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  • FIRST POST
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 29th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
    • 10,658Posts
    • 27,958Thanks
    benbenandme
    2018 Benbenandme's Next Battle
    • #1
    • 29th Dec 17, 5:01 PM
    2018 Benbenandme's Next Battle 29th Dec 17 at 5:01 PM
    Hello It's that time of year for another new diary ... I'm not a newbie, I've been around these parts for years, never quite knowing whether I should be on here or the Mortgage Free boards, but after much consideration I have decided to return here for my next diary installment.

    I have previous chapters of my journey on here, but a brief history of my last ten years is as follows: I am a single parent to a 14 year old boy with ASD. I love him to bits, he is my whole world, but causes me a great deal of stress and worry too We have been living in a flat for the last 10 years and I have worked hard to clear my mortgage on it. In March this year we finally moved into a small house, which is lovely, and near my Mum. My brother lent me 30k to help get the house which is my 'debt' that I am paying back. The monthly budgets are stupidly tight, partly as I want to get it paid asap even though he is in no hurry for it back.

    Looking further ahead ds is in year ten so only has 18 months until his GCSE's. After this he wants to do an apprenticeship which, from a financial point of view, means my child benefit, tax credits and child maintenance will stop , meaning a drop in total income from approx 1900 to approx 1200 So, this year could potentially be my last one with this extra income, so I need to maximise the potential ...

    My next post will list my SOA and my plans for 2018, please stick around for the ride, all help, support and thoughts are appreciated and very much welcome
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
Page 14
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 5th Apr 18, 10:20 AM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    March bonuses are in on sb so that's another 5 Amazon voucher ordered
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 5th Apr 18, 9:01 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    So today I have done lots of gardening, Mum came round to sit in the garden for a bit and all was fine until she stood up to go back indoors, lost her balance stepping off the decking and fell over. Off to A&E again and this time she has broken her wrist

    She's very down and in pain. She insisted on going home, I'll pop round there in the morning but she's going to struggle on her own
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Apr 18, 9:09 PM
    • 56,856 Posts
    • 231,524 Thanks
    beanielou
    Oh dear your poor poor mum.
    Poor you too.
    It just keeps coming.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. MFW 2018. No 144
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 5th Apr 18, 9:38 PM
    • 6,906 Posts
    • 44,011 Thanks
    Pooky
    Oh no, she really is in the wars, glad you were on hand to help out though.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 6th Apr 18, 1:14 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Went to see Mum this morning and she was up and had managed to make herself a coffee I'll pop in again in a bit and then going round tonight for dinner.

    Ds is at work again, I've done housework, two loads of washing and am tackling some more of the garden. I managed to get ds to help me take all of yesterday garden rubbish to the tip this morning, I'm pleased that lots out of he way although I'm already raking up enough for another car load

    Todays swagbucks goal has just about been reached, meaning I can focus on other stuff today. While the weather is nice I want to crack on outdoors some more. I'm planning on pulling out loads of random stuff / dead plants, clearing it all and then starting again. I want to grow some veg / fruit, not sure where to even begin really but it's quite a nice project for the summer months

    I have bought a couple of growbags, a couple of tomato plants and some sweet peas. I was nearly tempted into buying a camelia tree but thought I'd better wait until I've got the garden tamed a bit and have some sort of a plan
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 6th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    So my gardening isn't going so well ... I carried on today and was turning over the soil where I removed everything from yesterday and suddenly, in amongst what looked like a pile of rotting leaves there were lots of prickles ... and a very cute hibernating hedgehog

    I checked him over and he wasn't damaged at all, but obviously I had disturbed his nest and there wasn't enough of it remaining to cover him up safely as he would be very exposed. I still had the huge cardboard boxes in the garage from when I bought the garden furniture last summer, so have made him a new bed with hay and leaves and put the hedgehog house from the garden over it. I put him in it, he did wake up for a little bit but has settled down again now. I've put plenty of clean water and some food out for him too, hopefully he can be released into the garden soon as long as the good weather holds up.

    I feel bad for disturbing his home though, I thought I'd checked carefully underneath the hedge before I started but I hadn't realised they almost bury themselves into the ground and then cocoon leaves / twigs around them.
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 7th Apr 18, 6:52 AM
    • 6,906 Posts
    • 44,011 Thanks
    Pooky
    Hedgehogs will be up in the next week or so anyway so he will be fine. How is DS liking the Job? Is it helping with his behaviour?
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • FrankieM
    • By FrankieM 7th Apr 18, 9:51 AM
    • 2,080 Posts
    • 18,988 Thanks
    FrankieM
    So sorry to hear about your mum. It's strange how as we get older we start to worry about them so much.
    My parents are in Australia and I'm an only child. While I now try to get over there every year, it's still a concern that they are on their own. I imagine I'll have to go back at some point.

    Your gardening sounds lovely though
    Unfortunately every time I plan some gardening the weather turns against me so I've still yet to do my first cut of the grass. Still it gives me time to plan plants. I'm going to do some veg growing too. Probably just in grow bags.

    How do you find time to get your swag bucks points to get so many vouchers? I'm really struggling!
    Pay off Debt by Christmas 2018 #59
    13,406.26/ 6993.17
    Frugal Living Challenge 2018
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 7th Apr 18, 1:26 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Ds was meant to be going to his Dads this weekend - he got the train but got off at the next stop as he didn't feel in a good place and wanted to come home. I picked him up and he's fine but his Dad keeps texting ds and I, saying stuff like "this is p***ing me off, I won't see him for a month now, he won't call me back when I ring him, I got his train ticket and it's wasted" ...

    Now, he doesn't pay for the train ticket, he gets them through work, and he chooses to do this as he doesn't want to drive ... There would be rail replacement buses on the way back tomorrow and last time that took 5.5 hours, and ds said he didn't want to do that again. He' worked 32 hours this week and wants a rest. He is tired and recognised he was heading for a meltdown, which is huge progress for him, and doesn't feel comfortable being like that at his Dads. His Dad still doesn't believe his diagnosis and says it's just that I can't parent him Unfortunately he doesn't know his son whatsoever and ds isn't comfortable discussing it with him as he knows his Dad thinks it's 'just a phase'.

    So he'sat home which is quite nice as he's not been here much this week. We're having a lazy day, I went to Sainsburys and get some fresh bread and ham for lunch and am making a fish pie for dinner. We'll go and see Mum later too.

    In other news, there were no signs of the hedgehog moving when we went to bed last night but he must've got up in the night as he's spilt his water bowl over He didn't eat any food though. He's settled himself inside the hedgehog house and seems quite happy. Later on today I will move the house back outside, under a hedge, and leave some food and water nearby and hope he does alright He looks a decent size, I haven't weighed him as I don't want to distress him any more than I may already have

    Frankie - Swagbucks; so each day I try to reach my daily goal. I'm not worried about getting to my second goal, just make sure I reach the first one each day. The best thing I did was join the facebook group:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/UKSwagbucksAndMore/?ref=group_header

    They are brilliant for hints and tips for getting swagbucks I usually do a survey on there each day, I find early morning or teatime to be the best time to find them available. I sometimes leave the watch apps playing while I'm at work but it can eat you battery, so I keep my phone on charge at the same time. As long as you reach your daily goal each day you will earn a decent bonus each month, this month I got 614 which is almost enough for a 5 voucher on its own. I did do the Heart bingo offer this week on discover, purely to get the double points thats on at the moment. I spent 10 on the bingo but will get 2 x 1250 sb's, one lot have already credited (and almost enough for a 10 amazon voucher), the second lot will come in June when the promotion pays out.
    The daily goal is usually around about 100 sb's, which means each week I should be earning a 5 Amazon voucher, on average. Sometimes I get more than that, if there is a round of Swago for example, but generally 100 sb's a day = 20 vouchers a month
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 7th Apr 18, 1:29 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Oops, sorry thought I'd replied to all but forgot your question Pooky re. ds job ...

    He is loving it and is very excited about payday on Monday It is helping with his overall mood as he is occupied so doesn't have time to sit around and feel down. It is also a bit physical, nothing heavy but he' on his feet all day, so he's physically tired when he comes home, so has been happy going to bed about 9 - 9.30 which is unheard of in the holidays normally these days. He says he's been sleeping better too as he's tired, and finally gets that lovely feeling of getting into bed when you're knackered Long may it continue
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 7th Apr 18, 7:45 PM
    • 56,856 Posts
    • 231,524 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad DS's job is going well.
    I will make no comment on his dad.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. MFW 2018. No 144
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 7th Apr 18, 10:01 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Thanks Beanie, his Dad finally stopped texting me about 4pm, after he said "ds just needs to grow up" ... I won't reply to him, he just doesn't have a clue. It makes me sad to realise how little he knows about his own child

    So I moved the hedgehog back outside earlier, I've just had a quick peek outside and the straw that he'd covered the doorway to his house with has been moved, so he's obviously gone out for the evening I've put fresh water and food out for him, hopefully he'll be okay now

    Fish pie was yummy and Mum managed to eat quite a bit of it too Tomorrow ds wants a day out on the buses, it's the only day we'll be doing much this holiday so I let him choose - it's a cheap (but dull) day out for me

    Bournemouth managed a win today, I had a cheeky bet on the Manchester derby - 1 on Man U to win, both teams to score, there to be at least 3 bookings on each team and Man U to get 5 corners .... Man U did win, both teams did score, tonnes of players got booked .... but Man U only managed 4 corners It would've got me 81 if they'd managed one more corner
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 8th Apr 18, 7:53 AM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    So I promised ds a day riding the buses today, we haven't done it for ages and there are several new routes starting today locally apparently ... so, ds has had his bath, I've cleared the ironing pile and put it away and all is good

    The tickets will costs 6.60 for the day and I'm hoping to do some job spotting while we're out. I cashed in 4.75 yesterday that I'd built up on there, so that will be more Amazon credit headed my way
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 8th Apr 18, 8:13 AM
    • 4,476 Posts
    • 26,007 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Sorry to hear DS' dad is a twit - its such a shame that he wont recognise DS' condition, I know of a few men who think its all in the mind.

    Now that DS is old enough surely he can make his own decisions about what he wants to do and as annoying as that is for some people that's life.

    Hope you have a good day out today - can I just ask what exactly you do? Is it literally riding the same bus around all day or do you get off at places and grab a bite to eat? Or maybe something totally different?
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • Eager_Elephant
    • By Eager_Elephant 8th Apr 18, 8:15 AM
    • 4,476 Posts
    • 26,007 Thanks
    Eager_Elephant
    Sorry forgot to say how well I think you do with DS - it cant be easy on your own and with your mum's health as well yet you still carry on and keep posting and you are doing so well with it all as well as earning extra money on the side on top of your full time job.

    I love how you embrace his quirks and ways and that makes for such a better life for you both.
    Ninja Saving Turtle No. 1 for August
    NSD - 9/15
    (up to 12/8/18)
    My Diary is here - http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=2175629 (Eager Elephants Effective Everyday Excursion)
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 8th Apr 18, 8:24 AM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    Thanks EE Ds has basically planned a route, so we will be going on about 6 different buses - we get off at various points and will grab some food (probably will take stuff with us), and do some job spotting. The buses have wifi and usb points so can use my phone

    I have managed to grab a couple of surveys on sb this morning so have already smashed my second goal, very unusual for a Sunday but very welcome as I don't need to worry about that for the rest of the day
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 8th Apr 18, 8:42 AM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    And another 5 Amazon voucher ordered from Swagbucks
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 8th Apr 18, 8:47 AM
    • 6,906 Posts
    • 44,011 Thanks
    Pooky
    So glad he is enjoying the job and that he has realised that he was close to meltdown and did something about it, that is huge!

    We had a hedgehog wander in last year, after eating the cat food he made himself at home in the conservatory sofa (I only knew cos I could hear him snoring), he slept all day, left a trail of poo behind him (never knew they pood quite so much and so smelly) and left in the evening back out into the garden for a good snuffle around. He was very cute.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 8th Apr 18, 1:12 PM
    • 479 Posts
    • 1,567 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    Amazing for your ds to realise and understand how he is feeling and then be able to know what to do for the best. My 9yr old is on the spectrum, but is generally even tempered, it's been a long time since anything I would say is an autism meltdown, but being 9 we have certainly seen a huge upswing in the general temper and behaviour issues of that age group lol! Basically my neice is 9weeks older so whenever he is showing a behaviour issue I stop and think 'would my neice do this?' and if I know she would I think 'ah, he is just being 9' and if not then I know it is him not coping.

    My 5yr old also has massive emotional problems (probably on the spectrum but nothing official diagnosed) he has been having a lot of work through a behaviour unit links to the school and since September he has learnt how to deal with his emotions in a way that is 'safe' and now 90% of the time he can do this.
    • benbenandme
    • By benbenandme 8th Apr 18, 6:08 PM
    • 10,658 Posts
    • 27,958 Thanks
    benbenandme
    I was pleased he recognised it, I've given up trying to make his Dad understand, he just doesn't want to hear it.

    Today we've had our bus day; we did 7 different routes, took about 9 hours altogether I have done a bit of shopping too, I bought ds a new hoodie (half-price, reduced to 30), I treated myself to a new fitbit as mine has finally given up (40) and other spends = bus tickets 6.60, lunch 8, few bits and pieces in Primark 14.

    Back indoors, heating is on as I'm chilled to the bone, roast lamb is in the oven and I don't plan on doing much else tonight
    Mortgage Total: 75,000 71,174 Mortgage End Date: May 2040
    Brother's loan: 13,884 / 30,000
    2018 Fund 563
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