Day 1 to 169
So, you probably remember from earlier that I started this mission in March 2020 pre-lockdown, but I’m going to speed it up by giving you a catch-up.
In March, I woke and decided I’m cutting up my cards and so I did but one – for emergency purposes only.
I’m so glad I did, because as you will see it made a huge difference and to be honest I did not realise how much I used credit and the scary bit is sometimes I didn’t even have to, it was just easier. Or so I thought.
Anyway, that was the old me, now I’m aware.
So back to my progress so as of the beginning of March I owed £8,903 between 7 providers.
Shocking, even more, shocking is that I’ve only just finished paying for the last school uniforms for my four children (twins) and they left school years ago.
So as of July, my balance was £7,937.
How did I do it? With sheer determination, focus, positivity, gratitude and these tools:
1. Don’t use credit! I know you have heard this many times but always avoid using credit where possible. I didn’t use credit except twice, but I put the money back in full within a week.
2. eBay!!! I sold the majority of my unwanted items – clothes, shoes, curtains, wigs, gifts and home accessories. The remaining items were left on our porch for passerby’s and we’re gone within the afternoon.
3. No takeaways. It’s that simple. Cook at home, it’s the best way and although I am not a fan, I have to admit it can be fun. If you are not convinced then our local Sainsbury’s has pretty good takeaway style meal packs and if you go after 8.45 pm there a chance you’ll get it for a fraction of the price. If you can hold out until 10 pm, you are laughing at the prices. When I could be bothered I’d go after 10 pm and pop the food in the freezer for another time. But really the cheapest option and probably the healthiest as well, is to cook. Grab a new good cook book, if you have run out of ideas. I have added Wagamama Feed Your Soul Cook Book to my birthday wish.
4. Sort out your finances – I went through everything, APR , Credit limits, balance, interest £ per month, total spent on credit per month. You may find it easier to sign up to one of the many credit information apps. I use Clearscore, you can use it to get all the correct info and helps to remember every form of credit you have. I forgot about my PayPal in my calculation and it was a nasty shock when I saw it on Clearscore and realised I hadn’t accounted for it. Clearscore is pretty good, balances have been way off lately but I will be doing a post on that soon.
5. I opened a separate bank account and amended all my credit direct debits, changing bank account details and increasing the regular amount.
I will not lie to you it was extremely hard and there were times when I was not smiling, but you have to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize, the goals. I did receive a little boost along the way, Barclaycard lowered my APR without me even asking. To be fair, I have paid an awful lot of interest over the years but it did make me smile.
So that brings us to Day 169
Closing Balance: £ 7,937
High & Low
+ : Barclaycard lowered my APR without me even asking.
– : I used my emergency credit card twice & it was not an emergency
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