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  • FIRST POST
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 5:38 PM
    • 125Posts
    • 300Thanks
    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 7
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 8th May 18, 12:26 PM
    • 125 Posts
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    FiscalPickle
    Week 23
    The money chat didn't happen over the long weekend, Mr P has had a stressful time of late, particularly with his daughter, I didn't want to add to his worries.

    We have decided to go away for Christmas this year, the £80 I save for Christmas and birthdays will cover the cost, along with birthday gifts and a dramatically pared down Christmas gift budget. We're staying in a hotel for 3 days, then with my brother. The thought of not having to do food shopping or clearing up is pure heaven, I'm very excited.

    On the weight loss front, I binned Weight Watchers off quite a few weeks ago when I started to gain weight
    Their new Flex plan just isn't for me, I find it very restrictive and boring. At £21 a month, I wasn't impressed. I'm going to try a new approach for me, any snacks I have must be a fruit or vegetable and I'm going to try new fermented and probiotic foods. Things like home made kefir and shop bought sauerkraut are supposedly very good for gut health, I have a feeling my poor gut could do with a rest. I'm back to my January weight, which is slightly depressing but WW did make me go on a slightly mad binge.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 14th May 18, 12:43 PM
    • 125 Posts
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    FiscalPickle
    Week 24
    Nearly 6 months has passed since my lightbulb moment, as predicted the grind and the boredom of drilling down debt and trying to be frugal with everything has grown. I've crept into my overdraft through lack of planning, which is a result of a distinct lack of enthusiasm.

    To try and inject some of the enthusiasm back, I've done a forecast of what the debt is likely to be by the end of the year. With a fair wind, it will be under £12k. Once I get to a certain point, I'll be able to chuck almost £900 per month at the debt and it will diminish fast. Getting to that point though, feels like light years away.

    By autumn 2019 the finish line will be very much in sight, I will hopefully by then be better at planning, discipline with money and completely unlikely to ever take out a personal loan or fritter money on a CC ever again.

    *Sigh*
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 15th May 18, 12:21 AM
    • 1,862 Posts
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    Cherryfudge
    It sounds as though it's hard going. These things seem longer looking forward than they do afterwards, looking back, but you can do it! Sometimes even silly stuff can be a motivator: 'wombling' loyalty points (my DH never really bothers with his so I grab them), playing with that calculator somewhere on this site which tells you how much you are spending on regular small treats over a year, even selling incredible stuff on ebay (there is an article somewhere about people selling the tubes out of toilet rolls). Maybe you can find something to get you through this phase till the £900 a month part kicks in, when I expect we won't see you for dust - that's a whopping chunk to pay off on a regular basis!
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,109.13/£3770 as of 12/7/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st May 18, 5:55 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 25
    After a weekend of absolutely zero spends, I'm very much looking forward to payday this coming Friday. Got a few nice things planned for the long weekend out of the entertainment budget, including the cinema and a meal out. There may be a couple of drinks either at or after work on Friday, in honour horror of GDPR becoming enforceable.

    I'm just waiting for one more interest certificate and then I can submit my tax return. Every year, getting this from HSBC is unnecessarily complicated. I have a feeling that I might be in line for a small rebate, fingers crossed. If so, it's going straight to the Virgin CC.

    I had another look at my MSE Credit Club profile, according to this I am using 45% of the available CC credit I have, but conversely it still says my affordability for loans/CCs is poor, as it perceives my disposable income to be rubbish. Well they're not wrong about the disposable income, it's going to be so much healthier once Debt Mountain has been eradicated. However, if I were using the maximum almost £14k of credit available (*shudders*) it would be even worse? Perhaps it factors in the whole amount, its a moot point really as I was just curious. I still have an excellent score of 984, so things are looking good for once the debt is cleared and a house deposit has been saved.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 21st May 18, 7:17 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 1,478 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Hi fiscal pickle, just been catching up. I am also at the incredibly bored stage with debt busting. Mine is on the back burner until the madness of the summer holidays are over, plan is 2k between sep-dec, we shall see lol!

    Onwards and upwards....
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 24th May 18, 12:24 PM
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    FiscalPickle
    Weight loss efforts
    A bit of an update on the weight loss front; I've mentioned before that I binned off Weight Watchers, then I had a bit of a break from counting and weighing. I decided that I really missed the gym I used to go to, they do a really good variety of classes which for me are as good as personal training. When I was getting in shape for my wedding, I did kettlebell and barbell/abs classes, they really made a difference to my measurements. As I get a corporate membership rate, I've decided to tweak the budget to fit that in in lieu of WW as exercising is also very good for my mental as well as physical health. I've recently started spinning, which I was a bit intimidated by before but now I've got the hang of it, I really enjoy it.

    I'm using the free version of My Fitness Pal to track ingoing calories, I've got it set at maintenance and aim to eat 300-400 less than that Monday-Friday to create a good deficit along with the exercise. I will only weigh myself once a month, so I've got at least 3 weeks before my next weigh-in. This has really taken the pressure off, one bad week can't then turn into two. I think this approach may work better for me in the longer term. I'll also take photos and measurements as I go along, as the scale isn't necessarily the best measure of success.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 30th May 18, 9:23 AM
    • 125 Posts
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    FiscalPickle
    Week 26
    Bit of a development, I put the money chat off with Mr P for some time and probably left it too long. I got really upset about what I perceived to be his lack of commitment in terms of planning to build up joint savings and buy a property together. I had assumed that he was in a much better place financially than me, then I fessed up to the debt. Turns out he has debt too, it looks like a similar amount to mine, if not a bit more, at first blush. He has been sticking his head in the sand for some time, we were both spending on CCs trying to keep up with each other and our Ďlifestyleí, without any communication over our respective financial situations. Quite bizarre for a married couple really!

    Iím so glad itís all out in the open, it feels like such a relief and now we can work together to tackle it. He has more CC debt than I do but no personal loan, however none of his CCs are on 0% and his repayments arenít really denting the debt. Iíve got him to sign up to MSE credit club so we can see what is what, it looks like there may be some old debts still on his Experian report so we need to look in to getting those taken off, as his credit score is quite low. He is still financially linked to his ex as well, they only managed to sell their joint property 2 years ago. The CCs are no longer being spent on, I will suggest that he cuts them up once weíve managed to shuffle the balances onto 0%. Iím also considering putting some of his CC debt onto a 0% offer I have with MBNA, to take some of the weight off him.

    The next step is to create a joint spreadsheet showing exactly what is what, we can then work together to trim some of the fat off the joint budget and be able to throw more at our debts. I think by working together it will go much easier and a bit quicker, as we will both be on our frugal debt-busting mission together.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 30th May 18, 9:49 AM
    • 6,732 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Good that you are now on the same page and can motivate each other.
    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 moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • pidge04
    • By pidge04 30th May 18, 7:24 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 258 Thanks
    pidge04
    Just had a read of your diary for the first time. Earlier on, you wrote about how we cannot borrow our way out of debt and how the only way out is to claw our way out, tooth and nail. Wow, this really resonated with me having borrowed to try and get out of debt in the past. It has never ever worked for me. I can claw my way out though and do whatever it takes, as you wrote.
    Sounds like you have had some twists and turns. I am anticipating hitting a slump in a couple of months. I wish you well.
    CC1 £2400/£954 CC2 £3000/£2389 CC3 £600/£523 LOAN £13,000/£5462
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 30th May 18, 9:38 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Interesting that you and Mr P are in similar circumstances, and brilliant that you've been able to address it. It sounds as though you'll be leading the way but you're both headed in same direction.
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,109.13/£3770 as of 12/7/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 5th Jun 18, 4:58 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 27
    Thought Iíd do some updating of totals, the debt now stands at £16,767.02. Iím happy with this progress, by this time next month itíll be in the £15k bracket as Iím planning to pay off a total of £862 on payday at the end of June.
    The total paid since LBM now stands at £4,499.45 Ė Iím sure I could manage a 55p overpayment to bring that to a nice round figure. The figure paid to date represents 21% of the original debt total.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 5th Jun 18, 5:47 PM
    • 1,538 Posts
    • 7,485 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    I'm sure you could find 55p down the back of the sofa...
    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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Jun 18, 12:07 AM
    • 1,862 Posts
    • 10,100 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm sure you could find 55p down the back of the sofa...
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    I found £4 down our sofa recently!
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,109.13/£3770 as of 12/7/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 14th Jun 18, 1:11 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 28 - Weight update!
    Having focussed more on my weight loss efforts these last few weeks, I'm really pleased that I've lost 5.5lbs since 14 May. I'm finding MyFitnessPal really easy to use and navigate, I'm treating my calories like a budget and so far it's having the desired effect. 29.5lbs to go, happy days

    Keeping an eye on food intake and meal planning/shopping is definitely working out as a money saver for us, as well as helping with weight loss. Mr P has joined me on MFP, it is much easier if we are on the same page about that as well as about finances. Things are much easier all round since we had our talk, I am starting to see the light at the end of this debt tunnel more clearly for both of us.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Jun 18, 8:26 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 29
    Wow, 29 weeks since my LBM and starting this diary. When I look back, it doesn't feel like its been that long. In other ways, it feels like I've been in debt for a million years, its the realisation that is new.

    Not been so good this week, I've drifted into my overdraft again. I've tried to rein things in, I have literally £4 to my name until pay day on Monday. The joint account has mere pennies, so no food shop this weekend and we'll just have to make do with what is in. I got paid £30 for a survey, which is slightly offsetting the near £250 deficit. I will also look to restart some selling, I have a few pairs of shoes and some bags that could potentially make a few quid. The buy and sell groups on Facebook are usually a good bet, but the people on there are so flaky. The amount of people who just don't turn up really got on my nerves, which is why I went back to eBay a while ago. Roll on payday
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st Jun 18, 1:01 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Good news
    A little boost to the paying off of the Virgin CC, I'm due a £250 tax rebate - happy days!
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 27th Jun 18, 10:57 AM
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    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 30
    Payday was on Monday, all debt payments have been made and piggy accounts fed. What is left for entertainment, fun and generally having a life is somewhat pitiful compared to my take-home pay. Iíve still managed to organise a couple of nights out though, but will be watching the expenditure both money and calorie-wise.
    My net pay is currently £2322, this went down slightly in April and May to £2292 due to pension contributions going up. It is has now evened out, as I was paying slightly too much income tax. My salary is due to go up in 3 months, so my net pay should rise to around £2450-2500.
    I did intend to eBay a few more items some weeks ago, but couldnít work up the enthusiasm. To try and bring the credit card repayment date forward a month, Iíll list at least 4 items this weekend. Iíve got a leather satchel that is quite bulky so to save posting out that might be better to sell locally, but the Facebook page Iíve sold on in the past wonít accept the post for some reason.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 2nd Jul 18, 11:52 AM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Week 32
    Can't believe July is here already, we're over halfway through the year. It feels like only a couple of months since the New Year. The percentage of debt paid off since my LBM in December now stands at 25%, I feel like this is a really good milestone to have reached. I will only be a few hundred pounds short of 30% by next payday.

    I've got a little money left in my account after paying debts and for a few essentials, I've budgeted a night out with a friend towards the end of the month, which will hopefully give me focus and keep me out of my overdraft. My main goal for this month is to end with the account in the black.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 2nd Jul 18, 2:22 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    A quarter of the way already! Well done you!

    Iíve got a leather satchel that is quite bulky so to save posting out that might be better to sell locally, but the Facebook page Iíve sold on in the past wonít accept the post for some reason.
    Originally posted by FiscalPickle
    I had a couple of items that automatically screened out - one was some herb seeds that sounded as though I was selling explosives (rocket), another was soft toys that sounded as though I was selling animals (guinea pigs)! I don't know if this is a universal FB rule or particular to my local group. It's worth checking their small print.
    MFW #30 Paid off £2,109.13/£3770 as of 12/7/18
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 2nd Jul 18, 4:52 PM
    • 125 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I had a couple of items that automatically screened out - one was some herb seeds that sounded as though I was selling explosives (rocket), another was soft toys that sounded as though I was selling animals (guinea pigs)! I don't know if this is a universal FB rule or particular to my local group. It's worth checking their small print.
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    That's a good suggestion, thanks Cherry
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
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