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  • FIRST POST
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    • 826Posts
    • 3,313Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    From debt to freedom...
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    From debt to freedom... 31st Dec 16 at 4:05 AM
    For a couple of months I have been lurking and reading diaries which have been helpful and inspiring. I thought that I would start a diary to keep myself focussed on getting rid of the debts.

    I am a working mum, recently separated from my husband. I have a large family which makes for an interesting and busy life! I have had a couple of LBMs in recent years and tried to stick to a budget. I had 2 loans totalling 17, 000 at one point. One loan was paid in Aug 2016 and the 2nd has just over 2,000 to go and is due to be paid off by August 2017.
    Other than that, I have a cc with a 475 balance, 2 home improvement loans ( for double glazing) that both have about 1700 outstanding. These have a horrible interest rate of 22%, so I'm eager to tackle these first.
Page 28
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 7th Apr 18, 7:00 AM
    • 1,576 Posts
    • 15,295 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Oh no, poor chickens, and poor you finding them . That's so horrible for you.

    I am wrestling with working out how much our food budget 'should' be at the moment - I've found that it's all very well saying it needs to come down, but there comes a point where one is compromising lifestyle too much. I am still undecided on what I think a reasonable level is, but the budget we were aiming for (<400 for 5 of us) has definitely become an unsustainable aim over the past 12 months.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Apr 18, 10:40 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    You're right, it is striking the balance between budget and health. My aim has been between 400 and 550 a month but for 8 of us ( 9 when DD1 is home). This was exceeded by a lot in March. I do think there has been a rise in the cost of food. I always used to buy the cheapest butter which has gone up by 60p in recent months. I have compromised by using margarine in cakes etc but have found that pastry is not pliable in the same way and gets ruined so I've gone back to using butter for any pastry dishes. I do like to keep a fair amount of fruit in but it is only the basic apples, oranges and bananas. We tend not to have soft fruit unless it is ys or we've grown it.
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Apr 18, 11:01 AM
    • 1,700 Posts
    • 9,126 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Very sorry to hear about the chickens. I hope you can find a way to fox-proof the run though I don't think it's easy. I remember my Mum lost a pet duck when a fox dug under the wire fencing to get to it. They are clever at working out how to get what they want: Dad rebuilt the run with the wire netting sunk deep into the ground as well as high up.

    On a completely different subject, keep a look out for discounted cream in the shops and make your own butter. It works out a lot cheaper to use a large pot of cream, reduced to say 50p, and which will make over 250g of butter. Just remember to add a good pinch of salt to stop it going off. It takes about 20 minutes with an electric whisk, or what feels like several years with a hand whisk (unless you need a workout ).
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Apr 18, 10:07 PM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    That is a good idea Cherryfudge, thank you. I will keep a look out for any reduced cream.

    Ironically of the 7 hens remaining, one laid her first egg overnight. I knew they would start laying around Easter time.

    Spent some time clearing through some paperwork and organising it into a concertina folder. It was rewarding as I found a packet of my favourite sweet pea seeds ( purple pimpernel). There's just enough time to get them sown for summer blooms. I also found the paperwork for one of my window loans. Interestingly there is an option for accelerated repayments, which means paying 30 a month more but will clear the debt in 3 years rather than 10. A job for next week will be to ring up and see if that option is still available.

    I've had a lovely afternoon enjoying the colours of a NT garden with most of the children, my parents and grandmother.
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 8th Apr 18, 8:28 AM
    • 20,136 Posts
    • 33,321 Thanks
    Spendless
    How sad about the chicken and distressing for you to find.

    March grocery bill does seem high, but there are a lot of you. Where do you shop?

    Fingers crossed an option is available to pay your windows off more quickly.
    • kerron7
    • By kerron7 8th Apr 18, 9:40 AM
    • 250 Posts
    • 423 Thanks
    kerron7
    Sorry to hear about the chickens.

    I!!!8217;ve always struggled with the grocery budget but this mth have really tried and it!!!8217;s looking at coming in below 440 I have set which is for 2 adults, 6 sometimes 7 children and 2 cats.
    25.02.17 - 20,810.73
    03.06.17 - 19,222.94
    05.04.18 - 18,118.08

    Emergency Fund - 1/500
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 8th Apr 18, 9:45 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I generally shop at Tes3o and buy the saver or own label products. The 800 includes the Easter eggs and ingredients for simnel cakes ( about 50) and nappies/ toiletries/ washing liquid for clothes but that still leaves a huge amount spent on food. Lots of room for improvement!
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 8th Apr 18, 9:50 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    440 is a figure I'd like to get to Kerron. I have noticed that the busier I am at work, the more tired I get, then the quick and easy ( and more expensive ) options creep in. I holiday times I enjoy having more time to be creative with food and can keep the price down.
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • kerron7
    • By kerron7 8th Apr 18, 9:58 AM
    • 250 Posts
    • 423 Thanks
    kerron7
    I used to be awful at meal planning and end up buying takeaways, it!!!8217;s not easy especially with rising food prices. I!!!8217;ve bulk brought meat this month and that seems to have helped also using for things I would of previously thrown away.
    25.02.17 - 20,810.73
    03.06.17 - 19,222.94
    05.04.18 - 18,118.08

    Emergency Fund - 1/500
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 8th Apr 18, 12:29 PM
    • 20,136 Posts
    • 33,321 Thanks
    Spendless
    Food prices have gone up, but I've noticed it more in the bigger name supermarkets. I've been shopping in Aldi around 3 years now and it's a shock to the system if I have to go elsewhere. Aldi shopping took some getting used to as they don't have all items/brands there.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 16th Apr 18, 1:17 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    I've had trouble with the hub and broadband but the hub bounced back unexpectedly this evening so I can catch up on diaries!

    A new term starts tomorrow. I've spent a fair amount of time getting ready for the new term last week. I must confess that I have spent more than I'd hoped last week, mainly from the older children wanting to go to places or do particular things. I took DD1 back to uni on Friday and got her a few groceries to get her set up for the new term. Her holiday this time was about a month in length - enough Tim to get used to her being at home again so quite a wrench to take her back to uni!
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 17th Apr 18, 5:54 AM
    • 20,136 Posts
    • 33,321 Thanks
    Spendless
    Entertaining older ones, especially teens in school hols can be expensive. Gone are the days when taking a ball to the park was sufficient!

    Do the older ones still like the beach? Mine do, but we are quite far inland, if we lived close to the sea, the novelty might have worn off by now.

    Here, one of the swimming pools puts the prices up in the school hols! That was something that used to annoy me no end, so if the kids had an inset day tagged on, I'd make sure we went swimming then whilst it was still at the lower price.

    Is there anything you can do to make the next school hols cheaper for you? Have a school hols leisure budget perhaps?

    I must admit when I read your posts about DD1, I get mixed feelings about my DS who should be going to Uni this Autumn. I'm excited for him, but a bit sad for myself.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 18th Apr 18, 12:03 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    That's a good idea Spendless, to have a school holiday budget. Mine do love the beach. We are very blessed to live near 2 or 3 beaches. I prefer the large flat sandy beaches because I can keep an eye on where everyone is! The teenagers prefer a local rocky beach that is breathtakingly beautiful and stunning but has strong currents at certain points of the tide and is a nightmare with a toddler in tow! We negotiate on which beach regularly!

    I think this summer might be a little different. DD1 has worked in a shop for the last 2 summers and she was told last year, that she could go back. DD2 having almost completed a year of her course should be able to pick up a seasonal catering job and DS1 may well have started an apprenticeship by then, so I can see the summer involving the younger ones, which will be quite nice for them to enjoy days out and about. I'll certainly start saving now though!
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 18th Apr 18, 8:58 PM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    On Sunday I did try to be a little more organised and made a pan full of lentil and bacon soup. For the last 3 days I've taken soup for lunch at work. Often things get so busy, it's very easy to forget to eat or grab a banana between tasks so sitting down for 5 mins to eat the soup was beneficial in more ways than just financial.

    Tonight has been such a lovely evening. I've really enjoyed an evening walk and watched the lambs in the fields. The toddler presented me with a dandelion...isn't it the simplest things that produce joy?!

    Financially I have 2 school camps to pay for that are happening this term. Both have had deposits paid so I'm hoping to pay 150 towards the cost this week.

    In the greenhouse the courgettes are emerging from the compost. I'll need to plant out the sweet peas this weekend and get more sown.
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 20th Apr 18, 12:14 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Make that 3 camps! Just had a letter home about a camp for DS2 at secondary. At least that's a predominantly walking exercise and therefore cheaper than the other camps planned with various trips.

    I've had courses all day today from 9 until 6 but in 2 parts of the county so have had to hurtle around trying to collect my children and sort childcare before getting to the second location. The course were good even if the logistics and timings were stressful. I was somewhat tired when I got home so tea was a pasta based dish.
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd Apr 18, 1:08 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    A surprise awaiting me on my return from the courses on Thursday was the ex's dog in the kitchen along with the 2 puppies she had just given birth to. Mercifully only 2 n the litter. The ex's dog s still in the kitchen....so three adult dogs to feed for the foreseeable future.

    I had a lovely day yesterday, making the most of the fine weather to head to the beach. The tide was so far out that we could walk round to the next two coves from the beach we were on. It was a rare time to see DD2 without her siblings, save for the toddler.

    A very spendy day today but I have bought a washing line (rotRy) as the last one collapsed in a storm. The joy of pegging washing out !!!!! Hoping I can save money by not using the tumble dryer.

    I've spent a couple of hours helping DS1 to apply for an apprenticeship. So weird to think that he's old enough to leave school and start work!
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 22nd Apr 18, 8:31 AM
    • 20,136 Posts
    • 33,321 Thanks
    Spendless
    How come you've ended up with the exes dog and her 2 pups?

    Kids fetched them back or the ex thought you haven't got enough to do so 3 dogs won't be an issue? (oh I still miss the rolling eyes smilie this form used to have )

    Either way as I'm sure they're all adorable and the kids will love them, I hope the older ones will help out with them.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd Apr 18, 8:39 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    He says he can't have them with him and brought here when I was out so if I object the children will be really upset. At the moment DS1 is pitching in as is DD2 but I hope he has a plan for when they need feeding 4 times a day because my workplace is half an hour away so I can't nip back. DD2 can cover Thursday as it's her day off from college and my day off is Friday. The puppies are at the tiny sweet, eyes not open stage so not too much trouble but I know it will all change when they can see!
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 22nd Apr 18, 9:57 AM
    • 1,576 Posts
    • 15,295 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    OMG at new dogs. Will you have them long term do you think?
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd Apr 18, 10:13 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 3,313 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    It's certainly looking that way at the moment although I hope he will reclaim the mother dog as she is temperamental at the best of times and has attcked my dog in the past. At the moment the dog and puppies are in a large dog crate which contains her ( because she would be off racing round the garden given the choice) and makes sure that the puppies are safe too. We take her out into the garden regularly but make sure she's not too long away from the pups. My dog is a gentle soul and quite old now so he is carefully ignoring them. DS1's dog is also a springer but absolutely glued to DS1 so no problem there.

    2 pups in a litter is a blessing in one sense because as they get older it will get chaotic. My old dog is a puppy from a litter that our lurcher had 11 years ago so remember the chaos bit well!! On the flip side it will be harder to rehouse them at 8 weeks as there are only 2, unless the ex has a plan to take them back once the messy chaotic part is over????????
    paydbx #93 692/8,000.
    Loan 17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans 3342 March 2017. 3123 in Jan 18
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