Making a Fresh Start at 40

After years of ignoring my debt, I've finally decided that at 40 I really should be able to look after my finances better than I do! So this is the year that I start acting like an adult.

I started the year with two credit cards and an overdraft.

CC1: £1880/£1990 APR 20.9%
CC2: £4690/£4700 APR 29.9%
OD: £250 (free overdraft)

I've basically been bouncing around making minimum payments on cards until there was £100 credit available on them, and then spending that credit immediately. Also missing payments and going over my credit limit pretty regularly. I've been in my overdraft for as long as I can remember, and quite often go over the limit which means I pay charges. No savings and going nowhere fast!

I have a husband and two teens, DH doesn't know how much debt I have and I don't intend to tell him. I don't work regularly, but have an 'allowance' of £800 plus the child benefit of £137 each month at the moment, plus occasional bits from freelance work (need to do more of that !). That allowance has to cover petrol and basic costs for my car, all my expenses, clothes for the boys and pet insurance and vet fees for my dog. I should have plenty of money left over to pay off my debts each month!

I've been doing some jiggery pokery with credit cards and have been throwing every spare penny at them since the start of the year. My current debts are:

CC1: £1250/£1900 at 20.9%
CC2: £219/£4700 at 29.9%
CC3: £3000/£3200 at 0% until September 2017
CC4: £958/£1000 at 0% until September 2017
CC5: £0/£950 at 29.9%

CC1 will be going up before it goes down because one of the boys needs a whole load of new uniform that I haven't budgeted for :mad:
CC5 was opened at the start of the year and is just being used to try and improve my credit history. I pay for petrol on it and immediately put that amount into a savings account so I can pay it off in full. I'll close it at the end of the year.
I managed to finish last month at £200 overdrawn and I'm hoping to knock another £50 off it this month.
I have also managed to save £100 - it's not much of an emergency fund but at least it's a start. That's in an account that I can access easily, but I get a higher rate of interest if I don't make withdrawals.

I've done a snowball, and if I can pay £350 per month then I can be debt-free by July 2017. If I only manage £250 per month I'll be clear by the end of 2017 :T Those are my target dates, and I also want to try and build up at least £1000 in my emergency fund by the same time.

I've been selling things that I don't really want or use, doing surveys, cashback - I think all of the big payments have probably dried up for a while so I thought this diary might just help me keep focussed and motivated :T:T:T

Now I'm off to sign up for some challenges as well!


  • Good luck with your debt busting. What steps have you taken to increase the freelance work. I assume now your children are older you would want to take up more full time employment. Can this freelance work provide this sort of role for you?
    Good luck
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
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