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

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  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    Have tried to get organised a bit this week...I've downgraded our bank account as we were paying £25 a month which gave us travel insurance, breakdown cover and home emergency cover. I've included the home emergency cover in our house & contents, bought breakdown cover for about £40 (minus 20% cashback) and travel insurance for £29, so a saving. The new downgraded bank account doesn't have any fees and also gives us 6 free cinema tickets, which is the equivalent of giving us £70!

    DH has also cancelled a small policy that no longer meets our needs, and I have tried to take over the grocery shopping as this is an area we spend a ridiculous amount of money in. Used up a few random bits from the freezer for dinner last night and put an order in for Asda using a £6 off a £60 shop voucher.

    I also applied for a Halifax Clarity card for when we go to France in August, as we will get £20 off the first bill apparently.

    No actual OPs as I think I need to concentrate on reining in the spending/budget first...plus our new mortgage isn't set up yet so I don't want to confuse matters!
  • shangaijimmy
    shangaijimmy Posts: 3,796
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    I'm new to your diary and only read the last page! I'll definitely be catching up this evening though! Our top amount was similar to yours at £136k and a finish date of 2036, so a similar journey.

    Good decision on bank account and when you put it all like that it makes total sense and i love your positive, negatives and wish list technique which i may well be pinching for my half year review at the weekend!!
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £61,892.24......
    Mortgage Neutral Deficit: £43,082.90... Mortgage Neutral Savings: £18,809.34

    MFiT-T6 #13 - £3,517 of £15,500 (22.69%)
    1% Mortgage Challenge 2022 - £157.59 of £650
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    Thanks shangaijimmy...I need to get back on the wagon, but have scared myself tonight by looking at my 10 year+ budget planner :eek: It is not a pretty picture so definitely have to try to make savings where I can.

    Have done an Ocado order tonight as we had a voucher for £20 off an £80 spend...tried to only buy things that were cheaper at Ocado, which was quite hard, but have bought a lot of things like shampoo and toothpaste which can be stored longer term but which will definitely get used eventually.

    Checked our last two Asda orders online to see if we were due anything back on the price match, and managed to get about £5 back there. Also put an order in on Amazon for 1200 teabags with an add-on item of some laminate floor cleaner for £1 which would otherwise have been £5 or so - rock and roll :rotfl:

    And finally got the news that the new mortgage will hopefully be completing next week, so I'll be able to set up a new mortgage spreadsheet then :j
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    Went to a university open day at the weekend with DS1, our first. It all seems a bit scarily real now, although I suppose it's still a year away. He just seems so young, and I'm worried how he'll cope both practically and emotionally as he has a diagnosis of autism.

    Ocado order was late being delivered and didn't arrive until 11.15pm for a delivery slot of 9.30-10.30. Had a courtesy call from them today and mentioned it, although it wasn't a problem, and they sent me a voucher for £7 off our next order, so will probably order again. We still have a lot of vouchers for Asda & Sainsburys so I might bulk buy some meat for the freezer. I've also ordered some plastic containers for freezing the extra dinner portions...I usually take leftovers for my lunch but as the kids prefer to eat different dinners to us (we're on slimming world) it makes sense to cook a 4 person portion and freeze half for another meal.

    Hopefully the new mortgage will be finalised tomorrow so I can play with a new spreadsheet...it is payday on Wednesday so will need to remember to move some money around. I've listed one item on ebay and I really ought to be sorting through my wardrobe and packing for a weekend away - mini cruise to Guernsey - but instead I'm sat reading through more diaries.
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    So apparently we have completed on our new re-mortgage (on Tuesday) and have had a completion statement through today from the legal company, but have heard nothing from First Direct. I've checked the online statements for Nationwide who we have been with up until now, and two of the accounts are showing negative balances and the other a positive balance, the net effect between the three being about £57 (in our favour, I think). So presumably most of our mortgage is now with First Direct, but I have no idea how to look at it! :(
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    Spoke to First Direct today, our mortgage is now with them and the monthly payment is £5.10 less than anticipated, and doesn't start until August. It looks as though Nationwide haven't actually closed our old accounts though, and the mortgage payment went out as usual to them today, so we appear to be in credit with them by £700 or so. The benefit if this is that once they pay it back July will in effect be a mortgage "free" month. Obviously what I should do is immediately OP it, but.....

    .....I think I'll hold off. We've already overspent against budget this year by decorating the downstairs room into a den for the boys, and we had a very spendy weekend. We went on a mini cruise to Guernsey which had already been paid for earlier in the year, but as is my way we didn't watch the pennies on holiday. We had a fab time though, although I feel like I'm still on the ship as the room is spinning and the ground feels like it's moving _pale_

    DH managed to log onto the internet on the ship to check the weather report, thinking it would cost 67p, but unfortunately forgot to log off again...total cost £19.50 :doh:

    In a more positive light, have sold an item on ebay for £10, but haven't calculated postage (it's a light clothing item) so not sure yet how much profit there will be.
  • greent
    greent Posts: 10,663
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    easylife73 wrote: »
    [*]DS1 will be starting driving lessons in a month or so which cancels out the money saved by not paying maintenance. It will also mean increased insurance costs to have him on my car insurance.
    [*]As soon as DS1 has learnt to drive we'll probably be looking at him going to university (next year) so there will be costs there...no idea how much as he is not the type to go out much so hard to guesstimate how much he'll need. He should qualify for a maintenance loan to some degree, so we'll see. I've put a figure in the budget for £1,200 per term initially, but with provision for a further £450 or so if necessary.

    Just chipping in with what we're doing here as DS1 is also 17 (and DD is 19 and just completed y1 of uni)

    I didn't put DD on my car insurance until she'd actually passed - and that still cost me well over £1000 for 10 months of cover (and I think the difference this year between putting her on/ leaving her off was around £600 - and that was with agreeing to a black box in my car for 3 months!:eek:) I'm umming and ahhing what to do with DS1. My insurance isn't due until May. He's only having his first lesson next week (I was tardy about organising it - and then struggled to find anyone with spaces) so I definitely shan't bother for quite a while to put him on.

    Uni - DD's first year living away cost around £8700 all in (excluding occasional food parcels) but rent in Cardiff is cheap (halls were £4444 for the year - one's we have looked at in Bristol with DS1 were over £8k for a very similar set up!:eek::eek:) She went out a lot - and got a boyfriend which (she admits) cost more due to all the socialising and meals out. Am expecting 2nd year to be similar in costs (rent/ bills are more, but hopefully less eating and drinking out!) Quite a lot of unis we've looked at with both of them gave 'typical' figures needed to live at that uni (from memory, Newcastle's bumf on it was really good)

    oops - must dash - late to pick DS1 fromcadets! :eek:
    x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/11 £89873 01/13 £52546 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    Net sales 2024: £20
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    Thanks for that info greent, although I'm not sure I like the numbers in it :rotfl: His driving lessons won't start until the end of August when we come back from our holiday so I could probably old off on the insurance for a while, although it seems to be cheaper to insure him as a learner than as a real driver...not sure I like the idea of a black box, I think it's my driving that would push the premiums up, not his :rotfl:

    In terms of uni, the one we've looked at so far (which is our nearest and preferred choice) has hall costs which start at about £3,000 for the cheapest, and I don't think he'll be likely to be going out and socialising much...he has a diagnosis of autism and would rather just stay in his room, although I have asked him to at least try to find a few people to mix with. I don't think they'll be the sort to be out clubbing every night even if he does though. :D Was you figure of £8,700 a total figure or what you topped your DD up with on top of a maintenance loan? If it the total, I can probably relax a bit, as I think he's entitled to a maintenance loan of about £3,500 and my topline top up figure on my spreadsheet is about £5,000 so would be about right :T
  • easylife73
    easylife73 Posts: 332
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    In other news, Nationwide have finally managed to return our mortgage balance...it's only taken a week since I rang them to ask for it and two weeks since completion :mad: I've transferred it to what I'm now calling the caravan fund :j

    I'm still rocking after the mini cruise we took but trying not to google it too much as there are some scary stories out there...I suppose I should be glad as if we liked it we were looking at doing a big family cruise in a couple of years...not sure that will be on the cards now so that should be quite a saving :rotfl:
  • shangaijimmy
    shangaijimmy Posts: 3,796
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    Caravan fund... I like the sound of that. On the other hand i dont so much like the university costs talk! We potentially have 9 consecutive years of it!
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £61,892.24......
    Mortgage Neutral Deficit: £43,082.90... Mortgage Neutral Savings: £18,809.34

    MFiT-T6 #13 - £3,517 of £15,500 (22.69%)
    1% Mortgage Challenge 2022 - £157.59 of £650
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