Thursday, 1 January 2009

Area 2: Budget and finance

Ok, so I am a self-confessed shop-a-holic. Some people read a book when they're bored, I go shopping. I go shopping as a means of entertaiment, as well as a social activity. I spend money on a whim. I only ever go to the supermarket when I'm hungry because I know that if I plan in advance I won't feel like the food that I've bought later on. I'll stare at the cupboards, decide there's nothing worth eating, and drag everyone out to Nandos.

And it's not just clothes shopping that I like. I mostly just like being out the house. I get bored easily at home so eating out in the evenings is a great social activity. I go shopping to kill time - I arrive at work 45 mins early every day, so I saunter off to the nearby Tesco superstore to see what delights I can find. Even if it's just a magazine. On average I probably spend £5 a day in tesco alone - which may not sound like much, but... "every little helps" as they say, and £25 a week adds up to a lot of pennies!

I've never budgeted in my life, and the few times I've tried, I've failed miserably - or I've spent so much money on organisational budgeting tools ('cause everything has to be colour coded!), that it's kind of defeated the object!

I also live with a manageable sized amount of debt - both from my student days and beyond. I dutifully pay off the minimum every month, sometimes a little bit more, but with interest rates rising it's like chipping away at a huge block of concrete. It makes no difference what-so-ever.

BUT all this is about to change. Because ladies and gentleman.... I have drawn up a budget! Now, this month is a little tighter than usual, what with the effects of Christmas, and hubby got paid mid-December instead of New Years.... so we spent half of it too early! Ooops!! However, I was surprised to find that seeing as we had spent most of his pay packet, we could still survive until January 31st without using Credit. Cool huh? I've pinned it up on the wall so we don't forget about it:

So, the immediate challenge is to get to the end of January. Once February arrives, we're going to start paying off those debt monsters!

- Stick strictly to the budget by withdrawing cash every Monday and making it last all week.
- Keeping a close check on finances by regularly looking at our accounts and re-assessing the situation.
- Start to make a massive hole in that credit card which charges a ridiculous amount of interest, and aim to reduce my student overdraft by £500 by May.
- Don't buy any new clothes, and only eat out on Sundays for the foreseeable future.

So, with no prospects of buying any more new shoes for a long while, I will leave you to adore a picture of my last purchase of 2008. Some gorgeously purple bootees - I got dressed up yesterday just so I could wear them to the supermarket. :0)

1 comment:

  1. Hi Em! Love your new blog!! You sound like me concerning shopping. I can spend big money just popping in at the grocery store for a few times. lol Kelly inherited the shopping gene from me, she LOVES shopping, I believe it is her favorite thing to do!
    I am impressed with your goals, I know you will do well.
    sending lots of love