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  • FIRST POST
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 8th Jul 18, 8:39 AM
    • 94Posts
    • 276Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Tidying up the mess
    • #1
    • 8th Jul 18, 8:39 AM
    Tidying up the mess 8th Jul 18 at 8:39 AM
    I am trying to find ways to get me and OH out of the debt mess we are in. I became self-employed a few months ago and my credit card providers wrote to me to reduce my credit limit to just above what I owe. This was worrying and I'm now thinking they might call in those debts at any moment. Me and OH then sat down for the first time to list everything we owe and figure out what to do about it. We are in it together to sort it out but this is where we stand just now.

    Hitachi loan 844 0%
    Lloyds cc 1,311.39 mostly 0 % but 403.68 @17.9%
    Overdraft 2,000 0%
    Santander cc 3,367.30 0%
    Halifax cc 3,242.65 0%
    Barclaycard cc 4,614.38 mostly 0% but 838.75 @ 16.9%
    MBNA cc 5,213.34 0%
    Student loans (1) 8,160 (currently deferred)
    Student loans (2) 27,190 (payment taken straight from wage)

    Total 55,943.06

    We spent 10k we didn't have when we bought our house, front and back doors, new windows and damp treatment. 3k is still to be paid off after our wedding 2.5 years ago. The Hitachi loan is carpets and lino. Student loans have never been on the radar as something to be paid off but they are now. Other than that we have around 6-7k that we both just maintained on cards, not to buy anything in particular, just spending and forgetting about it.

    I need a coffee after writing all that.
    Last edited by BabyStepper; 09-07-2018 at 6:37 AM.
Page 2
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 13th Jul 18, 10:36 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    BabyStepper I do this, look pretty much everyday, don't worry it's normal! If you get a spreadsheet with all your bits in it does really help - especially because then you look at how much you owe every time you pay something and work out what percentage you have paid off. If you have a bit of free time on your hands it would be a good thing to occupy yourself a bit. I'm a MFW not a DFW (we do have debt but two 0% payment things which we have the money to pay in a high interest account).
    Have you looked at your energy deal and things like that yet to pare down your monthly expenses?x
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 13th Jul 18, 4:43 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Thanks for the support purplemumof2. Thanks also katsoocam for the tips about spreadsheets. That's helpful.

    I've had more stuff from the banks today. After the first round of telling me my credit limit was being lowered, we are now onto round 2 where they all write to me announcing they are changing the terms and conditions of my credit agreement. So far I have heard from Lloyds and now Halifax. I will wait with baited breath for Santander to drop a letter through the door. Even though we have decided to go credit free, it is still alarming to think I couldn't get credit if I wanted it. And what about our mortgage?! I didn't even think of that!! For the 59 millionth time this week I'm thinking I should pay off the Lloyds card first before Hitachi. I don't think I can follow simple instructions of smallest to largest, I'm going to panic myself into a big confusion.

    And breathe...
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 14th Jul 18, 5:55 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    I'm in a panic again, just realised our emergency fund is possibly not safe as its in a savings account with the same bank I have a credit card and overdraft with. They could 'offset' this at any time. I need to move this, OH has a savings account we could use, just wondering what's going to happen when they notice my regular wage is not going in there every month, though I do put my smaller wage through that account.

    This is terrible. I had no idea the banks would know when I left my job. If anyone has any experience of this I would appreciate some info and advice.
    • indigowarrior
    • By indigowarrior 14th Jul 18, 7:17 AM
    • 671 Posts
    • 5,047 Thanks
    indigowarrior
    Hi BabyStepper,
    I dont have any advice about savings but wanted to say hello. Another DR Follower here . Been on this very slow journey for 18 months and now starting to make progress.
    #545- SPC September No Spend 4/15
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 14th Jul 18, 7:37 PM
    • 1,027 Posts
    • 2,408 Thanks
    Kitten868
    I need to check with husband is not what you expect to hear from a bride you're right. Maybe it's for their daughter? My shoes were always bought by men which made me cringe but I'm sure were perfectly normal transactions.
    Get your list of random stuff that comes up x
    Loan 1 5400/8000
    Loan 2 3400/5800
    Total 8800/13800 36% PAID

    And CC 1475/1900
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 15th Jul 18, 6:07 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Hi Indigowarrier and thanks for stopping by and for your support. There are so many DR followers on here it's amazing.

    I spoke to OH about the cards yesterday and we did some research and properly read the changes to terms and conditions. Turns out the worst they can do is increase my minimum payment up to double what it is now and when I make an overpayment, still take the minimum payment later in the month. This is manageable as the minimums are small and we have extra cash so could cope with an increase. If they call in the debt I'll just need to ring them to come to some agreement,and if they closed the accounts then so be it, I'm not using them again anyway. It all feels much better today. I'm just going to keep an eye on the statement to see what they are up to. I've also changed my priorities in paying them off, Lloyds is first followed by the other 2.

    The wedding dress buyer didn't get back to me, have to assume she doesn't want it, thought that was too easy. OH is still to paint his bike but will maybe do that today. Almost all my invoices have been paid. Monday should be a good day for the emergency fund and the start of babystep 2.
    Last edited by BabyStepper; 16-07-2018 at 6:35 AM. Reason: typo
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 15th Jul 18, 6:10 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Hello Kitten 868, ooh yes their daughter, hadn't thought of that. Maybe I should stay hopeful she'll get back to me. Thanks for dropping in. It's good to know there are others on my side.
    • Savertobe
    • By Savertobe 15th Jul 18, 10:29 AM
    • 36 Posts
    • 245 Thanks
    Savertobe
    Obsessions!
    The whole checking thing is common I think - I do the same even though I no it won't make any more money appear and spending the same time looking extra hard for a job would make more sense.

    I get the Dave Ramsey thing for you just be careful to note any UK/US legal differentiations around debtors.

    Good work on changing mind set thoughhttps://images6.moneysavingexpert.com/images/forum_smilies/action-smiley-033.gif
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 15th Jul 18, 11:38 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Savertobe...lol...if I spent as much time looking for extra work as I did checking bank accounts. I'd be in much better shape!

    Good point about the legal differentiations. I still have found nothing to tell me why the banks would know that I'd left my job. It's very strange. I've listened to a lot of podcasts and read a lot of diaries on here and have yet to hear of that happening to anyone else. I'd counted on everything being fine with the ccs as long as i made minimum payments.

    Oh well, off for an mse style picnic today to enjoy some of this sunshine.
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 16th Jul 18, 6:41 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    We had a lovely picnic yesterday and spent an afternoon in the park. All within the food budget so that was good. This beautiful weather really helps keep the spirits up.

    OH made a big thermometer wall chart with all our debt on it. We included the mortgage and practically had to have a lie down looking at the total...203,000. We can colour in sections as they get paid off. We've put it on the inside of the wardrobe door so that family and friends can't see it when they come to visit. Talk about hiding your debt...

    My biggest invoice has not been paid today, I'm very disheartened but I know things can go more slowly as people take annual leave and things just get left. So still haven't managed to top up the emergency fund. Frustrating. Also my dress buyer has disappeared. And OH is yet to paint his bike.

    Another week of trying to generate more work, and so many people I need to speak to are on holiday. Could this go any slower?
    Last edited by BabyStepper; 16-07-2018 at 6:42 AM. Reason: typo
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 16th Jul 18, 6:50 AM
    • 269 Posts
    • 1,937 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    Love the idea of the thermometer, sounds like you are both on the same page which is great

    200K sounds a lot, but plenty of people have that and more on a mortgage alone. I'm sure it's doable.
    • Lydia42
    • By Lydia42 16th Jul 18, 9:18 PM
    • 110 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    Lydia42
    Love the thermometer idea. Great visual to see your progress, and definitely shows you are both working through this together! ;-)
    Total Debt October 2018: 23, 990
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 19th Jul 18, 9:42 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    I think the thermometer will be fab when it gets going. I'm still waiting for an invoice to be paid so that I can complete the emergency fund and colour in the first section.

    I got an email today from Santander saying the terms of my account could be changed at any moment. Fed up of these letters so I phoned all 3 banks I have ccs with. They were all tripping over themselves to be helpful and friendly which was nice. I've closed down the Lloyds and the Halifax accounts and will simply pay them off. No hassle. Santander want to keep the account open, but both Santander and Halifax said they would not ask for an overpayment until the accounts become interest bearing, Dec 2019 and Oct 2020 respectively. So I won't be getting a shock in the mail of either of them asking for more cash every month. Lloyds is still the target card.

    It's all feeling a bit better today.
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 25th Jul 18, 5:58 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    I still haven't been paid my biggest invoice and the boss is on holiday until Friday so no way to chase this up. Thank goodness for the emergency fund or we would have been in trouble this month. The other invoices are all paid so that's good. It's all new work so the systems are working.

    My dress buyer disappeard so no sale. Nothing much else to report, just thought I'd check in.
    • Hopeless Case
    • By Hopeless Case 25th Jul 18, 7:18 AM
    • 888 Posts
    • 5,334 Thanks
    Hopeless Case
    Thank you, doingitanyway. I'm going to need to learn some persistence to just keep on going. I'm hoping once the emergency fund is built up that'll spur me on. Small goals.

    OH is away for one night this week on a work trip. Travel and accomodation are paid for but other expenses need to be paid upfront and then claimed back. We've saved for this but that cash would look better in the emergency fund.

    I have a meeting tomorrow for a potential new client, fingers crossed that will work out. There is also someone else interested in me doing some work for them so we'll see how that goes. If only it could get moving faster.

    I transferred some cash yesterday to cover bills and the amount hasn't appeared in my account. I need to get on the phone to both banks involved and find out where my money is. I could really do without the hassle on a Monday morning.

    Otherwise it's a quiet week. Trying to live on no money can get a bit dull. I might need to get creative with things to do. Any suggestions?
    Originally posted by BabyStepper
    I'm a bit late here, but I find setting targets and making money saving into a challenge can become a bit of a hobby, have you looked at the old style money saving pages, also the debt free wannabe challenges?
    I keep checking and rechecking every single bank account and linked savings account, every single day, all day long. Not sure what I'm looking for but its started to feel obsessive.

    Anyone else have a similar problem?
    Originally posted by BabyStepper
    I check everyday too, I think this is a good habit but can become a bit dispiriting when nothing has changed!

    I have the opposite problem with credit cards though, we have 2 in OH's name and I think we owe about 13,000 altogether, minimum payments go out each month and we don't get paper statements, and I have no access. I ask him pretty well every day to log on and let me know the balances, the interest rates, how to make payments etc. We also have a credit card linked to our bank which I paid off at the beginning of June, with a 4,400 limit and a zero balance transfer offer, and the aim is that he transfers this amount from the credit card with the highest interest rate. It's not that he doesn't want to do it, it just somehow never happens!!

    I made an extra payment on the Barclaycard this month (although I think it has the lower interest rate of the 2, but it was the only one I found an old statement for giving details of how to pay), and I'm also waiting for him to confirm that the payment has gone through ok before making more. We have an extra 183 per month as we've cancelled Sky, plus what I was paying on the now-cleared CC, but I feel stuck in limbo lol - patience is a virtue!!
    Nov GC 80.34/200
    NSD target: Nov 1/15
    Bring Your Lunch to Work Target Nov 1/15
    1 a day: Nov 44.75/45
    Tesco CC Aug 18 10,151.56 9950.56 0% 30mnths, First Direct CC Aug 18 4321.80 3968.77 0% til Feb 20
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 29th Jul 18, 7:22 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Hi Hopeless Case and lol at your OH, can you not just take his passwords from him and check the accounts yourself? This is what being in debt does to you, makes you nuts and boundary-less, or maybe that's just me...Please don't take that advice, I don't know what I'm talking about. (Must speak to OH when he gets up and see how he feels about me having access to his cc accounts...) All this account checking just makes everything so complicated, I hate that.

    No sign of the invoice being paid yet though the boss is back from holiday and has identified the problem and is dealing with it. Another client is planning to pay me upfront for some work so may get a boost to the cc overpayment this week. I'm very busy counting my chickens before they hatch, need to stop doing that.
    • Hopeless Case
    • By Hopeless Case 29th Jul 18, 7:38 AM
    • 888 Posts
    • 5,334 Thanks
    Hopeless Case
    Hi Hopeless Case and lol at your OH, can you not just take his passwords from him and check the accounts yourself? This is what being in debt does to you, makes you nuts and boundary-less, or maybe that's just me...Please don't take that advice, I don't know what I'm talking about. (Must speak to OH when he gets up and see how he feels about me having access to his cc accounts...) All this account checking just makes everything so complicated, I hate that.

    No sign of the invoice being paid yet though the boss is back from holiday and has identified the problem and is dealing with it. Another client is planning to pay me upfront for some work so may get a boost to the cc overpayment this week. I'm very busy counting my chickens before they hatch, need to stop doing that.
    Originally posted by BabyStepper
    Haha, he suddenly got on a roll and got the lot on 0%, some on 18 months and the rest on 30, and we have a plan to repay it and start on the mortgage - long way to go but I'm feeling positive and trying to do things like boost cashback to chip away at it so fingers crossed!!

    Waiting to get paid at this time of year is a pain, people conveniently forget to pay then go away for 2 weeks meanwhile our bills still come in just the same
    Nov GC 80.34/200
    NSD target: Nov 1/15
    Bring Your Lunch to Work Target Nov 1/15
    1 a day: Nov 44.75/45
    Tesco CC Aug 18 10,151.56 9950.56 0% 30mnths, First Direct CC Aug 18 4321.80 3968.77 0% til Feb 20
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 27th Aug 18, 5:37 AM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    We discovered a leak in the bathroom and after exploring it realised we had some rotten floorboards. (So THAT was where the smell was coming from, we thought it was the drains!) There was also some damage to the wall. We have not touched the bathroom in this old house since we moved in, other than a rewire and a quick coat of paint, so we decided that if work needed done we should do the whole room. As well and as cheaply as possible.

    We have cut up our credit cards so this had to be cashflowed.

    OH sold his bike (made 300) and we both sold our fancy phones and downgraded to much older models that work perfectly well (made 350). We needed an electrician, a plumber, a plasterer, a lino fitter and a joiner. I sourced the materials online cheaply and we learned how to fit waterproof wall panels and secure our bath ourselves. The professionals moved our shower, fitted skirting boards and lino and sorted out the dodgy old walls. Fortunately the bathroom suite is plain white and in good condition so we did not need to replace that.

    The whole thing cost 750 and has transformed the bathroom. It is truly beautiful and minimalist and our emergency fund is intact. I'm so pleased with it. Success!

    I have been listening to Dave R and learned that debts such as utilities and overdrafts should be paid off before baby step 1. I didn't realise this. We are currently overpaying gas and electricity due to a big first bill after moving into a damp old house that had not been lived in for some time. My overdraft is listed in the debts at the start of my diary. Suddenly I'm not sure what we should be paying off first (again!).

    I have been offered a significant amount of work but will need a car to carry it out. It is too much to try and do it using public transport, that also takes so long and smells so bad, so we have decided to buy a car. In Dave style we need to cash flow this, we are definitely not taking on a car loan. We are aiming to raise 1000 to purchase an old car with 1 year MOT, and pay the insurance for the year outright. If we can do it cheaper we will. This goal is to take on this extra work and double my income every month.

    I have been scouring the internet for stories about how difficult it is doing the babysteps in the beginning and I can't seem to find many. Your income may be low, you need to pay for essentials such as house repairs or a car. It is very slow and very hard to get going when the debt payments are big and everything needs to be cashflowed. We are in the 4th month and have yet to make an overpayment towards our debt although minimums are paid every month so the total is reducing. I am learning how to be patient but persistent and take pride in our achievements.

    In the last 4 months we have...
    cut up our credit cards and made a decision never to borrow money again except for the mortgage
    started to live within our means and spend less than we make
    made a budget and learned to stick to it
    saved up an 800 emergency fund
    dealt with all house issues by cashflowing everything

    We are thinking about this as laying the groundwork for the debt busting that is to come. And it all feels pretty good!
    Last edited by BabyStepper; 27-08-2018 at 5:49 AM.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 27th Aug 18, 7:29 AM
    • 7,284 Posts
    • 15,991 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Love the way you sorted out your bathroom by selling stuff and DIY. Living within your means and not using credit is a big step when you are used to reaching for a credit card thoughtlessly. Good luck on sorting out another car. Worth it if it means upping your income.
    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
    • BabyStepper
    • By BabyStepper 27th Aug 18, 2:32 PM
    • 94 Posts
    • 276 Thanks
    BabyStepper
    Thanks enthusiastic saver. The bathroom transformation feels so much sweeter knowing it has all been paid for in cash.

    Now we need to get the car fund going. There should be roughly 200 leftover at the end of this month so that will be a start. I need to get my thinking hat on to figure out where the rest will come from. Wish I could get a buyer for my wedding dress...we'd be half way there.
    Last edited by BabyStepper; 01-09-2018 at 2:06 PM.
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