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    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    • 109Posts
    • 292Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Quids in for a Limited Time
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    Quids in for a Limited Time 2nd Jan 17 at 8:11 PM
    Hi. Let me introduce myself. I am an old time user and lately a frequent browser. There is me, my husband & my two kids age 17 & 15. I have £56,000 owing on my mortgage which is on a tracker rate of currently 1.14 which is really good I think. I do make the odd overpayment on it as it kinda gives me a happy feeling the same as say buying a new top or dress does but tbh I think I would be better off putting any spare money in a savings account in view of the rate.
    To be honest though much as I would like to clear the mortgage as soon as possible, there are other things that I would like money for such as home improvements and driving lessons & a car for my daughter. So this is going to really be more of a savings diary than anything else. If anyone wants to join me that would be great but my main reason for doing this is I hope to keep me focused.
    I have added up all our incomings and outgoings and in theory we should have loads left over every month for savings but the reality is we actually don't! We don't have any debts & do have a small amount of savings but its a bit of a mystery where the money actually goes so I have also started a spending diary to establish that! Life has been good the last year as my ex-husband has been paying maintenance which he never did previously so last year we had our first foreign holiday in six years and we have had a much better social life than we were previously able to and the kids have been able to experience some new things.
    I am aware however that as some of our money is maintenance paid from my ex-husband that will be ending at some point soon in view of my children's ages - hence the title of this thread.
    Thanks for reading so far!
Page 3
    • Skint yet Again
    • By Skint yet Again 22nd Feb 17, 5:54 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 17,647 Thanks
    Skint yet Again
    I know what you mean about lending money from parents but my parents gave me an interest free loan over 5 years instead of me getting a bank loan.
    I just set up a standing order and pay them an agreed amount per month and they are happy that they are helping me out. We have a written agreement that if anything should happen to them the balance owing is deducted from my share of any inheritance money.
    As long as you can keep moving the balance to a 0% credit card or pay if off before the term expires you will at least avoid any interest but do you have to pay a fee to move it to the 0% card ?
    Aims for 2017 -
    1. save as much as possible. spend as little as possible but still have a social life !
    2. no takeaways !
    3. shop once a week - no "top-up" shops - no unnecessary spending !!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 22nd Feb 17, 8:19 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    OH's car is definitely a right off but the good news is that it has been valued higher than we thought it would so we will not need to borrow as much. Yes there will be a fee Skint yet again but I think it will be as little as 0.85% with MBNA so not a great deal.
    Our transfer with Scottish Power has gone through so now we have to wait and see whether Npower will charge us £40 exit fees for leaving them in the last week before our fixed period expires and also how quickly they will return the £414 that they took from us last week on direct debit, which was their calculation they did based on incorrect readings even though they later told us that we were actually in credit with them!!
    Feeling pleased that DD has been asked to work on Saturday. The more she earns the less chance she will want me to pay for things!
    • Skint yet Again
    • By Skint yet Again 22nd Feb 17, 8:26 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 17,647 Thanks
    Skint yet Again
    0.85% That's not too bad is it . Good luck with Npower hope they sort things quickly for you
    Aims for 2017 -
    1. save as much as possible. spend as little as possible but still have a social life !
    2. no takeaways !
    3. shop once a week - no "top-up" shops - no unnecessary spending !!
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 22nd Feb 17, 10:46 PM
    • 183 Posts
    • 736 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    I'm really sorry to hear about the car problems. I hope things start to look up soon for you.
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,425
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£198,600
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£126,600
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / Current -£14,310.60
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,650.27
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Feb 17, 10:59 PM
    • 5,669 Posts
    • 29,197 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I hope the spate of bad luck will be over for you soon, Maiden.

    Re. the car. What are you thinking about getting? I'd be careful buying a new car on finance as they depreciate in value so quickly.
    Money saved 2017: £3330. Overpayments 2017: £500.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From £32,000 in debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • -taff
    • By -taff 23rd Feb 17, 9:21 AM
    • 7,130 Posts
    • 4,529 Thanks
    -taff
    Bad luck about the car accident. Hope it gets sorted out, and your new-ish car comes soon
    I'd pop over to the old style board, and have a look at the meal planning threads. Sounds like your teenage boys are snacking quite a lot, and I agree with Alex, if they want junk, let them buy it.

    There are recipe finders online where you plug in what you have, and they suggest meals.
    I'd probably start making quite a few rissottos with the turkey/meats, Rice is gluten free, rissotto is filling, one onion, four handfuls of rice, a stock cube, handful of peas, chopped up turkey and a bit of cheese, one pot wonder too You don't have to use arborio rice, you could make it like a paella.
    What are your store cupboard basics like?
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 23rd Feb 17, 7:00 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    The car will be a few years old Alex, not brand new. I'm not really sure what it will be but I do know it will be something small & cheap! I want one that my daughter can perhaps learn in or get insured on at some point so I want it to be small and we tend to use my car to go out in as a couple or family, Neither my husband or I have any interest in cars really, we just view them as something to get from A to B in.

    Thanks for commenting Taff. I've often wanted to use a website such as you describe but do not know the name of any. I love the Old Style board but it still doesn't seem to help me reduce the food bill unfortunately although I will be trying to use up my supplies in the freezer and cupboards! I have also never made a risotto and it has been on my list of things to make for ages so thank you for the reminder of that!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 27th Feb 17, 7:38 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Looks like we will get £1,100 for Oh's car which is actually more than we thought we would so once that is sorted we will go car hunting as he only gets to keep the courtesy car for 1 week after we have received the money. Just renewed my car tax - £270!
    The weekend was fairly cheap considering that OH got paid on Friday - £10.20 on lunch out for my son & I after we had bee to a local college Open Day to explore what he will do after his GCSEs & £7 for one drink each for OH & me in the pub Saturday night. Quite good but I am aware that it will be a 5 week month so some caution is needed!

    I've just been adding up my spends for February & they are still rather scary! From 26.01.17 to 25.02.17 I spent £652 on food or £600 exactly for the actual month of February.
    We also spent £188 on petrol & £44 on clothes (£27 me, £10 for DD & £7 for OH)
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 27th Feb 17, 7:40 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Oh & £187.70 on drinks and meals out!
    If I could only get those food spends down!
    • Skint yet Again
    • By Skint yet Again 27th Feb 17, 7:54 PM
    • 2,689 Posts
    • 17,647 Thanks
    Skint yet Again
    Hi MM do you meal plan ? How about planning a week of meals from your freezer / stores and just buying basics like milk. One week out of 5 should go some ways towards reduce your shopping bill.
    Aims for 2017 -
    1. save as much as possible. spend as little as possible but still have a social life !
    2. no takeaways !
    3. shop once a week - no "top-up" shops - no unnecessary spending !!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 27th Feb 17, 10:18 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Yes Skintyetagain I really do struggle with meal planning but I should definitely keep trying, although in my defence we never get a takeaway if I get home from work and don't know what we are having for dinner - I would then just make something like tuna pasta.
    Food for Feb was actually slightly less at £589.57 as I had included a Mother's day card and some socks in that previous amount.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 1st Mar 17, 8:03 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    I'm feeling grumpy & miserable tonight with tooth ache. I had a dentist appointment Monday where I thought I would need root canal treatment for which was going to cost £233. Anyway dentist then said she didn't think I did need it and instead just gave me a large filling at a cost of £53. Since then however, I have been in a lot of pain and the nerve definitely feels exposed so I have another appointment booked for Friday at 9am. Really not looking forward to it as I guess they will have to get rid of the new, big filling to be able to get to the root. That makes me feel really anxious and also cost wise I guess I am now going to have to pay the £233 on top of what I have already paid. My cheeky DS said he doesn't know why I don't just have the tooth out "as it is not as though it matters at my age"!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 1st Mar 17, 8:07 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Still no news about OH's car so still using the courtesy car & still no letter from Npower with a cheque for a refund on the large credit that the account closed on!
    I find that although OH & I have both been paid, I cannot do a budget by deducting all expenses as they all come out in dribs and drabs throughout the month as does the money that goes into the account to a certain extent.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 3rd Mar 17, 9:15 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Still nothing from Npower so I spoke to someone on line to enquire where my refund was only to be told it can take 30-45 to be sent! What a joke! I raised a complaint but I bet it doesn't make any difference. I need that money returned so that we can pay the CC which we paid for OH's clutch on.

    I wanted to update my freezer list as some things have been used and some things have been added & I'll loose track if I don't update it. So..

    11 raw chicken breasts (2,2,2 & 3)
    Raw mince - enough for 2 people x 2
    Large bag of prawns
    50 mini sausage rolls
    3 packets of bacon
    1/2 bag of oven chips
    Full bag of potato wedges
    12 chipolata sausages
    7 small salmon fillets
    2 bags of cooked beef (2 portions in a bag)
    2 bags of cooked chicken (2 portions in a bag)
    2 bags of cooked lamb (2 portions in a bag)
    6 bags of cooked gammon (2 portions in a bag)
    2 bags of cooked turkey (2 portions in a bag)
    A bag of garlic mushrooms
    4 breaded haddock fillets
    3/4 box of normal fish-fingers
    1 box of g/free fried mi chicken fillets
    Garlic dough balls
    2 g/free burger buns
    4 normal burger buns
    G.free wraps
    G/free pains au chocolate
    Vegetable casserole / curry - 1 lot of at least 2 portions each
    3 unidentified bags!
    1/2 bag of quorn chicken pieces
    2 & 1/2 bags of peas
    1 box of hot chill - 2 portions
    4 Aberdeen steak burgers
    20 meat balls
    1 G/free cod haddock

    Got to keep on persevering with using up what we have!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 6th Mar 17, 8:11 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Still nothing from Npower, still nothing about OH's insurance claim & still have tooth ache!

    Had a fairly cheap weekend, that's two on the trot but just paid out £80 for new glasses for my DD. Just need to get some for myself some day soon!

    I've been pondering about paying £150- £200 off my mortgage balance this month but think I will wait a week or so in case any nasty surprises happen!

    (20 meat balls used up.)
    Last edited by Maiden Mum; 06-03-2017 at 8:15 PM.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 23rd Mar 17, 10:33 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Well still no progress on the car front so OH still using the courtesy car! I am beginning to think the other party want actually insured but his insurance company seem happy for him to continue using the courtesy car so not a real issue I guess!
    Transfer to Scottish Power has gone through and refund received from Npower so all good there! Tooth ache has also gone and never actually needed the root canal treatment in the end - I just had an ulcer and lots of bruising.
    Never paid anything off the mortgage in the end which is just as well as had forgotten that we needed to pay annual cricket subs, plus our dog has had kennel cough so we had vets fees as well and Sunday we have a big family meal to pay for as part of Mother's day celebration.
    It has seemed like a long month however and I will be glad when pay day next Friday finally comes round. OH & I haven't been out much although I did have a nice pizza last Friday night with DD in a local pub which was nice although not particularly cheap.
    Oh just remembered also why money is a bit tight this month - we have paid for a couple nights away in a cottage in Whitby at Easter. Sooo looking forward to that!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 3rd Apr 17, 7:07 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Well March ended with being about £100 overdrawn which was not great. £569 spent on food from 28 Feb to 31st March or £536 just for March. Still way too much I know & I will try to do better this month. Eating out costs came to £102 which wasnt actually too bad as this included a rather rare spend by OH with his two sons and also a big family meal for Mother's day. Spends on clothes were £95, £60 of which was on DS & £35 for me. Petrol for me was £96 and I'm not sure about OH, probably £100 or so.

    I have put £300 away into savings already for this month but will have to see whether that is even possible or maybe I will be able to add to it. Depends partly on how much we spend when we go away for a couple of nights. But starting the month £100 overdrawn, plus a couple of annual things to pay for this month leaves me unsure really!

    OH's car has just been sorted out so he has to return the courtesy car this weekend and is now in the process of buying a little Citroen.

    DD is just about to start a part-time job which is great as it will give her some money although it will also affect me in terms of petrol and also my sleep as I will have to pick her up really late some nights.

    Never paid anything off the mortgage last month after all. Still want a holiday and so still undecided about the holiday / new kitchen / reducing the mortgage debate! Just wish I had the money to do all three at once!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 16th May 17, 9:04 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Well it's been a while! April did turn out to be a very expensive month and I don't think any saving got done. A shocking amount of £692 got spent on food, plus a whopping £270 on eating and drinking out, £65 on clothes, all for me and £135 on petrol for me (don't know about OH). I can't quite believe the horrible amounts on food & drink, in and out - a total of £962!!! This is partly due to going away for two nights so buying food and drink for lunch and dinner for four people for three days, a couple of work events and an unexpected family lunch with my DB and his wife. My petrol also went up due to the 2 days away plus taking and picking up DD from her job. Also, from now until mid September are always manically busy months for us all and I guess more convenience food gets eaten. I have also eaten a few home made meals from the freezer which were so lovely to be able to do on busy nights but they have all gone now so I need to try and find the time to make some more.
    May so far is not going any better I feel but I will update once I have added up my receipts.
    I haven't actually put anything away into savings so far this month. I know you are supposed to do this at the beginning of the month and then live to your means on what's left for the rest of the month but I forgot at the beginning of the month and as we are now half way through I'm tempted to just carry on for the rest of it and see what is actually left. We haven't eaten out at all this month I don't think apart from a £3.50 spend on a McDonalds so hopefully there will be a few hundred left!
    Got to supply our new energy supplier with a reading which I feel a bit nervous about in case it turns out that in reality they aren't actually any cheaper than our previous supplier!
    Right off to add up my spends so far for this month and also to catch up on some other posts as I haven't been on here for a while.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 16th May 17, 10:29 PM
    • 109 Posts
    • 292 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    OK so just added up food spends for May so far & they come to £333.29 & clothes (for me, well shoes actually) are £28. Not sure about petrol yet.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 17th May 17, 11:29 AM
    • 27,406 Posts
    • 148,457 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Hi Maiden Mum, I've just been scanning through your thread, and I can see that you're really hurting with the grocery spends. I'm "quoting" this list from page 1, its the first time you put your Use Up freezer list onto the thread, and what I notice is how many branded foods are in there, rather than supermarket own. Even herbs! And oats really don't need to be from the Free From section - you can just buy ordinary oats.

    I've seen a rec. for you to go to Old Style on here to do some research? I'd really recommend that. And the other posters are right in that snacks are always going to be way more expensive than meals; batch cooking?

    Good luck!
    Sweet Mandarin G/Free Sweet N Sour sauce BB 04/17
    Tikka Free From Curry Paste BB 04/19
    Free From Porridge Oats BB 22/3/17
    Tin of Coconut Milk BB 19/1/17
    Paremesan type Cheese BB 19/01/97
    Sharwoods Egg Noodles BB 03/03/17
    1/4 Box of Free From Lasagne sheets BB 8/18
    Poppadoms BB 14/01/17
    1 Gluten free Bread Sauce BB 10/17
    2 Normal bread sauces BB 4/17 & 6/18
    1 Schwartz Paprika Chicken BB 4/18- G/free?
    ! Schwartz Meatballs in Tomato sauce mix BB 3/18 G/Free?
    11/2 Fajita Seasoning mix BB 6/18
    1 Schwartz Balti mix BB 3/18
    5 Sweet Chilli & Garlic sauces G/free BB 11/18
    1 Schwartz Slow Cooker BBQ Pulled Pork BB 4/18 Yes G/free
    1 Gluten free Dumpling mix BB Jan 17


    1 Dark Brown Soft Sugar BB 3/17
    2 Bags of Caster Sugar
    2 icing sugar
    2 Free From Self Raising flours BB 3/17 & 5/17
    1 Free From Plain flour BB 4/17
    1 Betty Crocker G/Free Choc Icing BB 7/17
    1 Lime juice BB 12/16
    2 Milk Chocolates & 2 dark chocolates BB 7/17
    1 Chocolate Free From cake Mix BB 4/17
    Originally posted by Maiden Mum
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of £25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
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