I guess I'm looking for some encouragement...

in Debt-Free Wannabe
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DebtProblemsDebtProblems Forumite
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MoneySaving Newbie
Hi all, long time lurker first time poster.

Myself and my SO have debt that totals, £45,250.70p.

We pay towards our debt each month around £1400 and we're on track to be debt free in 32 months, but I can honestly say I think about our debt, and 'the end' and every day I'm looking at ways to try and change it, move a loan to a CC, change the % rate. But as my SO has said, I think we've exhausted all avenues and now it's just a waiting game. Is that it? Is that the truth, just wait the 32 (Maybe 25) months out and it's over?

I should mention that we save £400 a month, due to anything that pops up, housing, jobs, cars or any other problems, but hope nothing does pop up and we then can just pay this saving to the debt once it comes to finishing it off, with the extra £400 we would be able to finish it within 25 months.

Also, what has been something that people have done during their Debt-Free Wannabe time?

Any help or advice, or encouragement would be welcome.

Have a lovely day!

Replies

  • edited 7 September at 6:27PM
    jadewest94jadewest94 Forumite
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    edited 7 September at 6:27PM
    Hey!

    Welcome and good luck on your journey! Personally my debt free date is next year sometime, originally March but no longer that time frame. Since January I've made over 1k in surveys, online communitues and zoom calls. I also try and sell a lot of items I don't need or use on eBay and last month I made over £70 on clothes :smile:

    Do you also have a debt free diary on here? People will follow along and encourage you along the way, usually offering tips and great advice! 
    Pay off all your Debt by Christmas 2021 Number 66 (£1196.97/£6193.30)
    Surveys 21/22 Goal £400 by December 2021 Currently at £684.40 
    3 - 6 month Emergency Fund Challenge (part 2) - #57 £37. 62/£500 January 2022 
       
    Aqua £463.48
    Fluid £199
    Vanquis £429
    Barclaycard £255.03
    Likely Loans £868
    118 Money £2045.84
    Five Lamps £785

    Total debt £6193.30 at the very start of DFW Journey.
    Current debt £4996.33 

    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6231115/time-to-start-a-fresh#latest
  • stokegalstokegal Forumite
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    Hi,

    I’ve seen lots of posts on here where people have looked at consolidating their debt and the overwhelming advice is always not to through fear of just running up more debt. 

    I manage my debt on an excel spreadsheet.  I’m impatient and seeing a large number slowly trickle down was difficult so I manage it on a month by month basis and get excited to update my spreadsheet on payday or whenever I throw some extra cash at it throughout the month.

    My spreadsheet also calculated any interest saved by paying extra and I became obsessed with making an extra £20 / £50 payments here and there to see the amount of interest I would save.

    Once my higher interest debt was paid off I then flipped between paying off the remaining highest interest and snowballing the smaller amounts. This has helped me to focus massively now I’m coming to the end of paying all my debt off (I’m down from £37500 at varying interest rates to £8409 all on 0% in 10 months)

    Other things that helped me was seeing my credit file regularly. I have access to MSE credit club which shows Experian and Credit Karma (Transunion), I check these at least once a week to see when my debt has cleared from my file and the impact it has on my score (even though the scores do not mean anything)

    I also kept an eye on my credit card utilisation - it was around 80% last October but I’ve just pushed myself to get it under 25% this month. Once you have this at a reasonable level you may be able to balance transfer to 0% if you are not doing so already.

    Instead of looking at your debt as a whole maybe set yourself mini goals ie - get all debt at 0% where possible, pay off all debts under £500, having NSD and paying extra off your debt etc

    Once you have exhausted that mindset then look at how you can make extra payments - selling items online, online surveys, cash back etc.

    Also posting on here helped me too. It’s always useful to surround yourself with people with similar goals to yourself and the 25/32 months will be over before you know it.

    Good Luck! 
    LBM - Oct 2020 - £37500
    Currently - £8409
    77% cleared!
  • edited 8 September at 10:15AM
    EssexHebrideanEssexHebridean Forumite
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    edited 8 September at 10:15AM
    It's a slog isn't it - BUT it will be a worthwhile slog once it's done, and that light at the end of the tunnel is probably the strongest "keep going" incentive any of us can offer. 

    You're absolutely right to keep on top of deals etc. Also I assume you are "snowballing" - paying off the highest interest rates first? Your savings of £400 a month - in theory that should be good, BUT if you have debt it's less clear cut. If you're saving for something specific - for example you know your car only has another year or so left in it and you need to save £2500 for a cheap replacement - then great,  but if you're essentially saving an "emergency fund" that is just getting higher and higher, personally I'd shift some of that to debt. Usual EF recommendations are along the lines of if you rent, fully furnished, and don't own a car then an EF in the region of £250 will cover you. Renting furnished WITH a car? Aim for £500. Same figure for renting, no car, but also unfurnished. If you own a home, whether or not you have a car, I'd suggest a figure of £1000 will cover all but the most extreme of eventualities. If you're really cautious/risk adverse (not a bad way to be) double that figure. Anything above that though, if you also have debt, and particularly if that debt is accruing interest, is money that's not working for you. Personally, and from now, I would split that saving figure down the middle - £200 to whatever your current most expensive debt is, and the balance going to savings until you hit your desired threshold. Then I'd take a big deep breath, and pay the entire £400 to the debt until you need to change that to top up the EF again. 

    It might help you to put together your SOA - Statement of Affairs - and post into this thread. We can then take a look and see if there are any savings that we can identify that you  may have missed - sometimes seeing the wood for the trees can get tricky! The link to an SOA calculator is below, in my signature. 
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016 :D
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
  • ShineyhappyShineyhappy Forumite
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    Congratulations on the progress you have made and are continuing to make.

    I paid off my debt and then mortgage so for me, my DFW lifestyle turned into a new more frugal lifestyle that I still have.

    I would suggest making the largest payments to the highest APRs where possible but I’m guessing you are already doing that. So in terms of lifestyle changes, I became a declutterer instead of a keeper of junk. Not being swamped down with stuff I didn’t want or need was really freeing and if I could sell the item, even better, if not donating to charity also was good.

    I also educated myself on how to have fun on a budget, looking for free days out or heritage weeks and got a National Trust membership and used it well, swapped board games with friends, went cycling more with a pic nic.
    I also looked in advance for super cheap Premier Inn breaks so at least I could get a break.


    It’s so important that you try and have fun and relax during this time and if you can make good habits now then it will help avoid further debt problems. For me, it was also worth realising why I got into debt and to get myself into a much stronger position financially and where I wanted to be in the future. 

    Good luck and either start a diary diary or join in on one of the challenges so you have support and can share your journey with people who understand 


    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage frees done
    Making £2018
  • AndyjfletAndyjflet Forumite
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    Hi all, long time lurker first time poster.

    Myself and my SO have debt that totals, £45,250.70p.

    We pay towards our debt each month around £1400 and we're on track to be debt free in 32 months, but I can honestly say I think about our debt, and 'the end' and every day I'm looking at ways to try and change it, move a loan to a CC, change the % rate. But as my SO has said, I think we've exhausted all avenues and now it's just a waiting game. Is that it? Is that the truth, just wait the 32 (Maybe 25) months out and it's over?

    I should mention that we save £400 a month, due to anything that pops up, housing, jobs, cars or any other problems, but hope nothing does pop up and we then can just pay this saving to the debt once it comes to finishing it off, with the extra £400 we would be able to finish it within 25 months.

    Also, what has been something that people have done during their Debt-Free Wannabe time?

    Any help or advice, or encouragement would be welcome.

    Have a lovely day!
    I would do the Baby Steps

    1. Save £1000 emergency fund
    2. Channel all money into debt busting starting with the snowball method.
    3. 3-6 months household expenses emergency fund. 

    then 4567

    In summary, leave £1000 in your savings and throw the rest at the smallest debt, then the next smallest. etc
    Baby Step 1 - £3840 saved for emergency fund STORM MODE
    Baby Step 2
    M&S Loan £8713.68
  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
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    Good luck, you sound like you have things managed and under control.
    Do you have plans once you're debt free?
    You sound like you have built controls in place in your life but not wanting to be negative, what you don't want to do is come out the other end after all your hard work and put yourself back to square one.
    If you haven't, maybe think about what you'd like your new debt free life will be like, pigeon hole debt free funds for certain activities etc.
    Wherever you go, whatever you do Richard Marx is right there waiting for you.

    Sweet dreams!
  • AspirationAspiration Forumite
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    OP great you’ve got a clear plan and are working together.

    Personally I let it build over time, never really thinking about it, thinking the next pay rise will clear it or bonus.. or who even knows!! 

    Once it hit over £100k and I was scratching around for money I’d realised it had got out of hand. 

    Since Jan last year I set up a Monzo account to budget better and as per @stokegal started using spreadsheets. I’d spend about an hour checking over any variances and then setting the next months. 

    I budget my own spending money and can do whatever I like with it. Usually I end up reducing it to pay a bill or get ahead on something but it’s there if I need it.

    Lockdown felt so much easier as no where was open and there were no family days out. 

    I, like you think about it a lot. Everyday, sometimes a lot through the day. Crazy really as when it was building I brushed off any thoughts quite easily. 

    You’ve got a good plan and partnership to address. 

    The hardest part I’ve found Is staying on plan. Whether that’s a day out, diy shopping, car breakdown etc but most can be budgeted for. 

    You’ll crack it, keep focussed and know many of us understand and are cheering you on! 
    April 2020 - £102,222 Loans/CC’s
    MBNA £15,500. Now £15,300.
    Lloyds £8800. Now £823

    October 2021 - £16,123
    Cleared - £86,099
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