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    • abundant1972
    • By abundant1972 29th Jan 17, 12:14 PM
    • 1,227Posts
    • 9,215Thanks
    NST February Challenge : A Winter Voyage
    • #1
    • 29th Jan 17, 12:14 PM
    NST February Challenge : A Winter Voyage 29th Jan 17 at 12:14 PM
    Welcome to February’s NST Challenge : A Winter Voyage

    The end of January is almost upon us… I’m looking outside and there’s a blue sky, and the frost is thawing. It has been a long month – and for those who maybe have children and celebrated Christmas, it can feel like you’re just about recovering from the expense. Energetically – I always feel at a bit of a low ebb… We bowl through Christmas, into New Year and back to work perhaps, and that again can feel tough. If you spend more time at home – it can be a difficult month too – the cold and dark nights might leave you craving the comfort of your home and your natural tendency is to go within. Heck – we should all be hibernating – but life dictates we push ourselves onwards… Just pause for a moment – and mark the occasion. Congratulate yourself - you have provided for yourself (and your family if you have one) and the New Year we planned last month is awakening. We still have a way to go before Spring arrives, so wrap up warm and batten down the hatches.

    Last month, Misstara asked us all to set goals for the year ahead. I would like you to consider the following quote from Earl Spencer…

    “People with goals succeed because they know where they’re going. It’s that simple. Failures, on the other hand, believe that their lives are shaped by circumstances … by things that happen to them … by exterior forces.

    Think of a ship with the complete voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and crew know exactly where the ship is going and how long it will take – it has a definite goal. And 9,999 times out of 10,000, it will get there.

    Now let’s take another ship, just like the first, only let’s not put a crew on it, or a captain at the helm. Let’s give it no aiming point, no goal, and no destination. We just start the engines and let it go. I think you’ll agree that if it gets out of the harbour at all, it will either sink or wind up on some deserted beach – a derelict. It can’t go anyplace because it has no destination and no guidance.”

    So… the next leg of our journey is going to be by sea. Yes you heard right. This month – we are setting sail towards our goals. You have a few days before our ship departs and I want you to make ready.
    We will be at sea for 28 days remember - it is imperative that you bring adequate supplies. There may be clear skies at the moment but storms can blow up out of nowhere and have been known to sink many a ship. We must prepare for the unexpected. There are pirates in these parts who will stop at nothing to loot and pillage your cargo. Tales also tell of sirens – whose song can tempt you from your course, only for you to crash upon the rocks – your budget smashed to smithereens! We must be on our guard against them. Look out for dolphins along the way – they are good omens and can help your money go a bit farther. According to my maps – there’s an island where we can stop mid-way if we can find it – for some much needed rest and relaxation.

    The Rules:
    • The ship sets sail on February 01st and it’s journey finishes on February 28th
    • Plan your shore leave. If you want to meet with friends – log the dates now and don’t deviate once we have set sail.
    • Pay your debt repayments first, and budget separately for birthdays, car expenses, travel, bills, school fees etc. Set money aside for these - they do not count towards a spend day – as long as you have budgeted for them! Be prepared and plan ahead. Get your house in order before you depart!
    • Plan your personal budget with what money you have left. Set aside an amount for essential rations and an amount for personal spending. What you use your personal spends for is up to you – essentially ‘non-essential’ things. It could be a trip to the cinema, a chocolate bar, a new t-shirt or a book. Try not to feel guilty for spending a little on yourself – but budget it in. I am allowing £80.00 for rations and £80.00 for spends.
    • Aim for 15 NSDs. I am giving you each 12 flares. Use them wisely. Fire one off and you can get supplies (have a spend day). That’s 3 flares per week – use them wisely.
    • Look out for Dolphins (a.k.a Yellow Sticker produce). These DO NOT count as a spend day. If you see them break the waves – give thanks, and grab a bargain (as long as you’ll use it!).
    • Beware Pirates! They come in many guises and want to steal your booty! Make your lunches for work, and take in your own coffees – avoid shop/canteen bought convenience food which tends to be overpriced.
    • Beware Sirens! High Street retailers that tempt you in to buy buy buy!!! Before any purchase – ask yourself... ‘is this going to bring me nearer my goal or push me further from it?’… Is it a ‘need’ or a ‘want’…? Can I afford it or will it leave me broke?
    • Mid Voyage we will be stopping off at the Isle of Aphrodite – an enchanted place, and a welcome rest from our travels. This is a free day. Put aside £10.00 if you can afford it and a bit of time for yourself. More details to follow.
    • Remember those lost as sea – try and give or do something charitable. It could be a cash or food donation, or giving of your time if you don’t have a lot of spare money.
    • Never be afraid to ask for help or advice. It occurred to me that I take things like budgeting for-granted… but when I was a newbie – I didn’t know where to start. It was only through joining forums like this one that I learned.
    • It’s ok to make mistakes – as long as we learn from them and do not keep repeating them. If we do – we need to look at why we do – what is our gain from keeping ourselves in debt or perpetuating bad habits.

    What I’d like to see posted from you:
    1. If you haven’t already – try and do a signature. It’s a great way to personalise your goals and targets – and provides a visual aid to your progress. If you need help setting one up just yell!
    2. List your food and spends budgets. Try doing them separately for this month and tell me if it works – or not. I find giving myself permission to have a little bit of a life (spends) really hard… but life is about living. If it helps, each week draw out your spend allowance – when it’s gone, it’s gone.
    3. A running NSD total.
    4. Post 3 things – daily if you can – that you are grateful for. It helps us focus on what we have in our lives and gives us a feeling of wealth and abundance that goes beyond just money.
    5. Re-visit your goal(s) set last month (or do a new one if you’ve just joined). How is your progress? Are you on track or floundering? Be honest. Remember the ship quote above – unless you give direction and purpose to your goals – you will likely run aground. Break it into smaller steps that are manageable for you. If you’re not sure how – put it to the crew. Tell everyone at least one thing you will commit to doing this month to help achieve your goal.

    Them be the rules me Hearties… If you think you’re up to it – put your name below on the ship’s roster and I’ll make sure there’s a cabin on board with your name on it. I run a tight ship – and expect commitment from each and every one of you! We can’t be carrying no stowaways – arggggh! <said in sailor voice haha> Try and check in everyday if you can… it’ll keep you focussed on your goals. Mothernerd has kindly agreed to be my second-in-command for one week in Feb when I have to stop off on distant shores to see family. Rest assured I will keep in touch as best I can and will rendezvous with you all a bit later!
    Last edited by abundant1972; 29-01-2017 at 6:10 PM.
    Ask do I 'want' or 'need' this before I spend
    Follow your heart & be true to yourself always
    Help To Buy ISA = £6046.13. EF = £2500/£4500
    NST : NSD=0/18 : Food & Spends=£0/£200.00
    Exercise : Joe Wicks 90 Day SSS Plan!
Page 25
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 16th Feb 17, 9:11 PM
    • 3,540 Posts
    • 18,450 Thanks
    Haven't had chance to post in the last couple of days, tuesday I put a bedside table together for a friend (stabbed myself in the finger with the screwdriver in the process) had a couple of NSDs, but today was a big spendy day.
    £21.69 in grocerys, which included a few cleaning products & dog food. And £43.00 in misc, a much needed dog coat (Duncan has outgrown his first coat), new lead, doggy toothbrush & doggy shampoo.
    I do need to buy myself a new music book, I need one more piece to perform for my Grade 8 exam, but I still haven't decided which piece I want to play, so I will hold off and have a google.

    Had my lesson today, and then the usual visit from my bestie. Whipped up my first ever banana bread (positive reactions from my testers) and had a good couple of hours on my game. Good day.

    I am grateful for:
    Slowcooker dinners, successful banana bread & Skyrim
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
    May NSD's - 13/19 / Lose weight 11.2 lbs / 50 lbs
    EF Challenger #36 £139.93/£1800
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 16th Feb 17, 9:19 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 15,845 Thanks
    Small grocery spend today. Still well within budget so quite happy with that. All on the list.


    1) A great gym class at 0645 setting me up for the day.
    2) A boss who is taking on board my suggestions (read instructions) about changing the way things are done
    3) My treat tomorrow.
    Goals - Weight loss 6/26lb at 22nd Jan 18
    • ilovetea
    • By ilovetea 16th Feb 17, 9:27 PM
    • 862 Posts
    • 6,662 Thanks
    Hello. Haven't posted for ages as computer keeps switching itself off!!!!!
    Hoping to read back through the posts form the last few days.
    Been keeping track of my outgoings so will update later.
    ilovetea xx
    #10 Make £2018 in 2018. £338.99
    • short_bird
    • By short_bird 16th Feb 17, 10:11 PM
    • 1,889 Posts
    • 26,638 Thanks
    I seem to be doing this in a different way to everyone else, perhaps it's because my ship isn't watertight and there's no point in rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic...
    Expected spendy day today to pay for counselling, also went to grab some food to "pay in" a Nectar points voucher and use a triple points voucher.

    £15 to renew my multi trip travel insurance.

    However... those leaks are still being plugged. I found a broadband deal via MSE which will save me at least £20 per month on broadband and line rental and that's for unlimited data like I have now. Since I rarely use my landline, it will be no hardship to force myself to use the call allowance on my mobile.

    And things are underway to finalise the change of gas and leccy supplier.

    Thankul for:
    An extra day or half day at work next week.
    Red roses, still blooming.
    Last edited by short_bird; 16-02-2017 at 10:15 PM.
    Cancel the kitchen scraps for lepers and orphans, no more merciful beheadings, and call off Christmas.
    • misstara
    • By misstara 16th Feb 17, 10:30 PM
    • 2,730 Posts
    • 19,326 Thanks
    Managed a NSD so 9/15. I went out for coffee with a friend, she treated me to it which was lovely.

    Today I'm grateful for a lie in, a lovely catch up with my friend and a good shift at work.
    Debt at LBM Jan 2014 £10458.09 Now £0
    New flat debt Jan 2017 £2302.75 Now £804.26 (65.1% paid)
    Car debt Nov 2017 £797.68 Now £542.46 (32% paid) + monthly payments £146.82 6/60
    Emergency fund - £36/£1000. Car fund - £0/£1000.
    Mini Targets in May
    Exercise target - 11/16. Groceries target £188.17/£200. NSD target 12/19.
    • Fmess
    • By Fmess 16th Feb 17, 10:32 PM
    • 2,702 Posts
    • 25,903 Thanks
    Evening all

    SFD number 7 today. Got lots sorted at work, walked the dogs lots but didn't stick to my diet plan. Oh well, tomorrow I'll get back on it.

    Not much else happening, just enjoying being off work.

    Today I am grateful for:-

    - half term
    - a chat with my sister
    - the ability to get out in the fresh air
    LBM = 07/09/13 Debt = £13339 (100% cleared)
    New Car and Roof Debt £0/£19033
    DecNST #2 SFD 13/15 Food 105/120 Personal 380/350 Petrol 80.01/80
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 17th Feb 17, 8:48 AM
    • 1,410 Posts
    • 11,567 Thanks
    NSD #11

    I am grateful for my new washing machine, which appears a lot smaller, but I think it is just more energy/water efficient and did not need to be the same size as older washer - but I did drop down 1kg in capacity.
    Still, 1kg should not warrant that size discrepancy.
    Well it fits in the same 'ole, and I have managed to get a storage unit down the side of it so the laundry corner looks very neat and tide, except for the laundry mountain I am working my way through.

    There is so much I have had to sort into colours/whites!!! Someone take my temperature, quick.

    Kids happy with pj days and they don't want to go anywhere. Which I am finding really annoying, as I had plans!! but it is rainy and horrid. They have no desire to strap on their wellies. Any suggestions I have are being shut down. So fine. If that is what they want, they can play on the computers but I am booking YHA for every other soddin' school holiday. This is the last time I am waiting for DH, who has arranged to work for 4 hrs this Saturday.

    We had a pizza making 'party' last night - lots of bits of ends of things used up.

    Sent my request for ship dates at Easter to the Emerald Isle, see if I get them as I want to do the journey in reverse - Liverpool - Belfast- Liverpool rather than Belfast - Liverpool - Belfast, if you get my drift. Can't see why it would make a difference, but you never can tell......
    Will have to pay for 4 x smalls but avoided £5 cc fee by using a debit card... wonder if I find out I have got what I want by the money being taken before I get any official confirmation ....

    Grateful I am not having to go shopping - still eating from stores but I will have to go at weekend for lunchbox tat... and carrots.

    Still on course, on track, ahead of track possibly. Keeping my eyes on the stars to keep my bearings - DS4 was very upset to hear he was a Capricorn- conversation went along the lines of - what is a capricorn? - a Ram? not happy - ok, how about a magical space goat- MAGICAL SPACE GOAT?? YAY!!!.
    Are my brothers goats?
    Nope, they are kitchen equipment
    haha, I'm a space goat!

    Simple things.
    MFW START DATE May 16 £118,340 : Oct17 - £109,495.00Dec17 £108,800Jan 18 £108,392.98 March 18 £108,504.72April £108,099May £106,999
    NEXT GOAL is sub £105k before JulyMortgage-free wannabe 2018 #65
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 17th Feb 17, 9:06 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
    • 15,451 Thanks
    Good morning chums,

    Fingers crossed for a NSD today. I've no plans for tonight and that usually when something spontaneous happens.

    Note to self: must be stronger!
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 17th Feb 17, 10:47 AM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 15,845 Thanks
    Fingers crossed for another NSD today. Although I am very low on some things I am trying to postpone Lidl to tomorrow. But Saturday is a nightmare so may go in today and save the weekend hassle.

    Need to do some YNABing. When I get paid today. This month has seen a BIG drop in the bank balance due to paying off a 0% credit card we'd used for 2 yrs of holidays/cars etc. The money had been rotating round TSB/Nationwide high interest accounts as per Martin's suggestions.. But waking up to a drop of over £6,000 in 'funds, overnight was a bit of a shock.

    Anyway, squirrelled away this month and next months savings from this pay cheque. Now I need to budget the rest of it.
    Goals - Weight loss 6/26lb at 22nd Jan 18
    • Calling14
    • By Calling14 17th Feb 17, 2:13 PM
    • 2,703 Posts
    • 19,750 Thanks
    Laughing at how bad my SFD are this month SFD 6/15 - worst ever been. Still within Food budget however 60.28/80

    Did a small shop in Lidls yesterday needed coffee and got their own - just say won't get it again.

    Annoying friend been in touch after being back from hols a week, still no thank you for dog sitting probably just wants some one to go out with this weekend. Staying in saving my pennies at night anyway.

    Seeing it was a wet afternoon yesterday cleaned all my kitchen cupboards out - so nice shiny kitchen this morning.

    Bought cheapest gig ticket this year 5.50. Local up and coming bands.

    Diet rubbish, walking around local hardware store yesterday and following a guy holding chips. Had to give in the smell was gorgeous and chippy few doors away.

    Grateful for
    Friday, wine night and days out planned this weekend.
    LBM 13039 1.1.13 Start 2018 £5552 NOW £3112
    EEK house repairs pushed it back up end of last yr

    PAYDBX 2018 #16 £2440/£5552 DFD 12/18
    Fund #9 £220/£1,000
    1 x 100 days challenge

    • mrshubbard
    • By mrshubbard 17th Feb 17, 4:35 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 1,152 Thanks
    What is YNABimg FurryBeastOz?

    I had a spendy day. £25 on my hair but I didn't spend the allotted me time £10 so putting that to it

    £49.30 on food at Asda - more than I planned, but that included lots of ys stuff to go in the freezer for next week. Think we'll get away with just a mini mini shop next Friday so am really happy with that. Still under our usual food budget of £50 ( we used to always be over it so big improvement) The unplanned extras we bought were mainly fruit for snacking and a ready made curry to go with the naans, bhajis, pakoras & rice we already have

    We've been pricing up things for sorting parking at the back and we've enough to get a roof and door for our recently renovated outbuilding ( that sounds grand - its an old outside toilet with repaired walls that were crumbling ) will be a very handy tool and wood store when it's watertight and free some room in our backyard for a little table & chairs for summer brekkies.
    1 debt vs 100 days -
    Debtfree by Xmas
    NST - 1/18 NSDs £54/£250 food 0/£60spends
    Debts - CC1-£4438.89 £4329.82 CC2-4560.38 £3672.52 CC3-£10,326£10,155.85 CC4 - £3286
    • greent
    • By greent 17th Feb 17, 5:22 PM
    • 7,012 Posts
    • 71,608 Thanks
    Spent at Sains here - but only £22 after using a £10 voucher Also used a triple points coupon and the till spat another one out for me to use next week (along with another £10 voucher)

    OH really enjoyed the tacos last weekend - so much so that he's requested them tonight! - so I had to buy some taco shells @ £1 in with the shopping

    Planted out some flowering bulbs today - we are at right angles to the neighbours and both have big drives, so the postie/ magazine delivery people etc all cut across from our drive over our border onto next door's drive - there was one small bare patch (lots of large bushes other than this one bit) full of boot prints - so have planted a dozen already flowering tete-a-tetes there - hopefully they will see the bright yellow flowers and NOT step on them!

    Doesn't feel like half term should be over - boo Am not ready to get back into school runs and evening activities next week!

    Today I am thankful for:
    * low spends at Sains
    * DS1 being helpful
    * my mum taking the smalls out for a treat
    * OH coming home for the weekend (eventually.. he's not phoned to say he's left Berkshire yet...)
    * it still being half term
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £877.49/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £495.54/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) £13869.38/£18694.38
    • x_raphael_xx
    • By x_raphael_xx 17th Feb 17, 6:37 PM
    • 3,540 Posts
    • 18,450 Thanks
    NSD no.11 today.

    The banana bread I baked yesterday went down so well I've had to bake another one today.
    Had a very good day in work. My trainee is really up to speed, we managed to finish our tasks an hour early this week. I'm so thankful my useless colleague has been moved to other tasks and I have someone who is competent.
    Spoke to the boss today. He told me on tuesday that he will be increasing my hourly rate, and back-dating it a few weeks. I was thinking £20-£30. He told me today its going to be around £100. Which will be amazing.

    Today I am grateful for a job that I enjoy, with a brilliant team and a great boss.
    Debt Free as of 17/01/2009 Turtle Power!!
    May NSD's - 13/19 / Lose weight 11.2 lbs / 50 lbs
    EF Challenger #36 £139.93/£1800
    • mothernerd
    • By mothernerd 17th Feb 17, 6:56 PM
    • 2,369 Posts
    • 24,639 Thanks
    Funeral done and dusted. Everything went okay. Spent £2 on a bus home (had a lift but they disappeared) but brought home lots of salad, some slices of roast beef, melon strawberries and a piece of cake - shared with Beloved and gave her the melon too.

    Ordered the shelves they need for surplus books (nearly had to twist Beloved's arm as I said they would need 2), Currently have books in the wardrobe/ on the floor/ another 2 boxes not unpacked and at least one large bagful downstairs.

    Next week is looking busy Mon - healthy Options appointment, Tues - Doctor to check on worrying blood test result, Weds - crafts, Thurs - local history (visit mum?), Fri - may finally get to knitting (quiet crafts) and think it will be Film club next Friday. Shelves coming Tues or Weds, so will need putting together.

    Had a letter when I got back, need to meet Practice Nurse for diabetic review following Monday and they want me to have more blood tests at least one week before (so will have to be this coming Monday) and am booked in for massage on the 28th. all this and work and sorting the house too.

    Today I am grateful for quiet time with relatives I don't see that often, for getting to hold a tiny baby (there was a boy one too but would have had to squueze past about ten people to get to him, for mum being well enough to go to the funeral and for free food.
    This year I will be fierce
    NST May #13 SFD 11/19 Food £129.13/£120 Travel £15.20/£15 Ent £27.44/£30 (+ £20 membership fee)
    No Debt No mortgage
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 17th Feb 17, 7:17 PM
    • 7,295 Posts
    • 54,965 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Glad the funeral went ok, and that yourmum was able to go.
    NST May #1; NSD 14/19 ; Ex 17/20 ; craft 3/30 (66); remove 31 (402)
    2018 Pay off: £1626; 2
    018 sell

    Mortgage £21,422 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • SkintTeacher
    • By SkintTeacher 17th Feb 17, 10:06 PM
    • 333 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    Struggling a bit with motivation here - why does money burn a hole in my pocket!? I need to look at my actions in the first week after pay day. What do people on here do? Do you 'squirrel' money away?

    I also haven't weighed myself in a few days - uh oh! I'm really hoping not to be disappointed when I get on the scales tomorrow morning. I've been good but weight loss inevitably slows after those first few 'power' weeks.

    Hope you're all well.

    I'm grateful for:
    My little one finally agreeing to go swimming with me (it's been 'too cold ' so far this winter, apparently)
    Matching underwear (a random one, but I do love it!)
    • FurryBeastOz
    • By FurryBeastOz 17th Feb 17, 10:12 PM
    • 1,193 Posts
    • 15,845 Thanks
    MrsHubbard YNAB is a computer app that budgets all of your money as it comes in/you spend it. Means I know where every penny goes!

    And they went today. I decided to prepay for a course of me time (aka massage). Although it is an initial ouch, I have already budgetted for next month and savings so it's covered out of this pay check. It saves a lot of money in the long run.

    It also means that in leaner months I don't sacrifice me. I feel a bit selfish saying that, but I'm earning it I suppose, and 2yrs ago I would have been drinking it and eating away at savings not earning it


    1) Being sober - feeling a bit emotional tonight as I went to a great AA meeting.
    2) Forcing myself to the gym, and actually doing my leg program. (I will regret it when i try and stand first thing tomorrow
    3) Hot chocolate and a warm bath. About to treat myself as I head to bed. DH still not home from work but if I wait up it could be 0300. I've had to train myself to just go to bed.

    mothernerd glad the funeral was ok and that your Mum was able to go.
    Goals - Weight loss 6/26lb at 22nd Jan 18
    • SkintTeacher
    • By SkintTeacher 18th Feb 17, 7:10 AM
    • 333 Posts
    • 1,902 Thanks
    Well done furrybeastoz on staying sober
    • f0xh0les
    • By f0xh0les 18th Feb 17, 8:03 AM
    • 1,410 Posts
    • 11,567 Thanks
    Good job FurryBeast. Be proud of you.

    NSDs all over the place, but mainly because the smalls are refusing to leave the house over half term .

    Going stir crazy.

    Today is not a NSD - first since Monday I think, when we went to the cinema.
    All 4 are having a haircut today, £20 budgeted. This will not be pretty, they seem to think a haircut is akin to torture.

    DH is abandoning ship to go to work for 3 hours in the middle of the day. Uni open day or some such. Will go dolphin hunting when he comes back and buy all the tat that goes into lunch boxes for next week.

    Then next week it is on with the DIY!
    MFW START DATE May 16 £118,340 : Oct17 - £109,495.00Dec17 £108,800Jan 18 £108,392.98 March 18 £108,504.72April £108,099May £106,999
    NEXT GOAL is sub £105k before JulyMortgage-free wannabe 2018 #65
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 18th Feb 17, 9:21 AM
    • 4,357 Posts
    • 24,719 Thanks
    Yesterday was a NSD.

    Still no bill for the car - it's been over a week now - do the garage not know I want to pay it!!

    Today will probably be a spend day as DD has a friend coming over for a sleep over so will need to get some snacks in for them.

    Have a fab weekend everyone - I am off up to the field to clear some brambles!!
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 34 for April
    NSD - 0/15
    (up to 2/4/18)
    My Diary is here - (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
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