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  • FIRST POST
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    • 129Posts
    • 456Thanks
    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 9
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Apr 18, 7:51 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning diary readers!

    Up early today, loads donealready and am still grinning about the boiler.

    Goals for the rest of April: make sure all my thoughts about money are of the positive, "it will come to me if I allow it" variety and give myself an attitude adjustment if doom and gloom mode dares to set in.

    A couple of weeks ago, I decided that I would like to try to get at least another 100 per week flowing my way to ease the budget and help build the EF. With one thing and another (mostly incentives & cashback) I am currently ahead of myself, with motivation to try harder to make things happen!

    It should be possible to keep some momentum going - the MSE email that popped into my inbox yesterday has alerted me that I need to check whether DH can transfer his spare tax allowance to me. We would only be eligible for this year, but should be able to claim the full amount. As well as this, I have just found out that I am allowed to claim a tax rebate from having to wear branded shirts at work. I had no idea that this was even a thing, but a couple of colleagues have claimed back over 200 successfully so I will give that a try too. All in all another 400-ish I have got my sights on.

    Plus I must remember to buy an onion on the way home!

    Hope everyone has a good day
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 12-04-2018 at 7:56 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
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Apr 18, 3:56 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Boo! My signature is now incorrect by 72, the interest from the two cards I changed the payment dates on last month has just been added. I'm not going to change it, just concentrate on it being surpassed by reality very soon
    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 12th Apr 18, 8:06 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Good evening!
    I went to Sbury to buy that onion after work, checked our shopping list on Google docs and DH had added to it because he was in the mood to make a chilli. I never object to this as it feeds us for three evenings, so I bought the extra stuff (soured cream 24p courtesy of a trusty yellow sticker) 14.47 left in the month!!!8217;s grocery budget. It!!!8217;s going to be tight! However, that little bit of shopping yielded a 15 off a 50 online grocery shop voucher. It has to be used by midnight on the 26th and I get paid on the 27th, so we can use it to keep the freezer stocks up, and technically it will count as part of the May food budget as the money will go out on payday.

    Another MSE win is that after a good search I found a photo sales site for my small print gallery with a free hosting plan that fits my criteria (including lab fulfilment, commission-free, simple interface, good branding options), so next month provided that testing is satisfactory, I can point my site URL at it and save myself 23.36/quarter, which will probably be redirected to the priority CC.

    Two wins today totalling more than 100 less spending over the next year
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 12-04-2018 at 8:24 PM.
    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 16th Apr 18, 6:39 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Evening diary!

    A few days have been spent in the real world - with friends staying, the computer has been switched off other than the five minutes per day of account checking. We had a really nice time, and barely spent a thing all weekend! We were also treated to dinner as a thank you for hosting and being tour guides. I would say that I feel refreshed today, but that's not *quite* true as we had a ridiculously early start to get them safely on their way. I was about ready for my bed by morning teabreak and will be very surprised if I last for more than half an hour after dinner tonight

    Absolutely nothing MSE-ish to report - normal service will resume tomorrow. I hope everyone had a good weekend.
    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
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 16th Apr 18, 6:54 PM
    • 414 Posts
    • 1,404 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Sounds like a lovely weekend
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 17th Apr 18, 7:19 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Sounds like a lovely weekend
    Originally posted by Drawingaline
    It really was
    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 17th Apr 18, 7:43 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Ahhhhh, I was expecting this to happen at some point. There's an overseas event that DH and I adore, that we justified to each other a couple of times pre-LBM (and is responsible for a not insignificant part of our debt due to enormous travel and accommodation costs involved). This year it's looking better than ever! I have breezily managed to pretend that it doesn't exist for the last three years, but this year some of my regular clients are involved and the "are you going" messages have started already. I'm just going to have to get very, very good at turning a blind eye. There is no danger of me having a fiscal relapse though. In the past I would have seen enough space on my credit card as an opportunity, now I see it as the danger it really is! It's also so spine-chillingly expensive this year that even pre-LBM me would have balked at the numbers.
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 17-04-2018 at 7:22 PM.
    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 19th Apr 18, 11:22 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning all!

    I have splurged on food today. Found 5.40 in a drawer the spare room and spent nearly all of it in Sbury on the way to work on breakfasts and lunches for the next week. Bagels, lots of lovely salad, an enormous vat of natural yoghurt (yellow stickered) and some reduced-price granola bars. I am still on course to make it through to payday without raiding the EF. Just about!

    Really nothing else to report. Things get dull when I have no totals to update!
    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 20th Apr 18, 4:20 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Happy Friday everyone!

    Just checking in while I'm here as popping back regularly helps me with accountability. Preparing for a very frugal last few days before payday, and a weekend of putting some ducks in a row making sure my May and June budgets are as watertight as they can be. They are both extra travel months due to a couple of long-awaited events, so I'm going to have to be ~very~ careful. I think that 95 BT reward card is going to be a bit of a godsend!
    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 21st Apr 18, 8:29 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Aargh. Things have gone a bit off plan today. I clawed back 4.50 from the travel budget due to a meeting being postponed today, then decided to use the bonus spare time to paint the fence, which necessitated buying paint. Up 4.50, down 15.

    I looked into the travel possibilities for the long trip next month, and am really glad I did - it was possible to arrange a lift in one direction so I only needed a single train ticket, so the costs have gone down to 33.50 plus a bit towards fuel. I had to buy the train ticket or risk being stuck with a more expensive one (there were only 2 left at the cheap rate) so I have borrowed this from the EF as enough is put aside in May's budget to pay it straight back. Theoretically this means I'll still be ahead when I balance the books next week (but in reality it just means that the pressure is off if I have fewer ebay sales). The coach would have been about 4 cheaper but taken five hours longer! Sanity over budget!
    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 22nd Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    What a lovely day! I'm covered in bites, scratches and nettle stings, and will probably ache like h3ll tomorrow, but have done five hours of hard graft in the garden. Very satisfying. All the painting, some replanting, border weeding, lugging some bits of paving, digging and sweeping. Could have filled the garden bin three times over, but tried to show a bit of restraint.

    Hopefully I will find some energy from somewhere to get some more planning done tonight, but I'm thinking a soak in the bath and early sleep is more likely!
    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 23rd Apr 18, 11:25 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning diary! Coffee break
    Bit tired from all the work yesterday and a touch foggy-headed, which I'm pretty sure is from breathing in a multitude of tiny insects and bits of cobweb from two days of garden pottering.

    Although I've been doing little positive things every day, my debt-busting momentum has most definitely slowed. I have done my YNAB-ing for next month, and can stick to plan with no extra income, though I have listed another dozen things on ebay and am all set to photograph and list more this evening.I am enjoying being organised and calm about what's happening in my bank account, and making my next payment on Friday is going to put a smile on my face and wipe 1.5% from the remaining debt. May will take me over 25% total paid, so another little milestone to celebrate.
    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 25th Apr 18, 10:46 AM
    • 129 Posts
    • 456 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning all!

    A very short checking-in update.

    Nearly there, two day countdown to payday. Another month of no credit card spending and no overdraft under our belts! I haven't been able to make any more card overpayments, which has been a little frustrating, but the totals are on the way down so I can't complain.

    DH is up for some work on Friday which would give us a considerable boost over the next few months; it's a long shot as it's pretty competitive, but he's staying positive.
    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
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