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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 30th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
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    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments II: New Year, New Start, New Diary.
    • #1
    • 30th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
    Renovations and Repayments II: New Year, New Start, New Diary. 30th Dec 17 at 5:01 PM
    2018 is almost upon us and is set to be the year I get my finances in order.

    So, what's changed since the start, middle, end of my last diary?
    - Regular income is up
    - Gained some knowledge of how to use a spreadsheet to budget
    - In a much better position to make steps towards positive change
    - My wife and I are working as a team
    - Unless anything drastically changes our son is staying at the local school

    What do I want to achieve?
    - Regular and realistic amounts to savings each month
    - Make the mortgage payment up to £1,000 each month
    - Get a better rate on our mortgage
    - Get rid of a lot of things we don't need ... OK that's business as usual
    - Finish the house and consider our options (staying in current house or using the equity to move somewhere new - not to my childhood home and if I mention this, please feel free to point me to this starting post)
    - Monthly targets for both financial and personal goals
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
Page 7
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 1st Feb 18, 7:34 PM
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    AlexLK
    Why do you have your son out at your parents so late if his bedtime is 8pm? Sorry Alex but this just seems so overwhelming for your family, I am amazed your wife manages to go along with how much your parents wishes dictate everything, I couldn't.
    Originally posted by newgirly
    I find it difficult to get away. My father doesn't really let me speak much and if I say anything about going I'm told to stay for the night. My son tends to go to bed there at 8pm, I wake him later.

    Mrs. K. isn't very happy about going there. She'll often have dinner and go back. This evening I came away with her. Mother prepared dinner early so we seem to have gained an hour. Slept very badly last night and have felt ill at work all day so need to try an early night.

    Agree with ng, your first 'time limiter' is that on school nights (or indeed all nights) you need to leave to get the lad in bed for 8. Not fair expecting him to be there from after school until 11, that's potentially 7-8 hours on what you mean by after school - a full working days amount of hours!!!, or to have to take things to go from their place to school the next day. Use him as your priority since it is actually in his best interests and you will be able to say it truthfully.

    Also, I know nothing about children but I would hate to eat at 7 then go to bed an hour later? Would you and him not be better eating at a more normal teatime and give you both time to digest your food before sleeping? Mrs can have hers plated and eat when she gets on, not ideal but only for the days she works so can be managed.

    I also wonder about putting them on loudspeaker. I suspect that means you don't have to sit in one place with phone at your ear so maybe can be doing other stuff but that in itself means you are less likely to a) actually concentrate on the conversation and b) have an impetus to end the call as soon as you get into discussing nonsense ie what happened on a particular day in 1987 - that kind of thing is not something either of you can change so either needs properly hashed out with a therapist who has the time and expertise to help him put these things properly to rest if he can't just discuss it once himself. I just feel with it on loudspeaker you will be half concentrating on 2 things so perhaps doing neither very efficiently.

    Good luck Alex

    Daisy xx
    Originally posted by daisy 1571
    I wish it were as simple as using my son's bedtime as an excuse. It's not because we have clothes, school uniform, toothbrushes etc. etc. there. School is only 9 miles from their house too.

    My wife goes to the gym after work which makes dinner later than I would choose.

    Yes, you're correct about the loudspeaker. I can't say I really want to concentrate on a conversation which goes on for hours and would likely be better dealt with by a counsellor.

    First easy boundary then, no visits on school nights unless it's straight after school & back home for 7pm when Mrs K arrives so you can eat together. There's no way your son should be made to stay up that late when he has school the next day.
    Originally posted by Bluefire
    My son doesn't tend to go to bed that late as he goes to bed there but his sleep is disturbed if we don't stay over. I don't want him to develop sleep problems so stay on a fairly regular basis.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 1st Feb 18, 7:44 PM
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    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Beautifully put. My sister was a teacher for many years, at a very expensive private school, and knew that the children she found out were out late (blended families that weren't very blended, for example) were going to have trouble. And they did. I mention the expensive school because its not a "class" issue, its a childhood issue, that can strike anywhere.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    That's my other reason for not liking things as they are. I don't think disturbed sleep is good for him.

    Fair points about Master LK's bedtime, Alex. Your parents seem very concerned about the type of school your son attends but less so about whether he is receptive to learning or not due to tiredness when he gets there.

    I'm sure your parents will try to get you to visit after he has gone to bed or something else, but you're also a child in their eyes so you need your sleep as well!

    (I feel a bit mean saying that but don't worry - all families have their problems, mine included!)
    Originally posted by PositiveBalance
    My parents don't even consider such things, PositiveBalance. When I do try to say my goodbyes and walk away I get the "you don't care about us" guilt trip. Think I just need to put up with that now, to be honest.

    No need to feel mean, that's exactly how they see me.

    I refuse to let anyone interfere with DD's bedtime. We have had to turn down many invitations and reschedule events accordingly. We have made the odd exception for family parties or visiting friends where she will happily bunk down with her toddler pals for a few hours, but it's our choice. 20:00 sounds very disciplined - I struggle to get a 2-year-old down for then!
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    When we're here I'm very disciplined about it. If he's not asleep it's not the end of the world but he must be in his room and asleep for 9.00pm. I often have things to do and my wife doesn't want to be disturbed. If I don't have things to do I usually read to him for quite a while. I think that will likely stop soon, though as going through a phase of wanting a bit more independence.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 1st Feb 18, 7:50 PM
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    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    With the range of toddlers and small children I've known, I've found that once children go to school, there's a lot more discipline about bedtime, there has to be - a two year old can easily sleep or nap at any time, but a 5 or 6 year old will be strongly dissuaded from doing that

    I went to school at the age of 4, as a favour to my mum as she had a new baby and I was desperate to go to school with my brother - I fell asleep into my dinner, just like you see nowadays with kittens on youtube
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    That's made me smile.

    Very true re. greater flexibility pre-school. However, I've always been strict about it. Probably a fair bit of paranoia about the potential of him developing sleep problems has made me disciplined. Things have gradually got to where they are with my parents and their expectations of me visiting / staying / listening to them talk on the 'phone on a regular basis. It is annoying.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 1st Feb 18, 8:49 PM
    • 6,107 Posts
    • 42,182 Thanks
    newgirly
    I just don't know what to say, what do you mean you are told to stay for the night? Most people wouldn't put up with that as teenagers let alone as married adults with a child. Why don't you stand up to them Alex?

    You are clearly capable of making the right decisions for your family but are still letting your parents undermine and dictate to you what suits them best. That's not in the best interests of you or more importantly your son.
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£3769.26 paid so far

    Mortgage £43,856 4yrs 4 mths left. Total owed £58,228.74 planning to clear in 15 months
    Weight loss target 2018- 21lb /5 lb lost
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 1st Feb 18, 10:22 PM
    • 2,335 Posts
    • 6,447 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    Honestly Alex, your parents make me furious! They've done such a job on your self esteem that even though you're a man in your thirties with a wife and a young son you still do what you're told by them, even when its to the detriment of your own family!

    You don't need an excuse not to stay, its not normal to stay over at your parent's/grandparent's/in-laws house multiple times during the week, especially in term time! You have your own home, that's where you and your son have your beds and where you sleep.

    I'd remove all the toothbrushes, pyjamas, school uniform etc. asap.
    • Bluefire
    • By Bluefire 2nd Feb 18, 12:31 PM
    • 467 Posts
    • 2,957 Thanks
    Bluefire
    It seems to me that a lot of this is to do with getting you to stay over. The conversations that drag on for hours, the guilt trips when you try to say goodbye, all the while knowing your reluctance to disturb your son's sleep & that there's school supplies in the house so there isn't that excuse to go.

    It's no good Alex. The only people who seem to want things to be this way are your parents. Your wife isn't happy about being there. Your son doesn't particularly like your parents & is even quite scared of them. All things you've said before. Yet they're both forced to spend time there, your son in particular. As a child I can hardly recall spending more than a couple of hours on a visit with my grandparents unless it was a day trip somewhere, never mind entire evenings & overnights in the middle of a school week!

    Aside from all that, these visits do you no good. The daily negativity is bound to affect your mood, your sleep, which as you know filters down to everything else, work, relationships, your entire life.

    Think I just need to put up with that now, to be honest.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    You don't. Everyone here is telling you that you don't. You say things have gradually gotten this way, it's up to you to make sure that they gradually get back to the point at which things work for you & your family. If you won't do it for yourself, do it for your son.
    Mortgage: 08/13 £28,896.49 01/18 £0

    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 2nd Feb 18, 7:37 PM
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    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Thanks all. Need to get my sleep back on track and manage my parents more effectively. They're going to Spain next week - think I'm looking forward to the break more than they are.

    Strange day today working on a project my wife is also working on (I didn't know this). Get to the site meeting to be told we're waiting for a few people, Project Manager tells me I'll "like" the Engineer so I say "interesting chap, is he?" to be told the Engineer is a girl. Didn't think anything more of it until Mrs. K. shows up, PM does introductions and my wife says "we need no introductions". PM asks if we both know each other. Anyway, went for lunch with Mrs. K. after the meeting, so had a really good work day, apart from a few people saying a few crude things about my wife before we 'met'.

    Need to work out some February goals, including a realistic saving goal for the month as I'd like to see £1,500 saved but not 100% sure it's doable.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 2nd Feb 18, 8:27 PM
    • 50,533 Posts
    • 193,201 Thanks
    beanielou
    Small world and all that
    Have a good weekend.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 3rd Feb 18, 12:22 AM
    • 5,967 Posts
    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Tried going to bed at the same time as my wife but couldn't sleep.

    Thanks, Beanie. It was quite bizarre but nice to see she is well regarded. They have a laugh and a joke but every technical question was directed her way, everything implemented without any further consideration that she recommended. Probably sounds ridiculous but I spent the entire meeting in awe of their respect for her as it did concern me whether or not her clients had the same level of respect for her as her colleagues (she's the only female in her company and I should have guessed there was a fair chance of her turning up there are very few females doing the job in general, just didn't piece things together). Really proud of her as it couldn't have been as easy for her when she was starting out.

    Anyhow, February goals...

    Financial
    Save /£1,500
    Sell /£4,000
    Food budget /£450

    Life
    Meat free days /10
    Alcohol free days 2/28
    Books /3
    Sort my sleep habits out (again)

    Work
    Keep the computer organised
    Keep learning
    Journal
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 3rd Feb 18, 9:10 AM
    • 28,529 Posts
    • 160,858 Thanks
    Karmacat
    That's brilliant, Alex did your wife know that *you* were going to be there?
    Retired August 2016
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 3rd Feb 18, 11:20 PM
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    AlexLK
    Apparently not, Karmacat.

    Had a brilliant day with my wife, son and dog today. We've been out all day: walked a few miles, had a cafe lunch and spent time together. No parents, no 'phone calls, no visits.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 3rd Feb 18, 11:37 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,996 Thanks
    kelpie35
    I am so pleased to read your last post, Alex.

    You sound so upbeat, long may it continue.

    Take care.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 4th Feb 18, 5:15 PM
    • 50,533 Posts
    • 193,201 Thanks
    beanielou
    Apparently not, Karmacat.

    Had a brilliant day with my wife, son and dog today. We've been out all day: walked a few miles, had a cafe lunch and spent time together. No parents, no 'phone calls, no visits.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Excellent
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 4th Feb 18, 9:41 PM
    • 3,303 Posts
    • 30,323 Thanks
    maddiemay
    Sounds like the best kind of day Alex.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 4th Feb 18, 10:15 PM
    • 5,967 Posts
    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Thanks, all. Had another good day today. Did have lunch with my parents and spent an hour with them before making our excuses to leave. They are going to Spain this week.

    *Update*
    Financial
    Save /£1,500
    Sell £3,068.77/£4,000 - a strange amount as we decided to declutter some old books. Sold them to a website for £68.77. £3,000 from two pens and a steering wheel. Wasn't sure about selling one of the pens but I haven't used it in about 5 years and don't particularly like it despite its perceived desirability.
    Overpay - /£250
    Food budget /£450
    Eating out budget /£150 - added this category as this has been getting out of control lately.

    Life
    Meat free days /10
    Alcohol free days 4/28
    Books /3 started one related to work.
    Sort my sleep habits out (again) hoping to be in bed for 11.30pm tonight. Ready to potentially have guided meditation on.

    Work
    Keep the computer organised
    Keep learning
    Journal
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 5th Feb 18, 9:13 AM
    • 28,529 Posts
    • 160,858 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks, all. Had another good day today. Did have lunch with my parents and spent an hour with them before making our excuses to leave.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Fantastic

    Sell £3,068.77/£4,000 - a strange amount as we decided to declutter some old books. Sold them to a website for £68.77. £3,000 from two pens and a steering wheel. Wasn't sure about selling one of the pens but I haven't used it in about 5 years and don't particularly like it despite its perceived desirability.

    Also fantastic - it's a big target, but you obviously have the kind of stuff that you can make that sort of money. And selling something because you don't use it and don't like it is exactly the sort of thing to sell


    Hope you slept well - can't find a sleep smiley though
    Retired August 2016
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 5th Feb 18, 7:57 PM
    • 5,967 Posts
    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Yes, I finally slept well last night. Had a great day today: work, Mrs. K. came home from work early so we could walk the dog together as a family and a nice dinner.

    There!!!8217;s a lot of things I!!!8217;d like to move on. We have started to look at kitchen options and think about what type of wood we would like our cabinets to be. Current favourite is natural oak with a polished marble top. However, I do like this deco effort: https://www.smithandsmith.com.au/deco-kitchen/ don!!!8217;t think our house would take it, though.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Feb 18, 7:58 PM
    • 50,533 Posts
    • 193,201 Thanks
    beanielou
    Good news on the pen.
    You are right to sell them if they dont bring you joy.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 5th Feb 18, 7:59 PM
    • 5,967 Posts
    • 31,445 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I have a collection. Some I still like and use often, some I don!!!8217;t and have been hanging onto for the sake of.
    2018 totals:
    Savings £4568.77
    Mortgage Overpayments £250

    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 5th Feb 18, 8:06 PM
    • 6,107 Posts
    • 42,182 Thanks
    newgirly
    Nice kitchen Alex, I think you can get away with much more mixing of eras and styles nowadays.
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£3769.26 paid so far

    Mortgage £43,856 4yrs 4 mths left. Total owed £58,228.74 planning to clear in 15 months
    Weight loss target 2018- 21lb /5 lb lost
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