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  • FIRST POST
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
    • 217Posts
    • 999Thanks
    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 3
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 19th Mar 18, 11:52 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Happy Monday folks.

    I hope you all had lovely weekends. Ours was pretty quiet compared to weekends of late. Starchild swims for the county so we had to take her to the pool early on Saturday and Sunday. I did a food shop in MrW (can walk so only buy what i can carry and save on petrol costs). Scrubbed the whole house, including deep cleaning the bathroom and cleaning the fridge and freezer. I still need to clean the cooker but I'm putting that horrid job off for now
    Then yesterday we had a late Mother's day meal out at a local pub that's recently been completely redone. The food and service was amazing and the pub has been done really nicely. It wasn't cheap at £75 but that included two courses for the three of us, wine and beers and all spends this weekend were budgeted from the joint account. We still have a really healthy balance in there so we can pay for the carpet that gets fitted in our bedroom this week. MrStar says he would pay for it but I feel the need to make a contribution rather than all my salary going on debt paying and childcare which makes me feel pretty useless.

    I got up early this morning and walked to the swimming pool before work. It was an icy start at -2 degrees but I managed to swim 1k in 25 minutes so chuffed with myself as I've let my swimming slip this past month. I'm looking forward to getting my running shoes on when the clocks change. I'd quite like to drop the insulation I seem to have gained over winter. I don't weigh myself so I am not looking to lose any pounds I just want to feel a little less groggy. I still fit in my skinny jeans, just about ,and my clothes fitting and my ability to run for a bus without going beetroot tend to be my yardsticks rather than a number on the scales.

    No news on debt figures as we are at the boring part of the month. All payments have gone out so no changes until payday. Not that i'm waiting for it as I finally feel in control of my finances and I know that I'm on the right track.

    MrStar is trying to sabotage my effort. I Know it isn't malicious and I do understand his point. Together we earn a very very good wage, live in a decent house in an expensive area that has a lot of equity in it. WE can afford nice holidays and nice clothes and nice meals out. But, if we take Mr Star out of the equation I can't. Not with my present debt repayments. I want to start living again but I am only willing to do that when it's my money I'm spending and not the banks. So Mr Star...YES I am sure that I don't want to spend £500 on my best friends hen do, and YES Mr Star I'm sure those work shirts you spotted in TKMa** were lovely and great value and would look great on me...but my purse is staying shut!
    Last edited by Starmummy; 19-03-2018 at 2:39 PM.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 19th Mar 18, 4:16 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Life Goals
    Mr Star and I have been talking through life goals a lot recently. More importantly the next 3-5 years.
    We are probably at the most expensive point in our lives ...which terrifies me. The immediate priorities are for me to pay off my debts and for us to get the extension/renovation work done on our house.
    The mortgage/house is in Mr Stars name and therefore he has budgeted how he will pay for the work to be done. I know this makes sense as 1) it's his house and 2) he earns almost triple what I do. However, I don't like it...somehow in my head if i'm not helping pay for the renovations it makes it feel less like my home. However, this has been discussed too. Once I'm debt free and it comes to us getting a remortgage I will go on the mortgage, he will own the 100% of the equity to a specific date and then the rest will be split in equal parts between us (we are in this for the long haul but should the worst happen I'd feel a lot more safe if i didn't lose everything if our relationship ended, unromantic it may be but as a former single mum and someone that is paying half the mortgage already its practical)

    So once the we have a new kitchen/bathroom/extra bedroom what next?

    Well most importantly we would like to extend our family by one. We both think it would be the perfect thing to cement our relationship for both us and Starchild, She has asked for sibling ever since she could talk. We want to maintain a lifestyle and I really want to enjoy the first year with my second child, I really missed out given my experience with Starchild. I was so lonely and alone. So I would like to save £6000 to boost my SMP so that i can afford to treat the children, attend NCT classes and coffee mornings, baby massgae and yoga classes etc as well as day trips and adorable baby clothes.
    Mr Star wants a child before he is an 'old dad' which somewhat limits our time frame.
    This brings me to goal 2, marriage. both Mr Star and I would like to be wed before we hear the pitter patter of tiny feet. Neither of us are flashy showy people so it won't be a big white wedding, more a nice meal with our nearest and dearest and a trip to the registry office. Even so we are probably looking at £5000...so my share of this means saving £2500.
    Goal 3) my car is old. The electrics have become damp making it a bit dodgy if I'm honest. I barely use it at the moment but if we achieve goal 1 I'd like to have something more practical and reliable that I can take 2 children around in and visit family if Mr Star has taken his car on a work trip. The type of car I am looking at will cost about £7000 for a 4 year old second hand.

    So that's the next 3 years.
    Kill off £15,500 debt
    save £7000 car
    £2500 wedding
    £6000 maternity leave.
    never mind the two holidays a year that we would quite like....although these do tend to be paid out of our healthy joint account budget.

    That's a lot of money. £31000..or £860 a month. Doable if I'm disciplined as this is about the amount I am currently paying to debt slay/save and it will be totally worth it. Plus the job I am in does promise annual rises, boosted further with the qualification I am doing which can only boost the amount I can throw at this.

    All debt is now at low/zero interest which should save me £1200 a year so all payments are reducing the debt figure.
    I have started a £1k EF and an "annual expense" easy access savings account to cover car insurance and repairs as well as medical and an annual mini break. once these are up and running I hope to start saving into a long term savings account. If my current account switch goes ahead I plan to open the First Direct 5% savings account. all these savings goals are long term so I won't be dipping into it and should get the entire interest rate.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 19th Mar 18, 9:56 PM
    • 140 Posts
    • 503 Thanks
    rawr_
    Glad you've had a good talk and you feel like you have some short and long term goals! Your goals are similar to mine with the 6K supplement to SMP, and I think when you lay it all out in front of you like you have, you have made it seem achievable. Good luck, I am following along and cheering on your progress!
    Debt as of August 2018: £11,035.57 | Current House Deposit: £18,505.83 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: £3096.58 / £6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 20th Mar 18, 12:29 PM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 11,917 Thanks
    redofromstart
    It sounds like a plan to me - I find it easier to stick to when it is mapped out like that.

    I do understand your mindset about clearing the debt you brought with you by yourself but maybe look at going forward things being 'our' spends, not 'my' spends. Here our individual contribution varies but we are a team, and our finances are shared. We don't have a joint account but its our money, not my money and his, which means we do things we can afford and it gets paid for out of whatever account has the most in.
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 20th Mar 18, 7:27 PM
    • 366 Posts
    • 1,263 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Sounds like a good plan, Starmummy!

    DF and I have a similar thing with split finances and we don't always get it right. We don't have a joint account but we do split our immediate obligations (mortgage, bills etc etc) and try to roughly split groceries and household costs. Whats leftover is ours to do with what we please. I'm loathed to share a joint spends account just now whilst I am still in debt as I suspect I'd be much worse off! DF is not MSE-minded at all and last week, on being instructed to buy toothpaste (something he never buys as that's part of my monthly bargain toiletries mission), came home with a tube costing £4!!!! I also don't want to pay for his discretionary spends on beers or toiletries that he pings into the shopping basket whenever we're in the supermarket. Well, at least not until I sort my debts (DF is debt free and rolling in ££s). But I agree with Redo, it's something I should look to combine in the near future when we are more equalised financially.

    I was also in a similar living situation - we bought our house using just his salary (I wasn't working full time then) and it was therefore in his name only and he managed all the finances. I hated it as I'm super independent and also didn't want to be paying a mortgage on a property I didn't legally own, so once I got a full time job with a decent salary, we put me on the mortgage (for some reason, DF didn't clock onto my CC debt when we were doing the application) and it made me feel much more settled. We do have a declaration of trust that protects DF's deposit, but everything else is much more equal now. I can't wait to move and 'properly' share a house together now.
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,274.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £7,735.15/£12,585.14 (61.46%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,849.99 | House Move Fund: £0 / £4,000
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 21st Mar 18, 11:11 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Good morning and hello spring

    Payday is just a week away and my account stands at £0. This is actually a positive thing I have no more spending to be done or bills to pay out of my account this month. I money transferred £780 to the new CC of my overdraft...the rest (£220) I've managed to scrape together (out of what would have been emergency fund savings etc. so I no longer have an overdraft. This is such a massive relief. no more £25 a month charges and stress incase they took my limit away without notice.
    I've had an email from First Direct asking for identification checks. I shall have to work out how to work the webcam on my laptop so I can get this sent. When I switch that will be £125 i can replace to the EF (or pay down the CC- but these are all 0%)
    I've managed to reduce my debt by £2,849.05 this year so far. I'm really proud of myself. It's been hard at times but if I continue at this rate I'll have financial freedom in no time and I can afford the expensive yoga classes and massages/chiropractor and the odd nice new outfit or night out then.

    My money saving ways are having a positive effect on out joint account too. in Jan we spent £369 on groceries last month it was £325 this month so far it is £206 I've meal planned for the rest of this week so only fruit, bread and butter needed, next week it will be a 'use up everything in the fridge' week as we go to Spain to stay with FIL on 31st. So plenty of money left over in the joint account for holiday spends and no using the credit card. This is a first for me.
    We are planning another meal out this weekend as it is Mr Stars birthday but that's joint account spends and not personal spending. He doesn't want a present so I'm just going to put my baking skills to use and make a big chocolatey cake. I already have a card stashed away.
    Mr Star was really pleased with Starchild this week as she asked for a watch for Easter instead of a chocolate egg...I was pleased too as I could get one with some of the Am4z0n vouchers we got at Christmas, so it cost me nothing. I've bought £1 eggs for my nieces that I shall post this weekend and I have cash to pay for my nephews birthday present. Only other spends is the £36 for Starchild to go to sports camp in the school holidays and the £20 cheque to pay for her Swim club annual insurance/membership fee....then next month it's £25 for the term for youth group and possibly £17.50 for the half term for dance classes at school.
    I understand this seems like a lot of clubs for one child but as she is an only child it's nice for her to have other children to socialise with...and as far as children's clubs are concerned they are all fairly cheap (other than swimming which between lessons and her swim club costs £39 a month)

    We had our bedroom carpet fitted this morning, goodbye dusty draughty floorboards. Not only will it look more cosy but I predict we will save a bit in heating over the winter. it made such a difference when we had our living room done.
    Anyway I'm waffling again
    happy hump day folks...it's almost payday we can make it!

    Take care
    SM
    Last edited by Starmummy; 21-03-2018 at 11:14 AM.
    • Debtnomoreplease
    • By Debtnomoreplease 24th Mar 18, 12:08 PM
    • 142 Posts
    • 331 Thanks
    Debtnomoreplease
    Hey, just read you message on my page-thank you :-)

    Thought I'd check in with you. Well done on your debt busting mission so far. Positive is the only way forward. I've done the whole negative and feel sorry for myself...yep, even though it was myself who got myself until such a mess! Ha ha.

    However, I now realise that no one is going to get rid of this debt chain around my neck, but me. And every pay day I now look forward to because it's more money paid off my debt. I used to dread it because I owed the most of my wage out and was never going to pay it off whilst in that frame of mind because on pay day I would pay a payday loan off, then 5 mins later take another one out to survive the month-ugh, the thought of all that gives me the shivers...never again!
    Wishing you luck and strength on your journey and keep reminding yourself-it's not forever.

    Take care x
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 26th Mar 18, 10:12 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hi guys. Happy Monday...and cheers to a four day week

    Not much to report on the debt busting side as no payments until payday on Thursday.
    It was Mr Star's birthday this weekend so feeling a bit guilty about that as other than baking a cake I didn't get him anything. He didn't want anything and I couldn't really afford to get him anything but I still feel guilty.

    I got my updated credit score this weekend too and it's improving, so that is great, but I do think I've miscalculated the amount I owe on my two loans. I think I've added an extra payment on so I potentially owe £491.94 less than I think...I shan't celebrate until I've contacted both loan companies to check though. If I did get it wrong then I owe just over £15k, so this time next week i'll be into the 14k's which makes the debt seem so much more manageable. It brings my DFD to 20/09/2019....just 18 months until freedom.
    then I can start focusing on saving a security cushion and for a new(er) car.

    Take care
    SM
    • Poppy1984
    • By Poppy1984 26th Mar 18, 11:21 AM
    • 181 Posts
    • 377 Thanks
    Poppy1984
    Wow starmummy you are doing so well!!! I love allyour goal setting. Your DFD will be here before you know if
    19-02-18 Total Debt £4,015 Next £815 Very £1600 Tesco Credit Card £1600
    PAID Next £815/£815 now closed Very £1600/ £1600 now closed
    Tesco £330/ £1600

    Emergency Fund £300/£300
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 28th Mar 18, 1:23 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hello Lovlies

    Payday tomorrow
    I've contacted both loan providers and I had miscalculated the last payment date for the loans. The smaller one ends in July 19 the larger in September 19. so thats almost £500 off what I thought my debt was.
    So the scores at the end of March look like this (from LBM in Jan 2018):

    O/D £1000..............now £0
    CC1 £2905.66........now £0 (balance transfered)
    CC2 £3681.65.........now £1847.79 (part balance transfered
    CC3 £0..........£4634 (balance transfer card)
    Loan1 £2362.27.........now £1989.28
    Loan2 £7719.81.........now £6616.98

    So total paid this year £2,849.05. and remaining debt stands at £15,100.57 so close to being in the £14k's. I'm not expecting the rest of the year to be quite as successful due to pension payments increasing, trying to get an EF sorted, and work needs doing on my car...plus with the lighter evenings I don't want to be a total hermit. My goal is to be down to £7.5k by Christmas.

    AND.....for the first time in possibly my entire adult life I'm not in my overdraft. In fact I have a balance of £13.49.
    I don't have anything in my emergency fund though due to paying off my OD (saving £24ish in fees each month.
    I need to get some final paperwork off for opening the new current account with a £250 0% OD...and a £125 bonus (which will start up my EF).

    Still feeling really positive.

    Take Care
    SM
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 29th Mar 18, 9:05 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    YAY PAYDAY!

    It feels soooo good for my wages to come in and for it to all be my money rather than half of it disappearing to pay off the previous months overdraft.
    It shan't last long once the bills start going out, but for today it's all mine
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 29th Mar 18, 9:54 AM
    • 7,079 Posts
    • 15,328 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Well done for clearing so much debt and moving to 0% a lot of the debt. Getting below £15k is a great boost. As you say once the debt is gone saving will be easy especially if these are shared goals so you and Mr Star can both save together.

    I think you are doing the right thing in not doing expensive hen trips away. These seem to be a common theme on here. Fine if it is affordable but I can't help thinking brides to be put a lot of pressure on their friends when they opt for expensive hen weekends.
    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
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 29th Mar 18, 10:34 AM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 11,917 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Happy payday starmummy
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 9th Apr 18, 9:58 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Happy Monday Lovlies

    So I'm back from sunny Spain. It was a very frugal break away. We stayed in a Villa near family for "mates rates" so flights, accommodation and spending money for the week was only £820 for the three of us. and this was all paid from the joint account due to the past three months of underspending our joint budget.
    Felling lovely and relaxed and tanned.

    There was a bit of drama before we went away. Mr Star's car blew up. It's not worth repairing and due to me putting off the MOT on my car we have no car at the moment. Thankfully we can walk/cycle to work and school and my car goes in for MOT tomorrow.

    The broken car shall be replaced with a similar cheap old workhorse in the next week or so. Mr Star will pay for this from his savings. so not entirely disastrous. It only cost him £1400 3 years ago anyway so we well and truly got our monies worth.

    In more fantastically brilliant news my debt is under £15k! £14,851.24 to be precise. Unless my MOT is a very expensive one I should be down to £14.3k by the month end and in the £13's next month. it suddenly seems completely manageable and nowhere near as frightening.

    I'm not really missing spending money at all. I've purchased the odd birthday gift this past month and had lunch with a friend but these are things that give me total Joy, rather than past behaviour of spending hoping it made me feel better when in fact it made me feel worse because I couldn't afford it. My next planned spends are a day out with one of my closest friends before she moves 4 hours away...and then the spending money for my birthday weekend away with the same friend in July and Some Birthday gifts for my siblings and my niece.

    I hope you areall well.
    Take care
    SM
    x
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Apr 18, 12:27 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    So my little car is in for it's MOT today.
    I take it to a family friend so I know he won't rip me off but there are already mumbles of "brakes need doing" ....money gods please be kind
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th Apr 18, 6:36 PM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    By some total miracle it passed. there is an advisory on the brakes but there's no hurry to get them dome.
    My mechanic friend is a total angel. The MOT, plus fixing a fault with the blowers and the ABS and airbag sensors cost me just £99. this means I can still afford to put £50 in an emergency fund and £50 into a motoring expenses account. I have £26.32 left in my personal spends account until payday in 3 weeks but no planned spends left.

    Feeling in control for once.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Apr 18, 7:31 PM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 11,917 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Thats an excellent result
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 10th Apr 18, 7:58 PM
    • 366 Posts
    • 1,263 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Whoo! Good stuff
    Since 1st September 2017
    CC1: £paid off/£1,253.73 | CC2: £4,274.16/£9,124.15 | CC3: £paid off/£312.34 | Car Finance: £paid off/£1,894.92| Total Debt Repayments: £7,735.15/£12,585.14 (61.46%) | Outstanding Debt: £4,849.99 | House Move Fund: £0 / £4,000
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 11th Apr 18, 9:01 AM
    • 217 Posts
    • 999 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Thanks for popping by my lovelies.

    I'm working from home today given that it's the school holidays and Star child has an early erupting tooth which means a trip to the dentist to get the milk tooth removed. She told me this morning that she loves going to the dentist. I appear this opinion will change somewhat this afternoon.

    So cracking on with work, blasting through the holiday laundry, doing a small food shop, doing some personal admin.
    The WFH days are always the busiest.

    Also on my to do list is to look into ordering some plug plants for the hanging baskets and some lavender for the front garden to replace the old stuff that is now 90% woody.
    I must also look at getting blackout blinds for the sash windows in the two front bedrooms. I was hoping to get Roman blinds but struggling to get anything for the drop (that I wouldn't have to take a small mortgage to pay for) any advise on where best to go for blinds, or plants for that matter, would be much appreciated.

    Take care
    SM
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Apr 18, 9:27 AM
    • 1,942 Posts
    • 11,917 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Lavender I have seen side plate sized ones in B&M at £1.99 each or 3 for £5. I am waiting for the weather to improve before I replace my woody ones with those. I have had some plug ones but they are tiny.

    The blackout roll type blinds I have had from Dunelm before, their plain ones are reasonable. The kitchen ones have been up for at least five years without a problem. I have also seen them in Wilkos.

    HTH
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