These posts were originally posted on the MoneySavingForums (a UK money management site), I am moving my journals across to WordPress to have them in chronological order. I’m not sure how much of other people’s words I’m allowed to copy across from one site to another, so in some sections I may summarise conversations.
This month I sent £102.21 to my credit cards, which included a random £4 payment when I realised I was a whisker away from hitting 100% on a challenge goal on the YNAB website
I started my debt free journey in February when I ended up leaving my husband and moving city unexpectedly. I still keep an Excel spreadsheet in order to track progress and this is what my debt payoffs have looked like (graph below). On my Excel Spreadsheet I am 46% of my way to my overall debt payoff.
I still have a little under £900 debt remaining, and my original plan was to pay £100 a month until September. Obviously I had that bittersweet news, my nan has left me money in her will. Technically its enough to pay it all off, but I’m going to split it 50/50, pay a large chunk of debt off, then spend the rest on learning to manage a canal boat. So I’ll be paying off my remaining debt in March or April.
Unexpectedly, my family managed to save up enough money together for the entire laptop for me. This obviously helps immediately in the New Year. I’d budgeted £50 per month for the laptop. At some point soon I need to begin putting money aside for the next computer after this (I won’t be using this when I’m 80, after all) but I think I can wait until March. Why March, I hear you ask? Well, I want to try do a last Brexit stockpile shop before the end of January. Also, I want to buy that fancy laptop bag/satchel from Amazon. It’s actually gone down in price I’ve noticed which is tempting but the Brexit shop takes priority as it’s time sensitive. So I set aside £50 in December, I’ll get £50 in January, that makes £100 for the Brexit shop, February I buy the bag, March I start saving for the next computer. I think £30 a month will be plenty. In 3 years I’ll have a little over £1000, in five years I’ll have £1800, at that point I’ll probably stop saving (if not sooner). I’m hoping next time to upgrade to a desktop computer again, but I literally need to buy everything, not just the tower unit. If I splash out on a good tower unit I will want to splash out on a good screen. Ok, desk, keyboard, mouse, less important. I can get a smartprice computer mouse and upgrade to a pretty one later on. You can get good speakers cheap enough – nice speakers would be nice, but they’re a lower priority. A good chair would be important though.
Two posts in one day! Why not, if I have more to say?
So I reckon I’ll finish the year/start the next year with roughly about £500 in my bank account. A year ago, I had -£868.09 on the 1st Jan ’19.
This is amazing to me.
On the flip side of that, I have about £45 in my groceries category, which is less than I’d like to last until the 19th. That’s just December for you I guess. As always, the money that is in my account has jobs. £55 is for a bus pass, £100 is for my Dad’s birthday present, £174.51 is for the divorce, £50 is for Pride, and so on, and so forth. Next year I will have more saved for Christmas and things will be less tight.
Side note: is it possible to make tables on this forum? Thinking about how to format my New Year post without making the world’s longest list…
Edit (because I remembered what I wanted to talk about):
When I pay off my debt and have more money to plug into my budget, obviously firstly I need to increase the amount I’m putting into my Emergency savings. Right now it’s just pitiful, I’m getting nowhere. But if I wanted to increase my quality of life, the two categories I’d put regular money into are Take Out and Online Shopping. Because. Even though I don’t put regular money into those categories, I still do those things. And every time i do, i have to whack-a-mole from other categories, leaving those categories short. Often groceries feels the brunt of this. If I could get money into those categories to start with, even just £15 would help. £15 wouldn’t cover an entire takeout, but it would do most of it (for one person).
I want to avoid spending money Monday and Tuesday if I can help it. It would really helpful if I could create my budget in the New Year without any pending transactions.