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  • FIRST POST
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 9th Jul 18, 12:08 PM
    • 38Posts
    • 48Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Getting a grip on my life...
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:08 PM
    Getting a grip on my life... 9th Jul 18 at 12:08 PM
    Hello All!

    I’ve been a lurker on MSE for about a decade, and after finding myself in debt over the last couple of years, I’ve finally joined up and am starting my Debt Free Diary. At 33 years old, I feel like I need to get a better grip on my life and I hope my diary will help, even if just a little.

    Since moving into my own rented place in summer 2012 I’ve had growing credit card debt. I owe the following…

    CC1 - £3209.11
    CC2 - £1675.83

    I also owe my partner approximately £700. Thankfully she is not in any rush for me to pay this back, and I’ve set up a direct debit to her account for £20 per month, so slowly it’s reducing.

    I’ve paid off a good whack of my CC debts so far this year, and I was really pleased to see my credit rating jump up a bit because of this. To further improve my rating, I have a 3rd CC which I have used only for small amounts twice and have paid off completely at the end of each month.

    After moving into my own place, what really got me into debt was…action figures. I’m a big comic book fan and amassed an embarrassing amount of those little Funko Pop vinyl figures in a short period of time. They’re generally £10 each so didn’t feel like too much of a splurge, which then led to me buying more and more. About a year ago, I finally completely stopped buying them and have been slowly selling them all on ebay. Thankfully, as I was so obsessed with these little figures, I knew the market quite well and managed to sell some for a decent profit. I still own about 30 and am still going through the process of selling them.

    I joined up to the following survey sites at the end of May; I-Say, Swagbucks, Onepoll, Prolific, Crowdology, GFK, YourSayPays, and Populous and in about 5 weeks, I’ve earned approximately £20 in Amazon vouchers, and £30 in cash which I’m really delighted with.

    Now to throw a spanner in the works…I have 2 big holidays (New York in Oct and Copenhagen in Dec) coming up before the end of the year. You might be thinking “Well she’s a bit of a plonker for going on 2 big holidays while she’s in debt” and you’d be kinda right The holiday to NYC is with my mum. My parents aren’t aware of my financial problems and I really don’t want to tell them. Mum recently received a redundancy package (which she was happy with btw!), has wanted to go to NY for years and thinks now would be a good time while she is fit and healthy. That holiday is now completely paid for; flights, hotel, insurance, coach transfers etc. I’m going to Copenhagen with my partner, who is aware of my debt; after recently coming out to our parents, we’re finally in a place where we can go on a foreign holiday. We avoided this for years for various reasons; what if one of us got sick and had to contact the other’s parents? We couldn’t buy our folks little holiday gifts, or even share holiday photos and stories with them, so we knew we just wouldn’t enjoy it. So although it’s not the best time money-wise, after 5 years of keeping our relationship a secret, we just really wanted to treat ourselves. My partner has paid for this trip (I’ll be paying her back as mentioned above).

    So as I'm trying to save a little spending money for the holidays and for Christmas, for the rest of year, I'll only be paying the minimum off my CCs, while trying to avoid running into more debt. It feels like an almost unrealistic task so I’d be really grateful of any advice and support!

    Sorry for the long post and thank you for reading!

    Clare
Page 1
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 9th Jul 18, 12:49 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 1,956 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:49 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:49 PM
    Congratulations on reaching a good place with your partner - that stability must be a huge help.

    Re the debt busting, are you tracking your spending? Are there some little things you can do to nudge payments to your CC, to make it less overwhelming when you start to focus on paying them off?
    • a_silver_lining
    • By a_silver_lining 9th Jul 18, 12:55 PM
    • 337 Posts
    • 945 Thanks
    a_silver_lining
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:55 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Jul 18, 12:55 PM
    Hi Clare, welcome to the forum

    Well done with the CC payments so far. Do you have a plan for the rest, or are you focusing on paying the minimums?

    I totally get the coming out holiday. My partner was never out, and her mum found out, freaked out and then over time accepted us. Since then we make a really effort to fly over for all family events, weddings, Christmas etc. It's more then I would have visited in other circumstances, and is expensive, but so important and actually really lovely It also coincided with my early 30's finance sort out, but we are budgeting round it.
    19/12/14: Spent 10 years of savings!!
    ..... to buy my first home.

    2018: 3k personal savings --- Family Loan (6k paid direct + 680.99 saver 2) 6680.99/ 10K paid 66.8%
    Extra cash made 2018: 1021.41
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 9th Jul 18, 1:30 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 1:30 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Jul 18, 1:30 PM
    Hi Glenda,

    Thank you for the kind words; being open with our parents has made for a tremendous improvement in our lives.

    I've just recently started tracking my spending at the start of this month, and at the end of the month I hope to have a better picture of what spending could be eliminated or at least reduced. Snacks I think are my main culprit.

    I've also switched broadband provider which will save me £21 per month, a TV subscription at £10 per month, a Coca Cola Belfast Bikes subscription at approx £2 per month. I'm trying to get motivated to walk to and from work every day rather than getting the train; that would save me £48 per month which is pretty huge. I've been struggling with this one though.

    I'm having trouble figuring out how much per month I should put aside for savings for holidays, and how much to pay of the CCs. Like you say, it would be much better to even pay a little bit more than the minimum repayment each month.
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 9th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    • #5
    • 9th Jul 18, 1:38 PM
    Hi A Silver Lining

    Yes being able to spend time with family without omitting huge parts of your life is so important. Definitely worth spending money on Are you far from your/your partner's parents?

    Until the holidays were booked, I was paying double the minimum repayment of each CC every month which was really making a big dent in the overall amount. Now with the holidays...it's just been the min repayment for the last couple of months. Not ideal at all and would love to figure out a way to pay even a little extra on top.
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 9th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    • #6
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:46 PM
    So today's spends, and plans for the evening:

    £2.40 on train ticket to work (really need to start walking but a 50min walk each way in this heat sounds dreadful)
    £2.00 into work's milk kitty (won't need to pay that again for a few months)

    Shouldn't need to spend any more money today. This evening I'll be putting another item on ebay, doing some dishes, soup for tea (despite the weather; it's the only thing in the cupboard) and making a packed lunch for tomorrow.

    Despite only starting my diary today, I'm already feeling a bit more accountable for my spends, and generally feeling pretty motivated!
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 9th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    • 270 Posts
    • 1,956 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    • #7
    • 9th Jul 18, 6:46 PM
    Great start!
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 10th Jul 18, 2:43 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:43 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Jul 18, 2:43 PM
    Another £2.40 spent on the train to work today, but other than that, no outgoings.

    Tonight I'm having a little Mexican feast! I realised I've never really made the most of living alone, so tonight I'll be making tacos, watching some TV, and just enjoying some time alone. Really looking forward to it
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Jul 18, 5:18 PM
    • 58,067 Posts
    • 239,153 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:18 PM
    • #9
    • 10th Jul 18, 5:18 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    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
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 11th Jul 18, 12:04 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Thanks beanielou

    Dodgy start to the day; slept in for work and had to get a taxi in, so that's £6 down the swanny :|

    Thursday and Friday are public holidays here in Northern Ireland but I have all meals planned so hopefully no unexpected spends on the horizon.
    • SavingAFuture
    • By SavingAFuture 15th Jul 18, 9:08 PM
    • 100 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    SavingAFuture
    Wishing you all the luck on your debt free journey.

    I am in a similar boat this summer - off on a holiday I can't really afford...
    It's only camping in Dorset but still an expense that could have gone towards clearing a debt.

    I always feel bad for my OH who is so good with money. He deserves a holiday and shouldn't have to suffer for my bad habits haha.

    I've always fancied Copenhagen. Make sure you enjoy every moment so it's worth the cost

    All the best,
    SaF x
    Proudly on my debt free journey
    CC1: £0/2120.60 CC2: £1080/£3239.99
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 16th Jul 18, 11:55 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Wishing you all the luck on your debt free journey.

    I am in a similar boat this summer - off on a holiday I can't really afford...
    It's only camping in Dorset but still an expense that could have gone towards clearing a debt.

    I always feel bad for my OH who is so good with money. He deserves a holiday and shouldn't have to suffer for my bad habits haha.

    I've always fancied Copenhagen. Make sure you enjoy every moment so it's worth the cost

    All the best,
    SaF x
    Originally posted by SavingAFuture
    Thanks SaF. Have just read your diary, you've done brilliantly so far reducing your debt so that's definitely inspired me!

    I'm trying not to feel too guilty about the holidays....I'm knuckling down with the survey sites/Amazon vouchers so Xmas presents should be partly covered!

    Looking forward to reading more of your diary!
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 16th Jul 18, 2:48 PM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Managed to keep spending to a minimum over the long weekend (paid £7.20 entry to a working farm on Saturday - but got to cuddle puppies, bunnies and feed deer so it was worth the money!).

    Got some bad news however as my dad has had a mini-stroke. It's his second in 4 months and although he went to the hospital both times and is in good form, I'm still very worried. He receives treatment for his vision (due to diabetes) and after the last mini-stroke this had to be put on hold for a while. So this greatly impaired his vision for a few months which understandably made him feel very low. Visiting him and mum for the next few nights after work so looking forward to seeing them both.

    Feeling a bit useless at the moment. But continuing the debt free journey.
    Debts: CC1 £3269.46 £3138.46 | CC2 £1637.40 | Partner £833.64
    • Robin09
    • By Robin09 17th Jul 18, 3:03 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 629 Thanks
    Robin09
    Good luck on your debt busting journey!

    Sorry to hear the news about your dad. My mum has had a mini stroke in the past and was very worrying. Hope he recovers well.

    Was lovely to read you are comfortable letting people know of your relationship. My DS, 14 came out last year and everyone has been fantastic (apart from my dad who is still coming to terms with it, it's a shame he feels the need to act as he does but never mind) overall, people are much more open and accepting these days
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 17th Jul 18, 3:05 PM
    • 6,559 Posts
    • 24,653 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Happy shiny diary,

    Sorry to hear about your dad, sending positive thoughts your way x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £5660.00 Lloyds: £9878.75 BC: GONE Cap One: GONE
    OD £0/£500 LC £371.25/£1500 Washer PAID
    POAMAYC 2018 #041 PD £7219.86/£7000
    Savings for Christmas £385.36/£400
    20p Savers 2018 £2 Savers 2018 50p Savers 2018 SPC 12 2019 #003
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 18th Jul 18, 9:06 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Good luck on your debt busting journey!

    Sorry to hear the news about your dad. My mum has had a mini stroke in the past and was very worrying. Hope he recovers well.

    Was lovely to read you are comfortable letting people know of your relationship. My DS, 14 came out last year and everyone has been fantastic (apart from my dad who is still coming to terms with it, it's a shame he feels the need to act as he does but never mind) overall, people are much more open and accepting these days
    Originally posted by Robin09
    Thank you for the kind words As far as strokes go, it was very minor but still causes a lot of worry. But dad seems to be in good form, and he and mum are hopefully getting away on a nice hotel break to the coast next month, so they'll both be glad of the break.

    And that is so lovely to hear about your DS; it's obviously a testament to you in that he was comfortable to come out as such a young age Shame about your dad's reaction but I'm sure he'll come round eventually.
    Debts: CC1 £3269.46 £3138.46 | CC2 £1637.40 | Partner £833.64
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 18th Jul 18, 9:08 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Happy shiny diary,

    Sorry to hear about your dad, sending positive thoughts your way x
    Originally posted by Purplemumof2
    Thank you for the positive thoughts, they're much appreciated
    Debts: CC1 £3269.46 £3138.46 | CC2 £1637.40 | Partner £833.64
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 18th Jul 18, 9:15 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Not a great week so far as spending goes but trying to make myself feel a bit more positive about things. A few recent steps I've taken to save money each month:

    Changed landline and broadband provider: Saving - £21 per month
    Moved my website/blog to another host: Saving £5 per month
    Cancelled my WWE Network subscription (yes I'm a female in my 30s who still loves wrestling ): Saving :£9.99 per month

    Also I've been reading the 1% Challenge thread; what a great idea! Something I'd definitely like to do in 2019!
    Debts: CC1 £3269.46 £3138.46 | CC2 £1637.40 | Partner £833.64
    • FaceHeelTurn
    • By FaceHeelTurn 31st Jul 18, 11:28 AM
    • 38 Posts
    • 48 Thanks
    FaceHeelTurn
    Back to work yesterday after a week off; for the entire week I managed to stick to my meal plans so no extra money spent there!

    My credit rating is now at the highest it's ever been! Still lower than the national average but it's so good to see it slowly creeping up.

    It's payday so I paid the minimum off both CCs today, and ordered a pre-paid travel card for my hols.

    Job interview tomorrow which, if it goes well, would result in a little bit extra in my pay every month.
    Debts: CC1 £3269.46 £3138.46 | CC2 £1637.40 | Partner £833.64
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 1st Aug 18, 8:02 AM
    • 270 Posts
    • 1,956 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    Good luck for the interview!
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