Drowning in £16k of poor decisions

Hi All,

I thought I would start this diary for some accountability and I am hoping that as things start to slowly improve I will also be able to see the progress I am making.

A bit of context - I am in my 30's with two children (7 & 12) and working full-time, whilst I have a good income I have made very poor decisions when it comes to finances.  I spend it before I earn it, and this resulted in the majority of my debt being on CCs.  I have been debt busting on and off for the last few years as I did become concerned with how much we were living beyond our means, and my aim is to clear my cards and buy a house.  

Whilst I haven't been great with money the last two years or so have really become out of hand, my relationship was emotionally turbulent and some of the spending I think was emotional and at other times also  stop arguments.  I know that sounds strange but e.g I was popping out with friends so then I would order a takeaway so OH didn't need to cook, something would be broken and rather than save up and then replace I would just order another one even in one case a £600 freezer.  Up until recently I have been living with my partner and we have had 2 incomes, we have since parted and now I have found myself trying to juggle all the repayments on my own and the numbers are very scary.

I have totalled the figures and I currently have £15,669.30 in debt s  approx. £6.5K of this is 0% and the rest is relatively high interest.

I have looked at cancelling everything non-essential that is not under contract e.g Netflix, Spotify subscriptions however my outgoings are approx £2000 p/m.  This includes Utilities, afterschool clubs for the kids and all my CC repayments etc.  I haven't sorted any maintenance payments with the DS dad  but think this will be approx £200 p/m which I am hoping will cover food shops for three of us for the month.  I can just about cover everything if I am VERY careful, so I need to learn some new habits like meal planning and buying 2nd hand but also want to try raise some money along the way to clear things down quicker.

I hope some of you will want to follow along, as I aim to be posting quite often and the support would be great!!!

 3 
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Comments

  • I've subscribed to cheer you along, would recommend you add a SoA so we can see where you might be able to cut back, as well as batch cooking... slow cookers allow for cheaper cuts of meat too so it's a win-win.  

    Many of us have been in your shoes, and are at various points in our journey.  You'll get lots of support and advice here!
    LMD x
    Life gets in the way...PADding is addictive...Saving's better than spending...
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    Sealed pot 2024 £2551.68 | EF £1000/£1000 | Sabbatical £970/£3000 | Holiday spends £540 | General Saver £2422.48
  • Here's the link to the SoA - complete it as accurately and honestly as you can and then post the results here for forum members to give you the best advice. 

    https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/financecalculators/soa.php 
    Life gets in the way...PADding is addictive...Saving's better than spending...
    2024 1p challenge #11 | Cash envelope challenge #01 | SPC #017
    Sealed pot 2024 £2551.68 | EF £1000/£1000 | Sabbatical £970/£3000 | Holiday spends £540 | General Saver £2422.48
  • Thanks @LittleMissDetermined !!

    I am planning on contacting my mobile, tv provider etc today and getting my contract end dates, then I am going to post my SOA as these are the main thing I can cancel and cut back on, but are contracted. 

    I already have a slow cooker so going to meal plan today for next week, I dont like SC mince so spag bol and chilly etc are a no go, but curries etc always go down a treat Xx
  • Morning!!

    Its a not a bad day here by the looks of things, a bit grey and windy but I will take anything other than rain.  Dog walked and first wash of the day on.  Quite a busy day for us today, I am starting off with some cleaning for the next hour or so then me and DS1 are going swimming.  Its £11.50, but his older brother has been away all this weekend so I had promised him a treat, in comparison to the local trampoline park I was quite happy with the saving.

    I have a parcel to return and have sold something on V1nted so going to get that packed ready for printing tomorrow when I get into work. I am hoping to get three or four more bits uploaded today.  I am then going out for a meal tonight for my nieces birthday (been arranged for months) but as its just me and one of the kids it should be a lot cheaper than what I was expecting although I am paying for her rather than a birthday present xx

  • Thanks @LittleMissDetermined !!

    I am planning on contacting my mobile, tv provider etc today and getting my contract end dates, then I am going to post my SOA as these are the main thing I can cancel and cut back on, but are contracted. 

    I already have a slow cooker so going to meal plan today for next week, I dont like SC mince so spag bol and chilly etc are a no go, but curries etc always go down a treat Xx
    You could make a ragu sauce instead of bolognese with diced steak, same with chilli.  I think it soaks in more flavour that way.  we also like a steak and ale casserole, sausage casserole and stews. I've also done macaroni cheese in mine :) 
    LMD x
    Life gets in the way...PADding is addictive...Saving's better than spending...
    2024 1p challenge #11 | Cash envelope challenge #01 | SPC #017
    Sealed pot 2024 £2551.68 | EF £1000/£1000 | Sabbatical £970/£3000 | Holiday spends £540 | General Saver £2422.48
  • Yeah I might try the diced steak, I dont like the texture of the mince but we love the meal so thats great thankyou x 
  • Legs21
    Legs21 Posts: 251 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I don’t like mince in the SC either as it tends to go powdery so I fry the mince off before putting it in the SC.
    MFW 2022 #71  £4400/£4400
  • Morning,
    just wanted to say good luck with your journey.
    Hope the meal out was lovely
    Halifax CC April 21 £3176.24 Now £0 PAID OFF
    PO loan May 21 £6804.36 Now £0 PAID OFF
    H loan May 21 £8961.84 Now £0 PAID OFF
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    Total Debt May 21 £20,490.44  DEBT FREE DATE 29/7/22 

    Mortgage balance May 21 £177,096.19. Now £151,258.92
    Mortgage free date. At start of sole mortgage = July 2042

    SAVINGS FOCUS - get rid of the car finance. Savings balance/outstanding balance = £6885.90/£15,631.25
  • CRANKY40
    CRANKY40 Posts: 5,755 Forumite
    Debt-free and Proud! Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    You don't have to slow cook mince. Bolognese sauce takes half an hour to cook so you could put that on the hob before you serve that night's meal then leave it in a tub in the fridge for the next night. The next night you can prep the curry and leave the slow cooker stuff in it's bowl in the fridge ready to put on the next day and so on. Make enought bolognese sauce to freeze a few portions (make it go further by throwing a small handful of red lentils in, they'll never notice) and that will make an easy dinner another night when you need a break. 
  • Squirrelz92
    Squirrelz92 Posts: 712 Forumite
    First Anniversary Debt-free and Proud! First Post Photogenic
    Hii, popping on to your diary to cheer you on with your journey to becoming debt free. I have also recently started my DF journey :) You will smash it I am sure. 

    Do you have any mini goals with your current debt eg. to clear £1000 by such a date? Do you keep track of your contributions towards your debt regularly? x
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