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  • FIRST POST
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 19th Jul 18, 7:24 AM
    • 61Posts
    • 165Thanks
    seahorsey
    Debt Free by 40 - let the countdown begin!!!!
    • #1
    • 19th Jul 18, 7:24 AM
    Debt Free by 40 - let the countdown begin!!!! 19th Jul 18 at 7:24 AM
    Hello MSE

    So after the realisation I feel like a passenger in my own life, I've decided it's time to get a grip and start putting plans in place and into action. I've got a big birthday coming up in just over 2.5 years so thought it'd be the perfect time frame to work within.

    So why am I here? Since my uni days (nearly 20 years ago ) I've been in and out of my overdraft. This over the last 5-6 years has also been joined by the dreaded credit cards and catalogue / store card accounts. We had a series of unexpected spends (£4K plus in vets bills that insurance wouldn't cover, £2.5k car bills and then subsequent purchase of new car and plugging the maternity pay shortfall). I've been going round the merry go round of trying to pay them off for the last 6 years but never getting anyway. Any progress gets wiped out by the next emergency. Time for a change in tactics I think. Upto now it's been a case of chuck every penny at it and hope for the best. We've never had savings and I now believe this is the root cause of our problems.

    So initial plan of action.......
    1. £1k in savings by year end, whilst making at least minimum payments towards the debts...

    A side from the finances, I will use this diary as a bit of a life journal. I'm also wanting to lose weight (approx 2 stone), improve my fitness and mental well being, so will document the steps I'm taking towards this along the way.

    Here's to the next 32 months
Page 4
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 10th Dec 18, 5:45 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning - Monday again!!!!!
    Not a massive amount to report. Had a very lazy weekend as everyone is still feeling under the weather. Food shop done yesterday - needed a few bits for the freezer as stocks were low, it came to a whopping £92 I wouldn't mind if there were loads of goodies, but it's just boring, run of the mill staple stuff. I'd meal planned for myself and only bought the necessary and avoided the aisles I didn't need. Going to have to have a mega change of strategy I think. I have however made a delicious brocolli and cheese soup for work out of broccoli that was lurking in the back of the fridge - like this somehow makes up for it

    Need to check when the 0% deals on cards are ending as I have a feeling one is in Feb. Will double check in a mo.

    Have a good day x
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 20th Dec 18, 1:43 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    5 more sleeps til Santa!!!

    As much as Iím looking forward to Christmas, Iím also looking forward to the opportunity with getting on with the debt busting and getting back on track with life once itís over.

    Iíve finished work now for the year, which is a massive relief. This year has been horrific from a work POV and if nothing else it has shown me I need a clean slate financially to give me more options work wise.

    OH has been paid today which has got to last us until the end of January. In theory it should be ok as other than a very small top up shop tomorrow (weíve dodged Christmas dinner this year and are instead at my parents!) weíve no plans to venture anywhere near a shop until Christmas is done and therefore until official pay day is here.

    So in the absence of being able to make any official progress this month, a few plans have been put in place. Iíve arranged to have a smart meter fitted for our gas and electricity. While not saving us money in itself, Iím hoping that it will at least educate us and make us more mindful of what weíre using. Iíve also signed up for a couple of challenges on the challenges board. The 20p / £2 collectors will hopefully help with a chunk towards Christmas or debts this time next year. The budgets have also been played with in light of my spending diary. It seems Iím massively under budgeting on food spend. Whilst what Iím budgeting is what ideally Iíd like to see it at, realistically itís going to take a lot of work to get it there. Whilst Iím working towards that I figure itís better to have a more realistic budget in place in an attempt to avoid the end of month struggles.

    Right , better sign off for now. Have fun x
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 22nd Dec 18, 6:05 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning!
    Poor DS has been up coughing for the last hour and through most of yesterday, think itíll be a quiet day of snuggles and TV in the hope that he fends it off in time for Christmas.

    Popped into our local town yesterday as had a gift voucher for a local beauty salon and had booked to have my nails done. It felt very extravagant as isnít something Iíd usually do, but it was a nice little Ďfreeí treat. Town was heaving by the time I left, but fortunately I managed a quick food shop whilst I was there (itís amazing how having to carry the shopping bags across town curbs your spending!) and also picked the last of the gifts up from boots. Was amazed to see that I have £18 in points, so I grabbed a copy of the gift catalogue to have a flick through and make a quick list of things to look out for in the sale - I can use my points to kickstart next years pressie stash

    Iím going to spend some quality time with by bullet journal this weekend and set out some goals for 2019. Obviously debt busting will feature heavily, but also want to set myself some personal goals in a bid to increase personsal happiness and wellbeing and improve our quality of life as a family.

    Have a great weekend - 3 more sleeps
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 26th Dec 18, 8:45 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas. Ours has been lovely and we have all been well and truly spoilt by family and friends. Eaten and drunk far too much, but heigh ho it’s only once a year.

    Managed to get 3 pressies for next year sorted in the boots sale with my points, so the stash is started for next year.

    Set myself a few targets for next year, both financial and personal. The first 3 are
    1. Lose 2 stone (by end of March)
    2. £300 spending money for mini break at Easter
    3. £1000 emergency fund by mid year

    I hoping to fund the spending money and emergency fund via eBay sales, fb sales, car boots etc. The emergency fund is particularly important as our lack of one seems to be the root cause of our debt. I’ve tried and failed before to address this, as it’s always more tempting to throw any extra income at the debt to get it cleared sooner. Need a change of mindset on this one!

    Anyways better go - DS is desperate for me to set up his new toys!
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 27th Dec 18, 5:30 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    A couple of post Christmas eBay sales have kickstarted the emergency fund - currently £27.50/£1000. Not much but a start all the same! Have just dragged a box of stuff out to list, itís my challenge for my early mornings whilst Iím off work - get up to date with my eBay listings! I find it pretty much impossible to lie in now so will put the extra hour or two to good use.

    I cancelled Amazon prime on Xmas eve and have received a £7.99 refund into my account. It had its uses but I wasnít using it anywhere near enough to warrant paying £7.99 for it.

    Need to kickstart my running ASAP. Iím entered in a half marathon in May so need to give myself a kick up the bum and get back out there. Will be tough to begin with but Iím hoping Iíll soon fall back in love with it.

    Going to brave the sales today. DS has a couple of Christmas pressies that I need to swap for bigger sizes and also need to pay my Christmas money into the bank. I will allow myself a couple of treats out of it if I see anything I really like, but I really want to save the majority for a rainy day.

    Have a good day all x
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 27th Dec 18, 10:27 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    So I survived the sales! Managed to swap DS pressies (pjs) for some that had been reduced in the sale in his size, so he’s ended up with 3 pairs for the price of the 2 he was gifted, so that’s all good.

    Two more eBay sales totalling £17 mean the emergency fund is currently at £44.50/£1000. I did work out earlier that to build the emergency fund up by 30th June would equate to £5.52 per day starting 1st Jan. Makes it seem more achievable. There are payment a day challenges on the challenge board so will look at joining them to keep me on track.

    Had an email through offering £12 off £60 online supermarket shop, so have that arriving over the weekend. Our weekly shop is averaging approx £85 - this came in at £61, so I’m pleased with that.

    Anyway it’s past my bedtime so I’d better go before I drop off!!!!!
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 30th Dec 18, 6:32 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning! Just waiting for the online shop to arrive early time = cheap delivery

    Nothing much to report. Another £7.50 eBay sale added to the emergency fund takes it to £52/£1000. Really need to tighten the belt this month to ensure that the pot doesnít get dipped into. Going to be a very very long and tight month, but Iím determined that weíll get through it somehow!

    Managed to get £5 refunded via eBay for an item that was nothing like described, small victories and all that, but to be fair I was going to just write it off, so everythingís a bonus.

    Ventured to park run yesterday - my first run in 3 months whilst it wasnít great it wasnít bad either. I can still run, although a lot slower as it feels like much harder but itís a start, Iím back on the horse so to speak! Also weighed in 5.5lb put on over Xmas week - I did enjoy it tho time to knuckle down and get rid of the excess!

    Right best go - hoping to get a quick meal plan scrawled out before the shopping arrives
    • pidge04
    • By pidge04 30th Dec 18, 8:05 AM
    • 579 Posts
    • 1,599 Thanks
    pidge04
    Good to read you had some wins yesterday!

    Yes, I’m looking at January as a challenge which I will get through!
    O/D £1000
    CC £3025
    LOAN £4416
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 5th Jan 19, 6:36 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning - pidge04 itís certainly going to be a challenge!!! Pay day is still 3.5 weeks away

    Nothing much to report - Christmas is officially over for another year and Iím back at work To be fair I was beginning to crave a bit of normality and routine again, so hereís to a new year. Fingers crossed my this time next year I will be reporting mega debt busting results

    Task for today is to blitz the house, get the decorations down and hopefully sort the garage a wee bit. I know Iíve got some bits and pieces in there that can go on fb selling pages, so hopefully make some pennies along the way.

    So after my park run this time last week Iíve clocked up a further 13km, not a massive achievement, but considering Iíve not run in 3 months itís feeling good to be back out there. Iíve got some races booked (thank you Santa!) to help keep me motivated. The first is a 5km in March, followed by a 5 mile in May and a half at the end of May. Very tempted with another half at beginning of June as I loved it so much last year, but will see how the training and pennies go before booking.

    2019 is going to be the year I get organised. As Iíve mentioned before I seem to spend a lot of my life living in chaos and no matter what time Iím awake itís a rush to get out the door. Iím conscious I spend a lot of time on line (pretty ironic as Iím tapping away here), so will aim to limit this. Itíll also help limit my spending as a massive chunk of my impulse buys are done on line. Iíve also set myself a £300 limit for clothes purchases this year (no idea if this is a lot or not as I donít know what I spent last year, but by having a limit it may help me think twice before clicking the add to basket - eBay is my downfall!).

    Right, I may have 30 minutes no before DS wakes - time to get cracking!

    Happy new year x
    • AdventureWanted
    • By AdventureWanted 5th Jan 19, 3:39 PM
    • 1,035 Posts
    • 3,585 Thanks
    AdventureWanted
    Hi,
    Just finished reading your diary and have subscribed. Good luck with your 2019 goals .
    • Kitten868
    • By Kitten868 6th Jan 19, 4:57 PM
    • 1,086 Posts
    • 2,660 Thanks
    Kitten868
    Hello!

    Have you Marie Kondo'd your place? It's a big job but with huge rewards! Lucky for you she now has a tv show to teach you her ways. Essentially you pull everything out and only put it back if it 'sparks joy'. Don't keep holding on to stuff just because it cost a lot of money or it was a gift from your auntie. Only keep the stuff you want. I've found it liberating and it's enabled me to be so much more organised with day to day cleaning and tidying. Plus you'll have loads in your eBay box to sell.

    With your clothes budget is it just for you or are you including your DS? I find it impossible trying to budget for my two. Every time I think I'm ahead of the game the kids outgrow or need something else. Last time it was rain coats. They've never needed rain coats ever before - standard coats weren't up to the job. Blooming weather. Warm and wet.

    You're doing really well. You can do this. Xxx
    Loan 1 £5400/£8000
    Loan 2 £3400/£5800
    Total £8800/£13800 36% PAID

    And CC £1475/1900
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 7th Jan 19, 6:43 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Thanks for dropping by both.

    Kitten - I actually purchased Marie Kondoís book before Christmas but havenít had chance to get to grips with it yet. Will dig it out and give it a read. In terms of clothes budget, I was hoping to cover us both, however as I said, Iím not sure how realistic this is given I have absolutely no idea what I spent this year. Keeping note of it will make me more mindful though and hopefully given me an idea for a realistic budget going forward.

    Reasonably low spend weekend this weekend. Saturday was spent clearing the garage. We managed 3 tip runs plus theyíll be at least 2 more this coming weekend! Feels good to have cleared so much and to actually have useful space in the garage again

    Food shopping actually came in at under £70 for the first time in as long as I can remember. It usually ends up around £85 so £68 is a big reduction for us. Would love to average £60-£70 a week and am working on our meal planning to help us achieve this.

    Right, jobs for today.....
    1. Post eBay
    2. Return DS pjs (purchased in the next sale in size up but would only just fit him now - he has plenty in this size so am returning for a refund)
    3. Quick trip to home bargains for birthday pressies (x3 ) for parties DS is going to over the next few weeks.
    4 Living room tidy
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 8th Jan 19, 6:04 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning! Home Bargains is lethal - I definitely need to either avoid or be more disciplined!!!! Came out £20 lighter have only purchased half a birthday pressie popped into town and managed to get 2 sorted, so just one left. That ones not until the end of the month though. PJs also got returned- in days gone by I wonít have been bothered to do this, so definitely a step in the right direction.

    Need to list a few things on fb selling pages from our garage sort, if they all sell they should raise £30 - £40 so fingers crossed.

    Sorry for the short pointless post, but getting in the habit of reporting in frequently helps keep me focussed and motivated. Have a good day x
    • Homegrown0
    • By Homegrown0 8th Jan 19, 7:26 AM
    • 455 Posts
    • 2,343 Thanks
    Homegrown0
    Hey seahorsey, just stopping by because your chaotic mornings and rushing around resonates massively with me. Trying to get myself and two kids organised and out the door in the morning can be torture.

    Since going back to work yesterday I've been laying out clothes, prepping bags and lunches the night before in a bid to make it easier. I've also started getting up on my first alarm instead of snoozing so that I can have a coffee in peace before the kids wake.

    We are only two days in but so far, so good (I've already put dishes away and put a washing on while waiting on the kettle to boil).

    These things all help!

    Well done on getting back into your park runs. I'm not great with running outdoors, I get sore ears weirdly so prefer the treadmill. Must be the cold air, although hats don't seem to help.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 075
    Pay off by Xmas 2019 #02 - target £10,000
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 11th Jan 19, 6:08 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Yay to organised mornings Homegrown. Itís actually amazing what you can ge5 done in the time it takes the kettle to boil. I used to have this weird idea that everything takes far longer than it actually does. I donít need a spare 15 mins to take the rubbish out or empty the dish washer - itís literally seconds. This new mindset has been a really productive one for me so far! Are you familiar with the Organised Mum blog? Iíve found it really useful.

    So I rang Tesco yesterday to find out when my 0% period finishes- turns out I have various amounts ending over the coming months, so I have transferred all except £34.06 ending feb (will be cleared by next payment) and £644 ending in October onto the BC (0% until July 2020) Iíve then done a money transfer from Tesco to pay my OD off (0% until Feb 2020). Yes Iíve paid a fee for the pleasure, but it equates to approx 2 months worth of interest on the OD so in the long run will save me money. The OD will be cancelled as soon as it comes through. I must admit I had a bit of an oh sh*t moment with the whole brexit thing and took Martins advise if you need to borrow do it sooner rather than later. Feel better now itís all sorted and have reviewed my plans to get it all paid off by April 2021.

    I also checked by Experian credit rating at that is excellent (999/999) so all good there - phew!

    Iím going on a massive declutter this year. Iíve joined the 2019 decluttering thread and have have so far decluttered 34/2019 items for the year. Iíll only bore you with the details of the ones Iíve sold on here, so £7 for DS old toddler bike ( I bought it from a car boot for £5 )

    Thinking forward to next Christmas, I found a load of little money envelopes as I was clearing out. Going to allocate on to each person I need to buy for and then seal them once Iíve put the budgeted amount in throughout the year. The sales this year havenít been too fruitful so rather than buy for the sake of it Iíll put away little and often and use it when I see something suitable.

    Right, going to jump in the shower before DS wakes - have a good day x
    • Homegrown0
    • By Homegrown0 11th Jan 19, 7:23 AM
    • 455 Posts
    • 2,343 Thanks
    Homegrown0
    I know exactly what you mean about having a warped sense of how long things take - I was the queen of putting things off with all the time-based excuses. I suppose I still am, to a degree, but a million times better. I do follow The Organised Mum on Instagram to catch her posts and stories often,but i haven't ventured onto her blog yet. I must take time to have a read!
    Sealed Pot Challenge 075
    Pay off by Xmas 2019 #02 - target £10,000
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 12th Jan 19, 6:06 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning! The transfers all went through yesterday, so OD is paid off (well debt shifted to 0% really) and all debt is now at 0%. I was paying nearly £15 a month interest on the OD and getting no where. Whilst I’m really good at not using the cards, the OD is my get out of jail card so I really struggle making any headway with it.

    The emergency fund is ticking away nicely currently sat at £71.50 out of a planned £66.24 so nearly a day ahead of schedule which is great. I have someone coming today to collect an item and someone who collected the bike yesterday, so that’s a combined total of £10. I’ll pop this in an envelope for the Christmas savings.

    Jobs for today (it’s a busy one....)
    1. DS to swimming (if he’s well enough - think he’s coming down with the cold we both have so we’ll have to see)
    2. Collect DS meds’ from chemist
    3. Post eBay
    4. Food shopping
    5. At least one tip run
    6. Get birthday pressies wrapped (x4) for this weeks birthdays

    Have a good weekend all x
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 13th Jan 19, 6:58 PM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    So numbers 1 & 5 off my list didnít get done, but nevermind, thereís always next weekend!

    Spent some time today going through my various spreadsheets in light of the transfers. All seems to be in reasonably good shape. Canít believe thereís still 16 days to go until payday - what a ridiculously long month!

    Had a lovely afternoon at DS best friends birthday party, other than that weíve not left the house, so a nice NSD

    Managed to sell another item on fb for £20, Iíve split this between emergency fund (£5.78 to keep us a full day ahead of schedule) and £14.22 to the spending money fund for our little break in a couple of months time.

    I managed to claw a couple of hours to myself yesterday and have blitzed the downstairs, so much easier to keep on top of when youíre starting with a clean tidy house. Feel so much better for having done it.

    At the mo Iím feeling pants and full of cold so no exercise this weekend - must get back on track.

    Hereís to a positive (and cheap!) week
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 15th Jan 19, 6:10 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning!
    Busy day at work yesterday, at least the time went reasonably quickly. Up and just about ready for round 2 today.

    £10 sale on eBay yesterday which has been rounded up and added to the emergency fund for another 2 days worth of payment, meaning I’m still ahead by 1 day. Fund at the moment stands at £88.32. Need to ensure it doesn’t get dipped into as payday is still 2 weeks away and money is getting very tight! The spending money pot for our break is at £46.85, so given that we have two months council tax free Feb and March (our CT is £192 a month!!!!) I may use this to bail us out and replace next month with the CT money. Far better than using the OD to see us through.

    Yesterday was another nsd (I really need to get into the habit of tracking these......)

    Off work tomorrow and Thursday, so hoping to get some more eBaying done. Just realised that to stay on track with the E fund I need another 88.32 before month end. No wriggle room in the budgets so best get eBaying to bring in the extra pennies!

    Right enough of my waffle - best get on! Have a good day x
    • seahorsey
    • By seahorsey 17th Jan 19, 7:37 AM
    • 61 Posts
    • 165 Thanks
    seahorsey
    Morning!
    Bit of a spendy day yesterday, fortunately for the budget most came out of my personal spends/ Christmas money rather than the joint budget.

    DS needed new trainers as heís nearly kicked through the toes in his current ones. £16.75 spent. Whilst out I tried a pair of jeans on as theyíre on my wish list for the year. Perfect fit (rare for me!) and reduced from £90 to £20. So my first clothing purchase for the year has been made (£20/£300). Fortunately I still had Christmas money left so have used this. Third purchase was £12 for storage boxes - determined to get decluttered and organised this year and needed these to help me progress at the weekend. We were home by lunch time too so didnít get caught out with having to feed a hungry toddler!

    In other news I joined a local running club last night. It was great to have company to run with and did my motivation the world of good. Even better that itís completely free Hopefully Iíll get my mojo back and lose some lbs along the way.

    TTFN x
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