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  • FIRST POST
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 20th May 16, 11:38 AM
    • 874Posts
    • 296Thanks
    Zola.
    Quest for Financial Freedom
    • #1
    • 20th May 16, 11:38 AM
    Quest for Financial Freedom 20th May 16 at 11:38 AM
    Hello fellow money savers

    This will be my diary to help keep myself accountable and focused on a few key things
    1. Clearing Our Mortgage Early
    2. Saving Money
    3. Investing Money
    4. Enjoying Life

    A little about me. I am 30, live in UK. Up until I was about 27 I was pretty rubbish with money.

    I saw my pay check as money to burn. I matured eventually, knuckled down and saved very hard to get our first home. We bought around a year ago and managed to slap down a good deposit. We get married in 2017, so currently saving for that.

    Here are some early stats.
    • Mortgage Balance: Around £126,500 - 24 years left (currently)
    • Wedding fund: £12,500
    • Rainy Day Fund: £10,000
    • Investments: £350

    We have been putting £600 into our wedding fund every month and will keep doing so until the wedding happens.

    We plan to overpay on the mortgage after that. I like the thought of keeping £600 floating into an over payment fund and send that off. We can only make one payment of up to 10% every year, so will likely build it up over the year then send off.

    We will have things like car replacements, kids etc to think about in future as well, so my priorities may change a year or two down the line!

    I also have started investing in Vanguard Life Strategy 80, and plan to put in £300 a month whenever possible. I want to hold onto this for as long as possible and pray for a good return!

    We also love holidays and enjoying ourselves, so I wont be holding myself back in enjoying life, we only get one. I just want to become a black belt in the art of being Frugal!
    Last edited by Zola.; 01-06-2016 at 11:01 AM.
Page 1
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 23rd May 16, 10:23 PM
    • 45,902 Posts
    • 161,377 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #2
    • 23rd May 16, 10:23 PM
    • #2
    • 23rd May 16, 10:23 PM
    Happy shiny new diary
    Keep posting!
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 2 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.*** ***Keep plodding***
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 1st Jun 16, 10:56 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 16, 10:56 AM
    • #3
    • 1st Jun 16, 10:56 AM
    May has, and June will be, expensive months.
    • Last payment on engagement ring cleared from personal account -
    • Bought a Gas BBQ - £250 - Had to be done - hopefully a good long term investment for family and friends visiting etc
    • Car booked in for timing belt change - likely to be 300-500 - at the mechanics mercy really!
    • £600 transferred to wedding fund - up to £13,100

    I am glad the ring is paid off from my personal account. One less expense to budget for. More for investing!

    After these expenses, I have no extra cash available this month for investing into the Life Strategy fund, shame.

    Next month I hope!
    Last edited by Zola.; 01-06-2016 at 11:01 AM.
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 28th Jun 16, 9:27 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    • #4
    • 28th Jun 16, 9:27 AM
    • #4
    • 28th Jun 16, 9:27 AM
    Payday

    Been another expensive month! I was away for a couple of nights for OH's birthday.

    We go on holidays this weekend for a couple of weeks to sunny Portugal, so we transferred out money for exchanging, thankfully got Euros a couple of weeks before Brexit and got a decent rate.

    £300 invested into Vanguard LS 80
    £600 into wedding fund

    The rest into our joint for mortgage, bills and boring things
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 31st Jan 17, 12:30 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 17, 12:30 PM
    • #5
    • 31st Jan 17, 12:30 PM
    Shamefully, I haven't updated this in 6 months or so. We have done a bit more to the house which has eaten into the current account a bit...but still on track, sort of! I am really wanting to start being more frugal from now to the wedding to maximise our cash..

    It's now 8 more pay days until the wedding....

    Current state of affairs

    Wedding saver fund - £16,000+. - We are now adding £800 a month into this. We have paid half for some things already, so the account has gone up and down as we have saved into it and paid out. Seem to be on track, I feel.

    Mortgage debt - £124,000. 23 years to run. (Really wanting to start overpaying...but we cant really until after the wedding)

    Rainy day fund - £10,000.

    Monthly Investments - £200 per month direct debit for Vanguard Life Strategy 80%, into S&S ISA

    Once we get the wedding paid, I want to start overpaying the mortgage before we think about having any kids.

    I am just not sure what the best way to organise things!

    What do you think?

    Aggressively target the mortgage, ramp up the investments, or build a bigger emergency fund. All three would be ideal....!
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 31st Jan 17, 1:06 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 17, 1:06 PM
    • #6
    • 31st Jan 17, 1:06 PM
    Glad to see things are on track for the wedding fund. It'll be great having all that extra cash afterwards to invest how you like
    They say to keep between 3 and 6 months worth of bills for an emergency fund, so I think that would be a good place to start. Also, if you are planning to have children, have you thought about how much maternity leave you would want to take? A lot of people take 12 months now and end up with no earnings for the last 3 months so it might be worth saving a bit up for maternity leave. After that, if it were me, I would overpay more on the mortgage rather than the investment as you are likely to save a lot of interest, but still pay a bit into the other investments too. There is a really useful mortgage overpayment calculator on here that shows how much interest you will save and how much quicker you will pay off your mortgage if you overpay so that might help to focus you on how much you want to try overpaying by.
    Also, I've just realised our threads have similar names - oops! I didn't see this thread when I created mine, sorry.
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £8,750
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£200,200.00
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£126,695 .00
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / Current -£14,310.60
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,724.38
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 31st Jan 17, 2:36 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 17, 2:36 PM
    • #7
    • 31st Jan 17, 2:36 PM
    Cheers!

    I do enjoy playing around with the over payment calculator!
    Last edited by Zola.; 31-01-2017 at 2:46 PM.
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 31st Jan 17, 8:03 PM
    • 16,292 Posts
    • 106,601 Thanks
    gallygirl
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 17, 8:03 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 17, 8:03 PM
    Aggressively target the mortgage, ramp up the investments, or build a bigger emergency fund. All three would be ideal....!
    Originally posted by Zola.
    What is your mortgage rate? Your best bet would be to fill as many regular savers or bank accounts at 5 or 6% rather than pay off a lower mortgage rate. That way you would have a bigger emergency fund but could overpay the mortgage when rates rise. However, I'd be thinking to the future and bunging more into Vanguard as well.
    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"
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 1st Feb 17, 9:31 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 17, 9:31 AM
    • #9
    • 1st Feb 17, 9:31 AM
    Current rate is 3.09% (we are 2 years into a 5 year fixed).

    I did some sums whereby after the wedding, if we chucked an extra £500 a month between us, the mortgage would be gone within 9 years. That sounds absolutely epic to me..

    There are always temptations out there though to spend money, aren't there?

    I have a 12 year car which is running superb, but will ultimately need replaced at some stage.

    We'd also like to extend the house at one point. And do up the kitchen!
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 2nd Feb 17, 9:51 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    Having a working from home day today.

    We have a plumber in putting a toilet and sink under the stairs. Small little room but we are lucky there's a good window etc there already. Will be a great addition to the house.

    The noise right now is insane though!
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 2nd Feb 17, 10:22 AM
    • 691 Posts
    • 2,737 Thanks
    themadvix
    A downstairs loo is so convenient - good decision there!

    Working from home with that sort of noise is difficult though; you have my sympathy!
    OPs 2017 = £1300/£10000
    S&S ISA = £100/£600
    OPs made 2016 = £6142.12
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Feb 2017: £103, 019.99
    MFW2017 no. 38
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 2nd Feb 17, 5:06 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    All sorted, it worked out well in the end, the plumber I was to book in was going to cost £690 for the work and fitting materials (pipework etc). But he was booked out to end of March.

    I got a recommendation from a guy ... £370, pretty much half the price!

    Money saved and a little more value added to the house hopefully, solid day.
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 2nd Feb 17, 7:26 PM
    • 147 Posts
    • 558 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Not just extra value to the property, it will help it sell when you eventually decide to move. I'd say that was a very good investment and it will make it more enjoyable for you living in the house. Well done on the price too!
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £8,750
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£200,200.00
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£126,695 .00
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / Current -£14,310.60
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,724.38
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 2nd Feb 17, 9:05 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    Cheers Ch4rly!
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 15th Feb 17, 8:59 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    February has been a quiet month so far. We have watched a few movies and taken it pretty easy.

    We have wanted a bookcase for sometime so we went shopping around.Most ones we liked were in the £300+ range but I found a lovely pine one, which was perfect and is good build quality. I had to build it up, but it was only £120, and looks great and fits well in our living room. Looks quite elegant. Already half full of books etc.

    I also started some work in the kitchen, the last room in our house to get a decorating facelift. I have stripped the wallpaper off and preparing walls for some painting, maybe this weekend..

    Nice little side project last week..... revamping an older website for a small business for £400. Was fairly easy work but very valuable to the owner.

    I have invested £300 of this in Vanguard Global Small-Cap Index Accumulation and banked the rest in my everyday account for general run around money.
    Last edited by Zola.; 15-02-2017 at 9:02 AM.
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 28th Feb 17, 10:59 AM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    March is basically here already!

    Last week I did a full financial inspection of 2016 spending by month and put them into pie charts etc to study. It was a heavy spending year last year... we somehow managed to spend £8k in January, 4k in Feb...(house stuff mostly).

    I have compared this with the first two months of this year, and the spending has quartered and halved, and that's including all bills and £800 a month for wedding saving. Seeing the comparative bar charts is very motivating to keep improving.

    We have realised that we waste money on certain groceries each week, so we have started doing definitive lists, and using the slow cooker for the past few weeks, which has made for some budget friendly meals, and also very healthy!

    I have upped my pension by another 2% which means 12% is going in every month, 6 by me, 6 by employer via salary sacrifice.

    I have also upped our S&S ISA Direct Debit to £250 per month from 200, going into Vanguard LS 80%.

    I dream of mortgage over-payments but until our wedding is done at the end of the year we wont be able to do so. Our rainy day fund has been floating at about £8500 for a short while and I want to bump that back over 10k ASAP.
    Last edited by Zola.; 28-02-2017 at 11:28 AM.
    • Zola.
    • By Zola. 19th Apr 17, 2:32 PM
    • 874 Posts
    • 296 Thanks
    Zola.
    Hope everyone is keeping well and making their own progress!

    Since last update I have upped my monthly pension contribution to 14% of pay... the 2% jump makes a minimal effect on my net pay, but going in tax free its a decent little jump going into the fund over time.

    Usual DD of £250 to investment is ticking along nicely.

    Its now under 6 months to we get married, so most things are getting lined up planning wise!!

    The current account balance is for the most part staying the same each month. We have been doing some things to the house and are finally in a position where we have it the way we want it, for the next couple of years at least!

    We have been putting £800 a side each month into the wedding fund. Once that's taken care of we can really begin starting the overpayments, until then we havent done any, but very keen to begin.

    Anyone else in a similar position to me?
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