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  • FIRST POST
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    • 8,185Posts
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 7:28 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 2
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 12th Mar 18, 8:33 AM
    • 6,337 Posts
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    newgirly
    Hi cheery, welcome and good luck with the new diary
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£13,632 paid so far

    Mortgage £36,319 4yrs left. Total owed £48,358 plan to clear in 14 months
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 12th Mar 18, 9:13 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, more lovely people! Thank you so much for popping in

    Greent, I can see you have paid off your own mortgage early - I shall look to you for inspiration!

    Looks like you're making an excellent job of it too newgirly Well done Surely I've got to get somewhere surrounded by all you lovely lot

    Ooh, gallygirl, you brought cake! Excellent work I feel that chickens must have 'old lady' names somehow, maybe Gertrude and Edith and Ethel and Maud (although having said that, I know at least one five year old called Edith so what do I know??) In reality, as we're having rescue chickens, they might end up all looking exactly the same and just being referred to as 'the chickens'
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 12th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    So, a mortgage update

    Starting balance: £215,000
    Payments made: 1 x £890
    Current total: £214,432.50

    Still a way to go

    I'm using this calculator which tells me what the balance will be if I stick to normal payments. I'll ring the building society at the end of each month to get an updated balance and see how far ahead of myself I am

    Our fixed deal runs out in September 2019 (so after 19 months) - if I don't make any overpayments, the balance at that point will be

    £204,070.69
    It would be lovely to be looking for a remortgage deal with under £200,000 left so that will be my first big goal

    Let's say that's a round (ish) £4100 extra over the next 19 months, which is

    £216 extra a month
    Best get cracking then!
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 12th Mar 18, 9:25 AM
    • 611 Posts
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    Busy Mee1
    Hi Cheery I have seen you about on the DFW board and lovely to see you over here. The new house, land and life sound so exciting..I will be reading with interest x
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 12th Mar 18, 9:57 AM
    • 16,607 Posts
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    gallygirl

    I feel that chickens must have 'old lady' names somehow, maybe Gertrude and Edith and Ethel and Maud (although having said that, I know at least one five year old called Edith so what do I know??) In reality, as we're having rescue chickens, they might end up all looking exactly the same and just being referred to as 'the chickens'
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Or flowers - Hyacinth, Bluebell, Daisy, Petunia

    DS had one called Bluebell - RIP . They now have one called Twobelle in her memory .
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 12th Mar 18, 3:56 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thanks BusyMee1

    Ooh, excellent flowery names gallygirl Will keep you posted (although I will warn you chickens might be a long way off yet...)

    Working at home today, so took a couple of things I had to read to the local cafe with Mr Cheery for a cuppa £5.10 from the treats budget (I may have had a small fairy cake )

    That should be it for the treats budget til the weekend as I'm at work the rest of the week.

    Still working out diesel. Our cars are pretty efficient and when we head back to the city (about 25 miles) we're trying to go together and combine errands etc. Some days I go on my own, and take the smaller car so Mr Cheery has the bigger one for fetching and carrying.

    Did a £4.40 study on prolific this morning I generally ignore survey sites these days, I'm not in such a stretched position that I can bear the endless being screened out etc But I still do prolific, and yougov when they come through on my phone (probably about 10 years off a payout there). Oh, and the secret survey site when they pop up every couple of weeks

    I'm up to £16.48 on Prolific now - I'll cash out when it gets to £20 and that'll be my first mortgage overpayment
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 13th Mar 18, 8:28 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Morning MSE chums

    YNAB done and bank checked this morning - life insurance payment has gone out. I'd actually forgotten this existed as I've never had it before and it's the first time they've taken it, so have had to add it into the budget Fortunately it's only £7.63 a month so won't break the bank (and I'd budgeted for it originally, just forgot to give it a line in YNAB!)

    Also this morning:
    * emailed someone about joining the local email news group thingy which they're just setting up
    * emailed the local smallholders association about joining (technically we're not 'smallholders' but we have so much land I figured they might be able to give us some useful advice, and their next meeting is about growing veg anyway )

    * filled in Secret Survey household questions - no dosh attached but there was actually only one question and they're pretty reliable about sending surveys so I don't mind 400 points in there, only need one more survey and I can claim £5 which will go straight to the mortgage

    Need to crack on with a bit of work, and dig my foldy bike out of the garage (and helmet and bag etc) - I've got one meeting at one site and another half an hour later at another site and there's not *quite* enough time to walk without rushing

    Have a cheery day chums
    • starnac
    • By starnac 13th Mar 18, 2:49 PM
    • 5,262 Posts
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    starnac
    Hey Cheery.

    Subscribed to your new diary. Good luck with everything
    Savings £1200
    Overpayments made £200/£1208.15
    Make £2018 in 2018 #70 £507/£2018
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 13th Mar 18, 9:26 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Thanks starnac

    A few bits to report from today. First of all the good news - just got 25p for a 2 minute prolific study Up to £16.73 there now so might be able to reach payout by the weekend

    Took lunch to work, and fruit, and snaffled a biscuit from a meeting so didn't buy any snacks However I did find myself in town at lunchtime and bought a hoodie from a charity shop (£5.49) and a new pair of jeans for £16 Most unlike me, I SO very rarely buy new clothes. However I am rather more rotund than I would like at the minute and I am SO sick of having to hoik my one pair of decent jeans up because they keep being forced down by my podginess These ones actually fit and I put them on before my meeting and haven't thought about my trousers since It's been bliss

    (I really buy clothes very rarely, and they are usually ALL from charity shops!)

    In other news, we had replies from both the local email group and the smallholders' association and we are now members of both Email group is free, smallholders' association is £15 a year for the two of us. First meeting in a couple of weeks - I'm hoping they'll be able to tell me where I can acquire some free manure

    Local farmer flagged us down on the way home this evening to give us the number for the local buildings regulations guy as we need to do some work. Wouldn't normally contemplate structural stuff and usually a fan of doing things myself However, floors in two of our upstairs rooms are dangerously boingy (you can see individual footsteps walk across the kitchen ceiling... ) so they need replacing - it seems as if there are literally no joists holding up the floors in one of them

    While we're at it, we'd like to take out a supporting wall downstairs... Had a builder pal round to quote and he seems confident it's quite a straightforward job (famous last words I've already mentally trebled his vague quote ). Anyway, I've fired off an email to the guy and we'll see what happens.

    Been back to the city today but Mr Cheery came with me so no need to run around finding a parking space And we went and picked up the second half of our new sofa from Freegle on the way home It's extremely comfy, ENORMOUS, and also covered in cat hair Will require a bit of work, but will be worth it - but not today.

    Ready for bed now!

    Oh, and I had to send a report to the council as our bin wasn't collected I have NO idea what happens with bin collections round here. We're really rural and there is literally one other house on our road Bin was full of rotten meat when we moved in so I stuck it as far from the house as possible at the end of the drive the day after we moved in. That was apparently bin day - and also the day the snow started, and the bin was literally entirely covered Left it there, and they came and collected it about 4 days ago, but there was a big lump of ice at the bottom which didn't come out so now that's thawed, I've emptied all the water, added a couple of normal bags of rubbish - and it hasn't been collected

    Next week is recycling - I don't even have any recycling bins yet as we had to order (and pay for) them and they've not arrived yet...

    Feels easier to just do a tip run myself every week
    Last edited by Cheery Daff; 13-03-2018 at 9:29 PM.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 14th Mar 18, 12:09 AM
    • 893 Posts
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    Honeysucklelou2
    Congratulations on your move to the country...wow 11 acres! Bliss!

    I live rurally and am on a septic tank but there is a cost element if you get it emptied. Some "onion bulb" types will fill over time and need emptying. Just a thought...

    Have fun planning !
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 14th Mar 18, 8:24 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hi Honeysuckle Ooh, I shall be looking to you for septic tank advice I imagine we will indeed have to get the tank emptied at some point, but I'm (probably unwisely) putting that out of my mind for now It's on my (increasingly long) list of new things to investigate

    Having a productive morning so far. We've fallen into an early to bed, early to rise thing since moving here (I'm hoping it will make us wealthy as well as healthy and wise ). Sun rise this morning was lovely, so we took our tea at half 6 and sat on a wall to get the best view. Saw our local hare munching the grass on the drive too, how lovely

    Buildings regulations geezer is coming on Monday

    Grasped the nettle and dealt with the electricity supply this morning. We'd not come across the meter (having not actually looked ) - I'd tried to switch companies, but it was rejected (presumably as we didn't have an account ourselves with the original). So this morning I rang the original, set up an account, gave them a meter reading from now, and now I can apply to switch again

    They'll have to estimate the last couple of weeks worth, but I suppose that might end up working in our favour as we've had to have plug in heaters going most of the time to warm the walls up :blink:

    We're on their standard tariff so it's not going to be bargainous, but it'll only be six weeks worth before we switch so not too bad.

    Right, best get on with some more work!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 14th Mar 18, 6:30 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Evening chums

    Another £1.63 on prolific today, so nearly at £19 now should make it by the weekend

    On the downside, landed up in a rush at lunchtime and as I couldn't very well eat crackers and cheese triangles in a serious meeting, or while I was walking down the road, I ended up buying a £1.45 sandwich. Will try again tomorrow with the crackers...

    Also landed up with tea and cake this afternoon - had two hours to fill after a meeting finished and found myself working in a cafe. Should have found a seat and eaten my crackers then gone to the library!

    Oh dear. Feel like i'm still trying (and failing...) to find a routine with all this commuting. It's a weird hybrid at the minute as I'm still doing stuff I'd planned before we moved - would never have arranged some of these meetings at these times if I'd known when we were going. This is the last of the bad weeks though - only in 2.5 days next week (working at home the rest) then off for a fortnight
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 14th Mar 18, 7:53 PM
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    Greying Pilgrim

    Oh dear. Feel like i'm still trying (and failing...) to find a routine with all this commuting. It's a weird hybrid at the minute as I'm still doing stuff I'd planned before we moved - would never have arranged some of these meetings at these times if I'd known when we were going. This is the last of the bad weeks though - only in 2.5 days next week (working at home the rest) then off for a fortnight
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Lawks Cheery - you are being wayz too hard on your self. I seriously doubt Mystical Meggintons with the aid of her crystal ball and dry ice effects cudda determined when your house sale/purchase was going to go through! Huzzah for managing the best you can, and huzzah for impending holli-bobs

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug' 'Your Vibe attracts your Tribe'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 14th Mar 18, 8:26 PM
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    gallygirl
    They'll have to estimate the last couple of weeks worth, but I suppose that might end up working in our favour as we've had to have plug in heaters going most of the time to warm the walls up :blink:
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff
    Presumably the old owners will have given them readings when they moved so they should know the figures?

    We have a 'pozo negro' - black well. Like a septic tank but which (in theory and hopefully in practice ) uses bacteria to treat the 'soil' and other waste, breaks it down and ultimately it drains away safely into the soil and it won't need emptying. Ever. Like I said, in theory .
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 14th Mar 18, 8:41 PM
    • 1,268 Posts
    • 10,276 Thanks
    pinkypig

    And Hi Pinkypig Gosh, you'll be there forever if you read the whole of my old diary, it lasted about 4 years I think! Big load of waffle But thank you for your kind words, and we'll see you back in here in a few months when you've finished reading!

    :
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff

    I'm heeeeeere Couldn't curb my noseyness and flicked to the end bit. What a time you've had Sounds worth it though.

    I lived in the wilds for nearly 20 years and it was fab. We had an ancient septic tank which worked like a dream. Left well alone and never emptied it once! We had no mains gas or water either. Was glad there was leccy though!

    You'll soon get into a routine with your commute and well done for keeping your cheese triangles in your bag, I'd have scoffed the lot, serious meeting or not - love em

    Happy hump day to you

    PP xx
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 15th Mar 18, 12:12 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Aw, thanks Greying, you are too kind

    Ooh gallygirl, I"ve never even heard of a black well! Will investigate Also investigating the potential for some kind of reed bed system of treating the, er, effluent here - we've certainly got enough water to create our own wetland habitat

    Sadly this was an estate sale, so the house has been empty since last June and the relatives who sold it live down south. Had a call from their estate agent the other day asking for meter readings - they should have come and checked themselves before completion but didn't 'because the date kept changing' (ie the house is 10 miles from the estate agents and they couldn't be arsed in the week amd a half after exchange). So estimations it is. Hey ho. It's only a fortnight's worth - and we've only got another fortnight before we switch suppliers so they could just check what we actually use then and double it if they like.

    PinkyPig, nice to see you back glad you didn't wade through the whole of the previous lot

    We do at least have mains water (although we also have a well in the cellar which I suppose will be handy come the apocalypse ) Not sure we'll make ut twenty years out here but we might have paid the mortgage off if we do

    Right, not long got home and leaving again at 7 tomorrow so best go to sleep! Night night
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 17th Mar 18, 7:41 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Morning MSE chums

    Stayed over at a friend's house in the city last night as Mr Cheery has to be in another city for work today and there was a big mound of snow forecast over our house today Ended up spending around £20 on takeaway and booze But that's what the treats budget is for after all

    Remembered this morning that yesterday was payday So have done some money shuffling and YNABbing Some good news and some not so good

    First the bad

    I've had to put £68.83 in the 'budget fiddling' category already this month as I just haven't tracked what I've been spending cash on I don't mind a little bit, but this just seems outrageous, particularly as it's likely to be bits of food in the supermarket on the way home, food for work for lunch, the odd trip to the vending machine... certainly nothing substantial.

    This Must Stop! I will track every single thing from now on - that's what the app is for after all!

    After shuffling and topping up the regular budgets I've managed to allocate £100 to long term savings this month - far below what I was hoping for (my aim was at least to replace my student loan payment, which was £170). Bear in mind this is AFTER saving for all annual bills, and putting a little bit towards holidays, car replacement etc so we're not exactly starving but still - the savings are going to take a hit as we sort out various things in the new house so I want to be topping them up.


    Better news

    I've had a refund of £199.94 from our old council tax which I wasn't expecting I've set up a budget line called 'mortgage overpayment' and will add things to that and transfer it across on the 27th (a few days before the end of the month so it'll be included in the calculation when I ring up to get a balance). That, plus the 'everyday rewards' I get from the bank for having several direct debits set up and using my cash card (up to £5.50 a month, which I usually hit), means we've got an overpayment balance of £125.44 sitting there now


    Still not quite hit payout on Prolific yet, grr, but I can see I have an email from the secret survey people so once that's paid out I should be able to claim £5 from there at least

    Started doing the Free Postcode Lottery again just in case
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 17th Mar 18, 8:01 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hmm - secret survey site is temporarily broken, and prolific had a £5.47 survey but it involved videoing myself answering interview questions Might have attempted it if I wasn't staying over at a friend's house and would wake everyone up
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 17th Mar 18, 7:28 PM
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    • 40,605 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Yay, done a couple of extra prolific studies so now up to £20.22 That should clear over the next few days then I can claim it

    That's my only achievement today mind you I'm staying at a friend's house and she's not here , and Mr Cheery is out, and it's been SO cold and snowy and aside from one little trip to the shop for provisions I've basically sat and watched most of the first series of Lark Rise to Candleford

    Not had a lazy one like this for yonks though so I hope I'll feel nicely rejuvenated after it
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 17th Mar 18, 9:12 PM
    • 1,776 Posts
    • 10,818 Thanks
    redofromstart
    Found you

    Secret survey wasn't working for me either. must try again in the morning.

    Our first batch of hens had individual names, the second and third lots merged into a brown borg and had collective names (The Buckers and the Cluckers). Worth looking for kit on free sites, my parents rehomed their kit when they decided to move and I would rehome my stuff but I might just crack and get some again.
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