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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 3
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Mar 17, 5:28 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Was interesting with DS1. Hadn't planned to do it, more incidental but glad it happened. He does seem to have been more careful with the breakfast cereal...he eats enough to keep factories in production!

    Made a payment to family member of £125 - a small amount but trying to keep chipping away.

    Had NSDs on Friday and Sunday, so am hoping to be moe organised and build the NSDs in. Definitely saves me money.
    Last edited by Honeysucklelou2; 07-03-2017 at 5:29 AM. Reason: Misspelt a word
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 12th Mar 17, 7:04 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Had a busy week at work. Having the menu planned out and shared with the children helped as it felt like we were more organised this week.

    I had a day off on a Friday which was lovely. I went to a local NT property and enjoyed wandering around looking at all the Spring flowers. My lovely mum treated me to lunch which was delicious. I was interested in the salad we had. They served salad leaves with long shavings of courgette added. Never thought of doing that! Must get some salad leaves sown!

    Also got to the beach on Friday evening with the children. We went for half an hour before sunset and had the whole beach to ourselves. Bliss! The whole day off really helped. I try to keep focussed on keeping spending down and paying debts down but can get very worried about it all. I find getting outside and walking across a beach or around a garden is very calming (as well as free!) and helps me to feel focussed about the debt reduction without the panic.

    Yesterday got taken up with household jobs. Spent the afternoon pricking out lettuce seedlings. Sowed some more calendulas of a different variety and potted on some parsley seedlings that have overwintered. Also sowed some Rudbeckia and annual chrysanthemums. They are good for colour and hardiness. Need to get more lettuce sown and some beetroot in the coming week. The toddler really enjoys pottering around outside as I'm gardening. It's lovely to see him enjoying life!

    My oldest DD is 18 at the end of this month so am wracking my brains to think of a frugal way to celebrate. DD2 and I went to a Woolworths like shop and bought some 18 balloons and a banner. We also bought an A3,sized frame so that we could make a photo montage of her 18 years and frame it to give to her on her birthday. I have a present idea, so just the celebration side to carefully think through.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 22nd Mar 17, 12:01 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Had a few spendy days recently . Went to the accomodation open day with DD1. I'm glad we went as I hadn't been able to take her to her interview there so I was glad to see the place. I got to ask about up front costs which has been worrying me, ever since a colleague mentioned that her child had had to pay quite a large amount in advance of moving to student accomodation. Thankfully the worst case scenario is a £300 deposit by mid Sept, which she would get back in a slight reduction in the Spring term's rent. At least this now gives me a figure to aim for. Coupled with knowing that she will need to take basic kitchen equipment with her I am aiming to save £500 by mid Sept so that I can cover her deposit and alllow £200 for any initial food expenses or essentials.

    DD2 looks to have settled on a further Ed course so I know from her open day that initial costs for her will be £200 on tools and £200 for transport costs for the first term. The transport cost will need to be paid by mid August so gives me some time. Perhaps sounds silly but I want to plan for these costs and not be left jiggling my budget round and struggling to pay bills by Sept.

    Work has been very busy so I have failed on the food front. I have spent more than I wanted to as working longer hours last week meant less time. I did start the week cooking from scratch but found it was taking me til 7.30 to get a meal on the table. By the time extra hours were factored in, I did go for the quickest option for the end of the week. Have been better this week so far...
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 22nd Mar 17, 12:15 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Hello Honeysuckle,

    I've just read your diary 'cover to cover' and am so enjoying all your planting. I love plants but the family moan about seedlings on window sill and have so far refused to get me a greenhouse so this year I am in the rather sad situation of no trays of seedlings whatsoever. However, the year is still in its early stages so there's plenty I can do in the garden to lay a basis for next year. Meanwhile I'll pop in and enjoy your flowers!

    My kids are also mostly at the degree stage. I did go to visit the children who were studying away and I loved it. DD made great friends and later went travelling with one of them - and she funded it all herself from working while she studied, so there is hope for your daughter to be able to contribute to costs. Now one has finished and the others commute to study so I'm out of the loop when it comes to accommodation.

    There are so many costs for parents in our supposedly-free education system... planning ahead is wise. I found that once DD had started at Uni, she understood the system better than I did and was able to help the others apply for stuff they needed to apply for. Nowadays she's back home but planning on her own place and is a savvy shopper. If your daughter gets a job with staff discount it can be very helpful to the family budget - I loved the 'family member' perks from DD's Uni job!

    Must go for now but I'll come back and see how it's all going.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 25th Mar 17, 7:34 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi Cherryfudge, thanks for dropping by. I am looking forward to being able to visit DD1 when she has settled in. I do enjoy walking so made sure we picked up a OS map to plan possible walks in the area! Does time go as quickly when they do degrees as it has at secondary school?

    Had a busy week, lots of trips out with children which makes me feel tired...just the head counting and making sure you have everyone where they should be! The weather looks nice here so am hoping to be able to get outside and be busy sorting out seedlings.

    Got a couple of bills to pay today. Really cross with myself that I knew the refund going back to the CC was more than the required minimum payment so didn't worry about extra payments. Have now got myself another default fee so have paid what the statement said but cross with me self at having made a foolish mistake. I did have a slim pocket diary which I think k I may utilise to mark down payment dates and to reord any overpayments. The debts that are D/D paid are fine as is the one I pay by internet as it's always got the same date. The cc statement always has different dates which can fluctuate by 6 days. Have been caught out by that before.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 26th Mar 17, 12:37 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Had a busy day today. Made the most of the beautiful Spring weather and got a couple of loads of washing dried on the line. Spent a couple of hours pottering around in the garden. I sowed Beetroot, 2 types of lettuce (Navara, a red leaved variety and Little Gem), 2nd sow of Cornflowers, Tomatoes, Scabious and a type of Sunflower called "Vanilla Ice". The sunflower is beautiful. I grew it last year for the first time. It's not a sunflower that grows 6 feet tall but a smaller multi branching type that bears lots of flowers so that at first glance it looks like a sunflower bush. I inspected the seedlings sown a couple of weeks ago and the sweet peas have germinated and are growing steadily. The first sow of lettuce that I pricked out has been partly demolished by a snail or slug So frustrating. The same thing has happened with the cornflowers. The seed leaves have been well and truly munched. I have one of those small 4 tier mini greenhouses with the plastic cover which works well for keeping plants sheltered but the frame does give hiding opportunities for snails and slugs.

    Have also pricked out the Nigella seedlings (Love in a mist) and hope they will survive. Sowed some Bells of Ireland today too. I've had the seeds in the freezer for a week or so, so now sown. The flowers are an amazing green colour, quite unusual. Did a bit of recycling today in reusing some old trellis from the garden to create a frame for a plant to climb. Last year I bought this tiny Jasmine plant. It has pale pink flowers rather than white and did well in its first year to grow long wiry stems but they need training. I repotted it into a larger pot and put the trellis behind. Will tie in tomorrow.

    Made a menu plan with DD2 and went shopping strictly for menu ingredients and fruit, butter and milk etc.

    DD1 is 18 in the coming week. I bought her a present. Someone locally runs a jewellery business, making her own designs so have got her a silver pendant and chain. It does look beautiful. Still struggling with how to celebrate on a budget. DD2 has offered to help me make a cake. DD1 loves red velvet cake so am hoping to be able to do a cake. I used to love making birthday cakes for them when they were little. I did a ladybird for her third birthday which looked quite good. Had more time then...! We'll see what we can do. DD1 is keen to see the Beauty and the Beast film so have suggested that we all go to see that and have a meal together afterwards.

    Have paid the water bill today and hoping to have NSDs this week, other than DD1's birthday.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 26th Mar 17, 10:00 PM
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    • 1,790 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Hi Cherryfudge, thanks for dropping by. I am looking forward to being able to visit DD1 when she has settled in. I do enjoy walking so made sure we picked up a OS map to plan possible walks in the area! Does time go as quickly when they do degrees as it has at secondary school?
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    Amazingly, it goes even quicker. I can hardly believe DD graduated a year and a half ago and has since been travelling as she'd wanted to do for ages. Such major milestones, and they are now behind us.

    I looked up the Vanilla Ice sunflower. What a lovely colour! I always forget to plant sunflowers. I wonder if I could still put some in for this year?
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 26th Mar 17, 10:10 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    DD1 is 18 in the coming week. I bought her a present. Someone locally runs a jewellery business, making her own designs so have got her a silver pendant and chain. It does look beautiful. Still struggling with how to celebrate on a budget. DD2 has offered to help me make a cake. DD1 loves red velvet cake so am hoping to be able to do a cake. I used to love making birthday cakes for them when they were little. I did a ladybird for her third birthday which looked quite good. Had more time then...! We'll see what we can do. DD1 is keen to see the Beauty and the Beast film so have suggested that we all go to see that and have a meal together afterwards.
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    That sounds like a beautiful birthday. Everyone seems to love Beauty and the Beast so pair that with her favourite cake and she will have lovely memories every time she sees either for years to come! (I still think of my 18th when I have Black Forest Gateau - and that some years ago, lol).
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 26th Mar 17, 11:21 PM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thanks for the encouragement Cherryfudge. Feel more positive today about making the cake. DD1 is visiting my parents on Tuesday night so DD2, DD3 and I can finish off the photo montage.

    You'll be fine to get the sunflowers started now. The light levels are increased and it's getting warmer. I put mine in a plastic greenhouse rather than the heated propogator as it should be warm enough to germinate in there. Just got to watch out for the slugs! Vanilla Ice is a lovely variety.

    Had such a lovely day today. My parents visited bearing pasties so that neither me or my mum had to cook. We took a stroll along the beach at 4 ish. It was beautiful and quite sheltered and warm...a really relaxing Mother's Day. The toddler ran around so much he wore himself out and the other children enjoyed throwing the ball for the dog.

    Got a busy week ahead at work. Menu plan is sorted though for this week so that we all know what's coming up and hopefully the older ones can help prep a bit with me in the kitchen.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 1st Apr 17, 2:58 AM
    • 303 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Have spent time tonight (or rather this morning) updating transactions on my spending tracker app. I do find it so useful to see clearly in visual form where the money is going. This month a whopping £760 in nursery fees. A little more hefty than usual as it has been a 5 week month if you see what I mean. Food spending has crept up again which is so frustrating. Fuel was slightly higher but did include a trip to the accomodation open day so was expected and planned. Plenty of scope for improvement I feel. I do find if work gets busier than usual, that's when I'm slipping on the food front which is having a knock on effect on the figures.

    The 18th birthday has gone well. DD1 liked the silver necklace . Spent last night making the Red Velvet cake. Never made one before so found a recipe on Good Housekeeping website and made that. The icing mix made a huge amount of icing , half of which is still in the fridge so might end up making red velvet cupcakes to use up the icing. Found some red hundreds and thousands like things so sprinkled those over to make an 18. It looked OK...homemade and basic but at least a cake and she was happy with it which is the main thing. DD2 finished the photo montage and framed it and it looks great. She hasn't given it to DD1 yet until we've had her birthday meal tomorrow night. Tomorrow will be spendy with the meal but intend to have plenty of NSDs after that.

    Two weeks away from work so hoping to get plenty of gardening in. Also want to get some bits and pieces round the house done. My bedroom is in desperate need of painting. I have a couple of tester pots that have been waiting to be applied since December so will try and get the walls cleaned down on the next couple of days to allow for painting it next week. Was never allowed to get involved with the painting before but I actually do like it so am looking forward to making the house look fresher.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 1st Apr 17, 7:58 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Just read your diary and you seem to be doing well both on your budgeting and reducing the debt. Putting the figures in your signature so you can see them coming down is sometimes a good incentive.

    Love hearing about your planting. I love gardening too but am recovering from bad cough virus so not done much lately. The university years will soon go. Both my DDs went, one about 200 miles away and the other about 350 miles. One also did a PhD although she worked at a university while doing that. Can hardly believe they are 29 and 31 now and one is married with a baby. These years go so quickly.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 4.5 months to go.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 2nd Apr 17, 7:11 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi Enthusiasticsaver, thanks for dropping by . That's a good idea about putting the figures in my signature...will try and get that done.

    Had a lovely evening yesterday. We went out for a celebratory meal for DD1's 18th birthday. We went to a place that is right on the cliff top so we could see the sunset over the sea as we were eating our meal. DD1 really enjoyed the evening which is the main thing. We came back home for coffeea and red velvet cupcakes but I think everyone was so full from the meal we have lots of cupcakes left over for today!

    Checked on the plants yesterday to find that the slug or snail has been munching all week. I have about half of my sweet pea seedlings left and 1 lettuce so frustrating. Interestingly the seed trays I put onto a frame that doesn't have its plastic cover have fared much better. Now that the light levels and temperatures have increased it might be worth using that more to save seedlings being munched. The nigella seedlings are untouched and growing well. The tomatoes sown last week have germinated . I did plant some tulip bulbs about December time which are now up and about to flower. Planted one variety about 7 years ago called Blackcurrant ripple which have been brilliant, coming back year after year. Love this time of year when everything comes to life again.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 2nd Apr 17, 7:49 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Everything is shooting up now the temperature has gone up. My garden is awash with daffodils and tulips. I love Spring.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 4.5 months to go.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 2nd Apr 17, 8:04 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    You're right Enthusiaticsaver! Just writing out the starting figure of the loan in 2012 and the figure now is truly motivating. Payment due to come out tomorrow which should knock that balance under £1,500. Be so glad when that is paid off.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 2nd Apr 17, 8:08 AM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Excellent! £17k down to less than £1.5k will inspire you to get that debt gone. Doing the challenges for savings like emergency fund is also good. Hope the slugs and snails have kept off your plants last night. It tipped down here and the rain always brings the little blighters out.
    Countdown to early retirement on 31.12.17 4.5 months to go.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 3rd Apr 17, 11:01 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Had such a lovely day yesterday. The sun shone so got two lots of washing out to dry. After lunch the DDs and the toddler and I headed for the beach. It was a very low tide so we were able to walk round to the next bay and back again. It was stunning and so relaxing to sit on the sand for a rest and just listen to the waves. Bliss! Came back feeling so refreshed and ready to tackle the jobs that need doing this week.

    Loan payment went out this morning, so might ring for the balance to be as accurate as possible. Off to get some more compost so that I can !!!!! out the jungle of snapdragons! I have a greenhouse at the allotment that needs a little repair and a good clean. Hoping that if I can get that done today I might be able to get plants in there and save them from the greedy slug! Read replant for the !!!!!. Horticultural terms have been automatically edited!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Apr 17, 11:32 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    LOL about the horticultural terms - I did work them out .

    The beach sounds idyllic.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Apr 17, 7:58 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    The weather held yesterday for another 3 loads of washing to be dried outside. I did go and her some compost but ran out of time and light to get started so that's today's first job. I did go into work yesterday and got some paperwork done. Sometimes it's easier to go in and complete when it's empty and quiet than it is to try and do it at home when my children are needing things/ help etc.

    Thought I'd try and give eBay a go again. Put on 4 listings so we'll see how they go.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 5th Apr 17, 4:22 AM
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Had such a lovely day yesterday (Tues). Went to a local glass shop and got a couple of panes of horticultural glass and fitted them myself so I now have a complete functional greenhouse at the allotment . Spent time sweeping out the debris from last year and got some seed trays moved to save them from the munching molluscs at home!

    Popped into local farmers shop and found they had a seed offer, so got some cauliflower seed, tomato, Swiss chard, sunflower, courgette and lollo Rosso lettuce seeds. Only had to pay for 4 packets as 2 were free under the offer. Got busy at home and have sowed all except the sunflowers and lettuce. The sunflowers are a red colour which I thought would contrast nicely with the "Vanilla ice", sown a week or so ago.

    Despite a damp start, the sun has shone this afternoon which has allowed another couple of loads of washing to dry. Sounds silly to be thankful for something so simple but trying to dry huge amounts of washing on just an airer over winter has been tricky. Being able to get washing dried is such a blessing!
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Apr 17, 9:59 AM
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    • 1,790 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Well done on the glass - what a huge saving over replacing the greenhouse! I'm wondering if one day I will be able to rescue the little greenhouse at Mum's, but TBH it's unlikely as it's very battered and would probably disintegrate if moved.

    I've just bought a cheap packet of sunflower seeds called 'Evening Sun' which are red/orange/yellow so it will be interesting to see what the results are. I bought some similarly-coloured dwarf rudbeckia to put near them - but there's a lot of weeding and soil preparation to do before they can go in.

    I love having washing on the line, too. It makes me feel I've achieved something!
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