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Life is a minestrone as the song says - my new diary

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Life is a minestrone as the song says - my new diary

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
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teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
Hello all, :)

I had a diary on this board a few years ago when OH and I were working towards being MF which we managed in mid 2014. That diary is here; https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2676587

My last post on there was about starting a new diary which didn't happen. Life is now very different and although I'm MF, I'd like to re-start a diary here [if you'll have me] as this feels like 'home' :cool:

Not long after I last posted my OH was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer and life changed completely. This was a huge shock to both of us and we became immersed in the world of cancer treatment and learned a whole new language. Briefly, OH was in remission for 18 months then had a relapse which was terminal and died just over a year ago.

I don't want this to be a gloomy diary though I still have many sad days but I do feel I need to get a grip on my finances and some sort of planning in place for the future and I hope writing about these and getting feedback from others [hopefully] will help with keeping me on track.

I've been reading a few diaries but not posting as yet but have already got some thoughts about possible ways forward. I haven't lost all my MS ways in my absence from here but circumstances have not always been conducive to frugality :eek: I'll post again later about where I am financially.
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  • Busy_Mee1Busy_Mee1 Forumite
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    Oh my gosh Teapot, it sounds like you have been through the mill and I am so sorry for your loss.

    Welcome back though, hopefully you will find it all very supportive on this thread, there are lots of lovely people who hang around here.

    I look forward to reading your diary x
  • teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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    Ok, bit about my finances;

    WORK

    I've been self-employed for many years and have/had a patchwork of income. I stopped working when OH got his terminal diagnosis so lost all but 2 bits of my main patchwork work. I haven't really worked for more than a couple of months in the last 20 months as I've also had 2 lots of surgery and am still recovering from the last op and hope to be back to work in about 6-8 weeks. I'll need to build up my self employed work again as soon as I can but I know it will take time...

    DEBT

    I've been living off savings and credit cards. I do as many surveys as I can and sell online. I also get £100 a month bereavement allowance but that will stop in a few months. I now owe almost £3000 on 2 different 0% credit cards :eek::eek: and pay just over the minimum each month. I'm currently using them to buy my online shopping and pay things like vet bills. I do have enough money to pay them off, its in a Spanish bank current account and with interest and cashback I currently 'make' about £9 a month after the account fee. I also shuffle money between there and a [email protected] Reward Acct which now makes a more measly £2 a month. On top of what I owe on the CCs I have about £2000 in the Spanish Bank Account but that amount is going down each month as I pay household bills from there. I also have about £400 [but need to check the amount] in an old ISA. OH left me some shares which he inherited from his parents and I'm hanging onto them for the moment and hope they will help in my retirement.

    PLANS and MUSINGS

    I've been reading on KarmaCat and Cheery Daff's diaries about 'net worth' and think this is something I need to explore for my situation. I won't get my state pension for another 3.5 years so need to build up my self employed work again to support myself in the meantime. I'd like to start saving again at some point :A I'm very very pleased that we managed to be mortgage free before OH got ill :T
    This house was going to be where OH and I grew old together but it was not to be and I feel its too big for me now so at some point I'd like to move somewhere smaller. I'm not in a rush and would need to get quite a lot of work done to make the place sellable. I have a little bit of a pension pot [< £20000] so I might need to cash that in to pay for the work to be done with the hope that I could recoup the money on selling and down sizing.

    Although I like this house I don't want to spend all my state pension [when I get it] on servicing the house, somewhere smaller would work better for me.

    So, well done if you are still reading this,:rotfl::rotfl: I'll leave it there for now.
  • teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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    Busy_Mee1 wrote: »
    Oh my gosh Teapot, it sounds like you have been through the mill and I am so sorry for your loss.

    Welcome back though, hopefully you will find it all very supportive on this thread, there are lots of lovely people who hang around here.

    I look forward to reading your diary x

    Thanks BusyMee for the welcome, I recognise quite a few diarists from before so it does feel like home here :). I was having a look at your diary earlier as well so will pop by again x
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Happy shiny new diary :)
    What a rollercoaster you have had.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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    Jobs for the weekend include getting statements and papers ready to do my online tax return :eek:
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  • teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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    Not managed a terribly productive day. Watched a few things I'd recorded off the TV and ate the last of the scotch broth I'd made. Must remember to soak some mix tonight to make more tomorrow.

    Did a few surveys but didn't manage to get a place on quite a well paid Prolific one as the PC wouldn't connect to reserve a place then they were all gone. Haven't seen any more today.

    Been a NSD, I did an [email protected] online shop for Mon but that doesn't count in my book as the £ won't come out till its delivered.

    Also cashed in a Lakeland survey voucher for £20 :T I had quite a few points saved up [about £50 worth] which I'd planned to use for Christmas pressies BUT 'always read the small print' :o I found out too late that you can only redeem one voucher a month so I spent one £20 voucher at Christmas and can now cash in a second one so am spending it on myself :D. If I'm still collecting next Xmas I'll start redeeming them much earlier. You don't get loads for £20 at Lakeland but I fancy one of those baking tray liners that you can reuse again and again as I want to stop chucking baking parchment after I use it. Also need a new sieve as the handle came off my £shop one and I'm a bit nervous about scalding myself :eek::eek: I could do with a tea strainer as I had to use mine when the vet wanted a urine sample from the cat [don't ask] and after that I haven't fancied using it for tea :rotfl: and I've got a couple of packs of loose tea that I was given as pressies that need using up.

    I've started to get the papers together for my tax return - will do more tomorrow. I guess I need to add in my survey earnings but not sure where to put it in the online return? Also do I count the ones that are redeemed as vouchers on Amazon or Lakeland I wonder - am guessing 'yes'?

    Hopefully will be a bit more energetic tomorrow and do some cooking for the week ahead.
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
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    Cant think why you dont want to use that tea strainer :think: :rotfl:
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **
    MFW. 9 months to go. B)
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    Hello teapot! I've just been following you from my diary to Cheery's and subscribed immediately to yours :) welcome back - I do remember your online name, absolutely!

    What a terrible few years you've had :( I'm so sorry to hear about your OH. And you're just out of surgery yourself? Are *you* okay? I mean in relation to the surgery, you're still in the immediate aftermath of bereavement since it was only just over a year ago :(

    I'm glad our taradiddles about net worth have been useful to you - you're a few months younger than me, I think (23 months till I get my state pension :) ) and I think its a really useful concept. Downsizing is certainly useful - I've already done it to this house, back in 2010, and I'd do it again if I *had* to, but as you say, there's work needs doing. I'm hoping that I won't need to. You don't mention adult kids coming to stay, so I'm guessing you're in the same boat as me, that you don't have any, is that right? None of my beeswax, but it does affect how much spare space you want when you downsize (if you downsize).

    Good luck on bringing your self employment back to life.

    If you find a sign in page for the *old* tax details, post the link on here, I'm begging you - I dread trying to find the right page :( but as for declaring vouchers, when I first started doing all this stuff, I still had an accountant in the UK, and I asked them if I needed to declare ebay etc. They said not till it got to £5k or something. That was probably 10 years ago or so, so I don't know if thats changed.

    Anyway, subscribed. See you soon :)
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • teapot2teapot2 Forumite
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    Karmacat wrote: »
    Hello teapot! I've just been following you from my diary to Cheery's and subscribed immediately to yours :) welcome back - I do remember your online name, absolutely!

    What a terrible few years you've had :( I'm so sorry to hear about your OH. And you're just out of surgery yourself? Are *you* okay? I mean in relation to the surgery, you're still in the immediate aftermath of bereavement since it was only just over a year ago :(

    I'm glad our taradiddles about net worth have been useful to you - you're a few months younger than me, I think (23 months till I get my state pension :) ) and I think its a really useful concept. Downsizing is certainly useful - I've already done it to this house, back in 2010, and I'd do it again if I *had* to, but as you say, there's work needs doing. I'm hoping that I won't need to. You don't mention adult kids coming to stay, so I'm guessing you're in the same boat as me, that you don't have any, is that right? None of my beeswax, but it does affect how much spare space you want when you downsize (if you downsize).

    Good luck on bringing your self employment back to life.

    If you find a sign in page for the *old* tax details, post the link on here, I'm begging you - I dread trying to find the right page :( but as for declaring vouchers, when I first started doing all this stuff, I still had an accountant in the UK, and I asked them if I needed to declare ebay etc. They said not till it got to £5k or something. That was probably 10 years ago or so, so I don't know if thats changed.

    Anyway, subscribed. See you soon :)

    Aww thanks for the welcoming message KC, am touched that you remember me as its been a while :o

    Yes am ok thanks post surgery, still in recovery but it takes a few months. Getting there slowly.

    Re downsizing, no I don't have any children, have some young relatives that I hope might want to stay in the future so I'd ideally like a couple of bedrooms and decent sized living room but I'll have to do a major declutter before I move anywhere :eek:

    Sorry but I didn't understand what you meant about the tax details signing in page. I had a go at signing in to see if I could work out what you meant but I didn't notice anything different. I signed in as usual using the Govt Gateway details I have. Am I missing something obvious or got the wrong end of the stick?
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    teapot2 wrote: »
    Aww thanks for the welcoming message KC, am touched that you remember me as its been a while :o
    :kisses3: You're very welcome.
    Sorry but I didn't understand what you meant about the tax details signing in page. I had a go at signing in to see if I could work out what you meant but I didn't notice anything different. I signed in as usual using the Govt Gateway details I have. Am I missing something obvious or got the wrong end of the stick?
    Not missing anything obvious, no - I hadn't done the Govt Gateway thing before, so I thought, got it all set up and then it said this:
    "You need to sign in with the Government Gateway user ID and password you used when you enrolled for Self Assessment online. Sign out, then sign in with the right details."
    At which point I bleated for help from their email desk ... have I got two Govt Gateway IDs accidentally? I've no idea - they've replied asking for more details, so I'll do that tomorrow. Don't worry about it - I seem to always flail around at this time of year :o I'm off now - take care :)
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
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