I am the obstacle and I am the path (to debt free...again)

Hi all...new diary. Been pulled up by my bootstraps. Well, I have pulled them. Over and over again I get debt free, and then have some money and then it all goes again. Back in debt to the tune of £21,169 as of Monday night. This has bene going on for 17 years, and that is long enough, it really is. 

Earlier this year, with the benifits of not commuting I paid off one CC of over 4K. Great but still have a long way to go. 

I will be back later, with more, but this diary is mainly for me, to keep myself on track. To change my relaitonhsip with money. 
I was about to go back to the office to work tomorrow, but with the new Goverment Guidlines - this has been deferred for probably 6 months. So whilst I disspapointed to not have a change of scene, I am going to take this up as an opportunity....for paying off some debt in a hard and focussed way, but not without pleasure. 

Fortunately, I have a partner (relatively new) that also wants to sort their debts, so hopefully we can support each other, whilst still having a nice time. 

A bit about me.  I am self employed working in health care. I am going back to Uni (virtually) next month. I earn a decent amount of money. I love yoga (Ashtanga). I am 48. My troublesome relationship with money started in 2003 after my second marriage brokedown, he had been quite controling with money and after that I just spent, spent, spent, and spent. I have got a little better over the years, on and off. I had a very stressful and diffiuclt time in my last NHS role and I wasn't coping well...cue a lot of takeouts and wine. I love skincare and htis is one of my biggest areas of spending as well as wanting to have a really nice time. Before 2003 I was really very good with money. But that is a long time away now. 

I have signed up to the Turtles for challenge for October and the 1% challenge (my 1% is £212). 

Next up, food planning (I am good at this, but very out of practice), I used to be a chef and can cook so that is in my favour. But I do love food, good food and wine. 

Mortgage 17th of Jan 24 = £174,000
Escaping into Private Practice fund £330/£11,000 = 3%
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Comments

  • Good luck x I’m not very good at debt busting yet, but am inspired by all the diaries. People start off where we are now and make amazing progress, so I know you’ll be great! 
    Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R.Tolkien
    🌊 A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor 🌊
    2024 challenges - (1) £8k savings challenge = £900 so far (2) 1 stone weight reduction = 0 so far
    My WW and friends diary is here 😁 … 
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6259606/must-try-harder/p1

  • Good luck with your diary and wishing you well.  I have also just started the 1% thread so will see you on there.


    Savings for Xmas 2024 = £100/£2000
    #76 3-6 month EF £818.48/£1000
  • foxgloves
    foxgloves Posts: 10,936
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    Good luck, Dr Carrie, as an ex-frivolous spender but now completely debt-free, I'm just popping on to say that a love of good food, lovely skincare products etc, is not in itself incompatible with paying off debts, but more a matter of being sufficiently sensible to find a few acceptable compromises & adhering to a budget.
    It can definitely be done. Good luck!
    F
    "For each of our actions there are only consequences" (James Lovelock)"For in the true nature of things......every green tree is far more glorious than if it were made of gold & silver" (Martin Luther King Jnr)
  • Thank you Suzanne and SuperDavingD
    foxgloves said:
    Good luck, Dr Carrie, as an ex-frivolous spender but now completely debt-free, I'm just popping on to say that a love of good food, lovely skincare products etc, is not in itself incompatible with paying off debts, but more a matter of being sufficiently sensible to find a few acceptable compromises & adhering to a budget.
    It can definitely be done. Good luck!
    F
    Thank you foxgloves. That helps!

    So yesterday, I did a snowball and nearly vomited. My 2 CC's that I have been on zero intrest...until now. So I guess I just ignored them. Now I'm not!. I am going to try and pay off (at least) 2% over my minimum payments, of £250 (I hope that will still cover it after the interest goes on each month so that would be 414, so I might as well round that up to £415. 

    I made a 1% debt 'pot' in my monzo account and put the contents of my 'change pot' in it £30. A little win perhaps. 

    The figure I posted originanlly, was £21,170, but 3.5 K of that is for a legal fee, which is not yet paid. I am going to see if I can scrape as much as I can together do that I don't put it all on the CC. I may well be able to get that money back, but I am not sure yet. 

    I made a big pot of chilli and put quite a lot in the freezer. Took a pot of soup out of the freezer!

    I didn't spend any money!

    I reworked my budget and might tweak it again, so I can  be sure that I can make the £415 per month, at least. 

    I made a broad meal plan template, and a specific meal plan for next week; my partner will be here for that weekend, so a bit more expense for that.  Some beer and wine and a couple of treats. I put in a Sainsburys delivery order for it  (£11 over budget) but needed some staples and really shouldn't need to go to the shops, for anything! The week after I will have an audit and see what I have left over.  I may not need to get much for the following week, and I will go to Aldi and my local Asian grocer for what I do need. With a list. I don't need any food for the rest of this week, I will be at my partners this weekend so low cost weekend for me. 

    I love being self-employed, but there are some downsides financially, not a hugely stable income - but stable enough and getting credit is quite hard....maybe that is a good thing right now. 

    Until tomorrow!
    Mortgage 17th of Jan 24 = £174,000
    Escaping into Private Practice fund £330/£11,000 = 3%
  • I hadn’t seen the 1% challenge, but it looks good. I think I will try it for just 1 debt and see if I can get that down quicker...I think 1% of one thing might be less daunting for me. 
    A food audit is a good idea...I have been cleaning cupboards and have been shocked at how much out of date things have had to go in the bin...
    Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R.Tolkien
    🌊 A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor 🌊
    2024 challenges - (1) £8k savings challenge = £900 so far (2) 1 stone weight reduction = 0 so far
    My WW and friends diary is here 😁 … 
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6259606/must-try-harder/p1

  • Morning, dear diary. I am commititng to writing you every weekday. I am sorry if you will feel neglected at the weekends, but I promise not to go overboard in spending when I am apart from you. 

    Suzanne54321B said:
    I hadn’t seen the 1% challenge, but it looks good. I think I will try it for just 1 debt and see if I can get that down quicker...I think 1% of one thing might be less daunting for me. 
    A food audit is a good idea...I have been cleaning cupboards and have been shocked at how much out of date things have had to go in the bin...
    Yes...I threw a couple of things away when I was doing my shopping and checking what I have. Such a waste!
    Re the 1% I have made a 10x10 square to colour in once I pay a % off I hope that it will be motivating! Good luck with your percentages!

    On that, I have taken my commute money out of my budget spread sheet and put it in the debt repayment it is £330 pcm, so it would be another £85 to find  to pay 2% over then next months - while I work from home. I think that might be dobale. 

    Things I did yesterday on my path, to debt freedom and more. 
    • No spend day! Yay. 
    • Earned over £400 
    • Made some sloe gin for presents - macerting in the cupbaord. 
    • Adjusted my Sainsbury order so I am only £1.46 over budget, not 11 - it all adds up right! I took it down to below £100, but that meant I would oay for delivery, I would rather buy a bag of frozen broad beans than pay for the delivery!
    • Thinking about my ongoing career development and pausing one of my plans for a year, with the potential of working a extra day come July (after I have finished the course I am about to start). If I did that it would be an extra £13,000 in the pot to take off the debt...it would be 33% off the debt if I dealyed my next course by a year. I mean, I have to work for another 20 years (maybe more), so there isn't really any rush. 
    Menu plans for next week are: 
    • Breakfasts: Toast with a range of potentail toppings, incluing homemade jam, peanut butter and marmite, beans if I have done some yoga / Porridge with bluberries
    • Lunches: Soup form freezer / sweetpotato and coconut, with Kale salad / other bits and Homemwade bread
    • Dinner: Chilli (in the freezer, like 4 portions) / Mushroom and barley casserole with dumplings and greens. 
    • Weekend: Pea rissoto with pesto, a big brunch and a roast, the rest we will scrape together, get chips or have a takeway. 
    After the horror of monday and the newest, hopefully brightest LBM - I talked with my partner and we have halved our weekend budget - but we do still have a bit of wriggle room. I have to make this plan sustainable otherwise I will just have a blow out and mess it up. 

    This weekend I will be in London (I live in Brighton), with my partner. Hopefully, my daugthter and her partner will be comng down from Derbyshire and we will all be going to a Comedy Show in Greenwich park. Weather and health dependant. I have only seen her once since March - she was sheilding. 

    Money saving plans over the weekend, look at the NST Outward Bound Challenge on the train later. With plan for Christams bieng a priority, along with routine, tkaing care of me, NSD's and sticking to the budget. 

    See you Monday!


    Mortgage 17th of Jan 24 = £174,000
    Escaping into Private Practice fund £330/£11,000 = 3%
  • I have also done a 10 x 10 square to colour in, on a page on my spreadsheet. Who doesn’t love colouring in! 
    The weekend sounds good, have fun. 
    Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R.Tolkien
    🌊 A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor 🌊
    2024 challenges - (1) £8k savings challenge = £900 so far (2) 1 stone weight reduction = 0 so far
    My WW and friends diary is here 😁 … 
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6259606/must-try-harder/p1

  • Good luck and keep posting
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26% (lower post move compensated by EF)
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £7,613/£127,466 AVC target 5.97%
    3) FI Age 60 annual income target £12,500/30,000 41.66%
    Achievements: CC free since April 22. 1 year EF from Jan 24 & dedicated pot for home improvements
  • ...I am back. The weekend was very mixed, to say the least. Meal plans for one only from now on. 
    Rejigged my Sainsburys order on account to that, so that has come down. Very MSE - had to really push myself to do it last night though. 

    Saw my daughter and that was truly lovely. 

    Its pay day on Friday and there will be lot of re-evalauting and seeing how many % off the debt I can pay. 
    Mortgage 17th of Jan 24 = £174,000
    Escaping into Private Practice fund £330/£11,000 = 3%
  • sorry about your mixed weekend. On the plus side, I think saving is easier when you are totally in charge of planning..shared meal plans lead to extra costs as other people’s essentials are never the same! Onwards and upwards! 
    Not all who wander are lost - J.R.R.Tolkien
    🌊 A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor 🌊
    2024 challenges - (1) £8k savings challenge = £900 so far (2) 1 stone weight reduction = 0 so far
    My WW and friends diary is here 😁 … 
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6259606/must-try-harder/p1

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