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  • FIRST POST
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 19th Aug 17, 10:27 PM
    • 159Posts
    • 1,129Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    A quest of happiness, new adventures and mortgage freedom!
    • #1
    • 19th Aug 17, 10:27 PM
    A quest of happiness, new adventures and mortgage freedom! 19th Aug 17 at 10:27 PM
    So, after sitting on it for a few weeks I'm committing my thoughts to paper (screen), and joining all you lovely MSE MFW diarists and readers.

    Currently life feels like it's in a state of flux, imminent changes are afoot and this has lead me to feel quite overwhelmed by what needs to be done. This diary is an attempt to address this feeling, I hope by writing things down it will become easier to organise what needs to be done and what has been achieved. One thing that has really struck me while reading other diaries is the community vibe that comes through on this little enclave of the forum and I hope that this will help on this journey.

    The main things I plan to focus on are:

    MFW
    Making as big a dent in the mortgage as possible!

    Our regular monthly mortgage payment is £928, alongside this we've made regular overpayments. A few figures to date:

    Mortgage Feb 16: £142,480 @ 2.89% on a five year fix, over an initial 16 year term.

    Current balance: £113,914

    Average monthly OPs: £961

    Total overpayments: £17,300

    Daily Interest: £11.28 Feb 16 to £9.01 Aug 17

    Time off total term: 2 years and 3 months

    Approx interest saved: £8000!


    These savings in interest have been my main motivation for overpaying, eventually freeing up the money we currently put into the mortgage for other things will be nice too and if we continued overpaying at this rate we could clear the mortgage in another six years,

    however...

    Baby
    We are expecting our first child in October! This is what really got me thinking that I need some sort of financial plan of action. I have no idea what to expect yet but I want to try and plan for it (I'm wondering if this is my version of nesting?)

    The main baby-related considerations on my mind at the moment are how things are going to have to change financially; and in practical terms, what needs to be done and acquired in preparation for their arrival. My head is literally overspilling with baby-related things, so apologies if this diary gets hijacked by that sometimes.

    House
    Mr G and I bought our house at the start of 2016. An 1850's terraced weavers cottage, it has character and I am completely smitten with it.

    The whole thing needed updating inside and the roof needed replacing. I inherited some money from my grandparents which allowed us to get the roof done at the start of this year and still leave us with some savings which was useful because shortly after moving into the house we discovered a potential structural defect in the property which has taken quite some time (and expense) to sort out. Sorting this problem involved going back to the surveyor who missed the problem in the (full structural) building survey, and while he reluctantly footed the bill for the repair work the work done to put the walls back to their original condition wasn't done very well and to be honest, the whole thing has been a bit of a nightmare. I could write a tomb about the experience, but, while it isn't quite over yet, I really want to try and put the whole thing behind us.

    These structural repairs required stripping the walls back to stone and lifting floors so we've only JUST started tackling updating the decor in the past couple of months. We're having to knuckle down to try and get as much done as possible to make those areas most affected by the work livable before Little Bean arrives (this includes the room we've earmarked as the nursery!). What really isn't helping is that I have zero energy and DH has been working abroad quite a lot making up for trips he didn't go on earlier in the year (he didn't want to leave me to deal with the house-situation, or fend for myself, while I was being sick several times a day) and trips he's said he won't be going on later in the year (so he doesn't risk missing the birth!) So it's a slow chipping away process to get everything done.

    Financial
    Paying off the mortgage has been my main focus this past eighteen months, however, the imminent arrival of Little Bean has made me take stock of our financial situation which will have to change. We will have a drop in income when I finish work, I will get maternity allowance for 39 weeks but at the moment plan to be off work for longer than this. I've also realised that I've been neglecting things like a pension. So a look at pensions, savings and general budgeting is needed.

    Work
    I am planning to finish work for maternity leave in late September. I do not have any firm plans yet about when I intend to go back to work but would like some time with the baby, and given the cost of childcare (a full time place at our local nursery is almost £16k a year!) I figure it might make sense if I wait until they're a few years old before going back.

    What I do know is that I haven't been happy in my own job recently and would like a change. I'm kind of wishing I'd realised this a bit earlier than this year, hindsight eh? My main concern is that once the baby is here I will feel pressured into going back into my current job just because it's the easiest thing to do, I really don't want to do this so have got this one on the back burner for now, looking out for things I might want to do instead.

    Mr G. has worked for the same company since leaving university seven years ago. It's quite a high pressure role and he hasn't really been happy there for quite a while. He has discussed his unhappiness at work with them but the main problems just aren't being sorted so lately he has become quite jaded by the whole company. He came very close to handing in his notice a few weeks ago and I think the only thing that stopped him was the fact that the baby is due so soon. I wouldn't be surprised if he was looking for a new job at some point in the very near future though. He shouldn't struggle to find another job, his main concern about leaving his current current company is that they pay better than equivalent roles in other companies (to account for the high pressure nature of it I think) but, this is increasingly not enough to hold him there. I'll support him when/if he decides to leave, his happiness is the most important thing. But this could be more changes on the horizon.

    Money saving/frugal/money making
    We haven't had to be super frugal recently so haven't really been! There was a time I had a rigid budget and we planned meals and tracked everything we spent, but as our income has increased and we achieved our goal of buying our house we've let most of that slip and started enjoying a more spendy lifestyle. It's probably time to return to the budgety ways again!

    I've also been reading about matched betting and would like to give it a try. I just need to take the plunge and go for it. I figure if I start now and get to know the ropes I can continue and do some after the baby arrives (if I have time!).

    Fun and happiness
    Something we highly value is having fun and being happy.

    Mr G will always take extra holiday over extra pay when offered. Being able to spend time together is what really makes us happy. We have quite a few frugal days out, mainly exploring the countryside with a packed lunch, but, we also have several fairly non-MSE hobbies we enjoy doing together.

    Obviously, what we do for fun as a family will have to change a bit to accommodate Little Bean, at least for a few years, but we also really want to get them into the things we love doing, Mr G can't wait to get them sailing and I would love to get them into snow-sports with a view of having family ski-holidays in the future! Not the most MSE pursuits but they're part of the fabric that bring happiness into our lives and that we'd like to share with our Little Bean as they get older


    So, here goes!

    Things to do in the next week:

    MFW
    Make a house chart to colour in for each 1k knocked off the mortgage (I don't know whose idea this was originally but have seen it mentioned in several diaries and love it!)

    Baby
    Nappy research.

    Finance
    Work out a SOA.

    House
    Finish painting over the peach artex in the sitting room.

    Work
    Start August invoices.

    Money making
    Re-read through the matched betting guides, make accounts.

    Fun
    Go for a swim tomorrow.


    Thanks for sticking with this if you've read through this far. Hoping that I'll stick with this and it'll be the first post of many on our journey towards mortgage freedom!

    Georgie
    Last edited by porgiegeorgie; 19-08-2017 at 10:31 PM.
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
Page 1
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 19th Aug 17, 10:30 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    • #2
    • 19th Aug 17, 10:30 PM
    • #2
    • 19th Aug 17, 10:30 PM
    Just realised I didn't change the title of my diary before submitting it and only called it that so I could preview post! Hadn't decided on a title but it wasn't that! I guess that's what it is called now though, for better or worse
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 20th Aug 17, 7:34 AM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 4,847 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #3
    • 20th Aug 17, 7:34 AM
    • #3
    • 20th Aug 17, 7:34 AM
    I've seen worse thread titles

    Hello and welcome. Nancy congratulations on your imminent arrival.

    I'm sorry to hear of all the house problems you have had. It can rather take the shine off a dream property. I will confess to not being a nappy expert upfront. However I understand some of the own brand nappies are very good, including Aldi. Some young mums will likely be on here soon to support or refute my claim. You have made an excellent start on overpaying already. Was that a regular OP or one off payments? I'd say put up a SOA but now may not be an ideal time to do so as things will be quite different within three months.
    I'm sure you do already but general advice is to meal plan, shop around for insurance, energy, phone and broadband etc. I would say, it is very clear that babies do not need anything like the amount of stuff people try to sell you. Because we are all very nosy here it might be nice to consider some of your decorating pics for the thread.

    I would also add, charity shops are great for children's things from clothes to toys and, if you are lucky, furniture. Also often eBay and Facebook selling pages.

    All the best of luck to you

    Bexster
    Last edited by bexster1975; 20-08-2017 at 10:38 AM.
    • Silence101
    • By Silence101 20th Aug 17, 9:05 AM
    • 295 Posts
    • 445 Thanks
    Silence101
    • #4
    • 20th Aug 17, 9:05 AM
    • #4
    • 20th Aug 17, 9:05 AM
    Hello!
    We use value nappies with our toddler. They don't do newborn sizes though, so we just used to use the cheapest we could find. With our eldest we bought washable nappies, which are great, but then we had a problem with the washing machine (not linked to the nappies) so got out of the habit of using them. Some children react to different nappy brands, so we decided to wait until the baby was here before buying. What we did do to prepare for our first baby was batch cook lots of meals, I think I made enough for a month, and muffins too. That helped lots the first month or two. We weren't quite so organised with the second one, but lived really close to a Express so used to buy things there. A more expensive option,but needs musts.
    09/17 Shared Ownership 50% share - Mortgage £77500 Original MFW 2052
    10/17 OP £108.01 /£100 11/17 £312.22/£100
    • Poorlittletightgirl
    • By Poorlittletightgirl 20th Aug 17, 10:59 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    Poorlittletightgirl
    • #5
    • 20th Aug 17, 10:59 AM
    • #5
    • 20th Aug 17, 10:59 AM
    Hi Georgie,

    I've just started my MF quest too and will follow your thread with interest. It looks like you've already got off to an amazing start. So we'll done!

    I feel I have a few baby related tips for you being about a year and a half in front of you and also expecting number 2 in October. Depending on how frugal you are, you may not like some of the things I do - I know a lot of my friends would never buy second hand, but it has worked so well for us:

    Charity shops/nearly new sales/eb@y/FB local selling sites - these are my go to places for everything baby related. I don't tend to buy any piece of clothing for over 50p now and find so many things unworn. Nearly new sales have been the best - go at the end when a couple just don't want to take anything home and you get amazing deals.

    I got lots of bits second hand from a friend, so was very lucky. But bought a second pram for the car from FB (and also now a double one) both for £30 and in great condition. The first was similar to a friends who spent £600 on hers - I just couldn't justify that!

    I combifed to save money, which I know isn't suitable for everyone, but money saving was a great motivator to keep me going for 10 months! Then when weaning, I made most of my own food and purses. Batch cooking, meal planning and giving the baby similar to us helped. I kept emergency baby jars in my change bag - these were all bought with vouchers - sign up to all the baby clubs like C@G, Hip* Org@nic etc and you get loads. I've just got 8 for free from new baby from collecting booklets from nursery!

    Nappies - we've gone down the cloth route for environmental and money reasons. We've spent £300 and these will last 2 babies and I can sell them on after. You can hire a trial pack from a local nappy library when baby arrives if you want to give it a go. If not reusable wipes are great either for bums and hands or just hands. £land do baby flannels £1 for 6 and old flannels are great. They are so much better than disposable wipes for cleaning - we just have in Tupperware with cooled, boiled water. We must save a fortune just there! We also buy @ldi disposables for morning and nursery use, as we have produced a poo monster.

    Our local council run sure start centres run great baby groups for £1. They are great and you can use the sensory rooms. The health visitors also run free baby massage sessions. There are loads of free/cheap activities around if you look. We love the council swimming lessons - so cheap. Some baby activities are such a rip off.

    Sorry for such a long post - let me know if you need more info. Also don't worry about maternity pay - we earn next to nothing and still can OP. You can enjoy time with your baby for so little - they can cost as much or as little as you want to spend!

    Good luck, PLTG x
    • Poorlittletightgirl
    • By Poorlittletightgirl 20th Aug 17, 11:38 AM
    • 29 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    Poorlittletightgirl
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 17, 11:38 AM
    • #6
    • 20th Aug 17, 11:38 AM
    Oh I forgot, I was very interested in your thread because of your holiday talk! Remember infants costs very little to take away. I'm gutted mine is nearly 2 and will soon cost more! He's the most well travelled baby I know, already he's been to Mexico, Ireland several times, skiing in Italy, various places in England. Lol. We do have to holiday differently now, and the big trips probably won't be repeated for another couple of years (I've heard it's harder with 2 kids). But I look for special deals - The S☀️n £9.50 holidays have been great.
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 20th Aug 17, 10:53 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 17, 10:53 PM
    • #7
    • 20th Aug 17, 10:53 PM
    Hey all, thanks for dropping in and thanks for all the tips!

    Bexter, the OPs were regular (but variable!), every month or two. I usually wait until we've both been paid and overpay whatever was left at the end of last month. There isn't any sort of real order to the amount or anything! Even though it'll change I'm going to tackle our SOA later this week, realised I haven't done one at all while we've lived in this house
    Once we've got the rooms looking nice I'll work out how to get some before and after pictures linked here

    Silence and PLTG, we're planning the cloth-nappy route too. I've also heard that not all nappies suit all babies so plan on getting a small selection of each type and seeing what works when they're here. I signed up to the real nappy incentive scheme run by my council and they've sent me two different types of nappy already so that's a start! I've been advised to start baby off in disposables anyway until the meconium has passed through.

    We're hoping to do some batch cooking before baby but currently have limited freezer space due to owning two fridge/freezers (with tiny freezer compartments!); a rubbish undercounter one in the kitchen that we inherited with the house and a better one we moved in with but which doesn't fit anywhere in the kitchen so is currently in the cellar. The ultimate plan is to get rid of both and replace with an undercounter fridge (the freezer takes up valuable fridge space and doesn't work properly anyway) and a separate freezer for the cellar.

    However, getting the fridge/freezer into the cellar was pretty hairy and I'm not entirely sure if it's ever coming out again I'll probably advertise it on gumtree, free to anyone who can remove it (we originally bought it off gumtree for £40 about five years ago so it's had some good innings.) This is something we really, probably, should have sorted out sooner.


    I'll add nearly new sales to things to check out this week! We hope to get as much as possible second hand and so far have bought a few clothes bundles, some gro-bags and a co-sleeping crib on the Bay of E. Holding off on getting too many things before they're here though on the advice of everyone who has had a baby ever

    PLTG, wow! He does sound like a very well travelled baby! When you were skiing did you put him into a creche or take turns skiing/being with him?
    Also, congratulations on your second!

    Mr G's brother is off to New Zealand this autumn to start a PhD. He should be there for at least three years so our tentative plan is to save and go visit him in a year or two. The thought of flying long haul with a baby does make me nervous though!
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 21st Aug 17, 12:35 PM
    • 1,058 Posts
    • 4,847 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 17, 12:35 PM
    • #8
    • 21st Aug 17, 12:35 PM
    Already spammed

    Bexster
    • Poorlittletightgirl
    • By Poorlittletightgirl 21st Aug 17, 2:48 PM
    • 29 Posts
    • 87 Thanks
    Poorlittletightgirl
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 17, 2:48 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Aug 17, 2:48 PM
    Hi Georgie,

    We put him into the crèche when we were skiing, I felt a bit guilty and it was about £300 but well worth it. He loved it and skiing is so expensive, that I didn't want to waste the money we'd paid for us by not being able to ski half the time and also not be able to go out together. Plus I figured we won't be going again for a couple more years. Our friends had booked to go before us and booked an all inclusive place in Italy with Cryst@l, would highly recommend, great for kids, really quiet skiing and having everything included was so much easier. Usually we do DIY cheap as chips, lol!

    In regards to NZ - We did 10 hours to Mexico when little one was 10 months and almost walking, its was harder to keep him entertained than flying when he was smaller. It wasn't a nightmare like I was expecting, but easier younger when they just sleep and eat. I do have a few friends living in Oz though, who do the trip every year with tinies, so it can't be too bad! Plus the trip would be well worth it, I love NZ.

    Back to the baby stuff - I bought a lot of cloth nappies on the FB group pre-loved cloth nappies and accessories. Got some great deals, but don't be swayed by the big cheap bundles, I ended up with lots that didn't suit and found hard to sell on. Just buy 1 or 2 of each, and buy more later. @ldi do good deals on Mio Nappies, that I stocked up on during their baby events and we only use these during the day now.

    Definitely agree with your friends, don't buy too much for the baby, they don't need most of the stuff out there. Oh and when you get presents, usually outfits size 0-3 months, return them to the shop for a bigger size 9-12 months or 12-18 months. You seem to end up with loads of newborn stuff, which they hardly wear and it's so difficult to put a proper outfit on a newborn instead of a baby grow. We didn't have to buy much for the first year because I did this and I still have money on a N*xt store card from returning bits, that I use in the sales. I sometimes feel bad telling friends that I take stuff back, but it works well for me!
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 26th Aug 17, 8:52 AM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    Hey all,

    I should have been collecting Mr G from the airport this morning but his flight was delayed for three hours in China so he's still somewhere over the Baltic and has missed his connection from London. Hopefully he'll get put on an afternoon flight from London, but waiting for him to touch down and find out what the plan is. Was looking forward to seeing him this morning so am a little disappointed. Thought I'd do a quick update on this week's progress while I'm here though.

    MFW
    Not much to report here, I don't get paid until the start of next month. Mr G messaged to say he's had to use the joint account to cover some travel expenses, he'll get these back from work next month. It'll probably mean he won't have anything to overpay this month though.

    Baby
    Cloth nappy research is going well. Have read reviews, found a couple of websites I like the look of and am watching some Bay of E listings. Plan to order one or two of several different types and see how we get on with them when baby is here before committing to any. It's a whole new world I never knew.

    House
    Didn't get much house decoration stuff done this week, just a bit of painting. The artex I'm trying to go over is the most awful thing I've ever tried painting. It's so pointy it's practically mountainous and requires a small brush to get into all the nooks and valleys. It's also high up in an exposed roof truss and requires standing on the top step of the ladder which isn't the easiest at seven months pregnant. I've been finding other jobs to do instead; one evening I completely cleaned downstairs and scrubbed out the bins, such was my reluctance to paint

    We might be having our heating system replaced soon. After painting the walls upstairs we noticed how shabby the radiators looked in comparison and looked into replacing them. We'd planned on replacing the whole (ancient) system anyway and figured that we have money sitting in savings not doing anything so it made no sense to put it off. Installing the new system is going to require removal of an asbestos flue which has taken some extra organising but the heating company have said they can do the install in September so we're just waiting to hear if the asbestos removal place can do the same dates, and if so we'll have a nice new heating system in time for winter. If it can't be done in September it'll have to wait until next year.

    Work
    I put off writing invoices this week. It's top of my list for this morning (after writing this!)

    I was meant to be going away with one of my clients this week but requested not to. I'm a bit disappointed about missing the work aspect of it but am more happy I'll be at home and won't have to travel. It also means Mr G and I will get to spend the bank holiday together, one of the first we've both managed to be at home for this year!

    Money making
    I took the plunge and started matched betting and so far so good
    This week I've made use of two introductory offers and a reload offer and have made £47 profit, I have a couple of bets on today which should yield another £18 or so. I've been playing it very safe and sticking to win/lose odds on football and cricket. Am reading up on it whenever I get the chance to improve my understanding and have been quite enjoying it

    I also applied for a nectar card. I don't usually use store loyalty cards but figured since Sainses is our closest supermarket and we're usually too lazy tired to go further afield it might be a habit worth getting into.

    Fun
    I went for a swim last weekend, and made it to one of the £2 sessions run by the council (usually £4.90!) which felt very MSE. Between being sick in early pregnancy and feeling rather tired since I haven't been anywhere near as active as I used to be so being able to go swimming semi-regularly has felt amazing.


    Things to do this weekend:

    MFW
    Still need to make a house chart to colour in for each 1k knocked off the mortgage.

    Baby
    Buy and bid on some nappies.

    Finance
    Work out a SOA. Work in progress.

    House
    Continue painting
    Ask Mr G to chase up heating, asbestos removal people about dates.

    Work
    Do invoices.

    Money making
    Keep eye on current bets. Put together a MB spreadsheet. Sign up to another intro offer.

    Fun
    Mr G home! See how he feels but try and get out somewhere for the day one day this weekend.
    Go for another swim.


    This post took longer to write than expected! Going to crack on with work stuff and wait for word on Mr G, flight tracker is showing him over the Netherlands

    Have a good weekend all!
    Last edited by porgiegeorgie; 26-08-2017 at 11:06 AM.
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 26th Aug 17, 8:55 AM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    Hi Georgie,

    We put him into the crèche when we were skiing, I felt a bit guilty and it was about £300 but well worth it. He loved it and skiing is so expensive, that I didn't want to waste the money we'd paid for us by not being able to ski half the time and also not be able to go out together.
    Originally posted by Poorlittletightgirl
    We thought we'd have to wait until they were old enough for ski-school before going out again but this has made me rethink
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 26th Aug 17, 9:28 AM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    On a completely separate note, but the house has been invaded by spiders this week! Just found another one in the bath, have sent it outdoors but I'm sure it'll make its way back in.

    The other explanation is it's just one really adventurous spider I'm spotting all over the place...
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • Downshifterella
    • By Downshifterella 26th Aug 17, 11:38 AM
    • 63 Posts
    • 322 Thanks
    Downshifterella
    Hi Georgie
    Congrats on the imminent arrival of your little one and your MF quest!
    on spiders peppermint oil rumoured to work....might have to find some myself as it's getting to that point where they like to come inside where it's warm and dry!
    Look forward to following your adventures! X
    MF planning for the simple life
    • porgiegeorgie
    • By porgiegeorgie 9th Sep 17, 5:55 PM
    • 159 Posts
    • 1,129 Thanks
    porgiegeorgie
    Realised it probably looked like I'd abandoned ship! I haven't felt very well for the past couple of weeks and then earlier this week I caught a sickness bug that's been going around at work and it completely knocked me sideways. Out of bed and eating an ice lolly today, so fingers crossed the worst of it is over.

    So, an update!

    MFW
    £600 OP for Sept just made. Probably my last large one with maternity leave starting this month. Mr G is waiting for a chunk of expenses back from work so didn't make any OP this month.

    Mortgage as it stands:

    Current balance: £113,175

    Average monthly OPs: £942

    Total overpayments: £17,900

    Daily Interest: £11.28 Feb 16 to £9.00 Sep 17

    Time off total term: 2 years and 5 months

    (Today's OP won't have taken effect yet.)

    Baby
    A small selection of different cloth nappies has now been obtained from the Bay of E We'll see what works best when the Bean is here and go from there. Even the newborn ones look so big!


    House
    Walls in the upstairs sitting room and nursery are painted, just the skirting boards need to be done (we realise we did them in the wrong order.) Mr G got fed up after five minutes of trying to paint the super pointy artex in the sitting room and bought a paint sprayer to finish the job, which was in his words "the best fifty quid I've ever spent"

    Work to install the new heating system starts Monday morning. This has involved organising removal of an asbestos gas flue at the same time so fingers crossed everybody turns up. Once the heating is done and the new radiators are in we just need carpets and those rooms are done. Except for furniture, which is so far down my priorities list right now it isn't really registering...

    Last week Mr G noticed a damp patch over the nursery window, since we had the roof replaced this year we think it must be the gutters, it's at the right height. Mr G organised for them to be cleared and yesterday two guys turned up, looked up at the house and then left... Mr G has messaged them to find out what's going on, but with it being the weekend no response yet. Our house is tall so we chose a company that said they can reach up to 40ft (which our house definitely isn't!) and Mr G sent a picture beforehand so they could see what it's like, he's not very impressed.

    Work
    I wasn't planning to finish work for another two weeks but after this week it may be sooner. Will see how I am feeling Monday and go from there.

    On a slightly work related note, my role is a self-employed one so I can't get SMP from work. Instead I applied for maternity allowance and had a message from the DWP informing me that a decision can take 24 working days. It has now been 24 working days but no word on it yet (I know I earn enough to qualify.)

    By the looks of it MA got a bit complicated after the NI2 contributions system was changed and from what I can gather HMRC should be contacting me so I can make an advance NI2 payment for this year ahead of submitting a tax return next year. I'm really not sure how much I trust this system to work. I'm also worried I may have messed it up a bit by forgetting to pay my July balancing payment for last year's tax bill I paid the moment I received the grumpy letter from HMRC but I'm really hoping that hasn't somehow messed up my application. I can't believe I forgot to pay it, so unlike me.

    Luckily we're not relying on the money, it would be nice to get it sorted before the baby is here though.

    Matched Betting
    I remembered this afternoon I had a free bet that was due to expire today! It's down now and so that'll be another £22 in the MB pot.

    Besides from a couple of qualifying bets I haven't done any MB this past week and half or so, have felt too grotty and was afraid of making mistakes.

    I did however, sign up to 0ddsM0nkey after using their free account oddsmatcher and deciding that it was worth it for the time saved looking for odds.

    Current MC profit is £100. Once I'm feeling a bit better I'm going to really attack the welcome offers.

    Fun
    Erm... does not being sick anymore count?

    Mr G and I have made a list of a few things to do before Bean arrives, mostly visiting restaurants we've been wanting to. This weekend should have been a cinema trip but alas, it was not to be.

    Things to do in the next week
    Rest!

    Hopefully reschedule our cancelled cinema date.

    Ask Mr G to get some carpet quotes. And actually decide on carpets.

    We have a list of baby things that still need to be gotten. I might delegate some to Mr G and order a few things myself.

    Mr G was mumbling something about starting some batch cooking the other day, I might suggest if he has time this week might be a good time to start.

    And that's that. Now I need to lie down again..

    Have a good weekend everybody
    Last edited by porgiegeorgie; 09-09-2017 at 5:59 PM.
    MFiT-T4 #75: £142,480 to £86,700 by Jan 2019
    Feb16: £142,480. April16: £138,900. July16: £132,242 Oct16: £129,824, July17: £115,841
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 10th Sep 17, 1:34 AM
    • 587 Posts
    • 2,243 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Evening.

    I've just found your diary. What an exciting time you are about to enter. My little one is 16momths old and has me up at the moment just because he'd like a cuddle.

    Sounds like you are doing great on the baby things. I quit my job whilst on maternity leave and still haven't found a new one and we're surviving. It's amazing what a strict budget and money saving can do.

    For money making.
    Sign up to survey sites and mystery shopping. You are going to have hours sat on your bum in the early months, so surveys are a good way to keep you occupied while middle of the night feeding (I breast fed so didn't have to hold a bottle, not sure how you'd hold bottle, baby & phone) mystery shopping is good as you'll get out and about with purpose, without spending a fortune.

    I picked a couple of things I was prepared to spend money on activity wise, swimming and baby sign. We didn't go to a soft play place until he started walking (don't see the point personally, although some people do)

    We did Nct classes and met up with our other Nct friends a lot.
    Coffee shops and at our houses.

    Probably too late now, but 'the nappy lady' has a questionnaire on her website which will help you decide what cloth bums will work for your lifestyle. Nappy libraries are also good.

    Finally (and yes I am very evangelical about this because it has made my life a thousand times easier)
    Find your local sling library and hire some slings, please don't go out Ono the high street and buy one of the off the shelf brands.
    A sling library will show you a range of slings for different stages of babywearing and you can try before you buy.
    Slings are like jeans, some work, some don't what works for your friend won't work for you.
    Some brands you can buy on the high street follow the T.I.C.K.S guidelines for safe babywearing, but some don't. You need to find a wide based carrier that holds baby's lags and hips and bum in the 'm' position (sometimes called 'froggy legs') and not dangling supported only by the crotch.
    Slings have transformed my life as a mum, it's amazing what being able to do something with two hands feels like, while still giving your baby the most amazing cuddle. My little one has been in a sling, on both me and my husband since he was 8 days old. He loves his slings.

    (Sorry, I do sound really preachy, but it is the most useful tool I have in my mummy bag)

    Good luck.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
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