Muriel's Diary - almost debt free

Good evening

Well this forum has changed a bit since I was last here  :smile:   I've been unable to crack into my old account so it looks like it's a fresh start.

I actually feel a bit of a fraud being here, apart from my mortgage, I only owe £70 on a credit card. I could pay it off but keeping a little bit of debt stops be going off the rails and buying stuff I don't need. I've dipped into savings too many times in the last few months, they're dwindling a little, so I need to gain control again.

I had a bit of a false start in dealing with my debt in 2012, I forget what the figure was then, but in July 2015, I had my proper LBM. My debt was just under £7000, accrued through poor spending habits, holidays, lots of frittering, you know the score. Anyway, I cut back, I got my bills as cheap as I could, cancelled unnecessary things, got a Christmas job, did surveys every night without fail, looked on the ground for lost money ( :smiley: ), claimed PPI, bascially anything I could to pay the debt off. It was trapping me in a job, and life, that I'd come to hate. I earned quite well in that job but I couldn't do it anymore, I wanted to move back to my hometown and get a less stressful, which meant less well paid job and there was no way I could do it with that much debt hanging over me. 

By the summer of 2017, my house was on the market, I'd been offered a new job and I'd found a flat in my hometown. I think my debt was around £1000 by then but I had more than that in savings which I didn't realise at the time until another forum user pointed it out  :smiley:

I eventually moved in the October and handed my notice in but I continued to commute until the December which was hard. Finally my last day came.....best day ever!! Even now, 2 and a half years on, I'm still so relieved I managed to escape. Occasionally I wake up in the morning and for a split second, my heart sinks....then I remember  :smile:

Life wasn't perfect though, I'd ditched the awful job for a job I liked, but the hours were terrible! The daytime shift was fine but I wasn't cut out for evening and weekend shifts, I like routine. In January 2019 they announced they were bringing in a night shift. Well that went down like a lead balloon, loads of people left, including me! I've been in my current job for just over a year. The hours are great, the parking is great, the people are generally nice so I'm happy! It's not that well paid really, I should be a band higher, but everything else is good so I have no plans to move. I still look though  :wink:  

So, why am I back here? I've been drifting along, no real goal or focus, not being careful with grocery shopping, not reviewing deals for utilities, so I want to get a grip before I fritter my savings (mostly money I had left over from the house sale really). My flat needs work, from professionals, to get it how I want it. I only have 2 single sockets in my bedroom, 3 in the lounge but inexplicably 9 in the teeny kitchen! The walls need skimming, there's awful vinyl paint, over wallpaper, hiding all sorts of wonky walls. The skirting boards are awful, the radiators are in random places, the aerial has never worked properly so I can only watch a few channels. I think I've put up with all for far too long.

It's good to be back :smile:

LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

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Comments

  • In the last couple of days I've looked through all my accounts and made a list of outgoings and a list of things that need a closer look. Most of my bills are as cheap as I can get them but I need to do a meter reading and a comparison as I'm sure I can get a better deal. Today though I tackled my broadband and home phone supplier. I vaguely remember getting something to say I was due for renewal but I didn't do anything about it. Naughty!!

    I've been paying £36 per month (broadband and line rental) but I've upgraded to unlimited fibre extra for less money. I have done the advanced line rental saver thing so I've dipped into savings (last time!) to pay £210 which means I'll only be paying £7 per month for broadband. When I worked it out, it's saving me the equivalent of £11.45 per month. Win! The money I'm saving will be transferred into my (one of 18 :wink: ) savings accounts that I use for budgeting to go towards the line rental next year. 

    Oh, and I've done some surveys too - £4.15's worth.

    I feel like that's a good start today

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • Welcome back and good luck with your new diary! 
    It is really interesting to hear about your micro-debt keeping you from spending more. I’m into the last third of my debt repayments and I do worry about what will happen when I’m finished, will I go back into debt etc. 
  • Morning, I've just done my SOA so I can see where I am with everything. I've had a bit of a payrise so I am hoping to save a little bit more than I do. 


    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information
    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax................ 1327
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1327

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 276.1
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 26
    Council tax............................. 97
    Electricity............................. 51.88  (gas and electric - I need to look at this)
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 19.54
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 19.46 (2 more £10 payments to go out and this will drop to £9.46 - need to look for SIM only deal)
    TV Licence.............................. 13.2
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 5.99
    Internet Services....................... 24 (£7 for broadband, the other £17 saved for next years line rental)
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200 (includes cat food and litter - cats are on special diet biscuits and are fussy about the wet food!)
    Clothing................................ 20
    Petrol/diesel........................... 60
    Road tax................................ 17.5 (I pay in 1 go but I save towards car stuff in one account)
    Car Insurance........................... 35.42
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 35
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 20
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 8.48
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 6.22
    Critical illness assurance ......................... 21.07
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 35
    Entertainment........................... 35
    Holiday................................. 50
    Emergency fund.......................... 22
    Cats savings............................ 20
    Cats care plan.......................... 24 
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1162.86


    Assets
    Cash.................................... 6800
    House value (Gross)..................... 90000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1900
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 98700


    Secured & HP Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 58610....(276.1)....2.54
    Total secured & HP debts...... 58610.....-.........-  

    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Nat CC.........................70........25........0
    Total unsecured debts..........70........25........- 


    Monthly Budget Summary
    Total monthly income.................... 1,327
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,162.86
    Available for debt repayments........... 164.14
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 25
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 139.14

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 98,700
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -58,610
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -70
    Net Assets.............................. 40,020

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.[/i][/font]

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • Welcome back and good luck with your new diary! 
    It is really interesting to hear about your micro-debt keeping you from spending more. I’m into the last third of my debt repayments and I do worry about what will happen when I’m finished, will I go back into debt etc. 
    Thanks so much Georgiana. And well done on being nearer the end than the beginning.

    It's really weird but I just feel having a little debt protects me from putting something bigger on a credit card. I just think, no, I can't buy that, I'm in debt!! I did almost get debt free a year ago and then my washing machine broke so I put it on the CC. I think I was secretly pleased!! 
    But I also think it will be such an anticlimax when I do get there that I want lots of debt free moments, like getting close, but not quite, again and again, cause my debt has just sort of dwindled away and I haven't had that feeling of 1 last big payment!

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • doingitanyway
    doingitanyway Posts: 8,737 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post Mortgage-free Glee!
    Hello Muriel. Glad to know you are settled and the job is working out.
    I still think of you on my Facepack Fridays!
    Did you do the cruise?
    Happy new diary and welcome back :)
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.

    Solicitor/survey savings 300/1700
    Emergency fund 0/1000
    Buffer fund 0/200
  • Hello Muriel. Glad to know you are settled and the job is working out.
    I still think of you on my Facepack Fridays!
    Did you do the cruise?
    Happy new diary and welcome back :)
    Hello doingitanyway, how lovely of you to pop by  :)  Great bit of detective work too!
    Oh wow, you still do Facepack Friday.....that's amazing. I've not done it much lately but it's something I need to do more of, my skin is so dry.
    Unfortunately I didn't go on the cruise for a variety of reasons, but mainly the thought of not seeing my cats for 2 weeks upset me the most. Sad sap I know  :#  I don't regret not going, I lost my deposit but that's fine, it was survey money. Maybe I'll try a shorter cruise next year   :)

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • I cashed £24.27 out of PA today, I'd forgotten it was there so that gave me a little boost.

    When I was on here last time, I challenged myself to pay for a holiday with my survey earnings. I called it C.H.E.F.S. (Cruise Holiday Entirely Funded by Surveys). I'd got up to about £600 in July 2018 so I booked a cruise for November 2019 but I ended up cancelling and losing my deposit. I've not added much to this account in the last few months but now I'm back and feeling quite on it, I'm going to try again. With the addition of the PA money today, that account stands at £438.55  :smile:

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

    • I WFH today so nothing spent - l've had lots of these lately as rather than my usual 2-3 times a week shop visit, I've done 1 shop every 7 or 8 days.
    • PA survey - £6
    • Dusted off YNAB and updated the financials - amazingly all balances  :smile:

    It's so good to be back and taking control of my finances, I've been winging it the last couple of years, hoping for the best which is no way to be really. 

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

  • Love C.H.E.F.S.! Such a good idea to have a designated goal, not just allowing survey money to be swallowed up by general day-to-day expenses. 
    At the moment all my survey income goes into savings (which will end up being used to clear a credit card) but down the line I'd love to do something fun with that income :) 
  • Love C.H.E.F.S.! Such a good idea to have a designated goal, not just allowing survey money to be swallowed up by general day-to-day expenses. 
    At the moment all my survey income goes into savings (which will end up being used to clear a credit card) but down the line I'd love to do something fun with that income :) 
    I originally used the income to pay debt but once I got closer, I switched to this. I like the challenge of seeing whether I can do it but the biggest thing is feeling like I've got a free holiday paid by the survey companies, obviously I've given up loads of time to get there but still!  :smile: Looking forward to seeing what you come up with as a goal.

    LBM in 2015 - £7000 in debt 2020 - CC - £18 outstanding 
    Savings goals - home improvements / newer car / EF

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