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Mortgage free and finally in a forever home

edited 20 November 2019 at 3:20PM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
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TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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edited 20 November 2019 at 3:20PM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
I’ve been a member of these forums since 2006 and had numerous diaries but I know feel like I have come to a bit of a milestone so time to start afresh and also be more finance and money saving focused.

I will try to keep this short, but I am fast heading towards the 50 and had a pretty steady life until almost 5 years ago where my marriage broke up and I moved to London for work. I have had 4 different jobs in that 4 years and lived in 4 different places in London.
I have been with my girlfriend referred to as DG for almost 5 years and we live together in a Guardian property with my best friends who is here 4 3 nights a week. It is very cheap but also very run down as they are pulling down the blocks and building new “social housing” which it so isn’t. Prices for a 1 bed starts at £280K madness madness. :eek::eek:

There wasn’t really a plan when I moved to London for a 1 year, contract and DG joined me 6 months later after a bit of a disaster job in Dorset. Both of us aren’t from London (DG is just north of London and I am Scandi but been on the South Coast for 25 years). We both hate city life and not having any outside space is horrible plus when the lift breaks, we are on the 5th floor.

DG sadly lost her mum almost a year ago and my contract was coming to an end this September so we started talking about moving back down South where we first met and DG has family.

I managed to clear my mortgage 9 years early on a property I bought with my then husband in 1994. Thanks to this site and being part of the Mortgage Free in 3 I would never have done it. I rented this out for 3 years, but the tenant gave notice in March last year, so everything seemed to point towards going back down. :A:A

Sadly, DG did not want to live in my marital property (I always knew this) so after having had 3 years to think about it I agreed best plan was to sell it and get a forever home just for us.
DG gave in her notice last March and they let her go sooner than anticipated and she wasn’t immediately about to get a consultancy job in her field. She was as it happened out of work for less than 2 weeks as she on a whim applied for her dream job in London. Massive pay rise and too good to miss so guess what the plan of working from the South Coast for her went up in smoke. :mad::mad:

Fast forward I put my house for sale in April and mid May the actual estate agent buys it for himself. Sale completed in September, so the money is sat in my bank account ready for my next forever home which completes in 10 days. The forever home was found in June so been a while, but it is ours very soon.

My job ended in September and I didn’t want to stay on so had thought of taking 6 months out and completing my CILEX studies. However as with DG a perfect job came up and although I had a month off in September, I started that 1st October. It is the same salary if a bit less than I was on and its only 15 months but it is a way into this organisation and I am still learning the ropes.

Plan is to spend every weekend in new house and then work up to working 1 day a week from home. My work doesn’t really allow this until I pass probation, but I can ask before then. Most of my team work one day a week from home anyway so I hope it can be sorted.
I think that is enough waffle as an opening post the plan is to have regular updates on money and money saving (need to buy a lot of stuff for new house) and also short medium and long term goals.

Hope you will follow my journey even if it isn’t to be mortgage free it is hopefully to see how mortgage freedown allows for a pretty cool lifestyle. :money::T
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  • edited 24 November 2019 at 10:53AM
    TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2019 at 10:53AM
    Things I would like to cover to keep this more money focussed and less moaning about my job and commute and hate of London:

    Short term goals
    Next year
    Be happy and healthy in my new home finding a balance between work and life hopefully spending more time in the suburb than the city.
    Have a healthy relationship and work forwards getting fitter again and get rid of excess weight.

    December 19
    Move into new house and get everything out of storage saving us both a bucket load of cash.
    Start exercising and getting portion control back however with Xmas this might not go to plan

    January 20
    Have both Client Care and Legal Research provisionally passed and entered into June.
    Start planning house renovations and garden makeover - prepare budget and get quotes.
    Not overspend on Holiday in Dubai

    February
    Financial review with IFA & regular savers matures

    March
    Have done my first parkrun

    April
    Be fit ready for bootcamp

    May
    Keep up with fitness and diet after bootcamp

    June
    Ensure house is ready for big birthday party in August

    Medium Term Goals
    Next 5 years
    Complete renovations
    Be in a job I am happy with even if part time.

    Long Term Goals
    Retirement hopefully

    Monthly budgeting & renovations budget
    I am not sure what my wages will be as I have purchased more leave and just joined the pension. We share all bills and will be buying furniture for the new house jointly. I have a budget of £45K for renovations of the house so need to stick to this so might keep tabs on here to not overspend.

    I am also awful with buying latte's but I am now on expenses for some of the time which helps and I love coupons, stamps, discounts etc so will share all of those as I find them.


    Investment reviews quarterly
    I inherited some money which is invested in S&S ISA, P2P, Regular savings accounts and pensions. I am really interested in investing so will work out a way to capture my progress on here. Wont be every month as this is long term
  • MoneyfordreamsMoneyfordreams Forumite
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    We all love a good diary TG, I'll keep following you. You'll be in your new home before you know it :D
    Mortgage restart June 2018 £119950
    Re mortgage August 19 £110470, HSBC 0, Hfx £0, NW £0 M&S £0, MBNA £8900
    … Mortgage £103000
    plus car £5000
  • edited 20 November 2019 at 4:34PM
    TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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    edited 20 November 2019 at 4:34PM
    Thought I better get this started as my finances are a bit complex due to my love of opening lots of accounts to take advantage of MSE's offers. I do have an IFA who I see once a year so that keeps the main bulk of the investments safe. I am no longer adding to the investments or FISA or my private pension so these will go up and down with the stock market.

    Here we go:

    From March 19 to Nov 19

    P2P FISA ZOPA £7147 to £7631 increase of £484

    S & S Investment Fund £91,808 to £81,379 increase of £9571 as I moved £20k to top up the ISA
    .
    S&S ISA £54,212 to £84,658 increased £10,446 again increased due to £20K from above

    SIPP £84,497 to £210,408 increase of £25,911 but I might have added an old pension but cannot see this on the statement will check.

    Actually quite interesting and shows you how much the period you look at matters. I have just for the statement for the Investment fund and the S&S ISA and in the last quarter they have dropped £905 for the investments and £945 for the ISA but since March 19 it looks so much rosier.

    I also have 3 current accounts
    3 regular savers from First Direct, Santander and Nationwide as I have 3 current accounts. I used Nationwide for my rental income but might scrap it now I don't need it. First Direct is main account and Santander is joint so keeping them. I saving into them from my wages and I was also using the rental income which is now gone. That is why I might cut down to 2 when they all mature in the next few months.

    Fixed pots and fun money
    Monzo I love love love the way this is used and I send my spending money over here each month. I have a fixed pot for when my job ends if I take a while to find a new job it has £10K fixed until Dec 19 in it which will keep me going a while. I also have £3K saved for my CILEX fees and finally some money I inherited for a hot tub but I have already bought that so will need to borrow of another pot as this is fixed until June 20.

    Money Box
    Another love love love from the famous Martin Lewis newsletter or forum
    I put £50 each payday into it and it scoops up pennies from money spent of my Monzo card. I know its not actually savings but it has £1100 in it and I am set as a cautious investor and DG as adventurous so we compete a bit and she is winning. It yields about 3% at the moment.

    I also have premium bonds which I used to hold the money until I bought the house as the investment frame was too short 5 to 10 years really is what you should look at if investing. I have paid full into this and will use it for renovations but not cashing it in until I need to. There is also £3 in there in a N&I bond maturing in March 20.

    Hope you are with me so far and not too bored already.
  • Tahlullah.HTahlullah.H Forumite
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    Hi TG. Following the new diary.

    Tx
    For there is always light
    If only we're brave enough to see it
    If only we're brave enough to be it


    Mortgage outstanding - 09/04/20 - £64,750. 29/05/20 - £63,500. 30/06/20 - £62,250. 31/07/20 - £60,900. 25/08/20 - £46,400. 30/09/20 - £44,900. 31/10/20 - £43,500. 30/11/20 - £42,000. 31/12/20 - £40,650. 29/01/21 - £39,250. 26/02/21 - £37,850.
    31/03/21 - £36,450. 06/04/21 - £35,450.

    Still I rise.
  • TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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    Thanks for popping in moneyfordreams and Tahlullah nice to see familiar faces lol. Still off sick as I'm not that busy with work thought it better to stay home another day and then ask to work from home tomorrow. Really not feeling great but to be honest could have worked from home today.

    So no spending today or tomorrow chased ASDA for a refund of an order they cancelled on the 5th Nov hours before it was due. This was the 4th phone call they have paid 2x£10 in compensation but still annoying and still no money. Imagine someone on a tight budget £50.25 is a lot of money to be without for that long. Fingers crossed it comes in without more phone calls.

    My main spending weakness is definitely latte at work, I like to go out and get one sit in the coffee shop and then walk back to the office. I usually bring in my own lunch as if I didn't it wouldn't just be the latte at £3+ but also £6 or more on top. Yikes how do people afford that.

    My new budget is really hard to guess as we will have two sets of all bills with two properties. Dg and I pay a third in London and we will go halves in new home. We pay into a joint account all the bills come out off and we then pay into a fun fund so we have some extra for dinners out, weekends away and holiday spending money. It's working really well but I think we need to up it as there will be gas, electric, water and sewerage, tv license, broadband (got the MSE virgin deal).

    I need to be careful with energy bills as we will not be there all the ones up her should go down they are really high as it's a cold flat. There will be a hot tub at new house and it also has swimming pool but that's not heated. Hot tub is being delivered the first weekend we are there and obviously the pool is in winter mode now.

    We are also joining my old golf club again. It cheaper to pay it in one lump sum. Need to save up for next years membership might be worth setting another account or pot up for that.

    I need to keep myself a bit accountable and I'll use this diary to do so. I get some expenses with work but not as much after December however I should be able to cut down and maybe just use freebies for my latte. I use Nero, Costs Coffee and Greggs.

    Well enough waffle might try to do some studying later or just chill which is actually really nice.
  • TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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    A bit of good news I just had to share with you dg has finally had the conversation about working from home and they have said no issues in principle and she is doing well.

    I really cannot have mine until I've passed probation sadly but I can get the ad hoc day if I ask so that will have to do. Looks like we could be spending 3 nights in London and 4 nights on the South Coast really cannot wait. Keys are mine in a week!

    Need to do some work but still not feeling 100%.
  • Tahlullah.HTahlullah.H Forumite
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    Great news about the work situation and about the London, South Coast split. It will be great as you will be spending more time in the relaxing nice environment than London. All good! Congrats to DG. Your probation will be over soon and you will be able to settle into a working pattern that suits you.

    Although you dislike the environment, I hope you are enjoying the work.
    For there is always light
    If only we're brave enough to see it
    If only we're brave enough to be it


    Mortgage outstanding - 09/04/20 - £64,750. 29/05/20 - £63,500. 30/06/20 - £62,250. 31/07/20 - £60,900. 25/08/20 - £46,400. 30/09/20 - £44,900. 31/10/20 - £43,500. 30/11/20 - £42,000. 31/12/20 - £40,650. 29/01/21 - £39,250. 26/02/21 - £37,850.
    31/03/21 - £36,450. 06/04/21 - £35,450.

    Still I rise.
  • BVic28BVic28 Forumite
    97 posts
    10 Posts First Anniversary
    Hi, happy new diary! You seem so organised with money so I’m sure I’ll pick up lots of tips and useful information from you!
    Mortgage balance as of end of Dec 19 - £120,675
    MFW 2020 challenge #35 £94.62/£750; Jan running total - £94.62
    Save 12k in 2020 challenge #34 £560.20/£6000; Jan running total - £560.20
  • CosmoCatCosmoCat Forumite
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    There you are! Subscribed and following of course!
    MFW Newbie - #17. (#116 in 2019)
    New Mortgage at Nov 19 - £273 499
    Current Balance - £268 225
    Want to cut down 26 year mortgage by 9 years!
    New MF date 2036 :dance:
  • edited 24 November 2019 at 10:57AM
    TallGirlTallGirl Forumite
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    edited 24 November 2019 at 10:57AM
    Thanks BVic28, CosmoCat and Tahlullah really nice of you to follow me over here feels like a fresh start really. Tahlullah I am enjoying the new job yes hate having to travel to the office for the sake of it but I'm sure it will improve with time and I have some more interesting projects coming up soon.

    So final weekend in London and I didn't go out Friday night I actually just met my ex colleague for coffee Saturday. I got my Xmas beers and some sweets from the Scandi caf! had a coffee while I waited for her but when she turned up 30 min late it was packed. She lives around the corner so suggested an empty coffee shop slightly further up. OMG it was lovely proper latte was £1, bacon ciabatta roll (huge) £4 amazing spent £14 which is unheard of near Oxford Street.

    Gd and I went to a weeks bootcamp almost two years ago it was so so hard but it changed my fitness and boy shape and I proved id never let it go as I never wanted to go back it was that hard. However I have let it go and put on weight plus struggle with fitness which I need to keep up or my back goes which isn't what I want especially with all the travel I now have to do. Bootcamp is offering a 20% Black Friday deal so DG emailed yesterday asking if we could book. We will get an extra 5% for doing a double booking and it says you don't have to commit to a week yet but we want to go 1st May. That is 5 months to get fitter as the aim is to not only survive but also achieve more and perhaps even enjoy it.

    Been thinking about goals and especially as 2020 is looming too. I'll have my keys in 5 days so that's obviously important but how much I rush to get renovations done and how I just live in it and see how it feels. Some more pondering needed. The garden will be transformed that's important and I will post loads of pictures need to sort out a hosting site too.

    So goals I think I'll do a goal to be completed by each month I'll start with December and move on. Hopefully it makes sense and I'll update my second post with this and review every month hopefully.

    December:

    Move into new house and get everything out of storage saving us both a bucket load of cash.
    Start exercising and getting portion control back however with Xmas this might not go to plan

    January
    Have both Client Care and Legal Research provisionally passed so they can get entered into exams in June. I will lose access to the site in January and not paying extra.
    Start planning house renovations and garden makeover - prepare budget and get quotes.
    Not overspend on Holiday in Dubai

    February
    Financial review with IFA & regular savers matures

    March
    Have done my first parkrun

    April
    Be fit ready for bootcamp

    May
    Keep up with fitness and diet after bootcamp

    June
    Ensure house is ready for big birthday party in August

    I think that will do for this fine Sunday morning where I should have been playing in my last ever competition before my membership lapses but I am not. I will do some study before DG wakes up and then we will go to the golf range later. Also need to do the shopping and prep for dinners next week.
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