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Archive for February, 2015

This & That

February 27th, 2015 at 08:08 am

I got a bonus from work today: 81.37. I wasn't expecting one and it's the smallest amount I've ever gotten. As much as I REALLY want to put it towards debt, I desperately need to buy a new mattress for SG's bed. If I wasn't putting any extra towards debt I would feel bad but I am putting extra and I'm using snowflakes too.

Speaking of snowflakes, I have enough SBs to claim 10GBP Paypal cash. However, I'm wondering whether to keep on going and aim for 25GBP PP reward. It'll probably take me most of March if I do. I need over 2000 more swagbucks and I seem to be averaging over 100 just now.

Emergency Fund Update

February 24th, 2015 at 11:55 am

93.25 Beginning Balance
+0.75 survey rewards

------------------
94.00 New Balance

256.00 to go to reach my goal of 350 by December 2015.

A Snowflake

February 24th, 2015 at 10:49 am

I had enough points from Opinion Outpost to redeeem a 2.50 paypal reward. The funds are now in my bank. I will be dividing this 70/30 between cc#2 and my emergency fund.

I told dh this morning that I have been putting my survey rewards towards credit card - I never mentioned savings though. I suggested he could do the same but he wasn't interested.

I think that will be the last of my snowflakes for this month.

Out and About

February 23rd, 2015 at 03:36 pm

This morning I had arranged for us to meet my mum in the local town. She's been desperate to pay for me to get my hair cut, she said she would pay for it for my birthday. It's been a few weeks since my birthday so I reasoned I had better sort it out soon.

I spoke to my mum on the way there. She hadn't left yet but I thought she would let me know when she was in the town. I tried phoning her a few times while we searched for a hairdressers. As it turns out, there are a lot of hairdressers and barbers in town, not all of them are open on a Monday though. We finally found one just as it started to snow. They had had a cancellation so they squeezed me in. I forgot how nice it is to have someone wash your hair etc. I had no signal in the hairdressers so I couldn't get in touch with my mum.

Afterwards, we went to a family friendly pub for something to eat. I spent 12.16 on a large Scottish breakfast for dh, a kids breakfast, pancakes and maple syrup for me and two mochas and a juice. Gave J a jar of baby food. Never again.

My mum never showed up despite my phone calls. It wasn't until later in Aldi that she phoned to say that she was at home. She had gotten the bus but had forgot to grab her phone. She waited ages for us then went home. We arranged for her to come over next week.

When we came home, I transferred the money from getting my haircut, from my mum's bank to mine. I also put money into her savings. She's close to triple digits now.

I'm in for the rest of the day now. Stay warm everyone.

Retirement Thoughts

February 22nd, 2015 at 05:50 pm

Creditcardfree's post the other day about retirement got me thinking.

I've been contributing 2% of my pay towards a pension since I was 20. I wouldn't have considered it normally at the time, but my manager, who was about five years older, told me he was contributing so I should do it. When I signed up, I told dh who followed a few months later. My employer matches my contribution.

In the last year or so I see that it's now compulsory - I might be wrong - to join your workplace pension. I'm sure the HMRC had a lot of adverts out about it.

I'm by no means expecting a great pension considering my little savings. I don't know what age I will retire. I know one way to increase your pension is to use your ISA savings where you are allowed to save 15k per tax year (Apr-Apr). I am a long way off from this. I need to get rid of debt first and get myself sorted out.

I just wanted to put this out there because I was thinking about it.

Emergency Fund Update

February 21st, 2015 at 03:14 pm

It's Saturday, so my regular automatic deposit of 2.00 to the emergency fund hit.

91.25 Beginning balance
+2.00 Weekly deposit

-----------------
93.25 New Balance

Updated Credit Card Balances

February 20th, 2015 at 09:04 am

CC#2 updated today. Unfortunately, I didn't have any snowflakes to throw at it. I've updated my sidebar to reflect my new balances.

cc#1: 770.09
cc#2: 4156.56

Total: 4926.65

It's under 5k now but still a lot to go. Dh sent me a Debt Free link on FB the other day. I think I'm doing okay without outside help (other than SA I mean). I clicked on it but that was it.

Meal planning etc

February 18th, 2015 at 03:38 pm

I haven't planned our meals properly in a while. I thought I'd better make more of an effort. This is what we will be having over the next few days:

- steak burgers, wedges and veg
- chicken stir fry
- fish pie with veg/fish cakes for everyone
- macaroni
- leftovers

One of my friends, whose baby is one month younger than J, got in touch with me yesterday to say that she had been in touch with work - we work in the same place - about returning after her maternity leave. Although her baby is younger, I had more holidays to take due to being on sick leave and not using them so I'm due back a few weeks after her. Dh needs to find out if he can change days then I'll get in touch. I also need to fill out my holiday (vacation) forms for the year. I know a lot of people will have done that months ago.

I need to get in the right mind frame for returning to work. I really don't have any interest in how they're doing, if the sales are good etc. I need to sort my attitude. I've been away too long (Dec 2013 was when I first went off sick and I haven't done a full proper week since then)

Spending etc

February 17th, 2015 at 06:50 pm

I went shopping this morning. Spent 23.xx at the butcher's and 5.69 in Co-op.

We spent the rest of the day trying to declutter and organize our livingroom. Tomorrow is SG's room. We have a lot to get rid of.

My bank still isn't letting me transfer to the credit card. I tried this morning, despite the fact that I haven't found any more snowflakes. What a pain.

Credit card payment

February 16th, 2015 at 08:50 pm

I took 16.80 out of savings and sent it to cc#2. This money wasn't meant to be there in the first place, it's all snowflakes meant for credit card two, so I don't feel bad taking it out. This is unusual for me. Usually when I withdraw money from savings I'm unhappy but I know this money didn't belong there. My bank is still having problems, so I paid it through dh's bank.

Oops

February 14th, 2015 at 07:11 pm

I was so excited yesterday that I had another snowflake that I updated here. I then forgot to transfer to savings. I just checked now and realised that they didn't match. Oops. It's sorted now though.

Weekly Deposit

February 14th, 2015 at 07:58 am

It's Saturday so my weekly deposit of 2.00 was added to the emergency fund. I set this up after paying off a Buy Now Pay Later item from the catalogue. It used to only be 1/wk, I increased it to 2 just before Christmas.

89.25
+2.00 weekly deposit

-------------------
91.25 New Balance

258.75 to go. I have 26% of my target amount in my emergency fund now. Ten months to go.

Another EF Update

February 13th, 2015 at 03:47 pm

I just received 6.00 my survey rewards. 30% went to the EF.

87.45
+1.80

----------------

89.25 New balance

260.75 to go.

Upcoming Expenses

February 13th, 2015 at 09:41 am

Months ago, snafu suggested tracking upcoming expenses and what was needed, what was the plan etc. I've got an idea in my head but I haven't written anything down. This is roughly some of our upcoming expenses:

March: Mother's Day, SG's third birthday
Plan: minimal spending on Mother's Day, buy flowers/chocolates and a card unless I think of a better idea. Actually I have a photo frame from xmas that I haven't printed a picture for yet so I may just use that.

SG's birthday: buy dolls house. Make cake, with her help. Buy card and wrapping paper - check stash first to see if I have anything appropriate. Less than 50GBP hopefully.


April: my mum's birthday, back to work, cousin's boy's birthday
Plan: find out what she wants, possibly take her out for lunch or make a cake for her and invite her over here for lunch. Hmm.

Work: plan packed lunches, buy tea bags to store in locker.

Cousin's son: outfit, 10 max.

May: pay deposit for upcoming cake smash and family photo shoot in 40

June: J's first birthday, cake smash and photo shoot.
Plan/spending: 80 for rest of photo shoot/cake smash, less than 10 for cake ingredients. Make snacks if we have any guests over.

I think that's all for the first half of the year.

EF Update

February 13th, 2015 at 08:10 am

85.95 Beginning Balance
+1.50 survey rewards

----------------

87.45 New balance

262.55 to go to reach my goal of 350.

Emergency Fund Update

February 12th, 2015 at 08:20 am

84.45 Beginning Balance
+1.50 survey rewards (opinion outpost)

--------------------------------
85.95 New Balance

Finally Paid

February 11th, 2015 at 03:06 pm

This morning I checked my email to find that my bank had replied to my message. They basically said that they know that they're having technical problems which they are trying to fix.

I had a look through my pile of shredding and found an old credit card statement. I was going to phone and pay with my card but that wasn't an option. The options were: go into the branch (5 working days to process - payment due in a couple of days), pay using online banking with a different bank (not working) or pay with a Bank of Scotland current account. Well, I switched banks five years ago but dh has a current account with BoS so I decided to pay via his bank.

I transferred the money to dh then I logged on after confirming his details with him. I had to set up a new payment recipient, which then had to be confirmed via a phone call once I clicked Confirm. They gave me an authorisation code too. I told dh to wait by his phone. It was an automated call. He confirmed the number then my payment went through. It takes two hours to reach the account this way. The only thing is I didn't pay the 5.60 extra, I just paid 130 (minimum was 75). I will probably hold off applying snowflakes to cc#2 until I get this sorted properly. I really don't want to but I'd rather do it through my own account and dh doesn't know that I'm doing this. (He knows I'm putting extra towards debt though)

ETA: I don't want the 5.60 to "melt" in everyday spending. Should I just transfer it to savings until my bank is up and running again? I was going to send it back to paypal but that seems more complicated.

Technical Problems

February 10th, 2015 at 02:24 pm

My bank is still having technical problems. I've messaged them to complain because I still haven't made a payment to CC#2. I will look out a paper statement and phone them to hopefully make a payment. It's getting close to the due date so I need to get this sorted.

I've had a lazy day today, well I've done minimal tasks. My mum came over this morning to have a birthday lunch with us. She also gave me money to get a takeaway tonight even though I told her we'd got one the other day. My mum also wants to pay for me to get my haircut so I told her I would arrange it for next week. She got me the presents that I asked for, plus a box of chocolates and a top.

I forgot that SBs give you 50 SBs on your birthday. That was a nice surprise. I'm about 300 + away from being able to redeem another 5GBP Paypal. Of course, I'm hoping my bank has sorted out its problems by then.

A lazy Sunday

February 8th, 2015 at 08:18 pm

Ive had a lazy day today. We never went anywhere. It would have been a no spend day if i hadnt ordered a takeaway. I decided it would be better to get it today before i go shopping when there's plenty of space in the fridge for leftovers, which there is.

I redeemed one hundred points from opinion outpost today. That's 5GBP. My bank is still having technical problems so i havent requested a transfer from PP to my bank account.

Emergency Fund Update

February 7th, 2015 at 07:58 am

72.45 Beginning Balance
+10.00 Four-weekly deposit
+ 2.00 Weekly deposit

-------------------------------

84.45 New Balance

Payday

February 6th, 2015 at 11:43 am

It's payday. I woke up an hour before the kids hoping to get all the bills paid and get some stuff done. I've managed to get a lot done, except pay credit card #2 because my bank is having technical problems. I went to view my credit card statement and make a payment using my card but there wasn't an option for it. I also wanted to make an extra payment of 5.60 which is from the survey rewards. It'll have to wait for now; I've tried at least three times.

I signed on to a few survey websites but I didn't qualify for any surveys.

I cancelled the graze box that I get every two weeks. I'd agreed to their new sharing package which is on special offer at 10GBP. Plus I also had my usual box which is 3.89. I was thinking about it today: do I really want to spend 13.89 on healthy snacks from them when I can just go to Aldi and buy their big packs of fruit and nut mix, and salted nuts etc. In the end, I decided that it was best to cancel it. I've cancelled it before but then they've sent me a special offer email and I've signed up again.

I signed on to What's The Cost today after I had paid cc#1. I usually do this on payday. I can't manage to pay 160 towards cc#2 each month like I wanted to so it's looking like it won't be paid off until early 2019. Of course, I will do my best to get it gone before then.

Emergency Fund Update

February 6th, 2015 at 07:04 am

70.05 Beginning Balance
+2.40 Paypal rewards

----------------------

72.45 New Balance

277.55 to go.

Paypal cash! & deliveries

February 5th, 2015 at 07:13 am

Swagbucks emailed me to let me know that my PP cash had been deposited. I just need to request a transfer to my bank account. It only took two days!

Remember that I ordered SG's present from Amazon? It never showed up. It was due to be here on 2/2. Yesterday I got in touch with the supplier. They can't send me a replacement item because it's out of stock. So now we need to go shopping for a dolls house. DH wants us to find a really good deal though after this one fell through: it was only 3.49 and included 18 pieces of furniture. They've refunded me.

I also still haven't got the wardrobe that I ordered. I've messaged Wowcher but haven't had a reply yet. I would say that I'm not having a good week but that PP cash is a sign of a good week to me Smile

Swagbucks, paypal etc

February 3rd, 2015 at 01:51 pm

One of the things on my Swagbucks wish list is a 5GBP Paypal reward. Today they emailed to say that I had enough SBs to redeem it. I thought, ok I'll give it a try. It worked! I'm so pleased. I'd completely given up on it.

I'm waiting on My Survey rewards crediting Paypal too. It should be soon. I had enough points to redeem 6GBP paypal rewards so I did that. It'll be ten working days for that.

I spoke to DH about giving me some child-free time as a birthday present. I suggested taking them to the local library and cafe to let me have some time to relax.He's agreed.

It's our anniversary today. Twelve years together. We never got each other cards or gifts. I've got chilli con carne in the slow cooker for dinner. Dh bought something yesterday as a surprise for today. I'm pretty sure it's something for desert.

February Already?

February 1st, 2015 at 12:07 pm

I typed in the title of my blog post, and it's of no surprise that it came up as I typed, so I've used it before. Apart from April when I'm back to work, February is my least favourite month, at least for this year. I turn thirty and I'm not looking forward to it. If I could skip it, I would.

DH is not on board with not getting me a present and not acknowledging this birthday. In fact, it ended up in an argument last night. I'm to blame for it. I said I didn't want a cheesecake like we spoke about because it costs too much. Then I decided I didn't want anything and I told him not to bother. We eventually agreed just to get a couple of slices each instead of buying a whole cheesecake. Yes, we argued over a cheesecake. But the real issue is money. I don't want to throw it away.