Catriona's Credit Card Countdown

edited 15 March 2013 at 9:41PM in Debt Free Diaries
680 replies 54.4K views
catriona79catriona79 Forumite
855 Posts
edited 15 March 2013 at 9:41PM in Debt Free Diaries
Hi All,
I have long been jealous of all of you wonderfully disciplined people who slay their debts ruthlessly with each pay check!
I have been lurking on here for many years, and learned a lot. I have tried to budget, use comparison sites, signed up to Quidco and market research sites, grabbed bargains and downloaded vouchers.
But in March 2011 I bought my first house alone, after a relationship split and wanted to cheer myself up and do it up beautifully. And I did! I really love it. I did budget with that too, but inevitably it left me with masses of debt. I always used only 0% cards to buy the housey things – the new windows and radiators, the cooker and washer dryer, paint and tiles. :o
In the mean time, I also used my cards to supplement my regular daily spends; regularly went to restaurants and bars– especially when the house was a building site and all I had was an old mattress on the floor and a couple of garden chairs! J I did need to get away, and what is done is done. But – I fully intend to turn it around now! :A

I have given myself a tight – but realistic – deadline of my 35th birthday (May 25th 2014) to be debt free.


My debts at the moment are:

Barclaycard 1 - £3600 – 0% until November 2013
Barclaycard 2 - £6685 – 0% until March 2014
First Direct CC - £3100 – 0% until January 2014
Lloyds TSB CC - £2131 – 0% until February 2014
Ikano bed loan - £126 – 0% until May 2013
HSBC CC – £290 – 17%

The total is :eek::eek::eek: £15801 :eek::eek::eek:


To tell the truth, it has been making me really anxious to know that I could be in a really precarious situation if I lost my job, for instance. I have not been sleeping well for the last couple of years. I need more peace of mind and there is only one way to feel secure – and that is to provide security for yourself, without relying on others.
I don’t really get any support from my parents and they don’t live in the UK, so maybe that adds to the anxiety, but the fact is that I am perfectly capable of carrying on and making it all better myself. I am quite independent and motivated and have got myself quite excited about this new challenge.
My weakness, however, is that I don’t stick at things! I will be good for a couple of months, and then feel low/deprived and undo all the good work.
So, I am hoping that knowing that some of you might read it, will make me stick at my goals better this time, and be still young(ish) and (debt) free for 25th May 2014, which is when I turn 35.
Hope a few of you will come here and cheer me on from time to time!
I shall tell you about my plan for debt busting shortly. ;)
* * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
mbna1 - 3,009.22
mbna2 - 1,755.70
Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
«13456768

Replies

  • Hello everyone

    I am back and pleased to report that I have been a very good girl!

    Barclaycard 1 - £200/£3600, new total £3400
    Barclaycard 2 - £185/£6685, new total £6500
    First Direct CC - £100/£3100, new total £3000
    Lloyds TSB CC - £131/£2131, new total £2000
    Ikano bed loan - £31.5/£126, new total £94.5
    HSBC CC – £411/£411 new total £0

    The total is :eek::eek::eek: £14994 :eek::eek::eek:


    The perceptive among you will notice that I had to run up a bigger debt on my HSBC card before I paid it off :eek: not good!
    But it's not too bad overall.

    Now I've updated my spreadsheet and can clearly see when my DFD is... Another 16 pay days and I will get there!

    I have been keeping going only thanks to other diaries and the forum in general. I have become very much single-minded and keep checking my bank balance every day. I wonder if that's too much... I also wonder if I can keep going like this for the whole time I need to.

    The debt free day seems ages away and it's about a lot of tiny steps... I hope I don't lose the motivation to keep going.

    But I think, so far, I have been feeling really uplifted when I have been doing well.
    Firstly, I haven't bought clothes or make up. No more Chanel mascara for me, oh no!! :)
    Secondly, I haven't spent like crazy in Sainsbury's. I'm a Lidl girl now. I walk to the shop too! I have a freezer full of goodies, and I have never ever truly eaten out of it. Now I am, and that makes me feel great. Meal planning is great too. It's only me, so it's easily done; so much easier to budget when you don't have to cook for a man. I eat the same meal even 3 times in a row and I don't mind that much. Couldn't have done that with the ex.
    Thirdly, I have tried to budget for socialising. It's not easy! That's always been my biggest problem. So I'm trying now. I've got a 30th party to go to this Saturday and need to spend on a pressie and drinks. I'm going to have to get better at that.
    Any ideas gratefully received!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Dear Diary,

    Had a bit of a set back today... Went to the dentist for another check up, and it turns out that one of my molars is infected and needs root canal treatment... Not good.
    My choices are:
    1. Have it done on the NHS -£40
    2. Have it done by my dentist, who is wonderful - £300
    3. Have it done by a specialist with much better equipment etc £750

    What do I do? I have discounted the NHS option. It doesn't buy as much of the dentist's time and the materials used won't last as long. Less time means that the infection might return, as the infected tissue may not all get removed from the tooth.
    The diff between option 2 and 3 is mainly equipment and skill of the dentist - apparently there are dentists who do nothing but root canal fillings.

    So, I am a bit torn.
    My dentist says 75-80% success with option2. It's higher with the specialistist, but still no 100% guarantee. If it doesn't work, I'm going to have to have the tooth out. So what is worth doing? :eek:

    I was so excited about being able o make overpayments, clearing my HSBC card which I used and paid off in full each month, and not spending on it again. My money was already allocated to go on a stash and be used to pay off one of the cards.

    Just shows that you can't really predict everything. Feeling a bit low now.

    But, we are halfway through the month now, pay day is in 2 weeks' time exactly. I'm already scraping the barrel. But at least his month I know it and will be tightening the belt and trying to make it till the end of the month without getting into the OD.

    Does anyone else like a crisis situation? It's strange, but I'm really motivated by them. It's almost like I relish it and am entertained by it! Obviously would rather not have this massive debt hanging over my head, but it's motivating. I almost get a tingle of excitement out of updating my spreadsheet! ;) let's hope that means I'm going to stick to it!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • Hi Catriona,

    I'm subscribed so will be lurking from now on.

    I agree that it's motivating when you can see the changes daily. And don't worry about the set back here or there. They will happen, that's life, and the important thing is not to give up beacuse of them.

    Ouch, tooth problem sounds painful :eek: I'm lucky that my teeth are pretty good, but then the idea of serious dentistry (filling and root cananl stuff) scares me senseless! I think the way to decide which route to go is how much you're will to sacrifice for the cost. £40 is very good value, if it works. But if you have to have it done again, or you have to have the tooth removed, it won't be. I'm all for getting the best price when the product is basically the same (gas for example) but if there really is a decernable benefit to the extra cost I seriously consider it.

    Personally I would go for the £300 option. You trust your dentist, so it will be less stressful, and it gives you a good chance of saving the tooth.

    I'd also say, despite cutting costs for some time already beacuse this is your first diary, it's still worth doing a SOA. There's always some good advice that comes out from it.
    Total debt: [STRIKE]£9473.62[/STRIKE] £7,384.87 22% PAID
    TAF #25 NSD 8/12 | Food £43.45/£50 | eBay 0/20 | Exercise 5/18
    :T Proud to be Dealing with my Debt :T
    DFD: June 2015
  • amyc92amyc92 Forumite
    153 Posts
    Hello Catriona :D
    subscribed now!
    You seem to be doing very well, so well done :)

    I would personally go with the £300 option to, I think that sounds the best idea!!

    Don't feel low about it, just come on here, some people give really good advice!

    Axx
    Car- £6990.50
    Overdraft- £400
    Holiday:
    08/06/15Flight- £201
    03/08/15Remaining-£260
  • edited 15 March 2013 at 8:29PM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 15 March 2013 at 8:29PM
    As suggested, I have done an SOA.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1903
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 425
    Total monthly income.................... 2328


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 459
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 74
    Electricity............................. 40
    Gas..................................... 46
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 21
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 13
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 39
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 150
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 90
    Road tax................................ 11
    Car Insurance........................... 35
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 20
    Car parking............................. 45
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 15
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 7
    Contents insurance...................... 6
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 30
    Haircuts................................ 35
    Entertainment........................... 100
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Professional Membership Fee............. 12
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1310.12



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 170000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1500
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 171500



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 106237...(459)......2.89
    Total secured & HP debts...... 106237....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Barclaycard 1..................3400......200.......0
    Barclaycard 2..................6500......150.......0
    First Direct...................3000......100.......0
    Bed loan.......................94.5......31.5......0
    Lloyds TSB.....................2000......100.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........14994.5...581.5.....-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,328
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,310.12
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,017.88
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 581.5
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 436.38


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 171,500
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -106,237
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -14,994.5
    Net Assets.............................. 50,268.5


    Created using the SOA calculator at https://www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • edited 15 March 2013 at 9:46PM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 15 March 2013 at 9:46PM
    KarmaChi and Amy - thank you for reading and subscribing! I feel so much better now knowing that someone else is reading this drivel and that will keep me motivated. I will keep checking up on how you both are doing, too! :)

    I have a cunning plan to make the payments as above, and save £550 a month. The amount left over doesn't take into account that I pay all the big expenses in one go, but I have budgeted for those. That means that I now have £550 left over each month to save up - and that's what I intend on doing.
    Then when I need to pay off a card, it should be there, available. So the wise spreadsheet says, anyway!
    If I keep on track, I should be able to pay off BarclayC1, FD and the Black Horse cards within their 0% period. But it will take till February 2014. Then I should only be left with my biggest card, BarclayC2, with a balance of roughly £5k. The 0% on that ends in March 2014. Hopefully, by having been a good girl for all that time and having reduced my debt, I will then get another 0% deal to shift the balance to. Then I will have to make a run for it and clear all by the time I turn 35. It is possible, but not going to be very glamorous! :) Many evenings in!

    If people have any comments, they are welcome. Not only on my budgeting, but also how to stay on track. That's where my problem lies!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    80.4K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Forumite
    I think you would be best paying off the money as you go rather than saving it up.Then you are not tempted.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • edited 16 March 2013 at 11:48AM
    catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    edited 16 March 2013 at 11:48AM
    beanielou wrote: »
    I think you would be best paying off the money as you go rather than saving it up.Then you are not tempted.

    BeanieLou

    Thanks for reading and posting advice.
    Yes, I have actually considered that too.

    The are two elements to it:
    1) BCard1 is my priority to pay off; it is in my ex's name. He very kindly agreed to take it on for me ages ago when I was refused a 0% BCard deal. He probably saved me a lot of money through helping me out and I have been paying him back religiously. He has said not to worry about paying it off sooner than necessary, he is fine with me giving him a lump sum when the time comes (Nov 13).
    2) it's just me, with no fallback so I thought if I keep saving until the 0% on BCard1 comes to an end then give the cash to my ex. In the meantime I will have the security of keeping the money in my savings acc, should anything go wrong. Absolutely worst case scenario, I will ask ex to move the debt onto another 0% deal; that's only if something really bad happens.

    Having said that, all my appliances in the house are new, so should not break (touch wood) and I had a new boiler put in, in Dec 2013, so short of the roof falling in, I don't think there is a whole lot that could go wrong.
    I do like to be prepared, it reassures me. Hate to be stressing about money, and I seem to stress about it quite a lot.

    Hence my thinking.
    But I may have to re-consider. I am not very good at sticking to my budget... You do have a point. Once it's gone, it's gone and cannot be spent!

    How is everyone today?

    What are you up to? I'm going to go for a run, then have a friend coming over for lunch and in the evening I'm off to a 30th birthday party.
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • Good morning Diary,

    I've had a not too bad weekend, money-wise. I have set myself a very low target and would prob only have been happy if I'd spent nothing, but all things considered, it was very decent.
    I went to the birthday party on Saturday only for a couple of hours and - as i had a stash of birthday cards from Paperchase Xmas sale, I just used that rather than buying one. I bought the birthday girl and myself a drink and spent a couple of hours chatting. Then at midnight I went home, as it felt a bit cheap, but really didn't want to spend any more than the £10 at the bar.

    I was glad I got away for a bit, as it was only my 2nd weekend on my own after a breakup and I would have been feeling fairly pooh if I'd stayed in. Sunday morning I went to see my friend who's just bought her first car and asked me to go driving with her - we went to her work and back 3 times!!;) no spend! Yesterday I went to Lidl (so proud of myself for changing to shopping in Lidl, I'm loving it!) and did a shop for £15 which will last me a while. Spending much less on food nowadays.

    I skyped mum last night for a chat, which was really nice and we got onto buying too much food, don't we all do it....I am really bad. Freezer and cupboards are so full I can't close them! Yesterday I bought a mixing bowl in Lidl, as hadn't got one and there was nowhere for it to go! My lodger has only got one cupboard in the kitchen and even that is "minimalist"!;) I do have to get better. I think I'm well on the way.

    I have the day off today and my friend is coming over. Ill make a lemon drizzle cake, which will be nice as it will tide me over till the end of the week for 11 o'clock snack at work. On Thursday I have another day off and doing an exam in the morning and then using a Gr*upon voucher I'd bought ages ago to take my new Polish friend to lunch at a Thai place. She treated me to a breakfast not long ago. Haven't been for a meal out since my split, so this is something for me o look forward to and won't make me feel guilty.

    Pay day next Thursday (10 days and counting!) and I'm getting a bit obsessive! It can't come soon enough. I think this is just about the most determined about money saving I have ever been. Long may it last!
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
  • catriona79catriona79 Forumite
    855 Posts
    Woo hoo, I have completed my first 3 ever ebay sales! I am so proud of myself. Going to declutter good and proper over the weekend. See what else I can sell... There are lots of clothes, which I'd normally take to the charity shop, but not anymore...
    * * * Catriona's Credit Card Countdown * * * from -£16k to debt neutraldom - for my debt diary click here
    Barclaycard -£5,867.52;
    mbna1 - 3,009.22
    mbna2 - 1,755.70
    Savings £5,017 MFiT #25 £2,627/£10k; daily interest £5.04
This discussion has been closed.
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