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@.

    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 24th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    • 585Posts
    • 5,091Thanks
    The Money Diet
    • #1
    • 24th Nov 17, 9:17 PM
    The Money Diet 24th Nov 17 at 9:17 PM
    So, I did have a thread but I've not updated it for a long time and things have now changed somewhat! So, I thought it best to start again. Fresh start, and all that jazz!

    A little about me: Hi I'm Laura

    So, my last diary was mainly about saving for my wedding. Whilst we saved a good amount in a year, The diary went a little to the way side. However, as of bonfire night, I'm now a married woman!

    The last year has resulted in me and Mr Lauralozzle saving for our wedding. I now realise how hard saving is!! It left with without much on anything for a year. Even with all of our hard saving, things ended up costing a little more than we had initially budgeted for and has left us in a little debt. This is partly down to my unrealistic budget, but also because we moved the wedding forward by a year as my grandad was ill and we didn't think he'd make November 2018. Luckily, we were very lucky with the gifts we received and the leftover debt is definitely a manageable amount, but I'd like it to be cleared as soon as possible so we can focus on decorating/renovating our house once our honeymoon is over.

    We've lived in our house for nearly two years. The plan was initially to do a room a year, as the house, although liveable, is terribly dated. Think artex on every wall and you'll get the picture. The wedding meant the house went on the back burner and the only rooms we have (partially) decorated are the living room/dining room. They are not finished though. I'd like for us to get in the position next year to focus on finally sorting out the house, even if that is just plan of what room we tackle next and starting to save towards it.

    I'll know the true state of our finances better come pay day (end of the month) and exactly where we are. At the moment everything looks very tight but November has been unusually expensive with the wedding and our little mini-moon to Bruges which cost more than we had expected.

    In preparation I have managed to get our mortgage payments down now from 504 to 398 which will start in a January 2018. That extra 100 will help considerably with clearing extra debt and saving! I've moved our fixed term mortgage at 3.99% to a new fixed term of 2 years at 2.79% - the mortgage length remains the same, I'm assuming we've moved down into the next LTV bracket although I'm not 100% sure as I just did it online through Santander (who we have our mortgage with). The term is exactly the same. We are both very happy at the money we will be saving in our mortgage payments alone. One day, we will try and make overpayments but I don't see that happening for a while, to be honest.

    So... a brief statement of our affairs. I'm aware this is not a proper, full SOA.

    My wage - 1,200
    Mr wage - 1,300
    Total = 2,500

    We both put 850 each into the joint account every month. This covers the following:

    Mortgage - 392 (Since January 2018)
    Council Tax - 135 (over ten months)
    Water rates - 45
    Gas/electric- 89
    House phone/broadband/sky - 45.00
    TV licence - 12.37
    My car - 187
    His car - 151
    Wedding Rings - 0.00 (this ends in July - on 0% finance deal)
    Vet/dog - 46.50 - covers dogs daily tablets, flea stuff, 6 monthly vet check-up
    My phone - 35
    His phone - 36 - we are both in contracts
    Food shopping - 250 - I know we can get this down! Includes alcohol

    I have a spreadsheet all set up for this so I can keep track of each spend!

    The money we have left in our accounts will cover our personal petrol, personal spends etc... pocket money I suppose. I have a MBNA credit card I pay off alone (0%)
    Mr Lauralozzle has car insurance and tax monthly that he pays for out of his own account. I put all mine on 0% credit card that I'm paying off alone - 25 min payment - will start overpaying an extra 25 from pay-day.

    We have both been saving 200 a month from our leftover personal money for the wedding - our plan is to hit the following Credit Cards with this now, although Mr doesn't want to put away 200 anymore - it left us quite tight and we both need some new clothes as all Of ours have holes/don't fit properly anymore!! I currently own two pairs of jeans and most of my tops have holes in through years of wear and tear!!! A good rummage through is required at some point.

    So - this is the plan for now.

    Santander Credit Card 1 - 2,256.06 0% for 24 months (his) (min payment 22.56)
    Santander Credit Card 2 - 787.60 (mine) (min payment 7.87) 0% 25 month
    MBNA - 195 - (mine) (min payment 25) 0% needs clearing by May

    I will over pay MBNA by 25 each month. That should then be cleared by May easily.
    We wil overpay Santander by 100-150 a month (together - not each) - starting in January as we need to sort out Christmas.
    Min pay Santander Credit Card 2 until credit card 1 is paid off and then start on this one.

    We also need to save about 500 for spending money for our honeymoon in May - we're off to Sorrento for 2 weeks. 575 is already in the kitty for this. I'm not sure exactly how much we'll need, but we're hoping that 1,000 (ish) will cover it. We want to enjoy or time there and take trips so we'll save as much as possible (at least 1,000). We're going half board so hopefully won't have to spend too much on food - just lunches really. I want it to be a holiday we remember so I don't want to scrimp when we are there, just be sensible about our spends (nothing too extravagant).

    Current Debt/Savings Progress

    MBNA: Gone
    Santander Credit Card 1: Gone
    Santander Credit Card 2: Gone

    So, hurry up payday (last day of the month - Thursday) so we can get The ball rolling and start making progress.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 02-02-2019 at 11:18 AM.
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
Page 4
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 30th Jul 18, 6:12 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Monday 30th July

    I did not have a good night sleep last night. Someone's alarm went off all through the night. We were not sure if it was ours as it didn't sound like ours usually, but I noticed this morning the intermittent flashing light on our alarm is no longer flashing. I hate our alarm, when we moved in there was no manual, just a post-it note stating the code, nothing more. We have no idea what all the buttons/settings are and do. We've googled the company on the box but they no longer exist! One job this week is to call an alarm engineer and get it completely disconnected.

    No sleep, coupled with too many lentils and my body not being used to them has left me feeling sick and tired with stomach ache, nausea, headache and loose movements (If you get what I mean). I left work early (only done five hours) so will have to make up that time lost.

    We can't stomach prawn Thai curry tonight so will move that to tomorrow. Tonight we're having toast and boiled eggs. The plainer the better.

    It is, however, pay-day tomorrow which always makes me feel better (for at least a day, until it all gets moved out!)
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 31st Jul 18, 7:45 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Tuesday 31st July

    I had a good sleep last night. No alarm shenanigans last night as such, I've felt much better. Had plenty of sleep last night and woke up with an appetite!

    Today is pay-day so the usual monies have been allocated!

    850 into the joint account
    100 into my savings account

    I have made an overpayment on Credit Card no. 3 which is now at 368.49. This should be gone on October's pay day using my calculations.

    Tonight we're having prawn Thai curry (which was meant to be yesterday's meal). I've also tidied the living room and hoovered the sofa, living room floor, downstairs hallway and the stairs. At least part of the house is looking considerably cleaner and tidy (if only I had the energy to do the rest of the house).
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 1st Aug 18, 8:44 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Wednesday 1st August

    First day of the month is a NSD, so that's a win. Hoping tomorrow will also be spend free.

    We've had mushroom risotto tonight for dinner, with enough leftovers tomorrow for lunch. I've had a nice today today - worked from home so I could afford a lie in this morning.
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 6th Aug 18, 8:26 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Monday 6th August

    All has been good so far. Well within shopping budget for the month, got some nice bits too for dinner this week. Pork shoulder for pulled pork, pork tenderloin, some fish too. My grandmother gave me six chicken breasts too so we've got enough to last for a while.

    Credit card payment for card no.2 has gone out, so I've updated my signature for that. I cannot wait until that is below 1,000.
    Last edited by Lauralozzle; 21-08-2018 at 6:25 PM.
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 21st Aug 18, 6:25 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Tuesday 21st August

    So, August has been pretty good so far. Our mortgage is in the next 10,000 bracket as we're now below 110,000 which is good. I imagine it'll be some time before it's below 100,000 but every small win is progress and a step in the right direction.

    Our emergency fund is also looking okay. It's well off 1,000 target but at 414 it's certainly better than it was a few months ago (which was non existent, to be honest).

    I think for the first time (ever) we will also hit our grocery budget of 250(including takeaways). This has been difficult but making menu plans has been very useful, as has grabbing reduced items and popping them in freezer which will then be the basis of next weeks meals. It is helping keeping costs down which is good.

    It's only Tuesday but I am exhausted. I've been training people at work which is zapping my energy. I'm glad it's a bank holiday Monday next week, an extra day off is definitely required!
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 9th Sep 18, 10:05 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Sunday 9th September 2018

    Where has this year gone?

    Payday has come and gone, so the credit cards got their usual monthly overpayment. Credit Card No.2 is now 1,259.98 and Credit Card no. 3 is now 227.49

    I know we are making progress on the cards, and no.3 is nearly paid off but it is feeling like a lifetime to get credit card no. 2 under 1,000. I'm helping out painting at the end of this month, and I been promised a monetary reward so I'll walk that straight into Credit Card no.2. I should *hopefully* see my bonus in October - six months after earning it! - so I will pop that on the credit card too.

    The emergency fund took a hit - I have changed phone contracts and ended up paying an extra payment I hadn't budgeted for but that should be back up next month. The goal is 1,000 and when it's there I'll be happy!
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 13th Sep 18, 6:52 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    Thursday 13th September

    It should be a Friday after today!

    I've lost 50. It was in my pocket, ready to take to the bank, when I went to grab it it was gone. I'm so angry with myself as I was going to use it so overpay the credit card. We'll manage without it, but I feel sick knowing it's gone. Hopefully whoever picked it up has enjoyed it at my expense.
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 9th Nov 18, 2:52 PM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    9th November 2018

    I've been quiet, but still very much plugging away at the debt, slow and steady wins the race. I've made good progress, I think. I still haven't received my bonus, work are saying it should be next year now, which is frankly ridiculous when you think that I earned it in April! I've since earned another bonus, but I don't imagine I will see that any time soon. I suppose I shouldn't expect to much, though, the Civil Service is not known for its efficiently and for doing things quickly!

    I have now paid off credit card no. 3. This means we only have one credit card left to pay off and then we've paid off the wedding, which is great! The extra payments I was making can now go on the remaining credit card so hopefully that will go pretty soon.

    We have also celebrated our one year anniversary. We found a cheap cottage in Cumbria and have spent 4 days exploring. Now we are back, I'm tightening the purse strings so we can be ready for Christmas. I've also had to up the budget that goes into the joint account. 850 each was not quite covering it, so we are now putting in 900 a month, I will keep an eye out on that, but that should cover it. I am finding that food is getting a bit more expensive- I have tried to keep the shopping bill down to 250 a month, but we keep going over by 20-30. This also covers all household items too (such as cleaning products) and it was not covering unexpected bills so this extra should create a good buffer so we are putting in more than is going out. The emergency fund has taken a bit of a hit as for the past few months, we've been dipping into it by 30-40 and I want to put a stop to that.

    House renovations are planned for next year - once the card is paid off (well, probably a month or two after). Our plan is a new bathroom and kitchen at least. Getting as much as we can on 0%. If we saved up, it'd take us years to do it, and the house is beginning to fall apart, but I'm hoping the money we spend on it we pop us into the next LTV bracket as it should increase the value of the property. We should then see the rewards when we come to remortgage next year with a (hopefully) smaller mortgage payment (if Brexit goes well and doesn't mess with interest rates too much).
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Lauralozzle
    • By Lauralozzle 2nd Feb 19, 11:17 AM
    • 585 Posts
    • 5,091 Thanks
    2nd February 2019

    Time has flown by, that's for sure.

    My absence does not mean it has all gone backwards though! All credits cards are now paid off, which means we can focus on saving money! So, positive things have been happening.

    I've also had a promotion at work (temporary for now, but with a view to become permanent). That will mean an extra 100 a month once the pay is sorted, which I hear can take a while to go through. That will come in handy and help towards saving as I'll be doubling my savings amount.
    Credit Card 1: 0.00 (0%) | Credit Card 2: 985.98 (0%) | Credit Card 3: 0.00 (0%) Car Finance: 5,805 (7.9% APR) | Mortgage: 109,261 (2.79% APR) |
    • Moneybutterfly35
    • By Moneybutterfly35 2nd Feb 19, 2:08 PM
    • 69 Posts
    • 319 Thanks
    Whoop ace news on paying the credit cards off! You’re so determined and have been great to follow ☺️

    ( MFW #31 . 2 challenge #35. 1% challenge #25 440/22000 EF challenge #244 713/2000 )
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

122Posts Today

2,210Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @GaryDelaney: This is the cleanest portaloo ever! It?s like I was the first person ever to use it. Well done BBC Salford.

  • RT @JSchofieldTrust: Not long to go now until our 2019-20 mentoring schemes for early career and apprentice journalists open. Our mentoring?

  • Hi Amy I know you're no longer at school :) but actually many grown ups have found the new financial education text?

  • Follow Martin