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
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    • 749Posts
    • 2,572Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Cherry takes the reins
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    Cherry takes the reins 3rd Mar 17 at 12:10 AM
    Hi everyone.

    I'm hoping I can legitimately post a diary here as I'm in the blessed position at the moment of my only actual debt being my mortgage, but I've had a huge change in my circumstances recently and how I manage it will have a big impact on our finances.

    I need to talk things through, if only with myself, and motivate myself with small money savings and accountability. For the last few years I've not kept an eye on money but I work and DH's pay has gone up so we've had enough and a bit to spare and I've got lazy with some and wasn't mentally able to face other aspects. Now that I'm in a much better place mentally, I want to take the reins and be deliberate about what I spend. I need to start facing up to this right now because we are covering costs for my Mum's estate until probate is settled. I know this isn't legally necessary but we can pay ourselves back from the estate once the paperwork goes through and I don't like the estate to be building up debt (which oddly is possible).

    A bit late tonight to launch into details about the estate so I will give a brief explanation of other financial stuff. DH and I have a couple of joint accounts and a mortgage. We have an aging car which needs to be replaced soon and is essential (DH's work and transport for a disabled relative). We are also going to a family wedding abroad in July, and have paid accommodation and air fares but there will also be car hire, food, sundries and some of the clothes still to buy. DH's income is the larger and pays all the utilities, holidays, fuel and etceteras. Mine goes into the other joint account and pays the mortgage and food, which gives me a lot of pride . I also pay for contact lenses, some donations which I don't want to stop, my phone contract and, temporarily, costs incurred trying to sort Mum's estate.

    The breakdown of where my money goes (pcm):
    Mortgage: 282.24
    Donations: 120.00
    Contact lenses: 22.00
    Phone 8.40
    Amazon Prime: 7.99
    Food for 4 adults 80.00 (pw) (approx. 347 pm)

    Income:
    Roughly 1,000 pcm (variable due to overtime)
    Bank £3 (if I get my wages transferred regularly)

    This month and possibly next I have lots of extra fairly hefty outgoings in terms of travel, paying a cleaner, insurance etc. that are all to do with Mum's estate. I will, as I said, get these back from my eventual inheritance but meanwhile I want to tread carefully and of course it will decrease what I inherit. Duh.

    To encourage myself I'm keeping this diary and would love to hear from others as I do so. I can't always see things clearly till others give input.

    Action I can see I need to take:
    Get my wages paid directly into this account so I always get that £3! Done in time for May 2017
    Cancel Amazon Prime - cancelled 7/3/17

    Little MS things I've managed today:
    Started this diary
    Taken lunch to work - overnight oats
    Mended a favourite cardigan so I can wear it in daylight
    Put myself down for 3 extra shifts. 2 of these particular type of shifts pay for a journey to work on Mum's house.

    Uh-ohs
    Forgot DH had an evening meeting so went for the quick-cook supermarket pizza which isn't best use of food money when I could have been using stuff up.
    Far too tired after a late night and an early shift, to go for a run. I know that's nothing to do with money but for lent and my waistline I'm doing C25K.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 31-05-2017 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Update
Page 8
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 1st Jun 17, 9:42 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Plans changed: I did loads of shopping without leaving the High Street let alone going to another town. That may be a job for another day. I've also had a run, then two walks into town followed by a short countryside walk with DH - so I will have topped 20,000 steps by bedtime and will probably ache tomorrow.

    I haven't yet found The Bag for the wedding outfit but I may have The Shoes. If I decide to use the ones I found today, they were indeed a bargain - I saw them in a charity shop and had the staff spoil their colour-coded window display so I could try them on. They are very pretty but DH thinks they look like flip flops! (That's because he can't tell wedge heeled sandals from flip flops). I think he means they look too casual. 'Aren't you going to wear court shoes?' No - it's a beach-side wedding in a hot country! I will ask DD's opinion - if she doesn't like them I still get to keep pretty shoes and I'll go for white instead.

    I wanted some bits of makeup for the wedding and think I have all I need after today's foray, plus various other things including a large supply of hayfever drugs, mostly for DS's benefit.

    I also tracked down that toothbrush the dentist wanted me to get, marked as half price which was how much he said I could get it for. Bought it - and found it £4 cheaper in the next shop! The till receipt says I can take things back if I've changed my mind so as I'm reluctant to spend £4 unnecessarily, I might just do that.

    Other than that I'm investigating a garden shredder/mulcher as we now have to pay if we want green waste taken away. Where would I store it, though? I also read elsewhere on the forums about offset mortgages and fell for the idea. However, they seem hugely expensive to set up even though as far as I can see they would save us money. I wish I was good enough at Maths to work out compound interest so I could tell whether it's worth persuing.

    Spends:
    Toiletries/makeup £42.04
    Clothing/jewellery £7.74
    Medical £4.75
    Gift £0.17
    Housekeeping £7.37
    Pets £3.00
    Garden £3.00

    MS stuff:
    Shopped near home saving a train fare.
    Bought fresh plaice for tea at half the price of the frozen ones!
    Resisted the urge to get a coffee in town.
    Bank payment (for keeping account in good nick) £3 plus interest £0.07

    Confessions:
    Still need to update my signature for May - as housekeeping is weekly I have a part week to start with which to start June.
    Also need to set up a June signature and do more money stuff apart from spending it.
    Bought a plant as a treat to myself.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 02-06-2017 at 11:58 AM. Reason: typo
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 1st Jun 17, 11:26 PM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Shredders are amazing at reducing huge amounts of garden waste to very little. My dad has an electric one but it does tend to sit in the garage between use. The ex has a petrol one which is efficient and can be wheeled around to different parts of a garden, but unfortunately doesn't fold down.
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 1st Jun 17, 11:31 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Oooh - thanks Honeysucklelou2! Based on that I think maybe an electric one as space is limited - any recommendations as to make? (And thank you for reading through a massive screed!)
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 1st Jun 17, 11:36 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    So the final May signature read:

    31 days in May...
    NSDs 12/12, Exercise 11/12, Housekeeping 179.89/177.14 overspend of £2.74

    ...and I have £22.86 to spend on housekeeping from now till Saturday, as the week was inconsiderate enough to span 2 months. To save explaining it all over again at some point, I think I'll just count these first few days as May housekeeping which sounds like a bit of a cheat as potentially it puts me back in the black. So for the next few days we have a holding pattern and June starts on 5th.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 2nd Jun 17, 12:02 AM
    • 440 Posts
    • 1,422 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Will ask my dad which make...
    paydbx #90 £325/£10,000.
    365 day penny challenge £37.66/£667.95
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 2nd Jun 17, 10:02 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    2nd
    NSD, no run.

    Annoyingly, the regular mortgage payment left my account with H yesterday and hasn't appeared in the mortgage account - also with H - yet. I can't even get hold of them to ask why not, as they are only open while I'm at work tomorrow - so it will be either 2 or 4 days late.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 02-06-2017 at 10:27 PM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Jun 17, 11:58 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Funny day today, I was supposed to spend much of it at work but I wasn't needed later so I had a couple of extra hours off. Caught up on here - and found H bank has decided to acknowledge the mortgage payment they took the other day: it's now where it should be and dated 1st June. I think they are just slow to update their online banking.

    We went for a run this evening which was most enjoyable.

    I have started a rather ambitious scheme to do something about the state of the kitchen walls, which have been a mishmash of new paint (from a tester pot), old paint (probably 20+ years), very old paint (thinking 1970s?), a couple of layers of 'when the house was new' (1930s) and tiles which look like 1960s.

    I thought it was time for a change.

    The thing is... I know nothing about decorating beyond paintwork. There is some rough plastering where the new electrics went in but it wasn't finished 'nicely' as it was a stop-gap because we knew we needed to do something drastic. That was at least 18 months ago... DH says he doesn't see the mess (he sees other messes that I don't) but anyway we trogged into town and bought things to make the walls better.

    Part one has been filling gaps and trying to smooth the plaster. Clearing up after that took some doing, especially as there's probably lead in some of the older paint so I've tried to find every tiny flake. Part two will be washing the bits that didn't need plastering, then I'm going to try to wall paper, and once that's done, a coat of paint or two will at least make it look somewhat as if it were meant.

    I'm not sure I'll be able to do any more tomorrow as DS is on another night shift and will need peace and quiet to sleep, and later in the day I'm working too.

    Spends:
    Decorating materials (household) £16.05
    Housekeeping £11.60 plus whatever DH spent on meat for tomorrow: we may just come in on budget.
    ebook £0.99

    MS stuff:
    Um...
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 05-06-2017 at 12:04 PM. Reason: Posted in a hurry so I can get the right date on my spending! Posting after midnight leads to mistakes on my spreadsheet.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 4th Jun 17, 11:48 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    NSD, no run.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 5th Jun 17, 5:50 AM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 9,409 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    Would love to give you lots of expert advice on decorating, but I have absolutely no useful ideas. YouTube is my friend when it comes to DIY stuff though! We've been working on the front of our house and it really is so pleasing to see it improve, it's very rewarding.
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 5th Jun 17, 11:21 AM
    • 449 Posts
    • 3,621 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    Morning. Well done on the wedding shopping, hope the shoes matched ok.

    I could do with some exercise. I bought all the running stuff last year with my Christmas money... Its all still got tags on!! Not even sure it will fit now. I have been walking to work more often but not sure it's doing much.

    I cant help with the decorating either, I tried to paint our hall a few years ago, didn't go well and dh re painted it.
    LBM in April 17 - £3786/£33554 (11.2%) paid
    DFD: 1st May 2022
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Jun 17, 2:36 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Thanks both .

    Today looks like being another NSD and another no-run day. I got up really looking forward to a run but it was raining and I haven't yet braved the rain despite DD's assurance that running in the rain is fab. It's cleared up now but I'm in the middle of cooking and once that's done there's only a bit of time before work.

    I set out to make pasta to take to work and was part way through when I realised I'd already defrosted something so I'm now having that as a late lunch... did a partial sort f the fridge which may save a couple of ingredients but there's so much 'other people's stuff' there that I haven't sorted it entirely.

    I doubt I will have any personal spending today (haven't finished my book yet!) but if DS gets his act together I will be booking flights for him - which gets me supermarket points on my CC but will probably be my biggest CC spend ever and while the money is there to pay it off (phew), I don't know where I stand if for some reason the flights have to change. The reason he's delayed isn't actually his fault: he applied for the leave in September but his course allocates two tranches of leave and doesn't actually tell students which one they fall into until near the time! Not even for a family wedding.

    I'll amend this post if I spend anything.

    I tried to be MS by buying some train tickets ahead of time and while I found a discount, it's only on a single fare and as I need a return, the tickets I usually get still seem to be the cheapest.

    Hopefully a fuller post tomorrow though I'm on shift tonight and tomorrow's a bit busy.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 6th Jun 17, 11:35 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    One of those bitty days where the morning was so long ago I'm having to think hard to remember what I did.

    Started off at work - the rain overnight was very loud! Home for breakfast and took advantage of a break in the weather to fit in a run before lunch. Running into a cool wind with a smattering of rain is actually not bad at all.

    I saw DD briefly too, and tried on my dress for the wedding - amazingly it will now do up! Only just though, so I have taken time to do some fitness-app programming to help me get rid of a bit more of the padding that's been slowly creeping on since DS2 was on the way. Considering he's now an adult, I've had it long enough.

    Before tea I braved the rain (proper umbrella and waterproofs weather this afternoon) and did a food shop: some yellow sticker beef for DS, tins to take to Mum's house and ingredients for a really nice recipe kindly passed to me by armchairexpert. I've never had Cuban food before and it's a hit with us.

    This evening I met up with my usual group of friends from church including a lady who used to meet with us years ago but couldn't commit the time while her boys were growing up. Lovely to see her again. Then home to tuck the guinea pigs up for the night - the rain is still falling very wetly and the poor piggies have been in their hutch all day. There is an inch of water standing in the milk bottle holder (no, it's not a wire one) and all the plants are looking surprised at this change of fortune. Talking of fortune, work had one of those deliveries of random books and gadgets so I resisted very hard and only put an order in for one item... sort of. I'm quite pleased I completely didn't buy a recipe book: it's quite hefty and very unnecessarily calorific, but the ideas sounded very tempting. Then there was a pack of two books of which I wanted one, so I went on @mazon and found it for 1p. When postage is added on and the remainder of a gift voucher deducted, it comes to £1.99. There was also £3 for some bowls which I might never have bought if they hadn't been presented to me as An Opportunity. They are supposed to hold the right amounts for a portion of different food types. So I've spent a fiver and saved nearly £6, IYSWIM.

    I've also treated myself to a running belt for my phone. I felt I've earned it as I haven't rewarded myself for the running I've achieved. The running and the fitness and the sense of achievement have been reward enough, TBH, but still, it's nice to have an accessory and this is a useful one.

    Tomorrow DH has the day off and we're going to take some bits to Mum's house and come back with other bits.

    Spends:
    Household (measuring bowls) £3
    Book £1.99
    Housekeeping £23.46
    Running belt £5.97

    MS stuff:
    2 portions of tonight's meal in freezer for another day
    Resisted the traybake book!
    Managed to get the small book I wanted without having its unwanted companion.
    A couple of days ago I trimmed my hair which is a freebie and easy as it's long.
    5 meals' worth of beef for DS at YS prices.
    Going on a diet: savings on nibbles at least today!

    Confession time:
    I've lived life so far without that book, that running belt and those bowls and most of the world will live their lifespans without those particular things either so really they are a bit of a luxury.
    Forgot to take my list of things I need at Mum's house so my shopping was guess work.
    Used the tumble dryer to dry my jeans.
    DS turned the heating on... and we left it on...and it's June!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 07-06-2017 at 11:40 PM.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 7th Jun 17, 5:18 AM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 9,409 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    The rain is very boring here, hoping for a less soggy day today!

    Well done on resisting the extra book. Little victories!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Jun 17, 11:39 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Well that was a long day, that was. Road trip to Mum's old house (motorway meal on the way, picnic while there), loaded various things we were left in her will and vacuumed the place from top to toe as it hadn't been done in literally a few years (though it had been carpet-sweepered after the vacuum broke).

    Back at ours, we've unloaded the van which has to go back to the hire people tomorrow. I think I will have a bit of a sore back after a couple of hundred miles sitting in it but it wasn't bad. Mostly glad the load didn't slide about and get damaged en route.

    We have looked at some jobs that need to be completed at the house and made progress with decisions. Didn't take anything to the tip (it's hard to get to and we need a crew to move certain items) but I've identified a few things that can go. Very slowly, we're making more space there, and it's lovely to be rid of the uninhabited feel.

    Spends:
    DH bought van hire, some tea, diesel, over counter medicine. I don't know totals.
    Me: meal at services £18.69

    Confession time:
    We never planned to eat at services. Dh was intending to go to the chippy for tea, but when we pulled in and I felt the pull of takeaway coffee and hadn't brought a flask, it somehow turned into a meal for two. It was a good choice though as I didn't get car sick from greasy food on the return journey and it made it much easier to stick to my diet later.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Jun 17, 11:20 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Day off, and I voted (attention seeking, no doubt: I want to be partly responsible for the mess) and had a very rainy run. I looked like a drowned rat after a few minutes but the sun came back shortly after and I had fun.

    I also had some shopping to do: mostly about finding paint for the outside doors on Mum's old house. I've been working really hard on the diet today, with a couple of walks (shops/vote) as well as my run, and not much to eat until this evening when we went out for dinner (a relative of DH's is in the area).

    Spends:
    Stuff for Mum's house (to claim back) £9.25
    Medical £2.00
    Housekeeping £14.26
    Plants £4.00

    MS stuff:
    resisted ready made soup and bought ingredients to make myself several helpings for work meals

    Confession time:
    I'm sure there was something but it escapes me.
    Ah yes.
    Had a starter as well as a main and I was going to be so good!
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Jun 17, 4:24 AM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    May's housekeeping: there was a final £18.12 leaking over into June which got spent as 1st: £7.37, 3rd: £11.60 and gave any change to DH to spend on Sunday's meat (we had Bolognese for four and a quick google says that would have been £3.50) so a May overspend of £4.35.

    Well, we are lucky enough to have that lee-way but I still think we spend a lot on food/cleaning products. Part of that is because I like shopping and part is DH being time/energy poor when it comes to cooking, and yet another part is feeding a lot of family people on Sundays and sometimes during the week - which is good as it gives us time with them, and they with us.

    It's time I went back to bed: I woke up and couldn't get back to sleep so I came down about 1/4 to 4 to find DS still up and the election news trickling in. Britain doing what it's so good at: being middle-of-the-road, I think. I don't watch the blow-by-blow reckoning...watching won't change it and sleep makes a big difference to how I face each day.
    • hex2
    • By hex2 9th Jun 17, 5:09 PM
    • 4,683 Posts
    • 79,661 Thanks
    hex2
    I'd be pleased, that's a tiny overspend.
    'If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need' Marcus Tullius Cicero
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Jun 17, 10:32 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Aw thanks, hex. I suppose I feel a bit guilty that I have a much bigger budget than some people and don't have the self-control to stay within it when there are people going hungry. I used to be hungry between meals because I couldn't afford more food. That was a long time ago but there are people in that situation now... so I feel a bit bad that I'm here with a diary which, while it helps me in that I feel accountable and get to chat to nice people the while, isn't about the sort of hardship others have.

    On the other hand, am I perfect? No, I'm a work in progress so this is about me learning and taking control of my finances, or trying to.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Jun 17, 11:21 PM
    • 749 Posts
    • 2,572 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Today: NSD and no run either.

    MS stuff:
    Made lots of soup for work meals.
    Being really careful with my food intake until the wedding - maybe why I'm still within food budget!

    Confession time:
    I have an order for toiletries ready to give to the person who sends off for them... about £10 worth but they are all things I do normally use and was getting low on.
    Have discovered two new sources of dolls' house bits 7 pieces and I now have possession of my childhood dolls' house and am hoping to do it up. Some of that stuff is nearly as expensive as the RL equivalents!
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 10th Jun 17, 6:20 AM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 9,409 Thanks
    Treadingonplaymobil
    I used to love my old dolls house. My DC are stubbornly disinterested, such disappointments!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017/DFD: £58,608.13/1st Dec 2026
    debt on 2nd Aug 17/DFD: £55,011.96/1st May 2025
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

270Posts Today

1,429Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @LordsEconCom: On Tuesday Martin Lewis, Hannah Morrish & Shakira Martin gave evidence to the Cttee. Read the full transcript here: https?

  • Ta ta for now. Half term's starting, so I'm exchanging my MoneySavingExpert hat for one that says Daddy in big letters. See you in a week.

  • RT @thismorning: Can @MartinSLewis' deals save YOU cash? ???? https://t.co/igbHCwzeiN

  • Follow Martin