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Sunday, 10 January 2016

Financial Planning for our Future

My changing jobs nearly twelve months ago had to be given a lot of thought due to the massive drop in my salary.  Not only am I being paid a lot less but chose to work less hours. I wouldn't be able to have done it had we not been frugal. However it has worked out that with the bit of overtime I occasionally do, the extra for doing nights which I do a least once a week, the fact I only earn just over the tax limit and only pay a small amount into the work base pension I'm coming home with just slightly less than I did before. Plus I am a lot happier and feel we have a better work/life balance which is worth more than money.

It is all to do with priorities I think.  Many years ago when we first went for a mortgage my husband was working for an agency, although he had been there for about 2 years his wage was discounted. We also wanted to be able to manage our monthly payments on one of our salary just incase one of us lost our job or if we had a family.  Sadly the family never came but we were able to overpay our mortgage and pay it off early making us mortgage and debt free in our late 30's/early 40's. 

Having no debt was a priority for us.  I see friends and family who having a loan or having a credit card payment each month is just the norm. Other than our mortgage we haven't borrowed money.  We save up for things we need and look after the things we have.  We monitor our outgoings, shop at a discount supermarket, cook from scratch, take a pack up to work and my husband cycles the 11 mile round trip to his work.  We could do more to save money but we feel that we have a good balance in saving some but also enjoying our hard earned money.

As we are both in our 40's now we have turned our attention to retirement.  As we have both earned a lot less than the national average and tbh enjoyed our disposable income we haven't put aside much in a pension pot.  I have a couple of pensions from previous job. So we have decided to invest in a buy to let property.  Getting a mortgage again in a way feels like a backward step and one my husband especially has struggled with. However it is something we have thought about for a few years and felt it was a case of now or never.  A buy to let mortgage is different to the mortgage we had in the past and there has been a lot of reading and understanding to do.  We have put an offer in of a terrace house which has been accepted and in the process of it going through fingers crossed.  It's exciting and nerve-racking.  Decisions still to be made like to we manage it ourselves or pay an agency and there is a bit of work to be done to the property. We have spoken to lots of people who have done it and taken their advice on board.  At the moment we are looking at it being just for two years incase we find it too much as I know not everyone is cut out to be landlords but I am hoping we are.

2 comments:

Mindo said...

HI, I"ve just found your blog and was interested to see that you are taking the plunge and buying an investment property.

We've had a few properties and they have, for the most part, worked out well. If you are fairly handy, have the time and live near enough, I would recommend looking after the property yourself. We've had to pay a management company as we are overseas and, good as they are, we could have saved money by doing jobs ourselves. By maintaining the property it would have helped us to plan for repairs/replacement items instead of sometimes being surprised! However, if you do decide to go with a management property to cut down on your involvement do make sure its a good one. We've been incredibly lucky with ours, they find us good tenants and check the property on a regular basis.

Wishing you luck with your venture!

Rainbowchild said...

Thank you so much for your advice. I am airing on the side of doing it ourselves. Although we aren't that handy I worked for a maintenance department so have trusted contacts there. It is finding the tenants I am concerned about but sure we will fine.