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  • FIRST POST
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 18th Jul 14, 12:09 PM
    • 663Posts
    • 3,355Thanks
    cookie9
    30 small steps
    • #1
    • 18th Jul 14, 12:09 PM
    30 small steps 18th Jul 14 at 12:09 PM
    Hello. After making OP here and there and being on track life has thrown me a few curveballs. I am now married and have a little boy which has lead us to converting the loft. Savings have paid for half but the remainder has increased the mortgage by 30k hence the diary title. I want to make some small OPs whilst I build up my emergency savings.


    Small steps taken: Cost reduction
    1. Switching power off at plugs and switching lights off. Not sure if this has had a major effect but EON have reduced my monthly payment so must be helping.
    2. Switching to low energy light bulbs.
    3. Menu planning and sticking to it. DH fairly good natured about this although is missing meat.
    4. Not buying new clothes for myself. Alas was doing well but have been tempted by sales and bought new jacket for work.
    5. Free days out. Lots of walking and visiting parks.


    To do :
    1. Haggle with BT re broadband.


    Small steps taken. Making money.
    1. Make OP with money made from tutoring.
    2. Sell unwanted items from loft.


    To do:
    1. Write more reviews so can cash in points.


    Small steps taken: Mortgage
    1. Considering paying for new bank survey to reduce LTV and get a better deal.
    2. Have set up OP of £50 per month.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
Page 7
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 25th Jun 16, 3:14 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    What interesting times we live in!

    Not sure what will happen next as we have voted to leave the EU. With uncertainty abound want to make sure we have emergency funds and a low amount left to pay on the mortgage.

    First step taken has been a review of spending. Admittedly we have gone a bit mad with things for the house but until I did my analysis I hadn't realised quite how bad food spending has been. For a family of three we have averaged £716 yes you did read that figure correctly. Some of this is due to top up shopping at waitr*se but even our internet shop is averaging £560.

    I used to be very good at watching our food bill but have become complacent. No more! This has given me the big kick to realise I really do have to monitor what we are doing.

    New plan.
    No more extra top up shop. Going to freeze a pint of milk to avoid it.
    Return to baking at weekends - cheese and onion muffins, blueberry muffins to help with packed lunches.
    Menu plan with cost in mind

    Aim to save £200. Wish me luck!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 25th Jun 16, 3:23 PM
    • 841 Posts
    • 3,757 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    You can do it Cookie!
    Emergency savings- £701.54 /£1000
    Mortgage Oct '16- £170.995 LTV- 90%
    2016 OP target- £15.06 / £150 -
    Mortgage end date- Nov '41

    NST: 42
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 27th Jun 16, 6:14 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Top up shop up fail as we have ran out of eggs. Hopefully after this minor glitch food shop will be on track this month.

    Feels quite warm so going to do a quick load of washing so it will dry.

    Looking forward to the weekend already!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • mortgage_girl
    • By mortgage_girl 28th Jun 16, 6:47 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 3,724 Thanks
    mortgage_girl
    Well done with your new plan cookie and good luck with your savings. Let the challenge begin!

    MGx
    2016: £3506.03 / £11,000
    2015: £10,230.37 / £11,000
    2014 =£6703.26 / £11,000 2013 = £4288.51 / £8000 2012 = £1600/£5000 2011 = £2579/£3000
    Make £10 a day challenge £143.60 / £300
    MF date was Nov 2041 - now June 2023

    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 2nd Jul 16, 2:26 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Week two of monitoring food budget started well. I even got up early to go to the supermarket with my list rather than do an online shop and hence saving the delivery charge. Kicking myself now as hardly any olive oil left so may have to so a top up shop again. Moral of the story is to always check the cupboards first.

    Reward points are fairly healthy. £22 of Mr T so will use the boost to get a couple of meals out for the family. M&S card arrived today so will buy something small in the foodhall to take advantage of the points and once they arrive stock up the freezer.

    Not a fan of our changeable summer weather but lettuce loves the rain/sunshine combination so haven't had to buy any for ages. Hoping the sunshine stays for a bit this afternoon as have some pear and nettle cider in the fridge.

    Have a good MFW weekend.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 8th Aug 16, 6:00 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Not posted for a while as last month was a difficult one as my grandmother passed away. I have stopped monthly OP for a little bit and am putting money aside so can make a big OP later fingers crossed.

    The food budget is more under control but as wee man and I are both on holiday we are spending on the odd ice cream here and there. We were quite MFW this morning with a trip to the woods with snacks in my bag but less so this afternoon with a trip to the cinema and drinks afterwards. At least I remembered to take some juice with me for wee man in the cinema.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • mortgage_girl
    • By mortgage_girl 9th Aug 16, 9:34 PM
    • 794 Posts
    • 3,724 Thanks
    mortgage_girl
    So sorry to hear about your grandmother cookie. Sending virtual hugs your way.

    MGx
    2016: £3506.03 / £11,000
    2015: £10,230.37 / £11,000
    2014 =£6703.26 / £11,000 2013 = £4288.51 / £8000 2012 = £1600/£5000 2011 = £2579/£3000
    Make £10 a day challenge £143.60 / £300
    MF date was Nov 2041 - now June 2023

    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 23rd Aug 16, 3:08 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    This week I have been trying out some new lunch box recipes so I can plan school lunches once the holidays are over. It is so hot I have decided not to bake today but we made fruit ice lollies instead. Hoping for a no-spending day as we are sticking close to home. Lots of colouring in and cutting out for wee man to enjoy. With the weather being so hot I had also been doing loads of washing to take advantage of the sun.

    I am keeping an eye on mortgage rates as my main mortgage 5 year deal ends in December so I want to make sure I get a good deal. Can't wait to bring my MF day closer!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 24th Aug 16, 2:25 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Dentist today but luckily no treatment required for only £58 to pay. Good news is that BA is paying me for the cancelled flight so £431 should be in my account soon. This should be a boost to OPs. Please spread the word abut the EU regulations as most people I speak to are totally unaware of them.

    Another hot day and as we have been to the park this morning then to the dentist I feel like some down time is required. I had the foresight to make some fruit ice lollies so both myself and wee man happy. Not quite a no spend day as got wee man a magazine as he was a little star at the dentist. think we will be making lots of things this afternoon.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 29th Aug 16, 1:26 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Some nice jars of sauce in the cupboard as received vouchers when had a new jar with mould in it. Planning a few batch meals so can eat half/freeze half. Having our favourite standby for lunch...mushroom and leek crepes. Menu planning seems to be working.

    Had a bit of a spend as bought travel insurance to benefit from Meerkat movies. Still saving £3 on tickets after paying for the policy so not too bad. Hopefully will have a few more cinemas trips this year to get the most from it.

    M&S voucher to spend. If can get there without wee man will pick up some stocking fillers and if not it will be food and perhaps tight for work.

    Hope everyone is enjoying the bank holiday (sorry if you are in Scotland)
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • jodles16
    • By jodles16 31st Aug 16, 10:01 PM
    • 1,240 Posts
    • 3,601 Thanks
    jodles16
    Sorry about your loss lovely.

    It makes sense to make this journey work for you, post pone as much as needed! Well done on working on your food budget, even if the darn olive oil caught you out!

    Jodles
    MFW2016 #25 6969.57/3820
    MFiT #66
    Overall aim 8106/21,743 (£156,000)
    2016- Jan-£177,472, Apr-£173,195.04, July- £171,417.47 Oct- 169,366
    2017- Jan- Apr- July- Oct-

    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 18th Sep 16, 7:47 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Have finally set up OPs again on the account and will try to pay a lump sum later. Food shopping is still being monitored and now all three of us need packed lunches so spending is higher than I hoped. At least I have free lettuce from our garden. The garden has also provided a small amount of fruit this year and next year should see a better crop. The biggest time saving has been making lunches the night before.

    Wee man is growing all the time and has out grown his wellies and trainers so had to buy more today. I will need boots later as the weather turns colder. Fortunately I picked up a couple of jumpers in the sales so work wear looks ok for winter.

    Insurance is coming up for renewal so need to make sure I get a good deal. Trying to make my money work hard for me as I work hard to get it. Regular savings account now at 5% which is pretty good as the current rates available are so low. Hopefully I can compare a few quotes this evening.

    Where did the weekend go?
    Last edited by cookie9; 01-10-2016 at 1:22 PM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 1st Oct 16, 1:42 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    The 1st of October and it certainly felt colder today. Just checking what we need for winter and fortunately it isn't too bad with just boots and sock for wee man. I took advantage of the MSE collective switch and am on better deal with BG than my old BG tariff. Even better is the £30 cashback for switching to the same company.

    Next on the agenda is sorting out house insurance to see if I can beat the renewal. Dh and I now have a plan for the next 15 years after which we hope to be able to retire MF. Getting the best deals will help us towards this goal. Wish us luck.

    Update - managed to get £12 off renewal so not too bad.
    Last edited by cookie9; 01-10-2016 at 4:17 PM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 6th Oct 16, 10:39 AM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Is anyone else feeling cold? The good thing about having a diary is that I look back at last year and see when I caved I put the heating on. Hoping to go for a couple more weeks to make it to the end of October. Wee man has had a growth spurt so have ordered a couple of jumpers for him. At least I remember to use Quid£o to get some cash back.

    Thinking ahead for Christmas I can ask for family to buy wee man some clothes so that is handy. I have bought some stocking fillers in the sales and have some vouchers to use. I picked up Christmas cards and wrap in the January sales which always makes my DH roll his eyes but he uses my stash come December!

    Off to make some warming soup now. Hope everyone is well and making progress to being MF.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 9th Oct 16, 6:03 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Fairly good this weekend. We had been to the park a few times and went for a long walk this morning complete with snacks and a flask of tea. I do like my tea but if we go to the caf! this ends up being tea, juice and cakes! Lunch was paid for by vouchers so only had to pay the tip.

    Mortgage statement arrived so this year we have paid off £10,000 in total after interest deducted. Given that I stopped OPs for a few months I am really happy with this news. this has given me a bit of an extra incentive to pay off more.

    As I need to get a few things off Amaz@n I checked if there are any offers and was pleased to discover I qualified for the free £7. Not huge amounts but small steps help.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 22nd Oct 16, 3:45 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    Half term is here so thinking of cheap entertainment ideas. Pumpkin craving might be fun and I like pumpkin soup so that looks like a winner. Weather permitting we will head to the park and if miserable weather going to go to the cinema. Snacks will be prepared at home so no additional expense. I do need to give careful thought to lunches as normally make packed lunches for everyone but can make hot lunches this week.

    On the energy front we have done well with our gas but electricity is still a bit too high for my liking. The two culprits are the washing machine and oven. Unfortunately both wee and big man are messy so always have full loads on. I am good with the oven as try to use several things at the same time but DH is not always so forward thinking. At least we are a good deal and I had our £50 credit paid over to me. New Direct Debit is going to be lower too so a good result.

    One thing I am not always good at is keeping an eye on my petrol tank and sometimes ending up refuelling at an expensive garage. I am now keeping track of which of my local garages have the best rates and will make sure I fill up there.

    Back to making my usual OPs so feeling good about that. I do like to play with the numbers to see how quickly the mortgage could be paid off. Dreaming of my MF day!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 24th Oct 16, 3:23 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    First day of half term and not too spendy as we had a lovely morning in the park. We are so lucky to live in an area with really nice parks to go to. I spent £2 on some crafty bits and pieces for us to do over the next few days and decided to have lunch out with a free meal for wee man thanks to British G@s. This was mainly to treat myself as I have a pile of household tasks to do this week and want to start in a good mood.

    I am always impressed by the amount people on this forum seem to be able to sell their old things for. I am going to try to sell off wee man old toys again as the last few sales fell through but after that it is off to the charity shop.

    I am sorting out my wardrobe again and putting away my summer clothes as it is certainly Autumn now. I have a reasonable supply of jumpers so shouldn't need any more this year. My knee high boots have been reheeled and my ankle boots are in good shape so that is work taken care of for the winter. For the weekends I have my trusty snow boots which I picked up in the sales a few years ago for the bargain price of £10!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 25th Oct 16, 2:23 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    What a nice surprise in the post this morning as my local garden centre has a reward scheme and I have £26 to spend there. They have some good deals on books so will pick up some Christmas presents there. Hopefully these combined with my other reward points will make Christmas not too painful.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
    • mortgage_girl
    • By mortgage_girl 26th Oct 16, 8:50 AM
    • 794 Posts
    • 3,724 Thanks
    mortgage_girl
    Cookie - you're so organised. I haven't even bought a single Christmas present yet and still need to buy ingredients for the Christmas cakes...I'll put that on my to-do list for later. Fab news about your voucher too.

    MGx
    2016: £3506.03 / £11,000
    2015: £10,230.37 / £11,000
    2014 =£6703.26 / £11,000 2013 = £4288.51 / £8000 2012 = £1600/£5000 2011 = £2579/£3000
    Make £10 a day challenge £143.60 / £300
    MF date was Nov 2041 - now June 2023

    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 26th Oct 16, 6:01 PM
    • 663 Posts
    • 3,355 Thanks
    cookie9
    MG I 'impressed you are making your own Christmas cake. As I am the only one who likes them I don't bother.

    Today did spend a bit on a treat for wee man and myself. We went to local National Trust house which had a Halloween trail complete with pumpkin carving and toasting marshmallows. Lots of fun. Need to cost it out to decide whether it is worthwhile becoming members. I think it may be cheaper to join Scottish National Trust which has reciprocal arrangements with the English one. Afternoon was much cheaper as we spent the day making Halloween decorations.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £1720/4000
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