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  • FIRST POST
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 28th Jun 18, 6:28 AM
    • 344Posts
    • 826Thanks
    glass_half_full
    The Piano Diary
    • #1
    • 28th Jun 18, 6:28 AM
    The Piano Diary 28th Jun 18 at 6:28 AM
    Good morning diary and all,

    I recently became debt free after 31 months of debtbusting over on Debt Free Wannabe, following the advice and diaries on this site. Here is my previous diary

    My debt free diary

    I have found keeping a diary really helpful in staying focused and also therapeutic being able to think things through and clarify my thoughts. I want to start a new diary here to signify the start of the next phase of the journey and a change in purpose and goals.
    My household consists of me, my OH, we have been married for 22 years and DS who is 20 and has just finished his first year at University and last but not least the cat who 8 years old, spoilt and pampered! I work at a University in a teaching role and for hobbies do mountain biking, reading and I am learning the piano. The title of the diary is about my goal to ultimately spend less time working and more time on hobbies and interests, including the piano!

    My overall goal is to reach financial freedom and be able to semi- retire/retire and pursue my own interests. I may continue to work, but it will be because I want to not because I have to. To achieve this I need to pay off the mortgage and save enough into pension and savings to allow this to happen.

    Financial Goals
    The mortgage currently stands at £80,000 and is up for renewal in October. My aim is to take out a mortgage with a term of 8 years (by which time I will be 60) but aim to repay it in 5 years with overpayments.
    In terms of the pension, I currently make contributions of 12% but I am increasing this to 18% in a month or so when a pay rise comes through. I have a small number of DB pensions from previous employers and £140,000 in two DC pensions. In terms of savings, we have nothing other than a small emergency fund but the aim is to build these up now we are debt free. I would like to have savings of £5,000 to £10,000 as a rainy day fund. I need to save up for a replacement car over the next 12 months as the current car is 14 years old and is getting to the end of its life.

    Personal Goals
    I have found during the last several months that the money goals are really just a means to an end. For me I want to reach the point in the next 5-8 years where I can step back from the day to day and spend more time on projects I want to pursue just because I want to do them. I would love to have the time for example to write a book, to travel, to do various sports and activities. I also want my OH to have the same options and be able to step back from the work side of things.

    SOA
    I have done an SOA below to help me take stock of where we are. The three adults are myself, OH and DS who is at Uni but lives with us when not there. There should be around £1500 per month available to achieve the financial goals listed above.
    Look forward to sharing the journey with you.

    Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 3
    Number of children in household.........
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 2585
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 1989
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 0
    Total monthly income.................... 4574


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 642
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 0
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 247
    Electricity............................. 112
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 33
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 27
    TV Licence.............................. 12
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 0
    Internet Services....................... 112
    Groceries etc. ......................... 500
    Clothing................................ 100
    Petrol/diesel........................... 235
    Road tax................................ 27
    Car Insurance........................... 65
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 50
    Car parking............................. 0
    Other travel............................ 65
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 38.15
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 0
    Life assurance ......................... 16
    Other insurance......................... 0
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 20
    Haircuts................................ 50
    Entertainment........................... 50
    Holiday................................. 100
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    Newspaper............................... 9
    Hobbies................................. 82
    Spotify................................. 10
    Dry cleaning............................ 13
    Societies............................... 15
    Union................................... 42
    Allowance DS............................ 100
    Cash.................................... 200
    Cleaner................................. 100
    Total monthly expenses.................. 3072.15



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 500
    House value (Gross)..................... 350000
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1500
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 352000



    Secured & HP Debts

    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Mortgage...................... 80000....(642)......3
    Total secured & HP debts...... 80000.....-.........-


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly.. .APR
    Total unsecured debts..........0.........0.........-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 4,574
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 3,072.15
    Available for debt repayments........... 1,501.85
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 0
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 1,501.85


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 352,000
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -80,000
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -0
    Net Assets.............................. 272,000


    Created using the SOA calculator at www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
Page 4
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 26th Oct 18, 6:52 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    We have both been paid and I received a bit more for my work in Germany which is good news. Also found out yesterday that the £900 pet insurance claim has been paid which is a relief. I have been able to build the emergency fund back up to £1800. We have some costs next week which are budgeted for. The treatment for the cat (£700) and a bit of work on the car (needs a new tyre and the bonnet is stuck shut!).
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Oct 18, 10:45 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Today is my 3 year anniversary on MSE!

    I cant remember what drew me to this site and these boards. I have a feeling I was looking for ways to save on the usual household stuff so I was browsing the sites and came across the DFW board. Im so glad I came across the boards and got focussed back then. The debt is gone and now focused on getting mortgage free in 5-6 years. I still have to reign myself back in now and then when I notice I am getting back into bad habits. About a year ago I got a rewards card. My thinking was, well I am spending this money anyway, so I might as well get the cashback for the spending. I set it up as a direct debit to pay off every month. Recently, we had a couple of unexpected costs, and the emergency fund was depleted so I amended the payment to be less than the full balance. And the next step was I started to use it for the odd purchase which I wanted to Ďhideí from myself on the budget. So here we go again. So I have just paid it off and I have cut it up. No more credit cards or loans ever again. Now the emergency fund has been built back up, we will use this for any unexpected expenses.

    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 31st Oct 18, 6:37 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Up early today, my body clock hasnít adjusted to the extra hour yet! Collected cat from the vets yesterday evening. He had the procedure on Monday and then stayed overnight for observation. All seems to have gone well. Not sure if it is my imagination but he seems a bit more sprightly since he got back. Quite expensive overall it has cost £750.
    Car goes in this morning for a new tyre and to get the bonnet open so I can add some oil! Been window shopping on line for a replacement car. I need to focus on building up a replacement fund and then sticking to the budget when the time comes. Too tempting to get a nice shiny car which I cant afford. I need to remember the bigger picture.
    Have to work today, but then I have Thursday and Friday off. Looking forward to this evening!
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 1st Nov 18, 9:04 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    I have the rest of the week off which is great. A new month and the budget is reset. I like the end of the month as it means I can see where I am on everything. The problem with the car bonnet being stuck turned out to be a bigger issue yesterday, and the car is still in the garage since a part needed ordering. After I reached the local station I took a bus and then walked home. Should get the car back later on today. Keeping an older car going means putting up with the odd inconvenience, especially when you are a one car family! I need to build up the emergency fund to £10,000 and then save £10,000 for a replacement car. This means keeping it going for another 18 months. If it becomes unrepairable before then, I would use the emergency fund to replace it.
    My mortgage deal ended yesterday, and now I have moved on to the five year fixed. My remaining term is 6 years and 9 months. I donít think I will be making OPs for a while whilst I save for the above. If I get a windfall or something then I would use that on the mortgage.
    Nothing much planned for the two days. Im going to catch up on some piano practice.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 8th Nov 18, 6:45 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    The car repairs came to £200 in the end, £100 for the tyre and £100 for repairing the bonnet release. In the end it was more complicated with the wrong part being delivered etc and the car was in the garage for 3 days. This time when I collected the car my trusty mechanic said to me that he thinks the carís general condition means that things may start to fail more often now. He thinks the engine may be misfiring and that this might be a bigger problem. The car is 14 years old and has 151,000 miles on the clock. So I have been researching a replacement. To be honest, this car was bought just before or around light bulb moment in November 2015. It really is the last stage of money saving for me since it isnít a very sensible car ie it is a large petrol engine SUV which is uneconomical to run. I have held on to it because its cheaper to keep it than replace. But it looks like the time has come to replace it or accept mounting repair bills and more inconvenience with it being off the road. I have been investigating getting a hybrid. As we live on a hill it needs to have 4wd as I have had to abandon several previous cars at the bottom of the hill due to the snow. The car I am looking at would allow us to do our daily mileage on electric power, and then use a petrol engine for longer journeys. Savings on running costs could be significant ie fuel saving of £150 to £200 per month; road tax £300 per year, insurance £1200 per year so a total of £3,300 to £3,900 per year. So I think it may be a case of spending money to save money. I was hoping to keep the old car going for another 12 months and pay cash for a new car, but I think I may go for a 3 year old car and pay for it over 12-18 months. I will need to get a home charger fitted. Iím also looking at a deal on electricity where it is generated in a sustainable manner. We are going to look at a car this weekend so lets see.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • Hazelnutty
    • By Hazelnutty 8th Nov 18, 9:58 AM
    • 191 Posts
    • 1,002 Thanks
    Hazelnutty
    Sounds like a plan, GHF. I also prefer to pay cash although for the last 2 cars XH and I bought, it was actually cheaper to take out the car finance (as showroom staff were incentivised to sell it) then pay off in full after 6 months or so. They don't like to tell you that this is possible of course but once they have their commission it's no odds to them what you do. Anyway, I only mention as this could be a halfway house for you allowing you to get the car quickly but also get a few months to gather the finances together. Personally I hated it as I didn't want to take out a loan at all but XH rightly said it'd be silly to pay extra. I'm not sure what I'd do now. I'd still prefer to pay cash - I guess it depends on the maths. I'm thinking about a hybrid next too as I do a lot of small trips that are poor fuel economy. But current car is only on 55k miles so has plenty of life left in her, fingers crossed!
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 10th Nov 18, 6:40 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Hi Hazelnutty! Thanks, that is good advice. I may well explore that option when the time comes. I feel like I am going to be forced into this shortly when the current car fails, but I don't want to be making a buying decision under that pressure. Im going to buy something that will enable me to save money in the long term. The car we wanted to see was sold during the week. I have my eye on a couple of others so we may be going to see one tomorrow.
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 11th Nov 18, 7:25 PM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    We went to see a car today and ended up putting down a deposit on it. Our list of requirements mean that we have narrowed it down to a particular make and model. We are going to have to borrow money to pay for it. They will take our current vehicle in part exchange but Im not expecting to get much for it. I would prefer not to, but on the other hand, I intend to keep it and run it for several years. This one is 4 years old and has 40,000 miles on it. We could run it for 6-10 years. I aim to pay for it inside the next two years. In the meantime it will save us money. It wont compromise our other priorities to pay down the mortgage in less than 7 years and make additional pension contributions. In the spirit of transparency, I will report the loan in my signature, and progress to paying it off.
    DS has come home. Its really nice to see him and hear his news. He is enjoying his course and having a great time with his friends.
    Have a great Sunday evening all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 13th Nov 18, 7:06 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Hoping to do the deal on the car this week and collect it not this weekend but next. Need to find out how much they are offering on the part exchange on my current vehicle. My current thinking is to pay it off over the next 12 months as the priority. Then pick up again in 12 months the goal of building up the emergency fund, building up savings and paying down the mortgage. Hopefully the reduction in running costs should help us to do that. Reluctant to borrow money, but on the other hand the savings I have made over the last couple of years in our household costs means we have enough surplus to pay it off quickly. I have updated my signature with the amount so here we go. We are both busy at work at the moment. Only a few weeks left until Christmas and we get a break. This coming weekend we are going to a 50th party for a University friend of OH which should be fun.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 14th Nov 18, 6:35 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Iím hoping to do the deal today on the car. Iím expecting a low offer on the part exchange. I noticed when we test drove the car that the tyres were near their limit so Iím hoping this is a bargaining point. Lets see! Hopefully by the end of today the deal will be done. Ive paid £399 for the home charge point to be fitted so need to take some photos of various electrical stuff like fuse boxes for the installer. I need to arrange that for the next couple of weeks so it is ready when I collect the car. Then lets see if I can make some savings in petrol.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 16th Nov 18, 7:26 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Spoke to the garage yesterday, they have offered me £800 part exchange for my car. This is probably as much as I can expect. I could sell privately but for the extra amount on a smaller value I dont want the hassle. I have gone for an extended warranty of 15 months for £350. I need the peace of mind on a larger purchase like this that if anything goes wrong in the first year of ownership then it will be covered. For the home charger unit, I need to provide photos of various electrical related stuff, fuse box, isolator switch etc. I have done this and e-mailed them and hope to arrange the installation for some time in the next week or so. Then I will be able to charge the car ! We are going to a 50th party on Saturday night which will involve an overnight stay. Looking forward to it.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 21st Nov 18, 7:04 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Today the mortgage payment has gone out taking the balance to £76,149. I like how the payment actually reduces the balance in a noticeable way now. We had a great time at a 50th birthday at the weekend. We stayed over and had a really good laugh and played some silly games and drank too much. Need to do this kind of thing more often. We are both busy at work which is ok but looking forward to a break in a few weeks time. The good side effect of being busy is that we are not really spending much. The budget is broadly on track. I pick up the new to us car at the weekend. I have organised for the home charge point to be fitted at the end of next week. Quite looking forward to seeing how little petrol we can use. I was going to switch to a green electricity tariff with my current energy supplier but it is more expensive and I have a good deal until May 2019 so I will wait until then and try to switch to a sustainable electricity supply then if I can.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 23rd Nov 18, 11:16 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Both OH and I have been paid now so I have been able to update the budget. The budget is settling down and I am getting used to the new levels of everything and finding the balance. There are a lot of things to think about. Iím reviewing the overall situation and thinking through various issues. On the pension front, I have 60 as a target retirement age. I have a spreadsheet I use for this and I think I need to increase my contributions to 20% or even 25% to make this a reality. Then I also want to pay down the mortgage quicker and also pay off the car. When I go through this process I end up coming back to the idea of balance ie donít go overboard in any one direction. I also want to maintain some fat in the budget since I know what it is like when the budget is too tight. So for the time being, I am keeping the pension contributions at 17% which is an increase on the past (12%) but still affordable. I may increase it in due course and of course when the mortgage is gone I can ramp it up considerably. On the mortgage I have increased the regular monthly overpayment from £80 to £200. This will reduce the term from 6 years 8 months to 5 years 7 months. Slowly edging towards my target of 5 years. This leaves us with a few hundred spare in the budget.
    Tomorrow I go to collect the new to us car.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 25th Nov 18, 9:04 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    Collected the car yesterday and dropped off the old one. Must admit so far I love it! Its weird driving it in electric mode as it is so quiet. The dealer I bought it from is 1 Ĺ hours away so quite a drive. I stopped off at a service station on the way home to charge it, just to see how that works. It took about 45 minutes to charge it to 80% and cost £1.74. My home charger gets fitted next Friday so then I can start charging each day. Hoping to see big reductions in fuel costs overall. I will be tracking that over the next year to see how it goes. There is a lot of technology in this vehicle and I think it will take me a while to figure it all out. The tax is also £0. Going out later with OH so she can test drive it to work!
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • the cross rabbit
    • By the cross rabbit 25th Nov 18, 10:44 AM
    • 362 Posts
    • 2,127 Thanks
    the cross rabbit
    We are thinking of getting an electric car in a couple of years (currently saving) so will be interested in how you do with yours.
    CRx
    Mortgage £82,000, due to end July 2036. 18/1/2019 Mortgage £79,150.55
    #67 mortgage free wannabe 2019 £89.79/£800
    • Cumbria lass
    • By Cumbria lass 26th Nov 18, 12:35 AM
    • 2,643 Posts
    • 16,486 Thanks
    Cumbria lass
    Just read your diary , you are making great decisions in your quest to now be mortgage free . Enjoy your car and interested to see how you get on with it.
    CC1 £3140 Jan 2019
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 26th Nov 18, 6:53 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    We are thinking of getting an electric car in a couple of years (currently saving) so will be interested in how you do with yours.
    CRx
    Originally posted by the cross rabbit
    Hi Cross Rabbit,
    Yes, I will be updating about it here so hopefully will be useful to you. I think in two years electric cars will be more common and maybe more reasonably priced.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 26th Nov 18, 6:57 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Just read your diary , you are making great decisions in your quest to now be mortgage free . Enjoy your car and interested to see how you get on with it.
    Originally posted by Cumbria lass
    Hi Cumbria,
    Thanks for that. I'm trying to stay the course, mostly use the diary on here to 'think out loud' my decisions.
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 27th Nov 18, 6:54 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Good morning diary and all,
    Some time ago, about 18 months, I was involved in a minor incident in a supermarket car park. I was slowly reversing out of a space when suddenly another car reversed into me. It seemed very strange at the time, the two men in the other car were in a hurry to exchange insurance details and get away. Subsequently, they tried to go for whiplash etc and maintained it was my fault. Iím pretty sure it was a scam. Luckily I had ticked the box for legal cover. When my insurance came up for renewal in February this year, I had to stay with my current insurer since this claim was still outstanding. Anyway, I called the insurer yesterday and this claim has now been taken off my file since the other parties have withdrawn and so my 7 years no claims has been reinstated. So glad I went for legal cover. This should give me a saving this year and then I can switch in February for a better deal.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
    • glass_half_full
    • By glass_half_full 30th Nov 18, 7:14 AM
    • 344 Posts
    • 826 Thanks
    glass_half_full
    Dear diary and all,
    The fitting of the home charger has been delayed by a week. It has turned out to be slightly more complicated. Apparently when electrical work of this kind is done everything needs to comply with the latest regulations. This means that one of the boxes cant be modified but would need to be replaced. The company fitting the charger needed to order some other parts for a work around which they have explained to me. Luckily this does not come at an additional charge. So we have replanned for next Friday. Its funny I think of this house as being nearly new because when we moved in in 2000 it was 4 years old. Of course it is now 22 years old! Still young for a house. I guess this may be an issue in many homes if/when this work is done.
    Although we are not charging the car at the moment, it still seems to be doing better than the other one for fuel. We used to have to fill up the other car every week and so I know its better already.
    On the car insurance front, I have managed to get the insurer to remove the claim from the record, so I have had the no claims bonus reinstated, which has now raised to 8 years. This has had the immediate effect of reducing the last two monthly payments from £80 to £40. It should mean a much lower quote in February when I renew. I will be paying in as an annual fee to get the saving there.
    Otherwise budget is ok. Christmas on the horizon but we are not going to go overboard.
    Have a great day all!
    Mortgage June 2018 £79,600 I Mortgage now - £74,143 I MFW Target July 2023 I Emergency fund target £3,500 by Feb 2019 I now £1000 I Car loan £17,600 I
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