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  • FIRST POST
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
    • 82Posts
    • 222Thanks
    Starmummy
    Aligning the Stars
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
    Aligning the Stars 6th Mar 18 at 8:09 PM
    Hi All,

    I've been lurking on the forum for a couple of years and this year I am finally ready to fully address my problems.
    A little background... I became a parent at 21 and became a single parent at 22 with no support from my DD father. Not exactly how I expected things to turn out! Thankfully I have an amazing family who have tried to help where they can.

    Well 6 years of working my bum off still didn't give me enough money to live off and between health scares, court fees (thanks to ex) and just trying to get beans on toast on the table I found myself in a LOT of debt.

    Now I shan't pretend I am a complete saint. As well as needing credit cards to pay for solicitors fees, my studies, food, council tax and just trying to keep us warm and fed...I also treated us to nice clothes and holidays. It was a pride thing, I didn't want people to think I couldn't cope, I didn't want my DD to miss out and being a single mum working 7 days a week is HARD.. I needed the treats for my sanity.

    At my very worst I carried almost 24,000 in debt over various loans, store cards and credit cards. YIKES!

    Well fast forward to present day and my life has improved unimaginably. I met my DP who has honestly changed our lives. He helped me see how strong and capable I was and with him by my side I set about living instead of surviving.
    My DD and I moved in with him almost a year ago and at the end of last year I pushed myself to get the job I deserved. So without the pressure of being completely financial responsible for my family (and the nice pay rise from my new job) I'm now in the position to get rid of the last reminders of my old life...The debt.

    I had my light bulb moment just after Christmas and have made massive headway in the year so far.
    As of today my debts look like this:
    Overdraft 1000
    CC1 2247 (currently @18.9%)
    CC2 3347 (2/3 of this is at 0% until October)
    Loan1 2113 (this is due to be paid off in August 2019 and fairly low interest approx 7%)
    Loan2 7352 (this months payment still to go out- paid off Oct 2019 again lowish interest was used to pay off a 24% CC)

    so total debt today 16,059

    I know I can do this. I am determined. This diary is for general ramblings and to keep me on track.

    So here's to getting my life in order and aligning the stars for an amazing future
    Last edited by Starmummy; 20-03-2018 at 3:32 PM.
Page 1
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    • #2
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:10 PM
    So here is the plan.
    I currently have zero savings which means getting into old bad habits of having to use CC1 when my car needs repairing or DD shoes need replacing.
    Goal 1 is to save 1000 into a starter emergency fund and set up a regular 50 pm into an instant access account for car repairs etc.
    Goal 2 is to pay off the 2 credit cards as soon as possible (current estimates state they should be gone by July 2019)
    Goal 3 is to increase EF to 5000
    Goal 4 is to start some "life-savings" perhaps in an S&S ISA. - I would like to replace my 12 year old car in the next 2-3 years and save for some big life goals.
    Goal 5 is to increase my pension contributions to 15% of my earnings.

    I do not wish to post a SOA but after my contribution to the household bills (my contribution to the mortgage, council tax, energy etc and also the amount we each put into our joint account which covers food, petrol, family holidays and days out, school expenses) I am left with approx 1100 each month.
    this splits as follows.

    Mobile phone 8.79 (just switched to a fab sim only deal)
    Fitness 45.98 (i know this is high but this is swimming lessons for me and DD)
    car tax/ins 56.37 ( again high but i had a no fault accident in 2016)
    contact lenses 9.00
    National trust 9.55
    other various 30.00
    Loan repayments 491.94

    This leaves 448 to save for an emergency fund, pay off the credit cards and cover other expenses. I keep 100 a month aside for treats (clothes, meeting friends, general spends) I have a trip in July for my 30th birthday that i'm hoping to put half of this away each month for that ( flights paid, hotel will be 86 each for me and my friend and i'd like to have 120 spending money for food and museums) I'm determined to not get into old habits of using my credit card.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:29 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:29 PM
    • #3
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:29 PM
    MSE task of the day:
    I looked into 0% balance transfer credit card offers. I'd like to move CC1 and the interest balance of CC2 over. I looked at my eligibility and as my credit score is pretty good decided to apply for a new card, This could save me almost 1000 in interest over the next 18 months so fingers crossed I get accepted. I should find out within 5 working days.
    • Poppy1984
    • By Poppy1984 6th Mar 18, 8:30 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 352 Thanks
    Poppy1984
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:30 PM
    • #4
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:30 PM
    Hi there I just wanted to give you some support, I also had my DS young and became a single mum I completely understand where you are coming from in terms of building up debt so people wouldn't think you couldn't cope.
    Well done tackling it Head one and good luck with your journey I've subscribed and will be following your journey to debt freedom! x
    19-02-18 Total Debt 4,015 Next 815 Very 1600 Tesco Credit Card 1600
    PAID Next 815/815 now closed Very 900/ 1600 Tesco 160/ 1600
    Emergency Fund 280/300
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:32 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:32 PM
    • #5
    • 6th Mar 18, 8:32 PM
    Hi Poppy. Thanks for your message. Best of luck to you too. We have got this!
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 6th Mar 18, 9:05 PM
    • 8,955 Posts
    • 17,004 Thanks
    savingholmes
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 9:05 PM
    • #6
    • 6th Mar 18, 9:05 PM
    Just wishing you well on your journey to freedom
    Today is a new day 93/310 10 a day Mar Challenge DFD August 2021
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 6th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,013 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    • #7
    • 6th Mar 18, 9:47 PM
    Best of luck with your journey#

    Your first step is done ie posting here your second step is a reality check ie do whats called an soa which I can see you have done and look at whats possible to cut.

    I don't expect you to post the soa its your call but it can help.

    Do you use survey sites and cashback sites and if not why not lol????
    Extra income is there to be had.
    Last edited by Scott_Weiland; 06-03-2018 at 9:49 PM.
    Cashback Earnings YTD 46.04 Survey Earnings YTD 182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 10:26 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:26 PM
    • #8
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:26 PM
    Hi Scott Thanks for stopping by.

    I have posted my outgoings somewhere above and listed my debts and the rates. I've not included any finances that involve my DP as it's not fair on him to make those public.

    I did sign up to one survey site yesterday and i may look at it in more depth when I have some free time...although free time is somewhat limited between my full time job, my DD and the 10-15 hours of studying I need to do each week for my professional qualification (this should be complete next spring and will result in a very handsome pay rise)
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 6th Mar 18, 10:46 PM
    • 799 Posts
    • 2,013 Thanks
    Scott_Weiland
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:46 PM
    • #9
    • 6th Mar 18, 10:46 PM
    Try these few survey sites they are usually quite short and sweet maybe 5-10mins per survey. Every little helps and all that

    Opinium research

    Opinion Outpost

    Power of opinions

    and onepoll.com

    and prolific academic.
    Cashback Earnings YTD 46.04 Survey Earnings YTD 182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 7th Mar 18, 8:38 AM
    • 1,413 Posts
    • 7,920 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    Hi and welcome

    Looks like you have definitely got a grip on this...

    I had a real paradigm shift in my attitude towards credit / debt and I now purposely avoid anything to do with credit; I save for what I need / want, cut costs wherever I can, live frugally but happy.

    I have an Emergency fund building up and proper savings for the first time in what feels like eons. I have carry over funds from month to month... I am living again

    If you need any advice or Info just post up and folks will come help... we're nice like that ;D

    Good luck, will follow and support
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 7th Mar 18, 11:16 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Happy Hump day folks!

    I'm having a pretty positive week this week. It's just me and Starchild at home this week as MrStar is on one of his many foreign work trips until the middle of next week. It's certainly seen the food in the fridge go a lot further.
    A quick pop to M&S (closest place in last weeks heavy snow) on Saturday morning saw me spending 24 on a load of veg, bread and a whole chicken. The Chicken lasted from Sundays roast, through to a homemade chicken and bacon pie on Monday and Tuesday, to a chicken curry tonight...with an extra portion popped in the freezer.

    We tend to do a smaller shop twice a week as I find we waste less, plus i tend to go on the way home from work and I walk to work so i can't carry a weeks worth. But Today I took the car and spent 31.07 in Ald!. Menu plan sorted until next Tuesday. This includes breakfasts, Starchild's lunches, dinners and snacks. I pop to the ASD4 next door to my office twice a month and spend 10 on tins of soup, rolls and fruit. I know i could probably save a few pennies more by bringing in homemade soup but as I mentioned above I walk to work and it's enough walking 5 miles a day with my laptop and worky bits without flasks of soup weighing me down.

    We do have a generous *household spends* budget and the past two months has seen a surplus rolled over, however I am reluctant to reduce my contribution to this as 1) we go to see MrStar's father in Spain at Easter so will need a bit of spending money (flights paid) and 2) we are currently renovating our house. MrStar is paying for all building work, kitchens, bathrooms, windows (it's listed so the figures make me feel ill) but I like to try and contribute through our joint account for the little bits, tins of paint, light fittings etc just so i feel like i'm doing my bit. We are having a carpet put in our bedroom next month (goodbye draughty floorboards) and with current projections of savings in the joint account we can pay for that too.

    I got a little suprise in the post today. as well as the usual takeaway menus (straight in the bin) and bank statements (filed) I got a voucher for 3 free packets of sanitary products. That should keep the beauty budget lower until summer. The money gods are on my side it seems.

    Take care
    SM
    Last edited by Starmummy; 07-03-2018 at 11:18 PM.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 8th Mar 18, 12:05 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Things to do this week

    *meal plan- DONE
    *take cash out of JA for Starchild's youth group uniform 13- DONE
    * check to see when Starchild's passport expires - DONE (oct 2019)
    *pop to Pound shop for extra long matches for the woodburner. - DONE
    *top up wood basket from the wood shed (free heat woo hoo!) - DONE
    *return letter to school re. Starchilds school play, buy tickets
    *wash bed sheets and towels
    *meet up with friend on Friday night (stick to tonic water)- change to Saturday brunch
    * keep budgeting spreadsheet up to date.
    *return coat bought for Starchild (ordered two SC chose the 15 sale one. Yay!) -DONE
    *take Starchild to dentist Friday. Book us both an appointment for September- DONE
    * book car in for MOT (hope and pray to the motoring gods it passes)
    *confirm date for fitting bedroom carpet- DONE
    Last edited by Starmummy; 10-03-2018 at 9:02 AM. Reason: update to do list
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Mar 18, 5:01 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 10,007 Thanks
    redofromstart
    hello starmummy

    Just dropped in to say happy new diary and good luck with your journey.

    Envious of the wood for the burner, we have none at all left and its so expensive by the bag.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 8th Mar 18, 9:08 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hi Redo
    Thanks for stopping by.

    We chopped down three trees in our garden a year ago which is now seasoned and should last a couple of winters. Mr Star also has access to a free supply at work. We are very lucky as we live in an ancient draughty house that i'm pretty sure is colder on the inside in the depths of winter!

    I'm so glad we don't have to buy it or it would be extra jumpers on for all
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Mar 18, 9:14 PM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 10,007 Thanks
    redofromstart
    That is lucky, deeply envious. It was cheap enough when we first got the burner but its gone up steadily every year, last time it was 140 which (just) did us the winter with limited use. The 4 bags last a couple of hours tops so it becomes a luxury sadly.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Mar 18, 8:51 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Overdraft Advice
    Hi Guys

    So It's the weekend and so far it's been a good week.
    I got the Balance Transfer Credit Card which covers all of CC1 and the interest paying part of CC2. That's at 0% for 32 months. It already feels like a little victory.
    Now all my credit card debt is interest free until September.
    My plan is to pay the minimum payments on the new CC and my 2 loans and to concentrate on building my 1000 EF and paying off CC2 until Christmas. Then attack the new CC with full force. Leaving the two loans to run to term as the interest on them is pretty low and they only have 18 months left to run.

    There is one thing I haven't been honest about and that is my overdraft. I have a 1500 overdraft of which I am 1000 into it by the end of each month . I've been treating it as if it is my money. This is costing me over 20 a month in overdraft fees. That 20ish didn't seem a lot of money when i was paying far more interest on the credit cards. Now it seems like a total waste.
    I have three thoughts on how to tackle this.
    1) Chip away at it slowly by leaving any unspent "fun money" in my current account each month until it's paid off. However, i only have 75-100 a month fun money which covers socialising, clothing, any other bits and pieces and for the next 3 months I'm also trying to set aside spending money for a weekend away.
    2) Pay off overdraft before setting up an EF. I'm a little worried about having no OD and no EF and then resorting to the CC in an emergency.
    3) The new CC also has an introductory (3 month) offer for money transfers at 0% with a 4% fee (which would be 40- less than 2 months overdraft fees) and the credit limit I have been given on this card does have space to do this.


    Advise on the overdraft would be much appreciated.

    In other little victories I found 53Euros in our giant pot of random change that I can squirrel away for my weekend away in July.
    Unfortunately, I also found an old five pound note that I know can't use. Silly me.

    Right weekend plans. Brunch with my best friend in town. I've looked at menu's this should cost about 10 and my only personal spend this month. Also need to buy flowers off the market for my Mum and drop a them off at their house for mothers day. That money will come out of the joint account. So far only spent 103 in the joint account and that has included 10 on the months toiletries, 75 on food and household (food should last until the middle of next week for 3 people) and 18 on Starchild (youth group uniform and tickets for a school play)
    Now if only we could stick to being this savvy and this time next year Rodney we'll be millionaires
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Mar 18, 11:28 AM
    • 1,674 Posts
    • 10,007 Thanks
    redofromstart
    If you transferred the OD to the card would you have the discipline to not use the OD again? Could you reduce the limit so that you couldn't use it? My logic goes 40 in transfer fees, two months charges, against chances of you clearing your OD in 2 months? Then half an half EF and chipping away at the debt.
    • clyndu
    • By clyndu 10th Mar 18, 1:30 PM
    • 475 Posts
    • 3,170 Thanks
    clyndu
    [QUOTE=Starmummy;74001419]Hi Guys



    Unfortunately, I also found an old five pound note that I know can't use. Silly me.

    You can still pay them in at your bank, I've got do that with a 10 note DH was trying to spend.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Mar 18, 2:28 PM
    • 82 Posts
    • 222 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Thanks Redo. I was planning on reducing the OD to 200 if i went down the money transfer route. I don't want to get rid of it completely just in case an unexpected payment goes out or something similar.

    I shall wait until i get my online banking details from the new CC before i decide completely.

    CLYNDU- I thought only the bank of England still did. I shall try my chances later this week. Thank you
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 10th Mar 18, 4:09 PM
    • 897 Posts
    • 1,877 Thanks
    Kitten868
    You definitely can pay the 5 in at your bank. Go to a bank that you bank with and pay it in to your account.
    It sounds like you have everything under control and you're just waiting for it to go. So keep up the great work. The trick is sticking to your budget.
    Have you dabbled with eBay yet? That's s great one for bonus income.
    Very jealous about the new kitchen. Xxx
    Loan 1 6000/8000
    Loan 2 4000/5800
    Total 10000/13800 27% PAID
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