This time, I'm doing it!

Time for a diary because I am more determined than ever to get rid of my debt and I want to look back over this one day knowing I am debt free.  I have struggled with my finances for years, borrowing, paying it back, borrowing more, struggling to pay it back, not paying it back, debt management, reducing debt, then borrowing more once approved for the high interest cards... and the story goes on.  Over the past year 18 months or so I have been with Stepchange, just letting the payments come out and not thinking too much about it, other than, the debts are being paid.  Since March this year I have gone it alone - I have reduced payments and I am determined to build up a fund to be able to pay them all off one day.  I have about £11k debt left to 8 creditors - all relatively small amounts of debt to each one,   I will be preparing a spreadsheet to show my progress month on month.  I feel better about things already.  I am now focussing on not wasting food and doing some proper planning on the shopping side of things.  I'm pleased to be feeling positive after all the years of dread. 
So, here we go....


  • FootyFanDan
    FootyFanDan Posts: 1,365 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Hey, just wanted to wish you luck on your journey. If you can nail down the meal planning that will save you plenty. I would suggest checking out the moneysaving boards here they have some fantastic tips. I am sure someone with a lot more advice to offer will be along shortly, but try put together an SOA so you can see your income vs outgoings and people here can review and see if they can provide areas to try cut back. 

    Good luck! 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,236 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Just wanted to wish you well on your journey
    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) plus spent £10K+ on home improvements/emergency repairs
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £8.063/£127,466 AVC target 6.32%
    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
  • FootyFanDan and savingholmes - thank you for your comments.
    I had an email from stepchange today saying they have sent my creditors a proposal based on my current income - I found this rather strange as I haven't been with them since March. I will get in touch  just to cancel things off again.
     I've recently gone for a job in the same place but with a bit more money so I hope to hear about that this week - will be nice, more pennies to save.  Also looking to downsize, currently in a three bed but don't need the extra room.  I've seen one that i like which is not far from where I am at the moment, but is £200 cheaper in rent each month.  Must check guidelines and see what can be done about viewings etc.  so in an ideal world, I could be quite a bit better off each month if all goes my way.  
    I've taken a few days off work, I feel like I need some time for myself.  I have helped close colleagues through some pretty horrible stuff  (illnesses) over the past few months and now need to recharge for my own piece of mind. I still have to prepare my spreadsheet so that's a job for tomorrow,  Last Friday I made a list before I went shopping and the bill only came to £45... enough meals there for the week - basically meat and veg meals but hey, that's anywhere from £25-£35 less than it would normally be and I am pretty chuffed about that.
    Time to put the tea on now - go and chop some of those veggies.
  • I did start this diary with every intention of putting something in it at least 2-3 times a week, however, as with everything, I let this slide.  But new year, time for change and all that, so here I am.  I completed the 'spreadsheet of debt' and found, to my surprise, it totals £8k odd rather than the £11k I thought it was.  All payments made in December, nicely recorded, total recalculated and now ready for January's payment - go me!!
    Have found a new shop - Iceland Warehouse - love it.  Love it a bit too much and found myself squishing everything and taking things out of boxes and putting into freezer bags to go in the freezer - just keep the little side bit of the box with the cooking instructions and there we go.  I had tried going all fresh during last year, but found I was throwing a lot out and I don't like wasting food, or money (now).
    Back to work tomorrow - well, getting out of bed and turning the laptop on.  So pleased I have the option to work from home.
    January is MOT month, so more expenditure I'm sure.  We had a very quiet low key Christmas so I do have something put aside for the car, but it would be nice not to have to spend it.  
    Daughter on furlough now - not sure for how long.  Mind you, she could do with the break, she has been working every hour over the past few months.
    Going to set myself weekly or monthly goals from now on.  And my first one is to declutter two units in my bedroom before 11 January.  I need to be brutal, I usually just get everything out, smile at it and then put it back.  I think the charity shops are still taking donations but must check this out tomorrow.  My second one, is to go for a walk every other day and take a slightly longer lunch break or finish work a little earlier and get some fresh air.  I've been lacking  in this whilst working from home and found sleeping difficult because I'd go for days without going out.
    I'm having a cuppa now and will find something to watch on the tele for a while.  Did get a new book for Christmas so may give that a go if there's nothing on.
  • Hmm, work was horrible.  Had an interaction with someone who has been nasty to me in the past - and she is still nasty, looking down her nose at me - really ruined my day. Still playing on my mind now.  It doesn't take much for me to fall into self doubt. I was off work for a long time last year because of the lies she spread about me, I became depressed and anxious but worked hard to get myself together  and she can undo all my efforts in one snide look.
    Hoping for a better day tomorrow. 
  • ceremony
    ceremony Posts: 241 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper
    Welcome back! Glad the debt turned out to be lower than you thought, that's a nice surprise for the new year. Keep chipping away at it and it'll be gone in no time.
    I know it's not as simple as that 'in the real world' but try not to let the nasty person get to you. There's a lot of truth to the 'grey rock' method of ignoring people and not giving them anything to work with. She'll likely move on to lying about someone else, and after a while people will stop trusting her and she'll have no one when she needs something.
    Start Debt Jun 2020 = £10,036 - Current £5,894 | #324 £1,000 Emergency Fund Member - £205
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,067 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Good news on the debt. 
    You are way better than the nasty one.
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.

    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • FootyFanDan
    FootyFanDan Posts: 1,365 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Fantastic news around the debt and finding it was lower than expected, defo a good way to go into new year. Another Iceland Food Warehouse fan here. We try to go fresh and do cook fresh, plus we also have a little one who is coeliac so we have to factor that in but we love food warehouse. We always go a bit over the top too oopsss haha and then have to cram it all in but we have now stocked up for quite a while. I echo what other say re the nasty person it really isn't worth letting these types of negative people impact your day and from my own personal experience I know this is a lot more difficult to put in to practice but it is really the best way. Here is hoping for a better day tomorrow...well today 
  • Great news about the debt being less then you thought. 
    *Dad loan - £5300 - £1700
    *Virgin Credit Card - £3552.50 - £0
    *Barclaycard - £0

    *Total debt - £1700*

    *Sinking Fund - £2000/£3000*
    *Emergency Fund -£50/£2000

    *Debt Repayments Pot - £0/0*

    New diary-
  • Does it need to be said that I'm not the best at keeping a diary?   
    Over the past few months I have been busy clearing debts and am now down to owing just under £5k and have to say I'm so pleased with this.  On the work front there's been no change with ms nasty, but I know that she can only get me down if I let her! 
    Shopping budget well under control now too, always coming in at under £50 per week.  I've gone back to only buying what we want when we want it rather than filling the cupboards/fridge with things we might not get round to, then it's out of date. I've tried meal planning but it just doesn't work for us.
    DD looking forward to going back to work on 5 April to get shop ready for 12 April.  All in all things are good at the mo. 
    Thanks to you all for posting, hope you and yours are all well. Must say though  I've had my first covid jab, completely knocked me out for two days and my arm still a little sore, but it'll be worth it. Next one in June.👍
    Take care 
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