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Help and Advice - Small Amount of Debt

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt-Free Wannabe
34 replies 3.3K views


  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    Get with hotukdeals can save a fortune.
  • BabyStepperBabyStepper Forumite
    615 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary
    CashOut wrote: »

    Hopefully that’s then plan and also why I’m looking at it today when the total is sub £5000 and still “manageable” as I don’t want to be back here in 3-5 years with £30000-£50000 racked up as (no offence intended) some of the horror stories on this forum literally scare the !!!!!! out of me!

    :rotfl::rotfl::rotfl:Me too, totally relate!
    Emergency fund £2,900/£10,000
    Mortgage overpayment £50
    £21,228.07 paid off in 22 months
  • edited 12 July 2019 at 7:19AM
    getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    edited 12 July 2019 at 7:19AM
    CashOut wrote: »

    Yes I can down-grade my contract, it’s £650 to break contract and pay the remaining balance, I have enough free credit on either credit card to accommodate this so will look at doing it now. The contract was for an iPhone X, Apple Watch and EarPods, in hindsight this was a little silly of me to agree to but at the time money wasn’t like it is 18 months later, fortunately I didn’t take my annual upgrade so it only has 5 months remaining which I’ll look to pay off now as advised. The phone I’ve got is still in “mint” condition so I will just add a SIM contract to is and save over £100 a month.

    if the phone is mint what's it worth second hand?
    seems some go for over £500
    sell it and get a £100 phone.

    Why buy it out with 5 months left that is same as letting it run and you get to keep the airtime.

    Can you down grade the plan to save a bit

    go through the hotukdeals offers there will be something there

    here is the link for one on 3(via top cashback)
    8gb Data, Unlimited minutes & texts, 12 month contract @ Three £10pm (+ £50 TCB) £120 Total

    with the cashback <£6pm for 8gb

    quidco have £45 cash back on the same plan if you prefer them for cashback

    if you don't need loads of calls and text you can get unlimited data for under £10pm

    if stuck/prefer EE.

    there are a couple of offers giving
    EE 12 month Sim only 20GB data/unlimited mins & txt for £22 (£8 after £168 cashback

    You do use cashback sites?
  • fatbellyfatbelly Forumite
    15.3K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Cashback Cashier Car Insurance Carver!
    Have you tried the CapitalOne eligibility checker for their Balance Transfer card? When I was struggling with a bad credit file and low debt, CapitalOne gave me second card when I applied for their BT card (I already had their standard card). If you could BT the Aqua debt on to a 0% CapitalOne BT card then that would provide you with a little more wiggle room.

    mse has an eligibility checker here

    There are some good 0% deals and you don't need perfect credit history
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    but a new winter coat (£150-£200 for example)

    Coats should last more than a year and can be found a lot less than that for general outdoor wear.

    plenty here under £100

    if you want traditional overcoat then a bit more this is £140

    The trick when you know you will need stuff is to be on the lookout all the time and if you find something you like with very deep discount buy more and stock up.
    For stuff like work clothes double up 2 of the same jackets and more trousers, you can have a best set for the important days and the older stuff gets used for those hanging out in the office days.

    if fading is a problem then you could just wash the jackets more and have more than 2 pairs of trousers to go with them.

    M&S do some good machine washables and they have some great discounts on suits(if they have your sizes) from £25 2pc|1
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    ON the CC front it might be better to look at one with a 0% purchases as long as possible.

    With your regular expenses fuel and work expenses you could have a lot transferred to 0% card quite quickly with no fees.

    (spend on the card and use the cash to pay down your interest bearing cards.)
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
    3.9K posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts
    You asked if there was an app for putting together a spending diary. I'm sure there is, but I find the simplest thing to do is to buy everything using your bank card - that way, your bank statement becomes your spending diary. And you need to know where every penny is going.

    Knowledge is power.

    As to how much you spend on food - I've been tracking my food spend since February. I have a spreadsheet, and a graph and everything - these are my figures (food only, single person). I shop at Aldi mostly, but I also have a take away once a month, and an occasional coffee out, etc - these 'extras' are included in the figures.

    Average weekly spend - £16.70
    Average amount per day - £2.39
    Average amount per meal (assuming 3 meals a day, 7 days a week) - 80p

    I've been doing this for 5 months now, so it's totally sustainable. It's a sensible, normal, healthy diet, with lots of fruit and veg, fish once a week, one meat-free day, lots of white meat and very occasionally something less healthy like red meat or sausages. I don't feel deprived. I don't buy alcohol - but that's only because I'm still using up the alcohol I already have. Once it's gone, I'll be buying the odd bottle of wine - but my weekly bill will still be less than £20.00.

    All the best with your debt-free mission - you've made a start, and that's the hardest bit.
  • getmore4lessgetmore4less Forumite
    39.8K posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've helped Parliament
    IF you are travelling for work then there should be some meals included even if just a lunch.

    You need to max those out so you don't need so much at home.

    As well as being careful where you shop looking out for bulk buys and reduced stuff can slash a food bill over time, especially high cost items like meat which can be portioned and frozen.

    if you have access to M&S and Waitrose and can work out when they do reductions you can really cut food costs.

    If none local maybe you go past some on travel days.

    M&S 80%-90% off where we are usually between 5pm and 6pm even ready meals are cheaper than you can make them from scratch.
  • MrsnMrsn Forumite
    1.1K posts
    1,000 Posts Name Dropper First Anniversary
    I have at least 1 if not 2 meat free meals a week, when making spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, cottage pie etc I bulk with either grated veg or lentils. I don’t eat mince but those that do haven’t noticed the difference.

    Most meals are padded out with 3 portions of veg or lots of salad, it’s making the meat go as far as possible. We also do the bulk of shopping in Aldi which helps very much! A £3.10 roast in the bag chicken will make us a Sunday lunch, 2 children’s portions to put in the freezer, 2 portions of shredded chicken which will make a pie or add into a pasta dish and then if I’m feeling energetic I will use the carcass to make some fresh stock.

    I appreciate cooking for just one can seem like a hassle etc but it can be done if you batch cook and freeze leftovers. There’s a Facebook page feed your family for £20, great for meal ideas and gives plenty of hints and tips
  • katsukatsu Forumite
    4.8K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
    Hiya, I think in part you haven't got a full handle on what you are really spending. The thing about being paid expenses at 0.45 per mile is that you are running a car that doesn't have all the expenses that .45 is meant to cover, as you are not having to pay for MOT or maintenance etc so effectively you should be able to make extra debt repayments with your 0.45p/mile as you are only really paying for the car (which is a debt) and the fuel. Does that help give you a way to look at this?

    On the phones - take a look at the main site tab above. There are some good deals with decent data for under £10. 2gb for £6 for example You can definitely save a lot of money on your usage. Whether to break contract or not is something you need to work out - especially as paying by credit card would cost you interest. Don't rush into that.

    I suspect you aren't really putting money away. You say the presents is about right - if you have a month where you do not need to buy a present do you put the cash away ready for another time? Same with anything else like the £5 haircut. I assume you spend £X every so often not actually £5 a month so if you aren't saving it, where does that £5 go each month?

    Definitely 2 pairs of trousers with a matching jacket and look at deals in stores other than Next. If you are buying £99 suits how do you wash them that they are ruined at the end of the year? Maybe a different suit would be an idea?

    Virgin sell broadband without a phone line. There might be cheaper deals from other providers that include a landline but it is definitely something you can look at.

    TV. If you do not watch any live TV (so includes channel 5 & ITV not just BBC) or you use the BBC iplayer, then you need a license. If you don't, you don't. You can have a TV set that you use with your playstation, or just own an old TV set that you do not watch.

    I would pay by card for everything this month so you can see where your money really goes and then use that information to help you develop a budget and to cut down.
    Debt at highest: £8k :eek: Debt Free 31/12/2009 :D (ten years and counting :j). Original MFD May 2036, MF Dec 2018. Save £12k in 2020 member #41
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