redlaces vs £15,343.28

redlacesredlaces Forumite
126 Posts
Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
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So, here I am. I’ve been a lurker on here for many years, but never much of a poster, as I convinced myself that I had my debt under control. Having been in debt constantly since moving away to uni over a decade ago (student overdrafts, grrrr), I came within a couple of hundred pounds of paying it off a few years ago, but since then I’ve opened various new cards with a view to amassing cashback and points and basically just treated them as free money. My partner ended our relationship a couple of weeks ago and this has given me the kick I need to finally tackle my debt, as I realised it has pretty much doubled in the space of a year – it was £15,343.28 when I first totted it up a couple of weeks ago.

It’s been a pretty tough year, having suffered a pretty severe mental health crisis that is 85% cured but still lingers at times, losing my grandad, my relationship ending (I adored him) and other family drama causing a lot of stress. I live alone, so when my partner and I separated I realised I need to stop thinking “there will always be more money in the future” and make a plan to get out of debt and into a mortgage for greater security. Ironically I’m incredibly self-sufficient in everyday life, so now it’s time to be financially so as well.

Last weekend I bit the bullet and actually worked out my budget, having told myself for years I have it all under control. Turns out I’m about £200 short each month, which is a little horrifying when you think you have it in hand! I’ve managed to trim the shortfall down a bit and have a plan to chip away at more, luckily a few of my utility bills are coming to the ends of the contracts so I’ll save a bit of ££ switching, I have overpaid tax for the last 2 years so am due a rebate, and have got plenty of stuff to clear out and stick on eBay to make a bit extra.

This forum has been an incredible source of support, inspiration and advice to me over the years and I would like to give back by offering my story in the hope that it might help someone else. So… let’s begin!
Debt Free - October 2022
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Replies

  • WelshKitty85WelshKitty85 Forumite
    1.4K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Welcome! Sorry you've had a tough time recently but well done for starting to take control of your finances. Have you complete a SOA? If you wanted to post one here I'm sure you'll get some suggestions of ways you could start to make savings. When switching utilities etc don't forget to check if you can get any cash back offers. If you're on FB it can be worthwhile listing items for sale on there before trying ebay to save on fees and postage.

    Good luck with your journey!
    Enough is enough...
    £29,603 (22/7/18)

  • pidge04pidge04 Forumite
    779 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary
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    Redlaces, you will win!
    CC £4,012 left to pay (was £5400).
  • redlacesredlaces Forumite
    126 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
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    Thank you to you both, WelshKitty and pidge! Having support certainly helps :D

    I have completed an SOA and am sifting through it with a fine-toothed comb, having seen all of the excellent advice people have posted over the years!

    The great news from today is that I learned I am getting a tax rebate of £82 in this month's salary, with more backdated rebates to come once it's been looked over by HMRC. So that will be going straight off the cards! :D
    Debt Free - October 2022
  • pidge04pidge04 Forumite
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    Fantastic news!
    CC £4,012 left to pay (was £5400).
  • UncannyScotUncannyScot Forumite
    2.1K Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Photogenic
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    Hi and welcome :hello:

    I have found this forum to be VERY supportive and informative and I hope you have / will as well.
    If you need any info or advice just post up, someone will pop along to help ;)

    Good luck on your journey and look forward to reading your updates
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    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.
  • redlacesredlaces Forumite
    126 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
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    So, quick update.

    I've not really done much in the way of making extra money to pay off in the last couple of weeks, but taking stock of everything I have had some successes:

    Cooked everything from home (Massive achievement, I can be an absolute nightmare for eating out)
    Stayed within budget last week
    Resisted putting the heating on through the stormy weather
    Organised a Macmillan coffee morning - baked my donations from my weekly budget - and raised an awful lot of money for a good cause (more than 3x what any work charity event has raised in the past) Not really a MSE exercise but a personal achievement as organising and promoting stuff is far outside my comfort zone, I hate putting myself out there.

    I was a little bit naughty yesterday and went for some drinks with friends who were visiting from abroad. The drinks were within my fun money budget, but the taxi and pizza on the way home were not! Instead of berating myself I'm thinking about how I could have done this differently: a frozen pizza kept in for such 'emergencies' would help me to save money next time. On the taxi front, I'm going to take two actions:
    1) remove the Uber app from my phone - it's too easy to spend with it.
    2) Keep a copy of the night bus times in my handbag and treat that as my only way home if I've had a drink. Back before I left my hometown I was great at catching the night bus, but since I moved to a city where public transport basically stops at 11pm I have fallen into the expensive habit of using taxis. I recently realised one of the longer-distance buses runs until 3 and passes right through the part of town where I live, so I am going to pretend taxis don't exist from now on.

    I realise quitting drinking would solve all of these problems, but I am only human and going out in town is something I rarely do, but when I do do it I can do it more sensibly than I did yesterday.
    Debt Free - October 2022
  • pidge04pidge04 Forumite
    779 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary
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    Some very good achievements there!
    CC £4,012 left to pay (was £5400).
  • redlacesredlaces Forumite
    126 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
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    Thank you Pidge! Slowly but surely it feels like progress is happening!
    Debt Free - October 2022
  • redlacesredlaces Forumite
    126 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper
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    Successful day so far. I've managed to:

    Prepare a musicmagpie shipment
    Prepare a webuybooks shipment
    List 3 items on ebay, and identify 3 more candidates
    Make profit on the deposit of my latest matched betting bingo adventure, meaning that the cashback I will get will be 100% profit
    Make a pear crumble from some lovely fruit I was given at work
    Organise my bookshelf meaning everything now fits on that was supposed to
    Make some inroads into the housework - been a bad few weeks for mental health and motivation has been lacking
    Identify a charity shop pile
    Spend no money
    Open up an account for my emergency fund to go into (to stop me dipping in) at 1.5% interest - I already have a decent surplus in my current account from a bonus I got earlier this year but it's confusing having it sitting around burning a hole in my account. I'm going to put £500 away for rainy days, and then when I've managed to kill the deficit from my monthly budget I'll start transferring over £20 a month.
    Oh and of course, do my bit for charity by polishing off the leftover cake from the coffee morning on Friday. Life is tough :P

    Slowly but surely, this is taking shape!
    Debt Free - October 2022
  • doingitanywaydoingitanyway Forumite
    8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
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    Wow. Go you :)
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

    Solicitor/survey savings 300/1700
    Emergency fund 0/1000
    Buffer fund 0/200
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