julicorn's journey

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Hi everyone! Thank you all for sharing your journey to being mortgage free, it's really inspiring.

My husband and I bought a 1 bed flat in December, for the bargain amount of £270k (gotta love living in the South East!). Luckily we had been able to save for a decent deposit, so our mortgage was £202,500 plus fees (closer to (£203,500), out of which we still had just over 201k left as of yesterday.

Our mortgage is 2 year fixed at 1.41%, but that appears to be based on the mortgage offer date, so running out in July 2019. I would love to reduce our mortgage as much as possible by then, and just in general.

The things that have given me a bit of a kick in the butt to start overpaying now, in no particular order:
1. Logging into my online account and seeing "24 years 7 months remaining" is daunting. That's a crazy long time. If we got to that, I would have spent half of my life paying off a 1 bed flat.
2. The fact that we have already paid almost £1k in interst in just a few months isn't great either. The more we can shave off total interest, the better.
3. When saving for the flat, we managed to put away over £1k every month, and that was while paying rent that was slightly higher than our mortgage. If we managed to do that now, we'd have the flat paid off 15 years early.
4. While over the last few months, we spent money on lots of the stuff we missed out on while saving for the flat (booked a holiday, got tattoos, all that super grown up jazz) and also put quite a bit of money into furniture and redecorating, I've also noticed that a lot of the extra money just sort of slipped away. For example, our diet has gotten a lot worse because we seem to be getting take out a lot atm.
5. In some weird way, I really miss saving. There was something really satisfying about seeing our savings account growing so quickly, and I think seeing our remaining mortgage amount reduce will have a simar effect (psychologically speaking).

So, is the aim really being mortgage free in 10 years? Realistically - no. I know we won't prioritise overpaying I over certain life experieces (currently holidays mainly), but also, the aim is to stay in our flat here for around 5 years or so, and then see whether we want / need something bigger. But even if we do buy somewhere more expensive then, it can only help to have reduced that outstanding debt more quickly. And that's how I see it - I think for a lot of people a mortgage is just something everyone has, but for me it feels like "being in debt", which is something I have mostly avoided so far.

So based on all of this, we made our first overpayment of £900 yesterday. For the first few months, I want to build up our ISA savings a little more again (to £10k or so) in parallel for "just in case", and then concentrate mainly on paying off our mortgage. (side goal: no more take outs! Need to learn to cook a decent curry ;)).

Thanks for having me :heart2:
Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
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Comments

  • bexster1975
    bexster1975 Posts: 1,576 Forumite
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    Hello and welcome:beer:

    Sounds like a plan you have there. I agree, ten years is ambitious, you never know what's around the corner. It doesn't mean it couldn't be a target however. Let's face it, if you pay it off in 15 years rather than ten that would still be a significant score. Could be worth looking at what you currently pay for utilities. Will probably need to have been in 6 months to get a real idea. The point is, if you spend the least possible on the essentials, there is more money for saving/spending on things you want to do. £900 is great start with all the moving in costs you will have had. I agree about missing saving. When you save hard for something big ( deposit) you see how little money you need yo spend live well. It depends what living well means to you. Building up emergency savings would be my priority first too. You fix is a good rate, I would be aware of limits on OPs ( it's often 10% of balance per year so is not likely to cause a problem at this stage!).

    I'd look at: gas/electric; phone and broadband ( incl. mobiles), water ( rates/metered), Sky/Netflix etc, then on to groceries. There is a good book of recipes apparently where they help you make your fave takeaway. I'm sure it was on Amazon but someone here will remember more. Cashback websites like quidco and top cashback are invaluable, especially for utility changes ( broadband etc). Voucher codes/ tastecard/ 2 for 1 movies with meerkat movies etc. Will all save you money on going out.

    I wish you the best of luck

    Bexster :)
  • julicorn
    julicorn Posts: 2,283 Forumite
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    Thanks so much for your kind words and advice Bexter, I really appreciate it! And it's super helpful as well. I really need to take good stock of what we're spending money on and see where we might be able to shave a bit of money off here and there, I'm sure it adds up. We signed up to the cheapest "green energy" tariff when we moved in, but it will be good to review that in a few months, when we have a clearer idea of how much electricity and gas we're using. I have to admit, my boss has been trying to talk me into using quidco for years, and I've always been to lazy to sign up - bad, I know ! It seems like such a good idea.
    We're not too far off with our emergency savings btw, I think currently we've got around £8.5k. Because our purchase took forever, we were lucky enough to benefit from not having to pay stamp duty as first time buyers, so we had more left in our savings than we thought we would.
    Thanks again!
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
    New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
    Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,662 Ambassador
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    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 forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. 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****
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    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
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  • julicorn
    julicorn Posts: 2,283 Forumite
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    beanielou wrote: »
    Happy shiny new diary.
    Thank you! :j
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
    New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
    Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
  • bexster1975
    bexster1975 Posts: 1,576 Forumite
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    Quidco and topcashback are free and quick to join. Topcashback regularly have nice freebies for new customers so keep your eye out for something you use.

    Good to hear emergency fund is healthy. Not like when I moved into my first place and skinted myself :eek:

    It's well worth half a day going through bills etc. You may be surprised how much you can save. I find half a day once a year to check that I'm not paying more than I have to for basic amenities.

    Also, if you have lidl or Aldi near you, they will save you money and allow you to eat well.

    Bexster :)
  • julicorn
    julicorn Posts: 2,283 Forumite
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    Thanks Bexter, that's all really helpful! I've pencilled in a weekend this month for reviewing our energy providers, and also have another proper look at topcashback / quid Co as well.
    Not near an Aldi / Lidl, but we're looking into reducing our food costs as well. We've been subscribing to a veg box for years now which is pretty pricy, but might also look into whether there are local markets instead. What annoys me about lots of the big supermarkets is the amount of packaging they use for veg, and also how quickly it goes off, but I think we'll try a few different shops over the next few months.

    Yesterday I dug out my bullet journal again, using that helped me lots in terms of getting organised before, so I'm hoping it will help me track finances and be more accountable as well. Aside from that, I came up with a strategy that uses my loss aversion to make me pay more attention to my outgoings (and hopefully spend less as a result). In short, after payday (and after paying what I had budgeted into our joint account, savings and the mortgage), I'm usually left with a good chunk of money in my current account, which tends to just disappear over the course of the month. This time, I decided to move everything above a 'buffer amount' into a separate little savings account. This makes gives me a baseline that I expect in my current account. If I check my balance, and it's not exactly that amount, I see that money has gone out. (when that happens, I move money from the separate savings account back into my current account manually - already had to do that today, and otherwise I would have never noticed that money had left my account). Just before payday, I'll then pay the remaining amount in the little savings account into the mortgage. That motivates me to to keep that as high as possible, or in other words spend less money. I know it's convoluted, but it sounds like just the kind of ridiculous system that I can use to trick myself into spending less. :rotfl:

    On a only slightly related note, I've decided to try and see whether I can make a bit of money selling art. I've got around 4k followers on Instagram on an illustration / journaling account, and have been asked before if I'd consider selling stickers and shirts and that sort of jazz. I think I'm going to give it a stab and set up a redbubble account. If I don't sell anything, nothing is lost (because they handle the production and only make items once they are ordered), and if someone orders something, it wouldn't cause me any additional work. I'm not expecting anything really, but I think it's worth a try. :)
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
    New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
    Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
  • julicorn
    julicorn Posts: 2,283 Forumite
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    And I mean Bexster, sorry! It doesn't seem to want to let me edit my post x
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
    New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
    Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
  • bexster1975
    bexster1975 Posts: 1,576 Forumite
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    You never know where a sideline will lead. I now work two days a week in a " normal" job because of my sideline. Good luck, sounds fab.

    Bexster :)
  • julicorn
    julicorn Posts: 2,283 Forumite
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    You never know where a sideline will lead. I now work two days a week in a " normal" job because of my sideline. Good luck, sounds fab.

    Bexster :)

    That's really impressive! Very cool. Are you still enjoying it?

    I signed up to Topcashback, actually already got £1 or so on a present I bought for a friend yesterday. Every little helps! I also opened the RedBubble account, and will add a few designs over the next few weeks (and figure out some sort of strategy for getting people to find them in the first place).

    My boss also offered to match my pension contributions, which is great. So far I was paying 5% and they only paid 1% (up to 2% this year), but them increasing to 5% is pretty awesome, and means I get more in my pension without having to increase my contribution just yet.

    Bought new bus tickets for my husband and me though, that's £300 for the next three months. They don't do annual tickets any more unfortunately. Oh well.
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Mortgage neutral: September 2022, mortgage redeemed: December 2022
    New house, new mortgage: December 2022, £276,007
    Current balance: £217,800 minus £8,300 overpayment savings pot
  • Runders
    Runders Posts: 292 Forumite
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    Hey Julicorn,

    I've just read through your diary and looking forward to seeing how you get on :) I hope Redbubble works out well for you! I too have to trick myself into saving money at times - I have more going into my utilities account then I actually nedd, then I just skim off the excess at the end of each month into savings. It's funny how we all have little things we do :)
    MFW Start:[STRIKE] Sep 2014 - £110,844[/STRIKE], July 2019 New Home £190,995 :eek:
    Current: £82,999.69, £190,972.18, £188,091.57, £180,026.25
    2021MFW #97 OP Goal £296.36/£3000
    2020MFW #97 OP Goal £3104.09.09/£3000
    2019MFW #109 OP Goal £1024.99/£1000
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