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  • FIRST POST
    • CashOut
    • By CashOut 11th Jul 19, 11:13 AM
    • 5Posts
    • 2Thanks
    CashOut
    Help and Advice - Small Amount of Debt
    • #1
    • 11th Jul 19, 11:13 AM
    Help and Advice - Small Amount of Debt 11th Jul 19 at 11:13 AM
    Hello my fellow Debt-Free Wannabe's

    First time posting (and first time visiting the site actually), I'm hoping for some advice to take control of my debt situation before it spirals out of control.

    Financial Background;- I have 3 defaults on my credit file from Feb-2014 meaning I can't get a consolidation loan or 0% balance transfer credit card, this also has impeded me to some degree for getting pretty much anything where a credit check is required. My credit score has sat at around the 500 points mark since the defaults and never goes up.

    I have taken a look at the SOA link in this sub-forum but it looks a little complex and I don't have the figures or details for a lot of the information required to pull together a fully comprehensive list (I'm guessing without this it's going to be very hard to help me?), I'll try my best to complete it below but will apologize now for any gaps.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1880
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1880


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 300
    Rent.................................... 275
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 133
    Electricity............................. 65
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 32
    Telephone (land line)................... 15
    Mobile phone............................ 130
    TV Licence.............................. 13
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 32
    Groceries etc. ......................... 200
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 150
    Road tax................................ 13
    Car Insurance........................... 33
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 10.4
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 5
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 50
    Haircuts................................ 5
    Entertainment........................... 75
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1586.4



    Assets

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



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 0........(0)........0
    Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 0........(300)......0
    Total secured & HP debts...... 0.........-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Capital One....................1300......80........30
    Aqua...........................2500......80....... .35
    Total unsecured debts..........3800......160.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,880
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,586.4
    Available for debt repayments........... 293.6
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 160
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 133.6


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 0
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -3,800
    Net Assets.............................. -3,800


Page 2
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 11th Jul 19, 11:03 PM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    £150 for person fuel when you live near work so low commute cost is a lot of miles.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 11th Jul 19, 11:05 PM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Get with hotukdeals can save a fortune.
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 12th Jul 19, 4:55 AM
    • 433 Posts
    • 1,926 Thanks
    BabyStepper

    Hopefully thatís then plan and also why Iím looking at it today when the total is sub £5000 and still ďmanageableĒ as I donít want to be back here in 3-5 years with £30000-£50000 racked up as (no offence intended) some of the horror stories on this forum literally scare the sh!t out of me!
    Originally posted by CashOut
    Me too, totally relate!
    May '18 £21,228.07/August '19 £10,345

    51% paid

    Getting it done

    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jul 19, 6:08 AM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less


    Yes I can down-grade my contract, it’s £650 to break contract and pay the remaining balance, I have enough free credit on either credit card to accommodate this so will look at doing it now. The contract was for an iPhone X, Apple Watch and EarPods, in hindsight this was a little silly of me to agree to but at the time money wasn’t like it is 18 months later, fortunately I didn’t take my annual upgrade so it only has 5 months remaining which I’ll look to pay off now as advised. The phone I’ve got is still in “mint” condition so I will just add a SIM contract to is and save over £100 a month.
    Originally posted by CashOut
    if the phone is mint what's it worth second hand?
    seems some go for over £500
    sell it and get a £100 phone.

    Why buy it out with 5 months left that is same as letting it run and you get to keep the airtime.

    Can you down grade the plan to save a bit

    go through the hotukdeals offers there will be something there

    here is the link for one on 3(via top cashback)
    8gb Data, Unlimited minutes & texts, 12 month contract @ Three £10pm (+ £50 TCB) £120 Total

    with the cashback <£6pm for 8gb

    quidco have £45 cash back on the same plan if you prefer them for cashback

    https://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/sim-only-8gb-data-unlimited-minutes-texts-12-month-contract-at-topcashback-three-mobile-3260609

    if you don't need loads of calls and text you can get unlimited data for under £10pm

    if stuck/prefer EE.

    https://www.hotukdeals.com/tag/ee

    there are a couple of offers giving
    EE 12 month Sim only 20GB data/unlimited mins & txt for £22 (£8 after £168 cashback


    You do use cashback sites?
    Last edited by getmore4less; 12-07-2019 at 6:19 AM.
    • fatbelly
    • By fatbelly 12th Jul 19, 6:34 AM
    • 14,046 Posts
    • 11,053 Thanks
    fatbelly
    Have you tried the CapitalOne eligibility checker for their Balance Transfer card? When I was struggling with a bad credit file and low debt, CapitalOne gave me second card when I applied for their BT card (I already had their standard card). If you could BT the Aqua debt on to a 0% CapitalOne BT card then that would provide you with a little more wiggle room.
    Originally posted by Willing2Learn
    mse has an eligibility checker here

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/eligibility/credit-cards/

    There are some good 0% deals and you don't need perfect credit history

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/balance-transfer-credit-cards/#poorer
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jul 19, 7:17 AM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    but a new winter coat (£150-£200 for example)
    Coats should last more than a year and can be found a lot less than that for general outdoor wear.

    plenty here under £100
    https://www.johnlewis.com/browse/men/mens-coats-jackets/all-offers/_/N-ea9Z1yzvw1q

    if you want traditional overcoat then a bit more this is £140
    https://www.johnlewis.com/allsaints-foley-wool-blend-overcoat/p3335939

    The trick when you know you will need stuff is to be on the lookout all the time and if you find something you like with very deep discount buy more and stock up.
    For stuff like work clothes double up 2 of the same jackets and more trousers, you can have a best set for the important days and the older stuff gets used for those hanging out in the office days.

    if fading is a problem then you could just wash the jackets more and have more than 2 pairs of trousers to go with them.

    M&S do some good machine washables and they have some great discounts on suits(if they have your sizes) from £25 2pc

    https://www.marksandspencer.com/l/offers/sale/mens?facets=20453501&slider_Current_Min=0&slider_C urrent_Max=420&sortBy=sku.colour_rank|1
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jul 19, 7:31 AM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    ON the CC front it might be better to look at one with a 0% purchases as long as possible.

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/credit-cards/best-0-credit-cards/

    With your regular expenses fuel and work expenses you could have a lot transferred to 0% card quite quickly with no fees.

    (spend on the card and use the cash to pay down your interest bearing cards.)
    • trailingspouse
    • By trailingspouse 12th Jul 19, 8:32 AM
    • 3,681 Posts
    • 6,890 Thanks
    trailingspouse
    You asked if there was an app for putting together a spending diary. I'm sure there is, but I find the simplest thing to do is to buy everything using your bank card - that way, your bank statement becomes your spending diary. And you need to know where every penny is going.



    Knowledge is power.



    As to how much you spend on food - I've been tracking my food spend since February. I have a spreadsheet, and a graph and everything - these are my figures (food only, single person). I shop at Aldi mostly, but I also have a take away once a month, and an occasional coffee out, etc - these 'extras' are included in the figures.

    Average weekly spend - £16.70
    Average amount per day - £2.39
    Average amount per meal (assuming 3 meals a day, 7 days a week) - 80p


    I've been doing this for 5 months now, so it's totally sustainable. It's a sensible, normal, healthy diet, with lots of fruit and veg, fish once a week, one meat-free day, lots of white meat and very occasionally something less healthy like red meat or sausages. I don't feel deprived. I don't buy alcohol - but that's only because I'm still using up the alcohol I already have. Once it's gone, I'll be buying the odd bottle of wine - but my weekly bill will still be less than £20.00.


    All the best with your debt-free mission - you've made a start, and that's the hardest bit.
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 12th Jul 19, 9:54 AM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    IF you are travelling for work then there should be some meals included even if just a lunch.

    You need to max those out so you don't need so much at home.

    As well as being careful where you shop looking out for bulk buys and reduced stuff can slash a food bill over time, especially high cost items like meat which can be portioned and frozen.

    if you have access to M&S and Waitrose and can work out when they do reductions you can really cut food costs.

    If none local maybe you go past some on travel days.

    M&S 80%-90% off where we are usually between 5pm and 6pm even ready meals are cheaper than you can make them from scratch.
    • Mrsn
    • By Mrsn 12th Jul 19, 3:18 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    Mrsn
    I have at least 1 if not 2 meat free meals a week, when making spaghetti bolognaise, lasagne, cottage pie etc I bulk with either grated veg or lentils. I donít eat mince but those that do havenít noticed the difference.

    Most meals are padded out with 3 portions of veg or lots of salad, itís making the meat go as far as possible. We also do the bulk of shopping in Aldi which helps very much! A £3.10 roast in the bag chicken will make us a Sunday lunch, 2 childrenís portions to put in the freezer, 2 portions of shredded chicken which will make a pie or add into a pasta dish and then if Iím feeling energetic I will use the carcass to make some fresh stock.

    I appreciate cooking for just one can seem like a hassle etc but it can be done if you batch cook and freeze leftovers. Thereís a Facebook page feed your family for £20, great for meal ideas and gives plenty of hints and tips
    • katsu
    • By katsu 12th Jul 19, 4:54 PM
    • 4,543 Posts
    • 14,121 Thanks
    katsu
    Hiya, I think in part you haven't got a full handle on what you are really spending. The thing about being paid expenses at 0.45 per mile is that you are running a car that doesn't have all the expenses that .45 is meant to cover, as you are not having to pay for MOT or maintenance etc so effectively you should be able to make extra debt repayments with your 0.45p/mile as you are only really paying for the car (which is a debt) and the fuel. Does that help give you a way to look at this?

    On the phones - take a look at the main site tab above. There are some good deals with decent data for under £10. 2gb for £6 for example https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/phones/cheap-sim-only-contracts/ You can definitely save a lot of money on your usage. Whether to break contract or not is something you need to work out - especially as paying by credit card would cost you interest. Don't rush into that.

    I suspect you aren't really putting money away. You say the presents is about right - if you have a month where you do not need to buy a present do you put the cash away ready for another time? Same with anything else like the £5 haircut. I assume you spend £X every so often not actually £5 a month so if you aren't saving it, where does that £5 go each month?

    Definitely 2 pairs of trousers with a matching jacket and look at deals in stores other than Next. If you are buying £99 suits how do you wash them that they are ruined at the end of the year? Maybe a different suit would be an idea?

    Virgin sell broadband without a phone line. There might be cheaper deals from other providers that include a landline but it is definitely something you can look at.

    TV. If you do not watch any live TV (so includes channel 5 & ITV not just BBC) or you use the BBC iplayer, then you need a license. If you don't, you don't. You can have a TV set that you use with your playstation, or just own an old TV set that you do not watch.

    I would pay by card for everything this month so you can see where your money really goes and then use that information to help you develop a budget and to cut down.
    Debt at highest: £8k Debt Free 31/12/2009 (nine years and counting ) Original MFD: May 2036. MF Dec 2018
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 12th Jul 19, 8:07 PM
    • 5,943 Posts
    • 7,369 Thanks
    theoretica
    with regular washing the trousers and shirts are about ready to throw away after a year of daily wearing, next to the jackets they are paired with they look considerably faded and deteriorated.
    Originally posted by CashOut

    If you are getting through about 4 pairs of work trousers a year that is less than 60 wears each (assuming you work 5 days and have fairly normal holidays). This looks extremely low to me and I think you could probably save a lot if you got them to last longer and perhaps want to look at how you wash them for an easy win. For instance, biological detergents will shorten the life of wool and can cause more fading than non-bio.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 13th Jul 19, 10:02 PM
    • 36,912 Posts
    • 22,763 Thanks
    getmore4less
    Just to add it is up to you how you allocate your resources, you can review all the ideas and pick and choose where you cut back.

    The key is to cut back enough to get the debt paid off and then plan(budget) better going forward prioritising everything and only using what you have.
    • ToeDipper
    • By ToeDipper 14th Jul 19, 10:04 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    ToeDipper
    On the monthly food costs:

    £200 per month is £200 x 12 months / 365 days / 3 meals a day = £2.19 per meal, rather than £1.66.

    £1.66 per meal equates to £1.66 x 3 meals x 365 days / 12 months = £150ish per month.

    Might be worthwhile tracking what you spend on food for a few weeks, to see where the extra is going?

    If it helps, we do a weekly shop for two people at £40 per week. We put £40 x 52 weeks / 12 months = £173.33 away into our bills account for food each month and withdraw a £40 cash kitty every week. Over time we actually find that we have a little left over, enough to pay for a bonus meal out every now and then
    • 19lottie82
    • By 19lottie82 15th Jul 19, 12:05 AM
    • 5,814 Posts
    • 8,716 Thanks
    19lottie82
    Cheapest SIM only contract on my providers website is £13 pcm with less than sufficient data (250mb pcm)
    When youíre out of contract, shop about. Iím with three and get 8gb and unlimited calls / texts for £10 a month.
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