Thursday, 27 December 2007

2008 Goals (part 2)

Well I have received my last pay cheque for the year, which I can't bank until Friday so it will not clear until the end of next week. But I will not repeat myself on that topic.
My employer was really lovely and got me out of paying any tax on my Christmas bonus and then rounded my pay cheque up by £75.00 which was even better.
So my end of year figures look like this:

December 2007 (November)
Credit Card 1 £0.00 (£611.21)
Credit Card 2 £3861.41 (£3897.35)
Credit Card 3 £701.00 (£724.13)
Flexiloan £4545.37 (£4645.16)
Bank Loan £3454.47 (£3838.30)
Bank Overdraft £49.18 (£100.00)

Total Debt £12,611.43 (£13,816.15)

My finances haven't been looking this good for more than a year, in fact this time last year my debt balance was £15,692.84. This figure didn't include my tax bill which was due at the end of January and for which I had not saved for, so wasn't paid off until August. By which time my July payment was due and well you can see the deadly little cycle this creates. This time I am prepared and have monies set aside in a high interest saving account. So will be able to pay January's payment in full!

The two rules I break when it comes to paying off my debt are:

Saving . I am determined to clear my debt's and have money in the bank afterwards. After reading the Richest Man In Babylon, I am personally sure this is the right thing to do for myself. You can call it an emergence fund if you want but I see it as a long term saving plan.
Giving. This is something which is part of who I am - I give to two main charities and even when my debts were at the £20,000.00 mark, I knew that those monthly payments would not be stopped for anything. If any thing I would like to increase my giving to 10% of my earnings. But this will have to wait until I am debt free.

If I was to stop both my saving and giving I could clear my debts by the end of this year with out a problem but I have decided I would rather go over a few extra months and extend my DFD to early 2009.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Goals for 2008

I still have two pay cheques to collect before the end of the year but have worked out my end of year balance to be £12,573.43. This will depend on my keeping to my budget and not going a penny over. Famous last words...

Goals for 2008 are to clear both my loans in full and get my credit cards down to £3,000.00. Also to have saved £1,750.00 in ISA accounts.

Don't know how I will go as friends have booked a holiday in May and included me, so that will be time off work and off to Turkey, only need to supply spending monies. Also I have promised to go to Africa at the end of the year. For both of these I have been putting extra monies aside in my tax account and hope I have enough to cover the costs for flights and the cost for medical and spending. Malaria tablets will cost me about £50.00 and then there are vaccinations etc. Should have a good idea by May I guess. Watch this space.......

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

I Hate Cheques!

I really do hate cheques, and don't understand why they take three days to clear in this modern age of technology. I banked a cheque on Tuesday (which appeared on my account that night) but don't actually have any access to it until Friday. The cheque is my pay for the last two weeks and I need it to clear on Thursday, as I have two large direct debts going out then. What to do, what to do!

In the pass I would have just used my Flexiloan and transferred monies across till the cheque clear and then transferred the monies back but I didn't think about the extra interest costs I was raking up by doing this. This time I will use my high interest account funds, which means I lose one months interest because of the withdrawal. The lesser of two evils I feel.

I've spent the best part of the last two days trolling through other peoples blogs on personal finance and they all seem to be doing really well. Not many of us single girls at this though I feel and most are American so we don't have the same financial reference points. This is also the problem with most books on dealing with debt, I generally skip the chapters on insurance or retirement, etc. as they are not relevant to someone in the UK. None the less, the slogg is the same and probably just as tedious, and I am sure many of them, like me, want to scream "Enough already!".

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Ten days to go till Christmas!

Didn't do too bad this week for my spending - went over my budget by about thirteen pounds after my trip to London. This mostly relates to the purchase of two books, one being The Richest Man In Babylon which I have seen quoted in several books I have read, so decided to buy. Wow - wish I had read this book when I first started working or even when I first come over to England. I need to re-read this book every year to keep myself on track. Everyone should read this book!!
It has got be back checking out the 10-10-80 plan all over again. I mean can I afford not to?

Monday, 10 December 2007


Gosh it has been a while since my last post. I have just been reading my old blogs and laughed at the Northern Rock loan which I applied for, they said no and wow what a mess they are in today. Not that any of it relates to me or the fact they turned me down. They were probably turning everyone down.
Well my current debit totals £13,816.15 as of the beginning of the month, which I felt is good but the going is so slow. I want it finninshed already!!
I should have cleared my HSBC card by now (I transfered most of it's balance to my Halifax card to get the reduced interest rate) and even had a reminder emailed to me to have had done it. But my spending gets out of control on my day off. Thank goodness I only get one day off. So have decide to try the cash only spending idea last week and it all went quite well. I did take my debt card with me but only used it to get £10.00 on my phone. So £10.00 over my £50.00 spend limit wasn't too bad.
This week I am off to London to have an early lunch with a friend and hope to show the same restrant.
The 10-10-80 plan has been shelved to the time being, as I want to make sure I am putting enough aside to pay my tax payment upfront in January. Currently I have over £800.00 in that account and will have a thousand by next week. Wish I could use the money to clear my HSBC card but I can't.
I don't know if I will make my target DFD of October, looks like it is morely likely to be January 2009. But I will keep working on it and see if I can get back to that date.
One new thing I have started doing is reading up about finance and money etc. I took the book Rich Dad Poor Dad out of the libriary and it was a real eye opener to me. Since then have gotten quite a few books out about finance and the stock market in my thirst to know more about the money/finance, an area of education I am greatly lacking in.
From this I have been looking at opening a share ISA possible with the Halifax as they have a sharebuilder scheme that accepts as little as £20.00 a month. This would be a long term saving plan - more study is needed.