Curbing the ridiculous

in Debt Free Diaries
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  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Friday was a relief - new budget!  Did the food shop between friday and yesterday.  We have a little more to do today but overall total will be about £100.  I do find that we are consistently around 100-120 a week.  Everything has shot up in price - the bread we normally buy was 75p and is now £1, raisins up week on week (were £2.16 now £2.39).  People must be switching to own brands too as the WR yoghurt I have switched to, they never have.

    Friday night was in with a bottle of wine and charlie bighams, have I got news for you and the staircase.  I can't seem to cut out the booze.  I wish I had more willpower.  I just like the taste of wine.

    Yesterday was a lovely day.  Took the DC to a park by the sea in the morning and I took DC2 for a walk along the coast.  It was one of those occasions when it felt great to be alive - beautiful sunshine, scenery and the absolutely intoxicating smell of the sea air.  The DC then played on the park and we bumped into one of their cousins and DH's sister.  Bronuts (brownie donuts) were purchased from a cake stall (£10 for 6) - we absolutely did not need these but they are divine and bought with cash DH had in his wallet from last month so am not counting in budget this month.

    I had a couple of hours to myself in town.  Bought a gorgeous dress which was £117 but when I got it home I realised that it is fragile fabric, will be a pain to wash/iron and just won't get much wear out of it so am going to take it back next Sat.  Treated self rather frivolously to a wash and blow dry which was £34(!) and we went out with friends last night - I'm not sure how but bill was only £68 for both of us which, given what we had, was pretty good value.  Was nice to catch up with friends we hadn't seen for a while.  Drove there and left car (need to collect in a bit) and grabbed a lift home from one of our friends who wasn't drinking.

    Will need petrol today which will be expensive but we have definitely cut down on the petrol spend in recent weeks and just looking forwards to a quiet day with the DC.  May take them to park again.  I'm cooking sausage and chestnut pasta tonight which will produce leftovers to have thursday night when DH has band.

    Excited about meeting the architect tomorrow though their first batch of fees are now due by 3 June.  

    One of my friends was out with last night is an architect and said we won't get value for money at the moment with building costs, which I know but I'm not really sure what to do because we don't want to wait years and years to get stuff done as we want to get on with enjoying the house, and I'm not sure building costs are going to get cheaper any time soon?!

    Got to go into the office tomorrow - really want to walk there and back for exercise but rain is currently forecast.  
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Didn't get petrol in the end - trying to eek it out until friday and will then re-fill.  Should be possible as not any journeys to do between now and then.

    Architect meeting was good though we've now changed our minds on what we are doing which means that the current playroom (that we have just spent a week prepping to paint) will be no more - it will form part of the kitchen/diner.  So we are now not going to buy decent carpet/new underlay etc, just going to paint (as we already have the paint) and then use existing underlay and a cheap functional carpet as it is probably going to be almost 2 years until our works start anyway so the kids can enjoy it until then (there is another room which can be used as a playroom later on).  So we now have a little wait until the concept designs are ready.  In some ways, the money we have spent on the playroom that will no longer be is a waste but if we hadn't done it then we would not have discovered the leak - which would have got a lot worse and caused problems.  Yes that would have been covered by insurance but then we'd be hit by higher premiums in the future so in some ways it was a blessing we did go ahead with that room.  We will still buy storage as that can be re-used when we move it to a different room (we can't use that room now as it will also need work during the works and we will need to use it as a temporary kitchen when having the works done.

    Moving stairs - has been decided to sacrifice current bathroom which is on 2nd floor and move that to a different area on that floor.  Good because should also be most cost-efficient way and we would have re-done that bathroom anyway so a sort of cost saving there in many ways.

    Claimed £2.06 back from WR as they had overcharged me on chicken goujons and I had only bought 2 packs as they were on offer.  So have taken that, and some other cash out of our pot in the kitchen to create £10 which will then be paid into bank and across to savings when I next go in.

    We have friends coming over Sat afternoon for cake and drinks - so need to make or buy a cake and nibbles plus some drinks - have quite a few beers in the cupboard already but friends drink A LOT.  Gah.  

    DH's birthday next week - we have agreed not to bother buying each other anything this year and instead just put towards house renos but have got him something garden related from the DC - a hip trug for harvesting his fruit/veg which clips onto his belt leaving his hands free.  Plus a gardening book.  And we are having his family over for cake/tea on the day before then out for lunch on his birthday.

    As usual, need to cut back.
  • BlackcatsBlackcats Forumite
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    House plans sound exciting and the children will enjoy their playroom for a while.  I'm not very good at imagining changing house layouts, re-modelling and extensions - when I had an extension a few years ago I sort of understood the architect's drawings but even when it was being built I couldn't really grasp the scale of the "shell".  Was pleased with it in the end though and it turned out how I wanted it.

    are you enjoying watching The Staircase?  I think it's good - strong acting and story is evolving well.  Mr BC isn't too keen so I'm watching on catch up whilst he cooks dinner 🙃
  • Humdinger1Humdinger1 Forumite
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    FB is total tripe @RebeccaPearson; it sucks the life out of real life in my view.  Congratulations on disabling it! Love Humdinger xx 
  • QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    FB is total tripe @RebeccaPearson; it sucks the life out of real life in my view.  Congratulations on disabling it! Love Humdinger xx 
    Lol, this made me laugh 😂. I would absolutely love to delete my account on there, but for now it’s how my local buy nothing group operates. I have a bookmark to the group so I can use it without ever having to see anything else on there. Social media is just a time suck with no benefits for me, so it’s all gone.
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  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    @Blackcats - I'm rubbish at that too - I know what I like and what sort of style I'm going for but as to how it all fits together, not a scooby!  I am rather hesitant about moving this bathroom and putting stairs there but this house is bizarre on the top floor and access to it so we kind of have to work with what we have as we won't have budget to radically alter the 3rd floor (nor do I think it's really worth it).  Now thinking we might not go on holiday this year after all and we are definitely not decorating the DC's room since that will just get all mashed up and dusty when they move the stairs so little point.  They only sleep in there anyway at the moment.  I'm kind of not sure about the Staircase, we are only up to episode 4 and it is a little slow for DH and because he's been painting and stuff we only watch it sporadically so kind of lose the momentum.  But I love Toni Collette, she is amazing in everything she does.

    @Humdinger1 and @QueenJess - it so is!  I am really happy that I've not gone back on it yet.  I am finding I have a lot more time and headspace!  It should be re-named "bragbook" - honestly, the amount of "my life is perfect" posts I see on there knowing full well that it is not is just ridiculous - I mean, why bother posting at all?!

    Spending has calmed a little bit I think.  Dinner from freezer tonight, leftover sausage and chestnut pasta plus spinach from garden.  DH has FINALLY finished the veg garden so might see a bit more of him now as now just maintaining required and means little spending in that area now he's all set up.  May possibly do petrol today as might take DC to a park near the cheapest station and am expecting flashing light to come on any moment!  Big shop will be done tomorrow to get us through until next Weds and will do another shop next Weds ahead of the BH weekend as we have DH's family over on the thursday (but just for cake/tea which I will make) then friends over for a BBQ Sat.

    Also need to get stuff for friends coming over this Sat but one has dropped out which is good in a way as I had only really invited them this time as they had said if we were going to get together best do it this weekend as they are away for next month with work etc.  So one less mouth to feed/fill with alcohol!  Does mean I somehow need to tidy/clean house tomorrow though as it is currently disgraceful.

    MIL has said she can't help today when I really could've done with it.  She has not seen DC1 properly for ages.  The ongoing battle.  I do wish we had some family help - would make all the difference.  

    Ed psych going in to observe DC1 monday.  I do feel like he's making progress but then he just talks stuff at me that doesn't make sense and I get upset because he's almost 4 and I just worry for him.  It's also been quite upsetting (though am obvs glad DC2 is developing "normally") to see DC2's natural language development.  He's 18 months (almost 19 months) and has around 35 words which DC1 just didn't have.  I'm kind of mourning the loss of DC1 and us experiencing that if that makes sense.  But I am glad that I stuck to my guns re saying I thought there was an issue (when the dr kept fobbing me off - they always ask if you're a first time mum whenever you raise any concerns about children like it's just your imagination/anxiety) because at least we are getting the assessments done now so he can hit the ground running with the help he needs when he starts school, rather than having to go through all of this when he has started and him not receiving help until later on.


  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    I was also going to say: the stairs to our 3rd floor aren't proper stairs and are very steep.  Every time I am up and down them now (which is a lot as I WFH mostly!) I do have a shiver thinking what would happen if I fell down them and no-one was home!

    Hope Rishi Sunak's news brought people some small comfort in these turbulent times.  We in the CI won't benefit but our electricity is currently lower than the UK (which is a first as it is normally far more expensive) so we've not (yet) been hit there - but we have been hit with oil, petrol and gas prices (thankfully we don't have gas in this house) and food prices - and as we don't have @ldi or lid-l or budget supermarkets like that, we do feel it in those prices for sure.  But hopefully it does ease the burden a little for you guys in the UK.
  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    Gah, why is it that EVERY time we have friends over, our shopping bill is ALWAYS 150?!  Had friends over Sat arvo and it was just ridiculous.  Plus the bloke out of the couple ploughed through pretty much all our beers (there were 24).  We have different friends coming over this Sat for a bbq if weather is nice so going to be another expensive shopping trip.  I guess it's all the added "extras" (crisps, dips, nuts, cheese straws etc etc).  Just gah (it was a nice afternoon however!!).

    DH has also found further asbestos in the garden which appears to have been hidden by the previous owners - so apparently we have to have another skip for that and removal so god only knows how much that is going to be.  He is getting a quote.

    Really feels at the moment like we are taking 1 step forwards and 2 back on the saving/spending front - I had put together some projections re what we "should" be able to save for the works up to say April 2024 when we think might be a realistic start date - deducted some costs for architects and holidays and tried to be realistic about budget and what is reasonable, and it was looking ok.  But then I just start to panic when we have these things which all add up.  DH has spent £46 on cakes for his office for his birthday though he is generally on board with the plan because when we were looking at holidays yesterday (and just to go to uk for 10 days was eye-watering accommodation wise), he vetoed it.

    Noticed on the big shop this week things going up again - the essential fruit and fibre we normally buy has gone up from 2.08 to 2.24, the multigrain hoops and the choco pops are up from 1.18 to 1.23.  And obviously this is on top of the prices rises which have already taken place.  Plus it's now about £90 to fill the car with petrol.  I honestly don't know how people are supposed to deal with these rises - I know we are lucky in that we can absorb the costs if we cut back here and there/don't eat out or get take out as much, but there are people out there who really can't, and it's scary.
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Ambassador
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    Don't your friends bring drink with them if you are entertaining them?  That is always the way we have worked it so we bring bottles wine/beer if we are drinking alcohol.  A bit rude to plough through someone elses beers if you are already supplying food.  

    Buying houses is always expensive as previous bodge jobs by old owners appear. Hope it gets better. 
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  • RebeccaPearsonRebeccaPearson Forumite
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    @enthusiasticsaver - some do.  These didn't but did bring us lots of plants as housewarming gifts so can't complain - I guess just more of an observation about it's weird how every time we have people over our shopping bill is always 150.

    Yes, DH did say that it was always going to be the case for the first few months when you buy a house - you are totally right that people just leave stuff which then needs fixing!  Fingers crossed for it calming down!
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