Where to focus - mortgage, renovations etc?

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  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    Scan went well. Baby has everything it should and is the size it should be. Very relieved. Still waiting on the test results. They said it would take 2 weeks if all ok or I'll get a call within 3 working day. Fingers crossed I don't get that call, but the staff seemed to think there was a low chance of that following the scan. 

    No mortgage stuff to report. Am feeling like I can get a little excited now and told one of my best friends today. He was really happy for us, so that was lovely. I'm most looking forward to telling OHs family. He wants to tell them in person and as they live in Scotland, that will be on Xmas Eve. It's his family and his choice so I'm fine with that, but I'll be packing my own non-alcoholic drinks cos they won't have got any in and fingers crossed there aren't too many booze related presents!  :D

    9 sleeps until he's hopefully home! Can't wait to have someone else to do the occasional dog walk, now the weather is colder.
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,305 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    So pleased the scan went well. 

    What a lovely surprise that will be for OH's family. Glad your OH will be home soon. 
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £11.9K
    3) CC £3.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £9.6K/£127.5K AVC target 7.5% value @15/4
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    4 more sleeps until OH is home! It genuinely feels like that is months away. I'm a little worried I'm going to cry on him when he walks through the door.  :D I'm generally feeling much better but this morning sickness is getting a bit much. Ginger nuts help, and eating little and often, but I do get it wrong sometimes. Generally start the day off ok, but by evening I am garbage. I don't think the house is going to be as clean and tidy as it usually is when he comes home (I have warned him. He says he doesn't care). I'm going to try and make sure the loft and en suite etc. are really nice, as he hasn't seen them yet. However, if all the evenings this week are like last night, when it was all I could do to get the dog walked, feed myself something and stay awake to 8pm I'm not sure I'll even manage that. Doesn't help that work is really full on at the moment. I am pretty good at sticking to 9-5 but doesn't mean it doesn't leave you drained. 

    On mortgage side we've got another £66 from the utility company so that will go on the mortgage. I also got told off for not doing my corporate credit card expenses for 3 months (in my defence, these relate to the trip where I got covid and I've not really been right since so it just slipped my mind to do it after the trip). On the plus side as I was doing them I realised I had £160 of mileage I'd forgotten to claim so that is now in. That won't go on the mortgage though. I've realised the maternity pay at this company isn't as good as previous companies I've worked for, so I need to save up much more to cover the gap. So my general savings are actually pivoting to pay off the 0% card before the baby is born (0% runs until Jan 2024 but as I'll only get 3 months full pay, I need to bring forward the date I've paid it off) and saving up that gap - I'd rather save it extra than rely on the emergency fund, which is now at £7.5k but I'm building that slowly each month. 

    We're not giving up on the mortgage goal, but OH will have his sea pay and I can use my 2023 bonus towards that goal so I feel I can use most of my salary for the CC and maternity leave savings. Given OH will likely drop his income during that period, I feel I really need to ensure I can cover all of our bills, food etc. whilst I am off work. If I can, I'd love to be able to take the year, but to do that I'll need to feel like we can cope financially. 
  • savingholmes
    savingholmes Posts: 27,305 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary Photogenic First Post
    Good OH will be home soon. Don't sweat about the cleanliness side of things. Look after you and the rest will sort. 

    Good you have a financial plan. That's better than me before kids!
    Achieve FIRE/Mortgage Neutrality by mid 2030
    1) MFW Nov 21 £201,999 with 237 payments to go - now £184,341 Equity 26.26%
    2) Spend on handyman & external building works & new patio door £11.9K
    3) CC £3.7K on 0% spends card but offset by £34K savings (part EF, part future home improvement)
    4) Mortgage neutral by June 2030 AVC £9.6K/£127.5K AVC target 7.5% value @15/4
    5) FI Age 60 annual income target £13.7/30K 45.7%
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    So Xmas was perfect (for me). OH was back did such a good job of looking after me. I feel like a new person. No longer ill, much better energy. It could also be that I'm over the worst in terms of morning sickness etc (still have my moments but much improved), but I do think the rest has really helped me get there. He's back at work now and will be gone again end of the month, but it was nice to have the help for a little while! 

    So, OH has put in his notice - EEK! He'll officially leave next January but should be home from October we hope. It's such a big moment for him, he's been in 24 years. He's nervous as hell but I think it is the right thing for him and our family. He immediately loses £700 a month from his pay, so we spent the weekend cancelling out a few DDs. Including Sky Sports! Never thought I'd see the day, but he says they no longer show the matches he bought it for so he seems happy with that move. 

    One thing we have agreed is that we will get a cleaner. I've resisted this for a long time as it's such a luxury and not in keeping with our money saving goals, but this house is much larger than my last. Friends and family keep saying we should, and he's been pushing for it for a while. I guess that tells you a lot about my cleaning standards :D ! I think the general view is that with a demanding full time job, the dog and a life etc. then it's only going to get harder once a baby is here. I kind of want to save the money, but I've agreed to look into it and it can be the first thing we cut if things do get too tight. I've got one company coming this Friday to quote. They say they quote by doing a trial clean and seeing how long it takes, so worse comes to worst I'll have a spotless house this Friday! 

    On the money saving side, a friend told me about Vinted and I've managed to get almost all the maternity clothes I'll need, including BNWT items, for less than £60! Am dead chuffed with that. I've got items for yoga, for work and for general life. Only things I should need now is underwear. Am not yet in maternity wear but it won't be long. My current clothes are definitely starting to get uncomfortable, although I can still do them up! 

    OH says he's got £2k to pay off the mortgage but he hasn't sent me it yet. I think he likes looking at it in his bank account. I've got the energy support payment to add, and I've made £15 on Quidco recently so need to transfer that over. I think hitting our £12k target is gonna be tough this year if I'm honest. I guess we'll see. 

    We still haven't finished the loft - OH is definitely avoiding that and I don't want to press it just yet. Instead, he wants to add shelves to a landing cupboard to keep his tools in. He'll be using the left over wood from the fitted cupboard so won't cost us anything. I also mentioned that one day (definitely not a priority) I wanted to replace the doors in our house. They are the brown cardboard ones that you get in council houses. Absolutely nothing wrong with them, but brown isn't my fave colour and I just find they remind me of my childhood in a way I don't like. OH has suggested we 'renovate' them somehow. I did paint the one in the loft with a gloss colour that matched the feature wall, but I'm wondering if there is a way to tart the doors up more than just that. I get the logic, as doors are pricey once you've been through the house. Will have to google or Pinterest for some ideas or something. 
  • shellstar
    shellstar Posts: 144 Forumite
    First Post Name Dropper First Anniversary Combo Breaker
    I managed to catch a cold, although I've no idea where from cos I mostly just go to pregnancy yoga and choir and didn't notice anyone ill at either! I was pretty ill for a weekend and took the Monday off work to fully recover. Felt fine so went back to work. I had that thing you get sometimes where by the end of each day, you're a bit run down again. Well, by Friday I was fully blown ill again and was pretty ill Saturday too! Still not quite used to how much rest you actually need when pregnant and ill. So that's three bouts of illness since getting pregnant, after not being ill at all since about a year before COVID.

    Mortgage wise we've definitely stalled. I'm saving all I can for maternity and paying my credit card off. Doing well on both, credit card should be paid off by end of March. Partner had his deployment cancelled due to them finding a problem with his hip. He's being referred to a specialist. I'm pleased he's not deploying but obvs not pleased about the hip. Losing that deployment money and also his pay dropping £700 a month means we're pretty unlikely to stay on target I think. He did manage to save about £8k from the last deployment but as his savings were drained he said he wants to keep £5k to start building a savings pot again (fair enough), and only put £2k against the mortgage (£1k went towards his half of something we needed for the house). He said that 2 months ago though and still hasn't put anything towards the mortgage. I think 3 reminders is enough so I'm just gonna assume he's not putting anything extra towards the mortgage now. I'm a little disappointed as he was the one super worried about the mortgage in the first place. I don't want to push too much as he's been struggling a bit with his mental health - a lot of things are changing for him right now. I was fully on board with his desire to pay it down though, which is why I used bonusses to pay off £10k extra than him (we figured he'd catch-up with deployment pay). I do want to still pay it down, but I think beyond the joint overpayment we've set-up and the extras from Quidco etc. I won't focus on that too much for now. We're supposed to be 50/50 on the house and I already pay more of the bills given I earn more and he's not here a lot of the time. Might be better I find a savings account with a rate higher than the mortgage and save in there until he decides it's a priority again. 

    We had the 20 week scan last week and all is well. It's a boy! So we now have to discard the girls name we easily agreed on and try to find a boys name we both like (no luck so far!). I have started to buy baby things though. Nothing major - some reusable wipes (had a discount code that was about to expire) and a next to me cot that I got second hand for £50 instead of new for £200. Really wasn't keen on paying so much for something the baby will only be in for max 6 months!
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