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  • FIRST POST
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 30th Dec 17, 9:42 PM
    • 610Posts
    • 1,251Thanks
    ramblehan
    Wandering on
    • #1
    • 30th Dec 17, 9:42 PM
    Wandering on 30th Dec 17 at 9:42 PM
    Hi,

    I've had just over a year off the forum and a huge amount has happened in that time, but it feels like the right time to dip back in. 2018 is going to be the year that turns thing around for us.

    A little about me: Family of 4 living in the sticks, spending too much money on oil and logs to stay warm. We've a posse of animals too that will one day pay their own way.

    2016 headlines: Financial burnout to the tune of 22k which accumulated over time due to house renovations, Unsteady income and growing expenses for childcare. Resulted in a DMP...which I self manage and is slowly decreasing.

    2017 headlines:
    Moved house with the ultimate aim of helping out aged relative, changed jobs etc.
    Currently paying for 2 houses and 40 hrs childcare a week.
    Finishing off old house and moving has racked up more debts to tune of 15k. 17.3K
    Tried to sell house but first sale fell through at the last minute as buyers for cold feet.
    House sold again for 5k more (crossing fingers and hoping)
    Got much better job in December 10k payrise, DH now also on regular income

    Things to look forward to in 2018:
    Selling house - we'll clear the new 15k 17.3K, and be able to bank a huge pot of cash for future house plans.
    DD will become eligible for 30 hrs free childcare.
    No mortgage and reduced childcare will mean we are 1500 a month better off. This should all kick in by April.
    Will be able to pay more off DMP as a result.

    So, 2017 has been a turn around year in many respects. A lot of hard work to come but it's all to play for in 2018.

    Some other facts...
    We have YNAB, and it definitely helps but I'm not living by the rules and it shows....I'm going to use YNAB better.
    Sticking to a budget is our biggest trial....
    This year as finances will be oh so better I want to get our budget balanced right so we can live comfortably as well as save and pay off more on DMP.
    Hubby never knows what there is to spend so falls back on CC so this is something I definitely want to sort...thinking a prepaid credit card with phone app instead so he can see before he spends....I'm guilty of this too though (must use YNAB better.)
    I should get a pay rise in 2018 too, but want to increase my pension to 10% as company will match it (currently it's only 5%).


    And that's it for now! Will set myself some goals later...
    Last edited by ramblehan; 02-01-2018 at 11:56 AM.
Page 2
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 8th Jan 18, 1:11 PM
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    ramblehan
    Hey PSL, Surprisingly getting the sheep in and worming them went without a hitch! However, we wanted to move them to a new paddock which we did - and then they started testing the fence in the new bit, and managed to get back into the old bit, where they remain even now - laughing at us from a distance! Hey ho! There's about 20 sheep at the moment. My DH would like a small number of cows but we've a long way to go before that's possible. If we do go down that route, I'm going to get myself on a 'cow course' as I don't have a clue!

    Updates wise - I've done my shopping and meal planning - and got everything for 45 for the week so all good there.
    In some not so good news - BT are trying to charge me a cancellation fee and a fee for the wireless box as we have left contract 11 days early (so they are charging 55 for something that 11 days later would be free....grrrr. I'm going to see if Sky will cover it, but if not, I've worked out we will still be better off on the new package as we make lots of calls. So I'll just have to grin and bear it.


    NSD yesterday and today - so 4 already for the month.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 11th Jan 18, 10:42 PM
    • 610 Posts
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    ramblehan
    Hiya,
    There's 22 sheep, with more expected soon. Cows maybe but a long way off. There's nothing orderly about trying to move these sheep!! We've got 8 rescue chickens who are the friendliest birds plus 2 noisy boys.

    A good week, all NSDs .....on my side. DH van has failed MOT, so kind of walks in the face of all the NSDs!! Got to buy something new so bye-bye most of emergency fund. We're just going to get something cheap to get us through the next few months and if it does more than that, it will be a bonus. On the plus side DH does have a job interview on Monday so fingers crossed for a more enjoyable job for him.

    Going back to old house tomorrow to check all is ok. It's been empty for a year now - so sad. Hope the sale goes through. Looking forward to a family weekend.

    Will do bank checks and menu planning tomorrow.

    Happy weekend everyone.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 12th Jan 18, 10:20 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    So bank checks all done.
    Positives are:
    • we've had loads of NSD's and are not overbudget (yet)
    • work expenses have come in
      Also consolidating CC's onto a 0% is saving us some serious cash - we paid out 600 in payments this month - but next month it will be 400 so that's good for cash flow.

    Negatives are: Had annual sewage bill come in (we pay a neighbour as we share it) So only 73 - a bargain in reality as in our old house we had to pay 55 a month to rotten thieving SW W@ter! Also BT bill was 74 because of a load of calls (at least new Sky package will sort all of that out.)

    Oh and the van death. Seeing a car tomorrow - DH has 7 years NCB on his van - but it looks like you can't transfer to a car - which is FIENDISH approach to money raising from insurance companies. Hey ho. Still going to ring an insurance broker and see if we can do something.

    Still haven't paid in 50 surprise cheque - might be able to get to post office tomorrow.

    Have moved work expenses around to cover the sewage, and extra BT as it was more than I was expecting. Also added a bit to petrol and a bit to food.

    Food spend so far: 134 with 66 remaining. Get paid again on 25th so 2 weeks today. Not sure 66 will be enough. Have 100 in petrol budget so a bit of thieving from there potentially. or the surprise cheque.

    TTFN
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 13th Jan 18, 12:18 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Car bought. Insurance sorted, tax sorted (all of which is more pricey than old vehicle.) Manage to bring across the NCB though so that's a positive. Going to scrap old van today too - so we'll get 170 back which will cover the initial payout.
    Paid in cheque.

    Nice email from estate agent saying that the buyers are not doing a structural survey at all - and that the only thing we are waiting on is 1 thing on their side with theit mortgage offer....so we ***might*** be exchanging soon. FINGERS CROSSED.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 17th Jan 18, 9:49 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Just a quick post from me about DH job interview. He's got to 2nd interview and all looking very positive. It's for a huge amount of money more than he's currently on, so fingers crossed.

    All NSDs so far for me this week. DH has picked up some nappies (bought wrong size) and then went and bought 2 packs of the right size. Sigh. Over budget for food but probably able to steal from petrol budget so overall still hopefully on track. Week to go until pay day!!!!;
    • pennywisepoundstupid
    • By pennywisepoundstupid 17th Jan 18, 10:02 PM
    • 4,798 Posts
    • 16,343 Thanks
    pennywisepoundstupid
    Excellent news regarding job interview. xx
    Be mindful of your self-talk. It's a conversation with the Universe."
    Debt free and saving for my future
    Long term savings 10,000 Holiday spends 1000/349.02 Kitchen savings stage 1 1500/160.24
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    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 19th Jan 18, 2:38 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Happy Friday!

    Budget checks all done. Cancelled DH's old insurance and they are going to charge 110 to close it! GRRRR no option but to pay.

    Food spends so far this month are 260, have 40 in pot to last until payday on 25th so that all feels do-able. That will bring us to 300. I'll do a big shop on payday to fill up the freezer a bit more, so expect we'll come in at about 400 for the calendar month, which is my budget. In other months it has been closer to 500!! I know it's still a lot and many people spend a lot less, but over the last few years of trying to sort finances, I've realised that 400 is a comfortable spend for us - it includes a small amount of alcohol, and a couple of meals out (if we have too) and I buy good quality meat when I can. We don't have any other hobbies / we never buy DVD's or go out, we only buy clothes from charity shops....and my DH and my SS are big eaters (DH works outdoors)

    Petrol for month was 157 so not too bad and some to claim back.

    Folks visiting for the weekend. will post more when I have some peace and quiet.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 26th Jan 18, 8:58 AM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Hello diary.
    Pay day is here. And what a crazy old month it has been. Life is never boring!

    I have checked YNAB every week so pleased with myself for that.
    Some other areas not so great - and some unexpected funding needed (DH's vehicle expiring, new vehicle purchase (1K!!!!) , new insurance (more expensive than before!!! now 75/month) and tax costs (24 a month - double whammy as had paid for old vehicle for month and then had to pay for new so 48 in all) and fees for cancelling old policies (110 for insurance, and BT charged me 65 for cancelling phone contract (although I'm going to tap Sky up to refund it!).
    Also had a stinger BT phone bill for 75 for the month - mostly phone calls - because new job I sometimes have to work from home and no mobile signal.....but have now moved to Sky with all calls free so expecting this to be nicer from now on.
    We moved some CC debt to 0% so paying much less to service CC debt (was paying approx 650, now 400) but still have the final interest payment to make to the old cards this month so it's expense all round.

    And probably the biggest news - DH's new job. He was on a salary of 17.5K, his new job is 15/hour, so even if not full time he will be on more money. He's going to be full-time for at least first 3 months, and then he will be able to drop hours so he can build up his own business more. His new boss is also taking him to Chelsea Flower Show for a reccy!! Great news in some senses, and more money will certainly be welcome - but I'm slightly worried about managing the gap between old job and new - he'll only get 3 weeks wages when he finishes his old job, and then will be waiting a month to get paid for his new - and he will need to lay out for insurance. We have some money in the emergency fund but probably not enough!

    House sale ticking along slowly - still crossing fingers on this one - hopefully be hearing today that we are ready to exchange - hoping it doesn't fall through again!
    If that goes through, we will have some more expenses in that I have to get rid of a load of asbestos (approx 700) which will have to go on a CC. but when the money comes in we will be able to clear all CC debt.

    Also on the countdown to 30 hours free childcare - 1st April come on soon!! and then we will be in a much healthier state and I can start making a real dent on DMP debts as well as saving up.

    Right going to do YNAB. sort the whole picture out and then work out how skint we will be for the next month!
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 26th Jan 18, 9:28 AM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Emergency fund: 620.54
    CC LJ 0%: 7,564.23 (with 175 to come off - 7455.66)
    CC HJ 0%: 9,714.72 (with 220 to come off - 9494.72)
    Total CC to clear: 16,950.38

    Budget for month for food: 366.43 (a bit tight, but got some nice stuff in freezer.) Going to do some batch cooking today (soup etc). Got a 30% off voucher for Ocado for a first time user - so may get some stuff I have to get with that to get it cheaper.
    Budget for month for fuel: 165

    Future money to come in 89 child benefit - so this is my extra 'emergency money' which will arrive on 19th. Hoping to not touch real emergency fund this month (saving it for shortfalls in March)

    Right oh - time to get on with the day!!
    Lots of jobs to do today.
    • Take DD to docs
    • DH's tax return into system
    • make soup
    • make batches of mince and some cakes
    • clean out chickens and worm them

    Last edited by ramblehan; 26-01-2018 at 9:33 AM.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 26th Jan 18, 5:43 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    So DH's tax return done - all good, no tax to pay except I forgot he's have to pay class whatever NICs.....so 145.60 for that before the end of the month (is there a smacking my head emoji?!!) If I'd done the upload months ago when I did all the returns I could have saved up slowly to pay it off. But, as it is, it will come out of the usual budget and I'll probably have to dip a little into EF. But maybe not - how's that for a Feb challenge.

    DD been actually poorly this pm with a temp, but getting brighter now. Soup and batch mince all done and bubbling away so only the chickens lucked out as not been able to get outdoors this PM.

    Tidying up to do, and SS will be arriving shortly for family weekend. No major plans except animal care and general outdoors maintenance. Must make some banana cake tomorrow too.
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 26th Jan 18, 10:16 PM
    • 284 Posts
    • 1,884 Thanks
    Chrystal
    It's all sounding really positive Rambleham. Great news on OHs job and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you with the contract exchange...(I'm also waiting for a contract exchange and it seems to be taking forever ) things will be much clearer when that money comes through.

    I think you're doing a brilliant job. X
    GC. Oct.17 = 261.18/ 300 = + 38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = 354.89/300 = - 54.39

    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 27th Jan 18, 1:15 PM
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    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Thanks Chrystal - the wait is awful isn't it.. Nothing seems to happen quickly and we keep getting the same old questions from the solicitor (which makes me think they are not doing very much!) ..this is the second time for us as first time the sale fell through as we were about to exchange...the house sold first in August, and has been empty for over a year!!

    Oh well - we have had the contract come through to sign (but not date) and have a final query to respond to about TV aerial - so I will be doing all of that and getting it in the post this afternoon.

    Some other positive news.
    My DH and I argue a lot about as he takes no interest in it (I think almost as an anti-reaction to the fact that I think about it alot!!), and is a bit laissez-faire with it all - or head in the sand when it is all going t*ts up....so I basically organise everything to do with money including his tax returns, insurance you name it. Now I 'enjoy' doing it, so I don't mind and it helps me feel in control of what's going on. For his side though he always feels like I am nagging him / telling him what he can't / can spend. It's a bit of a vicious circle - and we return to this argument again and again.

    So today we had a discussion about how we will manage things going forward with a new approach - which will hopefully give him the feeling of more control, as well as give me the comfort I need to feel that everythings OK. As we will be on a much surer footing with money anyway we will be in a situation of surplus rather than scrimping, but I want to make sure our household budget is robust enough for saving for everything we will need.

    So here;s the plan. We both control our own money, but we have to make a payment to the household account to pay bills & savings for bills. (At the moment we don't have a household account we just have our 2 current accounts and it's a really messy system of putting money in the right place at the right time to pay bills - and if you overspend, it messes up the budget for other stuff). So we'll need to organise 1 account just for this (and essentially not have the cards for it in our wallets so we only dip into it if we have to (e.g to use the EF.)
    We'll use the prepaid credit card to load for our food budget - so it's really easy to see what's left to spend on the mobile phone app .

    In our own accounts, we pay our car expenses & any other more personal expenses, and any leftover we are free to decide how to spend it. For him, he will be running his business and the developing farm business out of his account.
    As I earn more than him, my contribution the house expenses will be greater (so in some way, I am subsiding the development of the farm business which is fine as I benefit from that too)

    Depending on how much he earns he will earn more or less of a surplus which he can decide how to use (and if for whatever reason he earns a lot less - the surplus on my account will be big enough to cover this shortfall anyway (it just means I won't be saving as much as planned)

    Probably sounds confusing but I'm feeling like it might work. This will only kick into action in April when the house is sold, and free childcare is in place.
    So just got to survive with current messy system until then.

    If anyone has any genius input about how best to manage joint finances - please share - we've been together 10 years and look where our current systems have got us!
    Last edited by ramblehan; 27-01-2018 at 1:55 PM.
    • Chrystal
    • By Chrystal 28th Jan 18, 1:05 AM
    • 284 Posts
    • 1,884 Thanks
    Chrystal
    Hi Ramblehan

    Yes the wait is driving me crazy as we also are getting the same questions etc from the solicitors - don't know how many times I need to scan and send info before they realise they already have it! We were left it 15 months ago and had to go through probate etc. We live 250 miles away from the property and know next to nothing about the things they need to know..... fun and games

    I'm also the one who has to sort the finances and try and keep a check on OHs spending (his is on the internet - I think he should have shares in Ebay!)

    Definitely sounds like a plan to have the bank accounts sorted better, although I'm assuming that OH has a seperate account for his business? If that is mixed up with his personal spends how will he know profit/loss how much tax to pay etc.

    Keep your chin up .... only 3 months till April
    GC. Oct.17 = 261.18/ 300 = + 38.82 NSDs 20/31
    GC. Sept.17 = 354.89/300 = - 54.39

    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 28th Jan 18, 7:29 AM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Thanks for posting Chrystal. We signed (but didn't date!) the contract and posted it yesterday with copies of requested bills (why oh why did they need that???!), just an email query to respond to (about TV aerial which we've had wired but never bothered to attach an aerial too as used internet for TV....lets hope that's not dropping a clanger for the new buyers!!)

    Good point about DH, he will need 2 bank accounts. We use YNAB to track ins and outs for business and freebie quickfile for invoice and P&L reporting but will be much clearer if only used for business and any profit swept away to somewhere else. Will speak to DH later. We're going to need proper tax advice this year as no idea how to combine farm and his business together.
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 28th Jan 18, 8:33 AM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Chrystal - 250 miles away must be a nightmare. Ours is 1h30 mins away but near where my SS lives so we are back there every 2 weeks anyway.
    Have you planned what you will do when it goes through? I'll see if I can find if you have a diary xx
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 28th Jan 18, 8:55 AM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    So - I haven't set any goals yet for the month (which was one of my goals ) and have been reading some other folks diaries so feeling INSPIRED....thank you all.

    Am back to work today (My working week starts on a Sunday) but have decided to work from home today so using the time saved on driving to get organised and get ahead for the week.

    So here's my list of goals for the immediate future
    • Email solicitor about aerial query
    • Tidy drawer stack in lounge
    • file the filing drawer which is overflowing
    • Re-budget the month to take into account the NI payment and figure out a plan.
    • Keep checking YNAB on a weekly basis as a minimum
    • Investigate a 'YNAB Wish Farm' - more later!
    • Sort out a new electricity deal (current one ends March)
    • Meal plan for this week - and try to do at least 3 meat free meals, starting from today
    • Washing washing washing washing and more washing.
    • Drawingaline
    • By Drawingaline 28th Jan 18, 10:34 AM
    • 431 Posts
    • 1,450 Thanks
    Drawingaline
    You sound very organised. Me and my husband are similar to you with our financial set up. We have a joint account for bills, food etc, he transfers money across when he is paid (the amount I tell him!) And he keeps the rest of his wages for his train fares and spends. I get my wages and benefits paid into my own account and transfer what is needed to the joint account and then use the rest to build a buffer/save/true expenses etc. It works for us, he has no interest in saving and I hate not being in charge of it all so we both get what we want. Over the past two years he has been showing more interest, especially since I have been using YNAB and I can give him the Amazon prime fee in one go, or say 'thats fine' to a family trip.

    Good luck with the house sale, it always seems to go on forever and then there is a mad rush and it all needs to be done 'right now'!
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 28th Jan 18, 12:10 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    You sound very organised. Me and my husband are similar to you with our financial set up. We have a joint account for bills, food etc, he transfers money across when he is paid (the amount I tell him!) And he keeps the rest of his wages for his train fares and spends. I get my wages and benefits paid into my own account and transfer what is needed to the joint account and then use the rest to build a buffer/save/true expenses etc. It works for us, he has no interest in saving and I hate not being in charge of it all so we both get what we want. Over the past two years he has been showing more interest, especially since I have been using YNAB and I can give him the Amazon prime fee in one go, or say 'thats fine' to a family trip.

    Good luck with the house sale, it always seems to go on forever and then there is a mad rush and it all needs to be done 'right now'!
    Originally posted by Drawingaline
    Thanks Drawing - I am hopeful this will unlock things for us too - also looking forward to the odd guilt free treat (or even necessity!) which this will hopefully allow. MUST NOT FRITTER though - I want every to be used usefully.
    • Lilith1980
    • By Lilith1980 28th Jan 18, 12:48 PM
    • 1,816 Posts
    • 5,168 Thanks
    Lilith1980
    Just reading through your diary. Really inspiring to see how organised and focused you are. I'm just at the start of my own journey so it's giving me encouragement that this can be done, but isn't without its peaks and troughs!
    My debt-free diary
    • ramblehan
    • By ramblehan 28th Jan 18, 1:21 PM
    • 610 Posts
    • 1,251 Thanks
    ramblehan
    Progress update:

    Email solicitor about aerial query
    Tidy drawer stack in lounge
    file the filing drawer which is overflowing
    Re-budget the month to take into account the NI payment and figure out a plan.
    Keep checking YNAB on a weekly basis as a minimum
    Investigate a 'YNAB Wish Farm' - more later!
    Sort out a new electricity deal (current one ends March)
    Meal plan for this week - and try to do at least 3 meat free meals, starting from today
    Washing washing washing washing and more washing.
    New bank account opened for DH
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