Saturday, 30 June 2012
Day of Reckoning
It has been 6 months since I started in earnest my frugal journey; I had been a mere dabbler before. I kicked the year off with just over £18,000 of debt (apart from the mortgage) and a steely determination to not only clear this debt but to make a conscious and permanent change to my consumerist ways. I am a novice and I’ve had good days and bad days but that steely determination has remained, admittedly waivered occasionally but thankfully it still remains)
On 1st January 2012 my debt was thus:
Credit Card £5294.54
Car Loan £5000
Student Loans £7240
Total Debt £18212.54
So 6 months in:
Credit Card £0.00
Car Loan £2000
Student Loans £7240
Current Debt £9240
My credit card for the first time in years is clear and so it shall remain. I have made the final installment on a sofa from DFS and I’ve cleared (by overpaying) £3000 off my car loan. I purposely chose a car loan that allowed you to pay early without penalty, the interest rate is slightly higher (put it was only slightly 0.25% higher) and I am determined to clear this loan by September and by paying early (4 years early) will have saved over £1200 in interest!
So what’s left, well £2000 on the car loan and £7240 student loan (sorry the Government is last on the list). The car loan due to it being a higher interest rate takes precedent so I will be throwing everything at that. Now whilst I will throw as much as possible, I won’t forget to add to my working capital savings, the little pot of money which will ensure I don’t have to rely upon my credit card when the unexpected happens, i.e. the bed breaks J and I can get off the merry go round of getting into debt whenever a big bill either planned or unplanned drops on the doormat.
Reflectiing upon the first 6 months ..... I have survived, I haven’t bought any new clothes; apart from my 40th birthday (and most of that was courtesy of Tesco clubcard vouchers) we haven’t eaten out; there has been no weekends away, no expensive day trips; I haven’t shopped for anything that hasn’t been an absolute necessity, always asking the same question whenever I consider a purchase do I want it or do I need it – if it falls in the former it remains in the shop.
I have made do and mend and I have fallen back in love with baking, we have eaten incredibly well whilst reducing the grocery bill by 2/3rds, we have enjoyed such simple pleasures, walk on the beach, browsing for a new book in the library, watching an old movie curled up on the sofa, gardening and crafts and I honestly feel richer for it. So its more than I've survived the past 6 months I honestly think its been one of the most liberating experiences of my life.
So here’s to the next 6 months, I hope to continue to learn and I thank the other frugal bloggers and you my dear followers for your inspiration and ideas, as I continue my journey to financial freedom – Happy Days