Well, I haven’t checked in properly for a few days, largely because I was exhausted after the funeral (I have CFS) and also perhaps because I hate writing when I am not feeling creatively inspired or don’t feel I have anything meaningful to offer. I get chronic writers block from fear of failure!
So, I have just told myself to just write anyway and see what it happens. it’s clear I can’t keep up a daily bulletin of spending at all times, so I am going to keep a paper note and update weekly. I will update spending so far in a post after posting this.
As you may know from this post, I have changed this project to the actually, really fiver project. So not £5.57 a day, but £5 a day. Five a Day! This is because I read this post which motivated me to save that extra £17pcm from daily spend and put it to work towards my debt. I completely rejigged my budget (updated budget coming soon) and it looked like I could whack my debt down quite healthily and also put some aside each month for dental, emergencies etc (not quite saving up an emergency fund, but putting aside for unplanned but necessary payments).
Unfortunately, things have gone a bit awry – already.
I had two things booked in for home improvements before I started this project and haven’t been able to realistically cancel them. Anyway, they are very necessary if I hope to let out my property longer term, or indeed to sell. As an aside, I am fast learning that owning a home costs a fortune even on a tiny mortgage of £50k like mine, with home improvements and so forth. I may have to follow Dave Ramsey’s advice and sell up my money-eating flat and invest in other things, but only if it makes sense at the time. Rent is so costly these days in the UK, so that’s thinking for another day. That said, even pressing 40 next month, as a single woman, I am thinking of moving into shared accommodation to allay isolation and save pennies.
So, the home improvements. I had Jane the Handywoman come to finalise a few bits that I couldn’t do, that only cost £55 and she is well worth it. I subbed myself £48 from my savings account (thus emptying it) and the rest came from my accrued Fiver Project daily money. So that’s fine.
I also have gardeners here re-landscaping my garden which was basically a dump. It was absolutely horrendous. Trust me! As always happens with these things, the initial quote of £550-£600 has escalated to £900 – GAH! I literally do not have the funds to pay it. I was going to cover the £550 in two installments from my bank and live off thin air. This was absolutely not a good plan and further evidence of my ignorance and immaturity around money.
I have had to apply for a £1500 loan with Shawbrook at 14%. This is going to cover the garden, the shed project (the shed is not currently fit for storing anything and if I am going to let my place I need to store my things safe from damp in there), fitting a door in my sitting room so that it can be my private bedsit if I just rent out my bedroom, and possibly purchase of a bed sofa if there is any change. So it is initial outlay for the purpose of rental. Not ideal as I had set myself the challenge of not spending anything that wasn’t my money and allocated to that purpose. But this is the last time EVER EVER EVER EVER. I promise so damned hard! I promise. Gosh, it feels good to confess my sins like this!
In positive news, I have just listed my flat on Airbnb even though my place isn’t perfect yet. Hurrah! I am usually always waiting for perfect and never getting anywhere. I have made it clear in the listing that the flat is a work in progress and thus cheap. This premature listing will mean I will be sofa surfing at kind friends if I get bookings. Going to work from a suitcase will be challenging. but it will be an adventure! And getting my debt paid down quicker will make it worth it.
I felt a bit demotivated on my frugal project today as a result of these flops. Then I watched this sugarmamma.tv video and reminded myself of my goals. I am signed up to so many blogs and newsletters now that money is on my mind all the time, but in a really healthy and fun way, which has never happened before. So I know I can do this, even with this setback.
I read a blog recently on signing up as a Viewber. I have applied and am awaiting vetting. Despite having CFS I am determined to do as many side hustles as possible alongside my dayjob. If I get into a routine I should be able to stay motivated. The Airbnb might be the hardest bit, all those bedding changes, and living as a hobo myself… We shall have to see how it goes.
This is the tough bit, and it is just the beginning. Teething problems. I can do this! I can do this!
Initial plan: Pay down my debt by side hustling, hopefully getting an incremental payrise* in June, and living as frugally and minimally as possible.
Next step: After debt paid, start the real saving.
Next step: Then onto investments.
It’s a long journey ahead, and I am starting really late at nearly 40. I will talk elsewhere in a blog post about my money upbringing and how I got here. But now I am focussed on the future! I am so motivated and inspired by the blogs and content I am reading – I know this is going to turn out rosy!
*Someone commented on my first post that I should just get a better paid job. Well, I am paid the average salary for the UK, and I love my team and my organisation. It’s a long game. they have invested about £10k in me already this year for training. they are adding strings to my bow that I can take anywhere. But I want to stay loyal to my organisation and build my reputation and experience before probably going solo or for a bigger promotion at a later date. So that’s why the “get a better paid job” is not really an answer. The answer for me in my unique circumstances is to be frugal, side hustle, pay down debt and then use the freed up salary once it is paid to save and invest – by which time I am sure my career will be seeing the fruit of my endeavours.