My Debt confession update 2
Back in April I wrote about my confession of a personal finance blogger, the post went crazy and now been read an incredible 2000 times and who knows how many times the Huffington Post version has been read??!! Thank you!
I want to keep you updated with my progress every few weeks to keep myself in check but also to help you with ideas on how to save money. It has been a month since my last update, I have re-read it to see if I did sort out the things I said I was going to. Sort of!
Yes, the mortgage has been changed, although I have swopped from the original fixed deal I chose to a tracker rate. We needed some flexibility with mortgage fees, i.e. not to pay any fees if we move house. Yes, we might be moving house.
Sky has been sorted out. Our bills are now £45 per month, reduced down from £80, which includes fibre broadband, landline and most basic entertainment package. Hubby agreed to get rid of sky sports. So impressed that he is fully supportive of the changes we need to make to get this money we owe repaid.
New Santander bank accounts and cashback credit cards, still on my to-do list!
The whole house and garden has been sorted and decluttered. I have sold maybe 10 things, out of the 100 things that I need to sell!! Selling is slow progress for me. I get bored and lose my focus very quickly.
What Else Have we Done?
We are being so good when it comes to eating out and takeaways. We maybe get a takeaway once every two to three weeks. Very good budgeting there. I am really enjoying cooking up treats at home, spicy rice to fajitas to roast chicken. We get our food from Aldi of course and spend around £100 every two weeks. Checkout my beautiful homemade pizza.
May was a No/Low Spend month
With April being such an expensive month with my birthday and the Las Vegas holiday for my 40th we tried to make May a no or low spend month. Thanks for the suggestion Faith. It was a quiet month socially which made it easier. There were no birthdays or big events and most of my work commitments had travel expenses covered. I bought no new clothes for myself, the boys were given a lovely bag of clothes by my wonderful friend Sarah.
A great credit card month
The result of a no/low spending May meant that we had more spare cash to put towards the money we owe. We put all our food and petrol and stuff for the boys on a Tesco credit card that is repaid every month (this is the card that I need to switch to a cashback card). I budget for £900 spend on this card each month but we managed to only spend £700 this month. That £200 saving is extra payment straight onto the credit card.
Mrs Mummypenny work is building up wonderfully
I am getting lots and lots more work for Mrs Mummypenny and my bank account is looking positive. May was a great month for cashflow so anything extra I earn above a set amount can go onto the credit cards. This meant that I could pay off £1300 in May off my money owed.
I had originally had £2,500 on interest chargeable cards, this has now reduced to £1,000 since April. Minimum payments have been paid to the 0% credit cards and my total debt has reduced to £14,000. I am proud of this. June will be another month with a large repayment and I should be able to clear the nasty interest chargeable cards of Halifax and my business Barclaycard, both with APR’s of around 18%.
What is next to look at
Continue to build up Mrs Mummypenny
I have invested £340 into two courses learning new skills. I have bought an affiliate marketing course. Basically, to teach me more about the art of passive earning from my website. My website weighted towards upfront/sponsored post payments and I would like to shift it more towards 50/50 upfront/ongoing passive. Affiliate revenue basically means if I mention a product on say Amazon, and you decide it’s a great deal and buy it I get cut of the sale. The price to you the customer remains unchanged, it just means I get a chunk of Amazons profit, hurrah. For example, if you buy my book for £14.99 on Amazon, using my affiliate link I get 75p affiliate revenue as well as the royalties from the sale of the book.
I have also bought a course that is helping me plan and create a strategy for the future from my heart not my head. PR from the heart a course run by Kat Byles. One week in and I am loving it. I have direction and I am working out what I need to drop and what I need to run with as ideas for the next year.
I feel that investing in these areas although costing £340 in the short-term will pay back huge dividends in the future. And help create a passive earning income and a more future-proof business model.
June & July are expensive social-work months
Whilst May was a quiet month socially, June & July are busy months. Every weekend is packed full of 40th birthday parties, barbeques, weddings, socialising. Consequentially I am working hard to keep the costs down. We are trying to keep social events local, a night out with the girls is now drinks at my neighbour’s house rather than a club night. A hen weekend involving a 300-mile drive is being split between three of us, in fact we are staying in caravans for the hen weekend which is a bargain.
I am already planning the summer holidays, mainly because we are not going away and I have six weeks with three boys! Mrs Mummypenny work will quieten down so I will have plenty of time to have a wonderful summer with the boys. A few local friends are around so we are planning sunny days in our gardens. I will be using clubcard vouchers to get days out with the children. We will be having picnics in the park. We will be driving out to Frinton to the beach.
Football Starts again in July
June is mostly a football free month for both Dylan and Josh. Hurrah petrol costs will be low. Maybe June is the month to sell the car and get that new hybrid? I am keen to get a car that is more efficient and much kinder to the environment. July will mean a big football outlay, new boots and kits for two boys. That is around £300 for the two of them.
I have one bill to look at in June, my utility bills reach the end of their one year contract. I am going to switch to a company that can provide me with a smart meter and that provides great value for money. My current provider, Affect energy are wonderful. Great customer service and value for money, but they cannot provide a smart meter. One of my clients is Smart Energy GB, so I am keen to get one and to really focus on saving electricity and gas costs via better usage.
I hope this helps you with ideas and I look forward to updating you again at the beginning of July, with another chunk of money knocked off the money we owe. I am so looking forward to getting that money repaid and then I can start investing (bit excited about that one from a blog and personal point of view)
Tell me what you have done in the comments below to increase your income or reduce your spending?