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happihorse's journey to mortgage freedom and contentment…

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  • happihorse
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    Hi all, back again.  It's the weekend (for me at least) - whoopie!  :D

    Ended up doing an hour or 2 extra for work today but finished off and tidied up so done for the week now.  A long day of meetings so needed to complete some other stuff off before I could finish.  On balance though, no too bad for the working week in terms of doing too many hours.

    I did a nice long walk before I started work today and glad I did else I would be going out now!  It was lovely - went across the fields and my dog seems to have been snoozing since!  What a life!  I have hit my steps and active minutes already too.  Only downside was I did get a coffee on the way back.  :blush:

    In financial news, the withdrawal from Premium Bonds has landed in my account already, along with some money my mum owed me.  Tomorrow I am hoping to get my expenses payment too.  Still awaiting the compensation from the solicitor though.  Do wonder if I will ever get that!  Drives me mad that a profession firm that gets involved in some of the most important things in our lives and charges through the roof for what they do can provide such abysmal service.  :angry:

    I was planning on paying my credit card tomorrow but will hold fire for now as don't have quite enough money in the account to cover it.  It's not due for another 3 weeks so no hurry but I like to get it paid off as soon as possible so I know where I am.

    So, plans for the weekend...

    I will get out for a good walk each day and am planning a longer one tomorrow, up to a local landmark.  It's quite a climb but great on a pleasant day so should burn a few calories and easily get my steps and active minutes.  It will also mean I hit the 100 miles mark for walking so far this year!  Just another 900 to go!  :D

    Got a few chores and bits to do around the house so will try to chip away at those each day.

    Then I am going to tackle the budget and planning that I keep putting off!  I will publish my statement of affairs on here over the weekend and try to put together a plan for the next 6 months to cover off all my core goals.

    The other thing I want to do is visit some garden centres and start looking at garden options etc.  I might try to do that tomorrow before the weekend hustle!
  • Chiglepig
    Chiglepig Posts: 611 Forumite
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    Good stuff, HH. Hope your day off is a good one.
    If I might, can I ask what you want out of your garden? - I know from long experience, garden centres are dangerous, seductive places! You need to promise yourself you are just looking, give yourself time to observe the garden; where does the sun fall throughout the day at different times of the year? Realistically how much time will you have for maintenance?
    2014 starting mortgage £165,000
    2015 second charge £20,000 - Jan 2021 paid off in full
    Current outstanding balance - £115,856



  • badmemory
    badmemory Posts: 8,086 Forumite
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    I lost all faith in the "professional" people like solicitors.  Thank goodness for fathers that you rant against for being interfering.  If I had listened to the solicitor I would have lost half my house to the ex in-laws.  The interesting thing is that if my step MiL hadn't been such a pig to me I would probably have let them get away with it.  Karma!
  • happihorse
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    Chiglepig said:
    Good stuff, HH. Hope your day off is a good one.
    If I might, can I ask what you want out of your garden? - I know from long experience, garden centres are dangerous, seductive places! You need to promise yourself you are just looking, give yourself time to observe the garden; where does the sun fall throughout the day at different times of the year? Realistically how much time will you have for maintenance?
    Thanks Chiglepig - it's a fair challenge.

    The garden is a complete blank canvas at the moment.  There is a large patio area, wall to one end then timber fence to others.  Sadly it's not huge but the front is similar in that it is very plain.  I only moved in in the autumn so am still mulling over exactly what I want to do and want to come up with a plan rather than just randomly buy plants and put them in.

    I am thinking of a yew hedge, metal archway and roses at the front.  Then a country-style garden with some small trees, climbers and flowers in the back.  I also want to keep a good amount of lawn (for the dog).

    I promise I will just be looking today.  The only thing I might by is some lawn fertiliser (because it's looking a bit poor).  But must check in the garage first as I might have some old stuff to use up first.
  • happihorse
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    badmemory said:
    I lost all faith in the "professional" people like solicitors.  Thank goodness for fathers that you rant against for being interfering.  If I had listened to the solicitor I would have lost half my house to the ex in-laws.  The interesting thing is that if my step MiL hadn't been such a pig to me I would probably have let them get away with it.  Karma!
    That sounds extremely stressful badmemory - glad it all worked out for you in the end.  I certainly wouldn't trust a solicitor.  That's partly why I made a complaint, so someone would be checking the work that the solicitor had done!
  • happihorse
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    I have been for a lovely walk in the sunshine this morning.  It was very muddy and there was some snow higher up on the hills too.  Already exceeded my daily step and active minute targets and burned about 1,300 calories according to my Fitbit!

    Just having some lunch and a cuppa before I get cracking on chores and then might head off to a local garden centre while the dog snoozes!

    In money news I won £25 on Premium Bonds this month - every little helps!

    Hope everyone is having a good day.
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,886 Forumite
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    Great news on the win.

    On the grocery spend separate out the takeaways and any coffees. Give those a separate line. Don't over worry about your starting grocery figure. Just aim to shave some off each month.

    I used to spend loads more on food. You will improve your management of it over time, especially if some of the saving can help fund your horse riding
    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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    savingholmes said:
    Great news on the win.

    On the grocery spend separate out the takeaways and any coffees. Give those a separate line. Don't over worry about your starting grocery figure. Just aim to shave some off each month.

    I used to spend loads more on food. You will improve your management of it over time, especially if some of the saving can help fund your horse riding
    Thanks for the guidance savingholmes - it's much appreciated.

    I've just spend an hour or so doing a statement of affairs which I will post shortly.
  • happihorse
    happihorse Posts: 182 Forumite
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    edited 5 February 2022 at 6:26PM
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    Ok, so, deep breath...

    Statement of Affairs

    Household Information
    Number of adults in household                     1
    Number of children in household                  0
    Number of cars owned                                  1

    Monthly Income Details
    Monthly income after tax                         3121
    Partners monthly income after tax                0
    Benefits                                                         0
    Other income                                                0
    Total monthly income                           3121

    Monthly Expense Details
    Mortgage                                                 2000
    Council tax                                                166
    Electricity                                                    38
    Gas                                                             38
    Water rates                                                 30
    Mobile phone                                              27
    Internet Services                                         29
    Groceries etc.                                           400
    Clothing                                                      25
    Petrol/diesel                                              100
    Road tax                                                       3
    Car Insurance                                             40
    Car maintenance (including MOT)              30
    Pet insurance/vet bills                                 25
    Buildings insurance                                     20
    Contents insurance                                     20
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)               25
    Entertainment                                              50
    House                                                          50
    Take-aways and fast food                          100
    Professional subscription                            20
    Pet food                                                       40
    Total monthly expenses                        3276
  • happihorse
    happihorse Posts: 182 Forumite
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    edited 5 February 2022 at 6:38PM
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    I have just spent a good hour or so going through my bank account and old statements to try to put together a statement of affairs based on my current income and expenditure, as above.

    I only moved into this house in autumn 2021 and spent a few months prior to that living with my parents so it's been difficult to get an exact representation of my recent expenditure etc.

    Obviously, based upon the above, I am spending more than I am earning.  This feels about right at the moment because I have had to lean on my savings to keep everything in the black over the last few months.

    A couple of other observations from doing this exercise was that I draw quite a bit of cash out of the bank and don't really know where this goes.  There is also another couple of hundred plus per month that I spend on my credit card on miscellaneous 'stuff'.  The key areas that I need to cut down on are as follows:

    Groceries etc.                                 400 - this could well be even higher than I have put here!
    Petrol/diesel                                    100 - this includes a lot of unnecessary journeys
    House                                               50 - I have put this in as a token amount but again, might be a lot higher
    Take-aways and fast food               100 - this is probably much higher too!

    I really need to get my spending under control.  I know that a spending diary is recommended on here and I think that might be the way to go for me.  The act of recording everything I spend should help me become more aware of what and when I am spending I think.  Will get a spreadsheet set up for that.

    Any other ideas or feedback would be gratefully received.
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