Gap is Back - Time to Knuckle Down

in Debt Free Diaries
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girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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It’s been about 20ish months since my last diary although it feels a lot longer. My financial situation has changed somewhat (for the worse) since then and I really need to get on track. My previous diaries helped immensely so I’m hoping to get back into that routine again.

Quick update: I had some health problems around this time last year. I had to leave a well paid job (which wasn’t helping with the health stuff) and I currently only work part time. I started my new job in August last year and I’m on half the salary that I was on previously (but I'm sane).

Income: Little Miss Gap (LMG) isn’t so little anymore. She turned 18 towards the end of last year and is just coming towards the end of her second year at college. This means child benefit and tax credits are going to be stopping soon which will be another hit to my income. I will then only have my salary and LMG's digs coming in. If she doesn't get a job in industry (in her line of work) then she will go back to college again after the summer (higher education, not further education so no tax credits). If she gets a job I will have to pay full council tax, if she goes back to college then I won't. I don't know which it will be until one of them happens. I do have scope to up my working hours in the future but at the moment I just can't do that.

Debt: I have just managed to get a product transfer onto a new mortgage deal. It was touch and go for a bit, I had 6 weeks on the lender's SVR and I was convinced they wouldn't let me transfer due to my salary being so much lower, however, they did so now my mortgage is at 2.94% with £87,640 outstanding, monthly payment £214.97 interest only.

I have a personal loan (which didn’t help with the mortgage situ) which is sitting at £6,798.44 outstanding with 54 months left to pay at 2.67% (monthly payment £133.84).

I have 3 credit cards but I only use them to get points. When I use the card I transfer the money from the relevant budget to an account for credit card payments. When the bill comes in I pay it off.

Savings/payments: I have a current account that my salary is paid into and all dd’s come out of, and separate accounts for: yearly payments (so I can pay outright anything that can be paid yearly; insurances, car stuff, etc), groceries, mini emergency fund (cash I can get my hands on instantly), holding account (to hold cash before I transfer it to the loan account) and credit card payments. I have an emergency fund (harder to get hold of) which has £700 in it (it had £1,000 in it but in order to get the rate on the mortgage I had to pay across £350. I am currently building this back up). I am paying very close attention to the grocery budget because it's like an unruly toddler; if I don't keep my eye on it I'll find it under the dining table cutting its hair with scissors (looking at you LMG). Joking aside, it's the one that varies the most so I'm trying hard to meal plan and stick to my lists, saving receipts to add up and figure out what I'm doing.

First draft of plan: My plan is to pay off the loan as quickly as possible. I don’t want to set a goal date right now for paying it off (just definitely want it gone in less than 54 months) but I’ll do a progress check in 3 months' time and then see what I want to do going forward.

I’ve been reading other diaries over the past couple of months, trying to decide if I should come back here. I spent hours reading a couple of really good diaries and felt so inspired again that I went and searched for my old diaries. It was a good reminder of how disciplined I can be.
I am working 5 mornings a week at the moment. I have 5 afternoons a week at home when I am supposed to catch up on housework and other bits but sometimes I find that I go home and sleep all afternoon (part of health stuff). I am thinking that I could pop on here some afternoons to update.

Looking forward to a new challenge but also a bit scared of the tightness of the budget.

Gap x
Total EF balance: £5,000
Available to dip: £715
IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
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Replies

  • girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    I contacted the loan company today for bank details so that I can start making overpayments. I'm not ready just yet but at least I can set everything up for when I am.

    I am doing my best to eat out of the freezer and cupboards at the moment. LMG gets fed at her part time job so the majority of the time I'm only feeding myself and I'm far less fussy than she is. Turns out a red pepper in the fridge dated best before 24th April is still fine a month later.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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    I love that grocery budget analogy - one I can definitely relate to! :rotfl: Good luck in your quest, I'm subscribing to cheer you on :)
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0
    A perpetual work in progress. Going, going....still going!
  • girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    Thank you for popping in BlackCoffee. Yes, my unruly grocery budget. I'm out of practice with it but I really need to get it under control.

    Today I was out with LMG (a rare Saturday day off for her), my sis and my niece (Peachy, age 3). We went to a place where they had an indoor play area which Peachy loved! I made up a packed lunch for LMG and me, and I gave my sis £1.90 towards the coffees (that's all I had in my purse). Cheap day out which was great. My downfall: went into Lidl on the way home for a couple of bits (planned) but forgot the list so had to guess and ended up spending £17. See, this is what needs to be better controlled. All the things I bought will be used and were needed (apart from the chocolate but that was me replacing what LMG had bought previously because sometimes I have no self-control) but I really need to get a grip.

    Had a lovely tea with my boyfriend tonight. I sat like a princess while he cooked and did the dishes. Just for clarification, I am a fairly good cook and I make most of our meals and do dishes so when he offers I am not saying no.

    I'm so tired, it's been a long day. Off to bed now.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
  • BabyStepperBabyStepper Forumite
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    Hi there girlatplay :hello:

    Great diary, you sound really organised and determined. I'm subscribing too. :)

    Best of luck!
    Emergency fund £8,500/£8,500
    Mortgage overpayment £260
    Debtfree!
    £21,228.07 paid off in 22 months
  • girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    Hi BabyStepper, thank you for stopping by. I have to admit, I'm half way through your diary and that's what made me start up mine on Friday. I've been reading loads of diaries over the past couple of months and I was going to wait until after payday this Friday but you remind me a wee bit of me with the constant thoughts about what you are doing and ways to fine tune things that it spurred me into doing it then. I've had diaries before and I know they help me. I paid off £20k in 2.5 years in the last one!

    I'm doing a bit of cleaning and washing, my usual Sunday mixed with back to back Homes under the Hammer. I need to go through my recipe books for something for tea. I have random food in the cupboards and freezer so I need to be a bit inventive. If I can think of something to do with duck breasts and rice then I might invite boyfriend up for tea. LMG is working and is also veggie so it means I can use up some meat without feeling guilty about not cooking for her too. I'm determined not to go to the supermarket today since I went yesterday.

    Payday on Friday. May has felt really long.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
  • edited 26 May 2019 at 7:45PM
    girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    edited 26 May 2019 at 7:45PM
    I found an easy recipe online for duck so took it out of the freezer. It's defrosted nicely now. The recipe is for noodles rather than rice but I've got a couple of packets of dried noodles in the cupboard so they'll do. I told boyfriend it's cupboard food but he doesn't care, he's on his way up haha (with sesame oil and spring onions because I didn't have any and I knew he did).

    Just emptied 3p from my purse into my unsealed pot. Not sure how much is in there but definitely at least £10 because I put a note in last time I had money left from a day out budget. I like to have it in case things pop up like if I need emergency bus fare (I have a pass but it's useful for if there's a day or two overlap to the next payday), [STRIKE]emergency takeaway[/STRIKE] (I rarely have takeaway), milk or bread right before payday, etc.

    All good.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
  • girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    The duck was a complete success! I've just been told that the meal I made was restaurant quality (he didn't say which restaurant, could be something from Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares). I'm just really chuffed I was able to cobble something together from what I had in. He says I'm posh having duck in my freezer, apparently normal people have sausages. I bought it away last year when someone had cooked duck for me and I was going to try recreating it but I couldn't remember what it was so it has been in the freezer ever since. I also love how my staple food of the rockbottom days (dried noodles) came into their own tonight with a splash of toasted sesame oil, lemon juice (recipe was lime but I didn't have any) and some chopped up spring opinions.

    Lunch earlier today was some leftover sandwiches from yesterday (I did go a bit overboard with the packed lunch) so I'm feeling really good about using stuff up.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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    That duck sounds amazing! :D It's amazing when you can take something very everyday and make it more enticing than anything you can buy - I feel that way when I make bread, must try harder when making my own meals! :o:)
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0
    A perpetual work in progress. Going, going....still going!
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Happy shiny new diary.
    You can do this :)
    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.***
  • girlatplaygirlatplay Forumite
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    I really want to make my own bread BlackCoffee. The closest I've been is Jack Monroe's soda bread which turned out pretty good. I've got a few bread recipes but it's a time thing for me. I'm worried I'll start making it and then not have time to finish it once it's had a chance to rest and do its thing. One day...

    Beanielou how lovely to "see" you again. I have lurked on your diary a bit over the past couple of months. I'm just trying to get myself settled back into MSE diaries again.

    In financial news today, I found 20p on the bus so I popped it, and 1p that I found lurking on the shelf in the hall, into the unsealed pot.

    I've done a washload which has just finished drying. Going to fold that now. Had a late lunch as I got in late from work so I'm not starving but I'll make tea shortly. Just me tonight as LMG is working again. NSD today.

    Tomorrow we have an outing with work and lunch is provided so that's lunch sorted and we go to my folks' for tea on a Tuesday (and a Sunday) so that's tea sorted tomorrow too. Will be another NSD.

    Early night planned tonight as I was really struggling this morning and tomorrow I need to be up even earlier.
    Total EF balance: £5,000
    Available to dip: £715
    IO Mortgage current balance: £86,630 :: Current expected end date 01/03/2047
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