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    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,353Posts
    • 24,683Thanks
    Eager Elephant's Effective Everyday Excursion ...
    • #1
    • 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    Eager Elephant's Effective Everyday Excursion ... 1st Jan 10 at 1:40 PM
    !!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;!!!8230;into Debt Freedom!!

    Over the last few months I have read people!!!8217;s diaries and got all motivated so I think the time has come for me to do my own diary.

    About Me

    I am 29, married to my DH - 30 and we have 2 children, DS - 13 & DD - 7 today!!!
    We live in a rented 3 bed house, we have 7 cats, 8 ducks, 1 goose & 20 hens in our garden. We also have 100+ chickens, 10 geese & 8 turkeys on a rented field (near our house).
    I work part time (2 days) and I also do voluntary work 2 days per week leaving 1 day for myself. DH works full time with normal hours 9 -- 5 (unlike before).
    I am a Debt Adviser so I should know better but at least I have empathy with my clients!!!!


    Our debt situation has gradually got worse over the years, in 2004 we owed about 6000, now it is 23,000+. Lots of reasons for this include being frivolous, my DH has depression and buying things makes him happy so I have allowed the spending to get out of control. Part of the 23,000 includes 2 cars which we brought recently, total = 14000 so I guess if we didn!!!8217;t have them we would have about the same amount of debt!!

    We have been very good with our credit cards lately and I have not used mine for over 6 months, DH used his to buy tyres for his car instead of using his bank account and now he does not have the money to cover the cost!! Grrrr!!

    My debts are all credit cards:

    Barclaycard - 7,354.66 !!!8211; approx 4706.65 is on 0% until Apr 2010 and the rest is on 24.9%.

    Paypal - 631.21 !!!8211; just finished promo offer and now at 17.9%

    Amazon - 2,321.62 !!!8211; some at 15.9% and 6.9% life of balance.

    Abbey - 889.82 !!!8211; 0% until April 2010

    Total - 11197.31

    My DH!!!8217;s debts are all credit cards:

    Amazon - 5,540.63 !!!8211; 6.9% life of balance

    Paypal - 1,276.13 !!!8211; some at 17.49% and 26.47%

    Tesco - 3,261.83 !!!8211; 0% until 23/1/10

    Barclaycard - 1,872.56 !!!8211; some at 14.9% & 27.9%

    Total - 11951.15

    Grand Total = 23148.46

    The plan is to clear DH!!!8217;s Paypal card asap and then balance transfer some of the credit cards with the mixed interest rates to make it easier to keep track of and of course I know that the lower interest is cleared first.


    Up until earlier this year we used to have a joint bank account into which both our wages were paid and the bills would be paid from this. DH thought that he was restricted as we did not have spending money so bought things of Ebay with his credit card.

    We now have single accounts which our wages are paid into and we pay the same amount in to the joint account each month to over the household bills. We each have to pay our own credit cards bills, car expenses and pocket money. Child Tax Credit is paid into a seperate account and is used to pay the childminder and for when we are skint in all accounts.

    I do not agree with the above re division of monthly cost but DH will not have it any other way. To make sure I can afford my half I have to include Child Benefit and CSA as my income, however CSA has just decreased by 40 per week so I am short on my income every month. Before Xmas I read the calculations and I think they are wrong so I need to sit down and write a letter to CSA asking for a recalculation.

    This Year !!!8211; 2010

    Things are going to change this year as we are moving house and having a relative move in. Fingers crossed we will be in our new house on 1st February and then the relative will be joining us at Easter. (This has numerous problems attached as other relatives are not happy about this and are causing a stir)
    We are not sure what we will do with our current house but we may buy it and then rent it out !!!8211; stupid idea I know when we are in debt!

    I also hope that in 2010 our debts will reduce significantly.

    This Decade !!!8211; 2010 - 2020

    In the next few years we hope to buy a smallholding so will need to get a deposit together.

    I would also like to visit this place:

    I love elephants, I collect elephant ornaments and when I went to Sri Lanka I rode on the back of one and fed some. I love elephants.

    I think the price is quite reasonable (if I wasn!!!8217;t in debt) so this is another thing to aim for.

    The Plan

    House Move !!!8211; I sent an admin cheque to the estate agents last week for 460 which will probably be cashed next week !!!8211; this money is sitting in my bank account but it does mean that I am unable to pay my contribution to the bills at the moment.
    I assume we will need 2 months deposit, so need to also save 1300 within the next few weeks. (The reason this is a bit up in the air is because we are renting from friends but they have decided to go through an estate agents and we are not sure if they will follow usual rental protocol or give us some leeway)

    I need to have a good declutter of the house by end of Jan. I started yesterday with son!!!8217;s bedroom and have listed items on Freegle which will hopefully be collected this weekend. Anything not collected can go to the charity shop on Monday.

    I also need to speak to RSPCA about rehoming some of my cats as we cannot take them all with us. 4 cats will need to be rehomed, 3 of these are brother/sisters and are quite wild !!!8211; they will be stroked on their own terms but cannot be held or anything like that. The other one is a male kitten we kept from a litter in the summer but he keeps urinating all over the house even when there is a clean litter tray so he cannot come to a rental home with us.

    Debts/House Deposit & Costs - I will continue to sell items on ebay and this money will go into a spare bank account I have to be used for the House costs or towards debts.

    I have been doing Butlins Bingo, I have had 1 payout of 10 and I am currently up to 5.13 !!!8211; must remember to scratch every day and twice on Sundays!!

    I have been doing surveys on and off for a few years but never on a regular basis (as proven by the transaction history on each account!!). Last night (because I am sad and did not go out, not really I never go out on NYE I prefer to stay at home) I logged into all my survey sites and got updates on all balances etc:

    Yougov !!!8211; 4585 points (need 5000 to payout 50.00)
    Pure Profile - 18.20 (need 25.00 for payout)
    Lightspeed !!!8211; 2475 points (can take a payout now)
    Global Test !!!8211; 76 points (need 1000) (had payout just before Xmas)
    Valued Opinions !!!8211; 5.75
    Opinion Bar - 7.38 (need 10.00 for payout)
    Harris Poll !!!8211; 460 HIPoints (need 2500) (some removed as no surveys done within 6mths)
    One Poll - 4.05 (need 40.00 for payout)
    Ipoints !!!8211; 1280 (converted some of these before Xmas)
    Rewarded Opinions !!!8211; 995 points (need 2000 for payout)
    MyVoice - 545 points (need 2000 for payout)

    So I will make sure I do my surveys every day or every 2 days if pushed for time.

    If anyone knows of any more survey sites please let me know. (I used to be a member of Toluna but it did not seem worth it for the points, unless I am missing something and someone can give me some hints)

    I will also post every day on a brilliant thread called !!!8216;Payment A Day!!!8217; -
    Basically you make one payment every day, no matter how small, to one of your debts or into savings. This money can come from money you have saved on your food bill, money you have raised by selling things etc. The total paid in 2009 was just under half a million - 500.000!!!!
    I have been doing this sporadically but need to concentrate and do it every day.

    I would also like to make special mention to a board on Motley Fool called Your Tomorrow Starts Today, it!!!8217;s all about listing your goals for the month and trying to achieve them !!!8211; sometime!!!8217;s they may seem insignificant but to that poster they are a hurdle in life. If you need support every one there is willing to give it. Long term goals are an option but it!!!8217;s all the little goals needed to get to the bigger ones.

    I have read Weezl74!!!8217;s threads on the Old Style boards, I am part way through the 50p per day until Xmas. She is so inspiring and I wish to follow her lead and save some money on food this month. We don!!!8217;t really have a food budget for this month as all spare money will be needed for house costs so I want to try and use most of the things out of the cupboard and fridge before we move !!!8211;could be some interesting combinations.
    The chest freezer will not be coming with us, there is no room and it is on it!!!8217;s last legs !!!8211; luckily before Xmas I sorted it out so there is some party food, 2 turkeys and that!!!8217;s about it !!!8211; shouldn!!!8217;t be too difficult to use up!

    I know what your all thinking by now !!!8211; why doesn!!!8217;t she stop waffling and get on with things!! !!!8211; well it all starts here.

    Thanks for following me on my journey.

    Last edited by Eager_Elephant; 05-01-2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Realised also signed up for MyVoice!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 62
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 4th Mar 17, 9:12 PM
    • 8,794 Posts
    • 51,400 Thanks
    Well done on clearing the CC Xx
    Debts @ LBM 23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 26/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 4th Mar 17, 10:33 PM
    • 2,760 Posts
    • 20,481 Thanks
    Great news that you've paid off the CC.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - 10,362 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off 50,880
    Loan 2328.49, CC 0% BT 1200, Car loans 22,591.72

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Mar 17, 7:26 AM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    My Noddle report is in for March so just had a quick look - last month my score was 540 and I was 1/5 and this month my score is 566 and my score is 3/5!!
    I think it's jumped as I spent on the c/c at Xmas and then paid it off the following month plus I paid 280 in Jan to bring the balance down.
    Hopefully April's score will be fab as the c/c will be clear.

    DH's report not due yet but his score is 522 and 1/5.

    I know the scores don't really mean much but it's nice to see that my credit rating is improving so there is hope of a mortgage in the future.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Mar 17, 7:28 AM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    Thanks guys for all your comments - I am so pleased I just bit the bullet.
    Not sure what makes me so anxious as if anything goes wrong while I have no savings I do ultimately have the credit card to use again.

    I told DH and he was pleased and wants to see his debts coming down - have been sorting out his savings accounts and standing orders to savings and then on Monday I will pay an amount to his debts which is 1/4 of what he owes that particular creditor so hopefully can get that gone in the next few months.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • ani*fan
    • By ani*fan 5th Mar 17, 7:58 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 3,937 Thanks
    Just wanted to duck in and say hi.

    Well done for paying off a credit card! What a great feeling eh?

    If you know you have enough, you're rich.
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 5th Mar 17, 8:01 AM
    • 1,289 Posts
    • 7,060 Thanks
    Fantastic news on clearing the CC
    • Ellieseleven
    • By Ellieseleven 5th Mar 17, 8:17 AM
    • 2,106 Posts
    • 6,792 Thanks
    Well done on clearing the CC, it's a great feeling isn't it

    Ellie x
    Debt Free 1st March 2017
    Saving for Xmas 2017 #1 548/ 732
    DFBXMAS 2017 #18 1978/1,978 100%
    EF #142 - 1027/1000
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 5th Mar 17, 11:10 AM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Great news you've cleared the cc and you have a plan in place. Good to see DH is on board too
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Mar 17, 12:13 PM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    Must be on a roll - have just downgraded my bank account. I am with the Spanish bank and pay 5pm for my account - it is more than covered by the cashback on bills but I don't make best use of the monthly charge as I don't have savings which I keep in that account so I have downgraded to their Lite version of the same account - same cashback amounts, only difference is that it is 1pm (although no interest on savings which is fine).

    Nearly did it a few months ago but you had to go into branch and do it and I never got round to it as always so busy at work so glad they now have the online facility.

    Just tried to move money to DH's debt and can't as they are not set up a payee and we have lost our house phone and DH's mobile not charged so can't receive the activation code - Doh!!. Will make sure this is done tomorrow night.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 5th Mar 17, 12:22 PM
    • 6,164 Posts
    • 22,548 Thanks
    Yay to paying off the credit card and downgrading the bank account EE xx
    Mummytogirls x

    23164.32 - 12/12/10
    5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 5th Mar 17, 1:03 PM
    • 9,703 Posts
    • 47,468 Thanks
    I did similar clearing a credit card with my savings a few weeks ago. Although it was DS's debt really.
    I feel vulnerable without the savings but like you I do know if I need to I can use the credit card.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 7th Mar 17, 9:55 PM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    Just logged into my credit card as statement due yesterday and there it was.....

    I am now 1.58 in credit!!!! with no interest due next month

    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Mar 17, 10:03 PM
    • 53,979 Posts
    • 213,896 Thanks
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 7th Mar 17, 10:31 PM
    • 10,472 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    What a nice thing to see!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 56.58 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1900 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 9th Mar 17, 10:22 AM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    House phone found and charged and just paid 200 to one of DH's debts - not quite a quarter of the debt as forgot to budget for DH's vitamins/minerals that he takes.
    Hoping there will be more to transfer later in the month as DH has had no phone bill this month - not sure if I mentioned his 500 bill
    This time it was not his fault , the provider did not process a cancellation through properly and cancelled a newer product hence a cancellation charge of the whole 2 year contract Managed to get it sorted before the DD came out and after making a complaint they waived Feb's bill so no DD in March.

    I'm still not 100% convinced I have budgeted right so will leave it there until DH's payday and then transfer it.

    'The' letter arrived for DS' GF regarding the funeral arrangements - I actually thought they had forgotten to send it but alas it turned up. 5 weeks after the termination seems a long time to send a letter. Met her yesterday and went for coffee so she could open it.
    I don't think she is coping, she has depression anyway and the termination has not helped, I suggested she see her doctor and I will take her if needs be and she agreed but not sure if she will. DS back from Uni in 2 weeks for 1 month so hopefully he can talk to her.

    I also took her to get more long term contraception and so far no side effects, if you are going to get them you get them quite quickly.

    Its all go here - DD hurt her knee at the weekend, just by stretching She has had issues with her knees ever since the damaged the collateral ligaments on a trampoline when she was about 7 (now 14) and they often give way so when she is running she will just collapse. This time it is all the ligaments - side and back so went to GP yesterday and they think she has hypermobility.
    DS also has hypermobility but I assume he inherited that from his biological father who has the same tall, thin stature and also has back issues but alas it appears I am a carrier.
    DD is not overly tall, although she is already 5ft 4in at 14 and is curvaceous.

    The GP has suggested knee supports for PE and no high impact sport due to the long term damage it can cause to her knees as her knees are not supported by her ligaments and her knee cap moves quite a bit.

    I have had another read of which I first read when DS was diagnosed at 13 and it mentions good sports, one of which is cycling so will get DH to get the bikes serviced and we can go cycling for extra exercise.

    Crikey its never boring in my house
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 9th Mar 17, 10:49 AM
    • 3,509 Posts
    • 30,038 Thanks
    You're right EE - it is certainly never quiet or dull in your house. Lots of love to you and yours - make sure you're looking after yourself as well.
    DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid 28,447
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 9th Mar 17, 9:02 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    It's never boring is it? I often wonder if I was a mass murderer in a former life, I bet you feel the same!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 19th Mar 17, 8:46 PM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    Just reporting in to say there is nothing to report

    No, seriously life seems to be gently going about it's business at the moment.

    No debt repayments at the moment - I guess that's the problem with being paid monthly.

    Had another great weekend pottering on the allotment - got loads of brambles cut and DH has cut the wood for another flower bed so next weekend I can get that done.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 19th Mar 17, 8:49 PM
    • 5,729 Posts
    • 37,459 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Nothing to report is good, don't knock it xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2500
    May NSDs AFDs
    Weight loss 7/10LBS
    Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Apr 17, 9:19 PM
    • 4,353 Posts
    • 24,683 Thanks
    DH came in under budget with his spends, combination of no phone bill and also only 1 tank of diesel needed so further money sent to one of this debts meaning he paid over a quarter of the bill this month. I think he is about 7 short of having paid 1/3 so not bad going when you put your mind to it!!!

    Hoping to be able to do another quarter at least in April for this particular debt.

    My debt busting did not go to plan in March - did not budget for DH's birthday so what would have gone to debt went on DH's birthday present and also had to pay the remainder of my girls holiday.
    This month will see more spends as need to get a couple of dressing up costumes for the girls holiday. Need to really pay my debt down so need to keep my spending as low as possible.

    Things are no longer quiet in the EE household, DS has come back from Uni for Easter, he worked last week so stayed at my mum's but is back now so he will eat me out of house and home while he is back.
    Also relative is in hospital - he has Parkinsons anyway and 3 weeks ago he stopped eating (a combination of not feeling hungry and not being able to swallow very well) and we only found out 1 week in after his warden rung us (he lives in sheltered so no carers) to tell us. He has lost 1 stone in a month and has been losing weight gradually since last year (had lost 3 stone in a year already). Then he ended up with explosive diarrhoea which he could not control so in the end after a few hospital appts and the NHS putting care into place he was admitted to hospital after falling twice.
    He will have been in a week tomorrow and they still don't know what is wrong with him although it is not bowel cancer as they have scanned him. It may be his medication so that has been changed. He is still not eating much and is weighing in at 7 stone.
    Not sure when he will be allowed home - I am visiting every day as I work in the same town as the hospital. DH is not coping well with it all but came up with me today (he works in the opposite direction to hospital so can't come up in the week).
    So until relative comes out of hospital my days will consist of working and then hospital visits - I'm glad the nights are lighter as I can still walk the dogs in the light (or DH does if he is home from work before me).
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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