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  • FIRST POST
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    • 149Posts
    • 484Thanks
    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 4
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 2nd Mar 18, 5:15 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 256 Thanks
    Magpie100
    You seem incredibly in control - well done! I see you haven't posted an SOA yet (I don't think) - it might be good if you did as people here can often find magical ways of shaving off yet a few more pennies here and there. I appreciate not everyone wants to lay bare their financial life for all to see, but the less of a big deal you make these things and the more open you are the better, I find.

    Snowing heavily where I am but I have been working from home today and have cabin fever! I really need to leave the house tomorrow, even if only for a walk...

    Enjoy your weekend. M100
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 2nd Mar 18, 6:55 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Hi Magpie! I decided not to post the SOA for now as we have changed and re-jigged so many payments, contracts and utilities recently that there are quite a few numbers still in flux. I want to monitor things for a month and deal with the possible double payments from utility & phone contract switching before re-aligning the pots again and putting it out there for review!
    Although I am a lot happier with the vast majority of the numbers now, there are still potentially plenty of savings to be made in the next few months with policies that renew in the summer, plus I have one interest-free credit payment that ends in July that will free up another £72/month. The real focus is on earning more!
    The current SOA is light years away from what I would have posted if I had been here a year ago and I will not be shy about asking for suggestions when the time comes
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 2nd Mar 18, 7:01 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    One-Step glad you did not hurt yourself! and are home in the warm.
    M100 - Good advice re the SOA, know its not easy to bare all as you say.

    One- Step - good to see the good habits you have listed
    One thing I do want to do more in a mse vein is use coupons/find them, I do like to do what I call a triple, buy food on promotion, use a money off coupon for the product and use a money off total shop coupon (i have been know to do this plus use wOtrose 20% off pickyourown (sadly stopped and got my free paper + used my newspaper subscription voucher so got difference back off shopping! I dont drink tea/coffee so no need for that but I did come out quite smug lol). O/cado I have a really cheap smart pass which doesnt matter if dont use it, but if i wait they usually send me a money off shop code, so I use that, make sure I check out a few times nearer cut off point for editing order to take advantage of flash sales, i also now maximise tosco price match, so look for branded things on offer and buy at ocado but do so to the point where I get the voucher up to £10. Bit of a faff but get tosco offer prices to my door with a bit of extra off when i get a voucher code. That was a but long LOL but basically I dont mind a bit of a faff to get a bargain others cant be bothered, tthis area is where people can get ahead in cutting food bills, the elite shopping thread though is somehing else I cant keep up!
    Also I do like to get ebay bargains for clothes/shoes when I can.

    Have a good weekend
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 2nd Mar 18, 7:13 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    *** should have added not sure where you shop one-step but we are lucky to have home bargains and b&m nearby which are very good for bargains, but I am totally disloyal to supermarkets etc I literally do not use the same place week in week out I find being disloyal pays as they tend to send vouchers to tempt you back! I appreciate though you probably need to be disciplined and stick to routine.
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 3rd Mar 18, 11:05 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thank you Strawberryfield - no supermarket loyalty here (barring my very expensive former shortcut through M&S on the way home!). No b&m or home bargains local to me, but Asda, Sainsbury & Co-op all within walking distance so those tend to be my yellow sticker destinations. I never organise the big online food shop as hubby does that, we have accounts with several stores and compare prices/offers. He's very good at doing the price comparisons, but additionally I always police the contents of the basket and usually slim it down to meet our target spend. My physical shopping tends to be restricted to fresh things needed for meal planning and yellow stickers that correspond with what we normally buy.

    One thing in my/our favour is that I actually really don't like shopping, and am a list person not a browser - you wouldn't think that from the level of debt, but the majority of it is from experiences and interest, not physical stuff.

    Have a great weekend!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • Magpie100
    • By Magpie100 3rd Mar 18, 11:54 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 256 Thanks
    Magpie100
    Oh good - I was hoping you would have considered the SOA issue - completely understand you only want to post it at a point where it will be useful to you. You sound very organised and as if your lightbulb is fully switched on, so I am sure you can stay on top of things and then do some fine-tuning when you do post an SOA. M100
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 3rd Mar 18, 6:34 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Hello All, One-Step, quite jealous you have an asdO nearby as I would love to try to do some of the AsdO Price Guarantee (APG) on the elite threads but would have to do online and it would be pointless as they always sub loads if I order from them! Amazed that your hubby does the online shop, mine would not be interested in doing that at all.

    Honestly was quite shocked when you say your not a big fan of shopping, I just automatically assume anyone with debt must be out of control with shopping, just shows what I know !! I have been in debt once a long time ago when young, hubby bailed me out when we got together and have been very wary of credit cards ever since. So have one for spending that gets paid off in full each month to get points. That was shopping and nothing else really and definately learnt my lesson so I do sympathise with your struggle.

    When you say life experiences etc contributed to debt we have not been abroad for years, not that I dont want to as such but dont have the funds and have accepted it if you know what I mean. This area I think is quite hard for people to accept if they have got used to doing certain things. In some ways this is a bit like my problem with chocolate I really know should not eat a lot of it but sometimes its like an addiction

    TC
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 4th Mar 18, 11:03 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Hubby and I have always been a really terrible influence on each other in the travel department and this is the reason for a big chunk of the debt. In very oversimplified terms, it would probably work out something along the lines of 20% home improvements put in motion after mortgage and before a job loss, 15% car, 30% travel, 10% expensive hobbies (mine is now a business area but it wasn't for the first few years of dabbling in it), 5% miscellaneous (things like popping car insurance on the card with the intention of paying it back, then not bothering), the rest interest accumulated from simply not caring/worrying enough to address it properly and only doing minimum payments for far too long. Hindsight is a wonderful thing!
    Because it's mostly been 'big ticket' things and repayment mismanagement is why I think we managed to successfully do an about turn last year once reality had slapped me in the face, and although I'm hugely embarrassed that we (and realistically, the driving force for most of it was me) let it get so out of hand, it's not a mystery as to where it all went.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • MoneysavingmadGem
    • By MoneysavingmadGem 4th Mar 18, 12:02 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    MoneysavingmadGem
    I have just read through your thread and really admire your determination and goal setting.

    Love the idea of only going on little holiday if earnt through ebay. At present I have gone through mine and families cupboards over last 2 years with nothing left to sell!! But I enjoy it so much tempted to have a small pot of cash to get bits from carboots to sell on!

    Im intrigued as to your craft. I knit and crochet.

    Good luck!
    Crazy clothes 2018 #7 - £24.23/ £120, handmade or cs
    Pay all debt off xmas 2018 #066.(£909.95/ £10565.90)
    2018 frugal living #34 (£2500)
    1% a day #36 (9000)
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 4th Mar 18, 1:03 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    One-Step - Makes sense why its been difficult if you both in the past want to spend but I think you canít sort things out without fully understanding where things went wrong and judging by this thread and your sea change in attitude its all going in a good direction now!!!
    Keep it up!!

    Am also curious as to what your craft is too guessing it might be top secret though
    Tc
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 4th Mar 18, 10:08 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Hi Gem,
    Thanks for stopping by and reading!

    I figured selling things was the best way to still manage a holiday, I had a lot of fun planning it out, and am going to repeat the performance this year to split between paying off more debt and having some excursions (seven more things have gone on eBay tonight, £100-ish in the pot after fees if they all shift). I don't doubt that I will run out of things to sell at some point, but there's a way to go before we are truly minimalist!

    We've got a wedding to go to in August that I need to budget for, and a couple of things in May and September that we'd really like to do when friends from overseas will be on holiday over here. The wedding takes priority, but I have a spreadsheet with the breakdown of all the potential costs to work to, and the more I can do without touching wages, the better.

    I think I can say the expensive hobby/job is photography without incriminating myself at all
    My area is a bit of a niche (not weddings/families) so the work is quite sporadic, but I have a few decent repeat clients. It's not very lucrative, but over the last few years the initial spend on gear has started to justify itself, so I will keep plugging away.

    Signing off with today's MSE report: I made dessert to take to a family meal using the contents of the cupboards, and splurged 57p each on two veggie quiches that have solved the problem of what my lunches will be this week
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 5th Mar 18, 11:19 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Good morning!

    Monday morning coffee break update

    Ebay: No bites on any listings yet and no more sales over the weekend, though £25 will come in next weekend from something I have sold to a friend. Today I need to go to the pound shop and get a 9v battery to test another thing before it goes up for sale, but that should be my only spend.

    CCs: My Barclaycard and Halifax payments will be moved from the 16th and 12th respectively to the 2nd of the month to get all payments going out in the week following payday (this should take effect from April), and I made extra payments totalling £17.94 from my card overpayments pot (for the sake of getting some numbers rounded down).

    Budgeting: According to my YNAB trial (23 days remaining), I will still have £142 in the grocery fund (and I suspect we will only need half of that as stocks of essentials are still good), £75 for entertainment and £140 under things I forgot to budget for; once everything has gone out this month, plus I put £200 in the emergency fund (which *may* need to be raided if my 'spare' doesn't cover a double utility payment this month). After scheduled payments and interest (already accounted for in sig) I will only be £158 away from breaking the £30k barrier and I would LOVE to be able to do that this month - I will feel a little closer to slaying the dragon.
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 05-03-2018 at 11:21 AM.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 5th Mar 18, 3:30 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Is the afternoon already ?! Hello All,
    One-step - Photography sounds like a great hobby/business to me and if can bring some £ in all the better !!
    £158 away from the 30K barrier... you are so close breaking through that one Good Luck TC
    • MoneysavingmadGem
    • By MoneysavingmadGem 5th Mar 18, 7:39 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    MoneysavingmadGem
    Wohoo! Well done you!

    Like yourself im finding setting little achievable targets to over pay ccsI over a month easier than looking at it as a whole big sum!

    Im working in cash ( bar dds) and finding that im able to pay at least £10 a month extra to ccs by putting back lose change (5ps, 1ps, 2p,) and £2 coins I get. Similar o rounding up/ down bank account
    Crazy clothes 2018 #7 - £24.23/ £120, handmade or cs
    Pay all debt off xmas 2018 #066.(£909.95/ £10565.90)
    2018 frugal living #34 (£2500)
    1% a day #36 (9000)
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 5th Mar 18, 8:07 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Not a bad day today, overall! There was a meeting in my office today which resulted in leftover chocolate biscuits - no complaints there

    A post about Prolific Academic surveys (which was new to me) popped up earlier; I signed up and have done five (and am already £6.21 up), then did some grocery shopping that we were originally going to do tomorrow, got everything on the list and came in £3.34 under budget (mostly thanks to Asda being very cheap for cheese and anchovies today). I forgot to buy the pesky battery, though, so tomorrow won't be a NSD, but after that I don't *think* I'll need to buy anything until the weekend (milk supplies permitting).

    Monday night is generally my sit around at home and be a bit of a sloth night (hubby is in charge of cooking today), but at a minimum I will make some pizza dough and sauce to pop in the fridge for tomorrow, and do a sourdough starter (which is something I have been meaning to do for ages as I love sourdough but have never tried to made it, and I actually have time this week to feed the starter and do it all properly).

    Tomorrow I need to remember to go to the pound shop for the battery, and the bank to pay in the £5 in coins that is sitting bagged up in my desk at work, but nothing else is pressing!
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 05-03-2018 at 8:16 PM.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 5th Mar 18, 8:14 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Wohoo! Well done you!

    Like yourself im finding setting little achievable targets to over pay ccsI over a month easier than looking at it as a whole big sum!

    Im working in cash ( bar dds) and finding that im able to pay at least £10 a month extra to ccs by putting back lose change (5ps, 1ps, 2p,) and £2 coins I get. Similar o rounding up/ down bank account
    Originally posted by MoneysavingmadGem
    Just jumping in to wish you well on your journey MoneysavingMadGem Really good to use cash where you can as no room to forget anything and saving your change to pay ccs is a great habit to get into.
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 5th Mar 18, 8:23 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    One-Step Prolific Academic is quite good (have slacked off lately only due to other commitments) but the tasks can be quite interesting. One thing though re cashing out if you dont have CIRCLE then worth searching on mseforum referral thread for circle and when you reach threshold for payment its better than using paypal. The referral was a nice extra bit, moving £25 to my husband who I referred to Circle was an extra bit too

    *See the full circle referral thread
    Last edited by strawberryfield2233; 05-03-2018 at 8:24 PM. Reason: Circle is an app type payments thing
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 6th Mar 18, 10:00 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thanks - we both already have circle accounts so the referral bonus is long since gone, but I will try to be patient enough to get to the threshold before cashing out

    I did the semi-regular trawl through pockets and bags last night and dredged up just over £5 - this will cover remaining spends for the week so I will chuck another £5 at the CC today.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 6th Mar 18, 8:04 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Another quiet night at home - pizza is in the oven, sourdough starter has been fed and put aside again, books have been balanced for the day.

    I decided to redeem a Shopmium offer (Nature Valley Almond butter bars) - at £2.90 they are normally way too pricey, but £1 for four is much more sensible. I love granola bars & yoghurt for breakfast but porridge is so much cheaper, however my last grocery shop included a £2 pot of yoghurt marked down to 24p so I am quite happy to indulge!

    I remembered to buy a 9v battery on the way home, so after dinner the ebay listing will get sorted out, really not much else to do tonight. No bites on the existing listings, but one watch, so we will see what happens.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 45493.21 (37800.21 on CCs) Now: 33637.89 (28925 on CCs) Paid: 26.1% EF: £705/£1000
    Credit in use: 67% DFD: July 2021
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 6th Mar 18, 9:05 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    (Sorry was going to write something but got distracted by imagining the pizza think we will have to have pizza tomorrow now will have to check out the shopmium app those bars sound nice) TC
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