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  • FIRST POST
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 2nd Apr 18, 11:22 AM
    • 963Posts
    • 4,994Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Busy Mee's Last Leg
    • #1
    • 2nd Apr 18, 11:22 AM
    Busy Mee's Last Leg 2nd Apr 18 at 11:22 AM
    Our Story
    We are me, Mr Mee and two grown up children ( one daughter living at home and one son who moved out last year). Mr Mee and I have been married for around a hundred years

    On the whole we have been quite good with money, having periods of our marriage when we have been very poor. We started with nothing and a mortgage interest rate of 13%, we then had little Mee's and had expensive child care costs ( no family nearby) and then supported them both through 7 years of university.

    We have also had very good years financially, Mr Mee and I both work in the public sector and over the years have both worked our way up to senior positions. We have always stretched ourselves to buy the most expensive house we could afford and added value where we could.

    However aound 9 years ago we decided to build our own house...cue the most stressful and scary financial period of our lives You have all watched the programmes on the TV and know how this goes, the plans get bigger, the bills get bigger, we mortgaged up to the hilt and borrowed as much money as we could on 0% credit cards and a bank loan. We even borrowed the kids savings.

    Thankfully we managed to get all the debt paid off and we now just have our mortgage which currently stands at a still eye watering 238,491.35.

    We are lucky in that we have a great mortgage product and pay just 1.19% (0.69% lifetime tracker). We have been therefore saving hard in higher interest savings accounts to offset the mortgage. We currently have 65k saved ( I love round numbers

    We feel very fortunate in that we have a house we love, built to our specification and our children are both doing well and financially independent.

    Mr Mee will retire in 2 years time ( he will be 60) and I would like the choice to retire too ( I will be 56).

    This diary will hopefully help me to focus over the next 2 years, and save as much as we can to offset the mortgage, along with some of our pension lump sums. We would like to keep the house, although downsizing is an option.

    We also love to travel ( we couldn't afford to when we were young) and don't want to wait until we retire. We therefore live very frugally on a day to day basis to be able to afford trips away, in addition to saving

    So......24 months until retirement.......that is a scary, yet exciting prospect so better better get started
Page 14
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 5th May 19, 7:09 AM
    • 3,151 Posts
    • 16,121 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    I envy your fun gathering all the switching bonuses... and i remember the glee of the bonus arriving. A little victory! I'm certain that we didn't try for Natwest. I was an account holder there around 2002-2004, so i'm wondering if i could have a go... (will scurry off and investigate).

    Great progress in here. Unfortunately life does through up circumstances that takes focus away, and some things are more important.
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into something less...
    54 months - Total Reduction: 57,426.72
    Was: 136,000..........Now: 78,573.28
    MFiT-T5 #8 - 28.06% of 23,000
    • shangaijimmy
    • By shangaijimmy 5th May 19, 7:27 AM
    • 3,151 Posts
    • 16,121 Thanks
    shangaijimmy
    Update - thank you...I've just switched the old donor account to Natwest! Now what to do with the 125... at least I have a few weeks to decide!
    MFW: Turning June 2036 into something less...
    54 months - Total Reduction: 57,426.72
    Was: 136,000..........Now: 78,573.28
    MFiT-T5 #8 - 28.06% of 23,000
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 5th May 19, 9:28 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    That is great Jimmy. How about Mrs Jimmy ....a quick opening of a H@lifax account to switch to N@t West and 250 could be yours !
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 5th May 19, 9:30 AM
    • 2,558 Posts
    • 14,147 Thanks
    themadvix
    Sorry to hear that things have been difficult lately Busy Mee.

    Think you *have* to treat all this money-saving as a hobby - otherwise you end up spending all your time doing stuff you don't enjoy. It feels like a win though when you make that bit extra - especially from the banks!
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 31st May 19, 6:38 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    May Update
    Tiptoes in quietly, in the hope that no one realises I have been missing for a month

    It has been a month of up and downs and not very much focus on the finances....in fact I have probably slipped down the slippery slope to "sod it" mode. We had a two week holiday in the States, staying with friends and I now need to face the consequences of a rather large credit card bill. Still we had a good time

    The big news is that Mr Mee handed in his notice of retirement before we went away and something visibly lifted off his shoulders and he is now very much in the metaphoric departure lounge. It also means that we now only have five more pay days to go. However I feel really confident now about our finances and the affordability of his retirement. This is thanks to the focus of my diary and support I have received on here from you lovely lot over the last four years.

    Anyway on to the May Update:

    Monthly Savings. 1500
    Total Savings. 76,500

    Repayment mortgage. 56,563.17
    IO Mortgage. 169,000
    Total Mortgage. 225,563.17

    Savings offset mortgage to. 149,063.17.

    Holiday Savings. 1600/3228.52

    So the good news is that we have maintained our savings at 1500 a month and our mortgage is now offset to under 150 k. This feels like a normal person's mortgage, rather than a big scary beast of a mortgage

    The bad news is that we only managed to save a paltry 100 towards the big holiday and this needs paying in August, so I need to get focussed on this. Unfortunately the rather large credit card bill also needs to be paid this month, so June needs to be very frugal and there will be much scraping of the barrels to get through the month

    So I am back and trying to focus again
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 31st May 19, 7:37 AM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,344 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Welcome back - you were missed (not just by me, I am sure). We have just four more mortgage payments before DH finishes - he has just seven weeks of the half term to go and I know he is really excited. As you say the metamorphosis is occurring before my eyes. I could do with a frugal month - I have just paid for my new back doors (cash from savings). Just the front door to sort now.

    You might be interested in hearing I got a little update letter from CS Pensions yesterday - because the best of my last three years was in 2016 they have applied the (annual indexation) increase now due, to my lump sum calculation between 9 Apr 2018 and the date of my retirement in Feb - and the upshot is that 2k popped into my bank account - it might apply to you or your DH.
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • themadvix
    • By themadvix 31st May 19, 8:39 AM
    • 2,558 Posts
    • 14,147 Thanks
    themadvix
    Hey Busy Mee, you were missed by me too. It sounds like Mr Mee's retirement will be anticipated with joy. Glad you had a good holiday!

    I'd join you for a frugal June, but we're off on holiday in a couple of weeks, so probably not going to happen here.

    I'd say that today, a 150k mortgage is small, not normal, so well done!
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 31st May 19, 11:11 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Thank you both, it feels good to be back.

    Suffolk Lass thanks for the update on your civil service pension. This will apply to me as my best year ended 30 June 2018 so I will get the annual indexation. This does mean that to benefit from it, I I need to retire before 30 June 2020. Unless anything changes, i.e. another spell of temporary promotion (possible) or an exit scheme (also possible but more unlikely) This is only 13 months away

    Mr Mee's pension is more straightforward, his last year will be his best year and he will be 60 so no actuary reduction.

    I have been really refining our financial plans for retirement, and for those of you who are interested it looks like this :

    Mr Mee: retires age 60 November 2019. Me: Still working
    50k paid off repayment Mortgage to reduce outgoings
    Income will cover all expenditure, including holidays and will be able to continue saving approx 1k per month.

    Me: Retires June 2020
    Pension income will cover normal expenditure but no holidays or other large items.
    We will use capital to fund holidays etc.

    2024 - Mortgage will be paid in full

    November 2025 - Mr Mee receives State Retirement Pension at age 66
    Pension income will cover normal expenditure, including holidays etc

    2031 I will receive SRP at age 67
    Essentially we could save my SRP because everything else will be covered.

    As you can see we will only be using our capital to fund holidays etc for just over five years and by the time we get to 2031, we will be able to start saving again. We also have the option of downsizing at some point too.

    In our case ( but I suspect it is the same for others too) it is the early years of our retirement that need funding and this of course is when you are young enough and fit enough to enjoy travel etc

    What this has highlighted to me is that I don't actually need to work to the bitter end to get a better pension. Of course it is nice to have the choice.

    I know many of you are a way off retirement, but it is worth having a think about when you might want to retire, particularly if your partner is a different age, and what your income streams will be and when they will kick in. It has been quite illuminating for us
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 31st May 19, 1:29 PM
    • 2,503 Posts
    • 10,756 Thanks
    teapot2
    Hello Busy Mee, glad you enjoyed your holiday even if it resulted in a large CC bill . Retirement plans look good and full of possibilities - well done.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 1st Jun 19, 8:37 AM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,344 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    How will you pay off your mortgage in 2024? If you are using your capital for holidays, have you taken into account how this will impact your off-setting?
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 2nd Jun 19, 6:54 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Sunday
    Morning All.
    Thanks for popping in Teapot and Suffolk Lass.

    I "think" we are going to both take our maximum tax free lump sums and a reduction on our pensions. This means we can use all of Mr Mee's lump sum + whatever we can throw at the mortgage until I retire. If I retire in June 2020 there should only be around 5k left to cover on the mortgage and the rest of my lump sum will supplement our pensions until SRP kicks in. Although commuting pension to lump sum is probably less financially advantageous in the long run ( an increased pension starts to outstrip the amount of your lump sum after around 15 years, assuming you live that long ), we need to fund the early part of our retirement. We have never really relied on SRP because we have such good DB pensions, so effectively SRP has become a bonus that is allowing us to fund an earlier retirement. The only risk is if the rules change on SRP or it becomes means tested, but tbh that is less likely for Mr Mee who is due in 6 years time, although more likely for me in 12 years. I am watching with interest to see what happens when the WASPI case gets heard in the High Courts.

    I feel like things have been back to normal this week (well our normal ) I manage to finish work early on Friday and weeded another border and Mr Mee and I tackled a large bank at the bottom of the garden yesterday. This means with another hour or two today we will have weeded around the entire garden I think then we will be able to cope without the gardener this year, which will be a considerable saving this summer.

    I nipped to Sainsbury's yesterday morning as I had a till spit for 8p a litre off fuel if you spent 10 in Tu. They also had 25% off Tu this weekend so I bought some much needed tights and socks to spend 10, so good reductions all round. They just give you a voucher when you hand the till spit in when paying for your clothing. It did occur to be that you could be completely naughty and buy something in Tu, get your petrol voucher and then take the clothing item back afterwards. But only if you are completely naughty

    I also spent some cash ordering a new cover from Ika for our trustee Ektorp sofa (it must be coming up for it's 20th Birthday and still going strong ! ). It used to reside in the kids playroom but now lives in my office and desperately needs a new cover. My parents are coming to stay in a few weeks and we will turn my office into a bed/ sitting room for them. Anyhoo we have been psyching ourselves up for a trip to the big blue and yellow shop, until I discovered we could order it and have it delivered for 3.95. Mr Mee and I consider that to be 3.95 well spent I would have probably spent that in candles if we had gone to the shop .

    I think that is all my news ....Mr Mee's switch to FD hasn't happened yet. It was slightly delayed by our holiday and them requiring a copy of his signature to open the account. We will be going shopping today to H@meBargains/@ldi but don't need too much, just some fresh bits and then we will spend the rest of the day in the garden.

    Enjoy your Sunday
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 14th Jun 19, 5:59 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Rain rain go away
    Urgh it feels like it has been raining endlessly for days here. I thought I had better pop in with a quick update but to be honest there is not much to update.

    Life has been a bit Meh! Work is relentless at the moment, the boiler broke and it just keeps on raining. I actually feel like the awful weather may be my fault. I put my boots away and changed our duvet to the summer weight one when we got back from holiday.......sorry everyone Needless to say the boots are back out and I have changed our duvet back to the winter one.....let the heat wave commence

    The boiler has been repaired but cost 500 . The engineer replaced a number of parts including the pump and reckons it will be good for another year or two, but I think we will proactively replace it next summer.

    Financially this month is dire.....I have scraped every spare bit of money out of every account to pay for the boiler and the mega credit card bill and we are now limping along to the end of the month trying to spend as little as possible, with some light credit card use. Fingers crossed we should still be able to maintain our savings total this month, but it is touch and go.

    Mr Mee's switch to FD is now going through, it had stalled and I had to get him to ring up to progress chase it. So hopefully that will mean 125 next month to boost the odds and sods account back up after the raid this month.

    And finally the big news is that after many many years we have cancelled Sky.....I never ever thought Mr Mee would agree but he has. Mainly because we don't watch it much these days, we watch DS Netflix and DD's Am@zon Prime more. Anyway our 59 a month subscription has been cancelled and we are going to buy the Now TV entertainment package at 27.99 for 6 months so we can continue to watch Sky Atlantic (Big Little Lies ). Anyway this means from July we have knocked another 100 a month off our outgoings ( Sky+Gym membership) I will probably join the gym again when I retire, but will be able to get the cheap off peak membership.

    My mind has definitely turned to retirement...it is really happening. At the end of this month Mr Mee only has 4 months to go and I will be on the 12 month countdown We can't wait and are constantly discussing the long list of stuff we want to do

    Hope it is not too soggy where you are, have a good day
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 14-06-2019 at 6:02 AM.
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 14th Jun 19, 8:47 AM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,344 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    So it was you too - I also changed to summer bedding and finally turned the heating off - it was set to 13c and had come on at 0600 twice last week, creaking as it made its way round the radiators. Rather than think it needed to be on I concluded this was ridiculous for June (and to be fair, I turned it on when my Mum visited in May and had really just forgotten to turn it off again) - but the weather gods don't know that do they?

    So windy too - our 7 foot high rose arch is horizontal, complete with the climbing rose with 2" diameter trunk. That is a later job - catching up on here and then must get shopping - ten of us for afternoon tea tomorrow and stuff to make.

    I started a bullet journal of things to do - some chores, lots of pleasure - needs a revisit now!
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • try harder
    • By try harder 14th Jun 19, 9:27 AM
    • 867 Posts
    • 3,441 Thanks
    try harder
    Morning Busy Mee1. Such exciting times ahead and not long to wait now. You have done amazingly well and put yourself in a great position ,it will be wonderful
    • teapot2
    • By teapot2 14th Jun 19, 8:47 PM
    • 2,503 Posts
    • 10,756 Thanks
    teapot2
    Sorry to hear about your boiler woes and subsequent squeaky month. The weather has been dire, glad it has stopped raining today finally. I have both my summer and winter duvet out and have to keep swapping over. Also had a hot water bottle a few nights .

    Sounds like you have lots to look forward to in the coming months though.
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 22nd Jun 19, 12:37 PM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    It's a miracle ....
    It's a miracle we have nearly got through this month and our savings are unscathed. I have scraped out every bit of spare cash, from the odds and sods account and the annual bills account. Luckily all the annual bills have been paid for this year and the odds and sods account wasn't earmarked for anything in particular, maybe Mr Mee's Birthday trip but that isn't until November, so plenty of time to recoup.

    Work continues to be busy and I am starting to feel like I have had enough of it. I think I might be moving mentally into the departure lounge....at the end of this week I can start the 12 month countdown

    Mr Mee is definitely in the departure lounge, clutching his boarding pass He says it is becoming harder and harder to motivate himself to go to work. He has less than 100 days to work and is spending his evenings planning travel trips for us. We have booked another for next February for some winter sun, but he is now looking beyond my retirement when we will be less restricted by my leave entitlement.

    The sun is finally shining and I managed to get in the garden last night and today. I am determined that we will not pay for weeding this year.

    Other than that, not much to report financially. There have been lots of NSDs as we limp towards pay day on Friday. Have a good weekend everyone x
    • beanielou
    • By beanielou 22nd Jun 19, 2:15 PM
    • 66,976 Posts
    • 303,066 Thanks
    beanielou
    All exciting.
    I like the idea of the departure lounge
    Lou~ Debt free Wanabe No 55 DF 03/03/14. MFW. 17 months to mortgage freedom.
    **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. ***Be the difference.***
    • Suffolk lass
    • By Suffolk lass 22nd Jun 19, 5:58 PM
    • 3,300 Posts
    • 29,344 Thanks
    Suffolk lass
    Ooh! 12 month countdown. My Dh has just 20 more get-ups to go. I met my friend yesterday for a long-overdue catch up and she is sneaking out via the air-side baggage reclaim so nobody notices (stealing your metaphor!). Less than a month of commuting for her and she will just disappear. It has a certain appeal but for me, a lot of the people are my inner circle of treasured long-term friends. What made it so enjoyable and why I stayed so long. I only miss that comraderie - not the work, which I am surprised about as I was very outcome focussed
    Save 12k in 2019 - #68 target is 7k 8,766.30 after Sep
    OS Grocery Challenge 2019 target 3k - 57.28% spent after Sep
    Mortgage Free Wannabes 2019 #37 108.23% 43,292.24 including Sep - reducing now to avoid fees
    MFIT T5 target to clear our mortgage completely (59,998) Q2 30,085 or 50.14% paid
    My DFD is here
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 1st Jul 19, 6:45 AM
    • 963 Posts
    • 4,994 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    June Update
    Gosh I cannot believe it is July already, this year is flying by. This is a slightly late update as we have had my parents staying over the last few days and I haven't had time to do my monthly accounts. It has been one endless round of meals and cups of tea

    Dad's health has definitely deteriorated again and ( I think) I have talked them into getting more professional care in.

    Anyhoo the house is now back to normal, beds have been moved back upstairs and all the aids and adaptations put away, and I managed to get some money shuffling done last night. I am very pleased with how June shaped up, I am not quite sure how we managed it, but we maintained our normal savings, paid for the boiler repair and put some into the holiday savings:

    Monthly Savings. 1500
    Total Savings. 78,000

    Repayment mortgage. 55,625.31
    IO mortgage. 169,000
    Total mortgage. 224,625.31

    Savings offset mortgage to. 146,625.31

    Holiday savings. 2029.50/3228.52

    Mr Mee now only has 90 days to work and 4 more pay days. I only have a year to work and 12 more pay days

    I have started July off with a bold Tilly Tidy and sent 23.22 to the odds and sods account, which was decimated last month. I am hoping that the FD switching bonus will be paid soon, which will also boost that account back up.

    Thanks to everyone for popping in and reading along
    Last edited by Busy Mee1; 07-07-2019 at 7:03 AM.
    • wishingthemortgaheaway
    • By wishingthemortgaheaway 1st Jul 19, 6:52 AM
    • 2,405 Posts
    • 13,432 Thanks
    wishingthemortgaheaway
    Looks really good.

    Keep plodding, you will be retired before you know it.
    Outstanding mortgage: 27,000
    MFW 2019 Challenge Member #28: 800.something/ 2860
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