New Year, New Diary

After a fun filled year which started with fantastic MSE intentions, I am sad to say that my money saving and debt paying seems to have gone in the completely wrong direction.

- I am now about £2000 more in debt than I was this time last year
- I have an additional credit card and car loan
- My overdraft (which was interest free) is now charging me money every month

- I am now a married woman! And it was the best day of my life, and completely worth the ridiculous amount of money it cost. I am very thankful to my mum, who paid for the majority of it, because without her we would definitely owe a lot more money right now
- I can drive and have a car to call my own
- I have a plan to sort all of this out.

After spending too many hours adjusting and updating my spreadsheet over the past couple of days, I now feel like I have a bit more of an idea of how to tackle my seemingly ever-growing debt. It currently looks something like this:

Argos Card - £755.08 - pay £135 pm - cleared August 2017
Natwest CC - £402.54 - pay £65 pm - cleared by August 2017
MBNA CC - £1382.57 - pay £100 pm - cleared by November 2017
Overdraft - £1480 - pay £20 pm until CCs cleared - cleared by April 2018

Additionally, I should be able to save £200 pm to pay for our honeymoon without relying on the CCs and also to start building up an emergency fund, which was completely wiped out by the wedding.

Debt free things to do every day:
- Start shopping at Aldi - now I can drive I have no reason to carry on shopping from the 'big' supermarkets, and now I can park a little bit better, I have no reason to be scared of the small, always busy car park.
- Keep track of every penny spent on my spreadsheet, so I can see where I am coming in under and over budget each month. I have bought some small plastic wallets and plan to start using cash to help keep on top of this!
- Stop buying unnecessary snacks and fizzy drinks on the way to work. I don't need them. I just need to stop.

So, there it is. My mess and my plan to fix it. I hope to use this diary to keep myself accountable and also to read back on to remind myself to never get into this state again. That £300 pm could be used in much better ways than paying people money I owe them.


  • After a long think about everything in the gym, I've realised I can save myself some interest by paying £135 to the natwest CC from my March pay, and still pay off the amount I need to before one of the BNPL offers ends at the end of May on my Argos card. This won't save my loads by any means, but will reduce the interest paid on that account. I can then do the same again with my May pay, as the next BNPL doesn't end until November.

    I have planned to have both cards paid off by August, which I will still be able to do, but by clearing the natwest one first, I will have saved myself some interest which is always a positive, even if it is just a few pounds each month!
  • Today has turned out to be quite a spendy day, but thankfully the majority of it was necessary and useful!

    £30.01 - petrol
    £33.50 - food shop (split with OH)
    £3.25 - greggs (from eating out budget)
    £6 - reed diffuser (from treat budget)

    I have taken these spends from my March budget leaving me with:
    Travel - £69.99
    Food - £66.50
    Treats - £74
    Eating out - £46.75
    Presents - £20

    I have also managed to move £70 into my savings account which is being used to put money aside to pay off the OD, and a grand total of £9.83 into another savings account for the start of my emergency fund.

    I have found reading other diaries so inspirational and motivating today, so definitely want to keep adding to mine to keep myself accountable.

    I also want to continue rounding down my bank balance to the nearest pound at least as some form of PAD.

    Still feeling very positive about potentially being debt free in 14 months!
  • Hi Dotty
    Congratulations on the wedding and your plans to clear your debts.

    Good luck on your journey I will be following you and cheering you along.
    I shop in Aldi too and find that things are so much cheaper but just as delicious.
    Emptying my lake with a teaspoon
    EF - 100/1000
  • motivated wrote: »
    Hi Dotty
    Congratulations on the wedding and your plans to clear your debts.

    Good luck on your journey I will be following you and cheering you along.
    I shop in Aldi too and find that things are so much cheaper but just as delicious.

    Thanks very much! It will really mean a lot to have someone cheering me on over the next year or so!

    Completely agree on Aldi - just as delicious as the food we get from anywhere else!
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    Hi Dotty,

    Welcome, I have subscribed to your diary. A fellow Aldi shopper.
  • Today should be a NSD. My only plans involve working, gym and tackling the washing up mountain that seems to have grown in the kitchen. After shopping yesterday we have plenty of food in, so no reason at all to get my purse out!

    I have ordered some plastic envelopes online which should be here soon. I'm going to be using them to split my cash each week for food/petrol/treats so that I can make sure I'm not overspending in any category. Any left over each week will be carried over into the following and I won't get as much cash out so (hopefully) by the end of the month I will have a slight surplus in my bank account which can be transferred to the overdraft fund!

    On the countdown to payday at the moment so I can make my next lot of payments. My debt is currently sitting at £3970.19 and so far this year I have paid:

    Argos - £270
    Natwest CC - £16.69
    MBNA CC - £50
    Overdraft - £70
    Grand Total: £406.69

    I am still due to pay another £300 in March plus any over payments which will be saved for the overdraft, which will mean over £700 paid in 2017 so far!
  • Hi Dotty,

    Welcome, I have subscribed to your diary. A fellow Aldi shopper.

    Thanks for the welcome! :D
  • Just checked my credit score on noddle - it is not looking good! Although I have no reason to apply for any sort of credit it still bothers me that it is between 'very poor' and 'poor'.

    I know the reason for this will be a) I am using pretty much all of my available credit and b) when buying my car, I was turned down for finance by one company but accepted by another.

    I hope that by the time I am in a position to either be putting a deposit down for a house or purchasing a new car this will be much better. One positive, I guess, is that I have never missed a payment so all accounts are up to date!

    I have also decided to add my car loan to my spreadsheet, as I would like to start overpaying this once I have paid off my credit cards and overdraft to reduce both the term and the interest!

    Starting to feel slightly overwhelmed!
  • Not much to report today - yesterday was a NSD as planned, and todays spends total £6.40 on bits for my lunches at work next week. Spreadsheet has been updated so can see how much I have to last me until the end of March.

    Today's debt balance stands at £3894.17, so already an improvement from when I started this diary, with a couple more payments to come off when I get paid. I look forward to updating my signature on the 18th once I have made those payments and (hopefully) a few more PADs :)

    I have also put a few more pennies into my Emergency Fund bringing that total to £11.81. Not sure what emergencies it will get me out of at the moment, but it needed to start somewhere so I'm feeling positive it has something in it at least!
  • NSD today - at work all day and absolutely exhausted tonight! My calves are really tight from the gym on Saturday so I plan to do some stretches this evening to try and get rid of the pain before my exercise class tomorrow evening.

    I'm aiming for a minimum of 4 NSDs this week, and hoping for at least 15 this month - lets see how that goes!! My reasoning is I have everything I need for lunches until Wednesday, at which point I need to buy some salad-type things, and then will hopefully not spend anything else until the weekend. Either Saturday or Sunday will be my 'food shop' day, and Sunday we will probably have a day out, so may spend something then. Hopefully will not need petrol until later next week, as that will be my next 'big' spend!

    My plastic wallets for my own little envelope system arrived today, so hopefully when I get paid tomorrow I can withdraw and distribute my cash where it is needed.

    Still feeling positive - All my credit cards will hopefully be cleared by November which is a fantastic feeling!
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