Ready to be debt free

in Debt free diaries
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DD265DD265 Forumite
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I've been here before and then lost focus. :o

I currently owe £6187.53 on two credit cards, all interest free at present. Last year I was raking it in on the bonus scheme at work and would pay off over £1000 a month across several debts. This year my targets are not achievable and although I had a pay rise I'm still bringing home less and therefore I don't feel like I'm making any significant progress.

Now for my confession: £3800 of that has been spent this year. That's a real eye opener - and I do have a list of exactly what it was spent on too. If I hadn't done that, I'd be well on my way to clearing the other card within months.

I have YNAB and can see two key areas to cut back, one easier than the other.

1) unnecessary supermarket/snack spending. You know the £5 here, £3 there that all adds up, despite the fact that you did a meal plan and a weekly shop.

2) this is tough; I have a horse who's recently retired. At £600 a month he costs the same as what I contribute to our home/bills. He hasn't been 100% for years but he's healthy and happy enough to be a pet so I'm in the see-how-it-goes camp at the moment. A large part of the £3800 was a throw-everything-at-it last attempt to get him being ridden happily, and we did have a really good couple of months so whilst I do regret some of the spending, I really appreciate those memories too.

My plan is to find/make the funds to start making over payments on the card with the largest balance. I do reasonably well selling on eBay and I've a mountain of things still to put on as well as some currently active listings. I hate having to wait days/weeks between making extra payments so I'm hoping the eBaying will still let me feel like I'm doing something useful.

Wish me willpower ;)
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  • Good luck!

    Sorry to hear about your horse. It's very lucky to have you as an owner. X
    May 2015: £11685.56 / November 2017: £2076
    Credit card: £302
    Paid back : £700 / £2476
  • JLS1901JLS1901 Forumite
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    Good luck DD, you've made the first step :)
    Welly x
    :wave:
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Thanks both! :)

    I'm currently eyeing up my phone contract; last payment in September. I have an iPhone 5S which I'll then own outright. I thought about upgrading but I'm just going to buy a new case instead. I have some credit on Amazon so hopefully that'll cover some/all of the cost.

    I now need to work out whether to go Sim Only or PAYG - I'm staying with Tesco but I could reduce my tariff as I don't normally come close to the limits. I think I could go as low as £7.50 a month which includes 500mb data (I average less than 300mb a month) but there's the option to add a 3GB bundle currently for £2.50 a month so the 2GB one will be cheaper (currently included in my tariff). I can add them on an ad hoc basis as well which is slightly more expensive but could be cheaper overall.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    I've been looking at my DW Fitness gym membership today; at £38 a month it's a fair chunk of money.

    To be fair I don't use the pool much these days but I do go 5x a week to at least three different branches a week depending on where I'm working. That alone makes Pure Gym more expensive. I'd join Virgin Active (we get 50% off thanks to a work perk) but there is no gym locally. There's a council pool and gym right over the road but they open too late and close too early; I have a long commute. I asked them about opening earlier but I don't think there's enough demand. :(

    My parent's house has sold so all the gym equipment is there for me to keep/donate/sell and I could put most if not all of it in the spare room. That wasn't really what I had in mind for the space though and I don't know whether I'd remain as committed or train as well at home. Currently the room is full of stuff I need to sell on eBay so it's a bit of a moot point. :rotfl:
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    So OH just paid me £567 for his half of the holiday we took in June. I wasn't sure which card to pay it off:

    Barclaycard would then be below the £2000 mark which feels like a big milestone. Interest free until January 2018.

    MBNA card would still have over £3000 on it but I've been making lower payments against that account just because the direct debit has to be the full balance or the minimum. Interest free until December 2017.

    I opted to pay it off the MBNA card because it bothers me that I ran up such a high balance. If I could possibly get the cards down to £1500 and £2500 respectively by Christmas I think that would be worth celebrating.
  • edited 4 September 2016 at 5:17PM
    DD265DD265 Forumite
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    edited 4 September 2016 at 5:17PM
    I went to a bridal fair today (OH and I got engaged earlier this year and we're looking to get married in Spring 2018) for some inspiration. Spent £10 which is fine to come out of my budget and have chosen a cake vendor which is clearly crucial. We haven't booked a venue yet. :rotfl:

    One idea which I did come away with was rather than providing disposable cameras to guests, and having to pay to print the photos without knowing whether it's worth it, was hiring digital cameras. You then return the cameras and get several thousand unedited (but turned the right way up) photos to trawl though. I'm not sure if we wanted to give guests cameras to use specifically (as opposed to their phones) but hire is an interesting option.

    In other news, I have introduced my sister to YNAB. I think she was amazed by how simple it actually is, so hopefully she'll find it useful. We both have our father's spending habits, the difference is she just hasn't got any savings whereas I'm older/stupid-er and have the debt to boot. :o
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    I'm just washing some more things ready to go on eBay. I also have a big pile of "stuff" to sort out and determine whether it's suitable to go on eBay, so I'm hoping to get quite a lot of listing done over the next week or so. Sales are definitely slow at the moment but I'm liking the 100 free listings a day as I can just relist over and over with the odd minor tweak.

    My definition of a NSD is when I spend something on one of my cards (I have two debit cards, two credit cards and a PayPal card which I'm never sure which category it falls into). I don't count direct debits or cash, as any money in my purse is already spent as far as my budget is concerned. So today was a NSD, despite the fact that I spent a little at lunch time. Withdrawing X amount of cash at the weekend and having that care free money to get me through the week works well for me.

    No additional payments to make at the moment which I find frustrating. I hate the waiting for more income. I daren't decimate my bank account with over payments as I'm working away at the end of the month and have to pay to eat out 2x a day before claiming it back on expenses.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Well I've ended up paying more off my MBNA card this month than I thought; they still took the minimum payment. Originally I expected that, but when I logged in after making my first over payment, the minimum payment amount was 0.00. I must've just caught it at changeover or something. Luckily I have that little bit of wriggle room this month so I shouldn't miss the almost £40 too much..

    Today I returned some clothes that didn't fit and had a refund for some items I'd already returned. That's the downside to losing as much weight as I have; it's been costing me in clothes! I've been trying to buy better quality cheaply where possible, but there's still a chance that I'll drop another clothes size over the next few months. I'm quite ruthless so anything that doesn't fit or I no longer like shall be going on eBay.
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    The rest of the week thus far has been pretty uneventful. Barring some top up grocery shopping from the joint account yesterday (we do our main shop at the weekend so can't always keep everything fresh enough) I've had a run of no spend days, and I still have a little cash in my purse.

    I sold something this week too so that added to my PayPal account and some cash back tracked on Quidco, but I'm waiting for both to build up to higher amounts before I withdraw.

    I've managed to avoid filling my car up for this week due to low usage last week/this week so that's saved me about £40! I usually have to fill up once a week as I average 500 miles per week. I budget £200 a month for fuel and never use all of it, instead siphoning it off to other budget categories. Now I'm hoping to take the remaining balance at the end of the month and either pay it off a credit card or into my emergency fund.

    I earned 2p interest on my emergency fund; that has to be a record :rotfl:
  • DD265DD265 Forumite
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    Today was a spend day - fuel and also withdrew my "weekly allowance". Did the weekly/butchers shops from the joint account too and it did come to more than normal but we're still within budget.

    We had a smart meter installed this week, as we weren't permitted access to the meter by the landlord. We do have issues with the display getting a signal from the meter which means taking it outside, but we had issues with estimated bills so I'm just glad that'll be sorted!

    We also need to pay for several months of electricity from the previous supplier (long story). They sent us a miscalculated bill for £1800 - I recalculated to £300 - so we've given them plenty of information/evidence and are just waiting for the revised bill. We got a refund from the current supplier (overcharged due to estimated readings) so we set that aside plus a bit extra to cover this.

    It's strange; usually by this time in a month I'd either be mid-spending spree or experiencing buyers remorse on items I can't return. Instead I'm feeling pretty financially stable! :)
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