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Frugal, thrifty, make do, mend! Let this debt come to an end!

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Frugal, thrifty, make do, mend! Let this debt come to an end!

edited 5 March at 12:51PM in Debt Free Diaries
190 replies 12.4K views
ElishebaElisheba Forumite
256 posts
Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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edited 5 March at 12:51PM in Debt Free Diaries
Hello all,

So by my reckoning, that magic spell in the title should take about 4 years and 4 months to take effect at current debt repayment and spending rates. :rotfl:. However, there is no harm in trying to help things along a little, is there?

I am recently divorced and live on my own in a rented house with my 2 cats. I've just gone through all the debt, and I'm currently £21,103.42 in the red :( (Edited to say this was actually £21,510). This increases to £28,062 if I take all the interests payments I'm paying now and multiply them by 4 years 4 months which is my current DFD. This is probably inflated because the more I pay off, the less interest I'll pay, but it really highlights the cost of debt to me and the mess I'm in.

So the breakdown of my debt...
I have 6 credit cards, 2 of which aren't on deals anymore, a catalogue debt which accrues interest, a personal overdraft with almost £40 a month charges, a joint account overdraft on which I pay half the monthly charges so £15 for me, and half a bank loan. I can't get any more cards, so I'll just need to pay them off as quickly as possible, and look at interest free balance transfers when more credit becomes available I think.

I am paying £580 a month in repayments, of which at least £145 is interest or charges 😳😭😭😭😭(NB. This number will increase, as I don't have the interest on the loan to hand). £145 - just thrown away!

So, time to take this in hand. I've always had a budget spreadsheet - I just tended to ignore it 😕. Now though it's completely up to date. I've cut and I've slashed at different budgets and I think most months I can pay around £200 extra towards the debt. As each debt is paid off and my total available cash increases that monthly overpayment should increase as well, making my magic spell work even more quickly!

So, the figures (some of these are shared with my ex and he pays the other half, so if they look weirdly low that is why :

TOTAL INCOME £ 1,997.37

EXPENDITURE
RENT £ 610.00

BILLS
Water - paid till April
Council Tax £ 85.00
Broad Band £ 15.90 (just reduced it)
Gas and Electricity £ 44.00 (just reduced. Will get a smart meter fitted ASAP as well) Done
TV Licence £ 13.20
National Trust £ 5.75
Mobile phone £ 27.72 (contract ends in November when I can move to a much cheaper SIM only deal)

LOANS
Personal Account charges £ 38.75 Reduced to about £25/month
CC1 £ 25.00
CC2 £ 27.63
Catalogue £ 65.93
CC3 £60 (fixed so a little over minimum)
CC4 £50 (fixed so a little over minimum)
JA charges £15
CC5 £49.25
CC6 £20.75
Loan £225

CAR
Insurance £ 13.17
DVLA £ 12.77
Petrol £40 (can vary) Reduced to about £20/month on average

HOUSEKEEPING
Food £ 50.00 (I've reduced this a lot. I'm veggie and can eat well oretty cheaply but will have to see if this is sustainable) Reduced to £40/month
Medicine £ 10.40 (prepayment certificate)
Cats £ 20.00
Pet insurance £ 37.10
Prime £4 Cancelled
Netflix £4.50 Cancelled
Spotify £7.50 Cancelled

TRAVEL AND HOLIDAYS
Travel costs £ 140 (sometimes less) Reduced to £50/month
Social group £ 11.75

ALLOWANCE £ 100 (I've halved this, and it might vary by month)

I'm hoping being on here, and using this diary will keep me accountable, and give me motivation when the initial enthusiasm fades. It'll be fun for a while, but then I'll get bored and really sick of not being able to treat myself. However, it has to go! I'm approaching the big 4 0 this year and I want this paid off, and a deposit saved for a house, by 45 ideally, while I'm still young enough to get a mortgage hopefully 😏.
Live the good life where you have been planted.
Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
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Replies

  • ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    So that was the summary of the ridiculous situation I've got myself into.

    The things I've done so far this year to improve things are:-
    1) I have shopped around and for better car insurance, broadband and energy bills, which should save me over £400 this year.
    2) I cancelled my Guardian app subscription - approx £30 per annum
    3) I've changed the date a lot of my d/d's are paid, which means less a month in bank charges (about £15 less a month I hope). This does mean I'll have to pay about £340 extra in rent next month, but I've saved enough this month and a bit of next to cover that. Better in my rent than in Mr Banker's pocket! Approx £160 saving per annum
    4)Reduce conditioner use (my hair is much shorter than it used to be) - £66 per annum
    5) Not smoking (I stopped in October, with one slip up since then) - £1040 per annum
    6)Not drinking (again, stopped in October) - about £780, and nights out approx £480 (although some of this could still be spent) per annum
    7) Reduced food budget by £70/month - £840 saving per annum if I can stick to it.
    8) Halved pocket money - £1200 saving per annum (might have to over spend some months. Some of this is also part of the cigarettes and alcohol saving, but it's nice to see it written down again ��)

    Other little money saving bits:
    10 photos - free - can be part of mum's birthday present
    Bedroom chair - free
    Chop Xmas tree for kindling and firewood - £3 - 6
    2 gel soles for £3.98 at B&M instead of £30 elsewhere, plus money saved on good boots lasting longer as I'm using older boots as well.
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
  • edited 10 January at 10:07AM
    ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    edited 10 January at 10:07AM
    My aim for this year is to get rid of the personal account overdraft charges (by paying off the overdraft), and have enough money to cover my car service and MOT, a couple of trips home to Scotland, and Christmas and birthdays. For the time being the overdraft will have to be my emergency fund, because it makes no sense to save money else where while I'm paying such huge charges on it.

    For this month, I need to get to the end with only £10 left in the food budget. Fortunately the cupboards and freezer are stocked, so shouldn't need more than milk, bread and some fresh veg.

    For the rest of this week, I have a work's late Xmas walk and lunch tomorrow. I've looked at the menu and should spend no more than £6.50 on food, and can order tap water. This weekend my rather expensive plans to see a friend have been cancelled, so I need to see what I can do for free.
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
  • FootyFanDanFootyFanDan Forumite
    599 posts
    500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Hey :)

    Happy New Diary...here is hoping the magic spell works super quick for you :)

    Looking at where you have already planned to make savings it seems you have a pretty good plan, sticking to it is the trickier part i guess :rotfl:

    Good Luck..subscribed to follow your progress! You have got this
    (Debt Target #3 - £25/385 (Debt Target #4 - £25/594
    Emergency Fund - £100
  • janb5janb5 Forumite
    2.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭
    Hi- could you cancel Netflix and Spotify?

    Well done on starting your diary...and good luck.
  • edited 10 January at 8:52AM
    ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    edited 10 January at 8:52AM
    Morning all!
    Happy Friday! Thank goodness it's the weekend tomorrow. I have really struggled getting back into the swing of things this week after a lovely Christmas break of sleeping late and pottering about.
    Moneywise today I will be spending. Its all budgeted for - a train and a bus to my work's Xmas walk, then £6.50 for lunch. It has just occurred to me I should have got some nibbles for a mid walk picnic we have, but I didn't, and have nothing suitable in the house, so I won't bother now.
    I have food in for tonight. It'll either be pizza or nachos, as I like nice chilled out food on a Friday ending. I'll probably watch a film - I have a month's free trial on Now TV movies and there are quite a few on there I want to see.
    So, plans for the day.
    1) Do not spend more than planned!
    2) I also need to do some work stuff when I get back.
    3) Do a pile of dishes (I hate doing dishes, so I let them build up. I tell myself this is MS as I'm not running hot water all the time, but in reality I just really don't like doing it ��).
    4) Put clean clothes away and do another washing.
    5) Have a think about what can be ebayed, and look into working out postal and selling costs.
    6) Look into completing surveys
    7) Update receipt apps. Do any of them take train or pub lunch receipts?
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
  • ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    janb5 wrote: »
    Hi- could you cancel Netflix and Spotify?
    Hi Jan, and thanks for your suggestion. I do have cancelling these in my back pocket, but I'm currently only paying half and I feel they are value for money in terms of cheap entertainment. I will keep it in mind though 😁.
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
  • darrannahdarrannah Forumite
    81 posts
    Ninth Anniversary
    I love a new diary, good luck on your journey, and enjoy your xmas walk and lunch :)
    What’s meant for you will not pass you 😃
    A fool and his money are soon parted!
    use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without :)
    EF -£860 Total debt - £2070 (DF March 2020)
    Clubcard-£10.50, coop card £15.63 Surveys cash- 8.94
  • ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    Woo hoo! Managed the lunch for exactly £6.50. Train ticket was £11.40 and bus £2.30, which is only £1.80 more than I'd normally pay to get to work. So £8.30 for a lovely day out and a nice lunch, mainly on work time. Would have cost me £13 - 20 in the past, so that and the lively time mean two wins today!
    My feet are cold now as the fields were really wet and mucky, and I think my feet have gotten a bit wet. My leggings look like leopard skin with all the mud splattered on them as well ����.
    I'm waiting for the train and looking forward to getting home and warming up a bit! I think I can treat myself to having the heating on early for once, and maybe some cocoa ��.
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
  • ChrystalChrystal Forumite
    1K posts
    1,000 Posts Third Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Sounds like a good day out :D

    Hope you've warmed up now.... enjoy your evening,
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.

    Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery
    Today is a gift. That's why it is called the present.
  • edited 10 January at 11:32PM
    ElishebaElisheba Forumite
    256 posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    edited 10 January at 11:32PM
    I had to wait the best part of an hour for my train and I was so cold when I got home I immediately put on the heating and jumped in a piping hot bath for an hour or so!
    Slightly warmed up now, with a cat on my lap to act as a hot water bottle (the other cat is sitting pretty much on top of a radiator - she must be feeling the cold as well!).
    Another win today is that the walk means I've done 17633 steps so far. Think that will probably be it for the rest of the day though. I'm not planning on moving much more.
    My rent doesn't seem to have come out of my bank today which is odd. Rent payment day is the day my overdraft fee doubles per day, so the longer it takes the better! Next month this will no longer be an issue though, as most of the DD's have been moved to the end of the month so I should pay the lower rate almost all month. Its a temporary, somewhat bodged fix, but it's something.
    Live the good life where you have been planted.
    Debt: Feb 2020: £20435.57/£21,510.17
    Total Reduction: £1074.60. Debt free date: Jan 2024. Stretch debt free date: Jan 2023
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