Noticed some changes? You can read all about the improvements we've made on the Forum in our latest announcement. We also have a new set of Forum rules so please take the time to give them a read and familiarise yourself.

The Final Furlong

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
632 replies 28.3K views
Dottles1Dottles1 Forumite
490 Posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
✭✭
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
Well here we are, The 1st of August, what better time to start a new diary? I have just turned 61 and live alone with children having flown the nest years ago. I'm currently working 3 days a week teaching at a local college (just reduced from 4) and would really now like to be able to retire in the near future however am not eligible for state pension for another 5 years.
I have been around the forums for quite sometime and have been slowly reducing my debt for a couple of years but it has been a bit like 3 steps forward and 2 backwards. The problem is that I haven't really had a proper budget, I'd stretch things too tightly when making payments which has then led to having to spend again on credit cards to make ends meet. Anyway last year I took control. I downsized my home, activated one of my pensions and paid a chunk off the debt. I have scrutinised my outgoings and made savings on gas/electric, mobile, broadband and changed to a water metre which has resulted in considerable savings and am feeling much more in control.

So here it is, the dreaded debt:
CC1 £7587.85 @ 0%
CC2 £1185.58 @ 0%
CC3 £544.95 @?% (looking this up)
O/D £200 - (this is down from £1250)
Total debt = £9518.38

I am budgeting £200 per month for groceries/cleaning/household basics and £100 for personal spending as a starting point and have started an emergency fund - currently £50. There are some other things coming up that I need to save for but will go into that next time.

This diary is to hold me accountable, gain some advice along the way and, if it helps anyone else with their journey to debt freedom well then that would be great.


Thanks for listening to my ramblings.
Dottles
CC1 Aug19 [STRIKE]£7587.85[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
CC2 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£1185.58[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
CC3 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£544.95[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
O/D Aug [STRIKE]£20[/STRIKE] Sept [STRIKE] £100[/STRIKE] Oct £0
CC4 Aug 2020 £0
Total debt Aug 2019[STRIKE]£9318.38[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
«13456764

Replies

  • savingholmessavingholmes Forumite
    14.9K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hi Dottles

    Well done on taking action to secure your dream of semi-retirement. For people to be able to offer advice it would be good if you could post a statement of affairs (soa) I am sure someone will post a link if you don't know it. That way people can let you know whether you seem to be paying over the odds for anything.

    With regards to your emergency fund - getting to £1K initially (asap) would help you avoid getting into fresh debt if you have something unexpected come up. All the best with your freedom journey.
    During 2021: Target 1) Clear CC debt £15212 £[email protected] 0% Target 2) Lose weight 3) Write regularly 38113/70000 words Book 2 4) Promote book(s) 5) Develop passive income streams 6) Build 3-6 mths EF 7) Declutter
  • NeverendingDMPNeverendingDMP Forumite
    737 Posts
    500 Posts Third Anniversary
    ✭✭
    hello and good luck on your journey. well done for getting the overdraft down to 200.
    35,213 - Jan 2018, 15237 remaining.
    Mortgage Jan 2018 =77224, 67500 remaining
    EF = 621
  • KaronherKaronher Forumite
    852 Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 500 Posts
    ✭✭✭
    Hi - good luck with the journey. An SOA would be helpful but an initial thought is that £200 a month groceries/household for one person is a lot. If you could reduce that and possibly the £100 spends - you don't say what that covers so it may be right - you could build up a good emergency fund and pay off the OD/CC3 by the end of the year
    Aiming to make £7,000 online in 2021
  • doingitanywaydoingitanyway Forumite
    6.9K Posts
    Tenth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Mortgage-free Glee!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hello, also wishing you good luck with your journey. Your spending appears reasonable to me. It depends how far you want to cut back and how quickly you need to reduce the debt?

    I agree with SH about the need for an emergency fund of £1,000. Even my meagre savings fund has helped keep me on track so many times.
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
  • Dottles1Dottles1 Forumite
    490 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Morning all
    Thankyou for those of you who popped in to say hello and for the warm welcome.
    Saving Holmes - I will look at posting an SOA over the weekend when I have time to get my figures together. Karonher- I agree that £200 is probably too much for groceries for one but I am starting with a practically empty fridge and freezer and so will adjust next month. Anything left over can go into one of my pots.
    Ok then. Yesterday was a NSD as I shopped for groceries on Wednesday and planned meals for the week so should need minimal food spends for the rest of the week, possibly some fresh veg. Some stuff bought will last for the month.
    I also allow myself £60 per month for petrol which I haven't needed to touch yet and again will adjust next month if necessary.
    The £100 spends is for anything for me such as coffee with a friend, lunch out or trip to the cinema. Underspends will go in a pot for things like the odd theatre ticket or day trip out.
    I am also going to count my NDS's as this will help keep me on the right path.
    I began my new working hours of three days a week from 1st August and so not sure what my new monthly pay will be but am estimating it going down by around £400 per month. This was my choice which might seem a bit irresponsible given my situation. However, there is a plan. I lecture at a college and have become disillusioned with the job. Not the teaching or my immediate team but the amount of extra work and expectations of the role, and the way it eats into my personal time. I have read others' diaries where they are overwhelmed by marking and planning so I think some of you will understand.
    I also have a small private business that I set up last year which currently brings in a little extra money. I am hoping to increase using the extra day I will now have. At the moment I am putting most of what I earn from this towards my tax return (hopefully it wont be too much). If all goes to plan I will then leave teaching completely. I will review progress at Christmas.
    In my earlier post I mentioned a couple of things coming up that I am budgeting for.
    1 - Taking youngest GD on a day trip to visit the Tower of London. Rail tickets are already paid for (senior rail card used)and so need to budget for entry tickets (£31.08 for both) and for a meal whilst there. I will take food and drinks from home for the train.

    2 - I am going to stay with oldest GD in USA for Christmas (there I've said the C word twice now). I am saving for flights (around £500) and either we will meet up somewhere warm whereas it will be air b&b or I will stay with her in Ohio. She has an apartment on campus as she is working and studying there. Decision will be made once she knows her work schedule for the period.
    So - some financial work to do here.
    Off now to walk my little dog and get some steps in.
    Happy frugaling
    Dottles x
    CC1 Aug19 [STRIKE]£7587.85[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC2 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£1185.58[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC3 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£544.95[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    O/D Aug [STRIKE]£20[/STRIKE] Sept [STRIKE] £100[/STRIKE] Oct £0
    CC4 Aug 2020 £0
    Total debt Aug 2019[STRIKE]£9318.38[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
  • Dottles1Dottles1 Forumite
    490 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    So budgets set for this month are:
    Groceries & toiletries £200/£150.75 left
    Petrol £60
    Personal spends £100

    let's see how this goes.
    CC1 Aug19 [STRIKE]£7587.85[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC2 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£1185.58[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC3 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£544.95[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    O/D Aug [STRIKE]£20[/STRIKE] Sept [STRIKE] £100[/STRIKE] Oct £0
    CC4 Aug 2020 £0
    Total debt Aug 2019[STRIKE]£9318.38[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
  • Dottles1Dottles1 Forumite
    490 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Here I am at day 3 and finding the diary is really helping with my motivation. Another NSD yesterday and I'm beginning to see how often I just pop out for something for tea or an odd item and end up spending more than planned (well not really planned at all, that's the problem).

    A little more about me. I downsized last August to a 2 bedroomed bungalow which I love !! It has a small garden (my last was huge) which I am enjoying turning from a patch of lawn into somewhere pleasant. I have made flower beds and am growing veg in pots too.

    My live in companion is a small Jack Russel called Tilly who I re-homed 6 years ago. She sleeps a lot, barks a lot but is very affectionate and good company. Also, she gives me the motivation to get out and walk each day.

    My Ex husband retired last year but I have not seen any of the pension I was supposed to receive as agreed in the divorce settlement of 21 years ago. I have engaged a solicitor to sort it out (luckily I kept all paperwork as I fully expected him to be awkward about this) but none of the pension providers are getting back to him so far. I do trust that he will get this sorted but it seems a bit unfair that I am now having to pay to get what I am legally entitled to. Oh well, it is what it is. I don't know how much it will be or when I will get it so not taking into account in my financial planning.

    On the house front the previous owners left a number of tins of paint in the garage and I am using these to freshen up the d!cor throughout. I like the colours used so seems like a sensible (and MSE) solution.

    Right, time to look lively. I have painting to do, dog to walk, batch cooking and catching up with my son and family who have just come back from a few days in Scotland. Then I'm going to tackle the SOA.


    Have a lovely Saturday all.
    Dottles x
    CC1 Aug19 [STRIKE]£7587.85[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC2 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£1185.58[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC3 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£544.95[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    O/D Aug [STRIKE]£20[/STRIKE] Sept [STRIKE] £100[/STRIKE] Oct £0
    CC4 Aug 2020 £0
    Total debt Aug 2019[STRIKE]£9318.38[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
  • Sunshine_girl2Sunshine_girl2 Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭
    Hi Dottles, just popping in to say I have subscribed and will read when I have time. I am moving at the moment. Your situation is a bit like mine , I have a£100 personal spends , I spend around £120 on groceries a month.

    Have a good weekend .
    Debt free April 26th 2021

  • Dottles1Dottles1 Forumite
    490 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Thanks Sunshine. Yes I plan to reduce grocery spend next month so good to have an idea of what's possible.

    Good luck with the move.
    CC1 Aug19 [STRIKE]£7587.85[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC2 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£1185.58[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    CC3 Aug 19 [STRIKE]£544.95[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
    O/D Aug [STRIKE]£20[/STRIKE] Sept [STRIKE] £100[/STRIKE] Oct £0
    CC4 Aug 2020 £0
    Total debt Aug 2019[STRIKE]£9318.38[/STRIKE] Aug 20 £0
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    76.1K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    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.***
Sign In or Register to comment.
Latest News and Guides

New plastic £50 note in circulation

Inventor and codebreaker Alan Turing is pictured

MSE News

TV MoneySaving tricks

How to save on Sky, Netflix, Now TV, Prime Video and more

MSE Guides

Pret subscription loophole

Get a month's worth of free smoothies, frappes, coffee etc

MSE Deals