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    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    From debt to freedom...
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    From debt to freedom... 31st Dec 16 at 4:05 AM
    For a couple of months I have been lurking and reading diaries which have been helpful and inspiring. I thought that I would start a diary to keep myself focussed on getting rid of the debts.

    I am a working mum, recently separated from my husband. I have a large family which makes for an interesting and busy life! I have had a couple of LBMs in recent years and tried to stick to a budget. I had 2 loans totalling 17, 000 at one point. One loan was paid in Aug 2016 and the 2nd has just over £2,000 to go and is due to be paid off by August 2017.
    Other than that, I have a cc with a £475 balance, 2 home improvement loans ( for double glazing) that both have about £1700 outstanding. These have a horrible interest rate of 22%, so I'm eager to tackle these first.
Page 18
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 25th Nov 17, 8:04 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Off to look at a further Ed college today for DS1. It will be quite interesting as the 2 oldest DDs went to the same college but this is a different one today. I'm hoping DS will see something that will inspire him and motivate him to work hard for his GCSEs.

    DD2 has her theory test next week so she'll be deep in revision. I must get the Christmas cake cooked today as the fruit has been soaking in brandy for about 2 weeks now I aim to start to get cards written today so I'm not in my usual -having to send it first class because I've left it too late- state.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 25th Nov 17, 5:03 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    DD's cooking sounds expensive but lovely! Could you persuade her to make shortbread to give as gifts and enhance her skills/solve some gift dilemmas at the same time?

    I find I can always buy for the females in my family. It's the men who are so tricky! Of course, should you chose to keep your head in the sand, Christmas will just go past eventually and you won't be out of pocket. I think that might not work as a long-term solution but meanwhile you can always console yourself in the knowledge that Cherry hasn't bought a single card this year.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 27th Nov 17, 8:09 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I finally got the Christmas cake baked on Saturday. I usually make a 10" square cake which goes very quickly! I've bought some more fruit so that I can make a couple of cakes for friends and family as part of their Christmas gift.

    That's a good idea to ask DD2 to make some shortbread. Thanks Cherryfudge.

    I had quite a busy baking day on Saturday. I got round to making a carrot cake that DD4 had been begging me to bake, ever since we took one to DD1 in October. I made a batch of flapjacks and a lemon drizzle cake, after which DS2 made some muffins. Needless to say the tins don't stay full for long so willneed to make some more soon!

    Yesterday and today have been NSDs, thankfully.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 27th Nov 17, 8:24 PM
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    Spendless
    Agree that DD2s cooking sounds delicious though expensive. Don't know what you do when an ingredient is expensive. Does it matter what the wine tastes like as a drink if it's going into cooking? Just trying to think if any cheap plonk would do. My Mum is/was a hairdresser, but only retired this year, she'd always have bottles in, most of which she wouldn't drink bought as presents. One year she passed me on a bottle of sherry. As I was unlikely to drink it and because DH was getting on my nerves after his Xmas eve drinking session, I popped to an elderly neighbours with it. She offered me a glass with her, so I agreed. What I didn't know was she only owned one sherry glass which she had, she poured mine into an oversized red wine glass. When I eventually returned DH wasn't as annoying to me as he'd been when I went out.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 3rd Dec 17, 12:24 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Another busy week has flown by! Payday was on Thursday so all main direct debits went out yesterday. I have been able to pay another £150 to the family member which is a relief, and get the nursery fees paid for the coming week.

    I did have a surprise when I opened my pay slip. It showed arrears in basic pay which came to about £35 after tax and NI had been taken into consideration. I thought I'd use that to make an extra payment on the home improvement loan, as the interest rates are horrible.

    Looking forward this week, I have DD2's bus pass for the Speing term to pay for and extra food for DD3 who is travelling to London for a school trip.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 4th Dec 17, 10:13 AM
    • 1,185 Posts
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    MeandO
    Nice little bonus in your payslip HSL

    You've inspired me to get Christmas-cake baking too!

    X
    Savings: £1800/£3000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,380

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • louby40
    • By louby40 4th Dec 17, 5:30 PM
    • 1,187 Posts
    • 3,256 Thanks
    louby40
    I had a bit extra too backadated from September. It was about £50 and very welcome.
    Parent loan PAID IN FULL
    Emergency fund £670/£1000. Christmas savings £50/£600 Car maintenance £100/600
    Kitchen July £12,493 NOV £10,493. 18% paid off
    Barclaycard £142
    Car loan £2696 Mortgage £94,992
    TOTAL DEBT (with mortgage) = £108,323 (without mortgage) = £13,331
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Dec 17, 11:29 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    All the nicer when it's not expected!!
    Glad you feel inspired to bake MeandO!

    Finally got the first Christmas present sorted...should be arriving by post at the end of the week. That's the toddler done, just got the others to think about now.

    We have a staff Christmas dinner this week so will need to get a secret santa present sorted out but am hoping to get that done on my day off.

    Menu is sorted for this week:-
    Sun- Roast chicken
    Mon - Chicken stir fry
    Tues-Vegetable curry
    Wed - children eat with the ex.
    Thurs - Lasagne
    Fri - kale hash

    I was happy to discover frozen kale in Mr T's so I can have the kale hash more regularly.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Dec 17, 11:30 PM
    • 509 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    NSD yesterday...sadly not today though as I had to top up diesel and get more milk. I'm sure a house cow would be cheaper!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Dec 17, 3:59 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    NSD yesterday...sadly not today though as I had to top up diesel and get more milk. I'm sure a house cow would be cheaper!
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    Possibly... or possibly not! Maybe a goat?

    And please may I ask your advice oh grower of plants? I started two amaryllises around the beginning of October and both are alive (sending out roots). The one that's from last year and has been in a pot out of doors all summer is about two feet tall. The other has no top growth at all.

    They've both been on the same windowsill - west-facing. The room is heated but not hot (around 18 degrees usually). It was indoors in the shop but I don't think it was particularly warm in the room. The only thing I can think of is to move the non-starter in case it didn't like the pelargonium and Christmas cactus either side. Micro climate and all that. But honestly - the non-starter cost £10 and the nursery was one we visited on holiday and I may never get the chance to go back, so I can't wave it accusingly under their noses and demand a refund, and I wouldn't want to as it's rather a beauty when it emerges.

    So please GQT (Gardener's Question Time ) - what do I do or do I just keep it in the garden all next year in the hope it will at least grow leaves and bulk out the already fairly substantial bulb?
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 5th Dec 17, 11:27 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Oooo interesting question! I have an amaryllis in flower at the moment but it's only the second I've ever grown so not got a lot of experience with these...however the only things I can think of is that perhaps it has had a little too much water? It's obviously alive having put out roots but see if not watering it will cause any growth and then resume watering when growth is seen. Is it in a pot? Is the pot a snug fit for the bulb? Apparently the bulbs like to be contained a little for best growth.

    The only other thing that I can think is if the foliage was cut down too soon ( in the shop) before the bulb could store nutrients, that would cause problems ( in the same way that cutting daffodil foliage down too soon causes "blind bulbs" where the bulb fails to produce a flower the following year as it hadn't had enough time to store nutrients in the bulb).

    As a first measure I would stop watering to see if that makes a difference. After that I would give it time and see if it puts on any growth in the garden next year. Amaryllis bulbs are tender so I wouldn't put it out in the garden until Spring. A useful site for bulb know-how is Sarah Raven's site.

    Hope that helps.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 5th Dec 17, 11:46 PM
    • 509 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Left my purse at home today so I've had a NSD #2 for December.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Dec 17, 12:22 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Great advice thank you! It's in a pot with a bit of space around it (came with the bulb) - so possibly it has too much space. I'm a bit reluctant to disturb it now but if it goes out of doors after the frosts it would have room to put on weight for next year.

    It's possible the foliage was cut down too soon. I don't see any die-back in the truncated ends but they are rather short.

    Thank you for the mention of Sarah Raven! I hadn't seen her site before and apart from my instantly wanting some tulips that are advertised on the front page, it's very useful. I see I've planted the bulb more deeply than she suggests so perhaps that's the culprit?
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 6th Dec 17, 6:47 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Sadly not a NSD today. DD3 has an overnight school trip to London tomorrow which needs a full packed lunch box ( hence extra food spending) and £30 to pay for a meal at the service station on the way back and any snacks. I think that breakfast on Friday and Thursday's evening meal is included but everything else either has to go with her or she needs to be able to buy. The £30 figure is the school's recommendation so am hoping she might be able to bring some of it back...

    Ended up getting a pair of leggings, which I'll team with a T-shirt for DD5's Christmas play costume and bought a man's T shirt for DD4 to wear as a tunic for her play costume. I'm hoping that piece of cardboard and some tin foil can be teamed up to make the props!

    Am struggling to think of ideas for presents that are affordable. The toddler was easy! The younger DDs will be happy with any toy or game based presents so they will be easy enough to sort out but the teenagers are definitely more difficult!!
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 8th Dec 17, 11:46 PM
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    Spendless
    £30 for a meal at a service station?? I know they're overpriced but for one that's way too excessive and that was the school's recommendation, jeez what do they eat when travelling. Unless they meant £30 pocket money to include eating at a service station. Meanwhile my 14yo's school keeps taking them to see poor calibre theatre shows for GCSE drama because they have to watch something live. The kids have protested and said can't they watch something of a better standard and been told no cos it's too expensive. Parents pay anyway, and I'd rather pay to watch 1 good thing rather than 3 shoddy ones.

    Anyway I hope your DD had a lovely time on her school trip and fingers crossed she had some change to return to you. xx

    What ages and genders are the teens? I was reading the main site earlier about maximising make up gifts at the minute by buying the 2 cheapest things from a range that is offering a free gift when you spend £x

    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/deals/deals-hunter/2017/12/05/how-to-max-free-gift-offers/
    Last edited by Spendless; 08-12-2017 at 11:52 PM.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Dec 17, 9:00 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thank you for the link, Spendless. I should have clarified, the £30 was to include a meal at the service station! Very pleased that DD3 was money savvy and returned £10 to me, bless her.

    DS1 has been muttering about gym membership. There is a small gym near his school that does a range of memberships including a junior option so am going to look into that. I'd rather get him something that is useful, that he would appreciate.

    The other teens are female. I think I'll wait til DD1 comes home then see if there are any boots she likes in our local shoe shop. Again trying to think practically and get her something she needs as much as likes. She does love footwear so I know she'll enjoy them.

    Just the other 2 teen girls to consider as the younger girls are happy with playmobil type toys. I know they get hours of fun and make up games together!
    Last edited by Honeysucklelou2; 09-12-2017 at 9:02 AM.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Dec 17, 9:07 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I've been battling some kind of bug...an occupational hazard! Slowing starting to get more energy as I've been very tired for the last week or so. I'd not even done any baking for a week which is unheard of! Normal service resumed on Thursday with a batch of brownies so am hoping to play catch up today.

    Must must must get cards written today as well! Next week is very busy with school nativity plays on Tuesday and Wednesday. It's a wonderful time of the year!

    First flowers are in bloom on the camellia in the garden. Usually it flowers on or around Boxing Day but was amazed ro see colour this week.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Dec 17, 10:44 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Camellias are beautiful. It's amazing how even a single flower really catches the imagination this time of year.

    I hope you're on the mend now? Some lurgies are going the rounds: I hope the frost puts an end to them.

    Re: buying for teenager girls... I'm just trying to think what I got for DD when she was that age. She is so easy to buy for, and to spend loads on! If one of these is the cookery enthusiast, would some baking equipment be possible? My kids all remember that one year I bought them good quality pizza baking trays. They all still use them! DD dropped big hints for a good quality spatula this year so there's one of those in her stocking, and a recipe book. There are always magazine subscriptions too, for those who have particular interests.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Dec 17, 1:43 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Ooooo magazine subscriptions, that's a good idea. Thank you Cherryfudge.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 10th Dec 17, 8:28 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I was saving £10 a week for Christmas and had been from January until I had to use the saved money to survive August. From Sept I'd changed the standing order to saving £10 a month which isn't brilliant but at least the savings from September were enough to buy the staff secret santa gift and to pay for my Christmas meal, so those costs don't have to be squeezed out of the December budget.. I don't often have time away from the children, or meals out, so
    I enjoyed the staff do on Friday!

    Yesterday I bought Christmas cards for the children to give to their friends ( which mounts up to quite a few cards!) but bought them on a 3 for 2 offer.

    I have the menu sorted for the week so am hoping that the only thing I need to buy is milk as we get low.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
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