My name is Mx Emmin, I live in the UK, I am 28 (almost 29) and I use They/Them pronouns. This is my money journal.
I get paid about £21K a year, and after all deductions – tax, student loans, pensions, some work benefits like dental – I get about £1300 each month in my bank account. That’s… ok, if I live a very specific lifestyle. I live in a shared house so rent is lower and bills included, I shop at cheaper supermarkets, I don’t have a car, I never go on holiday, and I have no kids. So I don’t exactly want to be living this life forever.
My diary/journal was on the Moneysavingexpert and YNAB forums initially, but the MSE forums are aimed at becoming debt free, and YNAB forums announced they would close in March 2022, so I moved all my previous posts across to WordPress and started my site here 🙂
The Current Situation
On 31st May 2022:
My Bank Accounts Net Worth Is £12,805.02
My Investing & Pension Net Worth is £12,720.11
See a further breakdown here
When I was at the height of my debt I didn’t take as accurate measurements as I do now so I’m not 100% sure how much debt I had. The highest figure I had recorded was -£2355.04 but that was when I was already a few month into my journey and I suddenly realised that I needed to know how far I’d come.
That doesn’t sound like much I know but as I said, I’m single, and I work in customer service. I’m not paid mountains now and especially back then I was paid near-minimum wage. Plus, because I didn’t have a good grip on my finances, £2000 felt like £200,000.
I went through a nasty break up/escaped a really bad home situation in Feb 2019, moved to a new city and decided to sort my life out. I started out on Moneysavingexpert, which gave me a good starting point. They first suggested an envelope style system, although they called it “piggybanking”, but their suggestion was to essentially have a different savings account for every savings goal. That obviously isn’t hugely sustainable but it gave me a good start, and then I saw people talking about this “YNAB” system in the forums…. I started my YNAB account in late September 2019 and now I became debt free in July 2020!
So small confession: technically – technically – technically – I still have student loans. But for those of you who aren’t in the UK, they work a little different here. They basically function as an extra tax. A % of my income above a threshold (the exact % and the exact threshold varies according to the year you went to uni) is deducted automatically from my paycheque before the money hits my bank account. If I don’t pay off all my loans within X many years – and I would need to be very well paid to do that – the student loans are cancelled. Very few people pay them off. There is technically a way to overpay, I’m told, but it’s just not worth it for the majority of us unless you receive a big, lottery-style windfall. And frankly if I got that windfall I’d buy a house. So those debts are basically invisible to me, as I said, they just act like an extra tax.
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