Catriona's Credit Card Countdown

edited 15 March 2013 at 9:41PM in Debt free diaries
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  • edited 9 September 2013 at 7:56AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    edited 9 September 2013 at 7:56AM
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Hi Catriona,

    That's good about how you have arranged your finances. Yes, the debt went up, but you only have to walk outside to see what it went on, and holidays can be happy memories to store away and savour if you get a "down" day. Plus your interest bill is going in the right direction - down. It's really important to have a nice home, especially when you live alone. I lived in a nicer place (well, on the inside, at least) 20 years ago than I do now, and sometimes I wonder about the series of decisions I have made re housing over the last couple of decades and have realised, in hindsight, that being thrifty created environments, every now and then, that felt too stark/austere to really feel like my home...

    Hello Debbie,

    How have you been? Hope all is well with you?
    I agree with you re the environment we live in. Maybe different people are affected to a different extent, but nothing helps me feel better than living in a nicely decorated and tidy house. Some people may see the first bit as a bit shallow, but I have done it both ways (scrimped and splashed on house intior) and have found that it helps my mood and makes me more positive about life.
    I don't mean go out and spend hundreds and thousands on soft furnishings. I did my house up on a budget, used Home Sense and cheap places, but have created a space that feels right for me. The amount of times I have hit rock bottom and then found solace in just being in the house and feeling safe and cosy.
    So I know what you mean, austerity would not help me at all.

    I have applied for my homeowner loan, as you know and it's still not come through. My solicitor asked for a redemption statement from the bank last Friday and they have a 5-7 day turnaround, so prob around Wed this week is when I get it. that's when I will adjust my spreadsheets etc.

    I have asked for a 13k loan, so could in theory pay off everything (almost, but I have 3 k on the new Tesco card that is now 0% for a couple of years, so I am going to leave that one ticking over).
    But I am going to put a largish sum in an ISA as savings for a rainy day. That way, I can be reassured re job mishaps and can sleep better. I am going to pay my ex off (Barclaycard 1) in the first instance and then pay the cards off as they come to the end of their 0% periods. I will probably transfer my Barclaycard2 to another deal and keep the savings intact.

    Great news on the job front that following my mat replacement post I have been offered that same amount of money to stay on, which is great. That means there will not be a £300 drop in earnings. In addition, I have a new short term lodger who is fabulous and another one lined up for when current lodger moves out at the start of October. That should take care of the money worries and also help build up a fund. I will have to see how to play it all. I am unfortunately not that patient and so it would help if I could see large amounts of money coming off my debt each month. Will have to play around with the numbers and see what can be done.

    My car needed an MOT and it has passed it! I thought / worried that it wouldn't but it was the lowest bill so far! £53! Only 3 bulbs needed replacing. The car is 9 years old and I've had it from new so at least I know it hasn't been abused ;) that's why I'm holding onto it rather than replacing with a slightly younger model. I have had a brainwave and may save up and buy myself a car for my 35th next May. But will have to see about that, what is important at the time.

    My best friend who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Oz is having a baby in November and the plan is for me to go for a couple of weeks in April time. It would be lovely to be able to do that, and I think I might!

    Other than the money worries, my boyfriend moved out a month ago and it has been a bit tough. I have been throwing myself into work, which was a useful hide away. I have also met someone new, who is nice and funny and who I fancy, but I'm not sure I have the connection with (which, rather annoyingly, is making me yearn for my ex). Time will tell. Patience again. So hard to do!

    I need to think of something to do to occupy myself with today. Maybe a walk around the shops. Not very money saving!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    Yep so good to see pay day isnt' it? Although I seem to have just been treading water this month. At least I haven't go backwards.

    I've been busy! Work has taken off and so I don't get as much time to browse the forums during the day ;) Not been keeping up with my diary or anybody elses. But then it's the summer -lots of people are away and everything goes a bit slower.

    Hope everything is good with you.
    KC

    I have definitely gone backwards KC... It didn't even go on anything great - a shed!
    But never mind.
    I feel better now that my homeowner loan is coming through and I will have more security.

    The summer has been lovely and I have loved spending time in my garden, what bliss. I think we will all get better at diaries in the next month or so :)

    Hope you're doing well. Ill come and find your diary and see how you're doing
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • Hi Catriona,

    I know how hard it is to be on your own when you have been used to having a partner. All I can say is be careful of the rebound period, i.e. ending up with someone who is fun but....

    Lodgers. I was thinking of Sydney when I read your post about going to the Gold Coast. I used to live in the inner city and for a while was on my own, and had a lodger who used to commute to Sydney, just for the week. So he came on a Monday evening after work, and then on Friday morning was gone. Just used to take his suitcase to work with him because he worked near to the central station. He was really good. Paid a decent rate. I didn't get to know him all that well, but come the weekend the flat was back to being just mine again. Lodgers are different to flatmates. They don't want to be equal in your space, if you get my meaning.

    Australia is a great place to visit. Not so sure about living there. If your friend is from the UK, ask her. She might know what I mean.

    It's great news about your home owner loan. You will feel better, just being able to breathe. Interest on a mortgage is just the cost of shelter. I never rushed to pay off the mortgages, even when I had two. I got paid - half for me and what was left went first on the bills and then on the mortgage. From memory, my overpayment was a miserly $20 a week, just on one of them. People who squeeze themselves dry , just to get rid of debt as quickly as possible....each to his own, but that isn't me! :-)

    Jobs? In my experience, jobs come and go. It's good that your post has been upgraded, i.e. not just maternity filling in. I've had times in the past, worrying about losing my job, and my house. Looking back, I can't think what came over me. All that worry for nothing. Something always came up, and I never missed any loan payment. Just this feeling of uncertainly that at times used to gnaw away at me. Never again! Don't waste a minute of your precious life worrying about stuff like that. It really isn't worth it.
  • edited 27 September 2013 at 10:50AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    edited 27 September 2013 at 10:50AM
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Hi Catriona,

    I know how hard it is to be on your own when you have been used to having a partner. All I can say is be careful of the rebound period, i.e. ending up with someone who is fun but....

    Lodgers. I was thinking of Sydney when I read your post about going to the Gold Coast. I used to live in the inner city and for a while was on my own, and had a lodger who used to commute to Sydney, just for the week. So he came on a Monday evening after work, and then on Friday morning was gone. Just used to take his suitcase to work with him because he worked near to the central station. He was really good. Paid a decent rate. I didn't get to know him all that well, but come the weekend the flat was back to being just mine again. Lodgers are different to flatmates. They don't want to be equal in your space, if you get my meaning.

    Australia is a great place to visit. Not so sure about living there. If your friend is from the UK, ask her. She might know what I mean.

    It's great news about your home owner loan. You will feel better, just being able to breathe. Interest on a mortgage is just the cost of shelter. I never rushed to pay off the mortgages, even when I had two. I got paid - half for me and what was left went first on the bills and then on the mortgage. From memory, my overpayment was a miserly $20 a week, just on one of them. People who squeeze themselves dry , just to get rid of debt as quickly as possible....each to his own, but that isn't me! :-)

    Jobs? In my experience, jobs come and go. It's good that your post has been upgraded, i.e. not just maternity filling in. I've had times in the past, worrying about losing my job, and my house. Looking back, I can't think what came over me. All that worry for nothing. Something always came up, and I never missed any loan payment. Just this feeling of uncertainly that at times used to gnaw away at me. Never again! Don't waste a minute of your precious life worrying about stuff like that. It really isn't worth it.

    Hello Debbie,

    You are absolutely right re the rebound period. It's just difficult and lonely, so it's easy to get desperate. I've been trying to be good and plan things in with friends, in advance, so that I always have something to do, which makes it easier. The feelings are still there and it's hard as we do see each other every now and then and I think there is still a glimmer of hope in me - but he's being v sensible and that brings me back to earth. We have been here far too many times.

    He's living with a friend who's jobless now and tells me how much cheaper I was than his friend! Also he is having to be far more flexible with his friend than he ever had to be with me. I think that's making him think.

    So, I have started dating. Met someone in the pub the day after my ex broke up with me. Nice guy and I fancied him, everything seemed in order about him, so I saw him twice, but could sense that he wasn't giving his all, and that he was caught up in something bigger. Without saying all this to him, I tried to find out whether he's thinking seriously about our new venture - as he spent about a couple of hours texting me each day, but was not asking me to meet up with him. He reassured me and said I was cynical and distrustful. But you know when you just have a feeling that something doesn't add up? I was going to put it to him last week and tried to arrange to meet up with him. He was too busy to meet up (!), but still carried on texting. Aargh. So I just cut him off. Then the next day saw him in a bar and had a brief chat, then moved on, while he was still trying to text, getting quite hysterical really, after midnight, when I hadn't responded.
    How very bizarre. So the next day I asked him if he wanted me to explain it to him, and he did. It wasn't until I'd told him I wasn't going to spend my time texting someone who comes across half-hearted and that I was moving on, that he decided to be honest with me and tell me he was still in love with his ex. And he just needed a little time, and I was "cool". Oh my life. The frown on my face. I sent him a really snooty text asking him to delete my number and he was still adamant that he had done nothing wrong, leading me on and wasting my time. How very selfish.
    Who needs Eastenders?!

    I have a date this Sunday, for Sun lunch, and will have to see how that goes. It's about changing my mindset and beginning to feel single again.

    Money wise, I have not been very good, but not that bad either. The loan has come through, and I have paid off my ex and my HSBC card which was at 2800. The rest is going into an ISA and a regular saver.

    I also have a new lodger with a 6 month contract moving in early next week, and on the same day as my current lodger moves out. So all that has been taken care off, and gives me a sense of security too. She seems really nice and I hope that we will be able to get on well and also spend some of our weekends together. Cooking etc, so that we can save money. My lodger is a MSc student, so that will be good for me, as we will have to do low budget stuff.

    I have updated my signature, but will have to see how things pan out when the dust settles.

    I am so very happy to have got the loan - its cost is minimal in the grand scheme of things, but the security of money in the bank is invaluable. I feel so much better. I am with you re squeezing yourself dry to pay off loans. I wish I could do it, because it would be great to just move on, but the process makes me too miserable and in the long run it's not worth it. I won't get the years back...

    Also, I love the feeling of being able to put money away and it's been nice to plan things to do and even treats, like clothes etc.
    So, despite all the relationship palaver, it's not all doom and gloom.

    And I have the day off today - and slept for more than 5 hours last night, which was amazing!

    How is everyone doing?
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • edited 6 October 2013 at 9:53AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    edited 6 October 2013 at 9:53AM
    Hmm I guess it's time to bite the bullet and come clean...

    Total debt is currently at:

    Barclaycard 1 - £2400, new total £0
    Barclaycard 2 - £150, new total £5450
    First Direct CC - £100, new total £1050
    Tesco CC - £60, new total £2790.78
    HSBC CC – £2800.09 new total £138.81
    Homeowner loan - £13000

    Savings:
    Tesco ISA: £5760
    Regular Saver: £900
    Savings Acc: £1541
    Car Savings Acc: £185
    Total: £8386


    The new total is :eek::eek::eek:£14043.59 :eek::eek::eek:

    As you can see, I used some of the loan money to pay off the cards and have put the rest into savings. It has reassured me massively and I have been feeling much more positive about things.
    Also, I have started a car savings account, to which I siphon off £60 a month. This will pay for car insurance when the time comes and any small repairs. I've wanted to do this for years, so this feels good. Being prepared feels good :)

    Also, I have 2 cards coming up for renewal soon
    (1) In Jan 14 - my FD card, which has 1050 on it and which I pay off £100 at a time.
    Considering paying it off £350 at a time now, to pay off completely and then I will not have to shuffle any more.
    (2) In Jan 14 also my BCard needs to be down to £4860 (I did a small transfer onto it for 9 months only).

    This means that I either pay off an extra £300 each month now until January, or get another 0% deal. Still not sure what to do. I think it may be a little unrealistic to think that I can pay off the set amount of the cards, pay the bills, pay 300 to regular saver and £60 to car fund and then put an additional £300 towards the cards. Especially at Xmas time, when it would be nice to splash out a bit on nice food and Christmas decorations and just having a nice time.
    Don't want to set myself up to fail.
    Of course I could reduce the contributions to the regular saver to £25 for 3 months and do it that way. Probably if I did have to do a transfer to another card, then it would wipe out any profit from the reg saver anyway, and it would be nice to just pay off the blasted things without having to open new cards.

    But, on the other hand it would be good to save the £300 and have it accessible.

    I've decided that I'm going to treat myself to a car for my birthday in May and so if I just roll the cards over, that will mean that I will have more money to play with when the time comes.

    Well, ladies, also it looks like I have a date today. Let's see how it goes. Last Sunday's was no good. Nice guy but no attraction. Aargh. Why is it so difficult. I should just enjoy being single!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • cwalcwal Forumite
    127 Posts
    Hi Catriona

    Good to hear you're feeling better about things. It is nice having savings isn't it? It definately makes you feel a bit more secure. I also find it makes me questions what I buy as I'm always thinking I could add more to my savings by going without - very rarely happens though!!
    I can't believe Christmas is coming round so quickly - I've been making a few handmade gifts so hopefully I won't go overboard on the spending but it's hard when the shops are full of lovely things.

    Good luck with the date, hope it goes well!
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    Hello Cwal,

    Thanks for your lovely message :) You are very funny saying that having savings makes you stop spending :) But I think you may be right!
    Good idea re making Xmas presents - what kind of things are they?

    Oh the date was ok, we will see what happens. No butterflies though :(
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • dktreeseadktreesea Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Hi Catriona,

    I'm impressed with your progress on the debt front. As long as it's not costing you exhorbitant amounts in interest (i.e. the opportunity cost of not using available funds to pay down debt) i think having a good safety net of just in case funds is good too. Peace of mind is important, especially when you are totally reliant on yourself to survive, imho.

    Interesting about your ex - people often don't appreciate what they have until it's gone. Not just partners, but things like my debt free status when I first arrived back in the UK over a decade ago. Something, in spite of sinking all my savings and then some into the business, that I wish I still had.
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Hi Catriona,

    I'm impressed with your progress on the debt front. As long as it's not costing you exhorbitant amounts in interest (i.e. the opportunity cost of not using available funds to pay down debt) i think having a good safety net of just in case funds is good too. Peace of mind is important, especially when you are totally reliant on yourself to survive, imho.

    Interesting about your ex - people often don't appreciate what they have until it's gone. Not just partners, but things like my debt free status when I first arrived back in the UK over a decade ago. Something, in spite of sinking all my savings and then some into the business, that I wish I still had.

    Hello Debbie

    Thanks for your kind words. I feel better about the debt now and have more motivation to put money away, as I can see the amounts going down quicker, and each month will have more impact.

    You're right about not appreciating things or people until they're no longer there. It can be frustrating and, to a degree, also we idealise the past; I know I do with my ex husband, who I think of as perfect and nobody can ever come close.

    I'm off work this week and it's been wonderful not having to go in. I have to make sure I have more time off.

    I have started taking antidepressants, but see it as a positive step, as haven't been able to sleep for months, and it's been impacting my work etc, as I'm always tired. Have been feeling a bit strange on them, and am thinking whether to carry on, as they have given me an even worse insomnia - though thats only a side effect and will go in 4-6 weeks time. I'm going to try and go for a run now, and then paint the hallway. Tire myself out and then will hopefully not wake up at 2 am!

    Money wise, it's not been too bad. I find that I haven't been going out each week this month, which has saved an enormous amount!

    On the dating front, I had a catastrophe of a date last night! At the end he wanted to kiss me and when I tried to move away he concluded I was "so shy".... Men!! Amazing confidence. Aaargh.

    Time to get up me thinks!

    Have a good day everyone!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Forumite
    Well, I a m back and a bit more positive than before!!! Let's hope that things are looking up!
    I will have to look at my spreadsheets again - and update the signature.
    I have booked my Xmas flights to m grandma's and really looking forward to it!
    I think the Xmas craze will now begin!! Woo hoo!!

    Hope everyone is doing well? X
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
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