First time Mum's debt journey

in Debt Free Diaries
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So, this is far from my first diary on here, but so much has changed since I last posted I thought I might as well start a new diary alongside this new chapter in my life!

I'm due my first child in early October and I'm determined to pay off all my debt and save for a house before this baby will start school so we can be moved into the area I'd like them to go to school in - so I have until summer 2023!

It's not going to be easy, but it's going to be worth it.
LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
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Replies

  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    So, here's a quick run-down of my debts as they currently stand:

    Car: £674 - £162/month - will be paid off in August (just in time for baby arriving!)
    Family1: £330 - £25/month
    Family2: £480 - £50/month
    Combined debts currently in DMP: £9,286.30 - £100/month
    Loan: £1805.70 - currently not paying as has been transferred to DCA who haven't been in touch!

    Total debt: £12,576 - £337/month (down to £175/month once the car is paid).

    Once the DCA with the loan gets in touch I'll add them straight into the DMP (they used to be in it, but split the debts that the last DCA had combined so currently only 1 is being paid).

    Obviously, I'll be on SMP come October, so I won't have any spare money to put towards the debts, but as long as I can keep up with these current payments and not take out any additional debt I'll be happy. It's fallen well that the car will be paid off as I wouldn't be able to afford that on SMP! Once I'm back at work, I'm going to look at going self-managed with the DMP and snowball the remaining debts to clear them as quickly as possible.

    Hoping to be relatively frugal throughout the rest of the pregnancy and when the baby is born, but I'm not going to be as intense as I could maybe be, as I want to enjoy this time too.
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
  • Pink_ButterflyPink_Butterfly Forumite
    336 Posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    ✭✭
    Good luck! And congrats on your pregnancy :)
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    77.8K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "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.***
  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    Well, I've been off work poorly and I'm sick of the sight of these four walls, so I'm looking forward to being back at work tomorrow.

    I've been having a lot of internal debate about trying to minimise some of the debts before I go off on maternity, but I think I've decided that I at least need my £1k emergency fund saved before I even think about doing this. Currently, I have £300 in Savings 1 which is to cover the final car payment and hopefully car insurance next year, and £252 in Savings 2 which will be the emergency fund (had to withdraw £360 of this for my MOT but slowly making it back!)
    We've got a lot of jobs around the house we need to do and bits of furniture to buy which will eat into any surplus money so I think I've made the right decision to leave the debts to tick along as they are (I can afford to keep up with payments whilst on SMP) and crack down on them once I'm back at work next June/July time.

    We had a go at a baby budget over the weekend, and it looks like we're going to have around £100 leftover at the end of the month after all bills and a little personal spending money each. It looks almost too good to be true - and if I know anything about life with a baby it won't pan out that way!

    So far this month I've had 8 no spend days which I'm really impressed with as I'm terrible for "forgetting" my lunch and taking a walk to the shops. Just hope I can keep up with the meal planning and not slip into old ways. I think the summer holidays will be the ultimate test as it's just too tempting to go out for lunch and catch up with friends!

    Sausage and mash from the freezer tonight with enough leftover for lunch tomorrow. Meatballs ready for the slow cooker tomorrow so all I'll need to do is add some pasta when I get in and that should cover tomorow's tea and a couple of lunches!

    Wow, I feel like I've probably rambled enough for today, let's see what the rest of the week brings.
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    Another week over and I've managed to bring lunch to work every day! This is usually one of my biggest downfalls but I'm really hoping to keep up with it because those little spends soon add up and would be much better sat in my savings pot!

    Withdrew £21 from Prolific that has gone into the EF savings which is now at £274.05 - coming up to a third of the way there! However, my Mum has suggested a girly holiday over the summer before baby comes so it's going to be a little slower getting the EF together as I'll need to put some money away from this! Hoping we can find somewhere like Center Parks but cheaper (much cheaper!).

    Also coming to the point where I'm going to have to buy some maternity trousers. I'm hoping I can get away with 1 pair of jeans and maybe 2 pairs of work trousers. I spend most of the time at home in the OH's jogging bottoms which still have plenty of room :) I don't have much left over from this months budget and really don't want to "borrow" from my savings so I might wait for next payday - it's only 2 weeks away and I'm sure I can keep squeezing into my existing wardrobe for now!

    Cancelled the gym membership this week so that's £25 saving which can go straight into a pot (not sure which yet!). Don't currently have any other areas I can save on as I've kept my bills minimal from when I was on a student loan last year, so it's just a case of being savvy where I can and sticking to meal plans and budgets!

    Hope everyone is having a good debt-busting weekend!
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    So, I managed all last week bringing my lunch to work and didn't even cave when everyone else got chippy on Friday. We did a very minimal shop at the weekend (bread, milk, and drinks were about it I think!) as we decided to try and have a week of eating out of the cupboards before payday.

    We've been trying to get the house re-organised for when baby comes so there's space for my OH to move in (set for July - YAY!!) and for all the baby things we'll no doubt accumulate. We'd already sorted out the living room over the last couple of months (couple of things left to do but keeping an eye out for the right furniture) and this month we've been focussing on the main bedroom.

    We made the most of the bank holiday weekend and bought all our new bedroom furniture in the sales! We've got a bed and matress for just over £400, and wardrobes, drawers, and bedside tables for just under £200. I don't think £600 is bad for a whole new bedroom - and it's all money we'd put away for the new furniture - just waiting for the last few bits to arrive today and tomorrow, then our weekend will be spent building everything! I emptied all the old wardrobes, etc. through the week and it's been a nightmare living out of bagged up clothes, so I can't wait to get everything fully organised and looking nice and tidy.

    I'm trying to follow the team organised mum method (tomm) for cleaning, which I'm not the most consistent with but I'm trying! I'm definitely more inspired to keep up with it each time we get one of the rooms in the house sorted. Hopefully, the main bedroom will be sorted this weekend so it'll be just the little bedroom (currently the junk room!) and the kitchen left to do and I'm hoping to have these both finished by the end of July.

    I've waffled on again today, and I'm sure this is a pretty boring read for anyone but me! Hope you are all managing to enjoy some warm weather (it's rained every day this week here!)
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
  • princesspenniesprincesspennies Forumite
    55 Posts
    First Anniversary Xmas Saver!
    Well done on the dinners at work,:beer: seems like such a small thing but it bloody adds up!!....Thats something I really need to start focusing on as its easy £15 a week some weeks.:mad:

    As someone who got in a horrific payday loan cycle on maternity i deffo would advocate keeping a little nest egg for the rainy days!!

    Will be following along wishing you luck xx:o:o
  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    So, I just spent ages writing a pay-day update and it wouldn't post :mad: here goes again!

    Hi princesspennies! I've fallen into the payday loan cycle before (I eventually took out loans to pay them off!) and am determined to get through maternity leave minimising debts, not adding to them! The dinners were definitely my biggest issue but I'm finally getting used to being prepared, though I do miss my lunchtime walks to the shop!

    So... It's payday!! I've sent my £50 and £25 to the family debts, £100 to my EF (I naughtily took some out of this earlier in the month for Mum's birthday but it's now sitting at £300), £25 to my water account (I put away this monthly, then pay the bill quarterly which is never as much as I've put away), and £50 to the car account.
    I'm hoping to have enough saved in the car account to cover the final payment (definitely got that!) and to pay off my insurance which is due in August. It was around £380 last year, so I reckon I can just about manage it if I'm careful and shop around again.
    Now it's just a waiting game for the rest of the direct debits to come out of the account! I've put aside £100 for maternity clothes shopping this month, so hopefully I'll have some suitable trousers to wear soon!

    I'm going for a rare treat to bingo with an old friend tonight so I have a mighty to-do list before then and to help the OH ready for building furniture tonight and all weekend!:

    * Locate dabbers and bingo card (currently in some random box somewhere in the [STRIKE]junk[/STRIKE] [STRIKE]spare[/STRIKE] err... baby room)
    * Go through boxes and bags in spare room - organise/put away/charity box/sell pile as required
    * Dismantle as much of the existing bedroom furniture as I'm able
    * Pull out remaining bedroom furniture to clean wall and carpet behind and under
    * Move clothes bags into spare room
    * Re-organise boiler cupboard
    * Treat front and back grass
    * Purchase vac-pack bags for Winter clothes
    * Purchase new bedding
    * Wash and dry new bedding
    * Remember to eat and drink!
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
  • princesspenniesprincesspennies Forumite
    55 Posts
    First Anniversary Xmas Saver!
    Good luck with the bingo!! :T

    I took some inspiration and have leftovers for dinner @ work today, I'm even missing chicken friday!! ...Have fun on the maternity shop, I think I just lived in stretchy leggings towards the end with my 2 lol I couldn't bare to pay the maternity prices!! Next sometimes have clearance maternity online if that helps though? x
  • DancingUnicornDancingUnicorn Forumite
    188 Posts
    Third Anniversary Home Insurance Hacker! Cashback Cashier
    Princesspennies, well done on sticking to the leftovers! I'm back at work on Monday so I need to get thinking about my meal plan again to make sure I've got things in to take for lunch. As for the maternity clothes, I'm hoping for a pair of jeans and a couple of work trousers. Other than that I'm sticking to baggy t-shirts and the OH's joggers!

    Payday #2 today! I have a Saturday job that pays every 4 weeks and this one fell the day after normal payday so my account looks happy! I'm really careful with this money though and always draw out £100 for free spending (£20 a week with a £20 buffer), and put anything extra straight into my savings. Whatever I don't spend each week goes into a savings pot. Last year I was really strict with myself on this and had around £500 by the end of the year! This year I've been nowhere near as careful and I've got less in my savings account and pots than I would have liked. But ce la vie!

    I've paid the water for this quarter and have £320 left in that account, so I definitely should have enough to pay the car insurance as a lump sum this year! :j
    I've got £370 in the EF account which will go up slightly by the end of the month as I round down my current account.

    Confirmed with the landlord today that the OH could move in so we're all set of 1st July! :D It didn't occur to me until today that this means this is my last month of paying all the household bills on my own and next month my bills (other than the ones that are exclusively mine like the debt payment/instant ink account) will be halved so I'll have a few hundred extra that I can put aside into savings! :j

    Updated to do list:

    * [STRIKE]Locate dabbers and bingo card [/STRIKE] unfortunately didn't win, but we had a good catch up
    * Go through boxes and bags in spare room - organise/put away/charity box/sell pile as required started on this, but it's definitely a loooooooong job!
    * [STRIKE]Dismantle as much of the existing bedroom furniture as I'm able[/STRIKE] it's now outside waiting for me to organise a bulk item collection from the council
    * [STRIKE]Pull out remaining bedroom furniture to clean wall and carpet behind and under[/STRIKE]
    * [STRIKE]Move clothes bags into spare room[/STRIKE]
    * Re-organise boiler cupboard currently storing bags of clothes in there, but will sort it as I empty it
    * Treat front and back grass
    * Purchase vac-pack bags for Winter clothes
    * [STRIKE]Purchase new bedding[/STRIKE]
    * Wash and dry new bedding
    * [STRIKE]Remember to eat and drink![/STRIKE]
    * Meal plan for next week
    * Get in touch with bed company re. broken slat and headboard
    * Complain about delivery company not delivering mattress on time
    LBM: October 2016: £20,130 / Current: May 2019: £12,576 37.53%
    DFD: [STRIKE]February 2024[/STRIKE] April 2022?
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