Two Pennies Left

edited 12 July 2012 at 4:08PM in Mortgage-free wannabe
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edited 12 July 2012 at 4:08PM in Mortgage-free wannabe
Hello fellow MSEs. I am a long-time lurker on the site and have been benefitting from all the sage advice and wisdom of others who post their diaries here - for which I thank you greatly. Inevitably I realised that keeping a diary myself would be a great tool in keeping focussed and on track with my own financial plans - so here I am :).

Trying to think of an appropriate title for this thread, I came across a chinese proverb:

"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."

I thought this summed up my approach to money really well. My DH and I want to make good, sensible financial decisions so that we can live our lives well.

A little about me... I met Mr Fortunate relatively late in life (both in our 40's) and started married life pretty much from scratch. We're not rich but haven't had any real money worries and for this I am extremely grateful. We have, however, had a big change recently. I gave up full time work 18 months ago and this has meant a big adjustment for us financially. We also built a garage for which we had saved but it has effectively wiped out our savings and so I'm feeling much the poorer for that.

So, I am starting this diary to help me with the following:

  • clear Mr Fortunate's credit cards (run up recently and only just confessed to :mad:)
  • build our savings back up
  • continue with home maintenance/improvement plans
  • start to overpay on the mortgage
Not particularly SMART as goals go - but I will refine later when I've had a chance to work out the numbers. Any goal setting experts out there will have to avert their eyes for the moment :shhh:.

So Step 1: 'Start an MSE diary' completed and I'm looking forward to being part of such a supportive and inspirational community.

Fortune x
Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
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Replies

  • SandstoneSandstone Forumite
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    Welcome, and good luck! I like your use of Chinese proverbs.
    Saving money for everything and everyone.
  • Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    Thank you Sandstone. I thought it captured the balance I'm trying to strike. Well done - you've made great progress.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
  • somethingcorporatesomethingcorporate Forumite
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    If you can buy a loaf of bread for a penny and a lily for a penny you should sell em for 50p a pop and you'd be able to retire in no time!

    Seriously though, that is a nice little opening post and I enjoyed reading it. You are right that your current objectives do not look that SMART, so why not try add a few timescales and specifics and flesh them out. Then you can really tick the progress off as you go.

    Good luck and well done in taking the big first step!
    Thinking critically since 1996....
  • Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    Thank you somethingcorporate. I suspect it is a very old chinese proverb and many years of inflation have passed since! :rotfl:

    I definately will refine my goals. They are 'emerging' and Mr Fortunate has only just got on board so I suspect there are a few days of discussion to be had before we can get to specifics and timescales. My old team would be hanging me out to dry right now - I would never have let them get away with such vagaries. :rotfl:

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
  • edited 28 July 2012 at 5:55PM
    Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    edited 28 July 2012 at 5:55PM
    Well, just a few hours after starting this thread - progress has been made! :j

    Even Mr Fortunate has been galvanised into action. On one of his "just going to sort things out in the attic" trips last week, he discovered the paperwork for the mortgage on a flat he owned before we met. Including a summary for Payment Protection Insurance! He was in the armed forces at the time so has just completed a claim on line.

    Other discoveries included Pr£mium B0nd$ and Nati0nal $avin9$ Certificates so I've started a search through the myl0$tacc0unt site on those. Any finds will be cashed because we all know what Mr Lewis thinks about those :money:

    Mr F has also completed his tax return and it seems we are owed £1000 +. This is the 7th year they have miscalculated his tax. I'd much rather have the £100 per month than the refund at the end of the year. Could be used for OPing ;)

    Another trip to the attic today uncovered many more Fleabay and car boot items. I've earmarked 4 for listing tonight (any more and I'll lose the will to live :(). Mr F has also put some items on the 4x4 Forum.

    A home cooked supper and a NSD to boot so we are doing very well on the 'Bread' side of things. On the 'Lily' side, the wine rack is looking a bit desperate so my ebay sales will be put towards cheering that up. We are also going to a County Show tomorrow so will need some spends for that. Taking a packed lunch though - very MS but also I'm always disappointed with the food available at these things.

    So glad Mr F is being enthusiastic - long may it last. I'm also pleased that his trips to the attic have resulted in something more productive than re-assembling his childhood toys ($cal3xtric this time) and having a play :rotfl:

    Hope you all have a good evening

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
  • DawnWDawnW Forumite
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    sounds as though you are making great progress :D

    Keeping a diary on here has certainly helped keep me motivated!

    Good luck x
  • Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    Thank you DawnW. I hope I make as much progress as you have - Wow!

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
  • DawnWDawnW Forumite
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    Thank you DawnW. I hope I make as much progress as you have - Wow!

    Fortune x

    No special talent involved,I assure you. A lot of it is just being determined and sticking at it, avoiding spending too much money on 'stuff', though there is undeniably an element of luck involved too - for example, I have managed to stay in work where others have not been so lucky :( Although I moan about my job :o it is reasonably well paid.

    And my house is modest, just an Edwardian terrace on the edge of a small town. We only had to borrow 70k as we had saved a huge (to us) deposit. So our mortgage was tiny in comparison with many from the start.

    Good luck x
  • edited 28 July 2012 at 5:57PM
    Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    edited 28 July 2012 at 5:57PM
    As expected, today has been a 'Lilly' day. A very enjoyable day out at the County Show and not as expensive as it could have been I suppose :o. We took a packed lunch but ended up spending:

    £40 for entry tickets (is it just me or is that a lot for 2 people? :eek:)
    £10.85 on 4 drinks
    £7.99 on a new hose connector (ours is broken)
    £39.99 on a loft ladder :rotfl:

    The loft ladder was half price and on our list of things needed for the house. We have a mezzanine floor in the garage for storage and Mr Fortunate has been using a step ladder to get up there. Very wobbly and I have been a bit worred about him using it. We had a quick MS conversation before buying and decided that the 'safety' items should come before anything else and the sale was made. So Home Improvement Goal 1 has been duly amended and achieved :j. Home Improvment Goal 2 is to get a safety mirror for the drive so that we can see what's coming when we leave the house. We've decided HI Goals 3 and 4 too - but I don't want to get ahead of myself.

    Good job we went to the show today. They closed about lunch time because the car parks were so muddy they couldn't get people out. I hope they open for the weekend - I feel so sorry for the poor traders who have put so much into the event.

    On the 'Bread' side, I did manage to list 4 items on Fleabay last night :tongue: and Mr F sold an item on the 4x4 Forum for £50. Also Mr F got a cheque for £120 today for some training he did a couple of weeks ago - so bye bye CC1 :j and work gets started on CC2. Mr F's task for tonight is to find out whether his mum and dad's Pr£mium B0nd$ were transferred when they died. There is an unclaimed prize of £25 on his dad's number so we think they may have been missed by the solicitors.

    As Mr Macawber says “Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen pounds nineteen and six. Result happiness."
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
  • edited 28 July 2012 at 5:59PM
    Fortune_SmilesFortune_Smiles Forumite
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    edited 28 July 2012 at 5:59PM
    Mr Fortunate brought me breakfast in bed this morning - boiled egg and marmitey toast (something of a speciality of Mr F's). A rare event and a lovely surprise. "Is there something you'd like to confess?" I asked.

    Remember the loft ladder purchase of yesterday? Well the pre-buying conversation may resonate with some of you...

    Me - "Are you sure it won't stick out into the aperture too much?"
    Mr F - "No, it'll be fine."
    Me - "Are you sure it's going to be long enough?"
    Mr F - "Yes, yes."
    Me - "Certain?"
    Mr F - "Yes. Stop patronising me."

    The loft ladder is too short :mad: It will be an 80 mile round trip to return it unless Mr F can co-ordinate it with a work trip. I'll have to see whether it would make more sense to put it on Fleabay.

    On the up side, I transferred some money this morning to pay off CC1 :j. And the other good news is that Mr F's Landy will be getting a new battery for free. It hasn't been holding a charge fully and we thought we'd have to replace it. It's a special one so that would've been £200 :eek:. Anyway, Mr F discovered today that it is still covered under the 4 year warrantee (only 2 months to go) :T so he's gone off to the garage to get it replaced.

    I have a watcher on 3 of my Fleabay items. I always put things on for 10 days so wouldn't expect to see any activity until nearer the end time. Mr F is debating whether to sell a couple more relatively high value things which will be good (he's still showing enthusiasm :)). We have lots of old 50p pieces which my in-laws collected for some reason when they were alive. It seems that people actually buy these for their collections so I might give those a go too. Today is looking to be a NSD too so on reflection...

    A torrential thunder storm has just passed. We heard on the news that the County Show has closed its car parks again. I feel so sorry for the traders. When I first met Mr F he was running his own business and we attended many, many shows. It's extremely hard work even in good weather and must be soul destroying in this economic climate. Best wishes and lots of luck to traders everwhere this year.

    I've realised that people are reading and subscribing to this thread :D. This is very exciting and unexpected so thank you all. I know my story is an ordinary one so it's very encouraging to get your support.

    My Tortellini and Vegetable Soup lunch is calling and I have plans to curl up on the sofa with the last Harry Potter film this afternoon so bye for now.

    Fortune x
    Mortgage: 67% paid Mortgage Neutral: 67% Emergency Fund: 38% Holding On and Letting GoKnowing when to let go is just as important as knowing when to hold tight
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