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Feast or famine

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
55 replies 4.9K views
1356

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  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Happy Christmas!

    Money still to shuffle but debt will be down to £26,200 so £2,500 reduction since last month and £9,800 overall.

    Includes £300 from OH's left over dollars and almost £400 from cashing in my S&S ISA.

    Had a response to a complaint I made about a CC company who got my address wrong resulting in 3 credit searches instead of 1. They are removing the 2 additional searches and will give me £50 as compensation :beer:

    £90 spent at emergency vet as cat injured her foot on Christmas Day :o Thankfully she is insured (until end of December, cancelled her renewal as premium was so high and we self-insure, it is only her who is insured!) so only had to pay excess and admin fee.

    And so it goes!
  • edited 29 December 2018 at 8:51AM
    CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    edited 29 December 2018 at 8:51AM
    Okay, I need to be more accountable so will try and post here at least weekly with an update of activity relating to my life improvement.

    Very spendy month has resulted in huge credit card bill - £1,200 for car and house insurance, Christmas, vets, high grocery shopping bill etc. Bill will be generated around 2nd Jan so there is still time to do more damage but will try and limit it.

    Will have to make a part payment to credit card during January in order to stay within credit limit with balance paid off after pay day towards the end of the month.

    Estimated reduction at end of January will be £1,100.

    In February I will have a £400 water bill to pay plus service for my car (estimate £200). OH wants to buy some IT stuff which we have put off for several months but which will benefit us both so need to bite the bullet at some point. Plus we have the builder booked for Feb. So all in all that is going to be an expensive month as well! Estimate at this time would be £500 reduction for end of February.,

    On the plus side by March there is not too much planned although OH's car needs tyres and a service some time in the early part of the year - we should be back to normal by March (hopefully!)
  • Just popping in to say wow! You've paid off so much so quickly- you must feel great! Don't worry too much about the massive bill this month, treat it as a reminder of why you don't want it that big every month! Keep going and you'll be debt free in no time!
    ETA x
  • foxglovesfoxgloves Forumite
    7K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    I absolutely 'get' what you said earlier in your diary about 'feast or famine' re attitude to blitzing debt. I remember this feeling well from my Spendy Decades, which I've detailed in my own DFW diary. My old journals show how my lightbulb would flicker for a couple of days & I'd live on lentil bolognese, then on Day 3, I'd be back at a certain cosmetics counter flashing the plastic! Ultimately, it was a major attitude shift (for both of us), budgeting & balance which succeeded in paying off the c.£35k we owed at our worst.
    You've made a good start - put December down to a blip, learn from it & keep going. It is well worth it in the end.
    "Begin doing what you want to do now. We are not living in eternity. We have only the moment, sparkling like a star in our hand and melting like a snowflake".
    Sir Francis Bacon 1561 - 1626 (Philosopher & statesman)
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Thank you both, December was definitely a blip and I will find my way again! Foxglove, that is an impressive amount to pay off.

    We are very lucky to both earn good money but as a result we are used to buying what we want when we want it (OH more so than me but I have got into bad habits). The good salary comes with a sacrifice in that OH works away a lot during the week so I want to get the most from our earnings by using them to renovate the house and pay off the mortgage sooner, not having to pay off debt.

    On the health front, we have bought a cross trainer. My plan is to start the couch to 5k again but right now I feel like I'm too heavy and it will damage my knees so this will give me some low impact exercise in order to lose some weight before I restart running. OH is aiming to do a half marathon in 11 weeks :eek: but I'm aiming for a more realistic but still ambitious target of doing a 10k in 13 weeks time (furthest I have ever run is 6k!)

    The cross trainer was £100 but a) I will cancel my gym membership at £13 per month so it will pay for itself in about 8 months and b) OH paid as he doesn't know the pin number for his joint account card so it came out of his "float" which I don't include in the debt neutral total so it was FREE (sorta) :D Now we just need to make sure we use it regularly - no excuses :cool:

    On of my health targets is to lose 3 stone - ideally by my birthday in June but certainly by the end of next year. Talking to my sister recently we both said we are craving healthy food after so long of too much booze and carp food :rotfl:

    Off to see family tomorrow, will take electric car so costs about £5 instead of £30 in my petrol. Quite a bit of "clutter" leaving the house - we always aim to take more than we come back with :D

    Our toaster is on its last legs and the kettle is not doing well so we need to replace them both - we've got a gift card from OH's work for a certain retailer which my BIL works for so will ask DS if she can order the ones we want and get her discount. They are not cheap but the gift card would cover most of the cost and we would only have to pay around £20.
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Happy New Year everyone!

    After the amount we have eaten and drunk recently, I am so looking forward to going alcohol free in January, eating some healthier food and doing some much needed exercise. It takes a little while to start feeling the benefits but hopefully soon I won't feel so sluggish, exhausted and generally horrible!

    So new year weigh-in starting weight is 13stone3lb. I won't start the "diet" today as I am craving carbs but from tomorrow I shall be good!

    Cross trainer is set up but needs a bit of a service which OH can do as its quite noisy.

    I predict a morning of drinking lots of tea (hydration!) and reading a few diaries before tackling the state of the house.
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Working from home today; just been out for half hour walk with OH and it felt good to be out in the fresh air and moving more. Dropped a bag of books off at phone box library and brought two home with us (which will go back there once finished) and put a form in the post in relation to our water bill.

    Will go to @ldi after work tomorrow (haven't got one near home but there is one near office) and do a stock up shop.

    Yesterday ended up being quite productive - spent a couple of hours in the garden clearing brambles and bushes, OH put a mirror up in the kitchen which was going to go in living room once finished but looks really good where it is, started next batch of sloe gin and bottled the last of the 2018 batch.

    Had a much better night sleep for being alcohol free last night but think I need a few more nights like that before I am fully recovered.

    Made soup for lunch to use the last of some leftover gammon and there's enough leftover for tomorrow's lunch.
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Get me, even managed 10 minutes on the cross trainer tonight, although I had a Bridget Jones moment when I got off it :D

    And in more exciting news, the hen I hatched last year laid her first egg today - she is a hybrid which lays olive coloured eggs so very exciting.

    Back to the office tomorrow for first time since 20th December :(
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Didn't make it to @ldi as the heel came off my shoe at lunchtime so no way was I up to clipping round a supermarket after work! At lunchtime got all my family Christmas cards in Clintons at half price and did a big stock up at Wilk0 so not a NSD.

    Also had two cats to take to vets (OH took them as I was at office) so another £100 bill :(, although some may be claimed back from insurance - existing claim started before policy ended so may or may not be paid out, will be a bonus if it is.

    £70 cash paid into bank :).

    Debt now standing at just under £26k :beer: but will update towards end of January.

    Made lunch for tomorrow
  • CCW007CCW007 Forumite
    131 posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    foxgloves wrote: »
    I absolutely 'get' what you said earlier in your diary about 'feast or famine' re attitude to blitzing debt. I remember this feeling well from my Spendy Decades, which I've detailed in my own DFW diary. My old journals show how my lightbulb would flicker for a couple of days & I'd live on lentil bolognese, then on Day 3, I'd be back at a certain cosmetics counter flashing the plastic! Ultimately, it was a major attitude shift (for both of us), budgeting & balance which succeeded in paying off the c.£35k we owed at our worst.
    You've made a good start - put December down to a blip, learn from it & keep going. It is well worth it in the end.

    Just revisiting Foxgloves' comments as they have been playing round in my head since I read them.

    I don't believe we have had the major attitude shift which you are talking about. Because we earn good money and don't get into debt spending on the every day things (it's always the big ticket items like cars) we think we are just fine.

    That's not to say we are actually in financial difficulty but we haven't saved up for things like we used to; our savings got wiped out when we moved as we pushed ourselves to get to 10% deposit instead of 5%. Then we built back up but needed to replace the roof which took all our savings and some of the "stooze" money we had accumulated - so we were in debt. Got back to debt neutral (still had stooze money in the bank) and bought OH's car. Got almost back to debt neutral and bought my car. And so it goes on.

    The challenge is we need to do a lot of work on this house - we can afford it but I would like to save up rather than perpetuating the cycle with using debt (albeit 0%), paying it off, using more debt and so on.

    Our income is very unbalanced - OH's income is more than twice mine. I work in public sector so my pension will most likely be better than his despite lower contributions so it will all balance out ultimately.

    However, my income would not cover all out outgoings if he lost his job (even if we didn't have minimum repayments - currently £650 - to make). There is no reason to think he will lose his job as he is very well thought of and in demand for projects but one never knows what the future holds and I don't like being in the position we currently are.

    So (and I know this is DFW101 but bear with me) for the very first time I am keeping a proper spending diary. I have done it before but always retrospectively and only based on credit card spending. It has amazed me how much I spend unconsciously. I thought yesterday was a NSD then realised I had spent £2 on milk money for work, then paid the council tax bill by credit card (so I get cashback), then I bought mum's birthday present, then OH taxed his car.

    So my NSD actually cost me £435. But it was budgeted. Except it wasn't as my budget is just me working out how much I have spent after I have spent it.

    So I will keep the spending diary going (have a notebook in my bag which I will use when I am out then update the spreadsheet when I get home). Then budget properly rather than just forecast.

    Wow, that was a long post!
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