January’s enthusiasm was lost on me as I struggled to comprehend how a new year could begin without Terry in it while moving house, paying rent for both my new house and the old one and beginning back at work again after over three months away. Thankfully, our old house rented and the estate agents are no longer charging me rent there meaning that February is shaping up to be the first month since Terry died that my expenses will be less than my salary. I will be able to live within my means, which is really important to me. The past four months have held so many things to worry about that I hardly had a moment to spare to think about my finances – thank goodness as they are a mess!
I currently have approximately £30,000 ($45,000) of student loans and a little over £6,000 to pay off of my car and I am just stable enough to really start thinking about paying it off on my own. I have created a new budget for myself allowing £100 for groceries (small, but doable I hope) and £100 for social activities and adventures each month. If I can stick to my budget and put all extra money towards my debts, I am hoping to pay off £36,000 of debt by December 2018. Yes, you read it here first: I am aiming to begin 2019 DEBT FREE.
As I embark on the second attempt at paying off my debt, I feel much more forgiving and lenient with my finances than I was the first attempt only 11 months ago. I am prioritising fun but am putting a realistic limit on it so that I can indulge within reason. Today may be the first day of February, but it feels like the start of a new year to me – January was rubbish, so I’m just ripping that page out of the calendar and looking to see which cat with a hat February holds (thanks for the calendar Erin!)
As February is the beginning of my new year of budgeting, I tried out a new frugal recipe for lardy buns – a basic version of the pain aux raisin that I’ve been craving – resulting in a delicious smelling home and these bad boys:
I managed to save a few for breakfast tomorrow at school as I begin my first full workweek since Terry died. Wish me luck!