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  • FIRST POST
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 2nd May 14, 3:58 PM
    • 10,824Posts
    • 57,112Thanks
    edinburgher
    Only freedom will do
    • #1
    • 2nd May 14, 3:58 PM
    Only freedom will do 2nd May 14 at 3:58 PM
    It has come to my attention that I have been here for a very long time

    I joined these forums in a dim and distant past, where money was my enemy and the weight of my student debts left me crushed and panicked, unable to picture a future where I would be able to get a debit card (never mind a mortgage).

    5 years later and the milestones of marriage, first home and first car have come and gone. Throughout it all, I have had a creeping feeling that something wasnít quite right. I donít get the world of work, and while Iíve never been unemployed in my adult life, Iíve tried too hard to try my hand at too many things and Iím left feeling like Iím an actor who recognises the play, but does not understand his motivation.

    As some of you will know, I have experienced some real heartache of late. Your messages of support and hope have been so touching and in many cases, I have got more comfort from anonymous individuals who took the time to get in touch than people I know in the Ďrealí world.

    While money would have done nothing to prevent it, the luxury of savings and our hard work over the years meant that we were in a position to make the right decisions and take our time with our next steps. Returning to work has been a real blow and without sounding even more melodramatic, I donít think Iíd realised just how damaging I find the merry-go-round of rote work, office politics and bureaucracy.

    It wonít do, I canít believe that this is as good as it gets and to quote one of my favourite singers ĎWe can always build a world better than thisí.

    From this point on, I plan to dedicate myself to achieving financial independence. Not MFW, but freedom from all the nonsense that we go through to just to pay for a pile of bricks and a few years of leisure at the end of our span.

    Hopefully you can join me for the journey
Page 281
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 21st Apr 17, 2:42 PM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Well, she mashes laptop keyboard like a pro and yells 'CAT' whenever she sees a mobile phone (blinking YouTub3)!
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Apr 17, 10:52 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    We don't have either of the German supermarkets close by which I think most people find outside very large towns / cities. The nearest is 15 miles away. Local supermarket is either a big Sainsburys in one town or a large Co-op in the other town. Co-op is more expensive but that town has a large open market every Monday. Try to get as little as possible from the supermarkets, though.

    Can't believe how close you are to completing your house when you've not been there that long.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 22nd Apr 17, 9:12 AM
    • 28,383 Posts
    • 158,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Well, she mashes laptop keyboard like a pro and yells 'CAT' whenever she sees a mobile phone (blinking YouTub3)!
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    The internet is made of cats, as you well know, Ed

    I wish a German supermarket was in my town **wistful sigh**

    I *did* experiment with Waitrose - I had some vouchers (a "meal" and a snack) plus I worked on myWaitrose, where you can choose a 20% discount on ten of hundreds of offers. Once I worked out how it worked on the website, I went for it: 500g marmite was £4.50 became £3.60, a pack of 9 own brand toilet rolls was £3.75 became £3, stuff like that. Sometimes its worth it, but finding Alpro single cream soy, which I actually *like*, was appallingly difficult, so in general I'll just keep an eye out and not usually take advantage of it, its too energy-consuming. Asda online delivery is coming up but I might go back for some more marmite and toilet rolls

    The meal, by the way, was an open sandwich with fresh avocado and hard-boiled egg, it was lurvely.
    Save
    Retired August 2016
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 22nd Apr 17, 9:07 PM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Exhausted after 2 hours of backbreaking gravel removal! Should be able to finish it tomorrow, but also have normal housework, gym visit and family stuff to think of.

    Thought the following might be useful for people if (like me), you find your Nectar points about as useful as a chocolate teapot

    You can get 50% of your points refunded if you convert them into an eB@y voucher, which seemed like a good deal. Hotukde@ls had it

    I used up some lingering points to buy bulbs and got some back as well
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Apr 17, 10:56 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I feel your pain re. gravel removal! Getting the priorities right , my wife and I extended a gravel driveway when we first moved here up to outbuildings that now form our workshop. We tried far too hard on the first day and had to give up for two weeks. Every single muscle was aching and we gave up on the idea of doing anymore work to the house during those two weeks.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 23rd Apr 17, 8:59 AM
    • 1,655 Posts
    • 18,543 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I took my Son to the dentist (50 miles from home) on Friday and he was limping and waddling from overdoing the glutes and leg-work but his was in the gym - I always have hamstring and achilles problems after weeding where I bend over and keep thinking, I'll just do that bit before I stop.
    MFiT T4 #2 update 42.67% after Q7 £5,465 behind where I should be
    Save £12k in 2018 #53 - my annual target is £10,000
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 budget of £3,500 including stores
    My DFD is http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5593594
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 24th Apr 17, 11:31 AM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    April 2017 Financial Update

    Net Worth 158,264.52 (+£525.65)

    Mrs E got paid today, so time to call time on finances for April.

    A brusing month for finances, but it's important for reasons of accountability and to test my assumptions that we talk about the bad things as well as the positives. Essentially £850 of pension contributions were vaporised by the market, the only thing that saved us was a small bump to our home equity. I am also starting to get a little concerned about our low total cash on hand, the only things that will move the dial will be spending less or earning more...

    This month's lack of performance would seem to be an object lesson in why British people love house price inflation, despite it almost definitely being a bad thing for their overall prosperity. A £500 increase that is 'all mine', despite 88% LTV. If not for leverage, I suspect most people would run screaming from home ownership!

    I don't forecast, but the first day of May finances makes for grim reading. I suspect that this month will be as bad as April

    I hope that everybody else has had a productive month?
    • Debsnewbudget
    • By Debsnewbudget 24th Apr 17, 10:41 PM
    • 250 Posts
    • 2,328 Thanks
    Debsnewbudget
    I have just been talking to a mortgage advisor and commented that I understood we are all 3 pay days away from being out on our ears
    He commented back that recent research has shown the majority of people are only 14 days away from running out of money
    Its a sobering thought. I inow I used to work with people who didnt have enough money to buy toilet rolls the week before pay day, but apparently its got worse.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 24th Apr 17, 10:50 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    That is a very scary thought, Debs.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • PositiveBalance
    • By PositiveBalance 2nd May 17, 9:37 PM
    • 604 Posts
    • 2,824 Thanks
    PositiveBalance
    I have just been talking to a mortgage advisor and commented that I understood we are all 3 pay days away from being out on our ears
    He commented back that recent research has shown the majority of people are only 14 days away from running out of money
    Its a sobering thought. I inow I used to work with people who didnt have enough money to buy toilet rolls the week before pay day, but apparently its got worse.
    Originally posted by Debsnewbudget
    Scary as hell. Until people's pay:bills ratio gets better, it's unlikely to get any better, either: even those who want to save are struggling with everything going up except wages!
    Original debt to source: £11,639.02; debt repaid: £6200.01 (53%); remaining debt: £5438.01.
    0% CC balance: £4999.10 (was £5000).

    Terrimundi: £4.00

    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 2nd May 17, 10:08 PM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    I could survive for several months on unsecured credit, but that's a finite resource, sobering stuff to be sure.
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 2nd May 17, 11:28 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I could survive for several months on unsecured credit, but that's a finite resource, sobering stuff to be sure.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Definitely a finite resource and wouldn't really help in the long run.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 3rd May 17, 9:12 AM
    • 16,473 Posts
    • 108,150 Thanks
    gallygirl
    I inow I used to work with people who didnt have enough money to buy toilet rolls the week before pay day, but apparently its got worse.
    Originally posted by Debsnewbudget
    I could survive for several months on unsecured credit, but that's a finite resource, sobering stuff to be sure.
    Originally posted by edinburgher
    Oh dear, somehow I thought you were going to say you could survive a few months on toilet paper pinched from work .

    You're right Ed though, it is sobering stuff. People on here (mostly) can save money by bulk buying, whether it's toilet rolls or large bags of rice. But if you're living hand to mouth you probably can't afford to buy large quantities of one item - and in many cases the environment at home (e.g. damp in cupboards or overcrowding etc.) may not be conducive to storage.
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 3rd May 17, 10:24 AM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Definitely a finite resource and wouldn't really help in the long run.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    I agree, but as a short term source of funds, I don't mind using debt as a smoothing device in a pinch. Sometimes we take a gamble in life, my main gamble is currently that money invested in equities making use of tax breaks etc. will be more beneficial to my family than a bloated emergency fund earning nothing.

    Oh dear, somehow I thought you were going to say you could survive a few months on toilet paper pinched from work .

    You're right Ed though, it is sobering stuff. People on here (mostly) can save money by bulk buying, whether it's toilet rolls or large bags of rice. But if you're living hand to mouth you probably can't afford to buy large quantities of one item - and in many cases the environment at home (e.g. damp in cupboards or overcrowding etc.) may not be conducive to storage.
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    I suppose our collective tendency to hoard good deals is a sort of emergency fund. At any one point, we probably have enough food for 1-2 weeks, enough toilet roll for a fortnight and enough coffee for a month stashed around the house.

    Also, it's early days yet, but I have started withdrawing a fiver a week in cash at the start of the month for 'emergency emergencies'.

    I expect our cashflow to improve in a couple of years, having children is not cheap!
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 3rd May 17, 10:29 AM
    • 28,383 Posts
    • 158,143 Thanks
    Karmacat
    I love it that your most-hoarded item is coffee

    A little emergency stash in cash is crucial, I think, Ed. As you say, everything's a bit tight, but just enough to get a taxi somewhere crucial if your car was out of action. During family emergencies taxis can be a big help.
    Retired August 2016
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 3rd May 17, 11:13 AM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    Absolutely KC, will probably be an idea to get us both put on MIL's car insurance as well, as she's a 30 minute brisk walk away if we really needed to use a car and Mrs E and I are no longer of an age where we increase car insurance premiums!
    • edinburgher
    • By edinburgher 3rd May 17, 5:22 PM
    • 10,824 Posts
    • 57,112 Thanks
    edinburgher
    I despair sometimes. Family member (nearly 40s) has reached 60% LTV and can obtain 1.xx% remortgage, very poor pension provision. I asked if they were considering ISA/pension for some of the money freed up. Scoffing reply was 'what - so I can be rich in my 50s?'

    I look forward to awkward conversations in a decade or so I realise that I am perhaps a little too focused on the future, but 10 years is not the distant future, I worry for them.
    • Secret Saving Squirrel
    • By Secret Saving Squirrel 3rd May 17, 7:56 PM
    • 3,874 Posts
    • 36,663 Thanks
    Secret Saving Squirrel
    It is a strange thing to find that the people I am working with who have to work to pay bills, mortgages and rent spend what I consider to be a crazy amount on junk (pizza for lunch, getting nails done, glossy magazines) whereas I wouldn't ever consider that sort of spending yet am probably most able to afford to do so. They all think I am lucky to be able to take long breaks though. Very like your friend will be thinking when looking at you in ten years........
    Paid off mortgage nine years early in 2013. Now picking and choosing our work to fit in with the rest of our lives!
    Still thrifty though, after all these years
    • SuperSecretSquirrel
    • By SuperSecretSquirrel 3rd May 17, 10:24 PM
    • 627 Posts
    • 2,784 Thanks
    SuperSecretSquirrel
    They all think I am lucky to be able to take long breaks though. Very like your friend will be thinking when looking at you in ten years........
    Originally posted by Secret Saving Squirrel
    "The harder I work, the luckier I get..."

    Mtg [2013 £64k|2014 £51k|2015 £38k|2016 £26k|2017 14k] Zero! :)
    MN [2013-£25k|2014-£2k|2015+£16k|2016+£34k|2017+£52k] +£51,530.12 (MFiT4:+60k)
    NW [2013 £126k|2014 £156k|2015 £190k|2016 £228k|2017 £269k] £269,388.83 (2020:300k)
    FI [2013 -1.2%|2014 2.8%|2015 6.9%|2016 13%|2017 18%] 18.0%
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 3rd May 17, 11:18 PM
    • 5,927 Posts
    • 31,066 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I think you know what you're doing re. investments etc. and the potential to need short term borrowing.

    We had a really good personal emergency fund until we replaced the roof. That killed it. The idea of some people not having money to get a taxi home if need be is a very sad one. As for car insurance, you shouldn't add anything to the premium of your mother-in-law's insurance being your age. I've been on my parents' car insurances since 17. Worked well when I was a teenager, home for holidays and working on my MG. Once told my father I was picking up three friends to go to an opera, really I wanted to pick up this girl I was dating in my father's Jaguar (was doing something to my MG) but knew if my parents thought I had one passenger I'd be sent away in mother's Land Rover 90 which wouldn't have been such a good look. As it happened, she wasn't impressed and thought I was "showing off", so the LR 90 would have been a better bet.

    Re. the bulk buying ... I never even considered that particularly MSE until a year or so ago. We've always used the cash and carry for buying all types of things no one really wants to buy (washing up liquid, kitchen roll, laundry tablets, hair shampoo, that type of thing). Usually buy a supply for a year or so at a time. Logic was something along the lines of we don't want to buy it so let's only need to once in a while.
    Saved £11,000 in 2015, £9,800 in 2016.
    From a £32,000 debt on 2/9/2013 to debt free on 12/1/2015.
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