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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,581Posts
    • 15,346Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed....
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed.... 12th Feb 17 at 9:56 AM
    67,031.92. Seriously. 67,031.92. That is a SCARY number. I can't believe our debt has peaked (and it is the peak, I am determined) at this level.

    Our light bulb moment actually happened a few months back, but it's taken since then of wrangling utilities and carefully watching out income/outgoings (using You Need a Budget) to really figure out where we were overspending and how the monthly shortfall of anything from 200-1,000+ was happening.

    We have literally nothing to show for this debt, it's just crept up over the past 8 years or so, and has always been at manageable levels, but back in October we realised we were spending more on credit cards each month than we were paying off.

    We committed that cardinal sin of taking out a consolidation loan, but alongside it we looked really carefully at our spending over the next couple of months, budgeted realistically for what we spend and have (I think) picked off all the easy 'low hanging fruit' of budget cuts and really identified why we were overspending.

    The main reason for the debt is, erm, me. Not that I'm the biggest spender (neither of us are amazing), but because I am self employed with a hugely variable income and basically worked out our budgets on the basis I would always earn my 'best' month's income. Which was, with hindsight, maybe a TINY bit deluded.

    The aim of this diary is to keep us on track with actually reducing our debt every single month, not doing it in a three steps forward, two (or four) steps back sort of way. Having sat down and put our numbers into the whatsthecost site, it appears that we are looking at 7 years and 1 month of repayments to clear the debt (and that's assuming we can get rid of the shortfall showing below). I REALLY want to reduce this term as that just seems bonkers.

    SOA below, with a couple of explanatory notes.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 3
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 250 (variable, but this is the minimum I have earned in any month in the last 5 years)
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 2711.86
    Benefits................................ 192
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 3153.86


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 698
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 174 (including overpayment for a period when we messed up during a house move 18 months ago and didn't restart the direct debit for the new property. Will drop by a little under 50 after either March or April, can't remember which)
    Electricity............................. 52 (gas and electricity are one combined DD, I haven't checked the exact split but the total is 104)
    Gas..................................... 52
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 104 (also including a debt from previous property, but I think this will be included for another 6 months or so. I'm not sure what our actual usage is)
    Telephone (land line)................... 18.5 (includes internet)
    Mobile phone............................ 85 (45 for my contract, which I use for work as well, 40 for DH)
    TV Licence.............................. 12.12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 0 (included in landline cost)
    Groceries etc. ......................... 520 (Includes 40 for one lot of school lunches. I am REALLY struggling to reduce this, but feel I could and should be able to!)
    Clothing................................ 100 (growing children, plus see notes below re clothes)
    Petrol/diesel........................... 225 (90% DH commuting costs)
    Road tax................................ 16.27
    Car Insurance........................... 25.22
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 30
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 50
    Childcare/nursery....................... 70 (this will disappear in April as child 3 gets free 15 hours)
    Other child related expenses............ 81.85 (music/swimming lessons x2, cubs and beavers, National Trust membership as they love visiting them)
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 5
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 27.07
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16.26
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 90
    Haircuts................................ 20
    Entertainment........................... 135
    Holiday................................. 75
    Emergency fund.......................... 25
    Total monthly expenses.................. 2707.29



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 210000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 800
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 210800



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 173733...(698)......3.14
    Total secured & HP debts...... 173733....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Barclaycard....................6880.21...156...... .0
    MBNA...........................9614.71...98....... .0
    Parental loan..................20000.....0.........0 (see notes below)
    Tesco loan.....................21000.....377.......10
    Total unsecured debts..........57494.92..631.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 3,153.86
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 2,707.29
    Available for debt repayments........... 446.57
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 631
    Amount short for making debt repayments. -184.43


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 210,800
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -173,733
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -57,494.92
    Net Assets.............................. -20,427.92


    Created using the SOA calculator at stoozing.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    Regarding the (relatively) high clothes expense, it is a combination of 3 growing children (8, 6 and 3), plus the fact that my job is in the fashion industry, and as a self employed person I need to have the right sort of 'look' in order to get work (think along the lines of a self employed personal shopper - people need to see you looking good in order to book with you).

    The parental loan was for a house deposit. The parent in question has no idea about our debts. She is not desperate for the money back and isn't charging us interest, but has asked us to save 150-200 every month into a savings account and then once we've saved a decent sum to either repay them or 'reborrow' it for work on the house (basically they want us to be able to make repayments if they suddenly need the extra income, but meanwhile are happy for us to benefit from it. I am not saving the money while our debt payments are so high - we are hoping to have paid enough off that if the parent ever needs it that we can reborrow it and pay them back). This isn't great, but realistically I think the best solutions is to treat it as the lowest priority for snowballing - once we have paid back the other debts we will throw the entire 630+ at this debt.

    So, there is a freaking enormous shortfall every month, which is somewhat depressing. Most months it is covered by the fact that I earn more than my 'bare minimum', but it is those months where it isn't covered that the debt creeps up again, and I am a total disaster for going 'oh well, we've spent on the credit card, we might as well keep going' and buying more clothes or something for the house - this is probably a significant proportion of our debt problem.

    We have managed to get rid of the balance on the one credit card we were spending on, so the remaining ones are both on 0% deals (although one expires in September). I have not cut up the remaining credit card, because we don't have an emergency fund in case of eg boiler repairs, but it has not been used for all of a month, and I hope to keep it that way.

    A DMP or similar isn't really on my horizon right now - I feel like we should be able to make the cuts to make our budgets balance, and I am optimistic that as my income goes up (when I can work more as child 3 starts school) that we will be able to make overpayments.

    My plan for now is:
    1) Try to wiggle those budget numbers around enough that we don't have a shortfall any more.
    2) Make a plan for any months where I make extra - do I use it for an emergency fund, as a fund to cover future months' shortfalls, to throw money at the debt to try to reduce minimum payments in case of future 'shortfall' months?
    3) Try to make more money. Not quite sure how this will work as I am largely limited to working around DH's working hours (I work evenings and weekends and the 5hrs childcare per week we are paying for for child 3).

    Now that's all down in black and white I am feeling a combination of relieved (to be clear on the numbers) and immensely stressed (by the semi-regular 180+ shortfall).

    Onwards and downwards (for the debt, not me)!

    edited to add: the original 67,031.92 figure was based on the total figure for the Tesco loan, which included all interest payable over the entire term of the loan. I have updated the debt figure in my signature and in all posts going forward as at 4th June 2017 to reflect that actual current debt balance rather than the balance plus interest over the lifetime of the loan. This has knocked 7,911.62 off the debt figure, but means that each monthly payment will have the interest for that month deducted from it, so it won't affect the DFD if I don't make overpayments.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 04-06-2017 at 2:58 PM.
Page 162
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 12th May 18, 11:03 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,606 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I popped in to the monthly grocery challenge yesterday, to suggest a few simple uses because someone had bought a 1k bag of pine nut kernels for about 3.50. I pay 1.75 at my chosen SM for a much smaller bag. Like you TOPM, I just can't face another shop (unless we are going to the camping shop which is next door to HB, where she got them).

    You could freeze the cooked biscuits and just put them in the oven for a few minutes on a meringue-drying temperature to achieve the fresh-baked texture...
    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
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th May 18, 3:20 PM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Armchairexpert I don't have a spreadsheet, but I do have a simple document set up with the numbers I need so I can calculate manually very quickly. I suppose a spreadsheet would be better. I basically have a column like this:

    We need to have 5,000 for the extension
    Current savings total 1,361
    Savings for rest of year 2,023 (usual monthly savings)
    Shortfall 1,616
    Monthly extension shortfall 202

    8 months of earning 808 (post tax) per month with the divisions below

    10% debt overpayments
    25% extension (this 25% needs to equate to the above monthly shortfall)
    10% house stuff
    5% biz account savings pots
    10% food/household supplies (5% towards wedding cake until at 100)
    5% annual insurances
    25% future months in biz account
    5% DC1 tutor
    5% emergency fund

    Total post tax income needed as at 11/5/18 = 6,464
    234 days left
    income per day = 7.62


    And then I manually change the numbers each time I earn anything. I'm sure there's a much easier way of setting it in excel up so I'm not having to manually input everything and work out the final figure, but it takes all of about three minutes and I can't be bothered to create a spreadsheet.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • PurpleFairy26
    • By PurpleFairy26 12th May 18, 3:35 PM
    • 2,160 Posts
    • 14,617 Thanks
    PurpleFairy26
    I use DH's phone in the bath - he has a fancy pants waterproof case (and a cheaper phone)!

    *Purplefairy* I look at people who shop in 900 different shops to get the best price with enormous admiration, but I just can't see it happening. We already do Aldi (or Lidl, depending on which town we're in)/Sainsburys and then occasionally local grocer/zero waste shop. Adding another shop or two just feels totally beyond me, even if it's only once a month or so. I start to get into internal debates about my increased income if I work for the amount of time it would take me to go to the other shop etc etc... Will consider it though, depending on the figures at the end of this month when we really aren't being terribly careful.

    Right, list...

    To do today
    1. Tidy up after clients.
    2. Pop into town for missing bits from yesterday's food shop.
    3. Take cash out for DC1's school residential (and enjoy the smugness of having budgeted for it and having the money ready to go).
    4. Make granola.
    5. Paint toenails and generally make feet more socially acceptable.
    6. Order sleeping bag/mat for DC1.
    7. Paint remaining tiles in bathroom.

    Mini goals:
    - 24.35/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,398.38/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.62 daily earning goal.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    TOPM I definitely wasn't suggesting shopping at lots of different places, I definitely don't have time for that, 50hour week and best part of a 2 hour commute each way 3 days a week. I like things simple I meant the g00gle thing to get it online and have it delivered as they tell you how much delivery is. And I'm sure other shops do the frozen stuff, it's just where I happened to be shopping that week as they sent me a voucher
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 13th May 18, 6:20 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 65: Day 7

    Morning! Another day, another week almost over. Feel like this year is just flying by. Which is nice in that it means we are getting closer to (a) repaying more debt and (b) building the extension (and accruing even more debt, sigh), but bad in that I feel like it was January only about 8 seconds ago!

    Spent some time yesterday re-focusing on my business goals, as I've definitely got a bit off track again, and am spending too much working time doing housework type jobs. I am really going to try to keep the focus on working during work time and then having the energy to do house things when I'm not working. We have a few quiet weekends coming up after next weekend, plus half term in which I can achieve the odd house job during the day as I won't be attempting to work, so I'm hoping that my full page of 'things that need doing at some point' list can be tackled at that stage. I need to accept that while I keep meeting these wonder women who are achieving everything, I personally need to keep my focus on making more money, and the way to do that is to lower my expectations of also being wonder-housewife. Someone remind me of that next week when I have a 47-item batch cooking list on a working day . The priority this year is to make money.

    Purplefairy I will investigate buying online, good idea. Completely misunderstood you .

    The budgets continue to tick along fairly boringly. We are probably going to be over-budget on food this month, but I still feel like I'm exploring the best way to food shop. I am loving the fortnightly menu plans and big food shops, as only having the hassle of doing the whole sainsburys/Aldi/grocecr/zero waste shop every fortnight is lovely. We are tending to be able to top up only from the grocer and/or the zero waste shop in the in between weeks, which is rather nice.

    We also must be due a super-cheap week, as the cupboards are slowly filling up (this always happens as inevitably there are one or two menu planned meals a fortnight that don't get made and we have eggs or something instead, or a cake recipe I buy ingredients for and don't bake), so I'm hoping it might not be too painful for the month overall. We've spent the best part of 200 so far, but started the month with a low food budget as I had to do a shop at the very tail end of last month which got subtracted from May's food budget.

    Very little money in or out means even the rounding down has been a bit slow for the past couple of days, although I have just paid a whopping 2.61 off the barclaycard. That takes the total debt repayments for the year over the 2,400 mark (only by 99p, but whatever, it's over), so I am within 100 of the halfway point. I would so love to hit the halfway point before the end of May, as I would be a month 'ahead' on my repayments goal for the year. I'm really looking forward to invoicing for my contract work at the end of the month, as there has been extra this month so I will be making 500+ profit rather than the usual 250-ish.

    To do yesterday
    1. Tidy up after clients.
    2. Pop into town for missing bits from yesterday's food shop.
    3. Take cash out for DC1's school residential (and enjoy the smugness of having budgeted for it and having the money ready to go).

    4. Make granola.
    5. Paint toenails and generally make feet more socially acceptable.
    6. Order sleeping bag/mat for DC1.
    7. Paint remaining tiles in bathroom.

    To do today
    1. Spend another hour or so on business goals/planning.
    2. Check through contract work for next week.
    3. Complete contract work for the following week (I am trying to get more than a week ahead before half term, and ideally more like three weeks ahead, so I can be six weeks ahead by the time the summer holidays hit).
    4. Spend an hour or so on my smaller business.
    5. One social media post.
    6. (After work) water the sad cacti in the sitting room.
    7. (After work) make granola.
    8. (After work) pedicure.
    9. (After work) make gf biscuits for DC3's preschool snacks.

    Mini goals:
    - 24.96/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,400.99/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.74 daily earning goal.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 13-05-2018 at 6:22 AM.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • pennyforthepot
    • By pennyforthepot 13th May 18, 6:42 AM
    • 605 Posts
    • 2,040 Thanks
    pennyforthepot
    Hi TOPM,

    I've recently done a big price comparison on nuts and seeds including Amazon, Costco and Booker (not Morrisons) and actually Sainsburys have recently dropped their prices on nuts and come out cheaper for almonds, Brazil's, walnuts and cashews. Pumpkin and sunflower seeds I get from a local food market as they are so much cheaper than shop bought ones. There is a company called, I think,Infinity whole foods (based in Brighton) which deliver and have an on-line service. If memory serves me right you can buy wholesale if your order is a certain price. Not sure if this is still the case as I've only just remembered it.

    If prices change and I find anywhere cheaper I'll let you know - that should save you 5 minutes
    Goal:to save 16,000 by 30/08/2019 claw back rental costs
    Apr18 -2107/16000
    • mfmaybe
    • By mfmaybe 13th May 18, 9:06 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 3,531 Thanks
    mfmaybe
    My suggestion would be to use mysupermarket to compare; but only select the most expensive things you are buying that week. I use it particularly when buying washing powder, nappies, etc but if you know you have to stock up on something it's worth trying. You can still do it online, too.
    BTL Overpayments since 20/4 5.90

    AFD May 12/15 NSD May 9/10

    Other debts paid since 1/1/14: 17,005
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th May 18, 4:53 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 66: Day 1

    Happy Monday everyone! Another new week. I'm in that middle-of-the-month debt drudgery, where nothing much is happening at all. Too much month to get through to consider any overpayments, no DDs coming out, all very dull.

    I was once again amazed yesterday at how much I achieved when I didn't let myself do a single house job during the day. DH seriously stepped up and did a massive room tidy with the DC, sorting out loads of old books and toys and all the stored summer gear to see what we need - the good news is that it looks like we're are only short one wetsuit, a sunhat and a pair of shorts for DC1, the others are fine on hand me downs for the forseeable. Win! DH also made a quiche for packed lunches for this week, so I am feeling really quite impressed with him (he doesn't usually achieve much when he has the DCs, but has agreed to do more so I can focus on working when I'm meant to be working).

    To do yesterday
    1. Spend another hour or so on business goals/planning.
    2. Check through contract work for next week.
    3. Complete contract work for the following week (I am trying to get more than a week ahead before half term, and ideally more like three weeks ahead, so I can be six weeks ahead by the time the summer holidays hit).

    4. Spend an hour or so on my smaller business.
    5. One social media post.
    6. (After work) water the sad cacti in the sitting room.
    7. (After work) make granola.

    8. (After work) pedicure.
    9. (After work) make gf biscuits for DC3's preschool snacks.

    To do today
    1. Finish contract work for 28/5.
    2. Take social media pictures for the week.
    3. Post H&M return (clothes for DCs that were ill fitting/not needed).
    4. Post birthday cards to god child and friend.
    5. (after work) plant potatoes. So late!
    6. Spend an hour on smaller business.
    7. (after work) pedicure.

    Mini goals:
    - 24.96/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,403.99/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.76 daily earning goal.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 14th May 18, 5:04 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    May list update

    Home/Family
    1. DH finish front fence
    2. Re-paint bathroom tiles (hopefully only another year to limp through! They have already been painted once but are a bit gross again). This has actually made it only the To Do list for this week for DH.
    3. Buy a trailer for camping - keep checking ebay. DH has found a possible on Gumtree near friends we are visiting on the weekend.
    4. Book another of the summer camping trips. This might have to wait until next month if we buy the trailer to allow the pot to refill again.
    5. Check through the camping gear (maybe during an overnight away at the end of the month, where it doesn't matter if something isn't quite perfect) to see whether we need any new gear this year.
    6. Try to unsubscribe from some of our junk mail - it seems to be increasing and is such a waste of resources.
    7. Get a bit more ahead with packed lunch cooking - feel like I've slightly lost impetus with this.

    Me
    1. Plan, and stick to, a slower morning routine. Hmmm.
    2. Include a full daily yoga practice in that morning routine. This has finally been reintroduced, the challenge is to keep it up.
    3. Try to do a decent bit of walking/outside time every day. Going quite well, but not as well as I'd like.
    4. Lose another kg (currently 70kg on the nose). Sigh.
    5. Keep up with a decent daily skincare routine - I am terrible for not cleansing my face properly in the evening and not actually using all the lovely lotions and potions loitering in my bathroom cabinet. This is going pretty well actually.
    6. Buy some clothes once I hit 69kg.

    Work
    1. 10% growth on my main social media platform (311). Up 2%, only another 8% to go!
    2. A new blog post on my website
    3. Get ahead with contract work - at least one week ahead by the end of the month. I'm now a week ahead, aiming to get further ahead this week.
    4. Focus on my key aim - of developing some passive income that allows me to move away from my current (not hugely enjoyable) main income source. Have refocused on this, now need to produce the output.

    MSE
    1. 30 minimum overpayment from rounding down YNAB pots. Up to almost 25 already.
    2. List wooden marble run on ebay/gumtree.
    3. Keep up with the daily earning goal to try to make some headway in the extension savings. Headway is definitely being made, the daily earnings goal is lower than it was a week ago.
    4. Get past the halfway mark (2.5k) towards my debt repayment goal for the year.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 15th May 18, 5:32 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 66: Day 2

    Wow, what a gorgeous day it was yesterday. That perfect British day when one is genuinely warm enough in jeans and tshirt. I took the children out for a picnic dinner (just packed and wrapped the pasta dish I had cooked and took plates/napkins/cutlery/water bottles). It was so lovely to sit on the riverbank and relax in the sunshine for half an hour. Hard to be stressed about anything when life is like that.

    Off 'shopping' today, to buy a really boring piece of equipment for work, which will take most of my working day as I can't get it online and the nearest appropriate shop is miles away, but need to be done. I am being naughty and meeting a friend for coffee near the shop, as I rarely see her due to location.

    Paid another few quid off the barclaycard yesterday. I am surprised how pleasing I find the little daily rounding down/spare budget payments, although I have to resist the temptation to make massive overpayments and leave myself short. I've paid an extra 59.85 off the Barclaycard this month, between the rounding down pot and extra income in. I'm still not quite sure how I'm going to reach the halfway point of debt repayment before the end of the month, but fingers crossed something comes up. 91 to go! I did have a client enquiry yesterday, so maybe that will come to something.

    Extension update: we are inching closer to a final design (I keep blithely knocking down walls and building new ones on the plans, but have been brought under control by DH and the architect), and have applied to build over the sewer, but are waiting for (a) the sewer people and (b) the architect to do their next bits of work now. I'm hoping that we might be in a position to apply for planning permission/get builders quotes within the next two months, but no idea whether I'm being totally pie in the sky there.

    Toilet roll update (I know, you're all here because you want a peek at the glamorous reality of my life, aren't you?): you might remember we ordered toilet rolls from Who Gives A Crap a while back. Well we are finally reaching the end of the first box - we have 13 rolls left, so 35 rolls has lasted a shade under 12 weeks. I really don't know how that compares to previous toilet rolls we have used, but we are definitely changing the roll a lot less often than previously (they are 'double length' but the sheets are slightly smaller, so I wondered whether the DC would just use more, but apparently my fears were unfounded). I am definitely going to re-order, and now I know how quickly we use it I can set up a subscription, which will save a few quid. A friend also asked for a referral link and ordered, so I have a fiver off, which is rather exciting (this is the kind of thing I never remember to do). If anyone here wants a link, do let me know. For reference if anyone is thinking of setting up a subscription, we seem to be using about half what WGAC thinks a family our size should be - I think we will get 16 weeks out of our box full, which seems to be how long WGAC thinks a two person family should get out of a box, rather than a five person family. We are hygienic, I promise .

    To do yesterday
    1. Finish contract work for 28/5. Couldn't finish as was waiting for an answer from someone else, but did what I could.
    2. Take social media pictures for the week.
    3. Post H&M return (clothes for DCs that were ill fitting/not needed).
    4. Post birthday cards to god child and friend.
    5. (after work) plant potatoes. So late! Arghhhhhh somebody make me do this today.
    6. Spend an hour on smaller business. Sorry smaller business, you fell by the wayside again.
    7. (after work) pedicure. As did my pedicure, but I am having a day off yoga today and am going to do it shortly.

    A short work to do list today as I'm not sure how much time I'll have after going to the shop, but a few non-work things to do this evening. Am still managing to avoid doing housework during work hours, but my goodness it's a struggle. Amazed at how habitual it had become (again - I seem to go through this every few months), and how much it had become a way to avoid the less exciting bits of work.

    To do today
    1. (Before work) pedicure.
    2. (Before work) order natural rubber washing up gloves to try.
    3. Shop for work equipment. Don't get distracted and buy unnecessary stuff!
    4. Plan a blog post for my website.
    5. Email back client enquiry.
    6. (After work) plant potatoes.

    Mini goals:
    - 24.96/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,409.38/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.74 daily earning goal.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 15-05-2018 at 5:36 AM.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 15th May 18, 9:34 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 224 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hi TOPM

    I have spent the past couple of weeks dipping in and out of your diary and I have finally read it from start to finish. And what a read it was.

    It's just so real and that's what makes it so inspiring. You are on a journey with bumps in the road but the view is pretty good from here. I love the fact that you embrace problems as they come and adjust your sail. I love reading about your little adventures, holidays, DC antics, Washing up bowls.

    You have come so far since the start you should be so proud of yourself.

    Take care
    SM
    Debt at LBM (01/01/18) 17,937.19
    current Debt (01/05/18) 14,331.20
    20.1% gone forever
    DFD 12/09/19
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 15th May 18, 7:51 PM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,606 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Love the toilet-roll usage analysis. Only you TOPM! Now for those potatoes - you won't regret it when you have yummy home-grown ones in a few weeks' time.
    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
    • lindez
    • By lindez 15th May 18, 10:19 PM
    • 65 Posts
    • 243 Thanks
    lindez
    Hi TOPM I have read your diary from start to finish it has taken a couple of weeks to read. What great steps you have made congratulations. Your diary has given me inspiration so thank you for that. I have subscribed and look forward to more achievements from you. Well don x
    The "Save 12k in 2018 my target 2000: 26.00 to date
    Payment A Day Chapter 18:
    MFWB#44 YTD 74.00OP/65860.00
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 16th May 18, 4:59 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 66: Day 3

    Another glorious day yesterday, it's so lovely living where we do when the weather is agreeable. Did plenty of walking when I could fit it in, dropping DCs to clubs on foot and lingering on the walk home to make the most of the sunshine.

    Hi Lindez and Starmummy, lovely to have you both along for the ride! I occasionally think about going back and re-reading my diary, but I'm not sure I can take the trauma of reading how bad it was in the beginning .

    Suffolklass the potatoes are in! Next job is to set up the last couple of pots and plant some of the random assortment of seeds I have accumulated - mostly salad or chard type things.

    Lots to try to get done today. I am really settling into trying to divide work and home time, and although the only tangible reward I'm seeing so far is a 3% increase in social media followers (social media posting for work is always the first thing to slip when I over-commit myself) I'm feeling much more focused, and more able to get on with house jobs in the evening as I'm not totally frazzled from trying to fit everything in the universe in between 9:30am and 2:30pm.

    To do yesterday
    1. (Before work) pedicure.
    2. (Before work) order natural rubber washing up gloves to try. Both 'before work' jobs fell by the wayside when i realised I needed to make flapjacks and savoury muffins for packed lunches before 8:30am.
    3. Shop for work equipment. Don't get distracted and buy unnecessary stuff! Success! I have to confess that I did spent a frivolous fiver on a nice bowl as I met my friend for coffee in ikea afterwards. At least there was some money in the 'house stuff' budget to cover it.
    4. Plan a blog post for my website.
    5. Email back client enquiry.
    6. (After work) plant potatoes.


    To to today
    1. (Before work) pedicure.
    2. (Before work) order rubber gloves.
    3. Blog post for website.
    4. Check contract work for next week.
    5. Finish contract work for 28/5.
    6. (After work) make something else for packed lunches.
    7. Do a coupe of laundry loads throughout the day.

    Mini goals:
    - 26.32/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,409.38/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.86 daily earning goal.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 16th May 18, 10:24 PM
    • 26 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Great read as always, you seem so organised!

    Interested in how you organise your food shops....I think this is one area we can seriously improve on. I am starting on the meal planning etc. but how do you manage with a fortnightly big shop - any tips gratefully received!!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 17th May 18, 6:27 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 66: Day 3

    Almost the weekend, we can do it people! We are visiting friends again. We have a few weeks at home after this weekend (although we might go camping in half term), and I think we'll really value it after a few busy weeks.

    Gemsy81 I don't do anything terribly clever. I force myself to sit down and menu plan for two weeks instead of one, then I write a big list of everything I'll need for the two weeks. I then put anything perishable (fruit/veg/dairy) for week two into a separate list, so it hasn't all gone off by the time we get there. Anything that runs out during week 1 unexpectedly gets added to that list too. I look in the freezer/cupboards when menu planning to see what leftovers there are from the previous fortnight and include those in the plan too. It takes longer than a single week's menu plan/food shop, but not twice as long, and the best bit is not having to do the big supermarket schlep every week - I tend to either do a quick Aldi run or top up from shops in town for the second week, depending on how much we need. It isn't, however, working out any cheaper.

    Feeling a bit bleurgh about finances today. I was chatting to my mum the other week and she mentioned in passing that she doesn't really think about any purchases under about 50, as she knows her budget can absorb them. It struck me, and has stayed with me, that I can't 'not think about' a single darn purchase, not even of a few pounds. I have thrown my budget into disarray this month by buying a book which was a complete indulgence (my absolute favourite childhood book, no longer printed, I found it in good condition second hand on amazon for 22) and actually my budget doesn't have 22 of flex in it. I used up the remaining 10 in my personal kitty, and had to use 12 of my emergency fund to cover the rest. I know it's a result of our actions in the past and needing to do the extension etc etc, but it is a bit depressing that I can't even spare enough for a special book to give to the DCs without having to juggle and balance things again. I'm not sure, realistically, that there will ever be a time, certainly not in the next half decade or more, when that isn't the case, and I find that a bit of a bleak thought. We work so hard, and still have to scrabble around to cover a 20 book. Humph. I'll get over it shortly, it's just irritated me this morning for some reason.

    I am going to email the architect this morning - I feel like we need a schedule in place, as I could just see us drifting on until September before we apply for planning, at his current rate of progress. I really want to finalise the design so we can get on with the quantity surveying and start getting builders to quote on it. I have the drain people coming to look at the sewer today to give the go ahead (or otherwise ) for the entire extension.

    To do yesterday
    1. (Before work) pedicure. This is clearly never going to happen. I will have ugly feet forever .
    2. (Before work) order rubber gloves.
    3. Blog post for website.
    4. Check contract work for next week.

    5. Finish contract work for 28/5. Progress made, but not finished.
    6. (After work) make something else for packed lunches.
    7. Do a coupe of laundry loads throughout the day. It drizzled all day, so nothing doing on this front. I did clear some ironing in the evening though.

    To do today
    1. Publish blog post after a quick check through.
    2. Social media post.
    3. Top up food shop for anything we need to take this weekend.
    4. Finish contract work for 28/5.
    5. Email architect.

    Mini goals:
    - 28.67/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,411.73/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 27.95 daily earning goal (this is inching up again!).
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 17th May 18, 7:32 AM
    • 7,280 Posts
    • 54,786 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Fingers crossed for the drain people giving the go-ahead.
    NST May #1; NSD 14/19 ; Ex 17/20 ; craft 3/30 (66); remove 31 (402)
    2018 Pay off: 1626; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage 21,422 (01/14: 78,201; 01/15: 59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 17th May 18, 4:11 PM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Sewer men very noncommittal, so need to wait until I hear back from the water company. I will be on tenterhooks until we hear!

    DH has got held up at work so I am flying solo this evening, which is tedious as it's swimming night and we usually divide and conquer. Send me the strength not to buy sweets to pacify my children...
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th May 18, 8:13 PM
    • 1,701 Posts
    • 9,175 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I have thrown my budget into disarray this month by buying a book which was a complete indulgence (my absolute favourite childhood book, no longer printed, I found it in good condition second hand on amazon for 22) and actually my budget doesn't have 22 of flex in it. I used up the remaining 10 in my personal kitty, and had to use 12 of my emergency fund to cover the rest. I know it's a result of our actions in the past and needing to do the extension etc etc, but it is a bit depressing that I can't even spare enough for a special book to give to the DCs without having to juggle and balance things again.
    Originally posted by Treadingonplaymobil
    Could this not come out of the gifts budget? Either as a gift for the children or perhaps your Mum would buy it off you to give back to you at Christmas ('Mum, I found this book that I'd love to have again... ') as a memento of your childhood? You could still read it to the children.
    MFW #30 Paid off 1,622.77/3770 as of 4/5/18
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 18th May 18, 6:00 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 66: Day 5

    Wasn't feeling my yoga this morning so have come out for an early morning leg stretch instead. The birds are super noisy, and it feels like another sunny day ahead.

    Re the book - I could change the category (although the birthday pot is also fairly empty this month, after two god children's and my best friend's birthday) - but my irritation is really at not even having that much available to fritter away if I want. I know that having it to spend in the past was an illusion, but I do sometimes look at how long it will be before we have the freedom to spend even just 20 and get a bit of a sinking feeling.

    Anyway, on to cheerier matters. I managed to publish a blog post on my own website yesterday for the first time in months, and have been doing at least one social media post a day. Progress is always going to be slow here because as long as it's not earning me money it has to be a side project, but my follower count has gone up 5% so far this month (my aim is a minimum of 10% growth a month, ideally more, but I only started focusing on it again a little over a week ago). I am particularly keen to keep it rolling as it's going to be impossible for me to see clients in the house while the extension work is on, so my income from that will inevitably drop for 2019, although I can see the clients who want me to travel to them, and my usual contract work will hopefully continue.

    DH got a letter yesterday saying he had overpaid his loan and needs to phone to reclaim his money. It will probably be about 2.67, but hey, free money. No complaints here.

    To do yesterday
    1. Publish blog post after a quick check through.
    2. Social media post.

    3. Top up food shop for anything we need to take this weekend. Going for a make do and mend approach - will do some baking today with what we have in the house.
    4. Finish contract work for 28/5. Still not done, hoping to finish today so I continue to inch ahead of my schedule with this.
    5. Email architect. Done, hoping he responds soon as I really want to get on track with a schedule - spoke to a friend yesterday who is married to a builder who said they are already booked up for next spring, so it looks like my initial concerns of needing to book a year ahead we're true. Wish I hadn't been lulled into a sense of security by the architect.

    To do today
    1. Bake biscuits for playdate this morning.
    2. Bake something to take this weekend.
    3. Packing list/pack for weekend.
    4. Finish contract work for 28/5
    5. Tidy house a bit!

    Mini goals:
    - 28.67/30 May rounding down pot.
    - 2,411.73/5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - 28.07 daily earning goal.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 18th May 18, 11:37 AM
    • 1,581 Posts
    • 15,346 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Ooh, how exciting. Apparently DH is owed 285. I'll wait until it comes in before getting too excited (just in case someone got a decimal place wrong and it's 28.50 ), but it will really help this month's goals if it's right.
    67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: 38,608 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/173,282 mortgage = 231,890
    debt on 13th May 2018: 13,648.58 unsecured debt/20,000 parental loan/192,680.11 mortgage = 226,328.69
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