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  • FIRST POST
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    • 128Posts
    • 454Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    The future is what you make it
    • #1
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    The future is what you make it 12th Feb 18 at 8:05 PM
    Newbie here. In December 2016 I had my lightbulb moment when a travel insurance payment got declined. The DIY financial review I did at that point scared the living daylights out of me.

    CC1 - 20300 @17.9% (maxed out)
    CC2 - 10500+ 60% @12.9%, 40% @6.9% for its lifetime
    CC3 - 6000+ @18.9%
    CC4 (hubby) - 13k @7.9%

    I know exactly how it got that bad. Hubby lost his job shortly after we got our mortgage, followed by periods of ill-health (luckily not coinciding) for both of us, and some (with hindsight) really bad decisions (mostly made by me). Because we never missed a payment on anything, the enormity of the debt was ignored.

    In Jan 2017, pretty much as a knee-jerk reaction to the numbers, we decided to try to remortgage. It was a shock to us to be turned down, but we are both glad it happened, as it made us realise that consolidation was not a good idea and we had to tackle the problem at source.

    Fast-forward a year and a bit, the unsecured debt has been reduced by 7k, and thanks mostly to balance transfer ping pong, only 5.5k of it is left at a high rate, with the majority being at 0% or 4.9% for at least the next couple of years. I have not used a credit card for 14 months, minimum monthly repayments are down to less than 700 per month, and I'm snowballing repayments onto my highest rate card.

    The last year hasn't been smooth. It started with a drop in income of 5k when my second job folded last January, literally days after the remortgage was denied. Then we had car repairs in the high hundreds, followed a few months later by having to scrap the car and find replacement transport (I can do without a car, husband needs one to work), and more recently I had an injury and health scare with some out of pocket medical expenses.

    And honestly, we did not cut our spending as much as we could have; it took time to adjust to doing things more mindfully. But on the whole, we really surprised ourselves with how much we were able to claw back in a year. The plan for 2018 was to double down on our efforts, completely splat the debt from the highest interest card and start work on the next one, and aim to clear at least 2k more than the previous year. So far, so good!

    Then came the plot twist. Right now I am on the verge of having to take on an extra huge lump of debt which will put us back to square one with cherries on top. No details here other than to say that it is entirely my fault, and is the result of really bad handling of a situation several years ago. The whole thing was totally avoidable and I am disgusted with myself that I allowed it to happen. I will know the true horror within the next two weeks, but if *lucky* it is likely to cost me 400 per month until it has gone. So within a few weeks, the best case scenario is that we will be back where we started with an additional few thousand of unsecured debt on top of our starting point.

    We have nobody but each other to talk to about it, so really I'm writing this to get it off my chest and give my husband a rest as it is largely my fault we are in this mess! I am treating the last year of debt repayment as the trial run. We have already made lots of cutbacks, but there ia a lot more we can do - I do need to redo the SOA as it has been a year since I last attempted one.

    Currently the stress of the incoming additional debt and the uncertainty over how that is going to pan out is ruining my sleep and concentration, and I am lucky if I go a couple of days without having a fairly big wobble. I need to keep telling myself that we have a year of successful debt tackling under our belts and that although daunting, it is doable. Anything is doable, I just need to keep focus.
    Highs, lows and inbetweens will be documented here. I will be keeping tabs on everything except my OH CC on here.
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 11-04-2018 at 3:03 PM. Reason: same name as another thread
Page 1
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    • #2
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:19 PM
    Didnt want to read and run. I dont have experience to help you but I think from these forums if you post a SOA (statement of affairs) others may be able to help you. I do want to say that posting is your first step and there are alot of good folk on here who will help. Please dont let it get on top of you both, you will get sorted and I wish you all the best xx
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 12th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • 870 Posts
    • 4,871 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Feb 18, 8:29 PM
    Hi, just read your post and am keeping my fingers crossed for you. Sometimes, it helps to know that there are others in a similar position. I am in relation to waiting for the Grand Debt to land on my plate. I am anticipating around 20k. Nothing can be done to avoid it, just roll with the punches...

    However, you are doing great. You have a plan and the plan is working. And as you said, if you can do it once, you can do it again.

    Keep the faith. I will subscribe and cheer you on.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 13th Feb 18, 3:21 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:21 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Feb 18, 3:21 PM
    Since I posted last night, I decided to put my big girl pants on and do some number crunching. The brain under stress does, I think, overexaggerate everything, and things look a bit less worrying today.

    I've redone the figures for the debt-to-be using all the official resources at my disposal, and my biggest question mark is not knowing the level of penalties that are likely to be applied. I'm still assuming the total will be in the region of 12k as I *have* to prepare myself for that eventuality, but the exact circumstances mean that it may end up being 3-5K lower. I'm waiting on a callback from an adviser to guide me through it and make sure the calculations are correct, and after that it's a question of how to arrange the payments.
    In the meantime I've shaved 3.25 a month off our phone bill, so that's something!

    I will not let it win!
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 14th Feb 18, 11:45 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 11:45 AM
    • #5
    • 14th Feb 18, 11:45 AM
    Day 3.

    I've done the SOA properly now. The good news is that we currently have enough of a surplus without changing anything to be able to manage an additional 400/month on the debt-to-be (I have been using some of this surplus to make extra CC payments and will still be able to throw a little extra at it, though not as much as I have been). I am still playing phone tag at present trying to get the advice I need, but I am getting clearer by the day on what's involved.

    Our gas and electric DDs are very high so we will take new meter readings tonight (Ihope they will be in our favour), and look at switching suppliers as it's been way too long. Hoping we should be able to save at least 20/month on the combined DD. Any refund will go to the high interest card.

    Our food budget is less than what's on paper; I've been overgenerous in the allowance for this. For the last few months I've made all my breakfasts (porridge) and lunches (usually sandwiches) at work and not a single takeaway coffee has passed my lips! I even cleaned out the change box and found 12 in silver; that'll buy all the ingredients for my food at work for the next month.

    We have never had a formal 'household emergencies' budget as whoever is the least skint at the time covers whatever the emergency is, so I'm changing that and have got an online account set up for it which will have a standing order going to it starting next payday.

    On the 'earning extra money' front I have a suitcase full of clothes and bric-a-brac to go on eBay which will all be up before the weekend, and I have the option to do a craft market next month which could either lose me the 15 table fee, or net me up to a couple of hundred in sales - I have to decide if this is worth the gamble.

    I'm most definitely having an 'up' day today. Got up early enough to walk a bit of my journey to work, which always helps.
    • Silver Queen
    • By Silver Queen 14th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    • 338 Posts
    • 1,639 Thanks
    Silver Queen
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    • #6
    • 14th Feb 18, 12:02 PM
    Any chance of sharing a table with a friend?
    Debt Totals April 2018::
    350 Natwest Credit Card / Now 0 (paid off and closed 04/2017) 15,500 postgrad loan from parents/ Now 10,500 500 train ticket loan from parents / Now 0 (paid off 16/02/18) 2,000 Overdraft Now 0 (paid off 09/03/18)
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 14th Feb 18, 1:32 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:32 PM
    • #7
    • 14th Feb 18, 1:32 PM
    Working on it! I have been also posting some pics of the things I've made on facebook and have got a few people interested in buying; some are previous customers so it's likely if I need to take the table on my own it will at least be covered
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 14th Feb 18, 2:16 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:16 PM
    • #8
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:16 PM
    Good to read you have taken quite a few positive steps and it comes across you are feeling more in control. Have subscribed and will follow how you get on. Re Electric and Gas we use Engie for electric and Daligas for gas (Daligas very basic service they send emails LOL) they are not big suppliers but I dont care its all the same down the pipes/wires.
    I have also been playing with YNAB on a free trial might be worth a look.
    Good luck if you do the craft table x

    **YNAB is you need a budget app system for managing budget.
    ** Daligas does set up a fixed direct debit based on expected usuage and only adjusts it annually ie if you submit a reading dont expect a readjustment etc
    Last edited by strawberryfield2233; 14-02-2018 at 2:23 PM. Reason: Extra info
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 14th Feb 18, 2:34 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:34 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Feb 18, 2:34 PM
    Couple orher things if you can have apps on your phone Shopmium is an app which has food items which you can get for free or for less by submitting a receipt though the app, it is mentioned on MSE forum if you search. There are others checkoutsmart etc might be referrals on MSE forum.
    There is also a try me free thread for alsorts of food and other things usually need to buy product and follow t&c!!!8217;s for reimbursement.
    Making use of coupons if you have access to a printer is worthwhile lots if info on MSE.
    Prolific Academic is worth a look for extra pin money again mentioned on MSE forum.
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 14th Feb 18, 2:59 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thank you, some really great tips there! I will investigate them all
    I already use cashback sites for everything I can, and check yellow labels for things already on my grocery list.

    We made a lot of progress last year killing 7k of debt, it's been a total about face from it creeping up by hundreds every month; it's the old debt sneaking up on me that has really thrown me out for the last couple of months and knocked my confidence. With that on the way to being handled (even though it adds so much to the total) and the recent health scare behind us, I am feeling a lot closer to normal.

    Today I have also looked at the promotional balance transfer rates on the two cards that I juggle, so it's possible that by the end of this month I will have shuffled another almost 3k of the debt from 17.9% to 4.9%. That will mean less than 2300 left on a high interest rate card, which is a nice realistic target to demolish.
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 14th Feb 18, 3:15 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Managing to get rid of 7k last year was really good going so it shows if you put your mind to it you can do it!
    Be good to get that rate down to 4.9%, 2300 sounds like a good first target ! Makes me mad CC companies can charge such high rates.
    Glad you have done a SOA too x
    • AstroTurtle
    • By AstroTurtle 14th Feb 18, 5:21 PM
    • 127 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    AstroTurtle
    Best of luck on your diary!


    Smash that debt.
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 15th Feb 18, 11:37 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning all!

    I had a night off from overthinking. Did a quick yellow label check on the way home, hoping to find some salmon, and got enough for dinner for a mere 1.14! Also picked up 16 wholemeal tortilla wraps for 48p, which is enough for 3 weeks of work lunches if I freeze them. This is the only money I have spent this week

    Today before work I did one of the balance transfers:
    Step 1: Move 2k from 4.9% for 18 months to 4.9% for 2 years - Done
    Step 2: Use the space freed up on card 1 to move 3k at 17.9% from card 2 back to 4.9% for 18 months on card 1. In order to to this I had to order a replacement MBNA card because the Halifax doesn't let you do a transfer without having the card expiry date, which I no longer have as I stupidly destroyed the physical card before making a note of it (that won't happen this time though I WILL still destroy the card). As long as the card is here before the end of the month I have time to do this.
    This will leave only 2061 at 17.9% by the time the March statement arrives.
    It all makes more sense on my spreadsheet, which I've now added extra lines to and put in order of APR and expiry date and colour coded so it's patently obvious where the priority is for any spare money I get (I do like spreadsheets and card tetris).

    The only thing I have to do today is get together a couple of bank statements and do some printing for a meeting tomorrow to figure out the debt-to-be situation.
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 17-02-2018 at 10:58 AM.
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 15th Feb 18, 12:24 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Good progress!
    Oh and enjoy the Salmon very good bargain that!
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 15th Feb 18, 4:54 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Today's find - I'm currently paying 18/month for my phone SIM. I can move to a BT mobile deal at 12/month, which includes twice as much data as I ever use, and if I choose to do it today I can get 45 back through topcashback, effectively bringing the phone cost down to 8.25/month (and if I chuck that 45 cashback at MBNA it will save me a further 8 in interest over the year on top of the extra 6/month that can go elsewhere). If there is no small print to contradict me, I think that sounds like a plan!
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 15th Feb 18, 8:03 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    ....and it worked! PAC code obtained, new SIM on the way, cashback already acknowledged and sitting at pending status
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 15th Feb 18, 8:41 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Holy moly! Turns out the new mobile deal may also qualify me for a prepaid 60 BT reward card. I like today!
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 15th Feb 18, 9:26 PM
    • 8,954 Posts
    • 16,998 Thanks
    savingholmes
    Sounds like a great mse day to me... Keep going...
    Today is a new day 93/310 10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 16th Feb 18, 8:20 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 454 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Today is the day I will hopefully get confirmation of the scary new number I'm facing. I've been awake since 5 and I'm ridiculously nervous. Really desperately hoping it's four figures not five!
    Breathe, drink coffee, eat breakfast, and don't panic.
    Jan 2017 CC debt 37,800.21: 29,399.52 / 8,400.69
    Mar 2018 Other debt 7,693: 5,680.84 / 2,012.16
    Debt 22.97% PAID
    Emergency fund 350/1000 DFD March 2022
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 16th Feb 18, 10:34 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Whatever that figure turns out to be you say you can cover extra 400 per month without changing anything, so I would hold on to that thought, hoping it will be the lower end figure but if not you will be ok according to your SOA, All the best.
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