This time I'm sticking to it!

rdonerdone Forumite
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My OH and I have just under £15,000 worth of debt on credit cards.  Luckily the three of them are at 0%.
We have very good jobs and bring in just over £4,000 a month but can't seem to kick our spending habit - and this spending is mainly on holidays.  Now we're in lock down we keep saying "So glad we got to experience so much of the world before this has happened" as our memories are helping us through it.  However now that we can't go anywhere and our petrol has significantly dropped (both wfh with full pay), I want to curb that spending and throw some serious cash at the cards.  We're over paying on each of them and the smaller one should be gone by the end of the year if we carry on paying what we are.
With the extra surplus we're going to have at least for the next two months I'm trying to decide whether I throw it at the smaller card to get it gone or one of the bigger ones as we know we won't pay them off before the 0% term ends.  My OH has the attitude of "that's what 0% CC are for, we'll just move the balance then" however I don't like having this much unpaid.
I've done a SOA and it doesn't look that bad - I think this is mainly to do with the fact that we've bought rubbish houses, done them up and so have a lot of equity to buy the next one with.  Our current house has increased by over 25% of what we purchased it for.  We're locked into a 5 year deal and I think we're only 18 months into it.
So, this is me committing to decreasing significantly over the next couple of months and taking advantage of lock down.  If anyone has any tips on how they curbed their spending habits please let me know!
https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
My debt free diary
Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
Today: £6242.17
«1345678

Replies

  • rdonerdone Forumite
    498 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information
    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 2

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 2072.06
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2357.6
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 4429.66

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 633.8
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 171.60
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 171.55
    Electricity............................. 30.5
    Gas..................................... 30.5
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 45
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 40
    TV Licence.............................. 13.29
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 55.99
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 250
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 300
    Road tax................................ 10
    Car Insurance........................... 60
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 50
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 12
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 100
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 60
    Holiday................................. 600
    Emergency fund.......................... 50
    Spotify................................. 14.99
    Channel Swim savings account............ 100
    RNLI.................................... 5
    Gym..................................... 90
    Apple watch............................. 11.25
    Health Insurance........................ 82.5
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3077.97


    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 250000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1500
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 251500


    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 160000...(633.8)....2.14
    Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 2230.8...(171.6)....0
    Total secured & HP debts...... 162230.8..-.........-  

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin.........................7190.36...72........0
    HSBC...........................1306.06...33........0
    Sainsburys.....................6399.91...144.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........14896.33..249.......-  

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4,429.66
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,077.97
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,351.69
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 249
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,102.69

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 251,500
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -162,230.8
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -14,896.33
    Net Assets.............................. 74,372.87

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com. 
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
    Today: £6242.17
  • edited 27 April 2020 at 3:45PM
    rdonerdone Forumite
    498 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    edited 27 April 2020 at 3:45PM
    Gym we're currently not paying for and my apple watch fluctuates between £11.25 and £0 depending on how much exercise I do - so a good reason to move!  I've put the worst possible amount it could be a month here.
    The health insurance is for two reasons: my husband does Ironman regularly and is swimming the English Channel in July - we need to keep him healthy.  It's also because there's been so much cancer in both our families at a young age we've seen the differences between those with health insurance and those without it so I'm not willing to give that up.
    The last payment to the channel swim savings account will be July so that money will be split between the Sainsbury's and Virgin CC from August.
    I switched gas and elec last month which helped and phoned Virgin last week and our bill has gone from £90 a month to £50 (the £5.99 is netflix).
    We spend a lot more than what's above a month but I had no idea how to categorise it or know how much to put.  We're pretty much living pay check to pay check though.
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
    Today: £6242.17
  • curlytop12curlytop12 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    hi, so you have, on paper, £1000+ after expenses per month? can you go through some bank statements and see where its going? start a spends diary, log everything. as you find out where its going you can adjust the SOA, it's never right for the first few goes :)
    is council tax over 10 or 12 months?
    is contents insurance in with buildings?
    you can crack this, good luck.
  • MidsHollieMidsHollie Forumite
    291 Posts
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    Hi, welcome to the forum. 
    Well done on doing your SOA. You might find that you get more comments on the DFW board, as things can get hidden in the diary section pretty quickly. So you could create a thread there too. 
    It's great that you are already thinking of ways to cut your spending with your utilities, virgin etc. You might find that when it comes time to renew next time you cut your virgin package even more. There are probably a few more savings you could make from your SOA: reducing your mobile bill, not spending on clothes for a few months, getting rid of Spotify. But the most important thing to do is to work out where all the extra is going. Either go back through bank statements and allocate things out to categories, or if that is impossible, then start a spending diary from today. 
    There are probably quite a few things missing. Eating out? House Maintenance? Once you have worked out exactly what you spend, you can then have a good look at a zero based budget
    Good luck!

    <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



  • rdonerdone Forumite
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    Thanks both, we definitely need to know what we spend as we seem to spend all our money every month and I can never think what on!  I'll google some spending diaries now and start one going, it would be good to see where it all goes.
    Council tax is over 12 months.
    We have combined contents and buildings insurance.
    House maintenance is quite minimal as we've recently moved into our house where we did a massive renovation project (we lived with my parents for 6 months) so it's mostly done.  Should probably start a new saving pot for it though.
    I'll get cracking on that spending diary and will look in the dfw board too, thanks :)

    Pay day today so £150 went off the HSBC card, with DDs for the other two on the 1st.  I really want to increase the amounts paid to them.
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
    Today: £6242.17
  • rdonerdone Forumite
    498 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    ✭✭
    Yesterday I set up a spending diary in excel and have categorised it so it all adds up at the top and goes into a bar chart for me to see where most of our money goes - I like seeing things.
    I also set up a few savings accounts and set up DDs from next month.  We normally just take the hit each month when we need to pay insurance or something but we decided it would be easier to pay a bit into an account each month to level it all out.
    From our lack of spending this month (and hopefully next month) I'm confident we can add more than we normally would towards our CCs.  We're not paying out loads of money on petrol nor are we able to pick things up when out and about.  I have two things I want to buy but now that I have to track them on my new spending spread sheet I don't want to buy them - I wonder how long that'll last!
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
    Today: £6242.17
  • savingholmessavingholmes Forumite
    16.5K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    rdone said:
    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information
    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 2

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 2072.06
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2357.6
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 4429.66

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 633.8
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 171.60
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 171.55
    Electricity............................. 30.5
    Gas..................................... 30.5
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 45 Could you move to a meter - this is high for 2 people?
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 40
    TV Licence.............................. 13.29
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 55.99 Could you move to netflix only 
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 250
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 300
    Road tax................................ 10
    Car Insurance........................... 60 Do you use cashback sites for all renewals? This seems on the high side
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 50
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 12 this seems low - have you got enough cover?
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 100 Could you set yourself an income challenge to cover this eg Make £10 a day thread
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 60
    Holiday................................. 600  Could you shave this back to more like £100 pcm so you can put £6K towards debt? 
    Emergency fund.......................... 50 I would try to get to at least £1K in the first month of two if poss - perhaps by using the holiday fund category above
    Spotify................................. 14.99
    Channel Swim savings account............ 100
    RNLI.................................... 5
    Gym..................................... 90
    Apple watch............................. 11.25
    Health Insurance........................ 82.5
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3077.97


    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 250000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1500
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 251500


    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 160000...(633.8)....2.14
    Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 2230.8...(171.6)....0
    Total secured & HP debts...... 162230.8..-.........-  

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin.........................7190.36...72........0
    HSBC...........................1306.06...33........0
    Sainsburys.....................6399.91...144.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........14896.33..249.......-  

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4,429.66
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,077.97
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,351.69
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 249
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,102.69 This looks a healthy amount - as other have said if you try a spending diary for a while it should help you identify this. What I do is move that money out of my account to another one with a different bank -  that way if I need the money it is available but it takes more effort. Also I do a zero based budget (imperfectly) where you allocate where you want your money to go at the start of the month and repay the extra off debt first not last. It make a big difference to the success rate. As long as you set aside some money as your emergency fund when you first set out -you can absorb any things you forgot to budget for and hopefully include them next time they are needed. the other thing is to do a budget for each month - it can change for legit reasons monthly.

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 251,500
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -162,230.8
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -14,896.33
    Net Assets.............................. 74,372.87

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com. 
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Good luck on your journey.
    During 2021: Target 1) Clear CC debt - £2128 to go (but debt neutral) @ 0% Target 2) Lose weight 3) Write regularly 38113/70000 words Book 2 4) Promote book(s) 5) Develop passive income streams 6) Build 3-6 mths EF 7) Declutter
  • PurpleFairy26PurpleFairy26 Forumite
    3.9K Posts
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    Sticking with the small things thread definitely help, as well as keeping track of yourself here. I find my diary really helpful. 

    Well done on deciding to tackle the debt before it gets too much. As others have said work out where the excess is going if you are living pay check to pay check. Go through 12 months of bank statements and look out for any annual bills and add them up, add 10% and divide by 12 and put this away each month. Keep an excel sheet that lists what this includes, how much it was the last time you paid it and when it is due again. Update each time you pay for anything annual and see if you need to amend the total amount you save each month. 

    Also look out for any payment over say £500 in the last year - think about what these are for (if not annual bills) and if they are likely to be repeated - if they are you should be saving monthly for them as above. 

    You should also save an Emergency Fund. Otherwise when something goes wrong you’ll just go back to the CC, might seem odd saving whilst you have debt but given then it’s on 0% it’s very sensible even if it delays paying off for a few extra months. I would start at £100 a month to a separate account and aim for £1k to start with but ultimate aim would  be 3-6 months of outgoings. 

    Given your levels of income your repayments are low, have you looked at how much you would have to pay each month to clear them by the promotional end rate so you don’t have to pay to transfer again? Could you afford those payments if you did it that way? Remember once one is paid off ‘snowball’ your debt by putting that payment to the next debt on top of the amount you’re already paying. If you are into excel you could do a simple sheet with % paid off etc.. it’s very motivating, believe me. 

    Shout up if you want anymore help. Purps. 
  • rdonerdone Forumite
    498 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
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    Quick update to say the spending diary (on excel) is working a treat.  Neither of us want to update it so we're not spending.  We have plenty of food and have meal planned for the week so won't need to buy anything and seeing as we're not leaving the house and not eating take aways it's going well.  We should have a big surplus from our May pay days and I'm putting a big chunk of that onto the CCs.  I want to put at least what we'd normally pay on petrol and the gym against them until we need to start paying for them again.  The rest of the surplus will start to make an emergency fund.

    We've done what you've said Purps and we've split any big outgoings up and from May pay days will be putting them into different savings accounts so we don't have big overwhelming payments every now and then.  I've also listed them all in my "death book" (more on this below if you want to know).  I have no idea when the deals on the 0% CC are up (horrific I know) so I shall investigate and see if we can afford it, even if we could up the payment on one to get it paid off it'll reduce the fee.  Fab idea :)

    Virgin media messed up our DD this month so I'm on hold with them in hope that I'll get a refund and not credit - we really need the cash this month... let's hope!

    I feel so much better in myself now I've sorted this and know what's where, how much and have taken control of our spending.  I didn't realise how bad it was making me feel.  So if you're here reading this and hiding from what you have just do it.  Our debt was higher than I expected but now it's in control I feel so much better.



    Death book: A couple of years ago I was in a serious car crash (not my fault) and nearly lost my life.  I realised that my DH wouldn't even know where to start with anything if I wasn't here so decided to write it all down and then it gets updated.  It's in our "big pink important folder" that has all our house documents etc.  He knows the folder exists but not the book, hopefully it'll never be used but at least he won't be screwed, my BF knows about it so can direct him if he doesn't find it.
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6135131/this-time-im-sticking-to-it#latest
    My debt free diary
    Debt: £14896.33 @ 21/04/2020.
    Today: £6242.17
  • shoppingobsessed2020shoppingobsessed2020 Forumite
    291 Posts
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    Lol at the death book.  I have one of those but it’s called if I get hit by a bus folder.  I have copies emailed to my mum and dh as well as a hard copy on a cupboard and a usb copy in the safe.  I update it regularly with monkey boys routine and all his favourite recipes and friends contact details and basically if im
    hit by a bus anyone can step in and run my house.
    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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