Courgette's 'Frugality gives us options' diary

Right, having attempted a name-change I just couldn't feel the love for I'm back in my original guise - albeit with a cleaned-up history and a commitment to being a bit more careful with what I share!

This new diary's title is inspired by a thread of the same name on Frugalwoods (one day I'll learn to add links!). Those of you who've known me a while will know that of late I've found it hard to find purpose. Not in an unhappy way but in the sense of questioning constantly what I'm working towards in financial and more general terms. Life currently is so busy with 3 children and the day to day chaos that comes with that, plus our income is pretty low at this point and that makes focus hard. I change my mind weekly between wanting to relocate to numerous different places and the various reasons behind that and my financial goals change - do we OP, do we invest, do we give up on self-employment in jobs that excite us and just earn what we can as quickly as we can (tempting), do we even look to get another BTL (unlikely) or do we just blow it all on the here and now (even more unlikely!)?

One thing I've always done really well at is spending less than my income and saving for the future. Even when I've been on the bones of my derriere I've always always always put something aside. Over time, this approach has served me very well. I've had the ability to enrol on courses I would not have otherwise been able to do, I've been able to leave jobs I've hated with nothing to go to, I was able to get myself on the housing ladder as a single mother earning minimum wage as well as having the luxury of being annoyed rather than in crisis when things have gone wrong or broken down.

We currently owe about £83.5k on our family home valued at approx £200k with 22 years left to run, we owe family £5,750, we have £4k in emergency savings and owe £83k on an IO BTL mortgage on a house valued at approx £120k. We have no pensions or ISAs or any other investments other than a tiny bit in P2P. I've got a terrifying birthday with a zero in it next year, DH is just the other side (and seems to be okay - maybe I will be too!).

So, right now I don't really know what I'm working towards but as it says up top... frugality gives you options and options are always brilliant to have.
A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off ;):D :idea: :rotfl:
Mortgage 1: [STRIKE]£95,000[/STRIKE] £78,900 at 3.1%
Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
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Replies

  • CourgetteCourgette Forumite
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    Someone asked me tonight (on Faceache) what I'd do if I won the lottery. This is my reply:

    Never thought I'd say this but I think I'd go for ultra posho public school education for the boys. Something like Winchester College. I'd also buy a house in central London and go to the theatre as often as possible, once a week would be good. I'd travel extensively, have a personal trainer as well as the usual pay off mortgage stuff. Oh, I'd buy a camper van too and never worry about the repair bill. Just off the top of my head

    I'm saving it here because I want to come back to it and have a think about how some of those things could be achieved, preferably for nowt!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off ;):D :idea: :rotfl:
    Mortgage 1: [STRIKE]£95,000[/STRIKE] £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
  • newgirlynewgirly Forumite
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    Yay! Welcome home courgette :D lovely to see you back , and best of luck with your shiny new diary.

    Re the lottery question, central london house and posh private school may require a few lottery wins :rotfl:
    2022 MFW 67 - 33 month challenge to clear mortgage, month 3 completed and on track 🙂MFI3 No.12
  • Hello m'dear.
    As someone on her third namechange (was GFH).
    Locals often get discount to independent schools...
  • Secret_Saving_SquirrelSecret_Saving_Squirrel Forumite
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    Hello Courgette,

    Nice to see you back. As you say, not being mortgaged to the hilt allows you options. But along with those options are hard choices! So I think that being a MFW does lead to us folk on here often having crises of confidence about what we want to do. Whereas if, like a friend of mine, you had a mortgage costing £2k a month until she is 70, you wouldn't be worrying because those choices wouldn't be there. I know which I prefer. I hope you see what I mean as this is a little garbled.
    Paid off mortgage nine years early in 2013. Now picking and choosing our work to fit in with the rest of our lives!
    Still thrifty though, after all these years:D
  • CourgetteCourgette Forumite
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    Oh my..... £2k a month until she's 70. That's just awful!
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off ;):D :idea: :rotfl:
    Mortgage 1: [STRIKE]£95,000[/STRIKE] £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
  • CathTCathT Forumite
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    Great to have you back courgette. I skimmed over an article recently about a couple with a joint income of 190k in London, had an expensive house and a BTL flat but were worried they would need to sell the flat to fund private school fees for their two children.
    Jan 2023 - part 1 - £41,139 part 2 - £27,778 Total - £68,917 58 months to go!
  • Secret_Saving_SquirrelSecret_Saving_Squirrel Forumite
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    I saw that article too. It is the sort of thing that Ermine in Simple living in Suffolk loves to mock and destroy! I must say I had absolutely no sympathy. We all have choices, and with their level of education and ability to pull in very high salaries, they have more choices than most.
    Paid off mortgage nine years early in 2013. Now picking and choosing our work to fit in with the rest of our lives!
    Still thrifty though, after all these years:D
  • CourgetteCourgette Forumite
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    Well no lottery win for us so back to the grindstone!

    I saw that article too but didn't bother to read it. There was quite a good piece of mockery in The Daily Mash - the poor couple in that one were asking whether they should sell a child to fund another BTL! :rotfl:

    There's a serious point though behind it of course in that people very quickly become used to a certain standard of living and can't imagine it being any other way. Of course I like to think I'm grateful every day for what we've got but in truth there's a lot of luxury in my life I don't even notice - a safe, warm environment for my children; the knowledge that when I put them to bed they will wake up safe and sound; a wide choice of local, reasonably priced food shops; local schools; health care; our health; a strong happy marriage even if he does do this really annoying nose noise sometimes; a well-stocked local library; clean air etc etc. My heart breaks when I think of some of the awful stuff happening in the world.

    I am still thinking about my lottery win list though and trying to break it down a little bit more. For example, yes I'd love a camper van, but the essence of what we'd be doing in it we can do in our battered, tiny Polo.
    The education thing.... well I'd like my lads to have an interesting, stimulating childhood and I'd like them to reach adulthood with an understanding of quite how amazing the world is, so full of interesting opportunities and they are everyone's equal. I can bring more of this to their lives myself though and have this weekend booked us all a trip to the theatre and have contacted the local (world class!) opera company to investigate options there for getting involved.
    The London house.... that's for easy access to lots of cultural stuff. Actually the little ones are a little bit young to really appreciate this yet but when they get older I could book train tickets well in advance and we could have well-planned day trips down there. I'll speak to DS1 and see what he'd like to do.
    The personal trainer.... I'm getting fat and unfit but lack motivation to change. I've got a Davina Fit in 15 DVD that I bought when I was feeling broken beyond repair after I had DS3. I can watch this(!) then start actually doing this. I can easily find 15 minutes to do some exercise. Maybe I'll need to create a star chart for myself :rotfl:
    A reminder to myself: Persistence Pays Off ;):D :idea: :rotfl:
    Mortgage 1: [STRIKE]£95,000[/STRIKE] £78,900 at 3.1%
    Mortgage 2 (BTL): £83, 489.15 at 2.99% (I.O.)
    Savings (S&S ISA): £3000 Plus 6 months emergency savings earning 3%
  • greentgreent Forumite
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    Lovely to see 'Courgette' again - I get so confused with name changes! :)


    xx
    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 2023: £230
  • edited 23 November 2015 at 2:55PM
    edinburgheredinburgher Forumite
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    edited 23 November 2015 at 2:55PM
    Am I the only person who doesn't love Frugalwoods? I won't deny the impressively high savings rate that they have achieved over the last few years, but elements of the blog are a bit annoying/preachy. Real estate growth and well paid jobs are factors, too, but seem to be glossed over as these aren't 'frugal' :p

    FWIW, I'm also glad to see the return of Courgette.

    I'd be a horrible lottery winner, it'd be all first class flights around the world with caviar eaten with Doritos for scoops ;)

    Can someone post the link to the article about the unfortunate poor people battling school fees? I need a larf.

    :rotfl: <<<--- click me, loved the crowdfunding campaign!
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