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  • FIRST POST
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 313Posts
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    redofromstart
    <<<out of cheese error>>>
    • #1
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    <<<out of cheese error>>> 31st Jul 17 at 7:37 PM
    New name, new diary, new approach! I regularly read, and sometimes post, on the diaries of others but haven't started one myself as it is such a public thing to do. Anyway I need to stop drifting and get our finances back on track before we run out of cheese.


    Family is:
    Me - PT, self employed, bit of this bit of that. Currently on a PT contract with a few months to run.
    OH - generally works as a consultant and has a famine or feast income. On a rare direct employed contract at the moment
    DC - two boys


    Biggest challenge is a huge mortgage, taken out in the days of huge lending and post retirement mortgage dates. Stuck on high SVR as we haven't managed to both be in secure employment at the same time for years. The plan was to overpay and reduce the term but life got in the way a lot.
    10 years of chipping away at it may mean we can now try to remortgage but the barriers are two debts that I need to deal with so that they do not impact on affordability.


    Debt 1 is a student loan, £840 left at £94 per month - 1.5% interest (maybe?)
    Debt 2 is a 0% credit card, £2500 with over a year left to run. This is a carry over from the last famine, and has been reduced from a total that was closer to 15k.


    We do have a couple of months mortgage in savings, but that is the 'emergency job switched off fund' and is generally untouchable.


    OHs works full time and his wages cover the mortgage, and basic outgoings. Its up to me to generate the income for overpayments and debt clearing . I have to work round the boys as we don't have family local or any childcare in place.


    This diary is to try and keep me on track, before the big red lever turns the mortgage off. If we can remortgage, even with reducing the term to his retirement date, it knocks £200 a month off our payments which is a huge amount of leeway next time the famine hits.
Page 1
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:49 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #2
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:49 PM
    • #2
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:49 PM
    I have started by looking at what we have committed as outgoings, checked where we are out of contract etc. All the non essential DDs got switched off in the last crisis so it is bare bones stuff. I generally manage to pay the insurances and car tax in one sum to avoid interest, and did some serious shopping around when they came due a few weeks ago which has paid off.


    1. Gas/electric/water - checked, no better for moving. Water is metered. Gas/electric is on a smart meter. I cringe when anyone has a shower as a result.


    2. TV - licence only, no paid for services. Nobody really watches TV, its all you tube on the computers or something. I watch the odd thing on iplayer when I am ironing, so no massive sky contract for us


    3. Broadband, in contract and on a really good deal anyway. 8 months to run, will shop round at the end as it hasn't been very reliable


    4. Mobiles - high spend are for us, but we both use ours for the business/self employed stuff. He is out of contract in a few weeks so can sort that, and I have switched off the end of contract portable broadband that was the emergency back up. I may regret this given point 3 - no internet = no work = no wages.


    5. Food - high spend. Pets, fussy eaters (me!) and it all adds up. Needs tackling, I used to cook a lot and was frugal/old style but it goes out of the window when I am working.


    6. Fuel - both swapped to more economical cars just before the last famine. Still a high cost but not 16 mpg anymore. Work different hours, and in different directions so car each is not negotiable. I am minimising non essential use, must not food shop ten miles away, three times a week out of sheer boredom.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:52 PM
    • 313 Posts
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    redofromstart
    • #3
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:52 PM
    • #3
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:52 PM
    Next, looked at the assets we have to see if they could be working any harder.


    Its all at the best rates available without faffing about more than it is worth. I am debating using the bit that is at 0.5% to pay off the student loan immediately but I don't like touching the savings.


    Its in different places and half in each name in case of computer failures, or human incidents. Its not simple to just dip into it either, or its too easy to just borrow some when you run out of money before you run out of month.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 8:02 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #4
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:02 PM
    • #4
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:02 PM
    Next thing is 'up your income' Splendid.


    I currentty have three projects on the go.


    1. My core skill set, via an agency, PT for a few months. Its a set project so it will end shortly but they may give me more work in the future
    2. Online, home based work that is very tedious. SE so taxable. Minimum 10 hours per week or they will stop my contract. How many things pay over minimum wage that let you work from home at 3am if you want to?
    3. Writing, has yet to generate any income, but it wont until I actually start publishing things. Project 1 is helping me road test some of this work.


    I also do the usual bits and bobs of surveys (PA/PCR mainly) and swagbucks which generally gets used for treats.


    Need to think about opportunties, and a plan for the future so that there isn't another financial famine round the corner.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 8:16 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #5
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:16 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:16 PM
    That's enough background, so what have I done today that is MSE?


    I worked an extra shift, so 5 hours pay which will hit the bank next week.
    I chased a contested refund that has been rolling on for weeks. I think they try and get you to drop things out of sheer exhaustion sometimes.
    I've done a couple of hours of the tedious home based thing.
    Bought reduced bread so that the boys have some for toast instead of raiding the cupboards tomorrow
    Fed myself and the boys on scraps of the roast chicken rather than drag something out of the freezer. Luckily they like couscous so its easy enough. Must also remember that they happily eat pasta too.


    I'm slightly embarrassed at how minor my problem is compared to what some of the other diarists are dealing with but I need something to help me focus.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 31st Jul 17, 8:50 PM
    • 599 Posts
    • 2,661 Thanks
    UncannyScot
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:50 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Jul 17, 8:50 PM
    Hello and welcome to a fellow TP fan

    You are in great company here and we are all here to help each other.

    So, here, have a scone and a cuppa and get stuck in
    BUGGRITMILLENIUMHANDANDSHRIMP I TOLD EM! - Foul Ole Ron
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jul 17, 9:43 PM
    Thanks, cake is always welcome. Dwarf bread less so.
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 1st Aug 17, 11:15 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    • #8
    • 1st Aug 17, 11:15 AM
    • #8
    • 1st Aug 17, 11:15 AM
    Welcome! I love your username and thread title, hope you've got the FTB engaged!
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 1st Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    • #9
    • 1st Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    • #9
    • 1st Aug 17, 3:31 PM
    Thanks Georgiana, your user name made me fritter a whole 50p in a charity shop to buy a book about her. She was someone I knew of and had always meant to read more about.

    Mine! Waah!
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 1st Aug 17, 3:43 PM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    Thanks Georgiana, your user name made me fritter a whole 50p in a charity shop to buy a book about her. She was someone I knew of and had always meant to read more about.

    Mine! Waah!
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Ahh, is that the book by Amanda Foreman? I thought that was fantastic
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 1st Aug 17, 3:49 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Right, progress today:

    1. Paid external work, 5.75 hours, a whole 45 minutes of overtime.
    2. No work available on tedious which is good in terms of free time but bad in terms of money

    Forgot my purse and has to use the emergency cash from the car to get enough fuel to get home, but at least went to the cheap stupidmarket one and maximised my £8.02. Found purse, put in work bag. must replace emergency cash in the morning.

    Cashed in on Swagbucks so voucher on its way.
    The refund I chased yesterday came through, £78.50. I am going to move this into my pot for student loan clearance. Need to unlink the bank card and shift the cash out of paypal before the cheeky baskets at the web service provider invent something else to bill without authority.
    Quidco - no movement on overdue money. Is it just me or is nothing getting confirmed at the moment? Chased and got the usual fluff answer. V annoying.

    To do:
    Check student loan balance and get a settlement figure.
    Use PAC on new PAYG data sim for mobile broadband, on 4th August so that I don't have to give EE 30 days notice even though the contract has ended!

    Dinner - who knows? Maybe pork and mushroom stroganoff (delia) on courgette ribbons or white fish and roasted veg. Have the stuff in to do this but not sure who is about and degrees of fussiness. Whatever it is it needs to be from the freezer. Did a list the other day and you could feed a cast of thousands for several months. 14 packs of sausages, 12 packs of mince, 7 whole chickens, 5 packs of white fish for example. I think its a comfort blanket, but actually its a lot of money tied up even if it was all a 'bargain'.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 1st Aug 17, 3:56 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Ahh, is that the book by Amanda Foreman? I thought that was fantastic
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    Yes, not read it yet though because I have had a months kindle unlimited trial and was binge reading before it expires. Was really pleased to find it, especially at that price.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 2nd Aug 17, 9:06 PM
    • 313 Posts
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    redofromstart
    More progress:

    1. More overtime, another hour today. It all adds up
    2. £30 of vouchers received as an apology for really bad service. Id rather have had the things i ordered, when I need them but still useful
    3. Realised i hadn't used the last PCR credit so ordered a little paypal
    4. Voucher in from Swagbucks
    5. Moved the refund out of new paypal and switched off the authority so no more help yourselves

    Not had chance to call student loan people.
    No tedious work to do
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 3rd Aug 17, 4:40 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    More of the paid thing today, extra half hour and then that is me done for the week.
    Petrol purchased - must check how I reclaim my mileage for work travel
    £1.40 on sandwich and some mushrooms. Great, only then I called into the village shop and frittered £3 on sugary junk. This may be why we have a problem.


    No tedious again, cant make the ten hours now that's a hole in Octobers budget.

    Finance:
    1. Moved the tax money to a new savings account - it its in there I cant spend it.
    2. This freed up £147.20 in the self employed account.
    3. OH got paid for some of his expenses so another £220
    4. Rang student loans, got a settlement figure and decided to clear it using current balance and the £367 above. Makes for a tight food budget month so that is the next challenge. cancelled the direct debit.

    I would like to say its a good feeling but there is something slightly depressing about clearing a debt from 2004 that was probably frittered on alcohol and junk. Even the CDs I bought as a student have long since been burgled.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 5th Aug 17, 10:30 AM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Yesterday was a slightly spendy day as there was no outside work and no tedious home work available so I took the DC out. We did nip through MrS but no basic mushrooms so spent nothing. Resisted a request for takeaway, and instead we had a new recipe, a warm quinoa salad with halloumi. It was lovely and will be a regular for us.

    Diced an onion and two peppers. Gently cooked in a little oil for a few minutes. Added 200g quinoa, stirred for a minute than added 500 ml stock (mushroom as I have pots to use). 15 minutes till soft. Stirred through some chopped mint. Cut a pack of halloumi into thin slices, and pan fried them to go on top. Made a simple oil and lemon dressing to drizzle over. Sprinkled with the a little more chopped mint for general prettiness. It was very filling between two adults - and all Aldi/Lidl sourced which made it reasonable. I think it would work with other protein options too, or even roast tomatoes instead of the halloumi.

    I actually planned forward and got a chicken out to defrost overnight in the fridge. I am going to spatchcock it and marinade it using some jerk paste (pennies in MrM a few weeks ago when they discontinued it). Lots of salad wilting gently in the fridge, and 4 ripe avocados (MrM wonkys - hope they are not all black this time or I wont buy them again)

    Also noticed the DC have finished the bread so used the last of the strong flour to make some this morning, I cant manage kneeding so I make the dough in the kenwood, and then leave it for hours so its nice and light. Used to make awful bread but realised that the longer rise transforms it.
    Last edited by redofromstart; 05-08-2017 at 10:36 AM.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 6th Aug 17, 8:11 AM
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    redofromstart
    Bread worked well - three hours for the first rise, and then hour and a half for the second. Made a nice light textured bloomer. DC ripped through it in minutes, but then that is the point of making it.

    Grim weather yesterday so I spent most of the day tidying the kitchen, and emptying out the cupboards. Mice damage on the untubbed stuff again. Six cats, and we still have mice. Meh! I at least now know what we have in the cupboards so I can build a plan round it.

    Dinner was the marinated spatchcock chicken and salad bits. Grated mooli, carrot and cheese so the boys could have a pick your own meal which is always popular. Froze the rest of the grated cheese, still got 3 huge packs to use from the MrL weekend offer a while ago.

    I am dithering between worlds smallest bit of pork leg (OH isn't keen) or some diced beef out of the freezer.

    'Free' electricity Sunday starts shortly, need to get the laundry mountain ready. BG wrote yesterday and said my DD needs to go up 25% which was expected. I'm off to turn the boiler down!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 6th Aug 17, 8:12 AM
    • 313 Posts
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    redofromstart

    So, here, have a scone and a cuppa and get stuck in
    Originally posted by UncannyScot
    I have seen your photos and am impressed!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Aug 17, 11:44 AM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Busy day yesterday, I have been reading a book about cleaning that Parsniphead recommended and it has set me off to actually try and tackle a few things, inside and out.

    Anyway, while doing some hacking at the garden I realised the reward for neglect was a very good crop of nice clean blackberries in my own garden. Picked a couple of pounds which I have frozen, ready to make bramble jelly later in the week. Hadn't got enough sugar to make it yesterday.

    Finally some work to do on tedious, so will have to crack on with that shortly.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Aug 17, 4:43 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 1,364 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Some of the home based thing done. Need to knuckle down and do as much as I can this week.

    Re-read my own posts and remembered to do the PAC transfer thingy so that's £20 a month stopped. Still cross that EE make you give 30 days notice even though I am out of contract.

    Food shopping done, better for a vague plan and an idea of what is in the cupboards. After three salad based meals in a row I remembered to get some mince out for bolognese sauce to go with pasta/courgette ribbons/cheese depending on individual levels of fussiness. Quite pleased I managed to not nip to the co-op and instead used what we had.
    • Lemon Tree
    • By Lemon Tree 7th Aug 17, 7:49 PM
    • 9,464 Posts
    • 31,223 Thanks
    Lemon Tree
    hi, just found your diary, I have to admit I was drawn by talk of cheese.

    will subscribe and unashamedly borrow/steal ideas
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