Sharon87's Debt Free and Savings Diary

So, having been on these forums for a while I want to start a diary to keep a track, get advice, and keep me motivated in my debt free journey.

Bit of background, my debt has been mostly built up on just general overspending, it could have been like £100/month over the years, as well as working contracts, having various bouts of unemployment (whether 1 week or a couple of months!). I've been trying to pay it down, and it's steadily going down (finally!).

At the highest my debt was over 15k, I now have £11700 with £1300 in savings.

I am aiming to have everything paid off December 2021 as well as saving for a 3 month trip around Europe in early 2022 (i'll need 4k at a minimum).

I use YNAB and since using it my debt has decreased. First year it didn't go down, but I didn't get into any more debt.

I am currently £700 overbudget in my YNAB, so I need some motivation to keep to my budget! It was on target a few months back. My main downside is holidays, I love a holiday/festival and tend to overspend when I'm away - or don't budget enough!

I've had 3 holidays and a festival already this year, 2 of them I spent around £500 on each. The festival I actually spent less than I thought.

I'm about to finish my current contract, and my next job might be a slight pay cut if I can't find the right job, so need to manage my budget better. I'm also nearing the end of my tenancy and have a feeling my landlady will want to increase the rent slightly too, so need to prepare for that!

I've got a thread here that explains some of my overspending! I keep overspending on my entertainment and restaurant/eating out budgets!

All of my debt is on 0% and I have a HTB ISA with around £1200 in and £170 saved up in my Europe 2022 travels (5% interest rate).

I need to find ways of either making more money or reducing my spending. Will do an SOA at some point. Any advice anyone can give will be very helpful!


  • So did a statement of affairs, I currently get paid either every 4 or 5 weeks, so this is based on the 4 weeks as there's more of them! So there's a minus. I know I need to cancel a few subscriptions, pay less for food and eating out, but food just seems expensive these days! I've started taking more food into work (and cheaper food), so I'm hoping my grocery budget will decrease. This number is based on what I've spent on average in the past year.

    I need to cancel the gym as I don't use it enough to justify that price! I went there as it's near work and home and has a pool. Depending where I work next I'll probably go pay as you go at another gym I like. I'm in contract till December, so I will try and make sure I use it more often - that means I get value for money and keeps me busy and not spending money elsewhere!

    I have about £400 tax bill - I am on PAYE but also sometimes do transcribing as an extra income, and I'm really bad at saving enough to pay the tax bill - I also need to pay more because of PAYE, as 2 months I paid too little tax. Most of the additional work gets split between debts and savings (mostly it goes on the debt).

    There's so many things I need to save up for like when I need a new laptop or phone in a couple years - I have tried to save in the technology budget, but my budget doesn't allow for it when I overspend!

    Any advice on what I can do to reduce my outgoings would be great

    Statement Of Affairs And Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information
    Number Of Adults In Household 1
    Number Of Children In Household 1
    Number Of Cars Owned 0

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly Income After Tax £2,200.00
    Partners Monthly Income After Tax
    Other Income
    Total Monthly Income £2,200.00

    Monthly Expense Details
    Rent £750.00
    Council Tax £78.50
    Electricity £17.50
    Gas £24.00
    Water Rates £12.43
    Mobile Phone £18.00
    TV License £6.25
    Satellite TV £35.49
    Internet Services (inc in Sky package) £0.00
    Gym (still in contract) £79.00
    Bank fee (for phone insurance mostly) £10.00
    Groceries Etc £170.00
    Clothing £30.00
    Eating out (inc lunches for work) £70.00
    Medical £5.00
    Household goods £10.00
    Gigs £20.00
    Alcohol for home (virgin wines) £15.00
    Other Travel £180.00
    Technology £20.00
    Premier Sports £5.00
    Pets £5.00
    Health and Beauty £14.00
    Glasses £4.00
    Contents Insurance £9.00
    Christmas £10.00
    Photoshop/Lightroom (tried to cancel but I'm in contract) £9.98
    Presents (Birthdays) £20.00
    Spotify £7.50
    Entertainment £110.00
    2018-19 tax bill (until Dec) £80.00
    Holiday £150.00
    HTB ISA £60.00
    Europe 2022 Trip £30.00
    Total Monthly Expenses £2,065.65

    Cash £0.00
    HTB ISA £1,100.00
    Europe 2022 saving £170.00
    Car(s) £0.00
    Other Assets £0.00
    Total Assets £1,270.00

    Secured & HP Debts
    Description Debt Monthly Apr
    Mortgage £0.00 2.25
    HP And Other Secured Debt £0.00 0.00%
    Total Secured & HP Debts £0.00

    Unsecured Debts
    Description Debt Monthly Apr
    Barclaycard CC £7,292.59 £167.00 0.00%
    HSBC CC £1,836.50 £45.00 0.00%
    Halifax CC £2,057.44 £25.00 0.00%
    Tesco CC £530.47 £25.00 0.00%

    Total Unsecured Debts £11,717.00 £262.00

    Monthly Budget Summary
    Total Monthly Income £2,200.00
    Expenses (Including Hp & Secured Debts) £2,065.65
    Available For Debt Repayments £134.35
    Monthly Unsecured Debt Repayments £262.00
    Amount Surplus Or Short For Making Debt Repayments -£127.65

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total Assets (Things You Own) £1,270.00
    Total Hp & Secured Debt £0.00
    Total Unsecured Debt £11,717.00
    Net Assets £1,270.00
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    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.
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  • Thanks!

    Thought I'd start off this week by making my own work food. So made a salad using some reduced chicken I cooked yesterday. Took it out the fridge this morning and then accidentally left it at home! (doh!). So bought a reduced ready meal at lunch instead of spending five quid on a jacket potato at a cafe (which I was close to doing!)

    I also saved £1.80 by getting the bus home instead of the tube. Every little helps right?!

    Had a cheap meal tonight, using the left over chicken and some chips. I plan on not buying too much food as I have a freezer full, I'm really bad at not eating the food in my freezer, I once found some food in there that I've had for a year!
  • So it's been about 4 weeks since making this diary. Not really had much time to update it. I've started a new job, which means I pay less on transport. I can travel off peak in the morning and get the bus home. I used to spend £6.60 on transport most days, now it's more like £4.30 if I get the bus home (most days) or £5.60 if I travel off peak both ways (when I work late for instance).

    I've also started saving with my food spend. I went to Aldi and discovered a world of cheap but good food. I'm cooking more from scratch and not spending any money at lunch!

    I also got a bargain gift for my niece's birthday. A sweater from Gap that I spent less than £8 on (was £18 in store!).

    And I've just been accepted for a Halifax Clarity Credit Card, so when I go on holiday I have a fee free card to use! (it will only be used for holidays/spending in foreign currency and paid off in full!)

    I do have an unexpected expense of something I want - Green Day tickets. Which means having to move some money around my budget, but I think I should be able to afford it. I did have a small amount in my 'gigs' budget, but not enough. I'll just have to move some from general entertainment and other budgets. (I use YNAB).

    I've also been planning out my travelling in 2022 a bit more. Found some cheap places to stay and added them to the spreadsheet. £30-£40 night hotels and even cheaper hostels.

    I have £220 saved so far towards my 2022 travelling... just another 4 grand to go! (plus paying off my cards!)
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