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  • FIRST POST
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 24th May 19, 6:41 PM
    • 2,763Posts
    • 15,743Thanks
    girlatplay
    Gap is Back - Time to Knuckle Down
    • #1
    • 24th May 19, 6:41 PM
    Gap is Back - Time to Knuckle Down 24th May 19 at 6:41 PM
    Itís been about 20ish months since my last diary although it feels a lot longer. My financial situation has changed somewhat (for the worse) since then and I really need to get on track. My previous diaries helped immensely so Iím hoping to get back into that routine again.

    Quick update: I had some health problems around this time last year. I had to leave a well paid job (which wasnít helping with the health stuff) and I currently only work part time. I started my new job in August last year and Iím on half the salary that I was on previously (but I'm sane).

    Income: Little Miss Gap (LMG) isnít so little anymore. She turned 18 towards the end of last year and is just coming towards the end of her second year at college. This means child benefit and tax credits are going to be stopping soon which will be another hit to my income. I will then only have my salary and LMG's digs coming in. If she doesn't get a job in industry (in her line of work) then she will go back to college again after the summer (higher education, not further education so no tax credits). If she gets a job I will have to pay full council tax, if she goes back to college then I won't. I don't know which it will be until one of them happens. I do have scope to up my working hours in the future but at the moment I just can't do that.

    Debt: I have just managed to get a product transfer onto a new mortgage deal. It was touch and go for a bit, I had 6 weeks on the lender's SVR and I was convinced they wouldn't let me transfer due to my salary being so much lower, however, they did so now my mortgage is at 2.94% with £87,640 outstanding, monthly payment £214.97 interest only.

    I have a personal loan (which didnít help with the mortgage situ) which is sitting at £6,798.44 outstanding with 54 months left to pay at 2.67% (monthly payment £133.84).

    I have 3 credit cards but I only use them to get points. When I use the card I transfer the money from the relevant budget to an account for credit card payments. When the bill comes in I pay it off.

    Savings/payments: I have a current account that my salary is paid into and all ddís come out of, and separate accounts for: yearly payments (so I can pay outright anything that can be paid yearly; insurances, car stuff, etc), groceries, mini emergency fund (cash I can get my hands on instantly), holding account (to hold cash before I transfer it to the loan account) and credit card payments. I have an emergency fund (harder to get hold of) which has £700 in it (it had £1,000 in it but in order to get the rate on the mortgage I had to pay across £350. I am currently building this back up). I am paying very close attention to the grocery budget because it's like an unruly toddler; if I don't keep my eye on it I'll find it under the dining table cutting its hair with scissors (looking at you LMG). Joking aside, it's the one that varies the most so I'm trying hard to meal plan and stick to my lists, saving receipts to add up and figure out what I'm doing.

    First draft of plan: My plan is to pay off the loan as quickly as possible. I donít want to set a goal date right now for paying it off (just definitely want it gone in less than 54 months) but Iíll do a progress check in 3 months' time and then see what I want to do going forward.

    Iíve been reading other diaries over the past couple of months, trying to decide if I should come back here. I spent hours reading a couple of really good diaries and felt so inspired again that I went and searched for my old diaries. It was a good reminder of how disciplined I can be.
    I am working 5 mornings a week at the moment. I have 5 afternoons a week at home when I am supposed to catch up on housework and other bits but sometimes I find that I go home and sleep all afternoon (part of health stuff). I am thinking that I could pop on here some afternoons to update.

    Looking forward to a new challenge but also a bit scared of the tightness of the budget.

    Gap x
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
Page 3
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 13th Jun 19, 2:29 PM
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    girlatplay
    When I got to boyfriend's last night he had got home early and the curry was made! He's definitely a keeper. It was delicious too.

    LMG has been offered a part time job in her industry which is great news. She is planning to go back to college after the summer so that will fit perfectly. It's so funny because she will be paid monthly instead of weekly and she's aghast at how difficult it will be for her to budget. She's really understanding of how tight the budget is for us but this afternoon has been a real eye opener for her.

    No financial news apart from I saw 1p on the ground when I was rushing for the bus yesterday but if I had stopped to pick it up I would have missed the bus and that wasn't worth 1p. I meant to look for it again today but I forgot
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 13th Jun 19, 3:08 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    Definatly a keeper
    Well done to LMG
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 14th Jun 19, 2:46 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    Exciting (for me) financial news: I've just called the Tax Credit office to advise that LMG finished up college today (when she goes back after the summer she will be doing an HNC so Further Education and you don't get tax credits for that) and they have told me that the tax credit award runs to 31st August, regardless of whether she goes back to college or not! That means another 11 tax credit payments that I didn't expect. They also advised that child benefit will run to around that time too (a couple of days difference, apparently). Great news for my budget!! However;

    I really need to be sensible about this. I have to stick to the new budget so I'll try putting what I get into a separate account from next week's payment (Wednesday) onwards.

    I am going out in about half an hour as there is a work social meet up arranged later. I am taking cash from my unsealed pot and just having a couple of juices so won't be a big expense, less than £5 I expect. I'm only going for an hour or so. I'll have tea when I get home, unless the Social Committee have funds in the budget for food. LMG and I were supposed to be going out for tea together but she's still not well so we'll do it one night next week when she's feeling better.

    Taking my Dad out for lunch on Sunday because we just don't know what to get him anymore. He usually insists on paying for lunches and dinners when we're out so it will be nice for him to not put his hand in his pocket.

    Other than that, the weekend shouldn't be too spendy. I could do with a couple of things from the supermarket but I'm not in desperate need so it will only happen if I'm near a shop and I'll be sure to keep the list on my phone, and stick to it.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    • By BlackCoffeeNoSugar 14th Jun 19, 4:04 PM
    • 447 Posts
    • 1,941 Thanks
    BlackCoffeeNoSugar
    That is exciting news about the Tax Credits! All sounding really positive Enjoy your meet-up and your weekend
    Debt at Nov 2017: £8,619 Debt at Dec 2018: £4,161 Current: £1,295 Aim for Dec 2019: £0
    Pay ALL your debt off by Xmas 2019 #04 - £2,866 / £4,161
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 14th Jun 19, 5:28 PM
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    girlatplay
    Thank you BlackCoffee.

    That's me home. Went along and really enjoyed myself. I took the car because I was running short of time and also it was a deterrent from alcohol (I'm easy persuaded, even by myself). I had a juice and one of the guys insisted on paying, even though I explained it was just a juice and I was not staying long. I didn't spend a single penny! I'm so glad I went (not just because of the money thing).

    That makes today an NSD and the third out of five.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 16th Jun 19, 10:12 AM
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    girlatplay
    £15 spent yesterday on required groceries and a card and small gift (socks & chocs) for my Dad from LMG & Peachy.

    Off out for lunch today and halving that with my sis so it won't be overly expensive.

    Have a good day all.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 16th Jun 19, 4:11 PM
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    girlatplay
    £36 each in total (between 2) for carvery lunch with dessert for 5 adults and one littley. That's not too bad. It might seem like a lot to some for a Father's Day present but honestly, all the money in the world couldn't make up for everything my Dad has done for me, and continues to do. I'm so very lucky to have him because he really is wonderful and also because the majority of my friends don't have their Dads anymore. I'm very lucky.

    I'm home now and stuffed so won't need tea, maybe a wee bit toast if I'm peckish later. I'm lying on the couch like a slob playing on my phone as I'm not able to do much else. Just hit £5 on Prolific though so cashed that out. Nice to know I can still make money whilst in a food coma.

    Need to prepare for work tomorrow but nothing else to do this evening. LMG is working and boyfriend has his kids this weekend so house to myself tonight. I've started a new box set on Netflix which I'm quite enjoying. I'll probably watch a few of those before a reasonably early night.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 16th Jun 19, 6:52 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    As you say you are very lucky to still have your dad
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 17th Jun 19, 2:10 PM
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    girlatplay
    I know I'm lucky Lou and I try to extra appreciate my folks on behalf of those who don't have theirs anymore. I don't have my grandparents now and it upsets me when others don't realise what they have (I was the same, in the past) and I'm determined not to feel that way when my luck eventually runs out.

    It's a special birthday for my sis next week but her DH is taking her away for a couple of nights then so tomorrow I'm taking her for a special day out. I've been planning it for a while and I've saved and paid for most of it already, just got to pay for two short taxi journeys and dinner tomorrow night. She took me out for my special birthday two years ago and we had a great day so I'm hoping she will enjoy tomorrow. It's a surprise (she's knows she's going out but no details) and I've not told a soul so keeping tight lipped here too, just in case

    Smallish spend today just picking up a couple of bits for tomorrow and kievs for tea tonight. Going to boyfriend's to help him renew his home insurance. He was one of those people who just let it roll forward!! Well not anymore pal, you're with me now. We need to do his car insurance soon too but that's not for another couple of weeks.

    Off to nosey at other diaries
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 18th Jun 19, 10:18 PM
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    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    Boyfriend's home insurance renewed yesterday and we saved him £40 so he was delighted. Could have saved him another £12 but he's not at the stage where he can pay yearly yet so I had to grudgingly let that go.

    Had a great day with my sis today. I took her for a spa day at a nice hotel. We got the train as it wasn't in the city and it was just great. I only ended up paying for the two taxis because lunch (included in the spa deal) was so filling we were both too full for tea. I'm still full! We've got shiny faces, smooth skin and relaxed muscles. I think she enjoyed it and that's all I wanted. I planned, budgeted and paid for it in advance and that worked really well.

    Payout from Prolific received today.

    £1.70 bus fare taken from Overflow Budget for an emergency journey this morning (the traffic is awful here right now, road works around every corner).
    £17 for the taxis also from OB.

    I desperately need to sleep now as back to work again tomorrow.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 18th Jun 19, 10:26 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    Glad that you had a lovely day
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 19th Jun 19, 8:59 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    Thank you Lou.

    Back to work today. It's been really busy recently which is not a bad thing but I feel like I'm shuffling a lot of papers. Dentist this afternoon I'll never like that. I pay yearly so no cost today.

    I have written up a loose meal plan for the next week or so and a shopping list for tomorrow. I need to get back on track again. Also need to try those muffins again.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 19th Jun 19, 9:27 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    I still havent tried the muffins
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 19th Jun 19, 9:47 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    I still havent tried the muffins
    Originally posted by beanielou
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 20th Jun 19, 3:25 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    Just done my grocery shop for the meal plan. £25.83 so not too bad. Got everything on the list, nothing extra, nothing less and remembered bags . I'll round that up to £26 and pay that across to the cc account. That leaves £31 in the grocery budget for odds and ends up to payday next Friday. That's if the meal plan holds out as I think I mentioned it's a bit loose. It's difficult with LMG working various shifts. At her new job she gets her shift rota monthly so that should be easier to work with.

    I'm sitting in the supermarket waiting for the key cutting guy to get back from his break. I'm so bored (keys are for my neighbour, not me, so not out of my budget).
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Jun 19, 8:51 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    Well done
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 20th Jun 19, 9:52 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    Well the loose meal plan fell at the first hurdle. Och that's not strictly true, I always knew today would be the "loose" part as I wasn't sure if I was seeing boyfriend or not and so I couldn't confirm a meal on the plan for tonight. We went to Asda for pizza flatbreads (he loves them) and I remembered that I have an Asda card, like a gift card but not a gift, which I bought at the start of the month as part of the grocery budget. My sis gets it through her work and you get 4% cashback when you top it up. I buy loo roll, kitchen roll and washing liquid from there so I thought it would be a good idea. I still had £18.37 left on it so paid £7.02 for pizza and dessert for tonight which leaves £11.35 on it. Add that to the £31 I have left in the cash budget and that's £42.35 I have left in the budget to last until 28th June. That's loads!
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Jun 19, 10:09 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    The pizza flat breads sound great.
    That's a great amount to have left
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
    • girlatplay
    • By girlatplay 20th Jun 19, 10:21 PM
    • 2,763 Posts
    • 15,743 Thanks
    girlatplay
    The pizza flat breads are pretty good. They're just a bit nicer than a normal pizza base although it might just be because of the shape. They were £2.75 each and we get one each because we are greedy but you could share one between two with some chips or something on the side.
    Loan (£8,030.40 inc int) current balance: £6,324.14 :: Original DFD 01/12/2023 Expected DFD 01/09/2023
    IO Mortgage current balance: £87,570
    365 day penny challenge (unofficial member): £334.77
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 20th Jun 19, 10:27 PM
    • 66,984 Posts
    • 303,151 Thanks
    beanielou
    The pizza flat breads are pretty good. They're just a bit nicer than a normal pizza base although it might just be because of the shape. They were £2.75 each and we get one each because we are greedy but you could share one between two with some chips or something on the side.
    Originally posted by girlatplay
    I will keep an eye out for them.
    Mind you I dont do supermakets often
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 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.***
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