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  • FIRST POST
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    • 1,192Posts
    • 3,703Thanks
    JoJoC
    Getting my shhh together
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 17, 12:20 PM
    Getting my shhh together 26th Jan 17 at 12:20 PM
    It's January 2017 and I want to make a stand against myself.

    I will let me sabotage myself no more and I will take control and make my finances better!

    Where to begin? Good question! Since my husband and I bought our first house together in 2009, we have bad financial decision after bad financial decision. Not through stupidity, but a combination of naivety, laziness and lack of foresight. We are very impulsive people and it's quite tricky to rein that in when it comes to finances but we've had endless talks over the last few months and 2017 is the year that we sort our sh!t out!

    A combination of astronomical childcare costs, unpaid maternity leave, paying the mortgage for our flat when it isn't let (second property) and a few other things has meant that the last 2.5 years have been really tight and we have built up some debt that I really want to reduce. I'll declare it below!

    Credit card 1: £6,000 (on 0% interest)
    Credit card 2: £3,800 (not yet on 0% interest)
    Overdraft: £600
    Owe to MIL: £120
    Owe to uncle: £700

    I CAN tackle this in 2017 because:

    - My eldest son is starting school in August, meaning i'll be saving on nursery fees
    - I have just started a new job and my earnings will increase by around £200 per month
    - My husband is busy with additional work in the form of 'homers' over the next couple of months

    Hurdles/ challenges/ costly things happening:
    - My sister's wedding in September
    - My sister's hen weekend in September
    - It's my mother in law's 60th and we are going away for a few nights to a cottage to celebrate
    - Husband is going on my brother-in-law's stag weekend to Prague
    - We need to save for spending money as my company is paying for myself and husband to go to Thailand for a week for work.

    As you can see, the opportunities to save, to rein in what we are spending and to pay off debts are there, but it's such a busy year of commitments so I know it's going to be hard going.

    How am I going to achieve this?

    Change the setup of our banking
    It's currently one big bank account for all income, bills and spending but that's not working for us at all, particularly because we have massive outgoings so I want to switch to having a bills account, a spending account and a savings account.

    Spend time weekly on budgeting
    I have set up a comprehensive spreadsheet detailing when money comes in, when it goes out, when money is transferred to savings and when money is transferred to spending accounts. I want to ensure that this is kept on target and we aren't left short so I want to spend time every Sunday night when my husband is at football going through our finances and the spreadsheet to make sure everything is running smoothly and tackle any adjustments that need to be made. I'm paid monthly and my husband is paid weekly so it's a tricky balance.

    Striking the balance
    I need to strike the balance between paying off debt that we have and saving up for the things that we've committed to this year - I know if I focus on debt alone, we'll end up further in debt to cover things. Vigilance is the key and I will need to keep on top of what we can and can't afford to do. Considered choices will work best and looking ahead to see what's coming up will help too. I want to tackle the family debt first, particularly as they are the smallest debts and the ones that I feel bad about the most.

    I appreciate that there's a lot of debt-free diaries on here and this one isn't solely about hammering debt, but I think it's important for me to be accountable and I want to make changes rather than plan then just bury my head in the sand.

    Any encouragement along the way would be appreciated!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
Page 19
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 19th Apr 17, 12:03 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Neglectful and unmotivated
    The above is exactly how Iím feeling right now. Iím also feeling overwhelmed with lots of things in life and thatís making me be pretty careless with money. Iíve overspent quite a bit over the last 10 days and I just canít pull myself back into that mindset.

    But I HAVE to.

    In order to get things straight in my head, Iím going to list the things that are overwhelming me right now:
    1. I sprained my ankle at the weekend so Iím in pain and hobbling a bit
    2. My youngest son (the one with recurring ear infections) has been under the weather for the last week but not exhibiting specific symptoms, just upset and not himself, so Iím just waiting constantly from a phone call from their nursery to say heís unwell and needs collected
    3. My husband is working so much right now (most nights after work and mostly every weekend)
    4. Because of the above, the childcare and the house are falling solely on my shoulders right now (which is fine) but with working full time, commuting and trying to keep up with the bare minimum, itís just like a never-ending list that I never achieve
    5. The house needs a lot of attention and I have no time to do anything other than the basics
    6. I have no time (or energy) to do things that Iíd like to get done like have a clear out of clothes, read my book, get things onto eBay etc.

    Because of these overwhelming things, Iím burying my head in the sand and have:
    1. Taken my eye off the ball with regards to spending Ė weíve had two takeaways in the last week (ashamed), Iíve bought my lunch once at the weekend and once this week, my husband has bought lunch every day this week, and I have no clue where Iím at with spending money because my husband keeps spending on materials for his jobs because I havenít yet come up with a solution for that.
    2. I have no meal plan at all, hence why we keep resorting to takeaways and dinners like beans on toast. I do have some ingredients in the house to make meals (phew)
    3. Bought three dresses last week in the hope that one fit for my friendís 30th birthday at the weekend. Two did fit, Iíve yet to send one back and Iím planning on keeping the other two despite the cost. The other two cost the same as the one that Iím sending back.


    Things I need to do:
    1. Pay the bill of the energy supplier that we have moved from. Itís around £150 and can come out of the savings account
    2. Follow up on the EPC certificate from the homebuilder Ė apparently, we need it to give to our letting agent, we donít have a copy and the home builder isnít responding (itís valid for 10 years and weíve owned it 8 years so they should be able to provide a copy)
    3. Catch up on the laundry
    4. Return the unwanted dress for a refund (itís packaged up and in my car, Iím just not near a post office when they are open until the weekend unless working from home)
    5. Pay my BIL £315 for our accommodation for our Liverpool trip
    6. Pay in the remainder of husbandís cash into the bank on Saturday to replenish cash used or materials
    7. Organise to work from home tomorrow and Friday to minimise the chaos and allow me to do some bits on my breaks
    8. Meal plan for next week, properly, with meals that wonít scupper things if my husband ends up working. The issue I have is that when my husband is just working normally, heís home an hour before the kids and I so he can make the dinner for us getting home around 6pm and then itís less of a rush to have showers, stories and bed time for 7.30pm. When I get in at 6pm and then need to start cooking, I donít want to feed the kids at 6.45 just to have to rush everything else and get in a tizz so I go for something easy (read unhealthy) and then the meal I planned goes out of the window.
    9. Sort out my spreadsheet, update it and reconcile my bank account and see what state we're in for this month...

    Things I would like to do:
    1. Exercise: I donít really have much time to exercise because of the kids and my husbandís busy working life but thereís nothing to stop me exercising in the house once the kids are in bed. I need to start making time for it and I think itíll help me to feel less overwhelmed and generally healthier.
    2. Clear out: The kidsí wardrobes need cleared out, they are both nearing the end of their respective clothing sizes so I need to get rid of the old stuff, pack away some of the eldestís stuff that the youngest can grow into, get out all of the stuff Iíd put away that the youngest is about to grow into and generally see where we stan and what we need, if anything.
    3. Clear out: My whole bedroom Ė wardrobes, shoes, drawers, jewellery, basically everything. I need to get rid of stuff pronto!
    4. Ebay: I know I could earn some money this way, I need to just get a system in place and get the motivation to follow it up and get it all done.

    House things beyond general cleaning that need tackled:
    1. Clear out the sideboard in the dining room
    2. Clear out the cupboards in DS1ís, DS2 and spare rooms
    3. Clear out the conservatory/ toy room (we need to get rid of toys for sure!)

    The above is just a start, Iíd like to add to it as I go but I think thatís enough lists for now!

    Apologies for the brain dump, but I do need to get my thoughts in order soon, or weíll end up undoing all the good work that weíve done so far.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 19th Apr 17, 12:12 PM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 8,505 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I can empathise with lots of this as I feel I've gone a bit off course over the past few weeks. I have not budgeted and my spending on consumables has sky rocketed. I'm ashamed of the amount I spend on food and drink and my coffee habit has crept up to sometimes 2 a day (so £5 wasted just on coffee).

    You have a good plan there, but you are working F/T, a mum of little ones and running a household so don't be too hard on yourself. I think overall you do great and it sounds like you back on track.
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/September 2017=6,448
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 19th Apr 17, 2:44 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks DIA, I am trying not to be too hard on myself but I do think I sometimes use that as an excuse (ďIím so busy...Ē but then Iím sitting down in my pyjamas at 8.30pm watching TV instead of catching up on things) so Iím trying to eliminate my laziness as much as possible and just get things done. Itís hard to strike a balance because I do need time to chill out of an evening and still get to bed at a reasonable time.

    Itís hard.

    I just checked my account and got my £30 energy switching fee paid in, so that went straight into the 123 credit card

    Iíve managed to go through my spreadsheet and the money situation isnít as bad as it could be. Weíre still most definitely in the positive. I was hoping to save the £600 mortgage payment that we didnít need to make this month but weíve eaten into that a bit. I think Iíll probably call it a round £400, transfer it into savings and just cut my losses on the other £200 instead of trying to recoup from somewhere, potentially leaving us short later in the month. Iím frustrated that we did this because that extra £200 would have looked really healthy in that account! I need to make peace with it and move on for the sake of my own sanity.

    On the plus side, I shouldnít need fuel for the rest of the month and will need to pay one more weekly shop from the funds that we have left in the spending account. My husband will probably need one top up of about £30 fuel until the end of the month so Iím hoping to keep expenses to £80 for the rest of the month.

    I batch made some mince with gravy, carrots and mushrooms last night so Iíll heat a portion of that for dinner to have with potatoes and veg for dinner. Itís low maintenance and while the potatoes are cooking, I might get the kids showered and in their pyjamas so that theyíre not late to bed. It takes so much more planning when my husband isnít going to be home after work. Iíll freeze the rest for another quick dinner next week.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 19th Apr 17, 4:08 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Iíve just done a bit of a count of savings and it stands at:

    Savings account: £508
    Cash: £1100 (approx.)
    Scotwest savings account: £346.70
    Scotwest Christmas savings: £210.00

    Total: £2164.70

    Of course, this isnít just available money. Itíll all be allocated at various points to expenses that are coming up, but itís nice to take stock of what we have right now, knowing that weíre not a million miles away from the targets that weíre saving for.

    The next expenses to plan for are in July but might need to pay some earlier:

    - DS2 birthday (2) Ė small gathering in the house with nibbles and minimal present(s)
    - DS1ís graduation from nursery Ė Iím imagining thereíll be some expenses like photos and the likes
    - Cardiff trip Ė fuel for 764 mile round trip and spending money for two days incl. all meals and a night out

    Then August:
    - Liverpool trip - £320 accommodation; spending money for Fri-Mon including all meals, fuel etc.
    - DS1 school uniform and assorted costs


    Iím not even going to think about September yetÖ thatís going to be a hideous month! A hen weekend, a stag weekend, sisterís wedding, two wedding anniversaries (ours and my parentsí), 30th birthdays of two best friends, three other family birthdaysÖ I thought I said I wasnít going to think about it!!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • GeorgianaCavendish
    • By GeorgianaCavendish 20th Apr 17, 11:11 AM
    • 513 Posts
    • 2,305 Thanks
    GeorgianaCavendish
    I love hearing about other people's spreadsheets and methods for keeping debt-busting motivation high! I find it quite calming to have a look at my spreadsheet whenever I get panicky about my debts, or when I'm feeling rebellious and wanting to spend money on something I don't need or even really want.
    Georgiana, Duchess of Debt-shire's July 2017 Debt Totals: HSBC Loan £11,362.14 / MBNA £3318.34 / Barclaycard £6360.70 / Lloyds £3560 / Tesco £972.50/ Dreams £259

    And don't forget the Student Loan! £10,765.93 (April 2017)
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Apr 17, 11:20 AM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I spent a little time doing surveys this morning while having my coffee and toast, so here's my latest totals.

    Onepoll: £13.45
    Crowdology: £5.84
    Valued opinions: £5.00
    Opinion outpost: 45 points

    I've gotten out of the habit of doing them recently, so thought I'd put in a bit of effort today.

    I've also put dishes away, done washing x1, hung it up and have another washing ready to go in.

    I will be productive today! Working from home so i've given myself until 1pm to get more work done and then take an hour to get some things done in the house and pop out to the post office.

    It's a nice day here today which makes a difference. The rain really puts a dampener on my day so a bit of sunshine goes a long way
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 20th Apr 17, 11:22 AM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I love hearing about other people's spreadsheets and methods for keeping debt-busting motivation high! I find it quite calming to have a look at my spreadsheet whenever I get panicky about my debts, or when I'm feeling rebellious and wanting to spend money on something I don't need or even really want.
    Originally posted by GeorgianaCavendish
    Yes, I do too. Sometimes it's not a cure though, when i'm becoming financially reckless i'll actively avoid the spreadsheet because I know it'll make me feel guilty. Gosh, i sound like a child!

    Trying to keep on with the positive mindset.

    Another bonus - I found £15.40 in my jacket pocket yesterday so that's a nice little extra in my purse for random spends.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 21st Apr 17, 1:24 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Well, today is going ok so far.

    I bought my monthly train pass this morning which I’d budgeted £91 for but I FINALLY remembered to use the voucher from my delayed train journey last year, so it came to £71 instead. I have already transferred the £20 saved into my credit card, so that’s an overpayment of £50 this month, above what I normally pay. Happy with that, considering our focus is saving right now.

    I have also transferred the £400 from my lack of mortgage payment for the month into my savings account so I’m getting there with organizing my stuff.

    Had a reminder in from my old energy provider to settle my account, so I’ll need to get onto that tonight when I’m home too.

    I’m looking forward to the weekend, although I have nothing in particular planned. I’m hoping that a combination of catching up in the house and spending quality time with the kids will do the trick  Fingers crossed for some sunshine this weekend!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 24th Apr 17, 10:42 AM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 8,505 Thanks
    doingitanyway

    Had a reminder in from my old energy provider to settle my account, so Iíll need to get onto that tonight when Iím home too.
    Originally posted by JoJoC
    Yes, I had this too as I am changing providers.
    Well done on the train credit.
    I hope you had fun times with the kids this weekend
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/September 2017=6,448
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 24th Apr 17, 11:40 AM
    • 7,071 Posts
    • 34,185 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Hi JoJo

    I am in the same place..overwhelmed and not in a good headspace re money. It means its all going south. However this weekend I decided to was determined to stop the slide and am gearing up for a frugal May and June to regain the momentum. I have also decided that lack of sleep doesn't help, so I am trying to do that and have all screens in the house off by 9pm. Hoping that makes it all more bearable and helps us turn a corner

    Have a good week

    x
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    September '17 Savings Rate Goal: 33% [August 33%]
    Declutter 100 items before 30.09.17 35/100 ** LSDs Target 5 for September 02/05 **AFDs 09/15 ** Sales Target '17 £750 £225 so far
    **NSDs Target 5 for September 01/05 Trying to be a Frugalista
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 24th Apr 17, 12:30 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi JoJo

    I am in the same place..overwhelmed and not in a good headspace re money. It means its all going south. However this weekend I decided to was determined to stop the slide and am gearing up for a frugal May and June to regain the momentum. I have also decided that lack of sleep doesn't help, so I am trying to do that and have all screens in the house off by 9pm. Hoping that makes it all more bearable and helps us turn a corner

    Have a good week

    x
    Originally posted by brizzledfw
    Sounds like you're having a tough time of it brizzle? Hope things are on the up for you soon. Lack of sleep is horrendous and a motivation-zapper for me, so I really feel for you. Hope your week is a good one!
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 24th Apr 17, 12:30 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Yes, I had this too as I am changing providers.
    Well done on the train credit.
    I hope you had fun times with the kids this weekend
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Thanks DIA - we had a lovely weekend actually! Lots of time spent outside and in each others' company, which was lovely. Did you have a nice weekend?
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • brizzledfw
    • By brizzledfw 24th Apr 17, 12:48 PM
    • 7,071 Posts
    • 34,185 Thanks
    brizzledfw
    Thanks hon - yes all doable..onwards and upwards for us all
    MFiT-T4 Member No. 96 - 2022 is my MF goal
    September '17 Savings Rate Goal: 33% [August 33%]
    Declutter 100 items before 30.09.17 35/100 ** LSDs Target 5 for September 02/05 **AFDs 09/15 ** Sales Target '17 £750 £225 so far
    **NSDs Target 5 for September 01/05 Trying to be a Frugalista
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 24th Apr 17, 1:04 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    A new week
    After a lovely and, dare I say it productive, weekend, I'm starting this week afresh with renewed enthusiasm!

    I wonder how long it will lastÖ

    My weekend was lovely Ė I spent lots of time with the kids outside which is great for the soul, we went to visit my grandparents (81) who just love seeing the kids and catching up, I did a bit in the house and some cooking for the freezer, did my food shopping and restocked lots of toiletry bits that we were running out of andÖwait for itÖ CLEARED OUT THE SIDEBOARD IN THE DINING ROOM! We now have loads of space freed up in there so that other bits and bobs can have a home. It doesnít sound like a lot but itís made a huge difference.

    In terms of spending, we had a fairly low spend weekend Ė I bought lunch for everyone on Saturday (9 people) but I went to the butcher and bought rolls and a lorne of square sausage which totaled £11 for 9 people and I have about 12 slices left in my freezer so I think thatís a decent spend.

    It was also an expensive supermarket shop (I was in FOUR supermarkets on Sunday) but I feel well stocked up.

    I am working from home two days this week which frees up my commute time, so Iím going to revisit my list from last week and make some targets for things Iíd like to achieve outwith my busy week at work.

    Things I need to do:
    1. Pay the bill of the energy supplier that we have moved from. Itís around £150 and can come out of the savings account
    2. Follow up on the EPC certificate from the homebuilder Ė apparently, we need it to give to our letting agent, we donít have a copy and the home builder isnít responding (itís valid for 10 years and weíve owned it 8 years so they should be able to provide a copy)
    3. Catch up on the laundry
    4. Return the unwanted dress for a refund (itís packaged up and in my car, Iím just not near a post office when they are open until the weekend unless working from home)

    5. Pay my BIL £315 for our accommodation for our Liverpool trip
    6. Pay in the remainder of husbandís cash into the bank on Saturday to replenish cash used or materials
    7. Organise to work from home tomorrow and Friday to minimise the chaos and allow me to do some bits on my breaks
    8. Meal plan for next week, properly, with meals that wonít scupper things if my husband ends up working. The issue I have is that when my husband is just working normally, heís home an hour before the kids and I so he can make the dinner for us getting home around 6pm and then itís less of a rush to have showers, stories and bed time for 7.30pm. When I get in at 6pm and then need to start cooking, I donít want to feed the kids at 6.45 just to have to rush everything else and get in a tizz so I go for something easy (read unhealthy) and then the meal I planned goes out of the window.
    9. Sort out my spreadsheet, update it and reconcile my bank account and see what state we're in for this month...


    Things I would like to do:
    1. Exercise: I donít really have much time to exercise because of the kids and my husbandís busy working life but thereís nothing to stop me exercising in the house once the kids are in bed. I need to start making time for it and I think itíll help me to feel less overwhelmed and generally healthier.
    2. Clear out: The kidsí wardrobes need cleared out, they are both nearing the end of their respective clothing sizes so I need to get rid of the old stuff, pack away some of the eldestís stuff that the youngest can grow into, get out all of the stuff Iíd put away that the youngest is about to grow into and generally see where we stan and what we need, if anything.
    3. Clear out: My whole bedroom Ė wardrobes, shoes, drawers, jewellery, basically everything. I need to get rid of stuff pronto!
    4. Ebay: I know I could earn some money this way, I need to just get a system in place and get the motivation to follow it up and get it all done.

    House things beyond general cleaning that need tackled:
    1. Clear out the sideboard in the dining room
    2. Clear out the cupboards in DS1ís, DS2 and spare rooms
    3. Clear out the conservatory/ toy room (we need to get rid of toys for sure!)
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 25th Apr 17, 11:38 AM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I had to spend £4.55 on Compeed plasters this morning after cutting my feet to shreds with silly high heels a week and a half ago... they're not healing properly and they're so sore, so although I grudged the cost, it's £4.55 well spent!

    Did i mention that my husband has got some work up north on a Saturday and his client offered to put him up in a hotel for two night to complete it. They said they'd book a family room so that he could bring us if we want (it's 3.5 hours away) so we decided to go for it. He'll only be working one day and we can have a full 1.5 days to explore and do something nice. Well, just got the hotel confirmation in and it's a beautiful hotel and spa and they have booked us in for dinner, bed and breakfast for two nights for all our of us! Cheap weekend away and only one day spent without my husband!

    It's only three days until pay day and I'm determined to stay more on track in May than I was in April. In my defense, it was a hellishly expensive month with our trip away, MIL's 60th, my best friend's 30th and her night out, husband's annual football night out and my sister's birthday. I think we've done not too badly considering.

    May should be less chaotic - we have this trip North for my husband's work which will cost slightly (but less than i thought!) and my husband's birthday which will be minimal expense. Other than that, it should be reasonable

    I'm working from home on Thursday and Friday this week which will give me a chance to catch up on life as well as get stuck into a couple of work assignments that are hanging over my head.

    I've been keeping up with doing surveys and am making slow progress, but progress nonetheless.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 25th Apr 17, 2:37 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I've been procrastinating for the last 20 minutes and have worked out how our finances should look post- August when my eldest starts school.

    Our childcare bill will drop from £1386 to around £900 which will free up a decent amount of cash for us. Considering all bills, a limited pot of spending money, fuel, groceries etc, we should have around £600 left over so I’d quite like to split that 50/50 between savings and paying more off our debts. The beauty of this is that if we have an expensive month coming up, we can just divert some of the ‘spare’ funds to cope with what’s coming up but in months in between be ploughing cash into debt and savings.

    In doing this, we’d be able to pay a total of £400p/m into the credit cards (it’s only £107 right now) so being able to do this regularly will make a massive difference.

    We only have three more hideously large nursery payments and then we’ll be able to start looking to the future with a bit more comfort and with more progress being made.

    I still look at that £600 figure and have that niggling feeling in the back of my head that I want to spend it but I’ll put all my power into keeping that at bay for now.

    Motivation is on the horizon, I only need to get through the next few months until I can see real progress being made.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 25th Apr 17, 5:36 PM
    • 1,874 Posts
    • 8,505 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I think you will do the right thing for you come August. It'll be great to be £600 a month up. Nursery fees are shocking

    You are like me in looking ahead. It is the only way I can keep going on this DF journey sometimes...
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/September 2017=6,448
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 26th Apr 17, 3:41 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    I know – those fees are shocking and that’s with my son getting 15 hours free per week (term time) from the Government and also a 10% sibling discount. It’s soul destroying. We’ve been in this position since January last year so we can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

    Only another three years in August until my youngest starts school!

    Yes, we are similar in our forward looking. I sometimes just need something to focus and motivate me and just doing random workings to figure out where we could/ should be at various points does definitely help.

    I went for lunch today with an ex work colleague and friend which was lovely - £6 spent but it was worth it for a catch up without our kid chewing our ears off.

    I’m working from home tomorrow so am going to set myself some challenges during my breaks.

    Thursday
    1. Drop kids off at nursery on time (8am) then visit sister with birthday card before starting work at 9am
    2. Catch up on washing (one white wash)
    3. Strip all the beds in the house and get them all washed
    4. Prep dinner (husband is working so I want to be on the ball).

    Friday
    1. Clean and hoover the living room
    2. Clean and hoover the downstairs loo
    3. Clear coat rack in the hall and put some coats away upstairs.

    When I got in from work yesterday, my husband was showering the kids so I took the opportunity to put mine, and the two kids’ washing away, emptied the bin in our room and cleared out a shelf. It was only 10 minutes work but shows how easy it is to get a bit done. My room now looks much clearer for getting that stuff out the way.
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 26th Apr 17, 4:34 PM
    • 1,470 Posts
    • 16,849 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Have you thought about how you will cover the shorter days and school holidays when your eldest starts school? My DH was working abroad M-F when our Son started school aged four. I was in danger of paying someone else to bring him up as I was taking him in early for breakfast club, he was staying later for homework club and then I was paying a child-minder to collect him and give him his tea before I got home (the joys of working full-time and commuting an hour each way). Then there were holiday play-schemes... I had not considered these but he has turned out fine, quite self-supporting and independent, I just spent more than I planned.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 31.2% after Q6
    Save £12k in 2017 #64 - £8112.39 saved (73.74%) after August - my annual target is £11,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of £3,600 £3000 (reduced from Apr) - 61.61/66.66% including stores after July
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 27th Apr 17, 12:13 PM
    • 1,192 Posts
    • 3,703 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Thanks for your insight Suffolk Lass - it's an endless trip of motherhood-related guilt.

    I've made plans for wrap around care for my son when he starts school which I'm hoping will work. I'm planning on working from home on Mondays and Fridays so that I can drop him at school and pick him up two days per week (my work is pretty flexible).

    Then Tuesday- Thursday his old childminder will take him in the morning for breakfast before dropping him off at school and on alternate weeks will pick him up from school. In the weeks in between, my MIL will pick him up as she's on an early shift.

    It should be a nice balance for him to spend time with his Gran and old childminder (who he loves) and I'll be around for him a bit more by being at home two days per week.

    In terms of school holidays, he'll spend some of them with the childminder and the holidays that she is taking off, my husband and I will take holidays. Luckily, my folks usually get bank holidays so they'll be able to look after him some days.

    It all seems pretty clear in my head but I'll see how it all plays out. I think once we have an idea of what the school holidays will be and what the childminder's holidays will be, it'll make it a bit easier to plan in advance. I've got all the holidays for the rest of this year covered with annual leave days.

    Thanks for the perspective
    CC1: 3,774.32/4,200 | CC2: 5,077/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,292.57/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,739 or 18.66%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
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