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    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 31st Dec 16, 4:05 AM
    • 440Posts
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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 6
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Jun 17, 10:03 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi Spendless, thanks for dropping by

    My DD2 would like a job that meant she didn't have to speak to people !

    I went up to the allotment for a couple of hours last night. Got half a bed cleared of nettles and thistles. Got the runner beans planted at last and found space to plant 3 more courgette plants!
    Need to get the beetroot seedlings in next and get some successional sowing of lettuce done.

    Spent time baking too, so got a batch of chocolate muffins done, a tray of chocolate brownies, a batch of cappuccino cupcakes and a lemon drizzle cake. Not sure how much will be left by this evening...

    The menu plan for this week is
    Today- chicken pie, roast potatoes and veg
    Mon - toad in the hole
    Tues - macaroni cheese
    Wed - children eat with the ex
    Thurs- tuna plait
    Fri - something on toast.

    I have some frozen summer fruit from T3sco with which to make fruit custard tart which is a favourite. The gooseberries are getting quite large at the allotment so might manage a gooseberry dessert by the end of the week. There are some elder bushes too at the allotment so want to harvest the flowers and make some elderflower cordial
    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 4th Jun 17, 10:17 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Have you tried elder flower sorbet too?

    You must be further south than I am - fruit here won't be read for a bit but it looks like being a good year.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 4th Jun 17, 10:21 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    That sounds really good, very refreshing I'd imagine...off to look up a recipe.
    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 6th Jun 17, 8:46 PM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Money seems to be going out fast! My other dog has had a skin problem which I had to take him to see the vet. That has added an unexpected £166 to the budget. It's worth every penny to have him well and back to his usual bouncy self but another unexpected cost.

    I've paid £14 to the cc on Sunday and paid £25 for an overnight camping trip for DD3, that she's doing with her school. The youngest DDs have a school trip that has cost £10. I could do with a NS week I think!!

    DD1 and 2 have almost finished college and school respectively so I'm hoping that perhaps I'll get a little help with the evening food prep.

    Thanks Cherryfudge for the sorbet suggestion. I found a recipe in a River Cottage cookbook, so hope to get that done at the weekend.
    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 17th Jun 17, 7:41 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I've had a busy two weeks at work. June is always one of the busiest times. DD1 has now finished college and DD2 has one exam to go. Her focus is very much on her school prom which is making me feel quite sick about the financial side. She isn't wildly extravagant, it's just that my budget is tight and I've wriggled lots in the last couple of months with the new tyres, vet fees and this week's unexpected septic tank bill ( thought it was due in October). Trying to squeeze the budget further to accommodate a dress is going to be hard. The ticket has been paid for last week and I have the transport cost next week...

    I spent a couple of hours at the allotment last night, simply trying to catch up. Hacked down lots of weeds and watered everything that needed watering. The tomatoes are coming on well. Lots of gooseberries are ready to pick today. As I hacked down the weeds I discovered some sweet Williams flowering that must have self seeded from a couple of years ago. A nice surprise to find them! I need to now get the earth turned over and get rid of any roots so that I can get some lettuce and sweet corn in. I could happily spend hours every night there but work stuff needs doing so I have to enjoy the moments I can. Hopefully things at work should ease off a bit by July, then I can think about getting some kale planted and transplant some broccoli.

    We have had quite an odd week food wise. Monday was vegeburgers from the freezer that I'd made a couple of months ago. Wednesday was pancakes, Thursday home made pizza which used up the ingredients bought for DD3's school cooking lesson and a Friday I did bacon/sausage/hash browns/egg mixed grill type meal. DS2 had a friend over so I thought I'd better do a bit more than our usual "something on toast " Friday fare. I have been trying to get a decent breakfast into those with exams so have tried bags of frozen fruit that you add to apple juice. It seems a good way to get some of the 5 a day and popular with some of the children. Only costs about 45p a portion so seems OK price wise.
    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 17th Jun 17, 9:29 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    My daughter bought her Prom dress from Asos: looked gorgeous and was a good deal cheaper than some I've seen.

    I've been gardening too, at Mum's old house. A nasty surprise was the re-emergence of the dreaded Japanese knotweed but work on it is still under guarantee so we're contacting the company to come and re-spray. A much nicer surprise - similar to your Sweet Williams - was the regeneration of what used to be a huge American Pillar rose. It's actually hard to see from ground level as it's made its way above some shrubbery and there is a big bunch of pink roses some 15 feet in the air!

    I also found, among the many gardening books at the house, a pre-war children's gardening book by H E Bates which is quite charming and takes me into another world. It also mentions various plants I hadn't come across so if and when I make time, I have some looking up to do. Of course I should have read it in midwinter when things aren't growing at 90 miles an hour and wanting attention!

    Your mention of fruit for examinees took me back to DS2 and his then girlfriend eating blueberries before exams as they are supposed to improve the blood supply to the brain. I must admit I've done the same when I felt in need of all my brain power!
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jun 17, 10:40 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thanks for the Asos idea Cherryfudge. Will look online. We have a second hand dress shop in our nearest town but the DDs checked on Tuesday and said they had seen nothing. We are very rural so not keen on traipsing round the county to still find nothing so will look online.
    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 17th Jun 17, 10:41 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    That sounds mean ...it's not that I don't want to help my DD sort out a dress, simply that I can't afford the diesal to drive any non-essential journeys.
    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 18th Jun 17, 12:39 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    You aren't being mean - you're being practical. Online is a much bigger shopping centre than anywhere else.

    Have you also seen everything5pounds? They have some pretty stuff and are worth checking for accessories, too.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 18th Jun 17, 3:41 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Thanks for the link Cherryfudge. I've never heard of this shop but what a choice! Have had a little browse and will show DD2 later.
    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 25th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Another busy week at work and a delightfully busy weekend! I met up with wider family so 4 generations together. We had a great time just going for a walk, taking the children swimming and simply enjoying one another's company. Simple priceless pleasures. The fact that due to geography, it doesn't happen very often makes it all the more precious when it does.

    The prom for DD2 happens on this coming week. I've had so many discussions and debates about dresses...ahhhh! Clothes shopping is not my strength so have been trying to be patient!

    The week ahead needs to be a frugal one. I made gooseberry and elderflower fool last week for pudding, using elder flowers and gooseberries from the allotment. The jostaberries needed a little longer so hoping I can harvest some of those this week. The tomatoes are coming on nicely in the greenhouse but still need to clear some space for the broccoli seedlings that are getting a little large for the seeedtray! Got round to making the elderflower cordial and the sorbet. The sorbet was lovely and refreshing...so much so I only got one spoonful and the rest "disappeared" very quickly. Will have to make some more if I have any elderflowers left!

    DD1 has had her student finance confirmed so that is one weight off my mind. Just got to wait for results day now.
    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 30th Jun 17, 11:56 PM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Another busy week at work has flown by. This week saw DD2 attend her prom. She did look beautiful and am glad everything went OK. We got the dress and shoes sorted. At the last minute the ex offered to pay half of her half of the transport cost so that was a relief. He doesn't pay maintenance so anything he does contribute towards is a bonus.

    Today is pay day. All direct debits are due out on Monday. July has the annual buildings insurance premium to pay, which I had remembered and budgeted for. Got to sort out 2 of the children's birthdays this month so will start thinking of frugal celebrations.
    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 1st Jul 17, 12:05 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Glad you got the Prom sorted - and that your ex helped towards it! DD kept her Prom dress and managed to get another wear out of it and I think she also leant it to a friend so on a wear-by-wear basis it's been quite cost-efficient.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 1st Jul 17, 8:33 AM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    I think her older sister has her eye on the dress for a Young Farmers social, so hoping it will be cost effective! The benefits of having girls of the same size
    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 Jul 17, 8:54 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    It's been much better weather here than the last few days so I've managed to get about 4 loads of washing done and out on the line and completely dried. Such a relief!
    I have menu planned and done a shop at Te3cos. We have eaten such odd combinations of things for the last 2 or 3 weeks to keep costs as low as possible but I've started to feel a bit uneasy about it or rather I feel I need to strike a balance between eating as cheaply as possible but still making sure our overall diet is balanced and healthy, if that makes sense. I found an old cook book from years ago and looked through and found a couple of interesting recipes for fish, so have decided to try those. The recipes I've used previously from this book have all been well received and make up some of our favourite dishes but those are more winter casserole type dishes whereas the recipes I checked today are better for summer.

    Checked on the allotment this morning and found that the beans are climbing the bamboo canes nicely. The calendulas are all in flower �� as are the cornflowers. The courgettes are sulking somewhat. I've sown some lettuce seeds, beetroot ( after the munching molluscs ate the last sowing) extra cornflowers and sweet corn today. I'm a bit late with the sweetcorn but am hoping I can get some crops if we have a warm autumn. The blackcurrant bushes look loaded with fruit which will hopefully crop by the end of next month.
    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 2nd Jul 17, 6:05 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    The beginning of the month yesterday prompted me to set myself another goal. My fitness level is terrible and I need to do something about it. My friends who visited last month go running and I've been interested to read how many diary writers go running. I feel as if I need to build up, so have decided to try and plan in walks every day. I have an older dog who tends to come to the allotment with me and runs free there while I'm watering and I run him in the fields nearby but I feel that I need to factor in walk times too. Last week I asked the ex for my bike. He has had it locked for months, in a shed for which I didn't have a key. Thankfully I've got it back. It has a child seat on so am hoping that on my next day off I can take the toddler for a bike ride. My DS2 loves cycling and has often asked if we can go for a ride, so hopefully I can do this with him.

    Last night was a 20 minute circular walk around the edges of the village.

    Made a summer fruit custard tart last night and all set to make lasagne tonight with salad and garlic bread. I have the ingredients in for lemon drizzle cakes and chocolate muffins so start these in a jiffy!
    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
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 2nd Jul 17, 6:32 AM
    • 497 Posts
    • 1,351 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    You sound so prepared and organised Honeysuckle!

    I'm glad your daughter had a good time at her prom and even luckier that your eldest can possibly borrow it due to being same sizes.

    I totally get where your coming from re improving fitness levels. I have a gym membership but haven't been in a while due to being busy and no motivation. I think July is the month to get my fitness levels back up and I think like you say I may start taking daily walks to improve this.

    Have a nice Sunday. Lasagne sounds lovely.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 2nd Jul 17, 10:09 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    I've just completed the Couch to 5K app, which really surprised me as I've been last in every race all my life and jogging always made my breathing painful. I can recommend C25K though. It build fitness and makes sure you get rest days which has helped me massively and I now run for pleasure. There is a thread for it on the Sports & fitness board here.

    Cycling is awesome for getting fit and money saving at the same time - I hope you enjoy your family rides!
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 3rd Jul 17, 10:44 PM
    • 440 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    My friends came down at the end of May and mentioned an app which must be the same one. I know it had the word "couch" in it! I'll have to go and look up the Sports thread. Last night was the 20 minute circular walk. The dog looked a bit surprised as it was dusk when we set out and we did do more of a route March than usual to get back before dark! I've been a bit more organised tonight and done a figure of 8 shaped walk to a nearby hamlet and back. I carried the toddler so it was a bit harder but he loved seeing the animals in the fields.

    The direct debits went out today...only 1 more payment left on the loan.
    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 Jul 17, 10:59 PM
    • 747 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    That's a splendid start - especially with a toddler on board!

    Only one more loan payment! Brilliant . I bet you're really looking forward to drawing a line under that.

    Edit: the thread I found is here and includes a link to the app: I appear near the end of the thread having not been around for most of it, but it's been good to compare notes and cheer each other on!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 03-07-2017 at 11:11 PM.
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