All of my 25 by 25 challenges are things I think I should have completed by my birthday, but aren’t necessarily all fun. As much as I hate to admit it, 25 is definite ‘adult’ status, and one of the things concerning people my age is money.
I blogged about my concern over the increasing amount of outgoings I seem to have since university, and with this in mind I drew up a list of my finances. Thrilling, I know. As I assumed, a lot more gets spent on insignificant things than I’d have liked to think. I usually go food shopping once a fortnight, but with a 24/7 Sainsbury’s around the corner, topping up the kitchen with bread and milk ends up with unnecessary treats far too much of the time. And it’s not only treats that are a problem. Just by going convenience shopping at all I am spending an extra £60 on food a month. Problem number one to sort out. I do think I leave some things out of a large supermarket shop, thinking that spreading the cost will seem as though not as much is being spent. In reality I’m doing my account more damage by spending less to begin with and need to kick this habit in the butt.
My second unexpected spend was personal shopping. I don’t tend to buy many clothes, etc, but a worrying amount of Amazon orders were placed in the last couple of months that I can’t even recall. Also, buying things that I don’t think are treats, (just because I can’t wear them) such as stationery, items for the house, or even things like shampoo and hair dye probably seemed justified in the back of my mind, but I still pay for them, so who I was justifying them to exactly is a bit of a puzzle.
Thankfully, there were also pleasant surprises. I imagined I’d spend more than £28 a month on eating out, coffees and takeaways, and many of the bills I’ve had are one-off or annual things that I don’t need to consider every month.
Now I’ve got plenty of figures down the plan is to reduce the average amount I spend on each category in order to build up some savings, and plan ahead so I can dedicate money to specific purchases, and eventually I should be able to know exactly where my money is going.
If anyone is planning to try anything similar, the categories I used to assess my spending were: small food shops, large food shops, eating out, non-food shopping, cash withdrawals, bills and miscellaneous. I looked at every payment out of my bank account over two months, then averaged the spending in each category.
I’m still overdrawn, but I feel better knowing where it all goes!
Another plan I have is to start offering children’s English tutoring, but I’ll talk about that in another post. Happy financing!