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
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 13th Jul 16, 3:30 PM
    • 1,546Posts
    • 4,193Thanks
    zcrat41
    ZC's Aim for a little independence
    • #1
    • 13th Jul 16, 3:30 PM
    ZC's Aim for a little independence 13th Jul 16 at 3:30 PM
    Hello.


    I've been a regular on MSE for a long long time and have been a follower of many fabulous diaries on here. I've been thinking for a while that it would help me to have a diary as I do spend quite a lot of unnecessary money. Don't expect anyone to read - it's to help me!


    So, DH and I are lucky enough that our family house is mortgage free. I had a house before I met him which is the mortgage that I want to pay off. The house is rented out. Here's the financials:


    Amount remaining: 67186.98
    Term remaining: 18.5 years
    Monthly repayment: 429.91 (somewhere around 4.8%) fixed in for 4 more years.
    I started with 81 000 6.5 years ago. I've made the odd o/p of 100 pounds here and there but with 2 mat leaves in this 6.5 years I've not got very far.


    The rent I get is 575 pcm. I put the excess in an account to cover tax and repairs etc.


    DH and I live out of our joint account that we contribute equally too for our day to day spends. It covers all our essential bills and essential living costs. I.e. it would cover jeans for day to day work but not a fancy dress that I want but don't need.


    We then have our separate accounts where my excess salary goes and pays for the fancy dress that I don't need. My aim is to use as much of this as possible to overpay the mortgage. I tend to buy unnecessary stuff out of my own account. It's easy to get lax in the joint account to so I tend to sub it if I need to.


    I'm aiming to start off with o/p by 80 pcm. This would pay off the mortgage 3 years and 9 months earlier. I hope to increase this significantly as my income increases as my children get older.


    The reason I call this my independence diary is that both DH and I run family businesses' and our finances are very joint with parents. DH is extremely tight - which is a good thing most of the time as it's how he runs a good business. I want a little fund though so that if I want to go on a spa trip or a cruise I can! We both currently work hard and don't take much time off though and my salary is the one that pays for the nice little extras so I need to have a balance between o/p and nice experiences/things.


    I'm not sure whether to save with a First Direct regular saver at 6% or just straight pay off the mortgage.
Page 2
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 25th Jul 16, 1:31 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Afternoon MSE'rs.

    Not much going on chez ZC. Have set up two DD to charities out of my new acc in preparation for switching to M&S.
    Free tea at Mum's tonight as we're combining round her house
    I've signed up to onepoll and so far much prefer it to Swagbucks. I seem to spend 5 mins on a Swagbucks one before it tells me I'm not suitable!
    • PennyJar
    • By PennyJar 25th Jul 16, 8:48 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    PennyJar
    Hi ZC,

    Glad one polls going ok - much more straight forward and less refusals definitely
    Debt Free - 2011 (15, 000) | MFiT - T4 #78 0/20,000 (Mortgage reduction target)
    Mortgage Free Goal - 2026 (101, 062) | #198 Emergency Fund Challenge 500/1000
    Massive fan - thank you for changing the game!
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 26th Jul 16, 5:51 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Evening MSE'rs.


    Just done an online shop to be delivered tomorrow to last me till next months grocery budget kicks in on Monday. Groceries for July will have been 363.80 (for 2 Adults and 2 pre-schoolers who eat all 3 meals at home 7 days a week). I'm hoping to keep that under 350 for August for both the waistlines and the wallet.


    I think my LTV at the moment is about 56%. I think my first goal is going to be to get that to 50% which is about another 6000.


    Am getting on well with onepoll and Bounts. In fact, just about to go for a run so I get my points today!
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 27th Jul 16, 10:37 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Hi ZC

    Have you thought of popping your meal plan and shopping on here?
    Maybe we can help with suggestions on your shopping
    Plus I like stealing other people's dinner ideas

    Also, just wanted to ask, how have TSB been for you with their 5% account?
    I'm thinking of opening one up
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 27th Jul 16, 10:49 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Hi Miss Creative.
    TSB have been fine. I find their app easy to use. I had to take ID into the bank to open the acc but that was the only hassle. I've maxed out the current acc and have their regular saver too - I just do a standing order to cover the 500 pm going in.


    Good idea to post meal plans. Here we go.
    Today - Lunch - Prawn & Watercress baguette, Tea: Hairy Bikers orange chicken with braised lentils
    Thursday - Lunch - prawn & watercress baguette, tea: Kale pasta
    Friday - Lunch - ham s/w, Tea - Lasagne from freezer
    Saturday - Lunch - cheese s/w, Tea - Pasta Putanesca
    Sunday - Lunch - ham s/w, Tea - homemade burgers & coleslaw.


    Snacks - blueberry muffins to make today.


    Have applied for an M&S account today so see what happens there.
    Got a 10 credit from John Lewis as I've been waiting 3 weeks for a refund on a dress I returned. That's gone straight to the OP fund.
    Looks like we're going to be sending DS to swimming lessons from September which is another 17.50 pm to find.
    Today we had Hilarys blinds come out to quote for new curtains for our sitting room and our spare room as they desperately need doing. 980! I do like quality but I reckon with a bit of shopping around we should be able to get that cheaper.


    Raining her this morning so day off from the farm .It's supposed to dry up this afternoon so hoping to get out for a long walk with the kids.
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 27th Jul 16, 11:09 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Thanks for the info ZC. I think I'll look up some more about the TSB account and their app today.

    Your meals sounds great - especially the Hairy Bikers chicken. Good to see you're not adverse to eating the same thing for lunch some days - that's a great way to save money on ingredients
    One of the ways I save is by meal prepping my lunches for the whole week (on Sunday if possible). This week I'm having Heck chicken sausages with roasted sweet potato and broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans and sweetcorn
    That's 5 days of lunches for 5-6, depending if the sausages are on offer.

    Have you thought about making your own curtains?
    I made some last weekend for 7 - used a lot of hemming web to keep the sewing to a minimum (I'm not the best curtain maker in the world!). I don't know how much you'd spend on material but you could make them for a 100th of the cost you were quoted
    Orrr maybe a local seamstress could do some for you at a fraction of the quote?
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 27th Jul 16, 11:24 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Miss creative - I'm the polar opposite of your username! I can drive a combine, plough a field and handle cattle but I can't even sew in a button!!!
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 27th Jul 16, 11:30 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Hahaha
    Maybe a local seamstress then

    I didn't actually want to sew the curtains as I don't enjoy sewing that much - it just saved me buying them for 40 (silly double height ceilings!)
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
    • PennyJar
    • By PennyJar 27th Jul 16, 2:07 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    PennyJar
    Hi ZC,

    You sound really creative to me especially in the kitchen - your meals sound lovely. I'm basic meals like chilli, Thai Red Chilli (from jar ha ha) kind of girl, but I have started batch cooking.

    Me and MissCreative are gonna swap shopping lists and meal ideas for some tips on wk end - be gd if you join us.

    PennyJar
    Debt Free - 2011 (15, 000) | MFiT - T4 #78 0/20,000 (Mortgage reduction target)
    Mortgage Free Goal - 2026 (101, 062) | #198 Emergency Fund Challenge 500/1000
    Massive fan - thank you for changing the game!
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 28th Jul 16, 8:18 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Good morning,
    Made the most delicious blueberry muffins yesterday. Added a teaspoon of homemade plum jam to the top and covered with a bit of crumble mix. Yum!
    Just cancelled my next hair appointment which was going to cost me 52.00. The joys of going grey. I've instead bought a groupon for a local salon for 11.20 plus 9% cashback for a salon I've always wanted to try but not got round to. If they're good at a cut I'll try them for a colour and I think they'll be cheaper than the 52.00.
    We might be going shopping today to look at cheaper options for curtains. Have made a packed lunch and tea is half made so we don't spend anything whilst we're out. If we don't it'll be free rhyme time at the Library plus lots of playing in the garden.
    Have a nice day everyone!
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 28th Jul 16, 10:17 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Those muffins sound scrumpcious! I need to get some baking going before GBBO starts up again!

    Have you ever tried dying your hair at home?

    Have a wonderful time shopping or at rhyme time
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
    • PennyJar
    • By PennyJar 28th Jul 16, 11:31 AM
    • 113 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    PennyJar
    Hi ZC,

    Olio hair dye is good and there are loads of vids on YouTube on how to dye your hair yourself.

    Costs about 5-6 with 1 off next purchase coupon inside. Lasts a good 6 weeks too... You could always get mobile hairdresser at a fraction of cost to apply it at home for you.

    PennyJar
    Debt Free - 2011 (15, 000) | MFiT - T4 #78 0/20,000 (Mortgage reduction target)
    Mortgage Free Goal - 2026 (101, 062) | #198 Emergency Fund Challenge 500/1000
    Massive fan - thank you for changing the game!
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 29th Jul 16, 5:42 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Morning.

    I did try dying my hair once at home but it was a bit of a disaster - I went too dark and looked like morticia Adams. Might try again though as it is a massive saving.

    Managed both free rhyme time and shopping yesterday. John Lewis was more expensive for curtains. We're thinking of doing Hilary's for the sitting room and then some Dunelm cheapies for the spare room. Parked in the cheap bit, are our sandwiches on a bench and basically had a nice cheap day!

    Work today - should be combining the last of the rape. It's payday today so am going to have little look at Augusts budget and have a play with the figures tonight. Only planned spend might be 2 colourful hanging baskets I've had my eye on at our local farm shop. My garden looks really sad and I think they're down to 2 for 10.

    Have a nice day everyone.
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 30th Jul 16, 1:20 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Good afternoon. I didn't buy the hanging baskets yesterday - realistically I'm not going to have time to maintain them so they'll just die. I've been at work all day today - plenty of time for Swagbucks whilst I wait for the combine. I get so annoyed when I spend nearly 10 mins on a survey only to find out I don't qualify. I'm sure they already have the info they need by the time they say that!


    DH has been setting up the new paddling pool for the kids and it looks like they're having a whale of a time. They'll be over later for a picnic tea by the tractor.


    I've just worked out I think that August is our month for getting a double payment of child benefit. Will be a help towards the cost of nursery without the 15 hours free over the summer hols.
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 1st Aug 16, 5:51 AM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Good morning!


    So, for July I managed to put 267 in the mortgage payment acc. I'm actually going to put it in the Regular Saver at 6% as it's more interest. I never would have done this without this diary - I'd probably not even have saved that, I'd have frittered it! That payment alone will have saved me 267 in interest and 1 month off the mortgage. So pleased with myself!


    So over the month I've been thinking that I need to have some smaller goals otherwise I'm going to get demotivated. I've decided my first aim is to get sub 60 000 with neutral savings. That's 6757.07. I already have 5369.77 in savings so my first target is to save up 1387.3. An ambitious target for me would be to do that by Christmas - 277 a month.


    My budget for Aug:
    Joint Acc
    Groceries: 349.38
    Spending money: 50.14 (pays for swimming, parking etc)
    Nappies & Wipes: 20.00
    Nursery fees 641.93
    Eating out: 25.00
    Family health: 20.00
    Children: 50.00 (earmarked for a new carseat this month)
    Phone line: 18.00
    Cleaner: 125.00
    Window cleaning 8.50
    Tv licence 12.13
    Travel: 5.00
    Birthdays 91.27 (3 big family birthdays coming up in Oct so need to put a bit away for them)
    Christmas 91.27 (seems a lot but we end up entertaining a lot of family - rules of farmhouse living, you have the big kitchen you cook the big meals!)
    Haricuts 5
    Holiday fund 80
    Kids clothes fund 20 (I let it accumulate and then it's there when I need it)
    Social 50 (building up for a weekend away in Dec for DH and I)
    Household goods 10


    My account
    Charity 32.00
    Personal spends 10.00
    Non essential clothes 30.00
    Birthdays 33.00 (to pay for DH's big birthday in Nov - he wants a tea set! 330 saved so far)
    Weekend away fund - 120.00
    Mortgage o/p 142.44


    House fund
    Mortgage payement 429.91
    Gas safety 12
    Insurance 28
    Tax fund 54.00
    Savings for house fund 50.57




    So I've got a bit to save if I want to hit my o/p figure for this month! My weekend away is now booked and paid for - I'm off to a spa for 2 nights all by myself in November. It's a real treat to myself - we don't have a day off properly from July - Oct so it's something to look forwards to. DH gave me a voucher for Christmas last year which has gone towards it and I got a really good deal. I'm so excited!
    • PennyJar
    • By PennyJar 1st Aug 16, 9:46 AM
    • 113 Posts
    • 304 Thanks
    PennyJar
    Hey ZC,

    Good going - every little bit helps!

    These boards are really helping me stay focused too.

    I bought a 1 chalk board and started counting down days to next pay day and tried keeping these as NSDs too - it's worked so far.

    I've also found by drawing out a weekly cash amount I spend less even on dedicated budgeted items.

    Small goals are good too - keep up the good progress.

    PennyJar
    Debt Free - 2011 (15, 000) | MFiT - T4 #78 0/20,000 (Mortgage reduction target)
    Mortgage Free Goal - 2026 (101, 062) | #198 Emergency Fund Challenge 500/1000
    Massive fan - thank you for changing the game!
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 1st Aug 16, 12:30 PM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Looks like you've got everything accounted for ZC
    That spa weekend sounds amazing! I hope you have a wonderful time

    PennyJar, that's great that cash works for you - I actually find it easier to spend cash than on card haha, so card is better for me everyone's different!
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 1st Aug 16, 1:24 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Well, the month got off to a bad start - we went swimming this morning (3.20 - bargain) and I signed DS up for swimming lessons from September. I'm keen for him to learn asap and I think it's really good value - 5 a lesson but I wasn't expecting to have to pay 70 upfront for lessons starting in September! Never mind, have jiggled the food budget. We just can't out at all this month. I do have 40 of Pizza Express vouchers tucked away for an emergency meal out if I get tired!
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 2nd Aug 16, 6:27 PM
    • 1,546 Posts
    • 4,193 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Evening all.

    Tesco delivery came today - spent 79.10. Not great as my budget needs to be 60 pw to hit my targets! Hoping there'll be a lot of free meals at Mums towards the end of the month when harvest really kicks in.

    Am having a day at the seaside tomorrow with the kids and mum. Really looking forwards to it. I'm doing the picnic and mum will buy tea and probably ice cream so should be a cheap day. We're going to where we used to go as kids so it has some pretty special memories for us.

    Not much to report other than that. Quiet day due to the rain really.
    • MissCreative
    • By MissCreative 3rd Aug 16, 8:34 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 130 Thanks
    MissCreative
    Hi ZC,

    What does your mum grow?

    Hope you have a wonderful day at the beach
    Originally October 2042 // Goal December 2032
    Currently at 127,500

    End of fix goal: 75,000 by September 2024
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

248Posts Today

3,400Users online

Martin's Twitter