Surveys

One of the money making suggestions that comes up a lot, is surveys. I have been a member of Onepoll for a long time, I can be a bit hit and miss about checking in often and this obviously affects earnings! Before Christmas I hit the £40 payout and decided to make more of an effort to logon and answer the surveys. Since then, Onepoll have developed an app for the mobile device, this makes it easier to check in on the go, like breaks when I am on long days!

I am currently up to £22.85, I am over half way to the next payout. This is never going to be a big money earner, the surveys are hit and miss, some days there are none others there are plenty. I am only eligible for certain surveys as well, so you cannot guess or assume payment, but it is a bit of fun and it is easy!

I have also joined Yougov- this seems to offer me a lot less surveys, also, they dont seem to be live very long so I can easily miss them. I will keep on though and see how it goes!

Money Saving Expert has a whole article on surveys: https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/family/make-money-surveys/

I have started having a nosy through and on advice, have just signed up to I-say. Watch this space for updates! 🙂

Money and Frugality

So, my relationship with money is interesting, sometimes I will deliberate for hours/days on buying something, other times it is in my basket and then winging its way to me with no thought at all.

I wonder, what it is about money and spending it, what makes me deliberate over buying item x but not item y. I have to admit, I love money, I love money shuffles- when on payday I go online to my bank and move money to different pots- once all bills have gone out I will then look at the little ‘pots’ of money we have. At the moment, we have Driveway, Holiday and Other, then whatever is left is surplus and can be used for our joint pursuits. This is all in one account so I keep a close eye on them. We get 1.5% in that account so its earning a little something at this time.

I have been looking into frugality recently- ‘sparing or economical as regards of money or food’ and ‘simple and plain and costing little’. These are two dictionary definitions of frugality, other views are about being tight, miserly and miserable. I recently discovered The Frugalwoods:

www.frugalwoods.com

These lovely folks have taken frugality and made it their metaphorichal bItch! I joined the challenge Uber Frugal Month Challenge, where you get emails from them every day over a month and you try to be a frugal person for an entire month. I decided it made sense to go from Jan payday to Feb payday, so far, I have spent £84 on starting this blog, not totally frugal, but hopefully I may be able to eventually make a little extra moolah as a sideline from this blog, therefore a possible start to more passive income. I have paid bills, this is something I have no choice over!haha. I have paid for one food shop so far, we do it on a week by week basis and I haven’t had to fill up the car yet. It has helped that I have done two 46hour weeks, so when I haven’t been working I have been too tired! I did walk to the shop and paid through the nose for bread and butter, oh and two cadburys cream eggs feel onto the counter as well- but I walked and any other shops I would have had to drive to.

One of our biggest spends is on food, we are only a family of two humans, yet we regularly spend about £80 a week on food and drinks, not including takeaways- we tend to have one a week- or if we go out for food. We have a lot of food waste, neither of us like cooking, so it can feel like a drag, or I may decide to cook and by that time the veg has gone off. We are trying to meal prep, but long days and hubby working away do sometimes mean we just can’t be bothered and will do processed easy meals. This a a two fold problem, one, it is not cost effective and two, it is not healthy.

We already shop at Aldi, we don’t tend to buy brand foods- I am still buying proper salad cream, though that is my only brand item!! This week I am going to make a vegetable pot pie, have made it before and it was soooo good. Also, can make it last a few meals, useful for when I am on long days as can take it in and hubby just heats his up at home. I will make this tomorrow. I am also considering stocking up on more frozen veg, as veg does seem to go off so quickly. Was thinking of cutting up a load of onions and then chucking them in the freezer for future use! Red onions are meant to be really good for gut bacteria, and Aldi only seems to sell frozen white onions. My food shop came to £85 this week, hubby got some bits for his car and I bought two cheap bottles of fizzy wine and creme de cassis- £6.99 a bottle but lasts a few weeks- so those will have increased the cost around £20, but need ot keep an eye on this and try to get the costs and food waste down!

Have you any ideas and tips for low cost food shopping?

MFW Part 2

Just to recap, horrified by the mortgage repayments for the new house, I planned to OP to get us to 10% LTV in two years when we would be able to remortgage. Without OPs, we would only be taking £163 off the capital a month, despite the £930 a month cost, ouch! We initially set up a £70 a month OP, but I realised this would still not be enough to be on target. I increased our OPs to £170 a month and threw anything else I could at it, this looked like it should just get us on target, I focused only on OPing on the mortgage and we cracked down on other spending to cover this!

On the 12th August 2015 I did a reality check to compare where we were vs where we would have been had we not been OP the mortgage:

Year one balance if no OPs made: £183,251 as of the 1st July 2015 balance: £180,404.24, a £2486.76 difference and not even at the year mark! Our original mortgage end date was 2049 and on the current trajectory would be 2033. The original expected interest costs: £207,475, based on new trajectory: £103,871

Obviously, the above figures are speculative based on fixed rate and estimated rates after that ends, but it does go to show how OPing makes a massive difference to the mortgage in the long term!

We hit our target of owning 10% of the mortgage on the 1st February 2016, I was so happy with this! Because of this, we were able to remortgage on August 1st 2016 with a rate of 2.98%, meaning that the payment was £685.87 a month, rather than £930! Massive win!

The next goal was to own 20% LTV of our home in two years, ready for the next remortgage! The difficulty at this time, was that we needed to focus on getting work done on the house, such as a large patio we had put in and buying a eco car on finance- got a very good loan rate! So our OPs steadily stopped over that time as we focused on other things. Last year, we went to see our mortgage adviser, she estimated our mortgage would be around the £170k mark, I was very pleased to show it was pretty much £160k! The house was valued at £210, this gave us exactly what we needed to lock into our current mortgage, we have locked in for five years as we knew I would be doing agency work which would possibly effect our desireability and eligibility.

Our mortgage information as it stands:

5 year mortgage with Tesco, at 2.11%, monthly payments: £666.72, current balance: £158,003, we reduced the term, our original mortgage was for 32 years, and this one is over 26years, hence the monthly amount remaining around the same as previous!

Focus on becoming mortgage free has been almost on hold, only one OP has been made with new mortgage- I was given the account number etc and sent over £60, then was told I had to send over minimum payments of £1k or set up a regular overpayment. Due to other things that are going on, I figured I will try to save up toward the £1k and not let this part of the journey slide, as actually, not having a mortgage would allow much more funds for saving and collecting for the future!

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!