It’s the middle of January and the New Year is well and truly underway. How are you getting on with those New Year’s resolutions? Sticking to them? Broken them all? I’m not one for resolutions on the whole, I tend to feel like I’m setting myself up to fail by deciding that, from the first day of the new year, everything is suddenly going to change. So no, no resolutions for me.
What I have done though is set some goals. I’ve set goals for my business, for my working life. Dave and I have also set some financial goals. New Year Money Resolutions if you like. Over the last year we have been much more careful with our budgeting. Historically, we have written a list of our outgoings and then promptly ignored it when something exciting came up. We didn’t really budget properly, just wrote down what our bills were but didn’t think about money for living – so unsurprisingly we were always in a bit of a muddle. About 8 months ago we got a grip – I say “we”, what I really mean is Dave . . . he went on a spreadsheet course at work and got a bit giddy with himself! We now have a spreadsheet which tracks our incoming and outgoing money over the course of a month so we can see where the peaks and troughs are. We sit down before each pay day and write down every single little thing we can think of that we will need to spend money on and then figure out if we need to cut anything back. And then? Then, we stick to it.
This year we’ve gone one step further. We’ve done a whole year projection. Based on what we know we’ve got coming in and things that are already on the calendar we’ve done a tentative budget for the full year. Obviously we will update it before payday each month but it gives us a good idea of where we’re going – which months are going to be hard (like August when I don’t teach) or which months are already looking a bit flush. In theory this means we can try to stop things being quite so much “boom or bust” and plan for the tougher months. The other reason for doing this was that we knew we needed to buy a new car this year – the original plan had been to try and save up for this but opportunities for building our savings have been few and far between in this household! Doing the whole year projection allowed us to see if it would be feasible to take out a loan to buy our new car sooner than we had planned (allowing us to avoid spending money on the old car). So, we have taken out the loan and we now have a new car (whoo), but as part of our “financial goals” we are aiming to get that paid off as soon as possible!
|New car faces!|
Do you have any financial goals or resolutions this year?