Finances, as ever, are going to be playing a key part in my plans for 2011. I’ve seen PF bloggers do fantastic looking spreadsheets laying out extensive, well worked out plans and have come across other resolutions such as saving a certain amount or percentage of income. I can’t really plan far ahead as my finances will continue to be very much up in the air next year. For the first month I will still have maternity pay, then for three months I will have no income and then I will be going back to work though (what with tax and what-not) I don’t know exactly what I’ll be getting paid each month until I see my first wage slip. Throw in the fact that we might end moving and end up with a totally different set of expenses and it all goes a bit ??????!
Undeterred, however, I am still resolved to save as much as I can and to keep an eye on my spending. With this in mind, my 2011 financial plan of action looks a bit like this:
- Spending Diary: I know a lot of books and blogs advise keeping a spending journal for a short while so you can get a clearer idea about where all of those pennies go. However, I’m borrowing an idea from Mum who has bought a 2011 diary specifically to record her spending. I’ve tried recording my spending in my Filofax but I keep clearing out old sheets and scribbling notes over everything and it doesn’t seem to work. I’ve bought an A5 size diary (for the budget-friendly price of £1.49) and am going to record everything I spend FOR A WHOLE YEAR. I’m going to try to make the time once a month to tot it all up – and maybe again at the end of the year. It would be kind of interesting to know what I spend on food, for example, or clothes during the course of an entire year.
- Saving 20 pence pieces: I’m rubbish at saving money in jars these days. I can’t seem to motivate myself to keep up with it. However, for the last couple of months I have been getting quite good at putting 20p’s in the piggy bank (pictured above). I decided on saving 20p’s because it is a small enough amount to not really notice (and I would really notice it if I had to empty out all of my £1 coins for example) but 20p’s add up pleasingly fast. Thus I am resolving that every time I come home I check my wallet and put all 20p’s into the pig. What I will actually do with my pig money has yet to be decided…
- Project £5k: Because (yippee!) I’ve just managed to complete Project £1k – and before Christmas too! It is now safely tucked away in an ISA. I won’t be able to save much more until I’m back at work (and I might need every penny for a house deposit) but, all being well, I shall be cracking on with trying to get my savings up to £5k.
There will be other plans that will effect my saving and spending but I’ll cover those in the next few posts!