Financially Astute Like Dwight Schrute!

Hi everyone!

Years ago I had a debt free diary here - which is now long gone. I have been in and out of debt for years but my life really changed in 2019-2021 and now I'm working really hard towards my financial freedom. I have 2 credit card debts I am currently tackling, with one cleared. The debt was surgery for my husband (dental) as we were given two options - pull all his teeth out, use dentures & he will suffer facial bone loss OR pay privately, implants, bone grafts, crowns & only lose a few of his teeth (he had 50% of his teeth left). We chose the surgery, so here we are.

I operate a mix of cash envelope budgeting for things like annual renewals, appointments like haircuts and using 'spaces' in Starling bank for my bills and each direct debit is assigned to a space. I keep a pretty strict money spreadsheet. My husband is self-employed, and he's really built his business up the past year and now we are what I'd deem to be the most financially stable I've ever been. I am disabled as of 2019 when I became unwell and was diagnosed with a blood disease and my illness left me with paralysis in one of my legs, I'm so thankful my husband stayed with me! We recently got married (and had an unassisted wedding day where I even walked down the aisle and had a dance!) and had a honeymoon - we cash flowed the honeymoon and had the best time. 

I have just accepted delivery of a new motability vehicle, and sold my own car to my grandmother - this paid off a debt as I did have one more credit card in addition to the below. I plan to use this diary to keep myself in check and up to date with my finances. I do have a finance instagram that's anonymous and I update there too, I find if I have somewhere where I see others doing well with their journeys I get motivated with mine! My next post will be the financial plan for this week! See below for my general outgoings. 

Income:
ESA: £228 every fortnight
PIP: £240 every 4 weeks (mobility element covers my Motability vehicle)
Husband's Income Varies, but averages £800-£1000 per week. 

Household outgoings:
Rent: £725 pcm
Energy: £144.74 pcm (our tariff ended during the crisis, bad luck so this was our cheapest fix)
Council Tax: £176 pcm (will reduce to £100 pcm in April)
Water: £41 pcm
Broadband: £31.75 pcm (will be reducing this to around £17pcm in May)
Mobile Phone 1: £15 PCM
Mobile Phone 2: £23 PCM (will be reduced to sim only in 10 months)
Storage Unit (Business Expense but we still have to pay): £65 PCM
Contents Insurance: £10 pcm (renewal has been cash stuffed already so this is now done)
Fuel: £200 pcm (again, business expense but we have to pay for it before expensing the business mileage, I have an electric car and get free charging through Motability so none for me)

Debt:
Debt 1: Barclaycard Credit Card 0% Balance: £6,770.00
Debt 2: MBNA Credit Card 0% Balance: £7,213.49
Debt 3: NatWest Credit Card 0% Balance: £0 - Just cleared £5,656. 

Comments

  • I used today to catch up! I cooked up some food we had in the freezer as I had no time to cook fresh. We are hippy veggies/vegans and we operate a grocery budget of £200 each month as I'm home all the time usually so I eat at home 3 times a day, we freeze meals for when I am poorly with my disease so we don't get takeaways or do expensive shops on the way home from places. I do Iceland, Tesco & whole food deliveries as I struggle to walk round shops on my own when my husband is at work. Yesterday we had veggie risotto I'd frozen and tomorrow it's a coconut curry. Today I didn't have dinner as I just didn't feel up to eating :(

    Here's the plan for tomorrow:
    Pay in £700 leftover from the sale of my car and pay it off my MBNA card.
    Post my cousin's birthday present 1st class as it's late. 
    Charge my car up at the local shopping centre and go to Boots to get my husband a new razor blade head for his electric razor.
    Get some ground coffee from a local roaster on the market (we have a filter coffee machine and use it daily, best investment ever we got it on eBay brand new but opened and it's saved us a LOT of money on coffees my husband would buy out and about.
    Round to my husband's grandparents to check their hospital bed delivery has gone okay.

    Today I had my first 'day off' in a long time, I don't work but I am assisting social services care for my husband's grandma who has terminal cancer. It's been a really hard week of getting her care plan in place as it's all relatively new, my health is suffering (not complaining about it, but it's factually just low right now) so today I cleaned our pets enclosure, finished the mountain of washing we had, caught up on bookkeeping and invoices & had a bath. It was so nice to have a few moments to myself after such a stressful week. 

    I've done the financial plan for the rest of March, husband is on a contract this month so we get a reasonable idea of what he can expect to be paid, it's looking like in addition to the £700 I've mentioned above we'll be paying an estimated £2k of debt, my husband does have debt of his own but he is just paying the minimum each month as we are focusing on mine first - it's all 0% interest. He gives me £250 a week towards my debt as it's of course his surgery and our finances are shared (but we both contribute to bills etc). I should also mention he's giving me his tax rebate in April which calculates out to roughly £2.8-£3.5k depending on wether some expected expenses are going to happen before or after the end of the tax year (waiting for dates for courses he wants to do for extra qualifications). We are aiming for me to be out of debt by September this year, and for him to consequently be out of debt by January 2023. If we can do that, we are then aiming for a sinking fund for his business of £3-£5k by April 2023 just in case he needs to do any expensive qualifications as he's in a field that changes all the time. For now, the only saving we are doing is we each pay £50 each month in to a help to save account, as we get a 50% top-up on that, we qualified for the account when he was in his self employment start up period, we plan to leave the money in there for the full 4 years and then we are going to put it towards either a house deposit or immigration costs for... Canada! We dream of living in Vancouver as we have friends there! 
  • Aaleigha
    Aaleigha Posts: 615 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Combo Breaker
    Good luck with everything 
    You seem to have it all under control 
    I think it is a good idea to pay off the 0% cards before interest sets in 
    You have set yourself great targets 

    And although disabled great attitude to life 
    And what a great target you have living in Canada 
    It should help you stick with your plans as it's something you both really want 
    Emergency fund £10,000
    Several categories with savings in
    Cars, house maintenance, birthdays
    Etc I have about 10 categories

    Really happy to be debt free after being a compulsive spender
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