Showing posts with label saving. Show all posts
Showing posts with label saving. Show all posts

Monday, 3 December 2012

Christmas shopping

On Sunday I made sure I was up and out on the great British high street before 11am ready to meet one of my best friends for a spot of belated birthday lunch and Christmas shopping. I seemed to do my shopping in almost one swoop, and only have to buy little top up presents closer to Christmas. What's more there were some great bargains to be had when you search hard enough.

This year see's Christmas presents stripped right back; here's what I have bought and wrapped up so far;

Mum- a decorative candle holder which holds three glass votives, found in a department sale for the bargainous price of £4.00.

Dad- Best of REM CD £6.00 from Amazon with free delivery.

Sister- Calvin Klien make up set £15.00 and knitted hairband £2.00 from TK Maxx and Primark respectively.

Sister's BF- Bench boxers and sock gift set £8.00.

Nan- Decorate black sequin embellished scarf £4.00 Primark and black box frame in which I'm planning to put some of my photography work (perhaps from the wedding) £6.00 from Tiger.

Granddad- Aftershave and deodorant set from Next £10.00 (they do some really nice smellies for men which smell like 'the real deal').

Secret Santa at work- A miniature snooker table for his desk, a minuscule £3.00!

BF- A superman onesie from Primark £15.00.

BF's sister- A vintage style burnished gold long necklace with camera pendant- £5.00.

I was pretty pleased with these as they all come in at the same price I spent on one person's present last year! Not forgetting the £1.00 gift wrap from Primark and left over box of cards from about three years ago that were £1.00 for a huge box from Wilkinsons.

This week is my work Christmas party. I was planning on buying a new dress as a little treat, but since my having to pay for a £40 cab the other week and doing myself out of my interest I'm just going to recycle the classic LBD and stand up on the train home so as not to FALL ASLEEP! lol.

Happy festive season!

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Silly season

Where to begin? I haven't posted yet again in a while, but things have been kind of emotional/hectic over here in my little corner of the globe. It all started when I found a property online at a good price and made the mistake of ringing the estate agent who roped us in to see about four flats half of which were out of our price range and booked in to see the mortgage broker.

We spent a busy few weeks viewing properties, most of which I would get attached to, could imagine living in but weren't quite right for one reason or another. And then I stumbled across one online, great price, iffy location but once we went to see it it was the best location we had seen. The flat was great, decent sized kitchen, fitted appliances, bathroom a decent size and we wouldn't have to do any work to it. The mortgage was affordable, as well as the ground rent/service charges.

We put in an offer, it was accepted and it seemed things were going our way. However, I was told different stories by each of the estate agents I went to see the property with, such as four people had pulled out previously and that was why it was such a good price. Immediately alarm bells started ringing, and I went to visit it with my mum who asked the seller all the practical questions I had overlooked such as how old the warm air heating system was, how old the flat roof was and which type of construction the building was. The seller clammed up, went pink and I couldn't help thinking she might be hiding something.

At my wits end we went to see the estate agents again to try to find out what was going on, only to find out no-one had put an offer in until a week before us which wasn't accepted. The property had been on the market since August 2011. Feeling rather uncomfortable, worried, stressed out and emotional I thought it was probably best not to even get a survey done as we were worried from the off it wouldn't be worth the cost only to find out what we expected and pull out anyway. The fact the estate agents couldn't get their stories straight worried me, and ultimately we didn't want to buy a flat that we couldn't sell in five-six years time.

After imagining living there, and starting to plan next year- holidays etc I couldn't help but feel disappointed and fed up for the whole weekend afterwards. As Christmas is approaching there is very little choice of property on the market but curiosity keeps me coming back to the property websites to check just in case.

There is one flat online in a great location, we went to see another flat in the same block previously, but this  isn't available to view until February which seems ages away. Hmph! I know I shouldn't but I cant help but feel sorry for myself and that we'll never have our own home.

Coupled with the fact I rushed in too quick before withdrawing the offer of pulling my money out of my two ISAs and fixed rate 5% saver, losing out on all the interest because I thought I would need access to the cash soon.

I also fell asleep on the train after a work night out in the city and ended up at the end of the line at 12am and had to fork out £40 for a cab home, and the student loans company has started taking my repayments after two years taking £60 this month. Queue not a happy bunny all round. Chin up and soldier on and keep saving, nothing else for it I guess.

Sorry for the essay! advice please?

Monday, 29 October 2012

Happy first birthday little blog!

I'm doing the wedding photography so have been practicing  my portraits!
My tiny little corner of the internet has been up and somewhat loosely running for just over a year now. And on its one year anniversary we went to see the mortgage adviser  Though he kind of told me what I already knew (he said I'd clearly done my homework!) I don't think the BF actually believed me, but now it seems he is on a roll in terms of looking for properties to view.

After the appointment we had two viewings, one was almost like having our own house. It was a maisonette in a quiet area with communal gardens and a garage. However it was priced a little higher than I want to go as I want the monthly payments to be manageable and with the ground rent etc it would leave us with not a lot of spare money to live on. The next flat was in a small block, good location, garage and space but wires were sticking out everywhere and the plumbing was a bit weird in the bathroom.

However, I feel like we are finally getting somewhere and cannot wait to find 'the one'. We've started looking early, though I think we are probably looking at getting something going through after Christmas.

I haven't been blogging much lately as the BF is around in the evenings and weekends and I tend to do it when I've got an evening to myself. I've also had a hen night, a uni reunion and a cousins 21st birthday party so the weekends have been spent out and about. I did manage to stash away an extra £80 last month on top of my usual savings so despite the busy-ness I've come in under budget. However this month may be a different story with my Aunts wedding, my birthday and our five year anniversary to contend with :S

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

The fight over the central heating dial has started again

A snap from this mornings rain filled walk. 
Like last year the fight over the thermostat dial has begun, with me turning it down a couple of degrees so it doesn't come on and turning down the radiator dials and them turning it up and leaving windows open. Grr! I can't wait to control my own temperature and bills.

In other news, payday came and went. I was thinking of buying a new autumn jacket in the price range of up to £50. However, I just dug out my old jacket which is proving fine, so some money saved there. Money from this months pay has been shifted to the ISA and the saving spreadsheet will be updated this week.

Last month I made it through saving an additional £200, so tucked that away in the ISA. I also managed to have a pretty cheap last weekend and saved the money I need to pay for the next six month water bill. Even though its good news I'm feeling quite frustrated and just want to get to my end target quicker.

Anyone else feel like this?


Monday, 24 September 2012

We've (almost!) done it... I think

This month was quite a good one for myself, as I managed to earn about £400 approx extra for leaving my last job with holiday to spare. I spend a couple of hundred on new clothes and shoes as my wardrobe was looking quite empty and scruffy. However I did sell half of the vouchers I got from my last job to my sister so that covered the cost of one pair of shoes (a padded canvas shoe-ideal for walking/cycling as I had to throw my old trainers out).

Other than that though it was a good saving month, I managed to squeeze away an additional £200 into the savings account. And yesterday while browsing yet more property websites I popped onto a well known bank's mortgage advisor. I entered how much deposit we currently have (10%) and the monthly fee came out at £750, under a 5 year fixed term first time buyer exclusive. If we carry on saving we should have a little more, I entered this amount in and the monthly fee came out at £730- not too much difference but am aware that over 30 years this adds roughly £7,000.

So I think (and hope!) we won't have to stay any longer than necessary in the house share (eight months to go!) as long as we get the mortgage approved (credit score hopefully improving- need to check soon) and find somewhere we want to buy. I think the plan is to carry on saving, then we can make a more informed decision nearer the time- we may use the extra saved money to buy the sofa, re-decorate etc instead.

The temptation now would be to think the hard work is done, but I guess no amount of savings will be too much. I do know I want to book a sunshine holiday (a bargain type one) in the new year and put my car back on the road too so I have a bit more independence. I can't wait for the new year.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Thursday wants... damn the clever advertising!

I was sitting at work this morning and a H&M marketing email popped into my inbox. I usually have a quick look and file in the miscellaneous folder. This morning, as I have accepted the job offer, knowing I'll have a little extra to play with next month I find myself itching to reach for my credit card even though for this month I have about £3.00 of my own personal income left as its been a few busy-ish weeks so far. The total comes to £35, but I've already spent £50 of my pay rise money/ the 2.5 days extra holiday I'll get paid for part of the BF's birthday present. Do I freeze my cards in the freezer as mean queen suggested, keeping only my joint account card for emergencies? What do you guys think?

Sunday, 27 May 2012

My 100th blog post

This week has been a pretty hectic week compared to my normal week; firstly on Tuesday, the first of the beautiful weather I was lucky enough to have been given free cinema tickets to see the 'What to expect when you're expecting' film which started at six. I worked from home in the afternoon which was lovley, before cycling to the cinema.

Instead of buying expensive drinks and snacks in the cinema, bumping up the price of our trip, we dipped into Sainsbury's en route to pick up some food. I kept my eyes peeled for deals which included a huge bag of sweet Butterkist popcorn for £1, a huge bag of kettle chips £1 and a meal deal which we split for £3. The film was lighthearted, funny and definitely my cup of tea so I would recommend to anyone who is a fan of the rom-com genre- however it wasn't overly girly and the BF enjoyed it just as much. Once we were home we worked together to re-work the BF's CV ready for his job interview/meeting on Thursday.

Wednesday was another scorcher of a day- and consequently the tubes and trains were all messed up. I finally made it to Putney to meet a friend for dinner at Pizza Express which was nice as we sat outside. She had 2-4-1 Orange deal, but her phone battery died so we had to resort to 25% off using a downloadable voucher on my phone. Even so it came in at just under a tenner which I thought was pretty good- we went for one drink afterwards which was nice. I had budgeted for the evening,which took me up to just under my monthly budget.

Thursday was D-day. The BF was extremely nervous about meeting with his friends boss, and whilst he was in the interview I literally felt sick. The good news is that he got the job!! I was soo happy as it will completely -change our lifestyle and mean we can live like a normal couple pretty much- if there is such a thing as normal? What I mean is that we'll have evenings, weekends, bank holidays, Christmas's, New Years and so on together, which we haven't had in the last four and a half years. It means we won't have to plan literally everything around his work rota, which often gets changed at the last minute without much notice. Finally, besides the extra money it means that when we (hopefully) move into our own home I won't be left on my own.

To celebrate he came to meet me from work, as I was meeting my mum in town too. We all went for lunch then walked over to the South Bank for a drink, then when BF went home me and my mum went over to Green Park to meet my sister as later in the evening we were going to see 'The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe' in Kensington Gardens.  I picked up three tickets for £40 from Last which is pretty much the normal price of one theatre ticket.

Dancing with the birthday girl

Friday was payday at last; I hit my monthly budget target and now my personal savings total has hit £10,638, while we have £500 in our joint savings. The BF has almost £900 but he needs to use some of this to learn to drive as he'll be driving a company van in the future due to his new job. So all in all things are heading in the right direction. I spent most of the day at a Google event (hello free breakfast, snacks and lunch) and got to spend time in their gorgeous offices.

Then finally, yesterday I spent the morning doing the weekly housework and in the afternoon me and the BF set off with a little picnic to the local park, armed with my SLR camera. And one of my favourite shots is the one at the top of the page. In  the evening we went to a friends 21st birthday party-m I didn't feel too good because of the sunshine so stuck to the diet coke.

Today I think I'll spend the day relaxing before the working week begins again. Hopefully this one will be a little calmer.

Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Just a quick update; I checked all my usual accounts etc this morning, including my new credit score and its gone up 37 points since I last logged in and is now sitting at 935 I think inching its way to excellent. I'm really pleased, its because I've had my credit card three months now (I think- I can't find the post where I wrote about it). However, I'm not really too worried about my score, its my BF's. But he has been using his credit card responsibly, and has a direct debit to pay it off in full now so hopefully this will be enough to improve it. He's kind of in denial about his score, and won't check his report- grr!

Also, I've been paid from my first lot of Quidco cash back £13 (was meant to be £18 but they take £5 for membership type fee) so I have approximately £4 to my name which isn't tied up. However, I have picked up another bar shift Saturday at Twickenham which should be an extra £30 or so, so I can squeeze by to payday in 10 days time.

Besides that, things are ticking along as usual; there's been less food waste- just a couple of bits of the end of a loaf of bread which had gone mouldy. I also choppped up some vegetables and put them in the freezer to stop them ending up in the bin.And my BF has sort of got approval for his pay rise; his work are weird they work backwards it seems. He still has to fill out half a workbook, quickly apply and then have a kind of mock interview but I'm hoping he'll have it sorted by the end of the month. I need to stop nagging though, because he's still a bit of a child and he digs his heels in even though he knows it needs doing. Are all men like this?? 

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Another week, another update....

I've got a bit of an obsession with cat paint atm lol!
I think this has been the longest amount of time I haven't blogged for to date. The reason? hmmm... no real reason really, things seem to be ticking along fairly smoothly, no disasters to report etc. I did end up picking up another four hour, last minute bar shift on Tuesday evening, so come Wednesday eve I was feeling pretty sleepy.

Then on Thursday I went out after work for a colleagues leaving do in town; I made sure I stuck to the happy hour glasses of wine which were £2.70 with 50% off, topped up with soda to make them last longer, as well as to dilute them down. Because we had reserved a couple of tables the bar gave us a couple of platters of free finger food, bottles of champagne and about 20 shots. Luckily I was well positioned when the freebies arrived, so enjoyed a couple of glasses of Prosecco for free as everyone else seemed to turn their noses up at it, some food and three free shots (I'm pretty sure they were mini glasses of bitter lemon lol!) before heading home.

Friday lunchtime we went out for lunch to a new American restaurant called 'Meat Liquor' which is located behind Oxford Street. The food was delicious, and I could see why the burgers have been getting rave reviews all over the internet. The bill set me back £16 which meant  it took up the majority of my weekend budget, but I was paid for the Saturday bar shift so squeezed it in without going over budget. I also put all three meals on my credit card and the others are transferring me the money to get more use out of my credit card to try to push up my credit score. Friday evening I was so sleepy from my huge lunch and kind of late night the night before me and the BF just dozed on the sofa in front of the TV.

Saturday I had to buy my Dad a present for his birthday; I couldn't find anything and decided to give him the vouchers I won through work instead which can be used at Halfords, Homebase and HMV amongst others. My Dad's quite practical (think that's where I get it from) and was very pleased when he opened his card and found these nestled inside. Saturday night, after watching Britain's got talent I cycled to the pub for a few drinks, spent about a fiver sipping slowly lol, and this also included the price of my cab fare home too.

Sunday we decided to rearrange and sort out our room, all junk was thrown out, stuff we won't need has been put away in the loft and all our paper work has been filed neatly into labelled plastic wallets.

Then yesterday we visited my family and went out for dinner for my Dad's birthday. We went to the harvester, and managed to wrangle a free round of drinks for six- and four of them were re-fillable too! The bar man completely messed up the change he gave my dad, and ended up giving him all his money back in a different form. Mum & Dad covered the bill, so will probably have them up and cook something nice as a thanks in the next few weeks or so.

I've got £16 of disposable income to last the week, then I should get paid about £25.00 for my bar shift last week. I'm out for a few drinks Saturday, so this should easily cover this leaving me with about £40. I'm also expecting one of my Quidco payments of £13, so should be able to scrape through the next two weekends and make it to payday.

I think there's another happiness revolution due, but I'm a bit stumped for ideas as to what to include.... 

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Payday update

That time of the month came again, payday. This time it meant I have just about exceeded my 10k mini target which feels pretty good, even though there's still a way to go. I'll wait for the £250 to go out of my account at the beginning of the month (into my 5% fixed payment saving account) and for this month's credit card payment to come out (£70, only £45 if my own personal spending) before transferring the £350 into my general ISA.

Our refund also came through from British Gas, £245! I've shifted the money almost straight away into our joint account every day saver, which is almost at £500 so as not to spend it. I'm not sure what this will be used for, either to book a holiday late in the year, flights in the summer to the BF's beachy home town, or as part of our stamp duty payment. Either way, its nice to know its there as last year our joint account was running on empty due to more expensive accommodation costs and we had to buy all our new furniture.

I also took out the Experian 30 day free trial to check my credit score to see if it had been affected by my lack of student loan repayments, and its in the good category with a score of 898 our of 1000. It seems that because I have very recently applied for credit I have been marked down, and because I'm not really using much of the credit it seems to be going against me a little- crazy right? Anyways, I'm aiming to improve my score by only using my credit card where ever possible rather than the money in my own personal account, or in our joint account. We need to improve the BF's credit score, I'm guessing that due to his lack of organisational skills and late credit card payments etc it wont be as high as mine so I think he may even start using the dreaded credit card for small amounts, now that he has set up a direct debit for the full amount to be paid off every month.

Finally, this month financially looks OK (all being well with the job- we've gone very quiet which is never good!). I've got a five hour bar shift on Saturday, which I'll get paid for seven hours. This covers money to renew our rental contract (£80 for them to file the contract- ridiculous!) as well as the last what I owe my housemate for last years TV licence with a little to spare. I also have those vouchers to pay for my dad's birthday present.

My clothes need a bit of a lift (again?!) so this lunch time I hot footed it down Oxford street to H&M as I had a £5 off voucher that expires on Sunday. I picked up a replacement pair of skinny blue jeans (two pairs of mine will be going in the bin) and a white t-shirt top as all my white tops have been relegated to 'house clothes' ie. a hop, skip and a jump from becoming pyjamas. I thought the jeans were £20, but scanned through the till at £9.99 so in total I spent £13. I've allowed myself around £30ish for new clothes this month, and I kind of need some new ballet pumps as the sole in mine is starting to go.

I think that's all the news on the financial front; the wintry weather is making it easier to resist the temptation to spend, you can't step foot outside the door without being drenched!

Onwards and upwards.... until next time x

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Food glorious foooddd.....

Over the last few days we have been using up whatever food has been lurking in the fridge, freezer and my desk draws before going shopping tonight.

Last night I didn't bother making a packed lunch as I still had half a portion of the pasta I made the other week still at work, some olives, some water biscuits, hot cross buns and some apples at work.  Slowly over the day I intend to eat most of this list, despite the randomness of different tastes.

This week I have had to throw out a little less food wastage, I think only a carton of left over chocolate milk bought on impulse from the Co-Op downstairs. And I think from now on I'll start using my credit card to pay for the food shop and transfer the money from the joint account to pay for it as this benefits us in three ways; it shows that I am able of borrowing more money and repaying it, it will show how much we spend on food over the course of a month and I don't have to use my credit card for things that aren't really essential.

As the 10k target gets closer I'm itching for payday to come which is in two weeks so I can say I have achieved it (even though we still have a way to go on the saving front, the majority is probably done :)).

I'm finding that I'm getting a bit bored in the evenings at the moment, where I'm cutting back on my spending whereas before I never got bored and always felt like I had lots to do, so I think that's why I'm getting more impatient. But I keep reminding myself, in a few weeks we are already four months through the year and there's only eight more to go.

Does anyone else have a relatively short saving target they are itching to reach? and the more impatient I'm getting the more I want to cut back to reach it quicker, but there's only so much you can cut back on. Patience is a virtue after all, and the good things in life are worth waiting for.

Luckily over the next few weeks I can make use of free tickets I've accumulated; two free VIP tickets for the funfair (we plan to go Friday night should the weather hold up), two free cinema tickets courtesy of a work colleague who got them from Sky and a free pub quiz, with free food and drink which is being held by a media company next Wednesday which I plan to take full advantage of- I've even booked the next day off of work!

Here's to the next two weeks xx

Sunday, 25 March 2012

Spring has arrived in London!

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

I love it when the sun shines and all the cherry blossoms bloom! I took these pics before meeting a friend in Putney yesterday. We had a few drinks whilst enjoying the sun walking next to the river which was lovely. I love these colours and think it would possibly make quite a nice bedroom colour scheme one day....

Anyways, payday came around on Friday and with that the ticker gets updated. So if my calculations are correct this is how much I've saved so far (including the BF's credit card repayments which will end next January)

Things on the money front are coming along fairly well I think, besides having to throw some food out earlier on in the week; a new tub of Heinz 'fridge' beans that I forgot were ours which were growing mould, some out of date eggs which were put on someone elses shelf and forgotten about after doing a big shop, a carton of gone off pomegranete juice, blood orange juice and chocolate milkshake.

Things I'll take from this is to keep control of the shopping by not buying such big shops as we don't get round to eating it, not buying items to try which may end up being wasted and keeping all our items on the bottom shelves so I can actually see what we have.

Friday was our two housemates birthday drinks, I managed to dodge the offers of shots with the urges to 'live a little'...hmmphh! and only had two bottle of cider (I don't know how it lasted for the few hours we were there-I guess you get quite a lot in each bottle). I had budgeted £30 for the night, but only spent a fiver- result!

Today I have put this dress on Gumtree to try and sell for £50, like the other dress it came from New York's Greenwich Village and unlike eBay Gumtree doesn't charge you to advertise. I also took advantage of this websites offer of 50 free prints when you sign up, I've signed up with a new email address about four times now.

 I plan on making a border of photos around our room seeing as we're going to be here for another year. Other than that I've sorted out our room for the week, done two loads of washing and may head to the park to start reading 'The time travellers wife' in the sun before cycling up to meet the BF from work. Hope you're all enjoying the sunny weather, Happy Sunday! x

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Mother's day.... On a budget

Happy Mother's Day to any mums out there! This year I took my mum to see Coppelia at the London Collesium, tickets were just £30 for two so thought that was pretty good value for money. We ate at La Tasca the spanish tapas place, and used a voucher code from voucher cloud, an app on the iPhone to get buy one dish get one free, so we spent a nice evening in London without breaking the bank.

I also bought my Nan a present, a £2 box of Dairy Milk chocolates and recycled a gift from the BF's family which they gave me at Christmas; a mini bottle of Burberry weekend perfume and some English handmade soap all wrapped up in some wrapping paper I made using word and ordinary printer paper (courtesy of work hehe!)

To make this wrapping simply type the persons name repeatedly for one line across word, then copy and paste until you have a paragraph of text. Colour each line a different colour, then copy and paste the paragraph again and again until you have enough sheets to wrap your gift. It's really effective and costs hardly anything (or nothing in my case) work gave me my birthday present wrapped in it and I loved it, as did a friend of mine who I also made the wrapping for. 

Today my Mum and Dad popped in on their way back from my Nan's, my mum had been wanting me to bake her some bread for ages so put a seeded loaf in and wrapped it in some clear patterned plastic wrapping I had saved from a bunch of flowers (that's the blurry thing in the photo) I also gave her a little Pimms cocktail when she came in.

We went to the pub where the BF works to meet him, the parentals had a roast each and with four drinks the bill came to £15. On mothers day the pub is usually heaving but this one was a bit quieter as I think people are still cutting back on unnecessary expenses.  

Friday, 2 March 2012

Marching into March....Google Adsense

I just want to say a big thanks to anyone who has taken the time to click on my ads, slowly slowly the click fees are beginning to add up I'm pleased to say :). If anyone wants me to click away at their ads I'm happy to trade off hehe.

Just wondering though, does anyone know how the money becomes real life £££'s in a bank account rather than sitting in the Ad Sense account?

Happy Friday all xx

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Money entwined with emotions

Just a few days until payday and I have rewarded myself a little for being so good this month. I've just bought 'water for elephants' from Amazon, £2.80, a pair of flat leather ballet pumps (which I wore to death last summer) from Topshop for £16 and some hair dye to (hopefully!) even out my colour from Boots £6.50 (on reflection it seems to have worked)

On another note, recently we've  been experiencing a bit of relationship wobble when it comes to our priories. I no longer wish to live like a student with god knows who coming and going at all times of the night. I want to save as much as possible within reason to try to get a morgage next year when we'll be about 27. I want to save for an amazing holiday thereafter, I want to achieve a good career that pays a decent wagethat will enable us to have a comfortable life. I want to spend quality time with people who are really my friends, who value me and who understand me, not spend my entire weekends drinking jager bombs with people who I think are my friends.

Sadly, the other half's priorites seem to be similar to that of a floundering teenager, who still thinks that someone buying you a beer makes you 'friends'. He thinks I'm getting too old before my time, and I sadly think he's being a bit naive and immature.

In the past I have been the one who has bailed us out financially, and I put it to him that if I hadn't been careful then how could we have got through these things?

The conversation will have to be had tonight to amend this. I want to be with someone with the same life goals and aspirations as me, who can support me, and be equal to me in terms of our finances, not hinder me.......

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Bank visit & my first credit card

Just a quick update, I received the money for the Wii today and tried to transfer it into my ISA (taking my grand total to £7,700) but it would only let me transfer in £50.

So I trudged off to the bank and spoke to someone who said I had used up my allowance due to having to use some of my savings for my travel annual season ticket. So he set me up instead with a monthly fixed saver where £250.00 goes straight into the account, which after 13 payments gives 5% interest almost double my current ISA.

He said I can then set up a new ISA at the start of the new financial tax year, April 6th. He also said to help get a mortgage in 18 months time it would be a good idea to have a credit card as it usually allows you to borrow more, so now I have my first credit card and a direct debit which will goes out on payday to avoid any interest payments.

He also said one of the biggest factors in being given a mortgage is being on the electoral role which I'm pretty sure myself and the BF aren't on. But first things first, I need to find out if we can stay in the flat for another year and what the rent will be etc.

So, this weekend my aim is to pop into the estate agents next door who we officially rent through to find out what the situation is. Then, by next weekend if all goes to plan I'll make an application for the electoral role.

Once again... fingers crossed. Oh and the dress is at £50 on eBay with one day to go.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Waiting for Spring...

Yesterday my old pub manager rang and offered me a shift Saturday daytime working at Twickenham with a couple of the nice girls from the pub. The rugby is on, so the clientele isn't too bad, some even tip so should make around £36 (not accounting for tips) for a six hour shift, plus a free meal. Not amazing, but as one famous supermarket chain says, 'every little helps'. I didn't account for this at the beginning of the month so its extra to throw at the fund.

Its also been arranged that we are dropping the Wii off tonight so that's another extra £100. In total this month (if I hadn't paid off the BF's credit card) I would have put away 500 (CC) + 60 (TMP wage)  +37 (Spoons holiday pay) + 100 (Wii money) + 36 (Twickers) = £733  + whatever the ebay bits gather (there's 31 people watching the dress!). A pretty good month on that front, well I think it's that my accounting skills still aren't quite up to scratch!

The BF told me the other day that he also has £2,000 worth of shares at work, which sounds nice but until they materialise into actual cash I won't account for. Plus, once he gets his payrise, which should be in March all being well he thinks he can save around £300 per month, plus pay off what he owes me for the credit card. Though I have to keep reminding myself to not count my eggs before they hatch and all that.

Last night I did a swift shop at Iceland to top up the supplies in the cupboard, I gave myself a budget of about £20 quid and it came in at £19 for the lot, including a dinner fajita kit at just £1.75, and a huge bottle of Lenor fabric softener for £2.00. I think the trick is that I had to physically carry the shopping so that stopped me trying to buy too much. I might even bear this in mind in the future, and Iceland is on the train route home from work so don't even need to use my car.

In other news I'm still trying to get my housemates to turn the heating down just a smidge, but they can't seem to comprehend that the bill will go up if they keep heating the entire house when the temperature really isn't that bad. We have flats either side of us and live on top of a cafe! I got up this morning with no heating on and it was fine...oh to have my own space to do what I please. I think it's that which is keeping me out of Sainsbury's this lunch tine. I've swapped the cans of coke for filtered water for the second day running, wahhoo progress and have also run out of tea bags.

For the rest of the week plans are as follows; dropping round the BF's family tonight after dinner (I pre-made potato wedges out of potatoes that were beginning to sprout, I used the oil which comes with sun dried tomatoes which I bought a few weeks ago and had kept in the fridge since- think I'm really getting the hang of this frugal living stuff!) they've been marinating in the fridge today, along with some garlic and onion. All BF needs to do is to pop them in the oven, along with the frozen chicken pieces which will be marinated in one of those shaky bag things. Frozen peas complete the meal. Tomorrow eve I'm going to a friends for dinner, with said cheap fajita kit in tow. Thursday eve is body attack, Fri eve some drinks in the local, Sat working, Sun hitting the cinema with some vouchers. Done! :)

Did anyone else catch Superscrimpers on Channel 4? As always it was packed with thrifty tips, my favourite was using an old sock, filling it with rice and sewing it up and microwaving it to make a snuggly heat pack. Might make the housemate said sock gift lol to stop him whining about the heating!

Hope you're all having a cheap and cheerful week so far! x

Oh and one more thing, if you want to save money on entertainment Netflix is well worth checking out we started the free trial and within a week have watched lots of films. We also got a years worth of antivirus software which we were going to buy for signing up :) 

Monday, 6 February 2012

Weekly spending round up

Last week was a fairly thrifty week, I think I'm the opposite to most people whereby I save as much as I can the first few weeks then as pay day looms closer I allow myself some little treats. This week my spending went as follows;

Monday- No spend day

Tuesday- Bought Diet Coke pack of six on offer for £2.50. One can is 65p saving £1.40 (Joint account)

Wednesday- Had to buy petrol in advance or  I would never go to the gym. I saved my Sainsburys voucher which gave me double points on fuel for the occasion & popped into see my BF at work and he made me a frothy hot chocolate (freebie :D) =£20. 

Thursday- Had to re-order my contact lenses as I had run out (Glasses are definitely not for me) from Day Soft Lenses One months supply costs just £10, whereas before I bought my contact lenses from the opticians at £32 per month- what a shocker! this saves £220 per year.

Friday- Free night out with the grads from work thanks to company funds. Fast food dinner £3.50 (wish I had waited for my mums stew instead!)

Saturday- Coffee with friend £2, her amazing company, free. Exchanged Xmas present £7.50.

Sunday- No spend day thanks to annual season ticket taking me all round London and Kent/Surrey borders. 

Though it looks more red than green (or blue) it came in within my weekly budget.

Total £52.70. Next week will be easier too as the lenses will last two months and the petrol around one month.

I'm planning on going to the cinema on Sunday to see 'The woman in black' as I have buy one get one free vouchers, maybe coffee with a friend Saturday afternoon and a date night with the BF Fri, as well as popping round his sisters to (hopefully) drop off the Wii and pocket the cassh Tuesday evening! In the week I might (try?) and squeeze in a few gym trips if it doesn't snow again.