Why Did I Receive a Refund?

In 2018 I decided to do a masters in research degree, a one-year course finishing in time for me to start teacher training and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Biology in September 2019. That was the plan anyway.

However, there were problems with the course resulting in me deferring until September 2020 after my teacher training and PGCE was done. Last month I arranged to start back but the course had changed resulting in me being unable to complete it easily.

I didn’t want to lose the money I had paid so I looked around for another masters at the same university and I came across the master’s in education. I was so happy I found this because it would relate more to my new career, it was flexible now I worked full time with lectures being on Saturdays or in the evenings via Teams and I didn’t have to complete as many units.

The PGCE I had already completed gave me 60 credits towards a masters in education, so I would only have to complete 120 credits. Every Masters course is 180 credits.

And this – it was £2222.50 CHEAPER!

And this – it was £2222.50 CHEAPER than the other Masters!! I mean I didn’t plan it like this, but I will definitely take it. The only downside is it will take me two years to complete but with my side hustles and working full time now that will actually work out better for me.

Win Win!!

I thought putting the cost of the masters onto a credit card was the best thing to do as it was an investment into my future, but it wasn’t. I should have saved up.

My Story Continues …

I started at £35,907.04 in 2019

Total left at October 2021 was £16000.54

I previously worked in banking for 13 years in various roles in personal banking, commercial banking and I qualified as a regulated financial advisor. I left the banking world when I had my daughter and wanted to try something new so completed a degree in Biology. Being a single parent, I thought the obvious choice was to go into teaching so I completed a teaching degree and started as a science teacher in 2020. I quickly realised it wasn’t for me and left in 2021.

I now work full time in a complaints department and am based at home. I have never been so happy in a job since I left banking and have no plans to leave this fabulous organisation I am working for. I have had a part time job on a Sunday as a self employed courier since August 2020 which I also really enjoy. I use the money earnt from this job as over payments on debt and if I have no childcare, I take my daughter with me. I rave about this job on my Instagram page every week being perfect for single parents or parents who may struggle to arrange childcare and find a job around school hours.

Over the last year (2021) I have been selling anything and everything to get rid of this debt and to declutter. The house is starting to look so much better and I feel lighter in my mind not having to look at piles of clutter everywhere.

This year I have tried matched betting, mystery shopping, surveys, music magpie and Ziffit to make some extra money this year and managed to make £5113.62 for 2021. Some I’ll carry on in 2022 and some I’ll leave behind.

I am currently working my way through all the finance books in the library and have some recommendations which you may want to look at. Always use the library to get books out before buying them. If they aren’t in the library you could always buy second hand before paying full price.

I set up this blog as a way to keep me accountable in my own financial journey and as a way to off load some of the emotional baggage which comes as part of the packet when paying off debt or dealing with finances.

But as my journey progresses, I see the future of The Money Wise Mum as a platform where I can combine my banking knowledge and teaching skills and offer help to others who are in the same predicament I was. You will find free resources throughout my blog, as well as posts that look at the highs and low on a debt payoff journey. You can also follow me on Instagram where I post daily.

Disclaimer: I no longer hold a Financial Advisor Regulation right now, so advice given in this blog is purely educational and based on ideas that have worked for me.

My Moneywise Plan

When I first thought about getting real and paying off all the debt, I tried everything in the list below;

  • Surveys
  • Budgets
  • Cash jars
  • Cut up the credit cards
  • Got a load of finance books from the library
  • Took on a 2nd and 3rd job
  • Enrolled in some online training so I could take on a 4th job
  • Told all my friends and family
  • Wrote lists for the food shopping
  • Meal planned and then meal prepped
  • Sold as much stuff on Facebook Marketplace as I could

I started writing down every time I made a payment to my credit card, £2 here and £5 there. It didn’t seem a lot at the time but somehow, I was managing to make a payment of something nearly every day. Several months on I now need to evaluate some of the things I am doing so I can start to work smarter and not so hard.

I did them all. I worked every hour of every day

The first thing I am going to stop doing is surveys. First of all they take up a lot of your time which I guess is ok if you have spare time on your hands which I unfortunately don’t and as I make a very little amount from surveys when I compare it to my other side hustle they have to go. I made about £20 for hours and hours of work so it really isn’t worth my time.

The rest I am still continuing on with for now and as I am not doing surveys anymore I may have a little more time to plan some different meals because fair to say we are getting really sick of pasta and spag bol!