Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 1st Jan 10, 1:40 PM
    • 4,507Posts
    • 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 82
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th Apr 18, 8:08 PM
    • 58,913 Posts
    • 244,569 Thanks
    beanielou
    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
    Originally posted by Eager_Elephant
    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 16th Apr 18, 8:35 PM
    • 6,422 Posts
    • 44,816 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    We bought a cat from someone who assured us it was a girl. We named her Molly. One morning she jumped on the table with her tail in the air to reveal two reasons why she was a he. We kept the name though, but he was forever fighting so we must've given him a complex.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £21.63
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 22nd Apr 18, 1:40 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 14,657 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Glad to hear kittens are well! I think the sexing mistakes happen quite a lot with gingers don't they as they are mostly boys. DD had the same problem with Madam Ginger. Assumed she was a boy, took to the vets for jabs who confirmed she was a she and then had to change her name! Luckily as she was so young I don't think the original name had clicked with her!

    Has your poor dog seen the specialist?
    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 22nd Apr 18, 4:00 PM
    • 4,507 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    We have seen the specialist this week and dog has had scans etc, we get full results next week but at the moment there are no large tumours in her lungs/spleen/liver etc

    Options are quite limited and I am not sure what we are going to do.

    Appointment this week was estimated to be £1500+VAT, not had bill yet as the reception had closed before we had finished, and that was just for the scan and blood tests.
    They are going to retest the biopsy sample to make sure it is what we have been told, they are hoping it might be another cancer that is not as aggressive or rare.

    In other bad news my car broke down yesterday, had to pay for recovery and need a new clutch - it never rains but it pours!!!
    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)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 22nd Apr 18, 7:49 PM
    • 58,913 Posts
    • 244,569 Thanks
    beanielou
    Eeek to the vet bill.
    Double eek for the car
    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.***
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 23rd Apr 18, 12:44 PM
    • 550 Posts
    • 3,646 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Just to say I'm thinking of you and sending (((hugs))) and positive thoughts your way XX
    I Believe.....
    That it isn't always enough, to be forgiven by others.
    Sometimes, you have to learn to forgive yourself.
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 23rd Apr 18, 2:22 PM
    • 2,028 Posts
    • 18,500 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Just to say I'm thinking of you and sending (((hugs))) and positive thoughts your way XX
    Originally posted by Chrystal
    From me too

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 23rd Apr 18, 6:29 PM
    • 58,913 Posts
    • 244,569 Thanks
    beanielou
    Hope all went as well as it could.
    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.***
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 25th Apr 18, 8:45 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 14,657 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    You've had a rotten time lately EE. Hugs from me too.
    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 25th Apr 18, 9:11 PM
    • 4,507 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Woohoo - got my car back from the garage today.
    No bill yet as they send in the post but estimate was £600

    In better news a bird pooed on me yesterday so I am hoping my luck will change
    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)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 25th Apr 18, 9:30 PM
    • 58,913 Posts
    • 244,569 Thanks
    beanielou
    600 quid
    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.***
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 26th Apr 18, 2:14 PM
    • 2,365 Posts
    • 14,657 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Yes - !


    Here's to the lucky bird poo!
    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!”
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 26th Apr 18, 2:23 PM
    • 2,028 Posts
    • 18,500 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Ouch! That's a painful repair bill!

    Hope you're okay and thank you for all your help.

    x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 3rd May 18, 11:57 AM
    • 4,249 Posts
    • 36,436 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady
    Hi EE

    I've been awol for a while - just caught up. Wow - what a time you've had recently. So sorry to hear about the dog, and I have everything crossed for better news once you're back at the vets.
    And I hope that bird poo brings you masses of luck.
    December in the Tardis #16 nsd = 8 New life = new debt
    DFD #1: 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 3rd May 18, 8:01 PM
    • 4,507 Posts
    • 26,303 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    So quick update....

    2nd check on biopsy has confirmed that original diagnosis is correct and our already limited options are even more limited as CT scan shows our poor dog has arthritis and hip dysplasia so any operations are mainly ruled out.

    I am in the camp of leaving things, she is not in pain, enjoys her walks still, isnt limping etc. OH thinks she should have an op but when I told him that he would have to pay for it and also have time of work to care for her and look after her he suddenly wasnt keen on the idea.

    Bill has come in and is about what we were quoted so need to get that paid this weekend.

    Bill for car arrived today and it is £3 higher than quoted - I'm not one to quibble!!

    In other news and to prove that CCL and I live the same lives...............
    I am divorcing my husband!!!!!

    Most people know the back story going back to the start of our marriage, and for the last 6 years or so I had made the decision to continue in the marriage until my DD turned 18. Things have been going ok apart from his spending etc and then of course before Xmas I mentioned divorce just because I had reached the end and then of course relative died.
    I thought maybe I could hang on again until DD was 18 (3 more years) but on Sunday things changed, for some reason I decided to look at his phone - I havent checked his phone for years, I have never trusted him but just couldnt be bothered to keep looking and while he has been an ok husband things have ticked along.
    On his front screen was a message from a girl, I dont know how he knows her and the parts I could see were innocent but it raised my suspicions so I unlocked his phone and checked his messages. Alas he was up to his old tricks although having scrolled back it looks like they have chatted for a long time about mundane stuff and there was no flirting or anything and then on Saturday he had sent her a message to ask her on a date - I dont know if she knows he is married or what but she didnt respond and the conversation continued as friends.

    Just seeing that sentence in a message to another female has tipped me over the edge and on Sunday night I told him what I had found and told him I wanted him to leave by end of the May, he tried to deny it and then said he wouldnt leave until I started divorce proceedings so I am ...........

    I'm finding it all quite amusing, he now realises i am serious as the solicitor asked me to speak to him before I see her tomorrow to ask if he really will contest it as that will affect the advice she gives and also will increase the cost so I have spoken to him and he believes that I am doing this on a whim.
    I told him straight that I have been planning to divorce him for years and I have finally had enough, having never forgiven or forgotten any of the past now is the time for me to move on before I am too old.

    He started his usual, without you I have no body blah blah blah - I told him to accept that he had no one else to blame but himself and that he needed to accept our marriage is over and let me go without a fight because if he doesnt fight me we could still be friends.
    He was about to threaten to end his life but I told him that only he could make that decision and I would not be party to it nor take responsibility for him.

    I have told a few people including my bestie who is really pleased for me as she has been through it all with me and although she knew one day I would make this decision she did not realise it would be now.

    I have not told DD yet but we will need to soon as she will need to decide who she lives with, I am quite happy for her to live with him if that is what she wants and he is stable.
    DS is back at Uni but has exams all month so I dont want anything to affect this so I doubt it will be announced until at least the end of the month.

    Currently I am sleeping in DS' bed but I am hoping he will leave this month - this is my tenancy in my sole name so I feel I should be the one to stay here.

    So lets see how all this pans out.....
    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 3rd May 18, 8:32 PM
    • 9,235 Posts
    • 55,928 Thanks
    please-let-me-be-lucky
    Good for you EE. You deserve so much better 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 3rd May 18, 8:33 PM
    • 58,913 Posts
    • 244,569 Thanks
    beanielou
    I cant say I am surprised.
    You must do what is right for you.
    SEnding you lots of positive vibes & I hope all goes well for you.
    Take care of you.
    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.***
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 3rd May 18, 8:35 PM
    • 6,490 Posts
    • 47,150 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I'm sorry to hear your news but I know you've been unhappy in your marriage for years. You know what is best for you. Take your solicitor's advice and don't give in to emotional blackmail from DH. Good luck with it all.
    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
    • crazy_cat_lady
    • By crazy_cat_lady 3rd May 18, 9:28 PM
    • 4,249 Posts
    • 36,436 Thanks
    crazy_cat_lady

    I actually had to read your post 3 times for it to sink in, and even though I am here and you are there I can't help but wonder if we are the same person sometimes. When I was writing my diary this morning, I was thinking about you and what a saint you are for putting up with your husband in spite of everything.
    Congratulations to you. And if the tenancy is in your name then do what I did and get the locks changed the next time he is out. Best £75 I spent having peace of mind and knowing I didn't have to have him back in the house and he couldn't just let himself in.
    Good luck, and remember where we all are. I was euphoric for a couple of days, then I crashed into despair, and now I feel ready to move on again.
    December in the Tardis #16 nsd = 8 New life = new debt
    DFD #1: 6 Nov 15 - paid £28,447
    • Sun Addict
    • By Sun Addict 3rd May 18, 9:38 PM
    • 6,422 Posts
    • 44,816 Thanks
    Sun Addict
    I bet you're so relieved to finally make the decision after that final straw. The only way is up now EE xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2010 £21.63
    Debt £1880
    Weight loss 0/6LBS
    Emergency Fund £4000/£10,000
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

846Posts Today

6,287Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • One would hope if there were a people's vote, this time we'd have a properly constructed vote, that gave the public? https://t.co/9e5WT51CQz

  • I'm getting really confused by people feeling the urgent need to respond to my tweets that all say "this poll isn't? https://t.co/046hq4kZl4

  • I've written, published and broadcast on this scores of times. Maybe the easiest explanation is within this? https://t.co/W1MufNrpjS

  • Follow Martin