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A new royal start

edited 28 August at 10:22AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
148 replies 4.1K views
QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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edited 28 August at 10:22AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
I mmmed and ahhhed about whether to start a diary on here or not.  However, my head hurts with all my internal planning, so I thought I'd give it a go!  I cannot promise excitement though!

So here goes... we bought our house almost 6 years ago now and stretched ourselves quite a bit to get it (in the expensive South).  I immediately hated being in debt (it's my first mortgage) and decided I wanted to start making overpayments to bring the monthly amount down to something a bit more reasonable.  DH though wasn't bothered and said debt is cheap.
As we are both on good salaries and we both like to be independent, we have arranged our finances so that we both put money into a joint account for all the joint expenditure (based on the percentage we earn of the total) and then the rest of our money is our own to do what we like with.

Since we had completely different ideas on the mortgage overpayments (and I like maths... you might see a theme appearing...), we agreed we would virtually split the mortgage in two so we can do what we want with our half.  I have a funky spreadsheet which basically splits the mortgage in two, reflects the amount we each owe and applies the interest to each bit accordingly (why would I overpay so he gets the benefit of lower interest on his half  ;) ).

Fast forward 6 years and I took maternity leave and had a child (now 3 years old).  The nursery we send DS to is great, but they are all stupidly expensive around here and more than the now cheaper monthly mortgage cost  :'( .  This is when DH started to realise that I wasn't completely insane and paying down the mortgage actually makes sense.  He now pays lump sums off the mortgage on about a yearly basis and is trying in vain to catch me up  :smiley:

However, nothing in life stays the same right?  Firstly I was not in any way enjoying my job.  A longer story, but basically the daily bullying was just becoming stupid.  Plus DS was in nursery from 8am to 6pm in the week and I felt so sad that I wasn't able to spend much time with him... the staff at nursery spent more time with him than me.  So, the potential plan was to save for a year and then take a two-year career break so I could spend more time with him.   BUT it all changed when I was made redundant effective mid-August.

I am actually still working full time (whilst sharing childcare at home until nursery starts next week) in a different role until the end of October now as they wanted me to do some other work.  So the new plan will be to try and take my career break when that ends and survive on the one salary instead.  Things may be a little tight, but as the mortgage deal ends next September, the plan is to try and save to make a big overpayment on the mortgage when the deal ends to make a big dent in the monthly payment.  As we will then have no nursery fees (we want DS to keep going a couple of days as he has a best friend he misses and he learns so much there) as DS will be going to school, that should leave us enough left over for some savings/holidays etc.

This is turning into a bit of an epic post!  I already have my half of the max 10% overpayment saved up that I can put into the mortgage as soon as the new year starts 1 October. Currently, my half of the mortgage stands at £101,689.99 and once October starts I'll be in those double figures :smiley:

Anyway, with us both working full time, I end up spreading myself pretty thin and it's easy to take your eye off the ball money wise.  Generally, I'm pretty good at changing suppliers etc to get the best deals and am happy buying things second hand.  However, food is often my downfall and I need to refocus.  If I leave it to DH he would buy salmon or chicken breasts every night!

Our joint account is not in the best shape.  I have a monthly spreadsheet budget, but two of my categories are very much in the negative (food and general furniture/house purchases).... We are not in an overdraft because I have a float in the joint in case I mess something up/timing of cash flows is a bit different to what I expect and the majority of our yearly bills I save up for each month but all seem to hit in December.  These two things are offsetting the negative, but I need to get that fixed before the end of the year (somehow).  I also need to save to get DS a big boy single bed, mattress, duvet, pillow and sheets etc.  I've probably got until the end of the year before I need to deal with it though..... he's got a bit more room in his current bed.

I think that's enough for now!
Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
EF: 0 / £1,300
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Replies

  • longway2golongway2go Forumite
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    Well done on making progress on your half despite the reservations of your other half. My oh likes the benefit with non of the effort.
    Sounds like you have lots going on in your mind and it really helps to get it all down. 
    Good luck 
    Mortgage Aug 2019 161,000 :eek::eek::eek:
    Nov 2019 156,500:T Jan 2020 153,122:T, Apr 2020 149,500 woop!! Oct 2020 143,651, 10% mortgage paid

    Our Mortgage is never going to be as high as it is today. :j
    Onwards and downwards to a better life for our family. :j
    Just keep swimming
  • FtbDreamingFtbDreaming Forumite
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    Hello and good luck! Sounds like you’re well on track to pay down the mortgage. 

    My DP has been a stay at home dad for the last 9 years as it just wasn’t financially viable to pay for nurseries. We did it with dd1 (£900 a month for 4 days a week) and hardly ever took her because we worked opposite shifts so she would only be in for the 2 hour overlap inbetween. 

    I feel your pain with food. Our downfall this month has been eat out to help out. We have eaten out so so much it’s disgusting. I can’t wait for it to end. I darent even look on my spending on my bank this month.

    good luck with your plans. I’m sure you’ll find ways to save money in order to pay down the mortgage. 
    Mortgage started August 2020 £69,700
    Mortgage ending August 2050
    MFW: August 2027 
    Current Balance: £68,700
    MFW2020 #156 £593.77/ £2000 
    Nothing comes easy!
  • edited 28 August at 7:11PM
    QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    edited 28 August at 7:11PM
    Thanks, longway2go and FtbDreaming.

    Got some things done from the list today (as well as looking after a child half the day and doing a full day worth of work!).  All beds are stripped and clean.  I am also continuing to pickaxe my way through the washing mountain that was created when the washing machine broke (now fixed).

    Remembered to pay the nursery bill for September, although it took me forever to try and work out whether they had charged the correct amount.  I don’t understand why they are obliged to “hide” the free hours you get after they are 3 and only show a single line?  I assume it’s because they have to hide the fact the government do not pay the going rate and so your “free” hours are at a much lower rate.  Makes it almost impossible to know whether they’ve charged you the right amount though.  Sadly I completely forgot we pay for nursery a month in advance and so it wasn't actually in the budget for this month.  At least we had 3 months of childcare vouchers saved up to offset some of the cost.  The joint account is looking horrific now though.

    Remembered that DS will need another pair of wellies as they have to live at nursery.  Puddle jumping is his favourite activity!  Scoured the internet for far too long and eventually just bought a pair on the bay of e for £9 (which I thought was expensive, but seems to be the going rate online).  I thought about the second-hand ones, but most seemed to be going for about the same amount once you took into account postage.

    I’ve been slowly been rearranging and clearing out the two tiny freezers we have.  Because I was really ill last week (suspected food poisoning), I’ve lost control of what is going on and we have way too much food.  I’m hoping that means next week’s food shopping should be really cheap whilst I work my way through it all.

    I have some very ripe plums to use up and was thinking of making a plum cobbler or maybe a crumble for the weekend.  DH complains saying he likes both of those desserts but dislikes plums.  Could I make something with the plums that don’t taste like plums?  Ummmm…  So a change of plan and I researched plum cakes on the internet that I can make with the ingredients I already have in the cupboards.  Will make it at the weekend and freeze it in portions.  That will be my dessert sorted for a few weeks.  DH can have fresh fruit and yogurt or ice cream from the freezer instead.

    DH keeps telling me he likes everything and it is easy to feed him.  Hmmm… yes, apart from all the things he doesn’t like!

    Right… off to hunt down some plastic boxes with lids that actually fit to clean and name ahead of nursery next week as they now have to bring in their own snacks.  Wish me luck!  

    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
  • edited 29 August at 7:15PM
    QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    edited 29 August at 7:15PM
    More things ticked off the list for today, although I slept very badly and am completely knackered.  Rescued the very ripe plums and now have 8 slices of very nice looking plum cake in the freezer.  Also made some healthy flapjacks for everyone to snack on (probably will be gone in days!).  Then did a reasonable clean of the kitchen as I couldn't be bothered to do a proper deep clean which it needs.

    DH ran round this evening and tidied the whole of the downstairs and ran round with the hoover.  I hate the hoovering and he seems to enjoy it, so that works for me!  I was too tired to do anything else today and I think he felt bad that I did so much cooking and did all the clearing up afterwards.

    I found, cleaned and labelled two plastic pots with lids that actually fit ready for nursery snacks next week.  Then spent the afternoon trying on clothes with DS to figure out what winter clothes he is going to need.  Looks like he hasn't grown too much yet, so only a few bits needed at the moment.  Got these ordered online and my parents are going to pay for it, so didn't cost me anything :smile:  He seems unphased about going back to nursery so I am hoping that all goes smoothly next week.

    Made a lovely fish pie for dinner that everyone likes and made a bit too much so there is an extra portion for the freezer.  Spent the princely sum of £1.65 on the bay of e as I ran out of stickers to label things in the freezer.  Also managed to continue tackling the washing mountain and think I may be winning there.

    Looking forward to putting my feet up for the evening now and a nice slice of Victoria sponge I made a few days ago.  Then an early night for me.  Very rock and roll :lol:
    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
  • edited 30 August at 2:41PM
    QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    edited 30 August at 2:41PM

    The day started off quite sunny and warm and has turned a bit cold now.  I think the summer is definitely over.

    Am a bit frustrated I can’t overpay the mortgage as I have been saving for a year for it, but it is in my savings account ready to be transferred 1 October as soon as the new mortgage year begins.  Just need to be patient for a little bit longer.  Then I think I’ll net my future mortgage savings off the mortgage amount on here for psychological support :) I would do it now, but the exact split of the overpayment between myself and DH is still to be negotiated and he won’t even want to think about it before 1 October..

    In any case, I really need to sort out the joint account first as it is sad looking and weighing on my mind, but keep remembering things I need to buy.  My vague hope for September is that I can keep the food bill much lower than usual to get that down… we’ve been spending over £100 a week, which is completely outrageous for 2 adults and a little one.  Am hoping I can half that, although may take a bit of work.  We only shop once a week in the same place (not where we used to shop prior to CV) and I send DH with a strict list to adhere to (which he does).  Last time I went shopping was before lockdown and I got so stressed out trying to just buy our usual weekly shop whilst people were going crazy buying everything, I can’t bear to go back yet and make DH do it.

    I’ve already been working on the meal plan for next week, but think I’ve added in something I would like to eat and no one else will, so need a rethink for that night.  We don’t shop until Tuesday, so I have more time.

    Keep thinking of odd things I would like to buy (but are not urgent or just would like to haves).  I’m adding them to a xmas/bday list as no one ever knows what to buy me and then when they ask I can’t think of anything.  This way I have a few months to collate some things together I would like and then eject the things I no longer want in a few months!

    Anyway, my sister visited today (socially distanced in the garden) and so I used the time to some weeding and also rescue the 25+ baby strawberry plants which seem to have sprouted from my existing ones and were trying to grow in the patio.  They are all in a previously empty trug on the patio, so there should be lots of strawberries next year.  Need to sort out a few more things in the garden before it gets much colder.  Another thing for the list.

    DS also loved the attention and is on an attention-seeking high squealing around the house.  Hopefully, he’ll calm down soon.  The effect is similar to feeding a child an espresso followed by a whole bag of sugary sweets.

    No washing scaled today (couldn’t face it), but I did sew the button back onto the duvet cover which I have been meaning to do for about a year and attempted to sew up a pair of socks with huge holes (I think they are on their last legs).  Luckily I have plenty more socks and can always add them to the xmas/bday list.

    Bring on September already.  I hate looking at the horrible mess of my August finances.

    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • edited 31 August at 9:18AM
    A_Frayed_KnotA_Frayed_Knot Forumite
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    edited 31 August at 9:18AM
    Hi, welcome to the addiction thread.
    I like the way your mind works re the maths, split mortgage etc, not sure if your looking for suggestions/ideas or not but here's my mind thinking ideas as I was reading your diary.  Only a month to go before you can o/p your half of the mortgage, however I hope you can follow this as my mind works in a very complicated way when it comes to maths  >:)  can you not still o/p your DH's half but have 2 calculations going (a bit like "borrowing" his half of the mortgage  :# ) - one as if not o/p and your one with o/p, then deduct that sum from yours when 1st Oct comes round (transferring it really), that way you benefit an extra month.  I hated having to wait till the year was up, so used to do it in advance (pay asap after the new date from savings) as much as I could then replace the savings instead of the mortgage, that way benefiting from the reduced interest.  Told you my mind works complicated !!! just the way I like it, when it came to saving £££'s

    Should also mention, I smashed my mortgage by rounding down the end of the mortgage figure as an extra every month, whether it be your 9.99 or 89.99 at the end of  your mortgage, I liked it to end in 00's every month, that way felt I was seeing my "extra" effort every month.

    Your food bill is very large, and I am sure meal planning would help with that.  As for the something you would like but no one else does, can you not still buy it and make a batch, with the rest going in the freezer for another time when you feel like it again without having to go out and buy it.  Like your little treat when you feel like it.

    Shops here have calmed down a lot and no longer have queues to get in, so maybe would not be as bad as you remember it was when lockdown first happened.

    A good idea to have a list of "likes" as I often can't think of anything when I'm asked what I would like.

    Good Luck with your journey.
    Always have 00.00 at the end of your mortgage and one day it will all be 0's :dance:
    MF[STRIKE] March 2030[/STRIKE] Yes that does say 2030 :eek: Mortgage Free 21.12.18 _party_
    Now a Part Timer from 27.10.19
  • QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    Hi, welcome to the addiction thread.
    I like the way your mind works re the maths, split mortgage etc, not sure if your looking for suggestions/ideas or not but here's my mind thinking ideas as I was reading your diary.  Only a month to go before you can o/p your half of the mortgage, however I hope you can follow this as my mind works in a very complicated way when it comes to maths  >:)  can you not still o/p your DH's half but have 2 calculations going (a bit like "borrowing" his half of the mortgage  :# ) - one as if not o/p and your one with o/p, then deduct that sum from yours when 1st Oct comes round (transferring it really), that way you benefit an extra month.  I hated having to wait till the year was up, so used to do it in advance (pay asap after the new date from savings) as much as I could then replace the savings instead of the mortgage, that way benefiting from the reduced interest.  Told you my mind works complicated !!! just the way I like it, when it came to saving £££'s

    Your food bill is very large, and I am sure meal planning would help with that.  As for the something you would like but no one else does, can you not still buy it and make a batch, with the rest going in the freezer for another time when you feel like it again without having to go out and buy it.  Like your little treat when you feel like it.

    Shops here have calmed down a lot and no longer have queues to get in, so maybe would not be as bad as you remember it was when lockdown first happened.

    A good idea to have a list of "likes" as I often can't think of anything when I'm asked what I would like.

    Good Luck with your journey.
    Hi, thanks for dropping by :)
    Re: the mortgage I get what you mean, but between us we managed to max out the 10% overpayment last year for the mortgage and so no one can overpay until 1 October without silly fees being incurred.  I just need to be more patient.  Nearly there now.

    I really do know how to grocery budget, but I seem to go in phases and when I take my eye off the ball it is not good!  I used to be around £50 a month so I know it is possible with proper meal planning.  I do batch cook, but not often enough.... this will be rectified!  The thing I was going to make was only a pasta bake thing, so not great for freezing.  I'm not really that bothered and am happy to find solace in some nice baking instead. 

    I have discovered lots of expensive snacks are being eaten by DS, which is not helpful.  I bulk buy them when they are cheaper, but I am rationing him.  I find if I offer something (like toast or fruit) before he's said he is hungry, he is taken by surprise and always says yes.  He really loves his food.  How many 3 year olds can eat 2 weetabix for breakfast and still have room for toast?!  (Nursery kept telling me that he was the smallest in his class, but ate the most).  At least being at nursery during the day should also curb some of the expensive snack eating as he'll have to eat what I pack up for him.  It would also help if he didn't have to snack in the night still... I mean at 3?!  They were meant to give that up by 12 months I thought.  But no, he's definitely DH's child... he's got hollow legs.  When he is a teenager he's going to be a nightmare!
    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
  • A_Frayed_KnotA_Frayed_Knot Forumite
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    Thank goodness you knew what I meant Great minds,eh? shame (but good !!!) you managed to max out your o/p.  Not long to go, so concentrate on your batch cooking and there could be more to o/p by the time Oct comes  :)   o:)
    At the start I used to read about batch cooking, and thought for ages - that wouldn't work for me being on my own - boy, was I wrong !!!
    I would choose baking over pasta anytime (don't like pasta)  :D
    Great DS has a healthy appetite, imagine if he did not, the worry of it all, and as for snacks, I found if I bulk buy I just eat them quicker, so wise to ration them.


    Always have 00.00 at the end of your mortgage and one day it will all be 0's :dance:
    MF[STRIKE] March 2030[/STRIKE] Yes that does say 2030 :eek: Mortgage Free 21.12.18 _party_
    Now a Part Timer from 27.10.19
  • edited 31 August at 7:27PM
    QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    edited 31 August at 7:27PM

    Just realised I am being very stupid.  It doesn’t matter what the split of the overpayment is between me and DH on 1 October as anything left in that savings account is going straight towards the 1 October 2021 mortgage fund.  So, in any case, I should take the whole amount off the mortgage now on paper anyway.  I will do that on Friday because that’s when the payment comes out for the mortgage.

    Lots more things ticked off today before it is back to full-time work tomorrow.  Don’t expect to get much done in the week.

    Had an admin session downloading all my bank statements, checking direct debits etc.  Finally cancelled a DD for something I don’t really use anymore (£7 a month saved).  Also checked I was still with the cheapest electricity provider (I am) and discovered I was £250 in credit.  I tried to figure out whether they change the monthly DD based on historic usage and discovered you have to request it online yourself.  It said it suggested a £20 reduction and so I got that done.  Another £20 a month saved.

    Remembered that it was MIL’s birthday at the end of the week (why is it my job to remember this?). Sounds strange to say MIL as I think of her as DH’s mum instead.  I think it was growing up in the era of MIL jokes and she is definitely not like any of those!  Anyway, found some wine to send and a card ordered online.  I try to only buy consumable things because they are hoarders and my conscience won’t allow me to add to the hoard.  £30 spent (cashback yet to come), which basically almost offsets the savings I found above.  Put it in the diary for next year with an automated reminder so I can’t forget.

    Washing mountain tamed and up to date.  DS hair cut as it was very long.  DH was very confident he could do a good job to my relief as I didn’t want to do it.  Then of course when he came to it he realised he had no idea what he was doing and I had to take over and do it anyway.  It’s not the best haircut of all time, but it looks fine.  Nursery bag packed, shoes/wellies/clothes labelled ready for the morning.  Snacks packed.  Online information about DS for nursery updated.

    DH decided we can’t sit around relaxing and playing with DS all afternoon, so before I knew it I was packing up the massive pile of things dumped in the spare room for the loft.  It is still the room of doom (the spare room... lets not even think about the loft!) with overflow from other rooms (well only DH’s stuff, but don’t forget he is a minimalist.. :D ) and charity stuff which I shall ignore for now.

    Dinner was casserole from the leftover roast chicken from yesterday.  Victoria sponge cake is gone, but lots of fruit, so fruit salad or defrosted plum cake for pudding.  Meal plan for next week done and shopping list completed.  Fingers crossed it is a cheap week.  The list is definitely shorter than usual and I am planning to use up everything in the freezer (might make the week after a bit scary though).

    Now got 60 days until the end of work (although I get paid for another 3 months notice which I don’t work after that).  Must go back to doing the odd survey etc this month to throw into the overpayment fund and check out my little pile of things to sell on the Bay of E.  Hopefully I’ll be in a much better position by the end of the month.

    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
  • edited 1 September at 5:29PM
    QueenJessQueenJess Forumite
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    edited 1 September at 5:29PM

    Was very odd today to send DS back to nursery.  As soon as he saw his best friend though, he ran straight in and didn’t look back.  He had a brilliant time playing and I needn’t have spent so much time worrying about it.

    Felt very odd at home without DS here and I didn’t achieve much (aside from work).  Hopefully, I’ll get into a new routine when it feels more usual.  I did take the opportunity to do some washing, tidy up some rooms and do the odd survey though.

    Played with my spreadsheets at lunchtime rounding down budget categories and finessing some items for this month.  Managed to find another one-off £53.51 which I transferred into the mortgage fund.

    Food shopping was £60 for this week (well food plus cleaning and other such stuff).  So disappointed as I thought it was going to be less, but it was a few one-off purchases that we needed which bulked it up.  At least it is much less than the £100+ we were spending though, so it is all progress.  As my work has a deal where you get x% off when you buy a gift card for various supermarkets, I put the cash on the gift card prior to any spending.  I have £330 still left on the card and I am going to try my best not to top it up further this month.

    Dinner was the last of the leftover roast chicken with chips and veg, followed by a raspberry bread and butter pudding (I had raspberries to use up before they went off).  The pudding will last us a few days.

    Mortgage: Sep 20 £88,760.53, Oct 20 £86,194.99 (Nov target: £85,200)
    Debt to myself: -£1,262.31 (Nov target: -£400)
    EF: 0 / £1,300
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