So I got up this morning and didn’t eat chocolate.
Instead I had two slices of toast, went and picked up some new pairs of spectacles I had ordered ( using Paycare at work – it pays for my specs!), had the last of the leftover Christmas Day veggies for my lunch and sat down for a couple of hours and worked out my complete budget and wrote it down in the front of my new diary for 2018.
But the very first thing I did this morning was faced the music and jumped on the bathroom scales (which I have avoided for weeks) and got the first weigh-in over and done with. Yep- it was pretty much what I expected. It could have been worse, I could have tipped 300 lbs. It was 295.4 lbs (21 st 1.5 lb)…. and I have nothing to say about that right now.
Incomings, Outgoings and Building an Emergency Fund
As I mentioned in my last post I’ve made some drastic changes this summer to help me get away from living on the financial edge. It took me a few months to bounce back after the expense of moving but once I had it was time to make some changes in my life to ensure that in the future I have an emergency fund and some savings in place. As a single person with no back up from a partner, being one pay check away from being broke is no fun and it’s a very stressful feeling.
One of the best things I did at the beginning of the year was implement a ‘Christmas Savings Club’ at work using TransaveUK (a local credit union who provides funding for share loans through my work). How the Christmas Club works is that you decide how much of your wages you want to set aside for 10 months and at the end of the 10 months the money is deposited straight into your bank account at the end of November. The money, every month, comes straight from your salary and deposited into your own online account via your workplace and once I’d got the first month or two over and done with I found I didn’t miss the money at all. It was lovely getting an £850 pay out just before Christmas… enough to buy presents for my three grown children, both sets of grandparents, all the Christmas food and drinks, and still have enough left over for everyone’s birthdays this year!
Implementing those two changes this year has set me up well for forging ahead and achieving some financial safety in 2018. This is one of the most important things to me right now and if that means I have to work extra hard and not go on holiday or eat out every month or go to coffee shops, then so be it! I’m not going to look at it as a hardship, these are just necessary actions to achieve a goal!
So my financial goals for for 2018 are
a) Build up an emergency fund so if suddenly I was without work or had an accident then at least I could get by financially and pay my bills/rent for at least 3 months.
b) Once again save with the TransaveUk Christmas Club at work so Christmas and birthday expenses are all taken care of and December is no loner a financial burden.
c) Set aside £100 a month for car repairs. My car is now 18 years old and it’s MOT is due in February. I really hope she’ll get through one more time but if she does it won’t be without some expense. Saving £100 a month should cover these expenses and start to build a fund towards buying another car eventually.
So today I went through my bank statements and worked out my incomings, outgoings, household expenses etc.
I also noticed a few expenses that I could cancel in January which are nice to have but actually I could get by quite happily without them for a few months and see how things go (highlighted in yellow).
I don’t want to live a life where I don’t enjoy the odd night out of the odd treat but am quite happy to make some sacrifices to get to where I want to be at the end of the year.
I’ll feel so much safer….
UPDATE – I forgot the debt!!!!
I forgot about the student fees for courses I am still paying off! That’s an extra £50 expense a month. Have updated the diary. I think I got it right now!!!!