Ready at last to unveil my plans for this year! It has taken me time to think and prepare, and to decide how to do this all again this year. Things are going to be a little different, and I actually know I can do better than I did in 2012, because I am more aware now of all the ways I wasted money in 2012.
So, to start with, where are we now? I am not going to disclose actual net worth and figures, but it should be enough to know that I saved the £5001 last year, and so we are definitely £5001 better off in terms of money in the bank than we were at this time last year. In addition to that, we also bought two cars at a cost of £2995 or so, and had a week's holiday in June (£790 for accommodation although the sealed pot paid for most of the other expenses) , and a shorter break in Norfolk in October (£135 for accommodation and approx £150 otherwise). We bought the EFG's travel card at £450. Those are the major spends in 2012.
The bulk of the money saved this year [£4550] has been safely stashed in my online ISA and is working hard at earning me some interest!
I know that I am exceptionally lucky in our circumstances right now, in that we have no mortgage and no rent to pay, that we live in a 4 bedroom house with enough garden ground to allow me to do my chicken breeding, grow veggies, make things [the FH in his workshop] for the house and garden ourselves, store vast amounts of reclaimed wood for the fire, and space to stockpile or store food/supplies and generally live what others regard to be an "old-fashioned" type of lifestyle [I know they think that because they have told me!].
I am thankful that the work I do with the chickens and the gymnastics coaching at the school allows me enough space to give plenty of my time and energy to voluntary work at the school, the town gym club, and the church. I am grateful for my family's understanding that these are things I feel a need to do.
I know that life will change for us drastically when the FH is no longer here, and this drives me now to provide a cushion for the future. My lifestyle will change through necessity, and the girls may no longer be with me, because I hope that this will not happen for many years, so they may be away from home at university, they may have homes and families of their own. It seems very foolish not to see this coming and to do what I can to be ready, at least in some small way. There needs to be enough for me to have some time to think, to prepare, to accept the changes, and to make new arrangements for the future.
I am working towards a fund which holds enough to support the three of us for a year. I don't want to look to anyone else to support us in the midst of what will be turmoil for us. At that time, I don't want to have to sell the home the girls have had the longest.
I am already working, and have been for some time, towards a career move for myself, but it isn't something I can do overnight, and I can't do it at all at present.
I'm being quite philosophical tonight!
I think that we are bringing up our children with a good attitude towards money and the earning/spending of it. They don't have the latest everything, they accept that things cannot be bought the moment the desire for them is recognised, they are used to thinking about how spending money will impact on other areas of their lives. They are not always as appreciative as I would like them to be, but they can't be perfect, and I wouldn't want anyone to think that they are! The EFG was shocked,though, to hear before Christmas that one of her friends "owes" her mother over £200 and couldn't understand how that could happen. Apparently the mother and daughter go shopping recreationally together, and when the daughter sees something she likes but expresses her disappointment that she can't afford it, the mother encourages her to buy it and loans her the money. This seems very sad to me, and a bad example to be setting a child, especially when the mother seems to be letting the daughter's spending get out of control.
The aim for 2013 [before you all fall asleep!]
- I want to have between £7500 and £9000 further in the bank by the end of the year. This will represent a significant proportion of our income for the year [more than 30%] and may be subject to change if our income changes.
How are we going to achieve this?
- Setting and monitoring a strict budget for the year
- Recording every penny spent, on what and where
- Paying the savings account first
- Making the most of all loyalty schemes
- Continuing with Shop & Scan to accumulate vouchers
- A monthly Challenge for health and/or wealth! I'll start this tomorrow.
- Menu planning/stockpiling offers/knowing what I have got and good organisation so I know where it is!
- Use of discounted suppliers like Approved Foods and Rosspa on the internet, as well as chains like B&M on the high street.
- Doing it ourselves as much as we can! That applies to cooking, crafts, baking, preserving, growing, repairing, bartering, etc.
- Meter monitoring, and trying to reduce wastage of electricity/oil/gas/water etc.
- Re-starting my use of home made laundry detergent, and making more use of natural/simple house cleaning products.
- Earning whatever I can through selling things on Amazon/eBay etc, as well as doing whatever paid coaching I can, and breeding some chooks this year.
- Continuing with the girls' allowance scheme which makes them more accountable for their spending choices.
I will also continue to spend time at MSE and Frugaldom's forums, learning from all you wonderful people. I also enjoy reading a multitude of supportive and encouraging blogs, because I find that in real life, people don't particularly understand such a strong drive to save money, and my online friends are much more accommodating and supportive - so here's to another year of frugal fun!