A new chapter, An empty nest, Drama school & Last year of Uni

I've been on these boards for many years and a long time ago did start a diary when we'd had a windfall and cleared some debt and I'm not sure what happened but 'life' got in the way.

Today starts a new chapter of my life as my youngest has just left home (albeit temporarily) for her  to access a drama course in a different part of the UK to where we live. My eldest is about to enter his final year of Uni, has recently got engaged with a view to getting married in 2 years time.

For the next 6 months it's going to be just  me and DH and a lot of the time just me and the dog because DH works away o/night every week, something he's done since DD was born 18.5 years ago.

I've found the 'set up' costs for DD quite expensive especially since at the last minute she rejected an offer that came with student finance in favour of this short course that doesn't. She had a p-time job so has taken some wages with her and a trial for another one where she now lives this weekend which will help.

Currently DS and his gf are staying until the weekend as they've been dog sitting for us whilst we dropped DD off. 

We have 18 months left of our offset mortgage with enough savings that mean we don't pay interest and a cc also at 0%.

I lost my job the first week of lockdown 1 and haven't worked since but yesterday I was contacted by an agency with a view to some p-time temp work. In my excitement though I'd forgotten to say I am away for one of the weeks required, so hoping that won't be a problem when I'm contacted with more details later today.



  • Welcome to diary-world Spendless! Fingers crossed the job offer proves fruitful for you! 
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  • It’s great to see you have a diary Spendless. Your thoughtful and insightful advice has been such a help to me over the years.

    Hope your DD enjoys her course. Will it help her to go on to other drama based courses?

    Exciting news for your DS and gf. 
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  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,139 Forumite
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    Thanks for the replies and that's lovely of you to say HSL I really enjoy your thread.

    I started the job today. Sounds like it's cover for next few weeks due to illness, but it's better than nothing.

    Well drama schools are peculiar things so there is absolutely no guarantee it will get her onto a 3 year degree next year at a good place (one of my reservations about her turning down the offer she had!). However I can already tell that it's of very good calibre and she also got made student ambassador this week so she's happy. A little homesick and I miss her like mad.

  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,139 Forumite
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    Did my 1st couple of days of temping. Unfortunately they don't need me next week, but should have a few days next month. Will at least give me something more up to date to put on my CV.

    Son and girlfriend went today to gf's parents for the weekend, DH took them not long after I got in from work. Tonight was my first evening of an empty nest. When they left I walked the dog to my parents and ended up staying there for tea- my Dad paid for fish and chips. I have empty cupboards too, pulling dried and tinned goods out to give both kids to take has taken it's toll and needs to be re-stocked.

    Daughter was feeling homesick yesterday and contemplating coming home for this weekend after her trial at a workplace tomorrow. I checked and the prices were expensive and the journey 2 hours longer than usual due to rail works so talked her out of it and suggested another time.
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,139 Forumite
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    I am struggling, missing DD so much and not helped that her boyf has dumped her 1 week after they moved away to their respective drama schools, so much for his promises as he left her that things wouldn't change. They'd had a blip last month but it had been dealt with. On the positives she is loving where she is living and liking her course.

    We went for a meal with DS and his gf and her parents at the place they want as their wedding reception. We were asked about us financially contributing and we will, it's hard to come up with anything concrete at the minute though with me not working and all the expenses we've had. Also discovered we'd not paid the rent instalment at DS's student digs. He gets the min loan so we've paid rent and he lives off his loan. Fortunately we having savings to cover this, but we can't dip in to them and not replace it forever. 

    My birthday is tomorrow and I've had to open up cards from my parents and Nan already to get the cash out to pay for the chiropody appointment I had today. When I booked it 8 weeks ago, I wasn't contemplating how much things would cost us between then and now!
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,139 Forumite
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    DH's payday today. I managed to find petrol  - yay. I was struggling to justify small trips I needed. Did a grocery shop. My cupboards were bare after clearing most of the items to give DS and DD to take back with them to their student accommodation. Shopping with no kids here was surreal. I kept picking up items because they were the 'favourite' brand then putting them back down realising me and DH wouldn't eat them. The overall shop was a lot less though, considering how much I had to stock back up!  

    Tomorrow DD and boyf were suppossed to attend a concert near London. He is now living on the outskirts, she lives in a different part of the UK. Obviously they are no longer going. We have fortunately found a buyer for the tickets but not quite the full value - anything better than nothing. We also had bought DD 2 train tickets so she could attend which are now no use. I suggested she use them anyway to come home, but she wants to stay where she is.

    Also had the dog groomed yesterday. He was licking his paw a lot, the groomer found in some matted fur a twig with thorns in it, which is what the problem had been. So she got it out and he seems a lot better. Thankfully that has saved me a vet's bill.
  • Ahh Spendless, can empathise with you missing your DD, mine has also just started uni 200 miles away from home  :( the house is tidy…but has never felt more empty!
  • Coxy11
    Coxy11 Posts: 4,869 Forumite
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    Hi Spendless,
    Firstly, I hope you had a good birthday x
    Your diary resonates with me as we are in a not too dissimilar position here. DS1 bought a place with his GF earlier this year and DD has just gone back for yr 2 of uni. We still have DS2 here - he's in year 13.
    Sorry your DD and her BF have parted. It's tricky isn't it when they are that age and going off in different directions. I do hope your DD is okay about it? My DD has been with her BF for almost 2 years, he's 5 years older and works close to home, doesn't drive, but they've managed to make it work. This is largely I expect because she was home from uni at Christmas and studied from here. This year she should stay at uni for the main part, unless there's another dreaded surge in covid. I kept thinking it would fizzle out, but it doesn't appear so (their relationship, not covid...)
    I found our shopping was significantly less these past couple of weeks too. Just portion size and lack of buying all those extras. Amazing how they used to add to the bill.
    It's great that you have a wedding to look forward to. I guess you will know more about costs etc. once the plans get underway. Hopefully things will look up on the job front soon too.

    Coxy x

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  • Happy belated birthday Spendless 🎂.

    Sorry to hear about your DD and bf.  I sympathise...am missing my DD1 enormously .
    paydbx2024 #2 £480/£5000 . Mortgage £144k start ~ £148k Jun 23 -
    2024 savings challenge £5/£2000
    EF £140. Savings 2 £30.00. Weekly savings envelope #17
  • Spendless
    Spendless Posts: 24,139 Forumite
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    Thank you freyasmum, coxy11 and HSL

    After a really bad week of missing DD and worrying about her, I ended up going out for a drink and a sharing platter with a friend on Friday. Yesterday was the 1st anniversary of my MIL's death. We spent last night at and with my IL's in her memory and had a take away. Discovered DD had been ordering via Ubereats, she's going through a period of settling in to her student digs. As it's drama school she's at rather than Uni, the vast majority to not have their own halls so we booked her into private ones. This means she's still finding her feet whilst the others have had 1 Yr+ of living away. The Ubereats was linked to my DH's bank account. Even worse, she'd been ordering on behalf of loads of people and them giving her the cash! We've spoken to her about it and the app has now been deleted. 

    My bad week has meant I haven't done any of the jobs in the house planned in my head for this week when I had no work. Hoping to be in a better frame of mind soon.  
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