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    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 3rd Nov 15, 10:23 AM
    • 268Posts
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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 wasn’t 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 wasn’t 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!


    Debt free 21st June 2018
Page 9
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 20th Dec 17, 8:58 AM
    • 268 Posts
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    glass_half_full
    Sorry I missed this. Yes we both overpaid into pension, mortgage and invested in SIPPs and stocks and shares ISAs so three prong attack. We are lucky in that my pension is LGPS so DB scheme and mostly pre 2008 as I worked full time for a number of years and overpaid and transferred old pension into it. Consequently there is not a massive drop with me taking it early. Similarly with my DH paying 10% contributions his company were paying 20% as incentive for switching from DB to DC scheme with the 20% reducing by 1% each year so we maximised that and his DB pension was protected due to more than 30 years service.

    Once our daughters finished uni and mortgage finished we invested heavily and saved large cash buffer to bridge the gap.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    HI Enthusiastic,
    Thanks, ok that's what it looks like when you get really serious! It must be great to reach that point where you are truly free and can do what you want with your time and know that you have financial security. I guess this is you last couple of days at work, I hope you have a great celebration. Please let us all know on the threads on here how you are getting on.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 20th Dec 17, 9:12 AM
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    glass_half_full
    Congratulations on the great debt busting - only 2 months left thereabouts and on possible promotion. My suggestion would be to think long and hard about priorities as it is so easy to loosen the purse strings and go a bit mad once released from restraint of debt. Keeping going with the budgeting will pay dividends and enable you to have a bit more money to enjoy but also put some plans in place for the future whether that is overpay mortgage or pension or save towards holiday, new car or home improvements.
    When our daughters finished uni and we had repaid our mortgage for the first time ever our direct debits were a fraction of our take home pay. We had a lot of disposable income and it would have been easy to spend that on holidays, cars, house projects, meals out etc. We did them all but also invested for early retirement and divided the money up into monthly amounts but also doubled our personal spends from £100 each to £200 each. We did not always spend it but we kept it separate so we each saw the benefit of no mortgage.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks for the good advice here, some great tips. I think some of the habits I have acquired will be for life! For example, the daily discipline of recording spends and budgeting is pretty much hard wired. Equally, the aversion to debt, I don’t think I will ever borrow again for any reason, its just become a complete no-no for me. We are at the moment living on about £3000 per month with an income of £4400. I realise that we are fortunate to at the moment both have our health and be able to work full time. Who knows how long that will last. So on that basis I want to stay living on the £3000 and then perhaps overpay the mortgage by £1000 which will pay it off in about 4 years. Then in March we will make a list of things we want to do. I know OH has a long list of backlog things we have not done due to debt busting for the last 2 years. We will work our way through this but only pay when we have the money from the extra £400 per month.
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 20th Dec 17, 9:17 AM
    • 268 Posts
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    glass_half_full
    Good news on the meeting about promotion, hope it progresses satisfactorily. Another £1000 payment well done , edging closer to the finish line .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria,
    Thanks, yes, nearly there at last.
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 30th Dec 17, 4:54 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good evening diary and all,
    I hope you all have had a great Christmas. I do like this period between Christmas and New Year. I have been lucky enough to have had two weeks off so am starting to forget what day of the week it is, always a good sign that I am relaxing!
    Just back from visiting my Mum which is a long drive. Had a good conversation with OH about plans for next year including holidays etc. We have a list of things we want to do once the debt is gone!
    Good luck to everyone with your plans for 2018.
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 31st Dec 17, 1:42 PM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Looking back and looking forward
    Good afternoon diary and all,
    New Year’s Eve and time to look back over the last year and look forward to next year. This time last year the debt was around £14,664. I notice that I didn’t post on my diary from January until May, and that in that time the debt reduced by around £1500 to £13,163 which was around £300 per month. During this period last year we did spend quite a lot on DIY and on booking a holiday. I don’t think I was really focused on debt busting to be honest during this period. From May onwards, I got much more focused and started to post more regularly and the debt has come down to £3,365 today which is a reduction of £9,798 which has been about £1400 per month. I think posting on here has helped, because when I have had windfalls along the way, whereas in the past I would probably have spent it, posting a diary entry makes me somehow more accountable and so I have more often used the money to pay off the debt. I have filled in the budget for the whole of 2018. The aim is to clear the debt in the next two months. We have made a list of things we want to spend on after that including:
    • Some redecorating and recarpeting
    • Some small pieces of furniture
    • A weekend away to celebrate OH birthday next year
    • A new tent and camping stuff (our existing tent is 10 years old)
    I have budgeted for this and will mean spending some of the money left over each month in March and April. Then I want to build up a bigger buffer in May, June and July. Then start overpaying the mortgage in August of next year.
    The main thing I want to avoid is going overboard spending which would be easy to do once the debt free date arrives.
    Wishing everyone a prosperous New Year!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 6th Jan 18, 9:58 AM
    • 268 Posts
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    First week back at work over. It wasn’t too bad although everything seemed to take twice as long as it should have as I am struggling to get back up to speed! Finally submitted my promotion application on Friday. I will hear if I have got past the first stage by mid-February so fingers crossed. We had a nice night out last night around with some friends for dinner. Three weeks to payday and the main challenge is going to be staying in budget since I have a tight budget for January and February. Signed up for the January take your lunch to work challenge. I find if I am focused on saving on the small things then the bigger things follow. Planning for two large repayments to clear the debt. Going out later today to do the weekly shop. Had a nice surprise in the post this morning, received the £50 Amaz*n voucher from B*T for taking out their SIM only deal in November. The process to claim it was a bit of a pain, I imagine that quite a few people will have not done it or forgotten about it. DS is still with us on and off between disappearing to friends houses for days/nights here and there.

    Sunday is forecast to be a nice day. I will aim to get out for a walk in the winter sunshine, that always lifts the spirits.

    Hope you all have a great weekend!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 6th Jan 18, 10:05 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Happy New Year to you ! We are in your debt free year now .

    Plans all look good , I think doing the diary has helped me a lot, like you any windfall would have just been spent but not any longer .

    Have a lovely walk tomorrow, I will be having a tootle out as well , locally .
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 6th Jan 18, 11:51 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    You are almost debt free now. How exciting. Good luck with promotion.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 13th Jan 18, 9:56 AM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Happy New Year to you ! We are in your debt free year now .
    Plans all look good , I think doing the diary has helped me a lot, like you any windfall would have just been spent but not any longer .
    Have a lovely walk tomorrow, I will be having a tootle out as well , locally .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    You are almost debt free now. How exciting. Good luck with promotion.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks cumbria and enthusiastic !

    Week two of January over. I have had some irregular expenses through which I had forgotten about. The water bill comes every six months and although I budget for it every month, still it comes as a surprise somehow. Noticed that our water consumption has dropped by 1/3 since this time last year when DS was living with us which makes sense. Also had a subscription for work which I can claim back for so that’s ok. The car insurance is up for renewal mid-February so I have done some quotes and the prices seem pretty good, must be because the car is worth less and less! OH is starting to choose various things for the house, need to hold off just a bit longer so we can buy from savings. We need to avoid window shopping because I know that it will be next to impossible to resist spending. So just need to hold off until March.
    Have a great day all.
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 21st Jan 18, 12:31 PM
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    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    A few expenses have come through in January. They shouldn’t be a surprise and in some cases they have been budgeted for or I have been able to claim them back as expenses. However, combined they seem to have pushed the budget very tight.
    Annual professional subscription £245 – luckily I can claim this back.
    Water bill -£167 – I have been budgeting for this monthly
    Garden waste collection £45 – our council charges if you want garden waste collected. To be honest I had completely forgotten about this.
    Extra £25 on phone bill. Called a relative overseas on Christmas Day, should have used Skype!
    £100 deposit on hotel for OH birthday celebration later in the year. Needed to do this since they get booked up.
    Having done the numbers, this all together with some overspending in December means that I am going to need one more month to reach my debt free date. I am a bit disappointed in missing this target, but it can’t be helped.
    Have a great day all!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 22nd Jan 18, 8:46 PM
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    Cumbria lass
    Just got caught up with you . An extra month isn!!!8217;t so bad , better than a whole year.

    We have lots of relatives in the land down under and we use FaceTime , great invention. Can!!!8217;t remember the last time we phoned .
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • webroot
    • By webroot 22nd Jan 18, 8:57 PM
    • 1 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    webroot
    Very nice
    You can record as honestly as you are doing.
    Last edited by webroot; 22-01-2018 at 9:01 PM.
    Webroot.com/safe
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Jan 18, 7:20 AM
    • 268 Posts
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    glass_half_full
    Just got caught up with you . An extra month isn’t so bad , better than a whole year.

    We have lots of relatives in the land down under and we use FaceTime , great invention. Can’t remember the last time we phoned .
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria,
    I should use FaceTime. I think I forgot about new technology and thought I was back in the eighties again !
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Jan 18, 7:22 AM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    DS is coming home from Uni today for the weekend and it looks like he will be bringing his GF. We will take them out this evening to the local Indian restaurant. We have both been paid and this month made a payment of £415 to the debt. This is less than I had planned, partly to do with overspending in December and January. It is also because we are buying a few bits and pieces to cheer up our kitchen. OH and I have been window shopping (fatal!) and we are getting a few items today. I was a bit overenthusiastic in trying to clear the debt by end of February! I have to budget for a bit of spend on the car as I am planning to get a small job done on it in March, plus a new tyre. Even with this, we should still hit end of March as planned. Car insurance is up for renewal. Currently I am paying £450 and it looks like I can get it down to £350.
    I find I am thinking a bit less about money. I suppose that is a good sign. Its been a bit obsessive for the last two years.
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 27th Jan 18, 8:00 AM
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    Purplemumof2
    Enjoy the curry tonight and the shopping x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
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    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 27th Jan 18, 8:21 AM
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    Cumbria lass
    Have a good weekend with DS and his GF . Good to hear you are still on target for March even with you buying a few bits for your house.

    Car insurance is a good deal getting a £100 cheaper. Cars are expensive to run , but if you look after them they do last longer for sure.
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 4th Feb 18, 8:02 AM
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    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Thanks Purple Mum and Cumbria!
    Up early today as I have some work to do which I need to get on with. It was nice to see DS and his GF last weekend. We went to the local Indian restaurant and had a nice chat with them, always seem to get more conversation over a meal! DS is studying music and his GF fine art. Work is ticking over ok, lots to do but manageable at the moment. Slow and steady on the money front. I noticed on YNAB today that for the first time I have a positive net worth! This means that current account plus savings (emergency fund) is more than the debt (not including the mortgage). A bit meaningless of course because we have just been paid and have to live for the rest of the month! But creeping towards the finish line.
    Have a great day all!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Feb 18, 9:05 AM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Switched energy suppliers today. This is now an annual thing for me. Ive switched back the last supplier I had and “saved” £150. I don’t see this as a saving any more, its just cost avoidance. It seems strange that our energy market has become like this.
    Work had been a bit manic so looking forward to a quiet weekend. Some chores around the house. I need to get some piano practice in. I have a grade 2 exam in March. What was I thinking!?
    Have a great day all!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 10th Feb 18, 10:39 AM
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    • 11,574 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Enjoy your piano practice, I love a tinkle on the ivories .

    I am locked in until December with my power supplier but will be looking around in November .

    Have a good quiet weekend.

    Did you hear any more about your promotion ?
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 17th Feb 18, 10:08 AM
    • 268 Posts
    • 668 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi Cumbria,
    Thanks, yes, I got some good news this week that I have got through the first stage of the promotion process. There is one final stage so hopefully some good news in a couple of months time. It is quite (very) bureaucratic where I work.
    DS was in touch last night as he needed us to secure his accommodation for next year. He has a few friends who want to share. I’m pleased he has settled in and found his niche and friends he can identify with.
    OH not very well today so I have a few domestic things to attend to around the house.
    Nothing very exciting to report on the MSE front. Pay day is a week on Monday and aiming for a decent repayment this month.
    Have a great day all!
    Debt free 21st June 2018
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