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    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    • 1,074Posts
    • 5,142Thanks
    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)

    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.

    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 9
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Jun 17, 9:33 AM
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    My Dad made mine, using a wooden box he had been using as a step. I have the kitchen extension (a cardboard box) somewhere with some dolls furniture in, and the Perspex greenhouse he made but sadly I pulled off the balcony he put round the back so I could get to the rooms more easily.

    I have been looking at dolls house wallpapers so I can redecorate, but the little bits and pieces you can buy are so tempting too! I need to try making them myself, it would save money and keep me out of mischief!
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 10th Jun 17, 12:04 PM
    • 4,212 Posts
    • 26,521 Thanks
    I've just caught up with your diary and wow loads going on! You do amazingly well you should be proud!

    I also have a dolls house at my parents from me being small my grandad made us girls all one each a bit different
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Jun 17, 11:53 PM
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    A free Saturday morning in summer usually means car boot trawling for us, but this morning it was raining.

    I still don't have The Shoes for The Wedding. I saw some very nice ones today which cost a lot more than I really wanted to pay... I have also put a bid on a much cheaper pair which are close to my original plan so after much too-ing and fro-ing I've decided if I win the 3bay ones and love them, it's problem solved. If I'm still in doubt I take The Dress to the shop to see how the pretty shoes look next to it, and to try walking in both shoes instead of just trying one on. How to justify spending that much for something that will almost undoubtedly look great but will never get worn again (unless one of my other children surprises us with wedding plans).

    Also on 3bay, I bid for a bag for the wedding and I've won it so I'm hoping it looks good with the dress as I don't want to corner myself into getting the bag that matches The Pretty Shoes. The two together would be nearly what I paid for The Dress!

    This evening I dropped off the 4von order (nearly £10) and will count that as being spent today as the money for it is pinned to the kitchen notice board.

    This diet I'm on... not sure I should be as strict with myself as I'm being. It's really hard to keep to the allowance though it's only supposed to be 'moderate'. Weight loss is very slow with me (partly a medical thing but significantly a tendency to snack!) but even for The Wedding, pushing too hard will mean I'm not as fit as I should be. (No run today btw). I'm going to give it some more thought.

    Clothing/bag - £10.20
    Toiletries - £9.23

    Confession time:
    Various bids put on 3bay - mostly holiday clothes.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 10-06-2017 at 11:59 PM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Jun 17, 8:22 PM
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    NSD, no run either - and a swap-round of shifts at work so I did this morning instead of this evening. That's good in that I get to see DH and DS (though sadly not for long) and watch Poldark (possibly not such a good idea as I don't need drama!).

    MS stuff:
    Resisted those goodies being sold at work (again)
    Picked up another shift
    Tracked down the payslips that prove I had had a contract I was never sent! It was only for about 3 months and was a step between two similar contracts, but it doesn't appear in my pension record which, combined with the absence of paperwork, makes me think HR either never knew about it or forgot to tell other departments. Now I have to find the pensions paperwork and go and annoy HR, but not tonight, or even this week.

    Today 12th: has been a bit spendy. I'm off to work on Mum's house for 3 days and decided to do an online order rather than try to carry all my food or buy locally, which is costly and limited (though they do nice cakes). I will tweak that order last thing tonight so the total will change. I've also had some successful bids on 3bay (holiday wear). Another non-run day: I did intend to but work was long (2.5 miles of trudging corridors so it was sort-of exercise too), it's already late and I have lots to sort out for the trip to go to plan. My running belt has arrived, though! I'll take running things with me and try for at least one, maybe two - such a gorgeous area to be out in!

    The diet...? The diet is progressing, but I've had to slacken off the pressure. It just felt as though I was losing strength. I've gone a shade easier on myself which means of course it will take longer but I'm less likely to crash and burn.

    When I come back from Mum's, it's quick change time then out for another shift, so I may not manage to log in again till some time on Saturday. I'm nearly out of roaming data, but it tops up in a couple of days so at that point I may well have a brief catch-up. Got to be limited, though - and reception is terrible.

    Housekeeping £43.14 + £11.44
    Clothing £29.73

    MS stuff:
    Found some nice marinated yellow-stickered chicken for tea, coupled with rice and some cauliflower that needed finishing... and it was low-calorie.
    Had a sort-out of the fridge and found some interesting stuff... will take a bit with me and take those things off the supermarket bill.

    Confession time:
    Going to way over on the food bill again, due to having to make the most of that online shop.
    Some treats as well as needs in that food shopping list.
    I'm going to have to chuck out some of the veg. Lettuce lacks appeal when it goes funny colours at the edges.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 12-06-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: typo
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
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    Well, I'm back, and I really shouldn't be let out alone! No time to do a proper update just yet but... I went to buy an ice cream and came back with a chicken coop.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jun 17, 10:51 AM
    • 590 Posts
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    How exciting! When are the hens arriving??!! I used to keep chickens and love having them pecking around the garden, although I had to fence off any areas that I didn't want scratched up or eaten! The eggs are fantastic too. Any particular type of hen in mind? Light Sussex and RIR are good egg layers...*slopes off before I go on and on about poultry!*
    paydbx #93 £155/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 17th Jun 17, 1:25 PM
    • 2,316 Posts
    • 14,719 Thanks
    Ooh jealous. I would love hens too. What cuties.
    Nothing gets better until you get better.

    2018 My year of creation, living life and learning.

    The purpose of life is to create a life of purpose. Richard Gregg
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Jun 17, 2:23 PM
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    The hens are planned but I really didn't expect to start this year!

    When I was a child, we always had chickens, usually a RIR x Light Sussex but in later years Mum had bantams and that's what I've decided to do, too. Mum said they were less mean to each other than larger hens! This is only a very small coop, recommended for 3 full sized birds, but I think 3 bantams would be happy there instead. I did some research a while back, which I've now forgotten, as to breeds.

    It will probably be August before we can collect the coop (didn't attempt to carry it on the train). I wonder if August is too late in the season to buy pullets? More research is needed.

    This morning I went a bit mad at the car boots sale which is entirely my Mum's fault for leaving me with some nice planters. I have 3 tomato plants, a saxifrage, (even more) lobelia, a diascia and 2 handsome petunias - that's in addition to lots of cuttings from Mum's garden. Al I can do with the rest of today, as work starts soon, is water everything and stand it in the shade.

    I also bought sandals and a book on herbs.

    Accounts to follow.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Jun 17, 7:23 PM
    • 590 Posts
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    There is a big poultry sale locally in the first few days of Sept as all the chicks that were hatched in March time have reached point of lay y Sept. Ideal time to get some hens!
    paydbx #93 £155/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 18th Jun 17, 12:00 AM
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    I've just spent the last however-long googling bantam sales in my area, Honeysucklelou2!
    I haven't even got the coop home yet...

    My spending over the last few days (I'll add things like 3bay purchases as they arrive):

    Train £57.10 (to reclaim from the estate)
    Clothing £17.00
    Toiletries £4.00
    Holiday (luggage strap & tags) £3.00
    Electronics £7.00
    MS stuff:
    Took sandwiches for the day, and flask so I didn't have to buy coffee.
    Confession time:
    Discovered I can break the journey and visit a very big Primarni...

    Food £3.00
    Chicken coop (I suppose that's 'Pets') £30.00
    Chicken feeder/waterer £10.00
    Confession time:
    Took money with me when I went running, therefore caved and went to buy ice cream. It was a hot day so it seemed justified. Shop that sells ice cream has small ads. I had mobile phone on me... end result: trip later in the day to buy a chicken coop.
    MS stuff:
    It was a very cheap chicken coop!

    I think it was an NSD. I think.
    MS stuff:
    Took cuttings from the garden and found an old flower delivery box in which they travelled beautifully. Today they are in jam jars awaiting roots.

    MS stuff:
    Flask and sandwiches for the journey.
    Picked up another shift at work.

    Book on herbs 50p
    Clothing £3.00
    Garden: 3x tomatoes £1.00, tray of lobelia £1.00, saxifrage £1.00, Diascia 80p, 2 x petunias £2.00, total £5.80.
    MS stuff:
    All plants watered to survive till I can pot them on.
    Confession time:
    Threw out a pint of milk and plums that have both suffered from the heat (though I gave the guinea pigs some plums and they seemed happy with them).

    I haven't really got time just now to sort out the 3bay acquisitions so I'll edit them in later.

    I managed two runs and found a beautiful flower meadow and a cobbled footbridge, not to mention the hen house... did a load of work on the house but discovered lots more still to do.
    I probably won't do any more work there for the next month but my sister will.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 18th Jun 17, 11:23 PM
    • 590 Posts
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    Sounds very good for the garden. Hope the cuttings root and take.

    Re the you have any agricultural auctioneers near you? The sales I've been to have been organised by such auctioneers.
    paydbx #93 £155/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 19th Jun 17, 4:10 PM
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    • 5,142 Thanks
    We have livestock auctions nearby - I haven't seen chickens there but I normally just see the cattle trucks so it may be that they sell them and I haven't been close enough.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 19th Jun 17, 10:46 PM
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    Pet food 50p
    Hospitality £4.80
    Housekeeping £5.78

    Morning run - note to self: it's far easier when it's cooler.

    NSD, no run.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 19th Jun 17, 10:49 PM
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    Sounds very good for the garden. Hope the cuttings root and take.

    Re the you have any agricultural auctioneers near you? The sales I've been to have been organised by such auctioneers.
    Originally posted by Honeysucklelou2
    I've just looked on their website, Honeysucklelou2... no chickens. I'd better not actually go or I may come back with three sheep and a pig!
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 20th Jun 17, 5:36 AM
    • 2,316 Posts
    • 14,719 Thanks
    Three sheep and a pig sounds good. What about a goat or two?

    Thats a bargain for a chicken coop. Well spotted.

    I cant believe you are running in this weather. Even first thing its so hot. You're tough.
    Nothing gets better until you get better.

    2018 My year of creation, living life and learning.

    The purpose of life is to create a life of purpose. Richard Gregg
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 20th Jun 17, 10:06 AM
    • 1,074 Posts
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    The running was crazy - probably not a wise decision though it all builds my fitness and I now know not only that I can do it, but also that I can only just do it.

    I actually have two days off... but lots to do as ever. I'm going to take a leaf from Treadingonplaymobil's book and make a list of things to do, with a sub-list of things to eat up. I know I need milk and things like that but there is far too much in the cupboards and freezer so it's time to be creative. The trouple is that often means buying more to help use things up...

    Things to do today
    • get dressed done
    • go for a run done
    • clear dining room table (everything needs a proper home) not done
    • do piano practice done
    • hoover not done

    Things I ought to do soon
    • Find European Health card
    • Plan a meal done: we had chicken from the freezer, veg and potatoes from the cupboard.
    • Fill planters
    • clean bathroom
    • Pay cheque in
    • buy sharp sand for my rose cuttings
    • take item back to shop
    • go and try on gorgeous shoes *I know this is a luxury but it's for the wedding and after months of searching and 3 not-quite-right pairs which may go back to 3bay, I have seen a pair that meet my original spec and which I would wear again if only they are comfortable... but they cost a lot!
    • ironing
    • sort out my shoes

    Food to use up
    • milk 1 pt left, used 1 in rice pudding for DS, bought 6 more pints!
    • desiccated coconut
    • caramel
    • smidgeon of dark brown sugar
    • custard powder
    • yeast sachets
    • mung beans
    • flaked almonds
    • mincemeat
    • green lentils
    • dates
    • walnuts
    • quinoa
    • currants
    • onions - a million left, put half of one in lunch and fried a couple to accompany dinner.
    • peppers - nine and a half left, used 1/2 in lunch
    • oil from chargrilled peppers used some to fry onions
    • corn on the cob (5 left, used one for lunch)
    • eggs - used 2 for lunch, 2 to go
    • carrots used a couple
    • potatoes used half the old ones and there are still two part-bags of new.
    • assortment of cheeses
    • to be continued, that's just the start...

    2pm update
    I have a sneaking suspicion the word 'update' is poor English but it's attached itself to my vocabulary, yes mine!.. though I still refuse to use 'access' as a verb!
    Dressed, pulled a load of stuff out of the desk and begun to sort. No sign of the Health Card yet but it was an outside chance I suppose. Now I have to find homes for all the paperwork, balloons, elastic bands, old photos etc. that are on the floor. Load of laundry done, some winter clothes bagged up to put away, one load of hand washing to complete soonish. Rice pudding made for DS, egg-and-veg dish that entirely failed to be an omelette, for me. Going to have another go at making coffee soon: milk is all in date but the weather is making it separate (hence rice pudding). I've dead-headed a couple of roses and I'm going to add filling planters to my longer-term list.
    22.30 update
    Still no sign of the Health Card. If it doesn't turn up tomorrow, it's time to send for a replacement. I did some piano practice and had my piano lesson, went for a run with DH and cooked tea. Pretty tired this evening so we watched telly and DH sorted out travel insurance while I tidied up the results of tidying the desk.

    Piano lesson £10.00
    Milk £1.48
    MS stuff:
    Cooked from the cupboards
    Found an old savings book that appears to have about £100 in! I thought the account was closed long ago. Need to add that to my to-do list.
    Found even more stationery in the desk. I could open a shop if only people wanted half-used notepads but at least I won't need to buy any for ages. I generally email!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 20-06-2017 at 10:41 PM. Reason: Adding to lists
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 21st Jun 17, 11:28 AM
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    Today's MS efforts will be centred on Eating From The Larder/Fridge/Freezer. DS is broke and has agreed to a couple of nights away with friends. I think I'll do a spot of baking so he can eat before he goes. If I get round to making tortilla wraps that might be useful as he gets through a lot of them and doesn't seem to think they are worth making at home.

    I had a good look through cupboards and fridge and found a measly 14 jars of things to spread on toast, so I'll add them to my 'Eat up' list. Most of them are part gone. My friend makes jam and I make marmalade, in case you were wondering!

    I might make coleslaw... I've put some elderly cabbage and carrots in a bowl of cold water to perk up.

    Here is my amended food list (still by no means exhaustive): Orange is the night time total.
    Food to use up
    7.5 pints milk
    desiccated coconut
    smidgeon of dark brown sugar
    custard powder
    yeast sachets
    mung beans
    flaked almonds
    green lentils
    red lentils
    dates- one packet finished in scones, one to go
    walnuts -now in scones
    white rice (not nice!)
    Arborio rice
    a million onions - now 999,999 onions
    9.5 peppers - now 9 peppers
    oil from chargrilled peppers
    5 corn on the cob
    2 eggs - sadly, binned. Now 12 eggs.
    4 carrots - now 1 carrot
    half a cabbage
    fresh pineapple
    5 overripe bananas (sigh)
    3 tomatoes - now two tomatoes
    8 apples
    half tin baked beans
    potatoes - some old ones and two part-bags of new.
    assortment of cheeses
    14 jars of spreadables for toast
    4 assorted gravies
    vegetable suet
    1 very full freezer but I've taken four meals from it over the last couple of days Now six meals from the freezer.
    To be continued, that's just the start...

    I'm not going to list the things we use a lot of (like sauces, pasta or brown rice) unless they are short-dated.

    Other MS stuff needs attention too: I'm just going to check the bank balances and cc.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 21-06-2017 at 11:40 PM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 21st Jun 17, 12:00 PM
    • 1,074 Posts
    • 5,142 Thanks
    And as regards the mortgage (ours, not the one on Mum's house) - I've decided I'm going to do some sums and try to work out if it's worth saving the £1000 it would cost to get an offset mortgage. That way, not only could I cut our present excessive mortgage rate by fixing, but as soon as we get Mum's house sold (now looking at 2018 or later, not 2017), the money will go into the account and reduce our costs significantly.

    I really wish I were better at Maths! It isn't for want of trying but I find mathematical concepts very difficult and elusive and almost impossible to visualise... I did try, honestly, and I go on trying but I get mixed up very easily and to make matters more confusing, numbers transpose themselves when I deal with them. I have to take a lot of care when giving phone numbers for instance, because 012345 could easily come out as 032145. (Sigh).

    Anyway, this is probably why no one ever tried to give me an offset mortgage but it sounds like a pretty toy to me, given my circumstances.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 21st Jun 17, 11:39 PM
    • 1,074 Posts
    • 5,142 Thanks
    One of the websites was down so I haven't managed to check all the finances but what I saw seems okay.

    I have made up two planters and potted on a couple of plants: three planters still to go but I'm out of commercial compost and not sure about using compost straight from the bin even though it's been composted since last year.

    No run today: a rest day.

    Housekeeping £5.01

    MS stuff:
    Used up cherries and walnuts to make loads of scones.
    Used freezer stuff and cupboard random items to make a chicken pie, salad and cous cous for dinner, with an extra portion for DH later in the week.

    Confession time:
    I messed up the scones (usually I have no problem but this time I mixed up the proportions then forgot the raising agent!).
    Because the scones were messed up I will probably eat them for breakfast and lunch for a couple of days, thus sabotaging my diet, instead of feeding them to people.
    Totally lost track of calories between eating scones and making pie. Apart from the pastry the dinner wasn't too fattening though.
    Ruined a pair of jeans - they are now in the bin with indelible paint down the front and a strong smell of turps sub. They were my go-to pair as well. I feel a browse of 3bay coming on...
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 22nd Jun 17, 6:01 AM
    • 1,145 Posts
    • 11,185 Thanks
    Sounds like you're having a productive week! I do like a good list.

    I'm a fan of kitchari to use up mung beans (lots of recipes if you google). Very hippy, but I always feel healthy after eating it, especially with a big side of veggies.
    £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 4th Jan 2018: £35,536.09/July 2026

    Mortgage = £193,995
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