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  • FIRST POST
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 29th Aug 16, 10:50 AM
    • 375Posts
    • 2,941Thanks
    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
    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; 01-05-2017 at 1:21 PM.
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
Page 6
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 11th Mar 17, 12:30 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    I bet Costalotts do something similar. It's the only way I can think of keeping it under control but not depriving myself. I don't need to deprive myself - the amount that goes onto the card might change depending on my monthly spending budget but if I cut it out completely I get so demotivated and feel poor and depressed! We're doing okay really - we have debts but they're not horrible, we're saving for our wedding, after the wedding we'll be saving to get the house sorted. I need to remind myself that the fact we can save is a positive.

    I'm on 5 NSD - should make it to 6 today. If my plan works I should hit this months target!

    I need to keep an eye on my current account though - I got hit with an overdraft fee last month 6 because I was overdrawn by 1.50 for 1 day. Need to make sure that doesn't happen again!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 11th Mar 17, 10:23 PM
    • 10,537 Posts
    • 67,753 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Your doing great with all the savings.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 12th Mar 17, 4:10 PM
    • 503 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    Yes! Do not get stung with those overdraft charges if you can help it!
    End Sep 2016 End April 2017
    8236.57 6670.91
    (Tesco 4.8%) 222.61pcm
    6185.75 1779.78 (Zopa 4.0%) 85.00pcm

    5344.50
    3394 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) 76.00pcm
    2000.00 (Sister 0%) 133.33pcm

    Total debt
    19.766.82 13,844.69 Original DFD May 2019.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 13th Mar 17, 7:05 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 13th March

    Right, so here's hoping for a good week. At least the weather looks pleasant enough today - I have a long day at work ahead as I'm minus 5 hours so I need to keep trying to chip away at it to get it even. Then I'll try and add on some hours and take a flexible day I think.

    Nothing special with the debt/savings busting at the moment. Just keep plodding along, although it does get a little boring when there's nothing else to keep adding to it mid-way through a month.
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 16th Mar 17, 3:53 PM
    • 503 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    Still plodding Laura? Nearly the end of the week. It does get boring I admit, especially when you are doing well. Just because you aren't adding mid-way doesn't mean your standing still. You're still making progress!
    End Sep 2016 End April 2017
    8236.57 6670.91
    (Tesco 4.8%) 222.61pcm
    6185.75 1779.78 (Zopa 4.0%) 85.00pcm

    5344.50
    3394 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) 76.00pcm
    2000.00 (Sister 0%) 133.33pcm

    Total debt
    19.766.82 13,844.69 Original DFD May 2019.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 26th Mar 17, 6:22 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Still plodding along - I've been quiet due to work and falling asleep on the sofa as soon as I get back home!

    Things have been going well although we've gone over our food budget this month, however, that's mainly to do with the massive meat bulk buy at the beginning of the month and we've still got a lot of that left to last most of next month! Also had another bulk buy for dog food - we should have enough to last at least two months now though.

    I've had a very tiring weekend - lots of cleaning and we've been out in the garden sorting it out. Must keep on top of it this year - the weather was perfect though. it did mean there were unexpected buys this weekend though - such as a new hose as ours was rubbish and leaking. Also got a few new plants and some bark for plant bedding. Some things just cost what they cost I guess!

    Once everything's updated in the bank I'll run through the overspends!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 27th Mar 17, 7:16 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 27 March

    I am up bright and early this morning, yet it still feels like I've got nothing done! I'm so slow in the mornings everything takes me twice as long. I'm counting down the (3) weeks I have until I take some annual leave. I can't wait. I need some time for me.

    I am planning on a NSD today so fingers crossed!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 28th Mar 17, 6:45 AM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Tuesday 28 March

    So, the damage is in! Food shopping is over by 45 for the month but we've still got loads of meat left so I'm not so bothered by that. Should be much less next month.

    The emergency fund is only up by 40 as all the house bits and bobs have cost more than I would have liked. I'm hoping that the fact I've got two weeks off next month will result in spend-free days. I plan on painting the hallway woodwork though so will have to pay for that. That should keep me nice and busy at least!

    At least we've not eaten into the existing emergency fund which is a plus.
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 2nd Apr 17, 5:19 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Sunday 2nd April

    So, the end of last month went to pot. I'm looking to turn it around this month. I have 2 weeks off this month and I'm looking forward to them, just two weeks at work to go. I'm planning on painting the hallway to freshen it up a bit so that should keep me busy.

    I got a phone call on Friday telling me my wedding dress is in! I'm trying it on, on the 20th and will need to buy my bridal underwear for then. It's come in much earlier than I thought it would! I'm also hoping to get on with some wedding prep during my time off too as well as attend my dads wedding! I e also got to sort out Tom's birthday! He'll be 31 on the 19th and I want to do something nice for him So, a busy month is to be had!

    I've lowered my shopping budget and dropped that down to 250 for the month. The extra 50 will be our entertainment budget for the month. We've already spent 26 of that on a lunch out today - we went to visit the new extension at the wedding venue - there's a new bridal suite and an extra room for drinks before the ceremony. just need to check if that will be an added cost. The food there is delicious!

    First shopping spend today was in Asda - 17.99 on lunch things for the week. Yesterday was a NSD - the aim this month is to make it to 16 NSD. Hopefully I'll manage it!

    I've also mini-blitzed the house - I'll do a through clean (spring clean I guess) when I'm off work.

    So, here's to a (hopefully) productive month!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 3rd Apr 17, 6:36 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 3rd April

    So, today I have bagged a NSD. I'm now at 2/16.

    Good day at work - got in early so finished at 4:45 which is much nicer than the 6:00PM I was regularly seeing last week. It gives me time to make dinner - clean a little and not feel completely exhausted. I've also got Tom to clean the bathroom whilst I cook dinner, that seems only fair! I gave him two options - prepare all the food for dinner (peeling and chopping veggies) or clean bathroom. He picked the bathroom saves me a job!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 4th Apr 17, 10:01 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Tuesday 4th April

    Had a fantastic evening with my friend - lots of wedding talk. Just what I needed.

    Will have a longer shift tomorrow as I'm covering phone shift until five but I still have hours to make up so that should go some towards it.

    Also bagged another NSD today! Yey! Now at 3/16 so getting there!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 5th Apr 17, 6:34 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Wednesday 5th April

    Bagged another NSD - now at 4/16. I'm very pleased with this so far. I'm hoping I can make Thursday and Friday a NSD too - the less money I spend this month the better!

    Had a good day at work, tomorrow should also be fairly productive. I must make sandwiches this evening though, we left late this morning because I hadn't made them. I'll be less bothered when my hours look better - but until I'm at least even I will keep fretting I think.

    I'd much rather be positive - then I can build some up for a day off!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 6th Apr 17, 7:41 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Thursday 6th April

    Another NSD now I'm at 5/16! This is undoubtedly the best I've done so far!

    I'm also using up what we have in the fridge/cupboards/freezer but I think when I'm off I'll have to do a big meat shop. We're okay for now but it won't last the month.

    I had a long day at work today but I really think by tomorrow I'll be even with the flexi so then I can concentrate on building it up for a day off!

    Other than that I don't have much to mention - just keep plugging away!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 7th Apr 17, 6:16 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Friday 7th April

    So, today has been a mixed bag. I am generally ok but I learned today that my grandmother (maternal side) passed away. This was coming so I'm not shocked - I'm not sure how to feel really. I wasn't particularly close to her - in the cast couple of years I only saw her a handful of times. I'm sad but I don't feel upset, which makes me question whether I'm a horrible person.

    She was a very generous, good women. I feel like I should feel more upset about it...

    She was very ill though so it's good that she's no longer in pain, wasting away with cancer.

    I have bagged another NSD - I'm now at 6/16. 10 more to go!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 17th Apr 17, 2:45 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 7th April

    I've been plodding along... some good, some bad.

    I'm now on 8 NSD - less than I would like and we folded on Saturday after my dads wedding and ordered pizza.

    When the spends show up on my card I'll report the damage!

    I have a busy week this week. Today we relax, but tomorrow I tackle the hallway. Tom point blank refused to go to B and Q today to get paint etc but I will go in the morning. I'm thinking white paint for the hallway - this is just to clean it up. No point in spending lots of money until we can afford to get replastered and the dreadful artex removed, but at least a quick splash of paint will lighten it up until we can afford to sort it out properly.

    So, ceiling first, then walls, and then the dreaded dark wood that makes the room so gloomy in the first place! I'm guessing that will take quite a few coats. But I'll work whilst he's at work.

    My wedding dress has also arrived!! Yey!! Go to Try it on on Thursday - but this will mean another spend as I'll have to buy my wedding underwear.

    So, very busy week to be had but I am looking forward to it!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st May 17, 1:46 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 1st May

    Where is this year going?

    Pay day was on Friday so money has been moved across the accounts.

    I have to admit, the emergency fund is not adequate at the moment so I am go in to have to challenge myself to make up the shortfall via savings in food. Last month ended up being quite expensive. As per our 'room a year' plan I've cleaned up the hallway. This included painting all the walls white to clean them up and painting the dark skirting, stairs and doors white. I have also purchased a radiator cover for the hallway to hide the ugly radiator and provide a useful counter top to put things on. All in it has cost about 200 as we needed a lot of undercoat/eggshell paint. I have even cleaned the carpet. That will have to do until we can afford to properly get the artex bonded/skimmed over, and have a new carpet for the stairs and landing. This job will properly be in a couple of years so this is as good a stop-gap as I can do for now and I must say, the house looks much better for it. The hallway was a pet hate of mine - so dark and gloomy.

    We also had an unexpected vet bill - Charlie suffers from bad allergies and his scratching got way out of hand. So off to the vets we went, 90.05 later we have some tablet for him to help his allergies which are working a treat. His coat looks much better already and his scratching has stopped a lot. We also got a good steroid cream to put on any hot spots. The cream will last ages, but he will have to be on the tablets for the rest of his life. It's worth it though - he is so much better on them but we know the moment he goes off them it will all start up again. There's not much we can do about it to be honest - they are seasonal airborne allergies which he now has all year round. They just get worse in spring-autumn. He's had allergies since he was about 1 and the vet said it's normal for them to get worse with age.

    This has resulted in me adapting the budget to cover the cost of these tablets. We will get a repeat prescription off the vet and one months worth is about 30 so I've had to factor that in. We've also been told that he will have to have a check-up every six months as it's long-term. So, 40 has now been set aside in the budget every month to accommodate the tablets and increased trips to the vet which will also incur the lovely vet consultation charge. We can't get help on insurance as it's a pre existing condition.

    Still, I'm happy we had the money to cover it and that is what the emergency fund is there for. Before I think we would have worried about how we could cover it and would end up in our overdraft.

    In an effort to spend as little as possible in the supermarkets this month and still eat well and enjoy a glass of wine during our weekends I am going to try and clear out the fridge and freezer. I should have enough food to go some way if I get a little creative. I am also going to veto takeaways this month. I can't make savings anywhere else so it has to come out of the food budget.

    I am also hoping to reach 16 NSD this month, more if possible and will have to seriously cut down my takeaway coffee spends. I would really like to build up some flexi at work for a day off this month (even though I've just had two weeks annual leave off to sort out the hallway). I've worked out that I have ten (I think) days holiday left until October and I would like to spread those into two separate weeks off during the summer - maybe a week off in July and September.

    Plans for this month

    Reach 16 NSD

    Prepare lunch/work bag the night before

    Defrost/prep dinner for the next day the night before so we are not tempted to have a takeaway.

    Keep on top of the house. I might give Fly-Lady Challenge a go for this. We will see.

    Log all of my food in my food diary - lose 4 lbs at least and keep an eye on my macros intake.

    This will be tough but I'll give it all I've got!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Ladykernow
    • By Ladykernow 1st May 17, 1:50 PM
    • 209 Posts
    • 723 Thanks
    Ladykernow
    Love your thread!
    2017 13# Sealed pot: 1300/1,500
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 1st May 17, 2:11 PM
    • 503 Posts
    • 570 Thanks
    zippygeorgeandben
    Aww Charlie!
    Had a brief skim read of your last post but yes you are right, it's exactly situations like this what emergency funds are for. Things pop up when you least expect.
    That's the reason many people on here don't suggest consolidation because who can truely say in a, for example, 5 year consolidation loan that something isn't going to pop up. Ok for you it was 90 but he's on tablets for life now and you're already factoring this in.
    Good for you
    End Sep 2016 End April 2017
    8236.57 6670.91
    (Tesco 4.8%) 222.61pcm
    6185.75 1779.78 (Zopa 4.0%) 85.00pcm

    5344.50
    3394 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) 76.00pcm
    2000.00 (Sister 0%) 133.33pcm

    Total debt
    19.766.82 13,844.69 Original DFD May 2019.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st May 17, 2:30 PM
    • 375 Posts
    • 2,941 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Thank you both

    Yes, that is exactly what the emergency fund is for and I'm so happy we have one!

    I agree about the consolidation loan, I don't think they're a good idea. My sister got one for her overdraft/debts and in the end she ended up in a worse situation because she just accumulated more debts on top of the loan she had. it left her in a bit of a pickle!
    May grocery challenge 183.38/250 | Emergency 1,000 challenge - 500/1,000 | May NSD 3/16
    Credit Card: PAID | Car Finance: 9,551 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 112,471 (3.99% APR)
    Wedding Fund: 2,669.06
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 1st May 17, 10:05 PM
    • 10,537 Posts
    • 67,753 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Sounds like the house is coming along nicely Laura.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
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