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  • FIRST POST
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...the next step of the adventure?
    • #1
    • 28th Oct 16, 12:08 PM
    EH - Essex > Hebrides...the next step of the adventure? 28th Oct 16 at 12:08 PM
    Well well - here we are again then, new diary as threatened promised - the previous one can be found HERE - there are others too - if I can be bothered to go find them I'll add in some links, otherwise feel free to go stalking if you should wish to!

    Previous diary to the previous one mentioned above...
    ..and the previous one to that, too...

    So, I've been here a while (since 2008, in fact) and can't ever imagine quite managing to leave entirely now. I've made some seriously good friends thanks to this place (Stripes, Cheery, I'm looking at you ladies!) - and for that reason alone I'll hang about like a bad smell for as long as they'll have me. A brief summary of "me" - too short to reach anything interesting, Londoner (full of resentment due to being forced out when we wanted to buy somewhere to live - damned incomers and property prices!) currently living in Essex with MrEH. The username is Essex = for where we are currently, and Hebridean = representing the fact that the long term plan is to move to the ludicrously far-flung but ridiculously beautiful islands off the west coast of Scotland. (as and when the move happens I shall be requesting a change of name to LondonHebridean so nobody even THINK about taking that one, OK?)

    Started on here with a loan and a tenuous grasp on our money, plus a mortgage. Budgeting happened. Am emergency fund was built. We discovered we liked the challenge of teaching financial institutions a lesson. The loan was kicked into touch first off, and then we started the onslaught on the mortgage. Various adventures along the way including losing half my income practically overnight and a 6 year experiment with being self-employed, all good fun. We waved a cheerful goodbye to the mortgage on 30th September this year - paying it off over 12 years early and according to MrEH's clever spreadsheet saving ourselves around £35k in interest had we left it to run to term. Go us, eh?

    So - this is the next chapter, really. While debt free (and that seems amazing) we want to:

    a) Stay that way
    b) Build a savings pot - firstly to ensure that we can at the least put down a chunky deposit against a future "Islandy" dwelling, and secondly to assist with a lifestyle which is less work and more full when we get there.
    c) Do up our existing flat to make it into a fab place for us to live while we're still here, and a desirable rental for when we're not.
    d) Have fun. Lots of it.

    There will be food, regular lunatic visitors (that's this thread, not at home, although sometimes at home too), a reluctance to wield hairbrushes, some Little Red Jets, and hopefully some laughs along the way. Want to join me for the ride? Well I'd be delighted - grab a chair!!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 31-10-2016 at 8:54 PM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
Page 26
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 10th Jul 17, 11:55 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    Thanks Beanie! JoJo nope - the sparky never did come back - Dave The Builder sorted the electrical issue that was outstanding in the end and he's as unimpressed with the guy as we are!

    Well the great fridge shenanigans happened on cue yesterday morning - new one delivered and old one collected all within an hour so that was something at least! Hoping to find it sitting in place when I get home tonight now - and also for the extractor to be up and running and some more of the "finishing" type jobs done too - it really is on the downwards slope to being finished now!

    The airshow was good fun - lots of friends and we had a great laugh - also lovely to catch up with the Reds pilots & crew that I know too, they're a lovely bunch! Definitely need a hat before the next one though as came home with a minor case of sunstroke - oops! I'll head down to Matalan & Peacocks after work and see what they have - one or the other will have something I'm sure! Masses of photos to work my way through now!

    Hoping to hear from AO today or tomorrow that they are refunding the fridge without a quibble - fingers crossed on that.

    Shopping was done yesterday - £35 spent and meals all planned out for the week I think. We did a quick look through the freezer yesterday too so we're going to be trying to use up some of the odds and ends from there.
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 10-07-2017 at 11:58 AM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 12th Jul 17, 3:42 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Shhh.....Kitchen.....should be done by tonight bar some snagging bits. Don't tell everyone though or it might not happen!

    The fridge went in yesterday and we're hoping the old one is in the garage by now waiting to be collected by the charity along with the old dishwasher. the new fridge JUST fitted - warning to all who are considering ever buying a fridge - double check ALL the measurements that are given as the door hinge on this one made it slightly higher than it's meant to be!

    AO have indeed refunded the other one and I happily tweeted singing their praises yesterday - the refund went onto the credit card the same day they collected the other fridge - I'm very impressed. So with the refund on that, and the discount code I found for the new fridge, there's only £36 extra to pay for it - we can deal with that! I'm still waiting on the refund for the two bits I returned from my mega bra-purchasing exercise but hopefully that will be in by the time the card needs sorting.

    Few oddments on prolific - currently £6.30 payable and £2.55 pending.
    2 x Populus live surveys yesterday at £3 each - one of them was on beer - I suspect they may be surprised by the technical level of my comments at the end, where I basically told them their survey was talking nonsense... I'm at 41 points on there now so not too far off pay-out.
    Got a YouGov and some Power Of Opinions to work through too.

    Pasta bolognese tonight and the freezer swap over last night turned up some lamb meatballs I forgot we had so those will be added to the meal plan for next week I think. I've also got stacks of fish & seafood at the moment so tomorrow night will be a thai style fish stew/curry. Yum! That'll use a dollop of the very out of date green curry paste from the fridge too. It wasn't growing anything last time I looked, but if it is there's half a jar of equally out of date red curry paste instead so all will be well...

    Hat didn't get purchased as MrEH says I can use an old straw one of his which he's replaced - it always suited me better than him anyway. Did buy a pair of black cropped trousers and a vest top in a rather lovely dark purple though - £16 spent but I do have to face that I'm needing clothes at the moment - everything I own is too big!

    Next stop this weekend is "the big one" - the Royal International Air Tattoo at Fairford - and I can't WAIT! It WILL be spendy - that I know, but it will also be worth every penny of that spendiness. Tickets are bought and accommodation is with a friend so that helps - I'll treat her to dinner one night as a thank you for that. My bestie is there with some chaps from his squadron which will be ace - last time he was there was 2014 when he was still with the Reds so it will be a bit odd for him! His Mum & Dad are going on Sunday too and his brother & SIL - who are about the only members of his family I've never met so it'll be nice to meet them at last.

    *edit* £42 bra credit winging its way to my credit card! Hurrah!
    Last edited by EssexHebridean; 12-07-2017 at 4:55 PM.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 16th Jul 17, 10:54 AM
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    MistyMountainTop
    Finally caught up. Hoping the kitchen was finished without any further snags. I'm going to have a nosy and see if there are any photos anywhere...
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 16th Jul 17, 11:27 AM
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    Hiddenidenity
    Hope the kitchens done

    and you've had a lovely weekend
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th Jul 17, 12:39 PM
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    beanielou
    Hope kitchen is done
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th Jul 17, 3:11 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    The Kitchen is....















    ...DONE!!!!

    Well - aside a few odds and ends - but in real terms, it's pretty much there. Got a couple of shelves to go up and another light, and the cover over the meter cabinet needs doing yet. We've got to cut down the second blind so that can go up over the door, and we need to get a snagging list together but it's such a relief to be able to start using it properly again - even if at the moment it really doesn't feel like our kitchen!

    Gradually starting to get stuff from the garage back in to the kitchen now - and the old Fridge Freezer and dishwasher were collected yesterday by the charity shop. We'll do a tip-run at the weekend with the last bits of rubbish and then I'm hoping to be able to get *shock horror* the car back in the garage again...!

    Oddments still to buy but they were in the budget - so far new kettle and rubbish/recycling bin have been acquired, and I've got a new spice rack which will fit on the inside of the larder door on order too - the only spice racks were either wall mounted or freestanding and we really don't have the space to put them now, or simply don't want them out cluttering the worktops up. Oh new washing up bowl too - £2 from Tesco, and some bargainous utensil pots as well - £1.50 for one for the washing up brushes etc, £2 for a snazzy looking brushed steel one to sit out on the counter and £2.50 for a "utility" plastic one that sits in the pull out unit and takes tin openers and other short stuff.

    Weekend at the airshow was FAB! Lots of wandering, plenty of time spent with friends and in spite of buying my friend I was staying with dinner on Saturday night I still came home with money left over. Actually not all that spendy at all this year - I opted for the approach of taking crisps and cereal bars from home - then started each day with a cuppa and a bacon sarnie and just had snacks the rest of the day. I made sure I had a full water bottle for each day too as it's stuff like buying drinks that makes the costs mount up.

    This week I've got RAF Marham Families day on Thursday (with my bestie and his family again) and then myself and two other friends are off up to Sunderland airshow friday night and Saturday. I'm staying over in Lincoln Thursday night - might meet up with some pals for a pub dinner but not sure yet. After that everything calms down for a while as the display teams take their "mid season break". Phew!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 18th Jul 17, 3:50 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Just remembered that the DD has gone across to the 0% card so have updated my signature - and the amount gone now has a "4" at the beginning" Woop!

    Found out this morning that Tesco are discontinuing our "ClubCard Plus" that we've used so happily for years. Sadly I found out via a shared post on FB rather than, as I would have hoped, a letter from Tesco Bank saying "Sorry but we've got to do this..." Apparently they're not even bothering to transfer it to a standard current account with them - they're just closing it. I'm taking that as "Tesco aren't fussed about having our business any more" and will use it as a good kick to get me to switch the main part of my food shopping elsewhere. As a result though we *will* need to rethink our holiday spending money savings a bit - in the past I've always let money accrue in the CC+ and then withdrawn that as cash when we go away - so we'll need to come up with a new plan. It will probably be as simple as any surplus in the joint account each month will be split 50/50 and half of it will go to holiday savings. We'll also need to remember that we won;t get the same level of ClubCard vouchers any more so that might make a difference to what we do about things like Good Food Show tickets.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 18th Jul 17, 7:10 PM
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    beanielou
    Glad kitchen is just about done
    Boo to Tesc0. Sums it up really.
    Must close my CC.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 19th Jul 17, 7:02 AM
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    Eager_Elephant
    Essex - thanks or posting about Clubcard Plus.

    I have this type of account and have also had nothing. I will go and hunt down the Facebook post and see when it comes into effect.

    I would like to think they will post out new clubcards to us all but we will probably have to request one.

    It was only in May that I got my new card as the old one had expired - what a waste.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • cazmanian_minx
    • By cazmanian_minx 19th Jul 17, 8:52 AM
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    cazmanian_minx
    They're sending new Clubcards to everyone anyway, they've gone contactless. Mine arrived on Monday.
    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: £169,836.86 Amount paid off: £7,580.00 (4.22%)
    Sugar days 2017: 17/26 Debt-free: 17/02/2017
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 19th Jul 17, 9:48 AM
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    Hiddenidenity
    Yay to the kitchen must feel amazing!
    DFW £1313.71/£7348.71 Rent Arrears £466.28/£3381.28

    Rock bottom became the solid foundation on which I rebuilt my life.
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 19th Jul 17, 10:28 AM
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    MistyMountainTop
    so glad the kitchen is finished, I'll bet it was well worth the upheaval!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 19th Jul 17, 11:39 AM
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    EssexHebridean
    They're sending new Clubcards to everyone anyway, they've gone contactless. Mine arrived on Monday.
    Originally posted by cazmanian_minx
    We wouldn't have got new ones issued as the ClubCard Plus has never even been converted over to chip&pin - it's still a signature card. They're invested less and less in it over the years - I think the writing has been on the wall for some time to be honest.

    so glad the kitchen is finished, I'll bet it was well worth the upheaval!
    Originally posted by MistyMountainTop
    Not yet...but I think it will be eventually!

    EE I seem to recall they said it was October the accounts would be closed BUT bear in mind they've also said that at close date "money will be refunded by cheque" - lord knows how long this will take! I think I'm going to cancel my DD with them from September and I can load up manually if I need to - if you use the app you can transfer money in and out quite easily via that. I certainly have visions of people being stranded with their food budget inaccessible in their closed CC+ accounts and then waiting weeks for a cheque. Plus the thought of them having to spend me a cheque for about 8p interest quite appeals to me... They have also said that they will be sending out new CC's.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 20th Jul 17, 6:31 AM
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    Eager_Elephant
    I got my letter yesterday about it closing - luckily we have not used it to put money on for a few years, well since we discovered Lidl, so there is nothing to come back to us but I do like to collect points for petrol and small shops that I do there so need a normal clubcard.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 20 for August
    NSD - 0/18
    (up to 01/09/17)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 20th Jul 17, 8:09 AM
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    Chandelier.
    Yay to the kitchen being done.

    That's rubbish about tesc0. You'd think they would send a letter out, hopefully you'll get it in the next couple of days.
    Check out my Diary
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 24th Jul 17, 3:47 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Well, still no letter from T's. Not massively impressed.

    Bit of a chat about it over the weekend and we've decided that we'll just increase the monthly transfer to our "food" savings pot by £150 a month when we cancel the DD to the CC+ then our food shopping will all go on the credit card and I can transfer the money over each month when the bill comes in. That also means we'll still have the scope to save the unused food money towards holiday spending money, too. We'll miss the double points on spend for clubcard vouchers though.

    Sainsbugs sent me a voucher this week - so being the fickle sorts we are we shopped there plus odds and ends in Al's. It is expensive compared to T's though. Might do Mozza's next week as I'll have the time to get over there on Friday hopefully. This week came to about £20 or thereabouts but I might need to do a top up late in the week.

    Few more oddments of kitchen spendiness - new timer (silver to match the fridge!) and some rather glamorous measuring spoons which will hang on the utensil rack and were actually needed. Plus a replacement for our scales which were pretty knackered before the kitchen was done and even worse now. Airshow spendiness was about as expected - hotel was already paid, few bits of food and booze but I spent cash rather than putting it on a card so that's all within budget. I've got a quiet week now as it's mid season break so I'm hoping to catch up on pics and have a relaxing weekend!

    Must get to the M&S outlet at the weekend as I need to buy some more work trousers (the 14's are too big...yay-ish!) and might see if they've got the jeans I like too. Hopefully this will be approaching the last bits of clothes buying though - for a while at least!

    Purse currently says £20 available so I won't need to go to the cashpoint again this month.
    Prolific stands at £9.10 with £1.85 pending. I'd like to think I'll get another £10 extracted from there to pay to the card this month.
    Keep getting surveys from Populus that I then get screened out of - I'm quite close to payout on there I think. Been a bit lazy about things recently though so need to give myself a sturdy kick I think.

    Next work on the flat will be getting the electrics looked over and sorted out as the inspection during the kitchen works showed up some issues. Hoping that it's not going to be massively expensive. Hoping in vain, I suspect. We want to get another sparky in to look first though and give us a quote as we're not so sure of the one who did the first inspection.

    Must get CC payments sorted
    Must do car insurance shop around - got my renewal quote from AXA this morning and disappointed to see that they're going to be more expensive than the quotes I've seen from elsewhere
    Must do home contents cover shop around
    Must do breakdown cover shop around

    Quiet week, I said, did I?!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • starnac
    • By starnac 24th Jul 17, 3:50 PM
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    starnac
    Hey you!! I'm back on here after a looooooooong hiatus. I've missed you all. I've subscribed and am about to read back over your diary.

    Wish me luck
    DEBT FREE!!!!
    Sealed Pot Challenge #307
    Save
    Save
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Jul 17, 12:42 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Hey you!! I'm back on here after a looooooooong hiatus. I've missed you all. I've subscribed and am about to read back over your diary.

    Wish me luck
    Originally posted by starnac
    Wooooo! Ace to see you back lovely! xx
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 25th Jul 17, 1:04 PM
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    EssexHebridean
    Oddments of MSE type stuff then:

    - Last courgette and a few beginning to go past their best peppers from the fridge roasted with mushrooms, (previously roasted) garlic and sweet potato and plentiful herbs and seasoning while I had the oven on last night. Some eaten with tea last night, and the bulk now added to a carton of chopped tomatoes to make an easy pasta sauce - it's in the fridge for the time being, may yet head to the freezer though.

    - Couple more small bits done on Prolific but nothing more cleared through for payment yet.

    - Meals for the rest of the week are pretty much worked out I think - couscous salad with pomegranate, chickpeas and cashew nuts tonight, Tuna Salad with flatbreads tomorrow, and either pasta & sauce or omelettes on Thursday - probably omelettes as I have S6 mushrooms to use.

    - I've got a surplus of carrots and the rest of a tub of humous needing used so will suggest to MrEH that I have a carrot and humous sandwich for lunch tomorrow.

    Need to have a quick review of the fridge and catch anything else from there that needs using up - the new fridge has a HUGE fruit & veg drawer at the bottom which I can see things getting lost in so I need to factor in a once a week scan through there I think. The larder is now pretty much sorted I think - and the storecupboard is looking remarkably empty but that was always the plan. I have slightly less space in the kitchen for storage of tins so I think some of that space will be given over to that if needed.
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 25th Jul 17, 2:55 PM
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    MistyMountainTop
    I'll bet your are much more motivated to be organised in the kitchen now, not that you weren't before! Did you plan a lot of storage? That will be #1 on my list if I'm ever able to plan a new kitchen!
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
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