Wow, it's only taken ten years but I've finally made it to one thousand entries. One thousand entries about my financial journey.
I would have reached this number earlier if I hadn't taken two years off. I'm glad I came back. If anyone out there is reading this and has a retired blog but is still reading, I'd like to hear from you. Likewise, if you want to start a blog, you should give it a chance.
Thank you to everyone who reads for going through this journey with me.
If this works, I will have included one of my favourite pictures of me and SG.
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Wow, it's only taken ten years but I've finally made it to one thousand entries. One thousand entries about my financial journey.
- fish and chips with mixed veg
- salmon fish cakes with cauliflower cheese
- slow cooked pork with potatoes, veg and Yorkshire puddings
- sweet and sour pork with rice or noodles
- eggs, chips and beans
- use up any leftovers day (or two)
I absolutely love my bank. Yesterday I applied for a loan and I was approved!!! The paperwork came today and I sent it away.
It's for 7750. I'm still planning how I want to distribute it between my debt and hubby's.
I'm so excited about this!!!
Oh the rate is 6.3%. Over three years.
I've got my meal planning hat back on. This is what this week looks like:
-slow cooked chicken with mashed potatoes, mixed veg and Yorkshire puddings (yesterday)
-Spanish rice (using leftover chicken)
-Italian style fish and rice
-baked potatoes with beans and cheese
-leftovers for other meals
We're barely three days into the month and it's already not going to plan. Hubby ordered a few household items from his catalogue and put it as buy now pay later. I want to get it paid off before the year's up. In case you're wondering, I was oblivious to the fact that he was doing this. So much for being on the same page.
I owe 73 to my EF. I am going to do my best to meal plan and basically try to keep my money. 26 days until I'm paid again.
I've been spending alot of time on Swagbucks, too much actually. I want to redeem more this month to put towards the cot so I'm trying my best, I've even been playing videos on my phone. Minimum effort there although it takes a lot of battery.
I need to update my new debt total soon.
It's payday on Friday. Nothing to brag about though, it should be called The Day I Give All my Money to the Catalogues.
It was my uncle's funeral this week. Before I went I tried to remember who wasn't talking to who, but I needn't have bothered because it was so obvious. My cousin, who is currently serving time, was even there. I gave him a hug and made sure to have a quick chat with him.
I've made a few new Facebook friends since then. I thought it was only after weddings that this sort of thing happy, but apparently it's funerals too.
When I came home after the funeral and wake, I told hubby we need to plan for our funerals. A few arguments almost happened over money while I was there. Then there were other arguments too, ranging from etiquette to who should or shouldn't be there. Everyone has an opinion about everything it seems.
My bank balance is abysmal - it's not negative but it's bad enough. We can survive till payday though, there's plenty to eat even if it isn't our first choice.
I've started to do surveys again. I redeemed 5gbp PayPal rewards and put it to bank of Scotland, even though I really should have kept it for cash flow.
Managed to bag a free personalised mother's day card from Money Saving Expert today, worth 4.99Gbp.
SG's birthday is fast approaching, we will be using high Street vouchers that were meant for Christmas.
Things here are tight but we're getting by. I found a new frugal blog to follow, Frugal Queen, so I'll be attempting some of her recipes. I might also make Jack Monroe's 9p kidney bean burgers at some point.
My uncle's funeral is next week, seems money was the reason things weren't moving along quickly. My mum offered her savings to help but her other brother declined. Went to visit my cousin, who explained to me exactly what happened when my uncle died. I think he wanted it off his chest.
I didn't realise it had been so long since my last entry.
Things have been quite busy here. We have a potential move in our future. Might have to touch savings if we do end up moving.
My uncle died. He had been ill for a while. I'm not sure when the funeral is. He was single and unemployed so I have no idea who is footing the bill.
I had a birthday, although it was spent getting ready for the housing officer coming over the next day.
Found out we are entitled to healthy start vouchers. They can only be used to buy fruit, veg and milk. I sent away the form a few days ago.
I never mentioned it earlier but when I paid the catalogues I had to take money out of savings. It hasn't been replaced yet.
It's crystal clear that the majority of our money goes to debt repayments.
Trying to be more frugal. I think I lost my way a bit there.
That's all for now.
I won't have time to update tomorrow so thought I would post now. Tomorrow it has been a whole decade since I started my blog. Wow, that's a third of my life.
When husband quit in December I was considering not blogging anymore, but I was just feeling down then. I'm glad I didn't stop. Even if there's not much to write about I still enjoy having a blog.
I'm pleased with my progress over the last few years.
Thank you for all of your support guys, and of course for reading!
I can't remember the last time I posted a meal plan. This is roughly what we're having this week:
-Gammon pineapple, chips/leftover mash and peas (tonight)
-one pot ratatouille with chips or potatoes
-chilli con Carne with rice
-leftover chilli with baked potatoes or pasta
-hamburger pasta (Husband's request)
I'm using leftover gammon for sandwiches.
It's my aim to track spending. So far we've spent:
Debt repayment: 537.42 (366.26 hubby's catalogues)
Shopping:should be 60,can confirm later when shopping arrives
Misc: 10.80 on slippers for the kids
4.00 bus fare
1.00 on card at work
I'd love to spend as little as possible if I can get away with it.
I never thought I'd ever use that as a title. It's payday, husband's first unemployed.
It's been a strange morning, signing in to hubby's catalogues to pay them. Then asking him dates for the direct debits that come out of his bank so I can prepare for them.
Then ordering shopping online and making myself pick value brand. I'm determined not to waste money, so getting more food for my money seemed sensible. I have a rough meal plan too.
I've just been feeling deflated all day.
I'm trying to think positive. We have food and a roof over our heads, what else do we need?
We have to talk.
I wanted to bring it up now sooner rather than later so we can fix this. Don't worry,it's me not you.
We are three days in and you keep reminding me I haven't set any financial goals. While I appreciate the concern it is driving me crazy.
Also,the days are long. Now the nights may be too. With 28 days left I'd like to nip this in the bud.
As you can see,I'm the problem. If we could remain friends I'd be happy to see you next year.
Tesco credit card: 1475.00
Bank of Scotland:109.17
Emergency fund is sitting at 356 right now. I'm really hoping not to touch this if I can get away with it.
ETA: I had 5132 worth of credit card debt this time last year, now it's 4228.97. I wasn't tracking the catalogue so I have nothing to compare it to.
I can't complain about this year, not really. I focused on my catalogue debt finally and have managed to switch most of my credit card debt to zero percent cards. Also I built up some savings for the first time ever.
Personally, I turned thirty which I remember dreading and I also returned to work again after maternity keave. I also dabbled in my love of creative writing by attempting NaNoWriMo. More importantly though I found a best friend this year (other than husband, I mean) It has helped so much and I completely didn't see it coming.
As for next year, who knows right now? I want to continue paying down debt and saving but the first few months or so might just be about survival.
I got paid last week. So did hubby, it was his last payday. In three weeks our new reality will set in.
I haven't made any goals for next year yet, well none financial anyway.
I can count on one hand the number of Christmas cards I've sent this year. I'm going for quality over quantity this year. No longer sending a card because "we went to school together" etc. If you don't talk to me, don't expect a card.
I sent a parcel to my best friend. It was very well received. Totally worth it. They weren't expecting it so that made it better.
My mum came over today with three huge sacks, or four, of presents for the kids. She's coming over for dinner on Christmas day. Still not one hundred percent ready.
Need to check current debt balances... I've been laxidasical recently.
Emergency fund intact for now.
I've been avoiding updating.
November went well, wrote 25k for NaNoWriMo. I enjoyed it.
Husband quit his job to help me more so hopefully I'll get back to my normal self. Emergency fund will be gone next month I think. Trying to adapt. It's only temporary, I hope. The sooner I'm healthier the better.
So I made a massive mistake last week: I missed a credit card payment. On the new card. Apparently, I obsessively check statements but not the date. I almost died when I seen it. After a few moments of panic, I decided to get in touch with them. I sent them a message pleading my case. Did I look desperate and pathetic? Yes. But I didn't care, I just wanted to know that I had tried my best to fix it.
They replied saying that they have refunded the late payment and that I was still keeping my zero percent deal. Phew. I was so worried I was going to lose out due to my mistake. From now on, I'm writing these things down.
I'm five days into attempting NaNoWriMo. It's been difficult to find some time. That plus the fact the only writing I do consistently is this blog.
I haven't started Christmas shopping yet. I really have to soon. Spoke to hubby and we're going to scale back on my cousin's kids presents. There's a bargain shop here that everyone raves about but I've yet to step inside. I might have to take a look.
Meals have been easy. That will be the theme for the rest of the month.
Found a new show: how the other half lives. It was interesting to watch.
What to write about?
I went to Aldi this week. I forgot how cheap it is. Spent 31.10. Made a special effort to buy products from their super 6 range. I then made one of their recipes last night using what was on offer (every few weeks they change the recipes according to what's on offer)
Now that I've decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, I find myself thinking about it a lot. I only have a vague idea of what I'll be writing. Oh well I'll give it my best shot.
My biggest concern is actually finding the time to write. I might have to carry pen and paper with me in case I get inspiration when I'm out. Also, when I'm out I'm usually child free. I still have to go to work, run a household, look after kids, give hubby some attention, chat with my friend... I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. On Sunday. I'm sure it will be ok, I'll just need to manage my time effectively.
Been meal planning again this week. Got plenty leftover in the freezer from last week. I'm making toad in the hole today as per hubby's request.
Went with SG on her nursery trip. It was bucketing down. She loved it. Next she's been invited to a birthday party in a few weeks. She's busier than me.
I think it's time I changed some of my passwords. It's been ages since I've taken the time to do that. I've never been the sort of person who changes them every so often, but maybe I should be.
I've been keeping track of our spending and it isn't going too bad. Meal planning is definetly helping with our grocery budget, but then I knew that it would.
Bought us all some new hats, scarves and gloves for winter.
Our Christmas savings vouchers are here. I'm getting them on Saturday. I am also meeting a friend for lunch that day. We haven't hung out together in over a year.
I've decided to attempt NaNoWriMo this year. I haven't tried it since 2010 before the kids. It's going to take some time management, I think. I want to try as much as possible to get it done without letting other areas slide, such as meal planning, running a household etc
One of my credit cards has updated, waiting on the other two. The final one isn't until next month though.
This week's meal plan is looking like this:
- Sausage and bean hotpot with mashed potatoes
- Tuna Pasta Bake
- Spaghetti Bolognaise
- Macaroni and cheese
A few little things to write about...
I paid off the last of the council debt this morning. One less debt to worry about now.
I got completely out of the habit of transferring money to my mum's savings (from her account). She came over to visit a while ago and told me there had been fradulent activity on her account. She said that someone had been taking money out of her account and putting money in. I was confused. She had the paperwork with her. I had a look, it was her annual savings statement. I had to explain that this was her online savings account and I was the one that had been doing that, like I'd told her ages before. I added some more money to her savings. It's been a month so I was behind. I'll transfer more next week because she's got plenty spare. When I told her it was her savings, she wanted to use it for Christmas shoppping. We explained that it's for emergencies only. Christmas shopping isn't an emergency. Also, she saves up for Christmas too.
I think I might have a survey reward coming my way soon. I had to fill in a food diary for J for a minimum of four days, but I'm not sure if I met the requirement.
I've went back to meal planning properly. I feel more organised already.
There is really not much to report.
I paid extra to Littlewoods, and paid something to my BNPL item which is due by April. I also paid 11.10 to the council for the overpayment.
I looked through three months worth of bank statements earlier. As of today I have paid 122.10 towards what we owe the council, so I only have to pay another 24.70 then it's done with.
I told dh that we will be using cash only for this four week pay period. It's been a while since we've done this.
I increased three budget categories: food shopping, baby/toddler and miscellaneous. These are all variable expenses so they will all be cash only this pay. It's looking like this:
So 320 total. I overbudgeted for both baby and misc but I will probably end up buying one of dh's presents and there wasn't a line in the budget for it, so I suppose that's cheating.
None of my credit cards have updated. So they haven't been paid yet.
I'm not talking about my bank balance; I'm talking about attitude these days, or more specifically, my moods. I used to have no problem with my moods - except for during a day or two of the month (sorry male readers!). Recently, this is not the case.
I've been back at work about six months. Yesterday I was doing a job that months ago I decided was a good job that I enjoyed doing. My reasons for this were that it is out of the way of everyone and I can talk to my co-workers.
Yesterday these were exactly the reasons that put me in a mood. Out of the way of everyone? Because nobody likes the job so they don't want to be there. That's why you are usually alone when you do it. Chat to my co-workers? Not when they start conversations that as soon as I hear know straight away that I won't want to get involved in. Lets just say it would have led to a debate about wider issues that I don't discuss at work.
Yesterday was also the day that I bumped into someone who just wanted to argue with me. Seriously. Haven't seen someone in a decade? Start an argument with them. That's one way to make friends and alienate people.
See what I mean?
Of course, the problem with all of this is that I am stuck in a rut. (The other problem might also be that I'm talking to the wrong people?)
When my mood goes, so does my ability to track spending. And make payments. The last week or so I lost track of spending and missed a payment to the council who I still owe for their overpayment last year. I'm not even sure how much is still left to pay because I've been on such a downer I haven't had the energy to work it out. I'll be doing it today or tomorrow. I only realised I'd missed it because I was looking through paperwork, which wasn't organised... I will be making a payment today.
One of my former close friends got in touch recently. I say former close friend because we're not close friends anymore. More of an acquaintance, really, however at this point I think the term acquaintance is being generous. If you only know what someone is up to based on their facebook profile then you're really not friends. Anyway she got in touch literally the night before she wanted to visit. Also, she got in touch through facebook. She has my phone number. I've got no problem with people getting in touch that way if that's there only option, it's annoying if they've had your phone number for years and don't use it. Anyway, the visit never happened because I told her I wasn't free.
Ok that was a bit of a rant...
Tomorrow is payday, thankfully. Next pay will be a bit less because I went away an hour early yesterday. From tomorrow's pay I will be buying dh's first Christmas present. Payday weekend is always good because more money gets thrown at the emergency fund.
This entry is all over the place. If you made it this far reward yourself with some chocolate or ice cream. You deserve it.
So I know it's still a while away yet but I want to attempt to plan for Christmas.
We've finished saving up for our hgh street vouchers like we've done every year for the past five years I think. I only managed to get 10GBP saved on a supermarket savings card, so that plan was an epic fail.
Christmas stuff has started appearing in shops. I will probably write a list of non-perishable items I want and start picking them up.
Christmas dinner will be at home.
I still have to decide what to get the kids. SG is now at the age that she wants every toy from every advert she sees.
DH wants a couple of games. I can't remember exactly which ones, but I can check with him.
I haven't asked my mum what she would like yet but I am sure it will be pretty similar to what she usually wants: pyjamas, chocolates and wine.
We will be doing homemade cards for close friends and family. I think SG will enjoy it although I will have to buy more in soon.
Sometimes you just need to reflect. If you don't look back on things you forget what you've accomplished. I know most people reflect on their lives at the beginning or end of the year; I like to do it then too but it also helps to look back when you're feeling like you haven't achieved much.
It's not an exact year-on-year comparison to the day but in November last year I had 5172.29 worth of credit card debt. Today I have 4452.31. That's 719.98 paid off since then.
I don't have a year-on-year comparison for the catalogue because it was on the backburner and getting none of my attention. From my records I can see that it was sitting at 4441.68 in June (including bnpl) now it is 3766.23. That's 675.45 paid off since then.
My emergency fund last year was practically non-existent. Now I've finally reached the 300 mark.
If I hadn't started this blog way back then this probably wouldn't be the case. They say one small thing can change everything so, to me, this blog is the little thing that turned into a big thing. But I didn't even notice. I know I'm still on my journey to becoming debt free but thank you for your support guys!
It's going to be a long four weeks. Pay was less than I thought. Back to tracking spending since for the past few weeks the only numbers I've been counting are calories. (It helps when you have people cheering you on, otherwise I would have lost motivation)
Paid extra to catalogue and paid BNPL item.
Currently meal planning and ordering shopping online. Using up what we have first.
I think I'm in an okay place right now, financial and otherwise, despite the setbacks.
I should reach my EF goal this year. Fingers crossed.
Continuing as normal here. Payday on Friday.
Making an effort to use things up and meal plan.
Dh's birthday soon. Budget should be fine.
Extra to debt as normal on payday.
Still thinking about upcoming events so they don't impact the budget much.
All is well.
So I've spent some time thinking about my blog updates. I've decided that I tell more than I did way back when I first started this blog, which is a good thing because my entries were tiny back then, but I don't overshare and reveal too much.
I need to track spending when I get paid again. It's hubby's birthday soon so that will involve some extra spending and I want to keep track.
The first statement for the new credit card arrived the other day. Payment is due at the end of the month.
I still haven't done anything about Christmas shopping yet. In the last week or so, Christmas items have started appearing in the shops.
I haven't added any snowflakes to debt recently. PayPal was acting up and I'm still waiting on those survey rewards.
I will most likely be sending a parcel overseas this Christmas. What's everyone's experiences of this? Specifically, Cj, buendia and my English castle. Although if anyone else has any dealings with this, I'd be interested to hear. I'm not sure how reliable royal mail is at that time of the year.
Dh has decided what he would like me to get him for Christmas. I told him what I would like.
I'm on holiday from work now for a few weeks.
Still paying attention to counting calories. Teeny bit of progress there.
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