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  • FIRST POST
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    • 1,893Posts
    • 11,183Thanks
    Florence J
    Flo 2.0
    • #1
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    Flo 2.0 8th Jan 18 at 9:16 PM
    Hello everyone!

    It is a new year and a new diary.

    My previous diary, entitled 'Flo's Debt Free Diary' started on 6/12/15 when I was about one bad decision away from financial ruin. I didn't realised what it was called at the time, but it was clear I had had my 'Light Bulb Moment'.

    My credit card and overdraft debt at that point was £5150. I prioritised paying off my debt but by the end of 2016 after 4 months of unemployment it had crept up to £5196.92.

    In 2017 I tried a different tactic. I stopped spending. I stopped myself buying 'things' and instead could only spend money on the following approved categories (outside of standard bills and the food budget):

    Postage and Packaging
    Clothing Maintenance (dry cleaning, reheeling shoes, fixing clothes)
    Social
    Homeware
    Work Expenses
    Travel (Day to Day)
    Travel (Visiting)
    Gifts
    Health

    I was not completely perfect and did end up buying things from the 'contraband' categories. BUT in 2016 my spends on 'stuff/things' was over £2000 and in 2017 it was £400.

    This strategy worked and I was able to pay off over £3000 of debt, which was a combination of the credit card debt and some money I owed my long suffering OH. This included clearing my £1000 overdraft.

    Because I have now paid my credit card bills for this month I can say my credit card debt is now....

    £3935.

    It is spread across two 0% balance transfer cards, but I am half way through my offer period with them, so I have 11 months left on one and 12 months on the other. I am not optimistic I will clear the balance before the time ends, this is because so far I have been extremely cursed on the job front.

    So, onto the job situation.

    I am 28 years old and I have never had a full time permanent contract role.

    I got into debt because of years of zero hour contract jobs I couldn't seem to get out of (but to be fair no one was forcing me to spend money on clothes either). For the last 2.5 ish years I have been primarily working at a University on various fixed term contracts.

    I am currently working through a temp agency and I may have this role I am currently in for 3 months.

    I am relatively intelligent, very hard working, but I have the confidence of a diseased pigeon and rarely have the guts to make an application and frequently look at job advertisements and tell myself I cannot do the job.

    In 2017 I started a role I thought would be my dream job. It turned out to be a nightmare and I was signed off work for 4 weeks with stress, anxiety and depression. Mental Health will be a big talking point on this diary. Although I returned to the role I was effectively let go when my probation period came up.

    I pretty much have the debt busting thing down. I know what to do, and I am going to live the 'no spending' (for the most part) way of life until my debts are paid. But I am on minimum wage, so will earn less than £1000 a month and will have to be strict with budgeting.

    I also owe my OH £1814 which has to be paid back this year. This is made up of money I borrowed off him when I was out of work for 2 months at the end of 2017 so that I could pay my bills.

    So once again my debt is back to about £6000.

    I am starting a new diary because I do feel like a new person, I feel like I have finally found a way to live frugally and my mental health is better then ever.

    My goal this year is to save up an emergency fund. This will be very difficult.

    I wanted to be debt free before I am 30, but I am not sure if that will happen.

    New Year, New Diary, New Flo.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
Page 1
    • Karonher
    • By Karonher 8th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    • 491 Posts
    • 2,126 Thanks
    Karonher
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    • #2
    • 8th Jan 18, 9:36 PM
    Happy New Year and good luck. Is there any way you could look for a higher income even if it meant an extra one, rather than going for a different job. Even a shift a week in a pub or restaurant could bring in an extra £120 a month and give you that little bit of leeway.
    Getting ready for Christmas 2018

    Aiming to make £5,000 online in 2018.
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 9th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jan 18, 12:00 PM
    Happy New Year and good luck. Is there any way you could look for a higher income even if it meant an extra one, rather than going for a different job. Even a shift a week in a pub or restaurant could bring in an extra £120 a month and give you that little bit of leeway.
    Originally posted by Karonher
    Hi Karonher, I have been looking for possible part time work. Really I need to overcome my demons and just get a 'proper' job. The trouble with part time work is generally the sorts that could fit in around my current role are things like cafe/bar/restaurant/shop and as you well know from my last diary I struggle with social situations. I am naturally shy, reserved and find it difficult to talk to people and although I have almost done a complete 180 on what I used to be like I still find it very difficult to talk to people and to do customer service.

    I wanted to begin the diary on a positive note but the truth is I have found today and yesterday difficult. My anxiety seems to have come back. I had a day at work where not everything went wrong but nothing went 100% right either. I have suffered from stress induced IBS and have taken the day off work, this means I lose a day's pay.

    Only last week I said I was the happiest I had ever been, and I meant it then. Now I feel like I am in the depths of despair but I am trying to tell myself that these feelings come and go and they are valid when they happen but the bad thoughts can change for the better.

    Transferred £14 to my OH so that my debt is a round £1800.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    • 54,866 Posts
    • 218,947 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jan 18, 10:00 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    • #5
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:15 AM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thank you Beanielou!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    • #6
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:37 AM
    So, a few stats.

    Emergency Fund = £12.89 (better than nothing)

    DEBTS
    Lloyds 0% BT CC = £1145 (0% ends Dec 18)
    Tesco 0% BT CC = £2790 (0% ends Jan 19)

    FAMILY DEBTS
    Debt to OH that must be paid back in 2018 = £1800
    Debt to Sister that is so old she has probably forgotten about it = £70

    And in the full spirit of disclosure, over the course of our relationship I have borrowed A LOT of money from my OH, that is only to be paid back when all my other debts above have been paid and I am settled in my 'career'. He is not charging me interest.

    That amount is £23000

    Moving swiftly on....
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 10th Jan 18, 10:56 AM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:56 AM
    • #7
    • 10th Jan 18, 10:56 AM
    STATEMENT OF AFFAIRS

    (Based on the bill projections for next month)

    Lloyds CC Min Pay £15
    Tesco CC Min Pay £30
    Phone £23 ish (in contract until June/July 18)
    Broadband £29.99 (in contract for another 9 months) (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Energy £76.13 (in contract for another 10-11 months) (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Gym £19.99 (rolling contract)
    1 Personal Trainer session per month £30
    Rent and Council Tax £162.95*
    Food/Household Shopping £250 (split between me and OH but it comes out of my account)
    Water Bill £19.57**
    Counselling £60
    Labour Membership £4


    *The reason this appears so low is because I have deducted OH's half of all the bills that come out of my account.
    ** OH pays the water bill in full each year, I divide my half by 12 and pay over each month of the following year.

    TOTAL = £720.63

    INCOME

    Based on my projections, of 37 hours a week at £7.65 per hour x 4 weeks, then deducting 20% tax my income is around...

    £905.76 a month

    So I have £185.13 to play with each month.

    So I could give myself £100 living costs and split the £85.13 between paying back my OH and building up an EF, and I guess I would have to assume that a better paying job will come up soon?
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 10th Jan 18, 7:29 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,216 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 7:29 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jan 18, 7:29 PM
    Have just realised youíve started a new diary Flo. . Have subscribed!

    I do hope your anxiety has eased somwhat. You appear to have a good plan going forward and hereís to a suitable job appearing on the horizon soon.

    SSG x
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 11th Jan 18, 5:39 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 5:39 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Jan 18, 5:39 PM
    Thank you SSG,

    I am feeling a lot more positive and better. I have had tues-today off work ill which is never good, but January is the time for sickness. As it is only a temping job I hope they don't hold it against me and get rid of me, but if that does happen then it clearly wasn't meant to be.

    I feel good but not much MSE has happened other than racking up a few NSDs.

    One thing I need to do this year as a priority goal is lose weight. I am close to 16 stone. I am relatively tall so I don't look exactly like a blimp (more helium balloon) but my BMI does say I am obese, so the weight has got to go.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Jan 18, 8:31 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,216 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Hope youíre feeling a lot better now Flo.

    Iím the same as you re weight. Iím tall so people never think I weigh quite as much as I do! But Iím certainly in the obese range now. Am making 2018 the year I finally lose it, for my healthís sake if for nothing else! Are you going to use a slimming class or just count calories? Iím on Week 2 of the 5:2. Seems to be going ok so far.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Jan 18, 8:39 PM
    • 1,761 Posts
    • 10,593 Thanks
    redofromstart
    hello Flo, happy new diary
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jan 18, 9:03 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hope youíre feeling a lot better now Flo.

    Iím the same as you re weight. Iím tall so people never think I weigh quite as much as I do! But Iím certainly in the obese range now. Am making 2018 the year I finally lose it, for my healthís sake if for nothing else! Are you going to use a slimming class or just count calories? Iím on Week 2 of the 5:2. Seems to be going ok so far.
    Originally posted by Seasidegal58
    Hi SSG, I'm not doing a slimming club as I can't afford it and would rather spend the money on the gym or exercise classes rather than a club where if you do have a gain one week they look at you with a look of total confusion and pity and make me feel really patronised (can you tell I have been there and done that?)

    I need to exercise more, I'm relatively active, but don't do the recommended weekly amount most of the time.

    Diet is a big issue.

    My OH is stick thin and has a large appetite and loves chocolate. I put on a lot of weight when I first met him because I was matching his eating pattern. This was years ago though. I generally can take or leave chocolate, but out house is packed with it because OH can't go a meal time without some. And some of it finds it's way into my belly...

    The other trouble is OH doesn't cook and is a very fussy eater and our dinners are limited to something we will both eat. It also doesn't help that I am a pescatarian and OH eats meat and hates fish. This means our dinners tend to be calorific things.

    I have finally realised that diet is the key and the Flo household is undergoing a major rehaul. We are now going to have 1 night a week with a meal something along the lines of peppers stuffed with cauliflower rice (which OH can dress up with chicken nuggets or something to fill him up) and once OH realises he isn't going to starve to death then we will make it 2 nights a week, and gradually introduce a much healthier mix of foods.

    I bought Tom Kerridge's new book 'Lose Weight for Good' because I like the BBC TV series.

    I have been taking books out from the library about diets and healthy living because I am a boffin/keener/smarty pants and my gut instinct when faced with a problem is to research the hell out of it. One book I read was about the 5:2 diet and I don't think it is for me as I tend to faint if I have low blood sugar but there did seem to be some good points to it that I can see would work for a lot of people.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jan 18, 9:16 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    hello Flo, happy new diary
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Hiya! Thanks for stopping by!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Jan 18, 9:27 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,216 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Some good ideas there Flo. Itís must be difficult dieting if there are two of you with different dietary requirements so I feel for you. Mind you I live on my own and find it hard - thereís hardly any food I dont like so though I eat lots of healthy things, I also eat lots of things like cheese and chocolate! Portion size is also a problem!

    I like the Tom Kerridge programme too - his recipes look delicious. Iím a convert now to the way he roasts his mince! I think I will treat myself to his book too.
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jan 18, 9:33 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    I think the cook book is a good price in Sainsbury's, so if you have any Nectar points you could grab yourself a bargain!

    I like the look of roasting mince but I suspect it won't be the same with Quorn mince
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 13th Jan 18, 9:40 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    I think part of my problem with my weight is I have a fear of hunger, which stems from the poverty years when I was growing up and the cats ate better then we humans did.

    I also restrained my eating severely on and off from when I was 10 until I was 17, and my mum as well as being an alcoholic was also anorexic so I never really learnt any healthy eating behaviours.

    Did a meal plan for the next week which includes a Slimming world meal and the aforementioned stuffed peppers. With have so much veg in the house right now but I know it is all going to be used in good time.

    Had veggie lasagne for tea, not Tom Kerridge style, but did pack in a lot of veg, and we had veg on the side.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Seasidegal58
    • By Seasidegal58 13th Jan 18, 9:46 PM
    • 1,980 Posts
    • 12,216 Thanks
    Seasidegal58
    Iím sorry to hear of your fear of hunger and how it has affected you. It must have been awful for you as a child

    I was looking at the Iceland website as Sun Addict recommended their cauliflower rice. It comes in four portion sizes and is £2. Iím going to get some. Their Slimming World meals look good too!
    Finally Debt Free! - July 2016
    Finished Emergency Fund- £10,000 April 2017

    Next Scrimpy Goal - Ad Hoc Savings - 20/05/2018: £646.59
    MONTHS TO RETIREMENT: 35!
    My diary: ďPaid off the £31,0000! BUT- still scrimping!Ē
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 14th Jan 18, 8:30 PM
    • 54,866 Posts
    • 218,947 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sorry to hear about the dire fear of being hungry when you were wee.
    SAdly no food banks then.
    (Sad there are today too)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • jemreading
    • By jemreading 19th Jan 18, 12:14 PM
    • 337 Posts
    • 374 Thanks
    jemreading
    Hey Flo, happy new diary!

    I'm with you on the food issue re: not liking the same thing. My OH loves fish and would eat it everyday but I have difficulty with the smell and texture! We also have the added pressure of following a low FODMAP diet as my OH has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. We'll have to be super creative with the meals!
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 19th Jan 18, 11:22 PM
    • 1,893 Posts
    • 11,183 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hi everyone, thank you for all your replies.

    All the veg got eaten, yeahs!

    My official weigh in is Saturdays, but I have liked what the scales have been saying this week. I am a member of the losing weight the old style way thread so use that as a free version of slimming world.

    I am having a bit of a problem with our house. We have terrible damp and mould in several areas of the house. Part of this was caused by a hole in the front wall, which has now been fixed, but a lot of the walls are still affected and in the hall and under the window in our bedroom the wall paper has fallen off it is so wet.

    We have heard from our letting agency that they have reported all this to the landlords who have said they only feel the work can be done when the property is vacated. Which seems to suggest the work will be done when we move out.

    The problem is for some reason (well actually it's pretty apparent why now) our house is very cheap and in my limited research into similar sized properties in this area they are generally about £800 a month, whereas we currently pay £550 a month.

    I can barely afford my living expenses now on my income, let alone a rent increase if we move, and it would certainly delay paying my debts by my 30th birthday. But I cannot let my OH, who has always hated this house, and who is badly affected by the mould, live like this anymore.

    Which makes me think I need to get a part time job, on top of my full time job.

    I have seen one which I want to apply for, it's only 4 hours on saturday and sunday each, but it means I would be working 7 days a week for who knows how long.

    I'm not sure I can even do this in the very short term, but I also feel immense guilt that my OH has to live in a house he hates because I can't afford to move.

    I know it would be bad for my physical and mental health to work all the time, but I don't know if I can't afford to not do it, at least for a little while.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
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