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    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 19th Aug 13, 10:39 PM
    • 762Posts
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    Tahlullah
    The impossible dream
    • #1
    • 19th Aug 13, 10:39 PM
    The impossible dream 19th Aug 13 at 10:39 PM
    Hello everyone. I am new to the forum, but have been reading for several years. It has been a help and inspiration, but I have never felt the need to get involved until today.


    I have been financially aware for many years and now have set a goal which I know I cannot achieve. My aim is to be mortgage free within 2 years. It is impossible to do, I have read everything, looked at spread sheets, calculated within an inch of my sanity, but I cannot do this without becoming a hermit and stopping ‘living’. The one thing the diaries have taught me is that people have great intentions, but after a while, the frugality can become grating and somewhat depressing and so the aim becomes a chore.


    As I still want to live my life to the full, I am not prepared to give up all luxuries; I do not have any debt and I do not overspend. I regularly have no spend days, sometimes going a whole week without letting the moths out of my purse for air! I don’t smoke, drink in excess, have a gym membership, shop frivolously for food; I’m not into handbags, makeup, shoes or clothes. In fact, I am the most boring person I know. But I do like holidays!


    I bank with F.Direct, in my opinion a great bank. The mortgage is an offset. I already overpay, but I cannot seem to find any other substantial spare cash to over overpay with.


    I already save bits of change, xbay, Tilly Tidy, use the sweep function to put extra bits into the mortgage, whilst maintaining a small amount of savings. I decided I preferred to pay off the mortgage than save as I feel better about watching the capital reduce.


    I made my decision to do the impossible and this weekend, conjured £200 out of nowhere to overpay on top of what I normally pay - cashed in my £2 coins. Now, I have come to a dead stop and hit a brick wall. No more conjuring until payday!
    So, I am going to keep this diary to help me to focus, and see what progress I can make out of nothing at all. I am going to aim at reducing my capital by £500 by the end of the financial year, in addition to my normal mortgage payments, without having a substantial negative effect on my way of life.


    I am going to take small steps. I shall begin by trying to xbay or Gumtree anything that is not tied down, including the cat if anyone will pay me for him. I will continue with my sweep every month. I will continue with my no spend days. I will continue to collect change in the hope of knocking small amounts of the amount owed, so I can see a difference being made.


    The spread sheets say I could be mortgage free in 4.5 years. I would like to be free in 2, by my 50th birthday. I could stretch it to 3 years as I am still technically 50 until I am 51! I am committing to posting once a week, even if to say, I have made no progress. Hopefully, someone will be able to inspire me to great heights.


    Thank you for your help so far. Let the games begin.
Page 9
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 13th May 17, 9:55 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Well, Friday was a big Red day. It was a no spend day as I didn't go to the shops.

    However, it was the start of the big debt. The prequel to the big event. Solicitor said it may not happen (not my luck!) so I am still expecting to have to pay out at least £10k at some point this year. But on Friday, I had to pay the solicitor bill so far of £500. Not loads, but expect more. He is billing me in bite sized chunks so i can budget for it.

    So depressing. But the positive side was I could pay it without resorting to credit. Negative side, I now have NO money left until the end of the month.

    Well, not true. I have managed to retain £20 in the budget for fuel and I have £20 in my purse.

    If I continue with my NSD's and eating from the freezer, plus top ups with cash in my purse, do you think I can get to the end of the month?

    Oooh, new challenge! Bring it on....
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 16th May 17, 8:29 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Happy shiny Green day! Although the weather is pants.

    This morning, my bank balance had increased by over £200. Rang to ask why and I am informed it was interest on a car loan I had taken out previously that had ended in 2014.

    What great news for my budget. Now I can afford to actually live for the rest of the month and I can budget to save a bit as well.

    Back on target for my saving goal of £50 per month over-payment on the mortgage whilst maintaining a working budget.

    Although I have budgeted the money in YNAB, I am going to see how far I get with only spending the original £40 I had for petrol and personal spend. Up until yesterday, I still hadn't spent any, so my NSD's are going quite well. Meeting my challenge of 4 per week. And I wombled 1p yesterday!

    At some point, I will get straight and will be able to resume normal operating conditions. I will be able to overpay on this mortgage. I will be able to relax knowing the big debt has been resolved one way or the other. I will get my life back, which is currently on hold because of this Damocles Sword hanging over my head.

    On the positive side, Rufus is still well and not doing much. He is getting older and not so much a kitten any more. Still the perfect cat.
    Last edited by Tahlullah; 17-05-2017 at 7:29 PM.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 17th May 17, 7:31 PM
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    Tahlullah
    So, got a financial reprieve yesterday, and today blow the NSD run. Bought my teams lunch as everyone seemed a bit down. So, Red day because I spent when I didn't need to - however it was still within my budget, but Bright & Shiny, because it was for a positive reason.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 20th May 17, 1:44 PM
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    Tahlullah
    Had another NSD on Thursday but spent on diesel, milk and necessities yesterday. Raining the last 2 days so couldn't cycle to work.

    Still managing to budget and spend within my means and so far have squirrelled away £48 into my buffer account - this will take a lifetime to achieve! As well as £110 in the savings account for car repairs, house repairs, Rufus's teeth (they need cleaning) and Christmas.

    It seems positive that I am budgeting and saving for these things and still managing to make the £50 overpayment on the mortgage every month.

    Certainly, if I stopped saving for these future expenses, I could pay more off the mortgage and get it paid off quicker than I am, but this feels more sustainable.

    To be honest, I actually feel I am posting on the wrong Board. Perhaps I should move the Debt Free Wannabe board? Am I in debt? No, beyond the visa bill that I pay regularly and the mortgage, but at some point this year, I may be forced into debt by this court case. Until then I'm not, so I am going to continue on my current trajectory and make my monthly overpayments. I won't achieve my aim of £2k by Christmas, instead, it will be £400 but at least I will be more in control of my income and expenditure.

    I have a plan and a budget to work within the plan. Lets see where I am by Christmas. Then I can evaluate and move forward.

    Onwards and upwards.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 22nd May 17, 3:37 AM
    • 545 Posts
    • 3,554 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    But if you didn't save for those things, you'd end up back in the red when they come up - as they inevitably do!

    I do know how you feel - once I'd budgeted for all the True Expenses (as YNAB calls it) including the kids' teeth, Christmas, inevitable house repairs, etc, I was left with what seems like a tiny amount of money.

    Have you talked about the court case? I scrolled back and couldn't find it, but may have missed it.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 22nd May 17, 8:36 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Yes, no money at the end of the month as it's all been budgeted away into one pot or another account. So no actual money to spend, apart from what you have budgeted. A very strict regime but no doubt will work when I get straight.

    The court case is linked to my previous job. I was a manager and the previous job eventually went under. During that time, I had to make a lot of hard decisions and that also meant dealing with unhappy staff. And it's the unhappy staff that are taking me to court, as they blame me for destroying their lives I guess.

    I can be really bitter about it, or just accept that during that period, I did the best I could for the whole organisation, and some are just angry. And apportion blame, because its the easiest thing to do, rather than look at their own actions which led to the problem.

    If they win, I will have to pay them out of my own pocket. Unusual in UK law, but nevertheless possible.

    It's the last time I say I'm going to fight for others! Next time the ship is sinking, I am jumping immediately, I don't care if I am one of the managers!
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 22nd May 17, 8:42 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Oh that is unusual! How awful for you. Are you trying mediation?
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    • TallGirl
    • By TallGirl 22nd May 17, 9:14 AM
    • 4,107 Posts
    • 8,532 Thanks
    TallGirl
    That is really awful I take it you don't have any legal insurance. I hope the judges find in your favour if it comes that far not nice to have hanging over your head.

    Yes you have to look out for yourself I actually think being let go from a charity with a predicted deficit of £200K this year is a good thing. That sort of deficit is well scary.

    YNAB sounds really interesting good luck with the strict regime.
    Save £12k in 17 no 93
    £5750/£12k
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 22nd May 17, 11:31 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Thanks ACE and Tall Girl. Sometimes, this sort of thing just happens. We are well past the stage of mediation. This is staff out for blood. And Legal Insurance doesn't cover you for this, which you only find out after the event. Insurance covers you to take a case, not to defend a case.

    What the judge decides cannot be predicted. All I can do is wait and see. It will be over by the end of the year I hope, one way or the other.

    Getting out of the sinking ship, you were lucky Tall Girl. I stayed and now regret it. Well, for the majority, I did the right thing. It is only ever the few who make you doubt your decisions.

    Onwards with YNAB!
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 23rd May 17, 6:51 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Yesterday, I had a McDonalds Banana Milkshake, and it tasted good!!!
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • TallGirl
    • By TallGirl 23rd May 17, 8:00 AM
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    TallGirl
    Treat yourself I do like McD milkshakes as well good hangover cure. As for the sinking ship they had reserves but a huge deficit in a pension pot so at some point yes the good times will be over.

    I hope the case doesn't drag on are you getting any legal advice? As you probably know there are pro bono advice places.
    Save £12k in 17 no 93
    £5750/£12k
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 23rd May 17, 7:32 PM
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    Tahlullah
    I didn't know MaccyD was a good hangover cure? Must try it the next time I over-indulge! Thanks for he tip Tall Girl.

    Yes, I am getting legal advice, which I am paying for. I was recommended this particular solicitor by a Barrister friend of mine, so I have faith. But as I said, no-one cant predict the vagaries of the British legal system. There is no such thing as a 'certainty' in English law.

    Ultimately, I remember people on here saying I should walk away when the organisation was in trouble, but for some reason, I ignored the good advice and decided to 'fight' for the organisation and the staff's jobs. Unfortunately, eventually, you can fight no more. But what you can't predict is the actions of others who are determined to destroy rather than build.

    It is a familiar pattern for a lot of charitable organisations at the moment. Usually, there is a pension deficit, which now rings bells for me. Plus, unpaid bills which are bounced from month to month, depending on cash flow. But because the Trustees have a duty to do the best by the staff, the Charities Commission and not be seen to be jumping ship too soon, they allow a situation to drag on until it hurts everyone more than if they had called it a day a year ago.

    I hope the org you worked for survive this current environment, but without a huge injection of capital, I doubt it will in the long term. They did you a favour by letting you go. You didn't have to watch it sink.

    Pointless ruminating in the subjunctive so will just move forward like you did. Onward and upwards and all that.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 27th May 17, 2:34 PM
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    Tahlullah
    Hello.

    Roundup of the week.

    Reading other diaries for inspiration. Worthwhile use of time. At least I'm not spending when I am reading!

    Didn't ride my bike as I had to drive to other offices for work. One day I had appointments booked but they were cancelled, so I could have cycled that day, but found out too late. Guaranteed it will be raining all next week.

    Managed my 4 NSD's this week.

    Still have a bit of money under some budget headings in YNAB before the beginning of next month including £12 for diesel, so feeling positive as there is still about 1/4 tank of fuel left. This will carry over into next month allowing me to budget the difference elsewhere.

    Still only have £48 in my buffer account, but have £110 in the account for upcoming bills. Money budgeted next month for these categories so the figures will improve albeit slowly.

    I am feeling very positive, as I am sticking to the budget and clearly saving a small amount, whilst putting £50 per month to the mortgage overpayment.

    Also applied for a PT job working from home. Probably won't get it, but you have to be in to win! It's casual work, so no fixed income per month, but if I got it, it would help a lot in relation to positive budgeting.

    Need to go shopping next week at Teskos.I really do appreciate the clubcard points, they make a big difference at the end of the year, by paying for the Christmas holiday food. Leaves me with more money to pay for presents and alcohol from the allocated money. Plus this year, it should be easier still as I have an allocated Christmas budget that I am saving into.

    So, Mortgage payment day is the 7th of the month. The mortgage is in 2 parts. I am focussing on Part 1 and this, if I carry on with my current projection, should be repaid by March 2019.

    The 2nd part is where I am focussing my £50 overpayment, to help reduce it a bit every month. I can refocus on this once Part 1 has gone.

    This is what I am aspiring to. To only have one mortgage account. But I can only achieve this once everything else in life is stable, which it isn't at present. Although I know there is no such thing as stability; something always comes along to spoil that perfect moment.

    We all need to have a dream, a goal, something to hope for. This is mine.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 29th May 17, 2:02 AM
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    armchairexpert
    You're doing a great job, Tallulah. It's hard when all you have are little bits here and there, but keep dripping them all into the mortgage and the pot will be full before you know it.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 30th May 17, 7:27 PM
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    Tahlullah
    Well, had to spend some money today. And what a palaver that turned out to be. I can honestly say that NSD's are far easier on the nerves!

    Why you ask? Well, YNAB said I had £5.00 personal money left to spend before the end of the month. Not bad I think. Except I needed to spend it on car parking for work

    And can you withdraw a £5 note from the hole in the wall? No, the smallest denomination is £10. So that was stressy as to how I would get my only £5 in the world (this month) into my pocket to spend on the car park. So, I shuffled what little money I had around so as to ensure I didn't spend out of next months budget; and withdrew a £10.00 note.

    Then I had to go to the shop and buy a mint Aero so I had change. And the change was a £5 note and £4.20.

    At the car park, the fee was £4.50! So, not enough money for the meter. That meant I was stood in front of the meter, in the car park, stressing about how to pay the fee. And no shops in the vicinity. In the end, I had to buy it on the phone app. So that was £4.50 money not budgeted anywhere that I had to find.

    Back home and I have been shuffling money around to make sure I am not spending from next month's money this month.

    It does mean that my 'dentist' savings pot is looking somewhat depleted, but I suppose that's the purpose of YNAB and rolling with the punches.

    I do feel extraordinarily happy though, as I am still living on money I have, rather than money yet to be allocated to spend.

    And to top it off, I wombled a 20p coin.

    Now I have to put 'car parking' into my monthly budget and moved my last £2.50 across so it will be there for next month. Perhaps I will just increase the 'diesel' budget by £10.00 when I can afford it. It is unusual for the parking fee to be that high.

    So, I class this as a very bright and shiny green day as I have stayed within budget even though it wasn't a NSD.
    Last edited by Tahlullah; 30-05-2017 at 7:36 PM.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • DeterminedSingleMummy
    • By DeterminedSingleMummy 30th May 17, 9:04 PM
    • 172 Posts
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    DeterminedSingleMummy
    Hello Tallulah, I've been reading your diary for a while now and your last post sounds very much like me. Spending next week's budget and moving around things so it "balances" and you are still spending within your budgets. I'm glad I'm not the only one that does it lol I do my budgets weekly so if i do have a few heavy spending days then it's I can even it out with no spend days. I'm not sure I trust myself to last a whole month lol

    Xx
    Balance at start of mortgage Dec 2011 £87500
    1 Jan 2015 = £73,735 Overpayments = £3,360 (average £280 p/m)
    1 Jan 2016 = £66,558 Overpayments = £4,770 (average £397.50 p/m)
    1 Jan 2017 = £57,756 Overpayments so far Jan £0 Feb £550 Mar £3022 April £690 May £1513 total £5775
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 31st May 17, 8:56 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Thanks for reading DSM. I never thought of trying to budget weekly, not on YNAB anyway, but I see how that would work.

    You have been doing great with your mortgage over-payments. You clearly have a plan.

    I will look for your diary and look for your hints and tips to see if there is anything I can do to improve, bar stop eating!
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Unicorn cottage
    • By Unicorn cottage 1st Jun 17, 8:29 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Unicorn cottage
    Hiya! Tahlullah is YNAB worth a go? It is something I have been thinking about for a while as our food bill is HORRENDOUS! Might help we work out a track and stay on it?
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 1st Jun 17, 9:18 AM
    • 762 Posts
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    Tahlullah
    Hello Unicorn Cottage. YES!! YNAB is definitely worth a go. I am one of the slower ones on here, so I can still sit staring at the screen, saying 'What does that mean?' But persevere because it does click and you really do stop overspending.

    Try it free for the first 34 days and if you like it, sign up. It works out about £40 for the year depending on conversion rates.

    But, it does say that if your food bill is high, perhaps you eat that much and you should accept it and budget for it, rather than saying you want to spend £150 on food when you regularly spend £200. If you don't accept your spend, you will always overspend and feel bad. Just budget for your real spend by pulling back in other places and you will feel better because you are spending within your budget. Then you can begin to reduce it slowly, if possible.

    Can't recommend it enough.

    Thanks for visiting.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    • Unicorn cottage
    • By Unicorn cottage 1st Jun 17, 9:35 AM
    • 17 Posts
    • 18 Thanks
    Unicorn cottage
    Is there a £ version of it - sorry to ask!
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