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Archive for July, 2015

End of the Month Update/Snowflakes Total

July 31st, 2015 at 02:54 am

I can't believe it's the first of August tomorrow. July was definetly a quick month!

I don't think I posted about this the last time I updated, but a few weeks ago dh got a letter saying that his catalogues were merging. He is essentially paying the same company twice. Want to give them all of your money? I hate it. It gets worse... the icing on the cake is that he told me he couldn't remember one of his account numbers (he usually signs in with his email) so he was late with the payment. Did you check the shredding pile (huge bag!) No. He knows that every time we get mail - if it isn't junk, that goes straight to recycling - it will be in the beside the shredding. He came back a few minutes later with a statement.

Dh is still at me to get a best friend. Sure, I'll just magic one up. I think he forgets that you can't just become friends with people overnight. He's got a few group of friends, some of the newer ones work in the same place as us. Unfortunately, unless I suddenly become interested in gaming, I can't claim them as my own. Whenever I see them, they'll ask "How's [Dh] getting on with x game?" I don't know; aren't you playing the same game? Honestly. "Tell him I'll be online later" Ok, but you've probably already told him.

Then there's one of his oldest friends, who is completely not interested in gaming or anything else for that matter. We get on well. In fact, I remember meeting him for lunch when I was on maternity leave with SG and during my last maternity leave, he could always be relied on to ask how I was getting on with the *three* kids. Not good, want to take one of them off my hands? Smile He has recently set up house, so I foresee a wedding in the future.

I spent a while this morning thinking about how much to pay to cc#1. I decided on 39.09 because the number it's at right now - 1629.09 - is bugging me.

Why didn't I put any of that energy into cc#2? I'm still hoping I will be able to do a balance transfer soon. I had to get in touch with Nationwide again because I still haven't received the paperwork. The woman was worried because it's been sent twice, but I never get it. If I don't get it within the next 3-5 working days I've to go into the branch.

If I do have to go into the branch, I'll get dh's birthday card while I'm there since I have to walk past the shop anyway. He told me what he wanted me to get him, but I ordered him something online from the kids yesterday. I saved 20%, or 4.58, so that is counted as a snowflake. It's going straight to my emergency fund.

Here's my snowflakes for this month:

8.25 Approved Food discount
3.50 Tesco coupon
2.50 Opinion Outpost rewards
15.00 Swagbucks rewards (paying myself back)
3.00 MySurvey rewards
4.58 20% discount savings

Total: 36.83

This is my best month yet! Of course, it helps that I paid myself back for Swagbucks a few months ago.

My total snowflakes YTD are now sitting at 165.07.

I think it's safe to say that July shaped up to be a good month.

Entry #930 (aka Meal Planning)

July 29th, 2015 at 06:28 am

I think it's been a while since I posted a meal plan. I honestly can't remember the last time I did. Anyway, I'm thinking that we should have these meals over the next four/five days:

- chicken curry with rice and garlic naan
(homemade tomato soup for kids with wholemeal bread)

- pasta in a primavera sauce (jar, want to try making it myself if I like it)
(macaroni & cheese for kids with veg)

- steak, chips and veg
(frittata, or risotto)

- spaghetti and meatballs for everyone

Leftover soup will be used for lunches. I've got a ton of spaghetti and pasta needing using up. I was in the mood for ribeye steak after someone mentioned it, but we haven't got any in, so I will just be using the steak we already had from the muscle food order a few weeks ago.

Quick Update

July 28th, 2015 at 09:38 am

I was tossing and turning this morning, worried that my alarm wouldn't go off and I'd sleep in. When I checked the time it was 4am and only half an hour until I was supposed to get up. For future reference, it is never a good idea to get up at that time. I thought I'd have lots of time to relax before leaving. Well, that only works if you're organised. I couldn't find my watch, so I was quietly searching for it. Inanimate objects don't care that it's practically the middle of the night; they'll fall off the table onto the shredder below. Sshh! Nobody woke up, thankfully.

Got to work and two people hadn't shown up. Ugh. One appeared later, looking worse for wear. He was away two hours later.

When I finished I decided I deserved a reward for surviving. I bought a cheesecake, and a meal for two because I knew I'd have no motivation to cook for us later.

I put ten on w Christmas savings card. If I can save 97 by Nov I'll get three pounds added, highly unlikely.

Spent 26.xx although ten was savings.

Both kids were asleep when I came home, so I had lunch then went for a nap.

Cheesecake later

Rain, rain go away.

July 27th, 2015 at 06:31 am

As the title suggests, it's raining today, so we never went out. Instead, my mum came here. I'm not going to lie, it wasn't a fun visit.

Before my mum left, I decided that I really had to get some stuff at the local shop. She decided to come with me rather than heading straight home. On the way there I was made to feel 18 again as I answered questions such as:

"You always go shopping"

"Are you going to manage to carry it home?" It's five minutes away.

"Have you put on any weight yet?" No, not in the last two weeks!

"Are you and [close friend] getting on ok?" Why would you ask that? Are you and [her best friend] getting on ok? She was surprised I asked. It's a two-way street.

"I know that Dh gets on with [close friend]" So...

Eighteen year old SG would have just taken it but 30yo me actually had some answers.

I spent 16.xx, which is more than I thought, but I added biscuits and donuts to the list.

I also posted the parcel to the woman in England today. It was only 2.80.

Some Thoughts

July 25th, 2015 at 11:23 pm

First of all, the next time Dh goes on a night out, he won't be taking the bus ticket. He can just take cash. He can't remember what he did when he came in the early hours of this morning after his night out. I'll look today for it but I'm not optimistic.

There's five more pays between now and the end of the year. I need to add 110 to my emergency fund to reach my goal, which is 22 each pay period. Actually, there's still 6 GBP to be added this pay period so I guess that means 104 left. That's 20.80 each pay so I can manage that, hopefully. 18 is the budgeted amount so it's not much to come up with 2.80 extra each pay.

I've been reading up on different types of personalities since I done the test. I was talking about it the other day. It's quite refreshing to talk about something you never normally discuss.

We might be meeting my mum at the local farm tomorrow, weather permitting. I don't want to go if it's a horrible day.

Emergency Fund Update

July 25th, 2015 at 10:50 pm

227.40 Beginning Balance
+10.00 Four-weekly deposit
+_2.00 Weekly deposit
+_0.60 to even out amount

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

240.00 New Balance

110.00 to go to reach my goal.

In other news, Dh may have lost his wallet and the new bus ticket. Yep, the one we just bought on Friday. I'm going to have a good look today for it.

Blah.

July 25th, 2015 at 09:51 am

I just wasn't in the mood today. Started off the day by hanging out with J in the livingroom after his 4.30am wake-up call. He obviously didn't realise it was Saturday (get to sleep till 5 then, apparently). As it turns out, my alarm only attempted to go off - so it is a good thing he woke me up.

At work I met the two new people that started, so I'm no longer the new one. They're making me feel old though, as one of them is only seventeen. I'm not sure about the other one, but we might not talk a lot if he spends every break listing everything he hates about specific sports/reasons why certain "sports" aren't sports.

After work I spent 6.42 I think getting some fruit and veg. I completely forgot to start my extra Christmas savings.

I seen Dh for a few hours when I came home. He's away to someone from work's leaving night. With the bus ticket.

I need to come up with a meal plan. I'm defrosting meatballs for tomorrow, and some mince for J. We'll have spaghetti tomorrow.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Payday Post

July 24th, 2015 at 12:27 am

I forgot to post what I was planning to spend today. My mind was elsewhere. Maybe I'll do it before my next pay.

Anyway, this morning I've paid:

- 200 to Littlewoods (min. 133.xx)
- 15 to BNPL items
- 40 to Christmas savings (10 is my mum's, so need to transfer that back to me)
- 70 to Bank of Scotland (56.xx min.)

I need to wait a few days for Tesco statement to update. I also paid extra to Bank of Scotland because that was my budgeted amount.

I only just transferred my mum's Christmas savings to me that I paid last pay for her. I'm going to use that to put on an Asda Christmas savings card. I really need to get started saving extra because I know it will help us out.

I almost forgot: Dh walked home from work yesterday. He phoned to tell me he couldn't find the bus ticket, and he didn't have cash on him. It was due to run out on 28/7, so at least it's not as bad at it when we had weeks left.s the last time he lost it.

Dh has requested cornbread for dinner. I noticed the note on the family planner when I was in the kitchen earlier. I've only made it once and everyone loved it. There will be less sugar in it this time though. I'm making us a roast dinner tonight, so I think it might be weird to have it with it, but if it gets eaten I shouldn't complain. I need to put the chicken in the slow cooker soon.

Work/Life etc

July 23rd, 2015 at 01:20 am

I don't know what it is, but I've gotten to the point that I enjoy going to work. It's not the actual company itself, it's my coworkers. Yesterday a coworker and I were talking about me having a degree. I was surprised he brought it up, because I had only mentioned it in a passing comment before. As it turns out, it reminded me that I actually enjoyed studying Psychology all those years ago at uni. On the way home, I found myself searching for recent articles on Psychology on the bus home.

How weird to find this morning that DP had commented on a very old post about me having a degree.

This morning I took a personality test and I was really surprised at how accurate it was.

DH thinks my positive attitude at work is due to the fact that I was on maternity leave for nine months before. Yes that has helped, but it's also nice to have some adult conversation. His attitude at the moment is the opposite, so we're clashing there. He's been at me to get in touch with my friends more/make new ones so I think I may have a new one soon. (I also got in touch with a few other friends too.)

After work yesterday I bought cot sheets for J, plus some milk, yogurts and a few treats.

I still haven't received the terms and conditions yet from Nationwide, so I will have to get back in touch with them. I'd really like to see what happens - if I get the 0% card.


Some Spending

July 20th, 2015 at 05:26 am

This morning I spent some one-on-one time with SG. We went to the library then to a cafe for something to eat. That was 6.50 for a cheese and tomato roll, a BLT baguette (for me), a mocha and a juice. Afterwards we went to Co-op where I bought more than I planned to, but I only spent 6.xx, most of it was fruit.

I recently started posting on a parenting forum. For a few months now I've been reading about this one woman who is constantly struggling. She has three kids under five, and the younger two are really ill and hardly sleep because they're in a lot of pain. They're younger than SG so I've offered to send her some of SG's old clothes. She really appreciated the offer. I am aiming to get it sent to her this week. I think it's good to pay it forward.

Emergency Fund Update

July 19th, 2015 at 01:06 am

224.50 Beginning Balance
+_2.00 Weekly deposit
+_0.90 Survey rewards

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

227.40 New Balance

Goal Update etc

July 19th, 2015 at 01:02 am

I realised I haven't posted about my goals recently.

As of today, I have 227.40 in my Emergency Fund. This means that I have to add 122.60 to reach my goal of 350.

Credit card debt is sitting at 4635.22. Bank of Scotland is almost under 3k, sitting at 3006.13. If I get accepted for Nationwide's new credit card, which is offering me 0% on balance transfers for 26 months I think, I will transfer about 1000 I think.

Bank of Scotland's minimum payment is now at 56.xx. If I do get accepted for Nationwide, I will ideally work out a payment plan to get it paid off within the interest-free period (Ideally, Tesco too but I've only been paying the minimum, or just a bit more, to that)

Catalogue debt is slowly decreasing too. Minimum payment is still in the hundreds though, currently at 133.xx. At its highest I'm sure it was 180, maybe closer to 190. I am also working on paying off J's cot and mattress.

Come December though the BNPL items I couldn't afford to pay off will be added. I'm not looking forward to that, although with my extra payments it won't be as bad.

I think I'm pretty close to achieving my snowflakes goal of 150, so I may have made that too low. However, having the first three months of the year off definetly helped that.

I bought SG a new top, two pairs of leggings and slippers in the sale yesterday. That was less than ten pounds in total. She absolutely loves them, although I will now have to get another pair of slippers for nursery since these are her only pair in her new size.

This & That

July 17th, 2015 at 12:19 am

We went shopping with my mum on Monday to get SG new shoes. She's up a size so she got new shoes, trainers and boots. That was 76.xx. I still need to get inside shoes for nursery and some clothes, but there's a sale on. I'll look tomorrow after work.

Nationwide text me to say that they can't process my credit card application until I've signed the terms and conditions. I thought I had, so I messaged them asking what I should do, since I applied online.

Speaking of cards, I've decided to close Capital One after reading Liz's post yesterday. I'll wait until I get an answer from Nationwide though.

I really enjoyed paying extra to my emergency fund the other week (8.25 Approved Food discount). I'd like to aim to do that every other month, at least. We'll see.

I spent 18.xx posting three parcels yesterday. One of them was over 2kg, which is why it was so much. I really wanted them gone though, so I think it was worth it.

I still need to gain weight. I keep having to fix my trousers at work and I don't really want to have to buy a size 6. I'm going to try to pack more to take with me to work, or something to eat when I finish.

Emergency Fund Update

July 12th, 2015 at 12:23 am

216.20 Beginning Balance
+_6.30 Survey rewards, coupon, money owed
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

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

224.50 New Balance

More spending etc

July 12th, 2015 at 12:21 am

I've been picking up little shops after work, usually between 10-12GBP.

A while ago, I redeemed 25 Paypal rewards from Swagbucks. I sent 10 to debt/EF but I kept the other 15 in the bank because I was a bit short. That was months ago, but I finally paid myself back this morning. And now my emergency fund looks better for it.

I've been feeling a bit rundown these past few days. I think I just need to start taking better care of myself.

I was talking to my co-worker the other day and I realised that he has the same birthday as Laura/KeepingItFrugal. At least, I think he does. 15th December, am I right?

I need to catch up on the blogs. I've been skimming but not reading properly if you know what I mean? I like to know what everyone's up to.

We're taking SG to get her feet measured tomorrow. It's been a while so I think she might be up a size. J isn't walking yet so he won't be getting new shoes yet.

This & That

July 10th, 2015 at 03:24 am

I was doing some shredding this morning and I found a letter from Nationwide, dated May this year, explaining why they had declined my credit card application. That was only a couple of months ago, so I'm expecting to receive the same letter.

I redeemed 2.50 worth of Opinion Outpost rewards, and 3.00 from MySurvey. I also have to add the Tesco coupon to my snowflakes. It's all little amounts, but they all add up. I need to remember and pay back the swagbucks money that I owe too, which is 15GBP. If I can manage all of that this pay it will make for a great month - for me, anyway - for snowflakes.

This morning I paid two weeks worth of rent, so that's us up-to-date until payday now. I also paid 14.80 to the council for the overpayment.

I made a batch of wholemeal cheese scones with SG earlier. The kids were running out of healthy snacks, other than fruit, that is. If I can find the time soon I will make some more biscuits, although they're more for us than SG. That reminds me, I'll need to buy in some more raisins to make a fruit loaf for them.

Update

July 8th, 2015 at 11:09 pm

I just went and applied for the credit card. They said I will hear in 10 working days. I'm not getting my hopes us though.

I worked five hours extra this week, and two last week.

My spending has been all over the place. I've done two little shops this week. Yesterday I did buy a lot of reduced items, which I've put in the freezer. I thought I would be shopping less due to my two big orders this month, but apparently not.

I don't seem to be having much luck with surveys these days. There's still a few more weeks left of the month so I'm trying not to give up hope. I checked and I've accumulated 128.24 worth of snowflakes.

I was thinking last night that I would ideally like to get rid of cc1 before the 0% promotion period is up. That works out about 72 a month though. Part of me also thinks I should focus on BoS, which is being charged interest. If I do get accepted for the new credit card I will transfer half the balance, I think that will be manageable. I can only wait now.

Short Update

July 8th, 2015 at 09:46 am

I will update better tomorrow when I've got more time - bed time for J is looming. But, for now:

I just opened my mail and Nationwide are offering me a credit card with 0% on balance transfers for 26 months. Loyal readers might remember I applied for a card a while ago, but I was declined. This time they've sent me a special code to quote. I'm thinking I should apply for it. Is there any reason that anyone can think of, why I shouldn't apply? Of course, I might get declined again because that other application was a while ago.

Oh, in case I didn't make it clear, I would transfer as much as possible from Bank of Scotland.

Spendy Day

July 6th, 2015 at 09:32 am

I spent way more than I planned to today...

We went to Tesco this morning, with the intention of getting some milk, bread/wraps and some other things. We were later leaving this morning so I ended up buying a sandwich, fruit and juice for lunch. And something for SG too. In the end, that was almost fifty pounds (we stocked up on much-needed toiletries, found a few hair accessories for SG, socks for J, t-shirt for dh plus fresh fruit) I saved 3.50 using a coupon so that will be counted as a snowflake.

We also went to the Costa that is inside Tesco. Spent 7.10

Before we left I paid two weeks worth of rent and 30 to Tesco credit card.

I'm working four hours extra tomorrow. My manager persuaded me. She's good at her job.

Oh I just received a ton of email notifications from other blogs, one of them was from when Crreditcardfree gave away a book. Did this happen to anyone else?

Emergency Fund Update

July 4th, 2015 at 10:57 pm

214.20 Beginning Balance
+_2.00 Weekly deposit

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

216.20 New Balance

I know I need to increase this next year. I can't forever put 18 Pounds in every four weeks, but I don't want to upset debt payoff either. I'll figure something out.

Extra Payment

July 3rd, 2015 at 01:04 am

On payday I automatically paid my debt: two credit cards and the catalogue. The statement for Tesco credit card came through the other day and I've made two payments within the statement period, so I've got another payment to make before the middle of the month. I don't know how I managed to mess that up, although I shouldn't complain that I've paid extra to debt.

I made my debt snowball public on What's The Cost. The link is now been added to my sidebar.

Yesterday was a NSD, but I did get some stuff on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Tuesday:

Groceries: 6.43

Wednesday:

Groceries: 2.60 (hayfever tablets, milk)

I meant to start an ASDA savings card for Christmas but I completely forgot.

Paying Myself

July 1st, 2015 at 07:40 am

Scfr's post the other day really hit home how bad my emergency fund is. I decided I should try and add more to it.

One of our deliveries came yesterday, this was all food for the pantry. I had used a discount code that I found on Facebook when ordering, but I didn't give it much thought. I checked my receipt and I saved 8.25. I've added it all to the emergency fund, breaking the norm of only adding 30%.

So, it now looks like this:

205.95 Beginning Balance
+_8.25 Delivery savings

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

214.20 New Balance

It's not much in the grand scheme of things, but I'm getting there.