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For a minute there, I lost myself...

Hi and thanks for stopping by my diary! I have lurked here for years. The diaries board has really helped me to feel capable and inspired to sort out my debt and general money management issues over the last few years. I’m happy to report that since mid 2018 I’ve paid off over £9000+ debt (credit cards) and I’m now in a place to actually make some savings with the hope to buy a house in the next year or so.

A little bit about me…I’m 30 this year, (happily) single, work full time and live in Scotland. I hope that this diary will keep me motivated to not only work on savings but also to stop me slipping into old habits. The majority of my 20's were less than amazing – a few personal problems that I won’t get into (yet!) and generally using money to make myself feel better. It feels like with the start of a new decade and the majority of my debt tackled (currently £649.31 outstanding to be paid off!) I’m in a place where I really can achieve my goals. I’m going to write down some goals that I will refer back to as I go…

1) Save up deposit for house / flat. I’d like to buy within the next year and hope to save around £17,000 by then.
2) Stop overspending on food! This is one of the biggest money pits for me. Of all the bad money habits I have had, overspending on food is still front and centre. As part of this goal, I aim to meal plan, enjoy healthy food, eat and spend less money on junk food and don’t fall back into old habits of somewhat disordered eating as a means of control (TMI?!) oh and also to stop spending money on tea and coffee from coffee shops :o
3) Update and keep on top of my budget every day. I’ve been using a budget spreadsheet since November and it has really helped me to see where I overspend and has kept me focused on not impulse buying as I know I will need to add it to my spends at the end of the day!

That’s all for now, I think! I’m not sure what else to add. I’m definitely an emotional spender so keen to use this diary as a way to understand and reflect on my spending habits.

Just now, I’ve got £3,500 in savings. Oh and the £649.31 outstanding credit card balance is on 0% until the end of May so plan to have that paid off by then :)

Thanks for listening... :j


  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,832 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Welcome and good luck on your journey! Great start.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 234 payments to go - now £181,773 Equity 27.3%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £7.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.3K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £10.8K/£127.5K AVC target 8.47% value at 23/6/24
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.2K at 23/6/24
  • Blackcats
    Blackcats Posts: 2,860 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Hello Applewood - a lovely shiny new diary of your own.
    You've done brilliantly with paying off your debts - and on track to have cleared it all by May - wow what an achievement,
    Good savings and good goals.
    Food shopping is my downfall too. I've just spent £50 in Tes*o on not very much at all. Well actually bloomin expensive cat food which is all my cats will eat and other items that I can't get in Lid*s.
    Good luck on your journey - I think you'll enjoy having a diary.
  • BankMoth888
    Hi Applewood1, as a reformed lurker myself I'm sending you best wishes for all your goals. You look like you really know where you are going already. I completely identify with the emotional spending AND the coffee shop habit (when I worked out a couple of years ago that mine was costing me nearly £600 a year I had the shock of my life!). Can't wait to see where your journey takes you and hope to emulate your successes so far :)
  • pidge04
    pidge04 Posts: 792 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    WOW! You're nearly there! :T
    Store card £140 £117 - Store card £150 - Overdraft £200 - PayPal £364 - Loan 1 £5052 - Loan 2 £1733 - Credit card £2890 - Car hire purchase £3200 - Savings £0.
  • Applewood1
    Thank you all! It's so nice to come here at the end of the day to unburden myself of what I'm thinking about and catch up with you all :)

    BankMoth888 - you sound very positive so I don't doubt that you can smash your goals! I've found thinking about things in small chunks so I didn't stress out about how long things were taking really helped. My personality can tend to be "all or nothing" and so struggled at the beginning to feel motivated to deal with the debt as I just wanted to be over with. Breaking it down into sizeable goals really helped.

    Blackcats - I can relate! My cat is a fussy eater and only eats 2 expensive brands - I spend approx £30/month on her meat :eek: In some ways though I don't mind that - she is never unwell and is going strong at 14 years old!

    Today has been a good day spending wise. I went for a woodland walk with my mum then we stopped at a garden centre where my mum is a member and she gets 2 free hot drinks a month as part of her membership. I bought a sandwich (£2.65) and my mum bought us a cake each! A nice afternoon.

    Plan for this week is pack a lunch for work every day and spend no money on morning coffee! I've been getting so much better with buying from coffee shops and have got it down to roughly 1/week as a treat but even that sometimes feels like a waste. I did set myself a new year resolution of not going to the Starbucks drive-thru AT ALL this year. Going strong so far - I think the real challenge will come in the summer when I love an iced fruit tea on a warm day (luckily doesn't happen that often in Scotland!:rotfl:)

    Anyway, hope everyone has had a good weekend and is ready to jump into a new week!
  • Applewood1
    Quite a productive few days. I've got 3 credit cards open and decided to close one of the accounts now that the balance is at zero. The other 2 I'm going to keep open for a little while yet - not sure what to do with them long term but I will see how it goes. I feel like I've got to a place where I never recklessly spend on them with the mentality that it's somehow "free money" and I'll deal with it later so I'm not 'worried' about falling back into old habits.

    It's snowing here today so I've worked from home which is good for saving money! Happy Tuesday all!
  • Blackcats
    Blackcats Posts: 2,860 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Well done on responsible credit card usage. It's so easy to see it as easy/money free money when in fact it is the absolute opposite of that.
    Working from home is great on snowy days.
    Keep warm!
  • Applewood1
    Blackcats - it definitely took me a while to master this mindset but I'm glad to be here. I tend to not even carry my CC with me in my purse every day anymore. I do use it for things like concert tickets etc because if there's a cancellation or something it's protected.

    Bit of a fail today - I left my lunch at home so had to go out and buy a sandwich. Argh. So... £1.79 on lunch. Also, when I was buying my ticket for the tram this morning I accidentally selected adult + child so I wasted 80p there on the child ticket! Some days it doesn't pay to get out of bed :eek:

    In more positive news.... I've listed a few bits on Gumtree the last few days and I'm working up the energy to list some eBay items. In the summer I sold about 23 things on eBay and made a profit of around £260 so definitely need to get to it!

    That's all for today :laugh:
  • Applewood1
    January roundup! It's been an OK month, money wise. I've been diligently logging all of my spending on a spreadsheet and using Monzo for all my day to day spending (everything except direct debits). It's been... eye opening! Areas I need to focus on and spend less: food and transport. Meal planning could be tighter and ideally I'd like to get my food bill down to £125/ month. I think this is totally doable, I just need to exercise some self control! Anyway, according to my spreadsheet, I saved 45.43% of my salary this month. Not bad.

    For February, I plan to focus on food spending. Mini goals:

    - weekly shop at Ald! 1 x week
    - go with shopping list and do not deviate
    - meal plan in advance
    - maximum of 2 morning coffees for entire month

    My goal for no Starbucks is going well; I've not been at all this month.

    That's all for now! Hope everyone had a good weekend and happy February!
  • Applewood1
    It feels like Thursday. It's been a busy few days! I attempted to list some eBay items the other day when it was £1 listing fees but the app was playing up and of the 12 things I was looking to post I only manged 2! Oh well. I'm going to wait until the next £1 listing fees offer before listing the rest of the stuff.

    Another mini goal I have for this year is to spend less money on clothes / subscribe less to "fast fashion" / wear what I already own! I do need some new clothes for work though - lately I've been feeling a bit blah and I am kind of hating how all my clothes look and feel on me so I do plan to pick up a few staples / basics for as cheap as possible. I aim to buy as much as possible from charity shops but I did check Asos to see if there was anything in the sale tonight - dress for £12 and I used Topcashback too, so that's not too bad!

    That's all for now :)
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