The Piano Diary

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  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    Today is my 3 year anniversary on MSE! :beer::T

    I cant remember what drew me to this site and these boards. I have a feeling I was looking for ways to save on the usual household stuff so I was browsing the sites and came across the DFW board. Im so glad I came across the boards and got focussed back then. The debt is gone and now focused on getting mortgage free in 5-6 years. I still have to reign myself back in now and then when I notice I am getting back into bad habits. About a year ago I got a rewards card. My thinking was, well I am spending this money anyway, so I might as well get the cashback for the spending. I set it up as a direct debit to pay off every month. Recently, we had a couple of unexpected costs, and the emergency fund was depleted so I amended the payment to be less than the full balance. And the next step was I started to use it for the odd purchase which I wanted to ‘hide’ from myself on the budget. So here we go again. So I have just paid it off and I have cut it up. No more credit cards or loans ever again. Now the emergency fund has been built back up, we will use this for any unexpected expenses.

    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    Up early today, my body clock hasn’t adjusted to the extra hour yet! Collected cat from the vets yesterday evening. He had the procedure on Monday and then stayed overnight for observation. All seems to have gone well. Not sure if it is my imagination but he seems a bit more sprightly since he got back. Quite expensive overall it has cost £750.
    Car goes in this morning for a new tyre and to get the bonnet open so I can add some oil! Been window shopping on line for a replacement car. I need to focus on building up a replacement fund and then sticking to the budget when the time comes. Too tempting to get a nice shiny car which I cant afford. I need to remember the bigger picture.
    Have to work today, but then I have Thursday and Friday off. Looking forward to this evening!
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    I have the rest of the week off which is great. A new month and the budget is reset. I like the end of the month as it means I can see where I am on everything. The problem with the car bonnet being stuck turned out to be a bigger issue yesterday, and the car is still in the garage since a part needed ordering. After I reached the local station I took a bus and then walked home. Should get the car back later on today. Keeping an older car going means putting up with the odd inconvenience, especially when you are a one car family! I need to build up the emergency fund to £10,000 and then save £10,000 for a replacement car. This means keeping it going for another 18 months. If it becomes unrepairable before then, I would use the emergency fund to replace it.
    My mortgage deal ended yesterday, and now I have moved on to the five year fixed. My remaining term is 6 years and 9 months. I don’t think I will be making OPs for a while whilst I save for the above. If I get a windfall or something then I would use that on the mortgage.
    Nothing much planned for the two days. Im going to catch up on some piano practice.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    The car repairs came to £200 in the end, £100 for the tyre and £100 for repairing the bonnet release. In the end it was more complicated with the wrong part being delivered etc and the car was in the garage for 3 days. This time when I collected the car my trusty mechanic said to me that he thinks the car’s general condition means that things may start to fail more often now. He thinks the engine may be misfiring and that this might be a bigger problem. The car is 14 years old and has 151,000 miles on the clock. So I have been researching a replacement. To be honest, this car was bought just before or around light bulb moment in November 2015. It really is the last stage of money saving for me since it isn’t a very sensible car ie it is a large petrol engine SUV which is uneconomical to run. I have held on to it because its cheaper to keep it than replace. But it looks like the time has come to replace it or accept mounting repair bills and more inconvenience with it being off the road. I have been investigating getting a hybrid. As we live on a hill it needs to have 4wd as I have had to abandon several previous cars at the bottom of the hill due to the snow. The car I am looking at would allow us to do our daily mileage on electric power, and then use a petrol engine for longer journeys. Savings on running costs could be significant ie fuel saving of £150 to £200 per month; road tax £300 per year, insurance £1200 per year so a total of £3,300 to £3,900 per year. So I think it may be a case of spending money to save money. I was hoping to keep the old car going for another 12 months and pay cash for a new car, but I think I may go for a 3 year old car and pay for it over 12-18 months. I will need to get a home charger fitted. I’m also looking at a deal on electricity where it is generated in a sustainable manner. We are going to look at a car this weekend so lets see.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • Hazelnutty
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    Sounds like a plan, GHF. I also prefer to pay cash although for the last 2 cars XH and I bought, it was actually cheaper to take out the car finance (as showroom staff were incentivised to sell it) then pay off in full after 6 months or so. They don't like to tell you that this is possible of course but once they have their commission it's no odds to them what you do. Anyway, I only mention as this could be a halfway house for you allowing you to get the car quickly but also get a few months to gather the finances together. Personally I hated it as I didn't want to take out a loan at all but XH rightly said it'd be silly to pay extra. I'm not sure what I'd do now. I'd still prefer to pay cash - I guess it depends on the maths. I'm thinking about a hybrid next too as I do a lot of small trips that are poor fuel economy. But current car is only on 55k miles so has plenty of life left in her, fingers crossed!
    Choose kind:)
  • glass_half_full
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    Hi Hazelnutty! Thanks, that is good advice. I may well explore that option when the time comes. I feel like I am going to be forced into this shortly when the current car fails, but I don't want to be making a buying decision under that pressure. Im going to buy something that will enable me to save money in the long term. The car we wanted to see was sold during the week. I have my eye on a couple of others so we may be going to see one tomorrow.
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    We went to see a car today and ended up putting down a deposit on it. Our list of requirements mean that we have narrowed it down to a particular make and model. We are going to have to borrow money to pay for it. They will take our current vehicle in part exchange but Im not expecting to get much for it. I would prefer not to, but on the other hand, I intend to keep it and run it for several years. This one is 4 years old and has 40,000 miles on it. We could run it for 6-10 years. I aim to pay for it inside the next two years. In the meantime it will save us money. It wont compromise our other priorities to pay down the mortgage in less than 7 years and make additional pension contributions. In the spirit of transparency, I will report the loan in my signature, and progress to paying it off.
    DS has come home. Its really nice to see him and hear his news. He is enjoying his course and having a great time with his friends.
    Have a great Sunday evening all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    Hoping to do the deal on the car this week and collect it not this weekend but next. Need to find out how much they are offering on the part exchange on my current vehicle. My current thinking is to pay it off over the next 12 months as the priority. Then pick up again in 12 months the goal of building up the emergency fund, building up savings and paying down the mortgage. Hopefully the reduction in running costs should help us to do that. Reluctant to borrow money, but on the other hand the savings I have made over the last couple of years in our household costs means we have enough surplus to pay it off quickly. I have updated my signature with the amount so here we go. We are both busy at work at the moment. Only a few weeks left until Christmas and we get a break. This coming weekend we are going to a 50th party for a University friend of OH which should be fun.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    I’m hoping to do the deal today on the car. I’m expecting a low offer on the part exchange. I noticed when we test drove the car that the tyres were near their limit so I’m hoping this is a bargaining point. Lets see! Hopefully by the end of today the deal will be done. Ive paid £399 for the home charge point to be fitted so need to take some photos of various electrical stuff like fuse boxes for the installer. I need to arrange that for the next couple of weeks so it is ready when I collect the car. Then lets see if I can make some savings in petrol.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
  • glass_half_full
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    Dear diary and all,
    Spoke to the garage yesterday, they have offered me £800 part exchange for my car. This is probably as much as I can expect. I could sell privately but for the extra amount on a smaller value I dont want the hassle. I have gone for an extended warranty of 15 months for £350. I need the peace of mind on a larger purchase like this that if anything goes wrong in the first year of ownership then it will be covered. For the home charger unit, I need to provide photos of various electrical related stuff, fuse box, isolator switch etc. I have done this and e-mailed them and hope to arrange the installation for some time in the next week or so. Then I will be able to charge the car ! We are going to a 50th party on Saturday night which will involve an overnight stay. Looking forward to it.
    Have a great day all!
    Aiming to early retire in April 2025 - DC pension currently £350k 
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