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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 30th Dec 17, 10:59 AM
    • 594Posts
    • 1,616Thanks
    Adventures of the Boy & Me: Part 2..
    • #1
    • 30th Dec 17, 10:59 AM
    Adventures of the Boy & Me: Part 2.. 30th Dec 17 at 10:59 AM

    I figured it was time for a new diary and fresh start as we head into the new year. I'm excited to see what 2018 has in store for us and plan to sail through it with as much positivity as possible.

    This year has seen many changes, both good and bad. The thing is, we made it through, that's all that matters.

    I'm a different person to whom I was at the beginning of the year. Alot has happened but its time to refocus on myself and the time with the boy. It's time to create new adventures and memories and work towards a secure future for us both.

    I've recently came into some inheritance which thankfully will clear what debt I had left. This amount was £7000. I have enough left to pop into seperate saving accounts and the money I used to pay towards the debt will be redirected elsewhere to build a secure future for me and the boy.

    I need to get back into a routine and start a new budget which is manageable and flexible. I intend to go through all my bills, accounts and budgets and see where I stand and then plan ahead for the next few months.

    This is also the year I focus on rebuilding myself back up. I've come a long way from where I was at the beginning of the year and I finally have a medication regime which seems to work for me. The next stage is to undergo CBT therapy and possibly counselling to make myself a much stronger person and to address issues that I've put to the back of my mind.

    All in all, I'm excited for the year ahead and look forward to tracking my goals, dreams and aspirations and to share them with others.

    Somethings will be left in the past, others I will carry into the future with me. It's just deciding exactly what I want and working towards it.

    Anything is possible, if you put your mind to it.
    Check out my Diary
Page 2
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 4th Jan 18, 9:57 AM
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    Yesterday ended up a very busy but productive day.

    My CPN came round first thing in the morning to see how I had been doing. I admitted to her that I'd been finding recent weeks difficult due to change of routine and lack of sleep. I explained how irritable and agitated I had become and we discussed options. We decided on an emergency back up plan that involved just in case medication that she would get my consultant to prescribe so off she went to sort that out.

    I've been suffering with symptoms of a kidney infection which I phoned up my doctors and they sorted out a prescription over the phone. It was one less appointment to attend.

    I then went round to my friends with the boy where the children played and we had a good catch up for a couple of hours. It felt good to get a lot of things off my chest and another opinion on things.

    I then went to pick up both my prescriptions and took them to my local pharmacy where I also arranged to pick up my weekly meds.

    Whilst at the doctors I picked up an xray card for a follow up xray following a pretty bad bout of pneumonia I had before Christmas. When I was suffering from pneumonia, I just carried on as usual and worked throughout it all. The doctors and people around me were surprised I was still standing and able to function.

    I then took the boy for a haircut which cost £7. We went to our usual place but it seems to have been taken over by someone new. They still did a good job and the boy looks very smart all ready to go back to school next morning.

    We then headed up to my work place where I underwent a chest xray. This still showed slight infection. The consultant radiologist was there and reviewed it at the time for me and has requested I have another repeat chest xray in four weeks. I need to get that sorted with my own doctor. The people there were wonderful with me. I guess I have some perks with my job.

    Whilst there I nipped into work to print off some forms to fill in and scan/email them so we can get copies of the DVD of the ice skating show the boy was recently. I've paid the costs for them and for tickets to an afterparty. £40 spent for all that but will recieve half of this back from the boy's nanny.

    We then went home where I cooked tea before taking the boy out to his ice skating lesson.

    Whilst there I phoned the tax office and sorted out my tax codes. Hopefully these will be right from now on and I should no longer be emergency taxed. I possibly may get a rebate later on in the year but I'm not holding out much hope.

    We then came home and chilled out for a bit before retiring to bed.

    So all in all, we never stopped yesterday but it was good to be productive.

    My giffgaff sim arrived in the post so I will set that up later on in the month. I recieved a telephone call from EE asking me to stay but I stated I was going sim only on a monthly rolling basis. They were quick to hang up . I just need to cancel my phone insurance now which will save £6.99 a month.

    Today we are meeting up with a work friend and her daughter for lunch for a catch up. Her daughter has been struggling with mental health issues and seems to be able to open up more when talking to me which I think has been a bit of relief for her mum. She's only 17 and has the whole world ahead of her but is crippled by anxiety. I would like to think by talking to someone who has experienced similar will help her somehow along the way.

    The friend I've been seeing asked if I wanted to go for lunch but as I've already got plans I'll have to politely decline. He has a lot going on in his life so we haven't spoke much. At times we've argued and I've possibly pushed him away far too much. I'm not quite sure where to go from here. Many of the arguments are down to me and what I've experienced in recent weeks. We may just end up staying friends overall which is quite sad but that's life I guess!
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 5th Jan 18, 5:19 PM
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    What a whirlwind the past three days have been. They've gone so fast.

    Yesterday we met up with my work friend but her daughter didn't come due to having a bad day so her son came instead who was absolutely lovely. We had a good natter over dinner and it was good to get things off my chest. I discussed the situation about the current man friend in my life and recieved a different perspective which opened my eyes a bit more. It's interesting to see how the other person copes and deals with an individual going through a crisis/bad times. I need to be more mindful of that.

    I then went round to man friend house (he's just recently moved into a new house) and helped him clean around his kitchen and put everything into place. Throughout this we slowly broke the ice and began talking more and seemed to have come to a better place. We went to a local furniture store where he ordered a new sofa and I picked up a new alarm clock from argos as my current one has broken. Its the old style fashioned one with bells that ring, woo . He then came with me to watch the boy ice skate and we both ended up going on the ice which was fun. We ended the night with a takeaway which was nice.

    Today we went to pick up a new rug for his place and I got some petrol whilst I was out which was £25.00. I bought some other bits and bobs from pound store which totalled to £6. After that we went bowling with the boy and had a simple sausage roll for lunch . So all in all a nice day and I'm now back watching yet another of the boy's ice skating lesson. I think I'm going to nio back to man friends house after and lend him a fridge we no longer use until he manages to sort one out for his new house and we'll probably go food shopping too.

    I'm happy that things seem to be back on track and hope he understands what I went through. I have a plan of action to alleviate and work through future episodes if they arise which is a big step for me.

    I an guilty of having a bad habit of smoking and could easily near enough go through a packet a day. I've decided although I don't want to give up just yet, I've swapped to smoking tobacco and roll ups which is saving me money. So although not totally MSE its money savings in some ways. Ultimately the plan will be to give up completely but only when I am in a better place.

    Thats pretty much it for now. I'm working both days at the weekend so they should pretty much be no spend days
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 7th Jan 18, 10:40 AM
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    It's been a busy couple of days again.

    Yesterday I spent the morning chilling out before work and then I worked 1-9pm. I had a good shift and love working with all my colleagues, they make the days so much better. I'm aware how lucky I am for this and count my blessings every day. There is always someone there for me and I always receive plenty of hugs. For a person who used to hate close contact and invasion of my personal space, I'm alot more open to it now and affectionate to those who matter.

    I'm also off to work today on the same shift. The morning has been spent with the boy doing his ice skating. He skates 4 days a week and is doing really well. This does affect my bank balance though but I always set a budget for this each month .

    Tomorrow the plan is to get my car valeted as it was cancelled last week due to poor weather. That will cost me £50. Not very MSE but its a job I hate doing. I tend to get it done every six months and try to keep it clean in the mean time. I need to find my car mats to put down.

    I've alot of things to sort out this week. I need to start decluttering and reorganising my bedroom to prepare for it to be decorated at some point. I shall go through all clothes and cupboards/wardrobes with the aim to declutter. I shall set myself a target each time I do it to get rid of at least 15-20 items each time. I may send a lot to the charity shops. It's one way of giving.

    I've emailed my mobile phone insurers to cancel my phone insurance now my phone is two years old as I think its no longer necessary. This will save me £6.99 a month. Towards the middle of the month I shall swap my phone over to sim only with giff gaff as planned.

    I need to sort a future budget for the next upcoming months that allow me to save money towards annual costs such as service/mot/cat insurance.

    I also need to work out what I need to save towards our holiday in September, I think the balance is due around May. I've already some money set aside in a seperate bank account which could go towards it.

    Another budget is my sisters upcoming wedding in October which involves hen do costs, hair and makeup, shoes and money as a gift. I'll probably give them money towards something they would like to purchase unless they have something specific in mind. I've lots of time to think about it.

    I still need to think about what goals I'd like to set and work towards in 2018. This will probably take some time as they need to be realistic and I need to remember not to put too much pressure on myself.

    Anyhow the boy's lesson is due to finish shortly so I best get back.
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 20th Jan 18, 4:01 PM
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    So its been nearly two weeks since I last updated.. alot has gone on since then.

    My mental health took a serious turn for the worse and I ended up between a rock and a hard place. I threw away all my medication and ended up having to sort it all out. I was assessed over last weekend and finally saw someone from my care team this friday just gone. Hopefully we have a plan in place and things will start to get better mentally/emotionally.

    My physical health is also poor. I had pneumonia in November and still haven't recovered properly from that so a trip to the doctors on Friday resulted in a diagnosis of recurring infection which meant further antibiotics and an inhaler to see me through. I'm due to be seen again for a follow-up on Tuesday. I've also managed to bring an urology appointment forward from June to the end of this month which is good, the perks of working for the good ole national health system. My immune system is totally shot and I need to build it back up, I'm susceptible to everything at the moment and there is so much going around at work that I have to be careful.

    So I need to put a plan in place to tackle both options as above. I have a couple of ideas, I just need to write them down and implement them.

    The boy seems to be ticking along just fine. He's having a few issues at school regarding bullying so I'll be going into school at some point this week to hopefully sort things out. His teacher is quite understanding/empathetic and seems to be on the ball with these things.

    Money wise, this month has been a tight and spendy month so far. I've had my car valeted which cost £50 but was worth it and I also had my hair done which cost £47. I feel much better for both being done. I've also been guilty of having a few takeaways, this must be stopped. I'm just writing January off as a bad month and will refocus at the end of the month/beginning of February.

    I need to sort out an annual budget/upcoming expenses and start to divert money elsewhere into seperate pots to cover the cost of these. I also need to sort monthly budget costs. I'm losing track of my accounts and which pot is for what. I have two seperate current accounts which I should utilise more- one for bills and direct debits and another for daily spends.

    I've gone through all my direct debits and bills and looked at where I can cut back. I've cancelled my mobile phone insurance and my contract with EE. I'm waiting for the final bill. I've transferred my number over to giff gaff and chosen a plan which is £10 per month and should suit my needs, if not I can always review this at a later point.

    The past couple of weeks have just been rather busy. My routine is still out of sync and I can't wait for it to resume to some sort of normality.

    Today is my day off and has been a chill out day. I've been organising some paperwork and other things that needed doing which I feel better for.

    I also had a tyre puncture repaired this morning which cost £12.50. It must of happened at some point yesterday and I just about managed to drive it home. I really need to look into breakdown cover because at the moment I have none. I'll see whether its cheaper utilise a package my bank offers which includes travel insurance and phone insurance ot whether its cheaper seperate.

    Anyhow best get my thinking cap on and sort some things out whilst I have the time. I'm going to try and focus on my yearly/annual costs and work out what needs to go where.
    Check out my Diary
    • Florence J
    • By Florence J 20th Jan 18, 4:16 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 11,158 Thanks
    Florence J
    Hello, I read something from someone on twitter recently saying that there is so much pressure to have everything sorted in January (to be under way with every new project and resolution), but you are all still recovering from Christmas, that really we should just concentrate on surviving January and work on where we want to be going forward in February.

    Take care of yourself first, January is tough for a lot of people. You are doing well.
    Sealed Pot Challenge 11 #553
    £1000 Emergency Fund Challenge #253
    Wombling free 2017 = £2195.92
    Pay off all your debts by Xmas 2017 #53 (£3168.45/£3000)
    February 2018 Credit Card Debt: £3885
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 22nd Jan 18, 1:39 PM
    • 594 Posts
    • 1,616 Thanks

    I've spent the past couple of days drawing up budgets which include annual expenses and monthly expenses. I've taken the time to go through each category with a fine tooth comb and have a better idea of where I stand.

    Usually I budget for the basic bills/direct debits/monthly outgoings and then divert any other money into one savings pot or use any spare for additional spends. When it comes to annual expenses I usually use the money from the general saving pot.

    However I've noticed I don't keep my eye on the ball at times and at times have several outgoings that I don't know what for, an example of this is entertainment. I don't generally set a budget for this and sometimes spend more for the sake of it and then I realise.

    I used to be really on the ball with my money but the past 12/18 months have been a whirlwind and I've not focused on it as much. I used to use a basic piggybanking method which seemed to work well but I've decided to go one step further this time and have several pots for different things. I'll go into detail with this in another post.

    This year has a lot of upcoming expenses/events until around September/October time so I've created one budget for this and then another to follow on from then.

    I've worked out an income that includes my basic wage and other income. The thing is with my job I get a standard wage but then there is an opportunity to recieve enhancements when working weekends/unsociable hours meaning my income can fluctuate. I'm not including receiving the enhancements as, as far as I'm concerned this is a bonus. I shall just adjust my budget each month once I know my final income. Any extra can go towards savings/emergency funds.

    As stated the plan is to use the piggy banking method and utilise three seperate banks whom all offer different accounts and meet my needs and requirements in a way that suits me. It may seem complicated to some but it makes sense to me. I seem to be able to understand and get my head around more complex methods/situations then simple ones.

    I've also been thinking about closing down some of my credit card accounts which are no longer any use to me. These were beneficial when utilising the 0% offers to pay off my car and for the dental work I had done but now they are paid off they are sat there empty and are no use to me. If I'm wanting to improve my credit history I need to find cards that are of use to me and will benefit me in the long run for different things.

    I've already opened up another credit card account which offers £50 cashback and I only need to spend £1000 over the next three months to qualify which should be easily done. The idea will be to put a couple of my outgoings onto this and pay in full via direct debit when due each month to avoid interest charges. I will set the direct debits up and move money around from each seperate budget/category to cover this. An example of these include petrol purchases, shopping or paying for the boy's activities. Basically I'm going to make it work in a way that benefits me. Plus it will also cover me for section 75 purposes for any expenses over £100 should I ever need it.

    I shall keep maybe one or two of the accounts which offer 0% on purchases or money/balance transfers incase any big expenses arise that I haven't budgeted for. These will most likely be the accounts which I've had the longest history with. Many of the others have no use to me anymore and are sat there empty.

    The idea overall is not to get into debt fot bigger purchases or expenses and to wait/save instead.

    In regards to savings, I already have a Help to Buy Isa which has a tidy sum in and I pay the maximum £200 into this each month. I've also recently set up a regular saver account with my main bank account that offers 5% interest after a 12 month period, I shall be paying the maximum of £300 into this each month. I have money tucked away from recent inheritance that I'm not quite sure what to do with as of yet and how to best utilise this. This makes up the bulk of what shall be a deposit for a house when I decide I want to move out and purchase a property/get a mortgage.

    Overall I'm trying to plan for the future for me and the boy in a way that will make things easier and much more secure.

    I shall follow on with seperate posts about the ideas of my plans and it will also serve as a reminder to me of what I'm doing and how I choose to do this. I shall always be able to look back on it should I fall off the bandwagon.

    Maybe it may inspire some other readers, who knows. From reading many diaries/threads on the forum I have certainly learnt alot of things and have been inspired myself. It's definately been one heck of a journey and one I will continue to ride.

    There are many reasons why I'm so money focused and I may go into detail at a later time but for now it's to focus on the present.
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 22nd Jan 18, 5:35 PM
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    So I've spent the afternoon checking out my credit file reports and seeing which credit accounts still remain active. I'm waiting for them to finally show the correct balances but I'm aware this could take a couple of months.

    Whilst doing all of this I discovered I had a total credit limit available of £27800. I never actually realised how much was available between all my cards and it came as quite a shock. This was all spread across nine different cards and is slightly more then what I earn in a year. I understand that this might have shown as risky, especially when it will come to applying for a mortgage in later years. So I've sat down and gone through them all, worked out whom I've had the longest financial history with and have closed six of the nine accounts and decreased some of the limits.


    1) MBNA: £3300
    2) Virgin: £500
    3) AA: £2500
    4) Halifax: £900
    5) Halifax: £3500
    6) Post Office: £3000

    TOTAL: £13700.


    1) MBNA: £3600
    2) Sainsburys: £3000 (Original limit £6000)
    3) Barclaycard: £3000 (Original limit £4500

    TOTAL: £9600.

    So overall through cancelling cards and reducing limits I have managed to reduce what credit was available to me by £18200. I've ordered new cards for each of the remaining credit cards and when they arrive, I'll put them away safely for just incase emergencies.

    I am still awaiting a fourth credit card to arrive via post which as mentioned in previous entries will be used for cashback purposes only and cleared in full each month. I'll update this post with the available limit when it arrives.

    So it looks like over the next two weeks I'll be recieving lots of new bank cards/credit cards im the post and I shall be cutting up and destroying the old ones. I must admit to using one of the old ones to scrape ice off my car when it's been cold, I knew they came in handy for a reason .
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 22nd Jan 18, 6:34 PM
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    So I've also sorted out my accounts for the piggy banking method. I have seperate accounts for all upcoming/expected budgets for over the year and will transfer money to these at the beginning of each month. If there is anything left over at the end of the month I will leave these to build up a buffer just incase I need more one month then another.

    Here goes..


    1) Holiday Fund: £100 per month. (This will account towards spending money for our upcoming holiday in September. Following this it shall be used for further adventures and may well be increased further down the line).

    2) Car Fund: £125 per month. (This will cover car tax, mot, servicing and insurance).

    3) Sister's Wedding Fund: £70 per month. (This is what I shall be saving per month up until October as I'm a bridesmaid and will cover hen do costs, hair and makeup, dress, shoes, accesories, hotel stay, spending money and money towards a gift. It's going to be rather spendy but worth it).

    4) Registration Fee Fund: £15 per month. (This is an annual cost and due in September. It's a must have in order for me to work).

    5) Birthday Fund: £35 per month. (This should cover all birthdays across the year for cards and presents, including the boys).

    6) Christmas Fund: £55 per month. (This year I will actually save instead of buying as I go along. I've set an overall budget of £660 to give myself breathing space. I'm aware of whom I will be buying for and will be cutting right back this year so hopefully should come under budget).

    7) Petrol Budget: £80 per month. (Give or take a few quid, this can vary from month to month depending on what I'm doing. If there is leftover at the end of the month I'll just roll it over).

    8) Childcare: £70 per month. (This is about accurate for wrap around care. It may change after the summer depending on what happens. There is the possibility his grandparents are retiring and maybe available to do afterschool care around my work schedule).

    9) Ice Skating: £350 per month. (An expensive hobby but the boy loves it so I'm in no rush to cut back on this area in current circumstances. The costs can fluctuate each month so may be able to build a buffer).


    1) HTB Isa: £200 per month. (I save the maximum amount I can here. I have a tidy sum so far and will continue to build this up till I decide to fly the nest).

    2) Entertainment Fund: £200 per month. (This should cover all other entertainment purposes including socialising and days out. I'm going to try minimise costs and build up a buffer here to cover things like activities over the school holidays and will look for the best deals possible).


    1) Main Account: £300 per month. (This will cover all the main bills/direct debits for the month. My general outgoings here are low and I've cut back and made sure I'm paying for essentials only).

    2) 5% Saver Account: £300 per month. (I shall continue to take advantage of this offer and pay in the maximum possible over the next twelve months in order to qualify for the 5% interest rate. After the twelve months are up I should have around £3600 which will go towards the house deposit fund).

    3) Emergency Fund: £100 per month. (I shall use this as a buffer for any unexpected surprises or blips over the year. If there is any money left over it shall go towards the house deposit fund at the end of the year).

    So... 14 seperate accounts which all will serve their own purpose. Most of them are what would usually go into one big general saving pot and used as required but I've decided to shake things up a bit in order to see the true costs and spends over each month.

    I will continue to look at ways of cutting costs and cutting back in areas where I'm able to. However I'm not in any rush to go anywhere at the moment so I will look forward to enjoying life and creating as many adventures as possible
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 22nd Jan 18, 6:46 PM
    • 594 Posts
    • 1,616 Thanks
    February Budget 2018.


    - Board: £200
    - Childcare: £70
    - Union Fees: £16.40
    - Gym: £12.99
    - Denplan: £11.99
    - Prescription: £10.40
    - Mobile: £10


    - Entertainment: £200
    - Ice Skating: £350
    - Petrol: £80


    - FD Saver: £300
    - HTB Isa: £200
    - Holiday Fund: £100
    - Car Fund: £125
    - Wedding Fund: £70
    - Registration Fee Fund: £15
    - Birthday Fund: £35
    - Christmas Fund: £55
    - Emergency Fund: £100

    Total: £1961.78

    Income: £2352
    Outgoings: £1961.78
    Surplus: £390.22

    There is a healthy surplus here and I will most likely siphon this off and find it a place or a home to stay in, most likely an extra savings account.
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 26th Jan 18, 9:52 AM
    • 594 Posts
    • 1,616 Thanks

    Another few days have passed since I last updated following the posts from my newly aquired budget for February and the piggybanking method I intend to use. I've received all income payments for this month and have sat down this morning and allocated the money to each pot. I feel a lot better for this and I'm determined to build up each pot as much as possible for the annual expenses and maybe some months I'll come under budget in certain areas and build up a buffer. The current plan is to run until September which is when most of my annual expenses have been paid. I've then set up a new plan/budget to follow on from there.

    We have many occasions coming up this year. The three main ones are my mum's 60th in April, a Caribbean cruise in September and my sister's wedding in October. I'm sure along the way we will have more occasions but for now they are the ones I'm mostly saving up for.

    I'm hoping to plan a surprise birthday party for my mum's 60th. I've yet to set a budget for that as I need to organise and look around for venue hires and other birthday related things. In regards to decorations and food, I'll do them myself. I've asked my sister to design the invites (she's a graphic designer) so thats one less expense. Once designed i shall utilise one of the photo printing services and try and get the free prints whilst only pay postage and packaging. Maybe I should draw up a rough budget and hopefully my brother and sister will contribute towards this. It would only be fair.

    I've not much planned for today apart from I'm going to my friends for a coffee and catch up and I'm going to enquire about car breakdown cover- I think I've found a good plan with greenflag that covers everything for an annual fee of £57.48. I found this through a price comparison website whilst its usual website was offering the same deal for just over £90. I'll phone up later to sort this out.

    I mentioned in my last diary how after the shenanigans of old manfriend, I had another friend who was interested in me. So this is my new manfriend whom is absolutely wonderful and a genuine person. He managed to get me through some of the darkest and toughest times. He's also experienced my meltdown over Christmas and is still here in my life. We became very close quickly but recent events have meant we hit a rocky patch. Ultimately I don't want to lose him. I want to carry on dating him and see where things go, we are so alike and have alot in common. Lately though things are hard and we only get to see each other for short periods due to him having a lot on his plate with moving into a new house and other personal stuff going on in his life. I haven't always reacted to this well but I need to learn and accept this is how things are going to be for a while. With everything going on and my moods being so up and down I've struggled a lot and haven't been my usual self. My actions and behaviours have had a knock on effect and caused a few arguments. Last night I sat and wrote a letter apologising and explained things. I struggle to verbalize what I think and feel so thought this may be the best way, so I dropped it off after I wrote it. I just hope he reads it and understands to some extent. I'm going to give him a bit of time and space to sort out what's going on in his life, he doesnt need any extra hassle from me. I just need to let things go and learn to chill out/relax.

    In regards to my mental health, things aren't brilliant and my care team have let me down massively. I haven't seen my CPN for over three weeks now as she is off sick but when I've phoned the on duty team, no one has ever phoned me back. We had a close call the other week where I ended up having to go to A&E to be assessed. Nothing much came of that. I understand its only me that can ultimately change things but I also need the support and backing from others. The people around me at work have been brilliant and my manager has referred me to occupational health to see if we can access some counselling or CBT. I've decided I'm going to put in a complaint about my care team and see where that goes.

    The boy continues to be wonderful and his ice skating is coming on really well. If he's not skating he's at home playing lego or asking to play board games and even getting back into reading his own books. Once he's tucked into bed at night time, he leaves a little lamp on and does some night time reading. I've been thinking about giving him some pocket money each week. When I asked him how much he would like he said a pound would be enough haha! Bless him. I think I'm going to give him £5 a week and will educate him about money handling and saving. Ultimately it's up to him what he wants to do with it but to be honest I think he would probably save most of it up to buy himself some more lego. Thats the whole point though isn't it? Teaching them to be patient and save up for things rather then impulsively buying them without thinking. I'm sometimes guilty of this, as is my mum. In return for the pocket money, all I expect is for him to keep his room and toys tidy, to do some light household chores and complete all homework that is expected and organise his school things. I think thats enough responsibility for a seven year old and I need to take a step back and allow him to do these things. I want to prepare him for the future and get back into a routine.

    Anyway I best be off and carry on with my day. I'll probably post an update later with anything else I remember I have to say.

    Au revoir.
    Check out my Diary
    • Scott_Weiland
    • By Scott_Weiland 26th Jan 18, 2:37 PM
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    A new diary I will post when I can stranger. I hope your fighting and are doing okay.
    Cashback Earnings YTD £46.04 Survey Earnings YTD £182.66
    "Always always train, be the best version of you that you can physically be"
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 30th Jan 18, 2:18 PM
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    Hey Scott, nice to hear from you. I hope you are well. I'll pop over to your diary later on and have a catch up. Life has just been so busy and hectic lately. I'm off on annual leave now for a week, thank goodness.

    I've spent a couple of days away at my cousins house whilst the boy's been at his grandparents/dad's. It's given me some time to clear my headspace and gather up my perspective on certain things in my life. I went out last night with my cousins daughter and her friend and had a wonderful time. The friend did my hair and makeup for me which looked amazing and I felt so much more confident and then we went to the local pub for food and cocktails. That's my last outing for this month, I'm determined to save what's left in my bank account to roll in to next months pots. I suppose whenever I have funds left at the end of the month I could possibly spread these across all my other seperate pots and once I've reached the expected limit I can divert funds elsewhere.

    I'm been to my hospital appointment which had run forty minutes late. I'd been waiting for this follow up for over six months. We basically discussed the results of a procedure I had back in June 2017 and why I seem to get so many kidney/urine infections and we have come up and explored several options which has made me feel more at ease. I've had a referral for a procedure which should overall help but it will be weekly treatments for the first six to eight weeks so I'll have to plan this to fit in with everything else. I have an appointment with occupational health next week which we'll discuss ways in which I can be further supported at work and hopefully access some CBT/Counselling to help me further address problems and issues that I experience in life. I'm hoping that if I get regular appointments I can fit both things in on the same day and my manager has stated she will give me the days off and work around these appointments which is a positive/bonus.

    I just need a plan of action and to get back into a routine. I've another appointment later on today to see my consultant psychiatrist for a medication review and to discuss further options that may help me deal with things. I'm a bit nervous for this as my CPN is still off sick and it will be someone else attending with me that I do not know and it will be like giving my back story all over again. I think I'm going to write everything down as a letter and hand it to the consultant so we have something to work on rather then him ask me questions on the spot because I don't always get my points across or say how I'm actually feeling. I really struggle with this and it's something I need to work on.

    The letter I wrote to manfriend seemed to opened up some form of communication that has made things easier to talk about. He actually read it which meant a lot to me and took onboard that its easier for me to write things down. He said I have a way with words when I write and if I've ever thought of going into writing. I used to blog a lot of things down but kept it private but this is something I want to get back into and maybe share it with others. I'd usually write about certain situations but write them down in letter form as if I was actually talking direct to the person which helped and I'd often look back and reflect on things I wrote..

    Its a bit like keeping a diary on here. I'm able to write down daily thoughts/ feelings and about what we get up to whilst also discussing or stating money saving ways. It keeps me on track, even though I'm debt free, my journey is now to save as much as possible to secure my future.

    Going back to the conversation about man friend. We went out for a meal and took the boy with us (the boy understands he is just a friend at the moment) and we were able to sit down and have a nice meal and just be able to talk about things in general. The boy really enjoyed this and likes to spend time with man friend who is really good with him and accepts he's part of my life which is important. Afterwards we dropped the boy off at home and had a quick coffee and a chat about things. Overall he wants me to be okay, he wants me to focus on myself and work towards getting myself better and back to where I was before Christmas. There are many things I just need to accept and learn to chill out and let go of things. I overthink things and complicate the most simplest situations which is a bad habit of mine and I need to work on. I feel we are in a better place and that he's supporting me in his own ways and gives out good advice and is honest with me which is what I need.

    I need to change my lifestyle and make small changes to start with. I'm unhappy about my body/weight and have been saying for a long time that I need to change but I never do. Maybe now is the time the lightbulb has switched on. It's alright me saying these things but I actually have to want to do it myself and be proactive about it. I know its not going to be instant results and these things take time. I need to get out of the habit of not eating and snacking and actually eat healthy balanced meals and exercise more regularly because overall it will make me feel better in the long run. I need to cut back on the amount of caffeine I consume and cut out fizzy drinks. I usually get a craving for these at work but I know it's not good for me, I just drink them for a sugar rush. I need to also focus on my sleeping pattern and get back into the routine of going to bed/waking up early. The late nights aren't good for me, the occasional ones are okay but if I have a run of them I often find I tend to play catch up and have a nap or oversleep for too long and waste my days off. I just need to be more productive and use my free time wisely and also learn to relax more and find ways of relaxing rather then feeling like I have to be on the go all the time.

    In regards to money saving, I used several comparison websites and ultimately found a car breakdown cover which suited me and my needs. The price was right and the reviews for the company I went with are mainly positive compared to some of the bigger firms. It cost me £52.70 for the year including most premiums such as personal cover, nationwide recovery and home start etc. So thats one expense ticked off the list and in future will be covered by the car fund saving pot.

    I've been a bit naughty and had the odd occasional spend on beverages/snacks when the boy has been ice skating. I need to plan ahead and take food or drink with me so I'm less likely to spend. All the little amounts add up without realising. This money could be saved or spent elsewhere.

    I've decided to write a list of things I'd like to buy or do and will use this as motivation along the way of my journey. Rather then just buy them straight away I will allow myself time and to think it through before impulse buying them. An example of this is I'd like some heated rollers and I thought about buying them straight away. Instead I'm going to leave this just for now and see if the want is still there in a couple of weeks time and if funds allow I may purchase them. I may use examples like this as rewards for making small changes in my lifestyle choices. I know I don't want to buy any new clothes at the moment because I know I want to lose weight but until that happens I shall carry on wearing what I have as there is plenty in ny wardrobe. When my body starts to adapt and change I'll buy myself a few new items to last along the way until I finally reach a point I'm happy with then I can go out and splurge on a new wardrobe if I'd like. I'm not one to follow fashion and tend to have staple items which I can mix and match.

    I still need to post a list of goals and aspirations I'd like to achieve. I've been thinking about these carefully and I'm trying not to set the bar too high. They must be realistic and achieveable. Also small suttle changes I'd like to add back into my life such as visiting family and friends more. Life's too short, I may as well enjoy things along the way and enjoy other's company.

    Anyhow i best get on with my day. There's plenty to do and I've stated I will get on with planning my mum's 60th. The first thing I intend to do is enquire whether a certain venue is available on the day and if an entertainer is available. Once those two things are booked everything else should fall into place. I'm hoping to do things as cost effective as possible and my brother and sister are hopefully chipping in as well so I'm trying not to make it too expensive. The original venue i wanted would have cost £35 an hour. I could get a conservative or working mens club for way cheaper then that so that's what I shall be looking into. I'll draw up a budget and allocate funds to different parts and already have a few ideas lined up to make it cheaper whilst also feeling as if its money well spent. It's a big birthday for my mum and one to celebrate/go all out on... You're only 60 once and she looks a lot younger then her age! I don't know what I'll give her present wise, I'll think about that closer to the time.

    That was a rather large update so I guess I should say bye for now!
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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 31st Jan 18, 6:58 PM
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    I've been thinking alot today about what has happened over the past 12/18 months and have been reflecting back on things. Things that I have done or achieved or even things that didn't go so well. All of it combined has made me into the person I am right now at this minute. For every negative there was a positive. Overall there were far more positives that outweighed the negatives in 2017, I just wasn't able to see them all the time. However when looking back through my previous diaries I am now able to see things more clearly and see how far I've come. So I thought about it all carefully and wrote a list comparing both the negatives and positives next to each other and I thought I'd share it.

    In 2017..

    1) I didn't get to return to my previous job role after being off sick. Instead I was placed into an environment where initially I did not want to go. However I stuck with it and I'm happy that I did because it opened up my eyes and allowed me to develop and become the nurse I am today. I now have a strong support network and work with a bunch of amazing people whom get me through each working day and through the good and bad times. I class them as my friends. I've undergone so many training courses and built upon my work portfolio and have improved myself and broadened my knowledge.

    2) I had 4 months off sick from work due to mental health reasons. I returned to work at the beginning of March 2017 and have remained in work ever since aside from a few days off due to a hospital admission for kidney infection. The reason I have remained in work is down to the support and care I've received along the way. This is a huge achievement for me because usually I jump ship when things get hard. However I overcame and tackled obstacles along the way.

    3) I did not have a secure job. I was only meant to return to a ward environment to finish off my previous contract. I stuck it out, worked hard and eventually gained another contract which hopefully should become a permanent role later on this year, fingers crossed

    4) I increased my debt. Originally I only had my car debt to pay off but I chose to carry out further debt to have my veneers done. I don't regret this one bit as my confidence soared and I felt like I could laugh again without hiding my smile. I managed to finance this through utilising 0% offers but I still worked hard each month to pay this all down and thanks to some inheritance that came my way, I was able to clear it in full at the beginning of this year.

    5) I went through several medication changes and often stopped taking them. I went through so many different medication changes that I've lost count. I experienced numerous side effects and at times completely came off my meds because I believed that they did nothing for me. However due to a close call last October, we tried a different strategy and the consultant decided to treat both diagnoses. With this we finally found a combibation that suited me and although in recent weeks I've been struggling, we've tweaked it slightly and hopefully over the next month or two should see a difference again. The most important bit of all is that this is the longest period of time that I've consistently taken medication; even when I was struggling and wanted to give up, I still carried on and I'm glad. Medication isn't the be all and end all, its only part of my journey and I now accept that.

    6) I attended a CBT group that I hated. I don't do well in groups, especially with people I don't know. During this time I felt very vulnerable and did not want to attend each week. However I stuck it out and completed the full twelve week course and through that i gained a friend whom is very special to me and i can relate to in so many ways. He understands what i go through from time to time and is always there for me, just like I am for him. Without that group, I wouldn't have met him. I honestly can't imagine my life without him. In regards to the course I also learnt many things about myself and I am now able to identify triggers/stresses that have an effect on me. I gained knowledge of ways to help alleviate the symptoms and how to deal with certain situations. I'm still learning to this day but compared to the beginning, the tough times are much easier and I get over them quicker.

    7) I entered an unhealthy relationship. In my previous diary i mentioned old manfriend whom at first I thought was lovely and genuine. I tbought I'd finally met someone decent. However it took me quite a while to see clearly through the rose tinted glasses I had on. He was your typical narccisist but he had me hooked. The red flags were so obvious yet i was so blind. He was a bad influence and contributed to me changing into a person I wasn't familiar with. It took me to hit rock bottom to finally see the relationship for what it really was and with support from others I finally had the courage to say enough was enough. I knew I deserved better. I walked away from that situation and I haven't looked back since. Occasionally he tries to get into contact but I mostly ignore him now. I've other things to focus on.

    8) We lost a close relative. Grandpa was the centre of many peoples lives. This was the boy's great grandpa from his dad's side of the family but i also maintained a close relationship with him and he was part of our support network. Sadly we lost him at the end of August and the boy was devastated. However it's bought the family closer together and made us realise time is precious. I class the boy's dad's family as my own as the majority of us are there for one another and support each other as much as possible. I'd be lost without them.

    9) The boy's dad still hasn't stepped up. He's had so many chances and he's yet to take them up. I would have thought after recent circumstances and loss of family members that he would. However he's the one who ultimately is missing out on the boy and I've finally realised I can no longer change that or influence it anymore. The boy is okay without him and has many other role models in his life to make up for this thankfully. He only likes to be there when it suits him and his lifestyle which isn't my problem anymore. I've let go of that now after many years and I've accepted it for what it is.

    10) I haven't lost weight. Although i haven't lost weight compared to this time last year, the weight I gained from my holiday I slowly lost and I'm back at square one. However I'm now hoping to make smaller lifestyle changes which will enable me to do this over the next year or so and get me to where i want to be. I'm now hopefully in the right mind frame to do this.

    Now for the rest of the positives...

    1) I've widened my social circle. I've gained more friends over the past year or so and I'm going out more and socialising just like I used to. I became such an introvert and let life pass by without realising. This has all changed and the inner extrovert in me has shown it's face again and I'm enjoying myself more then I used to. The people around me and closest to me accept me for who i am.

    2) I now own my car. No more paying out monthly expenses towards car debt, it's 100% mine and I shall keep it running till it's on its last legs. No more PCP deals or car loans for me. In the future I will save up for these sort of things.

    3) I have a new smile. As mentioned I had veneers done and it has dramatically changed my confidence. I now laugh feeely often with my head held high and I no longer cover my mouth. I smile properly in pictures and it's changed the way I view myself. It was definately worth the price

    4) I have enough savings for a house deposit. Thanks to an inheritance and savings that I already have, I have enough money to put a deposit down on a house. However I'm not in any rush to buy and I'm going to continue to save as much as possible to give me a better chance of finding the right property for me and the boy. I want to make sure our future is secure before I jump in at the deep end.

    5) I met new manfriend. New manfriend has helped me through some tough times. He's seen me both at my worse and best. I've been difficult at times but he's still stuck around and is there for me, that in essence says it all. I enjoy his company and he brings out the best in me. He knows things about me that others don't know. He means alot to me and I'll just have to see how things go.

    6) I went abroad on holiday. We spent two weeks away in Majorca with close friends and their family and had a brilliant time. Lots of memories definately made. We've got the Caribbean cruise later om this year which shall be another adventure! Lots to look forward too.

    7) I was asked to be bridemaid for my sister's wedding. My sister and I are a lot closer in recent years and I'm honoured to be asked to be her bridesmaid. If you had asked me this years ago, I would have probably laughed. I had lots of fun going wedding dress shopping with my sister and her friend and we already have bridemaid dresses. The wedding will be amazing and I look forward to it later on this year.

    8) I'm settled at work. As mentioned previously I've settled down into a ward environment and enjoy going to work. It's challenging in many ways and although i know each day is different, I kind of know what to expect. My manager is amazing and very supportive, she has stuck her neck out on the line for me and she got a positive result from me. I am made to feel like I'm part of an actual team.

    9) My relationships with my family have improved. This is a majorly important one. My relationship with my mum has drastically improved and i find myself alot more open and honest with her these days. I feel as if I can actually confide in her now and that she understands me more. I've also opened up a lot more to other family members such as my uncle and cousin and they are always up to date with things. I'm going to continue to maintain them strong relationships. I'd be lost without them in my life.

    10) Last but not least... the care team I'm under . I sometimes complain about this but overall they are one of the main reasons why I'm here today. They saved me from a dark place and worked hard to get the correct diagnoses so they could support me in the best ways possible. It may not always be perfect and we may have had a couple of bumps along the way but they never gave up on me. Even when I was non compliant and wasn't engaging with anything they were still there until I was ready to. I guess I'm one of the lucky ones. My psychiatrist is experienced and has vast knowledge regarding bipolar disorder and adhd so I trust his judgement fully. My care coordinator has also been brilliant at times even though shes not always available, I wouldn't want anyone else. I've built that trust and support. I hope to continue and engage and get myself to where i want to be. I've laid the foundation, now it's time to build upon it.

    Thats the be all and end all really of 2017
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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 3rd Feb 18, 12:19 PM
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    Hello ,

    It's been another few days since I last updated. I've been a little busy bee and have accrued a few spends, not vast amounts but enough.

    On Thursday I spent the morning sorting out some things at home that needed doing then in the afternoon I met up with my cousin and her friend for a spot of shopping. I only spent around £7 on some hair clips and a new keyring which split into two wings. I gave one to my Uncle because he's pretty much the closest person I have to my Dad (Dad passed away 17 years ago) and it looks funny on his set of car keys haha . I also met up with a friend for tea where we went to an all you can eat buffet. It was nice to have a catch up and to see where each of us are at this point in our lives. The conversations just flowed and I stated that we need to do it more often as much as our schedules allow because often time passes us by without realising. The boy was at ice skating with my mum until I got a phone call to pick him up as an incident had happened with my Grandad that involved him being robbed twice in one day and the fourth time within a week, he's very vulnerable, so goodness knows what else we'll do with him .

    With all that's been going on recently in our lives, I decided to let the boy have the day off school yesterday just to have a breather and relax. I know I'm naughty for doing that but he's never off school. Instead we stayed over at man friends house, had a chilled morning then we went and bought the boy a new football, had some sausage rolls and went to our local park for a run around and game of football which the boy enjoyed and it really tired him out. He then also had his ice skating lesson which he's starting to skate with another little girl with the view of skating in pairs- they look gorgeous together. I'm so proud. We then got picked up and went back to mine where we had a takeaway for tea and had an early night.

    So all in all a busy couple of days but I don't mind. This week has been my annual leave and I've kept busy enough to keep distracted but not enough to over exert myself. I know when I return to work on Tuesday, I'll feel refreshed and ready for anything thrown my way.
    I've a couple more outings planned for the week ahead, mainly get togethers with people from work which will be nice. I just need to remember where and when .

    Today is another chill out day and I'm hoping to go food shopping later on today. I really am keen to start improving my diet and get back into a routine of exercising. I'm looking to potentially change gyms to one where although more expensive, it has a swimming pool and is closer to home/easier to park. It's only around an extra £9 per month but if it fits into my lifestyle easier then it will be worth it.

    Anyhow I best get off and make me and the boy some lunch. I think tuna sandwiches are on the cards today
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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 8th Feb 18, 9:24 AM
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    Yet another few days have passed since my last update. Alot has gone on recently and I feel as if I'm stuck at a crossroads in some ways.

    Money wise, I am doing okay. I've had little outgoings so far this week apart from I went for lunch with some work colleagues on Monday which was nice, £20 spent there but it was worth it.

    I then worked Tuesday and Wednesday so I did not spend anything then. I also took food to work with me which is the first time in a long while. Usually I don't tend to eat at work but I thought whilst I'm getting into the habit of choosing healthier food options, I mays well get back into the routine of eating healthily.

    Today I'm off to meet another work friend and attend an appointment with her and then we shall be dropping her daughter off somewhere and going for lunch after where we can have a proper catch up. It's been a while since we've been able to talk to each other properly.

    I've also made plans for tomorrow to go for a walk with my friend and her dog which the fresh air will do me good.

    All my budgets and bank accounts have been aligned and up to date, so far I'm doing well for this month. Lets hope it carries on this way.

    I just need to be mindful about how often I'm going out and to utilise my entertainment budget wisely, especially with half term coming up.

    There have been further plans and budgets made for my sisters wedding. I may need to increase my monthly payments until September to pay for this as the costs seem to be increasing. It will all be worth it though.

    I've also been utilising my AMEX cashback card and have put all essentials or spends for the month onto this. I've transferred the money from different pots into another account, ready to pay in full when the statement comes. Ive set up a direct debit for this. So I'm all organised there.

    Overall I'm just keeping a close eye on things and life is passing by quickly. I'd love to update more but lifes just been hectic.

    The boy breaks up from school tomorrow for half term so I'm going to write a plan for the week ahead and work around my shift patterns as best as I can. After next week I have yet another week of annual leave to take. Im yet to decide what to do with that but I'm sure I'll find something to keep me busy.

    Anyhow I best get ready for the day ahead
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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Feb 18, 1:43 PM
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    Yet another couple of days have passed and this last week seems to have been an emotional whirlwind for many reasons.

    On Thursday, I went to the appointment with my friend and her daughter. It didn't go too well as it had been cancelled and we sat with a lady going through options of which I made a suggestion which could be a possibility and open up further options for them to explore. So that was one positive out of the negative. Rather then dropping her daughter off at the train station, we decided to drive her to the destination she intended to go to and we had lunch there which cost £18 but it was well worth it and overall we all had a lovely day.

    I've £142 left in the entertainment budget for the rest of the month so I need to be mindful when making plans on how much I can actually spend as I was hoping to be able to save some of this at the end of the month.

    On Friday, I ended up having a long nap in the morning before heading out for the afternoon for a walk with my friend and her dog where we were able to have a catch up. I then went round to manfriends house and we picked the boy up from school and had a healthy tea- Salmon with sweet potato mash and green beans. The boy helped prepare this and was really hands on. I've never ate salmon or green beans before. I'm extremely fussy with food so this was a big step for me to try new foods. I enjoyed the meal but would prefer much smaller portions. After this we made homemade pancakes then sat down and played a couple of card games. The small things in life ey?

    I made yet another complaint to my care team due to the lack of continuity in care. Right up until now they've been brilliant, however my care cordinator has been off for several weeks so I've had little to no support, especially when I've been struggling. There are services I need to access which I've yet been able to do so and it all should be part of the care I receive. I'm wanting to undergo CBT in order to learn how to deal with thoughts, feelings and behaviours in the right way rather then how I do right now because it's affecting many aspects of my life. I can't do it alone when I'm not sure what is the right way. There are a few things I could do. The end result of the complaint was that if my care coordinator is not back by Monday then the team leader will take me on temporarily until she is back and I should be able to have regular meetings to figure out what steps to take next.

    Yesterday I spent the day at work which was hard going and I had a lot of pressure placed on me when it should have been divided up. I got through the day without having a melt down but I was left feeling frustrated and exhausted that when I got home, I fell straight asleep. Not every shift is like that but sometimes it's easier when I'm on my own because I'm not expecting anything from others.

    This morning I took the boy to his ice skating and had a catch up with a friend there. I've decided to cut back on one of the lessons which will save me money each month as I feel this lesson does not benefit him like it used to. He will also be sharing one of his other lessons which will lessen the cost. The money I do save will be directed elsewhere into savings.

    And last but not least, it's finally half term. I need to come up with a plan to keep the boy and myself busy whilst also working around my shift pattern. I'm hoping things won't be too costly and will try to plan activites that are free or at least at a low cost.

    So that's pretty much it for now.
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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Feb 18, 2:12 PM
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    So the plan for the week ahead..

    Monday: The boy is at his grandparents. I'm off work but I'm going to make the effort to tackle my bedroom and sort through things and have a mini clear out. I won't over exert myself but I need to at least make a start.

    Tuesday: I'm working a 12.5 hour shift so the boy will be spending the day at his great grannies and staying over at his grandparents again who will drop him off Wednesday morning.

    Wednesday: I think we'll go for a walk/scooter/bike ride in the morning. Then I'll drop the boy off at his grannies whilst I attend a counselling appointment organised through work. This will take a couple of hours and then I'll probably pick him up and find something else to do with our time.

    Thursday: I'm going to take the boy to our local attractions such as the sea life centre and take a picnic with us. I already have annual passes to cover the cost of these. We'll probably use public transport to get there as its alot cheaper then the cost of car parking and the plan will be to walk home. I'll possibly allow the boy to spend a couple of pound in the arcades which will keep him happy.

    Friday: I'm working a late shift, 1-9pm. There is the potential to see manfriend before work and maybe we could catch breakfast or do something together. The boy will then spend the rest of the day with his Nana and no doubt beg her to play boardgames with him.

    Saturday: The plan is to take him to the local theme park which we have passes for. Again, we'll take a picnic with us to minimise costs but we may treat ourselves to a hot chocolate if the weather is as cold as it has been.

    Sunday: I'm working a 10.5 hour shift so my mum will take the boy ice skating. He will then be going back to his grandparents again whom will get him ready to start back at school the following day.

    So thats my plan for the week ahead. It's hard juggling shift patterns, childcare and things to do inbetween but somehow I'll make it work. I've no choice not to .

    I also spoke to the boys dad today and told him he needs to step up and start taking more responsibility as it's all being left to me and the grandparents which is unfair. I don't know what else to do or what it's going to take. The boys life is passing before his eyes and he's not even noticing. He only cares about himself, his girlfriend and his social life. Things need to change.

    Another thing I've done recently is deactivated facebook which surprisingly I've not missed at all. Whether its just a temporary thing or not, I know for the time being I want to stay away from social media as much as possible. I never spent alot of time on it but it would become a distraction, especially before bed time. I need to find other ways to relax.
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    • jvr
    • By jvr 13th Feb 18, 8:25 AM
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    • 1,289 Thanks
    Hi Chandelier

    you always have so much going on and seem to balance it so well even while dealing with mental health issues, you need to give yourself more credit.

    Hope the boys dad steps up, I can never get my head around how you could know your kid was busy growing up and not be involved... and then the women that date these men while they know they do nothing for their kid!

    Hope your half term can be both fun and relaxing... your diary is my inspiration for debt free life
    Debt: £10,006 now £8883.02
    Emergency Fund: £171.83/ £1000
    Car Fund: 0.55
    Christmas Fund 0/£300
    Holiday Fund 0/£600 SA Fund 0/£1600

    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 14th Feb 18, 8:39 AM
    • 594 Posts
    • 1,616 Thanks
    Thanks JVR, it's always lovely to read back on comments like yours. I am still juggling alot of things in order to strike the right balance although things do seem to be getting easier. You're right when you say I don't give myself enough credit, quite a few people have said that to me. One day it will sink in. Plus one day that debt free life will be yours, baby steps and all that. There's always light at the end of the tunnel.

    I don't think the boy's dad will step up anymore. He's had the past seven years too. I told him the plans for this week and where the boy would be and instead he rang me last night asking about where was the best steak house to take his girlfriend too. I asked him if he was seeing the boy and he said no. That says a lot really. I can't keep getting down over it anymore though, it's not really my problem anymore. The boy is well loved by those that surround him and me and him have a really close bond. He also has other male influences in his life such as family members so he won't be without such role models.

    In other news we've finally confirmed definate plans for our holiday in September and I have a better idea of costs. I will no doubt use savings already accrued to pay for this, however I'll continue to save funds each month to top these back up as soon as possible. It's not going to be a cheap holiday but it will be one of the last expensive ones for a long time so we better make it worth it. Live life to the full and everything .

    Saying that, I have plans for the future. They are not set in stone because as we all know things can change and the roads we thought we were going down can always lead to different paths. I need something to work towards though, I have goals and ambitions written down but it's making those small suttle changes in order to see results. I've yet to post my these as I've been thinking about them carefully as they have to be manageable.

    All things money wise are running smoothly. I've still funds left in the budget pots for the rest of the month and suspect I'll have room to build up buffers/put into other savings at the end of the month, e.g. add any surplus to the holiday fund pot. As we're halfway through February I'm quite happy with how it's been managed so far and hope it continues. I've finally found a complicated system/money saving method that suits me and I am able to see the visual aspects each time I check my online banking which satisfy me. The small things that count and all that . I've also headed over to the O/S money saving board and have been looking for ideas on how to maximise the amount I save and ways to cut back. I've pretty much got my direct debits/main bills down to the minimum possible so it may when the time comes for the budget pots to be used, I'll find ways to save then on things such as car insurance/servicing/mot.

    Anyhow enough rambling for a Wednesday morning. I've quite a busy day ahead and so far have received two valentines day cards from the boy along with a box of chocolates and a teddy. I love him so much, he's so sweet and thoughtful. His smile truly does brighten up my day.
    Check out my Diary
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 14th Feb 18, 11:20 AM
    • 594 Posts
    • 1,616 Thanks
    2018 GOALS


    - Improve my confidence and self esteem. I need to have more confidence in myself and my abilities and give myself more credit then I do. I've a few ideas how to do this such as practicing positive affirnations to myself, fake it till you make it attitude, taking pride in my appearance, taking into account how far I've come etc.
    - Learn to be assertive. Learn to start saying no to people and not taking on more then I can handle. Also I need to learn to delegate tasks appropriately when required. I'm often seen as the laid back, fun person at work but I need to reign this in at times and start building upon my assertiveness/management skills.
    - Widen my social circle and go out more. I've already done this to a certain extent. I'm maintaining friendships/relationships a whole lot better then twelve months ago and there is room for further improvement/potential. It's a key component to keeping me well.
    - Keep in regular contact with friends/family. This is another thing I need to work on. Life can get busy and this can often be forgotten about so even if it's just a text or phone call, it's better then nothing.
    - Start a blog or two. I've already started my own personal blog writing down about my thoughts, feelings and happenings in my life. The second one will be a food related blog that me and manfriend once spoke about doing including writing about places we go/food we experience.
    - Research psychology/psychotherapy. I want to learn to understand my bipolar/adhd diagnoses. I know the basics but I want to learn more especially in regards to the psychotherapy aspect. It's quite interesting. The more I know the better equipped I'll be to deal with things. Also I'd like to practice mindfulness/daily gratitudes.


    - Take my medication. I've taken the same medication regime albeit a small increase in certain medication for the past four months without stopping/giving up. This is the longest I've been compliant as last year I used to stop taking my medications when I'd get it into my head that I didn't need them. I know now more then ever that this is an important aspect to keeping me well and wish to continue.
    - Change lifestyle and lose weight, monitor closely. Ideally I'd like to lose weight but I don't want to go on a diet. I'd rather it be a gradual lifestyle change. If I could lose 5lb a month I'd be happy, if more then that's much better. I need to start trying to eat new foods and a lot more vegetables. That's my aim and it will be better for the boy too.
    - Start exercising. I'd like to start swimming and increase my stamina. I'd also like to increase the amount of cardiovascular activity I do. I'm looking at changing the gym I'm at to one closer to home, albeit a tad more expensive but I'll have access to more facilities. If I could exercise at least three times a week, it's better then nothing and inbetween I can start walking to places more. I may hunt out my old fitbit.
    - Attend counselling. I have managed to access this through occupational health at work. I'm unsure of how many sessions I will get but some is better then nothing and I'm hoping to work through some deep rooted issues.


    - Secure permanent position. I'm currently half way through a six month contract. This ends at the beginning of May and I'm hoping to secure a permanent job role within this environment. I have worked hard to even manage to secure the temporary contract so I'll continue to do my best and prove that I'm a great asset to the team. Watch this space.
    - Secure training opportunities. I've already undertaken many training opportunities over the past twelve months. I'd like to see what else can be offered to improve my knowledge/broaden my skills.


    - Save at least £5000. I've two accounts which should hopefully hit this amount by the end of the year. Any additional will be a bonus, given what events we have coming up for the rest of the year.
    - Invest money wisely. I may head over to the savings/investment board and see what they can advise. I already have a help to buy ISA and I'm saving a fixed sum into a 5% interest account.
    - See a mortgage advisor, find out what I can borrow. This isn't a definate must but maybe an avenue I'll explore once I've secured a permanent job position. It will be interesting to see what options I'll have.
    - Pay for holiday in full. I have money available in savings for this but I'm still aiming to save a set amount each month to build my funds back up and allow us to have enough spending money.
    - Prepare for future expenses. I've already done this to a certain extent with the seperate savings pot. I just need to continue doing this for the rest of the year.

    The Boy and Family.

    - Take the boy swimming more and increase his confidence. Ideally I'd like to do this at least once a month if not more. But we'll start with babysteps. I'm hoping by the time we go in holiday he'll be a much stronger swimmer.
    .- Go to Legoland/Chessington/Thorpe Park/Warwick Castle. I'll plan ahead for these and make them into a long weekend or short midweek break. I'll set aside funds to allow us to do this. We already have merlin passes which run out in July. I'm unsure if we'll renew them this year.
    - Visit a Space centre. I'm sure there is a space centre or some museum in the UK. I'll have to do my homework.
    - Go walking outdoors more and exploring the countryside. I really, really want to do this. I just need to find the time and begin to research what is around us and maybe branch out further once confident. I can't wait for the warmer weather to kick in.
    - Visit the beach more. We live right by the beach and really should visit more often as I find it a relaxing place to be.
    - Go camping. I want to go at least once or twice this year with the boy. He loves this. I just need to learn how to be self sufficient and manage camping gear.
    - Have more days out. This kind of covers most goals previously mentioned but I also want to do things more locally and that don't necessarily cost money. I may look into the national trust membership and see what's around.
    - Visit relatives more often. I'm getting better at this but should make more time to visit those closest to me inbetween everything else.
    - Teach the boy more at home. I used to be really on top of this but things got in the way. I'm now at a place where I'm mentally able to do this and focus on some home education that is fun. I may set a project each month and we can focus on this within our spare time inbetween everything else. I want to broaden his knowledge and give him the best chance in life so he has options. I was going to pay for a tutor but decided against it as I'm more then capable and I am quite intelligent, even though it doesn't always seem it.
    Check out my Diary
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