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  • FIRST POST
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 316Posts
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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 2
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 7th Aug 17, 9:36 PM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 13,554 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Hello Redo. I thought I would return the visit.

    You can't run out of cheese, that's too much.

    I will look forward to reading your journey.
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £206/2500 8.24%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing should be wasted on the self-sufficient holding. The dustman should never have to call. John Seymour
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Aug 17, 2:11 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi Lemontree and parsniphead

    Gain of the day, big cashback finally confirmed after months of chasing so requested that quickly. I've still got £60ish not moving on Q, and £21 overdue on TCB. Just have to view it as not real till it is confirmed.

    When I got to work there was a computer issue. Gave up and came home after 3 hours of thumb twiddling. I bet it got fixed five minutes after I left. Took the opportunity to take a minor detour to pick up a parcel from Asda that I ordered at the weekend. 4 bedside lamps at £1.25 each, on the planned purchase list but great price so used some of my paypal balance. I bet the light bulbs cost more than the actual lamps.

    I made the fatal mistake of just having a quick look round and was filling my basket in the garden and outdoors sale when I came to my senses and put it all back. Don't need any of it, not on my list and its just more clutter, even if it is cheap clutter. I did fritter £3 on a box of 30 seabrooks crisps though, so the DC will be pleased.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th Aug 17, 2:27 PM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    Cheese n pickle for lunch. Still need to grate and freeze the rest and sort out the other two packets.

    Savers value pickle (21p maybe) much improved by stirring through a sprinkle of chipotle chill flakes (MrM, 80p). I had been looking for a jar of chilli chutney but this is a far cheaper option. I should make my own but I cant stand the smell of chutney cooking.

    Did the SIM card transfer thing so £20 a month reduction, and checked OH contract to see we can reduce that to SIM only next week.

    BG increase letter reminded me turn the boiler down, but I am still having to add cold water to the bath so will turn it down another half notch and see what that does.
    • Lemon Tree
    • By Lemon Tree 8th Aug 17, 7:32 PM
    • 9,464 Posts
    • 31,223 Thanks
    Lemon Tree
    well done for putting things back after they jumped into your basket, i'm not sure how easily I would achieve that if they were in there.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 9th Aug 17, 5:18 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Thanks LT - the last thing I need is to add to the clutter mountain but its so easy to slip into yes but its a bargain mode. Only a bargain if we actually need it.

    Back on 'don't know what to eat mode', but thankfully DS1 had a helpful opinion. He inspected the freezer list and said sausages and extra cheesy mash (yesterday), macaroni double cheese with bacon (today) and cheese, bacon and chicken pie (tomorrow), all with extra crispy bits, and no vegetables. I still have to cook it but at least somebody will be happy, although I will stand firm on the need for vegetables.

    Given that we will have to submit three months bank statements when we try for the re-mortgage I really don't want every second entry to be the Co-op. Must plan, must not be distracted. Ooh shiney stuff...
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 9th Aug 17, 6:17 PM
    • 2,146 Posts
    • 13,554 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Blimey, I wish I lived in your house. All that lovely cheese, yum.

    What self control to put stuff back. Brilliant .
    My August to Christmas challenge:.
    Pay off £2500 debt - £206/2500 8.24%
    Completely declutter the house by Christmas day...all of it.

    Nothing should be wasted on the self-sufficient holding. The dustman should never have to call. John Seymour
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Aug 17, 8:49 AM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    I find it really hard to resist a 'bargain', early years on this site was both good and bad as I had time on my hands and could swoop on the many offers people found. When we changed our focus and spending became as issue I got a lot better at resisting things, although I still buy the odd thing to stash in the present drawer.

    Things have changed a little - OH says change is afoot at work, so we need to do the remortgage sooner rather than later just in case as he will go back to consultancy if his contract ends as he enjoys that more which is fair enough. Anyway, by mutual agreement we have taken a gamble and used most of the emergency fund to pay the card off with a view to applying for the mortgage in a week or two when the card statements come through. I am not sure how I feel about this to be honest, I hate the fact that we now have no real emergency fund so I need to build that back up as a matter of urgency. On the positive side for the first time in 25 years I have no debt at all (if you counted the dormant student loan as debt) other than the enormous mortgage.

    When we took the mortgage out it was at 90% LTV, and the remortgage would be around 60%, even based on a paper check that ignores all the work that has been done, and even with reducing the term by a few years to his retirement date we would knock £150 a month off what we are currently paying - the penalty for a Northern Rock mortgage that we haven't been able to move since. We were both working when we took it out, and the borrowing multipliers where higher then. There is a also a chance that we will want to sell up in five years when the boys finish school so I need to factor that in too. We live in this very flat area because of the jobs we both did 15 years ago, rather than any particular affection for it. I want hills and the sea

    DS1 wants chicken pie for dinner, OH wants tapas (I foolishly left a recipe book out) and I am not sure the two are easily compatible. I am not working out today, but I do have tedious to do.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 10th Aug 17, 11:37 AM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    Expensive morning. School uniform ordered for DS1 - blazer, tie and PE shirt, £60 gone. They change uniform at 14 which is just stupid hence the pretentious blazer and tie. Enquiry email sent for DS2 PE t-shirt which is a new introduction this year. I assume the people making these decisions don't have children themselves. Up until last year they had to wear a plain white polo for PE which was easy and cheap. They also have to have a rugby shirt and boots shortly - they only play rugby once a year for a six week block. Makes me so cross, especially as both boys hate sport.

    Usual battle about school shoes next I suspect.

    Chicken and prawns out of the freezer. eggs boiled for devilled eggs. Might go and vent my irritation by smashing some olives to marinade.
    • WinterIsHere
    • By WinterIsHere 11th Aug 17, 1:04 AM
    • 11 Posts
    • 33 Thanks
    WinterIsHere
    Debt free did I read? Congrats. No, student loan doesn't count in any way, shape or form. I dont even think of mine.

    £60 for all that uniform? Luxury, in my day.....
    We have hockey stick and tennis racquet for similar 4 lessons per year reasons, and all the parents on the board are solicitors or accountants so they have no concept of reality
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Aug 17, 10:09 AM
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    redofromstart
    I have moved money round rather than made any great income/saving and I fell slightly ill when I look at my now tiny emergency fund.

    Pay day today on my agency job, straight in, straight out again, this time on the daily use credit card (petrol, supermarket) so that that is clear for statement day. I am due to have a holiday deposit returned that will now take that card into credit but didn't want to risk it not being in for the 19th.

    £60 on uniform doesn't sound too bad does it Winter but its just part of it this year. Luckily DS2 is inheriting DS1s logo sweatshirts and polo shirts but he still needs more trousers, shoes and trainers and his new branded PE t-shirt which is from a different company. DS1 has already had £100 worth of shirts and trousers (M&S because I had a voucher to use) but needs shoes, trainers, etc. I hate shopping. They hate shopping. I try to do as much as I can online as a result.

    Some of my Amazon credit used on puppy food and a birthday present. Chipping away at Swagbucks helps with this, and I generally take any quidco cashback as Amazon vouchers for the tiny uplift.

    Mixed views on the tapas, lot of effort for the end result. Green beans with pine nuts will get added to my vegetables I actually like collection so not all bad.

    Lamb mince out of the freezer, so will do kebab for OH dinner to avoid the inevitable Friday takeaway request. Also need to make DS1 the chicken pie he requested with the remains of yesterdays roasted chicken. Should be able to get enough off for chicken and sweetcorn soup too, especially if I pressure cook the carcass for some stock. Best get some bread dough on the go too.

    No external work today, and I need to get another 3 hours of tedious in .
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 11th Aug 17, 9:29 PM
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    redofromstart
    A fairly productive day despite my ankle still being wonky, running on it yesterday was probably foolish:
    • More blackberries picked and frozen with a view to do doing one big batch of jelly.
    • Four hours of tedious done, and the remittance advice for Junes work arrived so that should be in the bank in a few days
    • One SBs voucher ordered
    • Finally had some surveys on PA, after being stuck at 50p for weeks.

    Dinner ended up being rice, lamb kofte kebabs, lentil dhal, and chicken madras (with the nice bits of the leftover chicken) for us, and chicken pie for DS1 with the scrappier bits going into a white sauce, and topped with some very reduced puff pastry from the freezer. Scraps leftover for soup tomorrow. I feel like the previous days leftovers keep rolling over at the minute. There's half a pack of puff pastry to use too - thinking either cinnamon swirls or sausage rolls. Plenty of sausages in the freezer still.

    Read TOPMs diary which made me want biscuits. Had to cobble some oat biscuits together based on what we actually have in the cupboards, edible rather than amazing and the last of the out of date baking fat used up. Boys kindly saved me from myself and ate most of them.
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 11th Aug 17, 9:33 PM
    • 5,547 Posts
    • 17,921 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Hey lovely thought I'd pop in. Well done on the blackberry picking and a scummy dinner, I love lentil dhal! Keep smiling
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Aug 17, 8:34 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi missymoo

    Busy weekend as usual. but I did manage to get over the ten hours on tedious so that was a relief.

    Pressure cooker had a busy day - made chicken stock, half used in chicken and sweetcorn soup, the other half frozen for another day. Beef out of the freezer, half stewed for dinner (2nd portion frozen) and the rest made into a chunky beef soup with lots of Paprika and some of my new favourite chipotle chilli flakes.

    Also made pea and ham soup today, and froze the rest of the bacon bits. Bread made both days.

    Made bramble jelly using the berry soup method as it uses less sugar (1kg berries, 1 cooking apple, 200ml water - ten minutes simmer then whizz with the hand blender), sieve out the seeds, 500g sugar to 500ml liquid plus a good squirt of lemon juice. 10 minutes low heat till sugar absorbed, 15 minutes high heat then test for set. 3.5 jars of jam made.

    Made Chorley cakes. I'm told they were nice but when I went to try one they had all gone. Also made apple strudel with some filo from the freezer and the windfalls, which is very nice. Huge tree, lots of cooking apples this year.

    Chased the overdue damage deposit, its supposedly on its way.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Aug 17, 8:44 PM
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    redofromstart
    Also remembered to drop OHs phone to sim only, so that's another bill halved.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 14th Aug 17, 6:22 PM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    Everyone feeling a bit 'meh' in this house today so we have had soup and the last of the bread for an early dinner, and apple strudel. You can stand your spoon up in the pea soup so for the first time I have the quantities right - so for future reference for me: 1 pack easy soak peas, finely chopped onion, veg if we have it, with 1.5 pints of water and half a cup of rice. 25 minutes. whizz with blender till its smooth. Sets in the fridge overnight. One slice or two?

    Have agreed to help a boy make jam tarts and more Chorley cakes with the last of the flour.

    Some disputed cashback has finally been confirmed so should pay out shortly which is another £10 - seems like a recurring theme at the moment but there will be very little more now. Not buying anything helps, but I sometimes book OH work travel and get cashback that way.

    2 PA surveys done.
    4.5 hours external paid
    Tedious ten hours for the week, none done yet. I'm not sure what I want to do less tonight, this or the ironing!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 15th Aug 17, 7:58 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Managed a whole 1.5 hours of tedious last night and ironed a grand total of one shirt.

    I need to focus on October, last day of the paid contract is only six weeks away and after that I will have no income other than tedious. If it has to be a 'real' job then I need to start looking shortly, equally if I want to keep doing interim/consulting I actually need to do something about finding some work. I have an empty website, a half written book and no real plan since I quit my hated job last year.

    Into the city for a meeting later this morning. My old commute, and past the old office. Meh indeed....
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 15th Aug 17, 9:06 AM
    • 12,090 Posts
    • 214,757 Thanks
    greenbee
    Write the other half of the book...
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 16th Aug 17, 8:45 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,373 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Greenbee, I need to, its advertising if nothing else.

    Tedious: 3.5 hours/minimum 10. Paid for June, 20% moved to tax account.
    Paid external : 8.5 + 5 today
    Surveys etc: PA actually seems quite busy, another £5 added yesterday. SB voucher cleared and I should be able to order another shortly
    Cashback: £2.68 cleared and moved to paypal
    Refund: £187.74 credited back into my CC account, hurrah. Took three weeks of chasing and threatening a chargeback to get this damage deposit returned. Took me into credit so £55 of it used on food shopping and ordering flea drops online. I need fuel as well so that will come off it but at least I will have achieved zero or positive balances on all of the cards on statement day.

    The next concern is that the bank will want to send a valuer and the house is very much an untidy work in progress. My task for tomorrow is to make a list of what needs to be done so OH can do his bits at the weekend, with the application going in next week after payday.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Aug 17, 9:54 AM
    • 12,090 Posts
    • 214,757 Thanks
    greenbee
    Good luck with the list.

    I seem to have run out of cashback (not shopping? Or just forgetting to use it? Probably both), and PA hasn't got anything for me (paypal is now empty...) but then I haven't been on for ages.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 16th Aug 17, 4:28 PM
    • 316 Posts
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    redofromstart
    I just checked PA and there are 4 short ones at £1 or so each for me so it is picking up.

    I did have about £80 on Paypal but used it on racking for the shed and a replacement tap for the damaged one.

    Cooked a chicken from the freezer yesterday so think I will use the rest on risotto tonight, complete with the stock from the other day and peas from the freezer.

    Need to focus on getting some tedious done.
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