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  • FIRST POST
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 19th Jan 17, 2:37 PM
    • 194Posts
    • 826Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Dreaming of financial freedom!
    • #1
    • 19th Jan 17, 2:37 PM
    Dreaming of financial freedom! 19th Jan 17 at 2:37 PM
    Hi everyone reading this!

    I hadn't thought about writing my own MFW diary until another user suggested it, so I have no idea if anyone will be interested in what I have to say, but I'll just post it and you can ignore if it's rubbish So here's my story...

    I turn 30 next month and I would like to be mortgage free as soon as possible. My husband and I work in IT and, at least in my company, it seems to be that most jobs are being moved abroad. My dad also worked in IT was made redundant at 53 before my parents had finished their mortgage so I think that is why I am so anxious about having mortgage debt and would like to pay it off ASAP.

    We bought our first house in 2006 and sold it three years later in the middle of the recession for a loss of £6k, which wasn't ideal but it allowed us to purchase a house we couldn't have otherwise afforded as the vendors needed a quick sale so were prepared to drop their price. We moved in to the new house at the back end of 2009 and didn't need to do anything to it, which is a good job as we didn't have any spare money at the time! After a few years I got a job that paid well and we started overpaying on the mortgage, which we decided to do rather than save up as we would get a nice lump sum if we were made redundant. I loved seeing the mortgage go down!

    In 2011 my dad was diagnosed with a progressive neurodegenerative illness, which means his brain is slowly dying and was given a life expectancy of approximately 7 years, although it differs for everyone. My parents decided to make the most of their time together and bought a static caravan by a lake, which they lived in happily for a couple of years before my dad started having too many falls to continue living there and they moved into an independent living unit near Holmfirth, which isn't too far from where my in-laws live so it made visiting them all on our weekends up from Nottingham so much easier! By 2014 my dad had deteriorated quite a bit and my husband and I discussed leaving Nottingham so we could live closer to our parents in Yorkshire. At this point, the house was valued at £170,000 and the mortgage was at £108,000. Had we stayed and continued paying the same amount each month we would be mortgage free by 2021 but if we moved we would either have to rent (which we both saw as dead money) or buy another place that would be more expensive for a comparable house so it was a difficult decision. Around the same time my father-in-law got cancer, so we decided that moving up would be the best option. The only problem was that my dad was deteriorating rapidly and it takes ages for houses in our area to sell so we'd miss the last bit of time with my dad in a reasonable condition and could miss being there for the in-laws when they needed us through the cancer treatment process. At this point, I suggested we rent out our house and buy another house closer to our parents. I first spoke to my mortgage provider and asked if there was a way to release equity from our house and move it onto a buy-to-let mortgage then purchase another property. Unfortunately they wouldn't allow us to do this, but luckily MSE sings the praises of London and Country mortgage brokers and as they don't charge a fee I thought it would be worth giving them a call. I am so glad I did! My advisor Adam found me a new residential mortgage and let-to-buy mortgage (which is apparently very similar to a buy-to-let mortgage but it is when you already owned the property when you decided to rent it out) so we could use equity from our house. A couple of months later we moved into our new house and our old house was rented out shortly after.

    After 2 years, our fixed deals have just come to an end and this is where we now stand...

    Residential mortgage:
    Started at £216,000 on 3.29% with no OPs allowed.
    From January 4th, the property has 80% LTV and is on 1.99% for 3 years with 10% OP allowed. Started at £204,000 but as I had to guess what amount I would need when I first applied 3 months ago, we were refunded £1,404 so the mortgage now stands at £202,596. The standard mortgage payment £916 but I set the DD up at £1,100 as that's what we paid before so there is an overpayment there without any hardship. I can't wait to see this go under £200k, and then I will set £10k goals.

    Buy-to-Let mortgage:
    Started at £136,000 on 4.79%, and we started making overpayments of £250pm.
    From February the property will have a 73% LTV and will be on 2.64% for 2 years. Again, we applied for this mortgage 3 months ago and I guessed £129,000 but when I checked yesterday it stood at £127,895 so we will be due some money back and will pay that off the mortgage straight away.The standard DD is £638 but I am considering whether to leave the payments at £1,000 as they previously were.

    The only fly in the ointment now is that our jobs aren't as secure as they used to be, and there are rumours of redundancy packages being dropped to statutory rates, which I understand isn't very much. This has made me think that we ought to have some savings in case one or both of us gets made redundant. We have £1500 in premium bonds saved up for house repairs but that wasn't much of a safety net. Luckily, we have just received a cheque for £4,900 from my husband's stock that he just sold so for the first time ever we finally have some security. We would have previously put it straight on the mortgage but with the current uncertainty around jobs it is nice to have a bit of a safety net. The timing couldn't be better!

    I'll be honest. I'm rubbish with budgets. I don't know how much we spend and I know I could be a lot more careful with my spending. We do have takeaways and eat out quite a bit, mainly because we both work long hours and very tired on an evening and don't want to then spend a big chunk of our evenings cooking. If I'm even more honest, part of it is laziness However, I want to change that as I'm sure we could save some real money and be healthier if we cook more so I'm thinking maybe meal plans, online shopping so I don't get tempted by add on products and don't have to give up a load of time to go to the supermarket, and maybe the odd ready meal in place of a takeaway when we're feeling tired / lazy. I am also going to have a look into slow cooker recipes that I could put on in a morning so it's ready for us as soon as we finish working.

    My goal is to start logging what we spend and make a proper budget!

    Some (limited) financial info:
    Husband earns around £3,000 net each month.
    I earn around £1,700 net each month.
    Rental income, after expenses, is £678 per month.

    Mortgage 1 £1,100
    Mortgage 2 £322 (£1,000 payment minus £678 rent, assuming we keep the payment the same)
    Car loan £500 (ends in October 2017)
    Loan to In-Laws £250 (not accruing any interest)
    Water bill £26
    Council Tax £128
    Gas & Electric £94.14
    BG Home Care £29.50
    Mobile 1 £13
    Mobile 2 £20
    Sky TV, internet and phone £70.93 (up for renewal tomorrow so will haggle or switch to Virgin)
    Car insurance £632 in 2016 (paid in a lump sum in April)
    Home insurance £491 in 2016 (paid in a lump sum in December)
    Pet insurance £69.61 in 2016 (paid in a lump sum in November)
    Landlord insurance £219.21 in 2017 (paid in a lump sum in January)
    Rent Guarantee and Legal insurance £125 in 2017 (paid in a lump sum in January)
    Gas Safety Certificate £60 (annual, paid in February)

    Unsure on food and entertainment costs (really need to get a grip on this) but after paying our credit cards we end up with between £500 and £1500 left at the end of the month, which we have recently been spending on home improvements, insurance, Christmas etc. so we haven't saved much of this. We are also thinking about joining a gym so that might also be another expense in future. If I think of any other expenses I will add them but I think that's pretty much it for now.

    I will try and update this as and when I get more information or manage to make savings / OPs. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by ch4rly2002; 20-01-2017 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Forgot to include the current mortgage values.
Page 7
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 12th Apr 17, 10:27 AM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,332 Thanks
    themadvix
    It's all sounding very positive Ch4rly!

    Re the chicken, I do a month's worth at a time and freeze it. The cats enjoy turkey at Christmas - will have to check out if it's cheaper here too! Thanks for that.
    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
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 12th Apr 17, 11:12 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Love reading your posts.
    Thanks Thistle I thought I'd check out if you have a diary Two diaries, both huge! It's going to take me a while to get through those, but I have already read the first few pages of your first diary and I'm hooked so I will make it through... eventually

    Both survey payments made it through to PayPal yesterday. I am very impressed with their speed. PayPal seem to have taken some of it as a processing fee, but it's not too terrible and it means I can get paid so I don't mind. The £15.17 is now safely banked in my FD account. Prolific is already back up to £8.15 payable and £5.30 pending. I am really impressed with them. OnePoll is up to £28.50 but seems to have gone quiet for a bit. Fingers crossed it will pick up a bit next week.

    Yesterday I took my Grandma shopping again. I set off earlier than usual, and the traffic was quieter (I think it's half term here), so we got to ASDA at a very good time. It made such a difference, the aisles were about as busy as usual but there were a couple more members of staff about and when I asked if they would open the wide aisle checkout they did so straight away and with no issues. Apparently, it is better to be disabled prior to 7:30 - that extra 45 minutes makes all the difference Afterwards I unpacked her shopping and we have a nice cup of tea with a slice of Bakewell tart that my Aunt had brought up for my Grandma and me. All in all, a good shopping trip and visit to see my Grandma. As I was leaving she got out £40 and insisted I took it. £35 for helping and the petrol, and £5 for some flowers she had asked me to get for my mum. again, I told her it was too much and that I enjoy taking her shopping, but again she insisted. Very kind of her, so I accepted gratefully as I think it upsets her more if I try and refuse it. That will go into the FD account as well to help make up my FD RS target.

    We went round to the in-laws last night when I got back from Grandma's house and discussed car boot sales. We decided to try a table top sale instead as it will be indoors and they will provide tables and chairs so we can fit more into our cars. We have a location in mind, and just need to find out details for stallholders so we can get it booked. We're thinking about having it in a week or two so it will give us time to round up the last few bits and bobs then we can prep the pricing too.

    I had another small win today, this time from Topcashback... 20p for getting a second chicky egg I used to think I had no luck but I seem to be winning a bit more recently. Again, only a few pennies but I am chuffed for the little extra.

    I got a money jar from HomeBargains recently. It was very cheap and so pretty. I'm going to put in any extra coins I find, either round the house (they seem to turn up in random places when DH empties his pockets), outside, in any old bags or purses etc. I don't often get spare change as I work from home so I don't buy lunch or coffees and any shopping or meals out are paid for using card, but at least when I do find some I now have a place to put it. DH and I are going to try to go for a walk every day to get out of the house and get some fresh air so I will keep my eyes peeled for coins.

    That's about all I have to say for now, so I'll leave you with a little running total of my regular saver target and will start thinking about which leftovers to use for lunch. Have a good day

    £300 FD RS Target for April:
    £125 FD welcome incentive
    £15.70 survey payout
    £40 cash from Grandma
    £180.70 / £300
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • Jessy103
    • By Jessy103 12th Apr 17, 12:12 PM
    • 336 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    Jessy103
    Well done with the survey payments ch4rly, it is nice to know that you will finally be rewarded for answering all those boring and long-winded surveys! Lol!

    I find pennies all the time when out walking the dogs, I can't believe that people just chuck pennies anyway because it's only a penny but as the saying goes 'Look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves!'. I did once find a £5 note laying on the path on my way home from a walk and there was no one around so admittedly I took it, I felt awful afterwards though and end up giving it to the british legion man that was selling poppies in the local supermarket! x
    Original Mortgage Amount 2007 - £87,310.50
    Mortgage Amount April 2017 - £64,990.00
    Overpayment Target for 2017 - £5,000 /£2,672.76
    Jan - £873.26 Feb - £185.38 March - £269.07 April - £193.66 May - £467.64 June - £407.79 July - £275.96
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 13th Apr 17, 10:42 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Absolutely Jessy, it's astonishing. When I was at school one of our teachers stood up at the front of assembly each year with a jar of money. He explained that all throughout the year he would pick up any coins he found while walking round the school grounds at lunch and break times (we had a tuck shop in those days so I guess that was the main culprit). I was always astonished when he said what he'd managed to collect. I'm not sure what happened to the money but I think it would have bought the teachers a round down the local!

    Well, DH's car looks to be jiggered (technical term!) and it will cost nearly as much to fix it as it is worth, but DH is still paying off the loan as we took out extra to cover some work to the house. That's just over £500 a month for the next 5 months We're now weighing up our options. Peugeot took a week to look at it, but just came back with "it needs X, Y and Z fixing but we can't do it, it needs to go to a body shoppers". He's going to try and get a price from a body shopper tomorrow, if he can find one open. If it's going to cost as much as Peugeot says, we can either ring the insurance company and explain what happened and that we didn't ring right away as we wanted to see if we could sort it without going through insurance (not sure if there are time limits on these things), or he could try and part exchange it. He was thinking about getting a CRV, but we were thinking in a year's time, not now, so he could save up some money when the loan stops. As it stands, the existing loan makes it a bit tricky as it is a bank loan, not a car loan. Not sure if they'd still settle that as they would a car loan. Anyway, lots to think about. Step 1) try and get a price for the work, 2) check out some cars over the weekend and get a part-ex price, step 3) repair, insurance or replace. Oh the joys of car ownership!

    Thanks to KK I have learned of a new way to sell books etc. through Ziffit. I hadn't heard of them before but they will take some books that MM didn't want. Hopefully I'll be able to clear some of those to make some space and a little bit of extra cash.

    We're going out tonight for a meal with the in-laws, and MIL's aunt and uncle who we love. MIL and her uncle have birthdays fairly close together so they're having a joint celebration. It should be a good evening, but it will be tinged with sadness too. MIL's mum was rushed to hospital a few days ago and is very unwell. They may have to perform an op today. We're really hoping that she gets better without the op (low chance of survival for this kind of op at her age) or if the worst does happen that it's not on her birthday. I'm sure we will all be thinking of her tonight, and she will be missed as she's always loved going out with the family. I just keep thinking please don't let anything happen to her on MIL's birthday or every birthday going forwards will be bitter sweet and it will ruin it a bit for her.

    To end on a positive note, I finally have the information I need to resolve an issue at work that has been causing a lot of stress, so hopefully the clouds will start to lift a bit
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 17th Apr 17, 11:58 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Well, it's certainly been a busy Easter weekend. We unfortunately found out on Thursday that DH's grandma has wide spread cancer. As she was fully tested before her PEG was fitted less than a year ago, and there was no sign of it then, it looks as though it's fast growing. We've been told that it's only a matter of time now and she will go back to the nursing home for palliative care. It's very sad. BIL flew over from America on Friday and will be over here until Wednesday. He's going to get as much time with her as possible. I don't want to sound morbid with this, but as it is the MFW forum, I think it deserves a mention that we found free car on street car parking so we can avoid the £3.50 per visit that it cost last time she was in hospital, but of course we would pay anything really to visit her at the moment.

    Some good news in amongst the terrible. We learned of a baby on the way in the family, which has cheered us all up. Better start budgeting for card, wrap and gifts for when the little one arrives

    DH was told it would cost about £2k for him to pay to fix his car, which is worth £3.5k in good condition, so we went to get some part-ex quotes. He went into the garage and explained the spec and colour of car that he would ideally like. This was of course a long shot, which he realised, as we'd prefer a slightly used car after the value he lost on his current car, which he bought brand new. The salesman looked on his system and there was nothing close so said he's have to price up for a new one, but that he was off work the day before so he'd go and check. Out of sheer coincidence, the exact spec he wanted had come in the day before. Less than 6 months old and only 7k miles on the clock, but £10k cheaper than the new one. Then he offered us £3.5k part-ex for DH's car. We asked if he could throw in a service pack and they've thrown in 4 years free servicing. We couldn't believe our luck and signed up then and there. It is about a year earlier than we wanted to trade in the car, but it's saved us the initial layout and he has the exact car he wants, so I'll consider that an overall victory.

    £11.90 requested from Prolific - held up by the bank hols, and I have £30 to pay into the bank tomorrow - another step closer to the monthly RS target. I need to find a table top sale soon to get me to target

    Enjoy the last day of the Easter break, and hopefully don't make yourself sick from yesterday's chocolate
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 18th Apr 17, 10:08 AM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,332 Thanks
    themadvix
    So sorry to hear about your DH's grandmother - that's very sad news. I'm glad there was news of a baby on the way to cheer you all up a bit though.

    It sounds like a win on the car front - that was lucky!
    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
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 19th Apr 17, 11:49 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Thanks TMV. It is very sad, but she has been wanting to go for a while now. I don't think she had much quality of life and she's just had enough so hopefully she will find peace soon.

    It was a total win on the car front. We're so pleased not to be having to fork out half the car's value for repair when we would have replaced it within the year anyway. It feels like we've got off scott free from the bump, which is very lucky and very welcomed!

    Speaking of cars, the car insurance is due for renewal next week. I did all the usual price comparisons (will even get cashback for it), and range my current provider to ask what their best price is. Our current provider has now applied a loyalty discount and it came in at less than last year's insurance. The thing that really annoys me is that we're on auto-renewal so if I hadn't rung we would have paid an extra £100 for nothing, cheeky beggers! How many people, especially older people, who aren't necessarily online or computer literate, get stung by that?!... it's a real bug bear of mine. Anyway, all the quotes from other providers were way more expensive, even factoring in the cashback they were offering, so I have renewed our existing policy. At least it hasn't shot up, which is what we were expecting.

    It's been a fairly cheap couple of days. The in-laws kindly had me over for tea last night after DH and BIL and I got back from visiting 'old woman' (her nickname from her cheeky grandson) in the hospital. DH had to dash straight off to drive down to Norfolk but I had tea with them and then we went into the conservatory with coffees and they're aunt and uncle came round. It was lovely evening and was way better than going back to an empty house. Today I've been using up freezer items and this evening I've been round to my mum's house for tea. She wanted to get rid of my dad's hi-fi system as she will never use it and it's just taking up room in the flat so I went round to pack that up. She also needed a new wireless keyboard and mouse, which she wouldn't have a clue about, and needed a coax cable putting in so she can use the inbuilt freeview. She's cancelled her Virgin subscription, saving £45 a month, and can get the free communal wifi on her computer now that we've moved it to the other side of the living room (hence why she wants to get rid of the hi-fi system), and has all the channels she watches through the inbuilt freeview on the TV. She doesn't have a landline any more but she has a mobile phone contract that costs something like £5 per month. She's very happy to be saving all that money. We seem to be a family of MSEs now

    I'm really happy with how the surveys are going. OnePoll slowed for a bit but is now past the £30 mark. Less than £10 to go! Prolific is racing along, and I find the surveys interesting, so win-win! I must admit that I haven't listed anything new on eBay for a while. I'm going to take the opportunity tonight while DH is away. Got all the items ready for a table top sale / boot sale, and the gala table top sale
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • Jessy103
    • By Jessy103 20th Apr 17, 11:15 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    Jessy103
    Hi ch4rly. Sorry to hear about DH's gran.

    Glad you've got some good news on the car and insurance though! We had the same thing with the insurance. We are with hastings, we got their price for automatic renewal, we did a price comparison for £200 cheaper! DH called them to cancel and told them how much he had found It for, they then said they could price match it and then they knocked a further £20 off!!! Like you said cheeky beggers! If they can do it for that price then why don't they!!! Grrrrrr!!!

    Nice to know your MSE habits are rubbing off on your mum!
    Take care x
    Original Mortgage Amount 2007 - £87,310.50
    Mortgage Amount April 2017 - £64,990.00
    Overpayment Target for 2017 - £5,000 /£2,672.76
    Jan - £873.26 Feb - £185.38 March - £269.07 April - £193.66 May - £467.64 June - £407.79 July - £275.96
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 21st Apr 17, 3:05 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Glad I'm not the only one who gets annoyed about it Jessy!

    We picked up the new car today. It's lovely! I just thought as well, DH's MOT and service were due in a couple of months so it's saved us that as well. Not ideal timing, but I am so happy with the decision we made. My MSE ways seem to be rubbing off on DH too as he removed the rubber boot liner from the Peugeot before we took it in today and wants me to put it on eBay. Might only get a couple of quid for it, but it's better than nothing! Now I just need to post off the slip from the V5C to let the DVLA know that we don't own it anymore, and there should be some road fund tax returned as well

    I went into town yesterday to pick up DH's birthday cake and I parked in the shopping centre as I was only going to be quick and if you're there for less than 30 minutes they only charge 50p (less than the on street parking). I picked up the cake and paid in some money to my FD account (now only £40 away from my monthly £300 RS target in that account now), and then dashed back to the car park. They've removed the card readers and I didn't have any cash on me so I ran upstairs to find the nearest cash machine before it jumped up to £2. Luckily there was a cash machine in the shopping centre so I punched in my pin and asked for £10... they only had £20s. A bit annoying as I tend not to keep cash on me as it's easier to spend and lose track of, but beggers can't be choosers. I raced back down to the machine to find it doesn't accept £20 notes Just as I was about to go running back up, a lady came through the door from the car park so I asked her if she had 2 £10 notes for a £20. She took a look, but couldn't change it for me. A lady also came down the stairs at the same time so I asked her, but she couldn't change it either. I was a bit gutted that I'd have to buy something upstairs just to get change as I'm trying not to make any unnecessary purchases for the time being. I was chatting with the lady who first checked to see if she could break my £20 for me while we were going up the stairs. We were talking about people not carrying cash any more and I warned her about the machine not taking 20s so she could plan accordingly and she asked how much the machine needed. When I said 50p she seemed quite shocked at all the effort this was taking just to pay 50p and told me not to break a £20 note just for that and handed me 50p. I couldn't believe how kind that was of her. I was really touched that this sweet lady would rather give me 50p of her own money so I didn't have to go and buy something just to break a £20 note. To her it may only be 50p but to me that made the world of difference. It meant I had a bit more time to sit with my dad, which is where I went after picking up the cake, and I managed to keep my goal of no unnecessary spending, and most of all, it reminded me that there are some lovely people out there who are still willing to help strangers. It put a big smile on my face!

    I have finally started to get some OnePoll surveys through... £31.60 - so close to pay out! I'm doing well with Prolific too. That's up at £10.80 confirmed and £14 pending. I'm going to wait until I get to £20 so I don't have to pay the PayPal fee to withdraw.

    Freezer lunch for DH and remaining couple of hot cross buns for me. Nice easy and cheap lunch We have friends round this weekend though so we'll have to stock up the fridge tonight. I suspect this won't be a cheap weekend, just from the extra food shopping alone, but it should be lots of fun to see them. That's the problem with moving back home and being 80 miles away from friends... we can't just have a quick casual visit now, but I'm looking forward to see them so much

    Have a great weekend everyone
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • Jessy103
    • By Jessy103 21st Apr 17, 6:38 PM
    • 336 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    Jessy103
    Great news about the car and what a lovely lady!! Hope you have a great weekend with your friends! x
    Original Mortgage Amount 2007 - £87,310.50
    Mortgage Amount April 2017 - £64,990.00
    Overpayment Target for 2017 - £5,000 /£2,672.76
    Jan - £873.26 Feb - £185.38 March - £269.07 April - £193.66 May - £467.64 June - £407.79 July - £275.96
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 25th Apr 17, 10:45 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    We had a lovely weekend with our friends. It was really nice to have a catch up with them. We did end up going out for a meal on Saturday to an Italian with a Michelin star chef. His previous restaurant had a Michelin star but as this place is a fairly new place and doesn't have a star it was only £30 a head and the food was beautiful. Although it wasn't the cheapest meal, I consider it a bargain for food that quality. Our friends were thrilled too as they love Italian food and really enjoyed their choices.

    We had the BIL round for tea last night. I had some baking potatoes that needed using up so I did one of my favourites - bake the potatoes, scoop out the insides into a bowl, add diced onion and cheese then scoop back into the potato shells and put back into the oven until the cheese melts and the tops brown. It's one of my favourites that mum occasionally makes and I've only made them twice myself but I love them sooo much! We had those with some salad and some chicken so a pretty cheap but delicious meal. For afters we used up the rest of DH's birthday cake and ice cream. I love use-ups as I used to throw so much away, and it feels really good not to throw 'cash in the trash' as they say. Afterwards we watched a couple more episodes of Legion. It's quite strange but we're all enjoying it. Only two more episodes left.

    My mum sold a load of my dad's records for £350 and has kindly shared it out between my brothers and me. That's £100 more towards the upcoming holiday, which is very much appreciated. The BIL in California has said that if we transfer £s into his English bank account, he will give us dollars at the best exchange rate, which will beat any conversion we could get ourselves. He's happy as he gets to top up his English account for when they travel over here and we're happy to get a good rate so win-win!

    I have some items on fleaBay, a couple of things I wasn't sure would be of interest to anyone but I have watchers so fingers crossed they'll go. My mum has also asked us to get rid of my dad's hifi system and the glass stand it was on, and said we can keep anything we make from it so the stand will go on the Bay as collection only and the hifi system can be taken to a car boot as I have no idea how to list it online - I don't even know what half of it is/does!

    I found a pound on the floor a couple of days ago. I rarely find anything more than a 1p or 5p so I got really excited

    OnePoll is up to £32.15 now. Progress seems to be painfully slow now, but that could just be because I'm getting impatient! Prolific is up to £17 but I want to wait until I get to £20 to avoid a PayPal fee. Again, I am a bit impatient and there are some studies that have been waiting weeks to be approved so it feels like slow going, but in comparison to OnePoll it is racing ahead. I must try to be more patient!

    I'm going to put in a load of washing now and I will then put it in the drier for a quick 'warm air' cycle just to take away some of the water and fluff it up a bit, then hang it out to dry. I found that my clothes were a little on the crunchy side if I hung them straight out from the washing machine, but I wanted to save electricity so didn't want to fully tumble dry everything. By putting it in for a quick warm air cycle then hanging it out I've found I get great results and still save a lot of electricity, so a little win there too

    Have a good day everyone!
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 26th Apr 17, 12:06 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,332 Thanks
    themadvix
    Excellent find with the £1 coin Ch4rly! I found a fiver on the floor last year - I keep looking but history hasn't repeated itself yet!

    £30 a head for a Michelin-starred chef meal sounds like a bargain to me, and delicious too It's important to remember life is for living too I think and it sounds like you've got an excellent balance.

    With regard to the tumble drying, do you use (white) vinegar as a fabric softener? I don't have a tumble dryer anyway, but I find the clothes are fine with a bit of vinegar in the softener drawer.
    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
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 26th Apr 17, 4:39 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Thanks Vix, I appreciate the encouragement about the balance. At the time I was a little unsure whether we should do it but I put it out of my mind and enjoyed myself as, like you said, life is for living

    I haven't heard of the white vinegar trick before. How much do you put in? Do you put it in the drum or in the draw? I'd definitely give it a try

    I've just requested a pay out from Prolific and made my target of £300 this month. When my next payment comes through I will be back at £1000 in the current account, ready to be transferred across into the regular saver. I'm really happy that I managed to make it in only a couple of weeks, but I know there were a couple of one off big payments in there so it will be harder next month. I'm more determined to keep up trying to make a little extra. Next action - car boot sale!
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 27th Apr 17, 10:52 AM
    • 1,439 Posts
    • 7,126 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    Ch4rley- your figures are looking fantastic- really well done

    Your progress against the regular saver is going great too, keep it up Hun!

    Dinner out sounds just lovely and £30 is pretty reasonable too
    Emergency savings- £3550.96 /£4000
    Mortgage Oct '16- £170.995 LTV- 90% end date Nov 2041
    2016 OPs £255.50/£150
    2017 MFW #20 - OP £1444.02/ £2150. 67%
    Jan- £68.21, Feb- £306.67, March- £272.01 April-£324.05 May £120.33 June £279.15 July: £73.98
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 27th Apr 17, 2:22 PM
    • 889 Posts
    • 4,332 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hi ch4rly, I just put it in the drawer where the fabric softener would go - mine had a 'maximum' level, so I usually top it up to there. The clothes don't smell of vinegar once they've been washed - and I use malt for dark washes if that's all I've got (it's cheaper, but I'm not brave enough to try it for whites!). HTH
    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
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 2nd May 17, 11:08 AM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Morning I hope everyone had a good bank holiday weekend.

    Things have been pretty much rinse and repeat for us lately. A lot of visiting family and not much else in our spare time. However, yesterday we had the day off work for the bank holiday so DH, BIL and I had a stall at a local community gala that my Grandma had told me about. We had a really fun day and I managed to sell quite a bit of stock. To cut a long story short, a few years ago I bought some jewellery and fashion accessories from a well known jewellery TV/online seller from their auctions. I bought sterling silver rings with genuine gemstones between £1 and £3 etc. and sold a lot on the Bay quite quickly. Some of the items didn't sell so quickly though so I keep relisting them and the sales trickle through but it takes up a lot of room in my utility room. I've already made back the money I invested in the stock, plus made about £1000 profit, so anything I sell now is profit. The stall cost £15 but I took about £65 so I'm really happy with how it went yesterday. I might be tempted to do another stall sometime. Another £50 in the OP for me

    Also, the mortgage payments came out today. I am very pleased to announce that the residential mortgage is now finally under £200k! It is so nice to see that mortgage starting with a 1... even if the next number is a 9. But it spurs me on for the next milestone. BTL also making progress and I think we might make our target next month of £10k down from the original BTL mortgage amount. Both mortgages Tilly tidied to a nice round figure and signature updated
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • Jessy103
    • By Jessy103 2nd May 17, 11:30 AM
    • 336 Posts
    • 1,353 Thanks
    Jessy103
    Congratulations on getting under 200K!!! You're right, when you hit a milestone like that it does give you the motivation to keep going to the next one and I'm sure if you carry on the way you are then you'll be there in no time!! x
    Original Mortgage Amount 2007 - £87,310.50
    Mortgage Amount April 2017 - £64,990.00
    Overpayment Target for 2017 - £5,000 /£2,672.76
    Jan - £873.26 Feb - £185.38 March - £269.07 April - £193.66 May - £467.64 June - £407.79 July - £275.96
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 2nd May 17, 4:43 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    I've been inspired by KK to try doing a proper SOA, so this is my first attempt. Not sure if I've missed anything off so I'll show it to DH later. Just to note, Gas and Electric is dual fuel so I've just listed it under electricity, other insurance is the landlord insurance plus the rent guarantee and mobile is for my mobile, DH's mobile and my mum's which I added to my mobile contract because it was cheaper and it's an ongoing gift for her. Also, I haven't put in our savings or ad-hoc expenses so this is bare bones SOA but I'm happy with the figures. It shows me where we can trim the fat and how much we need to make an actual budget to keep as much of the monthly surplus for OPs as possible. At the moment I am frugal with the spending and look for deals and bargains etc. but I've not actually kept track of the spending. That needs to change. I want to have an actual budget and a log of what we're spending each month. Some time sat down with DH is needed, and I think it's the right time now that he's had some time to get his head around my OP and frugal changes. Watch this space

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 2
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 2

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1750
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 3350
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 678
    Total monthly income.................... 5778


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 1100
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 1042
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 161.61
    Electricity............................. 84
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 26
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 47
    TV Licence.............................. 0
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 56.45
    Internet Services....................... 0
    Groceries etc. ......................... 250
    Clothing................................ 0
    Petrol/diesel........................... 110
    Road tax................................ 12.08
    Car Insurance........................... 58.51
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 19.58
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 0
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 6
    Buildings insurance..................... 40.72
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 28.68
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 100
    Haircuts................................ 5
    Entertainment........................... 10
    Holiday................................. 250
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3407.63



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 600
    House value (Gross)..................... 425000
    Shares and bonds........................ 8150
    Car(s).................................. 32000
    Other assets............................ 6000
    Total Assets............................ 471750



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 199400...(1100).....1.99
    Secured Debt.................. 126300...(620)......2.64
    Hire Purchase (HP) debt ...... 29000....(422)......4.9
    Total secured & HP debts...... 354700....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    In-Laws........................32000.....250.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........32000.....250.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 5,778
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,407.63
    Available for debt repayments........... 2,370.37
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 250
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 2,120.37


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 461,750
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -354,700
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -32,000
    Net Assets.............................. 85,050


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Last edited by ch4rly2002; 02-05-2017 at 4:47 PM.
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • ch4rly2002
    • By ch4rly2002 4th May 17, 1:24 PM
    • 194 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    ch4rly2002
    Hi Guys,

    It's another sunny day here in Yorkshire - everything's better when the sun is shining!

    I thought I'd do a recap of things I've earned, saved, won and found in April and I'm quite surprised at how it's added up:

    Prolific Surveys £41.56
    Crowdology Surveys £4.78
    Survey Total £46.34

    Flights worth £2,600 for £800
    £100 saving from car insurance renewal
    £3.50 for finding free hospital parking
    Saving Total £1903.50

    £40 for taking Grandma shopping
    £100 from Mum when she sold Dad's records
    £125 Joining incentive from First Direct
    Gifts Total £265

    1000 Nectar points from British Gas worth £5
    Box of Hotel Chocolat Chocolates (not yet received) worth approx £15
    30 Dishwasher Tablets from trial worth approx £5
    20p from TopCashBack Easter Egg Hunt
    £1 found on floor
    Freebie Total £26.20

    £17.19 eBay Sales
    Sales Total £17.19

    We also saved £10k for buying a nearly new car rather than a new car, but as we were forced into changing cars early I'm not going to count this as a saving!

    I took my Grandma shopping on Tuesday. I made tea for DH and me for just after 5pm so I could get over to Grandma's early and it really paid off. The traffic wasn't great, but we still got to the supermarket earlier than usual so I managed to find a good parking space and there was a wide aisle open for us to pay at so it was less stressful. I've sent off an application for a blue badge so that when I take my Grandma shopping I'll be able to park in a disabled spot and have plenty of room to wheel the wheelchair right up to the car door. That will be so much better than struggling to find an end spot! Fingers crossed she'll get it, her walking is certainly limited enough, but who knows nowadays - they seem to be making it harder to get one. Afterwards we had a well earned cuppa and a piece of cake. We had a lovely chat and she mentioned that the local council had sent out a letter saying that anyone who receives a single occupant discount must go onto their website and confirm that they are still entitled to receive the discount, otherwise they will lose it (in my Grandma's case that means she would be charged £70 extra). There was no phone number on it and she doesn't have internet or a computer so I'm very glad she mentioned it to me. She had looked in the phone book and couldn't find a number for the council so she was very worried. I went online straight away and confirmed it for her as there is only a short deadline on it. It makes me wonder how many older people don't have access to the internet and won't be able to confirm they are still entitled to the singe occupant discount. This could cost a lot of people money so I rang the local paper to make them aware in case they can help by running an article to raise awareness or contacting the council with some authority and asking them to reissue letters with an alternative contact method. I hope this doesn't end up with lots of older people out of pocket

    Yesterday we had our first ever win on the bonds! DH won £25, which we're both chuffed about. I was beginning to think we wouldn't win anything so this was a great boost to morale. Today DH received a £54 refund from his car tax on his previous car so I'll drop that off in the bank later. He said to put it into the joint account so that will help with bills etc. He also received the LP, CD and T-shirt from an independent band we like in America. They ran out of money while recording their second album so we kick started them.

    Overall, it's turning out to be a good day!
    Savings: Aim £10k. Dec 2016 £1,700 / Current £9,825
    Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£216,000 / Current -£197,300
    BTL Mortgage: Dec 2014 -£136,000/ Current -£125,800
    Loan to In-Laws: Sep 2010 -£48,185.82 / Current -£35,655.49
    Student Loan: March 2011 -£18,275.04 / 29th April 2017 -£14,003.85
    CC 0%: Nov 2016 -£4,500 / Current -£3,613.77
    • SuperSecretSquirrel
    • By SuperSecretSquirrel 4th May 17, 8:25 PM
    • 551 Posts
    • 2,422 Thanks
    SuperSecretSquirrel
    That's shocking from the council! Either a terrible oversight, or a devious plan to try grabbing some more cash. Good on you for taking it to the papers, not just sorting it for your own Grandma and leaving it at that!
    Mortgage [2013 £64k|2014 £51k|2015 £38k|2016 £26k] £17,912.48
    MN [2013-£25k|2014-£2k|2015+£16k|2016+£34k] +£42,603.43 (MFiT4:+60k)
    NW [2013 £126k|2014 £156k|2015 £190k|2016 £228k] £252,121.82 (2020:300k)
    FI [2013 -1.2%|2014 2.8%|2015 6.9%|2016 13%] 15.6%
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