Sunday, 31 August 2014

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Just having a little singalong, it hasn't really been especially lazy. We were up at the usual seven o'clock.

  • Bought Fahed some new boots. Very expensive but I got £15 off by shopping around versus main supplier. A further £5 for signing up for their emails.
  • Fahed took me out for brunch - at the local car boot sale. I don't know the total cost as I didn't pay but minimal.
  • At the car boot sale we bought an old camera for playing with and then re-sale. Last time he bought a camera for ten pounds and i re-sold it for £70. Keep fingers crossed for me.
  • We pulled together a ton of stuff for ebaying tonight. Gear box and birdcage didn't sell on eBay so we need to find somewhere else for them to go. Also not sure what to do with the pool table as not really selling on ebay. I have posted on facebook but not holding out much hope there. Maybe a second hand shop.
  • Morning coffee , which was actually this afternoon, was at a friends house.
  • A trip to B & Q gave as a new bathroom sink for £15, highly reduced, and a lamp for our Crete bedroom also $15. Bargainous!!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Money, money, money and spreadsheets

I have tried a new way of keeping on top of budgets etc lately, since I am trying extra hard on savings.

Now I have an account where all of the money goes in and then it goes on its travels to various other accounts. I leave some in there as I have an ancient overdraft which I am gently eroding:

About £2000, goes to the bills to cover everything which is a regular bill, the vast majority of which is mortgage

About £650 for fuel and food (and leftovers go back in the bucket) goes into my account

Between £500 and £800 (depending on income) goes into the savings accounts

£500 in cash goes to Fahed. He is responsible for his fuel but can do what he likes with the rest. What he normally foes is save for his visits to his family, which we try to do ever year (war allowing....). The family, like us all, don't get any younger so we don't miss this if its possible.

So far its a success. All the transfers are set up and happen automatically. I suspect it basically works by being too much hassle to work out which money it is okay to use!

Yogurt Knitting

Well it hasn't yet hot to that stage but I have:

  • Started crocheting a blanket -keep my knees warm in winter and help my RSI
  • Did my food shopping for £36 today in Lidl. Loads of veggies. And a frying pan!
  • Found my lovely, tidy and sorted out larder to be very handy and stopped me re-buying what I already own
  • More de-cluttering (where does it all bloody come from?)
  • Meal planned! Well just a little. Thai vegetable curry today and tomorrow There is a plan of roasted veggies at some point and they will later turn into soup. 
  • Popped to Asda late last night to pick up an order from the pharmacy, checked the condemned food fridge (fresh food reductions) but avoided buying anything at all! That is virtually unknown

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Glad I perservered

Well this whole bloggy to-do (to done??) list thing is working really well for me. I am way more productive when I get my ducks in a row and to be blogged about the ducks must be aligned. Its very good for adding structure to my life

Tonight I am home alone, except three bonkers teenage kittens. Jamal has gone back to uni. I was very cool about it and didnt even go right in the airport with him. Ahdel & Sara are out to dinner with the band to say thank you to the guy who filmed their big gigs at the weekend. The old fella has tae kwondo after work.

As a reward I will tonight be mostly reading blogs and article on the net, maybe a little TV. Maybe I will sort of drawer or something just to feel like I have achieved something. Oh, and peruse the Old Style and Mortgage Free Wannabe board on MSE

Happy days indeed

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A wet Tuesday

I did nothing very useful today. Got up a five am to take Jamal to the airport to go back to university. As we didnt sleep that well last night after big family meal and last minute packing I am quite tired.

I managed a couple of things:

  • Looked in depth a bank spending for last few days, as we prepared for Jamal to go (eek) but at least i looked and dealt with it.
  • Found a cheque and put it in my purse for banking
  • Ate leftovers
  • Booked old guys time sheets so that we get paid for his work
  • Claimed my expenses at work
  • Opened a bank account for my son to keep his expenses in and keep for his regular savings - and earned myself £33 cash back in the meanwhile
So actually I thought I didnt do anything and actually i think i did do quite a few things. Now it is almost 8pm and I am off to my bed.

Monday, 25 August 2014


Bank holiday Monday and it is too wet to gardening. In fact its almost 8am and so dark that it looks more like 5am.

However, I have plans:

  • Jamal is leaving for uni in the morning bright and early so today we have a nice family meal and watch a film together.
  • I have three bags to go to the recycling facility. (I also have three to go to the salvation army but i think it is tempting fate to put them in the car together. I will surely get mixed up)
  • I think a little ebaying might be a good idea to supplement funds for Crete. I have some strange things to sell. A lovely birdcage, a spares or repair gear box, a pool table (modelled below by Bagheera), some more conventional clothing and stuff. 

Sunday, 24 August 2014


  • Bought three gig tickets for an upcoming festival where my sons band are performing. One is birthday present for my best mate. We did use the promo code though to get £15 off.
  • Spent some time sort out my study ready for home working during our building refurb. I am binning and recycling like a crazy woman. Also another pile to go to the other house. My assistant has been climbing over everything and knocking everything over. Now she is snoozing on the printer. I think we are progressing but I cant be sure! I did think pc was making a weird noise but pretty sure it is in fact a gentle purr.
  • Both kids are away today. One at his grandparents and the other is gigging a few hundred miles away. The old fella and I will eat from the store cupboard. Tomorrow we will have a nice meal as Jamal is then leaving us for a while.

Saturday, 23 August 2014


My first Saturday since tightening of purse strings was planned.

  • I topped up the larder with a month of the things we cant get at Lidl. Now I don't go to a 'proper' supermarket until after our holiday ends 19th October.
  • My first proper Lidl shop in a long time. The salad veggies have got the thumbs up already. I stocked up on chicken as well.
  • Jamal bought his 'back to uni' clothing. He has to wear a uniform because of the nature of his course. Mostly it was intact but we stocked up on 'knickers' and new black trousers. All from Asda so not too expensive. By next year I think I don't have to finance these things.
  • The guys fitted a new (to us, thank you ebay) glazed wooden door to bottom of the stairs/sitting room. In a normal house this would be the hall but out house is weird and there is no hall downstairs and no landing upstairs, just stairs and doors. In the winter we are warmer in there as we dont lose heat up the stairs.Right now we just dont lose the pre neutereds cats out into the garden.
  • Tomorrow we do some garden work.  No more shopping!

Friday, 22 August 2014

Autumn plans

Oh, just found this from a couple of weeks back, when it was nasty hot.

No, haven't wished away the summer. Its all about preparation. We are off on hols from mid September to mid October. Eldest son & his lovely girlfriend will be here looking after house, cats and birds. It may not sound especially frugal but we are going to our own house. There will be bills to pay but mostly it is cheaper than staying home. Plus we are doing renovation work on the old house so it feels like progress towards an income goal, even if it is a few years away. When I get back from there we will be entering a period of refurbishment at work. Not enough desk space from then until Christmas. I can work at one of the offices for odd days each week but otherwise its all about working from home. Which means a serious sort out of my study. Oh dear. So in an hour or so I am going to get my recycling bag and hop into the study for an hour or two. IN fact a few bags. One for recycling i.e. paperwork, one for actual rubbish, one for charity shop stuff. I have read up on the HMRC tax record keeping rules. Read up on the need for paper bank statements. Read everything as I can to avoid actually getting up from the sofa and going up to the super heated study and starting to sort things. Ho hum!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Still here!

I haven't got lost again.

On track type things for today:

  • Printed a dozen or so shopping lists at work. Attached them tot he freezer with a bulldog clip and a magnet. The idea is that I tick what we need, shop at Lidl once a week and save kazzillions of pounds.
  • Order of 10kg of premium ca food arrived from Amazon - 50% cost saving against local pet store (which is a chain, not a struggling self employed person, so I don't feel guilt)
  • Faheds new Birkenstocks arrived. They last for years, never need repairing and I bought these for a very reasonable £28 approx. Shop price is £45-£48
  • Just pre diary my very own, and very beautiful Birkenstocks arrived. They were £45 but I had a £20 amazon voucher for a postage response thing I have been doing (logging letters) and £14 for returning an ipad case. Once upon a time I cannot swear that I would have bothered with returning the case.
  • Had two little barbecue ribs from lidl for dinner, along with vegetable rice. I can see why they were half price, just tough and nasty. Rice was lovely though.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014


I realized I have been so busy and neglectful of my blog. I shouldn't do that as it leads to excessive spending, weight gain and all manner of other baddies. I need to write things down for them to sink into my head. So i then thought about keeping a diary. Doh, so I then finally joined up the dots and realised I can just use my blog as a diary (you see, I definitely think more slowly when not writing stuff down). And so:

  • My dad gave me a massive bucket of plums. We ate a lot but I didn't stew and freeze as we find we don't like them as much then. Instead I made a plum liqueur. Alternate layers of plums and brown sugar, topped off by vodka. Gently shaken each week and ready by Christmas. Plums will then be made into ice cream for Christmas Eve pudding.
  • Borrowed a screen from work for my home PC (its allowed, came form the rubbish tip area of IT) so now I have no excuse to avoid maintaining mortgage spreadsheets etc
  • Decided to buy a money box. I have a huge vodka bottle to collect change in but it has become part of the landscape so i dont do it. Money box left in kitchen that gets everyone's attention is the way to go.
  • After holidays, and so from the October pay day I am going to make an effort to monitor spending against budget, which I currently do with a view to not overspending, and each week when I stay under petrol or shopping budget then money will go into the mortgage over payment account.
Oh, i do love making diary notes. I feel better already.

Blogger problems

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