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    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 9th Feb 17, 4:00 AM
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    armchairexpert
    The ups, downs, and occasional sideways bits of trying to be mortgage free
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 17, 4:00 AM
    The ups, downs, and occasional sideways bits of trying to be mortgage free 9th Feb 17 at 4:00 AM
    Hello! I used to loiter around here a few years ago and you were all terribly friendly. Then I was made redundant, started my own business, and it's all been a bit uppy and downy since then.

    We've been meandering along for the past three years, since taking on a new mortgage in 2014, paying things as they come up and failing to notice that we're not making a dent in the mortgage at all. It's set up as a line of credit, so the minimum payment on it is only interest - we'd expected to be paying down the principal as well just as a matter of course, but it hasn't quite worked out that way.

    I'm not going to do a SOA because I'm in Australia, and even the most dedicated MFW'er probably can't tell me if I'm paying the right amount for my electricity! But I have buckled down and done a very comprehensive YNAB budget, and it tells me that I should have about $700/month extra without cancelling the children's extra-curricular and the occasional treat. We shall see if this holds true.


    As an aside, I also have a second mortgage on a buy-to-let, but the tenant is my mother, who can't afford to pay us market rent much less cover the running costs, so that costs us about $5,000 a year or so. As a way of clawing back savings, I don't budget any of the tax reductions that brings us, I just treat it as a normal expense, and then anything we get back at the end of the tax year is like an annual bonus.

    What else? Two DDs, the youngest one started school this year which is a GAME CHANGER I tell you what, some lovely silly chickens who very generously make eggs for us, the beginnings of a fairly pathetic vegetable garden which I'm not convinced even pays its own running costs - and long suffering DH, of course, who keeps the lights on.

    Also I am not the most succinct person in the world.
    Last edited by armchairexpert; 09-02-2017 at 4:10 AM.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
Page 20
    • mfmaybe
    • By mfmaybe 4th Nov 17, 8:04 PM
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    • 3,196 Thanks
    mfmaybe
    I don't think you should get too down-heartened by the % analysis, because propping up 2 houses is not normal. Hopefully the refinancing will be just the pendulum swing that's needed to get ahead of those big bills.

    Just a thought. Is your Mum's unit a 1 or a 2 bed? If the latter, any chance it could sustain a lodger?
    Create credit card buffer fund £12.93/£1000 1.4%paid. Pay by Christmas 17

    Other debts paid since 1/1/14: £17,005
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 5th Nov 17, 11:55 PM
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    armchairexpert
    It's a 2-bed, but she has my girls for sleepovers sometimes, and there's only one fairly small living area, so they'd be tripping over one another.

    I've recalibrated my thinking again this weekend. I do have a tendency to feel sorry for myself, but:

    1. We live on last month's income, so there's always a generous buffer
    2. The mortgage is overpaid by $32K or so (because when I took out the refinance I refinanced for $250K although I'd already paid it down to $320) so that's a proper emergency buffer if one of us lost their job
    3. I am dripping little bits of money into the 'everyday' emergency funds: they're tiny, but they're going up
    4. I'm building equity in both houses

    It's not my long term financial security I'm worried about, it's the mid-term security. I want to get to a stage where we can choose what we do a bit more. But all in all, we manage to eat decently, go out (cheaply!) as a family, do an occasional modest holiday and slowly make the house nicer, and have the occasional splurge on a fancy lipstick or a piece of art or whatever. That's a lot, and I should stop feeling sorry for myself!

    As for this weekend: Mr E came in at $180, which was lower than I'd guessed but also he didn't go to the butcher or fishmonger. So we have branded snacks for this week, which will make the kids very happy, and the fridge is groaning with food. He also spent a lot of money elsewhere, but all budgeted for: the girls need various bits ahead of their end of year ballet recital, he replaced the ancient tapware and shower head in the main bathroom, etc. He's pretty cross this morning, though, because the chickens have somehow slipped under the grapevine netting and chomped his baby vines to the point where they may be unrecoverable. $120 of grapevines!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 7th Nov 17, 12:57 AM
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    • 4,437 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Another manic day yesterday - this time of year, everything's just a little bit harder with extra school events and extra curriculars and whatnot.

    Give Mr E his due, though, the man is all over the Christmas thing. Christmas is mostly his responsibility, because I do so much of the thought-load stuff during the year, including the girls' birthdays (both coming up), end of year concerts, school commitments and I needed to know there was something that I didn't have to think about.

    So he's already got the girls their Christmas presents (an mp3 player each and tickets to the Operation Ouch live show - they're obsessed with that program), he's made a Christmas cake, I've bought a gingerbread house kit to do, as well, because last year I left it too late to find one in the shops and I don't have the skills to make it from scratch.

    Now I just need to buy their birthday presents - I have three weeks. Little Girl gave me a long list of requests, very few of which she is likely to ever use (a violin for a 6 year old who's never had a music lesson in her life?) which is baffling me, and I have already got Big Girl a renewal on her magazine subscription and my old kindle, which I registered to her and downloaded some new books on, but I need a non-book option.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 8th Nov 17, 12:06 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Nothing to report today. Should be a NSD. All my fancy skincare from the other week finally arrived, so I spent lots of time in the bathroom yesterday patting on serums and humectants and whatnot. Am mildly disappointed to see that my skin looks exactly the same this morning.

    Mr E's expense reimbursement came through last week, only it's paid from a totally different payroll system to his salary, and therefore he hadn't updated his account details when we changed accounts in August - it's been close to two years since he last got reimbursed through that system - so it bounced and now we're waiting for a reissue. Frustrating.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 8th Nov 17, 11:59 PM
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    armchairexpert
    Disaster and calamity! Mr E's overtime came through today, and instead of the uo-to-$2K I was expecting, it's $600. Which is better than a kick in the teeth, I suppose, but I'd earmarked $1K of it for something fairly urgent for my mother's unit, and I'm going to have to find an extra $400 now. Plus, we'd planned a shopping trip to town this weekend with some of the surplus: I've been working on loosening up a bit so we can have fun and not be worrying all the time. All of our china is chipped or broken, it's our wedding set from 15 years ago so we were going to buy some new settings in time for Mr E's family to visit at Christmas.

    I've asked him to send me his payslip so I can see what's happened, but I know he'll feel defensive about it, like I'm accusing him of not earning enough. Which of course I'm not, in a general sense (he earns close to double what I do, after all) but I want to see what's happened.

    Also his reimbursement re-issue hasn't come through. And I'm sure he was due a small pay rise in October which hasn't eventuated: it's just a CPI rise, and it's probably like $50/month, but still. AND there is $200 worth of missing medical reimbursements in his name, which he is not following up either, because he clearly finds it too anxiety-making to make those phone calls. Mr E haaaaaaaaates asking about money, like he's just absolutely convinced that he'll be seen as a trouble maker if he chases things up. So frustrating. I am so frustrated.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 12th Nov 17, 11:33 PM
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    armchairexpert
    Okay, it appears that the reason Mr E's overtime was so small was because his manager only processed one day's worth, and forgot the second day. There should be another $700 or so coming through from that once his manager has come back from travelling and put it through properly. So it'll be in the next pay run, hopefully.

    Reimbursement monies are also promised in the next run. We'll see what happens.

    In the meantime, Mr E has decided that we need a new crockery set before Christmas, as his mum and sister are flying in to be hosted by us and all ours is chipped and we only have 5 side plates. So we moved some money out of a savings account I don't even look at (it only has $700 in it!) and bought a new set yesterday.

    Christmas shopping is coming along at a clip. We've made a cake, bought a gingerbread house kit and some gingerbread biscuits, and we're starting to look at menus. Mr E has bought the girls their main presents, and will get small stocking-ey things later on.

    The girls' birthday is at the end of this month as well and I've almost finished birthday present shopping, I have some of the food for the party in stock (will order a platter of sandwiches and wraps on the day: slightly extravagant not to do it myself but it's such a busy time of year I've learned not to overload myself), all the little gifts for pass-the-parcel, and the venue is doing party bags and games so that's all I have to worry about.

    So, very spendy. VERY spendy. But apart from the crockery, all budgeted for.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 13th Nov 17, 7:18 AM
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    • 3,603 Thanks
    Cherryfudge
    We have just replaced crockery too: our old set was very chipped apart from the side plates, which seem to outlast the rest in this house. We've spent out on the new ones in the hope that they will last. I'm hoping that as DH did the actual paying, he will realise it's a lot of money and take care when stacking them.

    Glad you are going to get some of the deficit back! That's a lot of present-buying to organise.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 14th Nov 17, 1:17 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Mr E's birthday is early January, as well, so between November and January we might as well set fire to banknotes for all the good they do us. But it's budgeted for - I've been putting a bit aside since February, so this is one category that should be fairly well covered.

    Our crockery was a wedding set fifteen years ago, so it's done well. The only other things left from our wedding gifts are the towels, which also need to be replaced, and a couple of cheese graters and things.

    Dentist this afternoon, so that'll be a gap payment but probably not too bad. I have minor dental surgery coming up, though, which will be more and I haven't set anywhere near enough aside for it.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • Cherryfudge
    • By Cherryfudge 14th Nov 17, 11:52 AM
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    Cherryfudge
    Oh, the power of setting money aside! Well done on both Mr E's birthday fund and the dental fund. Even if the dental fud doesn't cover all the costs, it will lessen the impact on the rest of the budget.

    Hope today's visit goes okay.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 14th Nov 17, 11:44 PM
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    armchairexpert
    The dental fund is woefully inadequate! Yesterday's check up was coverd, but now I have about $7 and I have minor gum surgery scheduled for this weekend and I don't know how much of it my private health fund will pick up because I don't understand the policy coding. The last time I got this done (it's being done in increments) I was $600 out of pocket, I'm hoping that's not the case this time. If it is, I can only cover it by drawing down a little bit from the mortgage overpayment, which I obviously don't want to do.

    Anyway! Australia just voted yes to move ahead with marriage equality, so nothing's going to dent my good mood today. Ridiculous that we couldn't just get on with it and legislate, but there we are.

    And it's raining after a hot spell, which is a relief. Mulligatawny tonight I reckon.

    Still waiting for that promised reimbursement money...
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 16th Nov 17, 12:15 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Well, the reimbursement of expenses finally landed in the account, and once I'd repaid the actual expenses we were left with about $125. But since Mr E's phone is dying (not surprising: we got them at the same time and I replaced mine a few months ago) it's been swallowed up by that, along with a few hundred I've diverted from other savings funds. The remaining overtime is yet to come in and will be around $700 or so so I can build those pots back up a bit, but it will mean we don't end up with the hefty chunk into the holiday savings pot I was hoping for.

    YNAB is making me feel poor even when I'm not. Logically, the fact that we're now paying down the principal on the mortgage (albeit nowhere near as fast as my calculations indicated), have lots of equity, and manage to put aside bits for short term savings goals should make me feel relaxed. But somehow there never seems enough for a splurge. It's our 15th wedding anniversary today and we're going out for dinner (just a cheap Chinese somewhere with the girls) and we were also going to go do something on the weekend when my Mum has the girls overnight, and now I'm anxious about being able to afford both. I mean we can afford both without going into debt, but at the price of not building up the buffers, which makes me feel anxious.

    Anyway. It's all good news I guess!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 17th Nov 17, 1:50 AM
    • 694 Posts
    • 4,437 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    Dinner out yesterday was lovely. Expensive fancy pizza, but two shared between the three of us and we just had one drink each, so not too ridiculous in the end and it felt very treaty.

    Dentist tomorrow morning, which I am not looking forward to either physically or financially. And then the girls are over at my Mum's so we can have an evening out, and I'm still not sure what we'll do.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    October 2017 - $216,963.86 Current MFD 31 July 2035
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