Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 21st Jul 17, 2:03 PM
    • 66Posts
    • 85Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    Third-Life Crisis
    • #1
    • 21st Jul 17, 2:03 PM
    Third-Life Crisis 21st Jul 17 at 2:03 PM
    Hi everyone,

    So it would appear I am having a third-life crisis.

    Although we've been aware of our massive debt for a long time (having been in debt since being offered my first credit card by the bank at 18) it has really hit home this week how much we owe and how long it's going to take to pay off. Throw in the looming 30th birthday, the ticking biological clock, the desire to travel and experience new things, the pressures of having a 'successful job', trying to keep in touch with family and friends, trying to maintain a clean and tidy house plus look after myself - ARGH.

    The running theme through all of these things is money and our lack of it.

    I have been a long time moneysaving lurker. Trying to do things to reduce our outgoings. I feel we're at a point where we can't reduce things anymore and actually the thing we need to take control of is our YOLO spending. Our attitude towards money has always been that 'You Only Live Once' and there's no point being 'the richest man in the graveyard' so enjoy life while you can. Unfortunately that has meant years of overspending to the point where we are now paying around 1500 towards debt each month. That 1500 could have been paying for holidays every month if we hadn't wasted so much money over the years. And I suppose by wasted I mean on throw away items and food.

    Anyway, having done our snowball last night and seeing another 5 years of paying 1500 towards debt each month, I decided this is the time to really take control and do something about it. No spending 20 in the Co-op when you only went in for milk. No buying clothes that really weren't needed (and probably rarely worn).

    I'll post our SOA asap and any help would be appreciated.

    That's all for now.
Page 7
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 8th Apr 18, 6:01 PM
    • 1,215 Posts
    • 5,567 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    I definitely think you are at the 'turning of the tanker' stage, so not adding to your debt, keeping to a budget and saving up an emergency fund have to be your first steps.

    The only part of your plan I disagree with is the use of the word 'try' at the start of stick within budgets/pots in months 4-9, this isn't a try, it's a must. You cannot afford to overspend.

    Maternity leave can be as expensive or as cheap as you make it.but you will spend something, just keeping yourself sane. For the first 6 months it's coffee shops and 'mum' places, don't waste money on soft play centres, toddler groups and baby 'lessons' the only exception to this may be swimming, but it doesn't need to be the 13 a lesson private ones, council pools are fine, if baby is properly dressed for swimming.

    After 6 months ish, nice cafes are out and then it's the children's centre and local church toddler groups, you may, if the budget allows, start to do one 'paid for' activity, but anymore than that isn't necessary (in my opinion)
    Baby massage is great, but you don't need to pay anyone more than 50p/1 a session.

    Buy bundles of clothes from Facebook groups. In the first 9 months of his life my little one went from new born size to 12-18months, imagine the waste if I'd bought all those smaller sizes all brand new. We bought a couple of nice bits I each size (or we're given it) the rest were all hand me downs, on 10 a sack type clothes, even the new things were a certain supermarket that regularly has 25% off sales, even on the sale rack.

    If people keep suggesting going out places, get into the habit of invitingly people to yours first, they just need a change of scene and the company is as good a step going out for you.

    I hope your oh is now on board with the debt busting, otherwise the consequences of your overspending will just rumble on indefinitely. If he can do overtime now, suggest he does, you don't want him doing overtime when you have a newborn.

    Sorry. I sound harsh, but I'm trying to be helpful
    Wish.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1400ish/2,500
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 8th Apr 18, 7:39 PM
    • 1,474 Posts
    • 14,335 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Oh I so feel for you, having been through exactly the same thing! It's so rubbish when you realise exactly how far is ahead and how much there is to do.

    I can't exactly preach about what you should do - I do so many things that I 'shouldn't' according to received MSE wisdom, but I would encourage you to think carefully about whether just doing the minimum at this stage is the right decision. I know it doesn't feel like it, but life at the moment is easier than it's going to be any time in the next few years, or possibly ever again (I am assuming here that you are not suffering from something like Hyperemesis, in which case life will get a lot easier when you give birth, rather than harder!), especially if you might have more than one child. You are earning your full salary, you only have you and DH to look after, feed, clothe and entertain, and you have the 'new' factor of debt repayment - there is still probably stuff you can trim from your budget at this stage. Know your limits, don't go full throttle, but maybe consider going just that tiny bit further than the bare minimum at the beginning. Rather than three months living within your means and paying minimums, I would give yourselves one month, and start on overpayments in month 2. The overpaying isn't going to get any easier or less depressing, it's one of those eat the frog moments, and having done absolutely everything I could do avoid doing it myself, and can honestly say that I needed to eat the darn frog in order to see beyond it and start looking sideways at my debt and working out what our priorities really were, rather than what I thought they were or wanted them to be - mine are different from many MSE-ers, and yours may well be different again, but I really don't think it's possible to truly identify them until you've stripped everything away and felt the pain of making some serious repayments.

    I would also point out that while you may cope magnificently with parenthood, you might not. I completely and utterly didn't with my first, and our first few months were spent doing whatever it took to get through, and making anything more than minimum debt repayment would have been 100% beyond me. I needed daily little pick me ups - cafe trip, magazine, book, nice health food, whatever - just to keep me going for the endless hours of figuring out looking after a baby, and I have no doubt that ramping up my debt stress at that stage (by trying to make overpayments) would have pushed me over the edge into PND.

    We are also looking at a long term debt repayment plan (we will add to our debt significantly next year with an extension), so will be looking at 10 years plus of this performance, so I don't say any of the above lightly, and I know exactly how awful a huge debt figure feels. My current solution is to look at short term goals (getting below the next hundred barrier, or making 30 in overpayments in a month, or having a new thing to save for, or whatever) and just completely forget about the bigger picture beyond the occasional check in to make sure things are on track. But it might be that my motivator changes at some stage - I seem to come up with new schemes on pretty much a weekly basis in order to trick myself into keeping going, one way or another, and I think that's ok, as long as it keeps going.

    Having read that back, it is possibly the least positive and encouraging DFD post ever written, and I'm sorry, I know it sucks, I've been (still am) in your shoes.
    Last edited by Treadingonplaymobil; 08-04-2018 at 7:41 PM.
    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/DFD: 58,608.13/Dec 2026
    debt on 6th Apr 2018: 34,168.99/Feb 2026

    Mortgage = c.192,200
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 8th Apr 18, 10:51 PM
    • 6,254 Posts
    • 12,386 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you both for your thoughts.

    I've been pondering away all day and think perhaps we're trying to do everything at once and it's too much. Maybe we just need to focus on changing one or two things at a time? I thought maybe some long term planning might help and keeping track of key milestones:

    Months 0-3 (Apr-Jun)
    - Do not add to debt
    - Pay only minimum towards all debts
    - Track spending to work out where we're over spending/not allocating enough and adjust budget
    - Track OH income as it should go up a decent amount
    - Save 300pm for maternity leave

    Months 4-9 (Jul-Jan)
    - Maternity leave starts
    - Try to stick within budget/pots
    - Try to make overpayments towards debts (work out which to tackle first)
    - Continue saving 300pm for maternity leave

    Months 10-15 (Feb-Jul)
    - Full time maternity pay ends (manage on savings/SMP)
    - Work out plan for going back to work/childcare
    - Saving ends, add more to the emergency fund pot

    Months 16-21 (Aug-Jan)
    - Back to work
    - New budget needed
    - Mum paid off saving 100pm

    Months 22 onwards (Feb 2020 onwards)
    - Both loans paid off freeing up 725pm (403 Jan/322 May)
    - FIL paid off saving 100pm

    After doing some quick sums, paying the minimum on the credit cards only would take us nearly 8 years to pay them off!! So obviously we need to start overpaying as soon as possible but I think what's most important first is to stop adding to the debt and work out how to live within our means. Would everyone agree?
    Originally posted by Goingroundincircles
    Yes, I would agree that this is a way of moving forward. Paying the minimums, not adding to the debt and living within budget are all good first steps. If possible though I would set the payment just a few pounds over the minimums especially if you are paying interest and don't decrease as the balance goes down.
    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
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 8th Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    • 9,785 Posts
    • 61,152 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Hi I have been reading your story and you are doing well. Actually I too would suggest making just a little more than the minimum repayments, I think it improves your credit score so that in time you might be able to refinance at better interest rates.

    If you only pay the minimum then it looks as if you are struggling to keep up so you are less likely to get offered the better deals.

    And please do not put too much pressure on yourself when the baby comes. As others have said a first baby can be quite a culture shock and you never know how things will pan out, I had a poorly baby and also PND and it made sticking to a tight budget extremely difficult. You might need room to manoeuvre.

    Try not to think too much about the long haul, just break it down into interim goals.

    When my kids were small and we were struggling my husband got a bit disheartened, he was 34 and we were in debt and getting nowhere. We drew up a budget and set ourselves a target of being debt free by the time he was 40. We actually made it by the time he was 37. We found it hard going at first but after a while it just became easier and we were able to forge ahead.

    Pay a bit more now whilst you can, it will give you a head start and a bit of wriggle room for if things get difficult after the baby is born.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 08-04-2018 at 11:32 PM.
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 10th Apr 18, 12:47 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    Thank you so much for all of your thoughts. I'm about to leave the house to take the dog for more x-rays to see what's going and what to do next. Because the policy renewed in Jan we'll be covered again, up to a certain point! But I wanted to say thank you and that I really do appreciate all your comments. TOPM you're right - not everyone will always agree with our decisions and we have to do what we think is best for us, but it certainly helps to get some opinions first, you know just incase we're about to do something spectacularly stupid!

    A quick update; thanks to your advice I've set all our CC payments above the minimum. I rounded everything up to the nearest 5, so roughly 25 extra pm in total. This will also help with budgeting as we'll know the exact amount we'll be paying each month.

    I've also now got two budgets. One very minimum one if money is super tight and another for if OH brings in more to show which pots to allocate it to and in which priority.

    AND I've started some return to work after maternity leave budgets i've got one for when I go back next Aug. I've based it on a sort of worst case childcare scenario being that I'll use one days annual leave each week until christmas, my mum will do 2 days and I'll pay for 2 days.
    I've then got two new versions from Jan 2020 which account for the 400 finishing but perhaps going part time. One 4 days pw and one 3 days pw. Again a worst case of paying for 2 days childcare.
    Doing these has made me feel a million times better as I can now see that all the basic outgoings/pots can be covered and with a small amount for baby related things too.

    So all in all feeling more positive now and I can just leave all the those forward planning budgets to one side for a few months whilst we focus on no more CC spending and sticking to our budget
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 10th Apr 18, 12:52 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    (I am assuming here that you are not suffering from something like Hyperemesis
    I did for the first three months. Life was unbearable. I couldn't stand the smell of my OH, the dog or the bedsheets. I couldn't even wash or feed myself. Luckily I am now only sick occasionally but have a whole list of other pregnancy related problems that I won't bore you with. So I am definitely aware (and partly suspecting) that things won't be easy for a while again come Jul/Aug! Fingers crossed it's a breeze though!!

    Which reminds me, do you (or anyone else) know about tax free childcare? I read somewhere that the government pays back 2 for every 8 you spend? Is this true?
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 10th Apr 18, 1:45 PM
    • 1,215 Posts
    • 5,567 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Taxfree child care is awesome (if you are self employed, or one of you are. )
    We use it for pickle's childcare, I pay 86 a month, government tops it up to 105 a week. It's fab.

    You have to earn over a certain amount a week (about 125 I think) and you can't be receiving any tax credits - there's an online eligibility thing if you google tax free childcare.

    It works like a bank account - you pay money in, government adds the 'interest' then you can do manual or automatic payments to your child care provider.

    What I love about it is, my budgeting works monthly, Childminder wants paying weekly, so I have a standing order go from my account to tax free childcare on the first of each month and a payment set up every Monday from the childcare account to the Childminder.

    I know, if you are both eligible to childcare vouchers, this system isn't as good, but because your Oh is self employed, like mine. It works brilliantly.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1400ish/2,500
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Apr 18, 4:52 PM
    • 6,254 Posts
    • 12,386 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I did for the first three months. Life was unbearable. I couldn't stand the smell of my OH, the dog or the bedsheets. I couldn't even wash or feed myself. Luckily I am now only sick occasionally but have a whole list of other pregnancy related problems that I won't bore you with. So I am definitely aware (and partly suspecting) that things won't be easy for a while again come Jul/Aug! Fingers crossed it's a breeze though!!

    Which reminds me, do you (or anyone else) know about tax free childcare? I read somewhere that the government pays back 2 for every 8 you spend? Is this true?
    Originally posted by Goingroundincircles
    My DD uses the tax free childcare scheme. I think she pays in around 400 and the government pays 100 and the nursery gets paid from that account. She says it works well. Sympathies re the pregnancy symptoms. My DD is currently in hospital at 35 weeks pregnant with her DD2 with high blood pressure and pre eclampsia. I had it too with her and she had it with her first. The sickness sounds awful.
    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
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 21st Apr 18, 12:34 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    Thanks both, the tax free childcare scheme definitely sounds like the way ahead for us!

    enthusiasticsaver, how is your DD? Sorry to hear she's in hospital. Hope you are all doing ok.
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 21st Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    Can't believe I haven't posted for so long...

    It's been an interesting couple of weeks.

    Husband has been working 7 days a week recently, which is great for May's budget (he's already earnt more than enough for our 'basic budget' with a week of April still left) but it means we've barely seen each other recently. He usually cooks but since he's been getting home late either I have to, we don't really eat or we order takeaway (had pizza this week). With this in mind I need to make sure that the food shopping consists of easy things I am happy to make. I don't enjoy cooking, except roast on a Sunday, but otherwise we aren't eating well. The food shopping budget has also gone out the window, cash gone but still two weekends left to shop.

    I've also got the shopping bug. I think it was bought on by dad offering to buy as baby things but then giving us the cash instead. If he'd had ordered the items I may not have got the taste for it. I have finally started selling the pile of things in the spare room so hopefully I will be able to recoup my shopping costs.

    Looking at the budget for the rest of April it looks like we're about 220 short. I'm so annoyed with myself. BUT I had squirrelled away money for the other half's 30th birthday next month and a few days by the coast (MIL has a lodge we can use free of charge) plus we're due 150 back from the pet insurers. So it looks as though we'll be using that to cover the shortfall and then hoping there is enough spare in May's budget for the birthday/holiday. There definitely should be but I want to allocate some to savings/debt first.

    Looking forward to seeing a few extra pounds in my pay packet this month and also remembered that in Aug I will be due our 0.1% pay rise and bonus. Every little really does help.

    One thing I've realised, and I think realistically is the main reason our debt got so out of control, is that I like to spend money before I've actually got it. When I know money is due in sometime in the near future, whether it's cashback, a bonus or whatever, I think it's ok to do/buy something on the credit card for example and that I will pay it back. But this never happens for one reason or another. So my new rule, is to not do this. We can only spend money when we physically have it in our hands/account.

    A small positive, is that we haven't touched the credit cards this month!

    I think that's all for now. Must post more regularly so I don't get off track again.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 21st Apr 18, 3:49 PM
    • 1,474 Posts
    • 14,335 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Ha, that is so familiar! I am the queen of spending money before I've got it and always used to put something on the card to pay off later, only to find that 'later' there was some other emergency expense that cropped up. Even now that I don't do it, I've mentally allocated every bit of anticipated money three times over, and I'm always disappointed that I can only spend it once when it comes in, and end up feeling short changed. Even a year in I have constant reminders from the sensible people who read my diary reminding me not to mentally allocate extra money when I'm blithely doing it without even realising.

    Are you 220 short even with DH's extra income this month? Or is that set aside for May? I'm not quite sure how you're managing his income at the moment. If he's earned enough for the basic budget in May, can you use anything else he earns this month to cover April's shortfall instead of raiding May's pots?

    Regular posting is the only reason we are making progress on our debt. I am amazingly good at deluding myself when I don't have my little team of MSE Jiminy Crickets telling me what I should be doing! I usually post a couple of times a day (my early morning post is just part of my morning routine now), which is mad and takes time, but does keep me on the straight and narrow.
    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/DFD: 58,608.13/Dec 2026
    debt on 6th Apr 2018: 34,168.99/Feb 2026

    Mortgage = c.192,200
    • Goingroundincircles
    • By Goingroundincircles 21st Apr 18, 8:15 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 85 Thanks
    Goingroundincircles
    It's so easy to do though TOPM! I like to think of it as forward planning but it's not, it's a recipe for disaster!

    We save all of OH's income for the next month, so we know exactly what we have to budget with. So everything he's earnt in April will be for our May budget. At the moment he's earnt 280 over our 'basic budget' with another week left to earn more. So we could use that, but I had also put aside 100 for his birthday plus the 150 back from the insurers which should be in the bank by Tuesday, so we could use that instead and leave all of April's extra earnings for topping up May's saving/debt/spending pots. If that makes sense... Probably six and two threes.

    I don't think I could manage posting several times a day, but will aim for several times a week. That way I can share my money spending ideas before I commit to them!
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,236Posts Today

4,319Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • I've decided my weekend starts here while the sun's glow is still baskable. So I'm signing off. Have a great weeke? https://t.co/9FxNEpDs6p

  • No not correct. The big six do, but you can get fixed tariffs guaranteed not to rise and about 25% cheaper. Just tr? https://t.co/B2ft5OS3Ig

  • Baaaa! Scottish Power has bleated and followed the herd, today announcing it's putting up energy prices by 5.5%. R? https://t.co/vi3hBxo4Hn

  • Follow Martin