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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 10th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    • 1,264Posts
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    MeandO
    MeandO's mortgage-free musings
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    MeandO's mortgage-free musings 10th Nov 17 at 11:39 AM
    *sneaks in from DFW board*

    Hello, I'm MeandO, I'm thirty something just and I'm a mortgage-free wannabe.

    To cut the backstory short, things kind of went like this:

    2008: Married, mortgage free.
    2011: Mini MeandO arrived.
    2013: Moved house > £60K mortgage with (now ex) husband.
    2013, later: Life went a bit pear shaped.
    2015: Single, £102K mortgage to buy ex out of house.
    2017: Moved area to a £30K cheaper house to enable me to go P/T to be around for Mini MeandO and eradicate need for childcare.

    Mortgage now: £78789.15

    So, last year I moved from a new build to an old house which needed a bit of work, mostly decorative and now 70% done. The rest will be tackled as and when (and if!) I can afford it. I went P/T at work which has increased our quality of life tenfold, but has obviously had financial implications. I also have a small business I run from home which has greatly helped to build up some savings in the past few months, but I will be closing this down soon for a variety of reasons. Hopefully one day I will be able to develop that income source again, but not right now.

    DS's Dad and I still get on well depsite being (almost) divorced and he does his fair share of parenting, so I live alone with my little boy for half the week and DS spends half the week with his Dad.
    I have a lovely man in tow now, we don't live together but are only a short walk from each other which is lovely. Hopefully one day we will 'combine households', but I don't see that happening imminently.

    My mortgage deal is fixed but expires in May 2018, so I am trying to overpay as much as possible before that date. With long term goals in mind, if I can manage to knock at least 10 years off the mortgage (currently 24 years left to run ) then I will be ecstatic.
    I'm not in the position to overpay in large chunks, apart from last year with funds from the sale of the old house, but I frequently throw pennies/pounds/chocolate buttons at the online mortgage account to reduce it by what I can. Every penny counts and all that...
    Link to my old thread for those interested:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5650914&page=16

    Feel free to drop by for a virtual cuppa and cake, I'd pull up a chair though, I think I'll be here some time...

    M
    X
    Last edited by MeandO; 11-01-2018 at 1:42 PM.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
Page 7
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 7th Feb 18, 12:03 PM
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    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Today I have transferred £500 from my emergency savings and purchased the same in premium bonds. The interest rate on the account means that I earn s*d all interest on it over the year and as this is a risk-free strategy, I thought it would be a good idea. Fingers crossed, I may be lucky and win a little too!
    I've left £320 in the ISA. I feel a little tetchy about transferring it all across, so will leave a small amount in there. Hopefully, as my savings build up, I'll be able to purchase some more.

    I sold another item for OH last night for £20. It went within minutes on ebay, leaving me thinking I should have asked more for it, but OH was pleased with £20 and it's another item cleared. I've listed a couple more things for him too.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 8th Feb 18, 9:59 AM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Yesterday I left work a little early to do some running around for DS's birthday and to pick up some shopping. I stocked up on lots of fresh fruit and veg, milk and cupcakes for DS to take to school for his birthday. It came to just over £20, but I had a £25 gift card which covered it. I managed to get icing sugar and icing from home bargains at a much cheaper price than asda; then popped to a local card shop to get DS a big helium balloon for his birthday. Not exactly moneysaving, but he loved it.
    Around £15 spent from the bank account between home bargains and the card shop.

    I've completed another survey this morning and have a few to do on the other account. I'm one survey away from another £5 now. I will be getting this as a paypal transfer for now though I think - will help pay off the mortgage, albeit slowly!
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 8th Feb 18, 11:48 AM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've been inspired by another forum user's recent attempts at making things nicer with what they already have, rather than buying new. (If you're reading Xspender, thank you!), and have decided to go through all the DIY and decorating stuff I have in at the weekend with a view of painting my bedroom and possibly another room. I know I need specialist paint for the bathroom and kitchen, but I have a £40 DIY gift card which will hopefully cover this when it comes to buying it.

    My bedroom needs doing, as does the 4th bedroom that I use as an office, so I'm going to see what paint I have and use it up this weekend. I feel a bit stuck in a rut at the moment and I know making house improvements will help.

    I also just need some wallpaper paste to be able to finish the wallpapering in the hallway, although will have to purchase 'good stuff' as I had to scrape the last attempt off due to mold forming in the paste and ruining the paper. I've since painted the wall with dampseal paint and am now just need to paper over it. I have the paper already too.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 8th Feb 18, 1:04 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just managed to earn enough via surveys for another £5 paypal reward. The last one took quite some time to be credited, I hope this is received sooner this time so that I can pay it of the mortgage in this month's overpayment totals.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 9th Feb 18, 5:05 AM
    • 662 Posts
    • 2,620 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Hi MeandO,

    Very impressed to read about your tiling of the bathroom. I need to replace the tiles in the kitchen this year and keep debating with myself whether I can do the job myself or need to get someone in!

    Well done on the overpayments. I like your idea of aiming for the £100 overpayment a month.
    paydbx #93 £415/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th Feb 18, 12:35 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Definitley do it yourself HSL - it's easy and remarkably satisfying!
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 13th Feb 18, 12:22 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Forgive me diary, for I have been spendy...

    I've made some purchases for the house with the credit card, totalling around £200. I have also paid my £50 share of DS's birthday party to it as well. His father has given me £25 this month and will be giving me £25 next month to pay his share off. I have just paid £300 of the £370 credit balance with savings (again) which reduces my savings to £520 - not good.

    I have to leave work early today as I have a sky engineer appointment as my landline is not working, or I'm supposed to... but they told me last night it's booked for today, yet I've received texts confirming it's tomorrow. After half an hour of waiting on hold on the phone, they still claim it's today... it'll be no surprise if they don't show though and I won't be happy as I've taken time off to cover the 6 hour appointment window and will have to sit in the house for the entirety.

    I'm going to try and use the time this afternoon wisely and dig out some bits for ebay, or do some work from home. I may even make OH's birthday cake as I have everything in for that.

    I've had very little sleep due to someone's car alarm continually going off in the street all night which happens most times it's windy or raining hard but yet they still seem to do nothing to remedy the problem. Basically I'm not a happy bunny today.

    Tonight I need to get some groceries and fuel. I'll be heading to tesco as I have a £10 voucher for there which should cover most of what is needed. I'll have DS with me, so there'll be no worry about browsing or spending more time than is needed there - he hates shopping and I really don't like taking him shopping either, but there's no other time to do it.
    I also need diesel, but can't afford to spend more than £40, so that is the budget which should more or less fill the car up.

    I've chased £160 cashback due, but was been told it won't be payable for some time.

    Surveys are almost at payout on one account. I need to catch up with some on the other account.

    Ebay/gumtree has seen a couple more things for OH, but, once again, someone didn't turn up for my £4 item at the weekend and didn't bother to mesage me, so I took it to the charity shop on Saturday, along with a couple more bags.

    I painted my bedroom on Sunday with paint I already had, so no spend there and a job ticked off the list. I may tackle the bathroom this afternoon, if I can summon the will. I doubt it though!

    I bought and fitted a new toilet seat at the weekend too (part of the £200 'house' spends). So that's a second job completed as well.

    Just heard - the engineer appointment is tomorrow now after all... grrrrr.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Feb 18, 10:28 AM
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    MeandO
    I spent half an hour on hold yesterday and several hours trying to get this engineer appointment confirmed and was told two different versions of when they would be coming out by two different people. Finally, they confirmed it would be today. I then had a phonecall yesterday afternoon asking why I'd changed the engineer appointment at such short notice and was I aware there would be a £65 charge for doing so. Needless to say, I lost my temper a bit!!!!

    Last night I filled the car up - £40 exactly, so that's the diesel budget now gone for the month. Hopefully it will last until payday in 10 days time, although I have a bit of a longer drive at the weekend so I'll just have to take it easy.

    The gift card I thought I had for Mr T's was empty - so I must've spent it already, even though I can't remember doing so. I might've done so just after Christmas, but I really can't remember for sure. So, that meant I went to Tesco's for no reason, but nevermind... I was also quickly reminded why I avoid shopping with DS. Watching him and trying to get what was needed turned into a nightmare and I ended up just chucking bits in the trolley that would vaguely fulfill the list. I did pick up a few little token treats for OH for valentines day too, but nothing expensive. The main cost was bloomin' birthday cards... we needed 4 - I normally get them in HB or a cheapy card shop, but it was pouring down, we'd sat in traffic to get there and I wasn't going anywhere else with DS - I think 4 cards cost us something stupid like £6.50.
    The bill came to just over £30 which I panicked and put on the credit card as I wasn't sure there would be enough in the bank to cover it alongside the £40 fuel, without transferring some money from savings.
    There wasn't.
    I will transfer some later today and pay it off the card when I get paid.

    We also needed to get a little present for one of DS's friends whose party he is going to at the weekend. I can usually pull something out of my present box, but we didn't have anything suitable this time.
    We popped to a shop in the same park as Tesco's as I knew I had a gift card from Christmas with around £50 left on it. We found something in the sale for £6, so was pleased not to have to part with any cash for that and paid for it with the gift card.
    Then, on the way out, I saw the new cheap-o card shop that had opened up next door...

    Tonight I will be baking OH's birthday cake. I'm going to try a recipe for a caramelised apple cake, which, thankfully, I have all the ingredients in for and won't need to buy anything. I hope it turns out ok!

    Dinner tonight will be pizza for DS as he has clubs on weds nights which mean a quick and easy tea is required. I'll be having a jacket potato and some prawns, half of which OH and I used from the freezer last night in a lovely prawn stir-fry, utilisiing some YS veg OH had picked up. I've brought lunch into work with me too.

    An early departure from work today for me due to the engineer appointment (if they turn up ), so I'm looking forward to an extended afternoon of pottering before DS gets home.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 15th Feb 18, 10:40 AM
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    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    The cake baking was a disaster.
    Long story short, I was trying to make a genoise layer cake - I was rushing at first and messed up the mixture so had to throw it, then had to walk up the corner shop quickly for more milk - the resulting mixed looked perfect but WOULD NOT BLOOMIN' COOK!!!
    It's a slow/low cooking for this type of cake, but after double the alloted baking time, I was left with something that resembled a bad omelette, 50% of which had leaked out of the cake tin and puddled on the bottom of my new oven.
    The food recycling bin was fed well yesterday.

    So, I need to somehow bake (an easy) cake for OH in the next day, or give in and buy one.

    The phone engineer turned up, eventually, but meant DS missed his swimming lesson as he hadn't finished in time for us to go.

    OH turned up with lots of lovely chocolates and booze for me for Valentine's Day! My favourite though, a wonderful card, snuck through the door in the dead of night, which he'd written something lovely in. He's not one for showing his emotions or telling me how he feels about me much, but he'd written something so lovely that it made me cry a little.

    Last week, I ordered him some 'region-specific edible treats' to be delivered to his workplace for yesterday, but I came to my sense and realised I couldn't really afford it and there's a chance he may not have been there to accept delivery.
    Well, he walked in with this box of treats yesterday... they'd been sent to him, despite me receiving a refund for them last week! I'm not sure what to do. Perhaps the nice man I spoke to took pity on me or my other half and sent them anyway! Whichever way it, is, it was £35 of 'free' goods. They can't be returned as need refrigerated post...
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • greent
    • By greent 15th Feb 18, 4:55 PM
    • 6,671 Posts
    • 68,668 Thanks
    greent
    I'd count that as a win, MeandO - an error occurred at their end, for sure - but, as you said, they can't be returned. Enjoy sharing them with OH x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) Bal 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £36.39/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £20.45/£1000 PAYDOX18 £991.65/£18654.16 Decluttered 225/2018 items
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Feb 18, 12:08 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thank you greent. We've shared them with OH's parents who kindly lent me some tools for a DIY job (and were over the moon to receive some goodies!). The rest are currently stored between mine and OH's freezer for later consumption.

    Lots to report today and good news for once...

    I have been looking for a nice new dining room table as the one I have at the moment is a bit big for DS and I. I have been scouring ebay and second hand furniture stores for an old solid wood one and was lucky enough to get one today on ebay for £20. It was listed at £30 (which was still an absolute bargain, but I made a cheeky offer of £20 and it was accepted!). It's an oak, solid wood extending table, but needs sanding down and painting which I can't wait to do as that is my idea of fun.
    Similar 'sanded and upcycled' ones are currently going for between £250 - £300 on ebay. OH is kindly collecting it for me one day next week. Once done, I can then sell my current 'modern' table for around £40, or, sell the upcycled one on for a profit if I decide it's not quite right for the room.

    Other news... I checked my bank account this morning to see a one off tax credit payment of £491.97 had gone in. It was unexpected and I instantly thought they'd made a mistake, so got on the phone to them and the lady has confirmed it is correct and is due to me from last year's payment because I went part time halfway through the year. On top of that, because my earnings are much lower than the past two years (as she kept reminding me, I was earning a lot less than I was ), my tax credits will be more than doubling from April, to £189 a month. I was so shocked and overjoyed, I nearly cried!

    So, with the £500ish payment, I have paid off the last bit of the credit card; paid for the £20 table; topped up the gifts pot to £50 (£26 transferred); transferred £150 to the ISA/emergency fund; increased my groceries budget to £10 for next week (nothing really needed apart from milk and ham) and paid £130 off the mortgage! This leaves me with £50 which means I will be able to buy DS some jeans before payday now - he's grown out of lots that I bought him just last month!!! I will also be able to take OH out for a lovely meal for his birthday this weekend, nothing posh, just a nice meal out which we rarely do.

    I'm so happy and, quite stupidly, feel quite emotional!!!
    Goodness help me if I ever won the lottery!


    As my tax credits have increased, I have texted DS's Dad to tell him he can cut his contribution to DS by £30 a month if he'd like to. I know it will help him somewhat as, although he earns more than me, he doesn't earn a fortune and he's always been rubbish with money. He doesn't pay me a lot anyway - less than £100 now, but we added everything up and agreed it was a fair amount between us when we split. I also took the child benefit that I would be receiving into consideration and split that. I couldn't ever see him not being able to afford to live comfortably. DS has a home with him too afterall.

    YNAB has been updated with everything and I feel like I can stop holding my breath quite so much now this month.
    Last edited by MeandO; 16-02-2018 at 12:13 PM.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Feb 18, 12:14 PM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    So, this month's totals now stand at:

    Mortgage now: £77,600
    Overpayments for Ferbuary: :£272.53
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 19th Feb 18, 10:04 AM
    • 1,264 Posts
    • 6,130 Thanks
    MeandO
    OH and I were away for the weekend for his birthday. The (cheap) hotel was paid for months ago and petrol was covered with what I already had in the tank as it wasn't that far away. We had minimal spends - a cooked breakfast was included and our evening meal and drinks on day one was covered by a gift voucher we had.

    Our spate of good luck has continued over the weekend and for that I'm so grateful.
    OH and I bought a lottery ticket on a whim whilst passing a little shop on a walk over the weekend whilst we were away for his birthday. We checked it last night and we'd won £92! We will be putting it towards OH's roof repairs pot when I cash the ticket in. We have also sold (pending collection) a £50 item of OH's, so the roof pot will be on the way to £300 very soon and it is a big space cleared as the item was very big and bulky. He's still clearing out stuff too, so hopefully we can get the pot to the £300 mark and beyond. I'm so chuffed with that amount for him, he deserves a bit of luck after the past few awful years he's been through.

    This morning I've finally reached points for another £5 voucher via surveys. I've gone for an Amazon voucher this time as this company doesn't offer paypal and the prepaid mastercards are a pain to use. I've already received it and have applied it to my account for when needed.

    Payday is 4 days away! No real spends needed this week, maybe just a few groceries, the rest can wait until after payday.
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £77,600
    2018 OP's (aiming for £100pm): JAN:£129.26/£100 FEB:£272.53/£100
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