Flo 2.0

in Debt free diaries
68 replies 7.4K views
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
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Replies

  • KaronherKaronher Forumite
    889 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts
    Forumite
    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
  • 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
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    83.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Forumite
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 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.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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
  • Seasidegal58Seasidegal58 Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    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!”
  • 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
  • Seasidegal58Seasidegal58 Forumite
    5.4K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    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!”
  • redofromstartredofromstart Forumite
    3.4K Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Forumite
    :hello: hello Flo, happy new diary
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