Ready to embrace a mortgage-free journey

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  • Karmacat
    Karmacat Posts: 39,460 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    I agree with South Coast, a spending diary would be really useful.  Keep it up for as long as you can, and then analyse it, see where things are going wrong, and where they're going right - it's a journey, and you've already travelled quite a distance, remember!
    2023: the year I get to buy a car
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    Thanks Karmacat.

    I've reviewed the spend and its good news (sort of!). I've spent £93 on the dentist; £30 on petrol; £17 on treats (for the grandkids) and £163 on Christmas presents.

    I usually spend significantly more on Christmas presents and so, this year, it's very much reduced. I've got a couple more things still to get, but I'll delay getting those until next month. I think I need to work on reducing the Christmas budget even more next year, but maybe I might book a day off work and check out the January sales?

    Has anyone found whether it's better to hit the sales straight after Christmas, or whether you get even better bargains if you check out the shops early January? (Luckily, I'm good at not buying things just because they're reduced, so I find it quite easy to be selective on purchases).

    The good news from all this is that, if I remove the seasonal spend and the yearly dental check-up, I've actually done really well managing my new budget so far this month as I've only spent £47. 

    Happy Sunday everyone
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    So, a little update…. I’ve got £39.75 left until the end of the month and that will be enough for petrol. I have very few Christmas presents left to get and so next month’s budget will look much better than this one will. 

    However, the surprising news is that we’ve only spent £197 on our joint credit card! Our usual joint spend is about £550 and, at the moment, I estimate the final figures to be around the £350 mark (but that will include having to go out to dinner with some friends). So I estimate a saving of about £200! 
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 20 November 2022 at 9:46AM
    A mid-month update: our joint credit card might sneak up to £400 - but that’s still a saving of £150 this month. We’ll definitely get better at this over the next couple of months. 

    My personal budget still has £39.75 left in it. 

    I’m very pleased with how my first real month of budgeting has gone and
    I automatically think of the value of everything now, before I buy it. Plus, I remind myself that even by just reducing my outgoings by £15pm (and paying this towards my mortgage) it would reduce my mortgage term by a whole month - so every penny really does count. 

    Hand on heart, we haven’t felt constrained at all by our reduced spending on the joint credit card so that tells you there’s lots more we can do to on our joint finances. 

    It is still feeling like a massive challenge to achieve my planned MF date of 2027 as that requires a monthly OP of £1250. But, never say never and it’s still very early days on changing our habits. 

    Happy Sunday everyone
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • Karmacat
    Karmacat Posts: 39,460 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Wonderful news!  And there's lots of "we" statements in there, so it sounds like your OH is on board too, even better.
    2023: the year I get to buy a car
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    Perhaps not quite as much as I’d like KC! But I know that, after a few “small wins”, he will see the difference it’s making. 

    If I’m being honest, I think he’d quite like to have his cake and eat it (wouldn’t we all?!!). But I’m easing us both in gently so that it’s not too much of a shock to the system - at the moment! 

    Watch this space! 😊
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 25 November 2022 at 8:44AM
    Is it me or is this month going by v - e - r - y   slowly? Lol.

    It's obviously because I am NOT used to having a grocery budget to stick to, and a personal budget to stick to. Making both of the budgets last for the whole month is a challenge that I am not used to.

    Up until this week, I had been easing us into things quite gently. However, I did become fixated on trying to keep the grocery budget to between £350 - £400 for this month and so I did a food shop this week and allocated myself £12 to spend.

    I ended up putting some margarine back on the shelf, but I did come in on budget :-). What was interesting though is that I didn't even need the margarine and it wasn't on offer either, so I don't even know why I put it in my basket?! 🤷‍♀️

    Sticking to a grocery budget has allowed my cupboards to become a little emptier which has meant I've used things up which have been hanging around for a while. The biggest impact has been in my freezer as I have been using less fish and meat in meals and adding more veg & pulses instead (goodbye chickpeas!) to make the meals stretch further. What makes it a win-win is that our meals have become healthier, cheaper and with less impact on the environment :-D 

    With regard to my personal budget, I've got enough petrol to keep me going until my new budget starts on 1st December but I have only got £2.94 left to spend for the next 6 days! I did lash out and put £5 in my National Lottery account to buy a Set for Life ticket (as a result of a bad work day!) but I'm now toying with the idea of transferring the unspent £3.50 back into my bank account to bolster my spend to £6.44!). Maybe I'll see how tomorrow goes at work.....

    I think that, sometimes, you need some hope (or a little treat) rather than always going with the sensible option so I'm happy that I wasted the £1.50. 
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • Karmacat
    Karmacat Posts: 39,460 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Good for you on changing ingredients to be healthier *and* cheaper - definite win win.  And *thinking* while you're shopping, like about the margarine, is a huge plus for you. 
    2023: the year I get to buy a car
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    edited 25 November 2022 at 9:20AM
    Thanks KC.

    The exercise to shop with just £12 was incredibly helpful. It really made me think about the choices I make and how to prioritise my spending so that I buy what I need and don't end up with yet more food items at the back of my cupboards, which never see the light of day.

    I've got a £15 shop tomorrow (my last one before next week's new budget) and I'm already drawing up a shopping list of priority purchases at the top - and meals I can make that use up the old stock that I'm still working through. It's quite a fun thing to do in some respects (I do like a bit of a challenge!). But I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm really looking forward to the new budgets starting on1 December.

    On a positive note, I got an email from the National Lottery to say I'd won £10 in the Set for Life last night! 🥂.

    I did end up transferring the unused £3.50 lottery money back to my personal budget (so I've now got £6.44 to last me until 1st December). However, the dilemma is - should I add the £10 my very-depleted personal budget and get myself a little treat - or should it go towards my MF journey.?

    I think I might see if I can manage with just the £6.44 first. 
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
  • IAAM
    IAAM Posts: 95 Forumite
    First Anniversary Name Dropper Combo Breaker First Post
    So, at the end of my first month aiming to be mortgage free:

    Personal spending - spent £349.06 (from £360 budget)
    Joint credit card - spent £391.09 (target spend was between £350 - £400)
    Direct mortgage OPs - £111pm
    Indirect mortgage OP (money paid into regular saver) - £250

    Targets for December:
    Personal budget - £360
    Joint credit card - target spend less than £400
    Direct mortgage OP - £111pm
    Indirect mortgage OP - £250 (balance will then be £500)

    Due to extra costs around Christmas (groceries, additional petrol costs, presents, Christmas functions) and some events in January, I have decided to keep my OPs at £361pm in December and January and then to ramp things up from February.

    From February, I will be able to pay a minimum of £710pm in OPs, plus approximately a further £200 from the savings on the joint credit card and maybe another £250 on top. These figures are so close to the actual target of £1250 that I'm confident we can find the remaining £90pm from some belt tightening and changes in habits.

    So, my OPs in November weren't quite as I'd hoped for, and I'd forgotten about my level of financial commitments in December and January, but there are definitely positives. I'm far more informed about my mortgage and how OPs are treated; I have a better attitude to how I spend my money (and my awareness as to where it all goes!) and I have clear targets to aim for.
    Mortgage Balance: £162,615.84 (December 2022); £163,945 (November 2022)
    Current MF date: Feb 2032.  (Previously: Jan 2033)

    Target MF date: May 2027
    (Overpayments needed to achieve this: £1,750pm!) 

    Joint spend: £391.09 (Nov)
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