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  • FIRST POST
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 5th Oct 18, 9:02 PM
    • 191Posts
    • 1,001Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hazelnutty's New Start
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 18, 9:02 PM
    Hazelnutty's New Start 5th Oct 18 at 9:02 PM
    Hi everyone

    I've been an MSEr for many years although on and off the forums (I was a total addict of the families board when I was expecting DD) A lot's changed in my life in the last 18 months and it's a new start in many ways so I thought I'd come back and start a diary to help me get me on course. I could do with the support of you lovely people along the way

    My ex & I separated (more or less totally amicably) and have divided our financial lives. I took on our new house on my own, which I could do (just!) by remortaging over a longer period (we would have paid it off in 13 years - now it's 25 ) and he took all the money - a division that made sense for various reasons. We now both have new partners now. Mine can't work and I'm supporting me, OH and DD on my salary (with child support from my ex and a kind gift of some safety net savings from my Mum so I wouldn't crash if anything happened).

    So now I'm rebuilding. Since moving careers after finishing my PhD I'd earned a lot less than my ex so I've been getting used to having less now and needing to plan and prioritise more than before. I'm now into my 40s so if I can avoid being saddled with my mortgage into my 60s that'd be great!

    I'm pretty careful and I save and budget for things like car insurance, holidays etc but after I've squirrelled that away, I'm not left with much to OP or stash for savings. I currently pay £670/month on approx £155k mortgage and top up OP to £700, so it's not much but I'm determined to increase it! I do what I think are Tilly Tidies every day (£1 + whatever pennies are in my current account) but I've just been transferring them into my general savings. That'll be the first thing to turn into an OP. Clearing out stuff for sale on F@cebook too although I've found it pretty frustrating (I work long hours and so get a bit fed up with flakiness). My OH is getting into batch cooking and we're pretty good generally with meal plans etc. But basically I'm pretty up for trying stuff to chip away at the mortgage

    DD's calling me for stories so I'll carry on later! Thanks for listening!
    Last edited by Hazelnutty; 05-10-2018 at 9:25 PM.
Page 7
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 9th Nov 18, 6:32 PM
    • 6,589 Posts
    • 45,832 Thanks
    newgirly
    Hope you have a great time
    MFW 21

    £79,000 left, target £16k in 2019
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 10th Nov 18, 9:59 PM
    • 1,519 Posts
    • 11,742 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Hope you're having a fabulous time Nutty
    MFW 2018 #157 Target £15,000

    £23,095.71/£15,000
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 11th Nov 18, 4:57 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Thank you all for your good wishes! We had a great time!

    XH have us recommendations for pastel de nata so we left early to make the bakery's opening times (I just LOVE those things but good ones are hard to find in the UK) We made it just in time then had a charity shop peruse with some success. I got some lovely jeans (which I had been in the market for new, but spent £4.50 in Scope instead, which is a great cause). OH got a long-sleeve top (it was colder and wetter than we'd expected!) and a couple of other bits. We were most proud of a 1930 girls' annual, with a dedication from Mummy and Daddy to their daughter, 1929. It's full of stories of jolly japes illustrated with engravings. Lovely quality book although a little worse for wear at almost 90 years old ) Going to give that to DD for Christmas (£2.50)

    Dinner was disappointing for me - who serves fish n fries grrrr (and fish was all dry ugh) although OH's burger was lovely. Then they tried to add a compulsory service charge OH was brilliant and stepped in as I was feeling too tired to fight lol. That was the only annoying thing. I don't mind spending money on nice food if it's worth it, and this definitely wasn't and wasn't cheap.

    The all-dayer was just fab. Saw our top 3 bands before bailing as I was too tired lol. Only managed 3 half pints The music and the venue were great. Just really chilled and inclusive and welcoming. They had a vegan food truck outside too so we had a little snack before the taxi came. Hotel, dinner and a couple of drinks were covered from our stash pot for trips so all good. Just the best breakfast this morning at another of XH's recommended places. Collected DD, did the food shopping (first big shop since 26th - £84 but should last min 2 weeks bar milk, bread etc - big batch cooking sesh for OH tomorrow), bought kittens' first collars then home. It was the first night on their own bless them, although a good friend checked in on them twice. I even left a light on timer for them

    Since then it's been tea (now wine) and chill out. OH and I currently watching the FWW series on 5 and DD is doing homework.

    I've given up on most of my outstanding FB sales. They've been up for a while and it's time to call time (plus I get sick of timewasters and all the people who enquire and then never get back to you, like all they're doing is fishing around ). Only now selling some DS games and some good quality outdoor stuff. Have offered DD's old bed to Emmaus and will take everything else to the local hospice shop, which is a charity I support anyway. We're still a way from my target of getting the storage room turned into a functional room by Christmas though

    A busy week ahead and another 2 long days in London. Just hope it doesn't set my recovery back.

    Hope you've all had a good weekend
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 11th Nov 18, 7:24 PM
    • 6,589 Posts
    • 45,832 Thanks
    newgirly
    Sounds like a great weekend, I hope your Dd likes the annual
    MFW 21

    £79,000 left, target £16k in 2019
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Nov 18, 10:01 PM
    • 30,525 Posts
    • 178,089 Thanks
    Karmacat
    What an amazing weekend you had! On so many levels ... pastel de nata, very yum ... and kitten collars! How were they, on leaving them alone for a little bit? Hope you get a bit of catchup sleep tonight
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 12th Nov 18, 9:21 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Thanks NG and Karma!

    The boy cat is slightly smaller and even with the collar at its smallest he can get it off. We found him collarless this morning (collar was in the kitchen cupboard thing where he apparently sleeps!) The girl cat is clearly unimpressed, probably because her sneak attacks on her brother are less likely to come off. We've had some stink eye from her but she's kept it on nonetheless.

    OH has switched out the coffee machines and we now have the amazing proper espresso machine out ( a birthday present a few years back from XH). I am currently enjoying my second cappuccino of the morning, which is going down well. We are going through milk like nobody's business (2 pints down in the 6-pinter bought yesterday afternoon). Still, better than coffee shops and filter coffee, to my mind anyway.

    Should be a quiet NS day bar cleaner coming, postponed from last week, cash all ready and netball match fees later. All budgeted so no sweat . Just checked and I'm £154/£280 on food budget spends so far with 16 days to go, so I think that'll be fine. £73/£125 on Ents budget and £73/£150 on fuel.

    Right, better get cracking work-wise. Catch you all later
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 13th Nov 18, 8:59 AM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 12,122 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hey Hazelnutty, just caught up with your diary from the beginning. It sounds like you're doing really well. Don't worry about only being able to make small overpayments: a) these all add up and b) you never know what's around the corner. DH and I couldn't afford to make more than token payments to start with but as we've finished doing stuff to the house (which you've mentioned you want to do to yours), our OPs have become much bigger.

    The kittens sound adorable - reminds me of when our boys were little. However, they're exhausting too, aren't they?! Always in the places they're not meant to be! (Or was that just our pair?!)
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 13th Nov 18, 11:31 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Thanks, Vix!

    Yes, that's exactly what they're like! Current battle is against nibbling all the plants. When they were smaller they could wriggle in the gap between the running board and the dishwasher door, which was a total pain. Luckily they're too big for that now.
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 16th Nov 18, 4:01 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hi all
    It feels like a while as everything moves on so quickly in forumland!
    I had my 2 long days in London this week so haven't had the time to post. 2.5 hrs each way travelling ugh. I was so tired I fell asleep about 8.30 on the first day. XH phoned at 9.30 to see how DD was and I was so fast asleep that I was convinced it was already morning Still, I got another 8 hours in!
    First lot of expenses came in today, so I've transferred them off the CC. Just waiting for payment and expenses for my annual job for another uni (comes in on 25th), and have just put in over £100 expenses for the 2 London days. I'm really hoping that with all that paid off the CC will come in under target. That way I know I'll have OP and leeway for xmas spends.
    I've also been approached by a university abroad about reviewing some applications for a professorship. I plucked up the courage to ask if it was paid, so let's see. I would never have dared before. Academia runs on free labour and good will a lot of the time which is why most of us are such overworkers.
    I bought Jack Monroe's Bootstrap Cook btw and OH is loving it. She made this amazing broccoli and barley soup from stuff we had in anyway and it was gorgeous. I definitely recommend it so far.
    Anyway, gotta jet and do the swimming run. Catch up with you all soon
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 17th Nov 18, 6:39 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hi all!

    I don't know how I've done it but I've brought this month's CC in just over £100 under budget Just waiting for around £170 of expenses to come in, which they should do by the end of the month. This means for the first time since my new start I have some money to stash in addition to squirreling into the various virtual pots

    I think I'll put some into Chartered Savings, but also boost the Ents budget for this month. DD will be off for a while with us over Christmas and it'd be nice to do some things with her without worrying about the cost. OH and I have promised ourselves a hamper of goodies (largely cheese tbh ) as our present to ourselves, so am very much looking forward to going down to the independent deli in town to pick out some good 'uns. Obvs the food and drink budget will need to be a little bit more generous too

    I'll report in formally on payday with performances against budget and plans for December, but fingers crossed, touch wood etc it's looking pretty positive. I'll probably increase my £50 OP a little but tbh a good Christmas (our first as a new little family unit) is higher on my priority list I generally find it hard to treat myself, as my priorities are always home and family, but just maybe I'll squeeze in a massage and facial for myself.

    Happy Saturday evening everyone! Mum's down so it's Strictly for us, but whatever you're doing, I hope it's good.
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 21st Nov 18, 9:26 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hi all! Just a quick check in. Got a few extra small xmas bits from Am@zon so very gradually developing a present store. Ashamed to admit I have also splurged on myself in a weak moment (a watch in the Black Friday sales, also had a 15% first order discount code - watches, stationery and Converse are notable weaknesses of mine!). I will get some extra money at the end of the month so I will put some of that towards it.

    Still haven't food-shopped again but we will need to in the next day or so as the fridge is bare (although freezer is full of batch-cooking). I think we'll get to payday having done only 1 big shop, 1 medium and a few small top-ups. Succumbed to takeaway tonight with OH but we will also get lunch out of our £20 spend as we didn't make much of an inroad into our meal for two from the local Chinese.

    Will have to take boy kitten into the vet soon for the chip n snip. I'm not sure how much this will cost but I have a virtual cat pot so all ok

    Night all!
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 22nd Nov 18, 3:06 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    A mid-afternoon, lost work mojo procrastination update...

    FB sales have pretty much dried up, even though I donated all the old listings to charity and put up new stuff (and good stuff for xmas i.e. toys and games). But really pleased to see the humble work email list coming up trumps Sold 4 computer games and a heap of Duplo from the Great Clearout, which I'll distribute to various colleagues over the next few days. Also because we work together there's a kind of trust that means you don't tend to get silly offers, no-shows or general @rseyness, which is all good. All proceeds are going into the Hazel Family Fun Fund for Christmas Decided to have a brainstorm together at the weekend on things we want to do and eat over the holidays (conscious that we'll have to start some new traditions as a new family unit) so this little pot will help fund those plans.

    Going to drop another load off at our local hospice charity shop, a favourite cause of mine that I support in other ways too. We're also looking at volunteering as a family over the break, although it may be difficult to find things that we can do with a kid - so if anyone has any ideas, let me know!

    In other news, boy kitten all booked in for chip n snip, leftover Chinese consumed for lunch and final load of expenses approved. With the selling, the storage room is starting to clear a bit. I really need to set aside a half day to really sort it out, but work and family always take over. Will also start to build up stores for Christmas by adding some bits to the food shopping. We don't really drink much as it fatigues us both for different reasons, so it'll be food mainly, plus extra for local charity collections.

    I suppose I'd better get back to it - catch you all later
    • the cross rabbit
    • By the cross rabbit 22nd Nov 18, 8:28 PM
    • 343 Posts
    • 2,057 Thanks
    the cross rabbit
    OOO exciting been able to create new family traditions together, it was one of my favourite things when we started living together. Well done on the sales and a great idea to spend the profits on the Hazel Family Fun Fund for Christmas.
    CRx
    Mortgage £82,000, due to end July 2036. 4/11/18 Mortgage £79,872.13
    #67 mortgage free wannabe 2019 £88.15/£800
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 27th Nov 18, 9:21 AM
    • 30,525 Posts
    • 178,089 Thanks
    Karmacat
    We're also looking at volunteering as a family over the break, although it may be difficult to find things that we can do with a kid - so if anyone has any ideas, let me know!
    Originally posted by Hazelnutty
    I've just got back online, hazelnutty, so I don't know if you've had a reply via other means, but litter clearance can work really well for families - the kids can do as much or little as they feel like, they can run around and play otherwise. Organised events or single-family contributions


    HTH
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • greent
    • By greent 27th Nov 18, 11:34 AM
    • 7,725 Posts
    • 78,750 Thanks
    greent
    Great news on the things leaving - both the sales and donations
    x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/18 £54829 2019 OPs (#18) £421.46/£5K
    Net sales 2019 £33.81/£500
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 28th Nov 18, 9:23 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    November report
    Thanks, Karma for the suggestion. I'll have a little look out for litter pick opportunities locally. DD's been particularly motivated after watching the CBBC show 'Show us what you're made of', which basically takes spoiled kids to various low-wage workplaces and gets them to experience what making a living actually means for a lot of people. A recent series took them to Ghana, where they saw children sorted through rubbish dumps of discarded Western electronics and second-hand clothes and shoes. It really hits home for some of them, disappointingly not so much for others...

    Thanks, greent and CR! I have quite a few work drop offs today so hoping to come home with around £50 for the fun fund

    So it's payday today and here's how the last month looked:

    Food: £288.44/£280. Only went over as we did a mahoosive shop yesterday (over £90 at Lidl!) so I was well under budget until then. We hadn't done a big shop for 3 weeks! So although I went slightly over, December should be under budget, even with Christmas (plus I've increased the budget so we can live a little)

    Fuel: £139.80/£150. All good.

    Ents: £189.80/£125 Was all on track until I took DD to the cinema, bought tickets for a Christmas concert in December that DD's music teacher is playing in and went out for an unscheduled lunch with OH and a friend on Monday. Otherwise I was pretty much OK! But not too worried as overall on track. Because I'd come in under the CC budget last month, I'm still 'in credit' for this month, if that makes sense, so have set the following budgets:

    Food: £300 (usually £280)
    Fuel: £150 (same)
    Ents: £200 (usually £125)
    Extra squirreling to presents virtual pot: £150 (usually £25)
    Extra saving to Chartered: £150 (usually nil)
    Extra OP to mortgage £50 (plus £13.49 TTs from November and usual OP of £53)
    Personal guilt-free spending top-up: £47.40 (usually nil)

    This still leaves me a notional £107 unallocated so I may do some extra squirreling or spending later in the month.
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 10th Dec 18, 6:22 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hi all it's been so long since I last posted I almost didn't - I feel out of sync with it all! Since my last post I was away for a few days at a writing retreat, which was great although I was still full of lurgy which meant by 4pm I needed for crash for a couple of hours each day. But I got some stuff done and was pretty lucky with flights etc making it a good trip overall. It was lovely to be home again with DD and OH, and the time without me seems to have gone really well, better than I expected/worried!

    So far this month is going well. A big and spontaneous indulgence on the weekend with an impromptu Sunday lunch at a recently discovered pub in a village not far from our place. It was lush. All three of us cleaned up every course It was quite a bit of money, but it comes out of the ents budget and frankly sometimes you really appreciate a treat We were playing the predictive text game on our phones to gales of laughter, which some of the more miserable looking fellow diners didn't appreciate, but it was good bonding.

    I've put my expenses in for the trip, so that should come through in the next week or so, so I can clear that off the credit card. Xmas spending has all fallen, so far, in the budget, although TBH I haven't made that much progress. The shops are just too crowded for me ATM. I might venture in with DD after her carol concert tomorrow as she finishes early PM. Might be quieter.

    In other news, the kittens are driving us nuts getting into things, jumping up on things and with the new delights of the Christmas tree (DD wasn't to be persuaded that we shouldn't have one this year )

    I'll try to catch up on people's diaries soon!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 10th Dec 18, 8:01 PM
    • 30,525 Posts
    • 178,089 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Sounds wonderful! Anything you can say about the writing retreat, and what you were writing?
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 14th Dec 18, 11:46 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Hi Karma. It was organised by someone who's on the same academic Facebook group as me. She runs it for her colleagues but offered places to other interested people. Although it was quite a faff to sort out the logistics for DD while I was away and I was a little apprehensive about flinging myself into a new, quite intense situation where I wouldn't know anyone, I just went for it. We all sat around a big table and wrote using the Pomodoro technique (20 mins work, 5 mins break, then a longer break afer so many cycles). You don't produce polished work but it does get you writing, and so can unblock you, plus (unexpectedly) the communal working did work for me. I guess you kind of feel accountable to each other? I got about 3000 words written on my new article. My plan is (although I haven't managed yet to do this) is to do 2 Pomodoros every morning so that I'm writing something every day and it becomes a habit...
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 14th Dec 18, 11:50 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,001 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    I am feeling like a bit of a spendthrift at the moment, definitely loosening the pursestrings over the festive season. Said yes to everything DD wanted to throw in the trolley yesterday as what the hell?! I did tell her not to get used to it as it'll be a return to business as usual in the new year! I'm still tracking my spending but there are definitely more treats happening

    The storage room is even more full now so a total fail on turning that into a livable room. We are also waaaay behind on Christmas, although will be taking a trip into town today. DD is off now but most other schools not, so hoping it won't be too busy. One of the effects of OH's condition is finding crowds, noise and lights tricky, so Christmas town centres are a minefield!
    Last edited by Hazelnutty; 14-12-2018 at 11:59 AM.
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