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And Baby Makes Three!

Hello All,

Welcome to my shiny new diary for 2016! I've decided to put my debt/ savings tracking down on 'paper' and hopefully alleviate some of my stresses as I do so.

This year we have a bigger reason than normal to get it sorted as I'm now pregnant :j! My plan was to get into a better finanical position before we tried but time was ticking and it all happened a lot faster than I'd expected. I cannot wait to hold my baby and am so grateful to be so fortunate. I just need to make sure we are as ready as we can be in the limited time left before the baby arrives.

Anyway, the debt is better than it was and is going the right way down, just need to finish paying things as soon as possible so I'm going to keep an eye on spending and start shifting money into savings/ debt paying.

We have a 0% credit card for 32 months and the loan is a fixed amount payable until September 2016 (if we overpay on this we lose out on an incentive at the end, plus the amount we pay each month is pretty high at £620!). I'd really like to focus on coming out of the overdraft on our bills account and putting a decent chunk of money into the savings ready for my maternity leave.

Deadline is June 2016 so wish me luck!
Debt Plan 2016:
Total = £7,477
CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
Overdraft = £1,468
Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

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Replies

  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
    10.8K Posts
    Savvy Shopper! I've been Money Tipped!
    Good luck with your journey. And congratulations on your happy news.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • Back again! We did well last night and even though payday isn't until Friday, we popped to A!di for a few bits and spent less than £10 (including dishwasher tablets). In T!sco that would probably come to £20 for the same things so I'm definitely a convert.

    I can't make any payments until payday but I'm thinking of:

    a) rounding down accounts and moving the small extra into the overdraft
    b) taking out £50 cash per month to hide away. This will be for a Christmas fund but I'm hoping we won't spend anywhere near as much as this and can put any left over money to something else once Christmas is gone.
    c) I'm aiming on a new monthly target of £200 for food (including dog food). It's a bit of a stretch compared to what we have been spending but A!di just shows what you can get for your money. I'll write down how much per week I've spent and any leftover will be moved to savings.
    d) Get back into food planning as we are terrible for overspending on food - anything for a quick fix!
    e) Fill out online surveys reguarly and let the amounts tot up. My experience so far is it will take a long time so I'll ignore the totals and just keep plodding along.

    It all looks so easy when written down but the proof is after a long day at work, with travelling and coming home to try and cook dinner (all while growing a little baby in my belly!).

    I found that my debt isn't as scary as I was imagining. The loan is a regular payment we've been paying for the last year and a half (and will continue to do) and the credit card is on a 0% deal for a long time. I just need to see what the min payment is when it comes out and make a decision how long to take to pay it off. I can either throw the money at the overdraft or savings or pay off the card quickly. Given my future low income (I think maternity pay is around £130/ week), I'm thinking it'll be better put into savings to see us through those difficult months.

    I would have loved to be in a position to be off for a full 12 months with my new baby and then return to work locally in a part-time position so the baby can meet some friends and I can have adult company. As it stands, I really don't know what I'm going to do. Childcare is so expensive and my job involves so much travel that I just don't know if it's feasible to continue... but I need the money!

    How do other people manage? Do you just suck it up for a few years until the free childcare kicks in? I think I'd be entitled to that. I know we aren't getting any other help so we've got a massive mortgage payment, plus the extras which we will have to make sure we pay.

    See, I've stressed myself out again! Grrr!
    Debt Plan 2016:
    Total = £7,477
    CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
    Overdraft = £1,468
    Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

  • Another day down and some money has been paid into the account. I was hoping to keep under £50 for the week for the 2 of us (and possibly factor in the dog food too) but seeing as the freezer and cupboards were close to bare, I've spent about £53 in A!di today and a further £8 on dog food (some of the A!di spend included frozen meat for the dog too).

    It's a bit annoying to be off target already but I will update my spreadsheet tomorrow and account for everything that has come in and gone out. We need to eat so at least it wasn't too wasteful (one thing was something for the baby thinking about it which perhaps we could've waited for but it was £8 and seemed like a good offer).

    I hope I don't end up making lots of excuses on this diary though! It'll never get sorted if I use that mentality.

    We shouldn't have to spend anything tomorrow so fingers crossed I can keep it like that.

    I'm looking forward to seeing the bank account online soon and being able to cross out a little on each piece of debt (although the credit card may take a while as it's a new one and the first payment presumably won't be until later in the month). My plan is to move a big chunk of money to our savings account too in preparation for my reduced wage during maternity leave.

    Anyway, onto brighter things... took my Doppler heartbeat monitor around to my mum's today so she could hear it. When she was pregnant with me they didn't offer scans and you couldn't listen to the heartbeat. That sounds pretty scary to me to go through the whole pregnancy without knowing if everything was ok - I know it's not certain now but these little markers in the diary feel like a milestone is achieved and it's safe to carry on to the next one.

    My 20 week scan is next week and I'll find out if I'm having a boy or a girl. Very exciting!

    Plus I bought a lottery ticket so you never know :-)
    Debt Plan 2016:
    Total = £7,477
    CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
    Overdraft = £1,468
    Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

  • ScrimpsScrimps Forumite
    355 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Good luck with everything and congratulations. I dont know how people manage with the childcare as I dont yet have any children but you are getting a good start by planning ahead.

    Try viewing or joining the grocery challenges on the old style money savings board, it may help with some ideas, I joined it to try and keep myself accountable. If you think you will be spending money on baby items over the coming months, and its very exciting so I can see why you would want and need to! - perhaps have a separate budget for that? That way you can keep yourself in line and not be questioning yourself when you do it.
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
    13.9K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Ambassador
    Good luck and congratulations on your pregnancy. My daughter is on maternity leave after having our first granddaughter last September. She is adorable �� Do you have any family who would help with childcare? My daughter wants to do like you and go back to work part time to her old company and I have offered to help with a couple of days childcare. I only work part time too. I think her MIL has also offered and luckily we are all local and they will try and put her in nursery too for one day a week so she has contact with other children.
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing [email protected] All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    Save £12k in 2023 Challenge #8 £12,000/£3700
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  • Hi Scrimps - that's a good idea about keeping seperate notes on what's spent on the baby. Except for the moses basket and some new clothes for me, we've not really begun. I'm hoping to use the nearly new sales for most things and I've had people say they will give us bits and bobs so hopefully that'll happen as it will be a huge help!

    Hi EnthusiasticSaver - I really wish my family was local to help. Sadly it's a drive in the wrong direction for me which wouldn't be practical with the current job. I've started wondering if it's worth moving back to where we used to live so I'd be closer to my mum. It's a big decision and we really like our house but we are wondering if we can sell this house for a profit (it lookes promising) and buy something cheaper back home.

    Well payday has been and gone and it's a stark reality looking in the account. I've moved some money over to cover our bills (and added a bit to reduce the overdraft - around a £200 reduction) and I've put some into the savings account. I think my initial plan of £1000 a month was vastly off target. It would still be nice (and wouldn't even get me to my goal) but seeing what was left after the bills account was topped up, I only managed £500. I've got about £240 left in the account until the next payday but I'm determined to hit my target on the food budgets so this will be fine.

    With the money paying off some of my overdraft and the loan, we've paid £793 towards these this month! Quite an achievement when you look at it like that I think!

    I think when I've tried to be on target with debt repayment in the past, I've been very attentive to the figures at the start of the month but the stuggle is keeping it going until the next payday. That's when silly overspending happens so I need to keep on board throughout. I've got a figure now of what's left in the account so I'm going to take a notepad out with me. Every purchase goes in it and then is deducted from the total.

    I'll also browse on the old money saving forum meal planning pages. I've got a plan for this week (as I'm all motivated) but I'll used the help of others to keep me on the straight and narrow.

    On other news, the baby is kicking like mad lately and then goes very quiet for periods of time. I think that's it's way of reminding me that my life will be filled with worry from now on :). Scan will be this week so I'm really excited to find out if it's a boy or a girl!
    Debt Plan 2016:
    Total = £7,477
    CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
    Overdraft = £1,468
    Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

  • Back again! I haven't posted too often as it's boring at the moment with money all gone out and no real ability to reduce anything.

    That being said, the accounts are looking fairly good (as long as we can keep on track). I've got a little notepad which has my current balance in and I'm marking in what's been spent (£4.50 today on milk and a luxury of a basic car wash as it hasn't been done since before Christmas).

    My meal planning is going well and due to the small amount of money in the account for food each week (hopefully it'll just be for this month), I'm really sticking to it. We haven't gone hungry but I'm just more motivated to make lunches for the next day and cook what we said we would for the evening.

    I've factored in Pancake Day, although it doesn't require too many ingredients and at the end of next week I'll plan the Valentines Day meal. I'm thinking steak as a treat - it's a lot cheaper than eating out though! Plus I need a little present for the dog as it's his birthday and I'll be making him a doggy cake (this doubles as his food for the following 4-5 days).

    All in all I'm feeling pretty positive about it all. I had an impromptu sit down with the hubby last night (it can be difficult trying to have the serious conversations sometimes) and we talked through our plans for my maternity leave, returning to work and also finances (up until now I've been doing most of the finance planning - he's just told not to buy anything or if he has to, let me know how much has been spent).

    It looks as though we will actually be ok (touch wood)! Re-looking at the finances, they aren't as dire as I led myself to believe. Not sure if I just went off on a tangent and worried myself over nothing. We should be able to use his wage for the mortgage and all bills and my SMP will cover food and baby things. I know that the SMP isn't great but I'm still working hard on putting money into the savings account to cover months where we need a little more.

    We've also talked about my job and I've said I'll go back (even though it's not the most practical). He's actually the one to say perhaps it's not a good idea/ I should do it for a few months and look for something else while I'm there. I'm happy with this but it will mean I'll need to get a car (unless the something local is very local), but that's a long way off yet.

    Tomorrow is scan day so we will be finding out if we are having a boy or girl! I feel so much better about everything and I might actually be able to enjoy this scan. When we know, we might look to start decorating the nursery - although hubby has said we shouldn't bother and just wait until the baby is old enough to choose for him/herself. Um, no! I'm not going all out with furniture (mostly second hand) so all I'm asking is a bit of paint and a lamp shade. We had a refund of £25 this week and he's off all of next week so maybe I can persuade him...

    Anyway, after that long ramble I'll leave it on a happy note. Otherwise I may start overthinking again!
    Debt Plan 2016:
    Total = £7,477
    CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
    Overdraft = £1,468
    Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

  • snozberrysnozberry Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Congratulations! I get childcare vouchers which help. Because they come straight out of my wage, it feels as though I don't have a bill to pay (if that makes sense)

    Enjoy every second of being preggo and when you are on mat leave. I absolutely loved it. It's tough being a working mum but you will find a way to manage
  • Congratulations! Hope that all goes well with the scan tomorrow.

    I have 2 young children and they are expensive in terms of childcare costs and reduced income by working part time, but you'll manage I'm sure. Forward planning now will pay dividends later.
  • BOY! I am so happy! He's looking healthy from what could be seen - he moved around a lot so we had to stop the scan half way through and I had to walk around to try and get him to change position. It worked, only for him to flip upside down again. No wonder I've felt quite a bit of movement so early - it started around 18 weeks.

    I cannot wait and although we weren't planning on getting
    all blue or pink, it just makes it easier to choose things. I don't need to worry about the sonographer making a mistake as there was no way it wasn't a boy :rotfl:!

    We've gone mad and treated ourselves to a pizza deal (£14.50 as I was starving) as a one off. I don't feel bad though as it felt like we needed to do something different and it tasted good! I didn't even need to dip into the account for the scan photos as I'd forward planned and already had the money waiting stuck on the fridge for the last few weeks.

    I'll stop grinning soon but it just feels amazing! Everything else comes second now. Even work :eek:! It's so hard to stay motivated - partly because of exhaustion, partly because of pain and partly because it just doesn't feel so important. I best get my bum into gear next week though or they may tell me off!

    Debt Plan 2016:
    Total = £7,477
    CC1 = £1,670, Loan = £4,339
    Overdraft = £1,468
    Savings = £2,235 (aiming for £12,000)

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