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    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
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    greenbee
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it."
    • #1
    • 3rd Oct 17, 7:50 AM
    "Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it." 3rd Oct 17 at 7:50 AM
    So after lurking on other people's diaries for the last few years it's time to start my own.

    I'd almost paid off my mortgage 4 years ago when I decided to move to somewhere a lot bigger and a lot more expensive. It was also a project. So for the last few years there have been no overpayments as everything has gone into savings for the next bit of work on the house.

    I remortgaged in August, reducing my payments by 200/month.

    I'm now preparing for the final (I hope!) phase of the renovation work, so while avoiding getting up and ready for work this morning I thought I'd check the overpayment calculator. If I increase my payments to what they were previously this will knock over 8 years off my mortgage.

    I'm not ready to start overpaying yet. I need to finish the essential work and build up some savings, but I hope that early next year I'll be in a position to start reducing my liabilities.

    So I thought I'd start a diary now, while I'm motivated, to record my progress in getting to the point of overpaying...
Page 4
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 18th Mar 18, 10:44 PM
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    greenbee
    I'm running out of books ... But I watched trash TV and then read in the bath. Laundry is all put away, but that's about it.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 25th Mar 18, 7:41 PM
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    greenbee
    I've been to the library So spent yesterday reading and feeling feeble. Today has been better - I've read, but also opened some windows, chopped lots of floorboards up for kindling, chopped 4 baskets of logs (finally getting to the end of the old ones, so hope to get them chopped and stacked, and the rest of the floorboards chopped and put away in the kindling bin ready to a. have a delivery of logs for this winter and b. split the pile of stuff on the patio for future use).

    A friend dropped off a couple of decent sized fruit trees today (she thinks an apple and a pear) that they've had to take out of their new garden, so I need to decide where to put them. Somewhere I can dig a hole would be a good idea...

    She also brought a couple of barrow-loads of rubble, which have helped with the work I'm doing to make my artificial stream less canal-like and create some flow. I did quite a bit last year, but it takes a LOT of rubble.

    A bit of garden tidying has been done. And a bit of house tidying. My mum is coming to stay, so I expect more will be done while she's here, but I'd quite like us to go out and do things too. And hopefully we'll get a bit done in the garden if it isn't snowing...

    I've been paid again Two months in the new job now. Getting a bit stressed as it's a month until my probationary period is up and I really need that to get over the milestone. I won't feel secure in the job until it is. So I've decided to focus on building savings back up rather than spending the new salary, and not planning on getting the next stage of work done. I should probably have done this right from the start, as I've probably taken my eye off the ball financially (I really do need to look at my landline/broadband and mobile contracts).

    Realistically I think I need to have 6 months' living expenses saved up, plus the cost of the work, before I get anything else done. So getting the kitchen and utility reorganised and useable as they are needs to happen over the next few weeks. And I need to put up the blinds that have been lying around since January!

    I'm not doing hugely well with diet and exercise either - hopefully the clocks changing will help, if the weather improves is certainly should as I'll feel more inclined to go outside. All the log chopping today has given me good numbers on the fitbit, although I'm not convinced it should count as steps
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Mar 18, 9:21 PM
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    greenbee
    My mum is staying, so we've:

    1. Rearranged the kitchen and unpacked the kitchen stuff so we can find it and use it (including all the food that was packed away). This has resulted in...
    2. Clearing the dining room, which is now much nicer and has also meant that...
    3. The spare coffee table in the sitting room is now back in the dining room where it is vaguely useful and...
    4. The random table that was in the hall is now in the dining room...

    We have also put up a clock and 6 pictures, as well as making decisions on where another 4 pictures will go.

    Cooked a proper meal (just stirfry and rhubarb and ginger with custard, but it was nice to have lots of veg and we used up some ancient crystallised ginger and OOD instant custard!) as there was just about room to do so.

    Started drinking herbal tea as there is a lot of it.

    Been to the garden centre for lunch and accidentally come home with a carload of plants that we now need to plant if it ever stops raining for long enough!

    The plan for tomorrow is to put up a few more pictures and maybe think about putting up the blinds if the rain doesn't let up for long enough to allow us to do some gardening. Oh, and chop some logs, as I need to clear the last of the seasoned ones in the hope that my brother will be over on Monday to help me get the new log pile under control!
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Mar 18, 10:53 AM
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    redofromstart
    Been to the garden centre for lunch and accidentally come home with a carload of plants that we now need to plant if it ever stops raining for long enough!
    Originally posted by greenbee
    You sound busy as always, but that is my kind of accident
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 31st Mar 18, 11:00 AM
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    greenbee
    Accidentally invited the family to lunch today... so lamb slow roasting in the oven and we need to get going on the veg and laying the table.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 31st Mar 18, 4:30 PM
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    greenbee
    We survived lunch. Plenty of leftovers. Easter egg hunt done. Two more pictures up... only half a dozen left to go. And 5 blinds. Also have a rough plan for shifting the log pile on the patio, but it's way too wet to deal with it at the moment...
    • redofromstart
    • By redofromstart 31st Mar 18, 7:58 PM
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    redofromstart
    Doing nicely on the steps too I notice
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 31st Mar 18, 8:12 PM
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    greenbee
    Not doing as well today as yesterday... my mum has been on the sofa reading all afternoon and haven't been able to persuade her to go out! However, the DW needs unloading and reloading (again) shortly, and the leftovers from lunch need putting away and I could in theory stick another 3 pictures up in the kitchen. Stuff that requires drilling needs to wait until tomorrow...

    Think we might have an early night tonight as it should be dry tomorrow, if rather chilly, so there's a chance we could plant some of the vast number of plants acquired in the last few days!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 1st Apr 18, 4:02 PM
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    greenbee
    I've taken several buckets of composting leaves and muck out of the stream, so you can actually see chalk and gravel in places (still lots of silt, but that's partly down to upstream neighbours). My mum has done lots of pruning and cutting back and tying up. I've done lots of weeding. And digging holes.

    Candelabra primulas and erigeron were planted first as they're easy... oh, and we had a go at the hole in the hedge and pruned the things that are there to fill it up.

    Sambucus niger planted next to neighbour's fence on the other side of the stream, so hopefully that will grow up and provide a bit of screening from the road. Laurel planted in front of the hole in the hedge (hard working making a hole for it there as there are hedge roots and an ash stump and roots), as well as an elder chopped down and dug up from elsewhere which may or may not make it.

    Moved a lilac and have worked out where 4 other shrubs are going to go. And planted one of the second-hand fruit trees - I need to think of a home for the other. Some acanthus and dog tooth violets left to find homes for before we leave tomorrow. And the log pile to at least make inroads into. But it does at least feel like progress.

    I'd like to get a shelf and coat rack up in the utility room, and maybe a shelf in the kitchen. And the 5 blinds up. But some of that may need to wait until next weekend.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 15th Apr 18, 1:41 PM
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    greenbee
    Got the shelf up in the utility room. But not the coat rack or the shelf in the kitchen. I did manage to put up pictures in the kitchen, and a metal grid for hanging stuff off, so lots of stuff is now unpacked and usable, and as a result I'm starting to eat rather better... I've also emptied the small freezer outside. The chest freezer has two turkey crowns and two huge hams (xmas eve bargains) in it, so I need to start making plans to cook and portion those rather than buying more meat (not that I'm eating much).

    Weather was fabulous yesterday, so did lots of garden tidying - mowing and planting mostly, and also put the washing line up and dried the washing outside! Not so nice today, but have given the grass it's second cut so the mower blades are now at the correct level. Pretty hard going due to moss and damp, but hopefully that's the worst of it as long as I can keep on top of it. Funny how much tidier the garden looks when the grass has been cut!

    Some bits of the garden are really starting to look good - snakes' head fritillaries under the wild pear are continuing to spread, as are cowslips. Looks as if some bluebells are coming up, and the primroses are everywhere (must move some more onto the banks where there aren't any). The mini bulb field I created where 3 stumps were ground out 4 years ago hasn't been as prolific as I'd have liked, but there's a certain amount coming up and I'm hoping it'll improve over time. I should probably scatter some wildflower seeds there too.

    A few tulips are out, but the majority aren't quite there yet. I planted lots this year, so hopefully put the right ones in the right places! I guess I'll find out when they come up

    It's a only a couple of weeks until my probationary period is up at work, so I'm getting very stressed about it. I'm hoping it'll all be OK, but won't be able to really relax and focus until I'm past that milestone. I'm not sure whether I should be making contingency plans or focussing on the things I have planned for the next couple of months. The stuff I actually need to do as part of my job is really only just starting to kick in, and I'm not entirely sure that anyone really knows what they employed me to do - different people seem to have different opinions!

    However, assuming I get past this successfully, health insurance and pension contributions kick in and I can focus on building up my savings and start making overpayments so I feel more secure financially.

    For the rest of today I need to pack, and make sure I have everything ready for my trip. Including booking the taxi, which I keep forgetting to do!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 28th Apr 18, 6:52 PM
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    greenbee
    Well my probationary period has been and gone without any comment other than questions to do with setting up my pension and health insurance.

    Trip has gone well - I had 8 flights this week, and a lot of rushing about but it feels as if it was productive (mind you, I've realised I still have two presentations to put together as well as an event to prepare for on Friday). I spent some time in one of our new offices which is fabulous, with lots of air and plants and space and coffee... I also found I can use BA avios to buy gin & M&S food on the plane, so at least there is some use for them, although each flight uses more than I can spend.

    The garden is looking pretty good with bluebells and cowslips spreading nicely in the wildflower area, the fruit trees flowering and the masses of tulips I planted looking fabulous (and I seem to have planted them in roughly the right places). I've made a start on splitting and stacking the new logs (having made an effort to split and use up the old ones!) and need to keep going on that. My brother has promised to come over sometime with the chainsaw and cut the big ones up into small enough chunks for me to get on the log splitter.

    Electrician is coming on monday to do the dining room lights and give me a few more temporary sockets in the kitchen and utility room. I must also remember to get him to put up the fixings for the CCTV cameras.

    Savings are now looking pretty healthy, despite rather a lot of clothes spending recently and an increase in maintenance costs (mostly nails...). I need to find somewhere to keep my 'big' emergency fund (which I'd like to be equivalent to a year's mortgage plus some living costs) other than the savings account linked to my current account. I don't have a year's money put away yet, but now I have about 6 months' worth I should find a home for it. I may end up spending on the kitchen out of the next lot of savings as live will be easier (and possibly cheaper) once it is done. And at some point I'll actually do something about mortgage overpayments!

    I've got a 2 week trip to ANZ/Asia coming up at the end of May which I need to plan for - starting with vaccinations. I found my yellow fever cert this morning in my old passport, but discovered I need Hep A and Typhoid jabs, so have to get on the phone on Monday morning to book those. I also need to check out what work cover us for in terms of travel insurance and make sure I arrange any additional cover that I need.
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Apr 18, 10:24 AM
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    greenbee
    Slow start today, but at least it involved plenty of veg for breakfast - I roasted asparagus, PSB, mushrooms, tomatoes and red peppers with some bacon.

    First lot of laundry nearly done and the rest sorted.

    Weather is miserable, so a day of tidying, putting away and filing is on the cards. If I'm home for 3 weeks the place needs to be habitable, and I'll need to be organised for packing as the next two trips are back to back (thankfully with different climates which simplifies things a little).

    Guess I should make myself some coffee (since I have milk for once!) and get on with it!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Apr 18, 5:17 PM
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    greenbee
    Filing didn't take long. Laundry is drying, roses are tied up, fire is lit.

    I've eaten too much chocolate and feel sick...

    However, I've also checked my bank account and not only have I been paid but my bonus has gone in. I'd forgotten it was paid quarterly and guaranteed for the first 6 months. I've transferred it straight to savings.

    I've also done a rough SOA and worked out that I'm 2/3 of the way to having 12 months' expenses saved up. I need to find somewhere to put the money where it will earn a bit more interest than it does currently, and give myself a date to get to my target. Then set a budget for the kitchen and a date for doing it (really needs to be sometime this year, despite how much I'd rather not have the builders here...)

    Very tempting to spend on replacing ancient tech (ipad and phone need replacing, and I need some way of playing all my CDs - I don't want to upload everything to the cloud and then forget about it as my broadband is rubbish....)

    Feeling much better about money, and happy that the filing has been done an things are relatively tidy

    Just need to get some work done now...

    I've done a bit more working out. I need to check my new work pension and find out how much is going into it. Then I think I need to up my contribution to my existing SIPP and put a personal contribution into the SIPP that I had my last company pension in. And I should increase my S&S ISA contribution. I need to build up the long term savings as well as the emergency fund, and those are all things that once they are set up I can forget about. I know I can live very happily on what I used to earn, and once the house is done anything over that is for savings and OPs. Some bits of life are more expensive in the new job (nails, clothes...) but I'm away from home more which makes other things (food, heating, electricity, water) cheaper. I don't want to restrict myself so I feel that money is tight - it's crazy to earn well and create stress by pushing myself to be too frugal, as work itself is fairly pressurised. But I also want to make sure I get myself to a stage where I know I'm making important decisions for the right reasons. I absolutely LOVE my new job right now. But if there's ever a time I don't, I want to make sure I feel free to look at my options and reassess, as it's not fair on anyone to stay in in a job not giving 100% and being miserable.
    Last edited by greenbee; 29-04-2018 at 5:49 PM.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 29th Apr 18, 5:44 PM
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    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Woo hoo to bonus payments.
    The 100 payment countdown (each payment = 400) 2018 Starts at 13/100 o/s 34,750.
    Jan 18 14/100 Feb 15/100 March 18/100 April 19/100
    Term Mortgage free date: October 2029 Current mortgage free date: April 2025 March 2024 Jan 2024
    MFW 2018 Challenge Member #162 1600ish/2,500
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 29th Apr 18, 6:11 PM
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    greenbee
    Cash ISA opened with a lump sum. Just need to decide on regular contributions to the S&S ISA and the set up regular inputs to this one so I end up hitting my annual allowance. Feels like ages since I did anything about proper saving.

    It will mean I have to fund any work on the house from cashflow, but also means that anything over my ISA limit not spent on the house is destined for mortgage OPs. So although today feels as if it's been lazy, it has helped to clarify some of what I need to do.

    Now I just need to work out how to change the S&S ISA and pension contributions!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 2nd May 18, 2:54 PM
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    greenbee
    My work pension has started, and I've now seen how much is going into that, so I have no excuse not to sort out the other savings and pension contributions over the next week or so. Then hopefully I can forget about them.

    Electrician has put up the dining room lights and given me some additional sockets in the kitchen and utility room (so I need to get the microwave and icemaker out of storage and stick them on the fridge and freezer) as well as putting up the CCTV fixings so the cameras are now outside rather than inside.

    My mum is going to be staying for a couple of days, although I'll be working while she's here (in the office) but it might mean we get another shelf and the odd picture up as there will be someone to hold the hoover while I drill!

    My brother and I are planning a shuffle round of furniture at the end of June, so we'll be taking a van up to my mum's and bringing it back. I need to get the logpile, garden furniture, blinds, garage and greenhouse sorted before then!
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 7th May 18, 11:48 AM
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    greenbee
    No shelves or pictures up, but my mum did get some weeding and tidying done in the garden, and we had a nice long walk on Thursday evening. We also got some garden furniture out. Saturday was taken up with seeing the kids and driving her to the elderly cousins she is spending the BH with. And yesterday wasn't hugely productive - a couple of plants finally got into the ground and some reading done in the garden. And some laundry.

    Today so far has been better - I've potted up a whole lot of plug plants (am now out of compost, so contemplating going out to get some shortly, along with rose food, chicken manure and petrol for the mower), planted another shrub, done some laundry and split a barrow-load of logs. Like the weeding and mowing, I need to do a bit of this every day. It'll mean I don't need to buy any logs for a year or so - and if I did buy them I'd still have to stack them!

    New work laptop and bits have been sorted out - I just need to check that I can run both monitors at the same time without needing any additional cables, and then my office is all set up.

    Summer clothes need getting out and hanging up - this should stop me buying more. Or at least make sure that what I do buy is what i need.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th May 18, 10:52 AM
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    Karmacat
    Greenbee! Good Lord! I'm in absolute awe of your achievements. The house, the garden, the upkeep of family relationships, advancing in your career .... fantastic. Love what you're doing.
    Retired August 2016
    • greenbee
    • By greenbee 8th May 18, 3:00 PM
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    greenbee
    Thanks KC. I feel I should be getting more done, and find it hard to remember that sometimes it's a good idea to rest. I'm a bit stressed at being behind with gardening and house stuff as it starts to build up, but need to focus on work. Then again, I can be a lot more focussed if the other stuff is under control - hence the need to get the kitchen done.
    • Karmacat
    • By Karmacat 8th May 18, 4:08 PM
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    Karmacat
    You're very welcome! And ... tell me about it!

    That need for control is exactly how I feel, at a much lower level of everything - I'm retired, I'm not totally renovating my house, and I'm not landscaping my entire garden

    I've just been realising the thing about being able to be more focussed if other stuff is under control - in my case, the stuff that needs to be under control is the tidal wave of papers about genealogy that descended on me. Some of it's useful, most of it is complete duplication of what I already have ... and the effect is that I don't know what's in my house. So that's what getting under control is about - knowing what I've got, and wanting it in my house.

    Hope you enjoy a bit more down time while the sun's out
    Retired August 2016
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