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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 17, 9:03 PM
    • 1,103Posts
    • 5,402Thanks
    MeandO
    Striving to save and stay solvent!
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 9:03 PM
    Striving to save and stay solvent! 16th May 17 at 9:03 PM
    My previous thread felt a bit old hat and I need to start afresh with a bit more positivity, looking forward rather than back, so here goes...

    Although I'm not in debt anymore (apart from the mortgage), I'm not able to overpay my mortgage until I've worked on the savings pots as I really do have practically no money behind me once essential repairs are paid for on this house. Money is extremely tight now I've dropped to part time and am a single parent to my little boy, so I feel more at home here on the DFW board if you'll have me!

    It wouldn't take huge emergency to force me back into relying on a credit card or loan again. I really don't want to (and can't afford to) get back into that postion so I have to focus and stay on the straight and narrow.

    Link to the previous diary for those interested:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5490668
    Last edited by MeandO; 17-05-2017 at 11:15 AM.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
Page 1
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 17, 9:19 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 9:19 PM
    • #2
    • 16th May 17, 9:19 PM
    Over the past couple of months I've dipped my toes back into the world of ebaying and surveys to bring a bit of extra money in. Needs must and all that.
    I listed two more items on ebay tonight as BINs, one of which sold within half an hour which makes me think I should've listed it for more money, but nervermind. After postage and fees it'll make around £8.50 which will be sent over to one of the savings pots.

    I've also listed a large kitchen appliance on gumtree. I inherited it with this house, but it really is too big and bulky for just DS and myself living here, so I am hoping to sell it and make enough money to repace it with a smaller, more economical version. Well see how that goes.
    One other item has also been advertised on gumtree tonight as well which will hopefully will bring in £35.



    A couple more surveys completed today, I'll soon be at payouts of around £20 and £15 with the two accounts I have

    Did a load of washing when I got in, unfortunately had to use the tumble dryer as the weather is awful here. I did loads at the weekend when it was nice and managed to get two or three loads of washing dry on the line, hopefully this weekend will bless us with equally good drying weather!

    I also have a small business which I run from a spare room at home. It is busier towards the end of the year, but I had another order today so I need to make that and get it sent off.

    Dinner for both of us was from the freezer. I've also taken mince out to batch cook some meals for DS tomorrow and for tomorrow's food. I'll take lunch to work with me as usual, something like some eggs to scramble in the microwave or a tin of soup. Being part time has at least forced me to stop buying lunches out for work now!

    Shower and bed is calling for now.

    M
    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 17, 10:33 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 10:33 PM
    • #3
    • 16th May 17, 10:33 PM
    Someone is interested in the £35 item already, hopefully it's sold tomorrow!

    I should also be receiving £7.50 tomorrow from a local sale made last week and £18 in on Friday for an item someone else is picking up.
    I have two bin bags full up for the charity shop now, so I will try and take that at the weekend and clear my spare room a bit.

    I have some decorating to finish in the third bedroom and then I can put everything back in it and the spare rooms should be almost completed. It will be nice to get a bit of order in then, they've been full of 'stuff' since I moved in late last year!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 17th May 17, 7:59 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 7:59 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 7:59 PM
    Item not sold yet, but two interested parties and two watchers on the remaining ebay item. No interest on the appliance yet, but fingers crossed there is soon.
    £7.50 from other sale collected.

    Tonight I've batch cooked and frozen four meals for DS and three healthy meals for myself. DS is a fussy eater so it helps to have something healthy-ish I can pull out of the freezer for him after school. I used up some slightly sad looking mushrooms in these meals which would need throwing in a day or so, so glad not to waste them.

    The fridge and fruit bowl is looking bare and I need to stock up. I shall try and go to Aldi tomorrow evening when DS is at his Dad's as there's nothing worse than dragging a small person round a supermarket!

    YNAB updated today. Whilst it's not looking good, there's still money in the account so I am thankful for that.

    Off for a soak in the bath with a 'home' magazine, kindly gifted to me as a subscription for mother's day/my birthday.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 17th May 17, 8:16 PM
    • 751 Posts
    • 3,554 Thanks
    stepuptothepl8
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 8:16 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 8:16 PM
    Ooo happy shiny new diary! Subscribed xx
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £8789 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#503
    2017 challenges:
    March - Bath Half Marathon DONE!!
    July - trailwalker 100km walk for Oxfam & the Ghurka trust DONE!!
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th May 17, 11:41 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 11:41 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 11:41 PM
    Hi MeandO,

    I had wondered if it was you when I was reading tales from the avenue. Have to say one of your previous diaries was such a help in the past, reading as a single parent it inspired me and gave me hope so thank you.

    Here to cheer you on in your staying solvent!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 18th May 17, 10:38 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 10:38 AM
    • #7
    • 18th May 17, 10:38 AM
    Thanks Honeysucklou, yep, it's me. I lost my original login but found it written down recently!

    Very humbled to hear my diary helped a little, these boards are just incredible for support and encouragement, I feel lucky to have found them or I probably would've still been deep in debt and who knows where I would've been now.

    All cheerleaders extremely welcome and much needed! Pull up a comfy chair and grab a cuppa for this one, I'll even bake a cake! I love baking for people, I just eat all the cake when I have no-one to bake for!

    M
    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 18th May 17, 10:51 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 10:51 AM
    • #8
    • 18th May 17, 10:51 AM
    Not much other moneysaving news to report. I had an enquiry about the large appliance last night, but it seemed a bit odd, saying to reply only by text as their email was broken. I may be being overly-suspicious, but it just didn't sound right, so I haven't replied yet... I don't want to be spammed!

    Screened out of one survey yesterday, but received 10 'points' so bumped the total up a little.

    I need to get two new tyres on the car later today, should be around £110 so money will be transferred from the car/house pot to cover that. I really need to build that pot up then.

    No real plans for the weekend. I was hoping the weather would be nice so we could make the most of the garden and DS could play on his trampoline (which he'd do for hours!), but the weather forecast is looking rubbish so that's a bit of a downer. I'll have to think of some free things to do as really can't afford to spend much a penny.

    Ebay parcel needs posting tonight which I'll do whilst waiting for the tyres to be fitted. I've had a couple more orders through my little craft business too, so need to make those and get them posted too. That will bring me in an easy £40ish which will be going straight in the savings pot.

    I had 3 sorry looking peppers in the fridge last night, cut some of them up to use for dinner last night and have frozen the rest so I can just chuck them in dishes straight from the freezer. Can't be wasting them.
    I've brought lunch to work - a sweet potato to microwave with a small portion of last night's mushroom curry. Dinner tonight may involve a spend as I would really like some fish. Will be eating with OH though so we usually pool resources ie. what's lurking in the bottom of our fridges!

    Happy Thursday all

    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 18th May 17, 1:52 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 1:52 PM
    • #9
    • 18th May 17, 1:52 PM
    Another survey completed for £1.60, up to £19 in that account now, will cash it in at £20.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 19th May 17, 9:28 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thank Fudge it's Friday!

    I'm so done with selling things on gumtree.

    Someone last week wanted to show up for an item immediately, re-arranged for the next night, then kept me waiting in all night and never showed up. Never heard from them again.

    Yesterday a lady wanted the fridge freezer I was selling, texts back and forth ALL day. I dropped the price for her, she said she'd definitely have it but needed it Saturday - I agreed - said I'd order my new one now so that the old one was ready for collection saturday - ordered my new one and then two hours later she text me to say she didn't want it anymore. So I've had to cancel my new one this morning beacause the old one was paying for it - thankfully it wasn't too late to do so.

    I've had a similar situation with the £35 item I'm selling too. Do people have nothing better to do all day than to mess others around?!

    I've decided to just keep the one I have until it dies, even though it's huge and too big for just me and DS, but anything for an easy life...

    Rant over!

    Anyway, onto better news, I've sold the other BIN on ebay, so that's around £8 profit.

    My lovely parents have sent me £200 to help out with the bills and petrol money for the drive to see them soon. I feel so bad about accepting it, but they won't have it any other way. They are so kind.
    I will put it in the ISA and save it towards the big bills on the house I have coming up soon.

    Car tyres cost £155 yesterday.

    I left the car at the garage for a few hours as it's within walking distance of my house. On the walk back I paid £20 cash into the bank that OH had given me which he owed me. I tried to pay another £5 in from a small sale, but the automatic paying-in machine wouldn't accept the new £5 notes so that went back in my purse.

    I did a big Aldi shop last night too. Lots of fruit, veg and fish and some meat, as the fridge and freezer were looking like mother hubbard's house. It came to £47.17. I wasn't aware it was possible to spend that much in Aldi! I have gone over the shopping budget again, but I've transferred some money to cover it. I really need to hone in on this and the 'other' spends which is an area I overspend on monthly.

    Screened out of 1 survey this morning.

    Breakfast & lunch brought to work and dinner planned. Tonight I have the evening to myself, so I may try and finish decorating the spare room. I have one more coat to do on one wall and a wall to paper. Will be nice to get it done, it's looking so much better already.

    Happy friday all
    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 19th May 17, 9:46 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    Another survey for 40p just completed. £1.95 away from a £20 payout!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 22nd May 17, 10:36 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've just realised that it was a No-Spend weekend! Not had one of those in a while!

    Saturday, I walked to the post office and posted two parcels that I'd pre-paid for on Friday with the paypal postage thingy and one business parcel that was covered by credit I had on my business postal account.
    The afternoon saw us take the littlies to a local wildlife place for a walk. OH is a member there, so no pennies left the purse on the day.

    Sunday I had a builder come round to measure up and look at finishing the bathroom for me. I did relay that it had to be as cheap as possible, so hopefully his quote should reflect that when I receive it.

    I managed to finish the decorating in the spare room yesterday evening too. It wasn't my greatest job ever, but it looks loads better than it did before. I also used paint I had leftover from another room, so was relatively inexpensive, and moved a chest of drawers from the other spare room so no need to buy any more funriture. I just need to buy a duvet cover and a blind for the window then it's all done. These can wait for a while though until I see a bargain.
    It was a great drying day here yesterday too, so I made the most of it and got a load of washing dry on the line, avoiding using the tumble dryer.

    Last night, OH bought us a chinese takeaway, which was lovely. We very rarely have takeaways these days, probably once every 2 or 3 months at the most, and there is always leftovers for the next day.

    Should be a NSD today, in fact a mostly no spend week, with only a bit of fruit needed before Thursday which is PAYDAY!

    YNAB has helped me to see I can shift another £97.95 over to the savings for the bathroom renovations, so that has been done today. Thanks to my parent's kind gift, another £200 will be in there by the end of the week too.

    Have a good Monday all
    X
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 22nd May 17, 9:51 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    Well, it didn't work out to be a NSD, but a low spend day instead...

    After work, I popped to one of my favourite 'home' shops as I have been carrying a gift voucher round since Christmas and fancied a browse to see if anything grabbed me. I ended up using the voucher on 3 presents for other people instead, adding just over £4 oitnof my purse, so will save me money in the long run I guess! Typical me, spoiling others is what got me into debt in the first place all those years ago... anyway, I have picked up something nice for my Dad for Father's Day, and will be able to save (a heap) on postage and take it with us when we go to see the parentals next week.

    I also popped to one of the £ shops whilst there and picked up a few bits and pieces, spending £5 from my purse.

    The refund from the kitchen appliance fiasco has hit the bank account today so that has been transferred back over to the ISA.
    I've had more interest in the item I was selling, but to be honest I'm not sure I can be bothered with the whole thing, may be easier just to keep it.

    Tea for both DS and myself was from the freezer/cupboards, no spends there, nor should there be for the rest of the week for evening meals. Cooking for one of an evening is really so soul destroying though, I hate it. 🙁 DS is a very fussy eater and has his food a lot earlier than me as he's an early to bed-er, so I end up half heartedly throwing something random in the oven for myself when I'm hungry.

    Feeling quite glum today, I hate coming home to an empty house and having no-one to talk to once DS is in bed, usually by 7pm. I adore OH and love being with him, but we both very much have our own homes and I don't see that ever changing tbh. There are issues with his child that I know would mean he'd never consider us moving in together, which makes me kind of sad.

    At the risk of sounding pathetic and like a complete loser, I don't have any friends that call me or come round or live near here, in fact I don't really have many proper friends at all. I don't know why because I get on with everyone, am quite funny (so I've been told!) and consider myself to be a nice person , I guess it's because I'm not from here originally and people seem very much to be set in their own friendship groups at my age. The phone only ever rings if it's OH or someone trying to sell me something! 😆

    Loneliness is just the worst feeling.

    Anyway, enough doom and gloom, tomorrow is a new day and all that. I'm going to have a soak in the bath and an early night.

    Night all xx
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd May 17, 10:19 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done for having a no spend weekend, that's impressive as is the decorating. I guess it must make the place feel more your own.

    Sorry to read about the loneliness. Are you in a totally new area since your move? Do you know any of the fellow mums from your DS's class? Is there time to persue a new hobby that would give you opportunity to make friends?
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 22nd May 17, 11:11 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    It's about a 20 minute to half hour drive from where we lived before HoneysuckleLou, but my 'home' and family/old friends are a 3.5 hour drive away. I've been in this general area for well over a decade now though but have never made any, what I'd call, lifelong friends here.

    Unfortunately the Mum's at DS's school mostly all seem to have grown up together and have never left their town! A couple of them say hello and will chat for a few minutes at the school gate, one has been in for coffee whilst waiting to pick their little one up, but no-one really seems interested in welcoming a newbie in, they seem more suspicious of me than anything, probably because I don't have the local accent!

    Unfortunately no time for hobbies as the only 'spare' time I really have is evenings when DS is in bed. I think any single parent would appreciate that that time can be the most depressing.

    I'm very used to being on my own, I've lived on my own a few times before I was married and the ex and I have been split up for a few years now, so I am used to it, but company would be so lovely sometimes. I get so bored of my own company! OH is a star and we chat on the phone several times a day and I see him loads as he only lives a short distance away, but it's just not the same as living with someone.
    Last edited by MeandO; 22-05-2017 at 11:15 PM.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 23rd May 17, 8:15 AM
    • 10,476 Posts
    • 69,554 Thanks
    Bobarella
    How lovely of your parents to give you that money.

    Sorry to read about how things are with the friend situation. Without wanting to sound all Pollyanna, have you tried joining clubs specifically with your interests in mind? Would it be possible to get a sitter so you can go? I think you need to prioritize your own mental health as much as anything else. I do appreciate it's not free because of needing the childcare. It's the classic situation isn't it, things won't change unless you take that first step out there. I hope that doesn't sound hard?

    I am another who has felt very much outside of things most of my life. I didn't have a nice start, moved away at 19 and never came back 'home' I often find people exhausting and need a lot of time on my own to recharge. My life over the last 6 years has not been normal or regular in any way and I've lost touch with pretty much all my old friends and quite a lot of family. So I'm speaking from experience. I don't find it bothers me. But then I am living with someone and having a baby and a demanding business mean I hardly ever stop anyway.

    I'm not sure if that sounds sympathetic or not, but it was meant in that spirit.
    " 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
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 23rd May 17, 9:54 AM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    No, it doesn't sound hard at all Bob and wasn't taken so. I tried a few clubs and groups before DS was born, but unfortunately people seemed to go in their friendship groups and 'stick to what they know.'

    Your second paragraph could have been written about me!

    Feeling brighter this morning, think I just get down in the dumps when I'm tired and have eaten cr&p. I'm so much more positive after some sleep and good food. Basically I think I need to look after myself more.

    Not much money-saving news this morning. The surveys seem to have dried up lately - funny how that happens when you're always close to payout.

    I have a couple more items sold pending pick up which should bring me in £48, but unfortunately people seem to be really slack at actually picking things up lately and then deciding they no longer want them. One such item has been ongoing like this for two weeks now.

    Need to pop to the shops to pick up some fruit and squash today, so a low spend day today. Need to resist anything else that shouts 'buy me' whilst I'm out!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 23rd May 17, 1:41 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    £30 received and another 'sold' item collected today.

    Tonight I need to get some craft orders made, ready to post, and possibly turn out a bit more 'stuff' for ebaying.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 24th May 17, 11:13 AM
    • 10,476 Posts
    • 69,554 Thanks
    Bobarella
    But what about your own interests and passions now? That was more my angle. I have met more interesting talented and driven people in the last 9 months of my new business than I ever did in the past. There are SO many people out there making a living (scraping by) employed under their own steam. It's amazing. There is a saying I keep reading recently ' your vibe attracts your tribe' I don't often get to socialise with these people as I'm working or doing child care but I come away refreshed and challenged often from talking to them in a work situation, and I think if I was looking to socialise more that's the way I'd go now. My life has been more A Y G than ABC. Stands to reason that people with the same approach are going to be my tribe.
    " 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
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 24th May 17, 12:22 PM
    • 1,103 Posts
    • 5,402 Thanks
    MeandO
    Hi Bob, love the saying, I cn totally see how that can be true.

    Unfortunately though, I don't really have time to dabble in any of my interests these days, other than working on the house and garden which is obviously done by myself at home.
    I do have a craft-based business too which, when first started was quite exciting and I did 'meet' several interesting people who were in similar professions, albeit all of these were online. Unfortunately now though, due to mass copyright issues and the demise of craft based sites (ie. Etsy), which are now filled with mass produced cr&p and copies from the far east and wholesalers, my interest and enthusiasm for that has gone. These days the business is solely to top up the wages and help to pay for things.
    Being a single parent, it is also quite difficult to have time to do anything that is for myself, not that I'd have it any other way, but I just don't get the time. Maybe in another life!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    828.76/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
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