Journey to debt freedom

in Debt Free Diaries
23 replies 1.8K views
Here it goes.
Myself and DH have realised that if we want to have any chance of enjoying life again then we need to face up to our debts and do something to get control of our finances again.

We have no children although our 1 year old lab is spoilt as if she is a little baby. We don’t live the lavish lifestyle although we have probably treated ourselves to a few too many holidays over the last few years which has lead to credit cards spiralling out of control. We took out a loan to consolidate the credit cards but already there is £2000 on them.

I have started and failed to clear debt so many times. Have taken part in so many debt free challenges I start with good intentions and it all then seems to fail.

I am doing this diary for myself to keep me motivated but if anyone wants to join me along the way that’ll be an addded bonus. I have read a few diaries over the last few days and they have been really inspiring. Seeing how long some people have been adding to this gives me the confidence that I can do this.

This morning I have done my SOA. Just need to guess how I post it. Wish me luck !!!127808;!!!127808;
Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
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Replies

  • helejenkins1helejenkins1 Forumite
    227 Posts
    Total monthly income.................... 3200[/b]

    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 589
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 856
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 200
    Electricity............................. 45
    Gas..................................... 49
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 31
    Telephone (land line)................... 29.75
    Mobile phone............................ 96.38
    TV Licence.............................. 12.37
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 51.75
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 10
    Petrol/diesel........................... 260
    Road tax................................ 2
    Car Insurance........................... 73.04
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 10
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 30
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 17.27
    Buildings insurance..................... 18.65
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 43.77
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10
    Haircuts................................ 10
    Entertainment........................... 0
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2644.98



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 225000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 20000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 245000

    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
  • helejenkins1helejenkins1 Forumite
    227 Posts
    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 161572...(589)......1.44
    Secured Debt.................. 44454....(422)......0
    Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 6402.....(194)......0<
    Hire Purchase..................11280....(240)......0
    Total secured & HP debts...... 223708....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mbna...........................1065......75........0
    Barclaycard....................1061......30........0
    Total unsecured debts..........2126......105.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,200
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,644.98
    Available for debt repayments........... 555.02
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 105
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 450.02
    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
  • helejenkins1helejenkins1 Forumite
    227 Posts
    This is saying that if I stick to this budget I should have £450.00 left every month. In reality that is not the case. The grocery spending is far too much. I!!!8217;ve never really added up what we actually spend but I know in reality that we are spending more than this. When we get paid in 2 weeks time I am going to get £200 out of the bank so we can see it going down and will need to start pulling in the purse strings when that little pile of notes gets smaller.
    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
  • Working_MumWorking_Mum Forumite
    522 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
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    Hello and welcome,
    I am a self employed, single Mum with an exH who doesn't pay his bills!! I have had to budget and found dealing in cash and stashing my cards away has helped me budget - once that cash in my purse/envelope has gone it is gone!!

    Have you heard of Dave Ramsey?? He is from the USA but his ideas are simple to implement and offer real food for thought.

    You've taken the first step by posting here - it is a stake in the ground!! Do you made a list of when your direct debits go out of your account and when all of your insurances renew?? I have a diary and calendar which I note all of these things in! You can get apps etc but I am a bit old school/analogue!

    I track everything I spend in my spends books (a lovely mindful exercise everyday which keeps my budget dynamic). I always ask for a receipt and track it in my books - this shows me what I spend where and I subsequently can use to budget or save money (I can be a bit of a food hoarder when I am stressed!!). You will be amazed at what you can save once you know where you spend your money and easily adopt simple money saving strategies like going an extra day before going food shopping!

    I always shop with a list, I menu plan and live a frugal but full life. I have envelopes for future things....Xmas, birthdays, parties etc and always seem to be planning a few weeks/months ahead for things like birthdays, socialising and insurance renewals.

    I check my bank accounts every single morning so no nasty surprises and I always pay the minimum on my cards (I have a fluctuating self employed income) but I have snowballed my debts over the years and it has an amazing impact. I know when all of my insurances renew and they're marked in my diary and on my calendar so I can start to plan for those well ahead of time - I am paying my car insurance in one lump sum at the end of the month rather by direct debit - it was a goal to do from last year and I have saved for it and am really chuffed.

    So I suppose I am saying these things take time and debt busting will have a positive impact on all areas of your life and you can move towards your future knowing you are doing little things every single day which have a massive cumulative impact!

    ((hugs))

    WM x
  • helejenkins1helejenkins1 Forumite
    227 Posts
    Thank you so much your your reply. It really is encouraging. I sat down and wrote everything down. When I did the SOA I was stunned at how much I should have left over so we are definitely going to start righting everything down.

    I!!!8217;ve made a few steps this morning as I!!!8217;ve been up since 4:30 reading everyone else!!!8217;s diaries.
    Our broadband contract was ending so I!!!8217;ve got that down to £22.50 and got a £75 Tesco voucher !!!55357;!!!56835;
    Switched utility supper and saved £32.00 although I was in debit with them so will expect a bill soon
    Swapped life insurance and saved £23.31

    So I work that out as an extra £62.56 already !!!55357;!!!56832;!!!55357;!!!56832;
    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
  • Working_MumWorking_Mum Forumite
    522 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 500 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Fab result!! Put those extra pennies to work!!

    Have you got online access to your bank accounts?? It is easy to transfer odd £'s etc over to cards etc when you have online access.

    The other thing I would recommend you do is an audit of your food cupboards, home cleaning stash and also your personal care items like face cream, shampoo etc - if you know what you already have you don't need to buy this item for a while! I had about 6 jars of pesto and 12 cans of deodorant and I won't even mention the bleach......

    Fab start!!
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Hi and welcome .

    I would guess you have no money left at the end of the month because you have no amount for entertainment or Emergency Fund which as a homeowner you need, so this is probably where your money goes , going out etc.

    Anyone will tell you consolidation rarely works unless you are a saint and never use a credit card again !

    I would have a look at your accounts and credit card and see what you have been spending on, it can be quite eye opening . Track your spends for a month , give yourself entertainment budgets , start an EF . It can take months to tweak your budget to be just right .

    I still live a good life , travel , go for weekends away but it's all in my budget now. All this advise comes from having been there and done it , ie consolidating etc.

    After a while it comes as second nature to shop with a list , ask yourself if you really need something or is it a want .

    You have made a start , good luck .
    !
  • We barely go out. I really can’t remember the last time. I suppose there’s bits and pieces for the dog that isn’t accounted for anywhere.

    I do suspect it’s the grocery shop. I can walk to [email protected] in 2 minutes and don’t think twice of going there for a little walk there and come out £10 lighter.

    I’m going to keep all my receipts and see where I’m going wrong.

    I’ve had a look in the freezer and I have enough meat in there to not need to buy for 2 weeks and have meal planned for the next 9 days.!!!129315;!!!129315;
    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    It's a great start then , maybe you should walk the other way when you go out , less tempting ! It's surprising when you have a freezer dive what you find .
  • helejenkins1helejenkins1 Forumite
    227 Posts
    So day one of getting my finances in order was quite a success. I have to keep logging in here to keep up the momentum as I am so determined this time.

    Saved £62.38 by switching providers of 3 of my direct debits. In the process I managed to get a £75 Tesco voucher for switching broadband providers and £100 amazon voucher for switching life insurance.

    I logged into my valued opinions account that I haven’t used for about 3 years and there was £7.75 in there so I sat and did surveys till I was at the point I could cash out for another £10 Tesco voucher. Because of all these Tesco vouchers I decided that it would be a good idea to sign up to a Tesco Clubcard. I have also found a site that pays you in Clubcard points for completing surveys.

    Listed the chair covers I had for my wedding reception on gumtree. They sold within half an hour and collected an hour later so that was £45.

    One of the reasons we have got ourselves in this mess is because of our love for travelling and holidays and not a nice cheap getaway either. In the last 5 years we have been to New York twice, Orlando 3 times (including a rather expensive Disney wedding the once) followed only 8 weeks later with a Caribbean Cruise for our honeymoon and a trip to Monaco for the Grand Prix last year. Needless to say this has to stop although it is driving me crazy knowing we have nothing to look forward to.
    All these trips through duty free has meant that I have ended up with a massive perfume collection. By massive I mean I counted them and I have 26 bottles. Most of them with maybe one squirt from them. I took the plunge and realised if I live to 150 I would probably never use them all so they have 13 of them have been listed on eBay. I woke up this morning to see all but 1 has a bid so that’ll be a nice little sum of money next week.

    Wow I realise I’ve rambled one here. My only money making mission today is to switch my bank account to get the £150 incentive.
    Make £10 a day in May- £90/£150
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