Easylife73’s looong journey to…well…hopefully an easy life!

edited 22 December 2014 at 9:29AM in Mortgage-free wannabe
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easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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edited 22 December 2014 at 9:29AM in Mortgage-free wannabe
Have been lurking for some time, and getting inspiration from other people’s diaries, especially those of Tilly, Megela and Fortune Smiles (who has inspired me to make some muffins with the rhubarb growing in our garden tonight!)

So, some background information…DH and I have both had a tombola birthday this year (40:() and I for one found it hard to accept that I am no longer in the first flush of youth! We have two kids together, DS1 who is 13 next month and DS2 who is 10. DH also has a son from a previous relationship who is 16. Other members of the household are our lovely dog and parrot (did have a rabbit as well but he did a runner couple of weeks ago…:cry:)

We have two mortgages, due to end in August/September 2036. The amount owed on the first mortgage is currently £87,980.72 and the second is £27,062.24 making a total owing as £115,042.96. The second mortgage was taken out a few years ago to extend the upstairs of our house to make three bedrooms and a bathroom instead of just two bedrooms. We currently have a little over 23 years left on these two mortgages.

I have started making a few tiny overpayments, originally to test how to do it and whether it works, but boy is it addictive!! I love spreadsheets anyway, so have had great fun playing with my overpayment spreadsheet!

However….we may well be taking out a third mortgage in the next year, which will obviously undo all of my good work! We desperately need to sort our kitchen out, as it is literally falling apart, and the conservatory leaks whenever it rains. In fact, when we had rain the other day we actually had a layer of water over half of the floor, so sorting the conservatory out is also becoming urgent. What we would really like to do is knock through between the kitchen and conservatory and turn the conservatory part into a proper room so that we can use it all year round, but the quotes for this have all come in at around the £30k mark. So that would increase our mortgage debt to the truly horrifying amount of about £145,000.:eek:

DH is supportive in principle, but really just wants me to stop talking about it all the time! He also likes to spend money on doing stuff now, so has a tendency to undermine my efforts. That said, rather than buy each other more “stuff” for our big birthdays we decided that life begins at 40 and wrote a list of things we wanted to do or try, and places we wanted to go, and the intention is to start working our way through some of these things (within reason!) So some money will be diverted into this. I also can’t bear to not have a holiday or do Christmas well!

So that’s where we are at the moment…hopefully writing it all down here will (a) help to keep me motivated as it’s going to be a long, hard slog, and (b) stop me telling DH the minute detail when he’d rather I just shut up!
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  • AlwaysThinkingAlwaysThinking Forumite
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    Best of luck Easylife73! Remember where there's a will there's a way!
  • easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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    So, a bit more information about our goals….

    Save for a trip to Paris
    DH and I were meant to be going to Paris in May to celebrate our tombola birthdays, but unfortunately refitting the bathroom last winter cost a bit more than was budgeted for due to a leak being found under the floor and DHs extravagance with the tiles :mad:. So it has been deferred until next year when we will conveniently be having a tombola wedding anniversary. I’ve no idea how much 3 nights in Paris will cost, but at the moment we have £345 put by, mostly as a result of gifts from family etc for our birthdays.

    Pay for this summer’s holiday to France
    Camping, for which we already have the equipment, and budgeted for, but money not yet earned! We’re spending a total of 16 nights camping at two different sites, stopping at hotels on the way there and the way back. Hotels, ferry and breakdown cover are all paid for…got a 25% discount on the ferry as compensation for being delayed slightly last year. First campsite totally paid for and second one’s deposit paid and balance payment ready in the savings account. Only need to find the petrol, toll and spending money now! Did give in to temptation and buy a camping kitchen and windbreak in the Argos clearance sale last weekend though…goodness knows where it’s going to fit in the car, we’re already packed in like sardines! :eek:

    Get Christmas sorted early
    Okay, not really very MSE, as I always go overboard at Christmas anyway, but really want to try to be more organised this year. Was up until gone 3am last year on several occasions wrapping etc, and was exhausted…not helped by my own stupidity in having DS2 a week before Christmas so also have his birthday to deal with as well. Have also decided to take on a second seasonal job this Christmas which will mean being out 3-4 evenings a week during October and November, so would be good to know that Christmas was sorted. So….I have this week ordered my cards and wrapping paper, a few stocking fillers and a couple of proper presents. The intention is to write the Christmas cards during the summer holidays and wrap the presents as they arrive prior to being stashed away in an undisclosed secret location. :whistle:

    See if we can cope with the increased mortgage payments for the third mortgage
    Before committing to the third mortgage, we want to see if we can realistically pay it…I’ve calculated that it will be around £150-£160 a month extra, so for now I’m moving this amount into a separate account to see whether it leaves us short or not. Only time will tell….

    And finally….try to make some overpayments!
    For now I’m going to start working on our second mortgage (the smaller of the two) and try to chip away at it when I can. If and when we take on the third mortgage that will then become the main priority, as the interest rate will be higher than on our existing mortgages. So far I have overpaid the second mortgage by £62.50 saving £50.28 in interest and reducing the term by about a month and two thirds! The overpayments have come from a small extra payment my husband had from work, a very small increase in my pay, Quidco cashback and survey money, interest on our current account and a few small eBay sales. The agreement with DH is that his overtime payments will stay in the account to pay for ongoing stuff but any extra money I bring in can be put towards the mortgage. My small pay increase will therefore become a regular overpayment, along with anything else I can muster up!

    I’ve switched one of our accounts to a Halifax Reward account and the £100 bonus is sitting in that…just waiting for the DDs to be transferred before I can start getting the £5 monthly reward. Can’t decide whether to put the £100 in the Paris pot or the Mortgage pot though…also have an £80 cheque coming from a competition win that I am similarly undecided about…..:think:
  • easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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    Just realised what a huge post that last one was...sorry!
  • megelamegela Forumite
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    :wave: Hi and welcome Easylife, your sons are the same age as my girls - although DD1 is 14 next week:eek:.

    I save £75 per month for Christmas all year round so it doesn't come as such a shock! I'm thinking I also need to start a birthday fund as we have 8 close family birthdays in the last week of June/first week of July:eek:.

    We celebrated 'that' birthday last year as well, and had planned to go to Paris - didn't happen either though:(.

    Have subscribed - good luck with your journey
    Re-mortgaged 20/04/12 MTiT-T3 No.7
    Start balance £89611.10 + £22500 = £112111.10/Current balance £85436.53
    Original Mortgage Free Date April 2032
    Target Mortgage Free Date July 2022/Currently August 2029 (based on no offset)
    Total overpayments from 20/04/12: £8152.95
  • easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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    Hi Megela, thanks for stopping by! We're the same with a run of birthdays around Christmas and then another run in May...I do my whole year budget at the beginning of the year, which means it should all balance on paper, but cash flow is whole different story! If I could just rein myself in at Christmas it would be a big help, but my DSs both still believe in the man in the red suit (yes, even the one who turns 13 next month!!) and I haven't the heart to break it to them. So I am to be found at 2am Christmas morning creeping around trying to avoid the creaky floorboards to put the stockings back in their rooms.
  • SG27SG27 Forumite
    2.8K Posts
    You would be much better off if you saved up for your kitchen/conservatory rather making overpayments then increasing your mortgage. If you could save the money for that first and make overpayments after it would save loads in interest! Or even save what you can so you just need to top up with more borrowing.
  • Hi Easylife, another one here who turns 40 this christmas!
    Loved your big post, sounds like you have thought things through and have a great list of objectives.
    Im trying to get organised for Christmas early too as we also have DS birthday, my birthday, DH birthday and our wedding anniversary :eek:
    Mortgage 31.5.2011 - £212,329
    Mortgage now £209,244 :T
    Emergency Fund £1000
  • easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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    Hi AlwaysOptimistic & SG27

    I realise we'd be better off if we could save up for the kitchen/conservatory, but it would literally take years...with the age our kids are now they would be left home by the time we could afford it and it's while they're both still here and trying to spread out to do homework etc that we need the usable space. In the meantime a whole section of our house is unusable every time it rains or for most of the year because it's too cold, and too expensive to heat. And when I say the kitchen is falling apart I'm not joking...if you walk across the floor barefoot bit off tile come up stuck tot he bottom of your feet!!!
  • easylife73easylife73 Forumite
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    Not much to report today in actual terms, but a few little things up and coming...
    • had approval from work to have a day off to go on the training course for the seasonal job later in the yesr
    • had notification from Quidco that a wole £1.50 will be heading my way shortly!
    • DH has just sent me a message to say he has an overtime shift later in the month

    On the downside...
    • have eaten all the muffins (although I did have help and there is plenty of rhubarb left to make more)
    • had to pay out a £1 for drinks at the school open evening, and I am cheating and buying two portions of chips to go with pizza for dinner as we haven't eaten yet
    • will have a very expensive weekend as we are off to my brothers wedding in Surrey...hotel is paid for and both DSs and I are able to wear the same clothes we wore for a wedding last year, but drinks and breakfasts are likely to be expensive
    • will be paying out again next week for a retirement meal for a colleague

    Hopefully something more exciting to write next time!
  • KatzenKatzen Forumite
    535 Posts
    Uniform Washer
    Hi easylife,
    we are just starting on our journey but it seems we have similar issues- more borrowing for home improvements and a Christmas addiction stand out for me. There's only me &DH so far but I still end up spending more than I can afford, mostly buying food and wine to take to Mum's so we don't feel like such scroungers when we turn up for a week of her hospitality (I get my feelings about Christmas from her).
    To combat that this year I have got a sealed money box from a £1 shop and am putting any £1 or £2 coins in it throughout the year. I'm also saving monthly for gifts. That way I should have a fixed budget and will have to make that work I think- determined not to be using the CC this year!
    Mortgage Outstanding Nov '16 £142,772.75
    Mortgage Additional OPs 2017 Target £4522.80/ Actual £865.00
    GC Feb 0/£200
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