Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 2nd Mar 17, 10:37 AM
    • 69Posts
    • 169Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    SH's attempt to make it to September with as little debt as possible!
    • #1
    • 2nd Mar 17, 10:37 AM
    SH's attempt to make it to September with as little debt as possible! 2nd Mar 17 at 10:37 AM
    Hi everyone!

    I'm a final year university student who will be starting a graduate job in September. My university *crazily* does not let us undertake paid employment alongside our degree. Nevertheless, I have an income of £212 from a rental property each month.

    The issue is that I only have that income and my student loan to survive on. My monthly rent comes up to £500 a month so it is likely that by the summer I will be losing money each month.

    The plan is to start really watching the pennies so that I minimise the debt I'll be in by the time I start my job and to *hopefully* reach September with a neutral bank balance.

    I hope you will all keep me accountable and will offer me some hints and tips along my journey
Page 2
    • jackieblack
    • By jackieblack 6th Mar 17, 12:33 PM
    • 7,315 Posts
    • 9,901 Thanks
    jackieblack
    Where do you do your food shop? I think you could shave a little off it a week with some careful planning
    Originally posted by ceb1995
    I agree
    My budget for food is £100 a month (which averages out to £23 a week) and I rarely have a problem Batch cooking from scratch helps.
    2.22kWp Solar PV system installed Oct 2010, Fronius IG20 Inverter,
    south facing (-5 deg), 30 degree pitch, no shading

    Quidquid Latine dictum sit altum videtur
    (Revera linguam latinam vix cognovi )
    • ab_saver
    • By ab_saver 6th Mar 17, 2:26 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 807 Thanks
    ab_saver
    Hopped over from my diary to say hello - have you looked at the grocery challenge (on the old style boards) for ideas/ inspiration?. I probably spend £75 or less on food per month for one, and when OH is here it's about £125/month for two.
    My major saving is loving my freezer - I'm not sure if you share with your landlady/ how much freezer space you have, but I scour the supermarkets for reduced meat especially - and get most of my meat and the bulk of my fruit/veg reduced. I then buy my stock items like pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes/pulses in bulk every so often.
    That budget includes my packed lunches - I think I've bought lunch at work no more than 4 times in 7 months. I found having a monthly budget really helpful as it meant I could do a big shop to stock up one week and not leave myself short, but do smaller shops in other weeks.
    I don't starve on this budget - I buy nice produce (usually from Mssrs Waite and Rose !!! ) and there is room in it for treats. The only other thing I'd suggest is to think about whether you fritter money away in multiple small shops, e.g. by going in for a pint of milk and leaving with half a dozen things not on the list. If so, the NSD challenge may be for you - if you are stubborn like me, the thought of ruining an NSD is enough to make you make do.
    When you are staying with your parents rent-free, I would imagine that your grocery bills will go down further (there are serious economies of scale in food shopping, hence feeding 2 doesn't cost twice as much as feeding one) - you could agree maybe a £20/week contribution towards your parents' household shop?
    Honestly, food shopping is one of the areas there is most flexibility in in most budgets, and you could easily shave off £112 over a matter of months.
    We are all here cheering you on!
    House fund: £1610 / £10,000 _£1000 emergency fund #208 - £110/ 1000 _
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 6th Mar 17, 4:17 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    I agree
    My budget for food is £100 a month (which averages out to £23 a week) and I rarely have a problem Batch cooking from scratch helps.
    Originally posted by jackieblack
    Hopped over from my diary to say hello - have you looked at the grocery challenge (on the old style boards) for ideas/ inspiration?. I probably spend £75 or less on food per month for one, and when OH is here it's about £125/month for two.
    Originally posted by ab_saver
    Yep you are both right - I had around £10 left from my £35 budget last week and that involved buying brunch and ice cream for myself and a friend one of the days. I've reduced my budget to £30 this week and if there's still money left over then I'll reduce it further.

    My major saving is loving my freezer - I'm not sure if you share with your landlady/ how much freezer space you have, but I scour the supermarkets for reduced meat especially - and get most of my meat and the bulk of my fruit/veg reduced. I then buy my stock items like pasta, rice, tinned tomatoes/pulses in bulk every so often.
    When you are staying with your parents rent-free, I would imagine that your grocery bills will go down further (there are serious economies of scale in food shopping, hence feeding 2 doesn't cost twice as much as feeding one) - you could agree maybe a £20/week contribution towards your parents' household shop?
    Honestly, food shopping is one of the areas there is most flexibility in in most budgets, and you could easily shave off £112 over a matter of months.
    We are all here cheering you on!
    Originally posted by ab_saver
    I do love the freezer - I've just done a stocktake and I have 15 steaks, a pack of bacon and some miso soup (enough for 8 portions) in the freezer so I won't be buying any meat over the next couple of weeks. I also spent £11 of my £30 food budget at the fishmongers and have purchased 12 mackerel fillets and 2 herring fillets. They are quite small so will need 2 fillets a serving, but I'll be putting 8 of them into the freezer and eating the rest over the next couple of days.

    Yep - I'll probably do that when I move back to my parents over the summer. My mum loves cooking so I think she'd be offended if I didn't eat the food she prepared. I did something similar last summer.
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 7th Mar 17, 9:23 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    Woke up with heartburn this morning and was going to pay for some Rennies out of my food budget. Then I remembered that I had some Boots points on my advantage card so that covered the cost. In line with my attempt to downshift products I ended up buying the boots own brand. They are literally the same as the Rennies and £1.26 cheaper.

    This takes my March downshift challenge total to £3.25 (ironically exactly the same amount as the Rennies tablets would have cost!)

    I am also spending £9 later on an aerial hoop class that I'd signed myself onto weeks ago.*sigh*
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 7th Mar 17, 4:45 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    Today turned out to be such a spendy day. I realised I hadn't ever bought my best friend the Christmas present that I promised her so that was £24.50 gone. Loaded £3 of my food budget onto my uni card and spent 70p of that and just spent 20p on coffee. I'll still be spending the £9 for exercise class later.

    Food budget spend £14.20/30
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Mar 17, 6:32 PM
    • 48,510 Posts
    • 178,573 Thanks
    beanielou
    9 quid for an excercise class sounds expensive
    20p for coffee though sounds good
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 7th Mar 17, 11:11 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    9 quid for an excercise class sounds expensive
    20p for coffee though sounds good
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Yeah it is expensive. It's aerial hoop which is a super niche hobby of mine and thus expensive. Why I decided to have such an expensive hobby I do not know.
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 8th Mar 17, 5:46 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    After yesterday's chilli debacle(I spent nearly the entirety of my weekly food budget on ingredients for a big batch of chilli) I can report that today was NSD 3/12. I ended up going to a university event where I ate my bodyweight in scones so therefore have absolutely no need to eat any more food for the rest of the day.

    I also have a (free!) three day female personal development course from Monday - Wednesday next week which will be providing food so I hope that those days will also be NSDs.

    I put in an offer for a house in the town I'm moving to for my grad job and it's been accepted. I am so excited.

    My parents will pay for the house and I will pay them back when I am able to get a mortgage after my probationary period. I've thought through all of the risks of this option and in the worst case scenario that I somehow fail my probationary period I can still rent out the spare room, and give both this money and the money from my rental property to my parents each month as well as work from them in their business. I don't think there will be any reason why I wouldn't pass my probationary period though.

    I'm so excited to graduate now and begin to make the place my own. I'm a bit terrified of the thought of full-on adulting but I am really looking forward to the next chapter in my life.
    Last edited by Starlighthappiness; 08-03-2017 at 5:52 PM.
    • ab_saver
    • By ab_saver 8th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 807 Thanks
    ab_saver
    That is really exciting about the house - and very generous of your parents. I will warn you that adulting is more expensive than you think (e.g. council tax - important but pricey).

    It sounds like you are getting everything sorted. At this rate you'll be an MFW before long!

    The course sounds very exciting - I've heard good things about springboard but couldn't make it work with my course at uni and the uni I do some work for now don't run it .

    Don't beat yourself up about the chilli - batch cooking (as with many MSE things) stings upfront but saves you in the long run! It's a great freezer staple (my OH loves it) and can be mega healthy.
    House fund: £1610 / £10,000 _£1000 emergency fund #208 - £110/ 1000 _
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Mar 17, 8:52 PM
    • 48,510 Posts
    • 178,573 Thanks
    beanielou
    Yeah it is expensive. It's aerial hoop which is a super niche hobby of mine and thus expensive. Why I decided to have such an expensive hobby I do not know.
    Originally posted by Starlighthappiness
    As long as you enjoy it

    Great news on the house
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 9th Mar 17, 10:24 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    The course sounds very exciting - I've heard good things about springboard but couldn't make it work with my course at uni and the uni I do some work for now don't run it
    Originally posted by ab_saver
    Yes it should be good. It's quite a small group - only 20 of us - so I think we'll all have the chance to get to know each other quite well over the three days.

    That is really exciting about the house - and very generous of your parents. I will warn you that adulting is more expensive than you think (e.g. council tax - important but pricey).
    Originally posted by ab_saver
    Yeah my parents have been so lovely! They are landlords so they are really of the mindset that if you can buy a house rather than rent then that is the best thing to do. (I'm not sure how outdated this view is but the mortgage cost will be the same as it would be to rent a single room in a shared house in the same area!)

    I've realised that it is going to be very expensive with lots of unexpected costs. I'll be moving from one of the most expensive cities in the UK (where my uni is) to one of the cheaper ones so I still expect the cost of the mortgage/bills not rise *too* much compared to what I've been used to over the last four years.

    Great news on the house
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Thank you!
    ---

    I need to *stop* thinking about the house and all the excitement that comes with that and focus on my uni work and revision. I need to get a 2.1 and to do that I definitely need to up the amount of revision I am doing each day. The thoughts about how I'm going to make the place my own will have to take a back bench for now.....

    Today will be a NSD I think. I'm going to go to the university library for the majority of the day and then watch a free film screening which one of the societies is putting on in the evening. I'll also finish the last of the chilli for dinner!
    • ab_saver
    • By ab_saver 9th Mar 17, 6:55 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 807 Thanks
    ab_saver
    All sounds great. I would agree that you are better off owning as then the money each month is mostly going to your own equity rather than into someone else's. OH and I could move from our 2 bed flat into a 3-4bed house and save money- but we are waiting for confirmation I'll be staying here for longer (my career path can entail moves up and down the country every few years ) and for him to get a post doc.

    The thing you'll need the most support (financially) with will likely be the costs of moving, furniture, and any work that might need doing before you move in. The running costs month to month probably won't be too bad.

    Enjoy your course - and revision. Glad to hear you have other plans to help you stay sane!
    House fund: £1610 / £10,000 _£1000 emergency fund #208 - £110/ 1000 _
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 9th Mar 17, 10:08 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    All sounds great. I would agree that you are better off owning as then the money each month is mostly going to your own equity rather than into someone else's. OH and I could move from our 2 bed flat into a 3-4bed house and save money- but we are waiting for confirmation I'll be staying here for longer (my career path can entail moves up and down the country every few years ) and for him to get a post doc.

    The thing you'll need the most support (financially) with will likely be the costs of moving, furniture, and any work that might need doing before you move in. The running costs month to month probably won't be too bad.

    Enjoy your course - and revision. Glad to hear you have other plans to help you stay sane!
    Originally posted by ab_saver
    Yeah I think that is the one disadvantage of buying somewhere - It makes you a lot more inflexible when it comes to relocating. Sounds like you are doing the most sensible thing by holding off.

    My parents are landlords so already have local contacts for any work that needs to be done. To be honest it's pretty much ready to move into now (although I do want to get rid of the ugly artex ceilings) and it is just in need of a bit of a cosmetic makeover. I think I will just tackle that slowly and over time though.
    ----

    Today was a NSD and the £125 bonus arrived from switching my account to first direct.
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 10th Mar 17, 9:59 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    Today was the end of term and the day I handed in my last ever essay! Time for exam revision to begin!

    Spent £14.50 going out for a celebratory meal with friends.

    Hoping this weekend will be NSDs
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Mar 17, 6:08 PM
    • 48,510 Posts
    • 178,573 Thanks
    beanielou
    Blimey your term finishes early!
    Well done
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 13th Mar 17, 7:07 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    Yesterday was a NSD and I'm hoping the next three days will be too.
    • Littlebirdie
    • By Littlebirdie 13th Mar 17, 2:44 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    Littlebirdie
    Hey just popping by to say hello! I also wanted to ask is that app (I think its check0utsmart?) any good? I noticed you got like twenty quid from it which is bloomin great. I use reciept H0g which is good but takes a while.
    To staying out of debt!
    • Littlebirdie
    • By Littlebirdie 13th Mar 17, 2:46 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    Littlebirdie
    hey, jus popping by to say hello. I also wanted to ask about that supermarket app you use, is it any good? I use reciept h0g and its good but takes a while!
    To staying out of debt!
    • Littlebirdie
    • By Littlebirdie 13th Mar 17, 2:47 PM
    • 189 Posts
    • 273 Thanks
    Littlebirdie
    I thought my first post didnt post so now you have three from me - sorry!
    To staying out of debt!
    • Starlighthappiness
    • By Starlighthappiness 15th Mar 17, 7:31 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    Starlighthappiness
    hey, jus popping by to say hello. I also wanted to ask about that supermarket app you use, is it any good? I use reciept h0g and its good but takes a while!
    Originally posted by Littlebirdie
    Check0ut smart is good - it also takes a while, but there are often items which you can get 100% cashback on which is great. Haven't heard of receipt h0g. How is that app?

    ---

    I've been feeling off the last couple of days. It might be because the training course days are so long or maybe because the course has unlimited free food and I've eaten way too much sugar.

    No money spend except for part of my food budget on ingredients to take my own lunch in to the course today. I *will* be strong and resist the pastries.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,708Posts Today

9,980Users online

Martin's Twitter