1st June 2022

In an ideal world I would do two separate posts, one on the last day of the month, and one on the 1st of the month explaining how I’m going to work it the next month. But yesterday I had a migraine.

I was mulling over yesterday, I thought if I raided every category, I might have enough for a deposit on a flat. I would have to raid the emergency fund though. I was thinking about that on the commute home, then I walked in the door to find the dog bleeding. He was fine, but we did have to pay the vets £67 for a steroid & antibiotic cream. Because I was at work, I’m not 100% sure what he did, but I suspect he tried to crawl in somewhere too small and scratched himself. So I guess thats the universe reminding me why we don’t raid emergency funds.

~*~

On 31st May 2022:

My Bank Accounts Net Worth is £12,805.02

£1,477.96 is in my “Next Month Income” category

£2,215.13 is my H2B ISA (House deposit, though I’ve got a secondary category I’m trying to save a little more for the house deposit in by the end of the year)

£1000 is in my “Next Move” category

£950 is in my “Gym” category, waiting to see is I can get any help with that and move this money elsewhere

£810 is in my “Next Laptop” category

£657.01 is in my “Next Phone” category

£500 is in my “Canal Boat” category

And then the rest is in smaller categories

Banking Net Worth May 2022

My Investing & Pension Net Worth is £12,720.11

£12,232.20 of that is in my work pension, to which I am currently contributing 8% and my employer is contributing 12.5%

£382.68 is in my bank’s Investment service, I put £25 a month in there and some fund managers do hopefully smart things with it. It’s telling me that over time my investment through them has gone down in value by £1.63

£75.68 is in my Freetrade Account, where I like to pretend I know how to day trade. I dont contribute to this on a regular schedule, but so far I’ve put £71 in it so technically I’m making a profit.

£11.82 is in my Paypal Crypto account, where I like to pretend I know how Bitcoin works. I dont contribute to this on a regular schedule, but so far I’ve put £15 in so I am making a loss at this point.

£20.08 is in a Crowdcube account. This doesn’t seem to change in value so I think it was more of a GoFundMe rather than an Investment.

I haven’t been tracking data long to do much of a graph for Investment Net Worth, but here we are

Investment Net Worth May 2022

~*~

So when I was budgeting out my income into all my categories, I ended up being £26 over assigned, and I wasn’t able to do any short term goals. I wanted to get a shopping trolley but I wasn’t able to.

I ended up reducing my sims category by £5, my tattoo category by £5, my hobbies category by £10, and extending the goal date for refilling therapy category from October to December. Also I ended up reducing my easter eggs 2023 category by 58p, so now it only has £3.06 in. Gotta start somewhere.

So now I need a plan to try afford a shopping trolley.

The one I really want is this one VOUNOT Folding Shopping Trolley on 6 Wheels, but it’s £32. I was also looking at this one Amazon Basics 2-Wheel Shopping Trolley for £24.

Except I also found this one on Etsy that’s randomly £7? That’s tempting, I could maybe use it for a few months and save up for a better one.

Other ideas to save up for the good trolley:

If I can resist teh Bird & Blend Christmas in July sale this year, maybe I could use that money for a trolley? However that plan relies on me exercising self control around tea and…. eehhhhhh….. I’d love to say I could and will, but I think I better just wait until after the sale is over to avoid overcommitting.

Another idea – that I’ve already asked my boss tbh – is to do an extra hour of overtime per week. Just one more day. I’m probably running pretty close to my limits so we’ll see how two days a week go.

Finally, I’m going to try do another switcher offer get some cash. In the UK you can get money – sometimes over £100 – for switching banks. I’ve opened a burner account with my current bank, it was really quick because they already know me, and when the card arrives I’ll just see who offer the best money/least effort and “switch” to them, and when I get the money close the account back down again.

~*~

Anyway so thats a really long post 🙂 Have a good jubilee bank holiday if you’re in the UK – if you’re not, have a goo Thursday & Friday haha

22nd May 2022

So I’ve booked an appointment with a private doctor on Monday 4th July, and here’s what I wanted to do:

Travel down on Sunday, stay overnight in Travelodge or whatever, appointment on Monday, travel back on Monday evening. Unfortunately both those train tickets are very expensive for some reason.

By comparison:

A same day return is £110

Or if I travel down on Monday, do the appointment, stay overnight somewhere, then travel back on Tuesday, the train tickets are £20-£30 each. Accommodation prices very, I’ve used £80 as an estimate which seems about middle of the road.

I really didnt want to travel down the same day as the appointment, I’ll be wiped, but I think I’m going to have to at those prices

I have decided to buy a phone power bank to keep my phone running on the journey though, and I am buying a train discount card.

I don’t have much to say on finances this week, I’m just low on energy and focusing on this PIP stuff. My partner has been through the process before and has suggested I keep track of all my symptoms and struggles each day to show how I need help. You know those positive thinking exercises where you sit down and write three good things that happened each day? It’s essentially the opposite of that. It’s pretty depressing.

4th May 2022

So right off the bat today, EA have hinted at a werewolf expansion. Technically they haven’t confirmed it yet, but its pretty hard to watch the trailer and NOT think werewolves. This is incredibly rude of them to announce this in the month I wasn’t able to fully fund the sims category 😡

Buuuuuuuuut I suppose after the Wedding Stories fiasco, it wouldn’t hurt to let others beta test the expansion pack and buy a month or two late.

~*~

I got some vague non-answers back about that job role, more or less what I expected at this point. I’m still going to opt in to the role I think. There was a slight mix up with the overtime this week but its all been sorted out now.

~*~

I got an email today that it was time to apply for the Decree Absolute. One step closer to being divorced, I thought today would be the official end date, but I guess you have to apply for the Decree Absolute. Details, details, looking forward to having a cozy celebration night with my partner, with a luxury whiskey and an outrageous amount of takeaway. Soon.

A friend of mine has offered to do a cleansing ceremony with me on the wedding rings before I donate them to charity. I’m not sure what I believe, but I feel they’re unlucky in their current state. But being faithless make it hard to have a cleansing ceremony so I asked for help haha

When I try to think about what I believe, I think about a moment from one of later book in the Chronicles of Narnia series. Lewis is talking about the comparison between Aslan (a metaphor for God) and Tash (a metaphor for the Devil) (it may be more complex than that but for the purposes of this brief mention that’s enough)

Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he has truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name of Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.

People who did good in the name of Tash were really honouring Aslan: likewise those who do evil in Aslan’s name were actually honouring Tash.

Similarly with this cleansing ceremony thing, I guess I’m just kind of hoping that if any God type creature exists, hopefully they would see the intention behind the cleansing ceremony and understand?

29th July 2020

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.

So I havent been keeping this quite up to date the last few days  but only 2 or 3 things happened
~*~
Firstly, although the concept of “debt free” still feels very meta and difficult to grasp, a good thing happened that was more real to me and felt good
I was on a date (not the good part… although, actually, yes, the good part) and at the end I was able to go “I’ll get this one, you get the next one” and pay for the entire meal for two people like it was no biggie
And it wasn’t a biggie either! 
I remember going to that exact restaurant about 18 months ago and freaking out a little at the prices but the other week I was just like “I got this”
That was pretty cool
~*~
I’m trying to book my first FA Diploma exam for the end of August. The module is called R01. I’ve bought the voucher for the exam, I’m just having trouble redeeming it for a date online. I’m going to call them tomorrow and try speak to a person about it.
There’s a slight chance I’ve just left it too late in the academic year to get it done before the syllabus change. If I have to take the exam in August I’ll need to pay £40 for an updated textbook… I mean, I could really do with NOT paying that as this entire course is hella expensive, but £40 isn’t the end of the world.
~*~
Finally, I’m actually getting my nan’s money soon. The cheque has arrived at my parent’s house – although the cheque has a typo on apparently so chance it gets rejected initially, but they can just rewrite the cheque if needed.
I’m wondering if, instead of putting £400 into my H2B ISA, I put £400 into my FA Diploma fund instead.

It would make more of a difference there and at this point it feels about equally likely to happen and have a long term impact on my life.
In my H2B ISA I need £10,000 minimum, likely more, before buying a house becomes a serious prospect. To finish this course I shouldn’t need more than £2,500. It would go further in that pot than in my house deposit fund.
An investment in my future **cheesy finger guns**
Right now I’m still planning a split of £500 for Canal Boat Lessons, £100 for creature comforts, and £400 for Investing In My Future, be it H2B ISA or FA Diploma.

August 2020 marks the start of Life After Debt

17th July 2020

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.

So I walked into town and bought the whiskey, as well as some jeans and jogging bottoms and work shoes, slightly overshooting my clothing category by £5 but I made it work. I need clothes, now that I can go out and see people again. On the way back from town, I made a decision. I got paid early enough that I could pay off the card manually without it affecting the direct debit, then I called up the same day and asked them to put a “closing block” on the card so the card would close down automatically once the payment processed… that is to say:

I’m Debt Free!!!

A byproduct of this is that I actually closed the card early enough to save myself the £3 monthly fee, if I’d waited I’d have been charged. Which is helpful, as the whiskey was £73 instead of the £70 I had saved. I found it for £65 online, but then with P&P… anyway. 
It doesn’t feel real yet. 

I’m keeping one (no monthly fee) credit card open for large or online purchases, for the extra protection on credit cards. I don’t intend to use it more than a couple of times a year, and pay it off immediately. 

I suppose technically, technically, technically, I still have student loans – but as Martin points out, those act more like a tax than a debt anyway. 

I don’t know what this means for this diary going forward. I’m debt free, and this is a debt free diary, but my journey isn’t exactly over. I don’t have 3 months Emergency Fund. I don’t have a house deposit. I need to improve my career/income situation. This diary is likely to continue a little longer, but at some point I might migrate it to another site. 

Debt Free!  😎😎😎

August 2020 marks the start of Life After Debt

16th July 2020

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.

Payday! Actually a couple of days earlier then I expected. My contracted payday is the 19th, which is a Sunday this month, so I was expecting to get paid Friday – but they do have a habit of paying a couple of days early.
~*~
My budget is in a weird place right now – I have a plan for post-lockdown and for during-lockdown but we’re in a sort of weird half place right now that’s really hard to account for. In another month I’ll have to adjust all my goals.
Spending and Bills
I’ve put extra money into my clothes category – about £35 total – because a few things have worn out at once. Jeans, jogging bottoms, and work shoes being the priority. Hopefully I can get all 3 for close to £35 at Primark. 
I’ve put £50.50 into the long-neglected Social Spends category (I don’t know where the 50p came from, it just got left behind as I moved money about). That’s still not what I used to put into it but so many things are cancelled. I do, however, have my first restaurant date with someone I’ve been video dating a few months so thats exciting! I haven’t put anything into the RPG Night category as the DM has indicated it wont be starting anytime soon.
Hobbies didn’t get any money this month but I don’t plan to buy anything. I did put a random amount into Takeout – £18.96 – it was the last category I budgeted so it got the odds and sods.
I haven’t been able to put anything into “Charity” yet this month, but hopefully by the 1st when some regular transactions have processed I’ll be able to figure out what I’ve got spare. 
I created a new “medical” category recently, but after a few weeks I’m starting to think I might not need it. I thought I would be buying several prescriptions each month but I’m not going through them as fast as I anticipated. 
Obviously my Tram card category needs to keep money in it, I don’t know how often I’ll have to get public transport. I’ve left enough in there for a season ticket if I need it, but I’m hoping to walk 1/3 to 1/2 of the time and I’ll save money. 
I’m going to try keep some money aside to keep paying a little extra bills but we’ll see how it goes as normality resumes.
It’s the last month of my phone contract so after this month I’ll be putting aside the money I usually send to 02 into a “New Phone” category. 
Savings Pots
I wont go through every savings category, just the ones with something to say.
I’ve created an extra savings category called “One Last Brexit Shop” as my stockpile got a little depleted during the initial stages of lockdown. I’ve set a goal of £50 by December. This technically brings my monthly spending to over the amount I get in salary but not every category hit absolute zero before I get paid again so I can usually scrape together the £8.34 the category wants. It started this month so it’s only up to £8.34. I must admit I feel a lot less embarrassed about my Brexit stockpile after how Britain handled things like loo roll and pasta in early March. 
I’ve got a category saving up for a program called “Scrivener” for writing. At one point in lockdown I started writing again and I’ve been wanting to buy this program to help. But I’ve already dropped the habit again, so I don’t know if to keep saving. I’m up to £40 out of £50 needed.
My Debt Free Whiskey is up to £70! I need to buy that Debt Free Whiskey in the next few days – in fact it’s probably my next task after this, see if I can get it online, or arranging a click and collect. 
My FA Diploma fund is up to £200, about enough to pay for one exam, if I can just kick the old Mental Health into gear.
The rest of the categories are all on track to meet their targets at their wanted dates.
~*~
There isn’t much to say on all of this today, its all just about trying to figure out what is needed where – and then most likely getting it wrong, because who knows with 2020. 

7th July 2020

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.

Just causally trying to work out whether to use a tram card or buy daily tickets based off how often I THINK I’ll walk to work… whilst it rains outside…

5th July 2020

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.

I found out recently that my phone’s device plan is almost paid off, but the backward compatibility issues aren’t too bad yet, so I’m going to try hold off for a year, put aside the money I was previously paying for this phone, and in a year’s time walk into the store with a nice chunky deposit to bring the monthly costs down
 
Next month is the last payment apparently…   Maybe technically this month because of the way the direct Debit dates fall
  
I’m currently paying £31 pm for the phone alone (I like my shinies…) so in a years time I would have £372 as a deposit, assuming it all went smoothly (famous last words)
  
Apparently this phone cost me £744 when I signed up so that’s over 50% deposit if I buy in the same price range again
   
I don’t want the money to slip into my regular budget because I’ll need it back in a year and I need to remember I cant commit that money long term 

29th June 2020

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.

My parents mentioned last night that there might finally be movement on that money from my nan’s will, which they were originally talking about in January 

Which is kind of funny because I was planning on using the money to pay off debt

Right now I’m hoping I’ll be able to split it £500 for canal boat training, £400 for the H2B ISA and £100 for some creature comforts (namely a shapeshifter binder and some wireless headphones)

I seem to remember that earlier in the year I was planning £500 for canal boat training but I’m not sure if that’s right – I’ve emailed the local Marina to double check course prices.

28th June 2020

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.

Now I’ll start this post by acknowledging that it’s a bit of a 180° turnaround from my previous post. Last time I was worried about my moral responsibility to help others. This time I’m going to be ranting excitedly about something I’ve been saving up for. I do hold both of these opinions simultaneously  –  hence the confusion and dilemma.
~*~ 
I’ve been saving up since January for a celebratory Debt Free Whiskey, that’ll I’ll get to buy and enjoy next month. And I am so looking forward to this whiskey. Partly because debt free – but also because it tastes soooooo good it’s such a good tasting one and I’ve been saving up 6 months for it!
   
I cant often afford the savouring kind of alcohol (as I said, I’ve literally been saving 6 months for it) and this is for savouring and enjoying!
  
I’m hoping I might be able to start a tradition of savings up for a bottle of New Years Whiskey for myself, literally take 12 months to save up for it and toast the New Year. I don’t know if I’ll have time to save for Jan ’21, but I might not need to – I intend to treat this bottle of debt free whiskey with respect. There might be some left come New Year.
   
That being said it does feel ridiculously decadent to be spending £65 to £70 on Whiskey…  but I feel I’ve earned it, both through working to pay off my debt, and taking the time to save up for it. I’m not buying it on a whim and throwing it on the credit card anymore. 

In response to a commenter congratulating me on my progress and encouraging me to look to my own savings before I focus on charity

Thank you  😊  Its July I’ll officially become debt free but theres only £100 left right now
  
I do have a H2B ISA earning 0.75% and a savings account earning I think 0.1% and a staff bank account, which earns about 1% interest with no fee (specifically because I’m a member of bank staff) (but I think that 1% is about to drop to 0.6%) 
  
There are probably better accounts out there but because I’m still relatively new to budgeting I’m going for simplicity right now and I dont want 8 different accounts I have to juggle about every 6 months. On top of that – I dont have so much money that switching accounts is suddenly going to unlock vast amounts of interest for me. Even at the current 1% I’m earning less than £2 of interest per month, and I don’t think theres anywhere offering significantly above 1% right now.