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  • FIRST POST
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 1st Apr 16, 10:34 AM
    • 424Posts
    • 1,637Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Getting a Grip and Saving towards the mortgage
    • #1
    • 1st Apr 16, 10:34 AM
    Getting a Grip and Saving towards the mortgage 1st Apr 16 at 10:34 AM
    It is nearly a year since I last posted - due to a combination of work and losing my log in details However I am back with my sleeves rolled up bcause the new Personal Savings Allowance means I can start getting my hands on some of the lovely bank accounts that are now on offer without having to pay the taxman.
    So a potted history of me and mine - we are me, OH, DS (25) and DD (23) who since I last wrote has moved in with her boyfriend but I am still financially supporting as she is in her last year at university. Son is financially independent, still living at home but looking to buy his own place shortly.
    We have a large mortgage because we built out own house 7 years ago. We do however have a great mortgage deal - a lifetime tracker of 0.69% so instead of overpaying the mortgage I put any spare cash into higher paying ISAs and have until now been looking longingly at some of the higher rate current accounts - we are both higher rate tax payers so have been pointless using anything but ISAs until now.
    The numbers:
    Mortgage debt: Jan 15 £288778.23. March15 £286,217.61. Jan 16 £277958.44
    March 16 £275,920.98

    Savings: Jan 15 £22080.81 March 15 £25,790.53 Jan 16 £34,361.10 March 16 £36966.91

    So as you can see although I haven't been posting I have kept up the saving, averaging £1000 per month.
    I also set myself a goal of losing a stone and I have lost a stone and a half
    I think setting goals in writing on here really worked for me and so I am back
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 01-04-2016 at 11:31 AM.
Page 17
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 30th Aug 17, 9:32 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Hi wildesavings - I hadn't heard that expression before, but I like it. We often say "pinch with pride" at work. Feel free to "magpie" anything you would find useful. I probably "magpied" it myself !
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 31st Aug 17, 8:03 AM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 6,429 Thanks
    themadvix
    Think your plan makes sense - don't go hardcore until after your holiday, otherwise you'll begrudge spending the money while you're away, which would negate the enjoyment you're meant to be having!!

    Love the 'magpie' phraseology - might have to magpie that myself!
    OPs 2017 = £2603/£10000
    S&S ISA = £300/£600
    OPs made 2016 = £6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance June 2017: £99,974
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 1st Sep 17, 7:20 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    September
    I can't believe it is September already. It is a beautiful morning here and I am keeping my fingers crossed for good weather over the next week while we are away in the cottage.

    I have quite a few things to do today, but I am working from home so should be able to fit in a few jobs around calls.

    I have promised to take DD to work as she is going straight out after work with her colleagues. I also need to do some shopping and get some cash, claim my expenses and pack for our week away. That is in and amongst clearing up at work so that I can go on holiday with a clear conscience

    If I get time I will also do some money shuffling to gather up the monthly harvest of interest and rewards.

    Anyway I had better get a wriggle on. Happy September all
    • wildesavings
    • By wildesavings 3rd Sep 17, 7:09 PM
    • 170 Posts
    • 475 Thanks
    wildesavings
    Happy September to you too!

    Hope you're having a wonderful time away.
    Started my MFW journey in August 14 : £103,650
    2017 : Mortgage at 1/1/17 - £96,839 - now : £91,342 - capital reduced by £5497 so far this year
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 8th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    A bit of a soggy week
    We are back a day early from our week away as the weather turned decided soggy. We have had a great time though, lots of great coastal walks, and lots of laughs, eating and drinking.

    Rain is forcast for the next few days, so we thought we might as well come home a day early and get a few jobs done before we have to go back to work next week. It is likely to be manic now everyone is back from their holidays.

    Our week away worked out fine in terms of spending and we managed to keep within our spending money budget. We had some lovely meals out and I have definitely decided that I only want to pay for food out, when the food is better than I can cook at home. The meals we had were really superb and some very fresh seafood.

    Our friends very kindly treated us to a meal out as we had paid for the cottage and also left all the food and drink that they had contributed so we have a very full fridge at the moment.

    In terms of the MSE stuff to report:
    I managed to bag lots of reduced bread in M&S before I went away - bread rolls for 35p a pack and loaves for 50p, so we now have a freezer full of bread.

    I shunned the expensive gift shops and went to the C@rd Factory in the local town to buy birthday cards for everyone who has a birthday up to Christmas. 6 birthday cards for £6.36. MSE and organised

    I bought a nice set of Usbourne baby books reduced from £14.99 to £3. I will give these to our baby niece for her birthday in November.

    I have just cashed in £61.21 from t@pcashback and still have another £80 tracking

    I have a few jobs to sort out this weekend, ESTAs to apply for, an important presentation to prepare for work and the boiler insurance to source ( increased from £157 per year to £436 ) I don't think so !

    I want to have a nice frugal September now so that we can get the spending money for the US trip together ( as well as keeping the savings up)

    I could also do to get the garden tidied up, if it ever stops raining ! Have a good day
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 10th Sep 17, 8:05 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Back to work tomorrow
    A nice pottery day yesterday (as in pottering not making pots )

    I went for a run in the rain and got soaked, but quite enjoyed it strangely. I am trying to run every other day now. I got onto to scales of doom this morning and was pleased that I didn't put any weight on despite all the eating and drinking last week. I would like to lose another 5 lb before my holiday in 5 weeks time, which should be doable if I get my act together.

    We had a good clean up of the house and then had a very MSE trip to Lidl to buy the weekend offers. This week it was grated cheese (£1.49 for 450g). I had to root through and find the bags with the longest dates ( 2 November) as the others were best before 16 September. Anyway five bags bought, along with 3 bottles of 2.99 wines. I did some other shopping too as I had a £5 off voucher if you spent £30. All in all a big haul for £27 in total.

    Next week olive oil is on offer again at £1.49, so I will probably stock up again ( think we are down to 1 bottle) and there is also some white wine at £2.99, which we will try.

    On the savings front we have been discussing a couple of things that will affect our savings totals if we go ahead. Firstly we are thinking of having a fireplace built, we ran out of money when we built the house and so just blanked off the chimney. This is likely to cost around £2k, but will give a real focal point to the room. I think being away at the cottage, which had a lovely fireplace reminded us that we want to do this.

    Secondly we want to give DS a bank of Mum and Dad loan to buy a car. We have money that is earning next to nothing in interest and would rather he borrowed off us than paid interest to the bank, we have said that he can borrow the money over 2 years so that it is back in time for Mr Mees retirement. I just need to decided how to account for this on my spreadsheet

    I want to do some emails this afternoon to try and catch up ahead of going back to work tomorrow and strangely I am actually looking forward to going back to work. I am enjoying working with the new boss and things are generally going well, despite it being really busy.

    It looks like we are in for another soggy day here.
    • try harder
    • By try harder 11th Sep 17, 7:03 AM
    • 503 Posts
    • 1,621 Thanks
    try harder
    Morning Busy Mee1 . I just dont know where the time goes but i am here at last ,i always love reading your posts you are always so upbeat and positive although sorry to hear you have had some upsets at home but hopefully things have settled down now and your daughter is so lucky to have lovely parents to support her and thats what we all do to the best of our ability .
    Good to hear that you have had a wonderful time away in the cottage it all sounds lovely and even better that you had your daughter join you and your friends and now another very exciting holiday to look forward to .
    On the money front you are doing so well as always and i am so pleased for you as you put such a lot of time and effort in to everything you do you are such a hard worker and the results of all your efforts are looking A mazing so keep up the great work its very satisfying thats for sure .
    Loving the sound of the open fire ,we have two woodburners and they are lovely thats for sure and you definitely deserve a treat for all your hard work i am imagining it now in your beautiful house .

    Have a good week at work this week its good to hear that you look forward to going and that is brilliant as you spend such a lot of time there ,long may it continue .
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 14th Sep 17, 7:06 AM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 6,429 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hey BusyMee, it all sounds very positive over here. I'm glad you had a good cottage holiday - it sounds lovely - walks, coast, food, drink and friends - what's not to love!

    Getting the fireplace done sounds like a lovely idea and will really make your house snug for winter.

    Can I ask, where did you get the Usborne books from? They sound like a really good deal! (And I have two baby nieces to buy for for Christmas).
    OPs 2017 = £2603/£10000
    S&S ISA = £300/£600
    OPs made 2016 = £6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance June 2017: £99,974
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 15th Sep 17, 9:12 PM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Hi Madvix sorry only just seen this. I got the books in WH Smiths - they had lots of books with 75% off.
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 16th Sep 17, 5:53 AM
    • 1,608 Posts
    • 8,375 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    Glad you had a lovely time away and well done with your frugal finds (the bread, books & cards)
    2017 MFW #20 - OP £2151.52: £2150 100%
    Last 3 months- Sep £206.32 Oct: £179.60 Nov: £12.58

    Emergency fund £3945/ £6k
    Mortgage Oct '16 £170.995 LTV 90% end: Nov 2041
    2016 OPs £255.50/£150
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 16th Sep 17, 11:53 AM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 6,429 Thanks
    themadvix
    Thanks Busy - I'll check that out!
    OPs 2017 = £2603/£10000
    S&S ISA = £300/£600
    OPs made 2016 = £6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance June 2017: £99,974
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 17th Sep 17, 8:19 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Sunday again
    Well another week has flown by. It has been a bit of a stressy week at work as I had the "important" presentation at work this week.

    I nailed it though thankfully and managed to do it without notes, which I was pleased about given my foggy brain at the moment.

    I haven't had much sleep this week - I keep waking up at 4 am and can't go back to sleep, so I was ridiculously tired yesterday. I did go and do Park Run with both DS and DD, but I was very slow and my legs felt like lead. I am pleased I made myself do it though, but I was shattered for the rest of the day. I finally had a good nights sleep last night (combination of the physical excercise and a couple of glasses of red wine I think ) and I feel like a new woman this morning.

    On the MFW front I can report that I have only spent £5 over the last 6 days. £3 of which was on car parking and I can claim back from work. So only £2 of our own money spent on a newspaper and packet of wine gums yesterday ( I was in desperate need of some sugar ). I only ever buy a newspaper on Saturday these days and it lasts us all weekend, with the various magazines and bits to it.

    I renewed our boiler insurance yesterday as our H0meserve had jumped from £156 per year to £420. I shopped around and got it for £176 per year with £31.50 TCB We do need insurance as our boiler isn't really good enough for the size of our central heating system and does usually pack in at least once over the winter.

    I also bought dollars on Friday as the £1 had rallied so much and was at a 12 month high. I just took this money out of the EF/Holiday fund. It did strike me that actually the more money you have, the more you can save. At one time I just wouldn't have had the money to take the opportunity to buy currency at the best price.

    I think that is all my all my news this week, we are off to do the shopping today, a combination of HB, @ldi and L!dl.

    Thanks Try Harder, Madvix and Kittenkirst for dropping in- lovely to see you all
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 17th Sep 17, 11:17 AM
    • 395 Posts
    • 1,472 Thanks
    michelle09
    Well done on the presentation, sure it's nice to have it over. Enjoy your shopping trip!
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 18th Sep 17, 7:53 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Monday Monday
    Thanks for popping in Michelle.

    The shopping trip was expensive yesterday £87.56 spent in total, but I did get a big haul of stuff. Chickens were half price in M&S, so 2x medium chickens for £2.50 each, plus a whole load of YS stuff. My freezer is full again.

    I returned to my normal Sunday cookathon yesterday, I haven't done this for ages. I cooked veg soup to use up some miserable veggies that had been lurking in the fridge and extreme MSE alert, I actually fished some celery out of the bin. Mr Mee had chucked it out because it had passed it's sell by date in June Have I taught this man nothing....anyway I fished it back out. I will point out it was still wrapped and I removed all the brown outer stalks and the good middle bit went in the soup. This will do DD and I for lunches this week and I will freeze some too.

    Mr Mee also made his famous Gino D'Campo ragu sauce, which will be tonight's tea. I cooked a roast dinner with one of the £2.50 chickens and a packet of reduced to 20p Paxo (bought ages ago) and DS came round to help to eat it.

    I finally managed to apply for our ESTAs yesterday which is a couple of hours of my life I won't get back.

    Have a great week everyone
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 19th Sep 17, 10:42 AM
    • 1,118 Posts
    • 6,429 Thanks
    themadvix
    If it was still in its packaging, I can't see what was wrong with rescuing the celery!
    OPs 2017 = £2603/£10000
    S&S ISA = £300/£600
    OPs made 2016 = £6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance June 2017: £99,974
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 23rd Sep 17, 7:46 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Another week
    Well that is another week that has gone in a blur. It was quite stressy at work at the beginning of the week, with a number of things not going to plan. All sorted now thankfully.

    I spent a couple of days in London, so quite spendy with a nice meal out and drinks with a colleague. I can claim some of this back through expenses though (food not alcohol ! )

    I managed a run yesterday morning and have dug out my slimming world books to try and focus my mind on losing some weight. I really need to lose about 5lb before our holiday, otherwise my holiday clothes just won't fit

    I nipped to @sda yesterday as we have friends coming to lunch today- spent £52.36, but this included a dress reduced to £10 At least one thing that will fit me on holiday

    I am going to make apple crumble for pudding, with a fruit salad for me

    We are then heading over to visit some other friends tonight and staying over, so all in all a busy weekend.

    Hope you all have a good weekend
    • try harder
    • By try harder 30th Sep 17, 8:08 AM
    • 503 Posts
    • 1,621 Thanks
    try harder
    What a great saving on the boiler insurance ,well done .Looking forward to your monthly update .
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 30th Sep 17, 8:34 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    September Update
    Thanks Try Harder and as if by magic here is the monthly update....

    We have just scraped over £1500 in savings this month, largely due to spending on the holiday at the beginning of September and also due to Mr Mee spending a bit too freely on his Apple Pay. Luckily the Santander Lite offer of 5% cash back finishes tomorrow, so he can go back to having cash spending money. This should clip his wings

    September Update
    Monthly Savings. £1,503.19
    Total Savings. £56,235.44
    Mortgage. £243,944.66
    Savings:Mortgage. 23.05%
    Savings offset mortgage to £187,709.22
    Av. Monthly savings (2017) £1580.12

    I am really pleased our savings now offset the mortgage to the £180s and we are still saving over £1500 per month.

    We could do better, but I feel that we have got the frugality versus " having a life" balance right. All our purchases are considered and no money is wasted ( when I can rein Mr Mee in !). Our money also works hard, with decent interest on the regular savers and cash back on any purchases from TCB, Barclaycard cash back and Santander Lite cashback.

    Forward Look to October
    Finances are looking tight for October as we have a credit card bill of £1000. This was the car hire for the US holiday and 2 pairs of glasses for Mr Mee, on top of all the usual spending. The good news is that there are only two weeks at home and then we go on holiday, which is all paid for
    Providing we are careful in those two weeks we should be able to meet the savings target of £1500
    I have just claimed £53.26 Topc@ashback which is a good start to the month

    Today
    I have joined a new gym this week, I have found one that is £14.99 a month with no contract. I went for a visit on Wednesday and it seemed really good and an absolute bargain. I am going to do a class called "grit" this morning. I am not sure what state I am going to be in after that

    We are also going back to the fireplace showroom because the fire place we picked is no good ( they came out to survey) so we now have to go in and see what we can have. I am hoping we can now push this on until after our holiday and give me a bit more time to dig the money out for it.

    Other than that it is all the usual weekend jobs - cooking and cleaning etc. Will try and see DS as I haven't seen him for a couple of weeks and I am taking a friend who hasnt been well out for coffee.

    Have a great weekend x
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 30-09-2017 at 8:49 AM.
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 1st Oct 17, 8:00 AM
    • 424 Posts
    • 1,637 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Broken
    I am feeling ever so slightly broken this morning. The Grit class was very good, very high intensity work out with weights but only 30 mins. So hard but was over quickly, but boy am I feeling it this morning

    I cannot believe what great value this gym is, I was paying £35.00 a month at my last gym and the facilities were no where near as good as this for £14.99. I am not sure how they do it - lots of members I think, although it has never been a problem getting on any of the equipment.
    I also suspect they don't employ many staff - the membership and barriers are all done by machine and the staff are all PTs , so I suspect self employed and paid on a session basis for classes.

    Another advantage of this new gym is there is a small @sda nearby, so very handy for popping in to check for any reduced items. Yesterday morning they had Sure antiperspirant reduced to 45p a can, so I picked up 6 cans

    We went back to the fireplace showroom to discuss options and we are thinking about what to do. I think we will sort out after we get back from holiday.

    I have to confess to a bit of spending yesterday afternoon on a few bits in the Debenh@ms sale for the holiday. A lot of my holiday clothes are looking a bit tired, but when I think about it I have had them a few years.

    We need to go shopping today - the cupboards are really bare at the moment as we didn't do a proper shop last week and Mr Mee hates it. It is really funny, because he has never gone without anything. Although from a working class background, his family were quite well off and did without nothing and he really likes the security of full cupboards. There was less money when I was a child and the cupboards were often bare, so it doesn't bother me, in fact I see it as a challenge !

    Have a good day x
    • EatingTheElephant
    • By EatingTheElephant 1st Oct 17, 8:19 AM
    • 1,152 Posts
    • 6,177 Thanks
    EatingTheElephant
    I'm glad I'm not the only one finding the weeks are rushing by in such a blur.

    Fingers crossed you manage to get the fire sorted, it will be lovely now that it is getting more miserable. We have been lighting the fire quite a bit recently, makes it really cosy when the rain is hammering down.

    I have a friend that teaches grit, so I've heard it's a really tough one. The new gym sounds brilliant, good find!
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