Catriona's Credit Card Countdown

edited 15 March 2013 at 9:41PM in Debt Free Diaries
680 replies 54.4K views
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  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Hi dktreesea :j

    so nice of you to pop in and give me advice... I still haven't had the root canal and expect to hear from the dentist any moment now really.

    Hope you are well :)
    * * * 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
    Well, a bit of news from me. My lovely lodger is moving out... My neighbours are too noisy for him - and they truly have no volume control... I am going to miss living with him, we have had a really good time together.

    But hey ho, such is life. My room is upon spare room.com to bring in the much needed cash, so that I can finally dig myself out of all that debt.

    I have also spoken to my partner about moving in together. Am very unsure about what to do, as we do argue a lot, but have been together for 16 months now and we break up but always get back together. It has been driving me insane and confusing me... So I thought I might take the plunge and just do it - then I may know better one way or another.

    Tonight is decision time. He wants to move in (though is worried about the arguing too), he did want us to do it last summer, but I wasn't ready. Now I am thinking that I need to get my answers as i'm getting on a bit... And I do want a family etc, so need to find out if he's the one or not.
    But I am really scared and have a feeling I may not be doing the right thing.

    Money-wise things are looking up. I am back on the wagon, have played around with the spreadsheet today and that always motivates me a bit.
    The additional £80 helps a lot too, it gives me a bit of leeway. I have tried and set myself a budget where I give myself some money for entertainment and clothes (£100 each a month) so that I don't fall off the wagon. Now the hardest thing is to stick to that budget. I find that I can go without clothes for a few months but then ill go and spend £250 in one go... It's usually when the sales are on though, so maybe it's not really bad. But I need to be within my budget, so I may think of a carry-over type thing.

    How do you all budget? Have you got separate bank accounts for food, bills, entertainment and clothes, so that you know where you are with it? I'm thinking of doing something like that, but don't know if I can be bothered setting up all those accounts...

    Time to set off for work now.

    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
  • dktreeseadktreesea Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Hi Catriona,

    Congrats on getting your debt down so quickly.

    I know this is a bit left brained of me, but what would your boyfriend be bringing to the table, so to speak? Would he pay something to you for rent? Does it affect, in the longer term, who would have the right to the proceeds from any sale of your house?

    With getting a place to do up, how about buying one and keeping your own home at the same time? That's what I did in my younger days. I just used the equity in my own home to provide additional security to the bank for the mortgage for the do-up. That way you can do up the other property in your spare time, and always have a nice place to come back to and relax at the end of the day.
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Hi Catriona,

    Congrats on getting your debt down so quickly.

    I know this is a bit left brained of me, but what would your boyfriend be bringing to the table, so to speak? Would he pay something to you for rent? Does it affect, in the longer term, who would have the right to the proceeds from any sale of your house?

    With getting a place to do up, how about buying one and keeping your own home at the same time? That's what I did in my younger days. I just used the equity in my own home to provide additional security to the bank for the mortgage for the do-up. That way you can do up the other property in your spare time, and always have a nice place to come back to and relax at the end of the day.

    Hi dktreesea,

    Thanks for your message :j

    Hope you had a good bank holiday weekend? I made my boyfriend do a trip to the tip and builders merchants for weedkiller and a watering can. Then we tried to sort the garden out and made a decent start on it! He was really helpful.

    What will he be bringing to the table... The arrangement is that he's going to pay me the same as my current lodger, £425. That's going to mean no drastic changes to my budget. He knows about my debt situation and we have been together for 16 months now (though on and off). He knows I'm expecting him to pay his way and is fine with it.
    You are absolutely right to mention the ownership of the house. I came out of a marriage breakdown with nothing over 4 years ago. Saved like crazy to buy my house, and have been paying off debt i got into when renovating it ever since.
    I have heard of cases (it happened to a girl I knew) where the boyfriend moves in for a couple of years, then they split up and the boyfriend stakes a claim to part of the house. Because of my past and some of the behaviours / things said by my bf in the past I am going to have to approach this with a limited trust. I think I'm going to ask the bf to give me £ in cash to avoid any problems in the future.
    I really went through hell to get to where I am with the house, so it would break me if I had to start again...

    Do you think that's a sensible option?

    Re house sale and buying a new house
    My main reasons to sell at the minute are:
    1) A huge demand. Houses on my street sell in a couple of days.
    2) Noisy neighbours. My current and previous lodgers complained of the noise and I believe them. It can be quite bad.
    3) Wanting a new project and hoping that if I can get out of this house and rent for a bit, I can then (without a chain) get a nice house which I can do up exactly the same way as this one. Only this time I will go and vet the neighbours first!

    Maybe that way I can make some money on it too. I managed to with my current house. I bought it for £137, put about £20k in and it's now worth 170-175.

    I would really like to stay in the house, as I have had it thoroughly renovated (save for my avocado bathroom;) but the neighbours are too much to bear for much longer. Also the house is still new and lovely and has a few niceties, like really good appliances and underfloor heating in the kitchen for example, which a regular doer-upper won't have. That should make it sell at least faster than others (even if it doesn't fetch a higher price). It's done up to a high standard too. It will be a shame to leave it now. But maybe it's time for someone else to enjoy it.

    I would love to finally be debt free. Which I would be, if I sold up.

    It would be amazing to be able to stay in my house and get a project to renovate. I'd love that and envy you very much having been able to do it! It's not an option for me yet, though if I do one more up, then it might become an option! My equity, is somewhere between £65-70k, but then my debt is nearly £14k...


    Money wise the upcoming moth is going to be very expensive. Mine and boyfriend's birthdays within a couple of weeks of each other. I am being taken away for mine (abroad) so spending money for eating out will have to be budgeted for. Presents for bf too! Ahh better get spreadsheeting :)
    * * * 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
    Regarding selling the house, in spite of the ongoing effects of the recession, the government's help to buy scheme will probably keep prices propped up. Couple that with the fact that we add over 1,000 new people a day to the population, the prices of houses in good areas could be on the rise. So you could find by waiting a bbit longer you might get a little bit more for your house and get a preferential rate when you come to buy again, because your debt situation will have improved so much in , say, a year's time.

    With your girlfiend, what was the outcome to the bf stake a claim for "his share" of the house? Did he succeed? If I felt I couldn't quite trust the situation in that regard, I wouldn't want to do it. If he has a similar income and set of assets to your own, and the idea was to both sell your houses and pool resources to buy a house for both of you, and he was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and vice versa, I would say don't hesitate; go for it.
  • edited 8 May 2013 at 5:15PM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 8 May 2013 at 5:15PM
    My girlfriend was taken to court by her ex and he was awarded a share of her house. Apparently best to draw up an agreement, as per [URL=/http://www.savvywoman.co.uk/c4-pages/c4s4.php?art_id=485"] this article [/URL]

    Here is a good free Living Together agreement which I think I will be using
    * * * 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 8 May 2013 at 7:47AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 8 May 2013 at 7:47AM
    dktreesea wrote: »
    Regarding selling the house, in spite of the ongoing effects of the recession, the government's help to buy scheme will probably keep prices propped up. Couple that with the fact that we add over 1,000 new people a day to the population, the prices of houses in good areas could be on the rise. So you could find by waiting a bbit longer you might get a little bit more for your house and get a preferential rate when you come to buy again, because your debt situation will have improved so much in , say, a year's time.

    I was thinking of biding my time for another year just to be sensible and save up a bit/ or have enough in savings to pay off the cards. Also because I've just started a new fixed rate mortgage for 2 years and getting out would cost near 2k.
    So, like you suggest, I'll see what the market does and what I want.
    I think it's sensible to keep watching the market and see what happens. Like you said, plenty of factors say the market is not going to collapse...
    dktreesea wrote: »
    With your girlfiend, what was the outcome to the bf stake a claim for "his share" of the house? Did he succeed? If I felt I couldn't quite trust the situation in that regard, I wouldn't want to do it. If he has a similar income and set of assets to your own, and the idea was to both sell your houses and pool resources to buy a house for both of you, and he was the one you wanted to spend the rest of your life with and vice versa, I would say don't hesitate; go for it.

    He has a v similar income (maybe 2k less pa salary and he hasn't got a rental income unlike me), but the salary may change slightly the other way if he gets a pay rise - he says it's likely but I will believe it when I see it. He has no house, though has ca.14 k savings.
    His attitude to money is much more relaxed and he spends more freely on going out though his parents look after him, while mine don't support me, so in that way my disposable income is smaller. And even smaller after the debts.

    Having said that, he did say that if one person earns more than the other in a relationship, then they should contribute proportionately to the joint account. So in that way, he sounds like he's generous. I wouldn't expect that of him to begin with, and we will have to have a conversation about it all when the time comes.

    But he did once say (as a joke apparently) that if he wanted to claim half of my house, he would find a way. I have spoken to him about this, he reassured me it was a joke, but I still can't understand that it was funny or appropriate and how it even crossed his mind. But he's quite fierce so I'm going to protect what is mine, because after my marriage broke down I had to lodge with a friend for 18 months after having had my own house for 10 years and that was quite difficult... and I would not like to be in this situation again.
    I feel a bit guilty but hopefully he will understand the purpose of the agreement. Then we can just purely enjoy being together, knowing that the basics are taken care of.

    Thanks for your advice :)
    * * * 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
  • StarslimmerStarslimmer Forumite
    45 Posts
    So glad I saw this! so Im thinking of moving in with my OH. I have my own flat but rented it out and will move into his flat in a couple of months.

    How did you have your discussion with your BF. Are you going to have a rental agreement just incase? or are you just going to let him move in?


    Holiday Savings: [STRIKE]£100[/STRIKE] £200
    Credit Card: [STRIKE]£3,441[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£3341[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£2468.91 [/STRIKE]/ [STRIKE]£1785.19[/STRIKE] £1000:rotfl:
    Mortgage: £114,800


  • catriona79 wrote: »
    ...

    How do you all budget? Have you got separate bank accounts for food, bills, entertainment and clothes, so that you know where you are with it? I'm thinking of doing something like that, but don't know if I can be bothered setting up all those accounts...

    Time to set off for work now.

    Have a good day everyone

    I started off by recording all my spending for 2 months. I then designed a realistic budget that I could stick to. I then direct debted all bills out of my account a day after payday a so I ONLY have my Food, Entertainment, Clothes money left. My overdraft is really low so I dont have a lot of space to over spend.

    It took me a while to stick to it especially when I didnt save up for one off occasions.


    Holiday Savings: [STRIKE]£100[/STRIKE] £200
    Credit Card: [STRIKE]£3,441[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£3341[/STRIKE]/[STRIKE]£2468.91 [/STRIKE]/ [STRIKE]£1785.19[/STRIKE] £1000:rotfl:
    Mortgage: £114,800


  • Maybe_its_becauseMaybe_its_because Forumite
    434 Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    Hi Catriona,
    It is brilliant at just how much impact you've had on that debt in just a few short months. :T Keeping up the momentum is whats really important now.

    Sticking to the paying-back plan is difficult on a day to day basis, especially when Sales are happening - which feels like ALL the time! :eek:

    I split my money up a combination of virtually - i.e I consult with my spreadsheet most days, and also have an app on my phone to check my bank balance before spending and also physically - I have three accounts; a joint account with OH for all our living costs, a pocket money account and an "other" account for paying car costs, any birthday presents, etc - all planned of course.
    Each account has its own little worksheet on my spreadsheet.

    My pocket money account is my favourite as its for clothes, nights out, treats, lunches but once its gone - its gone. Sometimes (hardly ever!) I have some left over and carry it over into the next month. Happy days!

    Just to add to another perspective on sharing finances with your partner; we contribute a % of our salary into the joint account. I currently earn more than him so I pay a higher proportion into the JA. But as his career develops over the next few years he will pay the bigger share as he's on target for earning more than me.
    I have friends who pay 50:50 and she continued to pay 50:50 even on maternity leave - so had to subsidise their living costs with her savings. I wouldn't be ok with that, but each to their own.

    I'm sure talking it through with him, you'll work out whatever works for you and your partner but perhaps think about how it will work both in the short and long term.

    Friday feeling approaching - have a good weekend.
    MFW2022 #5 £1,580.67/3,000
    Sep'12 £233,750 Jan'15 £222,329 Apr’22 £136,446
    MFiT T4 #24 £48k/£34k
    MFiT T5 #24 £22,186/£41k
    MFiT T6 #24
    £2,454/£29k
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