Squirrelling away the pennies for debt free life

edited 31 July 2019 at 8:50PM in Debt free diaries
38 replies 3.4K views
SquirrellySquirrelly Forumite
55 Posts
edited 31 July 2019 at 8:50PM in Debt free diaries

Lovely to see you, thanks for stopping by, cuppa tea anyone?

Right down to business...the debt currently stands at £6,220 on a 0% CC with approx 20 months to run, so in DFW terms not terrible (certainly not great either), so why am I here?

Well because our actual LBM was this time last year, when the debt was around twice what it is now. The lightbulb shined bright after a fairly heated discussion between DH and I because I told him he could no longer buy lunches for work. He, not unreasonably, could not initially understand how on a good wage and at a secure point in our lives why a £3 lunch a day was a problem, but we were in a downward spiral and it was one that we had been in, nearly constantly, for the 20+ years we have been together. The debt goes down, builds back up, a bit more is added, maybe a life event happens (house move etc) that allows us to pay it off and it builds back up again.

Our worst point (when I actually had another diary) was in 2013 when we had around £20K worth of debt and we eventually sold a rental property that we were lucky to have, to pay it off. We promised we would never get into debt again.

I will probably devote a whole entry to why we got into debt this time round as I think the context of it, plus a better understanding of my own behaviour is important.

anyhoo, I digress...we had our LBM, the whole family was on board to pay it off, we made changes not only to our spending but our ways of doing things as a family and we made major progress to the point we thought we would have our DFD August 2019!!:o...and we are not there yet...and everyones a bit bored...and loosing focus...and slipping back into bad, spendy, silly habits...

So here I am to hold myself into account, to get back on the wagon and get it gone for good and maybe, just maybe graduate to a :Amortgage free wannabe :A with savings instead of these people who live paycheck to paycheck, even though they know better :o:o:o

So who is in the Squirrel household...Me, Mrs.Squirrel late 30s, part time worker 20hrs a week, and general household manager. Mr Squirrel, mid 40's, full time worker on fair salary, great at maths but hates finances, on board but depends on me telling him what he can and cannot spend. Boy Squirrel, 14, low demands in terms of 'stuff' but has expensive extra cirricular activities which relate to his future career hopes. Girl Squirrel, 8, pretty undemanding but still growing at a rate of knots.And finaly the squirrel menagerie Doggo, Kitty Cat, guinea pig and snake and the occasional snail collected by squirrel girl.

I look forward to spending time with you all, telling you about our journey, having you slap the card from my hand when I get tempted to spend on something daft and sharing ideas:money:
DEBT : Aug 2019 [STRIKE]£6220[/STRIKE] £5970
EF :[STRIKE] £250[/STRIKE] £500
Short term savings: [STRIKE]£200[/STRIKE] £325


  • SmythsonSmythson Forumite
    10 Posts
    Subscribed! Good luck!
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
    13.9K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    How much are you paying off the card each month? Will it be cleared within the 20 months?
    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts 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 and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
    Save £12k in 2023 Challenge #8 £12,000/£3700
    The 365 day 1p Challenge 2023 #1 £670.00/£57.00
    The 365 £1 a day Challenge for Christmas 2023 #43 £1000/£200
  • savingholmessavingholmes Forumite
    23.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    Good luck on your journey. Well done for what you have already repaid.
    Target 1) Prioritise health & social connection 2) Write regularly 42,993/70,000 words Book 2 and 10,787/70,000 Priestess book 3a) Get to £10K EF/Savings Now £4,508 3b) £1.6K Savings for DD Car (Achieved) 4) MFW starting at £201999 Nov 21 with 264 250 payments to go. Now £192,959 5) Mortgage neutral progress via pension £1,887 invested since Nov 21 6) Declutter 7) Invest in fun and frolics - and not just future self! 8) CC Debt free April 22 (now stay that way!!)
  • seahorseyseahorsey Forumite
    203 Posts
    Good luck Squirelly - I’ll be cheering you on!
  • Thank you lovely people for stopping by it was really nice to know that you took time to read my ramblings, big enthusiastic waves to you all...and having been one myself, hello to the lurkers, you are very welcome.:)

    Enthusiastic saver asked if I could clear the debt in 20 months, and yes it is totally possible. At the start we were clearing between £600-£800. On the month I was made redundant, earlier in the year, I received all my holiday pay and 'staying to the end bonus' (I hadn't been there long enough to get redundancy pay) we paid off £1250. However the last two months of general lack of focus and financial sloppiness we have only been paying £100 (the minimum payment is 1% so we have been overpaying but not to our full potential).

    Ideally I would like the debt gone by early 2020, but realistically I may have to extend this deadline. September marks the start of the expensive months in the Squirrel household with both mine and squirrel boys birthdays in October, the countdown to Christmas and Squirrel girls birthday in early Jan.

    So how do things stand today and what MSE things have we been doing.

    Mr Squirrel was paid yesterday and also received a summer bonus :j this is only the second time he has received it, so a happy surprise, it worked out after tax as an extra £700. I would love to tell you that this was ALL going towards the debt, but because of our falling off the wagon I am going to use to get us back on an even keel.

    This months plan is to put £250 to the debt, £250 in the EF (which has about £5 at the moment :o) and £200 towards the Birthday/Christmas fund...this will hopefully prevent leaving ourselves short and finding ourselves in this same position in the New Year.

    I did a food plan for the month yesterday as, as soon as we stop planning, we suffer with constant drip, drip, drip of top up shops. I have even food planned snacks for each day :AThis kicks in from Saturday

    Mr Squirrel was at work today and Boy Squirrel was at a summer school so it was mostly me and Girl Squirrel today. We had a very MSE day considering its the holidays, we took Doggo for a long walk, went to visit a lovely friend who gave Girl Squirrel some playmobil as a swap for some lego she doesn't play with, we went to the library, did the reading challenge and for £1 Girl Squirrel was able to join in an arts and craft event they were running. She made some lovely marbled paper, which Im going to save to use as wrapping paper :money:. Picked up some potatoes for £2.22 for our roast this evening....total spends £3.22.

    However... when I got home Mr Squirrel had spent £66.94 on Diesel for the squirrelmobile and had paid his parents back for a short term bank of mum and dad loan (we borrowed the money on Tuesday and returned it today) £160 :o...this was for a food shop, Kitty Cats spay operation and a couple of other expenses... Both necessary expenses which I knew were coming (and had we not let our lightbulb dim we could have easily covered) but my MSE halo slipped. Tomorrow it may well strangle me as we need to have two new tyres put on the squirrelmobile and I need to pick up a game from a local shop which I reserved :naughty:

    I am pretty sure we are going to have some bank fees to pay this month for going overdrawn for a couple of days...writing this entry if nothing else has made me see how much mopping up has to be done after being so sloppy so that is no bad thing.

    Nighty night Squirrel Friends
    DEBT : Aug 2019 [STRIKE]£6220[/STRIKE] £5970
    EF :[STRIKE] £250[/STRIKE] £500
    Short term savings: [STRIKE]£200[/STRIKE] £325
  • DebtFreeMonkeyDebtFreeMonkey Forumite
    213 Posts
    Great to see you holding yourself accountable. Looking forward to seeing your journey progress and spur me on!
  • hoddhodd Forumite
    180 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Is a £3 work lunch so bad? ��

    My workplace does a healthy vegetarian meal and soup for around £3.50. I try not to eat bread so bringing in sandwiches every day is a no no and not particularly healthy nor interesting.

    I thought workplace canteens were subsidised and if the food’s good and healthy, great value. People get far less value eating awful subway or Greggs.

    Let him have his £3 lunch, as long as it’s not chips every day��
  • Morning!

    Thanks for your response Hodd, your workplace lunches sound fab if that had been what Mr Squirrel had been having it would have been less of issue. His £3 a day was going on a Mr T meal deal and he was getting in the squirrelmobile to go and grab it, scoff it in the car and drive back as he only gets 30 mins...none of this was very good for him.

    Please dont think I am a horrible old nag, the argument over lunches was just the tip of the iceburg of overspending, which I am very much responsible for too. Im sure many people on here can relate that it is a daft argument that gets things out in the open...we really needed it!

    I promise I will explain more about the debt and overspending but I am waiting until some of the beginning of the month spending has happened and I can work through that in my diary.

    We have just had a call from the garage to say squirrelmobile needs 3 tyres rather than 2 :eek: so I will definitely be back to update my diary with todays figures

    Have fun Squirrel Friends
    DEBT : Aug 2019 [STRIKE]£6220[/STRIKE] £5970
    EF :[STRIKE] £250[/STRIKE] £500
    Short term savings: [STRIKE]£200[/STRIKE] £325
  • hoddhodd Forumite
    180 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    That’s no lunch at all ☹️ Hope his lunches are healthier and better value now. Sadly a lot of people grab a sandwich or a steak bake for lunch. Poor value and unhealthy.

    Being an unsociable git, I get a work canteen takeout so I can eat at my desk and pretend to work. I can then go out for a 40-minute walk. I really don’t understand office workers who don’t get up and walk at lunchtime.

    Sorry to hijack your savings thread 😀
  • twiggy86twiggy86 Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Just wanted to say hello and well done for taking this step!

    I'm a bad one for the lunch thing - need to get organised and start bringing stuff to work. Although I'm so bad, I did have a stash of things in my drawer at work which I've been using up this week (i.e. since LBM!) - today I went to use some rice that went out of date at the beginning of this year! Clearly if I bring it, I also have to eat it! The dangers of working in town with lots of choices around!
    Starting again..
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Boost your Nectar points

Get up to £25 this Saturday

MSE News

Preparing for summer

What MoneySaving things can you do now to get ready?

MSE Forum

Hot Diamonds 40% off code

Including already-reduced outlet stock

MSE Deals