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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,784Posts
    • 6,543Thanks
    JoJoC
    Getting my shhh together
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    Getting my shhh together 26th Jan 17 at 12:20 PM
    It's January 2017 and I want to make a stand against myself.

    I will let me sabotage myself no more and I will take control and make my finances better!

    Where to begin? Good question! Since my husband and I bought our first house together in 2009, we have bad financial decision after bad financial decision. Not through stupidity, but a combination of naivety, laziness and lack of foresight. We are very impulsive people and it's quite tricky to rein that in when it comes to finances but we've had endless talks over the last few months and 2017 is the year that we sort our sh!t out!

    A combination of astronomical childcare costs, unpaid maternity leave, paying the mortgage for our flat when it isn't let (second property) and a few other things has meant that the last 2.5 years have been really tight and we have built up some debt that I really want to reduce. I'll declare it below!

    Credit card 1: 6,000 (on 0% interest)
    Credit card 2: 3,800 (not yet on 0% interest)
    Overdraft: 600
    Owe to MIL: 120
    Owe to uncle: 700

    I CAN tackle this in 2017 because:

    - My eldest son is starting school in August, meaning i'll be saving on nursery fees
    - I have just started a new job and my earnings will increase by around 200 per month
    - My husband is busy with additional work in the form of 'homers' over the next couple of months

    Hurdles/ challenges/ costly things happening:
    - My sister's wedding in September
    - My sister's hen weekend in September
    - It's my mother in law's 60th and we are going away for a few nights to a cottage to celebrate
    - Husband is going on my brother-in-law's stag weekend to Prague
    - We need to save for spending money as my company is paying for myself and husband to go to Thailand for a week for work.

    As you can see, the opportunities to save, to rein in what we are spending and to pay off debts are there, but it's such a busy year of commitments so I know it's going to be hard going.

    How am I going to achieve this?

    Change the setup of our banking
    It's currently one big bank account for all income, bills and spending but that's not working for us at all, particularly because we have massive outgoings so I want to switch to having a bills account, a spending account and a savings account.

    Spend time weekly on budgeting
    I have set up a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing when money comes in, when it goes out, when money is transferred to savings and when money is transferred to spending accounts. I want to ensure that this is kept on target and we aren't left short so I want to spend time every Sunday night when my husband is at football going through our finances and the spreadsheet to make sure everything is running smoothly and tackle any adjustments that need to be made. I'm paid monthly and my husband is paid weekly so it's a tricky balance.

    Striking the balance
    I need to strike the balance between paying off debt that we have and saving up for the things that we've committed to this year - I know if I focus on debt alone, we'll end up further in debt to cover things. Vigilance is the key and I will need to keep on top of what we can and can't afford to do. Considered choices will work best and looking ahead to see what's coming up will help too. I want to tackle the family debt first, particularly as they are the smallest debts and the ones that I feel bad about the most.

    I appreciate that there's a lot of debt-free diaries on here and this one isn't solely about hammering debt, but I think it's important for me to be accountable and I want to make changes rather than plan then just bury my head in the sand.

    Any encouragement along the way would be appreciated!
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 59
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 1st May 18, 9:41 AM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Review of Credit Union savings:

    I always forget about my Credit Union savings, which is actually quite a nice thing.

    I save 100p/m at the end of every month and 50 of that goes into a Christmas saver that you can't access until it pays out in early November. The other 50 goes into a general savings account there which I can access with 2 days notice. I treat this as a bill as it comes out my account automatically and the funds aren't easily accessible.

    I'm seven months into the savings for that now so will have 700 - split 350 into Christmas savings and 350 random savings. By November there will be 600 in each.

    I'm not sure what the random savings will be for - it'll either cover MOTs/ services on the cars later in the year or potentially it'll boost the Christmas account as I'd be kidding myself to say that I only spend 600 on Christmas overall.

    Surveys
    I'm still not focused on these as much as I could be - work is just manic and it's the only time I actually sit in front of the laptop.

    My balances are:
    PA - 12.66 cleared and 2.28 pending
    VO: 7.50/ 15.50
    Onepoll: 1.15/ 25 (with loads of surveys available to do).

    I'll try to get stuck in to these today if I catch a break. Maybe at lunchtime.
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • kindofagilr
    • By kindofagilr 1st May 18, 12:33 PM
    • 6,205 Posts
    • 20,869 Thanks
    kindofagilr
    Well done on your savings that's fab

    Was it easy to set up the credit union? did you have to go in? or can you do it online?

    I am the same with christmas, I should have 770 and 120 ish in amazon vouchers, so the trick is for me not to overspend, it's not even the kids, its me lol last year my daughter asked for a teddy and my son a book, but it was me who felt they NEEDED switch games etc lol so as long as I rein in the spending then we will be fine

    I've been shocking with my surveys, I have just given up, I do shop and scan and food on the go which give me 2100 points a week, and once I have 10,000 I get 10 amazon, so in a year I can get 100, look our for them opening that if you can cos it's dead easy once a week thing xx
    POAMAYC 2018 #87 Paid 1906.53/12,000 ~ 15.88%
    POAMAYC 2017 #87 Paid 10,380.18/10,000 ~ 104%
    POAMAYC 2016 #87 Paid 7454.80/7000 ~ 106%


    Mortgage (Start Date 01/04/09 ~ 30 year term, due to end 01/07/39)
    104,409/85,093.24 (as of 31/03/18) ~ 18.50% Paid

    Christmas Savings 2018: 70 Cash ~ Amazon Vouchers: 0
    Cyprus 2019 Savings: 500/6000 ~ Centre Parcs 2019 Savings: 0/1500

    My Debt Free Diary (Link)
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 1st May 18, 12:43 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    That's a good idea - can you set up to get a notification for when they're recruiting? Hmm...may as well earn something on my shopping. I do Shoppix which seems to be adding up nicely. I did do receipt hog but it took me a year to cash out and I think it was only 5 or 10 so seriously not worth it!

    The credit union was really easy to set up, although I think they're all different. In my local one, it's all online and you can login to see how your balance is adding up, as well as transferring the savings out if required. The only thing with the Christmas account is that you can't touch it unless you're closing your account. It stays in there and pays out the first or second week in November. Suits me!

    I use Scotwest but I'm not sure where you are or even if that matters. Some workplaces have them set up so that your money is deducted from your salary rather than the way that i do it which is setting up a standing order, but either way it works.

    I'm the same - my kids at 5 and almost 3 and they don't really ask for a lot. I don't go crazy or anything, but they definitely get more than they've asked for and by the time they get gifts from the whole family my house looks like a toy shop. Every year I swear it'll stop but then i love having them wake up to a lovely pile of gifts.

    I was thinking of asking my relatives to stick to one gift each - Christmas 2016 my sister came in with a massive bag of gifts and it took my eldest who was 4 about an hour to get through them all. Totally pointless and I think she just wanted to say that she gave him 27 gifts rather than getting something that he actually wanted/ would play with. Not that I'm complaining, mine and my husband's families are really generous but it's so overwhelming for kids getting such a volume of stuff.

    Anyway, we still have some time to worry about all that...
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 1st May 18, 2:12 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    Storm89
    We are just the same with Xmas. It used to be that they couldn't move for presents. This past Xmas they had noticeably less and with my eldest being 7 he noticed it I'm sure. It wasn't just the money issue though we literally have no space for anymore crap in the house. They never want to get rid of anything haha.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 1st May 18, 2:44 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I think I'd rather spend money investing in days out around the Christmas period rather than monumental amounts of gifts. Last year we did the breakfast with Santa morning and this year I'd like to make sure that we do plenty of other fun things in the run up to Christmas. We have a light show that is put on in October/ November which we've never been to but I really want to go to! There's also a reindeer parade at a town near us which is always busy but it's a nice day out...things like that, for me, bring together the magic of the Christmas season as a whole rather than one big overwhelming day surrounded by stress and expectation.
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • kindofagilr
    • By kindofagilr 1st May 18, 4:31 PM
    • 6,205 Posts
    • 20,869 Thanks
    kindofagilr
    Yeah deffo, and we have the nintendo switch and each game is 60! if you don't get them on offers etc, so I am probably going to ask the 3 sets of aunties and uncles to get them one game between them
    It's mainly switch games and lego here, but even lego is expensive lol

    For shop and scan you register for interest on here www.volunteer4panels.com and then they will send you an invite code when they have slots

    I will have a look at the credit union thanks xx
    POAMAYC 2018 #87 Paid 1906.53/12,000 ~ 15.88%
    POAMAYC 2017 #87 Paid 10,380.18/10,000 ~ 104%
    POAMAYC 2016 #87 Paid 7454.80/7000 ~ 106%


    Mortgage (Start Date 01/04/09 ~ 30 year term, due to end 01/07/39)
    104,409/85,093.24 (as of 31/03/18) ~ 18.50% Paid

    Christmas Savings 2018: 70 Cash ~ Amazon Vouchers: 0
    Cyprus 2019 Savings: 500/6000 ~ Centre Parcs 2019 Savings: 0/1500

    My Debt Free Diary (Link)
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 2nd May 18, 1:46 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    Storm89
    We also do days out to local winter wonderland type places. And then Thomas magical Christmas thing at Drayton manor. God when I type it out I can see how I've overspent so much over the years Haha.
    Hope you've had a nice day and that it's not been raining too much.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 2nd May 18, 6:50 PM
    • 3,025 Posts
    • 14,978 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    You are right to prioritise experiences. We remember who we were with and what we did and who said and did what from our childhoods. I can recall about 10 presents from my childhood in total. I had 10 times that number.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/March 2018=0 DEBT FREE 23/03/18
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 3rd May 18, 2:44 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Storm - I know what you mean! It can all add up, can't it? I'm pretty sure we spent 45 to have breakfast with Santa last year (actually well worth it... ) and then another 8 on getting the photo inside a snow globe... We try to stick to as many free/ low cost things at this time of year as possible, mainly because we have a gazillion birthdays in December, including my eldest. It all adds up!

    Thanks DIA - I also have lovely memories of things that we did as a family at Christmastime. It still warms my heart to think of our visits to Santa with cousins and all the family gatherings (80% of my family's birthdays on one side are November/ December) in the run up to and including the big day.

    I love making it special for the kids. This year will be wonderful with a 6-year-old and 3-year-old.

    Spends
    I've been fairly good over the last couple of days, mostly just necessary spends like a tank of fuel (68), top up of a few things at supermarket (17) and McDonald's (7.50) today for my youngest who was sent away from nursery unwell and we only had half an hour between pick up and doctor's appointment (he's fine btw). He said he'd like McDonald's and I let him choose.

    Busy afternoon for me juggling the toddler and work calls but I'll get there.
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 3rd May 18, 7:01 PM
    • 484 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    Storm89
    Oh it really will be magical, those are great ages. You are similar to me with holidays and days out etc. I just really want the kids to have those memories. I'm glad I've decided to take the long run with debt repayment to allow us to do these things. I'm glad your son is feeling better and it wasn't anything serious, hope he enjoyed the McDonald's
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 3rd May 18, 9:05 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    He did enjoy it thanks Storm, and i think he mostly enjoyed hanging out just the two of us for a bit and people watching (too much like his mother haha). He just had a bit of a rash but doc has cleared him saying he's fine.

    Yes, a lot of what you say on your diary resonates with me. Really tight for a few years but in recent times become more comfortable and able to enjoy family life while paying off the debt.

    Managed to not spend another penny today and sweated my backside off at a gym class tonight. I'm done in now!
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 4th May 18, 6:41 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,604 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Just popped in and you are continuing to do well. Well done! Have a good weekend
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after March 19.96% 1,996.19/10,000 5.04% behind
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 721.33/3,000 including stores so far 24.04% of my annual budget at the end of April
    My DFD is here
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 4th May 18, 9:16 AM
    • 484 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    Storm89
    Yeah exactly like us. We got back from our big holiday in 2016 and lived really frugally and couldn't pay much more than 2k off between then and this January because we kept adding to it. Then we had the increase in income and it feels really good being able to pay down the debt slowly and still have money for other things. We are lucky really aren't we. Your boys are still so little and even a year in their life will seem like a lifetime cos they grow up so quickly. Well done on the gym , I need to get my bum in gear . Literally because my shorts are all a bit too snug to wear this summer haha.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 4th May 18, 11:58 AM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Just popped in and you are continuing to do well. Well done! Have a good weekend
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Thank you Suffolk, lovely to hear from you as always Hope you have a lovely weekend too!
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 4th May 18, 12:01 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yeah exactly like us. We got back from our big holiday in 2016 and lived really frugally and couldn't pay much more than 2k off between then and this January because we kept adding to it. Then we had the increase in income and it feels really good being able to pay down the debt slowly and still have money for other things. We are lucky really aren't we. Your boys are still so little and even a year in their life will seem like a lifetime cos they grow up so quickly. Well done on the gym , I need to get my bum in gear . Literally because my shorts are all a bit too snug to wear this summer haha.
    Originally posted by Storm89
    Yes, an increase in income (me getting a new job, asking for a good salary AND then getting it) helped, as well as my eldest son starting school so less childcare costs. I'll never again be paying 1400p/m on childcare! It's a wonderful feeling. Even though the bill is still around 950 until September, I still feel like a weight has been lifted off.

    You're right, we are lucky

    Good luck finding some motivation to get exercising - mine comes and goes at the moment, although I've done two gym sessions this week and a fair bit of walking for work. Hoping to make Yoga on Sunday a third session this week. We'll see!
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 4th May 18, 2:33 PM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    No spending so far today! I'll need to give 50p to my son for the tuck shop at his club but other than that, I'm hoping we'll make it through the day on a NSD.

    Still overwhelmed with work
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 5th May 18, 7:59 AM
    • 484 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    Storm89
    1400 a month is so excessive isn't it , that's pretty much a full time income for lots of people. Hope you manage to make yoga for tomorrow. Sorry to hear about work
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 5th May 18, 8:41 AM
    • 3,025 Posts
    • 14,978 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Also sorry to hear that work is so full-on right now.

    Hope you get some letup soon.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/March 2018=0 DEBT FREE 23/03/18
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 8th May 18, 11:06 AM
    • 1,784 Posts
    • 6,543 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Summer is over
    Delightful as the weather has been, I'm assuming that those two days of sunshine is all we're getting in Scotland for our summer! It was lovely while it lasted!

    Money
    I've not got a lot to say at the moment money-wise, there's been some frittering and overspending but not an immense amount, and it's been on things like meat for a BBQ with family last night which, to me, is worth every penny.

    I did do my food shopping yesterday without a list or a meal plan and I only had 20 minutes in the shop, so needless to say I spent 68 and didn't have a massive amount to show for it. I have at least 4 evening meals there and we have some bits in the freezer, so there's no need for me to panic too much.

    There was a complete extravagance yesterday too...it's my husband's birthday on Sunday and he never really asks for anything and for the last few years (bar his big birthday a couple of years ago) we don't generally get him any presents (mutual agreement to not just buy crap for the sake of it). However, he's been hankering after a games console forever and I keep saying we can't afford it. But I saw a great deal on it, plus he's been working so hard over the last 18 months, bringing in extra money and working all hours that he can so I just feel like he deserves it. So i bought it I'm hoping he'll be suitably surprised when he opens it.

    Surveys
    Prolific: 15.20 cleared with 3.02 pending (less than 2 to go before I can cash out)
    Onepoll: 1.50 / 25.00 (need to get my finger out on this one)
    Valued Opinions: 7.50 / 15.50 (also need to get my finger out on this one)

    Still pretty overworked right now, but I'll get there.
    CC1: 4481.14/ 5031.14 (12% paid off, 600) | CC2:3307/ 3807 (14.4% paid off, 550) | Loan: 10,528.20/ 15,792.30((33% paid off, 5,264))

    July debt total: 24,630.44 | New debt total: 18,316.34 | Total debt paid: 6,414.10 (26%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 8th May 18, 1:56 PM
    • 3,025 Posts
    • 14,978 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done on the pressie for your husband. What a nice thing to do
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/March 2018=0 DEBT FREE 23/03/18
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
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