Monday Money #83 – Last chance for Chip Auto-save offer

January is well and truly here and we are nearly half way through the longest month of the year. Pay day feels like its a long time coming and that early pre-Christmas pay does nothing to help the stretching out of the budgets. Are you having a low or no spend month to last it out until January pay day.

And have you been brave to look at the cost of Christmas? Did you end up over-spending with a credit card balance now sat there needing to be paid back? Now is the time to get it under control and save some money. This article on some quick easy ways to save money for the new year will help you to save lots.

Back to Running Again

My exercise regime has started again with a bang. I am back running and started off with a 5km loop around Knebworth and Woolmer Green. I could not make it up the hill (this hill pictured, I got to the first tree, then walked the rest), so the second mile was VERY slow with a section walked. But I managed a time of 33 mins 33s. My best time, at my ultimate fittest is 29 min 30s, so I am very far away, but I have a target to get back to.

The toughest thing about exercise is getting out there doing it, so Im glad that I did it! I have hurt my shoulder so cannot do anything on the upper half of my body so running is perfect with no strain on my shoulder at all. And the best thing about running is that it is free!! The ultimate money saving exercise. Just make sure you have a decent sports bra (thanks Clare from The Fitting Room) and good running shoes.

 New Year, Low Spending on Healthy Food

I have been determined to save money on food this year. I have done some analysis of my high spending using the  Emma app. A great tool to help me understand what I am spending and on what, to help me get better control. In Nov and Dec I was spending on average £80 per week. So far this January I have spent £100 in two weeks and that includes two weeks worth of Mindful Chef boxes at £18.50 each (an intro offer, saving £10 for the first two boxes). I have halved my grocery spend and am eating much better food.

I am really loving the mindful chef food, I have chosen to get two meals for two people, even though its just for me. This is slightly cheaper than 4 meals for 1 person! Last week I had two salmon, greens and potato dinners and two lentil, aubergine, pepper and onion dinners. The lentil dinner was amazing, the aubergine was roasted with black garlic and it was honestly one of the nicest dinners ever. If you fancy giving it a try use my refer a friend link to save £20 off your first box, this will mean your first box is practically free!! Its worth a go for a week isn’t it? 

I have been trying hard to eat well and the mindful chef dinners have really helped, being healthy and super tasty so I’ve not felt like I am missing out. This means I have managed to not eat any meat, caffeine or alcohol. But I have failed at my attempted to not eat dairy or sugar. I have had maybe three bowls of cornflakes this year with sugar and milk and we had a treat dinner on Saturday for my day off and I did have pecan pie for dessert.

I havn’t weighed myself but I know that I have lost weight, my clothes feel looser and I am back in my jeans that were a struggle to put on before Christmas.

Paying the Tax Bill

January is self-assessment tax payment time, for those of us self employed, or with complex tax its time to do the annual personal tax return. I have been good and have up to date records for my tax purposes. So it was a relatively easy task of entering my company dividends as my income and then my tax is worked out. Tax is always behind in time so this year was my first personal tax year of a bill of more than £1000, which has triggered a payment on account. This means paying for half of the following years tax bill as well as the current tax bill. 

My tax bill was more than I expected but luckily I had put aside more into my tax savings in anticipation of getting back a bonus. No it has to all be used to pay my tax bill. 

Don’t forget everyone, the deadline is 31st January.

Re-mortgage time

Jan/Feb/March is a time to renew lots of big bills and the first one I have been dealing with this week is my re-mortgage. I am taking on a bigger mortgage, following separation from my husband. Trussle, independent mortgage brokers, are being a wonderful help with my re-mortgage. We had our first meeting this week to check that I can borrow the money I need enabling me to stay in the house I live in with my three boys.

All is looking positive I just need to get my books done ASAP by my accountant, as my year end has just passed, and get lots of documents over to Trussle.  And then 6 to 8 weeks later the mortgage should all be ready. I have been really happy with the process so far and pleased that Trussle have found me a great deal as a self-employed person.

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Lynn Beattie

Aka Mrs MummyPenny

Personal Finance Expert

I write about personal finance made simple, lifestyle choices that will save you time and money, as well as products and services that offer great value.

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