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Help with debt

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Hi,

I’m in need of some help with how to reduce my debt and outgoings, I completed the form I have seen on other threads, however it won’t let me format for MSE for some reason? It just comes up saying “ The following section(s) contain non-numeric data which must be corrected before formatting your results, Assets. Use only numbers and decimal points in the calculator. Do not use commas.”

Once I have clicked the button to format I have tried copying and pasting the answers but it doesn’t copy it properly.
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Comments

  • TheAble
    TheAble Posts: 1,621 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
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    Possibly an obvious question but have you checked the Assets section and made sure you you've only used numbers and decimal points? The error message you're receiving suggests this is where the problem may be.
  • Debtfree2024
    Options
    Thanks that worked  :D

    [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......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1[b]

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 2102.51
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 2102.51[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 208.03
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 83
    Electricity............................. 75
    Gas..................................... 75
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 26
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 75.73
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 47.98
    Groceries etc. ......................... 207.58
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 70
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 49.49
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 27
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 88.12
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 11.88
    Life assurance ......................... 19.52
    Other insurance......................... 14.5
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 15
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 28.09[b]
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1135.17[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 150000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 6000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 156000[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 428.41...(0)........0
    Secured Debt.................. 6659.....(184.9)....0<
    Secured debt ..................282.6....(23.13)....0[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 7370.01...-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Very ..........................649.......56.66.....54.9
    Tesco bank ....................4300......0.........0
    HSBC ..........................2301......55.78.....0[b]
    Total unsecured debts..........7250......112.44....-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 2,102.51
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,135.17
    Available for debt repayments........... 967.34
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 112.44[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 854.9[/b]

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 156,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -7,370.01
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -7,250[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 141,379.99[/b]

    I’ve filled this out as best as I could, just one extra thing I didn’t know where to put was my gym membership which is £30 a month. I don’t want any judgment for this, it’s been quite a surprise when I write it all down. I realise the interest amount on my Very account is very high, I have contacted them to ask if there is any way this can be reduced without impacting my credit rating. Is there any other ways I can help get this down? 

  • Debtfree2024
    Options
    I think I also might have filled out the mortgage bit wrong, £428 is how much I pay for my mortgage each month not how much I owe on it (I wish haha) 
  • Grumpelstiltskin
    Options
    According to your SOA you have plenty of money left over where is this money going?
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • Martico
    Martico Posts: 1,033 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
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    Even allowing for the monthly mortgage payment, you should still have £400 or so left over to overpay your cards. If that's the case, you should be able to nuke Very within two months. However, if you don't have that much (or any) spare, then you need to have another look at your SOA, as that would mean you're spending money elsewhere.
    Very few people get the SOA right first time, so it's worth looking again, checking over past statements, and getting it right
  • CliveOfIndia
    Options
    Thanks that worked  :D

    [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......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1[b]

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 2102.51
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 2102.51[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 0  You need to enter your monthly mortgage repayments in here
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 208.03
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 83
    Electricity............................. 75
    Gas..................................... 75
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 26
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 75.73  This is extremely high, this can be cut to less than £10 a month on a SIM-only deal assuming you're not tied into a contract.
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 47.98  This seems quite high, can you shop around for a cheaper deal?
    Groceries etc. ......................... 207.58
    Clothing................................ 0 Do you never buy clothes (even second-hand)?  Clothing is something that can be cut right down if you're on a tight budget, but you probably need a small amount in here?
    Petrol/diesel........................... 70
    Road tax................................ 0 Is this correct?  It may well be, depending on your car.
    Car Insurance........................... 49.49
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0 Is this correct? (It may be if it's covered by a finance package)
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 27
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 88.12 Can this be cut down at all by shopping around for a different provider?
    Buildings insurance..................... 0 You need this if you own (rather than rent) the house.  It may even be a requirement of your mortgage.
    Contents insurance...................... 11.88
    Life assurance ......................... 19.52 Is this actually necessary if you have no dependants?
    Other insurance......................... 14.5 What is this for?
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0 Is this correct - do you not buy even small gifts for family?
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 15
    Holiday................................. 0 This needs to take account of the odd day out/weekend break/whatever, if applicable.
    Emergency fund.......................... 28.09[b]
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1135.17[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 150000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 6000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 156000[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 428.41...(0)........0
    Secured Debt.................. 6659.....(184.9)....0<
    Secured debt ..................282.6....(23.13)....0[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 7370.01...-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Very ..........................649.......56.66.....54.9
    Tesco bank ....................4300......0.........0
    HSBC ..........................2301......55.78.....0[b]
    Total unsecured debts..........7250......112.44....-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 2,102.51
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,135.17
    Available for debt repayments........... 967.34
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 112.44[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 854.9[/b]

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 156,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -7,370.01
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -7,250[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 141,379.99[/b]

    I’ve filled this out as best as I could, just one extra thing I didn’t know where to put was my gym membership which is £30 a month. I don’t want any judgment for this, it’s been quite a surprise when I write it all down. I realise the interest amount on my Very account is very high, I have contacted them to ask if there is any way this can be reduced without impacting my credit rating. Is there any other ways I can help get this down? 

    Some observations in bold above.  As noted by the previous poster your SOA appears to show a reasonable amount left over each month - it may be worth checking your figures to make sure everything is accounted for.

  • MattMattMattUK
    Options
    First question is you have no mortgage or rent, but you have living expenses such as bills, council tax etc. what is your living situation? There is no mortgage cost, but there is a small amount in the secured section for a mortgage. 
    Water rates............................. 26 - It will not be huge, but as a person living alone you should be able to get this down to £15-18 by moving to a water meter, if you are already metered then £26 pm is very high usage.
    Mobile phone............................ 75.73 - This seems incredibly high, a SIM only contract with more data than you could use and unlimited calls etc. would be in the £20-25 price range. 
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25 - Do you actually need this? Many people do not watch live TV any longer with using streaming services.
    Internet Services....................... 47.98 Seems high for domestic broadband, does this include other services? 
    Clothing................................ 0 - How long can you sustain zero spending on clothing?
    Petrol/diesel........................... 70
    Road tax................................ 0 - As you have petrol above is this correct, or do you have an ultra low emission vehicle?
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0 - Is this correct?
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 88.12 - This seems high, £1,056 pa is at the high end for this. 
    Contents insurance...................... 11.88 - This seems high, £142.56 pa for a contents policy is perhaps twice what it should be.
    Life assurance ......................... 19.52 - If you are single with no children then having life assurance does not really make sense.
    Other insurance......................... 14.5 - What is this insuring?
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 0 - Is this correct, or do you spend, just not in the current months?
    Entertainment........................... 15 - Is this correct? It seems very low.
    Based on the above you could potentially cut down by £160-170 pcm, but that might perhaps be balanced by other costs which have been underestimated. 
    I’ve filled this out as best as I could, just one extra thing I didn’t know where to put was my gym membership which is £30 a month. I don’t want any judgment for this,
    No judgement on a gym membership, it is up to you to choose whether it is an expense you are willing to stomach.
    I realise the interest amount on my Very account is very high, I have contacted them to ask if there is any way this can be reduced without impacting my credit rating. Is there any other ways I can help get this down? 
    What is the remaining term on the 0% Tesco debt? Why is it no payments at all, even a balance transfer normally has minimum payments? Ignore your credit rating, it is a made up number for marketing purposes and no lender ever see it. They key is to pay the minimums on everything else and pay the highest interest first, tackle the Very debt first, followed by whichever of HSBC or Tesco has the zero interest period expiring first. 

  • Debtfree2024
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    It wouldn’t let me add the mortgage bit in the section at the top, and in the part at the bottom I entered it wrong my mortgage is £428 a month. The Tesco one isn’t no payments at all, it was a balance transfer to a 0% card which was very recent and they haven’t generated a statement yet for me to show what the minimum payment will be.
    For the entertainment section I thought this was just things like Netflix etc? I rarely do things like go to the cinemas. I do sometimes go out for a reasonable priced meal and drinks maybe no more than once a month and have a takeaway maybe once a month but no more than that. And don’t spend silly amounts on it. Should I have included those things on entertainment? Obviously those things vary slightly with cost so it’s not a fixed amount per month. 

    I put 0 for car maintenance because my MOT has recently been done and it’s not a monthly cost. Unfortunately in regards to my phone I’m on a contract for another year so I’m not sure if I can swap to a sim only deal? 
  • Debtfree2024
    Options
    I haven’t included things on there that aren’t regular monthly payments such as clothing, gifts etc as these are not very frequent, would there be a way to add them which most accurately reflects my average spending?

    The £11 a month for contents insurance is both buildings and contents.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 33,094 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    edited 5 September 2023 at 4:18PM
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    You need to sit down with last year's statements, and work out your discretionary spending. How much did you spend on shoes and clothes, going out, visiting friends and relatives, car parking, Takeaways can go in the food budget.

    I'd suggest entertainment covers activities you enjoy, whether that's a meal out or rock climbing. Anything to do with maintaining car, including antifreeze and windscreen cleaner goes into car maintenance along with the service and new tyres.

    Add each category up, and divide by 12. You need to put that money aside into a budgeting account so when the annual cost rears it's ugly head, you have the brass saved and don't need to reach for your cards.

    Some people are happy with one budgeting account, others like pots for each category. Try each out and see what works for you.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
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