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Update

January 18th, 2018 at 06:00 am

I finally phoned to cancel my phone contract. I'll be taking over hubby's next month.

I realised from just using cash this month, that a lot of our money goes to debt. I knew that was the case, but this makes it clear. At least, I'm paying more than the minimum and I should only have to do this until the end of next year - hopefully I'll be debt free by then (November 2019,hopefully). So, although I won't have saved a lot, I think I'll keep up this cash only habit because it really makes me think.

In other news, I'm almost finished that bag of lentils. Finally. I'll buy in a 500g bag the next time, not a kilo. We're having the last of the turkey for dinner tonight. Afterwards, we'll have rice pudding that's in the slow cooker.

12 Years Blogging

January 14th, 2018 at 03:29 am

I started this blog 12 years ago today. Way back when I was a young twenty year-old. Wow.

I was thinking the other day that I need to actually write down estimated payoff dates. I know the loan is May 2019. I can't remember when my 0% card finishes - August 2019? Then after that, I'll put all that money to hubby's card.

In other news, I spent 43.xx at Aldi. Way more than the 25 I wanted to. Ugh. But never mind. I'll deal with it.

Update

January 10th, 2018 at 06:26 am

I think I'm doing okay, ten days into Uber Frugal Month. I don't know how much money I'll actually save, but I am more conscious of my spending.

I returned three unwanted Christmas presents yesterday. The store didn't offer store credit, so I exchanged them for a new pair of boots for J, and a loofah. Spent 50p.

I also bought a box of baby wipes because I seen they were on offer. Originally, I was going to get them next week but I changed my mind.

Meal planning has been going well. I think I bought in too many bananas though, so I'll get less next time. I shouldn't be shopping until Friday.

Next week I will use up the last tub of turkey in the freezer. I'm still trying to decide how, though. I froze half of the chilli that I made too, but I don't think I want the same again (we had it with rice and tortilla chips)

Day 5

January 5th, 2018 at 05:45 am

It's payday. I went to three different shops due to offers, and spent 59.61.

Over the next week, we will be eating:
-macaroni and cheese
-pizza
-chilli with rice and Tortilla chips (making a double batch and freezing the rest)
-Turkey burritos (leftover turkey, burrito mix needed using)
-loaded potato skins with salad
-leftovers

I withdrew 140 cash for the week. It's a bit more than needed but I'll need enough change for bus fares. Leftover money will be rolled over. Next week I'll be withdrawing less since I expect to spend less now. All that's left to buy now is nappies - and wipes, but we're not out yet.

On Sunday I want to buy a couple of tins of black beans to make soup. I have to get them from Tesco because nowhere else sells them. While there, hubby wants us to treat the kids to a babyccino (about 55p) plus he'd like a coffee. Not frugal, I know. I did say no to food there though (3.50+ for a toastie). Anyway, if the weather's really bad I'll just go myself.

Oh, I paid off the catalogue today. Almost forgot that.

Some Spending

December 14th, 2017 at 11:29 pm

It was SG's first nativity play yesterday (at nursery they just sang, they didn't tell a story). I spent:

-£4 entry (£2 each)
-£1 at the craft fayre

Then I bought a raffle ticket from J's nursery (£1)

Completely unrelated, I also got my hair cut (£18)

It's dress down day today, so that's another pound. Last week it was Christmas Jumper Day/Save the Children and I spent £2 for them both to wear theirs.

This is mostly for my notes. It's all in my notebook in my bag anyway.

Oh, we just wrote cards to each of the staff since DH and I ate the chocolates I bought for the teachers (they were two small boxes). Lesson learned: buy them later next year.

I'll also be spending £36.75 at the butchers next week.

Thinking about UFM

December 9th, 2017 at 11:42 pm

Yesterday I spent some time thinking about UFM. I checked bank statements from January and February this year; I put 107 extra towards debt after this year's Uber Frugal Month. I don't think I'll be able to match it next 6ear for two reasons: 1. We aren't getting warm home discount yet (I switched suppliers and I've been told we're in the latter stages of the process) and 2. I pay the equivalent to dh's credit card. Anyway, I will definitely give it my best shot, especially since I've had more time to think about it this time round - last year I only heard about it from Debtfreebythirty's blog post.

DH is going to decrease the number of screens on Netflix in preparation. I'll remind him today.

I need to phone my current phone supplier to cancel since I'm taking over Dh's plan - he's joined a new one via our cable supplier.

I checked online for recipes using pearl barley and saved a few. I've got a bag in the cupboard that's barely been touched.

Lastly, I reread some blog entries from fellow SAers who took part.

Uber Frugal Month

December 8th, 2017 at 05:20 am

I just signed up for Uber Frugal Month, starting on 1st January. It should get me in a good mindset for the rest of the year, and hopefully save me some money. I told hubby I'd signed up. He's fine with it, but he didn't want to read the blog post about it.

I went to Aldi today. Spent 53.xx.

Paid 75 to my 0% card - that'll increase in February when I've paid off the catalogue.

I read an article about the company I work for planning to cut 800 jobs.

Thanks for all of your comments on yesterday's post.

Edited to add:

I'm trying to think of ways to be Uber Frugal next month. I can reduce the number of screens/devices on Netflix, always pack lunch (extra for a Saturday) and pack extra snacks to eat before work when I get there early. Hmm. I'll also use up the food that we have before going shopping.

Sigh

December 6th, 2017 at 10:57 pm

I'm a bit fed up just now. Tomorrow is payday, which usually perks me up, but I don't know. I had to withdraw from my meager savings to cover spending. I thought I was doing good at managing it. Sigh.

A few people got laid off at work yesterday. I think it'll be us next. All the more reason for me to focus on getting out of debt and building up my emergency fund again.

I've been on social media less. It just doesn't help my mood when I'm feeling like this.

I just need to come up with a plan.

Update

November 27th, 2017 at 02:20 am

I'm counting down the days until payday. Eleven days.

I thought I was finished with Christmas shopping - well, apart from framing a photo once I get the print. I ordered SG a leapfrog learning tablet. I had 57 in Amazon vouchers, so it was 12 out of pocket. Anyway, yesterday we took the kids to see Santa and she asked for a superhero costume. I checked online and I can get it from work next month, and I know there's a special sale, so that should be less than fifteen pounds.

I noticed that I'm not really stressing about Christmas. At least, I dont think I am.

I've still been tracking spending in my little notebook that I keep in my bag. I've noticed that I don't have a budget for miscellaneous items, and that I tend to buy a sandwich after work on a Saturday (although I'll need to stop that). I did try packing more but I ate it on my break, so I obviously didn't pack enough...

We decided last year that we need to replace our Christmas tree. I was supposed to budget for it, but I forgot. Last week my mum told she was getting rid of one of her trees, so she offered it to us. She tried to get us to take her decorations too, but I think we've got enough. I'll end up buying one that the kids made at the fayre next month, no doubt. No point taking them when I don't need them.

Double Digits

November 10th, 2017 at 05:44 am

The catalogue is sitting at 95.50. There's only one more payday left for this year, so it will be gone early January. Then I'll put that money towards my credit card.

There's 18 months left on my loan.

Went shopping this morning. Spent 51.xx although 9.99 was a Christmas present and 5.98 was on thermal socks, so not too bad actually. I've meal planned for the week.

On Monday I'm going to start wrapping what I have in so far.

Kids are going to see Santa at the end of the month, although I paid for it last pay.

Quick Update

November 6th, 2017 at 05:00 am

I barely update these days because I'm constantly talking about the same thing: paying off debt. I have no new updates about my debt, only that I'm still paying it off. I'm still being optimistic that i will be debt free by the end of 2019. So two more years of this.

I did notice that DH is aware of the budget, although I only casually talk about it. The phrase "Is there room in the budget?" is used a lot.

I've been working on decluttering and getting organised. Despite this, I still haven't started Christmas shopping yet because I'm not sure exactly what to get eldest. Littlest is easy but I need to shop around first before I go parting with my money.

Almost Payday

October 11th, 2017 at 10:53 pm

I can't remember when I last updated...

Ive been really lax at tracking spending this pay, so that'll change as of tomorrow when I get paid. I'm still meal planning, so that is helping. I've been making an effort to use things up. In fact, I've almost finished the bag of dried chickpeas that have been in the cupboard for months. Next on the list, is scotch broth and vegetable broth. And pinto beans. I keep forgetting about them.

I haven't started Christmas shopping yet.

Still paying down debt. Nothing changes.

Update

September 3rd, 2017 at 12:01 am

I transferred my remaining credit card debt to another 0% deal. Hopefully it'll be gone in 25 months when the deal is up. I can try, anyway.

We're in the process of switching utility suppliers. Should be sorted by next week. I'm hoping this will save us some money.

The catalogue is at 205. It should be gone by Christmas (fingers crossed)

Day 1 of UFM

July 1st, 2017 at 06:47 am

I had to buy nappies and milk. I didn't have to buy some reduced snacks but I'll use them next week at work. Spent 7.51.

Excluding direct debits, I'm hoping not to open my purse again until Tuesday. And that should only be for bus fare.

We're having chicken quesadilla for dinner, using the last of the roast chicken. Homemade popcorn for watching Daredevil on Netflix. Hubby cooking dinner tomorrow, bangers and mash.

Update

June 29th, 2017 at 10:21 pm

I'm going to attempt UFM in July too. At first, I thought that buying school stuff would be an issue. Anyway, last week I found out that we're entitled to a school grant. All I had to do was photocopy some forms and send them with the application form. Well, we did that on Monday. Yesterday I checked my email to see that I have been approved for the grant. The money - £90 - will go in next week.

I found out that hubby's credit card that I cleared last year, then J added to but we got a lot of it taken off, is sitting at 3k. I know J has bought some more things accidentally, but I didn't realise it was that bad.

I bought J a bed for his birthday. I spent almost 190. I had 160 set aside. He was ill on his birthday, so we didn't go out for it.

SG's has finished nursery now. One of the mums wants me to bring her over to play with her child during the summer. It seems that her daughter has become attached to mine.

What else? I signed up for an app that I installed on my phone. Apparently, by doing this means that I'll get a £10 shopping voucher soon. It keeps crashing, so I don't think I'll get it.

I'm going to try my best at UFM.

Little tidbits

June 9th, 2017 at 07:39 am

I found my claim form for my health plan. I'll go to the hospital next week to get it signed. That should help a little with my pending budget shortfall.

I returned some clothes that my mum bought for the kids. That was 25.00.

I also found a gift card that I can use for shopping. 10.00

I signed up for a free trial of hayu on Swagbucks. The marketing they use here is that you can view the show "the same date as the US". The episode I watched kept freezing, it must've taken me double the time to watch it. On the plus side, I've been watching Giuliani and Bill. I miss that show.

What else? The calendar has really gotten busy with upcoming events at nursery including school visits. Likewise, one for J too,for nursery though.

I think that's all.

No spend day

June 2nd, 2017 at 06:07 am

This morning I recycled some jars and dropped off some donations.

Later, I baked raisin biscuits and tomato scones. They will be for snacks.

Yesterday I checked my eligibility for a credit card balance transfer. The check said I would be accepted, however, I haven't applied in case I don't get approved. Also, I'd rather use a balance transfer for my highest credit card, and that balance transfer doesn't run out until October.

I was going to go shopping on Sunday, but hubby made me realise that we don't need anything, so I'll hold off another week.

Yesterday we were in Edinburgh for an appointment and I
spent 18.69 at Burger King. It was unplanned. However, walking through Edinburgh is exhausting and we all needed it (we had some snacks with us).

My budget app alerted me that I'm close to overspending on groceries. I've only spent 72.xx,but it told me to lower my daily average.

Budget Shortfall

May 31st, 2017 at 07:52 am

For next pay, that is. Thanks to being off work I'll have less money to work with next pay. So, I need to try to cover this shortfall.

I really don't want to pay less to debt repayments, since it'll be my first month snowballing. And I don't want to stop savings, since these all help long-term. My variable categories are: food shopping, utilities and kids expenses. I can adapt these.

I'm sure I can claim for my two nights staying in hospital from my health plan - I'm not sure how much though...

I could start earning Swagbucks again, although I only have 300. And that takes time.

Hmm... I'm mostly just thinking right now.

Hospital etc

May 26th, 2017 at 12:26 am

I spent two days in hospital with SG because she had breathing problems. It was unplanned, of course. I spent a lot of money on junk food and sandwiches for me, since SG was having hospital food. I must've spent about 20 on food, although I didn't really keep track. Hubby got a takeaway so that was another 21. I also got a taxi home for us - we had so much stuff and I was shattered. All in all, it must have been about 50 in total.

She is doing better now. The doctor gave us medicines and an inhaler for the next few days.

In other news, I just paid off one catalogue today. That was 75.02. The other one is now 330.

Today is payday. Next pay I will be short because of phoning in sick for those two days, but we will manage.

In other news, I've been thinking about budgeting for other expenses such as school stuff. Each pay I send fifty pounds to my EF. From now on, I'll allocate twenty to these miscellaneous items that could potentially break the budget. I'll have to write it down though, otherwise I'll lose track of it. Yep, it only takes a small leak to sink a ship so I want to make sure that that doesn't happen.

Lots of Spending

May 18th, 2017 at 10:06 am

Well, it feels that way...

I bought the kids new clothes and shoes, paid for sponsored walks, a trip. I also done another Approved Food order because I had a promo code to get delivery for 1.99 ( I normally pay 5.99). My cupboards are filled to the brim. Next pay I should only have to buy fresh stuff so this should help when I get paid again next Friday.

I also realised that I don't properly budget for annual expenses, so I'll need to figure something out. I only regularly save for Christmas. Come August I will have a child at school and one at nursery. Two lots of expenses for school photos, trips, meals (well, I think they're free until Primary 3 - I have to check) Then there's birthdays. Just when I think I'm getting myself together, I realise this. I have to budget in for this stuff; I just need to sort out the details. Hmm.

Upcoming Expenses

May 10th, 2017 at 11:59 pm

Yesterday I paid 12.50 to SG's nursery: 6.50 for a trip to the zoo and 6 for football/soccer lessons. The lessons are for six weeks and are subsidised by the nursery, it's supposed to be 3/wk. A coach came to the nursery this week and SG loved it,so I thought "why not?" If she wants to keep it up after, I can get in touch with the company.

Hubby has a stag do coming up this month. I'm expecting that to be at least fifty pound. Then I have the wedding reception in June - assuming I hear about transport, that is.

June is also J's birthday. I'll be getting him a bed. Right now, I only have a duvet set and sheets that I got in Asda/Walmart when they were on promotion for 20% off. I got a new one for SG too. I still need to buy the actual bed and mattress, so I've been looking online. I'm hoping I can get one for under 150.

Also, I want to take us to adventure mini golf for his birthday. We'll only go for one game since I know how grumpy and tired he gets. I checked and it's 23 for a family of four.

Lastly, I want to try to get us out more during the summer, so I'll need money for that.

Hello May

May 1st, 2017 at 06:59 am

We had the other wedding at the weekend there. Hubby went, since no kids were invited. I'd booked us two nights in the hotel, but I only stayed one with the kids. SG was ill so I came home a day early with them. Good thing too cause I had a really bad night with her. Total spending for the hotel was 330.90 and about 60 on train fares and taxis. Kids really enjoyed it.

I'm going back to basics with food shopping and tracking expenses.

One catalogue is at 84.50,i think. I want to get that gone this month. I have two cheques to cash which I'll put towards it.

Sigh

February 14th, 2017 at 09:45 am

This month is depressing me. So far, less than two weeks since payday, I've spent 143.09 on groceries. I did include the money DH spent on snacks for the kids today while they were out. Tomorrow I actually need to buy a few more groceries, but it'll be the bare minimum.

Tomorrow I need to buy a new jacket for SG and jeans for hubby.

On the plus side:
-I've paid 209 to the catalogues this pay (less debt)
-I've put money aside for SG's birthday present (dress) next month (we might be going out for it too, but I don't want to splurge too much...)
-we have food to eat

I made saag also and lentil tomato Dahl for the first time tonight. I'm freezing the leftover dahl, I really don't want it tomorrow.

This & That

February 5th, 2017 at 03:02 am

It's SG's birthday next month. For J's birthday I ordered him a waistcoat from a girl who has a small business designing clothes, amongst other things. I've asked the same girl to make a dress for her birthday. She told me that it'll cost 25 so I transferred the money to savings for when I get the invoice. The money is essentially spent, right? I even input it into my app. I figured it made sense to transfer it now. I should really do things like this more often. If I don't, it really upsets my budget.

Speaking of budgeting, I'm a bit annoyed at myself because my online food shop is more than last month. This one is 78.xx and last month's was 58.xx.i have added extra because hubby is baking me a cake for my birthday.

I got in touch with hubby's friend about hotels near where he's getting married. I'm waiting on a reply. I want to get it sorted soon. I also need to decide how much money we're giving both couples...

Cash is King

December 9th, 2016 at 06:58 am

It's been over a month now, I think, that I've been withdrawing cash for shopping. I think it's working out.

Speaking of cash ruling, it's my answer to everything when hubby suggests we need something. "We need to save up for it"

My phone has gone AWOL. It's been a week. I know I lost it at home but I can't find it anywhere. I'm ready to give up.

Told hubby I want to be done with one of the catalogues by this time next year - really I meant halfway through the year, ideally both will be gone by December 2017 - so I can focus on my credit card debt. Both 0% offers end next year.

December

December 4th, 2016 at 04:06 am

Trying to get everything organised for Christmas just now:

-asked hubby what he wanted for a starter (prawn cocktail) so I bought in a bag of frozen prawns with my shopping
-want to take the kids to see Santa this year since we didn't last year, and we want to go to Edinburgh's Christmas market. We're just going to combine the trip and take them to see Santa in Edinburgh
-used the high street vouchers my mum gave me in return for me buying SG's present from her. Was 2.16 out of pocket for 52.16 worth of food
-have to start wrapping soon. I only had to buy in a few rolls of wrapping paper.
-haven't bought Christmas crackers yet - I'm wondering if we'll miss them?
-arranged an uplift to get rid of some unwanted items before Christmas. It's getting picked up on Thursday.

I think that's all.

Update

November 30th, 2016 at 06:59 pm

Don't think I'll be sleeping anytime soon, so thought I'd quickly update.

Things are going well, I think. A few weeks ago I ordered SG's Christmas present from my mum and she gave me the equivalent in high street vouchers. I'll be using them for food shopping next week probably.

I'd say my Christmas shopping is basically done- just need to sort out a picture gift for my mum.

I'll be baking gifts for SG's teachers this year. I just need to order some bags.

Hubby is going to take SG to the cinema at some point, she's not been yet. They'll probably go to a matinee I think once we down the day.

I'm well into the habit of using cash for shopping. I had a few days of feeling under the weather when I didn't update my budgeting app, but it wasn't hard to catch up. Especially since I finally cleared out my purse and put the old receipts in the shredding pile.

Got our warm home discount of 140.00. It's in the electricity meter just now. I'm hoping it'll really help our budget. It's already good not having to worry about it.

Phew

October 19th, 2016 at 04:53 am

I think this is my first update this month. I never leave it this long normally. Things have been busy.

I've been spending a lot of time the past six weeks or so, working on a hobby, I guess you could call it that? I'm being optimistic and hoping that I can turn it into a career within the next year or so. I need to do some studying first, amongst other things.

I cancelled Amazon prime yesterday. I barely used it during the free trial. I barely had time to watch my usual programmes never mind adding more to my list.

Hubby joined something, I'm not sure exactly what it is. Anyway, every month he gets a 5GBP Amazon voucher. So that is sitting in my Amazon account now. It's something to do with tv or something. If I can make myself do a swag bucks survey I could get another voucher, for ten pounds I think.

Got the kids Halloween costumes. Spent less than a tenner.

I have one more BNPL item left to pay off. The catalogue keep trying to tempt hubby with offers but they're so bad. Also, he's not allowed to. He's banned.

I need to pay for nursery photos soon. We never got them last year, we just kept the little copy that they gave us.

I think that's all.

This & That

September 22nd, 2016 at 11:36 pm

Just a little update.

Nationwide sent me a letter about increasing my credit limit. I'm ignoring it; I don't want an increase.

I found husband's PIN in my budgeting notebook, so no need to get in touch with the bank.

I paid the last of my Christmas high street vouchers this pay. It's only half of what we saved last year. We should get them soon.

Bought a new winter jacket for J and some clothes, SG got clothes. Her jacket needs replaced next but J didn't have a warm enough jacket for winter.

I also bought a collection of Peter Rabbit books from Amazon. They were 29.99,originally over 100. When ordering I accidentally signed up for Amazon Prime so I'll have to remember to cancel.

Bought husband a book for his birthday. 12.91.

I planned meals for next week. I've got a Tesco order coming on Wednesday.

I applied for Warm Home Discount yesterday. I heard about it through Martin Lewis. I'll see if we qualify, it's first come, first served. If we do that's 140 towards our electricity.

I think that's all for now.

Payday etc

September 18th, 2016 at 12:36 am

Yesterday was payday. Nothing exciting. I paid both catalogues and the last of one of the Bnpl items - a hoover- that hubby bought this year. Just one more item to pay off now.

I've updated my sidebar. I'm hoping that by June 2017 most of the catalogue debt will be gone, and I can put that money towards my credit card. Hopefully I qualify for another 0% card, but I'm not counting on it, just in case.

Husband switched bank accounts a few months ago. We were both rewarded 100. I've transferred mine to savings (holiday fund). Need to sort hubby's PIN before we can transfer to my bank, then to savings. He's lost it. I told him that I'm really going to have to save if we want to go *anywhere* in February. Nothing will be going on a credit card (only if hell freezes over, or pigs fly).

SG's is a great consumer. She keeps asking for every single toy she sees. I told her we'll be writing a list for Santa. J, thankfully, is none the wiser.


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