Let's do this!

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
618 replies 37.1K views
Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
2.1K Posts
Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
✭✭✭✭
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
Hi everyone :hello:

I've been a member on the forums for some years, but not been active for a long time. I really want to get myself out of debt and feel that keeping a diary will keep me accountable so I came over here :)

My debt has accrued since my 20s where I think I bought things to fill a void without being able to pay them back. I've been a bit of a "I need to have it now otherwise I'll never be able to have it!" type person. It's only recently (I'm now 37!) that I've been able to give myself a talking to and say if I don't have the spare cash then it can't go on my cards. I'm spending far too much on minimum payments which could go towards holidays and treats etc.

Dealing with my debt has also been difficult as I've been a been a student for about eight years :eek: so paying the fees has come first, although for my latest (and final!) course I had to pay for some of the fees on my credit card. Not ideal by any means but the career opportunities and salary will enable me to pay off more towards my debts.

I'm studying a doctorate and will be doing my viva in March 2018. A few months' ago I got a new job on the understanding that I would be qualifying in my profession shortly. Once my viva is passed (assuming I don't totally botch it!) I'll be qualified and my salary will increase to a level where I can pay £200-£200 per month extra off of my debts.

But it's not just the salary increase which will help. My whole mindset has to change and I hope that by keeping this diary it will help motivate me to keep going and wipe this debt off for good! I'll post my numbers in the next post.

I look forward to "meeting" you all. Please feel free to chip in with money saving ideas or other ways to reduce debt as I'm aware there are wiser souls here than myself :D
«13456762

Replies

  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    All my debts are on credit cards, with MBNA being the highest rate:

    Barclaycard - £6,502.77
    Tesco Bank - £4,135.51
    MBNA - £6,839.99 (credit limit is £12,500)

    Total debt - £17,478.27

    My total minimum payment for all these debts is £418.81 per month.

    I have no room on my Barclaycard or with Tesco Bank to transfer some of the MBNA balance unfortunately. MBNA currently have a promotional rate of 6.4% (I think) until 2023 for balance transfers. I did think of transferring my Tesco Bank balance, but this would take me up to almost my limit on MBNA and I wasn't sure if that would be detrimental?

    I couldn't figure out how to edit my first post, but it was meant to say I could pay £200-£300 extra off my debts once I had my salary increase but this won't be until around June time.

    Goals
    Well, until June the goal is to use what spare cash I can to reduce my debts. In order to actually have spare cash I'm going to need to do the following:
    • Reduce my monthly shopping bill. We pay about £180 for my husband and I, plus a small dog, but with better meal planning we could reduce this a bit. We don't buy branded items and we take our own lunches to work already so that's not a problem.
    • Stop/reduce spends on takeaways. We can always buy frozen pizzas or treat meals from the supermarket instead which would be much cheaper.
    • Stop/reduce buying "wants" rather than needs (i.e sweets, soft drinks)
    • Unfortunately my beautiful cat, Charlie, had to be put to sleep on new years' day :( however, it was costing £80 per month for his special diet food and insurance so I'll be paying this off my card which was used quite a bit for his different treatments at the vets
    • I've recently signed up to Swagbucks so I need to be consistent in doing the surveys/searches and shopping to get SB points (I've already cashed in £5 from them :j)
    • I've signed up to Prolific Academic, People Per Hour, and Academic Minds in the hope of earning some extra cash for my writing skills
    • I'm putting away a bit of money towards Christmas presents and also towards my car MOT and service which both fall in October. I'd rather have a pot set aside for these things than having to put them on a credit card because I've left it 'til the last minute.
    • My husband and I are going away to Cornwall in June so we're going to have to put a bit of money aside until then to pay the balance (£200). Again, this is better than leaving it until June and then trying to find the whole lot in one go.

    Barriers
    It's worth listing what might get in the way of me reducing my debts as we all have our weak spots, not matter how well intended we are!
    • Needing to keep my "wants" versus "needs" in check and not spend what I can't afford
    • Being patient. Sometimes my lack of patience in being able to pay off big chunks of debt means I discount being able to pay off smaller chunks. For example, I shouldn't dismiss paying off £5 here and there just because it might not be the £100 I want to pay off.
    • Emergency spends. Sometimes life throws up things that might require some unexpected spending. I guess if I can refrain from unnecessary spending then this will lessen the guilt if something crops up.

    That's all I can think of for now. Any suggestions please feel free to comment :D
  • notmy1sttimenotmy1sttime Forumite
    61 Posts
    Third Anniversary 10 Posts
    Hi Lileth,
    I have no words of advice as I am currently getting my debt totalled up (and my tax return in!) but I am here to support you along the way. I started a diary last month but only managed to post to it once, got scared and still haven't totalled up my debt (until today).
    Lets support each other through.
  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Lileth,
    I have no words of advice as I am currently getting my debt totalled up (and my tax return in!) but I am here to support you along the way. I started a diary last month but only managed to post to it once, got scared and still haven't totalled up my debt (until today).
    Lets support each other through.

    I agree, it's scary facing up to what debts we have. I hate seeing the number and it doesn't sit easy with me but I'm determined to get a handle on it now. My studying days are almost over so I can focus on putting the money towards the debt. Hope you manage to carry on with your diary, as I'm sure there are lots of people here to support you, including myself :)
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
    12.3K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good luck with your Viva in March. My daughter was awarded her PhD a few years ago and the stress it caused her for the 5 or 6 years she was doing it was incredible. She was working full time for the last 3 years though so that was probably part of it and she was lucky enough to have the fees paid and a bursary for the first 3 years though.

    It opens up a lot of job opportunities so hopefully that will help you clear the debt. That is a fairly substantial minimum payment each month so it would be good to get rid of the debt for that reason alone.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam[email protected]
  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Good luck with your Viva in March. My daughter was awarded her PhD a few years ago and the stress it caused her for the 5 or 6 years she was doing it was incredible. She was working full time for the last 3 years though so that was probably part of it and she was lucky enough to have the fees paid and a bursary for the first 3 years though.

    It opens up a lot of job opportunities so hopefully that will help you clear the debt. That is a fairly substantial minimum payment each month so it would be good to get rid of the debt for that reason alone.

    Thank you :)

    Believe me, I cannot wait to finish this doctorate. I've worked throughout mine as well and it's been stressful to juggle everything. Plus, my manager at my last place wasn't very supportive of me doing the qualification which only added to the stress.

    I think maybe because it's all coming to an end, it's given me some breathing space to really think about sorting these debts out. I feel more determined and positive in my mindset that I can do this.
  • MunchinMunchin Forumite
    2.7K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi Lilith

    Good luck. I am a terrible fritterer and my wants are usually treated the same as needs:o. The good news is that you will soon have the extra money to really focus on getting your debt down.

    *subscribes.
    DEBT 6 March - £688 NSDs- 3/301 (start 6 March 21)
    Goal 1 - Prudent reserve - £2,500/£10,000 (25%) - represents some security
    Goal 2- New hearth - £50/£2,000 (2.5%)
    Goal 3 - New to me car - £0/£8,000 (0%)
    Goal 4 - Rewire house - £0/£4,000 (0%)

  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Munchin wrote: »
    Hi Lilith

    Good luck. I am a terrible fritterer and my wants are usually treated the same as needs:o. The good news is that you will soon have the extra money to really focus on getting your debt down.

    *subscribes.

    Thanks Munchin. Looking forward to making a dent in the debt!
  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    Seeing as I started my diary today I might as well add some positive things I've done:

    • NSD :D
    • Signed up for Shoppix and tried to sign up for Shopprize but they have no spaces yet so I filled in the form to notify me when I could apply
    • Earned 50p for a short survey on Prolific Academic
    • Got accepted for "whatusersdo" where you test websites and comment as you go through the site using the microphone on your computer. I had to do an audition and keep moving my mouth toward the microphone on my laptop as it's rubbish at picking up sound, but it obviously worked! You earn £5 a test but I'm not sure how often you get sent them.
    • Had roast chicken dinner and will use leftover chicken for lunch tomorrow
    • Paid £5 off my MBNA card which I'd cashed in from Swagbucks. I'm owed more points from something I purchased so should be able to pay another £5 off soon

    I'm hoping I feel better tomorrow as hubby has passed his lovely cold onto me :o
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    76.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Sorry about your cat.
    MY fur baby is 17 1/2.

    Happy shiny new diary.
    I hope all goes well for you.
    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.***
  • Lilith1980Lilith1980 Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker
    ✭✭✭✭
    beanielou wrote: »
    Sorry about your cat.
    MY fur baby is 17 1/2.

    Happy shiny new diary.
    I hope all goes well for you.

    Thanks Beanielou. Your cat is a good age :)

    My Charlie was a rescue so we were never really sure how old he was. We thought he was perhaps 14, but he could have been older. Hubby and I were talking about him today and how quiet the house is. Cats are great company.

    We have a yorkie crossed with a chihuahua. Her and Charlie were good buddies :)
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Students - apply for uni funding NOW

If you plan to get a place via 'clearing'

MSE News

A guide to council tax bands

Lower your band & save £1,000s

MSE Guides