The prompt for today, 'look at the budget/make a savings plan', ties in nicely with my resolution to handle my finances better and my 35 at 35 list, number 14... to pay of my student loan and be debt free.
Last week I listed all my current outgoings in a bid to determine how much I could afford to spend on the extra stuff for myself (nights out, clothes, make-up, hair cuts, gym etc) and also things for the kids (new clothes, activities, treats, meals out etc). I put money into both children's savings accounts each month, although December was a busy month and I skipped their payment (but their Christmas money has been deposited so they haven't missed out). I do need to start saving for myself also which I'm failing miserably on. How will I afford to go on holiday otherwise!? There is also the small matter of my student loan, which is still outstanding, despite having left university eight years ago!
If only money grew on trees....
In a bid to get organised, I closed an ISA that I had with a building society and opened one instead with the bank where I have my current account. This means that everything is all in once place and I can easily manage it online with digital banking. It's a start at least, even though there is no money in the account right now!!
I have one credit card, with the same bank, and there is a small balance outstanding from Christmas but I will pay this off as soon as I get paid.
Unfortunately things keep cropping up... my car is now due a service and it looks like a need a new tyre and brake pads. I also have to renew my car insurance in March. Urgh...!! The only thing that's in my favour right now as that there is no council tax to pay this month and next.
I also need to investigate where I can save money, for example I'm thinking of scrapping my Sky+ account as I rarely watch TV choosing instead to watch DVDs and if I was to watch TV the channels I would be watching are available on Freeview (CBeebies being the main one!!).
The meal planning is also helping as I'm finding I have less food waste.
One other niggling thought is my pension. God, I feel old! I'm clueless about it and although my company are paying on my behalf each month without me having to contribute, I feel I should be doing something to save for the future. Even more so seeing as I'm on my own.
So, what do I need to do next in terms of a savings plan...? Maybe I should start playing the Lottery??