Balancing not just the budget

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  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    edited 30 September 2021 at 10:17PM
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    Well it's plodding but it's progress...

    Work on the house is continuing, delighted to report I now have a dishwasher which is worth every penny for the half hour a day it frees up.  I've decided not to worry about getting internal stuff done before Christmas, as indoor painting is exactly the kind of thing I can do over the winter, so am sticking with getting stuff sorted that I can't do myself and outdoor things that need doing before winter.  I've got a roofer coming to check over the roof and guttering for anything that needs sorting.  I don't think there is anything else much I can do to look at keeping heating costs down, I can't afford to replace the windows yet and I find this house stays warm pretty well (though as I lived with storage heaters for years, I may not be the best judge).  The loft is so full of stuff I am just hoping that works as insulation  :D .  My energy supplier hasn't gone bust (yet) and I have a cheap deal til late November so will just stick with them and see what they offer me - I think it's 45 days they have to tell me the new option so should find out in another week or so.  Oh and the garden is also progressing...

    The car and van have both passed their MOTs, hurrah, so that's a worry averted.  Really pleased as I thought the van was going to need work.  I'm hoping it will get some more use over the autumn as I will be away for a couple of weekends in it and will also take it for beach trips so that there's cosy shelter available in bad weather!  Also pleased - sort of - to realise that the van will be paid off next summer.  I'm delighted to get those funds back every month, but horrified at the value since it's been sitting at home in pandemic for half the time I've owned it!  I also realised today that the car tax is costing me more for being paid monthly - I think I spotted this a while back but couldn't be dealing with stopping and sorting, but as today is the last day of the month anyhow, I've now cancelled the debit and will pay for the full year on the 0% card tomorrow. 

    I've paid off the expired 0% CC today, plus a chunk of the other one that charges interest.  It's costing me about £50 for this couple of months of use but I think that's a better option and more flexible than any others, so it's fine.  I'm hoping to get the interest bearing one clear by the end of November (roof allowing, if that needs a lot of work then I will need cash before then) and to work on the other in the new year.  I'll close the empty CC in another few weeks as it's the same bank as the current account I just escaped, so I can ditch their app etc altogether.  Absolutely love the new current account, the spotty migrating bird one seems great so far. 

    Clothes shopping not really finding me much I like at present... went through my winter stuff and found that a lot of it is just no longer really presentable or I'm not keen on it any more.  But also found that I don't need as much now that I WFH, so can rethink things a bit.  I'm thinking of a new rule that I can't buy anything for more than 3 months ahead - the idea is to stop me acquiring any more stuff I love but only gets worn very occasionally, as I've got at least two options for most events already.  The only things I think I do need are a decent pair of new knee boots - l got the last pairs through last winter just about, but only because I wasn't out in public much! and a proper pair of walking boots for longer hikes when trainers would get soaked through.  It will end up being mail order, as I've got a pretty good idea what I want and don't fancy wasting time trekking into the city to shop. 

    So all ok here, just plodding... hope all is well with everybody else too

    RB xx


    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • kerri_gt
    kerri_gt Posts: 11,202 Forumite
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    Well you're doing better then us atm Rosa (although we have had some house stuff completed that has bugged me since we moved in...5yrs ago). I think OH sees it as money well spent if it stops me moaning. Naturally ripping stuff out and having it refitted means there's knock on decorating to be done now. I'm also thinking of stripping our bannister vs buying a new one as they're expensive...but that's 60yrs of gloss on one side to contend with. 

    Anyway, i meant to say you're doing better than us as our energy supplier did go bust last week, and OH car did not pass it's MOT in such spectacular fashion it got signed off to the great scrap yard in the sky and thanks to out mechanic digging us out of a hole, we came home with a new (to OH) car (plus all associated costs of updating the insurance,  car tax and actual cost of the car).

    Fingers crossed next year you'll be able to make more use of the van and it will pay dividends for you. 
    Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
    JAN NSD 11/16


  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    kerri_gt said:
    Well you're doing better then us atm Rosa (although we have had some house stuff completed that has bugged me since we moved in...5yrs ago). I think OH sees it as money well spent if it stops me moaning. Naturally ripping stuff out and having it refitted means there's knock on decorating to be done now. I'm also thinking of stripping our bannister vs buying a new one as they're expensive...but that's 60yrs of gloss on one side to contend with. 

    Anyway, i meant to say you're doing better than us as our energy supplier did go bust last week, and OH car did not pass it's MOT in such spectacular fashion it got signed off to the great scrap yard in the sky and thanks to out mechanic digging us out of a hole, we came home with a new (to OH) car (plus all associated costs of updating the insurance,  car tax and actual cost of the car).

    Fingers crossed next year you'll be able to make more use of the van and it will pay dividends for you. 
    Thanks Kerri - hope the energy situation improves and that the car turns out well - are you liking it so far?
    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,471 Forumite
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    That’s all sounding pretty positive then - especially the dishwasher! It was my “trade off” when we moved here 18 years ago - it more than doubled the time I’d be spending commuting, and I said I categorically was NOT going to come home to a load of washing up to do as well, so as there was space in the kitchen (the people we bought from had a second fridge in the gap) we bought a cheap freestanding one to fit. Astonishingly that then just about hung on with a few minor repairs done by us until we got the kitchen done - 14 years later! We now have a rather lovely built in Bosch one. 

    The things that actually make you pay more for paying them in a convenient way really annoy me. The car tax one is quite a bit too isn’t it. TV License is another - if you pay quarterly which a lot of folk still do as it was the original way of paying in instalments, you pay a premium on each payment. Monthly DD is no additional charge though. I assume in the road tax you’ll continue to set aside the amount you were with the monthly payments so you have it ready when the time comes to pay next years? 

    I envy you being able to buy footwear online too -my feet are annoyingly the type that will blister in seconds if they’re not 100% happy with what I’m making them wear, so it always takes me masses of trying in to get a pair I’m comfortable with risking spending money on! Having said that my current knee high boots came from Sainsbugs a few years ago, are super comfy and I love them - they might have to migrate into the office this year otherwise I’ll get very little wear out of them! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
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  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    Thanks EH

    The car tax is supposed to be an extra 5% but goodness knows what was going on with mine - it was creeping up slowly, but as far as I can tell was only costing me an extra £2.50 a year :D which is why I left it alone last time!  I think maybe the charging was different when I originally signed up.  But as everything else for the car is done yearly it always just niggled and left me thinking I'd forgotten something, so I feel happier now it's done.  The DVLA site warned me several times this morning that I was supposedly taxed for another few months, but thanks to my lovely new bank and their app I could tell that the direct debit had not only cancelled overnight but been declined this morning - so I could get on with paying for the year upfront.  And yes, the annual amounts are all taken into account for my YNAB monthly amounts to set aside, in fact I have been playing with it and set up yearly target amounts, so it will all get sorted.  (YNAB will now help identify if I'm running behind or ahead of the target each month, which helps with adjusting things.)

    I totally empathise with the time trade offs - I absolutely loved my delay timer on the washing machine, as it meant I could wake up or come home to a freshly washed load instead of having to organise around the wash time.  Not such an issue when I'm at home all day, but I'm trying to get back into the habit.  It's lovely to have stuff dried on the line, but in winter that means having it washed asap in the morning! 

    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,471 Forumite
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    Oh absolutely - both our dishwasher and WM have a delay setting on them, which means 9 times out of 10 they run on the cheap electric! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    Oh absolutely - both our dishwasher and WM have a delay setting on them, which means 9 times out of 10 they run on the cheap electric! 

    Somebody had to point out to me that I'm no longer on Economy 7 and the electric costs the same whenever I use it :D
    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    Noting to self - try and calm down on the dog spending! 

    Someone mentioned today that B&M have doggy puzzle games, and I walked past one after B&Q... possibly just as well to get stuff from there as I'm not sure the P@H would be any better quality, but it's still money on something that gets no more attention than a yoghurt pot!  I suppose I've forgotten how long it took to learn and sort out what I needed for the cats to make things work for us for home, travel and in different houses.  I ordered a hammock style seat cover for the car, as although I keep dithering about giving it up I clearly don't want to and the dog is in there for short journeys (the van munches fuel, is bigger to park and has more value to preserve so I am trying to keep it for when we go away or want a long time on the beach and to warm up in between walks - it may get more trips over winter as the weather is less predictable and parking is less crowded).  At least I found one that's a good brand but £20 cheaper than the first I looked at, and used a loyalty club voucher in the process! 
    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
  • MuffinTops
    MuffinTops Posts: 2,477 Forumite
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    Well done on your admin achievements.  I've also opened an account with the same new one you have and am impressed so far too.

    The lack of journeys in your van is upsetting but nothing you could have known about or done anything about.  I guess it just means you need to absolutely catch up on trips out? :smiley:  I find a winter trip somewhere to see the town's Christmas lights is a nice option.

    MTxx
  • RosaBernicia
    RosaBernicia Posts: 4,887 Forumite
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    edited 6 October 2021 at 5:30PM
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    Thanks MT.  As it happens, I will be going away overnight in the van in a couple of weeks time, and am really looking forward to it - meeting friends I haven't seen in ages, in a lovely part of the world.  I also think I've found a solution for extra space in the longer term that would enable me to allow for wet gear, the dog and also fit in a portable loo - I'm going to treat myself to a driveaway awning for Christmas :grin:  .  That will mean things are more comfortable, and I can be 'self contained' (which was a requirement for sites here for part of lockdown) much, much more cheaply than buying a bigger van. 

    A Christmas trip is a lovely idea, though I'd be more inclined to go looking for the Northern lights than town ones.  That's a definite option from here, though it would depend on the weather situation... I shall think about it, thank you for the inspiration! 
    Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
    Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
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