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    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    • 1,763Posts
    • 9,646Thanks
    Cherry takes the reins
    • #1
    • 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    Cherry takes the reins 3rd Mar 17 at 12:10 AM
    Hi everyone.

    I'm hoping I can legitimately post a diary here as I'm in the blessed position at the moment of my only actual debt being my mortgage, but I've had a huge change in my circumstances recently and how I manage it will have a big impact on our finances.

    I need to talk things through, if only with myself, and motivate myself with small money savings and accountability. For the last few years I've not kept an eye on money but I work and DH's pay has gone up so we've had enough and a bit to spare and I've got lazy with some and wasn't mentally able to face other aspects. Now that I'm in a much better place mentally, I want to take the reins and be deliberate about what I spend. I need to start facing up to this right now because we are covering costs for my Mum's estate until probate is settled. I know this isn't legally necessary but we can pay ourselves back from the estate once the paperwork goes through and I don't like the estate to be building up debt (which oddly is possible).

    A bit late tonight to launch into details about the estate so I will give a brief explanation of other financial stuff. DH and I have a couple of joint accounts and a mortgage. We have an aging car which needs to be replaced soon and is essential (DH's work and transport for a disabled relative). We are also going to a family wedding abroad in July, and have paid accommodation and air fares but there will also be car hire, food, sundries and some of the clothes still to buy. DH's income is the larger and pays all the utilities, holidays, fuel and etceteras. Mine goes into the other joint account and pays the mortgage and food, which gives me a lot of pride . I also pay for contact lenses, some donations which I don't want to stop, my phone contract and, temporarily, costs incurred trying to sort Mum's estate.

    The breakdown of where my money goes (pcm):
    Mortgage: 282.24
    Donations: 120.00
    Contact lenses: 22.00
    Phone 8.40
    Amazon Prime: 7.99
    Food for 4 adults 80.00 (pw) (approx. 347 pm)

    Roughly 1,000 pcm (variable due to overtime)
    Bank £3 (if I get my wages transferred regularly)

    This month and possibly next I have lots of extra fairly hefty outgoings in terms of travel, paying a cleaner, insurance etc. that are all to do with Mum's estate. I will, as I said, get these back from my eventual inheritance but meanwhile I want to tread carefully and of course it will decrease what I inherit. Duh.

    To encourage myself I'm keeping this diary and would love to hear from others as I do so. I can't always see things clearly till others give input.

    Action I can see I need to take:
    Get my wages paid directly into this account so I always get that £3! Done in time for May 2017
    Cancel Amazon Prime - cancelled 7/3/17

    Little MS things I've managed today:
    Started this diary
    Taken lunch to work - overnight oats
    Mended a favourite cardigan so I can wear it in daylight
    Put myself down for 3 extra shifts. 2 of these particular type of shifts pay for a journey to work on Mum's house.

    Forgot DH had an evening meeting so went for the quick-cook supermarket pizza which isn't best use of food money when I could have been using stuff up.
    Far too tired after a late night and an early shift, to go for a run. I know that's nothing to do with money but for lent and my waistline I'm doing C25K.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 31-05-2017 at 10:21 PM. Reason: Update
Page 18
    • Angela84
    • By Angela84 5th Oct 17, 10:19 AM
    • 392 Posts
    • 972 Thanks
    Hi Cherry, hope you!!!8217;re having a nice time away. Might just be me but being in nature is so recharging, it seems to really fill my batteries right back up and I come home ready to start life again all invigorated.
    LBM January 2017 £9850 debts /// Nov 2017 £4284 paid £5566 to go (42%) DFD June 18

    Natwest C/C £250 Rbs O/D £1250 NatWest O/D £1600
    Barclaycard C/C £2050 £1200 Lloyds C/C £4750 £4366

    Been in debt for 15yrs, trying to become debt free in 15 months
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 5th Oct 17, 11:54 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Thank you for the good wishes folks!

    Here I am, over half way through our holiday already. As holidays go, it's going pretty well: the accommodation is nice and we've had some good days out. I've put a bit of a dampener on things by coming down with a lurgy, but today I've felt a lot better and enjoyed myself instead of keeping falling asleep! I expect part of it was just being too tired for too long, but DS2 had come down with something immediately before we went away. He was much worse than I was, but it makes me wonder if I wasn't fighting something off.

    Money-wise, we aren't doing too badly although we've spent quite a bit. Thankfully our car is super-cheap to run as we've put in lots of mileage. We've self-catered main meals, which is much more economical than our usual holiday food when we try lots of restaurants for evening meals. We've also taken picnics. On the down side, we've had coffee and cake far too many times (though one was a freebie as I had enough points on my loyalty card).

    I'll try to get a summary together:
    No actual spending on my behalf though I did sort out a couple of donations and DH bought drinks & cake for us both at the motorway services.
    The holiday Big Shop: £42.29 housekeeping and £8.27 toiletries.
    We found a really nice garden centre and bought a lot of Christmas and birthday gifts: £39.19, plus £1.95 for wrapping paper and £6.40 for flowers for our relatives.
    Spent the day with relatives we don't see often enough. It was a bit of a trek but well worth it.
    Felt grotty later and spent £2.50 on sweets to make my throat and mouth feel more normal. Good job I had anti-inflammatories with me, they really helped.
    Remembered to send a cheque to pay for work at Mum's old house, though I'd forgotten to bring the right cheque book so I'll need to pay myself back from one account to another.
    Assorted gift buying and stuff... not sure what so I'll have to fill in later. I did find a good cookery shop and treated us to a new sieve for cooking (£4.95) and I happen to know DH bought me a book for Christmas. Other than that: gifts for other people. Housekeeping £2.44 spend by me and some from DH too.
    I got the coffee and cake today: £9.65.
    Other than that we had went to a very good art gallery so DH made a donation but it didn't actually cost till we got to the shop and once again I bought gifts for people! £10.99.

    So who are the lucky recipients to be? And have we covered Christmas yet? No, to the latter. We haven't even covered all the birthday running up to Christmas - but we've made a start. Dh and I both got presents for each other, his for a birthday and mine for Christmas. I got a card for someone and wrapping paper for a present (and DH had to get parcel tape and sellotape). There were the flowers for our relatives and birthday cake candles, which I have counted as food rather than split the budget even further. We bought beer for the lads (one birthday and one Christmas), wine for one section of the family and biscuits for another, marmalade for a Grandparent, a toy for one of the DSes and a game for my BiL. Good to know some of the family are 'sorted'!

    I'm also taking inspiration from TOPM's thread and looking into making an Advent calendar for someone. I really like the permanent ones and have some ideas but it will cost a bit to put together so I need to make sure I know what I'm doing, or do nothing.

    Tomorrow we're out all day so I'm not sure when I'll post next. Meanwhile we have an early start and I'll be travelling in pyjamas if I don't get to bed soon!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 06-10-2017 at 12:27 AM.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 7th Oct 17, 12:52 AM
    • 893 Posts
    • 3,598 Thanks
    Have a lovely time away. The Cotswolds is so beautiful!
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • missymoo81
    • By missymoo81 7th Oct 17, 5:50 AM
    • 5,909 Posts
    • 20,339 Thanks
    Sounds like you're having a lovely time, wow you must have a lot of birthdays coming up!
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 7th Oct 17, 2:17 PM
    • 2,507 Posts
    • 15,988 Thanks
    Enjoy your break Cherry. Bad news about feeling poorly but don't bodies always get sick when they know they can relax for a while. Treacherous.
    My mini challenge: pay off MBNA by 31/08/18. £233.10/£502 46.43%
    Total outstanding consumer debt - £333.10/ £7864.52 4.23%
    Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 7th Oct 17, 3:20 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,738 Thanks
    I went to the Cotswolds once on a primary school residential trip, back in the mists of time. It was beautiful and I'd love to go back one day.

    Enjoy your holiday
    Finally Debt Free After 34 Years, But Still Need to Live Frugally
    Debt in July 2017 = £58,766 DEBT FREE 31 OCTOBER 2017
    NEW GOALS - Build Emergency Fund & Loss of Income Fund. Save for house repairs.
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Oct 17, 12:36 AM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Nearly at the end of our holiday and I am completely muddled as to who spent what. I suppose I should try to sort it out at some point but nearly all of it apart from some groceries and a £4.50 car park fee came from the account where DH's money goes, so strictly speaking it's not my spending... which is rather nice as I don't think I've ever had as many visits to coffee shops and cafes in a week in my life!

    As I've already said, we've done quite well for buying presents - though as I've also mentioned, there are quite a few birthdays coming up before Christmas (and I've just remembered I owe my niece a 'proper' present, having just given her a little one when I last saw her).

    I was supposed to be going out with friends tomorrow but forgot () so I've cried off. I probably won't get back till lateish and I have work on Monday. Then DS asked us round for later in the evening and as we've hardly seen them for some weeks it will be good to catch up.

    It's shaping up to be another over-committed week. I'm at work overnight on Monday, then I have a couple of things booked on Tuesday (day off) and am hoping my leave request for the following few days has gone through. If it has, I can work on Mum's house but I'm going to treat myself to a shopping trip en route. Having lost weight I really need to get some better fitting bras and a winter top or two.

    If the leave request hasn't gone through, all is not lost as I'll try for another slot and I will still have a training course and a couple of shifts to fit in! I do want to push ahead with work on the old house while the weather's still mild, though - hence the hurry.

    I think that's the lot for now...
    • charlies tribe
    • By charlies tribe 8th Oct 17, 12:56 AM
    • 767 Posts
    • 5,607 Thanks
    charlies tribe
    Sounds like you have had a lovely, much needed and deserved holiday. Hope your feeling better now.
    Have a lovely evening with your DS tomorrow.
    LBM in April 17 - £7593/£33554 (22.6%) paid.
    2018 PAID OFF TARGET £1969/£5000 (39.8% paid)
    Mortgage@1 June 18 = £0/£76350 Total debt=£102311
    SPC #591
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Oct 17, 1:55 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Yesterday's spends (9th):
    Housekeeping £2.31

    This week's plans have changed a bit: as a colleague said to me, I have my bit of time that I wanted. Basically it was to be work last night, day off (i.e. dash around) today, work on Mum's house Weds-Fri, back to work on Saturday. That meant missing a training course which my manager was okay with as long as I did the course, but when I went to book another time, there was nothing I could make it to. So I'm doing the course tomorrow which will take a couple of hours, leaving me with most of the day to catch up/play on the computer then an early-ish start on Thursday to work on the house. That's better than having to trail over half the county and spend most of the day for a two-hour course later in the month.

    However, the day off has gone to my head and I don't feel I've done half the things I should so I'm going to make a list to keep on track. As usual I'll update as I go along and what I don't finish can be carried forward.

    To Do:
    light coloured laundry DONE
    wash curtains DONE - dried, ironed and hung back up! Woo!
    hand washing One lot done.
    clean windows DONE
    piano practice DONE
    piano lesson DONE
    prep for meeting tonight Mostly done!
    meeting friends tonight Soon
    ironing Started
    get dinner DONE
    buy fairy lights to hygge the dining room none to be found . Will look further afield when I have time.
    put guinea pig in his run DONE
    repay myself from Exec account DONE
    make token payment for heating replacement DONE

    I'm rather pleased with the above! Just going to see if I can finish the prep for later.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 10-10-2017 at 7:25 PM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 11th Oct 17, 12:08 AM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    That was a nice day. It's so good to have a couple of days basically at home. I know I've been pushing myself too much for a while and this will do me good (even if I have to spend tomorrow afternoon watching ghastly grim fire training videos and practising evacuating the building).

    I did pop to the shops - as I said above, I couldn't find fairy lights so I'll keep a look out elsewhere. I might look on line for those long twigs that light up: our old ones are losing bulbs but they've been so pretty. I did succumb to a packet of coloured pens - eight for £2 in W!lkos, while I bought just three of the same make for £8 once in London. So I am justifying that completely unnecessary spend because they are colourful and will get used.

    I did very well at the greengrocer (I don't go there often enough) with a bag of huge apples for 99p, and from their discount section, a cauliflower for 20p and four pomegranates for 40p. Then I got salad leaves for 20p in the supermarket, plus a bag of chestnuts for £1.20 and some other bits and pieces.

    I sent a token £1 to the company that's going to replace the heating system in Mum's house - if it goes through all right - and I can misread numbers so I'm taking no chances - then I'll pay the rest of the deposit once I know it's going into the right account.

    Housekeeping £4.88
    Stationery £2.00
    Piano lesson £10.00
    MS stuff:
    Good bargains in fruit and veg.
    Had a look at the mortgage account: the £1000 saved for possible change in mortgage type is still there, plus much of last month's wages and some extra from not having overpaid recently. So I made the overpayment today (leaving room for manoeuvre later in the month) and I'm delighted to say we've dipped below the £14,000 mark!
    I've paid myself back from the Executor's Account for the wages I paid last week on behalf of the estate. The returning money has gone into the holiday savings account with the hope of making our 'big trip' in a year's time. Don't get too excited though - it's the spending money for just over one day.
    • Treadingonplaymobil
    • By Treadingonplaymobil 11th Oct 17, 5:24 AM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 16,395 Thanks
    Sounds like a good day. Our only greengrocer is a wildly expensive organic one - even the reduced stuff is out of my budget!

    Fairy lights make everything so lovely, you've inspired me to crack some of mine out!
    £67,031.92 is a frightening number indeed... The debt free diary of one family and their enormous debt
    LBM debt on 12th Feb 2017: £38,608 unsecured debt/£20,000 parental loan/£173,282 mortgage = £231,890
    debt on 6th June 2018: £13,265 unsecured debt/£20,000 parental loan/£191,971 mortgage = £225,236
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 11th Oct 17, 11:49 AM
    • 2,507 Posts
    • 15,988 Thanks
    Ah, what is it with stationery that's so tempting. Pens, notebooks, lots of beautiful stuff which gets ruined by my scribble writing. Fountain pens are a particular favourite of mine.

    That completed list is huge. I would love that motivation. Well done.
    My mini challenge: pay off MBNA by 31/08/18. £233.10/£502 46.43%
    Total outstanding consumer debt - £333.10/ £7864.52 4.23%
    Without ambition one starts nothing. Without work one finishes nothing. The prize will not be sent to you. You have to win it.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 11th Oct 17, 12:22 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Another list for today:

    piano practice ...a bit
    Training session at work DONE
    find details of Mum's shares NOT DONE
    email re Mum's shares DONE - but got a bounce back so will need to think what to do next
    email re annual leave DONE
    ironing DONE
    put clothes away started
    Do meter readings DONE
    Wash lounge curtains DONE (and ironed and hung up again )
    Tidy up/pot on plants in lounge DONE
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 12-10-2017 at 12:45 AM.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Oct 17, 1:05 AM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Again, a reasonably successful day. The training didn't last as long as it was meant to so I could have gone to work on the old house today after all but I've decided it's better I have the time here and travel tomorrow. I haven't booked a ticket as I want to stop on the way for some clothes shopping.

    I did have time to trek across town and found some of the light-up twigs: just a little bunch but unfortunately I could only get the battery-operated ones so I had to buy batteries too. I'm taking this set to the old house: I think it will make it seem lived in. Other than that I bought a whole pound's worth of toaster bag for my sister's use (she doesn't have gluten so sharing a toaster with me when she visits the house must be a bit of a problem), a cheap chopping board because the house's glass one is setting my teeth on edge and, well, yet more food. DH is on a trying new foods stage and I'm not going to miss the opportunity! I made a chicken and chorizo pasta which went down very well but I included pine nuts which are never money saving.

    The housework is still happening: both the downstairs rooms which have curtains now have freshly washed curtains and cleaned windows, which makes me happy. I've also potted up an amaryllis that I treated myself to while on holiday, and potted on one which I inherited from Mum. One white, one red. I'm looking forward to seeing them in bloom around Christmas. My Christmas cacti are already budding beautifully: they count as MS as I've had them so long.

    As mentioned above, I emailed someone to deal with some shares Mum had but oddly, had a reply to say they are away till December! That just seems very strange, though I had a bounce-back email from another company a while ago saying they were out of office till Easter (this in about September). I don't know what's the next stage with the shares: it's possible I have a document they were asking for, but it will take some looking for.

    I've also read the meters and sent in the readings: so far my swapping utilities companies seems to have been the right move as bills are well down but as I've never done this myself and am clueless (despite following instructions on here), I worry that I may have signed up for something that won't cover our costs and we'll end up with a big bill. At the moment we're £47 in credit though.

    Gift £1.00
    Household £7.47
    Housekeeping £12.06
    MS stuff:
    Meter readings so they don't have to estimate
    Prepared some food to take on the train and got my flask out.
    Avoided my colleagues' trip out for coffee (could have been nice but I had other plans).
    Confession time:
    Small splurge on the fairy lights & chopping board but I think they will make the place a bit easier to be in.
    Bigger splurge on the ingredients for tonight's meal but plenty left over to use later.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 12-10-2017 at 1:07 AM.
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 12th Oct 17, 1:24 AM
    • 893 Posts
    • 3,598 Thanks
    The amaryllis plants will be something to look forward to. I love planting bulbs or having them in one of those water jars that are designed for bulbs.
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • NoOneAround
    • By NoOneAround 13th Oct 17, 1:16 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 8,562 Thanks
    Sounds like you have done loads Cherry and the amaryllis plants sound lovely.
    Have a good weekend
    Feb2014 Total unsecured debt £72,520>>01/06/16 £68166>01/02/17 £66,600=8.18%PAID
    Mortgage Jan14=209,800 Jan15=£200,300 Jan17£180,700>OCT17 £170,200
    Health/Fitness Challenges Priority#1 Stay Fit and healthy - whatever it takes
    Wombling Free Cash May2016 £51
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 16th Oct 17, 1:19 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Back again after exhausting myself working at Mum's! I made real progress though every time I do this, it brings home to me how much there still is to do. In fact, progress always seems to unearth a new lot of things!

    This time around I had to clear spaces around radiators so the company can come in and replace them. I've just paid the deposit for the work but while clearing I found a radiator I hadn't known about! The man who does radiators think it may necessitate a larger boiler which will of course cost more. I pointed out that it hasn't been used for decades and no one's missed it (it's behind furniture on the landing and there's a very good updraft from the hall to warm the area). He's going to see what he thinks when he goes back to start work. My question is whether the boiler he's recommended is going to be only just sufficient and if so should I go for a slightly more powerful one? If we sell the house, would a potential purchaser want to add heaters, and be put off by the smaller boiler? I'm not a good judge of whether a house feels warm to other people as I would rather be a bit too cold than too hot.

    Anyway, I spent an afternoon out in the unseasonably mild weather cleaning windows and window frames at the back of the house and repairing and painting an external door which really needs replacing. A colleague who is always doing up his house has now recommended a firm I hadn't heard of (door shopping not being one of my vices) which has a branch local to the house, so I may actually get the door replaced. In the meantime it helps the look of the house and might just last the winter.

    Of course, all this eye candy was a displacement activity as I really didn't want to get down to the heavy work of clearing around radiators. In the late afternoon I couldn't put it off any more and worked through till midnight: amazingly I have done most of it and the lady who does the garden will shift some more. I tend to do the bedrooms as there's all sorts heaped up there. Only one of four was already accessible. Now it's three of four so I texted the radiator man to explain I had discovered a marble table in front of the other one and there's nowhere to move it to!

    I suppose I have made a very small bit of progress towards actually clearing stuff: a mop handle went in the bin, for instance! I am really poor at decluttering at the best of times. Until things are orderly I find it hard to assess what's rubbish and what isn't. I have heard that people tend to overvalue their own possessions and I can believe it. We don't see the wear and tear or the replace-ability as others might. I pulled out a folding table Mum had kept by the cooker (she couldn't stoop to get things from low down), cleaned it and the surrounding area and used it to hold some big and probably value-less large vases. That sort of thing is just taking up space so I need to make some decisions and possibly send to charity but with no car I'll just collect more together till it's worth doing a delivery.

    Sorry, lots of waffle!

    I started and finished the trip with shopping trips and have a few Christmas presents and some clothing... I'll post separately with costs as I really need to get ready for work soon.
    • Happierdays
    • By Happierdays 17th Oct 17, 9:22 AM
    • 154 Posts
    • 485 Thanks
    Hi cherry! Reading some of your diary had reminded me how helpful and motivating lists can be!
    You seem to be doing well on all fronts
    Good luck with the clutter clearing too...
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Oct 17, 11:50 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Thank you Happierdays - the clutter clearing is one that will run and run!

    So: spends for the last few days:
    Train fare £57.10 - I'll reclaim most of this from the estate but I could have done it a bit cheaper if I hadn't broken the journey to do Christmas shopping, so I will pay the difference.
    Clothing £21.45
    Gifts £40.45
    Housekeeping £9.64
    Household £3.50 but this item was faulty so had it refunded later in the week.
    Toiletries £1.00
    Household £3.50
    Housekeeping £1.00
    Pets £2.50
    Gifts £13.49
    Housekeeping £?
    Household £14.60
    Housekeeping £10.89

    No piano lesson this week as I had to work, and no run for absolutely ages (since I was on holiday). Hurricane Ophelia was my excuse yesterday, and some days there's a lot to do and it's hard to fit in running but tbh I felt rather unwell on hols and the running didn't go well, and now I'm back I'm coping with a couple of issues (nothing dangerous but getting me down a bit) and the motivation isn't quite there. I do know that once I get back to it, I will feel better though.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 19th Oct 17, 11:57 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 9,646 Thanks
    Some grocery spending again yesterday (£6.84) plus rescued plants for the garden (£0.30) and small gifts for stockings (£4.29) and an NSD today.

    Unexpectedly had to cover overnight at work last night and part of today too, so tonight I need my rest!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 21-10-2017 at 11:55 PM.
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