Onwards towards mortgage free living

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  • gillynomad
    gillynomad Posts: 102 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    So got my phone contract sorted this morning - apparently it was actually up 4 years ago...so been overpaying for way too long. Got it dropped from £25 to £16 a month so a nice start.

    According to the guy who served me, he said even though its a 24month contract because I have been a customer for so long I can technically re-sign a new contract every year and essentially avoid the yearly increases due to inflation. Wasn't something I knew could happen, so information I can keep in mind! He had a few tips actually for when I ever need a new phone too.
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • gillynomad
    gillynomad Posts: 102 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper

    Decided to do a bit of a review on where I am currently on the goals I set at the start of the year.
    • Pay £10,000 off mortgage
    I am on track to reach this target. If I continue as planned I should hit just over 11k (difference = mandatory payments + overpayments - interest)
    • Raise pension to 7%
    I don't think I am going to be able to make this work this year. Unfortunately, my tax code took a bit of a hit due to me moving jobs last year and has still not been sorted by HMRC. Think this might be a goal for end of 2024 instead.
    • Reduce Student Loan to £5000
    Haven't done anything towards this. By the end of the year I am looking at my student loan being around 6.5k. I don't see myself completing this. So again I think this will a target for next year instead. 
    • Increase Emergency fund by £2000
    I've currently saved just under £500 over my target. I don't think in the remaining 4 months I'll be able to hit my 2k target but will hopefully be able to get to 1-1.5k. 
    • Increase Savings by £2000
    Believe I am on target to hit this in the next 4 months. I have just over £900 but the next couple of months I am planning on throwing a bit more at it. 

    __________________

    All in all not where I wanted to be - however, I have chosen to do some renovation and was hit with some costs that I wasn't expecting (although absolutely should have been aware they were coming). The last few months in particular I seem to have been bleeding money. Need to be a bit stricter for the next 4 months until the end of the year.
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • gillynomad
    gillynomad Posts: 102 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    September goals:
    • Sort out DVDs into charity shop or sell (potentially using a cash for DVDs site/store like Zapper or CeX)
    • Analyse financials from the last three months
    • Settle carpet loan
    Outside of finances I also want to try and get mentally and physically fitter - so want to get a workout routine going and reduce my snack/bad calorie intake...
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • Requested the settlement payment to be taken for the carpet loan so that will be officially paid off on the 13th September. 

    I've had a look at my finances of the last three months to see where I could potentially save money but there are not too many options. Groceries and cafe visits are probably where I could cut down. Ideally, as my cafe spend ranges in the £10/£15 per month I'd rather not cut that down as it's a nice break from the house. I spend around £230/month or £57/week on food. 

    I looked up the UK average and that's a little bit more than the average (although I normally have family round once a month for a weekend which ups the cost for that week) so might see what I can with the weekly shop to reduce it ever so slightly per month.
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • oof, been a awhile since I updated here. It's been a weird year (and a stressful last few months due to work!) if I'm being honest and the last month I have been re-evaluating my priorities and my journey to mortgage freedom.  Going to do a bit of a recap of the year and then look at my new goals for 2024. I already know there will be less focus on my mortgage for various reasons although still consistently overpaying each month. 
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • End of year recap - Negatives

    First the negatives (because it is always good to finish on the positives!). I ended up with a few surprises this year (some my fault, others out of my control) that meant my focus had to change. 

    I got hit with a tax underpayment (due to changing jobs in 2022 and my old job giving me a tax refund) that resulted in my tax code changing and losing around £130 a month from my pocket. This was probably the biggest impact to me not meeting some of my goals. 

    In addition, I completely forgot about car insurance and tax. This is the first year I’ve had a car and the dates slipped my mind - thankfully I had savings so it wasn’t a big impact in trying to find the money, but was something I had (stupidly) not anticipated.

    • Raise pension to 7%
    • Reduce Student Loan to £5000
    • Increase Emergency fund by £2000

    Unfortunately, these were the areas that took a hit with everything that occurred this year. This meant I didn’t look to raise my pension this year or start to put more money aside for my Emergency Fund until later in the year once I had a pay rise. As I didn’t reach my EF target I didn’t start on the Student Loan. I ended up adding around £750 to my emergency fund which I’ve set aside as the “car and dog” emergency fund (this would be outside of car tax/insurance).

    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • End of Year recap  - Positives

    Now for the positives! I ended up with a 4% pay rise which due to the financial difficulties of my company (and the country) I wasn’t really expecting. 

    • Pay £10,000 off mortgage

    On target to hit this as right now I have paid off just over £10,000 and with two more known payments to come I don’t believe the interest added will drop the figure below 10 grand. Very happy I’ve managed to hit this target though, especially with a rate hike in April when my fixed contract ended and a new contract increased the rate by 2%. 

    • Increase Savings by £2000

    I have been able to successfully hit this target! Think I’ll be just over the target which will be amazing. However, I did re-do my finance dashboard and discovered that although I have saved just over 2k, I’ve actually taken out over 5.5k from savings (various reasons such as car tax/insurance, DIY, and holidays)….so I limited the dip in savings but savings wise I am worse of than at the start of the year. I’m not too worried by this as I mostly used my savings for good things that I wanted to do.

    So mixed bag. As I said above, I’ve re-organised my finance dashboard so can track my finances a little better and clearly see where I’m overspending and hopefully spend less next year.


    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • Had a little bit of an issue with my dog's group walks so he'll no longer be doing those in 2024. Shame but will mean I have an extra £130/month back. 

    Will try and use it an as opportunity to get healthier myself through some longer walks. Will also make my routine a bit more structured as I never had defined hours for the group walks so was never sure when they would turn up. 
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • gillynomad
    gillynomad Posts: 102 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper

    Goals 2024

    Increase pension 

    Not putting an exact number on this as it requires a couple of things to go my way…but with the national insurance decrease due in January I am going to utilise that opportunity to increase my pension contributions from 5 to 6%. 

    I would potentially get some form of pay rise midway through the year too (after my annual review) so if that does occur then I’d raise my pension to 7% before I get used to having the extra cash! But that’s not a guarantee so not an aim.

    Increase my savings - save more than I take out

    I am not going to put a figure on this goal this time. With the new dashboard I have I think it’s more important to look at in vs out and try and end the year having saved more than I’ve taken out. 

    Overpay mortgage by a minimum of £5000

    I am looking to change focus a little for 2024. I have spent the last several years putting everything I have towards my mortgage but want to relax a little in order to bring my savings back up. So I have set a target that will get me in the 110k bracket and is roughly £400/month overpayment - so about half what I have been overpaying in 2023. 

    Overpay my student loan

    Last financial goal is to overpay my student loan. I am due (on my current wage) to pay off my loan in the first quarter of 2026. With pay rises it will be around the start of 2026. Overpaying could mean I’m student loan free by mid-2025. With 2025 being the year I have to renew my mortgage again it would be really great to have extra cash available to counteract the interest rates.

    So there’s my goals - because last year I set exact amounts for goals it actually stressed me out so decided to set more generic goals or goals that wouldn’t be a stretch and would allow me to flex.


    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
  • gillynomad
    gillynomad Posts: 102 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Photogenic Name Dropper
    Requested today for my pension contribution to be increased by 1% so will see when that takes place. Hopefully for Jan but most likely Feb if I have to fill any forms in etc. (It feels like it should be a really quick job...but I find these things have a way of being complicated)

    I also sold some ikea furniture back to Ikea and then bought a cupboard for the kitchen with it (to organise my pet stuff). Total frame + accessories cost me £9 total due to the gift card balance I received. Definitely a service I would use again I ever had any unneeded furniture in the future. Was easy to do and the £80 I got back saved me the need to dive into my savings.

    My kitchen is now starting to feel a lot more organised and I can clearly see what I have already so should mean I stop spending money on cleaning products where I have an excess. 

    I have more savings to spend on my under stairs storage but that was planned. I've been sorting through everything and making it more streamlined. 
    Mortgage: £116,060 (Apr 2024)
    Initial MF date: Apr 2048
    Current MF date: Dec 2044

    MFW 2022 #98 £2,2000/£1,800
    MFW 2023 #35 £7,510/£7,500
    MFW 2024 #24 £1,225/£5,000
    MFi3-T6 #41  £21,231/£27,495 (Mortgage Target £110,000)

    Weight Loss Q1 24: 5/12lbs
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