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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 26th Jan 14, 2:19 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's buttling diary: tea in one hand, plant pot in the other, running shoes on
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 14, 2:19 PM
    Cheery's buttling diary: tea in one hand, plant pot in the other, running shoes on 26th Jan 14 at 2:19 PM
    <sneaks in hoping nobody will notice>

    Hi all

    Goodness me, it's been ever such a long time since I've been here! It seems I disappeared without a trace almost two whole years ago, and then life got in the way, and you know what it's like when you've been gone for so long, it's quite hard to come back...

    In fact, it's been so long since I went that maybe nobody even remembers I was here in the first place If you feel the need to delve into my history the latest (not-very-up-to-date) version is here, and the one before that is here.

    Anyway, I'm back again now and if I disappear again I promise I shall leave a note explaining myself

    I've decided to come back for two reasons:

    (1) I'm not in debt, but I'm also not-quite-as-much-in-control-as-I'd-like I've FINALLY combined finances with Mr Daffs (after 8 years) and there's lots of messing around related to that to be done

    (2) I've just spent a cheery couple of hours reading back through my old diaries (how very sad ) and remembering JUST HOW CHEERFUL it was in the old days of hanging round here

    I confess I'm a tiny bit daunted about coming back - one of the reasons I vanished was because I was spending FAR too much time on the internet and I'm wary of doing that again... But for now I've decided there's plenty of other things to worry about without bothering my little head about that one

    Ooh, I should probably explain the 'buttling' in my title It's a word I invented (although I suspect other people have invented it before me). It's kind of what butlers do, you see - they buttle - make tea and open doors and tidy up, and generally buttle around getting on with little things

    And while I don't intend to put on a suit and act like Jeeves any time soon (although actually come to think of it, he was a valet, not a butler), i LOVE using the word and spend much of every day buttling around doing all kinds of cheerful activities

    Suppose I'd best do something like talking about money now...
Page 2
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 27th Jan 14, 10:53 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    *reminds cheery to walk tomorrow.

    Well done on the refund.
    Originally posted by Pippilongstocking
    i'll be doing one better than that - i shall be walking to the gym, running 4 miles on the treadmill, then showering and walking the rest of he way in a civilised fashion

    (and before anyone notices that there is no gym membership in my budget, it's because i paid for 3 months upfront on a special new year offer once the weather gets nicer (and i've done my triathlon...) i'll see if i want to continue)

    i know what all you beady eyed MSEers are like!!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 27th Jan 14, 10:55 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    What ^^she^^ said!

    Cheery, does that make it a NSD?!?
    Originally posted by rtandon27
    er, no, because i sneaked into the co-op at lunchtime and spent a fiver

    i never was any good at NSDs...
    • DedicatedDFW
    • By DedicatedDFW 28th Jan 14, 10:45 AM
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    Hi Cheery

    Oh a triathlon - sounds exciting

    i wanted to ask about your food budget - is it 30 a week for the 2 of you? do you find you use some personal spends for food as well or is the 30 sufficient for everything?

    I'm trying to cut our food spend down - i'm not extravagant but prices even for basics just seem to be going up all the time This month anything thats even remotely a food spend i've kept track of - eg i forgot scourers the other day so bought them for cash in a different shop - they would normally come out of the supermarket budget so i jotted that down in my little book - its just to help me get a handle on what i really spend as opposed to what i think i spend

    Anywhos - any tips would be gratefully received
    CC1:T 2531 1460
    MORTGAGE OVERPAYMENTS: 10575.20 Target 12,100
    MF Date: August 2042 May 2035
    Declutter 1000 things by Xmas 2015! 53/1000
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Jan 14, 12:49 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Hi Cheery

    i wanted to ask about your food budget - is it 30 a week for the 2 of you? do you find you use some personal spends for food as well or is the 30 sufficient for everything?
    Originally posted by DedicatedDFW
    Do you want the truth? Er, I actually don't really know

    For the past few months Mr Cheery has been in charge of the food budget We have rather different attitudes to supermarkets, he loves being in them (or at least don't mind) whereas my inclination when faced with one is to run in the opposite direction . Some of our most fearsome rows have been in supermarket car parks...

    He's also rather more thrifty than me and has slightly more time on his hands at the minute, so all food shopping has been well and truly delegated to him

    I have been handing over 50 a month, and he's been trying to keep it under 100. I don't keep track of what he spends, but he doesn't come back asking for more (which he would if it was going over). He does a big shop a couple of times a month and goes round a few different supermarkets, and knows the prices of all the stuff in each of them

    We don't buy a lot of pre-prepared stuff. Breakfast is usually porridge-based, lunch and tea mostly rice, pasta, noodles based, lots of veg (usually whatever's reduced or cheapest, and we've been eating a LOT of frozen spinach in everything lately!) Cheapo yogurts for snacks etc, lots of basics passata for sauces, chick peas etc from the 'ethnic foods' aisle, and giant bags of lentils from either there or the international food shop on the other side of town (we do an occasional stock up of spices). We also eat a LOT of potatoes

    We've been investigating the local food co-op - they do bulk flour/porridge/lentils etc which look like they might be cheaper than smaller bags, even though they're wholefood/organicy type things

    What else? We've just bought a slow cooker, which I am LOVING for meaning we don't have to cook right before we eat

    Food budget also covers milk etc purchases throughout the week - I try to let him make those because I'm a right one for walking in for milk and walking out with a bag full of stuff

    Sometimes yogurt and fruit supplies aren't replenished quite as quickly as I'd like, and I end up buying something at the station on the way to work but that's not too often, perhaps a couple of times a month. More likely is that I'll pop to the co-op on the way home and grab a bag of bananas or something - probably more expensive than supermarket but not as much as station!

    So that's why we've upped the food budget to 130 - to try to cover some of that incidental stuff.

    To be honest I *hate* keeping track of every little penny, and Mr Cheery certainly won't, so I suspect we'll never know if it works exactly... but it's about right

    Sorry, that's probably a load of waffle and not much help at all!! what do you do??
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Jan 14, 12:54 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Ooh, forgot to say sometimes on a Friday night we'll walk to the co-op and treat ourselves to a bag of quorn sausages and a freddo So technically that should be included too, although often it comes out of the separate 'treats' budget Truly rock n roll, we are

    Nothing to declare today - took lunch out with me (but ended up home before lunchtime anyway). Travel expenses paid. Used vouchers for free tea and cake in John Lewis, so that was nice

    oh, except I just remembered some things I did buy... See how far out of my brain this has all gone?!

    2.99 new brolly - completely lost the old one that I've only had a couple of weeks
    28p notebook
    50p pack of reduced gel pens
    3.66 deodorant/toiletries

    Hmm - think I'm going to declare daily spends on here, whatever budget they come out of, quite clearly I'm doing a fair bit of frittering...
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Jan 14, 4:00 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    You know what I love most about my slow cooker??

    Coming down from working in the attic to a lovely casseroley smell wafting up the stairs - especially when I'd entirely forgotten I'd put stuff in it earlier What a lovely surprise!

    I've named it Jeeves - cooks tea for me when I'm busy doing something else

    Potatoes not quite done yet mind you - but that's no bad thing as if they were I'd be tempted to stop working and I haven't quite finished yet!
    • Pippilongstocking
    • By Pippilongstocking 28th Jan 14, 4:11 PM
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    Love it.

    Love the waft too.

    We have a sort of jeeves here.

    I cook when I wake up a lot (or should I say I'm NOT awake and staggering waiting for the coffee to kick in) come home and discover something on the top of the stove which is almost ready for tea. I will have totally forgotten.

    Gets me every time too.

    Total debt 26/4/18 <1925 we were getting there.
    Total debt as of 28/4/19 7867.38
    minus 112.06 = 7755.32
    Sleeves up folks.
    • DedicatedDFW
    • By DedicatedDFW 28th Jan 14, 5:22 PM
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    Hi Cheery,

    thanks for such a comprehensive reply For us:- I do all of the food shopping- each week i go to the supermarket and on occasion i will pop into another local supermarket to see if they have any reduced items - sadly these are few and far between or the reduced price is way more than i would pay anyway. I only buy 1 loaf and when that runs out i make another as we have bread machine I meal plan and this is factored into the shopping list as well as all the standard things needed. Our budget includes wine although i will be making my own soon so that should save some pennies. I do buy some own brand stuff and if some items are on a good offer which i know we will use i will buy those as well - if i'm going to need it in the next week or 2 it seems sensible to stock up and save the money We both take packed lunches so there is no extra food spend there. We both pay equally to the food shopping but i am now working with a reduced budget and trying to cut this down further as well

    i use my slow cooker lots too - loving the name jeeves

    If we have a takeaway that tends to come out of spends budget but we hardly ever have these maybe 1 or 2 a year

    and i noticed you bought gel pens i have so many pens now i am often forcing myself to put lovely and bargainous pens back but i stil *want* them
    CC1:T 2531 1460
    MORTGAGE OVERPAYMENTS: 10575.20 Target 12,100
    MF Date: August 2042 May 2035
    Declutter 1000 things by Xmas 2015! 53/1000
    • lellybun
    • By lellybun 28th Jan 14, 5:34 PM
    • 317 Posts
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    Hi Cheery! Great to see you back

    Love your diary writing style - looking forward to reading the next chapter of your escapades!

    Lelly x
    2012 Make 10 a day

    Dec 20.96/310
    • boredofbeingathome
    • By boredofbeingathome 28th Jan 14, 5:38 PM
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    OOh lovely another Cheery adventure to follow
    Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
    Still lurking around with a hope of some salvation
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Jan 14, 8:58 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Oooh, more lovely people! BoB and lellybun, all these lovely old familiar faces

    DDFW - 'comprehensive' - does that really just mean 'waffly'

    Our local supermarkets are both crap for reduced stuff. I've seen a box of cornflakes, looked like it had been practically trodden on and the plastic bag sellotaped together, reduced from something like 2.36 to 1.98 rubbish! Mr Cheery seems far better at hunting out things than me!

    He works at home most of the time, and I only travel to work 2 days a week, so that makes things easier as we tend to cook (or eat leftovers) for lunch as well as tea, so no bread/sandwich stuff/crisps or whatever.

    [someone just rang and I ended up on the phone for 45 minutes and I now have absolutely no idea where I was going with all that, sorry! ]

    Anyway, yet more spends to declare:

    3.67 on 4 pints of milk and 8 half price yogurts
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 29th Jan 14, 5:08 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Oh dear, the reason for my pitifully out-of-control financial situation is becoming very clear - yet more sends to declare...

    4.99 entirely unnecessary polka dot bag purchase (although not *entirely* random - I have been looking for something similar for weeks now, big enough to hold lunch and a few papers etc in when going to a work type event...) Tis black with white dots and red handles
    1 bananas - could have managed without but the market stall guy was shouting 'six nanas for a pound, who will buy them?' and I found myself saying 'I will! I will buy your nanas!' before I knew what was happening
    59p reduced chocolate santa for a shared treat

    I will try SO HARD to make tomorrow a NSD (other than travel I can claim back) - but I've just remembered that friend is coming round for the evening and I said I'd get cake! Best raid the cupboards...
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 29th Jan 14, 7:30 PM
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    " I will buy your nanas!" I just *love* that and a reduced rate Santa is a necessity, isn't it

    Well, maybe not but very lovely all the same Hope you enjoy, its worth it
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • boredofbeingathome
    • By boredofbeingathome 29th Jan 14, 7:39 PM
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    I confess i did the same today- i deliberately went out with a specific purchase in mind.... but bananas were on offer and i didn't get what i went out for..*shamefaced smilie*
    Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
    Still lurking around with a hope of some salvation
    • Buffythedebtslayer
    • By Buffythedebtslayer 29th Jan 14, 8:00 PM
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    Can totally beat that.

    In a migraine induced fog I bought a new handbag (25) and some pyjamas (10)

    I love your diary XX
    Debt Free as of 26/07/19 (third time is the charm!) Now paying myself back all my savings! Target 1= 4981/5000 (across all accounts) Avoiding the CC!
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 30th Jan 14, 6:07 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    BOB at your banana purchasing too

    but ((((buffy))))) those things were Absolutely Necessary I'd say. Hope the migrane has gone xx

    Now much to report here. Managed to avoid too much pottering in town and just bought

    Sweetener 1
    one each of mini mars bar and snickers 30p

    Get paid at midnight! And since I haven't yet instructed work to change my bank accounts, there'll be a bit of shuffling and nonsense to do tomorrow. Still, got all the bumf for the joint accounts now so I'll try to switch as many direct debits over as I can tomorrow, and that'll give me an incentive to get on with changing the account for my wages

    Must dash, lovely friend is coming round for tea, and instead of buying a cake I went all and baked buttery biscuits (That'll do my slimming world weigh in the world of good!!)
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 31st Jan 14, 9:50 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Right - a sorting out day for me

    I've put my gym membership in my signature - want to make sure I use it I've been lucky - had a 2 month special before Christmas for 40 (for both months!) with no joining fee, and then in January paid 80 for 3 months peak membership Not bad at all!

    It's cheap for classes and swimming anyway (3 off peak, 4 peak), but doesn't have a pay as you go gym (I'm laughing because we once named my sister's fish Pay-As-You-Go-Jim )

    Going to count how much I use in classes over the 3 months, and how many times I use the treadmill, and see if it's worth continuing at the end. Once I've done the triathlon in May it almost certainly won't be, because I'll be doing all my runs outside too...

    Also on today's agenda - payday bank shuffling
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 31st Jan 14, 11:40 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Excuse me trying to work stuff out...

    Gas and electric

    Just changed plans over the phone.

    Previously on Ovo 100% green energy variable plan

    Previous DD 147
    Annual cost 1542 (so yes, I have a credit balance of 253, which apparently they pay 4% interest on )

    Plan was changing (with standing charge increase) so I've moved to a fixed rate one - still 100% green, with a 60 discount for online only

    New annual estimated cost 1427 So saved 100 a year
    Once that's all updated itself (should be later today) I can go online and play with the direct debit changer slidey thing on the website and adjust the amount I pay each month - hopefully to 120

    So that'll be 27 a month saved without too much bother at all

    (I know I could get it cheaper elsewhere, especially if I didn't go with a green energy one... But actually this company have been GREAT, their website is really easy to use, limited number of straightforward tarrifs, can look at graphs and compare your use to average house, your use last year etc So for now I'm sticking with them)

    Apparently our electricity use is much less than average for our type of house, but gas is much higher - which fits with what I said about inefficient boiler/having it on all day. Will see what we can do about that at some point!

    Also changed the direct debit to come from joint account, so that's the first one crossed off the list
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 31st Jan 14, 12:17 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    House phone and internet

    Currently on BT unlimited weekend for house phone

    Monthly direct debit 34.50
    On closer investigation this includes:
    15.99 a month line rental
    3.48 rental of telephone (?! We have a phone from a charity shop!)
    44 of calls over 3 months (so 15 ish a month )

    Also pay 25 a month for internet (From someone else)

    Current total for phone and internet = 59.50

    Quick look at BT says we could have:

    Line rental paid upfront (141 a year) = 11.75/month
    Unlimited anytime calls 7/month
    BT broadband 16/month (reduced to 8 for first 6 months of 18 month contract)

    = 32.08 a month (over 18 months) (plus a 25 sainsbug voucher)


    We could have superfast infinity broadband for 23 a month (16 for first 6 months) which makes it

    = 41 a month (plus a 50 sainsbug voucher)

    Hmmm... I know there's cheaper out there but for me there's always a balance between monetary cost and cost of my time and sanity sorting it out Since I am not in oddles of debt any more, and I actually HATE the nonsensical process of switching and comparing, I am sometimes willing to pay more to make it all go away...

    So I shall talk to Mr Cheery later about whether he wants superfast broadband or not (I don't care, myself, but even if we go with that it still saves us 20 a month!).

    Suppose I'd best read Martin's home phone switching guide before I do anything else!

    (and actually I only popped in to change the direct debit to the new account, thought it was a good opportunty to investigate while I was there!)

    (and apologies in advance for the number of these detailed working-out posts I might post today )
    • boredofbeingathome
    • By boredofbeingathome 31st Jan 14, 12:26 PM
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    Have you tried the comparison thingymajig on here? Pretty good for working out deals on all sorts of things.

    *banana update* I am making banana pancakes after....oh and a banana loaf. One needs to be in touch with inner cooking goddess every now and then....goes looking for more banana recipes to use up the darned things.............
    Blackadder: Am I jumping the gun, Baldrick, or are the words 'I have a cunning plan' marching with ill-deserved confidence in the direction of this conversation?
    Still lurking around with a hope of some salvation
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