Back at the start of the month, I wrote about some things I’d like to achieve in 2016, and now, three weeks into the year, I’m feeing a bit chuffed about the fact that I’m doing pretty well on most of those things. One thing I didn’t touch upon was money, but I’ve made a few changes recently in a bid to become a bit more organised.
I’ve spoken before about how I was that typical 18-year-old who suddenly had access to a student overdraft and credit cards and went a bit crazy. Wahey! Shopping! But since then (and actually, all credit to Mr P, since meeting him) I’ve made a real effort to be better with money.
So here are the things I’ve been doing…
Being freelance, I’ve just done my annual tax return, and despite thinking I was organised in keeping records, I discovered that I hadn’t been, so it took me a day or so to search through bank accounts and hunt for receipts. No more! I’ve just bought this brilliant Receipts record book, which has pockets for each month and somewhere to list all my expenses.
We always put a portion of everything I earn into a separate account, which we pay tax and National Insurance out of, but we recently looked around for a better savings account to put this money into. It’s mind-boggling the difference it can make to shift your savings around if you can get a better deal.
When it comes to saving money, I’ve made some simple swaps – going running with friends a few times a week, rather than going to the gym, buying more reduced food for dinner that night, rather than always doing a big weekly grocery shop, and cancelling our expensive digital TV and broadband package (all we ever watch is Netflix anyway…..)
I’m not going to pretend that I have this money thing nailed – but being self-employed (and having a husband who’s retraining as a teacher) means we’ll never be massively flush with money, so it’s really important I try to keep on top of our finances.
What else should I be doing to save money? Give me some ideas!