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  • FIRST POST
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 19th May 18, 9:45 PM
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    MrsSave
    Mrs S.....life after debt
    • #1
    • 19th May 18, 9:45 PM
    Mrs S.....life after debt 19th May 18 at 9:45 PM
    I've been on here for 4 years now (I think I actually had another name before so it's actually longer). If you're super bored, here are my diaries so far!

    Diary 1: MrsS is getting serious http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5045594

    Diary 2: Debt free before 35 http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5286098

    Diary 3: A pound stretching maternity
    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5495440

    Diary 4: Mrs S, family life and debt
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5687273

    So, why the new diary I hear you ask...

    In February I was super lucky to be able to pay off the last of my debt (other than the mortgage). I am now finding it difficult to stick to budget and save! I keep trying to remind myself that I'm not a multi millionaire and can't buy what I want, when I want.

    A little about me

    I'm now 34. I have 2 boys, one 4 year old and the littlest is a year and a half. I changed careers last year from teaching to becoming a finance assistant (the irony ). I now work 3 days a week, earn a lot less but am a million times happier (still not managing to keep on top of the housework though ).

    Mr and Mrs S???? That's the million dollar question! We separated right at the beginning of the year. Things have been totally up and down since. We have started getting on so much better and are trying counselling (and that's not cheap!). As things are going, it's looking positive that Mr S will be moving back in, but as they say.....don't count your chickens!

    My financial situation

    Other than the mortgage I am debt free. I will post an soa later, but I am really struggling to stick to a budget each month. I guess I always thought that the day me debt would disappear I'd have so much more spare each month. That's not the case!! I am starting to pay more bills annually instead of monthly, and am managing to save for things like Christmas and birthdays. It's day to day spends that are the struggle, such as groceries, entertainment, the boys and personal spends. I really need to get a grip on these.

    I've seen other diaries where targets are posted daily/weekly and that seems like such a good idea. I'm going to give this a go.

    Another issue is saving. I am not saving what I should (some months I'm not 'saving' anything - unless you count things such as birthdays). I'm going to try and fix that. I do have an emergency fund of 2,000 in Premium Bonds (haven't won a penny with them ), and just over 150 in another savings account (My priority savings goal is for a new shed, I have around 50% of the roof left on mine ).

    I don't want this first post to be super long (though be prepared, there will be some ). My next steps are to sort out my SOA and set some goals from there.
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
Page 7
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 12th Aug 18, 10:07 AM
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    MrsSave
    I'm checking this site most days, but don't seem to update my diary very often at the moment. As long as it's because everything is settled in my head, and not that I'm on the verge of a spending meltdown then all is ok!!

    August seems to be going ok. We've had a few spendy days, but all budgeted for and all needed. New trainers for ds1, a new school bag for him (he'd had his almost 2 years and is now very grown up at 5 so it did need updating. He is so chuffed with his new bag he keeps showing us all the pockets ) and new slippers for both boys (they started wearing them now the weather has taken a turn and ds1's were 2 sizes too small, ds2's were 1 size too small. I did manage to get both pair for 5.98 so pretty chuffed there!).

    We had an unexpected, last minute planned, meal out with family Friday night. We had the money for it, but it does mean re evaluating what we spend for the rest of August so that it doesn't become too tight.

    We're going away for a few nights next weekend and have set a budget of 100 for everything. That's going to be super tight, but I'll feel super chuffed if we stick to it. I have some Tesco vouchers so might look at somewhere to eat with them for 1 lunch. We'll be camping so will eat dinners at the campsite every night (and I've managed to buy most dinner bits already when I've been coming in slightly under with my food shop over the past few weeks) and will take a few extra bits for packed lunches. We've decided 1 lunchtime out as a treat. Need to look into options today.

    I bought myself some clothes and shoes for work. My black flats were getting totally wrecked at the front so desperately needed changing. I picked up everything from Asda, so the shoes were only 6 (and I may have got some nice dusky pink ones too at 6). I had the money for it, and it all fit when it arrived so I'm happy

    We've still got 3 weeks left of August though, so do need to be careful!
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 13th Aug 18, 10:20 PM
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    MrsSave
    Grocery shopping today, which happily came in under budget (including the extras for camping). Pleased to report no other spends I picked up a book from the library today. I haven't read in ages, and really want to as I love a good book but time, etc gets in the way. Haven't started it yet, but will hopefully manage a good chunk when we're away.

    I'm working through the house cleaning one room at a time at the moment. I've been feeling that the housework is majorly getting on top of me recently, so a good sort out in each room and then making a plan to keep on top of things sounds like the way forwards. So far I've sorted the living room (uncluding the cupboards!) and have made good headway in the kitchen (just the kitchen table to finish sorting and the floor needs a wash). My aim is to finish the kitchen tomorrow and tackle the boys' bedrooms (or at least one of them!).

    I've been re-evaluating my different savings goals tonight, including the percentages I'll be giving to each if I have money leftover each month and for any extra money made. I think I'm almost there with it (the planning, not the saving ) and I think the focus would be good.
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 17th Aug 18, 10:32 PM
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    MrsSave
    August is definitely not as easy as July, but I think that was to be expected with the Summer holidays. I've still got money left in all pots, but we're down to around 40 in the fun/entertainment pot to last until September. It's definitely do-able, but I am looking forward to pay day now!!

    Half of me isn't looking forward to the normality of September to hit, the other half is enjoying having both boys home, and I know ds1 is enjoying his time off school.

    We're away for a few days over this weekend and planning to stick with the 100 budget I mentioned before. Some of it has already gone on a food shop, but that means we won't be eating out much at all. We have cheap/free activities planned so I'm really hoping we stick to this budget.
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 18th Aug 18, 6:52 AM
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    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Have a great time away. Hope the weather is reasonable for you.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1600ish/2,500
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 23rd Aug 18, 10:28 PM
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    MrsSave
    A week to go until payday

    Things are actually going better than I thought. I've got 18 of 'fun' money and 19 from my Summer holiday fund. My credit card statement will be out on Monday, and it looks like it will be under 880. Last month was 620 so quite a bit less, but during August we've had ds1's birthday (meal out and 2 nights away) and then a second trip (3 nights away). The 880 includes everything for the second trip (pitch fees, food, eating out, etc). I've also bought new trainers for ds1 this month, paid for my YNAB subscription and for my son's rugby classes, bought some new clothes for me (I'm pretty sure I mentioned my Asda purchases - last of the big spenders!!), new slippers for the boys and a new school bag for ds1. I'm actually really happy with 260 more if that includes all the above particularkey 2 breaks away!! Next month should be good!!!

    I decided at the beginning of August to put 35 of petrol in the car instead of 40 with the hope it would last a fortnight. 3 weeks in and I'm now thinking of filling up again. I've been given a 10p off petrol voucher for Mr T so I've decided to make the most of it by filling the tank. Hopefully I won't need to put much in during September then.

    I'm 3 weeks out of 4 for food and have so far spent 143.39. My goal for August was 200 so I'm totally on target! My Christmas and birthday pots are where I want them to be, and I have saved the deposit needed for our holiday next summer. I just can't book yet because the dates haven't been released

    Fingers crossed for a good 7 days to finish a second really positive month!!

    Oh, and I'm celebrating my fourth mse birthday (though I've been around far longer, I just have no idea what my previous log in was )
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 23rd Aug 18, 10:48 PM
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    debtaghh
    Well done!
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 24th Aug 18, 8:25 AM
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    wishingthemortgaheaway
    As you use YNAB, does it really matter what your credit card bill is? (Unless you are on the 'float') or is it just a way of generally seeing how much you've spent in a month?
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100 April 19/100 May 20/100 June 21/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1600ish/2,500
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 24th Aug 18, 7:21 PM
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    MrsSave
    As you use YNAB, does it really matter what your credit card bill is? (Unless you are on the 'float') or is it just a way of generally seeing how much you've spent in a month?
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    I keep a close eye on the credit card so that I can compare my spending from month to month. The lower it is, the better I feel as it means I have plenty leftover and can move some to savings. It just another way I have to stay on track!
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 27th Aug 18, 4:01 PM
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    MrsSave
    Nearly pay day

    I've had a couple of unexpected spends since last posting, but still doing ok. I had a last minute night out with the girls (one lives quite a distance away and was back for the weekend - it had been mentioned about a month sooner but basically I forgot ). We had food and drinks and I spent around 32 so I'm actually pretty happy with that (yay for not being able to drink much anymore!!).

    I've then mentioned before about trying a little something new on the side to bring a few extra s. I've been trying to decide the best way to start it for a while. I've done what I needed to behind the scenes but then needed to decide whether to pay out now and have something that looks good, or not pay anything and not have a hard copy of anything to show. I know that all sounds a bit weird but I don't want to be too obvious!! I decided in the end that long term I'd be better paying out a little now, so around 45 has gone there. Fingers crossed I can make that back relatively quickly though!! We'll see how it goes. At least by budgeting and using YNAB, I had the money for both things in the account, and only needed a quick little shuffle of things.

    I'm being super disorganised this week and haven't done a food shop, a meal plan or a shopping list. I can honestly say that I have no idea what we're eating for the rest of the week I think I'll have to take the boys shopping tomorrow!

    Oh, and to add to the spending weekend, I paid the deposit for our 2019 holiday this weekend. We're going abroad for the first time with the boys and despite it being almost a year away I am so excited I had set myself a target of saving my half of the deposit by the 1st September, but got there sooner so went for it. All I need to do now is save for the rest There is something so nice about having the money there ready to do these things, though I think I may need to keep that bank card in the purse for a little while now.
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • debtaghh
    • By debtaghh 27th Aug 18, 4:08 PM
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    debtaghh
    How exciting! How long will you be going for?
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 8th Sep 18, 7:56 AM
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    MrsSave
    How exciting! How long will you be going for?
    Originally posted by debtaghh
    We'll be going for a week. Any longer with 2 young children abroad is a little too scary (and will mean more spending money!!).
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 8th Sep 18, 8:04 AM
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    MrsSave
    I can't believe that a week of September has already gone!! It has been a truly expensive week! It was all budgeted for, needed and all planned but it's still shocking when it happens. Both boys are moving to the next clothes size. Ds2 is getting some hand-me-downs from ds1, but does still need a few bits. I've bought a few things for ds1 from Asda/Matalan and am keeping an eye on some jeans bundles on eBay for him. Ds2 had his feet measured and needed new shoes. The choice in Clarks was dreadful, there was literally nothing for his age that we liked so I have ordered him a pair from M&S at a fraction of the price (I've had a bad experience with supermarket shoes for the boys so tend to avoid those).

    I mentioned a way of making a little more money and I've started that. It's going pretty well and I've made a few sales. I've almost broken even with what I spent out originally so I'm really happy with that in just over a week.

    There's not much else going on at the moment really. Ds1 is back in school so back fully in the swing of things. He seems to be really happy with his new teacher and enjoying playing with his friends. Work has been a little crazy this week but we got through it (with the help of chocolate!).
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 15th Sep 18, 10:24 PM
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    MrsSave
    Well........at the beginning of August I downloaded the habit share app to track NSDs. This week I have only had 1 nsd. And that was today. Not great. Tomorrow won't be one either as I'm taking ds1 on a clothes hunt! I've had 5 so far in September and that's far from good enough. Next week things will improve!!

    Other than that things are going ok. I'm starting a house de-clutter. It's very slow progress but that's ok. At least it's going in the right direction. The living room has been done, and I've sorted the cleaning cupboard in the kitchen. I want to sort the bathroom cabinet and the landing next. We have quite a big landing with plenty of space to dump things. And there is plenty 'dumped' there at the moment. That's one of next week's tasks.

    I've spent quite a bit of today in bed and feeling run down (hence the nsd ). I've done quite a bit of overtime in work over the last few weeks, and I find my head is buzzing a lot of the time and I can't just sit and relax. I think my body is screaming out for me to rest and eat healthier (next week's shopping list is looking nice and healthy!). Work is also back to normal next week so fingers crossed I shift whatever this is.
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 16th Sep 18, 8:39 AM
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    MrsSave
    This morning I have reconciled YNAB. I update it religiously, but hadn't reconciled for a few weeks (probably since the beginning of the month). Everything is correct (thankfully) and I can see where I stand now for the rest of the month.

    I've also amended my savings goals this morning. I had 2 priorities and have met them both, so have moved a couple of others up the list to prioritise and recalculated how much each will get. At the beginning of the month only the 2 main savings goals get money, then any money I make during the month, or any leftovers from other pots gets split between all goals (all at different percentages). I find that this works well, and I managed to meet my last 2 goals quite effortlessly. My next 2 goals are quite a bit higher in value, though, but I'll get there!!

    I've got pork to cook today for dinner, and hoping for some lovely crackling!! Early-ish lunch, though, so that I can take ds1 clothes shopping. I need to take a look at my list to see exactly what he needs (and I'll probably pick up some things for ds2 as well as he's not far off moving to the next clothes size!). Supermarket fun today
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 24th Sep 18, 6:38 AM
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    MrsSave
    I'm on the payday countdown!! Payday Friday, and a fresh new month starts next Monday. I have completely overspent this month. Just on random stuff, eating out and generally non essentials. I had a bad month in June, and we are in a similar situation again. My own fault. NSDs have been pretty much non existent. I have started Christmas shopping, but have money put aside for that so it isn't an issue. I think the problem is that Christmas shopping has put me in a spending mindset and I can't seem to stop!!!

    Every Friday night ds1 goes swimming, and I generally pop into town to pick up anything I need. We then every week question, what shall we have for dinner. So far we have eaten out each week. One was just a McDonalds but that's still double figures. I am using the excuse that I have been unwell, was feeling rubbish one Friday and the one afterwards I was literally starting to feel better and had that day gone back to work after a few days in bed. Still, that needs to change. I'm food shopping today, and going to pick up some child friendly microwave meals at 1 each (I know, it's cheaper and healthier to make them but believe me, it will be an improvement!!!). I'm hoping something quick and easy will help, though what I am intending on doing eventually is being organised enough to make a slow cooker meal.

    DS1 is having his school photos today and they're allowed family photos with siblings to I'm taking ds2 in as well this morning (I usually add them to Christmas gifts.....I'm sure people are delighted ). That's an expense for next month!! I need to write next month's budget this week....yikes!!
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • BettyBoof
    • By BettyBoof 24th Sep 18, 9:25 AM
    • 249 Posts
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    BettyBoof
    I'm enjoying your diary Mrs S - keep up the good work!
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 24th Sep 18, 9:38 PM
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    • 5,287 Thanks
    MrsSave
    I'm enjoying your diary Mrs S - keep up the good work!
    Originally posted by BettyBoof
    Thank you
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 24th Sep 18, 9:46 PM
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    MrsSave
    My first day off this week done. I only work 3 days so spend the first 2 days of the week with ds2 and being able to take and collect ds1 from school. I absolutely love it!!

    I write to-do lists regularly, and mine today was rather massive today. I've completed it all bar 2 things Unfortunately it's looking just as full tomorrow!! Food shopping came in at around 37 I'm hoping it will be even cheaper next week. My freezer is ready to burst so I'm going to go through it, write what we have and then meal plan for next week using that. Hopefully it will mean quite a bit left over from the budget which will make a fab start to the month!

    One thing I didn't do this month was to take my 'spends' money out in cash and use that. Maybe that's one place I went wrong. It's so much easier to spend on a card because you can pretty much ignore how bad the situation is at that precise moment and deal later. With cash, all you have is what's in your purse and if it's not in there it can't be spent. Definitely something that will be happening in October once more!
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 1st Oct 18, 9:44 PM
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    MrsSave
    October is here. Fresh month, fresh week, and the return of some motivation

    As I mentioned in my last post, I'm going back to keeping most of my spending money in cash form as that usually keeps me a little more in control. I took 20 out today, but to be honest have no reason at all to be spending that this week.

    I finally went through the freezers and meal planned from there. That meant today's shop was only around 21 the rest of this week's food budget is being moved to a Slimming World account. I have decided to return to slimming world. I hate that I don't have the motivation or the willpower to lose weight alone and that I have to pay for someone to tell me whether I've lost or gained, but I know that it helps me immensely so I now have 25 put to one side for 6 weeks worth of weigh ins. I picked up a magazine with today's shop which included a voucher for free registration......every little helps.

    I wrote out my to-do list ready for this morning, and ticked off almost nothing The food shopping took less time than usual but instead of housework/jobs I played with ds2. Then ds1 was very quiet after school, pretty tired and just wanted cuddles on the sofa watching tv so that just had to be done (definitely not complaining at all the cuddles). He had his flu spray at school today so not sure whether that has wiped him out a little or not.

    All today's jobs that weren't done have now moved to tomorrow. I really must do laundry if nothing else tomorrow - the basket is overflowing (I'm desperately trying not to think about the ironing that comes with it!!).

    Right, an early-ish night for me
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
    • MrsSave
    • By MrsSave 13th Oct 18, 8:34 AM
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    • 5,287 Thanks
    MrsSave
    I'm still here, plodding along. I pop on here every few days to read other diaries but don't post much on my own at the moment. I'm taking that to be a good thing that life is boring and I'm just plodding along! I've got a week off work now and planning a bit of relaxing, a lot of housework and Christmas shopping. I'm away with work 3 times between the middle of November and the middle of December, as well as 2 other trips away so am trying to as much as I can done now to save rushing.

    Work life is crazy (very thankful I have got next week off!), home life isn't quiet (things going pretty well with Mr S) and finances are Ok. Probably still spending more than I should (!) but I'm tracking everything on YNAB and doing ok.

    I've re-joined slimming world (for the millionth time!), despite the cost as I really could do with shifting a few pounds. I've got my first weigh in today and after a really good week have got everything crossed I'm off to a good start. I've started an evening class in a language (wanted to do it for years) which was one of my only 2018 New Years Resolutions. There's obviously a cost in that too, but I'm really enjoying it (note to self......have homework to do ).
    Finally debt free (other than the mortgage) - 05/02/18
    Check out my debt free diary 'Mrs S.....life after debt' below:
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