My FIRE and Mortgage Free Diary

Why am I typing this? 

Mainly because I want to be able to easily track my state of affairs from year to year. I regularly write some numbers in a random notebook and find them years later but that doesn't have the accountability or tracking. I find it easier to mentally track the numbers the way I want to rather than the way the banks present it too me*.

I am also in a strange position of working offshore with no access to my bank accounts right now due to the filters on the computers which means I won't overpay until Dec 21 and I complete a full review of finances.


We completed on house in May just as I left the UK. £243800 mortgage at 80% LTV 2 year fixed. First time buyer. Only based on my salary as we are moving area. We are yet to move in, waiting for me to return from offshore. That will be December's fun...


To Do: I think there's about £20k in a waste of space cash ISA. I tried to get them put in premium bonds but my wife didn't trust the website as she thought it looked dodgy so they're sitting sadly depreciating which is slightly annoying but have it on the list of things to sort out in Dec.  

Long term S&S ISA: Approx £13k. Opened a LISA this April. 4k on 5 and 6 April. I bought various Vanguard products and put £1k in TESCO (Dividend paying). Also opened an ISA and put £2k in there. Investments are up £900 in 6 months (and may go down so not excited as this is a long term focus). There is space in the ISA for more this year. I intend putting £4k/year in LISA for the next 11 years and it is available 10 years later. £52k invested + £13k matched from government could be over £150k at 60 years old based on historic passive tracker returns.  


At 55 I will have a pension based on a blended final salary, career averaged, non-contributory defined benefits pension and a tax-free lump sum of around £100k. I expect the pension to be around £28k.  


Nothing except the mortgage. In 2010 I had +£60k of debt (gambling) but I paid it all off via a DMP by 2015. Making up for lost time and wasted years.


I don't expect to be posting daily as I am away at work and everything is set up to automatically do its thing. In December we move in to the new house. We want/need to paint a few rooms. We have been quoted £2200 for the work. As much as it kills me to waste my holiday painting, I am going to have a go myself because paying the money hurts more. The house was recently decorated to a high standard so i'm only worried about one wall needing preparation (picture hooks). The rest won't even need 'cutting in' as it will be white emulsion all round. 3 bedrooms, 2 down stairs rooms and we'll see how I get on as to whether i do the hall/stairs. I have never done it before but work colleagues have convinced me to DIY despite my lack of skills. I'll take any tips! 

I really want to reduce the LTV to get the better deals. Reading some other diaries I think offset will be the way to go once we come up to remortgage. Then I hope to get the rate down until the amount interest payments on the debt is less than potential benefits from savings.  

I will regularly do small over payments, account tidies, voucher exchange savings. I don't think I will save much from a direct debit review as I do this regularly. No spend days will help a lot. That's about it for now. I feel the most secure I ever have which is nice. Looking forward to making the house a home, painting kitchen cabinet doors blue and installing smart kit while reducing the mortgage.

* APR for mortgages - should be expressed over the term of the mortgage IMO. They are almost like long term payday lenders. If you work out the interest charges on an average house it is easily over 30% of the mortgage borrowed! Yes it is over 20+ years but the point remains that it is a lot of money. Compound interest working negatively.


  • Welcome parsnip! 
    You’ll get on just fine with the painting, it’s cheaper than going to the gym 😂
    MFW 2021 #76 £5,145
    MFW 2022 #27 £5,300 
    MFW 2023 #27 £2,000
    MFW 2024 #27 £500/ £3,600

  • Ha ha! Yes I read that was a concern for newbies! I have a priority order 1. Mint green kids room (2-3 coats), 2. Kitchen wall that needs filling, 3. Kids room dirty wall (1 coat expected).  
  • Hello and welcome. Good luck with your plans you sound like you know what you are doing.  Z
    Part time worker.
     Plug that SAHM pension gap & Retire in style in 20 years. 
  • A plan, enthusiasm and hope! 
  • Quick catch up: Got a hotel booked for a few days off. Sharing so keeps the cost down. Really looking forward to a break.
    S&S LISA/ISA doing its thing despite losing some of the previous gains (long term baby!). 
  • Break was very nice. Getting ready for 9 weeks of solid work - 84hr weeks, 7 days a week. Got a lot to look forward to when it's over so will focus on that.
  • Morning all! Back from my work trip and moved into my first house! God it’s scary - so much DIY. Pulled a skirting board off yesterday to fit a bookcase in - thought I was going to to pull bricks out! So many little jobs need doing. 

    Will let Xmas settle and then look at a SOA for starting to over pay. Not sure how small overpayments work as I’m with Nationwide and it says only payments over £500 come off capital account. Under £500 come off next months payment. 

    Love my smart meter showing we use 194W at the moment - it’s like Apollo 13 trying to shut things off and get the power down! 

    Anyway I’m off to Ninja Warrior today with the boys and my wife will check out TK MAXX sales.

  • Should say as well I got a new credit card with 5% cash back intro offer. 
  • Current DIY jobs: 
    make bookcase fit (fits between walls - remove skirting - started)
    fix toilet seat downstairs (hidden fixing - seat removed)
    fix vanity sink waste drain master bedroom en-suite (taken apart, parts ordered and received)
    various paint and plaster jobs.

    keen not to start too many!
  • greenbee
    greenbee Posts: 16,054
    Name Dropper Photogenic First Anniversary First Post
    Welcome to the world of endless DIY...

    With Nationwide I've set up my preferences so that all OPs come off the capital - but only payments over £500 result in a recalculation at the time. So my monthly payment is fixed, even if I transfer the 32p interest from my current account at the end of the month. 

    While you're settling into the house and sorting stuff out I'd put any money left over at the end of the month into savings. There may not be that much by the time you've paid for paint and parts for DIY. But it's worth having a lump sum built up for any larger jobs you might discover need doing. Once you're happy that everything is done, then you can use some/all of the savings to OP. NW do also allow you do draw your OPs back down, but obviously that's not as easy as transferring savings into your current account if you suddenly find you need a new window/hot water tank etc. 
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