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  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 6,066Posts
    • 32,094Thanks
    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments.
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    Renovations and Repayments. 8th Mar 15 at 11:07 PM
    Hello and welcome to visitors familiar with my journey thus far and are surprised to see me on such a sensible board and a further warm welcome to the new faces wondering what they've let themselves in for.

    Let me begin by clarifying a few points: the first one is I am not sure whether I'm actually serious or not about clearing my mortgage and the second is the fact my house needs quite a bit of work doing to it. This work I do myself and in the time my wife and I have lived in the house we've learnt all kinds of new skills. The current project involves renewing the windows and I am making the frames myself, two are done and I'm pleased to say look great.

    I plan to use this mortgage free (how very grown up) diary to document the renovations and my savings activities, out of which overpayments may or may not be made. However, I am fully committed to long term saving and making as much money as possible. A long term goal of mine is to add to the BTL portfolio I shall one day inherit and am already becoming more involved in which is perhaps a good reason to pay my mortgage off and make my current property into an investment.

    Aside from the recent interest in moneysaving I have a four year old son, run my own company, play and teach the violin and piano whilst studying for my own interest. Oh and don't mention the cars.

    Those familiar with my debt-free diary will know I'm not exactly great at record keeping but am trying to improve, so please don't expect the detailed financial updates others seem to put on here. To kick things off, I suppose I ought to confess the mortgage debt is a total of circa 185,000 and I have no real timescale or plan in mind to pay it off.

    Sorry if this is not a particularly articulate introduction, as I seem to be at a loss how to tailor it to both those who've read my debt free diary and to new readers frequenting mortgage free.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
Page 145
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Apr 17, 11:14 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    April Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK. In-laws are definitely also following. They called about going to Rutland Water soon today. Son is delighted.
    Make a decision re. bathroom / holiday / potential debt.
    Total Grocery Spend: 250/ 400.
    Surplus Money: 100 / 800.
    Bed before 11.30pm: 6 / 31. Definitely going to be in bed before 11.30pm this evening. I'm tired at a normal time for once and have been active for the majority of the day.
    Meditation: 11 / 31.
    De-clutter and sell 2 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books (to read for pleasure): / 3. Have got back into a reading routine so this should start to go up.

    Had an active day with my wife and son, we went swimming this morning and walking with the dogs this afternoon. My parents are coming back at the end of next week and we'll be a bit sad to give their dog back. Father called today to rant about tourists and tell me all about his bad experience in a restaurant which has always been nice in the past. That 'phone call lasted for 1 1/2 hours, so I watched the third Rich House, Poor House episode. Swap between a 3rd / 4th floor flat in London and a smallholding in Essex. Londoners wanted to move away from London but I was confused by the reference to claiming housing benefit when she worked full time as a bin woman (yes, really!) as I hadn't imagined she would qualify. A few of our tenants earn c. 20,000 (which is the amount I presume she'd be earning) and are not claiming housing benefit.

    In that case I think you must spend too much time with the wrong people. I cant imagine being in a group (other than a formal meeting) where I've ever had to ask permission to speak. Sounds like Dad's Army!

    Spent the weekend in Cardiff. It wasn't strictly a holiday but I did get to spend some time with old friends and the art collection at the National Museum is superb.
    Originally posted by maman
    My wife says her parents find it strange. I just wanted to give them a choice. My parents are quite strict about when I can express my opinion or be in their presence. The latter isn't so much an issue as my father especially seems to want to be in my presence but he is still rather strict about when I may speak.

    I have never been to Cardiff but both Mrs. K. and I like art and visiting galleries. Should it be on the list for that reason? My wife said we should have a list of places to visit / things to do as a couple.

    I was under the impression that the 140/week was after rent and utilities, but nothing else. I'd imagine that would include council tax, but not insurance, road tax, car/house maintenance, etc. I could be mistaken though.

    Glad to hear you're sounding more up-beat.
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    If that's the case then that really is a very low amount of money to live on.

    Thank you, HiddenShadow. This Easter holiday seems to be good for me at the moment. We've not been awfully busy with planned activities which I'm to blame for but we're all really enjoying not doing an awful lot, to be honest.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 21st Apr 17, 7:39 AM
    • 6,264 Posts
    • 43,271 Thanks
    newgirly
    My wife says her parents find it strange. I just wanted to give them a choice. My parents are quite strict about when I can express my opinion or be in their presence. The latter isn't so much an issue as my father especially seems to want to be in my presence but he is still rather strict about when I may speak.

    I hope that you realise how wrong that is Alex, and worrying that you accept it. Sometimes the things you post are so sad to read
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 40k/11,092 paid so far

    Mortgage 38,275 4yrs 1mth left. Total owed 50,898 plan to clear in 14 months
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Apr 17, 8:12 AM
    • 11,118 Posts
    • 59,698 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Grownups don't get to tell each other when to speak Alex

    That is the joy (and frustration) of being an adult
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 21st Apr 17, 3:42 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 7,124 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel

    I often ask if I may speak or not. Don't honestly mind if people would rather not have interaction with me or hear my opinions and I wanted my in-laws to have a good day. If their idea of a good day meant not having to hear me or be in my presence for the whole day then I'd be happy to oblige.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Oh Alex this makes me so sad.

    You have as much right to speak and join in a group interaction as anybody else does (with the usual caveats about politeness, respect, tact etc!) and if somebody's idea of a good day meant you being silent, excluded and not participating then they wouldn't be accepting an invitation to your home!

    I know you haven't always got on brilliantly with your in-laws, but that seems to be improving with effort and concessions on both sides.
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 21st Apr 17, 5:53 PM
    • 2,479 Posts
    • 11,342 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    I watched the third Rich House, Poor House episode. Swap between a 3rd / 4th floor flat in London and a smallholding in Essex. Londoners wanted to move away from London but I was confused by the reference to claiming housing benefit when she worked full time as a bin woman (yes, really!) as I hadn't imagined she would qualify. A few of our tenants earn c. 20,000 (which is the amount I presume she'd be earning) and are not claiming housing benefit.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Just for fun I plugged in random details for myself into Waltham Forest housing benefit calculator. With my age, and assuming dependents (it didn't ask how many?) and no other benefits (no idea how child credits work), on 20k/yr I'd be eligible for 10,244.52/year in housing benefit. That was assuming 1,500/mo rent, though I'm not sure what Walthamstow goes for these days. (Edit: just looked it up and 2-bed is ~1,300-1,400/mo, 3-bed is 1,500-1,700/mo.)

    I do find it silly that you have to jump through so many hoops to relocate. We watched I, Daniel Blake the other day (super depressing, as expected) and jeez, the amount of red tape involved. And the female lead being shunted up to Newcastle(?) from London just because there was a flat there even though her job/family/support were all in the south...crazy.

    That's a rant for another day though.

    My parents are quite strict about when I can express my opinion or be in their presence. The latter isn't so much an issue as my father especially seems to want to be in my presence but he is still rather strict about when I may speak.
    I agree with the other posters - that's crazy behaviour. If you want to play along to please your parents, fine, but it's quite normal for adults to express their opinion (contrary or otherwise!) freely. And I won't even touch on the presence bit (!) except to say that if someone doesn't want to be in your presence, and you're not invading their home/personal space, it's on them to leave, not you.

    If that's the case then that really is a very low amount of money to live on.
    I think that's kind of the point of the show. Hence all 3 families being so excited to have a takeaway as their first "splurge". (The episode 1 dad being so excited about a stuffed crust pizza broke my heart.)
    Last edited by hiddenshadow; 21-04-2017 at 5:55 PM. Reason: typo
    MFW: 197,100 (2013) to 100,646 (May '18)
    2018 MFW #56: 4,000/105,000 3% / MFiT-T4 #15: 58,854/90,000 65%
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Apr 17, 11:59 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    April Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK.
    Make a decision re. bathroom / holiday / potential debt.
    Total Grocery Spend: 280/ 400.
    Surplus Money: 100 / 800.
    Bed before 11.30pm: 6 / 31. Definitely going to be in bed before 11.30pm this evening. I'm tired at a normal time for once and have been active for the majority of the day. Again! This is going well at the moment.
    Meditation: 12 / 31.
    De-clutter and sell 2 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books (to read for pleasure): / 3. Have got back into a reading routine so this should start to go up.

    I hope that you realise how wrong that is Alex, and worrying that you accept it. Sometimes the things you post are so sad to read
    Originally posted by newgirly
    I realise it's wrong enough that I don't hold the same type of expectations for my son.

    Grownups don't get to tell each other when to speak Alex

    That is the joy (and frustration) of being an adult
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Not in my parents' world unless it involves a discussion between the two of them.

    Oh Alex this makes me so sad.

    You have as much right to speak and join in a group interaction as anybody else does (with the usual caveats about politeness, respect, tact etc!) and if somebody's idea of a good day meant you being silent, excluded and not participating then they wouldn't be accepting an invitation to your home!

    I know you haven't always got on brilliantly with your in-laws, but that seems to be improving with effort and concessions on both sides.
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    The relationship with my in-laws is improving a lot. They came up this way to go for a walk and took us for a pub lunch as a thank you for Easter. I needed to curb my prejudices for them to see this but they are brilliant with my son. He loves his grandparents being proud of his achievements and showing him affection. My parents are so critical and he seems to think my in-laws letting him call them more affectionate names means they love him more.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 22nd Apr 17, 7:37 AM
    • 6,264 Posts
    • 43,271 Thanks
    newgirly
    How can any grandparent be critical of a grandson, especially one so young?! I am intrigued to know how he has to address them now too.

    I'm glad things are going well with the inlaws, you don't have to have much in common to get along, just a willingness to do so
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 40k/11,092 paid so far

    Mortgage 38,275 4yrs 1mth left. Total owed 50,898 plan to clear in 14 months
    • maman
    • By maman 22nd Apr 17, 1:30 PM
    • 17,897 Posts
    • 107,148 Thanks
    maman
    It's really heart warming to hear that the in-laws are so loving towards LittleK.


    I suddenly thought yesterday that you might have been expecting LittleK to ask permission before speaking as that's the norm for you. Glad to read that you don't. Children need adults to model behaviour to them. So I'd expect to have to explain turn taking and not interrupting etc. but asking permission appals me.


    Similarly, I can understand that when you were staying with your parents you needed some ground rules about having your own space. That's normal with family living together where space permits. But your interpretation that your in-laws might want to choose whether they want your company or conversation when visiting you in your own home really isn't 'normal'.


    Hope your enjoying the last couple of days of holidays. Why not plan something nice for half term or the long weekend next week?


    Being Welsh I should recommend Cardiff although I don't come from there. There's plenty to see and do whether for you as a couple or with LittleK. For a short break from where you are I'd go to Liverpool (Walker gallery is excellent) or Manchester which has the Lowry as well as the city gallery. From either of these you could go on to Chester and then over into North Wales to Portmeirion which is well worth a visit.
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 22nd Apr 17, 1:58 PM
    • 2,663 Posts
    • 7,124 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel

    Being Welsh I should recommend Cardiff although I don't come from there. There's plenty to see and do whether for you as a couple or with LittleK. For a short break from where you are I'd go to Liverpool (Walker gallery is excellent) or Manchester which has the Lowry as well as the city gallery. From either of these you could go on to Chester and then over into North Wales to Portmeirion which is well worth a visit.
    Originally posted by maman
    Manchester has the Whitworth gallery too, which has had a lot of investment really and is great. There are tons of great museums and attractions in the city, more than enough to fill a weekend.

    The People's History Museum might be an interesting one for you Alex!
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Apr 17, 5:55 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Just for fun I plugged in random details for myself into Waltham Forest housing benefit calculator. With my age, and assuming dependents (it didn't ask how many?) and no other benefits (no idea how child credits work), on 20k/yr I'd be eligible for 10,244.52/year in housing benefit. That was assuming 1,500/mo rent, though I'm not sure what Walthamstow goes for these days. (Edit: just looked it up and 2-bed is ~1,300-1,400/mo, 3-bed is 1,500-1,700/mo.)
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    London really is a different world. I cannot personally see the attraction.

    I do find it silly that you have to jump through so many hoops to relocate. We watched I, Daniel Blake the other day (super depressing, as expected) and jeez, the amount of red tape involved. And the female lead being shunted up to Newcastle(?) from London just because there was a flat there even though her job/family/support were all in the south...crazy.

    That's a rant for another day though.
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    I haven't seen I, Daniel Blake so cannot comment.

    I agree with the other posters - that's crazy behaviour. If you want to play along to please your parents, fine, but it's quite normal for adults to express their opinion (contrary or otherwise!) freely. And I won't even touch on the presence bit (!) except to say that if someone doesn't want to be in your presence, and you're not invading their home/personal space, it's on them to leave, not you.

    I think that's kind of the point of the show. Hence all 3 families being so excited to have a takeaway as their first "splurge". (The episode 1 dad being so excited about a stuffed crust pizza broke my heart.)
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    My parents can be very difficult people at times. I'm not sure if it reflects their generation or is just how they are, to be honest.

    Yes, I think you're right re. the show.

    How can any grandparent be critical of a grandson, especially one so young?! I am intrigued to know how he has to address them now too.

    I'm glad things are going well with the inlaws, you don't have to have much in common to get along, just a willingness to do so
    Originally posted by newgirly
    They are very critical of his behaviour, music and academic achievements. My son is generally very well behaved, so a lot of the problems lie with him running up stairs rather than walking or getting excited about things and not being able to wait to tell them something. He addresses them as grandmother and grandfather. I don't think it's so much how he addresses them but how they reacted when he tried to address them in another way I imagine he perhaps would have preferred and was quite severely chastised.

    I think you're right about a willingness to get along.

    It's really heart warming to hear that the in-laws are so loving towards LittleK.

    I suddenly thought yesterday that you might have been expecting LittleK to ask permission before speaking as that's the norm for you. Glad to read that you don't. Children need adults to model behaviour to them. So I'd expect to have to explain turn taking and not interrupting etc. but asking permission appals me.

    Similarly, I can understand that when you were staying with your parents you needed some ground rules about having your own space. That's normal with family living together where space permits. But your interpretation that your in-laws might want to choose whether they want your company or conversation when visiting you in your own home really isn't 'normal'.

    Hope your enjoying the last couple of days of holidays. Why not plan something nice for half term or the long weekend next week?

    Being Welsh I should recommend Cardiff although I don't come from there. There's plenty to see and do whether for you as a couple or with LittleK. For a short break from where you are I'd go to Liverpool (Walker gallery is excellent) or Manchester which has the Lowry as well as the city gallery. From either of these you could go on to Chester and then over into North Wales to Portmeirion which is well worth a visit.
    Originally posted by maman
    They are very good with my son.

    I have expectations for my son's behaviour but enjoy hearing his views and talking to him so apart from taking his turn, not interrupting or dominating conversation there are no rules. Sometimes he gets excited about things and doesn't remember such 'rules' but I can't say I really mind. He will only get one childhood.

    Absolutely agree re. ground rules when living with other people but my parents' expectations have nothing to do with whether I / we are living with them.

    Hadn't realised you're Welsh. Do you still live in Wales? I know Manchester fairly well but hadn't considered Liverpool. Chester is nice and my wife and I enjoy visiting North Wales ... mainly for the good driving roads.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • LadyGnome
    • By LadyGnome 22nd Apr 17, 5:57 PM
    • 453 Posts
    • 1,678 Thanks
    LadyGnome
    Alex, you remind me a bit of someone I used to work with. When she watched how her parents interacted with her young daughter it helped her understand her own childhood. They were quite stiff and formal, expecting a toddler to sit quietly with them. They never sat on the floor to play with her. That made her realise how reserved her parents had been with her. It helped her see that the distance she had felt in her childhood had come from her parents rather than being something to do with her as a person.
    Mortgage
    Start Nov 2012 310,000
    Feb 2018 237,821.60 Reduction 72,178.40
    MFW 2018 #42 788.90/3100
    End Oct Sept 2034 but I have a cunning plan...
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Apr 17, 5:57 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Manchester has the Whitworth gallery too, which has had a lot of investment really and is great. There are tons of great museums and attractions in the city, more than enough to fill a weekend.

    The People's History Museum might be an interesting one for you Alex!
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Haven't been to Manchester in a long time and never really visited the galleries / museums. Will discuss with Mrs. K..

    Thanks.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 22nd Apr 17, 7:57 PM
    • 6,264 Posts
    • 43,271 Thanks
    newgirly
    How terribly sad for your parents that they feel the need to do that, my fil has been pointlessly critical of my lot once or twice (asking questions they wouldn't know the answers to when they were little - thus they are "not very bright" , ironic from a man who passed no exams ) he got a telling off from me, but long term that feeling clearly stays with the kids, as although they are polite to him, they are going through the motions and visit as a favour to us. In contrast they are always keen to go to my parents who are affectionate and have never said a negative comment to them....
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 40k/11,092 paid so far

    Mortgage 38,275 4yrs 1mth left. Total owed 50,898 plan to clear in 14 months
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Apr 17, 8:37 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Going through my spreadsheets / journal for the week and it's looking more positive than I thought.

    Son of the farmer next door has asked if I can bring a garden table and six chairs back to life. Basic strip down and paint job. I told him he could do that easily himself but he apparently doesn't have the time, so I'm going to be 100 better off for doing a easy task for him.

    Alex, you remind me a bit of someone I used to work with. When she watched how her parents interacted with her young daughter it helped her understand her own childhood. They were quite stiff and formal, expecting a toddler to sit quietly with them. They never sat on the floor to play with her. That made her realise how reserved her parents had been with her. It helped her see that the distance she had felt in her childhood had come from her parents rather than being something to do with her as a person.
    Originally posted by LadyGnome
    Yes, I realise why I much preferred being at school.

    How terribly sad for your parents that they feel the need to do that, my fil has been pointlessly critical of my lot once or twice (asking questions they wouldn't know the answers to when they were little - thus they are "not very bright" , ironic from a man who passed no exams ) he got a telling off from me, but long term that feeling clearly stays with the kids, as although they are polite to him, they are going through the motions and visit as a favour to us. In contrast they are always keen to go to my parents who are affectionate and have never said a negative comment to them....
    Originally posted by newgirly
    My parents love my son very much and despite having a lot of regrets over how they have treated others in the past they still behave in a similar way. I've sat through hours of my father becoming extremely distressed over the way he has treated others but a day later he'll pretend nothing has happened. Mother will defend him and tell me I have misinterpreted my father. He does the same for her.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Apr 17, 11:29 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    April Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK.
    Make a decision re. bathroom / holiday / potential debt.
    Total Grocery Spend: 280/ 400.
    Surplus Money: 100 / 800.
    Bed before 11.30pm: 7 / 31. Definitely going to be in bed before 11.30pm this evening. I'm tired at a normal time for once and have been active for the majority of the day. Again! This is going well at the moment.
    Meditation: 12 / 31.
    De-clutter and sell 2 / 5 items.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books (to read for pleasure): / 3. Have got back into a reading routine so this should start to go up.

    Just looked up the I, Daniel Blake film. It sounds horrendous and I don't think I'll be watching it, HiddenShadow. I think I'd find it terribly sad as I did just from the synopsis. As I get older and more involved with teaching I find I hear / see things that make me question some of my own ideologies. The world isn't what I thought it was for the first 30 or so years of my life. I got ill through my own selfish problems without seeing I did not have a difficult life. I still don't, though living with depression, anxiety and things I've done have changed who I am. For the better. Sad it took trying to end my life and starting to rebuild it for me to realise despite everything I am fortunate.

    I'm starting to trust my wife a little more and believe we are through many of the difficulties we have faced together. We're having one more month of counselling and I hope that will be for the last time. We've not done as much as we usually do when my wife has leave from work but have had the chance to spend time together at home as a family. My parents have been away so we've not had to see them which has been refreshing. Probably sounds terrible but time away from them is needed sometimes. My wife has made such an effort to be a part of our son's life and not see red over things that make her angry. She told me tonight that she's looking forward to our long weekend even though we've nothing planned. Before if we'd nothing planned she'd go to her friends. We've become interested in working on our house again after a long time not really caring much about it. On Monday we're all back to work / school or working in a school ... and Mrs. K. remarks that whilst she is ready to do some work she's really enjoyed this week with my son and I.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 22nd Apr 17, 11:36 PM
    • 1,551 Posts
    • 5,019 Thanks
    kelpie35
    That is a very positive post Alex.

    I am so happy for you, as a family, that you have all enjoyed your break.

    I hope the renovations will go well for you.

    You are also doing so well on the food budget, well done you.

    Take care
    • hiddenshadow
    • By hiddenshadow 23rd Apr 17, 2:54 PM
    • 2,479 Posts
    • 11,342 Thanks
    hiddenshadow
    That sounds so promising, Alex. Glad to hear you and MrsK are doing well together.

    I wouldn't recommend watching I, Daniel Blake for you, Alex, for all the reasons you outlined. I thought it was a great film, but as I said, super depressing. It really highlights how trapped people can be by the system through no fault of their own.
    MFW: 197,100 (2013) to 100,646 (May '18)
    2018 MFW #56: 4,000/105,000 3% / MFiT-T4 #15: 58,854/90,000 65%
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 23rd Apr 17, 11:09 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,094 Thanks
    AlexLK
    April Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK.
    Make a decision re. bathroom / holiday / potential debt.
    Total Grocery Spend: 330/ 400. Should not go up too much more before May's budget kicks in. Hoping to have a spare 50 to put into the surplus money pot.
    Surplus Money: 100 / 800.
    Bed before 11.30pm: 8 / 31. Very tired tonight, woke up before the alarm this morning and have a busy day. Done a lot of work to the grounds and cars between my wife and I.
    Meditation: 13 / 31.
    De-clutter and sell 2 / 5 items. Hope to get onto this as a part of returning to work this coming week.
    New Recipes: 1 / 4.
    Books (to read for pleasure): / 3. Whilst I'm in a reading routine I'm managing about 10 pages before falling to sleep at the moment.

    Today has been busy. It's been drive it day so Mrs K and I took the sports cars out before having a run out in the Daimler. That was our morning. Didn't see many classics, though. I personally think it's a pity there's a drive it day set out in the classic car calendar but drive it day is most days here. After the relaxing morning we had lunch then got to work on our grounds and cars until dark. Grounds are looking better and cars are all clean.

    I need to plan my diary for tomorrow but the week is looking like it's going to be a busy one. Looking forward to seeing my pupils again and the summer term ahead. Son is surprisingly excited to be returning to school, which both my wife and I are pleased about. We need to make a decision whether we will be keeping him at our village school or whether he will be going to my old prep school for the academic year 2018-19. At the moment I'm very reluctant to move him from the current school as he's finally settled and is starting to enjoy being there. One option is to keep him where he is until 11 and do the final two years at prep school before moving to senior school at 13, another is to seriously consider him going to the state senior at 11. Bakewell isn't a rough town and the school has a good reputation. Why is this so difficult?

    That is a very positive post Alex.

    I am so happy for you, as a family, that you have all enjoyed your break.

    I hope the renovations will go well for you.

    You are also doing so well on the food budget, well done you.

    Take care
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thank you, kelpie.

    Hoping to come in 50 under budget for food this month.

    Renovations will be fine ... it's just paying for them.

    That sounds so promising, Alex. Glad to hear you and MrsK are doing well together.

    I wouldn't recommend watching I, Daniel Blake for you, Alex, for all the reasons you outlined. I thought it was a great film, but as I said, super depressing. It really highlights how trapped people can be by the system through no fault of their own.
    Originally posted by hiddenshadow
    Thank you, HiddenShadow.

    I can't say I really know how to feel about it. I used to subscribe to my parents' view of it being their fault and not the government's responsibility to help. Now I'm not so sure. Things I've heard and seen in my volunteer positions have made me reassess what I perceived as "the problems". There have been children turning up to school who aren't eating well yet are expected to get on with the school day. The girl in Rich House,
    Poor House
    who said the diet she was eating during her week in the "poor" house was making it more difficult to study. I can see that, I have seen that. Some parents lack skills to help their children and cannot afford to pay a tutor to make up for not being able to help, no wonder those children are behind academically. Some just don't care about education as they are both personally disenfranchised and cannot see what anything beyond the most basic of education can do for their children. Having seen this, I have started to see how the government and media have manipulated such situations into demonising "the poor". There are people who manipulate the system but that's true of all spectra of society.

    Cannot quite believe I'm saying this but having always voted Tory, I am looking at other parties policies with some interest rather than just to dismiss. From a personal point of view I think the best outcomes for my family and I lie with a Conservative government so I will most likely vote in my best interest but I'm not convinced a high majority Conservative government is good for large numbers of the population. My father-in-law said to me last week that there's more people living in poverty than there are in my position. I told him I was unsure of that and he told me to think about how many council estates with many houses built upon them there are vs. the amount of places the size of my parents'. He's right and I am a bit deluded, mainly because I don't want to think about the alternative.
    Last edited by AlexLK; 23-04-2017 at 11:14 PM.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • Tropically
    • By Tropically 24th Apr 17, 2:07 PM
    • 253 Posts
    • 742 Thanks
    Tropically
    You might like playing around with this calculator: https://www.ifs.org.uk/wheredoyoufitin/

    IFS is a Tory think-tank.
    Mortgage started at 318,000 in June 2016. Original MF - 2041
    2017 OPs: 7000/7000
    Mortgage in Nov 2017 - 297,808
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 24th Apr 17, 5:53 PM
    • 11,118 Posts
    • 59,698 Thanks
    edinburgher
    You are unsure as to whether there are more people in poverty than incredibly rich? I have never seen a Daimler, never mind driven one. A few Bentleys in our neck of the woods, but you probably think that's a chav car

    Oh Alex...
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