As anyone reading the last few posts might know, I’ve been fairly rubbish at curbing my spending the last few weeks. When I started tracking my spending in August, I meant to do it for a few weeks (a month really) and use the data to create a realistic budget. At first I was pretty good, I discovered where my leaks were and made some progress plugging them. Then my parents got scammed and I paid their Airbnb charges, I went to Houston and then Edinburgh, and now Christmas.
So what were my goals?
I had some goals in mind though that I really wanted to achieve by the end of the year.
- I wanted to have an accurate picture of my income and expenditure – done.
- I wanted to create a small emergency fund – done. I have £240.09 left in it
- I wanted to boost my income by side hustling – done. I have had 4 side hustles and made an additional £948.19 after tax in the last quarter
- I wanted to pay off all my personal creditors – failed, I still have 9 left and acquired a new one (because I need to pay them in dollars and I’m waiting to do so at the same time as I fund my Bank of America account). So I have £4 485 still left to pay off.
What were my main challenges?
I know it’s a little ridiculous, but the main reason was that I stopped “paying myself first”. Prior to my October payday, the first thing I did upon receipt of my salary was to pay off debt and move whatever I wanted to save into my savings accounts. In October, someone asked me to loan them a large amount of money and so I didn’t pay any debts and put the money aside while we discussed terms of the loan. In November, I found out some terrible news and realised that I would need to put aside another large chunk of money for support and so I didn’t pay off debts first either. This meant that I had too much money in my checking accounts and spent way too much.
How will the Uber Frugal Month Challenge help?
Fortunately for me, the other day I was reading the Frugalwoods blog and saw an opportunity to take part in the Uber frugal month challenge. The idea is to spend as little money as possible for the whole month to get an idea of how little one can realistically spend. In order to prep for it, I have to answer the following questions to help me establish my goals.
- Why are you participating in this Challenge? I need to understand how little I can spend if I plan to spend nothing at all.
- What do you hope to achieve? Over the course of the year, I need to find £6 000 to support someone. I don’t want to cut back on my debt repayment or savings targets if I can. So the Uber Frugal month should help establish where I can find £2-300 extra savings a month.
- What are your longterm life goals? To be financially independent in general. Specifically I plan to be semi-retired by the time I’m 40 (in less than 7 years).
- Where do you want to be in 10 years? Hopefully part way through my slow world travel. I expect to have finished living in Spain, Italy and Germany and thus fluent in three additional languages.
- What about your current lifestyle might prevent those goals from coming to fruition and what can you do about it? My generosity and socialising. I can’t seem to stop supporting my friends and family. I also meet up with far too many people every month. I’ve created a budget and as long as I stick to it and save this extra amount of money, I should be OK
So that’s that. My final posts of 2016 should be a review of my spending since I’ve been tracking and my goals for 2017. I desperately hope that the Uber Frugal challenge will help me meet those goals.