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  • FIRST POST
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 18th Jul 14, 11:09 AM
    • 710Posts
    • 3,510Thanks
    cookie9
    30 small steps
    • #1
    • 18th Jul 14, 11:09 AM
    30 small steps 18th Jul 14 at 11:09 AM
    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 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
Page 9
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 14th Jan 17, 11:09 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    Thanks Mg. It is always small steps here!

    So glad it is the weekend. Had to go to Waitr@se to pick up bread and hot chocolate so treated wee man to a hot chocolate in the cafe whilst I enjoyed a free tea. Wee man had been swimming and we had quite a few places to go before heading home so felt a warming hot choc would be just the thing to keep him happy.

    Next stop was the bank for wee man to pay in his coins from his piggy bank. I am trying to teach him the value of money so he was allowed to take £1 out of his account to spend. Tiger is good as they have their prices in whole pounds rather than 99p so he spent some time looking for £1 signs then deciding what he could buy. After that it was Tesco where I collected my lottery card win as someone gave me a card in my Christmas card and I won £10. Wee man enjoyed a free Tesco banana so it had been fairly MSE today.

    The big thing on my to do list is to organise getting quotes for car insurance. Renewal is £522 so let's see how much I can bring that down by. Martin's tips always handy. I want to keep expenses down so I can fill my regular saver to the maximum.

    Looking forward to my first OP of 2017 in the way only a MFW can understand.

    Have a good weekend.

    update: first alternative quote is £325 after cashback!
    Last edited by cookie9; 14-01-2017 at 7:44 PM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 15th Jan 17, 7:03 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    One of my resolutions this year is not to delay in starting tasks once I have written my to do list for the day. This appears to be working so far although it is still early days. This morning I needed to do a load of washing, put away the clean washing from yesterday and pick one handbag to clean out and declutter. An excellent result as bedroom looking tidy after the piles of washing put away and I feel ready for the week and even better I found a purse with £33.40 in it and a birthday card which had £100 in it. A nice boost to my off-setting fund. I somehow doubt I will find as much in my other bags!

    Next on my list for this morning is sorting out the recycling and packing the bags for charity in the car to be dropped off later. Decluttering is the goal!

    Managed to get a reasonable deal on insurance down to £391 with same size courtesy car and European cover included.
    Last edited by cookie9; 15-01-2017 at 12:22 PM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 17th Jan 17, 4:59 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    Getting things done is a bit easier in the morning than at the end of a hard day at work. My energy levels are pretty low and it would be easy to leave things and phone for a takeaway but I am resisting temptation. A cup of tea then onto sorting out wee man's new bank account. No takeaway so going to make mushrooms omelettes as quick and easy to do.

    With regards our food bill I am going to try to do 3 weeks shopping then just order fresh vegetables, fruit and milk and household items for week 4 and eat out of the freezer/store cupboard.

    Tea finished so I need to get into action.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • mortgage_girl
    • By mortgage_girl 19th Jan 17, 6:31 AM
    • 823 Posts
    • 3,802 Thanks
    mortgage_girl
    Wow - that's a massive saving on your car insurance - well done!

    Happy op-ing!

    MGx
    2017: ££1772.50 / £11,000
    2016: 4557.98 / £11,000 2015: £10,230.37 / £11,000
    2014 =£6703.26 / £11,000 2013 = £4288.51 / £8000 2012 = £1600/£5000 2011 = £2579/£3000
    MF date was Nov 2041 - now Sept 2022

    v
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 22nd Jan 17, 9:34 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    January does feel an expensive month after our winter birthdays and Christmas. Fist OP of 2017 has however been made. Only a couple of small spends this weekend which was a nail varnish kit in B@@ts 70% off sale which is going into this years Christmas box, a thermos flask for wee man so he can have a hot lunch at school and a t-shirt for Dh as his valentine's present.

    Just need to pick up 2 bottles of wine as gifts and some milk then hopefully can avoid supermarkets for the rest of the week. This is the week for eating out of the freezer/store cupboard. It would certainly help with our budget if we can pull this off. Spicy lentil soup is in the slow cooker as I type this so at least off to a good start.

    Update: Curses temptation was too much for me and I caved and bought a bottle of wine for us too! Was going to make savoury rice but out voted by the boys who want pizza and garlic bread. Will pop some extra veggies on the pizza to be a bit healthier.
    Last edited by cookie9; 22-01-2017 at 3:05 PM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 26th Jan 17, 4:01 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    Wee man quite delighted to have a hot lunch. It has been so cold recently I have been tempted to get one for myself as sandwiches just don't warm me up. Going to hold off for a bit to see if it gets warmer. On the reducing grocery bill front I have done quite well this week although a lot of comfort food planned eg baked cheese, bacon, onion and rosemary pasta, toad in the hole and spaghetti with meatballs. Don't be too impressed by my menu planning as I failed to check the use by date of the smoked salmon I bought so we are having smoked salmon and leek pasta tonight as it needs to be eaten!

    Reading MMM and trying to work out how we could be Financially Independent. I really need to see if there is anywhere I am overspending as should be saving an additional £500 a month.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 27th Jan 17, 4:00 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    The weekend at last. It has been a bit stressful this week as my child minder has not been able to work so I have had to leave work early and dash to little cookie's school to pick him up. All week I have been trying to get work done and look after him. Today I finally realised that there is no point trying to do two jobs and not doing either well so have forgotten about work and just spent the time having fun with wee man. I will catch up with work over the weekend and I seldom get the chance to spend this time with him. A pity it has taken me until now to work this out.

    Going to cash in some vouchers and treat us to lunch on Sunday as it has been a hard week and it would be nice not to have to cook or do the dishes.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 4th Feb 17, 5:55 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    February is here and already it feels less dark and gloomy. Supermum aka my mother has come down to help us with childcare so that is a massive help. Menu planning is not as good as it should be and we have had a couple of takeaways. Blaming my bad cold on this!

    I have finally cashed in my premium bonds. I have been very lucky with them so don't feel too bad about this decision and will put most of the money into my regular savers accounts. I have had a lot of NSDs recently so that it pretty good. One area of expense is birthdays which has escalated dramatically since wee cookie started school. I will try to take advantage of the sales as they come along to stock up.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 11th Feb 17, 1:24 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    A good result today with birthday presents as found some nice lego sets on sale. I have made a small additional OP just to give me a nice round number so feeling good. I have spent a bit of money on some new pans as the non stick is coming off of ours so they need replacing. At least I remember to get cashback on them.

    This week's challenge will be not spending too much money when the wee man is on holiday. I have promised to take him to the new lego movie but will use meercat movies to get him in for free. Will also take snacks with us. Hopefully the weather will improve so we can go to the park. I did manage to get half price ice-skating tickets so if it is cold and wet that is another possibility.

    Could do better meal planning as I have just seen that my smoked salmon needs eating by today so am now planning bagels as afternoon tea snack then pasta at night. Feeling the need for comfort food so roast chicken tomorrow.

    After this week's MSE email I have applied for the Tesco account to get 3% on some of my savings. Not a massively high rate but much higher than my old ISAs!

    update: Small bonus as forgot I had points on my reward card so got my haircut for half price.
    Last edited by cookie9; 12-02-2017 at 5:52 AM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • mortgage_girl
    • By mortgage_girl 12th Feb 17, 7:57 PM
    • 823 Posts
    • 3,802 Thanks
    mortgage_girl
    Well done on your lego bargains cookie! It sounds like you've got some good mse things planned for the holiday.

    I've unwittingly copied your meals - had smoked salmon bagels for lunch and pasta and sauce for tea. Simple but tasty.

    Have a good week.

    MGx
    2017: ££1772.50 / £11,000
    2016: 4557.98 / £11,000 2015: £10,230.37 / £11,000
    2014 =£6703.26 / £11,000 2013 = £4288.51 / £8000 2012 = £1600/£5000 2011 = £2579/£3000
    MF date was Nov 2041 - now Sept 2022

    v
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 15th Feb 17, 4:21 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    . We went to the theatre this afternoon with friends and their children which was good fun and saved a little bit by bringing some snacks and drinks for the children with us. We ended up having a family trip to the cinema yesterday but I am saving my Meercat movies for tonight as having a girls trip to see 50 shades.

    Good news from Tesco as made the deadline and had my application accepted for their current account. Some of my shares have gone up recently and as today was a cheap trading day I have sold them so I have some money to put in my new account. This will help my goal of offsetting my smaller mortgage.

    Very busy weekend planned so need to try to get deep clean spring clean done this week but feel time is running out. Would love to sort my wardrobe out as everything is squeezed into it at the moment. Oh well back to cleaning!
    Last edited by cookie9; 16-02-2017 at 7:58 AM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 25th Feb 17, 7:16 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    A terrible week for illness. I ended up having to go to the doctor's and I am still under the weather. Meal plans naturally out of the window as takeaway was the order of the day for the rest of the family. I am now trying to catch up with the mountain of washing that has accumulated over the past week.

    On the plus side I have organised fund transfer to my various accounts to help with our financial goals. I am calculating which cards to use when to maximise rewards on our regular spending. I have been using my rewards credit card for grocery shopping but will switch to my Mr T one in April to maximise my clubcard points.

    Although I haven't bought new clothes despite a moth eating one of my jumpers I have treated myself to some make up. Justifying this on the basis that I have been miserable this week and they are travel sized so not as expensive as full sized.

    Off to photo some bits and pieces to sell in an attempt to declutter wee man's toys!
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 12th Mar 17, 6:35 AM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    A few changes at home as we now have an au pair to help with child care. It will be interesting to see how it works out financially for us. It means one more person to feed but a lot more flexibility for us and even the odd night of babysitting so we can go out. She is lovely and the wee man has really taken to her so fingers crossed it all works out.

    I am pleased to say that I have resisted temptation to buy new clothes. It is making think a bit more about using my accessories more to make my outfits look a bit different. I must be doing something right as I have had a few nice compliments. Unfortunately wee man's shoes are staring to look quite worn so I think I will have to buy some more. His new joggers have a hole in the pocket after being worn once so I am complaining.

    I should get a small addition to my pay this month for some extra hours I have done so that will be a useful top up to OPs although I am tempted to grab a short break with wee man to see my parents next month.

    Mortgage is very slowly reducing. It is very much a case of small steps. At least looking back on here I can see some progress. Hope everyone is having a good weekend.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
    • cookie9
    • By cookie9 19th Mar 17, 1:33 PM
    • 710 Posts
    • 3,510 Thanks
    cookie9
    Well I did decide to book a trip to see my parents. Was quoted over £300 for 2 adults and child by train but bought a railcard for £30 and got it reduced to £180 which isn't too bad. Bus would be cheaper still but longer and not so much fun for wee man.

    I have sorted out my wardrobe a bit more and have two dresses to try on to see firstly if they fit and secondly would I actually wear them. If not it is off to the charity shop. I had them before I was pregnant and have changed shape since then! The shape I am now is going to be the shape I stay. Update: alas it is off to the charity shop as they just don't fit.

    As Dh is likely to forget about Mother;s Day I bought my friend her birthday present and treated myself too to get the M&S Mother's Day treats box which is very nice. I have sorted out my mother's present of Outlander book marker as she is reading the series and loves it and some flowers. Wee man has made her a nice card too.

    One of our friends is selling up and moving to a cheaper area which is giving me food for thought. It will be interesting to see how things work out for them.
    Last edited by cookie9; 20-03-2017 at 6:19 AM.
    MFW 91 op 2014 £410/1000
    MFW 91 op 2015 £4051/4000
    MFW 91 op 2016 £4040/4000
    MFW 91 op 2017 £812/4500
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