Flo 2.0

Hello everyone!

It is a new year and a new diary.

My previous diary, entitled 'Flo's Debt Free Diary' started on 6/12/15 when I was about one bad decision away from financial ruin. I didn't realised what it was called at the time, but it was clear I had had my 'Light Bulb Moment'.

My credit card and overdraft debt at that point was £5150. I prioritised paying off my debt but by the end of 2016 after 4 months of unemployment it had crept up to £5196.92.

In 2017 I tried a different tactic. I stopped spending. I stopped myself buying 'things' and instead could only spend money on the following approved categories (outside of standard bills and the food budget):

Postage and Packaging
Clothing Maintenance (dry cleaning, reheeling shoes, fixing clothes)
Social
Homeware
Work Expenses
Travel (Day to Day)
Travel (Visiting)
Gifts
Health

I was not completely perfect and did end up buying things from the 'contraband' categories. BUT in 2016 my spends on 'stuff/things' was over £2000 and in 2017 it was £400.

This strategy worked and I was able to pay off over £3000 of debt, which was a combination of the credit card debt and some money I owed my long suffering OH. This included clearing my £1000 overdraft.

Because I have now paid my credit card bills for this month I can say my credit card debt is now....

£3935.

It is spread across two 0% balance transfer cards, but I am half way through my offer period with them, so I have 11 months left on one and 12 months on the other. I am not optimistic I will clear the balance before the time ends, this is because so far I have been extremely cursed on the job front.

So, onto the job situation.

I am 28 years old and I have never had a full time permanent contract role.

I got into debt because of years of zero hour contract jobs I couldn't seem to get out of (but to be fair no one was forcing me to spend money on clothes either). For the last 2.5 ish years I have been primarily working at a University on various fixed term contracts.

I am currently working through a temp agency and I may have this role I am currently in for 3 months.

I am relatively intelligent, very hard working, but I have the confidence of a diseased pigeon and rarely have the guts to make an application and frequently look at job advertisements and tell myself I cannot do the job.

In 2017 I started a role I thought would be my dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare and I was signed off work for 4 weeks with stress, anxiety and depression. Mental Health will be a big talking point on this diary. Although I returned to the role I was effectively let go when my probation period came up.

I pretty much have the debt busting thing down. I know what to do, and I am going to live the 'no spending' (for the most part) way of life until my debts are paid. But I am on minimum wage, so will earn less than £1000 a month and will have to be strict with budgeting.

I also owe my OH £1814 which has to be paid back this year. This is made up of money I borrowed off him when I was out of work for 2 months at the end of 2017 so that I could pay my bills.

So once again my debt is back to about £6000.

I am starting a new diary because I do feel like a new person, I feel like I have finally found a way to live frugally and my mental health is better then ever.

My goal this year is to save up an emergency fund. This will be very difficult.

I wanted to be debt free before I am 30, but I am not sure if that will happen.

New Year, New Diary, New Flo.
Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
«134567

Comments

  • Karonher
    Karonher Posts: 916 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Happy New Year and good luck. Is there any way you could look for a higher income even if it meant an extra one, rather than going for a different job. Even a shift a week in a pub or restaurant could bring in an extra £120 a month and give you that little bit of leeway.
    Aiming to make £7,500 online in 2022
  • Florence_J
    Florence_J Posts: 1,942 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Karonher wrote: »
    Happy New Year and good luck. Is there any way you could look for a higher income even if it meant an extra one, rather than going for a different job. Even a shift a week in a pub or restaurant could bring in an extra £120 a month and give you that little bit of leeway.

    Hi Karonher, I have been looking for possible part time work. Really I need to overcome my demons and just get a 'proper' job. The trouble with part time work is generally the sorts that could fit in around my current role are things like cafe/bar/restaurant/shop and as you well know from my last diary I struggle with social situations. I am naturally shy, reserved and find it difficult to talk to people and although I have almost done a complete 180 on what I used to be like I still find it very difficult to talk to people and to do customer service.

    I wanted to begin the diary on a positive note but the truth is I have found today and yesterday difficult. My anxiety seems to have come back. I had a day at work where not everything went wrong but nothing went 100% right either. I have suffered from stress induced IBS and have taken the day off work, this means I lose a day's pay.

    Only last week I said I was the happiest I had ever been, and I meant it then. Now I feel like I am in the depths of despair but I am trying to tell myself that these feelings come and go and they are valid when they happen but the bad thoughts can change for the better.

    Transferred £14 to my OH so that my debt is a round £1800.
    Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
    Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,239 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.

    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • Florence_J
    Florence_J Posts: 1,942 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    beanielou wrote: »
    Happy shiny new diary :)

    Thank you Beanielou!
    Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
    Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
  • Florence_J
    Florence_J Posts: 1,942 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    So, a few stats.

    Emergency Fund = £12.89 (better than nothing)

    DEBTS
    Lloyds 0% BT CC = £1145 (0% ends Dec 18)
    Tesco 0% BT CC = £2790 (0% ends Jan 19)

    FAMILY DEBTS
    Debt to OH that must be paid back in 2018 = £1800
    Debt to Sister that is so old she has probably forgotten about it = £70

    And in the full spirit of disclosure, over the course of our relationship I have borrowed A LOT of money from my OH, that is only to be paid back when all my other debts above have been paid and I am settled in my 'career'. He is not charging me interest.

    That amount is £23000

    Moving swiftly on....
    Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
    Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
  • Florence_J
    Florence_J Posts: 1,942 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    STATEMENT OF AFFAIRS

    (Based on the bill projections for next month)

    Lloyds CC Min Pay £15
    Tesco CC Min Pay £30
    Phone £23 ish (in contract until June/July 18)
    Broadband £29.99 (in contract for another 9 months) (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Energy £76.13 (in contract for another 10-11 months) (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Gym £19.99 (rolling contract)
    1 Personal Trainer session per month £30
    Rent and Council Tax £162.95*
    Food/Household Shopping £250 (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Water Bill £19.57**
    Counselling £60
    Labour Membership £4


    *The reason this appears so low is because I have deducted OH's half of all the bills that come out of my account.
    ** OH pays the water bill in full each year, I divide my half by 12 and pay over each month of the following year.

    TOTAL = £720.63

    INCOME

    Based on my projections, of 37 hours a week at £7.65 per hour x 4 weeks, then deducting 20% tax my income is around...

    £905.76 a month

    So I have £185.13 to play with each month.

    So I could give myself £100 living costs and split the £85.13 between paying back my OH and building up an EF, and I guess I would have to assume that a better paying job will come up soon?
    Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
    Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
  • Seasidegal58
    Seasidegal58 Posts: 5,677 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    Have just realised you’ve started a new diary Flo. :T. Have subscribed!

    I do hope your anxiety has eased somwhat. You appear to have a good plan going forward and here’s to a suitable job appearing on the horizon soon.

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016 🌟
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017
    🌟
    RETIRED: MAY 2021!!!!😀🎆
    My diary: “Seasidegal's Scrimpy Retirement Diary!”
  • Florence_J
    Florence_J Posts: 1,942 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Thank you SSG,

    I am feeling a lot more positive and better. I have had tues-today off work ill which is never good, but January is the time for sickness. As it is only a temping job I hope they don't hold it against me and get rid of me, but if that does happen then it clearly wasn't meant to be.

    I feel good but not much MSE has happened other than racking up a few NSDs.

    One thing I need to do this year as a priority goal is lose weight. I am close to 16 stone. I am relatively tall so I don't look exactly like a blimp (more helium balloon) but my BMI does say I am obese, so the weight has got to go.
    Debt Free Stage 1 - Completed 27/08/2020
    Debt Free Stage 2 - Completed 50/181 Payments
  • Seasidegal58
    Seasidegal58 Posts: 5,677 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Photogenic
    Hope you’re feeling a lot better now Flo.

    I’m the same as you re weight. I’m tall so people never think I weigh quite as much as I do! But I’m certainly in the obese range now. Am making 2018 the year I finally lose it, for my health’s sake if for nothing else! Are you going to use a slimming class or just count calories? I’m on Week 2 of the 5:2. Seems to be going ok so far.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016 🌟
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017
    🌟
    RETIRED: MAY 2021!!!!😀🎆
    My diary: “Seasidegal's Scrimpy Retirement Diary!”
  • :hello: hello Flo, happy new diary
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.1K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449.7K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.2K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 608K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173K Life & Family
  • 247.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards