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    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 12th Feb 17, 9:56 AM
    • 1,692Posts
    • 17,473Thanks
    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
    • 1,090 Posts
    • 5,420 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
    • 2,077 Posts
    • 21,803 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 94.29% after Q10 ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after August 78.83% 7,883.47/10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,530.09/3,000 including stores 51% of my annual budget at the end of August.
    My DFD is here
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 15th Sep 18, 7:47 PM
    • 1,090 Posts
    • 5,420 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
    • 1,692 Posts
    • 17,473 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
    • 1,692 Posts
    • 17,473 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
    • 1,692 Posts
    • 17,473 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
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