2024 WILL be better....

Ok so here goes, I've been lurking and reading (and being inspired) for a couple of weeks but need to be accountable now! Still adding everything up ready for the new year but this will be the year I make a BIG dent in the debt and get my finances properly on track. Its been a horrible year, it started with my dad dying then I separated from my partner a few months ago and it's ended with a £1800 bill to fix my car (no idea how I'm going to sort that one) and a tax bill for my business coming (which I also can't pay, still doing my accounts so don't know how much yet)

So every single penny will be accounted for, I've worked out a set budget for everything which I'll have to stick to! I'll be overpaying a little on credit cards just so I'm not paying the minimum and I'll be putting anything I have spare in a savings account - "panic fund".

I'm self employed so income can vary, any extra will go into my panic fund so if I have a leaner month or am ill etc I can make up the difference from there.

I have a mortgage (will be tackling that too once the short term debt has gone), two grown up sons who live here, dependents are one younger son, a dog, two cats and a grumpy tortoise.

My plan based on my minimum income means I'll have my credit cards plus a loan from my Mum done by Aug 2025. I have a couple of things (0% finance for windows £65/month plus a payment plan for council tax £100/month) due to end in March so it will get a little better in a few months and I'll be paying more off. The plan doesn't allow for nasty surprises like the car bill, but if I can build up my panic fund a little it should help with anything unexpected. The next few months will be tough but at least there's light at the end of the tunnel.

I have plans to try and build up business to earn more, I'm concentrating on rebuilding my life as a single person with free an low cost stuff to do and I'll be decluttering and putting some stuff on e bay and putting the proceeds into my savings.

This time I need to actually learn! I've had the consolidation loans etc in the past and I've ended up with credit card debt again... so this will be a learning experience leading to long term change and debt free financial freedom (finally).

January totals:
Zopa Credit Card 3866 (aiming for £150/month)
Virgin Credit Card 3473 (aiming for £75/month)
Argos Card 590 (most expensive, aiming for £100/month)
Santander Card 464 (this could change as its a short term panic fund until I can get some put away)


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  • joedenise
    joedenise Posts: 16,393
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    It might be worth doing an SOA (Statement of Affairs) to enable others to see if there is anywhere with a bit of wiggle room.  Things like groceries, mobile phones, internet etc can often be cut back on depending on what you are spending now.
  • Well done on starting a plan for yourself to get yourself debt free! 

    I agree with having every penny accounted for, i find having a little budget for week to week even if it includes food and petrol and an extra £5 as a buffer helps me if i go into it it doesn't mean i will continue to spend because i was "budgeting for it anyway" 

    Good luck with your journey.

  • January totals:
    Zopa Credit Card 3866 (aiming for £150/month)
    Virgin Credit Card 3473 (aiming for £75/month)
    Argos Card 590 (most expensive, aiming for £100/month)
    Santander Card 464 (this could change as its a short term panic fund until I can get some put away)


    If Argos is the most expensive why not pay more off that and less, initially, off the others so long as you are paying the minimum?
    It will mean less interest long term but also Argos only has a small balance which will quickly be gone.
    Having one less debt will really make you feel positive and then you can put the money you were paying towards that to one of the others.
    2024 is going to be your year!
  • MFWannabe
    MFWannabe Posts: 1,954
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    WYSPECIAL said:

    January totals:
    Zopa Credit Card 3866 (aiming for £150/month)
    Virgin Credit Card 3473 (aiming for £75/month)
    Argos Card 590 (most expensive, aiming for £100/month)
    Santander Card 464 (this could change as its a short term panic fund until I can get some put away)


    If Argos is the most expensive why not pay more off that and less, initially, off the others so long as you are paying the minimum?
    It will mean less interest long term but also Argos only has a small balance which will quickly be gone.
    Having one less debt will really make you feel positive and then you can put the money you were paying towards that to one of the others.
    2024 is going to be your year!
    I agree with this. Pay just above minimum on the others and throw as much as you can at Argos until paid off: it’s smaller debt than others too so you’ll get sense of achievement quicker, then move onto next
    28/12/23: Debt total £12,900/13,192.13
  • MFWannabe
    MFWannabe Posts: 1,954
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    joedenise said:
    It might be worth doing an SOA (Statement of Affairs) to enable others to see if there is anywhere with a bit of wiggle room.  Things like groceries, mobile phones, internet etc can often be cut back on depending on what you are spending now.
    Also this, there’s some very wise people on here that can help and advise 
    28/12/23: Debt total £12,900/13,192.13
  • CMD79
    CMD79 Posts: 751
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    Oh, what a horrible year. So sorry for your loss. There's only one way 2024 can go for you now though.  <3

    In terms of not learning anything from the last time, there's probably dozens of people on here who will read your new diary in the coming days and think, yeah, same - including myself! Someone kindly reminded me, that we're not on here because we're money geniuses, so maybe we need a couple of runs at it to really learn.

    Good news is, the amounts you're talking about, are doable. You've put a plan in place to get it down. Can I ask you a Q about your plan though?

    Zopa Credit Card 3866 (aiming for £150/month) -  Is this above the minimum payment?
    Virgin Credit Card 3473 (aiming for £75/month) -  Is this above the minimum payment?
    Argos Card 590 (most expensive, aiming for £100/month) - I'm guessing this is ridiculous interest? If the Zopa and Virgin are above your minimum payments, would you consider throwing everything you can at this one first?
    Santander Card 464 (this could change as its a short term panic fund until I can get some put away)

    I personally have found it really useful to use a snowball debt calculator. The one I use is really simple - you can google whatsthecost snowball and it'll come up or try this link (not sure if it'll allow me to post a link!) What's The Cost? - Become debt free at WhatsTheCost.com I have a monthly budget on an excel spreadsheet, and I copy and paste the table it give me below it on the page so I can keep reminding myself what I'm doing.

    I also wonder, if you're not at full capacity with your business, maybe you could join in on some of the Extra Earnings challenges? I was making well over £20 a day consistently for months, with a full-time job. Some months I made £800-£1000.

    Anyway, best wishes for 2024 - you'll find lots of support here.


    November 2023

    I'm always in it, it's only the depth that varies....

    Current debt: £10,806.75
    Debt free date April 2025 (though expecting this to come forward)


  • zedonk
    zedonk Posts: 48
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    Just popping in to say hello! I'm also a single parent and self-employed (although I'll be starting a salaried job in Feb) so we have some stuff in common. I love your plans to rebuild your life as a single person. I definitely need to find more fun stuff to do that doesn't cost (much) money.
  • MusicLover31
    MusicLover31 Posts: 7
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    WYSPECIAL said:

    January totals:
    Zopa Credit Card 3866 (aiming for £150/month)
    Virgin Credit Card 3473 (aiming for £75/month)
    Argos Card 590 (most expensive, aiming for £100/month)
    Santander Card 464 (this could change as its a short term panic fund until I can get some put away)


    If Argos is the most expensive why not pay more off that and less, initially, off the others so long as you are paying the minimum?
    It will mean less interest long term but also Argos only has a small balance which will quickly be gone.
    Having one less debt will really make you feel positive and then you can put the money you were paying towards that to one of the others.
    2024 is going to be your year!
    Yes that does sound like a good plan... I'm overpaying on the two bigger ones but not by much, anything spare I have I'll chuck at the Argos card... I was hoping to have a bit spare each month from the business but I think the unexpected car bill has got rid of that idea  :/
  • MusicLover31
    MusicLover31 Posts: 7
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    joedenise said:
    It might be worth doing an SOA (Statement of Affairs) to enable others to see if there is anywhere with a bit of wiggle room.  Things like groceries, mobile phones, internet etc can often be cut back on depending on what you are spending now.
    Thankyou I'll have a look at that, I'm concentrating on the food shopping bill at the moment, meal planning, batch cooking etc. Still in contract with phone but have more to look into to see if I can save.
  • MusicLover31
    MusicLover31 Posts: 7
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    Forumite
    Well done on starting a plan for yourself to get yourself debt free! 

    I agree with having every penny accounted for, i find having a little budget for week to week even if it includes food and petrol and an extra £5 as a buffer helps me if i go into it it doesn't mean i will continue to spend because i was "budgeting for it anyway" 

    Good luck with your journey.
    Thankyou :)
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