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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Help to keep me honest
    • #1
    • 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    Help to keep me honest 3rd Nov 15 at 10:23 AM


    Hi everyone,


    I have been reading many of the diaries and posts on this forum and there are so many inspirational people and individual struggles going on out there. I have had my own light bulb moment a couple of months ago when I realised that we have been living beyond our means for a while now, and I have been kind of in denial about this. Our unsecured debt had reached £17,420 . I am married and have a 17 year old son who is about to go to University in September 2016 and we will need money to support him also. About four years ago I changed career and took a significant drop in income, this was to try to find a better work life balance. My wife has a long term condition which means that occasionally she can get quite ill and exhausted and me being away all the time wasnít really sustainable. Anyway, we did try to adapt to the lower income but in the end our spending exceeded our income. We had a special holiday a couple of years ago, to be honest because I wasnít sure what the future held at that point. Some of the debt originated then. In the last couple of months, I have followed some of the advice and developed a detailed budget using YNAB, and I have cut back in many areas to the point where I can see the way forward to paying off this debt. But I realise that this is a change for life, and I need to keep honest. Occasionally, recently I still found myself kidding myself buying the odd thing on the credit card and ignoring the spend. So my aim with this diary is to post as regularly as I possibly can and record as honestly as I can what I am doing. I feel I need this community to keep going on this journey, since I know the pressure I will come under to spend, even if that pressure is coming from me!


    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
Page 10
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 24th Feb 18, 8:04 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    I havenít mentioned it before, but I teach in a University. This week, starting on Thursday I have been on strike for the first time in my working life. The strike is over pension changes being imposed, not negotiated by Universities. The impact will be a reduction of approx.. £10,000 per annum. It has been a really difficult decision, I care very much about my students and I have a son at Uni and I understand that this is disrupting their education. I wont go into it too much as this isnít the place and besides there will be many different views. Anyway, it could last 14 days and the impact will be approx. £1000 on my income in March if it does. Thus. the debt repayment date has gone back a month or two! I sincerely hope it is called off, there are talks on Tuesday next week so fingers crossed.
    Talking of DS, he is home for the weekend and its really nice to see him. We spent some time together yesterday, he taught me a card game.
    Have a great day all!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 24th Feb 18, 8:57 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Ah when I went to the museum yesterday with my DGS it is next to the local university, we saw people with placards , wondered what it was about , now I know.

    Sorry to hear this , especially when you are so near the finish line . However your pension is worth fighting for. Will you not get help from your union for salary lost . I know my union has a hardship fund.
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 25th Feb 18, 8:45 PM
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    glass_half_full
    Hi Cumbria,
    There is a strike fund, the priority being for those on low pay or insecure contracts. I wouldnt claim against this, at this stage I am prepared for this if is the price of supporting the action. I hope it gets resolved before the 14 days are up though.
    Last edited by glass_half_full; 25-02-2018 at 8:46 PM. Reason: typo
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 28th Feb 18, 7:46 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Need to get my thoughts down here. Today is day 5 of the strike. Back to work tomorrow. Yesterday the Union and the employers met in London and agreed to talks mediated by ACAS. The employers have agreed to negotiate the changes to the pension scheme, this is a move on their part. At the moment the action continues, I hope it is called off soon. The weather is perishing. We are a bit concerned about the forecast since we are hoping to attend a concert that my son is playing tomorrow evening, it may not be practical to get there, we will see.
    Money matters have been thrown a bit into disarray. Iím not quite sure the impact of the strike, it will be between £400 - £1000 on take home pay at the end of March depending on how long it goes on. Also, I have a repair on the car, some work recommended at the MOT last July, I have been holding off aiming for when we were out of debt, which should be now. Should be getting a quote today. We are also planning to spend some money redecorating in the early summer, starting in June. We could delay this, but we are thinking about getting someone in to do the hallway, landing and stairs. I donít think I can do this myself or at least not at a good standard or safely with the stair well. The person we want is hard to get and we have him booked for first week in June. Heís not cheap but the results are really good and last.
    So as a result the planned repayments are as follows. These will all go out in the first week of the month.
    March - £515
    April - £415
    May - £690
    June - £900
    July £430
    So new DFD is now first week July.
    Have a great day all.
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 11th Mar 18, 6:11 PM
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    Cumbria lass
    How are things going for you ? Do you think your plan above will work?
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 23rd Mar 18, 7:20 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Hi Cumbria,
    Havenít posted in a while. I was more than a bit disappointed to miss the debt free date of February or March. I lost £400 in March salary due to the strike. Now the poor old car has needed some treatment. New brake pads for the front brakes (£90). Then the job that was identified at the last MOT has been estimated at £260. Nonetheless, it should be possible to clear the debt by June/July.
    Today I am travelling with DS to a gig on the south coast where he is drumming. Good experience for him. I need to go an collect him later and then we need to pack the car and set off late afternoon.
    Debt clearance plan
    March - £515 (actual £415)
    April - £415 (actual £415)
    May - £690
    June - £900
    July £430
    A group of us at work have entered a 10K. Its good to be doing something a bit different together.
    I have some time off over Easter, looking forward to it.
    Have a great day all!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 23rd Mar 18, 7:33 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Great to hear from you , have a good weekend with your DS .

    The plan sounds like it will happen, I think the first thing you may be saving for is a car .

    Enjoy the Easter Break.
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 7th Apr 18, 10:36 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Need to take stock of where I am this morning. We have had quite a busy Easter as this week we have had DS and his GF staying with us. Then my brother and his family visited us for a couple of days from abroad. They stayed in a nearby b&b since they have 3 children so we canít accommodate them all. It was really nice to see them since DS and GF spent time with them last summer. They have now returned home, DS is now staying with his GF and so the house is very quiet again!
    We have spent some money this week although I had budgeted for it so it was ok. There have been a few unplanned expenses, the cat got sick and needed some injections at the vet so that cost £65. So far this year I have only made the loan repayment of £415 in January, February and March despite plans for overpayment. So now focused on paying off the remaining £2,120 hopefully in three remaining monthly repayments.
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 14th Apr 18, 10:07 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    its actually stopped raining and I can see the sun shining! Taking stock a bit this morning. The car cost £100 instead of £260 as estimated because the problem was simpler than they thought it would be to fix, nice for it to go in the right direction for once! I can feel that we have relaxed the purse strings recently as the debt free date approaches. Need to stay focused. Once debt free we should be able to save each month, need to make sure that we dont end up spending that money instead. I think the way to do that will be to budget that money and treat it as spent.
    Going for a run later this morning, the 10K is only 3 weeks away.
    Have a great day all!
    Last edited by glass_half_full; 14-04-2018 at 10:07 AM. Reason: typo
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 15th Apr 18, 9:07 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Good news on the car front. I think it would be easy to start spending your money that you have used for debt repayment once you are debt free.

    However you did have some plans for the money I seem to remember so some spending may be inevitable.

    Hope the training is going well .
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 25th Apr 18, 7:08 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Finally made it to pay day! Making a payment of £673 so reduces debt to £1445. Should be just two more payments to go so finishing in two months time.
    Looks like a lovely sunny day today!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd May 18, 10:30 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    I suspected that spending had been creeping up a bit and indeed looking at my budget I can see that this has been the case. Looking at YNAB our discretionary spend categories averaged around £1600 per month for the 10 months up to March this year. In April we spent £2,000 so up by 25%. Also debt overpayments stopped in February and March. We have managed to pull things back a bit and this month made a payment of £673.
    We have been talking about how we will spend the extra money that will be available once the debt is gone and I need to reign this in a bit otherwise there will be pressure to spend money we donít have. I need to maintain the mindset I have developed over the last couple of years.
    Still hopeful about the promotion and pay rise coming through, should find out in the next couple of months. I am aiming to put 50% of it into the pension and use 50% to allow us to so some of the things we have put off for so long.
    Going to see DS perform in a concert this evening, should be fun!
    Have a great day all.
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 3rd May 18, 7:35 PM
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    Cumbria lass
    All still looking good on all fronts. Am sure you will be wise with your spending after an initial splurge .
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th May 18, 8:35 AM
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    glass_half_full
    All still looking good on all fronts. Am sure you will be wise with your spending after an initial splurge .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Thanks Cumbria, I hope you are right!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 12th May 18, 8:38 AM
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    • 702 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    I got some great news this week, I found out that my promotion has gone through! One of the senior managers came to see me in person which was a really nice touch. It was a long process which started last November, and to be honest I couldnít quite believe it had happened, its still sinking in. It is effective 1st August so should see the difference from the end of August onwards. I have spoken to OH and we are going to split it 50% extra pension contributions and 50% as income.
    Have a great day all!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 25th May 18, 7:18 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Went to collect DS yesterday evening from Uni as he has to leave his accommodation by the end of the month. Quite amusing when we got home he asked us ďWhat are you two doing this evening?Ē. OH and I looked at each other a bit bemused thinking, well sitting and watching tv of course, is there anything else? I think we may have become a bit staid and boring! Its nice to have him home, we will enjoy the Bank Holiday and then he needs to think about what he is going to do over the summer.
    On the money front, the debt is now down to £1000 and I am aiming to finally pay this off at the end of June. We are having a big decoration job done starting Tuesday next week. It will cost £900 but he is very good and his work is of good quality and lasts. Part of it is the hallway landing and stairs which is something I have not attempted in the past, but also itís a time problem for me at the moment as well. We have had some quotes for carpets for stairs and landing (£850) and bedroom (£350). This is from a local carpet shop which we have always used in the past, very good service and their carpets seem to last. These prices are for quite good quality carpet. We canít remember when they were last changed, at least 10 years and possibly 15. Anyway, since the price is quite high I have decided to hold fire until the debt is paid off and so we will probably get that done in September. Its hard to wait but after 2 Ĺ years of driving the debt down I want it gone for good now.
    Hope you all have a great bank holiday!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 25th May 18, 7:27 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Faboulous news on your promotion , and now the last leg of the debt. You will be over the finishing line very soon.

    Your DS made me laugh with his question, I get asked the same question by my own DD but it is to gauge if I am free for baby sitting., All your plan for the house sound really good and well thought out.

    Have a good BH. Hope to be able to see you debt free next time I read your diary.
    CC1 £3980 June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th May 18, 10:40 AM
    • 285 Posts
    • 702 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Faboulous news on your promotion , and now the last leg of the debt. You will be over the finishing line very soon.

    Your DS made me laugh with his question, I get asked the same question by my own DD but it is to gauge if I am free for baby sitting., All your plan for the house sound really good and well thought out.

    Have a good BH. Hope to be able to see you debt free next time I read your diary.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Thanks Cumbria. That's funny about your DD
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th May 18, 10:42 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,

    DS and OH are both snoozing away so a good chance for me to take stock of things. I think I am going to organise these thoughts into short, medium and long term. I need to set this out since I can feel bad old spending temptations entering my head as we approach debt free date! If I set out my goals here then I can remind myself why we are doing things when temptations occur and stay on the right MSE path.

    Short term (1-3 months)
    Having DS at home has got me and OH thinking that actually over the summer we would like to have at least some flexibility to do some things as a family. Not sure what yet, perhaps camping trips and a short break to the coast. We need a bit of room in the budget for this, so we have decided to delay the new carpeting until after the summer. We will go ahead with the redecorating which starts next Tuesday. This means we will still hit the debt free target of end of June. Still need to keep an eye on the spending. I can see the grocery budget going up a bit now DS is home!

    Medium term (12-18 months)
    We can afford to get the carpeting done in September / October. Over the next 12 months I aim to achieve 2 things. Firstly, build up savings (emergency fund plus long terms savings) to a decent level, aiming for around £10,000 across the two. Secondly, build up a replacement car fund of £8,000. Our current car is 14 years old and has 146,000 miles on the clock. I would love to run it forever, but need to be realistic.

    Long term (10 years)
    I want to be able to choose what I do at 60. Iím not using the word retire since I donít think I will retire in the traditional sense. But I want to be financially independent and be able to choose what I do. In order to do this I need to do two things. Firstly, when our mortgage comes up for renewal in October I will adjust the term to 8 years so it is paid off before I am 60. This will increase the mortgage payment by approx.. £300 since at the moment the mortgage is on a longer term. Secondly, I am going to increase my pension contributions. Pay rise for promotion should come through in August, so my plan is to put 50% of it into the pension AVCs. I have built a spreadsheet and along with other pension provisions I have made then it should be enough to retire/semi-retire at 60. I will get professional advice nearer the time.

    Since my LBM in November 2015 we have repaid £16,420 which is approx £530 per month. So now we can use that payment for something positive and useful!

    Have a great day all.
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 9th Jun 18, 9:45 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,

    This week has been really busy at work including a bit of travel and an overnight stay away. I used to do a lot of travelling in my previous job and to be honest I don!!!8217;t really miss it ! The painting and decorating of the hallway landing and stairs is finished, it has really lifted the house and brightened it up. It cost £950 which is a lot but well worth it. On the money front, still on track to make the last payment in just over 2 weeks time. To be honest although I do feel great about finally reaching the end of non-mortgage debt, I am only too aware that we have low savings and so are only one issue (boiler packs up, car etc) away from a problem. Its only a step on the journey. So the next priority will be to build up a decent amount of savings to cover for both emergencies and also replacing the car for example. Last night went to watch DS perform at a concert at his Uni where they performed songs from various musicals, fantastic night and really enjoyed it. This weekend is catching up on various chores whilst trying to relax and get over this week which has been a bit manic.

    Have a great day all!
    Non-mortgage Debt free 21st June 2018

    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £79,600 I MFW Target July 2023
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