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PinknSparkly's Mortgage Wannabe savings dairy

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in How much have you saved?
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  • pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    :rotfl: Thanks SW - I'm trying to be switched on, but am definitely still learning as I go!!

    Today is my last day of sick leave so I'm planning on getting as much of our holiday booked as possible! I've finally managed to decide where abouts to go and an approximate itinary which is a good start :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
  • pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    Hi all,

    So I've been back at work for just over a week (went back Thursday and Friday, and then did Monday - Friday this week) and I definitely underestimated how exhausted it would make me!!

    I spent today opening for various current accounts (Nationwide FlexDirect, HSBC Advance, First Direct and TSB) for the high interest rate (Nationwide and TSB) and access to regular savers (First Direct and HSBC). I did them all in one go as (apparently) it takes a few days/weeks for applications to show on your credit history so fingers crossed, most of them will get opened :rotfl: The First Direct account also comes with a nice £100 cashback (HSBC also offers a £175 cashback, but only if you do an account switch with at least 2 active direct debits, which is just too much hassle!).

    The plan for tomorrow is to sort car insurance (it's due for renewal 5th August and I FINALLY got myself organised enough last year to set a reminder in my calendar to do it a few weeks in advance this time - according to MSE 3 weeks is the "sweet spot" for getting the cheapest insurance deals). However, I've had an email from my current insurer saying that they'll automatically renew my insurance unless I tell them not to, for £50 LESS than last year which really really confused me! So I need to check whether I can get it even cheaper (even better if I can do it via a cashback website!) or if this is the best deal on offer... I certainly cannot complain if it is the best deal on offer though!! I also need to do a freezer audit, make a weekly meal plan and go food shopping.

    I have also FINALLY FINALLY FINALLY got my electricity meter details updated :T:T:T:T This has been an ongoing saga since October 2017 when my broken meter (economy 7, dual rate meter, recording all our electricity usage on the day rate :eek:) was replaced by British Gas with a single rate meter, but recorded on the national database as a dual rate meter. A few days after the installation, I switched to Together Energy on a one year fix, and then to EON on another one year fix. It took me the best part of a year, two complaints to the Ombudsman, two late payment markers on my file and a £30 fine to get British Gas to agree to a reasonable final bill rather than making me pay for six months of electricity usage all at day rate. The entire year I was with Together Energy, they claimed to be "in the process" of updating my meter details, only for me to have to fight with them for six months after leaving to get them to manually produce a bill based on actual single rate readings, rather than their widely overestimated dual rate estimated meter readings. I then had to fight with their collections team who thought I owed them £50, when in fact their complaints team had already refunded me £150 and claimed my account was closed. And then for the 9 months I've been with EON, chasing them on a monthly basis about getting them to update my meter details. However, despite sending them photographs of electricity meter readings throughout the year, and them supposedly being recorded on my account, I cannot supply meter readings via my online account as there is no initial meter reading to compare the submitted meter reading to :( So I submitted an initial meter reading for October 2018 on Friday and hopefully it'll show up some time next week so I can give them an actual meter reading. Every two months they keep telling me they're going to increase my direct debit as I'm not paying enough to cover my usage and every time I tell them to take a long walk off a short pier and that my direct debit is staying exactly as it is until they produce a bill based on actual readings rather than estimated ones! They reckon my account is in the red by a little under £300 on estimated readings, I reckon they owe me money based on actual readings....
    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
  • edited 18 July 2019 at 1:04PM
    pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
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    edited 18 July 2019 at 1:04PM
    My renewal quote from Admiral was already £50 less than I paid last year, but I've managed to knock another £100 off that by switching provider :money: I emailed Admiral to let them know I was leaving and not to renew my quote, and they (several days later) emailed me a much cheaper quote. It still wasn't as cheap as the one I've gone for though!

    I've been getting various emails and letters through about the accounts I opened over the weekend and it looks like all the applications were accepted. Now I'm just playing the waiting game for cards, PINs and internet banking details to arrive in the snail mail so I can set them all up and pay money into them.

    I'm feeling much better this week. I have, unusually, been desk-based all week which has probably helped and I'm still avoiding anything too strenuous and bending/stretching/twisting. I am SO much less tired, even though I've had a lot of early starts (so less sleep than normal) :beer:

    And I am 78p away from shaving another month off our mortgage term!! That will be 17 months shaved off in total :T
    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
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    Well done on house insurance bargains!!!! I must look when mine is due to end. Congratulations on paying off another month early on the mortgage - Im sure you have found the 78p by now! lol.

    I hope you are able to get over your tiredness soon. I am sure its the op and also the heat. Fingers crossed that will soon go. Yuk to British Gas and the meter saga - I thought they were supposed to have good customer service. I hope that is resolved soon.

    Your bank accounts sound v smart and a bit complex and I do applaud you for this. I hope you continue to have a good month and you can rest a bit more hugs, swx
    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
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    Thanks SW, I was quite astonished at how much cheaper it was this year compared to last. It's actually for car insurance rather than house insurance, and wonder if it's because I've cracked the magical 15 years NCB? Because that is the only thing that has changed (and, I guess, the car being a year older and less valuable!).

    None of the energy companies have come out of this well in terms of customer service to be honest! In this day and age of computers and electronic records, you'd think they'd at least consistently tell me the same lie rather than making a new and different one each time :rotfl: My account is still not showing the opening meter readings, and I spoke to someone on their online chat who said that the meter details update isn't due to be completed until the end of this month and at that point they'll contact me asking for opening meter readings. Still, it's a step in the right direction at least!!

    I've always had a couple of different savings accounts running, but decided to take the plunge and really go for it this year to try and maximise our pennies. We're using a 0% purchases credit card, so are saving the money for that to pay off at the end to earn some interest to go towards extra mortgage overpayments :beer: I've got a rather large spreadsheet of all our finances that I very sadly get quite a lot of enjoyment out of updating!

    We're all booked in to see the travel nurse to discuss vaccinations prior to our holiday and the form we had to fill in when booking the appointment included a tickbox asking if we'd booked travel insurance which reminds me, I really need to get on that! I'm terrible for only booking it days before we travel and I'm sure we pay a premium for that!!
    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
  • pinknsparklypinknsparkly Forumite
    496 posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Wow, I knew I'd been MIA for a while as I've had a lot on my plate, but pushing two months is a bit bonkers!!

    We've been ticking along steadily, and have shaved another two months off our mortgage free date since I last updated my signature at the end of June.

    On Friday, we're off on our South Africa holiday for two (and a tiny bit) weeks. I'm still booking last minute bits (such as hotels for our road trip, and car hire which is fairly essential for a road trip!) but the majority of the important bits that were likely to get booked up well advance have been booked for months. I had fun trying to find an insurance company who would provide travel insurance that covered both shark cage diving AND hot air ballooning - it took me about 2 hours in total and by the end my brain had turned to mush! Almost no one covers shark cage diving (even if you pay an extra premium, which I ended up doing) and most of the limited number of insurance providers who covered hot air balloon rides wouldn't cover it for personal accident or liability (basically they would cover for cancellation only, which isn't what I take out insurance for. I take it out so I can certain that I'll be airlifted back to the UK if required!).

    My change of job role is going well, due to going full-time at the hospital, I've obviously got some additional work responsibilities that I didn't have before so I've been here, there and everywhere getting to grips with it all but I'm getting there slowly! I'm certainly a lot less stressed than I was when doing the joint position which is fab (I'm not sleeping well at the moment, but that's due to having got out of good sleeping habits rather than stress-induced!)
    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
  • JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
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    Wowee! Have a great time!
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    14.9K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    Well done on the new job and enjoy the hols. It sounds brilliant even if you are going to meet Jaws. lol.
    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
    ✭✭
    Thanks Jenny and SW.

    We got back this weekend and had an amaaaaazing time! I discovered a love of giraffes and brought back four giraffe household items (two were at least pre-planned and something I've wanted for YEARS: a pair of wooden giraffes)..... We also got given two bottles of South African sparkling wine for being on honeymoon that made it back safely with us plus a bottle of bright blue gin that I distilled myself in a surprise treat that my husband booked for me behind my back! The gin didn't have to be colourful, but it could be and it would have been rude to refuse, right???

    It was an overnight flight on Saturday night and I didn't sleep a wink (quite normal for me, but a bit annoying when what feels like the entirety of the plane are snoring around you!). So I'm struggling a little with life today :rotfl:

    In terms of moneysavingness.... My husband managed to leave his Revolut card in a cash machine a few days into the holiday (the card we usually use for card purchases and to get fee-free cash out of ATMs) so we ended up using my Halifax credit card instead (taken as our backup option for fee-free purchases). However, everywhere we went was so geared up for paying by card that we actually ended up with about £20 of cash left to waste at the airport (hence, the fourth giraffe item....!!). So what could have cost us a bomb turned out to be fine! Annnnnnd, WE FINALLY HAVE A RESOLUTION WITH EON. Our meter details have finally, after two years, been updated on the national database to be a single rate electricity meter rather than a dual rate, and they've given us a £150 "apology" which I sent straight over to the mortgage as an OP. Our fixed rate with EON expires on 4th October, so yesterday I arranged to switch to a 2 year fix with EDF (via MSE's Cheap Energy Club so we will get £25 cashback). I can't get over how much more expensive gas and electricity are now though, in comparison to our previous fix. The new one is about 15% more expensive than our last one so I've fixed for as long as we could!

    In antimoneysaving news, our lodger will be moving out at some point in the next few months and we're not planning on getting anyone else in. This was always the plan - once we had two full incomes again, we'd not replace lodgers if they left. We're already down to one lodger from the two we had whilst I was doing my PhD. We intend to do a lot of stuff to the house (carpets, redecorating, insulating a very cold bedroom and potentially rewiring the house) that I can now finally start making plans for! It means we won't have as much spare cash around but I am so so so ready to finally live with just my husband (we had a rented flat just to ourselves for 11 months in 2013 but since then have always lived with other housemates).
    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
  • Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
    4.4K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Sounds like you had a wonderful holiday Pink ! Hope the jet lag settles quickly.


    What a relief EON have finally sorted out your bill, it sounds like you have a good deal with EDF.
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE :)
    Emergency fund £1000 now 51 and saving for retirement !
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