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  • FIRST POST
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    • 203Posts
    • 698Thanks
    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'll not be documenting his progress here as we're each dealing with our own)

    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; 07-05-2018 at 11:34 AM. Reason: same name as another thread
Page 13
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 22nd Oct 18, 2:05 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Well it's all gone slightly pear-shaped over the last few days - there was one eating out incident, plus I'm feeding four extra people for three nights this week (long story!) meaning that my remaining money has evaporated. I've borrowed 50 from myself in order to ensure that I avoid the overdraft, as although I will get paid back for the extra expense, it won't be this week. It's a bit silly really as I would be overdrawn by so little and for such a short time that would only incur about 10p in fees, but it's more about the stubbornness - I have successfully avoided using it for well over a year, so I prefer to behave as if the option isn't there.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 25th Oct 18, 11:03 AM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Payday is tomorrow and we've made it through nearly unscathed - the overdraft klaxon has not sounded There is enough food in the house to get through the weekend. Hubby is due back from work on Monday night, and I have a quiet Saturday and Sunday to myself so I can *finally* get caught up with everything. My feet have barely touched the ground for the last couple of weeks.

    The trip in November is definitely happening, I get to go to a couple of towns I've never been to before and work in a couple of really nice-looking venues. The up-front expenses will be in the region of 300, but it's legit use of the credit card that should be paid off before I have to start worrying about it.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 27th Oct 18, 5:31 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Today I passed 17k paid
    Less than 30k to go, credit utilisation under 65%
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • Working Mum
    • By Working Mum 29th Oct 18, 11:17 AM
    • 314 Posts
    • 1,063 Thanks
    Working Mum
    That is a phenomenal result One Step.

    You should be very proud of that!!

    Keep on trucking lol
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 31st Oct 18, 12:01 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Nearly in to another month! All I've spent since payday last Friday is 20 out of the food budget, and other than groceries, there are no spends planned at all this week other than car hire for the work trip, which I shall book through whichever combination of topcashback/heathrow rewards/holiday extras/hire comparison sites works out cheapest. I need to sit down and sort that out this evening. Yesterday evening was an entirely computer-free night, which was lovely, but tonight I would like to get a bunch of loose ends tidied up, including updating YNAB (we will definitely not be doing anything Halloween related, there's neither the budget nor the inclination!).

    I'm waiting for a couple of Prolific surveys to pay out so I can cash out and pay a tiny bit more off the CC. My Bcard is under 800 now, and although my pie in the sky plan to pay it off by Christmas is not looking great, if I get a BT offer back on my MBNA card next month, I should be able to do enough of a card shuffle to zero it that way before Christmas. That will take me down to two cards with balances on them and I can review my payment priorities again.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 2nd Nov 18, 11:49 AM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Happy Friday everyone! What a gorgeous day. I think I'll be spending my lunch break having a walk in the park and having soup and some nice crusty bread when I get back.

    This month I am trying to keep the food costs right down because December is looking to be a bit of a money pit. We want to do a fair bit of travelling to see people, so although Christmas for us is usually very inexpensive in terms of gifts (token presents for immediate family only; it's all about company and food), we do spend a small fortune on fuel in the few weeks beforehand, and it's going to be a challenge to do that and still knock 1k/month off the debt, but I'm determined to not let things slip.

    I'm thinking that regardless of selling fee offers, this is going to be a good week to make the big push on ebay listings. I've got more than 12kg of Lego still to sell, plus several very nice pairs of shoes and another pile of clothes, so there's potential to raise upwards of 200 from that lot. Best get moving!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 6th Nov 18, 3:06 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Plodding along - when my latest payment clears tomorrow I'll do the next BT - the penultimate one on Bcard before zeroing it! It's going to be so great to see 'minimum payment 0. on *something*! I know I'm just shuffling money, but having only two cards with debt on will feel a lot more manageable

    Trying to be as unspendy as possible this week after overspending the 'per day' budget on Saturday with an unplanned 17 spend at Nandos between the two of us. As we need to go out tonight, I got up an hour early to make dinner to save time later (and avoid the eating out gremlins). All done and I was still early for work.

    Last night I managed to get plenty of ingredients to last the week on yellow and orange stickers, so the grocery budget has also picked up a bit of the slack.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 7th Nov 18, 11:31 AM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Number crunching time. My web hosting is due for renewal tomorrow and the pot is 23.23 short, 15 of the deficit is from helping out my Stepson with travel money when he came up short for a train ticket (I've written that money off), so I will be trying to make up the difference from surveys - I have just over 10 in my Circle account from my last payout and another 6.30 in Prolific, so I just need to find a few more to make up the difference.

    I'm now at that limbo part of the month where I still have a reasonably healthy bank balance but can't make overpayments because it's all accounted for in various pots, and I don't want overenthusiastic debt-busting to leave me short. I'm less then 90 away from 18k paid off, and I would love to pass that mark by the end of November, but not if it means tipping into overdraft! One step at a time, one day at a time...
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 9th Nov 18, 11:36 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Happy Friday! Today I picked up a shiny penny that I found in the street today, and the old 'see a penny, pick it up' rhyme popped into my head. This evening, an item I listed for sale so long ago that I'd forgotten about sold, and if the buyer doesn't mess me around then the kitty will be boosted by around 80 after fees. I won't be doing anything with the funds until I know that the buyer is happy (been there, done that, been stung!), but it's exactly the kind of thing I needed to happen! Quiet-ish weekend should see a bit more progress being made at home, too.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 10th Nov 18, 12:22 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Woah! I have done a swift about turn on my BCard zeroing plans. They have given me a new 0% offer for the first time in six years! This has put me in a MUCH better place. I've moved the interest-bearing part of my Hfax balance and (after working out what my payments would need to be to pay it all off by the end of the offer period) several k of the other card that was at 4.9%. With fees taken into account that's more than 300 saved in interest over the BT period, and when my 0% rate on HFax ends in January I conceptually have more options to deal with it. OK, both current BT offers could evaporate next month, but for now I'm very happy indeed. It also makes it obvious where I should concentrate any overpayments in the next 18 months.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 11th Nov 18, 8:36 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    The worst thing about doing a large BT on a weekend: the money shows as added to the card it's being transferred to straight away, but there's no pending payment showing yet on the one it's being moved from. I'll be happy when it's all squared up.

    Lunch has been made for tomorrow, now I need to pack the sold item to take to the post office in the morning and find a bit of motivation from somewhere...
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 14th Nov 18, 3:49 PM
    • 203 Posts
    • 698 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    The BTs have gone through! I cannot tell you how much more organised that makes me feel, and how nice it is that two of the three cards will have zero interest added next month.

    Two weeks to go until payday, and there are a few unknowns up ahead - the overseas work trip is coming up and I will need some currency, though I can't sort my expenses until next month. The exchange rate is grim, a good 10% drop from last time I went there, in a country where food and drink is already a LOT more expensive than here. This may be the month I have to suck it up and use my overdraft for the last few days of the month, though I will do my level best not to go over. I've got 20 in my Circle account that I can use, and my Paypal account is looking healthy thanks to the latest gadget sale. but I will have to sit on that until I get word that the buyer is happy. Hopefully I'll know before I need the funds!

    While I don't want to wish my life away, I cannot wait until the end of Feb when the big obligation ends and I can trickle a little bit more into the day-to-day budget. Even though the majority will be diverted to debtbusting, 25-30/week will still make a heck of a difference.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21
    Current debt: 29079.65 - 38% paid
    DFD: May 2021
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