94 Days

I think a lot of people are beginning to be annoyed at the large amount of bank holidays during lock down.

I am of course only pretending to be annoyed by this. In the grand scheme of things it is not important.

It is still nice to have some time off work. I am debating whether to take a full week off work as annual leave or to take 5 Mondays in a row off work. I am now leaning towards the later.

I am feeling a lot recovered from the long weekend and I feel perhaps I am over the worse of my lock down burn out.

I have looked over my ‘June 2020 Finances’ spreadsheet which is where I detail my money in versus my money out. It is not entirely up to date given that I won’t get my pay slip until tomorrow but the prognosis is next month isn’t going to be as bad as I initially feared. My savings are going to take a hit, and I am still in two minds as to whether I am doing the right thing prioritising paying off the debt over saving. In the book I am writing I did just go over why it is better to prioritise savings over everything else on a financial journey and I really don’t want to be a hypocrite. I will see what I can do. I might partially transfer some of my new debt on to my 0% balance transfer cards and pay off the rest in full, and then the amount on the balance transfer card I will pay off over four payments.

I shall investigate.

It is nice to spend time in the house and make the most of things. I think I will watch A Streetcar Named Desire on the National Theatre YouTube channel later. Or some Netflix. Who knows, the world is my lobster (I know that’s not the actual expression, it’s something my flat mate and I say).

I still have a decent amount of jam tarts left. Just like Grandma used to make, literally.

I have some batch cooked Tuna Pasta Bake to see me through to pay day, and some potatoes that need eating up. All is good really when you think about it. What I mean is I’m trying to make the most of a bad situation.

I really do wonder what life is going to be like when ‘normal’ service is resumed. They keep talking about the ‘new’ normal and I wonder what that will involve. What will we keep from lockdown and what will go.

I am happy in myself.

My diet has completely fallen apart. I used to religiously eat my five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. For the last week or so that has fallen apart. Boo hiss. I don’t want to come out of lock down looking like a diagram of the covid-19 cell, big, round and with spiky bits (my hair is a bit wild). Despite running daily it turns out if you eat a lot of cake and jam tarts you will still put on weight. Who would have thought it?

I base my day around a to do list, it gives me an enormous sense of achievement though how much of that is actually real? I mean, putting ‘Hoover’ on the to do list takes 10 minutes if that, and is an easy win, but it contains the same real estate on a to do list as ‘write 3000 words’ which will take significantly longer. So it is important to do what I call the ‘Macro’ tasks first. I live my life by thinking macro over micro. What I mean by that is I prioritise the things that will give me the biggest pay off, the 20% of effort that produces the 80% of results. It doesn’t always happen but that’s what I work to in theory.

I have the urge to spend money. This is because it is a hormonal time for me and for people who know what I’m on about a little known fact is that people who menstruate tend to feel the urge to go shopping around ‘their time’. So be nicer to your significant other if they come back with half of Primark during their time. I am aware of this so I am quite good at ignoring this, or again I tend to go for purchases that will give me an investment rather than a bunch of tat.

Anyway, I’ve waffled on enough. I wish you all a pleasant Monday.

 

97 Days

I am writing a book about my debt free journey.

I am due to be debt free on the 27th August. It is a journey that will have taken me 1727 days, or 4 years, 8 months, 22 days. It was on the 6th December 2015 that I realised I couldn’t carry on with the way I had been living my life at that point. That is the date I began to take control of my finances rather than have them control me. Sorry for the cliché.

About 50% of my total debt was from being a bit silly with my money. Buying things I didn’t need, buying things I couldn’t afford, and buying things I neither needed nor could afford. However, the other 50% of my debt was from literally, and I do use that term correctly, not having any other option to survive.

At the beginning of my journey I kept it a secret. My partner at the time had an inkling as to what was going on but I was giving him an edited version of the full picture and I think to an extent he was too afraid to ask.

Now I tell anyone and everyone about my debt. I’ll talk about it to anyone who shows an interest, and probably to people even if they didn’t show an interest.

Getting into debt understandably changed my life for the worse. But getting out of it has ultimately changed my life for the better.

I am not the same person who got into debt. 10 years from now my financial journey will also likely take me away from the person I am now.

The most important thing I’ve learnt in life is you should never underestimate your capacity to change. You can change. You can make mistakes, but then you can fix them.

I have made countless mistakes with money, you name it I’ve done it. But I will never make them again and my financial past does not determine my financial future.

So I’m being a bit bolder and a bit more public about what I want in life. You all know that I’ve invested in a book writing course, so let’s hope that it will be worth my money (I’m sure it will be). Ultimately I will only get out of it what I put in. So I will do my best.

I am about 20000 words into the book, or two dissertations worth. I mean, I might as well write, it’s not like I’m going anywhere or doing anything else during lockdown. Might as well keep busy.

I didn’t spend any money today, which is always good. I did a run, which is always good, and I’m doing some writing. Good times.

See you tomorrow.

98 Days

Today has not been a good day for me mentally. I have good days and bad days. Sometimes I feel like I am the happiest person in the world and at other times I feel like everything is going wrong.

My sleep has fallen apart. I am constantly tired. I feel bloated and lethargic and weak.

I am struggling with working from home. Which is wrong, so many other people are worse off than me. I never realised how much I crave human interaction until now.

The food budget has completely overblown this month. I’m going to have to increase it to £400 next month (£200 each for me and the flat mate). This is going to cut my disposable income dramatically but I’d rather be prepared food budget wise.

All my bills have been paid for the month. I have about £17 left in my account. I get paid next week. It could be worse.

At least there are no more ants in my flat.

I am struggling a bit with lock down. I am trying to keep busy. I am trying to make the most of my time. I am trying to be productive. And some days I am. Some days I feel like I could have achieved more, but that is toxic productivity coming into play.

I am not sure what the rest of this year holds in store. No one knows. No one can predict anything. Interestingly I am reading a book called ‘The Black Swan’ by Nassim Nicholas Taleb about unpredictable events. I have a feeling this book will be reissued in a few years’ time with a new section about this pandemic.

But I am getting further away from talking about my debt free diary. I must keep strong. I must focus on the 27th August when I will become debt free. There is unlikely to be the party I was originally planning. Maybe I will make and decorate a cake, much like I did when I paid off my overdraft. It looked a bit like a contender for a Pinterest fail, but it was a novel way of celebrating it.

In 98 days’ time I will be debt free and to an extent my life can begin again. It will be interesting to see what the future holds after that point and it is at the very least something I can look forward to on the horizon that should predictably happen.

I can only hope.

99 Days

Hi everybody,

I am now in double digits of days left till I am debt free.

I have a habit of not being able to enjoy the good times. I am always fearful of the next bad thing to come along and take over my life and my finances.

I am in a good situation, I should enjoy the journey of life. But it is hard when I am publically making a declaration that I will be debt free on the 27th August 2020 as I feel the universe is going to smite me.

I’m sure the universe has bigger things to worry about than me.

I probably was rather impulsive signing up for the master class. I want to write a book, I want to write a book this year, I want to write a book during lockdown. I feel passionate about this. I want to do the best I can out of life.

I just have a real sense of seize the day and live for the moment due to lockdown. So many things I put off in life thinking I would always have the time for them only to find you can never predict what is going to happen next.

I want to keep a happy balance of prioritising my future, but living a little in the present as well and really making the most of what life has to offer.

Obviously my care free, live for the moment attitude is partly what got me into trouble debt wise in the first place. I don’t want to go back to that. I never want to use debt to fund my life. But I do want to be less fearful about spending money and accepting that sometimes a modest splurge is a good way to make the most of my life.

I just want to enjoy every stage of my life, the past, the present and the future. I see no reason why I can’t have this I just have to be sensible.

Today will be probably my best day at work for getting things done. I have mapped out my week and I highlight that I had the most uninterrupted periods of time today to get things done, so the things will get done.

It is a 4 day week for me this week as I have Friday off, then there is the bank holiday on Monday. I have big productivity plans for the 4 day weekend. That will keep me safely at home other than my daily run.

I don’t know what the next 99 days will bring. Maybe everything will go well. Maybe everything will go wrong. I don’t know, but if I worry about what might be then I suffer twice if it does happen.

Just enjoy the journey. I’ve made it this far on my debt free journey, I will survive whatever comes next.