A gloomy couple of days here in not so sunny Wales. The rain and the cold are unfortunately summing up my mood at the moment. I feel that everything is getting on top of me today. Obviously my worries are there everyday, but I manage to keep strength in my shoulder and legs and stand upright. Today it just feels like I’m being crushed by the weight of it all. I know I should be stronger, but you can’t be strong al the time can you? So this post comes at quite an appropriate time.
I haven’t really delved into the money side of this blog yet, but here we go.
Pay day. What should be a joyous occasion is usually a disappointment for me. Seeing my bank balance all fat and swollen when I wake up, then 5 minutes later nearly empty again. For those 5 minutes I can imagine that that money is mine and think about what I could do with it, until I wake up and realise that it’s not my money at all. It belongs to banks and insurers and more recently builders. It all gets transferred out to various places before I get a chance to get too attached to it. Now don’t get me wrong, this is by far the best way for me to do things. I have a separate bills account, so everything goes in there and direct debits go out when they need to. I don’t need to think about it again. Which is nice. But its also soul destroying sending it all out straight away.
But not this month! This month I had a reason to be cheerful! This month I would make a payment which took me so I was under a certain amount on one of my credit cards. A sizable milestone. A reason for celebration. I guess I should give you some history really..
It was always my life goal to own my own house. For as far back as I can remember. I’m actually quite a good saver (which is where the current stress is coming from!) and started saving at 18 and finally bought at 27. Not bad at all. One of the first of my friends to do it, and I knew that I’d worked hard and saved my rubbish salary for the thing I wanted.
Of course they told me that houses were money pits, I knew this. But it still came as a shock I think. To begin with I imagined that we were going to struggle, Himself imagined that we’d be fine, and we actually met somewhere in the middle. Anyway, long story short, we needed furniture, and building work done, and the occasional monthly train ticket, and the odd amount at them end of the month. So I very quickly went from a clean slate to having a big burden. And I know where I went wrong. I’m always (well mostly) of the opinion that you can always find money for the things you really need. Of course this meant that it was ok for us to be less frugal and spend on a card when we fell short at the end of the month. I just didn’t keep on top of it. Oh how I’m paying now!
This time last year I decided I needed to face up to things and save us some money. First I tackled our bills, 1 bill a month at a time. I called each provider and tried to haggle or just switched completely. Then to look at my credit cards. This was a hard one. By April I had everything sorted so that I had all the debt on 0% cards, save for one which we use for food shopping. It meant that I had to face the debt that was there and actually start paying it off. The minimum payments were hideous, it’s what leads to the struggle now. But at least I can see it coming off. So much so that since April I’ve payed off 17.9% of the amount. That .9 is very important. And generally I feel better about having a plan. Its rubbish having to follow it, but it’s the plan and that’s what I have to do.
Talking of planning, I can’t push you to make lists and get yourselves organised if you’re facing a similar situation. Unsurprisingly, I use an excel sheet to calculate everything. My credit card spreadsheet shows each card individually, what the starting balance for the month is, what the basic minimum payment would be, what a rounded up figure would be, then how much the next months would be and so on. There also a column for extra payments. It sounds silly, but I pay £1 off a day extra for one of my cards. One reason is because technology makes it easier to do. It also feels safer than parting with £30 a month in one go, I can keep it if I need it. Mostly it makes me feel like I’m doing something every day. It means that I have to open my spreadsheet every day and update it, so I know I can’t forget about it, I must stick to the plan. As you can imagine, I’ve planned my payments for the next 2 years until everything is paid off. I’m constantly fiddling with it to see how much I’d have left by such a date if I paid extra off. Again it keeps me focussed on the goal.
I toyed with revealing the amounts in a spell of honesty. But I’m not sure I can, It’ll only make me feel worse. Maybe when I’ve reduced it a bit I’ll give you all the figures.
So with the thought of not being able to replace my work shoes for another 2 years, plus all the work I’ve still to do before Christmas, I’m feeling slightly bummed. But you can see why I cling on to these milestones. 2 years is a long time and it’s a big goal. It’s much better for me to work towards smaller goals, it feels more manageable. It gives me a reason to celebrate even when there’s still a lot to do.
Talking about the work I have to do..
A1 – Complete!
A2 – Complete!
B1 – Complete and gifted! Expect a post soon.
B2 – Run out of yarn! It wasn’t even a game of chicken, it just wasn’t there anymore. New order needed.
C1 – Maybe 85% done? Late late late.
C2 – No progress 😦
C3 – No progress 😦
C4 – No progress 😦
C5 – Extra – Just added
C6 – Extra – Just added
C7 – Extra – Just added
D1 – No progress 😦
D2 – No progress 😦
D3 – No progress 😦
D4 – Think I’ve got it. Have started this morning, we’ll see how it goes.
D5 – No progress 😦
As you can see I’ve added extras. I’m going the wrong direction. Just keep swimming. Sigh. I’m just gearing up for a week off (well 4 days) that I’ve got just for making. Wake up, make, go to sleep. Expect updates.
Many apologies for being miserable for this post. Not quite up to my usual standard. Only 2 pictures! Didn’t want to fill it rainy photos of doom! The next post should be a reveal so I promise to be extra cheery to make up for it!
Much love xx