Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    • 11,839Posts
    • 82,214Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget.
    • #1
    • 11th Nov 18, 10:14 AM
    Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget. 11th Nov 18 at 10:14 AM
    Can it be done.

    Well I have decided I am going to give it a jolly good try.

    And I invite you to join me....Please share your tips, experiences, deals, bargains.

    For those who don't know me.....a little background.

    I am a widow, aged 67. My husband died four years ago after a long illness which wrecked our finances and which changed my financial landscape, hopefully not forever. I am working on it.

    At one point I thought I would have to go bankrupt but with the help of Martin Lewis (All Hail) and the collective knowledge, wisdom and support of the lovely people on these boards I pulled myself back from the abyss and am now financially stable.

    Not rich but I have "enough".

    Now a confession ........although I am very content to live a simple and now thankfully stress free life I do have a penchant for a little luxury.....and .........before I get too old and decrepit, its time for some fun. Time to finally reap the benefit of all my hard work.

    I have just moved house. It's a money pit and I love it. Doing up old houses is my idea of fun. I love rescuing old wrecks and turning them into elegant, comfortable homes and then when I sell ........hopefully they end up a profitable investment.

    I did well on the last one, which I bankrolled and project managed.i gave all the profits to my son who put in all the sweat equity and hours of back breaking work. I was happy just to break even on that one and give him a leg up.

    However .......as we all know "all work and no play makes Jill a very dull girl". So, whilst I am fully committed to making this new house a stunner And hopefully make a nice little profit I want to

    a) do it on a tight budget and
    b) not put my life on hold in the process this time.

    So......my plan is to live off my income of 12,000 and use some of my capital as my war chest for the renovations and hopefully at some point start up a small sideline business. No idea what yet.

    So how to streeeeeetch that 12k, until, in the words of one of our dear chancellors, I think it was Nigel Lawson ....."the pips squeak". How to extract every ounce of luxury and fun.

    I am in the process of reviewing my budget. This is always an ongoing process for me. I am constantly refining my budget to make the most of what I have. Sounds a bit anal but I do it at least once a month.

    This week I had to change my mobile phone but although I now have to pay an additional 5 per month I am happy with the deal. I also have to take my car in for what I hope will be a minor repair.

    My car is getting on a bit and so far has cost me peanuts to run but it's on notice. If it starts getting too expensive then its days are numbered. I can live without a car if I have to, at least as a short term measure. We have good transport links here. I have a free bus pass and a senior railcard. A taxi into the city centre is reasonable.

    I have good practical skills, love charity shops, and make most of my own lotions and potions.

    What I really need to do is learn now is how to get the fabulous entertainment, hotel and travel deals that I know are out there. As a solo there is often a premium to pay for the privilege of travelling alone......

    So now it begins......my quest for a champagne lifestyle......

    I am sooooooo worth it. Lol.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 11-11-2018 at 10:35 AM.
Page 63
    • candygirl
    • By candygirl 7th Jul 19, 1:53 PM
    • 27,437 Posts
    • 116,938 Thanks
    candygirl
    Aww happy Birthday LL So pleased you had a good night!

    I love your outlook on life. If only it could be bottled and sold.
    Originally posted by Kantankrus Mare
    Me too, so upbeat n inspiring.Makes me give myself a kick up the bum, many a time
    "You can't stop the waves, but you can learn to surf"

    (Kabat-Zinn 2004)
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 7th Jul 19, 7:57 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Me too, so upbeat n inspiring.Makes me give myself a kick up the bum, many a time
    Originally posted by candygirl
    Yer Narna......

    Anyway champagne moment.......went to the meet up.......lovely afternoon sitting in the sun, listening to the band who were very good. Had a good time except for some bloke who was a bit of a nuisance. he got a bit narky because I didn't want to dance with him.
    • wort
    • By wort 8th Jul 19, 6:21 AM
    • 978 Posts
    • 11,645 Thanks
    wort
    Happy birthday LL. I'm so pleased you enjoyed it. Enjoy life whilst you can is definitely what we should all be doing. X
    Focus on contribution instead of the impressiveness of consumption to see the true beauty in people.
    • caronc
    • By caronc 8th Jul 19, 6:55 PM
    • 5,531 Posts
    • 33,714 Thanks
    caronc
    Belated Happy Birthday LL


    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 8th Jul 19, 7:31 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Thanks everyone for all your kind wishes. I have had a lovely time and been spoilt rotten.

    Today DS2 and has girlfriend took me out for lunch. Another nice day.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 10th Jul 19, 3:16 PM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 12,191 Thanks
    sugarbaby125
    2 Beautiful Coast Dresses
    I bought 2 Coast dresses on eBay at the end of June. They were both used but only worn once by the previous owners.

    I got a gold and cream cocktail dress for 31 including the P & P costs but I found out today the dress when new cost 165

    I got a raspberry sleeveless high low ball gown for 21.73 including the P & P costs and I looked on the Coast website and realised that when new this dress would cost at least 249

    I am feeling great about managing to get 2 beautiful Coast dresses that are really well cut, sewn and finished as even used on eBay Coast dresses are usually out of my price range. I have new shoes and handbags to go with the 2 dresses which were also great bargains from eBay.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 12th Jul 19, 1:52 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    SUgarbaby. .....your new frocks sound gorgeous. What bargains.

    Well I am well and truly living the champagne lifestyle at the moment. And I'm loving it. .

    My new mantra of saying "Yes" is working a treat, I am accepting invitations right, left and centre. And having a ball. I have been out every day or evening for the last 8 days, and am booked for the next three, then a little respite. Phew. Joining the Meet Up group was an inspired move. I have met some lovely people and already made new friends I can hang out with independently of the meet ups.

    Plus, wouldn't you just know, all of a sudden various friends who I haven't seen in a while have been on the scene again, typical.

    I am actually looking forward to a few quiet not going out days next week. I need a rest and I need to catch up with the garden and some diy.

    Budget wise everything is pretty much on track.

    The most expensive part of my socialising seems to be the parking but tbh it's not something I think it's wise to compromise on. Walking back to the car at night I want to feel safe so I stick to well light streets near the various venues and where there are plenty of passers by. The parking is more expensive that way but I think safer than seeking out free parking on the darker off the beaten track areas. Anyway I only drink soft drinks, so save on alcholol and taxis.

    I have managed to restrain myself and not buy any clothes, but am still buying plants to stock up the garden, although of course shopping around and looking for the best deals.

    I shall be taking lots of cuttings and harvesting seeds in the next few weeks to try and increase stock that way. Other than that I'm pretty well ok with my lemonade budget, str e e e tching the pennies whilst living like a Duchess. I think there is still a bit of wriggle room to tweak the food budget and save a bit more towards treats and holidays..

    Time for lunch, a bit more pottering in the garden and then get dolled up for tonight's activities....... an evenjng with live music in one of cities oldest and most trendy pubs. Get me, whopping it up with the In Crowd.

    Have a great weekend y'all. Have fun and keep grabbing those champagne moments.
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 12th Jul 19, 2:03 PM
    • 5,647 Posts
    • 14,869 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    You wear me out with your social calendar LL Especially as I have hardly slept the past couple of nights. Think its partly as the weather has been muggy and partly hot night sweats kicking in.

    I didnt help myself last night as we had a lovely meal out with some friends we havent seen for a long time! Had a couple of lagers and finished with a cup of coffee which I should have declined as even if i drink tea after 4pm it can interfere with my sleep.

    At work tonight and tomorrow as well so I really must sleep well tonight.

    Must think positive!!! Yesterday we went to B&Q and got 36 worth of bits for the garden border and only paid 6 thanks to my shopandscan vouchers Spotted some lemongrass plants reduced to 50p each so bought 4. They look a little neglected but for that price its worth a rescue mission. Didnt even know you could grow it in this country so will be a learning curve.
    [COLOR="Red"]Make 10 a day challenge 2019 Jan 397.78 Feb 290.82 Apr 222.68 May 160.69 July 64.49
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1780.35 miles
    Walk 2018 miles in 2018...1939.71 miles
    Walk 2019 miles in 2019.....1,309.68 miles
    Mortgage...47,07046,09245,626.44,182,43,721,41,828
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 14th Jul 19, 9:06 AM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Good morning everyone.

    KM sorry to hear you are not sleeping too well. It's exhausting when that happens isn't it.

    Can I ask what are shopandscan vouchers.

    Sounds like I need some of those in my life.

    Well done on the lemon grass plants, hopefully a good long drink and some TLC will sort them out. I got a mint and a rosemary plant half price because they were looking a bit sorry for themselves. Gave them a good long drink and they have perked up nicely. I will repot them later in the week.

    I did a fair bit of gardening yesterday. Today I'm really sore and stiff. I am going out this afternoon, so no gardening or diy today, just going to have a nice long soak in the bath and try and loosen up.

    Champagne moments yesterday were just pottering about, gardening and then relaxing watching a couple of daft films in the evening.

    After all my gadding about last week I'm looking forward to having a few quiet evenings at home. I need a breather.......
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 14th Jul 19, 10:28 AM
    • 5,647 Posts
    • 14,869 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    No caffeine after 4pm and no alcohol the past few days has given me a good couple of nights sleep but still feel like Im catching up.

    The caffeine bit is no problem but I do enjoy a glass of wine of an evening so not sure how Im going to cope with that one! How very boring!!

    Shop and scan is run by a company called Kantar that pays you for scanning your food shopping weekly and uploading it. You usually get involved by invite only but you can register your interest here:
    www.volunteer4panels.com

    After I had been doing this a while they invited me to do a thing where your telly/internet viewing s monitored which pays really well for no extra work really. I was a bit dubious and wary about what they did with your info but after thoroughly investigating I went with it. Gives me between 10 and 20 a month in vouchers. Lots of places you can cash in but B&Q is my favourite at the moment.
    [COLOR="Red"]Make 10 a day challenge 2019 Jan 397.78 Feb 290.82 Apr 222.68 May 160.69 July 64.49
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1780.35 miles
    Walk 2018 miles in 2018...1939.71 miles
    Walk 2019 miles in 2019.....1,309.68 miles
    Mortgage...47,07046,09245,626.44,182,43,721,41,828
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 14th Jul 19, 11:34 AM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 12,191 Thanks
    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moments yesterday were all to do with helping my younger son to cook his 1st homemade chicken and pasta bake from a recipe he found on You Tube. It looked and tasted great and we both enjoyed cooking together in my kitchen.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 16th Jul 19, 2:19 PM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 12,191 Thanks
    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moment on Sunday was getting all fabbed at to go dancing at Bar 127. I had a really great evening dancing my legs off.

    I wore my Kaleidoscope chocolate brown embellished with sequins and beads with hidden support boob tube top with my Monsoon brown gored silk skirt with my peep toe, sling back Hobbs brown leather shoes and I was carrying my brown leather Osprey handbag. I wore solid gold jewellery with my gold plated Tissot watch and I was carrying my M & S lightweight brown edge to edge jacket with hook and eye fastenings for the journey home. I layered my perfume with the matching body powder and body lotion.

    The Jamaican man that is a really good dancer that I danced with last week made a bee line for me again this week. Although I think he could be a really nice man, I prefer to make it clear to him that I am not available, as I want to spend time doing what makes me happy as a single woman.

    I danced with another Jamaican man that asked me to dance, but I cut the dance short when he was trying to get very over familiar with me, when we are total strangers to each other.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Jul 19, 9:45 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Good evening everyone.....

    SUgarbaby. Well done to your son.....bet he felt very proud. And had to smile at the proliferation of dancing partners. Go you.

    Champagne moments today .........gardening in the dusk when it was nice and cool, getting a massage and having my back bedroom carpet fitted. Great day.

    Yesterdays champagne moment......selling some broken jewellery and bits and pieces I no longer wanted and raising 175. Every little helps.

    I have set myself another challenge..........

    .I want to increase my income. I would like to add an additional 200 a month to my disposable income (after bills) probably through a combination of making some cutbacks but also increasing my income. Spurred on by yesterday's success I'm going to start with the easy wins, sell some unwanted items.

    My contract with Ovo for my gas and leccy is coming to an end shortly so I am going to shop around and see if I can get a better deal. Also need to look at switching banks......see what they are giving away. Lol.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 16-07-2019 at 10:02 PM.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 18th Jul 19, 5:47 AM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Good morning everyone......

    Recent champagne moments..... getting my back bedroom carpet done on Tuesday. It looks great, very pleased. Followed by a nice massage.

    Yesterday, stepping on the scales and hitting my interim target of 11stones. Wahoo. Just another 1 to go. Aiming to get there by Christmas.....slow but steady.

    Spent yesterday gardening, exhausted myself not exactly a champagne but a glow of satisfaction for a job well done.

    I have had to rescue this garden, the front was a jungle, choked with weeds and the back an untouched desert with no plants, just a scrubby lawn. Both are looking much better although realistically I think it will be another couple of years yet before they really blossom (see what I did there).

    Hope you are all having fun and enjoying lots of champagne moments.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 18th Jul 19, 8:14 AM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 12,191 Thanks
    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moment on Tuesday was that I finished reading David Jason's autobiography. It gave me so many reasons to laugh out loud. It is such a well written book.

    My Champagne moment yesterday was going to my local Odeon cinema and using my Odeon Limitless card to get a ticket to watch the film Breakthrough. I loved this true story film. It is about the miraculous recovery of a young teenage boy who falls through the ice on a frozen lake. It was an emotional human interest story that tugs at the heart. I would give this film 9.5/10

    I went to Karaoke yesterday evening as well and I had a really great evening. There were hardly any singers so the DJ turned the evening into a dance evening in the end, which I loved, as I did not want to have to sing a lot of songs. I wore my Eastex white cotton skirt, my Next emerald green cowl neck sleeveless top with my white Van Dal leather wedge heel sandals. I wore solid gold drop earrings, a solid gold chain with a green and gold pendant, a gold ring with an emerald and my gold plated Tissot watch. I was carrying a white cardigan for the journey home and my small green Osprey handbag.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Jul 19, 12:27 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Hello everyone.

    Champagne moment this morning.......buying a fabulous SIZE 12 dress evening dress from a chazza for 4.50. I haven't been able to wear sized 12 for decades..... also a pair of cream on cream striped hessian curtains for my diining room patio door. A bargainous 1.50. Both items are lovely and definitely affordable on my lemonade budget.....I also picked up some of those hotel style guest slippers 50p a pair - perfect for visitors.

    Doing well with my food budget this month. Cancelled my WW subscription, I am confident I can continue my weight loss journey alone now, that will save me around 20 a month. I have also made a real effort with the food budget this month too. Have made a real effort to reduce because it was starting to creep up a bit.

    Still bought myself a bunch flowers though, lovely pale pink roses from Aldi just 1.99 so not exactly breaking the bank.

    SUgarbaby. You are really getting your moneys worth from your cinema pass. What a good buy that was. I have looked into it for me but alas there's nothing similar. Your green and white colour scheme for your outfit sounds nice and summery.

    Raining here today but I really don't mind, the garden needs it. The earth was parched and I was getting fed up watering every night, desperately trying to revive one of my newly planted trees and trying to ensure I don't lose any more.

    Hope you are all well. Have a great weekend.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 20th Jul 19, 4:58 PM
    • 1,758 Posts
    • 12,191 Thanks
    sugarbaby125
    LL you have done brilliantly with your weight loss. Congratulations on fitting into a Size 12 dress. You must be so happy

    My Champagne moment yesterday was my son coming round to cook my version of chicken fried rice. He learnt some new knife skills.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 21st Jul 19, 6:01 AM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    SUgarbaby.....thanks. I AM pleased.

    I should be a naturally slim person, with small bones and frame. I was always a willow rather than an oak but for all sorts of reasons I just piled on the lbs, especially when I was a carer for my husband for all those years. It all took a very high toll on my general health and I gained weight. But, as I slowly nursed myself back to health, suddenly something seem to click in my head and this time I have been successful at shedding the lbs.

    I know it sounds crazy but I do believe that often these things are somehow linked to some kind of unforeseen forces in our lives - we do need to get our heads in the right place first. I think in my case it wasn't just about effort or willpower, although I do think both have their part to play, I also think the timing had to be right.

    Does that sound like new age hippy nonsense........maybe but it's the best explanation I've found so far. I do think change starts in the brain. We have to think differently before we can do differently. If that makes sense.

    Anyway no real champagne moments as such, apart from the usual simple pleasures, sitting with my coffee in bed as I write, unwinding with a bit of tv last evening after a busy day.

    I have been working like a demon this week, gardening, decorating etc. Yesterday I tackled the upstairs bedroom and loft. I sorted out some of the wardrobe components ready for my son to build them and install them tomorrow. I thought it would save him a lot of time and make the job easier for him.

    My house is an absolute tip.....but hey, you can't make an omelette without breaking eggs. It will be worth it in the long run. I WILL have a comfortable elegant home and a pretty easy to maintain garden. Eventually.

    Today, and probably several days next week, will be more of the same. Sorting stuff out, decluttering, cleaning etc, all whilst trying to get to grips with the garden.So too busy and probably too shattered to socialise much at the moment. So any champagne moments will be the quiet domestic kind.

    I don't mind a break from socialising. All is Good.
    • mrsmac10
    • By mrsmac10 21st Jul 19, 10:34 AM
    • 4,298 Posts
    • 57,787 Thanks
    mrsmac10
    Good morning

    LL as you have done a fantastic job of losing weight so obviously have clothes that no longer fit

    We have, in our area, a swap shop It may be helpful to you if there is one in your area Mine is council run and staffed by volunteers

    I got 5 points for joining and picked up a sequined top for 2 points so effectively free I have stuff to donate and can build up to 20 points

    Mine is really good for accessories which are one point So a dress that no longer fits is worth 3 points which could be swapped for three new to you accessories No money involved so good for your purse
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 21st Jul 19, 12:03 PM
    • 11,839 Posts
    • 82,214 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Hi Mrs mac

    What a good idea......

    As far as I know we don't have anything like that here. I'll ask around. However, We are lucky in that we have a plethora of charity shops.

    I have already donated several bags of my larger clothes and have been fortunate to pick up plenty of nice replacement items.

    I am more or less on the hunt for winter wear now and of course household items. although tbh I can always make room for something really nice in summer wear and keep them for next year. I tend to go for "timeless classics" most of the time anyway. I rarely buy anything that is like to date or go out of style. I keep my favourite things for years.

    I'm not fussed about this seasons "must haves"

    I have actually kept a couple of my favourite dresses back. I think I can alter them to fit. A nice little winter job.

    Right I'm off for a walk to the local co op, and then will try and pick some blackberries on the way back.

    Have a great day, y'all.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

3,181Posts Today

8,076Users online

Martin's Twitter