Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 30th Dec 19, 9:12 AM
    • 4,653Posts
    • 11,861Thanks
    mark88man
    2020++ - smiling and waving and looking so fine
    • #1
    • 30th Dec 19, 9:12 AM
    2020++ - smiling and waving and looking so fine 30th Dec 19 at 9:12 AM
    Hello welcome to my shiny new 5 years (I hope) diary.

    The title is based on my favourite lyric from the Bowie song 5 years - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4bcnO3VQ_fc - I commend you to go and have a listen - its the live Old Grey Whistle Test version and is hauntingly beautiful.

    Why a 5 year diary - well its is significant period for a number of reasons, each reason will lead to some goals which are my targets in this significant and hopefully transitional period

    5 years will bring me (very nearly) to the age when my dad passed - so fitness and health goals
    • Lose 1kg a month to end up at 100KG or under in 2021 and under 200lbs in 2024
    • Steps / Keep fit - at least 3 times a week over 10000 and always over 5000
    5 years is my target to be debt and mortgage free (currently 140K) - budget and financial goals (numbers below)
    • 2020 - clear CC debt (ambitious)
    • 2020 - banish the overdraft and my louche attitude to it - overdrafts are evil not financial lubrication
    • 2024 - clear Mortgage (current slightly aggressive trajectory)
    5 years to be more green (the earth is really dying - another song lyric) - environmental and carbon footprint goals
    • reduce consumption and more recycling (frregle, ebay, whatever)
    • greener personal environment - car / garden / house
    5 years is how long we have the current parliament - so community and volunteering goals to make up for its lack
    • At least one day a month charity or community volunteering
    • Online and ongoing support for activity groups, especially food bank and homeless

    5 years is my target to be retired - organisational and household goals. Not going to make a meal about this, but it is a factor that should be there for us all
    • declutter one trip a week
    • less procrastination - eat more frogs more often
    • Better use of existing utility and work related benefits/coverage
    • Restart an outdoor hobby

    In the great words of the famous and lyrically gifted S'Express
    Enjoy this trip - And it is a trip
    Countdown is progressing
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

Page 2
    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 1st Jan 20, 10:25 AM
    • 6,227 Posts
    • 39,096 Thanks
    in need of direction
    My blood sugar levels tend to improve when I switch to porridge sweetened with grated apple and cinnamon for breakfast. I do make it with cows milk. It’s a relatively small thing but moves things in a plant based direction
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 64761.98 target 65,000 by 05/04/19 Offset fund today 946.16 target 1000 by 31/12/19
    Emergency fund 4266/5.5k & 200/200 cash.
    Weight 24/02/19 14st 7lb now 13st 5lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 1st Jan 20, 11:43 AM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Almost exactly what I had for breakfast, except the cinnamon which would be lovely. Plus I added bran flakes

    Veganuary and Dry-anuary are not going to happen, as 15 minutes into 2020 I had already had a bottle of beer and a ham sandwich - so it goes! But breakfast was vegan so back on the wagon
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 1st Jan 20, 11:46 AM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Happy New Year.
    I am going more plant based this year too. I have lottos weight to lose and think it might help save me and the planet at the same time
    Originally posted by doingitanyway
    good luck with your challenge DIA and a happy new year to you

    I like the "there is no Planet B" slogan that I have seen occasionally. No Planet B and no Plan B just sticking to the knitting and getting it done
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • enthusiasticsaver
    • By enthusiasticsaver 1st Jan 20, 1:27 PM
    • 9,751 Posts
    • 22,874 Thanks
    enthusiasticsaver
    Some great targets there and I think a 5 year plan is crucial. We always did that both in terms of finance (savings goals, mortgage repayment, pension savings etc) and personal ones - home improvements, car replacements, holiday plans etc. Volunteering and being more eco friendly is also good.

    Tackling the overdraft is sensible. Personally we never had one as I could never stand seeing the current account in negative territory.
    Early retired in December 2017

    I'm a Board Guide on the Debt-Free Wannabe, Mortgages and Endowments, Banking and Budgeting boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Any views are mine and not the official line of moneysavingexpert.com. Pease remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to forumteam@moneysavingexpert.com
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 1st Jan 20, 2:11 PM
    • 10,212 Posts
    • 21,300 Thanks
    savingholmes
    All the best with your goals Mark!
    During 2020: Target 1) 25,121 to be repaid in 2020 (0%) Now down to 24,703 Target 2) repay 1450 off (OP 102.51) mortgage now 144872 @1.7% Target 3) Set up SIPPs Target 4) Declutter 52 bags - now done 4/52
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 1st Jan 20, 2:15 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Thanks ES and savingholmes

    As I said in my OP the OD has become a way of life - the first time was the worst but that was 40 years ago - its never truly gone away. First I wouldn't deal with it, then I didn't care, then I couldn't deal with it, but now I am. Not that I've always been overdrawn, but its always been a legitimate buffer as I overstretched elsewhere. but no more!

    To give me a fighting chance I am going to stop my regular savings and pump it into the overdraft for a couple of months to give me a positive buffer. This is both sensible and MSE as my OD is my most expensive debt and will be getting worse, so shifting my debt balances +1K in favour of my bank account and -1K on lower interest savings makes sense as well as being better behaviour
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 1st Jan 20, 11:25 PM
    • 6,227 Posts
    • 39,096 Thanks
    in need of direction
    Isn’t it odd how differently we view things? I’ve been afraid of an od since I cleared one in my early 20s. I was however comfortable with a personal loan and 18k of credit card debt.
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 64761.98 target 65,000 by 05/04/19 Offset fund today 946.16 target 1000 by 31/12/19
    Emergency fund 4266/5.5k & 200/200 cash.
    Weight 24/02/19 14st 7lb now 13st 5lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 2nd Jan 20, 12:24 AM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    That’s very true- although in my case I wasn’t fussy. I’d go with any financial product that would have me. Some worked out some were messy
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • EchoB
    • By EchoB 4th Jan 20, 10:09 AM
    • 23 Posts
    • 70 Thanks
    EchoB
    It’s scary how an OD becomes the norm. To clear mine I used a new current account for my spending money eg food, fuel and personal spends, although my OD was still there I couldn’t see the enticing “available balance” only what I had left.
    I know it’s a bit backwards to create an OD to hold a credit balance elsewhere but each month the start and finish balance was lower, and, because I wasn’t looking at it every day the temptation to further utilise it was reduced.
    • savingholmes
    • By savingholmes 4th Jan 20, 11:15 AM
    • 10,212 Posts
    • 21,300 Thanks
    savingholmes
    I found daily charging forced me to change my habits. I moved the debt to a 0% CC and have managed to stay within the 250 pcm buffer since - and often not touch it at all.
    During 2020: Target 1) 25,121 to be repaid in 2020 (0%) Now down to 24,703 Target 2) repay 1450 off (OP 102.51) mortgage now 144872 @1.7% Target 3) Set up SIPPs Target 4) Declutter 52 bags - now done 4/52
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 4th Jan 20, 12:47 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Report back 001 - for 04-Jan

    Fitness & Health: Starting weight 264lbs, been eating healthy but still using up xmas stuff so probably level. I am going to weigh every week and not in between. Managed 5000 steps every day apart from NYD, have joined puregym which has gyms near all my major work locations which means I can try and fit it in a bit better. 25 a month so not terrible.

    Budget and Financial: Started my plan not to get overdrawn, initially this will be at end of month, but by April I want this to be never knowingly overdrawn. I have set up new spreadsheets based on last years average budgets, but need to think a bit harder about what is achievable. Focus on reducing grocery and entertainment

    Environment & Green: Have done a lot on Freegle and have plans for today outside as its sunny here. With mainly willing help from DS1 and DS2 have decluttered 3 car loads of unwanted stuff from the house.

    Community& Volunteering: Not progressing much with volunteering, but have joined a couple of local facebook groups to get into the swing and make some decisions about what I really want to do.

    Organisation & Household: Am really trying to keep busy and getting on with eating frogs - I'm doing quite well but loads left. Also one of my benefits at work last year was a bike to cycle to work which I had been putting off, I used this to buy a bike which I will try and use to get to the station and may use it for weekend outings
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • doingitanyway
    • By doingitanyway 4th Jan 20, 8:40 PM
    • 5,030 Posts
    • 32,069 Thanks
    doingitanyway
    I'm also thinking of using my bike again. I need new tyres but the money would be well spent and recouped in saved travel costs. Cycling to the station sounds like a good idea.
    If you have built castles in the air, your work should not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them.
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 4th Jan 20, 9:17 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    There are a lot of charities/volunteer organisations that offer free servicing - although I imagine you might have to buy any spare parts. Might be worth looking if there are any locally to you so you can get a check over and be confident in the mechanics of your bike
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 5th Jan 20, 3:23 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Bit more on budgeting. Looking at the total I have to clear this year I had a bit of a wobble about it being achievable. However, if you are short of target its critical not to wait 6 months to start dealing with it, as its then twice as hard.

    So I have revised my budgets for the year as follows
    * Took all the averages for my categories in 2019
    * Removed known one-offs and glitches from the figures
    * Took 10% off all of the variable (elective) ones, and will try and shave costs off the fixed costs eg power
    * Slashed my kids support budget (harsh but see below)
    * Halved my Amazon spends

    I suspect the kids one won't hold but will be significantly less as DD2 leaves Uni, DS2 is now supported by benefits, and DS1 is looking to go back full time

    OH and I are also going to spend everything on our joint account so I can reduce the to-ing and fro-ing I between accounts and reduce the amount of cash/cheques we use

    Together with a bit of luck and willpower this should free up the extra I need to meet my 2020 CC Zero Balance target.
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 8th Jan 20, 10:35 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Report Back 002 - for 08/01/20

    Fitness & Health: Week 1 weigh in 260lbs or down 4 (yay) , although I suspect its different scale syndrome. I'll still take it though!! Have been managing 5000 steps a day but the 10000 are not yet up to target, but will try again tomorrow

    Budget and Financial: A little overdrawn at the moment, but a payment from work is a bit delayed so I will be OK a bit later in the month. Although there is still a lot of month left, will be a good test of my new budget targets

    Environment & Green: more garden and household tidying - its never ending and we are about 5 years behind schedule

    Community& Volunteering: Not progressing much with volunteering, but have joined a couple of local facebook groups to get into the swing and make some decisions about what I really want.

    Organisation & Household: still adding and removing actions from my todo list. But some frogs remain stubborn. Perhaps I should call them toads!!
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • in need of direction
    • By in need of direction 9th Jan 20, 8:40 AM
    • 6,227 Posts
    • 39,096 Thanks
    in need of direction
    Did you watch the Michael Moseley programme on exercise? Apparently it’s not the number of steps that matters but the rate at which you walk
    Mortgage at 01.01.14 119,481.83 today 64761.98 target 65,000 by 05/04/19 Offset fund today 946.16 target 1000 by 31/12/19
    Emergency fund 4266/5.5k & 200/200 cash.
    Weight 24/02/19 14st 7lb now 13st 5lb
    determined to stop defining myself by my mistakes.
    Progress not perfection.
    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 9th Jan 20, 10:47 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    No I didn't - but I am a big believer in the value of high intensity workouts - its just I can't manage them anywhere near what I could even 2 years ago

    so slowly slowly (literally) to start with
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 11th Jan 20, 6:59 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Doing the numbers 2020 tyle - Budget Report Back 001
    • CAR - The new old car I inherited from DS1 is running nicely, looking good to meet budget following good deal on OH insurance
    • CASH - Doing well on no cash
    • CLOTHES - On target - needed new work shoes, but went to Tesc0's not M&5
    • COFFEE - Looking a bit over but a lot of new year socialising
    • CRAFTS - Crafts bit over budget
    • ENTERTAINMENT - No meals and just a few outings so doing well here
    • GROCERY - Really working well, lots of cheaper meals and using up some store cupboard.Especially with some days away this good be the cheapest in a long while
    • HOLIDAY - Holiday expenses will be high this month and next but it is in the annual budget
    • KIDS - Kids all managing their money better post xmas so no demands
    • LIFE - Just focusing on making do with what we have seems to be working
    • AMAZON - Avoiding Amazon largely although DD2 needed a couple of things which was just easiest to use here
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 15th Jan 20, 10:19 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Hi everyone. Hope this isn't too "listy" for you. Quite a lot of same ole same ol going on.

    Targets Report Back 003 - for 15/01/20
    Fitness & Health:

    Week 2 weigh in flat at 260 - haven't got into a regular routine yet. Its very up and down - some days 12000 other days 1200 - have been to gym once, and picked up my bike today and wheeled it to the car, where it still is as I couldn't find a rain cover for it!!

    Budget and Financial:

    A bit more overdrawn at the moment, but the work payment isnt in yet, and I think when that is in and my OH pay goes in I will be in the black

    Environment & Green:

    Still doing well on recycling and careful driving, but freecycling seems to have fallen off. Been very good with packed lunches and using tupperware - get me. Haven't had a sandwich or a take out all year

    Community& Volunteering:

    Nothing to report

    Organisation & Household:

    Have moved from big car loads, to trying to empty out the kitchen cupboards and fridge. Last weekend was a bit of a washout really. I am tackling the frog of the DS1 Van - which we have agreed we will take a bit more of a loss on, but its up on EBAY now and attracting a lot more interest so fingers crossed
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

    • mark88man
    • By mark88man 16th Jan 20, 8:53 PM
    • 4,653 Posts
    • 11,861 Thanks
    mark88man
    Good news on frog busting - in that my overdue payment from work has been paid, so am now very nearly in the black, and in a few days my OH pay will go in and that should be enough to make it through to my payday

    plus the 30 cash I took at at the start of the month still intact - although a chunk of that will go for my monthly Friday evening out with my local friends

    not counting NSDs as such as its difficult on a joint account to line it up so gets a bit dispiriting as my inner geek likes to avoid automatic payments as well which rules out at least 10 days a month
    I think I saw you in an ice-cream parlour - Drinking milk shakes cold and long - Smiling and waving and looking so fine (5 years - Bowie)
    Weight/Health - Fluctuating - much worse than I should be
    End 19: CC:16K@0% - Car Loan:6K@2.8% - Mort:118K@2.1% = 140K
    Decrease in Total Debt 2016:13.4K 2017:8.3K 2018:20K 2018:16K

Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

96Posts Today

1,784Users online

Martin's Twitter