I shouldn't feel skint ...

chemteacher78
chemteacher78 Posts: 20
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edited 11 December 2023 at 9:40AM in Debt free diaries

But I do. I am very ashamed to post this, but despite having a decent income I find myself having to really watch my spending for the last week or two before every payday. I also have stubborn credit card debt, accrued when I was younger and skinter, that I should have shifted but haven't. I've recently had to borrow money to get essential work done on the house. I am starting to get very anxious about how indebted I am. I've resolved to fix this in 2024. I'll post my SOA below - any and all feedback very gratefully received. 


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Comments

  • SOA - I found it incredibly hard to put this all down:

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

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 4327.66
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4327.66[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 1272
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 164
    Electricity............................. 145
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 7
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 20
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19.98
    Internet Services....................... 30
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 100
    Petrol/diesel........................... 180
    Road tax................................ 15.75
    Car Insurance........................... 89
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 25
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 22
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 20.7
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 26
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 15
    Entertainment........................... 200
    Holiday................................. 60
    Emergency fund.......................... 250[b]
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2914.68[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 1694.74
    House value (Gross)..................... 300000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 15000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 316694.74[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 238000...(1272).....3.43[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 238000....-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin.........................2763.07...25........0
    Barclaycard....................5299.37...198.7.....0
    First direct loan..............13703.....144.8.....8.7
    Furniture village..............0.........45........0
    Ikano..........................1060......60........0
    First direct loan..............8445.6....175.9.....8.7[b]
    Total unsecured debts..........31271.04..649.4.....-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4,327.66
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,914.68
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,412.98
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 649.4[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 763.58[/b]

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 316,694.74
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -238,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -31,271.04[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 47,423.7[/b]

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.[/i][/font]
  • No shame here - and almost everyone who might respond to this has been in your position themselves at some stage. 
    It sounds like the SOA - and therefore a working household budget - might indeed be a good starting point for you. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • A couple of quick comments.

    Clothes £1200 per year?

    Council Tax, do you have single person discount?

    Buildings and contents insurance £ 40 monthly, can you get it cheaper ?
    If you go down to the woods today you better not go alone.
  • SOA - I found it incredibly hard to put this all down:

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

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 4327.66
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4327.66[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 1272
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 164 (Is this including single person discount and spread over 12 months?)
    Electricity............................. 145 (this seems a lot to me for one person are you sending meter readings?)
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 7
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 20 (not the worst, could be cheaper)
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19.98
    Internet Services....................... 30
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200 (this seems a lot for one person, could you meal plan and bulk cook?)
    Clothing................................ 100 (not excessive but again a few months without new clothes would make a dent in your debt)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 180
    Road tax................................ 15.75
    Car Insurance........................... 89
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 25
    Car parking............................. 0 (never paying for parking ever?)
    Other travel............................ 0 ( never needing to get the bus, train or a taxi?)
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 22
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 20.7
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 26
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 15
    Entertainment........................... 200 (could this be broken down more to give more clarity?)
    Holiday................................. 60
    Emergency fund.......................... 250[b] (you have a cash emergency fund, could you throw this at the debt until that is gone?)
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2914.68[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 1694.74
    House value (Gross)..................... 300000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 15000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 316694.74[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 238000...(1272).....3.43[b] (When is this fixed until?)
    Total secured & HP debts...... 238000....-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin.........................2763.07...25........0 (when does the 0% end?)
    Barclaycard....................5299.37...198.7.....0 (when does the 0% end?)
    First direct loan..............13703.....144.8.....8.7
    Furniture village..............0.........45........0 (when does the 0% end?/ do you owe them any money?)
    Ikano..........................1060......60........0 (when does the 0% end?)
    First direct loan..............8445.6....175.9.....8.7[b]
    Total unsecured debts..........31271.04..649.4.....-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4,327.66
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,914.68
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,412.98
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 649.4[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 763.58[/b] (do you actually have this left each month?)

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 316,694.74
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -238,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -31,271.04[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 47,423.7[/b]

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.[/i][/font]
    Do not feel ashamed, we are all here to help and have been in a similar position at some point. You are in a good position to sort this, you have a good income and potential to tackle this debt quickly.

    I have gone through and asked some questions. made some comments but the key thing is for you to really work out where your money is going as I am guessing you do not have £763 left at the end of each month. It will not be easy but we are here to help
    Mortgage £75,300 (December 2016) Mortgage Free Date December 2051

    Mortgage £17,350 (December 2023) Mortgage Free Date 1st March 2024
  • Building and contents should be half that really.  You really paying £1000 for car insurance?  What you driving?
  • Thank you for all the helpful comments! Looking over the SOA I have missed one of the debts out and also a (small) professional fee - which has led to some confusion. I've amended this and pasted below:

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

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 4327
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4327[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 1272
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 164
    Electricity............................. 145
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 7
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 20
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19.98
    Internet Services....................... 30
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 100
    Petrol/diesel........................... 180
    Road tax................................ 15.75
    Car Insurance........................... 89
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 25
    Car parking............................. 3.5
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 22
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 20.7
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 26
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 15
    Entertainment........................... 200
    Holiday................................. 60
    Emergency fund.......................... 250
    Professional insurance ................. 26.95[b]
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2945.13[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 15000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 15000[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 238000...(1272).....3.43[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 238000....-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin CC......................2763.07...25........0
    Barclaycard....................5299.37...325.......0
    First Direct Loan .............13703.....144.8.....8.7
    Ikano .........................1060......60........0
    Furniture Village..............1424......45........0
    First Direct Loan..............8445.6....175.9.....8.7[b]


    I definitely DONT have the £600 surplus each month. I think it just gets frittered away, which I am mortified by. One of the reasons I wanted to join this forum was to knock some sense into myself. I have already gone through my running subscriptions and cancelled a lot of them, so I am reasonably confident that the figures above reflect what HAS to be paid each month. 

    I'll pop another post below, responding to individual comments as this is getting quite long. 




  •  

    pdel61: good point! Some of it is silly subscriptions (£20 per month for wine, for example). The rest has been on thoughtless spending. It has been quite a painful experience looking over things

    Clothes: This is a good point when put like that. I do have a very senior job, and have to dress a certain way at work, so it does mean I have a pay for a certain working wardrobe. However, I agree I need to look at this (and look at what I already have. There is probably things I need to resurrect)

    Council tax: I do have a single person discount. I live in a pretty expensive area, and am lucky to have a 3-bedroom house, so I think the banding is probably right

    Buildings and contents: I might be able to, it was half that 18 months ago. BUT I had a burst pipe in December 2022, when I was working away from home for a few nights. It caused horrendous damage, and I lost a lot of stuff. The claim ran to well over £100,000 and I was only able to move home this October. I was quietly surprised to see that it had only doubled...

    Electricity: This is my dual-fuel bill, but I couldn’t work out how to reflect this as the power-company didn't make it easy! It probably is too high, I'm nearly £700 in credit at the moment. I have a smart meter, and regularly update my readings. However, my billing went skew-whiff earlier on in the year. Repairs to the house included drying, which used massive amounts of electricity. The insurers did reimburse me, but my energy company stacked my DD up to almost £370 a month at one point (and refused to adjust it manually). It has made it difficult for me to work out what a reasonable amount would be (I hadn't lived here all that long when the pipe burst). I am a softy Southerner and live in the North. We can get cold up here, and I work from home 2-3 days a week.

    Mobile phone:  I'll have a look!

    Groceries: I have switched to Lidl and am a keen cook (I love food - possibly too much). That said, I do also go to my brilliant local butchers, and do the odd top up locally. I live rurally, and local shops are not the cheapest. I do try to eat well, and probably do spend a bit too much on 'posh' ingredients. I'll look again at this.

    Parking:  I do occasionally have to pay - and thankfully it's cheap round here (presumably subsidised by my Council Tax!). I have popped something in for this

    Entertainment: This is almost all based on popping to the village pub to catch up with people. I do go out for the odd meal or coffee with friends as well. I don't have a regular class or club I'm a member of. That said - I also have a standing order to my church. I haven't put this in. Do I need to?

    Emergency Fund: I have very recently set this up in a bid to not rely on credit cards for unexpected expenses. It also makes me feel a bit more secure having a pot of cash to draw on. It currently has £1600-ish in it. Am I being silly building this up?

    Mortgage: Thankfully I took a 5-year fix when I bought the house. It will end in May 2026, so I have a bit of time to keep an eye on that

    Virgin: 0% ends in November 2025

    Barclaycard: 0% ends in January 2026

    Ikano: 0% for the lifetime of the load

    Furniture Village: I missed the amount out here - so have amended. It is 0% for the lifetime of the load

    Car Insurance: I paid £650-ish this year. The amount also includes RAC breakdown cover. I do a fair amount of miles, and have called them out more than once. I drive a fur-year old Subaru (4x4 - not a boy-racer car) and one of the loans is to pay it off. I do live somewhere pretty rural which can get snow and ice in the winter. Having an all-wheel drive made me feel a bit more comfortable getting around. 

    I think that's it. Thank you so much for your thoughts so far. I do feel very stupid that I've not paid more attention and feel a bit sick at the amount of debt I've managed to sleep-walk into.  


  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,870
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    SOA - I found it incredibly hard to put this all down:

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

    You are missing the detail about number of adults in household, number of children, and number of cars owned. That info helps inform what is considered to be a reasonable spend in various areas. 

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 4327.66
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4327.66[/b][b]

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 1272
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 164
    Electricity............................. 145 Is this electricity and gas or are you electric only? Do you regularly read your meter, and are you confident that you are paying the correct amount monthly? Is your energy account currently in credit as it ought to be at this stage of the year in most circumstances?
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 7 This is very low - I assume metered but still, extraordinarily low. Make sure that readings are being used as this sounds like it could just be standing charges.
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 20 If this is just one phone then you could do better, depending on what data etc you need. (Note - need, not want!)
    TV Licence.............................. 13.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 19.98
    Internet Services....................... 30
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200Hhave you checked if this is actually what you spend, or if there are top-up shops that you're not including here which push up the monthly amount?
    Clothing................................ 100 If this is single adult, then this is high for an "every month" spend, once your finances are squared up then you will be able to afford this level of spending on your income, but it's an easy win to cut back on right now! 
    Petrol/diesel........................... 180 OK - so that's at least one car, and fairly high mileage at that?
    Road tax................................ 15.75
    Car Insurance........................... 89 Ouchy - now hoping that is a couple of cars, otherwise that insurance is pretty steep.
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 25 Now this is too low for even one car at that mileage IMO.  Thing about servicing, MoT test, tyres, screenwash, and anything else that comes under the heading of general running costs of the car over a year. Divide by 12, and that's your amount. 
    Car parking............................. 0 
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 22
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 20
    Contents insurance...................... 20.7
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 26
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20 Does this actually allow you to budget for the sort of Christmas you want?Does it cover - as well as presents - al other spending around the festival period, food, any extra travel etc?
    Haircuts................................ 15
    Entertainment........................... 200 
    Holiday................................. 60 
    Emergency fund.......................... 250[b]
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2914.68[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 1694.74
    House value (Gross)..................... 300000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 15000
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 316694.74[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 238000...(1272).....3.43[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 238000....-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Virgin.........................2763.07...25........0
    Barclaycard....................5299.37...198.7.....0
    First direct loan..............13703.....144.8.....8.7
    Furniture village..............0.........45........0
    Ikano..........................1060......60........0
    First direct loan..............8445.6....175.9.....8.7[b]
    Total unsecured debts..........31271.04..649.4.....-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 4,327.66
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,914.68
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,412.98
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 649.4[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 763.58 This is your first port of call - you presumably don't have that amount, which means something in the SOA is wrong. The reason this is your first  thing to sort is that it is the key to the situation, as freeing up that money adds a massive amount to your available money for debt repayment [/b]

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 316,694.74
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -238,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -31,271.04[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 47,423.7[/b]

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.[/i][/font]
    OK - we cross posted above, comments in bold above to start with. 

    On the car stuff - on your income, you should be setting aside money to pay things annually, rather than paying monthly which usually incurs charges. If working that way though you must make sure that the money is set aside and only used for the intended costs. Not budgeting the correct amount for car maintenance might also be adding to your budgeting issues as when a bill comes in - for a service or whatever, of the money isn't budgeted then you have to rely either on that month's pay, or on credit, to meet the cost. That will contribute to the hand-to-mouth feeling of skintness. 

    So - for context, that (presumably) missing £760-odd a month is over £9000 a year. that's a lot of money, and so needs finding. Go back over the SOA line by line and check everything is correct as far as you think, then track through bank statements. Prime candidates for "leaking" money are extra shopping - so top up shops. You go and do your weekly shop and it comes to about £50 each week, so you think "great - £200 a month then" - except you forget those occasions where you just nip in because you need milk, and come out £20 lighter. If that happens 5 times a month, then that's another £100 on that grocery spend. Also - stuff that you think you budget for, but actually you are under-budgeting. That car maintenance already mentioned, Christmas/presents, and holidays. You *might* just spend £720 on a holiday, but equally, that might be the cost of the hotel, then there is travel, food and drink, and other spending money... 

    The two loans you have - those haven't come about because of debt consolidation have they? Again - no shame if so, but it's helpful to know and to realise that this is a fairly general situation with consolidation - if it IS that, then you are far from the first! 

    So - step 1 was facing up to the situation. - you've done that, so good on you!
    Step 2 is wanting to fix it - or having your "Lightbulb moment" - and that does indeed appear to be a brightly lit bulb over your head - so another well done you!
    Step 3 for you is getting the SOA right, and then learning to work with your household budget as per. Right now, I would be of the view that is the ONLY thing you need to focus on. Are you currently using credit at all? You can see from your outgoings as listed, that you shouldn't need to - so really stop and think in what situations you might reach for a credit card, and if that item is currently on your SOA, then use that thought process to inform you why the money isn't there, as it is budgeted - is it that you don't budget enough? Or maybe that it's budgeted on paper, but in real terms that amount never actually gets set aside for later use... 

    Once the SOA is correct, and you know what your surplus each month really is, then you should have a nice chunk to pay towards the debts. For what it's worth, right now, and as you already have the basic emergency fund saved, I would cut back on savings to that to £50 a month and free up £200 for debt payments, too. 

    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 20,870
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    My post above uses your original SOA so some stuff is already addressed.

    On the SO to the church - is it included in the £200 entertainment budget? if so you don't need to add it separately. 

    Definitely not silly Building up the EF, but as above, I think you need to back off on the amount you are increasing it by a bit right now.

    I'd suggest you do a car insurance quote via a comparison site right now - just the insurance, no breakdown. that then gives you a target figure to start to save for ahead of renewal so you can pay upfront. Then get another quote for breakdown cover - it's unlikely that RAC will be anywhere near the cheapest! The disadvantage of doing it through the insurance is that you don't even have the ability to haggle it down (and they are allegedly VERY good for haggling down!) so definitely get quotes for separating the two things, but then think if you really need what is effectively "designer" breakdown cover. 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
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