Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 15th Jul 17, 10:22 PM
    • 1,969Posts
    • 11,127Thanks
    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 2
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 16th Jul 17, 10:19 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Oh next holiday is already booked. We usually holiday towards end of May to the beginning of June. We have been to the same place in northern Corfu twice and this year we decided change was in order so we went on a cruise. Although we enjoyed it.....not sure if cruising is for us so we are back to Corfu next year. The last couple of years are the first we could get away without worrying about the kids. Old enough to look after themselves now. So going abroad is still a bit novel.

    I have used the free headspace app and really enjoyed it but didnt subscribe once the free time was up.

    Need to find a good class on youtube to start doing a bit at home.
    I normally do classes at the gym but dont think 1 or 2 classes is enough. So any recommendations gratefully received.
    Originally posted by Kantankrus Mare
    That's interesting, I've heard loads of people rave about family cruises but suspect I might feel the same as you. Plus they are REALLY expensive! I've not been to Corfu yet, but hope to one day. And as much as I love the kids, will enjoy holidaying without them once they are old enough not to worry about... however old that may be!

    I love the headspace app, you can get it free for a year if you join anxiety UK which is £35, so works out half price . I just joined so need to do it daily to make sure am actually getting the full benefit. The advanced courses are excellent.

    Can really recommend Yoga with Adrienne on y0utube, I would suggest starting with her first 30 day yoga challenge (from 2015). I like her relaxed attitude and enjoy the mindful element to her practice.
    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
    • VintageHistorian
    • By VintageHistorian 16th Jul 17, 10:20 PM
    • 256 Posts
    • 1,630 Thanks
    VintageHistorian
    I'll help wave a flag in your corner MW, we history people have to stick together!
    "You won't bloom until you're planted" - Graffiti spotted in Newcastle.

    Make £3 a Day in September 2017 - £29.31/£90 (2017 total - £164.27) | Womble #03 - £4.32 | Overpayments in 2017 - £926.72
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 16th Jul 17, 10:22 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    I'll help wave a flag in your corner MW, we history people have to stick together!
    Originally posted by VintageHistorian
    A fellow history lover is always welcome - just wondering which flag from which period you might be waving?
    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
    • Kantankrus Mare
    • By Kantankrus Mare 16th Jul 17, 10:29 PM
    • 4,905 Posts
    • 11,486 Thanks
    Kantankrus Mare
    Thanks for the reccommendation. I did spot her when I had a quick look on youtube. Will give it a whirl.

    Regarding the cruise.........I think we maybe picked wrong cruise company. Royal carribean........which was too americanised for us and the cost of everything from drinks to wifi was in my opinion a rip off. I think we are just used to doing our own thing,
    Make £10 a day challenge Jan/£215.84/ Feb £146.45/ Mar £192.55/Apr £171.20/ May £156.40/june £95.55/ Jul £383.85/Aug £211.60/Sep £282.35/Oct £122.54/Nov £217.53
    Walk 2000 miles in 2017....1490.18 miles
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 16th Jul 17, 10:38 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Thanks everyone for posting, lovely to see so many comments on my new shiny diary!

    Just getting ready for bed (no admonishing yet please!) but wanted to update on the MFW actions of the weekend:
    * afternoon at free festival in local park. A few hours of music and kids playing, at cost of two 99s (=£5 in new money!)
    * set up direct transfer route from current to mortgage account, so don't need to do it via OH's account. Of course, that means had to send £1 OP to test it
    * made soup with bottom of veg drawer yesterday, eked out cupboard supplies for dinner, just spent £2 on baguettes.
    * 4p TT
    * Bought £13 play till for DD2 bday from IKEA
    * Saved £10 off an Amazon Now shop for her other presents,m so £36 spent. All her presents bought for £50 which I think is pretty good (for us ).
    * 11 teachers and tea time club staff presents sorted for £23.09. Hand potted herbs, just need to send OH printables so he can print them off at work to decorate them. Also plan to bake a cake tomorrow as well.
    * not so MSE, had to buy last minute present, card and £2 sheet of wrapping paper for kids party today ! We did all have a lovely time and a free lunch, just need to have an emergency present wrapping kit in the car.

    Mindfulness
    * practiced whilst giving DD2 a nap time cuddle yesterday, and it was lovely .
    Last edited by museumworker; 17-07-2017 at 8:14 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 16th Jul 17, 11:00 PM
    • 583 Posts
    • 2,228 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Mw,

    Reviewing progress is always good, I couldn't believe quite how much I'd paid of our mortgage since my last diary, as well as paying off my student loan and a small personal loan.

    Keep going. Lots of exciting mortgage bashing going on...
    • Viking_mfw
    • By Viking_mfw 17th Jul 17, 5:35 AM
    • 60 Posts
    • 266 Thanks
    Viking_mfw
    You can get all of the meditations from Finding Peace in a Frantic World online on the authors' website. I highly recommend their Body Scan - especially good for insomnia! You do need to be online but they're free otherwise.
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 17th Jul 17, 9:29 AM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Mw,

    Reviewing progress is always good, I couldn't believe quite how much I'd paid of our mortgage since my last diary, as well as paying off my student loan and a small personal loan.

    Keep going. Lots of exciting mortgage bashing going on...
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    You've done really well Wish, and seeing it all written down makes me incredibly happy. Let's bash those mortgages!

    You can get all of the meditations from Finding Peace in a Frantic World online on the authors' website. I highly recommend their Body Scan - especially good for insomnia! You do need to be online but they're free otherwise.
    Originally posted by Viking_mfw
    Just taken a look, thanks for the recommendation. Will definitely be turning to those on a sleepless night!

    Had difficulty getting off last night - posting at 10.30 seems to make my head whizz. From now on, going to stick to my no life planning after 9pm rule. Admonishing, shouting, waggly finger emoji and other ticking offs all permitted if I start breaking the rule!

    Listened to a head$pace mindfulness for sleep session, which helped. Also did a session this morning before getting out of bed, so am up to speed, so to speak.

    Unfortunately have an upset tummy though, so giving myself a hot water and lemon and an hour in bed to see if am ok to leave the house. Hope so, as have a lot of books waiting for me as part of a work research project. Deliverables due in 10 days and I need to knuckle down to meet the deadline.

    Have ordered Tesc0 clubcard dealsfor p!zza express, we have an exchange student coming next week and thought it would be nice for the whole family to take her out for something to eat. £68 of food for £17 of vouchers, and still have £72 of vouchers left to use. First time in a few years we've actually used them, and most of these were due to expire end of August so am glad to have not wasted them. Will pop in to book a table in the next day or so.
    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 18th Jul 17, 8:32 AM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Morning! DD2 birthday today so have the day off. Also DS nursery 'graduation' so get to see him sing some songs, v sweet.

    Didn't post last night as it was after 10 and managed to go straight to sleep. The thought of all those waggly finger emojis put me off!

    Managed to do most of the research, finished 8 out of the 10 books planned although very drained so was hard to concentrate. 70p TT, 65p on 1poll. Had to buy bday cards yesterday, but decided to get £10 worth from Waterst0nes instead of the £6 I was going to get so could earn one free stamp. I definitely have at least ten at home so looking forward to buying something with those, perhaps a Xmas gift to stash away.

    Am currently trying to get through the month with only the £400 in our current account. Forgot a £230 DD to nursery would come out but a CB payment of £137 came in, possibly saving my bacon! Was intending to save that to give back to taxman in Jan but no way we can do this. Will have to start saving double in August to lessen the blow come January. Still have 10 days to go with DD2 party food, another food shop and a hungry exchange student to pay for. Will be an interesting few days!
    Last edited by museumworker; 18-07-2017 at 8:51 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
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 18th Jul 17, 3:09 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 17,713 Thanks
    Courgette
    All sounds very organised! Thanks for the reminder about linking all bank accounts to the mortgage - simple but effective!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 18th Jul 17, 3:22 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    All sounds very organised! Thanks for the reminder about linking all bank accounts to the mortgage - simple but effective!
    Originally posted by Courgette
    Funnily enough, it came from you! I reread a post of yours on my first diary, giving the advice to make the admin side of OPing as simple as possible. That spurred me on to sort out our current crazy set up, now can pay straight from current to FD. Top tip, glad to pass it back

    Saying that, I need to set up the FD app so can then transfer from that account to mortgage. I had it on old phone but need to set it up again. This should be the final hurdle and then OPing will be a breeze. Well, the admin side at least
    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 18th Jul 17, 4:16 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Just found out you can't actually transfer directly from FDs 1st account to the mortgage account via the app! Have to phone and ask them to do it manually. No idea why as used to be able to via the web. Annoying for a 4p TT !
    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
    • Courgette
    • By Courgette 18th Jul 17, 4:49 PM
    • 1,710 Posts
    • 17,713 Thanks
    Courgette
    Well it's good advice and I stand by it! Definitely think there's admin improvements to be made in our house right now though. Having lovely DS3 seems to have thrown everything into chaos and it seems to be taking a very long time to get back on track!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off
    Mortgage 1: £95,000 £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 19th Jul 17, 7:49 AM
    • 1,123 Posts
    • 6,434 Thanks
    themadvix
    Have read bits of your past diaries MW, so looking forward to this one - the mindful, healthy way to becoming mortgage free sounds like one we should all be following
    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
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 19th Jul 17, 8:01 AM
    • 2,232 Posts
    • 10,266 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    I like your terminology of stretch and super stretch goals. It makes my realistic goal and dream goal seem bland! We're quite similar in target albeit we're 12 months behind you so will be great to see how we go compared against each other. You've got a 10k headstart, so i'll try and chase you down...
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into March 2023... 32//120 Payments Challenge, Diary Reduction £34,271.00
    Aug 2009: £163,051 // Current: £101,729.00 // Avg Daily Interest £4.57
    MFiT-T4 #8 - 56.74% of £41,000
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 19th Jul 17, 5:18 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Well it's good advice and I stand by it! Definitely think there's admin improvements to be made in our house right now though. Having lovely DS3 seems to have thrown everything into chaos and it seems to be taking a very long time to get back on track!
    Originally posted by Courgette
    Oh yes, our third threw us completely off track too! Amazing the difference between two and three - as my mum said when I told her I was pregnant with DD2, it's not like having an extra one!

    Have read bits of your past diaries MW, so looking forward to this one - the mindful, healthy way to becoming mortgage free sounds like one we should all be following
    Originally posted by themadvix
    Thanks themadvix, it's definitely an aspiration, but something I really want to embed into my daily life.

    I like your terminology of stretch and super stretch goals. It makes my realistic goal and dream goal seem bland! We're quite similar in target albeit we're 12 months behind you so will be great to see how we go compared against each other. You've got a 10k headstart, so i'll try and chase you down...
    Originally posted by shangaijimmy
    You're doing brilliantly and may well beat us to the end line. Whoever makes it first needs a chilled drink waiting for the other!

    Doing a lot of thinking about financial independence, and whether we need a broader look at our finances beyond mortgage freedom. One of the things that is obvious is that OH is a higher rate tax payer, and we also have to pay back our child benefit as he earns over £50k. Penny has finally dropped that if we up his pension contributions from 4.5% to 27% we can save an additional £29K a year in his pension for a difference in take home pay of £1,105pm. He would still take home about £2,500pm, which would cover mortgage, household bills, food, childcare etc.

    I forecast this means we could afford a £500 pm overpayment, which would mean it would take just under 8 years to mortgage freedom. HOWEVER by the time the mortgage was paid off we also would have an additional £231,201 in OH's pension fund (not including growth/interest) ! It would also take us close to OH's 55th birthday, meaning early retirement could be a possibility.

    Any thoughts on this gladly accepted, my mind is slightly blown especially due a hangover from the-not-very-healthy-but-very-happy night out yesterday .
    Last edited by museumworker; 19-07-2017 at 5:32 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
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 19th Jul 17, 5:36 PM
    • 583 Posts
    • 2,228 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Higher rate tax payer issues are not something we are ever likely to face, so I've no idea!

    But... if you consider increased pension contributions as 'paying forward the salary' and you can maintain the lifestyle you won't on the net pay, it does seem like a no brainer.
    Also, you could do it for a period of time and if circumstances change you could reduce the contributions again.

    With regard to the child benefit payments (stupid stupid system if you ask me!!) has anyone given suggestions on how to get the money to work for you while you've got it? (before you've got to pay it back)
    I guess the simplest thing to do is to stick it in a savings account so it gets a little bit of interest, but I wonder if there's a way of it really working for higher rate tax payers.

    Wish.
    • museumworker
    • By museumworker 19th Jul 17, 9:02 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Higher rate tax payer issues are not something we are ever likely to face, so I've no idea!

    But... if you consider increased pension contributions as 'paying forward the salary' and you can maintain the lifestyle you won't on the net pay, it does seem like a no brainer.
    Also, you could do it for a period of time and if circumstances change you could reduce the contributions again.

    With regard to the ch!ld benefit payments (stupid stupid system if you ask me!!) has anyone given suggestions on how to get the money to work for you while you've got it? (before you've got to pay it back)
    I guess the simplest thing to do is to stick it in a savings account so it gets a little bit of interest, but I wonder if there's a way of it really working for higher rate tax payers.

    Wish.
    Originally posted by wishingthemortgaheaway
    I know, we are very fortunate that one of us earns a decent salary. If we both had museum salaries that would be a different story .

    I'm doing some sums and asking for help on the pensions board but it does look like we could gain £1900pm in a pension fund for a total difference of £350 pm less than out current income. The numbers will change but the principle behind it remains the same and we could potentially still overpay up to £1k a month.

    Don't even get me started on Ch!ld benefit, it really is the bane of my life . We currently scrabble to find the money each Jan but hopefully as part of this finances review we can be a lot smarter than that.

    You're right it doesn't have to be a permanent change, circumstances change but I think now we're starting to get back on top of our finances it would be possible to reduce our ready income without huge detrimental affect on our finances.
    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 19th Jul 17, 9:17 PM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Aargh, have crashed through our money and now into the negatives. Had to transfer £100 from savings to balance up and allow a little spend money.
    On the plus side I have spotted two transactions to query with OH, totalling £48. Doesn't mean we didn't spend it , just good to be checking in with finances regularly and be more aware of outgoings.

    I also received a £10 @mazon voucher today from survey I did months ago, it was a really unexpected surprise. Will pay for present for kids party at the end of the month.

    The least I say about the food snacks bought today to help through hangover the better ! £5.70 today and £3 yesterday. ! I did get a night bus home rather than an expensive taxi or uber though and spent £0 on booze.

    Off to bed now to catch up on much needed sleep. Night all!
    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 20th Jul 17, 8:08 AM
    • 1,969 Posts
    • 11,127 Thanks
    museumworker
    Morning! Appointment with DD1 today so have an hour to myself in a quiet house. Bliss!

    Have applied for the H$BC Advance account as mentioned in this week's tips, hoping to get accepted as will be a £200 bonus.

    Have been given some really useful links about adjusting net income through pension contributions, I've sent OH a set of questions he needs to answer and then I think we should be good to work out exact amounts. It will be pretty hard to play catch up this year as will need to make changes from the 6th paycheck of the year but having it all written down will help us see what is feasible.

    Off out this evening to a leaving do, seeing as still feel rough from Tuesday am planning to stick to lime sodas, although will buy a drink for the leaver. I will have to eat beforehand, but will try to get something cheap on the way. Hoping for sub £15 night out.

    I found £30 cash when sorting through the paperwork so hoping can just do spends from that rather than tap into our current account.

    Now time for some HM porridge before have to rouse DD1 .
    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
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

4,629Posts Today

10,170Users online

Martin's Twitter