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  • FIRST POST
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 5:38 PM
    • 127Posts
    • 307Thanks
    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 6
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 18, 8:28 PM
    • 1,947 Posts
    • 11,032 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    We always make a menu plan for the week ahead and base the food shopping list on it, adding in things like pet food, cleaning products and packed lunch ingredients. Iíve noticed over the last few months that the budget isnt going as far, we only buy treats on offer, same goes for bulk buying meat or fish to freeze. Things like meat (chicken, beef mince, the odd bit of lamb) and salmon are staples. I have no desire to go veggie but might have to start factoring in 2 vegetarian meals each week. Food seems more expensive than ever, dieting and budget shopping dont always go together
    Originally posted by FiscalPickle
    I agree with you about food prices going up. If you are able to 'stretch' meat etc a bit further with pulses/grains/veg/potatoes then perhaps you could cut costs that way. There are some lovely veggie recipes around though!
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,481.24/£3770 as of 4/8/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 8th Mar 18, 6:04 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I agree with you about food prices going up. If you are able to 'stretch' meat etc a bit further with pulses/grains/veg/potatoes then perhaps you could cut costs that way. There are some lovely veggie recipes around though!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Thanks Cherry, that's a really good suggestion. I could put more kidney beans in the chilli, bulk out cottage pies with more veg and put cauliflower in curries. We also love chickpeas and butterbeans, always buy the value tins. Tonight is cottage pie, yum :-)
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 8th Mar 18, 6:07 PM
    • 1,669 Posts
    • 8,404 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    I made a lamb shepherds pie the other night with what can only be described as a megre handful of lamb mince, bulked out with veg, hubby still said it was delicious.
    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
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 12th Mar 18, 7:15 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 15
    We had friends over for dinner this weekend, which came out of the shopping budget. It was a lot of fun, we really let our hair down. I had bellyache from laughter! It really shows that true enjoyment doesnt come from spending, if we had gone out for a meal I doubt the evening would have been half as good. It was great to do something like that, I feel like all Ive done is work work work recently.

    @enthusiasticsaver, yes the plan once the debt is gone is to save a house deposit. Im planning to save £1,050 a month, 825 for the house and 100 to emergencies until there is 3 months salary cushion built up. The rest will go towards either an annual holiday or a couple of smaller trips.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 14th Mar 18, 5:13 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    We have a wedding reception to go to out of town on Saturday, I might offer to drive so Mr P can have a couple of drinks. That way he can buy my soft drinks and I'll save on Weight Watchers points as well as £.

    Weight loss is coming down, although in minute increments. That's better than gaining I suppose, whilst still being able to have a life and some enjoyment.

    I have 2 weeks leave from work coming up soon, no trip away planned so have been thinking of MSE friendly ways of relaxing whilst also achieving things at home:-
    Declutter and sort some drawers/cupboards
    Read library books
    Netflix and DVDs
    Walks if nice weather
    Sort out garage
    eBay any sellable clutter, tip or charity shop the rest
    Salt some money away on payday for chalk paint, to finally upcycle 2 pieces of furniture


    I am really looking forward to some time off, my last proper break from work was in August.
    That lot should keep me busy and away from town and mindless spending.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 16th Mar 18, 9:19 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Countdown
    According to my debt-busting spreadsheet, it will be 347 days until I've paid all CCs off, 497 days until the HSBC loan is cleared and 589 days until total Debt Freedom. That sounds quite depressing broken down that far, however if this year flies as quickly as last year did I'l be CC free before I know it.

    I really don't want to sound like I'm wishing my life away, this debt free journey is turning into a painful yet valuable life-lesson, part of me just wants it over though. I was reading a lady's diary, she recently found out about her husband's monumental debt. It's really got me thinking about irresponsible lending, the financial industry doesn't seem to have learned its lesson since the credit crunch. The next balloon to go up will be numerous defaults on car PCPs, if that isn't happening already. Sometimes I worry for the world, it's frightening to see this (and many other) mistakes being repeated and lessons not being learned on a larger scale.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 16th Mar 18, 9:33 AM
    • 1,669 Posts
    • 8,404 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Can you break things down into shorter/smaller debts? Maybe how much you need to pay each day or something? I wouldn't cope with such big timescales.
    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
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 16th Mar 18, 7:54 PM
    • 479 Posts
    • 1,567 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    I feel I am constantly wishing my life away. Not just because of debt. Six more weeks until the next school holidays (my youngest hates school and it is an ongoing battle and I love the time off!) And the month is always one more week until the next lot of pay etc. But I think that is a little bit how we are as a society. Always wanting to be in the future, never in the moment. I am trying hard to be more present, hard when I am exhausted from work, thinking about finances constantly etc. But I think it is an important life lesson. This week my daughter asked to go to Brighton so she can do a more interesting photography project for school. It will be an extra tank of petrol, £60 less off debt etc, but actually it will be a lovely day out as a family and is a small price to pay for that kind of thing. (Obviously the weird boys request to holiday in the people's republic of Macedonia was squashed )
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Mar 18, 11:21 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    This week my daughter asked to go to Brighton so she can do a more interesting photography project for school. It will be an extra tank of petrol, £60 less off debt etc, but actually it will be a lovely day out as a family and is a small price to pay for that kind of thing. (Obviously the weird boys request to holiday in the people's republic of Macedonia was squashed )
    Originally posted by Drawingaline
    That's a really good way of looking at things, there will be times when we have to do a trade-off, an experience like that vs a slightly longer time to pay the debt is worth it. Brighton is slightly more convenient than Macedonia
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Mar 18, 5:14 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 16
    Pay day on Friday, which can't come soon enough. Unfortunately due to a couple of unexpected expenses cropping up I have gone into my overdraft. In good news, the other pots such as car insurance and maintenance, Christmas and birthday and October trip are starting to build up nicely. I'll rejig my expenses spreadsheet to cover the OD and the charges that it'll accrue, which is a pain but there it is.

    Once in my overdraft, I felt my willpower slipping over the weekend, so I put my bank card away to a not easily accessible place. I saw a film where a shopaholic put her credit card in the freezer in a load of water, maybe I should do that. There was a scene where she wanted to buy something, so melted the block of ice with a hairdryer
    My clothes spend for the year so far is £4.50, I needed a new work cardigan so used a £20 Monsoon reward voucher. The cardi was in the sale. This is so far unheard of for me.

    I need to decide whether to set a little aside on payday either for chalk paint or walking boots. I'd like to do some hill walking whilst on leave, I think I'd get more out of hiking than fiddly furniture painting at the moment. I really hope weather improves, completely sick of cold, wind and rain.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 19th Mar 18, 8:35 PM
    • 479 Posts
    • 1,567 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    I want to do more walking. Especially as a family. No one else is keen
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st Mar 18, 5:30 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I want to do more walking. Especially as a family. No one else is keen
    Originally posted by Drawingaline
    Would bribery in the form of chocolate get them out there? If you hid choccy eggs out and about in the semi-wilderness for an Easter egg hunt maybe you would have some willing participants
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st Mar 18, 5:39 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    My payslip arrived today ahead of Friday, must keep hold of it so I can complete my tax return online as soon as it's available.

    I have worked out a budget for April factoring in the unexpected creep into the overdraft, I've reduced the entertainment budget accordingly as I've planned MSE friendly activities during annual leave. I still need a haircut every month, the growing-out has had to be abandoned due to me being unable to get past the scruffy phase. Any tips for gracefully growing out a pixie cut gladly received. I pay £25 now as opposed to £60, as I just have a dry cut rather than a cut, colour and blow-dry.

    The allocation to the credit cards this month is £375, I'll pay the minimums on pay day but most will be held back until 21 April when the interest bearing balance will kick in. It's encouraging to see the debt come down, by this time next year I'll be well on the way to clearing the HSBC loan. I'm so very glad I chopped up my cards and tackled this head-on, I dread to think where I'd be now if I hadn't.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 23rd Mar 18, 2:12 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    March pay has gone in, April's spending is all accounted for in the spreadsheet and the savings pots and joint account have been topped up. Loan payments are due out on Monday and I'll pay the CC minimums either then as well or over the weekend.

    It's been so encouraging to see how quickly my CC pot has built up, it's really given me a taste for saving. I'll be glad to pay it to the MBNA in a few weeks though, as it sits temptingly in an easily accessed savings account. Although the temptation has been fleeting; if I'd had that kind of money within easy reach a year ago I would have splurged it on something unnecessary. Paying down debt is becoming addictive.

    Total debt paid off since LBM is £3,437.33, which represents just over 15% of the grand total

    (I will update this figure in 3 weeks to reflect the chunk to be paid off MBNA)
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 13th Apr 18, 7:52 PM
    • 479 Posts
    • 1,567 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    How are you getting on fiscalpickle?
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 18th Apr 18, 2:06 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Sorry for being AWOL for a few weeks, these last weeks haven't been the greatest on the MSE or anything else front. I had to use most of the MBNA fund on urgent dental treatment, which basically wiped out that pot. I don't have Denplan or anything like that, until recently I've only ever needed a twice yearly exam and clean and the very occasional filling. I've recently had 2 root canals at a specialist dentist, then had to go back to my own dentist for a crown. All in all, not cheap.

    Also, my mum hasn't been well, one of the reasons I took some leave from work was to spend time with her and encourage her to get some medical help. Her memory has been deteriorating for the last 6 months, along with her speech patterns and ability to hold a conversation. Conditions such as Parkinsons and a mild stroke have been ruled out, unfortunately now it is appears that she is in the early stages of dementia. We are still waiting for an official diagnosis, but that is the most likely cause at the moment. Worrying about my debts and financial situation seems really petty now, but it does still need sorting.

    So the plan now is to get a balance transfer for the £1174 chunk of MBNA, with a 2% fee this will add around £23 to the debt, I can live with that under the circumstances. Carry on chucking money at the MBNA, then the Virgin, etc etc. The DFD may be put back a month thanks to the dental setback. To make a bit of extra cash I'm going to start eBaying again and dig out some old jewellery, as the prices of scrap gold and silver aren't bad at the moment.
    Last edited by FiscalPickle; 18-04-2018 at 2:08 PM. Reason: stupid formatting problem
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st Apr 18, 10:00 AM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 20
    My goal now is to get back on track with my diary and debt-busting. I was reading on another diary that if possible, move all CC debt onto one 0% BT card, so just one payment and the balance goes down quicker. This makes sense for me to do, so I've just done a balance transfer of the bulk of the MBNA to Virgin one a 1 year deal for a 2% fee. This will motivate me more because MBNA will be completely paid off and cancelled by the end of this month. Then I'm aiming to get Virgin paid off before the deal expires, I like having a deadline to beat. I was toying with the idea of saving to pay off the HSBC loan earlier, but with no EF that seems dangerous given that my last pot went on dental bills.

    Payday is on Wednesday, once I've got back into the habit of chucking a pile at the debt each month as soon as I'm paid it will feel normal again. Really looking forward to paying the last of the MBNA, I feel like I'm streamlining the debt and giving myself more focus. I had to order a new card to do the BT, that has immediately been cut up and binned!
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 26th Apr 18, 12:42 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 21
    The MBNA has been paid off, so nice to just have the one credit card to fling money at.

    The debts now stand at:-
    HSBC loan £6679.68
    Joint loan £268.43
    Virgin CC £6229
    Car loan settlement figure as at today would be £4,077

    The car loan is a low monthly payment, but I could maybe save more interest if this one is paid earlier than planned - food for thought. Slowly but surely, I'm getting there.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 26th Apr 18, 4:56 PM
    • 1,947 Posts
    • 11,032 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm sorry you are having such a tough time. Especially hope things look up for your Mum. If it is dementia, there is good advice on the Alzheimers website (applicable to other types of dementia as well as Alzheimers).

    It must be a good feeling to have the Cc debt in one place and at 0% too!
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,481.24/£3770 as of 4/8/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 2nd May 18, 1:24 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 307 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 22
    The percentage of debt paid since my LBM on 01/12/17 is 18%

    I had hoped it would be more, but there have been some setbacks and the debt has not increased. A year ago, I would have chucked the dental bills onto a CC along with other things to 'cheer myself up'.

    This year, I had funds to pay for it outright, although they were meant to pay a CC I'm pleased that I was able to keep going in the right direction. All payments have been made from my April pay packet,

    Something I've been putting off is a chat about money generally with Mr P. We are both closed books with each other when it comes to our financial situations, which can't carry on if we're to buy a home together. I will find some time over the long weekend to broach the subject.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
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