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Aligning the Stars

edited 19 December 2018 at 2:25PM in Debt Free Diaries
547 replies 43.2K views
StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
537 posts
edited 19 December 2018 at 2:25PM in Debt Free Diaries
Hi All,

I've been lurking on the forum for a couple of years and this year I am finally ready to fully address my problems.
A little background... I became a parent at 21 and became a single parent at 22 with no support from my DD father. Not exactly how I expected things to turn out! Thankfully I have an amazing family who have tried to help where they can.

Well 6 years of working my bum off still didn't give me enough money to live off and between health scares, court fees (thanks to ex) and just trying to get beans on toast on the table I found myself in a LOT of debt.

Now I shan't pretend I am a complete saint. As well as needing credit cards to pay for solicitors fees, my studies, food, council tax and just trying to keep us warm and fed...I also treated us to nice clothes and holidays. It was a pride thing, I didn't want people to think I couldn't cope, I didn't want my DD to miss out and being a single mum working 7 days a week is HARD.. I needed the treats for my sanity.

At my very worst I carried almost £24,000 in debt over various loans, store cards and credit cards. YIKES!

Well fast forward to present day and my life has improved unimaginably. I met my DP who has honestly changed our lives. He helped me see how strong and capable I was and with him by my side I set about living instead of surviving.
My DD and I moved in with him almost a year ago and at the end of last year I pushed myself to get the job I deserved. So without the pressure of being completely financial responsible for my family (and the nice pay rise from my new job) I'm now in the position to get rid of the last reminders of my old life...The debt.

I had my light bulb moment just after Christmas and have made massive headway in the year so far.
As of today my debts look like this:
Overdraft £1000
CC1 £2247 (currently @18.9%)
CC2 £3347 (2/3 of this is at 0% until October)
Loan1 £2113 (this is due to be paid off in August 2019 and fairly low interest approx 7%)
Loan2 £7352 (this months payment still to go out- paid off Oct 2019 again lowish interest was used to pay off a 24% CC)

so total debt today £16,059 :eek:

I know I can do this. I am determined. This diary is for general ramblings and to keep me on track.

So here's to getting my life in order and aligning the stars for an amazing future :beer:
debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D


  • StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
    537 posts
    So here is the plan.
    I currently have zero savings which means getting into old bad habits of having to use CC1 when my car needs repairing or DD shoes need replacing.
    Goal 1 is to save £1000 into a starter emergency fund and set up a regular £50 pm into an instant access account for car repairs etc.
    Goal 2 is to pay off the 2 credit cards as soon as possible (current estimates state they should be gone by July 2019)
    Goal 3 is to increase EF to £5000
    Goal 4 is to start some "life-savings" perhaps in an S&S ISA. - I would like to replace my 12 year old car in the next 2-3 years and save for some big life goals.
    Goal 5 is to increase my pension contributions to 15% of my earnings.

    I do not wish to post a SOA but after my contribution to the household bills (my contribution to the mortgage, council tax, energy etc and also the amount we each put into our joint account which covers food, petrol, family holidays and days out, school expenses) I am left with approx £1100 each month.
    this splits as follows.

    Mobile phone £8.79 (just switched to a fab sim only deal)
    Fitness £45.98 (i know this is high but this is swimming lessons for me and DD)
    car tax/ins £56.37 ( again high but i had a no fault accident in 2016)
    contact lenses £9.00
    National trust £9.55
    other various £30.00
    Loan repayments £491.94

    This leaves £448 to save for an emergency fund, pay off the credit cards and cover other expenses. I keep £100 a month aside for treats (clothes, meeting friends, general spends) I have a trip in July for my 30th birthday that i'm hoping to put half of this away each month for that ( flights paid, hotel will be £86 each for me and my friend and i'd like to have £120 spending money for food and museums) I'm determined to not get into old habits of using my credit card.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D
  • StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
    537 posts
    MSE task of the day:
    I looked into 0% balance transfer credit card offers. I'd like to move CC1 and the interest balance of CC2 over. I looked at my eligibility and as my credit score is pretty good decided to apply for a new card, This could save me almost £1000 in interest over the next 18 months so fingers crossed I get accepted. I should find out within 5 working days.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D
  • Poppy1984Poppy1984 Forumite
    451 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Hi there I just wanted to give you some support, I also had my DS young and became a single mum I completely understand where you are coming from in terms of building up debt so people wouldn't think you couldn't cope.
    Well done tackling it Head one and good luck with your journey I've subscribed and will be following your journey to debt freedom! :) x
    19-02-18 Total Debt £30,322
    Debt remaining: £13,425
    Original DFD Aug 2024 New DFD June March Jan 2023
  • StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
    537 posts
    Hi Poppy. Thanks for your message. Best of luck to you too. We have got this!
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D
  • savingholmessavingholmes Forumite
    12.2K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Just wishing you well on your journey to freedom
    During 2020: Target 1) Reduce debt from £25.1K to £5K or less @ 0% Now down to £19,535 Target 2) Overpay mortgage - now @ £770 OP Target 3) Improve pensions Target 4) Declutter 52 bags - now done 18/52 5) Lose 14lbs - now at 9lb lost 6) Build EF/Savings pots to £2K by 31/12/20
  • edited 6 March 2018 at 10:49PM
    Scott_Weiland_2Scott_Weiland_2 Forumite
    799 posts
    edited 6 March 2018 at 10:49PM
    Best of luck with your journey#

    Your first step is done ie posting here your second step is a reality check ie do whats called an soa which I can see you have done and look at whats possible to cut.

    I don't expect you to post the soa its your call but it can help.

    Do you use survey sites and cashback sites and if not why not lol????
    Extra income is there to be had.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
  • StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
    537 posts
    Hi Scott Thanks for stopping by.

    I have posted my outgoings somewhere above and listed my debts and the rates. I've not included any finances that involve my DP as it's not fair on him to make those public.

    I did sign up to one survey site yesterday and i may look at it in more depth when I have some free time...although free time is somewhat limited between my full time job, my DD and the 10-15 hours of studying I need to do each week for my professional qualification (this should be complete next spring and will result in a very handsome pay rise)
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D
  • Scott_Weiland_2Scott_Weiland_2 Forumite
    799 posts
    Try these few survey sites they are usually quite short and sweet maybe 5-10mins per survey. Every little helps and all that

    Opinium research

    Opinion Outpost

    Power of opinions


    and prolific academic.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
  • UncannyScotUncannyScot Forumite
    2K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Photogenic
    Hi and welcome :D

    Looks like you have definitely got a grip on this...

    I had a real paradigm shift in my attitude towards credit / debt and I now purposely avoid anything to do with credit; I save for what I need / want, cut costs wherever I can, live frugally but happy.

    I have an Emergency fund building up and proper savings for the first time in what feels like eons. I have carry over funds from month to month... I am living again :D

    If you need any advice or Info just post up and folks will come help... we're nice like that ;D

    Good luck, will follow and support
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
  • edited 8 March 2018 at 12:18AM
    StarmummyStarmummy Forumite
    537 posts
    edited 8 March 2018 at 12:18AM
    Happy Hump day folks!

    I'm having a pretty positive week this week. It's just me and Starchild at home this week as MrStar is on one of his many foreign work trips until the middle of next week. It's certainly seen the food in the fridge go a lot further.
    A quick pop to M&S (closest place in last weeks heavy snow) on Saturday morning saw me spending £24 on a load of veg, bread and a whole chicken. The Chicken lasted from Sundays roast, through to a homemade chicken and bacon pie on Monday and Tuesday, to a chicken curry tonight...with an extra portion popped in the freezer.

    We tend to do a smaller shop twice a week as I find we waste less, plus i tend to go on the way home from work and I walk to work so i can't carry a weeks worth. But Today I took the car and spent £31.07 in Ald!. Menu plan sorted until next Tuesday. This includes breakfasts, Starchild's lunches, dinners and snacks. I pop to the ASD4 next door to my office twice a month and spend £10 on tins of soup, rolls and fruit. I know i could probably save a few pennies more by bringing in homemade soup but as I mentioned above I walk to work and it's enough walking 5 miles a day with my laptop and worky bits without flasks of soup weighing me down.

    We do have a generous *household spends* budget and the past two months has seen a surplus rolled over, however I am reluctant to reduce my contribution to this as 1) we go to see MrStar's father in Spain at Easter so will need a bit of spending money (flights paid) and 2) we are currently renovating our house. MrStar is paying for all building work, kitchens, bathrooms, windows (it's listed so the figures make me feel ill) but I like to try and contribute through our joint account for the little bits, tins of paint, light fittings etc just so i feel like i'm doing my bit. We are having a carpet put in our bedroom next month (goodbye draughty floorboards) and with current projections of savings in the joint account we can pay for that too.

    I got a little suprise in the post today. as well as the usual takeaway menus (straight in the bin) and bank statements (filed) I got a voucher for 3 free packets of sanitary products. That should keep the beauty budget lower until summer. The money gods are on my side it seems.

    Take care
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £9,788.01/£12,618.12 :( (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £97.24 Other Savings £12.17 House Deposit £4,762.64/£20,000 23.8% :D
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