Building a new (organised and frugal) life

I've decided it's time to organise my life and I'm hoping at least a few of you may want to join me, so we can help, inspire and encourage each other.

I'm 34 with 3 kids 8,3 and 1. I've been a single parent for almost a year now and have had trouble dealing with that as I've always been a loner and have no one to rely on for help. I have no hobbies, no savings, no time and plenty of debt.

I want to turn things around, organise my home and my life, manage my money and begin saving. I want to give my kids a good, well balanced life and also gain one for myself.

I intend to move house, maybe somewhere completely new, however that's not going to be possible for maybe a year or two, so I need to make the most of what I have for now.

I've been a distant MSE'r for many years (and would be first to vote for Martin Lewis as prime minister), but am now starting fresh, hence the new user details.

I've already started to declutter my house and have begun basic meal planning (will be starting my first weeks plan on Monday), now I need to go about reducing my shopping bill, creating a workable budget and actually find a way to get out more with 3 kids and not get totally stressed out :eek:
Oh and I have to find a way to stop sleep procrastinating......this one will make a considerable difference to my quality of steps.

Who's with me for an MSE life overhaul???
Baby steps become fast giant strides with practice!
Debts - £12k tbc :shocked:
Savings - £0 :wall:


  • eveie189
    eveie189 Posts: 301 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Me, me, me. Sounds like a great idea. I am also 34 with 3 kids and soon to be single most likely so will be following your journey with interest.
    Good luck
    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • Me, i'm with you:) I have been a single mum so hopefully can share any tips.
    £2 Savers club £0/£150
    1p a day £/
  • pollyanna24
    pollyanna24 Posts: 4,370 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I'll join you on this one.

    I'm also a single mum to two girls (almost 6 and almost 4) and am naturally frugal.

    I don't have any credit cards and constantly seem to be broke.

    I know this is mainly to do with the fact that I am massively overpaying my mortgage, but I'm doing this as I live with my brother who is getting married and will most likely want to sell up in the next year or so. Desperately trying to figure out what I'm going to do as although I will have a nice tidy pot from my half of the equity in the house, don't think it will even be enough to help me buy a 1 bed in my area.

    So just thought I'd join you. I do mealplan already, but this is due to my panicking about not have anything in to feed my kids, so I like to know what I'm going to cook them!
    Pink Sproglettes born 2008 and 2010
    Mortgages (End 2017) - £180,235.03
    (End 2021) - £131,215.25 DID IT!!!
    (End 2022) - Target £116,213.81
  • Hi everyone! Thanks for joining me, I wasn't sure anyone would, so seeing your replies has really revved me up!

    I have my meal plan ready to start tomorrow.
    Bills lined up ready to pay
    MSE budget planner printed and ready to complete (this time I'll stick to it!)
    I've put a piggy bank in the kitchen to use for spare change, which I'll use for any top up shops or school payments so I don't have to withdraw cash or use my debit card.
    Once I have completed the budget planner, i intend to start Martins Piggy banking - I have 3 separate accounts plus a budget box for my regular cash payments (fuel, electric etc)
    Also at 11pm, I'm about to get an early night......I mean business!

    As far as shopping goes, I think I'm going to stick to my meal plan for a few weeks to get a feel for it and to avoid the chaos of not knowing what's for dinner, then as I go along I can maybe add cheaper alternatives to it; as I'm not someone who cooks from scratch, I tend to buy pre-prepared items, which I really can't afford.

    I really am going for a full life overhaul, which includes setting up my own business (but I'm not going to discuss that one for a while, as that's secondary to sorting out my life. I can't start a business, if I can't manage my home and family successfully.)

    It's really empowering to know I'm about to take control! And it's even better knowing Im not alone. :)
    Baby steps become fast giant strides with practice!
    Debts - £12k tbc :shocked:
    Savings - £0 :wall:
  • :hello: Hi, can I subscribe to follow you on your journey?
    I'm not a single mum but my DH works an odd shift so even thought he's here we only really ( the kids and I) get to spend time with him on the weekends unless he gets some flexi time. So household duties, finances and childrens activities etc are usually down to me and mine are 8 and just turned 4.

    I've started (kind of) to overhaul my life. I felt I needed it too. House needs decluttering, deep cleaning and decorating. Just started an OU course to overhaul my work life and am trying to clear our debts.
    So everything and anything really lol. Trying to jump straight in.

    I have a tendency to procrastinate too. Will be ok for a while and then it will just creep in and I lose track. But as long as we get back up and carry on from where we were I'm sure we'll all get through it together :)
    Total Debt:
    Dec 2015: £20,090.87
    Dec 2016: £16,320.85
  • eveie189
    eveie189 Posts: 301 Forumite
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I'm so with you on the sticking to a budget thing gettingmyHALO. I have had a spreadsheet and everything showing what I should spend and I always seem to go over on food in particular. I seriously need to get back to cooking food as TBH takeaways have been a regular occurance of late.

    Hopefully in 6 months time we will all be supermums with clean houses, busy happy lives and money in our pockets!

    This thread has got me feeling so motivated!!!
    April GC 9th-7th may £0/£320
  • Hi White-as-snow, welcome along! As eveie189 says we'll all be super mums in 6 months time :beer:

    It's just a short post today, as its been a long day and I'm still working on my budget, which isn't looking good! But getting it finished and setting up my piggy banking is my goal for tomorrow.

    Are any of you working on a particular issue at the moment or is there anything which really slows you down or just drives you plain crazy about your daily routines?
    Baby steps become fast giant strides with practice!
    Debts - £12k tbc :shocked:
    Savings - £0 :wall:
  • Wow! I've finished my budget finally and everything should be accounted for. I also have a disposable income for the first time in a long time..........albeit £3.91 :A

    The I'm only just starting my budget and its only 70 days till Christmas, I desperately need to earn some cash fast!:eek: failing that, it's going to be a very low budget Christmas, as in the light of my new frugal mindset, I refuse to use my credit card!

    I'll be Starting with ebay, as I have quite a bit to sell, which will also help with the decluttering. If I time it right, I can have my listings ready to end around payday.

    The next step is to start slashing my costs as per Martins guide, however I don't think I have much wiggle room. Still not sure I can stick to a weekly shopping budget of £80 for 4 of us, although I know many do.

    Again, any tips on slashing costs or grocery costs would be greatly appreciated.
    Baby steps become fast giant strides with practice!
    Debts - £12k tbc :shocked:
    Savings - £0 :wall:
  • Well now last week is over and done (until next year :() I'm back up and running, with the exception that I Have a kind of fluey feeling coming on.

    I've finally dragged out all the things to eBay - just need to list them.

    Have so far stuck to my menu plan (except 1 day last week when we had Chinese....yum) it really does take a lot of the stress out of every day.

    Budget all set up and waiting for more income.

    I've bought my first 4 stocking fillers. Need to take it up a notch or 3 now!

    I have a big event on Thursday that will make or break my finances for the next 5 years..........fingers crossed....I may be sharing that with Martin Lewis if I don't get the result I want, and possibly still if I this point in my life and this close to Christmas with no money, my silence can be bought :embarasse

    It looks like I may be alone here, but I'm going to keep posting anyhow. I will enter 2015 organised and Frugal come rain or shine (but definitely not snow pleeeease not snow!)
    Baby steps become fast giant strides with practice!
    Debts - £12k tbc :shocked:
    Savings - £0 :wall:
  • Have you thought about using a local Facebook selling site rather than ebay?

    It saves postage and you don't have to wait until auction end.
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