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Single Mum: Freedom in Narnia

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  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    The holiday fund is slowly inching it's way up. Currently at £391.76.
    Xmas/gifts fund is at £236.30 cash, £54.65 Am vouchers: £290.95
    Xmas food fund/1p challenge: £17.70 (on track- increasing monthly)
    Mortgage OP fund: £3898.61 (Still looking in to whether to pay soon or not)
    New pots still to be created (doing this tmr) 
    1. Clothing
    2. Petrol
    3. School trips
    4. Entertainment 

    I'm step Dad sitting this afternoon so my poor Mum can go shopping in peace with my brother. He's getting some clothes for his Christmas present but they've not had the chance until now. I Really hope he manages to get to the toilet. I can cope with a lot but not poo-incontinence. He has pads but pulls them off. My poor Mum is at her wits end! At least she'll get a break later.

    My sister usually comes to stay at the weekends but I've asked her not to. I need a break myself. Plus she is blaming the family for her inability to stay sober, so I'm unimpressed with that. The only way to stay sober in my experience is to 1. not drink, 2. take responsibility for your own actions and 3. be nice to people.
    Right, I'm off to be sober now!
    JAK
    x   
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    I've got my meeting today so I'm looking forward to that. Like minded friends always make me feel better. Creative boy is at his Dad's so I had a peaceful evening last night with the 'mal's. They are so sweet. The dogs curl up by my feet on the hotty botty and the cats have decided they are actually friends! It's a miracle! They have started to play. It's so funny. They galumph around after each other. The noise they make is astonishing considering they are 2 rather small cats!
    Money wise I've managed to put another £30.60 into the holiday fund! Yay! £422.36. Nearly at my first target of £500. Then it's £300 for taxis to the airport and back. I'm hoping that will cover it but if it doesn't I'll still have £200 food and spends money I won't be spending from being away but I don't want to include that unless I need to, just in case we need it while we are actually away. My plan is to change £500 for me into $ and £100 for Creative Boy into $. He still has to save his first though. I'm helping by giving him jobs to do, which is how he makes money. He gets £5 for washing the car, £2 for walking the dogs and £10 for every 50 house points from school, so he has every opportunity to make a fair bit every month. However, the foot broken-ness has hampered his effects thus far. His boot is now off though so hopefully he can (literally) pick up the pace!
    Better go. Shower calls...
    JAK
    x
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    I've got half a tank of petrol in the car. I'm hoping that does me the week. I'm planning on going for an old furniture search. I still really want a small dresser for the dining room so I've got somewhere to keep my place mats. I also need dining chairs. Between 4-6 so I can do some nice dinner parties. Also for Christmas! I do like to pan ahead.
    My meeting went well. Always perks me up! 

    Toluna has been kind to me today. I've got enough for another Amazon voucher but I'm saving up for a £25 Tesco voucher. It'll be more useful and easier to transfer the amount into my holiday fund. I've been looking at travel money today. I'll need dollars. I've seen £co will give me £6.50 back if I go with John Lewis travel money plus it gets delivered straight to my door so I'll probably do that. I'm keen to do it sooner rather than later as then it's one more thing ready! I'm So excited about our trip! So is Creative boy! He's got a few pairs of shorts now and already has plenty of t-shirts. I'm waiting til I've lost the weight until I go through my wardrobe. I'm pretty sure I've got most of what I'll need already. I hope so anyway. 

    This is turning into a stream of consciousness! I can't tell you how much it's helping me focus my mind though. My money situation is already so much better than I'd imagined it would be after the move and the challenges are keeping me on the straight and narrow too!

    JAK
    x
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    Hooray! I just checked the Argos website and they had a sofa I liked in stock. I called them and have swapped it out for the hideous one I'd felt obliged to order. I'm also getting the £86 I paid back. What a result. The sofa I actually want plus money! Woo hoo! I'm very chuffed! I'm going to use the money for my dining furniture, so my budget is £86. I've actually got a little more saved to put towards it but where's the fun in that?! 

    Church was nice this morning. I've volunteered for a local pancake day event. Should be fun. 
    I also went to Tesco and it cost me £17.90 and I got enough for the week. Obviously it helps that I've got a lot in already. I got YS mince 750g for £3. I'm splitting it into 3 to freeze and each section should do 3 meals. I usually do spag bol, pasta bake and cottage pie - with lots of added veg and pulses. Luckily Creative Boy loves all those meals. I've just realised I need more pasta. I used the last during the week. I've got spaghetti at least. Will need to pick up some more when I go to pick up Creative boy's new school trousers. We also have several fancy packs of fish cakes in the freezer and 2 lots of white fish. So mince or fish all week. I also got 2 packs of fresh filled pasta YS from co-op yesterday so they should fill a teen boy gap or two.

    I'm nearly out of butter beans. I cook a pack at a time, then freeze them in small bags. I think I'd better do my next lot- chick peas next. I usual get through 3-4 packs of pulses during the winter. I chuck them in stews, cottage pie, spag bol etc. Anything to bulk it all out. I've also got some frozen mixed veg that isn't very exciting- a bit mushy so I'm going to see if I can use that this week. I could do with more space in my freezer. I'm not quite playing tetris yet but it's close!
    JAK
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    Oooh it's electrician day today! I Really hope it's a simple fix. I would love to be able to use the hall light again! I'd also like to be able to have the post M and S light shades up at last rather than gathering dust in a box! 

    I need another 5-6 Toluna surveys for my £25 Tesco voucher, so obviously I keep getting screened out. Hopefully more will come on later today or tomorrow. I go my Toluna Father Christmas fridge magnet through the post today and have put it in the stocking box for Creative boy. I've got 10 items now and have spent just under £7. My budget is 20 so his stocking should be great this year. He's got 2 new tshirts, a make it yourself wind up car, a puzzle in a tin, a dvd, the magnet, a candle, worry dolls, a massive St. Georges flag and a mug so far. It's all cunningly hidden in a box under my bed. He'll never find it there! 

    I've ordered some cushions for the lounge, a toilet brush to match the bathroom and two under bed storage boxes from the Range sale. I used the last of my Christmas money. I'm hoping they turn up this week so I can get a bit more organised. 

    I'm also waiting for my gas and electric bills... I've given my meter readings. I Really hope the gas bill is lower this month. We've been cold, so if it's not I'm Not going to be happy at all! My hot water bottle has been a godsend, as have the approximately 45 blankets scattered around the house although you have to watch out for the dogs sleeping under them before you sit down...

    The fussiest cat in the land ran out of food yesterday.. Uh oh. She had to eat Iams instead... She will only eat one type of food. Ever. So I was a bit worried. I ended up pouring the Iams into the empty packet of her old food (when she wasn't watching) and then put it into her dish. Low and behold, she actually ate it! I was so excited I took a picture. Unfortunately the Iams is even more expensive than her old food so as soon as I can access it she'll be moving back onto it. Cat's a weirdo. My Mum's cat will only eat one type of food upstairs and a different one downstairs. She's the sister of my cat so it must run in the family.

    Creative boy gets back from his Dad's today so I'm looking forward to seeing him. We are going to have fancy fish cakes, new pots and peas for tea. Nice and quick, plus he loves them (and they need eating up.) My mission to create turn over in the freezer is going well. I ate a filled pasta for tea last night and will be getting the mince out later to start the never-ending 500 ways with ground beef. My mission is to make it last until Creative boy is back with his Dad on Friday. It should be possible as he is in London for a school trip on Thursday so won't need tea that night- he can have left overs if he's still hungry when he gets home. His packed lunch will be rolls from the freezer- TGTG food, ham I got in Tesco yesterday, plus breakfast bars/apples/kitkats. I'll have to make sure I put some money in his account for food and drinks while he's there too. It's an art trip so he's sure to Love it! Last time I took him to the Tate Modern, he spent an hour looking at the table and chairs stuck to the ceiling, complete with place settings. He Loved it!

    JAK
    x


    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    Ergh. Ruddy electrician isn't coming til after 4 now! How annoying. 

    In much more Exciting news::: I've found the most perfect dresser for the dining room on Marketplace. It's mahogany wood and perfect in every way! It's £40 so I've snapped that baby up. Just waiting to find out about delivery. It's very old and just completely what I've been looking for. I'm going to keep my place-mats, any table clothes and my new cutlery in it. It's got shelves on the top part, a drawer underneath and a cupboard. It's going to make the room look just amazing as it's a similar age to my very old table and the same kind of wood. I'm feeling very posh yet slightly bemused that anyone would ever want to get rid of it. Luckily for me, they do! I'm thrilled. It's just so lovely and a really great price! Just dining chairs to get now!

    I've also decided that Creative boy is having new curtain and a throw. He would like navy blue so I'll let him have a look later and see if there's anything he likes on Amazon- I have vouchers of course so free to me!

    I've spent most of the day hanging about waiting for the electrician whilst polishing Narnia. She's looking lovely, especially the lounge. I get the cushions I ordered on Thursday so I wanted it to be organised by then.

    JAK
    x
     
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    The electrician finally came just after 4 yesterday. He was worth the wait. Not only was he HOT but he was able to sort out my light in the hall, put up both new light shades and only charged me £30! What a bargain. I'm sure I'll see him again lol. The rate bits are falling off the house... Anyway I'm very happy and the house looks lovely downstairs.
    I'm currently waiting with much excitement for my Range parcel. It contains 4 cushions for the lounge, a very nice toilet brush and a hedgehog wooden chopping board for my step Mum. She's obsessed with hogs. Americans eh! She'll be so chuffed. 
    I still need to get my Dad's birthday present. It's his birthday while we are visiting him but he's so impossible to buy for! I wish he loved hedgehogs!

    I had a volunteer work meeting last night and unfortunately one of the workers was Very unpleasant to me. I've just written a formal complaint letter. Honestly, no-one ever challenges her and it's got to stop. I will not be spoken to like that! She acted like she was my manager and basically told me I wasn't doing my job properly. Cow bag! She doesn't even work for the same agency I do so it was a massive over-step. It's unacceptable. Anyway, my formal complaint letter will have put the cat amongst the pigeons so I'll see what response I get... And just so anyone who reads this knows, I do a really good job. She wanted me to stop helping people with a certain section of my job and I'm not prepared to do that. Plus it's none of her business, at all!

    Ergh rant over! Soz. Sometimes you just have to have a little rant...

    Over to money stuff- the point of this diary! I've ordered some glasses from Asda as we don't own any. Via £co and should get £3.50 back at some point so that's good. I also ordered Creative boy a new T-shirt for our holiday for £2 so that's a bargain. Hopefully he likes it!

    I'm up to £72.29 on the Feb make £10 a day challenge! Woo Hoo! Aiming for £280 but I think that's going to be a stretch if I'm honest. I'm trying to do qmee etc as much as I can but it's becoming such a drag! Toluna is still my Fav but I'm able to do less surveys atm. I think I hit it a bit too hard. I'm getting Tesco vouchers now as it's easier to convert them into cash for our holiday. I shop their once a week after church with Mum so I know they'll get spent. I cashed out £25 Tesco voucher today so I'm looking forward to getting that. I've added a bit to the Mort OP pot so that is hovering around £4,000 atm. I'm still waiting to decide how much to OP and how much to keep in savings. I keep changing my mind! I'll get there in the end, I'm sure.

    Right off to watch 24 legacy. I loved 24 and this is proving rather good too. I do miss keifer tho. 

    JAK
    x
      
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    I am now officially a grown-up, having just ordered numbers for my bins! They were £1.99 for 4 bin stickers with the number of my house and the road on. I'm very excited about getting them, especially since I now how a bigger black bin due to all my disability waste. I don't want it to be put back in the wrong place. It took ages to get it!

    I've also discovered Swagbucks and cashed out my first £5 voucher from Te$co. I now have £45 in T vouchers which I'm hoping will see me through half term. It's my nearest shop so I'm finding myself shopping there much more than before. I like the clubcard prices and the fact I'm collecting points. Some of the prices are rather steep though and their YS items are generally ££ rubbish. I also shop at Sainsbob and A£da for some bits. Creative boy and I try to eat ethically as much as possible. We do eat meat but buy RSPCA certified and free range eggs. It's a small effort but hopefully makes some difference. I also stretch meat as much as possible. Last night we had spag bol, tonight it's pasta bake and tmr it will turn into cottage pie. That's with 250g of mince plus lots of added veg and pulses. 

    I'm feeling really ill today, horrid coldy thing so my chest is very tight. I'm hoping to feel better soon and that I don't need to go to hospital. I often end up being admitted due to my heart. I'm resting today, having dropped Creative boy at school. My lovely Mum brought round some sliced turkey for Creative boy's packed lunch tmr- he's on a London art trip, the lucky duck! He packed lunch is brilliant. 4 turkey rolls, 2 breakfast bars, 2 kitkats, an apple, a plum and 2 fruit juice cartons. Plus he'll have his flask for a hot drink and water. I'm going to give him £20 to buy his tea. He's so sweet. He said he was going to see if I could give him £5 for food! Erm, no. It's London prices. I just know he'll come home and give me any change. He's a real poppet like that.
    I've got to get him to school fro 7.30 am though. Ergh. We will have to leave Narnia at 6.45! Early nights all round, me thinks!

    JAK
    x
      
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    Well we got up at 5.30 ERGH and Creative boy is on his school trip. He's so excited he's text me 3 times already. You will be keen to now that the coach is nice, he's sitting next to his friend and he's got 2.5 hours to go til they arrive.
     
    I went to A3da to pick up him school uniform to discover that George isn't open til 8am. I couldn't wait. Still feeling rough, so I did a little shopping while I was there. I spent £13 but got £5 cash back on the A3da app so that was great. 

    Am back in bed now. My dresser is being delivered later on today! I cannot wait! The photos are so beautiful. I will love it and polish it and fill it with dining stuff! That's my plan for later. I'm also hoping to go back to A3da and pick up the uniform. He really needs those new trousers. 

    I also need to go to the tip- my old bin and microwave are sitting in the dining room. I think that will have to wait til over the weekend. If I don't rest, i'll get worse. Enforced bed rest. I know my body and it's given up. I'm hoping that by staying in bed today, I'll be able to go to the bingo with Mum tmr afternoon. After my brilliant wins last time, I really want to go. It was so much fun and only £6- plus raffle tickets £1 and a cup of tea 50p. I may give the raffle a miss this time though. It really is a load of rubbish! I'm going to dig out a prize to take though as it's for charity and I've got lots of bits I don't need.

    JAK
    x

    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
  • jak
    jak Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    Oooh the dresser arrive yesterday. It is beyond my wildest dreams. My dining room looks well posh now! It's mahogany with inlaid glass doors. It is massively tall but fits the area I wanted it in. It is so lovely, I can't believe it was only £40 and it now belongs to me! Just the dining chairs to go now. I was mean't to go for a browse yesterday but decided to rest instead. Still feeling a bit rubbish but it's starting to pass. 

    The plus side of being in bed for a few days means I've got a few more surveys done. My holiday pot is now up to £480! Woo hoo! I'm thrilled! I've got £45 Tesco vouchers for shopping too. Result! 
    We were doing the ons covid study but that seems to have stopped now, unfortunately. That was an easy £40 a month. Oh well, we had a good year of it at least and it helped with food shopping a lot. 

    Creative boy had a lovely school trip. They went to the Tate Britain and the Garden gallery. He had a wonderful time. I didn't enjoy having to pick him up at 9pm. I don't have much experience driving in the dark, so it was challenging for me. I did it though! At least my experience level is improving, though I had to park round the corner from my house- not the best parking I've ever done. I'm going to move the car after bingo as it's fairly well wedged in atm. 

    Hooray! It's bingo day with Mum. I've high hopes after last time's lucky tickets. It costs £6 but is well worth it to see Mum smile.
    My naughty sister may be coming but I'm not sure yet. 

    Right, better go and actually dress and de-smell myself. Have a lovely day everyone. I shall be bingo-ing then filling my lovely dresser with dining related objects.

    JAK

      
    2022 Comp total (prizes + free spins): £494.81 #20 £12 a day Jan: £382.95/£372 #57 360 1p challenge: £17.70 £10 a day Feb: £571.09/£280 March: £311.96/£310
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