A break down of my debt

First thing’s first, because my student loan is being paid off (albeit slowly) through my tax, I don’t intend to pay anything extra on it until the rest of my debt is cleared. So now it’s time to work on the other $19,675. This is broken up as follows:

  • Credit Union: $3,640 (17% interest)
  • Farmers: $3,034 (23.95% interest)
  • DTR: $3,028 (27.5% interest)
  • National Bank Loan: $2,578 (16.35% interest)
  • National Bank Overdraft: $2,112 (17.9% interest)
  • Vodafone: $1675 (interest-free)
  • WINZ: $774 (interest-free)
  • Jubilee Budget Advisory: $718 (interest-free)
  • Flexirent: $618 (22% interest)
  • Contact: $562 (interest-free)
  • Warehouse Card: $521 (22% interest)
  • QCard: $258 (22% interest)
  • Southland Times: $110 (interest-free)
  • IRD: $47 (interest-free)

So there it is. In black and white for all the world to see. There’s no going back now!

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About Renee

I'm 26, currently living in Invercargill with my partner. I have a good job as a Communications Officer in the public sector but my bills still exceed my income. The way I have always dealt with my problems is to talk about them. My debt has been a problem for so long, yet I kept it private. I don't know why I didn't do this sooner!
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13 Responses to A break down of my debt

  1. Kathryn says:

    Hi Renee,
    I wouldn’t tell you what to do with your money but, to be honest, it sounds like you are just making excuses for spending more money. What about talking to your partner and rather than saying no presents – put a dollar value on it? You could say $30 and for that you could still cook him a really nice dinner, make up a book of vouchers – for massages, doing his share of the cleaning or whatever. It shouldn’t cost too much but will probably mean a lot more.
    As for the trip to Queenstown – I understand that it’s your anniversary but is it really worth getting into more debt over? Why not say to him that you can’t afford it right now but your goal is to pay off Southland Times, IRD and say your Warehouse card of something. And once you have done that, you will put that half of the money you were paying on those aside for a trip and then you can still be paying the other half off your other bills. If you are serious about getting debt free I do think you need to relook at the priorities….
    But that’s just my opinion!!!

  2. Kylie says:

    Agreed with above, unfortunately babe. Half the reason we get ourselves in this mess is because we continue to make excuses and allowances. No, Queenstown is not a necessity, you will have another anniversary next year. Same for birthdays. Run him a hot bath, give him a massage, make a nice card. Be resourceful. If he is an understanding boyfriend, he will not expect purchased gifts, and understand that your priority is, and will be for the next while – cutting debt. I have given mum all my cards at the moment, and it has woken me up to see how much I buy that I don’t need. Do you need a SOuthland Times subscription when you can look online? Can you change your phone plan for a cheaper one? Do you have Sky, if so, why? Can you get rid of a landline and have mobile only?

    And – CUT THOSE CARDS UP NOW! If you don’t have them, you can’t shop 🙂

    • Renee says:

      I kind of opened myself up for criticism with this post huh? The Queenstown trip was essentially a three-day snowboarding trip but we decided to cut it down to one night and wait for an occassion even though I’m itching to go boarding again. Being in this much debt is depressing enough because you can never go out or do anything, so this is the one thing I have been looking forward to all year. Besides it’s our FIRST anniversary and we are in desperate need of a break after living with my brother for the past four months. I know the money could be put on my bills, but there is a chance I will lose my mind if we don’t get a break soon! As for the birthday present, he is fully aware of my financial situation and doesn’t expect a present, but I really want to get him something… anything! So ideas for cheap but meaningful gifts are welcome! Neither of these things will put me further in debt, as I would be using savings.

      I don’t have a credit card, only store cards and these are cancelled. I just have them so I can check my balance over the phone (I need the card number to do so). As for the Southland Times subscription, I use this for my job because I need to monitor any mention of my work in the paper, whilst I can do this at work, it’s better if I am aware of any issue before I walk in the door at work and get confronted by it. Although, I could look at cancelling this and just go in to work earlier to read it? We do have Sky but I don’t pay anything for it. My partner pays it because it’s something he wanted (not that I’m complaining). My phone is a work one, so I can’t change the contract but they pay for the plan and work related calls, I just pay for personal calls. The massive bill is due to many months of neglect, so once that’s gone, it won’t be an issue. My phone bill for last month was only $5.90! I don’t have a landline, just an internet connection, which I need because I study through correspondance.

      • Kylie says:

        Hmmm…. well, in that case, I hope you’re staying at a backpackers? Ok, even I wouldn’t do that haha. But you’ve check ezibed, wotif etc? I guess it’s good that you’re saving for this and not ticking it up 🙂

  3. Kylie says:

    Can you get someone else to move in short-term to help with expenses also?

    • Renee says:

      Unfortunately not, our spare room has been converted into an office because me and my partner are both studying.

      • simon says:

        maybe study in the library…. free and warm and in room at night- not idea but could help

  4. Angel says:

    You can write down the card numbers and file it somewhere useful – you don’t need the actual card anymore… Cut them up.

  5. Angel says:

    Once you’ve tracked your actual spending over the next pay cycle/month let us know where it actually goes, and how much is left over and available for debt reduction. We can also let you know if you are being extravagant in paticular areas. I know I spend just over $100 a week feeding myself – both groceries (75%) & takeaways (25%). I remember the days we all used to chip in $20 each for the flat groceries…

    • Renee says:

      Ok will do. My brother, my partner and I all put $260 a fortnight into the flat account. $440 is for rent, $120 is for power and the other $220 is for groceries. We usually spend $10-$20 on things we run out of before grocery day, like bread, milk, fruit and veges. So that leaves us with around $200 to go shopping with, which seems to work ok for 3 adults. I plan the meals and do the shopping with a list. I also cook dinner five nights a week for everyone and freeze leftovers when I can, which my brother generally eats on my nights off cooking. I’m on a smooth pay plan for power so it takes out the same amount every pay, in winter the bill is slightly higher but in summer it’s lower so it evens out. The contact bill I have above is from accrued power bills before my brother and partner moved in.

  6. A lot of those are interest free, but wouldn’t there be penalties? Like Contact, I know Mercury charges a ten percent penalty. IRD charges penalities too. Double check those “interest free” ones are “penalty free” as well. Then start by paying the minimums on all and the most you possibly can on the HIGHEST interest bearing one which is DTR. Clean that up and as soon as that is paid off, apply the DTR monthly payment AND the extra you were paying to the next highest interest one which is Farmers. Pay that off. THEN put all the farmers money and all the DTR money on the third highest interest bearing and so on and so on. All “wind fall” monies go into debt reduction.

    If the paper is part of your job, get your work to pay for it, or go in early. This is a horrendous list (thanks for your courage in publishing it) and you really need to get very real and get very dedicated to getting rid of this debt as fast as possible. If you spread sheet it out, you can actually work out WHEN you will be debt free. And every week you update the spread sheet. I did this and made pretty line line graphs etc so I could pin it up and see that line moving down into the black. You can do it too, but you must be dedicated. You dont need money to have fun. You have a boyfriend, stick with those free “indoor sports” 🙂

  7. Pingback: An update – six months into my journey | $50,000 in debt and only half-way to 50!

  8. Pingback: From the beginning | $50,000 in debt and only half-way to 50!

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