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happihorse's journey to mortgage freedom and contentment…

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  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
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    Congratulations on starting your MFW journey. I would second looking at pensions as the sooner you start the longer they have to grow. The mortgage interest rate you are paying is fantastically low - so I can see arguments both ways. I too would like the security of a paid off house but like you I also want to retire earlier than the 67 the government suggest (or at least be financially independent and have choices). I also have lots of weight to lose and like to do too many things at 100 mile an hour but then can lose interest if I'm not careful and leave lots of half finished projects.... 

    Well done on the steps. I'm going to follow your example and take myself out for a walk. Will follow your journey with interest.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 234 payments to go - now £181,773 Equity 27.3%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £8K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.3K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £11.3K/£127.5K AVC target 8.97% value at 15/7//24
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.3K at 12/7/24
  • Chiglepig
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    I'll be honest, and say lots of that advice IS from other peoples' diaries! - But also from years of coaching undergraduates. :D

    50 miles so far this year is brilliant - I just checked, my average for the last 30 days is 5.2km per day - but I don't always have my phone so it may be a little more - once you get comortable and build it into routine, it becomes easy to up your daily steps.
    2014 starting mortgage £165,000
    2015 second charge £20,000 - Jan 2021 paid off in full
    Current outstanding balance - £115,856



  • happihorse
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    savingholmes said:
    Congratulations on starting your MFW journey. I would second looking at pensions as the sooner you start the longer they have to grow. The mortgage interest rate you are paying is fantastically low - so I can see arguments both ways. I too would like the security of a paid off house but like you I also want to retire earlier than the 67 the government suggest (or at least be financially independent and have choices). I also have lots of weight to lose and like to do too many things at 100 mile an hour but then can lose interest if I'm not careful and leave lots of half finished projects.... 

    Well done on the steps. I'm going to follow your example and take myself out for a walk. Will follow your journey with interest.
    Hello savingholmes and thank you for dropping by.  I have been reading and following your diary but tend to lurk rather than post.  You are doing amazingly well after what sounds like a stressful couple of years (or more).  I actually feel quite privileged that you have commented on my diary so thank you for the input and inspiration!

    I think a balance between paying off the mortgage and building up my pension is probably the way to go.  I am going to focus on the mortgage for the next 6 months or so with the aim of getting it down to £250k and then re-access with the intention of paying into both after that.

    As cliché as it sounds, getting out for a walk each day is actually starting to become a habit for me so I would encourage you to get out there, even if it is just 20 minutes each day to begin with.
  • happihorse
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    Chiglepig said:
    I'll be honest, and say lots of that advice IS from other peoples' diaries! - But also from years of coaching undergraduates. :D

    50 miles so far this year is brilliant - I just checked, my average for the last 30 days is 5.2km per day - but I don't always have my phone so it may be a little more - once you get comortable and build it into routine, it becomes easy to up your daily steps.
    Hi there Chiglepig - nice to 'see' you!

    This is a great place and it's so nice to see people sharing knowledge and helping one another - I certainly appreciate it.

    Well done on the walking - sounds like it is a firm habit for you now.  I seem to be getting there.  Dark wet nights after work are not my favourite but the pooch won't let me miss a day which certainly helps!
  • happihorse
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    I really can't believe it has been a whole week since I last posted on here - where on earth has the time gone!   :open_mouth:

    In money news, I get paid tomorrow so have just been having a look where my finances are.  I was hoping to set myself straight again when I got paid this month but, looking at the bills which are due in, I will still be in my overdraft.  I have therefore decided to withdraw £500 from my Premium Bonds to get back into the black.  That will enable me to repay my credit card and overdraft off in full and pay all the monthly bills without going back into the red.  I usually repay my credit card in full each month (unless it's a stoozing one with 0% interest on purchases) so don't want to stop doing that and feel that, if I continue with an overdraft, I will keep spending (which is also incurring interest too).  It's not ideal but I will get a budget done so I can keep a better track on what I am spending and stay within my means.

    I am well stocked up on most things at the moment so am going to do a low spend month between now and next pay-day on Friday 25th February 2022.  I will keep a log of everything I spend for that time on here (apart from routine bills etc).

    I have been thinking about replacing my car too.  I was looking for something a bit bigger, newer and lower mileage but, having been to see one at the weekend and looking at what I can get for what I am willing to spend, have decided to put that on the back-burner for now.  My car is fine for the time being and I'm going to re-access in 6 months when I have hopefully got the mortgage down to about £250k.

    I have been giving some thought to some shorter term milestones over the last couple of weeks and am looking at some goals for things to achieve in the next 6 months.  I will write more about them in the coming days, once I have bottomed out what I am looking to achieve.

    In other news I am continuing my daily walk, minimum 10,000 steps and 60 active minutes and have been hitting those targets each day.  The weather hasn't been too bad and I have managed to get out in daylight most days which makes it much easier.  I feel like I have started to lose a bit of weight too but haven't weighed myself yet!

    Work was especially busy last week but I seem to be getting on top of it again now.  This week looks okay and I have blocked out some time for walks in the mornings and lunchtimes which helps me make better use of my time.

    I hope everyone else is keeping safe and doing well.
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
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    Well done on the walking. Sounds sensible to clear your O/D they can be super expensive
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 234 payments to go - now £181,773 Equity 27.3%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £8K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.3K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £11.3K/£127.5K AVC target 8.97% value at 15/7//24
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.3K at 12/7/24
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
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    Hello savingholmes and thank you for dropping by.  I have been reading and following your diary but tend to lurk rather than post.  You are doing amazingly well after what sounds like a stressful couple of years (or more).  I actually feel quite privileged that you have commented on my diary so thank you for the input and inspiration!
    You are welcome. I'm grateful to the people who read my diary - and those who comment too. It helps me feel I belong and am connected to others. All good for MH. I agree I need to walk more but am just finding it too cold right now. I have my two exercise classes so not all bad.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 234 payments to go - now £181,773 Equity 27.3%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £8K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.3K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £11.3K/£127.5K AVC target 8.97% value at 15/7//24
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.3K at 12/7/24
  • happihorse
    happihorse Posts: 182 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    edited 27 January 2022 at 10:02PM
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    Well done on the walking. Sounds sensible to clear your O/D they can be super expensive
    Hello savingholmes and thank you for dropping by.  I have been reading and following your diary but tend to lurk rather than post.  You are doing amazingly well after what sounds like a stressful couple of years (or more).  I actually feel quite privileged that you have commented on my diary so thank you for the input and inspiration!
    You are welcome. I'm grateful to the people who read my diary - and those who comment too. It helps me feel I belong and am connected to others. All good for MH. I agree I need to walk more but am just finding it too cold right now. I have my two exercise classes so not all bad.
    Hi again savingholmes - agree on the posting front.  I need to make more effort on that but I really appreciate you posting on mine - thank you!  It's warmed up a bit here today so hope it has by you too and you will soon be able to get out for a walk.
  • happihorse
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    I am glad the weekend is nearly here!  It's been a full on week with work.  I am trying to keep track of my hours but it is very easy to slip back to doing more.  The standard 9 to 5 doesn't really work for me as it means I miss the best part of the day to get out walking and spend much of the time in meetings.  At the moment (while we are still working from home) I am tending to get up at around 8am, get ready and then start work at 9am.  Then take 90 minutes or so out of the middle of the day but then work late.  I have been working until 7pm a couple of nights this week so still clocking up extra hours.  Really need to find a way to be more productive and work less hours.   :disappointed:

    In money news, Tuesday was payday and my mortgage went out yesterday.  I am back in the black in my current account and have the Premium Bonds money plus some expenses and hopefully the solicitor's compensation money coming in by the end of next week which will enable me to clear my credit card and pay the expected bills.  I have withdrawn £50 cash and am going to eek that out for as long as possible.  Then limit other spends to bare essentials (and not run up another big credit card bill).  That should get me back into a good position for next month.  If I can do that then I will set aside £100 for 'treat' money to reward myself with something nice.  I do need to work out a budget though - I am still winging it from month to month.  Does anyone have or know of any guidance as to how to do this?

    My mortgage payment went out yesterday so the balance has dropped below £270k now.  :)  That still seems like a ridiculous amount to owe!  :o 

    I will tot up my monthly figures next week but walking, steps and active minutes are still on track and hitting target each day.  Still need a couple of thousand today so will get out for a quick walk now and then make a plan for tomorrow!
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
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    Sounds like you are making good progress overall. 

    You could use this to work out your annual to monthly spends against various categories. A lot of people use similar on here as a starting point. 

    https://www.lemonfool.co.uk/financecalculators/soa.php

    Also worth reading this for some tips
    https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/banking/budget-planning/

    I do a spreadsheet - and have an annual (or more) overview page - and then tabs for each month. I make sure I have visibility of annual bills like Pr1m3 etc, which bills are 10 months instead of 12, which are one off. I then can see upfront which months are more of a struggle than others and adjust accordingly. It is good to set a minimum EF that you are happy to stick to. Ideally you would then save individual pots for your annual bills etc... The first year is always the biggest challenge as you don't have the money saved upfront for the annual bills. After that it should get easier.
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 234 payments to go - now £181,773 Equity 27.3%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £13.45K
    3) CC £8K on 0% spends card but offset by £34.3K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £11.3K/£127.5K AVC target 8.97% value at 15/7//24
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
    6) SIPP £4.3K at 12/7/24
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