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    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,408Posts
    • 25,252Thanks
    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. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 76
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 8th Jan 18, 10:03 PM
    • 8,844 Posts
    • 51,811 Thanks
    The same happened to me. I was told by the cat and dog shelter that the kittens we were adopting were two boys, and we called them Ronnie and Reggie. It wasnít until they went for the op that the vet discovered Ronnie was actually a girl. We just dropped the Ďeí and continued to call her Ronni - short for Veronica Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 32/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 9th Jan 18, 12:38 PM
    • 3,548 Posts
    • 30,522 Thanks
    Cheaper for boy cats to be neutered so some small positives in there
    June Odessy NSD 6/10 DFD 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 9th Jan 18, 2:05 PM
    • 4,408 Posts
    • 25,252 Thanks
    Sad news to report from the Elephant household....

    Relative passed away earlier today
    Very unexpected but we did make it to the hospital so we saw him before he passed.

    Relative was DH's step-dad (married to his mum years ago) so DH not coping very well and this is the last of his parents to go.

    Not been at work today while getting a few things sorted but can't do much else until the medical certificate can be signed off so going back to work tomorrow.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 9th Jan 18, 2:30 PM
    • 8,844 Posts
    • 51,811 Thanks
    Sorry for your loss EE Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 32/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 9th Jan 18, 2:57 PM
    • 284 Posts
    • 1,891 Thanks
    Sorry for your loss EE (((hugs)))
    GC. Oct.17 = £261.18/ £300 = + £38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = £354.89/£300 = - £54.39

    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Jan 18, 3:10 PM
    • 55,063 Posts
    • 220,040 Thanks
    So sorry to hear this.
    Yet something else for you to cope with
    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.
    • reality_check
    • By reality_check 9th Jan 18, 4:08 PM
    • 728 Posts
    • 1,691 Thanks
    Sorry to hear this. You were so good to him and I!!!8217;m sure he appreciated everything you done xx
    Starting debt £18,675.63
    Current debt: £5,000 (16/05/18)
    • pennywisepoundstupid
    • By pennywisepoundstupid 9th Jan 18, 4:31 PM
    • 4,798 Posts
    • 16,345 Thanks
    So sorry to hear your sad news EE. xx
    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
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 9th Jan 18, 5:00 PM
    • 1,317 Posts
    • 12,775 Thanks
    I am so sorry to hear that. Please take care of OH and, of course, yourself.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 9th Jan 18, 6:32 PM
    • 1,472 Posts
    • 8,260 Thanks
    Deepest sympathy on your loss.
    Love and strength to you and yours
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 9th Jan 18, 7:55 PM
    • 2,002 Posts
    • 12,294 Thanks
    Iím sorry to hear your and OHís sad news EE. When I have read your diary over the past couple of years I was always struck by how well you looked after him and Iím sure he had fond memories. Iím so glad you both managed to be with him when he passed.

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 23/06/2018: £665.09
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 9th Jan 18, 8:03 PM
    • 5,854 Posts
    • 38,647 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    So sorry to read your sad news. Big hugs from me xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £296.07
    Debt £2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 10th Jan 18, 7:50 PM
    • 4,408 Posts
    • 25,252 Thanks
    Thanks everyone for your kind comments.

    DH is really struggling and text me at work, luckily it wasn't too far off home time so I left work and went straight home to see him and then he came with me to collect DD.
    I think it is the suddenness that is causing the issues for DH and he cant quite get his head round it all.

    I know that relative appreciated everything we did for him, he lived with us for 3 years to get away from his sons and even when he moved into his own little flat we still visited weekly and he would come on day trips with us. He often told me how thankful he was for everything we did.

    I assume that his estranged son's are currently kicking off about it all but luckily none of them have rung us but no doubt once the funeral arrangements have been made it will be all about them and how hard done by they are and how DH and I are the cause of all this etc etc etc
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Jan 18, 8:11 PM
    • 2,002 Posts
    • 12,294 Thanks
    Iím sorry that OH is in such a bad state and I do hope he finds some closure in due course.

    Relativeís sons sound like a nightmare. A positive thing to look forward to is that after the funeral you wonít have to have any contact with them ever again.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 23/06/2018: £665.09
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Jan 18, 8:14 PM
    • 3,065 Posts
    • 15,923 Thanks
    You must all be very sad, but as a family you gave him love and support and that is so precious. Take care.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/March 2018=0 DEBT FREE 23/03/18
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 10th Jan 18, 11:06 PM
    • 2,775 Posts
    • 20,587 Thanks
    Sorry to hear that EE, Iím glad your relative let you know how much he appreciated all your help. You can be proud of that & know that you helped him to be happy.

    Hope his sons arenít too much of a pain in the butt, they sound like a nightmare so hope you donít have to deal with them too much.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £10,617 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £51,528
    Loan £2095.14, CC 0% BT £985, Car loans £22,206.11

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 11th Jan 18, 8:48 PM
    • 6,183 Posts
    • 22,716 Thanks
    So sorry to hear about DH's step Dad EE, so sad xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 13th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 4,408 Posts
    • 25,252 Thanks
    Thanks for your comments.

    DH is feeling slightly better, we are both doers and not being able to do anything has been hard. Case had to go to Coroner so we couldn't collect the medical death certificate or register the death so we have been in limbo but everything is coming together now and we have been to the Undertakers and started to organise the funeral and have collected the medical death certificate and have an appointment to register the death on Tuesday.

    DH even said he felt better that we were starting to get things organised.
    DH is also much better physically and plans to return to work on Monday, whether he will drive or not is another matter.

    DH has had contact from the most aggressive son and he has been strangely nice about things and told my DH that he wont cause trouble at the funeral - none of the son's have demanded to organise the funeral which is good so we can just get on with it. They don't work and I don't think they know about insurance policies so they wont risk organising it without paying for it and they will know we will pay if there isn't any money (like with DH's mum, we ended up paying for the headstone as not enough money but we were fine with that)

    Today we are going to F-I-L's flat and will start to sort a few things as flat is rented and will need to be handed back at some point.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Jan 18, 8:02 PM
    • 2,002 Posts
    • 12,294 Thanks
    Glad to hear DH is feeling better in both mind and body EE and things can now move on with the funeral. It must be a relief that the sons arenít playing up and FIL can have a dignified funeral.

    Hope the flat sorting goes as best as it can in the circumstances. . It can be painful as I know from experience.

    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 23/06/2018: £665.09
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 13th Jan 18, 8:48 PM
    • 5,854 Posts
    • 38,647 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I think it tells you something when the step son is organising everything and the other sons are doing sweet FA. Hope everything remains calm xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 £296.07
    Debt £2400
    June 4 NSDs 4 AFDs
    Weight loss 0.5/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £2000/£10,000
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