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Single Mum - Struggling to get realistic SOA

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  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
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    Definitely look to change it if the only thing is breakdown. I just renewed mine for £32 for the year using comparison tool. It all adds up. 

    Make that call to stepchange ASAP as longer you leave it the more debt you'll get into. 
    Hmm, I thought I had to get all the accounts to be defaulted before getting in touch with Step Change, so the interest stops and the debt gets sold on? That has been the advice by most on other threads. Or do I tell Step Change my plan, but just hold out before actually pushing the 'go' button?

  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,188 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited 1 February 2023 at 10:08PM
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    To be honest your credit score will be influenced by the amount of debt you have relative to your income and also your payment history.
    At the moment your soa suggests you are £300 per month short, in the long run if you can cut your expenses those debts will be paid off. The problem is right now you need to cut your spending somehow, or you need to restructure the debt to reduce the monthly outgoings. Are there any local services that could help? You are actually a pretty good risk, you just have too much unsecured debt at crippling interest rates. If you can tell yourself never again will you do the catalogue debt you will be OK.
    Unfortunately right now holiday, entertainment, and presents aren't affordable, and you need to minimise your car usage. Also, if you can look into the £53 child-related expenses try to find cost savings there.
    Is there anything saleable in your wardrobe? Maybe look at decluttering with ebay or Facebook marketplace to raise some cash. In 6 months you can start to see the debt come down and have some spending money available, but I am guessing that cash balance of £15 has been going down for some time.

  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
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    MikeJXE said:

    Well done on the groceries

    You might get Green Flag for breakdown. I have full cover for £5.65 a month 

    If you switch your bank go for one with the switch reward if you can open one. 
    Yes, you and @Sarahwithlove have both said the same. That has gone on my to do list. Thanks.

  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    To be honest your credit score will be influenced by the amount of debt you have relative to your income and also your payment history.
    At the moment your soa suggests you are £300 per month short, in the long run if you can cut your expenses those debts will be paid off. The problem is right now you need to cut your spending somehow, or you need to restructure the debt to reduce the monthly outgoings. Are there any local services that could help? You are actually a pretty good risk, you just have too much unsecured debt at crippling interest rates. If you can tell yourself never again will you do the catalogue debt you will be OK.
    Unfortunately right now holiday, entertainment, and presents aren't affordable, and you need to minimise your car usage. Also, if you can look into the £53 child-related expenses try to find cost savings there.
    Is there anything saleable in your wardrobe? Maybe look at decluttering with ebay or Facebook marketplace to raise some cash. In 6 months you can start to see the debt come down and have some spending money available, but I am guessing that cash balance of £15 has been going down for some time.


    Hi savergrant,
    The £53 child related expenses are £5 a week pocket money for my daughter, and her Friday night dance studio fee. She uses her pocket money for any personal spends (Make up, clothes at charity shops) and her dancing is the only social life she has due to no money to give her to go out with her friends. I'll do anything to get more money rather than cut that off for her.

    I have loads of stuff to sell, so thats a great suggestion!
  • enthusiasticsaver
    Options
    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.

    Those interest rates are all awful so I would say you  should consider a DMP.  You can contact stepchange before the defaults come through but don't start paying until they are defaulted and you have some emergency savings.  I would include your overdraft in the DMP and open up a new clean bank account with a bank you do not owe money to without overdraft facilities. 

    As others have said the experian fee and the bank packaged account fee are wastes of money.  You can get breakdown cover for much cheaper for the whole year than £17 a month. Credit Karma is I think the old Noddle and is free to check your credit record, so is clearscore.  No point really in you doing that as it will be trashed but you  can keep an eye on it for free by using one of those. 

    I am not sure how much is allowed for a holiday on a DMP and certainly I do not think that £86.50 will be allowed but you can borrow from other categories that you do not use.  You need to allow more in the car maintenance category as the car is low value so presumably old and in the future buying it annually is much cheaper than monthly so get in the habit of saving monthly for that and christmas presents, holidays etc. You have obviously been overspending for a while so it will take some time for you to get in the habit of not putting stuff on cards.  You will need to go cold turkey on not using cards, loans and catalogues and really get to grips with budgeting. An emergency savings account is a must do first task. 
    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.
  • savergrant
    savergrant Posts: 1,188 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Name Dropper
    Options
    If you text pac to 65075 your mobile provider will reply with a transfer code and more importantly info on any charges you will need to pay to end your contract. You then have to factor that cost against the monthly saving of moving to a new provider (lyca and lebara both give unlimited calls and texts and some data for under £5 per month and at the moment they have introductory offers of 5p per month!) 
    For now though I would advise you get advice on managing your debt and probably contacting at least one of your creditors to restructure your repayments.
  • MikeJXE
    MikeJXE Posts: 3,149 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Options
    To be honest your credit score will be influenced by the amount of debt you have relative to your income and also your payment history.
    At the moment your soa suggests you are £300 per month short, in the long run if you can cut your expenses those debts will be paid off. The problem is right now you need to cut your spending somehow, or you need to restructure the debt to reduce the monthly outgoings. Are there any local services that could help? You are actually a pretty good risk, you just have too much unsecured debt at crippling interest rates. If you can tell yourself never again will you do the catalogue debt you will be OK.
    Unfortunately right now holiday, entertainment, and presents aren't affordable, and you need to minimise your car usage. Also, if you can look into the £53 child-related expenses try to find cost savings there.
    Is there anything saleable in your wardrobe? Maybe look at decluttering with ebay or Facebook marketplace to raise some cash. In 6 months you can start to see the debt come down and have some spending money available, but I am guessing that cash balance of £15 has been going down for some time.


    Hi savergrant,
    The £53 child related expenses are £5 a week pocket money for my daughter, and her Friday night dance studio fee. She uses her pocket money for any personal spends (Make up, clothes at charity shops) and her dancing is the only social life she has due to no money to give her to go out with her friends. I'll do anything to get more money rather than cut that off for her.

    I have loads of stuff to sell, so thats a great suggestion!
    I agree with you not cutting your daughter out of the little she has, My granddaughters would lynch me if I suggested anything like that.

    The mobile of hers is easy to cut down on. Does she have any idea how much data she actually uses ? Her provider would tell you BTW pictures cost nothing on WhatsApp with wifi 
  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    Those interest rates are all awful so I would say you  should consider a DMP.  You can contact stepchange before the defaults come through but don't start paying until they are defaulted and you have some emergency savings.  I would include your overdraft in the DMP and open up a new clean bank account with a bank you do not owe money to without overdraft facilities. 

    As others have said the experian fee and the bank packaged account fee are wastes of money.  You can get breakdown cover for much cheaper for the whole year than £17 a month. Credit Karma is I think the old Noddle and is free to check your credit record, so is clearscore.  No point really in you doing that as it will be trashed but you  can keep an eye on it for free by using one of those. 

    I am not sure how much is allowed for a holiday on a DMP and certainly I do not think that £86.50 will be allowed but you can borrow from other categories that you do not use.  You need to allow more in the car maintenance category as the car is low value so presumably old and in the future buying it annually is much cheaper than monthly so get in the habit of saving monthly for that and christmas presents, holidays etc. You have obviously been overspending for a while so it will take some time for you to get in the habit of not putting stuff on cards.  You will need to go cold turkey on not using cards, loans and catalogues and really get to grips with budgeting. An emergency savings account is a must do first task. 
    Hi enthusiasticsaver,
    Thanks for the reply. I have only had this new car for 2 weeks. I scrapped my old 1.6 Astra for £360 and bought a little Fiat Panda 1.1 07 plate for £500, which has lowered my tax and insurance. The petrol was based on the Astra, so hoping the petrol will be cheaper in this.
    The cold turkey is what's worrying me the most as once the money's gone, it's gone.

  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    If you text pac to 65075 your mobile provider will reply with a transfer code and more importantly info on any charges you will need to pay to end your contract. You then have to factor that cost against the monthly saving of moving to a new provider (lyca and lebara both give unlimited calls and texts and some data for under £5 per month and at the moment they have introductory offers of 5p per month!) 
    For now though I would advise you get advice on managing your debt and probably contacting at least one of your creditors to restructure your repayments.

    Thanks for the phone info. I didn't know about that. I know where I work they use Giff Gaff who do a goody bag for £7 a month, but £5 sounds even better!
  • Pre_Approved_Junkie
    Options
    MikeJXE said:

    I agree with you not cutting your daughter out of the little she has, My granddaughters would lynch me if I suggested anything like that.

    The mobile of hers is easy to cut down on. Does she have any idea how much data she actually uses ? Her provider would tell you BTW pictures cost nothing on WhatsApp with wifi 
    This is what EE shows for her phone. And I was mistaken about the picture messages. They were from my phone, not hers. :o


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