I haven’t updated this page in 3 months. I’ve been so busy trying to start up my holistic business. Talk about hard work and I’m only aiming for part time alongside my day job (for now).
Anyway just a short post – I’ve got a bunch of posts on my various blogs to do over the next few days but I wanted to share my newest one. This is my business one. I’m really proud of it. It covers the type of things I offer as well as (to me) a fab new book club. It’s based in Leeds but feel free to read the book and leave some comments on the post.
I heard a story the other day about a relative who always has the latest technology, a nice house and car and doesn’t ever seem to worry about money. I wondered how I can learn from this so asked him how he does it. The answer I got was that he ”doesn’t let money rule me. If I want it I buy it. If it needs replacing I replace it. I just do it and don’t worry”.
At first this seems amazing. I should just let go. But then how do you let go when you have a debt plan and a limited monthly budget of what money is left after the debt money and bills have gone. Debt plans don’t take into account the need to upgrade a washing machine because it’s 10 years old and not the most economical. Or to save the cash to move house to a nicer area (which I would love to do). So how do you not let it rule you but still cope within the confines of having no cash.
It’s not easy and is going to be a work in process for me. I’ve gone back to the envelope system of diving my money up into weeks. I fell out of the habit and have noticed if I pay by card I spend without thinking and have a tendency to go overdrawn a lot. If I divide my cash into weeks and accept that I can only spend that I pay more attention. For me I worry less – if it isn’t there I can’t do anything about it. It also helps clarify just what you spend your money on. Take out drinks and coffee shops seem to be my downfall. But also going to the supermarket for a loaf of bread and coming out having spent £5 on sweets, fizzy pop and other random things I didn’t need.
What it doesn’t take into account is emergency trips to the vet. So on the one hand I stopped worrying as I was spending within my means and not letting having limited funds bother me…then the cat got sick and I had to borrow from future weeks. Now I know though my spending habits I can learn to cut down on certain things. Do I need a take out drink daily or can I just treat myself on a Monday when I have a late start at work? If I do that I save £6 a week. Not enough to pay the vet but it’s better than nothing to start an emergency fund.
The other theory is does this relative have an emergency fund? Or is it just leftover money at the end of the pay period? If they’ve never worried about money and have been lucky enough to have never struggled and got into financial trouble do they actually know the value of money? Are they then actually in a better position than me? Is it better to have had a struggle and learned lessons than never having to worry or be ruled by money at all? Interesting thoughts from a throwaway comment.
I think then by having my debt plan, leaving the cash in the bank for direct debit bills and then the rest as cash in the envelopes I am starting to let go of being ruled by my bank balance but I think my struggles will make me stronger overall.
A while ago I wrote about how I needed to get out more and the things I’d been doing and what the term could mean. Are my travel trips enough – should I spend more time in a bar?
I made a list of the things I could do to get out more so thought I’d give a little update.
One of the things I’ve noticed is how over the last 2 years I have developed a bit of social anxiety. It started as being worried about money and how going out would mean spending and as someone trying to pay off debts should that money be spent paying off bills? I was going to start small and go to some coffee shops. My original post mentioned upgrading from the supermarket to an actual coffee shop but I seem to have without thinking stayed exactly where I am – in the cheaper options. Today I tried a new place and really enjoyed it so much make a conscious effort to get my feet walking to somewhere that is designed for a relaxed experience rather than the get ‘em in, chuck ‘em out fast experience of Maccy D’s.
I also attempted a few other things. Firstly was my first music gig in about 4 years. And because my plans to start small went out of the window I ended up at a festival. Thankfully an indoor one as February isn’t the warmest month! I spent the run up to the event in a state of stress. My anxiety levels were sky high, I hated everyone, I was quite prepared to fall out with all my friends. Somehow I got there and guess what? I loved it. We did have a VIP tickets so we could sit upstairs overlooking the barriers rather than be in the crowd and looking down at the moshers that was probably a good idea. But I had a brilliant time so much so that we have tickets for next year already and I’ve also paid to see Green Day later in the year. So major result despite the initial panic.
The next event was the pub. I’m really not into the whole going into the city centre and clubbing to the really hours any more and neither are my friends. So we decided that we would go local. The actual plan went completely wrong but in a funny way and we still ended up having a nice time. Possibly because I wasn’t involved in the planning of the night I was happy to go along with whatever happened.
And the last stresser was a wedding! I knew the bride. I’d met her best friend for 10 minutes the month earlier and that was it. This time I took my anxiety out on my wardrobe. I bought 2 dresses which I hated as soon as I’d paid for them, I had nothing to wear, everything made me look fat. My end choice was a dress I’ve had for years that I used to really love but for some reason had stuck at the back of the wardrobe. Again I had a lovely time and once there had no anxiety at all.
So it seems the build up is the worrying part rather than the event. I need to work on how I can learn to enjoy a build up and actively look forward to things. Easier said than done and when I figure it out I’ll let you know!
I saw an article yesterday that said 130 celebrities had died this year. I may be riddled with flu but I was stuck naming more than a handful besides the few that died this week. I’ve seen arguments on both sides about how much grief one should have about a celeb death and how much with that grief has.
On the other side, sadly I can name more than a handful on my Facebook friends list who have lost family and close friends (and I’m including the pets in this) which is a bit more close to home. While it’s sad for anyone to die these mean more to me because I’m seeing my friends (no matter how long it’s been since I saw them last) suffer.
Facebook and Twitter seem to be awash with negativity and various polls, elections and votes have given results that have stirred up anger even more to the point that people are viewing this as one of the worst years ever. I’ve seen the twitter posts stating 1939-1945 were probably worse which is right but sometimes I think of social media as a hive mind of doom. Bad news and misery seems to be following us everywhere. There was a twitter moment regarding some good things that happened in 2016 (mostly animals coming off the endangered species) but in less than 48 hours it’s gone and we’re back to misery and political tit-tat.
We really need to kinder to each other. It doesn’t matter if you weren’t best friends with a celeb, if their lives touched you grieve away. Better than keeping the crap bottled up and struggling. If you don’t like it, unfollow that person on FB for a few weeks. Then let it all go back to normal. Let’s help each other out. If someone is upset (for any reason) give them a hug; offer them tea or just sit and chat. As someone who has suffered with depression for many years sometimes this is all a person needs.
And then maybe we can spread that to people outside our social circle. But in the secret altruistic spirit of George Michael let’s not tell anyone! Don’t tell us you gave Bob the homeless guy you’re filled free coffee coupon. Post some articles or write a blog on the plight of the homeless instead. Don’t tell us about your volunteering somewhere – raise the profile of that charity instead. Let’s share the different ways to volunteer and help people rather than making it all about us.
(However if you’re after the money for charity, promote away. I may be doing that again if I decide to do the St Gemma’s Midnight walk again.)
We need to make 2017 a year where we’re not counting down the hours wishing it to end but one filled with as much positivity as possible that we’d be quite happy to do all over again the following year.
I wrote another blog about how my year has gone from the perspective of changing jobs and my financial progress. I did however make a list of things I wanted to achieve
I wanted to increase my blog followers: I aimed for 150 on my book blog and hit it just this week. I wanted 75 on my travel blog and got 65. And I wanted this one to 200 and am at 186. However I have probably paid more attention to my book blog so going forward I need to make sure I post more and see if I can hit next years growth targets
I had some self employment goals. I wanted to finish courses in Life Coaching (I’m about 95% there), CBT (haven’t started), hypnotherapy (abandoned as not one I want to continue with as a business practise) and Angel Therapy (Yay I finished one). I wanted to start practising and did for a short while until other life factors took hold. I’ll look at it again in the new year.
I wanted to get out more. I wrote a whole blog about this and what does getting out more actually mean. Getting out more I’ve made progress but there’s still work to be done.
Reduce sugar: I lost 10lbs in weight this year giving up sugar. I’ve probably gained it back again however. 2017 needs to have massive concentration on my diet and health. I’m unhappy with many things but they won’t change unless I do. I know I can do it when I put my mind to it so I have to do this and stick to it.
I wanted to record 150 books as read on Goodreads. The current total is 165 and I think I’ll have finished one more before New Years Eve.
Stop overthinking: Failed at this one in a big way! I’ll add it to 2017’s list
Sort out love life: Yep failed that one too
Increase 10,000 steps a day regime: Ending on a positive note. I probably average around 7000 a day taking into account weekends where I might do very little. I need to get it a little higher next year. I’m looking at various exercise techniques. Without making excuses I’m still recovering from having a frozen shoulder/RSI and a trapped nerve all in the same arm. I still get the odd pains and my arm is very weak compared to the strength I had pre-illness so I’m wary of certain things. However walking will not affect my arm so that will be my starting pioint
The new job is going well. It’s all completely new to me and a steep learning curve but I’m doing ok and constantly learning new things. I’m looking forward to some new challenges and the chance to grow further in the new year.
My attempt at self employment, while I can’t call it a failure, didn’t take off as I got the promotion and have been concentrating on that. But you have to try these things and how will you know if something is right or not if you don’t? It’s something to think about more in the new year and I may just offer my services on a voluntary basis for now.
And I’ve reawakened a love of travel. I’m still tried by budgeting but through work and also day trips I’ve got out and about far more than in previous years. I’ve a few ideas for 2017 which hopefully will pan out.
So it started off bad, full of pain and self doubt but thanks to the second half of the year it’s one I’m quite proud of and I can’t wait to see what 2017 has in store
About 18 months ago after a bit of sulking on how my life was going I decided to keep an achievements jar rather than a gratitude jar. I’ve emptied it today to free it up for my 2017 goals and thought I;d take a look at what I’ve done
I’ve given some thought (and written a few blogs) on setting up as self employed. I was pretty much ready to go then got a promotion in my day job so decided to put everything on hold to get to grips with the one that pays my wages. Hopefully at some point in 2017 I’ll revisit as everything is set up to do so and I enjoy it.
I found in the jar:
I qualified as a EFT therapist
I qualified as a crystal therapist
I qualified as a Angelic Reiki therapist
I’ve almost finished both my Business/Life Coach diploma and when I find some enjoyment again for it my hypnotherapist diploma.
I’ve started a course in CBT
My house was redecorated to enable me to work from home. I got the insurance and all the equipment.
I got a promotion.
There are also some Get Out of Debt achievements in the jar:
I gave my debts to Stepchange and set up a repayment plan
I read Marie Kondo’s de-cluttering book and too action by de-cluttering the house. I went through my precious bookcases and gave up any book that I did not love and would not read again, I traded them in and used the money to pay towards bills
I did the same with the shed and my wardrobes. I took part in a number of car boot sales and made myself a little money.
It’s not a huge list but it’s still god to be able to look back and see some of the good things I worked on in the last year. I’m looking forward to seeing what will go in the jar in 2017