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    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 25th Feb 17, 7:39 AM
    • 33Posts
    • 69Thanks
    coastalchick
    2017 - moving life forwards
    • #1
    • 25th Feb 17, 7:39 AM
    2017 - moving life forwards 25th Feb 17 at 7:39 AM
    Hi

    New diary for a (hopefully!) new period in life. About me: 38, co-habiting (partner shall henceforth be referred to as "BD"), 1 cat.

    Currently living with BD in my house (or flouse as my friend calls it as it is not really a flat but not really a house!). It's under offer and we are hoping to sell this and buy our new house mid aprill. BD's flat has been on market for a while but little interest due to colossal service charges so that is rented out until Feb 2018. But our house purchase has hit a few problems, mainly due to boundary issues (which are solvable but which may be impacting on timetable!) and we are not certain it is all going to go through in time.

    Once in the new house, we are going to actively start trying for a family. If it happens before then, it happens but we are not actively trying right now due to house stress.

    Why am I here? Well, I used to have NO clue about money (I really think they should teach you what the heck an interest rate is at school and what credit cards and store cards actually mean and charge!) and was in a LOT of debt through university and my early to mid-20's. I had no clue what an interest rate was and instead just saw credit and store cards as "free" money. Often missed payments, not cos I couldn't pay (though this did become more of the case towards the end of the bad spell!) but just cos I wasn't organised and didn't realise what impact they had! Makes me sick to the stomach when I think of all the money I wasted over the years.

    I bought a maisonette in tooting in Nov 2003 (got a 100% mortgage - you could in those days!), then in April 2004, lost my job. Luckily I had income protection but of course, they don't tell you that doesn't kick in for a certain period. Also, I seem to recall that back then I also couldn't claim benefits for a period. Sadly, a few weeks before I lost my job I signed on the dotted line for a new kitchen (got royal ripped off there too) which cost me 10k (it probably should have cost 2-3 but I was so naive in those days) so had to max out the credit cards to pay for it.

    My parents offered to help but I felt I had got myself into that mess (basically it was partially my fault I got the boot as I wasn't really taking my job seriously) so declined as wanted to get self out of it. So moved, got a new job, towed the line, consolidated debt. Rented out the tooting flat and eventually bought the place I live in now. BD moved in mid June 2015 so mortgage and bills split.

    Fast forward to now and I am pretty comfortable. Luckily I had a job where I earned big bucks which enabled me to pay off all my debt, and save loads and buy the place we live in now. However, that came at a price and I was so overworked and stressed (and underpaid actually compared to others in the market and for the hours I worked) that my hair started falling out and I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, IBS, acid reflux and regularly wanted to have a non-fatal accident so I could be admitted to hospital and not have to go to work). Eventually I couldn't take any more so quit at start of last year, and took some time off to recharge the batteries.

    Mid last year I started a new job in a much less stressful role and for only 4 days a week. Took a pay cut because of the 4 day week but worked out if I scaled the package up to 5 days, I was actually earning the same as I had been in the stressful job (which shows that decision to leave was def right!)

    Now we are about to embark (hopefully) on the next chapter in life, but feel I need to be here to try to keep myself on straight and narrow spend-wise, particularly as I now physically have less cash coming in each month and our mortgage is going to double with new house (and bills will be more too). I also need to save for maternity leave.

    I constantly worry about money (which BD doesn't understand) and the future and whether we will have enough in retirement. It's silly because on paper we are comfortable, but I think it's because I've been in serious debt before that I am constantly doing sums in my head. The tooting flat was bought for 160k (plus 48k for extension of leasehold recently) and is now worth around 450k. It has around 100k left on the mortgage and is rented out. I will own it outright by age 50, after which the rental will provide pure income. Have only just started a pension as my old job didn't have one (surprise surprise) which 630 per month goes into. BD's flat has around 75k of equity in it and he has a work pension too. We have a lot in savings at the moment but that will be left at minimal when we buy the new house as we are putting down 20% deposit plus fees, stamp duty etc. Other than our 3 mortgages on the 3 properties, we have no debt.

    So, probably most people will think I have nothing to moan about but I still worry because I know how easy it is to get into debt as I have been there previously. I also worry because children are expensive and we might have to pay for private school if the school they are allocated isn't very good. BD is a semi professional photographer and used to do weddings which he can charge up to 3k for, but he quit doing them as he found them quite stressful, but I guess could do a couple if we needed school fees (but wouldn't want him to if he found it stressful).

    So, apologies for the brain dump but I'm here to try to rein in the spending!

    Today is food shop and I have a list - we have budgeted £150 (which I know is a lot) as BD wants me to bake a cake today so quite a lot needed for that, plus this week we need coffee, loo roll, dishwasher tablets etc etc. Once we've done that, think we will have lunch at home (it's rubbish weather out there today) from what we've bought, then maybe reading this afternoon and bake the cake. BD is out at his friends tonight so I will be cooking a nice chicken dish from stores and watching a pre-recorded movie with the cat.

    Tomorrow BD will probably work in the morning, then we are at his mum's for lunch (so free lunch) and will cook a roast from the weekly shop tomorrow evening
    Last edited by coastalchick; 25-02-2017 at 8:37 AM.
Page 2
    • sauceoclock
    • By sauceoclock 15th Mar 17, 1:10 PM
    • 686 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    sauceoclock
    Oh gosh! Bless your heart! Hope you're doing ok. I too, have a 'friend' who is mutually friends with a lot of people so I have to tolerate them, my way of dealing with it is to not be alone with them and I always make excuses to sit at the other end of a table etc. when we are together. How annoying she phoned you whilst you were at work as well! Ugh! Some people!!

    So sorry to hear about your poor little kitty! Hope he is doing better now, I bet you had a big *gulp* moment at that bill but don't fret, hopefully the insurance will pull through for you, after all that is what it is there for. You've sure been through the mill!
    Cut-Up Credit Card Balance: 1195.54 £900.00
    Christmas Shopping: £50 Amazon £70 Argos £10 Tesco
    Money owed to parents (car repairs): £350 £134
    Money owed to parents (AYGO deposit)£250.00
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 16th Mar 17, 7:08 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Thanks Sauce. Yes, they didn't even tell us how much it was - just asked how we wanted to pay!!! Have got the completed form from the vets but need to get a print out of his history from his previous vets otherwise it will just hold up the claim, so will call for that today. Not holding out any hope they will cover it and have effectively written that cash off but anything we do get is a brucey bonus!

    Had to pay £5 to BD's nephew doing a sponsored rabbit walk whatever that is. Had free lunch through work last 2 days which was good. Dinner from stores. Met BD for a drink after work last night so that was £9.20 for 2 pints (daylight robbery!) and we had 2 each so total was £18.40 but my share only half! Wishing we hadn't as feel rough today - I honestly just cannot take any alcohol any more!!

    Today am taking lunch in then dinner from stores though we need milk so will get that on way home. I am going for a run tonight come what may. I noticed fat in an area I've never had fat before last night so that's enough now - need to take control of the situation! Starting literally from scratch so running for 2-3 mins and walking for 1 and going to try to do that for 30-40 minutes (as I did run a marathon last year so probably don't need to start with run 1 walk 1 even though it feels like it!!).

    That "friend" has definitely managed to turn the others against me. So I just have to focus on my other friends and spend time with them. We have a trip booked to France with my normal friends in June anyway so that to look forward to. BD and I have just booked to go to Fairford airshow with his dad and stepmum in July - thankfully all that has come out of my holiday account (I put money aside into a separate account each month for holidays/trips and my dad gives me a cut of his racing (horses) winnings twice a year in june and december so that also goes in the holiday fund) so doesn't affect budgets (though do hate seeing holiday account deplete!)

    Actually enjoying work at the moment believe it or not! Would still rather be doing something else in my life than law, but as I can't seem to identify what that is, this is at least something I'm vaguely enjoying and has good salary/benefits. Think the only thing frustrating about it is that I do end up doing what I'd call "grunt" stuff. Yesterday had to check and update (i.e. print off and file!) all the laws needed for when there are dawn raids on banks or other institutions and start preparing a summary of the relevant provisions relating to warrants etc. Not sure that's the best use of my skills but it does need doing and suppose they know I will do it properly (person before me hadn't updated it since 2012!)
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 16th Mar 17, 7:15 AM
    • 10,109 Posts
    • 64,678 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Sponsored rabbit walk sounds fab
    Debt neutral
    Roadkill 17 £52.30 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1475.90 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    PAYDBX 7 #£397/£760 to go!!
    NST March1 4/15
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 21st Mar 17, 7:10 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Hmmm, so. Took cat back to vets friday. Good news is, it's not cancer! (so grateful!). Bad news is, vet has recommended a further operation as he has cholesterol deposits in his ears (samples came back confirming) which means he might get further infections. It is going to cost around £1400 which is on top of the £1100 we have already spent. Have booked him in for Friday. Trying to claim as much as we can back on the insurance but think they might try to avoid it saying it's pre-existing. But we can try. If so, we will get £1901 back as there is a £2,000 per condition annual limit and a £99 excess. So we shall see. But not good news money-wise!

    Fri night we went out for dinner, just us. Cost was £85/2 which was more than we had been intending as we hadn't realised this particular restaurant (which used to be very reasonable) had put it's prices up. Was nice but not that nice. Sat we did big shop which was £51 this week - much better than normal. Then we took BD's mum for afternoon tea. We had a voucher for that but it still cost £30/2 as voucher only covered 2 people so had to pay for 1 extra and 2 extra glasses prosecco. Sat night we stayed in. Sun to BD's mums so free lunch but bought crisps and wine on way home.

    Got paid yesterday including my small bonus which was even smaller after tax! Doesn't really feel like I've had extra given all we've had to pay out for recently, but guess if I hadn't had it, it would be even worse. Spent £1.24 on stamps yesterday - to send off claim form for cat insurance and a card to my mum for mother's day. Have ordered her a bottle of lemon drizzle gin (tempted to get some myself if she says it's any good!). Today is lunch and dinner from stores though we do need milk (we always do!) which I will get on the way home.

    Other than 3 for £10 on salmon fillets which I will prob get tomorrow (you get 6 for a tenner so that's 3 meals) and milk, hoping nothing to spend until Friday when my credit card will be beasted by the cat's op! Free lunch tomorrow as lecture over lunchtime.

    BD out friday night and I am going to stay in to look after the cat and just get a ready meal to pop in the oven so that should only be £3-4 or so. Sat will be big shop as usual though we are trying to get 3 for £10 on meals where we can and just bulk those out with veg/couscous, esp as it is now 23 days (all being well) until we move so we kinda just want easy and want to use up what is in the cupboards. Last night we used up a tin of sweetcorn (plus it extended to today's lunch wraps) which I am sure had been in the cupboard for a while!

    Still enjoying work much more than before. I still struggle on mondays not wanting to go in but once I'm there I'm fine. And its pretty easy if I'm honest
    Last edited by coastalchick; 21-03-2017 at 7:13 AM.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 21st Mar 17, 7:58 AM
    • 10,109 Posts
    • 64,678 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Goodness that is a big vets bill! I do hope you can get some back!
    Debt neutral
    Roadkill 17 £52.30 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1475.90 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    PAYDBX 7 #£397/£760 to go!!
    NST March1 4/15
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 22nd Mar 17, 6:58 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Yesterday spent £11/2 on way home - 6 x salmon fillets and milk. Dinner was from stores. Today is free lunch as we have a lecture over lunchtime. Tonight we will have salmon, couscous and some form of veg from stores.

    Have been told by surveyor that all fine with house and he is giving bank a clean bill of health. So now just need the formal yes/offer docs and the vendors of the property we are buying to confirm that all ok with the house they are purchasing (their extra specialist report went to their bank friday) and we are all good to go. It will be a relief when it's over. Then it's just the admin stuff of cancelling current insurance, organising new insurance, changing utilities and paying final bills etc!

    Just want to get in now - 22 days - we have been living in limbo for so long!
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 23rd Mar 17, 7:06 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    3 weeks today we get the keys!!!! (well, presuming it does actually all go through!).Been told by our bank we are good to go, so now just need to hear from vendors that their bank good to go on their purchase and we can sign!

    A bit of a fail on the money front last night - because we got the ok from the bank, and because BD is out fri night and we have mother's day lunch with his family on sunday and are looking after his niece and nephew sat morning, thought would be good to have a "date night" so we went for a drink after work - £8.90/2, then decided to have dinner out - £40/2. It was a really good dinner too so don't mind paying when the food and service are excellent.

    So tonight we will be having the salmon we were supposed to be having last night! Hoping we get our boxes delivered for the move soon and can start packing up - will then feel real!

    But a little sad, I've lived in my little place since Nov 09 and it is the first place I've really made mine, even though BD moved in June 2015. Only 20 more nights of sleeping here and that makes me a little sad, as much as I'm looking forward to moving into our new place (and will be the first time I've ever owned a house with someone!)
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 24th Mar 17, 6:50 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Yesterday was NSD but regretting not having got milk on way home as couldn't have more than one coffee and been up since 0550!! Cat is going in for his op in 15 mins. Had a little cry as was cuddling him as you just never know if they will come back the same. Fingers crossed he will be ok.

    After he's dropped, will go for short run out by the sea then nip to shop on way back to get milk, loo roll and something for lunch! Got lots of laundry and tidying to do today and really need to read some of my book. Also need to swap a coat for a larger(!) size and get something for my tea tonight as BD is out with work mates for a curry. Have loads saved up on planner to watch so looking forward to that. Just hoping cat gets released today otherwise the house will feel v bare without him! Gonna have the battle to get him into his carrier in a mo - he has been to the vets so much this last few weeks he knows what's coming and hates it! Plus we've had to keep him off food since 9pm last night so he is sat on the mat where his food normally is looking at me with puppy dog eyes!!!
    • Poor_Single_lady
    • By Poor_Single_lady 24th Mar 17, 7:14 AM
    • 663 Posts
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    Poor_Single_lady
    Poor cat. And poor you. Hope you both feel better after the op. And then lots of hugs after. Not easy at all. xx
    Debt at June 2016 £14,600
    2017 pay off loan and first credit card
    Have less debt and be happier
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 24th Mar 17, 10:52 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Thanks PSL!

    Dropped him, and went for a run. It was glorious! Sun was shining and hardly anyone around! Got loo roll (on offer), milk, a harissa and bulgar wheat salad thing and some strawberries. My share came to £8.34 (me and BD split everything but as I bought myself lunch today and he will probably buy his own from shop, not fair he pays half so made an adjustment for that)

    Spoke to my mum on phone and unloaded/loaded dishwasher, put one lot of laundry on and hung it so need to do another in a mo. Been doing some emails re stuff on house and will watch a bit of tv then head into town to swap coat, pick up some moisturiser (forgot almost out) and face wash, a meal for tonight and some soft cat food I forgot to get earlier as he won't be able to eat his special crunchy food!
    • sauceoclock
    • By sauceoclock 24th Mar 17, 12:54 PM
    • 686 Posts
    • 344 Thanks
    sauceoclock
    Hope your cat is doing well!! What is his name?

    Very exciting on your new house!!!!!!!! xxxx
    Cut-Up Credit Card Balance: 1195.54 £900.00
    Christmas Shopping: £50 Amazon £70 Argos £10 Tesco
    Money owed to parents (car repairs): £350 £134
    Money owed to parents (AYGO deposit)£250.00
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 24th Mar 17, 3:03 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Thanks! Waiting to hear....He's called Marley!

    On the house front we have been told today that the vendors of ours's mortgage for the property they are buying has been approved but they just have to wait for the physical offer letter to arrive - final piece in the jigsaw!!!! Just hoping all comes in time now for 13th.

    Got gas bill today and we are about £285 in credit! We are moving to a property without gas so, when taking into account my next DD payment on 4th and then the use between now and then we should, I reckon, get around a £265 refund! We could really do with this right now given vets bills and everything else! So we will put that refund straight into the joint "bills" account we opened and it can go towards bills for new house.

    Just popped into town - swapped coat, bought moisturiser which was on half price so that was nice and unexpected! Face wash same and then my eye make up remover was a third off so got 2 of those as use every day and stock up when cheap. Total £12.59 though a little bit off as BD will use face wash so he pays towards that. Then got self a lovely ready meal for tonight (lasagne!!) and a salted caramel cheesecake thing - pack had 2 in it so BD can have 1 at some point which he is very happy about!!

    Going to phone vets in about 15 mins and hope he can come home. They said he will have to have a collar which I know is going to drive him mad, as well as the fact he won't be able to go out!! Hoping the bill is not more than £1400 as we have put that aside, so if it's less we will be nicely surprised! Vet said he is still going to suffer from outer ear infections but hopefully these can be managed through drops and cleaning, it's because it went into inner ear this time he has had such a bad run of it.
    • coastalchick
    • By coastalchick 27th Mar 17, 7:37 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    coastalchick
    Picked cat up from vets friday - was £812.25 so much more reasonable than we thought (still a killer though!). Thankfully I had put money aside for that so fine. He is NOT happy about having his collar though!!! So I stayed in with him fri night with my lasagna, cheesecake and a bottle of red! We already had the red in the cupboard so at least that was a no spend. BD went out with his work and got home about 1245.

    Sat am we looked after BD's niece and nephew - to park which was fun (and free!). We would've taken them elsewhere tbh but we don't have car seats for them and park in walking distance. Really enjoyed it (they are SO sweet) and avoided having to change a nappy (I told the niece not to poo!!) though think BD secretly wanted to have to so we can practice for when we have our own!

    Then did big shop - £81/2 this week which is good for us. Sorted for meals for rest of week now. Sat afternoon we just watched tv and looked after cat. Sat night BD made the mary berry leek, onion and cheese pie which was outstanding!!!!

    Yesterday was lunch out with BD's family for mother's day. £67 each as we each had 3 courses, the girls had prosecco and coffees too. Plus we paid for his mum so not bad and food was really lovely. His niece and nephew were so well behaved too and just an absolute pleasure to be around.

    Today I have swapped my day off for friday so can look after cat. He has to have his collar on when we're out (or asleep!) as he scratches and back to vets weds night so trying just to be with him today so he can be without collar as it can't be nice having that on all the time and I can't be off tomorrow. Had to call vets though as he is shaking his head a lot and his ear sounds wet - so may end up taking him back again today - more ££££!!!! Waiting for vet to call me back to tell me if need to take him in. It's a right ball ache as we don't have parking and car 15 min walk away (though could prob get BD to get car for me) - will be much easier when in new house as can just get in car and go!!!

    Hoping to exchange on my current property tomorrow with completion in 17 days! Then will exchange on new property some time next week hopefully. Really can't wait now and want to get packing up!

    Part of me worries as we are doubling our mortgage and I do sometimes think, should we be saving that money instead by staying here BUT we don't have parking here, are terraced, overlooked all the way round, the area is a bit !!!!! and we have someone above us. Because of parking etc it's not really practical for a kid and we want a family. Plus I do think it's important you are happy where you live and we are currently not happy and I know we will be happy in the new house as it's detached, rural, very private (we look out over agricultural fields and can barely see nearest house that could potentially see in - we do have people next to us but lots of trees in way) and importantly has parking!!!!!
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