Fix Up, Look Sharp

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  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    If you can get a 0% deal on a CC but then as you say treat it like a loan that would seem to be the best - and certainly cheapest - way forwards? Realistically, even if you couldn't get a transfer to another 0% deal when the initial one ends, could you perhaps consider a loan to cover the balance on the card at that stage, then it might still reduce the time you'd be paying interest for? 
    That's a really good idea @EssexHebridean - and within the 0% period our circumstances may change and we're able to pay off a bit more before switching to a loan. I get a bit panicky about debt given my history  :#
  • peb
    peb Posts: 1,805 Forumite
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    Plus credit card as well as being I would think more flexible in repayment terms also gives you possibly section 75 protection 
  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    December 2022 Round Up 

    Savings

    House Repairs Fund - 41.45% (budget updated again!)

    Extra Income 

    Prolific Academic - £65.89
    Ipsos I-Say - £20.00 (Amazon vouchers)
    TopCashBack - £1.06
    Account Switch - £350.00
    Credit Card Cashback - £12.57
    Interest on Savings - £54.99 (includes interest on 2 x savings accounts that is paid quarterly)


    No Spend Days

    22/17 for December
    Target for January - 17
  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    2022 Round Up 

    Mortgage Overpayments 
    £893.68

    House Projects/ Savings
    30.62% - paid 
    28.75% - saved  
    (40.63% to go ... ) 
    Major projects completed  - roof, tree surgeon / garden clearance 
    Major projects partially completed  - re-wire; chimney sweep; kitchen refit 
    Major projects outstanding - wall removal; plumbing; bathroom refit

    Emergency Fund 
    £6750 / £7500

    Retirement LISA 
    £365

    Extra Income 

    Cash
    Prolific Academic - £569.97
    TopCashBack - £130.27
    YouGov - £100.00
    Storewards - £30.00
    Shoppix - £40.00
    Focus Groups - £338.00
    Tax Refunds - £2520.72 (4 years of tax refunds)
    Account Switching - £650.00
    Delay Repay on trains - £30.38
    Solicitor Refund - £30.00
    Premium Bonds - £600.00
    Bank Interest - £178.28 

    Vouchers 
    Ipsos I-Say - £160.00 
    HuYu - £5.00
    M&S - £26.00
    Shell - £1.00 
    Nectar - £200 (switched 15 years of Avios points for Nectar points this year)

    Product (from product tests)
    Worth approx £24.00 - Fairy dishwasher tablets; Persil laundry detergent; 2 x unknown fabric softener 

    No Spend Days 
    218 achieved (178 target) 


    What worked well - 
    Making overpayments to the mortgage since Day One. At the moment we're just rounding up to the next £100 (although in the first and last month of the year we made an additional £100 payment), once the house renovations are complete we will look at making greater mortgage repayments. 

    Prolific and Ipsos were the main rewarders again in 2022. I find that these two sites suit me best in terms of time/rewards. I did try swagbucks at the beginning of last year but I found it so time-consuming and stressful that I gave up very quickly!  I'm nearly at another £10 cash out on Ipsos but haven't had many surveys over the last 7 days. 

    I'm about half way to cashing out again on YouGov (I had a boost of points from doing some more involved tasks in 2022). MrC is not very involved with surveys but I've encouraged him to try YouGov as the app is very user-friendly and the points do add up eventually. Also I often see news stories with the "Daily Questions" data, so it is a bit more interesting than the others! 

    In 2022 I earned £75 from using receipt apps : Storewards (£30), Shoppix (£40) and HuYu (£5). Storewards accepts receipts from the most retailers and is ok with multiple receipts from the same retailer on the same day; Shoppix is pretty good but will only take one receipt per retailer per day and is a bit fussier than Storewards and HuYu only accepts supermarket receipts. I'm about 75% of the way to my next £10 cashout with Storewards.

    TopCashBack was up slightly on last year, but down on pre-pandemic years. This is mainly due to a change in my spending habits but I do have about £140 pending. I put everything I could through TCB, but I always look for better discount codes or reductions from other means, so I didn't get cashback on absolutely everything. 

    I won £600 on Premium Bonds during the year which was amazing - especially as the PBs are where I keep my emergency fund, so I basically achieved 2 years of emergency fund savings this year. 

    I also made £600 from bank account switching in just 6 months. I am planning to switch once more and then give it a rest for a while as I am considering taking out a new credit card to cycle the plumbing payment through. However, the bank accounts haven't had much impact on my credit file yet. 

    And finally, I swapped my Avios points for Nectar points and ended up being able to buy several Christmas presents with these instead of cash.
  • GeorgianaCavendish
    GeorgianaCavendish Posts: 2,387 Forumite
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    edited 3 January 2023 at 4:07PM
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    2023 Goals 

    House
    We bought a house in 2022! It needed a lot of work. We had a few professional projects completed last year, and we've got at least 3 more to have done in 2023. And THEN we can start the DIY portions! So this is the biggest claim on our money and resources at the moment. 
    I'd like to overpay the mortgage by £1000 this year (this should be achievable by continuing with our current level of overpayments, at the same time as paying for / saving for the refurb)


    Emergency Fund
    My end goal is £7,500 in an emergency fund. I've currently got £6,750 and I'm adding £50 a month. I'm aiming to reach my goal by end of 2023, which means I'll need to find an extra £150 during 2023. 

    Pension 
    I've just increased my contributions to 8% (employer pays 5% and further matches up to 5%). My plan is to increase contributions by 1% every year, but the main priority this year is for MrC to look at his pension contributions and increase there. I've also had my tax code amended by HMRC to take into account the higher rate tax relief on pension contributions. I only realised I could do this last year and made a back-claim for the previous 4 years, but from now on I would rather have my tax code adjusted to reflect this. 

    Other Savings 
    I opened a retirement LISA and pay in £25 a month. MrC has also opened one with similar contributions. We wanted to have these open before we turned 40 (and therefore lost the opportunity) and we're contributing a token amount, this may adjust in the future depending on other goals. 

    Aside from this and the EF in Premium Bonds, our savings are in instant access accounts (now with interest rate of 2 - 2.5%) because we need the money accessible to pay various contractors. Once the refurb is complete, we'll revisit our savings goals and probably make use of our ISA allowances. 

    I don't know whether to count this as "savings" but we've got pots set up for various annual household expenses and are saving for these in advance so that we can pay upfront for things like insurance. We also have a buffer of 1.5 month's mortgage, council tax and utility bills. Ideally I would like to have a 3 month buffer - as MrC is self-employed, it would help smooth out the bumps when he takes time off - but that is another goal for after house refurb. 

    Challenges 

    I've joined the following challenges to help me reach my goals in 2023 :)  :  

    2023 Mortgage Free Wannabes 

    3-6 Month Emergency Fund Challenge 

    Saving for Christmas 2023

    No Spend Days 

    Take Your Lunch To Work 

    The 365 Day 1p Challenge 2023

     


  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    January 2023 Round Up 

    Savings

    House Projects 

    I've decided to break down my savings by project, or it gets a bit confusing for me. I've appropriated the snowball method so I'm putting everything towards the project with the shortest deadline and once that pot is filled up I will roll over the savings to the next project. 

    Builder - 100% 
    Plumbing & Central Heating - 92% 
    Bathroom - 0%
    Electrician Phase 2 - 0%
    Kitchen - 0%



    Extra Income

    Prolific Academic - £32.03
    Ipsos I-Say - £20.00
    TopCashBack - £2.43 
    Bank Interest - £3.40

    MSE Challenges 

    Emergency Fund - £6900/£7500
    Christmas 2023 - £100/£1000 
    1p Challenge 2023 - £4.96/£667.95 
    Mortgage Overpayments 2023 - £86.71/£1000
    NSD 2023 - 21 
    Take Lunch to Work - N/A - no office days in Jan due to hols


    NSD
    January - 21/17
    Target for Feb - 16



  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    Received the £200 Alternative Fuels Payment this week, which has been transferred over to the heating oil pot. I had a target of £1250 to fill our 1000 litre fuel tank, and oil prices have gone down a lot since I did those calculations in June 2022 so I hope that by the time we actually come to fill the tank we'll be able to save more. 
    For now, I've started a separate pot for Oil Tank 2024 and set the target at £1250 again. Once we're living in the house, I'll have a better idea of our oil usage vs electricity costs and can tweak the budget accordingly. 

    I can also see that our local council has confirmed a council tax rise from April, so expecting that will add £10 a month to the CT bill. 
  • EssexHebridean
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    I wish our lot would hurry up and tell us what our new CT bill will be - they are invariably ludicrously slow to do so though so I suspect it'll be a few weeks off yet! 
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    Yes, I wish they would confirm for sure! Due to when we bought the property, this year our CT was condensed over 10 months ... but next year I've elected to pay over 12 months so hopefully it will "feel" a bit cheaper, even though the price has gone up. 
  • GeorgianaCavendish
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    February 2023 Round Up 

    Savings

    House Projects 

    Builder Phase 1 - 100% 
    Plumbing & Central Heating - 100%
    Bathroom - 21.54%
    Electrician Phase 2 - 0%
    Kitchen - 0%
    Builder Phase 2 - 0%


    Extra Income

    Prolific Academic - £33.76
    TopCashBack - £5.18
    Storewards - £10.00
    M&S Credit Card Rewards - £18.00
    Bank Interest - £3.06

    MSE Challenges 

    Emergency Fund - £6950/£7500
    Christmas 2023 - £200/£1000 
    1p Challenge 2023 - £17.70/£667.95 
    Mortgage Overpayments 2023 - £173.42/£1000
    NSD 2023 - 39 
    Take Lunch to Work - 6/8 


    NSD
    February - 18
    Target for March - 20
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