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    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,331Posts
    • 24,373Thanks
    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 64
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 4th Jun 17, 11:50 AM
    • 2,405 Posts
    • 15,295 Thanks
    Well the update never came did it?
    I had a fab time away for a girls weekend and then when I got back it has all been a bit negative and I realise that DH and I have made so many mistakes with our finances and we should be in a better position than we are.

    A house with 3 acres is up for sale locally for 375k which doesn't seem that much for what you get but we wouldn't even come close to being able to get a mortgage for that amount. maybe if we had started on the housing market years ago we would be in a better position now.
    Its not even like we have savings or anything, I know we have 2 children and of course the animals but I feel at 36 I should have something to show for the age I am.

    I don't think it helped that I hadn't updated YNAB since 5/5 and the finances were all over the show. I have had a headache for 2 days and its not my dehydration one so can only assume it is stress.

    So today I have brought YNAB up to date and feel more under control.

    Back in May on the Turtles challenge I said I would pay an extra 100pm to my debt but I then opened a monthly saver instead and to make that worthwhile I feel I should put in at least 100pm so that leaves me paying 5pm to a 7k debt.

    I need to have another look at my budget - I might post it up for scrutiny as never done it before.
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    I know what you mean eager elephant. I feel the same at 46. But we have what we do and can aim for other things still cant we.

    The land and house sounds gorgeous. Dont give up on your dreams.
    Don't let yourself be controlled by three things: people, money or past experiences.
    Reds life!!! X
    2018 My year of creation, living life and learning.
    I stopped waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel and lit that b*tch up myself.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 4th Jun 17, 4:04 PM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    I've spent all night and day catching up on your diary.

    Wow. That's all I have to say.

    When you're feeling low read back and see just how much you have achieved. You are amazing! X
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 4th Jun 17, 8:28 PM
    • 5,582 Posts
    • 35,887 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    You're not alone in regretting past decisions. Mr SA used to earn good money and we frittered it away, really regret that now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing ....

    However, you are still young enough to turn things around, it's not too late.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 250.33
    Debt 2572.50
    April NSDs 2 AFDs 3
    Weight loss 7/10LBS Emergency Fund 2000/10,000
    Dining room fund
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Jun 17, 8:39 PM
    • 52,657 Posts
    • 206,569 Thanks
    You're not alone in regretting past decisions. Mr SA used to earn good money and we frittered it away, really regret that now. Hindsight is a wonderful thing ....

    However, you are still young enough to turn things around, it's not too late.
    Originally posted by Sun Addict
    Agree with SA.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 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.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Jun 17, 6:53 AM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    Thanks everyone for posting over the last few days.

    After recent events I should be grateful that I have my loved ones with me, I have a roof over my head, enough food and above all no restrictions on what I can wear, do, eat etc

    I seem to get these moments of feeling down about my situation but I know that later this week I will feel better about things.

    Although I am only 36 I have lived away from home since I was 15 so I feel like I have been an adult for years and years - I know it has only been 21 years but most people don't leave home until they are early 20's.

    I think we also have 'old' hobbies so our smallholding is not really what young people do and of course via this we meet people with proper smallholdings which must be worth a fortune. What I have to remember is that they had their life and career and then in later life went into smallholding or got on the housing market years ago and their home has increased in value.

    We also have an allotment and large garden - we don't really do going out and clubbing (unless you count the girls weekend) as we did all that in our late teens and we don't really go out to eat as it is a nightmare to find somewhere we can all eat. although too be honest eating out just leads to guilt as I think how much it cost and I could have cooked something nicer at home!!

    Sorry for the ramble - will be back later hopefully.
    I am going to dig out all my finance books and start reading them all.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 5th Jun 17, 10:04 AM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    Reading your diary I feel like you're me

    The DH issues,the leaving home, etc etc. While reading from the beginning so many times I was like 'wow this is my life now!)

    I don't have any advice but just know you're definitely not alone. Don't feel bad for being down, every ones worries are relevant and just because you do have the freedom to wear what you like etc doesn't mean your problems don't mean anything x
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 5th Jun 17, 8:32 PM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    Right I'm feeling a lot more positive and have decided that anything we need beyond essentials will have to be funded by selling stuff or doing surveys.

    I haven't done a survey for ages (apart from YouGov) but I have printed off my list tonight and just logged on to My Survey to see that I was 39 points away from a 10 Amazon voucher so did 1 survey (after being screened out of a couple) and got 50 points so I have cashed out for an Amazon voucher which will pay for one of DH's fathers day presents. need to double check the present I have found is right and will then order it.
    Not sure what else he wants but will order cards tonight as well.

    We have accidentally agreed to buy a secondhand ride on mower which we desperately need for our fields so need to find 150 asap.
    We do have our old one we can sell so DH is going to prep that on Wednesday night (we have had rain tonight and more rain all day tomorrow) and hopefully we can get at least 100 for it.
    I need to see what else we can sell to get the money for this.

    I would also like some mesh or my allotment to protect my brassicas - the good stuff is 28 for quite a large amount so will log in to all my surveys this week and see if any are at cash out plus I will actually do some surveys!!!

    Need to have another look at the budget and see where we can cut back.
    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 Jun 17, 8:44 PM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    Good news - I have 'found' 51 in my Paypal account!!!

    Just about to order cards for Fathers Day and remembered that on Facebook the seller mentioned an ebay page so thought I would just check Paypal and see what I had in there and found 51.

    This is money I cashed out from Prolific Academic back in Feb and forgot all about it.

    So that's 2 cards purchased without spending a penny - will go and check to see if the mesh for my allotment is on there too.....
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 5th Jun 17, 8:53 PM
    • 9,592 Posts
    • 46,721 Thanks
    That's a bonus EE!
    All good, keep positive thoughts and keep up your vision for the life you want and you will see more opportunities coming your way I am sure.
    I get much better results when I stay positive as you know.
    But I stray back from time to time still.
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 5th Jun 17, 9:13 PM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    All good

    Glad you're feeling better x
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 6th Jun 17, 9:11 PM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    Thanks ladies for popping over.

    Nothing much to report really - ebay does have the mesh I need but I am reluctant to buy it from Paypal in case we need the money to buy the mower.

    Have got all my 'finance' books out of the bedside cabinet - I have 7 of them (all the usual suspects) but not sure which one to read first

    Have done a few surveys tonight to add a few pence to the pot.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • pennywisepoundstupid
    • By pennywisepoundstupid 6th Jun 17, 9:20 PM
    • 4,734 Posts
    • 15,852 Thanks
    Fantastic finding paypal money.

    Glad your sounding a bit happier. Take care.
    Be mindful of your self-talk. It's a conversation with the Universe."
    Debt free and saving for my future
    Long term savings 10,000 Holiday spends 1000/349.02 Kitchen savings stage 1 1500/160.24
    Amazon vouchers
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 12th Jun 17, 9:08 PM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    So we have a new (to us) ride on mower - I took the money from one of DH's savings accounts but we have since managed to sell our old ride on mower for 100 so that leaves us just 50 short and I have about 45 in Paypal so really the cost has been covered.

    I will take the money to town tomorrow and get that paid in and back in DH's savings account.

    Still not brought the mesh - not sure why I just hate spending money.

    Amazon voucher from survey came through tonight so have ordered fathers day present.
    Will need to get my Dad something, he doesn't know what he wants so will probably be chocolate as he does like to eat chocolate while watching TV.

    Been doing surveys still and nearly up to 20 on Prolific so will hopefully be able to cash out later this week.

    Feeling much more positive even though I have not looked at the budget again or read the finance books - the books are on the bedside table ready to read at some point.
    Have been so busy and then tired each evening so not had a chance to read them.

    Think that's all in the Elephant household - ooh Master Elephant is back from Uni for summer break - over 3mths off!!! He started driving lessons today and has a summer job lined up so that will earn some pennies for him.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 12th Jun 17, 9:15 PM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    Glad you're feeling happier lovely to hear x

    Great news on the sales and mower too
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 16th Jun 17, 11:08 PM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    Hope you're okay x
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 17th Jun 17, 8:01 AM
    • 1,281 Posts
    • 7,004 Thanks
    Amazing result with the mower and great news about the summer job lined up already.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 17th Jun 17, 8:37 AM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    Thanks guys for popping in. DS' summer job is the one he has been going to for a couple of summers - the job is boring (apparently) but the pay is good for his age so he has to stick with it!!

    I have paid 100 back to DH's savings account and have done some more PA surveys and cashed out so just transferred 50 to my bank account - when that hits I will then move it back to DH's savings account.

    I still have 12 in there and my mesh is between 20 - 30 depending on the size so need to do a few more surveys and get the mesh ordered as my cabbages need to go out.

    Have been trying to do a few surveys each evening - I have printed my old list and am slowly working my way through that to see what points/money I have with each and hopefully getting to payout on some.

    Plus, hidden does surveys which are different to mine so I am thinking that I will close some of my current ones and open accounts with the ones she does.

    This weekend I need to get on top of YNAB and also pay my brown bill bill for the year.
    Need to also send extra money to DH's debts - he has been spending again (but not depressed this time) and that money wouldn't have been there if I had sent the money to his debts at the start of the month.

    Need to get on top of the housework as well as the house is a tip - ideal weather for washing and housework as its too hot to go on the allotment.

    Hope you all have a fab weekend.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 18th Jun 17, 10:17 AM
    • 5,213 Posts
    • 26,656 Thanks
    I think we all find sites which work better for ourselves, I struggle on swagbucks, and I hate that opinionworld/outpost disqualifies you right at the end of a survey. So I've fell out with them

    My friend I told about PA doesnt like PA yet I love it! It's one of the best I've come across so far.

    We all find our own way

    I still can't get my head round ynab, at all. I've watched hours of videos etc and I just can't do it I'm not very clever though

    Hope you have a nice day x
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 21st Jun 17, 8:04 AM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    I still can't get my head round ynab, at all. I've watched hours of videos etc and I just can't do it I'm not very clever though

    Hope you have a nice day x
    Originally posted by Hiddenidenity
    Strictly speaking I don't use YNAB in the 'correct' way. I am on the old version and just use it as a budgeting tool and also to track spends.
    I know that money towards annual bills should sit in the main account until needed but I am not at that stage yet and I'm quite happy using it as I am.

    When my old computer went bang I lost a years worth of YNAB data but I had looked at it the week before and got the shock of my life with regard to how much of our income is spent in certain places (like supermarkets and our favourite chinese) plus it showed just what income we had in a year and that truly shocked me in to realising how much money we waste.
    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 21st Jun 17, 8:14 AM
    • 4,331 Posts
    • 24,373 Thanks
    The 50 from Paypal which was from PA was in the bank within minutes so moved that back to DH's savings.

    Have since nearly emptied one of his savings pots and paid off one of his debts - I have been throwing money at it for the last few months and there was nearly 450 left so just paid it off. Surely 1 less debt has to count for something when we apply for a mortgage again.
    Have also amended all his standing orders from 1 to 5 as that should also make it look slightly better. I noticed one s/o was for a debt which we have had no paperwork for in 3 years and also does not appear in credit report so have cancelled it and will see if they make contact and then can set it up again.

    In more good news for DH he has been given a payrise of 2k a year from September - you might remember he started a new job in Jan, he absolutely loves it and the owner loves him so that will be an extra 130ish in his pay each month.

    In survey news I have been keeping up with PA and checking it throughout the day at work when it has been quiet - I have 11 ready for pay out and 12 pending so once I get to 20 ready to pay out I will cash out.

    Have also been doing a few other surveys but haven't checked all my survey accounts yet.

    Have brought YNAB up to date and we have overspent again this month - if you read parsnip's thread this is a repeat rant - I didn't do a big shop at the start of the month so we have been getting bits each weekend but spending loads on junk which only lasts that weekend and now the shopping budget has all gone and I had to take money from the household account which is meant for things like the brown bin and hoover bags - as a result the brown bin bill has not been paid and we have had a reminder and we can't have any collections until paid. The bin is due to be collected today and luckily as it has been so hot DH didn't mow the lawn so they don't have anything in them. Will make sure brown bin bill is paid on payday.

    I really need to reign my family in and do a big shop at the start of the month and then top up when I am on my own as I will stick to a list!!!

    At the weekend I got on top of the housework and washing as DH had to work and by Sunday it was back to the usual mess as I didn't keep on top of the washing at it dried and it is all sitting on a chair in the living room - I have been sorting a little bit each night as well as trying to keep up with general housework.

    God my life is boring - work, housework, more housework and sleep!!!!
    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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