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Get a grip woman!

edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
1.7K replies 136K views
Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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edited 30 November -1 at 12:00AM in Debt Free Diaries
Having been reading a number of people's debt-free wannabe diaries for some time now, I have finally decided I will start my own.

We are less than three years from wanting to stop work, and less than ten years from state retirement age. I manage our household finances and DH lets me get on with it. His attitude is more "live for today" so we are a good balance, I think. We have two holidays each year and sometimes more - and he has some boys toys - 2 Harley Davidson motorcycles in the garage, that seem to always need money spending on them. That said, there is more to be said in favour of a happy and contented DH than against them so I don't resent them in any way.

So to debts - It seems a good time because I have recently finished the finance on my car, and as of yesterday, paid off the finance for DS's car (I borrowed from him 18 months ago and paid back by buying his car on finance and paying his insurance). I was paying 4.7% on that debt so it was my highest priority. I paid it off 10 months early using most of my HSBC Regular Saver that matured this week.

The debts I have currently are:

£110,621 - Mortgage - interest rate of 0.74% (0.5 above the BoEBR)
£3,476 - DH's car - 0% credit card until Sept 17 - a £4000 cash advance with a £76 fee
£8,755.54 - Barclays Finance for double glazing 0% over 2 years 2/24 paid

Total £122,852.54

It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.

I think that will do for a scene setter.

SL

Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £5,010.84/£5k 100.22% after September
OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £2,230.32/£3k 74.34% so far at end of Sep
Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 - exceeded our £15,000 target and paid the whole thing off
MFIT T5 No 2 all gone after Q7
My Debt Free Diary was Get a grip Woman
«134567171

Replies

  • BobarellaBobarella Forumite
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    Good luck with it Suffolklass the Harley's will hold value too so they are assets as well as hobby items.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe":D

    Debt neutral :) 27/03/17 from £40k:eek: in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 £56.58 2016-£62.28 2015- £84.20)
    RYSAW17 £1900 2016 £2,535.16 2015 £1027.20
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    [QUOTE=Suffolk_lass;72004117]It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.[/QUOTE]

    I know exactly what you mean :j

    You're right about using money you'd been paying re DS to use it to pay off your debts instead, even though your rates are so good. Is there an argument for getting higher interest payments rather than paying debt down? I see you've had a regular saver (mine's maturing in a few months :D)

    So, what are you already doing? What more could you do? (hoping for a few tips here, you understand :p).

    Challenges are great, but there's not much that beats a diary :T
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
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    I agree that getting rid of debt before retiring is a good idea. Personally we had a 10 year plan from when I was 45 and OH was 46 with ideas we would retire at 55 and 56 but we did a few big holidays, helped out our daughters with house deposits and my husband went last year at 58 and I go at the end of this year at 57.

    We have never really taken out debt so we prioritised the mortgage and building investments to bridge the gap between retiring early and spa using our company pensions and savings.

    Presumably you have a plan re income to tide you over for the 7 years before spa and you have occupational pensions? Is your mortgage repayment or interest only? It is still quite high so do you have a plan to repay that - ie endowment or pension lump sum?
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]
  • edited 29 January 2017 at 9:02AM
    Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    edited 29 January 2017 at 9:02AM
    Thanks for reading and contributing Bobarella, Karmacat and enthusiasticsaver, we have a few assets and some savings - as you say Bobarella, the Harleys don't lose their value but I would rather not rely on that sort of cashing-in obligation around objects he clearly loves. He has offered to sell the smaller one but I may yet find the time to pass my test and build up to riding it, and it is happy in its little house in the garden, even if it is rarely ridden.

    In terms of other things, we (DH not me) have a dc pension pot that we plan to cash in across three tax years after we stop work. DH will be eligible for a small DB pension (not many years but a good salary) that will keep him below the tax threshold so we hope to take the dc pot to specifically pay off lumps of the mortgage. The issue here is that that dc pot could shrink again in the next few years so I want to reduce the mortgage by cash overpayments in the meantime so I am not totally relying on it being a certain value.

    At the moment the mortgage is supposedly an interest only mortgage - I say supposedly but I have not reduced the interest payments since starting to overpay and from Feb 17 I have asked them to increase the payment by just over £250 a month (nibbling away) to £400, I think the interest is about £68 at the moment. I also paid off £3,200.54 today - this was the balance of my regular saver and DH's regular saver, after paying off the car loan yesterday.

    Other things - I have a 7-year bond with a BS paying 3.5% that will mature in Oct 20 and last year's regular saver in a 2 year bond paying just 1.79% that finishes next January. We also have a S&S ISA each

    In terms of what we will live on until spa, I have a db pension that, combined with DH's, we can live on day-to-day, and I will receive a lump sum when I draw that (I can do so after 60 without penalty) - but I want to keep that for investing and paying for treats and holidays.

    Gosh reading that back it feels quite affluent but I don't feel that and I think I am cash poor and asset rich.

    I know I will have to raid the emergency pot to top up the buildings and contents insurance at the end of March, and we generally do so again for summer hols credit card. Oh and this year I will need £2k to pay off the 0% cc before we start paying interest in September - so I started putting a designated £250 a month in from last month (January).

    The next thing I will need to look at is electricity supplier as my fix finishes in March. We don't have gas (except a bottle for a domino hob) but I did buy 1000l oil in January which should last about a year.

    That's enough from me - a humungous post! :eek:

    SL

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £5,010.84/£5k 100.22% after September
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £2,230.32/£3k 74.34% so far at end of Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 - exceeded our £15,000 target and paid the whole thing off
    MFIT T5 No 2 all gone after Q7
    My Debt Free Diary was Get a grip Woman
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    A quick check into DH's dc pension pot this morning and the funds are all but one doing OK but I suspect we need to review them against our risk profile and maybe even check out transfer value. I have been reading and learning about investing in my spare time for a little while (still novice really) but I know enough to not want to stay in any "dog" actively managed funds with high fees and management charges but modest growth that does not compare well with passive funds. We might need to transfer funds within the same provider, or else move. Last year's statement (which I can't find) showed 50% growth over 7 years but looking at the funds individually, only one of them has really delivered against this. No need to act immediately but I will keep this under review.

    SL

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £5,010.84/£5k 100.22% after September
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £2,230.32/£3k 74.34% so far at end of Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 - exceeded our £15,000 target and paid the whole thing off
    MFIT T5 No 2 all gone after Q7
    My Debt Free Diary was Get a grip Woman
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    You've got some really good plans set up there! I wish I'd planned as much, there's nothing like it, not really.

    I can understand that when you list it out, it looks really affluent - but that affluence isn't being used to buy gold plated this that and the other :):):) - it's being used to buy free time, in retiring early - best purchase ever :j
    Save
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • Suffolk_lassSuffolk_lass Forumite
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    Well, I have just posted my January savings on the Save £12K in 2017 thread and it is just over £900 so I am happy with that.

    It has nearly all gone into cash savings with just £151 into DH's S&S ISA with Charles Stanley Direct. We are still building towards a £10,000 emergency fund - which is what they say we need - 6 months worth of outgoings. Once we hit that I shall put more into his ISA. I am actually looking for £12k at the moment because I need £2k to pay off the 0% credit card deal when it expires in September. I don't intend moving the balance as it will be a fee I can simply save if we pay it off. We are halving the CC total by paying £200 per month at the moment so it should be there or thereabouts by September.

    February and March are Council Tax payment-free months for us so I am hoping to pay a little lump off the mortgage total.

    I am also carrying on with the eating out of my freezer and store-cupboards thread as the impact was to reduce my grocery spend to just over £150 for the month (all food, cleaning products, cat food and toiletries for 2 adults, weekly visit from DS and resident cat). I have been a regular on the monthly grocery challenge threads for around 4-5 years now - reducing my monthly spend from just over £700 in the first two months, to an average of just over £200 now. It is well worth a read for some top money saving tips and mutual support. Lots of friendly people on the Old-Style threads.

    Save £12k in 2020 - #20 £5,010.84/£5k 100.22% after September
    OS Grocery Challenge 2020 target £2,230.32/£3k 74.34% so far at end of Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2020 #37 - exceeded our £15,000 target and paid the whole thing off
    MFIT T5 No 2 all gone after Q7
    My Debt Free Diary was Get a grip Woman
  • enthusiasticsaverenthusiasticsaver Forumite, Board Guide
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    It sounds like you have a plan and I guess that with a mortgage rate of 0.74% it makes sense to have a balance of investing some of your money and overpaying the mortgage so you do not end up using all your OHs DC pension to repay it when the time comes.

    3 years before retirement we started to keep a percentage of our assets in cash( high interest current accounts) to draw on alongside the DB pension my OH gets at the moment and my DB pension which I can claim next year. £10k sounds like a reasonable amount to keep in cash form and stocks and shares isa's are a good asset to have alongside your pension.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected]
  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    Well, I have just posted my January savings on the Save £12K in 2017 thread and it is just over £900 so I am happy with that.
    Thats good!
    I have been a regular on the monthly grocery challenge threads for around 4-5 years now - reducing my monthly spend from just over £700 in the first two months, to an average of just over £200 now. It is well worth a read for some top money saving tips and mutual support. Lots of friendly people on the Old-Style threads.
    And thats absolutely amazing :j:j:j Well done you!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • FrugalizaFrugaliza Forumite
    45 posts
    Hi Suffolk Lass, :j

    Great to see you've started a diary, I shall subscribe and read your ideas with interest. Fantastic job saving over £900! I started frugalling very recently and managed to save £739 when in fact may target (that I didn't think I could reach) was £440 - partly thanks to your encouragement on my (neglected) diary and various posts. Have also followed your idea of shaving off cash from the grocery budget and signed up to that challenge.

    Good luck with the plans - oh and what is 'spa'? Could it be state pension age? That varies for different people - are you lucky enough for it still to be 60 for you?

    So thanks
    The Save 12K in 2017 #94 £739.13/£600
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