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    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 28th Jan 17, 12:18 PM
    • 2,171Posts
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    Suffolk lass
    Get a grip woman!
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 17, 12:18 PM
    Get a grip woman! 28th Jan 17 at 12:18 PM
    Having been reading a number of people's debt-free wannabe diaries for some time now, I have finally decided I will start my own.

    We are less than three years from wanting to stop work, and less than ten years from state retirement age. I manage our household finances and DH lets me get on with it. His attitude is more "live for today" so we are a good balance, I think. We have two holidays each year and sometimes more - and he has some boys toys - 2 Harley Davidson motorcycles in the garage, that seem to always need money spending on them. That said, there is more to be said in favour of a happy and contented DH than against them so I don't resent them in any way.

    So to debts - It seems a good time because I have recently finished the finance on my car, and as of yesterday, paid off the finance for DS's car (I borrowed from him 18 months ago and paid back by buying his car on finance and paying his insurance). I was paying 4.7% on that debt so it was my highest priority. I paid it off 10 months early using most of my HSBC Regular Saver that matured this week.

    The debts I have currently are:

    110,621 - Mortgage - interest rate of 0.74% (0.5 above the BoEBR)
    3,476 - DH's car - 0% credit card until Sept 17 - a 4000 cash advance with a 76 fee
    8,755.54 - Barclays Finance for double glazing 0% over 2 years 2/24 paid

    Total 122,852.54

    It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.

    I think that will do for a scene setter.

    SL
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
Page 19
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 12th May 18, 6:03 PM
    • 30,067 Posts
    • 174,386 Thanks
    Karmacat

    5601.34
    5046.85 in total (this is last month's CC items that are being paid for this month too) but I just realised I had included the CC payments too - so double counted (phew!)

    Top of my eek-list is work-related. It does include my season ticket 713.50 until the end of May
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    That double counting is easily done, isn't it! Well spotted

    And as for the work-related .... how much of that can you claim back? Hoping its most of it!

    Who knew I could get 2.5kg of organic pumpkin seeds for the price of the SM 250g bags I have been buying?

    And if you did, why didn't you tell me?!
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Oh my! That's a lot. I have put in a few bulk orders at Healthy Supplies, but that's amazing.

    Well done DH!

    He's got the replacement printer cartridge. It arrived by post this morning. He just said,

    "Don't worry, I checked out the company - they are UK based, with a valid VAT number, lodge annual accounts with Companies House and have proper premises in the UK (from where the goods are despatched by UK employees)"

    They might not make them here but we can make sure that when we buy them, the taxes we all pay are sticking to the UK economy for our benefit and not that of a foreign country.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    I love that good for *both* of you
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 12th May 18, 6:13 PM
    • 2,012 Posts
    • 12,492 Thanks
    redofromstart

    Who knew I could get 2.5kg of organic pumpkin seeds for the price of the SM 250g bags I have been buying?
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Where from please?
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th May 18, 6:52 PM
    • 7,288 Posts
    • 16,020 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Oh my. I have continued to track everything. My totals are currently:

    5601.34
    5046.85 in total (this is last month's CC items that are being paid for this month too) but I just realised I had included the CC payments too - so double counted (phew!)

    487.20 Other things (I will look into this bucket, later)
    130.90 Food
    46.09 Drinks
    2886.59 payments
    111.49 Fuel
    875.32 Work-related
    509.26 TTs

    Still got some money in both CA with only 3-4 payments left. I will keep updating this but I will need to look critically at what is where. Top of my eek-list is work-related. It does include my season ticket 713.50 until the end of May
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    What does payments include? That is a pretty large category so presumably bills, mortgage, credit card payments etc? I think you do as we do and use a credit card for food and fuel and repay in full each month in which case you are double counting or the figure in spends is not accurate i.e the credit card should be broken down into categories - food, fuel, meals out etc etc and not included in payments if you see what I mean?
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 12th May 18, 6:53 PM
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    enthusiasticsaver
    Spending app trackers are great for seeing what you are spending. Santander have one which covers all spends on debit and credit cards so I swear by this one for tracking what we spend on meals out, food, fuel etc etc.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 13th May 18, 7:48 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Where from please?
    Originally posted by redofromstart
    here versus here on mySM. Actually for 200g bags, not 250. Another down-size pack!!
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 13-05-2018 at 7:54 AM.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 13th May 18, 8:14 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Breakdown of spend
    In terms of breakdown - first my work-related, I can claim all of it except my season ticket, which is down to me but only while I continue to work. Unfortunately, at 713.50 from 16th April to 24th May it is high (that is Easter to half-term - both planned breaks with the forthcoming one so DH and I can do a bit at home together (garden and tidying I expect).

    Payments is all of the direct debits and standing orders. I am tracking the individual ones in a spreadsheet rather than an app (still using a full-size MacBook in our study with a lovely big screen!)

    My breakdown so far is:
    Union 14.91
    ISA 260
    Union 13.86
    Council Tax 200
    Health 30.75
    TV Licence 12.37
    Mortgage 500
    Holiday 483.21
    Loan 397.98
    Water 25
    Life Insurance 91
    Mortgage overpayment 626.35
    Mobile phones (3) 110.16
    Donation 5

    I could split out cost of living from payments on debts and savings I suppose but they are all automatic. I have taken out the three credit cards but realised as I was capturing these that I have also double entered water and Life insurance so off to remove these now. I will report again next week.

    I normally use the debit card for my shopping, work-related meals, and fuel, rather than credit card, but this will probably change when I retire as my favoured CC for domestic spend is my JL card which gives me vouchers and once the travel costs drop off for commuting these will slow (and the bill will reduce)

    "Other" is my category of shame. I might look at that next week.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th May 18, 10:18 AM
    • 30,067 Posts
    • 174,386 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ooh, some of your "payments" are wonderful savings: an ISA and a mortgage overpayment plus loan repayment - does that still have lots to go? Thats a lot but unavoidable, of course! Excellent to find ore double entries too

    Life insurance seems a lot? I can't remember quite what your circumstances are, SL, sorry - but as we know in my family, having life insurance to pay off debts in case of a death makes such a difference.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 13th May 18, 11:15 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    The loan runs until November - it is a two year 0% interest loan for the double glazing. Planned to end before my work does. I've just popped back to put the shopping in and checked DH's credit card. Mmm, there are a few hidden treats in there. I don't mind, as long as I account for them. I have split out his April statement and all the May spends now so it really is a double month.

    Our life insurance is for 250,000 until my 70th birthday or first death and was taken out when our Son was still in school. It was designed to allow for a live-in support if one of us died, or to pay everything off and pay towards Son's guardians extra costs if we both died. If we were doing it now with a dependant it would have to be a million I suspect. We wouldn't get anything like this value-ratio if we cancelled and took out something else now. I guess if we get to 70 we will pre-pay for funerals and reduce our finance complexities, rather than go for a big policy again.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th May 18, 12:46 PM
    • 30,067 Posts
    • 174,386 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Sounds spot on, SL, thanks for that.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 19th May 18, 9:15 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Got the letter from the BS noting the OP on Thursday. Really disappointed that they have recorded the balance at still 74,000.10, whereas their website shows 73,999.69. On the upside the balance is 10p away from the interest rate and now just 61.05 a month - or 2 a day (whereas the website has it as 62.35 per month. I might have to track that figure.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 19th May 18, 9:31 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    May spend tracker update
    Here is this week's update - I have added a few more columns - and who knew 80 rows would not be enough ?

    Total 5718.93
    500.04 - Other things
    187.53 Actual possessions
    84.40 Entertainment
    218.95 Food total (inc stores)
    46.09 Drinks
    926.86 payments (bills, utilities, subs, premiums)
    1524.33 Debts
    816.97 Savings and TTs
    429.04 Fuel
    925.32 work-related (including my season ticket, over 700)

    I might need to distinguish commuting fuel from household/leisure/motorcycle if I continue with this next month
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 19-05-2018 at 9:34 AM.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 26th May 18, 8:17 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    End of May Tracker
    Here is the whole month totals - I have added a few more columns - I am so shocked, I keep checking for double counted entries

    Total 7462.48
    693.85 - Other things
    1067.51 Actual possessions
    110.40 Entertainment
    351.25 Food total (inc stores)
    109.09 Drinks
    986.26 payments (bills, utilities, subs, premiums)
    1524.33 Debts
    1244.23 Savings and TTs
    429.04 Fuel
    946.52 work-related (including my season ticket, over 700)

    A few exceptions -
    1. I had to order Bras after the bone in one broke through the fabric and erm practically impaled delicate bits (just over 85 so I can try two styles and two sizes - may return two).
    2. I had a planned change of phone contract - buying two handsets outright (879.98) for DS and me (it is his birthday and his Grandmother moved the money to me) - the upside is his contract (regularly over 60) comes down to 25 and mine to 15.30 (from 35) and the lovely man in the EE Shop gave us a discount.
    3. I started to buy some wine and beers on offer as we have a planned party in August
    4. Some of my TTs may need to come back to pay for my CC in June - I have literally logged every transaction
    5. My expenses claims are not shown as minus figures to offset any work spends

    Never the less. I am just so shocked. We have a week off and I will ponder
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 26th May 18, 10:48 AM
    • 30,067 Posts
    • 174,386 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Your shock shouts out, SL! Only you know what's in "other things" etc, but are the phones included in this list somewhere? Because thats a lot in one go.



    Debt paying down, and savings, are also appreciable! So good for you. There's obviously wiggle room, and it shows once again how powerful knowledge can be.



    Hope the weekend is still good for you - the sun is out (sometimes), life is good.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 26th May 18, 11:39 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,223 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    I know the feeling Suffolk lass.I was horrified when I tracked our spending in May. I am going to set some budgets for June and track all my spends again to see if this helps. I really want to try and understand/get a grip of our spending before we retire.
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 26-05-2018 at 11:46 AM.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th May 18, 6:25 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    It is really interesting, looking at the breakdown. I will scrutinise the columns a bit more this morning, given I am up and about quite early (I am fighting a head-cold and have spent two three-hour spells in bed, sleeping, over the last couple of days)
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th May 18, 6:44 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    The breakdown of my "other things" column includes:

    2 overdraft fees (left over from April, when I ordered currency, and it was taken before I collected it) - only 66p in total
    25 - DH's online lottery top-up
    120 - DS's car tax (he reimbursed me)
    40 DH cash
    10 deposit for camping weekend in July
    9.99 DH i-Tunes
    24.50 DH Bike MOT
    22 cash (I paid for two at a work dinner, so I could take the cash)
    24.50 DH the other bike MOT
    8.50 DH replacement watch battery
    11.99 printer ink cartridge
    141.99 replacement tyre (emergency call-out includes 1.99 for a forecourt cash machine)
    15 DH Bike groups annual memberships
    5.40 Town-centre parking (when I bought the phones)
    18.23 Garden compost
    6 late night service station coffees
    50+ cosmetics
    26 - phone cover (me) - I did not want leather
    87 Bras
    a few random electronic entry things I cannot identify
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th May 18, 6:53 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I have just started to look at the actual possessions column. DH has a number of Bike things in there too. No wonder he thought he would continue with his phone handset without replacing it. He has something in Amazon, a visor, goggles. I bought a blanket and then there are those two mobile phone handsets.

    Entertainment includes wine at my cousin's 60th birthday lunch (very much a one-off, and my pleasure), one dinner at the local pub; en-route home from the Station, when I was so late back on a week-day, it would have been too late to cook, and a quiz night which included hot food, entry fees and drinks; really good value and good company for just 13 a head.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 27th May 18, 8:36 AM
    • 7,288 Posts
    • 16,020 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Before we retired we did a similar exercise to you in that we looked at all our spends to see if our projected pensions would cover them taking out the work related ones and some of the fuel and adding on some retirement costs like extra energy costs (our direct debit has just gone up from 116 per month to 185 partly due to catch up but partly because we were home more over the winter so extra heating etc).

    Looking at your costs and anticipating retirement as I think you finish end of the year and your DH next year is it? Presumably the fuel will go down and obviously no work related items? Debts and savings may adjust as you should be moving from saving to drawdown after retirement. There is nothing in others, food or entertainment which would worry me. Your DH spends a lot on bike related things which is presumably his hobby. DH and I have a personal spends account each to cover hobbies. If my DH wasn't constrained by this I strongly suspect our house would be full of "stuff" and our others budget would be close to 1000 each month. As it is thankfully he can only spend 200 per month and is forced to sell stuff he doesn't use to buy other bits. Hobbies is one spend in retirement which can increase significantly without some limits being set so I would talk to your DH about how this will work after retirement when he has more time to spend.
    Debt free and mortgage free and early retiree. Living the dream

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 27th May 18, 11:21 AM
    • 2,171 Posts
    • 22,579 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thanks ES - there is some good advice there. I am hoping we can continue to acquire some wood for our stove from locally without it ramping up our energy costs too much.

    I don't intend reining in DH's personal spends at this point. He admits that at some point he could sell one of the Harleys but I think we can afford to hold on to both at the moment. I would like him to SORN them in the winter but it would really only be until he stops work, so the savings would not be too significant. They are also quite juicy - I notice this in the summer.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 90.89% after Q11 against revised stretch target of 60k balance
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 83.33% 9,999.70/12,000 (after upping my target from 10k to 12k in October)
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 1,696.43/3,000 including stores 67.14% of my annual budget at the end of Oct.
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 27th May 18, 11:31 AM
    • 30,067 Posts
    • 174,386 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ooh, the bikes are Harleys! How exciting



    SL, now that you've analysed it all, you sound like you're fine about what you've spent? I think it's especially difficult for people like you and enthusiasticsaver - you've got the money to spend, in retirement too, but its not endless, so decisions have to be made. And like I said, knowledge is power. I especially love the late night coffees at a service station by the way that conjures up a great image.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
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