Banishing the black cloud

in Debt Free Diaries
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  • Brightspark87Brightspark87 Forumite
    1.5K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!
    Hi! Just dropping in to say hello. Great start and love the way you have made the budget work for you x

    Paid off all Catalogues 10.10.2014
  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
    408 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Hi! Just dropping in to say hello. Great start and love the way you have made the budget work for you x

    Thanks Brightspark, I am not sure if budget is totally fool proof, I need to road test it for a few months and see how things go.

    As of this morning I have spent £93 on groceries since my budget began on Thursday. C is not at home this week so I am only feeding 3 people and we had a chippy tea on Saturday which is not included. I have enough meals planned to get to Friday but I still think this is a bit much compared to what others on here spend on groceries for a similar household. Do they include things like toilet roll and shampoos etc in that budget? I presume they have.

    I made a Chilli Con Carne two weeks ago for the first time, I used the leftovers the next day for enchiladas and I have just taken the final batch out of the freezer to make a leftover cottage pie for tonight. This worked out great so I am looking for other batch cooking recipes that I can make numerous different meals from. Would love some suggestions. I always laugh at those recipes for leftover roast chicken. There is no such thing as leftovers in our house.

    I had two leftover chicken breasts from Fridays dinner ,I cooked them yesterday morning to use in sandwiches during the week. Hubby got home from a 13 mile jog and ate both chicken breasts as a "snack" before lunch!! We are a very sporting household which contributes to our large appetites. OH runs about 5 times a week, B plays football/trains about 5 times a week and I train about 3/4 times a week. C is about the only one who doesn't bother with exercise. Maybe this is why our groceries cost more than others?

    Daily Spend £0/£25
    Weekly spend £113.95/£175
  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
    408 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Yesterday was my first NSD since starting my diary and today is looking good also. Tomorrow will be the last day in my weekly budget scheme and I still have £61 of my initial £175 left, which I will put away into what I am now calling my "having a life" account LOL.

    I still think I can improve on this as most of my money went on groceries. I spent most of yesterday looking up good budgeting recipes to bring my grocery spend down. I am working on a collection of recipes based on cooking a large chicken in the slow cooker and then making the following meals, all the recipes were on the netmums website.
    • Chicken and potato layer
    • Chicken Fried Rice
    • Chicken Enchiladas
    I am also going to try and make a big batch of tomato sauce in the slow cooker and freeze it in separate portions to make more meals from. So far I have found some good recipes including
    • Sausage and Bean Casserole
    • Spag Bol
    • Lentil Spag Bol
    • Meatballs
    I have also started doing my groceries using Asda Click and Collect, I really love it. my office is right beside my local store, so I go online and order my groceries on Sunday evening and collect them on my way home from work on Monday evening. It saves me loads of time and stops me spending too much money when I am in the supermarket.
  • stewbystewby Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    1,000 Posts Combo Breaker Debt-free and Proud!

    Decided to post to say hi as I am also a nosey b*gger.

    I am not really in a position to offer advice as such but thought I could maybe suggest you and your OH doing the £1 a day challenge. Me and my OH are doing this just now and it's a great way to save.

    You said that your OH didn't like using his change so it could be a way of him putting away his £1 coins.
    We are using it as our xmas fund and we will end up with £608 by the end of October (well, we would have but I have started buying xmas pressies already).

    Now, I have been a bit of a disaster cause someone on a thread somewhere mentioned this really cool thing where you type in the ingredients you have and it makes a meal for you (as in a recipe) but I now cannot find it.

    Fingers crossed you keep making these positive changes in your life. You have a very clear plan (with uses for each of your three strands of income) and with your OH now understanding and on board, you are surely going to succeed.
    I wish you the best of luck.
    Mortgage: £0/£80,329.91
    Savings: £0/£6400
  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
    408 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    Thanks Stewby for the advice, my OH is already doing a "savings" scheme in our local pub!! Basically 16 people form a syndicate and they put £10 per week into it. £5 goes into a savings pot so they are always guaranteed half their money back at Christmas and the other half is gambled. Each week there is £80 to be gambled with and each member takes it in turns to place the wekly bets. some weeks they make nothing and other weeks they have been know to pass the £1000 mark. It gives him an interest and when its his turn to gamble you can see him studying the football stats for days. I think his best year they made over £700 each, he at least always gets his money back and it provides him with his spending money for Christmas. It has got so popular among the regulars that there is now 3 syndicates going, and they have league charts for who makes the syndicate the most money etc.

    I know the website you are talking about it is called I have been using it but have now become addicted to finding recipes on pinterest.
  • edited 20 August 2014 at 8:48AM
    maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
    408 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    edited 20 August 2014 at 8:48AM
    Its the end of the first week of my new spending regime and I have to say it is working quite well. There have been a few glitches that I had to get my head around. The main one is looking at my bank balance all the time, this is an old habit which has come from years of living from day to day not knowing where I am financially. I used to look at my bank balance and try to work out what bills were coming in the next week or two and then spend accordingly, this method has got me know where. Yesterday I looked at my bank balance and it told me I had £122 left but my budget was telling me I only had £63 left. I couldn't figure this out until I realised money that I spent last week still hadn't been debited from the account. I then looked at the balance this morning and it said I had £48 left which again wasn't correct but then I realised I still had about £15 in change in my purse so my budget was still £63 for the week.

    Rule 1, Your bank balance does not reflect your current financial status

    It is great to know that what money you are setting aside never needs to be allocated towards bills as these are already taken care of and this money is "surplus" In the past anytime I spent money on something like clothes or going out, I was always racked with guilt, now I can spend my surplus money guilt-free. I also that the surplus money left from the £175 budget is mine to spend on what I want I am trying even harder to spend as little as possible on groceries, so I have more money to spend on my family.

    I am so glad that I started this diary as it has given me an opportunity to get my head around what I was doing wrong, It is like having a conversation with yourself. I hope that's not the first sign of madness!! LOL Life just seems to have got a lot less stressful in a matter of weeks from starting this, I might not have any money saved yet as I am still only a week into the budget, but I have a plan that works and I know if I stick to it I soon will have savings.

    My son gets his GCSE results tomorrow. Fingers crossed everyone.
  • Good luck to your son - I'm a very nervous teacher......:o
  • maggieconmaggiecon Forumite
    408 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Combo Breaker I've been Money Tipped!
    WW what subject do you teach?

    Its not his results I am worried about its getting son back into the same school to do his A-levels, his school is one of the top 3 in N. Ireland and is very strict on returning students. They have the following rules in place
    • Each student must achieve 16 points to get back A* =4 A=3 B=2 C=1
    • Attendance record must be greater than 95%
    • You must get an A in the subject at GCSE if you want to study it at A level. Some subjects are even stricter eg you need an A* in maths.
    B wants to do Geography, Maths and Biology, he is not sure what he wants to do at uni but seems to be drifting towards teaching, which I dread as there is absolutely no teaching jobs in NI.
  • I teach Science - with my specialism being Chemistry.
    Those entry requirements are really strict! It must be a very good and popular school?
    Fingers crossed for tomorrow.
    Teaching is a great job but underpaid and very exam driven and pressurised these days - the kids make it bearable sometimes.
  • NintudNintud Forumite
    191 Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Good luck to your son tomorrow. My dd2 gets hers too and ds2 gets his English grade (year 10 sat English early, there's now a competition between the siblings as to who gets the highest grade!).

    Good to see your budget is working :T
    MBNA 120/17120.
    Santander 250/9000
    - - - -
    What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash. (L Ellis)
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