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  • FIRST POST
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
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    greenbee
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it."
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." 3rd Oct 17 at 7:50 AM
    So after lurking on other people's diaries for the last few years it's time to start my own.

    I'd almost paid off my mortgage 4 years ago when I decided to move to somewhere a lot bigger and a lot more expensive. It was also a project. So for the last few years there have been no overpayments as everything has gone into savings for the next bit of work on the house.

    I remortgaged in August, reducing my payments by 200/month.

    I'm now preparing for the final (I hope!) phase of the renovation work, so while avoiding getting up and ready for work this morning I thought I'd check the overpayment calculator. If I increase my payments to what they were previously this will knock over 8 years off my mortgage.

    I'm not ready to start overpaying yet. I need to finish the essential work and build up some savings, but I hope that early next year I'll be in a position to start reducing my liabilities.

    So I thought I'd start a diary now, while I'm motivated, to record my progress in getting to the point of overpaying...
Page 15
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 8th Dec 19, 11:01 PM
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    greenbee
    Kitchen stuff moved, apart from the furniture which i’ll need help with. I’ve also pretty much sorted out the bedrooms - just one lot of underlay to put under a rug. There are shelves and pictures to go up, but i’ll Sort those out when other people are here to help.

    I’ve found another charity to call tomorrow about the furniture and white goods, so fingers crossed it’ll work out as I need the space.

    I defluffed a couple of jumpers while I was putting clothes away. I must do it more often and it’ll be easier. I have lots of laundry to do at some point. And a long list of stuff to do in the next two days while i’m off work.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 9th Dec 19, 8:47 PM
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    greenbee
    Today the electrician came and checked out the work - he's going to have to put some new cabling in. So the cooker will be delivered tomorrow and the wiring will be done on Friday.

    I've also ordered the turkey, chipolatas and bacon from the village shop (which takes deliveries from the local butcher) to pick up on Christmas Eve.

    The electrician helped me move the table in the kitchen so it should be out of the way of the delivery. I have a shelf to take down and a bit of floor to wash, but I'm currently drying laundry in the space.

    I've also packed up all the amenity packs and hotel toiletries I've collected over the year into a freebie rucksack I was given and need to make arrangements to drop it off at the local homeless shelter. The person who used to do the drop-offs seems to have vanished (at least, she's not responding to messages), so I'll have to find out where I can take it.

    And as I'm out of the collection area for pretty much every charity I can find, I've stuck something up on FB and so far have takers for some of the small stuff, but not the bit items. I must remember to put the bits that have been claimed somewhere safe...

    I'm planning an early night tonight, as the delivery could be anytime from 7am tomorrow. If it isn't early, I'll probably skip pilates anyway so that I can get the Christmas tree up while the cleaner is here.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 10th Dec 19, 10:24 AM
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    greenbee
    Cooker should be here soon - the estimate keeps changing, and I'm not sure they'll make the 11.15 deadline as the tracker has shown them with two deliveries still to do for ages! But I've made the most of my cleaner being here - the underlay is down under the rug in the spare room, the Christmas tree is up and the net is off so the branches can settle before I put the lights on, space for the cooker has had the floor properly cleaned.

    I was hoping the cooker would turn up before the cleaner left, as then I could get her to help me move some more furniture so I can get stuff put back, but clearly that's not happening.

    It's a miserable rainy day, so I won't get anything more done in the garden. I do have to take my dry cleaning in, pick up a parcel and pay in a cheque at some point. Plus buy some vegetables and all the Christmas stuff that can be bought in advance.

    I've submitted last week's expenses, so will need to nag my boss about approving them tomorrow. It looks like the previous 3 weeks' worth are going to be paid in the next couple of days (which just shows how rubbish the processes are, as I submit weekly, so they should be paid a week apart!) which will be nice as I've had to transfer some savings to cover the credit card bills... although some of that is my spending and not work!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 15th Dec 19, 5:23 PM
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    greenbee
    Cooker is in, and was installed on Friday. Annoyingly there's a fault on one of the rings that couldn't be resolved with the manufacturer on Friday (as they were closed by the time I called the supplier) so that needs sorting out on Monday. I was very clear that I want a replacement, that they will have to arrange installation as I've already paid my electrician to install it. I've been assured I can use it while they're sorting out a replacement, so have been heating up the ovens during the day with the windows open. They're still pretty stinky...

    In the meantime, i've sorted through all my saucepans and put aside a box of the ones that don't work on the induction hob for my brother to pick up. All my Le Creuset is out of boxes and has been through the DW as I can start using that again. I'll slowly work out what new stuff I need as I start cooking. Unpacking the boxes meant I could do some consolidation as they were all packed fairly quickly when the utility room was done. Or maybe when the floor was done. Or a bit of both. Anyway, in between doing the laundry and decorating the Christmas tree I've slowly been putting the kitchen back together in the hope that it'll be useable by Christmas.

    I think I have all my Christmas presents sorted out now. I'm planning on giving away all my Beatrix Potter crockery as the kids are too old for it now, and it might as well be enjoyed. One lot is going to a friend's daughter, and another to my cousin for her grand-daughter (I must remember to pack it up and take it with me!). So with that and the crockery, it's a reasonable amount out of the house.

    I put the freezers on a local freecycle site but although I had one message and a couple of comments, no one has actually arranged to pick them up. I might post the dresser and see whether that does better. And also try a more local site.

    Bag is filled for the homeless shelter, but I'm not sure when I'll have a chance to drop it in as I haven't been near either town recently.

    Physio appointment on Saturday involved running on a treadmill in three different pairs of trainers, one of which has gone in the donation bag - I could feel the difference immediately. Next appointment, with the analysis, is in the NY, and he thinks I might need a podiatry referral. In the meantime I need to do my exercises and go for the odd run

    I'm hoping that over Christmas, while my mum is here, I can get the last few things sorted out upstairs - pictures and shelves up, and a list of anything additional I need (lights in one bedroom at least, and probably a blackout or thermal roller blind). I should also try to use my planned sick leave to get some financial and admin bits sorted out.

    Before Christmas it's just a question of getting the house tidy for when everyone is here!

    Only two days of work this week (Monday and Tuesday), then I'm off to collect my mum, see a cousin, look at kitchens, go for a spa day, stay with friends and bring my mum back here to help me prepare for Christmas! I'm also working on the 23rd and then I think the 30th. I'll have to remember to check, but I know I don't have that many working days between now and my hospital visit. And I need to try to stay infection-free between now and then.

    Expenses were paid - I have about 500 outstanding which I don't expect to get back before Christmas as my boss did her usual thing of saying she'll approve them and then not getting round to it. She then did them while I was on a call to her which confirms my suspicion that she doesn't check them! My credit card bills are shocking, but that's not entirely down to work - I've been spending a lot recently partly on myself/the house and partly for Christmas.

    After a neighbour was broken into through their patio doors on Monday (while they were on the school run) I decided to get myself another security camera (which I need to put up tomorrow - and I have to change the batteries in one of the existing ones), an extra smart plug (I'll use it for the tree lights this week, and then for another light when I'm away).

    I've also got my mum cameras, smart plugs and a video doorbell for Christmas which i'll try to install when I'm up there. She probably won't be thrilled, but as she frequently doesn't hear the doorbell, and has doors at both the back and side of the house I think it would be sensible for her to have the additional security given how much she's away. The set up should be fairly straightforward, and i can get her used to them while she's here. It's just the drilling for the fixings that will be a challenge!

    As expenses have been paid I'm hoping they'll be a reasonable amount to transfer to savings/mortgage at the end of the month, although I need to remember that the January credit card bills will be high, and being at home costs me more in food/fuel than being away.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 15th Dec 19, 7:38 PM
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    Karmacat
    Oh my, greenbee, things sound like they're really coming together, at long last. How wonderful!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 15th Dec 19, 10:05 PM
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    • 228,211 Thanks
    greenbee
    Christmas cards are almost done - I need to buy a few more, glue down the envelopes on a couple, deliver the local ones, post the stamped ones, buy some more stamps and locate addresses for a couple of people who have moved.

    I managed to tidy up enough to send the robots round, and hoovered up the pine needles by hand. I’m a bit worried that the tree (which looks fabulous) isn’t drinking as I didn’t cut the bottom off it when it arrived and I don’t think it had enough water for the first week anyway.

    Office is a tip, and kitchen and dining room still need lots of tidying if we’re going to cook and eat in them. Utility and garage need work too.

    For some reason I seem to have a lot of paper to work through - parish and local magazines, university and school newsletters, RHS and ethical consumer magazines. There’s a bit of a backlog.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Dec 19, 12:40 PM
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    greenbee
    Cooker seems to be taking some time to sort out, but to be fair, AO are being great and dealing with the manufacturer for me.

    On the plus side, I put my freezers on the village FB site and it looks like I have got rid of both of them. And the dresser on the local town site and someone is picking it up on Wednesday.

    Did some filing during a meeting, and will do more this afternoon. Robots are on a continuous cycle of hoovering and recharging, so I must write a list for the cleaner for tomorrow!

    ETA - one freezer gone, and she also took all the paint rollers that have been hanging around unwanted for ages.

    I've just cleaned the old cooker and am seriously considering posting it in case someone wants it - the thermostat is off, but it's fine if you know that, use an external thermometer and treat it a bit like an Aga in having one temperature and needing to cook by look and feel. I have a feeling that there are people out there for whom any cooker is better than no cooker. But then maybe they won't have the transport to be able to come and pick it up.
    Last edited by greenbee; 16-12-2019 at 1:38 PM.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 16th Dec 19, 2:42 PM
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    Karmacat
    I managed to tidy up enough to send the robots round ...
    Originally posted by greenbee
    I'm feeling quite dozy, so not commenting that much, but this is perfect
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Dec 19, 2:44 PM
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    greenbee
    I'm feeling quite dozy, so not commenting that much, but this is perfect
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Yep, it is
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 16th Dec 19, 6:47 PM
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    greenbee
    Fingers crossed the cooker issue has been resolved. AO spent ages on the phone to Rangemaster and got agreement to swap it out - and then agreed to cover the disconnect/reinstall as well (no point having a replacement otherwise - I can't expect the electrician to keep coming back, don't want to pay for that and more importantly, don't want to accept the replacement either if that one doesn't work). So although they can do this anytime from Wednesday, I'm away, so it'll be done on the 23rd, giving us a day to decontaminate the manufacturing smells from the ovens and the house! But great customer service.

    I'm cleaning up the old cooker just in case (I can reconnect that if necessary) and if it's all Ok will borrow my brother's sack barrow (and possibly my brother!) and shift it into the garage on the 23rd/24th and then post it online in case anyone needs an emergency cooker.

    The garage looks better already with one freezer gone, so I'll chase the lady who wanted the other one and if not offer it to the bloke who also wanted it as he can come any time. By the time i leave on Wednesday it should just need a quick tidy to make enough space for the garden furniture to go in there.

    Did some filing during my conference calls today, and also found all my spare coat hangers, so once I've done the ironing I can do the last bit of wardrobe sorting out and then maybe wrap a present or two and start getting my stuff ready for packing on Wednesday.

    I must make a list of people to start chasing up after Christmas...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 17th Dec 19, 1:42 PM
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    greenbee
    Clearly no one who asks for stuff on FB actually bothers to check their messages Eventually this morning I posted in response to someone that I had messaged them (the first person to request the freezer just vanished, the second turned up, and this is the third, out of 5) and he's coming over later this afternoon. I should have pushed for an exact time, but it's raining so I don't care.

    I've emptied the car ready to pack up to take some stuff back to my mum's. And I've remembered to log in to my old email accounts which will soon be closed and identified a couple of things to sort out - a magazine subscription (which I get, and they managed to send emails to my new email address but there seem to be a couple going to the old one... ), Eurostar (which I don't use anymore, so I'm not sure it's worth the effort), John Lewis (I may have more than one account...) and most importantly Equiniti Shareview! I also discovered last night that I was logged out of one of my pensions, so I need to locate AND SAVE the login details.

    In the spirit of avoiding work, I've been trying to work out roughly how much money will be able to go into my pension this year, how much into ISAs, how much I need to save for the dentist and kitchen (I may try to cashflow some of this as my my Q1 bonus will both arrive either just after the end of the tax year and my YE bonus may be with it rather than before...), what counts as my emergency fund (cash ISAs probably count, not sure about S&S as that should be long term) and whether there will be any money to OP the mortgage once that lot is done. Then again I paid 52.something off while I was pondering this...

    I must find the notebook I was using for finances and be consistent about updating in the same one!

    Better have lunch and get ready for my next work call, then wrap presents and work out whether I have any left to buy.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 17th Dec 19, 6:16 PM
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    greenbee
    Freezer is gone and the garage is starting to look accessible

    However, my brain hurts - I had a big payrise when I started my new job last year, which was great. However, as I found out at the end of last year, I'm at the point where it makes pensions complicated. Ironically, I don't have a huge pension provision as either my previous salaries were low or my pension contributions were or both. So once I'm finally earning enough to be able to afford to top up my pension, and my regular contributions and employer contributions are generous, I'm getting to the point where i'll be penalised if I contribute too much. So the pressure is on to work out how I can maximise my contributions by making use of unused contributions from previous years (I clearly should have put more in last year rather than sticking some in my ISAs), which I think will be used up over the next two years, and then working out how to make sure I stay within the limits after that (which may mean reducing my work pension contribution and the free money from my employer ). The maths is confusing, so I'm considering seeing an IFA or accountant to help work it out, I just need to ask around.

    What's really irritating is that the calculations and instructions appear to be very complicated, but HMRC can clearly work it out, so why can't they provide an easy to use worksheet, pre-populated with the information they already have about you?

    In other news, I've cleared out my car ready to pack tomorrow with stuff to take to my mum's, ordered another Christmas present (hopefully the last one) and the second freezer has been taken

    If I have time tomorrow morning, I'll put the garden furniture I can move on my own into the garage as even if it's wet, it'll have time to dry out a bit before the rest needs to go in.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 18th Dec 19, 10:57 AM
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    Karmacat
    I'm glad for you that that freezer's gone - and the money/ pension thing, although it sounds horribly complicated, its a good problem to have. Remember to have a bit of fun and relaxation time in all this!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 18th Dec 19, 10:59 AM
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    greenbee
    Thanks KC Dresser has been collected as well, and I've put the lighter pieces of garden furniture into the garage. They're soaked, but should at least have a chance of drying out now, and when I have some help I'll get the big stuff in.

    Pension stuff is still bugging me, so I need to take my laptop with me while I'm away for the next few days and see whether I can track down someone who understands the maths. I know how much I earn, how much I pay into various pensions, how much HMRC are told I'm paid (so what the salary sacrifice is), how much work pay into my pensions and how much tax relief my pension schemes collect. So I should be able to work it all out... I should be able to find out the same information for previous years to calculate the carry over... But what I really need is a spreadsheet made up to do the calculations which I can update every year for planning/forecasting.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 21st Dec 19, 10:26 PM
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    greenbee
    I didn’t get any further with the pension stuff while I was away, but I did get my mum set up with cameras, video doorbell and WiFi sockets - they just need the mounts fixing on the walls outside. I also packed up a whole lot of picture that have been in a cupboard for years and took them to the friends we stayed with on Friday who appeared delighted with them. Hopefully they weren’t just being polite...

    I have also found a kitchen I like from a company I like, which I think I can afford. I’ll get an estimate in the NY, and if it looks like it’s going to be affordable we’ll then go into enough detail to get a quote. So I need to find a fitter and book them for May/June.

    I’m back home, decorations are up and we have a vague plan... but it does all depend on the cooker replacement going to plan on Monday (preferably early on Monday...).

    I logged on to my bank’s website today rather than using the app, hoping to see more detail about my mortgage, but it’s not much better - no record of individual OPs with dates, just the monthly amount and total OPs to date. So i’ll need to track down some kind of spreadsheet that I can use to record my random OPs and try to work out the impact.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 22nd Dec 19, 10:14 PM
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    greenbee
    My brother came over today with the kids, and as well as taking a whole lot of stuff away, he brought not the electric hedge trimmer on a long pole that I'd asked to borrow, but his petrol hedge trimmer and chainsaw and proceeded to decimate the hedge... it took a LOT less time than if I'd done it, and was probably more fun for him as he didn't have to clear up after himself. I however, have vast piles of tree to process!

    Some of the hazel has been chopped up already and stuck in the ground in the hope that it will root over the winter and start filling in the hedge. I need to do a hedging order for some different stuff. If I can get very small bare root plants I've got a chance of making holes big enough for them! I've made a list of what I want, but it seems that quite a few things aren't yet available as bare roots - probably because it's so warm at the moment.

    Replacement range cooker is due tomorrow morning (it's a 4 hour timeslot at the moment) so that side of the kitchen has been cleared AGAIN! Hopefully we can get on with cooking once it's in (and aired). We've kind of got some lists, and the red cabbage was done today in the SC.

    I'm working tomorrow, so not only do I need to get up early and get ready for the cooker delivery, plus work my way through the veg prep and try to find time to go shopping - I also need to get some work done!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 23rd Dec 19, 9:15 AM
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    greenbee
    Pay day today, so yesterday's balance has been moved into savings (it may need to go back to pay the odd credit card bill, but hopefully not). After Christmas I'll book my dental treatment, and do my pension calculations, and then when I know what the kitchen is going to cost I can make a start on thinking a bit more about where those savings should be.

    Replacement cooker was nice and early - apparently they've done a lot of replacements over the last couple of days, and are doing plenty more deliveries tomorrow. So I was actually pretty organised It's just a pity it didn't work. So I'm currently sitting here hoping that the new one is working when they connect it.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 23rd Dec 19, 10:05 AM
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    greenbee
    It works

    Apart from the grill indicator light...

    But to avoid further hassle I've agreed to a part refund rather than getting an engineer out. The grill definitely works... the electrician checked and managed to burn himself as he thought it wasn't hot...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 23rd Dec 19, 11:37 AM
    • 32,894 Posts
    • 194,544 Thanks
    Karmacat
    You're nearly set for Christmas have a great time.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 23rd Dec 19, 4:57 PM
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    • 228,211 Thanks
    greenbee
    Thanks KC - you too

    Last of the shopping has been done, and a bit of work... ovens were run for a bit with the windows open although we need to do more of that.

    Sprouts and carrots are prepped. Parsnips are peeled and chopped but need parboiling and coating in parmesan. My mum wants to make mince pies later... we may do a whole production line and then freeze them raw to cook as and when we need them.

    I'd better check the list. And do my wrapping tonight just in case! Turkey can be collected from 8am tomorrow... so need to wash the bucket!

    Old cooker posted on a couple of FB groups. Two enquiries, but no takers so far - i thought it best to post it as if anyone is desperate over the next few days they might as well have it. If no one wants it I'll get it to the tip in the NY.
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