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  • FIRST POST
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 26th Jan 18, 6:35 PM
    • 1,754Posts
    • 18,554Thanks
    Courgette
    Courgette resets her sights
    • #1
    • 26th Jan 18, 6:35 PM
    Courgette resets her sights 26th Jan 18 at 6:35 PM
    After a rather extended mfw hiatus, I think it's about time I re-sorted myself out and get back on track!

    DS3 goes to school in September and I've had a lovely few years being a SAHM with a bit of self-employed work chucked in. Our household income is very low though and I need to really start addressing at least my part of this. We've also just had a pretty massive extension done, and although I am beyond delighted with it, it has gone over budget. We now find ourselves in the excellent position of having run out of money before the new kitchen has run out of bills

    So the initial focus of this diary will be to earn and save the money we need to complete the kitchen. It's currently knocked through, plastered and the electric points have been put in but not wired up/made live.

    We've got about £600 left of the building budget which will go on the underfloor heating then we need to crack on and earn more money so we can buy the flooring and pay the electricians.

    Time to crack on!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
Page 5
    • TallGirl
    • By TallGirl 31st Mar 18, 8:40 AM
    • 4,305 Posts
    • 8,901 Thanks
    TallGirl
    Hi Courgette just found you again I definitely remember you from the old MFi3.

    You need to slow down a bit and not be so hard on yourself. Feeling good about yourself and being in a good relaxed place mentally does help career plans too. Reading the bit about your nail I was almost shouting just treat yourself and do it don't feel guilty. Set a budget and then research the place you want to get it done is good and doesn't charge over the odds.

    Being mortgage free is great I did it nine years early but I don't have a family and I never traded up to a larger house. Look at what you have got lovely kids and husband plus a work life balance where you can dictate things you're not having to spend hours commuting to a job you hate or may not hate. It isn't a race or a sprint paying the mortgage off.

    I look forward to following your diary and I hope to see some fun and treats for you and the kids.
    • tootallulah
    • By tootallulah 31st Mar 18, 12:02 PM
    • 2,167 Posts
    • 7,604 Thanks
    tootallulah
    My goodness I could have written what TallGirl has written above and agree with every word. Everything she says about family and work life balance is so true. I am 60 still not mortgage free and so much regret not having children (just didn't happen). You need a budget that includes, treats, holidays, clothes, fun , saving and mortgage payback. How about working it out in relation to your age, when the kids will do to Uni etc. Since I have been using YNAB I have got money in every pot and have made loads more progress perhaps that might help?
    Mortgage House £45,000, 26 January 2018, 17th September 2018 £1,000.
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 31st Mar 18, 1:22 PM
    • 1,754 Posts
    • 18,554 Thanks
    Courgette
    Oh gosh, you're all so kind

    Does it make sense if I say I know all this with my brain bit but am completely unable to believe it and act on it in the gut bit? That's the real problem for me. I can stand back objectively and say this is all daft and if a friend of mine was getting herself this wound up I'd want to do everything to help her.

    I had been wondering about something like YNAB actually but thought maybe I'd use it as a tool to wind myself up even more, a bit like when you use the OP calculators and you make things tighter and tighter and tighter just to bring the date down.

    I've got lovely things planned. We've got an all day Easter party do-dah locally tomorrow and I've got the stuff in for an Easter egg hunt in the garden. I've also done some nail research but got stuck because I don't know the difference between gel and shellac. Found a grooooooupon code though for shellac fingers for £10 though so I'll probably go for that.

    I hope this doesn't offend anyone but I liken my attitude to money to something like an eating disorder or drug addiction. You know sensibly how you need to be and that you want to change and you can plan small things in, like getting a beauty treatment or buying something nice but not essential, but it's having the tools to not clam up again completely and to lose the overwhelming sense of guilt around everything that I lack.

    Okay some practical stuff:
    1. I need to upgrade my phone. Mine is fine except it only has an 8gb memory which actually makes it almost useless as a smart phone. Already got an SD card for it but actually very difficult to use despite a lot of time trying to get it to work (shop assistants see me coming and hide ). Where can I get a cheap, decent smartphone for not loads but also that will last. I'm thinking iphone6 kind of thing. I have zero brand loyalty. Reconditioned 2nd fine as long as I know it'll work.
    2. The bigger one: if I wanted a couple of weeks somewhere sunny, with safe water nearby and lots of good food for a family of four in August, where do I begin to look for this and how do I know what's a good price to pay? Without spending 50 gazillion hours online? Don't want anywhere too touristy, by which I mean loud nightclubs. Hated Cyprus if that helps at all. Where do I begin with this and what's a reasonable amount to expect to pay? In the past, I've always been happy to spend a bit more on travel if it means everything is cheaper when we get there although I don't know if this makes sense. It would be nice if the children could have unlimited ice-cream and access to water without me tensing up every time they ask.

    Thanks, and thanks all for being lovely
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • ToTheBatcave
    • By ToTheBatcave 31st Mar 18, 2:14 PM
    • 9 Posts
    • 63 Thanks
    ToTheBatcave
    Delurking from this thread just to echo what others have said. I think you're doing brilliantly and are being a bit hard on yourself. I hope you can find a better spending balance that gives you a bit more freedom to enjoy small pleasures without feeling guilty.

    On the phone issue Im no expert but I usually go with Motorola's G series, they're considered some of the best value for money smartphones on the market. They're due to release the G6 soon so you depending on how quickly you need it that might be an option but obviously will be more expensive than a G5. I still use a G3 and like yours lack of memory is the only major issue for wanting to upgrade.

    I also don't know about holiday prices for families in August but know friends who have booked through Jet2 for summer holidays and really recommend it, they do all kinds of packages for families an often do cashback deals. Hope that helps!
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 4th Apr 18, 10:00 AM
    • 1,754 Posts
    • 18,554 Thanks
    Courgette
    Hi all,

    Just popping in to say I've had a good think and am continuing to have a good think about my whole attitude to money. I think it's safe to say there are some issues here so I've bought myself a book to start addressing some of them. One of the first things it asks is for you to list reasons why you deserve money - I genuinely cannot think of any at all!

    You'll also be delighted to know I am typing this with the most gorgeous sonic blue finger nails. I love them so much! Not gel nails cos I haven't had time yet to arrange, just regular old nail varnish but they're so fun!

    Raining here so will be a museum day with the boys. Will make a really strong effort to say yes much more to them. I'm so lucky I get to be their mum so I want to make sure I enjoy it

    One of the things my book also says it to make sure you're grateful for what you have including money and lose the negative self talk. Lots of work for me to do here!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 4th Apr 18, 12:25 PM
    • 6,445 Posts
    • 44,839 Thanks
    newgirly
    You sound so much more positive already, have a great day out
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£13,632 paid so far

    Mortgage £36,193 3yrs 9 mths left. Total owed £47,059 plan to clear in 12 months
    • Downshifterella
    • By Downshifterella 4th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 892 Thanks
    Downshifterella
    Great idea courgette with the book.i can relate to the money attitude too in some ways having experienced similar in terms of some serious housing instability ....I cant say much better than the others have .yay on the nail varnish too X
    MF planning for the simple life
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 8th Apr 18, 5:47 PM
    • 1,754 Posts
    • 18,554 Thanks
    Courgette
    Just a quick check in while I wait for a student.

    Having a lovely Easter break with the lads. I am consciously practising saying yes to them. My usual state is to panic about the money and say no when they ask for stuff but I've really made the effort not to resort to this default. Interestingly enough, nothing they have asked for has actually been that expensive. On Thursday for example we went to the local tennis courts at tea time and had a dusk picnic and a 'match' (very inverted commas there!). Saturday we had the whole day in a soft play centre which cost a tenner then I treated them to some food and me a coffee, another fiver. Not the cheapest day but completely fine.

    I'm also trying to not tally up the cost of each day in terms of money earned vs money spent which is something I usually do and drives me a bit mad.

    Finally, one of the things my book says is to make sure you're sending out the right impression if you want to earn more money. Because I work from home and the house is looking shabby we have spent the day clearing the front garden, loads of pruning and lots of builders stuff moved into the back garden out of sight of students. Still more to do here (still got approx 850kg of builders sand to move for example - arghhhh!) but it's looking better. I've bought some tissues for running student noses rather than nipping to the bathroom for a loo roll.

    Oh, I've also bought a load of picnic food so I can easily assemble picnics in the morning which makes us far more likely to get out the door. Treated myself to some sandwich bags too, 3p each dontcha know

    I still have so much work to do on my mindset but I've definitely made a start!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Apr 18, 8:39 PM
    • 56,839 Posts
    • 231,468 Thanks
    beanielou
    Great start
    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
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 9th Apr 18, 9:58 PM
    • 1,754 Posts
    • 18,554 Thanks
    Courgette
    Gorgeous day today. Went on the bus to a local not National Trust but similar place. Spent £6 on ice-cream but otherwise free. Loads of fresh air and running around. DS3 fell in the lake, as you do, but was very good natured about it. There were bits of leaves floating in the bath!

    It occurred to me that I shouldn't really be including the cost of bus/train fares for family days out as I very much doubt people with cars factor in depreciation and petrol etc in their mega cheap entertainment budgets. Just a thought.

    Sonic blue fingernails still looking amazing. Obviously have had to redo them a few times
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 9th Apr 18, 10:04 PM
    • 56,839 Posts
    • 231,468 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that you had a good day
    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
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 9th Apr 18, 10:30 PM
    • 6,445 Posts
    • 44,839 Thanks
    newgirly
    Sounds like you are moving forward with what you wanted to achieve re getting the balance right financially Courgette, great stuff

    Love the leaves in the bath
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 £40k/£13,632 paid so far

    Mortgage £36,193 3yrs 9 mths left. Total owed £47,059 plan to clear in 12 months
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 10th Apr 18, 8:27 AM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 13,893 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    It occurred to me that I shouldn't really be including the cost of bus/train fares for family days out as I very much doubt people with cars factor in depreciation and petrol etc in their mega cheap entertainment budgets. Just a thought.
    Originally posted by Courgette
    Very valid point and one that i hadn't considered.
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2025... 41//120 Payments Challenge, Diary Reduction £44,136.86
    Aug 2009: £163,051 // Current: £91,863.15 // Avg Daily Interest £4.13
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 80.74% of £41,000
    • greent
    • By greent 10th Apr 18, 10:45 AM
    • 7,354 Posts
    • 74,539 Thanks
    greent
    I factor in fuel if it's a long way away - if it's within 50 miles each way I wouldn't think of taking account of it. Never depreciation though - that's general car costs
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £6100/£7500
    Net sales 2018 £655.15/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) Done £18918.90
    • slm6002
    • By slm6002 10th Apr 18, 11:03 AM
    • 1,798 Posts
    • 4,844 Thanks
    slm6002
    I normally account for fuel if its not a normal day to day trip - otherwise I would not account for it anywhere else in the budget.
    Me,OH, DD 12, DS 10, DD 7
    DFW Nerd 1103 Debt Free 04/18
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 10th Apr 18, 2:49 PM
    • 1,754 Posts
    • 18,554 Thanks
    Courgette
    Thanks everyone,

    It's interesting to hear how other people manage their money and what they include in certain categories.

    I'm still mulling things over and haven't really got time to write a long post right now but I'm considering giving myself a budget for the first time ever. I always operate on an 'assume £0' basis and, coupled with the need vs want debate, I think this is where some of my problems are coming from.

    Needs for example to me are the purely practical. Food, mortgage, compulsory bills like council tax and water and that's about it. It's true that if my life came tumbling around my ears, those would be my priority financial commitments. Needs is broader though isn't it, and this is where I'm lost I think. To be mentally and physically healthy we need to address needs such as being able to take time out of life and have fun; to waste money on ice-creams even though the joy from them is gone a few minutes after they've been eaten; to be able to listen to great music that makes us feel brilliant etc etc etc. But taking that to the extreme means buying a stereo with great speakers is a need, ice-cream is a need and so on. Not sure where I'm going with this but I just mean that this traditional boundary between wants and needs isn't so clear cut as it's supposed to be.

    Anyway, I'm considering drawing up a budget as a way of giving myself permission to spend money. I'm not sure yet but I'm thinking along the lines of £100 a month on the business and £100 on family fun. Perhaps also opening a bank account for holiday savings too and squirrelling a bit away into there each month.

    I'm also considering doing my tax return in the next few weeks so it doesn't hang over me as an unknown expense later in the year. I know right away roughly how much it will be but until the figures are in, it's impossible to know for sure. It's never a problem being able to pay it but if I know exactly how much it will be, it will mean I can use my other earnings as I see fit.

    I'm also actively working on my gratitude mindset. Again, this wasn't something I was aware was lacking but making a conscious effort to be thankful seems to be making things more fun. DH did look at me like I'd just landed last night though. I was just launching into a general moan about the huge washing mountain when I changed course and burst into song about how grateful I was to have all this washing to do because it meant I had a lovely and busy family and got on with it. Actually it worked!

    Still loads more to come on all this. Unsubscribe if you don't want to read about someone reinventing the wheel!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 10th Apr 18, 5:14 PM
    • 2,095 Posts
    • 12,452 Thanks
    museumworker
    I can so identify with a lot of what you posted - I was also brought up in a very frugal house. True story - a family member gambled all the money saved to fix the holes in the roof! I remember hearing the rows about it as a kid and being terrified we would be on the streets. I also have had a strange attitude to money, going from spending it all without care to going mental if OH spends 5p on a carrier bag !

    Interested to know which book you're reading, sounds really helpful!

    I still am sorting stuff out myself, but what I've found is that some things do bring me joy and happiness, so they are worth spending the money on. Some things do not so I try to minimise my spends on those. However you often don't know which is which until you practice spending in the first place! So this is not necessarily money wasted but instead a learning experience.

    I love YNAB as I have to allocate money at the beginning of the month, and it makes me ask what I want to get out of the month. If its to have three days out with the family, have I allocated enough money? If its some time with my partner, have we date night cash put to one side? I also have £150 pocket money a month which I can fritter on nights out, coffee, kindle books, food, blogging courses - and know that as long as I don't go over, that's fine, it's there to allow me to enjoy life! I have quite a bit to one side from unspent pocket money and am planning to spend it on self hosting and a new smartphone/camera for the blog.

    My things:
    * travel - but having had a few £4-5k holidays (through competition wins) I realise that spending loads on a holiday does not guarantee a marvellous family time. Hence why I've moved to houseswapping, we get to explore for only the cost of flights/car hire if needed.
    * days out - although we are now cutting back on expensive days out and instead concentrating on doing low key local things, some mid price things, with the odd theme park or zoo when we travel. We get quite a lot of things free with our work passes so trying to use those as we still get as much joy as we would spending £50 to go somewhere!
    * eating out - we realised eating out as a family is miserable, partly due to having 2 neuro-diverse kids! Instead we always take a packed lunch, so have easy to chuck in a bag stuff to hand. We enjoy eating out without kids, so once or twice a year we do a blow out dinner somewhere which we love
    * ice creams - they make the kids so happy! In the summer I make sure we have some Lidl mini-magnums in the freezer though so they don't ask for an icecream every time we just pop to the local park!
    * house - we've overspent on the home renovations and I even bought some stuff FOR FUN (like a £12 cactus vase!) and do you know what - the house looks amazing and I feel so much better about it. We still painted it ourselves, kept our old sofas (with new covers) and bought cushions from cheap shops like Primarni and IKEA but we also realised that yes, we could keep our old paper lampshade but that £35 lampshade would transform the room.

    I'm not sure what this ramble is meant to do but yes, I'll stay subscribed and watch you reinvent the wheel
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • greent
    • By greent 10th Apr 18, 8:36 PM
    • 7,354 Posts
    • 74,539 Thanks
    greent
    A guilt free fun budget is a great idea And ice creams don't always last just 5 mins - the memory of that day/ outing will last much longer - and sometimes the ice creams are an important part of the memory (such as dropping one straight away....

    x

    ETA: and MW speaks some seriously wise words up above
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £6100/£7500
    Net sales 2018 £655.15/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) Done £18918.90
    • *little.squirrel*
    • By *little.squirrel* 11th Apr 18, 3:27 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 72 Thanks
    *little.squirrel*
    Hi Courgette,

    I read your first post the other day and meant to reply and I've just seen your follow up. I used to feel exactly the same, and I still do to an extent. My budget for myself every month is quite low but it used to be zero. I would get really frustrated when DH spent money on things that I didn't think we needed (including things for me). I also felt singlehandedly responsible for our finances and hated having to say 'no' to things that he thought we could afford. At the start of this year though I drafted him in and we set up a great spreadsheet with monthly allocations for family fun, holidays, the kids' clothes and some others. I've felt a huge load off my shoulders as now I have a good idea of what we can afford to do or to buy and I don't feel guilty when I buy ice cream or something small that the kids really enjoy. Even now, DH's personal monthly budget is higher than mine but we set up a new account for him so it can just be transferred in there and he can do what he wants with it so it doesn't annoy me. I. haven't done the same for me though, based on my attitude that I shouldn't spend any money on myself, but DH has been encouraging me to open one too and actually I think I will.

    Like MuseumWorker my childhood has really affected my views on money. My parents both earned a decent wage but are terrible with saving and I remember constantly being told we were going to lose our house and to start packing. The thought of that happening to my own family terrifies me.

    Anyway, I think having your own budget will hopefully give you more financial freedom. You will know the money is there for you, if you want to use it, but also if you choose not to it will be a personal saving for another month.
    #112 Save 12k in 2018: 3692.56/6000
    • biglass
    • By biglass 11th Apr 18, 7:35 PM
    • 119 Posts
    • 760 Thanks
    biglass
    Hi there Courgette-apologies but literally a read and run but just to say is it not imperative to insure your building and contents ??
    I have heard of a very recent financial disaster of a friend of friend whose house was being renovated and wasn't insured. Please prioritise this :0
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