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In need of direction!!

Ok... So finally bit the bullet and decided to start a journal of my life.. A place for me to ramble and gather my thoughts..

Why now? In exactly 9 months I will have my 40th birthday.. I do not want to feel then how I feel now.. Not in control, no sense of direction, unhappy physically, stuck in a bit of a rut.

I was not too sure where to start my post on this site.. i am fortunate enough not to be in a position of debt.. Now.. However that was not always the case. I am also Not in any great urgency to pay off my mortgage.. Howver I decided to start it in this location... I hope I am not gate crashing!

A little about me... I have 2 kids.. 13 year old and a 2.5 year old.. I have been married.. Divorced and with my partner who I live with now for over 5 years.

As a result of my marriage breakdown In 2006.. I have become very financially independent... I will never get myself in a position of being financially linked to anyone again.. Sounds a bit harsh I know.. But it works for me. I had to set up a new home for myself and my daughter.. Then 4.. And proud that I managed to do it on my own.

So fast forward now 9 years.. I am in a long term relationship and we have a 2 year old together. We moved into a new house almost 2 years ago... Which I got a sole mortgage for.

The reason for this diary is to get some direction in my life... Control on my finances.. I don't have a budget, I have no idea what we spend on food each month, entertainment, car costs etc.. Never mind holidays, birthdays or Xmas!

So my plan is to do some hard thinking this weekend.. Think of what I wanT? where I want to be? And what steps I need to get there? Once I have it clear in my head I will post it... And then take it from there!!


  • Happy Valentine's Day... Aka my conception day.. As I was born 14th November.. I know it does not actually work that way.. But I always like to believe I was a love baby!

    Task for today... Take some time to get my monthly fixed out goings .. Mortgage, insurance etc.. and income listed. Good starting point I think!

    Other jobs for today:
    Passport application posted for DD1... School trip to Paris in May
    Car tax payment for the year.
    Collect prescription
    Make hair appointment for next week.

    I fully intend to enjoy all my valantine treats.. I got my flowers and chocolates last night.. As OH is away working from early this morning.. And we have plans to cook a meal tonight.. Steak with all the trimmings and nice bottle of wine!

    Once I get this weekend out of the way I will start putting health and fitness goals into place!
  • Hi Starfish and welcome to the site, lots of different targets and financial situations written about here but very welcoming I think. I in fact don't think we will pay our mortgage off for at least 6 years and all being well plan to then move somewhere bigger so will take on a bigger one!

    The thing everyone has in common is that we have all taken (or are trying to take) control of our financial situations. Hope you enjoy your journey, I know I learn a lot from coming on here.
  • edited 14 February 2015 at 10:39PM
    starfish1975starfish1975 Forumite
    84 Posts
    edited 14 February 2015 at 10:39PM
    Thanks for the warm words of welcome Pushkin!

    Well today I managed to gather a list of my incomings and outgoings via my online banking..

    Sky £36.25
    BT line rental £16.99
    Internet £27.65

    Mortgage £322
    Mobile £17.50
    TV £12.12

    DD2 School break money £12
    DD1 School dinner money £45

    DD1 hobby £12
    DD2 Childcare £433

    Total fixed outgoings £966

    Annual bills that I pay in full in one payment:

    House insurance £118 a year
    Rates £740 a year
    Car insurance £315
    Heating oil.. 500 litres twice a year

    Wages £1920. ** I earn euro so this changes due to sterling exchange rate.. Which is bad at the min.
    Child benefit £136.20
    Maintenance DD1 £184
    Housekeeping £350

    Total £2590

    So total left after all my fixed direct debits are paid is £1624
  • teabodyteabody Forumite
    208 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts
    Hi and welcome,
    Just quickly looking at your outgoings and thought that if you can switch T.V. phone and internet to virgin may get a saving. With them you can pay line rental upfront which makes it cheaper again. More pennies in your pocket. Good luck with everything x
  • Not made much progress on list of things I had to do today...

    Passport application posted for DD1... School trip to Paris in May Not Done
    Car tax payment for the year. Not done
    Collect prescription... Done
    Make hair appointment for next week... Appointment made for Tuesday morning.. Well over due.. Salon is next to post office so will do item 1 and item 2 above then.. Saved me a trip to town this morning!
  • Thanks teabody! Nice of you to drop by and say hello!

    Yeah my TV, phone, broadband is very high.. I work from home a few days a week so need a good fibre optic connection.. Which is expensive... I am currently with BT and my 18 month contract with them ends in July.. Although I phoned them today and they told me they would be in a position to offer me a promotional deal at the end of February.. So I will try again then.

    Up until January this year I had been paying annual line rental to BT which saved money.. However reverted back to monthly in new year as did not want to be tied to them if I was moving broadband supplier etc..

    Thing is I never use my landline.. But need it for Internet connection.

    As far as I know Virgin is not available in Northern Ireland.. I must check it out.

    My sky bill is high too... I did have movies over Xmas for 3 months in a promotional offer.. Which I cancelled this evening.. So will contact them in the next few days.. See if I can cut way back.. Or even leave if I am not tied to contract. My TV watching habits has drastically changed since my last daughter arrived.. Definitely could live without sky now.
  • Sunday morining... Why I am awake so early I have no idea.. Just seems to be the norm these days.. The rest of the house is sleeping so I will enjoy the peace and quiet!

    Looking at my out goings again above... There is a few things obviously missing from the list... Electric bills and car maintenance.. My OH covers these areas.. There was a pre-pay electric system in the house when we moved into 2 years ago.. At the time I was going to revert back to bills and direct debit.. But we kept things as they are.. As it allowed us to monitor our usage. Myself and my OH used to top it up in turns.. Then he took it over and I took over the heating oil payments.. Works for us. I think he tops up approx 80 stg a month in electric. We are quite bad with our habits... Everything is tumble dried.. And not great at switching off lights ect.. I also love baths and would use the water switch quite a lot without a second thought... Probably because I am not paying the bill... Now switching on the oil heating.. That's a different matter.. I am not as liberal with that switch! Lol
  • Tasks for today:

    (1) try to get to grasp on what we spend on grocery shopping. Currently I have no idea. My OH would do a good bit of the shopping on a day to day basis.. And I would do a big shop once every few weeks and then pop to the shop when needed.. But absolutely no idea what we spend on food as a family per week.

    (2) Gather up information on my savings.. I have a few isa's that are linked to junior ISA's for my 2 daughters. What I tend to do is keep my salary in my current account.. Euro..And then every 3 or 4 months sweep out what remains in my current account into my ISA's.
  • So been online today and checked my mortgage account and a list of the savings I have and the money I have in my current accounts.... So here goes..

    Mortgage account.. It currently stands at:

    £69,207.83 22+ years remaining... 2.54% Fixed for 2 years.

    I took this out just over 2 years ago... House cost 90k and I had a deposit of 18k so mortgage of 72k.. Looking at the figures above I ain't put much of a dent in it!

    ISA 1 £14,032.58

    ISA 2 £9,103.88

    Both of these ISA's are 1.1% interest.. I could probably get better rate but they are linked to 2 Halifax child ISA's.. That offer a very attractive rate. When I opened them 2 years ago.. I put 3.6k in each.. I have not topped them up since.. These funds can not be accessed until the kids reach 18 and at that stage they get complete control over the money.. So whist it's all good in theory now.. down the line I could be funding for my then 18 year old daughter to move in with their boyfriend who I find totally unsuitable.. Or funding her to cover her body in tatoo's and piercings.. And there is absolutely nothing I could do about it... As It's their money!

    £350 current account... Which I use for my bills and direct debits.

    Euro current account €3,367.73. ( approx £2493)... This money is earning absolutely no interest.. So need to really look at this.. I usually leave it for 3 months or so and sweep it into my sterling savings. I withdrew 1500 euro from this account last week to pay towards my summer holiday.. So surprised how much still remains in this account.

    So.. Interesting to see it all down in black and white!!

    Starting tomorrow I am going to monitor my weekly spends... Food, diesel, misc etc.. My daughter is off school this week.. So I imagine it will be a higher spend week than usual!

    I have been good today.. Did some food shopping and made dinner that will last the next 2 nights. So no grabbing something unhealthy when I get home from the office Hungry and tired! i also have my lunch for work tomorrow made and will take with me.

    Other things for me to do tomorrow:
    Make doctor appointment for DD1
    Make optician appointment for me
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