Atrixa's Saving Diaries

edited 25 January at 6:20PM in How much have you saved?
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  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    You know, I've never cycled in my life. The roads around the office are appalling so we don't get many cyclists in the office. We need decent cycle lanes, really. It took me 42 mins to walk it and using the bus would probably take even longer because of the traffic, so I'll try to just walk every time.

    Interesting development with car situation, my MIL (sort of) caught wind of my impending purchase and asked if I'd prefer to be a named driver on her Ford Fiesta. She's getting on a bit and mostly uses it during the week when I wouldn't need it, and I could easily use it weekend mornings to get to races or whatever else I need. Could potentially be a viable option- this arrangement would have me spending money on petrol and not too much else. Any car I got would be parked up outside my house most of the time since I mostly WFH. We're going to look into how adding me on to the insurance affects the premium and will go from there. She's quite keen to have me on so if her health fails in some way I can help her get around easily. The only negatives for her that I can see would be extra wear and tear on the car (although I'll be using it for longer journeys, not pottering around town so shouldn't be too bad) or if I end up in an accident and I'm at fault, her premiums will go up. I think this might be one of the few situations where car sharing makes good sense. It'll certainly stop me from using it where I don't really need to. I can keep the money I've saved so that if I need to buy a car in the future, I can or it will double as an emergency fund. I've enquired with a local instructor about doing refresher lessons or pass plus. I did a bit of googling, turns out pass plus is very rarely used by insurance companies now to reduce a premium, but it should serve as a good way for me to get back into driving. This instructor charges £200 for the whole course. Driving lessons have certainly gone up a bit since I was a bairn.

    Plants wise, I've just sown my french dwarf beans. Garlic seems ok, herbs are mostly doing well. I've sown some more coriander in a different kind of compost to see if that makes it any better (keeps wilting and dying on me). Having fresh herbs to use is just lovely. Bf's cat is enjoying the catmint I'm growing for him. My horn chillies and ring of fire are growing flowers on them (mistook them for chillies at first, doh) so I'll need to pollinate them when they've opened up. A few are now outside for space purposes. I might have a crack at growing some onions from seed in the winter. Now that I've started composting I've noticed a massive reduction in how much general waste I'm chucking out, which is fab. I've got lemon balm growing in the bathroom which smells lovely. I haven't tried using any in a tea yet.
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Even non-fault accidents increase premiums. You could pay the extra for being a named driver and still be quids in. It would do the car good having a run, local few miles driving doesn't give the car time to warm up and circulate everything properly.

    Forget P+, just have a couple of refresher lessons, it will be cheaper and cover what you want rather than a rigid course.

    Is the coriander in full sun or shade or part of either? Does it have enough / too much water? Getting windswept? It's a delicate plant, trial and error will succeed.

    Open the windows, have the plants sitting by them and nature will pop by, even a gentle shake gets the pollen moving, or on warmer days put them outside, bring in at night.

    You've done well getting it all up and running.
  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    There are the definite beginnings of chillies on some of my plants! How exciting! I'll try to get some photos if I remember.
    Due to the price increases I think I'll be expanding what I'm growing quite a bit. Potatoes in particular since the prices are going up quite a bit. I'll definitely try onions from seed and maybe peas? No idea how easy brussels sprouts are to grow in a container. Will also try growing some soft fruit next year. I'm hardening off some of my chilli plants to put outside full time. Lost some of the weaker ones, but got plenty spare.

    Driving wise, took me about 10 attempts to find an instructor with availability, but I've got my first refresher lesson booked in for next weekend. £30 per hour which seems to be about average nowadays. I'm sure it was £18 when I was a nipper! Quite looking forward to getting out there again now, he sounded supportive on the phone. Hopefully around 5 hours will be sufficient and I can pick what kind of driving we do. I'm on my MIL's insurance from the beginning of June, which increased the monthly premium by £10 per month with a £20 admin fee. I can see where bf gets his stubbornness from as she refused to let me pay the difference. I should be able to swing it so that she'll never have to pay for petrol again, or coffee if I'm about :) 


  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Most things can be grown in tubs, I grew a great runner bean in a pot one of my roses came in. Provided there's sufficient water and feed going in, you'll be fine.

    If you've got dried packet peas from the shop, grow those. Let some grow / dry out on the plant and that's you set up for next year. Same with most things if you let it go to seed, it will keep you going each season.

    £30, ouch I had some at £5 and the rest cost £10ph. Good luck, you'll soon have everything flooding back!
  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    Had my first refresher driving lesson today, it went reasonably well. I wouldn't call my driving 'smooth' but my hazard perception and planning etc are probably better now than when I was a teenager, maybe comes with age. I just need to relax, mostly. I definitely need to get better with the gears when slowing down and not panic when I get to a junction, but I overtook a tractor safely on a single carriageway and skills like steering and observation seem to be intact. Got my next one on Friday, so looking forward to that. I just need to remember that these skills are all there, just rusty after 10 years of not using them. The instructor is very supportive and patient, so I'm sure it'll go well.

    My french dwarf beans are coming up now, can't wait for those to start producing. 

    Got some laundry in, might try to get it on the line for a few hours. Going to make a curry tonight for tea and settle down with my book. 


  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Well done! Like riding a bike, it never goes away. You've got the first one and confidence will follow with each lesson.
    Hazard perception is used when crossing roads, you just quickly weigh it all up. Modern cars do seem to have a different clutch to gear ratio, and biting point depends on how much life is left in the clutch. You'll adapt to each car, be tootling around wondering why you didn't do it sooner and telling us about all the new places you've been.

    Yummy, the growing bug has got you 😊 enjoy the curry.
  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    Another payday gone by :) I've saved £590 in total this month, and gone back to filling my various emergency funds now there's no pressing need to buy my own car. Main savings are going into my house emergency fund which currently stands at 29.35% full. 

    Second driving lesson went quite well, a few gear faults but I'm getting there.

    Running is also going well at the moment, I got a new 10K PB at the weekend and I'm starting my marathon training this week- that will be my longest race ever. 

    I picked up a new pair of slippers (I wear winter ones pretty much year round, cold floors) and a pair of PJ shorts for £15 each in the Fat [email protected] sale. Their stuff seems decent quality, so I hope these last longer than the supermarket ones do.

    Made a pot of soup this evening- yellow split pea. Will make some pasta sauce after work tomorrow night. Three day week, yey!
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    Great savings and having no pressure to buy a car helps.

    The gears will come naturally soon, see if the instructor will let you have 5 mins at the start of the next lesson to practice gear change when stationary.

    Good luck with the 10k and marathon.

    Food sounds great, as does the short week. Have a good one!
  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    Morning all, been ages since I posted so here's an update. I ended up with a ruptured appendix, so had surgery to remove that (and some of my bowel) last week. Spent about 6 days in hospital with gastroparesis after the surgery and I'm now recovering well at home. Knackered, but improving a bit each day. Trying to get more mobile now with little walks. 

    I was doing a grocery challenge but I'll probably blast past that this month due to spending more on convenience and having my lovely bf doing my shopping for me. I should be well enough to make myself a batch of chilli next week. Luckily I had some bits in the freezer to sort me out for a few days when I got home. Since I'm not spending on days out etc at least there's room in my budget to move things around.

    I'll be off work for at least another week and a half so will just focus on getting myself better. I'm quite looking forward to catching up on my reading, anyway. 

    Hope everyone is well!
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
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    It's good to see you back. Hope you have a good recovery and don't rush to return if you're not up to it.

    Time off allows for plenty of rest, reading and planning, make the most of it.
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