One of the things I have been concentrating on over the last few years has been raising cash for projects. Initially it was to pay off my mortgage and take a year out from work.
As usual in life, especially mine, plans are only dreams until they happen.
The plan to go travelling is now on hold as DH has moved jobs.
The plan to clear my mortgage will be complete in 3 years in June, a full year before I can retire.
This is AMAZING. Five years ago I had no savings. If I wanted cash in a hurry I used a credit card or asked bank of DH. For personal reasons I would rather have borrowed money and pay for the privilege than borrow of him.
Five or so years ago I started looking at my life. What did I really want for ME as I approached 50. Once I had decided I wanted to travel and clear the mortgage it was like someone had switched on the proverbial lighbulb.
I now have the smug bonus of never having credit card charges because I would forget to pay in time. I pay no interest on my spending because I pay off in full every month whatever I put on credit cards. I then get a bit of a bonus because I only use cards that give me rewards which I can spend. So good all round.
This year I have managed to claw back from insurance companies about £400 and Child Benefit about £650 plus all the bits I have as rewards from surveys and cashback sites. It amounts so far this year to three months mortgage payments equivalent.
I have also been consistently able to save about a third of my monthly wage, even managing to save for the first six months off sick from 2015 to 2016. One thing I didn’t worry about was money while I was off. This is in sharp contrast to my previous experience 18 years ago when my back gave up the ghost after having my DD.
It has took a lot of hard work and some scrimping on my part but I have managed to save enough now to pay off a chunk of mortgage and still have enough savings in the bank to last me 6 months if I lost my job tomorrow.
I think the reason this has worked is that I have been consistent with saving a regular amount as soon as my money comes into the bank. I have an allowance (fun money) which although I am not rigid about I spend about the same each month.
If I had known when I was a teenager what I know now I would have cleared my mortgage a long long time ago. In fact I could have bought a property outright on how much I earned in the two years before I left home at 19 years of age. That factory job, babysitting and fruit picking money added up.
The thought of being completely mortgage free in a few years plus saving all that interest I would have paid makes me very happy. It has given me choices I might not have had.
I am now educating my children to think about saving a regular sum, even if it is only a few pounds. That an emergency fund is a neccessity not an add on. That they can have fun and save.
This is especially important for my DD who goes off to university in debt before she has even started. She has accepted it easily and didn’t want us to pay but I don’t want her to be weighed down by it for the next 25 years.