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Savings for the Boy & Me

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in How much have you saved?
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  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
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    Afternoon,

    It's been a while since I last posted here and things have just been ticking along as they do. I've had a lot of things to contend with and my moods have been variable some days, however I'm getting through them better then I expected which is a positive.

    So what has been happening?
    • I attended a course in relation to my mental health. (It was a six day course which was interesting and I've learnt quite a bit from it which should hopefully be helpful in the future).
    • I earnt interest of £190 on one of my saving accounts. (My HTB isa matured its yearly interest.. I was shocked with the amount. I've left it as it is for now).
    • I made our own afternoon tea for Mother's day.(I made our own version of afternoon tea to show our appreciation for mothers day. The total ingredients that we needed to buy came to £9.76- considering afternoon tea costs around £12.50pp, I think this is a great saving as there were five of us eating it all. There was enough leftover that I made another afternoon tea for my friend and I).
    • The boy and I have been on quite a few days out. (We have had a couple of days out including the zoo and our local waterpark. We managed to get half price entry to both attractions and ate food before we went out and took our own drinks).
    • Things are going well with Manfriend. (I'm happy, he is happy. We have striked a nice balance with how often we see each other and have nights in as well as days out. We may possibly look for a short break/holiday somewhere in May together.. it will be our first adventure, hopefully one of many. I really like him).
    • I have officially been smoke free for 30 days. (I have managed to save over £200 from stopping. I've spent some of the funds but also saved some).
    • I've built my savings back up. (I have upped my savings and I am concentrating on on this fund as it is my holiday fund).
    • I've made extra payments to my CC. (With the direct debit coming out and some overpayments, the balance now stands at £445.00 which I'm happy about).
    • I ended up with a good surplus at the end of March. (What was leftover from here was split between savings and fun money to do as I please).

    So a lot of that sums up my past couple of weeks.

    I'm on the ball with my saving accounts which are ticking along nicely- I just don't want to touch them. All my other funds have been allocated to the appropriate accounts, ready for the month ahead. I feel in control of everything for once.

    I'm going to try and space things out a bit and limit my spends where possible. Every little shall help along the way.

    At the end of the day, it's all down to me what I want to do with my money. I'm choosing to spend a little whilst also saving whatever I can, where I can. I want to enjoy myself and make memories.

    Over the next couple of weeks, I shall be doing a lot of planning and organising as there are a few things in the pipeline, travel wise.
    1. May; a possible small break away with manfriend.
    2. June; a weekend away to Amsterdam with my best friend.
    3. August; arrange the travels for the boy & me.

    This will definitely keep me busy and I'll utilise all my MSE ways to look for the best deals around and for ways to save money which will stretch things out a bit further.

    Exciting times lie ahead!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    Hurrah for savings and for all of your holiday planning and also nice time with Manfriend. :j

    I hope you are feeling better too it sounds like it!
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
  • pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Amazing news on being smoke free for so long! Just think how much happier your lungs are now, and that's before any monetary savings that you also get!

    Sounds like you and manfriend are getting along swimmingly, you should definitely book a break together somewhere (but then I'm a complete travel-bug so perhaps slightly biased on that front!!) All your planned travels sound fab :D
    MFW2020 challenge #99: £2,367.60 / £3,600
    MFiT-T5 (Jan 2019 - Jan 2022) challenge #99: £13,363.81 / £30,000
    Initial MF date (18th Dec 2018): Jan 2054 Current MF date: Sep 2051 :D
    Last updated: 31/05/2020
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭
    Morning,

    How time flies! It's been nearly three weeks since I last posted here... oops!

    To be honest things have been ticking along rather nicely and I'm just getting on with the usual day to day things.

    The boy is currently off for the Easter holidays so I have mostly been doing things around our area that are free. There have been plenty of walks to break up the day and then we just
    chill out in the afternoon.

    We went away for a short break to the lakes to see my brother and his family which was nice. We had a lovely outing to Brockhole for the day, where the weather was shining and people were just generally having a whale of a time. There is so much to do there although some of the activities are pricey. The boy went kayaking and he had lots of fun just playing around with a football.

    The bank holiday weekend has pretty much been a chilled one so far. The boy is off to his grandparents for the next two days so I'm going to spend some quality time with manfriend and make the most of the weather. We are going to go out for a walk today and take a picnic which should be nice.. maybe I can tempt him into a drink in a beer garden to round off our day.

    In other news, I have been doing some research on our travel plans for this year.

    The boy would still like to travel around Italy this summer so I've been number crunching for that. We have worked out we will save over £800 interailing rather then flying. It's around £240 for my interail ticket and kids go free with a paying adult which is a bonus. I really need to look into it more. We have decided on places we would like to go and I have been collecting rough figures for accommodation/activity costs to give me a better idea. I just need to put together a rough itinerary and travel plan then start to get booking. I'm pretty excited for it but I'm unsure how long we will actually be away for. I have a budget of around £3.5k to fund this, give or take a couple of hundred.. I just want more flexibility when it comes to spending more. I will definitely use the MSE ways I've learnt over the years to save money where possible. It's going to be a great adventure once I've pulled it all off.

    Manfriend has booked us a short break for next month. We are going to Ibiza for 4 nights/5 days which should be good. We have decided to get a hire car so we can drive around the island and visit some of the hidden places you don't always hear about. I think the total cost of flights, accommodation and car hire is around £150 each which I'm happy with. I'll just need my spending money now but I'm sure I've got some euros left over from a previous holiday which can go towards this, I just need to find them ;). I'll use my foreign travel credit cards to get the best exchange rates whilst out there and I always have several other backup cards.

    I worked out I have 10 credit cards altogether but they all have different purposes. Some I use regularly and others not so much but I'm keeping them open for now. I may make the odd transaction on some just to keep them active. The 0% CC which has a balance is coming down nicely and the direct debit is now set up and working which I'm happy about.

    To be honest overall I'm quite happy at this point in my life. I'm not back at work yet but that will be a slow process when returning. I have a meeting next Friday about it but I still don't feel ready to return just yet. I'm just about managing to get a balance in my personal life. I'm grateful for what I have and those around me. I have many positives to reflect on that far outweigh the negatives and I'm working towards improving myself in whatever way possible.

    The boy is doing well and won 1st place in an ice skating competition the other week. I'm so proud of him and all that he achieves and admire his determination. I don't think it's an easy sport compared to some others but he is progressing nicely.

    I'm building up my relationships with people slowly but surely. I'm walking away from some people but becoming closer to others. I guess I'm having a bit of a life clear out in some ways but I know it is for the best. Sometimes when you go through rough patches it goes to show who is actually there for you and who isn't. It's an eye opener to be honest and has made me question a lot of things.

    Another thing I'm grateful for is manfriend. He is so patient and understanding with me and allowing things to go at my pace. I can totally be myself around him and tell him things I wouldn't necessarily tell others which always lifts a weight off my shoulders. It's like he is my new confidant and it is good that I feel this comfortable around him. He is also so kind, gentle and caring and always tries to give me a different perspective if I'm having one of my moments. We do a mix of things with each other from walks out in places, picnics, meals out and other activities. To be honest he is amazing and I can feel myself falling for him but by bit which is scary. I just hope he sticks around, it feels like I've known him much longer then I have. This is the first time I've had a relationship where things have been taken slowly and I'm enjoying it so much more. We are still learning things about each other and it's fun.

    Anyway I best get on with my day. The sun is shining and I'm going to make the most of it!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    I am glad you are feeling better and are having a lovely holiday. Man friend sounds really supportive. Interrailing sounds great. I have never done it but love the idea of it.

    Your work place sounds amazingly supportive they obviously think a lot of you. Hurrah. :j Enjoy the sunshine. :j
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭
    Afternoon,

    It's been a few days since I last posted and I've just been keeping myself busy.

    On Sunday, me and Manfriend went to Formby beach which is one of the National Trust sites not too far from us. We had a good walk around until we found ourselves a nice spot to have a picnic and then we chilled out for a bit. We then went home and had leftover spaghetti bolognese that his mum had made which was lovely.

    On Monday we then went out for a walk with Manfriend's mum through a local park and she treated us to lunch before we headed back to hers for a cup of tea. After that I headed off home as we were going out for tea to celebrate my mums birthday. I think my total spends for the day were less then £10 which is good considering all.

    Yesterday the boy returned home from his grandparents and we went to a local splash park with our friends. The kids spent a good while splashing around before heading onto the park close by. Our only expense was for an ice cream which cost £2.00. The boy had a lovely day and really enjoyed himself. He then went to his Nannys who then took him to football before he came back home. He was absolutely worn out last night.

    Today the boy has had his friend come round. So far we have been to the park and got McDonalds for lunch. They are now playing on the boy's switch before we head out to a local indoor play area that they want to go to. I originally set myself a budget of £25 for today which I should come under.

    The plan for tomorrow is to go to our local theme park which should be quiet as a lot of schools have already gone back. We will most likely take a picnic with us.

    We went food shopping the other day and bought enough things to last us the rest of this week. We mostly take our own food with us wherever we go on days out unless we aren't allowed. This saves us a lot of the money and at least the boy is eating what he likes.

    I have a meeting with work on Friday. I'm not sure what will come of it but I can only see. I still don't feel 100% ready to go back just yet. It's just a check in to see how I'm doing.

    Anyway.

    My bedroom is currently undergoing renovations. I've just chosen my wallpaper which is a light shade of grey with a hint of sparkle which will cover all four walls. The wardrobes are arriving at the weekend and then we will only need to choose our carpet. Once it's all done we will be putting the furniture and my possessions back in but I'll be having a good clear out as we do. Bit by bit, I'll reduce what I have so there is not as much clutter to go back. I have a feeling I shall be donating quite a few items to the charity shops which no longer have a purpose. I want my room to be my safe place and somewhere I can relax.

    That is pretty much it really. I've not yet planned anything for the weekend as I'm just taking each day as it comes and doing things at my own pace.

    All my income is in for the month ahead and I'm going to tweak things slightly as my income has slightly reduced.

    My car is due for its MOT so I need to get that booked in for next week. I'll look around for the best price as it will need a service as well. I mays well get it all done at once instead of faffing around. The car fund will pay for all of the work needed. I have been having issues with my dashcam so I've emailed the company I bought it from and I'm awaiting a reply. I'm hoping they will send me out a replacement as we have already tried changing one part.

    Anyway that's pretty much it for now. I'm trying to save money where possible but I do have other expenses coming up. It's finding the right balance. I think instead of going out for coffee/meals out to see my friends, I'll invite them to the house more to save money. I'm spending quite a bit on food which is a bit annoying.

    Bye for now!
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    It's great that you have been out with your friend and son and enjoyed the good weather. Well done on decoration planning of the bedroom. Good luck with work meeting.
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
  • Chandelier.Chandelier. Forumite
    933 posts
    Debt-free and Proud!
    ✭✭✭
    Morning,

    This week continued to be rather busy and we had enough things to do to keep us entertained.

    I managed to keep the spends below £25 on Wednesday. The boys went to the indoor play area and had a drink and a snack there which obviously bumped up costs a bit. However they had fun so that's all that matters.

    On Thursday we went to our local theme park and got on a few rides before the boy headed off for a sleepover at his Nannys. I then went out for tea with my cousin where we had a good catch up which was nice. We used a two for one voucher which saved us both money.

    On Friday, I had my meeting at work. I have a feeling they are really going to drag their heels with regards to me returning to work. I need to really be careful about what I do next and have a good think about what I really want. There have been a few options laid across the table and I'm not sure which one to choose that is right for me. All I know is that I'm going to comply with what they say, collect as many things possible to state that I shall be fit to return to my job role. They are the ones making things difficult and causing me extra anxiety. I feel like they are adding extra pressure for me to return before I'm truly ready by scaremongering me a bit. I'll prove them wrong and get back to where I need to be. Anyway, I'm not spending anymore time worrying.. what will be, will be.

    After my meeting, I headed home before we took the boy out for a scooter ride. We went and purchased tickets for the boys ice skating show which is later on in the year. We got some really good seats and the tickets are only £10 each. However as we are going to a few of them, the costs are adding up. I put these on my CC and will collect the money before payment is due.

    The boy then went to our local indoor climbing centre where he burnt off some energy and had a really good workout. He absolutely loves it there however we don't go that often due to the price. Its £13.95 for one hour which soon adds up, plus the cost of drinks whilst there as you can't take your own.

    We then headed home and had pizza for tea before chilling out for the rest of the evening.

    Yesterday was pretty much a chill out day, aside from an ice skating lesson for the boy. I was rather tired and the weather has been awful which put me off doing anything outdoors. However I've decided I'm not going to let the weather stop us from getting out and about. I refuse to keep on paying for indoor activities as the costs add up rather quickly and my money can be used elsewhere. I need to be more imaginative with our outings and maybe get us out in the countryside/fresh air more.

    Today the boy has had his ice skating lessons and now he is off to his Nannys for the next couple of nights. I'm going to see manfriend later on and hopefully we will get out and about somewhere. I don't want to be stuck indoors again, I want to be productive.

    I've booked my car into the garage for tomorrow for its mot and service. A lot of places were quoting around £180-£200 for both of them together. However after looking at comparison places, I've found a place where the cost is £140 for everything. The reviews for the garage were really good and positive so hopefully all should be okay. My car is only four years old so shouldn't really have any problems. My windscreen wipers may need replacing. So I'm saving around £40+ all in all. Whilst I'm waiting for this to be done, I am going to do a bit of shopping and see if I can find anything nice for my upcoming holiday. I won't be spending much and I'll most likely treat myself to a coffee or lunch somewhere. It will be good to spend time on my own.

    The boy has a ice skating test/exam coming up on Tuesday. I'm a bit nervous for him but whatever the outcome, I'll still be proud.

    My bedroom is coming together nicely now. We are at the stage of wallpapering and my new wardrobes arrived yesterday. So we will build them over the next couple of days. We then just need to go and choose a carpet. Once done, I am going to sort out through everything I own and be ruthless about what I want to keep. I want to get rid of all the junk that seems to just accumulate.

    It's nearly time to renew my budgets for the month. I've still got some funds leftover in different accounts which I'll gather together and put towards other expenses or maybe towards my holiday fund.

    In regards to spending money for my holiday.. I found some leftover euros from my last trip abroad. I counted it all up to find I had €98 which is a bonus and can go towards things whilst out there. I'll just use either my monzo account or one of my travel credit cards for other purchases whilst there. Manfriend is onboard about keeping costs down, at least we are on the same wavelength!

    That's pretty much it really for now. There are a few other things I need to get done this week so I have added them to my to do list. I'm going to book myself in for a hair and nail appointment ready for my jollies.

    So overall, all is good.
    Chandelier.
    Current Debt Repaid:
    £104/£619.

    Check out my Diary
    :D
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    I saw this yesterday and I posted but it didn't make it across.

    I am glad you have having fun with little boy and also you are planning a holiday. Hurrah to having nails done!

    With regard to work try to get a union involved to make sure work aren't forcing you back early. Luckily you live with your mum so that is one less worry. I hope they will be sympathetic to you.

    Have a good day. I hope the weather is better by you.
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
  • pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    I second SW's suggestions about getting a union involved if you can, and failing that: is there someone at work that you are reasonably close to and can trust to discuss it with? I really hope it all works out for you, but you're absolutely taking the right approach with "what will be, will be" (an approach that I really need to get better at taking in my life!!).

    Where are you heading off to on holiday (I think I missed it in a previous post)? Free/bonus 98 euros is amazing! We've just got back from holiday and sadly spent every cent (well, I had about 87 cents left which I put in a charity box at the airport) so no bonus euros for me next time :( Have a fab time!!
    MFW2020 challenge #99: £2,367.60 / £3,600
    MFiT-T5 (Jan 2019 - Jan 2022) challenge #99: £13,363.81 / £30,000
    Initial MF date (18th Dec 2018): Jan 2054 Current MF date: Sep 2051 :D
    Last updated: 31/05/2020
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