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  1. #1

    Time to Focus - Our best year ever?

    Lurking a while and have decided that starting a diary will help me achieve my goals - I say mine, but the vision is for us as a couple - my husband and I (no little ones, apart from our beloved moggie). I'm mid 30s, and he is early 40s.

    At the end of 2017 I came across a book - Your Best Year Ever, which has really helped me plan and focus on what's important in 2018.
    One of my goals is to take charge of my finances - not just float along, not necessarily to live incredibly frugally - but somewhere to balance making the most of the opportunity & income. I realise we are so so fortunate to both be in good jobs and well paid.l work hard and have invested a lot (both financially and in time and energy) to get to the role I'm in - and I've never really had to seriously worry about money, but on the other hand I've always really just spent what I had and I wonder where it went....
    My husband on the other hand has always been a saver - in terms of budgeting, well he just doesn't really spend.... :-D The fact that I'm now taking an interest in budgeting and allocating our resources to the best place is a novelty for him.

    We're so fortunate in terms of our financial position that I've really hesitated about whether to start a diary - we are in a very good position - but I think like many paying our mortgage down would really help us have some freedom longer term. And I've realised that if I'd been more focused that past 5/10 yrs then we perhaps be in a different place now.

    Beyond the mortgage - we do have quite a few things we want to do to the house, it's very dated and needed a lot of work when we moved in... of which we've done little in 6yrs! We'd both also like to start a family, we've just not taken that plunge....and time is ticking.

    Other goals for this year - c25K to complete by June (got to week 5, then was sick.... restarted end of last year, got to week 7, xmas came and went.... so another restart needed...) - generally to be fitter and healthier and more confident to take the family plunge...; tidier more decluttered house; plan for my next work role.

  2. #2
    Joint income from salaries = 89k
    + additional small income from BTL
    Fair bit in various savings pots, but probably not the most efficient in terms of interest so need to look at this.

    We have no debt, car is 5 years old, had from new owned outright (barely use it these days)
    Mortgage is at 147k, fixed at 1.3% for next 2 yrs.

    Planning new kitchen, circa 15k I think... (need to price up), and general other decorating/house this year circa 3k.

    Started YNAB!

    I love reading all of your diaries - I hope not only this will bring me focus but that through sharing might also seek your expertise and learn lots!

  3. #3
    I don't see why you shouldn't have a diary just because you earn well!

    I think huge numbers of people do exactly what you have described you do. They work hard and spend their money " because they have earnt it". Fair enough I say. Tidying and decluttering will be an eye opener. If you can sell any clutter you should consider that and add this to your savings/mortgage OP pot.
    I'm interested in two of your goals: to get in a better position personally to start a family and to plan for your next work role. May I suggest deciding which is most important right now.

    In terms of getting a hold of your finances, do you have an immediate goal? Maybe enough to cover a maternity leave of 6-12 months? Just an idea.

    Also, consider what needs doing in the kitchen. Often cupboard units are in pretty good order, but new doors and work tops can make a huge difference for little cash.

    Best of luck with it all. It's a mental shift, but well worth it in the long run

  4. #4
    Indeed, saving an amount to allow some time away from work is important.
    I'm aiming for 10k in the first instance as my "reserve fund" - be it for time off for family or if I had an employment gap (I'm not on a perminant contract), but really need to see what that looks like against expenses as I start to optimise outgoings.
    So at the moment I have 8400 in my personal savings, so short term aim to take that to 10k.

    I don't see those 2 goals as incompatible, but I do recognise that having too many goals can be a danger. I hope that by being in control of both the financial position any my health in the first intance opens more choices?

    And yeah - the kitchen really does need to go..... it's beyond tarting up I'm afraid :-( but that's ok, we'd planned to do that when we bought the house but after 6yrs running out of patience with it falling apart and really poor layout. Thanks though - it's helpful to consider options!!

  5. #5
    Progress I've made in last few weeks on identifying areas to reduce spend without reducing impact on current lifestyle -

    1. Started YNAB - one budget for my personal finances (where does all my salary go after bills ...) , the other for joint bills/ savings.

    2. Through analysing direct debits in YNAB - realised that my gym payment which I never used was really silly - cancelled (50 a month) and opted for pay as you go option, changed to a budget line of 30 a month, which would be circa 5-6 visits a month.... and have not yet been.... against my other goal of being healthier not a huge success! but at least not wasting gym payments.

    3. Cancelled direct debit for eye care (contact lenses) - no longer wear them!! (3 a month saved)

    4. Stopped monthly recurring payment of DropBox - also have microsoft365 (with one drive) - don't need both! Saved 7.99 a month.


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