views saught

I have scanned the boards and this seems the nearest place to post as regards my dilema. First, just a small ammount of background info.

The last few years we have had to hold our financial belt in, with insecure employment for myself and some redundancies to deal with. Because we have always lived well within our means and carried mortgage protection insurance, we have more or less held our heads above water in the tough times.

My wage is £25,000 per anum, with a possible £5000 bonus, not guaranteed.
My wife works part time and earns about £17,000 per anum.

Our mortgage balance is as near as £40,000 on a property worth £250,000. In two and a half years the mortgage will be half way through, but a small financial plan matures at the exact halfway point, which we are pretty sure will clear the mortgage - a nice 50th birthday present...

Our debts other than the mortgage are about £6000 and reducing, mainly incurred through unemployment and having two kids in university, I am pleased to say we haven't blown it rediculously. We also pay £141 a month on the car finance.

So, here's the centrre of my question. We have got to the point where we need to replace the kitchen - it's dropping off the walls, we have really gone on as long as we can and now we need to get a new one. The driveway has holes that almost reach Australia, and we need a new boiler. The total cost is about £16,000 . We have not opted for an expensive kitchen, but a cheap one is a false economy. Having struggled to get to the point over the last few years where we can have things under controll, I am reticent to borrow money to do this work, but there is no other way I can fund the works.

If any one has some good suggestions as to the best way to tackle this, or has financial expertese, I am ready to listen. Or, am I being too overcautious? My dream is to be debt free in two and a half years.

Thanks for looking.


  • Can you do any of the work yourself? Is your drive tarmac or block paved?
  • Hi !!!!!! - DIY is not my bent, it really needs a professionals touch. We bought the house eight years ago and new it was going to be a bit of a porject, but held off spending until needed. The driveway is tarmac and the quote is £2000. I won't have a cowbuy do it as I am very wary of false economy. I wish I was good at DIY, but I have seen the results in other homes where things have turned out horrendous! My main question is ''am I being overcautous?'' - I am really pleased that we haven't lived above our means. I also would like to know of other money savers views on that. Our £10,000 emergency fund went some years ago.
  • Was just considering other cheaper ways to ahceive similar results. Tarmac can be patched yourself with cold tarmac - undo bag, through it in hole and compress it with a whacker.

    Tricky question though regards the rest! I sympathise with your dillema in terms ofnot bodging it as it is a false economy to do something twice, however perhaps a DIY cheapo kitchen will serve as a stop-gap until you can get it done properly to your own specs?

    We live on the edge money wise, but I do all my own DIY to a certain degree or know family who can help out. We are gradually doing our house up room by room, but we have taken two years to get the loft, two bedrooms and a spare room done, so its slow progress!

    The only other thing I could say is, can you live off your income for one year only? This owuld give you your wifes income whcih kind of matches what you want / need to spend on the property...?
  • Good suggestion about living on one salary only, I think I will do some calulations there, I hadn't considered that one. Patching the driveway isn't an option, I really mean it when I say we have reached the point of no return with these three things, we've been repairing and making do to the point where we have to now grasp the nettle! Once we get the £6k out of the way, life will be a cruise - I am opting for a smaller company car to reduce the tax on that by £30 a month - a big saving over the three years we have it. I have actually wondered if there was a possiblity of really hammering the £6k in one year and seeing if we can't get rid of it.
  • Kaz2904Kaz2904 Forumite
    5.8K Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    If you go to a site such as (never used it before I just googled tradesmen quotes) then you can get a quote for the work you need doing.
    If you then go out and have the stuff delivered before the trader arrives you should save time.
    Another way of cutting costs is to do the unskilled work yourself. So, strip out the kitchen and get rid of the rubbish and dig up the driveway.

    If your driveway quote is £2000 then it really shouldn't cost you £16000. I would say £5k max for a super duper gt on toast kitchen and about £2000 for a new boiler and fitting. That brings you to £9k.
    I don't wish to be finnicky but you say you have been living within your means for the last few years but you are in debt so you haven't been.

    I would recommend a trip over to the debt free wannabe board where we all get lots of tips and good advice from. You will see how to make a proper soa and how to calculate a budget well. Good luck and well done for not just thinking "oh I'll get a loan/credit card"
    Debt: 16/04/2007:TOTAL DEBT [strike]£92727.75[/strike] £49395.47:eek: :eek: :eek: £43332.28 repaid 100.77% of £43000 target.
    MFiT T2: Debt [STRIKE]£52856.59[/STRIKE] £6316.14 £46540.45 repaid 101.17% of £46000 target.
    2013 Target: completely clear my [STRIKE]£6316.14[/STRIKE] £0 mortgage debt. £6316.14 100% repaid.
  • JonbvnJonbvn Forumite
    5.6K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
    Your car finance is screaming at me!

    Usually, such terms indicate high interest rates. Could you stooze the amount of the loan?
    In case you hadn't already worked it out - the entire global financial system is predicated on the assumption that you're an idiot:cool:
  • The £141 is the total cost of the car, not the interest. The APR is very low.
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