Friday, 31 January 2014

Those dark days are over...

2011 was the year that changed my life as I know it.

In June 2011 I got pregnant.

I had been wishing for this for such a long time and finally it had happened to us.

Then came the panic. I am in debt, how am I going to afford a baby and be on maternity leave, pay the bills, service my debts and provide for the future.

You are probably thinking why didn't you think of that before you got pregnant. I did but then I had the notion of can you ever really afford to have children?

At this point in our lives we were renting a lovely two bed semi. We came over all responsible and decided we should buy. The OH had savings and we had offers of help with a deposit so we took the plunge.

In November 2011 we moved into a new build three bed house, which incidentally would cost us less than our old rented property. This was when I was six months pregnant and had no baby items except a cute hat

Cue the new me. Everything I bought was either pre loved (eBay is a saviour) or given to me by kind friends and family. I did want that £800 pram from the high street but settled for the £150 one from eBay which was just as good and later sold it on eBay for about the same. Hence free!!

If I didn't need it I didn't buy it, and if I thought I did I checked with Mum to make sure I did.

Fast forward to 1st March 2012

Everything that money couldn't buy filled my life with joy...

That new dress didn't make me happy anymore but cuddles in the middle of the night while feeding my son did.

Cocktail.. No thank you I will have a cuppa!

I had a new focus enjoy the small things and the money spent on the once big things to service the debts.

Fast Forward to October 2013

After a year and a half of getting used to motherhood I have paid off all debts.It hasn't been easy! I did get that urge to go shopping after pay day but not as you know it instead I went shopping on my debts. I overpaid the highest debts first than snowballed that payment to the next one until they were gone.

2014 is the year that I have started for the first time since 2001 with no debts except the mortgage that is.

2014 is the year we start to overpay our mortgage. We won't go without to do it but we will do what we want as cheaply as possible. Life is still for living but we are mindful of providing for our future selves also.

Why have I called this Spendthriftways you may ask?

I am a spend thrift in nature. I like what I like, I have expensive taste sadly. But I refuse to pay top dollar. So that might be my way but it is not what I do.

This blog for me will be about documenting how I reach my goal of financial freedom. I can't tell you how long it will take me or if things will change but I will show you how I have done it in my way.

It might not be right but it will be my spendthriftway.....

Monday, 20 January 2014

The Spendthrift days ...

So here I am 21 years old single and working. I had no responsibility except to feed myself and a pocket full of money. I spent spent spent until there was no more. I partied hard, went shopping every week without fail for that must have dress and shoes and frittered away all I had. Alongside my day job as a trainee accountant I did bar work which fuelled my social life. I made lots of friends or so I thought.

At the time I thought this was making me happy but all it was doing slowly but surely was making me get into more and more debt. I spent what I earnt and more besides. This was the culture then. Credit cards were offered to me monthly. The thought process then was well if I can afford the minimum payment then yes I will spend. Before I knew it, I was in at least £20k of debt and struggling to make minimum payments.

The me of today would have written down a plan of what I owed and how I was going to pay it. Stupidly I didn't. All the while I am training to be an accountant. I knew if you spent more than you earnt then it was only going to be a slippery slope to bankruptcy. There was no waking up and smelling the coffee. I was in denial I had a problem.

It took meeting the love of my life and best friend to make all things change.

This was not an overnight turnaround. I still liked to socialise and buy nice things but the love of a good man filled the hole in my life that I seemed to have been desperately trying to fill.

Fast forward five years to 2011 and everything and I mean everything changed...

Monday, 13 January 2014

A little bit about me...

I am 33 years old woman and I am a Spendthrift. There I said it!

Admitting this after years of denial in my 20's  has been like a huge weight lifted off my shoulders.
I am, used to be and still am a little bit (ssshhhh!) that person that you would see with a new hair style monthly and a wardrobe that could clothe a small country. Dominoes was on speed dial and my mobile phone bill would pay half of my mortgage in today's calculation.

That WAS me..

Getting older and maybe a little bit wiser has shown me that all of these things were just material. They covered up temporarily the hurt and anxiety that I was experiencing. I was lonely and sad and spending money made me feel better. Also everyone else was doing it so why couldn't I?

I had a humble childhood. We didn't have much in terms of material things, but I had food in my belly and a loving family.  This love I had as a teenager was misinterpreted then. My parents were strict. I was the eldest and I was treated how my parents were treated at the same age. I rebelled and left home at 16 just like they had.

I can pinpoint my spendthrift ways began at this point.
I didn't become a spendthrift in the financial sense but in the food sense. I comfort ate to replace the love I had lost from my parents and sisters and consequently put on 2 stone overnight. If I saw it I ate it!!
However I did complete my GCSE's and A levels and got a place at university to teach and lost the 2 stone through Weight Watchers!

At this point of my life was where it all had started to go wrong. I was unhappy with my relationship, unhappy with my career choice and generally had hit a cross road. I could carry on with the chosen path of teaching in a relationship with a man who was nice but just didn't excite me or I could change all that. You guessed it I changed everything!

I left university and split up with my long term boyfriend without any real thought. I was a ruthless 21 year old that didn't look back. I literally opened up the jobs page of a local paper closed my eyes and picked a job. The fate of my career future was in that one digit. Luckily for me it was a job that I had a chance of doing. A trainee accountant. Maths had been my favourite subject at school so I went for it.

I began the job with much enthusiasm and with it my first real pay packet at the end of the month.
I thought I was rich and the world was my oyster. I was single could do what I wanted when I wanted and how I wanted. So I did. This is when I became a true spendthrift...

I will tell you how in a few days time.

Speak soon

L x