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  • FIRST POST
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 7th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    • 30Posts
    • 57Thanks
    woodfired
    Light the fire...
    • #1
    • 7th Nov 17, 7:50 PM
    Light the fire... 7th Nov 17 at 7:50 PM
    Hi All

    After lurking for a few years and having been inspired by lots of the amazing stories on this board I have decided that its time to join in and post my (our) journey.

    I am a mum of two (DD is 8, DS is 3) and have been married to my lovely DH for 10 years.
    We moved into our current house 4 years ago. We paid £150k for it and spent around £85k re-modelling and extending. Its now valued at around £300k with a mortgage of £135 900 outstanding, current term is 22 years 5 months. TBH the mortgage is only this high as we released £100k of equity to purchase a business 7 years ago. Said business is still going strong but there are changes afoot which I will explain later.

    Anyway the plan is to attempt to pay of the mortgage and business loan (£83k) in 10 years so that we can both work part time in our little shop and enjoy a bit more freedom. I think this target is realistic but hope to shave even more off this timeframe with the help of you lovely people!

    Thanks for reading
    Woodfired.x
Page 2
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 29th Nov 17, 2:20 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Day off today and quite productive it has been so far.

    I had a massive to do list this morning and have managed to tick most of it , including my despised job of organising a new business phone/broadband contract (upgraded to fibre and £20 cheaper than the standard tariff we had reverted to on coming out of the contract) so good news there.

    Popped into town this morning, bought some paintbrushes, banked DHs wage and did a food shop. Found 5% fat mince in the RTC section so bough 5 packs (I have never seen it RTC before and its the only mince we eat) and a beef brisket which have all been stashed in the freezer. I also picked up some frozen party food which seemed reasonable and will be handy in the freezer in the shed over Christmas in case of unexpected visitors / impromptu parties (the latter seem to happen often to us! )

    Off now to collect littlest one for a dentist appointment Enjoy the rest of your day!
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 2nd Dec 17, 3:31 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Our new mortgage payment came out at month end and the interest has reduced from around £245 per month to £205 which is good, we managed to fix for another 2 years just before the rate rise. We also saw our first regular overpayment of £300 leave the account so we are now paying over £700 off the capital amount which I am pleased with.
    I've paid another £500 into the TSB regular savers and a further £250 will go in to my HSBC RS later in the month. I also buy £75 worth of shares each month through Hargreaves Lansdown. So a total of £825 into savings each month plus a £300 overpayment. I just hope we haven't overstretched ourselves, it seems a lot when I write it like that!!
    Another quiet Saturday here, we had a boozy Christmas lunch with friends yesterday that set us back £70 so saving the pennies for the rest of the weekend. However, it was a lovely meal with great company and doesn't happen often so not too bothered by this spend. We are now watching Santa Claus The Movie and waiting for my baby Nephew to arrive so we can look after him for a couple of hours, we will have Steak from the freezer and HM chips with pepper sauce for dinner later.
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 3rd Dec 17, 9:37 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    I have been reading all of the frugal tips on the old style money saving board and used one this morning I came downstairs and boiled the kettle for my coffee, DH was in the shower. As I poured it I realised I had boiled enough for probably 3 mugs and DHs would be cold by the time he got to it if I poured it now. So..... I rooted the flask out of the cupboard and filled it with the boiled water. DH thought I had gone mad but it made his coffee plus an extra one for me as I had finished the first by this time. I was VERY pleased with myself .

    I have now lit the Esse which is heating the water for children's baths (having Sunday baths this morning as at carols around the tree in our village this evening). Will pop the joint of beef I got RTC earlier this week in to slow cook whilst it's lit which will be lovely for dinner before the carols this evening. Got to do some paperwork today as a VAT return is due by Thurs for the shop and I have hardly started (I hate that job - lots of work and a big bill to pay at the end of it - a thankless task). Also going to take the children for a long walk, they were bonkers yesterday, probably because we were cooped up inside for most of the day. Will tire them out good and proper today
    Have a nice Sunday everyone.
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 6th Dec 17, 8:34 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Had a very productive day off today. Completed and submitted my VAT return, rang lots of companies regarding the refurb we are planning for the business in the new year, tidied the house and bought the Christmas tree. I have left the tree outside though, it lives in the kitchen but the massive, thick york stone flags hold the heat from the underfloor heating so well that the room is never cool so my tree is dry and crispy within a week of being inside, even with watering! The children are not impressed but it is staying outside for as long as possible.
    I dug out some shortcrust pastry from the freezer with the plan of making some mince pies, however, when I rolled it out there was loads so managed to make a big caramelised onion and cheddar quiche with hm chips for tea AND 9 mince pies.
    I was so thrifty I even used the eggs for the quiche to egg wash the pie lids before adding them to my quiche mix , once again, pleased with myself I am quite enjoying the frugal aspect of this challenge, it is often little effort but hopefully the savings will add up if I can stick to it. Overall dinner was very cheap, no meat involved for us and the children had noodles with chicken (using up a tiny, lonely, chicken breast from the depths of the freezer!) plenty left over for tomorrows lunch or dinner too.
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 27th Dec 17, 7:48 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Sorry Diary, I have been neglecting you!

    Lots going on at the moment which means my MSE ways have slipped a little. We have had a busy christmas so far but DS and DH have both been really poorly with a flu like bug which has wiped them both out. Christmas itself has been quite cheap, although, a last minute flurry of present buying meant that I spent a bit more than I was hoping for.

    We are considering a couple of big changes in the new year. DH is considering starting a business with his brother and they have a contract from a potential customer ready to sign for almost 12 months work (at a fab profit margin), the only issue is it requires appprox £85k of investment
    This would have a knock on effect on me also as it would mean I would give up teaching and take on the running of our business when our manager retires in June. Lots to think about!

    We are also currently working on the refurb of the shop which is due to take place next week, DH is worried that his illness is going to hold the project up as he is doing most of it himself. Fingers crossed he will be much better by then, we don't need any more stress!!

    Hope everyone else had a fab Christmas!x
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 6th Jan 18, 2:19 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Well the shop refit has happened this week, it has been very hard work and involved some very long days but I'm very relieved to say it is almost complete and looks amazing! The new layout is much more comfortable in terms of working environment and so has also strengthened my resolve to hand in my notice and take over in the summer, a huge decision but the right one (I hope!)

    The inevitable downside to this is the impact on the finances, we have spent thousands. However, I am trying to keep in mind that to pay a shop fitting company would likely have cost 3 times as much, so we have actually saved money in this sense. We will also be facing a lean few weeks as Jan/Feb are always quiet as everybody is eating/drinking less plus we have lost 4 days of takings this week due to being closed. Ah well, I must keep the bigger picture in mind and transfer in some savings to tide us over. It will be worth it in the end.

    I have spent very little personally as we have been too busy this week and too poorly the previous week. I had £80 in my purse on the friday before christmas and still have £45 in there today! I did spend £80 in Ald* on Tuesday but very little besides this in the intervening time. I will try to continue this through January as my current account is looking very sorry for itself!

    I am now trying to muster the motivation to do some school work before we go back on Monday. Really cannot be bothered, roll on summer and my new job!

    Happy new year everyone!
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 19th Jan 18, 11:27 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    All Change
    Well it has been a busy few weeks, I handed my notice in on Monday. This was a total shock to the head, especially as I told a few home truths about the way staff are treated and how strongly I diproved of some of the forthcoming (cost cutting) measures. They are not in the best interests of the children or staff and it did not go down too well! Ah well, they needed to hear it and I am in the fortunate position that I do not require a reference so I can speak my mind.

    So it is all systems go for a July start in the shop, i'm looking forward to it, my only concern is childcare through the holidays but i'm sure we will work it out.

    In MSE news I have been spending very little, following meal plans and buying essentials only. My bank balance is very low (thanks to such a huge outlay on the shop) but is being looked after carefully and is gradually increasing . We have a planned spend on dinner out tomorrow, my sisters and I are going for a little walk with the children whilst the husbands tackle a few miles of a hike then we will meet in a cosy pub which serves great food for an early dinner. We will actually pay for one of my sisters and husband to thank them for helping cut down a huge hedge in the garden and chop for logs last summer, still much less than the cost of outside help so all good. Other than this we have plenty of food/drink so should be a fairly MSE weekend.

    I'm currently sat by the roaring Esse, updating spreadsheets and planning for DH's new business (which he and BIL are working at today), will catch up on some diaries too. Quite a nice place to be on a miserable January morning.

    Enjoy your weekends all. xx
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 7th Feb 18, 12:01 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    I have been looking at our figures this morning and noticed that the total outstanding presently on the house mortgage and business loan (essentially the shop mortgage) is £215 001 which is almost a perfectly round figure. I was thinking how nice it would be if we could get this combined total below
    £200 000 by the end of the year. Our regular payments plus scheduled over payments will leave a balance of £202 101 so I need to find an extra £2101 over the next 10 months.
    I don't really want to use savings (we pay a total of £750 into regular savers each month), these would easily cover it but our savings are very low at present and need replenishing, so I need to find this money through savings in the budget/ebay sales/other bonus funds.

    We do need to book our family summer holiday still which will use a chunk of the savings/make the budget really tight so I need to have some concrete goals to refer back to.

    Here goes:
    1. Get mortages below £200k by the end of 2018.
    2. Build the EF/savings back up to £8000 (currently £2915) so £5085 to add.
    3. Lose 1 st in weight(!!)

    Thrown that last one in as its traditional for me, I spend the first 7 months of the year battling to lose a few pounds then the rest of the year enjoying putting it back on! Its a cycle I really need to break.....
    • try harder
    • By try harder 8th Feb 18, 11:49 AM
    • 670 Posts
    • 2,469 Thanks
    try harder
    Loving your diary .Great targets for this year ,i am sure you will meet them .
    • therocket
    • By therocket 8th Feb 18, 5:26 PM
    • 23 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    therocket
    Love reading your diary! The Esse sounds nice in these cold months!!

    Rocket
    MFW - diary incoming!
    • Downshifterella
    • By Downshifterella 9th Feb 18, 8:08 AM
    • 98 Posts
    • 610 Thanks
    Downshifterella
    Just come across your diary wood fired....exciting times ahead!!

    I may be bringing silly...what is an Esse? It sounds warm....and like it may produce baking of some kind?...whatever it is, I think I might want one!
    MF planning for the simple life
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 9th Feb 18, 9:55 AM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Hello there try harder, therocket and Downshifterella! Nice to meet you.
    Thanks for stopping by, it sometimes feels as though i'm nattering away to myself (first sign of madness apparently) It's lovely to know that somebody is reading my ramblings!

    The Esse is an Aga that runs on wood essentially. We are really lucky that DH is a joiner so has lots of dry wood to burn, it keeps us toasty and does occasionally produce baking, although sadly this requires some input from me. It would be nice if it could do this independently every so often Although, on second thoughts, this would not help with goal number 3 (lose weight!!)

    Today I am making the most of my day off whilst children at school. We are all off together for half term next week so I am enjoying the peace and quiet. I have one of my twice-yearly visits to the hairdresser later, I LOVE having my hair done and always vow to go every couple of months but somehow 6 months go by before I get round to it again. Thankfully my hair is quite long and I wear it tied back most of the time so it doesn't look to messy and it also means that I am very cheap to run

    In MSE news I have paid all the tax bills and accountant's invoice so all straight going forward. Bank accounts are looking a bit sickly now though, definitely need some TLC.
    I only spent £45 on shopping this week and had £8.50 vouchers to knock off this plus I banked some change we found when renovating the shop which came to over £25 in old pound coins, grotty small change and even a couple of shillings (I kept these).

    I usually spend about £80 per week on the food shop so I will transfer the difference (£43.50) into savings along with the £25 to start my little overpayment fund. I will save this up over the year and pay off as and when I have decent amount as TSB don't seem to have an easy way to make a one-off over-payment. As far as I can tell you have to ring to make a payment, please correct me I i'm wrong?!

    Anyways, off to do some money shuffling, enjoy your day all! x
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 15th Feb 18, 4:35 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Exciting times!!
    I rang TSB today and found that I can make ad-hoc overpayments via online banking, I simply set up a new payee and use the mortgage number as the reference. This is sooo exciting! It was my birthday yesterday and alongside flowers, perfume, chocs, prosecco and vouchers I received £150 cash so I have added this to the £68.50 from earlier in the week then rounded up to £250 and paid it off the mortgage! I wonder what my mum would make of me using my birthday money to pay off the mortgage, I have told her I would buy some clothes with it
    • atypicalblonde
    • By atypicalblonde 15th Feb 18, 5:03 PM
    • 2,738 Posts
    • 18,663 Thanks
    atypicalblonde
    Hello woodfired

    I!!!8217;ve enjoyed reading your diary so far, and a big belated welcome to the gang! How old are your kiddies? Ours are 5 and 4.

    Online banking OPs rock - I LOVE checking the balance each morning to make sure the previous days OP has been applied, even if it!!!8217;s just a few pennies

    Stick around, you!!!8217;re amongst friends here x

    ETA - I also OP birthday money x
    MFW
    Mortgage 8.2.15 - £171,064.64 Mortgage 8.2.18 - £109,990
    Aiming to be MF 1.10.2020
    • therocket
    • By therocket 16th Feb 18, 8:43 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 40 Thanks
    therocket
    Haha! Good news about the ease of OP's! May the addiction commence...
    MFW - diary incoming!
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 17th Feb 18, 5:13 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    Oh dear, Rocket this is so true I checked the balance and only £107.60 would make the balance a lovely round £133 500.....oh no, what have I started?!

    Thanks for the lovely welcome ATB, it's so nice to have a place where i'm understood, DH thinks i'm crackers most of the time!!! Our two are 8 and 4, growing up too fast.....
    Last edited by woodfired; 17-02-2018 at 5:16 PM.
    • woodfired
    • By woodfired 18th Feb 18, 8:58 PM
    • 30 Posts
    • 57 Thanks
    woodfired
    So I caved and overpaid the £107.67 it had been playing on my mind all weekend which is ridiculous .

    I then had a play on the calculator, if we could overpay like this every month (£300 regular over payment plus another £350) then we could be mortgage free in 9 years
    This would be amazing but is totally unrealistic! I need to be very careful that I don't become addicted and overpay ALL of our money

    We have booked our summer holiday this weekend, we went direct to the hotel and then booked flights separately, this saved us over £1200 compared to family who had booked the same hotel through a website so really pleased. The only problem is that this all has to be paid in one go so I have put the flights on my 0% CC which I will pay off monthly at a rate of about £150 per month but the hotel (approx £1250 depending on ex rate) will be paid in one go early next month hence why I cannot start overpaying every penny the council tax free months will help with this though. Looking forward to getting it paid then I can crack on with EF savings (and OPs )
    Last edited by woodfired; 18-02-2018 at 8:58 PM. Reason: spelling
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