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  • FIRST POST
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 16th Jul 18, 4:42 AM
    • 80Posts
    • 184Thanks
    ShyAndRetiring
    Future Finances: Time vs Money
    • #1
    • 16th Jul 18, 4:42 AM
    Future Finances: Time vs Money 16th Jul 18 at 4:42 AM
    Hello

    I'm a long time user of MSE and used to have a diary on the MFW board (different user name). These boards are just such an incredible source of advice, information, support and inspiration that now we're moving into the next phase of our lives, I find myself returning more and more and really feel the urge to reconnect with a new diary to help keep us focused and clued up in what we're doing: looking towards early retirement.

    I know there's a pensions and retirement board, but I do find the numbers on there to be quite intimidating. I'm not knocking anyone else's choices and lifestyle needs, each to their own, but do feel that the numbers I'm looking at are in a different league to those on the main pensions board (far less involved) and as we're risk averse and thinking more about money-saving rather than investment per-se, I feel more comfortable over here, if that's OK with everyone?

    So, the background:
    * OH is now 60. 2016-2017 was a horrible time for him, reaching an age where he was sidelined professionally (extremely common practice in his profession, so much so that the union advised him to take a 3 month settlement to leave as they'd "seen it all before and it's the best you can do, no point in fighting it").
    'Fortunately' for us, the writing appearing on the wall coincided with the youngest dependent flying the nest, so we sold our house and downsized. It didn't leave much of a pot for us, but we did become mortgage-free ... something that wouldn't have been possible but for the support and focus on paying down the mortgage via the MFW boards on here. The 'pot' we did achieve was mostly used to get our new place and garden suited to our (existing and future) needs. It also kept us afloat once OH finished work, as he didn't want to claim any benefits but needed a period of not working so he could recover from a stress-related health issue which arose largely thanks to the awful politics of his work situation.
    Turning 60 earlier this year means OH accessed his lump sum (50k) and a pension of around 6.5 k a year. For the last 7 months, he's been working part-time in the warehouse for a local retailer, minimum wage, anti-social hours (very early morning) but he's happy to be earning and useful again.
    As he lived and worked abroad for a long time before we knew each other, he does not have full NI contributions, so another reason for his part-time job is to help build up his contributions before SP age.

    * I'm 52.
    I had to give up my main professional, full-time role due to a long-term medical condition (auto-immune). I took up self-employment instead, working freelance for myself in order to manage my recovery and balance my health - this vastly impacted on my earning capacity and pension planning. I did have 'full' SP contributions but thanks to recent changes, now have to make another 5 years to get back to full contribution.
    Last year one of my freelance clients asked me to work for him exclusively (and permanently) so I now work part time for his company, working remotely from home. I can access my Occupational Pension (from professional role) once I'm 60 and I currently use NEST pension for building up another pension pot as I earn approx 10,500 from my part-time work.

    The plans / point of this diary:
    * We'd really love to be in the position to retire together when OH reaches SP age - I'd be 58 then. So at the very least, this diary's likely to be my place for accountability for our actions (big or small) towards trying to achieve this.
    * That said, if there's the chance to do this sooner, that would be so much the better! We didn't meet each other until a bit later on in life (it's a 2nd marriage for each of us) and with the slight age difference between us, we'd rather have time together than lots of money to spend. For us it's about living simply and wanting what we have, rather than spending money on 'wants'. I'm hopeful that this particular focus will help to get us to the finish line a bit sooner, so I'm sure some of this will creep into the diary too, especially as I'm about on the boards a bit more (I'm very at home on the frugal threads)!
    * I spend lots of time on the spreadsheets and our numbers just about work for us retiring together when OH reaches SP age, but I can't make them work for doing it any earlier. However, we benefited so much from the focus our MFW diary gave us (to the point that we could become MF when the fan started up and poop started flying) that I can't help but think a little of that focus again would help us to position ourselves a bit better for the next phase in our lives.
    * I also like setting myself cheeky goals and challenges, so having a diary's also a good way of recording my monthly goals and helping me stick to the actions needed to achieve them - especially as the mini goals would all be towards that main prize at the end - time together!

    I'm sure I'll share more thoughts and numbers down the line, but I'll stop there for the moment. Thanks for letting me settle into this new spot and if anyone would like to stop by from time to time, it would be lovely to meet you.
    Last edited by ShyAndRetiring; 16-07-2018 at 4:55 AM.
Page 7
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 6th Aug 18, 10:36 PM
    • 1,733 Posts
    • 2,237 Thanks
    sukysue
    Evening all, had a good day today , no spending at all. Wrapped up a few presents and sorted the rest into bags for who they are for. Also sorted the toiletries in the bathroom and cleaned it .
    My simple pleasure coming home from taking my DF to a hospital appt and taking off all my naice clothes and changing into my comfy rags lol and having a massive cuppa tea followed by an ice cream lol
    xXx-Sukysue-xXx
    • Savvy_Sue
    • By Savvy_Sue 6th Aug 18, 10:48 PM
    • 38,887 Posts
    • 35,707 Thanks
    Savvy_Sue
    Hi SavvySue - and apologies, I think I multi-quoted / replied to this before but it dropped off the end ...
    Originally posted by ShyAndRetiring
    Oh no worries at all ...
    Very helpful, thanks Sue ... I think OH was hoping to just stick the equivalent of a post-it in with the mirror will to divvy out his individual bequests to his daughters! Good to know that the cost sounds sensible as I'd rather go with the solicitor as I've used the company across 7 house sales / purchases, much better than going with someone we don't know,
    Originally posted by ShyAndRetiring
    just one thought about that, make sure that you are using the firm's wills and probate specialist, not their best conveyancer! do check they have someone who specialises - they all have to do a little bit of everything in training, but it's always best to have someone who knows the field inside out!

    I'd expect most companies who aren't one-man-bands to have both property and probate specialists, but there's always going to be an exception!
    Still knitting!
    Completed: 1 adult cardigan, 3 baby jumpers, 3 shawls, 1 sweat band, 3 pairs baby bootees,
    1 Wise Man Knitivity figure + 1 sheep, 2 pairs socks, 2 hats 2 balaclavas for seamen, 1 balaclava for myself ...
    Current projects: Poppies, mohair cardigan pattern arrived and going strong!
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 6th Aug 18, 11:26 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    ShyAndRetiring
    Day 1962
    Another day ...

    * Spending

    #1): No FleaBay spending - ongoing total 6 / 31. Unfortunately my printer ink's running out -hope it lasts, I'd hate to have to break the goal for that

    #2) No food spends today, so still at 33 / 165.
    Frugal fooding looks like supporting the ongoing goal.
    * OH smoked and froze the mackerel - 7 portions for two into the freezer!
    * Finally turned my attention to 3lb of cherry toms from last week's market bowls, made 3 jars of oven-dried cherry toms with garlic, chilli and basil.

    * Saving

    # 1) No personal spending but no extra into holiday purse, total still at 40 / 75.

    # 2) I've got almost 100 to cash out from TCB so just trying to decide whether to take the cash and run or exchange it for one of their offers which I can use towards Xmas (Iike I did last time with NotOnTheHighSt). Will think on't and meanwhile ISA saving still 0 / 120.

    * Sorting

    # 1) I've spent a little time working out our mid-term plan number and it seems to fluctuate between 15,000 and 16,000 p.a. However, this doesn't take into account the new issue of health provision pot and how to fund this. If we use some of the lump sum, then there's less available to draw-down, so I have to do a bit more working out of options.

    #2) No action on Will today, lots going on.

    In other news:
    Morning birdie bits ~ Tracked down the owner of the racing pidge and phoned him this morning. Was a bit worried because some of the websites I looked at when reporting the bird said that if racing birds fail to make it home, the owners often just wring their necks
    However, he was really nice and very glad to hear the bird was safe. He made a 180 mile round trip to come and pick it straight up. Was a real insight into someone else's retirement hobby and he really seemed to hold affection for the bird - apparently it was only 6 months old and on its first flight when it went AWOL.

    Afternoon birdie bits ~ picture the scene, living room doors to the garden wide open on such a lovely day.
    Then one of the seagull fledglings from neighbour's roof came down to the garden. Was immediately pursued by the cat, cat immediately pursued by large pooch, all of whom were pursued by OH. In it's shock, the baby seagull ran straight into the lounge, followed by all and sundry, only to be met head on by smaller pooch who was himself trying to run out of the house as he was being harassed / followed by a buzzy fly!
    Baby seagull was all over the place until OH managed to launch it back outside, but not before its backside did a launch of its own.

    Simple pleasures
    * Little pidge being returned to its owner.
    * Throwing ourselves into the sea after a very long, hot day.
    * Having such lovely people visiting the thread.

    Well, night night, SaR x
    Last edited by ShyAndRetiring; 06-08-2018 at 11:29 PM.
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 7th Aug 18, 11:00 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    thriftytracey

    ThriftyTracey ... as a continuation of spooky parallels in our lives, I should now reveal that my dogs are doodles (one very obviously in looks, the other more in brain)!

    Have fun, take lots of treats with you!
    Originally posted by ShyAndRetiring


    Ooooh, spooky. We have a Jackapoo (from puppy) and a Poochon (rescue from Doodle Trust).


    Pleased I did not do too much spends - I was helping out at the Scurry for two shifts which helped, although I could not resist 2 bow ties and some cheap dog toys from the Doodle Trust stall. There were so many goodies for dogs but SO expensive. EG 8.95 for a bandana. 40 for a dog holiday travel bag (so tempted). The dog market is clearly big business now.
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 7th Aug 18, 11:04 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    thriftytracey
    That is a good way to spend a weekend!
    Originally posted by bugslet
    Oh it was brilliant Bugslet. Totally exhausted but it was good fun. What was nice was all the visitors (weekend campers and day visitors) all seemed so happy. Well - no surprises there. Proves the dog owning studies are correct.
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 7th Aug 18, 9:34 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    ShyAndRetiring
    Hiya lovely visitors!

    Evening all, had a good day today , no spending at all. Wrapped up a few presents and sorted the rest into bags for who they are for. Also sorted the toiletries in the bathroom and cleaned it .
    My simple pleasure coming home from taking my DF to a hospital appt and taking off all my naice clothes and changing into my comfy rags lol and having a massive cuppa tea followed by an ice cream lol
    Sounds like that was a good day SukySue! Well done on the no spending and for getting some presents sorted ... we have a busy time with birthdays through the late summer and I must get up to date with the presents!
    Love the simple pleasure of taking off the more formal stuff and getting cosy!
    Originally posted by sukysue
    Oh no worries at all ...

    just one thought about that, make sure that you are using the firm's wills and probate specialist, not their best conveyancer! do check they have someone who specialises - they all have to do a little bit of everything in training, but it's always best to have someone who knows the field inside out!

    I'd expect most companies who aren't one-man-bands to have both property and probate specialists, but there's always going to be an exception!

    I'm sure he's their specialist guy, it's not my solicitor who does the conveyancing, that's a good point though, will double check when I make the appointment. Thanks Sue!
    Originally posted by Savvy_Sue
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 7th Aug 18, 9:45 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    ShyAndRetiring
    Ooooh, spooky. We have a Jackapoo (from puppy) and a Poochon (rescue from Doodle Trust).

    Oooh how lovely ... ours are collie-poodles! I'd love a cockerpoo too!

    Pleased I did not do too much spends - I was helping out at the Scurry for two shifts which helped, although I could not resist 2 bow ties and some cheap dog toys from the Doodle Trust stall. There were so many goodies for dogs but SO expensive. EG 8.95 for a bandana. 40 for a dog holiday travel bag (so tempted). The dog market is clearly big business now.
    Originally posted by thriftytracey
    Oh gosh yes, the pet accessory business is huge! Ridiculous prices. Well done for resisting the temptations!
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
    • ShyAndRetiring
    • By ShyAndRetiring 7th Aug 18, 10:29 PM
    • 80 Posts
    • 184 Thanks
    ShyAndRetiring
    Day 1961


    Hope everyone's had a good Tuesday.

    * Spending

    #1): No FleaBay spending - success again today, total 7 / 31.

    #2) No food spends today, doing well at 33 / 165.
    Raided the fridge to use up the last of last week's bargain bowls - made Mediterranean Chutney, used up courgettes, tomatoes and aubergines. Used some tomatoes from the garden to make up the amounts and they were lovely. 6 jars of chutney for winter - a couple will be used for hamper gifts later on.

    * Saving

    # 1) No personal spending but no extra into holiday purse, total still at 40 / 75.

    # 2) Had a busy day so haven't done the TCB thing, may pop over there shortly. Extra into ISA saving still 0 / 120.

    * Sorting

    # 1) I can't do much more with the mid-term planning sums until OH and I have Bored Meeting on Saturday. The scores on the doors won't change much unless our work situations do (something we're not looking to do) - OH is happy to be semi-retired, he's certainly earned it and my health means I can't work full-time hours easily. And of course the whole premise of our future plan is that we'd rather have the time together than the money, so it all needs a bit more working out. Will get there!

    #2) After work I tried to phone solicitors to make appt but didn't get through when I tried and then I got caught up with chopping endless courgettes for the chutney pan so will try again tomorrow.

    Simple Pleasures
    * Having a choc ice whilst sitting in the garden during one of today's light showers. Lovely and refreshing all round.

    Night all SaRx
    ~ * ~ "A goal without a plan is just a wish" Antoine de Saint Expuery ~ * ~
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 9th Aug 18, 7:43 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 882 Thanks
    crv1963


    Simple Pleasures
    * Having a choc ice whilst sitting in the garden during one of today's light showers. Lovely and refreshing all round.

    Night all SaRx
    Originally posted by ShyAndRetiring


    I actually managed to sit at a table and have a sandwich, then in the garden in the evening have a glass of wine watching the Hens go to bed. It was so peaceful.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • humptydumptybits
    • By humptydumptybits 9th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
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    humptydumptybits
    Simple pleasures, I've had a bowl of strawberries for breakfast. Sweet and juicy.
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 10th Aug 18, 10:33 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    thriftytracey
    I switched bank account yesterday to the Nationwide FlexDirect. It was the most trouble free on-line switch yet (although I do have an existing Flexaccount with them). I tried a Lloyds Bank switch last month as their offer was coming to an end and gave up in the end because I could not get an bank appointment in time at any bank within a 30 mile radius before the offer ended It was ridiculous. I know it is only for a year, hopefully there will be another offering by another bank although they do seem to be drying up and I have switched 4 times now so running out of banks!


    I am also looking for an account where I can squirrel away holiday savings that pays a decent rate and is easy to transfer money to. I've got a small regular savings account with Birmingham Midshires but it is not very flexible. We have ISA's however that is for the unexpected or large capital purchases. We also have a Santandar bank account for DD's and Standing Orders and 2nd level savings, then we have a Nationwide Bank account for savings towards regular expenditure such as vehicle/caravan services and maintenance together with house maintenance. I just want an old-fashioned account where I can pay bits of cash/cheques in, easily transfer small sums electronically and pays a half way "decent" interest. I must admit I am nostalgic for the old books that were printed up every time money was deposited. I remember saving in the Abbey National for our first house deposit that way. It was most satisfying! Actually typing this I just thought about the Post Office. Must do some research.


    Anyone else do this?
    • humptydumptybits
    • By humptydumptybits 10th Aug 18, 11:36 AM
    • 1,048 Posts
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    humptydumptybits
    I switched bank account yesterday to the Nationwide FlexDirect. It was the most trouble free on-line switch yet (although I do have an existing Flexaccount with them). I tried a Lloyds Bank switch last month as their offer was coming to an end and gave up in the end because I could not get an bank appointment in time at any bank within a 30 mile radius before the offer ended It was ridiculous. I know it is only for a year, hopefully there will be another offering by another bank although they do seem to be drying up and I have switched 4 times now so running out of banks!


    I am also looking for an account where I can squirrel away holiday savings that pays a decent rate and is easy to transfer money to. I've got a small regular savings account with Birmingham Midshires but it is not very flexible. We have ISA's however that is for the unexpected or large capital purchases. We also have a Santandar bank account for DD's and Standing Orders and 2nd level savings, then we have a Nationwide Bank account for savings towards regular expenditure such as vehicle/caravan services and maintenance together with house maintenance. I just want an old-fashioned account where I can pay bits of cash/cheques in, easily transfer small sums electronically and pays a half way "decent" interest. I must admit I am nostalgic for the old books that were printed up every time money was deposited. I remember saving in the Abbey National for our first house deposit that way. It was most satisfying! Actually typing this I just thought about the Post Office. Must do some research.


    Anyone else do this?
    Originally posted by thriftytracey

    I'm looking for something as I'm saving for DDs wedding next year. I'm not getting very far but I will certainly post if I find something good.
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 10th Aug 18, 11:51 AM
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    • 65,567 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    Interesting post thrifty..........

    I need to have a money sort out after I have moved.

    TBH I am getting heartily sick of having to keep monitoring interest rates and switching banks just to try and get a decent savings rate. I think savers have been punished long enough. half the time we are not even keeping pace with inflation.

    I do the "recycling trick", ie using linked accounts that allow you to filter money into a regular savings account paying around 5%. Again these are only for 12 months but better than nothing. I have now had three consecutive HSBC ones. As one finishes I just start Another. I'm also going to do a Santander one.

    I have dabbled in Stocks and Shares ISAs this year. Well my son did it all ....bless him. So far I have earned just over 10 per cent return in 10 months, which of course beats the banks hands down. I know over on the investment board they would probably laugh at that saying it's small potatoes but I am happy. I would be too nervous about going high risk. It's very tricky.......trying to get decent returns but not opening up to high risk.

    I have no idea what effect Brexit will have on the stock market and anyway I do need to have some instant access funds for house renovations so I have just cashed in some of my S&S holdings and will transfer them to Santander for the time being, reducing my exposure to the whims of the stock market. At least for now.

    I know the stock market is probably best for long term savings and investments but as I am now 67 I don't feel comfortable taking too many chances. Different if like my son you are in your 30s but my age it isn't so easy to ride out the lows.

    If any one has any better ideas, please share.
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 10th Aug 18, 12:32 PM
    • 89 Posts
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    thriftytracey
    Indeed LessonLearned, savers have been punished for 10 years. This isn't going to change with banks passing on just a fraction of any interest rate rise for savers rates. At one time banks needed the money from savers - now they don't. This deters saving generally - look how easy it is to obtain credit now and how personal debt is increasing. It is frightening. However, to our generation debt was very risky and to be avoided. I remember purchasing appliances on six months' interest free credit in the 1980's and being worried about that! We bought second hand/hand me downs furniture and rented a colour TV - can you imagine it now? I could go on and on ....


    Yes, the FTSE is at a all time high. Making me very nervous about my pension funds. From what I have read while the falls the stock market rises and vice versa. I am hoping that a No Deal Brexit will NOT happen or be allowed to happen, although it seems to be on the agenda of certain groups, individuals and investors.
    • sukysue
    • By sukysue 10th Aug 18, 8:55 PM
    • 1,733 Posts
    • 2,237 Thanks
    sukysue
    Bought some Extra special toasted teacakes for 2p yesterday and we came home from the elderly parents and had 2 each with a giant mug of tea and it was bliss!
    xXx-Sukysue-xXx
    • humptydumptybits
    • By humptydumptybits 10th Aug 18, 10:26 PM
    • 1,048 Posts
    • 2,151 Thanks
    humptydumptybits
    The interest rates are so low it is hardly worth bothering so I'm thinking of just buying premium bonds every month and at least I have a chance of a nice surprise. DDs wedding is 11 months away, they just got engaged, so too late for me to tie into one of the 12 month saving accounts that pay a decent amount.
    • crv1963
    • By crv1963 11th Aug 18, 9:10 AM
    • 382 Posts
    • 882 Thanks
    crv1963
    Hi


    S&R- Hope you have a fruitful weekend, I'm going to tackle the garden, then see how the weather pans out, aiming to think through how I'll put my own thought onto my thread in some sort of order rather than a chaotic mix of them.


    Thrifty- I had thought that I might start looking to switch accounts and chase the percentage game but it does seem a lot of effort for little return. I think once I have an idea of my regular income I may start a regular saver account.


    LL- I suppose that it depends how fast you need the money tied into S&S? I'll be trying to keep some invested after we retire but not all, maybe because cash loses money against inflation and most down turns recover in 18 months to 3 years.


    Sukysue- I always look at what's reduced and get bargains, I have to stop though as some of it gets wasted.


    Humptydumptybits- Premium Bonds sounds a great idea, when I've sorted my cc's out I think a bit each month into PBs may be the way to go for me, they are accessible but I'd have to think about cashing them in, rather than just going to the cashpoint and drawing money out.


    I can see my problem is that I waste money buying wants rather than needs and tying up money that I can access in a few days is probably better for me. Great to read what others do and how I can adapt their ideas to my circumstances.
    CRV1963- Light bulb moment Sept 15- Planning the great escape- aka retirement!
    • lessonlearned
    • By lessonlearned 11th Aug 18, 9:45 AM
    • 10,409 Posts
    • 65,567 Thanks
    lessonlearned
    I am a great fan of premium bonds, risk free and some nice little bonus cheques from time to time. I have never had a big win but usually manage either 25 or 50 a month. Not to be sneezed at.

    CRV. There is nothing wrong with spending on "wants" as long as you budget for them......I didn't "need" a trip to the Amazon. I don't NEED a visit to Iceland next year either...... but I do want these things so I budget for them.

    My advice is to really monitor what you are spending, record everything, either in a spreadsheet or even what I do, I just write daily spends in my diary so I can keep track of where the money goes.

    Tracking your expenditure might sound a bit anal but nothing beats it for helping you find out where the leaks are. Plug the leaks and your financial position will improve very quickly.

    I know you are still in debt busting mode but you seem to have things under control.

    One thing I find useful if I really want to cut back is I just decide to have a moratorium on all unnecessary spends. It can be just month, or even longer just depends.

    As you know I am moving soon so have been packing up my possessions. What an eye opener. Seriously I could open a dress shop....... I have decided I will not be buying clothes, shoes, bags etc for at least the next six months.

    I don't need any more cute dresses ......

    In fact when I move I shall be decluttering yet again.....It's an easy way to make a bit of extra money although it can be a bit time consuming.

    Last time I blitzed my loft I made 1100. So well worth the effort.

    Today I too shall be pottering about the garden, and also do a bit more sorting and prepacking.

    Ps....sorry didn't answer re the S&S. I am happy to keep the lump sum invested there for at least 5 years. My new mortgage is fixed for 5 years so that's my time frame. At that point I shall either move again or pay off the mortgage and stay out, or stay put and keep the mortgage......

    I really have not decided yet....it will all depend on the economy at that time and whatever else is happening in my life. Lots of options. That's the beauty of being retired........freedom of choice. .....
    Last edited by lessonlearned; 11-08-2018 at 9:48 AM.
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 11th Aug 18, 9:47 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    thriftytracey
    Re Premium Bonds. We have had 500 for years and only ever won 25 about 10 years ago. Some friends have the full 30000 allowance and win regularly. There is an article about PB on MSE the odds are tiny now unless you have the full amount. I keep meaning to cash them in. BUT like the lottery I guess there is always a chance albeit teeny tiny!
    • thriftytracey
    • By thriftytracey 11th Aug 18, 9:53 AM
    • 89 Posts
    • 67 Thanks
    thriftytracey
    "My advice is to really monitor what you are spending, record everything, either in a spreadsheet or even what I do, I just write daily spends in my diary so I can keep track of where the money goes. "


    I LOVE my spreadsheet! I record everything and categorise spends, Food, Fuel, Pets, Personal (toiletries, books, cds etc), Entertainment (meals out etc), Discretionary (impulse), Caravan, Holidays and Home. I then reconcile to the bank account and it is really satisfying to see surplus saved each month from my salary, even if it just 100. Also, planning for retirement you can see where the "heavy" months are e.g. Pet vaccinations etc. I know I spend too much on food for example and can cut back.


    Then, when I was doing the numbers I could see where too much money was going!
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