Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    • 6,066Posts
    • 32,095Thanks
    AlexLK
    Renovations and Repayments.
    • #1
    • 8th Mar 15, 11:07 PM
    Renovations and Repayments. 8th Mar 15 at 11:07 PM
    Hello and welcome to visitors familiar with my journey thus far and are surprised to see me on such a sensible board and a further warm welcome to the new faces wondering what they've let themselves in for.

    Let me begin by clarifying a few points: the first one is I am not sure whether I'm actually serious or not about clearing my mortgage and the second is the fact my house needs quite a bit of work doing to it. This work I do myself and in the time my wife and I have lived in the house we've learnt all kinds of new skills. The current project involves renewing the windows and I am making the frames myself, two are done and I'm pleased to say look great.

    I plan to use this mortgage free (how very grown up) diary to document the renovations and my savings activities, out of which overpayments may or may not be made. However, I am fully committed to long term saving and making as much money as possible. A long term goal of mine is to add to the BTL portfolio I shall one day inherit and am already becoming more involved in which is perhaps a good reason to pay my mortgage off and make my current property into an investment.

    Aside from the recent interest in moneysaving I have a four year old son, run my own company, play and teach the violin and piano whilst studying for my own interest. Oh and don't mention the cars.

    Those familiar with my debt-free diary will know I'm not exactly great at record keeping but am trying to improve, so please don't expect the detailed financial updates others seem to put on here. To kick things off, I suppose I ought to confess the mortgage debt is a total of circa 185,000 and I have no real timescale or plan in mind to pay it off.

    Sorry if this is not a particularly articulate introduction, as I seem to be at a loss how to tailor it to both those who've read my debt free diary and to new readers frequenting mortgage free.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
Page 138
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 9:57 AM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I think the 2.0ltr is a 4 cylinder. I'll ask Mrs K and report back. 6 cylinder BMW engines are lovely, if you've not had a car with a BMW 6 pot from the 90s-00s I'd definitely recommend it.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 20th Mar 17, 12:25 PM
    • 7,610 Posts
    • 16,788 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    I'm really enjoying reading your posts Alex. I think it's only natural that you'll have up days and down days - after a bit of bullying at work I was feeling rather negative myself - but at the end of the day life plods on and we all do our best. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law being a pain though!

    Take care of you and yours

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 6:15 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    I'm really enjoying reading your posts Alex. I think it's only natural that you'll have up days and down days - after a bit of bullying at work I was feeling rather negative myself - but at the end of the day life plods on and we all do our best. Sorry to hear about your brother-in-law being a pain though!

    Take care of you and yours

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    Sorry to hear about the bullying. Some people just do not seem to be able to grow beyond petty insults.

    I am starting to think you're right about everyone doing their best. I don't think any of us deliberately set out to do badly in life, though sometimes we just aren't equipped to cope at that particular time or things happen which lead us down the wrong path. Saw an old schoolfriend today. He's had a lot of problems mainly related to using cocaine: only after losing his wife, family and being on the verge of losing his career and home has he decided enough is enough. I don't think he ever set out for such troubles to be a part of his life. Mind, if whilst we've been on the subject of BMWs recently, he has a new 430d which costs c.400 per month but is really struggling to pay his mortgage. I only found out the car was a contract lease after telling him to sell it and get a bit more financially secure. Yes, I've learnt something from this place.

    Mrs K isn't in a good place after yesterday. My wife is usually a really good sleeper but was up at 1.30am last night. Managed to get her back to sleep with one of the youtube meditations ... they do seem to work.

    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • kelpie35
    • By kelpie35 20th Mar 17, 6:44 PM
    • 1,551 Posts
    • 5,019 Thanks
    kelpie35
    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.

    You talk yourself down Alex, you have so much to offer people. You are such a kind, caring and honest person.

    Hope your wife feels better today, at least she has the love of you and her son.

    Take care
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 20th Mar 17, 6:51 PM
    • 16,589 Posts
    • 109,545 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    . Sorry Mrs LK is suffering. A little bit of 'us against the world' may actually pull you all closer as a team and I'm sure she appreciates you telling him to butt out (though no doubt said much more eloquently ).

    BTW, the ospreys are returning and it was the 21st last year that Maya came back. Just looked on webcam and nest is empty - but I see they have 'tied' the nest together. Hmmm, not sure I agree with that.......
    Save
    Save
    Last edited by gallygirl; 20-03-2017 at 6:53 PM.
    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"
    • newgirly
    • By newgirly 20th Mar 17, 8:21 PM
    • 6,269 Posts
    • 43,312 Thanks
    newgirly
    Stop trying to get me to buy cars Alex, mortgage first, cars second (usually)

    Heartbreak star I hope things improve at work for you
    MFW 21
    Target for 2018 40k/11,092 paid so far

    Mortgage 38,275 4yrs 1mth left. Total owed 50,898 plan to clear in 14 months
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 20th Mar 17, 11:31 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK. Son will be devastated if I keep forgeting, they come back and he misses following them until I remember.
    Total Grocery Spend: 210/>450. Don't seem to be able to spend my money ... What is wrong with me?
    Surplus Money: 750/750. Transferred to savings. I'll have to make a new signature as we have saved money in 2017. Wife did really well in January and February which gave us a good start. We're not overpaying anything this month (MFW, so should be. Yes, yes I know ) as we want to finally get the house completed and make it a family home rather than seeing as something to sell. My son loves it here, I suppose it's a bit more child friendly and less intimidating.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 17/31. Going to bed after this.
    Meditation: 18/31.
    One new recipe per week: 3/4.
    Read three books: 0/3. Have read tonight but not enough to finish the book. It's a dense text book about keeping marine aquariums and I'm finding it a bit hard going. Wife finished a book this evening.
    3 Things for Tuesday: 1. Be on time, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Get up in time to play some duets with my son before school.

    3 Things for Monday: 1. Go food shopping Done. , 2. Find three things to smile about, 1. Had an hour to relax, 2. Seen an old schoolfriend, 3. I seem to have become the sane, rational one giving advice. Yes, me. 3. Do the negative thoughts meditation again Done. Seemed to have personally succeeded in being a useful being today.

    Somehow I've managed to become the sane, rational one with the advice to give. Now that really is a scary thought.

    You talk yourself down Alex, you have so much to offer people. You are such a kind, caring and honest person.

    Hope your wife feels better today, at least she has the love of you and her son.

    Take care
    Originally posted by kelpie35
    Thank you. I am trying to be a better person in recent years.

    My wife is really struggling. She told me today that she thinks she did some of the things she did because she couldn't deal with other things that were happening. After our son went to bed, she spent an hour getting very upset. Seems it's my turn to look after her. We have counselling tomorrow and have talked about individually having counselling after we have stopped the couples counselling.

    . Sorry Mrs LK is suffering. A little bit of 'us against the world' may actually pull you all closer as a team and I'm sure she appreciates you telling him to butt out (though no doubt said much more eloquently ).

    BTW, the ospreys are returning and it was the 21st last year that Maya came back. Just looked on webcam and nest is empty - but I see they have 'tied' the nest together. Hmmm, not sure I agree with that.......
    Save
    Save
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    Tonight she told me she wants to be more involved with our family life (she is certainly trying to be) but is concerned that puts her in the "pathetic little wifey" category. I said I want nothing more than for us to be a team and her continued efforts only make me see her in a more positive light. Found myself saying the three of us are the most important people in our world. No, not my parents. My wife did appreciate how I handled things with my brother-in-law. I find him intolerable at times and I'm sure he's not as perfect as he tries to present himself to the rest of the world.

    Osprey reminder made. Seeing some things I need to do and targets to be reached everyday on here seems to be helping me to do the right thing a little more often... can't get away from it and seems to make me accountable. Hopefully that will transfer to actually PAYING DOWN THE MORTGAGE...

    Stop trying to get me to buy cars Alex, mortgage first, cars second (usually)

    Heartbreak star I hope things improve at work for you
    Originally posted by newgirly
    I gave someone that piece of advice today.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • Red-Squirrel
    • By Red-Squirrel 20th Mar 17, 11:58 PM
    • 2,664 Posts
    • 7,138 Thanks
    Red-Squirrel
    I said I want nothing more than for us to be a team and her continued efforts only make me see her in a more positive light. Found myself saying the three of us are the most important people in our world. No, not my parents. My wife did appreciate how I handled things with my brother-in-law.
    Originally posted by AlexLK
    Can I just say...

    Also, just to add...

    Lastly...

    Really pleased to read the above, especially the bolded. I'm so impressed with the way you've adjusted your way of thinking recently and delighted that you seem to be so much happier.

    (I promise I don't normally communicate in little smiley animations, but they seemed the most appropriate for this post!)
    • cazmanian_minx
    • By cazmanian_minx 21st Mar 17, 12:32 PM
    • 4,011 Posts
    • 18,477 Thanks
    cazmanian_minx
    Alex, remember a while ago when you found it really, really difficult to stop brooding over and beating yourself up about things you felt you'd done wrong in the past? I suspect Mrs K is either going through or about to go through exactly the same thing, and I think your experience of it is going to be a way that you can be a huge help and support to her.

    Really glad to see how things are improving for you
    Home: 06/08: 145,145.00 Currently: 114,428.66 Offset: 51,337.84 Amount paid off: 30,716.34 (21.2%) Paying interest on: 63,090.82
    Holiday let:
    02/17: 177,416.86 (Family loan: 129,146.86 + 0% cards 48,270.00) Currently: 169,836.86 Amount paid off: 7,580.00 (4.22%)
    Sugar days 2017: 17/26 Debt-free: 17/02/2017
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Mar 17, 6:32 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Can I just say...

    Also, just to add...

    Lastly...

    Really pleased to read the above, especially the bolded. I'm so impressed with the way you've adjusted your way of thinking recently and delighted that you seem to be so much happier.

    (I promise I don't normally communicate in little smiley animations, but they seemed the most appropriate for this post!)
    Originally posted by Red-Squirrel
    Thanks, Red Squirrel.

    I am trying to think in a better way but don't always manage it.

    Alex, remember a while ago when you found it really, really difficult to stop brooding over and beating yourself up about things you felt you'd done wrong in the past? I suspect Mrs K is either going through or about to go through exactly the same thing, and I think your experience of it is going to be a way that you can be a huge help and support to her.

    Really glad to see how things are improving for you
    Originally posted by cazmanian_minx
    I think you're right, Caz. I still don't like my past but am starting to see, it is the past and there's nothing I can do about it other than learn from the mistakes and not repeat them in the future. I wish things could be better for us, to be honest. Over the last ten years my wife and I haven't had the easiest of lives. I know my problems with mental health have caused a lot of the issues both financially and in our marriage. It's awful watching her struggle with regret, something she can't now change. I suppose I can see some of the things she's put up with over the years.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • -taff
    • By -taff 21st Mar 17, 7:23 PM
    • 7,406 Posts
    • 5,486 Thanks
    -taff
    Glad to hear you sounding a lot chirpier these days.
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 21st Mar 17, 8:26 PM
    • 16,589 Posts
    • 109,545 Thanks
    gallygirl
    Alex I expect Little LK is well a-bed by now, but if not, there is an owl perched on the edge of the nest, been there for a while
    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"
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 21st Mar 17, 11:22 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK. Son will be devastated if I keep forgeting, they come back and he misses following them until I remember.
    Total Grocery Spend: 210/>450. Don't seem to be able to spend my money ... What is wrong with me?
    Surplus Money: 750/750.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 18/31.
    Meditation: 19/31.
    One new recipe per week: 3/4. Made a delicious Moroccan cous cous for lunch tomorrow. Was still making it at 10.15pm but it is very nice and I think my wife will be pleasantly surprised tomorrow.
    Read three books: 0/3. Have read tonight but not enough to finish the book.
    3 Things for Wednesday: 1. Be on time, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Get up in time to play some duets with my son before school.

    3 Things for Tuesday: 1. Be on time, 2. Find three things to smile about,1. The dogs meeting up for the first time in a few days, 2. Mother telling me I've done a good job re. business, 3. Pupil making progress with a difficult concept, 4. Son telling me we need to make Mummy a Mother's Day card. 3. Get up in time to play some duets with my son before school Hope to make this happen tomorrow. .

    Counselling went as well as could be expected. My wife is not in a very good place, she's struggling with eating again and is waking very early. Apparently one of her colleagues isn't helping by winding her up about not going out on Friday nights. He is divorced and hardly has any contact with his children, so hardly an example to follow but I think this is probably where the upset about wanting to spend time with family came from.

    Glad to hear you sounding a lot chirpier these days.
    Originally posted by -taff
    I am trying.

    Alex I expect Little LK is well a-bed by now, but if not, there is an owl perched on the edge of the nest, been there for a while
    Originally posted by gallygirl
    He was in bed when you sent the message.

    We are going to check ospreys together before bedtime from tomorrow as my wife wants to see them too. We're hoping to go to Rutland Water during the latter half of the Easter break too.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • heartbreak_star
    • By heartbreak_star 22nd Mar 17, 9:02 AM
    • 7,610 Posts
    • 16,788 Thanks
    heartbreak_star
    Is it a website you watch the ospreys on or do you have them nearby?

    HBS x
    I believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.

    #JC4PM
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 22nd Mar 17, 9:36 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,598 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Is it a website you watch the ospreys on or do you have them nearby?

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    I know there is a webcam that the RSPB have up at Loch Garten but I think there is one at Rutland Water too
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after March 19.96% 1,996.19/10,000 5.04% behind
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 721.33/3,000 including stores so far 24.04% of my annual budget at the end of April
    My DFD is here
    • maman
    • By maman 22nd Mar 17, 12:12 PM
    • 17,901 Posts
    • 107,176 Thanks
    maman
    Just back from a short holiday and scan read some of the week's posts Alex.
    • pleased that you're looking forward to being surrounded by young women on your PGCE course.
    • good news that you and MrsK will be able to compromise on the bathroom. I'm sure you can have a super shower and a Victorian look that will suit your home.
    • Even more delighted that you are seeing it as a family home to live in and bring up LittleK in.
    • sorry to hear that MrsK is struggling. Hope she can stay strong and ignore the colleague who's having a go at her about Friday evenings. Maybe you can spend some of the surplus grocery money going out together.
    • I've been in Prague and Budapest for the past week so had a fair amount of goulash! At home I use Delia's recipe but not sure if you'd find it a bit spicy.
    • Debsnewbudget
    • By Debsnewbudget 22nd Mar 17, 12:57 PM
    • 259 Posts
    • 2,440 Thanks
    Debsnewbudget
    The male osprey -33 is back at Rutland Water

    http://www.ospreys.org.uk/webcam/
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Mar 17, 10:22 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    Is it a website you watch the ospreys on or do you have them nearby?

    HBS x
    Originally posted by heartbreak_star
    I know there is a webcam that the RSPB have up at Loch Garten but I think there is one at Rutland Water too
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    The male osprey -33 is back at Rutland Water

    http://www.ospreys.org.uk/webcam/
    Originally posted by Debsnewbudget
    See Debs' post, HBS.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • AlexLK
    • By AlexLK 22nd Mar 17, 11:32 PM
    • 6,066 Posts
    • 32,095 Thanks
    AlexLK
    March Targets:

    OSPREYS - CHECK. Seems like I was just in time! Son was pleased to hear about 33 being back.
    Total Grocery Spend: 210/>450. NSD today, too.
    Surplus Money: 750/750.
    Going to bed at a reasonable time: 19/31.
    Meditation: 20/31.
    One new recipe per week: 3/4.
    Read three books: 0/3. Will try again next month, I think.
    3 Things for Thursday: 1. Be on time, 2. Find three things to smile about, 3. Get up in time to play some duets with my son before school.

    Today was a bit of a failure in terms of the three things challenge.

    Just back from a short holiday and scan read some of the week's posts Alex.
    • pleased that you're looking forward to being surrounded by young women on your PGCE course.
    • good news that you and MrsK will be able to compromise on the bathroom. I'm sure you can have a super shower and a Victorian look that will suit your home.
    • Even more delighted that you are seeing it as a family home to live in and bring up LittleK in.
    • sorry to hear that MrsK is struggling. Hope she can stay strong and ignore the colleague who's having a go at her about Friday evenings. Maybe you can spend some of the surplus grocery money going out together.
    • I've been in Prague and Budapest for the past week so had a fair amount of goulash! At home I use Delia's recipe but not sure if you'd find it a bit spicy.
    Originally posted by maman
    I did wonder where you'd got to! I hope you went to see the Estates Theatre.

    Best one at the interview was about a 4/10... I'm fairly sure Mrs. K. is safe in that knowledge. Though, there is a 9 at volunteer school. However, she cannot deal with words beginning with the letters "th" and thinks I am a "posh ****" (yes, she actually said that and not in jest). So, on reflection, it does seem like I've made the right decision to keep Mrs. K..

    The not so good news is we need to get the money together to pay for the bathroom job to be done. I let the bad memories cloud the good but there have been a lot of good memories made in this house. Whether I like it or not it has been my home for the majority of my adult life and my son loves it here. He actually said to me that this is his favourite place in the world.

    Mrs. K. has been a little better today and I hope she stays strong too. She has mentioned wanting to go out as a couple and thinks our son would enjoy a weekend at my cousin's (she and her husband would be happy to have him). He would be happy to go as he would see it as something older children get to do but I think come the evening he'd struggle. He's obsessed with growing up and independence at the moment, or his idea of it!

    I will check the Delia recipe out and its spice level. We are generally OK with a little spice. Goulash is something my son has never had before, so I think I will have a go, thank you.
    2018 totals:
    Savings 7,600
    Mortgage Overpayments 1,750
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 23rd Mar 17, 8:47 AM
    • 1,971 Posts
    • 20,598 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Hey Alex, have you agreed on a design and approach for the bathroom? I will set out my approach in case there is anything of use for you in there.

    I measured ours very carefully because living in a thatched cottage, it is a non-standard rectangular box - one wall slopes down to just above the knee. I designed the layout so the sloping wall has the bath under it. This means we cannot stand up fully in the bath (not a problem as the convention remains sitting!) - it does mean a kind of rolling crouch to get in and out which is fine while we remain fit and bendy (my husband is 6'4 and although late 50s, he is stiffening up a bit). This meant I could just fit a 1000mm x 900mm shower in to the space where the bath had formerly been at right angles to the sloping wall.

    I also moved the toilet and the washbasin. I hated the fact that the toilet backed on to the leaded light window (not frosted, obviously) with a psychological sticking of bums in the world's face. Anyway we swapped them over so I now look out of the window while using the washbasin!

    All the design was despite (in spite of) the sucking in of breath through teeth by various potential contractors. In the end, I paid out kitchen-fitter (a trusted trader we had used several times for small general building projects when we lived 50 miles from here) and paid his time and fuel costs on top because I knew he would do what we wanted.

    I found it quite good fun sourcing all the main things to be fitted. We were able to use the contractor's trader discount for things like waste pipes and fixings, but my research saved us over 4000 on a fully designed option. Very satisfying and I recommend it
    MFiT T4 #2 update 88.72% after Q9 tiny bit ahead of where I should be
    Save 12k in 2018 #53 - after March 19.96% 1,996.19/10,000 5.04% behind
    OS Grocery Challenge 2018 spent 721.33/3,000 including stores so far 24.04% of my annual budget at the end of April
    My DFD is here
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

1,732Posts Today

8,045Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • It's the start of mini MSE's half term. In order to be the best daddy possible, Im stopping work and going off line? https://t.co/kwjvtd75YU

  • RT @shellsince1982: @MartinSLewis thanx to your email I have just saved myself £222 by taking a SIM only deal for £7.50 a month and keeping?

  • Today's Friday twitter poll: An important question, building on yesterday's important discussions: Which is the best bit of the pizza...

  • Follow Martin