Setting End Of Year Goals

As the end of the year draws closer, it’s time to think about what I want to achieve in the next 12 months and beyond.

In previous years, I have always made a list of goals on New Years Eve and placed them in an envelope ready to open on New Years Eve the following year.

It’s something I have always done privately and never shared. But as sharing helps me to focus and keeps me accountable, I thought this time I’d share a goal with you and provide you with some tips on how you can go about planning your end of year goals too.

When I worked in the corporate world of banking, having a plan to achieve goals was fundamentally one of the most important tools you used. It underpinned future promotions, showing managers what you were capable of and gave you a pathway to help you achieve what you want. It can also be applied to personal goals, for example if you want to lose weight or retire.

We spoke about goal setting a lot in banking and from my early banking career I was shown that I should always keep my goals SMART.

SMART is an acronym for – Smart, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. It’s used so you can see exactly what you need to do to achieve your goals.

It turns your dreams into reality

SMART is explained in more detail below;

S – Specific

Don’t just generalise and say I want to be debt free or I want a new job. Be more specific and write down exactly how you are going to achieve this.

For example, you may want to be debt free, get a new job or start a new business. You may even want to retire early.

  • Will you try and increase your income, if so, by how much?
  • Will you look for another job or start a side hustle?
  • Will you need to gain extra experience?
  • Are there people who could mentor you that you could contact?
  • Are there courses you could do to help you stand out from the crowd?
  • Will you need further education or qualifications?
  • What is your outstanding debt? If you want to pay it off in 2 years, how much will you need to pay off each month to reach your goal?

M – Measurable

How will you measure your progress? Weekly or monthly? And how will you track this? If you’re on a debt payoff journey, will you review it each time you’re paid? Or at the end/start of the month when all the bills are paid?

A – Attainable

Are your goals reachable in the time limit you give yourself? What are the limitations, if any? Is there something in your way to stop you? If you want to be debt free in a year, can you afford to make the monthly payments to make this happen, or do you need to earn more, review the budget or get another job? If you want to go for a new job, will you need to find childcare? And if so, could you afford it?

R – Relevant

Do your goals align with your long-term plans of what you want to achieve? If you want to be debt free, why? Is this so you can reduce your working hours, give up work or afford to buy a bigger house?

T – Timely

Set a realistic end date. If your end date is a few years away, it may be helpful to break it up into monthly and yearly updates so it keeps you motivated. There’s no point in saying you want to be debt free in 1 year if you don’t have enough disposable income to make overpayments. In this case, you’ll need to either earn more or extend the end date.

When setting goals;

1) Write down all the goals you want to achieve in your life.

You may find goals on your list you won’t realistically get to for years but put them down anyway. I always look at immediate goals and those I want to accomplish first, followed by those within five years and then ten years.

You may find you have a really long list and this is good!! Some goals may feel unachievable right now but that’s ok.

Put them where you can see them. I have a notice board in my bedroom so I see them as soon as I wake up in the morning.

2) Put the goals into categories

For example, if you have a number of goals linked to health, like drink more water, go to the gym and lose a stone put them all under a ‘health’ category. I have categories for my main job, my side hustles, health, debt, saving and investing.

3) Look at your list and highlight what you want to achieve the most/first.

You may find that goals on your list naturally follow each other. For example, if you’re paying off debt, need to save for a deposit and want to buy a house, these would in most cases naturally follow each other but that being said, there is nothing wrong with paying off debt and saving for a house at the same time. It all depends on individual circumstances.

4) Take your first goal and apply the SMART acronym.

5) Review your goals regularly and at least every year.

I always feel that my mind naturally wants to review my goals every year before the New Year starts, but you can do it whenever feels right for you. It’s ok for goals to change and for new ones to be added. It’s also ok to have a break and take some time away from the focus. I am a goal orientated person and like working towards something but not everyone is like this. It’s your journey and your life so you do what’s best for you.

Here is an example of one of my goals.

Goal: Debt free

Specific:

I want to pay off £16,695.42 as soon as possible. I can afford £800 a month so it will take me 1 year and 7 months to pay off.

  • This calculation is worked out by £16,695.42 / £800 = 20.9 (months)
  • 20.9 / 12 = 1.74 years
  • If I can increase this payment to £1000 a month, it will take me 1 year 4 months
  • If I want to be debt free in 1 year, I need to pay £1391.29 a month (16,695.42/12 months).

I will do this by:-

  • Using all income earnt from; my courier job, Vinted sales, CMS (Child Maintenance Service) to pay towards the debt, this will be mostly be overpayments.
  • Reviewing the budget and cutting any expenses.
  • Once I start being paid monthly (from the end of January), I will be drawing food and petrol amounts out in cash for the entire month.
  • Take my cards out of my phone wallet and not carrying them at all times.
  • Continue to do no spend months through out the year.
  • Contribute to sinking funds monthly to avoid large expected bills, like MOT and vet bills.
  • Weekly meal planning
  • Daily spend tracking

Measurable:

Every month when I have made my three credit card payments, I will check the overall balance and add it to a spreadsheet so I can see the amount decreasing. This motivates me. I also post my progress to my Instagram page because I find the finance community inspires me to keep going.

Attainable:

£800 a month to debt is achievable on my current income. I have a plan in place to go for a promotion and plan to increase my emergency fund to £2000 first as a priority. My car cost this amount in 2021 in repairs which impacted my payments made towards debt so I don’t want that to happen again.

In January my income will be changing from weekly to monthly so I need to leave enough to cover this before making overpayments on debt.

My side hustle of being a courier has now become a second  job. But I can still do this without needing extra childcare because I take my daughter along with me.

Realistic:

Becoming debt free will allow me to buy a bigger house in a nicer area. Currently because of the debt payments, I am unable to borrow enough on a mortgage to achieve this.

Timely:

One year 7 months, although seems forever away is achievable and is the worse case scenario. My debt free debt is July 2023.

I think it’s important not to be disheartened when you finally see the date (like I am). You will achieve your goals. Honestly, seeing that date makes me feel down but before I used SMART, I’d only made a generic goal of ‘being debt free in a year’ which when you look at what the monthly payment is to achieve this, it was an almost impossible task – almost, because nothing’s impossible, right?

It makes me a laugh a little that I have so many of these tools like SMART in my head but I never really applied them to my debt free journey. And I don’t even know why. Maybe I thought it motivated me more to feel I only had one year left of this incredibly hard debt pay off journey. But actually when I think about it, it makes me feel more sad at the end of the year when I haven’t reached my goal.

But now I have set a SMART goal and know my debt free date is July 2023.

And although it seems like forever away, its a goal that should be achieved based on my presumptions above. My debt free date of July 2023 is at the end of the day the worse case scenario. I’m always going to try and make it happen quicker, as I’m sure you all will too!

Good luck

H

Money Wise Talks 16/12/2021

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)

Total £315.67

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”.

H

Mini Debt (Pay Off) Challenge!

As you may have read from my recent Money Wise Talks 07/10/2021, I have decided to do a Mini Debt (Pay Off) Challenge between now and Christmas.

I want to clear the rest of the balance of £1567.25 from the MBNA card as the 0% interest free period ends 31/12/2021. The finer details around how this amount came about can be found in the Money Wise Talks 07/10/2021 blog post.

If I don’t clear that amount by that day, the interest will default to 29.93 %. I could transfer the balance again but really want a new challenge to refocus me in paying the debt off. I have been on this debt journey so long now that I’m starting to get fed up of it. Can anyone else relate?

To get me in the mood, I made myself a funky new Pig Savings Tracker which you can also download for FREE below. Cute isn’t it!

There are 20 lines on the pig tracker, so each line is worth 1/20th of the total. To work out how much each line is worth just divide the total by 20.

My total on the MBNA card is £1567.25, so each line is worth £78.37 (1567.25/20) .

Every time I make some extra cash, I will put it in a spare online savings account I have attached to my current account and when I get £78.37 I will transfer it to the credit card and colour a line of my pig in. If you have paid off all your debt and have savings goals, you can use it for that instead!

As I mentioned before, I have been a little deflated recently whilst on this ‘paying off debt journey’ so wanted or maybe needed to spice it up a bit by focusing on a lesser number than the massive amount of £16,363.74 and adding a little fun of course. There is also a little bit of pressure and urgency as the deadline is the end of the year.

I just want to be debt free. I just want to start the next chapter.

In all honestly, I think it will be tough to do. I’ve just had some bad news (again) about the maintenance I receive so it looks like that money won’t be coming in, so I’ve decided not to rely on it anymore. If it comes in, bonus. And if it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

Sad news is, I’m now effectively down £200 a month.

The timing is awful being so close to Christmas but thank goodness I saved money every month since last December. At least Christmas won’t be ruined.

Anyhow, yes it will be tough. Going to try my usual tricks of selling, match betting, possible more delivering and being more frugal.

After my last no spend month, I realised I was a little spendy on Monday and Tuesday’s even though I do our weekly shop at the weekend so I’ve now taken my debit cards out of my phone case. I will only use them now on the one day I need to draw out cash for shopping and petrol.

Hoping this will be enough to clear it.

Why not do something similar with me and download the Pig Tracker for FREE. Tag me on Instagram so I can support you and you can support me and GOOD LUCK!

What to do when the Debt Avalanche or Debt Snowball methods don’t work for you?

In all the finance blogs I have read, I have never seen anyone address what to do if neither the ‘Debt Snowball’ or ‘Debt Avalanche’ methods work, which was the case for me last year. I had been following the debt snowball method for a couple of years and was making good progress, I was in tune with my finances and knew what was going out and when, and I could, at the time afford all my minimum payments. But I knew my financial situation was going to change in September 2020 with a huge drop in income leaving me in a financial position where I wouldn’t be able to cover the monthly minimum payments on my debts. Six months leading up to this financial change (March 2020) I knew I had to do something completely different.

I listed all my debts, but this time in order of the highest minimum payment to the smallest. This is what my outstanding debt looked like at April 2020.

 Minimum Payment £Balance Outstanding @ April 2020 £
NatWest Loan3824,369.55
Barclaycard Credit Card320.8412,160.16
Tesco Credit Card1105,533.02
MBNA Credit Card1047,233.58

As you can see, although the NatWest Loan had the smallest balance, it was the highest monthly payment. And in total, I had £916.84 going out every month as a MINIMUM. Shocking really and looking back I will never know how I covered it. I always did though. I never missed a payment once, ever.

I did need a new plan so over the next six months from April 2020 to September 2020 I paid as much as I could off the loan and then the Barclaycard. The loan didn’t allow me to make overpayments, so I created a bare bones budget, meal planned every week and saved everything I could in an account until I had enough to pay if off in full. I was able to do this by May 2020 and paid the loan off in full. This then freed up the payment I was making on the loan of £382, thus reducing my total minimum payments on all debt to £534.84.

The next one to attack was Barclaycard and to reduce the minimum payment of £320.84. Again, with a bare bones budget, meals planned, money saved, and de-cluttered items sold, the minimum payment came down to £225.48 by September 2020. When I received my reduced income in September 2020, I only had to find £418.93 for my total debt minimum payments which was a lot more manageable than the original £916.84.

As I write this, March 2021, I am currently still paying off Barclaycard. The minimum monthly payment is £160.47, and the balance is £4113.14. My total debt payments are now £343.37 and I have now switched back to the Debt Snowball method where I am trying to attack Barclaycard with a vengeance!

 Minimum Payment £Balance Outstanding @ March 2021 £Interest Rate %
Barclaycard160.244113.1420
Tesco Credit Card104.005246.9420
MBNA Credit Card79.137798.110

Barclaycard is still the highest monthly payment, as well as one of the highest charging interest accounts and I have completed balance transfers where I can between the three accounts, and this is what I have left to pay. The credit card with the highest balance is at 0 % but that will change at the end of this year. However, I am confident to have Barclaycard paid off so I can tackle the other credit cards before interest is charged again.

I think the moral of my story is this, it’s important to try all the different methods out there if you think they will work for you but be open to doing your own thing if your circumstances change. It’s important to regularly review the methods you’re using and if you anticipate a change in your finances, make sure you leave enough time to adjust your way of working so you don’t come unstuck. Ultimately, if I had not done what I did then I would have been unable to pay the minimum payments and would have had missed payments and possibly CCJ’s on my credit file for several years.

Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche Methods

What are they?

In the world of finance and paying off debt, you will find everyone raving about two different methods to tackle and repay their debt – ‘Debt Snowball’ or ‘Debt Avalanche’.

Debt Snowball

Using the debt Snowball method, you make a list of all your debts from smallest amount owing to largest (everything but the mortgage) and regardless of interest rate or repayment amount, you pay off the smallest first. You still carry on making minimum payments on all the other debts but focus all your efforts on the smallest and pay as much off that as you can. Once that one is cleared, you move to the next smallest and pay everything you can off that one and so on.

As you pay off more debts, the minimum payments made to the debt that has finished will be available to put towards the next smallest debt and this speeds up paying the debt back, effectively like a snowball it builds momentum.

Using the Debt Snowball method, you receive the success of paying off a debt quicker as it’s the smallest amount. The psychological impact creates ‘good’ feelings which ultimately spurs you on to the next debt and so on. This is a great method to use if you lack in motivation and like/need quicker results.

Debt Snowball Example:

 Interest Rate %Total Balance Outstanding £Minimum Repayment £
Credit Card 129.914,000397.00
Credit Card 220.911,000250
Credit Card 309,00080
Overdraft29.92,0000
Store Card X39.975080
Store Card B19.945025

As you can see, I have listed the different debts in order of total balance outstanding (in bold because both interest rate and repayment amount are irrelevant for this method). I would still make minimum repayments on all my debts but the smallest one I would make the minimum plus anything else I can throw at it!

Once the store card B has gone, I will have £25.00 extra (store card B’s minimum repayment) to put towards paying off the next smallest debt, in this example it would be store card X.

Debt Avalanche

Using the debt avalanche method, you would make a list of all your debts (everything but the mortgage) and make minimum payments on everything as before, but the debt that has the highest interest rate you would throw everything at as well as pay the minimum. This effectively saves you money by paying less interest over time, leaving the 0% and lower rates till last so you benefit from any 0% interest deals you have. This can save you money in the long run, but you will need to be a patient and self-motivated person as you won’t get as quicker hit like the debt snowball method and you could be waiting longer for success.

Debt Avalanche Example:

 Interest Rate %Balance Outstanding £Minimum Repayment £
Credit Card 129.914,000397.00
Credit Card 220.911,000250
Credit Card 309,00080
Overdraft29.92,0000
Store Card X39.975080
Store Card B19.945025

Using the previous example, I have highlighted in bold the interest rate box as this will now become the priority and store card X with an interest rate of 39.9 % will be the first one to tackle.

Review

Both the Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche Methods have been proven to successfully help people to pay off debt and there isn’t a right or wrong method to go for, it will be whatever works for you. Maybe it’s best to try them both, but I’d recommend the Debt Snowball first. And if neither of them work, I found another option …

What to do if the Debt Snowball and Debt Avalanche Methods don’t work for you?

Why I put Christmas On A Credit Card This Year!

I know you must be thinking I have gone crazy, and maybe I have, but bear with me while I explain myself!

For years and years, I have never really known the true cost of Christmas, I mean does anyone? Even now with my budget I still find myself spending a little bit here and there and with starting Christmas shopping early in the year I always forget what I have brought and end up buying more for people than I had originally budgeted for.

This year I wanted to do something different. My amount saved for Christmas was £500 which I saved for by saving £50 per month from January, which I transferred to my credit card. I have then used the credit card for EVERYTHING to do with Christmas; Cards, presents, decorations, wrapping paper, food – you name it, if it’s been brought for Christmas, it’s gone on the card!

This may be the worst thing I could have done, but I need to know exactly how much I usually spend!

I have done this for two reasons, so that;

1) Future budgets incorporate ALL the costs of Christmas and,

2) To allow me to be more aware of what I am spending

I have bought for everyone I wanted to buy for this year but things that sometimes trip me up is last minute December bargains; cheap wrapping paper, cards, gifts that have been packaged just for Christmas that you can’t buy all year round, Christmas jumpers and ‘party’ wear. Also, Christmas events that you can’t really plan for as you don’t really know what companies are going to put on.

So, to be completely transparent I have listed all my payments made and received to my credit card since I started to use it for Christmas and who it was that I brought for.

It actually looks really scary! But here goes;

21/11 – Payment £-76.76

22/11 – Festive Studio £12.50 (Elf resources)

23/11 – Payment £-35.46

24/11 – Amazon £82.94 (Candy lights for outside, indoor lights, daughter gifts, book, window snowflakes)

25/11 – Asda refund £-17.00

26/11 – Etsy £4.70 (elf masks)

27/11 – Amazon £20.05 (Elf resources)

29/11 – Amazon £57.71 (Nephew’s gifts)

2/12 – Amazon £109.06 (daughter top, mum, trainers and book, scrunchies, me CD and hair conditioner)

3/12 – Amazon £73.90 (Brothers gift, 2 x books for my xmas gift and top for daughter)

3/12 – Amazon refund £-5.24

5/12 – Amazon £25.94 (Bestie gifts)

7/12 – Amazon £85.91 (Dad, Dad’s wife and Brother and Nana & Gramps gifts)

7/12 – Amazon £73.60 (Xmas packaging and choc – packaging was returned)

7/12 – Amazon £24.96 (Gifts for Great Nana)

8/12 – Amazon £12.99 (Grandparents book from Sophie)

9/12 – Amazon £14.72 (Mums present)

9/12 – Payment £500.00

11/12 – Amazon £42.59 (Mums husband)

11/12 – Amazon £36.97 (Gift for Dad and one for daughter)

12/12 – Amazon £46.46 (outside lights for house and outside tree)

14/12 – Amazon £18.98 (Onesie for daughter, car phone holder for me, xmas tree skirt for tree)

14/12 – Amazon £7.92 (Elf Resources)

15/12 – Pets at Home £24.50 (Dog and cats xmas presents)

16/12 – Amazon refund £-4.01

16/12 – Amazon refund £-49.95

16/12 – Game £354.98 (daughters main xmas present)

16/12 – Argos £102.96 (daughters main xmas present)

16/12 – Pets at Home £27.00 (dog xmas groom)

16/12 – Pets at Home £15.00 (dog xmas groom deposit)

16/12 – Amazon £49.61 (Daughter and Dad)

16/12 – Post Office £33.20 (Posting cards and gifts)

16/12 – River Island £40.00 (daughter xmas party dress)

16/12 – Next £10.00 (mum xmas plate present)

17/12 – Argos Refund £-24.99

18/12 – Petrol Station £24.00 (Teachers wine)

Ok, so not going to lie, this list is a shock. I know I have made a huge mistake and it makes me really sad to see all the gifts I have brought with no thought to my budget or my finances. I spent a total amount of £1433.15 against a budget of £500 so that’s £933.15 over budget!!!!

Let me just say that again … That’s £933.15 OVER BUDGET!

I know that’s really bad but considering all that badness, the lessons I have learnt in doing this are huge.

Firstly, I have learnt that the £500 budget I set was only just enough to cover the cost of my daughter’s presents and not everything else which I buy for. Not sure why I have done it like this, but I am guessing I did it because hers is my biggest and most important expense at Christmas, so I always make sure I have got enough for her.

And secondly, very stupidly I have realised that I need a budget for everything else! What I spent on house lights and elf on the shelve resources wasn’t even in the budget and yet that’s £150 not accounted for!!

Let’s just say lots of lessons learnt!!

Lesson 1 – I have made an excel spreadsheet for a complete budget for Christmas with EVERYTHING on

Lesson 2 – I am going to increase the monthly debit to my Christmas sinking fund from £50 a month to £84 to cover for everything I need, plus a little extra just in case. This will give me an overall budget of £1000.

Maybe this wasn’t the best idea but I really want to understand myself financially and this exercise has allowed me to see all my many weaknesses in spending, organisation and planning so this is something I can now use to improve myself. And I will. The credit card definitely has no place when your trying to pay off debt and work within a budget.

Thanks for reading

Heidi x

Why Did I Receive a Refund?

In 2018 I decided to do a masters in research degree, a one-year course finishing in time for me to start teacher training and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) in Biology in September 2019. That was the plan anyway.

However, there were problems with the course resulting in me deferring until September 2020 after my teacher training and PGCE was done. Last month I arranged to start back but the course had changed resulting in me being unable to complete it easily.

I didn’t want to lose the money I had paid so I looked around for another masters at the same university and I came across the master’s in education. I was so happy I found this because it would relate more to my new career, it was flexible now I worked full time with lectures being on Saturdays or in the evenings via Teams and I didn’t have to complete as many units.

The PGCE I had already completed gave me 60 credits towards a masters in education, so I would only have to complete 120 credits. Every Masters course is 180 credits.

And this – it was £2222.50 CHEAPER!

And this – it was £2222.50 CHEAPER than the other Masters!! I mean I didn’t plan it like this, but I will definitely take it. The only downside is it will take me two years to complete but with my side hustles and working full time now that will actually work out better for me.

Win Win!!

I thought putting the cost of the masters onto a credit card was the best thing to do as it was an investment into my future, but it wasn’t. I should have saved up.

My Moneywise Plan

When I first thought about getting real and paying off all the debt, I tried everything in the list below;

  • Surveys
  • Budgets
  • Cash jars
  • Cut up the credit cards
  • Got a load of finance books from the library
  • Took on a 2nd and 3rd job
  • Enrolled in some online training so I could take on a 4th job
  • Told all my friends and family
  • Wrote lists for the food shopping
  • Meal planned and then meal prepped
  • Sold as much stuff on Facebook Marketplace as I could

I started writing down every time I made a payment to my credit card, £2 here and £5 there. It didn’t seem a lot at the time but somehow, I was managing to make a payment of something nearly every day. Several months on I now need to evaluate some of the things I am doing so I can start to work smarter and not so hard.

I did them all. I worked every hour of every day

The first thing I am going to stop doing is surveys. First of all they take up a lot of your time which I guess is ok if you have spare time on your hands which I unfortunately don’t and as I make a very little amount from surveys when I compare it to my other side hustle they have to go. I made about £20 for hours and hours of work so it really isn’t worth my time.

The rest I am still continuing on with for now and as I am not doing surveys anymore I may have a little more time to plan some different meals because fair to say we are getting really sick of pasta and spag bol!