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  • FIRST POST
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
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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 2
    • Macey1510
    • By Macey1510 8th Mar 17, 10:51 AM
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    Macey1510
    I started piano lessons a couple of years ago, it was something I had always wanted to do...I didn't get very far but I'm looking forward to starting them again once everything calms down. Hope you have a great day.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Mar 17, 9:21 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I started piano lessons a couple of years ago, it was something I had always wanted to do...I didn't get very far but I'm looking forward to starting them again once everything calms down. Hope you have a great day.
    Originally posted by Macey1510
    Keep up a bit of practice if you can, Macey. I was surprised how much I forgot over the years! Mind you I took a break of about 20 years...
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Mar 17, 9:52 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Days off are tiring! Going back to work for a quiet life tomorrow.

    Today a friend came round in the morning which was good, then after a very MS lunch of the leftovers of yesterday's leftovers pie, I took DFiL for a check-up followed, as it was a beautiful day with a bit of warmth in the sun, by a jaunt involving a coffee shop and a raid on B&M. I haven't managed a run but all that wheel-chair pushing counts as weight-bearing exercise even when helped out by coffee & cake.

    I dropped him off at his sheltered housing and rescued his neighbour who couldn't find her key (it turned up in the laundry: not difficult to deduce as it clearly wasn't anywhere on the upper floor where we met her and she thought it might be in the lift, and at the bottom of the lift I'd heard washing machines running and she was telling us about washing out a shopping bag... sad though. She was clearly very forgetful and couldn't work this bit out). After that I went home via 2 supermarkets to add to the cheap goodies I'd already got, and have made 9 portions of assorted pasta meals, of which 5 are already eaten.

    Spends:
    Coffee and cake £8.20 (not from the account I'm trying not to spend from)
    Cleaning/ toiletries/ Easter Egg /carrier bag £8.52
    Food £11.18

    Sunshine and good company - free.

    Not MS stuff:
    Coffee & cake but it was my turn to buy and I felt he probably needed something. Maybe next time I will suggest somewhere cheaper, there are loads to choose from.
    Left my carrier bags at home and had to buy one.
    Make up remover wipes - why, when I bought the cloths (see below) at the same time?

    MS stuff:
    Bulked out chicken pasta bake with chickpeas, tinned toms, onion. Fed 5 with a bit over for approx. £5.80. Next time maybe I'll forget the chicken and substitute another tin of chickpeas, thus reducing the cost by the life of at least one birdie and £3.38.
    Used pasta bake that's 4p less than usual one
    Cooked too much pasta as DS decided at the last minute he wasn't eating at home, but turned the extra into 3 lunches so nothing wasted
    Bought cheap washing liquid - £1 for 24 washes instead of my usual approx. £5 for 40 washes. Smells nice and if it isn't brilliant we probably won't notice because most of our clothes don't actually get properly dirty anyway.
    Noticed B&M selling 4 fancy microfibre clothes for £1.99 and they seem to be identical to one DD bought from her up-market shop which is a special skin cleansing one - so I got some. If they save on makeup remover, all well and good and if not they will be pretty cleaning cloths.

    Haven't had time to find the missing utilities bills.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 8th Mar 17, 10:01 PM
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    Bobarella
    Awww sounds a good day for FIL, no excuse needed for coffee and cake
    " 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 9th Mar 17, 12:04 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    TBH that coffee and cake is slightly haunting me. Not indigestion or regrets, just the cost of it. Wish I got £2.40 for every coffee I make at home!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Mar 17, 10:05 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    NSD.

    Went for a run, went to work.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 9th Mar 17, 10:28 PM
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    Bobarella
    TBH that coffee and cake is slightly haunting me. Not indigestion or regrets, just the cost of it. Wish I got £2.40 for every coffee I make at home!
    Originally posted by Cherryfudge
    Ha ha well...Your talking to the wrong person . I ran my own coffee shop.
    The £2.40 may seem high, it is for what it is. But when you look at what the cafe actually has to turn over to stay afloat these days it is not really high at all.
    " 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 9th Mar 17, 10:38 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Oh, I count anyone a friend who makes good coffee!

    I guess there are a lot of overheads that aren't visible to the customer, and we're paying for more than the coffee (and cake): it's the chance to have a relaxing time, recharge batteries, catch up with friends...

    I think I'm alarmed that I so easily spent the best part of a tenner when I'm supposed to be saving madly.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 9th Mar 17, 11:16 PM
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    • 69,668 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Exactly. It's a shame but there it is. Yes it's scary where those tenners run off to left to their own devices
    " 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 10th Mar 17, 10:55 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Virtual no-spend day: £8 on makeup but I used a birthday voucher.

    No run, unless you count getting to this morning's training in unprecedentedly good time!

    Another mystery to add to the vanished utility bills. As I was checking through a list of Mum's assets I suddenly asked myself if she'd had another ISA, or did I dream it? I know I was going to set one up and had a meeting at the bank and it was a bit of a failure because in my hurry to get there I'd left some document behind, then there wasn't time for another appointment before the year end so it never got done. However, I have a memory of querying with the bank why I couldn't see some account of hers despite having Power of Attorney, and they explained it was because there were no actions I could take with that account.

    It sounds like a dream - maybe it was?! I want a quiet day (won't get an entire day to myself till the middle of April) to spread papers out over the floor and search for evidence. I will have to do with bits of quiet days, which thankfully I do have. I could be confusing it with the Executors' Account which I certainly can't use until Probate is sorted.

    Too late a night last night due to feeling down about a situation at work, and too much chocolate today, but I had a good shift so I feel better now.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 11th Mar 17, 12:45 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Well the bank can't find another ISA and gave us another printout of Mum's accounts, so maybe that WAS all a dream! Very odd though. If there is anything it will turn up eventually as I haven't thrown out any banking paperwork.

    This means we are close to applying for probate which will be a huge step forward.

    I emailed my sister and her husband (they who live abroad and have dodgy internet access and no postal address!) a few days ago looking for some hints on what she wants to do about various things in the estate, but no reply so DH and I had a discussion this morning and have decided on the reduced cleaning hours for the house and to wait repairs on the washer until probate goes through unless I hear before I go to the house this week that my sister is planning a trip over soon.

    (The washer needs an engineer and there's no laundrette for miles around. I've brought home enough bedding and towels to wash for my own use but can't carry enough to do some for her and her DD as well, and everything that's been left in the house smells of damp).

    In other news, I did DH's hair cut this morning which I've been doing so many years it doesn't seem like MS anymore, but in fact that's another £9 we don't have to pay out.

    Also... I am mega-pleased to find I've only spent half my food budget this week, so I'm hoping to nip out before going to work and spend carefully on things that will cut costs this coming week - flour and stuff like that. The cream I bought to make tiramisu is going out of date (no tiramisu as last weekend was too full of other stuff) so this afternoon I'll sniff test it and if the sniffs are okay, the new electric whisk gets pressed into service to see if I can make butter. I never thought I'd do that as I realised that once I could make my own scones and jam, the butter would always be shop bought as I wasn't interested in getting a cow. How things move on! Things that were never on the horizon become possibilities thanks in this instance to a facebook group.
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 11th Mar 17, 1:35 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    Hi Cherry. Was glad to discover your diary. Best of luck with everything. It all sounds very complicated at the moment, hopefully it's all finished soon. Also great job with the food budget, I struggle with groceries so much.
    Family Loan of $8000 - Paid off 22/06/2017
    Emergency Fund $6,000 / $10,000
    Flooring Renovation Fund $2400/$5000
    Kitchen Renovation Fund $0 / $8000
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Mar 17, 9:32 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    So yesterday I nipped into town and spent £7.30 of which £6.75 was food basics designed to make it easier to stay in budget this week. As it is, turns out DH has promised a cake to some people and, unusually or him, two attempts have gone wrong. We may be living off cake for a while! The other 50p is now replaced by a lilac bush and a philodendron... both favourites of mine so I couldn't leave then languishing reduced to 25p each, could I? I did manage to resist some others.

    So there is £8.87 food money left to carry forward. If I count that as the first £10 of next week's food money I will possibly save £11.13 by the end of next week... have I got that right? It sounds like a nice little sum that could possibly go towards the mortgage overpayment. Also next week I'm spending a few days doing up Mum's house so food spends will be atypical. I have some bits & bobs there and am planning to take stuff to make a pasta bake and some sandwiches/toast...

    Today: NSD.

    In other news, my sister has managed a partial reply to my messages, including saying she's coming for Easter. Her husband helpfully sent a separate message giving more details! I therefore need to see if I can get the washing machine at the house fixed so she can have clean bedding.

    DH got me to sit down long enough to go through all the work he's done on probate forms. We found a few bits still to query but a lot of it is out of the way now. Been looking for the missing utilities bills but no luck so far, and I still have the insurance DD to set up.

    No runs for the last few days but quite a bit of walking including a relaxing hour out on the moors this afternoon.

    Plans for the coming week: Monday late shift/sleep in at work. Before that try to phone the utilities people and sort out where we stand for Mum's house. I hate phoning people but I'm getting better at it. Also phone Meile about the washer and draft a letter for the lady who cares for the house about her new hours. (Glad of DH's management experience as he suggested we offer her the hours on a flexible basis - so if she needs 3 hours to do a project, she can have that).
    Tuesday - day off, haha. Actually DH has a hospital procedure. DS2 has kindly offered to be transport and I'm sticking around later in the day to keep him safe while sedation wears off. Earlier in the day I'm shopping for my little trip to Mum's.
    Wednesday/Thurs/Fri am - clean and sort at Mum's
    Friday pm - back to work.
    Saturday/Sunday/Monday - work.

    Good job I had the day off today.
    • Macey1510
    • By Macey1510 14th Mar 17, 8:40 AM
    • 82 Posts
    • 300 Thanks
    Macey1510
    Hi Cherry, hope your DH hospital procedure goes well and that you have a good day off!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 14th Mar 17, 10:55 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Thanks Macey

    Yesterday would have been an NSD except that I made some progress on Mum's gas & electric bills. As they will have to come out of the estate and I can claim them back from myself (sort of!), I've paid part of them from the N account (as opposed to the H account which is where my wages go and my share of the bills come from and which can't take too much of a hit right now). The rest is frozen till probate is sorted. DH rang the probate advice people yet again this morning to check and those don't count as debts for their purposes, so we don't have to declare them.

    MS things done yesterday:
    Made butter from the cream that's been sitting in the fridge. I am very pleased with myself though it's so easy (ten minutes with an electric whisk). I would love to say it's a fantastic taste experience, right back to the organic days of our ancestors, but really, it just tastes of butter. What more did I reasonably expect?!
    Made banana and ginger cake to use up some bananas. I wonder if anyone ever bought bananas specially to make banana cake?
    Went to work.

    No run - again Not sure if I can fit one in today as I have to make as hopping list (I mean shopping list) and get to the shops before DH gets home and needs supervising.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 14-03-2017 at 12:20 PM. Reason: Hopping list? Really?
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 14th Mar 17, 12:25 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    Glad to hear that your butter did in fact taste like butter Deadset funny re. the bananas.
    Family Loan of $8000 - Paid off 22/06/2017
    Emergency Fund $6,000 / $10,000
    Flooring Renovation Fund $2400/$5000
    Kitchen Renovation Fund $0 / $8000
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 14th Mar 17, 11:46 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I had to look up 'deadset', Velvet! It's not a phrase I've come across here... glad you enjoyed the banana comment.

    So today... I think I must have been living on the moon because I was so totally unprepared to see toothpaste priced at £6 for 75ml that I grinned and wondered whether to point out the mistake to the staff! Alas, it really is true, though I can still get one I like for less than £1. When did that happen? Is it the tide of Brexit? I think my dental hygiene is going to rely on brushing more than posh products. Then I remember that in Jersey in the war the shortages were such that someone had a toothbrush with only one bristle. Can't remember where I read that but it puts things in proportion.

    To more important things: DH's hospital visit went quite well though as usual they couldn't get a perfect reading. At least he seems to have recovered really well from the medication, though I know from someone else's experience that tomorrow he might get some backlash. He is insisting on going to work, where at least there will be colleagues and they are having a meeting in a building directly opposite the hospital, should he take a turn for the worse.

    I wondered whether to stay around for the morning but if he's in work there's no point so I'm going to Mum's house as planned for a few days.

    MS things today:
    Fed the guinea pigs some dandelions - I can probably stop buying greens for them now that the garden is growing again.
    My phone ran out of data and I didn't top it up. The automatic top up is tomorrow so I used our home internet instead.
    Bought tomato puree and onions to cook with pasta instead of a jar of sauce.
    Finished Sunday's cake for lunch, had birthday cake with a friend this evening and tried some of DH's cake that he made the other day for supper. Okay, that saves nothing, I don't even look slightly virtuous on the back of it. I'm just astounded how much cake went into me today. Maybe I need that super toothpaste after all.

    Non-MS things today:
    Salmon for tea to help DH feel better, and it was delicious.
    YS asparagus to go with the salmon. That was delicious too.

    Spends:
    Cake for friend: £2.65
    Food: £11.59
    Cleaning stuff £5.90 (some of this goes to do Mum's house but I'll just reclaim any unused eventually so I'm not billing the estate for it)
    Stuff for the house (cleaning/decorating) to reclaim £6.86

    I'll be offline for a few days but I'll try to be accountable and post when I get back.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Mar 17, 11:14 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Here I am again: back at the keyboard after three internet-deprived days!

    It was quite a productive visit and I have made progress, but progress is painfully slow and there is so much still to do. Positive include cosmetic improvements to the outside of the house (don't get excited: a judicious bit of paint and some pruning shears, that's all), clearing two kitchen drawers (not easy when the drawers drop to bits and everything in them is grimy with disuse, but not necessarily ready to throw out) and preparing a room for my sister when she comes. I never managed a run, in fact I spent some lovely weather doing the outdoor painting and quite a bit of other time supervising helpful people who agreed to cut down a tree that's too close to the house. I also had an engineer to look at the washing machine but it's completely and utterly seized so I'm going to look into replacing it as cheaply as possible.

    Spends:
    on 14th: accidentally bought a book for £4.99. I wanted the book but was going to use a voucher. However I stupidly paid with one click so never got to use the voucher.
    0n 15th: £57.10 train fare, £3.65 paint, £3 boots.
    On 16th: £25 engineer to try to resuscitate washer (he had quoted me £45 but reduced it as he couldn't do anything).
    Today: NSD

    MS stuff:
    No coffees on my train journeys, I took a flask both times and felt very hygge wrapping my fingers round a hot plastic mug on the train while I read, long before the trolley came round! I reckon if I make a habit of this I'll save over £50 this coming year.
    Saved about 50p by bringing ingredients rather than a jar to make my pasta sauces.
    DD gave me a makeup sample that her work had chucked out - nice colour and quite a bit left in.
    A friend had some things to go to charity so I bought a smart pair of boots from her for all of £3. They look very good with jeans: I'm so pleased even though I hadn't planned on buying footwear!
    Found a frozen meal in the freezer to take to work today so no emergency buying of ready meals (yet).

    I'm too tired tonight to check my banking or anything else but I will note that both DH and I have quite a lot left over from this week's food money (partly because he had to go without food before his hospital procedure). I'll see if I can get him to carry any extra over to next week.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 19th Mar 17, 12:27 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Saturday spends:
    20p car boot entry
    75p 2 cookery books
    50p old coins for my collector son
    £5.39 - kindle book (paid using gift card so no cost to me )

    Argh!
    I checked the bank account and found that the Amazon Prime cancellation hadn't gone through for some unknown reason so I've been charged £7.99. I can't find how to query/challenge it either.

    MS:
    Took overnight oats to work so a cheap & healthy meal.
    My teacher has cancelled Tuesday's piano lesson.
    Still have £17.04 of the £20 food money I took out this week!!! DH also has some left. I think that's a record low spend, with the double benefit that there's now a bit of space in the freezer. It doesn't mean I spent only £2.94 though: I had £8-something left from last week which I carried forward.
    If I carry forward the £17.04 and only get £10 out this week, I will have a lean week and I'm not sure it will work, but I'll try. There are a few bits I know I need to get in the next few days in addition to actual meals.
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 19th Mar 17, 10:36 AM
    • 165 Posts
    • 481 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    Hi Cherry Just thought I'd pop in and say hello. Have been quite slack with diaries the last few days. Just haven't felt like it. Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
    Family Loan of $8000 - Paid off 22/06/2017
    Emergency Fund $6,000 / $10,000
    Flooring Renovation Fund $2400/$5000
    Kitchen Renovation Fund $0 / $8000
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