Where it began…

It all began a long, long time ago…well, it wasn’t really that long ago! Hubby and I bought our first home in June 2011 with a 5% deposit- the other 5% was then ‘gifted’ to us by the person selling the house, meaning we had a 10% deposit. I didn’t really know much about mortgages, I knew the ‘gifting’ scheme was soon coming to an end as it wasn’t clear if it should be allowed or not, and I trusted our mortgage advisor had got us a great rate. We bought the property for £120k and were so excited! On the day we packed up from our prospective parents homes it felt surreal, at that time I had been working as a Nurse since June 2009, and hubby was working his butt off on minimum wage at an animal rescue. As we started unpacking, a guy walked past us with no top on, with ‘thug life’ tattooed on him, we just looked at each other and said ‘what have we done’?! Later, the attached neighbour invited us round to watch whatever fight was on and we declined, deciding to carry on unpacking- at 5am we were woken by the neighbour and his partner having a blazing row. My heart sank! We found out a few days later from the other neighbours, that attached neighbour was one of the reasons the previous owner was desperate to leave….

I loved our first home, we had a little balcony off the kitchen, a basement that lead into a small but functional garden, we bought a great kitchen and generally loved living there. Neighbour split with his girlfriend, he would be loud with music blaring, swearing at the TV and generally sharing his life with the street a couple of times a week, less so than when they were together. We also found out that asking him to stop with the noise would work, he would apologise and it would be tolerable, then the following week he would be off again. Actually a nice guy apart from the noise! I was working a lot of nights at that time and it did really affect my mood, I struggled to feel able to relax. He moved out and his dad moved in in 2012/13 and peace reigned. It was glorious!

In August 2011, we decided to go to our local rescue, just to have a look at dogs, it obviously would be too soon to adopt a dog having only lived together for two months…but that’s when we met Lady. A beautiful staffy mix, she was so skinny, she jumped up and lay across us at the rescue centre and we fell in love. We brought her home, but it turned out that Lady was reactive with other dogs- she could have dog friends, but any other dogs caused her to shout and bounce. So we started to think about finding somewhere less populated than our street to live, as children played out on the streets until it was dark, even at the height of summer. Plus the parking sucked.

In the time we lived in that house, we adopted another little staffy, Red, hubby started to work in the kennels for a sniffer dog company, we got engaged, married and went on our honeymoon, I changed jobs a couple of times (all within Nursing), hubby got promoted within the company and we decided to put the house on the market for the same value it was bought for in 2014. We SSTC, panicked as we couldnt find somewhere we loved. It had to be detached, or semi-detached but with the stairs against the adoing wall, not bedrooms (made that mistake before!). It had to have some kind of parking and a large garden for the dogs. We looked at so many houses, then this one came on the market. We were very excited from the pictures, it was even better in real life. Semi-detached, only spare room and kitchen is attached to next door, our right side is surrounded by fields, including our own mini field (we have .97 of an acre) and the house had recently been extended and decorated. Perfect! We proceded and once we had payed and instructed solicitors, our buyers found out that they didn’t actually have a mortgage and it fell through. Cue panic! We needed £118k from our house to cover all costs and 5% deposit on this house so we reduced the price. Had a further offer which fell through, then my dad and step mum saved us. They bought our old house as a buy to let and we bought this one! Took six months all in until we got the key! Well done if you have followed me so far! 🙂

A brief introduction…

Hello, I am Jodie, a 31 year old Mental Health Nurse who lives with her husband, two rescued fur children and four rescued hens. I have been working on agency since October 2018 and this means my income can be variable, so I have been investigating other ideas to make and save money which led to creating this blog! I have been interested in money matters for as long as I can remember, and have avidly visited sites such as Money Saving Expert and Mr Money Mustache for inspiration. My reason for creating this blog, is to explore avenues of income and ways to save, including using a blog, signing up to various survey sites, looking at frugality and where it fits, whether you can get enough freebies from entering competitions, can I DIY something to save money and any other ideas that come up!

I am aiming for the good life, by this I mean that I would like to be able to work less hours, and have more time to explore other things that interest me and give me enjoyment, without worries around finances hanging over me. I would like to be debt free, including the mortgage, grow some of my own fruit and vegetables, invest in my future and live happily ever after! We are living in our dream home within our affordability criteria and are very happy here, but there is always work to be done and time can sometimes seem to get away from me with little achieved! So far this month, I have signed up to the Frugalwoods Ultimate Frugal Month, have continued with Onepoll, signed up to Yougov and Pinecone and started a blog, this seems like a good start to the journey, I hope you will join me!