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  • FIRST POST
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Feb 18, 8:05 PM
    • 179Posts
    • 599Thanks
    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 9
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Apr 18, 7:51 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Apr 18, 3:56 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 12th Apr 18, 8:06 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 16th Apr 18, 6:39 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 16th Apr 18, 6:54 PM
    • 463 Posts
    • 1,521 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Sounds like a lovely weekend
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 17th Apr 18, 7:19 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Sounds like a lovely weekend
    Originally posted by Drawingaline
    It really was
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 17th Apr 18, 7:43 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 19th Apr 18, 11:22 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 20th Apr 18, 4:20 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 21st Apr 18, 8:29 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 22nd Apr 18, 6:38 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 23rd Apr 18, 11:25 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 25th Apr 18, 10:46 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 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.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 26th Apr 18, 10:16 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning!

    Free money today! Well, forgotten money
    I have paid myself 7.70 from the National Lottery account I haven't used for well over a year. Straight in to the EF to start paying myself back for the advance train ticket I bought this week.

    Today should be another NSD, plenty of lunch stuff at work and leftovers for dinner tonight, and while the good weather is holding I'm going to finish filling the compost bin tonight, pretty sure I can squish down what I put in there over the weekend.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 27th Apr 18, 12:25 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Happy Friday!

    Today is a good day. It's payday, and my wages were up 8 this month, so that's gone straight to the HFax CC.

    Today's Numbers:
    -Total unsecured debt is back under 35k!
    -Debt is currently at 24% paid, heading for 25% by the end of May
    -The CC portion of this will be under 29k by the end of May
    -I have paid a total of 530 off my debt this morning and transferred back all the money I borrowed from the EF.
    -Minimum card payments this month are under 450, down another 40 from last month which means more for overpayments without really noticing it.

    Today is not an NSD as I refuse to break my tradition of a Danish pastry on payday

    I almost messed up last night - remembered at 11.37pm that my Sbury 15-off-a-spend-of-50+ online shopping voucher expired last night. Luckily we have a rolling shopping list and knew what we needed, so the virtual trolley was put together and paid for within six minutes.

    Wishing everyone a lovely weekend!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 29th Apr 18, 10:23 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Morning Diary!

    Yesterday was a bit of a down day. I went into London to meet a potential new client, and came home feeling like all the energy had been sucked out of me. Superficially we got on fine, but at this point I can't see it turning into a decent working relationship. I resisted buying lunch out and held out 'til I got home to have a late lunch with DH, so the only spend was on travel. I can feel myself going into a bit of a downward slump, so I think some decent physical exercise is on the cards today to try to head it off at the pass.

    This morning I've set up internet banking for our mortgage account as it was the only one we didn't manage online. Tomorrow will be the first payment on the new lower rate, and it will be good to watch that going down alongside everything else. I am still hopeful that once we are out of this CC mess we can still knock at least 2-3 years off the remaining ten year term.

    Right, time to go and try to make something of this day!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 3rd May 18, 11:10 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    An uneventful few days in debtbusting world. I have sold one thing on eBay, a princely 3 for the pot after fees, but that is .001% closer to empty CCs than I was yesterday.
    Prolific surveys are ticking along again after a drought and I should be able to cash out again within a week or two (one payment will not be confirmed until closer to mid-month). It's weird- although last month had some double payments and was quite expensive, I actually feel like there is less money to play with this month (though the budget says the amount to play with is identical)

    Interestingly, I've started to get marginally more favourable balance transfer offers through; the best I have been getting recently was 4.9% for three years with no fee; now I'm getting 3.9% for three years with no fee, so I may do a little more balance bumping this month. I don't have masses of wiggle room at present, and 1%p.a. saving on a small fraction of the total balance may not be much, but it's better than nothing.

    I have a bit of freelance work coming up this month which should be worth another 150 after tax, though payment for that will be later in the year.

    That's about it on the money front really, you can tell I'm a lot calmer about all this than I was a couple of months ago! Redid my snowball today and my projected DFD has been brought forward by nearly 9 months since I started!
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 03-05-2018 at 12:43 PM.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 3rd May 18, 6:52 PM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Bonus money stuff today - two more surveys have pushed me over the 20 cashout mark, and my top-up grocery shop today (which consisted largely of yellow sticker items) bagged me another 15 off a 50 online shop voucher. Given that I've only just used the last one that's a free 30 in total towards this month's grocery budget. Can't complain about that!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 4th May 18, 11:20 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Happy Friday to all!

    It's beautiful day here so I am bubbling over with motivation. This morning I made a load of bread and left it in the oven on timer for DH, made more dough and topped up the sourdough starter, all before coffee

    Work is pleasantly chilled out today. A set list of things to finish and all the people who normally drop last minute bombs on me are away on leave, so I will be getting away on time. I actually forgot we had a bank holiday coming up, so this Monday I plan to stay at home and do more little things around the house and garden. There is no spare in the budget this month for more fence paint or extra plants, which is a bit of a shame, but it does mean I can focus on weeding and tidying up. I've also got to do a final check of my website to make sure I'm GDPR-ready so that I don't have any last-minute flaps about it. The last part of the weekend plan is seeing if I can push any more online sales through, either ebay or photo prints, to boost the coffers a bit.

    I have used a new BT offer to move part of my Bcard balance and save myself 30/year in interest. At this point I'm just playing games to see what happens; Bcard will fall below 25% usage on the next payment, and although I'm not expecting any BT offers (as it's been several years since they gave me one), you never know. My overall credit utilisation is 67.8% which is pretty grim, but a heck of a lot better than the 80+% it had reached at the end of 2016! I am being careful to keep just enough space on the other cards to do another shuffle in a few months if the situation requires it.

    This part of the month is extra-frugal out of necessity, because it's the first of our little road trips in a few weeks involving friends over from the US. All travel is arranged and accommodation is budgeted for, and I'm planning on using the BT reward card to pay for any meals out that we need that isn't covered by taking travel food in tupperware, but I only have around 30 for contingencies.

    I'm hoping that my secret weapon this month will be the grocery budget, which still has 150 in it, plus a 15 voucher. Given that we did the enormous shopping-for-bulky-things shop last month, and have already done a meat-and-baking-things shop this month, it is highly likely (and I'll know this once I buckle down and meal plan the next three weeks) that we will only need to use around half of it. 200/month is pretty generous for two adults, even when one of them is 6 foot 4 with a bottomless appetite
    Last edited by One-step-at-a-time; 04-05-2018 at 1:07 PM.
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
    • One-step-at-a-time
    • By One-step-at-a-time 5th May 18, 11:31 AM
    • 179 Posts
    • 599 Thanks
    One-step-at-a-time
    Looks like we're switching breakdown cover providers!
    Current provider wants 312.13 for cover advertised on their website at 179.
    New provider wants 150.99 for better cover than old provider with 70 back through TCB. Talk about a no-brainer!
    LBM: Jan 2017. Total owed: 46993.21 (39300.21 on CCs) Now: 31674.78 (28593.94 on CCs) Total debt repaid: 32.6%
    Credit in use: 66.19% DFD: April 2021
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