Tuesday, 22 July 2008


We decided to have another go at selling our flat.

Last year we had it on the market for 6 months and dropped the price 3 times. Eventually we withdrew it from the market at the end of last year at the start of the credit crunch.

I've been feeling very antsy recently, I think we would have more flexibility if we sold the flat. I would have more peace of mind if we sold sooner rather than later. It would facilitate a smooth transition to the escape plan.

Had two estate agents round today, all doom and gloom. One made me feel really bad with stories about vultures trying to cash in on distressed sellers by offering tens of thousands less than the asking price. One story they told me was about someone who had taken 100k less than asking, another couple 60 k less....

I explained that we were not distressed sellers, we did not HAVE to sell now, but preferred to do so. I just want the damn equity from the place and I want OUT OF THE MORTGAGE. I want it gone. We can rent a place for HALF of what we are paying on the mortgage. All that extra money can be saved in readiness for the escape, not to mention the extra money we would gain on interest from putting the proceeds of sale in the bank.

I started to feel very stressed and I actually felt sick. Sometimes I wish we had never bought the flat. At the moment it seems like a huge obstacle blocking the escape. A giant money pit

Nothing is going right lately. Nothing at all.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Fed up

I'm fed up.

The escape seems such a big project, sometimes I wonder if it is all worth it.

I'm fed up of the office and I'm fed up of living in the city.

I'm fed of doing contract work. For the last two weeks i've had a chest infection. I am not well - what pisses me off is that if i dont work i dont get paid. Being the money grabbing person that I am I dont take time off, or much of it anyway.

Why do I have to be unconventional? Why cant I just be happy with my lot,

Yesterday I went to see a client in Yorkshire in the train. I saw a place that I had never heard of, very green, rural and less than 30 mins from the city. I told DH about and I started to get very excited. The cost of living would be a lot less than the city.

But, I dont know where I will be working in a few months time. Never mind what office, but what city? The liklihood is that I will have to work in another city, the market here is very tight at the moment.

I want to escape. Now.

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Security is.....

I love this quote from vandwelleruk.co.uk:-

Security is ACTUALLY "The independence and ability to withstand change which is going to happen ANYWAY."

I couldn't have said it better. To put the quote into context vandweller opines that security is not found through the conventional working the job for 30 years and a big bank account. Rather, it is the ability to deal with and get through what life throws at you.

The quote sums up just how I feel at the moment.

Friday, 11 July 2008

I need to find a new job....

Today I had a meeting with my line manager at the firm.
He said that he had been told by the bosses that I wouldnt be required at the firm beyond September. He said that it wasnt his place to give me notice but he just thought I should be aware in case I wanted to make alternative arrangements.
I was slightly confused as this was all very vague. I appreciated the advance warning and guessed that I was probably on the way out anyway.
I tried to clarify exactly when he thought they would get rid of me and he said he didnt know, probably september some time.
Dilema. Do I stay put until they give me my one week's notice in september - or do I look for something else now? Aww, this is the part I hate about locum work - finding a new gig!

Friday, 4 July 2008

Why I keep a mortgage...

I have enough cash savings to pay off my mortgage and still have a bit left over.
But I wont.
Personal circumstances and lifestyle practicalities dictate that DH and I should not pay off the mortgage. Having the savings liquid (or semi liquid) fits in with our requirements.
Firstly I am a contractor, so I have zero job security. DH has a permanent job but it will never be the type of role that is a "job for life". If his employers want him out he is on one months notice. Yes, if he was dismissed unfairly he could file a claim for remedy in the court system but lets be realistic, owing to the principle of mitigation of loss he would not achieve that much more if his claim were successful.
There are so many uncertainties in life today. What if one of us is ill/cannot work/cannot find work etc, we need a financial cushion. We also like freedom to travel. Liquidity gives us freedom and more choices.
I think sometimes that the idea of paying off one's mortgage is overrated. Even if the mortgage is paid off, one still needs an income to pay bills/buy food etc.
I think it really does depend upon personal circumstances. We do not want our present home to be a permanent primary residence, therefore to throw all our cash savings at it now would be too restrictive. Yes the mortgage would be paid off, but in today's economic climate we may not be able to sell it at a time when we need to release the equity.
We plan to lead a semi nomadic lifestyle for the next several years so for us it suits us to keep the mortgage, at least until we sell, but that's another story....

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Taking control of finances....

It constantly amazes me how little attention people pay to money.
Perhaps I'm the odd one. I confess that I think about money a lot. Some people don't think about it at all. Some people don't plan at all.
I think that lack of organisation and financial chaos often go hand in hand.
I had the opportunity of discussing finances with a colleague recently. She confessed that she has lived in a constant financial mess. She also mentioned that she does not plan ahead with anything including finances and seems to be bouncing from one crisis to another. I really wanted to help her but I did not want to appear a know it all or appear overbearing. So I just said that I found that the best tactic was to set a budget, and to write things down.
When will people realise that it really is a case of "your money or your life"?

From two incomes to one.

In October 06 I left my permanent job.

I did not have another position to go to, nothing, nowhere. I hated my job. I felt that I was trapped and I realised that I would have to leave the job to move my life forward. My head said it was a bad move, my heart said I was desperate to go.

My colleagues thought that I was crazy to leave a job without having another job to go to.

I was able to leave my job because we were financially disciplined. We did not have any consumer debt, neither did we live an extravagant lifestyle. We don't have any children.

I was determined that my lack of a job would not mean that we had to use our savings. In short we learned to live off my husband's pay alone. It was a tremendous learning experience. It was not difficult. At that time I wondered then why we hadn't done it before. I thought of all the extra money we could have saved if we had done it before.

In January 07 I started contract work. I have never looked back. We still live on one pay check. As a result we are in the fortunate position that we save a large chunk of money every month.

Those few months of being unemployed were really worth it. Such a valuable life lesson was priceless.