Keeping our options open

becky170becky170 Forumite
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Hi Everyone,

I've debated setting up my own MFW diary for a while and I've finally decided to go for it (hopefully the children will stay asleep long enough for me to write my first post!).

We took our £200k mortgage out nearly 5 years ago on a 25 year term so that it would be paid off by the time my husband turns 60 and can retire. However we ideally want to pay it off 5 years earlier to throw some extra money towards my retirement so that I can potentially retire at the same time as him.

Fast forward 5 years and our mortgage stands at £161k. We have been overpaying bits here and there and have managed to overpay £12k in total. We now have two children and I'm currently on maternity leave so money is starting to get tight. It will get even tighter when I go back to work as I'll have two children in nursery and will have to pay to travel to work etc.

I have been writing down all my spending for the past two months to see how closely we're sticking to our budget. I'm struggling to stick to our food budget which is a massive £450 a month, but that does include nappies, formula, cleaning products and toiletries. I need to start batch cooking again, but at the moment I have a non-napping baby and a toddler who doesn't like to go to bed so spare time for cooking is slightly lacking!

We're trying to aim to pay off 1% of our mortgage this year so £1615. The current aim is to pay off whatever we can so that when rates go up (our fix ends next year) we have a little bit of wriggle room without having to compromise on our lifestyle too much. Hopefully when the children are both at school we'll be able to make really dents in our mortgage...but maybe that's wishful thinking that we'll have lots of spare money when we no longer have nursery fees :)
MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
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Replies

  • becky170becky170 Forumite
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    I should have also said that the other reason that we have been overpaying is so that our monthly repayments come down to a level where we can survive on one wage as who knows what the future may hold. It's all about having options!
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • miss_undastoodmiss_undastood Forumite
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    Good luck. I have a 2&4 year old and we took out a 35 year mortgage 5.5 years ago

    We are thankfully now out of nappies which makes a small difference to the shopping bill :)
    I can easily spend over £100 a week on shopping and still have to top up bits too

    Try to remember that inflation will lessen the blow of the mortgage over time and your wages should increase

    I have cut down my hours at work (which also means less of a nursery bill!) and I’m fortunate that my childcare vouchers I have saved up should just about see me through until we get free hours in September (youngest is 3 at the end of July)

    Having a target is a great start and it’s addictive once you get going. I love seeing my mortgage drop from £200,000 to £199,900 etc it’s a little psychological boost.

    I think I may instigate a treat when we’ve paid off 1% of the starting balance or gone down to the next 10,000 as they are alll psychological boosts aren’t they.

    I’ve seen people colouring in bricks and working out how many months they’ve cleared from their mortgage. But I’m not clever enough to do that yet!

    We almost own 50% of the purchase price of our house now which feels like another leap forward. Don’t tell DH that I want to move again though, he’d kill me!
    Part time working mum of 2 terrors trying to build financial freedom.

    Residential Mortgages @ Oct 2020: £308,283
    @Jul 2021 £286,600
    MFW-21 #20
    MFIT-T5 #46
  • becky170becky170 Forumite
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    Thanks for the encouragement miss undastood! Think this is going to be our forever home as not sure we'll be able to afford the next rung up the ladder where we currently are. I do regularly like to check out Rightmove though and I would love a second bathroom and a utility room so never say never :)
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • becky170becky170 Forumite
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    Woohoo our current mortgage balance is showing just below the £160k mark. It's just a shame that by the end of the month it will go back up to above £160k but our March regular payment will banish the 160's and welcome in the 150's :j
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • becky170becky170 Forumite
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    This weekend has been a bit of a mixed bag spending wise. We went out for coffee and cake twice which we originally hadn't planned to do but the weather was miserable, and visited m&s to buy something nice for valentine's Day (guess it's cheaper than eating out!). We also had to buy a new fire alarm as our old one started alarming and wouldn't reset. The fire alarm started going off when I was serving up tea and the cat took the opportunity to start eating my tea whilst I was distracted.... she's now definitely not in my good books!

    Hoping for a nsd today. My son seems to have locked my bank card by playing with the card in the card reader (guess he entered numbers randomly instead of my pin!) so got to sort that out so that I can get my online shop tomorrow!
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • becky170becky170 Forumite
    759 Posts
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    This week hasn't been too bad moneywise. Managed two nsds and kept my son entertained with a free trial toddler class, cookie making and a trip to the park. Had a great valentine's day date night at home with my other half, although the highlight of valentine's day was Lego rocket racing round the house with my son.

    My only downfall this week has been has been supermarket shopping. I've had an online shop and two trips to the supermarket for things I've forgotten! Yesterday I went for cat litter and ended up spending £50 :( Really got to stop this. So the plan for next week to stay away from the supermarket completely and book an online shop for Friday as I can't be trusted to go in-store.
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • iquitiquit Forumite
    1.9K Posts
    becky170 wrote: »
    This week hasn't been too bad moneywise. Managed two nsds and kept my son entertained with a free trial toddler class, cookie making and a trip to the park. Had a great valentine's day date night at home with my other half, although the highlight of valentine's day was Lego rocket racing round the house with my son.

    My only downfall this week has been has been supermarket shopping. I've had an online shop and two trips to the supermarket for things I've forgotten! Yesterday I went for cat litter and ended up spending £50 :( Really got to stop this. So the plan for next week to stay away from the supermarket completely and book an online shop for Friday as I can't be trusted to go in-store.

    Hi Becky,

    Quick question, do you take cash or use a card in the supermarket? Might help to take out your budgeted spend for each week or month and spend accordingly. I find my card makes it easier for me to over spend as all I have to do is swipe or tap. When I have cash I'm forced to be more cautious. Hope this helps. You are doing well though, these are little hiccups which you're going to find ways around with time.
    2019 MFW No. 74 £13700/£30000 (45.66%)
    12k in 2018 No. 98 £6274.19/£18000 (34.85%)

    BTL (start) £97440.00 (current) £68000.00
    Residential (start) £275000.00 (current) £268000.00
  • newgirlynewgirly Forumite
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    Hi Becky best of luck with the new diary :)
    MFW 67

    2021 £16,534.27 / £16,400
  • becky170becky170 Forumite
    759 Posts
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    Thanks for stopping by iquit and newgirly!

    I tend to pay on card as I hardly ever pay by cash. I have thought about withdrawing cash for my weekly spends but I tend to fritter cash away if it's in my purse (usually on takeaway coffee and chocolate from the vending machine at work). I have been keeping a close eye on my spending on a spreadsheet for the past 3 months so that has been keeping me in check more as I am starting to question whether I need a purchase or just want the purchase. I just find it too easy to justify things!
    MFW 2021 #7 £2526/£3500
    Savings goal 2022 £0/£6000
  • FloppyDiskFloppyDisk Forumite
    855 Posts
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    becky170 wrote: »
    I should have also said that the other reason that we have been overpaying is so that our monthly repayments come down to a level where we can survive on one wage as who knows what the future may hold. It's all about having options!

    This very much sums up my goals too, best of luck!

    Mortgage Apr 18 £417,894 BTL Mar 18 £162,857
    Mortgage now -- £381,110 BTL now --- £161,710
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