Back in January I decided that it would be a good idea to set myself some goals for the first ‘quarter’ rather than setting anything monthly. This has proved to be a good tactic. A month is too short and too many things can happen that are hard to change in such a short period of time. A quarter is a decent chunck of time in which to make real progress. So, how did I do?
1. Save £600 into my own ISA – done! Considering that January is one of the most expensive months of the year for us and that I had to spend over £400 on my car in the end I really don’t know how I achieved this! As in, I don’t technically earn enough money for this to have been possible with what my outgoings have been. I put some real effort into earning a bit extra last month/earlier this month and that just tipped it over and I made my target. I won’t always have the opportunity to earn a bit more so I took the chance while I could.
2. For Husband and I to save £500 into our House fund – done! We actually went over because of a tax refund. Without it we wouldn’t have made it as quite a few household expenses have come up over the last couple of months. But the good news is that we managed to pay for everything and also managed to save anyway.
3. Lose a stone – er, no. But I did manage to lose half a stone! Yay! Ok, so I put 3 pounds on and then lost 7 but still. Half a stone! I’m happy with that. Particularly considering how much cake I’ve eaten.
I’m really pleased with my progress. I read an article (which annoyingly I cannot now find) that said you should make a big effort to work towards your goals during the first 12 weeks of the year. The theory is that if you get off to a good start then the rest of the year follows suit. If not, the rest of the year will be an uphill struggle. I really took this to heart and am hoping that I’m officially on a roll! So, here are my goals for the next ‘quarter’ April-June.
1. Save £750 into my ISA. This is going to be a killer. Since I’ve been back from maternity leave (nearly a year now!) I’ve struggled to save £150 a month which I then pushed to £200. I’m now trying to push that to £250 a month. I don’t know if I can really manage it. It should be possible with real slashing of personal spending and depending on what expenses crop up that I cna’t forsee (there is bound to be something over 3 months – it just depends what it is and how much it costs). So. £750. Let’s give it a go! (BTW this is a fund I have a target on. If I manage to put back the whole £750 then I’ll only have £450 to go which is a real incentive as I want to get on with putting more £ into the House fund).
2. House fund – save £500. As I said before, we only ‘beat’ this target last quarter because of a refund. We’ve also had a hit through our child/working tax credits being completely cut which is a loss of around £70 a month (cheers David). This means our joint spending/saving is even tougher but no pain, no bigger home! I’d actually like to go over the £500 target if possible…
3. Weight loss: lose another half stone. Yes, the other half of the stone I was hoping to lose by the end of the first ‘quarter’. Slow and steady winning the race is fine with me – as long as I actually make it to that damn finish line!
I am actually massively encouraged by what I/we’ve managed to achieve in the first quarter. It has really given me a boost and some confidence about what is possible. Here’s hoping to another good report at the end of June!