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.