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  • FIRST POST
    • seldom_use
    • By seldom_use 3rd Jan 18, 10:24 PM
    • 24Posts
    • 2Thanks
    seldom_use
    SoF - any advice
    • #1
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:24 PM
    SoF - any advice 3rd Jan 18 at 10:24 PM
    Hi guys,

    I have finally began to face up to my massive debt problems, after burying my head in the sand for years and years. As you can see from my SoF, we currently don't have enough coming in. I have recently applied for housing benefit which would be a big help at the moment. I have just finished maternity leave, so my maternity pay has just stopped. I am not returning to work as I am a full time student now. My partner works part time.

    As well as this, we have a huge amount of debt, probably around 15k. Most importantly we have council tax arrears which I have began to sort out. My partner is keen to try and deal with it ourselves, however I am starting to think this may not be possible. Any advice would be much appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    seldom_use



    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Monthly Income Details
    Income from Employment (after tax). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 960.00
    Income from Self Employment (before tax). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    State Pension . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Private Pension / Annuity Payout. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Benefits (Inc. Child Benefit/Tax Credits & Income Support). . . . . . . . . . . 260.00
    Income From Savings & Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Gifts From Family / Friends . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150.00
    Student Loan. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 520.00

    Monthly Expense Details

    In Your Home

    Mobile phones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120.00
    TV licence. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8.33
    Internet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25.00
    Home phone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.00
    Cleaning products/Cleaner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Garden maintenance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Household maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Oil . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Electricity . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70.00
    Gas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.00
    Water . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Council tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100.00
    Overdraft cost. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Bank account fee. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12.50
    Home insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Mortgage/Rent . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 650.00
    Plumbing/Boiler cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Mortgage life insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Mortgage payment protection . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Life insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Food and household shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400.00
    Drinks for home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25.00
    Baby Milk & Nappies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70.00

    Motoring & Public Transport

    Petrol/Diesel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.00
    Parking . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10.00
    Car tax . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1.25
    Car insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65.00
    Car maintenance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Rail/Buses/Taxis. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40.00
    Breakdown cover . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00

    Debt Repayments

    Credit card repayments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
    Hire purchase repayments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Personal loan repayments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Car loan repayments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00

    Savings & Investments

    Pension payments. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Buying shares . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Investments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Cash ISAs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Lump sum saving . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Regular saving. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00

    Family

    Pet food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.00
    School trips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    School meals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.00
    Pocket money. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.00
    Nappies/Baby extras . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Laundry/Dry cleaning. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Children's travel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Baby-sitting. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Childcare/Playgroups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Pet insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14.50
    Travel insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00

    Entertainment

    Satellite/Digital TV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.00
    Family days out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
    Cinema/Theatre trips. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Books/Music/Films/Computers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Big days out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Shopping for fun. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.00
    Pet costs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Hobbies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40.00
    IT/Computing (antivirus, etc) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    DVD rental. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Drinking out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Eating out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.00

    Clothes, Health & Beauty

    Complementary therapies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Optical bills . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Haircuts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30.00
    Dentistry . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Beauty treatments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Healthcare cash plans . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Dental insurance. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Private medical insurance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Fitness/Sports/Gym. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Work clothes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    New children's clothes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30.00
    New clothes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.00

    Education & Courses

    University tuition fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    School fees . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Your courses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00

    Big One-Offs

    Funeral expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Wedding expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Sofa/Kitchen/TV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Birthdays . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
    Winter holiday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Summer holiday. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Christmas . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 83.33

    Odds & Sods

    Newspapers and magazines. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Tax & NI Provisions (self-employed only). . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Regular charity donations . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Meals at work . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Smokes. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.00
    Coffees/Sandwiches/Snacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.33


    Total monthly income. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1,890.00


    Total monthly expenses. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2,491.25


Page 1
    • venison
    • By venison 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    • 2,149 Posts
    • 2,294 Thanks
    venison
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    • #2
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    Just 2 quick points, £120 month for mobiles phone? and might be worth a call to one of the debt charities stepchange being as good as any for advice.
    Ex Board Guide
    • seldom_use
    • By seldom_use 3rd Jan 18, 10:43 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    seldom_use
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:43 PM
    • #3
    • 3rd Jan 18, 10:43 PM
    Just 2 quick points, £120 month for mobiles phone? and might be worth a call to one of the debt charities stepchange being as good as any for advice.
    Originally posted by venison
    I know, this includes my own, my partners and both of my in laws all on contract.

    I have looked at step2change a couple of times, I might make the leap. Thankyou for taking the time to reply.
    • vickthestick
    • By vickthestick 3rd Jan 18, 11:14 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 1,526 Thanks
    vickthestick
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:14 PM
    • #4
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:14 PM
    Do the in-laws pay you back for the phones?
    And is your car tax really £1.25?
    Last edited by vickthestick; 03-01-2018 at 11:16 PM. Reason: Addition
    Womble #9 2018 £0 / Roadkill £0
    Loan £175.40 /month until October 2018 Loan £312.21 /month until April 2025
    • Karonher
    • By Karonher 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 2,126 Thanks
    Karonher
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    • #5
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    I would say there are a few areas where cuts can be made. As mentioned the phones, then groceries and drinks for home.

    Take sandwiches to work and stop spending on snacks, cut back on cable and money for fun and hobbies as well as eating out.

    Reduce adult clothes spends and haircuts.

    Gas and electricity should be able to be cut if you shop around.

    Cut back on Christmas and birthday spending, and can you arrange for the child who has school dinners to take packed lunch as this would save a lot.

    A lot of the things you are spending on are nice to have, but not when you cant pay the bills.
    Getting ready for Christmas 2018

    Aiming to make £5,000 online in 2018.
    • sourcrates
    • By sourcrates 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    • 14,314 Posts
    • 13,519 Thanks
    sourcrates
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    • #6
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:18 PM
    Hi,

    You really need to revisit the SOA and format it for MSE.

    Makes it easier to read.
    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Credit File And Ratings, and
    Bankruptcy And Living With It, boards. "I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly".
    Board guides are not moderators and don't read every post. If you spot an abusive or illegal post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com.

    For free debt advice, contact either : Stepchange, National Debtline, or, CAB.
    For Free Legal advice see : http://legalbeagles.info/
    • seldom_use
    • By seldom_use 3rd Jan 18, 11:50 PM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    seldom_use
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:50 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Jan 18, 11:50 PM
    Do the in-laws pay you back for the phones?
    And is your car tax really £1.25?
    Originally posted by vickthestick

    Hi there, no they donít unfortunately. They are in an even worse situation than us, and have health problems, hence why we pay for their phones to make sure we have clear lines of contact at all times.

    I just double checked my car tax, itís actually slightly more expensive l, itís £20 a year.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 4th Jan 18, 12:00 AM
    • 5,214 Posts
    • 6,479 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:00 AM
    • #8
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:00 AM
    Shopping for fun needs to go in favour of free fun and almost all of eating out, snacks and coffees. How many of you are there for the £400 grocery bill?

    If you are a student and there is only one non-student adult in the house have you signed up for the council tax discount?
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • vickthestick
    • By vickthestick 4th Jan 18, 12:02 AM
    • 192 Posts
    • 1,526 Thanks
    vickthestick
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:02 AM
    • #9
    • 4th Jan 18, 12:02 AM
    Hi there, no they donít unfortunately. They are in an even worse situation than us, and have health problems, hence why we pay for their phones to make sure we have clear lines of contact at all times.

    I just double checked my car tax, itís actually slightly more expensive l, itís £20 a year.
    Originally posted by seldom_use
    That's a great car tax!
    And clearly family need to be taken care of but can anyone else pay their phone bills for them? Can you share it out round siblings?
    Womble #9 2018 £0 / Roadkill £0
    Loan £175.40 /month until October 2018 Loan £312.21 /month until April 2025
    • ratrace
    • By ratrace 4th Jan 18, 12:27 AM
    • 553 Posts
    • 371 Thanks
    ratrace
    Giffgaff allows you to top up at a min £5.00,im on giff gaff last month i topped up £5.00 this month i have gone a bit mad as i need extra mins and topped up for £7.50

    you cant clear debt and keep paying out unnecessary expenses
    ďPeople are caught up in an egotistic artificial rat race to display a false image to society. We want the biggest house, fanciest car, and we don't mind paying the sky high mortgage to put up that show. We sacrifice our biggest assets our health and time, We feel happy when we see people look up to us and see how successful we areĒ

    Rat Race
    • Sharon87
    • By Sharon87 4th Jan 18, 1:51 AM
    • 3,538 Posts
    • 3,014 Thanks
    Sharon87
    I agree, the in-laws and yourselves don't have to pay on average £30 a month on a phone bill. Are any of you still in contract? If you are at the end of the contract go on a sim only deal, don't upgrade your phones as this can be costly these days!

    Also - school lunches, do you qualify for free lunches, are you classed as low income family? If not, then stop and pack lunches, I never went wrong with a packed lunch, it can also be healthier too.

    £83 a month on Christmas is too much, reduce the spend for this year at least, children don't need a massive spend on them, and family, well when I'm on a budget I spend between £10-£15 on them (or agree amongst yourself not to buy presents, or do a secret santa if you're all on a budget!). Same for birthdays £50 a month is a LOT.

    Gas and electric is way too high, go to uswitch or another comparison site. It takes minutes to get a price and not much more to switch, there's no point paying more when you don't need to. If you're on a meter ask your landlord if you can switch to a standard meter as it's always cheaper (assuming you rent). Always pay by monthly direct debit as it's cheaper.

    Internet, phone and satellite is WAY too much. Phone your provider and see if you can get it cheaper or remove a package. £45 for phone and internet itself is a lot. Virgin have a deal for £27 a month - but no phone line, but if you have mobile phones who needs a phone line these days! Or Sky have a deal on for £19 a month for unlimited broadband and phone line included. Shop around and if you're with either call your provider up and ask for a better deal or threaten to leave.
    • Mumoffourkids
    • By Mumoffourkids 4th Jan 18, 6:08 AM
    • 646 Posts
    • 3,137 Thanks
    Mumoffourkids
    The one thing that leaps out at me is the amount you spend on good related items, so groceries, drinks for home, nappies, pet food, eating out, meals st school and coffees, snacks etc. I think this totals about £700 per month. How many of you are in your household? There are seven in my house, two of which are still in nappies and although I donít have any pets, I spend £100 per week on food related items. This includes packed lunches for four kids.
    Total debt Dec 2017 £23090.83
    Ma7 2018 £3691.78 84.01% paid
    Emergency fund £150/£600
    Total Savings £1328.05
    • seldom_use
    • By seldom_use 4th Jan 18, 7:10 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    seldom_use
    Thanks for these great replies. Will take some time later to reply properly.

    There are 5 of us at home btw.

    We are all in contract with our mobile phones, they arenít up until next year. We are also not even half way through our sky contract, would I be able to ask to leave this due to not being able to afford?

    We have never budgeted before, for shopping or anything so I agree that we can radically change this. Iím sending my sons off to school this morning with packed lunches. Iím also meeting a friend to study later, so wonít buy the usual snacks and coffees.

    Re Christmas, thatís an average of how much we usually spend, and again youíre right, itís far too much. We have a large extended family but have agreed that for our families we will ask to do secret Santa for next year.
    • seldom_use
    • By seldom_use 4th Jan 18, 7:12 AM
    • 24 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    seldom_use
    Also, our gas and electric are on meters, we are paying off debt on them which means we can!!!8217;t switch unfortunately. (Hence the high payments.) It!!!8217;s a 3 bedroom house.
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 4th Jan 18, 11:50 AM
    • 545 Posts
    • 644 Thanks
    Mnd
    You need to allow for car maintenance, service mot new tyres brakes etc adds up
    • alan_d
    • By alan_d 4th Jan 18, 12:12 PM
    • 34 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    alan_d
    We are all in contract with our mobile phones, they aren!!!8217;t up until next year. We are also not even half way through our sky contract, would I be able to ask to leave this due to not being able to afford?
    Originally posted by seldom_use
    Worth a go. FYI I have 3x sim-only '30-day' rolling contracts with GiffGaff (all with data included) for £25/month in total. Certainly if you can't get out of your contract then as soon as it's up cancel and move to sim-only with the existing phones. You can move your existing number (for free) also.
    Last edited by alan_d; 04-01-2018 at 12:39 PM.
    • FBaby
    • By FBaby 4th Jan 18, 3:06 PM
    • 16,720 Posts
    • 41,339 Thanks
    FBaby
    seldom, I'm sure it's not what you want to hear but you are living the lifestyle of a family earning a very high income. DH and I have FT managerial jobs and we don't spend what you spend on food, entertainment, mobile phones (including those for the teenagers), and certainly not shopping for fun.

    You're a student and he's on PT hours, you need to match your spending with your situation. There might be a time when he can increase his hours and you can get a well paid job, but as it is, you are on a low income (remember that the student loan is that, a loan, not income) and can't afford your expenditure.

    The good news is that there is indeed a lot that you can cut to make a difference.
    • setu_desai02
    • By setu_desai02 4th Jan 18, 4:31 PM
    • 13 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    setu_desai02
    Agree with some of the previous points. A lot of your spending is wants and not needs. You need to seriously consider your spending to handle the situation. Below are some comments from your SoA;

    Mobile phones . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 120.00
    Internet. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25.00
    Home phone. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.00
    Satellite/Digital TV. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55.00
    The above expenses are too much. You are spending £220 per month on phone, internet and tv. You need to bring this down to under £100. If you are in contracts phone up the providers and ask nicely if there are any downgrade options available in your contract. It costs nothing to ask and the worst that could happen is they say no. For any contracts that are coming to an end shop around seriously for cheapest possible deals. change some of the contracts to sim only or even payg with giffgaff.

    Food and household shopping . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 400.00
    Drinks for home . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25.00
    Baby Milk & Nappies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70.00
    Pet food. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24.00
    School meals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 80.00
    Family days out . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.00
    Eating out. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.00
    Coffees/Sandwiches/Snacks . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43.33
    Over £750 for food and groceries per month is again way too high. I understand it is difficult to cut back suddenly but you need to cut all of the above by atleast £250-300. Head over to old style board for money saving cooking ideas. plan your meals and shop from aldi/lidl stop school lunches and take sandwiches from home. Find free or cheap things to do for family days out. its not how much money you spend with family but how quality time you spend that is important. Find discount vouchers and coupons for eating out.

    You have chargeable bank account which is costing you £150 a year. Do you really need this? What benefits are you getting for this and are they really worth it? If not switch accounts and don't forget to find a good switching bonus if you can.

    Other bits and bobs would be whenever your gas/electricity is up for renewal switch to cheaper provider and don't forget to hunt for cashback. Extend your haircuts by a week or so that's 1-2 less haircut a year. As said by earlier posts, both birthdays and Christmas spend could be halved if you are willing to. Again its not how much money you spend but how much you though you put into it that matters in gifting. Since your partner is in part-time is there a chance of you taking up part-time job too? even a single shift in a weekend of 6-8 hours will help a lot in your situation. May be do some online surveys? it won't be a lot of money but its something. You need to set aside some money for emergencies and car maintenance which you don't have currently. Even £20-30 from now on should be fine and then you can topup whenever you have some spare left at the end of the month.

    I can see about £400-500 cut back on your expenses per month so that should bring your expenses below your income and then leave you with something. It will be difficult at the beginning but people on this board have tackled larger debts than 15k so you should be able to too. good luck
    • ReadingTim
    • By ReadingTim 4th Jan 18, 5:44 PM
    • 2,725 Posts
    • 3,899 Thanks
    ReadingTim
    The issue isn't what's going out, but that not enough is coming in.

    Sure, you can cut out a largish chunk of non-essential spending, but jacking in your job to become a full time student seems to be a luxury you can't afford right now. You need, at minimum, a p/t job. Your OH needs a f/t job. You need an extra £600 per month to simply live.

    Furthermore, you also need to redo your SOA to include details of the c.£15k of debt you say you have - I can only see £50 per month in debt repayment - surely that can't be right? If it's not right, then unfortunately you're likely to be in a worse situation than you think from your earlier 'budget', one which you probably can't get out of by ditching a few mobile phone contracts or weekly takeaway.... I'm afraid that being a student just isn't viable at this time.
    • Lottebear
    • By Lottebear 4th Jan 18, 7:29 PM
    • 783 Posts
    • 3,597 Thanks
    Lottebear
    Can you get free school meals, with a low income? That would save £80 per month.

    Also apply for NHS exemption card if you Maternity one has run out.

    Are the there any Grants or Bursaries you can apply for either based on your study choice or where you live previous occupations, these could be used to cover study costs, travel to and from place of study, and childcare.
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