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Cheery's country living adventure

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
2.4K replies 182.6K views
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  • edited 21 December 2018 at 9:56AM
    Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 9:56AM
    UFM Step 6 - reduce spending on discretionary expenses

    ... well that last post sounded like I was making excuses... Clearly we have a lot we can reduce!

    Food and household
    This is the big one. Our actual food shopping trips are pretty frugal - and then we ruin it by me popping to a corner shop on the way home from work to 'just pick up a few things'. BIG part of our overspending :eek:

    Diesel
    To be fair, there's not too much we could have done about this the last few months, as I've had to be in the office every day. However, from now until next October I get to work at home a LOT (as in most of the time) so this will hopefully substantially reduce anyway :money:

    My personal spends
    As always there's room for improvement in my own personal spends. An average of £10 on travel (buses and taxis) isn't too bad, £20 on clothes could be improved (although that includes winter boots etc), and about £55 on socialising and other isn't too bad - although I think the majority of the £124 on 'budget fiddling' actually belongs in this category too...

    Dentist/medical is what it is - not going to try to reduce that (my prescriptions are all free anyway as I had my thyroid removed several years ago which puts me on some kind of register). Home and car maintenance we don't spend unnecessarily - but I'm not putting them off when they're needed. I do have a couple of magazine subscriptions which I'm very fond off -they've largely been on '5 issues for £5' promotions but I'll keep an eye on the renewal dates...
  • edited 21 December 2018 at 9:56AM
    Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 9:56AM
    UFM Step 7 - Empower yourself to insource

    Let's have a minor celebration - we are EPIC at this :j :j :j :j

    We do loads of stuff ourselves, from cutting our own hair to knitting socks to plastering to removing entire internal chimney walls :j Mr Cheery is ACE at getting free stuff from Freegle, Gumtree and the like (most recently an 8 foot oak table). We are both competent, reasonably fit and healthy, and willing to have a go :j :j

    Some things I do want to get better at...

    * doing daily/weekly/monthly maintenance checks on the car
    * making some more of my own clothes

    Since we moved the only thing we've paid others for is putting up some scaffolding, and fitting 3 radiators (and I think we'd both be willing to do that ourselves next time having watched this lot do it - the radiators that is, not the scaffolding!!)

    A frugal success!
  • edited 21 December 2018 at 9:57AM
    Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 9:57AM
    UFM Step 8 - examine your habits

    Thinking through a typical day... for me... with existing frugal habits highlighted in green and potential for improvement in red...

    Week days
    Wake at 5, mess about on phone til I've woken up properly, up at 5.30, make breakfast in tupperware and tea in a travel mug. Take chickens their breakfast (chicken food mixed with hot water and a bit of porridge). Drive to work, find free parking space.

    Morning in the office, drinking tea from the tea kitty. Lunchtime - oops, sometimes I forget (or can't be bothered) to bring lunch so usually get a baked potato and cottage cheese from the canteen.

    Mid afternoon - bored of work so a little trip to the vending machine...

    Drive home, stopping at a shop on the way usually for treats/drinks/snacks. Evening at home.

    Weekend day
    Up at 7.30 to let chickens out, eat breakfast at home. Mr Cheery gets up, and we often pop out to a cafe for a cuppa (and sometimes a scone). Sometimes a trip into town - free parking, a wander round the charity shops, and often a nip into a supermarket for a top up shop.

    Obviously my life is slightly more varied than that... :eek: :o :rotfl: But in terms of frugal/non-frugal habits that's pretty accurate... So I can see some easy places to improve :j

    Pleased with myself that I've managed to avoid paying for parking since we moved :rotfl: It's been a bit of a trial at times mind you - either I have to get to work before 7am, or I end up having to park over a mile away and walk in. I've done it though!
  • edited 21 December 2018 at 9:57AM
    Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    edited 21 December 2018 at 9:57AM
    UFM Step 9 - Plan ahead and Step 10 - buy used

    (I'm flagging a bit now :o:o )

    I do plan ahead in relation to parking, combining trips into the city with Mr Cheery. And sometimes I plan ahead in terms of lunch, but not always... I've also fallen into the habit of just 'foraging' for tea each night, rather than proper cooking (which would lead to proper leftovers). So again some room for improvement.

    As for buying used - we pretty much only ever do anyway :j I can't even remember the last thing I bought new :eek: Well, fruit trees and radiators :rotfl: but in terms of everyday stuff... Will certainly keep an eye on things though.

    So that's it for the steps - except for Step 11 (banish excuses) which is more what I intend to do during January :j My main excuse has been being 'too busy' to cook/plan :o but that's no longer the case so I have plenty of time to get back out of my bad habits!

    And now I think it's about time I went to bed :o :rotfl:
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Oh that's annoying gave all my posts titles to make it obvious which step I was talking about but they don't show up on mobiles! Sorry!

    Hey ho. On a better note I got over £20 on Peolific today so I've just cashed that out and ot can go to the motgage when it arrives :money:


    And now REALLY to bed!
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  • shangaijimmyshangaijimmy Forumite
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    Love your planning, and can hear the excitement in you typing for the year ahead. Good luck.
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £73,243.27......Reduction: £62,757.93... in 5yrs 6mths!
    Mortgage Neutral Target - Feb 2025...£65,665.23 remaining
    MFiT-T5 #8 - £10,313 of £23,100 (44.65%)
  • themadvixthemadvix Forumite
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    Great thoughts Cheery. I've signed up for UFM too but I've not had a look at it yet properly. We did it in July, so should be okay, but I've just updated the spending diary for November (whoops)..... horrifying doesn't cover it! Things must improve!! I'm looking forward to a super-frugal January. Inspired by you, I'll have a think about the questions - but I'm not sure if I'll put it all on my diary.
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Thank you lovely folks :j :j Shangaijimmy I am indeed excited for next year :j and themadvix I am with you on being horrified at current spending levels :eek: :o:o

    Still, onwards and upward! (or hopefully downwards in relation to spending :rotfl: )

    I have decided to take today off work :j Emailed the boss and put my out of office message on til 7th Jan :j :j :j I'm still not properly better so there is very little point having yet another half ar3ed day in the office where I'm just being ineffective and slightly useless :o And I finished off everything supposedly 'urgent' yesterday so all good :j

    So I'm hanging around this morning, and this afternoon Mr Cheery and I are going to do some leisurely Christmas shopping :j Much-needed Christmas shopping - I haven't got him a single present yet, and barely have anything for most of the other people I need to buy for :eek:

    But it'll be a gentle one, and I'm going to sit and write a list first over a nice cup of tea :j
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    Cheery, this is amazing, thank you for putting it all onto your thread. I can see that I really do need to sign up to UFM, I thought it was just an Americansed version of the SOA, apologies to Mrs Frugalwoods!



    Right, it was open on another tab anyway, so I've just done it. Since I've just opened a new current account which needs a bit of maintenance (in terms of debits to offset a low charge) and I've got the inheritance money to distribute, it's absolutely great timing for me.


    Very glad to hear you're not going in again till the 7th - you really sound like you need it. How are the chickens?
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Chickens are cheerful :j Been pout pesking around this morning but I've just shut them back in their run as we're going out for a bit. Windy and drizzly today so they were looking a bit bedraggled anyway!

    Yes uber frugal month is a whole month of activities and things to look at, this is just the advanced preparation! But to us old hands there's probably not THAT much new in there... But it's good to have a focus :j
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