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Going, going...still going!

edited 29 November 2019 at 9:03PM in Debt Free Diaries
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BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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edited 29 November 2019 at 9:03PM in Debt Free Diaries
Hello! I've been lurking here for a while, and have learnt so much from you all, so I've taken the plunge to join in for my big push to get debt free. I've been on this treadmill for some time (couple of poor decisions, some bad luck and just plain ignorance) and now I'm in my early 30s, I really want to clear my plate, and build a future. It seems like every time I get to within sniffing distance, I jeopardise it with something impulsive, so I'm determined not to do that this time.

My debt was £8619 in November 2017, which scared the life out of me! Since then, I've managed to clear nearly half of it, and luckily what is left is on 0% until Dec 2019. However, a recent job change means I have a bit less disposable income than I would like, so I need encouragement to keep squeezing my pennies where I can! I'll post my SOA in a moment - there's some bits I can target straight away, and I have plans to do some additional work in the new year, but I can always squeeze further! It's just me (and a cat :D) to cater for, so we're happy to live on cheap and cheerful!

Looking forward to digging in and getting this millstone gone! :cool:

Nov 19 Update: I'm now Debt Free ;)
Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
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Replies

  • edited 16 December 2018 at 4:46PM
    BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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    edited 16 December 2018 at 4:46PM
    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0 (but one cat :D)
    Number of cars owned.................... 0 (I've removed the car bits from below - just buses for me!)

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax................ 1550
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1550


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage............................................. 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................................... 650
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax........................................ 164 (in Scotland, so includes water)
    Electricity............................................ 19
    Gas.................................................... 21
    Oil....................................................... 0
    Water rates......................................... 0 (incl in CT)
    Telephone (land line).......................... 19
    Mobile phone..................................... 21
    TV Licence........................................ 9.5
    Satellite/Cable TV................................ 6
    Internet Services................................ 35 (I reckon I can get at least 15 off this)
    Groceries etc. ................................. 140 (35 per week, incl cleaning supplies - could get this lower)
    Clothing............................................ 10
    Other travel....................................... 53 (monthly travel)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills........................ 2
    Buildings insurance........................... 0 (Landlord has this)
    Contents insurance........................... 8
    Life assurance ................................. 0
    Other insurance................................. 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 5
    Haircuts............................................. 12 (I can cut this back by about half)
    Entertainment................................... 15
    Holiday............................................... 0
    Emergency fund.............................. 0 (do have one, but not adding to this at the moment)
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1194.5


    Assets

    Cash.................................... 700 (this is my emergency fund)
    Total Assets............................ 700[/b]

    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description........................Debt....Monthly...APR
    CC.....................................4161....300.....0 (Min payment is £42/month)
    Total unsecured debts.......4161......300.....-


    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................................. 1,550
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,194.5
    Available for debt repayments...................... 355.5
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 300
    Amount left after debt repayments............ 55.5

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 700
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -4,161
    Net Assets.............................. -3,461


    Created using the SOA calculator.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    Any thoughts? I've added notes to explain my current targets, but a fresh pair of eyes can really help!

    By my reckoning, paying £350 per month would get me comfortably there for this time next year, so I'm aiming to claw back an extra 50-100 per month from my spends, and hopefully a bit of freelancing. Nothing to sell unfortunately!
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • I've rounded down my balance (£1.61) and put it towards my CC. I've put a reminder in my phone to do this each day and as I check my balance each day to make sure I'm where I think I should be, in theory it should be an easy habit to make! I was in a HR meeting earlier and found out I'm allowed to claim back some expenses that were previously not allowed to be claimed back. It's not masses of money (£44.68) but actually that more than covers a weekly grocery shop and a bottle of wine so it's definitely worth it!

    Action for the week: start researching better deals to reduce some bills (internet etc) and submit those expenses! :T
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • NSD today :) Tomorrow and Thursday should be NSDs too. I also got my expenses submitted and approved, so I'm eagerly awaiting my little windfall :p
    To top it off, I got a nice bottle of wine from a client today - I'm visiting friends for dinner at the weekend, so this will be their gift :rotfl:

    Feeling positive!
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Happy shiny new diary :)
    Keep posting!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "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.***
  • BabyStepperBabyStepper Forumite
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    HI there and welcome to diaryland.

    Your soa looks good, and if you keep making £300 pm payments you won't have much left by the time the 0% deal runs out. Well done on halving your debt, great progress. Also well on getting an emergency fund together, mine really helps me to not use the credit cards ever.

    The only think I can see in your soa is that your rent, and associated council tax, are quite high in proportion to your income. Just wondering if that was something you were aware of and if you'd had any thoughts about that long term, like increasing your income through promotion or job change, or moving house.

    Either way you're in a good position to get this paid down in a year. I'll be following. x
    May 2018 £21,228.07/March 2020 £0

    100% paid
  • Thank you both for the welcome and the encouragement! :)

    Babystepper - I take your point about the rent and council tax, it's an expensive city! I'm a couple of months into a new job, and there is scope for progression (one of the reasons I took it) so I'm hoping to climb a rung or two higher within the next year to 18 months. I have previously considered moving to a cheaper area and discounted it as I thought I'd have to run a car, but transport links are better now so I will definitely seriously consider it if my rent goes up this year. My landlord wasn't planning on doing that when I spoke to them last but I can't really rely on that!

    A (sort-of) NSD today - I did buy a coffee but used a gift card I had forgotten about, so no actual money was spent. Still feels a bit cheat-y as I bought something I didn't really need (but my cold hands appreciated the warmth!) :o
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • MoneywhizzMoneywhizz Forumite
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    Your rent and council tax are taking more than half of your take home pay which is definitely a high proportion and this is making the rest of your budget very tight. It is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward and worth looking at other scenarios to see if they are feasible. Have you been living according to this budget or is this what you are hoping to do? You have very little money in the budget for just living so you might find it difficult to stick to this month after month. If you have other ways of bringing in a bit extra money that could help. You certainly seem determined to get rid of this debt as quickly as possible and then you can enjoy using the extra money as you choose rather than see it disappear on debt repayments. Good luck on your journey.
  • Moneywhizz wrote: »
    Your rent and council tax are taking more than half of your take home pay which is definitely a high proportion and this is making the rest of your budget very tight. It is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward and worth looking at other scenarios to see if they are feasible. Have you been living according to this budget or is this what you are hoping to do? You have very little money in the budget for just living so you might find it difficult to stick to this month after month. If you have other ways of bringing in a bit extra money that could help. You certainly seem determined to get rid of this debt as quickly as possible and then you can enjoy using the extra money as you choose rather than see it disappear on debt repayments. Good luck on your journey.

    Thank you Moneywhizz. I have been living on this budget for about 8 months now - I don't have much of a social life or take many trips, so it has been working ok so far. I am going to look at some freelancing work to bolster my income, as you're right, that would help give me a little more leeway. I currently do some volunteer work at the weekends, but may scale that back a bit over the next year to free up some time for making a bit extra cash - I think that needs to be a higher priority, even if doesn't give me quite the same warm and fuzzy feeling :)
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • edited 21 December 2018 at 7:55PM
    BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 7:55PM
    Another NSD day today :) Three in a row. :T :T :T

    Alas, my streak is being broken tomorrow as I'm going to Ald1 on the way home from work. I'm going to finish meal-planning tonight, but I'm going to allow myself to buy myself something nice for dinner on Tuesday. It will depend what's in stock at 6pm on the Friday before Christmas :rotfl:

    Looking ahead, I have quite a few errands to run over the weekend, but then a few days of peace and quiet. I am going to cosy up with some old films, coffee, the sofa and the cat :D
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
  • edited 21 December 2018 at 7:55PM
    BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    666 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 7:55PM
    Aldie was ransacked! Barely escaped with my life.... and a frozen turkey crown :D I'm going to cook it in the slow cooker with homemade salsa - it's so tasty, and will turn into fajitas on Boxing Day ;)

    Budget still on target :) I got paid today, but took the advice from another thread (I can't link to it but it's a super one from EssexHebridean - Beat the December Pay Trap) and transferred it to my savings account, so I don't touch it til the end of the month. Such a simple idea - every year I vow not to touch it, but always end up dipping in, so this should prevent it :)

    Also got some happy news at work today, my responsibilities have changed and I'm getting a small pay rise starting next month to compensate. I ran it through a pay calculator and think it will equate to an extra £30 a month - not a lot, but it's really sowing the seeds for getting promoted in the future, and that's almost a week's grocery shop so it will make a difference to me. :j

    Hope you're all getting into the festive spirit and have some relaxing times ahead :)
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 :)
    Look at you, reading all the small print in the signatures. Your hair is looking lovely today, even if it's a little longer. Suits you.
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