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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 6
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 11th Mar 18, 6:56 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Today I am sad, and angry, and frustrated, and flailing a bit. Perspective really does hit you when two friends tell you about their cancer diagnosis on the same day. One has been caught early, is already undergoing treatment and the prognosis is good. The other - at this point I really don't know, but based on the details I have right now, it's aggressive. This bullcarp with worrying about money? It's nothing, nothing at all in the grand scheme of things.
    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 11th Mar 18, 7:30 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    One-Step, So sorry to hear about your friends, such a shock and upsetting along with everything else its all a bit much. Really hope the best for them, please take care of yourself as I was always told you are no good to help anyone else unless you look after yourself first. Its true money isnt everything. TC
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Mar 18, 9:12 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thank you. I've just felt so incredibly sad this weekend. So many people I know have gone through battles with the evil C over the last couple of years, and the frustration of only being able to help in very limited ways can get overwhelming.

    Back to work today and we are beginning to find out a little more. I am cautiously optimistic that my post is safe for the time being, but should it *not* be, the redundancy pay would clear the newest, most pressing debt and still give a cushion of a few months before anything really drastic needed to happen. My CV is getting a spruce up and there is still a week to the closing date of the best fit job that I have found to apply for.

    I have tried to continue chipping away - another 5 has come from ebay, and there are a flurry of watchers on two new listings, but my enthusiasm is pretty low. Nothing else is due to happen with any of my accounts until Friday now, so I am going to try to give myself a few days off from thinking or writing about debt.
    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 13th Mar 18, 4:07 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    A day *can* make a difference. I was going to steer clear for a few days, but I feel this is worth documenting. Now that we have had the more in-depth meeting on the restructure, it appears that I will escape the gallows this time around, as they are calling it a company-wide targeted restructure. I have very mixed feelings - huge, HUGE relief for my own sake, and a hefty dollop of survivor guilt, as specific positions have been deemed surplus to requirements. There may still be enough wiggle room through not-at-risk people going for VS and freeing up posts. From our point of view the whole thing makes no sense as our workload is due to increase dramatically over the next few months with a new service coming online; it's the old 'do more with less' scenario.

    The other minor thing today is that my last month of balance shuffling has knocked 40 per month off my minimum payment for the non-priority card, which can be used to snowball the shortest BT card more effectively, plus I considerably overestimated the interest that would come in on my MBNA statement and am now less than 17 away from 30k
    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 13th Mar 18, 5:51 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Pleased to see some Good News for you !!
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 15th Mar 18, 11:38 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Quiet couple of days of plodding, and now a moan.
    The emergency fund will be taking a big hit next week - my First Utility dd goes out on the 23rd (I've already paid EDF and BG this month). Next month I will have the final bills from EDF and BG as well so that's two months in a row of double payments depending on how many days they are calculating the last bill for. It feels like the overlap wipes out way too much of the estimated savings, even though it should all even itself out over the next year. Yes, our utilities are too high even with the switch- we have a fairly large house with very old, inefficient heating, plus I know we (or more precisely DH who is home a lot more than I am) use way too much electricity (one of the reasons I am looking forward to having a smart meter so I can give him irrefutable proof of how wasteful he is, and identify more ways to cut down!).

    So any money left over this month (I was on target to end the month with at least 60 left) will not be thrown at the Hfax card, but redirected to the EF. I am due at least 45 from BT via Topcashback next month and have also just lodged a claim for the 40 from First Utility that doesn't appear to have tracked (I waited two weeks just in case). That could take a couple of months to be resolved, but at least will help to plug the hole when it does arrive.

    Two more ebay sales finishing this week will be the payment that gets me under 30k, so that at least is on track.
    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 15th Mar 18, 12:42 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Hello One-Step, thinking the utilities are definately short term pain long term gain . So close to clearing the 30k hurdle TC
    • MoneysavingmadGem
    • By MoneysavingmadGem 15th Mar 18, 11:11 PM
    • 55 Posts
    • 249 Thanks
    MoneysavingmadGem
    Wohoo!!!! Nearly there!
    Little steps = huge achievements

    Welldone!
    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 16th Mar 18, 10:22 AM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning all!

    I now have bids on four of my ebay items so I'm hoping this will get interesting! The most hotly watched item is a skirt I bought in a CS for 3 and wore twice, currently going at 7 with 18 people watching it and two and a half days to go.

    The last two direct debits for the month go out today - one of them has been changed so that next month's will go out between the 2nd and 5th, for the other one I need to phone the company as I can't shift the date online, but I don't think 'Hi, I'd like to pay you earlier' should cause any objections.

    Hoping everyone has a great weekend - we have a retirement do at work tonight which I am hoping to escape from relatively unscathed (not really a drinker so have promised to stay for one at the pub after speeches and have a small budget put by - luckily there are too many of us going for rounds to be a thing!)
    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
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 16th Mar 18, 7:48 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 1,442 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Don't count on the direct debit being moveable. BT were particularly awkward and flatly refused to move ours. This was pre YNAB for me (now it doesnt matter when it is due for us as we are a month ahead) so I got my own back and took my business to sky such a petty victory, bit felt so good
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 17th Mar 18, 1:55 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thanks Drawingaline - If they say no, so be it - it's a small insurance policy with three more payments to renewal, and I'm hoping to pay upfront for the next one, so it will only be a minor annoyance to have it sticking out like a sore thumb in the middle of the month for a bit longer

    Last night was a bit spendy due to having not factored in snacks at the pub being needed, but the whole night out, food, drinks and parking came in under 30, which was not far off what was anticipated, and it was a really nice evening. Budget has been balanced and the rest of the month won't suffer for spending the extra < 7!

    Today is a very lazy and no-spend one - more dough is rising so we'll have a nice fresh loaf later today, and I have a leg of pork from a yellow sticker frenzy to sort for dinner, I have some ebay stuff to pack before auctions end tomorrow, and more things plonked in the spare room to list. If hubby is feeling cooperative we may start sorting through some of his hoard of broken electronics to list for spares/parts as well, but that might be overly optimistic
    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 17th Mar 18, 3:28 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    One-Step hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend too. Glad you enjoyed the retirement outing and am sure you will enjoy your fresh loaf and Pork later today I bet it will smell and taste delicious !! TC
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 17th Mar 18, 6:09 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Thanks Strawberryfield and a happy weekend to you!

    I'm having a bit of a baking frenzy afternoon, seeing what random things in the cupboards and fridge can be made into cake ingredients. I was interrupted on a recipe search by an email ping, which tuned out to be a random print sale of a three year old photo from my website. Very unexpected but most welcome! I get 9 after the printers and HMRC get their cuts. This is the first sale entirely for me and not for charitable purposes this year. I need to do more website tidying and a bit more promotion I think. A few sales a month would be very welcome!
    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 17th Mar 18, 6:24 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Thanks One-Step- I am sure Mr One-Step is liking all his baking too
    Well done on the print sale its very nice for something you have created to sell! TC
    • strawberryfield2233
    • By strawberryfield2233 17th Mar 18, 6:25 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    Should have added we need need to see pictures of this baking !!! So we can be jealous!! (Dont know how you add them though!)
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 18th Mar 18, 7:52 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Oops, too late to get pictures of baking

    Just a flyby to say Happy Sunday - signature updated with a number that has given me a nice little psychological boost, thanks to six paid-for ebay sales on top of that print sale!
    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 18th Mar 18, 9:13 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    strawberryfield2233
    well done !!
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 19th Mar 18, 3:23 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Daydreaming on a Monday?
    Today is a new dawn in more ways than one - I am choosing to look past the credit card debt and daring to have a Grand Plan.

    Were about to attempt to do a new 5 year fix on the mortgage to give us some payment predictability while the unsecured debts are being blitzed. The numbers I'm working with hinge on there being no affordability check, but I will confirm that with our lender when I phone. The website implies there won't be one; we're not making any requests to change the amount or term. The fixed rate is at a fractionally lower interest rate than we are on now, and payments would be < 2/month cheaper.

    Assuming this is viable, at the end of this period we we will have less than 22k (and only another 5 years) left on the mortgage.
    From March 2019 my current c500 extra/month commitment will be finished, as will hubbys 250/month parental car loan.
    Most of that money will then be allocated to CCs, emergency fund, savings and a bit of living, but a small overpayment to the mortgage (increasing as other obligations reduce) should be entirely doable, and Im hoping that by March 2023 we will be down to around 17k on the mortgage (at which point we go to the SVR, with no ERC other than a 65 admin charge).

    If by 2023 mortgage interest rates have skyrocketed to even something as preposterous as 20%, it would still be affordable, with no other debt in our way, to clear 17k in 2-3 years. Its all just numbers on a spreadsheet at the moment, but the idea of shooting for debt-free and mortgage free within 7.5 years is very exciting, and we would both still only be in our early-mid 50s at that point. My pipe dream is to take hubby to Madagascar to see lemurs in the wild for his 55th birthday, and I've got just over eight years to make it happen; it would be a heck of a way to end the debt years!

    It seems insane to be even thinking about this in our current state of debt as we are basically flying by the seat of our pants this year, and it would only take one relatively minor disaster to bring the plan crashing down around our ears, but I am choosing to believe that this can work and will fight to make it happen. The promise of lemurs may even be the secret weapon I need to get hubby to start flogging his clutter, but that might be optimistic even for me!
    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 19th Mar 18, 6:39 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 484 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    A veritable yellow sticker bonanza on the way home! Under 5 total.
    4.50 salmon down to 1.14
    2x 5 thin crust pepperoni pizzas at 1.24 and on 2-4-1, so 62p each
    2.10 enormous tub of coleslaw down to 54p
    Ripe avocados from 1.95 to 1.35 (not a brilliant but could be worse)
    Seafood Paella ready meal from 2.50 to 64p
    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
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 19th Mar 18, 8:27 PM
    • 426 Posts
    • 1,442 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Wow, some haul!

    And a grand plan is a nice idea. Mine atm is busy the debt, try and do some more weekends away with the family. But we want to take the kids to Japan in maybe 2/3 years! We went pre kids and adored it, we want to do it again. But it will cost so so much, esp around the bloody school holiday.

    We also need to sort out retirement stuff as we are incredibly underfunded, and I want the mortgage gone before we are 55 (13 years away) atm we have 24 years left.
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