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  • FIRST POST
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 22nd Aug 17, 4:30 PM
    • 367Posts
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    DrSpendLittle
    Reducing Debt - being accountable and taking responsibility
    • #1
    • 22nd Aug 17, 4:30 PM
    Reducing Debt - being accountable and taking responsibility 22nd Aug 17 at 4:30 PM
    Hi everyone!

    DFW newbie here! Been a lurker for a while but have been so inspired by reading others' DFW diaries - it's literally all I've done this weekend! - that I decided to take the plunge and join in the fun. Now's the time. Had my LBM a few weeks ago and can't wait to get started

    So, a little about me before I state my financial situation and my goals:
    - a happy, healthy and engaged homeowner
    - settled in my career with a fairly well paid job & annual increment
    - looking at starting a family soon as time is ticking!
    - enjoys sports and the outdoors and a healthy approach to life
    - has just started using YNAB
    - has a 'secret' unsecured debt of just over £10k (2 x cc's)

    About DF
    DF is debt free but doesn't actively save. He seems to spend what he earns which isn't great since we have a tiny mortgage and lowish bills. He had family money passed on to him a few years ago on the advice of his mother's accountants - she would NEVER give it away otherwise. This dosh acts as a financial cushion for him .....and, admittedly, me gosh, it really has meant I've been a wee bit lacking in the old saving malarkey Time to banish this false sense of security!

    About DF and I's financials
    DF and I don't have a joint account. All bills / mortgage come out of his current account except car insurance and broadband/phone which I'm responsible for paying. I give him £465 every month towards bills (includes a deduction for car insurance) and he gives me half of whatever the broadband phone bill is. This arrangement is, on reflection, part of my problem as I have too much 'distance' from the reality of bill payments and direct debits etc etc etc I'm sure you all know the score....

    DF knows I have some debts but isn't really aware of the current status of my 'net worth' He's one of life's worriers so I am taking this DFW journey alone for now. I'm completely settled and happy with this idea and I have been managing it all on my own thus far, so no need to change. I got myself into this situation so I'll be getting myself out of it.

    Why the DFW diary?
    Well, we're thinking of moving home since we could take a few leaps up the ladder. Its time for our dream home. This has caused my LBM. I want my dream home and the only thing stopping me is my poor money management skills! Its also time to move. We've been here a while and have never fully settled.

    My interim goal?
    To clear £4K of debt by January so when we put the house on the market, my debt levels are lower. I obviously also want to make sure we can maximise our borrowing, so I want to demonstrate good money management skills and a good pattern of spending and saving.

    My overall aim
    But, more than this interim goal, I just want to be in control of my money and no longer feel guilty for spending it. I want to save up for things and have that lovely 'I deserve this because I saved for it' feeling when I buy something. I want to be responsible. And, I am here to become accountable.

    My plan of action!
    So....this diary is my way of sharing my story, being accountable for my actions, taking responsibility and doing all this whilst my other half is oblivious!

    I hope you join me on my journey and I look forward to joining you on yours.

    My current financials
    I'll post my current financial situation later today - got some work things to get done before close of play. Its been one of those 'working at home' days which have largely comprised of obsessing over YNAB and lurking on DFW diaries, oh deary me A hint of my procrastinating / self sabotaging ways......

    DSL
    Last edited by DrSpendLittle; 30-09-2017 at 9:20 AM. Reason: I'm a formatting perfectionist :)
Page 18
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 27th Jul 18, 10:22 PM
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    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Today has a been quiet day. I've had the day off work and have pottered around the house and sorted out a few things. I pulled out all my 'high summer' / holiday clothes from under the bed in readiness for washing and had a sort through potential outfits. I identified the need for another vest top and ordered a £5 one from ASOS which will arrive tomorrow (free next day delivery). Other than that, no other spends to report. We had a yummy pork stirfry dinner using food already in the house, thanks to DF's food imagination. There isn't much left in the freezer!

    Tomorrow is probably a trip into the bigger further away town with DF on the train - he needs some new socks and swimming shorts for our holiday and wants a mooch in TKM4xx. I also want to get a cheap grey hoodie from Prim4rk just in case we have some cooler evenings when sat on the terrace. I don't really have that sort of thing in my wardrobe. I do have a outdoorsy technical fleece but, looking at the colour palette of my holiday clothes, it's a colour clashing disaster and I think a £5 holiday hoodie would be sensible to retain some semblance of being a la mode.

    I'm also toying with the idea of picking up some cheapish nude bra's for holiday as I don't want to wreck my normal ones with suncream. I could get a 2 for £16 deal from M&S I guess, but it seems a wee bit unnecessary. I do have two strapless ones (white and black) but I don't find them very supportive or comfortable to wear for a full day out. Will mull it over.

    Must do a food shop at some point but I reckon we could squeeze one more meal out of the freezer and do that on Sunday. DF seems to be enjoying this week's freezer challenge

    DSL
    Last edited by DrSpendLittle; 27-07-2018 at 10:24 PM.
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 29th Jul 18, 11:15 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Hello peeps!

    A busy but productive weekend here in the SL household. We've managed yet another freezer dinner this evening but I really must do a food shop tomorrow. We had a cheeky takeaway on Saturday night as we lost track of the time chatting (see below) and had planned a movie night.

    Had a really good conversation with DF about the proposed house move on Saturday afternoon, which involved a very honest chat about our joint finances, my debt / repayment success thus far, our short, medium and long term financial goals and our financial preferences for monthly mortgage payments / running costs vis-a-vis other lifestyle costs. We've agreed on a minimum and maximum price range to help sharpen our search for a new home and have also agreed on a monthly mortgage payment / bills figure that we'd like to aim for, accounting for possible interest rate rises and lifestyle preferences. We also spoke about how we might use DF's inheritance in funding the move.

    We really are singing from the same hymn sheet on everything and had no disagreements. I feel so much more part of a team than I ever have (we've had separate finances up to now). DF is really really impressed by my debt repayments and is surprised at how I've managed to turn things around, especially since he hasn't noticed any difference in our standard of living. He wants me to help him set up online savers and direct debts so he too can start putting aside more money every month and stop the frittering.

    The long and short of this conversation is that we've agreed to save circa £8K - £10K by the end of the year for a house moving fund. This is for legal fees, estate agency fees and moving fees. We want to use DF's family money to maximise our deposit (which will be our existing equity minus stamp duty) and for other decoration / furniture costs we may have in our new property, so the inheritance becomes materialised in the new house rather than frittered away paying the movers or the surveyors. I agree and like the sentiment. His family member, who gave him the money, would also be pleased with it

    So, my short term financial goals have changed slightly. My plan is now to squirrel away around £4K before the end of the year and make smaller monthly payments to CC2 until January. Thereafter, I will continue my intense debt slaying and according to YNAB, should have CC2 cleared by March / April. I will be transitioning to a proper budget from January onwards, where every line item is funded, rather than my current approach where I throw everything I have at the debt. CC2 is interest free until June 2019 so there is no immediate rush to clear it in place of saving for the transaction costs of moving. We are going to look into opening up a joint account, subject to avoiding credit checks, so we can pool everyday finances and maximise our monthly saving goals.

    Signature updated. I'm looking forward to this new challenge and a more mature and team-based approach to my finances

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 30th Jul 18, 12:11 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Oooaf, that last post is loooooong. Good luck to anyone bothering to read it!

    I'm going to be offline for the rest of this week, starting later today, as I'm having a no internet week! I do this a few times over the summer as a way of digitally detoxing and as a way of seeking more focus for my day job when working at home, which I do a lot of over the summer.

    It's payday tomorrow so I quickly wanted to mention what my August plans are. I've done my monthly budget but its a holiday month so isn't my typical budget. I'll be making a £150 payment to CC2 and keeping £100 aside just in case I need more spends whilst on holiday (I won't be taking or using a CC). If I don't need the £100, I will throw it onto CC2 at the end of August when I'm back.

    July has turned out to be an expensive month with some household spends, friends birthdays, social events, work trips and a terrible approach to groceries. I'm glad to see the back of it. I have had to take some ££s from August's salary to cover some of July spends. Tut-tut, DSL, tut-tut.

    August is the month when I begin not using CC3 for everyday purchases. I've found it too tempting to use it as a means of knocking spends into the next month, as described above, and I don't like it.

    So, have an enjoyable pay day / debt payment week and I'll catch up with diaries early next week.

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 30th Jul 18, 3:49 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    A quick check in before I switch off the router!

    Just back from town and have done a decent food shop, around £52. Got my F&V from Aldee and then popped to waitingrose for meat and other bits and bobs I'd rather pick up there. We should have enough food for the week, though DF will need to pick up some pork loin as they we're out.

    I also picked up a few other bits and bobs for our holiday (a memory foam travel pillow, some packing cubes and some plastic serving trays for camping), which will come out of the holiday budget. Around £25 in total. DF is pleased with his packing cubes (I bought some last month and he eyed them up so its less hassle to buy him his own ).

    Back to work for a bit (WFH), finishing the last of my emails and then its bye bye tinterweb until next Monday evening!

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 30th Jul 18, 3:54 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Forgot to add, I've updated my signature with debt totals and payments from August's salary. A day early but wanted to get it set up whilst I was away. Was hoping to have paid CC2 down more this month but I'll see what I have left over from holidays at the end of the month.

    September is the start of saving for the transaction costs of our house move. I plan to put £1330 into it on the 1st. I've still got a work / consultancy fee due to be paid sometime in September of around £600. My plan is to put that towards CC2 so I'm hoping CC2 will come down to around £3,365 by mid September. Will be good to be in the £3's.

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 8th Aug 18, 5:38 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    I'm back! Had a lovely internet break and have come back all rejuvenated and raring to procrastinate!

    August's salary is in and all immediate obligations have been paid. As mentioned in my previous posts, I've made only a small payment to CC2 this month as I have my holiday (away from this weekend so will be offline again until September) and I've put aside most of my disposable income to this. I'm hoping to make a second payment to CC2 at the end of August when I'm back from holibobs and have greater clarity over what I've not spent. I've a 'spare' £150 squirrelled away so far for CC2 overpayments.

    Spends so far this month have been controlled and as planned. I'm really enjoying not using CC3. Its made me much more alert and aware of every penny, unlike my previous approach of being a bit more fluid with what and spent and when.

    Next month is the start of saving for a house move. That fund is for the transaction costs of selling and buying (excluding a deposit and stamp duty) so includes spends for some minimal remedial decoration we want to do before / during the marketing of our current property. We reckon it'll be less than £500, maybe not even that much. I'll document all spends and savings here to ensure I'm fully accountable.

    Need to assign my £150 payment to CC2 to an item off my STIF list (see post #310 here). I'll do it when I have a bit of time later as it requires me play around with the list and figure out a way of clearly ticking things of (and parts of things as there probably won't be one individual item worth £150).

    Looking forward to catching up on diaries! DF is out with friends tonight and my plans fell through so I have a nice evening of having the house to myself AND I get a cheeky NSD. Oh wait, I just remembered that I treated myself to an iced latte earlier today! NSD - £2.25 = low spend day.

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 8th Aug 18, 5:42 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    LBM 1 year Anniversary
    I've just realised... it was this exact time last year that I had my LBM. The first week of August. Funny how time flies and debt disappears

    Happy 1 year LBM anniversary to me!!
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • ChasingSunshine
    • By ChasingSunshine 8th Aug 18, 6:43 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 1,055 Thanks
    ChasingSunshine
    Happy first anniversary! Hope you have a great holiday
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 9th Aug 18, 10:14 AM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    STIF List August Paydown
    Okay, here is my STIF List August Paydown

    'Stuff, Things, Interest and Fees' (post #310) from CC2 spends throughout 2015, 2016 & 2017:

    2016-2017 Sport-related hobbies (equipment, nutrition, event fees): £2,015.83
    2017 Summer Holiday: £80
    2017 Music (equipment, gigs, records): £831.94
    2017 Furniture: £581.30
    2016 Xmas: £254.33
    2016 Summer Holiday: £772.42 (spending money + £22.42 fee) + £148.99 (fuel) = £921.41
    2016 Short break to a foreign city: £207.68
    2016-2017 Interest on purchases: £50.88
    2016-2017 Balance transfer fees: £340.40
    2015 New mobile phone & an extra charging lead: £76.03 (- £17.64 from August paydown) = £58.39
    2015 Car service: £103.92
    2015 40% of the cost of a new passport: £28.44


    £150 pays off: 2015 passport, 2015 car service & 23.2% of 2015 mobile phone!

    Previous Balance: £4,999.99
    New Balance: £4,849.99
    3% cleared
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 10th Aug 18, 12:12 AM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Just a quick check in. Had a WFH today and a busy one at that! Worked a bit late but was in the flow so didn't want to stop. DF cooked us a nice chorizo pasta dish with cream and fennel and other bits and bobs. He also WFH so it was nice to have some company.

    Managed a NSD today.

    Similar day lined up for tomorrow then holibobs until September!
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 11th Aug 18, 6:29 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Had a quiet WFH on Friday - getting everything in order with work before going away on Monday. Only spends were some bits and bobs for dinner from Aldee. DF made a nice Chinesey dish with some rump steak we had in the freezer. Was lovely.

    Today has been a NSD thus far. Just finishing up all the washing and organising we need to do before heading away. Also taking the opportunity to do some sorting out.

    Not sure on plans for tomorrow. Probably just more of the same. Hoping for another NSD!

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 13th Dec 18, 4:51 PM
    • 367 Posts
    • 1,272 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    My poor neglected diary!

    I'm still here, I just got super busy with work after coming back from our summer holiday and I lost the habit of coming on here.

    I've been catching up on some diaries and I'm glad to be back.

    Quick summary of finances (signature updated):

    - All is good

    - Over a 1/4 of the way towards my savings goal though I'm currently waiting on £150 of expenses to come in so savings should be £1,270 in a few days.

    - Debt down to £4,299.99

    - I've managed to cash flow a HUGE amount of expenses since we last spoke: holiday, building work (a necessary evil of home ownership), plumber, more dental work, car insurance, house insurance, birthdays, Christmas (all shopping now done!), a short week away with my mummy, a new winter coat and a new handbag, health supplies (baby making stuff ). That kind of explains why I haven't cleared the debt as quickly as I'd hoped. I reckon that all adds up to around £3,000. I could probably have been debt free by now. But, that's not the way to look at these things.

    Still avidly using ynab. From Janauary, I will be filling all categories rather than doing scorched earth. Money will accrue in each of my categories like car, fuel, household misc., clothes, health, hairdressers etc etc and I will spend from them as and when I need to. I won't be throwing unspent monies at debt at the end of each month like I have been doing. I may do a sweep into savings every 2/3 months if I'm really over budgeted (likely for fuel).

    I intend to be debt neutral (my savings equal my interest free debt) by February 28th. Eeeek!

    I will clear CC2 by 31st May for sure as 0% ends in June. By then I should also have £4,700 saved but that may be spent on moving costs before then.

    Thereafter, I will focus on making sure I maintain a decent savings pot (3-6 months of expenses) and put any extra money at my student loan -I'm hoping it'll be paid off by this time next year.

    Good to be back.

    DSL
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,824.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £8,285.15/£12,585.14 (65.83%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,299.99 | House Move Fund: £1,127.87/£4,000
    • ChasingSunshine
    • By ChasingSunshine 13th Dec 18, 5:02 PM
    • 148 Posts
    • 1,055 Thanks
    ChasingSunshine
    Welcome back, good to see things are going in the right direction for you. I'm trying to do the same with YNAB as had been putting so many categories back to 0 every month and then having to do lots of moving around to cover bumpy months when if I had just left a little buffer there would have been no issue. Oh well, I guess that is all part of finding out what works best on a personal level.
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