Saturday, 31 August 2013

I love it when a plan comes together...

Or I would if it was coming together!!

Sara over at a Frugal Wife wrote a post on her  5 year plan and along with the many other blogs I read daily, I realised that without a written plan it's all a bit wafty and I'm not really getting anywhere : (

The snowball is going well but I have no idea about the amount of savings I should be aiming for or anything else really. I seem to have had a bit of " lifestyle creep" ( thank you Laura ) and I need to get back on track.

I'm off to paint more furniture and mull over a 9 year plan which would take me up to 50. Gulp!

Monday, 8 July 2013

I need a project....

I need a project!

The house is all done apart from a few " just jobs" the snowball is coming along very nicely and I feel fed up! I like having something to do particularly when work is stressful as it's something for me to get involved with and switch off my brain. The living room could do with sprucing up but will end up being a bigger job as really the walls need skimming and the furniture isn't right anymore (pine gone orange : ( ) and then we'll need new sofas as the old leather ones have started breaking up where the leather has worn, so you see it's not a quick job and will cost.. I know now  why people move after they've done a place up. There's always been something for me to do in the house and now it's done I'm at a loss.
There is the garden but that's also  costly and involves cutting down leylandi. Bugger!  Big trees! And getting the garden re- fenced things I can't do alone and the husband doesn't do DIY!

I  suppose I could eat Galaxy Counters and read more blogs!!

Any suggestions for things to keep me occupied?!!

Saturday, 18 May 2013


It's been a long week!

We're off to the Theatre to  celebrate our wedding anniversary : )
I've pre-booked our tickets for the new Superman film ( a family treat)

AND tonight it's the Doctor Who finale followed by Eurovision !

Not everyone's choice for the weekend but after the stress of the past few weeks it's going to be perfect for me.

Hope your's is going to be good     : )

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Keeping your child safe online


I'm writing this post to no one in particular but to get some thoughts I've had on paper and as a bit of cheap therapy!

My job is as a Child Abuse Investigator and my current investigation is into a man that we as the police had no knowledge of. That frightened me, immensely.

We became aware of him after a brave family member came forward and said that they had been abused by this man, 2 other young people were spoken to both of whom disclosed abuse. We arrested the suspect and conducted a search at his home address, this led to us seizing computer equipment and other items which were then examined by the forensic dept.

We found over a million indecent images of children : (

Those images have to reviewed an graded by us on the level of severity.

I cannot tell you how harrowing it is to look at that stuff, I'm not asking for sympathy, it's my job and I want to do the best I possibly can. I hope by sharing a couple of my observations you can become more aware of the downside to the Internet.

Whilst viewing the images it became clear at some of these  pictures were innocent family snaps taken and up loaded onto the Internet probably to be shared with other family members. Please be careful what you upload and what you share, if you're on Facebook review your privacy settings to friends only and encourage family to ask your permission  before sharing. I'm not trying to scaremonger just encourage you to think about who might be looking at your  child in swimming trunks.

Another thing I noticed were young people masturbating to camera or posing naked. Again not scaremongering and in this modern age maybe it's a right of passage! I know I was looking at a certain  type of persons computer and this isn't happening in every household with a teenager however a lot of similar things we deal with are kids doing it for fun not realising when it's out there it can be accessed and viewed by all sorts of people and simpy deleting it doesn't make it go away completely.

Facebook again!  So many children friend people they don't actually know and get drawn into things they don't understand and don't know how to get out of . Just because he has a page with a picture of a 14 year old boy  doesn't actually mean he's 14 or that he just wants to talk about football!

I'm not going to re- hash other articles on computer safety and I'm certainly not trying to imply you don't know the dangers or indeed keep your children safe but there's no harm in being reminded of the type of people that exist in  Internet work who don't have you or your child's best interests at heart. The BBC have great safety advice on their website.

And please, if you have any concerns or your child tells you something that you're worried about report it to the police. It may be something or nothing or it could be the missing part of an investigation.......

Sunday, 21 April 2013


There, I've  said it!

Mainly work but also includes debt snowballing, house repairs and everything else!

I have a persistent  feeling of  "Is this it?"

I'm not a depressive person and this has seemingly come from nowhere, anyone else feeling the same?

Monday, 8 April 2013

A Sad Day

Hello, such a sad day 

Margaret Thatcher:  "If you just set out to be liked- you will compromise on anything at any time and achieve nothing"

The most extraordinary, nation-changing PM in modern British history.

A leader who made mistakes & could be harsh- to people close to her and people she'd never met.
But she took a country that had lost faith in itself and gave it a long and repeated slapping and left it stronger, richer and more self-confident than when she came in.

The grocers daughter who went to Grammar School and Oxford and proved that a woman could be a man's equal or even superior. Her brand of women's rights- the right to compete and succed on equal terms with men- didnt fit in with fashionable left-wing feminism. She wasnt interested in banning, seperating, promoting or defining- she was interested in winning.

My fave quote about her from Andrew Marr (thanks to Mr M):

'At the point when most politicians would have flinched, when any previous PM (Eden, Macmillan, Wilson, Heath, Callaghan, even Churchill) would have changed their policies and pushed out clouds of ink to disguise their retreat- Margaret Thatcher did the exact opposite.
When the sky was falling in, she said: "Push a bit harder."'

RIP  You have been an inspiration x

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

3 Month Review


I wrote at the start of the year that I owed £11.267.29 in personal debt.

Well 3 months on and I now owe £8915.66.

Debt Reduction  £2351.63

I've got this down by snowballing,selling on eBay, cashback sites and overtime ( too much overtime!)

I'm not sure that I will get this clear by the end of  the year but I am working on it (interest is such a pain isn't it?)

I received another £42 today from swapping energy suppliers and that has gone straight off a debt (the chosen one) and I'm looking at where else we can cut back to chip away at the outstanding amount.

I know we could be properly frugal and bring it down even quicker but I don't want to be cold or give up my M&S  mash!

Thanks for all your interesting posts, money saving and crafting they're definitely keeping me on the right track

 : - ))  x

Saturday, 23 March 2013

Poorly and Apologies!


I'm a bit under the weather at the moment, I'm not looking for sympathy it's more of an explanation why I've been rambling on on some of your  blogs!

I love reading everything you're writing and I love the sense of community and support that can be gained from knowing that we're all in it together. It does feel like pants at times but there are lots of things to be positive about........

Frugal Queen's Sweetcorn fritters, I'll be trying them soon!

The NHS who have cared for me wonderfully

Budgeting and planning for the future

My wonderful husband who can be exasperating and fabulous ( even at the same time!)

And of course my gorgeous 10 year old son whom I love more  each day


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Another One Bites the Dust! Under 10K !


No passive income yet, waiting for payments from Quidco    : - ((
However.... after selling anything and everything on eBay and my £2 tin, I have managed to clear another debt completely!  5 down now and under 10K worth of debt. Now the smaller debts have gone I can concentrate on snowballing more on the big ones and enjoy watching them come down.

Hurrah! On target for the end of the year.

Friday, 8 February 2013

Fed Up Friday!

In the words of Comic Book  Guy from the Simpsons

"Worst Friday Ever!!"

Makes me even more determined to clear our debt and mortgage quicker  : - {


Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Bold and Noble Temptations!


I received an email from Bold and Noble today, never a good thing when you've set a challenge to clear your debt  by the end of the year and you have a hallway being re-decorated with the perfect space for such loveliness!  I  blogged about  our Cornwall picture here and what we hoped to do. These prints really are lovely and everyone comments on our Cornwall one, unfortunately  we haven't progressed with the challenge but that's a sad story for another day.

So to please myself I'm putting the pictures of the ones that I love on here and I will work out how I'm going to afford at least one!!

What do you think? x

Monday, 4 February 2013

Strictly Budget Bonus!!


I'm sure anyone who reads this is bored to death with tails of budgeting, savings etc ( I never expect anyone to read my waffle, it's for my own record really!)

But this weekend  the benefits of budgeting really paid off.

My friend had tickets for the live show at the O2 arena, unfortunately she couldn't make it.
 So 830 pm Friday night  I received a phone call that went like this:

Friend "Are you busy tomorrow night?"

Me     "Ha! No, just staying in"

Friend "Would you like 2 free tickets to see the Strictly Live Tour at the O2 arena?"

 Yes please yes please yes please!!"

The tickets were booked and the car parking and she wouldn't take anything in payment. We gave her cash for the parking but she refused cash for the tickets.

The celebrity dancers and their partners

It was AMAZING!! We both had such a good time! BTW another great thing was that my husband was on his weekend off, it was like it was meant to be ! 

Now, where did budgeting come in? Without budgeting I would't have saved money from our food budget and squirelled it away "just in case" I wouldn't have a small amount of cash hidden somewhere else and I wouldn't have been able to afford a fabulous treat. With the small bit put by we could afford the petrol, the parking and a bite to eat. In the old days we would have had to turn this treat down  as we simply wouldn't  have had the spare cash or we would have tried to find a credit card that wasn't up to its limit!
This really brought home to me how our attitude  has changed and that by careful planning when something  nice like this comes along, we can treat ourselves. Yay!

Now, any suggestions on a thank you for my friend? I have said it repeatedly but would like to make a gesture : - )

Monday, 21 January 2013

Home Work!!


Well today was a snow day from work! Yay!
 I always save annual leave for this time of the year, the roads can be treacherous and I hate driving on the ice and snow.  Luckily I have an understanding boss!

So, what to do on my free day?

Well, I've been following  Laura at No More Spending who wrote recently about Passive Income, this is defined as income from   " a venture in which an individual does not directly participate"

Hmmm! Well I don't have any of that! No rents, savings, pensions etc! 

So, what to do!? Start looking for ways to save!

Firstly house insurance, this has been bought via a cash back site and £100 cheaper than my current insurer. It will save me money each month as we have saved to pay for it in one lump sum and it's cheaper than paying monthly, with the  cash back of £30 it's a win win! 

Secondly change  gas and electricity suppliers. I no longer have any loyalty to any company and will go to the one with the best price each month.  I've saved £5 a month and £40 for switching!

Thirdly, I've volunteered to work some extra nights, we get a additional payment for un-social hours and this will bring in an extra £60. 

Not a wasted day then! 

I'm off to read my new book "The Fifites Mystique" I'll be reviewing it soon : - )

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

House Insurance - Any suggestions!!


Our house insurance is due for renewal and I thought this year as we have been more organised with our finances I would aim to pay it as one lump sum.
When looking at the figures  and playing around with voluntary excesses, it became clear that this was the best way forward.
My thoughts are towards putting the maximum down as the voluntary excess as this significantly reduces the cost of the insurance. I've looked around and most things cost under £500 so if they broke we would replace it ourselves.
Is this the right thing to do?
Any thoughts?

PS I've gone through a cash-back site as well so may get something back, yay!

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Frugal 13!


Hope your New Year is off to a good start?

This post is boring and I don't expect anyone to read or comment on it.I'm writing it as an online diary/reminder  to myself of how debt keeps you down and stops you achieving what you want.

I completed my financial review for myself and  Mr M. We're in Public  Sector jobs where we have to be vetted financially due to the information we are privy to, they want to see  how susceptible we are to being corrupted!
Things are better than they were last year mainly due to my wake up call  after reading Frugal Queen and SFT's blogs ( there are many others but  they get the credit for the initial light bulb moment!)
However  one debt has really perplexed me and then bloody annoyed me!

We have a credit card with H*****X and the outstanding amount in December  2011 was £2676
This year December 2012 the amount is £2701 !!!! How can that be? On a card that we cut up last year and hasn't been used for 12 months! Admittedly I have only paid the minimum amount each month but we actually owe more than we did when we started! Outrageous!

So it's been back  to the Snowball to see what can be swapped around and start throwing more at that debt. It's not the worst APR but it is the highest amount outstanding. Our credit rating isn't  brilliant or I would look to go for a 0% deal, we're just stuck with it and will have to wear it for now.

My financial  goal for 2013 is to pay off £11,267.29  of personal debt.

That's £938 a month. I already pay £750 towards it each month so will need to find an extra £188 a month.
I can't do extra employment because of my main job so the extra will have to come from overtime, cutting back and selling stuff!

I've already started and have been cutting back and selling on eBay. DVD's and old Wii games have gone to Music Magpie and  that amount will go straight off another debt. I also received a refund on a debt that I had overpaid and that's gone straight on another over payment (before it would have gone on the sales!)

So far so good! I'll do a post each month to see how I'm  progressing. : -)

(Of course if  I was really clever I'd do a spreadsheet but that's way out of my league!)