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
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 30th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
    • 1,544Posts
    • 4,901Thanks
    MrsSave
    Mrs S, family life and debt
    • #1
    • 30th Jul 17, 7:22 AM
    Mrs S, family life and debt 30th Jul 17 at 7:22 AM
    This is my 4th diary. I'll link the others in case anyone has absolutely nothing to do and fancies a read!

    Diary 1: MrsS is getting serious http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5045594

    Diary 2: Debt free before 35 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5286098

    Diary 3: A pound stretching maternity
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5495440

    So, who is Mrs S?

    I'm in my mid early 30's and a mum to 2 lovely little boys. My second maternity leave is just coming to an end (sob). I'm a teacher but looking for a career change. I mentioned this career change back in diary 1, but I'm finally doing something about it. I have 2 job interviews next week and I'm still searching and applying for others.

    Debt

    I guess I wouldn't be starting a new diary if I didn't have any debts. Maternity leave and retraining has meant that the debt we had beforehand has increased. Significantly. I'm gutted, but from the retraining side, I just had to do it. Today, our debts stand at:

    Loan: £9,906.30
    Credit Card: £6,480.60

    We also have a mortgage of £92,720.52

    Excluding the mortgage, our current debt figure is £16,386.90. That's massive.

    So what are we doing about it?

    Not adding to it any more, that's to start! The problem is that a lot depends on whether I find work quickly. In an ideal world I will be working by September (even if it's something unrelated to what I actually want to do, as we need a second income).

    Using YNAB. I've used YNAB for a few years now, and love it. It's so clear in showing how much money we actually have, and splitting it between different pots.

    Paying £266.40 towards the loan every month, and around £65-£70 towards the card. The card is a very recent balance transfer, so not 100% sure on exact figures yet, but 1% is the minimum balance. I'm not sure whether to stick with the minimum, or a set amount each month. The set amount won't be much higher than the minimum, but obviously won't decrease every month. Possibly £65 per month. That means we will be paying £331.40 towards our debt each month. At this rate it would take 50 months to clear. 4 years, 2 months.

    Budgeting and treats

    I allow treats. They're budgeted for. I would fall flat on my face if we weren't allowed our treats. We do have little breaks away sometimes (not abroad, we haven't been abroad since our honeymoon). We save for them, though and pay with the money we have and not add to the debt. We have the odd takeaway and meal out, we have days out. I treat the boys on their birthdays and Christmas. I have this year started paying into Park for Vouchers in time for Christmas. I've budgeted for that every month.

    We put money into our car pot each month for the MOT and any extras it needs. Our car is 12 years old, and up until recently hasn't needed anything doing to it. A couple of little things are starting to need changing now so I'm hoping we'll have a few more years before the car get sorted too expensive. I do love my car! It's nothing special, not fancy and was cheap to buy with low mileage (we've had the car about 5 years).

    Right, I've probably bored anyone who's reading this enough for a first 'All about me' post.
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
Page 22
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 11th Jan 18, 8:42 PM
    • 6,183 Posts
    • 22,709 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    Glad you got the forms filled in and sent off MrsS, fingers crossed for a speedy response.

    Weekly budgets are looking healthy xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £5419.83 - 08/04/18 - 76.61% paid off
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 12th Jan 18, 9:44 PM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    My plans for this weekend are to declutter upstairs!! Mainly my bedroom. I'm planning on moving a few bits of furniture around (nothing too heavy!!!) and just freshen it up a little. I've managed to empty the laundry basket (briefly!!) and had a glass of prosecco in front of the tv. I should buy those little bottles of wine/prosecco - it will stop the prosecco going flat as there's no ways I can manage a whole bottle to myself (once upon a time.......)!!

    Anyway, today has been another nsd. I almost went to get a takeaway, but then a mixture of knowing I shouldn't and not wanting to actually leave the house once the boys had gone stopped me. I ended up having some pasta! I'm spending less at the moment than I have for a very long time. I don't know if it's because everything is down to me now, those boys depend on me being able to budget and keep a roof over their heads. I actually have Christmas money left in my account and usually by this point in January it would've all gone!!
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 13th Jan 18, 7:06 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 6,879 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Decluttering is a good plan, but so is going out. What about going for a walk around lunchtime? Bit of fresh air will do you good.

    Well done on avoiding the takeaway.

    And yay to the Christmas money. Is it money left from the Christmas budget? (In which case treat you and the smalls to a day out somewhere maybe?) or money gifted to you? (In which case, what about treating yourself to those new bedcovers and curtains you were talking about?)

    Have a good day today
    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 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 13th Jan 18, 8:18 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    You're right I should go out somewhere. It's pouring with rain at the moment, but might head out somewhere if it stops.

    The money was gifted to me. That's a good idea about the bed covers. Will have a think about it.

    I've spoken with the boys this morning, and they were full of energy! So far they seem to be adjusting well to the situation. It's definitely us, the adults, that find it more difficult to cope.

    I've checked ynab and the accounts this morning, and they're all good. I might pop to Tesco to pick up a couple of things later, but shouldn't be expensive. I'm guessing £20 max. Not bad for a weekly shop. That will leave over £70 to last until next Thursday. Sounds good, but the household income is going to decrease by a substantial amount soon (depending on tax credits and child maintenance amounts), so will have to re budget. I'm really hoping I find out by the end of the month he exact figures so can get budgeting.
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 14th Jan 18, 9:17 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    I spent £18.74 in Tesco yesterday and should have enough bits now to last until next Thursday. I did also order the bedclothes and some curtains I can't wait for them to arrive now so that I can give this room a face lift!! I then treated myself to a book. I love reading but haven't done much at all recently. I figured it's a good way of relaxing when the boys aren't here.

    I then spent yesterday de cluttering my bedroom, moving furniture around and vacuuming. I'm going to vacuum/dust the rest of the house this morning and then cook a roast for when the boys get back. I'm going to put a load of washing on in a bit and then iron what is on the clothes horse.

    I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I'm going to a health spa for my birthday as a gift from my parents......that's next weekend, I'm so excited.

    This morning I have updated ynab with yesterday's spends. Everything is up to date once more.
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 14th Jan 18, 9:24 AM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 4,783 Thanks
    debtaghh
    You seem to be doing so well and Iím glad you treated yourself.
    Debt 16th October 2017: Cc £49,987- family £37,561: total debt £87549

    Current debt: Cc £44,810 , Family £ 39,417 total debt £84,227

    Frugal living challenge # 10- £8000 presents/ food/ entertainment/clothes/shoes/haircuts
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 14th Jan 18, 7:45 PM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 6,879 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Great news on the bedroom updates. You need to turn it into your little paradise.

    How have the boys got on this weekend?

    Have a good week.
    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 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Jan 18, 11:54 AM
    • 1,436 Posts
    • 6,828 Thanks
    MeandO
    I meant to pop in before now and see how you're doing, but I somehow missed your thread. Have subscribed now.

    You could be writing my diary from 4 years ago, everything is so similar. Even to the ex popping in to put the children to bed etc and how you are getting on better with your ex these past few weeks. The fact that you still know 100% that you're doing the right thing says it all though.
    You're doing so well with everything.

    I wholeheartedly recommend the moving of furniture and (within budget of course) making the house feel more like 'yours'.

    The boys seem to be taking everything in their stride too, as children do. It is indeed us adults that struggle to cope more. Soon it will be the norm for them. They obviously have lots of people around them who love them dearly and that is the most important thing.

    Have a wonderful time on your spa weekend, I'm very jealous!
    xx
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,900

    2018 OP's: J:£129.26 F:£287 M:£150 A:£157.31 M:£164.19 J:£427.95
    Emergency Fund: £1000/£5000
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 17th Jan 18, 8:55 PM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Thank you for your messages. It really is lovely to read. I've had a wobbly few days but getting there again now. Mr S and I have been speaking and we both still 100% agree with our decision and it is definitely the correct thing, but I'm finding missing adult conversation difficult. Despite the fact that our relationship has been over a long while, we were still good friends up until the end. I miss having that someone to chat with after spending all day with the little ones. It'll get easier I'm sure. I'm not someone who enjoys things like baby groups, and mixing with people I don't know which makes it a whole lot more difficult.

    During my 2 days off this week I spent far too much. I went to the supermarket both days and literally stocked up on so many household cleaning products the second day because there was nothing I actually needed to buy. It was just somewhere to go!!! I think I'm going to try food shopping twice a week with a list. I'll only plan 3-4 days at a time. I'll see how that works out!!

    Money wise: I've had a letter from my council to say that they owe almost £80 as a refund for overpayment of council tax due to Mr S moving out after paying for the whole year. It doesn't mention how the refund is supposed to come about so will wait and see what happens. They may take it off next year, though a refund to the bank would be better.

    I need to contact HSBC to take Mr S off those bank accounts. It does look like I'll have to go into store though, which is a nuisance. I'll give them a ring and see what they say.

    I should be switched for my gas and electricity by the weekend. There will be money left to pay to the old company but have a little put aside for it. I've also had a letter saying my house insurance is up for renewal next month. I'm going to have a look to see what prices I find and see whether I can get any cashback as well. On the to-do list.
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • louby40
    • By louby40 17th Jan 18, 10:10 PM
    • 1,363 Posts
    • 3,691 Thanks
    louby40
    This is where you need the gym or some sort of hobby you can do when the kids are with their dad.

    The gym was my saviour when I split with my ex.

    And it!!!8217;s where I met my new partner
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 18th Jan 18, 7:09 AM
    • 1,262 Posts
    • 4,783 Thanks
    debtaghh
    Sorry to hear you have had a wobbly few days but remember itís still very fresh. Hopefully in time you will get to a routine. Could you try organising to have friends or family round for a catch up once a week? Or write a list of any films you would like to watch or books you would like to read.
    I can imagine it being very hard but youíre doing extremely well.
    Debt 16th October 2017: Cc £49,987- family £37,561: total debt £87549

    Current debt: Cc £44,810 , Family £ 39,417 total debt £84,227

    Frugal living challenge # 10- £8000 presents/ food/ entertainment/clothes/shoes/haircuts
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 18th Jan 18, 10:10 AM
    • 1,436 Posts
    • 6,828 Thanks
    MeandO
    I feel for you hun, I am exactly the same and never went to baby groups and, because this is not the area that I'm from, I have no friends or people I can call upon around me here. I found living alone extremely lonely and sometimes still do, but it gets easier. The key is to keep yourself busy - clear out cupboards, paint a room, rearrange furniture, have a nice hot bath with a magazine or book, batch cook for the freezer, sort the children's clothes/toys out - basically, anything just to give you something to do. I did go to the gym too, but later on I really couldn't afford it so gave it up. Saying that, no-one ever spoke to each other at my gym so it wasn't for conversation! Is there a fun exercise class or something you could do? I'm not one for this sort of thing either, but sometimes it really does help to push yourself. You only have to go once, if you hate it, you can just leave. In the Summer I like to get out on the garden, cut the grass and do a bit of weeding or plant things. It's nice just being outdoors.
    Perhaps give your Mum or a friend a ring for a good catch up or natter for half an hour in the evenings, it will feel like you've had some adult conversation then.

    I was also shopping much more than I neeed to, but quickly realised I couldn't afford to keep it up.

    If you don't feel like doing any of the above, then always come on here and keep posting. It really helped me at the time and there's always someone around to cheer you on!

    x
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,900

    2018 OP's: J:£129.26 F:£287 M:£150 A:£157.31 M:£164.19 J:£427.95
    Emergency Fund: £1000/£5000
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 26th Jan 18, 7:01 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    It's been a while. Things are ok.

    I checked hmrc online over last weekend and it had been updated to show tax credits, the first payment came into my account yesterday. I'm so amazed at how fast it all happened. I haven't had a letter from them detailing anything, but I'm sure it's in the post!!

    Other people have started to stick their noses in........he's had messages saying that I'm only after his money (what money ) and that he should protect himself, etc. This was from someone who doesn't know me, over the years me and mr S were together I could probably count on one hand the amount of times this person has spoken with me. Thankfully mr S told me what was going on, and sent a message back to this person telling them to mind their own business (with a few expletives ).

    I had my break away in the spa. It was amazing!! I would love to be back there now!!!

    The boys seem to be doing ok. The eldest is starting to become far more cheeky, but this often happens a few weeks back into school after holidays. I'm trying to crack down on it at the moment and he is on a tv ban today!
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Jan 18, 9:32 AM
    • 1,436 Posts
    • 6,828 Thanks
    MeandO
    Great news on the tax credits

    Ignore the idiots who try and interfere, I had that too. My ex's side of the family 'dumped' me overnight despite over ten years of being 'my' family too and me being nothing but tolerant and loving towards them all those years. I now have nothing to do with them. I learnt the hard way that it is better to rid my life of those people who only bring negativity to your life.

    My boy is the same with school, so I'm sure it's just being around the other kids that make them cheeky!

    Glad to hear you enjoyed the spa weekend, I'm sure it was a much-needed break away! Maybe start a little savings pot towards going back? Will give you something to look forward to and focus on.
    Hope you have a lovely weekend x
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,900

    2018 OP's: J:£129.26 F:£287 M:£150 A:£157.31 M:£164.19 J:£427.95
    Emergency Fund: £1000/£5000
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 28th Jan 18, 1:47 PM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Thank you MeandO. Looking forward I'm not sure it's something I'm going to fit into my budget! Things are going to be tighter here from now on. I've spent this morning looking at my budget, making sure I'm putting money aside each month for anything the boys will need, their clubs, school uniform, clothes, etc. It looks like I'll have £50 per week to cover food and any other bits that we need (household bits, a snack out, parking, etc.). Petrol, haircuts, gifts, parties, etc. have all been budgeted for (as well as a little each month aside for things like school holiday times so that we can do something nice).

    £50 a week isn't much, but I'm sure people get by on a lot less. If I can try to get my grocery shop down to £30-£35 a week, it will leave £15-£20 'spare'. I'm going food shopping tomorrow after dropping my eldest off at school so will aim to stick to my budget, but making sure there's plenty of nutritious food for my boys.

    We've had a letter home from school with this term's calendar on, which reminded me that World Book Day is coming up. If i start to plan what he will wear soon, I can hopefully do something on a budget, but that looks good! I'm going to have a look through his bookshelf later and narrow down some ideas, and then give him the final choice.

    My main aim is that the boys aren't affected by a tighter budget.
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 30th Jan 18, 5:56 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    After receiving the money a few months ago, I paid off the majority of the debt. One was still there, though, as I figured having savings was important as well. Yesterday MrS transferred half what was owed to me, so I've used my savings to pay off the rest. I've made the payment this morning (minus the direct debit which is due to go out on Monday). This means that by Monday I will be debt free (other than the mortgage). I do still have a little savings. I've got £2000 which I'll be transferring to premium bonds later today, and a little extra which I'm trying to add to so that I can re decorate the boys' rooms within the next 6 months.

    This also means that I won't be paying the almost £80 a month, so will have almost £20 a week extra to go towards food/spare money. This will be taking a massive weight off my shoulders.

    Don't think you're getting rid of me though. I need this diary, and I need the debt free wannabe boards!!!

    I spent £35.10 on the food shopping yesterday. 10p over budget. I went to Aldi and Tesco (they're so nice and quiet at 9am on a Monday morning!!).

    I've pretty much sorted February finances (other than physically moving the money around - that will be tomorrow once my wages from work are in). I've sorted it all on ynab.

    Today I need to contact my council to see what happens with a council tax refund. I've had a letter to say I'm due over £70, but no information about how to get it! Will sort that today, and the money will go into the savings for the boys' rooms. I also need to finish sorting house insurance. I've had my renewal through, and it's going up around £5 a month. I spent a while having a look around yesterday, but I'm not finding it much cheaper.

    I have a load of laundry to get washing today, but a small positive is that at the moment the ironing basket is completely empty!!! I've written a list of all the chores/tasks I want to get done this week, and I'm ticking them off once they're done. The only problem is that the list is a full side of a notebook. I feel it's never ending!! I'll get there, though. It's all about routine.

    *edited to add - I've just had a quick read through and my writing is awful today. Sorry!! I blame being awake since 4am!!!
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 30th Jan 18, 6:03 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 6,879 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Woo hooo to debt freeness.

    Well done. It's now all onwards and upwards with savings.

    Where's the other £60 of the £80 a month going to go?

    Have a lovely, stress free, debt free day.

    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 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 30th Jan 18, 6:10 AM
    • 1,544 Posts
    • 4,901 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Thanks £80 a month spare, which is £20 a week extra for food/spends (I work weekly on food and spends!).
    Mortgage Overpayment: May - £24.02/£20 June - £23.59/£20
    Accounts Skim: May - £35.92 June - £6.76
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 30th Jan 18, 8:44 AM
    • 1,454 Posts
    • 6,879 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Thanks £80 a month spare, which is £20 a week extra for food/spends (I work weekly on food and spends!).
    Originally posted by MrsSave

    Ahhh, that makes sense.
    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 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 30th Jan 18, 9:18 AM
    • 1,891 Posts
    • 11,491 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    That!!!8217;s really good news Mrs S , it!!!8217;s good to have a little extra each week.

    Debt free well done.
    CC1 £3475 May 2018
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

3,911Posts Today

8,958Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • We all knew we'd win in the end. Never in doubt! ....walks away whistling

  • Yeeesss. Phew. Wow. Uh. Oy yoy yoy

  • It's interesting that 80% of the crowd are young women... According to the close ups we keep seeing anyway.

  • Follow Martin