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    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 5:38 PM
    • 108Posts
    • 258Thanks
    Time to turn this around
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 5:38 PM
    Time to turn this around 4th Dec 17 at 5:38 PM
    I had my lightbulb moment recently. Despite the fact I have a good job in an industry that means I should know better, I've got myself into a bit of a pickle. The goal for the next 2 years will be getting out of debt, out of the consolidation trap and into a good position re savings. The 2 years after that will be aimed at saving for a house deposit. My debts are:-

    HSBC loan £7872.48
    Virgin credit card £4019.39
    MBNA credit card £2825
    Car loan £5011
    Tax bill £139

    Grand total of £21,266.47 - I realise this doesn't add up please see post dated 18/12/17 for explanation!

    Once Christmas is out of the way and I've paid the tax bill, which is due at the end of the year, I've worked out a budget as follows:-

    Rent, household bills, food 1060
    HSBC loan 238.56
    MBNA CC 75
    Virgin CC 400
    Car 94.89
    Car ins 29.08
    Car service & repairs 50
    Contact lens scheme 26
    Entertainment 50
    Christmas & birthdays 80
    Clothes/shoes 50
    Hair 40
    Holiday fund 60
    Emergency fund 50

    This comes to £2303.53, my nett wage is £2,305. I'm throwing all I can at the Virgin balance until I've paid the spending part off, £1200 of this is on 0% until November. Then I'll concentrate on the MBNA, then the HSBC loan. Then I'll reevaluate. The HSBC loan is 7% APR, I'm halfway through paying that so most of the interest has probably been paid. I've set up the piggy accounts for car maintenance, holidays and emergencies. I've been in the habit of saving for Christmas and birthdays all year for some time now. Here goes!
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 18-12-2017 at 4:58 PM. Reason: Amending total debt figure
Page 1
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 4th Dec 17, 6:33 PM
    • 4,119 Posts
    • 28,002 Thanks
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:33 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:33 PM
    Good luck with your debt busting .
    My Diary
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build an Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Then save up for repairs to the house.
    Emergency Fund 1 = £560.59/Emergency Fund 2 = £0.21/Loss of Income Fund £0
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 4th Dec 17, 6:52 PM
    • 1,676 Posts
    • 10,027 Thanks
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:52 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Dec 17, 6:52 PM
    Happy new diary, and good luck with it
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    • 6,380 Posts
    • 13,094 Thanks
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    • #4
    • 4th Dec 17, 7:05 PM
    Good budget. Was the HSBC a consolidation loan and have you sorted out where you are overspending?
    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 Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • 53,926 Posts
    • 213,633 Thanks
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • #5
    • 4th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    • #6
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:00 PM
    Hi enthusiastic saver
    Yes, the HSBC loan was to consolidate a smaller loan and some CC debt as Iíd got a bit lost with 0% balance transfers.

    Iíve sorted an Excel spreadsheet, have put incomings, outgoings and what Iíve spent on CCs for the last 6 months in to see where Iím going wrong. Itís a combination of the consolidation trap and living a lifestyle I just canít afford at the moment. So Iíve set my budget and will stick to it. Some other things Iíve done recently to take back control...

    1. Worked my bum off and got a promotion. Small pay rise this October, plus a further £3k PA next October taking me to £41k before tax
    2. eBayed a lot of stuff, made £170 so far
    3. Made a Christmas budget, planned what Iíd buy and stuck to that
    4. Made inroads on tax bill - £145 so far
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 11:04 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:04 PM
    • #7
    • 4th Dec 17, 11:04 PM
    My to do list for the next few weeks:-

    1. Pay remainder of tax bill by end of year
    2. Aim to further reduce food spending - use the freezer and store cupboard more effectively
    3. Use a snowball Calc to work out DFD
    4. Take jar of spare change to bank - thereís at least £50 in there
    5. Join local library
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 5th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Dec 17, 1:33 PM
    Today is planned as a NSD.

    Went to the library at lunchtime, which will save me a packet as I love to read physical and Kindle books. The best Kindle bargain I got this year was War & Peace for 99p, took be blooming months to get through that! However, you can't beat free so the library it is until the debt is £0.

    I've been bringing sandwiches in to work for a little while now, as I totted up the spend in M&S and other sandwich shops over a period of working weeks and the figure was astronomical
    The plan for lunchbreaks now is packed lunch from home, which comes out of the grocery budget and a walk - free.

    Part of the reason for my debt accumulation was that my previous job was affecting my mental health, so I took it upon myself to live high on the hog (on credit). I'm now coming out of that fog, recently it has come to light that I've also gained around 20lbs. (I knew this anyway, but was in denial). I would like to do Weight Watchers or something similar as this has worked well in the past, I like the structure of these plans and the accountability of the weigh-in. Now I just need to find the MSE-friendly way of doing this....
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 5th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Dec 17, 11:13 PM
    A successful NSD, happy with that. I have a couple of books from the library to get stuck into, I think my reading range will widen considerably now. I'm very impressed that I've managed to go a whole 24 hours without popping into the shop or coffee place on the ground floor of my workplace even once.

    Have started looking at store cupboard ingredients, I'm planning on making chickpea burgers for tomorrow's tea as there is a bag of carrots in the fridge and a tin of chickpeas in the cupboard. A bit of frozen veg and some basmati rice cooked with half a stock cube should make that a nutritious and cheap tea. Before, if I was feeling tired or just generally CBA I would invariably order a Chinese or pizza. The owners of these joints may not be able to holiday in the Caribbean next year
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 5th Dec 17, 11:33 PM
    • 1,415 Posts
    • 7,932 Thanks
    Hi FiscalPickle

    Another big book fan here...
    Check out BookBub and GoodReads for cheap deals on e-books and kindle offers etc.
    Myself and friends share a VAST library of e-books which we refer to as The Unseen Library, between us we have built it up over the last few years and swap files etc.
    Also have loads of real books

    Looks like you have a sound game plan and walking everywhere is a great way to keep active and shed unwanted weight.

    Keep on keeping on, you're doing grand so far
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 6th Dec 17, 1:23 AM
    • 1,316 Posts
    • 6,138 Thanks
    Hi FiscalPickle, your library may offer schemes whereby you can borrow e-magazines, Ebooks and audio books as part of your library membership. It's definitely worth looking into.
    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
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 £1600ish/£2,500
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 6th Dec 17, 5:56 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks

    I am also an avid reader and utilise the library a lot. Sounds like you have a good plan going forward. We owed 22k back at the beginning of 2016, swing that figure come down has been wonderful. Good luck
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 6th Dec 17, 7:05 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Thanks UncannyScot, I'll have a look at those sites. I'm in a crafting club with friends, when we next meet up I'll suggest that we bring books we've enjoyed to swap around the group.

    Hi wishingthemortgageaway, I think my library does offer this. I'll need to get a staff member to show me how it works to load up on my Kindle, then I should save some space on my bedside table

    Thanks drawingaline, I'm very motivated by the though of seeing the total come down!
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 6th Dec 17, 7:08 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Plans for today:-

    1. Take coins to bank at lunchtime
    2. Then go to Boots, I need hairspray. Try their cheapest own brand, see if I can cope with it
    3. After work, make a start on the family Christmas cards
    4. Wrap 4 Christmas gifts
    5. eBay an unworn jumpsuit, which is ideal for the party season so should sell

    I feel that since I started to take control, I'm more organised in other areas of my life and generally feel like I've got my sh!t together in general. Long may it continue!
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 6th Dec 17, 7:21 AM
    • 318 Posts
    • 2,561 Thanks
    Good luck on your journey FiscalPickle It sounds like you're making some good progress. Have you looked at your bills to see if you can reduce any? In October I think I managed to reduce mine by at least £60 a month, which makes a big difference over the year.
    DMP start 1st May 2014 - £11,554.25 £39,349.41 Original DFD from Stepchange 6th Sept 2039... Now aiming for Summer 2021
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 6th Dec 17, 5:02 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Hi Pauper1, the only bill I can significantly reduce is the food shop, where I live there is only 1 electricity provider, gas, phone etc. However I will see where any savings can be made, I think groceries is the biggie. If I meal plan and list better this will reduce the amount of top-up shops needed, which could be as much as £50 a month extra going out. When the mobile phone contract is up that will save me a bundle, at least £20 a month, unfortunately not until this time next year though.

    A successful day so far, I took the enormously heavy bag of coins to the bank but the machine was on the blink. I've left the bag and my details for a member of staff to pay it into my account - there was no way I was lugging that there and back again. Hairspray in Boots cost £1.79 for 450ml, it is priced at £1.99 but I get a discount on their own branded products for being a member of the contact lens scheme.
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 6th Dec 17, 5:19 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    I think I'll shop around for life insurance, if I bother to keep it at all. I did have a policy that would pay out £100k, I took it out as I didn't want to saddle my nearest and dearest with my debt. It seemed a waste of £25 a month in the current circumstances, which could be better used chipping away at Debt Mountain.

    As I don't have a mortgage yet I'm questioning the need to even have life insurance until my financial circumstances have significantly changed for the better. I'm fairly sure if I dropped dead tomorrow my employer's pension scheme would pay out a death benefit that would more than cover the debt, with enough left over for a rocking funeral. I'd expect Iron Maiden to be booked to play at the wake \,,/
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 7th Dec 17, 8:09 AM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    I would call yesterday a partial success. Total spend £11.32, this includes the hairspray in Boots, also needed cotton face pads. Again I get 10% off those with the contact lens scheme. 60p on milk for work, we!!!8217;re drinking a lot of tea in this cold weather.

    Then I got home, my husband most emphatically did not want chickpea burgers for dinner, he wanted something more satisfying and stodgy. When faced with such a situation in the past I!!!8217;d have thought oh to hell with it and ordered a Chinese banquet on my card as a treat. He knows that I have debt and am trying to sort it, but not the devil in the detail yet. I said if he wanted Chinese I would get something as well, however I would give him cash for my food and he could pay on his card. I had Peking chicken and we shared chips, total spend for me £6.50. A bit of a mini win there, I!!!8217;ve read on other diaries that debt busting is like dieting, you need something to stop you going off the rails completely.
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 07-12-2017 at 12:06 PM. Reason: Typo
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 7th Dec 17, 12:06 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    Debt free date has been worked out as 26 October 2019. In case anyone is interested, that is 688 days from today. By 26 June 2021, I will have saved hopefully enough towards a house deposit, providing my H also sorts his end of the bargain. It really helps me to have structure and specific dates to work towards, I feel so much more in control and not lost at all any more.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 7th Dec 17, 12:10 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,013 Thanks
    I can understand re the chinese my advice though one tiny thing did you know you can get cashback for buying takeaways.

    register for

    both just eat and hungry horace are on there, it might only be a few p but every little helps.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
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