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  • FIRST POST
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 17th Jul 16, 8:38 AM
    • 994Posts
    • 3,025Thanks
    MrsSave
    A pound stretching maternity
    • #1
    • 17th Jul 16, 8:38 AM
    A pound stretching maternity 17th Jul 16 at 8:38 AM
    This isn't my first diary on here, but as I'm now at a new chapter of my life I figured a fresh diary would be a good idea.

    I am almost half way through my pregnancy. I'll be 20 weeks in a few days. I also have an almost 3 year old son. I do also have debts. These are:

    1. Loan (set amount of £261.35 each month, except January). I have just over 4 years left on this. This is the result of lots of silly spending over the years, but since deciding to tackle these debts they have not increased so feel much more in control.
    2. Next bill (paying £50 a month at the moment)
    3. Mortgage (paying £601 a month).

    I hate having the loan and the next bill, but I feel in control of them. I know that one day they will be gone.

    Baby/pregnancy

    Dc2 is due just before Christmas. I will be taking 9 months of maternity leave, and will return to work (well actually search for work) next September. I am a teacher and a contract I am on (and have been since last September) is due to end around the same time I'm due to give birth.

    My hours are being cut in September, though. I will be working 1 day per week I will try to top this up with supply work, but will be limited to the days I can work as would need to arrange childcare for ds.

    Thankfully we have most things that we will need for the baby. I think all we have left to buy is a few bits of clothes (especially if we're having a girl) and a changing bag. Other than that I think we're doing ok. We kept everything from ds and have also bought when we have found bargains so are pretty stocked up.

    I've also already bought most of ds' Christmas presents (I know I'm super early). I buy when I see a bargain. I'll wait until closer to the time now to see if there is anything particular he has his eye on (so far, though, he has been too young to ask for anything).

    This all means that there shouldn't be major spending from now on.

    Maternity leave

    I hope I'll be getting maternity pay from work. I'm not permanent but have ticked the criteria for receiving it (worked for the correct amount of time, earnt a certain amount, etc). I'm still waiting to find out for sure. If not, I should be able to get maternity allowance. This bit is a waiting game!!.

    The plan from here on is to budget, budget, budget.

    I'm hoping that having this diary will keep me on plan, and if anyone sees the need to kick my butt, please feel free!!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
Page 16
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 17th Oct 16, 9:10 PM
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    MrsSave
    I haven't been on much over the weekend.......was shattered yesterday and barely moved! Back in work today and have more energy.

    I have cancelled the denplan, and phoned up our local dentist after getting back from work and they are taking on new NHS patients! I've signed the 3 of us up and we've got our first appointment in 2 weeks time.

    Today has been a nsd (though I did buy Chelsea boots from Dorothy Perkins online Over the weekend when they had their 25% off. When I told dh how much they cost he told me to go for it and get them! I'd been after a pair for ages, and the ones I had my eye on were twice the price).

    Tomorrow is my quiet day off home alone! Fingers crossed I'll manage to sleep in a little! Dh has finished painting, and it looks nice. Much brighter and lighter than before. We borrowed a posh vacuum cleaner from my mum with a whole shampooing bit to attach to it and have given the carpet a good clean this evening. Hopefully tomorrow night we can move the furniture back in and set up the Moses basket once the carpet is dry. It costs £30 around here to borrow a carpet cleaner for the weekend, so that's a £30 saving!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 18th Oct 16, 9:44 PM
    • 994 Posts
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    MrsSave
    A lovely, quiet day today. I've had quite a few braxton hicks and some cramping (sorry!) today but I figure that's going to just increase now!

    Today's only spend was our Tesco shop. We got it delivered this week (probably will every week now to make things a little easier) and it came to £44.08, so a little under my £45 budget.

    I've done a few surveys today. My swagbucks is over 100 after cashing in a few days ago, onepoll is 5p short of £25 and my prolific is completely frustrating me. I have 4 or so surveys waiting to pay out and they're taking ages. I have £4.70 ready to go, but can't pay out until it's over £5. I have over £6 waiting.

    I've checked the topcashback account, and there's over £80 waiting to be paid out there. Fingers crossed by the end of the year I can access that! My payday is 1 weeks from today, and I really hope I get a little tax back (I did last month) as November is looking tight!

    Tomorrow is laundry day (though every day currently feels like laundry day.....it's never ending!!). Tomorrow is also slow cooker day, and I've got garlic and lime chicken (I think) in the fridge ready to throw in. May have it with rice.

    There is a fair locally tomorrow, so we'll take ds for a little after dinner. Rides are £1 each so we've said that we'll decide beforehand how much money we'll give (I'm thinking £3 sounds good - that's 3 separate rides) and I may have to pick up some candy floss for me (I love the stuff!!). There's a bigger fair in just under a month's time a little further away, so that will be far more costly and will involve food, etc.
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 19th Oct 16, 5:41 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    Morning Mrs S,
    Glad you enjoyed your day at home. Sounds like you're really getting on well with your budget etc, when's number 2 due? Can't be long if you're getting BH.
    Have a good day
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 19th Oct 16, 8:02 AM
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    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Number 2 is due at the beginning of December, I'm coming up to 33 weeks now. Time is starting to fly now, and I really should get things sorted for this little one's arrival! My plan for this morning is to sort the hospital bag out. I've thought about it a few times, and have got some baby bits out to one side and have bought my toiletries (with Boots points!!). I need to sort through everything now and find a bag that they'll all fit into!

    I've started pinning lots of nice clothes on Pinterest! I guess it's far cheaper doing that than going shopping, especially when things don't fit!! My aim after having baby and losing some of the baby weight is to build a capsule wardrobe in the colours that suit me, and then I'll be able to add some nice pieces to it when I see them/can afford them. I know I'm getting vouchers for Christmas and probably will for my birthday as well which is in the new year so will keep them until I decide to go on a little shopping trip! For now, I'll keep pinning!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 19th Oct 16, 8:24 PM
    • 994 Posts
    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Today I've sorted out my son's bag for when I go into hospital. He'll end up at one of his Grandparent's whilst I'm giving birth so he helped me pack this morning. He initially just wanted to pack all his teddies, until I told him there would be a little while before he went so he may like to keep his teddies with him a little longer!!

    I also went to set the moses basket up after giving all the different bits a wash a few weeks ago, but noticed the liner was stained. I decided to have a good go at getting it like new today, before looking to buy another. I managed it! I soaked it in a stain remover and then washed it at 90 degrees with more of the stain remover. It's drying at the moment, but looks as good as new!

    I've also done some laundry today, but the basket still appears to be full!! Will spend tomorrow on it as well I think. It has been raining on and off all day so I couldn't use the outdoor line. I used the clothes horse instead!

    We took ds to the fair this evening. We discussed with him before going that he could go on 3 rides, and I'm very impressed at the fact that he went on 3 and was then happy. Didn't ask for any more. We spent £6 there altogether.

    I've had a successful day with the surveys. Onepoll is now over £26, I cashed out almost £7 from prolific, with another £7.50 waiting to be approved, which I can then cash out, and am just a little short of 200 swagbucks now.

    I did place an order for Mothercare, which came to £8.95. It was for pregnancy things for me, and I went through topcashback so will get a few pence back!

    My shoes from Dorothy Perkins arrived. I wore the boots to the fair this evening......I like them!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 20th Oct 16, 9:47 AM
    • 994 Posts
    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Sorted the laundry into piles.......there's loads I've cleaned the downstairs toilet this morning, need to do the bathroom as well. Add to that the living room needs a good dust and a hoover and the hallway floor needs a clean I then must, must, must sort out these hospital bags and give the whole of upstairs a good tidy. I'm saying it every day at the moment in the hope that I'll actually do it!!! The baby will be here before I pack anything in a bag!

    I need to take a parcel to the post office today to return some of the Dorothy Perkins shoes (I ordered 2 sizes as I never know what size will fit!!). It's got a prepaid return label so no cost there. In fact today should be a nsd. 5 days until my payday. Please, please be the 'I think I'll get' amount and not the 'the minimum I'll get is' amount.

    Right, I should be doing housework and not browsing/reading/window shopping/typing!!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 20th Oct 16, 3:38 PM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    33 weeks along, you must be well into 'heavy and uncomfortable' now, I hope you're getting chance to rest. Well done on getting the basket liner scrubbed up, nice to save the price of a new one especially as they are in it for such short time. I know what you mean about laundry, never ending in this house, can't imagine what it'll be like with two, especially dreading the poo-nami baby grows of the new born phase.
    • hannahroberts1985
    • By hannahroberts1985 20th Oct 16, 4:36 PM
    • 509 Posts
    • 859 Thanks
    hannahroberts1985
    Afternoon Mrs Save,

    Your sounding very organised! Wanna know a secret we've only just today set up our bed nest and I haven't finished my hospital bag!! I'm a !!!!!!! X
    OD £1200 Now£0Credit Card 0% £2272.20 Now:£1912 Loan£4540.84 Now:£3959.14 Next account: £49Now £17[£1017 Now:£741.26
    Total Debt June 2016 £8996.47 Now:[COLOR="DarkOrchid"]£6599.40/COLOR]26% down
    Savings:£1875 Car fund:£150 Christmas fund £0 Birthday fund £60
    Noodle June 2016: 548 Now: 581 ClearScore: July 2016:448 msescore:791
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 21st Oct 16, 2:23 PM
    • 994 Posts
    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    Didn't make it on last night, had a rough day yesterday. I think in my head I could get around and clean the whole house......my body said no after a few hours and I felt awful for the rest of the day. I cried 3 times, and I'm not someone who gets emotional! Ds was left to play for most of the day, or just left in front of the tv. I felt so guilty. So this morning I took him to soft play and he loved it. We've had a lovely morning, and he's now at school so I get to sit and rest.

    We did end up going out for dinner last night after I sent dh an sos text (or a "what time will you be home from work?" Text, which he knows means "I'm really not having a good day"). He told me not to think about cooking and as soon as he got home he suggested we all go out. It came to just under £20, which isn't too bad for 3 meals and drinks.

    I'm still working away on the surveys. I've got 340 swagbucks (half way to my next voucher), £26.70/£40 onepoll and enough for another prolific payout if only people would approve!!

    Dh had an email yesterday to say he wasn't successful with applying for the new job. To be honest I'm not surprised, and neither was he. He has no experience at all (and didn't ask for any help with his cv which worries me!! I'm such a control freak I'd need things like that to be spot on). The email did say that they had a very high number of applicants. At least he has a job, it was just a case of no harm in trying.

    Hannah, I can't believe you haven't finished your hospital bag!! Mine is in progress now, but with ds it was finished by 30 weeks Though saying that, I did unpack it again once I was in labour, decided I needed more pyjamas and sent dh shopping, which is a 15 minute drive away. My labour was only just over 8 hours start to end so I may not try that this time! As soon as he got home, I had to go into hospital!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 21st Oct 16, 4:02 PM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    I did think you were a bit ambitious with your cleaning plans yesterday MrsS, well done for even tackling some of it though. Have you got your freezer well stocked ready for the arrival? I remember that being a total life saver for us! We were lucky as DS was born in early Jan so I was able to stock up on all the 'oven ready' meal deal stuff that Mr T had in the reduced section because clearly everyone was still eating turkey not Lasagne- just had to read the labels for what could be cooked from frozen.

    Well done on all those surveys, I have tried but really find them such a drag for the money they make- but every little counts I guess.

    I hope you have a more restful day today and a quiet (as possible with a little one) weekend ahead
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 21st Oct 16, 4:45 PM
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    MrsSave
    Thank you. I've got quite a few slow cooker meals all prepped in the freezer that just need defrosting and then throwing in the slow cooker. Will be preparing another load next week which should give us 2 meals a week until the new year! I've also started stocking up on microwave rice (not budget friendly but so convenient!)! I do need to think of a few other 'easy' meals ready! Frozen lasagne and things like that sound like a fab idea, and will make sure we've got plenty of fish fingers and sausages! I do like the fresh pasta and sauce, and they only take minutes so will be adding them to the weekly shop!

    It looks like unhealthy eating for the foreseeable future We're also hosting Christmas this year (I think I'm mad!) so if baby is a week or 2 late (please don't be!!) there will be plenty of Christmas foods in and we'll live off buffet type foods!

    I've tried surveys a few times, but I think I used to try too many at one time an drew get fed up. This time I'm sticking with these 3, and they seem to be worth it. Especially as I'm home whilst ds is at school so can spend a little time on them. Prolific is a very good one. You don't get many surveys, but when you do they're worth £1-£2 each on average.
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 21st Oct 16, 9:51 PM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    I love the sound of those 'dump dinners' and should probably have a go at some myself, not seen too many vegetarian ones but I bet they are out there if I just have a look.
    If you do make up some lasagne/cottage pie type things then I'd say definitely worth splashing out on a few foil containers so you just have to chuck them in the oven (and avoid washing up).

    I can't believe that you offered to host Christmas, or that your guests are letting you to be frank, but like you say, it'll be a good excuse to have plenty of easy leftovers in the house. Who cares if it's not that healthy, in those early weeks just being fed is an achievement!

    I'm so gutted that I forgot about survey etc when I was on maternity. I spent literally hours parked on the sofa under a sleeping baby, I could've been a millionaire if I'd been swagbucks-ing and survey-ing with Gossip Girl on in the background!

    Enjoy your weekend
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 22nd Oct 16, 12:56 PM
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    MrsSave
    I did give people a condition with their invite.........to cook and wash up! I think ds would prefer to be at home with his new things, I really don't want to be traipsing around the county with a newborn and to be honest I'll just want to be home. I'm spending More on Christmas food this year by ordering a few bits from Marks and Spencer. It will make life a lot simpler though. I'm not making anything from scratch and I won't be peeling spuds for hours! I can also head up to bed for a snooze if I fancy and leave people to play with ds!

    I've managed another £5 Marks voucher from swagbucks this morning. They take up to 10 days to come through, but it means I will now have £35 vouchers to spend on extra food bits. I plan to go to a Marks food store soon to stock up on things that won't go off. Nibbles, nuts, crisps, pop, etc. I need to make a proper list.

    I've also packed my hospital bag this morning. I just need to put an extra bag together that will stay in the boot, which will have extra bits in it and food in case I'm in a few days. It means that dh won't have to panic about what to bring!

    Dh is looking after/spending time with ds today as he's been working the past few weekends. It means I get a chance to do nothing! They're off out this afternoon so I'll get some proper peace and quiet!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 22nd Oct 16, 3:14 PM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    Actually that sounds like not a bad plan so long as they do cook and wash up!

    Can you buy those storing bits from Aldi? A couple each week with a few £ scrimped from your food bill and then put vouchers to the main food? For two reasons 1. That way you have a fixed budget for fresh food when the time comes 2. I'd bet money you won't notice the value of the extra cost on snack foods as much as you will on fresh stuff! Imagine if you managed to cater Christmas without any extra spends...
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 22nd Oct 16, 3:57 PM
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    MrsSave
    I can see your reasoning, but I won't be heading near any shops to buy fresh things a few days before Christmas. I'll be getting the fresh things delivered by Tesco because there's no telling how newborn the baby will be. If I go as far over as I did with ds1, then this one will be born on the 23rd December. I was then in hospital for another 3 days, so I'm planning to be out sooner this time. I have been buying bits and pieces each week with our normal shop that falls within our budget. We already have the stuffing, streaky bacon, croissants for breakfast (part baked, frozen - they're really tasty!), Christmas pud, and quite a few other bits.

    If it was any other year, I'd probably agree with you, but it's definitely going to be a case of what's easy this year, and by getting a food delivery sorted then I can arrange for someone to be here if I'm otherwise engaged!!
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 23rd Oct 16, 10:40 AM
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    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    A productive morning so far. Dh has taken ds out for a run on the beach with their kite, so I've wrapped ds's Christmas gifts. I will admit to having watched a Christmas film at the same time! Christmas with the Kranks! Just a shame I couldn't have a glass of Buck's Fizz to help me along

    I now need to hide the gifts in the baby's cot! I love the fact ds is still too young to look for gifts! I think next year may be different (though all Santa's gifts are hidden at my mum's.....just in case). All I've got left to wrap now are the baby's gifts, the stocking fillers, dh's gifts and family and friend gifts. Not many then Oh, and a gift from the children to each other (so funny saying children........more than 1....... )
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Jacko_amz
    • By Jacko_amz 23rd Oct 16, 5:40 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    Jacko_amz
    Hi mrssave,

    Your so prepared its really good!

    Just wanted to ask a question regarding the using ur credit card for household bills and then paying it off in full at end of the month, do you pay it off after your monthly statement has come through or before that? I'm thinking about getting a tesco one to get the points

    Amy x
    Trying to create a better future!

    Total debt at worst - £19325
    Debts currently Oct 2016 - 15394
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 23rd Oct 16, 9:26 PM
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    • 3,025 Thanks
    MrsSave
    It's more everyday spends I use the card for instead of bills. I pay it off in full after the statement comes through. Usually the same day. I always make sure the money is sitting in a separate account so that it's there waiting to be paid off. It's definitely good for getting points, which we use for days out/eating out. You do need to be disciplined to make sure you can pay it off in full every month, though.
    Emergency fund #16 £20/£1000
    Loan repayments: 15/60 Overpayment total: £25
    Check out my debt free diary 'A Pound Stretching Maternity' below:
    • Jacko_amz
    • By Jacko_amz 23rd Oct 16, 9:29 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 209 Thanks
    Jacko_amz
    It's more everyday spends I use the card for instead of bills. I pay it off in full after the statement comes through. Usually the same day. I always make sure the money is sitting in a separate account so that it's there waiting to be paid off. It's definitely good for getting points, which we use for days out/eating out. You do need to be disciplined to make sure you can pay it off in full every month, though.
    Originally posted by MrsSave
    I will have a think about this, i use the envelope system so the money is always separate so it could work well Thank you x
    Trying to create a better future!

    Total debt at worst - £19325
    Debts currently Oct 2016 - 15394
    • Katzen
    • By Katzen 24th Oct 16, 6:55 AM
    • 493 Posts
    • 1,591 Thanks
    Katzen
    Hi Jacko,
    I do this for my online shopping for the extra security. If you wish you can set up a direct debit to take the full amount each month but, as Mrs S says you have to be disciplined, if you miss the full payment by even a penny then next month they can charge you interest on the whole lot from the previous month. Mine works like this:
    Bill is released on 7th of month, and the DD comes out around the 1st of the following month. So if I buy something on 8th oct, it will appear on the bill for 7th Nov and be paid for on 1st Dec.
    Nothing to stop you doing it manually like MrsS though
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