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Poppycat's 2014 challenges

I have a few challenges this year and have decided to keep them together here.  The challenges are:

Save £1,000 - now want to save £10,000

Repay bank of Mum and Dad £2,000 that they lent me for a new car.

Lose 3 stone

Pay £4,400 off my mortgage - Decided against this

I will aim to update here at least once a week.

I really want to live more simply and will try not to buy anything that I don't need.  

I have lots of food, cleaning products and toiletries in stock.

Although I want to live more simply I do want to find a part-time job, something that I enjoy doing. - Achieved!!!!!!!!!!

Made a payment to my savings account yesterday of £10.  I have copied Elaine at 'Mortgage Free in Three' and made a grid of a hundred squares.  I have coloured two in, only 98 left.  (My maths skills are not as good as I thought.  I now have 200 hundred squares.)

I have done the same for the mortgage but haven't filled in any squares yet.  I received a letter from the mortgage company to say my interest has reduced by 40p a month.  Only small but it all helps.

My boys are with their father until Monday but I haven't been well enough to make the most of my free time (only a cold).  I have stayed at home watching TV and walked to the local Coop each day.  I got 24 mince pies for £1 and 12 posh mince pies for 64p.  These will go in the freezer.  We all love mince pies.

Update w/e 08/01/14

Mortgage reduction - nil

Savings - £60 (12 £5 squares coloured in)

Weight loss - I haven't dared to weigh myself

Bank of Mum and Dad - Still owe £2,000 (interest free)


£5.03  spent on groceries

£20.44 spent on 6 flea treatments (3 months supply)

I am still not 100%, nothing serious, I think it is a viral infection which just feels like a cold but feeling sick as well.

Something seemed to have clicked over the last week.  I have known that I need to reduce my grocery shopping for a long while but still found myself adding things to my basket that I don't really need.  Well I am really determined to stay away from the shops as much as possible.

I have £75 left to last until the end of the month.  I am aiming to save £40 of this to make my savings £100.

Dinner tonight will be a red lentil shepherds pie with potatoes from Christmas that need using up.  I am also going to prepare some bottom of the fridge fruit and veg for the freezer.

Also - no diet coke drank even though I have some in the fridge.  (90p a day x 7 days = £6.30 not spent.)

[b]Mortgage reduction - nil

Savings - £90 (18 £5 squares coloured in)

Weight loss - Still haven't dared to weigh myself

Bank of Mum and Dad - Still owe £2,000 (interest free)

The only thing that has changed this week is that I have saved another £30 to make my savings to £90.

I also got another letter from my mortgage company to say that my monthly mortgage has been reduced by 1p!  Why waste the price of a paper and postage for the sake of 1p a month?  Another 12p saved this year.

Leaving most of my food on the dining room table has worked well.  We have used lots of stuff up this week.  Ice cream mix, mincemeat, pastry mix, lemon tart mix made up just today.

£11.53 spent on groceries so far this year.  

It time for insurances searches again so £5.39 made so far on Top Ca$h back although I am a bit confused on how it is going to be paid.  Previous years I have had Amazon vouchers but it said these and a few other ways can't be used for this company.  I will wait and see.

11 NSD this year.

Pay £4,400 off my mortgage - still the same

Save £1,000 - I now have £285

Repay bank of Mum and Dad £2,000 - still the same, I pay them £250 at the end of the month.

Lose 3 stone - still haven't weighed myself  

Some money went in to my savings account today and by the time I have taken out some expenses I will have £285.  I better get colouring in those squares.  I think I will let the children do it to encourage them to help save to.

Grocery spends have been pretty low this month because of using the stuff up at home so only £37.33.  I need some cat food at some point soon so a visit to Aldi needed.

Goals are still goals :)

Congratulations with sticking to your goals and staying focused  on what you want to achieve. I always feel that life is so much better when you know which direction you are heading, no matter how many stops or diversions you have along the way.  

Did you see the posting in the grocery challenge - Aldi have a £5.00 off a £40.00 spend voucher in the Daily Mail tomorrow?

 I get my tinned catfood once a month, (£22.90 atm) and stock up on that weeks Super six and other staples such as dried fruit and oats.

Thanks Catsister, I popped to Aldi to get a couple of boxes of cat food, apples and Tortilla chips (£3.35).  I will get the paper later today and do my £40 shop next Monday.  I am giving myself £40 each Monday to spend on groceries so want to wait.  I still have a lot in so I am hoping that this shop will last at least two weeks.  

I had a voucher before Christmas but only spent £35.  The annoying thing was that Mum was with me and she spent around £10!  We could of put the shopping together.  I will do a list and make sure I have spent enough.

The cat food is very good.  My three only get to eat the dry stuff, I don't like the smell of the wet.  If I give them the other supermarket stuff or Go Cat they start stealing food and going through the bins!

I applied for a job last night!  Waiting for a call back.  It's going in to people's home and helping with personal care, meal preparations etc.  The advert states it will be a minimum of 1 hour at each job which should be ok.
pink princess

Poppycat (I love your name!) That made me laugh about the cat stealing food!

I decided last week that the cat could have some dog food, which is much cheaper than the sachets I've been spoiling her with. Figured if I have to budget then so can she, and she really didn't seem to mind. She didn't say anything if she did (I've been living alone too long!)

After a couple of days she started retching a little. Oh dear! Sorry cat! So its back to the little sweetie eating better than I do.

Am about to discover what all the fuss is about Aldi. I really need to check it out, we have 3 Tescos near here so I have been going there out of convenience, but SOOOO expensive. Good to know the cat food is ok, I can't do with having to go to different places for different stuff ( a frugal habit I need to adapt to, as long as it doesn't use up lots of petrol.)

Pink Princess,  be careful about feeding cats dog food.   Cats need a few different nutrients that are not in dog food (I can't remember at the moment which ones).    It eventually will cause an illness.

Fingers crossed for the job application, Poppycat1, hopefully you'll be given enough time to do the job properly and with loving care, (my EX worked as a Home Help for a while and they were always having their times cut down until there was no care, and very little help!, involved!)

I confess to being a little sniffy and judgemental about Aldi as the last time I'd been in, (admittedly a few years ago), they never seemed to have what I wanted. Things have vastly improved and do most of my shopping there now. We have every supermarket under the sun in our area, (and more on the way???), but Aldi wins hands down every time. Look out for the £5.00 voucher in the Daily Mirror every month, (usually the penultimate Thursday). It's off a £40.00 shop but if you stock up on staples and kitty grub it's pretty easy to spend forty squids.  

Doesn't not having any offspring at home make a huge difference to the bills?  I always knew that mine cost a lot but have been astounded by exactly how much they've been costing me. A block of cheese now lasts for more than 20 minutes - it's unheard off!

Hi, Goose, welcome to the forum!

I have a cat called Molly and she is only around 18 months old and she is a little rascal.  She steals food if she can but when she has been on the Tesco/Asda/Sainsbury/Go Cat she is so much worse.  She has actually stole food off our plates whilst we have been eating it!  She has calmed downed a lot though.

I have never tried giving them dog food didn't realise it was any cheaper.

I used to be a bit snotty about using Aldi.  I used to go in to stock up on cheap lemonade, juice etc.  I can do most of my shopping their now and try to try something new each visit.  Only the light salad cream that I don't like so far.  I didn't managed to get the newspaper to get the voucher.  They had sold out by the time I got there  

I have some good news, although not a target this is what I stated at the beginning of the year:  Although I want to live more simply I do want to find a part-time job, something that I enjoy doing.  WELL I HAVE A JOB!

I applied Wednesday night, interviewed Friday and was offered it today.  I will be going in to people homes and helping them with general care and house keeping.  I have done this job a couple of times in a care home but never in their own homes.  It is a zero contract job but it doesn't really matter.  Luckily I don't need the money but would like the extra to pay off my mortgage earlier.   I have a training course to attend which is a 5 minutes walk from my home.  The home visits are at least one hour long as well so I wont be rushing about trying to bath someone in 15 minutes like you sometimes hear about.

Day 7 of the no TV, it's going well.  We have watched DVDs over the weekend but nothing else.  Kids told me before bed that they had a lovely weekend at home and didn't want it to end.  They have been to their Dad's every weekend since the New Year and he keeps them busy with activities and I think they just wanted some rest.

Congratulations! :)

Well done getting your job

Also repeating what Goode just said - don't feed your cat dog food, the protein and nutrient requirements are different. I supplement my cat's diet with homemade food from leftovers, more about that in the pets section.

Good luck with the training course and start of new job.

Save £1,000 - now want to save £10,000  Currently - £121.98.

Repay Bank of Mum and Dad £2,000 that they lent me for a new car. - paid £250 leaving £1750 to pay back.

Lose 3 stone -   best not to mention this.

Pay £4,400 off my mortgage - Decided against this

Because of my change of circumstances now (job offer) I have now increased my saving goal for the year to £10,000.  

I have to spend some of my savings to pay for the CRB check and a copy of my birthday certificate for my new job.

I have paid Bank of Mum and Dad £250 and now owe £1750 which will be paid back before May.

I have now decided not to pay any payments (apart from interest) off my mortgage.  My savings are offset to my mortgage account so I 'save' interest my having it in there.

I have had a fairly frugal February so far.  The weather has been good so all bedding has been dried outside and aired in the cupboard.  I got lots of Super 6 stuff at Aldi so the kids have been snacking on lots of fresh fruit.   The kids are away at grandparents tonight and the other grandparents this weekend.

Received another £10 Argos gift card for surveys so I now have enough to buy sons 7th birthday gift for next Tuesday.  I also have a Lego game that I bought off a friend for £3 that I will give him.

Congratulations on getting your new job, thats brilliant news!


Thank you Flourgirl, I start the training tomorrow.  I am looking forward to it.  

I have made no contributions to any of my challenges since last week and my savings have briefly gone down to £2.  

I should have lots to add next week after I know more about my working hours and some payment go into my account.

My computer has stopped charging.  It has all my financial infomation on.  I have a spare which my ex gave my children so he can contact them whilst he is abroad so am using it.  I really don't want to lose the information I have on Microsoft Money.

Save £10,000 - £175

Repay bank of Mum and Dad - £1500

Lose 3 stone -    best not to mention this.

I have paid another £250 to my parents today which now mean I owe them £1500.

I have attended the course that I needed to do for my job this week.  I found out on the first day that it is a City & Guilds credited course.  So although I didn't get paid for it at least I have something to show for it and it was a good course.
I haven't been given any clients yet but hope to very soon.

It was strange to work 9.30 - 4.30 5 days on the row.  More money was spent on convenience foods and we had a takeaway last night.

My computer decided it would work again so I don't have to get another one.  I spent more money this week because I wasn't able to check the money situation for 5 days.

Mum went in to hospital to have a cyst removed Sunday and her heart stopped during the operation.  They stopped the operation and got her heart working again but she had to have a pace maker fitted yesterday.  Home now and waiting to go back to have the original operation done.  It's been busy around here this week!

Oh dear, I have had a difficult few weeks.  Ex being a pain again, he has reduced our children's maintenance money by half.  I had to empty my savings account and borrow money that the children had just to get the bills paid.

It left us with £31 after bills for 18 days.  I still have 3 days until I get more money  I still have £15 left and I need to put £10 petrol in the car.

I was lucky in that I have a good store cupboard of food and smellies etc. and can walk to most places I need to be.  I have been practicing frugal leaving for a while so that helped.

I have now started work and worked 2 hours last week and have 9 hours next week.  I am really enjoying it.

Savings = zero
Bank of Mum and Dad = owe £1500
Weight = put on nearly 2 stone  

Not looking very good at the moment but can only get better.

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