Taking it slowly, but doing it well.

Good evening all,

I'm rejoining this thread and you lovely people after a break of a few years.

I've got a new user name, but only because I can't get back into my old account. (My old diary was called 'Today is not a NSD'

I've kept the start of my username the same, so it's still a big wave hello from me, Wish.

A quick (I promise) update from me.

I'm about to turn 35 (still wish I was 25)

I now have a 1 year old little boy - Pickle

I'm currently on extended maternity leave/career break/unemployed (I took the statutory maternity pay from my high pressured, long hours, no social life job, handed my notice in whilst on mat leave and , because I didn't take any occupational maternity pay, I didn't have to repay any money. )

Husband is still a freelance audio visual engineer in the entertainments industry

Still in our 2 bed Victorian terrace, which we still love.

We still want to be mortgage free, but it's going to take a little longer than we thought when I was last here.

So, why am I back?
I need some motivation and some accountability, need to get back on the no spend days. Need to curb some bad financial habits that have crept back in.
Need to lose some weight - nsd will help by no cake shop stops or treats from the discount supermarket at the end of the road.

I'm at the end of my maternity savings.

When I found out I was pregnant I stopped overpaying the mortgage and diverted all that cash into a maternity leave 'fund' to that I added my statutory maternity pay as it came in, £5k from an inheritance and a £5k gift from my parents.
The total of those savings have allowed us to live as we were for 15.5 months without hubby having to contribute anymore to our household expenses than he had previously.

I am very pleased with what we have achieved. But, that 'half month' is August and then the money is gone, I have no income and we will have to manage on hubby's self employment earnings.

I am meant to be applying for agency work, in my field, for 3 days a week from September. It's not happened yet due to hubby being run off his feet with work. I'm not worried about this, I will sort it when I can.

We have no debts, other than our mortgage (which currently stands at just less than £37k and has 12years 3 months left to run)

We receive child benefit, but nothing else (previous warnings have been too high to receive tax credits or anything else)
We have no family living nearby, so will need to pay out for childcare come September for 3 days a week, as I'll be agency and hubby is self employed we can't get childcare vouchers, but should be able to open one of the new tax free childcare accounts saving us 20% on childcare costs, which will be around £120 a week.

This is what I already do:

YNAB all my accounts - this is how I've managed to have 15 months off work
Use ynab to save for all annual bills, overpaying each section so I have a little bonus when it comes to paying the bill

Meal plan & cook from scratch

Try not to spend too much on things for Pickle, and try to sell on things he has finished with (this has had mixed success)

I'd love to have your support as I attempt to pay off the mortge earlier than planned. I'm aiming, from August, to overpay the same amount as the interest added to the account. This isn't much, but it's a realistic challenge given out current circumstances.

Thank you for reading

Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318


  • I've spent some time this evening updating my YNAB. I need to get back into the habit of updating it 'on the go' I have the phone app, I really should use it.

    Today I have spent:

    £4.20 on a daily bus ticket. I like to have some 'car free' days as I get more interaction with Pickle when he's in the Sling or pushchair and he doesn't get disturbed if he has a nap.

    £5 in the co-op on a meal deal and some strawberries (this is the spending that needs to stop)

    £8 on a pair of jeans in the clearance of one of my favourite stores.

    This month's mortgage interest was £74.35
    So that's my target for mortgage overpayment before 1st August.
    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
  • shangaijimmy
    shangaijimmy Posts: 3,796
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Welcome back! :hello:
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £61,892.24......
    Mortgage Neutral Deficit: £43,082.90... Mortgage Neutral Savings: £18,809.34

    MFiT-T6 #13 - £3,517 of £15,500 (22.69%)
    1% Mortgage Challenge 2022 - £157.59 of £650
  • Thanks for the welcome back.

    I had a little search for my old diary and it was interesting to see where we've come from.

    In January 2015....
    Student loan: approx £3000 to go, but payments taken out of my salary. stufent loan now paid off - did a bit of overpaying in the end just to get rid of it as it was a bit of a nuisance in the end.

    Mortgage: £49,336, approx 50% LTV, 15.5 years to go, but we have been overpaying, so I suspect it is less than that already. Fixed rate of 4.49% until April 2016mortgage now £36,849.28 and house worth just over 100k, 12 years 3 months to run on the term.
    I'm really impressed by this, didn't realise quite how well we'd done in about 18months really as I stopped overpaying properly when pregnant. We have reduced, can't remember what to, but it's fixed until next April

    Personal loan: £2750, 10payments to go (was a little silly with my spending last year, so consolidated debts into the personal loan, I know I could have taken out a 0% card! but I was too scared that I would just spend on it as well) paid this off as planned, haven't got myself in trouble again
    Credit card: £0 still £0 I only use it for Online or big orders and pay it off straight away. We really should look at a credit cArd that rewards us, but I probably wouldn't be accepted at the moment as I have no income.

    Rainy day fund: £810 (husband has a bigger 'rainy day fund', as he's self employed I take care of all the regular bills, he deals with treats & one off big stuff, like a new car for me) a what??? Rainy day fund, after 15 months of Maternity leave you must be joking! Hubby still has money squirrelled here, there and everywhere though so all is good.
    Christmas savings :£150 (£50 a month put in) still do this, gives us £600 for Christmas which last year included Pickle'S pressies too, have already started spending towards Christmas as I saw some perfect gifts.
    Summer holiday spends: £400 (£50 a month put in) just drawn this money out of the savings and into the spends account as we go away tomorrow. Have spent nearly £200 on shopping for the theee weeks we are away though, supermarket delivery arriving between 2&4 at the cottage tomorrow. It does include £50 (dear lord help me reduce this!!) of Pickle snacks & fruit pouches and other expensive baby food, I did tell you I'd got into some bad habits As well as the baby snacks (he eats main meals same as us)I've ordered all his nappies & wipes and I need new toiletries so ordered those to be delivered rather than Cart it all up there.
    Inheritance: approx £12-15k locked away with ns&i - although it's my money to spend, I would always check with my mum before using it, and would always want it to go on something I would keep forever and see - I think mum would prefer that I spent it on topping up my salary whilst taking maternity leave though!
    well, this is done to around £10k now (need to check) as I did what my mum really wanted, used it to pay for extended maternity leave and it gave me the freedom to give up my job to spend more time with pickle.

    So, all in all not in a bad way. Will have a think about some goals and post today's spending once Pickle is asleep.


    Ps- if anyone knows how I subscribe to threads from my phone browser, please let me know as I can't work it out.
    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
  • So today:
    Spends: Mum's coffee at the local cafe, good chin wag, children playing, paid for from the cash in my purse.

    And that's it, not bad at all.

    Reduce the food bill - it's the baby convenience food for his snacks that does it. Really need to
    1) make my own oaty bars
    2) make my own gingerbread biscuits
    3) be brave, take fresh fruit out with us. (But the pouches are so easy and so much less mess)

    Overpay by the interest amount each month (about £75)

    Register with agency - will fill in the forms while I'm away

    Find a childminder - I don't want to, but I need to.

    Will need to SMART by goals a bit, but that's enough for now. I need to holiday proof the house.

    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
  • Hello Wish, welcome back and congratulations on little pickle.

    Not sure if your phone is the same as mine, but to subscribe I have to turn my phone to landscape then the subscribe button appears at the top of the thread.

    Enjoy your holiday!
  • Thank you. Sorted, landscape mode required.

    My life has improved. Thank you.
    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,274
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Happy shiny new diary :)
    I am a Forum Ambassador and I support the Forum Team on Mortgage Free Wannabe & Local Money Saving Scotland & Disability Money Matters. If you need any help on those boards, do let me know.Please note that Ambassadors are not moderators. Any post you spot in breach of the Forum Rules should be reported via the report button , or by emailing [email protected]. All views are my own & not the official line of Money Saving Expert.

    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/14.**Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** MFW. Finally mortgage free O2/ 2021****
    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.

    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
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    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment. I've got subscribing sorted now so can follow along more easily, and read through some diaries over a few days.

    First day away today - it's nit really a holiday it's a work gig for hubby with accommodation that can accommodate the three of us, so we get to have hubby around a bit, but he is working.

    I save the money for this annual, 3 week trip because there is a lot of networking pub trips required so rather than blowing the usual budget I save specifically so I'm not stressing about the spends. Obviously I'd rather pay the £600 into the mortgage, but not everything is simple.

    In pre pickle days I are with the techie crew, but that won't work anymore so £185 of my budget went to mr supermarket delivery. That did include lots of baby related items such as nappies.

    In addition to this spend. I also hit the local market for a few bits:

    Fresh fruit & veg - loads! £7.50
    Bread, cheese scone for pickle'a lunch &. 2 huge iced finger buns £2,50
    Chilli jam x2 -'& curry sauce (from an 'artisan producer' £10

    So, quite spendy really but..

    When travelling up this morning I did not stop at Maccy D'S for a breakfast wrap, or the lovely service station for any form of beverage - at least £10 saved that I'd normally spend.
    No ice cream, coffee or cakes out purchased.

    Aim for tomorrow: a nsd.
    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
  • museumworker
    museumworker Posts: 2,240
    First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Hello Wish,

    Welcome back and happy new diary!

    Well done on funding an extended maternity leave, they are only young once and it's great you've been able to get so much time with Pickle.

    In terms of pouches, I'm sure I've seen kits to make your own which might bring the price down a bit? Or embrace the mess and use one of those bibs with sleeves, easy to keep their clothes clean and they get better at eating (a bit) less messily with practice!

    Hope you enjoy your time away, you've saved for it so enjoy spending it!
    Mortgage [STRIKE]16/03/2011: £190K 01/01/2017: £107,729.65 [/STRIKE] 01/07/2017: £95,979.89
    OPs 2011-2016 = £45K 2017 OPs = £9250.20
  • Thanks for the suggestion about the pouches MW, I've looked into it before, for the mushed up meals at the start of weaning, but I'm pretty sure I'd make more mess filling them than Pickle eating non pouched food. We bought him one of those snack pots with the rubber flappy lid thing a few weeks back. That seems to work ok. I just need to remember to take it with me.

    I'm a huge worrier about plans not going right and things happening (or not happening) so always have a pre packed/ long life lunch and or tea with me, in case the worst happens.
    Outstanding mortgage: £23,181 (December 19)
    MFW 2020 Challenge Member #10 0/£2318
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