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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,769Posts
    • 6,454Thanks
    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: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 60
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 8th May 18, 1:59 PM
    • 480 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    Storm89
    That's great news about the present, your husband will be so surprised especially because he won't be expecting anything at all! The Bbq was definitely worth it. It might be the last bit of sunshine you'll see for a while haha & family time is precious.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 9th May 18, 3:14 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hump day
    It's the middle of the week, and a very uneventful week at that but thought I'd offer an update nonetheless.

    Good things
    - I had problems registering my Debenhams Beauty Card a couple of weeks ago so I called them up and managed to get it sorted, meaning that I've now got £10 worth of points available to spend and am half way to my next £5. I've still some birthday money left and I'd like some new perfume so going to wait until the end of the month and treat myself

    - I got a pension statement through from a job I was in about 8/9 years ago...it has £1.8k in there and does absolutely nothing, so it got me thinking. I have another pension which has around £5k in it and then i have my current one so i did the call rounds and it turns out that I can amalgamate them all into one. I can just imagine come pension age, me receiving 26 pensions because of all my job changes! Makes sense to merge the two smaller ones into my current one which is pretty strong. I'm intending on staying with this company for quite a while. Now just need to gather all the paperwork from the two old pensions to get the ball rolling...

    - Today has been a NO SPEND DAY! I'd started to forget what those were... I do need butter but that can wait until tomorrow.

    - Squeezed a gym class in on my lunch break today and have another tonight.

    - Picked up husband's presents and stashed them away somewhere that I'm pretty sure he won't go! Looking forward to giving him them on Sunday Need to get the kids to make a card...

    Not so good things
    - It's back to horrible rain here again...
    - It's that time in the middle of the month that not a lot is happening - next week it'll all start to kick off!
    - It's that time of the month that I'm a hormonal, ragey mess!!
    - Work is driving me up the wall right now, but I am keeping it together...for now...
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 10th May 18, 5:45 AM
    • 480 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    Storm89
    Hey jojo. That's good about putting all the pensions in one. Well done on the NSD. Sorry about the not so good things.
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 10th May 18, 7:51 AM
    • 4,575 Posts
    • 13,603 Thanks
    Verbatim
    Hi Jojo
    Impressive progress!
    Have you checked that the 2 small pensions don't have valuable benefits, such as a defined minimum payment which would be lostt on transfer?
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 10th May 18, 12:57 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for stopping by Verbatim - yes, i get a free hour of pension advice per year through my company who hires an independent advisor so I've checked that it's my best option and it seems to be.

    J
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 10th May 18, 2:39 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Things are ticking along here, neither up nor down which I'm ok with!

    Good things
    1. I exercised three times yesterday! THREE! Three different fitness classes. I am sore but I feel good that I did it. Today will be a rest day.
    2. My husband is holding the fort at work for two weeks while the owner of the company is abroad so although no specifics have been arranged, he'll have some kind of monetary compensation for running things in the boss' absence.
    3. It's been a productive day at work, even though there's still a gazillion and one things on my to-do list
    4. It's almost the weekend!
    5. I'm working from home tomorrow - bonus.
    6. This should be in both good and bad, but my husband is working late tonight, late tomorrow night and all day Saturday on extra jobs, so the good element of this is the extra money that he'll be making.

    Not so good things
    1. Husband is working a lot for the next few days, so not only will we miss him, but i'll be flying solo in parenting
    2. Work.
    3. Work.
    4. Work.
    5. Did i mention work?

    Looking forward to celebrating my husband's birthday at the weekend - we have nothing planned but it'll be nice to spend some time as a family on a special occasion.

    Days until pay day: 20
    Progress on surveys: Absolutely none...
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Scott-Weiland
    • By Scott-Weiland 10th May 18, 11:28 PM
    • 17 Posts
    • 19 Thanks
    Scott-Weiland
    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
    Originally posted by kindofagilr
    gerrrr thats fighting talk lol

    never give up re surveys look at my signature and last year i earned about 1500pounds x
    Cashback Earnings Ish YTD £46.99 Survey Earnings YTD Ish £192.66
    Is a few week gap.
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th May 18, 9:45 AM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    gerrrr thats fighting talk lol

    never give up re surveys look at my signature and last year i earned about 1500pounds x
    Originally posted by Scott-Weiland
    You've got a song in my head now Scott... "Never give up on a good thing..." - George Benson I believe? haha
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th May 18, 10:06 AM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    It's Fridayyyyyyy!
    Can you tell that I'm happy it's Friday? Delighted is more the word, actually. This week has been hard going so I'm ready for a couple of days with the kids and without too many ties.

    This morning £50 came out for one of the credit cards, plus a couple of direct debits so it's not looking too bad. Next week will be when the big repayments come off so i'll see a big difference in my debt total then but for right now, another £50 gone is good.

    Extra cash
    Inspired by Storm's diary, I checked my Paypal balance as i sold a couple of bits on ebay last week - a bag for £25 and a couple of pairs of the kids trainers which were still in good condition - and I've got £47.85 in there. Just transferred it to my bank where I'll squirrel it away into the holiday fund.

    I also need to keep up with Prolific because I missed out on a couple of good surveys yesterday (stupid work...) and I'm edging closer to cashing out - I'm on £16.45 with £2.77 pending. Just another £1-2 to go and i can cash out via Circle.

    My husband's job that he was supposed to go to last night got cancelled because he can't seem to get hold of the guy - his number is dead - so he came home at normal time which is great but means no extra. He's still working tonight and all day tomorrow so that'll be a little bonus into the account when he's paid.

    Keeping active
    After my three gym sessions on Wednesday, i took it easy yesterday so the only exercise i did was walking. This morning I got up at 5.30 to go to the gym with a friend who was keen to squeeze in a workout. I'm not normally a morning person, but I didn't struggle too much with getting out of my bed. It does help that it's light now - I think if it was dark/ raining, it'd have been a new level of rage forcing myself out of bed! ha

    There's not likely to be any more working out over the weekend - so i'll be back to it on Monday.
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Another thing that sprung to my attention this morning is that it's not long until we start getting the 15 hours funding from the council for my son's nursery, which will save us around £175p/m for 9 months out of 12.

    Although he's entitled from August, it's a non-funded month, so we'll start to see the benefit from the end of August wage for the month of September, because we pay in advance.

    So...drumroll...we only have THREE MONTHS LEFT of full time nursery fees. Hooray!

    My plan is to total up the rest of the year's spend including the non-funded months and split between the number of months to make sure that we're not being hit with a bigger bill when I'm not expecting it (I'm scatty, i know i'll forget). I just want to put my workings down below so that I know what I'm doing.

    Right now it looks like this:
    Bill - £818.13
    I pay: £654.50
    Govt 'tax-free childcare scheme' pays: £163.63

    From September onwards, it could look like:
    Bill on funded months - 643.13
    I pay: £514.50
    Govt pay: £128.63

    HOWEVER, I think it makes sense to do it like this:
    £818.13 * 4 months = £3272.52
    £175 * 3 months funding = £525
    Total owed until end of the year = £2747.52
    So, total per month will be = £686.88p/m

    THEN

    Total due - £686.88
    I pay - £549.50
    Govt pays - £137.38

    So, our payments will be dropping by £105p/m overall and that means we pay the same every month and know what we're up against whether it's a funded month or not.

    When we go into 2019, i'll work it out across the whole year and see what the figures say, and adjust my payments accordingly.

    Still another 2 years and 3 months until the littlest one starts school, so I'd better eek out this feeling of the nursery payments dropping because it's going to be quite some time until they drop again!!

    Sorry for going on so much...
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 11th May 18, 10:43 AM
    • 480 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    Storm89
    Everytime I see childcare fees it makes my jaw drop!!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 11th May 18, 11:39 AM
    • 3,007 Posts
    • 14,725 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Pre school care costs are insane...insane.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/March 2018=0 DEBT FREE 23/03/18
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 11th May 18, 6:21 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Pre school care costs are insane...insane.
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    They are!!

    Everytime I see childcare fees it makes my jaw drop!!
    Originally posted by Storm89
    Mine too, and I've been paying them for the last five years!!

    Five down, two to go, though!
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th May 18, 12:02 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Monday morning again? How?

    I'm not sure where my weekend went but i am POSITIVE that it went by in a flash...yet again.

    My husband had a lovely birthday - we went out for lunch and he adored his present (and was surprised) so it was a lovely day all round. Family came over in the afternoon and we all played in the garden with the kids.

    The weather is still beautiful here so i'm glad to be working from home. I have two washings out on the line already - may as well make the most of it while I'm on calls all morning!

    We were pretty damn spendy over the weekend but I did buy an outfit for the wedding that we're going to in July. I'm not sure if it's a keeper yet but I bought it so i could try it on and get a second opinion. Also got a card for said wedding so will just need to pick up a present - I'm thinking of visiting TK Maxx to see if they have something nice.

    Work is still...well...work. Still up to my eyeballs in it all. I'm down, but i'm not out! I will break out of the work rut! But probably not until July when I go on holiday - until then it's basically massive deadlines and long-haul travel... uurgh.

    Days until pay day: 16
    Days until summer holiday: 53
    Today's stress levels: 7/10
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 14th May 18, 5:03 PM
    • 480 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    Storm89
    Not good about the stress levels. I've had some washing on the line today too while the weather lasts . Hope the next 53 days fly by!
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 14th May 18, 9:09 PM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks Storm - got all of my washing dried, then when I was taking it in, realised that a bird had sh!t all over the bed sheets, so they had to go back in the machine. They're now hanging upstairs... humph.

    Money-saving wins for today
    1. We had a BBQ tonight but BIL brought all the stuff and we cooked it (we bought the stuff last time, but even still, a nice treat)
    2. I put my youngest's old toddler trike on my local selling group - just had a guy contact me to say he'd like to pick it up on Saturday so as long as he turns up that's £30 in my pocket
    3. There's plenty of BBQ bits for leftover lunches tomorrow
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 15th May 18, 9:51 AM
    • 480 Posts
    • 842 Thanks
    Storm89
    Oh god that's not good about having to wash the sheets again! Good news about the BBQ savings though, I love this weather we are having .
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th May 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Another beautiful day here so i'm sitting out in the conservatory soaking up the warmth with the doors open while i work. What a lovely way to work - I really appreciate the nice weather. It does wonders for the soul!

    Money-wise, not a lot is happening until later in the week. My husband will be paid (anytime between today and Thursday) for two weeks' worth of wages because his boss is away travelling so he has set it up like this to avoid any hassle. It doesn't bother me - I'd rather it was all paid in at once rather than having to wait until he gets back so it won't make any difference.

    I did a bit of reconciliation of my spreadsheet and accounts this morning and all is looking ok, although I think we may have gone a bit spend-happy on the spending account this month (again, owing to birthdays!).

    I NEED A GIFTS SAVINGS ACCOUNT! One that is separate from my Christmas savings.

    I will do that this week. It's a must. I can't carry on just spending on birthdays out of our monthly spends because one month it's just one birthday and the next it's five! It's unsustainable.

    Update
    Instead of saying 'i'll do it this week', I just abandoned my post and applied for a new savings account to be linked to my current online banking setup. Once it's been approved and added to my accounts, i'll set up savings goals within this account for both a clothes fund and a gifts fund and track it on my spreadsheet. I think this is the best way to do it. I already have 8 accounts linked to my online banking so i don't want a crazy amount. I'll see how i get on with tracking the split of savings and take it from there.

    This week our loan payment comes out and that means we'll be dropping down into the next £thousand category, but I'm going to try to hold out to the end of month round up before banging on about that. These are some nice figures to look at though:

    Loan payments paid: 10/30
    Loan payments left: 20/30

    A third of the way there - 1/3 or 33%...
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th May 18, 10:34 AM
    • 1,769 Posts
    • 6,454 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Reset of debt totals
    So after digging through my spreadsheet and all my figures, I realised that I've been setting up my debt tracker to start with a loan figure of £15k which is how much we took out, but not the total that we'll pay back over the term including interest! Stupid. another stupid thing is that I've been reading from the wrong line - when I highlight the month's payment to indicate it's been paid, i've been taking the new total from the next line when I should be taking it from the highlighted month, so i've been looking a month ahead of myself sometimes.

    Anyway, it's not a big deal, it just skews my figures slightly, so I want to lay them out so that I'm clear for the end of the month and beginning June with the correct numbers.

    These figures are to date (i.e. not including payments that are coming out this week, or before the end of the month. I'll still do an end of the month round up.

    Loan: £11,054.61 / £15,792.30 (9/30 payments made; 30% paid)
    CC1: £3,307 / £3,807 (14.5% paid)
    CC2: £4,541.40 / £5,031.14 (11% paid).

    Debt total: £18,952 / £24,630.44 (£5,777.69 paid, 24% paid)

    This means I won't be dropping into the next £000 this month, but will next month instead. Slightly demoralising, but I'm happier that I identified this now instead of further down the line. Must be more careful!
    CC1: £4601.14/ £5031.14 (10% paid off, £480) | CC2:£3407/ £3807 (12% paid off, £450) | Loan: £10,788.72/ £15,000((28% paid off, £4211.28))

    July debt total: £23,838.14 | New debt total: £18,796.86 | Total debt paid: £5,141.28 (22%)
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • fatrab
    • By fatrab 15th May 18, 11:20 AM
    • 833 Posts
    • 1,849 Thanks
    fatrab
    I realised that I've been setting up my debt tracker to start with a loan figure of £15k which is how much we took out, but not the total that we'll pay back over the term including interest!
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    It's easily done, I made a similar boo-boo when calculating how much I owed on my car finance. I'm about £800 worse off than I thought I was but you just need to brush it off and put it down to experience!
    Hope all is well
    You can have results or excuses, but not both.
    May's targets - Lose 1 stone - 6lbs off, 18/31 AFDs, 12/18 lunches.
    37 x £2 coins (#32) - Wannabe debt free by Dec 2022
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