Credit diet!

10 August 2008

A few months ago I had a financial hissy fit, my out goings were too high, my debts were gratting on me (still are), I was sick of being in my overdraft and I didn't want to be getting hit too hard by the credit crunch. There was only one thing left to do and that was to go on a credit diet.

Like any good diet there was a need for a good plan with long term effects. Although this was a few months ago, I thought I'd blog my progress to show people that it can be done and also for me to use it as a reflective mirror when I get racked off with watching my pennies or on the days I don't feel I'm making any progress. If little old me as a single mother can do this so can you!

Back in January I set about putting a plan in place:

1. Be brutally honest with myself

2. Look at outgoings/income with the finest of toothcombs

3. Financially reeducate myself - consumer research

4. Increase income and reduce outgoings

5. Set a review date

The practicalUndecided

This meant changing internet, digital TV and telephone providers, being more mindful of my spending ( I now have a 3 question rule on purchasing 1. Do I want it or do I need it? 2. Whats the consequence of not having it? 3. Can I get it cheaper?) , cancelling unnecessary subscriptions and increasing direct debits. Signing up to websites/e-newsletters like money wise and Martin Lewis' Mpney saving expert. I set up a personal budget spreedsheet (formulas and all!). It tells me my income, outgoings, current debt and reductions. I also have an account just for bills and outgoings and one for left over monthly income.

The result Money mouth

As a result I have reduced my outgoings by over £100 a month, I managed to get perm extra hours at work which also increased my income by almost £200 a month. As a bonus I managed to get a £180 refund from my mobile provider who had been charging me for what should of been free text messages without me noticing. This all allowed me to increase my monthly payments on my debts and as a bonus I started my driving lessons in april with the additional savings.

I feel like I am finally gaining control of my finances, the inchs are dropping off my debts and my bank account is looking more radiant!

Next review August 08!!!