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  • FIRST POST
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 27th Feb 17, 1:51 PM
    • 93Posts
    • 338Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Tales from the Avenue
    • #1
    • 27th Feb 17, 1:51 PM
    Tales from the Avenue 27th Feb 17 at 1:51 PM
    I'm no newbie to these parts, having had a previous username (or two) and several debt free diaries, but, that was a completely different life back then, so very far detached from what my life is now, so here is my brand-spanking new diary and the shiny new Me.

    I'm a proud single mum of a much adored little boy. I'm lucky enough to have a wonderful partner of around a year too. We don't live together, but he and I are only a few minutes walk from each other which is lovely.
    I recently moved house, downsized my mortgage and went PT at work, to be around for my son more. The drop in wages is not great, but life is a lot less stressful.

    After being in debt for most of my adult life, I'm now debt free (apart from the mortage), but I am still living from payday to payday and it really wouldn't take much to send me back into debt. I try to save, but it's not easy being the only breadwinner on a PT wage now and I really need to buck my ideas up.

    Hopefully this diary will help me to stay on the straight and narrow and stay debt free, build a reasonable emergency fund up and stay out of debt whilst still enjoying life and savings for some fun times too rather than worrying about how to pay for everything.

    That's the plan anyway...

    TFTA
    Last edited by TalesfromtheAvenue; 06-03-2017 at 1:54 PM.
Page 3
    • hugglemonster
    • By hugglemonster 11th Mar 17, 3:13 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 1,220 Thanks
    hugglemonster
    Sounds like all going well, great savings on your purchases - sometimes it pays to shop around or wait for a bit.

    Good news on the holiday pot, well done.

    H x
    Debt: Overdraft 2 £1200/ now £770
    Overdraft 1 £2200 Credit card £2200 Computer £646.52 - PAID!!
    Emergency fund: £50 London savings: £100
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 11th Mar 17, 4:09 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Thanks HM.


    Yesterday I had to stock up on groceries and unfortunately it was a big shop as I was low on most things. I went to Aldi to keep costs down, but it still came in at around £45, so the grocery budget is pretty mch depleted now. I'll have to top it up a bit from other funds in YNAB and switch some money around. Annoyed at myself as I was doing so well. It was a bit extra than normal as I bought a fair bit of meat - we were asked to go out for food tomorrow, but I offered to cook a roast instead as would be cheaper and DS would enjoy more.

    Apart from that, it's a low spend weekend. I had to post ebay parcels this moring, but they were only £5 something, so a lot less than I thought they would be.
    I also popped ina bought a few bits in Sainsburys that I coudn't get in Aldi, that was another £5 odd.
    OH paid me back £5 for things I picked up for him.

    I sorted the rest of DS's clothes this morning. Nothing really worth putting on ebay, but another pile off to the charity shop on Monday and tidier drawers.

    Feeling extremely tired today and a bit achey and shivery. Just want to snuggle and go to bed early really, but already arranged to cook dinner for OH and his son tonight. Nevermind, sure we'll have fun.

    Hope everyone's having a good weekend x
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 11th Mar 17, 10:11 PM
    • 10,568 Posts
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    Bobarella
    Hope you feel better soon.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 12th Mar 17, 12:03 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Thanks Bob.

    Feeling even worse today unfortunately, not much sleep again and an early wake up from DS who is super tired himself and not sleeping well, so we had a few battles over mealtimes and behaviour yesterday. ☹️ It's been a tough 24 hours.

    Have sacked the idea of cooking lunch today and we're going out to a cheap local carvery instead. I can't do entertaining people today.

    DS is out with his Dad for a bit, should be back soon. I took advantage of some free time to list another 3 things on gumtree, hopefully they'll sell and bring me in £90.

    I've sorted a few more bits for the charity shop too, I'm planning on dropping those off tomorrow.
    Will see what else I can turn out to sell too, I really need to sort my wardrobes next.

    Happy Sunday all x
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 12th Mar 17, 11:52 PM
    • 10,568 Posts
    • 68,970 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Oh dear, really hope tommorow is better.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 15th Mar 17, 9:54 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Thanks Bob.

    It's been quite a tiring week so far. I had the day off on Monday as the plumber was coming out to fit the bath. To cut a long story short, it's costing me more than first quoted and involves me doing a lot more work myself than I would have hoped, so I'm not too happy. Also means I'm going to have to try and save money to get the shower done later in the year.
    I've been tiling nightly at the moment, so I'm shattered presently and have had to spend money on materials which I could've done with saving at the moment.

    Money is dire. I'm still up to date with YNAB, but it's just telling me how much money I don't have! I've had to transfer £50 back over from the holiday savings, just to cover food and DIY things, so I need to save another £20 back into that account when I can.

    I've continued the ebay and gumtree purge, but not made much money really. Someone picked up a £20 item last night, but will save that for DS's dinner money over the next two weeks (+ an extra £2).

    I dropped 4 bags off to the charity shop on Monday, so that has cleared a bit of space.

    <<<<< this kind of sums it all up, basically.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 15th Mar 17, 10:39 PM
    • 10,568 Posts
    • 68,970 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Oh boo to all that. It's not great having to spend your savings but at least you have them to use
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 16th Mar 17, 5:28 AM
    • 4,710 Posts
    • 15,063 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    You must be shattered, but it'll be nice when it's done.

    As Bob says, it's good to have the savings to fall back on x
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7650.00 Cap 1: £400.00 Overdraft: £2750.00

    Lunches to work 7/20 ~ £10pw 3/4

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 10 2017 #003
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 25th Mar 17, 8:32 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    It's been a bit of a rough week and a half but the sunshine has definitely helped brighten the mood today.

    I also managed to lose sight of the finances for a wee while and, a bit of impulse spending later, booking a break for me & DS (cheap, but still couldn't really afford it!), means I now desperately need to watch my money this month. I'm my own worst enemy, I really am. Anyway, it's done now, so I need to get back on track. I need to make up the holiday pot to the tune of another £70 in the next three weeks. There will also be more spent on fuel this month (only spent £48 last month, which was excellent), as I have a few trips planned, so I will have to budget for around 3 times that amount.

    I have pretty much had to stop work on the house too. There is lots that needs doing, but I just don't have the money at the moment. I have finished the bathroom to the point that it needs to be atm, but the flooring and other tiles will have to wait until the time when I can do it. Trouble is, as I'm now part time, my wages only just cover the bills and savings towards the car tax/insurance & house insurance costs etc, I'm really not sure how I will be able to save anything else.

    It's also worrying me that I don't have much in the bank if I suddenly have an emergency. There's £350 in the car/house pot presently; everything in my ISA, bar £50, will be used up when the windows and door is due for payment and there's £100 in the account I save for DS's school uniform and shoes etc. I guess I will just need to save every penny I can to build funds up, but there was me hoping to overpay this mortgage and get it down somewhat.
    Guess I wasn't really being very realistic was I.

    Anyway, to finish on a more positive note, I've had a good day today. Saw OH this morning and helped him with some jobs, then came home and had a lovey few coffees and chats with OHs family who dropped by. It's so nice having people pop in to see me, I don't have that luxury normally as don't have any family of my own here or any friends to do that.
    Once they'd left, as it was such a lovely day, I cut the grass for the first time since moving in and swept up two bin bags worth of leaves. I sorted the shed a little bit, put the legs on my new garden table I bought a while back in the sales and weeded the garden. It looks so much better out there now and made me feel much more positive.
    Just wish I'd had a washing line out there to do lots of washing and hang it out, but unfortunately found the one left by the previous owners was broken when I went to put it up a few weeks back. (That's something else I need to buy).

    Now I'm going to make myself another cuppa, put a bit of tv on and then get an early night. I'm full of cold presently and didn't sleep at all well last night.

    Happy weekend all x
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 25th Mar 17, 11:02 PM
    • 487 Posts
    • 1,426 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm sure the work in the garden is every bit as valuable as that in the house. Being out in the sun always helps me feel better, and it's been so nice today.
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 27th Mar 17, 9:49 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Than you Cherryfudge, it certainly made me feel a lot better.
    OH, I and our little ones spent a few hours out there yesterday morning, we planted some sunflowers and the boys played with their cars and trucks, it was nice to finally use the space. First garden job to work towards is plant the borders up gradually as they need a lot of love presently. There's also loads of Ivy over (and in ) the outbuildings that I need to get rid of. The more costly jobs can wait for now.

    So, it was my birthday at the weekend and I really did have a lovely day. OH and his son made me a cake and DS and his Dad cooked lunch for me and bought another cake, you can never have enough cake in my books! I was very spoilt, had some money from my parents which, I would like to use towards the garden fund I think, rather than just let it disappear into the bank account. Maybe buy a washing line with it, or some plants or decking, I haven't decided yet. I also received £40 in gift cards for Asda, so that will help a lot with the grocery budget this month.

    Today another chunk of money has gone in the bank account, so I have allocated this within YNAB. By doing this, I've also managed to free up £48.08 that I have paid over to the holiday account, so only around another £30 needed to cover our break away in April.

    After work, I need to wrap and send off two ebay parcels and also a parcel to return which should mean a £15 refund. There's a bit of money from ebay sales in the paypal account, but this should cover ebay fees and postage tbh.

    Have a good day all.
    x
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 27th Mar 17, 5:43 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Quite a productive afternoon so far. DS was at a club after school so I managed to get a few things done before picking him up.

    I went shopping to Aldi, was going to place an online Tesco order but just couldn't do it, knowing how much cheaper it would be from Aldi!
    I had a huge trolleyfull of fruit, veg, tinned goods, pasta, cereals, yoghurts, chicken and eggs, as well as washing up liquid and kitchen roll, and it all came to £39.11. I'm always pleasantly surprised at the checkout in Aldi.
    I've since unpacked the shopping and split the bread and meats into portions to put it in the freezer.

    I've also wrapped the two eBay levels and one return, ready to post tomorrow. Tonight I need to make one business order so that I can post that at the same time.

    There's a pan of potatoes boiling as they needed using up, will fridge then and use tomorrow when cooked.

    Washing's on and whites are soaking too. Will
    Have to use the tumble dryer unfortunately as still sans washing line, but I have ordered one today, £25 from Wilko, has good reviews so fingers crossed it will live up to them. I've taken the money out of the 'monthly spending money' pot.

    Tonight I'm also going to do a little bit of meal planning to make sure I don't waste anything that's in the fridge; have a nice hot shower and read the first of my magazine subscription I was kindly given for my birthday
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 27th Mar 17, 9:20 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Everything's done for the night and I'm just settling down under the duvet with my book. 😁

    I've been reading a bit about 'paying yourself first' today and, have to say, I really like the idea. I'm not sure how I will manage it, but I am going to look at the budget and see if there's any way I can treat 10% of my take home salary as a 'bill' from next payday onwards. I have set up a standing order, direct to my isa, ready for next month so I have a month to jiggle the budget around.

    Night all x
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 28th Mar 17, 9:43 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    A low spend day today, £11 odd on postage of the ebay parcels and business parcel.
    I also listed another item on ebay and gumtree last night, hopefully it will bring in about £20 if sold.

    I've done a bit of batch cooking tonight, so have 3 portions of lasagne in the freezer now for DS for a later date. I had all the ingredients in, so didn't cost me any extra.

    Quite pleased with myself tonight; I've manage to complete a small DIY project that has made my lounge look so much more finished and more homely. Better still, the materials were kindly given to me by a friend recently, so it was completely free

    Tired and worn out tonight, so off to bed. x
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 30th Mar 17, 1:17 PM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    So, I hit a wall. A big fat spending wall. I didn't hit is so much as run into it voluntarily.

    In the past 24 hours I've managed to spend just over £100 on non-essential 'stuff.'

    What can I say? I knew I didn't need any of it, I knew I just wanted it, but I still bought it anyway.
    It consisted of some craft bits and activities for DS and I to do over Easter, some music and two tickets to a concert I got excited about and bought on a whim, completely 'forgetting' I couldn't aford it. Suddenly I was back to my old impulsive ways which got me in debt in the first place.

    Rather than continue to beat myself up about it as I have been doing all morning, I have gone through the budget in YNAB with a fine toothed comb and jiggled money about.

    I have taken £50 out of the 'school uniform/DS clothing budget' as he has plenty and won't need anything for a good while, so there's £50 left in there now. I've also reduced the grocery budget to take into account the £40 in gift cards I was given. £20 has been shaved off the fuel budget as OH will be paying for fuel on our planned trips.

    So I have been able to balance the budget.

    Just.

    It does mean I have very little leeway this month now and a very busy month planned with the school hols and going away twice.

    Oh, and I've decided to give the tickets away as a 'big' birthday present coming up in the summer as I know the recipient would love them and it will save me buying something else.

    I'm my own worse enemy sometimes.
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 30th Mar 17, 5:21 PM
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    • 68,970 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Sometimes if you've been holding on to every penny a splurge just happens. I think we can all be our own worst enemies. It's normal.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from £40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 31st Mar 17, 10:57 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Thanks Bob, you're completely right.

    Two bits of money have gone into the bank account today: the £20 refund I was expecting which has already been allocated in YNAB and £38 ish from business sales which will stay in the business account for now.

    I slept well last night but I'm soooo tired today, I feel ill with it. My body is aching all over, even my fingers and toes and ankles are aching, I hope I feel a bit better soon as I'm struggling to stay awake at my desk, I just want to put my head down.

    Oh and I went to c0stco last night, I only spent £9.35, but bought a couple of things in bulk that I had run out of and, luckily were also on sale with some coupons, so saved even more money. This has come out of the grocery budget.
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 3rd Apr 17, 9:04 AM
    • 93 Posts
    • 338 Thanks
    TalesfromtheAvenue
    I've had a really busy weekend, getting lots of jobs done both in my house and helping OH in his, today every muscle in my body is aching (still!), I'm so sore!

    Friday cost me a lot of money, having to pay the plumber £500 for the work he's done to fit the bath, remove the old one and change the pipework. I have had the money ready for him for some weeks though, but it still stung handing the envelope over.

    Last week I found some foreign currency in a drawer, left over from a weekend break last year and a trip earlier this year, so I took that to change back on Friday night, was quite chuffed with the £70 I got. I spent £20 of it on some groceries and an M&S meal for OH and I, £10 has gone towards DS's school dinner money for the week and the remaining £40 has been put with £50 of birthday money I received to save towards some flooring for the bathroom, so there's £90 in that pot now. I'm going to look up some tutorials and try to have a go at fitting it myself to save some money... I'm not sure how wise that is, but I'll have a go!

    On Saturday OH and I went to pick my washing line up that I'd ordered and some new plates as my old ones were in a pretty desperate state. I also picked up a few groceries in Asda whilst there, using one of the giftcards I was given for my birthday, so I have approximately £28 left on those.

    DS and I made cakes in the afternoon, having to pop out to the corner shop for (overpriced, being the corner shop) butter, a kinder egg for DS and maybe a chocolatey treat for myself and OH.
    Yesterday DS was out with his Dad, so I got on with a bit more tiling; I put my washing line up, then stripped both mine and DS's beds and washed and line-dried it all in the sunshine
    I cut the grass and then went to help OH do some work in his house. Last night OH treated us to fish & chips, so yesterday was a NSD for me

    A buy it now I listed on ebay sold for £20 yesterday, I'd forgotten about it so it was a nice surprise! That will equate to around £15-£17 once postage has been paid. I'll put that towards spending money on our little breaks coming up. Oh, we have also been given free leisure passes to use the facilities on the site we are going to with the children, so am very chuffed about that.

    I have also earmarked a few other bits to list on ebay, so I hope to try and get that done tonight. I've been given a bundle of DS's too small clothes from his Dad to send to the charity shop, so I will see if there's anything to ebay from there first and will give him the money if so. He's not so resourceful like that and would have no idea how to ebay!

    Happy Monday all
    x
    Last edited by TalesfromtheAvenue; 03-04-2017 at 9:10 AM.
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 3rd Apr 17, 11:13 AM
    • 93 Posts
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    TalesfromtheAvenue
    Just given £2 for a collection at work, thankfully had the change in my purse.

    I've signed up to a newsletter from the flooring company I've spotted some reasonably priced bathroom flooring from, just to receive a discount code from them. Only 5% off, but it all helps for when I come to order it. I need to save £10 more to afford it, but just need to double check the measurements first as well.

    I checked my mortgage statement today and this month, I've paid £198 in interest. :O
    I can't be having that.
    I need to start paying this mortgage down some more and am so eager to do so, but I'm aware I don't have a lot put by as an emergency fund (currently only £350 which is to cover things like car and house expenses too). I don't know what to do first, whether to try and build that fund up or throw a little at each simultaneously.

    I have 3 goals I'd like to achieve ASAP financially:

    Build up an emergency fund of around £2K.
    Overpay the mortgage by at the very least of £50 a month.
    Start 'paying myself' 10% of my monthly salary by putting money into my ISA via a SO.

    Trouble is, on my PT wages and my (very slow at the moment home business) I can barely afford one of these, let alone all three.

    I don't know where to start with them tbh, or whether to just split any surplus income between the Mortgage and the Emergency savings and do the third when (if) I can afford to.

    If only there was abit more money to go round!
    • TalesfromtheAvenue
    • By TalesfromtheAvenue 3rd Apr 17, 1:36 PM
    • 93 Posts
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    TalesfromtheAvenue
    I have a plan! I've been scrutinising the finances since my last post as I really feel like I need to make some progress and have a strategy in place for saving and overpaying the mortgage.

    I have been through my budget and found £135.69 left over every month that I tend to just use to 'top up' the pots when I overspend, so from now on, this is being split as follows:

    £70 SO set up to ISA to slowly build up an emergency fund
    (this is in addition of my regular £100 a month car/house maintentance fund as I don't want to view this as the emergency fund.

    £60 a month as mortgage overpayment savings
    I have two sub accounts on my mortgage, one from my original mortgage and the other from buying my ex out of our original house. I overpaid a chunk off both of these (£16K total) when I sold my last house. I have just checked, and I am able to pay another £340 off sub account 2 this year to make it up to my 10% so that I don't incur any penalties. This will be my first goal. This has a slightly higher rate than the other sub account, hence why I am concentrating on this one first.

    Then, I am able to overpay another £2364 on sub account to make it up to the 10% allowance. Not entirely sure if I will be able to make this amount, before the end of the year, but I think these are mighty fine targets to aim for.
    I have set up two categories in YNAB for this and have transferred some business profit of £34.63 in Sub 02 pot to start with, so I'm over 10% there already

    I have set up standing orders for immediate payment into the savings pots for when I get paid, so I don't forget or allocate it elsewhere.

    The remaining £5.69 I may even spend frivoulously!

    I love a plan!
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