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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 17, 9:03 PM
    • 1,105Posts
    • 5,407Thanks
    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: £
    885.86/£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 2
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 24th May 17, 12:27 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    I'm tired today after an unsettled night with a poorly boy, so don't plan on achieveing big things after work today.

    Another survey done this morning which has eeked the points total up. I have decided to build those points up to Amazon vouchers towards Christmas spending, so won't be cashing that one in for a while yet.
    The other, I think I'm due £20 from it, will check when the latest survey has been recorded.

    Tax credits don't seem to have been paid in today, if not there tomorrow, that's another phonecall to them.

    Payday tomorrow. Tonight I shall be looking at the budget for next month and updating YNAB as I have a few things I need to record on it to get it up to date.
    I also have the orders to get out that I didn't do last night...

    This month I'm going to be tidying the bank account numbers and sweeping odd amounts over to the savings account. I'm sure it'll soon mount up and won't be missed day to day.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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, 1:26 PM
    • 10,476 Posts
    • 69,557 Thanks
    Bobarella
    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!
    Originally posted by MeandO
    I really do take my hat off to you for being a single parent. And can totally see why even 'just' doing that would be enough. Its interesting to hear that about your business. I did just see online in another place a big blogger talking about how there are so many people all trying to sell the same interesting crafty kids wear, when actually they all seem to be using the same material/fabric to do so. So its not just you finding the crowded market effect.

    Hope your day gets better after the long night with the little one.
    " 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, 4:03 PM
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    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks Bob, yes, I think there has been an explosion of home businesses and craft based start ups in the past few years and there really are some talented people out there who I'm in awe of. Unfortunately, for every one talented person there are three ready to rip off designs and use other people's hard work for their own profit and this really does suck the enthusiasm out of you after a while.


    Well, I came home from work early to sit with DS who is fine in himself, but is contagious, so can't go to school presently.
    It's a lovely day and I was yearning to be outside, so I managed to plant some runner bean and beetroot seeds, strip my bed and do two loads of washing, all of which is drying on the line. I gave all the plants a good water, cleaned up the kitchen a bit and have re-purposed a storage box to store all the bath toys in in the bathroom which were threatening to take over. I made a phone call relating to the central heating cover I've been forgetting about all week and have thrown all the windows open to air the house.

    I'm bored and looking for things to do now whilst not really having the will or energy to do any of them iykwim!

    I'm considering joining weightwatchers or slimming world. I'm so miserable about feeling overweight - I could of with losing at least 2 stone - but it would mean taking DS with me of an evening and then that wouldn't really be fair on him and would be stressful for me I think. Plus, it's quite a price. :O
    I'd love to rejoin a gym as I live near one and used to love going, but again, there's the time, money and lack of childcare issue. Everything seems to be a catch 22 at the moment!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 24th May 17, 5:29 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    The tax credit thing was bugging me, so I gave them a call. Surprise, surprise, they now say I'm no longer eligible for tax credits despite a conversation with a person exactly a month ago telling me I would be receiving £58 every 4 weeks from then on. I even received a payment of £60 from them 4 weeks ago! Nothing has changed in that time and I have received no letter or correspondence from them telling me they would be stopped. It's not the £58 that is the issue as it really made no huge difference, but if I was someone who was relying on that money it would be a different story. They don't even have the decency to inform people when payments are changing, stopping or even being paid. They are completely a law unto themselves. It's despicable.

    As it is, that was the money that was being paid into my isa as my emergency saving pot monthly, so I'll have to re-do the budget now tonight and most probably cancel that savings standing order.
    I give up today.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 24th May 17, 9:17 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Right, budget for next month done.

    Thanks to my parents' kind gift, I will still be able to stash a fair amount away into the savings pots next month and I'll also be able to save nearly enough for my half of the holiday balance, which is due to be paid in July. I just need to save/make another £26.50 by then and then my contribution will be covered.

    I've merged a couple of savings pots too to simplify things, cancelling one of my e-saver accounts, of which I have many.
    The two pots pretty much get spent on the same thing anyway, so it makes sense to have one to cover all.

    I really HAVE to stick to the budgets this month. The groceries budget was £85 over and the 'spends and house budget', well I'm not even going to admit to... lets just say there has been more than enough spent on this house this month.

    With regards to the groceries, I'm going to change my tactics on that one for a month and see if it works better for me. I usually go and do my main shopping at Aldi, probably once every ten days or so, but end up popping to Asda, Sainsburys and Home Bargains throught the month to top up (invariably picking up extra things I don't really need when I'm there). I'm going to see if I can sort 4 online orders via Tesco throughout the month instead and try and keep these as close to £40 a time as possible. As much as I like Aldi and it is good value, I'm wondering if online shopping will make me stick to a list and could free up some spare time for me too. Think it's worth a try.

    Another survey to do and then I'm off to bed, hopefully for a bit more sleep than last night.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 25th May 17, 10:16 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    It's PAYDAY!

    A total of £381.32 has been sent over to the various savings pots this morning, it's nice to see them building up.

    I've also withdrawn £21.15 from a survey account, this will go straight into savings when it hits the bank account. ILooking forward to the day when I can put tany extra money made straight into an overpayment pot to overpay the mortgage.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 26th May 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Ebay have sent me a refund of £3.82. Not really sure why as there's no explanation, but I think they may have overcharged on selling fees, anyway, I'll take it! It's been withdrawn and added to the savings already.

    I need to post some business sales tonight, so not a NSD but shouldn't need to spend any more.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 26th May 17, 5:37 PM
    • 10,476 Posts
    • 69,557 Thanks
    Bobarella
    The tax credit thing was bugging me, so I gave them a call. Surprise, surprise, they now say I'm no longer eligible for tax credits despite a conversation with a person exactly a month ago telling me I would be receiving £58 every 4 weeks from then on. I even received a payment of £60 from them 4 weeks ago! Nothing has changed in that time and I have received no letter or correspondence from them telling me they would be stopped. It's not the £58 that is the issue as it really made no huge difference, but if I was someone who was relying on that money it would be a different story. They don't even have the decency to inform people when payments are changing, stopping or even being paid. They are completely a law unto themselves. It's despicable.

    As it is, that was the money that was being paid into my isa as my emergency saving pot monthly, so I'll have to re-do the budget now tonight and most probably cancel that savings standing order.
    I give up today.
    Originally posted by MeandO
    That sounds really frustrating
    " 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 6th Jun 17, 11:05 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    I finally received my Tax Credits renewal form yesterday and have submitted it online today. I've had to estimate my self employment earnings from last year for now, but will do the tax return this week and get the actual total to give to them. It's vastly down on the previous year as I stopped taking orders early due to the house move, so may help boost my tax credits this year.

    Money is tight again.
    Depsite best efforts, I still seem to be heading over budget every month. I guess it's because my budget is so tight in the first place, but there's not a lot I can do about that presently.
    I'll have to take a little out of the savings to top up the bank account at the rate it's going this month.

    It hasn't helped that my trip home for a few days cost me more in fuel and supplies than I had anticipated and that the cupboards and fridge were as bare as can be when I returned, so had to do a big (for me) shop. I spent £59 on a Tesco delivery, but had a free loaf of bread voucher and a £4 off coupon with that. I also took advantage of the free delivery saver for a month offer, so the delivery was free.

    I would normally shop in Aldi, but the quality of fresh stuff in our local one has gone downhill and the prices seem to have gone up. OH said the same thing last week too, so I feel I got quite good value with all I ordered from Tesco and the quality was good.

    My mortgage has finally dipped under the £80K mark this month, so I'm finally in the £70ks. Can't wait until I can start overpaying this.

    I need to look at ebaying some bits again this month, will see what I can find to go in the pile that is building up in the spare room. I also need to take two bags to the charity shop soon to clear a little space.

    Father's Day gifts are bought and DS's Dad's birthday gift for next month is bought and paid for. It's my brother's birthday and OH's Dad's birthday next month, but can wait for next payday to cover those.

    OH and I are off on an overnight trip away and event at the weekend. His Christmas gift to me, so will only cost me spends of a few drinks probably and I've offered to drive as my car is more economical. Am REALLY looking forward to it. I'm feeling really down about things at the moment. Work is the catalyst of this I think - there is no morale or motivation for various reaosns I won't go into and no-one actually bothers to talk to anyone anymore. I can literally sit at my desk all day and not speak to a soul, then I go home and have very little contact with anyone other than DS. I actually burst into tears when I left yesterday and they just kept coming last night when DS was tucked up in bed. Loneliness is the worst feeling.

    Anyway, it's a job I guess and just about pays the bills...


    Hope all is well with everyone.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 6th Jun 17, 8:36 PM
    • 444 Posts
    • 1,435 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Sorry that your work is like that. I must admit I do value the chit chat at work as the only adult conversation. Is there another department at work that you could transfer to or is the low morale throughout?

    Enjoy your weekend away and well done for getting your mortgage into the 70s. That's great!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 7th Jun 17, 9:28 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Sorry that your work is like that. I must admit I do value the chit chat at work as the only adult conversation. Is there another department at work that you could transfer to or is the low morale throughout?

    Enjoy your weekend away and well done for getting your mortgage into the 70s. That's great!
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2

    Unfortunately not Honeysucklelou, my job is quite specialist and I work in the department that only deals with 'that', so there's no openings elsewhere. We could potenitally be relocating around 5 miles away by the end of the year, into a larger building where we will see more people, the HQ if you like. I think I may be happier working there, but it is going to thro up all sorts of time and money issues with getting back in time to pick DS up from school and I will have to pay for parking there too.
    Swings and roundabouts I guess.

    xx
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 15th Jun 17, 9:45 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Had a lovely weekend, but seems like a long time ago already.

    Still keeping track of spends in YNAB. Budgets not looking great but only 8 days until payday, so should be fine. Child benefit should be paid in soon too.
    Tesco sent me £7 off a £50 spend voucher, so I think I will do a big shop just before payday as that is quite a saving.

    I paid £15 of old £5 notes into my bank account yesterday that I found in a forgotten stash, so that's boosted the funds a little.
    5p roadkill found too.

    Some family members stayed last night for an event that was on locally. Was nice to see them and enjoyed having company in the house, DS was over the moon too. They've left today and it does make me realise how much I miss having 'my people' around and how much DS misses them too.

    I need to fill the car up with diesel today as is presently running on fumes. Should keep me going for the best part of 3 weeks then as have no long distance trips planned.

    Happy Thursday all
    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 21st Jun 17, 1:17 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    I had another Tesco online shop delivered on Monday, making the most of my free month of delivery saver and using a £7 off a £50 spend voucher I was sent. Still liking the ease of the online shopping and it has highlighted that I only really do 'big shops' twice a month. I just need to stop the 'picking up things I don't need' when top-up shopping in between.

    Lunch was a lovely mystery tupperware meal from the freezer (label had fallen off) which turned out to be lentil and chicken curry I'd made a while back. Had this with a naan leftover from a supermarket curtry meal OH and I had last night and a bit of salad. Yum.

    I've had to buy some summery clothes to survive this heat unfortunately. My wardrobe consisted pretty much entirely of jeans, hoodies and long armed tops (as I don't like getting my arms or legs out), so I've bought a few cooler tops and a pair of cropped jeans. All purchased from tesco/asda/DP sale, but money I didn't really want to spend. Also purchased DS some school shorts to keep cool in the heat.

    I'm also, unfortunately, no longer debt free. I opened a credit card account a while back with sainsbury's 0% on purchases (for ages) offer. So far though, I've been really disciplined with it and have already paid back £75 as an extra payment to it, beforethe first payment has even been due. There is currently around £175 on it to pay back which I'm hoping to be able to pay off next month.

    I do feel like I can breathe a bit now in case of emergencies and I am very reluctant to spend on it, so am feeling confident I won't be running up debts I struggle to repay.

    This morning I've taken advantage of a free £12 Argos CB offer with TCB. I've gone all out and ordered a new plastic washing basket as mine has broken in 6 places and I'm fed up with dropping washing on the way to the line, and some pegs as mine seem to have been eaten by the peg monster lately. After the £12 CB, it would have cost me £1.97.

    We had a day out last weekend thanks to some tesco clubcard vouchers and OH topped up the extra needed for entry fees. Kids enjoyed, I was waaaaay too hot and glad to leave, but only cost me £3 for ice creams in the end as we took a picnic.

    Payday is 2 days away and am looking forward to stashing a bit more towards savings and paying a bit off the card. Am reluctant to spend now, much prefer seeing the savings go up!

    X


    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • anna_1977
    • By anna_1977 21st Jun 17, 1:37 PM
    • 593 Posts
    • 832 Thanks
    anna_1977
    Hi MeandO
    I have just come across your diary and will be subscribing!
    Regarding joining SW or WW - I live in Hampshire and our Dr's have started doing a referral service - I went to see Dr, said i was feeling down and rubbish about myself and was referred to my choice of WW or SW for 12 weeks. also with that was a 12 week gym pass for only £50! might be worth looking into.

    Another thing I started this year was something called Shop and Scan - you basically have to scan your shopping with a small barcode reader, submit readings and photo/upload a copy of your receipt. I started in October last year and already have £65 worth of Amazon vouchers saved up - if you want me to refer you to do this send a PM.

    Good luck
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Jun 17, 1:24 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks Anna, very kind of you to pop in and post. As for SW and WW, I'm sure I'd benefit from them (done both before ), but it's as much a time issue for me now unfortunately as there aren't any meetings close to me at a convenient time (ie. when DS is at his Dad's).

    Shop and scan sounds interesting, I'll take a look, thank you!
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 26th Jun 17, 1:34 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Payday was on Friday and I've had a fairly spendthrift weekend so far. I did spend £30 on a gift for DS for Christmas, but it was half price and will be put away now to save me money later on.
    I also picked up my washing basket and pegs, paid for by a TCB offer. Basket is a bit flimsy, but it'll do for now.

    Money has been transferred to various pots and YNAB is up to date.

    Tonight I need to chase a return I sent off a week ago and get some orders made and ready to post.

    I caught up with lots of surveys this morning, I'd not done any all weekend so there were a fair few to do. Hopefully I should be able to cash those in soon.

    DS needed new trainers, school shoes, shorts and a school t-shirt, so that lot came to £46.50 as shoes and trainers were in the clarks sale. I budgeted £50, so a few £'s under budget there which I'm sure will be needed in another pot soon.

    We're supposed to be having food out tonight, but I have some vouchers, so should be fairly cheap hopefully.

    Happy Monday all
    x
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 26th Jun 17, 1:49 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Last week I had an email come through with 'your energy bill is due' from a company who used to supply the house when I moved in. I had a nightmare with them at the time, they acknowledged they'd messed up and waived some charge, promising I'd not hear from them again. Well, 7 months later I receive a bill for £158 from them. I phoned up and complained, even the guy on the phone admitted it should never have been sent 7 months later, he waived £20 but that's all they will do, so I've just had to put £138 on the credit card.

    Fed up!

    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 26th Jun 17, 8:48 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Meal out was £21, paid for in cash with money I had in my purse, so no dent on the bank account there.

    I tried to track the return I sent over a week ago - it looks like the courier company have lost it as it's not reached the destination and they have no idea where it is. I need to chase that up tomorrow and see what can be done about it as it contained around £100 worth of goods for refund.
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£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 27th Jun 17, 10:40 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,407 Thanks
    MeandO
    Returned package sorted after a lengthy call to customer services. £115.60 refunded to the credit card.

    I've had another order for £25 from my small business, so need to make that and get it sent. I also hope to list a couple of things on ebay tonight as it's the last day of the £1 capped fees offer. I don't have much to list presently, but there's a couple of low value bits to put on there.

    I've brought lunch to work for the rest of the week now (eggs to scramble!), and I shouldn't need to buy any groceries this week either.

    I had a quote for more work needed in the house last night - another £310. So when I've paid for this and the door/windows in July, I'll only have around £400 left in the account to cover the rest of the bathroom work needed + the car MOT and insurance due the latter half of this year.

    Best I get saving then...
    Now debt free
    Savings: £
    885.86/£2000
    Mortgage at 24/11/2016: £97,000 Now: £78,984.42

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 27th Jun 17, 11:09 AM
    • 498 Posts
    • 1,354 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    It's awful when things crop up isn't it? Have you had more then one quote for the work needed so you can compare?

    You're sounding very organised with your lunches to work. I started off being organised then it all went a bit pear shaped .

    That must be so frustrating with the energy company. Can you send off a big complaint to the CEO regarding this?

    Have a good day.
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