Tuesday, 2 February 2010

challenging myself

I know its February already and that really personal goals are meant for the beginning of the year but I've been doing a lot of thinking recently about how I spend my money and also how I spend my time.
I earn not very much at all and have been successfully budgeting for the past couple of years but I've not really saved anything and I think really I've often spent money because I've had it rather than because I really want or need something.
In September I'm going back to being a student and will have no income, I know that I will be able to get by on student loans and grants but I'd like to be able to have a bit saved for fun things while I'm studying. My contract at my current job finishes in July and I will have at least 5 weeks before my course starts, though I won't be going on fancy holidays or anything like that I would like to have some fun, see friends and possibly do a bit of volunteering and I'll also need to pay rent and bills, all this costs money so I'm need to be saving a bit for that.
I also want to reassess what my money is going on in terms of food, I'm often guilty of buying things that I don't end up using, I do sometimes get quite excited in the supermarket and end up buying packets for all sorts of things that I never eat.
As well as these personnel reasons for spending less, I also want to be more mindful of the fact that there are people all over the world both in my neighbourhood and far away how are desperately struggling to make ends meet and to make sure that they have enough to eat. I am not struggling financially and really it would be hard for me to not have enough as I know that I have family and friends who look out for me. I'd like to give more money away and to do it in a considered manner rather than just giving if I'm asked
I thought about limiting myself to £15 a week after I've paid rent and bills but I mentioned this to my dad and he was worried about me being able to eat properly so I've decided on £20. This way I can save a little bit each week or anything fun I have coming up (visiting friends, going on trips, school holidays) and not have to limit myself in enjoyment terms because I'm not trying to become mean spirited or worried about money.
So this is it, the challenge, these are the rules I've set for myself
  1. pay all bills and rent
  2. withdraw £20 cash every week on Wednesday
  3. leave debit card at home
  4. in cases of emergency I am allowed to spend more
emergencies include, getting to appointment (doctors, dentist etc.) and needing to take a taxi, buying medicines, where it would be very inappropriate not to give money

now I've got that established
I thought I'd put up some pretty pictures I've taken recently
these are pictures that I took while I was away this weekend with friends in the Yorkshire dales

we had beautiful sunshiney weather and fantastic views

we stayed in a lovely house at the top of a rather steep hill

some of us got tired walking up and down the hill and needed some help

we saw a heron
a good time was had by all
thats it for now

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