Silverbird's Diary

in Debt free diaries
111 replies 7.1K views
Hello everybody

I'm a new poster, although I've been 'lurking' on this fantastic site for the past couple of weeks.

I'm 26 and married to the most lovely man. We got married in late 2006. Prior to that we had moved out of our parents' homes and into our rented place together in April 2006 about 180 miles away from our parents. It was the best move we ever made, but we knew it would be a struggle financially and we weren't wrong.

When we first moved down here, I had one credit card of about £2,000. Unfortunately my partner didn't find work easily and for 3 months I was having to pay every single bill including rent, food, electric etc, my own debt to creditor and partner's multiple debts. Needless to say I had to dig into my savings (I had nearly £3,000 saved ready for rent/house deposit/emergencies such as this). I'm sad to say that it all disappeared. Thankfully my partner then got a job, but it left us both with a little more debt than we'd had when we moved down.

The wedding didn't help us financially, but it was the right time and it was very tastefully low-budget (compared to most weddings these days). Unfortunately because of all of our outgoings we were unable to put any money aside, as we had planned, and so I had to go and get a loan to help us cover the costs.

14 months after moving down here, I'm still paying nearly all of the bills, although my husband is able to pay me roughly £100 a month towards them (though not always every month). He currently owes nearly £15,000. He could pay me a little more each month, but I'm letting him keep it in order to pay more off his debts, as it's got to help in the long run.

I'm sick of not having any money just one week after getting paid and so I decided to come on here a couple of weeks ago to see what could be done.

I've already made some very positive steps:

1. I'm working more overtime at work than I have since we moved here - I clocked up 18 hours last month. Unfortunately we don't get paid any extra than our usual pay rate for overtime, but every little helps.

2. Yesterday I joined every Mystery Shopper site that is mentioned in the Sticky on here. Unfortunately, as I imagined, there don't appear to many jobs for where I live ... but I will keep my fingers and toes crossed.

3. I have joined Valued Opinions and Lightspeed for surveys and have earned some points/money already.

4. I have been participating in hundreds of online competitions. I used to do this regularly last year and won a few things and I've picked up on it again now. I use Loquax.

5. Last weekend I spent the entire weekend researching this site and other sites for the cheapest meals I could make/serve. Then I devised a Menu Plan of my own. I'm not really sure what our food bill was before, but we spent just £8.53 on last Sunday and it will last us until Sunday evening. £8.53! For both of us! My Plan is clearly a success and I've stuck to it religiously and it's nice not popping to the shops all the time too. Overall I've worked out our evening meals for an entire month will cost somewhere between £80 to £100. I think this week's meals cost less because we had the bulk of the stuff already, but I will keep track of the cost of each week - maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised!

6. I've also started an A-Z of regular foods we buy and what they cost at Morrisons, Iceland, Sainsburys, Tesco and the local green grocer. It's proven useful already.

7. I’ve been a big fan of eBay since about 2000 and have used it to sell many a time. I’ve been selling stuff that I have up our loft that I don’t want any more for the past few months. I have loads of wedding bits that were left over (disposable cameras, confetti for tables, crackers, favour bags etc) that I know should sell well – it’s just finding the time to put them all on. I have quite a few items on at the moment, most of which are selling. The money for all current eBay items is going straight into my bank account, just to try to help to get me out of my overdraft.


Here is my State of Affairs:

My salary - £924.66

Monthly outgoings:

Rent - £450
Council Tax - £87
TV license - £12.00
BT Telephone/Broadband - £37.00
Scottish Friendly - £10.00 (a 10-year trust fund for my younger brother that expires in 3 years).
Mobile phone - £5.00 (usually less)
Contact Lenses - £10.00
Haircut - £11.66 (£35 every 3 to 4 months)
Bikini waxing - £16.00 (every 5 weeks) - my only luxury!
Food - £80 (other half says he'll pay me £50 every month, but it doesn't always work that way so I'll go on the assumption that he won't be able to!)

Total: £723.66

Plus creditor payments (minimum): £167.83

Total: £891.49

(disposable income of £33.17 per month)

*We don't have gas in our home and we don't have any water bills, as our home is luckily on land that has special dispensation (we're in the countryside). We have NEVER used the water heater since the day we moved in. We survive with big woolly jumpers, hot water bottles and kettles to heat water if necessary. The shower heats up itself. We have a 50p electric meter, which husband takes care of (we use very little electric).

DEBTS:

Lloyds TSB Credit Card: £1,490.17 at 1.49% (currently £29.80 minimum payment)
Mint Credit Card: £2,412.50 at 0% (I transferred some money from Lloyds TSB Credit Card to Mint in order to take advantage of 0% interest) Interest at 1.313% from December 2007 onwards. (currently £54.28 minimum payment)
Alliance & Leicester Loan: £3,225.00 (£75.00 minimum payment)

I am currently £250 into my £350 overdraft. I get paid tomorrow though and will get £1,068.43 because of all the overtime I've done. The tax they take off makes me puke though. LOL

So with just £33.17 per month left to my name each month, it's easy to see why I feel overwhelmed!

Hopefully the hugely reduced cost of our evening meals will result in a gradual increase of disposable income per month.

So - any advice, tips, criticisms, words of encouragement??

PS THANK YOU to you all - I'm already saving money thanks to these forums and the huge amount of information contained within them.
Thrilled to be DEBT-FREE as of 26.03.10 :D
Hubby DEBT-FREE as of 27.03.15 :D

Debt at LBM (June '07): £8189.19
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Replies

  • Zulu_DawnZulu_Dawn Forumite
    282 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Hello and well done for posting.

    It look like you've made some great steps already. Here are my thoughts.

    You look to have your costs absolutely cracked. You now need to attack those debts because I'm guessing those interest payments are monthly and so you need to get rid of that debt as quick as possible as your money is already very tight.

    Is boiling the kettle for hot water cheaper than using the water heater? I don't know the answer but that seems like quite a sacrifice. I also would not like to rely just on hot water bottles and jumpers through a cold british winter, though I realise you are on the sunny south coast so it is probably never cold.;)

    You therefore need to look at ways of growing your revenue over the next few months whilst pursuing your new DFW ways. I'm afraid this means more overtime, getting stuck into ebay, perhaps even looking at another job etc.

    I would set a target of clearing your Mint card before you start paying interest on it.

    Don't jump down my throat but I'm interested in how your husband is helping. You make the point that he is a "most lovely man", yet you then say you are still paying nearly all the bills and that he is contributing around £100 but only sometimes. Now call me old-fashioned but I would expect a little more from my life partner. Why does he sometimes pay you nothing? I wonder if you think he could contribute a little more?. Are his debts coming down? What does his SOA look like? Is he doing overtime and research and ebay and all the other things you are doing to deal with his financial problems?

    You are in a marriage now and that should be a partnership. For example why don't you pool all your resources into a joint account and tackle your debts as a team rather than individually? At the very least you should come to an agreement on his contribution to the house and that should be paid to you every month without fail. Also why don't you consider showing him this post. I'm concerned that you have posted with so many I's and so few we's. I also worry that you took out a loan for your wedding. That is morally a shared debt and should be treated as such by both of you.

    Finally if bikini waxing is your only luxury then you have my sympathy (ouch!) and I hope the people on this site can help you to improve your finances so we can add to this over the coming months.

    Take care,

    ZD
    Debt free - achieved Jan 2021

    Mortgage free wannabe - started 15/10/21

    "No man is a failure who has friends"
  • ixwoodixwood Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    Hmmm. Tight. You need to pay more than the minimum debt requiremnts, else you'll never get anywhere. All your hard work will go in interest.

    Why do a married couple have sperate fianances? And why are his debst more important than yours? And in fact you?
  • ixwoodixwood Forumite
    2.6K Posts
    The other poster was very nice, but basicaly I agree.. Your husband is taking advantage imo. If not something else.

    He'll probably be selling you to some arab next!!
  • I am new to this site, I have been overdrawn a couple of times and am now sick of the bank charges. I am wanting to claim it back as sometimes it was a case of going over by £1.00 and then being charged £40. I recently got a loan to pay of my overdraft does this count against me or can I still reclaim my bank charges
  • RASRAS Forumite
    31K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Hi

    Would second ZD's comments. Can you find out the full APR rather then the monthly interest rate on you debts. I would assume that your debt providers are legally obliged to you.

    Also check www.entitledto.com in case you can any help with council tax or WTC.

    You need to put up a joint SOA. You may find that you DH is paying more than the minimum off debts with lower APRs and that the money would be better sorting out the stinkers in your name.

    it would be sensible to put up a joint SOA as you may be paying
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • RASRAS Forumite
    31K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I am new to this site, I have been overdrawn a couple of times and am now sick of the bank charges. I am wanting to claim it back as sometimes it was a case of going over by £1.00 and then being charged £40. I recently got a loan to pay of my overdraft does this count against me or can I still reclaim my bank charges

    Hi

    You need to post this on the Reclim bank charges forum not here. Please set up you own thread on there.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
  • SilverbirdSilverbird Forumite
    782 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi Zulu Dawn and thanks ever so much for posting!

    I'll go through your points in the order you listed them.

    Yes, the interest payments are monthly.

    We only boil the kettle for our cup of tea each morning and for hot water bottles when needed. We don't have hot running water and it doesn't bother us in the slightest. Definitely cheaper to just boil a kettle. We managed fine this past winter and, yes, slightly warmer on the south coast, but not always!

    Yes, getting another job is something I'm considering although I haven't come across anything suitable as yet. I'll keep my eyes peeled!

    I'm sorry if I didn't make it clear, but my husband literally cannot help more than he already is - because of his debt. Almost everything he earns he is paying to his creditors. His SOA provides £100 disposable income, which he gives to me, but sometimes ... I let him keep it to pay off more of his debt. I know I should take it. I will from now on, I promise! Unfortunately he is not able to work overtime at his current job (well, he can but they just won't pay him for it!) As far as eBay goes - he's put a couple of things on but doesn't really have too much stuff to put on there. It's me that's the hoarder filling up the loft with all my junk. He hasn't done any research really, but he's worked at the Inland Revenue and is now, believe it or not, a Debt Advisor at the CAB! :rotfl: So he knows all about money and debts and he's doing his best to tackle his two loans and credit cards. He made quite a few mistakes in younger years and had a demanding girlfriend he wasn't brave enough to stand up to, I'm afraid. He often gets very upset about his state of affairs and the fact that I'm paying for everything, but he doesn't know what else he can do and neither do I. He has been looking for a better paying job, but unfortunately jobs here are scarce and so far he's had no luck.

    Pooling all resources into a joint account wouldn't make a difference in our case, as we're paying our creditors back each month. I can't help him any more than I am and vice versa.

    Yes, I paid for practically the entire wedding. But he truly wasn't and still isn't in a position to pay for that. So I had no option. We didn't want to postpone it and if we had waited until we were debt free then we could have waited a long time!

    I really feel that it should be he who is posting on here. Perhaps I can persuade him.

    Thanks for all your help, advice and thoughts. :A
    Thrilled to be DEBT-FREE as of 26.03.10 :D
    Hubby DEBT-FREE as of 27.03.15 :D

    Debt at LBM (June '07): £8189.19
  • SilverbirdSilverbird Forumite
    782 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    ixwood wrote: »
    Hmmm. Tight. You need to pay more than the minimum debt requiremnts, else you'll never get anywhere. All your hard work will go in interest.

    Why do a married couple have sperate fianances? And why are his debst more important than yours? And in fact you?

    There's no current need to have a joint account - our circumstances would be exactly the same. Also we've heard too many bad things about joint accounts and we're happy as we are.

    His debts are certainly not more important than mine, but paying our creditors back each month is important and for him to do that it means he has very little money left over.
    Thrilled to be DEBT-FREE as of 26.03.10 :D
    Hubby DEBT-FREE as of 27.03.15 :D

    Debt at LBM (June '07): £8189.19
  • pinkshoespinkshoes Forumite
    19.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    I agree with Zulu Dawn, that you speak mainly using "I" rather than "we". I had to remind myself half way through reading that you were renting with your husband, not a dependent child!!

    You seem financially very responsible, so congratulations for that! Would it not be possible for your husband to transfer all his salary to your account, so you can manage the debts, but do it from a joint fund? (some people are just not good with money, so maybe he'd appreciate you volunteering to do this!?!).

    The Broadband/Telephone monthly cost is rather high. Ours is the same, but only because my OH uses it for work purposes, so we need an expensive package, and his work pay the extra cost! Do you NEED broadband? You can get dial up for 1p/minute, then a basic line rental with TalkTalk or something... I know dial up is slow and tedious, but it would give you alot of extra free cash!

    You can buy an epilator for £45, which comes with a lovely ice pack, and does the same job as a bikini wax, right from the "comfort" of your home!! (Sorry, shouldn't use comfort and bikiniwax in the same sentence!). After 3 "waxes", it would have paid for itself!

    Well done with the food budget! impressive!!
    Should've = Should HAVE (not 'of')
    Would've = Would HAVE (not 'of')

    No, I am not perfect, but yes I do judge people on their use of basic English language. If you didn't know the above, then learn it! (If English is your second language, then you are forgiven!)
  • SilverbirdSilverbird Forumite
    782 Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    RAS wrote: »
    Hi

    Would second ZD's comments. Can you find out the full APR rather then the monthly interest rate on you debts. I would assume that your debt providers are legally obliged to you.

    Also check www.entitledto.com in case you can any help with council tax or WTC.

    You need to put up a joint SOA. You may find that you DH is paying more than the minimum off debts with lower APRs and that the money would be better sorting out the stinkers in your name.

    it would be sensible to put up a joint SOA as you may be paying

    Thank you for your help. I will find out the full APR. We're not eligible for any financial help unfortunately. I will put up husband's SOA tonight when I get home. Yes, he is paying more than the minimum off debts.
    Thrilled to be DEBT-FREE as of 26.03.10 :D
    Hubby DEBT-FREE as of 27.03.15 :D

    Debt at LBM (June '07): £8189.19
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