29th April 2022

Another month where I’m scraping my way into the next month with pennies left in most categories. The only exception being social spends, I’m still waiting on when my partner is well enough to arrange that meet with their friends. Basically a really bad flu has taken them out for a bit.

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I downloaded the Mortgage text for that course, the syllabus roll over is in August so I have 4 months to do this. Thats achievable, if the brain gremlins will co operate. It always comes down to the brain gremlins. On the subject of brain gremlins, I think May will be the last month of therapy. It’ll be good to get the money back into my budget.

My aunt is quite keen for me to job search for admin roles at their university, which is tempting, but I feel I need to commit to one course of action for the time being, otherwise I’ll get too distracted. Focus is needed here.

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I’ve been having wisdom teeth pain again this week, but it seems to be dialling back at last. I really need to go to the dentist, I haven’t been since pre-pandemic. I did see the dentist about the wisdom teeth previously, they said it was normal for them to hurt whilst they were coming through. I asked when they would stop hurting and they laughed 😦

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A few people have suggested various solutions to help with mobility. On the list so far; Hiking stick (for hills), bike to get to work, and specialist shoes. These are all various degrees of expensive. Admittedly the hiking stick could be under £30 actually. But the bike and the shoes could add up, and I’m honestly very sceptical of the bike being good, and I would need to bike on roads, which I’ve never done.

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Quite a short update today – there’ll be a bigger update Sunday or Monday on budgeting day 🙂 **happy nerd wriggle**

24th April 2022

Currently both of my housemates testing positive for Covid. They seem fine (ish), and I keep testing negative 🤷‍♂️ Like they’re not happy about it, but they have energy to work from home and do laundry, so I guess they’re fine

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I had success this weekend in keeping my grocery shop under £30 (as that was all that was left on my budget). I could have WAM-ed it and taken money from another category, but I’m still not sure when I’m going shopping next weekend so best to keep wriggle room.

I made a batch cooking staple duo – spaghetti bolognese and chilli. Its just really easy to make a BIG batch of bolognese, and seperate out 1/3, then add beans and chilli. I also added spring onions to the bolognese-only sauce after separating the dishes. I think I may be slightly intolerant to onions tbh but I’ve already given up dairy, they’re not taking this one from me too.

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I won some money on the Euromillions! £4. 4 monies is still money. I immediately spent £2.50 of it on another ticket. Tuesday’s draw is £114 million, so fingers crossed 🤞

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The textbook I bought from CII still hasnt become available for download. I’m going to give them until the end of Monday, in case the weekend has delayed it, then email them. Time to get started on it.

21st April 2022

There is something that’s been bothering me, and I’ve been looking for the right avenue to vent about it. I dont necessarily want any advice – because I kind of know what the solution (ish) is – I need to talk about it. Anyway I have a blog, and what are those for if not to vent random thoughts?

Some men on the streets around my house have been hassling me. I just give off easy target energies, always have, but they keep catcalling me when I’m walking the dog at night. I don’t really know why me and I dont think it matters. Solutions: walk dog at different hours (challenging, what I need is to walk him before bed), walk dog on different streets (going to try this for a month or two, but I have limited places to go at 8 at night), or… move. Which requires money, as my rent would increase if I moved now.

I know this is a finance blog, but why does it always come back to money??

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My work have announced some minor changes… shorter opening hours to the public, yadda yadda, but our work contracts aren’t affected as we’ll be on the phones instead.

As part of this change they have announced a new job role. This is going to be really hard to explain on here, but why let that stop me.

So currently the progression track goes something like OldJob1 -> OldJob2 -> Manager, I am currently on the “OldJob2” portion but none of my managers are going anywhere anytime soon, as far as I know, so there are no vacancies.

The New job track goes NewJob1 -> NewJob2 -> NewJob3 -> NewJob4 -> Manager…. with decent salary jumps for NewJob3 and 4.

OldJob1 and NewJob1, and OldJob2 and NewJob2 are basically equivalent. We can switch over to the NewJob if we choose, without formally applying, no affect on our salary or duties. Completely optional. For the first two years there’s an extra £700 on our yearly bonus, but our base salary is not changed simply from moving to the equivalent NewJob. If we later move up to NewJob 3 or 4, those have quite nice salary bumps.

BUT whereas for OldJob our hours are set at 9-5 Mon-Sat 5 days a week, and there is currently temporary optional overtime available… for NewJob the hours are shifts between 8-6 Mon-Sat. So I might do a 8-4 one day and a 10-6 the next. Also later in the year when they’ve rolled out some new tech there might be some working from home, but not all the time as we would still have to spend a certain amount of time in branch.

(I wouldn’t mind a partly from home arrangement, I’m not sure if I would like fully from home and this seems a good way to test)

Basically, what I’m interested in here is NewJob 3 and 4, I just have to go through NewJob 2 to get to them. And I dont know if NewJob 2 is worth it. If NewJob2 was the only one on the table, I’d say no, because I don’t want to go back to shift work. Though I guess it might be slightly pushing it to call this “shift work” but I’m autistic, I like routine. I feel like there’s not much up front benefit, but the potential for future benefit in a way I don’t have in my current role. Unfortunately there’s a window for opting into NewJob2 and I’m unlikely to get the info I need about NewJob3 and 4 before then.

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Also I decided to go ahead and buy that mortgage unit. £205, hopefully it works out to be a good purchase! All budgeted for, but not an easy amount to just hand over as if its nothing. The Module expires in August, so I have 4 months. I bought a bunch of the additional add-on study aids this time so hopefully that will help.

17th April 2022

Oops looks like I went a few days without posting, sorry about that.

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I realised I also had to buy some dice for this upcoming D&D game. For these I was able to go to the small local independent store, I ordered a rainbow set and lucky dip/random set. Unfortunately they then had to message back and say they had sole out of the rainbow set – but as long as I get the lucky dip set, that’s enough to get me through a few sessions and I can pick another set later.

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On Tuesday, I think I had my first positive interaction with a medical professional in years. This was the “social prescribing” team, and they’re going to look into whether I qualify for a mobility bus pass and whether I can get help with the swimming membership costs. It’ll certainly help keep costs down if I’m not paying for bus and/or gym.

I almost never qualify for means tested stuff I’m so less confident on the swimming pool help, but the bus pass sounded more medical based. The big question is if a letter from the physio is enough, or if they require an official EDS diagnosis.
Fingers crossed.

I’ve thought about paying for a private EDS assessment but it’ll be a few hundred quid (plus a journey down to London) so I’m undecided on that currently.

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This week I accidentally spent more than I intended on groceries, so that’s going to be challenging for the next couple of weeks. I think once I’ve stopped therapy I need to revisit the amount I budget for groceries each month, the cost of living increases are really starting to bite. I have about £30 left in my groceries categories, and two weekend shops left remaining.

It’s also not just about shopping, it’s about having time to do a batch cook as well. Normally I do my cooking on Sundays, but from May D&D is on Sundays… so I might need to do more chores on Saturday. 30th April is a Saturday, 1st May is a Sunday (and first D&D session), 2nd May is a Bank Holiday though… so I might be able to put that second weekend shop off into May…

**thinking intensifies**

10th April 2022

I’ve opened a new savings account. My bank does a regular savings account where you can put £200pm (max) into it, and you get a higher rate of interest, but on a smaller pot of money. Until the other day though, “higher” meant 0.5% and it just wasn’t worth the hassle of moving £200pm, only for it to move back to your current act after 12 months, then starting again. Too much admin, and previously my account balance was too low to handle that much money leaving (even if it was to another instant access account).

The other day however they announced would be increasing to 2.5%, still at £200pm, so that’s just over £30 interest at the end of the term. I doubt it’ll last long so I went and snagged one. I dont like adding another account to YNAB, feels messy, but for £30 it seemed worth it.

To be completely clear, technically I will earn slightly less interest on my current account than if I hadn’t done this, but seeing as my current account interest is at 0.5%, I dont think I’ll lose more than a few pennies

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I am plagued by continuing pension concerns – I checked my estimated retirement age on my pension provider and they’re currently saying 73, although admittedly they dont take into account state pension. Whilst I don’t know what age I’d like to retire, I know my 70’s is late than I’d like. I’m currently contributing 8% to my pension, and I believe I’ve maxed out my employer contribution at 12.5%. I try to increase my contribution by 1% every 6 months and I’d like to get it to at least 10% (I only recently increased it in February), however teh pension provider is saying I need to increase my contributions by 10% (up to 18%) to get my estimated retirement age below 70! Or I need to increase my salary.

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On a related note, previously I was doing some training in order to be a Financial Adviser, but it just wasn’t going very well so I took a break from it. Then the YNAB forums were closing, so I was focusing on getting this blog up and running. Now the blog is obviously up and running, its time to review what my next steps are. I could use my existing credits to a mortgage training that would allow me to become a Mortgage Advisor, or I could jus aggressively job search for a better job.

I keep getting distracted by get-rich-quick side hustles I see on the internet – the idea of trading crypto being one of them – but I think I need to actual put the effort in and either get a qualification or just get a new job.

6th April 2022

I’ve had a quiet few days as I was a bit under the weather, but I’m back now 🙂

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The first week of the month is always purchase heavy – this month it was easter eggs, the food processor, and a D&D book that took up the bulk of the spending. I still need to sign up to the gym, I just haven’t quite hit the button yet.

I did look at trying to buy the D&D book from a local independent store, but they had it for £45 and Amazon had it for £28… if I didn’t need to buy it for set date I might have waited a month or two and saved up. Mind you, saying that, I’ve been wanting to get back into D&D since I moved to this city in 2019, so maybe I wouldnt have saved up 🤷‍♂️ I am very excited to actually start using my “RPG night” category again, which I was **this** close to retiring altogether.

The food processor was more expensive than I expected (I think the price went up since I last looked at it), and then I got insurance on top… I’d saved £40 but it ended up being £61.98 so I had to raid the Household and Stuff I Forgot To Budget For categories. Which I hate doing on only the 2nd of the month but ah well. This will hopefully help me stopping getting quite so exhausted when bulk cooking on weekends, hopefully.

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I was listening to a podcast which was debating whether its better to prioritise saving cash or investing when it comes to trying to build up a house deposit. Ultimately the podcast said cash is better, as investments should only really be if you dont need the money within the next five years. I need another £10k minimum for a house deposit (and even that is probably on the low side). If I save £200pm I’m looking at about 4 years. If I save £200pm plus and extra £400 pa extra (like I’m hoping to do this year) it will only 3.5 years.

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The overtime shifts starts today. I have to be there at 7:45am. I already have regrets lol

1st April 2022

The main thing for this month’s budget is the bonus and impending gym membership. Unfortunately taxes and pension took a greater chunk of it than I hoped. In regards to the gym membership, I’m probably going to risk an annual membership to save money. Luckily I found some extra spare cash in a now-redundant category – Name Update Documents. I’ve got my new passport so I can retire the category and take extra £41.05 and redistribute it elsewhere.

After filling out the gym category to £950 (2 years membership), correcting the issue with the House Deposit, and putting aside enough for a food processor, I have about £70 left. Unfortunately there is not enough money to do everything.

Mostly I intend to boost my yearly savings goals (whiskey decanter, rucksack) with £10 each, to buy a D&D book 5e £28 1 because I hope to join a new game on 1st May, and boost social category as one of the events I had in March got pushed back. I was hoping to buy some Tamora Pierce books for nostalgia’s sake and I wont have enough to start Coinbase this month, most likely that will happen in may after emptying out my leftover divorce fund. I could maybe take £10 back out of the sims category and £20 out of hobbies category but that wont take me all the way to Coinbase… buuuut maybe Tamora Pierce?? maaybe? later in the month, when I’ve time to figure out how this month is behaving.

I forgot to include this graph in my Current Situation Rundown yesterday – a graph of my banking Net Worth since January 2019, with the caveat that figures before October 2019 are approximate as I had not started YNAB yet.

Banking Net Worth March 2022

With all that in mind, I’m going to go buy some Vegan Easter Eggs from Hotel Chocolat and Fancy Tea – I got a voucher for my birthday :3 Someone joked on another forum that they thought I had been saving up for Easter Eggs all year – in reality it’s only been since January ish, but it wouldn’t be such a bad idea…