Getting to grips with my debt!

in Debt Free Diaries
43 replies 2.2K views
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  • SynchroSynchro Forumite
    29 Posts
    10 Posts
    Hi Enthusiastic saver,


    Thanks for such a detailed reply. It is appreciated.


    I will answer your questions.......


    I have just applied and been accepted for the best card possible for me at this time. I have been accepted for a Halifax card that is allowing me to transfer £3990 at 0% for 16 months from my highest APR card, the Barclaycard.


    I will of course tackle the Barclaycard debt first now.


    I will indeed squirrel a £1000 into a savings account for emergencies. This does include car emergencies.


    My therapy costs cannot come down at this time unfortunately.


    My clothes allowance is for workwear predominantly as I have loads of clothes otherwise. It may not reach the SOA total tbh.


    My girlfriend knows about my debt and we do stay in a great deal. Again I may not spend as much as my SOA shows.


    Regarding my dogs this amount has already been reduced from £75 to £50 and cannot be reduced further. They're worth it!


    The additional income of £292 is the excess from my employers mileage allowance AFTER I have paid for fuel. I do large mileage and the allowance is generous.


    Regarding my credit cards. They are safe with my girlfriend and she is under no illusions that I am not to have them back.


    My mindset has changed finally! This week I got a buzz from only spending £23 on groceries and a car headlight bulb.


    I will also late night dumpster dive. As a young man I was homeless when I left the army and I know without any doubt just what good food is thrown away by the supermarkets.


    I'm a survivor and in 29 months time on my 50th birthday I will be debt free!


    I hope I have answered your questions.


    All advice is welcome and if I can help others I will.


    Cheers, Andy :)
  • username901username901 Forumite
    236 Posts
    ✭✭
    I take it the £120 a month is your personal fuel cost?
    You say you sometimes do 1000 miles a week business miles, if fuel is £1.30 a litre then 1000 miles would cost you £147 alone, but you also say the car is low mileage?

    What is your actual usage each year business and personal wise?
  • SynchroSynchro Forumite
    29 Posts
    10 Posts
    Hi Username901


    Yes £120 is my personal mileage.


    I have been liberal with this figure. In reality it will perhaps be lower. :)
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
    12.9K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good you have been able to balance transfer almost £4K. Hopefully as the debt reduces you will get more and longer offers.

    Some of that excess mileage should be saved towards car running costs.

    Good luck with clearing this by your 50th birthday.
    Early retired in December 2017. Debt counsellor for a High Street bank in a previous life.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]

    Save £12k in 2022 challenge #36 0/£12,000
  • BizzywizardBizzywizard Forumite
    162 Posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Hi Andy,
    Good luck with your debt free freedom...won't be long!

    I want my debt gone by the end of this year and have been in debt for 17 years!!! A few things that I have done, that have helped me, so might help you too?
    X I switched two lots of bank accounts and made £150 on each one. Think Hsbc are still doing this and Halifax have a 0% interest overdraft for a flexiaccount for the first year. So may give you some more money/breathing room.
    X I used the 90 transfer period to get as much debt on the interest free card and transfer more from the highest paying credit card.
    X I have written everything down for each credit card on a large A4 piece of paper. So when it finishes, the interest rate and dates. I have then split the full amount over the number of months, this really focused me and could see results as I have been crossing off the money each month, as soon as I paid over overpaid. The results have been awesome.
    X Credit cards are all in the top draw and have not been touched. If I can't afford it, I don't need it!

    Hope this might help you, in small way.

    Bizzy
  • edited 28 January 2020 at 10:21AM
    SynchroSynchro Forumite
    29 Posts
    10 Posts
    edited 28 January 2020 at 10:21AM
    So then,
    I guess a diary requires entries. So here is todays.......


    Today I did something radical. Wait for it.........


    I bought something on a yellow label for possibly the first time in my life. 48p for a stir fry, reduced from £1.20.


    The date is tomorrow. The deal was so good I had to buy 2!


    I even curiously got a buzz from making the saving. V interesting methinks, lol.


    So, my priorities are thus -


    1) Get out of my overdraft forever! I am paid fortnightly and I will asap get my balance to £1000 and leave it that way every siingle payday.


    2) Squirrel away £1000 into a savings account. My car is an old banger with multiple issues that I nurse along. I recognise that at some point it will need replacing for another old banger probably, BUT I don't want to be leaning on credit again if I can help it.


    3) Attack my Barclaycard debt as it has the highest interest rate.


    4) Smile, breathe, relax!


    I spent just over £4 on food today in total. All essentials, so I'm pleased with that.


    Ciao for now. :)

    PS - Thanks to the lovely folks that have asked questions and offered advice so far. You are appreciated!:beer:
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
    12.9K Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 10,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    Getting rid of that overdraft is a good idea as most will cost more from April.
    Early retired in December 2017. Debt counsellor for a High Street bank in a previous life.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]

    Save £12k in 2022 challenge #36 0/£12,000
  • BizzywizardBizzywizard Forumite
    162 Posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper
    Keep an eye on your free credit score/offers for balance transfer at MSE. When I started to attack my credit card debit, I found I had far more options to get a 0% credit card balance transfer a few months into paying the other credit cards off.

    I switched my bank, so I could pay off my overdraft with the £300 I got for switching both of my bank accounts. Its free money, so might be worth considering. The switch took about 20 days in total. But it was very easy to do and I finally felt I got one over on the bank and not the other way round.
  • edited 29 January 2020 at 5:49PM
    SynchroSynchro Forumite
    29 Posts
    10 Posts
    edited 29 January 2020 at 5:49PM
    So todays news.....


    This morning I posted a birthday card to an 8 year old nephew. Normally I put £20 minimum in a card like this. Today though I decided that £10 would do. He's not going to mind, and I need the money more right now!


    Then I went to post the card and normally I always ask for 1st class stamps. Not today, I am early posting the card so I asked for a lowly 2nd class stamp. It aint a big saving, BUT I do now realise that for me at this moment every saving is more from my debt. It all counts!


    Finally I fully understand that it is my mindset that needs to change regarding money. Like other addictions that I have conquered in my life, spending is a way to fix / change my feelings. However spending when in debt causes me to feel shame. This in turn leads me to fix that shamed feeling, AND just like other addictions the shaming behaviour is repeated as a foolhardy means of avoiding facing the feeling and reality. A cycle of addiction / spending is thus created. Ouch!


    Anyways, mindfulness, honesty and remaining congruent and authentic are tried and tested remedies to other of my lifes issues. They will I am sure help me now to conquer this last of my self destructive behaviours.


    Growing up in ones forties is such fun eh! Still, better late than never!


    Ciao for this snowy ol day. :)


    PS - Tomorrow is my fortnightly payday so I will post how my bank balance stands. My first plan of attack is to get out of the overdraft and stay out of the overdraft. This won't be achieved tomorrow, but I will know what I am facing..... :eek:
  • Well done for getting focused! I’ve subscribed!
    Jan 2020: Loan £3,576.17, Credit Cards £42,401.86, Store Card £1,833.61, Overdrafts £2,300.00. Total Debt: £50,111.64 / 1% = £501.12

    Jun 2020 Update: Loan £1,925.63, Credit Cards £37,541.74Overdrafts £1,540.00 Total Debt: £41,007.37 / 1% = £410.07

    Jan 2021 Update: Credit Cards £34,189.49, Overdrafts £900 Total Debt: £35,089.49 / 1% = £350.89
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