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  • FIRST POST
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 22nd Jul 18, 3:29 PM
    • 2,264Posts
    • 7,027Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Focus, Action & Consistency is the Key!
    • #1
    • 22nd Jul 18, 3:29 PM
    Focus, Action & Consistency is the Key! 22nd Jul 18 at 3:29 PM
    Hello again,

    I'm MuffinTops and I'm in the exciting position of being Mortgage and Debt free. This diary forum and many amazing posters seriously helped me get to this position.

    I am in my 40's, single and living alone, and I do have a decently paid job. So what's the problem??? I have no long term focus. I became mortgage free a few years ago and since then my savings accounts do not even closely reflect my salary and necessary outgoings, and I'm still not really living either.

    This diary is now about how to focus and to live the life I thought I was working towards when I was trying to clear my debts and mortgage. To do this I need to plan and act in my own best interests consistently.

    There are so many areas of my life I've neglected over the years so although the main focus is on budgets and becoming financially self sufficient, I also have a lot of jobs I've neglected for too long, a lot of organising to do, and a whole lot of frogs to eat along the way.

    Work is rubbish, and I hate it, but I'm finding that a mindset change is making things more bearable. I don't think my work situation is special in any way based on other diaries I've read, so maybe I need to focus less on what's going on around me at work, and more on my own path. I had considered resigning before finding another role or replacing the salary, but I've had a long hard logical think about that this weekend and I don't want to go back to existing, so I'll stick it out while I can.

    I think that's enough for now. I know I'm in a fantastic position and I truly am so grateful for that, but I've also squandered some time and money which I feel I need to address immediately. It seems that unless I have a specific financial amount to aim for, I lose focus.

    So I'm going to specify actual amounts in my budget (and on here) for certain areas (ie. savings, home improvements etc), so that I'm always working towards a goal. Home improvement goals etc will be based on specific costs to get work done. Savings will be a yearly goal (pro rata'd for this year).

    I hope that it's still ok for me to post here, as it's such an inspirational place and has always made me much more mindful of my spending and other general habits and pushed me further than I can do by myself.
Page 5
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 10th Jan 19, 8:17 AM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Yesterday was a bit weird. It had it's good points but I spent the day on edge. I found out that another close colleague is going through a process of working out a mutually beneficial leaving package, and then getting the leavers card for the colleague in my department just tipped me over into being on edge. I needed to go for a walk as I was feeling so emotional.

    I met the contractor after work and took him to my special bar, which he loved. It's not a place you'd know was there if you weren't told, and I love that about it. It's also really cute and quaint. It wasn't very busy but the service was great and the price was good too. We didn't have alcohol but we shared some tortilla chips (completely against his gym bunny diet apparently ) and had a couple of drinks each and it only came to 12.04 each. The last time I went there late last year we only had 2 drinks each (they were alcoholic) and it was more than double that. Although I think we had cocktails that evening.

    I have lunch with another colleague today. This is the colleague who refers to mealtimes as breakfast, dinner and tea and invited me to lunch by asking if I was free for dinner and then did a panicked double back on himself. He's back in London today and invited me to lunch. He's started calling me Ducky now, if that gives any ideas of where he's from???? I'll ask him today.

    I also noticed there were 2 lots of expenses from last year I haven't yet claimed for, so put those through. That's 115 I'd forgotten about!!! Probably because I went on holiday soon after those 2 trips. I've just booked another trip away but won't claim for that until I'm back as I will be able to buy myself dinner while I'm there to claim back, and a taxi fare. They've asked to see me, but I also need a break from this office as it's getting too intense.

    Lots to do tonight as I have a full on weekend with my Mum visiting and taking her to a show in London. I should be home early afternoon on Sunday if all goes well.

    Have a great Thursday! My last day in the office this week, thankfully.

    MTxx
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 10th Jan 19, 8:36 AM
    • 4,157 Posts
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    doingitanyway
    I'm glad you have nice plans with your mother. A show in London where you can forget about office shenanigans may be what you need right now.

    The office sounds very unsettling but I am wondering if there might be an opportunity here too. I know you have a new lifestyle planned. If you decided to jump sooner rather than later could you also negotiate a good package that could springboard you to the next phase? Just a thought.

    Enjoy the show
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 10th Jan 19, 1:08 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Hello DIA. There are no offers of packages at this time, and sadly no guarantee that there will be. That is my preferred option, but I have to wait and see if it happens. By now we would have expected at least some noise of this option, but nothing for us standard staff as yet. My hope is once we move across they'll look at a reshuffle when the urgent work is complete.

    I'm hoping a nice weekend with a show will be a tonic so that I can start fresh back to work when next week and cope better than I am this week.
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 10th Jan 19, 2:15 PM
    • 3,967 Posts
    • 6,279 Thanks
    another casualty
    Hi MT .

    Sorry that the alarm problem is still ongoing . Um, no I did not entirely keep a straight face at the time of my alarm issue. I was constantly walking into the kitchen trying not to laugh too much .
    The remainder of the time I looked like I swallowed a full water bottle about to deflate at any minute

    Anyway, please don't let the takeover/ merge on the job front get to you too much . Just think of your plans that you have .
    You have a lot of people that you will be in touch with by the sound of it . Enjoy the time with your mum ..
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 10th Jan 19, 5:12 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Thanks AC. I appreciate the support and encouragement.
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 10th Jan 19, 5:50 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    It's almost the end of my working week and I've decided to draw a line under it and dig out my big girl pants. I've not enjoyed this week at all and have felt really down and that's not how I function, so I've had words with myself and I'll sort it out.

    On a positive note, I contacted the people in my department who are leaving and asked if I can organise their leaving drinks for them. They all go within the next 3 weeks and none have made any hint of arranging anything so they jumped at it, which pleased me. I've sorted a date, now just need to decide on a venue that is as cheap as possible as we won't have been paid and everyone is skint after Christmas!

    Just 10 minutes left of my week. A bit of time to update YNAB for the weekend so that I don't overspend. I need to pop into Holland & Barrett this evening on my way home too as my Mum needs a few supplies that I said I'd take to her when I visit tomorrow to collect her.

    I doubt I'll get any chance to log on here so have a budget friendly and lovely weekend.

    MTx
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 10th Jan 19, 8:15 PM
    • 61,744 Posts
    • 264,554 Thanks
    beanielou
    A Wotherspoons or similar?

    Enjoy your weekend
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 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. ***Be the difference.***
    • Tinkerbelle2000
    • By Tinkerbelle2000 11th Jan 19, 2:03 PM
    • 597 Posts
    • 2,134 Thanks
    Tinkerbelle2000
    Hi MT

    Sounds like your contractor is from the Stoke area?? I'm not to far from there so we have breakfast, dinner and tea to I'll make sure that I say it your way though when we chat

    Hope you have a lovely weekend with your Mum. Sorry you have had such a carp time in work this week. Just keep pushing through and you will get your dreams in the end.

    Catch up with you over the weekend.

    Tink xx
    As of 31st December 2018 Total Debt = 15837.59
    DEBT 1 - 41.10 DEBT 2 - 257.41 DEBT 3 - 584.12 DEBT 4 - 700.00
    DEBT 5 - 655.02 DEBT 6 - 669.18 DEBT 7 - 3448.00 DEBT 8 - 2169.12
    DEBT 9 - 2964.25 DEBT 10 - 4349.39
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 13th Jan 19, 9:51 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    A Wotherspoons or similar?

    Enjoy your weekend
    Originally posted by beanielou

    I'm not sure there's one near where we work, but you have given me a good idea of a place that is reasonable and will let me hire a sectioned off area for free. Thank you.


    I hope you're having a good weekend.
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 13th Jan 19, 9:54 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Hi MT

    Sounds like your contractor is from the Stoke area?? I'm not to far from there so we have breakfast, dinner and tea to I'll make sure that I say it your way though when we chat

    Hope you have a lovely weekend with your Mum. Sorry you have had such a carp time in work this week. Just keep pushing through and you will get your dreams in the end.

    Catch up with you over the weekend.

    Tink xx
    Originally posted by Tinkerbelle2000

    I still need to ask him where he's from, but no need to change your terminology, Tink. I get it. I just find it really funny that he doesn't want me to think he's asking me out on a date. There is actually a historic story to this too, but it's too long winded and boring to go into.



    Great catching up. Enjoy what's left of your weekend.


    MTxx
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 22nd Jan 19, 7:44 AM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Well it's been a pretty uneventful 10 days so I didn't really have much to post. I have been to see Thriller and also Cirque de Soleil though and both were excellent. I preferred Cirque, but Thriller is definitely worth a try. They did get us standing up in seats and dancing during Thriller which is really awkward as there's no room to do anything but an awkward wiggle. Other than the major extroverts who like to create a body tsunami with their exaggerated dancing. They do bring the mood up though, so that's always a good thing.

    Financially I've managed to keep fairly well to budget. The 2 forgotten expense claims I put through are almost ready to be paid and now I have one more as I spent a couple of days in Birmingham last week.

    I also did manage to get my head sorted with losing so many people I've loved being around for so long. It also prompted me to make a proper effort to meet up with some ex colleagues and that's been reassuring enough too.

    So other than that there's not been a great deal to report. Life is ticking along nicely and January is dragging its heels as it usually does. I think I've paid up my council tax for the year, so have 2 "free" months to look forward to there, which will all help. I've also found a ton of supermarket money off vouchers, hopefully enough again to not need to spend from salary, so I'll try to have another Free February this year.

    I hope you're all having a great week so far.

    MTxx
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 23rd Jan 19, 8:31 AM
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    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Went through YNAB this morning and everything is looking healthy for the month. I'm about to book another holiday so the surplus for the month can go across to pay for that. I also think I over budgeted for things like diesel and my commute so I'm hoping there will be some left over there too. So any concern that my part time salary would leave me short has gone.

    Yesterday I was in the office and Mr no date dinner came over at lunchtime so had lunch with him again. My other ex colleague met me for breakfast too so quite a sociable day which was very needed.

    I hope you all enjoyed any snow you had yesterday. I was hoping it would snow and settle overnight preventing me from coming into the office today, but no such luck. Having said that, there's only about 2 of us actually in the office from my department today as everyone else has emailed to say they're working at home now!

    Time for a solo breakfast now, I think!

    Happy Hump Day all



    MTxx
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 23rd Jan 19, 12:57 PM
    • 61,744 Posts
    • 264,554 Thanks
    beanielou
    Good news on the finances & a lovely sociable day yesterday
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 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. ***Be the difference.***
    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 23rd Jan 19, 7:19 PM
    • 4,157 Posts
    • 24,695 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    Envious of the Cirque trip. Something I've always wanted to see.

    I went from 5 days to 4 days and I barely noticed the salary reduction.

    Sounds like you are having a good time socially
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 24th Jan 19, 7:34 AM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Thanks DIA. I was part time for a few years on the same hours, but just need that reassurance of a pay slip now.

    Cirque was amazing. So much fun and so much talent. Some of the acts defy understanding of what they were able to do.
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 24th Jan 19, 7:53 AM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    I finally sorted a date out for my new washing machine to be delivered and installed! That will be on Monday. I'll be so happy when that's in and I can wash my clothes at home rather than a drive to the launderette.

    I have some more vouchers to use so I've decided to get a good vacuum cleaner. I've been looking at the cordless ones and their reviews are so mixed that I'm not keen on ordering one. Mainly they say that they get blocked and clogged easily. So I'm looking at more trusted established cleaners, Henry being the winner so far.

    I managed to avoid any spends yesterday, which is rare for me as I'll often pick up a few bits of fruit on my way home from work to have the following day. There were just 2 of us in the whole department so I wasn't shown any temptation to go for lunch in our canteen and I didn't want to leave the area completely empty either. So I've checked YNAB this morning and had nothing to add to it, which was really nice. It looks like my spending spree has wound down as there really is nothing I want and my grocery budget is looking comfortable.

    I've arranged the drinks for our leavers this evening, so have mixed feelings about that, but it'll be nice to say a proper goodbye. I've also arranged a future lunch with the colleague I'm most upset is leaving, so that's a bonus. As I don't drink I'm hoping the evening won't be an expensive one either. We've got an area blocked off in a bar near the office so should be comfortable for everyone.

    Happy Thursday! MTx
    • another casualty
    • By another casualty 24th Jan 19, 10:06 AM
    • 3,967 Posts
    • 6,279 Thanks
    another casualty
    Sounds like you're still having fun and getting on with things Mt .
    Interesting about the vacuum cleaner . I had a Henry for many years .
    Quite big iirc, and a pita when using stairs . As I have limited space now , I decided to get a dyson . Really good , but expensive as we know. The good : compact , and powerful . Great customer service.
    At Christmas time , the lid broke. I phoned up and got an immediate replacement free of charge . Two year guarantee . If I had to buy the replacement , it would be about 17, so not too costly to maintain.
    The bad: expensive . You have to keep your thumb on the button while using . Container gets full quickly .
    Seems like Henry if you have space . So many to choose from though
    Has the alarm been fixed ?

    Enjoy the evening
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 24th Jan 19, 11:54 AM
    • 61,744 Posts
    • 264,554 Thanks
    beanielou
    I have a shark cordless.
    Been great this far.
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 12 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. ***Be the difference.***
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 25th Jan 19, 12:36 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Thanks AC. The stairs are the reason I'd like a cordless and you've given some good feedback on what you have, as has beanielou (thank you) so I'll have a rethink and do more research. I did like the sound of the dyson but holding the button in constantly would be a nuisance, I think. Back to the drawing board as it needs to be the right one as I'm done with small, cheap machines.
    • MuffinTops
    • By MuffinTops 25th Jan 19, 12:42 PM
    • 2,264 Posts
    • 7,027 Thanks
    MuffinTops
    Yesterday was a pretty good day. Better than expected. I did end up spending more than I expected during the day, but didn't actually spend any money in the evening as I only had a soft drink. I even stayed late enough that I caught the last bus home from the station! That's not like me at all. It was a really fun evening though so I'm so glad I went. I needed that decompression too after the few weeks building up to it.


    My favourite colleague brought his wife in and he introduced us again (I met her when he first joined 8 years ago) and she jokingly asked me if I was pleased to see the back of him and my eyes welled up again! I'm so embarrassed but she took it in the innocent way it was meant!



    So I think I'm adapting now to losing the amount of lovely people in such a short space. Last night has helped.


    Today I did have an interview for the new company but the person interviewing me is off sick so it's been rescheduled. I'm not sorry as I would have had to leave the evening earlier if I'd had to get up and preen myself today.


    Other than doing my show later I have no plans. I need to come up with some music but I'm also going to get some requests from the wards too as I've missed speaking to the patients. I need to play a song that I choose which is suitable for the Maternity Ward but I'm not sure what to play yet so need some thoughts on that.


    I hope everyone is enjoying this murky Friday! I've got a few hours to get some chores done at home, so am off to get those started now.


    MTxx
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