Diary of DrCee: Moving House for Health and Wealth

Hi all! I hope you are well.

I am DrCee (not that kind of Dr) and I am trying to save some pennies to move house. I currently live in rural Oxfordshire with my husband MrCee and this is no longer practical for us.

I was recently diagnosed with epilepsy and now I can't drive. Our village bus service was axed by a Cabinet committee and our nearest bus is a mile down an unpaved, unlit, windy country road. If I have a seizure, I could be in a lot of danger. For this reason, we are planning to move closer to our respective workplaces.

I work in Ruislip and my husband is starting a new job in Walters Ash, Bucks. He plans to drive and I currently train it from Oxford Parkway. The cost of my annual commute is approximately £3000 and I think this could be better invested. We currently rent a 2 bed house and I would like to stash away some money for a mortgage deposit.

We are planning to move to the Chilterns in December. I love little towns like Princes Risborough. They are pricey but the cost of our commute would be considerably less and much shorter. We are starting to put away some money and I would like to start a diary, detailing some of our savings and income.

To start off with, I have cut our grocery budget by £10 a week. I plan to do some brand shifts and to use up our epic freezer and store cupboard hauls. Some veggie meals might even make it on to the menu. I have also changed our energy provider from SSE to Scottish Power which might save us £200 a year. I have also switched from paying quarterly to monthly direct debit. I am using sites such as TopCashback and Quidco to make some cash back on my online spending. i also have a profile with Prolific Academic, which has paid out £70 so far.

The first challenge of mine is to get out of overdraft. I am currently in by £200 a month. I have worked out that after outgoings inc. commute cost and groceries. I have £50 a week to survive on by the end of June. I'm sure that I can manage that.

Watch this space!!!!

Dr Cee
NST June 2016 No. 11
NSD: 2/20
June Grocery Challenge: £85.66/£120
DFD 1 December 2016: Virgin Atlantic CC: £180.33; Barclaycard CC: £2271.98


  • drcee
    drcee Posts: 29 Forumite
    Just got some fab ideas by reading other people's threads:

    1. Ditch the daily latte - that would save me £10 a week
    2. Buy good quality second hand clothes from eBay
    3. Sell clutter on eBay including wedding items
    4. Do the Grocery Challenge and shop around for the best deals
    5. Take own lunch to work - I currently spent £4 a day. Those little savings will add up. I will factor in my lunch to the Grocery Challenge
    6. Check to see when BT contract is up for renewal and look at switching
    7. Meal plans and eat more vegetarian meals
    8. Stick to a strict weekly budget - if I can manage £50 a week over this coming month, I am sure I can do it all the time
    9. Look into Access to Work due to my epilepsy. They may be able to offer me assistance to get to work and my condition won't be exacerbated
    10. Go through household stocks before replacing with new - my bathroom is overflowing!!!

    I know that these ideas are nothing new but I find it useful to track them. I will post on a weekly basis to let you know of my progress.

    Until next Friday,

    NST June 2016 No. 11
    NSD: 2/20
    June Grocery Challenge: £85.66/£120
    DFD 1 December 2016: Virgin Atlantic CC: £180.33; Barclaycard CC: £2271.98
  • drcee
    drcee Posts: 29 Forumite
    Hi folks.

    Just checking in to let you know how I am getting on.

    I have failed miserably at giving up on the lattes. The first day I made my own coffee, I left it on the dining table. Such a numpty. I will try again this week, as those £10s a week will soon add up.

    Since I have lost weight, I have had to buy new clothes. I am not a Primark shopper. I think that buying clothes from there is a false economy as they are usually kicked after a few months. I instead bought a nice Coast dress on eBay (original price £60) and wool blend Reiss trousers (original price £120) for £40. These will last me a year at least!

    I haven't got round to putting items on eBay but I will definitely do it asap. I have so much wedding stuff cluttering the house and it is wedding season after all! I have put my sofa bed on Gumtree. A time waster got in touch to ask about it and hasn't bothered replying. Quite annoyed about that.

    Grocery Challenge is going really well. I have only spent £16 out of £120 so far. Doing an Aldi and Iceland shop this afternoon, which will see me through to next Saturday. Might pop into the Co-op for some yellow stickers! Still ploughing through the freezer stock - might have to do a major shop next week to top up levels. The meal plan is done and I am shopping around that.

    This coming week, hubby and I are both taking our lunch to work to save cash. I quite enjoy a homemade lunch, so that's not a problem for me. I spend an average of £3 a day on lunch, so that's a saving of £15 a week - minus the cost of bread, luncheon meat, crisps and sweets. I might go to the canteen once a week to be social.

    Hubby is going to look into when the BT contract is up for renewal. This is a place where we could save a lot.

    I have actually cut my weekly spending budget to £25. I am not doing too badly. I am not great at keeping track of my small expenditure, so I would appreciate any tips on budget tracking. Whether it is an app or a computer programme. Writing things down does not help - I just lose the bit of paper.

    I have made some money on apps, which is going straight into the savings pot - £33.50 from Task360, Field Agent, StreetSpotr and Roamler combined! I want to get to level 2 on Roamler asap, as that is when the regular tasks are unlocked. Finding it hard to find the time to do the Danger Danger and Street Art challenges though!

    I have dropped the Access to Work people an email and they have not got back to me. I think that is highly unprofessional considering that they are dealing with people with varying levels of disability. I will give them a call instead, if I can find time on my lunch break!

    I am also going to harass Chiltern Railways for some delays compensation. Two days in a row, three journeys were delayed by half an hour. So not impressed! I should net around £15 vouchers per journey, which I will save up for a trip to Scotland.

    I will give you my savings totals at the end of the month but despite some initial teething problems, it is going alright so far!

    Until next week,

    Dr Cee
    NST June 2016 No. 11
    NSD: 2/20
    June Grocery Challenge: £85.66/£120
    DFD 1 December 2016: Virgin Atlantic CC: £180.33; Barclaycard CC: £2271.98
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