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  • FIRST POST
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 28th Jan 18, 5:19 AM
    • 23Posts
    • 50Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    A lighter life - Enough is Enough!
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 18, 5:19 AM
    A lighter life - Enough is Enough! 28th Jan 18 at 5:19 AM
    28 January 2018

    I joined this site years ago (2010!) with good intentions, made a few posts but mostly lurked, then didn't visit. But I've decided I need to do this, enough of the ostrich or starting and then tailing off, I need to get on top of my finances this year. I do keep a personal money diary and spreadsheet but it doesn't really hold me accountable - it can be very easy to kid yourself! Posting in a public forum is my way of trying to keep myself accountable and being brutally honest with myself - I haven't always made the best choices.

    Current situation as at 28 January 2018:
    Mortgage 1 - 9,699.49 - 11 years 2 months left
    Mortgage 2 - 5,085.24 - 2 years 10 months left
    Mortgage 3 - 29,708.08 - 11 years 2 months left

    Total Mortgage debt = 44,492.81

    Tesco Loan - 3,951.62 - 1 year 7 months left
    Tesco Credit Card - 8,864.75
    Nationwide Credit Card - 12,217.71
    Overdrafts - 1,572.93

    Total unsecured debt = 26,607.01

    TOTAL DEBTS = 71,099.82

    This will change in the next few days as I have just been paid and February's bills will be going out. I also (tut tut) need to submit my tax return for last year (nothing like last minute...but best laid plans and all that jazz.....) and I am holding a few deposits for tickets I am getting for social events that I'm organising which I need to pay over but some monies are on paypal account, some have been transferred over for me to make payment so are included in the above figures - so won't have the completely true picture until I've paid for all tickets next week and filed my tax return.

    How I got in the mess....
    Over the years has been a bit of a rollercoaster - I was quite good as a child and saved, saved, saved. Was lucky enough not to have to work until I went to university (and even then only in the second year). It was more or less downhill from there with the odd upturn...

    So many lessons learnt - I wish I understood then what I understand now around money but hindsight is a wonderful thing - and sometimes the flesh is weak....

    Bought a house with my ex-husband back in 1996 (I so wish my mortgage was now what it was then!), my savings were used for our deposit. Got a small inheritance, and we had talked about once we paid off our house buying a BTL (and could have made a killing if I had understood how it worked!) - but instead we chose to pay off a loan, I made one major purchase of a fireplace (which I still love to this day) and the rest...well I'm not quite sure! But we didn't live particularly extravagantly but both wages together were less than I earn by myself now, so I guess it made things a little more comfortable.

    Bought ex out when we divorced (not fully taking into account mortgage and what I'd paid as deposit (and a little bit of guilt at ending the marriage) - ended up paying him 10k too much. Then proceeded to party away 5 years and was a complete ostrich. Had a LBM and downgraded partying ways and took head of out sand and put the vodka debts against the mortgage and vowed never again!

    Fast forward on a few years, my house needed a major renovation - too many things to do including kitchen/bathroom (had leaked to the point ceiling fell in), cracks in wall, electrics needed doing etc etc - so decided to strip it back and redo. Tried to remortgage but couldn't initially because of debts, so got a second part time job. Tried again a little later and managed to get some of the money for the refurb (had to extend the term of the further advance and my original mortgage by 9 years too) and took out a 10 year loan for the rest.

    Forward on a couple of years, still working 2 jobs (one turned into freelancing work), I got made redundant - payout in theory was ok - but I decided to look at property again at that point, spent some money on a course to understand and never took action (so managed to lose money in property! - that being said would still like to do one day). Took a couple of months off from working full time as I had worked 2 jobs for the last 4 years, but freelance dropped slightly and I got a bit depressed. Then as was looking for job full time got offered a freelance role - I had hoped to work part time (which at this point I could afford) but it turned into full time+. Don't get me wrong it paid quite well (relatively) to being employed, and I loved it, however my tendency to put others first meant I sacrificed doing things I wanted (hence the property didn't get moved forward). I will admit to a little flash spending again as I had a good monthly income - nice meals out, some nice clothes (a bit of an ebay addiction!).

    So it brings us to the last couple of years - got bullied out of the role after several years , made suicidal and too ill to work for 6 months. Am now back in work but salary is 30% less than what I was earning (although they are lovely people I work with now) and I have the fact that any safety net I did have was used up and then some in the 6 months I was too ill to work.

    So whilst there have been a couple of instances of some sums coming in, circumstances have meant they haven't actually made a positive difference (although the money spent on the education may still pay off and I do love learning new things). Over the years I have not been sensible with my spending habits for the most part (I can no longer kid myself) and I have splurged on partying, eating out, and nice clothes and wasted money on a few courses that I never followed through with despite best intentions (in part because I was too busy working to pay off debit incurred (stupid right?!) and in part because I have a tendency to put others first sometimes even when detrimental to myself (I'm trying not to do this these days!)). Don't get me wrong I had some fantastic times but whilst I thought about saving money, didn't actually follow through.

    I have a cunning plan....
    So this brings me up to date. Whilst 71k isn't the highest debt ever because of the way it is split it is hard work.

    We all need to start somewhere right?! So I'm drawing a line under my old habits and moving forward.

    I need to weigh up the option to remortgage - as whilst there is equity in the house that would cover it, when I looked pre Christmas I couldn't due to only having been in new role for a couple of months and having had to take a payment holiday on mortgage as I wasn't working. I was also advised that whilst I am on SVR because of when I took out/revamped my mortgages last there are some benefits that I wouldn't get now, including overpaying without penalty, payment holidays etc, so currently with rate increase is about 10 more a month than it would be if I remortgaged without adding in other debts. With current plans to pay off as much as I can asap, I'm not sure it is worth losing those benefits for the sake of a 10 a month saving. Also, with one mortgage and a loan ending in the next few years I'm rather reluctant to consolidate with other debts and increase the term. Also from a morale point of view it feels like a step backwards.

    I've made a strictish budget for the year. I have set limits for the year, which with current calculations mean I shouldn't go any further into debt at 0 after minimum payments etc, although there will be a little upfront loading. But then anything over my current salary is a bonus and can go against debts (with a small percentage going into the 'leisure' fund for the odd reward as I do believe there needs to be some element of carrot for it to work longer term for me). It has been mentioned about a salary review this quarter and some freelance work was mentioned last year but has yet to come to fruition but combined they would put me back to the amount I was on, so fingers crossed.

    I've already reduced my mobile bill to 13 a month and currently looking at downgrading home phone/broadband. I only use catch up TV so no cable/licence and currently paid up on Prime until mid-year and am not intending on renewing. However I have done without a TV before and can do so again - in fact it may be a positive thing. I've moved my gas and electric, and although it wasn't to the lowest, I paid a very tiny amount more than the lowest as it was for renewable energy sources (I refound my passion about environmental issues last year as well as exploring the world of minimalism and decluttering). I'm also about to cancel my heating breakdown insurance as I was lucky and won a year's service in a raffle. I'm going to look at building insurance when that comes up for renewal later in the year too.

    I've still got to look at claiming PPI but it is definitely on my radar but other things are currently higher on the to do list.

    I'm also currently going through my house and decluttering. The aim is to eventually have a capsulish wardrobe that is versatile for work and day to day leisure with the odd piece for other things. I had a bit of an ebay addiction when I was made redundant then was earning a decent amount - and bought dresses etc that for the most part are not really needed for the job I do, as it is slightly more casual with the odd dress up day. So have decided to be as ruthless as I can and try and sell as much as I can. I'm having a struggle with some items, for example I have a pair of glitter Jimmy Choo shoes and bag, and I have used them twice in the last 6 months and still love them, but also recognise they have a resale value and they are not a necessity. There are a few items like that. That being said the items I have bought on ebay have been good quality items that I wouldn't pay full price for and generally at 25% or less, so they do remain in good condition for longer. However I fully recognise that my spending was out of control on clothes at one point and I have far too much which can be resold. Most of the purchases I have made in the last 6 months have been based around a versatile wardrobe of fewer items that work together so I can get rid of the other items. I'm far from perfect but I am getting better and becoming more aware of my spending and spending it on items I will wear over and over. As I really like the idea of a capsule wardrobe it is making things easier to walk away from. Not totally there yet as still on ebay trying to sell items so occasionally get drawn in (see below).

    I've also stopped buying lunch at work and am either taking in home made food or having a cuppa soup and bread and have started doing my veg shopping down the market and batch cooking instead of relying solely on ready meals/pre-prepared food.

    Travel-wise I've purchased a top up card - which makes any bus fares slightly cheaper than if paying by cash, but have set a budget for the year, and the plan is to get back into walking to and from work - only half an hour but it's that last 10 minutes that seem to disappear of a morning...

    I have allowed for some leisure spending of 100 per month which includes meals, theatres etc. I recognise this is not necessarily a necessity and I am going to try to come in below it. I recognise that I need a balance, it can't be all partying but if it is all work then you aren't living in any way and there is nothing to look forward to. I've done both extremes previously and neither worked. So the aim is to be frugal as possible but have the odd nice thing to look forward to but see if savings can be made in any way. The plan is to allow a small percentage (I'm currently thinking 5% of anything I earn in addition to my current salary) towards a 'fun' fund, so I see some reward/incentive for hard work - and the aim is for this to be put towards - hopefully - another weekend away.

    I'm also setting myself a fairly high target of 200 NSDs for this year. I managed around 100 last year and I know I can improve on that - and it definitely makes me more reluctant to spend and think twice before spending money - even if only for 24 hours.

    How I'm doing so far...
    Admittedly the budget has already gone slightly awry

    I fell off the wagon was buying some items on ebay - a couple of pairs of trousers, a pair of long boots and a pair of flat ankle boots - which are all practical and fit with my aim at a smaller capsule wardrobe longer term. But then splurged on some matching shoes, bag and belt. Admittedly they fit with the idea of a smaller wardrobe and accessorising to make different outfits (and they go with all items planned) (and I recognise I'm kidding myself slightly here!) but I paid about 25% of the price they would have been and it adds the 'polish' to the capsule wardrobe pulling it together, if that makes any sense. But the plan now is to just sell with the exception of replacing or repairing worn out items.

    There has been a little front loading on the grocery side. I've stocked up on pet food and store cupboard items to make use of vouchers and bulk buy discounts as they are items that will get used. I went through my cupboards the other day and have a list of food I have (some of it past its BBE date but will be fine to use in the most part) and have ordered some items from Approved Food. Also been down the market for veg and have done some batch cooking, so filling the freezer so I have no excuse to buy those ready meals when I'm feeling lazy/tired.

    I also have a few tickets for plays etc to buy in the coming weeks - these were organised in part historically before I decided on major budget overhaul and whilst I have cancelled some, and am being very selective of what I say yes to now, I also recognise that to not socialise at all will make me very reclusive and isolated which is a place I tend to spend in - so it's all about balance! I used to spend a fortune and included fine dining etc in that, now it's a bit more budget and I make use of deals and collect loyalty points, but I'm trying to come up with that happy balance where I have treats to look forward to so don't feel like I'm just slogging away. I've also included a weekend hiking trip in the UK, with travel, accommodation and food it will be about 150 - but I do feel it is necessary to have at least one 'holiday' from things where it is not a staycation - as it helps me to gain perspective and recharge. I did 4 years of working constantly (holidays at 2 jobs rarely coincided) and it was incredibly difficult and did impact on my health.

    Wow! That is a much longer post than I intended to write. I wasn't sure about 'putting it out there' and laying myself bare but I do feel it is necessary for me to break the cycle. It is also quite cathartic to write it all down in black and white.

    I'm not writing this for anyone but myself and my accountability as I can't deny if it is out in public - but on the off-chance someone does read it and has any ideas on where I can cut back further, or make extra money, please let me know.
    Last edited by LittleLiz101; 28-01-2018 at 10:54 PM.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
Page 1
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 29th Jan 18, 10:41 AM
    • 1,676 Posts
    • 10,044 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 18, 10:41 AM
    • #2
    • 29th Jan 18, 10:41 AM
    HI Littleliz, and welcome to the diaries. Just dropping in to say good luck with it.

    Do you do any of the survey sites/swagbucks? The few pounds I pick up that way fund treat money - perhaps you could use for ebay money. Or making ebay money neutral - can only re-invest what you have raised.

    Remortgage - we had a mortgage with 'payments holidays' but when the famine hit our house they wouldn't even consider it on affordability grounds, whereas back in the bad old days it was pretty much automatic, so I am not sure of the value of that anymore.
    • Mahsroh
    • By Mahsroh 29th Jan 18, 10:53 AM
    • 339 Posts
    • 330 Thanks
    Mahsroh
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 18, 10:53 AM
    • #3
    • 29th Jan 18, 10:53 AM
    Hi Littleliz.... also just popping by to say Hi, and good luck.


    I'm slightly confused by the 3 Mortgages? Or is this 3 "sub-accounts" against the same mortgage? I think most people on here would advise against re-mortgaging to pay off unsecured debt.


    What's the deal with the 2 credit cards? What's the interest rate on them? Minimum payment? These seem like the obvious priorities and the area of debt you need to hit first.
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 29th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    • #4
    • 29th Jan 18, 7:40 PM
    Thanks Mahsroh and redofromstart.

    Answering your questions, have tried surveys but found they were quite time consuming for not a lot of return - and so many times I spent time only to get that I wasn't eligible or that they had hit their target in my demographic so got a bit frustrated and demoralised. If you know of any that have a decent time/potential earning potential could you point me in the right direction - but ones I seem to be getting are pennies for about a 10-15 minute survey.

    On the ebay buying front - think I'm there on a workable smaller capsule wardrobe that works for daily life at work and generally so no more buying unless something breaks or is worn out and has to be replaced. Focus now needs to be items flowing the other way on ebay to make some money back!

    Mortgages - realise that wasn't clear, 2 and 3 are further advances due to how my bank works - they like them separate for some reason. I don't want to add to mortgage either - did that with the previous further advances, would rather see the debts tackled. The payment holiday facility I have actually used in the last 6 months - they wouldn't let me use it when I was not working (!) however, as I did get back into work they allowed me to take a 3 month break whilst I got back on track a little and to be honest it did stop me from going under at that point. It is the overpayment facility that is also different - I can overpay by any amount without charges - and then if necessary borrow it back within the term and offset payments - they don't have that on their current ones. Again, I did use this facility in the last year, even though it was only a small amount. So the plan is once I've tackled the more expensive credit card debts rather than to save in the savings account to make overpayments on the mortgage as it saves the interest there (at a higher rate than a savings account) and can be used in an emergency, so 2 birds one stone in a way - and hopefully I won't have to use it and my mortgage gets paid off earlier too.

    Priority is the credit cards as those are the highest - at 21.6% and 16.9%. They did have some 0% on them until very recently. Have looked at that but can't do at the moment but will try again in a couple of months as I realise if I try too often it affects my credit score further. Overdraft may be before the second card though as it is a slightly higher rate, but as it fluctuates throughout the month may actually cost less - will take a look at that and see which is more cost effective. After that the loan is my priority - not long left to run but it would be good to cross that one off my list and I think a good morale boost.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 29th Jan 18, 7:58 PM
    • 1,676 Posts
    • 10,044 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 18, 7:58 PM
    • #5
    • 29th Jan 18, 7:58 PM
    Have a look at prolific academic, best return for time I have found for surveys and the subject matter can be more interesting as it is usually university research projects. It at least shows an average earnings per hour which helps me to decide.
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 29th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    • 649 Posts
    • 7,230 Thanks
    117pauline
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    Welcome

    It sounds as though you have really decided to take action.

    For me, small steps taken regularly works best.

    You say you had decided on your clothes budget but then made some planned and unplanned spends. Perhaps what you can decide is that any further purchases can only be funded through you selling other clothes.

    Groceries and home stuff - do you menu plan? If not, try making a rough plan for five days using the oldest items in your cupboards and freezer. Most things will still be edible even after their BBE date, just do the smell test.

    I find it really useful to note down my mood, who I am with etc when I make purchases as I am a really emotional spender. Although I'm learning that shopping isn't the way to actually feel better in myself.

    Hope you stay around, take care
    Pauline
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 29th Jan 18, 8:22 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:22 PM
    29 January 2018
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:22 PM
    Bit frustrated on plans as have tonsillitis so feeling too rubbish to do loads.

    I did manage to do a batch cooking session yesterday, had loads of veggies to use from the market that I bought to do soup etc so freezer is now fully stocked and I have no excuse now to buy ready meals when I'm feeling lazy or work late and have soup for lunches at work for the next couple of weeks. Filled up a lot of the freezer food with the other week making use of multibuy deals and my Approved Food order arrived today so stock cupboard filled (and a few occasional treats in there too), so I have enough for a while (with the odd batch of fresh veggies I think several months' worth) and should be just the odd bottle of milk, bread etc. My thinking is that if I don't have to go to the supermarket I won't be tempted into spending. Milk and bread may be a couple of pence more at my corner shop but as they don't have the huge choice I don't tend to get sidetracked and tend to get just what I go in for (so actually saves me money if you look at it that way!), plus it takes less time to get to and supports a small business.

    Did have to pop to the shop yesterday for teabags and onions (and caved to chocolate as I was feeling sorry for myself) and went to Tesco on the way back from the doctors today to get prescription, and got mushrooms (that one item will go to do 2 meals with other ingredients that need using - am really trying to plan with other items I have). I did look in the reduced section though and got 2 Quorn pies for the freezer, fresh mushroom soup (cheaper than buying the ingredients to make it and the pot will be reused for my next batch of homemade soup for the freezer) and a pack of cauliflower cheese (comfort food as poorly...) all reduced. I'm definitely getting more conscious of what I do spend.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 29th Jan 18, 8:25 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:25 PM
    • #8
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:25 PM
    Have a look at prolific academic, best return for time I have found for surveys and the subject matter can be more interesting as it is usually university research projects. It at least shows an average earnings per hour which helps me to decide.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Thanks Redofromstart I will take a look - that sounds much more interesting than the other random surveys and actually helping people with projects rather than general market research. Definitely looking at return on time invested on things
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 29th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    • #9
    • 29th Jan 18, 8:38 PM
    Welcome

    It sounds as though you have really decided to take action.

    For me, small steps taken regularly works best.

    You say you had decided on your clothes budget but then made some planned and unplanned spends. Perhaps what you can decide is that any further purchases can only be funded through you selling other clothes.

    Groceries and home stuff - do you menu plan? If not, try making a rough plan for five days using the oldest items in your cupboards and freezer. Most things will still be edible even after their BBE date, just do the smell test.

    I find it really useful to note down my mood, who I am with etc when I make purchases as I am a really emotional spender. Although I'm learning that shopping isn't the way to actually feel better in myself.

    Hope you stay around, take care
    Pauline
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    Thanks 117Pauline. Yes, lots of baby steps, some have been going for a while but bringing them together, being consistent and using this diary to keep myself accountable and also so I can see and celebrate my progress.

    I can be an emotional spender too!

    With ebay it is the thrill of a bargain and having nice things that I wouldn't spend full price on at the cost of perhaps buying from Next. With clothes I recognise now I've gone through my wardrobe I have enough and all the excess is going back on ebay.

    With food (I looooove food!) chocolate/treats is definitely emotional/boredom influenced. I have just started menu planning - went through all my cupboards the other day (I have no problem using items outside their BBE dates and have just joined Approved Food) so now very much planning. As I live alone I often can't be bothered just to cook for myself so going down the route of batch cooking and freezing. Luckily I can use the local market for veg, which makes me plan what I need and as I have to use cash it definitely makes me think about it a little more!
    • 117pauline
    • By 117pauline 29th Jan 18, 9:31 PM
    • 649 Posts
    • 7,230 Thanks
    117pauline
    I'm finding it a real effort to cook just for me. I have had the virus for about a month and that on top of everything else has made things so much more of an effort.

    So I have decided to do a menu plan for this week after I have typed this. I find it such a faff to think of what to eat that I end up with toast and tea.
    Don't get it perfect - Get it going
    Better Than Before
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 30th Jan 18, 7:37 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    I'm finding it a real effort to cook just for me. I have had the virus for about a month and that on top of everything else has made things so much more of an effort.

    So I have decided to do a menu plan for this week after I have typed this. I find it such a faff to think of what to eat that I end up with toast and tea.
    Originally posted by 117pauline
    It's a pain isn't it? It's why I've filled freezer as it's far too easy to cave when tired, ill etc. So I menu plan for my batch cooking and general meal pieces and then have store cupboard rice, pasta and potatoes and veg to pad out. Although I'm getting a little back into cooking from doing it - so hopefully at some point my old love of cooking will return.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 30th Jan 18, 7:44 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    30 January 2018
    Frustratingly still off work waiting for antibiotics to kick in. Annoyingly I've had to cancel social plans for the week - but trying to see the silver lining of the situation in that I won't be spending 80 on 2 theatre trips and a meal out (although was looking forward to them) which is probably a good thing as don't think I get paid for being off sick in new job.

    Edited as no longer a NSD but for a good reason. Decided to try Virgin one more time before amending package. Have tried a few times over last month and been given various different prices for the same thing. Have decided to downgrade to a lower MBS as don't tend to get what I'm supposed to and the lower one is half the price of mine, and whilst it does have a cap (it will make me watch less TV!) if I go over it is a flat fee per month to make it unlimited and they give me a small buffer and a text if I'm near it - as this helped with my mobile usage figure it is worth a shot on the TV. i have looked at other providers but all require a new line putting in and I'd lose my current phone number so would rather not go down that route at the moment unless absolutely necessary. Originally it was 25 + 7 if go over. This afternoon and several times previously it has been 24pcm + 7.50 if I go over. This evening 21pcm + 7.50 if I go over. That brings it to similar to where I was looking if I moved providers for a slightly lower MBS but unlimited and would have the hassle of moving. Then managed to save a little more by paying for line rental up front (using cashback creditcard of course which I have immediately paid off from account but takes a further 1 off - every little helps). This means my monthly bill, if I stay within my limits, each month is 2 for the next 12 months. And because of when it falls in the month I now have a credit on my account which means it is now more or less paid for up until October which brings it to 18.33 per month as opposed to the 46 odd I was paying. I'll take that! Just goes to show it's worth trying a few times.

    Last edited by LittleLiz101; 30-01-2018 at 9:19 PM. Reason: Updating the day
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 4th Feb 18, 10:58 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    4 February 2018
    Not a very productive weekend but have taken things a little easier as just recovered from being ill.

    Now I've gone through all paperwork and balanced things off properly I have a full picture of where I am at:

    Mortgage - 44,517.14
    Unsecured debts - 32,832.12

    A bit worse than I thought but for the first time in ages I feel a bit more in control (which is odd as it is a little higher than I thought) - as I now know the full picture. I was also expecting things to be rough for about another 6 months as completely used all reserves up when I was out of work for 6 months last year - and with new job being 30% less than I was on I know things will take a little while to get back on track again.

    But I have food in the cupboards and I'm already getting better with reducing food waste and utilising what I have - I have my meal plan for this week which I think I mostly have in the house already. So less temptation if I don't need to go to the supermarket.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 15th Feb 18, 1:16 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    14 February
    A mixed couple of weeks - some no spend days but did have a dinner out and food shopping, and had to take the cat to the vet today as she wasn't well. But mostly have been things I was expecting like meds for the (very old) cat and bus pass.

    Also, I need to be brutally honest, I fell off clothing wagon - but it was over finding a replacement of a dress I managed to shrink when I accidentally washed it and a handbag that had worn out - had been looking out for replacements for months as they were well loved favourites and I managed to get them secondhand (50 for both instead of 500 if I had bought new (but would never justify spending that much!)- no justification I know but...). And I did buy a couple of (educational) books - although one was Dave Ramsey - a few people have recommended his approach to tackling debt.

    However, now instead of eBay - I've mainly been obsessed with the Approved Food website - have only done a couple of orders since finding them and cupboards are stocked now. I need to unsubscribe from emails as I have found myself looking from some of the offers emailed.

    Had a couple of nights out with work (on expenses) but did give rise to a couple of taxis that weren't budgeted for.

    On a better note though, I got a payrise (I love my boss!) and so am feeling thoroughly appreciated (I have to say I work for the best company ever!).
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 26th Feb 18, 8:43 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    26 February
    The last couple of weeks have been up and down.

    The up was a payrise at work Unfortunately I think this month any benefit of it will be eaten by being off sick earlier in the month, but silver linings, whilst my boss had mentioned it being looked at in Q1 pre-Christmas he did surprise me, which was really nice and said some nice things. So much better than previous job where there were lots of promises and no action.

    The down was I'm feeling very frustrated at the moment - just feels like such a long way to go. Tried to look at restructuring debt but that was unfortunately a no-go at the moment. I'd hoped to lower some interest rates so I could throw more at debt but it is not to be for now. Just feel a little stretched, but I think that is because I have sat down and worked things out so I have the full picture but that light at the end of the tunnel feels very far away at the moment.

    Read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover this weekend, and while I agree with a large part of his advice, not sure I totally agree with the order - I get the psychological aspect of it but it seems strange to ignore the higher interest rates. Still, I guess the good thing is it has made me feel a bit more focused and definitely need to put at least some of his points into action - the first being laser focus and to live like no one else to live like no one else - so eye on the prize - just got to keep thinking of how great the view will be from the top of the mountain.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 27th Feb 18, 12:25 PM
    • 1,701 Posts
    • 9,150 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I think a few people are feeling it's a long road at the moment - maybe the extended winter has something to do with it! You will get there, though: trust the process .

    What a lovely boss, by the way!
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 18th Mar 18, 9:20 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    Cherryfudge - my boss is lovely (as is the rest of the team) he also insisted on paying a vet bill for my cat. I tried to avoid it as I felt like I was somehow taking the **** in accepting but he kept insisting and one of the other directors said that is just the sort of thing he does. And in all the bad weather he has tasked me with helping some homeless people - definitely got my karma after last job!
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 18th Mar 18, 10:03 PM
    • 1,701 Posts
    • 9,150 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I read some article on the internet recently that pointed out that employers largely keep or lose employees based on their relationship with their immediate boss. I bet it's rare for anyone to leave your company! What a super person.
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • LittleLiz101
    • By LittleLiz101 7th May 18, 12:07 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 50 Thanks
    LittleLiz101
    One step forward, two back
    Frustrating start to the month. For the first month in over a year had enough over to pay off one overdraft (using as a buffer just in case, plus it was the highest interest rate), then this week the cat was ill resulting in 360 vet bill. Still have a little of the buffer left but now need to be mindful of further possible vet visits in coming weeks.

    April was also slightly more expensive than budgeted for, but hopefully will get some overtime as was covering a colleague whilst they were on leave - so nearly 80 hours extra worked and late nights resulted in a fair few convenience foods, sandwiches and taxis.

    Got plans to get things onto eBay tomorrow, so hopefully will get some results from that.
    Just keep swimming, swimming,
    swimming....

    January 2018 May 2018
    Mortgage: 44,517.1442,818.79
    Unsecured debt: 32,832.1231,157.78
    NSD 2018: 46/200
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