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  • FIRST POST
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,766Posts
    • 18,187Thanks
    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 186
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 15th Sep 18, 1:30 PM
    • 1,143 Posts
    • 5,677 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    Really enjoyed reading your diary over the past few weeks... I've often wanted to answer your questions but was so far behind I knew you would have moved onto the next topic. Why don't you stop writing lists? Let things get done organically School/laundry/food happens daily that's embedded, have a list for the unusual not the norm. May take a bit of pressure off.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed your car keeps behaving itself. We run an old corsa Y reg (was my mums) and a 2010 207. My petrol costs halved when I changed cars a few years ago. My OH constantly complains his petrol costs are vast compared to mine. I would love to replace mine and pass it to him, but for now the high fuel is a trade off for a free car. A newer smaller car my well be more cost effective for fuel efficiency for you. (similar to Suffolk lass's thoughts)
    Mortgage restart June 2018 £119950
    zero personal cc
    6x166 for sofas ending November 2018
    £2500 on DD1s car cc
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 15th Sep 18, 2:56 PM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,573 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    We are looking to replace DH's commuting car when he retires next summer. I am currently looking at an electric car with £0 Vehicle excise duty (road fund tax) and that I can charge from a few solar panels on my garage roof.

    I do also want a couple of solar panels so I can heat the growing-tunnel I am planning to grow lots of my own (beyond our current allotment sized veg garden).
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 15-09-2018 at 3:14 PM.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of £60k balance
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 83.33% £9,999.70/£12,000 (after upping my target from £10k to £12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent £1,696.43/£3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 15th Sep 18, 7:47 PM
    • 1,143 Posts
    • 5,677 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    I would love electric car and solar panels... for now with house renovations first just out of reach... for now
    Mortgage restart June 2018 £119950
    zero personal cc
    6x166 for sofas ending November 2018
    £2500 on DD1s car cc
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 16th Sep 18, 8:26 PM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 83: Day 7

    Just popping in for a quick end-of-the-weekend update! DC1 loved his party, and it was mega cheap, only £24 for the night's camping, plus £6 on fish and chips for DC3 and me when we went home and left the boys to it. Really lovely weekend, and lovely to be less busy.

    Have managed to keep my list for the coming week as minimal as possible, as DC3 is still on part time hours - only one more week though, then she'll be up to full time, for which I cannot wait. Had a really good chat with my life coaching buddy and am feeling a bit clearer about keeping my tasks more manageable.

    Moneyfordreams I used to not do lists. It wasn't pretty. Honestly, I am naturally so scatty, that really essential stuff like laundry and food prep just doesn't happen if I don't schedule it out. And the house ends up in a total pigsty and I end up even more stressed and pulling all nighters to get things done that didn't get done because I got totally immersed in a creative project. Not a good way to live with three DC.

    Minor interesting news with DH's work - there is some prospect of a promotion/pay rise, but with it more of a travelling commitment too, so effectively the pay rise needs to be good enough to stop me needing to earn nearly as much, as it would make life much harder for me.

    The weekly 1hr family clean continues to be a big success, and does really make the house much nicer. We almost ran out of stuff to do this week!

    To do this week
    1. Sort the car!!!
    2. Phone the potential extension drawing chap who replied to my enquiry email last week.
    3. Find at least one other extension drawing person to get a quote from.

    4. Chase first builder for a quote.
    5. DH to phone another builder for a quote. This isn't going to happen until next week as DH is so busy at work.
    6. Contract work for next week.
    7. Contract work for the following week.
    8. Make cake etc for DC1 birthday party.
    9. Stick to social media schedule for work.
    10. Pack orders for smaller business.
    11. Make some packed lunch supplies - quiche, savoury muffins etc.

    12. Piece of work for client A.
    13. Piece of work for client B.
    14. Life coaching check in.
    15. Swim club subs.
    16. Snack subs for DC3.
    17. Clear the ironing mountain.
    18. Order trainers and another pair of school trousers for DC2 (why do they keep growing?!). Have found a pair of DC1's old trousers that will do, so just trainers needed.
    19. Top up fruit and veg shop.
    20. Contemplate the upside of the house/car/work stress, which has meant losing 2lb over the past week. If I can keep the stress levels up my 'how do I lose weight?' crisis may be averted .

    September money goals:
    - £10.68/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,766.98/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income needed for October.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 17-09-2018 at 5:22 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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 17th Sep 18, 5:40 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 84: Day 1

    Morning! Here I am, twice in 12 hours . It would just be wrong not to do a 'new week, hurrah' post, right?

    I have a third potential replacement architect coming round for a chat today, and when he's quoted we'll be able to make a decision on which one to go with and I can take a break from thinking about the extension for a few days - until I need to find a structural engineer, at least! I'm fairly sure I've decided which of the architect replacements to go for, but I feel I ought to get a quote from today's guy just in case.

    DH has loads of travelling coming up (at the moment he is essentially acting up into the role his work want to promote him into), so it's going to be a tough few weeks in terms of DC logistics. Luckily he is able to keep claiming overtime, so I am trying not to stress too much about my income sliding during these times. Obviously I don't want to stop earning completely, but with DC3 only in school for three hours a day and DH not here in the evenings more often than not, it's just physically not possible for me to keep earning at a decent rate.

    Astonishingly, the budget is actually on track this month - we haven't really overspent on anything. I'm going to need to buy a little bit more food before we're into next week's segment of the food kitty, but hopefully that will even out, as I still have £270 left in the food budget for only a fortnight left in the month.

    In the face of DC3's ongoing part time hours I've tried really hard to be realistic about my list for this week and keep it only to the things that, barring major disasters, I should be able to achieve. I am loving the online food shopping delivery and am definitely going to keep doing it fortnightly once the discount codes run out with top up fruit and veg shops every week (I don't get fruit and veg or meat from the supermarket as they all come in plastic when you get them delivered). It means that I have time for the 'nice' bit of the shop (topping up the plastic free stuff in town), and the boring bit just shows up without me making much effort.

    To do this week
    1. Make a decision on architect replacement.
    2. Batch cook bolognese.
    3. Batch cook macaroni cheese.
    4. Send birthday cards to three relatives.
    5. Order trainers for DC2.
    6. Top up fruit and veg shop.
    7. Clean house for relatives visiting this weekend.
    8. Three social media posts.
    9. Contract work for next week.
    10. DH chase builder and phone another builder for a quote.

    September money goals:
    - £13.85/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,766.98/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 19th Sep 18, 5:39 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 84: Day 3

    Morning! Halfway through the week with my minimal to do list, and although it's frustrating not getting loads and loads of stuff done, it's lovely not to be so stressed every single day with not completing my list.

    I really liked the architect who came round on Monday - he is the new front runner, but I need to wait for his quote to come in before I decide for definite. Fingers crossed.

    DC3 is doing so well at school, but is exhausted in the evenings - I can see that she really would have struggled going straight to full time, so although it's annoying I'm a bit less irritated about the interminable part time hours.

    I went for a walk yesterday and found an amazing community orchard that someone mentioned in passing to me years ago. Absolutely laden, and largely un-picked, apples falling and rotting. I picked a handful of apples and am going to go back today for some more - I've been wanting to make some apple chutney and it always seems a waste to use my mum's delicious eating apples for it, so I'm going to use some of the ones from the orchard. Might prep and freeze some apples for crumble too. There are a couple that are clearly really late cropping too, so hopefully they will keep coming for a while.

    The budget continues to be vaguely on track. It's been a bit of a drip drip of food spends this week, and a food shop over the weekend I'd forgotten to input which cleared yesterday so that budget hasn't gone as well as expected, but there's still plenty to get through till the end of the month as long as we're not totally frivolous. The freezer is still pretty full too. Need to get a big lamb shoulder or something for the weekend which will use up a chunk of next week's pot.

    I sorted out my clothes yesterday. Now that I understand my previous ridiculous skincare/make up spending, as discussed at length a few weeks ago, I understand why, despite spending a lot in my 'clothes/skincare/makeup/haircare' pot, I perpetually have no clothes. I have clamped down big time on the skincare spending - I filled an online basket of stuff I 'needed' a week or two ago, then emptied it all bar the moisturiser that I actually needed to get to replace a virtually empty one - I could easily have spent £200+ if I hadn't talked myself down. And the old moisturiser is still limping on, so I haven't even needed to open the new one yet. Anyway, the clothes. I boxed up everything that was holey/really worn out/too small (I am a stone heavier than I was a year ago, and although I'm trying to lose it, I still barely fit into anything) and I am down to a truly ridiculous 24 items of clothing in total excluding sportswear and coats. By some miracle I've actually got my personal spends kitty still available this month, so I'm going to try to buy a new pair of jeans today, which should open up lots of outfit options (I don't actually have a pair of jeans that fit ). It's much harder trying to work out what to spend my money on now that my clothes budget is fixed rather than just an endless 10% of income, but it's definitely making me think a lot harder about what to spend it on. It's actually practicing what I preach to my clients too, which is a really good exercise for me professionally too.

    It did make me smile that I had so few clothes though - I read a lot online about Project 333 which is a popular minimalist exercise, and I don't actually currently own enough clothes to do it! If I've got even fewer clothes than the minimalists think is reasonable, I can see why I'm struggling to feel interesting .

    Right, up and at 'em

    To do this week
    1. Make a decision on architect replacement. Waiting for one final quote.
    2. Batch cook bolognese sauce. Haven't done this yet as had so many leftovers in the fridge and freezer to use up.
    3. Batch cook macaroni cheese. Ditto.
    4. Send birthday cards to three relatives.
    5. Order trainers for DC2.
    6. Top up fruit and veg shop.
    7. Clean house for relatives visiting this weekend.
    8. Three social media posts.
    9. Contract work for next week.
    10. DH chase builder and phone another builder for a quote.

    September money goals:
    - £15.27/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,766.98/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • WelshKitty85
    • By WelshKitty85 19th Sep 18, 8:10 AM
    • 860 Posts
    • 7,122 Thanks
    WelshKitty85
    We have a community orchard too. It's such a shame that so few people know about it/make use of it. I've got a bag full of apples ready to make spiced apple chutney, but need to collect some more apples and blackberries to make some pies and crumbles.

    You're doing so well and it's nice to hear you not feeling so stressed.
    Enough is enough...
    £29,603 (22/7/18) £22,906
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 19th Sep 18, 10:04 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    We have a community orchard too. It's such a shame that so few people know about it/make use of it. I've got a bag full of apples ready to make spiced apple chutney, but need to collect some more apples and blackberries to make some pies and crumbles.

    You're doing so well and it's nice to hear you not feeling so stressed.
    Originally posted by WelshKitty85
    It's nice not to be so stressed! I'm not 100% sure where money is going to keep coming from, but I'm trying to keep the faith - I know my contract work invoice at the end of this month will cover October, plus we have a big chunk from DH's overtime coming (around £500 I think). At the end of the day if we need to revisit the budget to keep me (us, really - DH has to pick up the slack when I get overwhelmed) mentally sound, that's what we have to do.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 19th Sep 18, 10:06 AM
    • 487 Posts
    • 2,234 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    I just want to say that you provide me with so much entertainment every morning because I always sit on the train on my morning commute trying to guess what it is that you do based on the hints you've given here and there
    Debt Totals November 2018::
    £350 Natwest Credit Card / Now £0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) £15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now £8,750 £500 train ticket loan from parents / Now £0 (paid off 16/02/18) £2,000 Overdraft Now £0 (paid off 09/03/18)
    • hugglemonster
    • By hugglemonster 20th Sep 18, 9:51 AM
    • 467 Posts
    • 2,047 Thanks
    hugglemonster
    DC1's birthday sounded fab, my kids love camping!

    Your mentioning about your clothes had me thinking about mine, I don't think I own 24 items of 'normal' clothes, I have tons of sports kit as it's my job but on a day that I want to look a bit different I struggle. Perhaps Santa will be kind this year.

    Good luck for getting the right architect for your family this time, must have been really frustrating.

    H x
    Debt:Overdraft 2 £2400 Credit card £2200 now £1650 Car - Purchased £11,518.40 now £6334.12 Barclays loan 3000 now £2673.96 Dad £300
    PAID - Computer £646.52, Overdraft 1 £2200
    Emergency fund: £10 General savings: £10
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 21st Sep 18, 5:47 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 84: Day 5

    Morning team! There is a team, right? I'm not here by myself at 5:30am?

    Had a long chat with DH last night and we've decided to go for the architectural technician/technologist who quoted last week rather than Monday's architect (barring a couple of points that need checking, but assuming they are fine). The technician was cheaper overall, and his hourly rate is lower (and he isn't VAT registered) so any additional work he needs to do will be cheaper too. I also got the impression he was very straightforward and would just get the work done which will be nice after the drama with the previous chap. The architects would be great if we wanted to explore more design options, but actually we've got a design - yes there might be a few minor improvements to be made, but we could keep chucking money at this design phase indefinitely, and at the end of the day we're talking about a £200k house, not a £1m mansion.

    The builder we really like has also promised to submit a quote by Monday, which will give us a baseline to start working from, which I'm really excited about - will be so good to have more information to work with.

    In more MS news, I went back to the community orchard yesterday and filled another bag, having already used up the apples I picked the other day! I'm going to turn this lot into crumble, chutney and frozen portions of stewed apple (we go through stewed apple at a rate of knots in the winter - the DCs have it most mornings with yoghurt or in baked oatmeal). I'm aiming to do similar once or twice more this year and really get as much as I can in the freezer.

    I also had a massive charity shop win yesterday. I have said before here that I never bother with them because I hardly ever find something, and the time isn't worth it. Well, I need a couple of pots to plant hyacinths/narcissi in for Christmas, so I decided to commit a little time each week to browsing charity shops for the rest of the month in the hope of finding a good pot or three, and yesterday, on only my second browsing session, I found a great table centrepiece china pot for narcissi AND a 100% cotton checked shirt AND a 100% wool Jigsaw dress in perfect condition. I was so pleased with myself - they aren't 'this'll do' type pieces, I genuinely really like them. So giving myself more time during the week has actually, for once, actually paid off in terms of money saved. I have been so desperate for new clothes since my big wardrobe sort out the other day (well, since before that, but that made it clear why I needed new stuff!), and I feel like I have had a bit of a wardrobe refresh with really good quality stuff, for only £20.

    Other clothes news - I emailed to complain about a work dress I bought in July that has split at the seam. I can mend it but am annoyed that it split after only maybe six wears, and after a bit of an attempt to fob me off with a partial refund, they gave me a full refund and let me keep the dress. So I was able to also buy new jeans yesterday for 'free' with the refunded money. So I've basically doubled my clothing options since Monday, for a tiny outlay.

    More spendily, I've spent some of my business account savings on some stock for the new way I want my business to move. It's a wrench to actually invest any money in it (we're talking <£250 here, not millions) as I hate taking any financial risk in my business (totally unlike my general spending habits!), but I've got to give it a go to see whether it's a realistic prospect for me to develop. It feels good to be moving forward with something that will move me away from my last bit of client facing work, which long term readers will know is a big goal for me.

    Debt busting news - I'm on the countdown to the end of the month now, as I always am by about this stage. We're within a couple of hundred pounds of the next thousand barrier on the CC debts, so I'm looking forward to getting to the 1st and paying a chunk off - we'll be under the £12k barrier with the CC debt in October, which is amazing (still the parental loan and the loan consolidated into the mortgage outstanding, lest anything think we've paid £50k off our debt recently ). I'm pleased with the way the debt is trickling down. While it's not disappearing at an amazing rate, I'm just happy each month to see that the number is lower than the previous month. Our budget pots are looking ok, despite me indulging in buying flowers the other day and DH having a missing £30 in his expenses claim (presumably a receipt that got lost in transit somewhere ). I knew this would happen with such a big claim, he is too scatty to build up big deficits like he did recently. He can submit online and scan receipts on his phone, so I'm going to ask him to submit more or less daily while away in future so this sort of thing doesn't happen again.

    On the subject of finances, I think we should probably take a moment here to also celebrate the fact that my car hasn't broken down for almost two weeks now .

    Right, I'm off to do a little knitting before the DCs wake up - I am loving these little pockets of free time I'm getting with the smaller to do lists. I really really must make sure I keep this up. I'm still not sure what the financial implications of pushing myself less hard will be long term, but the benefits for us as a family and me individually of me being less frazzled and stressed are huge.

    To do this week
    1. Make a decision on architect replacement.
    2. Batch cook bolognese sauce. Haven't done this yet as had so many leftovers in the fridge and freezer to use up.
    3. Batch cook macaroni cheese. Ditto.
    4. Send birthday cards to three relatives.
    5. Order trainers for DC2.
    6. Top up fruit and veg shop.
    7. Clean house for relatives visiting this weekend.
    8. Three social media posts. Two down, one to go!
    9. Contract work for next week. Last few minutes needed to finish off this morning.
    10. DH chase builder and phone another builder for a quote.

    September money goals:
    - £17.17/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,766.98/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
  • archived user
    Well done on getting some new clothes for £20! I rarely go into charity shops as Iím never near any, but I do stalk eBay a lot for specific brands. So many on there that still have the labels on! Only thing with eBay is you have to pay for postage, but by the time I drive to my town centre and pay for parking it probably costs the same!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 21st Sep 18, 8:28 AM
    • 7,288 Posts
    • 16,016 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Lots of positives in your post TOPM. Good result on clothes outlay, no car repairs and credit card debt soon to be below £12k. Hope architect quote is ok. I agree that the architect technician seems to be the way to go if you have already decided on design.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 21st Sep 18, 9:34 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,573 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Well done! I felt really proud of you (in my self-appointed role as your diary-nag), that you are not engaging a new architect. You really should not need one.

    Regarding apples - have you tried making juice from windfalls? I do them with a couple of carrots and a little lemon juice, just to stop the juice discolouring. It does not keep well unless you use campden tablets and effectively pasteurise to preserve it - but a great juice for autumn. I am hoping you have a food processor (I sadly, have a whole juicer!) - just mangle them all together and put through a nylon sieve with a few weights on top to press the juice out. Practically free!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of £60k balance
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 83.33% £9,999.70/£12,000 (after upping my target from £10k to £12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent £1,696.43/£3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 21st Sep 18, 4:19 PM
    • 1,033 Posts
    • 2,425 Thanks
    Kitten868
    Saying the naughtiest thing ever but what about keeping the car so you can trade it in for an electric car - you'd get way more for scrappage then you would selling it. Not saying do it now but to keep in mind as it could give you like 8k off a new electric car and I know you like being responsible.
    Stop beating yourself up - she's nearly finished on half days and then you can get back to trying to work out what you want your routine to be. 4 days work/1 day house or 1 hour house rest of day work. Whatever it is. I have to do it again next year. Ughhhhhhh. Nearly there!
    Loan 1 £5400/£8000
    Loan 2 £3400/£5800
    Total £8800/£13800 36% PAID

    And CC £1475/1900
    • foxgloves
    • By foxgloves 22nd Sep 18, 5:54 PM
    • 4,405 Posts
    • 23,510 Thanks
    foxgloves
    Fab charity shop finds. I love treasure hunting in charity shops. Yes, 'treasure' is rare....mostly there is nothing I want. Then just occasionally, I find something lovely - most recently, a beautiful purple velvet coat from 'White Stuff', lined with contrasting patterned fabric. Perfect condition except for one loose button. As I said in my dfw diary post, I do hope that wasn't the reason some non-sewing person got rid of it, because it was a very tiny, super-easy job. But hey! Their loss, my gain! Great coat....makes my struggling waist look smaller than it really is, so double win!
    Money can't jump out of your purse on its own so ask 'Can I borrow one, make one, grow one, bake one, re-purpose or recycle, acquire it for free?' Yes? Then put that purse away & keep your money because little savings grow!
    Loan pay-down fund instalment 2 = £470-01
    Payment received from surveys: 2015 = £320 2016 = £210 2017 = £304 2018 = £403
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 23rd Sep 18, 6:59 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 84: Day 7

    Last day of the week! Having a lovely weekend with a nice relative to stay. Hasn't been remotely spendy as the weather has been dire, but I did have ANOTHER charity shop win yesterday, although not for myself - I spotted a Disney fancy dress outfit that DC3 has been desperate for for aaaaaages for £3, and she spent her pocket money on it. Her excitement was so sweet. Foxgloves your coat win sounds excellent!

    Lots of nice food bought for the weekend means only £50 left in the food budget for this month, but we had a food shop delivered on Friday and have SO MUCH FOOD in the house, so I think that should be perfectly doable. The only thing I think we might possibly need is some seeds for making granola, and maybe some fruit and veg later in the week.

    Suffolk lass I hadn't thought of juice! Will have to try that with next week's haul. Was hoping to go again today but the weather is fairly grim.

    Kitten868 I would love to get an electric car but (a) there is no way we could cope with the pressure of another monthly outgoing commitment. At the end of the day if the car gives up we can choose to scrap it rather than keep forking out for fixing it, and can even choose whether or not to save for a replacement, whereas the commitment to a finance scheme might kill us. Also (b) we don't have off street parking so charging an electric would be a nightmare and it would need charging virtually daily for DH's long commute - we will get a hybrid or a super-efficient petrol one next time.

    I'm definitely on countdown till the end of the month, waiting to see how much DH gets paid on Thursday. Negotiations for his promotion/pay rise are just beginning, so I guess it will be a couple of weeks before we even know what he might get, but we're hoping for a nice surprise while preparing for more work for not a lot more money.

    To do this week
    1. Make a decision on architect replacement.
    2. Batch cook bolognese sauce. Haven't done this yet as had so many leftovers in the fridge and freezer to use up.
    3. Batch cook macaroni cheese.
    4. Send birthday cards to three relatives.
    5. Order trainers for DC2.
    6. Top up fruit and veg shop.
    7. Clean house for relatives visiting this weekend.

    8. Three social media posts.
    9. Contract work for next week.
    10. DH chase builder and phone another builder for a quote.

    September money goals:
    - £18.43/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,812.12/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 24th Sep 18, 5:58 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 85: Day 1

    A new week! And so near to the end of the month. I am definitely on the countdown. DH gets paid on Thursday and I have no real handle on what the overtime will be. I'll be a bit disappointed if it's less than £500 as it feels like we didn't actually see him in August, but I couldn't be bothered to do the maths properly on the tax so I'm not sure exactly what it will be. I don't have enough in my business account yet for October's salary - my end of month invoicing will cover the remainder, but it's a shame not to be able to put that towards November's to get further ahead. Never mind, it is what it is.

    The budgets continue to look semi-healthy. Not loads left, but we should be ok to get to the end of the month without any problems unless there's some major drama. <TOPM eyes the car suspiciously>

    Kitten's diary has reminded me that I need to attempt turning the heating on this week - it seems to need a plumber every year to make it actually come on, so I'd better give it a try before it gets too cold. Our boiler is really old, but we'll get a new one put in when we get the extension done as it needs to be in a different location, so our current one really needs to limp on for one last winter.

    Off to visit a friend today who has moved into a new house. It's a bit of a trek away so I probably won't get much else done today while the DC are in school - DC3's first day of staying all day! DC1 was a bit poorly yesterday and I will exceptionally underwhelmed if he needs to stay off today, on this day I've been counting down to for years (erm, because of the full time school. I'm not that excited about my friend's new house ).

    This week is mainly going to be about preserving apples. My mum is coming down today and will bring a load, and I want to pop back to the community orchard to get some. I'm definitely going to make some chutney and prep some crumbles, but I'm thinking about trying some old fashioned canning too (poaching in syrup in jars in boiling water), maybe some apple amber that everyone seems to be discussing on here recently for pudding one night soon. And juicing it, which I'm quite intrigued by. We're all a little under the weather, so some apple/carrot/ginger/lemon juice might perk us all up a bit.

    This week marks the first of three or four weeks where DH is away for a good chunk of each week. He isn't being paid extra for being away unless he needs to do overtime while he's there (which he might one of the weeks), so there's all the hassle with no particular financial benefit (apart from the fact he won't be doing his long commute in the poor car, which costs about £8-9 a day plus the ongoing risk of it dying a sudden death). I really need to keep on top of the house, packed lunch prep etc, or I'm going to end up in a complete state, so I'm trying to keep my ambitions with work as low as possible over the next few weeks.

    To do this week
    1. Arrange architect replacement to come for a meeting and start work.
    2. Menu plan for the week, using up what's in the house already as far as possible.
    3. Make chutney (some of this will be for Christmas gift hampers, some for us).
    4. Stew and freeze apples.
    5. Can/juice/do whatever I can think of with the remaining apples.
    6. Contract work for next week.
    7. Make granola.
    8. Check the present box for a suitable present for DC1's friend's party this weekend (must order something if not - the first test of having a ready to go box of cheap presents!).
    9. Check renewal date of home insurance.
    10. Check renewal date of car insurance.
    11. Plant bulbs for Christmas.
    12. Plan any homemade gifts to make for Christmas.
    13. Order essential oils for candles.

    September money goals:
    - £18.43/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,812.12/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    £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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
    • Spendy Spenderson
    • By Spendy Spenderson 25th Sep 18, 11:01 PM
    • 11 Posts
    • 58 Thanks
    Spendy Spenderson
    "I'm not really sure what the solution is to the busyness, as I look at my list and don't see anything that could be reasonable cut (ok, apart from some of the really deranged cooking from scratch, like homemade frozen chips, but that was only because my mum gave me 10kg of potatoes and I needed to do something with them! ).

    I want to lower my expectations of myself each day, but then I look at the things that need doing and I'm not sure how to manage that -what can I actually stop doing that won't have a material impact on our lives?"



    Hi TOPM,

    Delurking because reading the above, I just had to share a Ted Talk I listened to yesterday on 'steps to multiply your time'. Of course there are only so many minutes in the day and you can't truly multiply them BUT success often depends on knowing how to focus our time, so as to get the biggest return. Most people concentrate on whatís most important and/or urgent, but this says thereís a third factor of *significance* that needs to be considered. I think taking this into account may help with the key question you posed of "what can I actually stop doing that won't have a material impact on our lives?"


    It also prompts you to think about the real result of always saying 'Yes' to people and plans. For example, it's easy to think that by saying Yes, one is never saying No. But in reality we are - we are saying No to ourselves. Our own priorities, our own downtime, our own balance etc etc. Definitely worth keeping in mind I think.


    Anyway just wanted to share this with you and maybe it's worth prioritizing the significance of the 18 minutes it'll take to listen to the Ted Talk (that sentence will make more sense after you've watched it ;-). It won't allow me to post a link so if you're interested just google "How To Multiply Your Time | Rory Vaden | TEDxDouglasville" and you should find it.



    Carry on, you're doing great!

    Spendy
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 26th Sep 18, 5:18 AM
    • 1,766 Posts
    • 18,187 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Week 85: Day 3

    And just like that, we're on Wednesday.

    Work
    Had a good day's work at the place I do contract work for yesterday, and we discussed some plans to increase my hours there slightly at some stage in the next couple of months. This all feeds into my long term goal to stop being client facing. They are happy to have me more and I love the work, it's the logistics of working there that are a challenge (as I need childcare those days). I'm going to try to put together some sort of proposal in the coming week or so and see how they react to it. If it comes off it means I can look at no longer being client facing from perhaps spring 2019, rather than early 2020. No guarantees though, just depends how things pan out.

    October money
    DH's salary is pending, and it's a whopping £700 extra due to all the overtime, which is amazing. He has specifically requested that some of it go on particular things, so I've split it up, taking his wishes into account:
    £200 on 'holidays' - he wants to fly to see his grandmother in Ireland, as he hasn't seen her for 18 months and she's 95. He will take just one of the DCs with him, as he did last time.
    £40 my kitty
    £40 his kitty
    £150 extension
    £50 family kitty
    £120 balancing the car pot (I know I said I wouldn't, but I can't cope with the negative YNAB number )
    £100 debt

    I know it's not as satisfying as chucking the entire amount at the debt or the extension, but he was absolutely clear that he wanted some of it to go towards extra funds for us as a family, as well as seeing his grandmother (who could of course leave us at any moment, given her age).

    That's probably the last massive chunk of overtime, but next month there should be odd dribs and drabs, which is great. Fingers crossed it continues until he gets an official pay rise.

    Extension
    We've finally had the first outline quote in for the extension, from the builder we particularly like, and it's at the higher end of what we'd hoped (£60k excluding kitchen and bathroom, although including fitting of both. Also doesn't include things like internal doors, fittings and fixtures etc), so it really means we're looking at well over £80k all in, without a contingency fund. We can split the project up into smaller ones, but that obviously has the knock on effect that we're living on a building site for the foreseeable future. I'm going to chat to the mortgage broker and my mum (who is giving us a mortgage from her savings, as it were, for a chunk of it) and see how manageable that sort of number seems. It's the number I've had kicking around my head, but I'd been hoping it would come in lower.

    Today
    I'm looking forward to today - I'm going to a nearby town with my mum to look at a kitchen shop for inspiration, and going to a cafe for coffee, as a thank you for all the childcare she's done (and to butter her up for future childcare if I can increase my contract work hours ). Also hoping to start processing some of the tons and tons of apples she's brought with her.

    Dinner should be nice today - I'm going to make a batch of bolognese with mince that's been in the freezer for a couple of weeks and I had forgotten about, bulked out with plenty of veg.

    Busyness
    Spendy Spenderson I'm definitely going to listen to that TED talk, thanks for the recommendation. I love TED talks, they can be so inspiring.

    I've really been keeping my to do list each day to a bare minimum (still quite a lot of stuff by most people's standards, perhaps, but much more manageable than it was) and I'm feeling so much more relaxed, creative, and able to think of solutions. It's amazing how freeing up that little bit of headspace has relieved the stress. I've no idea if I can maintain it and still do everything I want/need to do, but it's a nice place to be right now.

    To do this week
    1. Arrange architect replacement to come for a meeting and start work.
    2. Menu plan for the week, using up what's in the house already as far as possible.

    3. Make chutney (some of this will be for Christmas gift hampers, some for us).
    4. Stew and freeze apples.
    5. Can/juice/do whatever I can think of with the remaining apples.
    6. Contract work for next week.
    7. Make granola.
    8. Check the present box for a suitable present for DC1's friend's party this weekend (must order something if not - the first test of having a ready to go box of cheap presents!).

    9. Check renewal date of home insurance.
    10. Check renewal date of car insurance.
    11. Plant bulbs for Christmas.
    12. Plan any homemade gifts to make for Christmas.
    13. Order essential oils for candles.

    September money goals:
    - £18.43/30 September rounding down pot.
    - £3,812.12/£5,000 2018 debt repayment goal.
    - £664/864 income for October.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 26-09-2018 at 5:22 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 1st Sept 2018: £12,221.27 unsecured debt/£19,940 parental loan/£191,003.72 mortgage = £223,165
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