We'd like to remind Forumites to please avoid political debate on the Forum. This is to keep it a safe and useful space for MoneySaving discussions. Threads that are - or become - political in nature may be removed in line with the Forum’s rules. Thank you for your understanding.

DFW to MFW before 40?

I have decided I want to keep a DFW diary to help keep me motivated and to make me accountable.

I am 32 years old, single and I live with my mum and brother in the house I grew up in. I have a couple of thousand in a Lifetime ISA and First Home Saver account towards an eventual house deposit and various (virtual) pots of money for things like car tax and insurance, train season ticket, etc.

I currently owe £11,410.94 for car finance but have no other debts. The finance agreement is due to end in December 2021 but I’d like to pay it all off by the end of this year instead, hopefully saving a decent amount of interest. I have been saving up towards the “final lump sum” owed (around £5,800) over the last few months and should have that saved up by the middle of the year, I pay just over £250 direct debit each month and I’m hoping to save money to make additional payments.

I’ll do a further update tomorrow, explain how I’m doing and sort out my DFW plans for February.

B x


  • Betharooni

    Sorry for the lack of updates over the last few days-I get really bad migraines and struggle to focus on what I’m doing and form coherent sentences so figured it would be best to leave it a few days. Still have the migraine but some of the fog is lifting so thought I’d make the most of it and do an update tonight.

    I did a budget for February after my last post and should have enough to cover my bills and my intended savings for the month, with a little bit over for day-to-day spending. I have one large unusual expenditure this month which I’ve budgeted for by reducing money to one of my savings accounts for the month. This will be £100 for the synoptic exam in my AAT Advanced Diploma in Accounting. I started the level back in 2016 and due to ill health and work I keep on leaving it but I really want to get it finished now. Am intending to do the exam at the end of my week off at the beginning of next month.

    I budgeted £40 for tube journeys to work for this month, but I’d like to have some left over at the end of the month so I’m trying to walk to and from work as much as possible.

    My main plans for this month are to sort through as much of my stuff as possible, declutter where I can (am planning on doing some indoor boot fairs in March) and find cheap/free stuff to keep me occupied. Have got a gym membership so I’d like to make as much use of that as I can. Have got lots of crafty UFOs (unfinished objects) that I’d like to sort out and get some finished.
  • Betharooni

    Last week ended up rubbish-have had really severe migraine attack since last Thursday so been off sick from work. Therefore I’m planning on taking it fairly easy and not putting too much pressure on myself. So plans are:

    • To update performance review paperwork ahead of next meeting
    • Write out budget for March and sort out any manual transfers I’ll need to do
    • Continue revising for Synoptic exam (booked) on 6/3/2020
    • Rewrite and update general to do list
    • Start listing and prepping items for boot fair
    • Start writing out “Spring Cleaning” to do list
    • Finalise plans for garden and start writing list of what needs to be done
    • Update spending tracker spreadsheet
    • Check receipts off statement and shred
    • Go through old paperwork in concertina folder and put unwanted/unneeded paperwork for shredding
    B x
  • southern_chick
    Hi are you on any medication for your migraines?  Mine started to get really bad again a couple of years ago. I went to the GP and tried a couple of different types of medication to see what worked. I’m currently on topiramate which seems to work really well.  If I do get one I take sumatriptan which usually clears it within 30 minutes, it’s a total lifesaver. I was getting cluster migraines and probably had about 10 days a month where I felt ok the rest of the month I had a migraine of varying strength. The difference the meds have made is amazing xx
    slowly working towards being MF one small over payment at a time :T
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,677 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Hope you manage to get your migraines under control.
    Good luck on your journey

    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 235 payments to go - now £182,428 Equity 27.02%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £6.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.2K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £10.1K/£127.5K AVC target 8% value at 15/5
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.1K
  • Betharooni

    Am on Amitriptyline and Propanolol for my migraines and have got neurologist appointment next week. Was on Topiramate a few years ago but got nasty side effects from it (including memory loss).

    My migraines had been pretty good up till the middle of 2019 and then they massively flared up and haven’t really improved since then.
  • Betharooni
    Betharooni Posts: 393 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post

    Sorry for the lack of updates over the last couple of months.

    I ended up being signed off for a month and a half with my migraines and only started back last Wednesday (1/4). Am very lucky and thankful that I can work from home at the moment so really counting my blessings.

    i had an appointment with the neurologist about my head at the end of February. She has requested that I have a blood test, MRI, lumbar puncture and an appointment with an Ophthalmologist and has taken me off one of my tablets and given me something else instead, as she thinks I may have something called Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension. Will have to be patient with regards to getting these appointments with all the additional pressure that the NHS is under at the moment but I’m glad that the neurologist is taking it all seriously (my previous neurologist was no help at all  :(  )

    Finance-wise, not being at work in March really helped and I was able to stow away plenty of funds into my savings, including making extra payments to my emergency fund. This month should also be a good month financially, what with not being allowed to go out anywhere. Have also had a couple of accounts maturing over the last week so will be able to use that money to make an additional payment off my car finance. I am hoping to make a payment of around £400-500 in a couple of days after my ISA interest has also been added to my account. Should then be good to make additional payments of at least £250 each month for the rest of the year, so am very happy about that. With the additional payments, I’m hoping to maybe get it all paid off around October or November time, which means I could then focus all my efforts on building up deposit savings and my emergency fund.

    Hope any readers are doing OK in current circumstances and hope you all follow the Government guidance and stay safe.

    B x
  • Betharooni
    Betharooni Posts: 393 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post

    Sorry for another two month absence. Been working hard and still suffering with head so not really had the energy to do much. Am on annual leave this week, so aiming to catch up on everything.

    So, the biggest news I have is that I’ve paid off my car finance in full so am now debt free! Had money in some savings accounts but, now that the interest rates have plummeted, I’m getting less interest than I was paying on the finance agreement, so figured it would pay me in the long run to clear it and replenish my savings. 

    Generally, finances are looking fairly decent as I’m still working from home so am still spending very little. I got a refund for an event I was due to go to next month and put this towards a new desk so have more space and feel more comfortable. Might as well make life better and easier if I’m going to be working from home for the foreseeable future...

    I’m planning to sit down later this week to plan my finances for the rest of the year and to also sort out some things I no longer want so I can try and sell them. I’m also going to go through the MSE “Money Makeover” article again and see if I can find any additional savings through there. I really want to start motoring forward with my deposit savings so I can build that up nicely.

    Stay safe

    B x
  • Betharooni
    Betharooni Posts: 393 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    Whoops - not been on here for three months 😳

    These three months have been fairly quiet to be honest. I’ve been replenishing funds that I withdrew to clear my car finance and will be fully up straight within the next couple of weeks.  I’ve tried to be as frugal as I can and have been putting as much as I can into my savings.

    The last week feels like it’s been a pretty good week for frugaling and money-saving:

    - I bought hair cutting scissors a few months ago and my mum cut my hair with them
    - I bought advance tickets for the train ahead of a trip to London for work
    - I requested an opticians voucher from work as I work on computers, which will cover the cost of eye test and possibly part of the value of glasses if I need new ones. I have booked an appointment on Tuesday
    - In the raffle at my Slimming World group, I won a 6 week countdown so I will save almost £30
    - I spoke to a financial adviser (recommended by my brother) who did a free consultation and advised how much I could get mortgage-wise based on my current salary and outgoings. Unfortunately i live in southeast England so the mortgage amount is much less than a house would cost down here, but it gives me something to work towards 😕😕

    I’m now on annual leave from work so I’ve had a very loose plan of things to do while managing my energy levels, which are pretty rubbish at the moment due to medication for my head. This weekend has been pretty quiet and I’m not planning much for next Sunday and Monday (to give me a couple of days to relax ahead of going back to work but have planned the following tasks for this week: 

    Monday - plant fruit trees, clear weeds, other gardening jobs

    Tuesday - tidy bedroom

    Wednesday - stocktake freezers and cupboards

    Thursday - clean bathroom

    Friday - studying

    Saturday - go through clothes in drawers and wardrobe

    Hopefully I will be able to do more than that but if I manage to just do those things this week, I’ll feel like it’s been a good week. I’m going to spend some time today and tomorrow writing out a full to-do list that I can hopefully get crossing off during this week. I’m going to try to post on this diary as much I can to start really getting benefit from it. I’m also going to try to keep posting on the “Small things” page as much as I can to stay as mindful as I can this week. 

    B x

  • Betharooni
    Betharooni Posts: 393 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post

    Am nearing the end of my week off and feel like it’s been a reasonably productive week. I’ve not been able to do all of the jobs I had planned, due to a couple of bad days with my head, but I’ve managed to do the following:

    • Gone through freezers, cupboards and fridge and noted down what we have. Will sort out a meal plan with the intention to use up what we have where possible
    • Planted 2 of patio fruit trees in decent sized pots (1 still to be done), put brown bin full of weeds out for collection and started filling it back up
    • Had opticians appointment - although my prescription hasn’t changed, I’ve ordered new glasses with Transitions lenses, which I hope might help calm bright lights and help my migraines so I’m ok with the expense
    • Planned budget for September - I get paid tomorrow and I will be getting some backpay. I also have a maturing regular saver account so will need to go to the Building Society to withdraw that money. A lot of the money is going to repay funds withdrawn to pay off my car finance and I have a couple of small purchases that I will make, as I have been very frugal with my money over the last few months
    • I’ve been posting every day this week so far on the “Small Things” page, which has kept me more mindful of what I’m doing
    • I’ve signed up for Prolific and am trying to regularly check it during the day to catch as many as I can
    • I’ve been on Swagbucks a couple of times to build up my points on there
    • I’ve written the letter to give three months notice to cancel my gym membership and will drop that in tomorrow 

    I’m hoping to do some tidying in my bedroom and some studying before I’m back to work on Tuesday, but don’t think I’ll be able to do the thorough clean in the bathroom that I was planning. Will have to see what I can do and how I’m feeling this weekend.

    B x

  • Betharooni

    Whoops, I appear to have left it a month and a half between posts again 😱

    I’ve had a rubbish few weeks health-wise and am signed off sick again, with a hospital appointment coming up next Thursday, so I’m hoping they may be able to advise what I can do to calm my head down. Will have to see what happens.

    Finance-wise, I’ve had a reasonable few weeks. My budget for the rest of the year will allow me to reach my financial goals, including finally getting my emergency fund to £1K and decently increasing my house deposit savings. I’m hoping to really push on in 2021 with my deposit savings and other related cost savings and am intending to get a new regular saver in January to save into. I’ve also opened a notice account with YBS that I can put any other money I want to save towards the deposit beyond the regular saver and my Lifetime ISA. I will be subscribing the full £4K to my Lifetime ISA for the current tax year and have set up an appropriate standing order to fully subscribe next year. I’ve sold a couple of bits on Facebook Marketplace and I’m hoping to get more items on there over the next few weeks. I’ve sorted through a few books and CDs which I’ve sold to Ziffit and Music Magpie, so I’ll be getting a few pounds from them. I’ve also been going on Prolific when I think about it, usually once a day,and have already had a £10+ payout within a month, for not doing much. 

    I’m continuing to be as frugal as I can be day-to-day. I’m currently using up some of the craft things that I’ve previously bought so doing cross-stitch and knitting a little poncho using a pattern I found on the internet. I’m also knitting a pair of socks as part of the Xmas present for one of my neighbours. I’m also helping my mum scan her photos onto the computer, as she’s wanting to clear some pictures out as she has the pictures she’s taken, as well as my Nan’s pictures and my great-uncle’s pictures, so that is something else to do where I’m not spending anything.

    I’m hoping to spend time over the next few months getting our garden straight. The garden has pretty much done it’s own thing over the last few years and it now feels pretty dull, as there is a lot of greenery but not much colour, and there’s a huge amount of weed. I’ve been thinking and talking with my mum and I’ve suggested that we have a good tidy up, make the outside borders a bit more low-maintenance, do a little bit of landscaping and having some raised beds with some fruit and vegetables.  There will be a bit of an outlay but it will keep us all occupied and hopefully an outlay now might enable us to grow our own for the next few years for a minimal spend. We’re planning to sit down tomorrow and make a bit of a plan of action so hopefully we might have some lovely home-grown food for next year. 

    I’m hoping to spend some time between now and Xmas having a really good declutter, as I know there is more stuff to try to sell or to take to the charity shop. Hopefully I can do a little bit each day, or every couple of days and might have a tidier room and an extra few quid for savings.

    B x

Meet your Ambassadors


  • All Categories
  • 12 Election 2024: The MSE Leaders' Debate
  • 344.2K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.4K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450.1K Spending & Discounts
  • 236.3K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.7K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.6K Life & Family
  • 248.9K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards