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Sunday, 31 January 2016

Feeling Out of Sorts and a Bit of a Catch Up

I've been ill for a while, coughing, aching and no energy. I actually had to take a day off work which isn't like me to try and recover.  When I do get a cough it does linger and can go on for months, its just something I am prone too. Hopefully I am over the worse. Also I had an injection more or less 12 months ago for carpel tunnel syndrome and have been lucky it has lasted all this time however the pain as come back so I have started wearing the splint the hospital gave me and hope that will put off another injection. I don't mind them but know I can only have another two before they will have to operate so am trying to drag is out as long as possible.

Unfortunately things have slowed down with the buy to let house. We are all good to go but the mortgage company are being awkward and keep asking for more info which is frustrating as I wish they had asked for everything to start with not keep coming back say "can we just have this or this".

Other than that I have a few plans for February. My hubby is taking his mum away for a week and hopefully in that time I can get the floor replaced in our spare room. We had a leak from the bathroom and it had rotted the floor so it all needs taking up and redoing. It will then need decorating and I have plans for an Indian/Moroccan themed room. The plans for the rest of the home is for a more neutral look. Money for this has already been saved up, if our figures are correct!

Using the credit card for shopping has worked well and is something I am going to keep up.  We don't seem to have spent much in January which I am pleased of, hopefully this will keep going during the rest of the year.  I had to buy some new jeans for work (a size smaller!) which was an expense I hadn't planned for but due to the nature of my work I have to wash my clothes more regularly than I normally would which I think makes them wear quicker than usual. This month I need a pair of trainers again for work mainly but that is the only non food spend.

So onwards and upwards into February.  Fingers crossed we get the set of keys for the new house!

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Catching up with the bestie

I met my best friend just over 10 years ago.  We didn't like each other at first but had to work together in a little portakabin and soon discovered even though there is a 13 year age gap between us (I'm the older one) we both had the same sense of humour.  Over the 10 years we have seen each other though the ups' and downs of life such as domestic abuse, engagement, miscarriage, birth of her daughter (I was privilege to cut the cord) and deaths of parents. 

We use see each other every day at work and then sometimes out of work and with me changing jobs and she had her gorgeous little girl just over a year ago we have both had to adjust not seeing each other as much. So when we catch up it is so nice and comfortable. We try and see each other once a week and I can see how fast her little girl is growing which is incredible to see.

She spoils me when I go, making me breakfast and sharing her dinner too this time with a recipe I am going to try, beef with pasta and olives, simple and tasty.

 

Monday, 11 January 2016

Starting as I mean to go on

I've done this weeks menu plan and made a shopping list of what we haven't got in. Lunches are homemade soup. salads or sandwiches. The soups are already made and in the freezer. After this week I think I will need to stock it up again.  I will get the shopping tomorrow as I am visiting a friend and drive past the supermarket. 

Mon - Meat balls and pasta
Tue - Lemon and Herb chicken, potatoes and vegetables
Wed - Pulled Pork, sweet potato mash and roasted vegetables
Thur - Leftover pork and Chicken
Fri - Homemade chicken goujons, wedges and salad
Sat - Thai chicken curry and rice
Sun - tbc

I need to get some moisturiser as it has completely run out and another mattress protector so I am called in to Wilcos before I went to work today. Strangely there is no protectors in Wilco or either of the Tescos in town.

I made a goats cheese and beetroot tart this morning. I've not made it before but it smells good. This will be to have with salad for lunches.







 

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Financial Planning for our Future

My changing jobs nearly twelve months ago had to be given a lot of thought due to the massive drop in my salary.  Not only am I being paid a lot less but chose to work less hours. I wouldn't be able to have done it had we not been frugal. However it has worked out that with the bit of overtime I occasionally do, the extra for doing nights which I do a least once a week, the fact I only earn just over the tax limit and only pay a small amount into the work base pension I'm coming home with just slightly less than I did before. Plus I am a lot happier and feel we have a better work/life balance which is worth more than money.

It is all to do with priorities I think.  Many years ago when we first went for a mortgage my husband was working for an agency, although he had been there for about 2 years his wage was discounted. We also wanted to be able to manage our monthly payments on one of our salary just incase one of us lost our job or if we had a family.  Sadly the family never came but we were able to overpay our mortgage and pay it off early making us mortgage and debt free in our late 30's/early 40's. 

Having no debt was a priority for us.  I see friends and family who having a loan or having a credit card payment each month is just the norm. Other than our mortgage we haven't borrowed money.  We save up for things we need and look after the things we have.  We monitor our outgoings, shop at a discount supermarket, cook from scratch, take a pack up to work and my husband cycles the 11 mile round trip to his work.  We could do more to save money but we feel that we have a good balance in saving some but also enjoying our hard earned money.

As we are both in our 40's now we have turned our attention to retirement.  As we have both earned a lot less than the national average and tbh enjoyed our disposable income we haven't put aside much in a pension pot.  I have a couple of pensions from previous job. So we have decided to invest in a buy to let property.  Getting a mortgage again in a way feels like a backward step and one my husband especially has struggled with. However it is something we have thought about for a few years and felt it was a case of now or never.  A buy to let mortgage is different to the mortgage we had in the past and there has been a lot of reading and understanding to do.  We have put an offer in of a terrace house which has been accepted and in the process of it going through fingers crossed.  It's exciting and nerve-racking.  Decisions still to be made like to we manage it ourselves or pay an agency and there is a bit of work to be done to the property. We have spoken to lots of people who have done it and taken their advice on board.  At the moment we are looking at it being just for two years incase we find it too much as I know not everyone is cut out to be landlords but I am hoping we are.

Thursday, 7 January 2016

What a Difference a Time Makes

A lot has changed in 12 months, there have been a lot of up and downs but I now feel happy and content with most things.

I have heard that when things get rough you find out who your friends are and this has been true.  Certain bonds have been made stronger and other broken,  I feel I have grown up, which I guess as a 40 something is about time!

Work now is so rewarding, although challenging.  I have a lot to learn but my colleagues are very supportive and I feel we are a good team.

I feel that things are coming together, work, home and relationships.  I have lots I want to do with our home (hopefully a new one too) and personal goals but feel positive that this year will see some of these achieved.


 

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Some Things Change...

...and some never do.

Things that have changed = I love my job. I'm a lot more chilled. We have more time together. I've made new friends. We (hopefully) are going to be landlords.

Things that haven't = The clutter. My weight. My lack of motivation. These are things I hope will move into the changed section during 2016.