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Setting financial goals for the new year seems to be a recurring theme for most families when it comes to the beginning of January. This is often after a sharp in take of breath when noticing that you’re already in your overdraft and I’m afraid to say that this was exactly what I did last night and yes, you think I’d know better!
I quickly got online and moved some money around from savings to cover the deficit in our current account and breathed a sigh of relief that I’d spotted it quick enough before we would start getting charged for the “pleasure”.
Then I got thinking about why it had happened. We’ve been properly joint accounting since I began maternity leave again in November and whereas in my head I’m aware of what I’ve spent and simply know that that couldn’t take us over our limit, I’ve not been taking into account what NotSoThriftyDad has been spending. Not that he’s spent too much or treated me to too many things over Christmas but just that our communication has failed on keeping tabs on what we’re collectively spending as it doesn’t feel so much when its just your own spends.
I decided to look at our accounts properly last night and although we have savings, I had begun to dip into them to cover monthly Amazon payments as my Amazon account was still registered with an old credit card I have rather than our joint debit card – no wonder I wasn’t feeling any impact from my Amazon purchases as the payments were going into a black hole rather than the money actually coming out of my account. Damn you “Buy It now” button!
I also had a monthly Musclefood delivery order coming out of a different credit card which needn’t have been the case either, this too should be coming out of the debit card so we know where we’re at with our finances each day.
I then automated the childcare voucher transfer for the rest of the year so I am no longer at risk of forgetting to do this before each monthly deadline and getting the financial penalty!
After organising my finances last night I made some big decisions about what my financial goals are for this year.
Being on maternity leave and therefore maternity pay again it is time we actually set up a budget, especially for groceries as this is the one major areas which seems to run away with us. Now I’m heavily pregnant again I’ve been struggling to push a trolley around the supermarket so have decided to accept there’s a simple solution to this and get my groceries delivered again. I do find that buying groceries online after setting out a meal plan means I stick to my shopping list easier but its the in between trips to the local Tesco Express etc which stack up for us. Milk and bread can become: milk, bread, papers, pastries, snacks, dog food because she’s feeling ill and will only eat the tinned stuff which works out WAY more expensive than the bulk dry food I get delivered for her etc. So a grocery budget is being set and we’re going to commit to cash for the in between little shops and make more use of the iPhone apps where we can pick up lots of free products too.
I also have in mind another financial goals which is set to really stretch me but I’m excited to see how it goes…
I would love to try and earn more on maternity leave than I would just in my normal job. I’m scared and excited just writing it down as now I feel really accountable! I’m going to be using the hashtag #maternitymillionaire and document how I get on with it. The plan will be to continue with monetising my blog (without becoming a sell out so as always, only endorsing campaigns which I truly believe in and products which I would happily buy myself), as well as a mixture of side hustles.
There are loads of money-making courses which you can do online and I’m signing up to a variety of them so I can get lots of new ideas of how I’m going to do this! I’m going to need lots of help and encouragement as I’m also going to have two children under two to juggle as well!
As for savings, I’ve got a money box (from PoundLand) which I’m going to add small change to at the end of each day but my main aim this year is to find effective ways to get my proper bank savings to work more for me on the run up to a large and life changing purchase I’m going to be making this summer, but more on that later on…
I would love to know what financial goals you’re setting yourself for this year so let me know in the comments below or drop by my Facebook page for a chat.