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It's time for a money diet...

edited 1 June 2017 at 8:29AM in Debt free diaries
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LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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edited 1 June 2017 at 8:29AM in Debt free diaries
My money diet

Edit: for 2017

So, first things first, a little bit about me!

My name is Laura, I'm 29, live with my fianc!, Tom (hence forth known as 'the boy') and I lightbulb switched on fairly recently!

I know it's not very MSE but we don't pool all our money together. Tom has recently been promoted (Feb 2017). Tom earns a little more than me, but at the moment we're not quite sure what the difference will be.

We have a joint account which covers bills, food shopping and this is where we are growing our emergency savings pot. We both but an equal share into the joint account, currently £850 each, we both contribute £100 each to savings account (for our wedding but this will increase substantially over this year).

I know where the problem is - I was looking at the sums in the joint account and realised that the extra £100 we were putting into the account (for the emergency fund) was being swallowed up by thoughtless spending - things we don't need like cushions and throws. We moved last year to our first home and my attempt of trying to make our home nice is resulting in all our money disappearing. We were trying to add an extra £100 into the account once a month but at the end of the month our outgoings outweighed what was coming in.

For example - some months have seen £1,410 going into the joint account and £1,495 went out. Part of this was down to a card payment to B and Q and £50 I withdrew to go out!!!!

This has to stop. We're not in a terrible state - we have a few joint debts (mortgage, 0% finance for sofa) and personal ones (both cars are on finance) and we are paying all our debts on time but we could be better at this!!! On a plus side I am overpaying on my credit card so that it's clear before 0% ends but I've got to put my foot down somewhere before it spirals out of control. (This is now paid off!!)

Our house is a bit of a fixer-upper which needs some work doing to it. Well, a lot of work doing to it but I have to prioritise this and plan/budget accordingly. One room a year is the plan (and we've spent about £2,300 on the living room dining room as it is and it's not finished yet (this included a plasterer and new radiators as well as paint plus the sofa). We can't get anything else on finance. We'll just have to save, cue this diary and our money diet!!!

2017 Plan

MBNA Card - this needs to be paid off before 16th February. Done! :j

Emergency Fund - Target of £1,000 (target of £750 until the wedding as extra money will be pumped into wedding fund).

2017 is all about saving money for the wedding. That is the main priority - we've moved our wedding forward to accommodate my grandad so it's inevitable some will be placed on a Credit Card, but the least amount the better!

NEW - Wedding fund plan :j :j :j

Dec 2016 - £200 into wedding account - Done
Jan 2017 - £200 into wedding account - Done
Feb 2017 - £300 into wedding account (extra 50 as credit card should have been paid off by then and Tom's pay rise will start Feb) - Done
March 2017 - £300 into wedding account Done
April 2017- £400 into wedding account (Emergency fund should be adequate at this point) - Done
May 2017 - £400 into wedding account - Done
June 2017 - £400 into wedding account
July 2017 - £470 into wedding account (sofa will have now been paid off so extra £70 into wedding fund)
August 2017 - £470 into wedding account
September 2017 - £470 into wedding account
October 2017 - £470 into wedding account

This will be tough - no mistaking it, but it will be worth it. Wedding will be 5th November 2017! Tom received a promotion this year so we'll need to see what difference that will make to his take-home pay. We'll find that out at the end of Feb.
February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
NST no. NSD 4/15
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Replies

  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:34AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:34AM
    29th August

    So, I am happy to report that today has been a NSD! Made a packed lunch for our picnic/trip to Hardwick Hall. Was not even tempted to buy an ice-cream - and when the boy mused about it I reminded him there were ice pops in the freezer when we got back!!

    In an attempt to become thrifty I did not throw away the blackened bananas but made some muffins - although I don't think I put in enough fat because they've stuck to the paper cases!!! I'll know for next time!!!!

    The boy has dinner duty tonight - green Thai chicken curry (it's our ten year anniversary - although we're not married/engaged - but we've been together ten years today and I count it!)

    Back to work tomorrow. I must make pack ups this month - I'm normally good at the beginning of the week but by Thursday/Friday all effort is seriously lost!! Need to change that. Fresh things (cob van) can't keep taking £3.80 of MY money for lunch.

    Pay day is Wednesday so really hoping for a NSD tomorrow too. I'm going away for two nights next week in Wales and I have squirreled away £40 for that. I plan on taking about £150 as some of that will go on petrol inevitably. If I have any left over it'll go straight into my non- existent savings pot!

    I do have a budgeting plan though - £700 to go straight into the joint (this includes the extra for the float).
    Budgeting £250 to go on food - That's between us both - I'll put in £125. That's to cover food, dog food, household items. I'd like to get this down but we'll see - it seems a fairly realistic target to me.
    I've also set myself a personal budget of £15 a week to cover any personal things (coffee in the morning) - I'll try and not spend this and put it aside but at least there is some spending money.
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • joeyjimblesjoeyjimbles Forumite
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    Congratulations on your 10 year anniversary - thai green curry is one of my favourites too.
    And well done on making a start, its tough when you get a new house and you can see so many things that you need to do. Sometimes taking your time can be better though so you buy the things that will go in the room AFTER its finished not just what will make it better right now.
    Do you have microwave etc at work? If so a good tip is to make a lot of soup and freeze it in containers at home along with good sliced bread or buns, and then you'll always have that to grab on mornings when you can't be bothered/didn't make a packed lunch. A decent tinned version can be an acceptable alternative too - especially as even the better quality ones are still 1/3 the price of buying lunch. I also make lunch sized version of pasta and sauce, curry and rice etc - it uses up leftovers too.
    I think you're right to give yourself some spending money - too much denial, like too strict dieting, will lead to resentment and splurges.
    Ms 05.23 £80.00/£80.00 (100%)
    AP 08.23 £95.00/£95.00 (100%)
    D+ 09.23 £80.00/£80.00 (100%)
    BP 10.23 £60.00/£60.00 (100%)

    NF 02.23 £16.00/£16.00 £64.00/£18.00

    Renewal 24 £600.00/£000.00

  • bellaboo86bellaboo86 Forumite
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    Congrats on your 10 year anniversary! Sounds to me like you need a separate joint savings account so it's harder to spend your float.
  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:34AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:34AM
    30th August

    Thanks both - yesterday was great.

    I agree; making soup sounds like a good idea! I also agree that a separate savings account for the float would be a good idea - need to get the boy on board for that though!

    So today wasn't a NSD - I forgot I needed petrol to get to work so that was £20 and we have no milk so will have to pop down to the shops to get some. Tomorrow should be a NSD though - will take leftover pasta-bake for tomorrow's lunch. We'll have what we need until the weekend hopefully.

    I applied for a new job recently and I've got my start date now! 3rd October. Same pay but more flexibility and getting to work will save me about £50 a month on petrol! Things are looking up!!
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:35AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:35AM
    31st August

    Reporting in with an NSD! I was so nearly tempted to buy a coffee this morning too but resisted!

    Pay day today - £700 straight into the joint account! That's household bills/mortgage sorted. Now I need to veto any dipping into it!

    Will withdraw food shop money and I'll make the overpayment on my credit card as well. I'll also attempt to squirrel away £100 for holiday and bung that in savings until we go.

    Oh, and I also plan on not spending an additional penny today!! (I'm not counting the CC overpayment - that's a good thing!!!)
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:35AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:35AM
    1st September

    So - it's September already!

    Good day today really. Hassle at work, but I'll be starting my new job in a month and I'm looking forward to that!

    Another NSD to report which I'm pleased about. I'm aiming for 14 this month so that's 1/14. Hopefully this is completely doable!!! I have thought of an unavoidable expense that might have to come out of the joint account this month (might leave it another month if it doesn't get so cold though - which is to buy a pair of curtains for the dining room. We have a large sliding door that goes into the conservatory but when it's cold you do really notice the difference when they're not up. And curtains will be cheaper in the long run than using the heating!)

    I'm also going to make sure I take lunch tomorrow and if I do that'll be a week at work where I've not purchased any drinks/lunch!

    I am also going to look at creating a yearly plan of where I hope my finances will be this month.
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:36AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:36AM
    2nd September

    Another NSD today - 3 in a row!!! This is progress for me because it's so easy to buy something here and there.

    So - I've been in a money saving mindset and its rubbed off on the boy. Persuaded him that Santander 123 account isn't really working for us financially - we don't have the savings - to make the £5 fee worth it. Advised him we'd Make more on cash back if we switched to Santander 123 lite account (yearly £117 instead of £77 is a no brainier) so he went to Santander today and we've switched. We don't have enough savings to make it worth it!

    I have also managed to take a packed lunch with me to work every day this week! This is a real improvement as I'd usually fold my Friday- buy coffee and spend a fiver on lunch. I know it's still early days but it's amok me feel more secure in myself - like I'm in control - which is a great feeling.

    On a side note - my new contract for new job came through today! It's getting real!
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • edited 5 September 2016 at 7:36AM
    LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    edited 5 September 2016 at 7:36AM
    3d September

    Why is it then when you're happy with the progress you're making on your credit card a letter comes through showing 'promotional offers' for your credit card!!!?

    Don't tempt me MBNA! I want the balance to go down not up!!!

    And you know what - for a while I was Really tempted - thinking well a new 0% interest periodon new spending would be useful for Christmas! But I will be strong and refrain.
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
  • JumblerinaJumblerina Forumite
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    Looking good LL, you've made some great changes that will make all the difference as you plan the work that you would like to do to your new house :) thanks for the tip on the Santander account, I'm going to switch mine :)
  • LauralozzleLauralozzle Forumite
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    No problem! Yeah - £1 fee instead of £5 fee BUT you don't get any interest on the account (but still same cash-back). Because our savings are non existent so it'll take a while to get to that elusive £3,000 extra The 123 lite account works out better for us! The four pound saving on the monthly fee beats any interest we'd get at all!!!
    February Grocery Budget: £190.75/£350.00
    NST no. NSD 4/15
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