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  • FIRST POST
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 12th Jun 18, 8:35 PM
    • 182Posts
    • 590Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Building the future!
    • #1
    • 12th Jun 18, 8:35 PM
    Building the future! 12th Jun 18 at 8:35 PM
    After a looooong time lurking and avidly reading other people's diaries, I finally feel in a place I can start my own.

    I'll try and give as short a 'history' as possible but I have a long and complex relationship with debt. Since moving out of home 20 years ago I don't think I have EVER been debt free

    From catalogue debts with the first boyfriend, to humungous personal loans and a repossessed house with my ex-husband over 10 years ago, I have lurched from one financial crisis to the next.

    I am now in a happy relationship, we have a child and work for ourselves. Due to a big work project we found ourselves (again) in financial hot water. I just seemed to hit a wall at the beginning of this year (had my LBM I guess) and said, enough is enough. I have worried about money for my entire adult life, I don't want to anymore. I want a life and I want to look forward to the future, which hopefully involves eating a bit more than baked beans and not living in a tent.

    So my first task was to identify our spending habits. SHOCKED does not come close. We like to eat out - A LOT. That has all stopped now! I've made some horrific financial decisions (I will maybe elaborate over the course of this diary to avoid boring you all to tears straight away).

    To cut a long story short, at the start of this year, we had FIVE substantial loans with sub prime lenders, as well as the normal credit cards, car finance etc etc etc. I took the decision to sell my one and only asset, which was also costing me 1000 per month in running costs (I may go into this later!). I got 21,000 from this. As soon as that money hit my bank, I paid off every single one of those sub-prime loans. The relief was IMMENSE. I don't ever want to go back to that place again. I also used the money to pay off any silly little bills, and put four new tyres that were needed on the car (avoids that cost for a while!). So now our goals are:

    - clear all remaining credit ASAP (I will post a breakdown and SOA later)
    - establish clear boundaries between work money and personal money (I will elaborate in another post, but they have been very blurred in the past which leads to problems in both business and personal!)
    - start taking retirement planning seriously (which means START PAYING INTO A PENSION!!!)
    - take our finances by the scruff of the neck and don't let go until they are sorted
    - work out HOW we can buy ourselves a house. We are going to need at least two years worth of attractive tax returns and a substantial deposit as my partner is older and I doubt we will get a mortgage for over a 20 year term, I hope my repossession is so long ago it won't affect it but you don't know....

    My dream is to be debt free personally wise by the end of 2018, debt free business wise by the end of 2019, and to be a homeowner at some point in 2020.

    I've started this diary to keep me motivated that I am getting somewhere, to make myself accountable, and to hopefully get some advice and support.
Page 4
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 29th Jun 18, 2:59 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Today is not as productive as I would like. I feel in a bit of a slump and I'm not sure why....maybe because it has been a difficult week and a number of things have knocked me for six a little. I've given OH a lift to a golf competition he is playing in and basically moped! I will get my mojo back shortly, I'm sure.....my one positive, is that I haven't spent any money in order to alleviate the way I'm feeling. Very aware I am sounding like a moaning minnie which will hopefully kick me up the backside!

    Good news though....went to withdraw my 150 from Paypal, and there is actually 160 due to some Paypal refunds, so that is a bonus, and an extra 10 towards my 700 target.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 30th Jun 18, 11:06 AM
    • 58,008 Posts
    • 238,733 Thanks
    beanielou
    Keep plodding
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Say No to Credit Cards
    • By Say No to Credit Cards 1st Jul 18, 12:31 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 724 Thanks
    Say No to Credit Cards
    Hi Gemsy81

    I have finally had time to come and read your diary. You are doing amazing. It is really hard balancing your work life and home life especially if you are trying to do what we are on top of all that. I think sometimes you need a little break away from looking at the finances and trying to find ways of cutting budgets and making extra income. Having a day or two away from that is fine as long as you don't spend on those horrid Credit Cards.

    I am going to try and make another 500 this month, which is going to be hard so the challenge is on for the two of us. If you are having a bad day shout out and I will do the same and we can kick each others butts into action.

    I have just started our loft, it is so hot in there but I keep coming down for a little while then going back up again. It will get finished in time. The majority of the stuff I need to get rid of is going to the tip which is a little disappointing. What I will do for entertainment these days instead of going on expensive days out that I cold not afford!

    Any way my break is over and it was so nice to catch up on your diary.

    Take care and have a nice day
    Extra Income May 290.92 June 498.00 July 145.61 Aug 2018 142.68
    Pay off CC3 Sept/Oct 2018 2112.04 Balance 1712.89
    April 2018 39,942 Aug 18 36721.65 PAID 3220.35
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 1st Jul 18, 8:54 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Hi SNTCC....thank you for the words of encouragement, you are so right...I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed with everything but I have been very careful not to spend as a knee jerk reaction to that.

    I did have a spend on Saturday, that I totally forgot about which was my nail appointment (it is my one treat to myself, is only 15 and comes out of my personal pot)...so as punishment, I have taken that out of the July personal pot! Other than that, I was very good, so I did NSD on Thur and Fri.

    Work wise, it has been a very busy weekend, with lots of money made which is fantastic and eases my worries slightly my dictator-like budget for work has also worked brilliantly, with us coming in on or under lots of budgets for June, so the P&L fingers crossed, should look a lot healthier this month.

    This afternoon I was supposed to meal plan and food shop, but work ran over and I was so hot and bothered by the time I finished, I literally picked up some essentials for a nice family breakfast tomorrow morning (see....normally we would go out for breakfast, but we're not, I'm going to cook at home!), and decided meal planning could wait until tomorrow. We have enough left overs in the fridge for at least two days anyway (probably as a result of that last spendy, disastrous food shop of June!)

    SNTCC....thats a great idea, lets mini-challenge each other! I have a day of ebaying tomorrow to get myself going!
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 2nd Jul 18, 1:14 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    I've just done the first food shop of July. Has come in at a fairly whopping 84 inc. delivery, but I just do not have time this week to not get it delivered, too much work on and quite a few meetings. That is obviously quite a large portion of the budget, but it does include stocks of pasta, tinned tomatoes, beans, sauces, coffee, clingfilm, toilet rolls, frozen bits for emergency meals (fish fingers), ice lollies to avoid expensive ones out etc etc etc. So the store cupboards and freezer are full and ready for the month. I've planned the meals for this week carefully, and the following weeks should pretty much just be perishables - plus we are away for a week, so I will obviously ensure the fridge is empty on our departure!

    Just about to hang my washing out on the line, to dry in this beautiful sunshine and get cracking on my eBay boxes!
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 3rd Jul 18, 8:22 AM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    EBaying was relegated to today, as I started a work project, which ended up taking me the most of the afternoon. But it did really need doing and I feel better that that is one thing off my to-do list today.

    So todays tasks...

    - Sort kitchen cupboards that are full of junk
    -Sort Ebay and other boxes
    -Return a plant to the garden centre that is not thriving (it has a guarantee)
    -Tackle my ironing pile (I read that ironing burns 80 cals an hour, so I'm pretty pleased with that!)
    -Give house a power clean

    Online shopping has already arrived so my cupboards look full to bursting
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 3rd Jul 18, 12:26 PM
    • 275 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    Starmummy
    you are doing so well. Adjusting spending habits is such hard work.
    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 11,917.34/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19.5k)
    EF savings 650.06 House Deposit (LISA) 480.00/12,000 4%
    • Moguline
    • By Moguline 3rd Jul 18, 12:41 PM
    • 325 Posts
    • 970 Thanks
    Moguline
    Well done Gemsy! My first shop of the month is usually a biggie as well.
    LBM: Christmas 2017 Current debt, as of 01/11/2018: 22,079.76 Total reduction so far: -4,854.54 DFD of my dreams: 31/12/2020
    • Say No to Credit Cards
    • By Say No to Credit Cards 4th Jul 18, 9:14 AM
    • 155 Posts
    • 724 Thanks
    Say No to Credit Cards
    Morning Gemsy81

    Let the challenge begin. Any extra income we make can go into the total. I have put it into my signature so I can see where I am up too.

    The first food shop of the month is always a biggie as I feel you put off buying stuff when your budget is running low so the knock on effect of that is the first shop of the month gets hit with everything that has ran out.

    You are doing great, just do not let it get you down. Life sometimes is hard with work, families and household stuff and there sometimes is not enough hours in a day. However, it will be worth it in the end when you and your family are financial secure and the debt is behind you.

    Take care and have a great day and don't work to hard.
    Extra Income May 290.92 June 498.00 July 145.61 Aug 2018 142.68
    Pay off CC3 Sept/Oct 2018 2112.04 Balance 1712.89
    April 2018 39,942 Aug 18 36721.65 PAID 3220.35
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 4th Jul 18, 9:07 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    This week has felt incredibly busy so far!!

    I have found that a welcome side effect of sorting your finances out is that you declutter your entire life in general. Sorting out yesterday went very well....I did all the kitchen cupboards I wanted, then tackled the shoe cupboard - LO now only has three pairs of shoes as everything else was too small. But that is all he needs TBH - a pair of sandals, a pair of trainers and a pair of smarter shoes. Made a start on the other boxes, found some very important paperwork we have been looking for for ages, and going by people's suggestions to end an Ebay auction on a Sunday night, I will be getting everything up on there tomorrow.

    My wedding dress and designer boots are ready to go up...I just need to decide the best medium to sell them on to get the most money.

    Got a 1.25 refund from Sainsburys as something undelivered from my online shopping, and I am just waiting for a 100 payment from some freelance work I have done.

    Business wise, my strict budget is going well.....June was a pretty horrific month for sales (which was predicted, it is never good), but due to the budgets being under control, it was not as disastrous as it could have been. July has got off to a flyer, and the next three months are now crucial for us.

    My credit scores have gone up on both Noddle and Experian, which is great.

    The next 2 weeks are going to be quite full on. I have a lot of meetings over the next two days, a busy weekend with work, and then next week I have to start getting ahead of myself by two weeks, so I can go on holiday and not think about work at all Plus, I still have all this extra money to make this month....I am confident that my selling efforts will come to something! I have got a garage and a loft full of junk, but I just don't know if realistically this month I will have the time to do anything with them.
    • Say No to Credit Cards
    • By Say No to Credit Cards 5th Jul 18, 12:39 PM
    • 155 Posts
    • 724 Thanks
    Say No to Credit Cards
    Morning Gemsy81

    You really are doing great. It must be so hard running your own business as you really do not know what your monthly income is going to be as some months are going to be better than others.

    I am the same once I started sorting out the finances the rest of my life seemed to follow, and I am doing things in our house that I have wanted to do for a long time but did not have any motivation what so ever. I feel like I am spring cleaning my life which is great.

    Keep up the good work.
    Extra Income May 290.92 June 498.00 July 145.61 Aug 2018 142.68
    Pay off CC3 Sept/Oct 2018 2112.04 Balance 1712.89
    April 2018 39,942 Aug 18 36721.65 PAID 3220.35
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 6th Jul 18, 8:22 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Feeling rather exhausted right now, and still have a full weekend of work ahead before I can enjoy a day off.

    Everything is listed on Ebay to end on Sunday - I am going to then be quite brutal about then sending to charity etc etc as I just want to start clearing the clutter from everywhere.

    It has been so blimmin hot, I am doing quite a lot of juggling of food, as some of the meals I had planned are just not what you want to eat in 30 degree heat....so I am trying to be creative and make sure everything gets used. This will likely involve a bit of batch cooking when I get home from work tomorrow.

    Have currently used 45 out of my personal pot but 20 of that has gone on new shoes for the LO and 10 on a charity donation for a friend, so I am very happy about my restraint. Have not so much as had a coffee out this week.

    I've adjusted my budget slightly as I underestimated my final nursery bill.

    Currently at 160 of my additional 500 to make. I've roped in OH to help raise the funds for holiday, as it is his too - so he may be sacrificing some of his personal pot. In fact between personal pots and food allowance for the holiday week, we won't be far off the 400 spending money we would like, but it would be nice to magically find the funds elsewhere!

    I have a couple of surveys to do. Am still searching for the best option to sell my wedding dress and designer boots. A couple of people have said Depop for designer stuff but I've never used it.
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 9th Jul 18, 7:51 AM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Good morning everyone, what a glorious weekend it has been!

    I've had a lot of work on this weekend, but that also means have earned a lot of money which is all good for the business bank account so can't complain too much!

    Over the weekend I've had finally some success on Ebay.....my strategy of low start prices and ending on a Sunday evening seems to have worked, and I've made 43 over the weekend! Hurrah! So that puts me at 203 of my 500 target. 297 to go!

    I've updated all my YNAB over this week. I'm doing a bit of mad juggling as we've had some unexpected medical related bills come in, and with the absence of an emergency fund these have to be paid for out of somewhere, but I'm determined it won't be on credit! So I've borrowed from the 'pension pot' as I am still waiting for my ID to be accepted so they can start the dd - that was 140, and I think it is more important to ensure I stay away from credit borrowing, if that makes sense.

    Today I am trying to take a full day off, and am going to take LO to the local Lido for a cheap family day out (12 for a family pass and we're going to take a picnic to eat while we are there).

    This week we have a few essential equipment purchases to make for our camping trip - I have earmarked some of the 550 I had left over from last months budget to cover this. It is all equipment that will last a good few years (sleeping bags etc) and be used on future frugal holidays!!

    I hope everyone has a lovely day x
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 10th Jul 18, 8:13 AM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Great frugal day out yesterday - just 12, had a couple of hours swimming, sitting in the sunshine and eating our picnic. LO loved it. I've decided I want to make sure he's confident in the water by the end of the summer, so need to allocate a bit of my personal pot towards that.

    Today, I need to chase up the last bit of money due for my freelance work. I am meeting a friend for lunch today (at her house, so no cost involved......she did suggest going out, but I said I was on an economy drive so we're staying in. I think she was very shocked I turned down a lunch out!), I need to buy her a pressie on the way, which will come out of my personal pot. I have a stash of birthday cards at home which I will pick one out of for her.

    The rest of the day will be spent on housework, and getting ready for the week ahead. I've got lots of work on getting ready for my holiday - I want to leave without anything outstanding on my desk, which will help my brainspace enormously!
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 12th Jul 18, 3:40 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    A day of slogging it out at work yesterday, but achieved a lot and got my work to-do list completed so hurrah!

    I've dedicated today to life/financial laundry and its going well so far!

    - Sent all EBay packages out
    - Sold an old TV for 50 - more for the pot!
    - Collected all the loose change round the house and took to the bank....27.10!!!
    - Commandeered 30 from OH towards our holiday - I had already set money aside for this, so I'm going to keep this 30 towards my 'extra' pot.

    So thats 107.10 towards my extra pot. This now stands at.....310.10 just 189.90 to go

    Spending wise today - made a visit to Mountain Warehouse, they had a sale on, so we have got nearly all of what we needed, plus some clothes for LO that he will use for this trip and beyond. Enjoying doing shopping that is planned and budgeted for, not impulsive.
    Last edited by Gemsy81; 12-07-2018 at 3:43 PM.
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 13th Jul 18, 7:39 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Ugh....pretty much decimated my personal pot for the month.....lost my temper with my hair this morning (too long, too thick), I've been putting off going to the hairdresser for about 9 months to save money, so I had it cut today! Feel about a stone lighter for it, cut 7 inches off! Then bought a dress as I have a friends party to go out to on Saturday. So spend for today on myself is 80 - but it has come out of my personal pot. So it just means I will have to do without other stuff for the rest of the month. However, I am working, then on holiday (already budgeted for) all the way through to the 25th, so I'm confident I can do it and stay within budget.

    Need to chase up my remaining contract work payment as that will bring me closer to my 500 target for the month
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Jul 18, 8:41 PM
    • 58,008 Posts
    • 238,733 Thanks
    beanielou
    Wow, 7 inches is a lot.
    Hope you like it.
    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. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 15th Jul 18, 7:32 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Thanks Beanielou I do like it, and I'll also spend a lot less on shampoo and conditioner!! lol

    Not an awful lot to report over the weekend. Other than, I have had two NSD which is great.

    Now just have three days until we are off on holiday so tasks are;

    - Gather together all our food bits to take away (condiments etc), do a small food shop for essentials while we are there.
    - Make up list of everything to be packed.
    - LO has his last day of pre-school on Wednesday - make cakes to take in for everyone. And do a card (get him to make one?) for all his teachers.
    - Reconcile YNAB
    - Prepare my budget for holiday spend (if we can come in under this, that will be fab and will go towards the '500 pot'
    - Ensure all my work is totally up to date before I leave, to save on stress while I am away!
    - Order uniform for LO....I have actually forgotten to budget for this I need to spend around 25 on polo shirts and sweatshirts, this rest can wait until August. Assess other pots to see where I could maybe take this from.
    - SEE have confirmed our account closed, and we are 25 in credit - call them to claim this back, this ca n also go in the '500 pot'
    • Starmummy
    • By Starmummy 16th Jul 18, 11:31 AM
    • 275 Posts
    • 1,297 Thanks
    Starmummy
    You are doing so well Gem.

    Have a wonderful holiday

    Take care
    SM
    debt consolidated 16/8/18 11,917.34/12,618.12 (Total debt at LBM c..19.5k)
    EF savings 650.06 House Deposit (LISA) 480.00/12,000 4%
    • Gemsy81
    • By Gemsy81 17th Jul 18, 4:22 PM
    • 182 Posts
    • 590 Thanks
    Gemsy81
    Just sat down and did a full reconcile of YNAB with all my bank accounts and the credit card I use for day to day spending.

    This month is turning out to be a bit of a funny one with some unexpected expenses. It is not insurmountable, and we have still managed to overpay on all our debts, but it has meant I have had to pay us more from the business (still within the 'new' business budget for our drawings, but I was aiming to be 1000 under budget with work every month).

    Extra expenses this month;

    - I've miscalculated pre-school notice period, and now have to pay some non-funded hours. So 320 bill instead of 80 - this is the last childcare bill though so hurrah!
    - SEE and new electricity supplier have both taken a dd this month (SEE are in arrears, new supplier in advance), so my electricity bill has been doubled in effect. I am still awaiting a repayment from SEE of our credit though.
    - Some unexpected medical related bills have come in, can't be helped, and should not incur any more going forward.
    - Free Roof Box for our car to go camping, but the bars didn't fit our car and I have had to spend 150 on roof bars As well as having very expensive wheels, my car also seems to have non-standard roof bars too!! This will obviously last forever though, and we'll use them over and over again with our future frugal holiday plans.

    POSITIVES
    - We have overpaid on all our credit cards
    - We have stayed within grocery budget and still have enough left for our remaining small shop on return from holiday
    - We have not had any frivolous spending, no eating out, no coffees out.
    - Our holiday is already budgeted for
    - August should be a really low spend month. We have a lot of work on so that will be pretty much all we are doing. No childcare costs, and all the utility bills have now been switched and new dd should be active.
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