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Archive for May, 2015

What's The Cost?

May 31st, 2015 at 02:46 am

I've updated my details on What's the Cost, the best I could this morning. The reason I say that, is that I don't think my catalogue balance is accurate. Credit card statements are so much easier to read. Right now, WTC states that if I keep paying 295 per month to my debt, I will be debt free in 29 months. While that sounds good, come December, I will have to add over one thousand pounds to my Littlewoods debt when the BNPL item (kingsize bed/mattress/clothes for SG) gets added on.

I'm trying to remain optimistic because I am dealing with my catalogue debt. This is better than my old method of just focusing on my credit card debt.

This is what my balances are looking like (I'm still doubting the catalogue's accuracy):

- Littlewoods: 2409.82
- BoS: 2967.98
- Tesco: 1689.09

Total Debt: 6771.89

Interest still has to be added on when their statements update. But this is roughly where I stand.

May Snowflakes Total & Tracking Spending

May 31st, 2015 at 12:23 am

For the first time this month, I included my colleague discount savings in my snowflake - or at least, a few weeks of with it. I stopped when my manager reduced my hours. I'm not sure if I'll add it for June, we'll see. (I also still owe myself 15.00 of Swagbucks rewards)

6.00 Tesco coupon
7.25 Colleague discount
2.50 Opinion Outpost
3.00 My Survey rewards

18.75 Total

I have now accumulated 110.74 worth of snowflakes, or 74% of my goal. I must have set my goal too low at the start of the year, but it was just a guess.

I have decided to keep track of any impulse purchases and note exactly what I spend in the baby category, and gifts etc. So far, it's looking like this:

food: 25.20 (140 budgeted)
baby: 90p (70 budgeted)
gifts: 9.00 (zero budgeted)
impulse: 1.80 (two bottles of Oasis juice, zero budgeted)

My cousin had her fourth baby boy a few days ago, so I bought some clothes and a card for him.

Emergency Fund Update

May 30th, 2015 at 08:34 am

170.70 Beginning Balance
+10.00 Four-weekly deposit
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

------------

182.70 New Balance

Meal Planning

May 29th, 2015 at 02:32 am

Tonight:
Chilli con carne (from freezer) with rice
Cheesy vegetable pasta for J

Tomorrow:
Sweet chilli chicken (freezer) with rice/noodles and veg
Frittata for kids

Sunday:
Silverside with potatoes and mixed veg

Other meals:
Pork chops with potatoes and veg
Meatballs and spaghetti
Macaroni and cheese
Leftovers

Emergency Fund Update

May 29th, 2015 at 01:16 am

169.80 Beginning Balance
+__.90 Survey rewards

------------------

170.70 New Balance

Predictable Payday Post

May 29th, 2015 at 12:32 am

This post may be predictable, but I didn't predict that my debit card would be declined when I tried to make online payments. Thankfully, dh had left his card at home so I transferred money to him then used his card. Phew.

I paid 200 to Littlewoods, minimum was 156.
I paid minimum to BOS and Tesco. While doing that, I was pleased to see that my balance transfer has gone through. It then occurred to me that maybe I could have skipped BOS's minimum payment since the 1000 balance transfer was technically a payment? Well, I'd already paid it when I thought of this.
I also paid 15 to the cot/mattress BNPL.

I'm in the middle of ordering groceries online from Tesco to be delivered on Monday. After work tomorrow I'll be getting meat from the butcher's and milk. I am going to make up a meal plan.

I also need to keep track of my spending to see where my money's going. I have a suspicion that I'm wasting a lot on impulse purchases after work.

J will be one in a few weeks, which means I don't need to buy as much formula from this pay.

Dh wants us to go bowling with the kids soon because we got a coupon for it. He thinks SG would love it.

I forgot to mention that last week someone at work unexpectedly died. I didn't work with him but dh knew him. He was out jogging when a cyclist hit him. He was ok at the time and he even spoke to the cyclist. Later he went to our local hospital then to one in Glasgow where he died from serious head injuries. They're still looking for the cyclist since they never exchanged details.

Where's North Georgia Gal?

May 28th, 2015 at 09:26 am

I can't even find her blog. But I might have missed it.

Obsessive?

May 28th, 2015 at 07:09 am

I think I am a little obsessed with my debt. Tomorrow is payday, the money from Bank of Scotland will transfer soon. My pay will be less than last month's but I'm not sure how much thanks to less hours.

This is how debt minimum payments are looking right now:

Catalogue: 156.xx (39%)
BoS: 73.xx (24.5%)
Tesco: 25 (0%)

Obviously,pay extra to Littlewoods, and BoS too? Minimum to Tesco since it's 0%?

So, my plan should just be extra to Littlewoods? As much as possible, right? Silly question, I know.

Another card?

May 28th, 2015 at 03:48 am

I posted this question a while ago when my bank offered me a credit card. They're offering me one again, with the option of:

- 2k credit limit
- 0% for 15 months with a fee of 0.55% (min £5) for the first three months of account opening, after which the fee will revert to 2.4%

OR

0% for 26 months with a 2.4% fee

Now, I'm debating because of the balance transfer option, especially the 26 months one. I could transfer more of Bank of Scotland, which will be at 3k soon thanks to my balance transfer (fingers crossed I've done it properly). But then I would have three cards and I decided the last time that three's too many.

If I did it I think I would really have to focus to get it paid off within the interest-free period.

Balance Transfer

May 27th, 2015 at 07:46 am

I've been thinking about transferring more to my 0% card for a while now. Well, I just did it: 1000 from BoS has been transferred to Tesco. It's 0% until June 2017. I'm nervous and excited at the same time. There is a fee of 2.99% roughly for doing the transfer.

Eek.

Weekly EF Update

May 24th, 2015 at 01:53 am

I'm getting a bit bored writing these since the total barely moves, but I will keep it up.

167.80 Beginning Balance
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

----------------

169.80 New Balance

23 year-old Sarah, don't do it...

May 21st, 2015 at 01:15 am

I wish I could tell my younger self not to sign up for the Littlewoods catalogue. Just because your mum used catalogues when you were growing up, doesn't mean you have to.

While there, I'd make sure to set up some automatic deposits to start my Emergency Fund.

I looked into transferring some of Littlewoods balance to my Tesco credit card. I can only transfer a credit card balance in my name. Now I'm considering whether to transfer some of Bank of Scotland's balance to it? (1000 would be the limit since I have 1200 remaining credit on Tesco)

I told my mum she has 200 in savings. She was pleased to say the least.

We almost had an emergency the other day. I went into the kitchen and noticed water everywhere. Dh figured out that the pipe from the washing machine had been leaking. It's fixed now. It made me realise that my savings don't cut it if an actual emergency were to happen. (Of course, I remember when I had 7.60 in my EF, so I've at least moved on from then)

Emergency Fund Update

May 16th, 2015 at 11:33 pm

165.80 Beginning Balance
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

-------------------

167.80 New Balance

Trying to be Proactive

May 15th, 2015 at 01:07 am

I signed in to Swagbucks this morning and attempted a few surveys. No luck, but at least I tried.

I done the survey from Opinion Outpost that they sent to me in an email.

I checked my bank balance to confirm that I no longer have Love Film. That's it officially cancelled now. It only saves me 7.99/month a though.

Other than that, I will make sure that I meal plan consistently and limit impulse buys.

I've been thinking about what to do about my catalogue. I can't do a balance transfer because it doesn't seem to be an option for my Tesco credit card and I wouldn't transfer it to Capital One because their interest rates are the same as the catalogue (it was my first ever card). I am thinking about whether to use the credit card to pay off my Buy Now Pay Later items, which are the bed and clothes, 983 GBP I think, or use it to make a huge payment to the catalogue. Tesco credit card is 24% interest. Of course, I'd need to find the card first - I think it's in my folder in our room. Good idea? Bad idea?

Work reducing my hours

May 13th, 2015 at 11:25 pm

My manager wanted me to see her in the office on Tuesday. She wanted to discuss my contract. I thought she would try to get me to work more, but it went the opposite way: my contract is being reduced by five hours. She says the department doesn't have enough hours for me to work 24.5.

I'm hoping we will still be ok and it won't slow down debt repayment and my goals.

Emergency Fund Update

May 9th, 2015 at 11:10 pm

161.49 Beginning Balance
+_2.00 Weekly deposit
+_2.31 Colleague discount savings

------------------------

165.80 New Balance

Checking Balance etc

May 8th, 2015 at 02:39 am

This morning I signed on to my catalogue to check the balance. It hasn't updated yet. This is unusual for me, normally I would only check what my new minimum payment is. I really am determined to get rid of it.

I think someone asked if I could transfer the balance. I don't think I can, it's not a credit card so I don't know how that would work. (Although Littlewoods keep emailing me because I have the option of a credit card too, plus my catalogue. No thanks)

I paid the deposit for the cake smash/photo shoot this morning. That was 40.00.

I spoke to Dh and told him the prices of the hotels and train fares that I'd seen. It was 150+ each for train fares (kids travel free) plus the hotel was over 100, plus spending money, so it's not likely to happen. I did say we could check again nearer the time because I couldn't find prices for train fares for September, it's too far away.

I need to total up my discount card savings this week and divide the snowflakes between the catalogue and EF.

This & That

May 7th, 2015 at 12:38 am

Dh declared that he wants us to go to England in September for his birthday. He wants his Grandpa to meet the kids. He sent me a link to check out hotels in the area. I don't see us being able to afford it, so I'm hoping we can compromise with days out when we're on holiday. But I will look into train fares and hotels.

I got J's birthday present from the catalogue. I used my rewards so I added zero on to my bill.

Both days after work this week I bought a few things I didn't really need. One of them was a sandwich and a bottle of juice because I was hungry and thirsty.

I still need to pay the deposit for J's cake smash next month. That's 40.00.

Another EF Update

May 2nd, 2015 at 11:02 pm

158.50 Beginning Balance
+_2.99 Survey rewards, coupon and colleague discount

-------------------

161.49 New Balance

Emergency Fund Update

May 2nd, 2015 at 10:36 am

146.50 Beginning balance
+10.00 Four-weekly deposit
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

--------------------

158.50 New Balance