How to budget for a new move and make a spending plan for 2022, with guest co-host Sally Mitchell

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How to budget for a new move and make a spending plan for 2022, with guest co-host Sally Mitchell

“I would say when you know more, you do more and when you know better, you do better.” 

Sally Mitchell

An introduction to our podcast guest Sally Mitchell, an incredible force of energy on The Mortgage Mum broker team.

Based in Dunmow in the Essex countryside, Sally is the founder of Sally’s view on YouTube which is hilarious and so refreshing. We are very lucky to have her on our team.

Sally’s got an incredible, diverse background in recruitment and property development, art and fashion and has always had a keen interest in property. She’s renovated and refurbished homes and has lived in the UK, Spain and the US.

Being the new year soon, it’s a really refreshing time to reset finances and go into the new year with some new habits and in this episode of The Mortgage Mum Podcast we talk about how we found each other as well as budget planning for our clients. We talk about how you can really effectively budget plan for the year ahead, for you and your family. We also talk really openly about life as a broker, her love for art and fashion and how she’s even solved a few arguments in other people’s relationships!

Listen in above, or read on for a summary of Sarah’s interview with Sally Mitchell. Listen in if you can, as her energy and sense of humour is magic and so uplifting…

Tell us about yourself and your story, Sally.

Where to start! I’m a little bit older than your average Mortgage Mum. I’ve had quite a varied career from recruitment and fashion buying, a gallerist, buying art. I’ve lived in America. I lived in Spain. There’s all sorts of things I’ve done.

I’ve had two children, I’ve been a wife, a mum, daughter, a friend and now at my grand old age, I’m a mortgage broker and I did not see it coming! I did not see it coming

How, and when did that moment happen?

Well, I blame my brother and a little bit of fate and perhaps that brought me to Sarah.

And my brother is in the financial publishing arena. I was saying to him that as my children were getting old, I really needed a ‘proper’ job. It was my time to do something for myself that I would be able to fit around family commitments.

I was in recruitment and I loved helping people, but I also love the sales side of it, and getting a deal done. And it’s probably not really the sort of thing that maybe you want a broker to say, but I think that drive is really important because it’s what makes you get the deal over the line for your client.

So I was moaning to my brother about how I haven’t worked property for 20 years and he said, ‘you should be a mortgage broker, you like the chase of the deal. You love helping people. You like to talk’.

And it just so happened that his publication had run a feature on Sarah Tucker and The Mortgage Mum. Years ago I worked in a company that was 99.9% women. So I actually quite liked that vibe and once I had read the article I became really interested in becoming a mortgage broker.

Speak to an expert

We will work at times that suit you and your family, carrying out appointments via video call, telephone or email, giving you the benefit of first class service, around your own schedule, and in the comfort of your own home. So let us handle your mortgage today and find out how well we can look after you, The Mortgage Mum way!

How long does it take to become a Mortgage Broker?

Around 6 months to a year, depending if you want to do it quickly. You can do a fast track.
I got my Cemap books and I studied, and then I discovered Paul Archer who does a boot camp for mortgage brokers and it was so helpful. It was collaborative. It was informative. It was fun. It was broken down into bite sized pieces. It was just brilliant. I got qualified and luckily there was a spot for me at The Mortgage Mum just over a year ago!

It’s so inspiring as a story. It doesn't matter what stage of life you're at, you can always choose again.

Exactly. I looked at my life unfolding after spending so many years bringing up children and I thought I’ve got so much that I can give and so much that I want to really achieve, that feeling of self worth.

What has been your favorite moment of yours?

A client really rung me in such a state asking for my help and within a few minutes I’d made him calm down and really laugh. He actually said my help would have saved his marriage (in jest!). That’s just one example of many funny conversations and happenings!

Spending plans: tell us what our listeners need to be thinking about.

There’s two sections. There’s trying to borrow enough money to buy the property you want but it’s really, really important to try and work out whether you can actually afford what you want, and they go hand in hand.

And I think sometimes we forget that that’s a really, really important part – that affordability – and that’s our job to try and assess that affordability. The easiest way to do that is through a spending planner or budget planner. So I dive quite deep into it because I always say, especially to first time buyers, to not get carried away. The dream is you’re in your home, with a quality of life.

Many really underestimate what they spend and what life costs. It’s not always that they’re being flippant with money at all. Life costs a lot of money. So I think it’s a really important start because there’s no point getting a big loan. If you can’t afford it with your lifestyle, it’s just going to make you miserable. It’s not good brokering. It’s not responsible lending. It’s my job to make sure that the balance is all balanced through.

So where do people start?

Part of our role is education, because we are meant to be the experts. I don’t expect anyone coming to me to know this stuff. I would start with, what’s your committed expenditure, things that you have to pay, things that if you don’t pay someone will come after you. So that’s loans, credit cards and overdraft.

You’ve got to think of yourself sitting in your new home and what bills are coming in – electric, gas, council tax etc. Suddenly you’ve got all these extra expenses coming out of your salary that you’ve never had to budget for before. I’m very happy to help the first time buyers research what’s the average electric bill for a two bedroom house, I go on the council website and work out their counseling tax etc.

So it’s really important to do the budgeting or the spending based on what you’re going to be paying out in your new home. People think they’ve got loads of disposable income but once those bills come in, you haven’t. So keeping the roof over your head, food, all the utilities – the lights, the heat, the power – your car, your insurance, train fares, parking etc.

I look into the future at what might change in their expenditure. Might they get a promotion at work or earn more money? What do they want to do? Are they going to have children? Is one of them pregnant? Is there going to be a need for paid childcare? What happens to the job? If they’re off on maternity leave, how will that affect their income?

And therefore, if the same expenditures are going out, it’s going to affect the affordability. There’s so much to it. And then when you go past the essential, you come onto the luxury or choice or whatever you would call it – the fun bits. Going out for dinner, weekends away, Netflix, etc. This makes a difference to life and shouldn’t be ignored. I have clients that say they can do without the fun stuff, but happiness is also important…

A mortgage broker is somebody that I would like to think you would listen to. Use the expert advice. I’m not telling you how to live, but I’m just pointing out what could potentially happen.

How does that go down? Are your clients grateful for that?

I haven’t had any complaints! I do think of our role as being slightly as educators, it’s really important to have these slightly uncomfortable conversations. We have a funny reaction to talking about money. I don’t know whether it’s just in this country or whether it’s generational. I think the younger generation are better. They’re a bit more open.

So once you start talking, people open up and they’re actually quite grateful because it’s a brilliant exercise. I always say that even if you don’t go ahead and get a mortgage immediately, because you haven’t found the right property or circumstances change, it’s a really good exercise to do. When you know more, you do more and when you know better, you do better.

When it comes to spending, especially because we all spend money and you are cross with yourself, but it’s so much easier when you’re costing yourself to look at the person next year. Well, it was probably you or those habits that you kind of live with. You end up getting annoyed when it affects your mortgage application potentially.

Speak to an expert

We will work at times that suit you and your family, carrying out appointments via video call, telephone or email, giving you the benefit of first class service, around your own schedule, and in the comfort of your own home. So let us handle your mortgage today and find out how well we can look after you, The Mortgage Mum way!

Where can people start a spending plan?

Obviously we can give out a budget plan, it’s a really good tool, really good tool.

Going into the new year is a really good time to do it. I get under a blanket. I’ll make sure I’m really cozy and comfy so that I’m in a good head space today. Sit and do it with something on telly. And it’s like a little job of mine. I quite enjoy it now.

I will list everything and then will categorise it. So there’s food, there’s going out, eating out, socialising, treating the kids, kids, clothes, kids, clubs, a lot of kids birthdays and gifts. And there’s various other categories, but essentially it comes into those categories. And then I summarise it so I can see what we thought we’d spend versus what we did at the end of the month.

We’ve got to a great place with food and know exactly what we spend every month. And it’s always the same pretty much, but it’s really interesting to see the categories. I can then identify a pattern with my spending, you ask yourself questions like ‘if I stopped buying them gifts would it impact my relationship with them’ etc, and that’s when you start to really notice some psychology behind your money patterns.

Some can’t be bothered to create a spreadsheet. But if you think of yourself and your home, so your family, your home and what you spend your money on is think of it as a business. At the end of every year, you would be accountable through your accounts for what you had done and also how you behaved. Like someone would hold you accountable if you mess it up!

It’s a really good collaborative thing to do because it actually brings you together in a healthy way to talk about money and open up that conversation with each other and become aware together. So it’s a great exercise if there’s two of you in the household to share those patterns and behaviors.

Where can people start a spending plan?

There’s no such thing as black and white, it’s all shades of grey and I’m not talking about the book! 

It’s all just shades of grey – you have to bend with it. If you can, with a bit of laughter, it’s essential.

For a budget planner, further support and advice contact Sally at sally@themortgagemum.co.uk. Visit her profile page on The Mortgage Mum website here

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Thank you to Sally Mitchell for joining Sarah Tucker on The Mortgage Mum Podcast for this insightful podcast episode.

Listen to The Mortgage Mum Podcast on all major podcast directories including Apple and Spotify. You can also catch up on previous episodes on our website and on The Mortgage Mum YouTube channel.