Mortgage Free now aiming for FIRE

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TallGirl
TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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edited 3 January 2023 at 7:13PM in Mortgage-free wannabe

Time to start a new Diary. I have had my old one since Autumn 19 which is when I moved into my forever home after 4 years of renting in London. 


I am 52 and I live with my DG on the South Coast. I have a well paid job for my sector and was finally made permanent and full time in December 21. DG is self employed which she started a year ago when she left her stressful job in London. She has not earned any income from this job but lots in the pipeline. She does have a less well paid part time job which pays her bills and a tiny bit of spending money. We have now finished the our renovations so the rest is on a wishlist such as changing the bathroom to a walk in shower but not a necessity. 


I usually ramble on in my diary about lots of personal stuff and my DG thinks I have stopped writing on it so it is a secret really. I find it really helps keep myself on an even keel and I am determined that this one will be more money focussed and financial. 


I have benefited hugely from MSE and there forums and have been around for a long long time. I paid my mortgage off 9 years early by always increasing my overpayments every time I got a pay rise or changed jobs. I was married but my husband and I split up sadly he died a year later so I inherited the marital home and his pensions plus life insurance. I am very sad he died as we were together for a long time but also grateful that it has set me up financially.


I want to focus this diary on FIRE as I wish to retire as early as possible but there are a few issues with this plan mainly that DG has no pension other than a tiny DB pension. My pension is adequate for 1 person but not two however as I am 5 years younger than DG and I have finally found the job I really enjoy which also challenges me and is not too stressful I can see myself carrying on. 


My IFA has retired and he put me with a company which so far as been ok and helped do some forecast for me. I recon we need £30K a year to live which at the moment is doable at 57 for me and 62 for DG. Not ideal. 


I joined the £12K challenge last year and managed it easily. My regular savings looks as follows:


Premium Bonds £500 p/m

First Direct 7% saver £300 p/m

Monzo easy access £200 p/m 

Total £1000


Money Box £70 a month with roundups and payday £50 p/m


I have a DC pension, a S&S ISA and some money in S&S but in a non ISA which I plan to move over to the ISA in April. My S&S and pension have dropped last with the financial crisis, £15K more or less between them. The pension increased in 21 to 22 by £27K but is now down. 


I want to keep tabs on how I am doing with the S&S and pension plus my actual savings incl Premium Bond wins etc. 


I hope you will read along and find my musing interesting, I promise to post regularly and about finances mostly. 


Save £12k in 24 No 50
PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

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  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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    2023 Aims

    1. Save £1000 a month to meet the £12k challenge
    2. Update finances once a month and post here how things a looking incl everyday spending
    3. Continue to read more books use my Kindle more
    4. Gym and diet as per 2022 which I actually kept to

    Current split in finances (Second figure is without property):

    Total Cash
    5%9%
    Total S&S non Tax Free
    3%7%
    Total S&S tax free17%33%
    Total Pensions27%52%
    Property
    48%



    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    edited 3 January at 11:42AM
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    SPACE FOR ANNUAL REFLECTIONS, HOLIDAYS, FINANCES AND PREMIUM BONDS

    Holiday Plans 2024
    January 
    - trip to Denmark for be there for my uncles memorial party. Only costs will be flights (£96 no luggage other than small rucksack which is fine train to Gatwick return £31.
    February 
    March 4 day golf trip to Spain £769 plus flights £378.40. Staying two night new Faro airport before meeting the others at the airport. This saves £60 on flights and the hotel is £60 per night so in effect getting three extra days for £60 and will be well rested by the time we meet them to play 3 rounds of golf. Parking at terminal £82
    April
    May 
    - trip to Ireland with my mum was her 80th birthday present. We are paying for this and it still needs to be booked
    June 
    July - 
    7 night in a 5 bed seaside cottage in Denmark with my family and DG, mum is paying the rental. I then plan to stay on for another week DG might do too to play golf with my mum and possibly stay on the island we used to have a summerhouse. 
    August
    September
    October
     - cheap trip to Spain or Greece for 1 week. 
    November
    December 
    - trip to Denmark for Christmas 

    As well as this we want to do a golf lesson in London with a possible trip to the 4DX Cinema. Also if we get enough stays at Hotels.com a trip to the IOW we have ferry tickets and maybe another trip to Brighton. 

    Premium Bonds 2023 :
    End of 2020 I had 27,625 in there, 
    In 2022 I added £6K and won £275
    Current balance is £33,900 with the payment for January already made.
    Aim for 2023 add £6k 

    I think that is 1% return or less not great lets hope 2023 is better. 

    Premium Bonds 2024:

    End of 2020 I had 27,625 in there, 
    In 2022 I added £6K and won £275
    Jan 22 balance was £33,900 with the payment for January already made.
    Jan 23 balance is £40,800 with the payment for Jan already made 
    Aim for 2023 was to add £6k - achieved plus an increase of £900 which is winings
    Aim for 2024 add £6K plus winnings will I make the £50K this year it is getting closer.  

    Current split in finances (Second figure is without property):

    2023

    Total Cash
    5%9%
    Total S&S non Tax Free
    3%7%
    Total S&S tax free17%33%
    Total Pensions27%52%
    Property
    48%

    2024

    Total Cash
    5%9%
    Total S&S non Tax Free
    1%3%
    Total S&S tax free19%34%
    Total Pensions31%55%
    Property
    44%

    My pensions and ISAs have benefitted from the recent increased and I can really see the 10% I now add into my works pensions making a difference there is £37K in there (only 6 years worth) in there. I do not add to the SIPP but I move over non ISA money into the ISA each year. If I was to move my True Potential non ISA into the ISA and add my Monday Box it would come to £13,820 but I would ideally like to find the full £20K so around £6K to find by April 25 which should be doable. 

    Obviously a lot depends so how I can best hold my investments while living in Denmark. 

    So with that in my here are my thoughts on things I want to do for 2024:

    *Have a better idea of what it entails to move to Denmark permanently including moving pre-retirement
    *Try to save £12K in 2024
    *Top up ISA by April 25
    *Continue to add £6K plus winnings to Premium Bonds until I reach £50K
    *Weight loss ideally get below 80 kilo's 75 would be even better
    *Gym 3 times a week ideally but minimum 2 (That is 6 or 4 classes) Attend golf gym too.
    *Play golf once a week minimum ideally in ladies competitions
    *Spend more time with family in Denmark. 
    *Declutter especially the loft
    *Do more creative stuff use my knitting and crochet kits and sew more. 
    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • stoplurking
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    Good luck for 2023 TG. Have subscribed to your new diary.   X
    MFIT -T5 #42
  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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    edited 4 January 2023 at 1:51PM
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    Thanks for popping in stoplurking love the username. 

    So today's financial news, no win on the Premium Bonds how rubbish is that  :'(

    Premium Bonds:
    End of 2020 I had 27,625 in there, 
    In 2022 I added £6K and won £275
    Current balance is £33,900 with the payment for January already made.
    Aim for 2023 add £6k 

    I think that is 1% return or less not great lets hope 2023 is better. 

    Holidays
    February:
    10 days to Gambia in February we are flying premium economy as the flights are so awful but you get extra luggage and lounge passes each end so £300 well spend.
    Cost £1600 but minimal spend once there. 
    4 night in Denmark to see my mum for her 80th birthday clashes badly with the March holiday back to back with Gambia too. Cost £46 flight
    March:
    5 nights in Spain playing golf with tuition from golf pro's and ladies from our club plus two friends. I wasn't going to go due to my mums birthday but had already paid for the flights and would have lost them plus my deposit plus DG would have been paying £160 single occupancy. 
    Cost £192 flights £700 for the holiday.
    April:
    May:
    Drive down to see my friends in Cornwall.
    Cost £50 petrol
    June:
    Trip to see my family as my nephew finishes his A levels and they make a big deal out of it. 
    Cost flights plus present so estimate £200
    July
    My mum wants to take us all on a cruise for a week possibly Croatia but not booked yet. Cost to us would be flights there but my mum might pay those too. Will be all inclusive so not much spending needed. 
    Cost: ?
    August:
    4 days bootcamp
    Cost £312
    September
    October
    November
    December
    Flight to Denmark will book early this year. 

    So basically 3 weeks off in Feb & Mar but that is just how it fell. Our house has a lovely small pool and a hottub so with the hot summers we have had it makes sense to go away in Winter and stay home in Summer. We also get lots of friends coming to stay which is lovely after two years of Covid so many had yet to see the house. 
     
    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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    edited 5 January 2023 at 12:30PM
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    Keeping in the theme of holidays yesterday was quite spendy as we needed to book parking for the Gambia trip and Spain. For Spain we need night in a hotel before flying as I am coming in from Denmark that night (mums 80th). Hotel packages were quite expensive even at Europa and you needed a cab to go to the airport in the morning which isn't ideal with golf clubs. Found it was the same price booking one nights parking at Europa (via Hotels.com counts for the 1 in 10 free nights) and then meet and greet for the morning. Much easier. 

    Then need to look for Gambia. Looking at straight parking at Gatwick was £113 and meet and greet about £213 so that was a lot. We then look at Europa with parking for 9 days and hey presto a deal for £90. We need to add £35 for taxi but still nice to stay night before as we would have to leave about 4.30am. It wont be so much fun picking the car up afterwards but can't have it all. 

    Earned £9 Quidco cashback so every little helps.

    Finally my moan about EasyJet. They state on the their website they charge £50 to change a flight if you have to call them versus doing it online. You can't do it online if it is a joint flight and the other person is not changing.

    So started chatting with them asking for my Spanish flight which I paid £192 to be changed to go to Denmark instead. Yes sure no problem that is £50, yes I know that. I want to add luggage ok that is £110 in total. So works out it is £50 per flight to change so £100 for a return flight. I asked what happens to my other flight do I not get anything back for that no I do not.

    She did admit after some pushing I could get the airport tax back £13 but nothing for luggage and sport equipment which we had pre-booked. Turns out the Danish flights are only £46 return so it was cheaper for me to just give up the Spanish flights rather than pay £110 to change them. She did not tell me this - I had to work it out myself. I should say I usually go to Denmark with Norwegian and they are far more straight forward but ok more expensive. I have now decided to go to Denmark and then straight to Spain so I do not have to waste the £192 I have already paid. Lesson learnt but also now tempted to book my flights for June to Denmark with EasyJet as they are so cheap if you they are crap times which means you cannot take the train to the airport which I prefer to do rather than pay parking.    

    Another win yesterday I did go to the gym even though one class was cancelled. Instead we did 30min in the gym. Watched a BBC clip that average membership is £40 a month mine is £200 a year lol I know very cheap but so many classes and fab people there.

    Still no drinking since 1st Jan aim to keep this going onto we go away 14th Feb. Money saving and diet friendly. 

    Annoyingly found that my JBL running headphones are not charging. Only had them about 3 years and not used them a lot so really annoying. Will need some for the plane to watch my Ipad not an expense I really need right now.   

    Think I best get on with some work sorry for the long rant. 
    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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    Evening weekend is here thankfully work is getting busy and could become quite hectic. 


    Don't think my manager is happy about my 16 days leave in one chunk but we will discuss this next week. Too late really as all is booked. 

    Looking at the cruises with my family in summer. Expensive but I'm not paying mum is and they look good however will have to fly to Venice or outside Rome. Have tried to mention about them coming here and going from Southampton but because it's July there aren't many options. 

    No spend today but have not left the house. 

    Golf tomorrow and Sunday but weather look awful so not looking forward to it. 


    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
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    Gosh what horrible weather not looking forward to golf tomorrow really not keen. Did go out today to help deck out the club ready for the game tomorrow. Was nice seeing people again. 

    Decided to offer an alternative to the expensive July cruise to my family. Coming over here then doing Cornwall and Devon. There’s a special hotel with lots of activities my mum and I plus dog all love and it would be so much cheaper. My sister hasn’t visited me for ten years BIL even longer but the others more recent. We shall see what the verdict is. Cruise will be at least £2500 per person and there’s 7 of us where as my idea will be £5000 I recon. 

    My sister is tricky and has strong opinions and we’re not turning down a free cruise obviously. 

    In other money saving news bought us a drink at the club and some shopping so not a nsd. 

    Watching Bridgerton no idea how I missed it first time round it’s fab. 
    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

  • vandanfc
    vandanfc Posts: 2,027 Forumite
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    You don't need an ironing board.  They are a modern invention.

    https://homesguide.co.uk/how-to-iron-without-an-ironing-board/
  • TallGirl
    TallGirl Posts: 5,592 Forumite
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    Thanks VandaFc some good points in there I’ve been using a towel on the worktop up to now. Problem is I’m tall so it’s quite low. So boring to buy sn iron though. 

    Busy with work today even went on a visit. Only 7 miles away but still nice. I get mileage for that so need to make a claim. 

    Gym tonight so best get dressed. 
    Save £12k in 24 No 50
    PB Win 21 £225, 22 £275, 23 £900, Balance Mar  £30,850 + £12K added to pension) (Wins 24 Jan £200 Feb £150 Mar £75 Apr £125 May £0) 
    Plan to move to Denmark for FIRE by 2028 “May your decisions reflect your hopes not your fears”
    New diary aiming for fire https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6414795/mortgage-free-now-aiming-for-fire#latest

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