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  • FIRST POST
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 6:28 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 6:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 6:28 AM
    Hello lovely people

    I'm Cheery, been around these parts a long time now and had several DFW diaries over the years, most recently here.

    We are two - Mr Cheery and I. We've been together over 12 years now, and last week we moved from the middle of the city to the middle of nowhere. We were snowed in within 24 hours and unable to leave for a week Quite an introduction to country living

    I now have a mortgage for the first time in my life Mr Cheery had one before, but as it was near the end when I met him, we never added me, and then it got to the end of its 25 year span a few years ago. Now we have a brand new one, and I would like to pay it off as soon as possible

    It's going to take a while - we've borrowed 215,000 over 25 years A reasonable rate though (1.8%), fixed until Sept 2019. Our monthly payment is 890, and I'd like to overpay by 10 at least - with the aim of on average paying off an extra 110 a month to take it up to a round 1000.

    If we don't pay it off early, it'll run til I'm 62, and Mr Cheery is 80 A good incentive to get on with it

    Sadly our building society doesn't have online banking for mortgages (bloody ridiculous) and only sends annual statements, so it looks like I'll be ringing them up every five minutes for a new balance

    I would love it if you dropped in occasionally for a nice cup of tea, especially if you brought along some cake

    More details in a minute
Page 37
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 7th May 19, 9:22 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Definitely flying KC, in fact I just got on the plane! But I had to get the train to the airport first...

    And yep, travelling with a cold. Wasn't really much else I could do really

    We'll definitely be at the Zoe end of the spectrum, would have to remortgage the house for a tesla and it'd just get covered in mud anyway
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 7th May 19, 9:33 AM
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    Karmacat
    Have a good flight! Such beautiful views
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 7th May 19, 9:56 AM
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    themadvix
    The Tesla will also be much more expensive than any car we own (save the money spent on the mini, but that's not really the same thing). With fuel costing DH about 1500 a year (and we're planning on moving further away from his work), savings on an electric would be substantial - he know his stuff when it comes to this (a well-researched video we watched suggested 1/day if charged at home and he'd be able to charge at work too).

    Have a safe journey!

    ETA: We reckon a 2nd hand Model 3 will be about 16k in a few years!
    Last edited by themadvix; 07-05-2019 at 10:03 AM.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 10th May 19, 7:09 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    You'll have to let us know how you get on with it!

    Gosh I'm tired. Just got on the train which is the final leg of my journey and Mr Cheery will be picking me up from the station in 45 mins and I am SO pleased to be nearly home

    Been sniffling and snuffling all week unsurprising really felt rotten the day we left and gradually improved but still getting through at least a packet of tissues a day

    Had a jolly time though. Because there were two of us we had a little 'serviced apartment' rather than two hotel rooms and it was the BEST thing and dead posh (by my standards anyway ) also meant that one night we didn't go out for tea, just got a couple of pizzas from @ldi and stayed in with a bottle of wine (a very small one )

    Did a LOT of walking and also ate a LOT of cake. Didn't exchange money before we went, just used debit card so I imagine there will be a shocking amount of charges Bad Cheery

    But I'm nearly home and so very pleased

    Slimming world tomorrow can't imagine it will be good news but I suspect I'll be staying at home quietly for most of the rest of the weekend.

    Apparently the chickens have discovered the concept of pockets (and the fact that they sometimes have treats in them) while I was away
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th May 19, 9:03 AM
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    themadvix
    Hope you've had a relaxing and recuperative weekend Cheery - you really sound like you needed one!

    Love the thought of the chickens and pockets
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 13th May 19, 12:44 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Certainly did, thank you

    Not braved looking at the bank account yet Must do that tonight though

    Nowt much else to report really. End of week 8 of matched betting yesterday and as of today I'm up to 1231 Most jolly

    We're going to withdraw a couple of hundred for celebratory and frivolous spends and then plough on til we're at 2000 then withdraw 1000 to top up the mortgage then go on like that - a balance between a bit of unexpected fun money and a practical long term (but not immediately exciting) mortgage aim

    No idea what I'm going to spend my frivolous bit on mind you
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 16th May 19, 5:43 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    So, I still haven't braved looking at the banks, naughty Cheery

    So I'm making a promise that I will do it over breakfast this morning. Got into the habit of doing MB first thing but the bank does really need a look at after last week's trip - and i might as well see the damage and get on with claiming what expenses i can!

    Not much else to report - finally read the electric meter and we're ahead of their estimate SO much need to get that hole in the ceiling fixed to stop losing all the heat will need to order gas at some point too - tank down to about 30% and should order at 20. Only had a delivery in Feb though

    So need to get on top of that. Had to eat in a hospital cafe yesterday (nothing to worry about, Mr Cheery just having a test) but it cost me about 8 just for tea, sandwich and crisps!! it was a horrible sandwich too! Very much need to get my act together to NOT do that again

    Also ended up paying 2.50 for parking - normally we'd park further away and walk, but yesterday i was going straight to do a presentation at work so we parked closer (which was worth it actually as i arrived unhurried and it went well )

    Back at the hospital again today but shouldn't be there as long and we've got to m me to park for free and walk. I'm going to work again after (but just while Mr Cheery does some other stuff) so will take lunch rather than buying it there - just veg b inspired by ElmoR talking about taking lunch every day and t talking the months of the end of the mortgage!

    Right, I'm wide awake so might as well get up and let the chickens out. They had to stay in their run most of yesterday while we were out and they'll have to do the same today so it'll be good to give them a few hours out first.

    And then i can sorry out the bank and get YNAB ready for payday tomorrow and collect interest from various savings accounts ready for going off the mortgage

    Mortgage fix is up in Sept so we can look for a new deal in June (which is nearly here ) In reality we have so many stupid conditions (Mr Cheery being self employed, being right at the top of what they'll lend us for our income, a massive age difference so mortgage needs to run til he's 80, having 10 acres of land with the house deeds) that i imagine we'll just stay with the same building savory, despite their lack of online banking for mortgages and inability to overpay by tiny bits at a time.

    Would be great to have the balance under 200,000 by the time we remortgage though. From memory i think we were at about 208,000 at Christmas and pay 890 a month so if we can overpay maybe 2000 we might do it... Should be able to do that between normal little OP savings and MB

    Still not applied for the married persons tax thing so that should add to the normal OP savings substantially - must prod Mr Cheery as it's him who had to apply, not me ...

    Right, up and out!
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 16th May 19, 7:16 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ok, bullet bitten and YNAB done

    Work not as bad as I thought - spent around 200 last week but will be able to claim some of that back - just need to figure out which receipts are for what (I don't think they'd thank me for claiming for all the loaves of tasty rye bread I brought home with me ) Should be able to claim at least half of that, if not a bit more though I hope

    Right - now to sort out the interest from all the different accounts and add to my mortgage balance
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 16th May 19, 7:23 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hmm, actually I'm not going to do that - it's easier than I thought to see how much interest has been added altogether over the year, so rather than each month having to go and find each little payment I'm just going to tot them up over all the accounts over the year (except for the main current account of course - this is just the savings accounts)

    Anyway, the one I just checked has 15.38 interest so the others shouldn't be too far off that Bit annoying not to see my signature go up by too much but it's gone up a bit because of the main current account
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 16th May 19, 7:56 AM
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    Greying Pilgrim

    So need to get on top of that. Had to eat in a hospital cafe yesterday (nothing to worry about, Mr Cheery just having a test) but it cost me about 8 just for tea, sandwich and crisps!! it was a horrible sandwich too! Very much need to get my act together to NOT do that again
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff



    Morning lovely,


    I sooooo hear you on expensive lunches. We were in the same predicament on Tuesday, had to take mum for tests at a hospital in another area. She thought that there were refreshment services on-site. But it turns out it was a coffee machine and a snack-vending machine! Luckily, there was a tea shop just across the way - with a park attached But i had already packed snap for me and BG (who is a fussy what-not with food anyway!), but Mum's cup of tea and cheese salad sandwich (with crisps on the side) was 6.15! I think the sandwich was ok - she ate all of it anyway - and she said that the cup of tea was good and hot, but the crisps were really tangy salt & vinegar - who puts salt & vinegar crisps out with a sandwich? We sat away from the cafe - as I didn't want anyone telling us off for eating our own food on the premises - and i have to say, I think we had the better deal......



    In hindsight, I wish I'd made an extra sandwich - i had cheese and tommy anyway, and she could have had a take-away cuppa, and sat with us one any one of several park benches.....



    But eating-out costs just blow me away........ Or am I just too tight?



    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 16th May 19, 9:21 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    I don't think you're too tight (or if you are, then I am too ) I do think it depends what you're paying for.

    Our local cafe that we used to go to charged 80p for a home made scone, and they were lovely. Not expensive - and we were happy to go there several times a week and pay less than 5 for tea and scones for both of us each time

    They changed hands, and the new place does an offer of 5.50 for tea and scone We did it once just to see - it was an industrial, pre-sliced scone, they were alarmed when Mr Cheery didn't want butter or jam or it heating up and it became apparent why - it was pre-sliced and slightly stale and all round crap. They might have got away with it a bit if it was heated with jam and cream... but on its own? No.

    Needless to say we only went once and won't be going back. The two places we do go regularly now charge about 1.90 for a scone - but they're both home made, big, and extremely tasty (even without butter and jam), and we're happy to pay that.

    So it's more about value for me, up to a point. There's never any excuse for an 8 sandwich in my opinion, however fancypants it is.

    Yesterday was just objectionable because it was a cheap pannini roll thing with two slices of cheese and two slices of industrial tomato on it and it didn't even taste of anything. No!

    Which reminds me - after all my waffling I haven't actually made myself any lunch for today yet
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • ElmoR
    • By ElmoR 18th May 19, 9:23 AM
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    ElmoR
    Industrial sandwiches sound all too familiar. Our work cafes also do seriously overcooked brickette baked potatoes that are like charcoal scrubbers for your digestive system. The fillings come no where near being slimming world compliant too. Planning ahead for packed lunches was a faff at first, but now we have it nailed. Batch cooking at the weekend helps.

    On days we run out of freezer ready meals to take in, I have some tins of tuna and packet rice in a bag in my office for emergencies. It's not gourmet, it is a bit repetitive, but I now save about 30 a week (taking a flask of coffee and water/lemon slice in too).



    Like you Cheery, I had to travel away from home and that was a eating/budgetting challenge. We seem to have used the same strategy of buying something from a supermarket and eating in. I found it worked well to choose basics. So rye bread, sliced meat, fruit. Maybe cheese spread. Lots of taste still. maybe too basic for some.



    Did you also see the advice from the 'expert' on the news recently, it was an article about bowel cancers incidence increasing etc, the guy said ask yourself two questions...would your grandma recognise all the ingredients, and are there long scientific sounding names in the ingredients list. If the answer is no and yes, don't choose it. I guess they are saying keep it simple.



    Won't be long before your chickens are pick pockets
    2018 40,000 and 2027 M end date
    Aiming to reduce to, using OPs: 2019 30k, 2020 20k, 2021 10K, 2022 MF
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 19th May 19, 8:19 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Keeping it simple is usually good advice ElmoR!

    I have uncharacteristically just sorted banks and YNAB just a few days after last time Incentivised by it being payday yesterday

    Not too bad - but I DO need to make it a priority to sort out and claim work expenses this week

    Also need to look at the food/household spends - food is meant to come from Mr Cheery's cash money - he gets paid in cash (and I don't track that), and also is meant to do most of the food shopping - but somehow almost 200 has gone from the joint account in food spends this month already That#s the main shop, but also popping out 'for milk', and a little something to drink in the evening

    Something to keep an eye on I think...

    MB going well though Up to 1577 as of this morning, not bad in 9 weeks
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 22nd May 19, 10:20 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Well, I have done another 20 'just a little pop to the shops' I was at a loose end this evening for half an hour waiting to pick up Mr Cheery and as it was after 9pm and not really anywhere to go I nipped to the big supermarket...

    Didn't buy anything extravagant loo roll, stock cubes, a wooden spoon, a notebook, some reduced eco loo cleaner, some fruit... Most extravagant things were some quorn bite things to have on the drive home (2) and some kind of falafel things (reduced to 1.60) that I can make into something to have for tea for the next couple of nights

    So not even any alcohol or cake!

    Anyway...

    Went to a fundraising coffee morning the other day run by one of the very few local people we know. It was quite weird - it was in her kitchen, we didn't know anyone else, and she had to nip out about 5 mins after we got there we didn't stop long (although we did have quite a bit of cake...) - but it turns out we won the raffle! well, one of the prizes anyway - a voucher for one of the local cafes

    I can't figure out if that was random or if she chose that prize for us cos she knows of our coffee shop habit
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Jun 19, 11:20 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Afternoon lovely MSE chums

    Gosh, poor neglected diary And popping in here reminds me that we have still failed to use our cafe voucher! Must rectify that shortly It's partly because it's such a tiny little place and is always packed when we go past but we really should make more of an effort

    Anyway, some things to report (not that exciting, but still)

    Did I say we FINALLY got round to applying for married tax allowance? Only took us a year Anyway, they were very efficient, and we received a cheque for 467 within a couple of days Can't quite work out why It's about 230 a year, and we've only been married a year and 2 months - although we got married at the end of March so that period actually spans three tax years.

    Anyway, they sent a detailed breakdown and I still can't quite figure it out so have just put the cheque in the bank and assume they got it right until I hear otherwise Will add it to my mortgage total when I get round to doing YNAB

    What else? Matched betting is going rather well - we're now up to 2151 since the middle of March Who knew? (Well, lots of MSE-ers knew, and I knew in theory years ago, but just wasn't ready to take the plunge ) I've made the mistake of trying to explain it to a few people lately and have decided that it's just not worth the bother

    Anyway, I've basically decided to treat it a bit like a second job, as that's essentially what it is. After the initial (very) steep learning curve I'm settling into it a bit more, and basically spend an hour or so in the morning, and then sometimes another hour or so in the evening (sometimes not). Certainly not for everyone, but there are just two of us here, and we'd quite often be sat one either end of the sofa with a laptop each Mostly what I've ditched is mindless trailing down internet rabbit holes

    So we've withdrawn 100 each from the winnings so far I replaced my phone (which was vastly annoying, but not *broken* so this was completely an unnecessary purchase) and Mr Cheery has (inevitably) bought a new guitar We'll take out 1000 to overpay the mortgage with too before we refix.

    Anyway, will start a new post for more waffling...
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Jun 19, 11:35 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Other financial things that are on my mind...

    My frivolous food shopping trips continue Popped into a small shop for quorn sausages on the way home today and spent nigh on 14 Only fruit, sprouts etc, but it does add up...

    Went on a work function last night and ended up buying a new dress in a charity shop and Mr Cheery talked me into buying a couple of jackets too Honestly that man is SUCH a bad influence when it comes to clothes Total spend 18

    And on the way home today I popped into the garden centre and bought a couple of house plants for my study which I've now finished decorating We did buy a new rug for it, and a tin of paint, but that was it. Oh, and I found a white sofa cover in a charity shop for 5 - it's not the right model of sofa and I've had to undo a couple of seams at the back, but it actually looks fine with a blanket over the back cushions, and it's MUCH nicer to have a white sofa (with a patchwork blanket) in that room (which is now duck egg blue) rather than the original pink/dark red one. Total cost for redecorating that room, including rug etc, less than 100, so not toooooooooo bad

    Felt nice to do some actual unnecessary *decorating* too rather than DIY Just plain old 'I don't like this colour' decorating, rather than 'the walls are falling down and what are we going to do about that damp patch?' decorating

    Of course we still haven't finished the giant DIY project so there is the small matter of the giant hole in the kitchen ceiling, two unusable upstairs rooms, and the rubble feature in the dining room floor But we'll get to that...

    What else? Mortgage fix is due in Sept, but apparently we can check our existing provider from June, so I might do that this weekend, then overpay over the next few weeks and check again. Hoping to overpay 2000, from a combination of MB dosh, marriage tax allowance, interest on savings accounts, and other bits of savings (I must update my signature!) REALLY hoping that will bring the total under 200,000

    Also pondering what else to do with MB money over the course of the next few months. Initial instinct was to throw it all at the mortgage - I've been mortgage free before and would LOVE to be again, and it's going to be a long old slog (especially if I continue with all the spendiness listed above, naughty Cheery! )

    The alternatives are either to stick in a savings pot for emergencies (we do have some emergency fund, but I'd like enough to cover a year's worth of wages really, although I'm not sure why as I have very generous sick pay (6 months full pay, 6 months half pay) and if made redundant would get several months of wages anyway. But it seems sensible.

    But the other alternative is an electric car... We have two cars, one 13 years old, one 15. The 13 year old one has done over 190,000 miles Still going strong (for now...) but one of them will need replacing at some point no doubt... We've got 1000 put aside for that (they both cost less than that, as have most of our previous cars), but we spend a LOT on diesel (probably 200 a month, especially when I'm in work more often).

    Need to sit down and do the maths to see if an upfront spend and then minimal fuel costs would work out cheaper in the long run... (and what it would do to the electric bill, which is already outrageous and they've just emailed to say they're putting up the DD again...)

    Eek, and now the postie has just brought a letter saying we're at the end of the one year gas price fix (although we're tied into a two year LPG contract so can't actually leave) and they're putting us up 6p a litre Need to check the original terms as I know the increase has a cap and I can't remember what it was.

    Anyway, blah blah blah All fine here really Doing a bit of running, bit of scything, bit of gardening, bit of dry stone walling, bit of sheep chasing (some neighbouring sheep got in last week and it has been a right job getting them out again - 14 sheep in the front garden is NOT ideal! ), bit of flute playing, bit of knitting, bit of reading, bit of lazing around.

    And my boss gave me some rhubarb, so I now need to figure out what to do with that

    Right, more tea I think
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Jun 19, 3:34 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Right, after almost 5 hours of sitting mindlessly on the sofa drinking tea and staring out of the window (and eating rice pudding) I am finally feeling human enough to do some financial buttling

    1. Gas supply
    Letter says our fixed price is ending, and they're increasing the price by 6 pence per litre. LPG firms are notorious (according to the MSE LPG thread) for scheming, as you *have* to lock in to a two year contract, and price fixes are usually only for one year. T&Cs state that increases either have to be linked to the wholesale price (in which case you can request details) or are limited to 3 pence per litre in each six month period. As they don't state which, I've tried to ring to request details (just to check...) - office closed today so I'll ring on Monday.


    2. Mortgage
    Fix ends September, but apparently you can check online for new offer from 3 months before. Just checked, and apparently we can't look yet - hadn't realised ours didn't run out til 30th Sept, so presumably we can't look til 30th June. But that's ok, because it gives me chance to collect various pots of money together and overpay before then.


    Ok - now YNAB and checking on the pesky banks...
    Last edited by Cheery Daff; 08-06-2019 at 4:02 PM.
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 8th Jun 19, 4:07 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    3. YNAB and banks
    All done now (and again, cursing myself for leaving it so long - had to put 73 in the budget fiddling category as it was cash spends over the last few weeks and I don't have receipts). Also realised I don't have YNAB app on new phone so have set that downloading. And I've transferred 500 from the post office savings account to the current account to cover what's dripfeeding into the regular savers with other banks Only 1700 left in the post office account now - but that's as planned, as the other ones are higher interest, but you can only put so much in each month. All good.


    4. Mr Cheery's phone
    He has a sim only recurring thing, but when he went abroad last year we put about 40 on so he'd be able to ring home - but as it happened his phone is far too ancient to be able to ring from the other side of the world So that dosh is just sat there in the phone account, so I've cancelled his monthly payment (which was only 6 anyway) until that money is used up, will probably be in about 10 years given that he rarely makes phone calls and his phone is so old it doesn't connect to the internet ) A small job that I've been putting off since about October
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 189.55 in 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th Jun 19, 5:07 PM
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    Karmacat
    Cheery, congratulations on doing so well with the matched betting, thats splendiferous! Once I've done my utilities contracts, I'll be zooming off to that website you mentioned.



    Loving the bits of things you're doing. I'm very interested in peg looms after seeing one at the local county show last month - much less stressful on the fingers than knitting, and it would use up the huuuuge stash of material I have from my mum.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 8th Jun 19, 5:19 PM
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    themadvix
    Wow, Cheery, it all seems to be going swimmingly over here, especially the MBing!

    Thanks for sharing about the LPG - the house we went to see today had a gas tank in the garden (definitely gas not oil), so was going to have to investigate that if we had been interested. Do you know what it compares like price-wise to mains gas? They had a gas hob (which I'd've got rid of), so presumably it's not horrendously more expensive?

    Rhubarb is easy - stew it and add a crumble topping, or if you're feeling fancy make rhubarb clafoutis - mmm. Unless that was a more general deciding what to do with it, rather than being bewildered by it, in which case, I'll shut up!

    Your cheery post has cheered me up no end!
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