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  • FIRST POST
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 29th Apr 18, 9:24 AM
    • 128Posts
    • 425Thanks
    julicorn
    julicorn's journey
    • #1
    • 29th Apr 18, 9:24 AM
    julicorn's journey 29th Apr 18 at 9:24 AM
    Hi everyone! Thank you all for sharing your journey to being mortgage free, it's really inspiring.

    My husband and I bought a 1 bed flat in December, for the bargain amount of 270k (gotta love living in the South East!). Luckily we had been able to save for a decent deposit, so our mortgage was 202,500 plus fees (closer to (203,500), out of which we still had just over 201k left as of yesterday.

    Our mortgage is 2 year fixed at 1.41%, but that appears to be based on the mortgage offer date, so running out in July 2019. I would love to reduce our mortgage as much as possible by then, and just in general.

    The things that have given me a bit of a kick in the butt to start overpaying now, in no particular order:
    1. Logging into my online account and seeing "24 years 7 months remaining" is daunting. That's a crazy long time. If we got to that, I would have spent half of my life paying off a 1 bed flat.
    2. The fact that we have already paid almost 1k in interst in just a few months isn't great either. The more we can shave off total interest, the better.
    3. When saving for the flat, we managed to put away over 1k every month, and that was while paying rent that was slightly higher than our mortgage. If we managed to do that now, we'd have the flat paid off 15 years early.
    4. While over the last few months, we spent money on lots of the stuff we missed out on while saving for the flat (booked a holiday, got tattoos, all that super grown up jazz) and also put quite a bit of money into furniture and redecorating, I've also noticed that a lot of the extra money just sort of slipped away. For example, our diet has gotten a lot worse because we seem to be getting take out a lot atm.
    5. In some weird way, I really miss saving. There was something really satisfying about seeing our savings account growing so quickly, and I think seeing our remaining mortgage amount reduce will have a simar effect (psychologically speaking).

    So, is the aim really being mortgage free in 10 years? Realistically - no. I know we won't prioritise overpaying I over certain life experieces (currently holidays mainly), but also, the aim is to stay in our flat here for around 5 years or so, and then see whether we want / need something bigger. But even if we do buy somewhere more expensive then, it can only help to have reduced that outstanding debt more quickly. And that's how I see it - I think for a lot of people a mortgage is just something everyone has, but for me it feels like "being in debt", which is something I have mostly avoided so far.

    So based on all of this, we made our first overpayment of 900 yesterday. For the first few months, I want to build up our ISA savings a little more again (to 10k or so) in parallel for "just in case", and then concentrate mainly on paying off our mortgage. (side goal: no more take outs! Need to learn to cook a decent curry ).

    Thanks for having me
Page 4
    • IAAM
    • By IAAM 3rd Jul 18, 8:31 AM
    • 31 Posts
    • 55 Thanks
    IAAM
    Whoop! Well done Julicorn. You must feel thrilled about the OP.

    I really like the idea of your cross stitch! I think a visual reminder of what you're achieving is a fab idea and will make those slightly harder days of saving easier to do.

    Onwards and upwards.... :-)
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 3rd Jul 18, 11:51 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    Thanks IAAM! I might see if I can try and post a picture of the cross stitch in here at some point.

    (It's weirdly satisfying that the original mortgage among without fees can be laid out in a perfect 45x45 square, with each cross showing a reduction in mortgage balance of 100.)
    • Runders
    • By Runders 4th Jul 18, 8:13 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 517 Thanks
    Runders
    Hey Julicorn,

    Congrats on such a huge OP! I bet it felt amazing to pay that much off

    So I checked out YNAB and got the free trial, but I just don't think it's for me. I couldn't move things around and display them how I wanted. However, I really liked the premise of it and have now come up with something similar in Excel which I am calling my spreadsheet of doom

    When I went to Japan I was just in Tokyo. There is so much to see and do there. I can't remember all the places we went to, but when I am back home I'll dig out my travel diary and look up their names. The Ghibli Museum was one of my fave places, and yoyogi park. I'd love to go back
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 89,634.34 Offset: 15.162.13
    74,472.21 until mortgage neutral
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 6th Jul 18, 8:54 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    Hi Runders,

    Thank you very much! Yes, it was really great being able to pay off so much in one go, and also seeing how far ahead we are compared to if we were just paying the mortgage off regularly.

    With YNAB, I really struggled to get me head around it for an hour or so, but then it really clicked. They've got good tutorials and workshop videos as well- if you haven't given up completely, check out 'budgeting when you're broke' (even if you're clearly not broke ). I think it's the whole budgeting only what you have, rather than projecting, which is so unusual but seems to make a big difference for people.

    The Ghibli museum is number 1 on our list! It looks incredible. We're hoping to go to Tokyo, but maybe also visit Kyoto for a few days. I'd also love to stay in a traditional Ryokan in the mountains somewhere for a night, that would be a dream (just need to find one that caters for vegans and also lets us in their onsen with our tattoos. We're clearly a bit too hipster for Japan ).
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 6th Jul 18, 9:02 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    Oh, and I just got some money a few weeks early, and managed to squirrel another 300 into the mortgage! our balance is now officially under 195k, I can honestly barely believe it. Without overpayments, we'd still owe more than 200k right now.

    Another thing I'm trying to do now is replace some of my monthly outgoings with cheaper yearly ones instead. I need another bus ticket next month, normally I'd get a 90 day one for just under 200, but this time I'm getting a yearly one for 600 instead. I'm switching my headspace subscription to yearly as well. It's not huge changes, but will add up I'm sure (even though it means we have to spend a bit more this and next month).
    • Runders
    • By Runders 7th Jul 18, 5:53 PM
    • 192 Posts
    • 517 Thanks
    Runders
    Hey Julicorn,

    Big 'whoop whoop' for being under 195K, that is amazing news. I love that feeling of going into the next thousand band.

    The Ghibli Museum is so worth it, my friend and I spent pretty much a whole day there just geeking out. Also it's worth going to Harajuku and seeing all the Harajuku girls and cosplayers, I totally got a free hug when I was there - people stand around with signs offering free hugs. Near to Harajuku is the Meiji shrine and that is absolutely stunning, they often have weddings taking place as well. I'm really tall, and when I was at the shrine this older Japanese Chap just pointed his umbrella at me and started shouting "Amazon Woman", I've never forgotten it.

    I'm not sure if it's easy to find vegan places over there? I know my friend has been to the hot springs and he has a tattoo, I'll try to get hold of him to see where he went.
    MFW Start: September 2014 - 110844
    Current: 89,634.34 Offset: 15.162.13
    74,472.21 until mortgage neutral
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 8th Jul 18, 7:42 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    Thanks Runders! Our next milestone is 190k, which we should hopefully reach by my birthday in October

    That sounds absolutely awesome! Mr Julicorn is super tall as well, and I'm fairly tall and also ginger, so we were saying that at least we should be able to find each other in the crowds

    I think food wise it's going to be trickier than most places, but it seems like it can be done for sure. Most 'normal' restaurants struggle to provide veggie food from what I've heard (even rice seems to be cooked in fish stock and things like that), but then there seem to be quite a few specifically vegan restaurants around in the bigger cities. There are also specifically Buddhist restaurants which are vegan (with a few additional restrictions), so those are apparently a pretty good option as well.
    Would be lovely to hear from your friend as well, thanks so much!

    This week has been a lot busier than usual! I ended up showing around 2 sets of 'friends of friends' from Germany, who just happened to come to Brighton in the same week (well, they were pretty lucky with the weather tbf!). I had been carrying around a bit of a cold, which turned into a mild ear infection, for a few weeks, but then Tuesday/Wednesday it developed into an absolutely agonising tooth ache So I had to go to the dentist, but they gave me some antibiotics and it's much much better now. On Thursday, I went for a murder mystery dinner/lunch with work which was awesome (my team won the trophy as well! ), and then had a fair few drinks and spontaneously played lazer tag with my colleagues. It was such a fun day, but I admit I felt a little rough on Friday . And then yesterday, I ended up spending some more 'fun money' at the Hobbycraft opening here in Brighton. That shop has the potential to become my downfall. Spontaneously decided that I need to add pyrography/wood burning to my set of skills, because why not! Spoilers: It's trickier than it looks.

    Either way, hope you're all having a lovely Sunday!
    MFW start: April 2018, 201,800
    Current: 194,950
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 14th Jul 18, 8:48 AM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    I'm coming to the realisation that we probably have to cut back on our overpayments for a bit. We've got quite a few different savings goals right now (some quite short-term though, like 1,200 for bus tickets between now and October, but those mean that both of us will have annual tickets, so less outgoings for the rest of the year). Between building up our emergency funds, home improvement funds, and saving up for a holiday, I'm not sure how feasible it is for us to keep up with that level of overpayments. Makes me a bit sad though, because I got carried away and did some projections on how much we would save by keeping on paying off an extra 1,200 a month...

    What's also not helping (although I think ultimately it's the right thing to do) is that I've just upped by pension contributions to 8%. My employer pays 5%, and my aim is to get my contributions up to 10%. My parents both started suffering from quite severe heart problems at 56, and I really don't want to have to work until 68 (or even longer).

    It's weird, I know these are all good things to do, and it's not like we're throwing money away, but rather prepare for the future. I still can't help but feel a bit deflated this morning.

    Ah well, we're off to a Greek wedding this afternoon! I'm sure that will be good fun.

    Hope you all have a nice weekend x
    MFW start: April 2018, 201,800
    Current: 194,950
    • julicorn
    • By julicorn 16th Jul 18, 12:05 PM
    • 128 Posts
    • 425 Thanks
    julicorn
    The wedding was really, really great. Ended up seeing lots of my old uni housemates who I had lost touch with - and even better, some of them are back in Brighton now! We've already made a few plans over the next few weeks, there will be so much to catch up on.
    Aside from that, we danced like maniacs to Greek music and ate lots of food. It was a very lovely day indeed, even though the journey home seemed to take forever.

    We met up with Mr Julicorn's family for brunch yesterday, and ended up going to the pub with his brother. Slightly blew the 'pub/bar' budget! But I reckon that's ok. I mean, it's only half way through the month, but I don't really feel like we need to keep going out for drinks this month, we've got enough other fun plans.

    Based on all these 'reunions' this weekend, we've also decided to host a little garden party next month. We've not had a garden since 2012, so should really make the most of the fact we have one now (even though it's tiny).

    So yeah, lots of money spending and fun times ahead, but I'm feeling much better about it now than I did on Saturday.
    MFW start: April 2018, 201,800
    Current: 194,950
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