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Archive for February, 2014

Small Changes

February 28th, 2014 at 12:48 pm

I just wanted to update again, mostly for my records. After my last post, I logged into my current account to set up a transfer of 1/wk for 41 weeks to my tiny EF. This is the savings from paying off hubby's BNPL item before April. It starts next week. I started to think that hey one pound each week isn't much, I bet I won't notice if it increases to 2/wk when this finishes. So I set it up. This won't take effect until December.

I'm going to have to add a line in my budget for this now. I doubt I'll even notice though.

A Nice Surprise

February 28th, 2014 at 04:46 am

This morning I checked my bank account and was pleased to see that I had a bonus from work. I knew that today was the day that bonus was given, I just assumed that I wouldn't get one because of being off sick. Well I got 180. I sent 100 to Capital One (cc1) and paid off the rest of hubby's BNPL item (33) I might just order some food shopping for delivery online and that will be it.

Hubby thought I should put it to CC2 but I told him I was determined to get cc1 down since it's the lower balance. It makes me feel better. When I get rid of it, hubby wants me to use it for food shopping and then pay in full to help my credit rating.

I like the idea of saving the interest "saved" from paying off the BNPL item. Do you think it's silly to set up a transfer of 1/wk to my EF? (if my bank will let me, that is)

Peace & Quiet

February 26th, 2014 at 11:25 pm

SG is still sleeping so I used that time to check over my budget for next pay period. Everything has now updated with the new minimum payment so there will be no surprises. Assuming that my pay is reasonable, we should be ok. I've updated everything in my notebook, and I just tick it off as I pay it. I also use Excel to budget too but I think I prefer physically ticking items off when they're paid. In my budget, I've put that I'm paying 100 to CC1. Fingers crossed I can do it since I am still on sick leave. I'll make it work, I want that debt gone.

Spending

February 26th, 2014 at 07:49 am

Not much to report. Went to Aldi's for milk and fruit, and I ended up getting a couple more things. I was hoping to spend £7, I spent £9.09.

Long Day

February 25th, 2014 at 11:33 am

I was out of the house from 8am-6pm today. That's the longest I've been out in a while. Trust it to fall on SB's sixth birthday. I came home to find that they had increased my daily goal to 60 - I've been doing fine with 40-50. Well I have 45 now so working on the rest. I'm Team Red but I think I've barely contributed anything, although it helps that the birthday challenge didn't start until 12pm GMT.

I brought my own lunch today but never brought drinks. I spent some money today on a few bottles of water and juice. I also bought a few more snacks, I really underestimated how thirsty I would be there plus their waiting room was so hot. It was 1.30 for a bottle of water from their vending machine, they didn't have a water cooler! I really grudged that one. Unfortunately though I had to drink plenty today though. I did make a note of how much I had spent, at least at first. I think it was almost three pounds on drinks.

Good news is that the dreaded catheter is gone, at least for now anyway. If I am able to keep doing this myself then I should be ok although I've to phone her if I have any problems. Last week she told me that if I still have bladder problems and I am able to do this myself, further on in my pregnancy the catheter will have to go back in - just out of being practical more than anything else. It will be impossible to do with a huge bump! My bump with SG was neat but I still thought I was big - each to their own, I guess. I certainly can't imagine doing this in the final few weeks of pregnancy.

Oh well I better go back to Swagbucks and try to make my goal.

Today's Spending

February 24th, 2014 at 10:24 am

Not a lot happening here:

- withdrew £20 for gas and electricity
- paid hubby's underpaid tax 11.55
- bought a baguette for me and hubby to share 2.90
- multipack of sweets to take with me to the hospital tomorrow 1.00
- paid 6.00 to BNPL item (it's a knife block set)

Total: 41.45

Hubby told me I should have just paid extra to my credit card rather than paying his BNPL item. I told him I don't want him to pay that interest but he said he was ok with it - his payment plan was 0.52/wk. Well that will be paid by April.

Meal planning, using up leftovers and whats the cost

February 23rd, 2014 at 05:39 am

I've been clearing out the fridge today. I made tuna fish cakes for SG from leftover tuna mayonnaise and leftover potatoes. I put two in the freezer to use another time, so I hope she likes them, I adapted the recipe to what I had. If SG doesn't like them, then we will have them. For lunch I will use up some more cooked potato and have a sandwich with that. When hubby comes home from work, he will have the last of the chinese from last night. There's also two baguettes that MIL gave us that I might try turning into garlic bread then freeze that.

I've got a lot of potatoes and sweet potatoes that need using up. I'm going to parboil some of them today then put into a container in the fridge to be used for wedges or mashed potato. After that I will make the tomato and mozzarella pasta that I was meant to make a few days ago. There will be leftovers so we will probably have that for lunch tomorrow.

I've got a rough idea of what I'm going to make this week:

- tomato and mozzarella pasta
- cottage pie
- pizza with pepperoni, leftover mozzarella and peppers (forgot I had a pizza base mix from a while ago)
- corned beef hash

I was playing about on Whats the cost this morning. If I am able to pay 100 to CC1 every month I will have it clear by the end of April 2015. Then, if I pay 180 to CC2 that will be gone by June 2018. Of course, it sounds great in theory but I will try my best to put it into practice.

I also want to make sure that we have some sort of an EF because that's what caused a lot of the credit card debt in the first place - that and unnecessary spending . Part of me wants to save 10/fortnight rather than every four weeks but I don't know if I have the room in the budget for it just now. It does work out as only ten pounds extra every pay period.

So...

February 22nd, 2014 at 11:56 am

Yesterday I posted about hubby's BNPL item and how I wanted to pay that off. Well I should have just put something towards it because I spent 22 pounds on a chinese takeaway tonight. The worst part is, it was my idea! I'm feeling so hypocritical right now, and guilty. I told hubby the next time we get one it will be planned. I was meant to make pasta tonight but SG was at MIL's and I guess part of me thought that we deserved a treat...

In other news, hubby's friend asked to borrow ten pounds so hubby is giving it to him tomorrow. Told hubby that when he gives us the money back it's either going into the EF, starting the housing fund or towards debt. Opinions? I know that it's only ten pounds but if I don't make a plan it will probably just get spent on some unplanned purchase when I get the cash.

Update #2

February 21st, 2014 at 11:36 am

Do I really need to post twice in one day? Well, no not really. However, I do actually have some more financial news.

I opened hubby's catalogue statement earlier and noticed that in April a new BNPL item will be added to his bill if he doesn't pay it off. Ok so I know that he has a lot of BNPL items so this isn't news; what bothers me is how little it is: £39. His statement basically said you can pay this amount OR pay an additional £41.65 in interest and have it added on to your minimum payment. Let me think about that... no way! I'm sure we can come up with the money by April. I'm not sure if DH will be as bothered as me by it - probably not - but I'd like it to be gone. After paying off two BNPL items last year I'd like to at least know that I paid off *something* albeit it's only 39. Hmm I'm going to check the calendar - how many weeks until 4/4?

My other news is that, for the first time ever, I have made my daily SBs goal for three weeks in a row. One more week to go.

Today's Spending

February 21st, 2014 at 06:42 am

I had to go and see a specialist at the hospital in Edinburgh today. It isn't local, and it took me ages to get there. So there was some money spent. I need to get two buses to get there. After I got off the first bus - using my ticket so no spending required - I checked the bus times only to realise I had over half an hour to wait. I bought a few snacks (1.88) then I had to pay for my ticket (4.00). After my appointment I was so hungry that I bought a lunch time meal deal - sandwich, juice and crisps - which was 3.79.

I brought some snacks with me but I finished them while I was waiting on the bus. I also had a bottle of juice with me but by the time I got to the hospital I was finished.

After all of this spending, my appointment was actually ok. Although I have a feeling I will be back there again soon - she's going to be in touch. At least the next time I will have a better idea of bus times and I'll pack more snacks.

Budget Changes

February 20th, 2014 at 12:57 pm

CB is not the only one with some budget changes. We got a letter today stating that our rent will increase by 3% in April. The letter didn't state the actual amount though, just how much the new rent will be annually so i divided that by 48 weeks to get a figure. (We get four rent-free weeks a year. Rent is payable in 48 installments) By my calculations, it's increased by just over 2 pounds each week.

Another change is that I'm starting to pay back tax from last year. I don't earn enough for them to take extra tax out of my pay so I have a direct debit set up starting next month. That's 9.33 for twelve months.

I think that's all... for now.

Shopping

February 19th, 2014 at 01:14 pm

Today I went shopping. I spent 30.45 although I was only 45p out of pocket. How was that possible? Well I used the last of the high street vouchers that we had saved for Christmas. There were a few impulse buys at the checkout when I realised that I was under thirty pounds - and change isn't given when you use a voucher - so I made up the difference.

I should only have to buy milk and bread between now and payday.

CC3

February 17th, 2014 at 08:07 am

Today I made a payment to hubby's barclaycard. The minimum payment was 18.77, I paid 20. The payment isn't due for another three weeks and normally hubby would just pay it then. I hate seeing the balance so close to the limit. Of course another payment will be made so that he doesn't go over his limit again.

Meal Planning and other stuff

February 16th, 2014 at 04:00 am

Hubby went shopping with MIL yesterday. We only needed a few things and he spent £15.xx. We've now got £7.08 left to last us until 7th March. He did get what I asked for, he just got lots of it, plus a few extra things too.

I've got pork cooking in the slow cooker just now with cider, apples and onions. I found the recipe on my local butcher's FB page. We'll have that with mashed potatoes and veg tonight.

The rest of the week we will have:

- spicy root and lentil casserole
- mozzarella pasta bake
- minute steak fajitas
-minute steak pasta

I got a pound of minute steak pasta from the butcher's in my meat pack and I put it all in the freezer without dividing it up so I'll need to cook it all up this week. I could probably freeze the leftovers though.

Using up Leftovers

February 14th, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I've really been making a conscious effort to use up leftovers.

I made corned beef hash for the first time this week. We had a lot left over so when my mum came to visit I sent her away with some. As it turns out it's a really cheap meal to make: tin of corned beef, mashed potatoes, baked beans, onions and tomato sauce. In the oven for 10-15 mins.

Sent hubby to work with some beef casserole.

MIL brought hubby home yesterday and gave us some hamburger pasta that she had made and a sausage and bean casserole. Me and SG had the casserole tonight, I just added some grated cheese. Hubby is going to have the pasta tomorrow since it's one of his favourite dishes (his mum used to make it all the time)

I've been checking our grocery budget and we have 22.37 left to last until payday (7/3). I only need to buy milk at the weekend so I'm not worried. Yet. We do have a full fridge and freezer so there's no reason to stress.

This and That

February 14th, 2014 at 05:33 am

Went to the doctor's this morning. He gave me another four week sick line. I'm hoping my bladder problem will be more manageable within that time and I will be back to work then.

Spoke to hubby about how we have to "claw our way back" financially. I've been reading Martin Lewis's forums and I get his weekly emails. Anyway, there's a store cupboard challenge that I would like us to do soon and then put the extra money towards credit cards. Hubby's card was over the limit due to charges (gutting after I thought I sorted it last year) so any extra he can put will be good.

http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=20967

I was thinking last night that I really should have my savings balance on my sidebar. Everyone else does. On that note, actually, LR has been motivating me to save more... I was reading her old entries and thinking "look how quickly her savings increased, if she can do it, so can I!" So thanks for the motivation LR!!

Life. And a rough draft of goals.

February 13th, 2014 at 03:15 am

First of all, thank you for all of the birthday wishes. I had a lazy day. Hubby got me a new phone from the catalogue - which I wasn't happy about - but it was a nice thought. I made sure he is at least paying it up now and I think he used his rewards towards it too. I'm now totally against putting anything on Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) Or, should I say, anything else that is. There are a few things I wanted to get paid off this year but that isn't going to happen so I've accepted that; I just want to make sure that we don't make things worse for ourselves in the future by constantly paying for past purchases.

My mum and friend came over yesterday with presents. Also, BIL gave me thirty pounds which I transferred to savings - and made a mental note to spend the same on his birthday. I'm hoping that I won't need it.

I had an appointment with the consultant on Tuesday. He thinks my bladder problems are long-term. He said catheter needs to come out because it's been in too long. His solution? I do it myself. I will need to get another sick line from the doctor.

We were talking about goals last night. Hubby mentioned that we need to get a carpet for our room and we need blinds etc. We agreed that we need to save up for these things. We didn't agree or an amount or when to have it saved by though. The money will go into my savings account rather than keeping it separate since I am allowed to save over 5k per tax year tax-free (which has never happened) I'll just keep track of it in my notebook.

I complained to hubby that CC1's balance is barely moving, the balance only went down by under thirty pounds. Right now, my minimum payment is 44. I'll aim for getting it to 25 by December.

So, as a summary, my rough goals are:
1. start a housing fund
2. cc1 min. payment to 25

Thoughts? Anything else I should consider?

It's my Birthday...

February 10th, 2014 at 08:04 am

And I spent the early hours of this morning in the hospital. I don't want to go into too much info but I had sickness and cramping for hours last night. Doctors discovered that it's a feminine problem that I've got. Came home at 7am this morning and slept till just before twelve.

I've just read CCF's other blog about a slush fund. I like that idea but we don't have an EF yet. One thing at a time. I too seem to be bumbling about since we're two months into the year and I haven't made any goals yet. I should hang my head in shame - and get my thinking cap on. It's fair to say that they will be minimal goals for this year.

In other news, we were approved for help with housing.

Update, spending etc

February 9th, 2014 at 01:23 am

Yesterday we went shopping. I spent £60.69 at Aldi's, my trolley was full and I got everything on my list... plus a couple of extras too, but it was just little things like mozzarella cheese and a really nice bar of dark chocolate. Later we went to the butcher's and I spent £29.64.

I'm trying to get some order back into our lives. So I'm back to proper meal planning. I'm recovering now and hope to be back at work within the next few weeks. Hubby thinks I shouldn't be going back yet but I will only have three weeks to work then I will be on holiday for SG's second birthday.

Speaking of SG's birthday, I ordered her two Peppa Pig toys from my catalogue (using my rewards of course). I had £22.52 of rewards, my order came to £26.00. After rewards were applied I was only £3.84 OOP. I think we are quite sensible when it comes to gifts for SG. I noticed on FB that a girl I went to school with, whose daughter is a bit older than SG, filled her couch with presents for her. Someone joked that it would take her until her next birthday to open them.

It's my birthday tomorrow. Hubby told me that BIL is going to give me money instead of a present cos he thinks I need it more. Should I put it in savings or just count it as cash flow? Thoughts? We might be a bit short this month but I'm hoping we can scrape by.

Inspired by LR: Payday Post

February 7th, 2014 at 06:32 am

I don't normally post what I've paid but here it is:

- rent £243
- Littlewoods catalogue £137.60
- Vertbaudet catalogue £24.00*
- BoS CC £87.00
- Cap One CC £60.00
- four-weekly bus ticket £73.20

Total: £624.80

* This is a kids French catalogue that I got Dec 2012 for SG. I only have a small credit limit (£250)

One thing this post says to me, and I'm already aware of it, is this: most of my money goes to debt!!

Payday

February 7th, 2014 at 04:42 am

Well today is payday. My work kept to their word and backdated my sick pay. However, since hubby did not get sick pay it doesn't really make us any better off. I have enough to pay all of our rent for this month but I will need to cover hubby's shortfall.

My aim this pay is to keep under budget since my next pay will not be as good. I've been paid for an extra few weeks that I won't have in March's pay.

I have a feeling that the local council will not give us any help on last month's two weeks missed rent because my pay is looking good. If they don't I will just pay extra when I can over the next few months. They already know that we are in the process of applying for help.

As far as food shopping is concerned, I am going to the local butcher's tomorrow for a £26 meat pack and I will get the rest at Aldi's

Slowly updating

February 5th, 2014 at 12:50 am

My sidebar, that is. I checked my statement for CC1 and the reason my payment is so low is because it's now 1% of the balance. I can't wait until our finances are sorted and I can start paying more. I will check CC2 soon.

Next on the list is to think of some goals for this year.

Musings

February 2nd, 2014 at 06:13 am

I'm home alone today. It's hubby's first day back at work so he asked MIL to take SG. I would have rather spent time with her but he wanted me to take it easy.

The only things that he wanted me to do were to declutter a few kitchen drawers which he brought through to the livingroom last night. It was a long task, and I found receipts from 2012. I had a good read through them, and a lot of them were credit card receipts. Thankfully I don't have those anymore. I think we should sort through the mail weekly because a lot of stuff had built up. I also need a shredder to fully complete my job but I can't buy one yet.

Tomorrow we have been together for eleven years. I have decided to make a curry for us then. I checked the cupboards and I have a packet of poppadoms and pilau rice that will take two mins in the microwave. I've found an easy recipe online for curry, and I attempted to make spiced onions to go with the poppadoms today (recipe said they should be chilled for a few hours) so we'll see tomorrow. I didn't have mint sauce or mango chutney which the recipe needed; I'll know for next time.

I've got a batch of vegetable soup cooking right now. I had a lot of vegetables that needed using up. Now I'm happy knowing that they haven't gone to waste.

Have a great Sunday guys. Is it Super Bowl Sunday? I;m sure BIL always used to take the Monday off work to recover from watching it.

February Already?

February 1st, 2014 at 02:03 am

This will be another tight month, but at least it's a shorter month. I'm trying to be optimistic but it is difficult.

Our application for Housing Benefit has been delayed until we get paid because they need the wage slips that have sick pay on it. However, hubby got a letter through telling him that he didn't earn enough to qualify for sick pay. I'm hoping we can take this to the council and show them. Therefore, hubby's pay will be worse than the last pay, I'm dreading to see what he gets.

Hubby borrowed money from BIL. MIL had offered if we needed more money she would take it from her overdraft; BIL said he had savings.

I had to phone my health plan again because they never sent my claim forms. I should get them next week.

It's my birthday this month but I won't be able to do anything for it. I think we got a takeaway last year. Maybe I can make a curry or something?

I was at the hospital twice during the week. Still no luck with my catheter. Also, the midwives know who I am as soon as I walk in. That's a sign I'm there too much.

Next week I have my 20 week scan. We're not finding out the gender. I had a scan at the hospital a few days to check my kidneys and the sonographer was nice enough to give me a little pic of baby.

I really need to think of some financial goals.