Life Circle – Taking Action

Following on from the recent Wheel of Life task of Life Circle, Kate has set a task of deciding action points using the TGROW model.  Here goes!

Topic

Finances.  It wasn’t quite the lowest score on my Wheel of Life, but completing the Wheel underlined quite how many areas of my life my current financial crisis is impacting, and it is most definitely the area in most urgent need of attention.

Goal

  1. To pay off the tax bill that I’m going to have to put on a credit card at the end of this month
  2. To reduce my expenditure so that I can regularly put a little money aside in a savings account for just such an emergency!

Reality

Usually I religiously put money into an account which is purely reserved for my tax bill on a monthly basis.  A few months ago my dog suffered a herniated disc and had 2 emergency surgeries, a lengthy stay at a specialist vet, and now needs rigorous daily physiotherapy.  The total cost is now in excess of £8000, and has long since exceeded his insurance cover.  His upkeep is now more expensive, and my water bill is now noticeably higher from his daily hydrotherapy.  My project to Uganda for charity work cost me far more than I’d anticipated, partly due to some unexpected costs, and largely due to Max now having to be boarded at the specialist vet whenever I’m away, which sets me back a joyous £67.50 per day.  As a result, all the money I had squirreled away for taxes has gone on Max.

I do actually have a regular savings account which I set up a year ago, but I could only afford to put £25 a month into it, and that doesn’t go too far in this situation.  I would love to manage to reduce my expenditure enough that I can wrack up a larger safety net.

Options

  1. Increase my mortgage
  2. Take out a loan
  3. Reduce my expenditure
  4. Increase my income

Will

  • Options 1 & 2 ruled out as they would cost me far more than simply paying my tax bill by credit card.
  • I have already booked extra work days in January, February and March to increase my income
  • On 1st January I started recording all my expenditure on an iPhone app that breaks everything down into different categories, so I can analyse exactly where my money is going, am thinking far more about everything I spend, and will be able to see more easily if there is anywhere else that I can make savings
  • I checked the price of all my staple groceries & household products at different stores, and carry that same geeky chart in my purse, and now vary where I shop depending on which items I need that week.  I’m also experimenting with doing my shopping later in the day so that I can hopefully profit from checking the reduced sections for bargains.
  • Tomorrow I will phone Santander and see if they can offer me a better current account deal, if not I will switch to Halifax, who are offering £100 to switch, and £5/month, thereby gaining £155 this year.

Life Circle

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6 Responses to Life Circle – Taking Action

  1. batgirlsteph says:

    You’re so organised! I’m sure everything will get back on track for you soon. Which iphone app are you using, I really think I’m going to have to bite the bullet & get mine sorted out and, being as I seem to have turned into an iphone addict, that sounds like a great idea.

    • Jay says:

      I’m using iXpenseIt, which I love because it has loads of different categories, and you can customise the categories also (I have a Max category, with food, insurance, hydro etc subcategories for eg). I find it’s a lot easier to be diciplined with the app – I actually think about whether I really want the item, instead of buying willy nilly and not realising how much it’s adding up, which is my usual trick!

      iXpenseIt isn’t free, but there’s a lite version which is. I tried the lite first – you can save up to 200 transactions on the lite I think – before deciding it was just what I wanted and buying the full one.

  2. Good for you. I’m also faced with that mortgage adjustment thing but am trying to avoid it all costs (excuse the pun). I think I’m about reduced as I can be re expenditure so I’m also concentrating on finding more work. Here’s hoping it all works for both of us!

  3. Lakes Mum says:

    sounds like a sound plan. I must look into that app.

  4. Kate says:

    Well worked through. If you know a good financial adviser, try to see if they can advise you on the best savings for you.

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