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  • FIRST POST
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
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    greenbee
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it."
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." 3rd Oct 17 at 7:50 AM
    So after lurking on other people's diaries for the last few years it's time to start my own.

    I'd almost paid off my mortgage 4 years ago when I decided to move to somewhere a lot bigger and a lot more expensive. It was also a project. So for the last few years there have been no overpayments as everything has gone into savings for the next bit of work on the house.

    I remortgaged in August, reducing my payments by 200/month.

    I'm now preparing for the final (I hope!) phase of the renovation work, so while avoiding getting up and ready for work this morning I thought I'd check the overpayment calculator. If I increase my payments to what they were previously this will knock over 8 years off my mortgage.

    I'm not ready to start overpaying yet. I need to finish the essential work and build up some savings, but I hope that early next year I'll be in a position to start reducing my liabilities.

    So I thought I'd start a diary now, while I'm motivated, to record my progress in getting to the point of overpaying...
Page 5
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 8th May 18, 4:26 PM
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    redofromstart
    I know its a great one coming from me, but you do need to build some doing nothing time into that schedule, especially with all the travel.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 8th May 18, 6:02 PM
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    greenbee
    Do nothing time seems to build itself in at the moment... and with the travel I'm making clear that they get the time I assign them. Unfortunately there are a couple of issues that can't be resolved as they committed to them without asking me and it would be bad business to undo the arrangements, but they won't be doing it again...

    I've mowed the lawn. It was VERY long (and more creeping buttercup than grass, but who cares ) so took over an hour to do. I should go out and get compost, rose food and petrol (so I can mow again one day) and fill up the car with diesel and then split some more logs, but I'm not going to. I need to locate some food and then sit in the garden with a book before replying to a few emails (I went to pilates this morning and then started mowing at 4pm so I do owe work a couple of hours... although they owe me a LOT more TOIL right now!).
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 10th May 18, 10:19 PM
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    greenbee
    Finally got my pension sorted out with work - paperwork wasn't very helpful but HR have got to the bottom of it and are increasing my contribution to maximise the employer contribution. And they're chasing my health insurance paperwork.

    I also confirmed that work cover me for business travel, so no need for additional travel insurance.

    Haven't had a massage appointment for months but am surviving. I've also put singing lessons on hold as they're difficult to fit in. Probably compensates for the nail budget...

    Have to sort out boat insurance tomorrow and book work taxis and actually get round to buying petrol for the mower and compost and rose food. And to stack the logs that my brother helped out with and clear the chainsaw sawdust from the lawn... and write some presentations and business plans.
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th May 18, 10:23 PM
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    doingitanyway
    Glad you got your pension sorted to max employers contribution. You don't want to be missing out on free money
    Emergency fund 1060/1000
    NSD November 8/30
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 10th May 18, 10:26 PM
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    greenbee
    Exactly.

    They checked my offer to see what they'd committed to (varies by grade) and have said they'll make sure that they backdate the increased contribution.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th May 18, 11:02 AM
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    Karmacat
    That's great news on the pension, thats going to make a big difference in the future.

    Erm, your to-do list for today sounds quite long. And quite energetic! Best of luck with it
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 13th May 18, 7:50 PM
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    greenbee
    Didn't get much of it done. So still have the boat insurance and taxis to sort out. And need to drop my library books back as well.

    However, I have managed to get petrol and mow most of the lawn (will do the last bit tomorrow, and possibly some strimming), and done quite a lot of the weeding as well as all the planting and the potting on.

    I really don't know how I'm going to get everything done before I go...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 27th May 18, 11:06 PM
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    greenbee
    I've just been paid, so when I get home I need to double check that all the pension payments are correct now. I have, however, moved what was left in my current account from last month's pay into my savings account.

    I was about to submit my expenses when I realised there are two things in there without receipts/itemisation and the receipts are at home, so I can't do that until Thursday which is irritating. Our expenses policy is that you can only submit one report in each calendar month, and this will put me over into next month. It's annoying, but my own fault. We did have a discussion this week about the fact that this policy probably needs to change for a small minority of us (me & my boss for starters) as despite a new booking system that means hotels can now be paid direct, the amount of travel we do means that the numbers can add up quickly. He's been covering all my meals etc. this week, so mine aren't too bad, but I'll have had 3 weeks travel plus a lot of mileage to claim by the time I get home.

    I do now have enough in my savings to cover my emergency living costs, so when I'm home I need to shift these into a designated account and then start working on getting the house finished using a combination of savings and cashflow.

    Hopefully being away has saved me some money (I've been pretty good about shopping as can't face dragging the stuff around) although I've asked the cleaner to do some extra while I'm out of her way.

    I'm home for a week, then away for a week again, and after that it's odd short trips for a while until Sept/Oct/Nov when I'll barely be home.

    I'm enjoying it though, have been eating relatively healthily and getting in lots of swimming and a bit of running and a fair amount of walking too most days. Just the odd day after long flights where it all falls apart and I mostly sleep.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 9th Jun 18, 10:34 AM
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    greenbee
    Have been home for just over a week, and jet lag meant that on day two I spend the early hours researching swimming pools and have found a local outdoor pool. So I've been going there. I've also been running a couple of times (need to go today really, but it's hot already). Lots of mowing and weeding as the garden had taken off in my absence.

    Today I need to a. plant b. deadhead and c. split logs as well as clear up the dining room and tidy my bedroom and the spare room. Tomorrow will involve packing as I'm away for another week from tomorrow.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 26th Jun 18, 2:44 PM
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    greenbee
    So after a couple of weeks mostly away I'm trying to get things back under control. It would be nice to focus on the garden... and I'm just about on top of the deadheading, weeding and mowing, although there's a lot of it to do.

    Due to a big family furniture move-round this week I've had to prioritise making space for a new bed and CoD. And because my mum specifically wants the 4ft bed, not the 4ft6 one this means moving a LOT of stuff around.

    So having been gradually working through the log pile, this morning I moved the remnants of it onto the drive (actually, I think I've done pretty well to have so little left I can move it), and with the help of my lovely cleaner, put the garden furniture on the patio and cleaned out the garage. We then moved the 4ft bed into the garage and she's cleaned out the spare room.

    Then we hit a snag... I can't undo the bolts on the metal bars of the twin beds. The builders put them together, so i'm not sure what my chances are of EVER getting them apart again... and both of them need to move into other rooms.

    I may have to rethink and clear the kids' room to get my old bed in there rather than the room I'd planned to put it in, and get another bed for the spare room my mum uses. However, putting the twin beds in separate rooms was going to make space for the CoD to be accessible and a wardrobe to go in the room as well.

    This morning I made the mistake of putting a chenille rug in the WM. It's been in the old machine plenty of times - however, I should probably have put it on a wool wash rather than a quick wash. The machine objected and wouldn't drain, saying there was a blockage. Managed to clear it by manually draining the machine, and have cleaned out the drum, but I can't open the filter, and I'm a bit nervous about using it until I can check it.

    My cleaner is currently polishing all the furniture than can be polished, so the house smells of beeswax. She'd agreed to stay all day on the basis that I needed help with the furniture moving, so it seemed sensible to give the furniture some TLC given that she's here and I still haven't cleared the other two bedrooms we'd hoped she could do today.

    I'm hoping that I can get upstairs sorted over the next couple of months... which means sorting out the furniture so that I have the right storage, both in the bedrooms and in the dining room (my bedroom is currently full of glasses, as is the bathroom). As I'm mostly home for the summer it seems a sensible time to get it done. I might even call the builders ...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 23rd Aug 18, 9:04 PM
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    greenbee
    oops... I've been away for a while!

    So the great furniture move-round happened. My brother helped me take the beds apart, put one of the twin beds into the room my mum uses, and shifted the small double up to my mum's house.

    While he was doing that, I took my bed apart and reassembled it in the empty spare room, and moved a couple of chests of drawers round, plus gave my bedroom a very thorough clean while it was nice and empty!

    My mum's room looks great. The spare room looks pretty good, but needs a wardrobe and bedside tables. The wardrobe is the most pressing priority but I can't make my mind up. I'll have to soon as my brother needs to take the one from the kids' room away.

    The kids room is packed with stuff at the moment. Once the wardrobe is out I can have a clear out, order a wardrobe and work out what else will go in there.

    Garden is looking good. Garage is a tip, which needs sorting out before a. builders come back and b. garden furniture goes away.

    Finances are a little stretched - new summer work clothes and shoes, new swimming stuff, a garden table and two cupboards for the dining room. One is still at my mum's as I can only fit one at a time in the car. They're unpainted pine, made to measure, and exactly what I need, but I now need to paint them. I may get a wardrobe from the same place, if they can deliver for a reasonable price.

    Holiday was lovely, but I now need to recover - garden needs some TLC (garden waste is full, moles are busy but working close to the surface so difficult to catch), laundry needs doing and I have a busy work schedule to prepare for with a lot of travel coming up between now and mid-November.

    I need to book the car in for and MOT & clutch replacement, book the boiler service, chimney sweep, dentist and optician and do my tax return and find a new electricity deal plus sort out my BT bill as I can't make head or tail of it (but can't change as they're the only broadband provider here). And my tax return needs doing, plus the builder chasing for snagging, particularly the external painting and also sorting out the utility room before the weather deteriorates.

    Hospital appointment tomorrow, but it's a first consultation, so hopefully no nasty tests. Then I want to go for a long run as I've only managed a couple of short ones recently.

    Savings are looking fairly healthy so hopefully I can use cashflow to fund the odds and ends and maybe even the utility room, and keep saving to get the doors and kitchen done.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 26th Aug 18, 1:20 PM
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    greenbee
    Finally got round to checking my payslips from the new job and printing them off, and they've sorted out my pension so are now paying the maximum that they match. However, realised that I need to contact my old employer for my P11D before I can do my tax return. I think my tax codes will take a while to settle down now I'm in a different tax bracket and my bonuses are paid quarterly.

    DIdn't run after hospital - I was very fidgety. Nothing dramatic about it, a possible diagnosis which needs a gastroscopy and biopsy to confirm (and rule out unlikely nasties). The good news is that unlike my GP the consultant is pretty sure there is a cause of the problem, and having looked into it (she said it was safe to google ), it seems that it's a case of confirming that it's an immune response, identifying the foods that trigger it, allowing it time to heal, and then adapting to a new diet. My brother (who was as dismissive as my GP) has recommended an allergy consultant to ask for if the diagnosis is correct.

    Hair appointment took up most of yesterday. Today is wet and horrible so I'm staying inside and pottering and trying not to turn the heating on. I'm actually doing some cooking for the first time in ages. I'll probably spend some time lying about reading and then hopefully potter enough to get the house tidy - thankfully I got most of the washing done on Friday.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 26th Aug 18, 2:30 PM
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    Karmacat
    That sounds a good result for the appointment, greenbee - fixing a fixable problem is always good



    It's pertiddling down here too, and I absolutely understand the decision to stay at home and potter - no point going out in that! Enjoy while you can, your schedule seems very busy.
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Aug 18, 4:20 PM
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    greenbee
    MOT, chimney sweep and boiler service all booked
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Sep 18, 10:38 AM
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    greenbee
    Chimney swept, boiler services, MOT done and clutch replaced on car (ouch). Two wardrobes ordered for delivery today, so it's been an expensive week (I also paid for a couple of the girls at work to have manicures while we were at an event, and there was an expensive round of drinks in there too...

    The moles have been digging up the lawn while i'm away, so I need to get myself outside, set traps and flatten the mole hills. As it's a nice day, I'm also hoping that I'll get my laundry done and spend some time in the garden starting to put it to bed.

    There are also still some logs to split, but before I do those the kindling needs chopping as it's in the way in the log store.

    And the security cameras need their batteries changing. I need to see whether I can sort out the geofencing for them, so they're only on when I'm not here. A couple of them could probably do with repositioning too, as then they won't be triggered quite so much by passing lorries or the wind in the trees.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Sep 18, 8:22 PM
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    greenbee
    Not as much done in the garden as I should have done, but the laundry is done, I've set one mole trap (I saw the mole working, but it seems to have headed off elsewhere so will have to set another one in the morning), and weeded about half a flowerbed.

    Two flatpack wardrobes were delivered today and I've put them both together with only two injuries. Both now have stuff in them, so I'm hoping that by the end of tomorrow I'll have my mum's room and the spare room back in use (and possibly a bit more space in the kids' room). There's a LOT of recycling and rubbish from the packaging.

    Builder dropped in at lunchtime and is hoping to get over this week to do the external painting, and be back in a couple of weeks to make a start on the outstanding items. As he's free for most of November, I'm hoping that the utility room, doors and possibly even the kitchen will be done (if I can afford it!).

    There are a few changes going on at work, so things are a bit stressful, which makes me nervous about spending. However, it needs to be done, and I'm going to be away a lot which makes it a good time to have someone making mess...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 9th Nov 18, 2:52 PM
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    greenbee
    I've been travelling now for nearly month and am shattered.

    Builder didn't get round to doing the external painting while the sun was shining, or do stuff while I was away, but I have now had a quote for the utility room work and he's going to call on Monday.

    I've got 3 days off next week and 3 the following week in lieu of the weekends I've missed through travel so want to make the most of them to get stuff done in the house and garden. Starting with getting the cupboard that's been in the back of the car for a month out and into the house. Then tidying up the bits that need tidying and putting the garden to bed.

    Hopefully I'll be at home for a few weeks and can get the builder to get some stuff sorted before it gets too cold.

    I managed to get a reasonable amount of exercise and eat OK most of the time I was travelling, but all the long-haul flights have been hard work and I'm now very, very tired...
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 9th Nov 18, 8:10 PM
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    greenbee
    I've got the cupboard out of the car and into the dining room (so I now need to empty the old one and work out what to do with it).

    I've also remembered that I need to do my tax return as I now have all the paperwork. Due to the change in job I suspect it will be complicated - especially as my bonuses are now paid quarterly rather than annually and I also had an additional week's pay due to holiday owed from the last job.

    I'm starting to feel vaguely human now, so I've made some lists and am hoping to get plenty done over the weekend.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 9th Nov 18, 9:21 PM
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    Karmacat
    Welcome back greenbee! You sound like you have an amazing job, but I'm not surprised you're shattered, with the amount of travel and being away from home. Sorry to hear the builder didn't do his thing - maybe it now means you can see what's going on, and avoid mistakes? I'm sure you'd have preferred it to just be *done* though!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 10th Nov 18, 9:40 AM
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    greenbee
    Thanks KC. TBH I'm quite relieved the builder wasn't here while I was away, as I came home twice for about 36 hours to unpack/do laundry/repack and couldn't have dealt with the mess/dust/chaos.

    Lovely sunny day here, so upstairs windows are open (I have cluster flies, so I need to get the meths out and clean the frames properly - my cleaner has tried disinfectant and vinegar but they keep coming back), and breakfast is cooking (bacon, PSB, tomatoes and mushrooms). After that I'll open all the downstairs windows and make a start on the outside jobs. Weeds are growing well, as is the grass but it's too wet to mow, so I'll deal with the dead stuff and cutting back first.
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