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    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 4th May 18, 2:47 PM
    • 1,101Posts
    • 12,690Thanks
    Getting & staying debt free, whatever happens!
    • #1
    • 4th May 18, 2:47 PM
    Getting & staying debt free, whatever happens! 4th May 18 at 2:47 PM
    Iím going to start this diary as my most frugal times have always been when Iíve been posting on this forum. I used to use the grocery challenge years ago and it was fab, but Iíve never stuck at it again.

    Some background:

    - Iím a stay at home Mum to my 2.5 year old son, and currently in the very early stages of pregnancy with our second child (shhh!) so sickness and tiredness is an issue right now when it comes to cooking

    - my husband works full time earning £1840 a month after tax/pension. Could sometimes work overtime at weekends.

    - I have a little part time work I can do in the evenings right now which earns me £150-200 a month and I should have this for another 6 months, and we get the usual child benefit at £82 every four weeks

    - total income roughly £2,050-2,150 a month

    - the bad bit - our debt is on two cards - one is at £2,131.94 and the other is £1,684.84. So £3,816.78 in total. I know some people have more but Iíve never had consumer debt since I cleared my student overdraft when I got my first job and Iím really upset and worried weíve allowed it to build up thankfully we have no other debt except my student loan which I donít intend to pay off early.

    - we do have just over £1,100 in an investment account. Itís not very easy to access as I need to set up the DD by sending in a paper form, but you can withdraw without penalty

    - we donít have a lot of spare cash to work with - here a rough breakdown of our expenses:

    Mortgage £725
    Council tax £140 (over 12 months)
    Home insurance paid annually, but about £12 a month
    Life insurance £15
    Car insurance paid annually, but about £50 a month
    Road tax paid annually, but about £11 a month
    Gas & electric £77.96
    Internet & phone £42.99 (this was £25 til last month so I need to switch)
    TV license £12.37
    My phone £34
    Husband phone £44 (these are both locked into contracts now for at least a year more)

    Around £1,165 total on bills

    This leaves £885 each month which needs to do credit card payments, food, petrol (luckily husband drives a work van during so it doesnít include commuting costs), clothes, doing stuff with my little boy, our own spending money, stuff for the house & garden etc. It looks like loads when I see it written down but it doesnít feel like it!

    Our strengths - Iím a pretty frugal cook/everything is made from scratch, we donít do expensive day trips, cinema etc, rarely eat out unless weíve been invited by family, donít get takeaways, donít buy branded clothes, I cut my own hair & LBís, we grow our own herbs, fruit & veg, we have chickens so have lots of eggs, we donít have expensive hobbies, use the library etc. When we socialise itís often inviting people round to ours or occasionally going to theirs which does save a lot.

    Weaknesses - we seem to have bought a lot for our house & garden lately - not expensive stuff but it adds up. Husband vapes and drinks quite a bit of beer (Iím reluctant to nag so much as he works very hard and doesnít ask for much, at least Iím not drinking now at all being pregnant!). Husband is brilliant at DIY and making things which saves a lot over getting them professionally done but means he does buy a lot of DIY stuff/tools. I have a weakness for stuff for LB as I like expensive wooden toys etc, Iíve stopped buying anything the last two months though. My biggest weakness is seeing ďbargainsĒ in Lidl and picking them up it used to be Amazon shopping but I gave that up at New Year when I realised about the debt.

    Fingers crossed - I should be inheriting some money this year from a deceased grandparent (itís going through probate now. This would actually clear the debt and more. Iím not counting on it as I donít have a definite amount yet and donít know when itíll arrive. Plus weíve clearly got into the debt by overspending so we need to address it by cutting back regardless what happens!

    Iím going to have a sit down tonight and look through my budget for this month again (I use YNAB so no excuse for not being on top of things really) and will post back with a plan of action
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
Page 3
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 16th May 18, 7:29 AM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,690 Thanks
    Beanielou I will PM you a link as youíre not meant to discuss. Iíve been doing it 7-8 months and so far so good though super boring I just warn you.
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th May 18, 10:24 AM
    • 61,827 Posts
    • 265,002 Thanks
    Beanielou I will PM you a link as youíre not meant to discuss. Iíve been doing it 7-8 months and so far so good though super boring I just warn you.
    Originally posted by Bluegreen143
    Thank you
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 21st May 18, 10:06 PM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,690 Thanks
    Eeeek I haven't done very well at posting will try to do so more regularly.

    We had to get a plumber out for a leak which cost us £130 to repair - I used the money from our Christmas fund rather than the credit card. Really shows the necessity for building up a proper emergency fund when you own your own house.

    I have £1,177 currently in a stocks & shares ISA which isn't that easy to access at the moment. I think I'll transfer that into my cash savings account and use a little to pay down some of my Barclaycard and keep £500 as a starter emergency fund (and also repay the Christmas fund).

    One tiny positive is that the Barclaycard have credited the card £20 as part of their intro offer (I didn't realise this). So it's gone down by £20, yay
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 26th May 18, 8:42 AM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,690 Thanks
    Husband has been paid, yay!

    Iíve not quite stuck to this monthís budget - havenít gone into debt but havenít maintained the savings Iíd like for Christmas etc. Itís a very tight budget without a lot of slack which is making it challenging. However my credit card balance is down slightly to £2,117.38 which is great (as you may remember, my mum has paid my other card and Iíve to arrange to repay her at a later date). Hoping that once I receive the pay for my part time job this month Iíll be able to bring this down to below £2k. Iím also arranging to have the money in my stocks and shares ISA (around £1,185) moved to my cash savings account. Iím going to top up my Christmas savings to where it should be, put some money in my emergency fund to start it off, and use some to pay more off my credit card. Iíd love to bring it down to £1,500 at this point, but weíll see as I really donít want to be leaving savings short. Thatís what got us a lot of the debt to begin with!

    Hereís our shiny new budget for this month, copied from YNAB (credit card already paid and more funds will be added when we get child benefit, my small wage and also my husband is being paid for some DIY work heís doing for a family member).

    Husband - £150
    Me - £20
    DS stuff & entertainment - £40

    (Have left the home & garden, entertainment and charity categories empty for now)


    Petrol & parking - £45
    Food - £140
    Household/cleaning - £25
    Pets - £25
    Medical/dental - £50 (I NEED new glasses, desperately)
    Clothes - £0


    Mortgage - £726.82
    TV license - £12.37
    Gas & electric - £77.96
    Internet - £20
    Council tax - £144
    Life insurance - £14.78
    My phone - £34
    Husband phone - £44
    Road tax (towards annual bill) - £12
    Car insurance (towards annual bill) - £50
    Home insurance (towards annual bill) - £0 as itís due and I have enough in the pot
    YNAB (towards annual bill) - £5


    Birthdays etc - £0 - total £0 (none this month but need to bump this up a bit)
    Christmas - £0 - total £100 (will add to this)
    Car MOT etc - £20 - total £20
    Emergency fund - £0 - total £0

    Havenít funded holidays or baby fund for obvious reasons in that we donít have any spare cash!

    This month Iím going to try and use the car as little as possible and also be really smart with the food shopping - weíll see. I would like for us to go and visit my Papa in Aberdeen, but it might need to be at the end of June after the next payday, as it will use a lot of petrol...
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
    • Bluegreen143
    • By Bluegreen143 27th May 18, 9:07 AM
    • 1,101 Posts
    • 12,690 Thanks
    Quick update. Spent yesterday morning in the garden, planting on some little kale, broccoli and lettuce plants I!!!8217;d grown from seed, and sowing carrots, radishes and mixed salad leaves. Gave the veg patch a good weeding too. It!!!8217;s not going to be a bumper year I don!!!8217;t think - the late spring plus the chickens digging up the veg patch not once but twice have NOT helped our progress!

    Spent £10 ordering prescription glasses online - chuffed as I!!!8217;d budgeted £50 for this. The glasses were necessary as I have lost mine (which were a slightly out of date prescription anyway) and have been driving about with a taped up back up pair! The spare cash has been reallocated to our garden pot as we desperately need compost in order to repot our tomatoes, and could do with a couple of other bits too.

    Also spent £17.22 ordering a set of puzzles and two books for DS. I!!!8217;ve been meaning to get him puzzles for ages as his are all too babyish and easy for him. One book I was desperate for and the other I added as I!!!8217;d like it and it made the postage free so it only added £1 to the overall cost. This comes out of my son!!!8217;s budget which has cash in it anyway. Trying to get in the habit of checking the budget BEFORE buying rather than going to update it afterwards!
    Married 1 March 2014 DS born 06/12/15

    CC - £2,182.17/£2,182.17
    Family loan 1 - £1,680/£1,680
    Family loan 2 - £3,500/£5,000
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