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How to keep on track

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
22 replies 7.4K views
rising_from_the_ashesrising_from_the_ashes Forumite
12.4K posts
Home Insurance Hacker! Debt-free and Proud! PPI Party Pooper
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
Hi everyone, Happy New Year, here's hoping it's a successful one for us all.

Looking for a bit of advice.... paid everything off this time last year and despite my best efforts am in the red again which I want to clear (and never do again).

I've "done" some of the suggested things - separate bank account for household bills, keeping a spending diary etc and theoretically should have enough money to live on each month.

However, it never works out that way.

I need to do something like the multiple accounts but tbh am struggling with this - many accounts need you to pay in your sarlary and even the post office accounts need you to leave £100 in (which I don't have spare). I'm also struggling with the idea of opening multiple accounts to put maybe £15 or £20/month into (and having all the checks on my not so great credit report).

The only other thing I can think of is to have loads of jars and stick money into them each month. The kind of things I'm talking about are £15/month for pet boosters/vet emergencies, £15/month for the car service/tax etc.

I tried this last year but then when I got really skint and there was around £50 in them I just kept raiding them.

Having just had a trip to the vet at a cost of £83 last week I need to try to figure something out. Car service/tax also due at the end of this month and nothing put away for them.

Any suggestions? (sorry for the long post).
Cheers
Grocery Challenge £211/£455 (01/01-31/03)
2016 Sell: £125/£250
£1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 £3.96 / £1,000
Vet Fund: £410.93 / £1,000
Debt free & determined to stay that way!
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Replies

  • TixyTixy Forumite
    31.5K posts
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    Hi

    For any additional accounts just open up basic bank accounts which don't require a credit check. All banks have basic accounts and should allow you to deposit as little as you like in them - you specifically need to ask for that account though.

    What I do (and its very much a personal 'what works for you' approach) is keep one main account and then one second account for all my bits of savings combined. So all the jam jars are in the one account if that makes sense. Then I just keep a running tally as to how much of that money is for each items.

    Eg if I've £232 in the account, it might be £84 towards car tax, £66 for car maintenance, £20 for presents, £10 for pet costs, £20 holidays and £32 emergencies. It does mean you have to run a spreadsheet along side the account mind and so if I use £50 for car tyres I have to deduct that from the car maintenance section of my spreadsheet.

    I will admit I occasionally borrow from one pot to pay towards another (at the moment presents actually has a small minus figure in it :o)

    There used to be one bank that would let you have an account online which would allow you to allocate the money in one account into virtual pots - will see if I can see any reference to which bank it was and whether they still do it.
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • I just wondered whether you have done an SOA recently and whether the numbers actually balance? are you overspending at all? have you slipped back into bad habits?
    df
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
  • edited 4 January 2011 at 4:54PM
    TixyTixy Forumite
    31.5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited 4 January 2011 at 4:54PM
    Can't seem to find which bank still has these virtual saver pots - one thread suggested sainsburys used to but it wasn't clear if they still do. Hopefully someone else might read and know.

    Edit: this thread suggests some, although its an older thread so not sure if all are still valid Savings accounts with money "pots"?
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • I believe you can buy car tax monthly? at the post office? collect stamps towards it or something?
    can you do something similar with the pets - get insurance and pay that monthly so you don't end up with a large bill?
    In relations to bank accounts - you just need a savings account with unlimited withdrawls - Tesco used to do one and it came with a cash card and then all you need to do is set up a standing order in to it and then use the cash card when needed.
    For big items - ie holidays/christmas the Skipton regular savings accounts can be quite good I've found - you an adjust the amount you pay in each month and you can close it when you like and withdraw the whole amount and interest is acrued daily so no penalty for closing the account - so you could start one now and cash it in November for christmas spending for example :)
    df
    Making my money go further with MSE :j
    How much can I save in 2012 challenge
    75/1200 :eek:
  • Thanks Tixy, the "pots" in bank accounts is ringing a bell for some reason, will have a trawl around. If not, I may give "your" solution a go (never thought of doing this and keeping track in a spreadsheet)!

    SOA attached:

    Buildings & Contents insurance are combined
    Management charge is for the estate maintenance
    Groceries - high but incl food etc for the animals
    House value - I've put at £0 as it's jointly owned with my mother with my 1/2 basically being the value of the mortgage!


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet
    Household Information
    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1
    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax................ 1232
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1232
    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage................................ 328
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 11
    Council tax............................. 94
    Electricity............................. 31
    Gas..................................... 31
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 0
    Telephone (land line)................... 15
    Mobile phone............................ 5
    TV Licence.............................. 12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19
    Internet Services....................... 10.99
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 10
    Petrol/diesel........................... 60
    Road tax................................ 3
    Car Insurance........................... 19.38
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 15
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 15
    Buildings insurance..................... 17.24
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 20
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10
    Haircuts................................ 5
    Entertainment........................... 10
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 966.61

    Assets
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 8000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 8000

    Secured & HP Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 67000....(328)......3.5
    Total secured & HP debts...... 67000.....-.........-
    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Barclaycard....................200.......5.........0
    Catalogue......................134.......8.........0
    Overdraft......................1000......0.........0
    Total unsecured debts..........1334......13........-

    Monthly Budget Summary
    Total monthly income.................... 1,232
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 966.61
    Available for debt repayments........... 265.39
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 13
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 252.39
    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 8,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -67,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -1,334
    Net Assets.............................. -60,334
    Grocery Challenge £211/£455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: £125/£250
    £1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 £3.96 / £1,000
    Vet Fund: £410.93 / £1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
  • RASRAS Forumite
    28.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    lilylass wrote: »
    House value - I've put at £0 as it's jointly owned with my mother with my 1/2 basically being the value of the mortgage!


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet
    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage................................ 328
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 11
    Council tax............................. 94
    Electricity............................. 31
    Gas..................................... 31
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 0
    Telephone (land line)................... 15
    Mobile phone............................ 5
    TV Licence.............................. 12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19
    Internet Services....................... 10.99
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 10
    Petrol/diesel........................... 60
    Road tax................................ 3
    Car Insurance........................... 19.38
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 15
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 15
    Buildings insurance..................... 17.24
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 20
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10
    Haircuts................................ 5
    Entertainment........................... 10
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 966.61

    Can you explain whether all the items marked in red are a half portion of the household expenditure on that item, or the full cost.

    If the former, then some are very high, if the latter, why is mum not contributing anything?
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • The figures are the total - my mum doesn't contribute anything (and doesn't live here). I'm very luck in that she was able/happy to invest in 1/2 my house as it was the only way I was ever going to get back onto the property ladder. However, the deal was that I was responsible for all the household costs (which I think is fair and she doesn't charge me rent/loss of interest for the other 1/2).

    Where do you think I could cut back? I know Sky would be the obvious one, but I'm afraid it's my "luxury item" and stops me going out and spending more!
    Thanks
    Grocery Challenge £211/£455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: £125/£250
    £1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 £3.96 / £1,000
    Vet Fund: £410.93 / £1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
  • Buildings/contents insurance has recently gone up as had a pretty hefty claim around 9 months ago due to storm damage - couldn't get a cheaper quote elsewhere due to this so unfortunately stuck with current insurer!
    Grocery Challenge £211/£455 (01/01-31/03)
    2016 Sell: £125/£250
    £1,000 Emergency Fund Challenge #78 £3.96 / £1,000
    Vet Fund: £410.93 / £1,000
    Debt free & determined to stay that way!
  • TixyTixy Forumite
    31.5K posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Groceries are the only thing that looks particularly high to me - what animals is this including? have you tried reducing this? there are lots of tips on the oldstyle board on cutting groceries tips.

    Elec looks a bit high as well, but maybe this is just 50% of gas & elec not an exact split? have you looked into switching to see if it would be cheaper? or looking for a better tariff?

    Council tax - you are claiming the 25% discount I assume? have you ever done the quick check to see you are in the correct ct band?

    Whats the other insurance? do you shop around for that as well at renewal?

    Overall things would be fine if you have that £252 spare. Its finding out where it is going that will be most use to you and then trying plan going forwards for the annual expenditures etc.
    Might be worth running a spending diary for a couple of months to see if you can track down any differences to your budget?
    A smile enriches those who receive without making poorer those who give
    or "It costs nowt to be nice"
  • Have you considered ING Direct? You can open 1 savings account & then open further ones after, you can change the names to whatever you want eg car, vet bills etc. I have about 10 small accounts with them, all easily & quickly set up once you've done the initial one!! You can set up direct debits to/from your current account for regular saving or to move money to your current account when needed.

    Hth x
    20p Saver Club #33 60p/£100
    Christmas Saving £0/£1300

    Saving Target 2014 £25/£1000
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