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I can't sail the seas forever!

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Hi all!

I've been lurking in this forum since I bought my house in September last year and I've finally decided to take the plunge and join you all.

As my title my allude to, I work offshore as an environmental scientist, however I'm stuck on the firm stuff and office bound for 6 months due to a back injury. This has brought home to me that I can't do my job forever, and so I want to concentrate on reigning in my spending and paying as much of my mortgage off whilst I can. It will be a balance, I'm still doing the house up and buying furniture etc., but hopefully I can make a positive start with it all.

My mortgage I took out in September 2014 was £109845, as of today it is £107626.79. I have a standing order set up to overpay £150 each month, and I sometimes pay a little extra if I have any spare cash. I have no other debts, I managed to pay my bank loans and student loans back in full a couple of years ago, after nearly being in a lot of trouble with those I have never taken any other type of loan.

Before I bought my house my rent was only £375 a month all in, so I got used to having a fair amount of spare cash and not thinking about what I spent. Unfortunately I haven't quite gotten out of this mentality yet. Plus my costs will rise whilst I'm on land for fuel, food and bills....gulp! So with the help and support of this forum I'm hoping to try and cut back on luxuries ( theatre, cinema, coffee out), be more crafty and thrifty, learn about meal planning etc. and hopefully make a bit of a dent on my mortgage!

I'm looking forward to getting to know you all!
MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
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Comments

  • Tilly_MFW_in_6_YRS
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    Good luck and hope your recovery is swift.

    Best wishes Tilly
    2004 £387k 29 years - MF March 2033:eek:
    2011 £309k 10 years - MF March 2021.
    Achieved Goal: 28/08/15 :j
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    Thanks Tilly!
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • ourcornercottage
    Options
    If you post some of your outgoings on here I'm sure some of the clever people on here will help you to reduce your costs. They really helped me :-)
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
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    Runders wrote: »
    Before I bought my house my rent was only £375 a month all in, so I got used to having a fair amount of spare cash and not thinking about what I spent.

    Unfortunately I haven't quite gotten out of this mentality yet. Plus my costs will rise whilst I'm on land for fuel, food and bills....gulp!

    Start by getting a small notebook and writing down in it every time you spend anything - at the end of the month, add up what you've spent on the different things. It can be quite alarming how insignificant things add up!

    Put together a Statement of Affairs and post it on the Debt-free Board - there will be lots of advice on ways of reducing your outgoings.
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    So thought I'd better post a few more thoughts etc. on this journey.

    I only bought my house in September and it's still a work in progress. I've been at sea a fair bit, and so hopefully I can use this time on land to get it all done. My savings are dwindling fast, I'm down to around the £15k mark, this may seem a lot, but I still have a fair bit to do in the house. Unfortunately there were a few things that were missed on the survey that I've had to deal with, such as woodworm...grumble grumble. I also just splashed out £4.5k on the garden. I know this sounds like an extravagance, but my neighbors on one side are very intrusive and used to shout at me through my kitchen window. I decided a new 6foot fence was a must, I also had the drainage sorted and a lovely new patio/path put in. I can't even begin to describe how much better this has made me feel, it's now a space I love and use.

    So plans: I'd like to try to have my mortgage down to £100k or below when it's time to remortgage in September 2016.I've also decided I'd like to build a £5k, do not touch, rainy day fund. I;ve made a few steps towards this today. My gas and electricity DD was way over, so I've reduced it from £70 to £45 and I'll see how it goes. I'm going to use the spare £25 a month to pay into my 'Rainy Day' savings.

    Tomorrow I plan to put a few bits and bobs on ebay, I've been meaning to get round to it for ages but I've been incredibly lazy! I also need to lok into the new world of meal planning, I'm awful with food shopping!
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    Mojisola wrote: »
    Start by getting a small notebook and writing down in it every time you spend anything - at the end of the month, add up what you've spent on the different things. It can be quite alarming how insignificant things add up!

    Put together a Statement of Affairs and post it on the Debt-free Board - there will be lots of advice on ways of reducing your outgoings.

    Thanks Mojisola, I've kept a budget for years but never paid to much attention to it if that makes sense. I think I need to break it down more from just 'Spending Money' to Coffee, eating out etc. I like the idea of a small notebook that you can take with you.
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • getmore4less
    getmore4less Posts: 46,882 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post I've helped Parliament
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    Look at the debtfreewanabe board for how to do a SOA this is probably the best format for presenting your data as that is what people are used to.

    It might also be worth looking at MSMoney(free) as a tool(others are available), the budgeting tracking in that can be very detailed if that is your bag.

    The spending diary/tracking is an import thing to do.

    so I got used to having a fair amount of spare cash and not thinking about what I spent.

    I would normally suggest a review of the last year to see where your money went but if you are making a major life style change it may only be of reflective value to give an idea of the things that have had a habit of sucking your cash.
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    edited 13 June 2015 at 3:21PM
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    General Info:
    Household: Just Me
    Cars: 1 rather old toyota

    Monthly Income Details
    Net Income: £2017
    Other income: £0

    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage £507
    Monthly Mortgage OP: £150
    Council tax: £66
    Electricity & Gas £45 (I have just reduced the DD for this from £70 as I was way in credit)
    Water Meter: £11
    Line Rental: £12 (This will rise to £16 in september)
    Mobile: £13
    TV Licence £12.12
    Virgin Media (TV and Internet) £15 (This wil rise to £20 in September)
    Buildings and Contents: £26.61

    Monthly Savings:
    General Savings: £100
    Rainy Day Fund: £25

    Total Set Outgoings: £982.73

    Food, Social etc:

    Food: ~£200 to 250 I need to learn to food plan.
    Social (including clothes): ~£500 to 800 (GULP!) I love the theatre and spend way to much on going to London etc to see plays and shows. I eat out a lot and go for coffee most days.
    Petrol: ~£50-£100 This will rise now I am on land and using the car more

    Yearly outgoings:

    Car Insurance: ~£350
    MOT and Service, upkeep: ~£500 my poor car is on it's last legs
    Private Dentist: ~£200
    Gym Membership: £360
    National Trust Membership: £60

    As we can all see, my spending money is way to high! I need to work on bringing it down without feeling like I'm a hermit/doing nothing. It was easier when I was at sea as I'd have months where all I paid were my set bills and I didn't buy food, petrol go out etc. I'd then use the money saved to add a little bit onto my OP and bolster my on land earnings.But I won't have this advantage for the next 6 months and that's pretty worrying.

    Savings:
    £16200 But I am working on my house and still have to buy furniture etc.
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
  • pavlovs_dog
    pavlovs_dog Posts: 10,201 Forumite
    Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post First Anniversary
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    Runders wrote: »
    Council tax: £66

    this seems low, I'm guessing this already includes single person discount? Is this over 10 months or 12?
    Runders wrote: »
    Electricity & Gas £45 (I have just reduced the DD for this from £70 as I was way in credit)

    I think you'll struggle to balance this more than normal folk, as your use will fluctuate wildly not only on account of the season, but also whether you are at home. Lowering the DD is fine in the short term, but remember you need to build a cushion for higher winter usage if you'll be home during the colder months

    Runders wrote: »
    Food, Social etc:

    Food: ~£200 to 250 I need to learn to food plan.
    Social (including clothes): ~£500 to 800 (GULP!) I love the theatre and spend way to much on going to London etc to see plays and shows. I eat out a lot and go for coffee most days.

    I can understand the mentality that whilst at home you are making up for missed social opportunities, but these spends still seem incredibly high.

    On the food front, shop from home and plan your meals for the week around using up what you already have in. Beyond that, aim to cut your spends gradually (ie £250 > £230, £230>£200) instead of a huge, sudden drop.

    Do you buy a lot of branded food or ready meals? Could you try dropping a brand?

    Runders wrote: »
    Gym Membership: £360
    I'm assuming you are in a yearly contract, but are not always home to make use of the service you are paying a lot of money for. Is this wise? Could this be done more cost effectively, e.g. pay-as-you-go?

    Do you actually get value for money from this when you ARE home?
    know thyself
    Nid wy'n gofyn bywyd moethus...
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
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    Hi Pavlovs_dog,

    Thanks for the input.

    My council tax does already include the single person's discount. I want to say over 12 months as there wasn't any penalties for taking it over the extra 2 months if I remember correctly. Once I can find the safe place I stashed the bill in I will check.

    That's good point with regards to a winter cushion with my DD, I will keep an eye on it and raise it back up if needed. With the £45 payment I should still build up a small surplus of around £100 ish.

    With the food I've never planned and I always buy the more expensive stuff as the food offshore can be god awful....I'm sick of fried stuff! Now I'm going to be at home for a bit I can try to slowly cut it back and hunt around for better prices. The cutting spends gradually is a great idea, ease myself into it. I've never considered shopping from home, but I guess this is a great way to stop all those impulse buys I am prone too...I've gotten so bad over the years.

    I should have maybe been a bit more detailed with the spending money amount. This figure includes anything that isn't bill, car or dentist related. So if I bought weedkiller for the garden, or a tub of paint I would include it in there. Still even with that it's high I know. I've started noting down exactly what I'm spending the money on in my diary, e.g. coffee or lunch etc. that way I can see where my ridiculous spending is stemming from. I feel I'm in for a rude awakening!

    I tried to compromise on the gym once and ended up never going to the pay as you go. Believe it or not that membership I have is an offshore discounted one. I do use it pretty much every day I am home though, and they also have a pool and sauna. I really do try to get my monies worth out of it. I've just re-mewed it, but I will reassess it again next year.

    Lots of food for thought, thanks again for the input :)
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
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