Debt Free by '23

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
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  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
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    Thank you so much for your suggestions on batch cooking Southern-Chick, the stroganoff is something I never think about cooking, but when I have it I really enjoy it. I will give it a go over the next few weeks. Thank you!

    I've spent this evening working out my spends for the month, and it is not good reading!! Some of my extra spends have been due to a change in job, and therefore easier access to cafes and nice lunches! Some has been due to COVID-19, and shopping being more complicated, and having to buy things when I see them, rather than waiting for a deal (cue £150 Mr S shop at the weekend that included £50 beauty spend and £26 wine spend!). So here are my March totals:

    Extra Income Earnt: £34.19 (Feb £147.75)
    Debt Pay Off: £1274.30 (Feb £1321.92)
    Spends:
    Groceries: £382.51 (Feb £209.66, Jan £144.54, Dec £140.12)
    Fuel & other transport: £82.48 (Feb £140.44, Jan £94.36, Dec £176.58)
    Eating Out: £125.88 (Feb £73.65, Jan £51.12, Dec £99.51)
    Entertainment: £17.38 (Feb £17, Jan £27.50, Dec £30)
    Other: £13.46 (Feb £23.88, Jan £68.45, Dec £119.32)

    My grocery shopping was horrendous! I really need to sort that out this month. I've had far too many treats this month. And eating out has been bad too. I've had a couple of celebrations this month, but considering we have been on lock down for a week I'm surprised at what I have spent! I've done quite well with meal prep, so want to continue with that in April. I'm sure my entertainment and eating out spends will be low this month too, but we may spend on a take away or too if the lock down continues. 

    I must admit, I feel very lucky to be in a job where I can still get out to work everyday, and I know I will get paid each month. Although there is worry, I'm not TOO worried about finances.
    I hope everyone else is doing ok :)

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
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    Hi everyone,
    I'm pretty late with my mid-month check in this month! I've just logged all of my spending for the last couple of weeks and I'm doing OK. I've still got £100 left in my groceries and fuel budget to last for the month so that should last and may even have some left over. 
    I did put a a couple of things on my credit card, a small grocery shop and a BBQ. I'm dissapointed that I used my credit card, but I had a slight corona virus / money panic. I'll pay off in full at the end of the month. I do wonder if I should budget some extra money for "other" things, to stop those little panic spends. Really I should cut up the cards. I havent been great with taking lunches to work,and I have struggled with managing my grocery budget with working full time and lockdown. Shopping seems like such a chore now that I overbuy, or buy things at the expensive but very convinient and wellstocked shop at work. 

    I've just looked at the debt totals I had on 17th March and I feel pretty good about what I have acheived in the last month. I could definately cut down on my spending though, and reduce those pricy work meal deals that I continue to buy! It adds up, across a week it could be upwards of £20 on rubbish lunches at work. Maybe that should be a little goal for next week...

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
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    I'm a little late with my end of the month summary for April, but I did take the time to budget for May and pay straight to my debt.

    Here are the totals:
    Extra Income Earnt: £5.25 (Mar £34.19, Feb £147.75)
    Debt Pay Off: £885 (Mar £1274.30, Feb £1321.92)
    Spends:
    Groceries: £192.45 (Mar £382.51, Feb £209.66, Jan £144.54, Dec £140.12)
    Fuel & other transport: £141.46 (Mar £82.48, Feb £140.44, Jan £94.36, Dec £176.58)
    Eating Out: £20.40 (Mar £125.88, Feb £73.65, Jan £51.12, Dec £99.51)
    Entertainment: £0 (Mar £17.38, Feb £17, Jan £27.50, Dec £30)
    Work food £40.56
    Other: £71.76 (Mar £13.46, Feb £23.88, Jan £68.45, Dec £119.32)

    I've added a new category, 'work food'. I was putting this spend in to groceries, but it is quite high this month and putting it in to groceries felt like hiding away a category where I could save a fair bit. I'm going to aim for less than £20 this month, and less than £15 on eating out. I'm glad my groceries spend is back down again. Although I could work to reduce it further. I would also like to reduce transport a little too. If I could save £10 across each category, that is £50 a month. It all adds up!
    I'm going to cancel my netflix this month too. At the moment I'm just not using it enough. I also have another DD that won't be going out until lock down ends,so that's £19 a month. I will also cancel this when i'm able to once lock down has ended.  
    My debt pay off has been less this month, as my income has reduced a little bit due to COVID19. 
    On a positive though, I now have over £500 in my emergency fund. I'm going to add more slowly now to this, until I have my final CC paid off (hopefully by the end of next month). Then the only debts I will have will be my car loan and my big loan. At this point I'll probably add a bit more aggressively up to the £1000 mark, then focus on the debt again. I'm doing well saving for my annual spends, although realistically I am probably about £50 short each month from my budgeted amounts. That being said, I am budgeting a little each month towards holidays,clothing and haircuts. None of which are likely to have big spends in during COVID times! 
    At some point in June I should probably have a good look again at my budgets and my spending, and think about how I'm managing my money. It has been almost 6 months now where I have tracked every penny spent, and started putting money aside for an EF and annual savings. I think that will help me stay focused and not get too settled.
    Hope everyone else is doing well!

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
    291 Posts
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    Late again for my end of the month check in and also missed out on a mid month check in. Here we go:
    Here are the totals:
    Extra Income Earnt: £21 (Apr £5.25,Mar £34.19, Feb £147.75)
    Debt Pay Off: £915 Apr £885, Mar £1274.30, Feb £1321.92)
    Spends:
    Groceries: £194.01 (Apr £192.45, Mar £382.51, Feb £209.66, Jan £144.54, Dec £140.12)
    Fuel & other transport: £150.12 (Apr £141.46 (Mar £82.48, Feb £140.44, Jan £94.36, Dec £176.58)
    Eating Out: £65.50 (Apr £20.40, Mar £125.88, Feb £73.65, Jan £51.12, Dec £99.51)
    Entertainment: £0 (Mar £17.38, Feb £17, Jan £27.50, Dec £30)
    Work food £33.44
    Other: £485.56 (Apr £71.76, Mar £13.46, Feb £23.88, Jan £68.45, Dec £119.32)

    So May was a spendy month! But I did pay off more than in April. My phone finally died this month, so I bought a new one with money split between my EF and my annual savings account. I did spend more on eating "out" - we had a chef cooked meal delivered to the house, and multiple work coffees were bought. We really needed the date night though, so no regrets. I've also got a few things for the garden, but its being well used at the moment, so again, they feel like good spends.
    I didn't hit the work food budget last month. I'd like to keep that to a minimum this month, whilst also cutting my grocery spend a bit. I spent £12 on extra travel. That needs to be £0!
    My total debt is now £26550 (19%). I WILL get rid of the credit card this month (now only £50 left) and then move on to the car and the family loan simultaneously. I can't wait to see some of those big numbers dropping. 
    As for debt free jobs to do this month, I need to close the credit card I will pay off this month, and the one I paid off in March. I also want to explore my energy bills and see about cutting those. I also need to get a few more things posted up on eBay, see if I can make a little more cash. 

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • ryanm8655ryanm8655 Forumite
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    Just came across your diary when having a browse.

    You’re doing great. I like the way you keep a diary of your spends. May start doing that myself, although currently it is all groceries pretty much...

    I’ve found my spending has decreased massively in lockdown but I am wfh. Plus most of my spend was entertainment (eating and drinking out). I notice yours has crept up a fair bit compared to earlier in the year.

    August 2019: £28.8k

    November 2020: £0 (0% interest)

    My debt free diary: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/77330320#Comment_77330320

    <br>

  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
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    Thanks for popping by Ryan! 
    Yes, my spending has changed. Firstly, I got a new job just before lockdown in a different town, so actually my spending changed due to that (but so did my income, it’s just not reflected here!). Also, I work in the NHS, and if I’m honest, the last three months have been relentless. So, yes, I’ve sometimes spent money on takeaway because I can’t face cooking, or I buy £2 yoghurt at the M&S on site instead of queuing to get in to a supermarket just to queue to pay again! But i have no regrets! What is also important to note is that I was mindful of my spending since October, and ‘living frugally’ since January, so a slight increase is ok. My SOA still looks alright I think. And my debt is going down. I actually scrapped the barrel of my current account and paid off my last credit card today! Whoop whoop! I now have my car loan and family loan TK focus on..... the giant ones! But still, no more debt that has the potentially to be high interest. 
    I’m going to close all but one credit card. I’ve been meaning to close them for a while but all the banks say only to contact if really needed. As I’m very unlikely to go and rack up a big balance on them again, I don’t see it as an emergency, but I think I’ve waited enough now. I’ll keep one card as an emergency, or for things like car hire etc if ever needed. I hope one day to have enough of an emergency fund and an annual savings habit not to need an emergency credit card, but for now I will keep it. I have put a few things on it recently, but paid off in full each month. I will try now not to spend on it, and manage my budget better. 
    I had a slight panic that I hadn’t budgeted for a Fathers Day present, but then realised that of the couple of hundred per month I’m putting away for annual spends, £25 per month is allocated to gifts, so I’m all good for the moment. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that things are planned for, budgeted for and saved for. 
    All in all, June is a good month so far! 

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • ryanm8655ryanm8655 Forumite
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    Thanks for popping by Ryan! 
    Yes, my spending has changed. Firstly, I got a new job just before lockdown in a different town, so actually my spending changed due to that (but so did my income, it’s just not reflected here!). Also, I work in the NHS, and if I’m honest, the last three months have been relentless. So, yes, I’ve sometimes spent money on takeaway because I can’t face cooking, or I buy £2 yoghurt at the M&S on site instead of queuing to get in to a supermarket just to queue to pay again! But i have no regrets! What is also important to note is that I was mindful of my spending since October, and ‘living frugally’ since January, so a slight increase is ok. My SOA still looks alright I think. And my debt is going down. I actually scrapped the barrel of my current account and paid off my last credit card today! Whoop whoop! I now have my car loan and family loan TK focus on..... the giant ones! But still, no more debt that has the potentially to be high interest. 
    I’m going to close all but one credit card. I’ve been meaning to close them for a while but all the banks say only to contact if really needed. As I’m very unlikely to go and rack up a big balance on them again, I don’t see it as an emergency, but I think I’ve waited enough now. I’ll keep one card as an emergency, or for things like car hire etc if ever needed. I hope one day to have enough of an emergency fund and an annual savings habit not to need an emergency credit card, but for now I will keep it. I have put a few things on it recently, but paid off in full each month. I will try now not to spend on it, and manage my budget better. 
    I had a slight panic that I hadn’t budgeted for a Fathers Day present, but then realised that of the couple of hundred per month I’m putting away for annual spends, £25 per month is allocated to gifts, so I’m all good for the moment. It’s such a nice feeling knowing that things are planned for, budgeted for and saved for. 
    All in all, June is a good month so far! 

    That completely makes sense and congrats on the new job. Did wonder how the spends were creeping up but you were still paying the same on debts ha. I think I would be doing more than the odd takeaway and M&S lunch in your shoes...

    You’re doing amazingly well. Good call on getting rid of the cards. I waited to do mine as well but think it is fine now. It feels so good to get rid of them...

    That’s great about the gift budget too, that’s  another thing I need to start doing properly. In lockdown I have the spare cash to budget for the unexpected spends on a month by month basis but need to be more proactive in future.

    August 2019: £28.8k

    November 2020: £0 (0% interest)

    My debt free diary: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/comment/77330320#Comment_77330320

    <br>

  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
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    @ryanm8655 I would definitely recommend putting money away for annual spends. If you start now it will become habit for when you aren’t getting the financial benefits or covid. 
    I have just closed 2 of my 4 credit cards. These were the two with the biggest available credits that I have paid off over the last 6 months. The other two I am going to keep for now. One is a cash back card, and one I have had for YEARS, and has a very low credit limit. I will probably get rid of these eventually, but I do wonder if at least the one I’ve held for the longest is useful in terms of credit score when it comes to remortgaging. It feels good to get rid of those cards. 
    My focus now needs to be to budget for those things I used to put on card. I’m putting over £200 a month away for annual spends, and adding to an emergency fund, which I will continue to do to build it up. I also need to become more comfortable with running low on money in my budget and waiting to spend! 
    Now I just need to pay off the two big debts! 

    <a rel="nofollow" href="https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1">https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1</a>

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



  • zippygeorgeandbenzippygeorgeandben Forumite
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    Hi - I saw that you linked your diary to your signature (what a good idea!) to a post that I had commented on and thought that this could be my reading for today!  I'll start at page 1 :)
    Savings as of September 2021
    Savings account 1 - £19986.74(23475.32)
    Current account - £5435.15(4066.44)
    Total - £25421.89 (27541.76)
    Plus £1648.45 (£65 per month between CS/BS) HTB £3600
  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
    291 Posts
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    Hi @zippygeorgeandben
    Hopefully the diary isn’t too boring! It’s certainly not as interesting as some here, but does help me stay accountable. 
    When I read that you were going to read from the start, it made me wonder what I’d written, so I went back to the start too! It was great to see that I have already paid off all my credit cards and now just have the two big loans. I’m still budgeting and putting away money each month for annual spends. I do need to revaluation my spending. I know I have signed up to one regular payment which I  could probably drop, and I do want to reduce my electricity and gas bills. 
    I’ve recently started wondering if I should round up my mortgage payment by about £15 a month to make it a nice round number. That small an amount will not really impact my debt pay off, or make a considerable difference in terms of savings, but I’m the long run will have a real impact on my mortgage. I think I’ll revisit my SOA this week and take a look at that as an option. 
    I’ve listed a few things on eBay this week and have 4 items with bids on. I’ll list another couple of things this evening too.  All of that money will go to the big family loan debt. I can’t quite believe I’m paying to that now! 

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6086606/debt-free-by-23/p1

    True LBM, December 2019 = £32934. Current Debt = £12762. 1% Challenge = 61.1%. #51 3-6 Month EF Challenge = £1200/£6000



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