Shoestring Alley is one year old today! I’ve just been reading my first ever post. This time last year one of my main concerns was what would happen if Husband or I lost a job and how we would cope with no back-up. Thankfully I started this blog and put some plans in place because, in under a year, that concern became a reality and we managed to get by without getting into debt. In many respects this blog was started as a reaction to the changes in the economy and because I was fed up of the lack of security of not having anything saved for emergencies. Along the way it has evolved as I’ve tried out different things and reassessed what is and isn’t important to me.
It has become very obvious that what works for one person won’t necessarily work for someone else. What is financially possible or even desirable for each person depends on a huge variety of factors – what you earn, how many hours you have to work for it, what facilities are available where you live, what kind of lifestyle you aspire to, what your personal situation is…there can be no one size fits all approach. Most of my blogging has been about finding the right balance. For me, time has become an even more precious commodity than before. There have been a variety of ways in which I could have saved or made a bit extra but not without throwing my life/work balance out and that balance is just as important to me as the security of savings in the bank. I’m happy to spend time budgeting and being a bit resourceful but, certainly while I am still working full time, I’m not keen on anything that essentially consititutes a second job (or takes up a lot of free time just to save a couple of pounds). The goal has been more about making a series of subtle adjustments to my lifestyle and finances that pave the way for the future. Speaking of which…
It is difficult to predict exactly what will be happening on Shoestring Alley in year two. I’ve never been a parent before, nor have I ever had an extended period of time off work (I took a two week holiday in 2001 – it is still the longest stretch I have ever not been in the office). I can’t really imagine what either of these things will be like, never mind the lack of my full time wage! However, I suspect my goals will remain much the same, namely:
- Managing my finances to stay out of debt
- Trying to find free/cheap things to do and getting the most out of what I’ve already got
- Trying to save for emergencies and the future wherever possible
- Finding ways to make time for the things that are important to me
- Attempting to keep things simple and balanced
Thank you to everyone who has stopped by and left comments during my first year of blogging – let’s see what happens next!