Time to start my race to zero

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  • Thanks for your reply. That all makes sense re the cash. We have very minimal cash savings at the moment and our money on 0% is from home improvements. I think I will continue to pay it off and then once we remortgage I will build it back up again similar to what you've been doing. I've been thinking of it for a while but I see a lot less stoozing than when I first joined the boards.

    Probably for her second birthday I would start thinking of a balance bike, scooter etc. We have bought some of these from new and got relatives to chip in as a joint present. Also if there are any items that will last their childhood years e.g. garden games, sports equipment, play houses/tents etc. Mine are 9 and 7 now and still use these type of things they got as toddlers. Similarly some toys like wooden railway, duplo which are quite expensive and last their whole childhood.
    I am also stingy and ask for consumables like bibs, tableware, bags etc.
    Inevitably though they get bought really nice versions of these presents and often things that are much more 'girly' than I would buy them so they tend to be happy. 
    I just find it hard (and so do they) to think of things they want for birthdays and Christmas. My mean method (but hopefully acceptable on these forums) means that we need to buy them very little throughout the year. But as I said before they do a lot of clubs and we like to go on holiday so they still cost us a lot of money!
  • OhIJustLostMyShoe
    OhIJustLostMyShoe Posts: 41 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper First Post
    edited 5 August 2023 at 2:54PM
    Month	Investments	Cash	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
    Aug 23	256		65	43		278		373		95

    I really felt like I'd only been away from updating this for a few months, but realised on logging back in how long it had been.  I now have a proper little toddler, and a very happy one despite being unable to talk, so reading back on my previous posts was quite amusing!

    Things have continued to be really unpredictable for us - unfortunately my daughter's health has continued to be problematic, although nothing panic-inducing, just upsetting in the moment and time consuming to get resolved.  And between my wife and I, we've been trying to focus on our jobs a little more after so much disruption.

    Thankfully our incomes have more or less held firm, and we've been able to make some overpayments and then remortgage with a 5% fix.

    My dilemma now is really on the cash front - generally we've held a solid buffer, safe in the knowledge that we were earning as much in interest as we were paying out on the mortgage - now of course that's quite different.  Even if I can get 5% in a savings account, I'll have to pay tax on it, meaning that Premium Bonds are the best option but at ~4% they're still being outpaced by the mortgage.  So we may end up making some more overpayments this year, although we're of course limited to 10% of the borrowing.  At the end of the day even I think even if keeping an extra £10k on hand gives me some peace of mind, at a 1% differential between PBs and the mortgage that's only £100 per year - which is good value for peace of mind.

    I've been on a bit of a spending cut campaign this year, although we were fairly frugal to start with so there wasn't tonnes to cut.  In lieu of presents we wouldn't use, we asked for an air fryer and have cut down massively on our use of the oven, plus I've got rid of a couple of old electrical appliances that I liked but were just too power hungry to justify.  There are a couple of new things I'd like, particularly a phone, but I'm just delaying on those for as long as I can bear it since it feels like the features that I'd like (wireless charging for one) just pushes me into the "premium" market and puts me off buying.
  • Month	Investments	Cash	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
    Aug 23	256		65	43		278		373		95
    Sep 23	254		69	46		277		372		95

    This was one of those fun months where market wobbles were enough to mean that the salaries coming in made no difference to the overall position.

    On the plus side, thanks to various regular savings accounts and the like I'm now expecting to earn almost 7% pre-tax on my savings, and around 5% after tax (some premium bonds in the mix to mitigate the tax), which reduces the pressure to make further overpayments.

    My current feeling is that I'll hold off, since I can always make a lump overpayment later in the year if I ever want to.  Right now, it would just take away flexibility for a very small difference in interest payments, so I'm happy to wait.  Nonetheless, it is horrible seeing how little an impact the payments make on the mortgage balance!

    I think I've done as much as I can on the spending cuts for now, so I'm going to take a bit of a breather on that for now.  Overall, I think I'm probably at a point where I've optimised as much as possible, and I'm a little more wary than I've been in the past about going too overboard on trying to continually improve things.  I know from past experience it can start to get a bit frustrating when you're debating cutting £2 per month out of a budget for something!

    The other, more looming question, is whether we consider selling up at some point and trying to cut the mortgage / increase the house size by going somewhere cheaper, but I think that is at least a couple of years away.
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