Breakdown May 2017

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As of today my debt stands at £5997.47.

I will get this lowered and my aim is by 31st December 2017 my debt will stand at less than £5000. If my calculations are correct I can actually get my debt down to £4700 or there abouts.

I am being careful with money now to make sure I can pay off a good amount of the debt and still manage to live. I made a spreadsheet for one of the credit cards.

 

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Every month this works out roughly how much I should be paying, and obviously the more I pay off the better. It’s not 100% accurate but I would rather overestimate the minimum payment than underestimate it.

As for CC1, well that’s 1.19% interest per month so not too bad, and only 12 payments left on the loan. Once the loan is paid that’s an extra £98.13 a month I will save, well not save as I will use it for other debts, but you know what I mean.

I even now have a spreadsheet for budgeting.

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It works out how much I will have left every month. My overdraft is now increased to £750 but I don’t intend on using that, but I can keep an eye on what I’m spending every month and try not to overspend.

The above is the spreadsheet from my next paycheck. As you can see, after all debts are paid and bills I’m left with -£202.90 before buying food etc. I then plan on going up to -£350 as a maximum, and then the month after drop that to -£330 maximum and slowing bring the overdraft down also.

I have noticed some of my bills are quite high. My EE bill, I cannot change until I renew my contract next May, so that will go to a cheaper contract from then. As of 1st November 2017 I can contact Virgin Media and get rid of the TV and phone line, thus reducing the bill.

I am quitting smoking, saving money and improving my health. I vape. I need something to help me and vaping does. It can get expensive so I’m going into DIY liquids, thus saving me a fortune.

 

The start of becoming debt free

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It has been a long time since I posted, and I apologise for that but life is rubbish and gets in the way.

Since August 2015 when the ex moved out I have struggled financially. I was used to splitting the bills and having money to spend every month so I started spending money. When he moved out I wasn’t used to not buying what I wanted when I wanted in and over the past 14 monthsy debt has spiralled.

I am quitting smoking so that I can save money (currently on day 8 of no cigarettes) and I am not having a social life so I can get the debt paid off ASAP.

The thing that has killed me is a high interest rate credit card, and when the card is maxed out they increase the credit limit. In 2.5 years I’ve gone from having a £250 credit limit to a £3,000 credit limit.

My debt currently stands at £6,536.96 Technically it is higher as I have a store card with £125 on it and an overdraft but the 6k is the main debt. It is broken down as follows:

  1. Loan- £1,536.96
  2. Credit card 1- £2,000
  3. Credit card 2- £3,000

The loan is a fixed monthly payment of £98.13 per month and I will have my final payment for that in April 2018 so that debt I’m not too worried about.

Credit card 1 is a low interest card, it is maxed out but payment is £50 per month which is slightly more than minimum.

Credit card 2 is the killer at a huge 39.9% APR variable interest rate. Bear in mind I pay £50 a month on a debt of £2,000, well with card 2 my minimum payment this month, on a debt twice the size, is a staggering £188.

I need to get this debt down, I can’t afford it. I pay it but then have very little money left for me after the bills have gone out, and what I do have goes on food.

So here is the plan….

  1. Cut up credit card 2
  2. Keep paying £188 per month until February
  3. Make monthly payments of £150 until paid off

I have direct debit set up to pay £150 per month unless that is less than the minimum, then the minimum payment is taken. I am hoping by February to have the minimum payment down to £150, then after that the £150 will be more than minimum.

I need to be frugel with money. Any excess money left over at the end of the month will go to pay off credit card 2.

If my calculations are correct I will have paid off my loan in April 2018, credit card 2 by October 2019 and theoretically credit card 1 buy October 2020.

Once the loan is paid off I will have it a bit easier on finances so I will easily be able to afford the credit card payments and not struggle so much with money. Once credit card 2 is paid off I’ll be having a party.

Wish me luck. I shall keep the blog updated as to progress

Life on Benefits

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I’m not one for saying the benefits system shouldn’t exist because every now and then we all need some help. We can’t always help the fact that we lose our jobs or a family member gets ill, but what I hate is people taking advantage.

I’ve been watching Benefits Britain: Life on the Dole and it boils my blood. I’m sorry but 8 kids, all under the age of 13 years old and you live on benefits. I’m sorry but I’m pretty sure you should have stopped before having 8 kids, if you can’t support them then don’t have them! Not to mention she is quite willing to miss rent payments to buy her kids whatever they want, £1000+ in rent arrears. If I miss one months rent I will be out of my house, and why is that? That is because I work, and therefore I have to privately rent, not get a house handed to me by my local council.

This woman really irritated me, not only does she get £500 a week benefits, which is about double what I get working a full time job, she also requested a bigger house to accommodate the 8 kids, and guess what, she was given it! So the council have basically said “well you owe us money because you can’t pay your rent on a 3 bedroom house, so we’ll give you a bigger 4 bedroom house which you won’t be able to afford”. How is that right?

There were a few guys I kind of felt sorry for. One of them finally had a 1 bedroom flat after spending years on the streets, so that was lovely; he is one of the people the benefits system should be helping. The thing I didn’t like is that he had shoplifted, and he is a drug user. He doesn’t spend his benefits money on things he doesn’t need like large televisions, almost everything he gets is from skip diving that includes food, ornaments and anything else he can get his hands on. He had furnished his flat on things he got out of skips, which just shows what kind of things shops throw away that shouldn’t be thrown away.

Too many people abuse the benefits system. I am 25 years old and have been working since I was 17. In that time I’ve only spent 1 month out of work, and in that month I was not entitled to any benefits, just have my national insurance paid for me. Where was the government help when I needed it? In the middle of a recession I managed to find a job, and 2.5 years later, again in a recession I managed to find another job.

The benefits system is meant to help people, not for people to live from for their entire lives.

This system boils my blood.

the true number

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214. That’s the amount of “friends” I currently have on the social networking site Facebook. If you take into account family members, who are usually on the friends list to keep the piece then we are down to 204 friends. Then of course we have the work colleagues, again on for peacekeeping exercises. That takes us down to say 190.

190 friends. That’s how many friends, or supposed friends I have on Facebook, that are meant to be friends of mine, who are meant to care. So why do I always feel so alone?

For me friendship is about being there for someone when they need you, someone to spend time with, to have fun with, to chat with, but out of 190 “friends” I don’t actually have anyone that I would call a proper friend.

Don’t get me wrong, I have had friends; very close friends in the past, but over the years people grow up, move on with their lives and grow apart. My childhood friends I don’t see anymore, we grew up and grew apart, but they were the last proper friends I had.

In 2012 I moved 140 miles from my home to Darlington. Over the past few years I’ve made lots of friends, or so I thought. The minute something happens everyone turns against you. One fight with one person means that 50 people refuse to speak to you again. The end of a relationship means that all of the “friends” you met through the relationship are no longer friends; in fact they don’t even speak to you when they see you in the street. You make more friends, get into another relationship and then that comes to an end, the same thing happens all over again. Suddenly the people you thought were your friends want nothing to do with you.

My idea of friendship is not having to go to the pub on a Friday or Saturday night to see these people, but never see them outside of the pub.

Every single day I see on my friends feed groups of my “friends” going out for days out together, doing things like going to a theme park, going on holiday, or even something as simple as going to the cinema together. So if these people are my friends then where is my invite? If I try and organise anything such as a cinema trip I don’t get a response, or if I do then it is people saying they can’t go or do the activity I want to plan. Again, how is that friendship?

I get that I live in a small town, and majority of people here have known each other most of their lives but claiming to be friends with someone means that both parties need to make the effort, and to be honest I’ve now given up.

Friends do not sit in the pub and talk about you, and slate you to anyone and everyone who will listen, but that is what my “friends” have done on many occasions.

So out of 214 people on my friends list I can count on one hand how many true friends I have, and that number is 0.

I don’t think I’m a horrible person, but I do get rather lonely now. I joined pen palling websites to try and make friends, but that’s not happened either. I have however had marriage proposals, guys wanting to hook up, and I have chatted to a few people who I speak to on a regular basis, but these are penpals; not really people I will get to see on a regular basis even if friendship does last.

A week off work has now left me realising that I literally have no proper friends, and I miss having friends that I can just hang out with, and go out with for days out. I don’t think being in this town is going to help either, I think I need to leave the town, and at the minute I am very much looking forward to going back home for Christmas so that I get to interact with people again for a few days.

The 3 P’s

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The 3 P’s is something I live by when it comes to learning something new. Practice, practice and practice.

This mantra can be proven with my new hobby of sewing, in a previous post I made a cushion (here) and last night I decided to make another cushion, this time with different fabric.

I clearly need practice because after I had cut out the “squares” I noticed the cushion was not square at all, in fact I can’t cut in a straight line. I did take a short cut last night though, and decided to just use a ruler and cut, rather than measuring it out to make sure it was right.

I then decided not to pay that much attention to seam allowance, meaning some seams were 1/2 inch, others a bit more, closer to an inch.

I didn’t bother pressing the cushion either, which made hand stitching the opening a pain in  the rear end.

So this is what I mean by the 3 P’s. I need to practice my measuring so it’s accurate, I need to practice keeping to seam allowance, and I definitely need practice hand stitching. The top of the cushion looks a complete mess where I hand stitched it, but it’s a good job the cushion is just for me.

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So if you ever want to learn to do something new, especially sewing, remember the 3 P’s.