Not the catchiest of titles, but having set my financial goals for 2018 I thought it best to check in with how I’m getting on after the first 3 months of the year.

My goals were

  • Do not incur any additional debt in 2018 < Success! 
  • Save £1000 across the 12 month period towards essential, annual bills such as house and car insurance, MOT and surprise car repairs < On target 
  • Pay off and cancel my overdraft of £660 in the 12 month period < On the way!
  • Maintain minimum payments on the credit card debt every month < Success!
  • Pay off a further £540 on the credit card across the 12 month period < Not there yet
  • Increase my income as my business grows < Not possible yet

Money goals in detail

No additional debt – I haven’t reached for the credit card and anything over my budget – see later on – has come out of bits of cash I had in savings.

Save £1000 across 12 months – this breaks down to £88 a month, but payments out also include term time dance class fees, so overall I’m on track with just over £120 in savings and all non-monthly fees paid up

Pay off my overdraft – now here I had a bit of luck as I had a PPI repayment that ate away a big chunk of that debt, leaving just £160, which split over the next 9 months is just over £17 a month. The benefit is that in reducing the debt I’ve reduced the fees I pay for it each month.

Maintain minimum payments on my credit card – direct debits are doing their job!

Pay off a further £540 on the credit card – now that would break down to something like an additional £45 a month – I’ve not managed to do this yet.

Increase my income – my business hasn’t grown this quarter so I’ve not been able to pay myself more salary yet

Other budget thoughts

I did start a spending diary in January and kept it up all month but come February I got out of the habit of it. I have overspent and dipped into savings from Christmas gifts and maintenance so I do perhaps need to get back to the spending diary habit.

I overspent by £200 in the first 3 months of 2018. Some of this has been on one-off expenses, such as my daughter needed glasses, a new dining room table (2nd hand of course) and finding the perfect pair of boots in the sale. I’m very grateful to have had a bit of cash in savings to be able to cover these costs.

The budget that I have set myself is very tight, it is 95% accounted for with very little leeway for additional costs, which means that I do need to start growing my business to be able to grow my income.

Overall I’m pleased with how things have gone in the first 3 months of the year. The important things were to keep up my debt payments and not take on more debt and I feel I’ve succeeded at both of these things.

How are you keeping up with  your finances?

Ruth