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Cheery's country living adventure

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Mortgage-Free Wannabe
1.9K replies 152.8K views
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  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    Here's to the writing retreat, and the car being fixed, and the MBing :j
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • lindezlindez Forumite
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    Hi Cheery I have caught up on your diary wow it has been a really interesting read. Your home and all the acres of land sound really awesome. Great decision to move to the country side it has always been my dream. I have subscribed and look forward to reading. Hope the car is now fixed and congratulations on the MB well done. I will go and have a look at the web site.
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  • shangaijimmyshangaijimmy Forumite
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    Cars are the devil of the frugal and money responsible folk of the world. I have a tricky indicator relay issue. Normally I'd attack that myself, but looking at the guides and vids on the 'information super highway' I'd be in for an afternoon of swearing, tempers and hitting things! So I'm now mentally weighing up how much is an appropriate amount to pay a garage for a £17 part, and 30mins of work for someone with the right tools!!
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £73,674.67......Reduction: £62,326.42... in 5yrs 4mths!
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  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Afternoon chums :hello:

    Welcome Lindez :hello: I can certainly recommend moving to the countryside :D It really is most beautiful and cheerful. In my case it's also miles away from anywhere useful, far more expensive and inconvenient than living in the city, necessitates driving everywhere, and our friends are rather reluctant to visit us. So as much as I recommend it for fun purposes, it hasn't exactly been MSE :o :rotfl: :rotfl: :D

    shangaijimmy cars are indeed the pits. Although fingers crossed ours has been fixed for £60 and lives to fight another day (it's 16 years old this year but I hope will be fighting for another few years yet!) Fingers crossed...

    Nothing much else MSE to report, except that I STILL haven't done YNAB :eek: :eek: It's going to be SUCH a mess when I finally get round to it :o In fact I've got some time alone tonight so I'll gird my loins and get on with it then.

    What else?

    - must order some new LPG - tank is at about 25%
    - still haven't used voucher for cafe
    - MB profit has tipped over £2500 now :j
    - still haven't paid June's MB profits to the mortgage, or the previous dosh that I'd saved either

    All my brain power is taken up with work at the minute - I have a deadline soon and I'm doing something a bit tricky that I've only ever done part of before and it requires co-ordinating lots of other people.

    But it should be off my desk for a few days by the end of today :j

    I did actually manage to get some veg in the ground over the weekend :j :j A load of beans (broad beans I think although my labels all faded), and a load of squash (again, no labels so could be anything). And some flowers that were in dire need of repotting.

    My beds are vaguely raised - made with cardboard and cow manure - but the chickens have been having a field day trampling and pecking in them. So they all need to be chicken-proofed once I've planted, and I can only plant once the chickens are locked away for the evening, otherwise they jump in any holes I've dug and scratch up the plants I've planted :eek: :rotfl: :rotfl:

    So once they've gone to bed tonight I'll get started on the next bed. A friend has given us a load of their spare plants, so they probably need to go in the next bed (although they're a higgledy piggledy assortment of things, don't even know what some of them are).

    My chicken-proofing is effective though, although it does look quite ridiculous. I'm basically winding wool (well, cotton that you knit with) around sticks at the four corners of each bed, then kind of weaving it vaguely across, about 6 inches off the ground :rotfl: Not bird proof netting, but it's enough of a deterrent to keep the chickens from wanting to jump in and scratch around. I'm surprised how well it's worked! :rotfl: :rotfl:

    Right. I only really came in here to avoid work for a few minutes :o but it ain't going to do itself...
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Evening chums :hello:

    You will never guess who rang me today - the mortgage broker! I suppose not that surprising - our mortgage fix is up soon and clearly he is touting for business, perfectly reasonable.

    Except that I figured he must have died, or emigrated, or been imprisoned or something, as i tried SO MANY TIMES to get hold of him while i waited THIRTEEN WEEKS for a mortgage offer and faff to go round in circles separating individual fields to buy outside of the mortgage and paying off my student loan all because he hadn't filed in the forms properly at the start :mad:

    Not ONCE did he return a phone call or email. Not ONCE. His office staff were lovely but ineffective, and I needed to talk things through with the actual broker (as advised by the solicitor) and he NEVER got back in touch in over THREE MONTHS of agonizing waiting :mad:

    So no, Mr Mortgage Broker, I will not be availing myself of your services, however much you tell me I night struggle to find a good deal myself because of our complicated circumstances.
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Sorry, big old ranty rant there :o :rotfl:

    But I'm glad he got in touch, because it means I can now send the official complaint that I drafted at the time but didn't send because I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize the mortgage offer, and it took so long to move after we got it that it all felt a bit far away...

    But this is a nice reminder of how annoyed i was back then. And I was very pleased with myself that I managed to tell him this on the phone today (although he took no notice and just kept blathering about how difficult it would be to do it ourselves) so I definitely think a follow up email is in order.

    Sadly it's a bit of a one man band so my complaint will get nowhere but it'll make me feel better!
  • takataka Forumite
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    Ermmm a justified ranty rant! :p Go for it... even if it doesn't change anything it'll make you feel a bit less grrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

    ... Mind you I'm someone who joined Twitter last night in order to grump at Aldi for overcharging me - 20% VAT on sanitary products when it should be 5% and that is bad enough!! :mad:

    Maybe its ranty Friday today! :p Pity it's neccessary. :wall:
    2019 MFW #51 £1100.07/£1997.77
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  • KarmacatKarmacat Forumite
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    Wow, Cheery - he's got to have been absolutely terrible (as you've exactly described) for you to rant on here. Good to hear you're going to lodge the complaint.


    Oh PS - loving the description of your chicken proofing :) My catproofing is similar, but with twigs and small branches that I've pruned. It looks untidy, but there are fewer cats digging things up to leave me "presents".
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Well I hope they responded appropriately taka! :mad:

    Urgh KC, I'd FAR rather chickens in my raised beds than cats :eek: Fortunately (touch wood) I've not seen a cat round here...

    Well I am home alone this evening, and while I have had two tempting offers... both involve a lot of driving (one two hours, one four hours), and as I have been slightly grumpy and petulant today :o I have instead chosen to stay here alone and get on with a few things.

    First up, YNAB :eek: I've been putting this off for weeks - it's taken me 45 mins but I've finally sorted everything and put things in their proper places (I've not even attempted to guess where my actual cash has gone - the budget fiddling category has come into its own this month... :o No point trying to remember every school fair raffle ticket - moving on!)

    Anyway, also found £117 in my paypal account - I think I ordered something a while back then sent it back, and the refund went to PayPal, but the new one came out of the bank. Anyway, requested that, so that should make the overall balance a bit more cheerful :o

    Still £250 behind what I've budgeted for this month though - but it's payday on Thursday so I'll be able to sort that out :o:o:o

    Anyway, some spendy things.

    - just noticed we probably need a new front tyre on the little car. Sigh. Pretty sure we had them done only a few months ago so clearly something's a bit wonky.

    - Had a notice from the gas people that they're increasing the direct debit to £151 a month :eek: :eek: Coupled with a £95 electric bill this is quite outrageous! :eek: :eek: :eek: Need to sort this out (first of all by checking the electric meter, although sadly I fear it's correct and we're still paying for not having radiators in several rooms and using electric heaters last winter :o:o )

    REALLY need to fix the hole in the ceiling before the winter this year - that's where most of the money has gone I think - sending heat up into the loft space :eek: :eek: :mad:

    Anyway, blah blah blah. There are other things I want to get on with, but it's SUCH a lovely evening out there and the sunshine won't last forever so I'm going to go and do an hour in the garden now the chickens are shut in their run :j :j

    When I come back I want to....

    - sort out the matched betting account - need to check everything's gone in there that should have done

    - check the mortgage fix on the building society website (wibbling about this one in case it's outrageously more expensive - REALLY don't want to have to go through remortgaging if we can avoid it :o )

    - flute practicing - concert is coming up soon and the final rehearsal is tomorrow :eek:

    That's probably quite enough, although I have quite a 'floor-drobe' at the minute that could also do with sorting out... :o:o
  • Cheery_DaffCheery_Daff Forumite
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    Hello again :hello:

    Finally got my backside into gear and checked the re-fixes with the existing mortgage company :money: Certainly not as dire as Mr Imaginary Mortgage Broker would have had me believe yesterday :mad:

    However, there are FIFTEEN OPTIONS that I need to choose between :eek: Fortunately I am a seasoned MSE-er and can instantly dismiss most of them anyway, but I'm going to put it all down as a record here, with a traffic light system of red for NO, amber for maybe, and green for the ones that look like reasonable options to choose from.

    (and yes, I probably could think of something more productive to do than listing them all here but, well, we're all learning from each other and I often read really detailed things in people's diaries that I find extremely useful :D )

    For info, we're currently on a 2 year fix (which started when we were offered the mortgage, which was several months before we actually moved, so it ends at the end of Sept). That's 1.8%, monthly payments of £890 (ish -slightly lower as we overpaid a couple of grand but kept the payments the same)

    All have a £199 fee for early repayment - so we could get out after the initial fix without too much bother.

    A few are similar but with minor tweaks (mostly the upfront rate) - have separated into groups so our eyes don't go funny :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:
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