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  • FIRST POST
    • jvr
    • By jvr 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    • 420Posts
    • 1,303Thanks
    jvr
    Changing habits, wanting freedom
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 16, 11:17 AM
    Changing habits, wanting freedom 3rd Oct 16 at 11:17 AM
    So finally looking at starting a diary, need something to keep me on track! So debt stands at 5,481.43 was originally about 6,000 6 months ago. It!!!8217;s a mixture of spending due to buying our first house and not adjusting to me being on a much lower income down about 10,000 a year.
    So I am 27 and live with my OH and two dogs and one cat. We want to think about having children soonish and the debt needs to be gone. Complications are due to the fact my OH is
    from SA, every two years we have had about 2,000 to pay out for visa!!!8217;s we also have to send money back to SA to family over there. Luckily the next visa in 2.5 years time will be for citizenship but could cost about 3,000.

    1 year ago I quit my well paid but horrendous job and started working in admin and a horrifying low wage but without any of the stress. I!!!8217;m a bit bored now but love my team and organisation so hopeful that I can change my role within the team and have it be a bit more interesting and more money!! Between me and OH we earn just under 40,000 a year so where the hell does it go!?
    Things holding us back !!!8211; my OH is terrible with money (not that I am perfect) although he is getting better its hard. We also both smoke!!!8230;.. Switched to role ups and have halved the costs but still for our bank balance/ health and hope to have kids we have to stop this. My mental health is also a bit of a problem with on and off depression and anxiety making things tricky.
    I control our spending except for OH!!!8217;s allowance which he often runs out of far too early considering how much he gets. For last 3 months have stopped putting anything on cards, have redecorated down stairs without making more debt and have paid off about 100 a month. Also started a savings account for Christmas and OH!!!8217;s car insurance next year in hope to not spend ages paying debt just to get back into it when a big bill comes along! Did all the switching energy suppliers etc to save money but just seems to end up in black hole. Also started cycling to and from work which saves on bus fair and is good for health!
    Other big expense is I am have driving lessons at the moment which is holding back the debt repayment and feeling frustrating but has to be done if hope to get this other job ~(and just because in life it is good idea!!)
    Been reading lots of diarys and found so many people inspiring yet I still seem to run through money with nothing to show for it!!!8230;. So hoping this will keep my on track!


    If you haven!!!8217;t already, join the forum to reply!
    This Forum tip was included in MoneySavingExpert.com's weekly email!
    Last edited by Former MSE Jessica; 30-05-2017 at 2:32 PM.
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


Page 18
    • jvr
    • By jvr 6th Feb 18, 8:23 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Yesterday ended up being a bit food spendy! I went to the market and got milk, bananas, apples, tomato, lettuce and amazing ovencakes came to 7.30 but then OH said the burgers didn!!!8217;t look good (they have been in the freezer forever) so he went to get more from tesco and also asked if he could get meat to make biltong. He got a huge piece for 30 and some chicken, burgers and mince as well as a few bits from Tesco. We are basically out of food so that!!!8217;s okay and the 30 piece of beef will make a lot of Biltong. Freezer is finally defrosting but will need to be fairly careful with food budget for next two weeks (I get paid on the 21st so we get a top up about of money then)
    I geared myself up to go swimming last night with my mum and when we got there the pool was closed due to an incident. So I ate chocolate instead!!!8230;.. have rescheduled for tonight.
    Other than that, things are fairly quiet. We got a great shelving unit with little baskets in some of the slots from my sister so plan to put that up soon and can load some of my many many books on to it. I did declutter a lot of them but I am a huge re-reader and I refuse to part with any of the others. The beauty of my terrible memory is I can read them over and over and forget what happens!
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • jvr
    • By jvr 6th Feb 18, 8:24 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Thanks NOA we at going to see La Boheme.... need to google the story line haha
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 6th Feb 18, 8:39 AM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Enjoy La Boheme, JVR. Getting a rough idea of the story in your head before you go makes it very straightforward, and there's plenty of help on google. Opera's the only art form I simply can't get my head around and I have tried and tried and tried. I'm almost envious of anyone who loses themselves in it. Fortunately for us OH enjoys going with a friend of mine who always buys him a glass of champagne in the interval, so it's a win:win thing here.
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 6th Feb 18, 8:54 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    I'm not convinced I will be a convert as I have a short attention span and prefer a grizzly crime drama but its exciting to go once.
    I have updated my signature to show the true extent of debt on my return from SA. Luckily OH's income insurance kicked in and we got his holiday pay out so paid off the overdraft we had used while away. I have now moved half the Barclaycard balance to an empty Halifax card on 0% for a year. I have also included savings pots as I just think this will help me see how slotting 5 here and there helps build them up. They don't have specific end dates but seeing it all on my spreadsheet spurs me on.
    So my debts are as follows:
    Barclaycard 2678 - 0% till Dec 18
    Halifax 2183.88 - 0% till Feb 19
    Tesco 3082- 0% till Dec 18
    Halifax 1094.28 - 0% Dec 19


    So it may not be the most logical but Barclaycard is being tackled first mainly as this is the one that we built up like idiots so it would feel amazing to clear (although cheated slightly by moving half that we were being charged interest on)
    Then I'm not sure which I suppose it depends on how much we have cleared as clearly won't manage them all by the end of 0% date. My temptation is the Halifax with the lowest balance next but we have two years 0% on that... hmmm will have a think
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • jvr
    • By jvr 7th Feb 18, 12:57 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Freezing today and a huge accident in town so took me and hour to get to work instead of 20mins! frustrating. Had my lunch at work yesterday but then met my sister for a hot chocolate on my lunch break so came to 3.30 out of change in my purse. No other spends as felt rubbish and didn't go swimming. I made the chicken legs that OH bought with some roasties and about to die spinach for dinner, was lovely. Tonight will be chilli I think as have basically everything in for it although may need kidney beans... will mix it with lentils to stretch it. Hoping to scrape though till sat and will do big aldi shop then. Exactly two weeks till pay day... not that I'm counting..........
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • jvr
    • By jvr 8th Feb 18, 9:35 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Yesterdays spends....
    I brought breakfast and lunch but grabbed crisps from the vendy so 70p which is daft as should just bring snacks!
    Both of us were so tired last night so the mince didn't get used but OH grabbed some pasta, burritos and chicken legs from morribobs which came to about 11 plenty left for my lunch today too much better for us and bank than takeaway. I thought I had another smoothie ready for brekkie today but didn't so grabbed the yoghurt I use to make it and an apple and that will do for brekkie.


    The dog chewed OH's headset for xbox which led him to an emergency trip to arg0s.... he put it on his argos card which has nothing else on it but that's his business to pay off and sort and I don't count it in our joint debts.


    So far accounts looking good.... I have my last pack of airport cigs and I said would stop after that, feel very nervous I think both about stopping and fear if I can't as its not budgeted for.


    I also realised that some payments on dd that I don't think should be there. We arranged life insurance and income protection through our mortgage guy and I think he cancelled the old one to put us in a joint one but seems like old one is still being taken :/ must call and sort feel like an idiot as prob near on 100 over the year!
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 8th Feb 18, 2:44 PM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    It's amazing how quickly a forgotten direct debit and few things like that can add up to quite useful amounts of money when we spot them. Even though I think I keep very track of every penny I spend if I didn't reconcile my bank statement really carefully every single month I'd be paying for all sorts of things I don't actually have to.

    Speaking of which, I've just had a bit of a run-in with the vet and decided to check my bills really carefully after they tried to charge me over 12 for two tablets that should have been somewhere around the 4 mark together. They've charged me more than 1.70 to text me a reminder for something! Knickers to that. They also don't give me the 15% discount on prescribed medicines every time and a number of other anomolies, so that's another few hours I'm going to have to waste writing to them. I reckon they've over-charged me at least 100 in 2017 alone and I'm missing five invoice breakdowns - and I've been with that practice for 30 years. Not a happy bunny, but at least my records show how all over the place their figures are.
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 9th Feb 18, 8:45 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    I have a memory of noticing last year but I think I had so much going on I didn't deal with it so its a job for this weekend.
    That's so frustrating Honey especially when you have been so loyal, fab that you have records to show I but would be nice to sometimes not have to worry and check every figure sent to you I'm sure.


    So money yesterday... 1.50 on a amazing Jaffa cake sundae thing from M@S totally worth it even though extortionate... actually 3 but my colleague owes me for hers.


    Then 14 on a takeaway with my sister. She is visiting as she has some hospital appointments and is staying at my dads while he is away. She has ME and POTS so is not well at all and often has to use a wheelchair to conserve energy, so I said would come to her (my dogs are a bit energetic and draining) ordered us a delicious curry and had a nice catch up.... think OH then spent 6 on takeaway at home so he didn't miss out! Spendy but worth it for some one on one time and I was glad I made the effort to see if she was up to a visitor.


    Today will be 1.70 on my breakfast sarnie, opera tonight is already paid for just have to decide if to drive or share a taxi with mum and sis :/ I know which I should do haha
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 9th Feb 18, 1:26 PM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    JVR have you ever done an SOA? It might be worthwhile to see where there could be money shifted from one area to another. It certainly seems that there's a lot going on with food that might be worthwhile planning a strategy so that you can be proactive.
    Keeping it AF
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 12th Feb 18, 8:30 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 11,164 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi JVR, just caught up, I'm sorry for your loss. I hope things get easier for you, thank you for your kind words on my diary. X
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = 2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (3168.45/3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: 3885
    • jvr
    • By jvr 13th Feb 18, 8:00 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Hi Honey..... yes there has been a lot going on with food which is frustrating as we totally got out of the takeaway habit and since back from SA seem to have slipped. I finally did an aldi shop and now there is options I think we will do much better.
    I have never done an SOA as to be honest aside from bills which I always get on the best possible rates the only extra we have is Netflix and amazon prime. They money is there its just we haven't stuck to the budget!


    Hi Flo, thanks that's really kind. Genuinely think I'm doing okay I think taking the three weeks off and then not long after having a three week holiday let me have the time to get my head straight


    So trying to remember spending since Friday...... Friday at the opera we shared a taxi in the end and had (quite a bit) of wine so I think my share all in all came to 15 which I am happy with as it was a lovely evening. It was a youth opera and they set it like it was a refugee camp, I was very grateful for the subtitles and amazed at these kids voices. I also wondered how a teenager ends up involved in opera, but this may be because my teenage years involved more boys and Smirnoff than anything cultural!


    Saturday I went to my friends for brunch which was lovely, she is 20 weeks pregnant (she was 4 weeks behind me) and I haven't seen much of her and wasn't sure how I would feel seeing her but it was so nice and I'm very happy for her, I then did a Aldi shop which was 60 restocked freezer and included a bottle of wine I think aside from some veg and milk will survive till pay day on the 21st.


    Sunday I went with a friend to this new trendy coffee place she had heard of, it was literally on an industrial estate but was so packed it took us 20 mins to que and we had the most amazing donuts with average coffee. There big attraction is black cappuccino but they had run out. After sipping our tiny tiny coffee and spending 6 we left and went to the local costa which my friend kindly got me another coffee.


    I also got an amazing amount of house admin jobs done, sorted all our paperwork out into the filling cabinet my mum was getting rid of. We have so much as have to keep EVERYTHING in case we need it for OH's visa's. I sorted getting new pet insurance saving 10 a month with 25 hopefully coming from Top cash back. Sorted switching energy suppliers which I did through TC for 25 but then realised my friend has a referral code which gives us both 50 so I am cancelling the switch and will do again next week with her code. I just have home insurance and then car insurance to sort in the next month. We may owe on the gas bill when we switch as with OH off we have obviously used a lot more this winter think its at 90 at the moment but the next payment should bring that down. Will need to adjust budget to do it.


    Last night I went and tried a kick boxing class that my sister wanted to go to, was 8 but an hour and a half and I hurt all over today but felt very therapeutic I'm not sure would go every week but its good that can pop in as we used to attend a different school and I do miss it.


    Today will hopefully be no spends as I brought my smoothie breakfast, one meeting got cancelled too late to cancel the buffet so we are taking it to our team meeting which sorts out lunch. Then off to my mothers for pancake day


    oooo mega long essay and I haven't touched on the smoking bit yet so will pop back later...
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 13th Feb 18, 9:19 AM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Glad to hear you've got the freezer stocked up so that you can knock the takeaway thing on the head again. There's no doubt it's a habit and once we get used to the idea it's an option it sort of hangs around as an option, a bit like the last guest to leave at the end of a party.

    How is the smoking thing going?
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 14th Feb 18, 8:16 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    So first of all.... that random payment I thought was some old life insurance turns out to be my building and contents insurance haha I knew this had come up before and I obviously realised at the time and then forgot again! its due for renewal and hoping for cheaper as I think we are over insured.


    So smoking...... I swore I would try stop when the last of my duty free ran out as there really isn't spare money in the budget. Anyway I didn't and got angry and stressed at myself. But why do I go from 15-20 a day to nothing but Nicorette and expect it to be fine? So I am now having one in the morning and none at work and then I have been having about 4 in the evening... so I am allowing myself that this week.. the challenge will be the weekend but I think will say one in morning and none till 4pm.... my plan is next week to then cut the morning one out and do a week of 4 in the evening and then three and then two and then hopefully quit....... so I will be honest and accountable to this plan here!


    Pancake day was awesome especially as my mum did all the work so other than cigs I spent nothing 1 week till pay day!
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 14th Feb 18, 8:58 AM
    • 1,878 Posts
    • 15,065 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Apologies JVR I've been absent.

    On the smoking front. I'm not one myself, so feel free to disregard but my colleague quit. He's a se;f-confessed nerd, and before quitting he read like 8 different books to understand the mental of it all. He quit by slowly cutting down, and then switching to vaping (more cost effective too) and then going nicotine free liquids then to nothing!

    Easier said than, done, I know.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 14th Feb 18, 2:09 PM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    So smoking...... I swore I would try stop when the last of my duty free ran out as there really isn't spare money in the budget. Anyway I didn't and got angry and stressed at myself. But why do I go from 15-20 a day to nothing but Nicorette and expect it to be fine? So I am now having one in the morning and none at work and then I have been having about 4 in the evening... so I am allowing myself that this week.. the challenge will be the weekend but I think will say one in morning and none till 4pm.... my plan is next week to then cut the morning one out and do a week of 4 in the evening and then three and then two and then hopefully quit....... so I will be honest and accountable to this plan here!
    Originally posted by jvr
    It's a tough one, stopping smoking. It took me several attempts over 20 years before I cracked it and I smoked for 30 years. I tried everything available - acupuncture, hypnotism and patches more than once and always went back to to the dreaded weed. I always said I'd give up if I had a cancer scare, and that turned out not to be enough, either.

    Very surprisingly, when I did stop I just went cold turkey. If you find yourself unwell, so unwell that you don't smoke for 24 or 36 hours that's enough to get the nicotine out of your system - after that, all you're doing is dealing with the addiction by not allowing yourself to smoke again, and the habit.

    The habit is seriously underestimated as part of the reason we find it so difficult. We're not 20 a day creatures, or 5 a day on your current regime, the habit is every puff we take.

    I used to smoke to reward myself or to help me relax so it was hardly surprising that I found stopping just a teensy bit stressful. I decided to have chocolate instead and that got me through the first two weeks after which all the bad temper and general anger, plus the rest of the withdrawal symptoms disappeared. I've never quite lost the extra 12 pounds I put on and it was 10 years ago but I'm not obese by any measure, it's just that I used to be slim. I can live with that.

    A lot of people have said that reading books about stopping helped enormously. If I did it again I'd definitely read my way through it; books made all the difference when I stopped drinking.

    Good luck with it.
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 15th Feb 18, 2:50 PM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Confession I had cigs today... important thing is to start again tomorrow so trying not to beat myself up... I do think your both right and I'm gonna look at books while trying to cut down.
    I need a smoking LBM!!


    Financials... we are skint and pay day is Wednesday but should scrape by. We went for a drink last night and then I got the M&S dine in for 20 which is actually not that great a value compared to the 10, however I was using vouchers I got for switching banks so cost me nothing
    Today I just need petrol and we have stuff in for dinner
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • jvr
    • By jvr 16th Feb 18, 9:02 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    So 18 on petrol leaves the food and petrol budget nearly empty but have 16 on M&S card so if need bits can grab from there... might go late tonight and see what the yellow stickers are saying!
    finally my 16 from work expenses came through so I have 25 in my budget, meeting a friend on Tuesday as she is in the country for a few days so that should allow me an dinner and drink with her, then Wednesday is pay day!! It will actually be the first ever month I stuck to budgets OH has about 5 left but is making my sister a gorgeous wine rack out of pallets and can keep the funds for himself.


    Feeling positive my brekkie sandwich is 1.70 today and my dad is taking me to lunch, have stuff in for dinner so shouldn't be any other spends.
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • jvr
    • By jvr 16th Feb 18, 9:04 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Forgot to add had my one morning cig and made sure I didn't bring any to work even though OH tried to push me to... back on the plan!
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


    • Honey Bear
    • By Honey Bear 16th Feb 18, 10:14 AM
    • 4,960 Posts
    • 49,762 Thanks
    Honey Bear
    Well done, JVR. Do you find posting every day is helping keep you on the straight and narrow?
    Keeping it AF
    • jvr
    • By jvr 16th Feb 18, 10:23 AM
    • 420 Posts
    • 1,303 Thanks
    jvr
    Yes, completely. I'm checking my spreadsheet every day too so I can see the dent we are making. I have savings pots for everything now on it and it means even though some bits are in same accounts I can see I have 1/300 holiday fund for example. Can't wait till pay day so can confirm total paid off so far. I also just discovered a 20 refund on our travel card that was duplicated at the end of our trip. Luckily didn't have much money on there for them to take but it means won't have to totally scrimp last few days.
    I forgot last night we changed broadband too, been meaning to do it for ages and then when the bt deal came up it seemed great. OH will likely be fairly immobile after his op so bt sport might be good! it works out at 29 a month, we were paying 34 but in two months can claim the 95 mastercard and 50 cash back
    need to finish elecy transfer and do home insurance this weekend then next month is car insurance and will wait for my cashback in the summer!
    Debt: 10,006 now 8698.38
    Emergency Fund: 456.17/ 1000


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