Tagged: mortgage interest rate

September in a nutshell!

It seems I keep dropping the ball on my monthly sum ups, here we are already more than half way into the month of October before you get an update from me 😦

But you know what they say, better late than never… right? So here goes!

Activities and exercise
Having been ill for a long time, and me now being on a 100% sick leave from my company, I ran into a major bump late august (company related), that unfortunately have taken a toll on my health.  

So my happy average of 6 times a week (that I had during summer) took a crashing nosedive during the month of September, to where I think I just about squeaked by to an average of about 1,5 a week 😦 

Declutter
My decluttering is slowly… sloooooowly picking up again, not quite as much as I hoped, but still, there are a few things that have gone out the door.

I cleaned up some of my medication, and said goodbye to my old vacuum machine. In addition there are a couple of other things that went out the door, that I completely forgot to take take pictures of or even write about. Not really anything big, just some junk, a flowerpot or two, some pieces of clothing ++

Together with the medication and vacuum cleaner, it racked up to about 23 items out-the-door.

Not a lot, but hey.. I’m on my way again 😉

Only buying necessities

I think I’ll change this up a little. Earlier I used to list all my allowance categories, regardless if I bought anything or not. The next months I’m changing that to just mention the categories I’ve spend money in.

Eating out – As most of you know, we seem to struggle with this category month in and month out, so I’m sure it will come as a big surprise (it sure surprised me) that we did “fairly” well during the month of September. we “only” ate out 5 times 🙂 Big shocker, I know!

Now if we can only keep this up for October, we might still have a shot at the overall yearly goal (when it comes to money spent, not the amount of times eaten out.. because that one, we have already failed miserably at).

Buying non essentials – as most years, Christmas sure came early this year too! I think it’s crazy how the businesses start Christmas three months before the real thing. I mean, no wonder people are sick of christmas by the time Christmas actually rolls by.

IKEA tends to be one of the first ones out, and they started to roll out their wrapping papers, ribbons and tree decorations late September. All their good stuff seems to disappear in no time, so if you actually want some, you have to hustle. So guess what 😉

Yep, I got some. I got wrapping paper, ribbons, and a couple of really cool tags (picture below). This time around I went for paper that wasn’t all that typical christmassy. Which means I can use most of it, all year round, for anything that needs to be wrapped. How very “frugal” of me 😉

Financial goals
Interest rates are going down like crazy, which is wonderful for my mortgage, but suck even worse for any money I have in the bank.

I’m thinking, that it’s probably time to “do something”, as the money I have in the bank, won’t be generating much interest after they reduce the rate again, December 1’st.

I haven’t decided yet, between making another extra down payment (like I did in March), or maybe stocks or mutual funds. Hmm, maybe a little of both is the smart way to go. I’ll let you know, when I figure it out 😉

Projects
Well… projects, just like activity, kinda went out the window, except as always I did get to enjoy my garden a little.

Oh yeah, and my stepmom got a small Cinderella Classic Incineration toilet for her allotment cabin. If I ever make or buy an tiny house, this is the system for me, as they have an RV version that doesn’t take a lot of space. Now to the exciting part! Guess who had to install it? Yep, you’ve guessed it 😉

B and me spent a few hours one afternoon. It involved a hole in the roof, some pipes and a few new composite shingles, and then we were done.

There are still a few of bits and bobs left to do at my friends house (the one that recently moved), but we had to put some of that on hold in September. But hey, there are still a few days left of October, so we might have a shot at getting it done this month 😉

Well, I guess that’s it, not much else to tell ya. Better get this out, while there is still a few days left of this month, because before you know it, it will be time for the October update… which, by the way, I promise to be a bit more timely with 🙂

2015-10-19 20.50.04

 

August (and July) in a nutshell!

I’ve done it again! I fumbled the month of July, and here we are, at August’s sum-up. So, once again you will get two months in one post 😉

We’ve had some great days here lately, and as always I’ve been enjoying the heck out of my garden. I’ve also been spending a few days here and there helping a couple of friends with a few things.

So let’s get to it, how am I doing with my goals!

Activities and exercise
My focus is still just being out and about, more than exercise on it’s own. And between picking currants, and other berries. Spending time on my step-mums allotment, planting some plants, tinkering around in my own garden, helping a friend in her new house, walking the streets of London and the streets of my own town, I’m sticking to my average of 6 days a week. 

I’m sure I’ll get into some proper workouts at some stage, it’s just not my focus right now as I’m having enough on my plate with me leaving work, and I’ve had a need to do fun things to keep my mind off it all.

Declutter
I’m still pretty much doing nothing about my declutter tasks. As far as I remember, nothing went out during July, and August only wielded 3 pots leaving the house, when I potted my neighbor’s plants.  Items out-the-door = 3

So what will September bring? It looks like things might be picking up, I’m slowly but surely getting into decluttering again. Not a lot yet.. but I think I might finally be on the roll again (maybe) 😉

Only buying necessities

  • Books – nope, none – which is great for my wallet, and I’m not filling my bookshelves either.
  • Eating out – July we had our trip to England, so we did a bit of eating out during the trip. The rest of that month we didn’t do to bad as we spent a bit of time with a friend of mine, grilling and cooking at her place. The later part of August we are back to really bad, but I’m hoping September will be a better month, as we need to get back into cocking for ourselves.
  • Flowers and plants – 6,  3 tiny small orchids, 3 outdoor plants, two for me and one for my neighbour
  • Buying non essentials – I have to admit I did spend a few pounds in London. So what damage did I do?
    – 1 pair of ecco shoes, 2 bra’s and a couple of Eagle creek packing cubes.
    So why are they non essentials? Well.. I do have plenty of shoes, but I wanted a pair that are good travel shoes and at the same time looks good enough, with nice clothing, so that when I travel, I can get away with this one pair only. My old travel pair, are so worn out that they no longer look good. The bra’s I get at Victoria Secret, and since they don’t have a shop in Norway, and since I’m not traveling to US this year, I figured I should grab a couple, even though I strictly don’t need them… yet! And the packing cubes? I definitely didn’t’ need as I have a bunch from before. It’s just that the new ones are the super, super light type and use next to no space in my luggage.. so I went ahead and got some…

Financial goals
Nothing new really, except, I have been able to save a little extra towards my next mortgage down payment, as I received some stock dividends in August. The money went straight to my saving account 😉  And my interest reduction finally came into play, saving me another few dollars a month on my monthly interest payments… Every little thing counts towards getting that mortgage paid off, and interest saved, is just more money towards that yearly lump sum. How am I doing on that particular goal? Pretty Ok I must say, as I’m a couple of months ahead of schedule 🙂

Projects
As I mention at the top, I’ve been enjoying the garden (as always)!

And I have been working on fixing a couple of areas on my outer garden wall, that had some loose stone. It’s a fiddly process, removing the loose stone, removing the gravel behind, put concrete in the hole and stuff the stone back in. It’s not big stone, so it’s not heavy work, but I have to sit wrapped up as a pretzel doing it (it’s a low garden wall) and my hip only want’s to sit in this position for a very short time. So.. you might say it’s a project in progress… I’m hoping I will get it done this year, but if it spills over to next summer, that’s ok.. the garden wall isn’t going anywhere 😉

What else… hmmm..  I have a friend that moved into a new house a few weeks back, and we (B and me) have been helping her out with a few things, like hanging up stuff on the wall, changing handles on the doors, cutting a piece of molding to fit a cabinet she wanted put in, putting new feet on a piece of furniture.. you know the drill.. all the little things, that is part of moving to a new place 🙂

Guess that is it for August and June!

PS. Tonight is my friends move in party… so if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days.. you know why 😉

May (and April) in a nutshell!

I’m thinking it’s time I get back on the bandwagon, and what better way, than to give you my monthly sum up of April and May – hopefully before it turns out to be April, May and JUNE… 😉

We have had a glimpse of spring on and off during April and May, nothing to really shout about, but at least it’s given us the Norwegians the occasional chance to be outside (unless one really wanted to bundle up in all ones winter clothes). The poor plants have had a hard time figuring out if they really wanted to bloom or not, so everything have been kinda late this year.

April and May in a nutshell!

Declutter
During late March, April and May I did my pseudo packing party, that wielded 194 items out-the-door

Not quite the number I originally was hoping for, but anything is better than nothing.. right? 😉

Activity and exercise
Let me see:

April – averaged 3,75 times a week on activities and about 5 of them was what I would consider a proper workout – even though they were garden and walk related

May – brought out the Skikes and Rollerblades, and had a few trips to see if my body could handle it. Did go better than I expected – that was until I fell and sprained my thumb/hand badly 😦 Oh well.. it was worth a try..  My average on activities in May was the same as April, 3,75 with 5 of them as proper workouts. I am progressing towards my goal for the year… slowly, very slowly.

Only buying necessities
I’m almost on schedule. Mostly food, but as you can see from my allowances below, I splurged a little!

  • Books – still none (I think I’m doing pretty good so far this year)
  • Eating out – Since we have been doing poorly the other months, I decided to be ruthless and the deal was that we were only going to eat out once during the month of April. Now, we didn’t quite managed that (why would I even think so?) We ate out 3 times. For us, this is actually not bad at all.. but I still think we flunked! May is typically a eating out month, as we have our independence day, and there are a lot of other official holiday days. So we are back to bad again.. 8 times this month.. hmmm
  • Flowers and plants – a couple of purchases – it is after all supposed to be spring/summer, even though the weather don’t agree
  • Buying non essentials – yes:
    I bought a picture frame at IKEA, for a poster I bought a long time ago, I have just never gotten it on the wall. I thought it was time.
    And I bought myself a set of bright green Omaggio vases. I know.. not very prudent of me (me decluttering and all), but I really wanted a splash of colour in my house, and I have drooled over these for the longest time.. so I splurged 😉

Other financial goals
Mortgage: No changes, I’m staying put on my current level and only pay interest every month. Good thing is, I just received a note about a 0,20% interest reduction, that will apply from August, which will lower my monthly interest payment even more…

Other activities/projects this year
No specific projects during April and May. I’m sure it won’t be long before one or two pops up though 🙂

Well, that is it, until next time… sometime in July 🙂

A lump sum – 14% worth

In Norway, as with a lot of countries, the interest rates are down. Now this is great news for mortgages (my mortgage interest rate is at an all time low), but is sucks for any money you might possible have in your bank accounts.

I’ve been mulling this over and I have made a decision to pay a lump sum on my mortgage rather than keep that money in the bank.

Now, I have to explain my mortgage conditions to you, so that you see that how this makes sense.

I have a very flexible type of mortgage that you can get if you stay within 70% of the value of your property.

The flexibility is as follows;

  • you decide yourself when, and if, you want to pay on the principal. You can pay nothing one month, and a bunch next month, you can pay monthly, quarterly, every second month, once a year.. whatever floats you boat
  • you do however pay interest monthly, on your outstanding balance
  • you can treat it almost like any other “bank account”, if you need some extra money for a project, you can withdraw funds from your mortgage account, without reapplying and without additional fees, as long as you are staying within your approved credit limit

Now there is one thing abut having this type of loan, one has to be pretty disciplined about it. It is such an easy thing to “use” from the approved credit line, that you need to have your finances under reasonable control, or you can suddenly find yourself “using” more than you planned! And you do have to pay down that mortgage at some time!

Now, me, I’m probably way more disciplined than my bank wishes me to be 😉 as I work really hard on paying down my mortgage much faster than I really need to.

And I just made another dent in it! As my savings don’t generate much interest, sitting in the bank, I just took a bit of a portion of them, and paid a lump sum into my mortgage account. It brings my mortgage down another 14% out of my original loaned amount.

Now I might feel a little more “broke” (well,no, not really, as I still have my emergency fund firmly intact), but it’s the right thing to do. I “lose” money (if you factor in inflation) keeping them in the bank. Putting them into the mortgage instead, saves me one hundred dollars in interest a month, and I’ll take that 😉

So here I am, down to one third of my original mortgage… and it’s only been 8 years. Not too bad if you ask me 😉