Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 6th Jun 18, 1:46 PM
    • 111Posts
    • 342Thanks
    Lydia42
    Extracting head from sand and facing the truth
    • #1
    • 6th Jun 18, 1:46 PM
    Extracting head from sand and facing the truth 6th Jun 18 at 1:46 PM
    Hi

    Not done anything like this before, not even sure what I'm about to write but i'm hoping this will keep me on track now that i am facing our situation once and for all. Joined years ago, started reducing debt, had two kids (now 8 and 10) and need to finally get a grip on finances as they are spiraling again.

    I'm currently signed off work - due back 25th June. Trying to use the time constructively to sort money and budget. Feeling positive about the changes i have made so far, but still lots to work on.
    Current debts, excluding mortgage:

    Santander O/D 2,560.00
    Barclaycard (1) 1,133.00
    Barclaycard (2) 4,058.00
    Virgin CC 5,508.00
    MBNA 5,267.00
    Total 18,526.00

    I've compared and reduced our car insurances, home insurance, gas/lecci, pet insurance, mobile phone insurance, council tax is already spread over 12 months. Currently re-jigging above debts to 0%, awaiting a decision on Santander CC - keeping fingers crossed as Barclaycard 2 0% runs out at the end of this month so i'm hoping to transfer as much as i can to new card if approved.

    Have been trying to keep a food spending diary and note alcohol spending too as i know we over-spend massively on food and alcohol. Absolutely horrified on what we are spending. This MUST be addressed!!!!

    Have also been introduced to Dave Ramsey from reading others posts. It's finally hitting home this time. I want financial security and peace - not sleepless nights, stress and kids learning bad money habits!
Page 2
    • Brookside88
    • By Brookside88 11th Jul 18, 10:29 PM
    • 290 Posts
    • 381 Thanks
    Brookside88
    Hi Brookside
    Thanks for subscribing. Do you have a diary? Would be great to follow you if you have similar debts. Scary when you total them all up and face the truth isn't it!!
    How are you finding snowballing? Have you been doing it long?
    Originally posted by Lydia42
    Yep I do, take a peak (it's not very exciting and I'm not great at keeping up with it).
    Started snowballing in January, it's good to focus your efforts in the right place. I'm chipping away at it, albeit slower than I'd hoped
    Barclaycard CC 5,912.12/0___Virgin CC 5,536.81/5,536.81___Zopa Loan 5,680.83/4,906.17___Tesco CC 1,922.46/1,772.46___MBNA CC 6,323.15/5,696.73
    Total 19,838.56/17,912.17 (9.7%)
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 12th Jul 18, 4:29 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Thanks for explaining about sinking funds. They sound like a very good idea. Our emergency fund is being used like that, and although saving up means you can't get to the debt repayment as quickly as you would like, it's worth the effort and the wait. Once you have snipped up the credit cards there is no option to use them and increase the debt. You need cash for things that come up, like your car maintenance and fixing your shower (how annoying for you, hope it gets sorted). In my mind, baby step 1 is as much about stopping using the cards as is it about saving and that is a huge change already. I was terrified cutting ours up, I seriously thought we couldn't cope without them. But it's been fine. We have borrowed and pad back the emergency fund to help with cash flow but the situation is better than it was.

    Lidl is good for cheap food.
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 12th Jul 18, 1:44 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Wowsers will i be glad when the school term is done. Will be glad when the requests for payment for school trips, teacher's leaving collections, ice lollie Wednesday, Mufti day payment, etc, etc are over for the summer holidays and i can budget a little better. I know i'll have the kids at home for the holidays but at least i can manage things better when i am in control.

    We're lucky that we live by the coast, and also on the South Downs so we can do awesome days out for the price of a home made picnic. Also planning on making the most of membership to the local theme park that we have (courtesy of Nanny on the kids birthdays). I've also kept our membership to National Trust to make the most of it over the holidays - likely to cancel in September to save money each month.
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 13th Jul 18, 6:20 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 277 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Just wondering how much your National Trust membership costs? It sounds like you live in a beautiful area, great for cheap days out.
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 13th Jul 18, 6:40 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Yep I do, take a peak (it's not very exciting and I'm not great at keeping up with it).
    Started snowballing in January, it's good to focus your efforts in the right place. I'm chipping away at it, albeit slower than I'd hoped
    Originally posted by Brookside88
    Just subscribed, so will have a read when the kids go to bed. Well done chipping away. At least it's going in the right direction, even if not as fast as you'd like. And with snowballing it'll speed up as you go
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 13th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Thanks for explaining about sinking funds. They sound like a very good idea. Our emergency fund is being used like that, and although saving up means you can't get to the debt repayment as quickly as you would like, it's worth the effort and the wait. Once you have snipped up the credit cards there is no option to use them and increase the debt. You need cash for things that come up, like your car maintenance and fixing your shower (how annoying for you, hope it gets sorted). In my mind, baby step 1 is as much about stopping using the cards as is it about saving and that is a huge change already. I was terrified cutting ours up, I seriously thought we couldn't cope without them. But it's been fine. We have borrowed and pad back the emergency fund to help with cash flow but the situation is better than it was.

    Lidl is good for cheap food.
    Originally posted by BabyStepper
    Definitely agree that baby step one is a learning curve for saving and not using the cards.
    I think using the emergency fund, instead of also trying to build up sink finds is probably the best way to go for now. I'm going to have to raid the emergency fund to get through the end of this month due to the car and bathroom. Then try and keep a tight budget during the hols. We pay approx 9 a month for national trust, but they often have deals for newbies which are even better if you look about

    PS. Love Lidl
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 24th Jul 18, 4:19 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    So......the past week has flown by and I completely let go of the reigns. Had to raid the emergency fund to cover the car exhaust and the bathroom as well as a few other unplanned items. Gutted to be taking 3 steps back before we even get going forward. We've kept costs for repairing the bathroom as low as possible. No new suite or anything like that. Have bought cheap white tiles that were on sale at wickes, and hubbie and his dad have done the tiling themselves. Picked up some lino for the floor for 8, got painting to do but that can wait. The shower and tiles are no longer leaking and causing damage and we are able to use the bathroom again. Yay!

    Tomorrow is a new day and pay day. I shall check the bank again and get this months zero based budget in place. Last months budget was definitely not accurate with all the extra things we had to pay out on. However i am trying to remain positive and look for the plus points. I am monitoring and adjusting our spending where we can and am aware of it instead of closing my eyes and hoping it will go away, so i must pat myself on the back for that at least.

    Another plus point is that i have just submitted an old mileage claim, and have approx 40 of old expenses to claim tomorrow too which will not only bring me up to date but will add a few pennies to the pot.
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • brizzlegirl
    • By brizzlegirl 24th Jul 18, 9:16 PM
    • 404 Posts
    • 2,667 Thanks
    brizzlegirl
    best of luck with it all. Best of luck with the zero budgeting. We use YNAB (the classic version which is cheaper) which I think does much the same thing). Forecasting and budgeting spends was a revelation after realising I was merely recording the pain after the event...and then wondering why we were so overspent..
    MFW..aiming to pay it off in 2022.. 2018 Savings Rate - Goal 40% [29%May 25%June 15%July 32% Sept & Oct] 2018 Income Goal 100/750 November Goals: AFDs 11/25; Decluttering 02/60; LSDs 04/10; NSDs 01/10 Exercise 01/15 12k steps per day pls Aiming to be a true Frugalista!
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 27th Jul 18, 5:51 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Would you recommend YNAB?
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 9th Aug 18, 4:44 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    So......bathroom is half done. Tiles are sorted - cheap white ones. So shower is no longer leaking and damaging the wall, etc. The rest like finishing off painting etc will have to wait until we have more money, but at least the bathroom is now water tight again. Phew.

    Car exhaust now fixed.

    Well....latest break down is the boiler. Doesn't kick in when the tap or shower is on, so no hot water. Boiler engineer due out tomorrow afternoon to assess. Dreading the news as the last few repairs have cost approx 250-280. Reckon we will have replaced the whole boiler at this rate with the parts that have broken down, but can't afford the money to have a new one installed.

    So current state of affairs is debt increasing whilst we sort out the above. However i'm still trying to remain positive. I've tweaked our budget spreadsheet/tracker to make it more user friendly. I'm planning on marking each of our regular payments as they get paid throughout the month, so have out them in date order (sado who clearly has too much time on her hands whilst trying not to spend money lol). I've also applied for a Monzo account to help me manage money better too. Not sure if i'll use it for food shopping or personal spending at the moment. Will see if i get accepted.
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 10th Aug 18, 4:49 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Soooooo......another day.
    Bad news - boiler had to be repaired which i knew any way. Good news - it was less than i was dreading 92, and not 300 like last time. Another bit of good news is that i called our old energy supplier again and they have now produced our final bill and we are due a refund of 27.52 which should clear our bank in about 5 days.

    On a really bad note i have been the worst parent in the world and raided the kids savings accounts to put into our current account to help stop us going over our over-draft limit due to all the repairs and unexpected spends this month. I fully intend to pay every penny back to the both of them. It was the last thing i wanted to do, but i daren't get any bank charges or that will cause an even bigger downward spiral which i think we'll struggle to get out of. Just feel so crap for having to use the kids money :-(
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 13th Aug 18, 2:38 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    My OCD kicked in today so i logged onto all four credit cards and rounded the amounts owing up: 1.39, 1.45, 1.86 and 1.40. Might seem silly to everyone but i pay a set amount to each card each month, so now the balances will look tidier and every little helps as they say. haha
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 14th Aug 18, 8:00 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    So......i finally braved the snowball calculator today. It says we can be debt free in 44 months! Relived it's under 4 years if we stick to our budget and plans, but a bit gutted it's not a shorter period of time.
    Hey ho - I guess that's what happens if you bury your head in the sand. I'm hoping it will help me focus as i don't want to increase our debt free date.
    Managed a NSD yesterday. Shopped today and spent more than i intended but i bought food for our camping holiday next week. Hubbies Grandad left us 500 so we wanted to use it to make memories with the kids. Plannning on keeping it as cheap as possible by taking food with us from home and cheap/free days out.
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 15th Aug 18, 12:32 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    I've got friends of my son and daughter (11 and 8) coming for sleep-overs today. Cheap day planned. Picking them both up after lunch so i only have to feed my two. Going to local park; it's huge with an awesome play park and FREE!!! Packing drinks and snacks so not tempted to buy stuff there, then back for films indoors - popcorn courtesy of supermarket. Breakfast will be toast or cereal so cheap too. Happy kids and happy budget!!! Yay!
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 27th Aug 18, 2:33 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    One week left of the school holidays and then things will go back to normal (well, as normal as things ever are in our house lol). At least the kids will then go back to packed lunches and wont be around during the day constantly raiding the cupboards and fridge haha. It's been lovely having them off school and spending time with them though.

    Bathroom is now complete. Hubby's dad very kindly painted the remaining bits whilst we were camping using paint we had kicking about in the garage - mainly skirting boards as the kids weren't in the way to touch the wet paint. Just need to pick up a bath panel (hopefully next month after pay day).

    Managed to pick up a second hand bean bag for my son today as he's been asking for one for ages. Other than that a NSD as dinner was roast using stuff we had in the fridge/freezer. I'm planning on emptying and defrosting the freezer over the next few weeks so that should help make it more efficient (running cost wise) and also mean i spend less on grocery shopping this month. Really struggling to control the food shopping. Definitely my major problem area.......Off to rummage in said freezer now to meal plan for tomorrow.
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 27th Aug 18, 4:26 PM
    • 5,903 Posts
    • 25,626 Thanks
    redmel1621
    Hi Lydia

    Thought I would pop over and have a read of your diary. It looks like you had a tricky start with so many things going wrong at once, but I'm sure you feel more on top of it all now.

    I am right at the beginning of my dfw journey and I am struggling to see where to start.

    Interesting seeing lots of people mentioning Dave Ramsey, so I will have a look at who he is later. I also have no idea what a zero based budget is?? Something else to look into later.

    I have a similar plan to you. I want to get used to saving for things, well already having the savings there, for when we want/need something, rather than getting into debt for sudden, urgent purchases/fixes.

    Good luck going forward. I'll subscribe to your diary so I can keep an eye on you hehe.
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 27th Aug 18, 5:04 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Hi Lydia

    Thought I would pop over and have a read of your diary. It looks like you had a tricky start with so many things going wrong at once, but I'm sure you feel more on top of it all now.

    I am right at the beginning of my dfw journey and I am struggling to see where to start.

    Interesting seeing lots of people mentioning Dave Ramsey, so I will have a look at who he is later. I also have no idea what a zero based budget is?? Something else to look into later.

    I have a similar plan to you. I want to get used to saving for things, well already having the savings there, for when we want/need something, rather than getting into debt for sudden, urgent purchases/fixes.

    Good luck going forward. I'll subscribe to your diary so I can keep an eye on you hehe.
    Originally posted by redmel1621
    Thanks
    Yeah, definitely a rocky start. I'm hoping things will go a little smoother now. Definitely check out Dave Ramsey even if just for his straight talking. It's very American and he's religious but he has some very good advice.

    I'm still getting my head around the zero based budget. In principle it makes sense and i have drawn one up for us, but i am having to tweak it as i find things i have missed, etc. It's definitely made me aware of my problem areas - namely food shopping and impulse buying in supermarkets. I've done mine on excel so it's easy to tweak and copy over to the next month when i need to start again.

    It's hard to know where to start when you begin your dfw journey, but having it all written out in front of you will really help you. We are paying the minimum on everything at the moment, except a barclaycard as the 0% deal runs out on 1st Nov, so it was easy for us to see where we should concentrate our efforts to start with.

    Good luck with your journey - i've subscribed
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 30th Aug 18, 12:38 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Good news. We managed to cut the old bath panel to size, clean it up and re-use it. No more hiding hole for the cat and dust bunnies. And no extra spend
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • redmel1621
    • By redmel1621 30th Aug 18, 2:10 PM
    • 5,903 Posts
    • 25,626 Thanks
    redmel1621
    Good news. We managed to cut the old bath panel to size, clean it up and re-use it. No more hiding hole for the cat and dust bunnies. And no extra spend
    Originally posted by Lydia42
    Great saving, not having to by a new panel

    Are you all set for school going back? I'm so relieved to only have 3 uniforms to buy this year and the eldest only needed shirts... Phew.

    I haven't managed to do much more on the dfw journey as it is the end of the month, all the bills are due and we haven't even enough to cover them all really... It is going to be a juggling act as usual.... I struggling to get started properly as we just seem to be fighting a losing battle with everything.
    Last edited by redmel1621; 30-08-2018 at 2:25 PM.
    Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot,
    Nothing is going to get better. It's not.

    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 30th Aug 18, 2:41 PM
    • 111 Posts
    • 342 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Great saving, not having to by a new panel

    Are you all set for school going back? I'm so relieved to only have 3 uniforms to buy this year and the eldest only needed shirts... Phew.

    I haven't managed to do much more on the dfw journey as it is the end of the month, all the bills are due and we haven't even enough to cover them all really... It is going to be a juggling act as usual.... I struggling to get started properly as we just seem to be fighting a losing battle with everything.
    Originally posted by redmel1621
    Think we are all set for school now. Managed to get cheap school shoes for both my son and daughter last week. Usually go for Clarkes but just can't afford it this time around - 100 for two pairs of shoes is just too much with our budget at the moment. My son's PE top arrived today - compulsory school logo design so couldn't cut corners with that one. On another good news point, my son still fits his trousers from last term so i haven't had to buy those, and my daughter is fine with the stuff she had as she isn't changing schools. So.......(breathes a sigh of relief), i think that's it. Unless my son needs footie boots or astro turf shoes. School hand book says they do, but friends with older kids at the school say to hold off in case they aren't playing footie this term, and he may grow out of shoes before he even wears them.

    Chin up on the debt free journey. Its a long haul, but things will start looking up soon. We increased our debt shuffling everything to 0%, and with the recent emergency repairs etc. But i'm hoping that over the next month or so we can control spending enough to start seeing some sort of change in all that. I've just updated our debt spreadsheet and am waiting for our bank statement over next day or so to see how much our charges will be this month, as our overdraft is the only thing not on 0%. That's the next one to target for us once the Barclaycard is dealt with as the deal runs out in two more months

    Have you managed to tally everything up now? Have you found out all the interest rates?
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,091Posts Today

6,711Users online

Martin's Twitter