I know I am a bit late with post and I probably should have gotten it up earlier but here goes. This year I have vowed to make some big changes in my life and one of those changes is the way I deal with my finances. They are in desperate need of an overhaul so I wanted to make some 2019 money resolutions.
I am a spender and not a saver.
I can’t help it and for many years I have been trying to change my habits without really wanting to change anything. Do you know what I mean? Having money literally burns a hole in my pocket/bank account and I find saving ridiculously hard. It’s really not the best way to live. Especially as a single parent. And over the years I always presumed I would get better as I got older. Only I just got older, I never got better. I am long past overdue making some new years money resolutions.
For this reason, I am a huge fan of money management being added to the curriculum. It really is an important skill for absolutely everybody and if you know how to manage your money well, you are at a bigger advantage when the time comes to put it into practice.
But this year is the year I get organised. I promised myself I would be more organised in all areas of my life. And that I would learn how to manage my finances better and basically be a better grown up!
So Far, So Good!
At the time of writing this post, I am 2 weeks in and my house is still being kept tidier on a daily basis, I am still making an effort to get out on my walks on a Sunday and go to the gym/Zumba class at least twice a week. I am also eating better and I am on top of my workload too. 2019 seems to be my year so I have high hopes for changing my financial situation.
With regards to my finances, these are the tips I am using so far to help start my year off well to create new habits.
- Clear out emails. I am closing down any accounts and removing any emails that encourage me to spend money on things I don’t need. Clicking unsubscribe means fewer emails and less temptation to spend.
- Making My Own Lunches. On a normal week, I work 3 full days at work. Usually, this means around £5 per day for lunch. Chances are this will be all junk food washed down with a bottle of Pepsi Max. By taking in my own lunch, grabbing some fruit from the shop (I work in greengrocers) and going back to drinking water, I can save myself around £10-£15 a week. More when I do extra days!
- Swapping Friday night shopping for gym classes. My youngest sister and I have a habit of going out shopping on a Friday night. This means spending money I don’t have and of course, eating out. By adding in some Friday evening Zumba classes this will cut down on wasting money every single week.
- No more takeouts. I am terrible for ordering takeouts on a Monday and a Friday. Monday’s are a long hard day at work and this used to result in Takeout Mondays. By being organised I can prepare a healthy meal before I go to work in the morning taking all the effort out of preparing a meal when I come home. This leads me to;
- Meal Plans. This is my second week of writing a meal plan. The idea is it will help us shop only for exactly what we need that week. It also gives Olivia some control over what we are buying and eating as she loves to plan things. We have managed to stick to it with virtually no fuss and I am hoping we can continue this throughout the month at least.
- Fewer Meals Out. My plan is to invite my sister to mine for more meals instead of us going out for meals. I am hoping to limit meals out to times when we get really good offers or discounts. I currently have a 40% off voucher for Harvester and this year, I will action their ‘visit 4 times get a free meal’ offer that keeps popping up in my app.
Going Forward with my 2019 Money Resolutions.
I have a long term plan in my head but for now, I am starting off small to build good habits so I can improve my finances as the year progresses.
- Small Savings. By keeping the above measures in place as much as possible I am hoping to save around £40 a week.
- I am also working on boosting the blog as much as I can. As I rely on the blog as income, by making it the best blog I can, I can bring in bigger campaigns and boost my earnings. Should this not happen as I hope, I will be looking to take on another part-time job to help out with finances.
- Christmas Savings. A few years ago I used to save regularly for Christmas, birthdays and emergencies. It was only a small amount each week but that made it manageable. This is something I really want to start up again. *Update: This has been put in place with my sister’s as we are now all saving with Park Hampers – not an ad*
- Gym. We renewed our gym passes last year but going to classes was a little bit stop-start. This year we are aiming to actually get our money’s worth from the pass and not waste the £30 each month. Not only will going the gym keep me busy, but it will also help me to get in shape and start eating better. This will, in turn, help me stick to eating better and keeping to my meal plan as mentioned above.
- Debts. This year sees me finally pay off some small debts I have been making payments on. After April I will have an extra £80 a month. Towards the end of the year, another £30 will be freed up when another debt is cleared Another option is to look at consolidating them into one payment should this help me clear them quickly. This loan calculator is a great guide on finding out if you are eligible for a loan to get the finance you need.
- Disney. OK, this is a long shot and most definitely not going to happen this year, but by getting my finances in order will hopefully enable me to be able to save up some money to be able to book a once in a lifetime trip.
I am under no illusion that this will be easy. It will be anything but. But by making small changes gradually, hopefully, I can put some good habits into place that will pay off in the long run. Are you making any long term financial changes or money resolutions this year? How do you keep control of your budget to make sure you don’t overspend?