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Saturday, 15 December 2012

Friday, 7 December 2012

Good News

Well the washing up trial didn’t lead to anything, but he got £30 for the shift.

But…
One of the hotels he dropped a CV off at were looking for a kitchen porter.  He went in for an interview with the Head Chef, who once he saw OH’s CV said they might be looking for a Night Porter so he asked him to come back and see the Manager.  They can’t offer anything permanent but as it is Christmas Party season they are looking for someone to work four nights a week helping the Night Porter setting the function rooms up and other general duties.  So as I post this he is in bed after completing his 2nd shift.  I am so pleased, not only for the financial side of things (it’s more money too), but it has given my OH a boost.  I think it must be very easy to think that after being made redundant that no one wants me.  I am so proud of him for staying positive.
Other news is I’m off work with whooping cough!  I have had this cough for about 5 weeks and yesterday went to the Doctors who sent me for blood tests.  I am passed the infectious stage but once work knew that’s what I have they didn’t want me to go in so I have to self-certificate for 5 days.  I am a bit annoyed by it as when I started with it they were happy for me to carry on working and the environment that they have created now is that you are scared to take time off sick as it flags up against you.

 
And more good news is that my job is (at the moment) safe for another 2 years.  The restructure has gone through and is being finalised.  We are going to get a pay rise of £35 a year!
Thank you all for your great comments of support J

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Redunacy Update

So OH final “consultation” meeting was this morning and that is it.  His last shift should have been Sunday but they will pay him and he doesn’t go in.  He came out of the meeting around 11am, met me from my volunteer job and we walked to a restaurant where we had heard they were looking for a kitchen porter and as I type he is on a trial shift!  We aren’t getting our hopes up and it might not be enough hours for anything long term but it does show that there are jobs out there.  Also it has given him a bit of a boost too.  Even if he doesn’t get taken on they are going to pay him for tonight. 

The mortgage insurance is just on my wage.  We had a feeling it would be but hoped not.  This means that they can’t help.

Thank you so much for all your comments, I really do think that Bloggers are great at supporting each other.

Justine – We haven’t put the heating on as much normal, also takeaways (our budgeting downfall!) are well and truly off the menu
Sharon – Clearing out and selling is a good idea, I have lots of things I keep meaning to list online, now is the time to get myself in gear!
Trudie – Sorry to hear you are in the same boat.  I am keeping my fingers crossed for you too.
Sft – Thank you for your support, as always J
Notjustgreenfingers – You are right about petrol.  Unfortunately I’ve had to drive to work for a month (I normally get a lift) and the difference has made a real dent in our petrol budget.  Thank you for the link, lots of useful information.

 

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Redundancy

My OH texed me after he had got to work last night, saying he had recieved a letter to say he was being made redundant at the end of this week!

Gutted isn't enough for how I feel. 

I have a holiday day tomorrow so am going to see our mortgage people to see how we stand with the insurance we have paid.  This may help with the mortgage payment but I need to check.  I will also go to the job centre to see how he goes about claiming job seekers allowance as well as looking for any vacancies.  Hopefully he will find something soon but just incase it will help.  He has typed a letter to go with his CV and is going to go round dropping it off at places.   I have checked the local paper today but there was nothing suitable sadly. Luckierly they have offered overtime at work for me, so I will be doing as much as I can.  We have fair amount of food in the freezer but I will stock up once he gets paid (he has 11 holidays to come), just incase it is a while before he gets another job.

We are lucky that we can manage on my wage.  That is pay the bills but with nothing left over for mortgage overpayments or holidays so it could be worse.

Any more ideas or suggestions for what we can do we would be greatfull for.
 

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Lest We Forget

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.





 

Friday, 2 November 2012

Whats been going on

Life seems to have taken over updating on here, but in a good way.

I have loads to tell you.  We have been on great holiday, the saving is going well and are making a few plans for next year.

The restructure is going through at work and at the moment if looks like there won't be any job losses yet which is great for us all.

Mum is ok.  She has broken her ankle and has a pot on it.

 

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

With the Band

Sorry I haven't posted for ages but I have been following you all.

Last Saturday night I achieve a bit of an ambition of working with a band, well in the very board sense.

My favourite band asked for volunteers to hand out leaflets at their gigs in return for free entry.  I dragged the OH along and for 1 hour of very easy work we were on the guest list (I did love saying that to the box office).  The gig was amazing.  I have seen them live lots before but not acoustic.  We were sat with other guests, but did have room to get up and dance!

Here is a couple of songs, the second one "Julie" brought a tear to my eye as I relate so much a couple of lines of the song.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TIHEYcq1LHY

Friday, 6 July 2012

What Have I Been Up To..

Well the big news is we paid off half our mortgage – yippee.  With that done we have 7 years and 8 months left, however our aim is to have it paid off by the time I’m 45 which is 5 years and 8 months away so fingers crossed. 


Other news is we’ve booked a week in Spain in October.   We have rented a villa about 1 hours’ drive from Malaga – guess who’s driving – yep me!!  I don’t know Spain at all only being to Benidorm and Tenerife but my OH know the area well as his parents had a home there when he was young so I’m looking forward to seeing all the place’s he has told me about. 



We should have been getting ready to go to the festival this weekend but got an email last night saying due to weather conditions it has been cancelled.  It’s a shame as I don’t think we will get to see the same line-up again but understandable.  Unfortunately my OH had to use 3 days holiday which it’s too late to change so we ummed and ahhed about going away somewhere but as the weather is bad and to be honest we have so much to do in the house we are staying put.

I’ve had a few days off this week sick, I woke up on Wednesday with an awful headache and feeling sick but went to work however was brought home by my supervisor by 10am, just made it to the bathroom in time (sorry if you’re eating).  I’ve struggled to keep even water down but feeling better today.  I don’t know if it was a bug or a migraine but hope it doesn’t come back.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Money Update

Our savings are going well.  I’ve updated the tracker bars on here and have changed the amount we are wanting to have in each account.
For our emergency fund, I would like to have £3k in it.  Our boiler is very old and I know that if that goes that will be a big chunk of the money gone.  Also with the threat of redundancy I’d like to have something to fall back on if needed.  I’ve only been in my present job, on a permanently contract, for about 4 years so would only get 1 months’ salary.
The holiday fund has also increased.  We hope to go to Spain later this year and maybe have a weekend away somewhere.  Also we thinking about a “big” holiday next year so I’m starting to save towards that too.
We decided to use some of our savings to pay a large part of the mortgage.  This will reduce the amount we owe by half.  Any money we have left at the end of the month is being divide between savings towards home improvements and overpaying the mortgage.  We are hoping to have paid the mortgage off within another 6 years – fingers crossed.






Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A Day Off


Today I had a day off from work.  The plan was to go to a spa but that fell through so instead we had a day at home.  As I’ve said before we never get a day off together apart from holidays so we wanted to make the most of it.  I got lots of washing dried on the line and my OH cut the lawns while I dismantled one of the wardrobes in our bedroom.  It wasn’t too bad a job but we discovered that there had been some mould on the wall behind where it had been.  I think it had maybe been there as before we brought the house it had been empty for nearly a year.  I wiped it down but it needs to be cleaned properly before we decorate.  We put in Mum’s tallboy wardrobe (we’ve always called it that but it’s basically a small wardrobe with a couple of drawers at the bottom).  I had hoped to be able to fit all OH t-shirts in it but it’s not wide enough so I’ve stacked our towels and bed linen in the wardrobe bit.  I then put Mum’s single wardrobe.  It is a nice, art deco wooden one.  Eventually we will buy a white double wardrobe and this one will go into the spare room.

After all our hard work we went into town to see the Olympic Torch.  It was a great atmosphere and we got to see it.  I would have be able to show you a picture of it but a) I can’t find the cable to put photo’s on the pc and b) my OH excitedly nudge me to say “can you see it” and I got a great photo of my arm!

All in all a very productive day with a bit of fun too – I don’t how I find time to work!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Stretching a Curry

The other night I made chicken curry, cheated with a cheap jar of sauce but added onion, peppers, mushrooms, spinach, just things that needed eating up.  There was one portion left over which I was going to freeze but yesterday I added a bit of left over tomato juice, mango chutney, raita with a tin of chickpea and the rest of the spinach along with gravy granules, curry powder and water.  Now I have four portions to freeze for a few more pence.

I called in at the little “express” supermarket in our village just at the right time and got pizza for 93p, 2 packs of 5 chicken drum sticks for 37p each, a lettuce for 25p and 3 fish pies from their no additives range which should have been 3 for £5 but cost me £1.41.  I have frozen the chicken and 1 fish pie, my colleague and I had the pizza with lettuce and coleslaw (reduced from another store) for lunch.  Tonight we had fish pie and veg for our dinner. 
I'm going back to menu planning as it really works well for us, so the plan for this week is:

Menu Plan

Mon: Fish pie and veg

Tues: Jacket potato, tuna burgers and salad

Wed: Faggots, mash potato and veg (OH), spicy pork and rice – me

Thur: Faggots, mash potatoes and veg (OH only) I’m hitting the town!

Fri: Something fishy – got a few pieces in the freezer



The Magatha – Another Levellers fan J  I have seen them a few times before, even going on my own last year to small local gig they did, I just love them, especially live.  Thank you for following me xx


The Results are In

This week was the appointment with my consultant at the hospital to get the results of the x-ray and the scan  Both came back clearish, nothing much to worry about but my blood count is still up.  She explained that they might never find out what is wrong – very reassuring lol but gave me some iron tablets and an appointment in 2 months.  The good news that the other blood tests (liver, kidney, bone marrow etc) came back clear so at least I feel like I’ve had a bit of an MOT.

Mum, Mrs Thrifty, Thank you for your best wishes, they meant a lot.

Dannie –Luckily they managed to get me in earlier so I didn’t have too long without food J.  It’s not Leeds Festival, although seeing the Cure would be amazing.  It’s called Mfest at Harewood House.  The bands we really want to see are Levellers (me), Human League (OH), Texas – both of us, plus a few more.  Hopefully they won’t all be on at the same time!

CompostWoman - I have met Compost John a few years ago at a Ceilidh dance and won a jar of his dried fruit in the raffle :)

Happy Birthday

Today it was my Mum’s 82nd birthday.  A mile stone, especially after last year.

I went to see her with a bunch of flowers and box of her favourite dark chocolates.  We chatted for a while then she adamantly said she wanted to go out to Helmsely.  She hasn’t been out since moving to the home and to be honest I’d been a bit worried about taking her but we had a great afternoon.  The home lent me a wheelchair, and off we went.  Luckily it didn’t rain so we just had a wander round the town then went for a cup of tea.

I had strict instructions to get her back to the home by 4.30pm as they had organised a birthday tea.  I really didn’t expect it but they had made her a cake, with candles and strawberries and everyone sang Happy Birthday.  It was fantastic and really brought a tear to my eye seeing how happy Mum is there and how lovely they are with all the residents. 


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Money Out

It's been a bit of an expensive month.  The cost of the petrol while emptying Mum’s flat seem to have hit us, as well as I’ve had to use the car to go to work as my colleague (who has a work vehicle and normally gives me a lift) with has been on annual leave for two weeks.  Also, still car related, the MOT and insurance were due.  The MOT cost £365 and I managed to save just under £200 on the car insurance from their initial renewal quote, bringing it down to £274.  Next month the tax is due.  Last year when I first got the car I worked out how much all these things cost me at the time, divided it by 12 and set up an account so the money comes out of my wages before I get them and have been saving that amount each month so I can pay for everything upfront. 

Mum is still doing well, has good and bad days but overall the improvement is incredible.  She has even started knitting again but laughed when I asked what she was knitting as she said “I don’t know”.  It doesn’t matter, the fact that she is sat just knitting away like she use to is great.  We managed to sit out in the garden for a bit today and she said that she would like me to take her out one day as she feel’s up to it.
My greenhouse blew over taking everything with it!!  So back to the drawing board with the planting.  I thought it was secured enough but guess not.

I’m back to the hospital tomorrow, having a chest x-ray and ultrasound on my tummy.   A couple of friends have been great and offered to come with me but I’ll be ok, my OH might come depending on his work.  What has made us laugh, is I have to not eat for 6 hours before, and only to have a light meal tonight and not to have milk but drink 1 litre of water 1 hour before the ultrasound.  All the people that know me know that the not eating and not being able to have a cup of tea with milk will be the worse bit J  Also the appointment is not until 4pm,they could have made it first thing in the morning lol.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Another Festival

We had been looking at having a short break in May to Barcelona and had managed to find some reasonable flights however….

I was browsing on the net when I found out that one of my favourite bands are going to be playing at a festival in July.  This lead to looking at the line up and with a bit of gentle persuasion, manage to get the OH to agree to come with me.  He hasn’t been to a festival before and I think that camping might have been a step to far, also the price inc. camping was ridiculous so will book into a bed and breakfast near the festival.  To be honest its not too far from where we live so we could always drive back if we can’t find anywhere to stay.

So the money we had started to put aside for Barcelona has gone on a festival.  I know that money wise it would have been more economical to go to Spain but I love seeing live bands and the fact the lineup included bands that we both love was too good an opportunity to miss. 

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

What I’ve be Up To

The main thing has been clearing mums flat.  We managed to empty it this weekend.  Most of her things are now in our home and I need to sort through everything.  We only have a small house and it is choc-a-block, wardrobe on the landing, one in the lounge and a chest of drawers in the conservatory!  We already had too much stuff and now it’s just ridiculous, to be honest I don’t know where to begin.   


I managed to get out in the garden on Sunday and got the lawn’s cut for the first time this year.  I also planted some more seeds and a couple of fruit bushes.  We are still going to our course; I think we have about two weeks left.  I’ve enjoyed it and have learnt a bit more about what to grow.
Redundancies are coming around again at work and whilst I’m not losing sleep over them you never know if you are going to be next, and I know that I would struggle to find a job with the same level salary.  With this in mind we are considering using a sizeable chunk of our savings to bring the balance of our mortgage down.  We need to do a few more sums but it is something we are leaning towards.
I’ve been having a few blood tests over the last few months, which resulting in my GP referring me to hospital.  I met with the consultant last week and she wants to see me again in about 6 weeks after I’ve had an x-ray and ultrasound.  I think I was a bit in shock as don’t even know that they are x-raying or ultrasounding!  All this started when I went to get some iron tablets (I’m anaemic) and the lady behind the counter said they don’t give them out if you’ve not had a blood test in the last 3 months, which I hadn’t.  So I asked the GP to test my blood so I knew what dose of tablets to take and the result’s showed up something else.  Anyway I’ll find out soon what is wrong.  As I haven’t any symptoms (subclinical and abnormal blood the doc said!), I guess it is hard for them to figure out what could be wrong.
I’m still working on my Life List and promise I will post it soon.  I really want to achieve some of the things this year.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Gardening Course

Last night was the 1st night of the 5 week Spring Growing evening class.  My friend unfortunately was ill so couldn’t come but I went anyway and collected lots of info for her.  It is being held at the Environment Centre in our city.  The building itself is set in a 24 acre nature reserve.  It has solar panels, collects rainwater and has a very cosy wood burning stove.  They seem to run lots of courses, either free or some of them for £1!  http://www.stnicksfields.org.uk/ Hope the link works.




There were about 20 people there and it was interesting to see how we all seemed to want something different from the course, hard for the man taking it and trying to cram it all into 5 weeks!  Some people had been growing fruit and vegetables for a while, others have just got an allotment and there were a couple of people from different community gardens.  Our city has a project running where throughout the city in unsuspecting places there are vegetables growing for anyone to eat. 
I think the course will be good.  I’ve already got a bit more of an idea what to plant and also thinking of getting another little plastic green house.  Who knows we might actually get to eat something I grow this year!

Monday, 16 April 2012

Not going to Plan

Well I had hoped to be saying how much we had managed to overpay on the mortgage, however my OH only got paid half his wages this month (they “forgot” his holiday pay) so things are a bit tight. We are lucky that we have savings should we need them but will try and hold out until we get the other half.

So this month there has been lots of NSD and a lot of invented meals from what we have in. The freezers in the shed have been emptied and there is not much left in the in the kitchen. I have menu planned for the last two weeks and it has been so easy to know what we are eating each day, if it’s something from the freezer I just take it out on the morning before going to work. Also it is great for the shopping list and budget.

We had a nice day out on Bank Holiday Monday. As I work Mon-Fri and my OH works weekend nights we don’t often get to spend a whole day together so this was great. We went walking at Dalby Forrest. It cost us £7 to get in and I took a pack up and flask with us for lunch. We only walked just over 3 miles but it was quiet hilly and so peaceful we only saw a couple of people on their mountain bikes. It got my heart pumping and the fresh air certainly blew the cobwebs away. On the way back we called into a little coffee shop for a hot chocolate. (I did take pictures but can't work out how to get them onto here from my new phone!)  So for less than what we would spend on a takeaway we got some quality time together, getting some exercise in the fresh air – perfect.

Sunday, 1 April 2012

Bit of an Update

I’ve had a busy, but good weekend. It now seems very likely that Mum will be able to stay in the home she is in, which is great, we just need it confirming. So tomorrow I will give 4 week notice on her flat. We nipped up there yesterday morning and my lovely OH (after coming off a night shift) helped me load the car up. We still have a lot to move/get rid of but now I have a deadline to have it empty I have to do it. I need to ring round and get a few quotes for bringing the furniture we want to keep here. I have written a little note explaining mums health problems last year and am going to send it, with an Easter card to all her friends that sent Christmas cards. Unfortunately I don’t know who some of them are but hope that they all still keep in touch with Mum. We have asked the joiner that did our loft hatch for a quote to board out part of our loft. We had free insulation fitted so he needs to raise the joists. I have no idea how much it will be but hope we can soon save up for it. We only have a small two bedroomed house and storage space is lacking so it would be so useful to have it done. I have spent most of today in the garden. Last week a friend and I went on a free 2 hour course/lecture to learn about growing fruit and vegetables in pots. It was interesting and certainly gave me lots of ideas of what I want to plant this year. The couple that held it where very environmentally friendly and I learnt about where I’ve gone wrong with composting. So with the composting in mind I did what they advised which involved emptying my compost bin and then putting it all back in but with more cardboard and paper as instead of compost I had mud. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and hopefully it will work. It amazes me that all the veg peelings and things from the garden rots down into something I can use to grow plants with. I also planted some vegetables. I maybe a bit late with some of the plants but may as well give it a go. From this course we came away with lots of info to read and found out about a 5 week course to learn more which we have booked on, again free. It is once a week and we will take it in turns driving there. We feel very lucky in finding these courses, like the ones last year on crafting. Hope you all have had a good weekend too xx

Monday, 26 March 2012

We're Back


We had a really relaxing holiday. The hotel was nice and the weather fabulous. It was just what the doctor ordered. I slept lots, read lots and ate lots. It was just nice spending time with my OH, chatting or just sat watching the world go by. One of the people we met said something that I’m trying to do which was “take the holiday with you”, when you get back home. It is easy to come back home and then feel like you have never been away as you get bogged down with the daily grind. I also did a lot of thinking and planning of what I’d like to achieve, both in terms of our home and also on my Life List, which I will type up and post on here. We also thought about our next holiday and are thinking of maybe one of the Greek Islands.


With all our hopes and dreams we defiantly need to stick to budgeting. So even though we are “back to reality” I feel excited and motivated with challenges to aim for.


PS – thank you for all your great comments on our mortgage overpayment, they are very encouraging and hopefully we will be making another one next month.

Monday, 27 February 2012

Drum roll please…

... we have made our 1st mortgage overpayment. In true frugal style rounding down the balance we have overpaid £106.00. The first of many I hope.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

DANNIE'S 12 HOUR CLIC SARGENT READATHON!

Please support this great cause, sign up and settle down for a good read.


DANNIE'S 12 HOUR CLIC SARGENT READATHON!



SATURDAY 4TH FEB 2012

Starting at 9.30am GMT





Get yourself cosy, a pile of books organised, snacks sorted and sit back and relax ready to read for anything up to 12 hours in the Great 12 hour readathon!


£5 registration fee – Register online



http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/dannieadventure or email Dannie for further details. dannie992@hotmail.com

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Holiday Countdown has Begun

To quote Peter Kay we “saw it, booked it, f**Ked off”, well not until March. We went with the laying by the pool option as I feel I need a complete break. So we have booked two weeks in Egypt at the beginning of March.


We did really well and had £1065 in the holiday fund and still have £123 left in it. We’ve been weighing up the pro’s and con’s of driving verses the train to the airport. We have always gone on the train, even when we had a car before because it worked out cheaper but with the train fares rising and because of our flight times we would need to get a taxi back from the train station to our village. So at the moment we are leaning towards me driving there. Some of the £123 left will go towards parking costs and petrol. We also need transfers to the hotel and I’ve found a bus company that will do it for £3.40.

We are still going to save each month into the holiday fund as we hope to have another holiday later in the year and I’d like to go camping for a weekend.

And a warm welcome to my new followers xx

Meanqueen – Thank you for the hug and the advice.

Dannie – I feel so much better letting it all go. You have inspired me with the great things on your life list.

Pink Fairy Vicky – Thank you, I hope I can stay motivated!

Mum – Happy New Year, I’m trying to be organised lol

SFT – Thanks for the positive thoughts, fingers crossed 

Jayne – I agree, the support I have got from other bloggers has been amazing.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

After my last very negative post I am going to keep this positive. As Sft says let go of the anger, it’s not good. I think it was a build-up of stresses over the last few months and I “lost it” for a bit. Thank you all for your kind words and support.

Anyway all is good for now. I had a great Christmas. We only buy token pressies and I feel very lucky with what I received including slippers, socks & smellies. I visited mum on the morning. She is in a care home for only four weeks at the moment, I hope she can stay there permanently. When I got there she was sipping sherry and had been given some lovely presents by the staff. I stayed until they were sat for dinner then came home. Just the two of us to cook for and it was so relaxed. We had a four bird roast (from Aldi) with all the trimmings. It was great to have time off work, to know mum is being well cared for, spend time with OH (he was back to work on Boxing Day) and to relax – just what the doctor ordered!

It gave me time to work on plans for next year which are:

FINANCES
Overpay mortgage. I would love to give an amount but anything would be good
Have emergency savings of £1500 - We need to save another £700 to get to this figure
Continue to save into holiday fund - We are doing well with this
Sell – The stuff we don’t want. I want to use ebay lots and maybe do a car boot sale. This money will be used for things we would like to get for our home

HOUSE & HOME
De-clutter – There is stuff in every room that I want to re-home, either sell, give to charity shops/freecycle
Decorate – Every room apart from the bathroom needs fully decorating. The conservatory is the only room that just need a lick of paint the others removal of wall paper etc.
Grow more vegetables – After starting off really well, other things took over this year but the things that grew were very nice
Enjoy the garden – We didn’t sit out much at all this year. Next year I hope to enjoy it more

FUN
Have two holidays – Hopefully, we are saving for a main holiday and then a week somewhere later on in the year
Go camping
Do things from my life list – I am working on this and will post it soon

HEALTH
I want to and need to lose weight
Swim each week
Increase my (non-existent) fitness

So to start with I'm going to do the No/Low Spend January Challenge that alot of bloggers are doing.

I have freezer and cupboards full of food, so should only need to buy fresh vegetables/fruit, milk etc. Menu planning should make the most of everything we have and I don’t want to have any waste food.

I am fully stocked on toiletries but did run out of the tablet’s I have to take over Christmas so need to buy them.

The only other thing I can think of that I will need is petrol and cat food.

HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE XXX