Winds of change

So here we go, I've been a long time lurker on these boards (over a decade since discovering MSE while at uni). I've had various levels of debt and have thought many times about starting a diary but never have (perhaps I didn't really want to be accountable?)

Now it seems like the perfect time, today is the first day of my maternity leave and DH and I are expecting our first baby very soon! We have excellent timing as we recently bought our first house and I started a new job only a few months ago.

We're not high earners and baby was a bit of a surprise so we haven't saved as much as we would have liked for maternity and baby costs and we have outstanding debts. I'd love to throw everything at paying these off but I have to be realistic about managing on a reduced income.

So debts, I will detail in full later but the story is: I had a student overdraft that I could never get out of after uni with min wage jobs. Then a couple of credit cards that just spiraled. I've had a few mini light bulb moments over the years and have a much better handle on things now and have been paying off gradually over the last couple of years. 

My aim for this diary is to keep on track, keep paying off the debts, and try not to add to them! There's so much we want to do to the house and we know it's going to be a long process to get to where we want to be. There's huge changes to our lives and we need to make good financial decisions - while enjoying some quality of life.

I'm going to post on here to keep myself accountable and, hopefully to look back and see how far we've come! Thanks for reading and following along 😊
«134

Comments

  • Honeysucklelou2
    Honeysucklelou2 Posts: 4,627
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Forumite
    edited 23 August 2021 at 1:36PM
    Congratulations on the baby! 

    Love your username. You’ll find lots of support and encouragement on the DFW Diary  board.
    paydbx2024 #2 £480/£5000 . Mortgage £144k start ~ £148k Jun 23 -
    2024 savings challenge £5/£2000
    EF £140. Savings 2 £30.00. Weekly savings envelope #17
  • Congratulations on the baby! 

    Love your username. You’ll find lots of support and encouragement on the DFW Diary  board.
    Thank you! I hate choosing usernames - one reason I've not joined the forum before. So that's a lovely comment to receive.

    I've read some amazing stories on here and learnt loads, everyone has been so inspiring and supportive of each other. 
  • So our debt situation, the numbers aren't so bad but we've not had much disposable income to throw at it - and now will have even less.

    CC 1 - £1736 0% until 30/06/22
    CC 2 - £2388 0% until 31/07/22
    CC 3 - £334 0%  until  01/11/22

    CC 1 is what remains of my historical debt, built up by overspending and not paying off cards, plus my overdraft. I've chipped away at this for a while, it was around £4000 at one point. At the moment I'm paying £60 per month towards it. I won't clear it before the 0% runs out so will likely need to shuffle. 

    CC 2 is balance on a car, DH's died last year and we bought another, secondhand. We each pay £50 so £100 a month comes off in total. At that rate we will also need to look when the 0% runs out. 

    CC 3 is some course fees for DH who's looking to start a side business. He's paying £150 a month so will clear that soon.

    We may have to add to the list at some point as we want to swap my car for a cheaper one, I'm thinking we can manage with one while I'm not working and we can look at options.

    We have an emergency fund of £1000 and some small savings, around £500 left in the baby fund and £1600 maternity fund (this won't go far to cover the drop in income but its something!). We put money aside to cover annual costs like car insurance etc but I'm not sure how we'll do this from next month. 
  • AntoMac
    AntoMac Posts: 1,861
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Congratulations on your forthcoming arrival @WildflowerWind
    Our baby was unexpected too, coming after 10 years of marriage so we hadn’t prepared as well as we might have, although I did get the mortgage down to around 15K.
    Anyway, this diary is about you not me. One thing I will say and it is stating the obvious - Make sure you get your Child Benefit and any Tax Credits sorted as soon as possible.
    I think you might be quite busy pretty soon so not sure how often you’ll manage to post  ;)
    Good luck with your bet clearing as well as your baby
    27/5/17 Mort 64705 BTs 1904031/12/17 Mort 59815 BT 1673007/04/20 Mort 49208 BT 1572128/07/20 Mort 47387 BT 1263414/11/20 Mort 45905 BT 10134 20/05/21 Mort 42335 BT 686811/08/22 Mort 32050 BT 2915Sealed Pot Challenge 16 Number 5
  • AntoMac
    AntoMac Posts: 1,861
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Sorry debt clearing not bet clearing! 
    27/5/17 Mort 64705 BTs 1904031/12/17 Mort 59815 BT 1673007/04/20 Mort 49208 BT 1572128/07/20 Mort 47387 BT 1263414/11/20 Mort 45905 BT 10134 20/05/21 Mort 42335 BT 686811/08/22 Mort 32050 BT 2915Sealed Pot Challenge 16 Number 5
  • AntoMac said:
    Congratulations on your forthcoming arrival @WildflowerWind
    Our baby was unexpected too, coming after 10 years of marriage so we hadn’t prepared as well as we might have, although I did get the mortgage down to around 15K.
    Anyway, this diary is about you not me. One thing I will say and it is stating the obvious - Make sure you get your Child Benefit and any Tax Credits sorted as soon as possible.
    I think you might be quite busy pretty soon so not sure how often you’ll manage to post  ;)
    Good luck with your bet clearing as well as your baby
    Thank you. Oh its great to hear people's stories though, nicely done with the mortgage. We have a long way to go with ours but we never thought we'd even be in a position to buy so I'm very grateful for that!

    Good advice on the benefits, I've got the child benefit stuff ready and I sent my confirmation to start my maternity allowance today. I'll have to look into tax credits again, I had a feeling we weren't eligible but I'm not sure.

    Haha yes I may be pretty occupied soon! We'll see how the debt busting goes but there may be other priorities 😄
  • Not much to report today, I didn't get up to much as I decided to spend a couple of days relaxing at the start of my leave. Work had been really busy and I felt like I had lots to do leading up to my last day on Sunday, summer is our busy time and I was trying to prepare a good handover. I felt a little guilty leaving right before a bank holiday but it had got a bit uncomfortable going in every day. It's strange not knowing what's going on!

    Its pay day tomorrow, I always like to take stock and plan for the month ahead, I keep quite a strict budget in my own account but our joint account isn't managed so much. This might have to change as I won't be able to put in as much and we can't rely on a buffer in there anymore. Something to discuss with DH.

    I do need to keep active and eating well at the moment, usually I love running and play sports, and I love cooking. My job can be quite active so I need to be careful I don't just stop now I'm on leave. I am going to try taking some more regular walks and to be a bit adventurous with cooking. There's also a few bits to do to prepare for baby so plenty to keep busy with, without wearing myself out of course! 
  • CRANKY40
    CRANKY40 Posts: 5,665
    Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Forumite
    Maybe do some batch cooking if you can and make food that you can eat with just a fork while you hold a baby at the same time. Mine seemed to have some kind of inner alarm that told him to start yelling as soon as my dinner was ready. 
  • AntoMac
    AntoMac Posts: 1,861
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    Forumite
    Haha I love that you feel a bit guilty about leaving just before a Bank Holiday.  I think it’s fair to say you had a decent reason! 
    One other useful thing we did was open a savings account for our daughter as soon as we could after she was born. I know that doesn’t particularly help you pay down your own debts but it’s surprising how little bits here and there add up for them.
    27/5/17 Mort 64705 BTs 1904031/12/17 Mort 59815 BT 1673007/04/20 Mort 49208 BT 1572128/07/20 Mort 47387 BT 1263414/11/20 Mort 45905 BT 10134 20/05/21 Mort 42335 BT 686811/08/22 Mort 32050 BT 2915Sealed Pot Challenge 16 Number 5
  • Regular walks is a great idea and it helps  to get out daily  for some fresh air when the baby arrives too.
    paydbx2024 #2 £480/£5000 . Mortgage £144k start ~ £148k Jun 23 -
    2024 savings challenge £5/£2000
    EF £140. Savings 2 £30.00. Weekly savings envelope #17
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.4K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.6K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.5K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.5K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.3K Life & Family
  • 246.4K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards