Becoming debt free has been a real focus this year and it will continue to be a focus for next year too however I am pleased to say I have done really well this year. We have paid of, I would say, at least half of our debts and hire purchases now which is fantastic progress. I gave myself two years to be completely debt free so we sill have until 31st December 2020 to reach that goal. I think we’ve made great progress.
In July this year we completed a hirepurchase agreement which was costing us £17 a week. It was one of those quite big spends that we couldn’t really change which was quite frustrating. The second hire purchase will finish at the end of this month which is about £6 a week. It’s not a big difference but it’s a completed hire purchase and it will finally be done.
I have now closed around six debt accounts too of varrying amounts and I currently have three left. I’ve had to continously adjust the amount I can afford to pay back each month but I am still on track to close two more debt accounts in December as they are both under £200. It does make me feel a bit sick still thinking that I have to pay out £400 between now and the end of the year as the payments are a little bigger than I can afford but the feeling I get when I see those debt accounts completely closed will trump that feeling.
That will then leave me with four credit cards and one last debt, which has been the biggest one for ages.The biggest debt is our water rates and every six months has around £200 or so added to it from the water company. It’s currently about £1400 and I’m only able to pay £5 a week right now as I focus on bigger payments for the other debts. I am then going to focus on my smallest credit card which has a balance of around £175 before increasing my weekly payments to £15 a week.
The credit cards are hard because there are times when we need to use them however, the balances on them is now quite high and I am keen to spend 2020 clearing those balances as much as possible. I do want to close the water account though so I will have to do a new budget at the start of the year and work out exactly what I can afford to pay where.
Here is my update:
Credit Card 1 – owe £175
Credit Card 2 – owe £650
Credit Card 3 – owe £950
Credit Card 4 – owe £2400
Debt 1: £140
Debt 2: £199
Debt 3: £1400
SimplyBe Account: £150 – currently paying £50 a month back on this one which I’m happy with as it’s clearing it nicely and I have a balance should I need any clothes – being plus size means my size isn’t usually stocked in stores.
The amount has fluctuated through the year as I expected it would. I’ve had credit limit increases on my card which seemingly have come at the right time for when we’ve been short and frustatingly that balance has increased because of the smaller, regular purchases. We also have not stuck to some of my budgetting tips, meal plans, shopping lists and have had some more extravagant purchases which we really shouldn’t have done. However, I don’t want to feel guilty about that because there’s no point to it. What I want to do is celebrate the fact that I have closed some debt accounts, we have closed hire purchases agreements and will have another two debt accounts closed by the end of the year.
It’s been really hard some months and I want to make it much more mangable for us next year. I am going to start putting money into a savings account each week again from the start of the year. I think I will start with £5 a week at first and then as more debt accounts and credit card balances come down I will increase this. Ideally I’d like to have saved around £250 by September to go towards Christmas.
I have two big financial goals for 2020. The first is to get rid of the water account debt of £1400 and the second is to clear the balance to within £100 on Credit Card 3. We have a cruise booked in December 2020 and I really want to put Credit Card 3 as my cruise account card. I won’t use the entire balance but I think it will be better to budget if I have some spare funds. Adam is going to link his own credit card to his cruise account so we can take it in turns paying any extras.
My other financial goals for 2020 are as follows:
Earn an average of £2080 a month through self employment, freelancing, blog and social media work
Pay off my two smaller credit cards and keep the balance under £50 on Credit Card 1 and £100 on Credit Card 2
Stop spending on Credit Card 4 and gradually increase payments as and when I can
Have £500 saved for Christmas
Add an additional £300 to my private pension fund throughout the year
We want to try and clear everything as much as we possibly can between now and the end of 2020 so we can start 2021 with as clean a slate as possible and focus the first six months on saving as much money as we possibly can to be able to move house. I would absolutely love to be able to save £6000 in those first six months of 2021 as it could make a huge difference to moving house. This would be enough to cover the first three months rent on our ideal type of property, deposit and fees, and then hopefully some moving costs too. In an ideal world, we would want six months worth of rent saved but e will just have to see how much we can clear next year first.