Mrs Sparkle's sparkly debt diary

in Debt Free Diaries
443 replies 19.9K views
Forgive my self-indulgence but I think I need to keep writing this down so I keep focused. I had a sleepless night last night- kept thinking "26 THOUSAND POUNDS" over and over- what a lot of money and not much to show for it either.

It's been a bad month this month due to some necessary expenses and my total debt actually went up rather than down which I beat myself up about for a few days. I know September's payslip will be put to better DFW use and I'm counting the days down till it arrives in my bank account. It's sad isn't it that I'm wishing my life away like this?

Anyway, a bit about myself: I'm 35, married with an unexpected (but welcome!) baby on the way. I'm due in February and my aim is to get my debt below £20K by the time baby arrives. I have managed to collect a good variety of unisex baby clothes by sniping eBay items in the last couple of minutes and by rummaging through sales piles. If I do need to buy anything new I intend to do this through Quidco wherever possible- see, I am learning!

This week has been a good week. I used to spend an obscene amount of money on food- seriously, after work I'd pop into M+S to grab 2 curries, 2 pilau rice, naan breads, pickles, a bottle of wine, something sweet... suddenly I was handing my Switch card over for £18 for one meal :eek: My weekly visits to Tesco used to cost £80-90. This week I have spent £35 on the weekly bill and £10 of that was for a huge sack of dried cat food. We haven't gone hungry at all- on Tuesday we had a gorgeous home made vegetable soup with dumplings- ate half, froze half, total cost about £1.20. Last night we had a pasta bake with mushrooms, chorizo and a tin of haricot beans and it was yummy. Hubby tonight has a ready made chicken meal which came out of the freezer from a previous month's spend and I'm having the leftover pasta from last night.

I've also had 2 no spend days this week and am on target for a 3rd today. Now if only I could have lived like this 3 years ago I would not be in the situation I am in today!
Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
currently: £13,353.25
DFW Nerd 178
Proud to be dealing with my debts
«13456745

Replies

  • Go for it Mrs Sparkle.

    We'll all keep an eye on your progress and apply encouragement :T and tell you off :naughty: as and when required!

    Do you want to post both a breakdown of your debts and your SOA so we can see what you're up against? I know you've probably done it before but it might be worth having all under one thread...

    DDDK :money:
    LBM: Nov 2004 Debt Apr06: £19,273.46 (Highest)
    Debt 2006: Jul:£18,552.06|Aug:£17,615.14|Sep:£16,297.98|Oct:£15,961|Nov:£15,760.66|Dec:£13,204.37
    Debt 2007: Jan:£13,183.71|Feb:£13,851.03|Mar:£13,349.15|April:£12,997.33 | May: £12,300.00 | June: £12,000 | July: £9,894.44 |Aug:£0
    Debt Free Date: 31 August 2007
    The £2 Coin Savers Club = £72
    Reclaiming my bank charges - £105 reclaimed
    My Diary: http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=230561
  • Good idea DDDK.

    OK, total debts are £25,757.75

    Egg loan £15,377.82
    Egg card £4510.56
    Mint card £2122
    &More card: £1430
    First Direct Gold card £2317.37

    SOA to follow soon...
    Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
    currently: £13,353.25
    DFW Nerd 178
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • OK, here's my SOA:

    Income

    Salary: 2592.71
    Other: 650.00 (hubby pays me standing order for his share of mortgage)

    Total: 3242.71

    Outgoings

    Mortgage 1400.00
    Mortgage ins. 56.78
    Life ins. (me) 11.19
    Life ins. (H) 11.36
    Home ins. 25.71
    Contents ins. 15.63
    Pet ins. (2 cats) 14.21
    Oyster card (rail travel) 121.40
    Cancer Research 5.00
    Gym 36.95 (tied in till April)
    Christmas + presents 20.00 (average throughout year)
    Vet bills 20.00 (average throughout year for non-insured items such as innoculations, worming tablets etc)
    Food 250.00 (2 adults + 2 cats, trying to reduce this further)
    Toiletries 10.00
    Entertainment 100.00
    Clothes 75.00
    Gas, electricity, phone, broadband, TV licence all 0.00 hubby pays
    Mobile 0.00 work pays

    Debt paying:
    Egg loan: 399.25
    FD Gold card: 200.00
    Mint card: 100.00
    Egg card: 100.00
    &More card: 100.00

    Total: 3072.48

    Any comments are welcome. Tellings off and encouragement are both equally welcome here.
    Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
    currently: £13,353.25
    DFW Nerd 178
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • Hi Mrs Sparkle - my first thought, can you get your employers to purchase you a travel season ticket and you pay it back out of your wages? You'd get 10 months for the price of 12 and save a bit on tax/NI costs too. I was paying £83 a month for Zone 1 and 2, moved to Zone 3 and asked work for Season Ticket loan and it's now £86.66 for that straight from my wages (instead of £99). every little helps ;)

    Sorry, just noticed you're expecting so this may not be useful unless you could transfer it to OH or someone :)
  • moozie_2moozie_2 Forumite
    3.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hello Mrs Sparkle! Good idea to start a diary, I think it's great to read other people's progress :)

    Now let's see....
    OK, here's my SOA:

    Income

    Salary: 2592.71
    Other: 650.00 (hubby pays me standing order for his share of mortgage)

    Total: 3242.71

    Outgoings

    Mortgage 1400.00
    Mortgage ins. 56.78
    Life ins. (me) 11.19
    Life ins. (H) 11.36
    Home ins. 25.71
    Contents ins. 15.63
    Pet ins. (2 cats) 14.21
    Oyster card (rail travel) 121.40
    Cancer Research 5.00
    Gym 36.95 (tied in till April)
    Christmas + presents 20.00 (average throughout year)
    Vet bills 20.00 (average throughout year for non-insured items such as innoculations, worming tablets etc)
    Food 250.00 (2 adults + 2 cats, trying to reduce this further) You prob know this already but the Old Style board is full of idea on how to reduce this. Imagine bringing it down and throwing the extra at a debt ;)
    Toiletries 10.00 These three ought to be reduced by quite a bit.
    Entertainment 100.00
    Clothes 75.00

    Gas, electricity, phone, broadband, TV licence all 0.00 hubby pays OK but make sure he has the best deals.
    Mobile 0.00 work pays

    Debt paying:
    Egg loan: 399.25
    FD Gold card: 200.00
    Mint card: 100.00
    Egg card: 100.00
    &More card: 100.00

    Total: 3072.48

    As a reminder, make sure you prioritise your overpayment by the highest APR :)

    Any comments are welcome. Tellings off and encouragement are both equally welcome here.

    You are doing well and with a bit of 'tightening', it will be even easier to get those debts eliminated ;)
    Leason learnt :beer:
  • bobbadog wrote:
    Hi Mrs Sparkle - my first thought, can you get your employers to purchase you a travel season ticket and you pay it back out of your wages? You'd get 10 months for the price of 12 and save a bit on tax/NI costs too. I was paying £83 a month for Zone 1 and 2, moved to Zone 3 and asked work for Season Ticket loan and it's now £86.66 for that straight from my wages (instead of £99). every little helps ;)

    Sorry, just noticed you're expecting so this may not be useful unless you could transfer it to OH or someone :)

    Yep, that's the only problem- I have 3 months maternity leave soon and won't need a season ticket then. It's on my to do list for April though when I return to work. OH has (and needs) a company car so it wouldn't be any good to him. Thanks anyway!
    Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
    currently: £13,353.25
    DFW Nerd 178
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
  • Liney_2Liney_2 Forumite
    653 Posts
    ✭✭
    Well done Mrs. Sparkle will watch yr progress.

    You say your gym membership is tied until April - tell 'em you are pregnant or cannot go on health grounds.

    Get a couple of keep fit books/dvds from the library and walk everywhere instead.
    [size=-2]Remember its nice to be nice and its good to share!

    Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind!

    Before printing, think about the environment![/size]
  • Liney_2Liney_2 Forumite
    653 Posts
    ✭✭
    oh just read last post bout maternity leave, in that case scrap what i said!! lol
    [size=-2]Remember its nice to be nice and its good to share!

    Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind!

    Before printing, think about the environment![/size]
  • Income

    Salary: 2592.71
    Other: 650.00 (hubby pays me standing order for his share of mortgage)

    Total: 3242.71

    Outgoings

    Mortgage 1400.00 This is a massive mortgage, any chance of going onto IO for a while for a little breathing space?
    Mortgage ins. 56.78
    Life ins. (me) 11.19
    Life ins. (H) 11.36
    Home ins. 25.71
    Contents ins. 15.63
    Pet ins. (2 cats) 14.21
    Oyster card (rail travel) 121.40
    Cancer Research 5.00
    Gym 36.95 (tied in till April) When my colleague fell pregnant, she called her gym and explained and they put her membership on suspension - she didn't pay again and use up the rest of her membership until she went back after the baby was born.
    Christmas + presents 20.00 (average throughout year)
    Vet bills 20.00 (average throughout year for non-insured items such as innoculations, worming tablets etc)
    Food 250.00 (2 adults + 2 cats, trying to reduce this further) We use about £140-£160 and this is still high for 2 adults and 2 cats and I cook from scratch (mostly) - there must be some luxury items in here still?
    Toiletries 10.00 I think this is a fair amount
    Entertainment 100.00 This really needs to be cut back - could you cut this down to £10 a week or make it a challenge? Will you really be going out so much, the more your pregnancy progresses/after the baby is born?
    Clothes 75.00 I understand why this is high at the moment, but this is a lot to spend each and every month.
    Gas, electricity, phone, broadband, TV licence all 0.00 hubby pays
    Mobile 0.00 work pays

    Have you allocated any miscellaneous money? Not everyone agrees with me about this - but I think you need a little bit of money in your purse every week for the odd drink/packet of stamps/pint of milk?

    Debt paying:
    Egg loan: 399.25
    FD Gold card: 200.00
    Mint card: 100.00
    Egg card: 100.00
    &More card: 100.00

    Total: 3072.48

    Any comments are welcome. Tellings off and encouragement are both equally welcome here.

    Hey Mrs Sparkle!

    I am worried about you only taking 3 months maternity leave - will this give you enough time to recover after the birth? I know that this is probably a financial decision but this is a really scary prospect?!!? Sorry if this is a really personal question but I'm worried about you.

    You have really high outgoings and seem to be really dependant on your income - would you consider moving to a cheaper area? I understand you are in/near London and I don't have a lot of experience of living in the south of England.

    I think you are doing really well but I am worried about the fact you cannot afford to take your allocated maternity leave - sorry to keep harping on.

    Lots of love - comments are intended with kindness.

    scottishspendaholic x
    MBNA = £4,000 / Next = £925 (approx. tbc on 19/8)
    Tesco = £2,910.11 / Smile overdraft = £500
    Bank of Scotland = £2,782.83
  • Hey Scottishspendaholic!

    Thank you very much for taking the time to comment. I do realise that I'm taking far short of the 26 usual weeks for maternity leave but yes, it's purely a financial decision, based on the miserable £108 a week statutory maternity pay.

    We are considering moving a bit further out of London at the moment. The main problem is that I'd be looking at 1.5 hours' travel to and from work (i.e. 3 hours a day) rather than the hour each way I do now- plus a more expensive season ticket and probably extra childminding hours too. It's all quite depressing but I think it's probably best to stay where we are and avoid the additional costs and fees of moving.

    The good thing about my job is that I do have a lot of autonomy so I can pretty much work hours to suit myself. It's going to be hard though. Do you have kids? Sounds like you know what it's like to leave a baby and go out to work.

    Clothes have been over-estimated- certainly it's been a lot less than that this month and last.

    Entertainment- again I've over-estimated and I'm hardly going out at all these days. You know how it is though- a friend invites everyone to a restaurant for a birthday bash and you end up £40 down and I don't even drink these days! It's true that my existing 2-3 social events a month will probably be close to zero in a couple of months so I will reduce this amount.

    I'll give the gym some serious thought... it's the best exercise I get now that I've been scared off my bike by scary car drivers :-0

    Point taken with the food- you're absolutely right, I still haven't bought Stardrops and I do allow us a few treats here and there. I will try harder!

    Thanks again x
    Debt at highest May 2006: £27,472.24
    currently: £13,353.25
    DFW Nerd 178
    Proud to be dealing with my debts
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