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  • FIRST POST
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 15th Mar 16, 9:12 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    It's not a lot, but it's enough
    • #1
    • 15th Mar 16, 9:12 AM
    It's not a lot, but it's enough 15th Mar 16 at 9:12 AM
    Good day to you all.

    Can I start by saying I feel a bit embarrassed about starting this diary. Not because of my debt, but because in comparison to other peoples situation I seem to be in a better position to clear it. However Iíve been considering starting a diary like this for a while as I feel itís really been getting me down, like thereís a huge black cloud following me everywhere I go. I feel I think about money Ė or more specifically my debt - all day, every day, and hopefully having a place to come and post of my attempts to reduce it will help keep my chin up and motivate me.

    A bit about me. Iím 25 and I live with my mum for now and I have a steady and comfortable paying job. I was in a relationship for 8 years and we had a joint savings account with a view to buy a place. When that relationship ended, I went off the rails. I blew my half of the savings while at the same time took out a credit card telling myself Iíll use it to increase my credit score by only using it to buy petrol and paying back at the end of every month. That didnít go to plan. I know have 2 credit cards (just recently paid off my third); Tesco Credit Card - £2,614.19 and Barclaycard - £693.88. Both of which are 0% interest for now.

    The thing is, I know that my debt is manageable. Iím not spiralling out of control with interest. I donít have a mortgage. I donít have any kids. My expenditure is relatively low. I can and I will do this!

    Although this is a Debt Free Diary, I have a view for this to become a Saving Diary once Iíve cleared these cards. I want to feel the way I felt 3 years ago with no debt and thus no worries. To be happy again.

    My plan to clear this debt was originally to still try and maintain an element of my lifestyle that got me into this mess while being sensible. At the end of each month, any remaining money in my account would be transferred to my credit cards, this is already on top of my direct debits to meet the minimum repayments. However I found that this technique gave me too long a leash and I wasnít being tight enough. This month I actually have a stag do in Amsterdam (paid for by said credit cards) and with no savings, I had to use money from this months wages for spending money, leaving me skint for the remainder of the month, but goes to show that I can stow away a large chunk at the start of the month and force me to make the sacrifices. So thatís the plan, so put away a sizeable amount at the start of each month, the day I get paid.

    Thank you for reading and appreciate the support.

    Peace and Love!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
Page 54
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 9th Jan 19, 8:38 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Speky, I had no idea about your dad - what an awful tough situation for you and your family. However, it sounds as though a good time will be had by all at the weekend and it'll be a lovely catch up for you.
    Originally posted by crazy_cat_lady
    Thanks CCL. I accepted the situation years ago and so it's not something which gets me upset now. By comparison, my best friend's dad died when he was 4, so I try to count myself lucky that I can still see my dad.

    Yesterday felt like a long day given the early start and late stay in work. I sorted out my road tax when I got home and prepped a nice healthy dinner before going to bed early. I must have needed the sleep as I slept right through till the alarm at 5,30 and I opted for a longer lie rather than the gym this morning.

    I've got football tonight and not much else planned, I might squeeze in a quick visit to the gym given I didn't go this morning. Ask me again at 5pm how I'm feeling.

    Today is NSD 6/17
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 10th Jan 19, 8:18 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Good morning everyone,

    I can't quite believe it's Thursday already.

    Yesterday I had football training although I was 15 minutes late as I couldn't find the place!! I'm still getting used to the area and I had no idea where I was. My phone maps and my cars sat nav were telling me 2 different places, I even had to stop and ask a guy walking his dog. Anyway, I found it and I will know for next time.

    I tried a Jamie Oliver recipe for 1, chicken and butternut squash and it was average. Tonight's dinner is sweet potato, bacon and kale hash, Another new recipe so goodness knows how that will turn out.. I've been cutting out all the bad (tasty) sugary stuff that I adore so much and I'm craving it so much. It's actually my determination not to ruin a NSD which has stopped me. I've then got another game of football 9-10 tonight and not much else planned.

    Today is NSD 7/17!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 11th Jan 19, 8:41 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone,

    Happy Friday too!!

    Yesterday, after work, I maintained my productivity and done some other bits and bobs before playing football. I then couldn't sleep after, probably because I'm still cooling down from running about in the cold for an hour. Another NSD.

    This meant I opted for a longer lie this morning as opposed to the gym. Put a washing on over night and I've got my whites in now. Tonight I'll visit the gym and then I'll back for my overnight stay back with my mum on Saturday, not that I'll need much.

    I actually remembered to pull something out from the freezer for tonight, tuna steak, that I'll have with LO veg. Today should be another NSD - 8/17.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 13th Jan 19, 1:45 PM
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    Chandelier.
    Afternoon Speky!

    Sounds like you had a busy time over the festive/new year period. How is Manchester treating you?
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 14th Jan 19, 8:20 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Afternoon Speky!

    Sounds like you had a busy time over the festive/new year period. How is Manchester treating you?
    Originally posted by Chandelier.
    Hey, good to see you back.

    Manchester so far is really good, thank you. Works good, my colleagues are nice, my flat is nice and close to work and the area seems nice and safe too. Its only been a couple of months but I think i've made the right decision.


    Good morning everyone and happy Monday.

    I had a lovely weekend visiting family and friends back in Glasgow.

    First, on Friday, I couldn't shake my craving for something sugary and with nothing in the cupboards, I caved and drove past Aldi on the route home and spend £2 on some sweet. Thus ruining my NSD.

    I left early on Saturday to arrive at my dads party at 1 and got there shortly after. I say party, it was more a gathering of the immediate family members. He's not really able to acknowledge it's his birthday, or even what a birthday is, never mind the fact that he's 60! Anyway, it was nice to see him and the family. I do really enjoy spending time with that side of the family.

    From there I drove home and had a nice dinner with my DM and SD then visited my friend around the corner after. Bagged myself a NSD!!!

    I had a relatively lazy Sunday morning before having lunch with my gran and then headed home via a Tesco in Scotland given that they'd all be shut by the time I got down. Got in for 6ish and made my soup for the week ahead (butternut squash) and then my dinner (sticky blood orange chicken stir fry). Given I'd spend on groceries, I also decided to use the spend day by buying 2 pairs of glasses for £15, using the code in the MSE newsletter. They were on the list of things to buy at some point so I wanted to make the most of the offer.

    I had a terrible nights sleep and so I'll visit the gym after work today. Sage, leek and bacon risotto for dinner, which I've never made before. Got some frogs to eat to including; sending back some clothes my dad didn't like, organising letters I've received, visiting the post office for a parcel I missed and hoovering the flat too.

    So the weekend took me up to 9/17 NSD's and today will be 10.

    Hope everyone has an awesome week.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 15th Jan 19, 5:57 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone,

    I'm in work early to make some calls into Asia again. I think this going to be thing for every Tuesday. I don't mind particularly, as this is time I should be getting up for the gym but I just need to remember to leave early otherwise I'm doing a crazy shift!!

    Speaking of which, I'll head to the gym after work then home via the post office. Easy chicken wraps for dinner tonight and I'm not entirely sure what else.

    I went to the gym after work yesterday, so at peak gym time and it was crazy busy. Everything was being used, and i mean everything. There was a queue to get in to the gym and a queue to get out. I'm not so keen on all that so I was in for all of 15 minutes and left in frustration. I'm sure that'll die down in a few weeks as all the new year resolution people drop off.

    Have a good day everyone!!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 16th Jan 19, 8:19 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone and happy hump day,

    Yesterday was good and productive. Finished work around 4ish, went to the gym for a bit, then darted to the post office before it shut at 6 to send back some of the clothes my dad didn't like, collect a parcel which I missed (turned out to be my contact lenses) and send back a letter which was sent to me wrongly. Home to make some dinner and then I had a couple of hours to myself before bed. Played some xbox and started watching a film.

    Had a dream that Michael McIntyre brought me up on stage and there was a few hecklers when I went up, shouting things at me and so I was sent to the back of the crowd for my safety. I'm sure that has some subliminal meaning.

    Today I've an important meeting in the afternoon with an external potential client. I hate them being later in the day because I find myself thinking/worrying/planning all day for them, other things don't get my full attention, you know? Anyway, after that I'll nip to the gym for a quick run then home before football training 9pm-10pm.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 17th Jan 19, 8:35 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Good morning everyone,

    Where has the week gone!

    Very busy and positive day in work yesterday. It meant that I stayed late in the office but needs must. Went home quickly ate my mussels and left for football training. Probably didn't get to sleep till closer to 12.

    No gym this morning, I'll go after work if time allows. Another game of football tonight too although my dodgy knee is starting to play up a bit, so I'm might have to take it easy. I'm making a big batch of chilli tonight, so I'll probably have 3 or 4 bags put in the freezer for future use. I kind of wing it, and just chuck in the meats that like (chorizo and bacon), but it turns out quite nice - or to my taste at least.

    I had a brief conversation with my boss yesterday as he had questions about PAYE. I work for a start-up and all of the staff, apart from me, are on contracts. So they invoice the company at the end of the month for their services. My boss told him that this saves him £10k a year doing it this way. Something seems a bit off with this system. Does anyone know more about it??
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • Jenjenjen17
    • By Jenjenjen17 18th Jan 19, 7:08 PM
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    Jenjenjen17
    Hi Specky

    I don’t tend to comment much but always enjoy catching up on your thread, I work in tax, not paye but have done some exam questions on the above and your boss should probably be careful about what he is doing.

    The above arrangement is referred to as a personal service company and means they are self employed rather than being an employee of the company, this is fine if that is the actual case but HMRC have cracked down on this in recent years and lots of business’ use it as a way to avoid paying tax.

    If HMRC were to investigate they would weigh up the evidence to consider whether your colleagues are employed or not. They will consider things like ‘is computer equipment supplied?’ employees will be given a computer but someone self employed will use their own. Also do they have fixed hours? Employees will but if you are self employed you can work to your own scheduled. Other things will be how many different companies do they invoice, if they only work for one that indicates they are an employee. Also a company can send anyone with the appropriate skills to do a job but if your boss only wants specific individuals that would point to them being employees.

    It’s not black and white, probably best that your boss gets some advice from an accountant as not a good idea to get in the wrong side of HMRC.

    Sorry for the long post, hope that’s helpful.

    Have a nice weekend
    J
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 21st Jan 19, 8:29 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Hi Specky

    I donít tend to comment much but always enjoy catching up on your thread, I work in tax, not paye but have done some exam questions on the above and your boss should probably be careful about what he is doing.

    The above arrangement is referred to as a personal service company and means they are self employed rather than being an employee of the company, this is fine if that is the actual case but HMRC have cracked down on this in recent years and lots of businessí use it as a way to avoid paying tax.

    If HMRC were to investigate they would weigh up the evidence to consider whether your colleagues are employed or not. They will consider things like Ďis computer equipment supplied?í employees will be given a computer but someone self employed will use their own. Also do they have fixed hours? Employees will but if you are self employed you can work to your own scheduled. Other things will be how many different companies do they invoice, if they only work for one that indicates they are an employee. Also a company can send anyone with the appropriate skills to do a job but if your boss only wants specific individuals that would point to them being employees.

    Itís not black and white, probably best that your boss gets some advice from an accountant as not a good idea to get in the wrong side of HMRC.

    Sorry for the long post, hope thatís helpful.

    Have a nice weekend
    J
    Originally posted by Jenjenjen17

    Hey and thanks for swinging by again, with an incredibly helpful post. I'll head your advice and speak with an accountant, one which I've sourced myself (through a family friend) to ensure that all I am doing is legal and above board. I really do appreciate your help and advice.


    Morning everyone,

    I've not been able to post since Thursday as everything has been quite busy. Not that I am complaining.

    On Thursday, my boss told me he had over promised a client and as such was on a really tight deadline. I offered to help, which meant I was still working at 1am. Went to back and back in the office for 8am to complete everything. His client shared feedback that night and seemed appreciative.

    At the turn of the year I decided to get cardio fit again. Every since I hurt myself at football a few years ago, I resigned myself to playing 5 or 7 a side, but since I came down to Manchester I thought that joining a team would be a good way to meet new people and also to motivate myself to get fit and importantly, fix any ailments. Nike have a cool app that will create a plan for you based on some stats you provide, so I've been trying to keep to that. It asks that I run 3 times a week, at various distances (very short for now). So I managed to squeeze in a couple of runs on Friday and Saturday.

    Also on Saturday, my landlord came to fit new lights for under my kitchen cabinets and he fitted the Phillips Hue style. So I now have an app on my phone which controls all my lights and can change to any colour I like. My mind is blown and I've had of lots of fun with it. Just need to be careful it doesn't look like my flat is part of the red light district now!!

    Got a check through from the council in Scotland as i had overpaid my council tax, which is a nice little gift to receive. I'll need to cash it tomorrow as I forgot to bring it with me to work.

    Last night I prepped my soup for this weeks lunches (leek, bacon and chicken) and some small desserts for after my dinners (strawberry fools). I've got all my ingredients in for the week ahead, so don't plan on spending until Saturday again. Frustratingly, my Sunday NSD was scuppered as I realised I was missing coconut milk as part of a recipe for dinner!!

    Right, well I best get on for now. Have a good day everyone.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 22nd Jan 19, 6:03 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning early risers,

    Cold, dark and windy here in Manchester this morning.

    Yesterday after work I nipped into the gym, made a quick dinner and went to bed for 9 but tossed and turned for a bit. Even woke up during the night for the toilet which is unlike me.

    It's Tuesday, which is why I'm on the compute at this time of day, to make my calls to the Eastern side of the world. I'll finish a bit earlier, round 4pm and quickly go to the gym before heading home and attempting a poached cod recipe from Jamie Oliver.

    Yesterday was NSD 13/17 and I see no reason why today won't be one either.

    My MSE list;

    - Phone to arrange a DD for my water bill
    - Arrange a smart meter
    - Cash the cheque
    - Compare landlord insurance
    - Compare breakdown cover

    That'll keep me busy.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 23rd Jan 19, 8:20 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Good morning everyone,

    Yesterday was a productive day. As you know, I make calls to Asia and the language barrier is really difficult. European countries (fortunately for us Brits) tend to speak excellent English but it - in my experience so far - doesn't seem the be the same in on the East. Anyway, by the time it gets to 9am I can't call anymore because it's 6pm in Japan and everyone is away home. The rest of my day was busy, finished at 4, went to the gym, home for dinner and in bed for 9!!!

    Bitterly cold this morning. Had to wait for the car to defrost whilst I sipped my coffee. Been to the gym this morning in an attempt to run the 3.5 miles that my app is suggesting but it was a struggle. Anyway, I got football training tonight so I'll make up for it.

    The rebate cheque from the council was cashed yesterday and cleared today. Unfortunately £75 of it is going straight back out as I need to pay £50 to register for the team I am playing for plus a £25 deposit for the kit. The rest I have spread over some of my categories in YNAB. Speaking with my brother, I've come to realise that I will probably be using YNAB for years to come, and so I might as well start making plans/goals/categories for much further down the line; Christmas 2020 and 2021 for example! I've started doing that and it's giving me lots of comfort knowing that it's being taken care of.

    Right, I must get on with things. Stay warm and have a nice day everyone.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 24th Jan 19, 8:29 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone,

    Yesterday was busy and full of exercise meaning that I've decided against the gym this morning, so a bit of a longer lie. I've brought my gym stuff with me and I'll see how i feel after work and if I can be bothered going. I've got another game of football tonight so I might not.

    Trying another new recipe tonight title BBQ chicken breast. Might not sound the most adventurous but it looked lovely. I bet mine doesn't turn out like that!

    My mum loves good food and likes to try new restaurants. I wanted to treat everyone to a nice meal down here in Manchester around Christmas time (to give me time to save up, assuming it would be expensive) Started looking for which has a Michelin Star, and there's none here. So my next best thing was to see who has rosettes and I found a few but it was like £100 pp, not including drinks!! A table for 4 was more than my mortgage and I don't think I can justify it, although I'm sure it would be a lovely experience. My search goes on.

    Today will be 16/17 NSD's!!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 25th Jan 19, 8:14 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone and happy Friday, where has the week gone?

    Yesterday was a busy day in work, I didn't get the chance to breathe. Got home at about 8ish as I had some admin tasks to start, which I've still to finish. Made dinner, phoned my gran and my mum and then soon went to bed.

    Advice is welcome...
    I work in a small team of 3 and every time the boss leaves the room, wither it be to go to the toilet, make a brew or go for lunch, my other colleague takes his foot off the gas, pulls his phone out his drawer and just chills out. As soon as he hears the boss coming back, he puts his phone away and gets back to work. Should I say something? Bear in mind I've only been here 2 months!

    Today I'm hoping for another productive one. It will be, I have no choice. I need to go to the post office on my way home as I believe my 2 new pair of prescription glasses arrive. Really interested to see them on and given they cost me £7.50 each, I can't complain if they don't.

    I have quite the list of frogs to eat over the weekend which I'm looking forward to completing and feeling organised again. Today is also NSD 17 of the month, which means I've met my personal target, woohoo!!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • efes shareholder
    • By efes shareholder 25th Jan 19, 8:28 AM
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    efes shareholder
    Hi Speky

    I wouldn't say anything as yet unless it is impacting your workload

    Nothing more frustrating than watching someone doss whilst you work hard for your pay packet however unless it creates additional work for you or has an impact I'd be inclined for now to keep hush

    Maybe keep a little record of whats happening for future reference , ie times /dates and durations
    • joeyjimbles
    • By joeyjimbles 25th Jan 19, 11:59 AM
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    joeyjimbles
    Have asked both SILs - one lives near Manchester, the other is a travel concierge - for Manchester food recommendations for you. They've both agreed to come up with favourites which I'll wing over to you when they send them.

    In the meantime they both mentioned that Adam Reid (you might know him from Great British Menu) is opening soon at The French - Simon Rogan from L'enclume was there until just recently - or there is also El Gato Negro which is very well mentioned in the guidebooks and awards, and Manchester House similarly.
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 28th Jan 19, 8:18 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Hi Speky

    I wouldn't say anything as yet unless it is impacting your workload

    Nothing more frustrating than watching someone doss whilst you work hard for your pay packet however unless it creates additional work for you or has an impact I'd be inclined for now to keep hush

    Maybe keep a little record of whats happening for future reference , ie times /dates and durations
    Originally posted by efes shareholder
    Hey - I think I'm inclined to agree with you. My mum says the exact same thing and mums are almost always right! Thanks.

    Have asked both SILs - one lives near Manchester, the other is a travel concierge - for Manchester food recommendations for you. They've both agreed to come up with favourites which I'll wing over to you when they send them.

    In the meantime they both mentioned that Adam Reid (you might know him from Great British Menu) is opening soon at The French - Simon Rogan from L'enclume was there until just recently - or there is also El Gato Negro which is very well mentioned in the guidebooks and awards, and Manchester House similarly.
    Originally posted by joeyjimbles
    Joey - That's very kind of you, thank you. I've heard The French and Manchester House being mentioned before, actually. That must be a positive sign. Thanks again for your advice.


    Morning everyone,

    Hope you all enjoyed a lovely weekend.

    Friday - My NSD went out the window when everyone from work decided to go to the markets nearby for lunch. A really nice quiche for a fiver. Worked late that night, didn't leave till closer to 8 but I got lots done and the boss noticed it too. That wasn't why I done it but it's nice to get the recognition.

    Saturday - A day for eating frogs. Went to yoga, got a hair cut, went to the post office to collect my 2 x pair of specks for £15, went to John Lewis to use a voucher I had, got my weekly shopping in, ran for 4 miles, put 2 sets of washing on, phoned Vodafone to sort my bill, phoned E-on to arrange a smart meter, phoned an old colleague, all before chilling in front of the TV.

    Sunday - Early start I was playing football. Facetimed my brother in South Korea before going. We got gubbed 7-2 but it was a good run around. Went for a drink with some of the boys after the game (which ruined my NSD). Home to make my soup for the week and dinner that night, before joining my mates on the Xbox for an hour.

    And breathe.

    No gym this morning, but I'll go after work and I've got a yoga class booked for 7.30 again. Omelette with bacon for dinner when I get in.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 30th Jan 19, 10:32 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Morning everyone,

    Well - this weather!! I thought I'd left nasty weather behind in Scotland. My journey this morning took me 3 hours, when it usually takes 10. But I got here in one piece and I seen some cars who didn't so I'll be thankful.

    I'm parked in Tesco, which has a 3 hour max stay, so I'm not sure wither to risk it or nip out again at lunch and move it. Or go home and work from there.

    Busy day ahead regardless. Hope everyone says safe and warm!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 1st Feb 19, 8:22 AM
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    SpekySquarehead
    Good morning everyone,

    Sorry I didn't get the chance to come on yesterday. I was in London all day seeing a client of my colleagues. The meeting went ok, I suppose, we done as well as we could but we're no further forward it seems. Anyway, a decent trip which wasn't affected by the weather. I've said it before and I'll say it again - I do love London. Although it does cost a fair whack!

    Today signals the first of the month and I won't be starting it with a NSD as I have a work night out tonight. Nothing mad I hope, a few beers and some food. I've taken a taxi into work so my cars still at home and I can go to the gym and/or yoga tomorrow (depending on how late tonight is).

    Hope everyone stays safe and warm over the weekend.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 1st Feb 19, 1:30 PM
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    SpekySquarehead
    I might be a month late, but I've created some personal goals for the year head. They focus around 3 main topics; career, relationships and self.

    At lot has changed for me in the last 3 months, most notably my move 300 miles away from all my friends and family, so my goals might not necessarily sound like much, but still mean a lot to me. Similarly, some of these might make no sense to anyone other than me, so do forgive me.

    I've actually drawn up a table, breaking down my goals and how to achieve them in smaller and more realistic bursts, but the headlines goes as follows;

    Career
    ē Make a sale
    ē Maintain performance journal
    ē Go above and beyond

    Relationships
    ē Keep in touch with family and friends
    ē Meet new people

    Self
    ē Cut down phone time
    ē Less sugar
    ē Read more
    ē Meditate
    ē Attend yoga frequently
    ē Continue to learn Spanish

    I'll review these on a monthly basis, probably the start of every month, and I can then adjust if needed.

    Anyway, now that they're written down and out there, I'm now held accountable. Watch this space.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16

    Follow my diary HERE
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