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Going, going...still going!

edited 29 November 2019 at 8:03PM in Debt Free Diaries
971 replies 71K views
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  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
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    Happy new year! It's been a quiet few days for PD and I - it has been lovely. I didn't do anything last night - went to bed well before the bells. I did hear the neighbours celebrating with their small children at 8pm, but that was it. I know the feeling! :lol: 

    i have a list of things to improve on this year (much the same as last year - I never seem to get very far). Not quite sure how my breakfast of Doritos fits into that, but hey, it's all a work in progress :lol: I have the NYD concert from Vienna on tv just now - it's one of the few things I do each year, whilst working on my list. So strange to see all the empty seats, but of course, it could hardly be any different. Here, despite the snow outside, the windows all open to let the old out. Have to say that I'm feeling rather melancholy today, I don't want to relinquish being European :disappointed:  So many friends are facing uncertainty at the moment, or at the very least, extortionate costs to stay in the country where they've built their careers, lives, and families.  Keeping my fingers crossed for them, and so many key industries (at least those in these parts - science, academia, agriculture to name a few) that face uncertainty. I will find a way to help this year. 

    That's a bit gloomier than I intended! On a lighter note, I will watch the concert, with a fresh coffee and a rather snug PD. :smile:

    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • mark55manmark55man Forumite
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    well done for surviving 2020!

    Wishing you a great year in '21 and that you can find a path.  My OH is from your neck of the woods (the other place!) and she is similarly minded - personally it happens that I am very UK centred in what I do, so whilst politically I care (the whole Brexit project was championed by people I don't trust and don't like) practically it will not made a lot of difference - if anything will make for local opportunities

    nothing wrong with a bit of melancholy either, its a great mood to watch beautiful things in - just don't let it grow too strong, although with PD's antics  I can't believe that's a problem 

    PS - Doritos is the breakfast of champions especially chilli heat wave :wink:
     
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour/Drinking milk shakes cold & long/Smiling & waving & looking so fine
    Weight 07/02/2021:92.5kg - YTD: -4kg, Trips to tip: 02/52 - Rooms Painted: 0/4 - Jan Steps (L:Av:H): (463:2767:9366)
    Debt 07/02/2021:£107.5K -- YTD:[email protected]%:£1933/£12299 - Mortgage Neutral:£3.3K/£101K - EF:£2.9K/£10K
    Total Debt Reduction 2016:£13.4K 2017:£8.3K 2018:£20K 2019:£16K 2020:£37.5K 2021 Net YTD(01/02/21): £8.8K
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    Thank you Mark, voice of reason as always! :wink:
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • mark55manmark55man Forumite
    6.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Thank you BCNS - if a man can't mansplain stuff what is he good for :smiley:
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour/Drinking milk shakes cold & long/Smiling & waving & looking so fine
    Weight 07/02/2021:92.5kg - YTD: -4kg, Trips to tip: 02/52 - Rooms Painted: 0/4 - Jan Steps (L:Av:H): (463:2767:9366)
    Debt 07/02/2021:£107.5K -- YTD:[email protected]%:£1933/£12299 - Mortgage Neutral:£3.3K/£101K - EF:£2.9K/£10K
    Total Debt Reduction 2016:£13.4K 2017:£8.3K 2018:£20K 2019:£16K 2020:£37.5K 2021 Net YTD(01/02/21): £8.8K
  • edited 3 January at 12:47PM
    BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
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    edited 3 January at 12:47PM
    In more of a positive mood today ;)  We've had a few more flurries of snow, but it has turned ever so slightly warmer, so we're getting rain at the moment, which is making short work of the white stuff. 

    Did a bit of a budget overhaul yesterday and took stock of when various things are due for renewal (I had that all saved somewhere, but can I find it? :neutral: ) Still, never a pointless exercise. Cancelled a couple of things and got insurance sorted for PD for another year - it's a cash-back policy, so I'll get 20% back if I don't claim within the year (fingers crossed!). As she's getting older, some places increase their premiums, but this one has only increased the excess, so I'm happy with that. She is overdue a check-up, however, I can't hand her over to the vets, she has needed to be sedated in the past if I'm not there, and that is not worth putting her through! 

    I've also ordered another veg box, so that should come next week. I have a vat of vegetable lentil soup on the hob just now, which will do for lunches for much of the next week, and planning a yellow split pea curry today. I need to do a freezer audit too - I was looking for spinach yesterday to chuck in a bowl of pasta, and grabbed bags of mint and parsley before I found the spinach. I really should label things properly! I've been relying on pasta a lot in recent months, and a peek at the scales (through my fingers) has proved that whilst tasty, it has not helped my waistline! So back to more of a veg and pulse menu, rather than pasta/simple carbs.  The veg box will help and I'm digging out some old bookmarked recipes too. It's so easy to get into a rut when you're not paying attention! :neutral:  BBC Good food have a winter meal plan which is quite good for inspiration too. I know I have a few portions of chicken and mince in the freezer, but I'm going to keep these back for now. Always needs a bit of tweak when cooking for one anyway - even if I make a 'serves 4', eat one portion, keep two for lunches/next day, and freeze one, it is still a bit of an investment if it all goes wrong :lol: Or, make a 'serves 4' and find that it's really more of a 'serves 2' so the meal plan needs rejigged for two additional meals, or find additional veg to round out the meal! It's very common with 'healthy recipes' online at this time of year - take a standard recipe and halve the portion size, all of a sudden, a portion is half the calories it was to begin with :wink: Life doesn't work that way, but does wonders for marketing! :lol: 

    Hoping the extra attention to the meal-planning will mean the budget will benefit too - all good so far, and looking forward to a couple of months without CTax too. All ok on that front, here's to keeping it going :wink:
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    I'm glad that's the first week back done and dusted. Felt like a very long week for only being 4 days! I rubbed someone up the wrong way by inadvertently subverting their overly complicated system, so had to justify being efficient :expressionless: but I've had worse :lol:

    Budget all ok, no spends at all this week (on Day 6 of NSDs) and not planning anything this weekend either, so we'll see how long I can stretch it out for! A frugal start to the year at least.  I've stuck to my meal plans this week, and it's been good to get back into the swing of that. Lots of veg now and although I could do with some more pulses, I should have enough in store to avoid shopping for another week. I'll try to get an online shopping slot for next weekend, I think that will be fine :smile:

    PD hasn't moved from her bed today, so can only imagine there will be some late night action as she races around the flat. I'm surprised the neighbours haven't complained yet, she was very bouncy this morning :lol: 
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Broke my streak of NSDs by doing an online shop :lol: Amazing the rate at which cupboard stocks decrease when you actually get back to meal planning and cooking properly! I was restrained on the cheese front too :wink:  Budget all ok apart from that - DDs are coming out at their normal rate, so should be ok considering it's not payday for another two weeks. I've had a couple of PA surveys when I've checked, but not really been paying all that much attention to this lately. I average about £7 a month usually. Also edging ever close to a payout on YouGov - it's only taken 3 years to get to this point so may take a few months more to cross the line!. I must be a demographic they don't want to hear from :lol: 

    Although I have been meal planning, I've sort of left a gap tonight, which will need rectified! Leek and mushroom risotto, possibly. I've also found an amazing new cabbage recipe (honestly, it's to die for) so I'm resisting the urge to cook mountains of the stuff. It's a caramelized cabbage recipe, you're supposed to cook it a bit on the hob and then in the oven, but I just do it all in the oven. Takes about an hour and will convert any cabbage hater, I'm sure of it! 

    PD has had the hiccups all afternoon, and is sulking on the sofa, because I've been giggling at her. Poor lamb! I'm sure she'll forgive me soon enough :wink: 
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    Dear Diary, you are at risk of being neglected again! I got a couple of PA surveys, so have cashed out £7.50 just now. Still 125 points to go for YouGov - it's taken about 2 years to earn £50 :lol: Not that I'm particularly bothered, but it doesn't seem like a brilliant return. At least PA is a bit more regular - I can't be faffed with the ones that screen you out midway through, or scanning receipts - I couldn't tell you the last time I held a receipt!

    Budget is all ok - last DDs are coming out, and all on track. Couple of small additional purchases, but nothing apart from that and the online grocery shop.  I think I've spent money on 4-5 occasions this month max, excluding DDs. Dry January all still on too. It's a puritanical life here at Chez BCNS :lol: Even the coffee is decaf (apart from my very first one of the day, that needs a caffeine injection). 
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
  • mark55manmark55man Forumite
    6.1K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    we're going the other way on caff.  it now takes 2 strong coffees to get me going in the morning.  we use nespresso pods from Lidl.  Very nice, but 30p to double shot it - all BCNS in this house on our diet - very occasionally with milk, but no more often than your spends.  we do get looks buying 100 pods on our weekly shop, but 3 double shots each a day  gets you there - when you add in the odd child having a sneaky one

    hope PD is OK, and that your virtual workmates are behaving themselves :smile:



    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour/Drinking milk shakes cold & long/Smiling & waving & looking so fine
    Weight 07/02/2021:92.5kg - YTD: -4kg, Trips to tip: 02/52 - Rooms Painted: 0/4 - Jan Steps (L:Av:H): (463:2767:9366)
    Debt 07/02/2021:£107.5K -- YTD:[email protected]%:£1933/£12299 - Mortgage Neutral:£3.3K/£101K - EF:£2.9K/£10K
    Total Debt Reduction 2016:£13.4K 2017:£8.3K 2018:£20K 2019:£16K 2020:£37.5K 2021 Net YTD(01/02/21): £8.8K
  • BlackCoffeeNoSugarBlackCoffeeNoSugar Forumite
    707 posts
    500 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
    ✭✭
    As much as black coffee is my second favourite thing in the world (after PD, obviously), if I have more than one a day, I find it really wrecks my sleep. Even drinking green tea in the afternoon is enough to affect me. I never used to be like this, I could drink it all day a few years ago, but I'm definitely far more sensitive to the effects these days! I do appreciate your commitment to the BCNS life though :lol: - I have a small dripper cup, so I have ground coffee, popped in a reusable filter, which sits in a holder over my mug. It takes a few minutes to add the water and percolate through (perfect amount of time to feed and water PD) and then we go back to bed to cosy up, drink the coffee and listen to the radio... until I really have to get up!

    PD is fast asleep, upside down, all four paws in the air, and gently snoring, on the sofa. She has attended a number of meetings today (uninvited) and is obviously exhausted and overworked :wink:
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Debt at Nov 2019: £0 Debt at Dec 2020: £900 (for now)
    A perpetual work in progress.
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