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Single Mum - Struggling to get realistic SOA

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a single mum, albeit on the older side (turning 50 this year) with a 14 year old daughter. No Dad in the picture as he died when she was a baby and I've stayed on my own ever since, apart from gaining two cats. That may be irrelevant but they also cost money.

I've had my Light Bulb Moment and decided to tackle my debt with a DMP through Stepchange. Having scoured all the posts on the forums for the last week or so, I think I've got a good idea what to expect as this is the first month I will have stopped paying creditors, who are all expecting to get paid within the next few days.

The problem I am having is filling out the SOA as a lot of the headings on there I just don't spend on, due to lack of funds obviously. I'll jump straight in feet first and post the SOA I currently have and welcome all your advice on how to tweak it.

[font=courier new][b]Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet[/b][b]

Household Information[/b]
Number of adults in household........... 1
Number of children in household......... 1
Number of cars owned.................... 1[b]

Monthly Income Details[/b]
Monthly income after tax................ 1441.65
Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
Benefits................................ 83.46
Other income............................ 75[b]
Total monthly income.................... 1600.11[/b][b]

Monthly Expense Details[/b]
Mortgage................................ 0
Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
Rent.................................... 429.32
Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
Council tax............................. 167
Electricity............................. 60
Gas..................................... 80
Oil..................................... 0
Water rates............................. 0
Telephone (land line)................... 0
Mobile phone............................ 52.6
TV Licence.............................. 13.25
Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
Internet Services....................... 28.5
Groceries etc. ......................... 100
Clothing................................ 8.74
Petrol/diesel........................... 50
Road tax................................ 14.43
Car Insurance........................... 38.74
Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 4.57
Car parking............................. 0
Other travel............................ 0
Childcare/nursery....................... 0
Other child related expenses............ 53
Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
Buildings insurance..................... 0
Contents insurance...................... 0
Life assurance ......................... 0
Other insurance......................... 0
Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 25
Haircuts................................ 0
Entertainment........................... 69.98
Holiday................................. 86.5
Emergency fund.......................... 0
Bank Account Fee........................ 17
Experian................................ 14.99[b]
Total monthly expenses.................. 1313.62[/b]
[b]

Assets[/b]
Cash.................................... 15
House value (Gross)..................... 0
Shares and bonds........................ 0
Car(s).................................. 500
Other assets............................ 0[b]
Total Assets............................ 515[/b]
[b]
No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts[/b]

[b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
Paypal Credit..................966.83....32.5......40.42
Aqua CC........................2187.01...87.68.....40.42
Tesco CC.......................595.82....30........22.9
CSL (Debt Collectors)..........0.........25........0
Studio Cards...................393.1.....31.45.....59.9
La Redoute Catalogue...........68.35.....6.........39.9
FashionWorldCatalogue..........2129.28...90.95.....59.9
Simply Be Catalogue............2019.67...94.65.....69.9
Zable CC.......................498.04....25........37.15
118 118 CC.....................1492.33...100.4.....38.8
Think Money CC.................181.51....15........34.08
Capital One CC.................187.04....15........26.4
Fluid CC.......................447.11....34.01.....51.29[b]
Total unsecured debts..........11166.09..587.64....-  [/b]

[b]
Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
Total monthly income.................... 1,600.11
Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,313.62
Available for debt repayments........... 286.49
Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 587.64[b]
Amount short for making debt repayments. -301.15[/b]

[b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
Total assets (things you own)........... 515
Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
Total Unsecured debt.................... -11,166.09[b]
Net Assets.............................. -10,651.09[/b]

[i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using Firefox browser.[/i][/font]

Thank you for looking.

«13456711

Comments

  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,145 Forumite
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    I have seen a few of these on here and you don't look to bad to me although Im no expert 

    Your rent looks low but council looks high why is that ?

    Energy good but mobile could be cut by a lot, is it on contract ? That needs to stop with a cheap phone and sim only at less than £10 a month

    Internet could be cheaper too.

    Why are you paying Experian £15 a month ? 

    If you are only spending £100 a month on groceries where does the other £495.82  go on Tesco 

    Do without holidays for a year. Make sacrifices 

    Buy the look of your credit cards you need to rein back on spending 

    £11,000 debt will soon come down with a little effort it could be cleared in 12 months 
  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,158 Forumite
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    As I understand it there is a balance of £595 on the tesco credit card. What is your limit? If you are within your limit you could look at shifting debt from the high interest catalogue debt, because at the moment things are costing you a lot more than the ticket price.
    Phones are the biggie. Is it 1 or 2? And how long is your contract? Unless your phone stops working you don't need to replace it every time the network offers you a new contract. Once you have reached your minimum term shop around, but keep an eye on how much data you actually need, and whether you can cur down on the cat videos.
    What is the situation with your phone contract/contracts?
  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
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    Hi MikeJXE,
    The council tax is an overpayment for the next few months as I had missed a few payments. It was £97 before that. I don't know what it will be from April I'm afraid.

    The mobile is for two contract phones for me and my daughter, but I will have to find out when the contracts run out.

    I've always had an Experian subscription for as long as I can remember, to keep an eye on my score, and much to my shame, search for new credit cards in the past.

    I'm not sure what you mean about 'where does the other £495.82  go on Tesco'? The Tesco credit card can be used anywhere, not just Tesco and I would often use other credit cards to pay  the other catalogue payments, paying for credit with credit.

  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    As I understand it there is a balance of £595 on the tesco credit card. What is your limit? If you are within your limit you could look at shifting debt from the high interest catalogue debt, because at the moment things are costing you a lot more than the ticket price.
    Phones are the biggie. Is it 1 or 2? And how long is your contract? Unless your phone stops working you don't need to replace it every time the network offers you a new contract. Once you have reached your minimum term shop around, but keep an eye on how much data you actually need, and whether you can cur down on the cat videos.
    What is the situation with your phone contract/contracts?

    Hi savergrant,
    The limit on the card is £600, totally maxed out.
    I've answered the phone questions in my previous post, and to be honest, I don't need data at all. My phone is used as a phone, and just that. I never use it for entertainment at all. Just talk and text, occasionally an email, and the banking apps.
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,145 Forumite
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    Hi MikeJXE,
    The council tax is an overpayment for the next few months as I had missed a few payments. It was £97 before that. I don't know what it will be from April I'm afraid.

    The mobile is for two contract phones for me and my daughter, but I will have to find out when the contracts run out.

    I've always had an Experian subscription for as long as I can remember, to keep an eye on my score, and much to my shame, search for new credit cards in the past.

    I'm not sure what you mean about 'where does the other £495.82  go on Tesco'? The Tesco credit card can be used anywhere, not just Tesco and I would often use other credit cards to pay  the other catalogue payments, paying for credit with credit.

    You can find out what your council tax will be if you know what band you are in and looking at your rent it should be low, the £97 seems more like it 

    If you look on here regarding credit scores you will find the score is worthless so therefore the money you pay Experian is a waste 

    Sorry I didn't clock Tesco was a credit card 

    You will be fine if you cut down on your card spending, it's about discipline for you and your daughter. I know what daughters are like, not from my own but I have 3 granddaughters 


  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
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    Thanks MikeJXE,
    I do know there are some free sites like Experian, do they all do the same? And are they all a waste of time?

  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,145 Forumite
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    Experian is free. 

    You can get your credit score every month but all CRA scores are apparently worthless according to the experts on here,  only you can see the score not the lenders 

    You don't need that score to help you. Just tell yourself it's bad and you need to cut down spending, every little helps. 

    Get a budget together either on paper or a spread sheet. Keep check on your spending and ask yourself Do I really need that 

    Good luck
  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
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    My credit score isn't just bad, it's minus 37!! (-37).

    Having just checked my phone contracts, mine is £13 a month, sim plan only, and ends in March this year. My daughters however costs £44 (plus picture texts extra) a month on an unlimited plan, but doesn't end until March 2024. How on earth did I not notice that price difference! I'm stuck with that price for another year. :(
  • bekah89
    bekah89 Posts: 421 Forumite
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    Hey, I check my credit score on ClearScore and it’s pretty good. It also tells me how likely I am to be approved for new credit cards when I’ve looked at getting a new one for a balance transfer. You can check your score on MSE too. The scores vary from site to site but yes pretty much all do the same. 
    Looks like a DMP was a good decision some of those interest rates are extortionate! Stepchange are really good. 
    Maybe cut down on the holiday budget. Good to have an entertainment budget though, as not having anything to spend on things/going out can be soul destroying! 
    Also an emergency fund might be a good idea so you don’t have to spend more on the cards. Even just saving a small amount each month working up to £500 is a good buffer

    good luck on your journey! 
    March NSD 14/15

    Debt £9607.54/£11296.89
    CC2:£2274.64/£2299.36 CC3: £1848/£1924.91 CC4:£25/£978.50 CC5: £1155/£1331.24 CC6: £3754.90/£4191.09 CC7: £550/£607.39
    CC1: paid off 14/02/23

    PAYDBXMAS23 #4 £1432.74/£4000
    Saving for Xmas 23 £30/£365
    4.94% £570.89/£107 
    make £2023 in 2023 #24 £71.24/£2023
  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    Hi bekah89,
    I do get alerts from a firm called Credit karma, but I can't remember signing up for that.
    The holiday budget is fixed I'm afraid as it is at Butlins, and has to be paid in full before June as we go in August, and that is the remaining cost spread monthly.
    I haven't actually spoke to Step Change yet, just poked around the website, but I've heard they are great.
    I'm hoping to put the payments that I'm stopping paying the creditors into the emergency fund. :)
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