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Flying solo

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I previously had a diary (well actually I've a few) but in June I had a big life shift which meant I disappeared for a while! I've had a few attempts at trying to pay off debt, made great progress and then progress stopped and the debt increased again. But this time I seriously mean business and I am determined to get this all gone! 

As at the beginning of June I had:
£15,600 in debts (across 4 CCs and a loan from my parents)
£91 in my emergency fund

My world was turned upside down when I found out that my OH of 16 years had been seeing someone else - and this was the catalyst to sorting out my finances on my own once and for all. So since that date for the purpose of budgeting all the bills/ expenses, I have been ignoring what he has given me - as we are still currently living together. The good news is that I can cover everything (including debt payments) based solely on my wages.

So since beginning of June I have been seriously prioritising sorting out this mess and as at today I have:
£1,000 in my emergency fund (I treated this as my number one priority) 
£13,714 in debts (across 3 CCs) 

I have also built up £100 "buffers" in my accounts - meaning that should I overspend on groceries for example, I have a buffer of £100 rather than having to revert to the CC!

So I am proud of my progress so far - not an easy thing to say, but I'm saying it!

There is so much more I could say, but I will leave it there for now!    
Starting again..
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Comments

  • _Dolly_Rocker_
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    Aw twiggy86 what an awful thing to have to go through.

    You're absoutely right to focus on how you can move on from this and take control of your finances. 

    You've done amazing so far!
  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,482 Forumite
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    That's a rubbish catalyst, but a great outcome! Will be following your journey x
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  • Doris17
    Doris17 Posts: 696 Forumite
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    Truly awful situation to find yourself in. Well done on taking control of your finances.

    "Make Everyday Count"

    #77 3-6 Months Emergency Fund £2528.11/£5000

  • twiggy86
    twiggy86 Posts: 2,243 Forumite
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    Thank you all for taking the time to comment x
    Starting again..
  • Karonher
    Karonher Posts: 931 Forumite
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    Good luck and sorry it started the way it did.
    Aiming to make £7,500 online in 2022
  • twiggy86
    twiggy86 Posts: 2,243 Forumite
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    Thanks again for the kind comments. 

    So here is a bit more of the story.... 

    The history
    I have had debts for years and have had various "lightbulb moments" and tried for so long to clear it (and made good progress) only to then slip up and the debts increase. A big part of the problem was the unreliable, variable, inconsistent contribution from ex-OH. I have to take my share of the blame for this - I managed all the bills and he had very little input, and that combined with his awful and selfish money habits lead to failures in budgetting. I also could have been harder on him and been more insistent that he pay his fair share, but I didn't. This meant I would budget on what I expected to receive, then receive less than the budget and then he would ask for money back... and of course generally I would say yes even though it meant the budget was squeezed even more, or short - meaning I would then spend on CC.  To give an idea of the numbers - over the period from Jan 22 to May 23 the average he gave me was £297 a month. Well the household bills (excluding food, petrol, CC payments) came to roughly £950 per month! 

    The now
    So in the here and now, I have never felt so in control of the budget! Given that I'm ignoring any money he gives me (which is still only £300ish per month) I know what I've got and what I can spend - and it feels great! The budget is set at the start of the month and I stick to it! Yes I have had to say "no" to things or drive rather than drink on a night out (actually not that big of a deal for me anyway) and consider purchases very carefully, but I feel so much more in control. 

    This means that since the beginning of June I have FINALLY managed to save my £1000 emergency fund and pay down £1886 off my debts (plus I had a couple of balance transfer fees which were added during this period). Prior to June I had only cleared £1487 off the debts - although we did have a dog emergency which cost £1400 in that time. 

    The future
    As for the future... well firstly I need ex-OH to leave! It is my house (house and mortgage solely in my name) and so he will be the one moving out, which I need to push for. My intention is then to get a lodger and I will take the same approach of ignoring that money for the day-to-day budget and use it to throw at the debts. Of course him leaving will mean that the food budget goes down (no he is not shopping for himself but I'm not buying treats etc as I would previously and I cook what I want and if he's there I'll offer him some) and my petrol will go down (yes I am still driving him to work!). See I said I'd need to push as he still has it easy - I'm far too nice for my own good! 

    There is two complicating factors - let's take the small one first... the house needs some work before I can get a lodger. This includes replacing the shower (you have to run the sink tap to get consistent hot water in the shower) and replacing the spare room door. These are the "must do's", and then there is various other work which is not an absolute necessity but would make the house feel nicer - plus I really want to put my stamp on it now to help with my fresh start. Obviously all of this means that my priorities feel torn between paying down the debt and setting money aside for the required work. 

    Now the slightly bigger factor... will ex-OH ask for money out of the house? Everyone has told me "absolutely not" given the financial burden he has placed on me over the years, and the debt he will be walking away from. He did at one point ask if he would get anything and I responded that he needed to tell me what he wanted (money and any furniture out of the house) and that I would consider. Now of course I have no idea how I would come up with any pot of money - it would have to be a loan of some description however I'm concerned about still being able to make the monthly minimums (and I wouldn't want to rely on a lodger's money in case they left and/or I can't find one). This may mean that I look at taking on a second mortgage and consolidate the current debts into that. I know you should never turn unsecured debt into secured debt but I'm not sure I could balance it otherwise unfortunately. But at the moment I haven't looked into anything as I don't know what will be agreed in the end. 

    And if you made it that far - congratulations! 
    Starting again..
  • twiggy86
    twiggy86 Posts: 2,243 Forumite
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    So today's little bits and bobs:
    • Paid £20 cash into the bank on way to work 
    • Check if Quidc0 money has appeared in account 
    • I took a bolognaise out of the freezer so will be having that for dinner 
    • Once the £10 from Quidc0 appears I need to decide how to allocate the £179 that is sat in my account (made up of some money from ex, cashback and roundups) - I have already sent £100 from ex to the "house pot", so need to decide what goes to house or CCs 
    • Have a £5 off vouch for L1dl so will pop there for a few bits - will come in handy as the food pot is getting low! 
    At some point this week I also need to list a couple of bits on V1nted but think it will be too dull for photos tonight by the time I get home - but including here for accountability and so I don't forget! 
    Starting again..
  • _Dolly_Rocker_
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    Do you have a record of how much he has added to the debt over the years and how much his contribution actually ended up costing you? 

    I'm sure his chunk of money would have been less than what you spent on shopping for his stuff for the month. 

    I would get a spreadsheet to record as much as you can remember to highlight to him that if you were to go down the road of who owes who he would owe you substantially more. 
  • Floss
    Floss Posts: 8,482 Forumite
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    Have you taken legal advice about whether there is any viable claim from your ex? It may be worth booking a 30m free appointment to clarify this  and take details of his contributions / your payments back to him / support such as taking him to work etc, along with how long he's lived there with you.
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  • twiggy86
    twiggy86 Posts: 2,243 Forumite
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    I will definitely be seeking legal advice if he asks for anything - or actually maybe it's worth doing that anyway so that I have peace of mind and can start to plan accordingly. 
    Starting again..
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