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  • FIRST POST
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 16th Dec 18, 2:29 PM
    • 264Posts
    • 1,416Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Going, going...still going!
    • #1
    • 16th Dec 18, 2:29 PM
    Going, going...still going! 16th Dec 18 at 2:29 PM
    Hello! I've been lurking here for a while, and have learnt so much from you all, so I've taken the plunge to join in for my big push to get debt free. I've been on this treadmill for some time (couple of poor decisions, some bad luck and just plain ignorance) and now I'm in my early 30s, I really want to clear my plate, and build a future. It seems like every time I get to within sniffing distance, I jeopardise it with something impulsive, so I'm determined not to do that this time.

    My debt was 8619 in November 2017, which scared the life out of me! Since then, I've managed to clear nearly half of it, and luckily what is left is on 0% until Dec 2019. However, a recent job change means I have a bit less disposable income than I would like, so I need encouragement to keep squeezing my pennies where I can! I'll post my SOA in a moment - there's some bits I can target straight away, and I have plans to do some additional work in the new year, but I can always squeeze further! It's just me (and a cat ) to cater for, so we're happy to live on cheap and cheerful!

    Looking forward to digging in and getting this millstone gone!
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
Page 1
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 16th Dec 18, 2:41 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 18, 2:41 PM
    • #2
    • 16th Dec 18, 2:41 PM
    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0 (but one cat )
    Number of cars owned.................... 0 (I've removed the car bits from below - just buses for me!)

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax................ 1550
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 1550


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage.......................................... ... 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.............................................. ...... 650
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax........................................ 164 (in Scotland, so includes water)
    Electricity....................................... ..... 19
    Gas............................................... ..... 21
    Oil............................................... ........ 0
    Water rates......................................... 0 (incl in CT)
    Telephone (land line).......................... 19
    Mobile phone..................................... 21
    TV Licence........................................ 9.5
    Satellite/Cable TV................................ 6
    Internet Services................................ 35 (I reckon I can get at least 15 off this)
    Groceries etc. ................................. 140 (35 per week, incl cleaning supplies - could get this lower)
    Clothing.......................................... .. 10
    Other travel....................................... 53 (monthly travel)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills........................ 2
    Buildings insurance........................... 0 (Landlord has this)
    Contents insurance........................... 8
    Life assurance ................................. 0
    Other insurance................................. 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 5
    Haircuts.......................................... ... 12 (I can cut this back by about half)
    Entertainment................................... 15
    Holiday........................................... .... 0
    Emergency fund.............................. 0 (do have one, but not adding to this at the moment)
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1194.5


    Assets

    Cash.................................... 700 (this is my emergency fund)
    Total Assets............................ 700[/b]

    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description........................Debt....Monthly ...APR
    CC.....................................4161....300 .....0 (Min payment is 42/month)
    Total unsecured debts.......4161......300.....-


    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................................. 1,550
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,194.5
    Available for debt repayments...................... 355.5
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 300
    Amount left after debt repayments............ 55.5

    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 700
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -4,161
    Net Assets.............................. -3,461


    Created using the SOA calculator.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    Any thoughts? I've added notes to explain my current targets, but a fresh pair of eyes can really help!

    By my reckoning, paying 350 per month would get me comfortably there for this time next year, so I'm aiming to claw back an extra 50-100 per month from my spends, and hopefully a bit of freelancing. Nothing to sell unfortunately!
    Last edited by BlackCoffeeNoSugar; 16-12-2018 at 2:46 PM. Reason: forgot bits
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 17th Dec 18, 6:07 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 18, 6:07 PM
    • #3
    • 17th Dec 18, 6:07 PM
    I've rounded down my balance (1.61) and put it towards my CC. I've put a reminder in my phone to do this each day and as I check my balance each day to make sure I'm where I think I should be, in theory it should be an easy habit to make! I was in a HR meeting earlier and found out I'm allowed to claim back some expenses that were previously not allowed to be claimed back. It's not masses of money (44.68) but actually that more than covers a weekly grocery shop and a bottle of wine so it's definitely worth it!

    Action for the week: start researching better deals to reduce some bills (internet etc) and submit those expenses!
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 18th Dec 18, 5:07 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 18, 5:07 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Dec 18, 5:07 PM
    NSD today Tomorrow and Thursday should be NSDs too. I also got my expenses submitted and approved, so I'm eagerly awaiting my little windfall
    To top it off, I got a nice bottle of wine from a client today - I'm visiting friends for dinner at the weekend, so this will be their gift

    Feeling positive!
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 18th Dec 18, 9:39 PM
    • 63,681 Posts
    • 282,181 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:39 PM
    • #5
    • 18th Dec 18, 9:39 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Keep posting!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 lbs **

    "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.***
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 19th Dec 18, 5:24 AM
    • 379 Posts
    • 1,614 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:24 AM
    • #6
    • 19th Dec 18, 5:24 AM
    HI there and welcome to diaryland.

    Your soa looks good, and if you keep making 300 pm payments you won't have much left by the time the 0% deal runs out. Well done on halving your debt, great progress. Also well on getting an emergency fund together, mine really helps me to not use the credit cards ever.

    The only think I can see in your soa is that your rent, and associated council tax, are quite high in proportion to your income. Just wondering if that was something you were aware of and if you'd had any thoughts about that long term, like increasing your income through promotion or job change, or moving house.

    Either way you're in a good position to get this paid down in a year. I'll be following. x
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 19th Dec 18, 7:25 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • #7
    • 19th Dec 18, 7:25 PM
    • #7
    • 19th Dec 18, 7:25 PM
    Thank you both for the welcome and the encouragement!

    Babystepper - I take your point about the rent and council tax, it's an expensive city! I'm a couple of months into a new job, and there is scope for progression (one of the reasons I took it) so I'm hoping to climb a rung or two higher within the next year to 18 months. I have previously considered moving to a cheaper area and discounted it as I thought I'd have to run a car, but transport links are better now so I will definitely seriously consider it if my rent goes up this year. My landlord wasn't planning on doing that when I spoke to them last but I can't really rely on that!

    A (sort-of) NSD today - I did buy a coffee but used a gift card I had forgotten about, so no actual money was spent. Still feels a bit cheat-y as I bought something I didn't really need (but my cold hands appreciated the warmth!)
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • Moneywhizz
    • By Moneywhizz 19th Dec 18, 7:47 PM
    • 196 Posts
    • 963 Thanks
    Moneywhizz
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 18, 7:47 PM
    • #8
    • 19th Dec 18, 7:47 PM
    Your rent and council tax are taking more than half of your take home pay which is definitely a high proportion and this is making the rest of your budget very tight. It is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward and worth looking at other scenarios to see if they are feasible. Have you been living according to this budget or is this what you are hoping to do? You have very little money in the budget for just living so you might find it difficult to stick to this month after month. If you have other ways of bringing in a bit extra money that could help. You certainly seem determined to get rid of this debt as quickly as possible and then you can enjoy using the extra money as you choose rather than see it disappear on debt repayments. Good luck on your journey.
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 19th Dec 18, 8:19 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 18, 8:19 PM
    • #9
    • 19th Dec 18, 8:19 PM
    Your rent and council tax are taking more than half of your take home pay which is definitely a high proportion and this is making the rest of your budget very tight. It is definitely something to keep an eye on going forward and worth looking at other scenarios to see if they are feasible. Have you been living according to this budget or is this what you are hoping to do? You have very little money in the budget for just living so you might find it difficult to stick to this month after month. If you have other ways of bringing in a bit extra money that could help. You certainly seem determined to get rid of this debt as quickly as possible and then you can enjoy using the extra money as you choose rather than see it disappear on debt repayments. Good luck on your journey.
    Originally posted by Moneywhizz
    Thank you Moneywhizz. I have been living on this budget for about 8 months now - I don't have much of a social life or take many trips, so it has been working ok so far. I am going to look at some freelancing work to bolster my income, as you're right, that would help give me a little more leeway. I currently do some volunteer work at the weekends, but may scale that back a bit over the next year to free up some time for making a bit extra cash - I think that needs to be a higher priority, even if doesn't give me quite the same warm and fuzzy feeling
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 20th Dec 18, 7:15 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Another NSD day today Three in a row.

    Alas, my streak is being broken tomorrow as I'm going to Ald1 on the way home from work. I'm going to finish meal-planning tonight, but I'm going to allow myself to buy myself something nice for dinner on Tuesday. It will depend what's in stock at 6pm on the Friday before Christmas

    Looking ahead, I have quite a few errands to run over the weekend, but then a few days of peace and quiet. I am going to cosy up with some old films, coffee, the sofa and the cat
    Last edited by BlackCoffeeNoSugar; 21-12-2018 at 5:55 PM.
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 21st Dec 18, 5:48 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Aldie was ransacked! Barely escaped with my life.... and a frozen turkey crown I'm going to cook it in the slow cooker with homemade salsa - it's so tasty, and will turn into fajitas on Boxing Day

    Budget still on target I got paid today, but took the advice from another thread (I can't link to it but it's a super one from EssexHebridean - Beat the December Pay Trap) and transferred it to my savings account, so I don't touch it til the end of the month. Such a simple idea - every year I vow not to touch it, but always end up dipping in, so this should prevent it

    Also got some happy news at work today, my responsibilities have changed and I'm getting a small pay rise starting next month to compensate. I ran it through a pay calculator and think it will equate to an extra 30 a month - not a lot, but it's really sowing the seeds for getting promoted in the future, and that's almost a week's grocery shop so it will make a difference to me.

    Hope you're all getting into the festive spirit and have some relaxing times ahead
    Last edited by BlackCoffeeNoSugar; 21-12-2018 at 5:55 PM.
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 21st Dec 18, 7:49 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Oooh, just had a little bit of exciting news - I dabble in a bit of knitting (I'm very...erm...rustic) but just had a message from someone I worked with until quite recently. She wants a snood similar to the homemade one I've been wearing I'm happy to gift it to her, but she wants to pay for the yarn. I already have some perfect stuff in my stash and it's a chunky one, so doesn't take long to make up - I'll have it for her on Christmas Eve. That's a nice thought, and I'll have made a little extra from something I already had in my living room
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 22nd Dec 18, 7:49 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    After some concentrated effort today, I'm about 2/3rds through my knitting project. Might have been the fact I could curl up on the sofa and just mindlessly work away, with one eye on the telly I do like quick projects, they are so satisfying you just want to get the next one done too - much like money snowballing, I think

    Not a NSD - but very low: 50p for a bashed roll of wrapping paper (it's actually lovely stuff, there's a bit of a mark and scuffing on the first 20 cms, but after that it's fine)

    Budgeted spend for tomorrow: a coffee with my brother - we're not very close and even though we live within a couple of miles of each other, I don't think I've seen him since before the summer. We always meet for coffee just before Christmas, but I always feel a bit apprehensive beforehand, which makes me even more uncomfortable! Strange really, you spend your childhood growing up with someone, and once you reach adulthood, you realise that living under the same roof was practically all you had in common. It is what it is, I suppose.

    On a cheerier note - I gave the cat some catnip filled treats earlier, so the little furrball has been entertaining me all evening (and trying to nick my yarn!) Very comic
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 24th Dec 18, 2:23 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Just a quick post to keep me accountable - 5.60 spent on not very much

    Yesterday wasn't great, but I'm not going to dwell on it. In better news, I got my to-do list done, and have nothing to leave the house for until the 28th, I'm such a homebody, it's actually a real treat for me!

    Wishing you all a peaceful and enjoyable festive period

    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 26th Dec 18, 2:33 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Oh dear - best laid plans and all that! Managed to snap my work phone charger cable entirely in half - and my own phone cable isn't the same type. Luckily there's a garage near me that sells the right cable, so that's an unexpected 8! However it will be handy to have a spare one and I might be able to claim the cost back from work as it literally fell apart in my hands

    Boring anecdote over - time to get back to relaxing and not doing very much at all
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 26th Dec 18, 4:19 PM
    • 3,896 Posts
    • 9,222 Thanks
    mark88man
    Hi there - I'm sure you will do fine, you are so well on the way already.

    Defintiely worth keeping up with your brother - its always a bit difficult when you've left home, but not yet settled into your own family. So your own chioces are much more dominant and they can be very different. However if I can give a voice from the other end of the working career you will regret loosing contact as if you let the thread (however tenuous) between you snap - it is very hard to reestablish. And as you get older you value family more. Or he could just be a complete arris - but even so, and even they mature!!

    It can become a distraction looking for extra revenue, depending on what you do it can be easier or harder but there is always a way to find something extra. Just be careful not to sacrifice progress in your main career for a little extra, when you are on your way already. In the long run being a bit of a workaholic at work and getting noticed can be quite beneficial as not a lot of people do. being available is a surprisingly important characteristic as long as you're not just getting exploited
    Things happen for a reason. Often the reason is we are stupid & make bad decisions.
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - better than I was worse than I should be
    End 18: CC:8K@0% - Car Loan:11K@2.8% - Mort:133K@2.1% = 152K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K

    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 26th Dec 18, 6:00 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Hi there - I'm sure you will do fine, you are so well on the way already.

    Defintiely worth keeping up with your brother - its always a bit difficult when you've left home, but not yet settled into your own family. So your own chioces are much more dominant and they can be very different. However if I can give a voice from the other end of the working career you will regret loosing contact as if you let the thread (however tenuous) between you snap - it is very hard to reestablish. And as you get older you value family more. Or he could just be a complete arris - but even so, and even they mature!!

    It can become a distraction looking for extra revenue, depending on what you do it can be easier or harder but there is always a way to find something extra. Just be careful not to sacrifice progress in your main career for a little extra, when you are on your way already. In the long run being a bit of a workaholic at work and getting noticed can be quite beneficial as not a lot of people do. being available is a surprisingly important characteristic as long as you're not just getting exploited
    Originally posted by mark88man
    Thank you @mark88man for such a thoughtful and encouraging message! I think I must sound younger in my posts as I've in my 30s and haven't lived with my brother for over 15 years, but I think old habits die hard and we always regress a bit around family He's very much a 'stuff' person - whereas I like to 'do' things for people. We may change as we get older , but I'll never replace his 4K tv in his affections....just the way it is!

    Thank you too for your note about freelance work - I can see how that may be a pitfall. I know if I don't get enough sleep I'm really grumpy the next day, so I'll never push myself beyond what I think I'm capable of. That said, it's definitely a learning curve - and spending a few extra unpaid hours at work can make a difference in a project - if not my bank balance! I've never been shy of working hard, so going to do my best to strike a balance. Hoping to learn from others who have done the same
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 26th Dec 18, 6:23 PM
    • 3,896 Posts
    • 9,222 Thanks
    mark88man
    4K TV are definitely a boy thing for sure - one thing is true he must look forward to your meetings or he would have found a way to stop them. you're right I thought late twenties!.

    I'm not a big fan of the "leader" culture at the moment but I think one of the US greats said something like "you will always stand out if you give your best because so many people don't bother"
    Things happen for a reason. Often the reason is we are stupid & make bad decisions.
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - better than I was worse than I should be
    End 18: CC:8K@0% - Car Loan:11K@2.8% - Mort:133K@2.1% = 152K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K

    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 26th Dec 18, 6:35 PM
    • 264 Posts
    • 1,416 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    Thank you @mark88man - that's very good advice, might get that printed on a coaster
    Debt at Nov 2017: 8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: 4,161 Current: 2,510 Aim for Dec 2019: 0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - 1,651.28 / 4,161
    • Munchin
    • By Munchin 27th Dec 18, 9:15 AM
    • 2,620 Posts
    • 8,533 Thanks
    Munchin
    Hi Blackcoffee,

    Popping in to let you know I will be happily cheering from the sidelines

    *subscribes.
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