Starting afresh in paradise

ManekiNeko
ManekiNeko Posts: 238
First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
Forumite
edited 10 July 2022 at 12:56PM in Mortgage-free wannabe

Hi everyone,

Last week I completed on my very first home. 🥂✨ I thought I’d make a MFW diary that very same day, but it turned out I was busy collapsing in utter relief and enjoying a well-earned glass of fizz and a takeaway with my partner.

This dream has been a long time in the making – I’ve wanted to have my own home since pretty much forever, and I’ve wanted to become a member of the MFW forums for about 15 years now (around the time I was an active member on the DFW boards, under a different username), and I’ve finally managed it. As a result my life is, I sincerely hope, finally about to stop being a vortex of chaos, crashing from one thing to the next. I actually get to choose my life for myself now, and take it at the pace I decide to. It’s taken me this long to buy because of a lot of trauma and a couple of abusive relationships, the first of which in particular did heavy damage to my finances.

Introductions

So, here I (finally) am, so let me introduce myself ... I’m mid-thirties, major trauma survivor, including more than one abusive relationship. Worked all my life until my mental health reached breaking point a couple of years ago. Been right through the mental health system, including one major hospital admission. Not had much help, paying privately for good therapy, might be on the verge of NHS help 4.5 years after first asking for it (but obviously not NHS therapy 🙄 that would be too easy). Want a cat, can’t afford one right now though. One day, maybe a service dog as well. Very frugal; I actually have to watch to keep this in check, as I can go too far with saving and forget to actually live a life, predominantly because money and trauma have been interconnected things for me, so when I get triggered I shut down on spending beyond all reason (sometimes I can splurge too much as well, but thankfully I rarely do that these days). Mature student and, despite its awful effect on my mental health, good at academia (scholarship recipient, my average grade is a first). Published author, no books written, maybe one day (have an on again/off again wish to write about trauma and surviving it).

Complex relationship with family of origin. Few, close friends. INFJ, if you’re into that sort of thing. Very private, so writing a diary, especially online, is new and hard for me (worry about bad people from my past identifying me from what I say, and/or tracking me down). Permanently up for outdoors adventures – hiking, camping, swimming, kayaking, rock climbing, anything at all really except running. But I should try it again, I desperately want to be fit and healthy again. Secretly harbour dreams of going on longer adventures (expeditions, races, world travel). I’ve never found I have the willpower for exercise or paperwork, but been severely hampered in both by repeated trauma. Overweight, not drastically but enough to cause me issues, largely due to living environment over the past five years. Ferociously organised when not a total failure. Enjoy playing games (the computer kind, I’m allergic to the interpersonal kind). Bisexual. Have a wonderful partner (dear friend for a long time), polyamorous relationship - although my life has been a hot mess so I haven’t had the energy to explore this yet. Figuring out gender identity, for now on here I’ll run with they/them pronouns, which will be the first time I’ve officially tried those. Went back to study to change career and accidentally founded a non-profit instead, as you do. Good at looking after others, terrible at looking after myself. A frozen, useless mess at conflict, unless defending someone else, when I can and will take on the world. Invisible disabilities: C-PTSD, BPD, OCD, RSI. Mental health stuff is basically the result of trauma. Still recovering from a head injury, just counted and that was six years back now. Waiting for assessments for autism and a dissociative disorder. Soon I could have a lot of letters after my name, I guess. 😉

I'm writing a diary because I need an outlet to keep me sane (although some would argue that ship has sailed! Lol). My first few posts in particular will be long (but fear not, the rest of my diary will be served in more sensibly-sized portions!). I’m unwell physically and mentally right now, and I’m also quite lonely. Even though everyone is really nice where I live now, and for the first time in my life I really feel at home, it still takes time to settle into a new area and so I’m in need of a bit of connection and community, and I’m hoping this diary will help with that. I’m also having something of a panic about how much bills might end up being due to the cost of living crisis we’re all going through at the moment, so I thought writing it all down and making a plan would help.

My home

That is enough about me for now, as obviously we are all really here to be introduced to my new home. 😉 It’s a one-bedroom postage stamp of an apartment. It’s small but aesthetically pleasing, despite a few things that need updating, and as soon as you walk in you’re surrounded by light from the big windows, which is so uplifting and energising. As an outdoorsy person, my apartment is set in (my version of) paradise, aka a small market town that feels more like a large village, with a national park as its backdrop. Hence the name of my diary. Paradise turns out to be pretty much as you’d expect – it’s a nice area, some historic buildings, beautiful views, some gentle nightlife, lots of little independent shops, easy access to public transport, and welcoming, friendly, genuine people. In short, it’s exactly where I need to be to heal. For the first time in my life, I understand why people settle in one place. I am so ready to put down some roots. I don’t see myself leaving here for a very long time, perhaps forever. (I still want to travel, but now I want to come home again too.)

I know there’s some work that needs doing to my apartment (some cosmetic and some more fundamental), which is probably the reason why such a nice place was in my price range. I’m trying not to think too much about it, because I know how much it could cost if the works turn out to be more than I’d thought, and how easily home improvements can go over-budget. Basically, I’m really hoping nothing breaks too early on, as almost all of my savings have gone on the deposit, and the rest will probably be gone by the time I've moved in and furnished the place. As a leasehold property, I also have a responsibility to stump up 10 per cent of the cash if anything major goes wrong with the apartment block as a whole, although the freeholder traditionally has carried even major costs themselves, recouping the costs out of the surplus element of the service charge, and also carries buildings insurance in case of anything truly drastic. So, I can afford the place as it stands, but there is a clear risk that I could get in over my head if big problems arose unexpectedly. I know this is a risk, but it’s a balanced risk against the much bigger risks of remaining homeless (I’ll get into that a bit more below). Basically, needs must, but it’s urgent that I rebuild my cash savings in case of a rainy day. This is going to be a big challenge on my current income, but I’m hoping now I have a home again, I may be able to recover my health enough to slowly finish my degree, and perhaps even get back to my part-time job. If I really get well, I’ll work on my non-profit and aim to do that as my career. I also have a couple of fun side gigs I could look into, if needed. (I’m a bit of a serial entrepreneur so my challenge is to focus, more than diversify, my income streams.)

I’m really fortunate in that my partner and I should be able to DIY a lot of that work over time. I’ll need to save up for each project, so it’s going to take me a long time, unless I manage to get back to work, but this will give me lots of time to work out what’s important to me and how I want the finished job to look. I’ve never actually lived alone before, so it will be fun getting to decorate exactly as I want to, and working out what I want from a place. I'm kind of nervous/excited at the idea of living alone; I'm hoping I won't get too lonely. It's partly why I'd like to have a cat right now; I can see myself snuggled up with them on the couch this winter, watching a movie or knitting. (I'm getting back into crafting.) But I really need to wait and see what energy prices do next.

My username

In case you’re wondering where my username came from, Maneki Neko literally translates from Japanese as a beckoning cat (it might be hyphenated as Maneki-neko; searching online didn't help me much with the correct way to express it in English). To be clear, I am not Japanese, nor do I have any Japanese heritage, but I do love the legend of the Maneki Neko. There are different versions lost in the mists of time, but in general, the story goes that the cat was adopted by a poor monk, who lived a simple, austere life, but shared what little he had with the cat, who had been a stray. One day, a rich man, perhaps a Samurai, was sheltering from a big storm under a tree near the temple. The cat raised his paw in a beckoning gesture (the beckoning gesture in Japan is different to in Europe), and the Samurai, curious, walked across to the cat making this unusual gesture.

In doing so, the cat saved his life, as the tree he had just been sheltering under was struck by lightning. In gratefulness, the Samurai became a sponsor of the temple, which never again suffered poverty, and the monk and the cat lived happily ever after. When the cat passed on, a statue was built in gratitude for the patronage it brought the temple. It is said that the statue inspired the smaller Maneki Neko who today adorn businesses and homes. I love cats (and all animals), and I love the idea of the Maneki Neko, which beckons (brings) good things into your life depending on its colour, which paw is raised, and the amulets and trinkets it may wear or hold. I used to have a ceramic one as a money box, but my ex smashed it. The same ones were no longer available to buy, but one day I will find myself another one for my new home, which I might end up featuring here. Until then, I found one online to use as my profile photo so that you can satisfy your curiosity as to what they look like.

Thanks for reading, if anyone at all got this far😅.

Neko

Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
% of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
MF date: June 2056 October 2055
Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
Emergency fund: £0
Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


«13456724

Comments

  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 10 July 2022 at 12:54PM
    Homelessness

    Okay, so if you’re only interested in the money, feel free to skip over this post, because I want to say a little something here about my experience of being homeless. To be clear, I was “legally homeless” (as in, had a roof but did not have a home and didn’t always know where I would be living), not “street homeless” (which is what it says on the tin, and which I have been fortunate enough not to experience).

    I’ve spent the past 18 months or so being homeless, living mostly in domestic abuse refuges, but also other types of temporary housing (I'm not being too specific in case it makes me recognisable to people irl). I’m grateful not to have been living on the street, but you have to know that being grateful for a roof doesn’t make it any easier to live in those kinds of places. It has been an extremely difficult, triggering and traumatic environment, with restrictive rules and frequently insufficient facilities (think broken heating for days or weeks, even when I was ill, no WiFi for months, that kind of thing).

    My experience of the refuges has been that of a gilded sort of imprisonment (and sometimes not even particularly gilded). Temporary accommodation means I have been in a kind of permanent limbo, just outside of society looking in, unable to plan or move forwards with my life, with no idea when, or if, I would ever get out of there. Yes, I’m grateful to have had a roof over my head, and there were some positives too, but on the whole it caused a lot of trauma and it has felt endless and imprisoning. A nightmare Groundhog Day.

    That explanation feels insufficient, because I want you to understand a bit about what it's been like, but when I tried to write about my experiences I mostly just ranted lol, so maybe a few numbers are the easiest way to convey the scale of the problem I've been dealing with? Numbers do seem appropriate to MSE, after all. So here goes:

    Countless agonising choices and difficult decisions. A smaller, still countless, number of lies and omissions to the people I couldn’t face telling that I was in a refuge (some I told eventually). Thousands of miles driven between the refuge and medical appointments in the place I used to live, far away. Thousands of pounds spent, because I might as well, because the benefits system makes no sense and if you save, you’re punished for it (on the plus side I did get some good outdoorsy gear out of this). 100 per cent: the number of temporary accommodation providers whose rules, and sometimes staff, echoed the controlling dynamics in my past abusive relationships. 18 months plus existing like this (I really can’t say living). Seven moves in two years. Three car accidents. Three months, at least, where I should have been in hospital because of my mental health. Three times my previous doctor’s surgery lost treatment results and medical letters, messing up my care, delaying a crucial investigation and getting me discharged wrongly from a mental health service.

    Two and a half years signed off from work. Two years signed off from university study. Two visits to hospital with chest pains. Two Christmases in refuge. Two times a mental health crisis has led to me seeing the Home Treatment Team (that number should have been loads higher, of course, but bad experiences have led me to be very wary). Two nights a week, sometimes one; the only times I could see my friends and family; picking between people, relationships suffering. Two people I have lived with, one who became a friend, who tried to end their lives (I think it's three, actually, but can’t be sure of the last person’s intent). Two ambulances for me (lots for other people).

    One police response, technically for other people but nonetheless I was up until 6am helping. One admission to hospital for sepsis, caused by an old injury associated to the trauma; been on antibiotics for months and on a waiting list for surgery (it is no fun knowing that how badly you were treated by people in the past could still end up killing you now). One Covid-19 infection; I was confined to my room by staff and not allowed out except for very short periods each day. One car that I packed and unpacked repeatedly, usually alone, often ending up exacerbating my health problems, once to the point I couldn't fully stand up. One time I needed a food bank. One scary spider in the shared bathroom who frightened me so much I had to name him (Larry Long-Legs, if you were wondering) to even be able to go in there. Half a Christmas in hospital, alone. No visitors allowed, ever.

    With all that in mind, you’ll now better understand the extent to which I needed to buy my own home and get out of that living environment. You'll probably get the amount of extreme stress over the past month, as well as the mental health crisis which resulted, when it suddenly became very unclear whether I would manage to buy the place or if it would all fall through at the last moment. I was constantly afraid of this, as it would condemn me to many more years trapped in the temporary housing system. It’s a long story which started with the vendor suddenly setting a too-short deadline for exchange, and ended with my mortgage lender as the villain; my broker has lodged a formal complaint, and I need to as well when I’ve the strength. Things literally got to the stage where I would twitch when my phone notification sound went off, as I didn’t know if it would be bad news. I’m still vaguely trying to patch myself back together and dealing with the emotional fallout from all this.

    When I found out I had completed on the flat and had a home again, it felt like I’d re-joined the human race and had a place in society again. I can’t even put into words what an amazing feeling it is to have a secure home. I have a fresh start in life, and I never have to live anywhere that isn’t safe for me ever again (assuming I can pay off the mortgage – which is where this diary and all of you come in!). I’m planning to change my name legally soon, for several reasons, and that will formally mark a line in the sand for me between my old and new life.

    Shaking off the ghosts of the past, let’s get on to the financials ...

    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 10 July 2022 at 1:52PM
    Money, money, money 💸

    House deposit

    My house deposit came from a mix of places, predominantly some compensation money from an accident, but also my own savings, as well as help from my dear sister (DS) and my non-profit.

    Now, when I negotiated the sale price with the vendor, I ended up offering about £1,500 more than I actually had in the bank ready to buy. This sounds bad, I know, but it was quite sensible for my situation, so let me explain that before y'all throw me off MSE. 😂

    I'd done my research before opening negotiations, and knew that although the market as a whole was overheated, this particular property was standing vacant, and the sale had fallen through twice before. I'd also tried hard to build rapport with the estate agent during my viewings, and made casual enquiries, and they'd hinted there might be some flex. I ended up securing the property at 93.75 per cent of asking, which I was pleased with, as it was a shade better than the average sale to asking price, which is 94 per cent in my area.

    I also made my offer in the full knowledge I would be able to save that up £1,500 very comfortably within 6-8 weeks (e.g., definitely before completion). This was due to an extra payment of one of my benefits (it's paid every four weeks, so I get a 'bonus' payment once a year), plus of course general savings, plus I was intending to sell my car, as I knew I wouldn't be able to afford this alongside a mortgage. My car alone amply covered that cost, so I wasn't too worried - until a few weeks later, when it came to light that my broker had made a genuine human error with the LTV I could apply for with my mortgage lender. He had originally said I could borrow up to 65 or 70 per cent (if my memory serves), but it turned out to be 60 per cent.

    So, suddenly I was more like £4,300 behind where I needed to be to pay for the property. :scream:

    I could have been out of the running altogether, but fortunately I was only 2-3 per cent above that LTV boundary. It was very stressful, as while I could have swung £1,500 quid no bother, over £4k was another matter altogether. I have to say I did not react well to suddenly being told I was effectively 'back in debt', and it brought up a lot of trauma memories from when I was with my first ex. As a result, I promptly clamped down on every single piece of spending. The refuge promised me a food bank voucher, but it was not forthcoming, which left me eating one ready meal a day, and filling up enough to go to sleep on things like peanut butter straight out of the jar with a spoon. I mean, I love peanut butter, but day after day it's less fun. It also messed with my head even more, as when others had needed a food bank voucher they'd always been given it immediately, while I was made to wait. I had a donation of food from a local charity a colleague told me about. After about 10 days, the refuge finally gave me a food bank voucher, and I cried when I got the food and saw that someone had included some fancy Lindt chocolate in it. I really wasn't expecting that.

    I spent exactly £20 (in non-budgeted spends) in the four weeks after finding out about the LTV error. Anything else was donated food/toiletries/etc, or bought with a gift voucher I'd been given for Christmas, or Tesco points I'd saved up. I ate at my partner's twice a week, which was an amazing gift of normal food and normality. I did not usually eat anything before I went over to his in the late afternoon. I tried very hard not to eat all the junk food he had when I did go round (since I wasn't buying any, it was very tempting). I ate a lot of really weird looking and weird tasting meals from the tins from the food bank. I ate them slowly, with the TV on, because I hated them. I was microwaving everything in one container, which didn't help with the looks of the meals, but was the only way I could actually do this in a shared kitchen (my mental health does not play well with shared living). I asked for toilet paper from the refuge. I worried if I'd need to ask for another food bank voucher (here you can only get vouchers a few times a year). It was, not fun. But it was effective. After about 4-6 weeks, things were looking a lot different financially, and I started to ease up as I realised I was nearly there. I went and did a cheap food shop, and it was amazing because able to choose which foods I wanted again. After another 4 weeks, I'd sold my car, which got me a bit over £2k, and was firmly back in the black.

    So ok, breaking down my house deposit a bit - DS helped me to the tune of £10k, which was a gifted deposit in the formal sense, but it’s far too much for me to accept and I’ve said to her from the beginning that I will be aiming to pay this back. DS has agreed to this, but expressly only if I can repay without scrimping and scraping, and with the proviso that I can take breaks if, say, my washing machine breaks and I need to save up for a new one. I can also repay as much or as little as I can afford. I am still working out how to say a sufficient thank you to DS; there is no way I could have afforded this place without them, and I hated the handful of places I could have afforded independently. I am thinking of sending some kind of thank you card or letter, but this doesn't really feel "enough" to express how I feel.

    Similarly, I used £4k from my non-profit towards my house deposit as well. Technically I’m entitled to use it, as the fund was awarded to pay the living expenses of the founder, and I really felt I had no choice as I was completely unable to work on my non-profit given what I was dealing with in refuge, so it’s definitely gone towards making my vision for the non-profit into a reality. However, I really don’t feel comfortable with spending the money on myself like this, as I always planned and said I would use it to help get the inaugural project off the ground, so again I will be treating this as a loan.

    I can’t really afford to repay my non-profit at the same time as my DS, so I’ll focus on repaying DS first, particularly as she and her partner are starting a family. I do however pay some small costs for the non-profit, such as web hosting, so I’ll deduct these each month from the total loan. That’s the best I can do for now. I feel bad about having needed to take a loan from my non-profit, to be honest, but also my living circumstances the past few years have been so bad it was essential that I get some stable housing back in my life, as otherwise I’d never reach the point I was well enough to work on it again. When I’m well enough to have paying clients, I can pay more money back out of my earnings. One day, in my dreams, I’ll have enough clients to draw a salary and work on my non-profit full-time. That’s a long way off reality, as I’m off sick and as yet there is no income into the non-profit, but I can dream.

    MFW Dreams

    So I’ve bought a home – now I need to keep it that way. The cost of living crisis is starting to bite, and I fear it will get worse before it gets better. My instinct says it’s time to batten down the hatches; I don’t see these high costs going anywhere for at least a year or two. I’d love to be wrong. Either way, I’m on a fixed income of disability-related benefits, mostly because of my mental health conditions, so I need to plan carefully.

    I’m very lucky to have locked in a low interest rate of 1.65 per cent (well, lucky and hardworking, I broke my back making that happen because I had a feeling late last year that rates were going to rise). My rate is fixed until early 2029, but I highly doubt rates will be this low again. I want to make inroads into my debt and mortgage during the next seven years, so that if I end up on a much higher interest rate when I need to remortgage, I won’t be at risk of either losing my home or living a life of quiet, miserly desperation just to keep my home. It’s horrible to live that way, I know because I’ve done it before, most recently with the food bank, but also on a much more long-term basis when I was with my first ex and somehow managing to slowly pay off debts despite him taking money from me all the time.

    Realistically, my budget is quite tight as things stand, but does allow a small amount for fun (at least based on the figures I did when I applied for the mortgage; I’m still in the process of sorting out the utilities and bills for my new home, and utilities especially have massively shot up in price, so I’ll know more on this soon). I know my budget will be tight for a long time, and that’s worth it to me to have my own home again, and be working towards my financial future by paying down a mortgage instead of rent. I’m alright with it; I just don’t want my budget to be so tight that I can’t afford to do anything at all for fun.

    My budget is most likely to change if and when I’m well enough to return to at least part-time work, but there is one possible other change. The government recently mentioned something about possibly changing the benefits rules, which currently pay towards housing costs only if you rent your home, to also allow for help towards people’s mortgages, as well as changing the rules around LISAs and a few other things. If that happens, it would be a life-changing thing for me, but I obviously can’t rely on that outcome.

    Basically, I did have a decent amount of savings and was completely debt free up until last Thursday, when I completed on my apartment. It’s quite a large amount of debt, so I feel a bit yikes about it, albeit it's the good kind of debt that helps with buying a home. I’ve now got maybe £2.5k, with which I need to pay for any essential works, my moving costs, furnishing my new home (might be eligible for a grant towards this), replacing the boiler (probably eligible for a grant to get this / most of this done free of charge), and obviously keep a certain amount in reserve for my bills and, if possible, a small EF.

    I’ll be using the next couple of posts to make a log of key life events, keep track of my goals, and post up my SOA.

    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 9 May 2023 at 10:45AM

    Key updates (aka TLDR)

    This post will be used to add bullet-points of the major changes in my life since I started this diary, so if it gets really long in future people can jump right up to current day stuff without needing to read tons.

    • 30 June 2022: Completed on my first home. 🥂
    • 5 July 2022: Finally chose a username (it took me about four days to pick lol) and registered again for the MSE forum.
    • 6 July 2022: Started my MFW diary. 🤓
    • 10 July 2022. Finally got editing access and celebrated by frightening everyone with the small novel contained in my first few posts, after frightening myself with how much the cost of living had gone up since I budgeted for buying a home.
    • 17 July 2022. First repayment to DS.
    • 18 July 2022. First standard mortgage repayment made.
    • 20 July 2022. First overpayment made (£20 💷)
    • 16 September 2022. Moved completely out of the MH house and into my flat. 🏡
    • 30 September 2022. Got a new boiler, three new radiators, a thermostat and a carbon monoxide alarm installed under a grant.
    • 5 November 2022. Replaced the stoptap ourselves. 🔧
    • 15 February 2023. Got plumber in to replace toilet. 🚽
    • 1 March 2023. Started second mortgage year. Six years to go until end of fix. 📆
    • Mid-March 2023. Finally resigned from my job and volunteering roles. I'm sad about it, but I need to focus on my health.
    • 1 May 2023. Increased repayments to DS (due to benefits uprating). Now repaid DS a bit over 10 per cent.
    • 1 May 2023. Overpaid the service charge element from UC (and will continue to).
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 18 July 2022 at 11:55AM

    Goals

    This section is for me to keep track of my goals as I work towards them. I was never taught how to manage my time or work towards goals, and possibly as a result, I have a tendency to set goals that are too ambitious, and therefore are de-motivating, or to become all-consumed by meeting my goals, to the detriment of my health and wellbeing, so I will be aiming for a more realistic and balanced approach. I am still teaching myself how to work towards realistic goals, and learning about how my mental health interfaces with that, so you can expect a somewhat rocky road, at least to start with.

    Most goals will have rough timescales to start with, and this will give an indication of when I think I might be working on them. Especially for the longer-term ones, they may well flex and change over time, or be moved forwards and backwards in time.

    At the moment deadlines aren't working well for me, as my health is so variable. I'm trying to have completed, in progress, and starting soon goals. Later, I'll try to set deadlines and work backwards to set smaller goals on the way to bigger ones.

    I shall be adding statistics to make my goals more concrete and feel more achievable, and to illustrate how things are going and the progress I’m making.

    ***Completed goals***

    Completed goals: 1.

    • Make a MFW diary
    ***In progress goals***
    • Stitch markers. 14 July: Stitch markers ordered, went with cute cats. Waiting for delivery.
    • Baby blanket. Soon: Start knitting blanket for dear niece-to-be. 18 July: Really must open post when I get home and check this has arrived. 15 July: Post collected from new home. 13 July: Went to local craft shop, chose wool (dark grey, light grey, cream, pale blue, pale green), ordered a few extra balls of wool as shop didn't have quite enough in stock. 12 July: Baby blanket knitting pattern ordered.
    • Baby booties and mittens. 18 July: Try to get started on the booties today (practice new stitches first). Have bought an extra 'string' so I can start the blanket on the longer one once the wool is in, but can carry on with the booties and mittens as well.
    • Knitting project bag/s. 15 July: Got a tip on using supermarket vegetable bags (30p each) to keep wool for one project separate from others. Not a priority, but I'll try to remember to pick these up at some point. Debating whether to ask for a proper knitting project bag for my birthday (and possibly some kind of organiser for my knitting needles), or whether to repair the old fabric bag I'm using at the moment.
    • Get WiFi. 80% done. Done my part; just waiting for engineer to come out on the 19th July. Need to tidy up my scribbles from setting this up, though.

    ***Starting soon goals***

    MSE signature. 0% done. Make a signature, incl. a cumulative total of all OPs paid, mortgage start figure and original end date, % of mortgage paid off. Interest saved by OPs? % of debts paid off. Link to my MFW diary.
    For interest saved (even for one-off payments), use the MSE overpayment calculator.

    Organise movers/van hire/etc. 10% done. Me to investigate moving services and any cheaper alternatives. Call up local charities etc, per @jennystarpepper's recommendation: "lookup local charity maybe, sometimes they have vans, church groups are sometimes good and they don't ask you if you believe or not!"

    Change locks. 15 per cent done. Waiting for second set of keys to be returned to estate agents for me to collect; chased again 9 July. I do need these, as they include the key to the utilities cupboard, but I'm also thinking to get the front door locks changed. I could apparently change the barrel for about £40. Need to ring a locksmith and ask how much a more secure lock would cost, for comparison.

    Get electricity and gas supplier. 25% done. Me to call a couple of companies on Monday 11th July.

    Call charity about washing machine. See if this is still available for me - discuss other furniture needs.

    Update addresses. Update my addresses. Leave forwarding details with my last few accommodation providers?

    Update benefits. 20% done. I've told HB over the phone, but need to email them and contact other benefits to advise I've bought a home.

    Send photos to Council Tax.They've advised they can offer me an exemption until I move in. Next time I'm over there, take photos to prove I don't have any furniture there and that the property is empty. Send across. They'll backdate the exemption. Then, update them when I've got a moving date.

    Start deep clean. Want to do a deep clean before I move in. Especially, look at the oven and extractor fan to see what condition they're in. Note: Can't start until I've had keys back/changed the locks.

    Replace boiler. 5% done. Need to research and apply for grant.

    Organise plumber. 0% done. To confirm there is no lead pipework internally (oh, the joys of older properties). Water board already confirmed the mains is good. Need to check email from builder as I think they recommended a local plumber.

    Move my stuff from three places into my new home. 0% done. Move into the apartment (incl. collecting my stuff from other people’s houses where they’ve been storing it for me). Me to start walking a bag or two over to my new place each day in the meantime. Aim: Be moved in July. Note: Can't start until I've had keys back/changed the locks.

    Service charge. Contact the freeholder to understand where/how to pay my service charge (but, this may already be in the post to me, so give it a couple of weeks at least).

    Sort my budget. Re-design my spreadsheet so that my projected house-buying budget, and current budget, are now one and the same. Check I've got a provider for all bills. Go over all my bills to check I'm getting the best deal. Got appointment with CAB for early August if I need help; will probably need advice on energy bills this winter.

    Insurance. Take out any insurance I need. Ideally before moving in, but if not then shortly after. Need life ins, contents ins.

    MH care. Agree a plan for this with HTT before they discharge me. Establish the leaving process with the organisation I'm living with now, plus any follow-on support required.

    Birthday plans. Make a plan for what I'd like to do for my birthday, communicate with relevant people. Some have asked for wishlist; need to communicate my spending will now be very limited. If they really want one, possibly ask to delay until I've moved house and know what I'll need/want.

    ***When I have a moving date***

    Serve notice with current accommodation. Need to give one week's notice.

    Get water supplier. 75% done. Me to call them back when I move in. Contacted water company; vacant exemption until I move in. Will get cheaper tariff and added to priority register when I call them back.

    ***After I've moved in***

    • Collapse in a heap of exhaustion for a while? Throw a party?
    • Lodge complaint with my mortgage lender; if I get compensation, OP it

    Home ideas/goals

    • Re-seal the bath (get sealant and applicator; get the mould resistant kind)
    • Buy a new cheap plastic doodah for the toilet (sorry, it's escaping me just now), because the flush refill goes on forever and makes a noise that will drive me mad.
    • Replace cracked window in kitchen
    • Get immediately-needed furniture inexpensively (or donated)
    • Put up shelving in bathroom
    • Put up a glass shower door (can only use bath until then); get squeegee
    • Improve my DIY skills and confidence
    • Print out the surveyor’s report and other house documents; use plastic slips so it’s easy to read. Annotate or use post-its. Prioritise and work gradually through the list
    • Work on the energy efficiency of the apartment
    • Attend the leaseholders’ meetings that apparently take place (a rumour from a neighbour, never had it confirmed). If these do exist, need to clear things like new windows via them. NB: Best to make such works as soon as possible, in case of the property becoming listed in the future
    • Once the drainage is repaired (freeholder organising and paying, no planned increase to service charge), possibly contact the freeholder to see if they would consider having a structural engineer assess whether any structural movement was caused by the incorrectly discharging downpipe.
    Home decorating ideas/dreams (more long-term)

    First, work out how I'd like each room to look and feel. Mood board?
    • Bathroom. Install a fancy shower
    • Bathroom. Underfloor heating?
    • Bathroom. Heated towel rail
    • Bedroom. Buy a nice large bed with a quality mattress.
    • Bedroom. Black-out lining for curtains. Cost making vs. buying.
    • Kitchen. Herb garden on my window ledge.
    • Lighting. Dimmer switches with remote controls in living room and bedroom, maybe bathroom if possible
    • Living room. Window seat so I have somewhere nice to sit and read. Needs a sturdy place for tea and biscuits
    • Living room. See if I can fix blind (won't close all the way). Otherwise, fix some kind of curtain before the autumn.
    • Paint. Paint throughout
    • Pictures. Put up various pictures - photos from trips? Framed trio of maps, photos and info about the property and its history

    Money goals

    • Work out my milestone amounts eg 10, 25, 50, 75 % paid off. And work out what my basic payments will pay off a year, then set targets based on that plus a bit. I don't need to know how to make them, they're just to focus the mind and it doesn't matter if I don't get there. Just having the target will make me achieve more than without one.
    • Check with bank - get online banking, what account will the DD come from, do OPs automatically go directly off capital owed (not to reducing the monthly payment)
    • Set up my mortgage spreadsheet properly, so I can track all the metrics that matter to me
    • Start OP'ing my mortgage, even if it's a very tiny amount right now
    • Also track total amount saved in rent, taking the £525 as an estimate. Mortgages aren't cheap, but they sure beat renting. Also track all house spends so I can see exactly whether and by how much buying has been less expensive for me?
    • Buy or make a few big pictures that you can colour in sections of (to represent clearing debt and the mortgage, in small increments of say £10 - £100). Does anyone know how to do this? I’ve heard of them and they looked so great, but it feels wrong to spend money on something to help me be rid of debt. Maybe I'll make one in a spreadsheet and print it off
    • Rebuild a cash emergency fund. I also need to create some kind of financial safety net in case of works to the apartment block itself; as a leaseholder, I’ll be responsible for 10 per cent of these costs. As I’m limited on the amount of savings I can hold, this could include developing a line of a cheap credit to be held in case of emergencies, or it could look like maintaining a great credit history
    • Consider PT work – big employer, or my WFH job, or even temping when I can
    • Maybe an Etsy shop to sell crafts as a side gig?
    • Maybe pet sitting/walking as a side gig?
    • Become debt free
    • Become mortgage free
    • Become financially independent (possibly dropping to PT work)
    • Possibly retire early

    Ways I’m wondering about OP’ing, when I can afford to

    • Round up my monthly payment to the nearest appropriate £ figure
    • Tilly tidy, could do daily or weekly, I don't tend to spend on debit card so maybe check reward CCs instead and round up
    • Overpay any free money such as interest on my savings, compensation if I make a complaint, CC cashback, Amazon reward card points, amount my benefits go up with inflation (subject to inflation/being able to afford to live), gift vouchers etc

    Life goals

    Soon

    • Have more outdoors adventures - try flying solo for some, see if I can get used to it
    • Get fitter, mostly as a result of the above
    • Explore my new area
    • Eat more healthily, ideally with the support of the MH dietitian (when I finally make it off the waiting list)
    • Make new friends and settle into the local community (craft club, hiking group)
    • Knit a baby blanket, hat, gloves and booties for my niece-to-be
    • Look at crafty gifts I can give for birthdays and Christmas
    • Communicate with friends and family that celebrations will be low-spend for the foreseeable
    • Continue to volunteer
    • Return to study, at least part-time?
    • Return to PT job? When I'm well enough
    • Declutter my paperwork (gradually)
    • No earlier than the New Year, consider whether I can afford a pet; I want a cat, but I don’t think I can afford it right now

     1-3 years

    • Write my Will
    • Do LPAs?
    • Finish volunteering; get testimonial/case study, etc
    • Finish my degree
    • Attend my graduation ceremony
    • Buy myself a piece of jewellery to celebrate graduating, if no one else does
    5-7 years
    • Keep a serious eye on what interest rates are doing as we approach the end of my fix
    • Start thinking about re-mortgaging
    • By now, hopefully be well enough to start working seriously on my non-profit (hopefully much sooner, but we shall see)
    • At around this mark, maybe I'll have a more realistic idea of how I could one day afford to buy a min. two-bed house with a garden, so I can get a dog. Must be walking distance to train station. Ideally, with a guest room and a study (the latter being my little zone); if no study, consider feasibility of an extension/loft conversion/fancy garden office.
    • Plan whether to try and sell my apartment, or (ideally) keep it as a buy-to-let if I can afford a house by then
    Notes: If I’m buying a house this might well be with my partner by then, but I don’t want to do a joint mortgage as it gives me the heebie jeebies. My history with domestic abuse has meant my trust has been broken so severely and repeatedly that, even though my partner is one of the best human beings I have ever known, I’d still much rather keep the apartment and rent it out as a BTL, since as that keeps it filed mentally as a kind of emergency bolthole should everything go wrong.

    And obviously, if things don’t go wrong, the extra income will help to set me up for retirement, which I need to put some heavy focus on, given the … what’s the opposite of a headstart in life? … my first ex inflicted on my finances. And when my financial house is really in order, if things still haven’t gone wrong, the extra income can then go towards any home improvements / fancy holidays that my partner and I fancy.

    However - keep in mind that the environment for small landlords has been getting steadily more hostile over the past five years, and I may also be better off away from the extra risk/lower control of a leasehold property. The decision will all come down to whether I'm back to work by then, or not.

    Also remember that if BTL looks too costly, consider if I could get a property with an annex and rent this out instead (or cost building one; but needs planning permission, which may be hard to get).

    Future dreams

    • Get enough clients for my non-profit that I can work on it full-time and draw a salary; then get enough so that I can afford a PT EA; then enough I can afford a researcher; and so on
    • Record the full human impact of the non-profit’s work (SROI, etc)
    • Write a book(s)?
    • Travel
    • When I’m back to work, get a pension. Possibly income protection insurance
    • Not too sure what else to write here - everything has been so jumbled these past few years. Hoping that having my own space again will allow for more daydreaming (and working towards those dreams)
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    edited 10 July 2022 at 4:29PM
    SOA

    Okay, strong cup of tea made, and SOA prepared and posted below. I know it's silly tight; trust me, it's not how I'd have liked to be financially when buying a home. It was looking a lot healthier when I ran the numbers six months ago (when I was offering on my apartment). I knew that utilities were due to rise, but was hoping that the price would soften out over time. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has put an end to this possibility in my mind, at least for the foreseeable future. Now, I will happily suffer higher energy prices if it means helping Ukraine, but that doesn't mean I'm not looking forward grimly to a winter where I'm not expecting to be able to heat my home as I wish.

    Utility bills

    I already know that my main problem will be the energy bills. Once they calm down, I should be able to start making some progress in rebuilding my savings. In the meantime - yikes.

    My apartment is currently on a prepayment meter. I’m torn between keeping it – slightly higher annual price, greater risk of disconnections during the winter, no/low risk of getting into debt – and switching to a DD payment – slightly lower annual price, greater choice of providers (not that that matters right now since they are all much of a muchness), lower risk of disconnection at least in the immediate sense, higher risk of debts being reported to the credit reference agencies and potentially ultimately stopping me remortgaging).

    I’ve asked CAB and they pretty much googled it and confirmed my suspicions about the choice I was making. I think the only thing I can do to assist with the decision is phone the energy company I’m considering and see how they’d report a struggling customer to the credit reference agencies, but my gut feeling is that I'll probably stick with the pre-payment meter for now.

    Mortgage details

    Purchase price: £112,500
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 (including the £999 fee to take it out*)
    Interest rate: 1.65 per cent, fixed until early 2029
    Monthly payments: £219.48
    LTV: 60 per cent
    OPs allowed: Up to 10 per cent of the outstanding value each year (my monthly payments count towards this total). I’m unlikely to reach the limit
    ERC: 5 per cent of the amount outstanding. Today, that would be £3,424.95. I read somewhere maybe I could reduce the term if I ever get back to work and want to pay more
    Monthly interest costs today: £94.19
    Daily interest costs today: £3.10
    Term: 34 years
    Original MF date: February 2056
    Original number of months to make mortgage payments: 408
    Original amount to repay, including interest: This is the hypothetical figure provided by the bank, but if I never remortgaged, and instead simply reverted onto the SVR at the end of my fix, and my interest rate was exactly the same as the illustrative figure provided by the bank (unlikely, since rates have been at historic lows for a decade), then I’d repay: £113,215.16

    *I had been intending to pay this upfront, of course, but due to my broker's error I ended up having to roll it into the mortgage.

    Household and bills

    As I’ve mentioned I have a partner, but he won’t appear in my budget as we don’t live together and our finances are separate. We are both frugal people though; if anything, I’m the spendy one, which is never the case for me lol. We might live together one day, but if we do, we think we’ll likely keep our finances separate. That doesn’t mean we take no interest in the other’s financial situation though; quite the opposite, I know if my partner wasn’t well provided for in life I couldn’t be happy. I’ve just been really badly burnt before and don’t see the need to merge finances or have a joint account (or, horror of horrors, a joint mortgage). I want us both to be financially protected in the event we broke up.

    I don’t have a car any longer; I sold it some months ago to assist with buying a home, in the knowledge it would be unaffordable for me if I was successful in doing so. Frankly it was probably just in time, because the fuel prices now are scandalous.

    At the moment I’m still shopping around for the best deals, so for now I’ll show estimated figures and annotate where that’s the case.

    [font=courier new][b]Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet[/b][b]

    Household Information[/b]
    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 0[b]

    Monthly Income Details[/b]
    Monthly income after tax................ 0
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 1316.79
    Other income............................ 0[b]
    Total monthly income.................... 1316.79[/b][b] Once a year I get an additional payments, due to the quirks of the benefits system, which is c. £650. I don't count on this month to month, so I would usually divert it to savings/holiday/OPs. Realistically, this year it'll probably go on energy bills, but we shall see.

    Monthly Expense Details[/b]
    Mortgage................................ 219.5
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 65 Includes buildings insurance.
    Council tax............................. 83.73 Will be applying for Council Tax Reduction; can be any amount, down to zero.
    Electricity............................. 75 No idea; guessing.
    Gas..................................... 75 No idea; guessing.
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 22.21
    Telephone (land line)................... 0 Included with WiFi contract
    Mobile phone............................ 10 Unlimited calls and texts, 15 GB data. Need to check signal once I've moved house and see if there's a better deal I can get.
    TV Licence.............................. 0
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 4.66 I share a Netflix subscription.
    Internet Services....................... 20 Fast WiFi on a social tariff. 12-month contract.
    Groceries etc. ......................... 150 No real idea; hoping to get back to cooking more healthily from scratch. Will be shopping mostly in local Aldi after I move in.
    Clothing................................ 0 I don't see room in my budget just now. Maybe next year.
    Petrol/diesel........................... 0
    Road tax................................ 0
    Car Insurance........................... 0
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 0
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 34.5 Saving up £30 a month towards travel costs, plus saving £4.50 a month towards a three-year Disabled Railcard.
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 2.5 Saving up to replace my glasses every two years with inexpensive frames.
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 15 A guess; need to take this out.
    Life assurance ......................... 15 A guess; need to take this out.
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10 I will probably be making/baking gifts for the foreseeable future.
    Haircuts................................ 0 I'm growing it long.
    Entertainment........................... 100 This is my unbudgeted spending pot. Effectively 'fun money'
    Holiday................................. 30 This is savings each month until I can afford to go away.
    Emergency fund.......................... 20 This is savings towards house repairs.
    Other side project's web hosting........ 3.66 I could possibly set up a little shop on this, which might make a few pounds a year. Would need more energy than I have right now.
    Non-profit's savings for Office licence. 1 Token payment. I bought MS Office for business use some years ago when I was freelancing. One day, I know I'll have to buy a new licence.
    Non-profit's website hosting............ 6 Annual payment, this is savings each month.
    Savings to replace tech................. 20 This probably isn't enough, but there we are.
    Game subscription....................... 3.71 Uncertain about this; will see how much I play after I'm moved in and back online.
    Private therapy......................... 180 I've already negotiated a steep discount with my therapist. This funds weekly sessions.
    Emergency Fund savings.................. 50[b] This is savings to try and rebuild my cash savings.
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1216.47[/b]
    [b]

    Assets[/b]
    Cash.................................... 2500 This is a ballpark and is likely to drop pretty sharply due to moving and furniture costs.
    House value (Gross)..................... 112500
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 0
    Other assets............................ 0[b]
    Total Assets............................ 115000[/b]
    [b]

    Secured & HP Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Mortgage...................... 68499....(219.5)....1.65[b]
    Total secured & HP debts...... 68499.....-.........-   [/b]

    [b]Unsecured Debts[/b]
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Loan from DS...................10000.....100.......0 There is no minimum payment, but this is what I'm hoping to pay, if I can swing it.
    Loan from non-profit...........4000......0.........0[b] I'll be deducting the few pounds I pay monthly from this total.
    Total unsecured debts..........14000.....100.......-  [/b]

    [b]
    Monthly Budget Summary[/b]
    Total monthly income.................... 1,316.79
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,216.47
    Available for debt repayments........... 100.32
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 100[b]
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 0.32[/b] Okay, there's some kind of issue here as my spreadsheet currently says I have c. £40 left over each month. Since a few of my bills are still estimates, I'll double check the figures once I'm done setting up bills, and post my finalised SOA then.

    [b]Personal Balance Sheet Summary[/b]
    Total assets (things you own)........... 115,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -68,499
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -14,000[b]
    Net Assets.............................. 32,501[/b]

    [i]Created using the SOA calculator at www.LemonFool.co.uk.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using Firefox browser.[/i][/font]
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Sorry everyone, MSE don't allow new members to edit their posts so I have to wait a bit before I can get started ... trust me to make a mess of a brand new diary before I've even started! 😝
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    I know this might not make total sense as an update given I'm not allowed to edit the above to put in the posts I'd planned, but apparently I need to post more times to get access to the editing feature, so I hope you'll bear with me a bit. So on a MH front, there is some news:

    On the plus side, the Home Treatment Team (HTT) aren't discharging me today after all, the woman I saw today I think finally understood the depth of the issues I'm going through. She says she is going to chase a lot of things up over the next few days and try and get a better plan in place so that I actually have a plan for my mental healthcare after HTT discharge me.

    So they'll be calling me on Sunday to check in, and hopefully coming back on Monday with some answers. I'm not sure if it'll be the same woman again ... I hope it will be, because she really seemed to get it. But I've been round this cycle before, every time I see a new person I have to explain it all from scratch again, and then they make promises to find things out, and then I don't see them again but instead a new person comes and I have to start all over again. 🤦‍♀️ So we shall see.

    At the moment I'm not really well enough to organise everything I need and move into my new home. But I really, really have to get out of the temporary accommodation for my sanity, because being here makes everything worse.

    On that note, if I do nothing else, I'm going to gather my strength and call BT this afternoon, as when I've tried to buy WiFi, the online checkers say I can only get up to 10 or 11Mbs, but all the other properties in my street can get up to 67Mbs or so. So, got to try and get to the bottom of that before I sign up to a WiFi contract, especially as a lot are two-year deals.

    If I can get WiFi installed, on days when I'm well enough I'll be able to go over to my new place and do the research needed to get new utility suppliers, organise movers, etc. So that's got to be my highest priority right now.
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Okay so it took about three phone calls, but eventually BT were able to confirm the cabling was definitely sufficient to support 67Mbs kind of speeds.

    Even more phone calls later, I've now found an ISP and signed up for a nice cheap broadband deal. It's a social tariff (due to being on benefits) at £20 a month, so very MSE, and includes a guaranteed speed of 64Mbs and more landline calls than you can shake a stick at. They do need to send an engineer out though, and the earliest they could do was Tuesday 19th, so I've got another 12 days or something before I'll get connected. 😔

    Not ideal, but I've arranged to look at utilities while I'm at my partner's this weekend, as I can use his WiFi to do that. He's very kindly offered to help me with sorting the utilities as I'm not really up to it at the moment (he's already helped me deal with the WiFi 💛). Once I've got gas and electricity under wraps, I either need to chase up the boiler paperwork (supposedly the vendor serviced it recently, and gave the papers to her solicitor, but I've not had a copy) or just go on ahead and apply for the grant to replace it. I'm not sure if it'll cover the full cost or not - someone I know got their full cost covered, though, so I'm hopeful. 🍀 Either way, it's 10+ years old so I really want a new one before this autumn/winter. I'm already worried about being able to heat my home, so there's no room in my budget for an inefficient boiler.

    I tried to sign up for the priority services register with the ISP, as I'm classed as a vulnerable customer (I hate the term and firmly disagree that I'm vulnerable in any way, but it's the terminology they use and I'm mentioning it in case it helps someone else). Basically, it means they'll prioritise fixing your WiFi if it goes down, so you should get faster repairs and more help and understanding overall. I only know about the service because my partner suggested I register, and it seemed a good idea because WiFi is so essential for me, because of my mental health.

    Unfortunately, the chap I talked with decided to tell me I didn't "sound vulnerable." 😡🤯 As I pointed out to him (although I think in a much less coherent way, as I was quite taken aback), there are lots of types of vulnerability - could be anything from financial to health - and anyway, what exactly would a vulnerable person sound like? I'm blessed if I know. It upset me a bit to be honest and I'm thinking of making a complaint, mostly in the hopes his manager can educate him not to say that to someone else.

    Also, it's completely daft because I'm waiting to find out if I'll get a social worker and occupational therapist (that's partly what HTT are looking into). That's because I'm almost unable to carry out most of my activities of daily living. I don't know how to sound like a person who's not managing their medication or eating/drinking enough (or a million other things I'm failing at) though. Am I supposed to put on a feeble, shaky voice or something? Honestly.

    Anyway, finding a WiFi deal has totally fried me. I just about dragged myself to the shops to find food, now going to see if I can muster the energy to microwave a prawn curry and find some Netflix. Must say ready meals are expensive and I feel like I'm wasting money, but I don't have a cooker where I am. I'm really looking forward to being able to cook properly again after I move, it'll be lots less expensive too.
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Well, 6:10am and that's me awake. Partly a road sweeper/bin collector that was loud enough they sounded like the second coming, partly heartburn (I get it really badly). Either the chemist or me has had some kind of mix up with medication, so I haven't had any of my heartburn meds for about three days. Originally I thought I must have misplaced them in my room, but they still haven't turned up and now I'm thinking they were never dispensed to me. I'll try to ring the pharmacy early doors to see if I can get to the bottom of it.

    I'm going out for a walk today, so won't be much money saving happening, but also won't have much time alone at least. I won't know anyone there, except staff, but who knows, it might be nice. It's mostly a flat route, but does include one really steep hill section. I'm not looking forward to being the one who's slowing everyone else down on it by needing rest breaks! I want to get out more regularly though and this seemed an alright way to start. After I've moved into my new home, I was thinking about signing up to a walking club - not sure if we have a Ramblers group, need to check, but something along those lines anyway. I used to hike all the time, I just hate going alone and I've got out of the habit due to that, studying, and the pandemic.

    Aside from the hike, just some quick errands, and then heading to my partner's. Bus trip so it'll fry me and take ages, but at least I've got a bus pass so it's free. 😇 I've also got a call with a utility discount club called utility warehouse, I have a feeling I prefer to go with the open market but can't hurt to get a quote, I guess. I was more interested before I found out they do network marketing (as I think it's called), though.

    Jobs this weekend are to start researching utility providers (and ideally, sign up with one), and find a new baby blanket pattern. Utilities seem an easy comparison, since I'm hearing they're all pretty much the same price, but I might be able to get one without a standing charge (though the first kWh is charged at a higher rate, so I'll always pay that for electricity, but if I'm away I could save on gas). The bigger choice is that my apartment is on prepayment meter as things stand, but I'm debating whether to change it over to DD. There's pros and cons to each. 🤔

    Finding a pattern will be fun though. ☺️I'd started knitting a blanket but I hated the way it was making up. It'll be good for me to have a project again, I find crafting relaxing and it's continuing a family tradition to handmake things for new arrivals. I did mean to have it done by now (my sister's bundle of joy could arrive anytime in the next 5-6 weeks), but it's been a harsh year so far, so I'm trying not to stress about not being as prepared as I'd like. I imagine she and her partner would like a week or two to themselves as a family before having guests anyway, so that's a little grace period for me to finish up if needed.
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


  • ManekiNeko
    ManekiNeko Posts: 238
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Forumite
    Checked, but still nothing about the editing feature - sigh. Some people say you have to be an MSE member for three days first, as well as posting an unknown amount of times (at least, that's my excuse for posting so many diary entries at the minute haha) so we should find out soon enough - fingers crossed. 🤞

    Remembered I might be eligible for a grant to help me furnish my new home, because of moving back into a settled home after being homeless. I think I have to have no money at all though, as well as no access to credit, which isn't the case right now - though it might be by the time I've paid for everything I need to this month. 😨😂 I jest, kind of, but it does feel a bit daft that even having a £50 emergency fund would disqualify me from help with furniture and white goods. Financial responsibility means I'll probably be sleeping on a single mattress on the floor, I guess? I'll have to take a proper look into the criteria for the grant and make sure I've understood it right, but that's definitely lower priority than the gas/leccy and boiler grant. Also need to sort a plumber to check the internal pipework has no lead (the joys of older properties?).

    I sound like I'm complaining now and I don't mean to, I'm over the moon to have a home again even if I have to camp in it for a while until I can get everything sorted out. It's worth it.

    Thinking of all these things to do, I really can't wait to be able to edit my posts, as then I can get my todo list set out neatly in the goals post and into some kind of priority order. And, as all of us list makers love best, hopefully actually start crossing things off. 📃✅😇
    Completed on first home: 30 June 2022
    Mortgage outstanding: £68,499 £64,841.60
    OPs made or saved (2022-23): £315.52
    OPs made or saved (2023-24): £690.24
    OPs made or saved (cumulative): £1,005.76 (1.47%)
    Interest saved to date: £ *to add*
    % of mortgage paid off: 5.34%
    MF date: June 2056 October 2055
    Daily interest costs: £3.10 £2.90 and a half pence (as of 12.02.2024)
    Emergency fund: £0
    Debt to DS: £10,000 £7,209.01. 27.91% repaid (DFD: Aug 2027 Nov 2030)
    Debt to DP: £1,423.55 (this will increase until DS repaid)
    Debt to non-profit: £4,500 £4,239. 5.8% repaid


Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 341.6K Banking & Borrowing
  • 249.7K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 449K Spending & Discounts
  • 233.5K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 605.8K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 172.4K Life & Family
  • 246.6K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.8K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards