Pinching Pennies

daintydaisy
daintydaisy Posts: 85
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edited 16 January at 7:27AM in Debt free diaries
Hi everyone 

I have been reading through a few blogs on here so thought I’d take the plunge and hold myself accountable! 

A few things before I begin this blog:

I’m a student. I get a maintenance loan and work part time, so times are a little hard during term time. I can work full time during the summer months but this year have been a little daft with money. I will be going into my 2nd year of uni in Sept. 

I live with my SO and we recently purchased a house in Feb ‘22. The remainder of our mortgage sits around the £190,000 mark. Being mortgage free isn’t a priority at the minute as we have other debt to clear and other goals we want to fulfil. We are also still relatively young (late 20s) so want to worry about that later in life.  I hope that starting this blog will encourage me to persevere with paying off my debt, and allow me to budget better and overall have more control over my outgoings/savings. 

Now, let’s move on to the juicy bit… the debt 😬
In comparison to most people this probably isn’t a lot, but it’s enough to make me uncomfortable especially as a student with a part time job. I will round up these amounts to begin with as I’m unsure of the exact amount just yet (still waiting for payments to clear). 

CC: £1000
Other debt: £1200
SO loan: £353

Total: £1553

The CC is on 0% until 6th December 2022. The other debt is a buy-now-pay-later which if I pay before July 2023 I will be charged no interest on (although the downside is I do have to pay a £30 upfront cost). The SO “loan” (I was unsure what else to call is) is money that I owe my partner for flights for a holiday and a foot stool that we bought for our house.

As it stands, my only savings are my “Emergency Savings” which is currently sat at £175. I will probably have to dip out of that as I have overspent this month already, and with another 2 weeks until payday and petrol/groceries to buy it isn’t looking too promising. 😬 

I will post more detail tomorrow once I can sit down and work out my monthly expenses, but I look forward to sharing my journey here. Special shout-out to @Mx_Emmin as their blog inspired me to begin my own debt free journey. 

P.s: I believe it should be obligatory for each cat owner to provide cat tax, so here is our little cutie Todd!! 


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Comments

  • MSE_Laura_F
    MSE_Laura_F Posts: 1,567
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    Very best wishes for your debt-free journey, @daintydaisy.

    Todd is a gorgeous fella.  <3
  • Woke up this morning to some semi-positive news, I have won £10 on the postcode lottery... however, I have been paying into it since we moved in Feb (£70 total) and only received £20 back so I have arranged to cancel this as there are clearly more important things to assign that money to. I have also requested to cancel my gym membership as I haven't been in over a month now and have been enjoying regular walks instead, although this takes 30 days to cancel so won't come into effect until next month.

    I'm not very technical when it comes to spreadsheets but I thought I'd have a go at writing down my expenses/debt/savings so I can keep an eye on everything in one place. I've also raked through my Apple Pay history, cc + current account transactions so I think I may have worked out my total monthly expenses of which I'll list below...

    Mortgage£350.00
    Shared Pot£40.00
    Trussel Trust£2.50
    Pet Insurance£12.97
    Prescription£9.35
    Phone Bill£50.00
    Gym£27.00
    Beauty£36.00
    Postcode Lottery£10.00
    Car Payment£30.50
    Klarna£45.27
    Groceries£160.00
    Petrol£40.00
    iCloud£2.49
    FFXIV Sub£8.00
    Manga£1.99
    Crunchyroll£4.99
    Todd Food & Litter£15 
    Amazon prime£4 
    Birthday of the Month£10 
    Oops£20 
    Total£880.05

    I forgot to include my Klarna payments in my last post, so the total due for that is 90.54 which should be paid off in 2 months time. I have noticed there are a few things on this list that aren't really a priority, and stuff I don't really use much (e.g. manga/crunchyroll). I think I may cancel both of these so next month isn't as tight. In addition, I have added 2 new categories: birthday of the month (as there is always a birthday each month, either in my family or my SO's or at work!), and something I have called the "oops" fund, which will basically go towards any unexpected surprises regarding finances. The shared pot is something my partner and I do, so that we have a back up fund incase of a date night/event/emergency/expense. We currently have £34.90 in that joint account.
    I am thinking of swapping over to the annual prime subscription rather than paying monthly, as it'll save me a chunk of money when the prices increase. 

    As it stands, my total debt is at £2,643.54
    My Emergency Fund is at £175

    I have £38 (+£10 from postcode lottery, so £48) left in my current account until payday in 2 weeks. I should only need to fill my car up once in that time (£10) and will need to grocery shop, so although it will be tight... I may manage to get through this month without dipping into my Emergency Fund. Fingers crossed. 

    The goal, over time, is to increase my Emergency Fund back up to around £3k (it was 2.5k prior to moving), have pots each month to cover expenses like birthdays/christmas/holiday fund and have separate pots for long term (true?) expenses like car insurance etc. 

    I feel like this will take some getting used to, and hopefully when I'm next paid in 2 weeks I will find it easier allocating my money to different places, but this is a good starting point. 
  • joedenise
    joedenise Posts: 16,418
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    Are these expenses your half and your SO pays the same amount?  Main reason for asking is the Groceries - if that is your half and your SO puts in £160 as well that's £320 a month for  2 people which is a lot.  My DH and I spend less than £250 and we're not as frugal as we could be!  It's an area where we will probably need to cut down come autumn/winter when the energy costs rise significantly.

  • For the last post, I mistyped my car payment and it should be £122.04 which takes the total expenses to £971.59.

    joedenise said:
    Are these expenses your half and your SO pays the same amount?  Main reason for asking is the Groceries - if that is your half and your SO puts in £160 as well that's £320 a month for  2 people which is a lot.  My DH and I spend less than £250 and we're not as frugal as we could be!  It's an area where we will probably need to cut down come autumn/winter when the energy costs rise significantly.

    Hello! Thank you for reading and replying.
    I would estimate that this is what we spend monthly at the moment, although this includes us not being smart with our money and as I work in a shop I tend to buy more crap (sweets crisps biscuits etc). Groceries also includes items like laundry/cleaning products and the like. I’m hoping to eventually reduce this down to £40pw for us both but won’t really know exactly until next payday! 
    Just had the discussion with my partner about the ever increasing energy costs and have heard the cap is going up to £4,500 come October… hopefully we will have a better handle on our finances by then. 

    I should also mention my SO has a significantly higher paying job than me so contributes a larger amount to the mortgage/bills which I am aware is a very privileged position to be in. He is also in around 6k worth of debt from us moving but is around halfway to paying it off. We class our debts as separate to avoid confusion. 
  • Changed my savings account to a Regular Saver with 1.25% interest (compared to the 0.25% I had prior). 
    Have transferred my Emergency Fund to over there as I don’t want to be tempted to dip into it. I am due a refund (£27) so hoping that will tide me over if there are any unexpected expenses. 


  • Good luck dainty daisy ! I’m sure you will smash it and once you finish uni you know your income will increase.
    £6000 - Santander
    £2500 - Barclaycard
  • Have you checked if you can fudge things to get student prime? I'm sure I got a year of it for free when I was still a student. I don't know if that will work if you already have prime though.

    I will pay my cat tax later, promise. :)
    Save £12k in 2024 #29
    January take lunch to work goal - 13 of 19
  • Good luck dainty daisy ! I’m sure you will smash it and once you finish uni you know your income will increase.
    Thank you so much! Still seems so far away but at least there’s a silver lining! 

    Have you checked if you can fudge things to get student prime? I'm sure I got a year of it for free when I was still a student. I don't know if that will work if you already have prime though.

    I will pay my cat tax later, promise. :)
    Hi there! Thanks for reading - I have student prime (3.99pm) but rounded it up to £4 to save worrying about the penny haha! I’m planning on paying the annual price for prime before the prices hike in Sept (to hopefully save a few quid!) 

    looking forward to the cat tax! :)
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,854
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    Good luck on your journey 
    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
  • Good luck on your journey 
    Thank you! And same to you - looks like you’re doing great from what I can see in your signature :) 

    bit of an update today:
    even though I cancelled my postcode lottery, the payment for this month came out of my bank leaving me with £28 to last me 2 weeks. I’m still awaiting the refund from some clothes I sent back but unsure when that will reach my account, so in the meantime my partner has lent me £100 to cover any expenses (like a birthday I forgot about which will cost £20-30!!)

    took my car to get cleaned today and spent £4 on that, also picked up a click and collect from t*sco which totalled around £60 and should last us just over a week hopefully. 

    This month feels chaotic with my expenses all over the place. Can’t wait to get paid so I can actually track my finances and not worry about lending money from my SO! 

    Lovely weather today so some little MSE wins:

    - Hung 3 loads of washing out.
    - partner gets rewards from his bank so we’re treating ourselves to a **free** cinema night tonight! 😊
    - have also done some cleaning round the house as my SO’s parents are staying tomorrow and have kindly offered to help us sort the garden out. 

    Have a great day all! 
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