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The future is bright

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I'm Birdee and am on a debt free journey. I've been adding to my debt for about six years, with the last two years being completely disastrous. My spending was out of control. I had completely buried my head in the sand. I was suffering from lots of self hatred and I just assumed I didn't have a future, so why did I need to worry about money. I went to counselling at the end of 2019 and finished my sessions just before lockdown, and that has been instrumental in helping me be more present and positive about the future. 

I got into a relationship with somebody in June 2019 and he is excellent with money, works hard, earns a lot, saves a lot so has been very inspiring to me. I broke down in tears to him in November 2019 and told him about my finances. I thought he would reject me, but he didn't. I started my debt free journey the following week. We are still together a year on and he continues to inspire me every day. 

I started with a total of £25046.68 of debt, split across four credit cards and a loan, and am now on £20345.87 split across five credit cards and a loan (managed to get a new balance transfer card that really helped), so have paid off 19% of the debt. The first six months were a bit up and down while I firmed up my budget, sometimes overpaying my debts too much and leaving myself short for the month, but think I now have it under control. I have been very lucky during Covid19 to be able to continue working at home, and am actually saving money by not having to commute to work. I recognise the need to use this very privileged position to put that extra money towards my debt, which I have been doing. 

I am a data analyst by profession so have data galore to asssit! Have given myself a target of three years to get out of debt, and have projections and models set up to help me with that, and to encourage me to pay more when I can afford it. I can re-run projections and it tells me the estimated date I may be out of debt. Very motivating. Have also got alerts set up for promotional periods ending, and have a clear order in what I pay off first (based on interest rates). Am hoping to be able to make use of empty cards and shuffle my debt around throughout the process, but am conscious those offers may be scarce with the current financial climate. So have a couple of planned scenarios.

Am hoping I can get a promotion at work in the next six months or so to speed the process up, and I may also be able to trim my rent costs at the end of this year. Will be using every extra penny in my pocket towards the debt. Felt so overwhelming at the start, and I still have deep feelings of shame about my debt. But falling into a well of shame won't clear my debts - being honest, focused, and determined will. 


DEBT FREE
Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
Current Debt = £0
Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

Comments

  • Plutonomics
    Plutonomics Posts: 37 Forumite
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    Sounds like you're doing great so far.  One thing people are going to suggest is maybe sharing your SOA if you're looking for any guidance or tips, but then if you're just here to keep track that's fine too. I'm in a similar level of debt to you, so understand the feelings associated with it. Keep up the steps you have been taking and it seems like you will be on top of this in no time. Good luck  :)
  • Birdee
    Birdee Posts: 50 Forumite
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    Thank you Plutonomics. Good luck with your debt repayments :) Definitely think it's a good idea to share although this is really only a rough guide. For money left over after rent, bills, and debt repayments, I tend to budget an amount and then shift the individual allowances to meet whatever I need that month. i.e. if I need lots of toiletries, or I'm going out for an event one month, I will trim from my groceries. 

    I currently rent in London with a friend, and I'm responsible for the council tax, TV licence (which is fully paid for the year), and Broadband/Basic TV. So that's why there are no values for energy/water bills as she does those. It generally works out about even, but I keep a spreadsheet and we remedy any differences every few months or so. 

    On top of the monthly minimums, I am currently paying an additional £500 a month towards my debt. I have tried trimming back even further but find that amount is doable without scraping by at the end of the month and entering a danger zone of putting stuff on credit again. This also leaves me enough wriggle room in my budget to adjust if I need to throughout the month. 

    I use Monzo to separate all my money out and this has completely revolutionised my spending habits. I also convinced by boyfriend to get a Monzo account too, so we can put shared spending on a tab, or split bills individually. In our relationship I'm way more likely to book something we have talked about attending or pick up food/wine for dinner so this way I can just instantly ask him for his share which keeps my spending accurate for the month. 

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax................ 2275
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2275

    Monthly Expense Details
    Rent.................................... 725
    Council tax............................. 71
    Electricity............................. 0
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 0
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 36
    TV Licence.............................. 0
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 25
    Internet Services....................... 25
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 5
    Petrol/diesel........................... 0
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 100
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 15
    Entertainment........................... 110
    Holiday................................. 25
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Personal Care........................... 30
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1387

    No Assets

    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Barclaycard Credit.............1738.04...43.36.....17.68
    Natwest Credit.................2913.92...45.65.....6.68
    MBNA Credit....................2504.68...25.05.....0
    Natwest Loan...................7970.85...148.......6.9
    Lloyds Credit..................2816.14...28.16.....0
    Virgin Credit..................2402.24...25........0
    Total unsecured debts..........20345.87..315.22....- 

    Monthly Budget Summary
    Total monthly income.................... 2,275
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,387
    Available for debt repayments........... 888
    Monthly Unsecured debt repayments....... 315.22
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 572.78

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -20,345.87
    Net Assets.............................. -20,345.87

    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com. 
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.

    DEBT FREE
    Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
    Current Debt = £0
    Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

    Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
    Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

  • darrannah
    darrannah Posts: 143 Forumite
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    Hi Birdee, welcome to DFW, ! guess someone will come along and advise on you SOA, I dont feel confident telling people how to spend their money!! but I wish you all the luck on your journey, you look like youre on the right track anyway :) 
    What’s meant for you will not pass you 😃
    A fool and his money are soon parted!
    use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without :)
    EF -£860 Total debt - £2070 (DF March 2020)
    Clubcard-£10.50, coop card £15.63 Surveys cash- 8.94
  • Birdee
    Birdee Posts: 50 Forumite
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    Thank you for the welcome darrannah! It will be a long journey so will take all the luck I can get :)

    I'm keeping in mind little milestones to break down the big debt. After pay day this month, my total debt will be under £20,000 and that is so motivating. On track to have the Barclaycard (aka The Beast) paid off in three months. Will be singing for days when that is gone.
    DEBT FREE
    Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
    Current Debt = £0
    Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

    Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
    Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

  • ImpulseSpender
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    Good luck Birdee! Like you said having milestones is a great idea and should keep you motivated. I'll be following along on your journey.
    August 2019 - Debt £8000
    June 2020 - Debt £190.96
    Saving Pots: House Fund: £2015.21 Holiday Pot: £327.31 Rainy Day Fund: £964.84 Sod it/Treat Fund: £12.06
    Stocks and Shares ISA: £189.65
  • ceremony
    ceremony Posts: 241 Forumite
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    Best of look to you! It looks like you're off to a great start, and seeing that number go down will be super satisfying :)
    Start Debt Jun 2020 = £10,036 - Current £5,894 | #324 £1,000 Emergency Fund Member - £205
  • Birdee
    Birdee Posts: 50 Forumite
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    Still got some direct debits to come out this month towards my debt but it's now below 20 grand. Feels excellent.

    Last month was hard and I found myself very short towards the end of the month but I managed. Having a clear out before I move in September and I have a few bits to sell so looking forward to getting on that. 
    DEBT FREE
    Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
    Current Debt = £0
    Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

    Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
    Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

  • Birdee
    Birdee Posts: 50 Forumite
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    Barclaycard and MBNA cards are now both paid off and total debt is below £15,000.

    Having two no spend months (other than groceries and personal care/medicine) to try to maximise money I can throw at the debt as slowed up a little in Autumn last year. My remaining two 0% deals are coming to an end over the next few months so trying to pay them off as strategically as possible. Have some room on my NatWest card at balance transfer rate of 6.9% (no fee) so will shift some over there to avoid paying the ~20% interest if needed. 
    DEBT FREE
    Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
    Current Debt = £0
    Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

    Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
    Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

  • Birdee
    Birdee Posts: 50 Forumite
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    About to be hit with some expensive dentist bills over the next few months.  :(  Still hoping to be able to overpay debts at the same time but going to be tricky. Having a couple of empty credit cards means I can at least use them to delay/split the dental costs. I've got both my empty cards set up now with direct debits to clear the statement balance. So once dentist bills are cleared off these cards each month (paid in full) I know how much (or how little) I can throw at the cards where I'm carrying balances. 

    Really frustrating, but if this had happened a year ago I'd have been in no position whatsoever to pay for the treatment. At least now I can make the choice. I'm in debt for far stupider reasons than trying to protect my teeth. 
    DEBT FREE
    Starting Debt = £25,046.68 (Nov 2019)
    Current Debt = £0
    Total paid off =  £25,046.68 (100%) June 2023

    Pay Debt by Xmas23 #24 - £4,384.36/£4,384.36
    Pay Debt by Xmas22 - £4,957.69/£9,342.05

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