2017 - moving life forwards

edited 25 February 2017 at 9:37AM in Debt free diaries
214 replies 19.8K views
coastalchickcoastalchick Forumite
292 Posts
edited 25 February 2017 at 9:37AM in Debt free diaries

New diary for a (hopefully!) new period in life. About me: 38, co-habiting (partner shall henceforth be referred to as "BD"), 1 cat.

Currently living with BD in my house (or flouse as my friend calls it as it is not really a flat but not really a house!). It's under offer and we are hoping to sell this and buy our new house mid aprill. BD's flat has been on market for a while but little interest due to colossal service charges so that is rented out until Feb 2018. But our house purchase has hit a few problems, mainly due to boundary issues (which are solvable but which may be impacting on timetable!) and we are not certain it is all going to go through in time.

Once in the new house, we are going to actively start trying for a family. If it happens before then, it happens but we are not actively trying right now due to house stress.

Why am I here? Well, I used to have NO clue about money (I really think they should teach you what the heck an interest rate is at school and what credit cards and store cards actually mean and charge!) and was in a LOT of debt through university and my early to mid-20's. I had no clue what an interest rate was and instead just saw credit and store cards as "free" money. Often missed payments, not cos I couldn't pay (though this did become more of the case towards the end of the bad spell!) but just cos I wasn't organised and didn't realise what impact they had! Makes me sick to the stomach when I think of all the money I wasted over the years.

I bought a maisonette in tooting in Nov 2003 (got a 100% mortgage - you could in those days!), then in April 2004, lost my job. Luckily I had income protection but of course, they don't tell you that doesn't kick in for a certain period. Also, I seem to recall that back then I also couldn't claim benefits for a period. Sadly, a few weeks before I lost my job I signed on the dotted line for a new kitchen (got royal ripped off there too) which cost me 10k (it probably should have cost 2-3 but I was so naive in those days) so had to max out the credit cards to pay for it.

My parents offered to help but I felt I had got myself into that mess (basically it was partially my fault I got the boot as I wasn't really taking my job seriously) so declined as wanted to get self out of it. So moved, got a new job, towed the line, consolidated debt. Rented out the tooting flat and eventually bought the place I live in now. BD moved in mid June 2015 so mortgage and bills split.

Fast forward to now and I am pretty comfortable. Luckily I had a job where I earned big bucks which enabled me to pay off all my debt, and save loads and buy the place we live in now. However, that came at a price and I was so overworked and stressed (and underpaid actually compared to others in the market and for the hours I worked) that my hair started falling out and I suffered from anxiety, panic attacks, IBS, acid reflux and regularly wanted to have a non-fatal accident so I could be admitted to hospital and not have to go to work). Eventually I couldn't take any more so quit at start of last year, and took some time off to recharge the batteries.

Mid last year I started a new job in a much less stressful role and for only 4 days a week. Took a pay cut because of the 4 day week but worked out if I scaled the package up to 5 days, I was actually earning the same as I had been in the stressful job (which shows that decision to leave was def right!)

Now we are about to embark (hopefully) on the next chapter in life, but feel I need to be here to try to keep myself on straight and narrow spend-wise, particularly as I now physically have less cash coming in each month and our mortgage is going to double with new house (and bills will be more too). I also need to save for maternity leave.

I constantly worry about money (which BD doesn't understand) and the future and whether we will have enough in retirement. It's silly because on paper we are comfortable, but I think it's because I've been in serious debt before that I am constantly doing sums in my head. The tooting flat was bought for 160k (plus 48k for extension of leasehold recently) and is now worth around 450k. It has around 100k left on the mortgage and is rented out. I will own it outright by age 50, after which the rental will provide pure income. Have only just started a pension as my old job didn't have one (surprise surprise) which 630 per month goes into. BD's flat has around 75k of equity in it and he has a work pension too. We have a lot in savings at the moment but that will be left at minimal when we buy the new house as we are putting down 20% deposit plus fees, stamp duty etc. Other than our 3 mortgages on the 3 properties, we have no debt.

So, probably most people will think I have nothing to moan about but I still worry because I know how easy it is to get into debt as I have been there previously. I also worry because children are expensive and we might have to pay for private school if the school they are allocated isn't very good. BD is a semi professional photographer and used to do weddings which he can charge up to 3k for, but he quit doing them as he found them quite stressful, but I guess could do a couple if we needed school fees (but wouldn't want him to if he found it stressful).

So, apologies for the brain dump but I'm here to try to rein in the spending!

Today is food shop and I have a list - we have budgeted £150 (which I know is a lot) as BD wants me to bake a cake today so quite a lot needed for that, plus this week we need coffee, loo roll, dishwasher tablets etc etc. Once we've done that, think we will have lunch at home (it's rubbish weather out there today) from what we've bought, then maybe reading this afternoon and bake the cake. BD is out at his friends tonight so I will be cooking a nice chicken dish from stores and watching a pre-recorded movie with the cat.

Tomorrow BD will probably work in the morning, then we are at his mum's for lunch (so free lunch) and will cook a roast from the weekly shop tomorrow evening


  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
    10.8K Posts
    Savvy Shopper! I've been Money Tipped!
    Hi there Coastalchick

    Great first post on your diary. You sound like you know what you want. You also sound worried. Have you looked into Mindfulness at all? It's the practise of keeping yourself in the moment more often. You have so much great stuff to look forward to and the worry you are experiencing can rob you of that.
    Just my two pence worth.
    I hope the sale happens soon.

    All the best

    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • Did the "big shop" and spent £96 so within budget which was good. Had dirty chicken burgers for lunch from our replenished stores (naughty but love it!) and BD went to bed for the afternoon as he was knackered - he is working crazy hours right now and woke up at 115 this morning and couldn't get back to sleep, then was in work at 630. I started a new book.

    BD now gone to his friend's and I have a thai chicken and sweet potato parcel (trying a new recipe) cooking in the oven. TBH cos we went out last night I didn't really sleep so I may well go to bed after I've eaten though am about to start a pre-recorded movie. Cos BD is working again tomorrow we've decided not to go to his mums so will need to create something for lunch as we didn't factor that in to shop. We have 2 buns left over from lunch today and will have 3 eggs (I need 3 out of the 6 we bought today to make a cake tomorrow) so maybe eggs, waffles and a bun?
  • The thai chicken parcel wasn't very good as it didn't actually taste of much! Watched movie (taken 2) and no booze and went to bed about 945! BD came home from his mate's about 10 and we both slept well last night. He went to work at 7 and no sign of when he'll be finished. A bit worried about him as he's exhausted but hopefully he will be done by Thursday and all will go back to normal.

    Currently lazing on sofa with the cat. This week have lunch with old colleague tomorrow but shouldn't be more than £15 then not going out all rest of week until sat night when there are 10 of us to dinner. Will be expensive as those friends drink a lot and order expensive wine. Think they forget I am now not earning as much as I was, plus because we are going to start trying soon, am cutting down alcohol intake.
  • Went to BD's mum's so free lunch and hung out with the kids which was fun. Now have a polenta, almond & orange cake with panforte syrup baking in oven. Never made it before so hoping it will be good - didn't really look that "stuck together" when I put it in the pan! But i'm all for trying new cakes!

    Was in a v depressed mood this am and couldn't seem to shift it, even hanging out with the kids. Think it's cos due to get AF on thursday. I do find though that baking whilst listening to radio 1 tends to lighten the mood. Going to watch "chocolat" in a mo as recorded it ages ago and BD is back at work again. I really hope this isn't going to be the case regularly. One of the reasons I quit my job was because I found it was all consuming and taking time away from me and BD, now his job is doing the same!!!
  • monday - urghhhh. Really hate mondays. Am ok usually once monday is over but always struggle monday morning. Have lunch with an old colleague today - should be no more than £15 fingers crossed. Dinner is from stores - supermarket beef en croute plus pots and veg (was on 3 for £10).

    BD didn't get back until about 7 last night - he worked 8 hours yesterday and 4 on sat even though he's only 9-5 mon - fri. Pretty rubbish. AND I had to make the dinner after having baked a cake (he was due to do a roast but we changed as soon as realised he wouldn't be back early).

    Other than lunch out today, trying not to spend. Dreading anything "house" today. Just want it to get sorted now as it's only 6.5 weeks until everything due to go through. Really feel like life is in limbo until then - we can't book any holidays until we know what is happening as we may need cash for the house and we could really do with getting away and, of course, we've "checked out" of this house as we are selling and want to pack up but can't in case everything falls through and it has to go back on the market.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    Just here to say *big hugs* you've been having such a stressful time lately and It'll come good in the end. xxx
  • old colleague emailed to say she had brought a sandwich today so did I mind if she just had a coffee whilst I ate? I decided to cancel instead - find it a bit awkward when there's just 2 of you and only 1 is eating (esp if you're the one eating!). Bit annoyed as she could've messaged yesterday to say she wasn't eating as I told BD not to make me anything this morning! Anyway, trudged down to m&s and got my usual £1.65 sandwich and resisted the chocolate flapjacks at the till!

    House thing still not sure: got to go on a site visit tomorrow to measure the boundary where there is an issue and see for myself if it is really an issue or just someone being over-cautious. Also need to show BD the plans/photos tonight as he was unable to make meeting with lawyer today due to work.

    BD still not back from work - says 730 but I'm not even confident about that. He has said he is working until 9 thurs and fri. I really hope that this is just a one off and not a sign of things to come as he climbs the greasy career ladder. It's one thing me doing all the cooking, washing, cleaning, dealing with all house issues, bills etc (and cat going to have to go to vets tomorrow as he seems to have hurt his eye and is off his food) but when I'm also working as well - it's not really do-able!
  • took cat to vets - he is really unwell having deteriorated overnight. He's had 2 injections and has to be admitted in the morning to go under. Turns out his ear is massively infected and it's spread to his eye/head. It's weird as normally I would be able to tell there was an issue with his ear but he's not been showing any signs of that and first time I realised anything was wrong was when I saw his eye last night. Today cost £58.26/2 and god knows what tomorrow will cost. Vet said if he's still not eating by tomorrow he might need to stay in 2 days and be on a drip. I was crying in the vets. Hate seeing him poorly. We have insurance but not sure they'll cover it as he has had ear issues before but I've never bothered to say anything because they normally just tell me to clean it out and give him some antibiotic drops and he's fine within a couple of days and he's never been off his food with it before. Have taken today off as holiday to sit with him and keep an eye on him. Poor lamb. I've had him almost 10 years so he's like my baby.

    Got to pop out in a mo to go and see the house we are buying to review the boundary issue. Will nip to shop on way back as need milk and will try to avoid buying anything else though it's hard when you're off and feeling sorry for self. Really ought to try to do something productive with my day but just feel like staying here with the cat. May, however, get some tassimo from shop as feel could do with a nice coffee and buying a pack of those is better value than a coffee from a shop. Or might not and just try to save, esp as we may now be hit with a big vets bill if insurance won't pay. It never rains but it pours hey?
  • spent £14.43 in shop. Needed milk and then thought we only had 5 waffles left, and as we are having them with pretty much everything at the moment as quick and easy - thought would get some more. But they were on offer at £1.25 so not bad. Forgot we needed binbags so got those. Frivolous spend = 2 x 7 packs hula hoops but also on offer, 2 for £2. Galaxy x4 = £1 and got a very small pack of lindt balls for BD as he is working so hard thought he deserved it. Most expensive thing was just over a fiver on 4 x cans of tuna steak in spring water for the cat - as he is not eating, I need to coax him and fish may work. After his op he will probably also need something soft to eat (he is on diet of hard biscuit) so figure that should work. Not sure also whether they can eat scrambled eggs? Know my mum gives that to the dog (or chicken and rice) when it's poorly but not sure about cats.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Photogenic Name Dropper
    Community Admin
    So sorry about your poorly cat!!!! Wishing him a speedy recovery! xxx
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