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  • FIRST POST
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 12th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    • 48Posts
    • 88Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Mortgage free & able to live the dream!
    • #1
    • 12th Oct 17, 9:02 AM
    Mortgage free & able to live the dream! 12th Oct 17 at 9:02 AM
    Hi all,

    I've followed these boards religiously during my epic daily commute & had a thread over on debt free wannabe - although was terrible at keeping up with it

    My husband & I bought our first flat in London a year ago with 15% LTV & a mortgage of £322,000
    This seems to be miles higher than most people on here. We've got a 35yr term & are currently due to finish paying by time I'm 65 obviously the plan is to pay it off much sooner than this.

    We're both in reasonably well paying jobs & put roughly £1300 in savings a month, we've got a pot of £10k - but I'm now wondering if we should channel £1000 a month to a mortgage OP (this is the maximum OP we're permitted to make without charges). We're currently OP'ing by £200-£300 pm. If we OP'd by the maximum we could be mortgage free in 15 years!!!!

    Our ultimate plan would be to buy somewhere close to where we're both from & hold on to our London flat. This is obviously a long way off - but that's what we'd work towards. The problem is I cant work out if we should be paying off our current mortgage quicker or saving for a deposit.

    The added complication is that we would like to start a family in the next year - which will definitely impact one of our earnings & probably our savings pot

    At least this diary will help me stay accountable & help us acheive the end goal!
Page 3
    • lessavyfav
    • By lessavyfav 21st Nov 17, 9:28 AM
    • 178 Posts
    • 215 Thanks
    lessavyfav
    Hiya! Enjoyed reading your diary so far — my husband and I also have a London mortgage (bigger than yours!! ) but there's relief knowing we're not the only mad ones on a 35 year term..we're hoping to clear it off much sooner too. You sound like you're doing an excellent job so far!

    I'm also using Moneybox and started to increase my weekly amount to £10 + double roundups - averages out to about £35 per week and I have almost £900 in the pot now, hopefully £1000 by the end of the year. It's a great way to just sweep loose change and shows every little bit adds up, but I can't help but think I should probably move on to 'real' stocks and shares. I just love the ease of MB.

    Anyway, good luck for your job promotion, sounds like you deserve that cleaner with all the people you've got visiting.
    0% Balance Transfer (ends May 2018) £214.94/£2524.94 (84.95% there)
    Giant London-sized mortgage (started July 2017) £492973.87/£499,00.00 Current LTV 87%
    Overpayments £1600
    S&S ISA £955.48
    Regular Saver (started August 2017) £1600
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 21st Nov 17, 12:04 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Hey lessavyfav,

    Thanks for dropping by! It really does give me some assurance that others are in a similar boat to us - I like to think that our overpayments have even more impact (that's what I tell myself anyway!) I'll follow your diary with interest as you sound like you're in the exact same position as me.

    I keep examining my mortgage balance sheet and although I didn't overpay by as much as I had hoped last year, the balance doesn't seem to have decreased as much as I would have expected...I wish I could login and monitor my payments - but my provider only send annual statements, so frustrating!

    Have since been told the 'promotion' is likely to be the same money I'm on now - in which case I just don't think it will be worth it. Woe is me!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 23rd Nov 17, 8:32 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Payday

    I've done a bit of juggling this morning - topped up the Christmas account & repaid my holiday account, which I robbed earlier in the month to buy a friend a present

    I've got an expensive weekend coming up with friends staying - I've done an Amazon pantry order with a £5 off code - so that's something!

    Need to order a few more Christmas presents...my DH loves a certain brand of wine, so I was planning to order him a case - then got sent a £10 voucher, result! He'd also love a casual coat, so I need to see if i can rejig budgets to afford this.

    I need to buy train tickets home for Christmas - which will be eye wateringly expensive, but must be done.

    My SO to savings is due out tomorrow & then my DH gets paid on the 28th - which is when we'll assess what we can pay in the way of an OP.

    My account switch to FD is due to happen on the 27th - so I hope the £125 joining bonus gets paid to me shortly after this - I could do with the funds for Christmas!

    It's an expensive month ahead - but hopefully one which has been reasonably budgetted for - I guess we'll soon see!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • kirtsypoos
    • By kirtsypoos 23rd Nov 17, 9:49 AM
    • 3,086 Posts
    • 13,763 Thanks
    kirtsypoos
    Just delurking to say my FD switch bonus was paid exactly 28 days after my switch but my OHs only took 15 days - no idea why the difference but fingers crossed for a quick one for you
    £175/3000 OH BC(94.16% PAID)
    PAID VERY, Barclaycard x2, Vanquis, Natwest, O/D, Tesco & MBNA x2 PAID LBM 24/07/15 - Debt: £175/31010.23 (99.43% paid)
    Mortgage - £161,000.00 (2017 O/P £3191.73) PAYDBX 17 #006 - £17,910.81/14,539.71
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 23rd Nov 17, 7:30 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Thank you Kirstypoos! My FD account is open, but the actual shift of funds etc is due to happen on the 27th November - so I guess the bonus will be 30 days ish after this. That'll be no bad thing to be honest - I'll probably need the funds after Christmas!

    I seem to have haemorrhaged money today - Christmas presents & a bit food/drink order ahead of the weekend guests arriving. A lot of money spent - but hopefully it'll mean we eat/ drink at home & save a bit on going out - well it'll save everyone but me!

    Feeling relatively organised on Christmas shopping - long may it last.
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 24th Nov 17, 8:25 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    An early wake up with an awful headache resulted in an early morning painkiller dash.

    I couldn't get back to sleep, so did some more Christmas shopping in the Black Friday sales online. Managed to bag a couple of bargains & happily my list is diminishing.

    Feeling quite overwhelmed with the number of jobs I have to do - both with work & life - but am like a rabbit in the headlights & can't make a start. Must get on.....

    More guests coming this evening, so need to clean & tidy the house. Food orders arriving this afternoon - so relatively well organised.

    Some money shifted to savings - but will update my signature properly on the 28th when DH gets paid & we can assess how much to put towards the mortgage.

    I hope everyone has a lovely Friday! X
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 27th Nov 17, 8:19 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    A Monday commute again - although not as depressing as usual as the next 2 weeks are 4 days each - I had some leftover holiday to take

    A busy weekend with friends staying & I was worried about how much I was spending....my account switched to FD overnight & my balance isn't looking too bad overall

    DH payday tomorrow, so I'll try & work out then how much to put towards the mortgage. I'd like to hit £11k in our savings pot (currently £10,900) so should be able to throw a decent whack at a overpayment after that.

    Managed to do a fair amount of Christmas shopping - so more people to tick off the list.

    Still not sure what's happening with work next year, so that's giving me a bit of anxiety at the moment - really suffering from Sunday night dreads I hate not knowing what will be happening & where I'll be.

    Aims for this week:
    * Finish Christmas shopping
    * Aim for 2 x NSD's
    * Deep clean flat
    * Get at least a couple of early nights
    * Update my MSE signature after overpaying mortgage!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 28th Nov 17, 10:56 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Husband's payday - so money allocated as follows:

    £300 to Savings
    £700 to Mortgage OP


    Signature updated with new figures, so happy days. I still can't work out how to make it so that you can view the entire signature on posts - as the OP & Savings lines appear to get lost, but they're there somewhere!

    My FD account is up & running - I just need to find an HSBC cash point, so I can change my pin and activate my card - job for the lunch break.

    When my switch bonus comes through I plan to allocate the £125 to my holiday fund, just so long as Christmas shopping hasn't taken too much of a toll.

    According to my spreadsheet my mortgage balance should stand at £314, 207 - although I really don't trust my maths! I wish there was a means I could log in & check online - I must call my provider to check they definitely don't offer this service - as it seems madness.

    In other news - it's my birthday coming up, so I've booked myself & DH out for a posh meal - not very MSE at all - but sometimes, just sometimes, you need to treat yourself to justify all the hard work.
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 29th Nov 17, 8:58 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Still haven't got around to activating my FD debit card - which means my bank account hasn't been touched for 3 days - a happy side effect of my disorganisation

    I had an interesting chat with a colleague yesterday - who has been seeking financial advice. I mentioned I am trying to OP the mortgage & save interest - secure a better rate of interest when we remortgage (in 2 years!).

    He said I was going about it all wrong, that because interest is so low I should be borrowing as much as possible to generate wealth. He told me he has an interest only mortgage & that's the way forward. I guess he's also relying on house prices going up. It's confusing & feels completely at odds with what I'm doing. I guess perhaps you need to speculate to accumulate, but I think I'd prefer the security!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • Tradcob
    • By Tradcob 30th Nov 17, 12:16 PM
    • 66 Posts
    • 146 Thanks
    Tradcob
    Hello! just thought I'd say a quick hi, and let you know that I will have a similar sized mortgage to you shortly & that I've subscribed to your diary.
    I think different personalities will approach debt differently, but I'm with you, I want to pay off as much as possible as quickly as possible!
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 4th Dec 17, 7:38 AM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Hello Tradcob!

    Thanks for dropping in! Yes - I think paying down this debt as much as possible is the way forward - and will not only increase our equity (& security!) But enables us to get the best deals when we come to remortgage - that's the plan anyway! I'll check out your diary & subscribe - I love to read about how people tackle similar monster mortgages.

    This weekend has been a bit spenny - celebrated my birthday on friday with a lovely meal out, we also went for lunch yesterday too & I hit the shops..... In my defence I had a whole load of birthday vouchers, so 2 new dresses, 2 jumpers & a skirt only came to £33, so not too bad.

    Still got the Monday dreads about checking my bank account though - but must be done! I hope everyone has a good week.
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 4th Dec 17, 4:16 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    I'm starting to assess how I've done over the past year financially and see if I've hit any of the target I set out at the beginning of 2017 - and come up with some new ones for 2018! So here they are:

    2017 Aims:
    • Save £12,000 in joint account - Almost there! And should definitely be there by the end of the year.
    • To overpay mortgage by minimum of £300 per month/ £400 once Student Loan paid Off - So far I've averaged at £241 a month overpayments - so not quite hit this target, but increasing my OP's significantly now, and aiming for a monthly average of £300 by end of the year. Aiming much higher next year!
    • Pay off student loan by July 2017 - Done
    • Pay off Barclays Credit Card by June 2018 - Not as far along as I'd like - but determined to throw more funds at it in the new year, at least it's still 0%
    • Have 2 x NSD’s a week - Haven't kept the best track of these, but definitely achieved a few
    • Save £1200 in personal savings - Not as far along as hoped, due to a impromptu mini break - going to pop extra income into this account from January, in order to take me & DH away for his 30th.
    • For my bank balance to be £2900 on payday each month - This has been variable, I've had one or two big expenses that have occasionally limited my balance - next year I'll be better.
    • To not go into overdraft again - Have dipped in once or twice, but overall so much better at money management.

    Whilst there is definitely room for improvement, I am proud of how I've managed to turn my finances around in the past year - having started the year £2k into my overdraft, with £4.5k on my credit card and only £1000 in savings - and not mortgage OP's. I was once the person who didn't check her bank balance for 2 years (terrible I know!) and can now happily say I love the feeling of security that managing my finances brings.

    I'll dedicate my next post to 2018 aims....
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 4th Dec 17, 4:43 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    So as for aims for 2018 - this will depend very much on what happens with my job. If I secure the payrise I hope for, or move to a different company. Either way I'm going to tailor my aims as though I am being paid more - as I am determined that I will be (sorry if that sounds greedy & grasping, I'm just aiming for parity with my colleagues, and have never asked for a pay rise before).

    2018 Aims:

    * Overpay mortgage by £6000 (average of £500 per month)
    * Increase pension contributions by 2% - I currently pay in 4% into my pension (my employer matches up to 4%), I think I need to up this, but am limited in my understanding of pensions to be honest, we hope that our current flat may be a source of income in the future, if we move back to where we're from.
    * Add £12,000 to savings - this will hopefully take us closer to a deposit for a new home back where we're from.
    * Save £2000 in my personal savings to take DH on a surprise 30th birthday holiday.
    * Clear my Barclaycard before 0% period ends
    * Be able to pay for a cleaner

    We're thinking about starting a family - so savings may be scuppered by this! I'd like to be able to minimise the impact on us as much as possible, hence my aim to save/ pay off as much as possible now.
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 5th Dec 17, 12:10 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Am getting to grips with my FD account - but annoyingly my transactions don't show up as quickly as on my old Barclays account, so I'm worse off this month than I thought.

    It's not a disaster as I have a small birthday cheque to pay in & Christmas money budgeted and sat in my savings account ready for the last of the Christmas shopping.

    We travel home on the 16th December - and I'm hoping that between then & payday will be relatively cheap as I'll be at home with my family - all travel is now paid for.

    In other news - the new job/ promotion is a step closer as HR signed off my pay increase - now just waiting to hear back from the project director that they can budget for this. If it does go ahead I start early January and will need to significantly re jig finances & goals. I don't want to jinx it, so won't start planning yet.
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • MM10
    • By MM10 5th Dec 17, 6:32 PM
    • 36 Posts
    • 112 Thanks
    MM10
    TGI Friday....it's been a long, stressful week & I'm exhausted. After having family every weekend for 5 weeks my husband & I are going out for pizza just the 2 of us. It's really much needed. I did consider being MSE & eating at home...but we really need to be without the distraction of the TV& washing up, so it will be money well spent.

    One really depressing thing that happened today - we asked for John Lewis vouchers as wedding presents (2 yrs ago) - we didn't have our flat then, but were working towards it & asked for vouchers in order we could choose lovely home bits when the time came. We checked in store & were told vouchers dont expire.

    Fast forward to today - we've finally made a decision on what to buy (weeks of discussions & making lists - the vouchers are precious, so we wanted to invest in things we'd keep forever) - and I discover they've all expired. I am beyond gutted - £1000 gone. And it was money that would be a real treat for us, and very important being a wedding present. I spoke to customer services who said nothing could be done. I've written, but am not holding out much hope.

    On the back of the cards - it reads that they expire 24 months after last transaction, I believed we were fine as we haven't made any transactions, but apparently the original purchase
    Of the cards counts as a transaction. I feel incredibly stupid for saving them & agonising over spending them, but I felt reassured by customer services in store when we originally decided to ask for these vouchers as presents.

    Bit tearful today
    Originally posted by SWSEGirl
    Any news from JLewis?
    Total mortgage when started £256,809 in May of 2011;
    Main mortgage was £214,309; now £110,716 at Feb 2016 ; £63,645 at Feb 2017 ; £34,951 at Nov 17
    Original repayment date 2036; Mortgage free date July 2021; Dec 2020; Dec 2019;
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 6th Dec 17, 1:04 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    Hi MM10,

    Thanks so much for checking in...I had good news, JL have reissued all my vouchers and said they will look into amending the wording on their vouchers, I am so relieved and planning to spend all the vouchers as quickly as possible! I can't tell you what a relief it was. Thank you for asking xx
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 6th Dec 17, 7:17 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    My HR team have confirmed that they will pay me the money I asked for on this new project, still needs sign off from project director, but all looking a lot more promising. My rate will only increase for the duration of the project, but that's 9 months & I'd look for a role that could match this money thereafter.

    One thing I am deyermined to do is to remain frugal & financially savvy. I want to have a minimalist January & February & try to give myself a headstart for the year.

    This does change my goals somewhat for 2018 & my husband & I are going to try & save £2k a month - £1k towards mortgage OP (maximum allowed) & £1k into savings. We know neither of us will earn this kind of money forever, so are determined to maximise this opportunity, perhaps we'll even save enough for a deposit on our dream home? Aim high!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 8th Dec 17, 9:46 PM
    • 48 Posts
    • 88 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    A lovely day off for me today - but almost nothing achieved, one of those lazy days where I drifted aimlessly, ah well! I did manage to tick a few gifts off the Christmas list.

    Very annoyingly I lost my (new!) debit card on Wednesday - cancelled quickly & have ordered a new one, but still awaiting it's arrival. just annoyed at myself for being careless.

    Sat down with DH & briefly discussed next year's finances. We're going to properly go through everything at Christmas & try to streamline & budget. I want to go through all bills & check we're getting the cheapest deals. I also want to plan ahead - for example, the months I don't pay council tax next year I want to channel that money straight into savings.

    After the Christmas break I'm going yo take an extra day's holiday on our return to London, before starting my new job. I want to take that day & batch cook ahead of my new project starting, so I can go back to work with lunches each day & hopefully save me frittering! Still deliberating over a cleaner...I would love to avoid the stress of our flat being messy, but can't easily reconcile the cost in my mind. Something to duscuss over the festive period!
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = £322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = £316,649
    Emergency Savings = £9,661 £10,000 £10,500 £11,200
    Mortgage OP's Total = £1500 £2200 £2900
    • daisy 1571
    • By daisy 1571 9th Dec 17, 9:18 PM
    • 169 Posts
    • 2,068 Thanks
    daisy 1571
    Hi MM10,

    Thanks so much for checking in...I had good news, JL have reissued all my vouchers and said they will look into amending the wording on their vouchers, I am so relieved and planning to spend all the vouchers as quickly as possible! I can't tell you what a relief it was. Thank you for asking xx
    Originally posted by SWSEGirl
    That's really good news

    Daisy xx
    "Never save something for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion" Take hold of every moment by anon

    The difference between what you were yesterday and what you will be tomorrow is what you do today
    • bspm
    • By bspm 9th Dec 17, 9:59 PM
    • 445 Posts
    • 693 Thanks
    bspm
    That's also a really good point, thank you! According to Zoopla (unreliable I know) our property has increased in value by roughly £8k in a year - so hopefully we can rely on a rise in the value to help us with interest rates. I just hope the current instability doesn't mean that prices drop.

    My first steps in maximising our savings & making a little additional cash here and there are as follows:

    Switch to First Direct – get £125 bonus
    Open Regular Saver Account w/ FD – start SO for £300 pm. (locked away for 12 months) = £3600 over 1 year = £180 interest.
    Start SO for £500 to Mortgage – call to check if amount can be split into 2 payments
    Put existing £10,000 svaings into high interest Harrods account (fixed for 1 year 1.9% = £190 interest)
    Put £400 pm into an easy access account

    This should make us around £800 in the next year if my calculations are correct - which would be a nice bonus!
    Originally posted by SWSEGirl
    You will not get £180 interest.
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