Friday, 6 January 2012

To The Batcave! (or the reality of my situation)

It takes me just over an hour to get to work in the mornings and just under to get home in the evenings, at this time of the year when I am leaving home in the dark and getting home in the dark too, I often tend to drive without the radio on for half of my journey and have a quiet muse.

On my most recent journey, I started thinking about my debt and whether the figure I had given you was entirely accurate.

I arrived home and in a very “To The Batcave” moment immediately approached the filing cabinet and began to document exactly where it all lay. Here is the result…

Overdraft           £300.00
Car Loan            £445.00
Credit Card 1      £535.94
Credit Card 2      £709.86
Total                 £1990.80

It seemed I was inaccurate in my earlier post by £40.

However, yesterday was payday and I spent my lunch hour paying my bills immediately. I knocked £111.00 off the car loan meaning that should be paid off by April, and then £25 off each of the credit cards. This is more than the minimum payment, but really is not bringing down the balance by much.

Credit Card 1 has been on a balance transfer rate of about 4% for the life of the balance and since I have not bought anything since doing this it has not worth changing for the time being as it is cheaper than a loan – my priority has been on paying off the car loan and then tackling Credit Card 2.

I really looked at the Credit Card 2 statement yesterday and realised that I am paying £12 in interest every month. My goodness if yesterday I would not pay £3 for a wooden spoon, then you can imagine my reaction to £12. So I applied for a new credit card and was accepted I then arranged a balance transfer and have got 0% for 12Months at a charge of £20.00 for the handling fee this over 12months should save me about £157 in interest and means that at least until the car loan is paid my £25 per month will actually pay off the balance and not half balance and half interest. It will be paid off within the 12months, so another reason I am glad for that 30 minutes quiet time travelling to and from work. 

If I can pay off credit card 2 and the car loan by the end of the year that is a total of £1154 off my debt.

As a slight aside, I do know I have an “excellent” credit rating, but Credit Card 2 actually cancelled their card with me about a year ago. The reason? Well I used to have a balance of circa £7000 with them until a few years ago when I started paying everything off and stopped using the card. It appears they do not like this much and cancelled the card after 18months. They could not ask for the full balance back and I was able to pay off something every month as per normal- but it does make you think doesn’t it? They can cancel your card just because you stopped extending your credit and started paying them back! There is a lesson somewhere in that.

Anyway yesterday, I paid off a total £161 off my debt. Bringing the total down to £1829.80, but interest will be added on for next month.

I also put £300 into savings but I fully expect all of that will be needed to pay for heating over the last 3 months and the bill should arrive shortly.

The one bill I have not paid is service charge for my flat. The Housing Association I have to pay, recently amalgamated with another Housing Association, and suddenly they decided I will not have an annual bill but a monthly one instead of £35.48. I did not realise and have got into 1 months arrears, so I need to toddle off to the post office and pay £70.96. I would point out I have been on the phone to them to complain at their unilateral decision making process. I think I may have used the term “sharks” in there somewhere to the poor chap on the phone.

So perhaps I should document, a free thing that I really love to round off what is actually quite a heavy post. Well this is it…
My bed. I have a kingsize bed all to myself and sleep cocooned like a caterpillar in the sheets. I have a high thread count cotton duvet set bought in better times.  I used to spray the White Company pillow spray on my sheets every night too as I love the smell of rosemary and lavender. However at about £12 per bottle, that has been replaced by the more sensible Avon alternative at about 99p (sleep therapy range) I spray it on then go and have a wash and by the time I go to bed really it smells wonderful and I never have a problem dropping off. Plus sleeping is free – if allowed I could be inherently lazy.

Got some nice plans to the weekend – will share soon.

Frugally yours

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I really love reading all comments. So please tell me what you think. Abigail