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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,779Posts
    • 18,487Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed....
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed.... 12th Feb 17 at 9:56 AM
    67,031.92. Seriously. 67,031.92. That is a SCARY number. I can't believe our debt has peaked (and it is the peak, I am determined) at this level.

    Our light bulb moment actually happened a few months back, but it's taken since then of wrangling utilities and carefully watching out income/outgoings (using You Need a Budget) to really figure out where we were overspending and how the monthly shortfall of anything from 200-1,000+ was happening.

    We have literally nothing to show for this debt, it's just crept up over the past 8 years or so, and has always been at manageable levels, but back in October we realised we were spending more on credit cards each month than we were paying off.

    We committed that cardinal sin of taking out a consolidation loan, but alongside it we looked really carefully at our spending over the next couple of months, budgeted realistically for what we spend and have (I think) picked off all the easy 'low hanging fruit' of budget cuts and really identified why we were overspending.

    The main reason for the debt is, erm, me. Not that I'm the biggest spender (neither of us are amazing), but because I am self employed with a hugely variable income and basically worked out our budgets on the basis I would always earn my 'best' month's income. Which was, with hindsight, maybe a TINY bit deluded.

    The aim of this diary is to keep us on track with actually reducing our debt every single month, not doing it in a three steps forward, two (or four) steps back sort of way. Having sat down and put our numbers into the whatsthecost site, it appears that we are looking at 7 years and 1 month of repayments to clear the debt (and that's assuming we can get rid of the shortfall showing below). I REALLY want to reduce this term as that just seems bonkers.

    SOA below, with a couple of explanatory notes.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 3
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 250 (variable, but this is the minimum I have earned in any month in the last 5 years)
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2711.86
    Benefits................................ 192
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3153.86


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 174 (including overpayment for a period when we messed up during a house move 18 months ago and didn't restart the direct debit for the new property. Will drop by a little under 50 after either March or April, can't remember which)
    Electricity............................. 52 (gas and electricity are one combined DD, I haven't checked the exact split but the total is 104)
    Gas..................................... 52
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 104 (also including a debt from previous property, but I think this will be included for another 6 months or so. I'm not sure what our actual usage is)
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.5 (includes internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 85 (45 for my contract, which I use for work as well, 40 for DH)
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0 (included in landline cost)
    Groceries etc. ......................... 520 (Includes 40 for one lot of school lunches. I am REALLY struggling to reduce this, but feel I could and should be able to!)
    Clothing................................ 100 (growing children, plus see notes below re clothes)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 225 (90% DH commuting costs)
    Road tax................................ 16.27
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 30
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50
    Childcare/nursery....................... 70 (this will disappear in April as child 3 gets free 15 hours)
    Other child related expenses............ 81.85 (music/swimming lessons x2, cubs and beavers, National Trust membership as they love visiting them)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 90
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 135
    Holiday................................. 75
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2707.29



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 210000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 800
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 210800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 173733...(698)......3.14
    Total secured & HP debts...... 173733....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard....................6880.21...156...... .0
    MBNA...........................9614.71...98....... .0
    Parental loan..................20000.....0.........0 (see notes below)
    Tesco loan.....................21000.....377.......10
    Total unsecured debts..........57494.92..631.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,153.86
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,707.29
    Available for debt repayments........... 446.57
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 631
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -184.43


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 210,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -173,733
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -57,494.92
    Net Assets.............................. -20,427.92


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


    Regarding the (relatively) high clothes expense, it is a combination of 3 growing children (8, 6 and 3), plus the fact that my job is in the fashion industry, and as a self employed person I need to have the right sort of 'look' in order to get work (think along the lines of a self employed personal shopper - people need to see you looking good in order to book with you).

    The parental loan was for a house deposit. The parent in question has no idea about our debts. She is not desperate for the money back and isn't charging us interest, but has asked us to save 150-200 every month into a savings account and then once we've saved a decent sum to either repay them or 'reborrow' it for work on the house (basically they want us to be able to make repayments if they suddenly need the extra income, but meanwhile are happy for us to benefit from it. I am not saving the money while our debt payments are so high - we are hoping to have paid enough off that if the parent ever needs it that we can reborrow it and pay them back). This isn't great, but realistically I think the best solutions is to treat it as the lowest priority for snowballing - once we have paid back the other debts we will throw the entire 630+ at this debt.

    So, there is a freaking enormous shortfall every month, which is somewhat depressing. Most months it is covered by the fact that I earn more than my 'bare minimum', but it is those months where it isn't covered that the debt creeps up again, and I am a total disaster for going 'oh well, we've spent on the credit card, we might as well keep going' and buying more clothes or something for the house - this is probably a significant proportion of our debt problem.

    We have managed to get rid of the balance on the one credit card we were spending on, so the remaining ones are both on 0% deals (although one expires in September). I have not cut up the remaining credit card, because we don't have an emergency fund in case of eg boiler repairs, but it has not been used for all of a month, and I hope to keep it that way.

    A DMP or similar isn't really on my horizon right now - I feel like we should be able to make the cuts to make our budgets balance, and I am optimistic that as my income goes up (when I can work more as child 3 starts school) that we will be able to make overpayments.

    My plan for now is:
    1) Try to wiggle those budget numbers around enough that we don't have a shortfall any more.
    2) Make a plan for any months where I make extra - do I use it for an emergency fund, as a fund to cover future months' shortfalls, to throw money at the debt to try to reduce minimum payments in case of future 'shortfall' months?
    3) Try to make more money. Not quite sure how this will work as I am largely limited to working around DH's working hours (I work evenings and weekends and the 5hrs childcare per week we are paying for for child 3).

    Now that's all down in black and white I am feeling a combination of relieved (to be clear on the numbers) and immensely stressed (by the semi-regular 180+ shortfall).

    Onwards and downwards (for the debt, not me)!

    edited to add: the original 67,031.92 figure was based on the total figure for the Tesco loan, which included all interest payable over the entire term of the loan. I have updated the debt figure in my signature and in all posts going forward as at 4th June 2017 to reflect that actual current debt balance rather than the balance plus interest over the lifetime of the loan. This has knocked 7,911.62 off the debt figure, but means that each monthly payment will have the interest for that month deducted from it, so it won't affect the DFD if I don't make overpayments.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 04-06-2017 at 2:58 PM.
Page 198
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Jan 19, 7:59 PM
    • 1,779 Posts
    • 18,487 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Hello everyone, just popping on for a catch up while DH puts the DCs to bed.

    Looking forward to a proper day off work tomorrow - the novelty of this not working all weekend every weekend lark! Tons of house jobs to do, but at least I am clearly focused on them, not trying to split myself between work and home. DH and I are still very much finding our feet with this new division of labour, but no major dramas so far. Me actually stopping work in the evening has meant poor old DH hasn't been left with all the washing up to do every evening, as I've quite often been able to do it, which I think he is seeing as rather a treat! The real test is whether we can get through all the life admin stuff tomorrow and still spend a bit of quality time with the DCs, and feel ready for our second week of this enterprise. The next couple of weekends will be like this - one day of me working, one day off, before we get int February and I am firmly down to one weekend day working per month.

    Also going to make a big batch of marmalade tomorrow - I refuse to abandon the things I love doing and that we value as a family under the new regime, so I'll be carving out a couple of hours with DC1 to get that done, as we do every January.

    Sea Shell - great points on the business, and all ones I've covered over the past couple of months. Working on the branding with some external has been great because it's forced me to really articulate all the vague ideas I had and create something coherent from them in order to be able to explain the business to someone else.

    FacelessNumber - love the placebo facts! And my capsules are indeed see through.

    On the work front, I'm really pleased - I've already exceeded my January social media growth goal. Obviously growing 10% is a far smaller number when you have 500 followers than when you have 5,000, but I'm still pleased to have overshot it only half way through the month, it sets me up well if I have a quieter month later on in the year.

    Our new looser menu plan is also working well so far. We are definitely eating more veg now we have the big organic veg box to work through. DH made an amazing veg soup with toasted seeds on top for dinner tonight, and we'll roast most of the remaining veg to have with turkey leftover from Christmas for lunch tomorrow. Next veg box delivery is on Tuesday, and I think we've chosen pretty much the right size of box, as we'll have run out by then I reckon. The real test is how long we can go without a supermarket delivery - ideally we won't need one for at least another week, preferably longer, which feels realistic at the moment.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 1st Sept 2018: 12,221.27 unsecured debt/19,940 parental loan/191,003.72 mortgage = 223,165
    • dawnybabes
    • By dawnybabes 12th Jan 19, 9:08 PM
    • 1,594 Posts
    • 3,940 Thanks
    dawnybabes
    Can you share your social media on here ? I'm sure enough of us can help you share it ?
    Sealed pot challenge 822

    Jan - 176.66
    • Moreplease
    • By Moreplease 12th Jan 19, 11:54 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Moreplease
    Hi TOPM
    Popping out of lurkdom to be invited to your social media page/blog when the time comes. Have loved reading your posts - so much of what you say reasonates with me from the debt to trying to juggle life with kids and trying to feed them good stuff as much as humanely possible. I have had a huge period of ill health this year. All stress related it turns out in the end but with real physical side effects. And I too have had real “is this it?” Moments. I have a big birthday coming up soon which isn’t helping this question ��
    Life is so short and it’s also bloody hard.
    But I’ve felt so inspired by your diaries so thank you!! I’m routing for you. Good luck �� xx
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 13th Jan 19, 7:37 AM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 1,978 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Just on a practical note (always) What do you put as your occupation for say, Car Insurance??
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th Jan 19, 9:26 AM
    • 1,779 Posts
    • 18,487 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I will probably share my social media (by pm) at some stage with people who interact on here and who I feel I 'know' sufficiently well that they probably aren't going to come along and troll my social media space, but not until I have my new branding/website etc sorted. I just can't post a massive link to everyone, as there is too much potential for anyone who feels I am making bad choices on here to come and troll that space, and I'm not willing to take that risk.

    Sea shell - usually writer, since that's how I earn the bulk of my income, and my new business will be mainly (although not exclusively) based around written products too.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 1st Sept 2018: 12,221.27 unsecured debt/19,940 parental loan/191,003.72 mortgage = 223,165
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 13th Jan 19, 10:54 AM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 1,978 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    TBH, I'd keep here and there completely separate. Too much personal stuff shared here to risk it. Even with those you "know" here, it only takes one crossed post and the genie is out the bottle.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • Sayschezza
    • By Sayschezza 13th Jan 19, 12:01 PM
    • 359 Posts
    • 3,139 Thanks
    Sayschezza
    TBH, I'd keep here and there completely separate. Too much personal stuff shared here to risk it. Even with those you "know" here, it only takes one crossed post and the genie is out the bottle.
    Originally posted by Sea Shell
    Yes I agree with this although I am as curious as the next. I think people google anything they need links or information on so could probably find you that way if it's in their line of interest and not just curiosity. IYSWIM.
    • BalanceBy50
    • By BalanceBy50 13th Jan 19, 9:30 PM
    • 35 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    BalanceBy50
    I class my self as self-employed (small business with 3 directors but only two of us working in the business and getting paid). It's bloody hard as we are constantly looking for new business as our repeat business/small contracts only cover about 50% of what we need. I have two small children - youngest starts school this time so trying to make the most of our time together. I in theory work 3 days but do extra on an evening/weekend. My oldest goes to after school club twice a week (youngest has 3 days in a private nursery) and this gives me the opportunity to work proper full days. Is this an option a couple of times a week? I know there's a cost and with 3 children it's more expensive. it may free you up on another day to do personal non work related stuff. I also work from home & you have inspired me to make one of my business goals this year to making enough money to get an office/desk somewhere. I get sucked into doing jobs at home cos I can't settle without a clutter free working space.

    I am also lucky in having a supportive DH and we have a good split of housework. I do the washing/drying, he does the ironing, I do all the cooking & life admin (this job is not to be underestimated but it is!), he does all the garden/outside stuff and we spend a couple of hours on a Saturday morning doing the cleaning its not perfect but works for us and most weekends we get to spend a good chunk as a family

    Good luck - you will get there xx
    • Sea Shell
    • By Sea Shell 14th Jan 19, 6:43 AM
    • 1,150 Posts
    • 1,978 Thanks
    Sea Shell
    Yes I agree with this although I am as curious as the next. I think people google anything they need links or information on so could probably find you that way if it's in their line of interest and not just curiosity. IYSWIM.
    Originally posted by Sayschezza
    Oh yes, don't get me wrong I'm super curious too, but if your audience would be your audience regardless, then they will find you. Or you get in their face and MAKE them see you!!

    So a half-way idea might be to suggest the overall "area of expertise" here, and if they find you they find you. Unless of course you are so niche, then that's as good as posting your web-address here!

    However, if a site (any site) was writing about say "Game of Thrones" or "Dog Grooming" or "Celebrity Fashion", they could write like Shakespeare and i'd still have no desire to read it.
    " That pound I saved yesterday, is a pound I don't have to earn tomorrow "
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 14th Jan 19, 12:25 PM
    • 804 Posts
    • 5,309 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Hey TOPM! I don't know if you remember me, I went silent about six months or so ago (largely because I was spending too much time on MSE and put it on my blocked-during-the-day list so I couldn't).

    Anyway. I always recognise a lot of myself in your posts, and your change-of-direction post was no exception. I am contemplating a change of focus this year towards increasing income rather than saving money, and it'll need some investment, and it's terrifying. So thank you for your continued frankness.

    And on a far more banal note:

    Something that has been really interesting is that every time a domestic job has cropped up (ordering a new coat for DC1, emailing the builder something, calling Sainsbury's energy re our RIDICULOUS DD increase etc etc) I have added it to a big list in the kitchen that DH and I are sharing, and it's really showing me how many domestic things I was doing during my working day. There's hours and hours of work held within that list, and if I'd been getting on with it all I wouldn't be doing any work for my business at all. I think DH is quaking slightly about us now both sharing the responsibility for all of those things!
    One of the best things I did near the end of last year, which is when all the household admin ramps up sharply, is download a to-do list app onto both of our phones. I use Wunderlist, but there are loads. And every time I think 'oh, must ring the dentist and change my appointment time' or 'did I check if the girls need new hats for summer?' I put it on the to-do list, and it made a little beep on DH's phone. And every time I did a thing and crossed it off, he got notified of that, too! Highly, HIGHLY recommend for making the invisible work visible.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    January 2019 $211,580 Current MFD 31 June 2036
    • Happymac
    • By Happymac 14th Jan 19, 7:58 PM
    • 202 Posts
    • 1,071 Thanks
    Happymac
    Hi TOPM, I have been following your diary but have never commented until now. You sound like you have a logical plan and it is interesting to hear the ups and downs of your journey. The diaries are great but they don't mean that strangers get to tell you what to do when they really don't have all the info. Guiding lights they can be though, with lots of good advice which often makes us think about something twice. Glad you are back posting!
    June 23.25/250 Monthly money making target
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 16th Jan 19, 6:10 AM
    • 1,779 Posts
    • 18,487 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Morning Team! (my DCs' head teacher greets us with 'morning team' every day and I find it insufferably cheerful, I have no idea why I am inflicting it on you).

    Thanks for all your ongoing comments, I know I don't always reply to you all individually but I love reading them and I take every comment on board.

    armchair expert - hello! Earning more rather than cutting back, but, crucially, doing it in a way that makes me happy, feels like the only possibly option for me. Once I hit on it I felt like 'well of course it had to be this, nothing else was ever going to work.' The mindset of scrimping and saving and cutting back and generally of less everywhere always made me incredibly mean and depressed and I always knew it wasn't the right solution, but I just couldn't see my way to an alternative, as I couldn't earn more doing what I was doing, but an office job would drive me into an early grave. I feel like by committing myself to my new business I have removed the ceiling on my self employed income and as long as I keep the faith and keep going, I'll get to where I want (need) to be.

    Very woo and hippy, but I did a visualisation/guided meditation thing yesterday. I do yoga most days but this is the first attempt at anything along more woo lines I've done for years and years. It was only 20 minutes and I'm not sure I did it perfectly, but the idea is that you imagine your future self talking to you. I'm going to do it again to see whether I come up with anything more, but the overwhelming feeling I was left with was 'you are on the right path,' which feels very true. I just need to hold my nerve and keep going, because everything is leading in the right direction. The visualisation is here if anyone wants to have a go.

    More grounded in reality, I had a great day yesterday beginning to set up my new website. I've never done anything like it before and although I downloaded a template and basically just followed step by step tutorials, I was really pleased that the whole thing came together as I wanted. I need to drop in my own branding as that gets completed, but I'm so pleased to have a basic design set up, and that I did it all myself!

    Also based in reality, we are still YNABing. I forgot to increase the food budget for January so that will be over, but other than that we're sticking really well to budget categories.

    On the franchise front, I'm still waiting for clarification from the franchise company for their terms, which is frustrating but I'm trying to be fairly zen about it. It's looking less likely that selling it is going to happen, so I really want to get the alternative options laid out, but I can tell they are really reluctant to commit to anything until the chance of selling has completely gone.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 1st Sept 2018: 12,221.27 unsecured debt/19,940 parental loan/191,003.72 mortgage = 223,165
    • ChasingSunshine
    • By ChasingSunshine 16th Jan 19, 6:47 AM
    • 152 Posts
    • 1,085 Thanks
    ChasingSunshine
    That greeting made me laugh. I am definitely not a morning person, only up now because of night duty and cannot cope with people who are so cheerful before I have woken up properly so "good morning team" would just have me gritting my teeth and looking to escape.

    Sounds like you have a good plan in place. Great that your website is coming along, will it be ready to launch once your branding is finished?

    I know it was mentioned before but I would be very cautious about sharing the details on here even as a PM. Will admit to being extremely curious as to what you do and would love to have a look at the website once it is up. However I do agree with others that if it is something in my range of interests I may eventually come across it organically. You have shared so many personal details here and a small slip could lead to you having a crossover in audiences that you might regret and it might come the other way. I assume you would share your business website with family / friends, what if a chance comment meant they found this diary with all your financial dirty linen laid out in public. Just my two cents and obviously there are likely to be some people on here you will share it with but just to be careful as you do.

    Good luck with the franchise company. I hope you hear back from them soon and can cut ties without too much hassle or cost on your part.
    • PositiveBalance
    • By PositiveBalance 16th Jan 19, 9:43 AM
    • 869 Posts
    • 4,500 Thanks
    PositiveBalance
    That's us labeled, then: Team ToPM!


    Glad to see things are moving along for you, especially the website.


    Bye Team!
    Original debt to source: 11,640.02; debt repaid: 6771.01 (58%); remaining debt: 5069.01
    0% CC balance: 4999.67 now
    2454.77 (50.9% repaid)
    Emergency Fund (#187): 500/500
    Terrimundi: fleeced!
    • Mum of 2 monkeys
    • By Mum of 2 monkeys 16th Jan 19, 10:17 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 66 Thanks
    Mum of 2 monkeys
    I agree with chasing sunshine (although I can’t quote them) much as I want to see what you do - the potential overlap could work out badly - unless there was potential for twisting what you do to doing it on a budget - which is still what you’re doing, you’re just working more to increase that budget.. but then family would know and you’ve worked so hard to avoid that... rambling now...
    • remote_control
    • By remote_control 16th Jan 19, 11:19 AM
    • 280 Posts
    • 1,061 Thanks
    remote_control
    I agree, don't share with anyone on here
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