Running it like a business: Making plans for the future

I always shudder when I hear people talk about five year plans. I’m not sure if it is because the idea of having everything laid about before me like a straight road with no mystery or surprise makes me want to give up before I start or whether it seems like such an obvious way of setting yourself up to fail (or take the wrong course because you are ‘sticking to the plan’).

That said…

If you’re running a business you’ve got to look to the future. And that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m going to be really annoying and say that I can’t blog about one aspect of this. Surfice it to say that I have been doing a lot of thinking about my current earnings and the potential for the future. And how, without turning into a money grabbing monster, I ultimately want to be able to get more for the time that I am effectively ‘selling’. There are no immediate plans for changes but I do have a sort of action plan (in the vaguest sense of the word) and some steps that I can take, nice and slowly without compromising my time with Baby. I know it is annoying when anonymous bloggers allude to things that they aren’t blogging about. the only reason I mention it at all is to say that I do have a plan – I’ll post more as time goes on! Also a plan, possibly, for potential second income. I need to brush up on some things first though (the earliest I’d look into this would be next year) so I’m going to spend the rest of the year trying to sharpen up my tired and confused old brain!

I also need to look at the whole house sale thing again. The amount we can borrow has been seriously curtailed by my drop in wages. We might only be able to raise a 5 figure number and we need to go up from a 2 bed flat to a 3 bed house – eek! There are only two things we can do about this. 1: Save money towards a deposit (on it!). 2: Get more for our flat.

I must admit that I’ve been ignoring the list of home improvements left to be done (imagine, if you will, me sat at home with my eyes screwed shut, fingers in my ears shouting ‘la la la’). I think we have missed the boat for 2011. What can I say? We’ve had a baby and have just made the transition of me going back to work. It looks like we’ll have to stay until next spring. Which, in one sense is good as it gives us more chance to save and also more time to do things that might make our place more desirable. For example, our bedroom carpet is looking truly awful. I was hoping we were going to get away with not replacing it but we’ve been here too long – it needs to go. As does the carpet on the stairs leading up from the hall. A lot of things are beginning to look very shabby. I’ve never managed to make the very peculiar mantlepiece in our bedroom ‘work’. It needs to be dressed properly. In fact the whole place needs to be polished up somehow. I’ve been trying not to spend any more money on the place but perhaps this isn’t the right approach. We need to sell and we need to get as much as we can for it so maybe spending a bit more £ wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. In addition to the front door (which we already have the money saved for) I think it would take less than £1000 to make some improvements that would make a big difference. I’ll blog on this as we go along!

And that’s it. Thinking about my future as an earner and trying solve our immediate problems are as close to a five year plan as I’m prepared to go!

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Categories: Frugal ideas, Goals, home improvements | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “Running it like a business: Making plans for the future

  1. laura|move to portugal

    Ooh it sounds exciting! I don’t think trying to earn more money and improve the family finances is a bad thing….and I think it’s possible to do without becoming a ‘money grabbing monster’ lol.

    I close my eyes and ignore stuff that needs doing at home too, although for us it makes sense to wait until right before the move.

    I love having a five year plan and have made so much progress since writing one…although I keep it very flexible.

    • shoestringalley

      It’s funny, I’ve spent so much time learning to live on less/convincing myself I don’t need as much that the idea of wanting more money seems a bit alien. I guess I’ll get used to it!

      The five year plans that I’m not so keen on are the ones that a lot of uni students are encouraged to make. It’s good to know where you want to head but there are so many things you can’t plan for (like the current job market). However, I do think it is a great idea to use it the way you have, driving towards a particular goal but leaving room to make stops, turns, short-cuts and changes along the way. This type of plan is the kind that suceeds. I have a definite vision of where I want to be ‘at’ in 10 years time. It could all happen sooner but I can’t cram it all into five years!

  2. It is a tough one isn’t it, but I think spending a little to make your home really desirable during the selling process can really pay off. I think the key is to make it look neat and clean and finish off projects rather than throw lots of money at it. I’ve just had a quote for recarpeting the upstairs of my house and it really wasn’t as bad as I thought (even involving a stripey stair runner!)

    Good luck with your plans, nothing like a new idea to get you motivated.

    • shoestringalley

      Thanks – I think I need any luck I can get! Carpeting is often a lot cheaper than expected. You are right about it looking neat and clean and finishing things off. I think what we really need to do is get the whole place looking a bit more polished and ‘finished’ in general. Can’t believe I’m on this one again…!

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