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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 16th Jan 14, 7:37 PM
    • 26,544Posts
    • 140,143Thanks
    Karmacat
    Breaking Through, Travelling On
    • #1
    • 16th Jan 14, 7:37 PM
    Breaking Through, Travelling On 16th Jan 14 at 7:37 PM
    Hello

    I think a few people on this board know me already, from the dfw board

    I really need the focus of an mse diary - debts are all paid off, except for about 40% of a French mortgage - but income has been declining, and is currently pitiful. And without a diary, I've lost focus on getting the best deal for the things I *do* need to spend out on, like insurance, and Christmas train tickets, that sort of stuff. So I've come back properly after pootling about on other people's threads, and on general threads too, to be fair

    The focus is so that I can replace lost income - so that I can have a holiday of my choosing, for instance - and stopping digging into my savings for ordinary living expenses would be nice too Its also so that I can get my pension up beyond "miserable penury" - its kind of urgent, as under the system that lasted till about 15 years ago, I'd be retiring at the end of this year But I'm not, sadly. The aim is to retire in July 2016, when my younger sister retires, with a reasonable pension.

    One complication in earning more is that between arthritis, energy issues and the need to stay available to what clients I have, I can't / don't want to, take a second job. So more income has to be through other work - patchwork, portfolio, call it what you like (I know I do ).
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
Page 256
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 15th Oct 16, 3:49 PM
    • 608 Posts
    • 2,930 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    Maybe lots of people will be looking for wood for bonfires soon too. I'm hoping to cut up some old fence posts and give them to my mum for her open fire. I would love to have one myself one day.
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 15th Oct 16, 7:22 PM
    • 4,247 Posts
    • 11,638 Thanks
    Verbatim
    Advertise on freecycle? Free firewood, needs chopping. Bring own saw?
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 15th Oct 16, 8:56 PM
    • 44,888 Posts
    • 155,585 Thanks
    beanielou
    Karmcat~~Just meant generally that it is very expensive to get things done by a trades person be it in home or garden.
    My fence of doom and tree cutting is costing a lot.
    My sitting room doors were expensive too.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Watty1
    • By Watty1 16th Oct 16, 10:21 AM
    • 2,496 Posts
    • 17,628 Thanks
    Watty1
    Have often been guilty of chucking money at a problem myself. But I have a hunch your chap might be expensive. The chap I found via facebook cut f-I-l hedge (vast overgrown mess) and cut the lawns (hacked back undergrowth) and tidied up nicely for £160. But we let him leave the hedge stuff as we created a massive bonfire - although he did take a pile of rubble away instead.
    I found him by posting on the village facebay site.
    Mortgage at start of diary Sept 2013: £132,995 Aug 2015 £0
    Overpaying next mortgage. £79,491 now £68801
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th Oct 16, 10:34 AM
    • 44,888 Posts
    • 155,585 Thanks
    beanielou
    That seems really cheap watty ~~ you are lucky.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 16th Oct 16, 11:08 AM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thank you all, that's brilliant feedback. I'm going to turn down the quote tomorrow, apologise for calling him out but its way outside what I'm comfortable paying.

    I didn't do anything on it after my last post - the heavens opened, and have stayed open. I'm not going to do anything big on it today, I don't want to "work" every day, so I'm off out for a walk this afternoon, but I'll be doing a lot of tidying and sawing myself. I think I called him at the wrong time too - I hadn't swept the decking, so all the seeds were there, it looked like it had a lot of clearing work to do.

    Actions
    1. carry on with the sweeping up - two thirds already done.
    2. sawing branches, from ground level up to me-on-a-dining-chair.
    3. chuck the branches to the front yard, offer first pick to neighbour, offer the rest on freegle as bonfire/woodburning material.
    4. experiment on other prunings with my BBQ, when it stops raining and things dry out a bit.
    5. ETA - use the mobile waste collections, 6th November for my town, 20th November for my village, then 15th January and it starts up again.

    Save
    Last edited by Karmacat; 16-10-2016 at 11:29 AM.
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • Verbatim
    • By Verbatim 16th Oct 16, 12:35 PM
    • 4,247 Posts
    • 11,638 Thanks
    Verbatim
    Excellent. Sorted. Remember that 5/11 approaches as Eating the E alluded to above so perhaps the scouts/ community group etc might be arranging a bonfire/ fireworks event and be willing to collect/saw/ lug for free wood.
    CCs @0% £24k Dec 05 £19,621.41 Au £13400 S 12600 Oct £11,981 £9481 £7500 Nov £7250 D £7100 Jan 6950 F £5800 Mar£5400 May £4830 June £4660 July £4460 Aug £3200, S £900, £0 18/9/07 DFW Nerd 042
    • Goldiegirl
    • By Goldiegirl 16th Oct 16, 6:01 PM
    • 8,307 Posts
    • 47,302 Thanks
    Goldiegirl
    Hello there!

    Sounds as if retirement life is suiting you. So glad it's working out well.

    I read the posts from your retirement day, and the only way I can describe it, is that joy was radiating off the screen!
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
    • greent
    • By greent 16th Oct 16, 9:54 PM
    • 5,201 Posts
    • 52,380 Thanks
    greent
    We hacked the smaller branches off an old tree years ago and then put an ad on freegle for someone to come and chop it down and take it away for firewood (was quite a tall tree and a thick trunk) - didn't cost us a penny and they got a load of wood (granted it needed to season for a year or so) for their heating

    We did pay for someone to chop a large cherry down last year (bordered ours and neighbours house) and treat the stump. They took the branches away and sawed the trunk into manageable lumps which I've been burning on the chiminea this year. Cant remember exact cost - £150ish?

    x
    Repaid mortgage early (originally 11/25) Bal 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Now repaying BTL Mtge. Opening Bal £69786. Current Bal £68286
    Net sales in 2016 £778.60/£500
    Dec grocery spends £0/ £480 NSDs 4/12
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th Oct 16, 8:17 AM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Excellent. Sorted. Remember that 5/11 approaches as Eating the E alluded to above so perhaps the scouts/ community group etc might be arranging a bonfire/ fireworks event and be willing to collect/saw/ lug for free wood.
    Originally posted by Verbatim
    Ah! Round here, most towns have a Bonfire Society, and my village is one of them, it's huge. That may just be fireworks now, but I'll check, thanks, its a great idea.

    Hello there!

    Sounds as if retirement life is suiting you. So glad it's working out well.

    I read the posts from your retirement day, and the only way I can describe it, is that joy was radiating off the screen!
    Originally posted by Goldiegirl
    Hiya

    Good to see you! Yes, I was very joyful that day, and the joy continues I keep thinking back to your journey to get things straight, and how similar it is

    We hacked the smaller branches off an old tree years ago and then put an ad on freegle for someone to come and chop it down and take it away for firewood (was quite a tall tree and a thick trunk) - didn't cost us a penny and they got a load of wood (granted it needed to season for a year or so) for their heating

    We did pay for someone to chop a large cherry down last year (bordered ours and neighbours house) and treat the stump. They took the branches away and sawed the trunk into manageable lumps which I've been burning on the chiminea this year. Cant remember exact cost - £150ish?

    x
    Originally posted by greent
    That sounds more reasonable, if there was a lot of sawing ... what I'm hoping is that by the time I've thinned everything from me-on-a-chair, I can do what I did at my previous house, where there was an ash tree only four feet from the house: I lassoed the top of the tree to control the fall, and sawed through the trunk about eight feet from the base

    More thinning today, plus writing, i.e. transcribing my 1976 diary. I'm up to Beograd, Belgrade as was, just about to get to Greece.

    I've already checked the French current account, the latest rent payment has gone in, and because I paid the taxes online, they don't take the money till 10 days after the due date, which seems odd, but I have an email saying exactly that. Over the next two years, I'll be sending another £6k in total, probably, partly because the exchange rate has sunk so badly, and then it *should* be more or less self financing, though it will provide no income.
    Save
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th Oct 16, 9:52 AM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Computer had a hiccup, so I started sawing at cherry laurel - when I was ill, I snipped at things before (eventually ...) sawing things. It's different this way in just 15 minutes I've got half a dozen branches, some of them 7 feet long, to throw into the front yard so glad I didn't accept that quote!
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • misscousinitt
    • By misscousinitt 17th Oct 16, 10:48 AM
    • 3,366 Posts
    • 18,965 Thanks
    misscousinitt
    Well done you - quite satisfying saving money and getting it done yourself when you previously couldn't! - A real achievement.

    So glad you are getting so much out of your retirement already.

    It's really great to see.

    MCI
    Mortgage Free x 1 03.11.2012 - House rented out Feb 2016
    Mortgage No 2: £99,090.90 (08.11.2016)
    OP's to Date £2000

    Renovation Fund:£944.75; Kitchen Fund (including re-wiring): £notalotleft; Roof Fund £5000.00
    Nectar Points Balance: £35.49
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th Oct 16, 11:54 AM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks MCI! Until I get used to being almost well, I'm going to think about these sorts of decisions really carefully - 3 months ago, I couldn't imagine doing what I've just done this morning, and though I can still see me needing to spend up to £100 *maybe*, I'd have wasted nearly £200. As it is, between freegle, bonfire societies, council waste days and learning to make a bonfire *myself*, I'm really hoping this won't cost anything!

    There are other things to spend on - the boiler has broken down, I want an asbestos shed roof removed and replaced by polycarbonate, with a upvc door, and I need a new garden gate ( i.e. the old one has fallen off the rotted hinges ).

    The other element of new retirement is getting used to setting more social things up (I didn't used to have any while I was ill ...). This week, it's the Sound Healing from the games evening friend, Friday with an mse friend in London and Sunday with my sister.

    Funny old world
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 17th Oct 16, 8:15 PM
    • 7,057 Posts
    • 32,881 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, how great you've been able to lop a load of the cheery ( typed 'cheery automatically instead of cherry ) laurel yourself! Excellent money saving strategy now you've got the energy

    Sounds like you've got a nicely sociable weekend coming up too
    Saved for house move: £8570
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th Oct 16, 9:20 AM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Cheery, isn't it

    I've realised, with all this going on, I'm not ready to join U3A yet - catching up on cleaning, catching up on maintenance, and most importantly catching up on family and friends

    Speaking of which, I booked another trip to Merseyside, mid-November, just a few days this time as I'm up there for Christmas.

    Today: YouGov have played nice, 75 points, pay a credit card, faff around with transferring money, saw some more laurel

    And **triumphal trumpet sounds** sort a definite strategy for becoming a kindle bestseller I know roughly what I need to do, I want to lay it out in detail now, I managed almost 4,000 words transcription yesterday, though a bit of actual *writing* will need to be put in here and there.
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 18th Oct 16, 11:59 AM
    • 3,064 Posts
    • 17,702 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I'm loving the 'new' you these days, KC. Your joie de vivre is a delight


    We had to lop a lot off a massive willow tree which is growing in the corner of next door's garden nearest to our boundary. It's next to a natural pond, almost a small lake, that he has there and it shoots up at an alarming rate. OH has mentioned it to the neighbour before and he doesn't seem to want to do anything about the tree but it had got out of hand recently and was bashing against our overhead telephone lines. We rarely see him as his house is at the farthest end of his massive garden and he's often abroad anyway. OH decided to take matters into his own hands and lop some of the dangerous height off. I hope there won't be any repercussions. Country life isn't all sweetness and light. I wonder if the water and tree are responsible for our damp/subsidence issues?


    I love your new shade, KC. I often shop at Wilko, they have some bargains. I had to smile as just below it there was an 'other things you might like...' section with pictures of those spherical paper shades that used to be all the rage in the 70s. I loved them and had them in every room but they weren't all that robust especially when OH went on a mad fly-swatting spree. I never realised those shades had made a comeback and am seriously considering risking some more.
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2016: Jan-Nov:£2787.65: Dec:£61.27
    3-6 Months Emergency Fund Challenge #12: £620.00/£3000

    Original Debt: £56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Paid (on DMP): £29917. Balance: £26887
    Over halfway
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th Oct 16, 1:09 PM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thank you CBC! I'm just so happy to have come back from flopping around like a beached whale ... unattractive to see and to experience, I guarantee you

    My sympathies on the overgrowing willow - that's a classic site for a willow, isn't it, and they're fast growers anyway It was probably a really good idea for your OH to take matters into his own hands, especially as your phone wire was involved. My non-party-wall neighbour has a tree through which my own phone line threads - and he's clambering about in it every other year, making sure none of the branches or twigs come near it, which is very good of him, he takes a lot of care of that tree because of the wire.

    How far is the lake from your house? Could well be your subsidence problem I didn't realise you had one, I'm afraid. I'd really hate that, in my last house I had tree roots undermine the foundation of a retaining wall for the front garden (very hilly area!) and I had to have it pulled down and rebuilt - £2k!

    As far as the lampshade goes, isn't it weird to see the old globular paper lampshades back? The one I just got rid of was made of the same paper, but it was square, going up in a triangular sort of shape, and it was **horrendous** to change a lightbulb - this new one couldn't be easier

    Been doing more transcribing and sawing. Life is good
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 18th Oct 16, 2:51 PM
    • 3,064 Posts
    • 17,702 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    Sadly we had subsidence problems about 25 years ago. This area is notorious for its clay soil and subsidence is a pain for a lot of people. This house was really a pair of almost derelict semi-detached farm labourers cottages when we bought it and did it up. We employed a firm of builders and turned it into a single detached house but I suspect the foundations in the bit we added on to and didn't replace were poorly done. OH said farm labourers often used to build the houses themselves and may not have had much building expertise


    We claimed on our insurance for the major cracks to the walls and it was put right without any underpinning. It hasn't been too bad since, although there are always small cracks emerging here and there. When we shopped around to find cheaper cover we found new insurers wouldn't accept us because of the subsidence history. We had to stick with our original company who put the premiums up alarmingly. I doubt they would entertain another claim for the same problem

    I've often wondered whether the pond/lake(which is natural and not man-made) means water is seeping under the dodgy part of our foundations and hence causing the damp issues. Our own garden shows no sign of waterlogging though, except in spells of torrential rain when everyone suffers from it. We have had 3 different damp-proof courses in our time in the house and although most of the walls are OK I suspect water may be just under the solid floors which could have cracked by now. We have thermoplastic tiles (another blast from the 70s) everywhere under the carpets. What tiles I've managed to check (the carpets are very hard to peel back) don't have any cracks in them.
    Make £10 A Day Challenge 2016: Jan-Nov:£2787.65: Dec:£61.27
    3-6 Months Emergency Fund Challenge #12: £620.00/£3000

    Original Debt: £56804 (@ LBM 02/13). Paid (on DMP): £29917. Balance: £26887
    Over halfway
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th Oct 16, 6:14 PM
    • 26,544 Posts
    • 140,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    That sounds rough, CBC sorry to hear it. With an older house, you just don't know, do you

    The first house I bought, back in 1987, was a terrace built around the 1860s, I think. Made of "clunch" - which was explained to me as being "builder's rubble" after I'd bought it, I hasten to add, not before. It was a solid little house, though - quite big, actually, though the bathroom was fairly new because it had never, ever had a bathroom before No damage at all from the hurricane, 3 weeks after I moved in!

    This one, to be honest, it feels like there's always something needs doing, but at least it feels sturdy, which my 2nd house didn't. You pays your money, and then you just pray .... thats sort of how it is with this stuff.

    I've had a little bit more sawing work - I've got through the layers of tree trunks enough to see that there's a screen between me and my neighbour made of bamboo, which is encouraging. I might have a go at training something over the space that will exist once the shed is pulled down. Bit tired now, though, so I'm just going to relax.
    Save
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.
    Currently: 86.53/25,000
    Save
    • atypicalblonde
    • By atypicalblonde 18th Oct 16, 6:37 PM
    • 1,620 Posts
    • 8,580 Thanks
    atypicalblonde
    Hi KC, lovely to *see* you again

    Retirement seems to be suiting you my lovely, and I'm pleased for you Free wood for a fire is something I dream of, we have a wood burner and I am constantly on the look out for free wood rather than paying £75 per bag.

    Have a lovely evening x
    MFW
    Mortgage 8.2.15 - £171,064.64 Mortgage 3.11.16 - £139,251.40
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