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    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 19th Apr 19, 1:05 PM
    • 31Posts
    • 150Thanks
    Wow, things are a bit different
    • #1
    • 19th Apr 19, 1:05 PM
    Wow, things are a bit different 19th Apr 19 at 1:05 PM
    A long time lurker, Iíve been both moved and impressed over the years at the kindness, determination & resilience of people on the debt free boards. So time to join them all. So technically I am not in debt at the moment (other than an alarming mortgage). However I left my job recently and donít have a new one sorted out yet so I have no income at all! I have a decent savings cushion to fall back on for some time to come but obviously Iíd rather not eat into those too much.

    To manage this change in circumstances I need to find a new approach to spending and start budgeting, which Iíve not really had to do for a long time (somehow I have always been able to live within my means without a rigid budget, though I am not very MSE in some areas). Even when I do start working again I will then need to top the savings back up. Itís also quite possible the next job wonít be at the same salary level so I could be earning less and if I only get temp roles Iíll need to continue to have a buffer for those period of unemployment between contracts as well.

    About me - I am single, no kids, early 50ís, live alone, scary mortgage has 16 years to go and I have little in the way of financial commitments outside of supporting myself (all my family are abroad). I donít own a car and am not extravagant in my lifestyle on a day to day basis. However I do like adventurous holidays which can get expensive and I spend more on food than is probably reasonable for one person. I also have a tendency to Ďupsellí myself when buying stuff like appliances, furniture or technology in order to get better quality or to feel ísafeí in the purchase. My flat needs some significant spending on it this year; various things are now falling apart/stopped working/dying/look awful. Iím terrible at DIY, fearful of getting quotes & finding tradespeople (after previous bad experiences) and even worse at procrastinating so thatís not a great combination!

    Iím hoping a diary will help me monitor my spending and think through some of the choices I make and stop the mindless frittering away of money with little to show for it. Plus it will give me something to do whilst unemployed. Please feel free to comment!
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    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 6th Jan 20, 11:15 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Had an OK weekend, was too lazy to go to the gym so the Christmas pounds won't be shifting as quick as they should. Did a bigger than usual supermarket shop to stock up and as well as nearly doing my back in lugging it home it cost nearly half my monthly budget - will have to make things stretch a bit if I'm to keep within my target. I do have someone staying one night this week so have to feed them as well, and bought a bottle of wine so we can have a good catch up (no dry January for me then).

    Nice if unusual surprise at work today. Security gave me a large parcel that arrived late Xmas Eve addressed only by first name & no department to a staff member we finally worked out left several months ago. Opened it and found a rather big hamper of goodies including the usual chocs, cake, sweets, jam & biscuits but also some tins of organic soup (odd inclusions but good). The timing was great as I had back to back meetings and no time to heat & eat the soup I'd taken for lunch - so I ate the posh crisps and a fancy flapjack! Tomorrow I'll give my staff free choice on the rest and I can take the leftovers. Since one is vegan and the other cutting down on sugar I'm hoping they'll still be some nice bits left!
    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 14th Jan 20, 9:57 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Already falling into bad old habits again, working late, buying something naughty (tonight it was corn chips) to snack on the way home as hungry then getting home too late to cook properly so eating badly. Veggies have not been a daily part of the diet, less alone 5 a day. Over the past week I've scoffed bacon sandwiches on white bread, crumpets and chocolate. Tonight I ate over half a pot of M&S custard. Don't ask me why (well it was yellow stickered......) now I have a stomach ache from all that dairy and sugar & trying not to think about the calories.

    Had an alcohol free weekend and got to the gym once so that's something. But must try harder.

    I must book a dentist appointment. I've put it off for months as I now have a bit of a phobia from previous bad experiences but the tooth with the missing filling is getting a bit sensitive. I'll also need a new nightguard as I grind my teeth badly, probably main reason I lost the filling, and the old one is about to snap in half so all up it will cost nearly £500. From savings I hasten to add.

    The Storm Brendan wind is horrendous!, I almost got blown over walking home and its gusting so loudly against our flats. Hope it calms down overnight.
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 14th Jan 20, 10:32 PM
    • 68,439 Posts
    • 312,659 Thanks
    I ate a whole pot of said custard tonight~~also yellow stickered funnily enough!!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 14 months to mortgage freedom.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    **Weight loss 2 stone 11 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.***
    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 14th Jan 20, 11:02 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Beanie - my partner in yellow-stickered custardy crimes! And when i said 'over half' that was code for "all the pot barring a nominal inch or 2 at the bottom". Hence not checking the calorie load!
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 15th Jan 20, 8:05 AM
    • 9,751 Posts
    • 22,874 Thanks
    Welcome back and good you have a job to stop you dipping into your savings further. I think everyone gets those moments in life where they feel burnt out and stressed and want to go in a different direction and it is very brave of you to leave a well paid job and you had the luxury of savings and no debt so put yourself in the best position to do that. It is always easier to job hunt when you are in work so hopefully you will have more luck this year in getting the right thing. I did it in the 90s although I was married so we did have a wage coming in and I retrained for a different industry for a year with a free training course. Sadly I don't think those are available any more.

    Taking your own lunch is much cheaper and saving that £55 a month gives you more than £600 towards a holiday.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to
    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 15th Jan 20, 1:59 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Hi Enthusiastic saver (great name BTW)
    I was very glad to get another job. I've done forensic anaysis o my spending and it costs me £1795 per month just to live in my flat - mortgage, service charge, utilities and a small amount of maintenance. Add on some food, transport and even very modest entertainment and I was spending over £2K per month from savings. Now back into job hunting so I don't have a another big gap once this contract ends.
    I would retrain if like you I knew what I wanted to do as an alternative career! I have friends who retrained as teachers, or got higher qualifications to specialise but I can't find anything I want to do that much. Like lots of people I fell into my current career a bit by accident and although I do mostly enjoy it and think I am fairly good at it, there are times I feel a bit trapped. But I just don't have any passions to follow or that would justify starting again, possibly at a lower salary, in something different. The best I can do when I go back to a perm role is find a job that is focused on the bits I like the most and has nice work colleagues/good benefits.
    Definitely targeting the work lunches as an areas I can reduce. Obviously it might push up the grocery spending but I could probably halve it with some effort & planning ahead. Also looking to reduce alcohol at home spending. I spend about £30-40 per month including when having friends over but I want to drink less anyway so win/win. I've got a nearly full bottle of gin and 3 bottles left over from Christmas so that should last a while!
    • LondonLiz
    • By LondonLiz 20th Jan 20, 8:45 PM
    • 31 Posts
    • 150 Thanks
    Finally went to the dentist today, after work, and still recovering. It wasn't totally traumatic but as usual I needed 2 top ups of anaesthetic before I was fully pain free and the drilling could start . One large filling, 2 xrays and one very numb face later and I am £265 worse off. And next week another £350+ for a full clean with more anaesthetic as the teeth are so sensitive, plus a fitting for a new night guard. So I've eaten something soft and now waiting for the dribbling to stop.

    Went to Aldi afterwards and did a small shop for lunches and a few dinners. At a training course tomorrow with full 3 course lunch provided (was very nice last time I went on something) but out for drinks in the evening so that'll balance out if not be a bit of a deficit. I'm meeting an ex-colleague from my old company, who left last year a few months after me, also with no job to go to to. Though I suspect she got some sort of pay off based on all the signs and knowing who she reported to. Will be interesting to hear the whole story as so many people have gone over the last year it definitely shows the problem was bigger than just me and my job.

    It's going to be an expensive month on the entertainment front. Spent £17 at the pub on the weekend with a friend in need as he's having trouble at work. To be fair he bought lunch & some drinks, I then bought 2 more overpriced glasses of red wine - blasted gastro pubs. And I also have a lunch and a show thing this coming weekend. Ticket and food is free as someone can't go and has given me their ticket, but will have to buy drinks. Doubt I can be strong enough to stick to tap water!
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 20th Jan 20, 9:29 PM
    • 10,212 Posts
    • 21,300 Thanks
    Just popping along to say hello. I too have left jobs I hated in the past with less of a cushion to fall back on. It always worked out eventually but at times like you found it was a scary ride. Keep posting.
    During 2020: Target 1) £25,121 to be repaid in 2020 (0%) Now down to £24,703 Target 2) repay £1450 off (OP £102.51) mortgage now 144872 @1.7% Target 3) Set up SIPPs Target 4) Declutter 52 bags - now done 4/52
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