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  • FIRST POST
    • Runders
    • By Runders 4th Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    • 176Posts
    • 495Thanks
    Runders
    The Cottage Dream
    • #1
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:07 PM
    The Cottage Dream 4th Jan 18 at 5:07 PM
    Hello All,

    I used to post way back in 2015, and my old diary is here: Clicky
    I disappeared because my Mum became unwell with cancer and so spending time with her became much more important. My wonderful Mum unfortunately passed away in October, and this has really brought it home to me that life is just too damn short! I've always had the long term goal of moving back to the countryside and having my own horse, but I have decided I'd rather work hard for this now rather than later, hence the new thread and title.

    My spending has been out of control over the last year or so, so I'd like to get it back in check and really knuckle down again. My plan is to try and pay as much as my mortgage off as possible, in order to facilitate being able to move back to 'The Shire' as I call it, where house prices are more expensive than where I currently live.

    My mortgage currently stands at 96,407. I started with 110,884 in Sep 2014. I have an offset mortgage which I really like. I originally had the benefit set to reduce my monthly payments, but I have just contacted the bank asking if they can change it to a term reduction. This way I can't spend the savings each month!

    I'll pop back later with a SOA .
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
Page 1
    • SWSEGirl
    • By SWSEGirl 4th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    • 106 Posts
    • 349 Thanks
    SWSEGirl
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    • #2
    • 4th Jan 18, 5:23 PM
    Hello & Good luck on your journey!

    I'm very sorry to hear you lost your Mum, losing a parent can really put things in perspective - life is just too short at the end of the day.

    Your dream sounds very similar to ours - we have the cottage in the country dream too. I'll follow your diary with interest and wish you well!

    x
    Original Mortgage as of September 2016 = 322,999 Paid off by 2051
    Current Mortgage Balance as of September 2017 = 316,649
    Emergency Savings = 9,661 10,000 10,500 11,200 11463 12,213 13,000 14000
    Mortgage OP's Total = 1500 2200 2900 3900 4900 5900 6900
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 4th Jan 18, 7:50 PM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 6,119 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 7:50 PM
    • #3
    • 4th Jan 18, 7:50 PM
    Ooooh new diary. Hello

    Sorry to hear about your mum. Make sure you continue to take care of yourself.

    Happy Saving.

    Wish.
    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
    • Runders
    • By Runders 5th Jan 18, 11:49 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:49 AM
    • #4
    • 5th Jan 18, 11:49 AM
    Okay my SOA, I keep track of all the spending I do and I have taken the averages over the last 12 months from here. I have dipped into my savings a lot recently and that isn't necessarily reflected on the SOA (house works etc), so this is more just a breakdown of monthly spends over the last 12 months.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household......... 0
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 2000
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 2040


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 448
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 68
    Electricity............................. 15.01
    Gas..................................... 15.01
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 25
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 11
    TV Licence.............................. 12.25
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 28.25
    Groceries etc. ......................... 250
    Clothing................................ 50
    Petrol/diesel........................... 185
    Road tax................................ 14
    Car Insurance........................... 37
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 10
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 20
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 10
    Contents insurance...................... 10
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 10
    Haircuts................................ 0
    Entertainment........................... 400
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1618.52



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 1600
    House value (Gross)..................... 175000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 7000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 183600



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 96407....(448)......1.85
    Total secured & HP debts...... 96407.....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Stoozing/car purchase..........12000.....300.......0
    Total unsecured debts..........12000.....300.......-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 2,000 ish (this varies for me)
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,618.52
    Available for debt repayments........... 381.48
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 300
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 81.48


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 183,600
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -96,407
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -12,000
    Net Assets.............................. 75,193


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    I realise my entertainment and groceries are high, I am a sucker for lunches and coffees out and I am also not good ion the kitchen. Must do better!
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 5th Jan 18, 2:53 PM
    • 1,315 Posts
    • 6,119 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:53 PM
    • #5
    • 5th Jan 18, 2:53 PM
    There are people far more experienced than I at looking at these things but...

    We 3, me hubby & toddler are spending about 50 a week on food max, including some hideously expensive baby food products, because they are organic this, and sugar free and added vitamin this oh, and toddler loves them and he gets hangry and these stop the hangryness.

    Eating out: do you make use of offers? Loyalty cards? Meal deals? Supermarket points?

    I would think your entertainment budget would & should be a bit higher than ours, I get the impression (apologies if I'm wrong) that you are single? And with the bereavement you suffered last year you should be taking every opportunity to get out and about. Again, supermarket points deals, vouchers, money off coupons. Once, in a queue for a famous theme park we had 2 for 1 vouchers and an odd number of people. We did actually hustle down the line to find someone else to be our queue and payment buddy.

    Keep smiling.

    Wish.
    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
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 8th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • 53,923 Posts
    • 213,415 Thanks
    beanielou
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    • #6
    • 8th Jan 18, 10:11 PM
    Your food budget seems high for just one person.
    Anyway, happy shiny new diary
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14.
    **Credit card debt free 30/06/10~** **Weight loss 2 stone 11 lbs **

    "A large income is the best recipe for happiness I ever heard of" Jane Austen in Mansfield Park.
    ***Fall down seven times,stand up eight*** ~~Japanese proverb.
    It starts with you, it starts from now. *** It is ok to be me.***
    ***Keep plodding***
    Out of debt, out of danger.
    • Blibble
    • By Blibble 9th Jan 18, 6:54 AM
    • 432 Posts
    • 750 Thanks
    Blibble
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 6:54 AM
    • #7
    • 9th Jan 18, 6:54 AM
    Happy new diary!

    Couple of quick points on the SOA - groceries seems a tad high for one person, over 60p/w. Where are you doing your shopping currently? Are you buying ready-made food, or cooking from scratch?

    Entertainment is also more than we'd spend, but everyone's different. Given your circumstances, I don't think it reasonable to suggest cutting back straight away here, but it may be something to consider when you really knuckle down.

    Also, 185 fuel is a touch high. Is this all for work? If so, can you car share etc. to perhaps reduce this?

    There's lots of good points as well, though - I wish our bills were that good value! You've got a great goal in my which is personal to you. Best of luck
    Wedding fund - 2963.85 (1262.07)
    OP fund - 1427.23 (138.67)
    Emergency fund - 159.00
    • michelle09
    • By michelle09 9th Jan 18, 11:50 AM
    • 777 Posts
    • 4,277 Thanks
    michelle09
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 11:50 AM
    • #8
    • 9th Jan 18, 11:50 AM
    I'm with the others - can you find ways to bring the entertainment budget down without sacrificing your lifestyle? Groupon is a great way of getting restaurant vouchers - we got one for my OH's birthday last year. Restaurant price was 21, Groupon was 16 and I got 8% cashback on the purchase. Knowing you got such a good deal helps you enjoy it a little more.

    This website is wonderful for finding deals and coupons to get the costs of entertainment down.
    • Runders
    • By Runders 11th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    • #9
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    • #9
    • 11th Apr 18, 4:44 PM
    Hello all!

    Thanks for the replies way back in Jan, I've been sailing the high seas for a few months and only just back.

    I've managed to add 2.5k to my offset whilst I've been away which is great.

    I got back to a mountain of post which had helpfully been sorted into junk and non-junk by my friends. In there were some gems, 20 JL Vouchers from my credit card, 2 Tesco Voucher and a 5 love to shop voucher form a survey. I've put the equivalent into savings and will use these instead. I already used the Love to shop voucher for tooth paste today....how glam

    A lot of my bills have gone up whilst I've been away, so I need tosit down and have a good look at these. I actually rang up Virigin media and asked to cancel yesterday, I'm hoping that their retention team may call me back with a good offer *Fingers Crossed*

    Thanks for all the suggestions above, I will start scouring Groupon for eating out etc. I'm going to try and make the most of the free outdoors now that the days are getting lighter, and the National Trust houses will be open again soon.

    My petrol costs should come right down now, they were so high last year because I was driving 260 miles (round trip) to visit my Mum most weeks, and my old car was also a GUZZLER!!!! I have noticed a big diffrerence since I bought my recent car last summer.

    I've been out today and bought a load of veg to do some batch cooking. A big pot of soup is done and I have the slow cooker on doing a veg lasagne... I hope it's good, I am not the best of cooks. But I am going to strive to get the food budget down, especially after hearing that some of you are spending a lot less and with families.

    Right little catch up from me, I am off to go and get reading on diaries and see how you are all going.

    Toodles
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • Runders
    • By Runders 12th Apr 18, 12:39 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hello, two post in as many days!

    Today has been a good one so far, with some little wins.

    Virgin rang me back and I am now paying 6.25 a month less for my broadband. I am wondering if I should have held out for more, but it's still a good saving.

    My friend suggested Lunch today, but instead I am going over with two pots of soup from the big batch I made yesterday. This is easily saving me 15-20 on eating out.

    AND..... My mortgage is now below 95k. It might only be 3p below, but I am counting it

    Once I am back from my friends I plan to sort out some boxes in my box room and list a few things on the bay and selling sites. Hoping I can net a few more pennies for the offset.

    Toodles
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • Runders
    • By Runders 13th Apr 18, 9:13 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hello everyone,

    I've woken up really quite sad today. I dreamt of my Mum last night and it's just hit me all over again this morning and I've basically just cried into my coffee all morning. I guess I just have to accept that this is how life is going to be now: Mostly fine with patches of sadness.

    Anywho, I thought I'd come and ramble on here about some MSE things I've done to cheer me up.

    Last night was another cooking win, I made homemade pizza!! It was delicious - Mushroom, Mozzarella and caramelised onion - take that pizza delivery places! I've also got 5 other balls of dough in the freezer and I got clever with my left over tomato sauce, I froze it in ice cube trays and now I can just defrost a couple of cubes at a time. Old me would have just bought a 5 pizza from the shop or even worse, a 15 take away one.

    I'm also trying to up my green credentials as I save money. I already use a green washing powder, but I used to use what I call 'naughty softener'. It's not great for the environment, and it's got quite a few nasties in it health wise. A friend recommended I try a couple of tablespoons of distilled vinegar with a few drops of essential oil in it's place, and I have to say it's utterly fab! The vinegar is 39p a bottle and you get a good amount of washes from it, you only need a few drops of oil so it lasts for ages, plus the vinegar is great for clearing out the gunk and buildup in your machine. I 'detoxed' my machine first by using a cup of bicarb of soda and two cups of vinegar on a 90 degree wash, and it smelt fresh as a daisy after.

    In other MSE and green ways, I've stopped buying the compostable bags for the food caddies and instead use the free newspapers to wrap up food waste to go into them, so I'm saving a few pennies there. I'm not sure all councils allow you to use newspaper, but it's great that mine does.

    I've decided that I need a mini target, I always go big and then get bored/distracted when I don't make any real progress. I'm going to try to save 600 a month into my savings for the rest of the year, which gives me a total of 4800. To make it interesting I am going to round that up to 7000 - I like odd numbers - and try to have that amount stashed away into my offset by the end of December

    Right I must clean, clean, clean. It's amazing how much dust builds up when you are away! haha.
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 13th Apr 18, 10:12 AM
    • 916 Posts
    • 629 Thanks
    JennyP
    So sorry to hear about your mum. My dad died in October. I find I am going along just fine then grief suddenly hits.
    We've just moved from London to the countryside: lovely house on a hill with a couple of small fields. It's blissful. Good luck with your dream.
    I didn't know you could freeze pizza dough so might give that a try. Might try your fabric softener idea too. We have a septic tank and all our waste water goes into it so we can't use bio washing powder but I hadn't really thought about the impact of chemicals in the fabric softener. You've got me wondering about alternatives to dishwasher tablets now too!
    • Tropically
    • By Tropically 13th Apr 18, 11:09 AM
    • 253 Posts
    • 742 Thanks
    Tropically
    I'm so sorry to hear of your loss. It's okay to still grieve and you can take as long as you need. It's so difficult.

    I should try your fabric softener idea too. I actually have essential oils and vinegar already, so no start up costs.
    Mortgage started at 318,000 in June 2016. Original MF - 2041
    2017 OPs: 7000/7000
    Mortgage in Nov 2017 - 297,808
    • Runders
    • By Runders 15th Apr 18, 11:08 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hi All,

    It's been a stupidly spendy weekend.....bad Runders! Before I get onto that:

    JennyP - I am so sorry to hear about your Dad. My Mum also died in October, so we are probably in the same place grief wise. Your house sounds perfect, I hope that you are enjoying your new found space in the countryside There are all sorts of sites out there where you can find homemade and green alternatives to quite a few cleaning products. My next thing to try is bi-carb in water applied with a toothbrush to remove mould in the bathroom.

    Tropically - Thanks for the kind words. Let me know how you get on with the white vinegar and oils

    Okay, now onto the spending......eeek.

    My friend stayed with me this weekend and we ate out quite a lot. I'd say I've spent at least 100 on food and drinks this weekend. That takes me over my allocated budget for that and it also isn't good for my rather rotund waistline. I need to live on things I have in the fridge and freezer over the coming two weeks.

    The second big spend is one that has cheered me up. My friend and I re-did my mess of a front garden this weekend. All the old stones and membrane up,along with all the weeds, and new membrane, stones and plants down. We planted lots of bee friendly things like lavemder and daisies, and it is looking great. I am so happy with it - my bank not so much as I have spent around 250 on the materials.

    I need a frugal two weeks until payday now, as I don;t have any spare cash left

    I hope you all had a good weekend.
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 16th Apr 18, 9:52 PM
    • 916 Posts
    • 629 Thanks
    JennyP
    Have had to be fairly green as we were living on a boat till a couple of weeks ago!

    I also had a friend stay for the weekend but I came down with a migraine so she was left to entertain herself whilst I stayed in bed! On the plus side it was a very cheap weekend for me. Didn't spend a thing.

    Hubby gets back from his cycling holiday next Monday and I too want a couple of weeks - maybe even four - living out of cupboards and the freezer and just buying milk and fresh veg!
    • Runders
    • By Runders 18th Apr 18, 9:26 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hello all,

    JennyP - I did pop over and read through your thread. How are you finding living on dry land instead of a boat?

    Today has been good money wise. I've only eaten out of my freezer/fridge, and I have a few more meals in there to go. In fact I must get out tomorrow;s meals before I go to bed this evening. I found a piece of fillet steak in there, so had a delicious dinner of steak, vegetable ratatouille and chestnut stuffing, YUM!

    I have also made some progress on my back garden I need to go and spend a little money on things for it tomorrow, but in my eye it's all very much worth it. I can't wait to sit out and have a GnT when it's all finished.

    I haven't made any money today, but I haven't spent any either so I shall take it as a win. I think I am going to update my signature to reflect the fact that I am now under 95k, give me a bit of motivation .

    I hope you all have a good evening.
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • Runders
    • By Runders 29th Apr 18, 6:02 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hello all,

    Isn't the weather miserable!! A bit like my MSE ways this month. I've been terrible these last couple of weeks with spending on food/takeaways - Bad Runders! I've re-joined the gym now though, so no more takeaways as and when, I'm limiting myself to one a month. I'm going to do some more batch cooking this coming week, it's when I have nothing in that I find myself being lazy and going for takeaways as they are quick.

    As my budget stands I have spent more than I have earned this month, but that does include flights for my holiday in October. I didn't bother to take the money out of my savings to pay for them, as I will have a larger than normal pay day tomorrow that will cover the difference.

    I'm currently trying to integrate the stuff I kept from my Mum's into my home, but there is so much of it! I'm trying to be utterly ruthless as I sort through it as I wasn't thinking very clearly when we first went through it all. I kept four pairs of her shoes, no idea why as I am two sizes bigger than her!! I sent them off to the charity shop with a few other bits and bobs and am slowly making a dent in it all.

    I've got a small pile of things to list on various selling sites, so that is my job for this evening. In fact, someone should be turning up to buy my sanding mouse any moment now - huzzah!

    Am very much looking forward to payday tomorrow - I can start to make a dent in my savings goal for the remainder of this year

    Toodles
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • Runders
    • By Runders 1st May 18, 9:04 AM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Quick, quick, there is SUN!!!! I couldn't believe it when I pulled back the curtains this morning. The horrible grey days had put me into a bit of a funk, but I instantly feel a bit brighter now. I actually had the heating on all day yesterday as I just couldn't get warm.

    I've just updated my signature - I'm into the next thousand - whoo hooo! My account also shows that I have taken 4 days off my term, so chuffed with that. I can't wait to get into the 80ks territory, it's so close!

    So last night I found myself on a take-out website, but I told myself off and went and made some tea out of things I had in the fridge. I felt much better for doing that after, no guilt/regret at money spent and calories eaten.Today I plan on doing a biggish shop and some batch cooking, I thiught I'd give lentils a go for the first time. I've found a recipe online for lentil Dhal that sounds tasty, if you have anymore ideas feel free to send them my way

    Right, I must get ready and go and make the most of the day. I have a lampshade to return, and as I paid for it last month the money can go straight into savings. I've also still got a few more bits to list on selling sites.

    Hope you all have a nice sunny day!
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
    • JennyP
    • By JennyP 1st May 18, 9:34 AM
    • 916 Posts
    • 629 Thanks
    JennyP
    Hello!
    To answer your question from before, dry land is great. I would miss the wildlife if we weren't somewhere with lots of wildlife albeit birds and deer rather than ducks and swans!

    I'd like to claim credit for the sunshine! I couldn't get the washing dry so ordered one of those Lakeland electric waiters. It will be delivered today so of course sod's law the sun has come out and I won't need it!

    How about the Jack Monroe lentil ragu? I haven't tried it but it's supposed to be good.I bought a big bag of lentils intending to make it so I wouldn't mind your Dahl recipe please of it turns out well!

    https://cookingonabootstrap.com/2017/11/30/12-hour-rich-lentil-ragu-29p-vegan-slow-cooker/
    • Runders
    • By Runders 1st May 18, 5:12 PM
    • 176 Posts
    • 495 Thanks
    Runders
    Hello again today!

    I'm in a dilemma about sofas and guess I just need somewhere to write my musings down. My g-tree bargain has sadly reached the end. It's got holes in the seats now and is looking a bit tatty. There are dents in the arms where I press my feet into them when trying to lie down (it's quite small) and so I decided enough is enough time to get a new one. To be fair I bought the current one for 75 two and a half years ago, so it's been a bit of a super star.

    Right the new sofa, I sat on the most comfortable sofa ever, perfectly supports my back, looks great and would fit into my lounge style well.....has a nearly 2k price tag...... I said that isn't very MSE and have been looking at and sitting in other sofas since then (many, many months), but none of them are as comfortable!! I have a bad back and this sofa was a dream for it. I am now tempted to basically throw my MSE ways out the window and go for it on the purchase....am I mental?!?

    JennyP - Haha, well thank you for the sunshine! Things always seem just that bit better when the sun is out. I love the countryside, I have been in a city for nearly 10 years now, but I am longing to return to 'The Shire', it's just so, so, so expensive Thank you for the ragu suggestion. The dhal is:

    https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/red-lentil-squash-dhal

    I haven't made it yet, but will let you know how I get on
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 93,899.99 Offset: 19,137.44
    74,762.55 until mortgage neutral
    Saving Target 2018: 1890/7000
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