EH - Essex > Hebrides...the next step of the adventure?

EssexHebridean
EssexHebridean Posts: 21,287 Forumite
Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
edited 17 November 2017 at 7:58PM in Debt free diaries
Well well - here we are again then, new diary as [STRIKE]threatened [/STRIKE]promised - the previous one can be found HERE - there are others too - if I can be bothered to go find them I'll add in some links, otherwise feel free to go stalking if you should wish to!

Previous diary to the previous one mentioned above...
..and the previous one to that, too...

So, I've been here a while (since 2008, in fact) and can't ever imagine quite managing to leave entirely now. I've made some seriously good friends thanks to this place (Stripes, Cheery, I'm looking at you ladies!) - and for that reason alone I'll hang about like a bad smell for as long as they'll have me. :rotfl: A brief summary of "me" - too short to reach anything interesting, Londoner (full of resentment due to being forced out when we wanted to buy somewhere to live - damned incomers and property prices!) currently living in Essex with MrEH. The username is Essex = for where we are currently, and Hebridean = representing the fact that the long term plan is to move to the ludicrously far-flung but ridiculously beautiful islands off the west coast of Scotland. (as and when the move happens I shall be requesting a change of name to LondonHebridean so nobody even THINK about taking that one, OK?)

Started on here with a loan and a tenuous grasp on our money, plus a mortgage. Budgeting happened. An emergency fund was built. We discovered we liked the challenge of teaching financial institutions a lesson. The loan was kicked into touch first off, and then we started the onslaught on the mortgage. Various adventures along the way including losing half my income practically overnight and a 6 year experiment with being self-employed, all good fun. We waved a cheerful goodbye to the mortgage on 30th September this year - paying it off over 12 years early and according to MrEH's clever spreadsheet saving ourselves around £35k in interest had we left it to run to term. Go us, eh?

So - this is the next chapter, really. While debt free (and that seems amazing) we want to:

a) Stay that way
b) Build a savings pot - firstly to ensure that we can at the least put down a chunky deposit against a future "Islandy" dwelling, and secondly to assist with a lifestyle which is less work and more full when we get there.
c) Do up our existing flat to make it into a fab place for us to live while we're still here, and a desirable rental for when we're not.
d) Have fun. Lots of it.

There will be food, regular lunatic visitors (that's this thread, not at home, although sometimes at home too), a reluctance to wield hairbrushes, some Little Red Jets, and hopefully some laughs along the way. Want to join me for the ride? Well I'd be delighted - grab a chair!! :D
🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
she/her
«134567311

Comments

  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,287 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    edited 28 October 2016 at 12:30PM
    Now, as ever, I need a plan. and possibly some targets/challenges. But plans come first.

    We budget - I fact I'd say we're ruthless budgeters. We're in the phenomenally fortunate position now of having a good level of disposable income (I say "we" but it's more him, than me, these days, to be honest!) but we choose that the vast majority of this goes to savings, at the moment. The whole of the old mortgage payment is now being stashed in savings each month. Currently we save into a combination of a "Regular saver" each - paying 5% for a year - with an overspill going to an ISA in my name. Once the 1 year bonus rate on the regular savings is up we'll be looking to shift each of these as the rate then drops to a straight 1%. That needs investigation - we may look to see if there are other regular saver options we can open elsewhere to "drip feed" into.

    We work to a rough food budget of £150 per month for "regular" shopping. That includes cleaning stuff for the house, and a limited amount of cleaning stuff for ourselves. :D I see that as a figure to be challenged though so we frequently spend less. Sometimes a LOT less. We've just started (literally it starts next month) paying £25 across into a separate savings account which is labelled "food" too - this will either build up a bit and cover things like bulk purchases of meat or will get frittered on little luxuries like big piles of cheese. Either way it'll be tasty. The basic food money goes to a Tesco ClubcardPlus account - it pays interest on money stored in it and gives us extra CC points when we shop at Tesco.
    Moving forward my "ideal" would be to do a rolling three week meal plan - but at the moment I'm sticking to planning a week ahead. So I check the freezer, fridge, larder and cupboards. Target what needs using. Make a meal plan, and then shop to a list created from that meal plan. It works, usually, but falls in a heap when I forget to get things out of the freezer. Ho Hum.

    We also budget monthly for things like car expenses, holiday, and general fun. We each pay a small sum per month into an account which covers money we spend in our annual visit to the Good Food show - which means we get to buy guilt-free goodies. Yum. We're quire partial to a food festival to be honest - generally speaking there are a few of these a year.

    We've looking to essentially "keep on keeping on" - doing the small things we know work, and keeping our routine "running costs" low. Neither of us are fans of throwing away money that we could spend on enjoying ourselves instead, equally we can afford to heat our home and so don't sit around shivering. It's about a balance - avoiding wastefulness without cutting everything to the absolute bone.
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • Have subscribed, would love to follow your journey.
  • Ay up EH - looking to hearing all about your various adventures :D So have pulled up a sofa (for me & Baby Greying! :D).

    One of my jobs for this arvo is to copy Hugh's Merguez Chickpea recipe into my recipe index. It's a keeper! :D

    Greying X
    Pounds for Panes £2,590/£10,000 - start date Dec 2023

    Coins for Camping (April) -  £2/£15  (Camping TTD - £60/90)
     
    Grocery spend April £120.73/215
    Non-food household spend April £25.94/25
    Bulk Fund April 0/£10

    Charity Blankets completed 1/24
  • fru-girl
    fru-girl Posts: 133 Forumite
    Wow EssexH, I'm impressed! Great journey, you're inspirational!

    And you're so on the ball with budgeting, I'm green with [STRIKE]envy[/STRIKE] admiration.
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,287 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Welcome aboard Purplemum!

    Greying - always room on the sofa for you (and BG!)

    Fru-gal - look. don't tell anyone, but I have to be. I'm the most disorganised/forgetful person EVER - if it ain't written down, it ain't happening! :rotfl::rotfl:

    Lunch, thankfully, WAS written down and has been consumed. Two remaining small flour tortillas, with grated cheese (a mix of cheddar and that goats cheese) and some of the roast tomatoes that needed used. Toasted on both sides until the tortillas were slightly crispy and golden brown. It was most yumsome, if a tad tricky to eat. :D

    Also rang the garage to book the car in. I KNOW this one is unlikely to be cheap - it's getting its MoT, a service, the handbrake cable feels like it needs replacement/adjustment and I think I need new front brake discs as it feels like one is buckled slightly. :eek: The car account currently has £294 in it, and there will be £155 going in next month before the bill becomes payable...that needs to be enough! Next car expenses are MrEH's MoT & Service plus tax early next year so funds will have time to build up again, thankfully.

    Train tickets booked for our Manchester trip in January - just need to remember that so far only the way UP have been released, so I still need to book returns. For the travel up though - £29 for the pair of us, that'll do.

    Now - shopping. I have a list. :D
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • rtandon27
    rtandon27 Posts: 4,528 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    Happy New Diary EH!

    Duly Subscribed!
    4 YEARS 10 MONTHS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us & their indubitable generosity.)
    ...and now I have a mortgage! (23 AUG 2021)
    17 YEARS 4 MONTHS LEFT OF 20 YEARS
  • EssexHebridean
    EssexHebridean Posts: 21,287 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    edited 30 October 2016 at 8:53PM
    OK - some more small constructive wins:

    Shopping dealt with. Had two vouchers for free products from the consumer panel so we now have a LOT of apples and 2 non free-range chicken breast fillets. :o Happy with the apples (from the "perfectly imperfect" range but they're just a bit small). Less comfortable with the chicken - however, if I can taste & review it and it's less tasty than the free range stuff I shall say as much. Also had an extra voucher from them for 200 extra points - and as we always use them on deals that's at least £4 value, potentially more. :T
    - Spent £1.59 in Aldi 2 x Butternut squash, 1 x bag of kale
    - The total in ThaT oTher supermarkeT came to £31.72 but with the vouchers above, plus a £4 off £30 spend, I actually paid across £24.02. :D that includes some storecupboard items too - tea bags, rice, a jar of mustard (always Colmans, good East Anglian that I am!) a bottle of lemon juice. Kitchen rolls, cereal for work and stuff for lunches made up to the spend threshold.

    Registered the Clubcard + for online banking. I never knew you could! :rotfl: Turns out they class it as a "Current account" so it's been there all along - doh! Just investigated it a bit and I now have an easy way of transferring money in/out of it too - so hurrah for that.

    Money transfers relating to my pay all done. MrEH's mostly happen automatically and he'll get paid on Monday. Well, hopefully. In fairness it's been a while since the last time they screwed it up.

    I'm now starving. MrEH has been delayed at work and will hopefully be leaving shortly but this still puts him at somewhere around 8pm to get home. :(

    Thanks RT - we cross-posted!
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
  • Despite living in Glasgow and being a born and bred Scot I've never been to the Hebrides. Bucket list addition for sure. I want to be you in 15 years time. Debt and mortgage free! Happy posting on your shiny new diary :-)
    Starting Debt (31 Oct 2016) - £12,956 | Current Debt (31 Jan 2017) - £10,465 (20% paid)
  • Here to subscribe! :j
    :happylove
  • Cailbhinn definitely plan a visit when you can! Truly amazing place - just, stunningly beautiful.

    Thank you Thistle!
    🎉 MORTGAGE FREE (First time!) 30/09/2016 🎉 And now we go again…New mortgage taken 01/09/23 🏡
    Balance as at 01/09/23 = £115,000.00
    Balance as at 31/12/23 = £112,000.00
    SOA CALCULATOR (for DFW newbies): SOA Calculator
    she/her
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