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  • FIRST POST
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 1st Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    • 591Posts
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    RhiBi
    The light is well and truly on!'
    • #1
    • 1st Apr 18, 6:19 PM
    The light is well and truly on!' 1st Apr 18 at 6:19 PM
    Hi everyone, I've hesitated to start a diary but after reading quite a few diaries, I'm taking the plunge! I thought I'd start by telling you a little about myself and am planning to post a SOA later when we've had a chance to sit down and work it out


    So, I am Married with 4 daughter's aged 20, 17, 13 and 11. The eldest is in her 3rd year of university and the second is planning to start uni in September. We also have a cat and a dog!

    I didn't work for approximately 10 years when the children were smaller, my husband has a fairly well paid job, but even so, we lived beyond our means. My mother lives in USA and we certainly took too many holidays across the pond in the children's earlier years. We've not been for 7 years now, although we have booked flights (which my mother kindly paid for) this summer as my eldest daughter's turn 21 & 18 in July.

    I went back to work in 2014, initially working a few hours a week as a teaching assistant in my daughters' primary school. My hours have increased over time, however, in 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer which certainly had an effect in finances that were still feeling.

    In February 2015 we took out a 15,000 loan to buy a used car and touring caravan. We had a fantastic summer in France in the can, but we soon realised that the van we bought didn't suit our needs, and in September of that year we part exchanged the van for one more suitable - taking out another loan for 11,000. In February 2016 I was diagnosed with breast cancer and was off work for 6 months, my sick pay was reduced after 12 weeks and again credit cards filled the gap. I had 5 operations in 5 months, the last being in July. I went back to work 6 weeks after my last op, mainly for financial reasons. In July 2016, the timing belt snapped on our car and we had little choice but to buy a car on finance. Husband needs a car to get to work, as a family of 6, a small car is not an option. We had another holiday to France booked, which we all really needed after the stress of my diagnosis. The upshot was that in the space of 16 months we'd taken out 3 loans.

    I'm back in work and recently had my 2 year mammogram which was thankfully clear

    In January this year, I came back to this site with a determination to sort our finances. I've joined a few challenges, and am starting to see the benefits. My Next account alone has gone from 2000 owed to 1370, just by PADding 2 a day in addition to the usual payments.

    So, I think that's where we're at. Credit card debt is around 20,000 which is what I want to focus on. The loans are ticking downwards and for now we're happy for them to do that. If and when the cards are paid off then we'd look into making extra payments to the loans.

    We've obviously got this holiday to consider too and we need to start getting a pot of spending money together. Hopefully, my soa and advice from everyone here will help with that.

    I don't think I've ever written such a long forum post, so well doneif you've got this far!!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
Page 4
    • stinabean
    • By stinabean 11th Apr 18, 10:38 AM
    • 99 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    stinabean
    Do you have an Emergency Fund pot? I'd recommend using an account for one of those.

    If so, I'd maybe have a separate account for groceries/takeaways/those random coffees etc. You might already have this organised but I'm finding I spend far more than OH on the weekly shop (read he doesn't spend at all) and then I treat us to takeaways too! So this way we both have a standing order going in and we will be using that card for any joint food/treats
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 11th Apr 18, 11:45 AM
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    RhiBi
    Thanks, I do need to get my head around the different pots, I get paid on Friday, so need to start doing this then. In the past I've left the money in the current account to see what's left (if anything) when the next payday comes around. If there's anything, then I've transferred it, but I think I need to be more proactive, and move it first, then I know what I have left!

    Today, I've got bread proving and also spicy butternut squash soup cooking for lunch, all things I had here so no spends! I've got some sewing to finish, so that'll earn me a little money too.

    I'm going to walk the dog later to get out for some fresh air, other than that it's a quiet day here!

    Have a good day everyone!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 11th Apr 18, 7:27 PM
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    RhiBi
    Evening!

    A strange day today, my daughter did her grade 8 piano exam last month, and today we heard she'd failed by 4 points. I'm absolutely gutted for her. She has her A levels next month so wanted this exam out of the way!

    Other news, I got my payslip, my pay has gone up by 4!!! I've decided that I'll do my spending diary in a book and transfer it to a spreadsheet weekly. I'm going to keep the notebook on the worktop so that it's easily accessible for both dh and I to note things down.

    So when my pay goes in I normal pay 50 off Next when I get paid and another 50 when dh gets paid, but I think I'm going to pay 100 at each payday, plus my usual 2 PADding! I'm determined to do my best to clear that debt by August! Then I'll apply the same principle (with the addition of released Next payments) to one of the credit cards.

    This evening, I need to finish some sewing and I intend to have a glass or two of wine to lighten my mood a little!!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • stinabean
    • By stinabean 11th Apr 18, 9:14 PM
    • 99 Posts
    • 91 Thanks
    stinabean
    Nooo how awful for her !!!128547; can they squeeze in another test before A levels? Do they still say what the errors were?

    Good luck with the increased payments!
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 12:37 AM
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    RhiBi
    Next piano exams are July so we need to see what she wants to do, it's a lot of pressure. Her uni course is medical engineering, so the music is a personal goal rather than an academic one.

    She will have a breakdown of score, but not seen her teacher yet although she said it was the aural section that let her down, she absolutely hates the aural, so I'm not surprised we just hoped the rest would carry it. Xxxx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 9:38 AM
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    RhiBi
    Morning! Today's another day, so onwards we go!!

    Youngest daughter couldn't sleep last night, which means I couldn't either...!!! Lazy day today I think. Payday tomorrow, so I need to decide how best to pay my bills, rather than muddle through like I normally do. Bills to be paid are Next and Barclaycard. I've noticed from reading here that a lot of people set up a direct debit for these bills and then make additionalpayments too. That definitely sounds a good idea! Maybe another look at the Bills account is needed!

    My daughter is coming home from uni for the eeekend so we have to meet the bus in Cardiff to pick her up! We're going to Birmingham to see the dancing on Ice Tour tomorrow, the tickets were a Christmas gift and the hotel is paid for. Looking at the map, there is a Wetherspoons close to the hotel which should give us a low cost meal out before the show but I intend to look around at options today! If anyone knows the area and can suggest anything I'd be grateful
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 10:19 AM
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    RhiBi
    I'm sitting here mentally paying off bills when my pay goes in, this could get me really down so I have to be positive about this. I'm proud of how I'm doing with the Next bill, the others are ticking over so I have to think of the long game!!

    What I would love, is someone to sit down and tell me how much money and where to put it for all these 'pots'. What I'm also struggling with, is what to pay out of each pay as they're 2 weeks apart. I've always liked the 'it's only ever 2 weeks to a payday' scenario, but I'm finding it harder to work out when to put money away and when to pay bills. If anyone feels able to hold my hand and guide me through as I'm getting in a right muddle with it all!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • Mumoffourkids
    • By Mumoffourkids 12th Apr 18, 10:50 AM
    • 651 Posts
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    Mumoffourkids
    Ok I might be able to help as I currently get some money in weekly (tax credits, child benefit, one lot of maintenance), some money in 2 weekly (housing benefit) and some money in monthly (wages, second lot of maintenance). I spent hours on a spreadsheet changing stuff around to work out what money was going to pay for what!

    Especially as my work have changed my pay date from the middle of the month to the beginning of the month. I used to use my wages and the maintenance to pay the rest of my rent and the nursery fees which are due at the end of the month but from this month, my wages will be used for something else!

    So what pots do you need to put money into and how regularly do you need to put money into them?
    Total debt Dec 2017 23090.83
    Jul 2018 2279.78 90.13% paid
    Emergency fund 218.57/600
    Total Savings 2006.60
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 12:17 PM
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    RhiBi
    Thank you!!! If I list pay dates, card payments and saving that might help! My head is a jumble and I'm over complicating things I think!

    Paydates

    Dh 28th month (approx 2900
    Mine 15th (904)
    Child benefit 4 weekly, next payment 16/04

    Payments

    28th 1700 for all household bills and loans, the debts listed below, do not come out of this, they are paid out of our current account.

    Other payments

    Next - minimum currently 70. Paying 50 at each payday, plus PADding 2 a day

    Littlewoods, minimum 36.12, paying 20 at each payday

    MBNA 1 minimum 65, paying 65
    MBNA 2 minimum 191, paying 200
    Brarclaycard, minimum 161, paying 170

    The three credit cards are paid ad hoc through the month, we try to pay the 2 mbna when dh gets paid and the barclaycard when I get paid.

    Writing down i feel it's the 3 credit cards we're chasing our tail with! I don't know whether to set up direct debits to pay them in which case I need to increase the 1700 to the bill account! But increasing it on the 28th will stretch things a bit so do I increase the payment but also do a 2nd dd into the bills account when I get paid! This is where I get in a muddle, what to do when! Maybe and extra 300 on 28th (totalling 2000 transfer) and 300 when I get paid. I'll do the PADding out of my current account daily.

    Then comes the savings pots! My child benefit and any little sewing money I get goes into a Smile savings account. I try to leave that alone and only move money out of it as and when I need to. I could use that as my birthday/holiday pot. I have 2 other instant access accounts that are just sitting there doing nothing so could use those for house/car savings maybe?

    I'm worried I'm going to get everything confused and end up in a worse situation!!!

    On a positive, we have streamlined the bills account so that is one good thing, maybe I need to streamline the debt repayments first, before tackling the other things! Take it one step at a time?
    Last edited by RhiBi; 12-04-2018 at 12:24 PM.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 3:52 PM
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    RhiBi
    After speaking with DH, we have decided to put 2000 into the bill's account on 28th of each month, and another 300 on the 16th. Now we are going to set up direct debits for our debts of just above the minimum payments, to come out of the bill's account. I will continue my over payments of the other bills from the current account to pay things off quicker.

    Next, I'll tackle the pots of money for different things, but for now, I feel I'm getting everything in order.
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • Mumoffourkids
    • By Mumoffourkids 12th Apr 18, 9:51 PM
    • 651 Posts
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    Mumoffourkids
    It sounds like you have a plan for the bills and the debt repayments and that sounds like a good plan putting in 2000 when DH gets paid and then 300 when you get paid.

    Does food and petrol come out of the bills account as well then?

    And yes leaving your child benefit and sewing money as christmas and birthdays sounds good.

    The way I do it is to treat my savings transfers as bills and they get transferred weekly out of my tax credits money. Maybe treat them as bills and set up a standing order to your instant access account for an amount monthly for the house and car savings.

    I think I put 17.50 a week into house savings, but that should cover house insurance paid annually, tv licence paid annually, any little bits I need to buy for the house like bulbs etc and if anything big blows up like my washing machine or tumble dryer. I am in rented so I don't need to worry about major repairs.

    Then my car savings, I put in 25 a week for maintenance and mot etc, 1 a week for breakdown cover so I can pay it annually, 6.50 a week for car tax and 12.50 a week for car insurance.

    I think if you treat the savings amounts as bills and transfer as soon as either you or your husband get paid and then you know how much you have left for the month and you can start getting some savings together.
    Total debt Dec 2017 23090.83
    Jul 2018 2279.78 90.13% paid
    Emergency fund 218.57/600
    Total Savings 2006.60
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 12th Apr 18, 10:48 PM
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    RhiBi
    That is an excellent idea to treat those other pots as bills, thank you.

    Groceries and petrol will come out of the current account, not the bills account. Essentially, we'll have approximately 900 when dh gets paid. His pay can vary greatly, but 2900 is the lower side of normal, it has very occasionally hit 3400 if he's worked a lot of weekends, those months can mean extra debt repayments from now on, and not extra spending!! Dh gets paid 28th, so approximately 900 for living expenses until the 15th when I get paid and we'll have another 600. That is more than a lot of families have, so there is no reason why we can't sort this. I'll be annoyed and embarrassed if we can't!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th Apr 18, 11:37 PM
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    • 14,812 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Sounds like a good plan.
    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
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 15th Apr 18, 11:13 AM
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    RhiBi
    Morning! I've had a busy weekend, the dancing on ice tour was fantastic we had a really lovely time. Didn't buy any of the overpriced merchandise which I would have done previously! We ordered a dominos pizza to the hotel room for after the show, and had a 30% off voucher code, so the 3 of us ate for 23 so not bad at all! We'll gloss over the weight watchers aspect of this meal choice!

    Back to school/work tomorrow which makes spending money more difficult! Today, I'll be making cakes for packed lunches, as well as a roast dinner and general household jobs! Definitely a NSD today!

    Have a good day everyone xx
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 17th Apr 18, 10:57 PM
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    RhiBi
    Evening!

    I've had a pretty rubbish day today! At lunch time I had an email from daughter's mobile phone company, the bill was 81.69... to cut a long story short, when I upgraded last month (to a cheaper tarif) it wasn't set up as an upgrade, but as a new contract so I had in effect 2 contracts running alongside each other. This took a lot of sweat and tears to sort, and I'm still not entirely convinced that I've not been overcharged...

    Later, dd 3, who is 13 decided to cause grief. I thought we'd done internet safety discussions enough to understand that you do not, under any circumstances, add strangers to your social media accounts, especially males from the Middle East . At the moment I've got the phone until I can decide what to do. I think it was stupidity rather than anything more sinister, but it's a good job I noticed so quickly. All was fine on Thursday so it's a very recent thing. I'm just not sure how to deal with it. My instinct says to confiscate everything but I'm also aware I need her to work with me on this on this one otherwise as she gets older she'll just become more secretive and cleverer at keeping secrets. Any advice would be welcome!

    In other news, I've had a NSD today, other than my PADding, but I don't include that in my NSD's otherwise I'd never achieve them!!

    Took lunch to work and will again tomorrow and tomorrow's evening meal is sorted too!

    All is looking good MSE wise if nothing else!!!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 19th Apr 18, 10:27 PM
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    RhiBi
    Evening everyone, what a beautiful day it's been!

    I've had a fantastic MSE day today took food to work so no spends there! Our home insurance is coming up for renewal and our current insurer quoted just over 250 which is 75 more than last year! A quick search through a comparison site for us a quote for 112 for the same level of insurance. I tried via quidco but couldn't get as good a deal but were very happy with the new quote, saving us nearly 140 a year!

    It's also been a NSD again today, as was yesterday too I'm religiously checking our bank balance and I'm confident that I'll be able to make a good overpayment when dh get paid next Friday

    Our accounts are all in order and I really feel we're getting somewhere!!!

    All in all, it's looking good
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 21st Apr 18, 9:35 AM
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    RhiBi
    Morning!

    Meal planning done and of to visit Aldi soon. I'm not sure what the Aldi super 6 is so need to check that out. It looks to be a lovely day so I think a spot of geocaching is in order too.

    Bank balance checked and it's looking very healthy with payday only 6 days away! I'm hoping for a balance of 150 come payday and will split that 150 between the Next repayment and holiday fund.

    Ticking along with the Next PADding too which I'm really happy with although I wish it could come down quicker, I have to be patient! I've got one daughter's 21st birthday and graduation , 1 daughter's 18th and our holiday to factor in so I know if I throw all the money at debt repayment we'll end up borrowing to fund those things which is totally counterproductive!

    Have a good day everyone, I'll pop back later!
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • moneyonmymindsam
    • By moneyonmymindsam 22nd Apr 18, 11:29 PM
    • 1,408 Posts
    • 4,327 Thanks
    moneyonmymindsam
    Hi Rhibi.

    You are making really great progress - well done.

    Sam x
    Emergency Fund Challenge
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 25th Apr 18, 10:21 PM
    • 591 Posts
    • 1,736 Thanks
    RhiBi
    Hi, I've not posted here for a few days, I've been reading other diaries and keeping up with my spending diary though! It's surprising how it adds up and I am shocked, as people said I would be!! Dh got his payslip today and it's just over 100 higher than the amount I put in the SOA . I should put it towards debt payment but as I have my daughter's 18th birthday I think it should go in the birthday pot!

    Talking of presents, she wants shares...!!! I'm not sure where that's come from, but there you go, she likes to be different!!! She doesn't know what company she'd like as any she knows are big businesses and therefore expensive. Any advice would be welcome! It'll be a small amount but hopefully, it'll grow over time.

    I've been reading The Money Secret after seeing it mentioned in someone's diary and I'm finding it really interesting, I love the way it's told, and can see a few similarities- retail therapy...

    I've made food for work all week, and have soup (homemade) for tomorrow too, meal plan is working well too.

    I'm really happy with how things are going
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
    • RhiBi
    • By RhiBi 28th Apr 18, 2:40 PM
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    • 1,736 Thanks
    RhiBi
    Afternoon!

    It's been a busy week, I've not had chance to post much, but I've been reading!

    Meal planning and food shopping has been done! 48.75 spent at Lidl, the freezer is bulging so we'll only need milk, bread and a little fruit through the week, so hoping for a low spend week!

    I've been doing the food diary for 2 weeks and it is surprising how the spends add up, our spends have only been on living expenses and it's still adds up. We are currently paying for my daughter to have a maths tutor but she has her A levels next month so once that's done it'll save 30 a week!

    I've a bad head today, totally self inflicted, but it means a lazy day a good night out with friends though, which was low spend as I'd paid for the tickets to see a local band, so was given the money back which paid for my (numerous) drinks

    The shopping is away, I'm sitting down and don't intend to move for a while!!!

    Have a good day everyone, and if you pop in here, please talk quietly
    Virtual Sealed Pot 2018 #7 173.69/250
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