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    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
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    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 34
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 30th Jul 18, 10:08 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I had a productive couple of hours last night. I decided to take out my 3 clothes drawers, tip everything out and sort through, making sure that I rolled each item carefully before replacing it in the drawer. The result was a small pile of clothes for recycling, that I know I won't wear again, the finding of 8 payslips that I'd stuffed in the drawers and a letter from my pension company. The pension company has moved from paper correspondence to online and this letter was a last paper letter dated in 2015. I spent about half an hour registering on the pension site and checking the current state of my pension. It made for sobering reading, not to mention some confusion. I think the pension contributions I made before having my children are on an older pension system and the payments over the last 5 years are on a new scheme. Either way, it made me realise I need to be saving far more which I can only do by clearing my debts, so that debt payments can be diverted to savings.

    I wrote out a list of household jobs yesterday, that I could do with getting done before September. Some are simple jobs like sweeping pathways, others will require more time and effort. I think the best way
    I can do it is to tackle one job a week so it doesn't become overwhelming.

    Yesterday was a little spendy as we went to a soft play venue for the afternoon. My lovely nephews are visiting for a week, but staying with another family member. Unfortunately one can't be near dogs so limits them visiting our house. Soft play was a best option for a wet afternoon.

    Today we are packing up a picnic and visiting a local NT property. We have family membership so getting in will be free as will parking. I made some rock cakes and carrot & orange muffins in preparation for the picnic, so just got to do sandwiches, fruit and carrot & cucumber sticks. I'm asking every child to find their water bottles, so that I'm not having to spend out.

    Tomorrow Will be spendy as it's DS2's birthday although I hope not too spendy. On our return today we'll need to harvest the blackcurrants as the bushes are loaded!
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Jul 18, 3:47 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    The picnic and day out at the NT property was lovely. My mum and grandmother joined us, so a 4 generation picnic...wonderful! I packed up the rock cakes and carrot muffins, along with rolls and carrot & cucumber sticks. I did pop into a supermarket and pick up some of the cheapest yogurt tubes for £1. The children seemed to graze the picnic box for most of the day which meant that nothing was spent in the cafe. By the time we got home, the children weren't ravenous as they usually are, so we had a light meal of salad and omelette with toasted crumpets for some.

    Today (31) is DS's birthday. He decided he would like to have a day out at a theme park type place that is about 20 miles away. This week has seen a lot of days out due to either birthdays or because my DNs are visiting so once this week is over, it will be back to free things only. That said the NT day saved me £25 which is getting on for a quarter of the annual fee.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 31st Jul 18, 11:11 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
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    MeandO
    Your picnic day (and the contents of your picnic basket!) sounds wonderful HSL2.
    Hope the theme park isn't too costly today x
    House repairs: £4320 £2316.62 (£2003.38 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £74,734.55 2018 mortgage OP's: £1636.81/£1800 Emergency Fund: £300
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Jul 18, 11:27 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you MeandO. We all woke up late this morning, so breakfast was more like brunch. We set off for the chosen theme park at 1 ish and spent 4 hours there. Happily the toddler got in free, so total cost was £67. The assistant gave me a 50p discount per ticket as we were a big group!

    Unfortunately two DDs have come down with a sickness bug. Not sure if our picnic plans to meet an old friend will happen now or not. I certainly hope it doesn't spread to the others.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 1st Aug 18, 8:54 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Looks like I'm going to have to ring HMRC as £203 has been taken out of my account today, despite the letter about notional entitlement being applied which showed I had paid .
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 1st Aug 18, 10:42 PM
    • 1,989 Posts
    • 11,371 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Looks like I'm going to have to ring HMRC as £203 has been taken out of my account today, despite the letter about notional entitlement being applied which showed I had paid .
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    That's awful. Hope they refund and say sorry.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,200.24/£3000 as of 5/10/18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 1st Aug 18, 11:37 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I haven't had chance to ring yet as we were out today.Looks to be a Friday job at the moment,but I will endeavour to get that sorted out.

    I've had such a lovely relaxing day today, visiting a NT property with an old friend and her children. We packed up a picnic and I made sure that each child ( and myself) had a full water bottle. I didn't even stop for a cup of tea, so my grand spending total today was £4.50. 50p for air for the tyres and £4 for 2 summer trails (NT). it's been so long since I have just enjoyed my children's company and we have spent days doing things together. Last summer the worry of the tax credit situation cast rather a long shadow. This year it is lovely to simply be with my children.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 2nd Aug 18, 11:27 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 7,698 Thanks
    MeandO
    What a wonderful post HSL2 (apart from the HMRC bit). You certainly seem to get your money's worth from the NT membership.
    House repairs: £4320 £2316.62 (£2003.38 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £74,734.55 2018 mortgage OP's: £1636.81/£1800 Emergency Fund: £300
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 2nd Aug 18, 9:59 PM
    • 986 Posts
    • 2,257 Thanks
    Kitten868
    So annoying about the tax credits. Especially when they're so fun to call.
    Great news about enjoying time with the children. They're brilliant aren't they. Hope your girls weren't too bad with the sickness.
    While you're on the phone to HMRC ask about the refund on the other £2k.
    Keep making your lovely plans xxx
    Loan 1 £5500/£8000
    Loan 2 £3500/£5800
    Total £9000/£13800 35% PAID

    And CC £1550/1900
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 2nd Aug 18, 11:09 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you MeandO and Kitten868.

    Today was the last day of the DN's (&DSIL) visit, so we made the most of it by spending the day altogether, well apart from the teenager who was working. My parents very kindly paid the entrance cost for all of us, to get into a local theme park. We packed up a picnic again ( the coolbox is getting used regularly so good value for money) and enjoyed the day together. I did spend some money on an icecream for everyone which seemed the least I could do after not having had to pay to get in.

    I've had 2 letters from HMRC today, confirming final award for last year and setting out this year 's. At least I can budget carefully!
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Aug 18, 3:34 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Yesterday (Friday) was the first day we'd had at home since finishing school. I made the most of the fine weather and got 4 loads of washing done and hung on the line. I rang HMRC which was quite an experience. To begin with, I rang the number listed on the letter that they had sent me...it went straight to the BT message about the number not being recognised. I tried the main Tax Credit helpline and went through the automated questions, only to be told to ring the first number. The crucial difference was 1 digit in the number. I tried again and this time got through to an advisor. After getting through security checks and questions, I explained the situation as carefully and concisely as possible. It took several attempts to explain the key figures to him and to get across why I was surprised that the £203 had left my account on Tuesday. Eventually, after explaining the key figures repeatedly, the advisor was able to complete a form to request repayment of the money I have now overpaid and was able to cancel the direct debit. I felt sorry for the advisor because he was explaining to me, that he couldn't see a copy of the notional entitlement letter on his screen, although he could see that it had been applied to my account. It's almost as if he was trying to complete a jigsaw puzzle without being able to see all the pieces...totally frustrating for both him and me. The conversation ended with him telling me to ring back if I haven't heard anything in 1-2 weeks. The question in my mind is how long would it have taken for HMRC to refund the overpayment, had I not rung yesterday?

    I topped up the car with diesel (£30) and managed to spend £58 in A*da. We don't usually shop there but I had to collect DD1 from the train station in another town, so we called in. Some of the spending was on socks and a pair of beach shoes for the toddler and odd bits for the house.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • loopybecs
    • By loopybecs 4th Aug 18, 8:04 AM
    • 662 Posts
    • 2,490 Thanks
    loopybecs
    How frustrating. I hate having to call HMRC! The last woman I spoke to there refused to believe my weekly average childcare costs as they are more expensive in the school holidays for my youngest (which Iím aware of and took into consideration). She spent ages calculating it, and then got the same figure as me
    Mortgage: £88,000.00 £86,045.43
    Loan From Parents: £15,300.00 £14,900.00
    Emergency Fund: £450.00/£5,000.00

    New Car Fund: £350.00/£6,000.00
    Single mama to 2 little girlies
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Aug 18, 3:56 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi Loopybecs, thanks for dropping by. I find I have to concentrate very carefully whenever I ring HMRC because not all advice is necessarily the same or follows on from the previour advisor. Hey ho!

    I've been trying to get to grips with tidying up, doing the jobs that I don't have chance to get to in term time. So far it seems to have taken me most of the day to collect 2 bin liners worth of rubbish.

    I had a bundle of forms come from the new solicitor today, which will take some working through. The main one is a form for the financial order. While I'm glad it's finally moving forward, it does worry me how long this could take and the end result. The ex came in the door today, opened the fridge and swigged out of the milk carton, a habit I really dislike, then wandered out, leaving his dog behind for the day, while he took some of the children out. I'd just like a mutually respectful existence between us for the sake of the children. We seem to be able to manage it on birthdays, it's the rest of the time it's more strained.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 4th Aug 18, 5:20 PM
    • 1,989 Posts
    • 11,371 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    You seem to be making progress on the financial front. Winning through step by (sometimes tortuous) step.

    Drinking milk straight from the carton would annoy me too! Yuck.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,200.24/£3000 as of 5/10/18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Aug 18, 9:30 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Today has been very quiet with just DD3 and the toddler at home. Everyone else was either with the ex or at work or at a friend's. I've been quite anxious about these forms that I now need to fill in. I guess I need to come to some sort of decision about the future and where we live, whether to see if it is possible to buy the ex out or whether it's better to look elsewhere but larger houses on a single income are not going to be easy to find. For a long time I've felt a fresh start would be best as I think boundaries would be / might be respected more.

    While mulling all this over, I've got on with clearing more washing, changing beds, hoovering through and chopping down brambles that seem to be growing over the hedge. The toddler helped me to harvest some blackcurrants, so we'll use those in a meringue pie. I've noticed that the blackberries are ripening at the allotment already, so we'll need to get picking those next week.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 4th Aug 18, 11:50 PM
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    • 11,371 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    We've had the first of our blackberries already! I also noticed the damsons are changing colour. It's a good year.

    I do sympathise about the forms: I hate getting down to things like that. Perhaps if you start to have a look around for alternative places to live it will help you decide, but you are probably right about a new place creating boundaries.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,200.24/£3000 as of 5/10/18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Aug 18, 5:02 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    A busy week so far but mainly at home. I've concentrated on getting beds changed and laundry done and keeping the cake tins topped up!

    The ex got a copy of the finance forms on Monday and came round to demand to know what they were about. He has known about the application for the legal separation since February so it shouldn't be a surprise. He then proceeded to suggest getting back together so I've been on somewhat of an emotional rollercoaster for most of the week. Until the issues that separated us are well and truly dealt with, I don't think getting back together is a prospect. I can't put myself and the children through a repeat or even a risk of a repeat of what we've been through already. It's taken quite a lot of thinking time and a total rollercoaster of emotions

    In MSE terms, I have spent about £15 buying a bucket, gloves and lots of cleaning stuff including sugar soap so that I can tackle some of the decorating jobs that needdoing before term starts.

    DD2 needs to have new clothing to denote her being a second year student so I've spent £58 on chefs trousers, aprons and new front of house wear. Just need to get her bus pass sorted now.

    I've taken out £100 from the emergency fund to pay for the first instalment of legal fees for the new solicitor. There should be a small amount to come back from the old solicitor but it would be good if I could use that to repay family and go forward paying a monthly amount to the new solicitor.

    DS1 has, to my disappointment, quit his job. He said he didn't like it. I told him there were plenty of worse jobs so now the hunt begins again.

    The blackberries are ripening all around so we've picked a few at the allotment but need to go back and really harvest carefully! I have been given a bucket of apples so hoping to get some puddings and cakes made.
    Last edited by Honeysucklelou2; 09-08-2018 at 5:05 PM. Reason: Missed a sentence out!
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Aug 18, 10:56 PM
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    • 11,371 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm sorry to hear things have been emotional... a tough week.

    Maybe DS can use some of his 'freed-up' time to help you with the cleaning?
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,200.24/£3000 as of 5/10/18
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 10th Aug 18, 9:19 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 1,123 Thanks
    helsbell
    A difficult week. It seems as though you and your ex are on very different pages, and unless that changes you're right to stay separated.

    Sending hugs.
    SPC 11, No. 062 DFD November 2020
    Aug 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 MBNA £0 Total: £6093.42
    Aug 2018 B'Card £995.06 BoS £863.43 MBNA £3,644.98 Total: £5503.47
    9.68% paid off
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 11th Aug 18, 11:27 AM
    • 1,144 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you Cherryfudge and Helsbell. I think I need to take the time to think through everything that the ex has said. After a few nights sleep, I still feel that reconciliation is not a viable option at the present time.

    I've put the bucket and sugar soap to good use and washed the walls and ceiling of the bathroom. We do get black mould just above the windows in some rooms so I spent £30 on a tin of special primer that I know has been used in the past.
    paydbx #93 £899.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
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