Time to start my race to zero

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  • OhIJustLostMyShoe
    OhIJustLostMyShoe Posts: 41 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 19 June 2020 at 6:20PM
    Month	Investments	Cash	0% Credit	Net assets	Mortgage	Overall debt	
    Mar 20	90		43	27		106		414		308
    Apr 20	92		44	36		100		414		314
    May 20	99		48	36		111		415		304
    Jun 20	107		64	45		126		416		290
    Took advantage of one of my 0% cards again - the difference is trivial, and in all honesty it's not for the cash benefit (given that my easy access options without opening yet more accounts are ~0.6%, even £10,000 for a year is worth only £60), just to make it easier juggling my accounts.  Objective for next 12 months is to wind down the complexity, not least because my broker will be less likely to cry when I ring him up.

    Obviously the stock market has continued to be hilariously unpredictable.  I said last month that it would be nice to see the overall debt sneak under £300k, and now we're £10k under.  We've seen a total swing of £24,000 in 2 months (and that's ignoring pensions).  I have converted £2k cash into investments to rebalance a bit, since all of the big market movements were shifting me outside of my set investment allocations.

    And now we have far too much cash on the table - I've dipped my toe into Premium Bonds for the moment, partly for the safety and partly for the simplicity.  But obviously paying >1.5% on the mortgage and earning ~1% on Premium Bonds will not be a sustainable approach - right now I look at it as paying ~0.6% per year for the privilege of being able to produce cash at short notice, but that logic starts to break down when we're talking about having £20k on hand.

    Most likely, I will pivot more into the ISAs and make sure that at least one of them is filled this year and then see where we are at.
  • OhIJustLostMyShoe
    OhIJustLostMyShoe Posts: 41 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 1 April 2021 at 10:26PM
    Month	Investments	Cash	0% Credit	Net assets	Mortgage	Overall debt	
    Mar 20	90		43	27		106		414		308
    Apr 20	92		44	36		100		414		314
    May 20	99		48	36		111		415		304
    Jun 20	107		64	45		126		416		290
    Apr 21	172		62	53		182		408		226

     It has been a completely crazy few months, constantly in and out of various hospitals ever since the day my daughter was born. She's back home again since last week, and fingers crossed that will be the case from now onwards. To that end I've more or less left everything on autopilot and not done anything too exciting in the interim.  

    One small note was that I took out another 0% credit card that was offered to me (still not entirely sure why they offered it, but I've taken it so I can use it to clear one ending in a couple of months' time).  Obviously it has been a great period for investments, and I've dipped my toes into cryptocurrency, which has probably made a 5 figure difference in the figures.  I'm still very unconvinced by the long-term prospects, but for a small portion of my assets it feels like a fair enough punt.

    The mortgage needs renegotiating shortly, and hoping I can squeeze in under 75% LTV by throwing some cash at it.  I really can't see any benefit to trying to go lower than 75% though, given that the rates I'm looking at today have very little room to shift lower.  And as things stand I cannot see any compelling reason to move cash from my investments to the mortgage.

    Other than that, I feel like I've probably optimised as much as possible, and now it's more about trying to minimise our expenses - and start stashing some money in rainy day funds for my daughter given that things are just so unpredictable.  We may also see an income reduction if one of us decides to quit our jobs or reduce hours, but for now we are still both aiming to get back.

  • OhIJustLostMyShoe
    OhIJustLostMyShoe Posts: 41 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 2 May 2021 at 12:41PM
    Month	Investments	Cash	0% Credit	Net assets	Mortgage	Overall debt	
    Mar 20	90		43	27		106		414		308
    Apr 20	92		44	36		100		414		314
    May 20	99		48	36		111		415		304
    Jun 20	107		64	45		126		416		290
    Apr 21	172		62	53		182		408		226
    May 21	180		56	46		190		408		218

    Thanks to house prices rising on the whole, we were able to get an updated valuation that puts us under 75% LTV, and with that about as good a mortgage rate as we're ever likely to get - and that cuts ~£1.5k off the annual interest costs.  That gives us another 2 years of not worrying too much about how much is owed on the mortgage, which is great.

    From what I can tell, to make the rate any lower we'd have to get to 60% LTV, but the differences really are minuscule so not particularly inclined to get their any faster than we will naturally.

    Some cash disappeared to pay off a 0% credit card, but other than that things are staying on the straight and narrow.

    I'm starting to think a little bit about nursery costs, as that is the one possible challenge to the overall plan.  Fingers crossed grandparents will be able to help a bit, and the government tax scheme should help take some of the sting out of the tail.  

    Also excited to get back into the supermarkets and recommence my commitment to yellow-sticker hunting.  Oh what a life!
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,093 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Congratulations on the impending arrival  :) 
    I am a foodbank trustee & the feedbank we receive is the Adli & Sainsburys nappies are the best  :)
    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 forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. 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.
  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,093 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Sorry, now caught up.
    Hope all is well with your DD :)
    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 forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com. 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.
  • beanielou said:
    Sorry, now caught up.
    Hope all is well with your DD :)
    I feel like every time I come back to this thread I realise how much happens in a month!  She is doing OK, although it feels like every time she outwardly appears to be doing better something else medical crops up that's under the surface and causing us more problems.  We're always making progress though and that's all you can really ask for!
  • OhIJustLostMyShoe
    OhIJustLostMyShoe Posts: 41 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 8 June 2021 at 12:06PM
    Month	Investments	Cash	0% Credit	Net assets	Mortgage	Overall debt	
    Mar 20	90		43	27		106		414		308
    Apr 20	92		44	36		100		414		314
    May 20	99		48	36		111		415		304
    Jun 20	107		64	45		126		416		290
    Apr 21	172		62	53		182		408		226
    May 21	180		56	46		190		408		218
    Jun 21	171		65	54		182		407		225

    It has been a fairly flat month for the stock market and crypto has taken a bit of a beating, so we're back to a fairly similar situation to April.  As your signature says, @beanielou - keep plodding!  One of the "frustrating" things is how slowly things can move sometimes - especially when you see explosive gains sometimes, and even more so with whatever idiotic investment some !!!!!! on the internet has just made and lucked out with.  But I'm pretty happy with how things are progressing at the moment.  We are still moving in the right direction, and even if the situation here hasn't improved we're still putting money into pensions every month which is very important to me as well.

    In terms of childcare, the childcare tax account seems to work very well which has been a relief (geddit?).  On the flipside, I need to organise a 1st birthday party.  Pretty sure I can concoct a way of doing that almost for free, though.  Not so much because I'm being a cheapskate, but because it will mostly be an opportunity for a bunch of our friends to meet up (their kids being way too young to care either way), and I doubt they'll care much whether we're serving Bollinger or not.

    I did buy myself a desk fan, since I'm expecting to be WFH a lot and I know when the real heat comes they'll be out of stock everywhere.  So this month's wild purchase is already made!
  • coldcazzie
    coldcazzie Posts: 1,407 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    OhIJustLostMyShoe said:
    On the flipside, I need to organise a 1st birthday party.  Pretty sure I can concoct a way of doing that almost for free, though.  Not so much because I'm being a cheapskate, but because it will mostly be an opportunity for a bunch of our friends to meet up (their kids being way too young to care either way), and I doubt they'll care much whether we're serving Bollinger or not.
    I promise, first birthday parties are for the parents, not for the children. Babies and young kids often find parties more overwhelming than fun.
    Rule 7: If you're not changing it, you're choosing it.
    MFW 2020: 1 Jan £92903.90 ~ OP £536.80/£500
    MFW 2021: 1 Jan £89281.21 ~ OP £404.62/£500
    MFW 2022: 1 Jan £85579.20 ~ OPs on hold.
  • Hi I have just read your diary, nice to see someone else with a giant mortgage!
    So sorry to hear you have had a bad year with your daughter's health, I hope it is all behind you now.
    For my two pennies worth on kids being expensive - we did the baby years cheap with free and second hand stuff and reuseable nappies etc. Now they are both at school they are really expensive as they do clubs and activities and school costs (like school trips or uniform) I think clothes tend to wear out so we do have less second hand. I think the biggest cost as well were my two maternity leaves and subsequently working part time. 

    We are still as money saving as we can be but I definitely think school age is really expensive. I try and plan birthday present lists really carefully to think of anything we might need in the next year (e.g. bikes, scooters, bike helmets, clothes, pjs, lunchboxes).
    I promise it's not quite as boring as it sounds!!

    Did the money on 0% cards not affect the remortgaging? We have £11k on 0% and I wanted to clear it before March when we remotgage but I'd rather put that money towards the mortgage and just balance transfer the card balance. What is your new interest rate?
  • Hi I have just read your diary, nice to see someone else with a giant mortgage!
    So sorry to hear you have had a bad year with your daughter's health, I hope it is all behind you now.
    For my two pennies worth on kids being expensive - we did the baby years cheap with free and second hand stuff and reuseable nappies etc. Now they are both at school they are really expensive as they do clubs and activities and school costs (like school trips or uniform) I think clothes tend to wear out so we do have less second hand. I think the biggest cost as well were my two maternity leaves and subsequently working part time. 
    Yes I've been pleasantly surprised by how cheap it can be to bring up a baby.  Two things that made things cheaper and I hadn't planned for are having some unexpected family help with childcare (not 5 days a week, but enough to take the sting out of nursery) and her food being on prescription.  After that, the expenses become fairly trivial - especially because people are almost falling over themselves to clear out their garages and get rid of old prams, cribs etc!
    We are still as money saving as we can be but I definitely think school age is really expensive. I try and plan birthday present lists really carefully to think of anything we might need in the next year (e.g. bikes, scooters, bike helmets, clothes, pjs, lunchboxes).
    I promise it's not quite as boring as it sounds!!
    That's a good idea.  We've just let things go for the moment, and everyone defaults towards clothes which is always helpful.  But certainly from next year on I think lists might be a great idea.  People always want to buy things for her and I'm already sick to death of cuddly toys appearing.  We could have run a cuddly zoo several times over and she's still not interested in them.
    Did the money on 0% cards not affect the remortgaging? We have £11k on 0% and I wanted to clear it before March when we remotgage but I'd rather put that money towards the mortgage and just balance transfer the card balance. What is your new interest rate?
    It can do.  When we last looked at changing lender, based on our income we could have up to ~£16k of credit card debt before the lender we wanted started to reduce their maximum lending amount.  The last two remortgages have been with the same lender, and so we've not had to do any affordability or checks - so I could have any amount on the credit cards with seemingly nobody caring.  I am just trying to roll the balances over where I can, but I'm not going to put too much effort into it - if there aren't any good BT offers I'll just pay the balances off. 

    I'll admit, I wouldn't feel hugely comfortable dumping the cash into the mortgage if I couldn't get it out again.  I like knowing that if I ever decided to, I could pay off all the cards in a week or so.  The corresponding cash is actually all in various savings accounts and premium bonds.  Because the new mortgage is at~1.3%, and the £54k set aside in cash is earning ~1.4% interest, I'm actually making a sliver of profit at the differential of 0.1%.  That's not why I have the cash aside - it's to cover off any emergencies and to allow me to plough money into things quickly if I ever want to. And I guess the premium bonds add a slight element of drama to month end!
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