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  • FIRST POST
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    • 877Posts
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    Cherryfudge
    Cherry takes the reins
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    Cherry takes the reins 3rd Mar 17 at 12:10 AM
    Hi everyone.

    I'm hoping I can legitimately post a diary here as I'm in the blessed position at the moment of my only actual debt being my mortgage, but I've had a huge change in my circumstances recently and how I manage it will have a big impact on our finances.

    I need to talk things through, if only with myself, and motivate myself with small money savings and accountability. For the last few years I've not kept an eye on money but I work and DH's pay has gone up so we've had enough and a bit to spare and I've got lazy with some and wasn't mentally able to face other aspects. Now that I'm in a much better place mentally, I want to take the reins and be deliberate about what I spend. I need to start facing up to this right now because we are covering costs for my Mum's estate until probate is settled. I know this isn't legally necessary but we can pay ourselves back from the estate once the paperwork goes through and I don't like the estate to be building up debt (which oddly is possible).

    A bit late tonight to launch into details about the estate so I will give a brief explanation of other financial stuff. DH and I have a couple of joint accounts and a mortgage. We have an aging car which needs to be replaced soon and is essential (DH's work and transport for a disabled relative). We are also going to a family wedding abroad in July, and have paid accommodation and air fares but there will also be car hire, food, sundries and some of the clothes still to buy. DH's income is the larger and pays all the utilities, holidays, fuel and etceteras. Mine goes into the other joint account and pays the mortgage and food, which gives me a lot of pride . I also pay for contact lenses, some donations which I don't want to stop, my phone contract and, temporarily, costs incurred trying to sort Mum's estate.

    The breakdown of where my money goes (pcm):
    Mortgage: 282.24
    Donations: 120.00
    Contact lenses: 22.00
    Phone 8.40
    Amazon Prime: 7.99
    Food for 4 adults 80.00 (pw) (approx. 347 pm)

    Income:
    Roughly 1,000 pcm (variable due to overtime)
    Bank £3 (if I get my wages transferred regularly)

    This month and possibly next I have lots of extra fairly hefty outgoings in terms of travel, paying a cleaner, insurance etc. that are all to do with Mum's estate. I will, as I said, get these back from my eventual inheritance but meanwhile I want to tread carefully and of course it will decrease what I inherit. Duh.

    To encourage myself I'm keeping this diary and would love to hear from others as I do so. I can't always see things clearly till others give input.

    Action I can see I need to take:
    Get my wages paid directly into this account so I always get that £3! Done in time for May 2017
    Cancel Amazon Prime - cancelled 7/3/17

    Little MS things I've managed today:
    Started this diary
    Taken lunch to work - overnight oats
    Mended a favourite cardigan so I can wear it in daylight
    Put myself down for 3 extra shifts. 2 of these particular type of shifts pay for a journey to work on Mum's house.

    Uh-ohs
    Forgot DH had an evening meeting so went for the quick-cook supermarket pizza which isn't best use of food money when I could have been using stuff up.
    Far too tired after a late night and an early shift, to go for a run. I know that's nothing to do with money but for lent and my waistline I'm doing C25K.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 31-05-2017 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Update
Page 1
    • Macey1510
    • By Macey1510 3rd Mar 17, 9:53 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Macey1510
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 17, 9:53 AM
    • #2
    • 3rd Mar 17, 9:53 AM
    Good luck with your financial journey!
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 3rd Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,710 Thanks
    angelpye
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    • #3
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    Hi, just popping in to wish you good luck! Exercise is great for helping stress so I think its very money saving and if you are running outdoors its free so double win!
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: £2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 11:01 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:01 AM
    • #4
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:01 AM
    Thank you Macey1510 and angelpye . It's lovely to feel I have feedback.

    Here is my financial must-do list which I will update as I think of more:

    cancel Amazon Prime
    change BACS so wages go to other account
    set up DD for insurance on house
    research changing utilities for our house
    research changing utilities for Mum's house
    have discussion with DH about overpayment on mortgage
    prep cauliflower cheese for work meals so as not to buy ready meals

    Guess where I'm going to start?
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 3rd Mar 17, 11:41 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:41 AM
    • #5
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:41 AM
    Thank you Macey1510 and angelpye . It's lovely to feel I have feedback.

    Here is my financial must-do list which I will update as I think of more:

    cancel Amazon Prime
    change BACS so wages go to other account
    set up DD for insurance on house
    research changing utilities for our house
    research changing utilities for Mum's house
    have discussion with DH about overpayment on mortgage
    prep cauliflower cheese for work meals so as not to buy ready meals

    Guess where I'm going to start?
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Please tell me it to cauliflower cheese!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 11:43 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    • #6
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:43 AM
    • #6
    • 3rd Mar 17, 11:43 AM
    Please tell me it to cauliflower cheese!
    Originally posted by Starlighthappiness

    Of course
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 10:16 PM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:16 PM
    • #7
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:16 PM
    NSD today - more by accident than design.

    MS stuff done:
    made cauliflower cheese for a couple of work meals.
    Forgot to buy bread.

    Went for a run before work and am aching now but it will be worth it when I weigh myself tomorrow and have lost half a stone... or if not, it will still be worth it because I gave myself a healthy day.

    Am off to have a doodle round the web site and see if I can work out what to do about these 'ere utilities what need swapping.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 3rd Mar 17, 10:41 PM
    • 10,454 Posts
    • 69,667 Thanks
    Bobarella
    • #8
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:41 PM
    • #8
    • 3rd Mar 17, 10:41 PM
    Well done on getting out for your run!
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 4th Mar 17, 3:55 PM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 17, 3:55 PM
    Oops, entertainment budget takes a hit.
    • #9
    • 4th Mar 17, 3:55 PM
    I don't actually have an entertainment budget (shows how spoilt I have been: we just justify extra spends on feeding people as well, extra spends on feeding people).

    I happen to have a birthday, so DH spent extra on croissants, juice and fresh fruit salad for breakfast, DFiL treated me to coffee out as well as a present, and DD and I have been shopping for food for a hygge tea-on-our-knees-and-silly-family-games evening. As I say, I'm spoilt but I really do appreciate it.

    I adore cooking and I've never made tiramisu so I've treated myself to the ingredients including Marsala wine which according to my research will last long enough to make it into a few recipes (I'm not a wine drinker) so isn't really as expensive as it looks... is it?

    Spends so far:
    1.49 - sturdy little mini tubs for taking small quantities of edibles when working on Mum's house. The village shop is extortionate and it's cheaper just to put a spoonful or so of marmalade in a tub than to buy single portions. I don't keep the fridge running between visits so I need small quantities.
    1.00 - 2 plastic mixing bowls as we've just created a hygiene hazard by melting the side of one of ours and Wilkos is considerately discounting all things pancake-y.
    1.00 - bottled lemon juice and icing sugar - see Wilkos above.
    50p - cleaning wipes
    10.00 marsala (a one-off, honest)
    22.02 oodles of salad, southern fried chicken and oven chips to feed everyone tonight. Nothing cheaper in this town, nearest Lidl/Aldi are miles away and I don't drive.
    3.00 donation

    It's a slight cheat not to put any of this on the food budget when DD and I will be feeding ourselves from the leftovers for days but I'm counting that as a birthday perk. Besides Maths is not my strong point, half a cabbage equals 1 portion of veg at some point in the future, not 25.78p or whatever.

    Total spends:£39.01

    And now I'm going to put another load in the washing machine and go out for a first run with DH who usually goes by himself or starts out with one of out fleet-footed offspring and drops out as they go on to a further 5K.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 05-03-2017 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Clarity/ remembered something
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Mar 17, 12:14 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    It's been a fab day (well, I suppose it's yesterday now). Good run with DH.

    I remembered another outgoing so I'll add to my previous post.

    DD made us a meal and we had a hilarious evening with all the offspring generation and silly games. I really have the funniest family.

    MS things today.:
    southern fried chicken instead of salmon steaks,
    no Saturday takeaway,
    mini pots bought to save on buying too much when sorting Mum's house,
    gift vouchers for the 2 books I want, lots of toiletries, plenty of plants and still some left over
    plenty of salad in the fridge for DD and I to make work lunches for at least 2 or 3 days,
    Asked DD to make her signature dish to feed the multitudes tomorrow - should cost favourably compared to a roast but there are 8 of us to dinner so it won't be cheap.
    Loads of washing dried on the line not in the dryer / draped round the house (healthier and cheaper, roll on spring).

    Real financial progress made? None. Spends £39.02 plus the Direct Debits that went out yesterday and which I haven't checked yet.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Mar 17, 8:45 PM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    NSD today and an extra half hour at work so that won't hurt the bank balance.

    DH is spending his free time trying to sort out Mum's estate... jumping through hoops, it's a big thing to get your head round. Urgh. Yet this is mostly what's behind this diary: I have to keep my finances on track this month and goodness knows how far into the future in order to make the best decisions about the estate. Thank goodness she got her affairs in good order while she could.

    I had a look at the bank account and various DDs have gone out but there's more to go so I won't go into details yet. I'm working again tonight but two day off to come so I'm hoping to make some progress then.

    No run yesterday due to falling asleep but that was planned: I could have had a tough night at work but as it happens I didn't. I am very impressed with myself for running today after an early shift! That makes all of five runs so far.

    I saw another thread talking about using store cupboard stuff towards reducing outgoings, so I'd like a look there. I'm creative with leftovers but sadly had to throw a couple of bits out the other day so Must Try Harder.

    MS stuff: £4 worth of extra time at work, and DH is hopefully steering a safe course past the Inheritance Tax Monster.
    • angelpye
    • By angelpye 6th Mar 17, 8:59 PM
    • 988 Posts
    • 3,710 Thanks
    angelpye
    I am pretty sure its Marsala wine Nigella puts into her chicken pie recipe and its delicious! Ultra indulgent! Homemade tiramisu sounds amazing too
    Sounds like you had a very lovely birthday.
    Happiness is wanting what you have...
    Debt Jan 2017: £2589.22 DFD: Sept 2022 April 2022 but this Marching Minimalist can beat that!
    Use it or Loose it gym target: Feb'17 5/6 Mar 4/6
    EF £0/£4200
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 17, 10:10 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I am pretty sure its Marsala wine Nigella puts into her chicken pie recipe and its delicious! Ultra indulgent! Homemade tiramisu sounds amazing too
    Originally posted by angelpye
    I think we first came across it in a Nigella recipe... funny story there. DH went and asked in the supermarket and nobody knew what it was. He thought he'd be helpful and suggested it was probably something to do with Tikka Marsala! No wonder the staff couldn't find it!

    Cherry's 'how to make people think you are a better cook than you actually are' guide:
    1. Serve baked items still hot
    2. Add marsala
    Sounds like you had a very lovely birthday.
    Originally posted by angelpye
    Oh I did, thank you, I did!

    MS so far today: cancelled a supermarket order for next week when continuing to sort Mum's house. Saving £1 packing and £4 delivery. Also stuff I wanted but didn't really need. I will have to do some planning though and find stuff I can carry. A quick calculation makes that a total saving of 11.15 .

    I haven't managed to find that post about living off the larder and while I have loads of similar resources so I could probably generate my own, I have that tantalising feeling that there was something new and interesting in it.

    Day off today and loads to do. If I can fit in a trip to B&M, I will, but maybe that's for tomorrow (also a day off and also quite full). Chick peas and washing powder are on the B&M list, also a tinned pie for DH while I'm away (a lot cheaper than anything he'd buy for himself but he does actually like them).

    Note to self: when I can whittle down that list of things to do, I need to make a menu like I used to. It won't be perfect but it will help.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 07-03-2017 at 10:11 AM. Reason: typo
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 17, 11:24 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    March Money
    MortgageI'm still trying to get DH to look at whether we can afford to overpay on our mortgage this month before it flips over into the new financial year. To be fair, he's under long term stress at work and the end of March is also the official end of his existing post and the start of the new one that he's been doing for the last couple of months in addition to his old job. (No extra money for doing two jobs at once: it's what the Government gives us in the name of austerity and so-called efficiency).
    There's a strong likelihood that I'll be able to pay off a goodly chunk of mortgage next year if we get Mum's estate sorted but to maximise the overpaying I need to shift everything I can onto this month's budget.
    Car stuffDH's new job is going to mean a new car as he will have to drive a lot (public transport not normally an option due to time taken and large geographical area covered). He reckons about £5-6,000, which is more than we've ever spent on a car. That money is in the other account, which also pays for nearly everything except food and mortgage, which I pay for. Our old car might last a few more months, give or take. There's an added difficulty in that petrol cars make me feel really sick, so a diesel with that dooberry that makes it less bad for the environment would be a good idea. I used to be able to take over-the-counter medication that helped a lot but it clashes with some stuff I now have to take on a permanent basis. Maybe I need to get to the pharmacy.

    Both the above mean that any mortgage overpayment has to be found from the account my wages go into.

    This is just for that account. Okay... here goes:
    Balance at start of month: £1119.98
    4 weeks' food money @ £80 pw £320
    Mortgage £282.24
    Assorted donations and DDs already gone out £152.00
    Insurance payment IRO £150 (need to find details and set this thing up)
    Train fare £57.10

    So as of now there is a possible £158.64 available to overpay. ... provided I cancel Amazon Prime (£7.99).

    However I am fairly sure there will be other things I can't think of now.

    The person who helps care for the house has been paid up to the end of this month and will be doing fewer hours next month. Her next month's pay will come out of my next month's money - so once I've finalised with the other executors what her future hours will be (offsetting my costs in travel and I'm giving my labour for free as it's really doing my own household maintenance), then I send a cheque at the end of this month ready for her to cash once April starts. This month's pay came out of my February money so won't feature in the Great March Budget.

    Sorry to waffle on at length but this area isn't my strength and I need to talk it through very slowly and deliberately!
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 7th Mar 17, 11:32 AM
    • 9,348 Posts
    • 118,547 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Hello

    Why not for now cancell the £120 or so DD's donations, and use that money towards sorting your mother's house, as it seems you work extra shifts to cover this, if you cancelled the DD, you wouldnt need to work the extra shifts and you could also use the time on your mother's house and get it done quicker. if you see what I mean.

    Good luck with it all
    Sun, Sea
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 17, 11:46 AM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Thanks for taking time to look

    I do see what you mean though this month's have already gone through so can't be changed. It does matter to me to make donations though... so many people worse off than me and a bit of what I have might make things easier for someone. I guess it's a kind of 'thank you' for what I have, so I'm skimming off the top (if you remember old fashioned doorstep milk!) and doing what I can with the rest. This diary is making me be more deliberate about the choices I make though.

    You are quite right about the shifts. I'm reserving a chunk of my days off to work on Mum's house and not taking any extra shifts then. It takes me 4 hours to get to the house and the fare is quite hefty so unfortunately I can't afford to do less than a couple of days at once. No popping in for an hour or so. The only shifts I've taken on in March are sleep in shifts which have very little effect on my availability for house clearing. In the past I would have taken on more, so I'm definitely learning.

    It makes sense in my head and by my reasoning - not saying that's the optimum way (which would probably be for me to learn to drive, ferry myself over early on a day off and come back late, but out of respect for other road users I desist ).
    • kazwookie
    • By kazwookie 7th Mar 17, 11:55 AM
    • 9,348 Posts
    • 118,547 Thanks
    kazwookie
    Well once you are all sorted out can always reinstate the donations.
    Sun, Sea
    • Stb
    • By Stb 7th Mar 17, 12:21 PM
    • 51 Posts
    • 76 Thanks
    Stb
    Hi, just a thought and I'm not trying to criticise in any way, I completely understand why you don't want the estate to accrue debt, but it sounds like you're finding the additional burden difficult; would you consider using the option to accrue debt against the estate to relive pressure on yourself and husband financially, but maintain the rigorous cost over site you've set up so you know your not being frivolous with the money? I understand completely that you want to be responsible with the estate I just wonder if you could use the ability to accrue debt to your advantage? Is there not also a risk that if you accrue the debt your share of the estate might not repay it in full? Obviously I don't know all the details but it's just a thought. Well done by the way, looks like you've smashed this over the last few weeks!
    Virgin 0% CC £1092
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    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 17, 1:19 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Ah -new ideas! I always like new ideas!

    So as I understand it, the idea is that anything paid out in relation to the estate would go on the estate's bill and come off the inheritance? (You may have to say things loudly and clearly to me. )

    The house and land has a provisional value as it stands (in need of extensive modernisation, as they say) of around 300,000. It's to be split between my sister, me and a mortgage of £91,000 (my sister lives abroad and can't do much practically to help but has offered to help cover costs if necessary. However airfares come to around £1,000 so I kind of want to take my fair share). There is also cash of around £60,000 which can't be touched till we've sorted probate and because of the value of the estate we are going to take every precaution that we don't get into Inheritance Tax.

    Without access to the Executor Account (may happen in a few weeks, if no hitches), I can't use that money to pay anything. The insurance are insisting they are paid this month - as with other expenses I can reclaim from the estate soon enough. There is even just a chance that probate could be sorted really quickly but I doubt it will be in time to pay everything off this month! The insurance covers Mum's house and (as I understand it) means they can't call the mortgage in. No way can I find £91,000 off this month's wages . I know I can't be held personally liable for the mortgage, but the estate of course can.

    Unless I do something really stupid or the house gets trashed by something not covered by the insurance in the next few weeks, the inheritance will cover costs and leave us comfortable for a good few years, so that's not a concern.

    The complications in the longer term are around whether we should sell or keep the house. We grew up there and it's in a beautiful and up-and-coming area. It would be great if we could afford to have it done up and rent it out. There is sufficient land with it that, if we could sell some with outline building permission, we could pay off the mortgage and still have enough between us to do the house up. Neither of us has much in the way of a pension so some sort of income like this would be useful. My present pension contributions will never amount to much so keeping the house as an investment has an appeal.

    DH, I have to add, is not on board with this. He sees a massive amount of work and a lot of long-distance responsibility. He's quite right. What he doesn't see is the fun of the project and he thinks that because other people let go of their childhood homes, we should too. He is right in that I could look into using my inheritance to buy and rent out something locally to where we live (no option of moving back due to family ties here). We've rented in the past with a very inefficient agent and lost money due to their mismanagement so we don't have the best track record.

    Oh crumbs, this is so long. My sister is hard to pin down - not only is their Internet unreliable, but so far she has agreed when I've suggested renting it, and agreed when I've mentioned selling. Obviously it's not a one-person project so if we didn't agree to do it up and rent out, it would be sold, probably at a bit of a loss as lots needs to be done to it.

    Edit: it seems we can have an unused allowance from my Dad (Mum inherited his half of the house and because they were married this allowance didn't need to be claimed) to reduce the likelihood of Inheritance Tax - but sorting this will delay Probate.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 07-03-2017 at 1:21 PM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Mar 17, 11:12 PM
    • 877 Posts
    • 3,687 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Busy, busy day.

    Spends: £10 piano lesson. Because I like a challenge, because it helps my mental health, because I've come so far I'm not intending to give up now. Having said that, no lesson next week as I'm otherwise engaged. The money for this comes from the original account not the one my pay goes into so it doesn't officially count towards this diary but in the interests of a complete picture there it is.

    MS things:
    Dinner made entirely from things found in the freezer so no direct cost.
    Building up a shopping list rather than hoping I'll remember everything tomorrow.
    Found 5p down the sofa
    Cancelled Amazon Prime.

    Unsuccessful in:
    Tried unsuccessfully to check the other bank balance and to change my BACs payment, Seems two websites aren't playing ball.
    No meal plan as yet.
    Searched high and low for utility bills for Mum's house. What on earth have I done with them?
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