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  • FIRST POST
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 29th Aug 16, 10:50 AM
    • 471Posts
    • 4,306Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    It's time for a money diet...
    • #1
    • 29th Aug 16, 10:50 AM
    It's time for a money diet... 29th Aug 16 at 10:50 AM
    My money diet

    Edit: for 2017

    So, first things first, a little bit about me!

    My name is Laura, I'm 29, live with my fianc!, Tom (hence forth known as 'the boy') and I lightbulb switched on fairly recently!

    I know it's not very MSE but we don't pool all our money together. Tom has recently been promoted (Feb 2017). Tom earns a little more than me, but at the moment we're not quite sure what the difference will be.

    We have a joint account which covers bills, food shopping and this is where we are growing our emergency savings pot. We both but an equal share into the joint account, currently £850 each, we both contribute £100 each to savings account (for our wedding but this will increase substantially over this year).

    I know where the problem is - I was looking at the sums in the joint account and realised that the extra £100 we were putting into the account (for the emergency fund) was being swallowed up by thoughtless spending - things we don't need like cushions and throws. We moved last year to our first home and my attempt of trying to make our home nice is resulting in all our money disappearing. We were trying to add an extra £100 into the account once a month but at the end of the month our outgoings outweighed what was coming in.

    For example - some months have seen £1,410 going into the joint account and £1,495 went out. Part of this was down to a card payment to B and Q and £50 I withdrew to go out!!!!

    This has to stop. We're not in a terrible state - we have a few joint debts (mortgage, 0% finance for sofa) and personal ones (both cars are on finance) and we are paying all our debts on time but we could be better at this!!! On a plus side I am overpaying on my credit card so that it's clear before 0% ends but I've got to put my foot down somewhere before it spirals out of control. (This is now paid off!!)

    Our house is a bit of a fixer-upper which needs some work doing to it. Well, a lot of work doing to it but I have to prioritise this and plan/budget accordingly. One room a year is the plan (and we've spent about £2,300 on the living room dining room as it is and it's not finished yet (this included a plasterer and new radiators as well as paint plus the sofa). We can't get anything else on finance. We'll just have to save, cue this diary and our money diet!!!

    2017 Plan

    MBNA Card - this needs to be paid off before 16th February. Done!

    Emergency Fund - Target of £1,000 (target of £750 until the wedding as extra money will be pumped into wedding fund).

    2017 is all about saving money for the wedding. That is the main priority - we've moved our wedding forward to accommodate my grandad so it's inevitable some will be placed on a Credit Card, but the least amount the better!

    NEW - Wedding fund plan

    Dec 2016 - £200 into wedding account - Done
    Jan 2017 - £200 into wedding account - Done
    Feb 2017 - £300 into wedding account (extra 50 as credit card should have been paid off by then and Tom's pay rise will start Feb) - Done
    March 2017 - £300 into wedding account Done
    April 2017- £400 into wedding account (Emergency fund should be adequate at this point) - Done
    May 2017 - £400 into wedding account - Done
    June 2017 - £400 into wedding account
    July 2017 - £470 into wedding account (sofa will have now been paid off so extra £70 into wedding fund)
    August 2017 - £470 into wedding account
    September 2017 - £470 into wedding account
    October 2017 - £470 into wedding account

    This will be tough - no mistaking it, but it will be worth it. Wedding will be 5th November 2017! Tom received a promotion this year so we'll need to see what difference that will make to his take-home pay. We'll find that out at the end of Feb.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 01-06-2017 at 9:29 AM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
Page 2
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 6th Sep 16, 9:22 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    6th September

    I have cancelled Netflix today - I only use it to watch pretty little liars and The Originals, they've pretty much finished for now. When it's back I might pay for it again for as long as it's on and cancel it again!!

    That will be a saving of £7.49 a month - not loads but every penny counts, right?

    I have a really good productive day today - I am quite pleased with myself! I have cleaned the bedroom and sorted out the wardrobe. It is all clean and tidy now.

    I also went for a nice long walk around Shipley Park today with the dog and have packed my bag for Wales. I'm hoping I don't spend too much really but at least I have planned it out!!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 06-09-2016 at 8:09 PM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Jumblerina
    • By Jumblerina 8th Sep 16, 6:27 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    Jumblerina
    Sound like you've been a really busy bee LL love your plans too

    JB
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 11th Sep 16, 12:30 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    11th September

    So I'm back from Wales! I had a fantastic time and what's more I'm now engaged!!!!

    So this diary will become even more important as we're trying to save for our wedding!!!! I'm super excited about this and have a rough savings plan for 2017 (hoping to get married 2018) - but we need to visit venues and find one we like in budget!!!

    So rough savings plan is as follows (starting from December because of Christmas etc)

    Dec 2016 - £200 into wedding account
    Jan 2017 - £200 into wedding account
    Feb 2017 - £250 into wedding account (extra 50 as credit card should have been paid off by then!)
    March 2017 - £250 into wedding account
    April 2017 - £350 into wedding account (should now have £1,000 emergency float so extra in wedding funds)
    May 2017 - £350 into wedding account
    June 2017 - £350 into wedding account
    July 2017 - £420 into wedding account (sofa will have now been paid off so extra £70 into wedding fund)
    August 2017 - £420 into wedding account
    September 2017 - £420 into wedding account
    October 2017 - £420 into wedding account
    November 2017 - £420 into wedding account
    December 2017 - £420 into wedding account

    Total = £4,470

    This should be doable!!! Here's to saving!!!!!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 11-09-2016 at 4:03 PM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Jumblerina
    • By Jumblerina 13th Sep 16, 12:17 PM
    • 195 Posts
    • 641 Thanks
    Jumblerina
    Congratulations LL what lovely news and I'm loving the look of your wedding savings plan
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 28th Sep 16, 5:52 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Thank you.

    Wednesday 28th September

    I've been awol lately due to rubbish internet! But it appears to be working again so I'm back!

    This month has been a positive month. In my absence I've not fallen off the wagon, in fact I'm very happy with things! I'm not in my overdraft (yey), pay-day is Friday so I should avoid it altogether!

    I have a measly £20 in the wedding fund at the moment but it's more than be budgeted for so that's positive!!!

    And - the emergency float has gone up by £102!!!!! I'm really pleased about this! First time we've managed it since May!!!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 28-09-2016 at 7:25 PM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 29th Sep 16, 9:08 AM
    • 912 Posts
    • 3,161 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    Wow, you're really making progress! It's so nice when things go your way and help keep you positive
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 29th Sep 16, 9:11 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    October 2016 Goals

    So, I'm going to really try and plan for next month. I want to save as much as I can without feeling like I'm missing out on things and there are a couple of outings in October that I will plan for.

    I know I'm going for a meal this month on the 15th October - it's a friends birthday. I've allocated £50 for that night out and do not intend on overspending. £50 should do fine.

    After taking out bills, a £100 to go straight into my savings and food shopping/petrol I've left myself with £10 spending money a week. I do not have to spend this (and with a 15 day Non Spend Challenge for the month I'll try not too!) but at least it's there!

    I'm also hoping that the emergency fund will hit £500 this month which will be an achievement - we'll be half way there!

    I'm also starting a new job Monday - I'll be spending less petrol and walking more so hopefully the extra exercise will help with my weight loss goals.

    I'm planning on significantly adding to the Wedding Fund today - I was given a lot of gold jewellery that I won't ever wear (it's not my style) and I plan on selling some this today so go towards the wedding. Every little helps!!!
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 29th Sep 16, 2:53 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Wedding fund update

    So, I sold some gold today and got £1,330 for it!!! That will do nicely!!!
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 29th Sep 16, 3:14 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 3,161 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    Wedding fund update

    So, I sold some gold today and got £1,330 for it!!! That will do nicely!!!
    Originally posted by Lauralozzle
    WOW!!!

    How much did you sell?
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 29th Sep 16, 5:43 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Quite a bit to be fair - gold chains mainly and a few hideous looking rings. I'm pretty pleased with what I got for it though. It just sitting there in the jewellery box never being worn (and I would never wear the stuff, it was not my style at all). Much better use of it in my savings account!
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Poppy3008
    • By Poppy3008 29th Sep 16, 8:26 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 422 Thanks
    Poppy3008
    Wow, I have some gold necklaces and bracelet my dad bought me from Dubai with the instruction to sell when needed. Must look into what I might get. Good work!
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 30th Sep 16, 10:54 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Friday 30th September

    Payday has arrived! I have not gone into the overdraft which is good.

    £700 straight into the joint account
    £50 straight into the wedding fund (Tom put £50 in too).

    I'm seriously considering doing something not very MSE. The plan for the wedding was 2018 so we could save up for it and at all in cash. The problem is I would very much like my grandad to be there and if I'm being honest, I don't think he'll make it to to 2018. He is quite ill (he has terminal leukaemia and is often in and out of hospital frequently) and so I have been thinking about moving it to Nov 2017. We'll still save hard but might have to pay for venue on 0% credit card. He might not make it to Nov 2017 but there is much more of a chance!

    I think if I was to take the credit option a 0% purchases card would be the best bet as we wouldn't be paying interest but it would mean increasing our debt for the short term.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 30th Sep 16, 4:42 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 3,161 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    If it is important for you to have him there, then it makes perfect sense.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st Oct 16, 3:55 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    I've had a word with Tom about moving it forward - he doesn't like the idea of putting it on credit but I think it's the only way forward. (We just don't earn enough to save that amount of money!)

    Saturday 1st October

    Today has been a productive day! I've felt pretty rough today (damn that time of the month) but have made steps towards our goals! Made an overpayment on Credit card (minimum payment will come out later this month) and I've updated my 'debts' in my signature to reflect this. I really like seeing very thing reduce each month!!!!

    Tom's doing some overtime tomorrow from home!!! Double and a half pay for six hours. He'll get taxed horribly but the extra made will go straight into wedding fund end of this month!!!

    I'm also declaring today a NSD - so that's 1/15 done! I've also managed to hit my 10,000 steps a day target too.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 9th Oct 16, 12:10 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Sunday 9th October

    So, I've been chipping away at the credit card debt which is now sitting at £206! If I have some money left over I may well try and clear this a little sooner! £206 shouldn't be too difficult to clear at all!!!

    Today has been a NSD which I'm pretty pleased with. I'm hoping for at least 3 NSD next week!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 09-10-2016 at 3:28 PM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Thistle-down
    • By Thistle-down 19th Oct 16, 1:02 PM
    • 912 Posts
    • 3,161 Thanks
    Thistle-down
    How's it all going, Laura? Any updates?
    • LauraB89
    • By LauraB89 31st Oct 16, 3:13 PM
    • 160 Posts
    • 376 Thanks
    LauraB89
    This is slightly off-topic but just a coincidence - hi I am Laura, looking to pay off my debts and save up to marry my OH... Tom...!

    Looks like you're further down the road than I am

    Will be reading this diary for sure!
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 27th Dec 16, 3:36 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    December 27th 2016

    I haven't updated for a while! I've been not totally fallen off the wagon but I must admit I've not been fantastic either!

    As pay day is Friday I'll update on state of affairs on Thursday. I've not gone backwards, I just haven't done as well as I'd hoped.

    I can confirm that the wedding is booked! We have decided to move the wedding forward because of my grandad. The wedding is November 5th 2017 - so, saving hard is my number one priority for 2017 as I want as little as possible to go onto the credit card. Tom has had a promotion so next year we should see the fruits of that, it's not much but it's better than nothing!!!

    Pay day is on Friday and that is when I'll throw myself back into this full swing!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 27-12-2016 at 3:47 PM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 28th Dec 16, 8:41 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Wednesday 28 December

    So, I've had a look in the joint account - things are looking good. Tom's back at work today, I'm back tomorrow so I'll get the house sorted today.

    One of our Christmas presents was a £50 saving stamps to use at Tesco so I'll pop over to Tesco today and get some bits in. I can't face cold turkey again so I think I'll get some pastry and make a pie to use the rest of the leftovers. After that we don't really have much in. I'll also go to the butchers because after the turkey we have no meat in the house and it's always easier to get this in when one of us is off (the butchers on a Saturday is mayhem!)

    Healthy eating will also return today. Usually I'll end up paying for slimming world or weight watchers but I'll use MyFitnessPal - it will be much, much cheaper to do so. It's just about being sensible really - no more cafe Nero coffee and no more white chocolate and raspberry muffins!! I've just weigh myself and it's not good!!! 11 stone 9.2 lbs - target is s to be at 11stone 5 by end of January

    I've also set up a spreadsheet with our outgoings on so I can keep track of them. Our outgoings are high at the moment but they'll go down as things are paid off this year (namely credit card, sofa and I know Tom is still paying for my engagement ring until June/July time).

    I'll post our outgoings later.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 28-12-2016 at 9:17 AM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 28th Dec 16, 10:36 AM
    • 471 Posts
    • 4,306 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Okay,

    So here is a rough estimate of our joint outgoings

    There's money left for our individual outgoings too but I will try and cut this back where I can. We're saving - but we also don't want to spend our lives saving and not having enough to do anything!! It's all about balance!

    My salary: £1228.14
    Tom's salary: £1228.14 (this will go up when he starts his new job)
    Total income: £2456.28

    Joint account expenses (monthly - based on December 2016)

    Mortgage: £504.08
    Council Tax: £124
    Contents/Building Insurance: £14.94
    Gas/Electricity: £83 - we're in credit though (£132 worth of credit - I submitted latest readings today so should be accurate)
    Water rates: £39.55
    Sky (tv, phone, broadband): £45
    Tom's mobile: £15
    My mobile: £34
    Netflix: £5.99 (this will go again the moment I've watched new series of vampire diaries ��) I get it - binge on updated shows then cancel it, I then get it again when others are updated and so the cycle continues! Better than just paying for it all year round.

    Sofa: £78.34 (0% Apr)
    Tom's car: £151.68 (9% Apr)
    My car: £187.28 (7.9% Apr)

    Food shopping (includes food, household items, dog food): £300. This is high - but any left over goes straight to emergency fund.

    Wedding fund: £200 (for now - this will go up)
    Emergency fund: £100

    Total: £1894.98

    My personal outgoings:

    Credit card: £25 minimum (but I plan on paying this off in the next two months as 0% ends Feb so it'll be £60 when I get paid and £60 again on January payday)
    Specsavers contact lenses: £23
    Car insurance: £27
    Petrol: £50

    So this leaves me about £100 spending money for the month after everything. Which is doable!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 28-12-2016 at 10:43 AM.
    December grocery challenge £129.31/£250 | December NSD 2/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £8,053 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
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