Money Money Money

It really is a rich man’s world and for the rest of us we have to make adjustments if we are to achieve the things we want in life.  For me this week, I’ve been sat down trying to work out how to save or find an extra £200 ($300) of my wages to allow for losing one day per week from October.

Now hopefully this won’t be an issue because I’ll instantly become a successful small business woman where money is nothing to worry over. But I will also be studying towards my online part time degree at the same time so there will be weeks where I make less things because it’s assignment time. So I sat down to work out how to cope with this drop in wages using worst case scenario of not selling a single thing in a month

I managed to create an extra £172 ($258) with very little effort and I’m actually a little embarrassed by my own spending habits. I’ve done research on this before and I know that 9 out of 10 people with Mental Health issues have bad debt and money issues (at least in the UK). For myself I have, over the last few years, slowly worked out my spending triggers. I would spend money (which I often didn’t really have) on clothes, books, DVD’s, CD’s and so on because for just a few minutes it made me feel better. But then the feeling would go and I would be back to the feelings of desolation so I’d spend again. It’s an endless cycle not everyone can get off. I know if I could clear all my bills I would be able to happily take a lower paid job or work maybe even 2-3 days without a secondary business. But these are the things I need to work on and I’m trying to clear the debts one by one while still working on my dreams. It’s not easy but I’m now in a strong mental position to attempt the challenge.

Anyway, back to the money. I have one debt due to be cleared in August – that’s £65 ($98) of my £200 ($300) saved, over a quarter in one easy stroke. Then I decided to be brutal with my spending. There’s me and my son and we have one take away each week (occasionally more if I have a down week and don’t want to cook). That’s another £40 ($60) minimum per month that can be saved. I’m already half way there.

I’ve fallen into very bad habits where I bring lunch to my main work office but have been buying lunch when I visit my other two offices. That’s another £25-30  ($45) a month. I spend £20 ($30) plus on magazines – not the cheap glossies that tempt you while you’re waiting to pay for groceries but the expensive knitting magazines and spiritual ones that I never read fully. More waste and a minimum of £20 ($30) a month.

There’s nothing wrong with having a treat now and again so I’ve agreed we can have one takeaway per month and I’ve put my favourite knitting magazine on subscription so it’s cheaper. My friend is buying a different one and we are going to swap.

But that’s already taken me up to £150 ($225) of money I’ve found straight away. I recently had my gas & electric joint bill re-assessed (I must be one of the only people in the country who used less heating this winter instead of more!) and that’s gone down by £22 ($33) per month.

So there we are I needed to find an extra £200 ($300) per month and without hardly trying by the time it’s needed I will only be £28 ($42) short.

Going forward I will have another debt cleared in January (£43/$65)) and am looking at upgrading my TV aerial so I can get a freeview TV. That will mean I can cancel my Virgin cable and phone and then shop around for a cheaper broadband deal (I tried looking for a new package but ignoring the new customer lure promise they are all actually the same) That’s another £4($60). And I want to fit a water meter. I know people who have halved their bills by doing so (£24/$36 saved).

So while I will have some small outlay with the aerial and TV, in the next 12 months I can potentially save £279 ($419) of monthly outgoings. So next time I complain about having no money I should re-read this post!

I used to wallow in my money issues and see everything so blackly and that I could never be able to afford anything. By trying to look at it in a more positive way I can finally start to see the end of the dark tunnel of debt. It just takes a bit of thought…

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