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  • FIRST POST
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 6th Mar 18, 8:09 PM
    • 260Posts
    • 1,145Thanks
    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

    6 Month SHOPPING BAN (08/10/18-08/04/18)
    full post on pg 12 post 231
    THE RULES

    * The shopping ban will not include the majority of consumables. I will still buy:
    --- Groceries
    ---Basic toiletries
    ----Health care
    ----cleaning products.

    * Basic clothing for Star Child (1 in 1 out)
    * I can spend money repairing things I already have
    * I will have an approved shopping list (noted below) I can purchase the items on this list freely but I must not deviate from the list.
    * I will not buy housewares
    * I will not buy books, e-books, magazines, Cd's, DVD's, subscriptions etc.
    * I promise to get rid of any clothes that don't fit, are in poor condition or I have never worn
    * I can still spend money on travel- only if I have completely saved up for the trip before booking.
    *I can still have my hair cut every 8 weeks.
    * 50 a month budget for socialising (remaining balance can roll over)
    *I can still buy gifts

    The Approved Shopping List
    * I can replace my sports swimsuit if it wears through -1 in 1 out
    * I can but new hosiery when the old ones ladder -1 in 1 out
    * I can buy 1 new pair of PJ bottoms- I have none
    *I can replace my running shoes 1 in 1 out
    * 1 black bra - 1 in 1 out
    Last edited by Starmummy; 08-10-2018 at 10:50 AM.
Page 5
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 2nd May 18, 6:28 PM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 12,105 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Quick, get the hairy shirt on and chastise yourself. I know what you mean, I took the boys for a burger after school as OH is away. They are now asking what is for dinner so 14 spent and they are still hungry so I am a little annoyed with myself for giving in.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 3rd May 18, 9:52 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Oh Redo. I know that feeling. Star Child has taken to eating either two breakfasts or two dinners on any given day. It's knocking my meal plans and food shop completely off kilter.
    Mr Star and Star child seemed to be in cahoots...he has taken to having second helpings at dinner also, so cooking extra for the next days dinner or for him to take to work for lunch has become pointless.
    Oh well it's good healthy stuff and they are both very active
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 9th May 18, 9:40 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Happy Hump day folks


    I've been a little quiet this past week. Still plodding on and being good-ish.
    Although I'm not sure how good. My current account switch was actioned today and my account balance transfered, however I've not updated my budget tracker this week so I'm not sure what bills have gone out. What a silly oversight. I knew I should have done it yesterday! I shall have to wait for my paper statement as my old account is no longer assessible on line.

    The debts are still going down so that's fab. 349.33 paid so far this month with another 367.61 minimum...possibly another 250 on top of that if i get some money I'm owed that was promised this week.
    I've only spent on fitness this month so yoga and a swim event...however the joint account took a bit of a thrashing at the weekend. My parents had Star Child so Mr Star and I went to a comedy festival, ate lots of lovely food and drank lots of beer/gin. It was just what we needed. There is enough money in the account to cover the next three weeks food and fuel etc...but half term might have to be a bit of a free entertainment job.

    I hope you are all plodding on nicely.

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 10th May 18, 3:12 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Just 82 away from being in the 13k's can not wait for the big loan payment to come out!
    when it's paid I will have paid well over 4k so far this year.

    It still feels like a bit of a weight on my shoulders. I will be much more settled when it's sub 10k which I should achieve by the end of September if all goes to plan.

    I desperately need to up my study time for my impending June exam...I have a pay rise dependant on me passing it will only bring me about 30-40 after deductions but that covers my monthly cost of swimming and yoga which means a better work life balance and a happier me.

    Must keep plodding away.

    take care

    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Rachel24
    • By Rachel24 13th May 18, 9:40 AM
    • 202 Posts
    • 728 Thanks
    Rachel24
    Really enjoyed reading your diary so far! You have paid off so much already! I hope you and Mr Star have got things sorted with communicating. I'm a step mum to my OH's 2children and I know how hard it can be sometimes.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 13th May 18, 2:09 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hi Rachel24

    Thank you so much for popping in and reading and for your lovely comments.
    It's such a relief to be able to get rid of the debt. It's become a sort of therapy. Getting rid of the debts is getting rid of all the pain and tears and heartache of my journey of being a single mum. The fact that i'm no longer in that place, both romantically, with the support Mr Star gives but also all the hard work I put into studying when Star child was so small, all the sacrifices I made, missing out on nursery performances and just in general having worked full time almost all her life. It's paid off by me getting my wonderful job late last year. Both getting a big pay rise and the flexibility it provides.
    I thinkIi still have a way to go with my mental health/anxiety caused by the hard times, Mr Star has suggested I try counselling...but i'm not great at admitting I need help. And a really silly part of me thinks the 45 a session is dragging back my debt free date. It's another thing we need to discuss I suppose...an investment in our future. realistically I won't feel ready to seriously discuss marriage and children until I have gotten over a few things...it just wouldn't be fair on Mr Star.

    I must be the only person counting down the seconds until Monday morning. The big loan payment goes out which will bring me into the 13ks...and will bring my debt payments YTD to 4222.93...may have to do a small round up to get it to 4225.

    I am still a little worried about how I can budget for a few things I have coming up, a hen do, a wedding, my two siblings birthdays and a weekend away...all in the next two months. Realistically I need 400-500 to cover them. I don't have anything put aside yet as I've concentrated solely on debt slaying and repairing my car. I will have accrued 400 in emergency savings but that is not what it is there for! my personal spends over the next 2 pay days will total just 90 which also needs to cover yoga. I am still waiting on some money that was promised last week...I don't think I can count on that. I should also get my switching bonus next month which is either 125 or 150. I did have a small win. I had an event I can no longer attend next month, I contacted the box office and they have managed to sell on my tickets..so tomorrow I shall phone them up with my bank details so they can refund me. That's 38.

    Feeling a little bit hopeless...determined not to use the plastic so I shall just have to try and be clever.

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 14th May 18, 9:25 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    The loan has gone out
    debt down to 13,714.26.
    won'y update signature until 1st...can not believe it's almost June
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 14th May 18, 2:28 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    I've been agonising over my budget spreadsheet.
    I am totally guilty of punishing myself for getting in this debt..I know I shouldn't. It was unavoidable at the time to keep a roof over Starchild's head. I must not punish myself.

    I have looked at all the options and I know DFD is only 16 months away but giving myself so little personal/fun money is proving impossible ( average of 45 a month) I can't join in with any of the social things I've been invited to, I can barely afford my weekly yoga class, I can't afford my monthly contact lenses (I've had the 30 pairs I ordered in November last until now by wearing my glasses most of the time...but glasses wearing in summer is hard work)

    I overpay on both credit cards and i still want to get rid of the smaller one to the same plan to avoid incurring interest...I also still plan on making over payments to the big one...but only to the amount that clears it before the 0% deal runs out. This would give me about 60 pw personal spending money from November. which means I can actually afford to replace clothes and treat myself and Star Child to days out. It would mean pushing my DFD back by 6 months though...but from sept 2019 my debt repayments would only be 250 rather than the current 800-900.

    Does this sound sensible? or am I just being greedy?

    Thanks for popping by

    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th May 18, 3:27 PM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 12,105 Thanks
    redofromstart
    A vote for sensible, you didn't get into debt overnight, it takes time to get out too.
    • AnnieG
    • By AnnieG 14th May 18, 4:29 PM
    • 529 Posts
    • 3,910 Thanks
    AnnieG
    Hey Star Mummy, I've just read your diary and am so impressed by what you've achieved.
    I think you need to give yourself a break though and allow yourself a little bit more fun cash... don't make yourself miserable or stressed.
    Xx
    Say what you mean.. mean what you say... without being mean.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 17th May 18, 10:09 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Good morning lovely people.

    Feeling a bit more positive this week.
    opening up the conversation with Mr Star this week has helped a lot...as has deciding to relax a bit on over paying the bigger credit card. Together we are wealthier than most people and I really need to stop acting like i'm in this on my own. I'm still point blank refusing to have him pay off my debt but I know if i need help or the car blows up of if i'm stressed to the eyeballs and need a weekend away then I can get that help. I guess that makes me a bit of a fraud on these forums as this debt isn't an issue for us as a family. just to me personally.

    It's not even 10am and I've already spent some money..I'm not worried about it either. It was a measured decision. A new item of clothing to add to my capsule work wardrobe. A lovely pencil skirt I've had my eye on for weeks that was originally 130 but reduced to 39. I've used the money I got refunded for the theatre tickets. I really need to start dressing for the job I want, I need to look smart.

    I'm hoping to move into contract/project work in a couple of years time...which would mean my daily earning potential being 5x higher (hello 6 figure salary) . I figure this is a three pronged attack... experience, qualifications and being able to sell myself and looking the part certainly helps with my confidence (almost like an actor putting on a costume to play a part)

    I've also contacted the local college who have a beauty school, they run a salon in term time where I can get a 'Luxury pedicure' for just 13. I'd like to treat myself to manicures too but there is no point until after my big open water swim next month as i need super short nails to get my wet suit on and I'm going to bite the bullet and book a salon appointment with my hairdresser I haven't had a trim in 6 months and Starchild needs one too. I'm also going to replace some broken items in my pittiful make-up bag (no joke it consists of one blusher with no lid, an eyeshadow palatte with a broken lid, an eyeliner and a dried out mascara) I've felt a bit scruffy/frumpy for the past couple of months and I feel I'd feel much better if i started looking after myself. so take ten extra minutes getting ready each morning, drink more water, cut the sugar etc.

    wow, surprise surprise another long waffly post.

    Take care lovelies
    SM

    No other real news on the money saving/debt slaying front. just coasting along until pay day.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 18th May 18, 3:39 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hello Weekend
    Good afternoon Debtbusters

    It's finally Friday and we are edging ever closer to pay day.

    Busy weekend in the Star household.
    Almost ready to leave the office and pick up Starchild and her friend for dinner at ours before I drop them both at youth group and head to Yoga. Mr Star will collect them after he finishes at Circuit training then an Ald1 special pizza and a glass of wine on the sofa for the adults.

    Tomorrow Starchild is seeing her dad (hopefully) but we have to squeeze in school shoe shopping before her swimming lesson, then I reaaaaaallllllyyyy need to study as it's less than three weeks to go until my exam. Sunday we will be taking a picnic for a family trip to the Lido. It's 93 yards so good practice for my open water swim (i'll take my new wetsuit to try and stretch it out)

    I'm a bit disappointed I haven't heard back from the college about getting an appointment but never mind. I suppose that's less money I will be spending.

    Planned spend this weekend are just entry fees for the Lido, new mascara for me and some epsom salts for my achy post swim back.

    No more bills to come out a, but no more money going in. Still 12 days until pay day and half term coming up. I'm going to need to be imaginative with the entertainment budget when I go to visit my sister with Starchild for a few days. I'm hoping to get away with taking Starchild and my baby nephew for walks and park trips while my sister gets some jobs around the house and eating in in the evenings. It tends to get quite boozy when we visit so trying to avoid that, i'll use the excuse that I need a clear head for exam revision.

    Have a wonderful weekend folks.

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 21st May 18, 4:08 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Confession time
    So the purchase of the new skirt has opened the flood gates on the spending.

    Star child needed school shoes- completely unavoidable expense but a costly one at 47! and NO! I will not be buying supermarket cheaper alternatives. Part of the reason for the new shoes was the sole being so flat it was causing pain in her foot, she needs support, I will not scrimp on school shoes.
    what was avoidable was the personal spend. 20 on books, 40 on make-up, 93 on new clothes for work.
    I paid for this with some money I was owed but not expecting to actually receive so therefore not in the budget. I am however taking 67 of clothing back (the other 25 was a new bra that I really do need). This has been my only personal splurge this year but I can already see my mind slipping to bad habits of thinking "well I can buy X and Y because I need them too, it will only put my DFD back a month". I do have my eye on a blouse but I shall wait a month or so and see if A) I still love it and B) it goes into the summer sales. If it doesn't then it wasn't meant to be...it's just a blouse after all.

    Disappointed in myself but going to return the clothing items and draw a line under it.

    As I said it was unexpected cash in so not effected budgets at all and the refund from the clothes will be put away for spending money for my trip in July. Memories not material goods.
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 31st May 18, 10:02 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    May Round up
    Well it's the end of month 5 on my debt busting journey.

    I must say I've not just struggled to stay on the wagon I jumped off in glee.
    I spent a few days with my sister this week and spent too much on eating out and nice beauty products. So my budget was totally ripped to shreds.
    I'm going to take the positives from this though:
    1) I woke up with 'the dread' this morning when I checked my bank...and I know the hatred of that feeling should keep me in check over the next few months. It's not a feeling I want to feel again.
    2) I haven't added to the debt. The money I spent was money I have been owed from someone for well over a year that I really wasn't expecting to ever see. Although It could be argued that it could have gone towards debt over payments or spending money for my trip in July.
    3) My blow out was reserved compared to those of the past. I reconsidered a couple of purchases and returned them for refunds. The things I spent money on i REALLY enjoyed or really loved and they weren't frivolous...just some essential make-up bits I've needed to replace at a quality above the bargain make-up range I had settled for so far this year that wasn't great for my skin....although I really should look for books in the charity shop and not the very expensive StoneWaters ( I do really love spending time in bookshops though).

    right! time to draw a line in the sand and move on.

    Current debt stands at 13,661.30
    debt paid so far this year 4300.00.
    almost 24% gone forever

    I'm still so pleased with that, 860 per month isn't to be sniffed at. Yes I could have squeezed a bit more but I had been doing that and I was miserable.

    Goals for June

    *Pass my exam next week. (mainly to get these exams out of my life but also for the pay rise)
    *Get debt below 13k! (this may be a challange as budgeted debt payments and over payments will get me to 13,044.36)
    *Plan my budget for my weekend in Amsterdam next month.
    *Keep spending to a minimum this weekend for my friends hen do.
    *Stick to budget on sisters birthday present.
    *Buy no clothes, books, beauty products.

    Here's to another fab debt-busting month

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 1st Jun 18, 1:05 PM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 12,105 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Completely with you on the school shoes, the only time I compromised they fell to bits really quickly, and looked awful from a month in anyway.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 4th Jun 18, 2:43 PM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Hi Folks,

    I hope you all had a wonderful weekend.
    I survived my lovely friends hen do with my budget in tact. I spent 15 on the activity, 14 on cocktails ad 26 on food. I had sort of set myself a limit of 60 so I'm glad I spent less and I had a lovely time.

    Sunday was a NSD as I spent the entire day studying for this weeks exam. Pure torture given the lovely view of my sunny garden...it's a small sacrifice and there will be many sunny days when i'm qualified.

    No spends expected this week really (other than food out of joint account) I will have to pay for parking near the exam hall which will be about 8....I usually treat myself to lunch after an exam ( a little tradition as a thank you to myself for working so hard) but I'm going to try and not do that and pack a sandwich instead. I don't need to reward myself with food I'm not a puppy!

    We have a free weekend this weekend so I had considered camping, shall discuss with Mr Star tonight although we should get on with the DIY bombsite that is our lovely Georgian Terrace house.

    DD gone out on the smaller loan and the MBNA CC so that's another 250 debt gone forever. Just the big loan DD to come out on the 12th and that's all planned debt slaying for this year.

    Oh dear Siblings birthday...maybe there will be some spends this week after all!!

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Storm89
    • By Storm89 8th Jun 18, 10:37 AM
    • 174 Posts
    • 1,389 Thanks
    Storm89
    Just read your diary after you commented on mine. Can't believe I didn't find it before , you're doing amazing. I love that you have a Georgian terrace , something like that would be my dream home ! I feel really strongly about school shoes being decent too , little ones growing feet are so important.
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 8th Jun 18, 10:44 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    It's so very nearly the weekend.
    I'm feeling good, summer seems to be here for a while and we have some nice family plans this weekend after weeks of being a boring student.

    I won't rest too much though, I'm raring to go on my next exam which is in September. I don't want to spend my thirties studying too and they are little more than a month away.

    No more debt paid off yet this month. Budget looking OK.

    I've decided to put this month's 100 of emergency fund savings in Premium bonds.
    That way i'm more likely to forget about it and not be tempted to spend. I have another 200 in an instant access savings account on my bank account if absolutely needed. That's right folks I have 300 savings!!!

    Feels rather grown up to have 'investments' other than my pension.

    I've been thinking a lot about what life looks like after debt and It looks quite exciting. Going to sit down with Mr star and a bottle of wine tonight and make some plans, Travel, possibly moving, careers, lifestyles etc

    The future is bright (and today's dress is orange )

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 8th Jun 18, 10:49 AM
    • 260 Posts
    • 1,145 Thanks
    Starmummy
    Just updated my signature over 25 % gone forever
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 12,267.85/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19k)
    EF savings 650.02 House Deposit (LISA) 81.25/12,000 0.7%
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Jun 18, 10:53 AM
    • 1,964 Posts
    • 12,105 Thanks
    redofromstart
    The future is bright (and today's dress is orange )

    SM
    Originally posted by Starmummy
    That made me laugh

    Woohoo for savings too.
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