For a minute there, I lost myself...

in Debt Free Diaries
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  • FootyFanDanFootyFanDan Forumite
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    Hey,

    Just caught up with your diary, you sound so motivated and well done on the closing of one of the CC. I also struggled with the morning coffee, I was horrified to see how much I was just throwing away on Costa on a morning, it just became routine and only when I came to tackle my debt did I realise the extent of it.

    I like you also feel the need to have less clothes, I have so much that I don't wear I would rather have a select few clothes but know its stuff I really like.
  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    Hey, FootyFanDan! Thanks! One thing I like about reading the diaries is the shared struggle we have in big ways and small ways - who knew coffee could be such a sticking point! I'm doing much better on that front - around this time last year, I would stop probably every morning for a Nero.

    I am "good" at going through my clothes and selling / donating what I don't wear but I also don't put much thought into just picking up clothes in sales etc just because it takes my fancy. I'd really love to shift this mindset and think more about how my habits impact on environment in this respect.

    eBay update: 2 of the items have watchers so hopefully I should make some sales.

    Oh and I saw my cousin earlier and they bought me a scratchcard out the blue and I won £10! That almost covers my Asos dress!
  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    It's been a few days :) I like the new forum, seems user friendly! It's been a spendy few days. I was out on Saturday to watch the rugby and it ended up being an expensive day out. I knew that it would be so did budget for it, but seeing that you have spent £70 on a single day out is not easy. I have a few other events this month so it will be an expensive month in general so I just need to plan, budget and save where I can. In other spending news, the cost of the ticket I buy for the tram has went up 20p a day!
    It's snowing here again today, so I'm working at home which is good for money saving. Hope everyone has a great week! 
  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    My poor neglected diary! It's been an expensive few weeks.... I got a parking ticket today (a legitimate council issued one!) that cost me £30. I was really annoyed with myself because I'm usually so careful about parking as tickets can be really expensive in this city. Oh well, you live and learn. Got some good news from work - from April, I should *hopefully* be getting a pay rise which should lift me about 7k/year, so that's something to look forward to :) 

    What else... it has been an expensive month in general - it's my niece's birthday tomorrow, I've had a few days out and been to a few events (work and social). I knew it would be pricey and tried to plan accordingly but still, I wish things were a bit quieter so I could see my savings increasing faster. I am generally a patient person in other aspects of life but this process takes all my will power to not wish time away. I've tracked all my expenses again this month diligently; I've been really good at using Monzo for my day to day spends and I find it SO useful because of the alerts of how much I've spent in a day. It keeps me focused when I have a hankering to spend money mindlessly...  I find it's the antidote to actually *spending* the money! 

    Not sure I have much else to share just now, but will try not to neglect this diary for so long again!
  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    Feeling a bit blah today. Sometimes I really struggle to visualise the future or really *believe* that I'm worthy of good things. Some days are worse than others... it ebbs and flows. I find myself future tripping all the time - or past tripping, depending on the day! I can be hard on myself when it comes to letting go of mistakes I've made or past versions of myself. For some reason - not really sure why - today I am particularly angry at all the financial mistakes I've made and feel like I'm miles behind my peers. I am pretty good at talking myself out of these negative thought patterns with the usual tropes of "it's not a race; everyone's situation is different" etc but I just feel especially low about it all today.
    Anyway, it is what it is i guess and it will work itself out in the end. I was crunching the numbers today vis-a-vis buying a place and I think it just worries me that it won't ever be a real thing for me. I am generally a negative thinker though so I hope this is all just in my head rather than the reality of it. If all goes to my (rough) calculations, I'm hopefully going to be in a position to buy my own place by June 2021.
    That feels like SOO long away from now but I need to remind myself that time FLIES and it will be here in the blink of an eye!
  • BlackcatsBlackcats Forumite
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    Hi Applewood - if it's any consolation I was expecting the date when you might be able to buy a home to be much further away.
    i was told once when I was dwelling in the past to treat life figuratively speaking  like you are driving a car.  Most of the time you are looking forward through the windscreen, glance backwards in the rear view mirror to be aware of what's behind you and use the wing mirrors to ensure that you can see what's around you.  So most of the time look forward, but it's ok to glance backwards and good to be in the here and now some of the time too.  I probably haven't explained it very well but I hope you get what I mean.  
  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    Blackcats said:
    Hi Applewood - if it's any consolation I was expecting the date when you might be able to buy a home to be much further away.
    i was told once when I was dwelling in the past to treat life figuratively speaking  like you are driving a car.  Most of the time you are looking forward through the windscreen, glance backwards in the rear view mirror to be aware of what's behind you and use the wing mirrors to ensure that you can see what's around you.  So most of the time look forward, but it's ok to glance backwards and good to be in the here and now some of the time too.  I probably haven't explained it very well but I hope you get what I mean.  
    Thank you Blackcats, this is really helpful. This analogy is really useful for me - I'm a fairly visual person so I can see this.  It definitely depends on the day... I tend to catastrophise things in general so I know I need to keep my thinking patterns in check.  Well, I am aiming for summer 2021 but I won't be too disappointed if it goes over that timescale. I am looking for a modest place - 2 bedroom, 1 bath and house prices outside the city are reasonable (for now!) so between now and then I should have enough money for a decent deposit and some left over for move in / emergency fund / upgrades. My brother is a joiner so I can get free labour from him, haha. 
    I've been researching mortgages and find myself future tripping over that too - it all seems so complicated and long winded! 

  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    Just popping on to say I'm in a better mood today and can't believe it's almost March! I am grateful for the thought of lighter nights and today seems like the first time I finished work after 5pm and it was still light out. Cannot wait for spring to arrive! It's so dark for so many months here - October to mid March - and it gets old fast. 

    Nothing else to report really - I plan to do a February roundup at the weekend to check in with my goals :blush:

    Happy Friday eve, all!
  • BlackcatsBlackcats Forumite
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    Applewood - I got all excited and then I realised it's only Thursday evening here 🥺. Glad you are feeling brighter.  The lighter mornings and evenings are wonderfully uplifting plus the sight of daffodils and crocuses signals the end of winter and start of spring. 
    I look forward to hearing about your February progress towards your goals.

  • Applewood1Applewood1 Forumite
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    February roundup time! It's been a soso month, spending wise. My budget is split into the following categories to record my spending:
    • Fixed expenses (rent, bills, etc)
    • Food
    • Transport
    • Material items
    • Entertainment
    • Gifts
    • Personal
    • New house 
    • Miscellaneous 
    I find that these categories work best for me. I've tried a few budgets in the past but only when it's tailored to my own habits does it actually work. I've logged every single spend on the spreadsheet since 1st January and now it's like second nature. Monzo shows transactions instantly so it's easy to just record it on the spreadsheet at the end of the day.

    Compared to January, this month I've only saved 25% of my salary. Couple of notes on this: I earned less in February than in January because I had no overtime. Overtime in my industry isn't too common but when it's available it's paid at double time so can be fairly lucrative.  Also, I didn't submit my work expenses for the month (£185) so this will go into March instead. I knew it was going to be an expensive month so I'm actually ok with this - and I paid £390 towards my credit card. Fails this month include the £30 parking ticket and £30 taxi  :/ I spent £232.45 on transport this month in total. That includes parking / tax and insurance / petrol / tram tickets / car maintenance / taxis and ubers etc but compare that to last month (£158.71) it's much higher! Good news - my car insurance is up for renewal this month so I'm going to do some comparison quotes tomorrow. I read the ML article about when to buy your new policy and he suggests 21 days prior to the renewal date is the optimum time so I'm going to heed that advice and renew it tomorrow! I'll report back.

    Food.......! REALLY pleased with this month :) Total spends for February - £124.03. Planning for food shopping and only buying what I need with minimal treats has really paid off! Going forward, I'd like to see this come down more to roughly £100/month but I think I've made good headway already. 

    Still succeeding in my resolution of no Starbucks this year, really pleased about that. As for morning coffees, I only had 1 the entire month of February. I can't take all the credit for this ... due to the weather, I've worked from home more than normal this month which removes the opportunity for a morning coffee! Still, it's a win. 

    eBay... selling isn't going well. I've listed a few things recently and none have sold. I will relist them but don't have the energy for it just now! I'll be sure to include any money made from eBay sales in the coming months. 

    I think that's all for now! Happy March, all.  

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