EXTENDED: You've got another week to add your travel & holiday deals questions for expert MSE Oli as part of the latest Ask An Expert event.
Been here before many times
in Debt free diaries
74 replies 5.4K views
Latest MSE News and Guides
Energy Price Cap change
Martin Lewis on what it means for youMSE News
Best £1 you've ever spent?
Share your most impressive bargainsMSE Forum
New MSE Forum avatars available
Try 'em out nowMSE Forum
Without the money from him, I just can't repay anything.
However...for some strange reason bearing in mind I have defaults, I've managed to get a money transfer card with a limit that is enough to clear the car lease balance. I've sat down with my DP and explained I need support. Luckily its not like I am BT to one card, and then will be able to spend on the other card - once that car lease is paid, it's gone. I've got 22 months to pay the card off.
I'll be able to clear £2160.24 of car lease, £400ish of Simply Be (high interest) and then there is £100 left over. I will either put that on the £400 0% ASDA card or put it on the £1986.19 19.9% Halifax Card.
Personally, it will be more psychologically motivating to put it on the ASDA card. I know it makes more financial sense to reduce the interest on the Halifax card however I really need that boost by clearing the ASDA one. It would bring that balance down to around £300 and I could continue eBaying to get it cleared.
DP had offered to move in with me as the lodger left, I was in a lot of distress, crying blah blah. But I said no - moving in with me when I can't even manage a budget is not a great way to start a cohabitation. He also didn't understand why I refuse financial help, but I NEED to sort my mess out. I've said we can revisit cohabitation in 6 months as long as I am in a rhythm. Him moving in with me would be + £332 a month (I would lose universal credit) so it wouldn't be a massive increase but I could use that money for debt repayments. For now I think its best I manage on my own. I also don't want him moving in before we discuss our future plans, for instance he owns his own house with a large amount of equity (which I would insist he protect etc etc) and I'm just not willing to move in together without clear ground rules and expectations. He does understand it will be a long time before I can be on a mortgage. We did talk about moving to his in 2.5 years when my son finishes primary school as he can go to a High School in the town a short drive from my DP but it doesn't have a garden and I have two dogs!
So its all nice and romantic to have these ideas but it doesn't necessarily equate to a happy financially sound life. He's never had money worries (rich parents) so this is a learning curve for him. I think because he has been assisted by his parents in buying the house, university degrees funded etc that the struggles of a single parent in debt are just entirely foreign to him! I did talk through it with him and explain why it just can't yet, but that I do want to live with him. It's just not fair to do that right now.
January budget is just going to be - gotta get through next month by the skin of my teeth but moving forward it generally looks like....
£1973 + £232 + £175 + £82.80 = £2462.80
Overdraft Fees: £15.50
Council Tax: £87
Bulb: £90 (going to look at switching in a couple of months)
TV Licence: £13
Pet Healthcare and Insurance: £50
Pet Food: £35
Mobile Phone: £92
Home Insurance: £8
Spotify and Netflix: £16.98
Virgin Media: £25
Groceries and Fuel: £300
Car Costs (Ex's car when Car lease goes back, maint, ins and tax): £120
Money Transfer Card: £25
Self Managed DMP: £14
Family Loan £275
If I can stick to my groceries budget and not buy ANYTHING then I can use the £82 to build up a small EF. I will do that for 6 months, then use the £82 to pay off debt. I'm going to continue ebaying and use that to pay off ASDA so my posts now will be about sticking to my groceries and fuel budget, saving money in that area and my progress with paying off £401.43 from ASDA.
What I do need to watch, and what he can help with is me buying food for us both when he’s at mine. My thoughts on that are, as I have a freezer full of meat - I’ll defrost meat for a dinner, and he can buy the veg or sauce or whatever to go with it. If I defrost chicken thighs, he can buy the potatoes and broccoli etc. If he fancies smoothie, he needs to buy it. Although I think I might have paid for that today by mistake....
The plan is for him to get his roof fixed, and his shower replaced. I’ll move my spare rooms double bed to his house so he can Airbnb his house in July when the great Yorkshire show is on, and he’ll Airbnb it over the summer holidays. During that time he can stay with me which will be our trial at living together. So he needs to get roofing quotes
My lodger, who gave me one day notice that he was moving out emailed to ask for his £200 deposit back.
Issue - he never signed his contract, I verbally told him it was two weeks notice (I have read on the Shelter website that a contract can be verbal but not sure what legs I have to stand on with that). So if he had given me two weeks notice, he would have paid me £200 for those two weeks.
He left curry stains on his mattress which was £150 and bought the day he moved in. He left Ben and Jerry's in his bedroom which was left festering for 4 weeks and I had to get the carpet cleaned just to get the smell out. I am so stressed I have that sick feeling in the middle of my chest. His mother came and cleaned his room but it took days to get the smell out of the carpet.
The good news is that I am £60 away from breaking even this month, if I keep to the budget.
Car lease is paid off, except the last £360.28 payment as I don't know whether the last one is that amount, I don't know how it works exactly. So I'm just waiting for confirmation on that. Simply Be has gone, paid off, maybe some residual interest when my statement is generated on the 11th. I'm not going to have any wiggle room to snowball towards debts as I am not getting another lodger. I'm failing miserably at ebay and selling because I'm just always so tired and can't keep up with it. I think I'd rather donate stuff to the charity shop, make the house decluttered and wait for SO to move in at some point in the future.
I've checked with Halifax and they've frozen interest on the account, it doesn't show as a late payment marker, it shows as up today so its just a case of paying the minimum amount and getting it cleared?
So the only debt now that is costing me is my Monzo overdraft of £750. If I am in the overdraft every day of the month I think it costs me £16 - so far 8 days in I haven't been in it, although that will change on Friday when my rent goes out.
My debt total including everything stands at: £41,714.29
Its a big amount but I have a plan.
Debts not defaulted that will be serviced are my £750 overdraft and £2000ish Halifax Card. Then I have the BT card that I used to pay off my car lease, I have a DD set up to clear that each month so it should be cleared in full by the end of the promotional rate.
I am going to clear the overdraft first, I can reduce it by £50 at a time. Each month I am going to reduce it by £50 no matter what. Halifax I will continue making a £50 payment to. Once overdraft has gone, I am going to focus on clearing the Balance Transfer card. Then Halifax. At some point in the future my SO is going to move in which should give me £300 a month to use as a snowball. It's not much but thats because when he moves in I would lose my Universal Credit (fair enough).
I'll use that to clear the above as and when it turns up.
Then, I'm going to save that £300 a month and use it to partially settle my defaulted debts which total 22k. If I can settle at 11k that would be amazing. I'll start with the smallest, offer 10% and see what happens. I'd be happy with 50%.
When those are done, I'll roll any and all spare money into paying off my family loans. Although. having said that one of those might be done by the time I finish all that as I have 22 payments left I think. The other one....well its for 8grand and I pay £50 a month so that will take forever!
If I do the above I could be debt free by May 2023 but it relies on me not overspending. I still can build an emergency fund. So lets be conservative and hope by the start of May 2024 I am debt free. Those defaults will be 5 years old and I can look to the future.
Debt Jan 2020: £41,612.43
£268.57 left to pay on ASDA/Creation card
I am using ynab, I have all my categories fully funded and I know I am getting £20ish from ebay (item posted) so have paid £20 to my ASDA card. I then had £81 left to assign to a category. I also paid £35 for DS to attend a Dodgebal club at school up til March, after all that I am in the minus by £55 but I have £62.10 in child benefit coming in over the next three weeks.
I resisted the urge to go to Lidl last night. I wanted some Extra Virgin Olive Oil (need it for cake) but I knew I would get more than that. So we just had fish fingers and chips for dinner, we usually have a cooked meal but I was exhausted last night.
I bought some reduced smoked mackerel from Sainsburys for 85p the other day so I am going to make smoked mackerel cabonara ala Jamie Oliver. DS has eaten it before, who knows if he will eat it this time....
1 large courgette - 40p
Recipe requires fresh rosemary but I'm going to use dried.
That will do us for two days, and me for lunch for two days. I'm currently using up the Huel I've had in the cupboard for ages which is feeding me at breakfast and lunch. I'm on a Maltesers ban, which genuinely...will save me £1 a day!
I also need to buy some coconut milk, as I have some sweet potatoes I can make into a curry with some chickpeas. I'll need to buy bread and fruit.
I then have some Maris Piper potatoes to use up and also have some frozen pollock. Thinking this fishcake recipe. Unless I freeze the mackerel tonight and make the fishcakes for tea tonight hmmmm... what to serve with them? Ohhh brocolli - I think we have some of that in still.
I'm due a £50 refund from Three, have it confirmed in a letter but I need to ring them up and give them my bank details. I'll put that on the ASDA card when it comes in. I then STILL haven't sorted this £150 cheque out, and guess what, the dogs shredded it. My mission when DS has gone to bed is to get both of those things done because that £200 would mean only £68 left on my ASDA card.
I'm also going to go into the spare room tonight and bag what is definitely charity shop jobs, and anything of high value I will put on ebay...I will! I'm going to organise it on the spare bed so I have no excuse not being able to find something
£25 spent at Lidl last night including Bacon, kids shampoo/shower gel, prawns, bread, shallots, oil, then admittedly I bought ice cream, pringles and some chocolate.
£50 left in food and fuel budget. However I have a £60 voucher on amazon so maybe I need to look at Amazon pantry?
I will need to buy cheese and pay for my milk delivery which is about £5 per week. It's not particularly frugal, however it stops me from going to the shop for milk and coming back with stuff I don't need. I only went for olive oil last night, and spent £25 HOWEVER I can justify about £20 of it. Bacon, can do cheesey pasta using broccoli and cream cheese which is currently in the fridge. Prawns, I can use the paella rice, frozen chicken and peppers to make paella. Then I stocked up on kids shower stuff and I forget what else, receipt is in the car I need to write it in my planner so I know what to use up. Speaking of showers, I realised last night DS had been in the shower for AN ENTIRE HOUR. I'm horrified that I didn't keep track but the cow egg timer thing is going in the bathroom!!
I'll also need to get snacks for school. I've tried cheap fromage frais but DS loses the spoons and I don't want to use plastic spoons (trying to reduce how much plastic we use). I could look into reusable yoghurt pouches, but need the initial cost of buying the pouches. Cheese strings we could probably avoid but I only buy them when they're on offer and I eat them too (perfect snack size for my teeny tiny tummy). Or maybe the question is, do I need to get him snacks? Maybe I'll sit down tonight and think of what I could make from what is in the house.
We had Tuna pasta bake last night, using the emergency jar of sauce at the back of the cupboard and he liked it! Have leftovers for tea tonight before he goes to his dads. I also used the stale frozen bread to make bread and butter pudding, he didn't like it but I'm happy eating it over the next three days. I will literally survive on that.
I bought a butternut squash last night, that should make cupcakes (Jamie Oliver recipe) which I'll make in two batches. I need 400g of squash, so I roast two halves, and freeze whats leftover after making one batch of cakes. I already have most of the ingredients in, I'm using up stocks of sugar that I've had for literal years, I have loads of soft dark/light brown sugar. I've got caster/granulated, demerara etc. I don't notice much difference in the cakes when I change the sugar up. It means I don't need to go buy soreen loaf for DS and they're good snacks for me, stops me buying chocolate! I could probably cut the cheese strings out of his lunch for the rest of the month and go get some apples (he only likes Pink Lady apples heaven help me!). I noticed some bananas that need desperately using up so I'm also going to make banana cake however....I haven't got the room in the freezer and I don't know how long cake lasts before going stale! I've got some spelt flour my partner gave me so need to use that up.
I might need to fuel the car up again this month, but am going to avoid going anywhere if I can. For instance, not going to drive to my partners.I do have to pick DS up on Saturday which is a 15 mile drive, but need to try my hardest to avoid other driving. I do pick him up from school in the car as it's really cold and about half an hour walk home at 6pm when he's hungry is a bit unfair. We're going to teach him to ride his bike this month so I'm hoping by March he will be confident enough to cycle to and from school with me.
I've sorted out my spare room, most of the stuff is clothing - I could try to sell some on ebay. I've got some duplo and a few disney things I bought from the disney store but I want to keep those as DS has had them since he was little and I'd like to pass them on if I have any more children.
Mentally, taking everything to charity would help me but wouldn't pay off the £268 ASDA card!