Last week I had the most inspiring week – full of shifts and miracles and magic!
As part of this magic and miracles, I have decided I am going to quit my no spend year. That’s right, three and a half months in and I am quitting.
Let me tell you why!
When I first started this little endeavour I was super excited. Money magic was working for me and I thought I’d use this to pay off my credit cards – which of course is definitely still the aim. However, I went about it the entirely wrong way.
If you know me well, you will know that a) I am impulsive and this isn’t the first thing I’ve quit, and b) I am extreme and don’t do anything by halves. Due to my B side – my inability to find a middle ground – I set out on this mission to pay off £20k in 12 months, with a food budget of £30 a week (when I hate cooking) and no budget for anything else except bills and credit card repayments.
For the first couple of months this was fine. Living off of batch cooked frozen portions was OK. I felt very virtuous. My credit card balance was going down reasonably quickly. Free socialising was easy as it was summer and the sun was shining. Life was good.
However, there are only so many frozen batch meals I can take. Seriously.
My money mindset was going down the pan. I did not feel abundant at all. Which is ridiculous because we live in such a privileged part of the world, I am politically free, and I have the highest income I have ever had in my life. And there I was, feeling totally poor.
This started to reflect in other areas of my life as well – work, relationships, and my health. I mean, it doesn’t matter how many vegetables you put in a batch cook, at the end of the day you’re microwaving every damn meal, or eating GF marmite sandwiches as a ‘treat’. How miserable.
So instead I have devised a genius plan!
Which isn’t that genius at all and is something I probably should have managed to achieve before now.
I have paid off a couple of cards now, which means they are offering me 0% balance transfer deals on those cards. So, I am ensuring all my credit is now 0% interest
[I stopped doing this a few years ago when I was in the depths of depression and anxiety, medicated and abusing my body with food. Goodness knows how much I have spent on interest. Maybe one day I will be brave enough to add it up…!]
and I have worked out how much I need to pay off each card each month to ensure that the balance is zero by the time the 0% offer runs out. Then I set up a faster payment with the bank to pay that amount off each month.
THEN (and this is possibly the most important bit) I worked out how much is left after bills and credit card repayments and I divided it equally between the following accounts:
Play must be spent on something fun that month. Save is for spending on bigger things like travel and… well just travel in my case as I am not really interested in buying anything else (except maybe an iPad Pro. They look nice!) Invest is quite obviously what it says on the tin. Educate is for courses and books, I think I will mostly be spending this on Audible credits for the moment. Donate is for charity.
After I worked out my budget for each account I went through all of my outgoings and labelled them either ‘necessity’ (bills) or one of the above. For example, Netflix and Spotify are ‘Play’, I have a subscription to the Female Entrepreneur Association which is ‘Education’, and I give £12 a month to Centrepoint. I then took those amounts out of the relevant budget, and made a note of how much should go in each pot after that.