Monday, August 23, 2010


Learn to make cookies that taste better than barely edible.  That would be a good start anyway.

But seriously.  I thought it would be good to write down a few financial goals to the end of the year and see if that helps to keep me on track a bit. 
  1. Reduce cc debt to 3,500
  2. Reduce overdraft to 2,250
  3. Save 400 in annual expenses account
  4. Save 20 each month for my birthday present
  5. Have 40 no-spend days between 30 August and 5 December
By end of the year I mean by the beginning of December i.e. just after getting paid at the end of November which gives me four more months to do it.  These goals are achievable but only if I don't use either cc or overdraft so I will have to continue sticking to a strict budget, especially in September.  December is always a tricky month for me as my birthday is at the start of the month so it's easy to convince myself to relax and enjoy life a little bit.  Even though I can't afford it. 

So this year for December I want to try and keep focussed while acknowleding the fact that there is lots going on and allowing myself to relax a little bit.  I don't celebrate christmas but I will have lots of events and parties to go to and I normally try and send my sister and her kids in France some small things in a package (always difficult to find something for my bil but I have a box set of DVDs that I bought for his birthday this year, which didn't get delivered on time so I am ahead of the game on that one).  Since my younger sister is away as well I want to try and send her something.  Her birthday is in the first week of January so it's nice to send her something for that as well.  I need to focus on making presents this year, which I will start on the week following the big Mahler concert. 

I may also get a bonus at the end of November but if so I will allocate my normal salary first and then divide any extra I may get bewteen cc, overdraft and savings.  I know most people recommend paying off one debt at a time (whether it's the one with the highest interest rate or the one with the highest balance or the one with the lowest balance in order to motivate yourself by an early success or some variation on one of those options) but I've never liked the idea other than in theory.  And although it may be more sensible to put any spare cash towards paying debt I think I do need the boost of building an emergency fund as well.  At the moment I'm thinking something like a 50:35:15 split but I'm not going to think about it anymore since there's a good chance I won't get anything or only very little.  We were lucky to get something last year and it seems unlikely that this year's results will be good enough to allow much of a bonus.  So no point worrying about it until I know whether I will even get anything.

I brought the rest of the coins from my piggy bank to the bank today and lodged whatever the machine would take into my account.  That was 8.05 so together with the 2.41 that was still left in that account, I will be able to withdraw 10 euro from the machine tomorrow which means I can go to book club.  I've said I'll probably be late and probably won't eat but I'll wait and see how the day goes.  We're not going to the cheapest restaurant in town but it's not outrageously expensive either and there are a few things on the menu that don't cost much. 

After putting the money into the machine at the bank and topping it up from my purse so that it would be enough for me to withdraw a note (you do sometimes get five euro notes from the machines but ten is the minimum withdrawal amount) I have 4.62 left in my purse plus 1 x 3.07 lunch voucher.  Today was a no-spend day. 

No comments: