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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 10th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    • 1,514Posts
    • 7,215Thanks
    MeandO
    MeandO's mortgage-free musings
    • #1
    • 10th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    MeandO's mortgage-free musings 10th Nov 17 at 11:39 AM
    *sneaks in from DFW board*

    Hello, I'm MeandO, I'm thirty something just and I'm a mortgage-free wannabe.

    To cut the backstory short, things kind of went like this:

    2008: Married, mortgage free.
    2011: Mini MeandO arrived.
    2013: Moved house > £60K mortgage with (now ex) husband.
    2013, later: Life went a bit pear shaped.
    2015: Single, £102K mortgage to buy ex out of house.
    2017: Moved area to a £30K cheaper house to enable me to go P/T to be around for Mini MeandO and eradicate need for childcare.

    Mortgage now: £78789.15

    So, last year I moved from a new build to an old house which needed a bit of work, mostly decorative and now 70% done. The rest will be tackled as and when (and if!) I can afford it. I went P/T at work which has increased our quality of life tenfold, but has obviously had financial implications. I also have a small business I run from home which has greatly helped to build up some savings in the past few months, but I will be closing this down soon for a variety of reasons. Hopefully one day I will be able to develop that income source again, but not right now.

    DS's Dad and I still get on well depsite being (almost) divorced and he does his fair share of parenting, so I live alone with my little boy for half the week and DS spends half the week with his Dad.
    I have a lovely man in tow now, we don't live together but are only a short walk from each other which is lovely. Hopefully one day we will 'combine households', but I don't see that happening imminently.

    My mortgage deal is fixed but expires in May 2018, so I am trying to overpay as much as possible before that date. With long term goals in mind, if I can manage to knock at least 10 years off the mortgage (currently 24 years left to run ) then I will be ecstatic.
    I'm not in the position to overpay in large chunks, apart from last year with funds from the sale of the old house, but I frequently throw pennies/pounds/chocolate buttons at the online mortgage account to reduce it by what I can. Every penny counts and all that...
    Link to my old thread for those interested:

    http://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=5650914&page=16

    Feel free to drop by for a virtual cuppa and cake, I'd pull up a chair though, I think I'll be here some time...

    M
    X
    Last edited by MeandO; 11-01-2018 at 1:42 PM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
Page 12
    • greent
    • By greent 11th Apr 18, 1:34 PM
    • 7,242 Posts
    • 73,579 Thanks
    greent
    £2.47 CB on the way to my account from TCB, I WILL be spending it all at once - as a teeny tiny mortgage OP.
    Originally posted by MeandO
    It all adds up to make a difference! I've taken to taking my tcb as Tesc0 vouchers (used to do Amaz0n) - I then spend those and transfer the increased amount as an op (Or I tend to round it up to the nearest £5, as I like to try and keep the sub acct I'm targeting at a nice round balance )
    x
    I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul
    Repaid mtge early (orig 11/25) 01/09 £124616 01/10 £104927 01/11 £89873 01/12 £76317 01/13 £52546 01/14 £35356 01/15 £12133 07/15 £NIL
    BTL Mtge 12/16 £69786. 2018 OPs (#18) £3290.25/£4000
    Net sales 2018 £614.82/£1000 PAYDOX18 (#15) Done £18918.90
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 12th Apr 18, 9:55 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    I'm a rounder-upper too (when I can afford to be) greent - an untidy balance upsets me! Good idea with the tesco vouchers too. x
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 12th Apr 18, 10:19 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    I saw a post on another site about a 'help to save' account today, run by the government to encourage those on low incomes to save. Whilst there's much argument on there about whether it's another form of benefit 'scrounging' as many people have called it, it seems to be open to those on working tax/child tax credit, so I have signed up. I have set up a standing order to save £50 a month to the account for the next 4 years. As long as I make no withdrawals, after two years, I will receive a £600 tax free 'bonus' and after a further two years, I will receive a further £600. The account will then mature and close.

    I really would like to replace my kitchen but can't see any way of how I will be able to afford to do so despite saving money monthly (as this is savings towards my emergency pot) so this may be the perfect way to start saving towards that. Either that or use it as nice lump sum payment towards the mortgage or emergency savings.

    I'm not sure I will be able to afford an extra £50 a month on top of the other savings I make, but will take £50 off the amount I normally save into my ISA and redirect it to the H2S pot instead.

    The last bill has come out of my account for this month (life/health insurance) so I've updated YNAB. There's not a lot of money left in my main account but I really don't need much before payday anyway. We have lots of groceries in and the freezer is full. There is half a tank of diesel left in the car which I will try to make last.
    I do have savings in other pots which I can dip into if necessary, but would prefer not to do so.

    I've actually hardly spent any money this month and am really enjoying the 'not spending'. I haven't touched my 'house' pot this month which is for all things DIY/decorative/Furnishing wise - it usually disappears within days of being there as I am trying to do my house up and this is my downfall. There's £75 in that pot, so there will be £150 next month which will go a nice way to paying towards a more substantial DIY project that needs doing - not sure which one yet, I have many.

    I've also not touched the 'gifts' pot. There's £150 in there now which is a great amount towards Christmas already. DS's and OH's birthday is out of the way until next year now and I have already bought lots of bits for other people's birthdays.

    The car tax/insurance/maintenance pot is building up nicely too. There's £250 in there presently and it receives £100 a month. My MOT and insurance is not due until November/December, so that gives me more time to build up savings and cross my fingers that nothing goes wrong in the meantime.

    The pot that is struggling is the 'holidays' pot, but, as I'm not planning any holibobs this year other than maybe a weekend or two away and some day trips in the summer hols, I am not that worried.
    Last edited by MeandO; 12-04-2018 at 10:58 AM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 13th Apr 18, 9:21 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    TCB amount of £2.47 arrived in the acount and I've jiggled some funds around in YNAB to make a bigger overpayment of £12.99 to the mortgage to tidy it up a bit. This month's overpayments now at £150.45.
    There's not much left in the main account, but then I don't need anything and have no desire to spend money at the moment.

    New totals:
    Mortgage now: £76,917
    April overpayments :£150.45/£100

    I've sold another item for OH to add to his pot. It's due to be collected this afternoon, so, if they turn up, there'll be another £15 to add to his funds.
    Last edited by MeandO; 13-04-2018 at 10:35 AM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 13th Apr 18, 10:35 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just earned another £5 Amazon voucher from surveys.

    And exciting (to me) news - the work on my bathroom should start next week, so I should have a finished bathroom soon. Hopefully. It will mean parting with around £600, but I have the money saved and ready.
    Last edited by MeandO; 13-04-2018 at 12:07 PM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Apr 18, 4:05 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    itís a glorious day here today, so DS and I have been busy in the garden. Weíve planted some of his kids seed kits and given the garden furniture and outdoor play stuff a good wash down. I have two loads of washing, including DSís bedding, drying on the line and iíve planted some herbs I bought a little while ago. All of the windows are open and the house is getting a good airing. Itís been so nice to see the sunshine.
    OH is coming over for food later. Weíre cooking some sweet and sour chicken with a chicken breast left over from last nightís curry efforts - we only used one between us but had to defrost both.

    I spent £9.97 from the bank account this morning - £4 on needed medicine and £5.97 on some bread, a pack of ys chipolatas which have fed 3 of us so far today with two more portions frozen, a newspaper for OH and some ys prawns for tomorrow.
    Off to update YNAB now...
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 14th Apr 18, 4:10 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    Just been invited to participate in a survey which is a bit of work over a few weeks, but will earn me a £15 Amazon voucher, so have agreed
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Apr 18, 10:08 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've caught up on lots of surveys this morning - until the site crashed and won't let me access it any more which I find happens quite regularly with this company. If I could just get a few more done, I'd be close to another £5 payout to paypal.

    I've brought leftovers from last night for lunch today and got some stew out of the freezer for tea tonight. I can't see us needing much in the way of groceries this week, other than bananas and milk.

    A couple of small purchases on plant food and slug pellets yesterday - came to under £3 and paid for with change from my purse. We picked up several bags of fresh bread rolls and bagels from Morrisons, being sold of for 19p a bag yesterday near closing time. I will have one tonight and try and squeeze the rest in the freezer.

    Not much else to report - am tired and fed up and want to go home - so a normal Monday really!
    Last edited by MeandO; 16-04-2018 at 10:10 AM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th Apr 18, 12:01 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    £6 payment made to DS's dinner money account for their morning snacks at school. It's fruit. Just wish he'd actually eat some of it.
    Already budgeted for in YNAB which, interestingly enough, is showing that my 'age of money' is now 15 days. I really haven't felt the need to spend much at all this month and have really been evaluating possible purchases much better. Hopefully I can keep this up.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 17th Apr 18, 9:46 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    We had completely run out of some toiletries yesetrday, so DS and I popped to Home bargains after school. Spent a total of £9.83 on toothpaste for us both, mouthwash, a big can of dry shampoo and hair dye (definitely an essential atm with all the grey creeping back in ).
    I dye my hair myself at the grand cost of £3.99 a time - can't justify getting it done in the hairdressers and am happy with the colour done at home. All above has come out of the grocery budget so there's not much left in there, but I can jog a few bits of money round if necessary and there's £5 left in my purse.

    I've started to sort out bundles of DS's old clothes for ebay last night and put it all in correct age groups. I will list it in May as we're away for a few days at the end of this month and so will be difficult to post if I set the auctions for a week now.

    I've had interest about a 'collection only' item on gumtree - until they then asked if I would post... I will shove it on ebay with the rest of the items and offer postage then. I will get more for it on ebay, but was hoping to avoid posting by selling it cheaper locally first.

    Last night I cut up and prepped a big pan of potatoes, carrots and swede that really needed using up. We shall have them tonight and will also have some left over to either make a cottage pie or use up the next day. Today's lunch is the stew I didn't eat last night.

    The work on my bathroom is due to be started today. It's also going to cost a bit less than I thought so that was a nice surprise. It's still £500 but I have it saved ready.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 17th Apr 18, 9:49 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    Forgot to add - had my gas/electricity bill after sending meter readings and the supplier wanted to reduce my direct debit to £49 monthly from the current £64 as believed I was paying too much. I think this is a bit ambitious tbh and don't want to end up owing them money, so phoned them up and agreed on £55 a month from now on, so still a saving of £9 a month.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 17th Apr 18, 6:47 PM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    DS and I have had a lovely roast dinner using up the veg, some chicken thighs and a couple of sausages for DS. I gave OH some cooked veg to take home for him and his son to have later.

    DS and I made some chocolate cheerio cakes with some cereal that needed using up, a bar of dark chocolate and some melted easter chocolates. It's nice to finally have less chocolate in the house - DS won a competition which = lots of Easter eggs - he gave lots away, but there was still way too much chocolate around here!

    Work on the bathroom has started and they guy has achieved lots already in just a few hours. It should be done by Friday, I'm so pleased.

    No plans tonight, other than getting packed lunches ready for tomorrow. I may have a bath, as that is still useable, then do a few more surveys in bed. I could do with an early night, I didn't sleep well last night.

    I was going to do some washing this evening but thought I'd wait until
    tomorrow as the weather is supposed to be nice so I can dry it all outside
    Last edited by MeandO; 18-04-2018 at 10:49 AM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 18th Apr 18, 10:54 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    Forgot about getting the washing done this morning to peg out today, but will do it when I get home and hopefully it will dry by the evening. To be fair, it was raining a bit here this morning anyway but it looks like the sun is just poking its head out now.

    If it's nice I will try and paint the rest of a wall in the garden. My Dad kindly gave me some paint so it's cost me nought and will look so much better. It's a small drop in the ocean as to the work that needs doing outside, but it's a start. I need to spray some weedkiller in several places too and have been waiting for a few dry days to do so, so will crack on with that tonight too. Again, my wonderful Dad gave me more than enough to tackle the weed jungle, so no cost involved.

    I've transferred the £500 from my savings to the bank account, ready to pay for the work currently being done in the bathroom. That leaves just over £600 in my savings, so I really need to work on building it up again.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 19th Apr 18, 10:35 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    I got the garden wall painted in the 45 mins between getting home from work and picking DS up from school. It was slapped on more than painted, but looks fine.

    The bathroom is coming on nicely, I wouldn't be surprised if the work is finished today rather than tomorrow. I withdrew £300 of the money owed yesterday, but need to withdraw a bit more today to cover the whole amount - couldn't yesterday because of the cashpoint withdrawal limit.

    Out of the blue, I have (hopefully) sold an item advertised ages ago for £15 and have had enquiries about a £20 item. The £15 item is supposed to be collected today which will go towards a £5 collection at work and £10 towards the bathroom.

    I managed to get one load of washing dried outside yesterday, leaving the slightly damp bits out there overnight. I put my bedding on to wash early this morning and got it hung on the line in the nick of time today before rushing out of the door. It was one of those stressy/tiredy/rushy mornings this morning.

    Oh, DS's latest wobbly tooth also fell out whilst brushing his teeth, so the tooth fairy needs to raid her purse again too.

    I jumped on the scales today and was mortified to see I've put on even more weight. I'm almost a stone heavier now then after I had DS! I could've cried trying to find something to wear this morning that would be cool in this sun and actually looks ok. Due to stressy morning and no time last night, I didn't have time to prep anything for my lunch and the fridge is pretty bare, so I just grabbed a tin of tomatoes, a plain bagel and some fruit. So, despite not really having money until Monday when the child benefit is paid, I'll have to transfer a bit from a different pot and stock up on fruit, veg and eggs etc. I have some nice frozen YS fish in my freezer that I shall make into something nice and healthy and shall have to start calorie counting on MFP. Feeling totally fed up with myself.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 20th Apr 18, 4:19 AM
    • 995 Posts
    • 4,227 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    The OPs are looking amazing MeandO, well done!

    I sympathise about the jumping on the scales. I did the same last week and got a shock. Too many Easter eggs I think...
    paydbx #93 £784.50/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £3123 in Jan 18
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 23rd Apr 18, 10:56 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    A little overpayment of £6.86 today with some funds left in the bank account.

    New totals:
    Mortgage now: £76,910.14
    APR OP:£157.31/£100


    I saved myself £90 at the weekend by fitting some flooring myself instead of having the fitter to do it. I got fed up with waiting for them to show and just had a go myself and thankfully it worked out OK. I have a few bits of DIY materials I didn't need left over from the work, so will take those back to B&Q for a refund one night this week.
    Last edited by MeandO; 23-04-2018 at 11:43 AM.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 25th Apr 18, 10:58 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    Woop woop it's payday!
    My pension payments have been re-instated and, although I haven't had a pay slip yet, I'm only about £70 down a month which, with the increase in tax credits (which has also been paid in today), I can handle.
    I have sent savings to all of the various online pots:
    £100 to the car/house insurance & car maintenance,
    £100 to the ISA/emergency savings,
    £75 to the house renovations/DIY fund,
    £50 to the Christmas/birthdays pot
    and £25 to the holiday fund.

    I've lowered the amount paid into the ISA by £50 a month to cover the help to save savings of £50pm for the next four years.

    YNAB is currently showing a red negative, but once the other bits of money have dripped in this week, it should be back in the green.

    There won't be anything leftover, but the budget pots are all full and there's enough.

    My mortgage OP challenge has been raised to £150 this month as my mortgage payment lowered last month with the new rate. This morning I've tidied the balance up by paying £10.14 off, taking it down to £76,900. The regular OP will be coming out on the 1st and then I shall be ebaying to try and raise a bit more to reach the £150 target.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Apr 18, 9:41 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    So it's Thursday - I thought it was Friday for a good hour this morning.

    DS and I popped to Asda to pick up a few essentials yesterday and timed it right for some YS fruit and veg. Grapes, blueberries and a big tub of stir fry veg for 45p each. I also picked up some reduced shampoo and conditioner on offer as I was getting low.
    The bill came to just under £20 and I used an Asda gift card my parents very kindly gave me, so it cost me nothing.

    This morning was one big rush, but I have managed to grab something for lunch today and some of the YS fruit for snacks. DS is eating out at a school event tonight then he's off to his Dad's, so OH and I will use up the stir fry veg with some rice or noodles from the cupboard.

    The help to save £50 has left the bank account today, along with the Sky bill for the month. Other money has come in, so YNAB will be looking a nice shade of green again.

    Feeling a bit this morning.
    I only realised when I got to work and saw the date that I was getting married ten years ago today. Don't know why I feel quite so down about it as I know wholly that the ex and I were not meant to be. We still get on ok, although it's been a little more difficult lately, but still feel sad that life hasn't turned out the way I thought it would. It's a strange feeling.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Apr 18, 9:53 AM
    • 1,514 Posts
    • 7,215 Thanks
    MeandO
    YNAB all updated and showing a £10.22 surplus after everything's been accounted for, so I've swept that over to the ISA/emergency fund.

    I've taken £20 out of the grocery budget in lieu of using a gift card to pay for groceries yesterday and have sent that to the mortgage as a £20 OP, adjusting the grocery budget within YNAB.

    The mortgage is now at £76,880 and £30.14/£150 overpayments made so far this month.
    House repairs: £4320 £4073.75 (£246.25 saved)
    Mortgage Feb 2015: £102,000 Mortgage now: £75,270.11
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1525.14/£1800
    Emergency Fund: £850/£5000
    • spendinglikemad
    • By spendinglikemad 26th Apr 18, 11:15 AM
    • 287 Posts
    • 1,639 Thanks
    spendinglikemad
    Doing well MeandO - going to take a leaf out of your book and do the YNAB - wish me luck!!

    SLM
    Family of 4 plus cat & pup!
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