Standing (and dancing in the rain) on the mountain top!

 Hi everyone,

It’s the end of the month. We sat down together and we did what we always do. First of all, we took all of the money left in our current accounts and we moved it to our last debt, an interest free loan, into which we transferred the balance of our home loan. For the rest of the day, our current accounts are empty. But guess what? There was plenty of money left in them as we haven’t been any where that’s cost us anything, or spent more than about £20 on personal items in a month. It’s been a squeaky tight August of not spending, but we had money left in our accounts. Well, we did, until we moved it to our last debt.

We’ve then checked the totals of all the direct debits that we will pay tomorrow for all of our bills. We will know exactly what is left to go into the transport account to get me to work for a month and pay for DB’s train pass. We’ll move the exact amount of money we allow ourselves for food for the month into our ‘everyday account’ and the rest………………is going to clear the balance of our loan! It’s taken a few squeaky months but by 6pm tomorrow night, we will be debt free other than our mortgage. It’s amazing what living off £250 a month for almost two years can do to make you steely and determined!

 Now, let me tell you what I am going to do with my money! I’m going to save, save, save! Almost all of the funds from my snowballed debt debits will now go into saving funds and mortgage overpayment funds. We’re going to continue feeding and clothing ourselves on £250 a month! Oh yes, in short, nothing is going to change! I’m going to set myself personal targets for paying off mortgage capital, which at the moment is £500 a month, but I’m hoping to add to that every month.

 We’ve managed to not go grocery shopping this week as the fridge, freezer and cupboards are well stocked and we’re going to make it to the end of the week without spending our grocery money. I’m doing this so I can get some new work shoes (I’ve hunted high and low in the charity shops and can’t find any) and I’ve ordered some new smart clothes from Matalan with a 20% discount code – style20 – until Sunday 4th! So I can top up my working wardrobe. We’re also managing to save already and add to the fund if we spend it. On the issue of spending savings, you have to set a limit of what you want in a savings account. If you spend any, and from time to time you will have to, make sure that you don’t spend again until you’ve topped up your savings account to the limit you previously set yourself. Now we’ve done some work on the house, we will just add to the savings and not spend anything until we’ve returned to our set target. It means you always have to wait for what you want. You can’t get a new coat just because you ‘need’ one, but you have to make do until you can afford one.

 Today, I was reading Angela’s blog ‘Tracing Rainbows” as it’s one of the many blogs I like to read every day. I don’t want to sound like one of the people that Angela described in her remarks about meanness and being miserly, but today I’m feeling wonderfully skint, delightfully penniless, brilliantly brassic! It’s just lovely to have not a penny in my current account! I delight in being a tightwad as I don’t want to be like everyone else. I will continue to celebrate cheap and healthy eating, low cost celebrations, cooking at home, jumble sale and charity shop finds, car boot bargains and where and how to get the best prices.

I will continue to make jam and cakes for presents, I will continue to not flush the loo, to not turn the heating or lights on and by doing so I will continue to live well within my means. I will continue to set a budget and stick to it. I will continue to write menu plans and shopping lists. I will continue reading my utility meters every Saturday morning and I will continue drying my washing outside! I will continue walking and cycling every where to keep fit and keep costs down. I’ll continue wearing these comfy old sandals as there’s nothing wrong with them, I’ll continue moving forward until I achieve my dream of downsizing, whenever that will be.

I know so many of you will think ‘You’ve done it’ but I haven’t. I have got to the mountain top and I can indeed see the promised land. All I’ve really done is make it to the highest part of the struggle I’ve had to overcome so far. I don’t know what lies ahead. The boiler may blow up and the car may break down tomorrow.  I’ve danced in the rain for a short while, and I know there are those who have to be careful for ever more as that’s all there is….such as a pension. I know I have the option and I’m really really lucky now to be able to save. But, I can’t afford to ever go back to spending money that I might need later as we don’t know what later has in store for us. 

Now I hope to pay off my mortgage. I daren’t even say how much it is, or how much I hope to pay off a year! But the challenge for that starts as soon as my savings account is topped up again. The frugality, or to use Angela’s far lighter description, the thriftiness continues.

Until tomorrow,

All my love, Froogs xxxxx

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41 thoughts on “Standing (and dancing in the rain) on the mountain top!

  1. Congratulations! All that self discipline has borne fruit. I tend to think of you as thriftier than me but when I read “feed and clothe us on £250 a month”, I thought, “That's us!”

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  2. congratulations and well done. we are about £5oo off clearing our debt, the feeling is great. I would never of thought this time last year our debt would almost be repaid. For me the thrifty lifestyle has to continue otherwise old habits would resurface and I could find myself in debt again. I dont want that to happen.

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  3. Good for you. I read your blog most days and usually learn something. Part of me thinks you should treat yourself – have a splurge but the other part of me thinks you are so so right x

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  4. Oh hallelujah and hearty congratulations Froog, for doing so well on the repayments! And no, I would NEVER describe YOU as 'mean and miserly' – your blog is one of the brighter 'nifty and thrifty' ones that I delight to read. Yes, you'll go on being frugal, even when the mortgage is paid off – but you will also go on being joyful and generous with it. Thanks for all the encouragements that you bring to those of us who real FQ each day – and thanks for the mention!
    Joy and blessings be yours xx

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  5. Congratulations on being debt-free! (except for your mortgage). It is a wonderful feeling and you'll never want to go back to things as they were. You have accomplished a lot, and I want to be the first to congratulate you!

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  6. Wow congratulations, what an achievement.I know you will succeed with the mortgage over paying.
    Yesterday was a milestone day for me as well.I hda my silver wedding anniversary.Lots of thinking and reflecting was done over what had happened over the last 25 years.I worked out i have had a mortgage since i was 18 so have now been paying a mortgage for 27 years.We had an endowment mortgage that went pear shapped so had to start again 11 years ago.So should have 14 years left but hoping with snowballing to have it paid off in 7 years.I look forward to simple pleasures that being debt free and mortgage free will allow me.peace of mind,,,
    Well done and roll on 6 pm
    x

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  7. I think that picture at the end sums it all up. Joy at having reached the goal and looking out across the rest of the journey knowing that the mountain can be scaled.

    Congratulations on not just getting to the mountain top but also for helping those of us who were stuck around the foothills.

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  8. What an absolutely fantastic feeling that must be, FQ. And, although your frugalness has clearly become a way of life, it is still humbling that you are determined to carry on with that same lifestyle choice. Well done you.

    Regards, Sooze

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  9. bloody well done you. I have been recently directed to your blog by my sister in law, and we both massively admire your approach to frugality. I have been trawling your archives on the food front – brilliant, you are an inspiration.

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  10. No I'm sure you would never take 50p marked down flowers to a funeral, you have much nicer ones in your garden 🙂

    An absolutely massive congratulations its been incredible following your journey out of debt but I have a feeling that this new part is going to be even more inspiring xx

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  11. Hi Froogs,

    I am one of your silent readers but after todays post, felt I had to comment..
    I am recently “trying” to embrace frugal living. Any clothes I buy are 99% of the time in the sale, when shopping I ALWAYS buy whats on offer (washing powder, orange juice etc) and don't just stick to my usual brands. It's a small start but it is a start and it's something I feel the need to do as we have two teenagers who are becoming more expensive to keep as the days go by…

    My Hubby has always been good in that he likes to have a “little pot” for a rainy day (when we were younger with not much money at all, that “little pot” was a secret tenner in his wallet”!! But still he always had something.

    We have been married for 20 years in Sept and over that time I have badgered him on occasions to add to our mortgage to do various home improvements but he has always stood firm and whilst we have done everything to the house we've wanted, it has taken 12 years to do it, as we've saved first and then done the work! Now, thanks to him, we are in the lovely position of hopefully, being mortgage free this time next year.

    However, I will still continue to watch the pennies because of the on-going expense of the Kids!! I've got a feeling that they are going to be with us for a long time (love it really) as how they will ever be able to get on the property ladder, Goodness only knows!!

    I love reading your blog everyday since I came across it – you are a real inspiration!

    Love Lisa x

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  12. Froogs, congratulations to you and Mr froogs, you have done so well and I know you will reach your goal.

    It does help to have a partner with the same mind set. Mr SS agrees with everything I want to do and then asks for something thats not included in our budget. It drives me nuts I feel at times as if I am paddling against the tide all the time.

    I will get there but its going to take time. I went shopping this month after doing a freezer audit, total cost of my shopping from Tesco and Aldi was just under £60, so I have £40 in my purse for a 'top up' of the veg and fruit that does not come from the veg garden. Just now I am making raspberry jam like its gone out of fashion, am running out of jars.

    Give yourselves a pat on the back…as thery say in the advert, you deserve it!!!

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  13. Wonderful and motivating post.

    Our only debt is mortgage and we top it up every week. We continue on a frugal life too and now that I have lived it I don't want to ever change back to spending everyday on stuff we didn't need.

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  14. Yay – congratulations to you! I know you're not 'done' but how fantastic to have financial choices instead of debts hanging over you. I am sure this will inspire people who are struggling with debt by showing them it can be done. I am very happy on your behalf and look forward to hearing about your adventures in saving!

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  15. Congratulations and well done! – I can imagine how you're feeling today, I made my last mortgage payment in June after 35 years of making that payment every month and the feeling is brilliant – Keep going you'll get there

    xx

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  16. Well done Froogs, i have followed for quite a while and i am totally inspired by your blog. I wish you every luck in clearing your mortgage. I would certainly call this a 'Mountain Top' moment and all your training now inspires you to go on an conquer the Everest that is your Mortgage.
    Gill x

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  17. This is really marvellous news – a job very well done!

    You have kept the faith, and now you can reap the rewards. I went on the same journey, at your age, and I can tell you that there will not be a day that passes when you are not gratfeul for the choices that you have made.

    The good news is that it is easy to save money when you know you could spend if you like! Somehow, because you have the choice, choosing to put the money away is a breeze.

    If the choice is between paying for a fleeting pleasure or bankrolling your dreamn, the dream always wins.

    Again, many congratulations.

    Jane

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  18. Great blog FQ! I have a question that is kind of related but not really! I love your image of the guy on the mountaintop and would love to use it for a training I am developing for work (the way he looks like he is going to step off the edge is something I can't find in any stock photos I have). Does this image belong to you, or if it is a stock photo, can you remember where you got it from?

    Thanks for your help!

    Fern

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