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  • FIRST POST
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    • 29,739Posts
    • 171,476Thanks
    Karmacat
    Travelling On
    • #1
    • 2nd Jan 18, 3:38 PM
    Travelling On 2nd Jan 18 at 3:38 PM
    2018 really is a “travelling on” year for me: the final push, as far as finances and organisation are concerned. But I still need to look after the rest of me, so here it all is, adapted from the review I did on the last few pages of my previous diary:

    Make good memories.
    Building on last year. Carrying on reconnecting with old friends and new.
    Make new friends, especially locally.
    Our little board games group - we're all retired now!
    Rejoin the local writing group?

    Plus holidays and creative work, see below.

    Holidays
    A UK holiday for all three of us, probably to Hadrian's Wall.
    A cruise: current thinking is a 14 day-er with Tui to Norway; you could really do Norway in that time.

    Creativity
    I wanted to do lots of writing around one blog, and lots of design work around another, and I haven't done either of those things. I've missed it. A second edition of my original kindle book is needed, a new kindle is nearly ready, I can do a novel. There are a couple of options for another factual one.

    And if I'm ever going to design any cat cards or geometric patterns, this is the year.

    Jobs around the house
    The house is definitely my house now, not a work-live space. Replaster the hall, repair the hardstanding and the patio, some electrical work on the ground floor. Lots of other bits that are really little.

    Garden
    Weeding, getting compost, topsoil and bark chippings down, so I can plant edible perennials.
    Frences need weatherproofing. Prunings from hedging plants need burning to add to the soil.

    Health
    I'm carrying on
    getting better – need to get enough sleep. And I need stamina and strength – just enough to have a day out in London for instance.
    Healthy walks run by the local council. Dance classes, by the end of the year?

    Finances.
    MSE wins
    Swagbucks and You Gov right now, but I'll be going for Pinecone Research and Prolific Academic. Anything of that type that I can do from my armchair!
    Pensions
    I haven't done anything – luckily, the Stock Market hasn't collapsed, but I really do need to safeguard it, simply because I don't earn money any more.
    Online Sales
    I've kept some items back from the charity shop, things that will probably net £5 or more. Spread throughout the year, do it or donate it.
    Change current account
    HSBC have irritated me with their crazy fraud software for the last time. When my Regular Saver terminates, I'm moving.
    Insurance
    I just renewed last year, for ease, it was less than a month after the funeral. But I want a cheaper alternative, and I need to get quotes for insurance of all this jewellery I now have.

    Accounts
    2016/17 in the UK, and 2017 in France. I don't know if I'll need to do UK accounts after this year – I might have to, even though I've no UK earnings, because of the French apartment.
    French accountant
    I have the possibility of shifting accountant, people have got a computer programme going for leaseback properties like mine. Do I take the risk of moving? I'll have to decide really soon. Probably not worth it if I'm selling.
    Tackle French mortgage.
    The mortgage ends in September next year! About 630 euros a month goes to capital repayment, and the interest rate is 0.95% p.a.
    Ability to sell the French apartment?
    If I could sell it without penalty (huge VAT payment) I'd love to get rid of it now. I don't care too much what I'd get for it, even.
    My mother's house
    We'll be putting it up for sale in the summer; it was recently rewired, which is good, but it's still a fixer-upper, there's no doubt. Quite a bit of work in it.

    Counting Blessings”,says greent.
    I used to do that all the time. Last year felt short on blessings, to be honest, but even so my brother and sister and I have come together very strongly, we've met up with the Norfolk rellies, a new baby was born, I went catsitting twice, and that's just the big stuff.
    Next year will be more settled in the basics, so that everyday events feel more fun, and there'll be lots more opportunity for fun one-offs: I'm off to London this week and the next for days out. Another baby will be born in summer 2018!

    Retired August 2016
Page 69
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Sep 18, 11:39 AM
    • 56,767 Posts
    • 230,852 Thanks
    beanielou
    I am the same now carbootcrazy as I live on my onesome & live a boring life.
    I havent done any more since I got payout.
    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
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Sep 18, 11:49 AM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Well done on being so proactive, CBC, and getting such a good result! I don't think of it in terms of the calendar months that it takes - I think of it now in terms of the effort they ask me to put in. All YouGov does is ask me to fill in surveys, which they then credit me for. I don't ever get disqualified, there are no weird "do you fit our demographic" pre-surveys, and the rate of return for filling in the actual surveys isn't too bad either. I'll stay with, even though I'm only just over halfway to my next payout.

    As a comparison, SB, urgh - I'm still making the effort with them for now, because I want to buy my hot composter from Amazon for vouchers only - I'm three quarters of the way there now. When I get there, I'll probably still do the very easy stuff, actually, but I won't make any effort - for example, at the moment, if I've got the computer on anyway, I might work at finding points for internet searches (a bit of luck with that, but its a bad time investment) - once I've got my composter, I'd never do that.

    Got to get my act together today:
    - had several emails and phone calls already about the form engaging the conveyancer. All three of us need to sign, fair enough. So I have to print it, sign it, scan it, and send it back ...
    - supermarket delivery this afternoon. Website got stuck and wouldn't let me amend it last night, so I have to make the best of that.
    - bit more cleaning. Okay, so a paper hankie may have been left in the w/machine and dispersed itself all over the kitchen
    - yet more emails arranging things
    - garden! I've not touched the garden since I've been back!


    That'll do.
    Retired August 2016
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 11th Sep 18, 1:16 PM
    • 1,920 Posts
    • 11,079 Thanks
    themadvix
    SBs is definitely in the 'minimum necessary and quick' camp for me. With an occasional survey if the effort/reward ratio looks okay. Agree with you about YG though - while I think I probably get more invitations that CBC or Beanie, I look at it in terms of how much effort/how interesting they are rather than how long it takes to get there. I went through a 'series of 10 surveys' recently - 50p for each (if you did all 10 you got a bonus, but it didn't offer me all of them) and they were quick and interesting.

    Ugh to the tissue in the washing - I don't miss that - that's one of the great advantages of cotton hankies!
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 11th Sep 18, 1:30 PM
    • 4,945 Posts
    • 28,123 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I don't think of it in terms of the calendar months that it takes - I think of it now in terms of the effort they ask me to put in. All YouGov does is ask me to fill in surveys, which they then credit me for. I don't ever get disqualified, there are no weird "do you fit our demographic" pre-surveys, and the rate of return for filling in the actual surveys isn't too bad either. I'll stay with, even though I'm only just over halfway to my next payout.
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Agree with you about YG though - while I think I probably get more invitations that CBC or Beanie, I look at it in terms of how much effort/how interesting they are rather than how long it takes to get there. I went through a 'series of 10 surveys' recently - 50p for each (if you did all 10 you got a bonus, but it didn't offer me all of them) and they were quick and interesting.
    Originally posted by themadvix
    I know YouGov don't screen out but I'm not so sure the time taken is worth the effort. I used to get some really interesting surveys from them but they have become increasingly samey and pretty boring. I'm not sure they are particularly cost-effective as by my calculation a 50 point survey (and not all of them are worth as much as that) is worth 50p (maths never was my strong point though) and some of them seem to be very long and time-consuming.


    On the other hand, Prolific studies are really interestingly different and often very short and sweet for considerably more pay than the YouGov ones. I did a really fun one on Prolific this morning for 70p (not megabucks I know) but it took about 4 minutes. I know YouGov ones take a heck of a lot longer than that
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9111. Under £10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 11th Sep 18, 5:39 PM
    • 56,767 Posts
    • 230,852 Thanks
    beanielou
    Yes, the YOU Gov ones are so boring.
    I would rather havre shorter ones worth 25p.
    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
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 11th Sep 18, 6:03 PM
    • 1,920 Posts
    • 11,079 Thanks
    themadvix
    Proof that it's different strokes for different folks, I think!

    Agree that Prolific are really good, but you have to catch them and I often don't remember to do so!
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Sep 18, 8:02 PM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I *must* get round to Prolific! Argh! Okay, my next bout of catsitting might be the time to do that.


    Well, today has just been about emails and phone calls, twenty or so. And the ink on my printer has finally run out (three years? at least!) and the only cartridges in town were at WHS, who were charging more than a tenner more than I was seeing at other shops. So I'm going to Sainsbo tomorrow to buy some generic lookalikes
    Retired August 2016
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 13th Sep 18, 9:12 AM
    • 4,945 Posts
    • 28,123 Thanks
    carbootcrazy
    I had an email from Lakeland this morning and immediately thought of you, KC

    It was headed Say goodbye to uninvited house guests, namely all the creepy crawlies that have been so abundant this summer. I had a chuckle though, given what we've been chatting about on here recently, as it could apply equally to non-welcome human interlopers. I don't suppose Lakeland sell a spray or gadget to remove people though
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 13-09-2018 at 9:14 AM.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9111. Under £10K at long last.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Sep 18, 9:41 AM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thank you for your thoughts there's a lot of Raid been sprayed, I can tell you now


    Ridiculous amount of admin for the house sale yesterday: phone calls, scanning, emailing, texting, you name it. Three executors who live hundreds of miles apart, that'll do it every time!


    I'm hardly paying attention to money at all at the moment other than watching/collecting vouchers, but I need to transfer some money over to France, no sense letting the money over there get too low just because the mortgage is ending (next week!) and with Brexit coming up, I just don't know what Brexit will do to the exchange rate ...
    Retired August 2016
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 13th Sep 18, 10:24 AM
    • 2,272 Posts
    • 14,487 Thanks
    rtandon27
    ...I don't suppose Lakeland sell a spray or gadget to remove people though
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    If only!

    I'd have a can & a spare at my desk at work! Open concept offices are the worst!
    1 YEAR & 10 MONTHS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    STILL - Juggling the pots to keep in the black! - NOT an easy task!
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Sep 18, 11:23 AM
    • 56,767 Posts
    • 230,852 Thanks
    beanielou
    Are you worried about the French house Karmcat?
    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
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Sep 18, 12:16 PM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    To be honest, beanie, there's no point worrying. The whole escapade has been a complete and unmitigated disaster. It's never made a profit, cost me a minimum of £3,000 a year. The only good thing is that the management agency renewed the contract when the first 9 years ran out, otherwise I'd have to be renting it out myself now. They send less money, of course, but they *do* send it. Many agencies don't do that, just take the money and run. I **think** that as of the end of this month, when the mortgage is finally paid off, it will be self supporting, and I won't have to send any more money over. Sending more now is kind of a "just in case" thing, in case of a massive bill, a breakdown in the financial system because of a bad Brexit, a hurricane, anything you like.



    When/if I eventually manage to sell it, it will also be at a huge loss, there's been no capital appreciation either. Capital Gains Tax will *not* concern me.



    I don't trust that any money at all will ever be repatriated to my account in the UK. I just forget about it as much as I can ...
    Retired August 2016
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Sep 18, 3:08 PM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Ug, just had another phone conversation with one of my credit card companies - okay, Sainsbury Bank - about unwarranted interest charges


    Two months of charges, adding up to almost £40 (paid for the holiday for both me and my sister, and a few other things too, she reimbursed me, of course!). Rang up, they explained that the format of their bank statement had changed and that there had been so many complaints they'd changed it back. I said how annoyed I was and that I knew it's not the Customer Service Asst's fault. Phone goes dead. Whaaat???????

    Phoned again. Pressed the same buttons, but didn't get through to the same department. Not quite the same security questions, but still as many. Told the CSA I wanted to speak about my credit card statement, and then I wanted to make a complaint about the call I'd just had.

    Surprise surprise, I spoke to the same person, who was miraculously available again, and she said the phone had gone dead on her. My lack of belief wasn't overtly stated, but I hope it was plain. Because of the number of complaints, they're refunding all the interest on my statement, but asking me to pay the actual amount that includes the interest. Don't worry, sez I, I shall, I've sort of lost trust in Sainsbury Bank at this point in time. She gave me her name, don't know if its a true identifier or not, but I wrote notes on the statement, and made a note of what time the second phone call finished.

    No mention made of the complaint, and I was too eager to get into my current account and pay them off to notice. I rounded up my payment, because, as I told them, I've lost all trust in them, including trust in what I can see with my own eyes. Very, very unhappy with Sainsbury Bank right now, and if they didn't conveniently allocate me Nectar points for all spends, I'd find someone else. They're all as bad as each other, of course ... hey ho. I think I need to go for a walk. Thats an hour of my life I'll never get back!
    Retired August 2016
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Sep 18, 4:40 PM
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    • 230,852 Thanks
    beanielou
    Sainsburys .

    As you say they are all as bad as each other.
    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
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Sep 18, 5:53 PM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Yep! The link between the statement, and the interest payment, by the way, is the fact that the statement became so badly laid out for those two months, that people didn't know what to pay - that's what caused it! No apology, and no automatic wipeout of the interest. Imagine if you paid interest regularly on your credit card - most of those people are thousands in debt, it would be a lot more than the £40 or so that I nearly got stung for.



    CBC - are you with Sainsbo Bank for a credit card? Definitely check the situation if you are.


    Anyway, better now, I'm tidying, packing ID documents for Monday, that sort of thing. Clothes too, obvs
    Retired August 2016
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 13th Sep 18, 7:16 PM
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    carbootcrazy
    CBC - are you with Sainsbo Bank for a credit card? Definitely check the situation if you are.


    Anyway, better now, I'm tidying, packing ID documents for Monday, that sort of thing. Clothes too, obvs
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    Thanks for the heads-up about Sainsbury's bank, KC. No, I've never had any sort of account with them. One of my creditors (a now closed CC account) is Tesco bank though. They were always less than helpful but thankfully I'm now in a position to get them paid off and out of my life forever.


    I think a lot of the supermarkets and other institutions that went on to offer banking services have been pretty dire to be honest. I make an exception with M&S who paid me on the 2 PPI policies I had with them donkey's years ago when I had no dates or paperwork to help my claim. They couldn't have been more courteous, helpful and professional in all their dealings with me over the claims and payouts. Good old M&S


    OH has been a lifelong client of TSB. He has a lot of money invested with them across several accounts. Accessing his account information over several weeks has been a total nightmare, especially as he is totally computer-illiterate and I have to manage all his online affairs for him.


    Sorry, I must have missed something in earlier posts, but what's happening on Monday that needs ID and changes of clothes?
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9111. Under £10K at long last.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 13th Sep 18, 7:53 PM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Thanks for the heads-up about Sainsbury's bank, KC.
    Originally posted by carbootcrazy
    You're welcome sorry you've got to cope with OH's stuff as well as yours!

    Sorry, I must have missed something in earlier posts, but what's happening on Monday that needs ID and changes of clothes?
    Monday - ID needs are for an executors meeting, to show we're not laundering drug money or something. All three of us in the same room, it will be in London, so my bruv needs to come all the way down from Liverpool

    I think the clothes thing might be your memory of me wittering on about not having any trousers that fit? Though thinking about it now, I'm certainly going to be taking autumn weight clothing, it's getting fair parky, as we hardly ever said
    Retired August 2016
    • carbootcrazy
    • By carbootcrazy 14th Sep 18, 12:31 PM
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    carbootcrazy
    Monday - ID needs are for an executors meeting, to show we're not laundering drug money or something. All three of us in the same room, it will be in London, so my bruv needs to come all the way down from Liverpool
    Originally posted by Karmacat
    What a palaver. I feel sorry for your brother having to travel all that way. I know you and your sister have quite a journey to make too but not as far as Liverpool to London

    Just had a brilliant result with tracing information about 'my' murders that I've been going on about as background for my book. I contacted the Archive department in the town where it happened and after lots of emails passing to and fro I decided to commission them to do the look-ups for me and send me photocopies. After taking into account the long journey to go there and do the research myself plus it's cost and inconvenience it was cheaper and quicker to let them do the job. I'd have had to pay for the photocopies anyway and as all the information was based on the local newspapers it seemed a relatively easy commission for them which didn't really need any in-depth research by me. The final cost was a pleasant surprise too.


    The researcher did it all straight away and emailed to say that I had to pay (over the phone by debit card) before he was allowed to post off the copies. Apparently there's a massive package of them as he also searched other local-ish newspapers that I didn't realise they held. When I asked them to undertake the job I only mentioned the 2 newspapers that I was aware of. To be honest, I never knew some of the others even existed and had I done the research myself I would probably have missed out on potentially useful information.


    Best of all though, when I rang up to pay I was put through to the archive assistant himself ( a volunteer who has gone to so much trouble on my behalf)and he was absolutely amazing. Apparently he was a serving policeman himself at the time of the murders and would have been involved had he not been on leave at the time. He remembers the events well though, is still a close friend of the 2 police officers who were involved and was able to add all sorts of extra details that weren't reported in the press reports. He was happy to talk and said I was welcome to contact him again any time. He said he'll be seeing the other 2 policemen next month for their annual reunion and will pick their brains and get in touch again should anything new emerge. What a lovely man, I can't believe my luck that it was he who was available to take my commission. The female archivist who I started dealing with when I made my initial enquiry has been on leave for the past few weeks and probably wouldn't have had any first-hand memory of the events to add to what was reported at the time.


    Kindness from strangers really gives me a warm glow. I'm feeling pretty euphoric at the moment. Doesn't take much, does it?.
    Last edited by carbootcrazy; 14-09-2018 at 12:40 PM.
    Original Debt: £56804 (@02/13). Now: £9111. Under £10K at long last.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 14th Sep 18, 8:23 PM
    • 56,767 Posts
    • 230,852 Thanks
    beanielou
    Wow, just wow.
    What an awesome result for you
    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
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 15th Sep 18, 10:03 AM
    • 29,739 Posts
    • 171,476 Thanks
    Karmacat
    CBC, that's amazing! The kindness of strangers indeed, it's a wonderful thing I'm really pleased for you. And well done for looking at the real costs of a day there, thats very sensible. Let us know if the package holds unexpected goodies for you

    I'm in catsittingland, and because my previous stay was so recent, they sort of remember me - the timid one got up on the bed this morning, and it took her 7 days to do that last time I'm very chuffed. Mind you, an hour later she threw up I'm off to meet a friend later on, who lives in Brixton, so I'll be checking up very carefully before I do.

    Early morning has been the same here as at home - nice strong coffee and faffing about with SB. Very disappointed I can't find The Walking Dead on Netflix UK, grrr, I don't want to buy it, but I do want to watch it. Never satisfied, me
    Retired August 2016
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