Another month gone and in my opinion, from here the only way is up! The mornings and evenings are getting lighter, the daffs are in in full effect and hopefully it might start to get a bit warmer soon (or is that wishful thinking?). February highlights included celebrating Paul’s birthday with the family and passing my Nutritional Sciences exam, which was a big relief!
My focus for February was my “chuck out challenge”, where the aim was to get rid of one item on the 1st Feb, two on the 2nd etc. It went pretty well, I got a full complement up until 27th Feb, and then slowed down a bit thanks to a busy weekend! There are a few more things earmarked to go though, so by the end of this week, I hope to have reached the full target of 435 items. The things that have gone are many and varied – clothes, shoes, toys, unwanted household items, books, unidentified objects that have been sitting in the kitchen for ages. I’m sure it has made a difference, but there is still more to do for sure, so I think the decluttering will be an ongoing task. In positive news, I did finally finish my long term project of digitising all our CDs – we have thousands of them so it’s taken a while, but it’s satisfying now it’s done and we can free up a whole lot of shelf space.
My book of the month was Cut the Clutter by Cynthia Ewer. It’s a good book for dipping in and out off, with advice not just on decluttering, but running the house more efficiently – cleaning, meal planning, organisation and storage. I definitely picked up some useful tips when thinking about how to approach clearing out. This month was probably a more random approach – now I’ve picked off some of the obvious things, I can probably start to get a bit more systematic with some of the clutter hotspots!
So onwards to March. The focus for this month is going to be money, as it’s time to take a look at the finances and get everything ship shape. We have discussed our financial goals at a high level, but never really seen that through into a concrete plan, so that’s a definite area of focus. Both of us are good at saving, but I definitely think our money could be working harder for us. I also have a lot of different accounts/ISAs/pensions etc., so I need to ensure that I have a really good look and make sure I have a clear picture of what’s where.
I also want to have a look at our regular outgoings. I don’t think I’m extravagant and I never worry about going overdrawn at the end of the month, but that probably means I don’t look at my account that often, so I feel like I should have a better handle on what I do spend! So specifically I will be:
- Having a family chat about our longer term financial goals
- Checking in on all my savings and investments
- Reviewing the budget
- Spending as little as possible!
- Possibly booking an IFA appointment
My book of the month is going to be The Secrets of Saving and Investing with Alvin Hall: Simple Strategies to Make Your Money Go Further by Alvin Hall. I was going to get this from the library in the interests of frugality, but it was £1 to reserve it and only 99p on my Kindle, so I’ve saved myself one whole English pence. See, how hard can it be?