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  • FIRST POST
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 13th May 17, 9:26 AM
    • 278Posts
    • 704Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Adventures of the Boy & Me..
    • #1
    • 13th May 17, 9:26 AM
    Adventures of the Boy & Me.. 13th May 17 at 9:26 AM
    Hello.

    I've decided to start a fresh diary on here as I felt my last one was becoming confusing for myself to read back on and it was becoming a bit of a negative place for me to vent. I hope for this one to be more upbeat and a place I can share all the wonderful things that happen daily and any ways that I am able to save money/pay off debt.

    A quick recap about myself.. Its just me and the boy who live at home with my mum. I work in quite a high pressured environment full time and juggle this along with everything else. I also have bipolar disorder- this is where things begin to get difficult at times but I need to remain positive and accept the diagnosis. It's time to move on from my past, focus on the present and not worry about the future ahead.

    The boy is a wonderful child who is bright, enthusiastic and keen to learn. He has three hobbies and would do more if he could. I couldn't ask for a more laid back, loving and caring little individual- he's my best friend and the reason I smile and carry on. We do a lot together hence the title of this diary. It's the two of us and we're a team.

    About myself? I've always been high functioning and I always strive for more with everything I do- which isn't always a good thing. I'm still trying to find the right balance. Aside from that, I'm your pretty average plain Jane. I'm quirky in my own ways, procrastinate lots but get things done, have a cracking sense of humour and overall a nice person to be around. I have a small circle of friends, a supportive family, a roof over my head and food in my stomach. So I'm rich in many ways.

    In regards to the debt that I'll be focusing on, I had a car on PCP deal but last September decided to get a low interest loan to pay it outright which saved me thousands in interest. I paid off some lump sums and a few months later managed to move the remaining balance to 0% deals, which saved me further interest. Since then I've been overpaying as much as possible.

    Although I'd like to pay off this debt as soon as possible, I also want to enjoy things in life and grab every opportunity available whilst I can. That's another reason for the title of this diary- Adventures of the Boy and Me. We do lots of things together and I do keep costs to the bare minimum and find ways to save money and still enjoy ourselves.

    I'll update afterwards with a plan and realistic goals I'd like to achieve for the rest of the year ahead. For whoever reads this, feel free to comment and add your own little adventures if you'd like .
Page 4
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 11th Jun 17, 4:59 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 12,714 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    I love knowing whats exactly in So you're not alone.

    It also means 99% of the house is always organised. I love the feeling of going to bed knowing everything is in its place and on my list

    DFW £483.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £141.28 /£3381.28

    June 17 PA £91.05 + £32.80 pending Other Surveys £70 Cash £25 Amazon
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Jun 17, 10:21 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    So it's nearly bedtime and I've managed to plan and organise food to take into work tomorrow.

    I've got:-

    Breakfast: Overnight oats with raspberries. Will add a banana to this to bulk it out.

    Lunch: Homemade vegetable soup.

    Tea: Spaghetti on toast.

    Snacks: Two satsumas and a tub of grapes to pick at.

    It's not the most healthiest but if I'm honest I hate vegetables- mainly green ones. I'd much rather eat fruit. But it's a start after many months just grabbing food on the go or not eating all day until evening.

    I just hope I can get back into the swing of eating better and picking better food options.
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 12th Jun 17, 6:12 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Morning.

    I'm all set to go for the work day ahead of me. My food is all nicely packed and ready to go with me. Another thing I've decided to do is cut out any unnecessary sugar e.g. in tea/coffee.. So you could say we're saving money with this as not using it for drinks ha ha. I get through quite a few cups of tea/coffee a day to keep me going sometimes but I really need to cut back. I won't cut it all out at once though.

    Another monthly direct debit has gone out today of £12.99 so only one more to go later next week which is my phone insurance of £6.99.

    I've been debating whether to cancel my phone insurance. My phone is 18 months old and my contract comes to an end in Jan 2018 where I'll most likely keep the phone and go on to a sim only deal. These new flashy phones don't really appeal to me that much anymore. I feel so ancient saying that lol. The phone does its job and I find I'm using it far less then what I used to and I probably don't use it in ways others do. It would be my luck to cancel the insurance and then it break.

    I really need to get back in the swing of going to the gym. I'm paying for it and not using it currently but hopefully now I'm in this mindset to lose weight then I'll make the effort to go.

    I'm about to go eat my overnight oats and get ready for work. I've decided to park my car a little bit further away from work so I've further to walk and I'm not tempted to pay for car parking. Sometimes I think stuff it I'll just pay as it means getting to the car quicker at the end of the day but each amount adds up.

    I hope everyone has a nice day
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 12th Jun 17, 6:58 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 12,714 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    Morning

    Have a lovely day

    DFW £483.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £141.28 /£3381.28

    June 17 PA £91.05 + £32.80 pending Other Surveys £70 Cash £25 Amazon
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 12th Jun 17, 9:00 AM
    • 1,535 Posts
    • 11,562 Thanks
    SpekySquarehead
    Chandelier you sound super organised, well done.

    Personally, I've never had phone insurance and never had the need for it. My mum used to have phone insurance, pet insurance etc. and what she now does is save the equivalent into a ISA. She's done that for a few years now and not had to dip into either!!! That way the money stays with you.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    NSD (5/15)
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 12th Jun 17, 9:41 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    That's the thing Speky. I have emergency fund and if needed it could be used to replace my phone. I may scrap the insurance then.

    I notice FD also have the extra each month that covers holiday insurance, mobile phone and breakdown cover. I'm aware it's £15 a month but I may look at doing this instead. Currently I have no breakdown cover woops .

    Work is going well so far today. I'm currently on my break and trying to relax and wind down ready for the day ahead.

    I wish I was super organised as it sounds on here sometimes. I'm getting better at it and slowly getting back into my routine.

    • jvr
    • By jvr 12th Jun 17, 11:27 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    jvr
    Hi


    I just opened a nationwide account that is 10 a month for worldwide family travel insurance, phone and breakdown.... unfortunately had been planning on opening it for months and OH broke his iPhone just before opening it!
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 12th Jun 17, 11:33 AM
    • 921 Posts
    • 2,824 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Hi Chandelier,

    Just had a quick catch up of your new diary and it sounds like you're in a really good place! Did you and your son enjoy your getaway?

    Great job on the meal planning - sometimes it comes so naturally to me and others it's like someone has asked me to run a marathon without any sleep. Good luck on keeping up with the organisation!
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 13th Jun 17, 6:20 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Morning!

    Jvr thanks for that suggestion however I only recent swapped banks to FD in February so for now I'm a bit reluctant to swap. I think I may look at these further down the line. I currently have annual travel insurance that runs out in December (I've no other trips planned, this was paid in full).

    JoJo, nice to hear from you! The holiday was really good thank you although I was glad to be back on home soil after two weeks. I decided in future I'll only go for 10 days at a time (aside from another holiday we already have booked for next year).

    So yesterday at work went as well as it could. I'm really achey today though and can feel it all over. I managed to stick to my meal plan for myself but did end up having two fondant fancies (not sure if this is the right name? lol) that someone had brought in for us as a treat.

    I weighed myself this morning and have written it down on my calendar to mark the start of my weightloss journey. I'm going to do a mixture of SW and calorie counting/watching what I eat and set mini goals/challenges along the way to keep me motivated and to spur me on.

    I've a training course tomorrow but I can't seem to find the details for this so I need to phone up today whilst at work. I've quite a few of these coming up so it's a very busy month.

    I still need to book a table for my birthday meal this weekend. I just haven't had the time just yet. I'll set a reminder to do this once home from work today.

    I've also planned out today's meal plan so I know what to pack for lunch and prepare once home.

    Breakfast: Weetabix x2 and a banana.
    Lunch: Ham sandwich and a handful of grapes.
    Tea: Homemade potato and leek soup.
    Snacks: Apple, two satsumas.

    I know I will most likely become hungry at some points through day but I'll just find alternatives to junk food, to snack on. The problem I have is I'm such a fussy eater. I'll admit I do have a few sensory issues with food but I'm becoming a lot better.

    I've also cut out sugar from my drinks since yesterday which is going surprisingly well. At one point I used to swap it for sweetener but found it gave it a bit of a funny taste. Tea is one of my first choices of drink and I'm surprised how much more I can taste the flavour since cutting out the sugar. I'm sure I'll get used to it at some point.

    Yesterday I also arranged the boys ice skating lesson for later on this week. It will be an early morning session so I'll have to make sure I'm really organised for this.

    Apart from that not much else to say... Oh except I made a £5 overpayment yesterday towards the Halifax credit card. This brings my debts to:

    Halifax CC: £2995.
    MBNA CC: £2980.

    Total debt: £5975.

    Woo woo
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 14th Jun 17, 7:01 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Morning!

    Yesterday I finished work, picked the boy up and ended up falling asleep at 6pm and didn't wake up until this morning at 6am. I must have been absolutely exhausted. Thankfully my mum was happy to sort the boy out and she understands sometimes I end up having outbursts of being tired and sleeping for long periods.

    I'm up now and ready for the day ahead. The amount for the fine has finally left my bank and there is only one more direct debit to leave my bank which is phone insurance. I think I'll definitely look at cancelling that before next months payment. My phone is pretty much like new 18 months on as it's been kept in a secured case with a brilliant screen protector so there are no cracks/scratches or anything.

    Today I've got a training course at another work site which is only an hour but I need to attend. It's silly really because the thing the course is about is something I've been doing for four years so why they insist on providing training for it I do not know. It's just another bit of paperwork to add to the collection.

    I'm not 100% sure what I'll do for the rest of the day. I did say I'd meet my friend whom I met at a bipolar support group but it depends on what's happening with him. He's such a lovely guy and we are both very similar. I know he's been having a tough time so maybe I should suggest popping round for a brew.

    I also need to pay for the boys ice skating lessons in advance for the week. I'll discuss this with my mum to see whether she could take him this week for me on Sunday when I work.

    I'm working tomorrow then off Friday and Saturday. On Friday I have hospital appointment for a small procedure/investigations regarding previous hospital admission in May. I'm not 100% looking forward to it.

    I have £80 currently left in my bank account to last me the month to account for any planned spends. I moved other spare money into my savings to build them back up a little bit. And I'm awaiting two other payments to hit my bank account, one payment in two days time and another next Wednesday. At that point I shall decide what to do with them. I'll probably pass some to savings to round figures up and use what's left towards debt repayments.

    I seem really on the ball this month in regards to my debt repayments. Alot of this is down to me getting back on my two feet and feeling alot better in myself as a whole. I'm starting to feel a lot more organised and I know where I stand with upcoming spends.

    Before I became "ill" I was always on the ball with my budgets/spending. I used to save alot each month but never treated the original car PCP as a debt. At least after these two credit cards are paid off, the car is officially mine and I'll only have to pay the usual outgoings to maintain it and drive.

    A couple of months ago I also booked a holiday with the family for next year. It's a two week cruise which will be amazing but I also need to factor in saving up for this. I've put a deposit down already and the payment in full is due next May. It was a spur of the moment decision but I enjoy these holidays immensely and it is within the school holidays next year so no fine . I need to work out the upcoming cost of these as we paid in dollars through an American company as it was cheaper. Once I know I can work out how much I need to save each month towards this.

    This won't hinder my debt repayments though. My debt is my priority and I have savings to fall back on.

    The only other thing that's currently bugging me is my HTB Isa. It used to have pretty round numbers until the yearly interest was added to it. I'm not sure if I can withdraw the interest amount and get it back to pretty figures without it affecting the purpose of the HTB Isa? It's something I need to look at.

    Anyhow I best crack on and wake the rest of the house up
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 15th Jun 17, 6:10 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Morning.

    So yesterday I attended training to find out it had been cancelled . That was a waste of petrol and I had to pay £2.50 in car parking.

    I then came back home and chilled out for a bit until my CPN came round to see me. I had a chat with her for about 45 minutes and she seems to think I seem brighter in myself since she last saw me (my moods are still very mixed). After that I picked the boy up and met up with my friend and we went for ice cream then a drink at the pub and talked about anything and everything. I didn't initially plan to spend but I guess it just worked out that way. Total spends were £14.95.

    Today I've got work and I've woke up in a pretty low mood. I'm hoping I can perk myself up a bit before I actually set off. Either that or cheer myself up once there.

    I've worked out the cost of our holiday for next year to be around £1980 with the current exchange rate. I best start putting money aside for this. This doesn't include flights, yikes - flights will be released just after August and we'll shop around for a good deal. I know this sounds alot and is eye watering for some but for us it's worth every penny.

    I don't think I've ever really set myself a debt free date on my diaries so I've decided to set a target right now to be debt free by Feb 2019. That's means I have to meet payments of approximately £300 a month for the next 20 months. Knowing myself I'll probably aim to do this far earlier but at least I have something to work towards.

    I also decided to have a gander at car insurance yesterday after my figures showing double last year's premium. The cheapest I've found so far is around £472.00 which is a new quote from my current providers who always work out cheaper but this is still around approximately £50 more then last year. When it's closer to the time I'll have a chat with them as we also have other policies with them and see if they can do us a cheaper deal. I wouldn't mind last year I had business milage policy, this year's is just social and commuting. I guess all in all I'm looking at around £650.00 for car tax/car insurance to come out of my savings end of July/end of August. If I can get this lower then brilliant. I'll top my savings pot up on payday this month to cover these.

    August seems to be an expensive month each year. On top of that I have the boys birthday. Aldo my sister also wants me to go visit her in London in August to discuss plans for her wedding next year. I'll have to set aside some money for that too.

    So a spendy couple of months ahead. Nothing will deter me though. I'll find a way to pay these things whether it be cutting back in some areas compared to others, working extra shifts or using savings.

    Anyhow I'm off to get ready for the day ahead.

    Happy Thursday everyone
    • JoJoC
    • By JoJoC 15th Jun 17, 9:39 AM
    • 921 Posts
    • 2,824 Thanks
    JoJoC
    Chandelier, it's so lovely to see your updates and how positive they are! There really seems to be a shift in your mindset and even when you're feeling low, you find some positive thoughts to share too

    Your holiday next year sounds great! Our plan for 2018 is to crack on with paying our debt down as much as possible, get a new bathroom installed and book a family holiday for the four of us (the first since my DS1 was 6 months old - he's 5 at Christmas!).

    My sister is getting married in four months and it's wedding prep central here! It's so lovely to have it to look forward to, though, so I hope you enjoy the planning with your sister.

    Have a great day
    CC1: 3,741/4,200 | CC2: 5,129/5,393 | Loan: 7,430/15,000
    Total: 16,300/20,032 Paid since Feb17: 3,732 or 18%

    Mummy of two boys - Working hard to make better financial choices!
    *My debt busting and savings diary*
    • jvr
    • By jvr 15th Jun 17, 1:08 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    jvr
    Hello


    We have similar savings plan to go to South Africa need about 2500 all in all .... finally have a budget going for it!
    Have you thought about checking to see if adding on business to your car insurance makes it cheaper... it did ours very randomly
    Credit Cards: £6646.68
    Christmas Savings:0
    General Savings £82
    Car Savings (MOT &Insurance) 0
    Debt Free date: July 2019
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 15th Jun 17, 10:00 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    JoJo, my thinking is that the holiday is something to look forward too. I don't plan on booking any others after this for a while. My sisters wedding is also 16 months away so plenty of time for prep and planning. I'm not sure what the trip to London entails aside from meeting up with sisters friend who is maid of honour and talking through things.

    Jvr I'll have a look into that now you've mentioned it. I still have the potential to use car for business milage purposes in the future. Who knows, all I know is I'm going to keep shopping around for the best deal possible.

    Today's gone as well as it could. I'm honestly exhausted though and have an appointment/investigations at the hospital tomorrow which I'm not looking forward too.

    I'm looking forward to my birthday on Saturday though. I'll be 25, a whole quarter of a century! I'm not sure what I have to show for it except a nearly 7 year old ha ha!
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 15th Jun 17, 10:18 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    I know this is not really necessary... but I'm finding it so hard not to make anymore further over payments at the moment. It's only because I have money sat in separate account sat there for just in case emergencies and other budgets.

    I'd already begun to top my fund back up after making big over payments the other week but that itch is there still and I'm wanting to scratch it so badly and make more overpayments.

    I know in some ways this is a good thing but in other ways it's not. It's like I have this huge urge to push myself further and further to pay off debts.

    Does any of this even make sense?
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 15th Jun 17, 10:29 PM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    So after much umming and ahhing, I gave in and made an overpayment..

    Halifax CC: £2995.
    MBNA CC: £2950. (£30 payment made)

    Total debt
    : £5945.



    I feel a slightly bit better although I fear I'm becoming obsessed with seeing the numbers go down..
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 15th Jun 17, 10:49 PM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 12,714 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    If you feel like you need to make a payment more often why not join Payment a day but send a much smaller amount so you don't leave yourself short etc? I totally know what you mean though if I had money in the bank I'd want to send it over too.

    Hope tomorrow goes okay x

    DFW £483.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £141.28 /£3381.28

    June 17 PA £91.05 + £32.80 pending Other Surveys £70 Cash £25 Amazon
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 16th Jun 17, 8:01 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Hidden if I joined the payment a day I'd be forever paying out random amounts.. It's just like sometimes I get random urges to make payments/make lump sum payments. This tends to be when I'm either low or on a high. Hmm..

    I've already simplified things enough in regards to paying off debt. I think I'm going to take Speky's previous advice and focus on one card at a time now. Ill make decent payments to each card, each month but focus the extra payments to one card only and when that's gone focus on the other.

    My aim for the year was to get the balance below £5000. I'm going to push the boat and aim for it below £4500. Whether that's a pound or a penny, it doesn't matter. Who knows I may even smash this and set another goal to work towards.

    The main focus shall be the MBNA card for now as this ends earlier then Halifax.

    This month's wage should be higher then usual so I'm hoping once I know what it is I can then work out next months budget and plan ahead.

    I'm off for investigations at the hospital today which I'm not looking forward too. So I'll have parking to pay for. I also need to get the boys dad a fathers day present. I'll try find something cheap or pick up a few cans of beer for him and then get the boy to make something.

    Happy Friday everyone
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 16th Jun 17, 8:25 AM
    • 3,318 Posts
    • 12,714 Thanks
    Hiddenidenity
    I think you've done amazing in all honesty.

    Don't be so hard on yourself. I wasn't meaning you should pay more, I was more meaning if you where worried the urges would lead to you being short elsewhere. You clearly have it under control because you are and have done so well. I hope I didnt offend you.

    Good luck today and I hope it goes as well as it can x

    DFW £483.71/£7348.71
    Rent Arrears £141.28 /£3381.28

    June 17 PA £91.05 + £32.80 pending Other Surveys £70 Cash £25 Amazon
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 17th Jun 17, 7:47 AM
    • 278 Posts
    • 704 Thanks
    Chandelier.
    Morning

    So it's my birthday today, a whole 25 years old !!!

    Where has time gone?! It's certainly flown. This time last year I was in absolute pain following an operation and didn't do anything for my birthday. This year we have a pretty busy day.. the boy has football this morning and then a party to attend at lunch time for a couple of hours. I then may venture to our local ice cream parlour and then we're off for an Italian meal with close family members tonight.

    Yesterday, all went well at the hospital. Lots of sitting around until procedure was done. I have a follow up end of October. It seems so far away. £2.50 spent on car parking there.

    Me and the boy then came up with the idea of making his dad a chocolate bouquet for fathers day. So off we ventured to b&ms and bought a good stash of his dad's favourite chocolate (total spends £7.49) and went home to construct our masterpiece. Following lots of construction with polystyrene (that went everywhere ), tissue paper, wooden sticks and sellotape later, we had our final masterpiece which does look good. If I bought one of these from a shop we were looking at around £15-20. So a good money saving effort there for us for something that's hand made and thought of for his dad ... even if we did look bonkers buying lots of chocolate.

    We then bought a card for his dad and a card for his friend for her birthday today (£2.50) and I'll put some money in a card for her. I did ponder about making a sweet bouquet for his friend but figured it would be too much hard work as I was exhausted yesterday evening. I'm glad we didn't after making the first one .

    Anyhow, I'm off to get ready for the busy day ahead of us. I feel tired just thinking of what's happening so far.. the healthy eating shall be put on the back burner for today. I'm allowed a day off . All has been going well though.

    Happy Saturday everyone
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