Monthly Archives: August 2012

Time to say goodbye…?

Sadly, it looks likely that Shoestring Alley will be closing soon. I’ve had a potential security breech type situation rumbling on for a while and I’m finding it a bit prohibitive. As in, I don’t feel comfortable about writing things on here in the way that I used to, hence the declining number of posts over the last few months. I know there are plenty of bloggers out there who are quite open about who they are and where they are which is great. I, however, am not one of them. For a start, I am contractually obliged not to discuss certain things online which is one of the reasons that I take care not to reveal who I am, where I work, what I do, how much I earn and so on. Secondly, there are people out there who I would rather not know that many details about my home/personal life. Thirdly, I don’t think it is a good idea to talk about personal stuff online and make it easy for weirdos to track you down. During the last couple of years I have been asked to take part in interviews for a few national publications and also a TV series about budgeting. I found this enormously flattering but declined every single one because I didn’t want to give anything away…

When I first started this blog I told a very small handful of people about it and, in a fit of misguided enthusiasm, told a person that I knew – instantly – that I shouldn’t have. I don’t think this person would even remember the website name but I really don’t want to take the risk anymore…they have become troublesome, to say the least. Although I made it clear that this blog was private they have, more than once, referred to it in a group setting and and sat smirking at me to see how I would react/get out of it. Like I say, I doubt that they can even remember the name of the blog but I don’t want to take the chance any more.

Writing this blog has been a fantastic experience. I’ve ‘met’ some fantastic bloggers and have been so thrilled to hear from every one that has been kind and interested enough to leave a comment. It has also proved to be the learning and motivational tool that I needed it to be – I really know what I’m doing with my finances now, I live comfortably on less than half the income I had when I started this and I’ve got plenty of resources to fall back on should I need to.

I think that, once the house move has happened, I shall start blogging again but with a different blog. After all, there are going to be plenty of budgetary challenges to grapple with while we try to renovate an entire house with a monthly budget of about £100! However, even though we’ve got less money than ever, I don’t know if I’m really frugal enough to be in the ‘frugal’ ranks. I like a few luxuries here and there, and sometimes £5, £20 or £50 spent here and there is worth more to me than it would in the bank! So as for the exact nature of the new blog I can’t say. However, if you would like to read whatever I start next I’ll be happy to let you know. Email me on: shoestringalley@yahoo.co.uk or leave a comment including your email address. When I’ve started the blog I’ll drop you a line to let you know. I don’t think the blog/security problem will be an issue for a few weeks so I’ll leave this post (and the rest of the blog) up for a few weeks and then it will be closed.

Thank you so much to everyone that has stopped by here – it’s been amazing. xxxx

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Good news!

I almost don’t want to say this lest I jinx the whole thing but…we’ve got a house! Our buy to let mortgage has been approved following the survey-valuation and we have had our offer accepted on a house!! YES YES YES!!!!!

The house is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. We never thought we’d get a place with so much space – not for at least another 10 years. It is so nice and has so much potential that, combined with the years of being stuck in our place and all of the stress it has caused, I am thrilled to have found a place that we won’t want to leave for years. Maybe ever. It is very close to my parents house, is only a few doors down from some friends of ours who have a little girl the same age as ours and is only a short walk from the primary school. It is perhaps a slightly longer walk into town from where we are now but a much better walk without the killer hill at the end. Perfick.

It needs to be almost completely redecorated and the kitchen is bonkers. We’re going to be knocking a wall down to create a kitchen-dining room and having a proper kitchen installed but that’s the biggest thing that needs doing. The garden is smaller than I would have liked (it is really small) but there is enough room to squeeze a table and chairs, enough lawn to chuck a blanket out and have a picnic and enough space to have some pots to grow some veg and herbs in. It is enough. The amount of space inside the house more than makes up for the small garden and, let’s face it, with the weather in this country, I’d take inside space over outside space anyday.

Obviously this might not all go through. It happens all the time and it has happened to plenty of people we know plenty of times. However, I’m optimistic. We’re not selling so the chain can’t break in that direction. The lady whose house we are buying is purchasing a house that has no onward chain. Our utterly fantastic financial advisor has worked miracles with our small earnings and has got all of our mortgages agreed, insurance policies in place and so on. We’re in as good a position to make it all happen as we could possibly be.

We’ve got a tonne of work to do here to get our apartment ready for rental and more paperwork than I know where to start with. However – things are happening! I will, in all probability, be able to put my Christmas decorations up in a new house! My daughter will be able to actually have a real bed! I can flush the loo in the evening! Or do some cooking! Or have people over! We will have space to have enough chairs for people to sit on! And throw kids parties with enough space to play! And grow veg! And do actual cartwheels in our giant living room! Enough exclamations!

Ok. I need to calm down now and finish doing my spreadsheets…

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