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    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    • 9,113Posts
    • 47,473Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Cheery's country living adventure
    • #1
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:28 AM
    Cheery's country living adventure 11th Mar 18 at 7:28 AM
    Hello lovely people

    I'm Cheery, been around these parts a long time now and had several DFW diaries over the years, most recently here.

    We are two - Mr Cheery and I. We've been together over 12 years now, and last week we moved from the middle of the city to the middle of nowhere. We were snowed in within 24 hours and unable to leave for a week Quite an introduction to country living

    I now have a mortgage for the first time in my life Mr Cheery had one before, but as it was near the end when I met him, we never added me, and then it got to the end of its 25 year span a few years ago. Now we have a brand new one, and I would like to pay it off as soon as possible

    It's going to take a while - we've borrowed £215,000 over 25 years A reasonable rate though (1.8%), fixed until Sept 2019. Our monthly payment is £890, and I'd like to overpay by £10 at least - with the aim of on average paying off an extra £110 a month to take it up to a round £1000.

    If we don't pay it off early, it'll run til I'm 62, and Mr Cheery is 80 A good incentive to get on with it

    Sadly our building society doesn't have online banking for mortgages (bloody ridiculous) and only sends annual statements, so it looks like I'll be ringing them up every five minutes for a new balance

    I would love it if you dropped in occasionally for a nice cup of tea, especially if you brought along some cake

    More details in a minute
Page 1
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 7:39 AM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:39 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:39 AM
    So, a few details (I'll warn you now I type very fast and therefore waffle a lot )

    I work full time, been in this job for 2 years and I love it It's back in the city - I could walk there in 20 minutes from our old house, but now it's an hour's drive away However, I can work at home plenty of the time so on average we shouldn't have to be back in the city more than a couple of days a week, and we can usually combine activities so we both go in at the same time. My wages make up the bulk of our household income at the minute.

    Mr Cheery is self employed, and his earnings have taken a bit of a hit in the last couple of years as he's done the bulk of the decorating of our old house before we sold it. He's also taking on most of the practical sorting out of the inside of our new house. This is great, because between us we can do most things, meaning we rarely have to get someone in He's also ace at sourcing furniture, tools and all manner of stuff from Freegle and the like, so ultimately saves us a fortune

    Our new house has more rooms than we are used to, a fabulous view - and 11 acres of 'poor quality grazing pasture' that as yet, I have no idea what I'm doing with Mr Cheery is sensibly in charge of sorting the house out - while I have been lumbered with the responsibility for 'outside' Yesterday I laid a path, filled in a pothole and put up a bird table Suspect I'm going to need to do a bit more than that...
    • Tescodealqueen
    • By Tescodealqueen 11th Mar 18, 7:50 AM
    • 712 Posts
    • 4,127 Thanks
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:50 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Mar 18, 7:50 AM
    Just saw this so have subscribed to cheer you on xx
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 8:00 AM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:00 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:00 AM
    So - finances

    I've used YNAB software for the last few years so I have a good idea of how much we spend on different things. However, our new country budget is going to look quite different - we're not used to having 2 cars, or LPG, or a septic tank...

    This is a rough list of costs and I'll add to it as things appear.

    Monthly direct debits
    £890 mortgage (was £0)
    £160 council tax (was £107)
    £60 electricity (rough guess, was about £40 in old house but several rooms here don't have radiators)
    £80 gas (again, rough guess - this is roughly what it was before, but the boiler here is 20 years newer and there's a thermostat - we're also on LPG rather than mains gas so it'll be slightly more expensive. Paid £390 upfront before we moved in, and the tank was 73% full)
    £37 internet and phone line (same as before - I know we could get cheaper but happy with provider, and need something reliable for working at home etc)
    £13 water (was £54 before, but we have a septic tank here so no sewerage/drainage charges)
    £20 mobiles (we're both on sim only deals with giffgaff - I'll lower mine slightly next month now we have working broadband)
    £25 my union
    £2.50 wildlife trust - might switch this to the new local one
    = £1287

    Annual things
    £150 TV licence
    £278 house insurance (pretty sure we'll be able to get this cheaper next year)
    £977 car insurance We've just got a second car for the first time, and I've only ever been a named driver so have no No Claims Discount Insurance for the old car is just under £200, new one is £777 Car itself only cost £565
    £100 breakdown for both cars - might be able to combine next year
    £160 tax for both cars (new one is £30, old £130 I think)
    = £1665 / 12 = £138.75 a month

    So together that's £1425.75, leaving roughly £1200 for everything else.

    We normally spend roughly
    £100 treats budget (mostly spent in cafes )
    £50 diesel (although this will likely at least double)
    £150 personal spends between us
    = £300

    We also generally put aside
    £30 for car maintenance (which we'll likely double now)
    £100 house maintenance (might temporarily increase given the million things wrong with this house)
    £15 birthdays
    £20 Christmas
    £25 professional memberships/magazine subscriptions
    We used to wang £125 in a holiday fund and £75 in a separate fund for weekends away, but that was before we had a mortgage...

    I realise I could be adding this up better I'm quite systematic about it in YNAB, but I started a new budget for the new house and it's only been running for a few days

    I'm not aiming to cut everything to the bone to pay the mortgage off. We're generally not *that* extravagant, but we do like our weekend morning cafe trips (yesterday's cost £6.70 between us). We're also likely to need various things to help set us up here - eg a wheelbarrow Mr Cheery is on the case with sourcing cheap/free versions of everything we need.

    Some things I will carry on doing:
    * batch cooking (this slipped a bit when we got rid of the freezer... but Mr Cheery is finding us another one )
    * taking lunch to work (I forgot two days last week - bad cheery!)
    * trying to curb my afternoon vending machine habit my waistline needs this too
    * all clothes from charity shops (and given the amount of cardboard wardrobes the removal men used we do not need any new clothes for the rest of our lives!)

    One of today's tasks is to start planning the veggie garden, and work out if we can be ready for chickens in the next month or so

    (I'll shut up now )
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 11th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    • 3,258 Posts
    • 16,947 Thanks
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    • #5
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:06 AM
    Exciting times ahead. welcome aboard! Although the thought of all that outside work brings me out in a cold sweat!
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £76,704.80......Reduction: £59,295.71... in 58 months!
    MFiT-T5 #8 - £10,313 of £23,100 (44.65%)
    Save 12k in 2020 - £0 // £24,000 (0.00%) & 2020 - Banish the Clutter - 26 // 366 days (7.10%)
    • stepuptothepl8
    • By stepuptothepl8 11th Mar 18, 8:30 AM
    • 891 Posts
    • 4,547 Thanks
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:30 AM
    • #6
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:30 AM
    Woo-hoo!! Shiny new diary good luck x
    LBM 1st Feb 2015 £18182 to go
    my diary: time to step up to the plate. SPC#079
    • Greying Pilgrim
    • By Greying Pilgrim 11th Mar 18, 8:34 AM
    • 4,635 Posts
    • 52,126 Thanks
    Greying Pilgrim
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:34 AM
    • #7
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:34 AM
    Happy new diary Cheery!

    Our new house has more rooms than we are used to, a fabulous view - and 11 acres of 'poor quality grazing pasture' that as yet, I have no idea what I'm doing with .............
    Originally posted by Cheery Daff

    MSE campsite ^ , jus sayin'............

    Greying X
    'Larger than the World's chaos, is it's miracles...' - Katherine Rundell, Author.

    'I am not in the pursuit of happiness, only in the discovery of joy' - Joyce Grenfell
    • bexster1975
    • By bexster1975 11th Mar 18, 8:55 AM
    • 1,484 Posts
    • 7,102 Thanks
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:55 AM
    • #8
    • 11th Mar 18, 8:55 AM
    Very best of luck Cheery. Welcome and I shall follow with interest. Maybe a small business of some sort on that poor quality pasture land?

    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Mar 18, 9:20 AM
    Ooh, lovely people already! Yay!

    Many people have suggested a campsite - I confess I am not keen To be honest I don't like the idea of pandering to people's needs for unreasonable things like water and toilets Most of our land basically appears to be some kind of swamp at the minute too so you REALLY wouldn't want to be camping on it

    Just been investigating the countryside stewardship scheme (thought it might give me some suggestions...). The deadline isn't til the end of the summer - thank goodness as it's going to take me that long to get my head round it

    My feeling at the minute isn't to try and make any money off the land - I work full time and love my job, and it's pretty well paid so that's the main source of income for now. Mr Cheery has no interest in farming So there's no immediate plan to try and set something up financially (although should something appear we will consider it). We are reasonably clueless (although surrounded by more informed friends) so don't want to rush into anything

    Sun's just come out so I'm going to take my map outside and start trying to figure out which fields are ours
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 11th Mar 18, 9:31 AM
    • 3,258 Posts
    • 16,947 Thanks
    Caravan storage?
    MFW: Was: £136,000.......Now: £76,704.80......Reduction: £59,295.71... in 58 months!
    MFiT-T5 #8 - £10,313 of £23,100 (44.65%)
    Save 12k in 2020 - £0 // £24,000 (0.00%) & 2020 - Banish the Clutter - 26 // 366 days (7.10%)
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 9:45 AM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Caravan storage?
    Originally posted by shangaijimmy
    That's on our list of 'things people have suggested we do with our land' already along with glamping, bunkhouses, camping, dog agility courses, alpacas/sheep/llamas/rabbits, pet cemetery, green burial ground, large ponds, horses etc etc etc

    We're in a national park next to a footpath so we'll need to investigate restrictions relating to that. We're also quite sloping and boggy (and I confess I'm not sure I want to look out on a load of caravans )

    We'll see
    • rtandon27
    • By rtandon27 11th Mar 18, 9:52 AM
    • 2,548 Posts
    • 16,419 Thanks
    Happy New diary Cheery my dear!

    (Subscribed first - now just read back)

    How exciting Cheery - you know we are all going to live vicariously through you right?
    Last edited by rtandon27; 11-03-2018 at 10:08 AM.
    3 YEARS DEBT FREE!!! (24 OCT 2016)
    (With heartfelt thanks to those who have gone before us
    & their indubitable generosity.)
    Working hard to keep all the balls in the air and juggle the budget!
    • maddiemay
    • By maddiemay 11th Mar 18, 10:44 AM
    • 4,060 Posts
    • 37,135 Thanks
    Happy new diary, subscribed and looking forward to reading about your adventures in the country. One little word of caution when planning for chickens - Foxes - they take quite a bit of outwitting, beautiful though they are
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 11th Mar 18, 11:33 AM
    • 32,928 Posts
    • 194,780 Thanks
    Congratulations on the new diary, Cheery

    You want to work on the waistline a bit, so no cake, but have some **really** special coffee for you and Mr Cheery

    You have 11 acres! I didn't realise! Utterly amazing ... I get that a lot of its boggy, but trees will help that and upslope you can have fruit trees, and nut trees ... yep, ponds ... oh my word. Wonderful!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    New kitchen fully installed June 2019
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 11th Mar 18, 12:01 PM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff

    KC, thank you for the coffee It is indeed wonderful, and well worth all the bureaucracy and stressful waiting we went through we will indeed be having fruit and nut trees once I've worked out the best place to put them, and I've brought some of the willow from our old garden too to help soak up some of the swamp

    Maddiemay, foxes indeed - we've already seen what I suspect are fox footprints in the snow... we'll be getting rescue chickens so I don't want them to be all completely shut in again, but yes, outwitting the fox will take some doing...

    RT, feel free to live vicariously through me As long as you cheer me on a bit occasionally

    Walked round the edges of 5 of our fields (!) this morning, gosh it was SO lovely to be out there with nothing but the birds to listen to The view really is stupendous. A couple of the fields slope down quite considerably and there's a little spring/stream in one of them that might be a nice place to sit

    I also managed to get a picture of our local hare seen it a few times since we got here (in fact saw two together this morning) but this is the first timr I've caught it on camera

    Mr Cheery and I have popped out to try another local cafe (£5.75) - perfectly serviceable but not half as cheerful as yesterday's (although he reckons the coffee is better...)
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 11th Mar 18, 8:32 PM
    • 1,583 Posts
    • 12,179 Thanks
    Hiya Cheery Fellow runner and cake enthusiast here i'm reading you're old diary and I love it! So honest and very funny Was really pleased to see your new diary popping up on here. I'm going to subscribe to this one when I've finished or I'll get myself in a right muddle (which doesn't take much!).

    The very best of luck to you and welcome to MFW, its a lovely p!ace to be. I'll look forward to watching you kicking that mortgage into touch

    See you soon
    PP xx
    • fannyadams
    • By fannyadams 12th Mar 18, 3:21 AM
    • 1,653 Posts
    • 2,512 Thanks
    <delurks>Shiny new diary? don't mind if I do! <relurks>
    just in case you need to know:
    HWTHMBO - He Who Thinks He Must Be Obeyed
    DS#1 - my teenaged son
    DS#2 - my other teenaged son
    Barkin Things - my two retired greyhounds
    • Cheery Daff
    • By Cheery Daff 12th Mar 18, 7:43 AM
    • 9,113 Posts
    • 47,473 Thanks
    Cheery Daff
    Hi Fanny Adams You don't need to be forever a lurker, you know!

    And Hi Pinkypig Gosh, you'll be there forever if you read the whole of my old diary, it lasted about 4 years I think! Big load of waffle But thank you for your kind words, and we'll see you back in here in a few months when you've finished reading!

    Just done YNAB, all looking acceptable Except for £10 which has had to be assigned to the 'budget fiddling' category (which is where I put stuff when it's evident I've spent it, but I have no receipt or memory of what on )

    Went out for a lte breakfast with Mr Cheery yesterday to a different cafe - not so nice as the one from the day before, so probably won't go there as often. It has a bookshop attached though, so might be a nice place to take visitors. We'll see. Spent £10.65 between us (but we were in there for 2 hours, plotting and scheming, so not too bad).

    Bought another £15 double clothes rail yesterday too - we had a built in wardrobe before but have no wardrobe at all here. Between us we have rather a lot of clothes so once the spare bedroom floor is fixed (as in new joists, not new carpet) that will be our dressing room But it's good to have everything on a series of rails

    Not much else to report. Wandered round our fields yesterday taking pictures, and found a few sticks that had fallen from a tree in the wind so gathered them in for kindling. Felt like a proper country woman for about ten minutes

    Working at home today, and then Mr Cheery has found us a sofa on Freegle so we're going to pick that up tonight It'll replace our tiny really uncomfortable one (not entirely sure what we'll do with that - probably stick it back on Freegle...)

    Have a good one folks!
    • greent
    • By greent 12th Mar 18, 7:48 AM
    • 8,360 Posts
    • 84,722 Thanks
    Hello and happy new diary! Look forward to following your MFW adventures
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/11 £89873 01/13 £52546 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786 12/19 £48986 2020 OPs (#18) £450/5K
    Net sales 2020 £29.06/£500 Decluttering: 300/2020
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 12th Mar 18, 8:03 AM
    • 16,785 Posts
    • 110,611 Thanks
    Cheery !!!!!!

    What an adventure .

    Have some and .

    Can't wait to read of your exciting new life so shall do a little happy dance in anticipation .

    If Mr C had a 'normal' job you'd be buying stuff new - how much more fun (and environmentally friendly) to send him out hunting/gathering stuff .

    to chickens. While you build a safe enclosure you can start thinking of names .
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
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