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    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 7:09 PM
    • 430Posts
    • 2,004Thanks
    Aligning the Stars
    • #1
    • 6th Mar 18, 7:09 PM
    Aligning the Stars 6th Mar 18 at 7:09 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; 19-12-2018 at 12:25 PM.
Page 13
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Oct 18, 6:54 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    Hi Guys

    Thanks Becs that's a lovely thing to say. I am so lucky. That's not to say he is perfect, but he really is thoughtful and supportive and my life just isn't the same without him in it.

    I completed the wardrobe purge last night.
    I was ruthless, I'm down to 57 items of clothes, shoes, bags and coats. (not including sportswear and sleepwear- any sportswear has to be used for sport not running errands)
    My knitwear is somewhat lacking, 1 cardigan, 1 hoodie and 2 light Jumpers may be a bit of a struggle when the temperature drops but it was that way before the clear out- clearly i don't like shopping for knitwear.

    I haven't actually thrown/donated anything yet. I've bagged it up into old luggage and put it in the cellar, far enough away to not dip into on a whim so I can do the experiment properly, but not permanently disposed off in case I've chucked something I will really regret.

    I don't feel the urge to shop really, but I have started writing a list of things that need replacing from what is left such as my black suit that's 10 years old, white vest top to go under things, a nice jumper, a small cross body bag (the one i use every not work day has a broken zip)
    I'm hoping to save enough money from not unconsciously shopping to invest in good quality pieces consciously.

    Money news not much to say, no more put to savings,. Star Child's Dad hasn't set up the standing order for maintenance he promised he had- no surprises there really.
    Just keep plodding along.

    Mr Star should be back from a work trip tonight, I'm really looking forward to seeing him. We must try and squeeze in some quality time before he goes away again for a week in 8 days time. Between our jobs and Star Child there just aren't the hours in the day, neither of us are sleeping well and we are all just a bit grumpy and argumentative.

    Take care
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Oct 18, 4:02 PM
    • 4,305 Posts
    • 26,256 Thanks
    Your wardrobe purge is very inspiring. Thanks
    Target by end of Aug goal: 1150/4000
    Car costs savings: 400
    Xmas savings 20
    • Lucifa73
    • By Lucifa73 10th Oct 18, 4:18 PM
    • 7,654 Posts
    • 10,524 Thanks
    A wardrobe purge sounds like a fantastic idea! I'm going to a swishing event where you take 3-6 items of clothing you don't want anymore (this time it is party stuff) and for each item you get a token you can use to get something somebody else has handed in. Seemed like a good way to get something new for Xmas parties...

    Your energy really is very inspiring!
    26.2.19/14.1.19: T MC 3629.26/3629.26 : VM 0% 1050/13876.59 : W 0% 100/1485 = 4409.26/18990.85 =25.17%
    28.1.19/28.1.19 Hubs 0% £400/£2,977 =13.44%
    SPC 2019 #073

    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 12th Oct 18, 10:11 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    It's Friday!!!!
    Unfortunately Star Child was ill last night so a day of trying to work from home with her, not ideal because I'm snowed under on a project. No doubt I shall be working most of the weekend.

    It's not helping the shopping ban. I feel the need to cheer myself up. The silver lining to Star Child's Dad not paying maintenance this month means I couldn't even shop if I wanted as my account is bare.
    But all is not lost, debts have been paid and money put in savings...who is this sensible new me?

    The kitchen tap ( that's been leaking for ages) totally gave up this morning, thankfully in an off position. So Mr Star shall spend his weekend replacing the tap and sink and worktops- we had planned to do this anyway just not right now.

    I could really do with giving the house a deep clean-possibly linked to the sick child, but I just can't get motivated.
    Hopefully some fresh air this weekend and i'll be back to my old self.

    Take care
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th Oct 18, 5:30 PM
    • 2,374 Posts
    • 15,210 Thanks
    Loving that challenge and the wardrobe purge. I found that challenging myself about why I keep things worked really well to help the purge, and asking why when I want things works too.

    That said, I still own 31 jumpers!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th Oct 18, 5:41 PM
    • 2,374 Posts
    • 15,210 Thanks
    Also magazines, I can read quite a few online via my library ticket. I soon got bored and stopped bothering but it was a good reminder of how little return I got from them.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 15th Oct 18, 12:38 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    The weekend was rather a quiet one. I stayed at home to study most of the weekend while Mr Star did house job, fixing the kitchen tap, fixing the leaky bath, fitting new fire alarms, painting skirting boards....the list of jobs never ends. At least I've finished the 'learning' phase of my exam prep- just got to practice loads of past papers and revise as much as I can. I must stay motivated I feel like I've been studying forever and I'm 5 months from being fully passing these 2 exams promises a nice pay rise.

    I did purchase one of my items on my approved shopping list so that's £52.50 gone.

    My personal account is looking VERY bare as is the joint account but I have no plans for the rest of the month, other than one date night before Mr Star goes away with work for the rest of the month.
    Feeling quite good at the progress I'm making. I've saved £280 (£80 to the house deposit LISA, £200 general/emergency savings)
    I need to organise the scrap people picking up my old car so I can add another £ the House deposit most likely.
    I've paid just over £350 off the debts this month too.

    I'm feeling in control. It's such a nice feeling.

    I watched the Stacey Dooley documentary on fast fashion yesterday. It's given me an extra boost to keep going with the shopping ban. We all have so much stuff we don't need. Plus I'm in my 30's now, time to prioritise style and fit over trend.

    Just plodding on until payday

    Take care
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 18th Oct 18, 2:20 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    It's almost the weekend.
    Working from home tomorrow as it's an inset day at the school and Mr Star goes away with work until the 29th

    It's been a really lovely couple of weeks. He has been so supportive picking up the slack at home and with Star Child while I've been pulling 11 hour days at the office. I'm so lucky I feel the need to pinch myself.
    I keep getting told off by him for saying thank you too much though

    We have a date night tonight, I'm so excited. My lovely parents are coming over to baby sit and we are going for a taster menu at a special evening at the local catering college. so posh nosh for £25 a head.
    This will probably be the last date night of the year because work is so busy for the both of us, Mr Star is working away almost half of the time between now and 20th December so these nights are so precious.

    I'm also feeling lucky to have a few days off in half term. Star Child is so often dumped in some kids club in the holidays, it will be so nice to have some girl time.

    We had the bedroom carpet fitted yesterday, it feels so much cosier.... and Mr Star has stocked up on firewood so us ladies don't freeze while he is away. I hope to finish the photo wall in the snug/dining room while he is away, and try and split some of the house plants.

    I've donated the 2 bags of stuff from the wardrobe purge. I have 1 bag of 'nicer' stuff that I must eBay on my days off.

    Other than that it's enjoying some gorgeous Autumn sunshine ( I love living in a countryside Market town this time of year) ...oh and I need to keep up with my studies. I need to just practice as many past exam papers as possible until I can answer them in my sleep and to time. A chunky pay rise in the new year depends on it....hello more wonga towards the house deposit.

    Have a lovely weekend guys.

    Take care
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 25th Oct 18, 8:42 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    *sneaks back in after a weeks absence*

    Well.... my budget hasn't been great for the second half of this month. This month seems to really be dragging.

    Mr Star is away with work and I am just so busy with work it has meant I've spent money I didn't really want to spend on takeaways and lunches with my sister...and still overspent on groceries.

    I need to maintain some focus. I really do want to get myself in the best financial position to move into our bigger (room for baby) family home.
    I seem to have redirected my spendy ways away from stuff, due to the shopping ban, to spending more on allowed stuff, i.e food.
    I'm going to have to try and implement a proper food budget for the next month to counteracted my spendy ways.

    I did have one MSE victory this week. I got my nephews Xmas present, it was 20% off and then i paid with some vouchers I had so technically free
    I've also taken lunch to work every working day this month. small victories.

    I must keep posting and keep motivated. I think i'm going to print the details of the house I'm eyeing up and keep a picture in my purse wrapped around my debit card.
    I need to remind myself of what I really want and stop looking for a quick fix.

    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 25th Oct 18, 11:27 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 591 Thanks
    Hi Starmummy - I relate to this 100% - I've mainly got my spending under control but then go and splurge on food as this is in the allowed stuff. It's my thing to focus on the next month!
    Car Debt as of May 2019: £9,553.18 | Savings Goal for 2019 4K: £3083.01 / £4000
    • ftbwannabe
    • By ftbwannabe 29th Oct 18, 1:11 PM
    • 224 Posts
    • 812 Thanks
    Same here, food shopping (& snack-y treats) is where my budget's slid down this month. And where I made £100 a month savings in my first two months of posting here. I think you're right about the focus - I'll try to refocus, too. Good luck, we can do it! (I'll finish these two boxes of biscuits first though...)
    got the mortgage - now to clear the cards.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 30th Oct 18, 8:43 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    October round up
    Hi Folks,

    I'm going to do my October round up a day early as tomorrow is pay day and everything will get reset.
    One thing I am proud of is that I've stopped beating myself up for decisions I've already made. Was this month perfect...hell no! But I am confident that next month I can start fresh without beating myself up.

    Mr Star is back from his work trip. It's so lovely having him home. The first thing he noticed is that Star child has grown in the past 10 days. Enough with the growth spurts already. She's 9 and 4 foot 10 already.

    So I've had to order a few items of clothes for her and a non-school coat, as well as some winter boots. We don't really budget for her clothes, She isn't really into fashion so we just buy what is needed when it is needed. We usually have the flex in our joint account each month.

    Well the economy sure does suck at the moment. I've put my work based contribution in as usual but the markets are so volatile my pension pot has LOST £574.04 this month alone They are in fairly risk free investments so that doubly sucks. At least its got another 35 years to recover i suppose.

    I've only paid the DD off my debt this month which means it has reduced by about £350. I'm ok with that, I know I can make over payments if I wish but at the moment it makes more sense to save into my LISA as I get the tax back ( debt is at 3% over 3 years).

    Current savings split is
    Holiday pot ---£50
    Emergancy Fund---£600.05 (£400 is in Premium bonds, the rest in an instant access account)

    Those totals mean I've managed to save £292.50 this month.
    Between debt payments and savings I am £642.77 better off financially than I was last month.

    November Targets
    *Save £500 (£350 LISA, £100 EF, £50 Holiday pot)
    *Pay £350 off debt.
    *Study hard for December exams (no social life )
    *Stick to reasonable budget for family birthdays (2 nieces, 2 nephews, my dad )
    *Spend less than £250 on groceries

    That will do for now.

    Good luck with your new month, turn the page, start fresh and be kind to yourself.

    Take care

    Last edited by Starmummy; 30-10-2018 at 12:05 PM.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 31st Oct 18, 12:23 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    Less stuff = More happiness
    In the past month I have got rid of my car and also reduced my wardrobe to about 1/4 of what it had been.
    I feel so light. It really has been a revelation. It takes me no time to get ready in the mornings, the things I love are so easy to find, Housework is easier, There is less laundry.
    It's great. I walked to work anyway and we still have one car, but I do get a nice warm smug feeling knowing that my carbon footprint is lower.

    I feel really motivated to get on with the rest of the house, toiletries, kitchenware, stationery/craft, toys, old text books etc.

    I actually get a buzz getting rid of things and tidying things out that has replaced the shopping buzz.
    The shopping ban is going ok. I've bought a couple of things from the approved list so still shopped a little so it doesn't feel like it's in full force just yet.
    I've also spent a bit of time window shopping online. I want to replace things like skincare with more ethical brands when required.

    There are some changes at my office in the pipeline which will mean mostly working from home the next 2-3 months. I'm looking forward to it as it should mean picking Starchild up from school at 3pm instead of 6pm, I'll also be able to cook properly so we should save on the food bill.
    I'm hoping to make the most of the flexibility and maybe do a few gym classes...I'm definitely getting a bit soft around the middle at the moment.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 2nd Nov 18, 11:11 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    Happy Friday Folks.

    The DD to the loan has come out so my debt is now in the £11k's

    I've not transferred anything to savings yet this month as I'm waiting for all my payments to go out first.
    This weekend should be fairly quiet other than going to see the fireworks this evening. Tickets are £5 each but we will eat before we go and take a flask of hot chocolate and some biscuits with us to avoid further spends.

    We really need to tackle the grocery spend this month as it seems to be creeping above £300 again. I've set a budget of £250, but i'd like to get this as close to £200 as possible.
    I need to meal plan a bit I think.
    We have already spent £29.42 on veg, bread, milk and a few dinner bits in Ald1.
    We need to buy tea bags today but i'm hoping to try and stretch what is in the cupboards and freezer to make what we have last until Tuesday as I'll have the car that evening so I can pop to Ald1. I'll set a plan and try to keep the spend to £50 a week... that will give a bit of wiggle room for top ups of bread, milk and fruit.

    I tend to find winter shops a bit cheaper as we have lots of porridge, soup, stews and root veg.
    I don't eat meat (only fish) but Mr Star and Star Child do eat a bit of meat, and SC will eat pretty much any veg, beans pulses etc...just nothing too spicy.
    If anyone can recommend any quick recipes I'd be grateful... time is a premium as we don't get home from work until late and have lots of clubs on.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 5th Nov 18, 1:25 PM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    We had some news this weekend that could turn plans completely on their head.
    So savings towards the house are just being redirected towards general/Emergency savings until we have a clearer picture on what the news means. It is an interesting and exciting opportunity but it's going to take some work from both of us.

    No money spent by me...the shopping ban is going well.

    Mr Star did the food shop in Ald1- there looks like there are meals to eat so that's a good start..and he came in at £48.90 so in budget. so far spent £81.32 on groceries and this should last until Sunday.. so an average of £7.39 a day so £220 this month projected. We could beat this as we are with family this Saturday and I'm away 2 nights next week. Mr Star is also away from 25th.

    We do have 4 birthday gifts to buy this month though...some very romantic Valentines days have been had in our family it seems.

    I've still been doing some research for sustainable ethical brands for skin care and clothing. My Capsule/downsized wardrobe is working tremendously but there are some items within it that will be well and truly worn out by the end of the shopping ban. Slow fashion is the aim.

    Any brands that can be recommended would be fantastic.

    Take care

    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
  • archived user
    About 5 of my FB friendís are due this month... I didnít even click that they were valentines babies!

    I think The Body Shop is meant to be ethical? I havenít used their skincare in years but I liked their Seaweed range. Not sure on ethical clothing brands but TreadingOnPlaymobile would be a good person to ask
    • PawsForThought
    • By PawsForThought 6th Nov 18, 5:45 PM
    • 41 Posts
    • 102 Thanks
    Hi Starmummy

    I've only just started to properly go through your diary and already utterly intrigued by your recent news - it sounds really positive so I hope it pans out!

    I'm so amazed by how much of your wardrobe you've cleared out, I can only imagine how much fresher and lighter you feel and it's fantastic that you've found a new 'buzz'!

    I just wanted to add some thoughts on quick recipes - I'm sorry if you've heard this before but do you have a slow cooker? It's literally a godsend. I usually prep veg the night before, chuck everything in quickly in the morning and cook whatever it is slowly all day. Come home after work and the house smells gorgeous and it's just there, ready, which massively reduces the usual evening chaos. If you're making a stew, you can lob some dumplings in an hour before you want to eat too which I find really handy (they don't go quite as airy as in a pan but still tasty with lots of salt and some nice fresh herbs in).

    Alternatively, stir fries are my quick go-to! Jamie Oliver's 15 minute meals or that other bloke's 'Lean in 15' recipes are quite good too (I seem to lack the magic required to make them actually take 15 minutes sadly, but they still usually only take 20-30). Lots of lovely fish recipes, gnocchi, pesto pasta, stroganoff etc.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 12th Nov 18, 10:58 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    Hi all,

    I hope you are well.
    It was a lovely weekend for the Stars. We traveled south on Saturday for a joint little person birthday celebration, it was so lovely having everyone together.
    Sunday I watched my grandfather lead the old boys in the remembrance parade. He makes me so proud.
    Sunday afternoon Star Child went out with my parents for lunch and to see my sister and her children, so Mr Star and I got some work done and then went for a swim, I certainly gave him a work out.

    I'm not the most organised of people and it drives Mr Star potty, I'm really trying to work on keeping him informed and updated on plans...and actually sticking to them. It sounds really simple but I'm useless at it. I just 'get on' with everything which I know is really inconsiderate.
    So working on my communication is my complete focus at the moment.

    My studying is going okay but I really need to ramp it up a bit as it's only 3 weeks until my 2 exams...I'd really like to pass them and get my lovely pay rise.

    The house is an endless black hole of DIY emergencies at the moment, leaky kitchen tap again but we are trying to limp it through until the new worktops arrive and we can fit the new sink and tap.

    On the spending front- Mr Star seems to have taken over the grocery shopping, he does a good job but I think we may struggle to stick to my £200 budget (we don't need to I'd just like to try) We have already spent £135...although we have meals for another 3-4 days and lots of store cupboard stuff. Just lunch bits, milk, eggs, bread, fruit and veg mostly needed.

    I am actually considering switching to using the milkman to reduce plastic bottles on orange juice and milk. Shall discuss with Mr Star tonight about his thoughts on this.

    I've had to buy new skincare as it has all run out at the same time, This has cost me £57 after a special offer code and I went through TCB so i should receive £9 back, net cost £48.. I think that's amazing for oil cleanser, hot cloth cleanser and cloths, day cream, night cream and serum. It's a new Vegan brand I haven't used before but it gets great reviews so I hope it agrees with my skin.
    Also on the approved shopping list where new running shoes, I bought some New Balance ones as they have a good ethical code and don't use plastic packaging. i got them in the sale and used TCB so they should have cost £75 and the net cost to me will be £47.62.

    Star Child had a haircut last week too, she had a total restyle having 9 inches culled. I was so surprised that my hairdresser still only charged the child's basic price of £12 despite the work involved.
    I'd actually stopped using this hairdresser in favour of one that was a far shorter walk but I'm going to start going back to it. I think the cut is better, the girls are lovely and the price is quite a bit cheaper. The girls I use charge £30/£37 depending on which is available...the one I have been using recently is £48!!! which is ridiculous for a cut and blowdry even if they do give a little head massage while you wait.

    This week I'm being quite social, I have a work meal on Friday (best part of being veggie is cheaper dinner when you eat out ha ha) and then I'm staying at one of my sisters, we are going to the ballet as a belated birthday treat. It will be lovely having a child free night with my sister.

    Other than that it's work, swimming, studying, eating, sleeping.

    I think that's enough waffle from me for now.

    Take care

    Last edited by Starmummy; 12-11-2018 at 1:27 PM.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 13th Nov 18, 10:44 AM
    • 430 Posts
    • 2,004 Thanks
    Does anyone know what happened to LoopyBecs? she seems to have disappeared. I hope she is ok
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 £10,550.05/£12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM 1st Jan '18 c..£19.5k)
    EF/FIT savings £446.69 Other Savings £19.54 House Deposit £3,062.64/£20,000 15.3%
    • WelshKitty85
    • By WelshKitty85 13th Nov 18, 10:55 AM
    • 931 Posts
    • 7,916 Thanks
    I've sent you a PM.
    Enough is enough...
    £29,603 (22/7/18) £23,599.06
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