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  • FIRST POST
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 10th Sep 17, 10:30 PM
    • 137Posts
    • 626Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Something to aim for
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:30 PM
    Something to aim for 10th Sep 17 at 10:30 PM
    Hi all,

    I've been a MFW for a while now, and often browse this board for inspiration. There are some v good ideas on here!

    I've been overpaying for years just by increasing my monthly DD, and have sometimes had an extra push to take more off the balance each month, but never sustained it.

    However, life has got complicated, and I now need to focus on getting the balance down quickly....

    Newly single with young kids, my ex has agreed to give up all equity in the house in return for me giving up all claim to his pension. Fortunately, seeing as I am on a pretty low part-time salary, he's also agreed to remain on the mortgage for the remainder of the current fixed term - which is 5 years, finishing in August 2022. I can afford the repayments at the moment with tax credits and child maintenance.

    I therefore have 5 years to either get the balance down to where I can afford to take it over on my current salary, or increase my salary dramatically. I'm going to try to do a bit of both!

    This diary is going to track my progress and keep me motivated, and I'm open to any brainwaves people might have along the way.

    Current mortgage balance is -359,337.18!!!! Oh help!

    Currently overpaying an automatic £77.31 by rounding up my DD, and am hoping to overpay another £200 per month in order to take £1k off the balance each month. This will hopefully be doable - I have been keeping a detailed spending diary for the past 4 years, so have a good handle on my outgoings, and where I can cut them. This will bring me down to just under £300k at the end of the 5 years.

    One of the silver linings of divorcing is that I'm in complete control of the finances - no OH spending £15 per day on coffees and lunch, or having to have the latest £200 gadget - gotta find the bright side, right?!

    Dragonrider
Page 1
    • bubblycrazy
    • By bubblycrazy 10th Sep 17, 11:07 PM
    • 113 Posts
    • 305 Thanks
    bubblycrazy
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:07 PM
    • #2
    • 10th Sep 17, 11:07 PM
    Good luck! That is one heck of a big mortgage! Your spending diary record will definitely come in useful.
    Do you have the agreement with your ex in writing?
    An SOA can be very useful.
    Is there the possibility of increasing your hours in your current job or are you thinking of something working from home?
    MFW - Original balance 28/08/2014 £52850
    Original MF date: 2049 Aiming for: 2025
    Balance 28/04/2015 £52250
    Balance 27/07/2016 £49990
    Balance 08/07/2017 £47999
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 11th Sep 17, 5:16 AM
    • 295 Posts
    • 1,210 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    • #3
    • 11th Sep 17, 5:16 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Sep 17, 5:16 AM
    Dragon rider, sounds like a challenging situation, but you also sound like you have a solid plan.

    Have you taken financial/legal advice over the house equity vs pension pot situation? If your mortgage is £360k, You'd have to have a huge amount of equity for it to compare to the size of the pension pot.
    In my experience several ex's have suggested this as a divorce settlement solution, but when the other half has looked into it, it has rarely been beneficial to them.

    A couple of friends have had written into the divorce settle ment that the partner who's left cannot make an application for their share of the equity until the youngest child is 18, or when they leave full time education but the equity they have rights to is set (as a % I think) at the time of the divorce. This means that the person who lives in the house and pays 100% of the mortgage payments from this point onwards, gets 100% of the benefit of what they have paid when the house is either sold, or they buy the ex out.

    Hope this makes sense.

    Wish.
    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
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 11th Sep 17, 8:41 AM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    • #4
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:41 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Sep 17, 8:41 AM
    Hi bubble, hi Wish

    My LTV is currently 50%, so the balance is actually slightly tipped in my favour - my solicitor thinks I've done OK. Additionally, my ex is paying more maintenance than the CMS says he should - he's being honourable in that regard, at least.

    We're just in the process now of getting it court approved, so by the time the 5 years on this fixed rate is up, it will be both approved by the court, and I'll hopefully have 5 years' worth of evidence that he's paying the maintenance on time.

    My littlest doesn't start reception until next Sept - so in theory that would be a sensible time to up my hours. However, because I work in London, I have a 1.5 hr commute each way, so actually have to pay for 3 hours more childcare per day than I work So I need to work out the numbers carefully to make sure I'm not making myself worse off. If I could get promoted before then, the numbers become much better, so that's the plan this year - get promoted!!!! Maybe easier said then done, but something to focus on.

    Dragonrider
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th Sep 17, 6:15 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:15 PM
    • #5
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:15 PM
    So I thought I would put down on paper how I'm planning to find the £200 to overpay the mortgage every month, in order that I can take £1000 off the capital each time. By doing this, I should get under £300k by the end of my 5 year fix. I will think about what I want to put in my signatures too!

    Bills all go from one account, and I put in £1000 per month. This sounds an awful lot, but it covers everything from council tax to annual insurances to hobbies to school uniform. Anything regular I can budget for is covered by this account. I aim to always have £1000 in reserve here, so any extra from each month can be used towards OPing. I've got all my utilities down as low as they can go (couldn't believe how big a reduction I made by not using the tumble dryer!!!) except my mobile contract which runs out next week.

    Childcare is a massive outgoing for me with 4 kids under 9, but littlest starts reception next September, so only one more year of pain!

    Then my spending is as follows:

    Me (travel to work, lunches, fun, make up, clothes, haircuts etc) £250

    Groceries £400

    Diesel £100

    General spending (doing stuff with the kids, kids clothes/books etc) £200

    I then have a separate account for presents £100 (I take all birthday presents out of this during the year, and then what's left at the end of the year is my Christmas budget) - so I'm not going to count this in my monthly total.

    So total is £950 per month.

    Having done a bit of thinking, I have a few ideas.....

    1. Walk/cycle to the station rather than taking the bus. This would be a saving of £1.50 per journey, so potentially £9 per week (2 journeys per day, 3 days a week)
    2. Take all my lunches into work, so another potential £9 per week (I usually buy a £3 meal deal)
    3. Proper meal planning to take at least £50 off the grocery budget
    4. I've just switched to a much cheaper, more fuel efficient car so should start to see savings here but not sure how much yet
    5. Cut down spontaneous hot chocolates in cafes with the kids - with 5 of us it quickly racks up!

    I'm hoping that finding £200 should be possible by doing all of these in combination, possibly leaving myself some wriggle room too for those days when it's tipping it down and I can't face the bike!

    But I'm going to hold the £150 in reserve in my bills account so that if I have a horrible month I don't have to use the credit card.

    Fingers crossed, I'll keep you posted on my progress!

    Dragonrider
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 12th Sep 17, 6:25 PM
    • 295 Posts
    • 1,210 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:25 PM
    • #6
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:25 PM
    Sounds like you have a plan.
    If you use your bills account for annual bills instead of monthly ones, do you keep track of how much is in there for each bill? Or is it just a single big pot?
    I'm thinking of you empty it each month (apart from the £1k buffer,) does that mean some months you'll purposely use the buffer amount?

    Sorry, I don't know if I've explained that very well.
    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
    • MichaelDH
    • By MichaelDH 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    • 90 Posts
    • 406 Thanks
    MichaelDH
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    • #7
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:44 PM
    Hi Dragonrider

    Welcome! Sounds like you have some good ideas for cutting costs. The money saved meal planning and taking packed lunches to work really adds up. Re. childcare costs, have you ever thought about hiring an au pair? One of my cousins did this a few years ago as worked out cheaper for her than child minder for her three children. Might be worth looking in to.
    Starting Balance August 2016: £170,199.00 | Current Balance (7th September 2017): £165,451.80
    OP's to date (starting August 2017): £501.42

    Target: Balance below £160,000.00 by June 2017
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th Sep 17, 6:56 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:56 PM
    • #8
    • 12th Sep 17, 6:56 PM
    In any individual month, I don't go over £1000 moving out of the bills account. I've managed to spread my big annual expenses out over the year, which helps. So this account has actually been accumulating over the past year, to the point where I had about £2500 surplus in there.

    The time when I might need to reassess is when council tax restarts next spring - for various reasons I paid this year's in one lump sum so it's not coming out of my account at the moment.

    I've also got about £5000 in easy access as an emergency fund, so if the system doesn't work and I find out I've paid out too much too early, I can readjust.

    Hopefully it will work out overall.

    Dragonrider
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    • #9
    • 12th Sep 17, 7:02 PM
    Hi Michael

    I think I will swap to an au pair next year - I decided not to this year as my youngest is only at school half days, and I wasnt comfortable with an au pair just out of school having sole care of a little one. But next year, when I just need before and after school care, then definitely!

    Thanks for the suggestions, keep them coming!

    Dragonrider
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 12th Sep 17, 8:51 PM
    • 582 Posts
    • 5,806 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Hi DR . Our situations have parallels although my kids are older. It can feel blooming daunting tackling this as a single parent but you sound very motivated and organised so you can and will do it

    Your bit about the silver lining and being in control hit a chord. Though a little scary, its incredibly liberating and every victory, however small is yours to celebrate and feel proud of. The sense of purpose it has given me has been invigorating.

    Wishing you the very, very best of luck. Subscribed in order to cheer loudly from the sidelines

    PP x
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th Sep 17, 8:58 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Hi pinkypig

    Thanks so much for the words of encouragement!

    You're absolutely right about the feeling of liberation, as well as determination and an energising effect. I know that there will be v hard times (I still get v down in the evenings when the house is quiet) but there is a sense of freedom as well.

    Will happily follow and cheer you on also!

    Dragonrider
    • DeterminedSingleMummy
    • By DeterminedSingleMummy 12th Sep 17, 9:16 PM
    • 191 Posts
    • 854 Thanks
    DeterminedSingleMummy
    Hi.

    I am the same, some days everything's feels impossible and is hard but others I feel like I'm right on track with my mortgage and I feel really positive about things.

    Will be following your diary

    Xx
    Balance at start of mortgage Dec 2011 £87500
    1 Jan 2015 = £73,735 Overpayments = £3,360 (average £280 p/m)
    1 Jan 2016 = £66,558 Overpayments = £4,770 (average £397.50 p/m)
    1 Jan 2017 = £57,756 Overpayments so far Jan £0 Feb £550 Mar £3022 April £690 May £1513 total £5775
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th Sep 17, 9:22 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Hi DSM

    Thanks for stopping by, and for the moral support.

    Will be following you too!

    We got this.....

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by OPing £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18
    Monthly interest £792.22
    Daily interest £25.56
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 19th Sep 17, 9:18 PM
    • 137 Posts
    • 626 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Evening all,

    So I've been working hard not to spend money....

    Considering I started part way through the month, I think I'm doing good OK, although the rain has meant more bus rides than I had planned. This might be a case of having to invest in some good waterproofs in order to save longer term on travel. Most of what puts me off is the admin of having to protect everything, or carry lots of extra stuff with me in case it's raining on the way home!

    Progress;

    1. Have put in my promotion form!!! This is the biggie, but now have to wait nervously until October to find out if I've got through to the interview stage. And if I have, then I'll have the stress of the interview itself. I hate interviews, and feel that I'm no good at them, which makes me dread them even more.

    2. My phone contract has just run out. My phone had been really playing up, so 2 weeks ago I took it into a repair centre to see what they could do. As it is still under warranty, they changed the motherboard and the screen for free, as apparently there was something wrong with both of them. In my eyes that means I've basically got a brand phone, as there can't be many bits left that they DIDN'T replace!! So I'm now wondering whether to stick with my current network on a SIM only deal or look for something else - will do some ringing around this week.

    3. Have meal planned for the last 2 weeks, which has meant fewer top up shops and less wasted food - will definitely keep going with this one. It's making me be more adventurous as well, so should drag us out of the rut we've been in of the same meals....

    Am now anxiously awaiting pay day next week to work out how much I can OP by!!!!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by OPing £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18
    Monthly interest £792.22
    Daily interest £25.56
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