WINNING!

Anyone who knows me or reads my Facebook will know that I am now officially saving for my wedding... Actually, that's not strictly true at the moment... I have to sort out a few of my bills for the next couple of months, so at the moment, I'm just trying to reign myself in so that come March I will have money to save. The downside to this is that we are not going to Maspalomas Pride in May, which was quite a special one as it represents somewhat of an anniversary for me and Nick (we barely knew each other when we booked it, and had a magical time!) The upside is that if we can save £100.00/month each, we can afford our dream wedding in March 2014... Hopefully on or around our anniversary which is the 4th. This is the first real thing I've every saved for - everything else has been NOW NOW NOW, credit cards, overdrafts, loans. I am determined that 2012 will be the year of my financial awakening - I've had an epiphany (thanks to my Uncle Cliff who had very wise and six months of being on a very low income). My plan is to treat every month as though they were the last month of 2011. It was a very difficult month, my bills matched my income (and only just thanks to help from Mum and Dad and Nickie). I had no spare cash at all. I had to be clever! I didn't go out, I made all my cards by hand, my presents too - baked gifts, hand made decorations etc. I'd say I spent around £50.00 all in all on ingredients and supplies. For that I managed presents for 6 people and cards for 15.

Now the financial situation is marginally better... without Christmas to contend with, I can manage my bills and travel to and from work, as well as a small food budget. Time to get clever again...

Rules for 2012

  1. If you can't pay for it straight away, don't spend it - No more Credit Cards or loans. (Not to mention our unfortunate decision to buy a second hand vacuum cleaner with a view to paying for it "after payday" thinking we had enough money in January...)
  2. Justify every penny - All outgoings to be added to a spreadsheet and justified. I have a column labelled "Valid". If I can't honestly justify the spend, the cell is coloured red, the plan is to end up with no reds.
  3. Don't pay full price for any item that you can realistically live without - So "Whoops" labelled treats and Orange Wednesday movie nights!
  4. Don't buy what you can bake - This includes cakes, biscuits and other tasty treats... it also includes presents.
  5. Pay £200.00 off the credit card each month - If I do this for the next 4 months, I can afford to reduce it and save the rest.
  6. Make Spare Time Pay - Car boot sales, Web Design, Baked Goods, eBay ... If you can make £1.00 profit, sell it!
  7. Be Smart - This deals with two things in particular - my NHS Prescription Pre-Pay card and my travel Season Ticket. I'm on so many meds at the moment that £10.50/month is worth it! In addition, I can get a season ticket loan for the bus which will save me £s!
  8. Make One Change - I only buy one or two Starbucks coffees each month, but added up over the year, it's loads of money. No more posh coffees on the way to work (obviously if I'm meeting a friend for coffee, I'm allowed to have one!)
  9. The Longer You Hold Off, The Greater The Rewards - That's thanks to my bbf Lucy! Why buy it now when you can pay off a few more bills and treat yourself next month?! 
Following these 9 rules should eventually get me back in the black!


Today was a particularly fortuitous day. I've been telling Nickie for ages that we should try to trade in all of our unused gaming equipment and today we finally did it... We got £130.00 (store credit) trade in for various Wii related equipment (£12.00 extra due to staff incompetence - what do you mean the controllers don't work?! Turned out the "new" batteries they tried were actually dead!). We won't be going out very much so all those new games will definitely be useful!

We also took a set of knives back to Next. They were 11 months old (the finish was chipping and they were going rusty!) and we got the full price back £35.00 onto a refund card. If we're very lucky, we'll get a new set in the sale and then we'll have a little bit to treat ourselves with!

It's a good start... In the next few weeks, we're hoping to do some car boot sales, and putting some old designer clothes on eBay. In March we're opening a joint (scary!) savings account and every extra penny will go into it. I just hope my resolve will keep firm! Wish me luck!

*amendments are in italics

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