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  • FIRST POST
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 3rd Mar 18, 9:53 PM
    • 16Posts
    • 12Thanks
    MissF87
    1st post and 1st step to clearing £19k in 18 month
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 18, 9:53 PM
    1st post and 1st step to clearing £19k in 18 month 3rd Mar 18 at 9:53 PM
    Hello everyone,

    New here, looking for support and advice I suppose. I havenít spoken to anyone about the severity of my situation and I donít think I want to, but this is the first step in opening up and pushing me to do what I need to do.
    Iím a repeat offender with debts and every time I promise myself I wonít do it again, then I do. So annoyed with myself, but Iím in a really good place in terms of my income at the moment, I never dreamed Iíd be paid what I am with the benefits I get as well so not all bad. Understandable got in debt at uni, paid it off within a year of graduating. Saved up and bought my first house when I was 23 with my then boyfriend (to later become husband, now ex husband) and we got into small debt then. He was a spoiled brat and didnít understand what no meant. He wanted to best of everything on a lemonade budget. He also had a serious coke problem which over the years accumulated to over £10k in debts. We got divorced in 2015 (less than 2 years married). Despite the fact that I paid more for the deposit for our house and I consistently was paid more than him therefore contributed a lot more over the years I still agreed to go halves on the debts with him so I didnít come out with much in then end. Started fresh with a few hiccups on the way but my finances were in control. I bought my first house alone in February last year - my parents lent me a 15% deposit which Iím slowly paying back. I took out numerous things on finance etc when I moved in, including all my furniture on 12 months interest free which has crippled me for the first year! Thatís now paid so Iím trying to focus on everything else and get things sorted. Iím so annoyed with myself that Iím in this position again, I donít know why I donít just learn my lesson. Iíve made silly selfish and vein decisions in the past and I need to reach a turning point. Sacrifice stupid things like paying over the odds at the hairdressers because Iím too nice to say no to things I donít need, no more acrylic nails every few weeks etc. I have so many clothes and shoes, I donít need any more. We have a holiday booked in June which is paid for, just need about £500 for spending money and airport parking etc. With the exception of the money I owe my parents I have about £18,900 to pay on cards, finance, loan etc. Ridiculous, I know. Several are little ones less than £1000 for things like electricals for the house, home furnishings etc. I just got carried away. Moron. My mortgage term is 17 years, so 16 left, thatís a whole other story but I was told I could extend that term at any time. I currently live alone as my partner lives over 100 miles away but he is very actively looking for a job up here so he can move in. Hopefully by June at the latest. From then Iíve worked out I can pay between £1,200-£1,300 a month off my debts. My student loan will also be paid off by the end of this year so that frees up approximately £100 a month. This means I can be debt free in about 15/16 months which sounds sensible and doable, but I need support and encouragement to start living within my means and remembering that the short term sacrifice will be for a long term gain. The card which has the most in is interest free for another 30 months so Iím guessing itís best I pay that last and Work my way down from the highest rate of interest or work out where Iím paying the highest £ a month in interest and pay that first?
    This is where I am currently:
    Loan 1: £7,000 / £180 a month
    Loan 2: £2000 / £70 a month
    Loan 3: £810 / £33 a month
    Loan 4: £880 / £23 a month
    Card 1: £1900 / £25 a month
    Card 2: £5000 / £60 a month
    Next Directory: £1,300 / £75 a month

    Iíve been paying the minimum payments on my cards by DD then extra if I could later in the month, from next month those payments will increase.

    Iím really keen to learn about coupons if anyone has any tips for savings on grocery shopping. In the past Iíve had my shopping delivered, i always thought it was cheaper because I can keep a check on what Iím spending and donít get tempted. I make my lunch for work every day and I often work from home 1 or 2 days a week. I follow a pretty clean diet and plan all my meals so I know I could make my food shops much more cost effective that way too. Currently budget £160-250 a month (depending on other bills) and I donít want that to increase with my boyfriend moves in really as water, gas (Iím on calor gas to which has pros and cons!), electric and council tax are all going to increase when heís moves up. Council tax will go up about £30, electric probably £10-15 a month, currently with gas if I average it out itís about a canister a month which is £57 so probably a canister and a half a month when he moves in.

    So thatís everything in a nutshell. Iím currently signed off from work following an operation last week until next Friday so next week Iím going to be making calls and planning out my new budget.
Page 2
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 26th Mar 18, 3:25 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MissF87
    Wanted to come and post again just to give an update, and because I promised this was how I would stay on track with things. First month has arrived and I've made a monumental f*ck up which I'm annoyed about as I've always (believe it or not) been really savvy with my wages and tax code etc but when I ordered my new company car I did all the calculations based on 20% tax, as I though the bracket for 40% was £45k, however it's actually £36k meaning that my new car is costing twice as much as I thought which brings my take home pay to just below £2,200. The good news is that the tax free allowance goes up slightly from April so that's going to give me a teeny bit more, but still almost £100 less a month than I thought which is annoying. My work is due to "re-benchmark" us all in April though as they do this every 2 years and I'm hoping that will mean I get a pay increase. In other positive news I've got 3 mystery shopping assignments booked in the next 3 weeks, plus I've seen 3 more I can book once I've got a few bits of paperwork back, I've also been doing well on the survey front. Aiming for 14k on Swagbucks to get me a £100 voucher which will go towards birthday presents/christmas or food shopping, something necessary. So far in 3 weeks I've got 2,500 points & I'm averaging between 200 & 300 a day on there.

    So this month I have paid all my loans as normal then an additional £500 has come out/is set to come out on my credit cards/accounts.

    My boyfriend has an interview coming up with someone I know and it's looking like he will probably be offered the job so hopefully he'll be moving in by July (he has 3 months notice at work which is ridiculous) and that will mean more can start getting paid off. Still on track for September 2019 bein debt free month 1.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 26th Mar 18, 5:27 PM
    • 6,383 Posts
    • 13,106 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Yes, company car tax can be expensive, my DH had a company car for years. However at least you don't need to worry about maintenance or car insurance for it so it is swings and roundabouts.

    The biggest incentive for you to clear the expensive debt is that it is costing you around £1600 per year in interest. The loans are really expensive as is the AO and the Next and Halifax. You can afford a reasonable amount each month towards it though so as you say if you can keep to a budget for the next year and a bit and your boyfriend moves in then it could be cleared by September 2019. That involves financial discipline though. It might be better not to book any more holidays until it is gone.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 26th Mar 18, 6:54 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MissF87
    I'm wrong about the tax threshold, it is £45k and my OTE is £44k but this FY I've done really well on commission and had some special awards whsih has meant my effective income has been almost £54k hence the higher payment so for April's wage that should have gone down again, phew! Makes me sick to think where all that money has gone this last FY though.

    First on my list to pay off are the high interest items, with commission I've got coming in May and bf moving in I will have cleared all the interest items with the exception of the larger of the loan by the end of the year hopefully, then the larger loan comes next, then the MBNA card as that has the longest interest free period. I'm determined it's going to happen.
    • scoobysnax40
    • By scoobysnax40 28th Mar 18, 2:24 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    scoobysnax40
    Hey OP,

    New to the forum and in a similar situation to yourself, debt wise (well, I'm at £25k) so thought I would stop by and lend some moral support.

    After being in a bit of a vicious cycle for the past few years, I'm only now starting to assess my current situation and take stock of the various loans and cards that I've managed to accumulate.

    Well done on taking the steps to tackle the situation. I've also decided to set myself a goal of clearing all the bills by next July. Time will tell if it's realistic.

    I'm using the snowball method of debt payment as my guide. I'll be paying minimum on everything else except the card with the lowest balance (assuming it's not interest free) where I'll be throwing the majority of my payments. I think I'll need these little wins in the beginning to keep me motivated to move onto the next debt and even the one after that.

    Best of luck with your journey. Let's hope 2019 is brighter for both of us
    • justmeonlyme
    • By justmeonlyme 28th Mar 18, 2:42 PM
    • 3 Posts
    • 4 Thanks
    justmeonlyme
    MissF87

    I wish my grandson was like you, taking the bull by the horns and making inroads into you debts. You are organised enough to sort it out, just plod on till the end.

    Scoobysnax40, good luck to you.
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 28th Mar 18, 10:13 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MissF87
    Hi scoobysnax !

    Will be great to have someone to complete the journey with - good luck! I'm pretty much doing the same with the snowballing method to get the highest interest rates cleared quicker. I'm just praying my bf is offered the job next week so we finally know when he'll be moving in and I know when more cash will be coming in!! He has some debts too so we can work together on those too.

    Justme - how old is your grandson? I've been here 3 times, so as much as I'm sorting it now I'm a repeat offender. I'm proud of myself for making progress and taking action though and this time I know I'm going to get it sorted. It's been motivating to see that in January 2020 when we have both cleared absolutely everything that we will have a really nice pot of cash, that's keeping me going. We are gonna need it for the Pinterest wedding I already have planned!!!!
    • scoobysnax40
    • By scoobysnax40 27th Apr 18, 11:50 AM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    scoobysnax40
    Hey MissF.

    A month down, how are you getting on so far?

    I've had some ups and downs. Managed to bring my debt down by a few thousand from cashing in some stocks, but then had a very expensive two weeks and ran it back up again - not as high as it had been but still almost 2 grand up!

    May will be my month where I'm aiming to bring myself below 19k. It's taking a lot of sacrifice but I'm determined. I got a little bonus recently of finding an old savings account that had almost 1k in it. Took a few weeks to get online access but it's not in the process of being transferred into my current account and when it hits next week, it will be paid of some bills.

    Any progress on your end? Hope you're still feeling positive. It's not easy somedays.

    Scooby.
    LBM: March 2018, Aiming for a DFD of August 2019

    1 debt vs 100 days chapter 29
    Ä1,638.56 / 7,401.57
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 8th May 18, 9:17 AM
    • 16 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MissF87
    Hey!

    My boyfriend hasn't found a job yet, so I'm still a bit down on where I would like to be, we're trying though.

    I've now paid off 2 small credit cards so that's a tick. I've also got a very nice commission coming in my wage next Tuesday (not 100% certain yet as 1 bonus is a pot of £50k split between a number of employee's who hit a certain criteria, nobody knows how many people that is!) pontentially taking honme an extra £1,500 - £2,000 so that will make a bit dent too - I need to take out a few bits for my holiday from this, but the rest will be going onto debts.

    I also got a small payrise last week, so that's about an extra £40 a month - every little helps.

    Work has been crazy busy, but I'm looking at doing another statement of affairs next week to reasses where I'm at. Also thinking of working the whole thing out again based on BF not being here, so then when he does move in the extra £500 a month will be a massive bonus & will help to get things paid
    off.

    I've been doing mystery shopping for GBW but they haven't paid me, having a nightmare with them, which is annoying as I'd worked out I could be getting about an extra £100 a month from them

    Glad things are going ok for you - still feeling positive?
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 8th May 18, 2:57 PM
    • 489 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    Just one thought, you mentioned you bought a flat, but you don't seem to have a service charge payment?
    • scoobysnax40
    • By scoobysnax40 8th May 18, 5:48 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    scoobysnax40
    Hey MissF.

    I'm sorry to read about the boyfriend and the job situation. I was hoping he would have had some luck by now. Is he looking for something quite specific, or something more general? Some jobs seem more plentiful than others, but they're the ones that don't pay very well.

    I think you are right to just focus on the money you have at the moment and not the extra that the boyfriend will contribute when he does move in. As you say, it's going to be a bonus then and will definitely help to make things easier, I hope.

    Great news on the bonus and the payrise. Every little helps. I wish my job gave bonuses; I could do with the odd windfall every now and then. My best friend in school went on to become a stockbroker and in the good old days, he was getting 50k bonuses and living the high life. What I couldn't do with that money now! He was moaning to me a few weeks back that his bonus this year was only 15k. Needless to say he got no sympathy from me

    I'm still feeling quite positive. I paid off the smaller of the two credit cards last Thursday and closed the account so I was quite pleased about that. Got the e-mail yesterday confirming the account closure. I only had 2 cards, but I've had them for years so it's a little scary being down to just one card. But I know it's also progress. I've worked out that if I knuckle down for the next few months, I should be able to clear the second card by July. The problem will be keeping that at 0 though. While I'm tempted to cancel it, it does come in useful for booking flights home, hotels, car hire, etc so I will keep it and just try to discipline myself into using cash when possible and paying it off when I do incur a balance.

    Next on the list will be the personal loan. I just did up a plan of action on that last night. Throwing all spare cash towards it (balance is currently 7k), I should hopefully be making the last payment in September, 3 years before it's actually due to finish.

    Then one more loan to go after that and I can finally start saving for that mortgage, which is the main reason for all my penny pinching and spend diary keeping. You're a homeowner; is it worth all the sacrifice just to have a place of your own? I've rented since I was in college and thought I would forever, but now that I'm married, it just seems like the next most logical step. My wife got very excited back in March the night of my LBM when I asked her about possibly buying in the future; it's certainly something that she's wanted to do for a long time.

    Witht the progress that I have been making and will hopefully be making over the next few months, I might even be able to bring my DFD forward by a few months. The whole debt payment process is so painstakingly slow, but it has certainly made me realise that this is a situation I don't want to be in again.

    Hope you get things sorted with GBW. The mystery shopper thing sounded like a great gig, but I knew there had to be a catch!

    Keep me in the loop on your progress. Will be sure to do the same.

    Best of luck with it
    LBM: March 2018, Aiming for a DFD of August 2019

    1 debt vs 100 days chapter 29
    Ä1,638.56 / 7,401.57
    • MissF87
    • By MissF87 8th May 18, 10:01 PM
    • 16 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    MissF87
    @soundgirl - I bought a house, no fees :-)

    @scooby 1million percent worth it owning a house! Every month that goes by and every payment is an investment for sure. It's frustrating at times, especially with an older house, but I would say it's definitely worth it.

    It's a totally life move for my BF, he's moving to live with me so it has to be something he wants to do and will enjoy as it's a big step. He's looking for similar roles with similar or better pay than what he's getting currently. There's been some issues with how his cv has uploaded on a couple of job sites though which we've discovered/fixed this weekend so fingers crossed that's the ticket now and he'll see some progress. Someone at his current work has suggested a few ideas he pitch to them to see if he can keep doing what he's doing/evolve the role so that he can work from home/be on the road so that's another idea to try. Hopefully not too long now.

    Getting my new statement of affairs done tomorrow I think now, today got away with me a bit. Still keeping positive though, where there is a will there is a way!!!

    It sounds like you're making really good progress. With the credit card thing - could you keep one but keep the credit limit down perhaps? Or can you save some money in a separate account which you won't touch, for those occasions perhaps? I'd be rubbish at that though but I guess that's what this whole process is about.
    • Soundgirlrocks
    • By Soundgirlrocks 9th May 18, 11:04 AM
    • 489 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    Soundgirlrocks
    @soundgirl - I bought a house, no fees :-)
    Originally posted by MissF87
    Sorry I got it into my head you had bought a flat - London mind-set I guess!
    • thegirlinthegreenscarf
    • By thegirlinthegreenscarf 9th May 18, 12:46 PM
    • 72 Posts
    • 157 Thanks
    thegirlinthegreenscarf
    I was in a simular position not long ago, heres my story if you want a read it may give you a few ideas? Good luck and keep your head up you will reach the end of the tunnel.

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5664158
    Originally posted by loken152

    I hadn't heard of Dave Ramsay until came on here. I have downloaded his audio book but find him difficult to listen to. Could you direct me to any articles or videos in particular? It can be a bit overwhelming at times
    MBNA 2000 £1,566.22 (Expected date Dec/2019)
    CAR 3000
    £2,520 (Interest free loan from family member)



    **Want to be on my way to being debt free for 40**
    • Raven42
    • By Raven42 9th May 18, 3:19 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 32 Thanks
    Raven42
    Having made a move 260 miles in similar circumstances it took me 7 months to find work. Normally I was the kind that in the few times I'd moved in my 18 year career it was a matter of weeks if not days so I started to ask and it became clear it was the address on my CV being so far from that of the job which was a problem. Once I "moved" to my now wife's address and "commuted" to the job I would be leaving I found more interviews and a job offer arrived very quickly.
    • scoobysnax40
    • By scoobysnax40 10th May 18, 5:51 PM
    • 12 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    scoobysnax40
    I appreciate your insight, MissF87.

    The credit card thing is exactly what I have been aiming towards over the last few months - bringing it down to just the one card and keeping the limit at a much more manageable amount. I just need to clear the current balance and then discipline myself to not use the card unless absolutely necessary and then, when I do use it, to clear the balance every month and not let it accrue any interest.

    I like your idea of the extra account and have applied online to open a low interest savings account with my bank. I am hoping it should be up and running by early next week. I'm planning to sit down over the weekend now and work out the large annual bills, like car insurance and an estimate for each of those and then set up a little Standing Order to throw a few quid into the account every week.

    I get the whole thing about the boyfriend. I moved to London from Dublin for my job almost 3 years ago, but then again, I had a position lined up here and accommodation with an uncle so it's not exactly the same situation, but I certainly get that it can't be easy picking up your life and transporting it to another part of the country and then trying to find a new job. It can be very daunting. I'm glad the issues uploading his CV has been sorted though, and hopefully he will have more luck on the job front over the coming few months.

    I'm intrigued to see your new SOA so don't forget to get that posted

    Speak to you soon!
    LBM: March 2018, Aiming for a DFD of August 2019

    1 debt vs 100 days chapter 29
    Ä1,638.56 / 7,401.57
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