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  • FIRST POST
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 16th Jun 18, 12:27 AM
    • 114Posts
    • 140Thanks
    Caspeia
    Losing control, time to take charge.
    • #1
    • 16th Jun 18, 12:27 AM
    Losing control, time to take charge. 16th Jun 18 at 12:27 AM
    I had a diary that I last updated in December but life has changed a bit so thought I'd make a new diary.

    I've really been struggling with my mental health over the past few years and this has resulted in me gaining pounds on the scale and pounds of debt also!

    I hadn't quite realised how bad things have gotten over the 6 months. My husband has had multiple jobs as he could only get short contracts after getting fired last November and I'm on maternity leave right now. He is now working two jobs and I'm due back to work end of July, however childcare is going to be a nightmare so trying to find a better job before then. I had an interview today so I'm hoping I get it!

    Our debt totals stand at:
    Halifax: 523.05 (19.9%)
    TSB: 775 (0% until Sept 2018)
    Lloyds: 3998.66 (some of this was a 0% balance transfer until March 2019 and the rest is 0% until November 2019)
    Sofa: 1122.24 (0% and on monthly payment plan)

    Total: 6418.95

    The halifax card was cleared until a few weeks ago and my car failed its MOT and I had to put it on the credit card as I had no way to pay it. I also had to use the kids savings account this month as tax credits cut our money by 300 this month and my husband got emergency taxed this month so we ended up being completely skint.

    I'm determined to clear this debt so we can start saving up for a deposit on a house. I'd like to be buying our own place by the time the youngest is 5 so that gives us just over 4 years to do it.
Page 4
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 9th Jul 18, 2:02 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I haven't updated my totals in a little bit.
    116.18

    Food: 21.40. This was spent as someone left the fridge open and the food went bad. We have to store it in the fridge as our kitchen gets too hot. We also had to buy more bread, cheese and then we spent some extra on treats. I'm glad this was before our hello fresh order was delivered!

    Fun: We spent 20 on a takeaway

    Other: We met up with my gran and waked around the garden centre, my daughter spotted a little fairy wish jar and she really wanted it. 99p on that, that was on Saturday and she hasn't even looked at it since the walk home! 3 spent this morning on some personalised stickers. The company I bought them from are doing a 'letter of the day' and if your name starts with that letter you get 35 personalised stickers free (delivery to be paid). Today was the letter my daughters name starts with so I've bought them, waiting for my sons name to be the letter of the day and I'll get him some as well. These stickers will be used on the stuff they bring to childcare. My friends ones have lasted over a year now with her washing them everyday, I won't use all 35 of them all at once so hopefully these will last me a good few years.

    So totals spent:
    Food: 155.22 / 250
    Fun: 20 / 60
    Other: 32.87 / 60


    Overspent on food but we shouldn't have to buy anything until Saturday, I've skipped the next hello fresh box as nothing much we want to try. A lot of olive based dishes next week, yuck!
    We have one box still available at 30% off which is 34.29 and then we'll be back to full priced boxes but I have 22.20 credit in our account as I complained as the avocado we got was mouldy (don't even like them so we wouldn't have used it anyway), we were missing a lemon which I'll need to buy but they aren't too expensive and the potatoes they sent were off (but luckily we had some in the house anyway). So our next full priced box will actually be 26.79. After this box is used I'll cancel my subscription again.


    I like the boxes for trying new recipes and think they are okay priced if there's a discount available but full price at 48.99 is just crazy, not worth it at all.


    Next week my plan is to use up as much in the freezer and the cupboards as we can. Theres just so much in there and it never gets used!
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 9th Jul 18, 4:37 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Heres comes a very boring post.

    I seen someone else do it on their diary which I thought was interesting. Can't remember who though.

    Basically I want to work out how much my food costs me per day. When I lost weight back in May I ate the same thing for most meals except for tea, my plan is to do that again as I actually really enjoyed it and stuck to it. I tried to eat a lot more protein which made me fuller for longer.

    So my meals:
    Breakfast: porridge with cocao powder, protein powder, oat milk, peanut butter and agave nectar
    Lunch: chicken salad (lettuce, tomato, pepper, sweetcorn, carrot and cucumber) and a protein shake for after
    Tea: whatever I decide to cook that night
    Snacks: banana and a protein brownie.

    I'm going to take our tea out of the equation as its the only thing that will change.

    Breakfast
    Oats: 89p for 1kg at Aldi, I use 40g so 4p a portion
    Oat milk: 1.50 for 1L, I use 100ml so 15p a portion
    Cocao powder: 1.99 for 100g, I use 5g so 10p
    Agave nectar: 2.50 for 250ml, I use 5ml so 5p
    Protein powder: 24 for 2.5kg, I use half a scoop which is 12/13g in my breakfast so 12p
    Peanut butter: 6.50 for 1kg, I use 25g so 16p
    Total: 67p

    Lunch
    Lettuce: 50p and does 3 lunches so 17p
    Cucumber: 50p and does four lunches so 12p
    Sweetcorn: 1.30 for 3 small tins, use half a tin a day so 22p
    Peppers: 1.25 for 3 and lasts 3 days so 42p
    Tomato: 69p for 6, lasts 6 meals so 12p
    Carrot: 30p for 500g, lasts around 5 days so 6p
    Chicken: 2.50 for 200g, I use 100g so 1.25
    Dressing: 1 for 180ml I use 20ml so 11p

    Total: 2.47

    Protein shake after lunch:
    24p for scoop made with 50ml water and 100ml unsweetened almond milk (1.80 for 1L) 18p


    Shake: 42p

    Snacks:

    Banana: 13p each

    Protein brownie: 75p


    Total for day: 4.44

    will carry on post on new post as this is getting long
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 9th Jul 18, 4:59 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    So some main areas I think I can save on.

    Breakfast:
    Cut out the cocao powder and agave nectar, I like the cocao powder as it makes it chocolately and the agave nectar sweetens it up. I don't really need it. Cutting those out will be 15p per day.
    Peanut butter, buy it from the same place as my protein powder as its only 4.95 for 1kg (I like to get stuff that is pure peanuts, no added salt or oil) I actually got some as a free gift last time I ordered. Switching to cheaper brand, 12p a day instead of 16p a day. Saving 3p.
    Total saved would be: 18p on breakfast

    Lunch:
    sweetcorn, buy lidls instead of asda as its 1.19 instead of 1.30. I know I could buy bigger tins for cheaper but I find they don't last and I end up throwing it out before I've used it. 20p instead of 22p for saving 2p

    Peppers: buy the pack that has the green pepper in it, I prefer to have all sweet ones but they are 99p instead of 1.25 which will save 9p a day

    Chicken: I feel this is the main one, I currently buy the precooked stuff. If I buy 650g of raw chicken breast for 4 and cook it myself. It will last 6 days and will be 67p instead of 1.25 so saving 58p.

    Cut almond milk and just make with wate, 18p a day

    Total saved: 1.06


    The next thing is the protein brownies and shakes, if I manage to buy it on the buy one get one free sales (normally manage to get between 35% and 40% off, I've put the prices for the 40% off above)

    That would save a further 2p at breakfast, 5p at my shake and 15p on my brownie for another 22p.

    They always seem to be giving away peanut butter so if I get that free (I have 2kg unused in my house currently!) then it saves 12p.


    If I do all of that and manage to buy things at the right time, 1.39 saved so daily cost will be 3.05.

    Its still high but a bit better at least
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 9th Jul 18, 5:18 PM
    • 1,682 Posts
    • 16,222 Thanks
    Toni'sfriend
    sweetcorn, buy lidls instead of asda as its 1.19 instead of 1.30. I know I could buy bigger tins for cheaper but I find they don't last and I end up throwing it out before I've used it. 20p instead of 22p for saving 2p
    Have you thought of buying frozen sweetcorn and freezing it in portion sizes. I used to buy tins for my son and found exactly the same thing - waste. Now we do this and there's none. Just a thought.
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 9th Jul 18, 5:43 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    we have frozen sweetcorn for our teas but I prefer the tinned sweetcorn for salad as it has a nice crisp to it. fussy I know.

    I've also just decided I'll either have half a brownie a day or one every two days, I don't really need one per day. I dont want to cut them out though as it makes me feel like Im still eating something nice but it isnt as bad for me as a chocolate bar
    • Toni'sfriend
    • By Toni'sfriend 9th Jul 18, 5:56 PM
    • 1,682 Posts
    • 16,222 Thanks
    Toni'sfriend
    we have frozen sweetcorn for our teas but I prefer the tinned sweetcorn for salad as it has a nice crisp to it. fussy I know.
    Not at all. That's fair enough. If you're trying to loose weight the worst thing you can do is not enjoy what you're eating. I love sweetcorn - unfortunately it's usually on the cob covered in butter!!!!
    • GlendaSugarbean
    • By GlendaSugarbean 9th Jul 18, 6:56 PM
    • 269 Posts
    • 1,941 Thanks
    GlendaSugarbean
    Re the weight loss, new advice is that even small weight losses and upping activity levels have massive gains in terms of your health. Personally, I'm not going to get anywhere near my pre-kids weight, but I can try to keep within healthy limits and move around as much as possible, especially as I'm in my crumbly 40s! You've got a lot to manage at the moment, so be kind to yourself
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 17th Jul 18, 8:16 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Shamefully posting to say I've spent on the credit card. I lost my debit card and used my credit card and told myself 'I'll just pay it off as soon as I get home' Did I? Nope! I ended up using it for a few days and ended up spending 119.72

    In my budgets I have 103.69 left so I'm leaving myself 50 for the month and pay the rest to the credit card which means we've overspent this month by 66.03.


    I'm a bit annoyed at myself but I'm taking it as a learning curve. I worked out from November 2017 to June 2018 I spent 2842.77 on the credit cards which is on average 406.11 spent each month. This month is a lot less and as long as I don't spend anything else on the cards we will have improved. 9 days until I'm officially back at work which will hopefully make money things a lot easier.


    I've done a couple of small money saving things recently though.


    Earlier my daughter asked for an ice lollies out of the lidl brochure we got, I was about to say yes and then I remembered we had ice lolly moulds so I've used two of the capri suns I bought the other week which my daughter decided she didn't like the straw (children are odd) and I've frozen them into the moulds. She'll be able to have one tomorrow as they will be frozen by then.


    Another thing I've been doing is using up the shower gels/conditioners etc we have. I get bored of scents and end up chucking the half used bottle into the cupboard. We have loads of products we haven't used! This month I've finished off 1 shampoo, 3 conditioners and 2 shower gels. I'm also using the body butters I have as well. None of it is cheap, the majority of it is the body shop stuff. I'm hoping to try and use it all up instead of it sitting in the cupboard.
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 17th Jul 18, 9:21 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    just doubled checked the money spent on the credit card and it seems the last 3 payments are pending twice (it did this the other week and confused me!). So if I count up how much we've spent its actually 90.22 not 119.72. I'll keep an eye on this and update the proper figures when all the pending payments but if the 90.22 is correct, we've only overspent by around 36
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 18th Jul 18, 10:10 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I've made a list of most things in my cupboard (not any spices/herbs as I have too many and not my baking cupboard either).
    There was some suprising finds, I found pork tenderlion in the freezer. Didn't know I had this.. I have 5 tins of tuna and 8 tins of chopped tomatoes... I'm not sure why I need so much of either of them! We also have a lot of frozen veg that we really need to use.

    Things in the fridge that need used up is one pepper, couple of onions and some potatoes.

    To use up these I've decided to do:
    1. veg curry. We have two microwave rices we can use up, couple of spices, coconut milk, an onion, the pepper (I also have frozen peppers I can add!) and some frozen butternut squash and sweet potato chunks. I want to attempt to make naan bread but not sure what I need. I have flour in the house
    2. I will use the potatoes and make them into wedges. I found a herby packet mix for wedges and we'll have them with the pork tenderlion (not sure how I'm going to season the pork yet) and also some frozen green beans
    3. Spaghetti bolognese with the mince in the freezer, will use the onion and bulk it out with some lentils. I have plenty of chopped tomatoes for this!
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 19th Jul 18, 10:39 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I couldn't get the ice lollies out of the mould, I don't understand why! I had to leave them to defrost for a while before I could get them out.

    Two days ago husband got a tip so yesterday I took the kids to a science museum which cost 7.25, parking was 5.10 though! Luckily I had enough change on me to cover it, note to self. Check parking before going! I just assumed they would have their own free carpark but it was a council car park. My daughter then got a toy glider thing from the gift shop which cost 75p. I would normally let her get what she wants but we went in there with a budget of 1 (all the change I had left). I didn't use anything on my card so my 50 is still there safe.


    Husband got another tip yesterday of 7.25 which alongside my 25p change left over brings us to 57.50 between my purse and my current account

    I've been checking our online banking everyday for the past few days which I'm glad I did as hello fresh charged us despite the fact I skipped the box for next week so this morning I've contacted them and got a refund.
    The credit card has put through the pending payments and we had spent 86.35 on the credit card, paid 53.69 of it so it means our overspend this month is 32.66. One part of me was tempted to pay it off but it would mean we'd only be left with 24.84 for the rest of the month which will just leave us really short. I am planning to minimise the amount of money we do spend so hopefully we can pay some of it off before the end of the month so our overspend will hopefully be a lot smaller.


    I'm hoping I don't need fuel this month, I have around 110 miles worth of journeys to do for the rest of the month and I have 1/4 of a tank left. I might have to top up a little bit but I think I'll just put the minimum of 5L in if I had to.


    On good news I've now lost a total of 1st 0.8lb since May! Only 7st more to go
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 19th Jul 18, 3:02 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Just got the uniform list through for my daughters dancing. The leotard I bought for ballet is also the same for her tap/jazz class. I hoped this was the case as 1. saves money on needing one uniform 2. theres only 5 minutes between classes and I think it would be unrealistic to expect a class of 3 & 4 year olds to get dressed in 5 minutes!
    I just need to buy ballet socks, ballet shoes and tap shoes. I was going to buy these online but I think I want to take her and get them fitted properly at the dancing shop. More expensive but don't want to wreck her feet.
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 20th Jul 18, 1:07 AM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I just remembered that my free broadband deal comes to an end soon (currently pay 18.99 for line rental), logged onto my account to see that from next month it will be 30 a month!


    I had a look at Martins deals and I'm going to go with plusnet. I've decided to pay the line rental upfront which is 197.88. The monthly cost for the broadband is 1 a month. This has been put on the husband credit card which is still at 0% interest until May 2019. I've signed up on a 85 cashback deal so when that comes through it will be paid towards it. This means 112.88 left to pay so I was thinking of paying the difference to what I pay now towards it so 17.99 for 6 months (and a tiny bit extra left, around 5)


    Overall it means I pay 10.41 a month instead of 18.99 a month! Even if the cashback doesn't work out for some reason its would be 17.49 which is still cheaper than I'm paying now.


    We used to be with BT a couple of years ago and had great signal. We've been with sky for two years and its just not as good. I'm hoping plusnet will be better since its owned by BT. We play games on our computers and sometimes the internet connection is just too slow right now!
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 21st Jul 18, 12:31 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    The hellofresh box we were charged with (and refunded!) is arriving today, I contacted them and they said its a mistake on their part and we can just keep it. Free food!
    The recipes aren't really food we'd choose to eat but we might as well try them. Its a couple of spicy recipes which I am not a fan of so I'll probably put my portion in the freezer and husband can have it another day. I'll find something from the freezer!
    I've taken the mince out the freezer to use for tea tonight, I'm either going to make spaghetti Bolognese or lasagne. I've not decided yet. I might get some carrots so I can bulk out the mince even more and make both and put one in the freezer.

    I've also set myself a goal of decluttering the whole house. This will be a very long haul task. We have just gained so much stuff. We want to buy our own place in a couple of years time and I don't want to be hauling all of this crap to a new house!

    I have so many drawers that are full of rubbish, in the past we have filled up bags which I told myself 'I'll put it in this bag and everything will get put away' and it just got chucked into the cupboard. We own a PS2, xbox and wii which don't get used, these have games with them. The xbox only gets used as DVD player for the kids occasionally but we don't even really use their DVDs, they normally watch something on prime or Netflix which is on our firestick. I also have hundreds of books. I have that many books that when I ran out of room I paid 250 to get a custom built in storage cupboard. I then ran out of room there so I bought a new TV unit which I could store even more books underneath. We also have loads of DVDs that we have watched once and never again. Then we have all the kids clothes and stuff we no longer need!

    My plan is to slowly work through things and sell off anything we don't need.

    Part one of the plan: clear out something every day, even if its just one drawer worth of stuff. Our hallway unit has 8 drawers in it which are all so full we can't open them!

    Part two: start reading the books. My goal for the rest of the year is to read 15 books. After I've read these I will sell them off/donate them. Not sure how I can sell books Luckily the majority of these books were bought from a charity shop at 3 for a 1 so I haven't spent too much money on them
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 23rd Jul 18, 1:21 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Hellofresh box didn't arrive, it was on its way and about an hour before the delivery time hellofresh requested it went back to them to be destroyed! What a waste of food, oh well no loss to me though.

    We went into lidl yesterday and bought a top up shop. I've decided to stop buying so much fruit, I felt bad if the kids got the same fruit everyday so would easily buy 7 or 8 different types of fruit a week. The majority of it would end up getting thrown away as it went off. I've decided 3 types of fruit per week is plenty, so this week they have strawberries, blueberries and grapes. If they run out we have tinned pineapple in the cupboard

    Next month we probably won't pay anything except the minimums off the credit card until I'm settled back into work. I'm not sure how much tax credits will give us when I put in the extra childcare amounts (I can't do this until 7 days before). I have an estimation from the calculator but can't rely on it until I get my award letter.
    Daughters nursery is paid 4 weekly and first payment will be due mid-August, I've not got the bill for this yet but it will work out to be 220 I think. They have just increased the fees and at the same time her funding will start so the proper figures might change but I don't think they will be far off.
    Sons childminder is paid at the end of each week, his childcare will be 166 a week.

    I get paid 270 a week after deductions. Petrol is 15 a week and childcare is 221 weekly which leaves me a profit of a whole 34 a week. We are entitled to tax credits but I'm unsure how much it will change, calculator says 550 but I'm going for an estimation of 450 every 4 weeks which will go towards the childcare. This means after petrol and childcare I should come out with around 146 a week after childcare.


    When my son turns two he will be going to the same nursery as his sister which will only be 100 a week for him (won't get funding until he's 3) so its just only be one year and then our childcare costs will start to come down thankfully!
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 23rd Jul 18, 4:12 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I'm getting really bored of not travelling, we can't afford to but I really want to go on an adventure. This is not helped by looking at instragram. I follow this Canadian family who are traveling around the world on a budget of $20,000 for the next 8 months. They've been to 6 countries these past two months and its making me so jealous.
    We only went abroad once last year to Barcelona and this year we went to Malta for our honeymoon. The year before we were very lucky and went to USA which my gran paid for and Mexico which we won in a competition! It was for 2 adults so I contacted them and asked if I could add on my then 1 year old and I'll pay the difference. They only wanted 59 to add her on for the taxes on the plane. One week all inclusive to Mexico for 59... ah if only I could win something again! I might get looking for competitions and see if I can win anything. I'm normally a lucky person!
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 23rd Jul 18, 4:35 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    I was talking to husband about our money plans for the future. Heres a gist of our plans...
    We will pay off our debts, save up for a deposit and buy a house. Overpay the mortgage. Save up for another deposit and buy a smaller one or two bed house. Rent this out. Retire early at 60, sell up our family home and move into the smaller house. Spend all our money on travelling the world.


    Now I just need to make steps towards this

    We are only in our early 20s, I have just over 36 years to do all of this before I'm 60.... better get my !!! in gear
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 24th Jul 18, 1:09 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Hopefully by the end of the day I should know if my childcare plans have worked out. I've planned the first 11 weeks which takes me up until the 9th of November. My family have confirmed they can do the days I need them, husbands main job have confirmed his holidays and my work has confirmed my holidays. Just need to know if his second job has accepted the holidays!

    It was quite stressful trying to juggle it all but hopefully it should all work out!

    On Thursday its the official last day of my maternity leave and then I start 4 weeks holiday, its amazing how fast a year has come round!

    I'm also very excited that everyone will be out the house everyday, maybe it will stay tidy
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 24th Jul 18, 3:15 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Daughter requested beans and chips for lunch so thats what we had, not really healthy but it also doesn't cost much!
    For tea I've decided to make chicken and chorizo paella. We were going to have the leftover bolognese sauce but I'm really not feeling it. There was 2 family sized portions left so they are in the freezer. When I was looking through the freezer to make room for the boxes I found some chopped chorizo sausage so thats come out. Ive had half a bag of paella rice hanging around the cupboard for ages so that will get used up aswell. I just need to work out what veggies we'll have with it.
    • Caspeia
    • By Caspeia 24th Jul 18, 7:38 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 140 Thanks
    Caspeia
    Just finished eating the paella, it was amazing! Even the 3 year old who tends to be quite fussy ate it all up and requested to have it again
    Half of it went into a box and we'll have it another day.
    I always seem to overcook! I used up the lonely pepper in the fridge, some frozen spinach and some green beans. I need to try and use up the veg in the freezer, its been there for a while! I tend to use the same veg all the time.
    Now I have three homemade dinners in the freezer to use
    will need to buy paella rice again at some point, I'm not sure where to get it though. the last lot I got at aldi when it was 'spanish week'
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