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Rubbish at saving money! How do you do it!? In debt please help newbie

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Hello 

me and my fiancé fell pregnant accidentally in 2017 - he was at that time jobless due to being made redundant, during this time we racked up a bit of debt. 

Fast forward 4 years later we have a 3 year old son - he now works full time in a secure job with a good salary - 37k a year plus a free car.  I’m working part time and roughly bring home 1100 a month. 

We are renting at 775 a month for a two bed flat in a desirable location - near city centre and catchment area to a good primary. 

I must admit when our son was born I felt that I had failed him as we didn’t own our own home and did not have savings etc. I over compensated when he was small - bought things on credit and took him to all the baby classes swimming lessons etc 

now we are in a position where we owe roughly 5.5k of debt mainly on credit cards and store cards/ catalogues. 

Neither of us have previously been good at saving money. I’m ashamed to say we’ve tried to keep up with the lifestyle of our friends who have different financial circumstances. 

I’ve also previously felt a lot of pressure around my appearance - spent too much on beauty treatments, clothes etc. I have had help for this and no longer struggle with self esteem in this way and my spending in this category is very low. 0-10 pounds a month 

he has also spent a bit of money on clothes and coffee, wine going out and we have previously spoilt our little boy. 

We are trying to change. In the past two months we’ve cancelled all subscriptions, lowered our mobile phone bills, put a firm budget of £50 each a month for ‘treats’ 

we are currently not buying anything unessential. 

Please can you give me any more tips and tricks - also some encouragement would be useful 

thanks 


Comments

  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 17,014 Forumite
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    Head over to to the debt free wannabe section, start up a diary and watch the support, encouragement, hints and tips flood in.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • pollypenny
    pollypenny Posts: 29,394 Forumite
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    It sounds as if you've made an excellent start, OP. Regular budgeting sessions help, too. 
    Member #14 of SKI-ers club

    Words, words, they're all we have to go by!.

    (Pity they are mangled by this autocorrect!)
  • xylophone
    xylophone Posts: 44,721 Forumite
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    We are trying to change. In the past two months we’ve cancelled all subscriptions, lowered our mobile phone bills, put a firm budget of £50 each a month for ‘treats’ 
    we are currently not buying anything unessential. 

    An excellent start.

    now we are in a position where we owe roughly 5.5k of debt mainly on credit cards and store cards/ catalogues. 

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/balance-transfer-credit-cards/

    Would it be possible for you to consolidate the debt onto one card and discipline yourselves into paying enough monthly to have it paid off by the end of the term?

  • Naomim
    Naomim Posts: 3,117 Forumite
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    Head over to to the debt free wannabe section, start up a diary and watch the support, encouragement, hints and tips flood in.
    This ☝️

    Complete an SOA statement of affairs.  The link is in a sticky post at the top of the DFW board.  We'll be able to give you some more tailored advice but you've taken some great first steps.

    Naomim 
    Credit Cards NOV 2019 £33,220.42 Sept 2023 £19,951.00 Tilly Tidy 20223/COLOR] Sept £43.71 Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
  • TBagpuss
    TBagpuss Posts: 11,205 Forumite
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    A others have said, head over to the debt free wannabees board and start there. 

    Key things to do are to look at where your money is actually going, and decide where you can cut spending, set yourselves a realistic budget including provisions for paying off the debt and starting to save.
    Good luck! 
    All posts are my personal opinion, not formal advice Always get proper, professional advice (particularly about anything legal!)
  • TomokoAdhami
    TomokoAdhami Posts: 154 Forumite
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    You have taken great steps but further ones would be again conditional. I would suggest you to spend less on clothing and beauty products and on your son's clothing. I don't think we need to invest a lot in growing kids' clothing because we need to buy more and more each year. 
  • Siebrie
    Siebrie Posts: 2,909 Forumite
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    Well done on realising this, and actively taking steps to get back on your feet (hmmm, that doesn't sound quite right....), and well done on getting help with your self-esteem issue, that can't have been easy.
    Congratulations on both your jobs, I trust you are both doing everything to keep them and maybe get promoted? Show up, and on time, do your best, ongoing training, being kind to co-workers, etc.
    I agree with the previous posters: head over to the debt free wannabe board, and fill in an SOA (you don't have to publish it, but if you do, you will get great, honest feedback).
    One tip is to pay the credit cards first, as soon as your salary comes in, and not use them again. You have to live off the rest of your money for the rest of the week/month. Do you get paid weekly? I have been paid weekly for about a year, and found it terribly confusing; because the amount seemed so small, it felt more like pocket money and it was frittered away easily.

    Are you wombling, too, in '22? € 58,96 = £ 52.09Wombling in Restrictive Times (2021) € 2.138,82 = £ 1,813.15Wombabeluba 2020! € 453,22 = £ 403.842019's wi-wa-wombles € 2.244,20 = £ 1,909.46Wombling to wealth 2018 € 972,97 = £ 879.54Still a womble 2017 #25 € 7.116,68 = £ 6,309.50Wombling Free 2016 #2 € 3.484,31 = £ 3,104.59
  • Savetowin
    Savetowin Posts: 25 Forumite
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    Sounds like you are doing really well!!
  • Kynthia
    Kynthia Posts: 5,672 Forumite
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    Well done on your progress so far. One thing that might help is seeing the effect of your sacrifices in some way. It's hard to give up things without seeing how it's making a difference so monitor your spend each month so you can see it going down, and put those savings towards reducing your credit card debt.

    Then start building a savings pot and having a goal. It could be for a house deposit or a dream holiday for in a few years time. That way an extra outfit, expensive coffee or getting your nails done won't seem as important as building this pot.

    Make it a challenge to get bargains. So eat at home as often as possible but if you do wang to eat out use Nectar points or find a voucher. Collect the Sun newspaper superdays vouchers for 2 free tickets to a theme park. Collect tesco clubcard points and use them for triple their value at various places. You can save so much money on entertainment if you try. 

    Young children don't need lots of expensive clothes and some toys are just as good secondhand. Look for bundles of clothes on Facebook market place and supplement with a few choice pieces from the shops. Same for toys as they are incredibly expensive new. Make sure you sell what you don't need, and small amounts add up. I knew someone who would sell lots of things for a small amount but gradually it would be enough to fund her childrens' school holiday activities. 
    Don't listen to me, I'm no expert!
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