Showing posts from December, 2010

Money Makeover: Tip #2 - Managing Budgeted Items

When working to a budget, it helps to keep on top of it, rather than do it all at the end of the month (I started off doing this, and it quickly become very boring and tedious – not to mention a PITA for reconciliation). So, it can pay to have something on you to help keep track of your expenses as you go. It could be anything, a notebook or for me - a phone app . However, this in itself can become cumbersome – and after taking some time out to think about it, I realised the problem: When we are working to a budget, there are no “surprises” with the expenses. Which is kind of amusing, since this is precisely why we budget in the first place, right? So, the vast majority of expenses/outgoings we enter into our “thing” (app, notebook, whatever) are expected . While not as tedious and boring as doing it all in one hit, it’s still pretty fruitless doing so - I still find it “wasteful”. Having come to this conclusion, I have just deleted all of my accounts off my phone. Turn It

Minimalism: My 2011 Goals

I have recently started my minimalism journey, and while I have yet to blog about it (TBH, there is enough out there already), I certainly intend to pick up the pace and really lean down in 2011. So, I thought I would quickly share my goals with you =) I have divided my current aims into three phases, obviously these might change slightly over time, but this is what I am committing too right now. I have also started “Phase One”. Phase One – “First Pass” and the “Big Stuff” (By End of Jan 2011) Obvious Clothing - Old, Worn and Rarely-Used Items TV Gone 360 Gone CD’s and DVD’s Gone Old Computer Bits and Components Gone First Pass of Household Items Here I am simply getting a handle on the “wood through the trees”. Also, I want to clear the obvious distractions from the house (namely the TV and 360). Phase Two – Getting Lean and Preparing for Downsizing (By End of Mar 2011) Clothing to 50 Items or Less (Likely Less =)) 1 Lightweight Yet Powerfu

“Clearing and Gearing”: Looking Forward to 2011

Following my reflection on 2010 , let’s get to looking forward! Before we begin, I just want to cover a few points: I started with a “realistic” goal, then pushed the boat out a bit (I’d rather be unreal- istic). There is a heavy financial focus this year, since I want to continue my financial liberation after being consumed by debt for so long. Each goal has clear “success” criteria. By the end of the 2011, I should either be able to tick the box, or not. KISS . So, let’s get on with it! Supplement Income by 25% Pretty simple here, I want to take my salary, then find a way to get an additional 25% on there. Whether this is by moonlighting, building and selling stuff, selling myself * , I don’t care, whatever. The 25% increase to “income” will naturally enable me to do more, but the focus is here is to actually get more creative about how I make money (as opposed to waiting for that paycheck). * Worlds most boring and unattractive gigolo anyone? Reduce Fixed

“Clearing and Gearing” : Looking Back at 2010

We are fast-approaching new years eve, and around this time of year I always like to look back and think forward. I tend to take a few days to really stop and think, to mentally prepare myself and get some real focus (and passion) behind what I want to do in the upcoming year. 2010 – How Did I Do? Here is a summary of the things I have managed to get off my annual “ToDo” (loosely in order of “damn that makes me feel good!”: The Money Makeover Starting in June, after good times in Vegas (see below) – I realised I have (like the rest of my countrymen/women) have been spending more money than I should. The credit card was near melting point. So I decided I need to take responsibility for MY debt, and CLEAR IT . And so my “money makeover” journey began. After 7 months (June-December), I am pleased to announce I have cleared £9,032 of debt . Which I think is totally fucking awesome ! I was hoping I would break £10K, but I think I would have had to surrender items like food and

The Money Makeover: “Cut! Cut! Cut!”

So, we have our budget in place, some cash in our allocated savings and we are ticking along nicely. But how can we find some more cash, without getting another job or selling a kidney? Simple, we need to cut back  on what we are spending . Why? Cutting back allows us to create some surplus cash that we can use for better things. Surplus cash is great for getting the debt down quicker. If your debt is clear, then it is more cash to have more fun with. If we are spending stuff on what we can do without, why have it in the first place? How? So the idea is lovely – but how can we cut back? Hunt First off, we need to actively start hunting for ways for us to cut back. Your current expenses are there because you have convinced yourself you need them. Now we need to hunt for opportunities where we can convince ourselves to get rid of them . The Budget Our budget is the first port of call. This is where we can look for “tracks” that may lead us to taking down some expense-based