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Spare money each month? Wish I didn't have any credit card debt!!

(31 Posts)
SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:08:28

I have £962 incoming each month (wages, tax credit and child benefit) and pay £500 to the house account (to go towards mortgage and bills) £180 in credit card payments, £20 phone and a £5 donation to a charity.

That leaves me with £257 each month for petrol, clothes, going out etc. DH and I have separate accounts and pay a set amount into the joint account each month then the rest of our money is our own. He only earns slightly more than me but has no debts.

I just can't see a time when I won't have debts. I haven't spent any money on my credit card for about 4 months - its not in my purse - but its going down so slowly because of the interest.

I was thinking of asking my brother (who has money in bank and would probably lend me some interest free) for a loan to cover the credit card and pay him back over the next 18 months.

I really want another baby but can't have one yet as we can't afford it until I have these debts paid as I would be on less money after another baby.

How much spare money do people have to literally spend on clothes, magazines, whatever you want? I wonder if I could pay more off my credit card each month and live a bit more frugally? Don't know where to start though...

TheArmadillo Mon 20-Oct-08 16:11:20

how much money do you need for petrol permonth?

You don't need to buy clothes, magazines etc every month.

IF you really can't cut back completely I would allow yourself 1 magazine a month and £20 to save towards clothes.

The rest should go on your debt.

I can't believe you would ask your brother for a loan rather than cut back on luxuries.

deanychip Mon 20-Oct-08 16:13:00

i dont buy myself clothes, magazines or anything else.

I wait for my borthday and xmas and ask for vouchers then i get myself something to wear.

i dont have a credit card.

It depends on your interpretation of "frugal". Are mags and clothes essential? (for work or whatever)

geordieminx Mon 20-Oct-08 16:14:20

If you have agood relationship with your brother then asking him to loan you some money would be a better idea - as long as you can pay it back - at least @ £180 per month - possibly more since you wont be paying interest.

I would cancel the charity donation - I know its only £5 but that could be reducing your debts - once you are in the black you can start it up again.

Once xmas is over with, try and cut back as much as you can, take money out at the begining of the week, budget, and be aware of what you are spending. Any spare money at the end of the month left in your account pay straight off your visa. The quicker you pay it off the easier life will be - and then you will have an extra £180 a month to spend as you wish.

Put your credit card in a bowl of water and then freeze it - that way you cant be tempted by impulse buys but still have it for an emergency.

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Mon 20-Oct-08 16:15:12

What were the credit cards for? If you spent this money on yourself then you should cut back and pay them off. If you go to the CAB they can negotiate a payment plan to pay the credit cards off and have the power to halt any interest on these. You can't do this yourself. You could also transfer the balance onto 0% cards and CUT THEM UP WHEN YOU GET THEM!
If the money has been spent on the family the your DH should be helping you to pay them off.

CarGirl Mon 20-Oct-08 16:19:15

As you have not spent on your cards for 4 months could you ask your DH to say contribute £50 per month to paying them off?

I read that the £257 each money is for spending on you and not the household is that correct?

SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:19:42

Thanks for replying so quickly!

I pay about £50 petrol a month, don't know why I even put magazines as I don't buy any magazines!!, I probably spend about £30 on going out with friends, £20 on clothes for me or DS ... do you know what I am struggling to think what I actually spend my money on!!!

I think I need to write down what I am spending my hard earned cash on as it just seems to go.

Re the brother loan thing, I just thought if I loaned the money off him and paid the debt off and got rid of the card etc then set up a standing order to him then I will pay it off quicker than paying all this interest and there will be an end in sight - a date when I won't have any debt!

Ds is 4 and I want a sibling for him in the next few years and that is only going to happen if I get this debt paid so I am determined to pay it all off. I could probably pay more if I have £250 left a month spare couldn't I.

CarGirl Mon 20-Oct-08 16:20:54

Does your DH know you have the debt?

TheArmadillo Mon 20-Oct-08 16:23:51

surely between the two of you you don't need clothes every month?

I would pay £150 towards the debt each month keeping £50 for petrol, £30 for going out, and £20 for bits (i.e. stuff that comes up). And I would take that out in cash and then put your card away for the month.

The rest I would pay towards the credit card.

And yes writing it all down for a couple of weeks would probably help.

SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:24:06

Like the idea of the freezing the credit card!!

Yes the £257 is just for me to spend on whatever, normally I do buy stuff for the house and DS though but I can't remember what I have spent money on this month - obviously nothing memorable!!

Thanks a lot, I thought you would be harsh on me as I am stupid for running up debt but I expected that and am grateful for any tips!

My brother is fab BTW and has pots of money and nothing to spend it on so as long as he got it back at an agreed rate each month I am sure he would lend me it. Then I think, but I am 31 I should be able to sort it out myself!

janinlondon Mon 20-Oct-08 16:25:17

I earn more than that, but certainly don't have £250 a month to spend on me! I have no debt but I can't afford magazines - if I'm honest I don't think you can either.

CarGirl Mon 20-Oct-08 16:26:11

I would consider approaching your brother but make it a written agreement between the 2 of you. does your DH know, it would make a difference if he helped even £20 per month towards paying it off.

janinlondon Mon 20-Oct-08 16:26:15

Ahh....cross posting. Sorry!

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Mon 20-Oct-08 16:26:19

So, if it's things for the house then DH will be using them aswell? I would have a chat with him first and see if he'll help you clear them as he has been benefiting from them aswell.

SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:31:05

Sorry we keep x-posting!

Yes DH knows I have debt but he doesn't know how much, he isn't rolling in it, earns nearly same as me but does have more spare as he has no credit card or debt. He never goes out drinking or anything, all his money goes on his expensive hobby - but he saves up then buys something when he needs it, he is really good.

That's a good idea about taking the cash out then putting the card away.

Just remembered that I spent £20 on nephew's birthday present last week and bought a few birthday cards for next week (£5) - I will have to factor birthdays in the budget - I am going to sit down tonight and look through my bank statements.

Basically you all think I could pay more money towards my debts don't you - thats what I wanted to find out - how much "spare cash" do I need for the month = a lot less than £250 I think.

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Mon 20-Oct-08 16:33:57

Why don't you sit and talk to him about this? If it's expenses for the house and for presents for families then it's his debt to as you are not spending it on yourself. Does he expect you to buy clothes for your child and presents for children of the family by yourself?

CarGirl Mon 20-Oct-08 16:38:21

Your DH sounds fab with money, perhaps ask him to help you sort out all the money. Perhaps he can help budget better for birthday presents etc and then you have a smaller cash budget for you to spend as you wish.

He has good habits ask him to teach them to you and ensure that you really aren't carrying more responsibilities for buying household sundries than him.

SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:39:31

As its my side of the family I always buy the pressies/cards for them and he does his side (although there is only his mum and dad whereas I have brother/sister/gran/niece/nephew etc etc!).

Never thought of asking him as I know I am so bad with money compared to him that a lot of the money (credit card) went on clothes and things I really didn't need. I honestly have learnt my lesson and don't use it anymore. blush

I will speak to him as he is lovely and would probably help me out but I just wanted to get it sorted on my own.

PhantomOfTheChocolateCake Mon 20-Oct-08 16:42:29

smile I would see if you can transfer the outstanding balance onto a 0% interest card. Clear the one with the higher APR rate off first. I would talk to DH first though. You should always be honest about money IMO. As there are more members of your family then maybe you should have a kitty for this so you can share the burdon. They may be related to you but they are his family too.

choosyfloosy Mon 20-Oct-08 16:42:55

Speaking from long experience, I would say you need to be very, very open with your dh - I am bad with money generally and it's when I start not telling him stuff it's because I know I am spending inappropriately.

Spend an hour sometime soon working out where your money is going. Sometimes I only remember when I've thought it through carefully for some time, and then I suddenly remember £2 for the Big Issue, £2 on a coffee, £3 on stamps, £2 on a card for someone, oh yes that explains why the tenner I 'knew' I had has been replaced by fluff.

If my dh got a loan from his sister instead of talking to me about it i would be upset... this was what I was like in my first marriage, which was why I left a marriage with a man who earned £115,000 a year £6,000 in debt! It is talking to my current dh, who is also good with money but nothing like as punitive as my first husband, that has taught me good habits (well, better habits). Which reminds me, must have a good financial sesh tonight.

Also a good tip I learned is when working out what you need to spend in the future (remembering to allow 4.33 weeks per month, not 4) and then allowing an extra 10% for elbow room.

Be positive. You do have some spare money. You WILL pay this off because when you do so, you can have the baby you really want.

CarGirl Mon 20-Oct-08 16:44:43

Personally I think you are married and money shold be a joint thing, I would have more respect for my DH if he fessed up and said help - teach me!!! You have proved that you can curb your spending and repay your debt so I can't see why your DH would be anything but helpful. I also think you should tell him the full amount before you consider speaking to your brother because he may be pissed off if you don't.

SockThing Mon 20-Oct-08 16:58:11

Thank you all, you have really helped.

First thing to do is speak to DH! Then work out where my money is going!! Little things like £1 for lottery at work, £1 for a coffee, £1 for DS "pink" day at school, it all adds up like choosyfloosy said. I think I need a budget and, as I love making lists, I should enjoy making one - just got to stick to it now!!

Good idea about leaving 10% extra on top of monthly allowance as its stuff like the work lottery that I would have forgotten.

Got to go now and make tea but you have been really helpful. smile

mamhaf Sat 25-Oct-08 22:20:31

£20 sounds a lot to spend on a nephew's birthday if you're struggling with debt.

And can you buy a kit to make greetings cards? Things like this really add up.

Get your dc if s/he is old enough to draw a picture on them.

Twinklemegan Sat 25-Oct-08 22:24:26

In answer to the last sentence of the OP, and honestly? None, or maximum a tenner.

lou031205 Sat 25-Oct-08 22:37:22

If you set aside even half of that £257 to add to your credit card payment, you would see a massive difference. Use a snowball calculator (just google it) to see how much difference each amount might make to your debt.

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