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  • FIRST POST
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 10th Nov 17, 11:39 AM
    • 1,658Posts
    • 8,283Thanks
    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 moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
Page 13
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Apr 18, 2:07 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Doing well MeandO - going to take a leaf out of your book and do the YNAB - wish me luck!!

    SLM
    Originally posted by spendinglikemad
    Thanks SLM, good luck with YNAB, it really has helped me no end.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Apr 18, 2:12 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    There's £30 in my purse leftover from the cash I'd originally budgeted to pay the builder, but saved after doing some of the work myself. I've just transferred £30 back to my ISA from my 'personal spends' category on YNAB and will then use the cash in my wallet for any spends.
    There is another £60 left, but as this was all in £5 notes I have squirrelled it away for DS's pocket money for the next X amount of months!
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 26th Apr 18, 4:24 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    I have transferred £50 from the 'DIY' account over to the ISA (leaving £100 in the DIY account). I only need to buy a wooden blind this month and, even though I need to get it made to order, it should be around the £60 mark. The emergency fund is now at £800 (£850 including the help to save account) and a little tidy of the accounts means another £10 OP has been sent to the mortgage this afternoon.
    Last edited by MeandO; 26-04-2018 at 4:30 PM.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 27th Apr 18, 11:47 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    £5 requested to be sent to Paypal from surveys. This one usually takes a while to appear though, so will pay it off the mortgage when it arrives.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 28th Apr 18, 11:00 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    I spent some money last night - £5.10 cash spent on fish and chips for myself and OH as a rare treat (we shared one portion of chips ),
    £16 spent on 4 tops for myself (mine are getting too small with my ever expanding mass ). £2.50 on a new flask for DS after his Dad lost the new one i!!!8217;d Just bought him and £15.50 on two pairs of school shorts and 10 pairs of pants for DS.
    I also returned the diy items I didn!!!8217;t use last weekend, so that was £10.15 back in cash.

    I have two filled bin bags of stuff in the car for the charity shop which i!!!8217;ll try and drop today or tomorrow.
    Two loads of washing are drying on the line, hopefully the rain holds off until it!!!8217;s all dry. I!!!8217;ve given all the kitchen units a wipe down to try and get rid of the finger marks - they!!!8217;re gloss units so show every mark, especially when the sun!!!8217;s out. I!!!8217;d love to get rid of them but that!!!8217;s a pipe dream presently!
    I!!!8217;ve also put the clean washing away; peeled and cut veg for our roast dinner later and replaced the batteries in some of DS!!!8217;s toys.

    Yesterday I received a bottle of washing liquid as a product test. I!!!8217;ve given OH another one I had in the cupboard as he was running low and I now seem to have loads. I!!!8217;ve also received the paperwork for the 4 week study that will earn me a £15 Amazon voucher. I have to say, it!!!8217;s a lot of work, i!!!8217;m not entirely sure how worth it it is but I will give it a go.

    We!!!8217;re off out for a walk round a local nature reserve later so am hoping it stays sunny even though it!!!8217;s quite chilly out.

    Happy Saturday all x
    Last edited by MeandO; 28-04-2018 at 11:04 AM.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 28th Apr 18, 4:17 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    DS wanted to stay and play in the garden this afternoon, so we spent a lovely couple of hours outside playing on the trampoline (yes, me too!), with a ball and swingball etc - all the good stuff . We put our bird boxes and bird feeder out and then popped to £stretcher to pick up some nuts for the birds. I also picked up some lunchbox biscuits, a card for an upcoming birthday and a few other bits whilst I was there, spending just under £10.

    I remembered earlier that my parents had kindly given me £40 last month towards anything DS needed. I!!!8217;d forgotten all about it, but have now put it towards the clothes I bought him last night. The rest will sit in the account for when he next needs something.

    I!!!8217;ve got a pan of potatoes roasting in the oven for our mini roast dinner later and i!!!8217;ve taken some YS rolls out of the freezer to defrost for a picnic will we need on Monday.
    The washing mostly dried outside but I did have to bring it in and finish it off in the tumble dryer. S0d!!!8217;s law it!!!8217;s sunny again now it!!!8217;s all done.

    Tonight I need to dye my hair (dye bought a while ago from home bargains) and try and get an early night. I haven!!!8217;t slept well for over a week now and it!!!8217;s really catching me up.
    Last edited by MeandO; 28-04-2018 at 4:34 PM.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 8th May 18, 9:30 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Will update properly later, but just a quick post to record latest mortgage progress for now:

    Mortgage now: £76,608.02
    2018 OP's: Jan:£129.26 Feb:£287 Mar:£150 Apr:£157.31 May:£91.17/£150
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • selloptape
    • By selloptape 8th May 18, 10:27 PM
    • 519 Posts
    • 2,311 Thanks
    selloptape
    How's things? Hope you had a lovely bank hol weekend x
    GC Dec £94.48/£306.25
    £2 Savers Club #59 £74
    MFW 2018 #49 £700/£3,000
    MFiT T4 #21 - reduce mortgage by £20k over 3 years
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th May 18, 11:58 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Ups and downs Sellotape! Last week was definitely and 'up' as I was away for a week and had a lovely relaxing time but the stress hit within an hour of getting home, so feel like I've never been away. Bank hol weekend was pretty dismal tbh, couldn't shake my blues, but feeling a bit brighter now.

    Hope things are good with you xx
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th May 18, 2:01 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    A little bit of jiggling money around has allowed me to pay another £8.02 off the mortgage, making it a 'tidier' number.

    I still have another £50.81 to find to reach my overpayment target this month.

    Mortgage now: £76,600
    May:£99.19/£150
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 9th May 18, 3:14 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Home from work half an hour ago and have managed to make a big pan of mince/hidden veg to use as a base for pasta and potato dishes for DS. Iím desperately trying to get SOME fruit and veg into him but itís a constant battle.

    Just sat down for ten minutes before doing the school run. My legs and knees are hurting and my body aches all over. No reason as to why, just general lack of sleep, exhaustion and being overweight methinks.
    Iíve been pondering over joining a local community gym here as i really need to get some exercise and lose weight. I can get it cheaper due to receiving tax credits, but, I literally cannot think of more than two hours in a week that I have free to be able to use it. hardly seems worth it for the monthly fee. The joys of having no family or friends around to look after DS for me for an hour or so.

    Swimming tonight for DS, I also need to fill the car up with diesel and
    take a prescription to the chemists. DSís earlier childhood medical condition has reared its ugly head again and heís back on meds and has been referred back to the hospital.

    Sometimes I do wonder if I was an awful person in a former life...
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 10th May 18, 10:54 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    £6 Amazon voucher requested from survey points today.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • plymouthscubagirl
    • By plymouthscubagirl 11th May 18, 9:46 AM
    • 332 Posts
    • 976 Thanks
    plymouthscubagirl
    Hi MeandO
    Don't know if you can remember me but we chatted back when you were splitting up with your chap, as did I at the same time!
    Our sons are the same age too.
    Hey you've done amazingly well so kudos to you. We were both in quite a bit of debt (I still am) so well done to you! Now going for mortgage free too.
    I read your diary with sadness (you're doing a cracking job btw), wish we lived closer to help each other out. I too have the same childcare issues of not being able to go gym - have you tried any free at home ones? They're actually quite good. I do a mixture of insanity (not good if you're a beginner) or the bodycoach stuff (joe wickes) is free on you tube? Only takes 20 mins really too so you can get on with your day nicely.
    I joined a gym, primarily because they offered 4hrs a day free childcare, but my little one hated it so never got around to going which annoyed me more as I hate waste!
    Anyway keep your chin up, as my friend says, brighter days around the corner!! Still waiting for the rainbow mind......x


    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 11th May 18, 12:51 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Plymouthscubagirl! Yes, I remember you well hun! I do hope you're ok and life has improved vastly for you now. You need to fill me in and let me know how life's been for you these past few years!

    It was a particlularly sh*t time for us both back then wasn't it.. Sometimes it feels like yesterday and at other times it feels like it wasn't my life but someone else's - it's really weird. Still upsets me when I think about it though, even though the ex and I are now divorced and have grown into very different people and I could never envisage going back, neither would he!

    I don't know how much of the diary you've read, but I've moved house since we chatted last and now work part time. I bought a cheaper (yet bigger, which was the opposite of what I was attempting!) house, paid off a bit of the mortgage and now work part time to be able to do the school runs and stop paying childcare.
    It's an older house and needed redecorating but I've done a big chunk of that now. I'd love to change the kitchen and do other things but have finally learnt to be patient and to save up for things I want rather than throwing it on a credit card/loan. It took me a while!

    How's your boy doing these days? I can't believe our littlies are 7 already. Ah it would be so lovely if we lived closer. I remember us saying that back then too. It's not easy is it.

    I did have the insanity DVDs when I was newly single and bought the ex out of the last house. I kept them up for a while and they did work. Maybe I should look at getting them again, although I have a smaller lounge now, despite having more 'house' so I'm not sure how practical it would be!

    I can't tell you how much it's cheered me up hearing from you! Please do keep in touch hun. If I find that rainbow I'll send one your way xx
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 11th May 18, 1:06 PM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    The other half and I had to go out of our way to collect a parcel from a delivery depot (each) last night. Turned out they were some freebies we'd both applied for which made us laugh a bit considering the round-trip we'd made, but we made the most of the seaside location and spent a few lovely hours walking round, chatting to a friendly policeman about the area and enjoying the beach and scenery. OH bought us some fish and chips which we shared for our tea by the seaside.

    I filled up with diesel a couple of days ago - the first time in five weeks - at a cost of £48odd. I'd budgeted £50 so the spare change has been shifted to the grocery budget.

    I also ordered an Asda grocery delivery. Will not be using them again though as I had to phone them afterwards as they hadn't honoured several promotions and charged me for carrier bags despite not delivering the shopping in any. The foreign call centre didn't understand and has incorrectly refunded me too little, but I really can't be bothered to waste any more time dealing with them.
    Lesson learnt, I will not be using their online service again.

    Another evening with OH tonight as DS is with his Dad. OH has taken some fish out of the freezer and I have lots of lovely veg to cook for our tea. I might suggest we go for a swim if the local pool isn't too busy, or for a walk if it's not raining.

    I'm glad it's Friday. I have no plans for the weekend but will just be overjoyed not to be in work. The horrible atmosphere and lack of morale continues to crush my spirit on a daily basis.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • plymouthscubagirl
    • By plymouthscubagirl 14th May 18, 9:53 AM
    • 332 Posts
    • 976 Thanks
    plymouthscubagirl
    Hey

    No sorry I've not read your whole diary yet. So you've moved - is it far away from ex, you were living quite close by before weren't you?

    Yes I spent 2 years wasting my time umming and aahing as to whether I was doing the right thing leaving my ex, I think I had the same guilt, leaving my boy with no mummy and daddy together, but my little one doesn't even remember us ever being together now. Quite funny really. And its not affected him at all :-)
    It was definitely the right choice to make too, he's no better now with his new gf!!

    So new house sounds exciting! I've also moved into my house (long story but I bought it for my sister about 15 years ago so she's always lived in it, and was supposed to buy it back from me when she could. Fast forward 12 years and she split same time as me so it made sense for me to move in rather than pay stupid rent like I had been). It wouldn't have been my choice of a house to purchase for myself, but now I am in it I'm actually really enjoying it. Little ones school is 5mins away and my office is 5-10mins away so all very handy really. And I've been following your lead, decorating and doing it as much as I can myself. Its been quite satisfying (and frustrating at times)! Currently cladding the outhouse ceiling, last area to sort now thankfully.

    I've done the opposite, gone back full time Only because I have a very flexible job. They actively encourage us to work from home so it fits in well with school run etc. I usually do 2 days at home, would get bored doing much more. I also made the decision as I think redundancies might be on the cards at some point, so a full time one would be nicer! 2 have just been made redundant last week, I kind of half hope sometimes but it is a very easy flexible job, so careful what you wish for I guess. It would clear my debt and pay off the mortgage though so silver linings, ha ha.
    I too am doing YNAB, I love it too. Its really got me back on track debt wise. I'm hoping to be credit card debt free by March next year, its finally in sight. Managed to clear my student loan too.
    I've been doing a mini female investing course too (following the Money Doctor), so I'm actually investing bits and bobs at the same time as paying debt off. Little one has a JISA and I've just set up a SIPP for him too, only £25 a month as I dont like the fact that the JISA will just pay out at 18 with no control. Hopefully at 55 he may be a bit more responsible! Feel quite grown up right now, only taken 43 years!

    So good to hear from you, and yes I will stay in touch so we can rant about the injustice of life!!

    Hey good news you're back in the dating game. I've not even been on 1 date, put off for life I think, ha ha xx


    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 18, 10:08 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    I'm about 10 miles away from the ex now, but only a mile or two away from where I work (at the moment - as they announced we may be moving to the other side of the City. ).
    I also got DS into the local school which is literally a 1 minute walk for us from the new house. It was a tough decision to change his school, but he has settled in so well and loves his new school. It also means he doesn't spend every night in after school club and I'm not working just to pay the childcare and mortgage.
    I've lost around £400 a month from my salary by going part time, but the lower mortgage, lower council tax (this has almost halved!) and raise in child tax credits has helped.
    I've made some sacrifices in this house and lost my driveway, garage, off road parking and this is a semi detached whereas the last was a detached house, but we have a huge garden, loads more living space and are within walking distance to the local shops and OH's house so it's 'swings and roundabouts' really. I have gained vast knowledge on the problems of old houses though as this one's around 100 years old.

    Glad to hear things are going well for you. Sounds like you've had a similar couple of years with the DIY! Definitely a good idea not to be paying rent too. Does your sister live with you? We'll have to swap DIY tips. It sounds like you're waaaay ahead of me in the decorating stakes. I still have loads left I'd like to do but it's all money-dependent and I don't have much of that spare unfortunately!

    Your work arrangement sounds great too. I wish mine encouraged working from home, but it's not really feasible with my work.

    Ooh, investing course sounds interesting, I may take a look at the Money Doctor. I confess to having no knowledge of things like that, I just can't get my head around them. I'd like to try in the future though, but for now I'm just concentrating on getting the mortgage down and the savings up!

    xx
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 16th May 18, 10:29 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    I've not felt like updating lately as not much to report. No further overpayments, although I'm hoping to be able to reach this month's target next week when some more money will be coming in.

    I transferred £50 out of the 'house projects' pot this past week to pay for some bits and pieces for the garden and house in Home Bargains. Not really what I wanted to spend the money on, but it's not needed for anything else until after next payday and I dodn't have the funds in the general 'spends' category. There's £50 left in the house pot too, so it's not too bad.

    I stripped the wallpaper in the dining room at the weekend, thankfully it was only on one wall. The wall is in good condition so can just be painted over once I've bought some paint. I will buy enough to do the whole room as it all needs freshening up and could do with a lighter colour in there to let a bit more light bounce around.

    OH cut the grass and cleared quite a lot of overgrown bushes for me in the garden last weekend. They belong to next door, but have really encroached on my garden and have damaged some of the outbuildings. There's some more to do from the other neighbours at the back. Annoying that people leave things to grow into other people's space, but easier just to deal with it myself. If half of it falls back into their garden though, there's not much I can do about it.

    OH's Dad kindly gave me some plants for the garden too so I will plant those as soon as I have dug some old tree trunks and roots out of the beds. I also bought an alpine from a local garden centre I visted with OH and a couple of lavender plants from HB.

    We went to the library at the weekend to try and get a dietary book on a health problem OH seems to have developed. Unfortunately their selection was outdated and very minimal, so I have ordered a book from Amazon. I have also bought DS a book he has wanted for a while, using the £6 survey vouchers towards both.

    Dinner tonight is YS chicken breasts from the freezer, made into a curry of some sort. There should be plenty left over for at least OH and I to take for lunch tomorrow too. DS has swimming lessons, so will be something quick and easy from the freezer for him. Unfortunately he won't go near the chicken curry.

    Had yet more bad news about my Mum last week too. She is so very poorly and in so much pain, I feel so helpless. Wish there was something I could do to take her pain from her. She is such a positive person though, I don't know how she carries on. We are going to stay with my parents for a few days in half term, but I think I might send her something little in the post to cheer her up in the meantime.
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
    • Honeysucklelou2
    • By Honeysucklelou2 16th May 18, 11:13 PM
    • 1,245 Posts
    • 5,957 Thanks
    Honeysucklelou2
    Sorry to read about your mum. It must be so hard for you being at a distance. Half term will be here soon...

    Re the gym, is there any way of getting to the gym/pool when your DS is at his dad's? I'm in a similar position, to the point that last year I was putting the toddler in a pushchair and jogging with that but haven't done much over winter and not sure he'd be keen on that this year!
    paydbx #93 £929.08/£8,000.
    Loan £17k - paid off in Aug 2017. Home improvement loans £3342 March 2017. £2994 in Aug 18
    • MeandO
    • By MeandO 17th May 18, 11:50 AM
    • 1,658 Posts
    • 8,283 Thanks
    MeandO
    Thanks HSL. Unfortunately, I either work late when DS is with his Dad so I can build some flexi time up at work; run around and do the grocery shopping so I don't have to take DS and quite often at the moment, tackle DIY projects. I also see OH as we don't get to spend much child-free time together due to both our circumstances.
    I've decided to save my money and just try and work in more exercise into my day wherever possible. I'm also making a real effort to eat healthier and drink more water so I'm hoping that'll all help me feel better. It will just be a waste of money in joining a gym, I know it will just feel like another thing I have to try and squeeze in somehow.
    It's not easy trying to balance everything is it!
    House moving fund: £1602.81
    2018 mortgage OP's: £1894.35/£1800

    Emergency Fund: £400
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