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  • FIRST POST
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 15th Jul 17, 10:22 PM
    • 1,903Posts
    • 10,894Thanks
    museumworker
    The mindful MFW: A healthy, happy journey to a mortgage free life!
    • #1
    • 15th Jul 17, 10:22 PM
    The mindful MFW: A healthy, happy journey to a mortgage free life! 15th Jul 17 at 10:22 PM
    Hi all! Some of you may know me from my last two diaries (museumworkers quest to consign the mortgage to history and Making the Future Happen). A lot DID happen during my last diary, mostly things that threw me off the MFW course, including an unexpected (but much loved) third child and a new full time job! These are both changes for the better, but adjusting to even less time with even more responsibilities unfortunately took its toll on my health and wellbeing as well as our finances.

    Anyway, I now feel like I've turned a corner - my health is improving, I'm settled at work, we have local childcare arranged (no more commuting with a toddler and buggy come September!) and we are starting to tackle the mortgage again. Rather selfishly I would like a new diary to mark this new phase as I feel a bit like my old one is, well, if not stained then a bit dog-eared. And who doesn't like the feel of a crisp new diary, all shiny, new and full of hope!

    This time my journey to mortgage freedom has to be healthy and happy. I can't let myself get ill again, the whole family suffers. The mindfulness part is more aspiration than reality at the moment! However I've gained so much benefit from the mindfulness work that I have done that I really want to make it an integral part of my life. And I really want to enjoy my time with the kids, aged (nearly) 3, 5 and 14, and nurture my relationship with the very neglected OH. We love to travel and have days out, though usually there's a discount voucher and a packed lunch to hand if you look closely enough! Of course there will be challenges along the way, but if I can build personal resilience and keep a positive outlook I'll be much better placed to deal with them.

    I would love it if you read and posted along - words of encouragement, suggestions, comments, questions, observations, witticisms, light ribbing - and the occasional reprimand if I start being self-negligent!

    Some facts that always help at the start of a diary:
    Mortgage balance at start of MF journey, March 2011: £190,000
    Current balance July 2017: £95,979.89
    Mortgage rate: 2.39% fixed at Feb 2016 for 5 years.

    OPs in 2017 to date: £9,249.16
    Total OPs 2011-16: £45k

    LTV when house purchased 2008: 83%
    Estimated Current LTV: 15%
    Old mortgage rate: 5.09%
    Old mortgage monthly payment: £1,200
    Current mortgage monthly payment: £623.15

    Original end date at renewal: February 2036
    Current end date with no further OPs: October 2033 [guestimate, will check next time I call]
    Target: April 2022 = £1,200 pm OP / £14,400 pa OP
    Stretch target: September 2021 = £1,400 pm OP / £16,800 pa OP
    Super stretch target: April 2021 = £1,600 pm OP / £19,200 pa OP

    Just realised that means am possibly talking only 4 years or so until we're mortgage free ! Wow, that feels so unreal - but incredibly motivating!!

    Lots more to say, but right now we're off to bed. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited by museumworker; 19-07-2017 at 1:07 PM.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
Page 10
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 7th Sep 17, 9:08 AM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    Just a quick check in to say all ok, just busy at work and very tired this week so trying to get some early nights to help pace myself.

    Have done 3 days of headspace this week so far makes such a difference, like a cold shower for my brain! And hitting 15-17k steps a day, lots of walking with listening to money podcasts.

    Trying to make yoghurt in slow cooker from ys milk... But not really following a recipe properly so fingers crossed!

    Need to add some mini-shops to the grocery budget but apart from that am sticking to HM lunches for me, DD1 and OH, and no unexpected spending. Even had a NSD yesterday!

    Have drafted my application for flexible working and hoping to submit by the end of the week.

    DS and DD1 back at school and first full days seem to have gone well, which is a good start.

    £5 am@zon voucher come through for completed online survey, plus £11.72 in stamps for postal survey.

    Ooh, and just remembered out for dinner tonight. Voucher paid for months ago, and my friend owes me money for hers. It's a peruvian I've heard lots of food things about so looking forward to it!

    To do:
    * chase ch!ld benefit
    * buy greetings cards
    * order cycle helmet
    * pick up parcel
    * log into mail survey and do training
    * reply to email re: museum visits
    * claim £4.85 from Green J!nn
    * decline wedding invite
    * print out dinner vouchers
    Last edited by museumworker; 07-09-2017 at 9:10 AM.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 7th Sep 17, 1:02 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Making yoghurt? In the slow cooker?
    Wish heads away from reading diaries to consult the oracle of all things crafty.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017
    July : £36,800 8/100
    August: £36,411.85 8/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • Betterthanever
    • By Betterthanever 7th Sep 17, 7:13 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 623 Thanks
    Betterthanever
    I used to make it in the airing cupboard... sometimes successfully, mostly not!!!
    Former DFW Need 230. Determined to be MF.
    Current balance £116,878.11. Offset £1034.
    end date - 03/29 aiming for 10/22

    Bring it on!
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 7th Sep 17, 10:50 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    It is looking yoghurty! Thin, but definitely yoghurt rather than milk!

    Had a really nice evening - a delicious dinner, with great company. Stuck to pre-paid voucher so only £2.50 spent on service from personal account, and £19 refund from buying friend's voucher. Will definitely keep an eye out for more deals there.

    Before dinner I collected Sylvanians that we ordered for DD2's Christmas present and also found some of the more elusive Shopm!um freebies. £2.98 worth of refunds submitted and receipts snapped. ETA: An extra £1.19 refunded, probably due to referral bonus !

    £3.63 to add to the grocery bill for two packs of sandwich fillings and bread.

    £3.85 claimed via tcb and sent to mortgage account ready for OP.

    Wedding invite declined and now to hang out one load before bed. Night all!

    MW x
    Last edited by museumworker; 08-09-2017 at 9:03 PM.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 8th Sep 17, 11:27 AM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    The flexible working application is in!

    Hopefully one step closer towards a more balanced life. Even if it is declined, I have at least articulated my needs and thought about how to achieve a healthier work-life balance. The rest is out of my hands.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 8th Sep 17, 12:16 PM
    • 297 Posts
    • 1,216 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Hope it goes well for you.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = £400)
    2017
    July : £36,800 8/100
    August: £36,411.85 8/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029
    Current mortgage free date: April 2025
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 8th Sep 17, 9:05 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    Thanks wish, I hope so too. Will be 3-4 weeks I guess before I know for sure, but will definitely keep you updated.

    In other news…

    Finally addressed a serious underwear shortage with a 5 minute detour to M&S on the way to work this morning. Used vouchers had been given for complaining, so for the price of NOTHING I now have a fully stocked pants drawer. Awesome !

    Greetings cards mostly bought with student disc0unt from P@perchase, plus signed up to get 15% off next order and a free five pound giftcard on my birthday. £10 from budget, still need to get some thank you cards though.

    Receipts snapped and shared and whole family had packed lunches today. Weird yoghurt and whey concoction in fridge ready for working out how to use…

    Recording a £1 pocket money spend for a coffee at work.

    This weekend:

    · Send cards
    · Finish mail survey training
    · Reply regarding museum visits
    · Claim museum entrance fees back (£27)
    · Get OH to get bike ready for Cycle to Work day on Weds
    · Collect 3 x boots from cobblers (£12 to pay)
    · Collect dress from dressmaker (£15 to pay)
    · Collect Xmas gift DS (£11/£50 budget)
    · Stock up on cheap snacks from Mr T using Check0utSmart
    · Update grocery budget
    · Check in with house account
    · Chase ch!ld benefit
    · Make mortgage OP with surplus balance in mortgage current account
    · Lunch/coffee with friend
    · Time with kids
    · R&R
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • Betterthanever
    • By Betterthanever 8th Sep 17, 10:23 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 623 Thanks
    Betterthanever
    Looking good!! Remember you can use yoghurt as a base for sauce mixes too....I make all sorts of sauces for pasta, meat etc using creme fraiche, Greek yogurt, natural yoghurt, whatever is in the fridge. Your homemade stuff could be ideal!
    Former DFW Need 230. Determined to be MF.
    Current balance £116,878.11. Offset £1034.
    end date - 03/29 aiming for 10/22

    Bring it on!
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 8th Sep 17, 11:28 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 5,808 Thanks
    pinkypig
    The flexible working application is in!

    Hopefully one step closer towards a more balanced life. Even if it is declined, I have at least articulated my needs and thought about how to achieve a healthier work-life balance. The rest is out of my hands.
    Originally posted by museumworker
    The very best of luck MW, will keep my trotters crossed for you
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 9th Sep 17, 6:39 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    Thanks Better, its a bit grainy so kids might be funny about it but I'll have some for breakfast tomorrow .

    Thanks too PP, will keep you updated.

    Terrible night yesterday, ended up until 2am. DD1 had a bad day at school and got her cleaning cloth wedged in her flute so a lot of drama, angry tears and a list of all the things I have neglected to do for her in the last few weeks.

    Good news is OH got cloth out today (after I spent time ringing round flute fixers but at least we didn't have that unexpected expense!); I have 2 school skirts to collect for her from M&S on Monday (free with some more of voucher got for complaining) ; and her new grade 5 flute book has just arrived from Am@zon prime (paid with voucher credit already on account). DD1 is much happier, especially as I gave her a congrats card for her merit on her last flute exam and put £10 in her account (not budgeted for).

    One of the things that is getting me down is my weight gain due to medication, I wore something to work yesterday that made me feel fat and scruffy. Saw a few things online I like that should work now and due to style also when lose weight, but haven't budgeted for so need to think a bit longer about it.

    Ch!ld benefit appears to have hit account, is more than usual and also earlier so am hoping its the back payment ! It's also £60ish more than I guestimated which is great news.

    Boots collected from cobblers, three pairs now ready for winter and £11.85 outstanding cost settled (from budget).

    I also collected some kiddie snacks to test for panel, which tried after dinner, and a free reusable coffee cup that got from buying two packs of biscuits from Waitr0se last month. It's so much nicer than I imagined, costs £15 to buy and its bright yellow lid and grip has made me very happy .

    Met friend for lunch, £10 from personal account for yummy vegan tapas, and an £8 Mr T shop for basics on the way back. Shocked by how much bread and milk we're getting through right now!

    Had some 1:1 time with DS this afternoon playing in his room too. Just relaxing together now before bedtime/ meeting a friend for a drink.

    Did some of the mail training whilst couldn't sleep last night so just need to prepare my first test parcels for sending this week.

    Considering how awful I felt last night today has been a good day. I've also hit 10k steps thanks to all the errands, which is great for me for a weekend.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • smallholdingsister
    • By smallholdingsister 10th Sep 17, 8:12 AM
    • 3,310 Posts
    • 25,967 Thanks
    smallholdingsister
    I hear your pain on the weight gain and I hope you didn't absorb ALL of your DD's angst.
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 13th Sep 17, 7:12 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    I did take on quite a bit! Plus she got into big trouble at school this week, VERY big, as in police involved. I can't say much more but it's been a tough few days.

    Anyway, on MSE news... did big shop at Mr L on the weekend, our grocery budget up to about £140 ! Today I got a £27 shop for £8.50 from Mr W so we are just above grocery budget. We have around £100 left for over 2 weeks but lots still in fridge and freezer, and I am hoping to avoid a big shop this weekend.

    Top tip, if you buy the new Oce@n Spray Wh0leberry Cranberry juice, you can not only get it free via reclaim (see hotukdeals for link) but also get £2 back via Shopm!um.

    Cycled to work day today. OH bought me a rack and mudguards as an early present, and fixed the bike chain last night. I managed a sunny but blustery cycle to work, I did get lost and my map blew away but made it to work in one piece! Am planning to cycle back home on Friday, 10 miles in one day was enough for me! Plus did 16,000 steps as well. Shattered! Hoping to cycle in and out at least once a week to build up stamina ready for when travelcard expires at the end of the year.

    Mail survey work done on way home; have given feedback on museums so now just need to send in £27 expense claim. Also recording a £18.50 personal spend on Sat night.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • Betterthanever
    • By Betterthanever 13th Sep 17, 9:51 PM
    • 178 Posts
    • 623 Thanks
    Betterthanever
    Well done on the cycling. I try and cycle to work 2 days a week (when not suffering from a broken hip, that is!). Thankfully we have showers at work and a lot of us cycle, having bought decent bikes through the cycle to work scheme. We've also got somewhere safe to keep them which helps too. It saves me a fair bit, even just for those 2 days.....I'm almost resentful of paying bus fare at the moment....and can't wait to get fixed so I can ride in again!
    Former DFW Need 230. Determined to be MF.
    Current balance £116,878.11. Offset £1034.
    end date - 03/29 aiming for 10/22

    Bring it on!
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 14th Sep 17, 7:03 AM
    • 1,027 Posts
    • 5,419 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hope things setlle down with DD soon MW - you seem to have been through a lot recently, with DS too.

    Just popping in to say thanks for putting me onto Shopm!um - now have 3 non-alcholic bottles of drink in ready for visitors/visiting/Christmas. Must go and get the alcoholic ones soon!
    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
    • Secret Saving Squirrel
    • By Secret Saving Squirrel 15th Sep 17, 4:39 PM
    • 3,865 Posts
    • 35,838 Thanks
    Secret Saving Squirrel
    Well done on building up the cycling stamina. Once you get used to it you will never want to get back on public transport again!
    Paid off mortgage nine years early in 2013. Now picking and choosing our work to fit in with the rest of our lives!
    Still thrifty though, after all these years
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 15th Sep 17, 6:54 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    Well done on the cycling. I try and cycle to work 2 days a week (when not suffering from a broken hip, that is!). Thankfully we have showers at work and a lot of us cycle, having bought decent bikes through the cycle to work scheme. We've also got somewhere safe to keep them which helps too. It saves me a fair bit, even just for those 2 days.....I'm almost resentful of paying bus fare at the moment....and can't wait to get fixed so I can ride in again!
    Originally posted by Betterthanever
    Hope the broken hip is fixed soon, must be awful. We've also got somewhere safe to store the bikes, so I can cycle in and leave it which takes the pressure off whilst I build up some stamina.

    Hope things setlle down with DD soon MW - you seem to have been through a lot recently, with DS too.

    Just popping in to say thanks for putting me onto Shopm!um - now have 3 non-alcholic bottles of drink in ready for visitors/visiting/Christmas. Must go and get the alcoholic ones soon!
    Originally posted by themadvix
    Thanks Madvix, you are right, I have a lot on my plate with the kids, let alone work and my own health. It can be quite wearing and I’m glad I got through this week without too much of a wobble, although I am very tired!

    So pleased you're enjoying Shopm!um, it's a good app and nice to be able to get some cheap or free branded stuff in (even if we do insist on saving it for special occasions! I now have a nice stash of biscuits well out of reach of the kids, well until a gathering at least )

    Well done on building up the cycling stamina. Once you get used to it you will never want to get back on public transport again!
    Originally posted by Secret Saving Squirrel
    Thanks SSS, just cycled home. It was a lovely ride, along canals and marshes, hardly any on street riding. However, it was also a bit long (and wet - the skies opened at one point!) and took me 1 hr 20 mins - and that was starting from somewhere closer to home . Exhausted now and just eaten a few biscuits to perk me up so any health benefits are probably negligible . Am hoping to find a route which combines best of greenery with a slightly more direct route. And to keep out of the biscuit jar after .

    Packed lunches today, and shiny new helmet finally arrived . £7 unbudgeted spend on 3 pairs of M&S tights today… all mine missing, it is definitely too cold for bear legs and only had £1 left on the M&S vouchers in my purse to take off the cost! I think I may have bought a size too big, but they’ll be ok with boots (that’s me trying to convince myself!) I’ll need more than 3 pairs but will make sure take in vouchers this time.

    Tomorrow I have to take DD1 to her new Saturday music school, and it looks like it might be wet so probably have quiet afternoon with the littlies.

    OH has bought me a cherry beer as a Friday night treat so if I don't fell asleep putting the kids to bed I'll enjoy that before an earlyish night.

    Happy Friday everyone.

    MW xx
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 16th Sep 17, 2:54 PM
    • 1,027 Posts
    • 5,419 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hope you got to drink the beer! Take care of yourself x
    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
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 16th Sep 17, 8:39 PM
    • 1,903 Posts
    • 10,894 Thanks
    museumworker
    I did get some beer madvix, although was too tired to finish it!

    Took DD1 to her music school this morning, good news is we don't have to pay fees til end of October and will be for 10 monthly installments. This frees up £150 from this month's budget.

    Whilst she did her induction I walked up a local high street to get some steps in, a part of London I used to live very near 20 years ago. It is rapidly changing, although still feels diverse and reminds me of what many parts of London used to be like before gentrification! Did a little bit of charity shopping and spent £7.50 on clothes for me - 2 dresses, gorgeous scandi hand knit mittens and a chunky hand knit scarf for winter. Not forever dresses but will help address current wardrobe shortages due to weight gain . I haven't set a clothes budget this month which is a bit of an error so these will go in unbudgeted spends (which is nearing £200 !)

    Also spent £1.50 on some funky odd socks for DD1, might keep for xmas stocking so will come out of Xmas budget.

    We have a big family birthday next year and looks like we'll be doing a group hire. This means Easter house swap isn't viable and will have to commit £370 of next year's £1k holiday budget to a 4 day break. Plus we'll need 2 days leave for a 4 day break, rather than 4 days for a 10 day break. On the plus side we'll have some quality time with the wider family, there's a great pool we can hang out in and we'll have an extra 2 days leave for later in the year.

    £42 spent on shop which means only £50ish left for nearly two weeks ! It was a £68 shop before discounts, plus lots of things half price on top of that, but still a bit ridiculous considering am trying to stick to a budget. Not helped by DD1 begging for things and as she's had a poor appetite lately I was loathe to say no. Plus bought some treats to stash for Xmas.

    Returned DD1s uniform which didn't fit and bought one which did, although not with voucher so £9.75 spent from £30 uniform budget. Picked up DS xmas present too, looks great and well worth the £11 odd.

    Bumped into friend unexpectedly and had much needed catch up, with food and drinks, £17.50 from personal spends. We've both had some difficult times this year and it was good to have a heart to heart.

    Back home and getting kids to bed a little later this evening.
    Last edited by museumworker; 16-09-2017 at 8:41 PM.
    Mortgage 16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 16th Sep 17, 9:37 PM
    • 584 Posts
    • 5,808 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Goodness you're having tough time at the moment, glad you've had a nice day today. Isn't it lovely when you have an expected catch up with friends?
    Great charity shop haul with all your clothes. I got some bargains today too, way more satisfying than high street shopping
    Take care if yourself xx
    • Secret Saving Squirrel
    • By Secret Saving Squirrel 17th Sep 17, 10:37 PM
    • 3,865 Posts
    • 35,838 Thanks
    Secret Saving Squirrel
    M and S tights are huge. They come up to my chin, which is nice on cold days but the wrinkling around the ankles is not a good look...... Primarni are half the price and actually fit your real size.
    Paid off mortgage nine years early in 2013. Now picking and choosing our work to fit in with the rest of our lives!
    Still thrifty though, after all these years
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