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
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 28th Jan 17, 11:18 AM
    • 2,804Posts
    • 26,880Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Get a grip woman!
    • #1
    • 28th Jan 17, 11:18 AM
    Get a grip woman! 28th Jan 17 at 11:18 AM
    Having been reading a number of people's debt-free wannabe diaries for some time now, I have finally decided I will start my own.

    We are less than three years from wanting to stop work, and less than ten years from state retirement age. I manage our household finances and DH lets me get on with it. His attitude is more "live for today" so we are a good balance, I think. We have two holidays each year and sometimes more - and he has some boys toys - 2 Harley Davidson motorcycles in the garage, that seem to always need money spending on them. That said, there is more to be said in favour of a happy and contented DH than against them so I don't resent them in any way.

    So to debts - It seems a good time because I have recently finished the finance on my car, and as of yesterday, paid off the finance for DS's car (I borrowed from him 18 months ago and paid back by buying his car on finance and paying his insurance). I was paying 4.7% on that debt so it was my highest priority. I paid it off 10 months early using most of my HSBC Regular Saver that matured this week.

    The debts I have currently are:

    110,621 - Mortgage - interest rate of 0.74% (0.5 above the BoEBR)
    3,476 - DH's car - 0% credit card until Sept 17 - a 4000 cash advance with a 76 fee
    8,755.54 - Barclays Finance for double glazing 0% over 2 years 2/24 paid

    Total 122,852.54

    It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.

    I think that will do for a scene setter.

    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
Page 1
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 28th Jan 17, 11:25 AM
    • 10,439 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Bobarella
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 17, 11:25 AM
    • #2
    • 28th Jan 17, 11:25 AM
    Good luck with it Suffolklass the Harley's will hold value too so they are assets as well as hobby items.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 56.58 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1900 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 28th Jan 17, 1:19 PM
    • 31,489 Posts
    • 185,683 Thanks
    Karmacat
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 17, 1:19 PM
    • #3
    • 28th Jan 17, 1:19 PM
    ][/B]It isn't that I can't afford to keep up payments, it is more that I want us to start our non-work phase without them hanging over us, if you know what I mean.
    by Suffolk lass;72004117[B
    I know exactly what you mean

    You're right about using money you'd been paying re DS to use it to pay off your debts instead, even though your rates are so good. Is there an argument for getting higher interest payments rather than paying debt down? I see you've had a regular saver (mine's maturing in a few months )

    So, what are you already doing? What more could you do? (hoping for a few tips here, you understand ).

    Challenges are great, but there's not much that beats a diary
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 28th Jan 17, 1:34 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 19,555 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 17, 1:34 PM
    • #4
    • 28th Jan 17, 1:34 PM
    I agree that getting rid of debt before retiring is a good idea. Personally we had a 10 year plan from when I was 45 and OH was 46 with ideas we would retire at 55 and 56 but we did a few big holidays, helped out our daughters with house deposits and my husband went last year at 58 and I go at the end of this year at 57.

    We have never really taken out debt so we prioritised the mortgage and building investments to bridge the gap between retiring early and spa using our company pensions and savings.

    Presumably you have a plan re income to tide you over for the 7 years before spa and you have occupational pensions? Is your mortgage repayment or interest only? It is still quite high so do you have a plan to repay that - ie endowment or pension lump sum?
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 28th Jan 17, 10:23 PM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:23 PM
    • #5
    • 28th Jan 17, 10:23 PM
    Thanks for reading and contributing Bobarella, Karmacat and enthusiasticsaver, we have a few assets and some savings - as you say Bobarella, the Harleys don't lose their value but I would rather not rely on that sort of cashing-in obligation around objects he clearly loves. He has offered to sell the smaller one but I may yet find the time to pass my test and build up to riding it, and it is happy in its little house in the garden, even if it is rarely ridden.

    In terms of other things, we (DH not me) have a dc pension pot that we plan to cash in across three tax years after we stop work. DH will be eligible for a small DB pension (not many years but a good salary) that will keep him below the tax threshold so we hope to take the dc pot to specifically pay off lumps of the mortgage. The issue here is that that dc pot could shrink again in the next few years so I want to reduce the mortgage by cash overpayments in the meantime so I am not totally relying on it being a certain value.

    At the moment the mortgage is supposedly an interest only mortgage - I say supposedly but I have not reduced the interest payments since starting to overpay and from Feb 17 I have asked them to increase the payment by just over 250 a month (nibbling away) to 400, I think the interest is about 68 at the moment. I also paid off 3,200.54 today - this was the balance of my regular saver and DH's regular saver, after paying off the car loan yesterday.

    Other things - I have a 7-year bond with a BS paying 3.5% that will mature in Oct 20 and last year's regular saver in a 2 year bond paying just 1.79% that finishes next January. We also have a S&S ISA each

    In terms of what we will live on until spa, I have a db pension that, combined with DH's, we can live on day-to-day, and I will receive a lump sum when I draw that (I can do so after 60 without penalty) - but I want to keep that for investing and paying for treats and holidays.

    Gosh reading that back it feels quite affluent but I don't feel that and I think I am cash poor and asset rich.

    I know I will have to raid the emergency pot to top up the buildings and contents insurance at the end of March, and we generally do so again for summer hols credit card. Oh and this year I will need 2k to pay off the 0% cc before we start paying interest in September - so I started putting a designated 250 a month in from last month (January).

    The next thing I will need to look at is electricity supplier as my fix finishes in March. We don't have gas (except a bottle for a domino hob) but I did buy 1000l oil in January which should last about a year.

    That's enough from me - a humungous post!

    SL
    Last edited by Suffolk lass; 29-01-2017 at 8:02 AM.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 29th Jan 17, 8:10 AM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 17, 8:10 AM
    • #6
    • 29th Jan 17, 8:10 AM
    A quick check into DH's dc pension pot this morning and the funds are all but one doing OK but I suspect we need to review them against our risk profile and maybe even check out transfer value. I have been reading and learning about investing in my spare time for a little while (still novice really) but I know enough to not want to stay in any "dog" actively managed funds with high fees and management charges but modest growth that does not compare well with passive funds. We might need to transfer funds within the same provider, or else move. Last year's statement (which I can't find) showed 50% growth over 7 years but looking at the funds individually, only one of them has really delivered against this. No need to act immediately but I will keep this under review.

    SL
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 29th Jan 17, 9:28 AM
    • 31,489 Posts
    • 185,683 Thanks
    Karmacat
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 17, 9:28 AM
    • #7
    • 29th Jan 17, 9:28 AM
    You've got some really good plans set up there! I wish I'd planned as much, there's nothing like it, not really.

    I can understand that when you list it out, it looks really affluent - but that affluence isn't being used to buy gold plated this that and the other - it's being used to buy free time, in retiring early - best purchase ever
    Save
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 31st Jan 17, 6:40 PM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 17, 6:40 PM
    • #8
    • 31st Jan 17, 6:40 PM
    Well, I have just posted my January savings on the Save 12K in 2017 thread and it is just over 900 so I am happy with that.

    It has nearly all gone into cash savings with just 151 into DH's S&S ISA with Charles Stanley Direct. We are still building towards a 10,000 emergency fund - which is what they say we need - 6 months worth of outgoings. Once we hit that I shall put more into his ISA. I am actually looking for 12k at the moment because I need 2k to pay off the 0% credit card deal when it expires in September. I don't intend moving the balance as it will be a fee I can simply save if we pay it off. We are halving the CC total by paying 200 per month at the moment so it should be there or thereabouts by September.

    February and March are Council Tax payment-free months for us so I am hoping to pay a little lump off the mortgage total.

    I am also carrying on with the eating out of my freezer and store-cupboards thread as the impact was to reduce my grocery spend to just over 150 for the month (all food, cleaning products, cat food and toiletries for 2 adults, weekly visit from DS and resident cat). I have been a regular on the monthly grocery challenge threads for around 4-5 years now - reducing my monthly spend from just over 700 in the first two months, to an average of just over 200 now. It is well worth a read for some top money saving tips and mutual support. Lots of friendly people on the Old-Style threads.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 31st Jan 17, 6:52 PM
    • 8,467 Posts
    • 19,555 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 17, 6:52 PM
    • #9
    • 31st Jan 17, 6:52 PM
    It sounds like you have a plan and I guess that with a mortgage rate of 0.74% it makes sense to have a balance of investing some of your money and overpaying the mortgage so you do not end up using all your OHs DC pension to repay it when the time comes.

    3 years before retirement we started to keep a percentage of our assets in cash( high interest current accounts) to draw on alongside the DB pension my OH gets at the moment and my DB pension which I can claim next year. 10k sounds like a reasonable amount to keep in cash form and stocks and shares isa's are a good asset to have alongside your pension.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 31st Jan 17, 7:15 PM
    • 31,489 Posts
    • 185,683 Thanks
    Karmacat
    Well, I have just posted my January savings on the Save 12K in 2017 thread and it is just over 900 so I am happy with that.
    Originally posted by Suffolk lass
    Thats good!

    I have been a regular on the monthly grocery challenge threads for around 4-5 years now - reducing my monthly spend from just over 700 in the first two months, to an average of just over 200 now. It is well worth a read for some top money saving tips and mutual support. Lots of friendly people on the Old-Style threads.
    And thats absolutely amazing Well done you!
    Downsized and paid off mortgage 2010
    Retired August 2016
    Paid off French mortgage September 2018
    • Frugaliza
    • By Frugaliza 1st Feb 17, 5:36 AM
    • 44 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    Frugaliza
    Hi Suffolk Lass,

    Great to see you've started a diary, I shall subscribe and read your ideas with interest. Fantastic job saving over 900! I started frugalling very recently and managed to save 739 when in fact may target (that I didn't think I could reach) was 440 - partly thanks to your encouragement on my (neglected) diary and various posts. Have also followed your idea of shaving off cash from the grocery budget and signed up to that challenge.

    Good luck with the plans - oh and what is 'spa'? Could it be state pension age? That varies for different people - are you lucky enough for it still to be 60 for you?

    So thanks
    The Save 12K in 2017 #94 739.13/600
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st Feb 17, 6:11 PM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    It sounds like you have a plan and I guess that with a mortgage rate of 0.74% it makes sense to have a balance of investing some of your money and overpaying the mortgage so you do not end up using all your OHs DC pension to repay it when the time comes.

    3 years before retirement we started to keep a percentage of our assets in cash( high interest current accounts) to draw on alongside the DB pension my OH gets at the moment and my DB pension which I can claim next year. 10k sounds like a reasonable amount to keep in cash form and stocks and shares isa's are a good asset to have alongside your pension.
    Originally posted by enthusiasticsaver
    Thanks for this. We were thinking very similarly, sort of pay some, save some. I want to get the mortgage as close to, or just below 100k as I can this year, without being too obsessive. I am expecting another lump sum when I draw my DB pension, and DH will also have one of those, albeit both with less than optimum number of years as we have both had several/many other employments. We think we can live on my anticipated pension, using my lump sum for treats and trips so the build up of savings is really a bit of hedging against a stock market dip at the wrong time.

    I am interested in what your rationale for a percentage in cash and what percentage you went for, if you would be willing to share that.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st Feb 17, 9:03 PM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thanks Karmacat and welcome Frugaliza! I was hoping you might be by.

    That is an amazing exceed for January, my target is an ambitious 11k but that does include the 2k I need to pay for DH's car that we paid for with a 0% cash transfer for 1.9% fee after he wrote off our seven year old commuting car (a sad tale of driving too tired and not concentrating enough on a busy trunk road on a Friday night commute home). Yes, spa is state pension age - mine is 66 at the moment - so a bit of an air gap between stopping work and being eligible for that.

    I had planned for spa at 62 but the implementation was much more rapid than I anticipated. While I fully support equality of pension age, what my generation of women actually have is a discriminatory implementation that did not give us time to properly plan or implement any sort of compensatory measures.

    Sorry for the rant!
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Frugaliza
    • By Frugaliza 2nd Feb 17, 9:45 PM
    • 44 Posts
    • 190 Thanks
    Frugaliza
    So are you looking to fund a 6 year gap then between 60'and spa? I'll be similar funding a gap of 7 years between retirement on a classic DB pension at 60 and then waiting for 7 years for my alpha DB scheme and state pension to kick in.
    The Save 12K in 2017 #94 739.13/600
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd Feb 17, 6:51 AM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    So are you looking to fund a 6 year gap then between 60'and spa? I'll be similar funding a gap of 7 years between retirement on a classic DB pension at 60 and then waiting for 7 years for my alpha DB scheme and state pension to kick in.
    Originally posted by Frugaliza
    Just a bit less than 6 years as I plan to leave just before my 61st birthday so that a short period of temporary promotion remains pensionable in my final Classic "best of the last 3".

    On that note, I believe that if the best of your last 3 for pension purposes is the oldest of the three years, they do apply the indexation for the intervening years. When we spoke about opting out and opting back in again (on your query thread, before you started your diary) - that was the main benefit for anyone whose Classic DB has been frozen - you should still check that with MYCSP. I am not up to date with Classic into Alpha as it does not apply to me - but if your frozen classic is not being index-increased between April 15 and your retirement date, you should not throw that increase away, and opting out and in would secure it. Especially with expected inflation for the next few years.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd Feb 17, 6:57 AM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    I have just received the letter from the BS confirming the little lump I paid off and a separate letter confirming the requested increase to 400 per month. I went straight onto the MSE overpayment calculator and if I make no further overpayments in the next two years I will only get to 98,865 so I need to get a bit more systematic if I am going to achieve my MFiT T4 target of 86,000 by January 2019. At just over 12,000 gap I will have a think.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd Feb 17, 9:18 AM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    This post is not associated with debt, so do skip if it is of no interest!

    I am going to say here that I have decided to try and reduce the amount of sugar and carbs in my diet to see if I feel any better after a few weeks. I seem to be so tired at the moment, not sleeping as well as normal, and eating left-over snacks and sweet things without thinking.

    I am not diabetic (as far as I know) but I could be - I am fat, female, and fifty something. I walk to and from the London destination mainline Station and my office (around 12 minutes brisk walk, each way) - it could be worse - three stops on the underground! and I garden, but not much recently. My other walking has reduced too much - so diet and exercise.

    My friend has been type 2 diabetic for about 14 years. She had been struggling with her sugar levels for some months - having dieted down from a size 20+ to 12 when first diagnosed, and pretty much stayed there, ever since. I saw her at New Year and she is a size 8 and her sugars are all normal. From someone on a warning trip to insulin, she has turned it round. Maybe it won't be permanent, but she looked fantastic, and had lots of energy and felt in control. So I would like to feel a bit of that wellbeing.

    I have been reading the Michael Mosley book (he of "Trust me, I'm a Doctor" fame), the 8-week blood sugar diet. And while I am not totally counting, I have decided to adopt the key principles.

    I started on Wednesday, it being the first of the month. Timing should be good as I generally give things up for lent (fiscal as well as calorific!) and with 28 days in Feb I will know when 8 weeks is up, without trying - and although my birthday is in there, it's not a special one (except to my Mum!), I am going on hols, walking, for the first week of April. So timing, pretty good. Even the weather has shown willing, with a 4 degree boost over Monday and Tuesday ;-)

    Well I got on the scales, third morning (he recommends regular weighing, more frequently than the "once a week" myth) and what do you know? 7lb gone (probably all fluid at this stage) - nevertheless, feeling ever so slightly thrilled, and wanted to share. Hopefully that will inspire me to stick to it, we shall see.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • boxofpaws
    • By boxofpaws 3rd Feb 17, 3:28 PM
    • 471 Posts
    • 2,144 Thanks
    boxofpaws
    Good luck cutting out the sugar, I'll be watching to see what the results are with interest
    Debt 03/01/17 = 42000
    Debt today = 27,819.22
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 3rd Feb 17, 9:05 PM
    • 2,804 Posts
    • 26,880 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Thanks boxofpaws. As you know, I have been enjoying reading your diary. I may reflect some of your recording things over here on mine. I especially like the good things bad things bit.
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q1 26,828 or 44.71% paid - Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 27,995.65 after Apr
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 4,378.57 or 63.55% after April
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target is 3k - 27.62% spent so far, after April
    My DFD is here
    • Bobarella
    • By Bobarella 3rd Feb 17, 9:51 PM
    • 10,439 Posts
    • 69,775 Thanks
    Bobarella
    Hi Suffolklass I'm really enjoying your diary. It's interesting reading about your mortgage vs retirement plans. I don't know enough about the pension regulations at the moment but I'm guessing the fact people can now skip buying an annuity and take money from 55 must make a huge difference to how people are tackling mortgage repayments. Forgive me if I'm wrong in that.
    " Your vibe attracts your tribe"

    Debt neutral 27/03/17 from 40k in the hole 2012.
    Roadkill 17 56.58 2016-62.28 2015- 84.20)
    RYSAW17 1900 2016 2,535.16 2015 1027.20
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

1,867Posts Today

6,181Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • Mini MSE is on half term next week, so I'm excited to be taking the week off to be daddy. As normal I'm signing of? https://t.co/G3366shWh1

  • I once blurted out on @gmb "Theresa May hasn't been given a poisoned chalice - she's been given a poisoned chalice? https://t.co/onfRbY3XVg

  • It'd be fascinating to know how history will judge Theresa May's premiership. Currently, it is hard to see it as a? https://t.co/eH77G0O9LA

  • Follow Martin