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    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 25th Jan 16, 3:39 PM
    • 722Posts
    • 1,655Thanks
    Reality Check...
    • #1
    • 25th Jan 16, 3:39 PM
    Reality Check... 25th Jan 16 at 3:39 PM
    I need to start writing this diary while I have the motivation to do so! I have been a lurker for a while and reading all the diaries inspire me and I always think "I wish I could sort out my debt" is the day!

    I have buried my head in the sand for too long and it really is time to get a reality check!

    I have done a quick total of my current debt and it is as follows:

    Credit cards: 9817.86 of a possible 13300
    Overdraft: 1857.77 of a possible 2500
    Student loan: 11600.85
    Loan from family memeber: 7000
    Mortgage: 68213.30

    Total: 98489.78!!

    Credit cards and overdrafts are my main priororty, student loan is automatically deducted from my wages and family loan doens't need paid back ASAP, but would rather get that paid sooner rather than later.

    I live with my daughter and 2 dogs, I will list my incomings and outgoings later today....I have tried to cut back to the bare essentials, but a lot of my recent debt has come from renovating my house and generally living beyond my means and going a bit OTT at christmas!

    I am hoping this diary will help hold me accountable for my spendings and get me on the right path to living debt free!!

    Fingers crossed!! xxx
Page 2
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 30th Jan 16, 10:40 PM
    • 6,254 Posts
    • 12,386 Thanks
    I am a big fan of emergency funds especially if you have a house or a car as there are always unexpected expenses. Insurances are better being budgeted for. If you do not have the funds available for this year and have to stick it on a credit card divide it into 12 and put that away monthly somewhere so next year it is there waiting for you. Same goes for birthdays and Christmas and holidays. Divide what you normally pay annually for these things into 12 and put that aside every month so you are not adding it to a credit card balance and paying interest on it.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
    • ShiftThisDebt
    • By ShiftThisDebt 30th Jan 16, 11:26 PM
    • 107 Posts
    • 147 Thanks
    My daughter and her friend are in the process of getting ready to go out....couldn't think of anything worse....I must be getting old!

    I have been thinking of how I am going to need to put my home insurance on a credit card in the next few days as it is up for renewal... I don't know if I should be chucking all I have at debt because I am going to be in the same position when road tax and car insurance and MOT are up because I don't budget for them....

    I might need to create a savings/emergency fund as part of me always using credit cards for things like that is because I never budget for them! I don't want to keep putting everything on the remaining interest free cards as they aren't going to be interest free forever and I don't plan on balance transfer/having to use them again in the future!

    As part of my Christmas my daughter bought me a subscription to Ideal Home magazine, good job as just looked at the price of 3.70 and I can't be buying that out my 25 shopping budget, thats a days food lol

    Hope anyone who reads this is having a more exciting Saturday night than I am!

    Night diary xxx
    Originally posted by reality_check
    Hi reality check, not sure how I've missed your diary the past couple of days but I've found it now!

    I too have a diary and am also in the camp of not budgeting properly, my next task is to analyse bank statements to work out where the money goes. Anyway it means I too don't budget for some stuff too but I am going to from now!

    Excellent diary so far, I've subscribed!!

    Good luck!
    Last edited by ShiftThisDebt; 30-01-2016 at 11:53 PM.
    Overall Goal: Debt Free by 2019:
    Total Debt on Jan 1st 2016 36415Amount paid off so far: 0
    Amount remaining to pay off: 36415
    • note3
    • By note3 31st Jan 16, 6:10 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    Your sat night was better than mine...I was swaying an unsettled newborn around our kitchen to lull her to sleep while periodically swapping with hubby so I could take ebay pics and get draft listings up. I do this so that when there is calm I have all the makes and sizes and pics there and I just finish the draft listing. Last time I just took pics and did entries later and I had to msg ppl apologising as messed up sizes and all sorts. ..doh!

    You're right about tipping...why do we feel we should tip certain professions? Esp if they're rude too?!? I have booked a normal cut and style but like you I'm going to switch to a dry cut...thanks for tip!

    Good idea on the nails at home...I know some of my debt was sticking false nails on the card even though I earnt enough to pay outright as was younger and living at home. God 33 yr old me wants to go and bash 20 odd yr old me round the head for being such a complete div!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 31st Jan 16, 9:55 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Hey Enthusiasticsaver - i think that is what I will have to do, shove it on the credit card this year and then from my Feb pay I will take into account how much I need to budget for so that in 12 months time the money is always sitting there. I will sit down and work this all out soon...Can you tell I don't have clue about budgeting and saving lol

    ShiftThisDebt - I will go and have a read at your diary - this is my new favourite hobby, good job it's free! Hopefully thats us turned a new leaf and we can get to grips with budgeting, how hard can it be lol....clearly very for me, but i've jumped on the new year new me bandwagon and I can't afford to fall off!!

    Aww Note your Saturday night might just have topped mine lol I had my daughter very young and now all my friends are just starting to have kids but I am loving all the cuddles and then handing them back, my nappy changing days are over lol

    I think tipping for bad service is a very British thing as we assume it's expected, I am all for tipping good service even though I actually don't agree with tipping! But you're right why tip someone rude! Plus I don't actually think the girls get the tips, the manager seems to stand at the till and puts the money in, there doesn't seem to be a tip jar, and she's the rudest of the lot!

    The dry cut I am def trying this out... It's 12 for a dry cut or 25 to have it washed and blow dried - I personally don't even like that part! Head yanked over a sink, too hot or too hold water, then your head/ears being burnt with the hairdryer and it taking forever....I feel like saying give me the hairdryer let me tip my head upside down and get this done in 5 minutes lol I certainly won't be paying an extra 13 for the pleasure anymore!

    I've never sold on ebay, but i assume I'd be exactly how you were and getting it all mixed up! Have you managed to put anything up yet? I officially don't have anything to sell! I've been following a woman called Marie Kondo recently and she's all about having no clutter and extra things in your life, so I actually am very minimalist, which isn't ideal when I want to start selling things to make money lol

    I also wish I could have went back and slapped myself round the head for making such poor choices! I don't even need to go back as for as 20, last month would have been helpful too lol but oh well, I'm sure we enjoyed it at the time!

    Had a boring yet relaxing weekend, I used up vegetables in my fridge and tin of chickpeas, kidney beans and tin tomatoes I have made 6 portions of chilli! I'm not vegetarian, but I will be for lunches this week...I've never made a vegetarian chilli before but it tastes really good, lets hope I am still saying this on Friday when I'm onto my 5th day of it! Will maybe make some soup to mix it up!

    Hope you all had a good weekend! Monday and back to work for me tomorrow, boo! xxx
    Last edited by reality_check; 31-01-2016 at 9:57 PM. Reason: typo
    • note3
    • By note3 1st Feb 16, 2:14 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    Wow go you making your veg chilli!! That's impressive! I need to experiment with lentils and things as a way to make meat last longer (hubby is complete meat head and would be grumpy if I did a completely no meat meal)

    Yep I currently have 34 things listed. Couple more maternity items to list then I'm onto baby clothes. I fell asleep finishing some drafts and woke just now to feed baby and found she was using my phone as a pillow where I'd dropped off holding it...oops!

    Once I've sold everything I think I can I'd like to check out that Marie kondo as my mother is quite the hoarder so I battle against that mentality and although I'm not a hoarder we do have a lot of stuff we likely don't need. Then I may find even more to sell whilst decluttering! I'd love to be minimalist like you
    • note3
    • By note3 1st Feb 16, 2:19 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    Oh I love the drying bit...feels like a teeny bit of pampering! In fact now when people ask what I'd like for birthday and Christmas I will ask for money or voucher towards that as and proper treat instead of taking it for granted! The only thing you need to think of is depending on what hairstyle you have, the hairdresser may do a better cut with it wetted. If your hairs long it makes it easier of course as if you go there with it straightened they can see a similar effect to when it's wet and stretched out straight but you may want to factor in a once or twice yearly cut and blow dry kinda like a main and interval service difference for your!
    • When the going gets tough
    • By When the going gets tough 1st Feb 16, 8:39 AM
    • 550 Posts
    • 1,038 Thanks
    When the going gets tough
    Op you are clearly getting to grips with your situation. However can I suggest that you do a full statement of affairs I am sure someone soon will be along with the link. You need to make a monthly budget for absolutely everything including payments you only make annually. You need a budget for all car expenses, birthdays, Christmas , insurances tv licence etc. I am sure you get the drift. Plus your vet costs. Then you add that up as a monthly figure to see what is left for debt repayments. You then need to put aside a monthly figure to cover all those irregular expenses. That way you won't be caught out. Good luck
    • chevalier
    • By chevalier 1st Feb 16, 9:28 AM
    • 7,762 Posts
    • 18,031 Thanks
    Hello, welcome to the boards
    here is the link mentioned above. It is a great way of really thinking about what you are spending/ going to spend
    I want a job that is less than an hour driving away from my house! Are you listening universe?
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 2nd Feb 16, 3:46 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    I will keep in my my annual hair service, at least I will feel I have something to show for it as oppose to a car service!

    Good luck with your ebay sales....I have two lovely Laura Ashley lamps, 6 rolls of beautiful wallpaper also from there and a king size grey throw - basically a new room for someone lol I am going to list it on a few fb pages I am on or maybe Gumtree. I am hopeless at how to price things, will have a look and see what others are selling/how much.

    My renewal came in for boiler insurance from British Gas today....I've had no call outs and it has went up 31%!!! I have decided I am going to cancel this. It is breakdown only, not a service and I don't have any issues with it (famous last words!) so that is going!

    I also called Specsavers to cancel as my 15 contacts I can get for 8 online but I am due a check up which may alter my prescription so I am going on Friday and will see when I should cancel. I get contacts every 3 months and pay monthly, so not sure when to cancel to make sure I get the next 3 months (if this makes sense, does to be but hard to explain!)

    I also plan to call Virgin, and reduce my costs. I had issues at the start and started an official complaint to regulators but didnt continue you with it as I didn't agree with 100 compensation Virgin offered, might try and tell them I am going ahead with it and see what they say....

    With regards to SOA and forward planning.... I think for now I am going to pay essential direct debits for me which are: mortgage, council tax, virgin, netflix, gas and electricity which comes in at 515.42 plus 300 on my 2 dogs and stick to 100 petrol budget and 100 food budget, coming in at 1015.42 and I am going to throw the rest at debt! I know this isn't planning for the unexpected, but when I have annual costs like car insurance I won't put it onto more debt I may just have to only meet minimum payments that month and eat toast and beans! Controversial maybe, but will see how I go....does this method work for anyone?!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 2nd Feb 16, 7:57 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Been having a look at current account and it has 369.19 available (even thought it is my overdraft!) and Barclays currently has 1271.01 that needs paid plan is to get this cleared before the end of Feb!

    I get paid on the 15th so another 13 days to go... in that time I am hoping to get by with 30 petrol and 30 food shopping....I spent 2.44 in Lidl yesterday out of my 25 budget, but I have meal planned until Saturday so will need to shop on Sunday and I am hoping for a 5 spend! And then 25 for the next 7 days before day....

    Anyway, that leaves me with 300 from current account to put towards the card, 300 commission coming in February, 200 back from my sister, 30 cheque, 95 council tax payment since I don't pay in Feb so that is 925.... leaving 346.01 which I am hoping to somehow find!!

    I have dog medication until the end of Feb, so I may only order 2 weeks worth to get my until March and then that will even out my budget and that will be 150 to chuck at the card...

    I recently switched energy tariffs and i checked online just there and I am in credit 85 with my gas so will need to chase that up!

    I also have an ongoing Amazon complaint going, basically for 5 years they took 4.06 a month from my bank for Lovefilm - but I cancelled this and should have have been coming out my bank! I called them about 12 times over the last year but get nowhere as they can't locate details of a refund....they can see I am due a refund but noone can process this! They are infuriating to deal with and I keep giving up! Anyone out there had this issue?! I might create a Twitter account and troll them lol

    Last edited by reality_check; 02-02-2016 at 7:58 PM. Reason: typo
    • note3
    • By note3 3rd Feb 16, 4:55 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    Sorry just quick reply as checking in whilst feeding baby but are amazon governed by a regulator as you could write giving them a deadline by which would refund else you're writing to the appropriate regulator
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 3rd Feb 16, 9:53 AM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    So I now have a new plan.... Plan E I think since keep changing my mind to what approach to take....

    The new plan - put petrol and food on my credit card, that means 200 can go to Barclays and then I will continue to use the credit card to free up my overdraft as much as possible....

    Credit card is interest free, so makes sense to use that as oppose to overdraft that costs me money!

    I put 43.32 petrol to fill up my tank last night, probably had a few pounds worth left.... So it costs me 45 for a full tank, will keep notes of trips to work/anywhere else I go to see how long a full tank can last me!
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 3rd Feb 16, 9:54 AM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    p.s I will have a look into Amazon regulators, i'm sure I asked last time I was on the phone but whoever I am speaking to doesn't seem to know what day of the week it is and utterly hopeless!!
    • note3
    • By note3 3rd Feb 16, 12:04 PM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    It may be worth posting on the main board to ask advice as I'm obviously new to it all but is it worth doing a 0% cash transfer to into bank to pay off overdraft then immediately call bank and remove overdraft facility so what you have is yours in there? I was tempted to have a small overdraft for emergencies but then realised I'd just get back on slippery slope of dipping into it.
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 3rd Feb 16, 2:05 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Hey Note - thanks for the advice, I went onto Barclays as they show offers online and one of them is 2000 % free transfer until November into my bank! I didn't know these existed!! I always thought cash direct into the bank would be high high interest rates!! It says I am eligible with a 1.9% fee! Will cost a one off 38, but I pay around 39 a month EACH month currently! THANKS!

    It also means I can switch banks and cash in on that! I am with Bank of Scotland currently but I have no loyalty to them they haven't brought me any luck, so when I switch I will get a 500 overdraft if they let me, I like the safety net...but i might try without....

    I am off to phone them now!! xx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 3rd Feb 16, 2:32 PM
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    Gave them a call - but need my long card number and as I am waiting on my bank card can't do it until I have it! but the offer is on for me until end of the month, so all good!

    I am happy that frees up an extra 35-40 per month to help pay off my debt!!

    Feeling good! xx
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 3rd Feb 16, 9:39 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Had to take my dog to the vets tonight and he is now in the emergency vet hospital Will have a bill to pay, I'm not bothered about the cost I would pay anything for him to get better, just hoping he will be, but not looking good!

    Bought dinner on the way home as couldn't face cooking, will update weekly spends at later time.

    Off to bed to read a book... Night diary xx
    • note3
    • By note3 4th Feb 16, 9:37 AM
    • 288 Posts
    • 411 Thanks
    Sorry to read's he doing?
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 8th Feb 16, 1:22 PM
    • 722 Posts
    • 1,655 Thanks
    Bad news about my dog - had to put him to sleep on Wednesday in the middle of the night. He had a seizure we went to the vet who sedated him, then went to animal hospital and got the call to go during the night. Absolutely devastated, he was the best dog you could ask for, we got him when my daughter was 8 so she is also heart broken. Just need to remember he had a great life, always happy and wasn't in really was the best, his quality of life the past 2 weeks wasn't good.

    My budgeting/debt busting well and truly went out the window since Wednesday!

    Since Wednesday I have added 843.56 to my total debt!!

    383.29 - Vet bill
    20.00 - cash that has all been spent minus 40p on an indian takeaway
    39.00 - cooking voucher as a gift to my neighbor, she checks in and walks my dog daily so like to get her something good
    14.70 - chinese takeaway
    4.55 - Costa coffee
    9.91 - a load of junk food in Morrisons
    27.10 - Boots, on "essentials" that my daughter "needed"
    133.50 - jacket for my daughter
    49.84 on paint
    71.17 - Sainsburys, a weekly shop where anything and everything was flung in but hasnt amounted to much but got about 3 months worth of washing capsules that were on offer
    14.50 - iphone phone cable charger
    50.50 - Next x2 pairs of shoes for me
    15.50 - Ikea (was actually 35.50 but had 20 voucher that needed used from xmas tree voucher offer)
    10.00 - Cash withdrawn for my daughter

    A lot couldn't have been avoided but A LOT could have been!! But oh well, onwards and upwards! It is done now and I can't go back. I could return a few items, but won't as the shoes I really needed and the phone charger....

    Took 2 days emergency holiday and back to work today, brought my lunch in with me! Need to pay for my carpet this Friday, and then I will do the total figures!

    I'm ready to commit to this debt reducing and get back to filling this in to keep me on track! xxx
    • MERFE
    • By MERFE 8th Feb 16, 2:02 PM
    • 1,869 Posts
    • 5,890 Thanks
    I'm so sorry to read about your dog reality check, its such sad news. I wouldn't feel too bad about the slip ups, I don't think anyone can concentrate on money when they are dealing with grief.
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