Money and Life - my journey so far

edited 31 March 2019 at 9:44AM in Mortgage-free wannabe
47 replies 5.7K views
fresh_cottonfresh_cotton Forumite
40 Posts
Mortgage-free Glee!
edited 31 March 2019 at 9:44AM in Mortgage-free wannabe
I was on this forum when I started my MF journey a few years back and it has been a real help to me in the past. I haven't been on here for the last few years, but I have never stopped overpaying.

My mortgage started in 2013 with a balance of £145k. Today the balance is approximately £15,500. I should have it paid off by Christmas this year, or very soon after.

I have recently reduced my working days to 3 and my partner now works 4 days. We are aged 34 + 40 with no children. The original plan was to pay off the mortgage first and then reduce our working hours, but that soon changed.

One of the reasons why we decided to work less, is that I realised that if we continued to work full time until retirement, and spent as we are (which isn't exactly frugal but not foolish either) - then we would end up having too much money. So the choice was either to spend more or work less, which was an easy decision to make.

When I told people 'if I continue to work full time, I would end up with too much money' people look at you funny, because there appears to be a common misconception that there can never be too much money.

It may well be a cliche, but it was only last year that I really realised how valuable time was. Unlike money, time has a fixed amount that is constantly being spent and can never be replenished. So that is why I did not hesitate to reduce my salary from £35k to £21k.

I have done some retirement planning. My partner is a teacher and pays into a teachers pension, and when the mortgage is paid off, I will pay £700 per month into a pension and £400 into an ISA. The plan is to keep these going till we hit around 55 but then continue to work as and when we wish. We won't have £1m pension pots but then who wants to be the richest man in the graveyard anyway!

So, almost 6 years on from my MF journey, although the payments have been continued each month, my attitude towards money and life has completely changed.


  • LeighofMarLeighofMar Forumite
    515 Posts
    500 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Welcome. It sounds like you have your priorities straight. We definitely believe in living now while also saving for the future and its a much calmer lifestyle for us. I am so jealous of your mortgage balance. That is wonderful. Well done!
    Mortgage start date Dec 2015 - $64,655.00
    Mortgage end date Dec 2045 - NOT!!!!
    Mortgage balance end of December 2022 - $19,999.00
    Business Savings $54,345/100k
    Hope to be mortgage-free by end of 2023 
  • kaycastlekaycastle Forumite
    339 Posts
    Fifth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    I am well jealous of your mortgage balance :) Will need to look up on my spreadsheet when mine will be that haha.

    I truly share the same philosophy as you about time and money. Its amazing what you've achieved so far, in 6 years thats brilliant :)
  • JelllibeanzJelllibeanz Forumite
    190 Posts
    Fourth Anniversary 100 Posts Combo Breaker
    Congratulations on getting your mortgage down so significantly! It's very impressive.

    I completely agree and appreciate your approach to work life balance. I took a £18k pay cut a couple of years ago and whilst I still work full time it is with a mindful and supportive employer who provides flexibility. There is more to life than just work.

    Good luck with the rest of your journey x
    Onwards and upwards with the occasional kick up the butt required! ;)
    Mortgage '09 = £103k Feb '17 =£79.9k, Aug 17 = £69k Mar 19 = £61k
    Aiming for 10% OP in 2019 - £1320.95/£6100 £3420/£3520 credit card at 0%
  • FIREdocFIREdoc Forumite
    53 Posts
    Second Anniversary 10 Posts
    Thank you for sharing, this is so inspiring.
    Starting mortgage Summer 2018 - £213,500
    2018 [STRIKE] Dec £205,330 [/STRIKE]
    2019 [STRIKE]Jan £204 200 MAY £199,650 August £196 000[/STRIKE] December £193 500

    [STRIKE]Goal for 2019 - £195,000.[/STRIKE] Goal for 2023 - £125000
    MFW2019 #89 £4303/£10,000
  • beanieloubeanielou Forumite
    83K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    This is awesome :)
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~**
    MFW. Finally mortgage free February 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.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
  • fresh_cottonfresh_cotton Forumite
    40 Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    Thanks guys for your nice responses.

    This place has always been an important part of my MF journey
  • MoneyfordreamsMoneyfordreams Forumite
    2.3K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I remember reading your diary at the start of my journey… great to read you've progressed so well :T:T:T
    Mortgage restart June 2018 £119950Re mortgage August 19 £110470, … Mortgage November 22 £85600 final 0% CC 3300Home renovations - £65000, mid 2018 - mid 2022
  • TropicallyTropically Forumite
    427 Posts
    Sixth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper
    You can't take money with you when you die.
    Mortgage started at £318,000 in June 2016. Original MF - 2041 :eek:
    2nd Property Mortgage at £275,000. Mortgage free: 2049 :eek:
    Total OPs: £29529
  • fresh_cottonfresh_cotton Forumite
    40 Posts
    Mortgage-free Glee!
    So we finally decided to scrap our two old cars. Its been surprising just how long the bangers have lasted actually. They were in desperate need to be ditched and we are now trying to survive on just having one car, to keep costs down.

    We have therefore purchased a second hand (but still pretty decent) one, with the assistance of a personal loan. We have taken this over 2 years and the interest is very low. I think the total we will pay back is under £200.

    The mortgage OP continues despite the loan payments.

    Balance today is £13,900 exact.

    To be honest, its a bit of a struggle, as we are reducing the mortgage capital by £1600 each month on our reduced income. Our joint monthly income after tax is £3,300 so after the mortgage payment plus the new car loan (which is an eye watering £500) - there isn't much room for error because, of course, we have all the usual direct debits.

    But I keep telling myself that its just a matter of months, and then I will be free of the mortgage forever. So I am currently in 'just survive' mode. We have a £2000 overdraft which I am not ashamed to use over the following months.
  • Happier_MeHappier_Me Forumite
    563 Posts
    Hi Fresh Cotton and welcome back. I too remember you from a few years ago, I think we must have started our mortgage free journey at around the same time.

    I'm mortgage free now but still have around the same owed on 0% credit cards as you have on your mortgage. We're paying this off at £1,100 a month to avoid having to balance transfer in the future.

    The plan for us is to divert £600 a month into ISA's for retirement and increase our pension savings by £600 a month this year. These figures will increase again once the credit cards are paid off.

    We haven't got enough saved yet so we are addressing gaps in our pension savings. My hours are currently going the wrong way too, so I'm somewhat envious of your working hours:).
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