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  • FIRST POST
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 28th Jan 17, 12:18 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Get a grip woman!
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 17, 12:18 PM
    Get a grip woman! 28th Jan 17 at 12:18 PM
    Having been reading a number of people's debt-free wannabe diaries for some time now, I have finally decided I will start my own.

    We are less than three years from wanting to stop work, and less than ten years from state retirement age. I manage our household finances and DH lets me get on with it. His attitude is more "live for today" so we are a good balance, I think. We have two holidays each year and sometimes more - and he has some boys toys - 2 Harley Davidson motorcycles in the garage, that seem to always need money spending on them. That said, there is more to be said in favour of a happy and contented DH than against them so I don't resent them in any way.

    So to debts - It seems a good time because I have recently finished the finance on my car, and as of yesterday, paid off the finance for DS's car (I borrowed from him 18 months ago and paid back by buying his car on finance and paying his insurance). I was paying 4.7% on that debt so it was my highest priority. I paid it off 10 months early using most of my HSBC Regular Saver that matured this week.

    The debts I have currently are:

    110,621 - Mortgage - interest rate of 0.74% (0.5 above the BoEBR)
    3,476 - DH's car - 0% credit card until Sept 17 - a 4000 cash advance with a 76 fee
    8,755.54 - Barclays Finance for double glazing 0% over 2 years 2/24 paid

    Total 122,852.54

    It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.

    I think that will do for a scene setter.

    SL
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
Page 4
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 8th Mar 17, 10:19 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    I didn't know you could get a 13 month premium. That's interesting.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    I don't know if he can, but he sure won't if we don't ask. It was just an idea to try and stagger things a little. I wonder if Martin Lewis has ever explored this?
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 8th Mar 17, 10:25 PM
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    Bobarella
    You could ask him on Twitter. He seems to reply to a lot of messages there.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Mar 17, 7:23 AM
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    Karmacat
    DH has just mentioned the motorcycle insurance is due this month - by 14th There's nothing like a bit of planning and frankly, that is nothing like a bit of planning! I expect it will be about 150!
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Given the lack of planning I'm experiencing on my thread, this comment seemed particularly appropriate



    Save
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of 25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 9th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    You could ask him on Twitter. He seems to reply to a lot of messages there.
    Originally posted by Bobarella
    Ooh yes, thank you. Done!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 9th Mar 17, 7:01 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Given the lack of planning I'm experiencing on my thread, this comment seemed particularly appropriate



    Save
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    And there was me thinking how active and organised you are!
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 9th Mar 17, 9:00 PM
    • 352 Posts
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    boxofpaws
    How did you get on with the 13 month premium?
    Debt 03/01/17 = 42000
    Debt today = 36933
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 10th Mar 17, 7:23 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    No reply from Martin and no update from DH. He is on a learning day at school today so will finish at 1pm and it is on my list to speak about this afternoon as I am at home today
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 14th Mar 17, 7:33 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Hmm. Confirmation that Insurance Companies will not quote for 13 months and not "about 150" after all.

    Thanks to DH writing off our car last September in a "his fault" accident (also another car and whiplash to two passengers, police involvement and a driving awareness course) the premium was in fact, close to 300 - he managed to get it down to approx 220 by going with SAGA

    OMG! I don't even know what I want to be when I grow up and already we are old enough for SAGA Insurance

    Never mind that, get a grip woman! this month is disastrous.

    I also have to drive up North on Thursday so may not post before Sunday/Monday
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th Mar 17, 12:35 AM
    • 10,537 Posts
    • 67,753 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Blimey that's a steep increase. At least Saga is cheap. Sorry Martin didn't reply.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 53.62 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1805.58 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 19th Mar 17, 9:43 PM
    • 352 Posts
    • 1,417 Thanks
    boxofpaws

    OMG! I don't even know what I want to be when I grow up and already we are old enough for SAGA Insurance
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass


    Sagging, bags and wrinkles but at least the insurance gets cheaper
    Debt 03/01/17 = 42000
    Debt today = 36933
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 21st Mar 17, 9:25 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    I thought I would just update on my low carb low-sugar diet progress as I have now broken through the next stone number on the scales - to be clear, I have not even lost a stone and a half yet but the scale reader has dropped by 2 - and I need all the incentives I can get at the moment. My actual update is that almost seven weeks in, my weight is 19 pounds down in total, and all my trousers are feeling too big, along with my underwear!

    I shall stay strong for the next week and a bit and then we are away with friends for the first week in April. I do plan to relax my food and drink intake for that period, but I may switch to a five-two fasting regime after that, to see what that does. I might just carry on with no carbs or sugar, without following any diet plan, let's see how my knees are when I start taking a glass or two.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 21st Mar 17, 9:36 AM
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    Karmacat
    19lbs down after 7 weeks! Thats really, really good, congratulations. I don't really have any sugar at all now, after being addicted to the stuff for years - though I do have honey on my porridge, and I often snack on dried fruit like sultanas, but thats it - the only refined sugar I have is in baked goods, once in a blue moon, which used to be several times a day.

    Carbs ... now thats another matter altogether! Can I ask what you're eating instead? Is it more fruit and veg? And what about your garden?
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of 25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 22nd Mar 17, 11:43 AM
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    Suffolk lass
    My diet
    Thanks for asking Karmacat. I try to avoid simple carbs (except Christmas chocolate!). My old carbs were potatoes, pasta, rice, bread (hm or Hovis wheatgerm).

    I have cut out potatoes at the moment (hardship is jacket potato with a crunchy skin, which I love) - things like mash or roast, I have just left off my plate. I am eating more cabbage and carrot at the moment!

    Pasta - none, I made lasagna with leek sheets but note to self is to shorten them so they run across not lengthways as once they are cooked they are difficult to cut - the flavour is excellent though - I also used bol sauce in a halved capsicum pepper (grated cheese on top and bunged in oven for 30 minutes) instead of mixing it with penne when I did this for son and husband last week. Think I actually prefer this.

    Rice - just ordered onion (and sag) bhaji (made with gram flour) instead

    Bread - had to cheat on Saturday as we went out for a curry with my Mum and the restaurant refused to let me order a vegetable side dish as they were too busy (we were in the West of Scotland and apparently this is normal (!)) - so I had to mop up my very wet gujarati spiced chicken with a bit of my husband's plain naan bread.

    My conscious cheat has been to make a flour-thickened cheese sauce to have with leek and cauliflower - using about a dessert spoon of organic stoneground white flour to about 50g butter and oil.

    In terms of fruit, I have been eating berry fruits (frozen), stirred into greek yogurt and allowed to defrost, with nuts and seeds and a dessert spoonful of raw jumbo organic oats as my normal breakfast on work days. Other than this, a daily orange, and an occasional apple with cheese (or celery sticks with cheese). No bananas, tropical fruits, dried fruits because of their high or concentrated sugar content.

    And we get through loads of coleslaw (bog-standard with no added sugar (the deli-style has sugar!) as I have been adding it to salad instead of salad dressing. I also notice I am eating unsalted cashew nuts as my protein in salads (1.29 a bag in Aldi!) and as a snack if I am struggling. And cheese. If I am hungry it is filling and easy to have an ounce as a snack - especially with celery (sub for crackers!) which I peel with a potato peeler as it is stringy at this time of year!

    Our garden
    Regarding the garden, there is masses to do. We have planted chatted early and main crop potatoes and onions so far in the veg beds.

    We have 10 raised beds in what used to be our secret garden but is now our kitchen garden - surrounded by fruit bushes/canes on three sides with a beech hedge on the fourth. Also rhubarb and a few fruit trees. The onions and potatoes are in two of the raised beds.

    We have a 1-year old asparagus bed (hopefully) - our son dug out all the plants last autumn (- it was a not listening moment). At least one pink shoot has shown itself (!).

    Then we have two higher narrower beds for strawberries. We replaced them all last year but lost one lot so are expecting more (on order from Ken Muir but a bit early in EA Spring) - the other lot look very small and really struggled - I think we burnt them with too-rich compost topping up.

    Our other big innovation this year is some arches that husband has made. These arch over the path between two beds and along the length of two. We saw a large open garden last year that was growing beans, squashes and cucumbers in this way. We hope to emulate with a few sweet peas thrown in for colour, scent and pollination assistance.

    I have not planted any seeds yet but will do so - sweet-peas and tomatoes first, then sweetcorn, salad crops, broad beans, runner beans, peas, dwarf french beans, carrots, beetroot, cucumbers, melon and butternut squash for the arches, plus leeks and kale.

    We have had miserable failure with all brassicas which regularly become the national centre for cabbage white butterfly and a snack-pot for pigeons. My only consolation is that they are quite cheap locally.

    Then we have the plagues - Blackfly on blackcurrants, American aphids on lupins, and worst of all, Rosemary beetle on our Rosemary hedge (decimated) and found some in with sage. We have resorted to spraying these with a specific control. Rabbits all had mix last year so less of a problem, and the local farm manager came and shot 60(!) at the back of our garden last year in two night's lamping.

    Last year we opened our garden as part of a Village Open Gardens fund-raiser but I don't know if we will have time to explore this more until we both retire - we did enjoy it and might consider doing it for charity in the future.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 22nd Mar 17, 1:33 PM
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    Karmacat
    Wow! Now that's really something

    Even with sugar, sounds like I'm way behind you - I definitely have a handful of dried fruit most days I'll work more on my food once the garden and the finances are more under control - right now, I just plod along on the basics, assembling food rather than chopping or making stuff (frozen veg, which I used when I was really ill, and not weaned myself from yet). Salads will help, with a strong dressing, I eat way too much salt as well

    I hope your asparagus survives! I was doing my too-hopeful thing, and I received some offered asparagus berries from a neighbour of my mum's, it grows like weeds on their sandy soil, but on my thick clay, I haven't even tried, to be honest.

    Loving the sound of your arches, how beautiful is that! Sounds like its going to be even more wonderful in the future!
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of 25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 24th Mar 17, 5:46 PM
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    Suffolk lass
    Time to update - for March 2017 (as husband got paid today and all payments are out of my payments account):

    Debts

    110,621 106,166 (4,455 paid so far) - Mortgage
    3,476 3,076 (400)- DH's car
    8,755.54 7,959.58 (795.96) - Barclays Finance for double glazing

    Total 122,852.54 117,201.58 - that is 5,650.96 so far



    8059.77 (aiming for 10,000) Emergency fund today -1940.23
    12,226.24 S&S ISA with Fidelity International (original 10,000 4 years ago, no further capital added)
    5,247.88 DH's S&S ISA with Charles Stanley Direct
    3,113.08 2 year Bond with Skipton BS @ 4% Finishes in early 2018
    10,947.52 7 year bond with Skipton BS - matures Oct 20
    38,630.43 39,594.49 Total actual savings

    Shortfall 71,990.57 66,571.96 (mortgage)

    3 bad things -
    1. Home insurance was 1448.72
    2. Had to sub the other house account 600 to cover the bill shortfall
    3. Husband's bike insurance up by 70 to 220 or so, and he chose this month to get the bike repaired and buy a new disk for the rear wheel

    3 good things
    1. I had budgeted enough for the home insurance
    2. I still managed to save a bit, despite subbing 600 - it would otherwise have been my best month in 2017
    3. I have lost 22lb so far not money but couldn't resist it - moderately thrilled!
    4. Husband's pension statement through for his small DB pension is just under 7k with 2 and a half years to go
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 25th Mar 17, 8:36 AM
    • 27,212 Posts
    • 146,271 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I have lost 22lb so far not money but couldn't resist it - moderately thrilled.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Quite right too - being healthier lets you continue to take care of all of this, *and* enables more fun
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of 25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 25th Mar 17, 8:46 AM
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    • 15,199 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Quite right too - being healthier lets you continue to take care of all of this, *and* enables more fun
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Yes, I am going on a Spring walk on the Shotley Peninsular with a friend this morning (I have invited husband but I think he plans to put his motorcycle rear wheel back together with the new brake disk) - we are going to be near The Royal Hospital School in Holbrook. Although relatively flat, the views over the river are fantastic and hopefully a plethora of Spring bulbs in bloom will add to it. The sun is shining and there is a promise of future warmth in the air.

    Best of all, it is free entertainment. - And I've just had to trawl through my wardrobe for a pair of smaller trousers! - like any good hoarder I have clothes in five sizes in my possession
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 25th Mar 17, 8:49 AM
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    Karmacat
    Sounds wonderful! Have a lovely time
    Retired August 2016

    Goal: earnings of 25k from new opportunities from September 2016 to December 2020 when my state pension kicks in.Save
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 25th Mar 17, 8:55 AM
    • 352 Posts
    • 1,417 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Wow, you two (you and Karmacat) are a sugar-free inspiration! Your weight loss is amazing. Has it been easy? You make it sound quite enjoyable.

    I would love to do the open gardens, ours is nowhere near good enough for that, but maybe one day...

    Your money news is all good too, well done.
    Debt 03/01/17 = 42000
    Debt today = 36933
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 30th Mar 17, 9:52 AM
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    • 15,199 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Re weight-loss
    It has been quite easy Paws. I don't mind the same thing for work-day breakfast and lunch (both eaten at work) so have been taking two plastic boxes each day.

    Regular breakfast is a mix of raw jumbo organic oats mixed with full-fat greek-style yogurt, berry fruits (sometimes the frozen pack of summer fruits, sometimes fresh) nuts and seeds (I mix pumpkin seeds with pine-nut kernels, raw cashews and a smattering of macadamia nuts). A generous tablespoon of yogurt with a heaped dessertspoon of each of the others for portion-size.

    Lunch is a basic veg salad with one of egg, cheese cubes, half an avocado or a sprinkle of cashews, with some shop-bought basic or classic coleslaw (without sugar - so not deli-style) and no dressing. Plus a piece of fruit like a plum or satsuma

    Dinner is a small piece of meat (size of a pack of cards) like a chop or a couple of good sausages, with steamed veg like broccoli, carrots, cabbage and peas.

    If I want to snack I have been having an orange or a (peeled) stick of celery chopped into 3 and filled with cheese or spreading pate.

    The things I have avoided are all based on the Michael Moseley (8-week low blood-sugar) book advice but not following his meal-plans and not counting calories or anything obsessive like that.

    So - no pre-prepared food like ready meals, no dried fruit, no tropical fruits (except citrus, which I have been eating regularly), no bread, potatoes, pasta, rice, crispy snacks or cereals (except oats), no biscuits (apples and cheese or carrot sticks and celery are nicer than crackers in my head now! And no puddings except natural unsweetened full-fat yogurt with berries. Nothing with added sugar except...

    I have had the odd herb omelette or bacon and eggs, with a teaspoon of HP sauce and two curries where I had a corner of my husband's naan bread to mop up the sauce.

    I have also had peppers cut in half and filled with ragu sauce and sprinkled with cheese, then baked, instead of the pasta everyone else was having with ragu sauce, and the Hairy Bikers' lasagne with leek sheets substituted for lasagne sheets (make sure you pre-cut the leeks to where you want the portions or they are impossible to cut).

    Once or twice I have fasted all day and then had a normal evening meal (as above).

    Re drinks - nothing sweet at all. A couple of morning black coffees, then chilled water all day, maybe a cup of tea with milk, a glass of red wine no more than once a week (I think I have had 6 in eight weeks - and I normally drink white!)

    All I can say is it works for me.

    After a week off (next week) while we are away, I will resume a mediterranean diet with two fast-lite days (two small meals like I have been having). I live in hope that I can stick with it, as I would love to shed some more by the end of the year. I could comfortably lose two stone without replenishing my clothing hoard.

    I think jacket potato is the hardest thing to have given up so might need to have an occasional one too.
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 30-03-2017 at 9:53 AM. Reason: typo
    MFiT T4 #2 update 25.95% after Q5
    Save 12k in 2017 #64 - 3165.65/3666.66 (28.78%/33.33%) after Apr - my annual target is 11,000 (Save 12k in 2016 thread 10,488.04/10,000)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2017 budget of 3,600 3000 (reduced from Apr) - 32.68/33.33% including stores after April
    Reading and learning about investing...
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