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  • FIRST POST
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 5th Mar 18, 9:11 AM
    • 254Posts
    • 1,831Thanks
    bit by bit
    bitbybit's road to freedom
    • #1
    • 5th Mar 18, 9:11 AM
    bitbybit's road to freedom 5th Mar 18 at 9:11 AM
    Hi all,

    Welcome to my shiney new diary. I am a 52 year old nurse with a DH and 4 children all over 18. DD, the youngest is at uni and two of the 3 DS's are living at home for various reasons.

    I have been watching you all over the years beavering away at clearing your mortgage. I have been following your strategies, but never had the courage to post my own diary. Now I am three years from retirement and I have a mortgage that I can finish in three years if I work at it.

    I have two targets really. First is to pay of what is left of my mortgage. I am lucky. I am on husband no 2. When we met I had my own house whiich I sold at a loss in the late '90s. He still had a house so he rented it out and I bought a 3 bedroomed detached for us and the kids for £55000. it was an enormous sum at the time. Over the years we have extended it along with the mortgage. At it's highest it was £75000. I carried on just paying off the basic mortgage until I had a light bulb moment.

    About 5 years ago I looked at my life and decided the thing I really wanted to do and never had the chance was to travel.I started looking around at how to pay for it. At this point I didn't even have emergency savings, My husband did but since the first husband I have been fiercely independent financially. Anyway, a quick search of the web directed me to good old MSE and eventually I found the forums. I had no idea I could overpay. I had no idea about savings.

    Well all that changed. I have 6 months of wages in the bank, loads of regular savers and I am a bank account tart. I have been overpaying for five years and knocked £25000 or so off the mortgage, mostly with my money and the odd boost from my husband; it took him until last year to get on board.

    We had hoped to travel from September 2019 for a year out but our plans were interrupted by treatment for cancer and we decided we would wait. You have no idea how much the savings were a comfort blanket.

    So my second target is early retirement. Lucky for me I am in the NHS and on the old pension offer which means I can retire at 55. I would like my mortgage cleared by then, all 31000 of it.

    I want to finish in March or April 2021. My DH is a year younger than me and we are aiming for him to retire a year after. He has a mortgage on a house he rents out and he is now overpaying that.

    After we have paid my mortgage off we will be downsizing. In the mean time we are doing up the house with a view to selling it in the future. It will take that long with all my clutter.

    So that's it for now. I am looking forward to travelling with you lovely people while I complete my mission for freedom.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
Page 2
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 28th May 18, 10:49 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    I went off to visit my DB Saturday and came back Sunday. I should have gone Friday but was tired and its a three hour drive. As it turned out it may have a good thing, his mental health is not good and I haven't seen him for over a year. He wasn't at his best shall we say.

    Back from my weekend away, and things didn't quite go to plan expenditure wise.

    Not so good: My DB and I ate twice together. On Saturday evening I got a ready meal from Sainsbobs for each of us and a spare and some bread for him. He doesn't eat well. This was cheaper than eating out so still better than nothing. No booze either.

    In the morning we went for breakfast but I knew it would mean I wouldn't want lunch (thats my excuse)

    I bought a coffee on the way home. The coffee in my flask was cold and I needed it as I was tired. Its worth it for not having a crash.

    Did well

    I had didn't buy lunch at work Friday as I was on a half day. I visited friend for coffee instead, and then went home and ate. I usually eat out with this friend if we meet on a Friday, usually early evening, so that saved me a bit.

    I packed fruit, yoghurt and crisps for the journey both ways (and ate it both ways).

    I didn't buy any food food on the go.


    Just didn't record my expenditure but it was a lot less than I normally spend at least by £30.00 so happy with that.

    Just got food shopping today and eating at home. I am eating out tomorrow for DS3s birthday, but I will keep it small for me at least. DH may pay.

    Dh and I are away for the weekend at the Hay festival. We are taking food to cook and make packed lunch with as we are camping, so apart from the odd cuppa we will have a cheapish time. I stopped buying books a while ago but I may get tempted.

    So not a bad start, looking forwad to the challenge over the next month when I am away or doing something every weekend.

    Will record spending from today.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 4th Jun 18, 8:08 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back from a great week at Hay Festival. We didn't do too bad with spending on food. We ate three evening of the four we were away but took packed lunches and snacks.

    We didn't do as well on the books. We spent quite a bit but half were second hand, the others were new, several of them signed for us.

    Not been great on the writing down the expenditure as it hasn't become a habit yet.

    Today has not been a no spend day but I passed McD's on the way home from work despite wanting a chicken sandwich meal desperatly, I went home and ate leftovers. Later spent just under £50 on the weekly shop for our family of five. We are using up freezer contents and any bits I can find. Got to claw it back somewhere.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 11th Jun 18, 1:38 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back from another festival. I did buy food, but only twice and about 4 cups of tea which were reduced in price because I was reusing my cup. I came home with money still in my purse so all good.

    I did a check on my mortgage last week and find I will go sub £30,000 by at least £150 next month. I am very happy with that but I could have been there sooner had I not been so spendy.

    Danger areas this week: I have one evening out this week which will cost me about a tenner Including ticket to an event and food and a drink.. I will also be going to my DS1's wedding on Friday, Accomodation and food will mostly be taken care of, just a few drinks I think. I will take emergency snacks and milk and tea bags for our hotel room.

    Looking forward to a time when I can save properly again, I think it will be August though. Patience is a virtue in this game
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 3rd Jul 18, 12:23 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back again to report a heavy financial few weeks. Just hols to get out of the way next week and then its time to slow down.

    Good new is that I have still managed to over pay, albeit only £15.00 today. it was none last month so pleased.

    Also I am down to £29,100 without the overpayment or this months mortgage payment take off, so sub £28000 when that clears.

    At the end of last year we considered downsizing and looked at some houses nearby. This finally kickstarted DH to think about adapting our house to suit our needs for the next five years as we are not going to be able to downsize with three grown ups kids needing rooms.

    So today the buiilder has come today so he can measure up for a quote. Hope to start in August.
    We are moving the downstairs loo to the understairs, opening the space up in the extension we had built 20 years ago. We are moving the patio doors to a more central point, and where the loo was will be a couch for sitting and chatting and gazing out onto the garden. Finally we are doing a total refit of the kitchen. So more money out but this is being budgeted for.

    The house had tripled in value in the last 20 years and hopefully this will improve that further.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 19th Jul 18, 9:19 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back from hols and straight into cutting back and listing spending. We did a food shop for £77.00 at the weekend and are using food off the allotment, freezer and given food to supplement. We are a family of 5 (three men with healthy appetites).

    Keeping a spending diary is good though, easy when you have NSDs. I have taken packed lunch or leftovers all week.

    As always when I come back off hols I am decluttering madly, the whole house is a pig sty. We are having some building work done in August so it has to be done.

    Last payments into two regular savers next month so I am having a savings holiday of one month to clear just have a bit in the bank, then I will be back to it.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 22nd Jul 18, 7:13 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    So this week there have been three NSD's and I have managed to keep the spending diary properly for the first time. I have also been taking packed lunch and leftovers to eat at work.

    I have managed to no spend at least £40 on my usual snacks and lunch form the M&S shop at work and the Aldi and McDonalds on the way home. This should not only be good for my wallet but also for my waistline.
    It has been tough walking/driving past some days. I need to work on having food with me to replace those points where I used to drop in for food.

    In other news I have managed to do a whole load of clearing and decluttering both at home and on the allotment. Son No1's room which doubles as my craft and writing room is a work in progress but a lot better than it was. He had a van full of bags of clothes from when he left his GF. They have been in there for about a year. I thought he had enough clothes as it was. Anyway he got rid of the van and his room filled up with bin lines so badly that I couldn't get through to open the window.

    All sorted now but he hasn't got rid of much.

    The builder has come and quoted us £10,000 but we expect it will double that as we are buying the tiles and the kitchen to be fitted. Luckily it is all budgeted for. Will be paying on a points credit card and then paying it all off asap.

    Right off to the allotment to pick some beans and water of course.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 9th Aug 18, 10:03 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Dipping in to say hello. It's been a busy few weeks again, and of course spendy. I have now reached the end of my planned big spends apart from the house remodel that we expect to start at the end of August.

    On a positive note I am keeping to a spending diary and it has definitley made a difference to the amount I spend. I care more about every penny. My habit of buying food most days at work has been reduced to one day a week and not every week. I take in leftovers or packed lunch. I have a pack of cereal which is handy if I forgot my lunch.

    Also in the good new section I can report that a family member who owed me £800.00 has paid it off in one go, and I in turn paid off a credit card which was just under £800. This month Son no1 who borrowed money to pay for some of his wedding is starting to pay it back, along with son no2 who is working (for the time being) and so can also pay some rent. This will all go to overpay the mortgage

    We have saved about £50 on food this week as have been shopping from the freezer. It needs to be cleared out and moved to the garage. In addition Son No3 bought home butter , eggs, lemons and oranges after a clearout of the fridges at work. This has saved us money and we now are going to make lemon curd and lemon drizzle cake at the weekend for the first time, yum. DD has already done a lovely orange marble cake.

    We are also in the thick of harvesting now and have been getting tons of tomatoes, courgettes, green beans and carrots from the allotment. Soon we hope to harvest the grapes and melons.

    A final bit of good news is that DH is moving jobs, being forced to really as his company is farming out work. Anyway, with his current company he has a Pure card which he gets cashback for all sorts of things including the weekly shop at asda. Anyway, I always said that Aldi was cheaper but we have been a bit locked in to shopping at Asda. This will be no more and we can save a lot more than the 3% that we get off pure card. .
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 10th Aug 18, 4:16 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Finally, an opportunity to overpay today. Son No2 has paid some rent at last.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 1st Sep 18, 7:53 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back in to report an overpayment of £150 for August. This with my mortgage payment takes me to £28, 744.81.
    I am over the moon. I haven't been able to overpay as much as I would like for vartious reasons, not least because we are having our downstairs remodelled and that is costng £20,0000 plus the early year expenditure for three weddings.

    I am well on toarget to clear the whole mortgage by the time I retire

    My aim now is to get the mortgage below £28,000 by the start of 2019
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 26th Dec 18, 10:37 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back in for the final infrequent post in 2018.

    I have achieved my target for 2018 in that I am below £28000 at £27980.

    I have just under 30 months before I retire.:

    Taking off regular payments and regular savings which when matured over the next 2 years I need to find approximately £12050 over the next 30 months which equates to about £400 and month.

    This is very doable.

    Hopefully the next year won't be so expensive. Our remodel of the downstairs which started at the end of August has cost us over £25,000 and we are not finished yet as phase two ( nice new multi fuel stove and redecorate the rest of the downstairs).

    DH very good at saving too but he has his own mortgage which he has been overpaying plus bank account juggling after I had done it for a while thanks to MSE. Long term he wants to retire in four years time which is also doable.


    So bring it in 2019...................
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 10th Jan 19, 7:32 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Happy 2019 to one and all

    So on my last post I said it was about 30 months until I can retire, but actually it is more like 25.

    The mortgage now stands at £27,649 without this month's overpayment of £50 and the £291 for the regular payment. Interest was a little over £11.00 which is minimal but I am continuing to pay so if the interest rates go up I have less for them to charge interest on.

    After a discussion about money, retirement and lump sums with DH we have realised that we can both stop working in 25 months time as long as he has a big enough savings pot. It would be better for him to hang on another year though so if he is happy at work he will do. If not he will have option to leave. His mortgage on his parent's house will also be paid off when mine is.

    Back to the other project - decluttering. We moved furniture back and around post builders this week and are aiming to clear off two tall bookcases. They are going to be gifted to nephew's girlfriend who has just moved into a flat.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 30th Jan 19, 5:31 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Reporting in with an overpayment today of £274.57 . With the regular payment this brings my mortgage down to £27,100 ( I do like to keep things tidy).

    The next payment will take me below £27,000. I fee that the end is in sight and I can't wait.

    The mass declutter continues. Tall sjhelves gone, bags and bags of stuff given away or binned. DD could walk to her bed without having a trail through the clutter as I have cleared her room a lot. More to do there but trying to declutter Son no 2 into his own place first so I can have my craft room back.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 2nd Feb 19, 10:52 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    I have been monitoring my spending on eating out. This is my only hobby that costs me any money really.

    In January I spent £105.46 on eating out, mostly in the evenings with friends with the odd lunch date. I also didn't spend £42.29 on takaways and popping into Md's on the way home from work.

    The total would have been £148.05.
    So this month I am going to continue recording my spending. Each time I don't eat out I am going to add it to the overpayment pot. I am also going to challenge myself to keep each outing to below £15.00.

    Will report in.

    As a positive result of this avoiding eating out. I have lost 3lb in weight. Long may that continue.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 16th Feb 19, 7:29 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Well it is my birthday today which means I have 24 months until I retire and so the pressure is on a bit.

    We have just had a holiday but kept it as frugal as possible. Apart from accomodation and we spent about £100 on eating out (two big meals in a pub plus one small one and food shopping ) we were in a B&B so ate a big breakfast and ate tea with a minior snack in between. We did fill up on free cake though. A permanent plate ready for eating as you walk in. Naughty but nice.

    Apart from a few books (second hand) and a basket, planned for, we didn't spend much. We used our NT card to go round the grounds of two National Trust properties and walked in the Peak Park.

    I like ambling round the shops on holiday and want lots but really work hard these days to hang onto the cash and buy nothing. It being my birthday I had a few treats but really that is it now until my next holiday in Greece.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • Catanddogs
    • By Catanddogs 16th Feb 19, 8:50 PM
    • 92 Posts
    • 138 Thanks
    Catanddogs
    Hello bitbybit, you are making fantastic progress! You have prompted me to update my signature which I havenít done for some time
    July 2008 .......£175.000
    December 2010, .£126500, March 11 £113.000, March 2013 .£103.000, October 2018 .........£61.000, Feb 2019 59800.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 6th Mar 19, 7:14 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Back in to report and overpayment of £340 this month. I have already started saving for the next overpayment.

    Sadly on friday my DSis died after a short illness.

    She had recently moved into a town house sharing a mortgage with her partner. She didn't get mortgage protection as she was a diabetic and it was very expensive. She left no will.

    We can only guess what her wishes might be.

    We hope the deeds are clear about her partner's status of occupation so we can forget about it. She had no kids, just brothers and sisters. Even that isn't easy because apparently in the eyes of the law my step brother and my two half sisters don't count.

    So anyone reading this and you live with a partner - make a will, this has caused a lot of unintentional heartache. Wills can be done cheaper if you donate to a charity at a solicitors. Ours did a great job last year for a donation to the Macmillan fund.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 9th Mar 19, 8:43 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Good news this week. We found out that my DSis's partner has jount tnennancy which mean he will automatically inherit her part of the house.

    As much as I want to pay off my mortgage, and had we inherited and sold DSis's part I could have obliterated, I have never cared less about money.

    I am relieved that there will be no question, just the rest of her stuff to sort now.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 16th Mar 19, 12:53 PM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Good day. I just realised I only have 23 months before I can retire. Yay
    Last edited by bit by bit; 16-03-2019 at 12:54 PM. Reason: correction
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
    • bit by bit
    • By bit by bit 30th Mar 19, 8:50 AM
    • 254 Posts
    • 1,831 Thanks
    bit by bit
    Pay day had come and gone and Ihave had a bit of a spendy months. Funerals are not cheap.

    However i have managed to overpay £141.15 which with the usual payment of £291.19 brings the mortgage to a tidy £25,900. I usually overpay more but can't. It is a great relief to see this total though.

    Managed to finally sell something on #bay and still make a profit despite charges and ridiculous postage fees.

    May not be able to make a payment next few months because of funeral fees, Ging to see if my Credit Cards will let me have interest free.
    Wife, mother, gardener, nurse, cancer survivor. Aiming to retire at 55 in February 2021- 23 months to go.
    Challenges 2019: MFW 2019 #164 £1045/723200 Make 2019 in 2019 #70 £679/£2019 Stash Busting 2019 3/12 projects A Clutter free Life 2019 52/100 bags and 6 large items.
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