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  • FIRST POST
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 24th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    • 476Posts
    • 4,321Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    The Money Diet
    • #1
    • 24th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    The Money Diet 24th Nov 17 at 9:17 PM
    So, I did have a thread but I've not updated it for a long time and things have now changed somewhat! So, I thought it best to start again. Fresh start, and all that jazz!

    A little about me: Hi I'm Laura

    So, my last diary was mainly about saving for my wedding. Whilst we saved a good amount in a year, The diary went a little to the way side. However, as of bonfire night, I'm now a married woman!

    The last year has resulted in me and Mr Lauralozzle saving for our wedding. I now realise how hard saving is!! It left with without much on anything for a year. Even with all of our hard saving, things ended up costing a little more than we had initially budgeted for and has left us in a little debt. This is partly down to my unrealistic budget, but also because we moved the wedding forward by a year as my grandad was ill and we didn't think he'd make November 2018. Luckily, we were very lucky with the gifts we received and the leftover debt is definitely a manageable amount, but I'd like it to be cleared as soon as possible so we can focus on decorating/renovating our house once our honeymoon is over.

    We've lived in our house for nearly two years now (two years in March 2018). The plan was initially to do a room a year, as the house, although liveable, is terribly dated. Think artex on every wall and you'll get the picture. The wedding meant the house went on the back burner and the only rooms we have (partially) decorated are the living room/dining room. They are not finished though. I'd like for us to get in the position next year to focus on finally sorting out the house, even if that is just plan of what room we tackle next and starting to save towards it.

    I'll know the true state of our finances better come pay day (end of the month) and exactly where we are. At the moment everything looks very tight but November has been unusually expensive with the wedding and our little mini-moon to Bruges which cost more than we had expected.

    In preparation I have managed to get our mortgage payments down now from £504 to £398 which will start in a January 2018. That extra £100 will help considerably with clearing extra debt and saving! I've moved our fixed term mortgage at 3.99% to a new fixed term of 2 years at 2.79% - the mortgage length remains the same, I'm assuming we've moved down into the next LTV bracket although I'm not 100% sure as I just did it online through Santander (who we have our mortgage with). The term is exactly the same. We are both very happy at the money we will be saving in our mortgage payments alone. One day, we will try and make overpayments but I don't see that happening for a while, to be honest.

    So... a brief statement of our affairs. I'm aware this is not a proper, full SOA.

    My wage - £1,200
    Mr wage - £1,300
    Total = £2,500

    We both put £850 each into the joint account every month. This covers the following:

    Mortgage - £504
    Council Tax - £129 (over ten months)
    Water rates - £40
    Gas/electric- £72
    House phone/broadband/sky - £42.99
    TV licence - £12.12
    My car - £187
    His car - £151
    Wedding Rings - £91 (this ends in July - on 0% finance deal)
    Vet/dog - £40 - covers dogs daily tablets, flea stuff, 6 monthly vet check-up
    My phone - £35
    His phone - £36 - we are both in contracts
    Food shopping - £250 - I know we can get this down! Includes alcohol

    I have a spreadsheet all set up for this so I can keep track of each spend!

    The money we have left in our accounts will cover our personal petrol, personal spends etc... pocket money I suppose. I have a MBNA credit card I pay off alone (0%)
    Mr Lauralozzle has car insurance and tax monthly that he pays for out of his own account. I put all mine on 0% credit card that I'm paying off alone - £25 min payment - will start overpaying an extra £25 from pay-day.

    We have both been saving £200 a month from our leftover personal money for the wedding - our plan is to hit the following Credit Cards with this now, although Mr doesn't want to put away £200 anymore - it left us quite tight and we both need some new clothes as all Of ours have holes/don't fit properly anymore!! I currently own two pairs of jeans and most of my tops have holes in through years of wear and tear!!! A good rummage through is required at some point.

    So - this is the plan for now.

    Santander Credit Card 1 - £2,256.06 0% for 24 months (his) (min payment £22.56)
    Santander Credit Card 2 - £787.60 (mine) (min payment £7.87) 0% 25 month
    MBNA - £195 - (mine) (min payment £25) 0% needs clearing by May

    I will over pay MBNA by £25 each month. That should then be cleared by May easily.
    We wil overpay Santander by £100-£150 a month (together - not each) - starting in January as we need to sort out Christmas.
    Min pay Santander Credit Card 2 until credit card 1 is paid off and then start on this one.

    We also need to save about £500 for spending money for our honeymoon in May - we're off to Sorrento for 2 weeks. £575 is already in the kitty for this. I'm not sure exactly how much we'll need, but we're hoping that £1,000 (ish) will cover it. We want to enjoy or time there and take trips so we'll save as much as possible (at least £1,000). We're going half board so hopefully won't have to spend too much on food - just lunches really. I want it to be a holiday we remember so I don't want to scrimp when we are there, just be sensible about our spends (nothing too extravagant).

    Current Debt/Savings Progress

    MBNA: £195.00
    Santander Credit Card 1: £2256.06
    Santander Credit Card 2: £787.60
    Honeymoon Fund: £575.05

    My mother is getting married abroad in September (provisional date). It will be on one of the Greek islands. When the date is set we will also have to save for that as I'm a bridesmaid. Thinking cheap self catering apartment for a week (at most!) at keep costs down. I'm hoping we can get away with stopping for four days but we will have to have a good look. Hopefully she gets it all booked soon so we know the particulars. It's difficult to assess how much this will cost until we have more information.

    So, hurry up payday (last day of the month - Thursday) so we can get The ball rolling and start making progress.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 26-11-2017 at 10:41 PM.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
Page 1
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 25th Nov 17, 2:08 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 17, 2:08 PM
    • #2
    • 25th Nov 17, 2:08 PM
    So, I've updated my signature today and checked the balance of my car finance and the mortgage. I'm nearly at £7,999 which is exciting - I love when it jumps down to the next thousand pound. I'm aware we are currently spending a lot on our cars at the moment, but a car is necessary for work as public transport is irregular and very expensive. Plus, I'd feel very isolated without my own vehicle. It's nice to know that I can just get up and whenever I need to. We could probably get away with having just one, but last time we did that the other half hated it so we'll be a two car household for the foreseeable future.

    I'm not sure on the current balance of Mr Lauralozzle's car finance but it is definitely lower than mine as 1) his car was cheaper than mine and 2) he's been paying off his roughly a year longer! They are both on five year hire purchase agreements.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 26-11-2017 at 3:34 PM.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 26th Nov 17, 3:43 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    • #3
    • 26th Nov 17, 3:43 PM
    • #3
    • 26th Nov 17, 3:43 PM
    Not much to report today - we went shopping yesterday and managed to keep it under £50. We have a lot in the freezer but the fridge was bare - I plan on batch cooking some bits tonight for lunches to take to work. I'm currently on Slimming World but it's taken a bit of a back burner at the moment. I'll plan to get back on track tomorrow and I always find preparation is the key to making it work. I need to be organised, which can be difficult, as I'm not feeling particularly well today.

    I also need to make sure we are getting through the freezer stuff before we buy more to replace it. I'd like to clear as much as possible, so that I can give it a good clean before we fill it up again. That should help on the shopping/spending money side of things. Just need to get inventive!

    I have £25 to last me now until Thursday so need to keep an eye on the purse strings.

    I'm hoping December won't be so tight as I've only got 3.5 weeks left at work until I break up for ten days so that should help our expenses as we won't be out traveling to work, so that's some petrol saved.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • starting_again_in_the_sun
    • By starting_again_in_the_sun 26th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • 52 Posts
    • 187 Thanks
    starting_again_in_the_sun
    • #4
    • 26th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    • #4
    • 26th Nov 17, 5:42 PM
    Congratulations on your marriage
    Looking forward to reading your progress.

    Sorrento is beautiful, Naples is worth a visit too. X
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 26th Nov 17, 6:13 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    • #5
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:13 PM
    • #5
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:13 PM
    Thank you

    Oh, yes, we will definitely have to take a trip to Naples whilst we are there!

    I'm very excited about it! I've worked out that we can scrape together an extra £400-ish towards it too as I'm pretty sure we won't have to pay any more water rates until April now and February/March won't have any council Tax payments! So I'll squirrel that money straight into the Honeymoon fund!
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Futuregoals
    • By Futuregoals 26th Nov 17, 6:44 PM
    • 5 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    Futuregoals
    • #6
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:44 PM
    Congrats
    • #6
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:44 PM
    Congrats on your marriage! After almost ten years together we finally tied the knot a few weeks ago too.

    Good luck on your journey xx
    • mummytogirls
    • By mummytogirls 26th Nov 17, 6:59 PM
    • 5,624 Posts
    • 18,489 Thanks
    mummytogirls
    • #7
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:59 PM
    • #7
    • 26th Nov 17, 6:59 PM
    Congrats on the wedding LL

    Im sure you will have that debt paid off in no time at all xx
    Mummytogirls x

    £23164.32 - 12/12/10
    £6936.45 - 04/09/17 - 70.99% paid off
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 27th Nov 17, 7:02 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    • #8
    • 27th Nov 17, 7:02 PM
    • #8
    • 27th Nov 17, 7:02 PM
    Today ended up being spendy. Not ideal, but I needed lady things and I had ran out of e liquid. I'm trying very hard to quit smoking again (I started again in October like an idiot) so I'm trying to make sure I stock up on my favourite e-liquid to avoid any temptation of the real thing. Still, £15 I could have really done without spending. I have plenty to last now though, enough for at least 2 weeks.

    Dinner from freezer and cupboards today - chopped sweet potato and tomato fish bake.

    I've got an early day ahead tomorrow- the OH has to leave early as he's traveling to Birmingham for work and stopping the night. It'll be the first night apart since the night before the wedding! My plan is to get to work early and keep busy. I have a lot of work to get through tomorrow on-top of training for the day. I don't mind though - I'll keep busy and build up my flexi. It needs building up anyway as I would like my birthday off but don't have any spare holidays so it'll have to go down as a flexi day!
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 30th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    • #9
    • 30th Nov 17, 9:15 PM
    Thursday 30 November

    Today was pay day and I've transferred the £850 straight into the joint account, this will cover the bills going out as the OH has also transferred the same amount.

    I've worked out my budgets for the month and allocated myself £10 spending money. I've also got some Christmas parties to attend and have allocated a budget for each occasion separately. I will withdraw the money and not take my card, when the money is spent, it is spent, and I will try to ensure I don't spend it all.

    My first Christmas Do is tomorrow. It's the work Christmas party, although I don't intend to spend too much, I have allocated myself £50 for the night. That should more than cover the night. That will also include some money to be spent on food as I am going to a friends striaght from work so will have to buy dinner out. Drinking on an empty stomach is not something I plan to do as it always ends up much worse!

    I have made the additional £50 payment towards the MBNA credit card and will update the balances on Saturday morning. November has been wonderful but I really do need to get things under control with our spending in December. It's difficult to tighten belts round Christmas but we really do need to do this so Christmas presents will be small and to be honest, where we can get away with not spending on someone, we will. I feel bad about it as I love Christmas and giving but we just cannot afford it this year. I've agreed with my sister that we won't get each other presents as we can't afford it, so that will help, and we might have to forgo getting nieces nephews presents on both sides. I think all we can realistically afford is perhaps a selection box, which although is not a lot, is better than nothing I suppose.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • SnowBallBunny
    • By SnowBallBunny 1st Dec 17, 10:36 PM
    • 33 Posts
    • 69 Thanks
    SnowBallBunny
    Congratulations on your wedding! Look forward to following your debt-free journey.
    Credit Card 1 £6,000/£5878.86 Debit Card 2 £5,000/£4747.63 Credit Card 2 £1200/£960.66 Accountancy Bill £144 (Last Payment 14.12.17) [COLOR="Cyan"]Tax Bill[/COLOR] £750/£600 Debt Snowball Baby Step 1 Emergency Fund: £400 Total 12,187

    A SnowballBunny, hopping my way to Financial Freedom.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 2nd Dec 17, 11:15 AM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Thank you SnowBall

    So, it’s now December - time to get serious. I’ve updated my signature to reflect MBNA Card for December with overpayment. Mortgage payment has gone out too so updated that.

    Need to make sure I clean the house today. Might try and get away with putting the Christmas tree up! We will see, it’ll be a battle with Mr. I hate Christmas! Need to get stamps today - must post the thank you cards.

    I’m going to try and keep on top of the house this month - making sure it’s clean, tidy, pots are washed/in dishwasher. Basically not a mess and I must take lunch to work every day. I won’t sit down to relax until it’s done and lunch is ready. It irritates me when it’s messy, not the OH, he’d happily live in the mess/clutter so I’m the one who will have to sort it out.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Pauper1
    • By Pauper1 2nd Dec 17, 11:50 AM
    • 289 Posts
    • 2,358 Thanks
    Pauper1
    Congratulations on your wedding, and good luck with all your plans
    DMP start 1st May 2014 - £22,850 £39,349.41 Original DFD from Stepchange 6th Sept 2039... Aiming for 1st Nov 2026
    Priorities changed, sold our house, going through the settlement process and hope to be debt free by Christmas 2017
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 2nd Dec 17, 4:09 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Today has been a spendy day. The OH decided he could not function without tea (we’ve not had any in the house for a week) so we walked down to small CoOp to get some and get some second class stamps whilst we were at it. Also got x2 reduced snack things and a bottle of pop. We then went for a little walk (about 30 mins) with the dog. I asked him how much he spent as it went from the joint account but he said he couldn’t remember. I’m guesstimating £15 for now and will amend it when I can see how much on online banking. We have to go food shopping tomorrow but I’m hoping it won’t cost too much as we still have quite a lot in the freeezer.

    I’ve had a relaxing morning so far although I have a bit of a headache. The headache is not from drinking too much though, the bar/club we were in had really low lights that had these large, round metal shades around them. I banged my head on them 7 times getting up and down. Treated myself to a bath this morning before the heating starts as I have noticed that I have a lot less running hot water when the radiators are on.

    To be honest, our boiler is rubbish. The heating doesn’t kick in unless the thermostat is right up. It must be 15-20 years old. I’d like a combi boiler and remove the hot water tank out of the back bedroom but that’s a job for later, when we have the funds do to do these kind of things. It’s not broken yet so whilst it still works we will have to live with it.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 3rd Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Thank you everyone who has commented so far.

    Sunday 3 December

    The OH told me it was too early to put the Christmas tree up and that I have to wait until double figures. Got a rant about how there are Ď12 days of Christmasí not 31. So, next Sunday is the 10th and thatís double figures so itís going up then whether he likes it or not. Iím still following his rules! He is such a Scruge!

    Went food shopping today and brought selection boxes for my nieces/nephews. I canít afford anything else so I hope they donít mind too much. Still got presents to sort out for rest of the family and some will be coming out of our grocery budget so I have to keep a close eye on things.

    Iíve brought the OH first present with some money I have left on my amazon account gift card. A personal (for 1) teapot, teacup and saucer set that all fits together. Iíve got a loose tea holder thing too as he suggested he might like some posh tea and teacup. It was under a £10 and came off a gift card I got for my insurance so itís not like Iíve missed the money.

    Iíve also been out in the garden to sweep up the mass of leaves. It looks a little better now, less messy, but will need a good sort end of winter to get it looking ready for spring. We havenít done much to the garden and itíll be nice to spend a little money on it next year.

    Made a nice roast for dinner, chicken left over for dinner tomorrow. I made stuffing balls with sausage meat and Yorkshire puddings too which are now in the freezer. I must remember to sort out lunches before I go to bed and clean up what I can so itís not a tip in the morning.

    Iíve got that dreaded Sunday feeling where you know you have to get ready for work. Iíve only got 2.5 weeks left before I break up for Christmas though so not too long. I had ten days off during the wedding but it all went so quickly and I felt so busy it feels like I havenít had any time off!
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 4th Dec 17, 7:35 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 4th December

    It has been a long day today and I’m not nearly finished! I’ve taken my laptop home tonight to finish off some work, but the moment I walked in my Mum called so it’s put all my plans 40 minutes later. There is some good MSE news though, which I shall reveal.

    My mum was originally going to get married in Greece, but she rang today to confirm she was getting married in July in Warwickshire. This will massively help the purse strings as we don’t have (effectively) another holiday to book and staying over for two nights in a hotel will be much easier than flights and hotels and spending money. It will be at least £200 cheaper. Also, I don’t have to find a way to stretch out my non existent holidays (which are spent up for our honeymoon) so it means I won’t have to work stupid hours to build up a weeks worth of flexi. All in all I am very pleased with the news and it’s making me feel much better about things financially.

    Today I have managed a NSD. Ran out stock for chicken pie so improvised and used milk and thickened it up with flour (it was self raising flour though as I used all the plain flour yesterday!). It tasted fine, so my improvisation was a success.

    Bank accounts are looking good but that’s to be expected as it’s only the 4th of December!

    I have a good list of things to do this evening though which I must do before I sit down and get comfy:

    - allocate work out for tomorrow and send it Done
    - make lunch for tomorrow Done
    - clean kitchen if OH has not done it by 9:00PM and clean dining room so nice and tidy. Kitchen as tidy as I can be bothered to make it. I haven’t touched the dining room though so that’ll be a task for tomorrow I think

    Then I will allow myself a bath with my kindle Didn’t have time for a bath, but I did have a hot shower (as hot as I could take) which has relaxed me. Can’t be bothered to dry my hair though so I’ll have to tackle that in the morning!
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 04-12-2017 at 10:25 PM.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 10th Dec 17, 11:11 AM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Sunday 10th December

    I’m still here, plugging away, but I’ve been very tired throughout the week as I’ve had a long week at work. I have, however, built up an extra two hours of flexi time this week and I now have enough for a day off work. I think I will try to save it though for January as I would like my birthday off. If I can build about 14 hours (I’m on 9.5 I think) I’ll try and have the Monday and Tuesday off.

    Budgets are looking okay. Joint budget/shopping is looking good. My personal budget is looking less happy as I’ve already dipped into next weeks budget so I will have to be very strict with myself. I have only managed 2 NSD (including today) so far so I need to pull some out of the bag.

    My target this coming week is to clean a room a night so it doesn’t feel like I’m spending all weekend cleaning the house.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 10th Dec 17, 11:56 AM
    • 4,856 Posts
    • 9,176 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Well done on budgeting so well and glad you did not go massively into debt for your wedding.

    As the cards are on 0% I can understand your DH not rushing to pay it off but personally I am with you and would rather get shot of it asap and get into the habit of saving for stuff asap. Initially an emergency fund, fund for your holidays and a house fund for eventually a new boiler and redecoration and any car expenses.

    If you both put around £850 into your house fund you presumably both have around £350- £400 spare which has got to cover personal spends/holiday savings and debt repayments which is not a massive amount but better than some. Any chance of either of you upping your income?

    You are doing brill anyway.

    Also I am with your DH in that it is far too early for Christmas trees yet. Ours will go up next weekend probably.
    1 week to go until early retirement. Debt free and mortgage free.

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 10th Dec 17, 3:22 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Well done on budgeting so well and glad you did not go massively into debt for your wedding.

    As the cards are on 0% I can understand your DH not rushing to pay it off but personally I am with you and would rather get shot of it asap and get into the habit of saving for stuff asap. Initially an emergency fund, fund for your holidays and a house fund for eventually a new boiler and redecoration and any car expenses.

    If you both put around £850 into your house fund you presumably both have around £350- £400 spare which has got to cover personal spends/holiday savings and debt repayments which is not a massive amount but better than some. Any chance of either of you upping your income?

    You are doing brill anyway.

    Also I am with your DH in that it is far too early for Christmas trees yet. Ours will go up next weekend probably.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thank you

    I agree, I think the cards should be gone as soon as possible but I do understand where he is coming from because we spent a year feeling very poor because we were saving £400 a month which left no room for nice things for us.

    I completely agree re the emergency fund. It was depleated last year and we havenít built it up again. That is a massive priority for 2018. Iíd like it at £1,000 and DH would like it to be at least £500, but thinks a target of £1,000 is unrealistic. I donít think it is, although it might take some time to build it up again. We will know better how things stand at pay day as Christmas will be over and all of the associated spends will have been sorted. Iím going to try and budget a Christmas pot for next year - we didnít have the stretch to do it this year but I see no reason why one cannot be sorted for 2018.

    I wish we could earn more money! DH had a promotion a year ago which isnít permanent yet (he is on a Temporary Responibility Allowance to account for the work heís now doing) but if he gets this job on a permanent basis there will be another (albeit small) pay rise as the TRA only pays 10% higher at the moment.

    Iím looking at other jobs but I am aware that although my job doesnít pay that much, the flexibility I have is invaluable. I do not have set work hours (ie. 9-5) I can work from home, if I work over my hours I can claim my time back in Flexi time which basically means additional holidays. My job can be stressful at times but Iím worried the grass would not be greener on the other side and Iíd miss the flexibility I have. We are not starting a family yet, but when we do, my current position would be ideal because it is flexible enough to accommodate childcare and I could request term-time/part time. Theyíre very big on having good home/work balance and really promote it which is the one most single thing I love about my job.

    So any new job that pays more would have to have the same benefits, which would basically mean a promotion where I am now, rather than elsewhere.

    I may have put my Christmas tree up when he was out this week!! Oops.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 10th Dec 17, 10:09 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Iím really pleased with my efforts today. I can confirm that NSD too. I was supposed to go to my grandmothers today but we arranged it for next week because of the snow.

    Iíve had a really productive day, although itís felt very chilled, all at my own pace. No rushing.

    Iíve managed to clear five loads of washing, not sure I can manage anymore because Iím trying to avoid using the tumble dryer and Iíve ran out of drying space! But five loads of washing is much better than what I would usually manage. Iíve cleaned the kitchen, made dinner, make tomorrowís lunch using up some leftover bits from the fridge (pesto pasta with cucumber and tomatoes, apples and melon).

    I will take breakfast to work with me tomorrow- porridge I think with some frozen berries and eat it at work.

    Iíve also hoovered the house, and tonight Iíve relaxed in front of the fire.

    I want to get into work early-ish tomorrow, the traffic has been horrible lately and itís been taking me over 1.5 hours to get into work.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 11th Dec 17, 6:47 PM
    • 476 Posts
    • 4,321 Thanks
    Lauralozzle
    Monday 11th December

    I did not want to get out of bed today! It was so cold this morning, lots of ice, snow stopped looking pretty and now resembles frozen sludge. Recipe for broken bones in my book!

    I’ve had a good day at work, left early as I know tomorrow I will be leaving late. We did end up having a spendy day though as we’ve practically ran out of loo roll so on the way home went via Mr A and topped up. We also got some salad bits for lunches and some reduced bakery bits.

    DH is making dinner so tonight I’m having a (fairly) relaxed evening although I need to make sure the following chores are sorted before bed:

    - Clear Kitchen/wipe down surfaces Done
    - Make packed lunch Mostly Done - my ‘Apple knife’ is in the dishwasher so will chop up my apple in the morning
    - Run dishwasher Done
    - Check what clothes have dried and put them away Done
    - Put one load of washing in Done - jeans are in now
    - Quick go over of living room/dining room to make sure it stays neat Done - I gave the fireplace a little hoover too!

    I’m now exhausted and will soon be off to bed with my Kindle I think. I was finished by 9:30 PM
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 11-12-2017 at 10:14 PM.
    December grocery challenge £136.56/£250 | December NSD 4/15
    Credit Card 1: £145 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,256.06 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,363 (3.99% APR)
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