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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 17, 9:03 PM
    • 1,158Posts
    • 5,645Thanks
    MeandO
    Striving to save and stay solvent!
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 9:03 PM
    Striving to save and stay solvent! 16th May 17 at 9:03 PM
    My previous thread felt a bit old hat and I need to start afresh with a bit more positivity, looking forward rather than back, so here goes...

    Although I'm not in debt anymore (apart from the mortgage), I'm not able to overpay my mortgage until I've worked on the savings pots as I really do have practically no money behind me once essential repairs are paid for on this house. Money is extremely tight now I've dropped to part time and am a single parent to my little boy, so I feel more at home here on the DFW board if you'll have me!

    It wouldn't take huge emergency to force me back into relying on a credit card or loan again. I really don't want to (and can't afford to) get back into that postion so I have to focus and stay on the straight and narrow.

    Link to the previous diary for those interested:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5490668
    Last edited by MeandO; 17-05-2017 at 11:15 AM.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
Page 11
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 8th Sep 17, 9:53 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Ds and I popped to home bargains after school to pick up a present for two parties he's attending tomorrow (£5 each). We stocked up on wrapping paper and cards for forthcoming birthdays, as well as a cheery-up one for my Mum, whilst we were there. I also picked up a few household bits we had run short on, spending just under £19.

    Tomorrow I am hoping the fridge freezer arrives fairly early (but not 7am!) as I need to get to the post office to post orders before it closes. Once I've covered the postage I can then transfer any leftovers from the business to pay the credit card down a bit more.
    Unfortunately I had to use the card today to pay for some tickets for the event we had pre-booked and can't get out of. It was planned, so not too worried as I'll soon pay it off.

    Tomorrow we may bake some cakes with some of the apple and blackberries we picked and froze. I'm roasting us a chicken out of the freezer for lunch and have chicken satay planned with the leftovers for Sunday. DS is off to his Dad's tomorrow evening and OH is busy, so I'm going to use the rest of the weekend to catch up on some housework and jobs that need doing. I hope the rain holds off so I can cut the grass, it's resembling a jungle presently. I might even paint my bedroom - I have had the paint for months now, just not got round to doing it.

    Tired and off to sleep now, happy weekend all xx
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th Sep 17, 12:54 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just lost a long post. grrrrr.

    Ds and I have had a nice morning, mostly at home pottering round the house. I didn't sleep well and was up early, so I prepped the veg for lunch. The fridge freezer had been delivered by 9am and I'm really pleased with it. It is a much better size and fits in a different part of the kitchen better. I can't wait to get rid of the big American style one now this week, it will free up so much space and light.

    We popped to the post office and spent £60 there on postage for my orders, all covered by the business takings. It means I now have around £100 'over' to pay the credit card down a bit.

    We've wrapped the birthday party gifts and have done a bit of craft with DS and watched a movie. We're both really enjoying a quiet day I think!

    I've stripped my bed and the sheets are now on the line drying, along with a second load of washing. It's really windy here but sunny, so everything should dry nicely. I need to change DS's bed next, will do so after lunch. Hopefully the weather stays nice to dry everything outside.

    Dinner is cooking - and cooking - and cooking... it is taking much longer than it should, which, I think proves my hunch that the cooker is on its way out, I've suspected it for a while. It's a large gas-only range cooker so will not be cheap to replace. I would like an electric oven really and gas hob, but there is no electric point for the oven here so I'm not sure how feasible that is. I'll think of it when I really have to!

    DS is off with his Dad this afternoon, so I will continue to get some things done around the house and maybe have a nice soak in the bath. I'll see OH for a bit later, but am looking forward to an evening of doing my own thing in the house to be honest.

    Hope everyone's having a nice Saturday xx
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Sep 17, 1:24 PM
    • 483 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done on having that £100 over! Enjoy the sun,we have the wind and heavy showers here...might have to light a fire tonight to get things drying.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th Sep 17, 10:05 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    I spoke too soon HSL - the heavens opened about 5 minutes after my last post and I had to run for the washing!

    I had a productive afternoon pulling the oven and old freezer out and cleaning under and begind them. I don't think the previous people had ever done so, it turned my stomach. Now the place feels much cleaner and the floor has had a good scrub. I transferred everything from the old freezer to new and cleaned the old one out too so that's off my list for tomorrow.

    The chicken for lunch was ruined. The oven is completely kaput I think and I'm going to have to fork out for a new one. it just doesn't seem to cook anything through for some reason, I'm not sure if it's not holding its temperature or something, but that's the second chicken I've had to throw out and also a cake too. I'm not going to love the price of gas ranges, that's for sure

    I popped over to OH's for a few hours tonight. Was going to come back early and have a bath, but was too tired when I got back so pretty much came up to bed. I'm hoping for a little lie in tomorrow as I'm on my own, maybe that will help me feel less exhausted for a day or two!
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 10th Sep 17, 1:07 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Didn't sleep too great, I had a night of some really vivid dreams which weren't very nice and woke me up. I was up at 8.30am, so dyed my hair to cover the ever-increasing grey and had a nice shower.
    I put over two bags of charity shop donations in the car to drop off today but, once I was out, the traffic was such a nightmare and the area was so busy that I gave up. It's still in the back of the car, I'll have to do it another time.

    I went out to Matalan today - I need a suit for something this week and I thought that would be the cheapest place to buy one. I was there nearly two hours, trying on various items, looking for different sizes and lengths and nearly lost the will to live. I'm not an enthusiastic shopper at the best of times, but that place seems to have gone downhill so much. There were hardly any variety of sizes except very small or very large, the clothes were on the wrong hangers and marked wrongly, things were all over the place - urgh - it's put me off every shopping in a 'real' shop again. I can see why I do everything online these days! I managed to get a suit jacket which I may be able to team with a pair of trousers I already have, a top to go under it that I will wear again, some underwear which I was desperately in need of and a storage box things for DS's toys. Goodness, I feel stressed after that episode though!

    Just had leftover veg from the roast yesterday for my lunch and am about to make some tomato filo tarts to use up some pastry I took out of the freezer and lots of tomatoes I have in the fridge.

    First, I'm going to have a cup of tea and try and unwind a bit though!
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 13th Sep 17, 12:11 PM
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    MeandO
    Just caught up with YNAB all all is looking reasonably good.

    I need to return two items this week (didn't need that suit after all ) which will return £48 to the bank account. The business money has been trickling in and I'm pleased to say I've been able to pay an extra £228.10 off the credit card this morning.
    I should be able to pay off another £265 (once I've got to the bank) from the sale of the appliance which is being picked up tonight. That just about cover the cost of the new one though, but with an extra £30, so that's not making as big a dent as it sounds. Balance after that is paid off should be around £764.89.
    I'm conscious that there is over £300 going on it next month though for 'that' event we can't get out of, so I'm still going to be trying to pay it down as much as possible in order to get rid of it as soon as I can.

    Now I can't believe I'm actually going to say this (are you sitting down?)... but I'm still under my grocery budget by £95! There's only 11 days left until payday. This has NEVER happened before and there's loads of food left in the house, even fresh stuff! I've only spent £79.20 this month on groceries so far, so I will be really pleased if I have money left from that pot at the end of the month to throw towards reducing the credit card a bit more.

    CTC & CB has gone into the account.

    I have lots of surveys to catch up on, need an evening of free time to do so. That rarely happens though.

    I need to clean the oven tonight and empty all the bins and recycling. Living on the edge of excitement, me...
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Sep 17, 9:57 AM
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    MeandO
    So, the fridge freezer was collected last night and I'm so pleased it's gone. It was huge and took up so much space, now my kitchen looks massive and much lighter.
    Of the £265 I netted from that last night, £10 has gone in a card for a birthday present, £48 has gone to OH (forcefully - he hates taking money from me!) for things I owe him for; the rest will be going into the bank account today so that I can pay it off the credit card.

    I had the car tax bill through today, thankfully it's only £30 for the year. A bit of a difference from the £160 I used to pay on the old car. I will pay that today with the bit of money I have left over presently, saves it coming out of next month's budget.

    I've taken two portions of lasagne out of the freezer, one for me for lunch at work and one for DS for his evening meal tonight. Batch cooking is so helpful. I love being able to just pull something tasty out of the freezer and not have to worry about conjuring up something.

    This morning DS has decided we are having a 'sausage roast' at the weekend, with sausages, roast potatoes, carrots, yorkshire puddings and gravy (his wish list!).I have everything in for it (and a few extra 'green' veg I shall try and tempt him with ) except frozen yorkshire puddings, so we shall make some instead. I'll get DS whisking the batter mix and we might even make extra for pancake for pudding.

    Today I need to chase up a £46 cheque due to me, it's taken over a year for this to be sorted, still can't believe it's being dragged out this long for that small amount.

    Still lots of surveys to do, have attempted a couple this morning but screened out of those and have too much work to do now, so will have to try and catch up with them later.

    Oh - cleaned the oven and tackled the recycling and bins last night and even cleaned (part of) the kitchen floor for good measure!
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Sep 17, 10:17 AM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Cheque chased, should be with me within £28 days. It will go towards paying the card down a bit more.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Sep 17, 2:20 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've listed a couple of items for sale locally, will hopefully make £28 and free up a bit of space if sold.

    I have a little ebay pile I need to tackle too, mostly stuff DS has grown out of that it 'sellable'. I really need to go through his drawers and see what else is now too small for him first as he seems to have shot up lately.

    I've also purchased a few Christmas gifts for DS and one for OH today that I have seen on sale online. Around £50 spent, but I used £10 of my Amazon survey vouchers towards them. I think I've done the majority of Christmas shopping for DS now, but I really need to go through everything I've already bought and make a list now as my gift cupboard is mounting up and I don't want to overspend or double up on gifts unecessarily.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Sep 17, 10:43 AM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    No really moneysaving tasks achieved last night, but then no spends either.

    Dinner was cooked courtesy of OH, after helping him paint a few rooms in his house. We have a bit more to do tonight, will look nice when it's done. I'm supplying dinner tonight, just need to pick up a few soft rollls as we're having some lovely beetroot, quinoa and feta burgers.

    Tomorrow I will be able to get to the bank and put the cash from the sale of the fridge freezer in. I also need to do a little top up shop so it won't be a NSD, but a low spend day hopefully. I also need to return two items for a refund this weekend and finally drop the charity bags off that have been in my boot all week...

    I'm looking forward to a weekend of no real plans - 'pottering' and getting a few jobs done.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Sep 17, 12:09 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just updated YNAB to cover the £30 car tax and transfer some of the unspent grocery budget over to cover the Christmas gifts I've bought this month. A surplus of £8.26 showed up, so sent this to the credit card as a small extra payment. Once I've paid the banked cash off of it tomorrow, it will be back under the £800 mark.

    My oven has been playing up and not cooking things so well. I inherited it with the house and documentation shows it's almost 12 years old. It's a gas range cooker, so will cost a lot of money to replace - cheapest alternative gas cooker with an electric fan is around £800 fitted. I have been seriously thinking about buying a replacement and putting it on the credit card, but the idea of adding to the debt is not sitting well with me, so I will try and keep going with it for now, just not cooking any large joints of meat or whole chickens in it (it is struggling with these), and try and save the money up instead. Hopefully the business profits will permit me to buy one after Christmas. That's the goal anyway.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Sep 17, 12:56 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just sold an item locally for £8, will receive the money at the weekend. Every little helps, and all that.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 15th Sep 17, 2:31 PM
    • 108 Posts
    • 714 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Hi MeandO

    You seem to be doing really well getting yourself organised

    With regards to the gas cooker, is it possible to get it serviced? It would certainly be cheaper than having to fork out for a new one --- mine is 26 years old and still going strong, but I've never had any problems with it so don't know if 'gas' people do services for cookers. Maybe worth a try though.
    GC. Oct.17 = £261.18/ £300 = + £38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = £354.89/£300 = - £54.39

    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Sep 17, 6:25 PM
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    MeandO
    Thanks Chrystal, that's a great idea, I shall look into that next week!
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Sep 17, 6:36 PM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Paid the cash into my bank account today, left £10 of it in my purse, paid for a top up shop last night with another £10 cash, so £200 finally went into the bank account and it's been paid straight off the credit card.

    £93 went back on the credit card yesterday - I had to give in and buy myself two new pairs of boots/shoes.
    I have a foot condition which make walking very painful without support in my shoes and I am ashamed to say I have been making do with some very cheap boots for the last 8 months or so, which cost me under £15. Unfortunately they've worn right through and have exacerbated my foot condition no end. Serves me right, but I was trying to save money. So, I have given in and bought two pairs of shoes which should help, but, they've cost £93 combined. I found a 20% off code to bring the price down to under £100, but I still hate spending money n myself like that. Anyway, if they don't fit when they arrive they'll be sent back for a refund and I'll have to keep going to work in my trainers!

    I took the two items back today that I needed to return, so £48 is on the way back to the account. We also managed to take a load of charity bags, both from myself and lots from OH, to the charity shop today, so that's a job ticked off the list.

    We popped to Asda late last night and found loads of 5p bargains in their bakery department, so I have stocked up on lovely seeded and speciality rolls in the freezer now. We also got some salad and some potted herbs for 5p too - very pleased with our bargains!

    I had a warning light come on in the car today, so popped it into the local ATS. They took a look at it for me today, but have advised it needs to go to the dealership to be fixed at a cost of around £80-£90. However, I don't think it's something that should've gone yet - it's certainly not wear and tear - so I'm going to try and get it done under warranty as the car has an extended warranty on it. The dealership are notoriously horrible to deal with though, so I wouldn't be surprised if they say no and fleece me out of £100+. The nice man at ATS wouldn't charge me anything for investigating the problem, despite having it for a few hours.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 17th Sep 17, 8:32 AM
    • 483 Posts
    • 1,773 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Well done on finding the bargains at Asda! Re the shoes, its more cost effective to go for the more expensive shoes if they will last and prevent foot pain. I tend to spend up to £50 on shoes for work because I'm on my feet most of the time and it's important to have footwear that is robust! That is more cost effective that buying 2 or 3 cheaper pairs that don't last.
    paydbx #90 £475/£10,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3206 in Oct 17
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 20th Sep 17, 10:23 AM
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    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    You're completely right HSL. Unfortunately I have large and wide feet so it's such a nightmare trying to find anything that fits that I actually like, and I'm not even that fussy.
    The shoes arrived today, annoyingly I can get one of a pair on fine and comfy, the other one of the pair will not go on my foot! It's really odd!

    I think the second pair might be too big. At least it's free returns.

    £8 received yesterday from the local sale. Am aiming to list some bits on ebay this weekend.

    I have lots of surveys to catch up on, I really haven't had chance of an evening this week, but at least I've got all of my orders, except one that came in overnight, completed and ready for posting today.
    Hopefully, once postage is paid, there should be a nice bit of money to put towards the credit card.

    I also need to take £225 out of my savings pot to pay halves with the ex, towards our divorce which we're finally getting round to after close to 4 years of separation. It was an amicable split and we're both in agreeance it was the right thing to do and there's no way it would work between us! but I'm still finding it upsetting. Can't help feeling like it's something else I've failed at in life.
    Anyway, he's paid half into my bank account so I'll send the forms and cheque off tonight.

    Have bought a few more Christmas presents whilst I've seen them on offer - some with survey vouchers and the rest from the bank account, but still have money left.

    I will need to get diesel this week, but that's been accounted for too.

    All in all, doing fairly well financially, considering.

    Emotionally, it's been a horrible week. I've been in tears every day for various reasons - My Mum has been hospitalised again; the divorce; a few issues with OH that I found upsetting and am trying to work through; there is no morale left at my place of work and everyone's moaning and fed up which just gets me down. Couple with the fact that no-one speaks to me at DS's school - everyone has their 'cliques' and I'm the new Mum so people just tend to stare and ignore - I've tried, but I give up with them. Feeling really lonely to be honest, I have no friends round here and it's getting to me again.

    Sorry, rant over! x
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 20th Sep 17, 12:15 PM
    • 1,158 Posts
    • 5,645 Thanks
    MeandO
    Car tax paid, £30 for the year.

    Shoes packed, ready for return.
    Savings: £1700/£2000
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000
    Mortgage now: £78,000

    "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage" - Anais Nin
    • Purplemumof2
    • By Purplemumof2 20th Sep 17, 1:38 PM
    • 5,251 Posts
    • 18,420 Thanks
    Purplemumof2
    Sorry your having a bit of a down day today, big hugs xx
    Official DFW Nerd Club - Member no. 791 - Proud to be dealing with my debts
    MBNA: £7100.00 Cap 1: £533.40 BC: £5090.00

    AFD 0/10 NSD 0/10 LTW 0/10

    20p Savers 2017 £2 Savers 2017 50p Savers 2017 SPC 11 2018 #003
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 20th Sep 17, 2:42 PM
    • 3,044 Posts
    • 13,568 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    Sorry it's been a rough few days MeandO, fingers crossed for an upshift for you x
    £250/3000 OH BC(91.66% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: £250/31010.23 (99.19% paid)
    Mortgage - £161,000.00 (2017 O/P £2221.94) PAYDBX 17 #006 - £17,473.18/14,539.71
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