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  • FIRST POST
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
    • 83Posts
    • 223Thanks
    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 2
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 10th Mar 18, 4:11 PM
    • 897 Posts
    • 1,881 Thanks
    Kitten868
    And I would transfer my overdraft. And reduce it £100.
    Loan 1 £5900/£8000
    Loan 2 £3900/£5800
    Total £9800/£13800 29% PAID
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Mar 18, 4:35 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Thanks Kitten. The support on here has just been so lovely.

    I don't really have anything to sell. When i moved in with Mr Star last year I ebayed/donated about 75% of our possessions. I only have half a wardrobe and 3 drawers of clothing and most of Star child's stuff goes to friends/family as handmedowns if it is any good. i might have an old laptop that could be wiped and sold, maybe so books but that's about it. we don't really have much 'stuff'
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 10th Mar 18, 11:21 PM
    • 293 Posts
    • 1,011 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Hi Starmummy

    I agree with Redo, I think if you have the discipline not to spend from your overdraft, then it makes sense to shift it onto the 0% BT card and be done with that high interest, perhaps reducing it to a nominal £200 - £400 to allow for emergencies and peace of mind.

    I found that once I cleared my overdraft, I became super determined never to go in it again. It also made me feel much more positive about the money I had in the bank - it was actually my money and I could do with it what I wanted.

    You seem to have got the swing of this debt slaying thing - giving every £ a job at the start of the month is the secret to success. Also, being flexible and not beating yourself up if you overspend in one part of your budget, as you can always sacrifice ££s from somewhere else to make up the shortfall.

    Good luck - look forward to keeping updated!
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £2,529.99/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £1,263.28/£1,894.92
    Emergency Fund: £329.81/£500 (65.96%) | Total Debt Repayments: £5,359.34/£12,585.14 (42.58%) | LBM Debt Exposure: £13,915.17 | Average Monthly Repayment: £836.17 | Outstanding Debt: £7,225.80 | DFD: 30/09/18
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 10th Mar 18, 11:24 PM
    • 293 Posts
    • 1,011 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    p.s. Dave Ramsey is really against shifting debt and doing the credit card shuffle as he thinks it makes people feel like they've achieved something when in actual fact, they have used debt to pay off debt.

    I'm a bit more relaxed about it and think that if you can save yourself a good amount of interest, like you will do by shifting debt onto 0% cards and paying off your overdraft with a money transfer, then it can be a motivating step on your debt free journey.

    But, keep in mind that you haven't achieved anything in terms of paying off debt. You've just made it more convenient. If you remind yourself of that, you will ease the temptation to use the cards / overdraft again, which is what we don't want you to do.
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £2,529.99/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £1,263.28/£1,894.92
    Emergency Fund: £329.81/£500 (65.96%) | Total Debt Repayments: £5,359.34/£12,585.14 (42.58%) | LBM Debt Exposure: £13,915.17 | Average Monthly Repayment: £836.17 | Outstanding Debt: £7,225.80 | DFD: 30/09/18
    • moneyonmymindsam
    • By moneyonmymindsam 11th Mar 18, 9:15 PM
    • 1,406 Posts
    • 4,280 Thanks
    moneyonmymindsam
    Hi Starmummy

    Keep up the fab work

    Sam x
    Emergency Fund Challenge
    • Poppy1984
    • By Poppy1984 12th Mar 18, 1:01 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 352 Thanks
    Poppy1984
    Hi Startmuumy
    Just wanted to drop in and cheer you on! Sounds like you're doing a great job so far! Id echo what the others said about the overdraft. It seems crazy paying those charges. Once I cleared my overdraft I didn't want to go back into it. I reduced it form £1000 to £100 like you say just in case a bill goes out when it shouldn't so I had a buffer. I NEVER go into it now though.
    I always said the same as you about not having anything to sell or much "stuff" however when I really started looking I had the odd bits and pieces I could sell even though they've not brought in a huge amount every penny helps.
    Good Luck!!!
    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 12th Mar 18, 1:15 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hello folks and welcome to a lovely new week.

    Still feeling pretty positive.
    All planned debt paying done for the month. That means from my LBM at the begining of Jan 2018 my debts look like this:
    Jan
    Overdraft £1000.00
    CC1 £2905.66
    CC2 £3681.65
    Loan1 £2486.60
    Loan2 £8087.42

    Total = £18424.31


    @Mar
    overdraft £1000.00
    CC1 £0.00
    CC2 £1868.47 (interst free until Sept 18)
    CC3 £3820.90 (interst free until 0ct 20)
    Loan1 £2113.61
    Loan2 £6984.59

    Total = £15787.57


    So i'm 15% and over £2600 gone forever in just 3 months. Fingers crossed I can keep momentum.

    Reading through diaries has given me my culinary mojo back too which is great. I love cooking things from scratch and if I can get better at meal planning I could start saving us a lot of money in the joint account.

    plan to make lentil soup for lunches and a big shepherds pie after work which should last a couple of days.

    Things i'm grateful for last week.

    *Mr Star flies back from work trip tonight and should be home tomorrow.
    *Starchild passed her swimming trials and is now a fully fledged member of the county swimming team.
    *i got the balance transfer card which will save me £900 in interest over the next 18 months.
    *had lovely lunches with my best friend and my parents this weekend. I only spent £11.81. I forget how much I love being social.

    Challenges to face the rest of the month
    *my longest friends is getting married this summer. She is having a hen-do abroad and has invited me. It's £340 for hotel and flights in May plus spending monies. The old me would have said yes and whacked it on the credit card, but that is why I am in this mess. As much as it pains me I may have to suggest a quieter second hen-do at home.
    * In the next three weeks we are visiting family in Spain. Flights and accom sorted and spending money will come from the joint account so must keep grocery spend to the minimum. Also must break my usual habit of treating myself to half a suitcase of new holiday clothes. I don't need them and can't afford them.
    *MrStar's birthday and Star nephew's christening either side of Spain trip. Must not go overboard with presents.

    Take care

    SM
    Last edited by Starmummy; 12-03-2018 at 1:20 PM.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 13th Mar 18, 2:33 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Afternoon guys.

    Feeling a little delicate today, I'm not sure if I am coming down with a bug or just a bit overtired. I was almost tempted to go to the local cafe for lunch with my team but decided against it. I still went across the road to the supermarket and bought things i didn't need though. Some rolls, ham and cream cheese (whispers *and biscuits*). It came to £5 and what I didn't eat can be made into the rest of the weeks' lunches for Starchild, so not that much of a waste. I wish I didn't turn to comfort eating when I am tired though. Thankfully I walk 5 miles a day so I've not got a weight issue but I just don't like using food as a crutch.

    Mr Star's flight landed this morning, I can't wait to see him when I finish work. The first few months of the year are always full of business trips for him and so far this year we have spent more time apart than together.

    I think I've decided to tell my friend that I can't join her on her hen-do I just don't have enough notice to get the money together and I will not get into further debt for it.

    I'm still waiting on the physical paperwork for the BT card. I can't MT my overdraft until I have it as I can't set up online banking. I also can't set up a DD which is making me nervous as I'd rather get it done and give me one less thing to worry about.

    Also annoyed with Ex who didn't turn up to see Starchild this weekend and still hasn't paid this months maintenance. It's not unusual behaviour so I'm not surprised, more annoyed at myself for still getting disappointed by it after all this time.

    Must keep plodding on.

    Take care
    SM
    Last edited by Starmummy; 13-03-2018 at 2:36 PM.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Mar 18, 2:37 PM
    • 1,678 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I'm the same with the emotional eating, I either don't eat at all or I eat all of the things.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 13th Mar 18, 4:53 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Still need to book my car in for it's MOT. It was due on the 3rd and I had booked it in but the snow scuppered plans and i cancelled. I just know it's going to be expensive as I have a couple of electrical faults. Putting it off because it hasn't moved off my drive. I barely use it to be honest as I walk to work and we live 5 minutes from the town centre and Starchild's school. I still want to keep it though for monthly trips to my parents or sister and it's 12 years old and so not really worth selling because i wouldn't get much cheaper.
    Must book it in for the end of the month if i can before the Easter break. That way i can split the cost over this month and next months pay. may have to spend the £250 EF i will have built by then (hopefully it won't exceed that)
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 13th Mar 18, 4:54 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    I'm the same with the emotional eating, I either don't eat at all or I eat all of the things.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    so much like me. some days i'll get to 8pm and realise I've lived off two cups of tea all day. others I can finish a packet of jaffa cakes in one breath
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Mar 18, 5:08 PM
    • 1,678 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Pink french fancies for me today (50p a pack in Asda, whoops).

    Feel rather sick now
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Mar 18, 5:14 PM
    • 6,385 Posts
    • 13,110 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    I would concentrate on getting rid of that overdraft first before the EF or save a small EF like say £300. If you are paying £20 per month towards the overdraft that is £240 over the year. Crazy. Passing on the overseas hen trip makes sense. I cannot understand this trend to pay a small fortune on hen dos these days. When we got married it was all we could do to get together enough money for the wedding and honeymoon so finding extra money for overseas hen dos just sounds like extra stress and quite unfair on friends. Luckily my DD opted for a weekend of activities for her hen weekend as they were buying a house and paying towards the wedding. It was a treasure activity trail around our local city which is on the coast so beautiful anyway, afternoon tea and an evening of games and films and drinks at home. The following day we did bowling and lunch out. Probably £100 per head overall so not really cheap but a lot cheaper than a weekend away.
    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
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 14th Mar 18, 3:53 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Good afternoon readers
    Well I braved a phone call with my friend and told her I couldn't afford to go. She was completely understanding. She said that she had to invite me as she would hate to think I wasn't wanted, even though she had her suspicions I wouldn't be able to afford it. So we will plan a mini-hen at home just before the wedding instead.

    Got some amazing yellow sticker bargains in the C00p on the way home from my swim last night. However, i didn't factor in how I was going to carry home 6 pints of milk, 2 sacks of king Edwards, 2 loaves of bread, pizza, quiche, 3 packets of Mr Stars favourite biscuits and various salad and fruit bits the 1.5 mile uphill walk home (complete with soggy swim kit in my backpack)
    at £11.23 I just couldn't resist and now I don't have to visit the shops until the weekend.

    Meal plan for the rest of the week
    Wed - Quiche, new potatoes and salad
    Thur - Blue cheese and butternut squash risotto.
    Fri - Sausage, mash onion gravy and french beans
    Sat - homemade lentil and bacon soup & homemade bread.

    still no BT card paperwork so still waiting to be able to get rid of my OD. looks like i'll have £70 left of my £90 personal spends this month. £20 extra to CC2 and £50 into a pot towards my weekend away in July. I won't transfer until nearer the end of the month though. I've also managed to transfer £100 into an EF and £50 into a car expenses account. It makes me feel so happy finally being in control of things.

    Take care
    SM
    Last edited by Starmummy; 15-03-2018 at 10:29 AM.
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 14th Mar 18, 5:44 PM
    • 1,246 Posts
    • 12,130 Thanks
    Toni'sfriend
    Well done on the YS (and even more for carrying it all up the hill).
    That's a really good meal plan. I'd really like to try and make my own bread but I'm a bit nervous of doing so. Can't bake so goodness knows how bread would turn out. The risotto sounds gorgeous,
    Now that's what you call a lovely friend. I also can't understand this trend for spending huge amounts of money on foreign hen nights. I bet you enjoy your mini hen at home even more than you would going away. Apart from the expense it'll be so much more relaxing.
    Oh, and I'm so glad someone else can finish a whole packet of jaffa cakes in one go. I thought it was my guilty secret.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th Mar 18, 5:52 PM
    • 1,678 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I also like the sound of the risotto.

    Luckily I don't like jaffa cakes!
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 15th Mar 18, 11:09 AM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Thanks Toni's Friend and Redo
    My risotto's are a favourite of Mr Star's, apparently I have the nack with them. I guess it comes from the days of being a 'poor single parent' rice is cheap and filling and you can pretty much flavour them with any fridge gravel.

    Yesterday was a NSD. I'm planning to have another today, but will need to spend a few pennies tomorrow (out of the joint account) for cleaning cloths, frozen berries, oats and bread.

    I need to think of ideas for Mr Star's birthday, he isn't really one for presents or "stuff" he would rather have experiences so I will have to get my thinking cap on. We will be going out to lunch on Sunday as a late mothers day/early birthday lunch (budgeted from the joint account). i'm really looking forward to it.

    I have transferred over the £20.68 to CC2...which now sits below £1850
    I get so much pleasure seeing those figures go down.

    Take care
    SM
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 17th Mar 18, 5:45 PM
    • 83 Posts
    • 223 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Switching Current Accounts
    Afternoon all,

    How's your weekend so far. I have the joy of being in the coldest part of the country this weekend...can't moan too much it's usually one of the mildest and driest. I am totally sick of the sight of snow though.

    Well BT cc paperwork came and the MT has been actioned to clear my overdraft.
    It's only now i've started down this road that I've realised how unaware I am with all things money.
    I've banked with the same bank since I was 15 under the impression that loyalty pays. But looking around and I'm considering switching my current account to First direct for the introductory £125 (more debt slaying) but also for the 0% overdraft. I don't plan on using an overdraft going forward but if i do need to dip into it for an unexpected bill i'd rather not get a monthly charge.

    Question is should I do this now given that this month I've opened a new credit card, done a BT and a MT? will that look bad on my credit file?
    Also how easy is it? Do they move DD and SO's? should I wait until after pay day (at the end of the month) to make sure my pay goes in the new account.
    So many question.

    Also does anyone bank with First direct? I've heard good things but I do most of my banking through my mobile app. can i do this with first direct and if so can i link up any first direct savings accounts on the same app?

    and when they switch over accounts they will they close my Barclays account or will that remain open?

    I'm learning so much and realising how much I don't know.

    Take care SM
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 17th Mar 18, 8:03 PM
    • 1,678 Posts
    • 10,054 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I think the switching services work really well, and they do it all for you apparently but I haven't done it myself. I've heard lots of good things about FD and they do a good rate on a regular saver.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 17th Mar 18, 10:06 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 478 Thanks
    rawr_
    Hi Starmummy! I wanted to just say how well I think you are doing so far, and will be hitting subscribe to your thread.

    I'm not sure whether it will affect your credit profile, but it is really easy to do - they change over all of the DD's over for you. I think Standing Orders you have to do yourself? When I changed from Santand*r to Hal!fax a couple of years ago, they said that my Santand*r account would still be 'live' for a year or so and forward anything onto my new account with Hal!fax, incase any standing orders or payments were made to that account. This gave me some peace of mind. As for waiting until after payday - I think it takes a few days for the account to set up and transfer over the DD's, but even if you were paid into your old account, this should forward to your new one. I would just give your employer your new bank details as soon as you know them.

    Good luck with your journey, I'll be following!
    Debt March 2018: £11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: £18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: £1374.23 / £6000
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