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The 'I wanna thermostat' savings diary

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in How much have you saved?
14 replies 3K views
Ice_babyIce_baby Forumite
24 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in How much have you saved?
In the spirit of new year, new resolutions, I was reading up on finance, checking out the money forum, intending to do something at some point...

And then it snowed. And today it snowed again.

So enough is enough. I want a thermostat. I want gas central heating. I have a gorgeous open fire, but I fantasize about radiators (which is really sad when you think about it).

I have a lovely flat which I adore but the only source of heating is two inefficient storage heaters (hall & living room) and fire (also living room). I have two of those portable electric oil radiator thingies but since I am still recovering from last year’s electricity bill I try not to use them too much. Oh, and two cats, but cats are extremely expensive to run so I can’t really recommend them as a heating source.

It’s cold.

The kitchen in my flat is also falling apart, and if I’m getting gas, then I want to put in a gas cooker and redo the units and floor. So my plan is to save my money until next summer and then do both at once. I looked up a couple of rough estimates and I figure on needing £8,000 or thereabouts. I’ll worry about actually costing it up next year when I (hopefully) have some money to do something about it.

It’s an ambitious target, no idea how I’ll find all that money, but the cats are going to start looking for another human who can keep them in style they’d like to become accustomed to if I don’t do something. And I’m going to lose my job if I’m late to work again because I can’t bear to get out of bed until the last possible second.

The problem is I’m pretty sure I thought much the same thing last year (without the ‘my electric bill is WHAT?!’ shock) and by the time Easter came around and everything warmed up, I forgot how miserably cold it was in winter (did I mention it’s cold?) and spent my money on more interesting things. And frankly anything’s more interesting than central heating in the middle of summer.

So this diary is to keep me on the straight and narrow so I stick to my goal of central heating. Also the forum is full of clever money saving / raising ideas and hopefully this diary will encourage me to carry some out. Because right now staying in bed for the next two weeks sounds like the greatest idea ever (it’s cold, I said that right?).

First mission is to open a savings account just for this so it’s in its own pot which will hopefully stop it slipping through my fingers.

Long term mission, find money from somewhere to put in the account. I found out about zapper through this site and it seems worth a try, and I’m positive there lots more I can try.

Thank you all for letting me blather at you. (But if anyone says a good way to save money is to turn the thermostat down a degree, I’m setting the cats on them.)
Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
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Replies

  • A great goal. I don't use my heating much nowadays (cost), but when I do it is BLISS!
  • Hi, thank you. Yes, I will probably get heating and then not be able to afford to turn it on. But then I didn't really miss it this year until it suddenly got cold just now.

    Anyway I had a much better day today, it was sunny and actually warm which meant I could tidy up all the stuff I'd been leaving because it was just too cold after I got home from work to bother with (my bedroom was shocking) and a quick dust and hoover of the whole flat. I can see my floor again! So I am feeling much more positive.

    I've started tracking my purchases. Bit of a failure on the not spending much front. £54.87 for cat food and £12.98 for fake coal, but both are pretty essential and the cat food will last two months so it could be worse. Coal will only last a week and a bit if the evenings stay cold though.

    Opened a new savings account with the £100 I got from the Halifax for transfering my account, so I am started on my way.

    Tomorrow I shall investigate zapper.
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • Update before going to bed, not such a cheerful day. Cold, cold, cold. So hard to motivate yourself when it's like that. Also accidentally left the heater on when I went out which is a total no-no.

    Popped out for milk, and finally escaped the shop down £17.63, which is very expensive milk when you think about it. Did buy some stuff for freezer though, on the basis I wasn't buying much else so it would be easy to carry. Think I might need to consider taking a list and sticking to it.

    On the other hand, inspired by the every penny's a prisoner, I bought value tin foil and caught 146 pennies. Also when I bought the cat food yesterday I had a £3 voucher so that's another 300 pennies.

    Also ran some ISBNs through zapper. Nothing came to very much but it does add up and I still have some CDs to put through. Bit sad selling books but these are ones I wont read again. Other unfortunate thing about the books was I noticed all my bookshelves need tidying and straightening. Sigh.

    Work tomorrow. Sandwiches all ready in the fridge. I've always taken sandwiches, just had rather too many days where didn't get up in time to make them. But tomorrow's sandwiches are all sorted along with cucumber mini tomatos and clemtines. All I have to do is grab them.
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • renegaderenegade Forumite
    1.3K posts
    Ice_baby wrote: »
    Update before going to bed, not such a cheerful day. Cold, cold, cold. So hard to motivate yourself when it's like that. Also accidentally left the heater on when I went out which is a total no-no.

    Popped out for milk, and finally escaped the shop down £17.63, which is very expensive milk when you think about it. Did buy some stuff for freezer though, on the basis I wasn't buying much else so it would be easy to carry. Think I might need to consider taking a list and sticking to it.

    On the other hand, inspired by the every penny's a prisoner, I bought value tin foil and caught 146 pennies. Also when I bought the cat food yesterday I had a £3 voucher so that's another 300 pennies.

    Also ran some ISBNs through zapper. Nothing came to very much but it does add up and I still have some CDs to put through. Bit sad selling books but these are ones I wont read again. Other unfortunate thing about the books was I noticed all my bookshelves need tidying and straightening. Sigh.

    Work tomorrow. Sandwiches all ready in the fridge. I've always taken sandwiches, just had rather too many days where didn't get up in time to make them. But tomorrow's sandwiches are all sorted along with cucumber mini tomatos and clemtines. All I have to do is grab them.[/QUOTE
    please enlighten me, what is Zapper?
    You live..You learn.:)
  • I really empathise with this especially with the turning into a slovenly toad who comes home from work, makes food and is in bed by 7.30.

    We have had no central heating for about 6 years since the boiler broke. We tried electric fires and I am still paying the electric bill off. I also tried a night storage heater which gives out a faint whiff of hot air and is so not worth the electric even on Economy 7.

    Currently while we wait for the Central Heating Fairy to visit us we have calor gas heaters, one full size, two half size. As you have to buy gas in advance there is no bill to run up. One of the smaller fires is in the bathroom and it makes such a difference to getting dressed in the morning. I strongly recommend getting one at least till you get the central heating done. That and an electric blanket but from your post you've probably got one already.
  • Zapper is an internet selling thing I found out about from this forum. You can sell it books, cds and dvds, you tell it is the barcode and it gives you a price, you send them the stuff, they send you a cheque. Magpie music apparently do something similar.

    I have just packaged up 45 books/cds and, assuming all goes to plan should get slightly over £50 for them. I expect I would get more if I ebayed/amazoned them all myself but that would take time and having sorted out that I didn't want the stuff, I wanted it out the flat instead of clogging up the place (my bedroom was total tip while arranging this). Also when you add up all the extra time it would take, and the fact I'm rubbish at asking the right amount for postage, I doubt I lost much in the long run. And definite feeling of acomplishment.

    De-cluttering is nice all on its own and I don't think I've been giving all the stuff I already own enough love. I found several books I would like to read again that I can take on holiday with me next week instead of buying new, so money saved there <grin>.

    The cats nobly contributed to the great money saving scheme by giving up the large box they been using as den/castle to package up the stuff going to Zapper. Unfortunately I'd cut them a hole in the side but this seemed to patch up okay. Cats also gave up a load of scrunchy brown paper (scrunchy brown paper in small box ready for pulling out = cat heaven, who knew) as packing material.

    Had a N/S day yesterday and today, but haven't actually saved any more money (except the theoretical money I might have spent on books).
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • edited 14 February 2012 at 7:39PM
    Ice_babyIce_baby Forumite
    24 posts
    edited 14 February 2012 at 7:39PM
    >I really empathise with this especially with the turning into a slovenly toad who comes home from work, makes food and is in bed by 7.30.

    Oh gosh yes. It's the not being able to do anything because your too darn cold. Hate it. Somehow I can sit around not doing very much ok, but anything that requires concerntration just doesn't happen.


    >We have had no central heating for about 6 years since the boiler broke. We tried electric fires and I am still paying the electric bill off. I also tried a night storage heater which gives out a faint whiff of hot air and is so not worth the electric even on Economy 7.

    I don't get night storage heaters at all. They appear to use vast amounts of power and do absolutely nothing, until it's actually sunny and then you're broiled. I think I would do better literally burning money.


    >Currently while we wait for the Central Heating Fairy to visit us we have calor gas heaters, one full size, two half size. As you have to buy gas in advance there is no bill to run up. One of the smaller fires is in the bathroom and it makes such a difference to getting dressed in the morning. I strongly recommend getting one at least till you get the central heating done. That and an electric blanket but from your post you've probably got one already.

    Ooh thank you, I will look into that. I have to say, depressingly, the most useful thing I've found is a rowing machine. When too cold from sitting down, ten minutes on that works great. But then I am very sad.

    Also gloves. It is hard to surf the internet wearing gloves, but not impossible. I have a pair of thin fake wool gloves that would be useless in a stiff breeze but work wonders in my flat (they were very cheap too!)

    I hope the Central Heating Fairy visits you soon
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • Successfulish day. Parcel despatched to Zapper. The blasted thing weighed a ton. I didn't use the courier because I'm never in during working hours so I had to carry it. I managed to lug it into work at lunchtime - usual ten min walk took twenty - which is halfway to the post office. Then after work my very kind boss, after trying to pick it up, gave me a lift most of the rest of the way. Parcel weighed in at 16kgs! So no wonder it was heavy.

    Have a much lighter parcel for music magpie tomorrow, which is good. Also found somewhere to post my non-working laptop for recycling. No money but it gets it out the corner of my room where it was staring at me reproachfully.

    (Moral of the non-working laptop - don't buy laptops made by a company you've never heard of before. Even if they're cheap this is a seriously false economy)

    Cats are also staring at me reproachfully because they've lost another jumping on box and the rest of the scrunchy brown paper. I promised them I'd order something from amazon again soon.

    I have a voucher as a reward from work (I went to three extra really boring meetings and remainded awake, I think I got given the voucher cos my boss was so glad she didn't have to go) so it's not really spending money as such. I need a set of bathroom scales to weigh me and the cats and if I'm going to try ebay again I could probably do with a set of kitchen scales so I get the postage costs right.

    Also went to the supermarket and spent £20.48. My grocery costs are fairly shocking given there's just me. A lot of that was chocolate on special though, and that should last a while. G&B chocolate is my ultimate weakness. Unfortunately the more I have in the house, the faster I tend to eat it.

    Still I wrote it down in my lurid red cash book and the cats remain ahead in the food costs stakes. They are so going out to work. Does anybody need a nice, affectionate fluffy duster?
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • Spent £10.46 in boots on bits for holiday, but managed not to spend anything on m&s sale. So reporting my spending to aether has had a postive effect. On holiday tomorrow, mostly already paid for so hopefully I wont spend too much more. Maybe.
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
  • Okay, got through the end of February (miserably rotten anniversary) and finally into March. Spent £500 on the internet to cheer myself up which is, eek, nearly half of this month's salary. Fortunately only about 3/4s came on this month's credit card bill and the rest next month. Scraped through my savings accounts and managed to pay off cc bill in full and not raid the heating fund so it could be worse. Better than last year at any rate. And if I ever actually get around to trying to sell some of my handicrafts I might actually turn a profit!

    So end of Feb done and dusted. Moving on.

    I got the fixings for my cousin's b'day present and my mum's mother's day presents in the splurge. Cousin's all made up, just got to do my mum's - before Sunday!

    Flat is a bit tidier in general which is good. No actual money saved, which is less good but I have cheques from music magpie and zapper to pay in. Just paid £10.00 to the heating fund on a PAD principal to try and get me kick-started.

    Next stop e-bay.
    Savings 586.58/8,000 7% (Target Jun 2013)
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