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  • FIRST POST
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 2nd Apr 18, 12:22 PM
    • 691Posts
    • 3,200Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Busy Mee's Last Leg
    • #1
    • 2nd Apr 18, 12:22 PM
    Busy Mee's Last Leg 2nd Apr 18 at 12:22 PM
    Our Story
    We are me, Mr Mee and two grown up children ( one daughter living at home and one son who moved out last year). Mr Mee and I have been married for around a hundred years

    On the whole we have been quite good with money, having periods of our marriage when we have been very poor. We started with nothing and a mortgage interest rate of 13%, we then had little Mee's and had expensive child care costs ( no family nearby) and then supported them both through 7 years of university.

    We have also had very good years financially, Mr Mee and I both work in the public sector and over the years have both worked our way up to senior positions. We have always stretched ourselves to buy the most expensive house we could afford and added value where we could.

    However aound 9 years ago we decided to build our own house...cue the most stressful and scary financial period of our lives You have all watched the programmes on the TV and know how this goes, the plans get bigger, the bills get bigger, we mortgaged up to the hilt and borrowed as much money as we could on 0% credit cards and a bank loan. We even borrowed the kids savings.

    Thankfully we managed to get all the debt paid off and we now just have our mortgage which currently stands at a still eye watering 238,491.35.

    We are lucky in that we have a great mortgage product and pay just 1.19% (0.69% lifetime tracker). We have been therefore saving hard in higher interest savings accounts to offset the mortgage. We currently have 65k saved ( I love round numbers

    We feel very fortunate in that we have a house we love, built to our specification and our children are both doing well and financially independent.

    Mr Mee will retire in 2 years time ( he will be 60) and I would like the choice to retire too ( I will be 56).

    This diary will hopefully help me to focus over the next 2 years, and save as much as we can to offset the mortgage, along with some of our pension lump sums. We would like to keep the house, although downsizing is an option.

    We also love to travel ( we couldn't afford to when we were young) and don't want to wait until we retire. We therefore live very frugally on a day to day basis to be able to afford trips away, in addition to saving

    So......24 months until retirement.......that is a scary, yet exciting prospect so better better get started
Page 5
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 23rd Jul 18, 8:03 AM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,215 Thanks
    themadvix
    Sorry to hear that things have been mad and elderly parental hasn't been well. Hope things calm down now. Well done for not succumbing to 's0d it' mode - it's so easily done when everything seems to be falling apart! Glad UFM has been useful - I definitely am finding the prioritisation and analysis of *everything* useful.

    Hope this week is a better one! x
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 23rd Jul 18, 8:38 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,495 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    loads of positives
    Hope everyone is feeling , you too
    Last edited by Moneyfordreams; 25-07-2018 at 5:30 PM.
    Mortgage restart June 2018 119950
    zero personal cc
    6x166 for sofas ending November 2018
    2500 on DD1s car cc
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 25th Jul 18, 7:53 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Normality
    Thanks everyone for your good wishes.Thankfully everyone is back on the mend and life has just returned to the normal level of busyness and I am feeling back on top. Although I am hoping to have a "secret" day off on Monday. Secret because I am not going to mention it to Mr Mee or DD until the last minute because I don't want them deciding to take a day off with me. This is just for me, to do what I want to do, on my own I am feeling overwhelmed by the demands of other people at the moment and I just want a day to please myself.

    I am feeling financially frustrated at the moment as I think we have blown every single budget this month for various reasons, and then on top of that Mr Mee decided to buy himself a new watch out of the blue. In fairness he does need one and it was a bargain in the Fossil sale but I am now dreading the end of month totals and the month of July has seemed soooooo long.

    In better news the SSS Challenge has gone well and I have now topped the 150 target. This means that I will be at least be able to put 150 into savings this month rather than nothing. I might try and keep this going every month and aim for 100 a month ( we won't be able to cash in the change pot every month))

    I had hoped that we would be back to a normal level of savings in August but we still have a number of unexpected costs to fund like the replacement window and the wing mirror, plus the credit cards bills are higher this month because of all the extra train tickets and petrol costs. I will need to do the maths, but I am really frustrated as we have been maintaining a pretty consistent level of savings until last month.

    Even our grocery bills have been climbing every month and I am not sure why, I am shopping frugally and wasting nothing. I think in general food prices are creeping up. I did spend a fair bit at the weekend c 75, but I got a huge haul of reduced stuff in M&S and @ldi. I picked up 5 Gastropub lasagnes 7 (seriously ) reduced to 2.80. These will feed three of us for a quick and easy tea after work, and loads of half price meat in Aldi ( steak, burgers and chicken breasts) so the freezer is now full again.

    I cooked a fab vegetable lasagne on Sunday with the first of my home grown courgettes and a S6 Aubergine and I made Mediterranean cous cous last night for the lunch boxes with more courgettes ( there is a theme here).

    I think that is all I have to report, pay day can't come soon enough next Tuesday.
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 26th Jul 18, 7:52 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Spending
    My spending this month is already up to 1298 with still one more weekend to go.

    I had a bit of a duh moment yesterday realising there were five weekends in July. No wonder there is too much month and not enough budget. I do most of my spending at the weekend (groceries and eating out). I clearly need to adjust my budget to factor in 5 weekend months in the future.

    I will factor all the emergency costs from last week out so I can see what we would have actually spent without these.

    Keeping a spending diary has been one of the most helpful and scary things I have done. It is however one of the main things recommended by Frugalwoods, on the basis of how can you achieve FI if you don't know what you spending.
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 26-07-2018 at 7:56 AM.
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 26th Jul 18, 11:32 AM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,215 Thanks
    themadvix
    Well done on the SSS challenge - that's a fab amount

    Yes, the spending diary is definitely working here too.... We haven't totted it up or analysed yet (although I would argue that there's little to cut without major changes (it's food and fuel mainly), but it's certainly kept me accountable knowing I'd have to admit to spending (not that I'm a big spender). It's also made me more inventive - I used my Coop rewards points yesterday to buy ice cream - while I still confessed, at least it wasn't cash!
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 30th Jul 18, 9:10 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Spending July
    Well the spending in July has felt like a bit of a car crash. The total spent is 1414.12

    I have been going through all the transactions this morning to see where it all went and it is evident that a 5 week month coupled with the parental emergency caused the overspending.

    I have overspent in most categories apart from household (no lawn moving because of the dry weather and the weeding round is now complete) and medical expenses ( only one prescription).

    We overspent everywhere else:

    Groceries were 324.73( but this works out to 65.71 per week over the 5 week month - all food, toiletries and cleaning products for 3 adults)

    Food 23.28 ( this is food bought on the go - mainly Mr Mee and probably should be added to the grocery total)

    Petrol costs were 328.55 (includes around 140 spent on travelling to parents)

    Entertainment 186.60 ( nothing earth shattering and 68 of this was Mr Mee doing various things with work etc)

    House costs were 124.36 ( much lower this month thanks to hot weather)

    Personal 223.50 ( this includes Mr Mee's new watch and two lots of hairdressing for me - the pesky 5 week month again. I also broke my no new clothes rule and bought a new swimming costume, trousers and a dress for work. All in the sale and totalling 39)

    Gifts 124.50 ( this includes a tank of petrol for DD when Mr Mee generously decided to fill DDs car up for her)

    Rail Tickets 78.60 ( parental emergency)

    If I remove all costs relating to the parental emergency the total would have been 1159.00, which is 59 over budget, which isn't bad given that it was a 5 week month.

    When I look through the transactions there is not much that I regret. Mr Mee has derailed us a bit but he is entitled to some spends too and he was brilliant when I had to drop everything and go to my parents.

    I think the learning from this month has been two fold, we must have a decent emergency fund ( and we did) and also I need to budget extra for months where there are five weekends in the month. I also need to be strategic with my hairdressing appointments so I don't have two in the same month and maybe space them out a bit more.
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 30th Jul 18, 1:40 PM
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    themadvix
    I think your grocery spends are great!

    You don't fancy Mr Mee cutting your hair then, a la the Frugalwoods?

    A tank of fuel is a very generous random present!
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 30th Jul 18, 2:53 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    In a word NO ! I cut his hair ( what he has left) using clippers but he is coming nowhere near mine. I have very straight hair and any mistakes would be very noticeable !

    I know a tank of petrol is very generous random gift ....sigh. This is why we are not already retired !

    I am not sure we are ready or ever will be for full on Frugalwoods. We do quite a bit of what she suggests but can't quite embrace some of it.
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 30th Jul 18, 3:03 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,215 Thanks
    themadvix
    I would consider it, but my SIL cuts my hair - about twice a year and charges 10 each time (I usually give her 15, because she's not good at valuing herself properly), so it's probably not worth it.

    I agree - while I am surprised at how much I (and especially DH) have been prompted to re-evaluate stuff this month, there are some things that we just won't do. I have, however, been surprised at the things DH is willing to give a go in the name of cutting costs - he's said I can look for shirts for him in charity shops (always been very resistant before) and has tried different breakfast options (has grown up on Weetabix and then switched to organic (you can't go back, tastes completely different!) - so expensive at 4 biscuits/day!). So progress has been made.

    Sorry, I'll stop waffling on your diary now - but he won't find me commenting here, whereas he reads my diary!

    Can I be an adopted daughter? I'd love a free tank of fuel every so often
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 31st Jul 18, 6:13 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Mr Mee is also a habitual weetabix eater but I have now managed to wean him onto @ldi's own. I doubt he would even notice the difference between organic and non organic - he really isn't that sophisticated . I eat oats a la Frugalwoods- porridge in the winter and overnight oats ( a bit more expensive) in the summer. We also do all the lunchbox prep as recommended but try and vary it a lot more than their rice and beans.

    Mr Mee definitely wouldn't consider what he would call "dead mans clothes" from a charity shop. It is funny he comes from a really working class background and considers second hand clothes to be a real sign of poverty. I personally would rather have good second hand clothes rather than poor quality cheap new stuff.

    The Frugalwoods exercise has actually got us into a conversation about Sky and he has actually said he would cancel now and just watch Freeview, Netflix and Amazon Prime ( both paid for by the kids). Unfortunately I signed up to an 18 month deal with Sky last time to get a cheap rate, never thinking that he would ever give it up

    And of course you can be my adopted daughter MadVix, but we operate a strict one in one out policy of adult children on the pay roll. I will let you know when DD leaves but you may be waiting a long time
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 31st Jul 18, 9:48 AM
    • 57,349 Posts
    • 234,711 Thanks
    beanielou
    With you on good quality from charity shop rather than cheap that is new.
    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 31st Jul 18, 3:04 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,215 Thanks
    themadvix
    The organic weetabix have a much firmer texture - it's really weird, but I completely agree with DH that going back would be impossible.

    How frustrating about Sky! Will he have changed his mind by the time the 18 months is up (or is that so far away you'll be retired by then anyway)?

    Put my name down on the waiting list then
    OPs 2018 = 2090
    Moving savings = 3085
    OPs 2017 = 3103
    Starting balance 2012: 132000; balance Jul 2018: 91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 4th Aug 18, 2:58 PM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    July Update
    A bit late this month with the update, but it has been ridiculously busy at work and to be honest the update is a bit pathetic. Any hoo these are the figures for July:

    Savings this month 150 (better than nothing I suppose :)
    Total Savings. 70,150
    Repayment mortgage. 65,746.36
    IO mortgage. 169,000.00
    Total mortgage. 234,746.36
    Savings offset mortgage to 164,596.36
    Saving:Mortgage. 29%

    It has been a frustrating month one way or another because the whole idea of a savings holiday was to boost my emergency pot, but the emergencies this month have put paid to that.
    Still it is the start of a new month and I am really hoping to get back on track this month and want to try and have 71,500 in savings by the end of August. We will be taking a big hit in September to pay for my car......it all feels like a game of snakes and ladders at the moment. We have 6000 to pay and then will hopefully save and get us back up to 70k in savings by the end December.

    I do however feel like we are making positive steps towards our retirement. I rang our mortgage provider last week to see whether I could pay the repayment part of our mortgage off, without paying the IO part off. This is because I wanted to reduce our monthly outgoings when we retire. However we cannot pay it all, otherwise the IO portion would need to be repaid at the same time. I think I will repay a good chunk of the repayment mortgage as we retire, but keep a small part of it running so that the IO part can continue until the end of the term. This of course only works if out savings interest rates beat the mortgage interest rate, which is looking more doubtful now following the rise in base rate. Otherwise we will just pay the lot off.

    In other MSE news I had an early morning trip to Lidl to pick up their weekend deals - 24 bags of crisps for 1.19 (works out at <5p a bag), Asti @ 3.69 a bottle and dark chocolate @69p a bar. I might be the proud owner of 144 bags of crisps, 6 bottles of Asti and 6 bars of chocolate.
    Party at the Mee's then

    Talking of parties we were supposed to be going out for a meal for DS birthday tomorrow which would have cost around 80. I have persuaded him that a BBQ would be nicer as the weather is so warm, which will save quite a bit of money. I have a freezer full of reduced meat which will be great. I will also get to empty my freezer a bit so win win
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 5th Aug 18, 9:27 AM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,495 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    our local Lidl has 24 crisps for 96p, you've been robbed
    Mortgage restart June 2018 119950
    zero personal cc
    6x166 for sofas ending November 2018
    2500 on DD1s car cc
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 5th Aug 18, 9:58 AM
    • 2,782 Posts
    • 13,923 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    The only problem with all those crisps in our house is they get eaten, by me!
    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
    • Moneyfordreams
    • By Moneyfordreams 5th Aug 18, 4:34 PM
    • 1,105 Posts
    • 5,495 Thanks
    Moneyfordreams
    our house too
    Mortgage restart June 2018 119950
    zero personal cc
    6x166 for sofas ending November 2018
    2500 on DD1s car cc
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 5th Aug 18, 8:36 PM
    • 57,349 Posts
    • 234,711 Thanks
    beanielou
    I dont biy crisps often as I eat them
    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
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 6th Aug 18, 7:13 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Haha Beanie, Jimmy and Moneyford. Funnily enough crisps are one thing I can leave alone. It is Mr Mee and Miss Mee who are the crisp monsters.

    I on the other hand don't buy biscuits because I just eat them....a cup of tea is just too wet without a biscuit

    Moneyford I am gutted that the crisps were cheaper in your Lidl....I hope you stocked up
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 6th Aug 18, 9:11 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 257 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Love the Lidl weekend savers! Especially the non perishables. It's possible I once combined a weekend saver deal and s random ten pound note I found while tidying to buy 18 months of dishwasher tablets...but if anyone tells my hub this I will deny it strongly. The spare boxes are very well hidden !!!128514;.
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 6th Aug 18, 10:30 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 3,200 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    I love the Lidl weekend savers too katsoocam and stock up with anything we use. It really helps with the budget. I could do with washing tablets and teabags being on offer again soon.
    Is muesli for us next weekend.
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