Savings for the Boy & Me

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  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
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    One of the areas in my life that I want to focus on, is my weight. I did really well last year losing weight but once I started a new medication, the weight slowly creeped on. I know what I need to do but it's just getting back into it. I need to get back to the gym and start exercising regularly but I also need to give my overall diet a shake up. I'm snacking way too much on junk food that isn't good for me and I want to start eating three good meals day. At the moment I probably only eat one meal and snack for the rest of the day.

    I don't want to jump straight into it and put too much pressure on myself. I want to do it slowly and make small changes over time to achieve my ultimate goal. It has to be sustainable.

    So what are my goals?
    • Lose 1lb a week.
    • Go to the gym 3x a week.
    • Eat a balanced diet.

    What am I going to do to try and achieve these?
    • Cut out any snacks/junk food.
    • Plan out my meals for the day.
    • Cut back on sugar in my drinks.
    • Drink more water.
    • Go for walks outside and get fresh air on a regular basis.
    • Weigh myself once a week.
    • Look up motivational stories to inspire me.

    I'm unsure of my current weight as my scales need new batteries. I'll have a look tomorrow at what batteries they take and try to source some new ones.

    Once I know my start weight, I can set some more goals. Ultimately I'd like to lose around 5lb a month, anything more then that is a bonus. I just want to feel confident in my body again and get myself much fitter then what I currently am.

    I think ultimately my target weightloss will be around 70lb. I'm not going on any fad diets and I'm going to take the sensible approach and change little things along the way.

    We have just over two weeks left of February so I'm going to set myself a target to lose 2lb. I can then start afresh next month.

    I'm going to factor in time when I can to go to the gym. I pay for the membership and need to use it more often. This includes swimming too which I want to get back into.

    Fingers crossed!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
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    Morning,

    I'm a lot less active on here lately due to things previously mentioned in my last post but I've also been posting a lot more regularly in my DFW Diary. So if anyone ever wonders where I may have gotten to, sometimes it's there. Although my debt is only small to others and I could pay it off at any point, it's still doing me good and keeping me on track. I'm accountable for this and making payments here and there, where possible. As long as I clear it before December, that's all that matters. The current balance sits at £570.00. I've already made a payment this month but I'm aiming to make another payment towards the end of the month, when I do a money shuffle.

    Anyway I've done a lot of thinking and I've decided...

    TODAY IS THE DAY I TAKE BACK CONTROL OF MY LIFE :D

    This includes reviewing and assessing everything that is going on around me and my outlook/perspective on things. There are some things I can't control but other things I can and I just need to find the motivation to do these.

    I will recover and pull through this depression. I have the strength to do this as I've done it before so I can do it again. Each time, I become more resilient and learn from past experiences. No one else can do this for me and it's solely down to me to sort things out and change what I can. I need some control and routine back into my life.

    I need to look at things with a different perspective. I need to focus on the positives, not the negatives. I want to be the best version of myself and allow others to see the real me when I'm at my best.

    I'm a high functioning, high achieving person. I strive for perfectionism which always isn't attainable but as long as I try my best that's all that matters.

    The first step I am taking is going back to the gym. I'm a bit nervous to start again but I'm sure I'll be fine once I'm there. I'm setting myself small targets and will build upon these. I'm making myself go today, even if it's just for half an hour. I will no doubt feel better after it.

    I've wrote quite a big to do list which I'm going to tackle as the day goes on and break it down into smaller manageable chunks. I'm going to do this every day, even if some of it is just part of daily life. I need to keep myself accountable and get back into a routine. There are basic needs I often forget/put aside such as making sure I eat proper meals. I am determined to make changes now.

    There will never be a right time to start so I figure why not just do it now and get it over and done with. I am able to do it, I just need to have a little faith in myself and have encouragement from others.

    I won't let my illness/condition define me, it's just a small part of who I am. If people don't accept this part of me then they no longer serve a purpose in my life. I'm surrounded by close family and friends and I am well loved. That's all that matters.

    The boy is my reason to carry on and fight through whatever life throws our way. I need to keep on, keeping on.. that's a phrase a 103 year old lady told me when I asked her what was her secret and it's always stuck with me.

    I sometimes scroll through and read quotes which sometimes make me feel better and more empowered. Some of them, I can relate to and others give different perspective on things/outlook on life in general. It makes me stop and think for a moment and I realise how truly blessed I am.

    I'm blessed that I can save up money to secure a future for the boy and me. I put aside lump sums each month into different accounts to earn interest. I live within my means as much as possible but I allow a little leeway for other things. There are areas I could cut back on but I want to enjoy my time with family/friends. We don't always do things that cost money, sometimes it's just simple things like going for a walk or to the park.

    We have passes for our local theme park which opens soon, so we will probably spend a bit of time there and take food/picnics with us. It's only a ten minute walk away and I just need to pick up our passes. One of the boys friend from school also has a pass so we can always arrange a day out with them which I'm sure he'll love.

    We also live right by the beach so we can start going for walks/bike rides, weather permitting. We can go swimming for free which is a bonus, the boy can practice and we also have fun when we go. We aren't too far from countryside walks and have good network links to other areas we can explore. I want to create mini adventures that the boy shall look back on with fond memories. We are so close, we are pretty much inseparable. He's my best friend.

    As half term is looming, I shall be putting together a plan to keep us both busy. There will be some down time at home where the boy can play computer games with his friends but I'm determined to get us out the house as much as possible. I'm always open to suggestions of what to do. I will also try and arrange a day out with my friend and her kids.

    If we venture out of town then I may have to increase my petrol budget for the month. I'm okay with this and have used a bit more then usual just lately with going different places. I currently have £55 left in the petrol budget and I'm going to put some petrol in my car today and then I'm going to fill up the air in tyres. I've been checking out the MSE guide about driving as economically as possible and what you can do to ensure you get the most out of your petrol. My MPG is quite poor and I worked out it roughly costs me 20p per mile which was shocking. The thing is though, i own my car outright and plan to run it till it's on its last legs so I'll just do everything I can to ensure I get my moneys worth. I'm going to try and stop the smaller journeys and walk more to places. The exercise will also do me good.

    The food budget has £55 left in for the rest of the month. I tend to just nip in weekly and buy any fresh food items we need. I've spent a bit more lately as we forgot a couple of things but that's okay. I'm going to start writing a list as I go along when I remember what we need as I often forget.

    My entertainment budget has £175 left which is good for me! We have a lot of wriggle room here to play with but I'll try to save some of this to put towards other things.

    Anyhow, I best get on with my day and make a start with all that I want to do.

    I'm excited for new beginnings and I have hope. That's the most important thing, I feel right now.

    :D
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
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    So sorry you are not well. I hope you can rest and make a recovery soon. Keep enjoying time with your dear son.
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Morning,

    Thanks saving, it isn't going to be easy but I will get to where I need to be.

    This week has passed so quickly and in a bit of a blur. I've been keeping myself busy as much as possible.

    One of the good things is I've managed to do is go to the gym four times in a row. It was scary at first, walking back in knowing that I'm starting from scratch but I know I can do this. Over the next few weeks I'll be building up a routine that is maintainable and suitable for me. I've also been a lot more careful watching what I eat and only eating when I'm properly hungry. The goal is to lose around a lb a week and work towards getting myself fitter and healthier. It's going to take hard work and determination but I'm ready for the challenge.

    Money wise, I'm doing okay. I've had a pretty low spend week so far which is good. I filled the car up with petrol and did a small food shop but aside from that, there hasn't been much more. The petrol budget has £30 left in it and the food budget has £44. That is for the rest of the month. My entertainment budget still stands at £175 which is good and allows us funds to do some activities this upcoming week.

    I've bought a couple of small items this week including a gift for a friend as she has just finished her last year of uni. It's a mug that says "I don't skinny dip, I chunky dunk". It left me with a smile on my face as it is totally appropriate to us. I will arrange to meet her this upcoming week at some point to hand it to her.

    The boy received his school report on Friday. All is good and he is at where he needs to be plus excelling in some areas. As long as he tries his hardest, that's all I care about.

    Yesterday was the first day of the year that the theme park by us opened up. We went along and picked up our passes and went on the park for a few hours. We met up with the boy and his friend and they both had a good time. We took a picnic and drinks with us so there were no spends there.

    Today we have the boys ice skating. We usually go four times a week but I've narrowed it down to three days now by putting some lessons together which will save a small amount of money and give us more time together during the week.

    I'm making cutbacks here, there and where possible. I'm holding on to hopes and dreams that I'm doing the right thing for us both with all that I do.

    There are other things I need to work on but they will take time and require determination. It's all about me now and that's what I'm focusing on.

    I'm off on a date today. I've been on a couple with a guy I've been talking to lately and we are going for a walk down the beach later on which should be nice and maybe back to mine for tea. I'm not sure where all of this will go or lead to but I'm having fun whilst I can. To be honest, I need the distraction.

    That's pretty much it here, in the Chandelier household.. here is to the beginning on a new week!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Afternoon,

    I've been AWOL for a while from my savings diary as I've been posting more on my DFW diary.. so I'm sorry to have neglected you all!

    I'm still on track savings wise. I've been sticking to my budgets and working with what money I have leftover.

    There has been quite a lot going on in my life, many of which are positives.

    • I'm dating new manfriend. (We've been dating each other just over a month and all is going well. He really makes me happy; opposites do attract).
    • I've started back at the gym. (I've been going 3/4 times a week and have even tried some classes).
    • I'm losing weight. (I've lost 8lb since my last update which is good. Slow and steady wins the race).
    • I've stopped smoking. (I'm on day 10 of no smoking. All money saved has been put into seperate pot).
    • I'm still off work. (No plans to go back just yet. Everything needs to be put into place and some things need to change).
    • I'm paying off my debt slowly but surely. (I've set up a direct debit to pay £30pm and making extra payments here and there. All is on 0% so no interest at the moment!).
    • My savings are building up. (I still save a set amount each month into different accounts to build upon what I already have. Any extras are a bonus).

    Whatever money I've saved so far from stopping smoking is currently going into a seperate pot which I'll allow it to build up. I'm yet to decide what I'm going to use it for, it currently has no purpose. I'm just enjoying seeing the balance increase on a daily basis. I was smoking twenty a day at the cost of £8.70 a pack.. big savings there! I worked out I spent around £245 in one month on smoking alone which was was a huge eye opener, seeing it written down in front of me. Long may it continue.

    Everything else, finance wise is okay. I'm making savings here and there whilst still going out and having fun. I'm taking advantage of any offers/deals available and suitable to us e.g. 2for1 meerkat vouchers for cinema/eating out. Every little saving adds up!

    I need to have a decent look at my savings and tally up where I'm at with everything. It will be good to see it all written down and keep me on track.

    I've yet to plan the summer travels with the boy. I'm just waiting until my head is a bit clearer before I make plans. I also need to double check my annual leave with work before I do anything.

    So a lot to do, I'm sure I'll find the time!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    I've sat down and had a good think about my savings and where I want to be by the end of this year.
    The aim is to;
    Save at least £7,000 by December 31st 2019

    I'm not counting what I have already saved so far this year as this goal starts from today. I already allocate a set amount of money towards savings at the beginning of each month.

    • HTB Isa: £200pm.
    • FD: £300pm.
    • NW: £250pm.
    Total: £750pm.

    These all come out at the beginning of each month so I will start from April. Between then and December, there are nine payments.

    So £750 x 9 = £6750.00.

    This is what I currently save as a bare minimum each month. I'll find ways of making more savings as I go a long and build upon what I already have. I'll find a purpose for each bit of spare money I have.

    I'm determined to do this. The £7000 is just the minimum of what I'd like to save. The extra will be through hardwork and determination.

    I'm securing a future for both the boy & me.. whilst also enjoying ourselves along the way.
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
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    Welcome back glad you are dating and saving so much. It is great that you have given up smoking - v healthy and MSE at the same time. Sorry you are off work and hope you are getting better. Glad you posted as we missed you.
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Thanks savingwannabe.

    It's been a busy couple of days since I last posted and I've had a few spends here and there but nothing too drastic- it's all budgeted for.

    So what have I been up to?! Well..
    • I went to cinema with manfriend. (He paid for the cinema tickets which came to £5 altogether as we used the 2for1 deal. I bought the snacks and drinks which came to £5.. so we were equal!).
    • I went to a close family friend funeral. (It meant all our family came together to celebrate the life of the person who passed away.
      I've decided I'm going to arrange a get together/meal out at some point for us all and that I'm going to make more of an effort to visit family. It's just hard sometimes when we don't have much time).
    • I bought two token gifts for the boys Nana/Nanny for mothers day. (I've bought them a personalised keyring each, the total spends came to £7.98) which I didnt think was too bad).
    • I treated myself to a scrapbook. (I've had my eye on this type of scrapbook for a long time and when I've previously looked at them they were so expensive. It's like the one from the film, Up. It's called 'Our Adventure Book'. I will find a purpose for this and most likely enjoy doing it.
      I quite like creative things. It only cost me £10.99 which I was happy to pay).
    • I went out for dinner on Wednesday with a friend. (I met up with one of my best friends and had a good catch up. We both ate far too much and spent around £24 each. That was for starters, main and dessert Anyhow it was only a once off and I had a good time. We discovered a new dessert place which I'm going to take the boy to at some point).
    • I bought my friend one item for her birthday. (So far I've bought her a mug which cost £7.
      I'm going to venture into town today and see if I can find a nice candle or something else for her. My total budget for her is £20, so I have a bit of wiggle room).
    • I bought my mum a small gift for mothers day. (I bought her a mug which cost £7.. more of a token gift).
    • I bought all cards needed for mothers day. (I've bought cards for everyone I need to. The total spends were £5. I now feel organised).
    • I've decided what I'm going to do as the main present for mothers day. (I'm going to make my own version of afternoon tea for my Mum and the boys Nanny. I'll make my own sandwiches/scones and will buy some small cakes to go with it. This means I will save money rather then going out somewhere for it.. rather MSE I must say!).
    • I've been to doctors appointment regarding the boy. (All my concerns were discussed an a referral has been made which I'm happy about).
    • I've decided I want to come off one of my medications. (Since I started one of my medications, I have gained around 20lb which I'm not happy about and I am struggling to lose it. I've discussed this with my CPN and we have agreed that I'll start to taper it down and hopefully by time my consultant appt come round, we can discuss alternatives).
    • I've booked an appointment for the boys parents evening. (I've invited his Nanny to join us and have factored it in amongst other things).
    • I've arranged a wellbeing meeting with work and emailed my union rep with the details. (This is scheduled for next week, I'm not looking forward to it but I have no updates to give them at the moment. I guess I'm just checking in).

    That's just a couple of things which have happened. I have another small to do list to which I'm aiming to tackle.
    • Sort out appointment at local clinic. (I want to look into alternative treatments to what I'm currently on).
    • Phone up about other health related appointments. (There are a few things I need to follow up).
    • Nip to town. (This will be a quick trip as I'm only going to look for an additional gift for my friends birthday next week. I'll park further away and walk into town to save on car parking.
    • Nip to home bargains. (I'm only going in for one thing so will avoid all other aisles. I'm known to spend randomly in there.. I don't need anymore random items).
    • Do small food shop. (I just need to pick up fresh items like bagels/milk/fruit etc).

    That's pretty much it I think for now.. I'm sure I'll think of other stuff along the way.

    And last but not least, I'm happy to report it's Day 11 of stopping smoking and all is going well. The money I've saved is building up which I'm happy about and I just need to decide what I'm going to do with it. I've yet to figure this out.

    Bye for now!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
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    Gosh have you been busy. The cinema date sounds great. Well done on gifts for nanna and mother for Mother's Day and for friend. I hope son is ok and parents evening goes well.

    Good luck with coming off medication do it slowly and listen to your body :j:T and also vv good luck at work meeting I hope they are kind and supportive. :A:A
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 Posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Afternoon,

    It's been yet another few busy days since I last posted but I managed to get everything done that I needed to plus a couple of other things.
    • I bought the rest of my friends birthday presents. (I ended up buying her a mug, a candle and some chocolate tulips. I spent roughly £16 in total which came under budget, yay!).
    • I sorted out the rest of the mothers day presents. (As well as the key rings I bought them some chocolate tulips so the boy has something physical to give them in the morning before I make them afternoon tea).
    • On Friday, I went on a night out with manfriend. We went for food, played mini golf then had a few drinks. I think my total soend was £20, he paid for the rest. I'll return the favour at some point).
    • Saturday was a complete chill out day which was needed. (The boy went to his great grandparents and my cousin came to me but overall it was just a chilled out day).
    • On Sunday I met manfriend's Mum and we went out for lunch and for a small walk.(I was so nervous for this but all went well as far as I'm aware. We went to a country park type of place and had lunch in a cafe there which was nice. We then went back to his mums where we had tea and cake and had a good conversation. At least it's over and done with now).
    • The referral for the boys appointment came really quickly. (He was only referred on Thursday so this was really quick! My doctors are amazing. I've booked an appointment for May. It will soon be here).
    • I applied for another 0% CC. (I've done this more to put the expenses of our upcoming travels on which will give us extra protection. Its 0% for 26 months which is good and it gave me a rather generous limit. I'll most likely pay the minimums each month whilst putting my money into high interest accounts and pay it off in full at end of the promo period. I just need to be meticulous at managing it well and keep my eyes on things).
    • The boy has been successful in his auditions for the next Christmas ice skating show. (He is over the moon and so chuffed he got in. I'm so proud of him, I knew he could do it! Also all his friends managed to get in too which makes it even better. I just have to find the money now to pay for this. The total cost is £200 but it is split it over four months to make easier for people and I just need to complete the paperwork).

    That's pretty much it for the past few days. I've most likely missed other things out but they can't be that important if I haven't remembered ;).

    Today I'm off out for a meal and to the cinema with one of my best friends. We are using a 2for1 restaurant deal and the cinema is only £5 each so shouldn't spend too much. I'm then off to Bingo tonight with another friend which is free but we just have to pay £4 for a couple of other things. I'll take my own drinks so I'm not spending money there and making it a low cost activity.

    I really need to rein things in now as I'm having quite a few spendy days where I shouldn't. I'm buying things that I don't actually need and I could be saving that money. An example is I bought myself a new purse- I didn't need one, I just liked the look of it. I then bought myself new earrings. I'm just being a nightmare but I don't want this to continue. I've never been a big spender so this is pretty new to me.

    I've a lot of upcoming appointments this week which I need to keep track of. A couple are private appointments which I'll be paying for but are much needed.

    Alas one of the final things I'm treating myself too is having my nails done. I never do this and thought it would be nice as a one off. It's my friend who's doing them and she will most likely charge mates rates.

    I'm now on Day 15 of not smoking and all is going well. A few cravings here and there but nothing major. I've saved £130 so far which I'm chuffed with.

    And that's pretty much it for now. There are a few other things but I'll write them down again a later date.
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
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