Spending my dash more wisely while clearing the debt to do so

in Debt Free Diaries
99 replies 7.1K views
I'm starting this diary while sat by a pool in Paphos. It seems as good a place to start as any (well, better than any place I can think of if I'm honest!). It's day 5 of a 24 day stay.

Why the long holiday if I'm in debt? Well, it's not your average trip abroad. Alternate years I come out to visit my parents. They retired out here about a decade ago. I put the flights on my credit card and they give me the cost of the flights in cash when we get here, we then use the cash as spending money while we're here. It's a lot of money for them to give me, but they claim it makes up for not spending a lot on the kids for Christmas or birthdays, not buying Easter Eggs (lord knows how much they think they'd spend in Easter Eggs!) or giving their grandchildren regular spending money. It also makes my parents happy to fund our trip so who am I to argue, particularly as I doubt they'd have seen so much of their grandchildren over the years without their vast generosity (Mum and I have only been skyping for about 3 months as she gets over her technophobia, but a cyber hug could never beat the real thing anyway).

So, in a nutshell, I'm by a pool in Paphos contemplating how I can get out here again next year without my parents funding us. I've noticed a definite ageing in them both since I last saw them in the flesh and leaving 2 years between visits is not an option any more. The problem is, I haven't paid off the flights for this visit yet. We remortgaged in January and shifted the credit card debt onto the new mortgage, so in reality, it'll be 15 years before these flights are paid for. Plus, I still have one original credit card debt left over and another two that were paid off have started to creep in. I need to battle the debt before it takes over again (credit cards, overdrafts and a car loan hit £21k before the remortgage). There was some money left over after the remortgage but that has been used to bulk up our income and we only have around £3k left which will soon go on 'living' if we don't take control of our spending.

The plan, therefore, is firstly to pay off the credit card creep. Secondly to create an emergency fund to cover the things I use the credit cards for (e.g gardener broke a window pane in my conservatory two days before we came away. No response to the voice message I left on his phone and I couldn't leave the country for 24 days without arranging for the window to be fixed. This is the sort of thing an emergency fund would be useful for. I've left my eldest children with a blank cheque and a glaziers appointment and will have to deal with the consequences when I get back). Thirdly, to either save up for flights to Paphos, or to establish a way to pay the credit card bill for flights as quickly as possible.

Other plans include;
1. Start repaying mortgage when debt free so that I can retire, or at least decrease my hours, when dh retires in 10 years time.
2. Drop another 30lb before we come out to Paphos next year (SW helped me drop 30lb this year so I'm going to keep working at it)
3. Spend more time doing fun stuff with the kids, the last 4 days have been fab. We've barely left the pool and the stress has just melted away in the sunshine.

That's about it for now. I'll add a proper signature later but here's some guesstimated figures for the moment.

Cc1: £990
Cc2: £350
Cc3: £290

Monthly overspend £350
Mortgage £200k (£52k more since January :eek:)

Pool time :D
MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
- - - -
What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
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Replies

  • rockm87rockm87 Forumite
    847 Posts
    Wedding Day Wonder
    ✭✭✭
    start with a SOA?
    Total Debt in Feb 2015 - £6,052 | DEBT FREE 26/05/2017
    Swagbucks £200 Valued Opinions £100
    Dave Ramsey Baby Step 2 | Mr Money Mustache Addict
  • NintudNintud Forumite
    182 Posts
    Thanks rockm87. Unfortunately I can't add it at the moment. I'm on an iPad and the SOA won't copy across to the thread. I've made one and saved it to add from my laptop later this month. Basically there is a £1126.23 shortfall per month. I've saved us thus far by dipping into the remortgage excess and my examiner fees (but A levels are wrapped now so there's no more where that came from until next year). We can manage another 2-3 months before we start living on credit again :-(

    One thing the SOA does reveal is that paying for 5 mobile phone contracts each month is ridiculous. DS1, DSS3, DH and myself all went over our contracts last month and I paid £204 for our mobiles last month!!
    MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
    0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
  • rockm87rockm87 Forumite
    847 Posts
    Wedding Day Wonder
    ✭✭✭
    honestly get something on here as quick as you can, there are some awesome guys on here who will pick through it and give you some great advice (they're touch but it's worth it).

    Even if you just get something basic down for now.

    the longer you leave it, the worse it will be.
    Total Debt in Feb 2015 - £6,052 | DEBT FREE 26/05/2017
    Swagbucks £200 Valued Opinions £100
    Dave Ramsey Baby Step 2 | Mr Money Mustache Addict
  • NintudNintud Forumite
    182 Posts
    SOA to the best of current knowledge:

    Houshold info;
    Adults 4
    Children 4
    Cars 1 owned, 1 company

    Monthly income;
    Me - 1900
    DH contribution to joint account - 1500
    Benefits - 244.60
    Other income - 271.15
    Total income - 3915.75

    Monthly expense details;
    Mortgage - 1551.15
    Council tax - 146
    Gas & elec - 180
    Water - 80.68
    Landline - 32.22
    Mobile phones - 215
    TV licence - 12.18
    Groceries - 500 (guesstimated for now)
    Clothing - 50
    Petrol - 80
    Road tax - 23
    Car insurance - 23
    Car maintenance - 25
    Child care -220
    Other child related expenses - 117.05
    Medical - 10
    Buildings insurance -15
    Contents insurance -10
    Life insurance - 51.51
    Other insurance - 11.49
    Presents - 150
    Haircuts -30
    Entertainment - 40
    Emergency fund -50
    Gym 25.50
    Current account fee - 2
    Garden, windows, bin clean - 52.40
    Union subs -13.95

    Total assets -257000
    Total unsecured debts - 2780.66 (this includes a joint credit card of about 1300 which we currently clear each month, but we're using savings to do this and this can't continue)

    Monthly budget summary;
    Total income; 3915.75
    Total expenses; 3721.63
    Available for debt repayments; 194.12
    Monthly unsecured debt repayments ; 1365 (inc the joint credit card full repayment)
    Amount short for making debt repayments; 1170.88 (clearly once the savings go we will not be able to pay the joint cc in full and will slip further and further into debt)


    Two of the adults are non-contributory, one is a full-time uni student, the other is working at the moment but starts a years teacher training in September so is saving for that.
    MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
    0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
  • NintudNintud Forumite
    182 Posts
    dH pays for sky and wifi from his personal account.
    MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
    0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
  • rockm87rockm87 Forumite
    847 Posts
    Wedding Day Wonder
    ✭✭✭
    could i just ask what 'Other child related expenses - 117.05' are?
    Total Debt in Feb 2015 - £6,052 | DEBT FREE 26/05/2017
    Swagbucks £200 Valued Opinions £100
    Dave Ramsey Baby Step 2 | Mr Money Mustache Addict
  • Mara_uk7Mara_uk7 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭
    How about dropping the gardener, window & bin clean and doing them yourself or with family help ? Gas and electric and mobile phones are HUGE , Is there any way to reduce this ?
    Its just a bad day, Not a bad life .. :cool:
  • NintudNintud Forumite
    182 Posts
    Other child related expenses are;
    swimming lessons (£25.50 per month and I felt these were essential in preparation for visiting my parents and the dangers of a pool outside the front door. These were for ds3 who is now a competent swimmer, when ds4 moves up the waiting list I will swap ds3s lessons to him and keep the cost to just one child at a time).

    Cheer leading subscriptions - £25 per month for dd2. She's been competing in a team for 4 years, works her guts out for 4-7 hours each Sunday (and has just recovered from breaking her own nose with her knees!). The discipline she has learnt in this sport has paid dividends.

    Bus fares to school - £5 each weekly for ds2 and dd2 to travel to and from school on my day off (I drive them in every other day. On my day off I take ds3 to school, rather than use breakfast club, so they bus it). Any change is their weekly pocket money (60p if they use two buses each way, £2.80 if they walk part of the way. Not the most generous of weekly spends for a 15 and 16 year old).

    £10.50 per week for school dinners for ds3. He was only eating ham sandwiches and I feel he gets a more varied diet if he eats school lunches rather than fusses about packed lunches. Ds4 gets free lunches when he starts in September and this s a factor in paying for ds3 to have them too.

    £10 per month into savings for ds3 and ds4. Having funded two through uni so far I now know the importance of planning ahead in this department. I intend to increase this figure ASAP.

    I could put ds3 back on packed lunches, but as I have mugshots (3 for £1 from BM!) For my lunch at work, I think I've made the financial exchange to let him dine with his bro. Stopping cheerleading would be perceived as punishment and as dd2 has so little from me I think she deserves to continue her commitment (plus she's a base and the pyramid would be lopsided without her!).

    Swimming lessons are a 1-2 year commitment, but with the phenomenal progress ds4 has made this week we may get a head start on the lessons.
    MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
    0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
  • Thanks for the post in my diary... subscribed!
    Total Debt - Jan 2014 -[STRIKE] £13,207[/STRIKE] £12,712
    [STRIKE]MBNA - £27.10 Cleared![/STRIKE]; Student Loan - [STRIKE]£3233.68[/STRIKE] £2607.25; Hitachi Capital - [STRIKE]£478.23[/STRIKE] £328
    MBNA CC - £[STRIKE]5975.19[/STRIKE] £5973.96; Tesco Credit Card £5384.50
    "A Rolex wont buy you any more time"

  • NintudNintud Forumite
    182 Posts
    To do the windows I'd need a long ladder and a head for heights (or a different dh!). I've already cut the window cleaning from fortnightly to monthly.

    The gardener is in bad books as he broke a conservatory window before I left for Cyprus and did not return my call. I've arranged repair but will be chasing the cost of this when I get home. I've dropped the gardening (just mowing and strumming) in hard times previously. However, we have two broken lawnmowers and a broken strimmer in the garage as a consequence of dh's attempts so I'm not sure which is more cost efficient, paying a professional or letting reluctant dh loose with power tools. To replace gardener I'd have to buy a mower and strimmer and either take on the job myself (and magic the time in which to do it) or perpetually nag dh to get it done. Ds1 is painting the fence, has dug out overgrown bushes and tree and plans to lay new patio so could also mow, but isn't home often enough to keep the lawn down regularly.

    I feel I've just added a cluster (?) of buts with no solutions.

    What would I use to clean out the wheelie bin (I don't have a hose or a pressure washer and the rotten thing was maggot ridden last week - yuk)?
    Would bucket and dilute bleach get the job done? I don't fancy getting in it to scrub it all out!
    MBNA 0/2320. Sant 0/5115 Windows: 186/2050 GC 0/170
    0/21lb for :happylove. £ Per day 31/365. Emergency Fund #7: 650/1000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
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