MuddyBooks tackles the mountain.

I feel like it's time to start a diary, and get started on our dream of owning our home outright :)
We live in a lovely Edwardian terrace and it truly feels like it could be a forever home for us. Our mortgage balance as of today is £108375.47.
We're a family of 3, plus fluffy pup. Husband works full time, I'm part time and we've just started some long-awaited garden renovations. We're both kind of cheapskates, so are doing it ourselves and although it's slow going - sniffing out bargains/using what we have/learning new skills not only speaks to our souls but kept us mostly busy and sane this last year. It's good to feel like a bit of a Womble from time to time! 

My first goal is to get our mortgage under £100,000 by Christmas. Would be lovely to see in 2022 with a 5 figure mortgage. I am by no means a numbers girl, I read other diaries in awe of interest amounts and spreadsheet mathematics and I'm sure I'll catch up in that department as I go - but as for now I'm setting us a £500 over payment target. I think that will get us there with a little room to spare! 
2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07


  • MuddyBooks
    MuddyBooks Posts: 10 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post
    I'm a bit rambler so held myself back on that post so my introduction wasn't a huge ramble. Think I did alright! 
    Like I said my goal is to have the mortgage under 100k by Christmas which will (?? 99% confident here) be an overpayment of £500 per month, which is on the tight side of being attainable and not too head in the clouds - but enough of a try to make it a challenge and therefore (in my books) fun!

    One thing I need to keep a lid on is days out. The world is on the cusp of reopening and I'm very excited to get back out there with Mini-Muddybooks. So many fun places to visit and as we home educate it's been such a big gaping hole in our lives this last year (not to be woe-is-us, we've all had huge gaping holes of various shapes and sizes. Not being able to see a steam train or a science museum isn't exactly a high priority issue) We've really enjoyed our slow days compared to the old-manic-5-things-to-do-before-9am ones of what I call the "old world" so I do want to hold on to that, as well as knowing our long term family plans would be well and truly shot in the face if I just bought tickets for everywhere and the bus stop. 

    My main goal of this diary is just to document the penny pinching, as that's all we can do to reach the overpayment goal. Like I mentioned I ruddy love a bit of old fashioned frugality, it just makes me feel oddly comforted spending as little as possible (I can't be the only one like that??)

    So, for this morning, we paid £212.99 off our credit card. The balance is £1152.90 now and we'll be chipping away at this alongside overpayments. It's 0% interest until next year and no rush, but it built up in lockdown when we were both off work and couldn't be avoided even with the mortgage holiday. But I can't grumble, people have had it much much much worse.

    A side account I'm using to squirrel money into has £50.55 in it towards our overpayment. I'm just wondering, to the people having done this a while. It is better to pay off as you go, pay in one chunk? Or does it not really matter and just down to personal preference? Our bank doesn't have any overpayment limits bar not being more than 10% of our balance annually. 

    2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07
  • FatJock
    FatJock Posts: 196 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post Photogenic First Anniversary
    Welcome MuddyBooks - Sounds like you've got a very good plan in place. I look forward to reading about your adventures, especially in the area of frugality (love a bit of penny pinching myself).
    Good Luck.  :D
  • FiveMoreYears
    Good luck with the mortgage-free journey, MuddyBoots. I'll look forward to your diary posts.

    As for paying off as you go or paying off in one chunk, whichever works best for you. Paying off as you go will bring the amount that you are paying interest on down as soon as you make that overpayment. This should work out better than, say, saving up til 31st Dec and making one large overpayment per year. I think I've got that right.

    However, I personally pay off in chunks of £525, the two reasons being that i) that was my original mortgage payments, so it helps me keep count and motivates me knowing how many original months I've paid off. And ii) every time I make a payment over £500, the Nationwide immediately recalculates my monthly payments, and sends me a letter which also helps to motivate me. If the payments were under £500, they'd wait until the overpayments have reached that total before recalculating.

    Good luck!
    Mortgage started: 31st October 2007
    Aim to be mortgage-free: 31st December 2025
  • Chiglepig
    Chiglepig Posts: 611 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Photogenic Name Dropper
    Good luck with the mortgage @MuddyBooks. I'm with @FiveMoreYears on paying when the money is available rather than saving it up, not only do you work on that interest straight away, but lots of us here find it motivating to see the progress on a more regular basis (not at all addictive, sshhhh ;)).
    Of course that does depend on other circumstances - I might consider saving up as you suggest if my job were less secure, or if my mortgage didn't allow me to 'borrow back' by the amount of my over payment reserve.
    2014 starting mortgage £165,000
    2015 second charge £20,000 - Jan 2021 paid off in full
    Current outstanding balance - £115,856

  • MuddyBooks
    MuddyBooks Posts: 10 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post
    Thank you for the warm welcome! :) 
    I was leaning towards that last night, thinking smaller over payments might be more motivating than saving up a large amount all month. Although your original mortgage payment amount is a nice idea, @FiveMoreYears ! I might aim for £50 every Friday and then save up what I can in the middle?
    This morning I've completed a survey which will be a £15 voucher in the post :) Ticked all the boxes to say "Yes! Please! Pick me again!" so that will be nice for extra books/art supplies when it comes through.
    Investing in something I think will save us money in the long run and collecting an air fryer later today. We did have one a while ago (it broke and we've not got around to replacing it until now) which was brilliant and deterred us from many takeaways as it's a bit of fun trying to whip up a fakeaway, as well as just day-to-day recipes. We do tend to have a Friday or Saturday night treat which costs between £15-25 depending where we collect from so this will pay for itself quickly - as well as being much better for us.
    Speaking of food (a favourite subject!) last night we had left over roast dinner in the form of bubble and squeak, we still have some roast chicken to use this evening so I think I'll do a bit of a picky picnic kind of tea to get some things used up. We buy chicken from a local farm butchers, all cornfed and lovely, and it actually doesn't cost much more when we get so many more meals from it compared to a supermarket chickadee. 

    To that end, paid £10.00 off the mortgage!  B)
    2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07
  • MuddyBooks
    MuddyBooks Posts: 10 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post
    I don’t know why but I felt a little apprehensive paying a full £50 off the mortgage! I think I’m so used to money going into savings I had a moment of ‘what if we need it!’ so I chickened out at £35.16, running total of £45.16 for the month.

    Food shopping is the only spending planned for this weekend, just need to write our list. Not a great deal to buy, have enough meat to last us until Wednesday at a stretch so only a couple things to get from the butchers, hoping to keep costs low then I’ll make up the £50 afterwards ☺️ 

    Working in the garden this weekend, Mini-MuddyBooks is very excited to ‘help’ put in fence panels so I need to start working on managing expectations 😄 I bought a few packets of seeds from Lidl, just their 49p ones, so we’re going to focus on planting those while DH does the heavy lifting. Mini and I started on the front garden yesterday so I think we might spend today doing the same, a little bribery of chalk drawings might be required. Hedge is due it’s post-winter trim, but that’s a task DH us got down to a fine art so I think we’ll focus on weeding next.
    2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07
  • MuddyBooks
    Have now paid off £50.00 🥳
    Had a low spend weekend groceries wise and yesterday I stretched one packet of mince from the freezer make two cottage pies for the next two nights teas. I had, however, meal planned 2 meals for meat I thought we had in the freezer but do not! In the same breath, Mini and myself had a bug over the weekend so 2 meals got shelved in favour of plain food. So it's evened itself out and won't leave us short. Shouldn't need a trip to the shop at all actually, the ingredients I bought to make meals with the phantom meat will hold off until I do the shopping again this weekend so going to make up meals with what we have in. Save those pennies! 
    On the plus side, DH did not have the bug and socially distanced himself from us by spending the weekend in the garden getting the fence panels in place. This weekends job is to build our new shed, which is currently living in our living room and I'm starting to believe I'll miss it when it's been moved outside. But it will be nice to get to our washing machine without tackling a mountain of should-be-in-the-shed-items of camping chairs, swing ball, brewery kits and endless tubs of random DIY bits we all hold on to knowing that a week after we get rid of them we'll suddenly have a need it 
    Mini and I spent a little part of yesterday working on lanterns for tonights door step vigil from things around the house. I can't believe it's been a year, and in the same breath I can't believe it's only been a year. Will be nice to see the neighbours faces if nothing else, we all call to each other over the back gardens but it's very bizarre having a conversation with a distant voice and only hedgerows as a visual.
    2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07
  • powerspowers
    powerspowers Posts: 1,127 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper
    Good luck with your goal muddybooks, and your garden!! The contents of our loft is currently in the dining room so I feel your pain x
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £5,300 
    MFW 2023 #27 £2,000
    MFW 2024 #27 £1,350 /£3,600

  • beanielou
    beanielou Posts: 90,701 Ambassador
    Academoney Grad I'm a Volunteer Ambassador Mortgage-free Glee! Name Dropper
    Happy shiny new diary.
    Any repayments are great & will help you to reach your goal :)
    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 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.
  • MuddyBooks
    MuddyBooks Posts: 10 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post
    beanielou said:
    Any repayments are great & will help you to reach your goal :)
    Makes me think of that old saying about eating an elephant! All have to start somewhere :)
    Good luck with your goal muddybooks, and your garden!! The contents of our loft is currently in the dining room so I feel your pain x
    Oh it's no fun at all things not being in their "place"! Like most people stuck at home last year we started on the jobs we'd put off and yikes. Was very glad when everything got put back, to put it lightly.

    Tea went down a treat last night which is a relief because we've got the same again. Will do more like that in future, made work days a lot easier and I got to sit with Mini and read some books instead of flying around like a headless chicken. 

    I've had a little time to do some calculations and I've decided my first mini goal will be to get the mortgage balance to £107,500 which I think I can achieve by mid April. Round numbered goal posts, I feel, might be the most motivating as I inch us towards our Sub-£100k main goal. 
    2021 Mortgage Overpayments (Since March): £126.07
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