Simple, sustainable and slow: Glenda's MF marathon

in Mortgage-free wannabe
83 replies 5.4K views


  • It's been a while :o. 6 months later, the OPs have been slowly ticking away but house expenses, Christmas and birthdays have all been priorities. However, I've ended the year by redeeming some of the CC points and paying £38 off my mortgage, which makes my total a nice round £161,400.

    Goals for 2020:

    - Make savings on my mobile phone and other monthly bills to find an additional £50
    - Up monthly DD to £900
    - Build EF from 1 to 2 months' expenses
  • Just realised that after my Jan payment I'll have paid more than £10k off the mortgage in under 2 years :T.
  • I'm going to try a weekly update to keep me on track. Here goes:

    - Still in budget with 2 weeks until Jan payday
    - Avoided unnecessary spending in the sales
    - Moved phone to a SIM only deal, saving £20+ per month

    Non MS
    - Remembered I'd signed up for a monthly contact lens scheme - £20 a month which neutralises my phone savings :wall:
    - Checked my childcare vouchers and I have nearly £1K spare while youngest's childcare costs have dropped
    - Grocery budget looking tight

    To do
    - Cancel childcare vouchers
    - Be frugal with the groceries
    - Take lunches to work once I'm back next week
  • Glenda,

    Fantastic diary. Keep up the slow hard slog and you will get there!
  • Thank you Want2BeFree! It feels like I have a loooong way to go, but baby steps etc.
  • For the first time, I've looked at the YNAB annual reporting function (I usually just use the app on my phone). So much data :j. But also scary to see how much we are spending on random stuff.

    The good: mortgage OPs were over £1300 in 2019, and I was only OPing small amounts at the beginning. EF now stands at £1825, net worth has increased by 154% (it was negative at the beginning of last year) and my age of money is now 44 days.

    The bad: grocery spending was over £6000 for the year :eek:, personal spending £2800 :eek: and house maintenance £2500 (we did need to replace the fridge, cooker, washing machine and 2 beds/mattresses). Nearly £600 on family haircuts :eek::eek::eek: and my savings pots for holidays and birthdays were both underfunded.

    Things to work on: STOP SPENDING MONEY ON RANDOM CRAP. Think about what activities and spending I want to fund next year, and stick to my limits.

    At the end of 2019, I want to see that grocery spend come down to under £5k a year, and much better totals on the other categories. I'm sure that with more planning, I can be frugal without anyone noticing a change in quality of life.

    Goals for next week
    - 3 NSDs
    - Keep grocery spends to under £60
    - No personal spends until the weekend

    Wish me luck! Off to join the OS grocery challenge :o
  • Well, my planned NSD was scuppered yesterday as I needed to buy a birthday card - only £3 out so that's something I suppose. I also forgot about a lunch out next week, better do some budget shuffling to find the funds!

    Grocery shop tomorrow - am determined to stay in budget this month.

    Small win: managed to cancel my childcare vouchers as we have more than enough in credit to cover fees until DS starts secondary school. I won't know what the effect on my take home pay will be until I get paid, as it will be taxed and subject to pension deductions (currently at 8 %).

    Random musings: do I increase my pension contributions again this year to get to 10% (plus employer contribution of 8%) or a more modest increase to 9% and throw a bit more at the mortgage? I do need to maximise my pension, as I have a few years of p/t work to make up for. However, my season ticket increase will kick in at the same time as any annual salary increase, so need to account for that. Hmm.
  • 2nd NSD of Jan yesterday :j.

    Food shop today: need to draw up a proper plan for the week so as to stay in budget.
  • edited 8 January 2020 at 9:29AM
    MoneyfordreamsMoneyfordreams Forumite
    2.4K Posts
    Seventh Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 8 January 2020 at 9:29AM
    Welcome back... I would suggest you increase your pension :D I haven't done any sums … for no other reason than the great sense of security it gives you... I hated my pension in my 20s, tolerated it in 30s, loved it in 40s.Now reaching 50 soon it's almost in touching distance :D
    Mortgage restart June 2018 £119950Re mortgage August 19 £110470, … Mortgage November 22 £85600 final 0% CC 3300Home renovations - £65000, mid 2018 - mid 2022
  • I'm pleased someone else is excited about pension deductions!

    Another NSD yesterday, hoping for another today. I do need to look for a small gift for my niece who we'll be seeing at the weekend.
This discussion has been closed.
Latest MSE News and Guides

Did you know there's an MSE app?

It's free & available on iOS & Android


Regifting: good idea or not?

Add your two cents to the discussion

MSE Forum

Energy Price Guarantee calculator

How much you'll likely pay from April

MSE Tools