Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
    • 1,757Posts
    • 9,631Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    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)

    Income:
    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.

    Uh-ohs
    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 29
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 11th Jan 18, 9:38 PM
    • 1,622 Posts
    • 14,160 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    I would love some chocolate cake right now

    I'm so hungry - for treats not food!

    Well done on the NSD x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 11th Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    This is the recipe, Wannabe. I made it as little butterfly cakes and added a teaspoon of instant coffee to the buttercream. I did think it would be ideal to use Bailey's instead of milk in the buttercream but we hadn't any.

    Not exactly food value but if you eat after midnight the calories don't count.

    Actually I think you could make it as butterfly cakes for littlies and use jam instead of buttercream... I think a black forest gateau flavour would be fun too.
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 13th Jan 18, 11:47 AM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Nothing spent yesterday.

    Today there are various bits of shopping needed.

    We have had a talk with the building society and decided to keep the mortgage on the variable rate which sounds scary and silly but if we fix it I won't be able to continue the scale of overpayments I'd achieved in the last 15 months. I also had a chat with DH about putting as much of the mortgage as I can on my 0% interest CC and he agrees it would be a good idea. It will save us about £450 a year which doesn't sound massive in mortgage terms but it's nearly 2 week's wages for me and of course that £450ish will then be available to pay back the CC faster than normal.

    ETA: I checked and they can't fix the rate on just one part of the mortgage. That's why the whole lot is to stay on the standard variable rate! However if I keep up my track record that will save us more than it costs us. Next step is to find if there's a financial penalty for transferring the cash from my CC.

    I am still a bit quivery about putting that much debt on the card! I must be reading MSE too much.

    Other than that, it's my weekend off and I need to take another look at kitchen stocks and make some decisions about using up more long term stuff. Last summer I did a massive list on here that always seem to feature a million onions, but it moved so slowly I think I'll desist from repeating it right now. Onions do at least get eaten. It's more the pulses and random sauces that hang around.

    I also NEED to get back to healthy eating. All that sugar has undone quite a lot of last year's good work: I'm now back to what I weighed at the time of the wedding so weight loss from July onwards has been reversed. It will be good to get back to running properly as this is what helped most. I hate the bitter cold we've had recently and the extreme grey days - will be so glad when spring shows up! Talking of which a whole patch of daffodils hasn't sprouted this year. Maybe I'll have to replace them. Looking for daffodils and googling photos of fruit trees in bloom is a sure sign of winter blues. So I need to be proactive: get out and get running, Cherry!
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 13-01-2018 at 12:06 PM.
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 13th Jan 18, 12:12 PM
    • 1,763 Posts
    • 10,753 Thanks
    redofromstart
    It is shiny bright outside here (although still cold) and i can see hellebore and primroses from the window which makes me feel that spring is just round the corner.

    I meant to come back and say I made your gingerbread syrup, and DS1 loves it. He made a layered dessert for a school project and used it for the base layer to soak through sponge. Much appreciated.
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 13th Jan 18, 12:26 PM
    • 2,505 Posts
    • 15,979 Thanks
    parsniphead
    Spring is my favourite time of year. So hopeful and positive. I'm with you and can't wait to see the back of winter.
    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 13th Jan 18, 7:12 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Is it just me or does this year seem darker than usual? I think it's the coldest we've had for a while, and the previous very cold winters were at least sunny. I'm hoping the run today will top up my daylight levels: it certainly felt good (though I will ache in a couple of days).

    First trip to B + M for quite a while this afternoon and DH was favourably impressed with the prices so perhaps I'll get a lift there again. We also went to the supermarket and so far we're within the week's housekeeping budget: I have £4.91 left of the £40 I took out.

    Spends:
    Housekeeping £22.38
    Toiletries £2.29
    Gifts £1.49
    Pets £1.99
    Household £3.49
    MS stuff:
    Running - so now I'm not so inclined to nibble. Funny how that works out. I think it's the endorphins.
    Casserole tomorrow not a roast - will sneak in a few finisher uppers to supplement the meat and make kitchen space.
    Managed to get washing part-dry on the line, saving tumble drying.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Jan 18, 7:22 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,702 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    It does seem dark and cold this year. We've had rain most of the day .

    I agree that when you exercise you don't get so hungry, it must be the feel good endorphins .
    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
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 14th Jan 18, 12:48 AM
    • 884 Posts
    • 3,577 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Not too long to Spring...I saw the first iris in bloom this week...the vivid blue was so welcome, as were the snowdrops.

    Well done for even thinking about a run at this time of year!
    paydbx #93 £692/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • parsniphead
    • By parsniphead 14th Jan 18, 11:14 AM
    • 2,505 Posts
    • 15,979 Thanks
    parsniphead
    The cold but sunny days have been few and far between this winter. I do like all seasons but it's been so damp and miserable.
    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 14th Jan 18, 4:10 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I would love irises and snowdrops! Nothing here so far: but hopefully in a few weeks...

    I went back to the supermarket yesterday evening! This was supposed to be for apples and curry powder. I got the curry powder, all the cheap apples were gone but I got some good yellow-stickered items instead.

    Extra spends 13/1/18:
    Housekeeping £3.77
    MS stuff 13/1/18:
    Made soup, now in freezer
    Rescued a lot of sprouting potatoes, cleaned them up and left them in cold water to make mash today.

    NSD today (14th)
    MS stuff today:
    Finally got my library app working on my kindle and got an ebook out. Saving of £4.99 as I wanted to buy it. Apparently you can get magazines out as well so I might have a browse. I can only have my library book out for a week instead of the actual books which are for three weeks. I wonder if they think we read more quickly on a tablet?
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 14th Jan 18, 4:13 PM
    • 1,622 Posts
    • 14,160 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Doing well Cherry, I agree with the weather. Counting down to spring x
    “Once you hit rock bottom, that's where you perfectly stand; That's your chance of restarting, but restarting the right way.”
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 15th Jan 18, 10:57 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I'm having a lot of problems using the forum right now so please bear with me. I don't know if it's the browser, the computer or something else.

    Wannabe, every time I try to click on your thread, it tells me it's an invalid link, but I can't report the problem without a URL and I can't get the URL because it says it's not a valid link.

    If I try to thank people, I get the message that I don't have the authority to edit that post. Now at first I thought I must have fat fingered something but being slow and deliberate makes no difference, though generally hitting the back button and trying again will let me in.

    Oh, and I keep being sent to the page for newly subscribed threads, which is peopled by threads I've followed for ages - or sometimes just one that I've followed for ages.

    I'm having intermittent problems with Faceb00k not loading my notifications or not letting me comment, but nothing like as complicated as here, and no other sites are proving problematical.

    So sorry I'm not very chatty.

    On the other hand, I saw the sun today! We had a few hours of sun and blue sky! It was wonderful. I know the weather forecasters are spreading doom and gloom about Britain going back into another cold spell but today was the only relief from cold greyness for a while up here - so that sun was beautiful. It transforms everything.

    Spends:
    Housekeeping £4.90 (and I noticed DH spent £5.17)
    Book £1.75
    MS stuff:
    Free cake at work (though I think it's about time I took something in myself)
    Leftovers-bake for tea so sort of cost me nothing
    Voucher towards fruit
    Wombled 5p off DH's receipt.
    Spent quite a while searching shops for a fleece that I liked but didn't get anything.
    Confession time:
    Bought the book (which I'd just had recommended) when I saw it in a charity shop instead of checking the library.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 17-01-2018 at 9:04 PM.
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 16th Jan 18, 7:32 AM
    • 4,406 Posts
    • 25,240 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Cherry - its not you, its the forum - loads of people are having issues.

    I think there are some comments in the Thread called Site Feedback or something. Not sure what MSE are doing to solve it though
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 17 for June
    NSD - 8/20
    (up to 16/6/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 16th Jan 18, 1:15 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Thank you EE, I'm glad it's not just me! I wasn't aware of that thread but I think I might have to look it up.

    Terrible about the threads that are lost through accidental use of the spam button, isn't it?
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 16th Jan 18, 11:59 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Some more spending today, with a bit of a story attached because I can't resist telling a story.

    I have a favourite fleece jumper which is looking a bit old now and I've been unable to find another at all like it. Yesterday I looked in most of the places that sell clothes and are within walking distance. This lead to buying a book and some other stuff, but no fleece. I decided it might be within my skill set to copy it but I didn't like the selection in the shop that sells fleece by the metre. I also noticed a couple of charity shops were selling off Christmassy stuff cheaply including some blankets that were new and seemed to be brought in specially to get the Christmas market. Long after I got home the light bulb lit up in my head and I realised the fabric in them was exactly what I needed for my fleece.

    Today I went back to both the shops that were selling them at half price yesterday, only to find they were now down to a pound. Er... I bought four. That's because I haven't sewn anything for years so I have three in different colours and a spare to make mistakes on.

    Well, the assistant was a good sales woman. I got some little candles in jars for 24p each (for the gifts box), three items of Christmas china (one for DD, probably two for me), and a Christmas recipe book. All great bargains but I'm not sure they were 'needs' as much as 'wants' At least the charities will benefit a bit.

    And something amazing... (drum roll please) we nearly ran out of onions. That just never happens. Never. We have had a million onions like, forever. Since last summer anyway. Not always the same ones, but a million, undoubtedly. I couldn't cope with only having two left and made a special trip to buy another bag full... then I found a stray in the back of the cupboard when I got home. Result: the status quo is okay again.

    Spends:
    Housekeeping: £8.14
    Piano lesson £10.00
    Gifts: £1.10
    Household: 50p
    Clothing: £3.96
    Book 50p
    MS stuff:
    Bargain fleece for learning to sew - and if I don't use it all, some may end up as gifts.
    Early buy of stocking fillers.
    Drink and biscuit at my friend's house
    Used up another packet of sauce from the larder and will try not to replace it - gradually rationalising what's in there
    Used up cauliflower cheese from freezer - see 'rationalising' above
    Confession time:
    The book is very nice but I really didn't need it and I don't have much space (which is why a lot of mine are downloads)
    Christmas china - see ''book' above
    I could probably have just bought one fleece blanket but they were a bargain
    Misread the labelling on coffee and bought at full price (about £1.50 more than I'd usually pay)
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Jan 18, 9:01 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    Another sunny day and both DH and DS2 at home, so helpful for my mental health which is not quite right at the moment. I'm anxious and jittery in a low-key but noticeable way. I really think that running made all the difference (releasing endorphins) and I haven't done much this winter. None today as it was icy and I haven't the oomph to get myself out in the cold unless thoroughly wrapped up.

    DH and I went out for coffee this afternoon which was pleasant and not vastly expensive. I've also sent off a parcel I'd been putting off for ages, and took back a bit of DIY stuff where I'd bought the wrong size. Shop was nice enough to refund even though I pointed out it had been opened.

    The house is quite a mess and I'm finding it hard to know where to start. DH has been working hard on decorating but even one room will take a while (old house with attendant problems) and DD and her partner have asked if they can come to tea tomorrow. Much as I love them, I always feel I have to tidy madly as she struggles with mess and clutter. Once I've finished this post I will go and straighten up the kitchen as I'm out all tomorrow and will feel better if it's tidy (ish).

    I did pack up a box of ornaments that I really want to keep but don't at present have a suitable display place. They are now in the loft and I can call them 'insulation'.

    Talking of the kitchen (and vaguely MS), how come when I try to use things up, I have to buy more? I was planning to make curry tonight and the meat was defrosted, then DH requested a different sauce. We had to buy sauce, cream and tomatoes, only used half of each, used up one bag from the freezer and one packet of rice, still have the curry sauce I had planned to use, plus the halves of the three other things and an extra portion for the freezer - and decided this curry was too hot for us! So I've used up two things and brought in four more! I would make up the rest and add cooling ingredients but I don't have freezer space... Might just make it anyway and use fridge space pending freezer room.

    Spends:
    Housekeeping: £10.01
    Household 25p
    Entertainment (coffee) £4.75
    Postage £13.32
    MS stuff:
    Wombled 16p
    Let DH talk me out of getting a special box to collect our post in.
    Used up a couple of stored foods
    Confession time:
    Still buying food faster than I'm using it.
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 17th Jan 18, 9:14 PM
    • 4,426 Posts
    • 30,702 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    I think that regular walking helps me to feel more relaxed and less anxious. Can you force yourself to run if you can wrap up? You'll soon warm up once you start running.

    I wouldn't feel too bad about the charity shop buys as they sound amazing bargains
    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 18th Jan 18, 12:41 AM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    They were amazing bargains Hairy . I managed a run the other day but only because DH asked me to go with him. He's better at facing the cold than I am! At least I've found that I can run in the cold with a beanie and some gloves, thick socks and a few good stretches first. I'm just nesh really.

    Progress made this evening in the form of a veritable vat of curry, now in the fridge, some out of date stuff into the bin instead of in a cupboard and some clutter gone from kitchen surfaces. I also had quite a happy chat with DS2 late on... we are both late night people, and making packed lunches for tomorrow is quite a companionable thing to do.

    Last thing this evening I took the bin out - and it's snowing! The path was already slippery so I held on to the clothes' line as I went. Goodness knows what it will be like in the morning which is a bit worrying as my nearest and dearest will generally have a lot of driving tomorrow.

    I didn't go back to the supermarket, so no further spending.

    Night all x
    • NoOneAround
    • By NoOneAround 18th Jan 18, 8:46 AM
    • 1,756 Posts
    • 8,560 Thanks
    NoOneAround
    Morning Cherry,
    Well done on your amazing bargains, now you just need to get busy making AM embarrassed to say I have cupboards full of bargains waiting to be "made" but I am very sure you will actually do something with them
    Sorry you have that difficult to pin down to anything anxiety, lets hope spring springs forth soon, it always helps me no end.
    Have a lovely day
    NOA
    x
    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 18th Jan 18, 11:04 PM
    • 1,757 Posts
    • 9,631 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    I got as far as looking at and stroking one of the fabrics today... mustn't overface myself.

    DH kindly did the shopping so I haven't spent anything today and am feeling better about the house as the extra curry fed us, DD and her partner for tea and the cupboards still look better from a late-night purge.

    MS stuff:
    Curry.

    That's about it for now.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,220Posts Today

6,376Users online

Martin's Twitter