Is it worth it?

2

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  • TheMoneySpiderTheMoneySpider Forumite
    370 Posts
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    For me my overpaying is all about me being totally debt averse....some people are happy to have all that debt shoved to the back of their mind, for me it hangs over me.
  • edited 7 May 2009 at 10:14PM
    george_jetsongeorge_jetson Forumite
    144 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    edited 7 May 2009 at 10:14PM
    So now for the question...... is it worth making the personal sacrificies required to achieve such a goal? What do you do at the end of it? Do you start amassing a fortune? Spend it all? I'm just not sure what the benefits are?

    I'm only asking this because I don't want to spend such a significant part of my life achieving something that some of you have found to be less important that you first anticipated.

    I've been mf for about six months and can say without a doubt that it is worth it. I should add that I don't consider that I made sacrifices to become mf, rather like you I decided on amount I could comfortably put away each month, stuck to it, and let the magic of offset mortgages do the rest…

    For now I'm enjoying indulging in my passion (travel) to my heart's content. I've been to the US (three times) and Japan so far this year and I'm off to NY later this month. In about six months or so I plan to look seriously about saving again regularly but given the esteem I hold bankers and stockbrokers in at the moment I'd rather stick it on a Vegas gaming table! I'll give it about a year and then look at the possibility of going part time at work and doing four days a week.

    The main benefit of being mf for me is that I feel more secure and relaxed because I don't owe anyone anything. Following on from this is the realisation that I'm no longer at the mercy of my employer! All the frustrations of the workplace have just melted away. I still do my hours and still do my best but I feel slightly detached and aloof from the office politics that go on.

    In short I think you've done the right think by setting a sensible and achievable target. Keep to your overpayments, and look forward to being mf and don't forget to live your life in the meantime!

    One final thing which helped my was not to focus on how much I owed, but how much interest I paid each month. The numbers are a lot less scary, and it's just as satisfying watching the chart lines head towards zero!

    Good luck!

    PS I completely understand where TheMoneySpider is coming from, above!
    MFW Challenge: Mortgage free in 2008! ACHIEVED! :D
  • StuartGMCStuartGMC Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    My wife and I are waiting until we are 30 before deciding on whether to have kids or not. Really, that was the big sacrifice I was considering because I don't think I could overpay at the same rate if I had kids since my wife would probably end up staying off work and my expenses would incrase. However, someone once said to me that kids are the only worthwhile investment you make in life. Not wanting to go to deep and meaningful on a moneysaving forum (lol) I will not develop this point further.

    We have always overpaid since mortgage commenced in 1994; it was our first as prior to 1990-3 recession we couldn't afford one, couldn't get jobs less than 90 miles apart, then in got hit with pay cuts, redundancy, marriage and a major accident all in 1992. In 1994 the economy was far from "revived" but we took the plunge to secure a roof of our own (4 bed detached so it's still big enough).

    So with that background we set out at 29 to overpay somewhat, and were fortunate to be able to have one child when were we 32 in 1997. We chose to have OH work part-time but the OP had to reduce a lot (just as you anticipate), and interest rates had been much higher than now. However, we continued with family holidays abroad to broaden daughter's awareness of different cultures, life and history in Europe and North Africa, and meanwhile OH has continued to develop her career becoming a manager whilst still part-time.

    In 2006 we had saved over 3yrs on the term, changed to just a further 10yr mortgage and offset. Now, less than 3yrs later we are bouncing around 100% offset, should clear mortgage this October a full 10yrs early overall.

    The summary: well if you see my thread you'll see I was lucky to escape what could have been a fatal accident, our dd was born two months premature and all the other things life throws at you; but a few years ago I spoilt myself with an S-Type Jag. In the same time we have maintained our pensions (final salary schemes), since 2006 have been investing, but, have also enjoyed life along the way because you must not put everything on hold because life won't wait, hoping we can get to Mexico in the summer this year (!). As recommended above get a good balance that works for you between clearance of the debt and enjoying life.

    The anticipated benefits of saving 10yrs on the mortgage: significant reduction in the impact of redundancy if it happens because the roof over our head will be ours in the midst of this recession. We will have some 6yrs to save further for dd when she will be 18yrs old to fund college, travel or whatever. We will be investing significantly more to leverage our pensions and possibly retire earlier than 65, the plans include some luxuries such as a Jaguar XF (new 3.0 diesel is the plan at about 2yr old) in 2011 (plus 4 or 5 more cars before I retire), substantial funds available for old age, more holidays each year and knowledge that our dd has already started to learn of the good ways to manage her finances in future (she is involved in discussions at home and why we OP mortgage etc - hope we've set a good example ).

    That said we're 44 now, hopefully mortgage-free this autumn and can further enjoy life, but if (as heart problems exist in my family) I don't get to retirement, I'll have had time for me, OH and DD before then - not simply passing by whilst working all hours to clear the mortgage.

    Sorry that's long winded, but I hope it indicates that there is much which is inherently emotional in the decisions of why and how you approach the "big" picture.

    Whatever you decide, please enjoy the ride, it's a marathon so identify short-term goals and aspects to monitor which keep BOTH of you motivated. Good luck in your personal quest.
  • Georgie4Georgie4 Forumite
    217 Posts
    On a totally personal note of whether its worth it in terms of kids, I see all my friends who have kids and earn similar amounts to us struggling a bit and not having holidays often etc. I live in a big house have 4 holidays a year and NO debts(aprt from mortgage which is rapidly decreasing) and guess what - no kids - on balance I could never convince myself that they were worth it but that is my highly personal opinion
  • I'll be mortgage free by end of next year all being well - age 37. From this I hope to gain a stress free life knowing that whatever happens I'll always have a roof over my familys head.

    I already feel like that now to be honest, owing 15K. I find myself getting less worked up about work issues. Whats the worst that can happen? I get sacked or laid off. I could go and flip burgers in Maccys and still be able to afford to live. Once the house is fully paid I expect that feeling to be even greater.

    Having 2 kids is the best thing I have ever done, and doesn't need to be the financial drain that people think it is. Saying that, my 2 are young but as long as you bring them up to respect what they have and not just want more, more, more then I can't see it being an issue.

    I hope being MF will give me more options and help start planning for an earlier retirement.

    Bonesy
    MFi3 T2 member 177
  • BatfinkBatfink Forumite
    367 Posts
    I just wanted to say what an inspiration this thread has been to me - thank you all.

    I've been a Debt-Free-Wannabe for the last 3 years, now just have the last £2,000 to pay off and I was wondering if I should head straight into MFW whilst I've still got the momentum. It hadn't really occurred to me how much the two challenges differed - DFW is all about removing the burden of my past excesses whilst MFW is about securing a good future (for me and my family if I'm lucky enough to have one).

    A lot to think about..... :)

    x
  • StuartGMCStuartGMC Forumite
    2.2K Posts
    Batfink, well done on clearing the other debts just a little to go; do have a small celebration once they are gone, but the good practices applied previously will now be excellent to address your remaining debt of the mortgage.

    Lot's of good ideas here, but, do ensure you are looking after your pension, saving for the emergency fund (3-6-9months outgoings) plus budgeting and saving for all the other routine costs (holiday, replacement car, replacement white goods etc). Hopefully, even with these plans, some of the monies you've been using to pay off the debts can be directed to the mortgage.

    With a clear budget in place you can then start hammering the mortgage; remember it is a long haul so set yourself some realistic short-term targets to help you see progress. I've found a diary here has been helpful as well.
  • blueberrypieblueberrypie Forumite
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    I already feel like that now to be honest, owing 15K. I find myself getting less worked up about work issues. Whats the worst that can happen? I get sacked or laid off. I could go and flip burgers in Maccys and still be able to afford to live.

    That's how I feel too. My mortgage is higher than yours, but knowing that even if our income dropped substantially, the bills would still be paid without stress - that's a great feeling.
    Once the house is fully paid I expect that feeling to be even greater.

    Having 2 kids is the best thing I have ever done, and doesn't need to be the financial drain that people think it is. Saying that, my 2 are young but as long as you bring them up to respect what they have and not just want more, more, more then I can't see it being an issue.

    I have six children, aged 14, 12, 10, 7, 4 and 1. The big ones cost more than the little ones, that's for sure. They are involved in lots of activities that take money, and the oldest two certainly increase the grocery-bill! But we give them a generous amount of pocket-money and expect them to cover most of their own expenses - and it works. My oldest three get their pocket-money monthly, and only once have I had to lend one of them money (and then it was only £1 for Cubs). For little kids - you don't need most of the stuff people buy, and it's easy to come by toys etc at very little cost. The biggest expense is the loss/reduction in salary, or the daycare costs. Most of the parents I know who are struggling are the ones who spend a fortune on the newest games consoles and trendiest clothes etc.

    Like Bonesy, I feel that having children is the best thing I ever did - and I'd still feel that way even it meant I never paid off my mortgage. But I can do both, so I do :-)
  • But we give them a generous amount of pocket-money and expect them to cover most of their own expenses - and it works. My oldest three get their pocket-money monthly, and only once have I had to lend one of them money (and then it was only £1 for Cubs). For little kids - you don't need most of the stuff people buy, and it's easy to come by toys etc at very little cost. The biggest expense is the loss/reduction in salary, or the daycare costs. Most of the parents I know who are struggling are the ones who spend a fortune on the newest games consoles and trendiest clothes etc.

    Blueberrypie - sounds like you have an excellent set-up with your kids, which will do them the world of good for the future and their own finances once they are independant.

    Personally, we already have the 5 year old understanding the value of money. We ebay toys he has finished with and put that towards new toys that he wants. He has loads anyhow, and one of my own weaknesses is re-living my childhood through him and buying loads of toys :o

    Mrs Bonesy hasn't worked for the last 4 years, and won't for at least another 3, so I totally agree that the biggest cost is the loss of a second income, be it by not working or childcare fees eating it all up.
    MFi3 T2 member 177
  • george_jetsongeorge_jetson Forumite
    144 Posts
    Part of the Furniture 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    I already feel like that now to be honest, owing 15K. I find myself getting less worked up about work issues. Whats the worst that can happen? I get sacked or laid off. I could go and flip burgers in Maccys and still be able to afford to live. Once the house is fully paid I expect that feeling to be even greater.

    Completely agree - and there's no putting a price on that feeling…
    MFW Challenge: Mortgage free in 2008! ACHIEVED! :D
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