I’m starting 2017 in a state of flux because so much is up in the air. What happens from here? How will we manage our mortgage/bills and what are my plans for the future?
It’s a question I’ve been asked quite a bit over the past few weeks or so, since we finally got our letter and confirmation from Ulster Bank that we were indeed on the wrong interest rate for about the last 6+ years. We have been wrongly charged, we know that we ended up in arrears, needlessly for a substantial part of them.
What will we do?
The simplest answer is that we have to wait. Which is true. What has changed from before the letter is that the rate on the amount that the bank says we owe has moved downwards, and closer to the ECB rate. That’s a saving of in and around €300 compared to what we had been paying up to the beginning of December.
The bigger picture is that because we were charged the rate for so long, and we ended up in the mortgage arrears process, the amount we pay still has to be revised further downward. The bank have to adjust the compound interest they applied to our account, and figure out whether or not we should have been in the arrears process at all. It’s all up in the air.
We actually don’t have a date for this to happen. We know that the bank will write to us in March to give us a time-frame of when this will happen. In the meantime we’re still paying too much for our mortgage, and we are in limbo really until then.
What will I do?
The bigger question. Ever since the scale of the overcharge on our account became apparent it’s been like my very foundations have been shaken.
Fundamentally, I’ve been blogging on a budget because of our mortgage woes, and we were trying our very best to pay as much as we could for the house we live in. It is so strange to acknowledge that I might not have needed to do this. That my core values have been forged in a fire that was not entirely of our making.
All this time, I’ve been beating myself up over the situation we found ourselves in. I strove to find a way out of it. The financial and emotional stress has taken a physical toll.
I am not a New Year’s Resolution type of person but it so happens that a little bit of extra money in the house means I have the privilege of making some choices for the year ahead that I wouldn’t normally be able to do. The initial change in the mortgage repayments fall in January and this is why I have a list now, but if the change happened at another date in the year I would make resolutions then!
There are two parts to this resolution. The first is that I’m going to find the money to go back to Yoga, not because I’m on a mad health buzz but because I flipping love Yoga, particularly Hot Yoga. I feel amazing after a class, it’s great for my core balance, flexibility, and all around mental health. I will find a way to make this happen within the next few weeks.
Secondly, last year I took part in the Dublin Women’s Mini-Marathon at short notice because my sister wasn’t well enough to participate (as a walker). I finished with a ‘jogger’ qualifying time but because I used her registration number I don’t qualify to jog this year in my own right. This means I have to run a qualifying time in a race in the next 4 months or so in order to get a jogger number. I’m determined to jog it this year. Last year was my first Mini-Marathon ever and I found it incredibly empowering. Definitely something I want to do again this year.
Around The Twist
I still haven’t passed my driving test. This has to be sorted. I really need to be able to drive for personal and professional reasons. Now that we have a little bit of extra money in the house there’s no more excuses. We need to get the car through the NCT and then hopefully I can start saving for a replacement that better meets the needs of our family. As the boys get older it’s become more and more cramped for the teen on the back seat, despite having seat-belts etc for them all it’s still sardine-style travelling in our car.
No more dithering. It’s not going to be a surprise to many that I’ve been working on some new books. The aim this year is to progress them further. I’m just going to leave it there. 😉 There’s a culinary book (or two), a fiction book, and a non-fiction book. If I could get one or two of them to pitching/editing stage this year I’d be absolutely delighted.
I mentioned above I wasn’t well last year. Truthfully I’m still having issues and therefore one of my goals in 2017 will be not to eat after 6pm. This is going to be a difficult one given that I work with food but it makes a big difference to my well-being and ability to sleep restfully.
The allotment was neglected quite a bit with me being unwell, which seems daft because it’s the one place that offers me healing and nourishment everytime I’m down there. More allotment time is definitely needed this year.
I think I need a lie down after all of that. It actually seems kind of overwhelming when I write it out but I think most of it is fairly achievable. I’ll let you know how I get on!