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    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 13th May 17, 9:26 AM
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    Adventures of the Boy & Me..
    • #1
    • 13th May 17, 9:26 AM
    Adventures of the Boy & Me.. 13th May 17 at 9:26 AM

    I've decided to start a fresh diary on here as I felt my last one was becoming confusing for myself to read back on and it was becoming a bit of a negative place for me to vent. I hope for this one to be more upbeat and a place I can share all the wonderful things that happen daily and any ways that I am able to save money/pay off debt.

    A quick recap about myself.. Its just me and the boy who live at home with my mum. I work in quite a high pressured environment full time and juggle this along with everything else. I also have bipolar disorder- this is where things begin to get difficult at times but I need to remain positive and accept the diagnosis. It's time to move on from my past, focus on the present and not worry about the future ahead.

    The boy is a wonderful child who is bright, enthusiastic and keen to learn. He has three hobbies and would do more if he could. I couldn't ask for a more laid back, loving and caring little individual- he's my best friend and the reason I smile and carry on. We do a lot together hence the title of this diary. It's the two of us and we're a team.

    About myself? I've always been high functioning and I always strive for more with everything I do- which isn't always a good thing. I'm still trying to find the right balance. Aside from that, I'm your pretty average plain Jane. I'm quirky in my own ways, procrastinate lots but get things done, have a cracking sense of humour and overall a nice person to be around. I have a small circle of friends, a supportive family, a roof over my head and food in my stomach. So I'm rich in many ways.

    In regards to the debt that I'll be focusing on, I had a car on PCP deal but last September decided to get a low interest loan to pay it outright which saved me thousands in interest. I paid off some lump sums and a few months later managed to move the remaining balance to 0% deals, which saved me further interest. Since then I've been overpaying as much as possible.

    Although I'd like to pay off this debt as soon as possible, I also want to enjoy things in life and grab every opportunity available whilst I can. That's another reason for the title of this diary- Adventures of the Boy and Me. We do lots of things together and I do keep costs to the bare minimum and find ways to save money and still enjoy ourselves.

    I'll update afterwards with a plan and realistic goals I'd like to achieve for the rest of the year ahead. For whoever reads this, feel free to comment and add your own little adventures if you'd like .
Page 3
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 2nd Jun 17, 9:22 AM
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    I've come off all social media and the kids think it's amazing I'm not looking at my phone as much etc! I hadn't realised just how much I was online

    Have a lovely weekend x
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 4th Jun 17, 11:09 AM
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    So.. yesterday was a busy day at work and continued to be so afterwards. After I finished work, the boy asked if we could go for a walk and for something to eat and then to the arcades. I have barely seen him all week due to returning to work and it being rather full on so after much thought and deliberation, I agreed, We went with my mum whom then stated she would pay for half of the meal, so spends were minimal as we all had a meal deal and it was actually nice to spend quality time together all three of us. We spent no more then 5 in the arcades. The time together over compensates what I had spent.

    If I am 100% honest I am feeling the pressure of returning back to work after two weeks off. I totally underestimated how tired I would feel and with the uncertainty of my future and the pressure which is upon me, it is taking its toll slightly. I am slightly more anxious and feel as if I need some escape, however I have the next two days off to recollect myself and gain back my composure.

    I never really mention much about my savings/what I save each month. Currently, I save 200 a month into a help to buy ISA which has approximately 4000. I also have a separate savings account which had 2500 in for just in case emergencies and I add to this where possible. If you actually total what I have saved/left in bank account against the debt its pretty much a positive balance.

    However today I have decided to use some of my savings to further pay off some debt. My reasoning for this was to cut down the number of cards I pay to each month, meaning I only have two balances to manage now. I will update these balances in a separate post.

    I have quite a lot on my mind at the moment and need to get myself organised for the upcoming week ahead. I need to hunt out my diary and document all upcoming plans for the month ahead in order to manage my time effectively. Although sometimes I come across as organised, I am the most disorganised person ever and tend to procrastinate!
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 4th Jun 17, 11:29 AM
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    Overpayments 04/06/2017

    Barclaycard: 400.00
    Virgin: 250.00
    MBNA: 100.00
    Halifax: 50.00

    Total: 800.00
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 4th Jun 17, 11:30 AM
    • 627 Posts
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    Total Debt: 4th June 2017

    Barclaycard: 0
    Virgin: 0
    MBNA: 3000.00
    Halifax: 3000.00

    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 4th Jun 17, 11:53 AM
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    Updated balances and interest rates.

    MBNA: 3000.00 (0% until December 2018)
    Halifax: 3000.00 (0% until February 2019)


    Ideally I would like to clear both balances before the 0% interest rates run out, however due to the uncertainty of my future at this current time I shall take each month as it comes.

    The idea is that at the beginning of every month I shall make at least a minimum of 100 payment to each card and if I have any extra funds I shall set these aside into a separate account and make extra repayments where possible.

    I need to reiterate to myself that this isn't a race and I do need to keep building up my emergency fund as I have done previously. I can obviously review my savings every so often and make lump repayments if required.

    In my head the sooner this debt is gone (even though its on 0% for a lengthy time), the better. I will have a lot more disposable income each month to then save for future plans.
    • UncannyScot
    • By UncannyScot 4th Jun 17, 12:11 PM
    • 1,417 Posts
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    Hi Chandelier
    Finally caught up with your diary and you are doing great
    It is important that we know where we come from, because if you do not know where you come from, then you do not know where you are, and if you don't know where you are, then you don't know where you are going. If you don't know where you're going, you're probably going wrong.
    R.I.P. T.P.
    • SpekySquarehead
    • By SpekySquarehead 5th Jun 17, 8:54 AM
    • 1,921 Posts
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    Would you be better focusing on 1 card and paying that off as opposed to splitting it? You'll also then have the motivational feeling when you get rid of 1.
    Debt Free Date: 29/09/16
    • MistyMountainTop
    • By MistyMountainTop 5th Jun 17, 9:22 AM
    • 680 Posts
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    I'm impressed with your savings!!!

    You sound very determined, it must feel great to have those extra cards gone.
    Current Weight Loss: 2/ 96
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 6th Jun 17, 7:35 AM
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    Thanks UncannyScot!

    Speky.. I think I'll focus on both cards for now splitting equal payments for now and in the future, I shall most likely concentrate on the card which ends first (MBNA). Although both are similar in end dates.

    The other option would be to pay minimal payments to both cards and save the extra into a savings account with interest then make lump sums. However at present time my heads not 100% to be further messing around with opening new accounts once again. I need to keep things simple for now.

    I think I'd just like to see equally the numbers on both debts come down.

    Another option could be pay both debts an equal amount each month but pay any extra over payments to one card only. This may be the better option.

    I just have a thing which bugs me when it comes to bank accounts, debt etc. I like the figures to end to the nearest hundred (i.e. 2900). I find when they end with any other number (i.e. 2950) it makes me a bit tetchy. Don't get me started on the extra pounds/pennies. They get swept to a side account that I ignore until it builds up to a decent sum. It currently has around 20 in there. I'll let it build up a little while longer before I decide what to do with it.

    Misty.. I've always managed to save each month for the past couple of years. I would have a heck of a lot more if I hadn't been on the holidays I had been. If worse comes to worse I've accepted the fact I may need to dip into these in the future. After the over payments from the other day I now have 1800 left in my accessible savings. I will most likely build this back up over the next few months.

    I have a few upcoming expenses in the next three months.

    July - Car Tax 180. I pay this annually.

    August- Car insurance, unknown figures yet but must shop around. Last year it was 415 but on all sites this year when I've had a look they are wanting near enough double. I'm not sure why as I've had no accidents, my NCD has gone up and I'll be 25 by the time I renew. Eurgh. So I'll have to shop around closer to the date. It's also the boys birthday this month but he's away on his actual birthday with his dad, unsure what we'll do yet to celebrate.

    September: 140 professional fees. I pay this annually.

    So I definitely do need to build my savings back up to prepare for these outgoings. I could put them on direct debits but this means it would work out more expensive and more outgoings each month. Which I obviously don't want. Something will work itself out.

    But until I know where I stand money wise I won't make too many solid plans/goals in fear of letting myself down.

    In other news I had my tax credits renewal form through post. I could potentially recieve an overpayment of 400. I just need to send off the renewal and sit back and wait.

    I've ummed and ahhed over whether to do it now or wait until I know what's happening job wise. I think I'll just bite the bullet and do it now and inform them of any further changes to my circumstances down the line.

    I'm hoping the idea is that I'll go part time and reduce my hours- more to benefit my health. I have a few appointments in the upcoming weeks which will give me more of an insight to what I'll do.

    Today I have a resilience training course to attend. A whole three hours. I suppose it will do me good but I have to say I'm quite resilient after everything I've been through.

    I've also an appointment with my consultant who will review my meds and no doubt change them/add something else into the mix. I'm accepting this now and will continue to work alongside them. My mum will also be attendinf the appointment. At the moment I've hit the depression phase on the Bipolar and it's not pretty but I'm doing all I can to remain upbeat and positive. I need to keep myself well and see the light from under the rock I'm hiding under.

    The important bit is I'm still engaging and seeking the appropriate help. I'm also forcing myself out the house and to do things I do not necessarily want to do.

    Happy Tuesday everyone
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 6th Jun 17, 8:15 AM
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    To do list today:

    - Attend course.
    - Phone breakfast club.
    - Attend appointment.
    - Double check course details for tomorrow.
    - Double check the boys ice skating lesson.
    - Arrange childcare for afterschool tomorrow and for Thursday.

    Planned spends for today:-
    - Car parking for training course.

    Last night I finally put petrol in the car. 30 out of the budget for the month. I'm more aware of my driving and trying to limit use of car where possible (cut out short journeys) and become aware of my driving habits.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 6th Jun 17, 11:07 AM
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    I have nothing really to add. You're so organised you're doing amazing.

    You should be very proud of yourself x
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 7th Jun 17, 6:43 AM
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    Yesterday total spends: 4 in car parking for training course. Car parking charges here are ridiculous. I'm at the same site today for yet another training course but will see if I can somehow get out of it.

    I've to drop the boy off at his nanny's this morning who will drop him at school (saved me breakfast club fees) and then I'm straight off for training. Following training I'm then heading straight to work until 6pm. I have a meeting with someone today- the same person from last week. I'm not looking forward to this. However I've coping mechanisms in place to try and handle this.

    I'm working a 10.5 hour day tomorrow and then a 13.5 hour day Friday. I'm exhausted from these hours but not much else I can do. I've been put forward for yet more courses and I'm agreeing to do them in hope that it gives me good stead for the future.

    My plan for the future was to work 16-22.5 hours part time through bank work. A big drop in wages however it will be more beneficial for my health. I'll work something out in regards to the budget but somethings got to give right? My health is more precious/important then money.

    Things to do today:-
    - Make mine and boys packed lunch.
    - Post the boys letter to penpal.
    - Attend meeting, get it over and done with.
    - Remain positive and upbeat.
    - Sort out Fridays childcare.

    I need to tally up my NSD. I've had quite a couple since beginning of the month. But I've kind of lost track of counting due to other things on my mind.

    Happy Wednesday everyone.
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 7th Jun 17, 10:44 AM
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    Your health is definitely more important and finding the right balance is definitely the way forward.

    Have a nice day
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 8th Jun 17, 6:29 AM
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    Yesterday the meeting went as well as it could. It was nothing massively important, just more to do with a previous absence from work (hospitalised with a kidney infection that I'd had for three weeks). I just grinned and beared it as best as I could and didn't work myself up too much.

    I also attended a course which was pretty interesting. However I had to pay car parking which was 5.50 . I honestly wonder why they charge so high but I couldn't find a free parking space closer to the venue. I'm not there for another while now so do not have to worry about that.

    The boy posted his letter to his new penpal. I found a book of second class stamps lying around in the house so didn't have to fork out for new ones. They are so expensive these days.

    The boy is off school today as his school is being used as a polling station. He's gone to his great grandparents. I just need to sort out childcare for in the morning. It may just be easier for the boy to stay at his nanny's again rather then me keep driving back and forth. His nanny (his dad's side) is very supportive and helps out alot, I'd be lost without her support. My own mum helps out alot too where she can. Without them, I'd really struggle.

    I have no planned spends for today. Once I'm home I think I shall have an early night. My body is exhausted and I know it's going to be a busy day at work.

    So there isn't much else to say really. My bank account is still looking healthy and all my outgoings have gone out bar two for this month.

    Happy Thursday everyone
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 8th Jun 17, 1:56 PM
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    Have a lovely day x make sure you take some time to rest and catch up on sleep x
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 9th Jun 17, 6:28 AM
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    I had quite a good day yesterday. Work is going well and I'm receiving praise from those senior around me. I'm also feeling more confident in my own abilities and this is evident through my performance. It's as if a kick up the bum last week has boosted me into action and making me prove to myself and others that I can do what is expected of me.

    Yesterday was a pretty low spend day-1.73 on a sandwich at work for lunch. Today I will ensure I take something with me as a lot of the time I forget as I usually rush out the door.

    I've made a small overpayment of 20 to my MBNA card from an account which I sweep any excess pennies/pounds into (I round all accounts to nearest zero lol).That means my debt total is now 5980. It's going down woohoo

    On the job front the person I'm working under says they have a plan for me once my fixed term contract is finished but nothing is set in stone. I'm just hoping with all I've got that it works out for me. It may still be full time hours but I may enquire about this and see if can reduce to 30 hours if possible.

    I won't finish work until 9pm today. So I need to pull my finger out and start getting myself sorted for the day ahead.

    My spirits are up and I'm feeling brighter and chirpier since the beginning of week. I hope this continues.

    I'm also glad it's the weekend. Tomorrow I'm going on a night out with people from work which should be interesting. I was debating whether to go or not but I think I will. It will do me good to get out there and socialise.

    Happy Friday everyone
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 10th Jun 17, 10:58 AM
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    I had such a busy day yesterday that I'm paying for it today, my legs are aching so much.

    When I got home I discovered I had some post, one of which was a fine of 60 as I'd taken the boy on holiday during term time. I've just paid that fine this morning so I no longer need to worry about that.

    I've also phoned tax credits and confirmed everything I needed to for them. They said it was auto renewal so hopefully that will go through over the next couple of weeks and fingers crossed I do recieve the overpayment they've predicted.


    I've just been looking around my credit score reports (I'm aware they mean nothing) and looked at my debt ratio to available credit balances.

    I have around 19600 available on credit cards but have only 5980.00 used to date. I worked it out that I'm using approximately 30% of credit available to me. I'm going to use that figure as a goal to get it as low as possible until my debt free date. So e.g. it may go down to 29% used of total credit card limits next month and so on until it becomes 0%.

    For now I shall leave the credit cards as they are and will look at closing a few at a later date. Each credit card had its uses (0% purchases, money transfers, balance transfers etc) and as mentioned up thread, only two have balances now.


    It's looking wet and a bit windy today. I think I may do some baking with the boy and stay inside. I'm going to a works night out tonight which most of it has been paid for, I just owe one of the managers my contribution of a 5 and then whatever it will cost for drinks and transport home. I can't drink alcohol on the medications I'm on and plus I'm not a big drinker anyway so it will be a pretty MSE night lol.

    Hope everyone has a nice Saturday
    • Hiddenidenity
    • By Hiddenidenity 10th Jun 17, 12:11 PM
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    Have a lovely day

    Boo to the fine but the holiday was def worth it
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Jun 17, 12:56 PM
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    So yesterday went as well as it could. The boy and I baked some gingerbread men from an old recipe book we had. We followed it by the book but it didn't seem that gingery? Maybe next time I need to add more or find a better full proof recipe. Anyone have one? Haha.

    I then had a quick nap in the afternoon as I was exhausted and then got ready for the night out.

    Now I said I wouldn't drink due to not being a big drinker/medication I'm on. However I thought I'd have a few and didn't suffer any side effects. I think in total I had two cocktails, one double vodka and three single vodkas and it didn't even touch me. I wasn't even close to merry if I'm honest. So there were a few spends but nothing overly extravagant. I know many people who can easily blow 100 on a night out and it was my first night out in nearly a year. Also a random man bought 7 of us a round of drinks, how kind. However he then processed to try and dance and grind up against us and he wasn't very pleasant smelling after lots of dancing. I bit my tongue and we slowly slipped away when he wasn't looking . Bless him. I think from the look of it he had a great night out.

    We went for a sit down meal to a cabaret bar. The show wasn't really my thing but the people I was with really made the night out good.

    My spends as follows:

    - 5 to manager that I owed.
    - 10 for two cocktails (yum).
    - 8.60 for round of drinks.
    - 8.60 for taxi home.

    Total spend: 32.20.

    That isn't too bad overall I don't think. It was worth it for the boost to my self esteem and building relationships with people I work with outside of the work environment. I also met one of my friends whom I met at a group CBT I attended for Bipolar. He's an absolutely lovely guy and tried to persuade me to stay out but once the clock struck midnight Cinderella had to leave the ball .

    Today I do not forsee any spends. I need to total up my NSD so far this month. I'm becoming quite lazy at this.

    It's my birthday next Saturday so I'm planning on going for a meal with close family to a local Italian. I need to book that this week and not leave it until last minute.

    The week ahead looks rather busy. Its as follows.

    Monday- 13.5 hours work.
    Tuesday- 7.5 hours work.
    Wednesday- Training.
    Thursday- 10 hours work.
    Friday- Day off, however having investigations done at hospital in relation to recent hospital admission.
    Saturday- Day off, birthday celebrations.
    Sunday- 7.5 hours work.

    So busy busy, maybe I can rack up some more NSD this week ahead. I'll also probably see my CPN at some point during this or the support worker I've been newly allocated.

    I've nothing planned in regards to debt repayments for the next week unless I get another random urge. I just need to sort out the times for the boy's ice skating lessons as the the rink will have limited ice time for the upcoming month due to people practicing for a show. I may also meet up with friend from bipolar group for a proper catch up on Wednesday.

    Right now I have the urge to sort through all the freezers in the house. We have three freezers altogether (don't ask!) but all are full so I should really do a stock/inventory check and use up what is in there. Every so often I do this and create meal plans.

    I'm wanting to start SW at home and will use old books I already have. I put on a stone since my holidays and need to shift this. The side effects from my medication is weight gain so I'm going to do my best to try and lose weight instead and choose healthier options. I also want to get back into the gym I'm paying for. I'm so unfit at the moment.

    When I get into this mode I start becoming obsessed with organisation and portioning food into containers. It makes me feel somewhat better about myself and easier to grab and go. I then sometimes get an urge to batch cook meals and freeze them.

    I'm funny in my own little ways.

    I best get a move on whilst this outburst lasts.
    • Chandelier.
    • By Chandelier. 11th Jun 17, 4:52 PM
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    So I've done a dull stock/inventory take with the freezers and then I've organised each one so we now know where to find everything .

    Garage freezer
    - Ice creams/desserts.
    - Frozen vegetables.
    - Homemade soups.

    Porch freezer
    - Homemade meals.
    - Fish/quick meals to go food.
    - Potato stuffs.

    Kitchen freezer
    - Bread.
    - Meat.
    - Meat.


    In doing this I discovered we have around 14 portions of soup, all different varieties lol . We best get eating them!

    I also made up another batch of vegetable soup using odds and sods of leftover vegetables (before I counted how many portions we had) and that's gone straight into the freezer and all stock rotated. As I'm on a mission to lose some weight, I'll take some soups to work with me. They're easy enough to ping into a microwave and easy on the go foods. At least they're home made .

    We also nipped out to the shops. I spent 6 on some drinks for work which sounds alot but I've been guilty a few times of using the vending machine for a drink when I need an ice cold drink so overall in the long run it will save some pennies.

    I'm about to make a meal plan for the week ahead using what we have in the freezers. This maybe a mixture of using up bits and bobs to get rid of things/to dwindle down some supplies. Once we start to get low we can start afresh, defrost freezers and do a proper shop and stock back up again. We used to do weekly shops but recently it's been odd shops here and there as we always have something in.

    Next target on my list is the fridge! We only have one of these thank god and it's an under the counter one
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