Sunday, 21 October 2012

Am working on...

Diet wise have been lax but am starting to cut stuff out. I have been tasking myself with sorting out things I haven't been dealing with but have been whining about for too long. Firstly was our finances. We tend to bury our heads in the sand and not think about money too much, only to spend it on junk food. Well it came to a head when of course rent was due and we had...not enough to cover it. I mean literally we had the money in our wallet/purse and £15 in the bank once we had transferred over some money from my single account (i'm not even sure why this is still open but I may close once we're sorted!).
It was scary as I realised that without the help from MIL we would be without basic food (it was a Friday when hubby got paid and we had no money after the rent had gone!). It was the wake-up call we needed so since then we have been trying to stick to buying basics i.e. food and nappies and budgeting for the 'luxuries' in life. The good news being that I have worked out it would take 3 1/2 months of 'scrimping' to get us to a comfortable place. The bad news; Car tax renewal, MOT, Christmas and babies 1st birthday are fast approaching. So the deal is to watch what we are spending and once Christmas is done, we'll see where we are and go from there. 
Am hoping we're in the black or v.close to being so. It would be great to get to hubbies birthday/fathers day and spoil him a bit, he does work hard to provide for us. Well he works a job he loathes so we can live as we do.
My 2 year plan is beginning to take shape, there are a list of things I want to have done before my 30th birthday and the getting back2black plan is top. It does weight heavily on my mind and I was losing sleep prior to sitting down and working out the sums.
If you ever find yourself in a similar place, get yourself a writing book, probably an A4 size as this allows for 30-31 lines for each day of the month, make columns for Date; Incoming; Outgoing; & Balance. Go through all your direct debits/standing orders and see where your money is going there. Make sure you are covering the important ones; rent/mortgage, utility bills and loans/credit cards, than add food shopping and if you have one, car maintenance. Lastly make sure you factor in for extras. I used the fact that the book would allow me to make 2 pages of these, side by side (if you skipped the first page) and I did my predicted sums on one side and have been adding the actual sums on the other. That way I can see where the money is going potentially on unneeded items.
I admit this is in it's infant stage, but so far it has deterred me from withdrawing money or putting shopping on the card. I have allowed £50 a week for food shopping but it's been a bit rubbish this week as we are still recovering from the week before and alot of the staples we stocked up on had gone. Hopefully it will take shape over the coming weeks and we'll work towards getting a healthier bank balance as well as a healthier waistline. It has been a revelation to walk into a shop with a list of items and walk out with the items and nothing extra, though I am missing my magazines but admittedly am grateful they are no longer cluttering the house.
That has been another revelation; the house has been benefiting from not having 'extra' money, as I haven't been able to buy swarms of magazines so have been reading the ones I have got, then recycling them and have been sorting through the scary unopened bank statements stowed away. Now we are taking charge of them, it's not so scary, mostly I have been shredding them as they are useless as we won't applying for any loans for a long while and even then that will be a mortgage. 
Aw yes the mortgage talk, I brought this up with hubby as I mused that we would have to live like this if we ever wanted to save for a mortgage so it is a tester run for that too. 
My only fear atm is that something big needs replacing on the car and it'll knock the hard saving I have back but I am allowing for this, so hoping it won't be too bad. The rest, apart from our beds and kids furniture is the landlords or covered by insurance so it maybe the car that does it.