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In need of encouragement...

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IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
282 posts
100 Posts Name Dropper
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Lockdown has spurred me on to finally achieve my goal of being debt free.
Ive worked out a repayment plan to pay down £298 per month (+ an extra £60 SO) on a 0% BT sum of £3400, which expires in the autumn. I'm paying off £400 on my wife's CC, £79 p/m until the autumn.
After years of battling silly spending and past lapses into gambling addiction, this scary period of global uncertainty has provided the motivation to finally 'get it done'. So God-willing with this forum's support and encouragement i'll be toasting being debt free 01/10/20.
I used a wrapped up pension fund to clear my mortgage 2 years ago and hope to hit £10k in savings (in premium bonds) by the autumn too, as any opportunities for frivolous spending are gone at the moment!
In short, any shout outs of encouragement would be really appreciated :blush:
Many thanks👍 
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Replies

  • Honeysucklelou2Honeysucklelou2 Forumite
    2.8K posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
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    Well done for making a plan. A date gives you a clear focus 🙂.
    paydbx2020 #93 £1389.42/£10,025 . 1 debt 100 days 35 £493/£1820
    EF £100 . SPC 141


    # savings# £46 . Oven. £344/£403 H2S £112.50
  • SSDD23SSDD23 Forumite
    2.7K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Good luck! Sounds like a solid, well-organised plan :grin: 
    VSP #12 £102.63
    LISA - £87.37
    EF - £0.00
  • IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
    282 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
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    TYVM for your replies👌
    I'm hoping its like weight loss or new year resolutions; if I post it up i'm more likely to stick to it.
    I was soo close to being debt free 2 years ago after a sizeable gambling win online, however the temptation to leave the 0% card with a balance on it and 'play with winnings' meant I gave it all back and didn't clear my card: worst mistake ever. I've realised the graft that becoming debt free is; in many ways I've been lucky not to rack up bigger or more unmanageable debts. That aside, i've been on the cusp of financial freedom and blew it so roll on the end of the summer: I hope i'm not the only one using these crazy times to stocktake and make positive choices for the future. One last thing; please don't be tempted by the insidious gambling industry to 'bet your way out' of any current hardship as a result of C19. I learnt the hard way its not possible. Gambling firms are still advertising, IMO attempting to snare the next 'cash cows' to be milked. As Alvin Hall used to say "you can't spend your way to happiness: but you can save your way to (some form of financial) security"👌 No matter how tough your road to becoming debt free is; its totally doable. GL
  • SuperSavingDSuperSavingD Forumite
    166 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Welcome Irish Sean and good luck with achieving your goals!
    #129 - Clear debts 2020 £11,684/£12,084
    #319 - 2020 EF £26/£1000 
    #64 - Save Xmas £333
  • piquantpiquant Forumite
    32 posts
    10 Posts Photogenic First Anniversary
    You sound well organised. I hope it goes well for you. Good luck!
  • IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
    282 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Thx again for support.
    I've had a small amount of extra income in the past few days I wasn't expecting; i'll put this to debts.

    I've also filled in HMRC's form R40 to reclaim my PPI tax from last year.
    I know if you read Martin's blog it seems the form is complex but I did it (hopefully correctly) and it seemed OK (did it online via Gov Gateway).
    If you are strapped for cash during this lockdown, definitely reclaim that tax on your PPI interest if eligible. Mine is due to settle on 5th May; i'll throw the few hundred at my debts.
    On an anecdotal note, i've noticed when I make a concerted effort to pay off debt and attempt to become debt-free, some small good things happen to my finances. I also find more creative ways to cut spending and generate / find extra ways to bring in ££ to pay off debt.

    Is it just me or have others had unexpected good things happened when they commited to this journey?
  • IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
    282 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Still on track; I managed to secure a 0% overdraft of £1500 from Nationwide just by asking. I can use that to cover around £1600 of bills over the summer while still maintaining the paydown on 0% cc, the last £250 of which end in Nov. 
    I did a rejig tho by paying off my wife's CC and upping my payments to my own by another £140 a month. DW's wasn't 0%.
    In total since Feb / early Mar I've brought her's down from £1100 to £0 and mine from £5740 to what will be £2478 when my May SO of £90 comes out.

    The frustration is not seeing this reflected yet in my credit scores; I've free access via MSE Credit Club and Clearscore; am hoping for an upturn in both scores come mid May as i'm now well under 50% usage on available credit.
    I prepaid £50 off my CC in lieu of Admiral's generous £25 per car rebate (due in May). When DW gets her P60 she can reclaim her £80 PPI tax via HMRC which I did in April; seriously it was a complete doddle; if you've had a PPI payout and didn't go over your tax limit for interest (£1k interest per year I think) you should def do it online; HMRC settled mine in a week and even paid it online into an acct of my choice (which I threw at the CC). 

    My SO for savings is going into premium bonds; no wins yet but it seemed easier than chasing a few 0.1 or 0.2s more in reg saver: my lump sum for a lock away saving at a better rate is hardly worth it yet. As the CC is still 0% I figured I might as well try to earn something this summer, plus the more I end up having in bonds from next year the closer i'll get to average return.

    Fair play to the Cardiff punter who turned up £10,000 May win with a £2 bond and £7 total holding: nice one! keeps the faith for the rest of us! 👏👏👏👌💪

    The last amount of £126 I hope to put towards the CC is for a cancelled event i'm getting full refund for: i'll get a physical payout when premises reopen. I SORNED the car for 2 months (£17 due) & got £90 extra for a CTC 1-off payment (I never fully understand CTC, tbh!)😂

    The only other thing i've prepaid against my CC and haven't got is my MOT; here in the north of Ire we book, pay, get a cancellation letter with 6 month exemption then a refund. Problem is refunds are super slow; I've only read of 1 person since Feb who's had a refund over here. Think I'll chase them from mid May.
    So I need £90 to cover a SO in Sept and a £240 shortfall by Oct to find, otherwise I'm not clearing my CC and achieving debt free status til Nov. 😱

    Ideas on finding the last £330 I need between now and Oct graciously received. I used to do mystery shopping but it's dried up with Covid. Also did car boot sales (again, kaput).
    Is Gumtree a thing at the minute? I could look at clearing the attic of CBS stuff via E-bay; wud pass the time I suppose.

    I know having the mortgage cleared I'm late to the debt free wannabe party.

    Anyhow, good luck to all striving for DFW status; if we keep to the plan we can do it.

    S
  • IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
    282 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Followed advice kindly provided by a Forumite on N. Ireland forum page...

    MOT refund now due within 10 days

    Was wondering if I should request credit limit increase to reduce my debt ratio; can ask my CC provider; is it worth doing when I plan to pay off the balance at 0% by early Autumn anyway, or am I just impatiently chasing rainbows / tinkering?!

    I so want my total credit percentage to be sub 30% just to see what impact it might have on May credit score update...
  • IrishSeanIrishSean Forumite
    282 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
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    MOT and car tax rebates came in.

    No word on Admiral just yet and DW hasn't got P60 to do PPI tax reclaim.

    Budget is pretty much on course tho i'll be in to the 0% overdraft more than i'd thought, mostly due to a few lockdown treats (gardening stuff, MP3 for the Mrs for running etc.)

    One change is I e-mailed Virgin about my credit limit on my only CC. They phoned me back; customer service agent made a mistake about the date of my last increase. In short they agreed an increase; i'd asked for £1000, they upped it by £3000 to £8900. Surprising but welcome. This brings my debt ratio on the card down from what was 93% in February to just 27% now.

    I don't plan to spend on it (obvs): my back up had they resisted the increase was to say they could freeze my spend like they did with other customers, if needed, but still give the increase. In the end that suggestion wasn't needed. They clearly think me a profitable customer (which I was last year🙈😱🙊).

    This increase in CL means if anything bad happens re: Covid and I needed to stretch out the payment of my last £2k my offers of BT or MT (from Virgin) should increase. At the minute my only offers are very short, 3, 6 months with the usual suspects, Aqua, Marbles etc. Not attractive really; longer, with a super low transfer percentage would be far better.

    My credit file still hasn't caught up with the last few months changes; when it does my score and offers should reflect this. At the minute no material changes as I'm still planning to pay all off by Sept but if it works it provides that extra 0% safety net.

    My try compping to kill the weekend boredom. Do tiebreaker comps still exist? I might be OK at those...
  • shoppingobsessed2020shoppingobsessed2020 Forumite
    126 posts
    100 Posts Name Dropper
    Will be following with interest.  Always on the look out for hints and tips from others no matter what stage of their journey. 
    2 credit cards gone forever, just 6 more credit cards, 2 loans and 2 car loans to go! What were we thinking!
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