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  • FIRST POST
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 13th Jan 19, 10:51 PM
    • 40Posts
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    Andrew_P
    Help Please - Want to be Debt Free
    • #1
    • 13th Jan 19, 10:51 PM
    Help Please - Want to be Debt Free 13th Jan 19 at 10:51 PM
    Hi Everyone,

    I am just after some help and support as my wife and I are in dire straights and owe the best part of 20,000 on credit cards and overdraft. I suppose it's better late than never but we have had an honest conversation tonight and we both agree we need to start tackling this.

    We both work and take home just below 3,000 a month at the moment but it's a wakeup call when you don't know how you have got into a mess.

    My SOA is below:

    I haven't included car insurance, maintenance, road tax, contents insurance, break down cover as rather foolishly I have been paying these annually. The main reason for this is I try and use Top Cashback to get money back whenever I renew insurance. Monthly shopping is an estimate as again could be more as we have not been monitoring it and sticking the odd shop on credit cards.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1500
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 1432
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2932


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 595
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 120
    Council tax............................. 116
    Electricity............................. 56
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 35
    Telephone (land line)................... 17
    Mobile phone............................ 30
    TV Licence.............................. 12.85
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 13
    Groceries etc. ......................... 320
    Clothing................................ 10
    Petrol/diesel........................... 80
    Road tax................................ 10
    Car Insurance........................... 30
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 15
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 10
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 10
    Life assurance ......................... 14
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10
    Haircuts................................ 13
    Entertainment........................... 240
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Grount Rent............................. 10
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1766.85



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 0
    House value (Gross)..................... 230000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 2000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 232000



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 150000...(595)......3
    Total secured & HP debts...... 150000....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Tesco Credit Card..............1085......40........18.9
    Barclaycard....................11524.....259...... .0
    Virgin Credit Card.............3600......25........0
    Wife's MBNA Card...............3449.11...60........22.9
    Wife's Overdraft...............3000......0.........NaN
    Total unsecured debts..........22658.11..384.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,932
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,766.85
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,165.15
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 384
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 781.15


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 232,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -150,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -22,658.11
    Net Assets.............................. 59,341.89


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    On behalf of myself and my wife we would be grateful for peoples support and advice on where we should go from here and what to focus on first. I have recently been offered a new job and I just hope our current predicament doesn't stop them offering me it after they have completed the necessary vetting checks.

    Thanks everyone

    Andrew
    Last edited by Andrew_P; 15-01-2019 at 6:38 PM. Reason: Updated my SOA
Page 1
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Jan 19, 11:12 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #2
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:12 PM
    • #2
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:12 PM
    I think you need to redo that soa as it obviously is not accurate as you presumably do not have 1376 spare after paying for everything. You should be including everything you spend on there including the annual bills which actually you have been doing the right thing in paying annually as they are usually cheaper that way.

    I really think you must be paying more than 100 for groceries each month and seriously doubt you spend nothing on entertainment, presents or holidays. The figures for car maintenance, breakdown cover and insurances should be included by estimating what it will cost (take last years figures and add a small premium) and divide by 12. Ideally you would be budgeting for these annual costs by saving up for them so the money is waiting to pay them as they fall due. Same goes for car maintenance.

    I suggest you look at the last three months bank statements and see where your money has been going and redo the soa with the actual figures of where you have been spending, not what you think or want to spend. You also need to start putting money aside for emergency savings so you are not tempted to turn to credit if you have an unexpected and unavoidable bill. The best way to turn this around is to go cold turkey and stop using credit altogether.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 13th Jan 19, 11:19 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:19 PM
    • #3
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:19 PM
    I think you need to redo that soa as it obviously is not accurate as you presumably do not have 1376 spare after paying for everything. You should be including everything you spend on there including the annual bills which actually you have been doing the right thing in paying annually as they are usually cheaper that way.

    I really think you must be paying more than 100 for groceries each month and seriously doubt you spend nothing on entertainment, presents or holidays. The figures for car maintenance, breakdown cover and insurances should be included by estimating what it will cost (take last years figures and add a small premium) and divide by 12. Ideally you would be budgeting for these annual costs by saving up for them so the money is waiting to pay them as they fall due. Same goes for car maintenance.

    I suggest you look at the last three months bank statements and see where your money has been going and redo the soa with the actual figures of where you have been spending, not what you think or want to spend. You also need to start putting money aside for emergency savings so you are not tempted to turn to credit if you have an unexpected and unavoidable bill. The best way to turn this around is to go cold turkey and stop using credit altogether.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks so much for your reply

    I just realised before I had a chance to update the post. I have added in the monthly costs for things like entertainment, presents or holidays.

    Look forward to your reply

    Thanks

    Andrew
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Jan 19, 11:21 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:21 PM
    • #4
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:21 PM
    That looks a bit better but there is still a spare 1100 not accounted for. Have you been paying higher repayments to the debt?
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Jan 19, 11:23 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:23 PM
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:23 PM
    A spending diary might be a good idea where you and your wife write down or record on a phone app (spending tracker) where you are spending. I would prioritise saving an emergency fund and your wifes overdraft. How much is that costing you each month in bank charges?
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 13th Jan 19, 11:27 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:27 PM
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:27 PM
    That looks a bit better but there is still a spare 1100 not accounted for. Have you been paying higher repayments to the debt?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Where possible I have always been trying to pay extra towards the debt, so for example I may be 500 towards the Tesco card as that's my current spending card at the moment and the outstanding balance is not on 0%.

    Thanks

    Andrew
    • TryinToDoItRight
    • By TryinToDoItRight 13th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 49 Thanks
    TryinToDoItRight
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:28 PM
    As there are costs not entered its difficult to tell what you have remaining each month but it seems you have a good level of disposable income remaining after minimum payments are made.

    Generally you will be wanting to pay as much as you can off the debt with the highest interest rate (whilst paying at least the minimum on the others.)
    So from what I can tell Tesco and MBNA have the highest interest rates..so live frugally for the next while and throw as much as you can at them.
    Once clear move to the next debt with the highest interest rate (or if the 0% period is ending) over pay on it and so on.

    Hide or dispose of the cards and only use the money you have in your current account for any purchases (if possible.) As you well know credit is so easy to use when its available.

    It will take a while to get to the end but once you start making a dent in it you'll feel more in control
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 13th Jan 19, 11:31 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:31 PM
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:31 PM
    I think you should stop spending on the credit cards as that will not be helping you stick within budget which should be your first priority. Paying 500 to a credit card then spending on it again particularly if it is not interest free is self defeating and is not helping you keep within your income.

    The best way to get debt free is

    Know where your money is going and make sure you keep in budget
    Save an emergency fund so you are not tempted to put stuff on credit when you have an unexpected unavoidable bill.
    Keep debt interest free if possible and if not target the most expensive debt first.
    Pay more than minimums especially if you are paying interest
    Save for annual bills and costs.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 13th Jan 19, 11:36 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:36 PM
    • #9
    • 13th Jan 19, 11:36 PM
    A spending diary might be a good idea where you and your wife write down or record on a phone app (spending tracker) where you are spending. I would prioritise saving an emergency fund and your wifes overdraft. How much is that costing you each month in bank charges?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    My wife has just checked her bank statement and seems its around 27 a month in overdraft charges.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Jan 19, 12:45 AM
    • 8,207 Posts
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Ok so that is around 11% on a 3000 overdraft. I would target your Tesco credit card or your wife's MBNA card first then the overdraft. Close the cards down as you clear them. When does the 0% deals run out for Barclaycard and Virgin?
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 14th Jan 19, 10:42 AM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    Ok so that is around 11% on a 3000 overdraft. I would target your Tesco credit card or your wife's MBNA card first then the overdraft. Close the cards down as you clear them. When does the 0% deals run out for Barclaycard and Virgin?
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you for your reply

    I did a few Balance transfers on the Barclaycard so have different expiry dates for the 0%, these are below:

    Interest On Your Balance Transfer 0.00 Balance 7880.47 Interest 0.0000%
    To 17 Mar 2021
    Interest On Your Balance Transfer 0.00 Balance 1024.00 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Jun 2020
    Interest On Your Transfer To Bank 0.00 Balance 1134.99 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Feb 2020
    Interest On Your Transfer To Bank 0.00 Balance 1484.80 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Apr 2020

    The Virgin dates are below:

    Transfer Balance / Fees
    0.00% 3000.00 30/09/2019
    Transfer Balance / Fees
    0.00% 1000.00 31/07/2019

    Is it worth trying to get my wife a balance transfer to pay off her MBNA card do you think?
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Jan 19, 12:03 PM
    • 34,968 Posts
    • 21,336 Thanks
    getmore4less
    If you can go back to Jan 1 2018 and see what the debts were then and what they were at the Jan 1st 2019.

    during 2018 you had 2,900*12(35k) + the difference in debt to account for

    It might help to see if you can see where it all went as a guide for 2019.

    Your current SOA allocates 22k which is likely to be low.


    Also as has been said a spending diary is needed going forward to track where it goes, include any fees etc. in the diary

    When starting from "where has it all gone" the SOA takes a while to reflect the reality as you discover where your money really goes.

    Credit costs are high on the list of things to tackle.

    Cycling spends on a CC paying interest is not cost effective if the rate is high.

    How much interest is on that card each month?

    I would consider a long term 0% spending card.
    Use cashflow of only normal spends onto that to free up cash to tackle the highest rates and move the debt to longer term at 0%
    (NOTE: only budgeted spends no new debts)

    You should clear the Tesco card quite quickly.
    Also should have enough to cover the first 1k on the virgin card before the rate rises in July

    What rates will virgin go to in July&Sept?

    The Barclaycard is min payment only to be reviewed later this year as there is 2,500 to be paid by April 2020 and then another 1k by June

    With the wife OD charges how are they made up is it interest, daily charges or other fees.
    It may be possible to restructure the cash flow to reduce those.
    (don't forget to put these charges on the SOA)


    I would not close the Tesco card once paid off but let it run a couple of months paid off in full to re-establish the interest free period for paid off in full.
    Then consider it for future 0% spend offers or BT if the fees are not to high.


    When is the mortgage up for review?
    Which lender?

    LTV around 65%, 70% LTV mortgages are under 2%

    150k 3% 595pm 33y 4 months
    33years would be 597 2% would be 518 freeing up 80pm
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 14th Jan 19, 1:11 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    If you can go back to Jan 1 2018 and see what the debts were then and what they were at the Jan 1st 2019.

    during 2018 you had 2,900*12(35k) + the difference in debt to account for

    It might help to see if you can see where it all went as a guide for 2019.

    Your current SOA allocates 22k which is likely to be low.


    Also as has been said a spending diary is needed going forward to track where it goes, include any fees etc. in the diary

    When starting from "where has it all gone" the SOA takes a while to reflect the reality as you discover where your money really goes.

    Credit costs are high on the list of things to tackle.

    Cycling spends on a CC paying interest is not cost effective if the rate is high.

    How much interest is on that card each month?

    I would consider a long term 0% spending card.
    Use cashflow of only normal spends onto that to free up cash to tackle the highest rates and move the debt to longer term at 0%
    (NOTE: only budgeted spends no new debts)

    You should clear the Tesco card quite quickly.
    Also should have enough to cover the first 1k on the virgin card before the rate rises in July

    What rates will virgin go to in July&Sept?

    The Barclaycard is min payment only to be reviewed later this year as there is 2,500 to be paid by April 2020 and then another 1k by June

    With the wife OD charges how are they made up is it interest, daily charges or other fees.
    It may be possible to restructure the cash flow to reduce those.
    (don't forget to put these charges on the SOA)


    I would not close the Tesco card once paid off but let it run a couple of months paid off in full to re-establish the interest free period for paid off in full.
    Then consider it for future 0% spend offers or BT if the fees are not to high.


    When is the mortgage up for review?
    Which lender?

    LTV around 65%, 70% LTV mortgages are under 2%

    150k 3% 595pm 33y 4 months
    33years would be 597 2% would be 518 freeing up 80pm
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Thanks so much for your detailed reply

    Our 5 year mortgage fixed rate is up in January 2021 and it's with Virgin Money.
    • stripeyfox
    • By stripeyfox 14th Jan 19, 1:26 PM
    • 252 Posts
    • 219 Thanks
    stripeyfox
    You definately need to find a way of tracking your spends. When me and the missus had to re budget because we just had no idea where it was all going. It wasn't the bills - they by and large stayed fairly consistent, but it was all the other stuff!

    We set up a Whatsapp group - just me and her - and just sent a little message every time we spent something "Tesco - Groceries 80", or "Fuel 20", "Cash Withdrawal 50 - night out"

    When you tot all these up you'll be amazed how much money is unallocated!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Jan 19, 2:19 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
    • 18,557 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you for your reply

    I did a few Balance transfers on the Barclaycard so have different expiry dates for the 0%, these are below:

    Interest On Your Balance Transfer 0.00 Balance 7880.47 Interest 0.0000%
    To 17 Mar 2021
    Interest On Your Balance Transfer 0.00 Balance 1024.00 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Jun 2020
    Interest On Your Transfer To Bank 0.00 Balance 1134.99 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Feb 2020
    Interest On Your Transfer To Bank 0.00 Balance 1484.80 Interest 0.0000%
    To 01 Apr 2020

    The Virgin dates are below:

    Transfer Balance / Fees
    0.00% 3000.00 30/09/2019
    Transfer Balance / Fees
    0.00% 1000.00 31/07/2019

    Is it worth trying to get my wife a balance transfer to pay off her MBNA card do you think?
    Originally posted by Andrew_P
    I think if the rate is 22.9% and you are focusing on clearing the Tesco card then moving the MBNA card allows you to focus on the overdraft. You should not be using the Tesco card for spends. It is not cost efficient as you are paying interest on it. Recycling money on cards is not ideal but unavoidable at the beginning when you are getting a plan together. I would let the Barclaycard run at just over minimum payment as the deals don't expire for another year or more.

    If you can get the MBNA card moved
    Focus on
    1 Tesco
    2 wife's overdraft
    3 Virgin
    4 Barclaycard and then MBNA assuming the deal is later than the Barclaycards. Focus on clearing the deal expiring quickest.

    I think a good aim initially is to find 300 from your surplus in addition to the 324 you already pay to the debt each month. Focus on keeping in budgets, not using the cards or overdraft at all and saving for emergencies, annual bills etc etc. If your savings build up very quickly and you get on top of budgeting quickly then use extra money to clear the debt focusing on the priorities above. Obviously if you cannot move MBNA then focus on that and Tesco first.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 14th Jan 19, 3:40 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    I think if the rate is 22.9% and you are focusing on clearing the Tesco card then moving the MBNA card allows you to focus on the overdraft. You should not be using the Tesco card for spends. It is not cost efficient as you are paying interest on it. Recycling money on cards is not ideal but unavoidable at the beginning when you are getting a plan together. I would let the Barclaycard run at just over minimum payment as the deals don't expire for another year or more.

    If you can get the MBNA card moved
    Focus on
    1 Tesco
    2 wife's overdraft
    3 Virgin
    4 Barclaycard and then MBNA assuming the deal is later than the Barclaycards. Focus on clearing the deal expiring quickest.

    I think a good aim initially is to find 300 from your surplus in addition to the 324 you already pay to the debt each month. Focus on keeping in budgets, not using the cards or overdraft at all and saving for emergencies, annual bills etc etc. If your savings build up very quickly and you get on top of budgeting quickly then use extra money to clear the debt focusing on the priorities above. Obviously if you cannot move MBNA then focus on that and Tesco first.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks so much for your reply. Having a plan of action now certainly makes things seem a bit more hopeful now .

    My wife has applied for a Money Transfer credit card with MBNA and although they couldn't offer full 0% period they have offered 18 months which will give some breathing space and enable her to clear her overdraft fully and maybe her credit card if the credit limit allows. We have disposed of our credit cards now so the temptation won't be there.

    Is there anything else that we should do in the meantime do you think? The next thing for us will be to use that budget app, what was it called again as I have forgotten

    Thank you again
    • MallyGirl
    • By MallyGirl 14th Jan 19, 4:06 PM
    • 3,473 Posts
    • 8,745 Thanks
    MallyGirl
    quite a few people like YNAB (you need a budget) but a spreadsheet can work just as well as long as you both have access to it and keep it up to date
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 14th Jan 19, 4:11 PM
    • 34,968 Posts
    • 21,336 Thanks
    getmore4less
    What is the fee on the money transfer card?

    Spend cards are often cheaper.
    • Andrew_P
    • By Andrew_P 14th Jan 19, 4:24 PM
    • 40 Posts
    • 20 Thanks
    Andrew_P
    What is the fee on the money transfer card?

    Spend cards are often cheaper.
    Originally posted by getmore4less
    Hi getmore4less,

    The fee on the money transfer card was 2.99% and hopefully we are going to be able to transfer 5,000 depending on the credit limit my wife gets given.
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 14th Jan 19, 4:41 PM
    • 8,207 Posts
    • 18,557 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    There are quite a few ways you can record spends and track budgets. I used to use spending tracker app on my phone which can be synced with another phone so you and your wife could both use that. It just records spends and how much you have spent rather than impose limits on each category so a spreadsheet alongside may be useful. I just use spreadsheets.

    Some people use YNAB although I don't. There is a free trial but it can take a while to set up and get used to it. Clear checkbook is completely free and you can set up an envelope system on it so your income can be divided into say groceries, entertainment, presents, insurances etc etc. Or you can use separate accounts for things so one for annual insurances, holidays, Christmas and birthdays , one for emergency savings and maybe an account for monthly spends like personal money for each of you, fuel costs, food and entertainment. Depends on what suits you and be prepared to adjust budgets over the first 3 to 6 months. If you have never budgeted before it is a learning curve.
    Early retired in December 2017

    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
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