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

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

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

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

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

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

    Not rich but I have "enough".

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    I am sooooooo worth it. Lol.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 11-11-2018 at 10:35 AM.
Page 60
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 16th Jun 19, 9:08 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning morning everyone

    Onashoestring......your flowers sound lovely......so nice to be able to raid the garden.

    My champagne moments......I have been making the most of the bad weather and have been getting down to some serious decluttering. I am in a mission!!!

    I have a couple of bags of treasures ready for the auction house and a couple for the charity shop.

    Having a break this afternoon, spending time with my son and family. Lots of grandson cuddles.....and a day off cooking.

    Perfick.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 17th Jun 19, 12:52 PM
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    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moments over the weekend were due to the celebrations in Birmingham for my sister R's 60th birthday. It was so great being with my 4 adult children and my 3 granddaughters and so many other members of my family

    My Champagne moment today is that the weather has changed for today and it is dry and sunny
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 17th Jun 19, 2:34 PM
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    Siebrie
    My garden is coming along nicely, after 8 years on a shoestring. The only work we paid someone for, is taking up the old cement path and 'terrace', putting in a side-to-side lawn, and a new terrace. Over the years, we have put in two end-of-season discounted cherry trees, several seed packets, seeds from my parents' and friends, free village in bloom plants from the council, discount bulbs from a1di, and not too much work. The lawn is now a grass-dandelion-clover-daisy mix Any nice flowering plants that selfseed are allowed to stay, so we now have aquilegia, love in a mist, foxglove, forgetmenots, gladioli, lamb's lettuce (which I grow for the pale purple flowers). In between the flowers, I have rhubarb, four different strawberries, a kiwiberry, a mess of spreading raspberries, a red grape (leaves also used for bunches of flowers). Last weekend I put in a new flowerbed with discounted plugplants from a diy centre. Unfortunately, I overstretched and did my back in, so I am on the sofa with a hotwaterbottle against my back. Still, I am counting my blessings that we can afford for me not to work for so long, for a sofa, easy hot water, a lovely garden, cheap afterschool care for both dds, the performance from dd2's recorder club I will go to in half an hour.
    2019's wi-wa-wombles 392,61 = 340.23
    Wombling to wealth 2018 972,97 = 879.54
    Still a womble 2017 #25 7116,68 = 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 3.483,31 = 2,969.05
    • Bluesindy
    • By Bluesindy 19th Jun 19, 7:34 AM
    • 8 Posts
    • 12 Thanks
    Bluesindy
    Hi Lessonlearned, I might be being a bit thick here but would you know how I can subscribe to your diary, your posts are so positive and inspirational, many thanks in advance x
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Jun 19, 12:13 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Hi Bluesindy. What a nice thing to say. Glad you enjoy reading.

    I'm sorry but I am such a technophobe so can't help, but I'm sure someone will be along later to point you in the right direction. I think you need to go into the User CP section but not quite sure after that.

    Siebre....your garden sounds lovely. I love all the old fashioned flowers you mention. I have planted a few of the ones you have and I'm hoping they will produce lots of seeds. And you're right it does take time for a garden to develop.

    I was out weeding yesterday and one of my neighbours came over and complimented me on the front garden saying it was starting to look pretty. I showed her the back where I have had the conifers removed and the new trees that I have planted in their stead and she said it looked really good.

    My big expense was getting the professionals in to remove the conifers and the new fencing but I am managing to do everything else myself. I shopped around for the trees and my son helped plant those. Luckily they have all taken well and are growing nicely.

    I have managed to get rid of the black fly from the new cherry tree but I will continue to Keep a close eye on all of them and nurse them along until I know they are all well established and thriving.

    Builder coming later today to do a bit more in the kitchen. I have also discovered there's a bit of damp on one wall in the dining area which will need to be dealt with before I can get the paint rollers out. Hey ho, that's old houses for you. Always something.

    Spoke to my plumber yesterday and picked his brains about getting a new gas fire in my sitting room. The old one is so inefficient I may as well set fire to 5 notes to keep warm. It's pretty but it has to go. The fireplace itself is far too big for the room anyway and has to go too. It's very grandiose and completely out of scale. If we can get it out without damaging it I might try and sell it. It would look lovely in a big Victorian house.

    Going to get that done soon because I want to try and get all the nasty dirty jobs done over the summer so I can get everywhere clean and comfortable for next winter.

    It's all coming together. It's like a military operation ......so I'm taking my time, one stage at a time, thinking things through carefully, trying to shop around for the best deals etc.

    Worked myself to a standstill yesterday and was too tired to go out in the evening as planned. Pretty daft thing to do. I was a bit cross with myself for overdoing it but never mind, another lesson learned. I won't make the same mistake again.
    • dan958
    • By dan958 19th Jun 19, 12:22 PM
    • 146 Posts
    • 267 Thanks
    dan958
    Hi Lessonlearned, I might be being a bit thick here but would you know how I can subscribe to your diary, your posts are so positive and inspirational, many thanks in advance x
    Originally posted by Bluesindy
    I don't think you can subscribe to a user, but you can subscribe to threads by clicking the 'Subscribe to thread' button at the top of the thread. This way you will be notified whenever a reply happens.
    Last edited by dan958; 19-06-2019 at 1:31 PM.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 19th Jun 19, 12:51 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Thanks Dan....that's very kind. I knew there would be a helpful soul out there.

    I meant to say I have been reviewing my budget.....again.

    I have managed to reduce my PHI by tweaking the policy. I have also made a note in my diary to look at energy providers when my current fixed rate deal ends in August. I am sure I can find something better. I am currently with OVO. In my old house we had TADO (similar to Hive). I might look into that as well.

    Car insurance and house insurance both fall due in September and October so again I'll shop around nearer the time.

    Fridge is almost empty so will be doing a shop tomorrow but hopefully won't need to go mad, mainly f&v. There's still plenty of meat and fish in the freezer. Trying very hard to be canny with the food shopping but it has been creeping up a bit. Need to trim where I can if I am to continue with my Champagne lifestyle experiment.....

    As you know I have joined our local meet up group. I'm very impressed so far, many of the suggested outings are very reasonably priced and some are even free entrance.

    Definitely one of my better decisions.
    • Siebrie
    • By Siebrie 19th Jun 19, 1:06 PM
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    Siebrie
    Lessonlearned, some flowers are hard to persuade, though! The aquilegia is from seeds from my parents' front yard, and took four years to actually start! Now, every year when the seedheads are ripe, I walk around the garden with them, spreading the seeds in all the flower beds.
    2019's wi-wa-wombles 392,61 = 340.23
    Wombling to wealth 2018 972,97 = 879.54
    Still a womble 2017 #25 7116,68 = 6309.50
    Wombling Free 2016 #2 3.483,31 = 2,969.05
    • janb5
    • By janb5 19th Jun 19, 11:07 PM
    • 1,952 Posts
    • 7,065 Thanks
    janb5
    Hi Lessonlearned, I might be being a bit thick here but would you know how I can subscribe to your diary, your posts are so positive and inspirational, many thanks in advance x
    Originally posted by Bluesindy

    Go to the strip in green where it says Thread tools:

    It says : show printable version
    Subscribe to this thread......click on here HTH



    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Subscription Subscribe to this Thread
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 20th Jun 19, 10:47 AM
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    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moment yesterday was using my Odeon Limitless card to go and watch the film Late Night at Odeon Covent Garden. The film was laugh out loud fun all the way through. The 2 female leads Mindy Kaling (who also wrote the screenplay) and Emma Thompson were a joy to watch. Both of their characters were believable, strong women while the male characters were foils for their wit and wonderful one liners. I would give this film 9.5/10
    • chanie
    • By chanie 20th Jun 19, 9:08 PM
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    chanie
    I had a couple of champagne moments today, when I went shopping after work.

    I have been stalking a travel wallet on eBay for a few months now and I found one in the shops today in the sales, saving 60. I also picked up a bracelet saving 20 and some clothes for thr childre, saving 40
    2019 savings on purchases 3543.55
    My spending diary - Spend Less, Live More - a spending diary
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5576179
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 20th Jun 19, 9:43 PM
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    Spendless
    Hello everyone, not been here for a long time for various reasons. Def too long for me to catch up.

    I thiught of this thread earlier this week. Some time ago I was bought chanel no5 different perfrume bottles. The handbag sixzzed one the top had come off been lost and you couldn't get at the scent. I went into the perfume shop the other day bought one of their refillable handbag sprays and hey ho I can now use my chanel

    https://www.thefragranceshop.co.uk/products/twist-and-spritz-rose-gold-30232.aspx?gclid=CjwKCAjw3azoBRAXEiwA-_64OgrGTt-zZeaT7f1qz0nRogAlXnHibV_n6-K4TihZ_uphqcTJFAdzyBoCw88QAvD_BwE
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 21st Jun 19, 6:57 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Great idea Spendless. Those handbag sprays are great. I had a similar problem and bought one for the same reason.

    Some great bargains there Chanie.

    Good morning everyone.....

    Champagne moments yesterday.......playing with my grandson all afternoon. . Indulging in a very naughty chocolate milkshake and cream confection.....but I did share it with my grandson

    Another great moment......had a trying on session with my wardrobe. It was lovely being able to slip into a size 14. All my dieting efforts are paying off. Did a bit of a wardrobe cull whilst I was at it so another bag for the charity shop.

    Looks like the weather is finally improving so looking forward to a nice weekend. No firm plans yet, just aiming to enjoy the sunshine.
    • sugarbaby125
    • By sugarbaby125 21st Jun 19, 7:03 AM
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    sugarbaby125
    My Champagne moment yesterday was dropping into the Doctor's surgery and using the machine in reception to measure my height, weight and blood pressure. I am officially 15 stones 5lbs even with summer clothes and a pair of sandals on.

    My other Champagne moment was my blood pressure coming down again.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 21st Jun 19, 4:04 PM
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    Spendless
    I've got a potential champagne moment. Now teenage daughter has left school I want to sort her bedroom out. We started today on her wardrobe. She is throwing away good t-shirts because the brand is no longer 'cool' enough. I told her I intend dieting so I am her size and I will wear her cast-offs. A got a very withering look. Winding her up might be the best dieting incentive ever or it might make her more discerning in what she buys, if she thinks one day Mum will be parading aroudn in this. Win, win situation I think.

    Also has anyone mentioned the longlevity of buying certain products? At Christmas I bought daughter a Ted Baker bubble bath. It cost 6! I was also bought a large bottle of badedas and decided to keep for myself some sanctuary I'd originally intended gifting elsewhere. I have a bath most days, so does daughter. None of these bubble baths are yet used up. During the past 6 months I've also bought two cheaper ones, the most recent being radox a couple of weeks ago. They have gone within a fortnight of use.

    Likewise I bought an original Fairy liquid for 2 early Jan. I used it up only a couple of weeks ago (I don't have a dishwasher). I sent husband with a bottle of persil (still not a cheapy w-u-l) to collect student son from Uni and started using it when son returned and the fairy finished which was around two weeks ago. It's nearly all used up compared to the fairy which lasted the best part of 6 months.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 22nd Jun 19, 7:59 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Good morning everyone.

    Lots of nice little champagne moments yesterday.......sitting in my garden. More of the same today, my knee is bothering me so a good excuse to elevate my leg on my reclining deckchair and enjoy the sunshine now that it's finally here. I shall be virtuous though and do a bit of shed tidying and a bit of weeding.

    Last night I did a paper declutter. Tonight, if it's not windy I shall light my chimena to burn it. I love to light it on a summers evening, sit with a glass of wine and watch the stars come out. Simple pleasures.

    SUgarbaby....well done on the weight loss and especially on getting your blood pressure down. I am making slow steady progress. Blood sugars still a bit high but at least they are back into the prediabetic range now. Just need to keep plugging away. Hopefully if I can lose one final stone it should help get my levels down.

    spendless.....had to chuckle about your daughter and the the tee shirts. Thankfully my boys have outgrown the outlandish fashions of their teenage years and the ultra scruffy student garb. I have to admit it's so nice to see them wearing colours again instead of funereal black. They both scrub up well now.

    Tbh. I never criticised them, I have made plenty of fashion faux pas in my time. It's all part of growing up.

    I think you are right about buying more expensive bath and cleaning products sometimes. They do seem to last longer and sometimes they do a better job than the cheaper ones. Sometimes the generic products just aren't as good. I think it's trial and error, finding what works best.

    I am another badedas fan. Our water is a bit hard and sometimes you can smell the chlorine. Badedas makes the water feel soft and silky and of course it smells lovely. My skin is very dry and prone to excema so I have to be careful not to use harsh products but it does like badedas. A bottle seems to last for months. It actually works out cheaper than radox or the supermarket own labels. They sometimes have it on offer too.

    And it makes loads of lovely fragrant bubbles.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 22-06-2019 at 8:03 AM.
    • mrs_slapshot
    • By mrs_slapshot 22nd Jun 19, 8:42 AM
    • 33 Posts
    • 169 Thanks
    mrs_slapshot
    Good morning all, it's a beautiful day here and I am enjoying coffee in bed whilst catching up with this thread. I haven't posted for ages but I am all caught up reading your updates now!

    Life has been very busy for me lately - my son has turned 18 now (we made it through the school years! Yay!) and he is a wonderful young man. I am so proud of him.

    Work is extremely challenging at the moment and I am applying for other jobs. I have an interview on Friday but it's with a previous employer where I took voluntary redundancy. I have always had a 'never go back' policy, and I think I applied for this as it is my comfort zone (as well as being very close to home!), but anyway, interviews are good practice and even if I am lucky enough to be offered it I don't have to take it. It feels at the moment like any job to get out of where I am!

    Champagne moments for me over the last few weeks have been mainly decluttering - I have been on a mission! My garage is slowly getting there but it is hard work, physically and mentally. I have been inspired by watching YouTube videos of minimalists, and also American housewives speed cleaning and decluttering....

    LL - I am so impressed with you getting out there via MeetUp - I have long been a member but have yet to join in on a social event - I am such a scaredy cat! People in real life would be surprised at that because everyone thinks of me as strong and confident...I am definitely going to one over the summer!

    I am planning to spend time in my garden today - it looks like a jungle with all the rain we have had, and I think time spent in nature will help soothe my spirit.

    Have a lovely Saturday all!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 22nd Jun 19, 1:08 PM
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    lessonlearned
    Been to Asda. Talk of the devil, They have badedas on offer, 4 instead of 5.50. Radox was 1.80, a bigger bottle but I find they don't last nearly as long and the bubbles certainly don't last as long.

    Mrs Slapshot I find gardening very therapeutic. Like doing crafts or diy it's almost a form of mindfulness for me. I get so engrossed that I forget any worries or troubles. I just get "in the zone"

    Re the meet-up groups. I know you what mean, it is a step out of our comfort zones but I have found everyone very friendly and welcoming.

    Maybe try and find an activity that doesnt depend too heavily on conversation, that way there's less pressure and less risk of awkward silences. I guess it also depends on your interests. I certainly won't be joining walking groups, running marathons or even doing things like going bowling.

    Next week I am going to a pub quizz, and also a tribute act at a casino. So a little flutter on the tables. In both cases there is less reliance on chatting such as going out for a meal iyswim. That might be a bit more stressful with strangers. Just an idea.

    As for being a closet scaredy cat. Me too but I can put on a good show.

    P.s. good luck with the job hunting.
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 22-06-2019 at 1:11 PM.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 23rd Jun 19, 5:50 AM
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    lessonlearned
    Champagne moment of the day yesterday.......apart from an afternoon enjoying the glorious sunshine from my deckchair.. A surprise visit from friends and an impromptu meal out. Lovely.

    Bonus......being able to wear one of my new size 14 outfits. wahoo.

    Back to the diet today.
    • Spendless
    • By Spendless 23rd Jun 19, 6:38 AM
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    Spendless
    My champagne moment yesterday was to spend several hours at my friend's mid-summer party. She lives in a big house with large courtyard, a bar in the garden. I spent the time drinking rhubarb gin. The measures depened on who was pouring. My friend was the most generous esp as time went on. She'll also got in outside caterers to serve up fresh pizzas and an ice cream stand.

    Before that we went to an outlet mall me and DH had visited earlier this week whilst celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary. This time we took teenage DD who had some money to spend to replenish her wardrobe. As much as I wasn't impressed about her throwing away good brand t-shirts the other day, I have to say she was very discerning in what she bought. She very much bought to cover the gaps in her wardrobe and she knew what they were due to the decluttering we did the other day. She hummed and haa-d overbseveral bags eventually deciding not to get one and that was because we haven't done the same process on bags. That is today's job along with shoes. As she's at a drama rehersal all day today. My plan is to gather up all the shoes and bags into one place and then we'll go through the same process of elimination again later.
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