Keeping on the Straight and Narrow...

DancingInTheRain
DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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edited 31 May 2019 at 1:58PM in Debt free diaries
Well here goes, my first diary...After being an avid lurker both here and on the MFW boards over the years I have been amazed and inspired by the success of many individuals and the support of other forum members so hoping to do the same. So why am I here? In the 6 years since DH and I bought our home we have undergone many home improvements, got married and had 2 gorgeous little boys. Although all of this was planned, some costs spiralled and 2 spells of Maternity Leave in 3 years have proved a little challenging. At the moment our debts do not feel out of control, they just do not sit comfortably with us as we are naturally debt averse so we are looking to attack these as a matter of urgency when I return to work following Maternity Leave. No SOA just yet as, we have taken the decision that I will return to work on a part time basis so want to get to grips with that first. Current debt total is £13,636. No interest on these, currently have 2 x 0% credit cards and 1 interest free family loan. Back to work in July so June is about laying the groundwork. Wish me luck!
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  • DancingInTheRain
    DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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    edited 31 May 2019 at 1:59PM
    Although no SOA at the moment, I have been using my Maternity Leave to scrutinise our bills to ensure we're on the best tariffs for our utilities and have cancelled any unused DD's, etc, so I'm happy we're getting value for money. Have also got in to the habit over the last 12 months of saving for annual bills for insurances, car tax, repairs and Christmas. I'm genuinely unsure how much a month we spend on groceries so I'm going to keep track here over the course of this pay month, may make for an 'interesting' read! Top up shop on food today came in at £12.64 but will be used for planned meals for the coming days using bits and pieces up from the freezer. Low key plans this weekend as hubby working so hopefully I'll get the boys out for some fresh air in the park and catch up with a friend or 2. Fun and free, aiming for a no spend weekend.
  • another_casualty
    another_casualty Posts: 6,506
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    Nice diary :) You've got a great outlook to stay on track .
    Good luck with everything :)
  • Happy shiny diary.
    Sounds like you’re in a good place getting organised with your money.
    That’s a good idea saving up for your annual bills, something I’m working on!
  • DancingInTheRain
    DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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    Yay visitors!!! Lovely to 'see' you both, I'll pop over to your diaries to pick up a few more tips.
    The annual bills pot has definitely been a difficult one to stick with but proved its worth through the last few weeks when both our car insurances were due for renewal along with my MOT and road tax then our buildings & contents insurance! The pot has taken a battering but I guess that's what it's there for.
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,260
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    Happy shiny new diary :)
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 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.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • DancingInTheRain
    DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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    Thanks Beanie :D
    This weekends plans were scuppered by a migraine, just about getting back to normal now. On the plus side, a definite no spend weekend ;)

    Looking forward to tomorrow when the regular direct debits send standing orders update from yesterday.

    No pay for me this month again as I’m on unpaid Maternity Leave. I am just going to make sure minimum payments are paid to the debt but any overpayments are likely to be small or come from any cash back clearing or survey money (need to work a bit harder on these, not had much time lately).

    Slowly slowly for now but as long as progress is made then that’s a positive. The debt reached a peak of £17,000 this time last year due to overspending on home renovations but we’ve managed to reduce this by just over £3,000 so just need to patient until I start getting paid again at the end of July.

    Hope everyone’s had a good weekend x
  • DancingInTheRain
    DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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    Happy Monday :) Bank account and spreadsheets all up to date. £200 put towards annual bills. £50 payment to the family loan, a tiny £3.97 overpayment to my mortgage so the balance ends in a zero (long term plans are to tackle the mortgage once debt is repaid). Also made a £1.42 overpayment to Credit Card 1 to tidy my current account balance to a zero (spot a pattern here?).

    Last month I set up a separate account from which the credit cards will be paid as the DD's go out later in the month. £150 sent across to cover these payments this month and have arranged for Child Benefit payments to be paid here to cover future minimum payments.

    Current thoughts are once I'm back at work my wage can also go in here and this can also be paid to debt and then, in the long term, used for holidays and savings. No holidays planned for the foreseeable future as the thought of packing everything needed for a 10 month old and a 3 year old fills me with dread. I have made a real effort to tidy our garden up this year so we have a lovely space to play outside and we're not too far from the sea so can head to the beach too for simple family fun while the boys are so young.

    £620 left in the bank to cover food, fuel and everything else. This should be doable as next pay due to hit our account on the 28th.


    So £51.42 paid off debt totals today taking the total down to £13,584.58
  • DancingInTheRain
    DancingInTheRain Posts: 1,370
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    Taken some time today to look at the survey sites I’m registered with, a few surveys available and completed.

    Current totals:
    YouGov 905
    OnePoll £2.50
    Prolific Academic £3.85 (£1.00 pending)
    Receipt Hog 1113
    Shoppix 260

    My phone camera has decided it doesn’t want to focus properly so I’m unable to upload any receipts to Receipt Hog or Shoppix at the moment, going to try a few fixes to see if this can be resolved.
  • Hi :)

    You seem to have a real plan which will be great for when you return to work. :) I had a nightmare financially whilst on maternity so it's great your managing to keep on track and still managing to clear your debts. Will be cheering you along X
  • Hi :)

    You seem to have a real plan which will be great for when you return to work. :) I had a nightmare financially whilst on maternity so it's great your managing to keep on track and still managing to clear your debts. Will be cheering you along X

    Thank you :) maternity is a shock to the system in more than one way isn't it? :D Thank you for the support x
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