For all the budgeting in the world things will never go according to plan as so this month I am really feeling the pinch and payday on Friday cannot come fast enough. I suppose I?ve spent money when I shouldn?t have but things like Tom?s Stag Weekend are once in a lifetime (hopefully) as well as people?s birthdays, weddings, etc, and these cannot be missed. This does mean that I will have to be a tight bastard next month and see what dent I can make on reducing my debt, and will focus on Tom and Nicky?s wedding on the 21st November as my big night out of the month, and try to reduce my other outgoings.
Things like having to get a new alternator on the car as well as having to renew my car insurance have not helped, and I?m sure not having a car would save me money but it is one of those things that I do actually use a lot. So basically, cutting down on socialising is the way to go from now on.
This post was also inspired by the fact I spent yesterday night worrying about my new Virgin creditcard I signed up for in August as I received my statement this month which said I?d not made my minimum payment, I?d been charged a late fee (£12) and that I?d also been charged interest (£28.48), and that my 0% interest free period had been taken away which should?ve been going until May 2010. Scouring the forums shows that this is something that Virgin and MBNA are quite happy to do without any warning and usually state back to their ?terms & conditions? to uphold the ruling. My problem was that I believed I?d paid more than my minimum payment, £65 more in fact and so I got onto the phone to Virgin today, went on hold for about 10 minutes, and then got the answer that I?d paid too early!
The statements come on the 15th of each month, and you are asked to pay your minimum payment by the 3rd day of the following month, and anything else you pay in outside of these dates just goes towards repaying your debt and not counting as a minimum payment! So basically you have a 2 week window to make the minimum payment which sounds absolutely stupid. Anyway the point is that I managed to get the 0% offer reinstated, I?ve recouped the £28.48 interest, and my mind is a little more at ease but this has made me realise that I need to get rid of as much of my credit card debt by that May 2010 deadline to avoid massive hassle when I have to start paying interest on top. I couldn?t get the £12 late fee back because in their eyes I hadn?t made the minimum payment (although I?d paid earlier), but I will settle for that and have now set up a direct debit for the minimum payment to avoid this happening again, so I?m safe until May.
I really don?t like being in debt, but that is what buying a house does to you (along with associated costs) and so I must remember that my lifestyle must change too. Not drastically but a few less nights out a month, a few less takeaways, and it?ll give me an extra £100 a month to pay off my debt. Getting rid of the debt is a priority. I miss being debt-free (which I was 6 months ago) and will do everything I can to be debt-free. I?ve got some ideas and every little bit counts. I cannot be lazy and just let the time idle away.
Mission: Pay-off £2,018 in 7 months. It can be done.