Friday, 25 December 2009


Can't wait - the big count down for my trip home is now down to four days. Still haven't finished packing and have so much other things to get done between now and my last day at work which is Sunday.
Will get to see my god kids really briefly, which is a real drag but as I haven't seen them at all for about five and a half month even one day is a blessing. They are good kids and understand the situation.
Christmas is done and I haven't put a penny on credit so am feeling very good about myself.
Hope you have a great Christmas and wish you all the best for 2010!

Friday, 18 December 2009


It really feels like Christmas is here - we have had snow and could well have a white Christmas too. I am sitting in front of a nice warm fire and have some lovey smelly candles burning to add to the cosy feeling inside. My shopping is mostly done and everything purchased has been wrapped and ready for the big day. It is wonderful to pay cash for all my purchases, not a piece of plastic in sight!
My big trip home is now only about 10 days away and I have now got to think about packing and sort out things here at work for my replacement. Two whole months off work, I just can't wait!!!
I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. Get your goals dusted down for the new year and go for your dreams - this is your year!

Thursday, 26 November 2009


Wow the year is really racing now - blink and you miss it!
I can't believe I have only one more payment for my taxes and then then next four weeks are all savings towards my two month trip home. I will not make the tax payment until the end of next week (the first week of December)..... gosh so much to do and so little time. I need to sort out my summer wardrobe and also get rid of some of the stuff I have collected in the last twelve months, books, DVD's, CD's and lots of papers.
Can't wait to get home - it's been two years since my last trip and my younger brother has got sleeper all set up for me on his new property (10m or so from the house so my music want both anyone). He's now got about six acres of land with a large house, a barn and out houses so I can't wait to see what my little pad is like. He also has eight boxes that I posted over from the UK two years ago and up the road from him my sister has a whole bunch of my stuff too. So I have lots of sorting out once I get home. Can't wait!!
My plan is to come back to the UK in March to work but I have an invitation to a Bar Mitzvah in Israel in March too so I need to find out when in March that is (hopefully at the beginning of the month) or I may not be starting work till about April.
I have my cash in my purse and have hardly used my debt card at all this month all - my £5 a day spending plan is on track and I have money in my current account (even if I know that it's going to pay my tax bill). I just love all the little "cr's" that appear next to all my account balances.
While I am away I need to make sure that there is money in my account to cover all my direct debts which amount to about £140 a month, so that will be about £400 I will need to set aside. I have finally come to the end of my Orange phone contract (never again!!) and I think that another payment of £10 monthly for a saving plan is maturing shortly too. So that will bring down my direct debt monthly total.
Life is good!

Saturday, 14 November 2009


Winter has arrived and the weather is filthy - along with the end of daylight saving, it is enough to drive anyone to online shopping right? So... okay I haven't gone out of control but I have clocked up some debt on my (one and only) credit card. I will clear it this coming week when my pay check clears but that means a little less to go towards my up and coming income tax bill due at the end of January.
Can you believe it, I have gotten to the top of the mountain and with the weather as bad as it is in the current economic climate the view is not so great today, but regardless I have reach the peak which is the goal I have been working towards with this blog. My current finances are all taken up with paying my current tax bill and rates bill both however are not yet due for payment. Has the simple truth really got to me that I don't have any debt? My credit card is not a problem and I will clear it again on Thursday and still put a few hundred towards my tax bill but other than that I don't owe anyone anything. I have bucked the trend and the average figures for personal debt no longer apply to me.
So the game plan all changes and I have to set out my new goals (I shall have to read back on some of my old blogs as to what I was thinking of then and review what is happening now). I have a two month holiday planned for the first two months of 2010 and after that I don't really know what is happening with either work or even where I will be. I have said I will come back to work in March 2010 but the job may no longer exist by then.
Between now and then I have only seven pay days left till the end of the year and because of my spending online have less to take home with me for spending. Still even if I only have 75% of my tax bill paid in advance it will be not so bad as the interest rate is very low and I will only be changed no more than three months interest on the 25%.
My challenge now is to stay out of debt.

Saturday, 17 October 2009


Don't know what the problem is, maybe it is just the fact that autumn has suddenly arrived and is making me feel very down. I've not been reading any blogs and it is half way though the month and I haven't blogged once myself.

With the sharp change in the weather I have had to go shopping for some winter clothes. I have been living in jeans and t-shirts all summer long and having had a major clear out of my winter wardrobe I have had to go shopping. I headed for Primark but I really don't like that store, too many people and they always leave the shop looking like a jumble sale. So I ended up at TK Max - not that different in some ways from Primark but there were less people there and okay the prices are way higher than Primark but I felt I got some bargains. I budgeted £150 and brought two long sleeve t-shirts, a knit print top, nightshirt, 3/4 woolen coat, two shirts, a knitted short sleeve vest and some ankle boots. I didn't buy every thing at TK Max (one of the shirts and the boots I brought else where) but nor have I spent all of the £150 budget.

Well with only nine weeks to go, how is the budget going? Not so bad, I will only be able to pay off about £300 on my taxes for 2008/09. That means I will have paid off all that is currently due and will have about £400 left which is payable by January 31st next year. So that will be paid off by the first week of November after which time I will need to save another £2000 plus to bring my taxes up to date. That should take me through to the first week of December. Only nine weeks to go folks.

Monday, 28 September 2009


I have banked my pay cheque and it will not clear till Thursday morning but I have decided to update my charts today. I pay off the last of the debt I own on my credit card with this cheque, and that debt relates to the flight tickets I brought this year for my trip home. So it is not old debt that I have been paying off for years.

Next Monday I have an appointment with the nice folk at Her Majesties Revenues and Customs (HMRC), to check my 2008/09 Tax return. I have until the end of October to have the HMRC to assist me, after that I am on my own. Hopefully they will be okay with me to clear my arrears by the end of the month. If not then I can used my Flexi account as it is only for a few weeks.

It is weird how my Tax arrears arn't listed on my Credit Report - seeing how it was due by the 31st of July. The interest charge on the arrears is only 8% which is why I have left it till last.

So it is now all about taxes now - the arrears I own and what I owe for the current year. Still with the Labour government printing money like there is no tomorrow - I guess they need all the help they can get.

Thursday, 24 September 2009


Oops did I say weekly report???

I have been busy - sort of... but I am back and doing okay as far as my finances. I'm still on track with my £5 a day spending and am slowly whitling away at my debt. As far as my monthly goals go - I have cleared my Flexiloan (again) and will clear the final payment on my credit card with my last pay cheque of the month. So all is going very well!!

Other news which I am very pleased about is my credit rating, which I have updated as of the 8th of September, now stands at 999. Which is amazing - as I started this journey with a credit rating of 696 which is "poor" and am now "excellent". According to, "my score is above average - 71% of people have a score lower than excellent".

At the end of this month I will be paying only my tax bill and no debt. I will be technically debt free by by the end of September (and would have paid off my trip back home in December).

Oh well folks only fourteen weeks to go till the end of the year.

Friday, 4 September 2009


That's it, all there is, only seventeen pay cheques left till the end of the year.
Wow that is so scary!
Having written out my spread sheets for the rest of the year, I find that to achieve every thing needed, I will have to follow my payoff plan to the letter. My £5 a day will have to cover all my personal expenses and all spending. It's all going to be very tight from now till the end of the year.
Weekly updates from now on to track my progress.
Goals for the month are:
  • Pay off my Flexiloan (17/09)
  • Clear my credit card (30/09)
  • Totally keep to my £5 a day rule (totally)
After that I will only have my taxes to clear and then what is left will got towards my trip home. Where does the time go because this year has really flown by!

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Almost Gone

Just when I had cleared all my cards I have to put my travel expenses onto it, all £1,146.92. Still I am glad I have confirmed my trip home and can now give dates of arrival to my friends and family instead of just vague statements of "the end of December" or "just after Christmas".

But I have a balance on my credit card again which I need to clear - I also have a new balance on my Flexiloan account which also needs clearing. And I haven't even started on my tax bill yet!

I use to read other peoples blogs and when they would add to their debt just as they were clearing it, I used to think "nooooo, you're almost there". But stuff happens, like life - so it is my turn to add to the balance. Still as I have said before, this is all new debt - as I have cleared just over £20k of debt.

My current spending plan is still in place and will not be changed until there is nothing left to pay.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Closest Thing To Closure

Okay, this is partly a date thing - it is the seventh of the eighth of the ninth today - surely a reason in it's self to make an entry on your blog?
The other reason to make this posting is that I have just closed my Halifax credit card, having been put through to their "special" closure department. I think all banks have them, as this is the second one I have dealt with of late. And they really tried hard to keep my business - offering me interest free payment transfers for the life of the balance and also a reduction on the interest charged on the credit card, etc. But I stood firm and said no thanks - as the balance on my only remaining card will be paid off by the end of the month.
"Why do I want to close my account?" I told them I was down sizing my finances, then I was told that I was "a very good customer and they didn't like to lose good customers". Gee, if I'm such a good customer why do you charge me such high interest rates, especially when the base rate is so low.
Anyway I am down to one card now - I am keeping it open for the time being as I have two direct credit's coming off it each month and am too lazy at the moment to sort out moving the direct debts to my bank account. I have one bank account which has all my other direct payments and standing orders. So really I should sort that out.
In December I want to go home for a visit and have been told in no uncertern terms by my travel agent, that I must book now or miss out getting a seat altogether. The other other piece of not so good news was that the ticket was going to set me back about £1,300 (gulp). I should have been making my plans at the beginning of the year apparently and I could have saved myself a few hundred pounds. I usually only pay about £750-£850 but with some new "C02" related taxes on long distance flights (thank you Mr Brown!) the prices are really taking a hike. So I am waiting for a call from my travel agent to see if she can find me any seats in the last week of December. I will have to just grin and bear the price I guess. Once my tax is paid off my air fare will be the next bill to clear. It's never ending isn't it!
My Mums is going to kill me, as I have been telling her for months that when I come over I will be staying for about six months or so, and now I am going to have to break it to her that I am only planning to stay for two. Not looking forward to that phone call.
Can't wait till that last £722 is cleared off my account - not quite debt free but boy! I will feel debt free - it's funny but now that I am so close to my goal I sort of feel like I did when I started my blog. Is that just me?

Monday, 3 August 2009

Wagers Day

Okay - I am a little ahead of myself, I have paid in my paycheck along with some extra income from the last few weeks, onto my last credit card (with my snowballing debt). The cheque will not clear until Friday, as I didn't get to the bank till after 3pm. Never mind!

I have also transfer the last £82.18 from my Emergency Account to clear the card but that will not be taken from the account until Wednesday. Don't ask me why.
So come Friday I will be making a phone call to cancel that credit card for good!
I still have a balance of £722 on my only remaining card which I will clear by the end of the month. (I'm still debating what to do with that one - keep it or cancel it?)
Once that is all paid I will be left with only my tax bill to pay.

Lets hope these guys would be proud of what I have achieved!

Sunday, 2 August 2009

No Spending Week

Well it is the end of my No Spending Week which I have completed with very little problem. My usual £5 a day spending plan was budgeted for and so I paid the monies for the week onto my final credit card. A little step closer to my closing that last credit card.

I did have to ration my chewing gum, as I hadn't thought about getting more until last Monday afternoon when the challenge had already started and I was down to almost half a bag (I like the value pack bags). Can any one tell me why they pack chewing gum in odd amounts? The value pack had 39 pieces and I think the plastic container has about 59 pieces.

So when is your No Spend Week? You know you want to.....go on.......

Friday, 31 July 2009

End of July Update

Well I have added my tax bill, which is now due, to my debt balance which brings it back to just over the balance I had a the start of June. Gosh it seems like a big step backwards. Still on the positive side I have paid £1,429.19 off my last credit card, better than I had planned and really once that is paid off I will feel I have clear my debit. Okay I will still have debt but it will be all relating to 2009 and not debt I have been carrying around for the last decade. And of cause I want to clear it also.
Anyway this month my budget was divided up as follows:
9.6% Expenses
85.1% debt
5.3% Spending

Next month I plan to clear my last credit card, cancel it and then to start clearing my tax bill which I will probably transfer to my Flexi account. (Yes, the account I should have cancelled but am glad now that I didn't) I will wait until I start getting calls from the Revenue it's self before I do so. Hopefully I may have paid it off before that happens.
For August my goals are as follows:

Clear my last Halifax credit card £1085.18 (+interest)

Pay towards my Tax bill £1,133.23

Keep to my £5 a day spending plan

Monday, 27 July 2009

All Things Are Possible!

I have taken the challenge of having a "no spend week" and will put my weekly spending money towards clearing my Halifax Credit card. A card I should be able to clear by next month.
My extra work is only going to fetch me an extra £450 and not the £700 I had hoped for but still - something is better than nothing.
I have £2.08 in my purse from last week which I will add to my emergency fund. My little red purse has been put away for the week as I don't need it.

Anyone else game for a "No Spend Week"?
Go on....... Go on.......

Monday, 20 July 2009

Little Update

Had a great week last week with my £5 a day and ended it with just over £15 in my purse. Down to half my total weekly spending allowance of £30.

No More Spending is going on a No Spending Week but as I have already been out spending a little today I would like to have a go at a no spend week next week. Last year I did do a lot of no spend days which was okay but sometimes I found that I would then spend more on another day.

Do you find that sometimes it takes forever for payments to arrive on credit card accounts?

I am still waiting for last weeks payment to be credited to my Halifax card account and will be making another payment on Thursday/Friday (depending when my pay cheque clears). Luckily Halifax allow you to make as many payments as you like, unlike some cards, which is news to me.

Planned snowball payment for the month - £1,200 (so far have paid £558).

Monday, 13 July 2009

I Ought to Know

I should hang my head in shame as I have clocked up over £700 on my only active credit card.
That's the bad news, it's aways good to get that out first and the good news is well the insurance company has sent me a large cheque relating back to the holiday I had in Turkey back in May. It is however £200 less than what I was expecting and less a further £75 excess fee.
Also, during my little break helping friends move house I spent £50 having my hair done, £100 dinning out and £150 in a gift for the new house. In total £300 was added to my credit card - breaking my don't add to my debt balance rule.
Truth be known I had spent £70 a week earlier on clothes, as I was fed up with what I had in my wardrobe and also I had been trying to find jeans at charities shops but I couldn't find any thing I liked or that fit me. Always the problem when your shopping in charity shops.
Last weekend I spent £45 on a cardigan from Oasis and some beauty products for £32 - I had just had my last catch up lunch met with a really good friend who is moving to NYC at the end of the month. So I was feeling a little down, hence the little shopping spree.
Needless to say I have now cut up the card so I will not be popping down to Richmond anytime soon with it.
So all in all that is £722 added to my debt total and at the end of this month I have a whopping £1,927 of Taxes due for the last tax year. Not good when I am so close to my goal of clearing my debt in August. Still I am hopeful that the extra income I hope to earn in the next few weeks will cover it and more!
Should I beat myself up about this? I should, I ought to know by now.
I have decide to cancel all my cards (not just chop them up and keep the account open) and just keep my debt card. Well I can't do to much damage with that, as I don't have an overdraft and you can't spend what you don't have.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

So Go I

I haven't been giving myself goals of late, which was brought home to me when reading DebtHater latest post. In fact re reading my first January post the only real goal I had was to get debt free this year - sort of stating the obvious really. I have been encouraged in the past by other blogger's to make some plans and goals for the future and that is something I just never feel comfortable about. I have no idea why? Some kind of mental block or something maybe. My own personal, weird little blind spot.

Time to step out and make some goals for the rest of this year!

Goal 1. Clear my debt my August 2009

Goal 2. Clear my Tax by October 2009

Goal 3. Complete my EMF Account by October 2009

Goal 4. Start a regular payment towards my building fund

In November/December I am planning to go home for a visit so will need to save up for my airfares and spending monies. For this I will need a minimum of at least £1k and most probably more, depending how long I'm away. Sorting out internal transport costs for trips around the country will be a good idea now, as I could get some good prices if I book early.

Four goals and some research to get on with, I will be off....

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

July Update

I did even better than planned for June and found an extra £150.13 to get my end of month balance down to £2,514.37. I also paid off my second to last credit card in June but as yet have not closed the account, I have destroyed the card and haven't used the account since about last year. So one credit card to go and I would have cleared the £20,056.05 that I started blogging about in June 2007. My DFD should be August 2009 - it would have taken 2 years and 2 months to achieve but oh the joy of getting rid of that big black shadow over my pay cheque.
On the last day of July my next tax payment will come due but as this is not old debt I will list it as a new debt to clear. Once that is all sorted - I will really have to move on to planning what happens next.
This month I plan to pay £1,200 off my credit card which will bring my balance down to £1,300 this should then be totally cleared by August. But I may well be able to clear even more as I have some extra work lined up for the latter part of this month. The details haven't been worked out so I will have to wait and see.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

I Hope I Never

Yes I am under 3k and also down to one credit card, so until it is cleared everything is going onto my final card. It is really amazing that after two long years I am down to only one debt account. Once that 3k is gone all my debt will be new - it's not stuff I have been carry around for years and paying lots of interest on, my only interest now is to keep out of debt.
However if I don't sound too enthusiast about all of this, it's because I know that at the end of July I have a large tax bill due. According to my calculations, I should have to pay £1,927.24 to Her Majesties Revenue and Customs - I don't think I am incorrect in my figures. So in August I will have to add this to my debt total. But as I have already said this will be new debt not old, so I shouldn't feel so bad I guess.
I have revamped my budget again to include my tax payments, something I had been doing last year before I went on holiday but then stopped and used the monies to pay off my debt. Compared to most people my budget is tiny (really, really tiny) i.e. I don't have a car or a mortgage nor do I pay rent and I don't have to worry about food or any household bills (power, gas, etc.). Once I have cleared my last years tax bill and am all up to date on my current tax bills I will have to take another look at my budget and make some major decisions on what I want to do next with my life.
Also I am hoping to receive a cheque on Friday from the insurance company relating to my holiday in Turkey last month. So it will be great to clear that off my credit account.
I hope I never have to deal with long term debt again.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

All In A Year

My blog is 2 years old!!!!

When I started my blog, I was sure I'd be out of debt within 18 month or 20 months tops! By the end of the first year I knew that, that wasn't going to happen. Life happens - you don't always know what is around the corner and you can only plan for what you know. Also, it is a learning skill to get out of debt, you don't need to learn to get into debt but getting out is a major change of lifestyle which you must work at.
At the start of June last year I owed £12, 671.77 and I am now down to £3,764.50 at the start of this month. To get passed that £10k figure was such a relief. Now that I am down to the last few thousand I really just want it gone - that monkey on the back of my finances that stopped me doing anything with my finances. Not so long to go now and it will be gone - I can't wait!
I have been reading posts that people have made about keeping your credit card accounts open once you have cleared them. Cutting up the cards etc. so that you don't use them but keeping them open to help your credit rating. Now the information is mostly from the States and I don't know if it is the same here in the UK or in other Commonwealth countries?
The other side of the argument is the Dave Ramsey approach of getting rid of all your credit cards and only having debt cards. That sounds a little scary, especially after my trip to Turkey were I needed emergency credit in a hurry. An emergency fund of £1,000.00 wouldn't have cut it!
Have you cleared your debt? What did you do?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

In Regards To Myself.....

Have you noticed? I have been refreshing my blog (a little) - adding some more info and have now included some saving goals. Saturday marks my 2nd year of my blog and I am closer to my goal that ever before and I really believe that without my blogging about my debt I don't think I would have gotten this far. Reading other peoples posts about getting out of debt has been a great help in giving me new views on budgets (yes Super Careo - the dreaded "b" word), spending, saving, snowballing, snowflaking and so much more. To all the blogger's I have on my blog roll - thank you! Even if you don't know it, your blogs have been a great help to me and that is why I have included them on my blog.

With regards to my saving goals I have been re-reading Dave Ramsey's 7 Baby Steps and well yes, I have been doing doing step 2 before step 1 but we are all different and what works for me may not work for you. I never know, when sites or blogger's talk in US dollars, if I should convert that to pounds sterling or just treat the dollar as a pound. Does anyone else have this problem in the UK?

Well my Emergency Fund goal is currently £1,200 but I hope to increase it some time in the future. My Building Fund goal is just a figure I pick out of the air, once I have cleared my debt and my taxes I can really work on what I want to do for this goal and how achievable it will be.

On my £5 a day last week was not a good week and I went over my plan for the week by about £30 but this week I am back on track.

Monday, 1 June 2009

June Update

The 13th of June will mark my second year of the "getting out of debt slogg", which I had originally planned to have achieve by October 2008. Obviously I didn't reach my goal but I figure you have to aim for something and now two whole years later I am so much closer to my ultimate goal of being "debt free".
In June 2007 I was £20,056.05 in debt, all of it being unsecured debt, credit card, loans and tax's bills. I have now paid off £16,291.55 in the two years I have been blogging and am down to the final £3, 764.50. All going well I should be debt free by the 16th of August, however debt free may be relative as I will still be paying off my 2008-09 Tax bill which comes due on the 31st of July and will not be cleared until about September I guess. Either way though by mid August I will have no more credit card debt or loan debt, which is what I have been dealing with for the last forever.
I still haven't heard from the insurance company regarding my refund of my godson's medical charges while we where were on holiday in Turkey. I am owed about £3,000.00 so as you can image I would like the monies sooner rather that later. I haven't added this to my figures and don't really want to as I will be getting payment eventually.
My goal for June is to pay £800.00 to clear my snowball credit card and then £300.00 off my other card. This will mean I will only have one card left to payoff.
At the beginning of June:
Three years ago I owed £8,037.44
Two years ago I owed £16,169.04
One year ago I owed £12,671.77
This year I owe £ 3,764.50 ....... and I will owe £ 2,664.50 by the end of the month.

Saturday, 30 May 2009

News, Views And What About This Weather...

Well another week is almost over and we're having a wonderful weekend here in London. I was back in Richmond Park for my walk/jog around the park this morning and it was full of joggers, dog walkers, family picnics, cyclist and ramblers. Here's hoping for a glorious summer this year.
I still have £2.90 in my purse for this week which is very good going. On Friday I was meeting a friend for lunch and only had £9.60 left from my £5.00 a day plan. No credit card or debt card in my purse to fall back on, just £9.60 cash for a lunch in Richmond - not easy but I did it (with change too).
I have been reading lots of blogs this week and have taken a couple off my blog roll as they had stopped posting. And am very pleased that NCN is back giving sage advise on his weekly broadcasts. Lots of good news from PF bloggers some of whom have cleared their debt which is fab news. Cynthia and her family have cleared their debt and she has renamed her blog "The Grass is Greener". Way to go Cynthia!

Thursday, 21 May 2009

A Fiver a day keeps the debt away

I am back on the £5 a day deal, after about two weeks off it and I still have £17.09 left until Sunday. So I am back on track with with this concept, which is very pleasing as it gives me a micro budget to play around with during the week. (yes I am a very sad person I know) A micro budget is very helpful to teach you to be thoughtful with your money. I say 'thoughtful' instead of 'careful' because it you really 'think' about what your going to spend your money on you will be careful with it.
Spending only £5 a day has made me change brands (for cheaper options), made me go further a field looking for the best value for money and it has taught me that I can live without having money in my purse. If you don't have it you can't spend it.
Why did I freak out if I had nothing in my purse?
I don't mean having money to pay my bills - I pay them all by direct debt or standing order. I believe the idea of always having cash in hand (or today a credit card at hand) is a modern concept. Did it worry people 50 or 60 years ago?
Was it advertising via the media that has brainwashed us to believe we need cash/credit to hand at all times just in case we see something we really, really want?
Self control is the battle we are facing in the slogg of getting out of debt - self control is not PC now days because we live in a very self absorbed society. "Self control... (if I can remember the words from the Sunday school song) .. is just controlling my self, it's listening to my heart and doing what is smart". Out of the mouths of babes huh!
Have you tried living on a micro cash budget? Give it a go.......

(and if you haven't read it yet get a copy of Kath Kelly's book and see how she lived on only £1 a day for a whole year - Kath you are my hero!)

May Update

It's quite weird to see my debt balance as less than 5k, that was usually the balance owing on one credit card. What a strange journey I have been on. Okay what is happening this month?
I plan to pay a minimum of £1,100.00 off my debt - less than I had plan at the start of last month but my holiday spending was about £500 over what I had planned.
So my snowballing card which is currently at £1,812.10 will be reduced by 1k and my second card will be down £100. So total for the end of May should be £3, 754.51 not including interest changers.
My pay days are Sundays and so the cheques don't get banked until the following Monday or Tuesday so I will not be updating my figures until the monies have been cleared though my account.
In June I should clear my snowballing card and then I will only have one card left to clear before I can say I'm "debt free".
One unexpected expense for June is my helping out some friend move house which will include me taking some time off work and probably hiring a car for a couple of days. I will have to see how much it is all going to cost me and try and keep it all to a minimum. (Try really, really hard to do that!)
In the end of July I have my next Tax payment of 2k due but I am not including that in my debt balance because it will be a new debt and not an old one.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Taking A Break

I have just come back from a weeks break in Icmeler, Turkey - where I completed my Open Water Scuba Diving course along with my godson Joel. He did beat me in the final exam by miles but I have dived off a boat and have also dived deeper than him so there!!
Poor Joel - he only just scraped in on completing his diving as the day before the final exam and the big dive off the boat he injured himself and we had to rush him into a medical clinic for stitches (no swimming for at least ten days) and if that wasn't enough he then broke his arm and spent a few hours on Monday morning having his arm reset and getting it plastered (no swimming, fencing etc. for the next six weeks at least).
Other than that it was a great holiday - really the sun shone, the water was warm and it was a very laid back holiday. I can't say enough for the medical treatment Joel received, he was in and out with his broken in less than 2 hours. The NHS could never get even close to that on it's very best day. Even when I broke my arm as a kid it took all afternoon to get the x-ray, have my arm reset and then get it plastered.
Now I have to wait for the insurance to repay me for all the cost - I haven't included it on my debt, as I hoped to have it all sorted by the end of the month. If it is not I will include the costs in a separate listing in June but really hope that, that doesn't have to happen.

Friday, 1 May 2009

What's My Score??

I have just checked out my credit score with and yaaa-me!!
I have gone from 696 "Poor" in 2007, to 818 "Good" in 2008, to 969 "Excellent" in 2009.
So my credit rating is now (according to the site) above average - 71% of people have a score lower than Excellent. Wow that puts little ol' me in with the other 29%. I am well chuffed!!
According to my report I am not perfect yet as; I
"have several credit agreements and outstanding balance is high"
But as you all know (and are all doing yourselves) I am working on it give me a little more time.
The report needs a little up dating as it still shows my total debt as £6,673.00 - so really I wonder what my score would be if they took into account my current debt?
Any way I am pleased as punch and will treat myself to a further credit score when I reach my DFD and see what they have on me then.

Friday, 24 April 2009

April Update

I am getting so excited - I can see the light at the end of the tunnel (and it's green) and am counting down the weeks till I will be debt free!
We have just had the government budget and no good news there - I should be grateful the Labour government did give us a minimum wage but really other than that I have gain nothing from more that ten years of Labour government. And the credit crunch will only really affect me when (not if) my taxes or national insurance goes up. I have worked out my tax for this last year and have added it to what I need to pay by July 31 but I haven't added it to my debt total. The amount I owe is the highest amount yet - so looks enormous but I have already paid some of it and the rest will be no problem once all my month debt payments are no more.
My best friend LJ has been busy booking a holiday for me, her eldest son (my eldest godchild) and herself and we are off in just over a week. I know..... I know .... I am clearing my debt but as I have been working very hard to the last four months with out a break I could really do with one. Even if this one involves my having to study up before the trip and will have two days of attempting and hopefully passing my Open Water Scuba diving course. I will be doing this with my godson Joel (who will be turning 11 years old just after we get back) - so I really have to pass this course or I will never hear the end of it. The holiday is all paid for and the spending money is coming out of this weeks cheque. We are off to Turkey again so I am really, really looking forward to it!
Goals for next month to get my debt down to £3,200 and continue with my £5 a day budget. Beyond that I have been thinking about what happens next. I would like to take a long visit home to NZ but at this current time I don't know how wise that would be, so am having a rethink. My work is going okay and I don't want to leave my employers in the lurch, they have been asking if I had any plans of leaving as they really want me to stay. But my Mums is wanting me to come hope for a visit (and to stay!). So I will have to make some decisions! It's getting time to really work on plan "B".

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Just a little bit more

To get under the £6k I have paid £3.40 onto the credit card I am working on clearing first and so have brought my balance down to only £5,998.30. A land mark balance in my very checked history of being in debt. My lowest balance in the last 10 years (yep you read that right!) is £6,662.28 and that was back in December 2004. My total debt is at it's lowest level ever!!
This is how my March balances have looked over the years:
2002 £9,141.24
2003 £8,653.76
2004 £7,263.07
2005 £8,147.84
2006 £9,255.26
2007 £14,524.62
2008 £11,828.20
2009 £6,001.70
Getting to where I am today has been a slogg and it has been sometimes the little things that have done the most towards getting my debt level down. I haven't finish quite yet and I have planned a holiday in early May but it is has been budgeted in and is currently all paid for. I will be using my April savings for my spending monies so that should cover it.
Goal for April is to be under £5k by the end of the month - shouldn't be a problem!!

Thursday, 19 March 2009


It has taken a while but I have finally gotten below the lowest record balance I have had in about a decade. Way back in December 2004 my total debit balance was down to a mere £6,662.28 before it slowly (but insistently) climbed to the heights of £20,056.05 in June 2007. That amount really horrified me - how could I be in so much debt but have nothing to show for it? And so my blog journey started.
Now my total debt is £6,637.58 - OK that may only be £24.70 less than my lowest balance but it's a huge breakthrough for me and better still it is not yet the end of the month so I am working at getting below £6k by the end of the month. The getting out of debt business is getting lots of fun.
Haven't done so well on my £5 a day plan last week - brought my big bro a belated birthday gift, new earphones for my ipod and some stationary that I needed to that blew the plan for the week but I am back on track this week. I wont beat my self up as I have been very good and I haven't been using credit (rule No. 1 is still in place).
My NoCreditNeeded goal of clearing my debt by the end of this month is not going to happen but ending it under £6k is a reason to celebrate I reckon!

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

March Update

Well I am down to only two credit cards and would like them both gone (forever) by July this year.

The higher interest changing card is going first and currently it stands at £4,560.49. The idea is to throw as much money at it till it is totally gone and to pay £100 a month on the other card until the first is cleared. This monthly payment is more than double the required payment for the month but as the credit card company has reduced the percentage you have to pay each month that doesn't say too much.

With that all under control - the rest of my finances are now very much easier to deal with. I have reduced my monthly expense to under £200 a month and my £5 a day spending plan is keeping me on the straight and narrow when it comes to spending. I now tend to leave my debit card at home and my one and only unchopped credit card is kept well away from my handbag.

I have a few bank accounts scatted about with small amounts in them which I need to sort out as I feel that changed bank accounts are just around the corner here in the UK. I keep getting asked if I want to open a premier account which cost over £5 a month and includes travel insurance etc. but I am not interested. On Monday when I was taking out my weekly spending money the question popped up on the cash machine outside the bank and if you are not careful you could end up with an account by accident.

Trip to Turkey in early May is still on the cards and as yet I haven't worked out the costs so I really must get onto that as it is now March.

Saturday, 28 February 2009

Update (sort of)

This is a very brief update as I don't have the current figures for Credit Card No. 2, so I will have to update again this evening if I get the time. Still I am very please the total is now below the £8k mark once again and my networth chart is once again heading in the correct direction.
With only two bills to clear it is starting to feel like the end is near! This time next month (G-D willing) I shall be doing the happy dance!
I will increase my payment for Credit Card No. 2 by £25.00 per month and pay all the rest into Credit Card No.1 which should put the two cards neck in neck i.e. balances will be very much the same.
So hoping next month to have my total debit down to £6237.64 which will be the lowest it has been in over ten years.

I will be debt free!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Getting Better All The Time

If you have been following my £5 a day plan you will know that last week I was only using the £15 I had left over from the week before and on Sunday evening I still had £6.68 in my purse. So I really have gotten this £5 a day "sorted" (as they say up here).
Currently I am waiting for my pay cheque to clear before updating my current debt level but it will be under £8K, so it's all good!!
One confession I do have to make is that I spent £48.81 on my paid off credit card - I was buying some Opera DVDs (for my Mum not for moi) and lots of online sites will just not accept debit cards. Happily I have since paid the card in full so will not occur any interest etc. (i.e. didn't break my rule of increasing my debit so I got away with that one).
Still haven't decided about changing my currant accounts - they make such a big deal about them here in the UK and they were not easy for me to get either so that too makes me a little wiry of changing them. Should I change to a building society or not? I've looked at possibly joining a credit union but have found them to be a too unknown quantity for my liking.
I need to spend some time just reading up the blogs I have been following but of late just haven't had the time. So don't really know what's going on with everyone else. Hope you are winning your battle with debit!

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

What Still Remains

This £5 a day deal is really working for me - on Monday morning I still had £15 in my purse from last week and so have decided not to take out any money for this week at all.
I have closed my ISA account as I don't have any saving in it and have made the decision to send all my savings back home (ie. off shore) and have closed my web saver account (the interest on the account had gone to almost nothing). Two reasons to do this is it will stop me spending it and I would have monies in my account back home for when I need to make payments. Am thinking about changing my bank accounts for a building society too.
I have paid off my Flexiloan for the second time in about four months, it's one of those account I find really hard (read that as next to impossible) to close as it is instant access to cash, without the inconvenience of a credit card. This leaves me with only two credit cards again to clear so next month I will be throwing everything at my card with the highest balance and the highest interest rate. I have turned down the offer of a refinancing loan of 9.9% (been there too many times) and am committed to clearing what I have left on my cards asap!

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Remembering Africa!!

With interest rates tumbing here in the UK - that 14% African rate looks just too good to be true!

Fun, friendship and uniforms? Well two out of three isn't bad - a Ugandan Compassion project.

These guys are really proud of their home made foot ball and asked me to take this picture of it!

When you think you have it hard - take another look at someone else and then count your blessings! (And when you have done that - look at what you can do to help someone else)

A picture is worth a thousand words isn't it! And helping out one child sounds really great when your at home - when I got to Kenya there were just hundreds who really needed help. Have you thought about sponsoring a child? Why don't you stop thinking about it and just do it!

Winter Wonderland

We've been snowed under in the UK - it's the most snow I have ever seen since I arrive in the UK in 1993. It has brought back lots of memories of living in Chicago and my very first white winter. It has put a stop to my walks around Richmond Park - it would take twice the time at the moment and I really don't want to be breaking an arm or a leg at them moment.
On Monday my bank was closed, I guess the staff just couldn't make it in as there were no buses running and very few trains. (So my pay cheque was banked a day late) As the library is closed on Mondays I had nothing else to do but stop in a cafe for a decaf latte - me and every one else it would seem! All the cafes along the road where heaving! I later heard that the pizza shops were also doing a roaring trade on Monday.
I have been keeping to my £5 a day - some days going a little over and some days going under but either way it balances it's self out.
I have taken up an offer from my bank and transferred the balance of one of my cards to my MasterCard with them at 0% interest for nine months.
This weeks pay cheque is going entirely towards my debt which is a great feeling - OK I am paying today for yesterdays spending but I am clearing the debt which is the good thing and I am not adding to it, as I used to.
By the end of the month I should be down to only two credit cards to clear and I should be able to reduce one of them by at lest £1600 in March. Three payments like that and I should be able to clear it. But till then I am looking forward to getting below the £7k mark!

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Getting Back To Where I Was

Another wet and wintry day in the UK and yet another visit to the library.... and behold lots of empty computers so I shell be able to get my 120 minute quote in full today. I have even brought a packed lunch to save some money!... well really it's because I totally blew my £5 a day budget on Monday when I had lunch with a friend (and of cause I paid), so now I am left with only two £5 notes and some copper to last me until Saturday.
Something good to note is that I have been able to clear my tax bill and so my next pay cheque and all from now on will be going to reduce my debt. Last year I got it down to under £8K which was great but now I need to get it below £7k before I can start to celebrate again.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

January Update

Yep, at the library again and my time is almost up so I will have to be very brief.

Tax Owing £1,828.95 To clear this by end of month

Credit Card 1 £4,155.95 minimum payment only /need to reduce the interest on this

Credit Card 2 £3,278.19 minimum payment only

Credit Card 3 £ 670.77 minimum payment only /plan to clear this in Feb

Flexiloan £1,386.74 minimum payment only /plan to pay half of this off in Feb

I didn't have the time to do an update for December and this one looks bad after last year's success at getting the debt down. Like some others who PF blog I find it hard to cancel my credit once I have cleared the account but really need to do this to get out of debt.

"Great news! As a valued customer of XXXXXXXXX, we are pleased to be able to double your credit limit ...... to help you make the most of your card."

Now I know we are in a credit crisis (aka a credit crunch) and here in the UK we are in recession, the banks aren't lending and so credit is tight etc, so how come little ol' me is still being offered credit? When I checked my online banking for another account, I found that I have a special deal loan offer available. It really is all quite mad. I am one of the lucky ones and not effected by the credit crunch (so far anyway). But there is credit around in small amounts I guess.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

2009 Goals

The big goal is to get debt free and this is the year!!
My major for the month of January is to pay off my tax payment by the 31st January, so by avoiding any interest chargers. To do this I will only be able to pay minim payments on all my cards etc, but this will all change in February when I should be able to clear my smallest credit card balance and also clear at least half of my flexiloan account. (Yes I know that I had clear both of these last year - grrrr!).
By March I should be down to only two credit cards and probably wanting a holiday somewhere warm? I know myself so well! My job is currently seven days a week and although I am getting time off most days it is not the same as having weekends off each week. The ideal holiday would be ten days in Turkey, where I could complete my scuba diving course. Of cause I would have to take my godson as he also wants to complete his "open water" dive course also and I would be paying for his trip as well. Gosh it all costs money doesn't it.
I would like to be able to clear my debts by July as I have promised my Mums I would come home for a long visit, which is not going to happen if I am still paying off debt.
Having read a book about a women who lived a year on a pound a day - I have been looking at my own spending which I have decide to reduce to £5 a day. Where I am now living that is going to be interesting, everything is so expensive and lunch at a cafe costs a minim of £5 (unless I have fried chicken everyday at £2.85 - not really the healthy opinion) and it is way to cold to be buying lunch at Waitrose and eating it outside.
Well these are my goals for 2009 - need to flesh them out and all that but so far they are very "do able". Now will have to get on and make it happen.....

Friday, 2 January 2009

January 31st

January is always overshadowed by the last day of the month - January 31st is one of the two dreaded dates for those of us self-employed souls, here in the UK. That big bill, which becomes due for the upcoming tax year is hanging there, waiting to pounce. And I am sure that the good folk at Her Majesty's revenues and customs are practicing their speed dialing techniques in readiness for the February 1st. As I have already had my taxes calculated by the IRD, I have thereby avoided the £100 fine for being late but I have a bill of £108 owing from the previous year and £1,720.95 due for the first half of 2009.
In total that will put my debts up to over £11k again but I plan to have it all cleared by the end of the month. Everything else will have to just have to make do with minimum payments.
I haven't had the time to read many post from all my favourite PF bloggers so I wonder how everyone else is doing.
I had a very cheap Christmas/New Year season and am really feeling the lack of internet, as I can't keep intouch with my friends etc. The library is ok but isn't open everyday and is no comparison to having online access at home.
Hope everyone is doing ok and really to face what ever the coming year has to throw at us all!