plonkee money an english-er's thoughts on personal finance

November 4, 2008

a confession and sorting myself out

Filed under: budget — Tags: — plonkee @ 12:00 pm

I have a confession to make.

For a personal finance blogger, my bank accounts are in a terrible state. I’ve exceeded my overdraft limit for the last 3 months in a row, which is costing me about £200+ in bank charges. Naturally, I’m going to be saving the documentation about the charges in the hope that I’ll be able to claim them back inthe future. It’s not really the point though.

I firmly believe that nobody should be paying bank charges because they are just unnecessary. If you need to borrow money then you can use cheaper forms of credit. That extends to me too. I mean I think £35 an item is unfair but it’s still easily avoided.

How did I get myself into this situation?

Well, the short and simple answer is that I have some expenses to claim, and money to resdistribute around my accounts that I haven’t got round to doing. This has given my main current account a cash flow problem.

The long answer is that I’m tired. I’m not keeping a firm enough grip on my finances, but I’m not keep a grip on a few other things either. My house looks like it’s been hit by an explosion of papers and clothes. I haven’t written nearly as many posts on here as I’d like to. I’m doing the bare minimum on most of my other projects. My day job is sucking up the spare energy that I have, which makes sense as I enjoy it and it pays the bills, but I am not my work. Something has got to change.

Given that I don’t want to give up anything that I currently do, and that although my day job could get easier as I get more used to my newer responsibilities but I can’t rely on that, I’ll have to find some more energy from somewhere.

I’m thinking that I need to break up my evenings a little more so that I’m not moving from thinking at work to thinking about blogging. Instead I’ll try doing some housework and practising the oboe first, and then move onto more mentally draining pursuits later.

I also reckon that I could do with improving my diet. I’m too lazy/tired to cook, and I don’t feel all that inspired about making a huge effort to cook just for me anyway. I need to work with this rather than against it, so to get closer to my 5 a day I’m going to be eating more soup. From a tin it takes about 4 minutes to heat up at most, there are several kinds I like that are somewhat healthy although they probably have more salt than is really good.

I’m open to other suggestions on the food front if you have them. To be realistic, my limitations are that I have almost no freezer space, I want to eat within about half an hour of getting home, and I am just not going to do anything that takes more than 5 minutes preparation time – chopping up the vegetables for a stir fry is far too much effort. Yes, more effort on the food front would probably be better, but I need to stick to things I’m actually likely to do.

Finally, I think I need to make more of an effort to improve my sleep patterns. I thin I would feel better generally if I want to bed about 10:30 and got up at 7am. This should have several positive effects. Firstly, I’d be getting around 7-8 hours sleep which is a good amount. Secondly, getting up earlier should mean that I’m not running late which is helpful. If I’m going to be late, I’ll catch the bus. So if there’s less chance of me being late, I’m much more likely to walk and get more exercise, which should give me more energy.

Other things I’m contemplating but not putting in to action yet include

  • cutting back on caffeine – at work
  • starting bouldering again – although where I’d find the time, I’m not too sure
  • complete house decluttering – this needs to be done, but requires time again

If you have an suggestions for this errant personal finance blogger, please let me know in the comments.

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