Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 21st Dec 15, 3:35 PM
    • 425Posts
    • 3,296Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    From Flat to Farmhouse
    • #1
    • 21st Dec 15, 3:35 PM
    From Flat to Farmhouse 21st Dec 15 at 3:35 PM
    Hello everyone, I am hoping some of you might recognise my name and no, my mission hasn’t changed, I still have lofty ambitions of upgrading from my flat to something a little more spacious. I used to post here a year ago but let’s be honest, my ex went a bit stalky so I had to take a step back and delete everything which is a bit of a shame but that’s boys for you

    So where were we? Oh yes, paying £400 a month in interest on my mortgage! I need to start 2016 with a renewed vigour towards my financial management. Whilst this won’t be wholey directed at the mortgage, I have found the community of MFWers so helpful in getting the balance right. Despite having the all-important spreadsheet, I have gotten a bit lost with my finances with the poor interest rates and having to use current accounts for savings, so I need to do a proper audit.

    As old friends will know, I have the slight disadvantage of being owned by an event horse who insists on having the best of everything. I am also severely hampered by my inability to cook and tend to fritter money away buying lunches.

    It is lovely to be back and focused on security, I have missed you all!
Page 3
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 2nd Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • 2,154 Posts
    • 9,701 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    We've got our groceries down to £225/mo (average) for 2 of us. This includes breakfast, dinner, and lunch is invariably leftovers from dinner.

    Regarding meal planning, I took a super simple (and probably inefficient) system. We have a Trello board that lists recipes by type (pasta/soup/dessert/etc), copied from here: http://blog.trello.com/meal-planning-with-trello

    I skipped the last half of that article (dealing with the calendar) because it was too complicated. Instead I added lists that include 8 cards: 7 recipes (copied from the lists by type) and a shopping list (including everything needed for those recipes). Then at the weekend when we shop, we copy/paste that shopping list, remove anything we already have, and go. We started with 4 weeks' worth of lists, and are now up to 8 because we added extra ones as we came across recipes that sounded yummy. I think it's a good balance between work (setting up/maintaining the lists, figuring out what week we're on, etc) and variety.

    Shopping-wise I broke the weekly list into 4 sections:
    - one-off things for that week only (meat, special ingredients, etc)
    - veg (so all the produce is listed together for ease in the grocery store)
    - staples (that we should have around and shouldn't need to buy, but if we spot on sale should stock up on)
    - spices (again, shouldn't need but should buy if on sale)
    ...that makes it pretty easy to scan the kitchen for what we already have. I'd say we spend maybe 5-10 minutes each week prepping the grocery list before we run errands.

    Cost-wise, it's inefficient because I really haven't done anything regarding combining meals to take advantage of bulk buying. We know roughly what ingredients we need, though, so if we spot anything on sale that's frozen or has a good shelf life, we'll stock up on it and then not need to buy it again when that week comes around. We've probably shaved about £30-40 off our monthly grocery spend since we started meal planning, so it's not too bad. If we really focused on it I bet we could get under £200 pretty easily.

    ------

    Re: window shopping, I've made myself stop looking. Rental-wise we're not going to be moving for 3 months so it's still at least a month too early to look. Purchase-wise it's just depressing to see lots of lovely things but know we won't be buying any of them. We could, but it would be a bit foolhardy...we want to try out living in the area for at least a year or two before putting a ton of money into property. It is so fun to look, though, even when you know it's pointless...
    MFW: Dec '13 £197,100 / Dec '14 £180,691 / Dec '15 £161,669 / Dec '16 £119,669 / July '17 £109,097
    Payment 42/84 / 2017 MFW #56: £10,572/£20,000 52% / MFiT-T4 #15: £50,403/£90,000 56%
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 2nd Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Thank you very much shadow, that's given me food for thought.... ha! And inspiring that it can be done if we get organised. I've had a look at the Old Style board for cooking for dummies help for me too.

    Re the house - I think it could be a quick money spinner as it's 'up and coming'...
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 3rd Mar 17, 11:00 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    I'm awful at this MSE lark. Had put some clutter in the hallway meaning to take it to the charity shop. After Watty's success with her china I thought I'd had better check whether anything was of any value, indeed £100 of what I had always thought was tat from a local sculptor.

    Perhaps I need to learn how to use e of the bay.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 12th Mar 17, 11:26 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    One ridiculously spendy ski holiday later and I am back with a vengeance. Meals planned for the next week, washing on, now the pony needs a jolly good brushing to get rid of a week of feral.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 12th Mar 17, 11:47 AM
    • 3,289 Posts
    • 24,263 Thanks
    smallholdingsister
    Ah. The Baby Hippo!
    • cazmanian_minx
    • By cazmanian_minx 12th Mar 17, 12:11 PM
    • 4,004 Posts
    • 18,409 Thanks
    cazmanian_minx
    I was doing mine this morning. They've decided that spring is finally on its way and have started moulting, which given we've had a week of rain and they're not rugged, means they were PLASTERED!
    Home: 06/08: £145,145.00 Currently: £114,428.66 Offset: £51,337.84 Amount paid off: £30,716.34 (21.2%) Paying interest on: £63,090.82
    Holiday let:
    02/17: £177,416.86 (Family loan: £129,146.86 + 0% cards £48,270.00) Currently: £175,566.86 Amount paid off: £1,850.00 (1.04%)
    Sugar days 2017: 15/26 Debt-free: 17/02/2017
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 12th Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • 1,428 Posts
    • 7,053 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    Welcome back, hope you had a fab skiing trip!

    Emergency savings- £3195. /£4000
    Mortgage Oct '16- £170.995 LTV- 90% end date Nov 2041
    2016 OPs £255.50/£150
    2017 MFW #20 - OP £1441.10/ £2150. 67%
    Jan- £68.21, Feb- £306.67, March- £272.01 April-£324.05 May £120.33 June £279.15 July: £71.17
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 12th Mar 17, 8:16 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Hippo indeed! But Very Nice livery lady spent an hour grooming him yesterday so we had quality time over an apple instead. Thankfully his coat is growing too, I need to hide my awful job of clipping.
    Such expensive animals but worth it!
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 13th Mar 17, 10:30 PM
    • 2,154 Posts
    • 9,701 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    \Thankfully his coat is growing too, I need to hide my awful job of clipping.
    Such expensive animals but worth it!
    Originally posted by FloppyDisk
    My first horse (TB mare) spent a winter with an arrow on her side because the clippers gave out and then I couldn't be bothered to fix it (and thought it was funny). She was less amused.
    MFW: Dec '13 £197,100 / Dec '14 £180,691 / Dec '15 £161,669 / Dec '16 £119,669 / July '17 £109,097
    Payment 42/84 / 2017 MFW #56: £10,572/£20,000 52% / MFiT-T4 #15: £50,403/£90,000 56%
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 15th Mar 17, 11:16 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    I have seen a few odd jobs thanks to broken clippers, unfortunately I only have myself to blame for this one! I am awful at doing the lines on the legs so tried to go to his knees and blend it in..... wrong.

    Finally narrowing down my remortgage options, whilst trying to keep the future bright. I might even be able to start overpaying properly since Hoss arrived.
    Last edited by FloppyDisk; 15-03-2017 at 11:42 AM.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 16th Mar 17, 4:52 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    On a roll today -

    Packed lunch
    £75 claimed from switching broadband, and a reduction of £12 a month
    Cancelled new house alert emails

    Equity does not a wise investment make!
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 16th Mar 17, 4:58 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Oh and £3.71 TT'd.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 16th Mar 17, 7:53 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    MSE fail, when you can't stick to your meal plan because your previous lodger stole your tin opener. DOH!
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 27th Mar 17, 5:34 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Apologies to anyone enjoying the weather, I have grand plans to make use of the washing line tomorrow, so expect a downpour.

    I think I have just about sorted savings pots for the work to be done this year. Bathroom first, which I'd like to scrape together £3500 for by August. Just having a target should help as I tend to throw any spare pennies at the mortgage, then realise I could have done with the cash. TTs will now be split between the two.

    So - new bathroom fund currently £1,503/£3,500.

    Still awaiting info about communal re-decoration which will be a big hit from the management company, but can only help the value and sales/rental potential of the flat, it's on my radar so will deal with it when I know more.

    Off to take the hoss for a plod and bask in the lovely long evening sun!
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 31st Mar 17, 12:45 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Ooh I like having an actual savings pot! Payday has arrived, £2563 now ready for the bathroom/come what may fund.

    Washing did indeed get rained on, but I have finally changed hoss out of his thick winter wollies and into his summer rugs so I need to get the big ones washed and put away.

    Have a nice relaxed weekend planned so will have time to meal plan and prep for next week. Second job paying out a bonus tomorrow so that will bump up the savings too.

    Only TTs going to the mortgage for now.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 31st Mar 17, 1:12 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Round number OCD struck. Savings £2560. £3.16 TT'd. That's £60.29 for the month. Which is nothing against the depressing £386 interest I paid in the same period. Only 3 more months on that rate thankfully!
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 19th Apr 17, 10:56 AM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    All good plans and that....

    Life just keeps on happening! Still no clear picture on this works due to the building, but rumour mill says 5k to completely redecorate the inside and outside. And we seem to have settled on the idea of significantly upgrading the horsebox as it is being used twice a week and is getting on a bit, so investing in something newish is probably worth while. AND the bathroom is probably going to be more than 3.5k, so looks like I need 20k over the next year to do all of that. Hmmmm.

    I'm torn between releasing some equity or managing it all with a wing, prayer, good timing and 0% credit cards.

    Anyone selling their money tree?
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 20th Apr 17, 4:00 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Spreadsheet tells me I should be able to save £819 this month, based on the assumption I get paid the bonus from my second job, which I was expecting to get paid last month, so perhaps not a good assumption. STILL, it gives me a good motivation boost to see if I can add anything to that and maybe round it up to £1000.

    I managed to argue my way into a free gym membership yesterday, which makes up for my awful feeding regime as usual. I'm working this weekend, which maybe makes up for wasting money on being disorganised food wise, but I suppose it is more like it's a waste of work if I'm letting the rewards slip away!

    Must. Try. Harder.

    Hoss back on DIY next month. Gulp.
    Last edited by FloppyDisk; 20-04-2017 at 4:16 PM.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
    • Watty1
    • By Watty1 21st Apr 17, 11:08 AM
    • 2,713 Posts
    • 19,010 Thanks
    Watty1
    bet the diy horse livery will save a lot though!
    Mortgage at start of diary Sept 2013: £132,995 Aug 2015 £0
    Overpaying next mortgage. £79,491 now £52963
    • FloppyDisk
    • By FloppyDisk 21st Apr 17, 12:11 PM
    • 425 Posts
    • 3,296 Thanks
    FloppyDisk
    Scratch that, vet bill. Insurance should pay out but hole in my account for now.

    Yes DIY will help to the tune of about £400 a month. A few more changes planned too.
    MFW July 2012 £139,642 / July 2017 £112,923
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

2,343Posts Today

8,312Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Byebye! I'm about to stop work & twitter, to instead spend glorious time with Mrs & mini MSE. Wishing u a lovely summer. See u in 10 days.

  • WARNING Did you start Uni in or after 2012? The interest's rising to 6.1%; yet it doesnt work like you think. See https://t.co/IQ8f0Vyetu RT

  • RT @JanaBeee: @MartinSLewis Boris is the anomaly (coffee), the others are versions of normal (beer). Lots of same candidates = vote share d?

  • Follow Martin