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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    • 8,546Posts
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    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 7:28 AM
    Hello lovely people

    I'm Cheery, been around these parts a long time now and had several DFW diaries over the years, most recently here.

    We are two - Mr Cheery and I. We've been together over 12 years now, and last week we moved from the middle of the city to the middle of nowhere. We were snowed in within 24 hours and unable to leave for a week Quite an introduction to country living

    I now have a mortgage for the first time in my life Mr Cheery had one before, but as it was near the end when I met him, we never added me, and then it got to the end of its 25 year span a few years ago. Now we have a brand new one, and I would like to pay it off as soon as possible

    It's going to take a while - we've borrowed 215,000 over 25 years A reasonable rate though (1.8%), fixed until Sept 2019. Our monthly payment is 890, and I'd like to overpay by 10 at least - with the aim of on average paying off an extra 110 a month to take it up to a round 1000.

    If we don't pay it off early, it'll run til I'm 62, and Mr Cheery is 80 A good incentive to get on with it

    Sadly our building society doesn't have online banking for mortgages (bloody ridiculous) and only sends annual statements, so it looks like I'll be ringing them up every five minutes for a new balance

    I would love it if you dropped in occasionally for a nice cup of tea, especially if you brought along some cake

    More details in a minute
Page 6
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 23rd Apr 18, 8:23 AM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Aw, thanks edwink Yesterday I very definitely felt like we did someone a favour - went to collect a garden bench and some fence posts, came away with several garden chairs (one almost unusably rotten), a bird table, and all manner of other bits of 'stuff' she was trying to get rid of. The bench itself is almost falling apart too

    Well, I am just popping in to say in public that I am about to jump in and tackle YNAB and the banks, which have been studiously ignored for at least a week, if not longer Back shortly
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 23rd Apr 18, 8:55 AM
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    Cheery Daff
    Right, YNAB and banks done, and as usual, I have discovered that if you don't keep an eye on these things they dance around behave like right pesky fiends behind your back

    So. Budget is settling down after moving house, slowly getting an idea of how much things are costing, although gas, electric etc are all still a bit up in the air and working on guesswork. Changed electricity suppliers too, and we're now paying a monthly amount (58 ) with the new bunch, but not yet had a final bill for the old ones yet. Hoping that will go down, but probably not til we get radiators installed in the 3 rooms that don't have central heating so we can stop using the plug in radiators!

    Diesel is expensive, but I think last month's 220 was an aberration fortunately Spent 67 filling the smaller car twice this month (that's the one I use for nipping back and forth to the city for work, so that will come down considerably now I'm working at home more). Not filled the bigger car up at all yet, but that'll likely need it this week, which will be about 45. So that takes us to just over 100. Shocking, but much more reasonable.

    Food/grocery seems to have come in at 113 so far this month which is not unreasonable - except the majority of it is meant to come out of Mr Cheery's cash money not the bank account so I don't know what's going on there...

    85 on the treats budget so far, not bad as that's for both of us - mostly covers cafe trips and lunches out, and we've paid for a couple of friends too this month.

    My own personal spends have dropped drastically since we moved I am SUCH an impulsive cake buyer I don't walk past the shops on the way home any more, and don't really meet friends for a cuppa in a cafe any more - far more likely to go round to someone's house after work now.

    One professional membership has come out (95), and I did buy my 'new' camera for 52.

    Still not decided what to do with my nan's money yet. I did want to use it to get us started with land management etc... but so far I've ended up putting stuff like the plastic greenhouse, dry stone wall course etc just through the normal bank account.

    However, we do need to get used to there not being *quite* so much wriggle room in the budget any more... Had quite a bit before and could absorb stuff like that, but the mortgage has eaten all our wiggle room really...

    Not putting ANYTHING into savings out of normal wages at the minute which is distressing me slightly...

    However, I did get the 'everyday rewards' payment from the bank, so that's 5.50 gone to the mortgage signature updated That's going into a separate bank account now rather than directly to the building society after it transpired they just sit on it for the entire year and I don't get any more interest anyway!

    Right, best get on with some work!
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 27th Apr 18, 8:27 AM
    • 2,391 Posts
    • 15,450 Thanks

    A little birdy tells me it's a special day for you!

    2 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    Working hard to keep all the balls in the air and juggle the budget!
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 27th Apr 18, 6:22 PM
    • 9,028 Posts
    • 47,508 Thanks
    Happy Birthday lovely lady! xx
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Apr 18, 8:15 AM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Darn it, just typed out a load of stuff, went looking for something else, and closed the tab! What a plonker!

    So. Lovely birthday yesterday but lots of driving and lifting so quite tiring and we were asleep before 10.30 Dry stone walling course today so yet more heavy lifting Three day weekend though

    Been doing some bank-inspecting I REALLY need to get a grip on our finances. We are not in debt (thank goodness, except the pesky mortgage which I am grateful for) but we are also not adding anything to savings at the minute which means if anything happened to our savings, we wouldn't be able to replenish them - which means to me, we are living rather too close to the edge of our means

    Anyway, first of all some good financial news

    * got final electric bill from old provider for first month in new house (aka Month of Snow) - 33 Much better than expected, as we had electric heaters on in the rooms with no central heating Almost considering switching back as new provider has us on a DD of 58 Hoping we'll get a refund at some point!

    * had a letter from HMRC saying they owe me 217 this is for the professional membership stuff I did a couple of weeks ago - nuisance to do but glad I did it Need to read it again to see how that will arrive, then it can go straight in the mortgage account

    (just off for a brief break to reset the mouse trap in the loft as I can hear a pesky one scurrying round up there Honestly, having evicted 12 mice now to the far ends of the fields I am bordering on starting with the killing traps... )
    Last edited by Cheery Daff; 28-04-2018 at 8:23 AM.
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 28th Apr 18, 8:33 AM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Right, four traps set now Pesky furry menaces. Never had mice before but expected it moving to the middle of the countryside in a house that had been empty for a year before we got here They are quite cute, especially the little field mice But they can't live in our house!

    Wonder how long it will take before we cave and start to kill them off? We're both a pair of complete softies so it might be a while but at the minute we're checking all traps several times a day and going on at least one long walk a day to the bottom of the fields and quite frankly I have other things to do

    Anyway - back to money

    * Prolific is up to 7.80, will wait to 20 for a free payout. Might get there in May

    * Really need to sit down and sort out what to do with the money Nan left me I've ignored it so far, I wanted to spend it on getting set up with our land - but so far everything I've spent has come out of the main account, which is fine, but I'm finding I'm reluctant to buy stuff like fruit trees because of the cost. But that's exactly what I DIDN'T want! I don't want to fritter that money, but also fruit trees are a great thing to buy as they'll just keep on giving

    * 108 spent on diesel this month, one car will need a top up today ( about 30 I think) but the other is three quarters full, so it'll be 150 for the month, and we're going into May with two nearly full tanks Much better than last month! Also I'm working at home a lot in May so that should make a difference too.

    * need to sort out LPG. Apparently you have to tie into a two year contract. We paid existing supplier for a half fill before we moved in but we're down to about 30% of tank now so need a contract. Existing supplier has offered 37p a litre plus VAT for first year, with a 'variable' rate in the second year - looking at the LPG thread on here they can bog off. Going to ring the little local supplier and see if they can do better.

    Right, I really should get off the computer Going out in half an hour, and I wanted to get my fuchsia and rosemary cuttings planted out if nothing else.
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 28th Apr 18, 9:36 AM
    • 13,005 Posts
    • 223,799 Thanks
    Enjoy the wall building course!

    I bought fruit trees - I don't have as much space as you, but wanted small trees suitable for a garden to replace the huge field trees I took out. I got them as bare root trees in the winter which meant smaller holes to dig (a bonus when you're on chalk and gravel) from Buckingham Nurseries and Walcot Nursery. All of them have done really well - particularly the quinces which I have discovered LOVE soggy ground so are very happy by the stream.

    Spend some time looking and deciding what you want - if you go for bare root trees it'll cost you less and you'll have time to spend planning exactly what you want and where it will go (and digging the holes). And buy LOTS of rootgrow!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 28th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    • 30,858 Posts
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    Echoing greenbee really - yes, good fruit trees are exactly the sort of fairly expensive, long term purchase you've reserved your nan's money for, and researching your soil and the situation and what each type of tree needs is really important.

    And dry stone walling too! You're going to make this such an amazing smallholding! Keep on putting it in your diary, so when you look back you can see how you built it

    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Pooky
    • By Pooky 29th Apr 18, 6:57 AM
    • 6,845 Posts
    • 44,417 Thanks
    I caved very early on with the mice in our loft when we moved in. There had been a little old lady here who didn't own a hoover so the entire house was covered in mouse droppings (and as they are incontinent I can imagine just how much had soaked into the carpets), all the carpets came up within the first 2 hours of getting the keys, the floors were swept and disinfected and all holes sealed. It wasn't until about 3 weeks later I could hear them in the loft and knew it was more than just one overactive one. I put a big dish of poison down and checked it 24 hours later and every scrap of it had gone. Repeated daily for two weeks and have never had a problem since.

    We do release any the cats bring in but infestations need dealing with quickly.
    "Start every day off with a smile and get it over with" - W. C. Field.
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 1st May 18, 12:48 PM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Just dashing through - had an email with an electricity bill so popped in to check it Reckons we've used 154 worth of electricity since 4th April

    Even worse - it was based on an estimate meter reading, and when I tried to input the real one, it said 'this is much more than we expected, please upload a photograph of your meter;

    Oh dear. It's a 100% renewables company which I don't mind paying a bit extra for, but this is ridiculous. However, I suspect the issue is at our end - we have three rooms that don't have radiators, and have put electric heaters in them, and have just gotten into the habit of putting them on in the morning and leaving them on all day - so all three of them could be on for 18 hours a day

    Needless to say I have been round and turned them all off
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 1st May 18, 1:06 PM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    On the plus side, I've just spoken to a different LPG supplier and it looks like we'll be able to get MUCH cheaper gas than with the two folks I've spoken to already

    Eventually, when the work in the kitchen is being done, we're going to have radiators fitted in the three rooms that don't have them and everything will run on gas.

    In the meantime, now the weather's warmed up and the house isn't quite so damp as it was when we moved in (it was empty for a year before us), I think we'll manage...

    Ooh, cheque from HMRC arrived That's 217 to go to the mortgage fund, which I'll add once it's cashed

    Right - WORK.
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • EssexHebridean
    • By EssexHebridean 3rd May 18, 11:33 AM
    • 9,028 Posts
    • 47,508 Thanks
    Eek - hope you get the electricity thing sorted Cheery! Electric heaters can indeed eat through power - we tend to put our hungrier ones on for an hour to take the chill off them use the less hungry oil-filled rad to keep it that way, using it on the thermostat so it clicks in and out as needed. Also need to be religiously careful about keeping doors closed in rooms where you're using extra heaters like that, we've found!

    Good news on the LPG pricing though - and th dampness beginning to dry out a bit too - throwing windows open everywhere whenever there is the least glimpse of sun will help massively with that, too!

    And hurrah to the cheque!
    MORTGAGE FREE 30/09/2016
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 3rd May 18, 2:22 PM
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    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Yep, I think turning the heaters off will definitely help. We'd got into the habit of having them on and it was rather cosy... however they've been mostly off for a couple of days now and it's fine really (not quite as cosy but none of them are rooms we sit in anyway!)

    I did put it on for an hour in the study this morning, but shut the door properly too and it's stayed nice and warm. Hopefully that'll be the end of it. Must submit the reading today then I can compare it to next month's which will hopefully be much better too!

    Cheque paid into the bank so hopefully that will cash shortly and I can add it to signature
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 3rd May 18, 7:09 PM
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    Cheery Daff
    Now then good MSE folks

    I have an evening to do with as I please I have already eaten, and have about eleventy million things that I *could* be doing But let's try to make a plan...

    * bring washing in
    * mow grass (this is likely to take me the entire evening as I am now the proud owner of a manual lawnmower and rather a lot of grass that is a teensy bit long for a manual lawnmower... )
    * more dry stone walling (this is always on the list, I try to do half an hour at the end of the evening as it's in a good place to watch the sun go down)
    * dig out recycling and put it at the end of the drive (must work out how long drive is, feels like at least a mile and a half when carrying a load of bin bags)
    * empty compost

    * hoover living room, hall and bathroom at least

    * YNAB and banks
    * finish rewriting to do list
    * do at least one thing off to do list

    * practice musical things ready for rehearsal
    * catch up on latest installment of online natural history drawing course
    * finish online soil health course
    * do some work on my diploma
    * curl up on the sofa and nod off

    Quite clearly I'm not going to get ALL that done but it would be nice to finish the grass and I must get the recycling out and the washing in - I'll do those first, then grass, and then I might jump straight to dozing on the sofa
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 3rd May 18, 7:40 PM
    • 4,451 Posts
    • 50,221 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    *rushing footsteps from stage left..........*

    ....Greying nips in, and flops down onto said sofa, on account of a serious attack of the vapours from reading all about Cheery's eleventy million things to be done........

    ......loud snoring ensues.....

    *Curtain closes, house lights dim*

    Have a GREAT evening Cheery

    Greying X
    'Ich habe genug' 'Your Vibe attracts your Tribe'

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 3rd May 18, 10:11 PM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    *budges Greying alomg the sofa a bit*

    Well, needless to say I did NOT do all those things I did do all the outside things though except the compost, forgot about that til I just saw the list but that's easily done in the morning.

    Gosh the mowing is hard work :blink: it was always going to be a bit hard going with a manual mower on not-very-flat ground but I REALLY should have started a couple of weeks ago before the grass got a spurt on... happened all of a sudden and caught me by surprise

    Had to stop after an hour as I was getting a blister going to leave the rest of the big lawn for the scythe thats arriving next Friday (along with a nice man to demonstrate how to use it). Gosh I'm such a glutton for punishment

    Done another hour of musical homework, still can't play everything but I can join in well over half now

    Just filling hot water bottle and making a cuppa, then I will indeed get on the sofa - might add a few photos to my diploma portfolio while the tv is on in the background though...

    Everything else will have to wait til tomorrow...
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 4th May 18, 2:12 PM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Afternoon chums

    Well today is NOT turning out to be the productivity marathon I anticipated The sun was breaking through the fog earlier so I ate breakfast outside on the terrace (we're inventing grand sounding names for all the ludicrously tiny and shabby bits of the house )

    Then Mr Cheery wanted to go out for a cuppa, so we went to the local village where I sat and did a bit of work - spent 4.10 of treats budget.

    Bumped into Farmer No 1 (there are two brothers - this is the first one we met, and the younger of the two at about 68). Ended up standing in the lane chatting for an hour, as he told us all about various local characters, who didn't keep up with their walling, his !!!!less nephew at university etc Most enjoyable He's going to come round and show me how to do my walling which is great - except I've already started and I fear he might laugh at my attempts

    Told us more about the woman who lived here before us - apparently she grew Christmas trees one year, but then she got goats, which ate all the trees Quite heartened that they all speak quite affectionately of her hair brained schemes - I'm hopeful that they'll do the same about me

    He's sending his son round to talk about sticking cows in our fields Bit of a palaver as Mr Cheery doesn't want them in one particular field, but I want them in the two beyond that.. I was wondering if we'd have to herd them through but then someone drove past with a load of cows in a trailer so clearly they have already thought of ways to deal with such things.

    Apparently they're coming out next week

    Right, I have whiled away an hour reading Fortune's diary and now I really MUST get on with some work! I'm going to be working til 8pm at the rate I'm going!
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 9th May 18, 8:53 AM
    • 8,546 Posts
    • 43,391 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Morning MSE chums another fine one here although we're set for rain later apparently. Can't imagine it right now but since I'll be out til midnight, best take a coat!

    Long-neglected YNAB and bank shuffling done this morning. scratched my head over my budget seeming to be over 200 out Just could NOT work it out - but I have done now (something in the wrong virtual pot). All sorted now, and refund from HMRC (for tax on professional memberships that I hadn't claimed back) stuck in the mortgage overpayment account

    413.84 in there now Just in the last couple of months since we moved Of course, this is mostly refunds from bits of insurance etc not use in the old house etc so this level of saving will NOT continue through the year, but it's nice to see it increase. My aim was to overpay by 1000 this year so nearly half way there!
    Mortgage overpayments 1200 in 2018, 54.50 in 2019
    • Fortune Smiles
    • By Fortune Smiles 9th May 18, 9:09 AM
    • 3,003 Posts
    • 24,894 Thanks
    Fortune Smiles
    It does feel good making a mortgage op doesn't it. We made our first since moving in this month and I'm so happy about it.

    Hope the weather stays fine for you.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 10% paid Overpayments 2019: 585.83 Emergency Fund: 47% Car Loan Remaining: 100%

    Read my work here and here (scroll down for text). Free to read but ratings and reviews very much appreciated.
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 9th May 18, 1:11 PM
    • 2,172 Posts
    • 12,357 Thanks
    Rather late to the party here, but just come across your diary - new place sounds idyllic (much like we'd like), have subscribed and will catch up soon! (Have only read first page.... maybe you have chickens now!
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
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