Last month I wrote about my first month using envelope budgeting and giving myself a weekly allowance. It had worked really well. I’d also tried reducing my sugar intake again working really well.
However for February I decided to tweak things a little. Instead of things like book club etc coming out of my weekly allowance I decided that I would count them as ‘bills’ and then with the remaining money set up a new weekly allowance that would be less. It failed. Badly…
I found that my smaller weekly allowance often left me running out of cash mid-week resulting in me taking out the ‘fun’ money, often forgetting I’d done that and still using the money anyway. I also relied a lot on my debit card rather than having the cash in my purse.
Not being able to see my cash money go down by using the card also meant I wasn’t always aware just how much I’d gone over. I ended up using the £15 I’d done so well to put aside and the £8 I’d made selling some books and I’m still £7 overdrawn as the month ends
Note to self: don’t tweak! Don’t mess with a system that works.
It had a negative impact on my eating too. I’m an emotional eater so when stressed I head straight to the chocolate aisle. Guess what I’ve been doing a lot of this month??? So back to too much sugar, sweets and candy is expensive so is coming out of the money I don’t have and so very easily we’re back to all the old habits.Not to mention I put on 2 of my much fought for lost pounds. I’ve managed to pull it back the last few days and stop the sugar and lose my 2lbs again but there are definitely lessons to be learnt.
I attended a money course today (1 of 3 sessions) which gave me lots of support and left me feeling positive for once about money. Despite the debt plan I’ve found over the last 12 months I am a terrible budgeter. So from payday on Monday I will be back on my envelopes and over the next few days reviewing my outgoings to see where I could save money. I’ve already downgraded my TV package saving myself £27.50 a month as my old deal had come to an end and was due to go up. The mobile phone is the next to be looked at.
It’s hard and this is a slow work in progress but like any issue accepting you have a problem is the hardest step and getting help while scary often is the best thing you can do. Right time to go assess my phone contract!
It’s been one of those weeks where in previous years I’d have been curled up in a ball now crying over the constant panic attacks due to money issues.
Earlier in the year I handed my out of control debts to a debt charity to set up a debt management plan for me. I’ve spent years going round in an endless circle of trying to fight my way out of debt but as an emotional shopper and having limited funds it’s been a habit I couldn’t break and eventually I gave in and asked for help.
It’s a massive weight off your shoulders to finally let someone else pick up the strain and look after you. It’s amazing how often we keep going, causing ourselves more misery because it’s so painful to ask for help.
The downside of the debt plan is I’m now always short of money for anything other than essentials. They work out you essential outgoings and then what’s left goes to clear the debts. And that’s fine – it needs to be done but even with a bit of manipulation that they do it does make it hard to have the odd treat or luxury. Or as I’ve seen over the last few weeks fund an emergency,
Two weeks ago the door fell off my fridge! There’s no way round it – in high summer your fridge needs a door. I managed to deal with that one but then this week alone I found out that one of my modules for my university diploma was declined so I have to take another course to finish. That’s £295
My son was told that he needed his passport to start a new job which it turns out he’s lost. As he doesn’t get his first wage for 4 weeks that’s another £80 for me to find. Plus the little luxury I treat myself to each year – a budget trip to a Xmas market – the money is due for it. That’s £200
Or funnily enough not. For the first time maybe ever in my adult life I’ve found myself just getting on with life. NO panic attacks, no stress and anxiety. Just a lovely zen like ‘oh well what will be will be’.
Who is this calm person?
I think it’s linked to my re-found spirituality and the work I’ve done in Life Coaching. And the week has ended with it all working out. My son was able to use his birth certificate to prove his right to work in the UK so we don;t need to worry about passport costs until the new year or beyond. I have too many courses booked to worry about the Diploma until April so that can go in the ‘deal with it later’ pile. And that means that the £200 I have stashed for my holiday can stay for my holiday.
Even as close as the beginning of the year this past 2 weeks would have driven me insane with stress. I’ve smiled and just continues to live my life and enjoy the little things I have.
So lessons learned. Things are not always as bad as they first seem. Sometimes if you put the stress aside the answers are easier than you think 🙂