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  • FIRST POST
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 4th Jan 16, 3:43 PM
    • 461Posts
    • 1,755Thanks
    PrincessLou
    A treehouse for the twins
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 16, 3:43 PM
    A treehouse for the twins 4th Jan 16 at 3:43 PM
    I am so excited to write the first post of my mortgage-free diary! Some of you may have seen me around the MFW boards. I only post every now and then but reading the boards has become part of my daily routine and I am subscribed to many MFW diaries.
    I have wanted to start this journey even before we bought our first house over three years ago but never seemed to get going. The magic of the New Year must have given me the push I needed at last!

    I am 31, married to DH, with two little boys (twins, hence the title!) who are 2 and a half. Having the boys has changed my life completely, they are my absolute world, and has bought into realisation just how much I want them to have a wonderful home in which to create adventures and mischief! Our current house was bought just over 3 years ago. It is in a nice area and we love it but it has sadly been outgrown and overtaken by toys (and now houses the entire population of Tidmouth Sheds…but that’s another story ).

    We have no debts, so all money that isn’t spent is available to be used for overpayments or savings. DH has a good job and I am self-employed, although I have temporarily stopped working as the boys are a lot of work at the moment and by the end of the day I am worn out! I am hoping to pick up a couple of small projects here and there, before returning to work part time when the boys start nursery towards the end of the year.

    The big plan:

    Our mortgage, as of January 1st 2016, currently stands at: £116,468.73)

    Our aim is to pay the current mortgage off within 5 years so we can move to a bigger house. We have a regular overpayment of £101 set up – this has been going for over a year now. My plan is to now start making one-off payments as and when extra monies become available through tidying accounts, ebaying (we have a garage full), extra work and other savings that come our way.

    *** The reason for the title is that our current garden is more of a paved courtyard with a seating area and plants. Although we have enjoyed many a happy afternoon in it with the boys when they were small, we long for a big garden with room for a treehouse! ***
    Last edited by PrincessLou; 05-01-2016 at 11:25 AM.
Page 4
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 18th Aug 16, 9:55 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Yes, I do I love a good house buying programme. I'm a real homebody at heart, I love my home and pottering around in it (not that I get alot of pottering time with two three year olds around!), so where I live is really important to me. I'm not very materialistic when it comes to flashy things, but I do certainly dream of a beautiful (larger) home in the future.

    Looks like a rainy weekend is approaching but I shall use the time wisely and see if I can do some decluttering/ebaying. I've already made a list of potential items to list!

    In terms of OPing and savings, I reached my savings goals a few months ago but I'm finding now that i'm just making excuses to hoard money I get cross at myself because I have alot that could be transferred into OPs but I keep making up excuses to save just that little bit more....I need to stop it

    On a side note - I found a fantastic 'piggy bank' app that allows me to track all of my savings in different categories e.g. holiday, nursery fees, etc, etc. It even has a wishlist function that allows me to list what I want to save for in the future. Hmmm....this could definitely be my OPing downfall....
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 20th Aug 16, 9:14 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Rainy day today with some breaks of sunshine. Went to a woodland park with DH and boys to catch some Pokemon I don't play myself but DH and DS2 are very into it at the moment. Although I did help collect Poke balls from every Poke stop we passed on the drive there. Team effort and all that! See, I do have my uses...

    Made a curry for dinner - Jalfrezi sauce with mushrooms, value prawns, value rice, YS bahjis and YS naan bread.

    Weather looks a bit better for tomorrow so may head out in the afternoon. Must get some Ebaying done though...at least the first five items on my list.

    Hope everyone has had a super Saturday!
    • A Frayed Knot
    • By A Frayed Knot 24th Aug 16, 12:05 AM
    • 1,742 Posts
    • 7,989 Thanks
    A Frayed Knot
    Hi PL You were asking about offers from the bay. Just received one tonight, 25% off FVF on 100 listings between 24th and 28th Aug Check your bay messages
    Always have 00.00 at the end of your mortgage balance and someday it will all be 0's
    MFMarch 30 Re/M Oct 23 Target -Dec 19
    o/p 2014/£4000, 2015/£6294.69 MFW2016 #27 £3101.03/£3000
    £1000/£1000 51.44/33.29=84.73
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 2nd Sep 16, 9:07 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Thanks AFK, I saw the message and listed a few items (although not as many as I was planning to do!!). Glad the offers are back - feel like they are a real incentive to list more. Ebay has been really quiet for me this month, however I did sell some jeans on Wednesday that were brand new with tags.

    Made enchiladas tonight and having another shop delivered tomorrow morning. Received a £10 voucher from Mr M because there were 18 items sustituted in the previous shop!

    Last weekend was our 5 year wedding anniversary (although we've been together for 13 years!). First night away from the boys too, as we left them creating havoc at their grandparent's house . Was absolutely wonderful to just think about myself for once and relax. 24 hours away seemed like a week's holiday

    Mortgage currently stands at £113, 745.

    Payday today and I have created a budget for September. Will OP £245 to round the outstanding balance down to the nearest 500. I did have another £500 spare but Christmas has started to creep into my mind....so may keep that aside for that.

    Sat with my feet up watching First Dates on catch-up
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 3rd Sep 16, 10:26 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Gosh, what an awful day weather-wise! It seems so unfair that it can be lovely weather during the week and then as soon as the weekend comes and DH is home, it turns rainy and cold

    Made the most of it nonetheless; lots of playing, puzzles, dvds and fun with the boys

    I made subway-style sandwiches for lunch. We had previously fallen into the bad habit of treating ourselves to a shop-bought one each weekend, coming in at £10 I bought all the ingredients of my much-loved BMT sub-sandwich and worked out that doing it that way must have cost us around £1 per person. Got lots of ingredients left over to make more tomorrow! Happy days!

    DH had a good tidy of the junk room home office/computer room. We sorted two carrier bags out of things to take to the charity shop and tagged the bags to receive the nectar points from Oxfam.

    Now catching up with MSE diaries and watching Netfix
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 4th Sep 16, 9:20 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Another rainy day but a lovely day spent as a family regardless.

    DH announced mid-morning that he would like to cook a meal this evening Although a very enthusiastic cook, DH has not cooked a meal since we have lived in this house (4 years now) We did end up going to Mr M for some extra ingredients but found a large pack of posh sausages for 83p which we will have for dinner tomorrow.

    Had a fantastic offer from the bay of E this morning - 50% off final value fees! I promptly announced to DH that I would be listing 100 items over the next few days I've made an enthusiastic start but hmm....we'll see if I can find 100 things to list!

    The boys start preschool in a week I think I am still in denial....
    Anyway, I need to order some iron-on name tags for their clothes. If anyone knows where the best place is for this, please let me know, because apparently the quality varies enormously.
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 7th Sep 16, 9:50 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Been thinking lately of giving the house a bit of a cosmetic makeover. When we moved in nothing needed doing and the bathroom and kitchen had recently been replaced. We moved in four years ago and four years and two little boys later, the house is feeling tired to say the least. Considering we will most likely move in the next 2-3 years, I'm wondering how much to spend and how much work to do.

    Projects I'm wanting to do include:

    - New carpets for upstairs (3 beds, hall and stairs)
    - Regrouting the bathroom to make it look like new again.
    - Painting the living room
    - Giving the boys' room a complete makeover (they still have their original nursery decoration)
    - Turning the home office/computer room upstairs into a toy storage room/playroom
    - New front door
    - Taking 1970s fireplace and stone surround out
    - New flooring in living room
    - Buying a couple of new furniture pieces for the living room

    ....tell me honestly, does this sound too much? The budget would be £2-3000 maximum.

    In other MFW news....just sold a cracked, non-working tablet on ebay for £40...crazy!
    • tattycath
    • By tattycath 7th Sep 16, 10:20 PM
    • 6,643 Posts
    • 35,127 Thanks
    tattycath
    Ive just been catching up with your diary. Thanks for the heads up re. The bay. I've just checked mine. I've been offered only pay fees this month if my listings sell. It seems to be for up to 100 listings. I really need to get on with this.
    Well done on selling your tablet.
    GE 36 *MFD December 2027-target 2020
    MFIT-T4 No 106
    EF £100/£2000 - SSF £350
    Mortgage : £5,935/£10,000
    November: £118.00/£200
    November £77.00/£250
    Savercard Christmas savings £150
    19/3/16 = 176lb
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 8th Sep 16, 10:13 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Thanks Cath Nice to know somebody is reading...sometimes it feels like I'm just talking to myself.

    Groceries being delivered tomorrow morning. Paid for it using Mr M's more points vouchers, so a completely free shop for this week. Should have enough meals now until the 20th when my budget starts again for the next month. The only thing left to pay for is around £15 worth of buffet food for Saturday when we're having some family over. Everyone is bringing something though, so that will help out alot.

    In the general spends category, we have to buy new car seats for the boys but I have done some price comparison and cashback research and think I've found the best deal.
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 17th Sep 16, 10:25 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    A happy week indeed
    What a wonderful week it has been. My twins started pre-school for five mornings a week and are loving it. A few posts ago, I wrote that i was dreading sending them but it has been doing them the world of good. They seem so grown up all of a sudden and I've been feeling very proud.

    I set us the challenge of not spending any money on groceries until tomorrow and using up food from the cupboard and freezer. I think it must be psychological but I feel starving hungry and have been craving all sorts of things that I never usually buy Yet when my cupboards are crammed full after a grocery shop I barely eat anything...go figure that one out

    Looking for a new mortgage rate at the moment and need to switch tomorrow when DH and I have time to sit down and discuss.

    Decided that Sky is getting too expensive (currently paying £68 per month and it seems to be rising all the time ), particularly as I realised that all most of the shows we watch would be available on freeview.
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 19th Sep 16, 11:08 AM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    New rate applied for - 1.79% over 2 years - this will start on 31st October. There were slightly cheaper rates available but they had much higher fees. Compared it all on a calculator and this worked out the best deal for us. New payment will be £456 a month. Crazy to think when we bought our house four years ago we were paying nearly two hundred pounds more. My sister has just bought a new house and although we do want to upsize in a few years, I definitely do not envy her £1500 payment Makes me think that paying off alot more equity before we move will put us in a (hopefully) much better position.

    Grocery shopping delivered yesterday evening. Cupboards and freezer crammed full.

    E*bay offers a back - £1 maximum final fees. This is their best offer but it finishes today and I'm not sure what else I have to list. We have so much to sell but nothing accessible that wouldn't mean delving into the deepest darkest depths of the loft or garage.
    • atypicalblonde
    • By atypicalblonde 19th Sep 16, 12:41 PM
    • 1,611 Posts
    • 8,439 Thanks
    atypicalblonde
    Hellloooo lovely I've found you!

    I am so glad the twins are enjoying pre-school. It really is quite lovely to be able to go to the toilet or have a cuppa in peace isn't it?! They will flourish there, and no doubt have already brought you home lots of pieces of artwork

    Have you called Sky to cancel? Power to your elbow girlfriend - stay strong and don't let them convince you to stay! x
    MFW
    Mortgage 8.2.15 - £171,064.64 Mortgage 3.11.16 - £139,251.40
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 19th Sep 16, 2:08 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Twins were at pre-school this morning so I tidied up, put a load of washing in, checked the online banking and started on some forms that needed filling in. I'm loving having these mornings to myself - I feel so much more organised.

    ATB, they are loving pre-school so much that they're bouncing out of the car in the mornings. If I'd have known how great it is, I would've sent them ages ago!!! Silly mummy worrying too much

    We cancelled Sky and have signed up to BT (almost £30 cheaper and includes Fibre). However, DH is waiting for Sky to come back with a can't resist super-duper offer
    • claireee2008
    • By claireee2008 21st Sep 16, 7:27 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    claireee2008
    I've just discovered your diary after restarting mine. I also have a 3 year old daughter (and a 15 week old). My daughter does 2 full days at preschool as this is what she has always done when I work. I'm currently on maternity leave but will return before she starts school so have not been able to switch to the more traditional 5 half day. Glad your boys are enjoying it. The bit of time to yourself must be well needed. I'd love to ditch sky but the OH would never agree due to game of thrones.
    Mortgage as of Feb 2015 - £153000 (30 years left on term). Aiming to be morgage free in 20 years or less.
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 28th Sep 16, 11:00 AM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    The week of the squashed frog
    Hi Claire thanks for reading! Nice to have some company along the way.

    Well I haven't posted in a week because we have all been full of cold/possibly bronchitis. Yep...I sound like a croaky, squashed frog. Feel like I haven't got anything done for a week; the boys haven't been going to pre-school, the house looks like a tip and DH is complaining he has no clean socks.

    Sold a few more items on Ebay and now have around £100 in Paypal, so will withdraw, once everything has been posted and OP. Actually, one of the items that has sold I can't find now. I feel like I've looked everywhere...oh dear

    We eventually got a 60% off for a year offer with Sky and so cancelled BT in the end. Glad it's sorted as DH has been going on about it for a couple of weeks now. Once he gets something in his mind....

    Actually, I might try and get DH into this matched betting business everyone on here talks about. It sounds just up his street and something which he could obsess about and make money for OPs at the same time. Win win
    • claireee2008
    • By claireee2008 29th Sep 16, 10:57 AM
    • 25 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    claireee2008
    Sorry to hear you have been ill. Always hard to keep up with the chores when ill. I hope it doesn't take you too long to catch up. Good news on the eBay sales and sky though.
    Mortgage as of Feb 2015 - £153000 (30 years left on term). Aiming to be morgage free in 20 years or less.
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 8th Oct 16, 9:24 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    A very productive day indeed!
    Feeling most pleased with myself today as I've got lots (for me, anyway) done.

    - Ebay parcel posted
    - Picked up prescription
    - Wardrobe (that was absolutely full up to the top) sorted and cleared out
    - 1 big bag of rubbish binned, 2 bags sent to the charity shop, and 4 bags of items to ebay
    - Did a crafty project with DS1
    - Did a load of laundry
    - A small pile of ironing
    - Played with the boys lots - did lots of shapes, puzzles, stickers and singing at the tops of our voices

    Hoping tomorrow is just as wonderful
    • atypicalblonde
    • By atypicalblonde 8th Oct 16, 9:45 PM
    • 1,611 Posts
    • 8,439 Thanks
    atypicalblonde
    That sounds like a pretty fabulous day to me! Glad you are now better. Did the missing eBay item turn up? X
    MFW
    Mortgage 8.2.15 - £171,064.64 Mortgage 3.11.16 - £139,251.40
    • PrincessLou
    • By PrincessLou 8th Oct 16, 9:51 PM
    • 461 Posts
    • 1,755 Thanks
    PrincessLou
    Thanks ATB

    Yes, the Ebay item did turn up after a bit of searching. I now keep everything listed in a box so I don't lose anything again.
    • claireee2008
    • By claireee2008 10th Oct 16, 4:42 PM
    • 25 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    claireee2008
    Sounds like a very productive day. I've listed my first items on eBay this weekend!
    Mortgage as of Feb 2015 - £153000 (30 years left on term). Aiming to be morgage free in 20 years or less.
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