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Goals for 2018

December 31st, 2017 at 12:30 am

I wrote out a long entry, but I forgot to copy it and I lost it. Anyway, here's some goals.

Financial

1. Beginning February, pay 125 to 0% card. (also check how many months I didn't pay 125 - I think it's 5)

2. Continue to track spending. Review once a week, since I seem to lose enthusiasm as time goes on after payday.

3. Save for Christmas - adding in saving at butchers and asda too. Ideally, I'd love for all of Christmas spending to come from saved money. (Money usually budgeted for food could go to debt. That would be amazing)

Health

Have 1-2 Complan a day, as per dietitian's request.

I think that's all.

Planning for UFM

December 28th, 2017 at 10:49 pm

As much as I can, anyway. I've been looking at some budget meals. I also will plan around what we already have in - so turkey twice over the next few weeks (I had three tubs leftover which I froze, we're using one today)

Still no sign of us getting the warm home discount yet, so I'll just try to use energy wisely.

I'm going to pack snacks for when I'm out, and especially for after work when I sometimes buy a sandwich.

I haven't phoned my phone company to cancel yet. I'll do that today, but it won't impact next month now.

I'll just try my best to save money.

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.

Payday

September 17th, 2017 at 09:49 am

It was payday on Friday. I paid 71 to my only credit card - the new 0% offer. If I want it cleared in 25 months, I have to pay 126 each month, so I'm 55 short, not good. Once the catalogue is clear - it's at 195 now after Friday's pay3, I got the figure wrong - I can use that money.

I downloaded all of Swagbucks' mobile apps. The plan is to redeem for PayPal gift cards then put that towards hubby's credit card. It's taking ages though. I have redee0one 10PP so far. I actually think I'm going to need a separate phone, just to run the apps.

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)

Uber Frugal Fail

July 29th, 2017 at 09:08 am

I don't have numbers for UFM because I didn't give it my best shot. We're having issues with my youngest, so my mind was elsewhere. Maybe I'll attempt another one later in the year.

Not so Frugal

July 10th, 2017 at 07:09 am

I took SG to the cinema. It was 2.49 each. I got her a kids snack tray too. Spent 7.49.

Later, I bought her a new jacket and socks. Plus socks for hubby. 25.05

By this point, I was hungry and it was lunchtime. Spent 4.25 on a sandwich and fruit salad for us. Not frugal at all.

Black Wednesday

July 5th, 2017 at 07:27 am

For my bank, that is. I logged on and I couldn't view my current or savings accounts, only my debt. I've reported it to them. I did some further research and found out that online banking has been intermittent since this morning.

Sigh. I didn't realise how dependent I am on the internet.

In other news, day 5 of UFM involved buying some more fresh stuff because hubby threw out some veg from the salad drawer that he didn't like the look of. Anyway, I used my gift card so I didn't have to use any cash. I also put a fiver in a collection for a girl at work who is going on maternity leave.

Day 3

July 3rd, 2017 at 06:29 am

I spent 23.69 on shopping today. I ended up going to Aldi, rather than hubby. I wasn't well last night and he's the same today. I must have bought all of their Super 6 today.

This week's meals are:
-bangers and mash
-roasted veg and feta puff pastry tart (I've still got another packet of ready rolled puff pastry to use up next week)
-spaghetti bolognaise
-Butternut squash risotto (the mix is from a jar though, not sure how it will be)
-tuna pasta
-leftovers

Day 2

July 2nd, 2017 at 05:46 am

We're almost out of fruit. Hubby is going to go to Aldi tomorrow, with a list.

We had leftover chicken stir fry for lunch. I'm making a bacon, veg and tomato casserole for dinner because there's veg needing using up.

I've been spending some time decluttering and organising today. No spending here.

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.

Post #2 of the day

June 30th, 2017 at 05:27 am

I've just spent ages updating my details on What's the cost. I hadn't updated in over a year! According to WTC, by paying 486.54 each month, I should be debt free in 25 months. I'm not sure entirely how accurate this is, because I had loads to update. I guess I'll have a more accurate number after a month of properly updating. Anyway, I told hubby this and he is onboard.

Onwards to the Uber Frugal Month!!

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.

Debt Snowball Plan

May 11th, 2017 at 12:32 am

Payoff catalogue #1: 75.02 remaining
Send payment to catalogue 2: 440.xx

Hopefully by August this will be gone and I can focus on my credit cards. I'll start with the smaller balance first, which is cc1. Then, finally, credit card 2, which has 2k on it.

The interest free period for cc1 finishes next month. However, the catalogues are higher interests and smaller balances, so I'm choosing to focus on them first.

Hopefully I'll be debt free by the end of 2019.

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.

Cheque

May 3rd, 2017 at 10:20 pm

I deposited the cheque from my utility company. It was for 9.53. I paid the same amount to the catalogue, the balance is now 75.02.Once this is gone, I'll put that payment towards the other catalogue. Then, finally, towards my credit cards when both catalogues are gone.

I went into M&S for a look, and left 20.80 lighter. I only had one bag. This is me who was trying not to spend a lot on food shopping this pay. I got us a Summer meal for two for 7.00 and we really enjoyed it. I guess a treat is fine once in a while.

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.

Update

April 25th, 2017 at 06:32 am

Getting ready to go away this weekend to the wedding. I had to buy hubby a new suit and shirt for this one because one he wore last week was uncomfortable.

Must have spent about sixty pounds on taxis to and from the wedding last week. J was really grumpy and fell asleep at the meal.

I'm buying snacks tomorrow to take when we're travelling. It's not too far, but we need to get two trains. Also, have to put money in the card for the newlyweds.

Other than that, I've been decluttering and cleaning.


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