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  • FIRST POST
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 9th Jul 18, 3:35 PM
    • 91Posts
    • 275Thanks
    katsoocam
    Long Term Mortgage Free Wannabe
    • #1
    • 9th Jul 18, 3:35 PM
    Long Term Mortgage Free Wannabe 9th Jul 18 at 3:35 PM
    Hello
    I am a long time reader and finally have some time on my hands to write this so here goes!
    I am 34 and just started maternity leave (baby due today in fact!). First baby.
    My husband and I bought our first home last year and have 24 years to go on our mortgage, which is s 2.18% five year fix - we knew we wanted kids in the next couple of years and didn't want to be looking for a new deal while I was on maternity pay. The balance is £310,402.72. We bought a decent sized family home and plan to be here at least 5-6 years, after which we may need to move for hub's work. We scraped together a 20% deposit with significant frugality and overtime, but haven't made any overpayments. We have been restoring our emergency fund and saving up a maternity leave fund over the last year, plus we have a retirement ISA. We both have work pensions too and it is a good scheme.

    Debts other than mortgage....we have a car and some furniture both on 0% finance. We actually have the money to pay for these stashed in the highest interest easy access account we could get, and take the money from the account each month to pay the DD. We have no CC, though we have toyed with getting a cashback one, but have never done it.

    We earn a good salary each and our monthly expenses inc mortgage etc are covered by one of our wages. We planned this for maternity leave purposes. We could have three children in nursery full time and it would still be worth my while to work, just focusing on this one at the moment though!

    However, I would love to retire at 55 which means we need to pare down our debt and increase our savings substantially. Hence my post.

    Would be really grateful for areas to focus on to reduce our expenditure. Thinking about this a tiny chunk at a time, not even even 1% but 0.1 of a % at a time!

    Things we do already: shop at Aldi (and Asda for a couple of bits). Our monthly budget is probably about £150-180 for two adults, this includes all cleaning products and toiletries. Pre move we were spending about £100 so I know we could cut this back a bit, but we have been stocking up the freezer with batch cooks etc for when the baby arrives, so our spend should reduce a bit when we start using that (and we have about four months worth stashed away in the freezer!), shop around for our insurances and for our utilities. We do have the basic sky package but I hustle every time they try and put the bill up, and we do utilise it.

    Suggestions, tools, areas to focus on...all gratefully received!
Page 2
    • Kittenkirst
    • By Kittenkirst 29th Jul 18, 3:23 PM
    • 2,074 Posts
    • 11,349 Thanks
    Kittenkirst
    Congratulations on your new baby girl!

    I have a similar goal (mine is by 51) but we earn significantly less than you two however children aren't in our life plans.

    I love eat well for less, but am often amazed at some of the branded stuffs people buy unnecessarily. I found the Old Style boards great for recipes ideas,substitutions and ways to keep the grocery budget down.

    I'm a big fan of 'tilly tidies' which was named after a forum member. Essentially whenever I can I round down my joint bills account and sweep the odd pennies across to the Mortgage. Depending on how much money we have/where in the month we are depends on whether it's pennies or a few pounds but it soon adds up.

    I also joined the Mortgage free wAnnabee challenge where you set yourself a yearly target and then update monthlyto see how on track you are
    2018 MFW #20 - OP £4229.44:/ £3000 141%.

    Mortgage Oct '16 £170.995 LTV 90% end Nov 2041
    Dec ‘18 £152,838 LTV 74.5%
    Overpayments 2016 £255.50 2017 £2600.40
    Referral codes= Prolific- 8JXN5BVG shopmium- ACEAHKFA Shoppix- 57VB13QH
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 29th Jul 18, 8:23 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    I know kittenkirst I can't ever believe how much people waste on brands either! We get pretty much everything Aldi own brand - except I don't like their laundry stuff. There are a few bits I don't like as much as the named brand but the difference isn't enough for me to want to pay so much more money !!!128514;. We are big bulk cookers, we meal plan and we try and eat meat free 4 days a week to reduce costs.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 30th Jul 18, 4:20 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Been quietly meal planning while Madam is feeding and we need so little this week, as I am on a massive store cupboard/freezer drive in an effort to economise. This is helped by the fact that my Mum left us with a fairly well stocked fridge, including some nice snacks for assisting with night feeds!
    The original plan was my hub Woolf go shopping on Sunday but he said no after we had a really bad night, which turned out well for us as instead we ate leftover quiche, ciabatta and salad lunch, and used up some nice ham in cheese and ham toasties for supper. My MIL and FIL brought cookies and muffins when they came to see madam earlier too. They say having a kid is expensive but so far my experience is that people buy you lots of things! The inlaws brought my husband's Nanny and she brought us £100 for 'baby expenses' bless her! So Sunday was almost an NSD - except we took baby to get weighed at the hospital earlier and so there was a parking charge but only £1.90. Saturday was an NSD. On Friday we treated my folks to fish and chips to say thank you for helping us for the last two weeks. Tomorrow hoping the weekly groceries will be well below £20 though!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 30th Jul 18, 8:18 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Great news, did a meal plan with most nights with something from the freezer, wrote a grocery list and sent DH out to Aldi to go shopping. Even with a couple of treats to help with night feeds, the shopping was £19:10 for the week. Went out when he got back to get stuff for supper tonight and tomorrow out of the freezer in the garage and realised there is loads more than I thought there was. Need to do a proper freezer audit but I think we can eek the prepared meals etc out for a couple of months while maintaining a low spend. A win for the budget as hopefully will have some money left in the joint both of those months we can overpay with.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 2nd Aug 18, 8:02 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Just to clarify my financial goals in order of priority:
    1) I need £12000 for my ISA payments (£940/month) and pocket money (£60/month) until I return to work. Currently all my maternity pay is going towards this. Obviously this reduces £1000 each month. Currently I have 4445.92 (37%)
    2) £20000 maternity leave fund. This isn't for this maternity leave but for future ones, as ideally we would like 1-2 more children if possible, but saving will be harder in view of the childcare expenses we will have and I may drop a day at work. Currently have £12008.38 (60%)
    3) £15000 emergency fund. This is 6/12 living expenses for us. Currently have £5111.47 (34%)

    Now I am on mat leave the priority is these goals in this order. Realistically I should be able to do all of 1) and some of 2) as my maternity pay is decent and because I should get a tax refund for 2018/2019 as I am normally a higher rate tax payer by a fair margin but this year I will only just be over, but wil have paid higher rate tax from at least April-August.

    When this is sorted...hello over payments!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 3rd Aug 18, 8:54 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Massive news and a massive stroke of luck/kindness. My mum was left an inheritance by an elderly relative who died in January. She has decided she doesn't need it and now it has cleared probate has asked for it to be split between me and my brother. We are getting it next week, I don't know how much, but Mum says there will be enough to crack through one of my goals at least! Am really excited about leaping forward with our financial plans.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 3rd Aug 18, 10:42 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    My brother just called and he found out how much it is !!!55357;!!!56904;. More than expected. So updated financial goals:
    1) £12000 for this maternity leave. Will be at 9445.92, so 78.7% of target.
    2) £28000 for future maternity leave fund. The original target was £20000 but I decided may as well save all the money for two more leaves. So will be 20000, so 71.4%.
    3) £15000 for emergency fund. This will be saved and done 100%.

    So need to save/hustle/scrimp for a revised total of 10554.08 this year before we can start mortgage overpayments. We have also agreed to putting some money in a lifetime ISA for retirement (as a guaranteed cash sum vs the more nebulous stocks and shares ISA).
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 4th Aug 18, 4:38 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Just found out have £10.25 in cashback on Topcashback, excited as can further offset some of this month's additional baby expenses.
    • zcrat41
    • By zcrat41 4th Aug 18, 7:28 AM
    • 1,507 Posts
    • 4,150 Thanks
    zcrat41
    Congratulations on your new baby. How wonderful of your Mum to share it down to where its really needed.
    Aim: To o/p the mortgage by £131 pm.
    07/18: £254. Smashed it!
    08/18: £219.31 Smashed it again!
    09/18: £131 Acheived challenge
    10/18 £Target £131 plus £50 into savings
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 4th Aug 18, 9:20 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Congratulations on your new baby. How wonderful of your Mum to share it down to where its really needed.
    Originally posted by zcrat41
    It is really kind of her zcrat42. My brother is using his towards a deposit for his first home. I'm generally shoring up the finances for our family years.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 4th Aug 18, 5:42 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Shop today was £33.91, but that includes 6 days of packed lunch for the hub, and ten days of food for the house, plus a restock of baby supplies! Our month starts on payday which was the 25th this month so we are well on target for our total for the month.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 5th Aug 18, 9:46 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Well after three weeks of the hub being at home with us, he is heading back to work tomorrow. I have been getting very little done and I need to improve. I've been working on it the last two days and discovered it is all about chunks of time - even if she is being fussy, you can pop her down for five minutes and do five minutes of x or y before she needs picking up! Today I have used this approach to strip the bed, tidy the bedroom, put aside my maternity clothes, put a load of washing on and shower and dress. It has taken twice as long as it would have done previously but hey, it is done.
    Today should be my first NSD of August, good job too as I have signed up for 20! My husband starts working in a new place tomorrow so I sent him to sleep in the spare room about 06:45 and I will send him there tonight too, me and missy cope quite well without him at night - mostly.
    Further plans for today: hub is cleaning out the hamsters - we have agreed while I am on mat leave it will be my job after he goes back. Another load of laundry. Supper is easy - frozen fish, small potatoes, frozen veg. I need to find the code that was sent for and get my hub to access his personal tax account to see if there is any to be reclaimed (sadly nothing for me for 17/18 though there should be for 18/19). Then the photos for the thank you cards for our daughter's presents etc have come so I am going to start writing those, one at a time!
    Last edited by katsoocam; 05-08-2018 at 9:48 AM. Reason: Spelling errors
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 5th Aug 18, 7:52 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Been thinking about things I can do to earn a few pennies while feeding DD. Signed up for YouGov and resurrected my Swagbucks account. If anyone has any other suggestions they will be gratefully received!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 6th Aug 18, 2:02 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Been thinking about additional financial goals, how to organise our money going forward (the dreaded childcare expenses, other things like garden fund, car fund, retirement provision etc), and feel a spreadsheet coming on!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 6th Aug 18, 10:26 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Right! Going to stop prevaricating and commit to a small overpayment of £50 per month for August-December.
    Now I just need to earn the money!
    • juliejim
    • By juliejim 7th Aug 18, 6:30 AM
    • 7,575 Posts
    • 151,598 Thanks
    juliejim
    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter

    You have lots of goals and are really motivated so you'll soon have crack this mortgage I'm sure. Just make sure you have some downtime and be aware that there will be times when all you manage to do is look after DD and possibly get dressed! Enjoy her while she's little - they grow up way to fast!
    NST #10 Steps 7K 2/30 10K 2/12 5 a day 3/30 NSD 0/20
    MBNA £5500
    • Busy Mee1
    • By Busy Mee1 7th Aug 18, 6:49 AM
    • 699 Posts
    • 3,262 Thanks
    Busy Mee1
    Just caught up on your diary katsoocam. Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl, enjoy your time with her while she is little. They grow up quicker than you want them to.

    Really impressed with all your financial planning, such a great start to your family life.
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 7th Aug 18, 7:15 PM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Congratulations on the birth of your daughter

    You have lots of goals and are really motivated so you'll soon have crack this mortgage I'm sure. Just make sure you have some downtime and be aware that there will be times when all you manage to do is look after DD and possibly get dressed! Enjoy her while she's little - they grow up way to fast!
    Originally posted by juliejim
    Just caught up on your diary katsoocam. Congratulations on the birth of your baby girl, enjoy your time with her while she is little. They grow up quicker than you want them to.

    Really impressed with all your financial planning, such a great start to your family life.
    Originally posted by Busy Mee1
    Aww thanks guys. She is already changing so much! Today was one of those days where you get nothing done as she has been feeding constantly! I just about managed to feed myself and did two loads of laundry, but I'm very grateful that supper was from a batch cook from the freezer...and that there is at least another two months of dinners in there The diary and planning gives me something to focus on while feeding!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 8th Aug 18, 5:47 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    First chunk of inheritance has come through. Goals are now as follows:
    1) £12000 for this maternity leave. Currently at £6082.81 so 50.69% of target.
    2) £28000 for future maternity leave fund. The original target was £20000 but I decided may as well save all the money for two more leaves. So now £20000, so 71.4%.
    3) £15000 for emergency fund. This is now 100%.

    Another smaller chunk of money is still to come through. Massive relief to have the emergency fund done and dusted!

    At my mother's request we are going to use a small chunk of the money for something fun - a new TV. My husband is very excited about this...actually I'm going to use some pay for this (a semantic distinction, probably, but still).

    So when the rest of the money arrives:
    I will put some for our party £500. It's a big party! We have drinks, we have arranged furniture and BBQ hire, and crockery/glassware hire. We have bought and frozen some food (sausages mostly) when there was a deal in Lidl for some we like a lot, but still need to buy a few more drinks and the rest of the food.
    I'm hoping for a reasonably chunky tax rebate for the year overall. In addition I have included the money we will need for the last 8 weeks of my mat leave in the budget, which is fully paid, because it is A/L. I also will do KIT days which will be paid, and I haven't allowed for those either.
    So this will hopefully allow me to 1) Finish this year's mat leave fund
    2) When this is done buy new TV
    3) Book for a holiday (not sure where) in December
    4) Then save £8000 for future mat leave essentials
    5) Then split remaining money between childcare fund and mortgage overpayments - childcare fund is not for this child on returning to with, but for this child for any further mat leaves I manage, as I want to have the same bonding time with any future babies that I am having with her, so will want nursery for a couple of days a week when I am on mat leave.
    This is turning into a general financial diary rather than being specifically about the mortgage, but I know from reading everyone else's this is generally the case!
    • katsoocam
    • By katsoocam 8th Aug 18, 5:53 AM
    • 91 Posts
    • 275 Thanks
    katsoocam
    Forgot: in other news, have finished the first hand crocheted scarf for a Christmas present (this one is for my SIL). Hopefully will be able to economise this way and reduce the Xmas spend. A colleague destashed 21 balls of expensive wool in nicely scarf sized lots at me for £15 so should get another 5 scarves out of that. So it is all hand crocheted presents and pictures of madam for everyone this year!
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