Saving for a firey future

Hi everyone,

I was a regular on this forum many years ago and the tips and support helped me clear lots of debt including a 2k overdraft and plenty of credit card debit. I ran up most of that buying my ex out of our property. Got a lodger, sold everything got a second job and then met my now husband.

He was super supportive and instead of going on the dates that he could easily afford we started living a frugal life together.  

Eventually we got married, rented my place out and moved in together, sold and moved then I got us on a MFW path. It was a tough few years but we cleared the mortgage and renovated the house. Four years ago we sold that and moved again to house with no mortgage but that needed lots of work. We sold my flat and we are still working on the property. It has one outbuilding we turned into a cottage that currently has a tenant and we could convert others. The main house needs work still as does the garden so there are costs associated with that. Particularly a new kitchen and our boiler will need replacing at some point.

I read a lot from Mr Money Mustache who inspired the crazy house hacking plan to help with FIRE and this is something that we both want to do. 
Last year we had a conversation where we decided we should live a little more, but I think this year has gone too far towards being spendy and we need to get back on track.

Mr SH had the option of swapping his company car for a car payment so we decided that was a good idea and we could buy a car. That ended up being more than I thought it would be, so we are still repaying savings another £4.5k (I am counting this a debt in my head), we have been on one holiday already and have two more booked and deposit paid so am feeling super guilty on that. We will need to save for the next few months to afford them without using savings but we have lost sight of how much we are putting in our ISAs and pensions this year.

I have other pensions (a workplace one and a DB one from my previous job) but this diary will hopefully help keep me on track to increase my Vanguard SIPP which is currently £2140. Eventually my WP one will be transferred into Vanguard 

I don’t have fixed targets as spending can depend on what we are doing in the house, Mr SH is also saving into his own SIPP and ISA, we do want to retire early but seeing as I’m 42 it’s not going to be crazily early and we are also thinking of retiring abroad which further complicates things.

Everything is a little vague at the moment so as well as keeping myself more accountable I’m hoping this might help me clarify my thoughts.

I would love to hear from anyone else so please pop by and say hi 👋 




Debt Free - done
Mortgage Free - done
Building up the pension pot
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Comments

  • Baron_Dale
    Baron_Dale Posts: 1,021 Forumite
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    A very interesting read and introduction. Are you able to put any figures to your plans? Current expenditure and income as well as target retirement figures. Just very interested and curious.
    You might also like are ad through this thread. T is now quite a long read but may be interesting for you.
    How much to live on — MoneySavingExpert Forum
  • ~FlowerPot~
    ~FlowerPot~ Posts: 987 Forumite
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    Hello shineyhappy, Love your post, sounds like you have been really busy and just need somewhere like here for accountibility! I also have a savings diary on here to help me try and save little bits each week, if i write it donw on here then I need to do it!! I try and round up my savings each week becuse I am self emplyed I getting my earning as I work, so do my accounts weekly, although Im very part time

    Looking forawrd to following you progress
    Flowers x
    ♥️2024 challenges
    #4 365 1p a day challenge 2024 ~ £295/£760🌸
    #6 £1 a day challenge 2024 ~ £152/366 🌸 Decluttering 2024🎖️🎖️🎖️🏅🏅🥇🌸 DS2🏅🏅DD 🥇🌸 #2 52 week Cash stuffing challenge 🌸
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  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
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    A very interesting read and introduction. Are you able to put any figures to your plans? Current expenditure and income as well as target retirement figures. Just very interested and curious.
    You might also like are ad through this thread. T is now quite a long read but may be interesting for you.
    How much to live on — MoneySavingExpert Forum
    Thank you and I will have a read of that. 

    I don’t think that this will be the house we will be in in the long term and as I’m not sure if we will be in the UK or not, it’s really hard to get our number, but I definitely need to redo a budget. I used to obsess over them and have spread sheets to track everything. This house has different options of things we can do and on top of that, we are off grid so budgeting is a little different and we can have unexpected costs. Like our water pump died and we had to replace the metal poles it was on with plastic pipe so cost thousands.

    The renovation costs can vary so much depending on what we are doing and one month it’s £200 and the next £1000. It’s all a bit of a head ache tbh!
    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Hello shineyhappy, Love your post, sounds like you have been really busy and just need somewhere like here for accountibility! I also have a savings diary on here to help me try and save little bits each week, if i write it donw on here then I need to do it!! I try and round up my savings each week becuse I am self emplyed I getting my earning as I work, so do my accounts weekly, although Im very part time

    Looking forawrd to following you progress
    Flowers x
    Hi Flowers,

    Thank you, you are right I need that accountability. Plus I have always been good and making a little extra and staying focused on that will really help. I will have a read of your diary as I’m sure it will be useful! I like the sound of very part time!

    We always have so much going on that things slip the net. I have started my first bank switch in years this morning. I set up a dummy account in the week and am  now transferring it to NatWest. I did the First Direct ones years ago and ended up staying there, so can’t do that one. But it is easy money for little effort

    I plan on putting together a financial to do list every week to try and make sure things won’t get missed. 
    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
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    It has been a busy weekend! 

    We have got so much done in the garden, the patio for the let is now all laid, although the edges need tidying up, the wall along there is capped and all the old stones, off cuts and unused stones are moved. The wooden planters have been oiled and now we both ache😫

    We still need to order gravel though and then of course move the gravel 😵‍💫 and work out what we need for next weekend.

    We have both applied for a NatWest account this week and hoping to rake in a little extra cash doing the bank switches. It didn’t take long at all.

    I also had two £10 gift cards turn up for surveys which was nice and a £5 Costa one from a Lloyds quote so a productive weekend.

    To organise my thoughts, this week I need to:

    -Sort out a new phone contract as it has just run out and nearly £10 a month now 
    -Put together a budget spreadsheet 
    -Plan the Bank Holiday weekend and shop for any materials needed 
    -Use the £5 off a £25 voucher for Screwfix 
    -Hopefully be able to transfer £1250 to the new account to meet the criteria and log on to its online banking
    -Tidy up the edges surrounding the patio which need the old stones removing, filling with soil and grass seeding
    -Avoid food shopping as much as possible as we have lots in

    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • ~FlowerPot~
    ~FlowerPot~ Posts: 987 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    Yey for bank switches!!!! I did my first 2 switches earlier and DS1and Ds2 have done a switch too for extra pennies. It really is easy money!
    I like your little list for the week, I do need to get more organised!!
    FLowers x
    ♥️2024 challenges
    #4 365 1p a day challenge 2024 ~ £295/£760🌸
    #6 £1 a day challenge 2024 ~ £152/366 🌸 Decluttering 2024🎖️🎖️🎖️🏅🏅🥇🌸 DS2🏅🏅DD 🥇🌸 #2 52 week Cash stuffing challenge 🌸
    PA challenge £60 a month - Jan ✅ /Feb ✅/Mar ✅ /Apr/May/ Jun/Jul/Aug /Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 🌸
  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
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    NatWest don’t seem to like my ID so need to sort that out but didn’t get chance today, I’m sure it will be worth it!

    I was too busy working during the day and sorting out the Patio edging and mowing the lawn after work so one item done!

    Budget hasn’t been done but Mr SH and I did just have a quick look at the DDs and have cancelled Disney and Spotify so £25 a month saved. We will probably start Disney again in the autumn when we watch more tv in the evening.

    We are in the process of getting a DIY order in for delivery, we need dumpy bags of gravel so it’s not a nip to the store job.

    I need my lists FlowerPot as otherwise things get missed. Work is always busy and there is so much to do at home plus housework. I won’t get everything done every week but it keeps it on my radar at least.

    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    So managed to get some sense from NatWest eventually and I need to apply from scratch again. I will use a driving license this time as it’s flat.

    I claimed a free pack of Haribo from the Vodaphone app and went shopping for rolls and only got rolls 🤩 I have a tendency to get a few extras to my list so this is good.

    Unfortunately we needed some DIY supplies so a £350 order went in for materials. I try to think of it as investing in the house, but still £350 😢 it’s from a builders merchant and stuff like plasterboard, gravel and cement and is needed.




    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
  • ~FlowerPot~
    ~FlowerPot~ Posts: 987 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
    well done on being strict with your shopping. It is very hard not to be tempted to pick up thoses extras!!
    As for the house supplies, whats needed is needed! and Im guessing you have a seperate budget for renvoations? But it must be hard when youve been in savings mode for a long time to now be spending money!!
    FLowers x
    ♥️2024 challenges
    #4 365 1p a day challenge 2024 ~ £295/£760🌸
    #6 £1 a day challenge 2024 ~ £152/366 🌸 Decluttering 2024🎖️🎖️🎖️🏅🏅🥇🌸 DS2🏅🏅DD 🥇🌸 #2 52 week Cash stuffing challenge 🌸
    PA challenge £60 a month - Jan ✅ /Feb ✅/Mar ✅ /Apr/May/ Jun/Jul/Aug /Sep/Oct/Nov/Dec 🌸
  • Shineyhappy
    Shineyhappy Posts: 1,928 Forumite
    Photogenic Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    No budget for DIY stuff at all, we keep it as low as possible and spend what we need. We usually keep a few thousand for things like holidays and DIY and then save more if we have something big coming up. However with the car and all the holidays this year, that pot is at £0.

    We have plenty of other savings in S&S ISAs and Premium Bonds but we would only dip into those for larger purchases. So at the moment until we can pay for the holidays and top up this fund we are working on the cheaper jobs. We will need to save for a new kitchen at some point but not just yet!

    I can go into a shop for one thing and come out with 20, so it’s something I need to work on, 

    I reapplied for a NatWest account this morning, if we could do that offer and say Lloyds that would give us £700 which would be great as we have about £1250 left on our next holiday which is due 16th of June. I am not spending so much next year. 
    Debt Free - done
    Mortgage Free - done
    Building up the pension pot
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