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    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 24th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    • 540Posts
    • 4,818Thanks
    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 - £392 (Since January 2018)
    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 - £275 - 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: £95.00
    Santander Credit Card 1: £2233.59
    Santander Credit Card 2: £787.60
    Honeymoon Fund: £754.11

    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; 29-12-2017 at 2:04 PM.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
Page 3
    • SnowBallBunny
    • By SnowBallBunny 1st Jan 18, 11:52 AM
    • 69 Posts
    • 155 Thanks
    Happy New Year Laura! Wishing you the very best.
    Credit Card 1 £6,000 Debit Card 2 £5,000 Credit Card 2 £1200 Tax Bill £750/£450 Library Fine £90 Emergency Fund: £400 Accountancy Bill £144 (Last Payment 14.12.17) Cancelled Art Project Fundraising Donation £15
    Total Original Debt £13,199

    A SnowballBunny, hopping my way to Financial Freedom.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st Jan 18, 5:03 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Happy New Year Laura! Wishing you the very best.
    Originally posted by SnowBallBunny
    Thank you Snowball. And a happy new year to you!
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st Jan 18, 6:24 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    January 1st 2018

    Happy New Year everyone.

    So, I’m off to a cracking start! Bagged my first NSD. Christmas decorations are down, although the living room could do with a tidy. Will get on with that tomorrow I think after work (or before, if I get up early enough).

    We’ve been outside in the garden chopping down some of the trees and sweeping the patio. I’ve used some fish (another yellow sticker bargain) from the freezer for dinner. Have turned it into a fish pie. Diet has been good today.

    I have to get back into the swing of working tomorrow. I think I’m on queries tomorrow so will get to work early(ish). Not looking forward to it, it’s been nice to have these two weeks off and getting back into the swing of it all again (early morning and late evenings) is something I’m not looking forward to. Will have to have a look at the work diary and have a look which days I can work from home and get them requested. I’d rather work from home and start early as I have the late afternoon to myself then.

    Nothing much else to report apart from the fact that I’m ready fir this new year. I’d like to get the credit card debt sorted - or at least pay off the highest credit card in full.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 2nd Jan 18, 7:08 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Tuesday 2nd January

    First day back to work today. It went okay, even though I was dreading it immensely. Worked a little over my 7.24 hours so building up more flexi-time. Need to get it to 15 hours by the 12th January as I have two flexi days off on the 15th and 16th.

    Today has not been a NSD as we forgot to get loo roll the other day when we went shopping and we are down to the last roll, so popped to Asda on the way home. Also picked up some YS bread, salad, meat for DH (for sandwiches) and he ‘topped up’ on Relentless as it was on offer (he drinks the stuff for band practice). Signature is updated.

    I got home and changed straight into my pjs this evening. DH is cooking dinner and I’m looking forward to a nice evening relaxing on the sofa (I still haven’t recovered from the early morning start).
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 3rd Jan 18, 8:04 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Wednesday 3rd January

    I’ve had another NSD so I’m at 2/18. Really hoping I can make target this month so will have to be very strict. Had a good day at work, and I’m happy tomorrow is Thursday. I sometimes find that a four day week drags so I’m pretty pleased that the weekend is just around the corner.

    I’ve checked the honeymoon fund today and spotted 5p interest! Every little helps! Signature is updated and I should get my £100+ paid in bonus during the month.

    I’ve taken in lunch to work these past two days and will continue that endeavour throughout the month. I save so much money when I can be bothered to make my own lunch so that is a definite target this month.

    I’ve also managed 10,000 steps everyday so far this month (all 3 days of it) so I will make it my mission to make sure I regularly meet that goal.

    Had a lovely quick dinner tonight of hunters chicken, roast potatoes and veg. I’ve now used up some the leftover potatoes from Sunday and I am getting through the veg in the fridge.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 6th Jan 18, 1:08 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Thursday 4th January

    Thursday was not a NSD as I bought some more e-liquid. I did take my lunch to work though.

    Friday 5th January

    Friday was a bit of fail. No packed lunch to work as I woke up late, didn’t make lunch the night before and was unprepared. Resulted in another spend day which is not ideal. A fairly spendy day, all things considered. DH wanted me to grab him a sausage cob from the new cafe next to work and I got a coffee, I then got lunch afterwards at Tesco.

    It’s the end of the week where everything gets on top of me. I am tired and just cannot be bothered to do anything. I think for Thursday/Fridays I will have to make sure I have batch cooked something for dinner so it is easier for me. We need to go shopping this weekend so I will make sure we have some bits I can batch cook and pop in the freezer for these sort of days.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 06-01-2018 at 8:40 PM.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 6th Jan 18, 8:47 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Saturday 6th January

    Today I have managed a NSD so I’m at 3/18. I’ve had a really quiet day which has been nice. Must plan to try and do something tomorrow though as it will feel like I’ve wasted the whole weekend otherwise.

    Mortgage payment has gone out for the month so I’ve updated my signature. I will be happy when it ops down to the next thousand pound bracket but it seems to take an age to get there. Can’t start thinking about you overpayments yet though, as so much needs to be done to the house. It would be pointless as we need to save to get the house sorted.

    I think I’ll have a hot both tonight before I go to bed, that will nicely top off my relaxation day.

    I’ve also lost half a pound this week, which although it doesn’t sound like much, is pretty good going given the alcohol I drank on New Years and the chocolate I’ve been eating! Will be expecting a much bigger loss next week though.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 07-01-2018 at 3:30 PM.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 7th Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Sunday 7th January

    Today has been a spendy day as we went food shopping this afternoon.

    To be honest, it’s a little alarming that most of my budget has disappeared already. Needed a good shop though as we had nothing in the fridge and I’d Pretty much reduced the freezer stocks to nothing.

    Big shop at Aldi Today - spent £50.78 but fridge is full. £10 of that was on a bay tree and little rosemary tree. We do tend to get through a lot of the stuff and I decided buying that would work out much cheaper in the long run although it was quite a hefty expense out of the budget. My task is to make sure they don’t die!

    Spent £16.82 in Home Bargains - on mainly household stuff (oven cleaner, carpet cleaner, toothpaste, mouthwash and the like.)

    £11.38 in Asda - on not very much. DH impulse buys as he decided he wanted canned soup (for emergencies). They were the big eat ones. He wanted them, I imagine, for lunches as I don’t make soup all the time. They should last a while though. We also got some sausages for today’s dinner.

    Fridge is looking very full now though, which is good.

    Budget now at £189.15/£275

    Our next shops have to be small. Or, the entertainment budget will have to go to make up any shortfall. It’s important that the books balance this month, and there is no reason why we can’t hit target as our budget is very generous.

    I’ve decided I must get back into Menu planning for the week ahead though, so I’ve come up with this.

    Sunday - sausage, mashed potatoes, veg, Yorkshire pudding and gravy.
    Monday - chicken fajitas
    Tuesday - spaghetti bolognese
    Wednesday - chicken curry
    Thursday - pie, mash and veg with gravy
    Friday - spaghetti carbonara
    Saturday - birthday meal (eating out)

    I am going to have to make sure Monday - Friday are NSD to help everything sort itself out. W.E have enough in, and if I make sure I have lunches prepped it is definitely doable.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 9th Jan 18, 7:34 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Monday 8th January

    Bagged a NSD and took lunch to work.

    I then ate dinner and fell asleep so nothing much to report there.

    Tuesday 9th January

    Bagged another NSD. I’m now at 5/18.

    I got a reward and recognition gift today at work. £25. I’ve asked for £20 to be next vouchers (I’ll then have £70) and £5 Amazon which I’ll use for gifts and such. Chuffed with that.

    Work today was good, and after all the sleep from yesterday I don’t feel as exhausted today. Made Quorn spaghetti bolognese for dinner and will make up some pasta so that can be lunch for tomorrow as well as I have plenty leftover. Might see how much leftovers I’ll have after that, I might bulk the remainder out with a can of baked beans and that’ll be base for a cottage pie. I have pie and mash for one of my meals this week so will make too much mash on purpose and then freeze leftovers and then when I’m not feeling particularly inventive that’s a meal for next week sorted! The other option would be swap spaghetti carbonara fir cottage pie instead and move that to next week. I am at present undecided. Menus have to be flexible so we will see.

    Minimum payment on Credit Card number 3 went out today so I will update that later.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
    • zippygeorgeandben
    • By zippygeorgeandben 10th Jan 18, 12:30 AM
    • 758 Posts
    • 984 Thanks
    Make sure you use the carpet and oven cleaner, or it was a pointless purchase!
    End Sep 2016 End Dec 2017
    £8236.57 £0
    (Tesco 4.8%) £0pcm
    £6185.75 £0(Zopa 4.0%) £0pcm

    £2470.04 (Sainsburys 0% until 06/19) £140pcm
    £2000.00 £933.36 (Sister 0%) £133.33pcm

    Total debt
    £19.766.82 £3403.40 Original DFD May 2019.
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 10th Jan 18, 9:54 PM
    • 540 Posts
    • 4,818 Thanks
    Haha thanks zippy

    Luckily the carpet cleaner is more of a carpet freshener. Used every weekend when I blitz the living room. Iím paranoid about the smell of dog and would rather it smell like Thai orchard (or whatever scent it is!).

    The oven needs desperately cleaning... itís gross... but Iím less enthusiastic about that endeavour!!!

    Wednesday 10th January

    Today was spendy! Very spendy. Trip to the vets was £116 which was more than I had budgeted for. Old dog, insurance wouldnít cover it as pre-existing condition heís had since he was about 2. Have 100 days of tablets though so no trip to the vet for another three months.

    That is basically all of the emergency fund plus allocated dog spend this month. Luckily he has lots of food left.

    May have to amend Febs budget to increase the amount going into his Ďpotí. I have also applied for another savings account to his pot separate (itís accounted for in monthly budget but I think putting money elsewhere will help me keep a better eye on it).

    I found out my supervisor is moving today - not sure when, but it will leave a position open on a temporary responsibility allowance (10% more than current wage) that I think I will apply for. She has been suggesting that I apply for roles the next band up, and a few supervisors today asked if I was going to apply so Iíll give it a go. Whatís the worse that could happen? They say no and I keep my job? Iíve worked really hard the past year and it has been noticed, so Iím hoping Iíd have a fairly decent shot (no way guaranteed though, as there are plenty of capable people).

    Hoping tomorrow and Friday will be spend free days though.
    January grocery challenge £189.15/£275 | January NSD 06/18
    Credit Card 1: £95.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: £2,233.50 (0%) | Credit Card 3: £787.60 (0%) Car Finance: £7,865 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: £111,173 (2.79% APR) | Emergency Fund: £65.56/£1000 | Honeymoon Fund: £474.16
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