Improving all the time

Hi, everyone.

I bought my first house September 2018, and having been all over MSE looking at mortgage discussions, came across the MFW forum... I had NO idea OP'ing was even possible! Blew my mind for about half an hour, and then I started reading diaries, and then I started plotting.

I have £151,000 mortgage over 20 years, at 1.94 - paying £759 a month but since October 2018 including another £100 OP in that payment, so a basic payment of £859 a month. I'm a late starter to home ownership so that 20 years takes me up to retirement at 67. To say that realisation horrified me would be an understatement. If I carry on as I am now with my regular £100 OP I'll finish when I'm 63.

So I've set a target of paying it off before I turn 60. This requires an OP of at least £300 a month which I haven't a dog's chance of doing - I'm stretched to my limit with mortgage borrowing as it is. Having been as frugal as a twig for the last 8,000 years to save up the deposit, I didn't think there was much else I could leverage - but that was before I read Tilly's diary. I felt simultaneously like the laziest person on the planet, and also really inspired to focus properly!

I have already made some improvements in meal planning - made the mental change from shopping weekly for whatever I fancied and hoping it would last the week, to actually using the things in the freezer, buying in bulk, and knowing what meals I wanted to make before heading to the shop. This, strangely, has rubbed off in other areas of my life - I have apparently stopped buying 'things' on a whim, in fact, have bought nothing other than a book for the last 6 weeks. Not deliberately really, just not felt the urge to have more stuff.

Which is where this diary comes in. I now have a lovely home, with a lovely garden, two lovely cats, and a reasonably secure job. I need to make the best I can out of all these things while I am fortunate enough to have them. And to do that, I need to take more care of the things I have (did I mention lazy?), and pay off the mortgage before I die. Daily aims are:

- clean/fix something every day (something, anything, just get into the habit!)
- throw something out every day (or ebay it, or to charity shop if in good condition)
- Tilly tidy every day (no penny too small)
- check an existing, or investigate a new, freebie (on prolific, and TCB, but not even checked the world of coupons)
- tick off one of those tasks at work
- tell the cats I love them

Clearly, I am also going to have to rely heavily on salary increases/promotions over that time period as well, but all the above will keep me facing in the right direction, hopefully generate some small gains, and remind me to be grateful I get to do this at all.
Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
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Comments

  • zcrat41
    zcrat41 Posts: 1,726
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    Hi and welcome. Love the saying you've been as frugal as a twig! Happy shiny new diary
  • FloraandFauna
    FloraandFauna Posts: 148
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    Today's results:

    - clean/fix something every day - yes! yes, I have. Cleared and cleaned the worktop in the utility room. Cut the grass, planted a shrub, watered the tomatoes, pruned a tree, hoovered (although just one room...)
    - throw something out every day - erm, no, not unless counting packaging. I'd really meant something that had been sitting about unused forever. Dunno, jury out on that one.
    - Tilly tidy every day - yes! 78p
    - check an existing, or investigate a new, freebie - checked prolific, no surveys (sadface)
    - tick off one of those tasks at work - null, being Sunday
    - tell the cats I love them - yes!

    Also - bonus points for resisting a trip to the supermarket both yesterday and today, and instead cobbling together a perfectly respectable chicken casserole out of the freezer and the odd veg at the bottom of the fridge. Will do for quite a few meals too. Daily food budget remains unspent for those two days.
    Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
  • FloraandFauna
    FloraandFauna Posts: 148
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    oooh, a reply - thank you zcrat41. Phrases usually determined by immediate surroundings - had it been a work day, expect I'd have been as frugal as a paperclip.
    Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
  • shangaijimmy
    shangaijimmy Posts: 3,796
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    Welcome aboard. I can hear the beginnings of a fellow OP obsessive already!
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £61,892.24......
    Mortgage Neutral Deficit: £43,082.90... Mortgage Neutral Savings: £18,809.34

    MFiT-T6 #13 - £3,517 of £15,500 (22.69%)
    1% Mortgage Challenge 2022 - £157.59 of £650
  • FloraandFauna
    FloraandFauna Posts: 148
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    Thanks, shanghaijimmy! I think you are right... the more I do, the more determined I get.

    Today's results:

    - clean/fix something every day - not much; fixed a book spine and put some books away. I'm terrible at cleaning, must give something a wipe before I go to bed. Have packed up spare casserole for the freezer and cleaned all the evidence away.
    - throw something out every day - packaging again. Must find an actual 'thing' to declutter, this is cheating.
    - Tilly tidy every day - no, no activity on account so no pennies to move
    - check an existing, or investigate a new, freebie - oh god... see below...*
    - tick off one of those tasks at work - yes! two of them, in fact.
    - tell the cats I love them - yes!

    Bonus points for: NSD, putting claim in for expenses (only 19.80 but welcome at the end of the month), claiming compensation for delayed train (no idea how much or by when)

    * LESS bonus points for: having read up on matched betting, I thought I would give it a go. Am VERY risk averse with money, so gambling absolutely does not appeal, but this seemed rational.

    Well. Hardly made a big splash in the pool - a few cautious £5 returns slowly here and there, about £40 something over the last two weeks. And then on Saturday I pressed something I shouldn't have. A button popped up offering a free something or other, so I clicked on it thinking (WHY!) it would explain what it was. It didn't. It applied itself in some complicated manner to my two free bets I had just matched. So instead of getting my reasonable, if boring, return of about £14, it looked like I had to win both or lose about £110.

    Results in today, and both won, leaving me £487 up on the whole scheme. But I have given myself such a fright - I still nearly lost money when I thought I was concentrating on what I was doing! Not sure I'm going to continue with matched betting if I can't trust myself not to be so bloody gormless. Still so flittery about it I haven't even rejoiced at the cash yet. Think £200 will go to savings (uncomfortably low) and £287 to the mortgage. Thereby booming my unattainable target for this month within a day of writing it down.

    <heads off for an imaginary stiff drink, since trying not to drink during the week>
    Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
  • FloraandFauna
    FloraandFauna Posts: 148
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    Today's results:

    - clean/fix something every day - not today; been travelling very early and late hours for work recently and am shattered - going to bed soon instead
    - throw something out every day - packaging again. Must find an actual 'thing' to declutter, this is cheating.
    - Tilly tidy every day - yes, 86p
    - check an existing, or investigate a new, freebie - yes, a prolific survey
    - tick off one of those tasks at work - sort of; set up the process, templates and information to do so, just got to sort out the content tomorrow
    - tell the cats I love them - yes! (I appreciate this is quite sloppy, but they're getting elderly now and since one nearly died earlier this year I have become much more aware time is limited)

    Bonus points - NSD today

    I have decided to give match betting a rest for a while, having so spectacularly nearly effed it up over the weekend. Although I cannot wait for the undeserved winnings to come through and see what some of it does to the mortgage!

    (oh my... checked on the spreadsheet and it takes another month off the mortgage!)
    Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
  • FloraandFauna
    FloraandFauna Posts: 148
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    oh yes, and the work tasks thing is on there because... to pay off the mortgage before I'm 60 relies on getting promotions/pay rises etc. To do that quicker, I need to get my !!!! moving at work. To do that I need a daily focus/reminder of why I really do need to do those tasks I've been putting off.

    Goals, goals, goals.

    BIG goal: pay off mortgage before I'm 60
    - sub goal: get a promotion to enable that (otherwise goal just not possible at present)

    4 YEAR goal: 5 year fix at 1.94 has 4 years and a bit to run, so get as much as humanly possible paid off in next 4 years as I have no idea what interest rates will be doing then and that scares me a bit. To be more precise, aim for 50% LTV.

    1 YEAR goal: OP 1% at least (this may be an achievable one if I'm lucky!)

    MONTHLY goal: find at least an additional £100 to OP on top of usual OP - probably from shaving budgets, surveys, freebies, ebay

    WEEKLY goal: at least 5 days to be NSDs, and food&stuff budget to be under £50

    DAILY goal: don't spend any money! plus list above, of course.
    Was MFW, now Early Retirement Wannabee... Mortgage: still going down. Pensions: still going up.
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 89,341
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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 [email protected]. 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****
    "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.
    ***Keep plodding*** Out of debt, out of danger. ***Be the difference.***
    One debt remaining. Home improvement loan.
  • zcrat41
    zcrat41 Posts: 1,726
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    Love the daily challenges. I do that too
  • LeighofMar
    LeighofMar Posts: 672
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    Welcome. I love how you motivate yourself. Happy new diary.
    Mortgage start date Dec 2015 - $64,655.00
    Mortgage end date Dec 2045 - NOT!!!!
    Mortgage balance  - $4600.00
    Business Savings $43,310/100k
    Hope to be mortgage-free by end of 2023 
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