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happihorse's journey to mortgage freedom and contentment…

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  • happihorse
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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.
    Hi savingholmes.  Yes, it does feel like I am edging in the right direction, albeit at a snail's pace!

    Thanks for the budgeting guidance - will have a look at this.  I do like a spreadsheet so might have a play around at that too.  Would be good to be able to plan ahead and know what's what with money rather than just flying by the seat of my pants!
  • happihorse
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    So, after a full on week I ended up working Friday evening and then again tonight but I have made a huge amount of progress and it has eased the pressure for the coming week.  I am going to log my hours this week and make sure I keep to 7 or 8 hours a day maximum.

    I have had a lovely weekend.  Lots of walking and spent some time getting the house organised and clean which always makes me feel more in control of my life (and helps with the steps and active minutes too).  Cooked a roast for my family today and then had a lazy Sunday afternoon which was lovely and much needed.

    I have continued to focus on not spending unnecessarily and this seems to be helping.  Just small things like not taking the wet washing to the laundrette to dry and making the most of the good weather and heated towel rails to get it dry.  Also been (very loosely) meal planning and shopping for a few days at a time too which is helping with the budget and waistline.  Need to make this a bit more structured through to really reap the benefits.

    With all the walking and other activity this weekend I have been well over my step and active minutes targets.  It's so much easier to be active when you aren't sat at a desk all day!

    In money news things are ticking along nicely.  Current account is in credit and will be getting some more in this week which will enable me to fully repay my credit card.  I have budgeted to pay council tax this month and can't remember whether or not it's due.  I pay on 1st month (presumably for the previous month) so suspect it will go out this week but if not then I will be a couple of hundred better off.  How nice would that be!  Still, at least the next couple of months should be better.  I will be putting the money towards the garden.  It's a complete blank canvas at the moment with a bare wood fence and grass.  No plants out the back and only a few at the front.  I have got some ideas already of what I am going to do with it but it will be something that develops over time (and with fund availability). 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
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    Sounds like you are working hard and making incremental changes. You will reap the benefits over time
    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
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    Sounds like you are working hard and making incremental changes. You will reap the benefits over time
    Hey savingholmes - thanks for stopping by.  Yes, it does feel like small steps but hoping they add up to big benefits.  It feels very much like 'slowly slowly catchy monkey' at the moment!
  • happihorse
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    It's been a bit of a disrupted day today but not too bad overall.  I ended up doing 2 short walks which doesn't feel like such an achievement but I have a couple of hours free tomorrow lunch time so will get a proper walk done then.

    Work was okay.  I did a reasonable amount of hours and achieved what I needed to.

    In money news, the council tax did go out as expected so no spare funds there sadly.  Although I have chased up the solicitor's compensation payment which should go in soon (hopefully this week) along with the Premium Bonds withdrawal, some expenses and money owed by my mum.  That should give me enough to cover the credit card bill although it's creeping up again for next month.  I have been a bit better about frittering, coffees and takeaways but need to make more effort on that.  Otherwise I am risk of creating a vicious cycle.

    I have enough food in until the end of the week so will aim for 3 no spend days before Saturday.  I don't need to use the car either.  I'm off work on Friday so planning a longer walk then and will spend some time on budgeting and planning to hopefully set me up for a productive and MSE month.

    Still need a couple of thousand steps before I go to bed so best be off to do a bit more walking!
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,894 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
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    Well done on the mortgage and the steps progress. Could do with walking more myself. How are you getting on working out your annual budget? The horse riding sounds like fun - have you given it a place in your budget?
    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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    Good work on the 'not frittering'!
    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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    Well done on the mortgage and the steps progress. Could do with walking more myself. How are you getting on working out your annual budget? The horse riding sounds like fun - have you given it a place in your budget?
    Hi there savingholmes - thanks for cheering me on.

    I had a look at my budget and did complete it on the link you sent through but 'groceries' really got me.  I will freely admit (from behind my screen and thus anonymously (I hope!)), I really do not know the figure.  It will be hundreds when I add in the coffees, take-aways, fast food and then junk food.  It's hitting me both financially and from a health (weight) perspective so I know I need to sort it but not sure I dare to admit on here...  :'(  I know I need to sort it though so might go with a bit of a future projection for now! 

    It's a good point re budgeting for horse riding (especially given it is so expensive as a hobby).  My theory is, I will use the money that I am currently wasting on groceries to fund this.

    Just writing the above has made me realise I really need to get a hold on this specific area.   :cold_sweat:
  • happihorse
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    Today has been okay really.

    The positives:
    - NSD and not used the car
    - did a long walk (2.8 miles) at lunch time
    - worked roughly 7 hours (which is my contracted hours) and all tied up ready for tomorrow but with the evening to spend as I wish
    - only one more day until the weekend (as I am off on Friday)

    The negatives:
    - ate more than I should have today

    Actually, based on that it has been pretty good I think!

    I usually end up working late then watching TV and the evening is gone without achieving anything.  However, as I finished up work at a decent time and now have the evening to myself, I am going to make the most of it and get some boring chores done so I get to spend more time doing fun (or at least other productive) stuff at the weekend.

    Have a nice evening all!
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