Final steps to debt freedom

in Debt free diaries
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gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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Hi all, 

As the diary suggests I am on the final phase of my debt free goals.

I found out quite quickly that throwing a high amount of money at the debt and having a small sum of disposable income doesn't work personally for me. I’d often pay £600 a month (pre home ownership) but then spend some (at least £300) of it back on the cards as I would struggle to afford to do anything after my direct debits and the debt was paid. I was just paying off debts and working.

The final figure outstanding is £3,890. This is all on 1 interest free card (this period runs out in Dec 2021) but I’m struggling with the final bit of motivation. 

I’ll provide more in depth financial details, living situation and budgets in future comments. You may be able to spot ways to help cut down on the budget. 

Thanks for reading and hopefully following along with the journey :) 

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Replies

  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    To explain further to my first post (I didn't want it to be really long) me and my partner currently own our own home.
    We both work and are paid into our own accounts every month (him £1,805.69 him & me £1585.22) and as soon as we are both paid we each transfer the majority of our salaries into a joint account in order to allow our mortgage, joint direct debits and savings to go out.

    We both then leave £450 in our own account in order to pay for our individual direct debits. I currently allocate my £450 as follows:
    £150/£200 - Credit Card (the direct debit is set up at £150 a month and I can make manual overpayments via the app)
    £36.69 - Mobile Phone (25% off through work)
    £40 - Gym membership (pre pandemic - I go 4 or 5 times a week for 1 hour to 2 hours at a time. This was frozen. Next payment due on 01.01.21)
    £35 - HPY (Hot Pod Yoga) (4 classes a month class pass. This is currently frozen)
    £36.17 - Football season ticket (This is currently Frozen)
    £18 - 10 ticket bus pass (Between March - October this wasn't needed so this was also frozen but has now started back up again)
    = Usually £84- £134 to spend on myself. 

    During the first lockdown, as a lot of my direct debits were frozen, I paid a fixed amount of £200 a month to my CC. I also replaced my HPY by paying my gym instructors online monthly class pass (£30 per month) I found during the pandemic that I could easily spend the money online shopping (due to boredom and also to 'cheer' myself up!)

    As the credit card debt is mine alone (I managed to get it down to 5K on interest free credit before purchasing a property with my boyfriend) we agreed that £450 to keep in our own accounts was a reasonable amount as we wanted to maintain a savings pot for our home. Which is at a nice amount.

    Once hot pod yoga reopens I am going to cancel my membership as I realised during lockdown I can live without this. This would be a saving of £420 per year.
  • CreditCardJunkieCreditCardJunkie Forumite
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    Hey! I was exactly the same, throwing too much off the cards and then using them again! Sounds like you've got everything in order, keep at it. You won't be long in seeing results.
    Debt Free as of December 2020 👏

    Save 12k in 2023 #35: £600 / £12,000

    Earn £365 on Prolific in 2023: £24.65 / £365
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Hello, not too much to report over the last few days. As we are in a tier three lockdown zone I haven't been anywhere to spend any money. I did nearly cave at lunch and planned to order in, but managed to find some bits for lunch before our food shopping delivery, which came today. We paid for this out of the joint account, including a £1 delivery slot to avoid super markets!) and won't be going anywhere over the weekend. We have 1 shop left before we get paid and have £62 left in our joint account to fund this.

    The main goals this week is to keep fit at home. I've done two classes on a Wednesday evening and one class on Thursday. Exercise has always been important for both my physical and mental health for the past three years (hence the £40 gym fee), however, it's one thing I'm happy to pay for.

    Stay safe all :) 
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Hey! I was exactly the same, throwing too much off the cards and then using them again! Sounds like you've got everything in order, keep at it. You won't be long in seeing results.
    Thank you so much for your reply! I think I’ve realised that slow and steady is better than going all out. I’d rather do that then have a relapse and put it all back on the cards in 3 months time. I’ve found if I treat it like another fixed and realistic direct debit then I won’t be tempted to spend on it again.
  • savingholmessavingholmes Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Just wishing you good luck on your journey
    Target 1) Prioritise health & social connection 2) Write regularly 42,993/70,000 words Book 2 and 10,787/70,000 Priestess book 3a) Get to £10K EF/Savings Now £4,573 3b) £1.6K Savings for DD Car (Achieved) 4) MFW starting at £201999 Nov 21 with 264 249 payments to go. Now £192,304 5) Mortgage neutral progress via pension £1,887 invested since Nov 21 6) Declutter 7) Invest in fun and frolics - and not just future self! 8) CC Debt free April 22 (now stay that way!!)
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Just wishing you good luck on your journey
    Thank you very much :)
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Stay at home weekend is in place. I've done two exercise classes, had a shower, cleaned the bathroom and had pancakes with bacon, banana and maple syrup for brunch. The extra bacon left will be used for another meal during the week.

    I'm keeping an eye on prolific every few hours. I cash out everytime it goes over the £5 mark and it goes straight into our joint savings pot. We are having a new kitchen at the end of February so we have a target to meet. We are paying in 4 chunks so we've paid 1 chunk and have saved for chunk 2 and 3. We are now on the final chunk. We need the final payment before the first week of March.

    My boyfriend has also been doing surveys since August on prolific and he has earned £90ish pound so far - pretty good going! We've worked out this month just by doing surveys and save the change we have saved an addition £51. The aim before the end of the month will be £70 - hopefully this is achievable! 

    I hope you all have a lovely and relaxing weekend! :) 
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    It’s cold and miserable today so it’s going to be another day inside with no spending. I have the day off tomorrow and it should be my only day of personal spending up until the 23rd December. 

    I’m heading into the town centre for the first time in 2 months as I’m off to meet my sister for a socially distanced walk. I haven’t seen her since March as she has two autoimmune system problems, however, I think the strain of her not being able to see anyone other than her boyfriend is having a big impact on her mental health so I’m off to see her to exchange Christmas gifts and have a walk round. After tomorrow I probably won’t see her until the New Year.

    After that I need to pick up three Christmas gifts - I have £30 left in my Christmas pot so an average of £10 per gift - and then will go back home and not see anyone else until the 23rd December.

    The surveys have currently dried up. Is anyone else finding that? I’m hoping they’ll pick up after the New Year. 
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Been such a busy day so far. Went to the gym this morning, I then met my sister, did a few of the shops and picked up my parcel then saw my colleague for a socially distanced walk. Left the house around 8:20 and got back around 2:15. I’m so out of routine and that felt like so much effort (even though I’ve been working constantly since March)

    I spent a grand total of £18.55 today. I don’t need to buy anything else now. We have one more food shop bill to go on Friday before payday. We have up to £67 remaining for that. I have budgeted for 5 food shops from Dec pay so this pot come December pay will have an extra £50 in next month. 
  • gymgirl11gymgirl11 Forumite
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    Not too much to report on today. We did have to pop out and grab more wrapping paper and some Christmas cards. Has anyone else noticed that the Christmas paper seems to be smaller rolls this year but the cost is the same as last year? We've used so much paper this year and only realised half way through that the roll size had gone from 3m to 1.5m! 

    It came to a grand total of £9, however, we had gift voucher which had £9 on so it cost us £0 in actual cash. A small win! 
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