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  • FIRST POST
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    • 156Posts
    • 382Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Quids in for a Limited Time
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 17, 8:11 PM
    Quids in for a Limited Time 2nd Jan 17 at 8:11 PM
    Hi. Let me introduce myself. I am an old time user and lately a frequent browser. There is me, my husband & my two kids age 17 & 15. I have £56,000 owing on my mortgage which is on a tracker rate of currently 1.14 which is really good I think. I do make the odd overpayment on it as it kinda gives me a happy feeling the same as say buying a new top or dress does but tbh I think I would be better off putting any spare money in a savings account in view of the rate.
    To be honest though much as I would like to clear the mortgage as soon as possible, there are other things that I would like money for such as home improvements and driving lessons & a car for my daughter. So this is going to really be more of a savings diary than anything else. If anyone wants to join me that would be great but my main reason for doing this is I hope to keep me focused.
    I have added up all our incomings and outgoings and in theory we should have loads left over every month for savings but the reality is we actually don't! We don't have any debts & do have a small amount of savings but its a bit of a mystery where the money actually goes so I have also started a spending diary to establish that! Life has been good the last year as my ex-husband has been paying maintenance which he never did previously so last year we had our first foreign holiday in six years and we have had a much better social life than we were previously able to and the kids have been able to experience some new things.
    I am aware however that as some of our money is maintenance paid from my ex-husband that will be ending at some point soon in view of my children's ages - hence the title of this thread.
    Thanks for reading so far!
Page 5
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 27th Nov 17, 7:49 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    I've just been playing around with the early mortgage repayment calculator. If we can £200 extra every month, we would pay the mortgage off about six and a half years earlier, which would be lovely. It would be even better obviously though if we could pay more than that. £400 extra per month for example would pay it off about nine and a half years earlier. The interest rate is actually very low however so in some ways it doesn't make a huge difference.

    DS has actually given me a list of foods that he would like, or at least thinks he would like as I think he has just looked them up on a website! These are:
    Pancakes - Aargh! I've never made normal pancakes never mind gluten-free ones!
    Barbecued meatball kebabs (?)
    Chicken tenders (?)
    Scrambled egg omelette (double ? Is that just a normal omelette?!
    Roast tikka chicken (?)
    Fried chicken - probably unlikely as our fryer has frequently been used for non g/free
    Tachos
    Butter chicken
    Egg fried rice
    Salmon
    So lots of chicken & some of it I'm not 100 % sure on!

    Thank you so much Jellibeanz, VDOT47, Silence101 for your replies, They have all given me ideas for meals to hopefully get me out of this rut that I am in meal wise. Silence101 could you tell me the ingredients for the pancakes, salmon stir fry and catalan chicken?
    Jellibeanz - you know for the chicken with white wine sauce, is it just crème- fraiche and a glug of wine or stock as well? You sound so organised and adaptable! I'm a real stickler for recipes as I don't have a lot of confidence to just try it and see!
    VDOT47 - which g/free shop pastry do you use? We thought the Genius one was horrible, it didn't seem cooked enough even though it was in the oven for way longer than it said was necessary although when I ate the leftovers for my lunch 2 days later it tasted much nicer for some reason!
    Do you know I have never made a risotto? I think I need to try that one!

    Quite a bit of xmas shopping done on Saturday but really only a third of the way there so more spending still to be done.
    • Silence101
    • By Silence101 28th Nov 17, 7:11 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Silence101
    Catalan chicken - it!!!8217;s a lot of ingredients but we tend to substitute stuff depending what we have in !
    Olive oil.
    3 cloves of chopped garlic, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery sticks, 1 pepper cut in strips.
    Serrano ham (we usually replace that with bacon)
    4 chicken thighs
    125ml sherry (we usually give that a miss)
    500ml chicken stock
    Rosemary, thyme, parsley, saffron, paprika (2 teaspoons), salt and pepper
    Tin of chopped tomatoes
    Tin of either borlotti, cannellini or butter beans
    Orange zest (we usually give that a miss too)
    Fry vegetables, then remove and fry ham, remove and fry chicken, remove and deglaze with the sherry. Boil stock. Put everything back in with the herbs and spices, orange zest, and tin tomatoes. Bring to boil then simmer for 30 minutes. Add beans simmer for 5 minutes.
    09/17 Shared Ownership 50% share - Mortgage £77500 Original MFW 2052
    17/18 OP £7700
    • Silence101
    • By Silence101 28th Nov 17, 7:21 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Silence101
    Salmon stir fry
    Onions, carrots, spring onions , any veg lying around really, chopped finely and fried. Add fresh salmon, with lemon juice and honey and soya sauce. At the same time cook the egg noodles in water. Once noodles ready, fry them with the vegetables and salmon for 30 seconds/a minute. Dish up.

    Pancakes
    For the batter- 2 eggs, 90g butter, 100g flour
    Filling - spinach 300g, mushrooms 200g, 50g cheese. Fry mushrooms and spinach, once cooked add cheese.
    Once you!!!8217;ve filled the pancakes, place them in an oven dish and cover them with yoghurt and cheese and bake.
    09/17 Shared Ownership 50% share - Mortgage £77500 Original MFW 2052
    17/18 OP £7700
    • Silence101
    • By Silence101 28th Nov 17, 7:23 AM
    • 355 Posts
    • 551 Thanks
    Silence101
    I thought there was milk in the pancakes batter, but any pancake batter would do, as long as you don!!!8217;t add sugar.
    09/17 Shared Ownership 50% share - Mortgage £77500 Original MFW 2052
    17/18 OP £7700
    • Jelllibeanz
    • By Jelllibeanz 28th Nov 17, 8:37 AM
    • 156 Posts
    • 372 Thanks
    Jelllibeanz
    I usually use stock and a glug of wine. Then half way through I put the creme fraiche in to thicken.

    Silence - thanks for the salmon stir fry idea. I'm going to try that tonight
    Aiming for more consistency in 2018
    Mortgage '09 = £103k Feb '17 =£79.9k, Aug 17 = £69k
    #105 £460/£3520 credit card at 0%, #10 penny a day challenge £12/£667
    Wombling Our Way to Wealth 2018 £35.39, Jan's bring your lunch to work 5/20
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Dec 17, 3:42 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Thank you Silence101 and Jellibeanz! I intend to try lots of new dishes over the xmas break. At the moment it feels like a case of just trying to get through the next few weeks until we break up from school. The noise levels are increasing as is the staff's tiredness!

    November food spends came to £632.94, eating out £55 and clothes for me £38. Petrol I forgot to keep a record of.

    December could be an expensive month as I may have to make a visit to Scotland to visit my Mum who has not been well, as well having the usual xmas expenses. Going out and eating out costs will be higher as well no doubt. Income will also start decreasing next month so beltes will definitely need tightening somewhere!
    • Jelllibeanz
    • By Jelllibeanz 18th Dec 17, 1:59 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 372 Thanks
    Jelllibeanz
    Hello MM
    How are you bearing up now we are nearly at the end of term? Hope you are not feeling too tired x
    Aiming for more consistency in 2018
    Mortgage '09 = £103k Feb '17 =£79.9k, Aug 17 = £69k
    #105 £460/£3520 credit card at 0%, #10 penny a day challenge £12/£667
    Wombling Our Way to Wealth 2018 £35.39, Jan's bring your lunch to work 5/20
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 29th Dec 17, 7:53 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    It's been a month since I last logged in!

    Yes thank you Jellibeanz - I made it to the end of term without any time off sick so that was good as it was an 8.5 week term which was hard going!

    I was just reading through the last few posts and am feeling rather guilty. When I am working I make the excuse of new dishes not tried for dinner as I'm too tired but I have been off work for a week now and still no new dishes have been tried! I just feel so "CBA" as my kids would say and the days just seem to be whizzing by with not an awful lot being achieved other than a bit of reading and dog walking! I've also eaten way too much chocolate and other Xmas goodies and am going to end up looking like an elephant for my big-birthday party in February!

    As 2017 is drawing to an end and a new year approaching where I turn the big 50, it has got me thinking lots about my finances but to be honest I just feel like a headless chicken running around but not achieving anything. I know I need to be doing things to look after us financially in the future but I don't really know what! I like the idea of paying off the mortgage early but to be honest the rate is so low, I'm not even sure it makes much sense. We only have very limited savings so I understand that we should have much more in case of emergencies such as job losses or car or house repairs being required. I've also been thinking about pensions and am beginning to panic in that respect a bit. I have a very old company pension from when I worked in an office many years ago and also my small current work one but that's it. I have no idea how much either is worth. I have been trying to research about whether it is worth starting a private one now ( & again I don't really have any idea how you do this!) but so far from my research for every person who says "it's never too late to start" another person says it is a waste of time starting so late and you'd be better off owning the most expensive house (or houses) that you can afford and then selling it to downsize & use that surplus cash as your pension. So on that note it actually makes me wonder whether we would be better off borrowing more on our mortgage ( which as I said is on a very low rate) and getting the many things done on our house that need doing! I basically have no idea what to do for the best. I do know though that we need to start saving more!

    I only managed a £50 extra payment to the mortgage last month due to having to do the trip to Scotland to visit my mum plus the usual cost of Xmas. I spent another £663 on food (plus I need milk tomorrow), £12 on clothes for me, £93 on eating out (for 2 of us) and at least £120 on petrol (including Scotland trip) but quite possibly more as I think I may have missed one purchase.
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 2nd Jan 18, 12:06 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    I made a payment of £100 to the mortgage today. It may well not be the right thing to do but doing anything is surely better than doing nothing? Its so much easier though to just make a payment every month than consciously save up every month to get to a decent amount without spending it!

    I did also think about joining survey sites etc and I might do this later today but really the extra amount I could make every month from doing them is peanuts compared to the amount I could save if I could only get my food spends down every month! So in this respect I have set myself a budget of £450 for food for January which I know compared to many other people is still ridiculously high but would be an improvement for me! And I have transferred what is remaining out of this £450 ( about £350) into a separate bank account and will transfer the money out of this account into my main account every time I spend on food (or toiletries or cleaning, basically anything from a supermarket). Time to start living out of the freezer a bit more I think!

    I've also transferred over £350 into a savings account. No idea tbh whether this will be achievable this month as I know OH put some of his Xmas spends on his credit card so that will need paying off when he gets his statement this month and I also have my party for next month to pay for but at least it has been done and it will feel like a step backwards if I do have to transfer it back into the main account.

    There are so many things that need doing in our house that I find it rather depressing, particularly after visiting other houses over the holiday period and seeing how lovely some of them are . Part of me thinks shall we just get some of the cheaper, more simpler things done e.g. the kitchen has no blind or anything at the window or new carpets maybe but then I also think no, what the house really needs is a wall being knocked down between the kitchen and a small dining room and a new kitchen fitted.

    Lastly my thoughts are on work a little because yet again we need more redundancies. Enough people volunteered last year which meant that those that wanted to stay didn't have to apply for their own jobs but whether this will be the same for this year and next as it a three year plan who knows? It is a but unsettling and I guess in this respect I would be better off to just concentrate on having a decent EF just in case I do lose my job.
    • VDOT47
    • By VDOT47 2nd Jan 18, 12:29 PM
    • 121 Posts
    • 350 Thanks
    VDOT47
    Hi MM - sorry, realised I didn't see your reply on 27/11 (!) - we use Jus Rol Gluten Free puff pastry. They sell it in Tesco for sure (and probably elsewhere). You just roll it out, put the toppings on it then stick in the oven like a pizza. Dead simple!


    My OH makes very good sausage rolls using the same GF pastry and some GF sausagemeat from Tesco too (sadly, the only sausagemeat that they sell which is GF is the Tesco Finest sausagemeat, so it isn't that money saving friendly, but it does taste good and is another useful GF meal to add to the list!).
    Original Mortgage (Feb '17) £269,995
    Current Mortgage (12/04/18) £246,637.06
    End Date Aug 2040 Original End Date February 2042
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 20th Jan 18, 3:06 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    The good news is I have generally been much more focused on my food spends this month which means I am still within budget and have £45 left until the end of the month. It is working well having the budget amount in a separate account and every time I spend on anything in a supermarket I transfer the money from this account into my main account. It helps to show me how much the main account. (There are so many DDs etc that come out throughout the whole month, that it means it is still a bit of an unknown when I look at the balance every day.) Up until yesterday I did feel that I wasn't buying anything unnecessary but kind of lost that a bit last night when I visited M & S in search of some gluten-free naan breads & ended up falling for the spend a higher amount to get some off trick so £29 ended up being spent there on things that weren't totally necessary. Less than one week to Oh's payday and 11 days to mine (which is also when the food budget runs out). Hoping my savings I made at the beginning of the month stay intack and I also don't go over my food budget.
    • daisy 1571
    • By daisy 1571 25th Jan 18, 12:33 PM
    • 274 Posts
    • 3,392 Thanks
    daisy 1571
    Glad you have found a better way of managing your accounts, maiden mum, it is so much easier separating things away from the 'main' account and ignoring it as it builds up month by month and just focusing on your day to day account. Well done on keeping to your expected spends this month

    Daisy xx
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion" Take hold of every moment by anon

    The difference between what you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 15th Feb 18, 3:09 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Thank you Daisy although I'm afraid things didn't end quite as well as I had hoped.
    I ended the month on total food spends of £494.88 so £44.88 over the budget I had set myself. This was both a bit of a disappointment and also a bit of an achievement. I honestly did feel more focused and that I was starting to make progress, all be it my target wasn't actually achieved! If I can continue like that I do feel that I could improve things.

    I had thought I had already posted for the end of January but obviously not!

    Things seem to be so manic at the moment and I feel like I am in a constant state of panic and confusion!

    February food spends are just going to have to be whatever they have to be I'm afraid. I have just had a birthday party (my first ever!) and the food for that cost around £200 plus alcohol for the house afterwards was bought. I dont regret a penny of it because it was such a lovely occasion but I do know money has been running away a bit with me this month! i will try however to reign it in abit for the rest of the month and hopefully will be able to face March calmer and more focused!

    Relating back to the nature of the original post I did make another payment of £100 to the mortgage at the beginning of this month!
    • Maiden Mum
    • By Maiden Mum 3rd Apr 18, 12:58 PM
    • 156 Posts
    • 382 Thanks
    Maiden Mum
    Well its been a while! I lost focus both here and in real life and have paid the cost for it financially!
    February food spends were £852.01 which probably included £250 on party food and March's food spends came in at a horrendous £802.74 with not even a party to pay for! Just feel like giving up to be honest and accepting it for what it is!
    Considering applying for voluntary redundancy at work which if I do get another job would probably mean more hours so less time to food shop and if I don't get another job soon will definitely mean big cutbacks will be required!
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