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    • Sessie
    • By Sessie 10th Aug 10, 9:13 PM
    • 360Posts
    • 852Thanks
    Changing our lives....
    • #1
    • 10th Aug 10, 9:13 PM
    Changing our lives.... 10th Aug 10 at 9:13 PM
    Hey all,

    New to posting but have been lurking for quite a while now and am really impressed with everyone's ideas and dedication to sorting out their finances.

    Whilst we don't have HUGE debts, we are just finding that things are becoming tighter and I've been inspired by so much I've read here that I think will help ease the pressure on our family.

    Basic details are: I am married with twins - a boy and a girl who turned 2 recently, the result of 2 private IVF attempts (oh they TELL you everyone gets at least one free go on the NHS, utter rubbish!).

    Hubby works full time (with quite a lot of overtime) and I work part time. My parents look after the children when I'm at work so we have no childcare costs which is great.

    So we have 5k on the credit card, which was for the second IVF - we are paying more than the minimum payment every month but it just doesn't seem to be going down. We NEVER use the card for anything else, we just got it for the IVF and have not once been tempted to use it for anything else.

    Apart from our mortgage that's pretty much it - I owe my mum 130 as she paid a rather large unexpected dentist's bill for me - but that will be repaid at the end of August. That's really where we come in...

    I was hit by that dentist bill and realised that, despite being 40 we have NO savings, nothing to fall back on if something goes wrong. When it was just the two of us that was OK but now? We have the children and a responsibility to be able to feed, clothe and keep a roof over their heads no matter what. We had just been living month to month and kind of hoping that everything would be OK. Also, we weren't exactly "careful" when we shopped - we bought brands, we impulse bought, we bought things we already had in because we didn't check first... and then when we got to the till, wondered how the shop had come to 250 every fortnight!

    I realised that we have to become WAY more savvy - and so I've been almost LIVING on these forums collecting ideas, recipes and inspiration from all of you.

    I will be back in the next few days (children permitting! They are on the go from dawn til dusk and a lot of nights I'm too tired to get online!) with details of the first few things I've been doing to try to rein in our spending and start to take more responsibility and create a backup account and also just generally start living a more sensible and frugal life. That's not to say we were living it up before, just... we were living for today... which isn't great in the long run when you end up paying for it tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow...

    I hope this is the right place for this diary, like I say we're not drowning in debt but we are starting to find it difficult to meet our outgoings each month now we have the children and don't have two full time incomes any more. This is more of a "prevention" act on my part than a "recovery", but I'd much rather be here, having faced it NOW... than in the recovery a year down the line.

Page 13
    • Sessie
    • By Sessie 8th Jul 17, 10:59 AM
    • 360 Posts
    • 852 Thanks
    I'm off work next week, mainly to watch as much Wimbledon as I can but also have many plans. As I said, Mr Sessie has got all our files down from the attic with all our paperwork so I can spread that all over the living room floor and get it all up to date whilst Mr Murray (hopefully!) powers his way towards the Final. A lot of the documents are needed for when we have got our own house ready to put on the market and need to apply for the new mortgage. The Financial Advisor told us we WILL get the mortgage we are looking for but obviously, we still have to jump through all the paper hoops to get it in writing!

    I need to get out into the garden and cut back some bushes, mow and strim the lawn, put some more grass seed down and sweep and tidy the patio and decking. My mum gave me a lot of bedding plants which are growing nicely in pots and troughs so the garden will look lovely and inviting when we do get our house on the market.

    I will be sorting through cupboards (think I've already mentioned this, sorry for duplication!) in the kitchen, bedrooms and both of our clothes as we both have things we haven't worn for years (nor will we again at any point soon as we're... well... somewhat more fuller figured than ten years ago!).

    I'm getting rather good at NOT passing things by that I see now in the house. I've thrown quite a lot away in the last few days and I'm chomping at the bit to just GET ON WITH IT next week. There's something really satisfying about GETTING RID.

    Two reasonably big (but expected) spends coming up are .... THE SUMMER HOLIDAYS!! Aaaargh. Both children desperately need new clothes (Primark, Asda etc... they don't stay in them long enough to justify "brands"). We usually do a clothes shop at the start of the holidays (t-shirts, shorts, leggings etc...) but it will only be about 100 for both of them (not each!!) and is already budgeted for.

    The other, later in August, is new School uniforms, tights, socks, underwear, shoes, trainers/plimsolls, winter coats etc.. Though we again get most of the uniform from the supermarkets, the school jumpers are direct from the school as they have the logo on and are 10 a pop and I always buy their shoes from Clarks, I won't compromise on shoes as you can't mess with their feet! We do have an outlet Clarks shop nearby where we've gone for the last few years and that's cheaper than the main shop so will likely go there again this time.

    That aside, there are the final few cosmetic things we need to do to our house before we put it on the market but I don't see that coming to much more than 200.

    Need to find a mobile hairdresser than will come to the house after school hours. Having my hair done at the salon where I live is 30 (cut and blow) which I only have done about 4 times a year, but it's a bit straggly now. If they come to the house, I can get a wet cut and do the rest myself. Also both children need a good trim before the holidays - the salon charges 10 per child. I'm sure I can get it a lot cheaper than we currently pay.

    Okay, I think that's me for now. Adios!
    Sealed Pot 5 number 1544
    • Sessie
    • By Sessie 11th Jul 17, 8:42 PM
    • 360 Posts
    • 852 Thanks
    I've had a productive few days and want to get it all "written down" before I forget it all.

    Got out into the garden on Sunday (after attending a wonderful flower festival with my parents and not spending a single penny!) and cut down some of the bushes. Of course, it's rained pretty much non-stop since then but the secateurs are right by the back door for as soon as it decides to stop!!

    I've spent VERY little over the last few days, literally just bus fares to and from school and town (town is too far to walk and school we usually walk but not in the rain!!). I managed to stick to my list shopping on Saturday and instead of being the usual 120 plus, it was 86, which is great. Have been using food from the freezer/fridge and cupboards for meals.

    It's obviously different from what I usually do because there have been a number of times I've opened a cupboard or the fridge and had a small "panic" because there are spaces!! They're not crammed with "stuff"!!!, but I'm retraining myself. They don't NEED to be crammed full!!, they need enough to feed us for a week until we go shopping again and until we have pared down the ton of meat and things in the freezer.

    Tidied out a drawer in the kitchen on Sunday and found two gift vouchers the children must have got for a birthday or Christmas that we'd forgotten about so they both got an unexpected trip to the toy shop, which went down well!

    Have also, today, sorted out ALL our paperwork. It took about four hours (whilst watching Mr Djokovic progress to the next round of Wimbledon) putting it into piles of bank statements, work documents, payslips, pension, life policies, mortgage, car etc.. and they are now all neatly stacked ready to go through and pick out everything the Financial Advisor needs to formally send off for the mortgage. Also have all the old deeds etc to this house to hand.

    Tomorrow, if the weather picks up, I'll be out in the garden. If not, I'll be sorting through my clothes and the linen cupboard.

    Finally, and probably most sadly, I'm ridiculously excited that three days of copious spraying of Cillit Bang has almost removed all the limescale from a tap that's looked DREADFUL for years! Another day or two and we'll have matching lovely shiny taps. Goodness, I need to get out more!

    Sealed Pot 5 number 1544
    • Sessie
    • By Sessie 21st Jul 17, 1:29 PM
    • 360 Posts
    • 852 Thanks
    It's taking some getting used to, just having a few pounds in my purse and not drawing multiple notes out every time I need a bit!! I used to work on the, "Well, I might need it!" principle but then, once it was in my purse, it would end up disappearing. Now I'm thinking long and hard when I go to the cash machine about what I actually need it for - such as bus fares to and from school (we do walk sometimes but it's quite a way and I have a knee problem which flares up), top ups of milk and bread (and now ONLY milk and bread! Not milk, bread and ooh those buns look nice and I should really get some more eggs and... it ending up being 20!).

    I found a mobile hairdresser who is coming to the house next Tuesday evening at a total cost of 22 for me and both children, as opposed to the almost 50 I'd normally pay at the local salon.

    Mr S has TOTALLY transformed the ensuite bathroom over the last week. It looks absolutely FABULOUS and was the last "big" job we needed to do to get the house ready to go on the market. The next couple of weeks will be just giving everything a real deep clean, washing paintwork, windows inside and out, that sort of thing and then, hopefully, we should be about ready!!

    Last night I started the clear out of my clothes - almost filled a bin bag with clothes that either don't (and won't for some time!) fit or ones that have really seen better days (there's a reason they were right at the bottom of the drawers, because I pick them up and go, "nah, not that" and put it back again!). I have a pile of things I need to try on tonight before deciding if they stay or if they go!

    The airing/linen cupboard has been utterly emptied, all linen and towels sorted into what we're keeping, all washed, conditioned and folded neatly. Any older towels and blankets from when the twins were babies have been put into a bag to take to the RSPCA as they will make use of them for the animals.

    Next is the childrens' toys which I hope to get to at the weekend.

    We are out tomorrow night as it was our Silver Anniversary this week but we're only going to a local carvery type restaurant and my inlaws have vouchers for 2 for a tenner so that won't cost much! There are 15 of us going so I'm looking forward to that as our families all work different days and shifts so getting together doesn't happen as often as I'd like.

    We've been making big inroads into the freezer and cupboards, I've bought very little this week apart from milk and cat food. The cupboards are looking very empty now though, which again is taking some getting used to! I have been making a shopping list as I've gone along this week but again, it's based on ingredients I need for "making up" meals from what I already have in the freezer etc. I'd be surprised if it was more than about 80 (includes quite a lot of cleaning materials this week) and I haven't been for a fortnight!!

    I have been told that it's going to be after Christmas at the VERY least before my redundancy comes into play, very possibly as far away as around this time next year (though can't be sure of when) so that's given me a boost of more time to play with to save as much possible and get my head around the fact I'm leaving after so long with the same company. I'm starting to think about careers other than the one I've been in for so long- just because I'm in this one now, I don't have to move to another the same!! So long as I'm earning what I need to keep "my end" of things going, it could be ANYTHING!! Possibly not a trapeze artist though, with my knee!

    Can't think of anything else, just want to keep myself on the straight and narrow by posting here!

    Still to do:

    Kids toys
    Kitchen cupboards

    Sealed Pot 5 number 1544
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