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  • FIRST POST
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 5:38 PM
    • 110Posts
    • 267Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    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 2
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 7th Dec 17, 12:12 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,014 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    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.
    Originally posted by FiscalPickle

    re toiletries hairspray etc try home bargains or b and m etc i would bet you could get a decent brand without buying a cheap boots branded product.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 7th Dec 17, 4:56 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    re toiletries hairspray etc try home bargains or b and m etc i would bet you could get a decent brand without buying a cheap boots branded product.
    Originally posted by Scott_Weiland
    Thanks Scott, unfortunately those stores are not in easy travelling distance of where I live. Will try the local £ shop next time, I was buying £10 a pop hairspray before from the hairdresser!

    Madness
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 7th Dec 17, 6:56 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,014 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    Poundworld/poundland blahhhhh blahhhh all are other options

    ten quid on hairspray jaysus thats mad.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 7th Dec 17, 9:41 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I!!!8217;ve done some of the Christmas cards and boxed up my brother!!!8217;s card and present ready to post tomorrow. Also have another eBay sale to post, I stocked up on the Harry Potter things in Primarni before they sold out, making a good profit there. Haven!!!8217;t put the jumpsuit on eBay yet, must do that tomorrow.

    I have a planned day out on Saturday with colleagues, have allocated £20 for that. That is all I!!!8217;m going to spend all weekend, I!!!8217;m doing OK so far with the cash I!!!8217;ve withdrawn. It makes a real difference in terms of mindset when handing over cold hard cash, as opposed to merrily shoving a piece of plastic in a card reader. I!!!8217;m just glad I didn!!!8217;t go contactless!
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 8th Dec 17, 10:55 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I committed the cardinal sin of spending on a 0% credit card, the Virgin one. MBNA sent me a new balance transfer offer, the handling fee is a lot less than leaving the interest to stack up would be.So I did a balance transfer of £2,050. The cards are now:-

    Virgin £1969.35
    MBNA £4945 (£75 payment due out next week)

    So the debt has actually increased a little, but this shuffle means the DFD is earlier than it would have been otherwise. No sign of my coin jar deposit appearing in my bank account, has the machine eaten them without a trace? May have to pop into the bank later to try and find out what has happened.

    Plan for this evening - more Christmas cards, eBay the jumpsuit, glass of port, stay warm and cosy, NSD just like yesterday
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 9th Dec 17, 2:58 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Coin jar came to £38, which is nice and better in my bank account than shoved in a corner. Yesterday turned out to be spendier than planned, I posted an eBay sale and my brother's Christmas box. We needed a pair of secateurs, the old pair had rusted shut. I found a decent pair for less than £10, hopefully they'll last for years oiled and stored carefully. I can now have a bit of a tidy up in the garden, pottering outside always makes me feel better about life in general.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 11th Dec 17, 5:14 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 2
    I'm already in the second week of my diary, a little way along from my LBM and the rebalancing of the budget. I was doing some thinking over the weekend and having read some other diaries, my main thoughts were:-

    1. What did I spend it all on?
    2. Why did I do it?

    Well, as far as Ďstuffí goes I bought clothes for work, which have all been worn, some to the point of falling apart. I did buy a designer handbag Ďbecause I deserved ití Ė I would have felt like I deserved it a lot more if I had saved up for the thing in the first place. I had my terrible acne treated at a cosmetic medical place, which really helped my self-esteem. I got married, some of the debt was on the most fantastic wedding day possible with many happy memories. I took my husband and his daughter on a surprise trip to Lapland which was a chunk of the previous HSBC loan, now consolidated. We had a great time away, my stepdaughter still talks about that trip and those memories will last a lifetime. So my conclusion was that I have very little tangible Ďstuffí as a result, what had any life left in it has been eBayed. The Ďstuffí didnít bring me any happiness, but the memories and experiences did.

    However, those feelings would be even more pleasant if I had planned my finances accordingly and not impulse bought along the way. Iíve been on a decent salary for some time and have basically nothing to show for it asset-wise. So itís been an up and down weekend, Iím trying to be kinder to myself and acknowledge that a hard lesson has been learned, as well as:-

    1. The debt consolidation spiral can be tricky to get out of once you are in Ė at one point I felt sucked into a vortex
    2. More intelligent people than me have been lured by Ďgoodí loan deals and shiny plastic cards with a fancy design youíve picked out yourself
    3. You canít borrow your way out of debt Ė you have to claw your way out tooth and nail if that is what it takes

    Iím very much in the Ďtooth and nailí mindset now, as I am heartily sick of being beholden to financial intuitions and seeing over £800 of my salary simply disappear once a month. I read on TreadingOnPlayMobilís diary (thoroughly enjoying lurking on that one so far) that debt is borrowing from your future self. I couldnít agree more, Present Me could go back in time and give Past Me a good slap and a talking to about priorities. Still, I think at this point I need to start giving myself a bit of a break as the past is the past, I canít change that. What I can change is the future, and hopefully give Future Me something to look forward to.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 12th Dec 17, 9:08 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    !!!!!!
    Today turned out to be spendier than planned, considering I'd intended it to be a NSD. I forgot my breakfast and lunch, both were inconveniently left on the kitchen worktop this morning.

    So I ended up buying not only a croissant from the bakery but also a hot chocolate to 'cheer myself up' (also warm myself up - it was like Siberia in the meeting room this AM). Then lunch was a pasta salad from M&S, so maybe I haven't learned as much as I thought. I felt a bit down after unplanned spending of almost £10 so I didn't even enjoy the food. The hot chocolate was overly sweet, I could make better in a flask to bring in. As long as I didn't forget the flask rotfl:
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 13-12-2017 at 11:24 PM.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 13th Dec 17, 11:26 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Today I made sure I ate breakfast before leaving the house and took my lunch; a successful NSD.

    Busy few days at work helps too. My Christmas shopping is done, £8 under budget on gifts.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 14th Dec 17, 5:16 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I made an overpayment today to the Virgin CC of £6.01, this came from the £8 I was underbudget on Christmas presents minus £1.99 spent on birthday cards. My thinking is that whenever I can, no matter how little, Iíll pay bits here and there towards this credit card on top of the £400 per month regular repayment. This card is due to be paid off in June 2018, hopefully little extras here and there between now and then may bring that date forward by 1 month. Then I can start hoofing it all at the MBNA.

    By payday in December 2018 all CCs should be paid off, then the snowballs will be chucked at the HSBC loan. It is this kind of thinking that is so far keeping me on the straight and narrow, new as I am to this way of life. If Iím in town shopping for budgeted items and I spot something Ďprettyí, I find myself repeating the mantra ĎDo I need it? Is it worth it?í then putting it back. So far it is working, the idea of being debt free and able to accumulate significant savings for the first time in my life is really spurring me on.

    In a way, I am both looking forward to and dreading 2018. Iím looking forward to clearing my credit cards, but Iím not looking forward to the painful months of not treating myself to things and sticking to a strict budget. I know it takes a good amount of time to create new habits, itís going to be difficult at first not to follow my usual spending pattern. However, every time Iím in a shop or have my hand in my purse I am hyper-aware of the almost £20k deficit hanging over me like a shadow.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 15th Dec 17, 11:05 AM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I!!!8217;ve been having my hair coloured for a while now, it!!!8217;s a colour that is better to have done at the hairdresser rather than home so I!!!8217;ve decided to go back to my natural colour. I also have a short hairstyle which needs a cut every month, so I!!!8217;m going to grow it out to the point where I only need a dry trim every other month, taking the £40 hairdresser spend down to £12.50 per month. I was reading online about the inversion technique, where you tilt your head forward and massage your scalp for 4 minutes, for one week of each month. This is supposed to increase blood flow to the scalp and encourage quicker hair growth. I!!!8217;ll give it a whirl, I spent 4 minutes massaging coconut oil into my head this morning which won!!!8217;t do my hair any harm. My scalp still feels pleasantly tingly. I shall report back in 1 week with any significant or noticeable hair growth!
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • ladymay
    • By ladymay 15th Dec 17, 11:30 AM
    • 916 Posts
    • 3,937 Thanks
    ladymay
    I have nothing to add to everyone's else messages other than a massive good luck on your journey - you're in charge and you can do this!!

    And going back to hairspray - a hairdresser once suggested I try the Cien hairspray from L!dl - it's fantastic! I do a lot of vintage style styling which requires something heavy duty and this does the job
    Moved back to the UK 05/01/18
    New Job and New Business
    2018 Aim - Save £10k
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 15th Dec 17, 1:10 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I have nothing to add to everyone's else messages other than a massive good luck on your journey - you're in charge and you can do this!!

    And going back to hairspray - a hairdresser once suggested I try the Cien hairspray from L!dl - it's fantastic! I do a lot of vintage style styling which requires something heavy duty and this does the job
    Originally posted by ladymay
    Thank you ladymay, I'll keep an eye out for that hairspray
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 17th Dec 17, 7:16 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I!!!8217;m still writing out the Christmas cards, must get them posted off tomorrow. Why is it such a slog? I start off trying to write something meaningful and profound in each one, at this point the last ones are getting a brief scribble. Seriously considering donating to a worthy cause instead next year, the money could be put to much better use. I!!!8217;m starting to really hate waste in any form, I know that most of these cards will be opened, glanced at then put up somewhere until they go into a bin or recycling pile. I!!!8217;m full of the joys of the season tonight! Giving serious thought to an extremely frugal Christmas next year and until a house is purchased. It won!!!8217;t be forever, but who knows Frugal Festivities may become the norm chez Pickle....
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 18-12-2017 at 4:14 PM.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 18th Dec 17, 4:56 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 3
    Iíve done some more adding up after shuffling a chunk of the Virgin CC balance over to MBNA, plus I realised I Ďforgotí (how Iím not sure) about a joint loan I got with Mr P for furniture. That is due to be paid off in April, I owe him £500 from way back when so Iíll clear that with some of the £400 that is going towards the Virgin balance. So the revised total is actually an eye-watering

    £21,226.47

    OMG. Iíve updated the OP to reflect this. The DFD hasnít changed though as Iíd already built in the joint loan, must have been subconsciously there while I was writing the OP. The totals broken down are:-
    HSBC loan £7872.48
    HSBC loan £715.80 (my half of a joint loan)
    Car loan £5503.62 (this includes total interest, the earlier the DFD is the less Iíll pay)
    MBNA CC £5016.75
    Virgin CC £1978.39
    Tax bill £159.43 (to be paid by end of this month)

    I cancelled my Virgin CC DD as Iím going to make manual payments, theyíve cheekily tried to take the DD and added a £9 failed transaction charge on top, Iíve contested that today. This is despite a balance transfer of £2050 going through this payment month. The overpayments of £6.01 and £1.75 that I made last week to both CCs havenít showed up yet. *Sigh*

    I feel like I'm looking up at a very large mountain to scale. The foothills of Debt Mountain are feeling quite lonely at the moment in light of the above.
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 18-12-2017 at 5:00 PM.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 18th Dec 17, 5:03 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    2018 resolutions
    Iíve already started to think about my resolutions for 2018. The main one and the biggie is clearing the CC debt. The others are generally health, wealth and wellbeing focussed:-

    1. Continue decluttering Ė eBay at least one item per month

    2. Purchases are to be absolute necessities only Ė once the question ďDo I need it? Is it worth it?Ē has been asked. Particularly when replacing clothing.

    3. Lose the excess weight gained this year Ė goal is a total of 21lbs, broken down to 2lbs per month which is achievable. Iíll use the MyFitnessPal app to track my food intake, this is a free app with a good support network online

    4. Increase outdoor activity Ė a minimum of 2 decent length (30 minutes minimum) walks per week as a starting point. Ensure this is a regular habit by end of February then re-evaluate with the better weather approaching

    5. Clear the total almost £7k of CCs, along with regular DD payments towards HSBC loan and car loan. Total planned repayments = £10k

    6. Start building emergency fund Ė goal saved by end of 2018 = £600

    7. Start car maintenance fund of £50 per month saving, this to cover insurance which I plan to purchase outright in September, which will save money. This will also cover the annual service/MOT and any repairs (I hope!)

    8. 200 Day No Alcohol Challenge Ė this is something Iím doing just for me, I wonít expect friends or family to join in. Iím not even going to broadcast that Iím doing this. The reasons are that alcohol is an expensive luxury and certainly not a necessity whilst in in debt. Going half a year without will do me and my weight loss efforts no harm at all. I'm not really a big drinker, but I often get carried away in the flow of what others are doing. I want to feel more in charge of what goes into my body.

    9. Learn a new skill Ė this will probably be something craft-y. Iíve always wanted to learn to play the guitar, but Iíll save that one for next year as that will involve a financial outlay and I already have a ton of crafting supplies. It gives me a year to source a second-hand guitar and maybe some lessons, as Iím not very good at picking things up via YouTube. I need someone with said skill to actually show me how to do something. I tried to learn crochet via YouTube and my efforts were decidedly naff and wonky.

    10. Live in the moment Ė notice things like nature, appreciate what I have rather than what I donít have, be more thankful for the fact that I live in warmth, safety and with those who I love around me. Itís so easy to focus on the negative or the debt or what I wish I had, it will be a good thing to stop for a moment and be a little more appreciative now and then.
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 18-12-2017 at 7:12 PM.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • MMC87
    • By MMC87 18th Dec 17, 8:31 PM
    • 64 Posts
    • 73 Thanks
    MMC87
    I am a big fan of backcombing and poofing and I honestly think the cheaper the hairspray, the longer the hold! Just as an aside LOL.
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 18th Dec 17, 8:34 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 1,442 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    I like your list. I am going to try something similar for next year I think. For me I am going to start focusing on experience over stuff. Good luck
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Dec 17, 2:10 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    The Christmas cards are all done and posted, just in the nick of time as well to catch the last post. Wrist was aching as I did manage to write a message in each of them, glad it's done for another year
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Dec 17, 2:34 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    November spending analysis
    I kept a log on my phone of everything that I paid cash (plus the occasional debit card purchase) for using my October pay. I'm very much still new to this so there is a lot of room for improvement, I've broken this down by category and will aim to beat each month:-

    Lunches/coffees/milk for office
    £20.89 - this is still bad, but not nearly as bad as before LBM. I would estimate £100 easily then.

    Socialising
    £66.20 on two nights out - apart from this time of year I don't go out to pubs much, would rather go to a friend's home than get into expensive alcohol rounds

    Household
    £9.36 (new secateurs)

    Entertainment
    £27.40 on the cinema twice, went with friends which was £8 and it was my turn to pay for me and Mr P, we're going to the new Star Wars this month, paid last month

    Takeaways
    £6.50 on one takeaway - huge improvement for me, ideally this will be a few times a year treat only

    Toiletries
    £4.22 - hairspray and cotton pads

    Total £128.07

    I did buy gifts and spend money on postage, but that was accounted for in the Christmas budget. The rest of my spending was household bills or debt repayment. I will do the same for my December pay throughout January, although that will be a little spendier with Christmas parties and other things that are going on.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
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