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  • FIRST POST
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 3rd Mar 17, 12:10 AM
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    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 60
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Nov 18, 2:00 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Today looked like non-stop rain from the forecast but actually it's mild, windy and mostly dry so I've had washing on the line. Now it's gone very grey out of doors so perhaps I should have done some shopping while it was fine!
    I'm trying to get caught up on various tasks today - batteries needed for a couple of gadgets, cooking from scratch to save money, making a dent on the clutter - you know the sort of thing. It's all so time-consuming though!
    So far, apart from the washing, I've made a double batch of soup which is now cooling, and been online trying to trouble-shoot my poor Kindle. The chap on the assistance seems to think a factory re-set might solve it. I have my doubts but my next task is going to be to list all my apps and books so I can restore them after the reset, then try to back it all up to my computer. I've already spent quite some time on it without actually achieving anything. There is also a growing list on my whiteboard of things I want to get done today. Really wish my Bullet Journal would resurface... ditto the finances notebook I made a few months ago. I think DH has tidied both up without knowing he did it and with just such a lot in the house, they haven't come to the surface again.
    I need to get to the shops unless I unexpectedly find a tin of pineapple for the curry (to me that makes it perfect ) but the rain is heavy right now so I may end up asking DH to collect some on his way home. That gives me no excuse to avoid the jobs I don't want to get down to!
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 7th Nov 18, 11:06 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    It's been one of those days when I've been on the go all the time but really don't have a lot to show for it. That's my own fault for having such a long list.

    I finally completed the backup and resetting to Factory Settings as recommended by the techy person online and have reinstalled a few books and apps on the Kindle. One of the reasons it took so long was that once I'd checked everything was backed up, I went through manually moving books to the Cloud. Silly really as they were showing as being there but I'm not very trusting of my ability to keep hold of things out in the ether. There are roughly 150 apps and 200+ books accumulated over the last few years! It looks a lot neater without all the sample books I'd downloaded but only time will tell if the problem has been fixed.

    In addition, I've updated a standing order to DS2 and paid off the CC. It was a bit in a muddle but I think I've sorted out what needed to come out of which account. The 'big' account (DH's income) is looking rather scraggly after being hit by the stove, chimney repair and lots of logs. I will have to keep an eye on it and if necessary move more out of savings.

    I've been cooking, too: a batch of soup and another of curry so the freezer is full to bursting. I tried Tikka Masala more or less from scratch and soaked/cooked the chickpeas from dried so somewhere that's probably saved some pennies. I also had a catch-up with an old friend - the blessings of social media - and did my physio exercises.

    Decluttering has moved forward infinitesimally: a handful of things are tidied and I finished a couple of jars of ingredients while cooking. The usual rubbish and recycling going out of course...

    I did brave the rain in the end. It wasn't too bad as the sun went down and we had a brilliant rainbow but what a gloomy afternoon! At least it wasn't cold and the wind has dropped. Got a few bits from the shops including batteries which counts towards decluttering, as gadgets are no longer hanging round uselessly.

    Work tomorrow...

    Spending:
    Household (batteries) £12.50
    Housekeeping £7.44
    MS:
    Veggie meals frozen ready for work or busy evenings.
    CC paid up to date so no late fees.
    Bought cheapest form of anti-limescale stuff for the washing machine
    Bought different coffee, thus saving a £ or so.
    Bought cooking apples for DH as cheaper than tins
    Hoping the Kindle reset will have solved the problem and mean I don't need to replace the battery (or the whole thing)
    10th coin savings 20p
    Decluttering:
    Minimal
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 8th Nov 18, 10:03 AM
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    Onebrokelady
    Wow you have been busy,it's also grey and gloomy here today,it's annoying because it's lovely and windy but keeps raining so I can't peg my washing out,mind you I have cut down on my use of the tumble dryer drastically so I won't feel guilty if I use it today,I'm trying to persuade myself to take the dog out at the moment,she has just come over to sit next to me and is staring intently
    Just keep swimming
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £1,440 Total Now Owed = £16,190
    Emergency Fund = £300 Xmas savings = £400
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 8th Nov 18, 11:16 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Wow you have been busy,it's also grey and gloomy here today,it's annoying because it's lovely and windy but keeps raining so I can't peg my washing out,mind you I have cut down on my use of the tumble dryer drastically so I won't feel guilty if I use it today,I'm trying to persuade myself to take the dog out at the moment,she has just come over to sit next to me and is staring intently
    Originally posted by Onebrokelady
    The sunshine came to us today. I see you're on line and it's an hour and a quarter after your post... so did the dog get her walk?
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • WannabeFree
    • By WannabeFree 8th Nov 18, 2:03 PM
    • 1,808 Posts
    • 16,163 Thanks
    WannabeFree
    Rain here

    Just catching up with your diary. The house is sounding lovely and you sound as busy as ever

    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 8th Nov 18, 10:25 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Nothing to report today: lazy morning, apart from doing the ironing and my physio, then work. Nothing spent.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 9th Nov 18, 10:39 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Today was quite quiet at work but some small progress was made. When I got home I decided I had time and energy to catch up on a few outdoor jobs... (why does energy, which so often eludes me, sometimes just go on being available?) … I've moved a tarpaulin that had blown across the garden and secured it over our temporary log store, tended to both compost heaps, tidied up some garden furniture of H and A's which we're looking after and fed DS2's pets. Then I went to the shops for a nailbrush and a few groceries. The excitement!

    I've kept up my physio for a whole three days in a row and I'm sure I can feel the benefit in terms of ease of movement. I also dozed off in front of 'Eat well for less' but I think they had some good veggie recipes so I'm going to check online. We mostly ate out of the freezer today so my extra day off this week has had some financial benefit. I'm not imagining I can entirely recoup the drop in wages but perhaps I can lessen its effect.

    DS reminded me we owe someone a gift tomorrow - it had been on my mind but somehow the day crept up on me and we have run out of time to be imaginative, so a voucher it is. There was an extra cost as the printer decided to run out of ink so DH had to brave the rain tonight to go and get another cartridge.

    And we must be nearing the end of the year - I've bought my next diary. A very cheap one but it's pretty and has a soft cover which counts for a lot when it's going to be my companion for the next 12 months!

    Spending:
    Stationery £1.50
    Housekeeping £3.97
    Household £0.59
    MS:
    2 x £2 coins for the £2 jar
    Made my jar of oats with milk not yogurt, so it comes out a bit cheaper. This one also had a spoonful of hot chocolate, lots of sultanas and some flaked almonds, and I think I'll make it again.
    Main part of dinner from freezer.
    Mr T only seems to have own-brand cous cous today so I couldn't get the more expensive one, and I'd already done a home made version this week, so we got a 45p packet of it and it was yummy.
    Compost coming along nicely - good for the garden next year.
    I seem to have a tenner left of the £40 I had for food! Will hand it to DH to supplement his share as he has all the weekend stuff to buy.
    Decluttering:
    None in the house but the garden is tidier and things are put in sensible places just in time - the weather has gone wet and windy tonight though tomorrow's forecast is nice.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 10th Nov 18, 6:04 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Another positive day at work - though I ended up staying late to send a couple of emails as I'll have forgotten details tomorrow. Hopefully I can claim for the time.
    I haven't spent anything but I've sent the meter readings in. Nothing decluttered or anything fancy like that, either.
    I'm short of sleep so I'll put in a grocery order and get my train tickets for the next visit to Mum's old house, then try to have a relaxing evening. DS2, J and L are over there today as they had to be in the area for something else so they've popped in to have a look around and pick up a box I had packed up (just a small one, honest!). J phoned to say it's lovely and warm in there. I got her to check the thermostat and it's only 15 degrees so I'm putting the feeling down to it being kept at that temperature and being thoroughly dried out. Also my parents insulated it to the nth degree.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 11th Nov 18, 11:36 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Remembrance service this morning, work this afternoon, nothing spent.

    A little progress on the decluttering front: a few papers and broken odds and ends yesterday as a desk drawer got stuck and in the process of un-sticking it, we had a bit of a sort out. Then today DH (bless him) sorted out a horrendous heap of things that I'd allowed to accumulate on the dressing table (of all places) and didn't know where to start to sort them out. He's basically grouped them by size and type, dusted the surface and put things back prettily, leaving me three piles of paper and sundries to work through. It's so nice to have that area looking intentional again - I must not, repeat, NOT, start putting things down on it again!

    I have gone through most of a box of photos and letters that DD brought back for me yesterday - some lovely memories of when the kids were little which we looked at after lunch today, and lots of scenic ones that will sadly have to be weeded out as we don't have storage for memories that aren't ours. I'm setting aside a small bag of stuff for my sister, of things that will be special for her (and don't have to stay at our house forever).

    Well, it's late and I've just remembered I've not done any physio, so I'd better go...
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 11-11-2018 at 11:37 PM. Reason: typos
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Nov 18, 12:54 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Day off .

    I was going to do an extra day at Mum's place but realised I was tired after a two-nighter last time and having cut my working hours to stop myself getting overtired, it's not going to help if I don't take the days off when I have them.

    That said, my idea of a day off is to get all the laundry done! It makes me feel I have a meaningful existence. Most of the handwashing is now done and the second quick load is in, to be followed by a hot wash. The two remaining hand washes are a woollen jumper with what looks like a coffee stain and a woollen jacket. I've already removed much of the stain but not enough to make it wearable so one more go... it's a beautiful colour (sweater not stain) and it's already been shrunk as the owner hadn't realised wool doesn't hot wash so I'm really kind of hoping that if the mark doesn't come out, someone tells me to get rid of the garment. I am rather coveting the lovely colour! Not sure what I'd make of it, though.

    On an MS front, I've been using cloth hankies, having found loads at Mum's. They are so much softer than tissues! It's also nice to feel I'm doing a bit for the environment. I found an article (and lost it again) which explained that tissue manufacture uses a lot of water, which I'd never thought about.

    Also on the topic of stuff from Mum's, those old photos and everything else I get from there smell musty so I've ordered some odour-removing 'rocks' that can be recharged after a couple of months or so by putting in a low oven or in sunshine. The musty smell isn't good and I'm aware I get immune to it, so I'll have to work extra hard to ensure anything I decide to keep gets as clean as possible. The house smells much better than it used to but the last trace of the smell is still there.

    Decluttering-wise, the stretchable plastic bags are now bagged up for the carrier bag recycling. I'm hoping that's the right way round. Hate to see single use plastic - who else remembers bread wrapped in waxed paper?

    It's a gorgeous day so I stood on the doorstep chatting to the window cleaner (and paid him - we'd missed his last 2 visits!). You wouldn't think it was November, it's very mild and the yellow leaves are glorious against the blue sky.

    I'll be back to update as the day goes on.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Nov 18, 4:27 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Update at 4.20:

    The stain hasn't come out of the jumper... the only thing that might be worth a try now is vinegar (I think the stain is coffee) but DS2 has protested before I even opened the bottle so I'm leaving it for now. We are going to have a fair amount of drying to do so I've left the wool jacket for now.

    What else? Changed a light bulb and managed to clean the shade, which had been looking a bit weary. That's MS, isn't it? Also hassle-saving as it takes us ages to chose things like lamp shades!
    The Christmas cake has been fed and wrapped... said she, smugly. Don't think I've ever got to this stage so early before.

    I planted up 2 of the three wall baskets and it's getting rather dark to do the other so it can wait. The pansies have been sitting waiting for weeks already!

    I also noticed how dusty our wicker laundry hamper was getting so I put it in the shower and scrubbed it, which took a while! By the time I got to the lid I was getting fed up, so that's not the best part, but in general it looks fresher. The liner was in the wash anyway and all the contents are too, so it's a fresh start.

    Well, the dryer is on now though most things are still on the line: time I left DS2 in charge and went to buy food.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 12th Nov 18, 11:23 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I thought I didn't have much more to report since my previous post but... I got the shopping, did today's ironing and put it away, made the bed, made the dinner (we had lots of casserole 'sauce' left over from Sunday so I just added sausages and peas), watched a bit of telly and booked my train ticket.

    Somehow I don't feel that I've done a lot but actually, written down, I've done masses. It's just that I haven't made visible inroads into the clutter! However, between the pansies by the front door, the clean laundry hamper and the fresh bedding, the house is definitely in better shape than it was.

    Annoyingly, the train ticket has gone up by £6 in the last couple of days, but it's still a fiver less than full price as I can split the ticket.

    Groceries were a bit expensive as I'm getting low on coffee and so took advantage of a couple of good discounts. I'm being good, though, and taking a few bits in my case rather than doing an online shop to cover a mere two days. Definitely a saving there, and this time I've remembered to pack the carrier bag of oddments I'd bought for the house such as new timers for the lights, draft excluder etc. It's been cluttering up our room for a copule of months so as of tomorrow I will finally have decluttered something!

    Spending:
    Ebook £2.20
    Household £8.75 (deodorising 'rocks') + £2.00 (mug) + £15.00 (window cleaner)
    Housekeeping £17.98
    Train ticket (reclaimed) £54.06
    MS:
    Cheap dinner due to leftovers
    Split ticket on train saving a fiver
    Bargain good coffees
    Planned flask of coffee on train and two frozen meals to take with me
    Resisted online shopping
    Cleaned up laundry hamper and light shade meaning no need to replace just yet
    Confessions:
    Fell for a mug that says 'Not until I've finished this' £2.00
    Started eating my yogurt-coated peanuts already. They were meant to be in case the train got delayed.
    Decluttering:
    improved the front of the house slightly with new plants
    Bag of oddments for Mum's house now packed.
    Last edited by Cherryfudge; 12-11-2018 at 11:30 PM.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Onebrokelady
    • By Onebrokelady 13th Nov 18, 10:36 AM
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    Onebrokelady
    Well done on the decluttering
    for the mug and the peanuts
    I'm supposed to sorting out my bedroom but I'm procrastinating on here,I still need to take the poor dog out too as she is sitting here with her legs crossed
    Right I'm going to now to get stuff done
    Just keep swimming
    Original Debt Owed Jan 18 = £17,630 Paid To Date = £1,440 Total Now Owed = £16,190
    Emergency Fund = £300 Xmas savings = £400
    • HairyHandofDartmoor
    • By HairyHandofDartmoor 13th Nov 18, 11:32 AM
    • 5,759 Posts
    • 40,722 Thanks
    HairyHandofDartmoor
    You've done loads Cherry. The pansies will look nice. Some winter flowering plants can help you to get through the winter. I planted some crocus bulbs in October and green shoots are popping through the soil already so I'm looking forward to those flowering. Also I have one flower on my cyclamen which is good as I thought it was too cold out for them to flower .
    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.
    EMERGENCY FUND = £17
    "Tough times never last, but tough people do" - Robert H Schuller
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 15th Nov 18, 8:40 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    I didn't get in till after dark so I can't really see how well the pansies look. I put some in at mum's place on my last trip and they are doing well, though the slugs have had a couple. The cyclamen I bought locally there are fantastic, I've never seen any with so many flowers.

    No gardening done over there this time though the weather has been really beautiful: the washing has been line dried and the doors and windows have been open to blow away the empty house feeling. Gorgeous. I made quite a bit of progress on cleaning and emptied a couple of cupboards. Okay, so then I put other stuff in them, but at least I know what's in there now and it doesn't have layers of grime any more.

    Some small spending on milk and clothes - my friend over there had some bits she was taking to charity and gave me first refusal. Probably just as well I've put on weight so it was all too small for me and I couldn't be tempted but I saw some things that I thought DD would like so made a donation on her behalf.

    Other than that, I haven't been spending, not even on more of those lovely cyclamen from the shop near the station.

    I really need a good night's sleep tonight and it will be the third day in a row I haven't done my physio but I've been exhausted - and the arm is getting quite a bit of exercise lugging bags around. Back to work and my usual routine tomorrow.

    13/11/18:
    Housekeeping £1.20
    14/11/18:
    Donation £5.00
    Decluttering:
    I'm better at this at Mum's than at mine! Three bags to bin/charity, some bits into recycling, and a huge counterpane bagged up because my sister likes it. That in itself frees a whole drawer under the bed. That doesn't sound much in 48 hours but I did quite a bit of cleaning and reading through things to see whether to keep them, too.
    I have to confess I've brought photos, a couple of books, oddments of cutlery and a vintage apron home, which doesn't help the situation here but I resisted a bag of soft toys.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 16th Nov 18, 11:52 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    Work this morning and tea out at J and L's tonight, so a nice day. I bought the pudding ingredients and have quite a bit left over and I think it probably counts as entertaining even if, strictly, they were entertaining us. It also meant we had a 'free' meal as well as a nice time. Strange to think that in a few weeks they will probably be living with us as the others, currently bunking with us, should have their own house by then and J and L need to leave their present accommodation.

    I also found that our 'bigger' account - the one DH's money goes into - had gone overdrawn! It was much emptier than usual as the payments for the building work had gone out of the current account rather than affect our overall savings. I hadn't realised just how many unusual payments were going through in the last couple of weeks. Birthdays and suchlike. I've moved some over from savings to cover it and the impact on savings isn't too huge: I just need to keep an eye on it.

    Spending:
    Entertainment £5.15
    Housekeeping £3.00
    MS:
    10th coin savings £1.20
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 17th Nov 18, 2:53 PM
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    Cherryfudge
    This is turning out to be a very expensive month. DS2's car, which he needs to finish his course and get to placements, is going to cost something like £500 to put right. We said we'd cover this for him as there's no way he can. He doesn't want a present as such for his birthday next week but has asked if we could all go out for a meal. One branch of the family has relatives visiting, though, and we can't not ask them (besides, they are lovely), but a meal out could cost us £180+! J and L have said they'd pay for themselves but that doesn't seem fair when they have to manage on one income between them.

    Other than that, J and I are planning our Christmas shopping girls' day out - a tradition for the last few years. I can get my cheaper shopping started midweek as I have an appointment in a town with a good shopping centre, then enjoy the day with her.

    The money I transferred yesterday to keep the current account afloat has dwindled to under £4 already! I've just put another dollop across as DH needs to pay his credit card today.

    Other than that, the housekeeping is in unusually good form so I've handed the rest of my share to DH to get tomorrow's dinner, and bought a few bits that should buffer next week's lunches.

    Oh, and the rest of the pansies are planted, and a bag of uncompostable garden rubbish is ready for the tip, so there's something on the decluttering front.

    Spending:
    Housekeeping £4.69
    MS:
    10th coin savings 5p.
    Decluttering:
    Pansies planted and garden tidied a bit.
    MFW #30 Paid off £3,535.94/£3000 as of 6/11/18
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