Saturday, 10 May 2008

May Update but what happened to April?

April was a crazy month, mostly because of major changers in my job and for a few weeks there I didn't really know what was going to happen or even how much longer I was going to have the job. Since then things at work have stabilised, which is great news for my budget and even better for my savings as I am off on holiday in a weeks time and feel I still have some breathing space financially. The holiday is two weeks in Turkey with friends and has been paid for by them (yes I am very spoilt!), all I need is spending money.
I have put aside what I need to make all my monthly payments for May and have enough to cover the start of June also. But will not be able to make a snowball payment this month on my chosen account.
1. I have cleared my overdraft with my flexiloan account and plan to keep the debit card but cancel my overdraft facility. Then the plan is to build up a credit balance on the current account which is attached to the card as a sort of emergency account. I have my tax account as a sort of parachute for emergency also, so should be well covered between the two.
This plan sounds great on paper but as I don't have any extra income and am not able to get a second job or anything like that, I will have to achieve all this within current budget. Without my overdraft I will not be able to spend money I don't have so, I will have to keep within my budget and as I will be back from my holiday, I will hopefully be able to curb my spending habit.
2. Clearing my bank loans by September is still on track, in March I think I said August and it maybe that I can do it by then too.
3. Once the loans are cleared then it is just the credit cards to clear and juggle also, as the interest free period on my Barclay card runs out in October. I should be able to clear the rest within ten months if I am really, really good.
I am planning a very short trip to Africa in November/December which I have yet to really work out cost for. I want to keep cost to a minimum so am not planning to go on safari or anything like that. This is really just a taster trip and I am hoping (G-D willing) to make some more trips there in the future.

1. Clear overdraft (as at 01/05/08) £ 285.58 Done
2. Clear loans (as at 01/05/080 £2696.98 To do by 30/09/08
3. Update Budget to clear credit cards (as at 01/05/08) £8282.42 To do by 30/09/08

Monday, 5 May 2008

Overdraft: Another Victim Of The Credit Crunch?

I received a letter from HSBC the other day regarding the overdraft facility on my current account. It would seem that HSBC are now "reviewing" existing overdrafts on their accounts and are now changing a £25 arrangement fee. Now although it doesn't say it in the letter, these fees look to be an annual change as the bank is giving me a start date for my "new overdraft facility" and they have quoted a 13 month time period before "the facility we are now offering will expire" (I'd say another £25 plus arrangement fee could be slotted in here).
This current account (one of two I hold with HSBC) is attached to my debit card (anagram for "bad credit") and is a problem area in my budgeting. So I guess the overdraft is going to have to go and possible the debit card as well.
Will have to look into Barclaycards three in one card and see if that is a better opinion for me.
What do you think?

Sunday, 4 May 2008

New Mobile: Deal Or No Deal?

Okay I had a weak moment last weekend and am now the owner of a brand new mobile phone and a brand new 18 month phone contract with Orange.
I know, I know, I should have just said "No" but I didn't and well I still haven't gotten the thing up and running yet anyway. So I have either been majorly ripped off and brought a fake dude and need to phone my bank or they just don't answer activation calls on the weekend?
Tomorrow will tell me soon enough I guess.
The "too good to miss deal" was for a £5.00 a month phone contract with 850 free phone minutes and 400 free texts a month. The only hang up was you had to pay £40.00 a month and every third month you have to send in your last three statements to get a refund of £105.00 from Orange. And this had to been done within 14 days of the date on third, sixth, ninth (etc.) statement .
The new phone that comes with the package is Oranges Tokyo mobile phone with all the lights and whistles for such a small phone.
Now I am not bother about the phone really as I don't have a close relationship with my other two mobile phones, which are both pay-as-you-go and my budget for my mobiles is only about £10 a month. So the thought of cutting the cost by half per month seemed really good at the time. I could get the statements back in time for the refund cheque (which I could then x-fire but that's another story).
Well the contract I have in writing is for £4.99 a month and I get 850 minutes but only 300 texts per month. Now the chances of me sending 300 texts in a year are pretty much nil, so to do so in a month is a joke but I am cross that I was told 400 and now it is only 300.
The rest of the contract is the same as I have describe, so tell me.... deal or no deal?