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Happy New Year? Possibly Not - The Lean Times


Jan 12, 2011 Debt , , , , 2 Comments

I must tell you my lovely readers, that this post has been difficult for me to write as I am not sure we are going to have a great 2011.  In the UK, we have had a rise in the VAT, which is a tax that is on just about everything we buy excluding most food products, children’s clothing, books and peridicals. We have also in London had quite a bit rise in public transportation costs.  Put all those increases with possible food shortages, this does not paint a very rosy picture.

I don’t write very much about my personal finances but at the begining of 2011, they are not looking great.  I was hit with a bill for service charges on my flat that has been going back and forth for a while; now they are playing hard ball.  I need to find £4k in three and half months, no negotiating possible as the staff at the council are saying their jobs are on the line.  I did know this invoice was going to crop up but I have been attacking my bills that are charging interest ahead of this one.  Also you can usually make an arrangement to pay so I was not that worried.

This invoice has had a quite radical impact on my life – we probably  need to postpone our wedding as it was scheduled for March and I can’t even mention a honeymoon. I bet you are wondering why I am telling you all this not very fun stuff.  I want to stress the importance of keeping on top of all your creditors.  I now have a list, that I make myself look at everyday ( I think that is where I went wrong last year).  I thought just writing the list was enough, it isn’t.  I have also bought a great app for my iphone called Pay Off Debt.  This is super easy to use and help you visualize paying off your debt snowball.  I love the way it calculates how long it will take you to pay off your debts.  Once you see that it will take you x years, it gives you the incentive to pay it off quicker.

Strangely in some ways getting this enormous bill has put me in gear to make some real progress.  I am selling lots of stuff on Ebay and feeling lighter everyday.  It is a relief to get rid of things you don’t need.  I am also making room for my beloved to move in when we finally do get married.

Have you had a wake up call recently?  Has it moved you into action?  What steps are you taking to get your finances on track? Drop me a comment.  I don’t want to be the only person that feels a bit stupid for letting things slide.


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