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  • FIRST POST
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 31st Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    • 118Posts
    • 482Thanks
    rawr_
    Rawr_'s Saving Diary
    • #1
    • 31st Dec 17, 4:50 PM
    Rawr_'s Saving Diary 31st Dec 17 at 4:50 PM
    Tomorrow is the start of a new year, and I'm looking to save a lot of money over 2018!

    A bit about me... I live in a fairly rural area of Norfolk, currently living with my husband in his Mum & Dad's house (which they will be selling when we move out) whilst they are living in Scotland. This has been a big help for us while we save for our own house. We got married in October 2016, and have been saving for a house since then, and with a lot of scrimping and some extra help from family, we now have a deposit for our first home.

    Initially, I though "Yes! The scrimping is over!". Oh how I am wrong. My husband will be going back to Uni (won't be going until Sep 2019) part-time for 4 years, which means there will be some parts of it where we may be living on just my wage, as he will have to do some placements. I'm also 25 (DH is 29) and would like to start a family. I'm the higher wage earner of us both, so would like some money behind me before we start having a family so that I could have some decent maternity leave and not have to worry about going back to work too soon.

    I've started this thread to keep tracking of my spending, and hopefully make myself accountable for the things I do spend money on. I go through phases of splurging and having an "oh well you only live once" attitude, which I need to stop if I want to money proof for future plans!

    I'd also welcome any tips from anyone that may be going through a similar thing, with more than one thing that they need to save for!

    Happy saving!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
Page 2
    • Eco Miser
    • By Eco Miser 3rd Jan 18, 8:50 AM
    • 3,444 Posts
    • 3,234 Thanks
    Eco Miser
    Thanks Eco Miser you seem to be in a great position!
    Originally posted by rawr_
    It's time in the market, as they say in the investment threads. Half a lifetime keeping costs down and squirreling away the surplus, then suddenly you realise it's worked, and you don't need to do that any more.

    I use bank accounts to maximise the interest, and keep track of the purpose of the money on a spread-sheet (actually I don't even do that anymore, since I'm fortunate enough now to be able to afford what I want when I want it, without specific budgeting).
    Originally posted by Eco Miser
    To clarify that a bit, I do have a spreadsheet listing all the expected Direct Debits, Standing Orders, and debit card purchases/ATM withdrawals for each month, so I can be sure there will be money there to pay them. I just don't allocate savings to any specific purpose.
    Eco Miser
    Saving money for well over half a century
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 4th Jan 18, 9:36 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    Argh, don't redeem Tesco Clubcard at face value when they can be multiplied. I just redeemed some today to place a double-up order with Denby who have our range at half price in the January sale (so 4x value). Only had to pay the postage with real money and used new Amex card (30 from TopCashBack) to get Nectar points. Doubling up 120 of Nectar points to 240 across various categories at Sainsbury's made a big contribution to Christmas costs.
    Originally posted by Alexland
    I understand that clubcard points can be doubled up, but I don't need anything at the moment and don't want to spend them on a meal out (like we usually would), when I can use the vouchers on food to try and make up the difference of what we have spent over Christmas.

    I use an app called Moneyhub. I've found it useful as you link it to all your main bank accounts and it tracks your spending. It's been very useful to me to we how much I am actually spending on items and take action where necessary
    Originally posted by Fatbritabroad
    Thank you for this Fatbritabroad, will have to take a look!
    Last edited by rawr_; 04-01-2018 at 9:40 AM.
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 4th Jan 18, 9:49 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    So yesterday was a NSD for me, mainly probably because I've been at home unwell. I think today will be too which brings me to 3 NSD's so far for January. I still have my diesel costs as had to drive DH to work yesterday and today (I really can't wait until he's ready to pass his test ).

    The in-laws left yesterday, and I'm still waiting for the engineer to come and fit the part for our boiler as still no heat or hot water. We have a little halogen heater to heat the front room, and kind of dreading how much electricity it's using as I know they can eat it up a bit.

    Still need to do a stock inventory of the cupboards, fridge & freezer so I can do our shop tomorrow. I'm planning on going back to work tomorrow as feeling a little better today.
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 8th Jan 18, 12:14 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    5 NSD's now so far for January. I came in under my weekly food/essentials budget of 50 (have 2 cats to feed too!) and spent 40 on Friday. Will probably need to do the odd top up shop as we take our lunches to work.

    Have squirrelled away some of the money left in my personal account, mainly to stop me spending it. I now have 500 in my savings account, which was my target for January. But will put any more left over in my account when I get paid on the 25th. Still need to get diesel this week, and also need to get a headlamp replaced and probably some engine coolant too as I suspect it's getting low. Trip to Halford's for me!

    I think they're the only unexpected costs this month - although saying that we are still having ongoing problems with our boiler. Got a different engineer coming out tonight to get a second opinion as not happy with my current one the way he's 'fixing' it. His solution seems to be keep replacing parts until it starts working again. So seeing what someone else says will give me a bit of peace of mind - or will confuse me further It'll be 4 weeks on Wednesday that this has gone on for, and I'm fed up of not having heat/hot water!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • *little.squirrel*
    • By *little.squirrel* 8th Jan 18, 3:46 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    *little.squirrel*
    Hi Rawr

    I'm just logging in to start a savings diary myself! I'll follow your thread with interest and hopefully your success will keep me motivated too

    We are in a similar situation where we are trying to save for a house but we have way less savings and two kids already...

    6k seems like a great target, I'm off to read that thread and decide whether that is possible for us.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 8th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    Hi *little.squirrel! I would recommend starting a diary, as it's made me think a lot more about what I'm spending, and holding me accountable to what I can save. Saving for a house is so hard - we are in such a lucky position that we've been able to live rent free for the last year and a bit, but if we hadn't I'm not quite sure how we would have been able to save so much (it would have taken us years!). Lots of weekends in, with Netflix on the telly (one of our only luxuries!).

    I think the fact is there is always something that needs saving for... I feel like I've never had a time where I haven't been saving towards something - would love to be in the position one day where I didn't have to worry...

    How old are your kids if you don't mind me asking? I can't wait to start a family, just seems impossible at the moment.
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • *little.squirrel*
    • By *little.squirrel* 9th Jan 18, 3:23 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    *little.squirrel*
    Right! If we weren't paying rent then we would have enough for a deposit a whole lot quicker!

    The kiddos are 4.5 and 2. It's been kind of complicated for us because we lived in the USA when they were born and the maternity entitlement there is zilch (actually more like short term disability pay and that only covers 6 weeks, depending on your employer). Plus, I had to give up my job because my work visa ran out so we haven't really been in a position to save since E was born 2 years ago. In saying all that, I've been really glad to have the time with the kids and the financial thing hasn't been as bad as I originally thought.

    One thing that someone told me years ago is that you will never be 'ready' for expanding your family, or making big life changes like that. You just have to go with it and hope everything is going to be alright That has kind of been the case for us so far, but I don't think it hurts to try and plan as much as possible!!
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 12th Jan 18, 4:39 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    It's been kind of complicated for us because we lived in the USA when they were born and the maternity entitlement there is zilch (actually more like short term disability pay and that only covers 6 weeks, depending on your employer). Plus, I had to give up my job because my work visa ran out so we haven't really been in a position to save since E was born 2 years ago. In saying all that, I've been really glad to have the time with the kids and the financial thing hasn't been as bad as I originally thought.
    Originally posted by *little.squirrel*
    Oh wow, sounds like it's been really hard for you! Can't believe people in the US have next to no help, guess we should count ourselves lucky really for at least we'll get something!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 12th Jan 18, 5:02 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    I've not been keeping track of much this week - as been so busy with work after being off sick last week. I can safely say I haven't spent anything out of my personal account this week - I have however done little top-up shops with the joint account. By the looks of things I should still come in budget for the rest of my food shops this month so it shouldn't be a bother.

    I switched internet contracts this week - we went out of contract in December with EE, and were already paying a fair bit for Fibre, but got it down to 23.99 per month, so will be saving over 10 per month. Next to switch will be the electricity as our fixed price contract ends this month, so will need to make sure we're getting the best deal!

    We're currently getting our boiler replaced (as I type this) which will hopefully be complete by tonight (if not will be tomorrow morning)! Looking forward to using one of my lush bathbomb's that I got for Christmas in a nice hot bath!!!! Don't think I'll be doing our weekly shop like I usually do on a Friday night, but will need to go out and get some cat food, so will just get something for tea and some other needed bits.

    This weekend will be pretty quiet, DH has a driving lesson tomorrow, and I'm meeting a friend that I haven't seen for a while for coffee, so they'll be a small spend from my personal account.
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 19th Jan 18, 11:48 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    We have heating - hurrah!

    Our new boiler got finished being installed last Saturday, and although we had a mishap on Saturday night with it flooding our kitchen (don't ask) we'll all sorted! I'll be doing the weekly shop tonight, I have 30 left of our food budget until I get paid on Thursday, so that could be quite challenging as need to get cat food too. I do have some left over still in my personal account though so I can use some of that if needed.

    Got a 60 belated Christmas cheque this week which was nice to receive, so will be putting that in the bank today and probably adding it straight until my savings account! I'm mindful that I have a couple of good months for saving coming up as we have our council tax free months, but May is always an expensive month for me as I'll have the car MOT and service to pay for, so if I can save more than planned in the months leading up to it then my savings won't take too much of a hit hopefully!

    I've lost track of my NSD's - I really need to get better at recording when I spend and how much, which will be my goal as of when I get paid Thursday for the month. I've had rubbish nights of sleep this week due to the strong winds so I'm looking forward to a relaxing weekend.

    I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 21st Jan 18, 8:37 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    This weekend I've been on the hunt around the house for stuff I can ebay to make a bit of money on the side! I found all my old collection of Polly Pockets, and some of them I'm pleased to say are actually worth a bit of money. They need a good clean and sorting out, so that will be my project for the next couple of weekends as there are quite a few! I've also got a load of dolls house furniture, that I think I'm just going to try my luck with. Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend and ready to take on Monday!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 21st Jan 18, 10:12 PM
    • 2,013 Posts
    • 1,863 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    I'm mindful that I have a couple of good months for saving coming up as we have our council tax free months,
    Originally posted by rawr_
    Are you aware that you can pay your council tax over 12 months? It may help with budgeting to do so, or not, depending on how you budget, but I thought I'd draw your attention to it just in case. Not all councils make this clear, but you are entitled to ask them for a 12 month payment schedule.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 29th Jan 18, 9:15 AM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    Are you aware that you can pay your council tax over 12 months? It may help with budgeting to do so, or not, depending on how you budget, but I thought I'd draw your attention to it just in case. Not all councils make this clear, but you are entitled to ask them for a 12 month payment schedule.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    Thanks ValiantSon, I'm aware - I think the plan was if we struggled at all then we would ask to switch to 12 months, but me being me I quite enjoy the 'free' months so I can put that sum in a savings account! I fear if its a smaller amount of saving each month, it does tend to get lost or dwindled away! But of course, it depends on what works for everyone! Ours is a hefty 160 per month, which is quite a blow, but we can manage it fine.

    I know I've been quite quiet, I feel updating weekly has been working well for me, but have had a busy week! We went to look at a house on Saturday, and loved it. Unfortunately, they declined our offer - in my opinion I think they are being greedy - but no matter, I haven't let it upset me and will just keep my eye on it.
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • Fatbritabroad
    • By Fatbritabroad 29th Jan 18, 1:07 PM
    • 400 Posts
    • 203 Thanks
    Fatbritabroad
    Are you aware that you can pay your council tax over 12 months? It may help with budgeting to do so, or not, depending on how you budget, but I thought I'd draw your attention to it just in case. Not all councils make this clear, but you are entitled to ask them for a 12 month payment schedule.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    I never knew that. I kind of like the two 'free' months but useful to know
    • Alexland
    • By Alexland 29th Jan 18, 7:33 PM
    • 2,574 Posts
    • 1,955 Thanks
    Alexland
    I never knew that. I kind of like the two 'free' months but useful to know
    Originally posted by Fatbritabroad
    I like the money in my bank account earning interest for as long as possible so don't see the advantage overpaying for most of the year when it's the same price either way.
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 29th Jan 18, 7:48 PM
    • 2,013 Posts
    • 1,863 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    I like the money in my bank account earning interest for as long as possible so don't see the advantage overpaying for most of the year when it's the same price either way.
    Originally posted by Alexland
    Agreed. In a sense these "free months" are actually costing people because they lose potential interest over those two months, so rather than being "free months" they are "extra cost" months.

    My gran always said, "Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves."
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 3rd Feb 18, 12:10 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    It's February already

    January was a good month for me, saved more than I thought I would! I feel I'm falling into 'not spending unless needed' thing quite well. I've found it quite hard in the past for some reason, but I guess it's different when you're saving for some you REALLY want!

    We viewed a couple of houses this last week. Last Saturday we fell in love with a property, but our offer was declined. We feel the vendors are being a little greedy, which I guess is the nature of selling a house, but we're leaving it. The estate agents !!!!ed us off to no end though. It was listed as a 3 bed, for offers over 170,000 - so we offered over that amount. A few days later, they have listed it as a 4 bed (because theres a room downstairs they use as a bedroom - I don't agree it should be listed as such) and are now asking for offers over 175k... I think we just felt a little misled with the whole thing, so we're forgetting it and moving on, hoping something else comes on the market that is similar in the near future. We're not desperate or in a rush, we've had our eye out since August, and in waiting have gone from a 5% deposit to a 10%, so we're in a better position than we were. Plus, the longer we wait the more we can save I guess!
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • ValiantSon
    • By ValiantSon 3rd Feb 18, 12:23 PM
    • 2,013 Posts
    • 1,863 Thanks
    ValiantSon
    Cheeky of the estate agents and the seller. A room downstairs is not a bedroom! Maybe I should put my house on the market as a 7 bedroomed house by claiming that the reception rooms are bedrooms. Absolutely ridiculous. I suspect that this strategy will backfire on them as people will look at it and conclude that it is a three bed with sellers who you don't want to deal with.
    • rawr_
    • By rawr_ 3rd Feb 18, 2:08 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 482 Thanks
    rawr_
    Cheeky of the estate agents and the seller. A room downstairs is not a bedroom! Maybe I should put my house on the market as a 7 bedroomed house by claiming that the reception rooms are bedrooms. Absolutely ridiculous. I suspect that this strategy will backfire on them as people will look at it and conclude that it is a three bed with sellers who you don't want to deal with.
    Originally posted by ValiantSon
    I know right. I kind of hope it does backfire on them. They have an open house today, and I'm guessing the estate agent will ring me again next week so I'll be interested to know whether they do actually get any better offers on it. I think maybe some people that don't do their research on houses previously sold down that road may pay more, but I hope they don't get blindsided. It does make me think though that I probably wouldn't want to deal with them now, even if they did accept a lower offer in the future...
    Debt March 2018: 11,529.70 | Current House Deposit: 18,732.02 | #77 Save 12K in 2018: 1374.23 / 6000
    Comp Wins 2018: Easter Tote Bag & Egg
    • *little.squirrel*
    • By *little.squirrel* 3rd Feb 18, 3:55 PM
    • 62 Posts
    • 54 Thanks
    *little.squirrel*
    Ugh, how frustrating! But, yes, in the meantime you are saving lots more towards a deposit. Positive thinking.
    #112 Save 12k in 2018: 2745.38/6000
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