MoneySavingExpert Chair, Martin Lewis · Editor, Marcus Herbert
🗳️ ELECTION 2024: THE MSE LEADERS' DEBATE Got a burning question you want us to ask the party leaders ahead of the general election? Submit your suggestions via this form or post them on our dedicated Forum board where you can see and upvote other users' questions. Please note that the Forum's rules on avoiding general political discussion still apply across all boards.

# Balancing not just the budget

Options

• Posts: 21,482 Forumite
Options
Just had a look at that calculator but annoyingly it takes no account of Economy7 meters so I can't use it! Gah!

when you said about the new fix being £70 over the cap, I assumed you meant over the amount you would pay allowing for the current cap, not the maximum cap value! Definitely stick with Martin - that's generally good advice anyway isn't it!

If I have achieved nothing else today I've found the smiley anyway - life is good!

🎉 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
• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
edited 14 October 2021 at 3:32PM
Options
Just had a look at that calculator but annoyingly it takes no account of Economy7 meters so I can't use it! Gah!

when you said about the new fix being £70 over the cap, I assumed you meant over the amount you would pay allowing for the current cap, not the maximum cap value! Definitely stick with Martin - that's generally good advice anyway isn't it!

If I have achieved nothing else today I've found the smiley anyway - life is good!

Hi EH

There is Economy 7 mentioned somewhere - possibly in the press release?  It is possible to work things out from the basics - I spent far too long last night and this lunchtime making a spreadsheet that now works out the totals for me and even has graphs .  Turns out I had missed adding in the standing charge with yesterday's figures, so they were only a comparison of the unit costs - having fixed that and a couple of decimal points issues today, the results are basically terrifying.  And I think I've now got it right, because the costs are coming out very close to my supplier's quotes (they finally sent me the variable cost option last night).

So, my old deal was about £700 a year (pretty certain of this as I've now got about a year's actual usage).  That's good to know as it demonstrates I'm nowhere near the 'typical household' cap figure for a house of this size that I was thinking of when I first looked at their quotes - my bills have been wibbling so thought I was going to end up owing money and should up my estimates, but it looks like I'm just about at £0 on this bill, yay!  Their loyalty deal would be £1,350 - nearly twice as much   .  The fixed deal would be £1,900 - three times as much  .  The standing charges stay pretty much the same, but compared to my current deal the only fix on the market from my supplier - the non loyalty one - would be about twice as much for the same amount of electric and about FOUR times as much for gas.  Eeeeek.

The price cap figure from the calculator is pretty close to my supplier's quote for variable, which I assume is now at the price cap -  just over £900, which is still a big increase but a whole lot better than the other options. I don't think it's worth taking even the loyalty fix, as it would be an extra £450 which is 50% of my total cost and my usage will be lower over the summer - hopefully things will calm down a bit after that.

(Ridiculously pleased with my spreadsheet   will be keeping it so I can do my own checks again  )

Hope you find something that suits you

RB xx
Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
• Posts: 21,482 Forumite
Options
Thanks Rosa - your spreadsheet does indeed sound ace! Having just moved both electricity & gas, then had one supplier go, and so be moved again, we're also "sticking with Martin" at the moment. It's tricky enough to find anyone who wants to know about us and our stupidly small gas use anyway - if I see quotes from 5 suppliers for that I'm lucky these days - so on that staying variable is likely to be the best bet. I am keeping an eye on the electricity side of things but to be honest I think it's highly unlikely that anything suitable will come along.

The figures people are currently quoting for fixes are horrifying - it worries me that they are trading on the fears of people around the "energy crisis" narrative, and so many folk won't realise quite how much extra they will end up paying.
🎉 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
• Posts: 11,202 Forumite
Options
I'm still waiting for Shell to deem to tell us how much our monthly bill will be on the tariff they've moved us to.
Feb 2015 NSD Challenge 8/12
JAN NSD 11/16

• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
Options
kerri_gt said:
I'm still waiting for Shell to deem to tell us how much our monthly bill will be on the tariff they've moved us to.

There just isn't an eye roll big enough, is there?  It's all bonkers.
Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
Options
The figures people are currently quoting for fixes are horrifying - it worries me that they are trading on the fears of people around the "energy crisis" narrative, and so many folk won't realise quite how much extra they will end up paying.
I think you're absolutely right.  My supplier dutifully put something on the website about not switching, but funnily enough failed to suggest that I might want to stay on their default tariff at expiry instead of picking a new fix.

Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
edited 8 November 2021 at 12:30AM
Options
Not really a shuffle today... it's all got a bit chaotic here, so am trying to slow things down, get a bit more organised and figure out a sensible order to do things.  Will be back later in the week... need to keep myself on track again.  Possibly even time for a new diary!

MSE wins...
• Saved £100 on home insurance renewal (and should have £35 cashback coming, plus it looks like the car insurance cashback tracked after all even though it is verrrry slow in paying, so that's hopefully another eventual £35)
• Cancelled a subscription I wasn't using - another £8 back in the pot every month
• Logged gas and electric readings for the day I moved in - so now have a confirmed full year of usage and am pretty much bang on £0.  That's also probably an overestimate as I didn't have a fully functional timer on the heating for the first few months.  I am already using the heating, and currently figuring out how to sort the intervals so that the place keeps warm with the minimum top ups for the times I'm in the house.  Basically if I have it on for about a half hour/ 45 minutes before getting up, late morning, early afternoon, and post dog walk in the evening that seems to work ok. @EssexHebridean's point on free solar heating duly noted and am now trying to open curtains first thing!
• Spoke with a mortgage broker to check if I can do anything better with mine - it's only a year into the 2 year deal and I didn't think I could do better at this point but checked anyway given the forecast of rising rates.  Nothing that's likely to help at this point so will revisit at 18 months in where I should be able to lock a next deal if I want to.  And realised that I may need to try and put a bit extra in to get past another 5% LTV barrier - worth knowing for timing decisions about work on the house.
• Finally got round to accessing discount club arrangement that gets me a few percent off online gift vouchers for some high street shops.  Unreasonably pleased with myself for managing to stack free delivery, 15% off and paying all but £1.30 with further discounted voucher for something that really needed replacing anyway

MSE fails...
Nothing major to report

Statements of intent...
• Need to try out some different budgeting software options and decide if I'm going to stick with YNAB past renewal.
• Need to move my phone number across to my 'other' cheap V-fone SIM, put that one in my current (ancient) phone, cancel the current Pl-net rolling contract and get a PAYG - not a rolling contract, just made that mistake - for the even more ancient emergency back up phone.
• Am getting out of sync again on supermarket type shopping.  Think I need to pick a regular day of the week and try to get as much of the basics as possible.  I'm a bit fed up with the current situation - I ended spending in three different supermarkets on Saturday, as wanted some favourites from M-S (half of which they didn't have), basics from Sbys delivered, and the stuff that was mysteriously out of stock at Sbys from M-sons!
• I want to review my donations - there are a few things I want to support at present so might use the cancelled subs to push a few extra quid in a useful direction.  I often feel like what I can currently comfortably spare isn't worth doing but, something is more than nothing.

I have a lot of other stuff going on at present, both practical type stuff with the house and thinking type things (including family issues) so the problem is trying to get stuff done without wearing myself ragged and burning out.  A plan is needed... but it needs to be a gentle and generous type plan, not even just a realistic one.  I really like @greenbee 's point on @Buffythedebtslayer 's diary about doing one thing that makes life easier per day - will be trying to build that in.

More later, hope all is well out there

RB xx

Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
• Posts: 21,482 Forumite
Options
I love Greenbee's thought about trying to do one thing a day that makes life easier - I'm trying to extend that into "makes life easier or simply more pleasant" - it makes absolute sense doesn't it! All the more so at a point when there are a lot of other things going on which are using headspace too.

I think a lot of folk are having to make a touch decision about YNAB - didn't I see somewhere that they are increasing prices quite a lot for many? I have a couple of things I have to pay subscriptions for here and always try to remember to evaluate before renewal time whether they are still at the right level of value to me. So far it's been a yes, but there may reach the point when either it's a no, or I can find a less "premium" alternative.

I've found that the theory of doing a "weekly shop" on (mostly) the same day each week is good, but you do have to accept that sometimes it will fall down. Usually when I know I want to go to Al's for example, I can factor in an entire shop from there, but this week I'd already decided to go to T's and then used up several storecupboard type items when I made a snap decision to make Twinks hobnobs on saturday, so had to do a second shop in Al's yesterday anyway.  As a rule though it is definitely a timesaver.
🎉 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
• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
Options
Hi EH,

yes YNAB have basically doubled prices for those of us who were on legacy pricing.  What's worse is they did it with zero notice, only announced it in the app, and didn't respond to complaints for days.  It really doesn't bode well for the company ethos and that worries me just as much as the cost (which I could now stretch to, but it feels a lot).  I'm going to investigate the other options.  Someone on the FB forum posted a link to a spreadsheet that someone has kindly collated to compare several other packages.
Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc
• Posts: 4,891 Forumite
Options
Tracking plodding...

One thing...
Er, a few today
• Booked leave to get some house stuff done, after realising I have some I had cancelled and not rebooked.  That gives me some leeway this week to get a few garden things sorted, make phone calls and do house stuff.
• Spotted an online lecture I'd forgotten about - will be joining that shortly and might manage to sort through some boxes while I'm listening, or might not.
• Ordered takeaway - since I'm out of sync with food orders and can now do a physical shop tomorrow, decided I'd just do that for today and try to stay off it on the usual Friday night!  Makes life easier and pleasanter, though probably not a good long term option!

MS wins...
• Returns parcel sent, after far too long hiding it under carp on my desk
• Did not put in hurried random supermarket order tonight - going to make a list and order or shop sensibly tomorrow..

MS fails...
• Dog stuff (wanted, useful, some of it could have waited but got the lot rather than go back again)
• Takeaway

Off to my lecture now (so much easier and nicer on the sofa with the dog and hot chocolate, stuff all that going out to a cold lecture hall!  )

RB xx

Debt free May 2016... DFW#2 in progress
Campervan paid off summer '21... MFW progress tbc

#### Categories

• All Categories
• 8 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
• 343.9K Banking & Borrowing
• 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
• 450K Spending & Discounts
• 236K Work, Benefits & Business
• 609.2K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
• 173.4K Life & Family
• 248.6K Travel & Transport
• 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
• 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
• 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards