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  • FIRST POST
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,506Posts
    • 26,303Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    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
    ………………into Debt Freedom!!

    Over the last few months I have read people’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!!!!

    Debts

    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’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 – approx £4706.65 is on 0% until Apr 2010 and the rest is on 24.9%.

    Paypal - £631.21 – just finished promo offer and now at 17.9%

    Amazon - £2,321.62 – some at 15.9% and 6.9% life of balance.

    Abbey - £889.82 – 0% until April 2010

    Total - £11197.31

    My DH’s debts are all credit cards:

    Amazon - £5,540.63 – 6.9% life of balance

    Paypal - £1,276.13 – some at 17.49% and 26.47%

    Tesco - £3,261.83 – 0% until 23/1/10

    Barclaycard - £1,872.56 – some at 14.9% & 27.9%

    Total - £11951.15

    Grand Total = £23148.46

    The plan is to clear DH’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.

    Finances

    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 – 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 – stupid idea I know when we are in debt!

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

    This Decade – 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: http://www.blesele.org/

    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’t in debt) so this is another thing to aim for.

    The Plan

    House Move – I sent an admin cheque to the estate agents last week for £460 which will probably be cashed next week – 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’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 – 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 – 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 – 4585 points (need 5000 to payout £50.00)
    Pure Profile - £18.20 (need £25.00 for payout)
    Lightspeed – 2475 points (can take a payout now)
    Global Test – 76 points (need 1000) (had payout just before Xmas)
    Valued Opinions – £5.75
    Opinion Bar - £7.38 (need £10.00 for payout)
    Harris Poll – 460 HIPoints (need 2500) (some removed as no surveys done within 6mths)
    One Poll - £4.05 (need £40.00 for payout)
    Ipoints – 1280 (converted some of these before Xmas)
    Rewarded Opinions – 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 ‘Payment A Day’ - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.html?t=2047605
    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’s all about listing your goals for the month and trying to achieve them – sometime’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’s all the little goals needed to get to the bigger ones.

    I have read Weezl74’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’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 –could be some interesting combinations.
    The chest freezer will not be coming with us, there is no room and it is on it’s last legs – luckily before Xmas I sorted it out so there is some party food, 2 turkeys and that’s about it – shouldn’t be too difficult to use up!

    I know what your all thinking by now – why doesn’t she stop waffling and get on with things!! – well it all starts here.

    Thanks for following me on my journey.

    EE
    Last edited by Eager_Elephant; 05-01-2010 at 10:23 PM. Reason: Realised also signed up for MyVoice!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
Page 81
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 8th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    • 9,235 Posts
    • 55,912 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Hope you have a lovely meal and doggie is ok Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 40/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Apr 18, 8:17 PM
    • 58,871 Posts
    • 244,344 Thanks
    beanielou
    Eek to the vets bill.
    Hope all goes well with it all.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 8th Apr 18, 9:20 PM
    • 6,421 Posts
    • 44,794 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Sending positive vibes to the dog xx

    There's always something
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £13.14
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 8th Apr 18, 9:37 PM
    • 6,332 Posts
    • 23,947 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Hope your dog is ok and the lump isn't as serious as it could be. I know all too well about expensive vets bills xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 8th Apr 18, 9:51 PM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 18,417 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Hope you've had a lovely day and the dog is okay

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • pennywisepoundstupid
    • By pennywisepoundstupid 9th Apr 18, 7:10 AM
    • 4,915 Posts
    • 17,191 Thanks
    pennywisepoundstupid
    Hope your doggie is ok.x
    Be mindful of your self-talk. It's a conversation with the Universe."
    Debt free and saving for my future
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 14th Apr 18, 12:03 PM
    • 4,506 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Lets start with good news....

    The meal out for my parents anniversary went really well, lovely to have us all together and the food was very good and all brought out together which considering the amount of us was pretty good. We had pre-ordered but even so.

    The not so good news...

    Our dog had her biopsy on Monday (another £200+) and last night we found out that it is cancer.
    Referral to cancer specialist next week and we go from there but we know any treatment will be in the 000's. Its quite an unusual cancer and long term prognosis is not good so we know that we will lose her eventually to this but in the mean time we carry on as we are giving her the best life we can (although at the moment she is on a no walks instruction and she is not amused)

    Thank you everyone for posting and sending good wishes
    Last edited by Eager_Elephant; 14-04-2018 at 12:05 PM.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • please-let-me-be-lucky
    • By please-let-me-be-lucky 14th Apr 18, 12:12 PM
    • 9,235 Posts
    • 55,912 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    So sorry to hear about the dog. Big hugs Xx
    Debts @ LBM £23,729.31. Debts @ 08/04/2016 £0

    NSDs achieved in 2018 40/60
    Best win so far - holiday to Florida
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 14th Apr 18, 12:15 PM
    • 549 Posts
    • 3,634 Thanks
    Chrystal
    So very sorry to hear your sad news about your dog EE.

    I have lost 2 of my dogs to cancer and although they weren't 'young' it's a heartbreaking decision that has to be made.
    Even with insurance I think the needs of the dog have to come first, and it's quality of life, rather than quantity of life that counts. I hope she's comfortable and that you get proper advice from the specialist on reaching the best decision for her. (((hugs))) XX
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • sashybo
    • By sashybo 14th Apr 18, 1:04 PM
    • 2,878 Posts
    • 21,069 Thanks
    sashybo
    Aww EE, that's hard to deal with. Big hugs to you.

    At least you can spend time with her & make sure however long she has left is as comfortable as it can be and that's a gift in its own way.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.

    PAD started 27/01/09 - £11,420 extra paid off debt. Total Debt paid off £55,410
    Loan £1087.20, CC 0% BT £350, Car loans £20,025.59

    Have a Debt Free Diary to try & keep spending in check.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 14th Apr 18, 3:25 PM
    • 6,482 Posts
    • 46,995 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm really sorry to hear the news about your dog .
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Mooloo
    • By Mooloo 14th Apr 18, 4:13 PM
    • 10,159 Posts
    • 50,852 Thanks
    Mooloo
    Sorry to read about your dog. I had to put a cat down many years ago as he had bone cancer. It was heart breaking. Then a few years later the other cat had a tumour.
    Dgd wants a dog, and I have considered it as my children had dogs, cats, rabbits etc. But it's not just the responsibility of caring for them it's because I don't want to suffer the heartbreak in the end!
    When I die I will know that I have lived, loved, mattered and made a difference, even if in a small way.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 14th Apr 18, 8:55 PM
    • 58,871 Posts
    • 244,344 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sad to read your dog news.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 15th Apr 18, 8:48 AM
    • 1,343 Posts
    • 7,315 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    So sorry to hear your bad news, I can imagine no walks are driving you all insane! Not sure if you do this already but there is a fb group ‘canine enrichment’ which has some cheap ideas for wearing them out without exercise with brainwork which may help.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 15th Apr 18, 9:58 AM
    • 4,506 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Thanks everyone for posting - at the moment she is not any different from before, still very happy, no signs of slowing down, if it wasn't for the bandage on the foot you wouldn't know she was ill.

    She has a boot to wear in the garden to protect her foot so she is enjoying pottering about outside with us, luckily she is not a dog who gets bored easily, her favourite past time is sleeping or climbing on the window sill to see what is happening outside.
    The hard part of the no walking is that we do have another dog who can be walked and to see her face when she cant come with us is heart breaking.
    Now if this was my other dog who couldn't be walked she would have chewed the house up, she gets bored very easily and goes looking for trouble.

    I think we are still in shock and reality has not hit home yet as she is so well, I think it will hit us when we have the appointment at the specialist.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 15th Apr 18, 10:30 AM
    • 2,016 Posts
    • 18,417 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    So sorry to hear about your dog. I hope the specialist can help.

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 15th Apr 18, 2:51 PM
    • 6,421 Posts
    • 44,794 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    Sorry to hear the bad news about your dog. We get so attached to our fur babies and when they get old and/or ill it's heart-breaking. Big hugs xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £13.14
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 15th Apr 18, 2:59 PM
    • 6,332 Posts
    • 23,947 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    So sorry to hear about the diagnosis for your dog EE . Glad to hear she's doing ok though xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 15th Apr 18, 7:52 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 14,648 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Echoing everybody thoughts on your poor dog EE. You'll give her lots of love and keep her comfortable I know.

    Please don't mind me asking but how are the little ginger kittens?
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 10/11/2018 - £1801.03
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 29
    My diary: “Paid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!”
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 16th Apr 18, 7:49 PM
    • 4,506 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant

    Please don't mind me asking but how are the little ginger kittens?
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    The kittens are doing brilliantly.

    Interestingly 1 from each pair is really friendly and cuddly and the other one isnt - its the nuture vs nature argument as each pair of kittens has been brought up the same.

    I dont think I mentioned my funny story about a vet visit - DH sexed the kittens and we had 1 girl so a few months ago I booked her in for a spay as did not want a pregnancy on my hands. Only when I got to the vets they told me 'she' was a boy
    Apparently his bits and pieces do look feminine and as things have not matured yet that is why

    So the problem comes when you have been calling a cat by a girl name for 6 months + and how do you change it?? Its not a name that could be changed easily to something masculine so unfortunately he still goes by his female name - it doesnt really matter until we take it to the vet and he is listed under his girls name
    But I do wonder what kind of complex we are giving the poor cat
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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