Finances are a constant strain and worry for me at the moment. I will post a lot more in detail in future about how I do or don’t get everything to balance out but here is a quick summary. Basically my income is pretty static at just over £1100 a month. My expenditure is a bit more flexible, although it is already squeezed pretty tight, and is just a balancing figure by the time the mortgage etc is paid, and there is rarely any money left for luxuries.
However, just before Christmas a couple of things happened that made me realise that this constant teetering on the edge doesn’t work. First off my mortgage company decided to write a few days before Christmas to tell me that I was behind with my mortgage and that I needed to pay the shortfall by the end of the year. Timing was rubbish. And it was the first time that they had informed me that I was not paying the correct amount each month.
Then my boiler packed up. Yet again. Just a couple of days before Christmas and right in the middle of a particularly cold spell, with both boys home from school.
Both things combined sent me into a real spin. I wanted to just cancel Christmas, and hide under the duvet with a hot water bottle and sleep until it was all over with. But as a lone parent that is just not an option. So I simply had to deal with it, although it was a hard lesson to learn. Thou shalt not get by by the seat of your pants………
So I am trying to build myself a bit of a buffer. I’ve come up with an idea, my “50/50 plan”. I am going to try to save £50 per month on my current expenses, but also try and make an extra £50 income per month. I am hoping that the income will work alongside my 31 Day Minimalism Challenge, but tightening my already pretty squeezed expenditure by a further 50 pounds a month is going to be tricky
I did start this in December, as there is no time like the present to start, but January will be my first month to see if I can actually do it. I’ve drawn up a page in this year’s planner, so that I can see it visually, and that will hopefully help me along with it when I need a push. Here is progress to date. I’m really chuffed with how well I’ve done on selling things I don’t need any more, reducing the bills is proving a little harder, so needs more thought. But 13 days in, and it looks positive.