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Money and Mental Health || How I am sorting our finances.

Thursday, 12 April 2018

mental health, money worries, anxiety, depression, debt, stress, cutting costs, spending plan,
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Ok so following on from my last blog post about money worries over the past 18 months and why I am wanting to sort things out. Here I am going to talk about what I plan to do and how I have implemented changes already.

When you are starting from the very bottom it is daunting, you have no idea where to begin or what you should be doing. There is no spare cash in the bank whatsoever so each week you are praying that the car doesn't go wrong or an emergency doesn't arise. It's no way to live but it is how we have been living for pretty much 18 months now because just as things would be getting back to normal or we would be getting back on our feet BOOM, my husband was made redundant again.

It has been a stressful time to say the very least but hopefully we are out of the woods now (touches every bit of wood around me) so I can now focus on rebuilding our empire (cue superhero music) it will be a long winding road but Rome wasn't built in a day as they say and we all gotta start somewhere.

So what have I been doing already?

SPENDING PLAN

Well Patrick is paid weekly which actually I prefer, it is so much easier to budget weekly and I struggle to make money last a whole month. Obviously if it were monthly pay though I would adjust.

Our bills are divided into four so they cover the four weekly pay days of the month. Maybe one day when there is a float in the bank they can all come out at the beginning of the month but for now it will stay like this. I work out how much is leftover each week and keep some aside and then give us a weekly budget taking into account what may be going on that week. At the moment we are trying not to make plans so we don't have to spend much and our weekly budget looks something like this:

Patrick -  £30 spending money. 
This is for drinks or any snacks he may want during his working day although he takes lunch from home. This also includes if he goes for a Friday night beer after work.

Savannah - £20 spending money. 
This is for any activities we may do. She goes to nursery twice a week and usually has a playdate at home or someone else's home once a week so it is usually only needed for one day out.

Food - £40 spending money. 
This varies week to week depending on how much we need. I am a very savvy food shopper and can buy quite a lot in Lidl for £40. If the cupboards and fridge are empty though that spend will go up to £60 or £80.

£20 / £30 Diesel. 
This one is obvious and again it varies on what I am doing that week and where I am driving to. Eventually I want to be able to fill the car up at the beginning of the month and top it up half way through.

So  a weeks spending after bills is around £100 - £120 per week give or take some things. That means I can keep money by each week, anything from £30 to a couple of hundred.  Some of that has to be saved to go towards a week of big bills coming out (the mortgage being a big chunk of it). At the moment I don't put myself into the weekly budget, I earn money freelancing so keep that by for myself for when I need something.

Many of you probably do this already, I have been chatting with a couple of friends about money etc and it turned out they did. I have kind of done this in the past but not properly, I always kind of eye balled it and never made money plans with a view to saving it was always about what was left to spend. I was also never strict too. I always gave in and allowed a leeway but now I am strict and what the money plan says, goes.  

If it doesn't come into the budget then sorry, we can't do it / buy it. It's only for now while we get started, it isn't forever.

CUTTING BILLS

It is amazing how much money you can save by simply calling your bill providers and asking about any deals they may have or ways to save some pennies. The annoying thing that most people are experiencing is a rise in general household bills. Ours have pretty much all gone up including council tax but we also had a bill payment come to an end which has helped buffer that increase. I also now plan on comparing prices for utilities elsewhere to see if we can save some money too. I managed to cut our Fibre broadband package down to almost half of what we were paying by simply switching to another provider and as I write this have just knocked £35 off of our Sky bill by being ruthless and taking stuff off of our package we don't use or don't use often enough to justify the price.

That is a total monthly saving of:

GAP insurance - £16.66
Broadband and phone was £65 now £35
Sky cut by £35.70

Saving of £82.36

Household bills Increase Total: £56.00
Saving overall: £26.36

Not bad going I would say! Now I just need to get our gas and electricity price down a bit if possible. It went down before Christmas then straight back up again this month which is frustrating.

This is just the start of cutting bills; where and when I can I will substitute things, cut bills and save money.

Watch this space!




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