IT’S NEARLY CHRISTMAS!
I’m starting to get really excited now – possibly caused by the decision to watch a least one Christmas film a night to get into the Christmas spirit!
And it’s working alright! I’ve never heard of there ever being a time when there was too much Christmas spirit. That wasn’t alcohol related anyway! Lol
I’m not sure why I’m so excited this year, but maybe because it feels so different to last year. My Christmas shopping is all done and wrapped. I’m not working every waking minute, completely stressed out and missing time with my daughter.
This week I received my official offer of a permanent job, the one I’ve been doing through an agency since September. I was successful at the interview the other week and have been waiting for references and checks to come back. My new start date is 4 January 2022.
What a way to start the New Year!
I have a really good feeling about this next year. I feel this is the year I will finally become debt free. It was my plan to become debt free by December 2021 but when I made this plan I had no plans to leave teaching and when I did leave teaching, I found myself without a job. I immediately signed up to an agency so at least I was earning something but in that instance, I lost 10k in wages. I’m still not being paid as much as when I was a teacher but I have plans to get there within the next 12 months for sure.
This week has been full of positivity but I can’t ignore the fact I’ve gone over budget.
I planned Christmas last December and after going ridiculous over budget last year by £900 I vowed to never be so stupid again and I set up a standing order for £83 every month to cover Christmas 2021. At the time, I thought I needed approximately £1000 to cover everything I wanted. This included; nights out, food, Christmas days out with my friends, family and daughter, decorations, presents and well basically everything Christmas.
Then I got smart – too smart and after a few months I decided to change the amount from £83 to £50. I told myself it was silly to spend so much on Christmas. I scaled back everyone’s gifts and continued to save this amount for the whole year, giving me £600 for Christmas.
And you know what, it’s not enough. Everyone’s budget and personal finance is just that, personal. And for me it’s just not enough. I haven’t brought any decorations or lights this year or Elf on the Shelf things like last year and I’ve been out once with work for a Christmas meal. I was right last year – £1000 for me would have given me the budget that I need to get everything I want without going over budget.
This is a huge learning curve for me. If I compare myself to what I should have spent this year, I’ve failed massively. However, if I compare myself to last year, I’ve made progress because I haven’t spent £900 over budget. I’m going to take it as a positive step in the right direction because this is the first time in forever I really know what I spend at Christmas. Next year I’ll have £1000 saved and I’m really interested now in how it all pans out!
I’ve still got to work out exactly how much over budget I’ve gone over by – I’ve been putting it off I’m not going to lie.
I did succumb to my daughter’s puppy eyes at the weekend and brought a moving model village fair ferris wheel for £135. WHAT WAS I THINKING!
It wasn’t until a few days later I saw she had stuffed her tiny teddy in it so it could go for a ride that I decided she didn’t quite understand that it was an ornament and not a toy so I took it back. Sometimes when you go a little crazy, you just need to take things back.
What I Have Spent This Week
£50 Christmas money given to my daughter for my present
£40.60 Gift and food at Harry Potter Forbidden Forest Experience
£35.17 Tesco food
£20.00 Tesco petrol
£169.90 Garden centre – spent on model Ferris wheel and other bits (135.00 has been refunded)
Considering my weekly budget is £50 per week with no budget for anything else, you can see now why I need more room in my budget for Christmas. Things I’d not accounted for, like my daughter wanting money to spend on me for Christmas so she can experience shopping for Christmas with my mum. And the annual Christmas trip to somewhere really special, this time to Harry Potters Forbidden Forest Experience – again not considered.
This journey I’m on is not just about paying off debt and having all the answers. It’s about having a better understanding of my spending behaviours. Trying and failing and trying again with budgets, finance plans and everything money related. As they say “To learn to succeed, you must first learn how to fail”.