Life is not a rehearsal- time to take back control........

The title of my diary pretty much sums things up for me at the moment. I recently turned 40 and with it came the realisation that this is it! There’s no dress rehearsal - I need to stop putting life on hold until debts are paid off, until my son is older, until I have more time etc. I need to start trying to live my best life now, whilst debts are being paid off and while little man is still young enough to want to do stuff with Mum and Dad! So here it goes....

The debt we have has crept up over the last 10 years, mainly due to having no emergency fund. New cars, car repairs, new boiler, vets bills, new white goods and ovens and maternity leave have all been funded one way or another via the credit card. Any opportunity to have savings has been swallowed up by debt repayments. This needs to stop now. So here it goes.

Debt currently stands at 
CC1 - £5771.27
CC2- £4036.90
CC3-  £3606.17
CC4 - £597.88
OD1 - £650
OD2- £650
Next - £56.11
Very - £20

Total - £15,388.33 - I am so ashamed.

As well as the obvious debt issue, I’m also in need of losing weight (3 stone), regaining control of the house (lockdown has been great as there’s been no surprise visitors - the house is in a constant state of chaos!) and eventually finding a job I find fulfilling and enjoy (realistically this is probably more part of a 5 year plan whilst debt is paid and DS is still in primary school, as current job pays well for part time and the hours work in terms of childcare but I am keeping an eye on job sites for something that may tick these boxes too! )

Goals
1. Get emergency fund to £500 by end of September. Raise this to £1K by year end.
2. Pay off very (nice quick win)
3. Pay off Next via eBay sales
4. Get CC4 gone (the only CC incurring interest)

Plan of action for this week.
1. eBay / fb sales
2. Make a list of required sinking funds (birthday, Christmas, uniform, vets bills etc)
3. Go through pressie stash and make a list of what’s still required for upcoming birthdays and Christmas


Feeling motivated- time to spring into action.........

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Comments

  • Blackcats
    Blackcats Posts: 2,593
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    Good luck!  Well done for springing into action.  Having a diary on here helps keep me accountable and has made a real difference to my knowledge of money saving and my understanding of spending.  
  • anjyeah
    anjyeah Posts: 240
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    It's normal to feel ashamed, we all are at some point in our debt-busting journey. However, it is acknowledging that we need to work on ourselves are the most important part out of this. Well done on starting on this journey with us, we will be here to cheer you on and offer advice when we can. Good luck! 
    My Debt Free Diary: Virgo In Pursuit
    Debt-Busting Progress: 2020: £13,200 | 2020: £9,200 | 2021: £4,900 
    2022: ongoing 

  • Lykke
    Lykke Posts: 42
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    Thanks both for your words of encouragement :smile:

    Sat and went through the budget for this month - I’m not going to lie it is going to be very tight. £200 ish worth of vets bills to pay don’t help! 

    Did an Aldi shop yesterday. I tend to do one a month and stock up on cupboard and freezer staples then do a weekly online shop for the fresh bits. Spent £90 but know this would have been so much more elsewhere.

    Made 2 ebay sales totalling £19 - so off to a good start there. Given that it’s not going to be a good month financially I’m going to keep the money to one side for now. It’d be great if I could make the extra £200 to counterbalance the vets fees. Maybe that should be a goal for the month! 

    Utilities are out of contract at the end of the month so will spend some time today shopping around. The account is currently in debit, so I’m making a conscious effort in trying to cut down on the electricity used. Was much easier when the sun was shining and washing was drying quickly! Will also fill in the working from home tax form as both OH and myself have been routinely working from home since last March.

    So plan for today.....
    1. Utilities 
    2. Tax form
    3. eBay! 
    4. Post office 
  • Blackcats
    Blackcats Posts: 2,593
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    Good morning - changing utility supplier is very lucrative via cash back sites.  I swopped a couple of months ago via £co and got a £40 m and s voucher (spent some on a gift and some on a treat for me 😃) and yesterday a further £40 hit my £co account.  My new supplier is cheaper and far more user friendly for billing etc so a real win win for me.

  • Lykke
    Lykke Posts: 42
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    Blackcats said:
    Good morning - changing utility supplier is very lucrative via cash back sites.  I swopped a couple of months ago via £co and got a £40 m and s voucher (spent some on a gift and some on a treat for me 😃) and yesterday a further £40 hit my £co account.  My new supplier is cheaper and far more user friendly for billing etc so a real win win for me.

    It certainly is £190 tracked in my TCB account and £80 per month cheaper - no brainier! 

    I’ve completed the tax form, so fingers crossed that all goes through ok. Its not a massive amount, but every little helps 😊

    Not managed to list anymore on eBay (yet), but sold an item already listed fo £5. Will definitely get more listed over the weekend.

    Emergency fund is currently sat at £150. I’ve decided to put it in premium bonds as a. There’s a very slim chance I may actually win something and b. Although easy to withdraw, I have to actually request to withdraw it rather than mindlessly transfer online from one account to another. We’ll see how it goes. 

    Have a fantastic weekend 😊
  • Lykke
    Lykke Posts: 42
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    Sneaking back in with my tail between my legs having pulled my head firmly out of the sand. 

    Last few weeks have been a bit of a nightmare and very much an eye opener as to why we can’t go on living like this. We have just received notice from our tenant of the last 10 years  and as a result will need to scrape together another £600 a month for having the house stood empty. We were accidental landlords as we found the ideal next house for us but couldn’t sell. At the time we were in a very fortunate position where deposits were low and we were able to get sorted without relying on the sale of our house. Fast forward 10 years and here we are. After much discussion we’ve made the decision to try and sell. We’re making very little from renting out and it was never something we set out to do, so feel it’s time to try and sell up, pay debts off and plough the remainder into making the improvements we want to make on our home. I’m hoping it’s going to be a case of (fingers crossed) short term pain for long term gain. So, socks need to be pulled up and focus regained. 

    Here we go!!!


  • Hi @Lykke how's the house sale coming along? We are in a seller's market so you should be finding high demand in general. Good luck 
  • Lykke
    Lykke Posts: 42
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    Wow, can’t believe it’s 2.5 months since I last posted.

    I can’t lie, I’ve not been in the best of places. My mental health has took a nose dive and once again I feel like everything is spiralling out of control and life is running away with me. My workplace is toxic and it’s pulling me down. I work 3 days but have a heavier workload than colleagues working full time - my workload in fact has increased since I came back PT after mat leave 5 years ago compared with what I was doing full time. I’ve raised this numerous times but it’s falling on deaf ears and has resulted in me being seen as negative and not having the ‘can do’ attitude. I feel like I’m being set up for failure and things aren’t sustainable- I’m fast reaching breaking point and my already low self confidence has plummeted further. Need to take steps to remedy this.

    Work coupled with my anxieties surrounding covid, the on going financial implications of the house sale and low self esteem has left me feeling pretty sorry for myself in recent months. Onwards and upwards.

    So enough of the doom and gloom, in better news we have accepted an offer (albeit a low one) on the house. Fingers crossed that things go smoothly with it. I’m hoping it should complete by Christmas which will be a good ending to an otherwise pants year! 

    I have also had a small pay rise (equates to £80 ish a month) and my tax code has reverted to the standard due to no longer receiving rental income so this has also added a few £ to my pay packet each month. The £190 TCB for switching utilities has also be confirmed so I’m hoping payout isn’t too far away. I definitely need to focus on the positives and small wins more. 

    MSE plan for the weekend:

    1. Create 4 week meal plan
    2.  List some things on eBay / fb etc
    3.  Create list of sinking funds required
    4.  Chase up refund 
    5.  Email solicitors with info for house sale

    Already feeling better for getting all this written down. My username Lykke is danish for happiness - need to remain focused on using this diary to document my journey to Lykke 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,821
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    Good that the house sale will reduce long term stress and presumably give you a cash injection. Will you be able to clear your debt with it and create an emergency fund?
    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
  • Lykke
    Lykke Posts: 42
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    Hi savingholmes - at the moment the plan is to pay a large proportion of the debts off, keep a safety net and then put the remainder into improving our ‘forever’ home. Without this lump sum we wouldn’t be in a position to do so without getting into big long term debt so we need to put it to good use - I’m determined not to fritter it away.

    MSE actions from the weekend - sinking funds listed (will start with these once the house sales completed and we’ re no longer paying 2 mortgages), refund has finally been received (and used to pay the utility bill at the empty house) and I’ve emailed the solicitor. Still need to sort the meal plan and fb / eBay listings.

    Really need to try and address my lack of confidence. I’ve never been particularly confident, but feel in the last 4/5 years any shred of confidence remaining has been eroded especially on a professional level. I’m desperate to find another job, but the thought of an interview absolutely terrifies me. If anybody can recommend any books, podcasts etc the might help me work on my confidence it would be very much appreciated 😊

    Right, best get the woofs and ponies sorted and then get on my way to work. Have a good day x 
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