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  • FIRST POST
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 19th Dec 13, 1:15 PM
    • 1,589Posts
    • 9,401Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    Building The Burrow!
    • #1
    • 19th Dec 13, 1:15 PM
    Building The Burrow! 19th Dec 13 at 1:15 PM
    Hello lovely MFWs!

    I thought it was about time I joined you all! Erm, technically I'm still a mortgage wannabe (despite coming agonisingly close to buying several months ago), life's changed a bit since then (will get to that in a moment!), but I hope it's ok to join in with all the fun and games as I head in the same direction as your lovely selves.

    At the moment it's just myself and Mr Merle living in a one bed flat (no room for even a little kitten, alas!) and since Mr Merle is looking for a new job (which is now highly likely to involve relocation to some far flung corner of the country), it seems best to hold off on buying until we know where we're at. My parents were kindly going to lend us money to help us with a deposit, but the more I can save in the mean time to reduce anything we need to borrow etc the better, so that's going to be my plan of action for now. Ultimately we'd love to build our own house one day, but that's a long way away... so I may be here some time! *gets comfy/tries to resist temptation to pick our curtains & save the pennies instead *

    So, a bit more about moi - I've had some quite rubbish health issues over the years, and have also done the whole debt thing, all of this was scary enough to make me realise that budgeting/being in control of my finances can/does make such a difference. Also knowing that I have a roof over my head that no one can take away from me is the major motivating factor for kicking a mortgage into orbit. My health tripped me up again this year in a pretty major way, so now I feel ultra focussed to get things going - the sooner I can get myself into a better financial position the calmer I'll be about any other nonsense occurring in future. Needless to say, things being rubbish over the years also means I don't have any sort of retirement provisions, so I would also like to look into working towards taking on a BTL (or three ) in the future.

    At the moment I'm self-employed, but I've been reviewing things this year and I've decided that I'm going to change the nature of my business somewhat in the new year. I'm cutting off the dead wood and getting more focussed on how I can bring more money into the household. Things are definitely going to get interesting in a few weeks.. I just need to remember (or rather, cling to the thought!) that life is an adventure and is there for living etc! I'd like to look into returning to college/university and finding a new career path, but I probably need some time to ruminate on this and have a good long think about what I want to do.

    Oh, I should say, in regards to my diary title... it's not just a little motivation to myself to focus on getting to the glorious self build stage, but also about making a happy home (aww, I love the Weasleys, I want my home/life in general to be as joyful as it is in The Burrow, it is the quintessence of a homely home!). I'm quite used to not buying things, but I can see that I've developed a bit of a poverty/fear mentality about it, so I need to ease myself out of this a give myself & Mr Merle the odd little treat! When I really think about it, I realise that I'm actually surrounded by lovely, happy things - if only I would make the most of them! So part of the plan with this diary is also to get myself into the way of taking advantage of the wonderful (and free to me!) things life has to offer as well.

    We're pretty clued up here when it comes to making our money stretch. Mr Merle is insanely good at finding the best deals, basically doesn't buy anything unless it's on offer (I'm not even allowed to buy chocolate unless it's on offer... but I waaaant some dairy milk, ahhh!), and we tend to buy things we know will last/get our moneys worth out of; (when we moved into our new place it was entirely unfurnished, so a lot of my savings went onto high quality fridge/washing machine/bed/sofa bed etc, so at least we won't have to worry about furnishings when finally get our own place, and nothing should break down any time soon - if it does, we have long warranties, whew). I do surveys etc to build up the pennies. Mr Merle's Christmas was completely offset with vouchers this year, so that's the aim for next year as well, it's made such a difference. Hmm, what other good stuff have we done? Oh yes, entire flat is now LED lighting (considering there were six lights in a teeny kitchen it's made an insane difference to our energy bills! It paid for our heating during winter last year, madness!).

    My main aim at the moment is to build up my emergency savings again (first get up to £1,500 then up to £3,000), and also save as much as possible for the house deposit - having a larger fund won't mean getting a bigger place than we intended, as we're both quite sure we don't want to look after something huge, or have something that we'd have trouble affording to run, it'll be more like OPing in advance

    Blinking heck, I bet this post is long! I'd best meander and go find some pennies to adopt!
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £9400/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
Page 73
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 25th Aug 17, 11:06 PM
    • 1,589 Posts
    • 9,401 Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    Right. So. Had an interesting reminder of how quickly something can happen at work to Really Put You Off Being There.

    Things ended up ok by this afternoon, but oh my - good to remember why a) an emergency fund is SO important and b) why financial freedom can't come soon enough!

    Think I'm going to read that Living on One Pound A Day book again to get inspired and reboot the old moneysaving mindset!

    Also - must get spending diary going away. It's fallen by the wayside due to health issues Not that money hadn't been kept in check, but I'd rather track everything to the Nth degree.

    In better news - blood tests all came back ok, hurrah!

    Quiet weekend in planed - gardening, reading books, and pottering about! Can't wait wait.
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £9400/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 26th Aug 17, 7:56 AM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Hope the weekend is as good and restful and inspirational as you need x (weather looks set fair, which might help!)
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 26th Aug 17, 8:29 AM
    • 5,282 Posts
    • 31,179 Thanks
    in need of direction
    Good news on the blood tests.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 £119,481.83 today £74,121.52, target £65,000 by 31/12/18 Offset fund today £307.27 target £5,500 by 31/12/18
    Emergency fund £860/5.5k & £200/200 cash.
    Weight 8 July 14st 4lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • misscousinitt
    • By misscousinitt 27th Aug 17, 11:07 AM
    • 3,613 Posts
    • 20,875 Thanks
    misscousinitt
    It's amazing how that can happen! Having your eye on the money defiantly makes it easier to make decisions about your future.

    That book about living on a pound a day sounds interesting, might give that a read myself.

    Enjoy pottering this weekend and it's really good news on the blood test front.

    Take care.

    MCI
    Mortgage Free x 1 03.11.2012 - House rented out Feb 2016
    Mortgage No 2: £89, 489.14 (20.06.2018)
    OP's to Date £6000

    Renovation Fund:£736.95;
    Nectar Points Balance: approx £2.50 (after microwave purchase
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 26th Oct 17, 8:27 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Coooeee! Popping over to say hello and hope all is well with you both xx
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 7th Nov 17, 8:28 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Tis the time of Cmas fayres soon and that always makes me think of you, m'dear x. (Still not done owt with etsy, but I do finally have a name for meself. Only took me, oooooh, about 2 years to do that)
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 29th Dec 17, 3:01 PM
    • 1,589 Posts
    • 9,401 Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    Aww Apple, thanks for thinking of me I hope the fairs went well and you're having a restful Yuletide? I had a couple of stints of catching up on here over the past few months but never managed to get myself posting again - until now! (Full news & gossip to follow )

    PS. yay on a shop name! Lets make 2018 the year of Online Boutiques A Go Go! I've half-started one as well, and am determined to get it going again properly. Would very much like some extra pennies rolling in
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £9400/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 29th Dec 17, 3:19 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Heloooo pearla! Great to hear from you. Looking forward to getting caught up with your news x
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 29th Dec 17, 4:15 PM
    • 1,589 Posts
    • 9,401 Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    Whew - got in for a last post before 2017 exhausted itself, go me.

    Family have returned home after a spell here over Christmas, last few days have been full to the brim with cups of tea and films and now I'm feeling rather more rested, it's time for a major catch up!

    Not sure where to start, but will try to condense the last several months into some sort of sense. Has mostly been spent under a Cloud of Blah. Pain ricocheting around my body like a pinball machine, but I've managed to work out that it's mostly a resurgence of my ME (doctor now thinks it's likely to have been Fibromyalgia all this time) and I think I've done something dodgy to a ligament around my shoulder/arm. Stupidly getting sucked into mainstream news has also not been in any way helpful.

    Cue cutting off from such things (including Facebook - am amazed I've not been on there in over a month!) and returning to much more uplifting reading matter, such as Beatrix Potter books. Am also undergoing major health reboot - that slow creep of dairy and sugar into my diet has been nixed and I feel soooo much better. Migraines, exhaustion and pain have lessened considerably, thank heavens. Need to get back into some hardcore exercise next - a few stints pottering in the garden and the odd walk has helped but I think it's time to crack open the Davina DVDs again.

    Am pleased to report that all that decluttering is paying dividends now - the place is kept in a vaguely reasonable shape and it'll be even better when I manage to sort out the remaining bags and boxes of random bits that are languishing in odd places. I didn't even have to completely kill myself getting the house ready for visitors - amazing transformation! Best part is - in honour of the beautifully tidy space, I've managed to resist all catalogues coming through the door and have not been tempted to buy anything at all really. I'd rather have the space! My bank balance is obviously also thankful.

    Talking of bank balance, things are still pretty much on track. Stoozed CC will pay off in Feb, and I'll look to get another 0% spending CC around then. S&S ISA has around £2k in there. I need to top up my emergency fund as moving house and some other expenses this year has depleted that a bit but in theory that should be back to a level I'd like (though I'm upping it - think I'll aim for around £5-6k), but the current plan is that it should be pretty healthy by around June time, at which point I'll up my S&S contributions. If I can up my income in some way (with freelance ventures) before then, that obviously that helps but at least things are roughly going to plan. I do think that a supercharged Saving Extravaganza for Q1 of 2018 wouldn't go amiss, so I shall have a ponder about that.

    In theory I shouldn't have many major expenses this year, though I need to do an inventory and have a think about it. I'm sure I should have enough clothes & shoes but in my company these things have a habit of disintegrating when least expected.

    My plan for next year is to keep to pretty much the same budget as always, though again, I need to check this over and shall report back then. I've been a tad useless keeping my spending diary this year due to health shenanigans, but shall try harder next year.

    Not really sure what on earth we're heading into next year though (and this also explains a lot of the exhaustion experienced this year), the feeling of being in total limbo hasn't really lifted. Mr M & I have come to the conclusion that heading abroad is probably the most likely turn of events and safer prospect job-wise for Mr M. A huge swathe of his contacts have already relocated to Europe. I'm always up for an adventure and would quite enjoy going abroad (despite having to leave my job, which is still very lovely) - I always wanted to have some stints living in different places but I'll be rather sad to leave our lovely little cottage and the garden. It would have been nice to feel settled for more than five minutes - we always seem to have to be looking towards The Next Thing. I need to cultivate a better sense of 'contented where I am, wherever I am'. I've definitely gotten better at this but still work to do.

    But this change would be quite a big one, and feels rather forced on us (and therefore it is hard not to dissolve into anger and upset over some of the reasons it's come about - again, am trying to remind myself that in actual fact I'd love an adventure and forget all the other fluff around it).

    To combat the awful on-edge feeling about it all, am trying to be proactive. Additional decluttering helps ("would I take this with me?") and have also been language-learning (we have a preferred country to relocate to so am getting a headstart ). Can heartily recommend the Memrise app for language learning - videos of locals speaking and they make it into a bit of a point-gathering game, which is fun. It's so good I even shelled out for the paid version. (At 50% discount, of course). Am now 10% fluent (ooh err), and it's nice to be ticking off the 'be fluent in another language' bucket list item. And as mentioned above, time to get started on some other income streams - having a few things in place would be handy for any transition period.

    MFW Wonderment: am completely sold on foraged natural decorations for Christmas! Free ivy, holly and evergreens from the garden - they look so pretty, and when it comes to clear up, into the garden recycling they go! Free and no storage required. Perfect.

    Have squirrelled away some of the excess Christmas munchies, which will be perfect for New Year's Even. Am already planning a Storecupboard January. Lets see what I can whip up from there. The freezer is also overflowing, so who knows what lies in it's icy depths!

    We've been baking bread again.

    Simple Pleasures: was observing what needing doing in the garden this lunchtime, only to see a long-tailed tit on the bird feeder! Then saw another one, then another one - in the end there were around 6 on the feeder and another 6 popping about on the branches of the apple tree. Mere inches away from me! Amazing

    Saw a huge, chunky fox beside the railway lines the other week.

    A perfect, curved vine of ivy that fitted perfectly around the clock in our kitchen

    Burrow Building: have been playing lots of music on our record player recently (finally listened to Rufus Wainwright's Shakespeare's Sonnets - sublime!); cosying up and reading books and pottering about doing some baking.

    I've waffled enough! But at least I'm now back in the fray. Now to put together the nuts and bolts of moneysaving plans for 2018 - I'll be back!

    PS. Apple - I'm sure it was you that's mentioned Tim Ferriss in the past? Have now properly read some of his blog (and was given Tools for Titans for Christmas ). Love so many of his ideas, definitely all food for thought. xx
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £9400/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 30th Dec 17, 1:01 PM
    • 1,943 Posts
    • 11,225 Thanks
    themadvix
    Sorry to hear you've not been too well Pearla and about the upheaval caused by OH's job. Glad to hear you're feeling better now though.

    The long-tailed tits and natural Christmas decorations sound lovely though. My mum gets the ltts in her garden - I think it's normal for them to form small flocks, but they are such pretty birds aren't they?!
    OPs 2018 = £2090
    Moving savings = £3085
    OPs 2017 = £3103
    Starting balance 2012: £132000; balance Jul 2018: £91,552
    MFW2018 no. 38
    • Pearla*Merle
    • By Pearla*Merle 9th Oct 18, 6:58 PM
    • 1,589 Posts
    • 9,401 Thanks
    Pearla*Merle
    Oh. My. Gosh.

    Looks like it's been rather a while since I've been here! (still remembered the code for the embarrassed emoticon though )

    Been rather a mad, disappearing year. Health just dropped off a cliff last year (nothing too sinister - just lots of little things - plus recurrent ME-symptoms - adding up into a mound of nonsense and couldn't do much more than go to work and come home again. Though even that has been a bit touch-and-go!).

    Autumn whirls around and back-to-schoolness has made me feel all studious and feeling rather like I should get back on track!

    Money-wise I've not been totally on it () simply due to being out of sorts - it's hard to go at things full-throttle so a few emergency buying-shoes-at-full-price-etc has ensued but in happy news the direct debit into my S&S ISA has ticked over and savings are pretty much on track OOOH YEAH! Yay for automated savings.

    Have gone into Super Major Healthy Eating which is a) kicking in, yay and b) so flipping cheap as all I seem to eat is kale and black beans. Have also done some serious developing of self-employed-work/life-plans and feel a lot more like my old self after a few years of being all over the place. Thank you apple muncher for putting me on the case with Tim Ferriss - his books/blogs etc have given me some seriously brilliant insights

    What else has been happening? Got to go on holiday a free trip abroad with work (I was a bit ill and delirious but I survived and got to go to the beach so all-in-all a great time away ), booked a trip to see family using airmiles and convinced so many friends to sign up to Amex that I can probably book another few trips away

    Feeling like I need to up my game with my daily MFW-ways again though... I feel a list coming on.

    Hope everyone is good out there in MWF-land it's been far, faaaar too long! Hoping to catch up with you all soon xxx
    a penny picker upper. every penny's a prisoner!
    £26.65 til OnePoll payout! Round six! | Save £9400/£15,000
    Normality is a paved road; it's comfortable to walk, but no flowers grow on it.
    Whatever you're meant to do, do it now. The conditions are always impossible.
    The only thing you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.
    • greent
    • By greent 9th Oct 18, 7:09 PM
    • 7,435 Posts
    • 75,394 Thanks
    greent
    Welcome back! xx
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £6484.71/£7500
    Net sales 2018 £713.44/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) Done £18918.90
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 9th Oct 18, 8:14 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Yay, you're back!

    Yuck to kale!
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
    • Crumpets
    • By Crumpets 12th Oct 18, 5:40 PM
    • 941 Posts
    • 2,942 Thanks
    Crumpets
    Welcome back Pearla!
    Mortgage March 2011 £143,927.6
    Mortgage Oct 2018 £83,688.04
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 12th Oct 18, 8:27 PM
    • 1,999 Posts
    • 10,743 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    Welcome back Perla, you've been missed x
    2018 MFW #20 - OP £3222.90/ £3000 107%
    Aug: £461.02 Sept: £10 Oct: £212.02

    Mortgage Oct '16 £170.995 LTV 90% end: Nov 2041
    Overpayments 2016 £255.50 2017 £2600.40
    • CathT
    • By CathT 12th Oct 18, 9:59 PM
    • 5,747 Posts
    • 40,254 Thanks
    CathT
    Welcome back Pearla, hope your health is on the up now.
    Oct 2018 -
    part 1 - £75,530
    part 2 - £44,799
    Total - £120,329
    • chumpy45
    • By chumpy45 13th Oct 18, 5:48 PM
    • 356 Posts
    • 1,564 Thanks
    chumpy45
    Welcome back Perla, so lovely to see you posting again. I have had rather a long time awol too, so we can catch up together. Hope all is well in the Burrow x
    Starting Mortgage 01.08.08 £171,209.24. Mortgage as at 01.09.15 - £54,780.04; 01.11.15 £49,577.04;01.03.16 £45,799.32; 01.08.16 £42,418.93; 01.10.16 £40,119.5 01.02.17 £36,584.00; 01.04.17 £34,694.71 09.06.17 £32,828.89 MFW Target date Sept 2017; :) 06.08.18 £24,769.47 New Target Date Sept 2020
    • apple muncher
    • By apple muncher 13th Oct 18, 6:00 PM
    • 7,815 Posts
    • 58,995 Thanks
    apple muncher
    Now,don't you go disappearing on us again, missus, or we'll be sending a search team to 'some where west of lunnon town near a river, with ducks'. Bound to find you sooner or later...
    NST October Gobstopper #7; NSD 10/18; Ex /21 ; craft 31 (144); remove 6 (653)
    2018 Pay off: £4266; 2
    018 sell £49.10; WLOSW 3/10

    Mortgage £18,885 (01/14: £78,201; 01/15: £59,629; 01/16: 39,915; 01/17: 27,295; 01/18 23,143) MFWDate Dec 2018
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