A 40-year-old mother says regaining control of her finances has enabled her to write off £ 17,000 in debt in 11 months.
Telecommunications worker Gemma Jordan lives with her son Enzo, 11, and daughter Mila, 8 – and decided to sort her money after splitting from her partner last December.
She used the free Snoop money management app, which analyzes your finances through open banking and gives personalized recommendations, reports The Mirror.
Gemma said: “I obviously needed to take stock of where I was in my life, to figure out what I could afford – and not allow myself – to do.
“I had built up quite a bit of debt over time, just for the basics like running the house, running cars, and buying new things. It was pretty much credit cards and loans.
“I had been using an Excel spreadsheet for years to jot down what I owed and how much I paid each month.
“But it was based on the fact that I had to update this information and sometimes I didn’t keep it.”
Using the spotted Gemma, she had become “a bit addicted” to Amazon and was spending “hundreds of pounds” each month on online purchases.
She didn’t buy anything from Amazon for the first six months of this year and invested the money she would normally have spent to pay off her debts.
Gemma was also spending too much money on grocery shopping – despite shopping at Aldi.
Gemma said: “Obviously I wasn’t spending £ 17,000 just on Amazon, I was just wasting money because it’s way too easy to spend too much money online.
“Not on anything in particular, but I saw something randomly on TikTok and then thought I would order this.”
“It was also my food store. I could look at my food store category on Snoop and see that we were spending a ridiculous amount of money when we didn’t need to.
Gemma was also paying high interest rates on her credit cards and loans, and the app suggested swapping them for cheaper deals.
By moving some credit cards to 0% interest rates and her loan from 9.9% to 2.8% interest, she estimates she saved between £ 6,000 and £ 7,000.
“This is probably where I saved the most money,” Gemma said.
“I had credit cards and loans with a high interest rate because I had taken them out a long time ago.
“I was getting messages from Snoop saying you might get a better deal.”
Snoop also reminded Gemma to compare the prices of her auto, home and pet insurance.
She estimates that she has saved between £ 2,000 and £ 3,000 in savings to reduce her debts.
Gemma still has around £ 28,000 in debt to pay off.
“My bills had gone down after the split anyway, so that decrease had prompted me not to start spending a ridiculous amount again,” she said.
“The lockdown also helped, as we weren’t able to do as much as we normally would.
“But mostly knowing where my money was going and having this idea thanks to Snoop really helped me.
“The only thing I liked about Snoop was that it worked with all of my accounts and I could have all of my payments in one place. Nothing was left out.
“It took a little while to put all my regular payments in and categorize them, but it was worth it.
“I can see when my promotional credit card balance ends, when my auto insurance is due, things you might not always remember.
“I can also budget better now because I know when I have upcoming payments. “
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