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  • FIRST POST
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 28th Dec 15, 1:32 PM
    • 502Posts
    • 989Thanks
    Bossypants
    Freedom will be mine! ...eventually
    • #1
    • 28th Dec 15, 1:32 PM
    Freedom will be mine! ...eventually 28th Dec 15 at 1:32 PM
    Well, I've signed up for the MFW2016 challenge, so I thought I'd better make one of these in an attempt to keep myself on track!

    I think I'm supposed to put in a bit about myself, so here goes: I'm 29, with a boring but relatively well-paying job and £110,000 to pay off over 30 years. I really want to be able to dedicate as much of my life as possible to my passion (writing fiction), but I'm realistic enough to know that making any kind of a living in that area is HARD even for the most talented folks (of which I am not one), and cautious (read cowardly) enough to want the security of a definite roof over my head into old age. I don't want to relegate the writing thing to weekends and lunch breaks forever, though, so I have bought a small-but-big-enough one bedroom flat, which meets enough of my requirements that I could conceivably see myself living here quite happily for the rest of my life. The aim is to pay off the mortgage as quickly as possible so that I can move to working part time and focus my energy on what I really want to be doing with my life.

    The gold standard is to over pay by £25,000 per year, but more realistically it'll be £20,000, so that's what I'm putting in my signature. This year there are a few necessary improvements to be made (such as a boiler which actually boils), so it may be a stretch, but what's the point if you don't aim high?

    My MFW efforts so far include walking to Aldi for ingredients to make a couple of large pots of budget friendly lamb and root veg stew so that I can start 2016 with a fully stocked freezer, and not going out to spend £29 on replacing my dead tablet charger, but instead getting a generic one on eBay for £3, which can't possibly be any worse than the branded one. It probably won't get here until end of January, so in the meantime I will use Old Faithful the laptop as my travelling companion (I need to have a portable computer for work, but no one said it had to be tiny and swish!).
Page 1
    • A Frayed Knot
    • By A Frayed Knot 28th Dec 15, 2:21 PM
    • 2,127 Posts
    • 9,569 Thanks
    A Frayed Knot
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 15, 2:21 PM
    • #2
    • 28th Dec 15, 2:21 PM
    Welcome, sounds a good plan and ambitious, just one thought, check your t&c in case there are penalties for o/p more than the usual 10% of total mortgage.

    Have you a mortgage free date in mind?


    Good Luck
    Always have 00.00 at the end of your mortgage balance and one day it will all be 0's
    MFMarch 30 Re/M Oct 23 Target -Dec 19
    O/P's 2014/£4000, 2015/£6294.69,2016/£3186.80
    2017 £2422.71 + Phantom o/ps 2017 -£1367.81 so far
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 28th Dec 15, 3:37 PM
    • 1,045 Posts
    • 4,819 Thanks
    bexster1975
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 15, 3:37 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Dec 15, 3:37 PM
    Hello

    Sounds like a plan to me. As AFK says, just check there is no overpayment limit/penalty in your mortgage.

    If it helps I have just completed a mortgage in ten years on a slightly bigger place but a similar sized mortgage. More interestingly I have done it for very similar reasons to you ( not writing, but self employment).

    The very best of luck

    Bexster
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 28th Dec 15, 4:45 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 15, 4:45 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Dec 15, 4:45 PM
    Thanks so much guys!

    AFK, I don't have a definitive date in mind just yet as I still need to see how a few things work out in practice, like utilities. I also need to find out what kind of lifestyle is sustainable for me in the long run. Outside of mortgage payments and costs directly associated with my current job (like the season ticket loan), I want to try to live as much as possible the type of lifestyle I would lead if I actually manage to achieve my goal, i.e. as cheaply as possible and no more than I could expect working three days a week in your average admin-type job. A big part of that for me is finding out which luxuries I can do without for the sake of living like that, and which I would really rather keep, and for the ones I keep, how I can do them more cost effectively. For example, I know that I could never give up really good flourless chocolate cake, so rather than trying, failing and spending £3 per slice, I am making it myself in cupcake form and freezing them for the cost of about 40p each. I think a lot of it is about organisation and that's what I'm trying to become better at initially, stuff like shopping lists, ordering what I can in bulk online and all that. I've done it before but it was a while ago and the job I had at the time took up much less of my energy, so we shall see! I'm hoping that this time next year I'll be in a position to post a date, fingers crossed.

    (And thanks for the reminder on the mortgage overpayment situation, I did make sure that I could overpay as much as I want when I took it out but always good to bear in mind for future remortgaging.)
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Secret Saving Squirrel
    • By Secret Saving Squirrel 28th Dec 15, 6:03 PM
    • 3,872 Posts
    • 35,868 Thanks
    Secret Saving Squirrel
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 15, 6:03 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Dec 15, 6:03 PM
    Very good luck on your journey. It sounds as if you have made a good start with the phone charger. My MFW tip is always just to avoid shops as much as possible so that you are not tempted into buying non essentials.

    All the best,

    Squirrel x
    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
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 28th Dec 15, 9:41 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 15, 9:41 PM
    • #6
    • 28th Dec 15, 9:41 PM
    Thanks Squirrel! I actually find that I'm okay window shopping things like clothes, it's the food shopping that gets me. To that end, I am now trying to be serious about keeping a list. I had a good first experience with it today - I did a huge shop (for me as a single person - two rounds of two full carrier bags), and only got one thing that wasn't on the list and actually needed: A 56p bottle of apple and cranberry juice from Aldi. I'm really proud of that actually lol.

    I did max out this week's household budget (I cannot for the life of me budget properly, so I set up as much as I can with direct debit/standing orders and then give myself £50/week to cover everything else). On the plus side, I have now stocked the kitchen with all those little essentials which only cost £1 or so each, but really add up when you have to buy them all new (I moved too far to take my old ones), plus enough raw ingredients to make a lot of stew, lunch for 10 days and breakfast and dessert for a month, as well as a few other household essentials like cistern blocks and a light bulb. Next challenge is to see if I can manage a no-spend bank holiday weekend while I cook it all up for the new year!
    Last edited by Bossypants; 28-12-2015 at 9:43 PM.
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • freshcotton
    • By freshcotton 28th Dec 15, 9:51 PM
    • 222 Posts
    • 565 Thanks
    freshcotton
    • #7
    • 28th Dec 15, 9:51 PM
    • #7
    • 28th Dec 15, 9:51 PM
    Hi, good luck with your journey!

    Nothing like a frugal lifestyle with a few luxuries. Please free to pass on any tips. Grocery shopping continues to be my point of weakness so need to try my hand on batch cooking too!
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 29th Dec 15, 10:39 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    • #8
    • 29th Dec 15, 10:39 AM
    • #8
    • 29th Dec 15, 10:39 AM
    Money spending day today, patio furniture. Not exactly an essential, but I'll be working from home for the rest of the week and the weather is SO nice, I thought it would be a crime not to use this lovely patio I paid through the nose for. Did it in the best MSE way I could, though, spent hours looking through Gumtree, eBay and cheaper shops to get the best deal I could, finally settled on a little set of table and two chairs off Gumtree. £30+£10 for delivery, more than I was hoping for but still cheaper than the cheapest new (and frankly looked better quality) and seller is able to deliver today, so should be able to sit outside this afternoon, yay!

    Will take leftover Euros to the bank at lunch to try to offset it a bit, as won't be travelling abroad again till next Christmas probably.
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 30th Dec 15, 9:40 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    • #9
    • 30th Dec 15, 9:40 AM
    • #9
    • 30th Dec 15, 9:40 AM
    Good: Entered all my delay repay items!

    Bad: Got a letter from HMRC claiming I underpaid take in 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 and asking me to pay them £401! Numbers don't tie up at all though, and one horrified call to HMRC later the lady agrees with me that something looks to be off in the calculations, so she has sent the claim back to be rechecked and I should hear from them within 4 weeks. Not holding out much hope, though, and factoring in having to pay £401 into budget for next month.
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Lexi-lu
    • By Lexi-lu 30th Dec 15, 12:05 PM
    • 149 Posts
    • 717 Thanks
    Lexi-lu
    Hello Bossypants,

    Good Luck on your journey. I'm sure the end goal of having more time to enjoy your passion for writing will keep you focused.

    LL
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 1st Jan 16, 12:23 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Thanks Lexi-lu! Unfortunately 2016 has not started very auspiciously in financial terms, as I have just had an email to let me know that £1,500 that I was assured would be coming to me now won't be, due to 'changes in circumstances'. It's business related and feels unfair but there isn't anything practical I can do about it (the phrase 'squeezing blood from a stone' comes to mind), so I am trying not to let it get me down and instead focus on good stuff: 2016 started well creatively, and now I have a whole year to work on getting that mortgage down!

    To kick it off I have decided to try for a no-spend week for the first week of 2016. I have just done the calculations and I have enough food to last me, so really it's just a case of being strong! The one exception may have to be on Thursday night next week, where I have a long-awaited doctor's appointment after work and I'm not sure I'll have time to walk it, so may need to spend on transport there. Now I just need to think of some kind of portable dinner, anyone have any ideas?

    Edit: Also, happy 2016 everyone!
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • pavlovs_dog
    • By pavlovs_dog 1st Jan 16, 12:53 PM
    • 9,725 Posts
    • 23,186 Thanks
    pavlovs_dog
    The one exception may have to be on Thursday night next week, where I have a long-awaited doctor's appointment after work and I'm not sure I'll have time to walk it, so may need to spend on transport there. Now I just need to think of some kind of portable dinner, anyone have any ideas?
    Originally posted by Bossypants
    depending on the dining/catering facilities available to you at work, it may be easier to have your 'main' meal for lunch and a packed lunch for tea?
    know thyself

    MFW 2017 #22 - £5000 /£7,000 (71%)
    MFi3 v4 #29 target £75,000

    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 10th Jan 16, 11:24 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Well, I almost managed a full no spent week. The only things I bought were:

    - Fruit (because I forgot to buy it in my main shop last Thursday and didn't want to be without for a week)
    - Medicine (because I suddenly needed it and would have been seriously uncomfortable without it)
    - A cup rice thing (because I had no food and a late meeting I needed to be clear headed for. Should have planned that one better, but next time).

    For a grand total of £12.07.

    On the plus side, I did manage to walk to and from my appointment on Thursday night, so no money spent there!

    For this week, my grocery shop came in at just over £20, including ingredients to make 8 portions of bolognese sauce, six of which are now in the freezer, so I'm pretty happy with that. Going to try not to spend any more for the rest of the week, so that I can start building up my 'life expenses' pot again (my system is I get £50 per week to cover groceries, toiletries, small items around the house (like lightbulbs), clothes, shoes, small luxuries like books, music and takeaways, and any other entertainment/nights out. The idea is that since I don't need anywhere near £50 per week to be comfortable, I save up what's left over until I have enough to cover bigger items I might want or need (say, a new winter coat). Once the pot reaches £300, everything else will go into OPs. Right now I have no pot at all, since the whole budgeting idea pretty much went out the door during the move, so I am keen to start building it back up again!).
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 30th May 16, 12:46 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Okay, time to start this up again! As you can see from my signature, this year has not been going to plan so far. Once I got in, it turned out that a lot of the jobs to be done 'eventually' in fact needed to be done asap, so all the money has gone into that. On the up side, I now have a new boiler and pipes (so I can shower with more than a trickle), fully rewired with new consumer unit (so the flat doesn't catch fire) and at the end of June some nice men will be installing a new floor (so I can invite people round without fear of them impaling themselves on stray nails). And since all of that was planned for over the next couple of years, there will now be more than expected to throw at the mortgate next year, so it all works out.

    I will leave the original goal below, but I think this year half of that is more realistic. I am holding off from making any big transfers until the last of the work is done and the bills paid next month, but I couldn't resist making a symbolic first overpayment of £1, yay!
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 31st May 16, 10:26 AM
    • 1,601 Posts
    • 9,364 Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    At least all the nuisance house stuff is out of the way now, Bossypants

    Congrats on your first OP!
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £7200/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
    • lippy1923
    • By lippy1923 31st May 16, 1:17 PM
    • 1,230 Posts
    • 3,428 Thanks
    lippy1923
    That's it now. You have got the ball rolling with your first OP


    Glad the house stuff is sorted now so you can focus on being MF.
    Total Mortgage OP £17,500
    House Value £250,000 Mortgage £93,703
    Emergency Fund £25,500

    • TwentySomethingGirl
    • By TwentySomethingGirl 24th Jun 16, 2:11 PM
    • 165 Posts
    • 360 Thanks
    TwentySomethingGirl
    Not catching fire and your friends not impaling themselves are important things to sort..


    Congrats on the first OP


    TSG
    Mortgage £126746 DEC14 £122423.53 DEC15 £115041.70 DEC16 Remortgaged Sep17 to pay off HtB loan £150000
    MFW2017 #85 £2633.7/£2500 12K IN 17 #85 £5500/£12000
    MFW2016 £3614.63/£2500
    MFW2015 £811.60/£1200
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 16th Jul 17, 11:35 AM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Right, it's been over a year since my last post, but I'm going to try this again.

    So, long story short, not long after my last post, I realised that that flat just wasn't for me and living there was taking a serious toll on my mental health (it was in an old, poorly insulated building slap bang in the centre of Brighton. Great for commuting but between the cafe downstairs, the young couple upstairs, and the constant party atmosphere of Brighton right outside, sleep became a very scarce commodity, and I need more than most people).

    I got to the point where I really needed to move but couldn't see where to move to, since even if I mortgaged myself to the hilt, the most I would have been able to afford would be a tiny terraced house, of the kind where you can hear the neighbours watching TV three doors down, and by then I was so on edge with the constant noise that the idea made me feel physically sick. Then, in the depths of my despair, I came across the only detached house in Brighton that was anywhere near my budget, due to its location directly opposite the local recycling depot and bin lorry yard. Still, it was by far the best I could hope to do, so I jumped and have been in since November (almost exactly a year to the day that I moved into the first flat).

    The cottage is not without its problems (the industrial neighbours have their own kind of noise, and it will be hard to resell when the time comes), but overall I'm still really glad I made the decision I did. After being in for some nine months, I'm finally starting to feel something approaching 'normal' again, which, after a year of being constantly on edge in my own home, is a welcome improvement.

    Now that I'm all settled in, I'm also starting to plan for the future again. My hope is to become mortgage free within 7 years, then stop commuting, switch to working entirely from home, and move to a quiet little forever place in the Sussex countryside.

    I'm currently waiting on the online banking passcode to allow me to start making overpayments (was hoping it would arrive this past week, but no joy). I'm lucky that, contrary to the last place, this house needed a lot less than expected in terms of work, so I've been able to save a fair bit since moving in. That means I'll be able to start things off with a bang, then make regular overpayments thereafter. I probably won't post about those here, though, since they'll be automatic. My main day-to-day money saving focus will be on building up the cookie jar fund out of money saved from the weekly budget and things like eBay sales.

    Anyway, nice to see you all again!
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 16th Jul 17, 1:54 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Does anyone else find themselves sometimes feeling grateful for a weekend of crappy weather? Especially in the summer, I feel so much pressure to Make The Most Of It when the sun is out. It's fun the first couple of times it happens, don't get me wrong, but sometimes I'm glad to have an 'excuse' to just stay at home and do chores. Honestly, I've gotten so many little things done this weekend, and I've only spent £1 on non-essential groceries (for the curious, it was a chocolate orange. I got to reading that thread yesterday just before I went shopping and they just happened to be half price, I couldn't resist). I find it really satisfying sometimes.
    Last edited by Bossypants; 17-07-2017 at 9:14 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
    • Bossypants
    • By Bossypants 16th Jul 17, 4:48 PM
    • 502 Posts
    • 989 Thanks
    Bossypants
    Okay last post for today I swear, but I just had to report on the rather ignominious end to my first real week of money saving:

    Feeling quite pleased with myself after the above post, I decided to go for a nice long walk in the budding sunshine. I put my keys and my usual emergency tenner in my pocket and set off. It was very humid, much more so than I had been expecting, but I didn't think much of it. Had a lovely walk, got home and went to put my keys and tenner back in my handbag, only to find the tenner gone! The nearest I can think is that it must have gotten damp in my pocket and worked its way out through friction. I honestly couldn't believe it, checked every pocket repeatedly and even went back out some of the way and looked, but no joy. It's one of those situations where really the only thing you can do is laugh and learn from it. At least I can count myself lucky that I am in the happy position that I didn't need it for food or shelter, and as a saving grace, the area I mostly walked through is full of not-wealthy families with kids, so hopefully it will be found and make someone's day.

    Will need to sort out a more secure way of carrying emergency dosh in the future, though!
    Jul-Dec Cookie Jar Goal: £102.37/£600
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