a two year course - the unfortunately part just being in the sense of needing to find course fees + money to live for 2 years. If I'd decided this years back or saved the money this could have paid for it but now I have nowhere near enough. I'll need a max career development loan and student overdraft but also to save like crazy for a couple of years, probably get a second job, hardly go out rather than going out all the time and generally go against my nature and habit and be very dedicated, all of which are going to be hard and I don't know if I'll succeed.

Examples of how financially useless I'm being:
  • I haven't checked my bank statements for a good 6 months and can't remember any of the passwords.
  • I don't actually know how much money I have even to the nearest thousand.
  • I pay the bills for our shared house but still haven't worked out how much I've paid or what the others owe me.
  • I have no budget or really any clue how much I spend, I just buy things if I fancy them.
  • I pay £30 a month on a contract I've had for years but hardly use and haven't got round to haggling down
  • I'm paying interest on some money from an overdraft when I have savings elsewhere that could negate it.
This isn’t good no? I’m quite depressed, unmotivated, very, very forgetful and just too good at sticking my head in the sand and avoiding it, which just makes the problems continue and get worse. Perhaps posting this publically might help encourage/embarrass me to make a real effort to sort my finances out. Any suggestions / cunning plans?

Roughly how much could I realistically save from take home pay of £1,150? I pay £260 rent per month and have a quarter share of househould bills for a decent sized house. I don’t drive and have zero transport costs as I walk to work.

Thanks, Glyn


  • ChasingButterfliesChasingButterflies Forumite
    945 Posts
    Hi Glyn,

    I guess if you have found something that you really want to do then you need to use that as the motivation to move forward from where you are now.

    In your postition my first moves would be:

    Look at your statements - figure out exactly what you have in savings and exactly what your debts/obligations are.

    Set up spread sheets to track what you have and where it goes (I know this sounds really sad but I use this method for tracking spending in our current account/what is spent on the credit card/and the savings that we have - with the savings I have "pots" so an amount is allocated to each item that we are saving for :o I also have a running total of how much interest we earn per month as a motivation not to remove money from the account *cringe*)

    Keep a spending diary to track your day to day spending (i.e. 1st Feb sounds like a good time to start :D)

    Try and plan your meals - take a lunch to work etc and go to the supermarket with a list (or use mysupermarket.com and get it delivered - the delivery charge is less than all the *extra* stuff I would buy if I acutally went to the supermarket) There a loads of ideas on the oldstyle board for lunches that aren't a sarnie and quick/easy/cheap suppers.

    Have a look on the Debt free wannabe board to see how far you could cut back - to maximise your savings potential (I think there are links for a spending diary and statement of affairs on there)

    Don't beat yourself up about what is gone - you can change things.

    That is all I can think of for now - once you know where you stand you should be able to see how long it would take you to save your target amount with no changes and how much quicker you would get there with small changes and if you are feeling brave, how long if you really cut back.

    Sorry grammer/spelling probably a mess - it is late:rolleyes:

    All the best - hope to see you back with a plan!
  • I think you're doing great.

    Reasons -

    1. You're young, and have clearly clearly enjoyed the last few years. That's nothing to feel guilty about.

    2. You've realised that you are spending at unsustainable levels and need now to draw a line under your spending, and you have done this before it is too late. This is extremely good, and rarely happens in my experience.

    3. You now have a career goal, and are starting to take positive steps towards it. And this is something very positive.

    4. Don't think "unfortunately" about university. You sould find these years as the best of your life.

    I certainly don't think you should be worrying, and certainly not depressed. You can get very low interest student loans to help with study which should be taken even if you don't don't necessarily need them.

    But I agree you are right to take stock of your finances and chase that money that is owed to you. You are clear about what needs to be done - it's just a case now of finding the motivation to do it. I think once you start, you'll get it done relatively quickly.

    I think overall you are in a very positive position - one that most people would envy. Well done!
  • cmc_entertainmentcmc_entertainment Forumite
    338 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    DFW board?

    And to post a SOA [State Of Affairs], listing EVERYTHING incoming/outgoing.
    - link:

  • GlynGGlynG Forumite
    89 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10 Posts Combo Breaker
    Is it possible to move this thread to the Debt Free Wanabee section instead please? Does anyone know a nice mod around anyone knows who could help? (I’m hoping this will be possible but couldn’t see a way to do it myself) That section did seem to have the most relevant threads, I was just put off as, technically, I’m not really in debt as such, but a couple of people have mentioned it now and it would probably be better there.

    Thanks for the encouragement all :) I’ve been thinking about things, but have been very busy with various things so haven’t really got into it properly yet.

    I’m planning to start keeping track of everything I spend, though not starting quite as soon as the 1st. This seems a good idea to carry on with and I’ll need it to have any idea what figures are reasonable for a SOA. I am going to go through O2 retentions to reduce my bill and get a new mobile (having been paying more than I need to for an old one for years), I then intend to make a record on it every time I spend something, which can later then be transferred to the computer. This is being held up by a lack of time and needing to find the charger for my current phone (lost somewhere in the detritus of my room) so I can call them and sort it out.
    4. Don't think "unfortunately" about university. You sould find these years as the best of your life.
    God yeah, I agree with that. Looking back I see I phrased my original point badly there so the meaning was mangled; university life is great, the unfortunate part was just the financial difficulty of getting there.
    I certainly don't think you should be worrying, and certainly not depressed. You can get very low interest student loans to help with study which should be taken even if you don't don't necessarily need them.
    Yeah... it’s not just financial worry that’s caused me to be depressed though sadly; my mum passed away just over a year ago and she was the only immediate family I ever had, so it’s been hard.
  • 456789456789 Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    to have it moved pm a board guide or admin:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/member.html?u=79326 is the board guide for this section
This discussion has been closed.
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