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
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    • 316Posts
    • 1,380Thanks
    redofromstart
    <<<out of cheese error>>>
    • #1
    • 31st Jul 17, 7:37 PM
    <<<out of cheese error>>> 31st Jul 17 at 7:37 PM
    New name, new diary, new approach! I regularly read, and sometimes post, on the diaries of others but haven't started one myself as it is such a public thing to do. Anyway I need to stop drifting and get our finances back on track before we run out of cheese.


    Family is:
    Me - PT, self employed, bit of this bit of that. Currently on a PT contract with a few months to run.
    OH - generally works as a consultant and has a famine or feast income. On a rare direct employed contract at the moment
    DC - two boys


    Biggest challenge is a huge mortgage, taken out in the days of huge lending and post retirement mortgage dates. Stuck on high SVR as we haven't managed to both be in secure employment at the same time for years. The plan was to overpay and reduce the term but life got in the way a lot.
    10 years of chipping away at it may mean we can now try to remortgage but the barriers are two debts that I need to deal with so that they do not impact on affordability.


    Debt 1 is a student loan, £840 left at £94 per month - 1.5% interest (maybe?)
    Debt 2 is a 0% credit card, £2500 with over a year left to run. This is a carry over from the last famine, and has been reduced from a total that was closer to 15k.


    We do have a couple of months mortgage in savings, but that is the 'emergency job switched off fund' and is generally untouchable.


    OHs works full time and his wages cover the mortgage, and basic outgoings. Its up to me to generate the income for overpayments and debt clearing . I have to work round the boys as we don't have family local or any childcare in place.


    This diary is to try and keep me on track, before the big red lever turns the mortgage off. If we can remortgage, even with reducing the term to his retirement date, it knocks £200 a month off our payments which is a huge amount of leeway next time the famine hits.
Page 7
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 3rd Sep 17, 9:02 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi Parsniphead, yes I think so. I have to get ours clean and tidy for the valuation, and it made me realise just how little progress we have made recently.

    Yesterday was mostly spent outside as the sun was shining. Lots of pruning, weeding and tidying in the front. It was over grown and long neglected, a mildly depressing view from the kitchen and my desk. Need to think about what to do with it, as its part shade, the soil is shallow and badly drained. There are a couple of ancient roses that don't smell or respond to pruning so they might have to go too. My favourite bit of the garden is a woodland bed under a tree, stuffed full of snowdrops, hellebore and cyclamen. I am tempted to just recreate that, which has the advantage of being free.

    The two broken outside lights got replaced yesterday with some more energy efficient ones. Looking at the smart meter this morning they were a good choice. Today we need to get the big ladders out to clear the gutter (plants growing!) and to do the higher bits of the wisteria or it'll be over the roof again.

    We had sausages innabun for tea, averting the usual worked hard lets have a takeaway. I'd made bread so it was just a matter of reshaping it into rolls for the final rise so that worked out nicely. Veg sticks sorted out some more of the veg mountain which is now on more respectable proportions. I also made a (very nice) carrot cake with a nutmeg buttercream.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 3rd Sep 17, 9:41 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Carrot Cake
    100g sultanas/whatever I have in a tub with 120g sugar (mixed white and brown) and 25ml hot water. Stir then add 50ml orange juice, some grated nutmeg and any grated citrus zest you have. Stir and leave it for a bit so the fruit to absorb some of the juices.
    3 eggs and 125ml of oil, mixed together. Add 200g grated carrot and then the fruit mix. Add 175g SR flour, teaspoon bicarb, teaspoon cinnamon and some grated nutmeg (or just use mixed spice if that's what you have). Its a batter rather than a sponge cake mix so its quite wet. Scrape it into a lined tray (mine is 20cm x 10cm) and then give it 40 minutes at 160 fan,

    Makes a light tray bake style cake. I topped mine with a thin layer of buttercream, flavoured with grated nutmeg which is lovely.

    I have a new jar of nutmeg (80p MrM) so everything will have it on for weeks. Might make some custard tarts later.
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 3rd Sep 17, 9:52 AM
    • 5,547 Posts
    • 17,921 Thanks
    missymoo81
    Wow thanks for the recipe redo, sounds amazing! Is on my list to try!
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 3rd Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    helsbell
    Carrot Cake
    100g sultanas/whatever I have in a tub with 120g sugar (mixed white and brown) and 25ml hot water. Stir then add 50ml orange juice, some grated nutmeg and any grated citrus zest you have. Stir and leave it for a bit so the fruit to absorb some of the juices.
    3 eggs and 125ml of oil, mixed together. Add 200g grated carrot and then the fruit mix. Add 175g SR flour, teaspoon bicarb, teaspoon cinnamon and some grated nutmeg (or just use mixed spice if that's what you have). Its a batter rather than a sponge cake mix so its quite wet. Scrape it into a lined tray (mine is 20cm x 10cm) and then give it 40 minutes at 160 fan,

    Makes a light tray bake style cake. I topped mine with a thin layer of buttercream, flavoured with grated nutmeg which is lovely.

    I have a new jar of nutmeg (80p MrM) so everything will have it on for weeks. Might make some custard tarts later.
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    That sounds delicious!!
    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 3rd Sep 17, 9:36 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi helsbell, and thanks for dropping by. The carrot cake has now gone.

    Today I had the oven on for a roast so I also made custard tart (with nutmeg pastry) for OH , bakewell tart for boy 1, and double chocolate muffins for boy 2 - he says they were ok. I don't know what I do wrong with muffins.

    More gardening, tidying log store, and holding ladders for gutter clearance and wisteria trim. No wasps nest this year hurrah, but the Stupid Pigeons are trying to hatch eggs again but higher up, rather than in the cats sleeping spot.

    Much washing and a Dirty Dancings worth of ironing done, then turned around to see cat out of nowhere fast asleep on ironed white school shirts. Put ironing away and came back down to fat cat asleep in the steam press so I have had to leave that out too.

    No tedious done this weekend, and the bare minimum to tick over SBs. No spending either so not all bad.
    • helsbell
    • By helsbell 3rd Sep 17, 10:26 PM
    • 63 Posts
    • 192 Thanks
    helsbell
    I may need to move in, I love nutmeg ��
    August 2017 B'card £5006.83 BoS £1086.59 DFD November 2020
    • DrSpendLittle
    • By DrSpendLittle 3rd Sep 17, 11:21 PM
    • 74 Posts
    • 148 Thanks
    DrSpendLittle
    Hi Redo,

    Just dropping in the wave hi and say I enjoyed reading your diary! Lots of yummy cooking to be inspired by. Might have to make some custard tarts myself! Subscribed and looking forward to following.

    DSL
    CC1: £254 / £1,253.73; CC2: £297 / £9,124.13; CC3: £312.34 / £312.34; Car Loan: £157.91 / £1,894.92
    Emergency Fund: £84.21 / £1,000; Short Term CC Goal: £863.33 / £4,000 by Jan 1st 2018 (21.6%)
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 4th Sep 17, 4:40 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi drspendlittle

    Food shopping this morning as we were out of milk, boys are back on multiple bowls of cereal which is fine but not helpful. Tip run done, so that's one load gone. An hour of tedious done.

    I was moaning about the cost of PE kit. DS1 has announced that he isn't doing PE this term as he will be in his personal development group. Hurrah, he hates PE but I wish I had been told before I bought the kit. DS2 lost his kit the first time he took it today. I could cry.

    Onwards and upwards. OH requested french onion soup, so an excuse to cry.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Sep 17, 5:42 PM
    • 12,091 Posts
    • 214,778 Thanks
    greenbee
    Can DS2 have DS1's PE kit (presumably it doesn't matter whether it fits as he'll just lose it anyway?).

    Hope the lost stuff turns up.

    I have done my tax return, sorted out lots of hotel/airline apps (very boring, but will be useful) and started working through all the people who are still sending to my old email accounts as I want to close them. HMRC were one of them, which is why I ended up doing the tax return.

    Some of the accounts that use the old email addresses seem to have issues with updates, so it's taken a long time to change them.

    Car is booked in for MOT. Tree surgeon has been and I'm booked in to have two dead trees felled, the hedges cut (including a bit of next door's hedge that they don't do and is stupidly overgrown), a willow re-pollarded, a wild pear pruned and the apple and pear removed. He'll leave me all the wood that can be burned.

    My ironing is all back, so I think I need to head off to the bottle bank now as I've had no exercise at all today!
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 4th Sep 17, 5:58 PM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 8,536 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Well done on getting to grips with the outdoor jobs. I need to do the same...
    You seem very motivated and get lots done. I must drop by more often for inspiration
    Nutmeg pastry sounds stupidly good
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/September 2017=5,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 4th Sep 17, 6:12 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    At least you are ticking things off your list Greenbee

    Different year, different kit sadly. You know, in the interests of making things easy for parents. It's all marked, in theory it should re-appear. In reality 4 out of 5 times it doesn't. He lost every jumper in the first fortnight last year, never saw any of them again despite being marked. Have complained to school who say they are a) his responsibility and b) not in lost property. Haven't sent him with one since, I'm still waiting for the social services referral. He wears a thermal vest instead, and says it is too hot in school anyway and he has a coat on outside. He's just a bit of an arty scatterbrain sadly, who can't see when something is right in front of him, and is (happily) too well brought up to take other children's regardless of labelling.

    DS1 was saying they had a spot check on clothes marking today - he was one of the few who had both his tie and jacket marked. He says it was a shame or he could have swapped for one that fits...

    Soup and bread are made, Probably should at least think about feeding the ravenous hoards before I sort spare PE kit, packed lunches and more tedious.

    Bakewell tart gone. 1 muffin left - so they cant have been that bad.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 4th Sep 17, 7:53 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Well done on getting to grips with the outdoor jobs. I need to do the same...
    You seem very motivated and get lots done. I must drop by more often for inspiration
    Nutmeg pastry sounds stupidly good
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    Work avoidance mostly (I mean me, not you Greenbee obviously...)

    If I stop doing stuff I will have to get a proper job.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 4th Sep 17, 8:22 PM
    • 12,091 Posts
    • 214,778 Thanks
    greenbee
    Work avoidance mostly (I mean me, not you Greenbee obviously...)
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    Clearly not... I mean, none of the stuff I did today was work avoidance was it?

    I'm now doing my work. Because it didn't go away while I was ignoring it...
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 5th Sep 17, 12:26 PM
    • 7,782 Posts
    • 40,287 Thanks
    EssexHebridean
    Muffins - you know to keep wet and dry ingredients separate until the final moment, and give them as little mixing as possible before filling the cases? Too much working of them can make them a bit stodgy I think - although as you say if they're being eaten they must be alright, mustn't they! That carrot cake sounds fab though - I LOVE carrot cake but MrEH refuses to eat it as he says it tastes like carrots... He'd happily have custard tarts but I won't be making those as I don't like them - these things work both ways, I find!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    Sainsbugs 0% card: 22/12/16 £1229.00/£504.92 (29/08/17)
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 5th Sep 17, 7:49 PM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Hi EH, yes I know, I follow the instructions exactly but they are still not right. I have similar problems with short bread. He ate them at least, unlike the last ones.

    So the onion soup was really good, must type it out. I have a bad habit of trying and losing new recipes. Used the last stale finger roll from the sausages inna bun to make floating cheese croutons, again with the dregs of the grated cheese so quite a good use up meal.

    Tonight I made chilli (mince from the freezer) padded out with peppers and mushrooms. Not keen myself but popular with the others. Two portions left for freezing or eating tomorrow. Still have the last bits of chicken to use up too.
    Last edited by redofromstart; 05-09-2017 at 7:49 PM. Reason: Cat bum typing!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 5th Sep 17, 9:16 PM
    • 12,091 Posts
    • 214,778 Thanks
    greenbee
    Maybe the consumer of the muffins could take over the cooking of them?

    Have been battling excel. Not my forte.

    Lots of progress on house stuff - builder was here today which helps. Plan is to start the next phase mid-Oct, and he's going to finish the rest before then. Money will be vanishing out of my account very quickly.

    Bulbs I ordered in July are being shipped. I hope they get here before I leave... there are a LOT.

    have been eating crap. even fat jeans are feeling uncomfortable, so need to work out what I can wear while away from work and make sure I use the trip to get a lot of running and swimming in and try to avoid food issues.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 6th Sep 17, 8:12 AM
    • 1,880 Posts
    • 8,536 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I love all the food inspiration over here
    JANUARY 2016/SECURED DEBT=24,822/September 2017=5,500
    MORTGAGE FREE 25/07/16
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 6th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    DS2 much prefers someone else to do the work. DS1 who likes cooking (food and nutrition GCSE, hurrah!) doesn't like muffins either. I think its like making gravy, I don't like it much and don't want to taste it so I make rubbish gravy despite following instructions.

    I've been generally avoiding meals, so on a new low weight wise but nutrition is very poor. Need to get a grip, trouble with eating from the freezer is that we have lots of things that I don't like. Which reminds me I'd better get something horrid out for dinner before I go.

    Envious of the bulbs, but not the planting of them, I am a long way off seeing clear ground. Found and washed some overalls so I might try some bramble and nettle clearance tomorrow.

    Paid thing today, and then home for more tedious.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 6th Sep 17, 11:45 AM
    • 12,091 Posts
    • 214,778 Thanks
    greenbee
    Just ordered more bulbs
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 7th Sep 17, 9:27 AM
    • 316 Posts
    • 1,380 Thanks
    redofromstart
    I look forward to seeing pretty pictures of them in bloom!

    I am not working now until next Wednesday, I'm a bit sore and a bit tired. I need to pace myself rather than do too much today. That said OH needs windscreen wipers for his car, his did not work well in the rain yesterday and he is off down the motorway tomorrow so that is urgent. There is a car parts place by the tip so I could combine the two jobs if I fill the car with yet more junk from the patio, and there is a nice big library in that town. The sun is vaguely shining and I could play in the garden, or I could start clearing the Dining Room of Doom.

    Dinner will involve chicken, I did sausages and mash last night (yuck) and roasted a reduced chicken so that there was meat for packed lunches. Might do a green curry using one of my many 15p bart spice jars (MrM end of line), and a 25p tin of coconut milk (B&M, 4 for £1), with some of the cooked chicken, green beans from the freezer and the RTC courgettes from the fridge. Boys can have pasta.

    Tedious 5.5/10
    Need to send my time sheet to agency
    £13 requested from PA
    £5 voucher requested from SB
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

2,227Posts Today

8,292Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @iamemmahill: After watching @MartinSLewis I rang my provider & asked them to recalculate my bill &it has gone from £81 to £51 a month.S?

  • Seriously? How is this supporting Uber... IT'S A POLL! I do em ever day on topical subjects. And I've never promote? https://t.co/JrlxaoNLlY

  • RT @Mum2DDSophie: @MartinSLewis Thanks for your advice! I have easily switched from Extra Energy standard tariff to another supplier and wi?

  • Follow Martin