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  • FIRST POST
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 25th Feb 18, 10:30 AM
    • 88Posts
    • 172Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Debt Free By 2020
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 18, 10:30 AM
    Debt Free By 2020 25th Feb 18 at 10:30 AM
    Hello everyone!

    Thank you for stopping by to read my DFD. My name is Lynsey and I have started out on my debt free journey. Over the last few years I have made many silly mistakes with my finances. I figure now that I am almost 30, I need to grow up and get my life in order. I thought I should start out my diary with a debt confession post.

    Debt Confession

    My problems with money started in 2015. I was a doctoral student and I had just run out of research funding. I was fortunate enough to have a grant from a well-known medical research body, which paid a tax-free stipend of £2000 a month. Did I save any of it? Absolutely not. I squandered the lot on clothes, partying, foreign trips...the usual things that students spend their money on. I also funded my wedding from it, so I suppose that I have a husband to show for it!

    When that money ran out, it was a sharp shock. I got a job as an educational consultant but it paid nowhere near the same as my doctoral stipend. Did I live within my means? No. Do I regret it? Hell yes. I ended up in considerable debt. Not as much as many of my friends but enough to make myself uncomfortable. It did encourage me to focus and get my doctorate finished. I passed in 2015 and now have my first grown-up job, which pays an ok salary.

    What were the consequences of my actions? Well, I was in overdraft every month. I had an interest free £1000 overdraft with RBS on their student account. I was into that at least £500 a month and I have literally just gotten out of it this month. Not by underspending. Too late for that. I decided to use a 0% money transfer deal on my Barclaycard to get out of it. I have 18 months to pay that off, which is completely doable. All of the perks from my student and graduate accounts have ended so I pay £6 for entering my overdraft every month. I also have other debt on my credit card.

    As a self-employed educational consultant, I was liable for tax and National Insurance contributions. In my mind, I didn't have enough to save for the tax bill and was planning to do this when I was in full-time employment. Still, I didn't put the money away. I hadn't learned my lesson. I was making more money when I was a doctoral student than in full-time employment and was struggling every month. I put the £3000 tax bill on a credit card.

    Here is the really stupid thing that I did. I decided to take out the personal loan for £5000 with the intention of paying off the credit card. When that money landed in my account, I had pound signs in my eyes. I did pay off the credit card and had £2000 leftover. I spent this on a holiday instead of keeping me afloat. In hindsight, I should have made a one-off payment to the loan to reduce the monthly payments, but I didn't. Instead of getting rid of the card. I kept it for 'emergencies.' Emergencies on this occasion turned into clothes I didn't need, holidays I couldn't afford, Christmas, evenings out...ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

    Honestly, I am ashamed of what I have done. I am an educated woman. A woman with a doctorate. I really should know better at this stage.

    The Damage

    So what is my total debt?

    Barclaycard: £3196 - accruing monthly interest
    Tesco Bank: £4026/£5369.00 - the £369 is pre-paid interest.

    Enough is enough. I am going to attack this debt this year and stay out of it for good. I will post my plan of attack in the next post.

    Thanks for reading,

    Lynsey
    Last edited by debtfreeby2020; 25-02-2018 at 10:33 AM. Reason: Misquoted a figure
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
Page 4
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 4th Mar 18, 8:53 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    RANT ALERT

    As you know, I plan to go to switch to a 12 month SIM-Only contract. For that reason, I thought I should overhaul my iPhone 6s. Any iPhone user will tell you that the battery life is shocking. Apple recently reduced the price of a replacement battery to £25 or thereabouts. I contacted Apple support to book an appointment and they told me that I could go to my appointment (next week) but the battery would take 5 WEEKS to come through. Urgh!!! I am happy with the 6s, it does what I need it to do, but seriously Apple?! Have a word with yourself!
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • MeenaM
    • By MeenaM 4th Mar 18, 9:37 AM
    • 251 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    MeenaM
    RANT ALERT

    As you know, I plan to go to switch to a 12 month SIM-Only contract. For that reason, I thought I should overhaul my iPhone 6s. Any iPhone user will tell you that the battery life is shocking. Apple recently reduced the price of a replacement battery to £25 or thereabouts. I contacted Apple support to book an appointment and they told me that I could go to my appointment (next week) but the battery would take 5 WEEKS to come through. Urgh!!! I am happy with the 6s, it does what I need it to do, but seriously Apple?! Have a word with yourself!
    Originally posted by debtfreeby2020
    I also have the iphone6s and I contacted them on twitter about this, they were totally unhelpful and suggested i could either send it off , wait 5-6 weeks or go into store and wait 5 weeks!! plus they wouldn't commit to agreeing to do it for £29 unbelievable !
    Sealed Pot 11. #199Next£1170Barclays Credit Card £4891.20/0- 0% ends April 2019 virgin 0% ends july 2020 £4138 3845.89AA Credit Card £860 0- 0% ends Dec 2017 Sainsburys Credit Card £521.27-0 0% ends Feb 2018 STARTED Nov 17AIM TO BE DEBT FREE JULY 2019Emergency Fund £614/£1000
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 4th Mar 18, 9:45 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    I also have the iphone6s and I contacted them on twitter about this, they were totally unhelpful and suggested i could either send it off , wait 5-6 weeks or go into store and wait 5 weeks!! plus they wouldn't commit to agreeing to do it for £29 unbelievable !
    Originally posted by MeenaM
    Not alone then! I am guessing I will just have to suck it up and wait. But who knows what you are going to be doing in 5 weeks time?!
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • pidge04
    • By pidge04 4th Mar 18, 12:58 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    pidge04
    Hope you are still feeling determined!
    I am too. You asked where I am on my debt free journey ...
    Iíve decided to set up a small business (I work full time) to try and boost my income. I will use that money to reduce my overdraft. Iím excited about that.
    At the start of this year I had £250 on a store card. Iíve got that down to £33 by selling the stuff Iíve accumulated. Feels great to clear the stuff out and to be losing this debt.
    My problem is this ... I have £2800 on one credit card and £2400 on another. I have 29 more instalments on a loan (£227 each month). Iíve increased how much I pay off the credit cards each month but I think when I can get that debt down to under £4000 then I will apply for another loan which is incredibly depressing but may ultimately be cheaper. Iíve cut up my credit cards and I am resolved that I will never ever buy something I canít afford ever again because the feeling of being completely overwhelmed with debt has been so utterly stifling.
    I want to live by my grandparents attitude to money - they always saved for the things they wanted, lived simply and within their means.
    I am feeling positive after months - years of feeling completely bogged down by it and by my recklessness of living a life which I could not afford.
    Great to connect with you! I wish you well!
    • pidge04
    • By pidge04 4th Mar 18, 1:05 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 168 Thanks
    pidge04
    Oh, youíve reminded me I need to set myself no spend days and I need to start an emergency fund.
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 4th Mar 18, 1:41 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    I am so glad you are feeling positive sweetheart. Debt is like a millstone around your neck and you are facing it head-on, which is fantastic! Well done. I hate this feeling too.

    Huge well done on the store cards! Thatís a big step forward. Think very carefully about consolidating. Thereís lots of advice in the loans forum about it.

    What kind of business do you have?
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 4th Mar 18, 3:35 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    As the snow has gone - HOORAY - I thought I would go and pick up my prescription (I get this for free because I have epilepsy). I also did the weekly shop. It is just a top up shop, as I have a full freezer. I bought quite a bit of meat at Costco last month and I am still working my way through it. I went to Iceland and Tesco to stock up on non-perishables.

    Diced onions - £1.29
    Broccoli and cauliflower floret mix - £1
    8 pk of Banisters roast potatoes - £3.00
    1 Fanta Orange and 1 Coke - 2 for £2
    Garlic tiger bread - £1.25
    Pizza Express pepperoni pizza and doughballs - £3 deal
    Tin of Heinz beans - £0.74
    Bag charge - £0.05

    Total: £13.61

    I couldn't get everything in Iceland, so a quick trip to Tesco was in order:

    Spaghetti carbonara sauce mix - £0.85
    Frozen mushrooms - £1
    Huge pack of Jaffa Cakes (36) - £1.69

    Total:: £3.54

    This will do me the whole week.

    Meal Plan

    M: Slow cooker beef casserole with roast potatoes and cauliflower/broccoli
    T: Spaghetti carbonara with garlic tiger bread
    W: Naked burgers with chips and beans
    Th: Mince and tatties with cauliflower/broccoli
    F: Spaghetti Bolognese
    S: Swedish meatballs in gravy with mash

    Tonight we are having the Pizza Express items as our equivalent of a fakeaway. We will wash them down with the soft drinks.

    I plan to have jacket potatoes with beans and/or cheese and butter for work lunches. We are having a pizza day on Friday.

    So I don't think I am doing too badly! £17.15
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 4th Mar 18, 7:42 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    A word to the wise: steer clear of the Pizza Express pepperoni pizza from Iceland. It is not very nice. Hardly any meat and it has a chemically taste to it. The dough balls were spot on though. No vampires will be visiting this house for a while!

    As all of today's purchases came out of the budget, this is officially No Spend Day No. 2.
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 6:34 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Oh my gosh guys, I am so unbelievably thrilled this morning. I am into the £3000s of my Tesco Loan. Seeing the start of the number change from a four to a three makes me feel like I am making progress. I know it is a relatively small amount but I am chuffed to bits!

    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000

    I hope to enter into the £2000s on my Barclaycard later this month with an overpayment. Wish me luck!
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 5th Mar 18, 6:37 AM
    • 1,815 Posts
    • 5,147 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    We bought a couple of pizzas from Aldi this month. Not tried them yet but it might be worth considering....I think they were £1.69 each
    My debt-free diary
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 5th Mar 18, 6:38 AM
    • 1,815 Posts
    • 5,147 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Oh my gosh guys, I am so unbelievably thrilled this morning. I am into the £3000s of my Tesco Loan. Seeing the start of the number change from a four to a three makes me feel like I am making progress. I know it is a relatively small amount but I am chuffed to bits!

    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000

    I hope to enter into the £2000s on my Barclaycard later this month with an overpayment. Wish me luck!
    Originally posted by debtfreeby2020
    Yay well done!
    My debt-free diary
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 12:12 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Thank you. I was nice to start the week on a positive note.

    Sadly I am now in hospital suffering from chest pain. Waiting to see a doctor.
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • MeenaM
    • By MeenaM 5th Mar 18, 12:18 PM
    • 251 Posts
    • 461 Thanks
    MeenaM
    First , hope it all goes well at the hospital and you can come home, secondly very well done on the debt reduction getting into those numbers should keep you motivated congrats
    Sealed Pot 11. #199Next£1170Barclays Credit Card £4891.20/0- 0% ends April 2019 virgin 0% ends july 2020 £4138 3845.89AA Credit Card £860 0- 0% ends Dec 2017 Sainsburys Credit Card £521.27-0 0% ends Feb 2018 STARTED Nov 17AIM TO BE DEBT FREE JULY 2019Emergency Fund £614/£1000
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 12:45 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Thanks lovely. I am waiting for the results of my bloods right now. Hopefully get home soon! Palpitations showed up on my ECG. Fingers crossed itís just that.
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 7:20 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Home sweet home! Out of the hospital and everything is fine. I had ectopic heartbeats - probably due to my medication. Not dangerous but not pleasant. At least it's not dangerous. I went to Stoke Mandeville and was pleasantly surprised at the level of care I received. It's got a hideously bad reputation - it's under 'special measures.' I was given an ECG on a bed that had a condemned sign on it. I was in and out within 3 hours which is a record for me. All of the staff were wonderful.

    However...

    When I am stressed or feeling unwell, I spend money. Today, I spent £20 without even thinking about it. All on junk food. I need to get a hang of curbing emotional spending - any tips?

    In other news, a lot of my bills are now paid. Everything in the four walls category is paid: rent, council tax, and gas/elec. I don't need to pay water until next month. Minimum payments on my debts are done. The entertainment category still needs to be paid - mobile bill, Netflix etc. I am looking good but I need to be careful. I am feeling proud though - I would usually be in overdraft by now.
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 5th Mar 18, 7:22 PM
    • 1,815 Posts
    • 5,147 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Oh no, I hope you're ok Keep us posted.
    My debt-free diary
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 7:58 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    I am sure I will be fine hun. Got dinner on the stove and I am packing my work bag. Deviated from the meal plan ever so slightly. Having Swedish meatballs in gravy with some mini roast potatoes and cabbage I found in the freezer. I couldnt be bothered to make mash.
    Last edited by debtfreeby2020; 05-03-2018 at 8:00 PM. Reason: Code issues
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 5th Mar 18, 9:40 PM
    • 1,815 Posts
    • 5,147 Thanks
    Lilith1980

    When I am stressed or feeling unwell, I spend money. Today, I spent £20 without even thinking about it. All on junk food. I need to get a hang of curbing emotional spending - any tips?
    Originally posted by debtfreeby2020
    Glad you're back home! I think I must have posted just after you did.

    I'm very emotionally driven - with "stuff" and with food. I've likened it to cigarette cravings - I gave up smoking 9 years ago this year and I remember two weeks in having his horrible 20 minutes where I would have ripped someone's head off for a cigarette.

    When I'm stressed, I often get an overwhelming emotional "need" to either eat food, get a drink (although this is much less rare than it used to be), or buy something I don't need. I can feel really uncomfortable too. If I wait it out long enough, like I did with the cigarettes, then the craving dies down and I can let it go.

    I don't know if that helps??
    My debt-free diary
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 5th Mar 18, 9:49 PM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Glad you're back home! I think I must have posted just after you did.

    I'm very emotionally driven - with "stuff" and with food. I've likened it to cigarette cravings - I gave up smoking 9 years ago this year and I remember two weeks in having his horrible 20 minutes where I would have ripped someone's head off for a cigarette.

    When I'm stressed, I often get an overwhelming emotional "need" to either eat food, get a drink (although this is much less rare than it used to be), or buy something I don't need. I can feel really uncomfortable too. If I wait it out long enough, like I did with the cigarettes, then the craving dies down and I can let it go.

    I don't know if that helps??
    Originally posted by Lilith1980
    As an ex-smoker I understand completely. I think I best keep an emergency snack in my bag or something. Itís not breaking the cycle but may help me short term. You are right, the cravings do die down but my willpower collapses if the situation is too much.
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
    • debtfreeby2020
    • By debtfreeby2020 6th Mar 18, 7:59 AM
    • 88 Posts
    • 172 Thanks
    debtfreeby2020
    Morning my lovelies!

    Back to work today to face the Spanish Inquisition. My employer is incredibly invasive when it comes to my illnesses. Over a year ago, I had to take six weeks off work because of the way they were mishandling my epilepsy. I ended up depressed and paranoid. Thankfully they have calmed down but I will never forgive them for that. No doubt I will get 100 questions when I walk through the door.

    My mind is now occupied with a big question. My husband and I have just renewed our tenancy for six months. Usually we extend by a year but we are being cautious. I am trying to find a new job, partly because of the problems outlined above. I have a few applications that I am waiting for decisions on - a couple in the UK and one in America. If we have to move I want the costs of getting out of a tenancy to be as low as possible. But...if these job applications don!!!8217;t work out, my in laws think we should buy our first home. They have offered to cover the deposit and the moving costs associated with it. I have done a speculative !!!8216;how much can I borrow!!!8217; calculation, taking into account our day to day living costs and current level of debt. We would be more than able to afford a two bedroom flat in our area and the mortgage *could be* £300 less than what we are paying on rent. What do you guys think? I know that Dave Ramsey would say !!!8216;no you!!!8217;re broke.!!!8217; The truth is, I!!!8217;m not broke. I am paying my debts with a little money leftover at the end of the month.. I am, of course, planning to put this toward debt. My husband also has money leftover that he doesn!!!8217;t give to me (and my plans for dealing with that are outlined in the budget post). I can see my in laws logic but I am a bit conflicted. There are savings to be made and if it!!!8217;s a new build flat, it has a 10 year guarantee. I also want to get out of debt quickly. Arghhh!
    Emergency Fund: £300.01/£1000 (30%) March NST: 2/18 NSDs
    Tesco Loan: £3,877/£5000 Barclaycard: £3149.99/£3169.79
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