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    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 9th Feb 17, 4:00 AM
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    armchairexpert
    The ups, downs, and occasional sideways bits of trying to be mortgage free
    • #1
    • 9th Feb 17, 4:00 AM
    The ups, downs, and occasional sideways bits of trying to be mortgage free 9th Feb 17 at 4:00 AM
    Hello! I used to loiter around here a few years ago and you were all terribly friendly. Then I was made redundant, started my own business, and it's all been a bit uppy and downy since then.

    We've been meandering along for the past three years, since taking on a new mortgage in 2014, paying things as they come up and failing to notice that we're not making a dent in the mortgage at all. It's set up as a line of credit, so the minimum payment on it is only interest - we'd expected to be paying down the principal as well just as a matter of course, but it hasn't quite worked out that way.

    I'm not going to do a SOA because I'm in Australia, and even the most dedicated MFW'er probably can't tell me if I'm paying the right amount for my electricity! But I have buckled down and done a very comprehensive YNAB budget, and it tells me that I should have about $700/month extra without cancelling the children's extra-curricular and the occasional treat. We shall see if this holds true.


    As an aside, I also have a second mortgage on a buy-to-let, but the tenant is my mother, who can't afford to pay us market rent much less cover the running costs, so that costs us about $5,000 a year or so. As a way of clawing back savings, I don't budget any of the tax reductions that brings us, I just treat it as a normal expense, and then anything we get back at the end of the tax year is like an annual bonus.

    What else? Two DDs, the youngest one started school this year which is a GAME CHANGER I tell you what, some lovely silly chickens who very generously make eggs for us, the beginnings of a fairly pathetic vegetable garden which I'm not convinced even pays its own running costs - and long suffering DH, of course, who keeps the lights on.

    Also I am not the most succinct person in the world.
    Last edited by armchairexpert; 09-02-2017 at 4:10 AM.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
Page 22
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 19th Dec 17, 9:04 AM
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    Tahlullah
    Sounds like fun. In the uk, we do this sort of thing regularly from the comfort of our living room. We have a choice of TOWIE , Geordie Shore, or any other reality programme to be fair. For the sake of equality, we like to go the other way as well, with programmes like Benefits Street. But your street party sounds much more enjoyable.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 19th Dec 17, 11:34 PM
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    armchairexpert
    Oh they're not new money, darling! It's very much the sort of place where everyone drives a Mercedes, but they're 30 year old classics that have been meticulously serviced. But yes, definitely more fun than a reality show.

    Kids have been away for three days now and I miss them! We've got a lot done though. All the carpets and rugs are steam cleaned, which, uh, I should be doing that more often if the colour of the waste water is anything to go by. Little Girl's new loft bed is assembled and made up. We stripped the covers off the armchairs and soaked and washed them. It's all very fresh and clean, and my back is aching like I'm 70.

    $27.47 left in the Christmas spending pot. Technically, any food left to buy comes out of Groceries, and I think we're all done for presents, so we might squeak by without adding to it, although there's always something that comes up.

    Kids back tomorrow. MIL and SIL arrive Friday. From there, who knows!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 20th Dec 17, 1:22 PM
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    Tahlullah
    Congratulations on the savings within the Christmas spending pot. Great success to come in under budget.

    Have a good Christmas with the family.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 28th Dec 17, 12:22 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Well, if I'm honest there's only that much left in there because I kept dropping more and more in over November/December. I think we were $300 over the original budget all up.

    Doesn't matter! I'd rather have a worry-free Christmas and then attack the savings plans in January. All over now. My MIL and SIL came over for the week, and we (Mr E and I) went a bit overboard trying to give them an excellent Christmas so I think next year we'll scale it back a bit. I don't mean there was lots of Stuff, more that we planned fancy meals every night as well as all the Christmas cooking prep and just spent so much time in the kitchen instead of kicking back and chatting with guests. Not the best balance. Food was all a great success, I just think they'd probably have been as happy with something simpler. They're a very foodie family, though, so maybe not. Hard to know.

    Christmas Day was lovely. I got a bunch of things I asked for: wireless headphones for running, a book and a lipstick (the latter in a much more expensive brand than I'd buy for myself) as well as a gorgeous 'cuddle mug' chosen by Little Girl with love hearts all over it, it'll make me smile every time I use it. Better still, Mr E's family all chipped in together to buy him a new kitchen mixer thing. It's his combination birthday and Christmas present, it cost a bomb, and now we both get to use it!

    Still working through leftovers three days later. Turkey sandwiches, plates of ham and cheese and pickle, nobody's cooked since Christmas Day. Don't think I'll make it through until January without a top up shop, but we'll get close.

    And a huge job came in which I don't have time to do but the money's too good to pass up, so I'd better get back to it. I have a lot of outstanding invoices from November because all the payroll people are on holidays, but I can cover my December salary out of my business savings/tax account and then hopefully it'll all roll in next week and I can pay it back.

    Merry Christmas to the lot of you!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 31st Dec 17, 12:37 PM
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    armchairexpert
    December - and 2017 - Wrap Up
    It's an hour or so before midnight here, so before we head into 2018:

    I started this diary in February. My initial mortgage figure was what I now call my 'total owed' figure: the balance owing on my mortgage plus the balance owing on my credit card minus the amount I have in savings - because I had an all-in-one-bucket LOC then. I refinanced in August to create a standard mortgage and separate transaction account.

    Clear as mud? Okay.

    Total owed:
    9 February 2017 -$229,371. This figure had been steadily increasing for about a year at this point and I hadn't really noticed.
    31 December 2017 - $202,337

    Slightly less significant, but the figures I'll use going forward into 2018:
    Mortgage at time of refinance, August 2017 - $220,000
    Mortgage as at 31 December 2017 - $214,653
    The bank calculator reckons I've knocked an extra two months off the end date, which isn't bad in 6 months I guess.

    Almost every month has seemed to me that we're barely holding on, always slipping backwards, etc. I haven't managed to save up much in the past six months (post-refinance): the mortgage has gone down and I've put little extra bits in, but I have less than $2K in savings/buffer/emergency fund over the same period, which is tiny. We'll never go on holiday at this rate.

    And yet we seem to have paid quite a lot? We did sell a car this year ($2800), and I had saved up a lot more in my business tax account than I ended up owing ($10Kish) but that's only half of what we've managed. And we were going backwards last year by almost $1K/month, although admittedly some of our expenses lessened this year (Little Girl going to school) and my income increased, so that might have righted itself naturally.

    Looking at some data:
    We always go over on
    • Medical, Home Improvements, and Family Entertainment - basically, the discretionary spending stuff that is easy to justify. Medical should be better next year, we had a run of bad luck - the rest not so much.
    • I only have 5 months data on this, so I'm going back and forth on whether to just accept that those expenses are higher than I like them being, or to see how the other half a year plays out. I guess I feel like if I just budget for reality, it'll give us permission to spend more and I should keep moving money from savings monthly to feel the pain of the choice. But it's not ME spending the money!
    • Fixed costs have gone up because it's taken me this long to capture everything. Annual costs were forgotten before.
    • I'm pretty good at groceries now! Average is around $1000/month, and it was easily $1200-1400 before. Thanks, Old Style!

    Anyway! I was hoping to be under the $200K mark, but Mr E is just not on this page with me and that's fair enough. Goals for 2018 in next post.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 31st Dec 17, 12:57 PM
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    armchairexpert
    2018 Goals
    First Quarter:
    • Get the interest payment under 50% of the total payment (easy, tbh. Fortnightly payment is $647, last interest payment was $674).
    • Shave another 5% off the groceries. I have a whole plan. It's dull to anyone but me. I'd like it consistently under $1000 even on a 5 week month.
    • Build the business buffer back up: this last two months I have borrowed back from the business buffer/tax account to cover my contribution. This is mostly due to outstanding invoices, which is why I'm not worried about it, but I'll feel better when it's got savings in. I want a $3K slush fund there in case I've badly miscalculated my tax obligations - they'll be higher this year, and I think student loan payments kick in.

    Year:
    • This is the biggie, obviously: Mortgage under $200K. That means paying off $1200/month from principal, which means chucking $1900/month at it. Numbers say I can manage this in theory. Will I in practice? Will Mr E suddenly decide he doesn't need to spend $100s on plants a month? Stay tuned. Or don't, because obviously he won't decide that.
    • Business: This has to wait until the end of financial year so I can check about tax but by July next year I want to be consistently earning enough to safely increase contribution by another $1K. Then I think I'm happy to stop increasing, because I value my time with the kids too.
    • Life balance: this isn't strictly a financial goal but I'm currently letting my finance anxiety get in the way of it (i.e., telling myself I can't afford things that are good for me). So I've re-juggled the accounts to give myself a fitness/gym allowance, and I need to do some time management stuff to make sure I get leisure time in.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 1st Jan 18, 12:23 AM
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    VelvetFreak
    Happy New Year, Ace! All great goals. Can totally relate with the "telling yourself that you can't afford things that are good for you" part. I am making some changes with that as well. Hope 2018 is an awesome year for you

    Emergency Fund $5,100 / $10,000
    Renovation Fund $100 / $1,500
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 1st Jan 18, 9:18 PM
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    • 4,877 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    Happy New Year ACE. You are always so focused! Its only the 1st of 2018 and you already know what will happen and when going forward. I'm still at 'eating mince pies' stage.

    Looking forward to watching you achieve.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • JingsMyBucket
    • By JingsMyBucket 2nd Jan 18, 9:29 PM
    • 201 Posts
    • 2,224 Thanks
    JingsMyBucket
    Armchair, I'm subscribing to your thread because you're so funny and your writing is lovely to read. Mind if I take up some space?
    JUN 18 GC: 223.92/300.00 // 8/10 NSD
    MAY 18 GC: 333.04 /400.00 // 16/10 NSD
    APR 18 GC: 406.12/400.00 // 16/10 NSD
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 3rd Jan 18, 4:33 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Oh goodness, you're very welcome! How lovely of you to say so.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 3rd Jan 18, 4:41 AM
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    armchairexpert
    How is it the third already? It's summer holidays here, and I'm kind of sneaking in bits of work in between child entertainment duties. Right now they're playing/shrieking at one another on the trampoline, so I think I'm temporarily safe.

    Yesterday I decided I was going to join Costco under my own steam instead of relying on my Mum to share a trip with me on her card. Drove the girls all the way down there - 35 minutes - after their swimming lesson, parked, and realised that I'd left my entire handbag at home when I dropped the wet swimming gear into the house. Drove home, cursed self.

    Went back today, successfully, but I can't concentrate on Costco with two chattering children so goodness only knows what I bought. And the nearby butcher, which has excellent yellow sticker bargains, did not. So not as exciting as I'd hoped.

    (My kids: "why is going to a huge supermarket exciting, Mum?". Hard to explain)

    Nothing else to report, honestly. Went through my wardrobe: do not need clothes and did not have much to get rid of, which I suppose is good but wasn't very satisfying. Trying to exercise a bit more, but it's going to be 39-41C here over the next few days (for anyone who prefers fahrenheit, I have done the conversion, it is 175,938,305 degrees F) so hahaha nope. Am going to go check out a nearby gym next week when Mr E is in charge of the children.

    Plodding on!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 7th Jan 18, 1:38 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Yesterday was Mr E's birthday - what with the girls both being December born, it's an expensive couple of months - so we all went to town for the day and ate yum cha and ice cream and toured the Art Gallery. It was really lovely, in fact.

    My neck is super sore, though. I think I need a new office chair. It's been painful for a while, but on Friday I did a 10 hour day with hardly any breaks and I was waking up with muscle pain all evening. Monday, things slow down a bit work wise so I'm going to have to splash out on some remedial massage and/or an osteopath visit. And this afternoon I'm going to take a bit out of my business account and go shopping for a decent chair. Mine's from a charity shop, and not ergonomic at all.

    If my calculations are right, this month's invoices should give me a full month's salary buffer even after I've paid back the bit I took from my tax/business savings account. Lots of late payers in December because their payrolls were on leave, plus extra work, so I should be rolling in it soon. Bit proud of myself, tbh. I shouldn't actually need to dip into that extra month's buffer at all, my regular work (i.e., those clients who require the same amount of work every month) now exceeds my minimums even without the one-off jobs that come in.

    January's going to continue spendy, since the girls don't go back to school until the start of Feb. There's nothing super expensive planned - we're not going away - but just day outings and things do add up a bit. I'm hoping the next few months are cheaper, but I have a milestone birthday in May and Mr E is already using it as an excuse to re-landscape part of the back garden for my party. I think he thinks I am magic money person.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • VelvetFreak
    • By VelvetFreak 7th Jan 18, 2:39 AM
    • 192 Posts
    • 732 Thanks
    VelvetFreak
    Congrats on having the buffer! Laughed out loud at your conversion to fahrenheit
    I am currently hiding in the house with aircon blasting. Power bill be damned.
    It's good weather for drying clothes on the line, and that's about it.
    Last edited by VelvetFreak; 07-01-2018 at 9:24 PM.

    Emergency Fund $5,100 / $10,000
    Renovation Fund $100 / $1,500
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 7th Jan 18, 11:24 AM
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    • 4,877 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    Good to hear work is settling into a pattern of steady income and great news on building up the buffer. But getting the chair sorted is of high priority. Nothing worse than back ache, especially when it's preventable. Ergonomic chairs are not cheap, but so worth it.
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 21st Jan 18, 12:55 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Ergonomic chair purchased and my back ache has improved a lot. I still need to go and get a decent massage, but it'll have to wait until the girls are back at school. One more week to go. The issue now is that all my clients are back at work full time and expecting me to be as well so I'm trying to work evenings and grab quiet moments between entertaining the kids and it's a bit exhausting.

    Heatwave continues. My house is very well built to withstand the first couple of days of heat, but after that it just stays hot until we get a proper cool change. And that's not coming for at least another week. Yesterday we went out to a shopping mall just to get some air conditioning relief, and I bought the girls lunch and ice creams.

    Otherwise, though, the holidays have been really nice! We had a few days last week mild enough to let us do some outdoor stuff, so we went strawberry picking and then turned the excess into ice cream, we went to a local forest and had a picnic and a stroll, we've been swimming and played lego and generally hung out.

    Next holidays, I'm thinking of paying for holiday daycare for some days so that I can properly relax and hang out with them on the other days. It's just a bit galling, because my tax rate is about to spike as well so it's starting to feel like working extra hours isn't really worth it. I don't mind a progressive tax system, I've always been happy to pay tax so that we can have a robust welfare system, but I'm about to hit the student-debt pay back threshold which adds 4% to my whole income, not just the bit over the threshold. When I add to that child care costs, dog walking costs, etc., that free up my time (since it's my time that I'm billing) - I don't know.

    This is a bit of a crunch point. If I do pay for external help and start paying down the student debt, and then I increase my fees again then I will realise most of that increase. It's just this very particular income + time + life stage that's causing me to have a skyrocketing effective marginal tax rate.

    Anyway! That wasn't the conversation I was intending on typing. What else is there.
    1. Mr E's company continues to negotiate an increase to the award wage, which means we still haven't seen his (fairly tiny) October payrise come through. He'll definitely get one eventually, though, it's just whether it's $X or $X+2% or whatever. And it'll be back paid which will be nice.
    2. We continue to fail to put money aside. Constant drip-drip-drip overspending that qipes out of on-paper savings every month. It's 100% a mismatch of priorities. I'm not convinced mine is any more objectively right than his, since he's not spending more than we earn after all, so, what do you do.
    3. More exciting! I worked out the other day that I have calculated all of our fortnightly payments on a monthly basis. That is, the fortnightly mortgage payment is $647 but obviously there are 26 fortnights so I budget $1400/month to cover the 3-payment months. BUT I have budgeted our income on 2 x fortnightly payments. Both Mr E and the rent payments are fortnightly. What that means is that twice a year, Mr E gets a 'bonus' paycheque which can go straight to savings. I'm very excited about this, because it means we can realistically budget for a holiday after all.

    Anyway. It's been a while since I had time to update, so forgive the novel.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 21st Jan 18, 1:17 PM
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    Tahlullah
    Hi and welcome back. Quite a lot going on there. However, I read the positives of you can afford a holiday, you have Mr Ace's pay rise to come and you are having great weather. All the rest can be dealt with as they come up.

    Always positive.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 26th Jan 18, 12:30 AM
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    armchairexpert
    Pay rise has been approved, but no idea when it'll come through - it's a big government department so it has to trickle through a series of approvals and panels before we see anything. And Mr E being Mr E, he hasn't actually worked out how much it is or anything useful, so it's very wait-and-see. I'm betting that it's less than $100/month going forward, which would mean a back pay of about $500.

    Kids back to school Monday. Work is going well, but I do need to get out there and hustle some more. I'm currently obsessed with the Frugalwoods blog and trying to see if I can cut expenses/groceries/etc a bit more. The problem is that when I do so I just end up resenting Mr E for the discrepancy in how we approach spending. And that's no use: he's lovely and I adore him and he's not financially irresponsible, he just wants to enjoy his income. Perfectly reasonable. But he spends his evenings browsing Etsy, and he's always looking for an excuse to spend money on things (he leaps at my offhand mention that I could do with black leggings, for example, because it means a justification to go clothes shopping. Or did I say I want a garden party for my upcoming milestone birthday? Well, then he'll just have to buy some plants and start re-landscaping the entertaining area. You know. For me). And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but the older I get the less stuff I want in my life. So there's a disconnect, but it's me that's changed. It's not even just about money, it's about stuff and priorities: I feel like I'll scream if one more ornament or piece of art or furniture enters my house, even though he has excellent taste and the place isn't cluttered by anyone normal's standard. I have to be careful that my burgeoning obsession with frugality and minimalism doesn't make his life uncomfortable.

    Anyway. Can't change him, shouldn't even try, can change me. So I'm going to hit a huge charity store on Tuesday and buy the two things I know I will need for autumn/winter (I own no cardigans or jumpers, so I need at least one of each of those), and then, my friends, I am DONE with buying clothes this year. Except underwear. I am also sticking to my 2017 ban of not buying any more wool, since I barely have time to knit with what I do have. Books I'm not sure about: I do use the library, but the occasional kindle book is such a treat. Skincare I'm not buying until what I have is used up, even if my friends do keep going on about an amazing toner, or a serum that will definitely even out my skin tone more. Makeup ditto: I have about 5 basic things I wear regularly and will replace, but I don't need to add anything to that repertoire.

    Those are 2018 bans. For February, I am also not buying take away coffee or anything in a cafe, unless it's a work/client meeting.

    Okay, that's all!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • Tahlullah
    • By Tahlullah 26th Jan 18, 8:16 AM
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    • 4,877 Thanks
    Tahlullah
    Wow. Yes there does appear to be a big disconnect between you. Almost as if you are not both on the same page. I thought I had read before that he wanted to pay off the mortgages as much as you do - I will have to go back and re-read your diary - but somewhere along the line, he has started to enjoy the process of buying for the home, for you and for the kids.

    To be fair, a lot of people would be over the moon with this. However, you are travelling in two different directions and as you said, the one who has changed is you.

    How to try to get back on the same path. Sounds difficult. I don't see how you can convince him to stop spending his money on his home and family. As you said, he isn't spending more than he earns. The best you will get is to give him a particular focus perhaps. For example, tell him that he ha to pay for the holiday in its entirety. Not sure if that sort of challenge would work. At least he would stop spending and you would get something specific out of it, that you want to get anyway.

    Otherwise, you are the one who has to adapt. Hope you can think of a way to do that without driving yourself mad with the wastefulness of it all.

    I can honestly say that I have felt the way you do for years, but it usually comes to the fore at Christmas. When I have to pretend to be overjoyed and thankful for another ornament, or candle, or bit of froufrou that I have absolutely no use for and do not want cluttering my home and collecting dust. If at my age, I haven't managed to get what I need to be comfortable, then something has gone woefully wrong. And it hasn't. I have enough stuff already. I don't need more.

    I hope you find your path ACE.

    Tx
    Striving to be mortgage free.
    2018 MFW #135

    600 of 2000
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 28th Jan 18, 11:36 PM
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    armchairexpert
    No, he's never been that fussed about paying down the mortgage. I run the budgets, and he's happy for me to try and squeeze some money out of the accounts in order to save - he's always impressed when I tell him where we are financially - but he's happy to just jog along really.

    I mean the thing is that he's not spending gallons on money on utter crap. He does most of the work around the house himself, so the expenses are, like, enamel paint and nice shutters and woodworking tools. It's a lot less money than if we were buying expensive furniture and redecorating all the time. It's just that it's still money. But yes, most people would be over the moon. He works hard, and then he comes home and spends his energy on making the house and garden beautiful. It's all good.

    We did have a conversation about this the other day where I basically went look, you're unlikely to get more than modest pay rises from here on in, given the career path you've chosen (which is great, don't get me wrong, but he stepped out of high stress private sector work into much more pleasant and flexible government work, and there's a pretty low ceiling), and our expenses are going to go up in the next decade because we'll have teenagers, so savings is a now or never thing. And his position is, well when we have less spending margin we'll spend less, as long as we're always within our means what's the big deal? But I think he also did think about it. I don't want to be making him feel bad about his career choices, I'm genuinely much happier with him in a lower paid lower stress job. It's just that there are trade offs.

    I mean, look. I malign him. He's shifted away from expensive soft drinks and makes his own kombucha. He bakes bread regularly and uses up leftovers. He packs picnics when we're out for the day. He does do his best. It's just that shopping is his hobby. And even when it's just online/window shopping, it drives me crazy because I don't want any more stuff, and I would feel like that even if we were millionaires.

    ANYWAY! Things are on a very nice even keel around here this month. February's always a good thrifty month after we've recovered from the holidays. Girls back at school today HURRAH! It was horribly hot over the weekend (40!) so I stayed in all weekend doing prep things. I have cut up veg and fruit and hard boiled eggs and marinated chickpeas and prepped overnight oats for breakfast and basically stashed the fridge full of healthy food for the week. I'm halfway through a bowl of overnight oats with berries at the moment and I can't finish it, it's so filling. I also sorted out a bunch of cupboards and am basically as organised for the new year as I can be.
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
    • armchairexpert
    • By armchairexpert 29th Jan 18, 11:52 PM
    • 787 Posts
    • 5,139 Thanks
    armchairexpert
    I've been trying to eke out the week with what we have in the pantry and fridge, but it's only Tuesday and I was sending my kids to school with jam sandwiches because we had no other acceptable fillings, so I've had to give in and go buy cheese and ham and fruit. They're all very patient with my budgeting ways, but there are limits.

    Mr E's back paid tiny rise is still working its way through the bowels of the government bureaucracy and will be for some time, but when it does come through it's going straight to the holiday fund. As is the 'extra' fortnightly pay that we'll see next month. And he reckons he has a field trip or two scheduled in the next few months which are worth $1K or so each in overtime. Put all that together and I reckon we'll finally get out of the country for a while!
    MFW diary here. 1 Feb 2017 $229,371 - MFD Feb 2043 aiming for May 2028
    14 August 2017 - Refinanced: $220,000
    May 2018 $211,274.60 Current MFD 31 June 2035
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