meta name="p:domain_verify" content="fe1fa8c212a437fce0 The Frugal Trial

Saturday, 31 January 2015

A humble hello!


So, this is a humble hello! My last post was on 9 November 2014 and I really didn't mean to leave posting for so long. I have noticed that a few other bloggers I followed have vanished over the same period which is a shame. I expect there are some newbies who have filled the void, so if you are one of them give me a shout and i'll check your blog out. 

Now, let me tell you what I have been up to

Moving 

I mentioned in November  that I needed to move as my landlord was putting up the rent. I was a little pessimistic about my finances that month, but it turned out to be fine. We found a new flat which was £200 a month less than our old rent (or £300 p/m if you include the £100 increase the landlord wanted). It is closer to my partner's work so he is saving some petrol money. My job finishes in a few weeks but I am also saving £30 a month train fair for now. The only downsides are that our flat is smaller, the kitchen equipment is old and our council tax has increased by £6 per month. 

I did have to find £1,500 for my share of the deposit and rent advance plus £330 for admin fees. I didn't actually keep a beady eye on my money during November or December, but I am aware I did have to go into my overdraft, I didn't use my credit card like predicted (actually I haven't put any new debt on my credit card for over a year now - applause to myself) and somehow, I had £500 spare once I received my £900 deposit back from my old flat (I have now put this towards my debt as I was about to have to transfer a £700 balance). So financially, this was good news for me. 

Baby

Back in June I set out my goals, one of them was to start a family in 2016. It turns out that that goal is going to be happening in the summer of 2015! This is the real reason why I have been so quiet with blogging/twitter and reading other blogs - I was suffering with terrible morning sickness and quite frankly I was struggling to get through work let alone spend the evenings blogging. 

Even with my debt, financially I think we'll be ok. My minimum repayments are around the £130 a month mark now. This isn't ideal, i'll be shortly unemployed but we are now paying less rent and my partner has had a pay rise so I think we'll be fine but I will need to keep to my frugal ways and not get sucked into buying unnecessary baby items. I apologise in advance but I expect this blog may become a little baby focused in the near future. 

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas/New Year and if anyone has any tips for saving money when expecting a baby/have a young baby - please let me know!

*Image courtesy of www.freedigitalphotos.net 


Sunday, 9 November 2014

Debt Update - November



DEBT

October was a financial disaster! 

At the beginning of each month I calculate what I have to spend and set a budget. However, somehow in October I over calculated by £200! I really have no idea how I did this but come 15 October I checked my bank account and I had £98 left. I was expecting nearly £300 to be available. To say I was shocked was an understatement. Out of that £98 I had to pay £49 for my credit card minimum repayment and £45 for my phone bill. I had no money left. 

I had to cash in my change jar (£48) and dip slightly into my overdraft (only £20). I am starting to see the benefits of an emergency fund (albeit this was sloppy maths rather than a real emergency)

Anyway.....

My debt is now as follows:-

Credit Card 1 - £2,989.11
Credit Card 2 - £4,814.28
Credit Card 3 - £1,871.02

TOTAL: £9,674.41

HOME

My landlord has informed me that they wanted to increase the rent by £100 per month. Given that our rent is already stupidly high, we have decided to move. We are still looking but will hopefully secure a property with lower rent. The problem in terms of debt repayment is that we now have to find money for a removal van (we have looked into just hiring a van but it only works out a little cheaper compared to hiring a removal firm and quite frankly I think a professional will move things quicker), a professional cleaner (its in our lease), letting agent fees and a deposit. I, sadly, expect my credit card will be used this month and my debt will increase.

POSITIVES

On the plus side I have purchased nearly all my Christmas presents and have lucked out in obtaining deals so am under budget. I only have two presents left to buy and I am done!

GOALS

I don't normally set goals, but I thought I would this month. So my goals are as follows:-
  • List at least 10 items on Ebay each Sunday. 
  • Practice yoga x 2 a week.
  • Go swimming x 1 a week. 
I hope your debt repayment is going well. If you are paying off debt check out Money Smart Guide's Debt Pay Off All Stars. 



Thursday, 6 November 2014

Debt Disciplines interview series

I am participating in at Debt Disciplines interview series. Please remember to check it out and all their other fantastic interviews - its inspiring stuff!