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  • FIRST POST
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 4th Dec 17, 4:38 PM
    • 139Posts
    • 348Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Time to turn this around
    • #1
    • 4th Dec 17, 4:38 PM
    Time to turn this around 4th Dec 17 at 4:38 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 3:58 PM. Reason: Amending total debt figure
Page 9
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 20th Aug 18, 11:50 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Thoughts on the way forward
    I've been back at work last week after a really good 2 weeks of leave, having given the debt crisis a lot of thought I've come up with a way forward.
    • carry on paying off debt and not accumulating more - it will go in the right direction. The CC payments will not be as aggressive though, I have accepted that this will affect my timeline
    • stop focussing on the numbers and percentages - for me, this has just added extra pressure
    • enjoy life and factor in the occasional treat without agonising over it - I work hard and need to have some joy along with the grind
    • support Mr P as we work towards becoming DF, it may be a slower and more winding journey but we will get there

    I have decided not to put any of Mr P's balances onto my available 0% credit card, at the moment that is functioning as my EF and he really needs to sort out his own debt. The best thing I can do is encourage him and be a good example.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 21st Aug 18, 3:44 PM
    • 607 Posts
    • 2,136 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    You sound happy with your plan,, good luck
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Oct 18, 1:35 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Update - 2 months later
    Wow, I canít believe itís been 2 months since I last posted, that time has absolutely flown by. Iím still chipping away at the debt whilst trying not to add to it, without focussing on the numbers I have a feeling that the total is coming down. There are now new things needed in the house unfortunately, one of our cats has peed to oblivion on the dining room carpet so that needs replacing along with the underlay.

    I had a trip to London with a friend, I was really pleased that all of the travel, accommodation and activities came within budget. Iíd been saving for this since the start of the year and it was such a welcome break. We got a few good deals online for show tickets and dinner at a Michelin starred restaurant during the London Restaurant Festival. There was also a shopping trip, I went in with the mantra of if something really didnít stand out, not to buy it. As a result I only bought one item, not clothing though as Iím still plugging away with my weight loss efforts. Similar to the debt, Iím not focussing on the numbers as for me that is not a motivator. Instead, Iím going by the fit of my clothes and have recently gone down a belt notch.

    After taking a bit of a break and being kinder to myself, Iím feeling much better about this whole debt and MSE thing. I donít honestly know if Iíll be debt free by this time next year, but Iím much less stressed and if itís a few months into 2020, so be it.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 24th Oct 18, 11:14 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Tomorrow is payday, I'll be sending £825 to the CC balance. I'm ridiculously excited to see my payslip as I'm due a salary increase to the tune of £3k. Now that I'm earning £41k I really feel like I can start making significant inroads into Debt Mountain.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 7th Nov 18, 4:25 PM
    • 607 Posts
    • 2,136 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Lovely to see you back!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Nov 18, 4:30 PM
    • 2,676 Posts
    • 16,756 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Congrats on the pay rise - what brilliant news!
    MFW #30 Overpaid by £4,100.58/£3000 in 2018 Overpaid by £555.74/2,880.00 in 2019
    Decluttered in 2019: 543/2019 as of 17/4/19
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 21st Nov 18, 10:50 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Definitely feeling the benefit of my payrise, it makes moving job just over a year ago feel like the right decision was made. I'm nearly done with Christmas shopping, so glad I saved each month starting in January. There will be some extra expenses around going away for the festive period, but I have cut back on the overall gift spend to compensate. I have also hand made some gifts this year, including crocheted toys and hats, which is why my diary has been quiet. Hope everyone else's Christmas plans are coming together nicely
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 24th Nov 18, 10:00 PM
    • 1,619 Posts
    • 10,046 Thanks
    Onebrokelady
    Well done on the pay rise and also well done for making some Christmas gifts,DD1 used to knit me a pair of socks for Xmas but hasn't got time now she has the baby
    I'm being very organised this year and I'm on target for finishing my Xmas shopping by the end of next week
    Just keep swimming
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £1,835 Total Now Owed = £15,795
    Emergency Fund = £1,330 Xmas savings = £350
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 18th Feb 19, 11:35 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    What's the saying.. pride comes before a fall? That is definitely me at the moment. The wheels came off in the run-up to Christmas, I defrosted my credit card and bought extra presents for others, which led into a spiral of buying things to 'cheer myself up'. I need to do the following:-
    1. Tot up the damage and come back and post updated totals. I think before I was burying my head in the sand by not focussing on numbers. This is the result.
    2. Read through my diary and see what motivated me before to keep chipping away at Debt Mountain.
    3. Have a look into shopping addiction/compulsive spending. This might not be a factor, but there is definitely something self-destructive in my behaviour.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Feb 19, 4:03 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Damage limitation time
    So, the total damage is £18,985.85, which essentially means no progress for the previous 12 months. The total on CCs is now £10,278.05, about half of it is still on 0% but that is due to end in March. I need to ideally get a decent 0% deal for the lot and shift it over, get it paid off PDQ and cut & bin any credit cards I have. Freezing them just wasn't enough of a disincentive. I don't think I have a proper shopping addiction, but I have very much recently been living in the here and now rather than thinking of the future. I've gone back to my spreadsheet, if I can stick to the plan this time my new DFD will be 26/08/20. Sigh.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 19th Feb 19, 6:36 PM
    • 8,347 Posts
    • 19,023 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Hope you manage to get some 0% deals. I am not sure the long ones are as easily available now. I suggest cutting the cards up completely to stop you being tempted after you have saved an emergency fund. Do you still have an overdraft too?
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 19th Feb 19, 7:28 PM
    • 607 Posts
    • 2,136 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Oh no! But, new day etc. And you recognised it and plan to stop and address underlying causes. The old you wouldn't have stopped until it was way worse.

    Payrise will help in the long run too.
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 22nd Feb 19, 12:12 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I've managed to get a 32 month balance transfer deal for £10.5k, with a 1.4% fee which means I should be able to just fit all of the CC debt on to it. enthusiasticsaver, the cards have been cut and I'll close the accounts once the balance transfers go through and any residual interest paid. The revised budget now looks like this:-

    Rent, household bills, food 1060
    HSBC loan 238.56
    New CC 600
    Car 94.89
    Car service & repairs 50
    Contact lens scheme 26
    Entertainment 50
    Christmas & birthdays 100
    Clothes/shoes 50
    Hair 40
    Holiday fund 60
    Emergency fund 50
    Gym 34.95 (I consider this an essential rather than a luxury - I go between 4-5 times a week, do lots of the classes including spin and it's essential for my shaping up and mental wellbeing).

    With this coming to £2,454.40, this leaves about £120 per month 'spare' which I will either throw at the debt, or use to indulge my shopping habit in a more moderate way. With no CCs, I can't go overboard. Having looked into it, I don't think I have a compulsive spending addiction, I don't buy things I don't use and I don't binge-shop and return clothing. I have a stressful job and sometimes feel the need for a 'treat', I just need to find a way to treat myself within my means.

    I'm due an extra £700 in my pay this month, which will be going towards the new card balance.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 26th Feb 19, 11:11 PM
    • 2,676 Posts
    • 16,756 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I think if you hadn't put in last year's work, you would be far and away in a more difficult situation now - so progress has been made, and having cut up the cards and reinstated the spreadsheet it sounds as though you're back on track.

    I don't know if this would help but I noticed when I was running I didn't feel the need to reward myself as much. I see you go to the gym instead so perhaps you could defer buying treats till after the gym, when perhaps the 'need' will have lessened as you get a nice burst of exercise-related feel-good hormones.
    MFW #30 Overpaid by £4,100.58/£3000 in 2018 Overpaid by £555.74/2,880.00 in 2019
    Decluttered in 2019: 543/2019 as of 17/4/19
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 7th Mar 19, 12:08 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    Got the paperwork through the post this weekend for the new balance transfer CC, posted the agreement back on Monday so hopefully the new card will arrive soon. I'm holding out paying the current CCs in case it arrives in time to make the balance transfer before the due dates, but as the due dates are 17 and 18 March.

    I'm getting a lot better at staying away from the overdraft, with all essentials and treats allocated I've got a nice balance of £150 left over, with 2.5 weeks until payday. (love how quickly March payday rolls around after a short February )
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 12th Mar 19, 11:30 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I had a message to call the bank about the CC application as they wanted to query something, all kinds of scenarios went through my mind. Turns out they just needed to query the signature as mine has become an illegible scrawl. So it's looking positive to receive the card in about a week, I've made the payments to my current CCs though as I didn't want to even risk going overdue. I am so looking forward to transferring the balances over and then really focussing on paying the HSBC card off.

    Less than 5 weeks until the new Game of Thrones seasons starts, getting very excited for that! Mr P and I will watch 6 and 7 to catch up, we have a week off work together coming up soon so looking forward to some good telly, watching films, as well as doing house-y jobs. I really want to declutter the garage, might make a few £ by selling things we don't need/want. I've got my eye on a few things around the house, like a nearly new TV that never gets watched.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 19th Mar 19, 12:50 PM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    The balance transfers are done, I've shuffled a total of £10,394.48 inclusive of the fees. I've got 32 months to pay it off, but the goal is June 2020. The HSBC loan is due to finish in August 2020, by not paying it off earlier I'll get around £400 cashback on the interest. Feeling so much more focussed now.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
    • FiscalPickle
    • By FiscalPickle 3rd Apr 19, 11:42 AM
    • 139 Posts
    • 348 Thanks
    FiscalPickle
    I was paid just over a week ago, had a lovely week off work and didn't go mad with the spending. We did have a couple of lunches out, these were built into the budget. I've got nearly £1200 sitting in savings ready to pay off the HSBC 0% CC, with rising impatience for the statement to be issued so I can make the payment. I really want to see that total coming down.

    On the weight loss front, I've been going to the gym and building muscle but the scales have remained stubbornly still. I'm going to really tighten up on my logging with MyFitnessPal. I trialled the MFP Premium membership for free, it's usually £7.99 per month. After trying it out, I don't think it's worth it so its back to the free version.
    DFD - 26/10/19
    In the process of shedding £20k and 35lbs
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