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  • FIRST POST
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 10th Sep 17, 10:30 PM
    • 162Posts
    • 675Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Something to aim for
    • #1
    • 10th Sep 17, 10:30 PM
    Something to aim for 10th Sep 17 at 10:30 PM
    Hi all,

    I've been a MFW for a while now, and often browse this board for inspiration. There are some v good ideas on here!

    I've been overpaying for years just by increasing my monthly DD, and have sometimes had an extra push to take more off the balance each month, but never sustained it.

    However, life has got complicated, and I now need to focus on getting the balance down quickly....

    Newly single with young kids, my ex has agreed to give up all equity in the house in return for me giving up all claim to his pension. Fortunately, seeing as I am on a pretty low part-time salary, he's also agreed to remain on the mortgage for the remainder of the current fixed term - which is 5 years, finishing in August 2022. I can afford the repayments at the moment with tax credits and child maintenance.

    I therefore have 5 years to either get the balance down to where I can afford to take it over on my current salary, or increase my salary dramatically. I'm going to try to do a bit of both!

    This diary is going to track my progress and keep me motivated, and I'm open to any brainwaves people might have along the way.

    Current mortgage balance is -359,337.18!!!! Oh help!

    Currently overpaying an automatic £77.31 by rounding up my DD, and am hoping to overpay another £200 per month in order to take £1k off the balance each month. This will hopefully be doable - I have been keeping a detailed spending diary for the past 4 years, so have a good handle on my outgoings, and where I can cut them. This will bring me down to just under £300k at the end of the 5 years.

    One of the silver linings of divorcing is that I'm in complete control of the finances - no OH spending £15 per day on coffees and lunch, or having to have the latest £200 gadget - gotta find the bright side, right?!

    Dragonrider
Page 2
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 5th Dec 17, 2:19 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Plus, I got through the first round of my promotion process, and had my interview last week. I've been told I should hear next week, so just waiting with baited breath now!

    It would mean an extra £300 per month on my salary - unfortunately my tax credits will be adjusted downwards to account for this, but it does mean that more of my incoming money is down to ME, not dependent on anyone else (HMRC/ex-husband). Even though the bottom line will be the same, I will feel better about it! And then when I get to the point when I no longer need tax credits (no childcare costs etc) then I'll be in a better position overall.

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 6th Dec 17, 9:18 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 11,684 Thanks
    pinkypig
    That's brilliant - well done you
    Wishing you the very best of luck with your promotion, you truly cannot beat a bit of independence and the freedom it brings.

    PP xx
    • getmore4less
    • By getmore4less 7th Dec 17, 9:47 AM
    • 33,649 Posts
    • 20,359 Thanks
    getmore4less
    dropped in to have a read and doing really well

    this caught my eye.

    I've managed to spread my big annual expenses out over the year, which helps.
    do you mean you save monthly for them
    or
    pay them monthly rather than in one go.

    if the later be very careful on the effective interest rate if they charge any more than the annual/12, also look out for monthly bills that can be paid in one go for a discount, by doing this the companies can hide the APR as they call it a discount.

    eg Virgin Media give a £32 discount if you pay the land line up front,

    £196 for the year or £19pm that's a hidden 28.88 APR
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 8th Dec 17, 4:02 PM
    • 826 Posts
    • 5,193 Thanks
    michelle09
    Fingers crossed that the promotion comes through!

    Looks like you're doing really well, well done.
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 9th Dec 17, 9:05 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Thanks everyone! Keep your fingers crossed.

    What I mean by spreading my expenses out is that I have a bills account and I put £1000 in there every month. Some monthly bills come out of there such as utility/phone etc, but most I pay in termly or annual lump sums eg insurance, kids clubs etc.

    However, I have arranged it so that my big annual ones don't all fall in the same month - so car insurance is in March, house insurance in May, car service/MOT in August etc. This means that even if one of these were to be bigger than I was expecting, because there isn't another big outgoing timetabled for the same month, I remain comfortably within my 1000 per month total.

    Hopefully that makes sense! If anyone has other ideas of how to organise it, if love to hear them.

    Thanks,
    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 5th Jan 18, 7:18 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    So, I didn't get my promotion

    The feedback was that I didn't play the interviewing game very well, I need more practice. This is booked in for Monday, and I will apply again the next time the process opens....

    Plus Christmas blew my budget (because we got kittens!) so I won't manage much of an OP this month - haven't been brave enough to crunch the final numbers yet, but will update you when I've done them.

    But 2018 is a whole new year, I have 2 beautiful little kittens as additions to the family, and I am even more determined to make dents in this whopper of a mortgage I am saddled with.

    I also aim to look after myself a bit better, and have a number of plans that I'm turning over which I will share when they are fully formed. I don't want to call them New Year's Resolutions, because I never keep those - these will be full-on lifestyle changes for the benefit of me, and therefore also the benefit of everyone else. I am a much nicer mummy when I'm not exhausted or fed up at the state of the house etc etc.

    Hope everyone had a great festive season - to me it feels like the mornings are even darker and colder than before Christmas - not sure how that works!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • pinkypig
    • By pinkypig 7th Jan 18, 7:56 PM
    • 1,517 Posts
    • 11,684 Thanks
    pinkypig
    Sorry you didnít get your promotion, you will next time 😁,
    Good luck with your 2018 goals xx
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 19th Jan 18, 11:43 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Belated Update from December....

    So I finally got round to working out my real figures from December!

    My totals for the month are:

    Food 350.71/400
    Fuel 101.53/100
    Personal spending 158.45/150
    My travel 76.40/100
    Family spending 244.19/200

    So the painful grand total is: 931.28/950.

    I'm amazed by this, as it felt like I was massively over-spending. There were 2 parties, a work Christmas dinner, ice-skating, a film, and a meal out. However, looking back, I've realised that the majority of my extra spending was on Christmas presents, which I then transferred over to my usual account from my Christmas account. So it obviously felt a lot worse than it actually was!

    Based on that, I have topped up my remaining 18.72 from the monthly budget with a little bit from my bills account (88.72), and have overpaid £107.44 from the mortgage. Not the £200 I am aiming for, but not too bad for Christmas!

    I've updated my signature to show that overall, I am still on track to overpay £200 per month for this year.

    Roll on the nice short month of February!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 7th Feb 18, 11:39 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    January Update

    Figures from January....

    Food 367.15/400
    Fuel 51.91/100
    Personal spending 152.21/150
    My travel 98.40/100
    Family spending 161.20/200

    Grand total is: 830.87/950.

    Better than last month, but not near enough to my goal of £200 per month surplus. However, I did have a bit going spare in my bills account, so was able to make OP of 169.08 - not so bad after all!

    I've updated my signature, and am still working on my other goals for the year - fitness, patience, relaxation/mindfulness.

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 4th Mar 18, 2:05 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    February Update

    After a very cold and snowy week, here are my figures from February....

    Food 362.77/400
    Fuel 55.87/100
    Personal spending 100.64/150
    My travel 103.17/100
    Family spending 149.90/200

    So the grand total is..... 772.35/950.

    Quite a good month - I OP'd all of the surplus, which was 177.65. However, due to a leaky roof and a car service due next month, I decided to keep the surplus from my bills account in my bills account just in case there is an expensive surprise!

    Still, that OP took £998.26 off the mortgage balance, so extremely close to my target of £1k per month reduction!

    In other news, I have done exercise every day for the past week, and feel much better for it. This is part of my additional goals that I mentioned in a previous post and have yet to elaborate on. It has made me feel more energetic and more productive, so I am going to continue. It is made slightly interesting when child number 4 wakes up earlier than planned and comes and joins in!

    Have a good week, all!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 29th Mar 18, 10:57 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    March Update...

    I've got some quiet time, so I'm sitting at my computer crunching numbers before the chaos of the Easter holidays begins!

    My figures from March are:

    Food 409.26/400
    Fuel 0/100
    Personal spending 83.54/150
    My travel 92.70/100
    Family spending 165.84/200

    So the grand total is...... 751.34/950

    Not bad at all!!

    That gives me an OP of 198.66, which has knocked £1096 off the capital! It was a slightly odd month in that I didn't buy any fuel at all, which balanced out the overspends on groceries and family spending. So I shall have to keep the belt very tight next month, which will mean getting creative over the holidays.

    I am continuing to exercise every day (despite a stinking cold), and do feel a lot better for it.

    And the next round of promotions has opened, so I'm busy practicing my interview technique in the hope that I nail it this time!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 30th Mar 18, 9:29 AM
    • 826 Posts
    • 5,193 Thanks
    michelle09
    Fingers crossed that the interview goes better this time, do you feel the practice helped?

    Well done on the OP.
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 30th Mar 18, 2:44 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    Hi michelle,

    Thanks for stopping by. Practicing definitely helping with my confidence levels, although it's not a done deal and I know I'll be very nervous on the day and could mess up completely! Just got to keep going and cross my fingers.

    Looks like you are doing well as well - a shorter commute is worth a lot, in my book!

    Good luck with the last few weeks before you swap.

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 12th May 18, 11:28 AM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    April Update

    Well, I had my interview on Tuesday, but won't find out until June....

    Am spending a morning without the kids to catch up on a load of jobs, including my April accounts. But I also did my 3rd ever Parkrun, as I am desperately trying to stick to my increased exercise and self-care regime. Just awaiting my time now - it actually felt easier than the last two times, so I hope I've managed to knock a few seconds off my time.

    Anyway, my figures for April are:

    Food 353.99/400
    Fuel 92.09/100
    Personal spending 116.15/150
    My travel 77.70/100
    Family spending 126.81/200

    So my grand total is...... 766.74/950, meaning an OP of 183.27!!!

    This has taken 1008.73 of the capital this month, and I remain just over target for the year - taking £1000 off the capital each month - see my signature below.

    Very happy with progress, and am finding it easier and easier not to spend money on unnecessary things. It almost makes it more enjoyable to make a conscious decision to spend money on something really fun or really wanted, and I/we can savour it that much more.

    Have a lovely weekend all, I'm off to see my granny!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 2nd Jun 18, 6:07 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    May Update

    Just spent a lovely few days away with my eldest, who I felt needed some one-on-one time. She's definitely been hardest hit by the divorce, and gets quite anxious/angry at times. We had a great time, really relaxed, and ate far too much ice-cream! The money came out of my savings, so no effect on the monthly cashflow....

    So, my figures for May are:

    Food 409.55/400
    Fuel 60.51/100
    Personal spending 79.64/150
    My travel 73.00/100
    Family spending 144.48/150

    Total is therefore 767.18/950, which I am very happy with!

    Drum roll please.... OP is £182.82, which has taken £1035 from the capital this month, keeping me on target! I'm feeling good, and managing to sustain the spending controls - I get a little rush every month when it's pay day and I can top up all my accounts, though! I'm glad we get paid every month - any longer between pay-checks and I think I would probably give up!

    In other news, I've had a nasty cough and my chest has felt really rattly, so my early morning exercises have fallen by the wayside. The plan is to re-start these on Monday, because I've proved to myself what a massive difference to my overall well-being and energy levels they make.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, hope it's sunny where you are!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 29th Jun 18, 10:08 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    June Update.....

    I got my promotion!!!! So relieved, and very happy. I start in a couple of weeks, so my first month's pay-check in the new job will be August. I'm pretty nervous about the new role, but at the same time excited to be moving on to more challenging work and to have more responsibility.

    It feels like it's been quite a spendy month, with a family wedding as well as some one-off spends for me - here are the figures:

    Food 435.85/400 (this included a big bulk-buy of cat food and litter)
    Fuel 15.00/100
    Personal spending 218.41/200
    My travel 79.70/100
    Family spending 103.73/150

    So the grand total is 852.69 / 950, which doesn't look so good. However, I was paid back a bit of money that was owed to me, and also managed to top up a bit from bills, so my final OP this month was !!!8230;!!!8230;. 210.57. Whoop whoop! Hit my £200 target!

    I also have a reasonably big monthly payment stopping soon (my parents lent me money to buy a car, and I have been paying them back in monthly instalments), so should be able to regularly up my OP to nearer £400.

    I'm felling really pleased about this - I initially wanted to get under £300k by the end of the 5 year fix, but my projections show that I should smash this if I keep going the way I am going.

    So roll on decreased outgoings, a bigger salary, and smaller childcare costs from September (when my youngest starts Reception). I can do this!

    Enjoy the heatwave!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 5th Aug 18, 8:12 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    July Update

    Evening all,

    It's been a busy month - new job, end of school for the kids, a week camping..... and soooo hot! I'm never happy - don't like it too hot nor too cold.

    Because of the holidays and a birthday, it's been quite a spendy month, but I have managed to make a good OP, so am happy with that. The figures are:

    Food 377.68/400
    Fuel 103.18/100
    Personal spending 117.92/200
    My travel 101.20/100
    Family spending 174.92/150

    So grand total please...!!!8230; £874.90/£950, which gives me an OP of £75.10 from my monthly budget.

    As mentioned in my last post, I also now have extra money to play with due to a loan repayment stopping, so total OP this month is £275.10!!

    Really happy with how things are ticking down, as my spreadsheet of projections shows that I should be able to pass an affordability test at the end of this 5 year fix to take over the mortgage on my own, which I am very grateful for. One less chain to connect me to my ex, when that happens!

    I run my finances by the academic year, as September is when my outgoings are most susceptible to change. So nearly time to tweak the budget for next year, and work out what a realistic monthly OP will be.

    And on to a new week!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • Dragonrider
    • By Dragonrider 10th Sep 18, 10:30 PM
    • 162 Posts
    • 675 Thanks
    Dragonrider
    August Update

    A bit late this month, lots to do with the kids going back to school! It's an expensive month, what with buying uniform that they've grown out of and paying upfront for a term's worth of clubs!

    So, my figures for August, which felt like a spendy month because the kids were at home all the time, was:

    Food 367.39/400
    Fuel 60.38/100
    Personal spending 138.35/200
    My travel 63.50/100
    Family spending 204.84/150

    So, as expected, I overspent on family spending. But, this was compensated by underspends elsewhere, so overall my savings were 834.46/950 = 115.54, plus some from no longer paying my car loan (the rest went on a trip to IKEA....) gives me a grand total of an OP of £299.29!!! Whoop whoop!

    That's my final OP for this academic year (which is how I run my finances as childcare costs/clubs etc tend to change in September), which gives me an OP total for the year of £2,643.26 which has brought my capital down by £12,681.46, beating my target of £12,000!!!

    I'm so happy about this, as I thought that I was setting myself an unrealistic target at the beginning of the year. Managing not to spend has been really motivating, and the extra plus has been finding some good, fun things to do with the kids. More imagination required but much more enjoyable.

    I'm still waiting for a "normal" payslip with my new promoted salary, and for a revised tax credit amount so that I can set my budget for next year. I am still aiming to reduce my capital by £1000 per month, so the budget will have to be set around that goal.

    Onwards and downwards!!

    Dragonrider
    Goal = to get under £300k by Aug 2022 (by reducing the balance by £1k per month - this needs an OP of £200 per month)
    Sept 2017 -£359,337.18 (£12,681.46/£12,000)
    Sept 2018 -£346,655.72 (Monthly interest £765.51, Daily interest £24.69)
    Progress so far this year (using academic year): £2,216.75/£12,000
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 11th Sep 18, 6:43 AM
    • 465 Posts
    • 1,737 Thanks
    julicorn
    Hi Dragonrider,
    I've only just managed to read your diary. Congratulations on hitting your goals, and also (belatedly) on your promotion! I love all those updates, it's great to see how your spending changes each month, but how you're still staying under your overall limit
    Original mortgage: December 2017, £203,495
    MFW start: April 2018, £201,800
    Current: £183,900
    • lulabelle1
    • By lulabelle1 11th Sep 18, 10:33 AM
    • 2,605 Posts
    • 16,828 Thanks
    lulabelle1
    Another belated congrats on your promotion, well done! I've just had a read through your diary and I think you're doing really well in what could have been a challenging situation. (i'm sure it is very challenging, but you've really tackled it all head on)
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