I can’t believe we are planning our November goals- 2018 has flown!
How has 2018 been for you? Are you on track to make your financial goals happen, or struggling to turn plans into action? Either way, we have two more months to make it count. If you are looking for inspiration, start with a budget, a side hustle or by reading the story of how we paid of £16k in one year, which will provide some motivation.
In terms of my finances, 2018 has been a great year for me. We’ve cleared our debt, started building savings (however painful this has been!) and are building a five year plan for our finances that will set us up with multiple income streams further on down the line to secure our financial future. Finally after a decade of poor financial planning, we are turning it around slowly but surely, thanks to our goals.
And on that subject, here’s how October went.
Save £250 towards Baby Step 3/Save £400 in sinking funds
For anyone unfamiliar with Baby Step 3, this has been taken from Dave Ramsey’s 7 Baby Steps, a plan to get out of debt and secure your financial future. I have my own UK version- Four Steps to Debt Freedom- which is worth checking out if you are UK-based and want to get out of debt.
What we decided mid-October was the system we had- of having lots of separate sinking funds, on top of several overwhelming expenses like Christmas, a wedding and car insurance- was too complex. So now I’m aiming to save as much as possible and cash flow what’s imminent. This means that instead of dividing savings into little sub-sections, we are just paying for what’s required right there and then, and when it’s over, we are moving on to the next expense. We know what we have to save (as much as possible, basically), so why make it more complicated than it needs to be? Regardless, we saved £700, which is £50 over what we planned, so I’m pretty pleased with that.
Make £300 in side hustles
We made £320! This was a mixture of matched betting and Mr M’s quick shift helping with the entertainment for a local wedding. All in, I dedicated about 10 hours to this and Mr M put in 5. So not a bad rate of pay for our time.
When I do our budget for the month, I don’t include side hustle money as it’s not guaranteed (even though I know to expect it). We stick to our budget as normal and the extra side hustle funds just goes straight to savings these days. I say this because I previously dipped into side hustle money like mad; it was always a little excuse to have a cheeky Nandos, or a new dress, but these days it’s going into savings. Being disciplined with this money helps your savings grow so rapidly- such a basic tip but follow it and you won’t go wrong.
As above, we will pretty much be saving as much as we can, and not having a lot of sinking funds.
How we plan to do this is to save £400 from guaranteed income and £350 from side hustles.
Saving £400 seems like a lot but with budgeting, you can surprise yourself with how much excess you have when you have a plan for your money. Life on a budget doesn’t have to be restrictive, in fact, it’s the opposite; you can actually allocate your money to make sure you’re doing, and getting, the things you want, and cut out all of the things that don’t add any value to your life. So £400 comes straight out of our account when we get paid before we have a chance to squander it!
Make £350 in side hustles
As for side hustles, my £350 is just a little higher than last month because I’m going to put in a few extra hours and try to learn some new strategies, such as matched betting accumulators, in addition to my existing plan. People frequently ask me if matched betting is too good to be true, but it’s not something for which that you are handed free money, you do have to put a little bit of time into learning the process and the different ways to profit, but its such a good time investment. Not too good to be true, but pretty close!
Make first mortgage overpayment
Halfway through our debt free journey, I was playing about with a mortgage calculator and couldn’t believe how quickly we could pay down our mortgage if we made overpayments. Then we both reduced our working hours, our budget got smaller, and overpaying our mortgage became a ‘one day’ thing.
But then my mortgage provider has come out with a handy tool for existing mortgage customers to see how much time and interest you can shave off your mortgage term and I had a little look. If we pay £50 extra per month, we can save a massive £25,000 in interest and take 5 years off our mortgage!
This astounded me. I didn’t think a tiny amount would make a dent. But it has absolutely persuaded me to overpay my mortgage and we are going to start with our next payment.
If you haven’t already heard my mortgage regrets, we didn’t shop around, we got a rubbish rate (despite having great credit scores and a good credit history- but that’s a story for another day), and it was a painful lesson for both of us. We took our mortgage out over 35 years too, and it feels wrong to still be tied in to it when we are in our 60s- by that stage, I want to be helping my own children get on to the housing ladder, never mind paying off our own mortgage. So we are biting the bullet and starting with a small overpayment. In a few years time, the plan is for us to make double repayments, so here’s hoping this is the first step on that ladder.
If you want to be persuaded to part with a few pounds every month to save yourself years of mortgage repayments, here’s a tool you can use on MoneySavingExpert.com. Prepare to be amazed!
So lets’ smash November together! Let me know in the comments below what you have planned for the month, how much you made in side hustles, or how much you saved. And don’t forget to hit me up on Instagram to discuss your goals 🙂