Positively Planning and Enjoying Life

Hello all 

We are a household of me, Mr Socks, our 3 cats and goldfish  :o i know!

It has been a long time since i have been on these diaries and i will have a lot of catching up with where people are at.

For those who read and posted many words of encouragement before i am sorry i just dropped off posting which was totally unplanned and unexpected. I hope everyone is doing well and getting on with their goals.

Whilst i've not been on the boards i haven't totally gone off the rails moneywise. But lately i've noticed bad spending choices creeping in and have been thinking of ways to manage this and, like so many say, posting on here does encourage accountability. So posting will be partly about this focus on the daily spends - be aware there may be some dull shopping posts coming - though hopefully not!

The brief update is:- i spent a period of time unemployed last year before starting 3 temporary part-time jobs - not all at the same time but there was some overlap. I am now working one job permanently and have a very minimal temporary job (which i may stop due to the time v rewards factor). 

Gosh, i hope i'm setting this up correctly as a diary - it all seems a bit different - hopefully this won't just randomly appear in the middle of someones diary  :D

In the time I've not been posting; working the 3 jobs, whilst leaving me exhausted and fit for nothing else, means i have cleared all my debts except my student loan and mortgage - i have no idea where the student loan is up to having had no communication from them in the last year+

I am starting this diary now with a few aims

  • looking after my money better - less frittering away, less waste overall be that food  :# - it's not wasted but i'd rather we benefited than gifting to others; small purchases which feel cheerful at the time etc 
  • aim to be mortgage free by the time my current deal ends in 2023
  • start to plan for retirement
  • look after our home better - this will involve a ruthless decluttering so that we are at least tidy, a deep clean, keeping on top of the cleaning; listing the maintenance jobs which need doing in the rooms and to the house
  • looking after me better - increased fitness by regular walking, then regular running, using the pampering toiletries products i have which will also help with decluttering; eating healthily and increasing my intake of water
  • planning in regular fun experiences 
I'll get the figures together and update my sig if i have one. 



Mortgage Balance
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Comments

  • So the signature has flummoxed me - not to worry.

    I was fortunate enough to be able to re-mortgage this year to a better interest rate, although because my balance had come down so much the repayments are much lower. I wanted to re-mortgage and lower the term and maintain the higher payments but this would have involved a full on phone interview (?) which I didn't have time for and I was concerned it may throw up some affordability issues at the time (having been out of work and then temporary roles). Also, a lower payment, at the time, gave me options and flexibility - having been in a position of virtually no income and no savings for a period of time.

    Mortgage currently £29,819

    Today I have spent on a personal health issue - felt the benefit after and this needs to be in my budget in future.

    Asked Mr Socks to pick up an item i needed - i figured this would stop me going to the shop and filling a basket! It worked  :)

    So not a no spend day but a low spend on needed items.

    At lunch tomorrow i need to pop to the post office near work (bay of e parcels so no personal spends there) I also have a bag full for the charity shop which i will drop off and a bag of food for neighbour.

    I am out tomorrow evening at an event and don't want to just drink water as i want to support the independent business and it will be fun. Typically, in the lead up to the festive season, i am out 3 more times this week - all fun though. Seeing new friends Friday - train fare and drinking water so low spend. Saturday at a free event so just petrol to get there and back. Sunday out with different friends for lunch and drinks - I will have to report back. But i should set a budget for tomorrow - maybe a mulled wine or 2?

    So that's the spending of money.

    On the making of money i have a bag of items to list on the bay of e so will try and complete this tomorrow. Any other suggestions for upping my income welcome.

    Oh, on the retirement front i don't have a good pension provision at all. No way of improving this with current job. Which is why i'm addressing retirement planning in the next couple of years rather than now.


    Mortgage Balance
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,812
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    Forumite
    Congratulations on getting CC debt free. Good luck with clearing the remaining mortgage in 2 years - that sounds fabulous. Most of all welcome back. While you've been away I've made it onto the MFW board and got divorced not in that order...
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26% (lower post move compensated by EF)
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £7,613/£127,466 AVC target 5.97%
    3) FI Age 60 annual income target £12,500/30,000 41.66%
    Achievements: CC free since April 22. 1 year EF from Jan 24 & dedicated pot for home improvements
  • South_coast
    South_coast Posts: 4,779
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    Welcome back! I think most people would say you need to get on the retirement planning now, but as you're on such a short timeline to clear the mortgage I can see the logic in focusing on that first. Will you be overpaying on the mortgage or saving up to clear the balance in full at the end of the fix?
    Mortgage start: £65,495 (March 2016)
    Cleared 🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️🧚‍♀️!!! In 5 years, 1 month and 29 days
    Total amount repaid: £72,307.03. £1.10 repaid for every £1.00 borrowed

    Finally earning interest instead of paying it!!!
  • Congratulations on getting CC debt free. Good luck with clearing the remaining mortgage in 2 years - that sounds fabulous. Most of all welcome back. While you've been away I've made it onto the MFW board and got divorced not in that order...
    Wow Savings it sounds like you've been through a lot xx You sound well & I hope you're doing good xx Lots to catch up on here x
    Mortgage Balance
  • Welcome back! I think most people would say you need to get on the retirement planning now, but as you're on such a short timeline to clear the mortgage I can see the logic in focusing on that first. Will you be overpaying on the mortgage or saving up to clear the balance in full at the end of the fix?
    Hello South Coast and thank you for your lovely post.

    I sortof am focusing on the retirement planning now, I think. I have practically no pension provision - various annoying reasons which i am going to leave in the past. Current employer pays the minimum possible into not a great pension for me and i am also paying in just the minimum. 

    I have paid the maximum 10% allowed off the mortgage this year so the focus will be on savings for now. I figured if I could clear this mortgage I should then be in a position to buy a second property. The plan is to buy two houses to rent out. This will give me something to live on. 
    Mortgage Balance
  • Well i intended to post on here again yesterday but was so busy i did not manage it.

    Spends yesterday: £6.68 on a cardigan and book in the charity shop.

    I have too many clothes as it is - absolutely no justification - but it was a make i like, my size, a colour i love. it is more than i would usually spend on new to me clothes. I have a lot of clothes mainly because i need to lose weight and not everything fits me.

    I have too many books - it will take me more than a year to read what i have - that is even if i managed to read every day which i do not get the time to do. i knew if i didn't buy the book it would go on my wish list and i'd be lucky to find it at this price again.

    £3.15 on cat food. At a more expensive convenience shop though and had been guilted into it by the cats all refusing the food they usually eat.

    Whilst out at lunchtime i did drop the bag in the charity shop and managed to avoid the lure of the quick lunch places.

    So that was my spends. Friends and then Mr Socks treated me to a couple of very nice mulled wines so I didn't actually spend in the evening.

    I have just managed to finish listing all the items i sorted for the bay of e. And i have now sorted another full bag of items to be listed for sale.

    Today i have not spent anything so far - i will be out meeting friends later and had planned on water but as it's such horrible weather i may have a cup of tea instead.

    So, the plan for over the weekend is to list the items i've sorted for selling and then to sort another bag out to sell. 
    Continue to use the food we have at home rather than spend on something quick.
    Also to tackle one cupboard in terms of tidying - no real decluttering options available as it doesn't hold anything saleable really - opened bottles and the like.

    There won't be major updates on mortgage payments until i start the next mortgage year and can pay 10% again.

    My very big stretch savings wise is to average savings of over £2,000 per month. This is significantly more than i earn.

    At the moment selling the excess of things here will help with that. I also have some money i need to reclaim, a few hundred pounds i think - between £200 and £400. As i continue to tidy this place i will come across the paperwork and apply for this as it will of course help.
    Mortgage Balance
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,812
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    Well done on the mortgage OPs. That's a fab stretch target. What plans other than selling stuff do you have to meet it? Have you broken it down? Hoping I may learn something. As you know - I desperately need to declutter too - so we can cheer each on. I've let most of my books go and mostly listen to or read books on electronic devices now. Still have a crate of Nora R books I'm debating whether to keep or let go as I love her - but trying to declutter. I will keep my JK books - but most I let go. Kids books - my fave - tend to donate to my sister so it works out - and she's got 3 little uns who should grow into them anyway... Perhaps finding somewhere that would really value your stash is the secret?
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26% (lower post move compensated by EF)
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £7,613/£127,466 AVC target 5.97%
    3) FI Age 60 annual income target £12,500/30,000 41.66%
    Achievements: CC free since April 22. 1 year EF from Jan 24 & dedicated pot for home improvements
  • Well done on the mortgage OPs. That's a fab stretch target. What plans other than selling stuff do you have to meet it? Have you broken it down? Hoping I may learn something. As you know - I desperately need to declutter too - so we can cheer each on. I've let most of my books go and mostly listen to or read books on electronic devices now. Still have a crate of Nora R books I'm debating whether to keep or let go as I love her - but trying to declutter. I will keep my JK books - but most I let go. Kids books - my fave - tend to donate to my sister so it works out - and she's got 3 little uns who should grow into them anyway... Perhaps finding somewhere that would really value your stash is the secret?
    Hey savings, we should definitely cheer each other on with the decluttering. i would keep the books you love for now - as you can always decide later after decluttering other items which you don't have the love or use for. I had lots of books i hadn't read in the past and ones i'd read and loved (second hand mostly) and sold all i could very cheaply when i had not enough money to pay basic bills. I regretted it later and have now more than replaced them. I am working my way through reading them - but like the other day - i accumulate more, and this is what needs to stop. I am very good at letting books go after i have read them though be that to family, friends or back to the charity shop.

    I don't think i really have any other plans at the moment for raising the funds - other than selling things and also the money i need to claim back and i can only do that the once.

    At the moment i think i've been dealing with a lot of overwhelm. It was the word which came to me quite a few months ago about all i was dealing with everywhere. I have a lot of things here that i need to sort out. Because our house is so small one thing left out is instantly noticeable and we have a lot of things out everywhere - there isn't the space for everything and our home is extremely untidy.

    I had previously planned to use the money from my 2 other temporary jobs to help save / overpay i am only doing 1 job now really. But, that has now given me the time to address all these piles of things in places they don't belong.

    As i get to a much tidier home, with much less things in it, i then hope to have the time and headspace to think of how to earn more to achieve my goal.

    Decluttering will help me the most at the moment though - a tidier home will be nicer to live in, if i am able to sell some things i declutter that helps towards my savings target, as i tidy things away then it's easier to know what we have and also easier to find what we need too - so we aren't wasting money buying something we don't need - this will give me more time to then either do things i enjoy or spend the time earning extra money. Also, a tidier home will help if a valuation is due at any time.


    Mortgage Balance
  • I have identified and lifted out 6 items to part with - most for gifting and a couple to try and sell - the bag of things to list for sale is about to overflow so i am hoping to have a bit of time this weekend to do some of that but there isn't a lot of free time either day. By the end of Tuesday i do want it all done though and then i can start on the next bit.

    I spent an hour earlier tidying part of the cupboard - it looks so much better already. Now i can see what is in there properly i want to lift it out to clean and then put back only what we're keeping. Need to see of i can gift a couple of things but will need Mr Socks agreement.

    Also realised i need to find out what my retirement number is - ie what is the £'s i need to achieve to live on. So some research needed about how to go about this.

    In other news had a lovely time out meeting up with friends earlier - just the cost of the train ticket and i spent £3.90 on hot drinks so not too bad for a fun evening i don't think.

    I used the travel time to set up a list in my book for house things so at least that is set up now too.

    Right bedtime for me.


    Mortgage Balance
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 26,812
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Forumite
    On the number for retirement some sites like which have free calculators. 
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26% (lower post move compensated by EF)
    2) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £7,613/£127,466 AVC target 5.97%
    3) FI Age 60 annual income target £12,500/30,000 41.66%
    Achievements: CC free since April 22. 1 year EF from Jan 24 & dedicated pot for home improvements
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