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Let the Journey Begin…..

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So here we go, first step in the right direction - I’m determined to get my finances sorted once and for all.

A little bit about me:
I’m a mid 40’s mum of one, living with my OH and son. I’ve been in debt on and off since I decided the student overdraft being offered to my naive 18 year old self was a good idea. It really is a slippery slope.

My debt this time round has come about as a result of fire fighting. I’ve never had the money available for the emergencies that crop up such as car repairs (and purchases), broken white goods, vets bills, I could go on. The bottom line is we pretty much spend everything we earn. Not a good position to be in. I’m determined to change my money mindset.

I’ve felt over the last 3 years or so that my life has been spiralling out of control. There  just doesn’t seem to be enough hours in the day or enough energy in my engine to get everything done that is needed. My house is in a permanent state of chaos, my diet is appalling and this has had a knock on effect with my weight and fitness. I’ve always loved exercise, especially running and I’m so cross at myself for letting myself get into such as state that it is no longer enjoyable. It’s time for a change and to start taking charge of my own destiny again 🌟
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Comments

  • enthusiasticsaver
    enthusiasticsaver Posts: 15,739 Ambassador
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
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    Well done for deciding to turn things around.

    My advice would be to do an soa to start with so you can figure out how bad or good things are with your finances. Getting out of the mindset of using credit is a good start as is doing a budget which the soa will help with and starting an emergency savings account. Taking control will help you feel less anxious. 

    I’m a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on the Debt free Wannabe, Budgeting and Banking and Savings and Investment boards. If you need any help on these boards, do let me know. Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any posts you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button, or by emailing forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
  • BadBookkeeper
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    Just posted to say hi, our age/family life etc sound similar.  Totally agree with you about not having enough time and energy to do everything.  Good luck on your journey and well done on taking the first step. 
    Lightbulb moment - 17/08/2017 £17,033.  Current CC debt £1050 DFD 31/7/24 2 months to go…. 8 weeks 

  • Taking_back_control
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    Thanks both. And thanks for the link enthusiasticsaver - I will give it a go.

    Just had notification from our energy supplier that they are putting our gas payments up from £40 to £129 per month. The account is currently in credit. It is what it is at the minute, not a great deal we can do other than be mindful of what we are using.

    I thought it may be useful to list a few things I’ve done / am doing so far, most are minor but every little helps….
    1. Cards are 0%
    2. Dogs meds are on prescription saving approx £20 per month
    3. Giftcards purchased via work give cashback - used for food shopping / petrol - average approx £30 a month in cashback. Plan is to use this for Christmas. 
    4. Amazon shopper app - scan 10 receipts a month for £5 Amazon card.
    5. Well being app at work rewards steps / workouts / meditation with points that can be used towards vouchers - average about £10 per month.
    6. Sell unwanted items / clothes on fb / Vinted / eBay. 
    7. Vinted is first port of call if I need a new item of clothing for myself or DS
    8. Annual passes for local attractions purchased as Christmas / Birthday presents = low cost days out during school holidays. We definitely get more than our monies worth.

    Things I know I need to do…..
    1. Meal plan - both from a financial point of view and for weight management.
    2. Declutter - there is so much I could sell on especially in the run up to Christmas.
    3. I’m fairly good at shopping around on insurance / bills etc but need to watch the non planned spends such as trips to home bargains / B&M
    4. Create pots or envelopes for routine spends such as birthdays / Christmas/ car maintenance/ vets bills / emergencies/ school trips & uniform.

    I’m sure there’s loads more but will add to the lists as I think of them.

    Todays job is to sit with my notebook and have a massive brain dump to try and get down on paper all the thoughts whirling around my head to help take baby steps to reduce my mental and financial overwhelm.
    wish me luck 🤣



  • gd55
    gd55 Posts: 145 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Well done for getting your head round everything and seeking out all those ways to make your money go further. You got this!

    My debt-free diary: Go your own way

    Save £10k in 2024 #10 £6,945.87/£10,000

    Save £12k in 2023 #20 £7,040.55/£12,000
  • Taking_back_control
    Options
    Thanks gd55.

    So following on from my email regarding my gas account, I received one yesterday saying that my electricity was going up by £50 a month. Not unexpected, but frustrating all the same. Both accounts as they stand are in credit and the £66 payment from the government will help buffer it slightly. Just need to keep an eye on what is being used, which is isn’t easy when the display box for the electricity smart meter isn’t working! Will add chasing it up (again!) to my list for next week! 

    I started my brain dump and listed all the things that need doing around the house - whether it’s cleaning, decluttering, diy, purchases etc and also the things that I enjoy doing that I want to do more of.  My aim is to spend a minimum of 2x 15 mins a day on stuff for I want to do and 2 x 15 mins on stuff I need to do. I have a tendency to think stuff takes longer than it actually does and 15 minutes is a short enough period of time to keep me focused and to be able to pause the shouts of ‘Mummy!!!’ We’ll see how it goes….

    Todays brain dump will be ways to save / make extra money…..

    Christmas shopping is well underway here. I’ve just ordered a gift set from Boots for my friends teenage son that was half price meaning that I had enough boots points to cover the cost - love a freebie! 

    I’ve also just ordered November’s supermarket gift card earning another £25 in cashback. I’ve also use my empty Tesco credit card to pay for it (I clear it straightaway) so that I get Clubcard points. Tesco isn’t my usual supermarket, but in using the credit card in this manner I’ve managed a couple of free / v.cheap days out over the summer by accumulating Clubcard vouchers this way.

    I’ve dipped my toe in Vinted selling and have managed to get rid of a couple of coats DS has outgrown. I should receive £15 once payment has cleared. I’ve got a few other bits lined up to try and get rid of if these payments clear ok.


  • joedenise
    joedenise Posts: 16,710 Forumite
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    @Taking_back_control - we had the same problem with our IHD monitor and in order to sort it out we had to unplug it, take the batteries out and leave it for a while - I think we left it about half hour - then put the batteries back in and plug back in - the display then started showing both gas and electric again.  Worth a try?

  • BadBookkeeper
    BadBookkeeper Posts: 675 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    edited 22 October 2022 at 11:16AM
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    A good tip someone gave me when I started budgeting was this Christmas keep a list of all Christmas related spends - everything from presents, cards, wrapping, socialising, Christmas jumpers, school concerts, food, drink, advent calendars, Christmas Eve boxes, decorations etc and you’ll have a better idea when you start your 2023 budget.  My credit card was used far too much to cover Christmas even when I saved for it but when I wrote everything I’d spent one year, I was way out all the little extra bits really add up.  So now I save a more realistic monthly amount and it’s so much more pleasurable spending when you know it’s saved for.  I think it also makes you really think about what your spending when it’s your hard earned and hard saved money rather than the banks! Sounds like your making brilliant progress.  
    Lightbulb moment - 17/08/2017 £17,033.  Current CC debt £1050 DFD 31/7/24 2 months to go…. 8 weeks 

  • gd55
    gd55 Posts: 145 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Thanks gd55.

    I started my brain dump and listed all the things that need doing around the house - whether it’s cleaning, decluttering, diy, purchases etc and also the things that I enjoy doing that I want to do more of.  My aim is to spend a minimum of 2x 15 mins a day on stuff for I want to do and 2 x 15 mins on stuff I need to do. I have a tendency to think stuff takes longer than it actually does and 15 minutes is a short enough period of time to keep me focused and to be able to pause the shouts of ‘Mummy!!!’ We’ll see how it goes….

    I love this 15-minute chunk idea and committing to things you need to, and probably don't want to, do. Am stealing it! 😁

    My debt-free diary: Go your own way

    Save £10k in 2024 #10 £6,945.87/£10,000

    Save £12k in 2023 #20 £7,040.55/£12,000
  • Taking_back_control
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    Another week…. Can’t believe we’re heading towards the end of October already. I do love this time of year though - the beautiful autumn colours, family birthdays, halloween, bonfire night and Christmas. Lots of fun family time.

    @g@gd55 steal away 😊, it’s really helping me to get back on top of things. It’s really surprising how much you can actually get done. Last night for example whilst I was waiting for the oven to warm up I managed to hoover the hall and living room, clear the worktops in the kitchen, feed the dogs, empty the bin and do a sink of pots - time I’d have probably have spent scrolling on my phone as I wouldn’t ordinarily have seen it as long enough to be worth doing anything! Set the that timer and go!

    @j@joedenise thanks for your suggestion- I’ve given it a whirl but no luck unfortunately. Will get onto the energy company again today. I don’t think it’s great leaving people without the capability to monitor their usage with the recent price hikes - seems it’s quite a widespread issue with our supplier.

    Not much to report moneywise. We didn’t have chance to do a food shop this weekend. OH gets paid on Thursday so may try an eek it out until then. Will need milk and teabags though - priorities! 

    I did do so work on what sinking funds I need going forward. Will start them from January. I’ve got Christmas, birthdays, pets, school uniform/trips etc, car, holiday and emergency fund - are there any obvious ones I’ve missed? 

    Right best sign off for know. Working from home today and what to make the most of an early start.

    Have a great day 


  • BadBookkeeper
    Options
    I did do so work on what sinking funds I need going forward. Will start them from January. I’ve got Christmas, birthdays, pets, school uniform/trips etc, car, holiday and emergency fund - are there any obvious ones I’ve missed? 


    How about one for regular appointments? I have one for dentist/ haircuts & optician. 

    Beautiful time of year isn’t it! 
    Lightbulb moment - 17/08/2017 £17,033.  Current CC debt £1050 DFD 31/7/24 2 months to go…. 8 weeks 

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