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  • FIRST POST
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 6th Jan 17, 2:18 PM
    • 1,337Posts
    • 3,258Thanks
    Naomim
    A Ditherer's Diary (again) 2017
    • #1
    • 6th Jan 17, 2:18 PM
    A Ditherer's Diary (again) 2017 6th Jan 17 at 2:18 PM
    I'm baaaack.

    When I started my original diary "A Ditherer's Diary" My kids were littlie's aged 5 and 15 months. Nothing except their age and the amount of debt has changed, it's all got higher! They are now 11 & 7.

    Having had a quick read through, a lot of it was me coming and going with a few months/years in between.

    I recently came back to MSE and went straight onto the Debt Free Wannabe board. I posted an SOA . The debts are dire.

    We've recently had an extension and a lot of work done to the house. It was awful, we've had to sack the builder and he owe us a lot of money. The roof is leaking, the house needs re-wiring. The dog is poorly and needs a 4k operation... .

    I know this is all going to take a very long time to sort out. Little by little, step by step I can hopefully creep us out of the overdraft, melt the credit card debts and maybe even have some spare money one day!

    My plans for the following week are:

    Find the new credit card I got for 0% interest balance transfer - activate it and set-up direct debit
    Use the snowball calculator again to see how this has changed.
    Get car insurance quotes
    Make packed lunches every day
    DO NOT buy coffee out.


    I've joined the 2 savers club. I was a member a few years ago and have always saved them. It physically hurts to spend one.

    I hope you'll come and help me along the long and winding path.

    Naomi x
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
Page 13
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 7th Jan 20, 2:24 PM
    • 3,452 Posts
    • 15,178 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    But Martin says don't have savings and pay off your debts, but if I do that, how will I ever be able to afford the things that come up such as birthdays, Christmas, vets fees, boiler breaking down without resorting to credit? I'm confused by the conflicting information.

    Naomim
    Originally posted by Naomim

    I take that bit with a pinch of salt, in that I pay into our EF and our Christmas/Birthday and House pots as I don't consider them savings, they are funds for future allocated purchases if that makes sense?
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x3, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Original Debt: 0/31010.23 (100% paid)
    Mortgage - 151.316.54
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 7th Jan 20, 2:51 PM
    • 9,751 Posts
    • 22,874 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    CONFUSED

    I've just read Martin's post about RBS & Natwest hiking it's overdraft interest rates up to 39.9%. We are in our overdraft for 4650.00 I think December was the first time in months we hadn't gone over the overdraft and had to rob Peter to pay Paul to bring it back down.

    Since the middle of November and the start of December, I decided to work on zero based budgeting. Nearly every post I read on these boards insists you should have an emergency fund and be able to pay for things like insurances as they come up. So I have lots of piggies and I'm squirrelling a set monthly amount of money away into these pots. Then there's the overdraft, I'm reducing it by about 80-100 a month and on top of that I have my persistent debt credit cards which I'm also overpaying but a few each month. But Martin says don't have savings and pay off your debts, but if I do that, how will I ever be able to afford the things that come up such as birthdays, Christmas, vets fees, boiler breaking down without resorting to credit? I'm confused by the conflicting information.

    Naomim
    Originally posted by Naomim
    Technically if the money is allocated to emergencies and birthdays, vets fees, car maintenance etc it is not savings and I agree you need to have money put aside for this. I would continue with this even while debt busting.

    The overdraft really is a concern, firstly because it is quite high and secondly because these are now being targeted big time by banks both by them hiking overdraft rates and because an overdraft limit can be withdrawn at any time by the bank. You are doing the right thing by setting credit card repayments above the minimum, reducing the overdraft each month and saving for things.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 8th Jan 20, 1:06 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Monday lunchtime. I logged onto my bank account to update my spreadsheet with my weekend spends and there were 61 pending transactions. 56 of them were to Google Play.

    I immediately called the bank thinking I had been a victim of fraud, they put me through to Google. It turns out all the transactions were for one game. A game 10yo plays. I was arguing that I couldn't understand how it had happened as it was password protected and she doesn't have the password. On Friday evening MrM had let her have a 10 spend on the game, he'd left the password visible and she'd gone on a spending spree.

    649.44

    Google were telling me there was nothing they could do as the transactions weren't fraudulent. I was devastated. MrM told his parents and luckily they put 600 into our bank account. We already have a "loan" with them so it's just been added to it and we're paying it back until the year dot.

    Google have since refunded 55. I put a complaint in with Natwest as I felt although the transactions were authorised by a password, 56 transactions to one supplier in such a short space of time should have looked suspicious. They said they couldn't refund me, which I expected however they have given me 100 as a goodwill gesture
    Originally posted by Naomim
    Remember this back in November? Well I have been toing and froing with the game people on email since then and they have decided to refund the whole amount!

    Technically if the money is allocated to emergencies and birthdays, vets fees, car maintenance etc it is not savings and I agree you need to have money put aside for this. I would continue with this even while debt busting.

    The overdraft really is a concern, firstly because it is quite high and secondly because these are now being targeted big time by banks both by them hiking overdraft rates and because an overdraft limit can be withdrawn at any time by the bank. You are doing the right thing by setting credit card repayments above the minimum, reducing the overdraft each month and saving for things.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    I have decided to leave the refund game money in the account to help clear down the overdraft. Because I balance transferred a chunk of my Barclaycard debt to a new 0% card, Barclaycard haven't taken a payment this month. The usual payment is around 260 so I'm wondering whether to make a manual payment to Barclaycard anyway or leave that payment so it also clears against the overdraft. I've been playing with my spreadsheet and with these two payments and MrM's pay-rise to take into account, I reckon we can halve the overdraft by June.

    I'm plodding along with my Prolific surveys. They were gung-ho just before the General Election but now are quite slow. I've got 7 to payout but think I'm going to hang on until it's a bit more substantial.

    Not had many NSD's but also not spent much. They are from my Monzo personal monthly spend pot and I have 49 left to the end of the month. Just need to keep an eye on these small bit's drip, dripping out of my account.

    10yo is moving up to Scouts in a couple of weeks so I need to budget the money in for new uniform. I'll see if I can get anything on eBay. At the moment there isn't a Scout troop in our area where she does cubs, they are setting it up and she will be one of the inaugural members. She's ecstatic about this.

    No more to report for now. Stay frugal.

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 8th Jan 20, 5:57 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    I've just spent the last couple of hours poring over Car Insurance comparison sites in the order that Martin recommends and looking at cashback sites. My current car insurance is with Tesco and renews on 31st January. All the comparison sites had Tesco as my cheapest option but my renewal quote was cheaper than the comparisons! Seems like I'll be auto-renewing then. I've just got to check which card they have it as coming from as I suspect it's my credit card and I need to change it to my debit card.
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 10th Jan 20, 2:51 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Nothing too much to report at the moment. We're coming up to the middle of the month lull. I did check and see I get paid in two weeks time. Which is nice. Although MrM doesn't get paid until 31st. Not so nice.

    14yo has just called me to say his trousers have ripped. I only bought two new pairs from M&S last week so I will be returning them as not fit for purpose. I've been very disappointed with M&S quality the last couple of years. Last year I bought 10yo pair of leather lace up brogues for school. She wore them for 4 days before the sole started coming away. However the Manager at the store tried to make out that we hadn't looked after them!

    NSD yesterday but not today as spent 3 on a Mr T's lunch deal.

    Big news = still not smoking 9 weeks smoke free.

    I am however fighting the urge to look at holidays I know we can't afford it at all. But there it is, niggling away at me.

    I think I have decided not to pay the Barclaycard this month after the BT and use that extra 260 to lower the overdraft. I was talking at work about the banks upping the interest fees on overdrafts, my boss looked decidedly peaky. I wonder how many people don't know. I wouldn't of if I wasn't on this site and by her own admission one of my colleagues who is constantly overdrawn said she doesn't read letters from the bank. Definitely got her head in the sand.

    lunch break over, back to the grindstone.

    Stay frugal

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • lucielle
    • By lucielle 10th Jan 20, 4:36 PM
    • 8,267 Posts
    • 35,668 Thanks
    lucielle
    When you pay it off the o/d make sure you lower the limit, then it can't go back up again.
    L
    Total Debt Dec 07 59875.83 Overdrafts 2900,New Debt Figure ZERO !!!!!! 08/06/2013
    Lucielle's Daring Debt Free Journey
    DFD Before we Die!!!! Long Haul Supporter #124
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Jan 20, 9:41 PM
    • 9,751 Posts
    • 22,874 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Well done on the no smoking and not succumbing to booking a holiday. I think you are right to focus on the overdraft.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 13th Jan 20, 11:26 AM
    • 9,896 Posts
    • 50,308 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Oh well done you on the not smoking - that's fantastic, and think of the benefits already, both health & financial! The holiday thing can be tricky - not least as there is SO much advertising around this time of year encouraging people to spend money they don't have on heading off to exotic places. What sort of things can you plan in for the time that you might otherwise go away that will give you something to look forward to?

    Saving money towards known future expenses is budgeting, rather than saving. So for example if I pay 300 car insurance on the 1st August, I know I want to set aside 350 over the following year to pay the next lot, so I budget and set aside 30 a month but that money isn;'t "savings" as it's already allocated to the next year's car insurance, it's not being saved "just in case".

    As for the overdraft thing, I'm sure you're right about how few people really know what is going on there!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 13th Jan 20, 2:14 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Oh well done you on the not smoking - that's fantastic, and think of the benefits already, both health & financial! The holiday thing can be tricky - not least as there is SO much advertising around this time of year encouraging people to spend money they don't have on heading off to exotic places. What sort of things can you plan in for the time that you might otherwise go away that will give you something to look forward to?

    Saving money towards known future expenses is budgeting, rather than saving. So for example if I pay 300 car insurance on the 1st August, I know I want to set aside 350 over the following year to pay the next lot, so I budget and set aside 30 a month but that money isn;'t "savings" as it's already allocated to the next year's car insurance, it's not being saved "just in case".

    As for the overdraft thing, I'm sure you're right about how few people really know what is going on there!
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I'm ok with not having a holiday. Last year we rented a cottage in Cornwall with the in-laws. We took my neice and my 14yo brought a friend. We did a kitty between us and split the cost of the cottage. I think including petrol the whole holiday cost around 1000 which is MUCH cheaper than the usual 4k+ we used to spend going abroad for two weeks. We did find a fantastic Lido not too far from us at home, but I'm struggling to remember where it was It was really reasonably priced for a family ticket and whole day out, we took a friend for the kids each and brought a massive picnic. I think it was the best thing we did all summer.

    And of course you are all right about the budgeting. I need to stop looking at it as savings as it's there for a purpose. Although my budget has gone up the creek as I've just had to buy a text book for my course. 45!! It's a new one for this year but I'm hoping I'll be able to ebay it once I'm finished. I've just been in touch with Amazon to try and get my student prime back as it's 39 a year and very worth it at that price.

    Managed to change 14's trousers with M&S at the weekend and had to get 10yo some more underwear so another 10 spent. It's also my nephew's birthday on Wednesday. We don't do Christmas presents for the nieces and nephew, only birthday. Almost at the end with his as we stop at 18 and this is his 17th birthday. Nando's vouchers it is!

    Talking of budgeting. So far I'm under for my groceries... not a lot but under. Meal planning is going well and I definitely save shopping online. Next month I'm going to move it into a Monzo pot so I can actually see how I'm doing. I'm also going to play with my snowball and see if the figures come down from doing fixed payments.

    Once again my lunch break is over

    Stay frugal

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 14th Jan 20, 1:37 PM
    • 9,896 Posts
    • 50,308 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Lots of people seem to rate George at Asda for kids clothes - if you have a store with clothes near you is that worth looking at if M&S's drop in quality no longer make them worth paying a bit extra for?

    Under budget for groceries is great - is there anything you can tweak for the rest of this week/next to make things stretch further and make further savings? (Anything with mince as a meat ingredient in my house generally gets a few handfuls of red lentils thrown in, and for bolognese sauce I often use roughly equal quantities of mince & very finely chopped mushrooms which also works well to bulk out and stretch the meat without it being noticeable that it's less meaty.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 14th Jan 20, 2:04 PM
    • 800 Posts
    • 5,296 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    If you have any M&S clothes that could be donated to charity, Oxfam will give you a 5 voucher. I think you have to spend 35 to get 5 off, but if there are certain things that you always buy from M&S it is worth knowing.
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 15th Jan 20, 12:47 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Lots of people seem to rate George at Asda for kids clothes - if you have a store with clothes near you is that worth looking at if M&S's drop in quality no longer make them worth paying a bit extra for?

    Under budget for groceries is great - is there anything you can tweak for the rest of this week/next to make things stretch further and make further savings? (Anything with mince as a meat ingredient in my house generally gets a few handfuls of red lentils thrown in, and for bolognese sauce I often use roughly equal quantities of mince & very finely chopped mushrooms which also works well to bulk out and stretch the meat without it being noticeable that it's less meaty.
    Originally posted by EssexHebridean
    I often buy clothes in the supermarkets for the kids. Luckily 14 isn't too brand bothered and happy to have stuff from Primani. Unfortunately 14 is also a 6' man size child. At 14 they're still running and climbing and generally being silly so clothes take a big hit on wear and tear. He's got a 34" waist and it was 17 for two pairs in M&S as they still came under schoolwear. not many shops make children's clothes past the age of 16 which he grew out of around age 13. TBH I think a lot of manufacturers clothes sizing is very out of date now from when it was all originally decided.

    This weeks shop came in at 78. That included toilet rolls, planned meals for all of us - using up some bits from the freezer, and packed lunches. I just need to watch the odd 5 here and there that I manage to spend in the express shops. I definitely think transferring to a Monzo pot next month will give me a clearer idea of what's being spent in this category.

    My food week goes from Weds - Tues as I have online delivery on a Wednesday as I am home early that night.

    This weeks meals are:

    Weds - Spanish omelette & Salad
    Thurs - Cod & home made chips - (fish already in the freezer)
    Fri- Bubble & Squeak with pork & bramley apple sausages
    Sat - Prawn stir fry
    Sun - Beef tagine - (diced beef already in the freezer)
    Mon - Pork loin milanese with rice (Pork already in the freezer)
    Tues - Pizza - from freezer


    If you have any M&S clothes that could be donated to charity, Oxfam will give you a 5 voucher. I think you have to spend 35 to get 5 off, but if there are certain things that you always buy from M&S it is worth knowing.
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    I don't think I do have any clothes from M&S. I usually only buy their trousers for 14yo and jeggings for me. They are generally out of my price range and I find the supermarkets often do quite nice clothes too. Although I am on a clothes ban for myself. I bought two skirts for work in the January sale with money my MiL gave me and apart from undies, don't think I will need anything until summer where it will be a couple of t-shirts.

    Whilst looking at my budget again, I realised there are a more things I need to budget for. I "may" have mentioned I'm about to start studying, but to do so I have to have membership with the professional body. This is 113 a year for a studying member. Also the dog... I save towards his vets fees and prescriptions but not grooming. He is groomed around 3-4 times a year (he's a spaniel with long hair and long tatty ears) and it's usually around 35-40 a time. And no, I really can't do it myself!

    So it may take a little longer to get the overdraft & credit cards down, but at least I'll have funds for the planned things as they come up.

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 15th Jan 20, 7:48 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    I'm very concerned about the overdraft interest going up considering how large ours is. I hadn't actually put the OD as part of our debt figure or into my snowball. I re-did the snowball this afternoon to include the OD at the new interest rate of 39.9% and it'll be about 100 interest a month. So I think my next step will be a money transfer within the next couple of months. I just want to make sure my budget is working properly and settled before I apply for anything as this is how much of my cc debt built up in the first place.

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • lucielle
    • By lucielle 16th Jan 20, 12:20 PM
    • 8,267 Posts
    • 35,668 Thanks
    lucielle
    Ouch to the interest!
    L
    Total Debt Dec 07 59875.83 Overdrafts 2900,New Debt Figure ZERO !!!!!! 08/06/2013
    Lucielle's Daring Debt Free Journey
    DFD Before we Die!!!! Long Haul Supporter #124
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 16th Jan 20, 2:16 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Ouch to the interest!
    L
    Originally posted by lucielle
    Indeed!

    I think a money transfer card will be the way to go. I just have to make sure that we keep to budget and not go in the OD at all which is why I want to be a bit cautious now whilst the budget is new and make sure we are sticking to it properly and it's not "aspirational".

    I can't facing ending up where I am again and adding more debt.

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 17th Jan 20, 4:57 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    A quick note before I run off home for the weekend.

    I've had 3 NSD's this week which I'm happy about. Also last night had to do some life admin for the in-laws that saw us getting home late. Instead of stopping off and picking up fish & chips or KFC, I made a quick stiry fry. It wasn't great, but saved a lot of money.

    I'm also constantly tweaking the budget. I REALLY want it work properly and not be left with unexpected costs. So far so good, a few bits and pieces come out of the bank account unaccounted for and tomorrow have to get 10yo her Scout uniform for investment at the end of the month. But OD still going downwards so I'm a happy bunny.

    Have a lovely weekend everyone.

    Stay frugal

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 20th Jan 20, 7:49 PM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Evening,

    Payday on Friday. I think everyone is counting down the days! I have 7 of personal spends left. However the great news I have my budgeted pots. I will need petrol and dog food before the end of the week and there's money in the pots and the overdraft has come down. MrM has run out of personal spends. He's ok for lunches as I'll make them but I'm hoping he can vape for the rest of the week.

    I've done my online food shop for the week, 74 so far but know I need to add a couple of bits.

    I start my new course tomorrow after work. I'm so nervous. Spent part of Saturday staring wistfully at pens & pencil cases in WH Smith like I did as a child. Then today, I raided work's stationery cupboard for a pad, pen & ruler.

    I've also listed one item on Ebay. I have loads of stuff- mainly clothes to get through, but the idea of doing loads is overwhelming so I thought I'd do one or two things at a time. Baby steps.

    Hope you all had a good Monday.

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
    • lucielle
    • By lucielle 20th Jan 20, 9:39 PM
    • 8,267 Posts
    • 35,668 Thanks
    lucielle
    Have you thought about selling the clothes in bundles via a facebook selling group, you have no fees then as well
    L
    Total Debt Dec 07 59875.83 Overdrafts 2900,New Debt Figure ZERO !!!!!! 08/06/2013
    Lucielle's Daring Debt Free Journey
    DFD Before we Die!!!! Long Haul Supporter #124
    • Naomim
    • By Naomim 21st Jan 20, 9:26 AM
    • 1,337 Posts
    • 3,258 Thanks
    Naomim
    Have you thought about selling the clothes in bundles via a facebook selling group, you have no fees then as well
    L
    Originally posted by lucielle
    I used to when the kids were babies but now I think I have so much stuff to sort out and it's all different sizes. I'll have to see how much I have.

    I hadn't thought about bundles though so thank you!

    Naomim
    Credit Cards 33,220.42 NOV 2019

    Here's my diary: A Ditherer's Diary Again
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