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  • FIRST POST
    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 7th Aug 18, 12:44 PM
    • 537Posts
    • 826Thanks
    dearbarbie
    Being an adult and pulling head out from sand
    • #1
    • 7th Aug 18, 12:44 PM
    Being an adult and pulling head out from sand 7th Aug 18 at 12:44 PM
    Hello everyone. I'm 36 and feel like I'm just becoming an adult - don't judge me. I know so many people are worse off than me. I was married until last year and my ex was one of those who sorted everything and I just paid half. I've never learned how to save. Until two years ago I was self-employed which actually saw me rack up a load of overdraft fees - classy. I do feel like my upbringing (narcissists) and my subsequent mental health (which I am in therapy for - mostly anxiety and poor decisions) doesn't help where I am and my attitude to money. I got a tax refund recently and instead of whacking on credit card, I decided I needed new clothes for work and a holiday - this stuff just really has to stop.

    I coasted for ages without really thinking about my outgoings and well, here I am keen to lower my credit card debt and then add to my house savings (which are some of the pathetic proceeds from my divorce but let's not talk about how I let myself be ripped off!) I want to turn that situation into something good and not spend it all on holidays!!

    Here's a rundown of my outgoings:

    -rent: 700 a month - live alone, city centre, no car, walk everywhere apart from occasional bus to my bf. Used to Uber everywhere but reminding myself of my laziness! Still Uber if coming home late at night. Moving out of the city and commute costs would work out the same. Am renewing in September and will be asking for a discount (although last time I asked it was a no!)

    -electricity - 80!!! I moved into a flat post-divorce and moving 200 miles away so found somewhere I could afford and would be okay being alone whilst I made new friends. It's blooming freezing in winter because it's all bricks inside and there's a tiny electric heater. It got up to 100 a month in December. I was in some awful company when I moved in and switched to Bulb. Is still 70 (was charging me 40 but upped it). Will be buying small EFFICIENT heater that's portable to replace it. This is one of my biggest bugbears. Even in summer I'm using a lot and unsure using an oven once a day/charging phone/occasional evening TV equates to this! No gas, at least. Would you recommend one of those electricity usage monitors?

    -council tax - 120ish *shudder* inc single person discount

    -contents insurance - about 15

    -tv license - 13

    -broadband - 20 with Sky. Am considering changing to Hyperoptic as my flat is a basement and has crap signal. Due to change contract next month - would love tips on any deals

    -mobile phone - about 50. Yeahhh. I'm in contract until March 2019. No land line.

    -pets - about 30. I have guinea pigs and am reducing this by switching their bedding and food. Irritatingly I can no longer buy in bulk like I used to because of being at work/no car if anything delivered to work.

    -gym - 10 as is at work

    -cc payments - about 200 a month

    -water - about 45 a quarter

    -beauty/personal care stuff - 50-70

    -hobbies - I run a website that has costs (approx 80 a month - social media tool, Adobe Creative Cloud) and doesn't really make any money (but I get to go to events as often as I want for free rather than pay so does support a cheaper social life). Have considered closing it but supports my day job/CV and that of about 20 other people.

    -professional membership - 170 a year

    -I bring packed lunches to work most days, veggies, grains, and now I've discovered Aldi I will add some fish sometimes
    -I eat similar for dinner, maybe with pasta - so food and drink at maybe 50 a week including socialising too. Sometimes more than that.

    -having moved to a new city, it's all about being a 'yes' person to make new friends. I'm really trying to reduce this by being comfortable at home and invite people around rather than going out to bars.

    -I have 15k in savings and I know I should whack those on the credit cards x2 and then I'm debt-free. But, I'm a contractor. I could be without work for 6 months and I have nobody - no family to rely on, nobody I can move in with, nobody to lend me money if I needed it - so feel like I really need that in my back pocket to calm my raging anxiety about being unemployed between contracts. (In all seriousness, I do have quite bad anxiety about period of unemployment!) Have bf but no sign of that heading in any direction anytime soon so it's just me, myself and I (and two guinea pigs)

    -I add 100 a month to a Nutmeg savings accounts - I should be throwing that money at my ccs shouldn't I? I have only just realised that as I am typing it!

    What else am I missing that should be on this budget list? Thank you if you made it this far - it's as much about reclaiming my life as well as my credit cards
    Last edited by dearbarbie; 07-08-2018 at 12:49 PM.
Page 1
    • macman
    • By macman 7th Aug 18, 1:01 PM
    • 42,722 Posts
    • 17,985 Thanks
    macman
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:01 PM
    • #2
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:01 PM
    You haven't stated what your CC debt is, and at what APR? But nevertheless, it's insane to be paying interest on the CC's at (guess) 20%, when your savings are earning (guess) less than 2% and could clear the debt entirely.
    I take your point about being self employed, but, worst case, you can use the once debt-free CC's to live on for a few months-or preferably get a O% card.
    Put your figures into an SOA and post it for further advice.
    PS: all electric heaters are the same efficiency (100%) so don't waste your money on a new one.
    Last edited by macman; 07-08-2018 at 1:03 PM.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 7th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    • 1,599 Posts
    • 1,212 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    • #3
    • 7th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
    Hi dearbarbie,

    It would be helpful if you completed a Statement of Affairs (SOA). It makes sure nothing is missed. Just fill out the form, click on the 'format for MSE' button at the bottom and post it up here.

    http://www.stoozing.com/calculator/soa.php
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 7th Aug 18, 2:15 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 2:15 PM
    • #4
    • 7th Aug 18, 2:15 PM
    You haven't stated what your CC debt is, and at what APR? But nevertheless, it's insane to be paying interest on the CC's at (guess) 20%, when your savings are earning (guess) less than 2% and could clear the debt entirely.
    I take your point about being self employed, but, worst case, you can use the once debt-free CC's to live on for a few months-or preferably get a O% card.
    Put your figures into an SOA and post it for further advice.
    PS: all electric heaters are the same efficiency (100%) so don't waste your money on a new one.
    Originally posted by macman
    Thank you! I'll do that ASAP and paste in there.
    You're right about the % on the CCs too - but rent can't be paid from credit cards.

    I got the EPC thing from my flat and the heater is the worst-performing thing, like at the bottom of the scale. Surely they're not all inefficient as hell?
    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 7th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
    • #5
    • 7th Aug 18, 2:21 PM
    Now I see this, the CCs really need to shrink. Also my credit rating isn't seeming great, considered stoozing to pay off without the % but I'm not showing more than a 70% acceptance which is a bit annoying - hoping this is because of the relocating stuff - not living somewhere long, no mortgage anymore

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household.........
    Number of cars owned....................

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 2000
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2000


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 700
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 120
    Electricity............................. 80
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 15
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 50
    TV Licence.............................. 13
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 20
    Groceries etc. ......................... 150
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 0
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 30
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 50
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 30
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 20
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 200
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1548



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 18000
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 18000


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    cc1............................8000......100...... .19.9
    cc1............................10000.....100...... .19.9
    Total unsecured debts..........18000.....200.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,000
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,548
    Available for debt repayments........... 452
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 200
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 252


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 18,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -18,000
    Net Assets.............................. 0


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Last edited by dearbarbie; 07-08-2018 at 2:28 PM.
    • Karonher
    • By Karonher 7th Aug 18, 3:21 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,158 Thanks
    Karonher
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:21 PM
    • #6
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:21 PM
    I think you can cut a bit off your food bill - even if it is just 10 - 20. Also entertainment could come down a bit. I understand what you are saying about the cold, but I would still be looking at cutting back on the electricity as much as possible.

    Can you cut out the clothing budget for a few months and check the medical and pet budgets.

    All this could give you up to another 100 and with this and 200 of your already available money could be paying a lot more off. I would also use at least some of the savings.

    If you could get your spending down to 1450 a month you could keep 6 months money in savings which would be 8,700 - you could even leave 10,000 in savings and pay the rest off the cards.

    Then you would have 9,000 to pay and by paying off 500 a month could be debt free in just over 18 months and save lots in interest
    Getting ready for Christmas 2018

    Aiming to make 5,000 online in 2018.
    • 0Credit
    • By 0Credit 7th Aug 18, 3:38 PM
    • 45 Posts
    • 64 Thanks
    0Credit
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:38 PM
    • #7
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:38 PM
    Bring down life costs a little (20%)

    Up your monthly payments to 3X your current

    This way you pay off quicker, use small sums of your savings each month and still feel secure if your job was ever lost/something bad happened.
    • Mnd
    • By Mnd 7th Aug 18, 3:56 PM
    • 743 Posts
    • 905 Thanks
    Mnd
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:56 PM
    • #8
    • 7th Aug 18, 3:56 PM
    See if you can get a 0% card as well, then use some savings to reduce some of the 20% balsnce you are paying.
    You seem to be ok regarding your income and outgoings, so with your new focus you can get back in control relatively swiftly
    • Willing2Learn
    • By Willing2Learn 7th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    • 1,599 Posts
    • 1,212 Thanks
    Willing2Learn
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    • #9
    • 7th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
    Now I see this, the CCs really need to shrink. Also my credit rating isn't seeming great, considered stoozing to pay off without the % but I'm not showing more than a 70% acceptance which is a bit annoying - hoping this is because of the relocating stuff - not living somewhere long, no mortgage anymore....
    Originally posted by dearbarbie
    Where is the spare 252/month going?

    If you have breathing space on your credit card limits then it may be possible to stooze on a 3 year % balance transfer. Lenders want to see a solid credit history without defaults, late payments or arrears. Is that you? If so, then try going for the Tesco 36 month 0% balance transfer card. One solitary credit search is not going to negatively impact your credit report.

    And ignore your credit rating. Lenders score you independently. They consider the data in your report and application and score you against their criteria and policies. They never see your credit rating...
    I work within the voluntary sector, supporting vulnerable people to rebuild their lives.

    I love my job

    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 9th Aug 18, 3:49 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    I think you can cut a bit off your food bill - even if it is just 10 - 20. Also entertainment could come down a bit. I understand what you are saying about the cold, but I would still be looking at cutting back on the electricity as much as possible.

    Can you cut out the clothing budget for a few months and check the medical and pet budgets.

    All this could give you up to another 100 and with this and 200 of your already available money could be paying a lot more off. I would also use at least some of the savings.

    If you could get your spending down to 1450 a month you could keep 6 months money in savings which would be 8,700 - you could even leave 10,000 in savings and pay the rest off the cards.

    Then you would have 9,000 to pay and by paying off 500 a month could be debt free in just over 18 months and save lots in interest
    Originally posted by Karonher
    Thank you! I do fritter a lot on crap tbh - quick beer after work here and there, I'm in a new city where I don't know many people so being a bit of a 'yes' person. However I do have a Monzo card I really should be using to budget. Think I'll start using that to manage my entertainment budget as a starting point.

    Medical is a no-change sadly, and I've reduced my pet budget significantly, just found somewhere yesterday that is even cheaper for bedding (guinea pigs).

    I'm hoping to join walking groups and stuff where things are free too beyond transport there!
    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 9th Aug 18, 4:02 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    Bring down life costs a little (20%)

    Up your monthly payments to 3X your current

    This way you pay off quicker, use small sums of your savings each month and still feel secure if your job was ever lost/something bad happened.
    Originally posted by 0Credit
    Ooh small bits of savings each month is a great idea - thank you!
    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 9th Aug 18, 4:11 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    See if you can get a 0% card as well, then use some savings to reduce some of the 20% balsnce you are paying.
    You seem to be ok regarding your income and outgoings, so with your new focus you can get back in control relatively swiftly
    Originally posted by Mnd
    I'm not doing great on the eligibility side of things sadly thank you! I need to check my credit file and see why things have changed so much since I moved
    • dearbarbie
    • By dearbarbie 9th Aug 18, 4:15 PM
    • 537 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    dearbarbie
    Where is the spare 252/month going?

    If you have breathing space on your credit card limits then it may be possible to stooze on a 3 year % balance transfer. Lenders want to see a solid credit history without defaults, late payments or arrears. Is that you? If so, then try going for the Tesco 36 month 0% balance transfer card. One solitary credit search is not going to negatively impact your credit report.

    And ignore your credit rating. Lenders score you independently. They consider the data in your report and application and score you against their criteria and policies. They never see your credit rating...
    Originally posted by Willing2Learn
    Interesting. I have never defaulted on a credit card payment, had arrears.

    I moved from a house I owned and was removed from mortgage 10 months ago to a rented property and also started a new job around the same time. Could that be causing a problem?

    Or...I owed some money to my previous power supplier before moving to Bulb. It was a real shambolic org where I couldn't actually get through to them then went on holiday and a debt collection co contacted me - I paid it off instantly. I bet that's the badger. DARN.

    Thanks for this food for thought!
    • DD265
    • By DD265 9th Aug 18, 8:19 PM
    • 1,502 Posts
    • 3,350 Thanks
    DD265
    On the medical side, could a pre-payment certificate help if you have multiple prescriptions per month?

    Look into the cost of buying Adobe CC for the year instead of monthly; I can't remember what the difference was but it felt substantial when we used it to design our wedding stationary and by being clever with the trials, managed to get away without paying for it.

    We are also electricity only and like you, our costs feel extremely high. Make sure your bills are based on actual meter readings not estimates.

    What are the limits on your credit cards? Could you use savings to pay off one, then do a balance transfer from the second to the first to get it interest free? This is what I do, rather than taking out new cards, but I have balance transfer offers every month on both cards.

    Definitely see if you can shave a bit off your entertainment budget, and possibly food. If you're actually spending 50 a month on clothes, do you actually have a lot you don't wear and could sell?

    As you're paying interest on your debts and have a healthy savings account (even if you pay one card off), I'd nix the savings for now. When the debt is interest free, small 50/100 a month payments are good.

    If these figures aren't accurate it'd be worth keeping a spending diary, and eventually morphing that into a budget. Personally I like You Need A Budget, whereas plenty of people set something up in Excel and there are other apps available.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 9th Aug 18, 10:16 PM
    • 5,359 Posts
    • 6,687 Thanks
    theoretica
    Can you trim beauty and personal care a little? Go a week longer between appointments? Only buy stuff when you have actually run out.



    A soft drink after work is cheaper than a beer and still sociable.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 10th Aug 18, 5:46 PM
    • 929 Posts
    • 1,270 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    I'm intrigued as to which city you have moved from and to?
    Savings End September 2018
    September 2018 986.09
    October 2018
    November 2018
    December 2018
    January 2019
    • skint_chick
    • By skint_chick 11th Aug 18, 3:57 PM
    • 724 Posts
    • 5,321 Thanks
    skint_chick
    That contents insurance looks a bit high - check out the home insurance pages on here to get that down, along with your groceries etc then add any savings to that 100 you're paying into savings and pay it off your cards too. If they're both the same interest rate then pay the minimum on the larger balance and pay the additional money to the smaller bill - seeing the balance reduce more quickly than splitting it equally will make you feel better.

    If you keep a better record of your spends then the 250 you're supposed to have left over each month might actually be left over - then you can pay even more off the cards! You'll feel much better once your debt is gone, then you will have more months income in the bank and you can start using the money you paid the debt with to save for holidays and fun things.
    "I cannot make my days longer so I strive to make them better." Paul Theroux
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