Well the first year of my IVA is nearly over. I cannot believe it was September last year when it was accepted. The time has gone really quickly.
I am pleased to say that everything has gone really well. I have been making my payments on time and I am certainly feeling less stressed. I know I still have another 4 years to go (may be 5 if I cannot release equity from my property) but that is definitely better than when I was on my DMP :). I am expecting to be contacted by my Sarah at the IVA company shortly to do my first annual review. But as my situation has not changed I am not particularly worried.
One thing that I am really pleased with is I have been managing to start a little savings Plan. I opened a new saving account with Co-Op who were really helpful. I am putting in my monthly allowances for car repairs and emergency expenses. Luckily the MOT bill as not very large this year so I got away with that one. I will make sure I keep saving the money just in case for next year though.
I also try and save other bits and pieces when I can. I set myself a little challenge to try and save a little from our food budget each month by cooking a little differently. On a weekend I am finding that cooking bulk dishes and freezing portions not only saves money but is great when you have no time to do anything after work.
It is not easy to save but I am enjoying the challenge. I before I started my IVA I was so used to shopping 3-4 times a week and often from expensive small shops. I was quite surprised how much cheaper you can shop by going to the supermarket once a week. It is about getting into a routine though which I am just getting the hang of. And every now and then I have a little look at the balance in the saving account and seeing it go up is really motivating.
It is good to know that I have enough cash each month to cover all the bills and my mortgage. Getting into trouble with that was always my worse fear. I am so happy that I went through with the IVA now. It was a big decision at the time as it all sounded so formal. However now it has started I look back and wonder why I did not do it earlier instead of wasting all that time in the debt management plan. Oh well no point in dwelling on it. Just pleased I spoke to James at beat My Debt when I did. Thanks once again James if you are reading this :)
One last thing before that has been on my mind. I keep getting calls about claiming for mis sold PPI. I am unsure whether this is possible when I am in my IVA but it would be very nice to get some extra money if I was successful. I will look into it and let you know how I get on next time.