Each Monday, I try to post an article about Money. Whether this is about money, savings or budgeting.
Last year, I wrote a retrospective summary of my monthly budget for my blog. Documenting what I had spent my money on each week for that month.
This year I thought I would mix it up a bit. I intend to upload a blog post the first Monday in every month, focussing on what I am personally doing to save and make money. I will continue to post money articles each Monday, but will also add a personal one each month.
Feels like the longest January ever
January is a really tough time for many people. Having to make your salary stretch until the end of the month, after being paid before Christmas. With the added financial pressures of Christmas and New Year draining funds.
It felt this year that January was the longest – month – ever. I left my full-time job back in September. So January was always going to be a tight month. This one seemed to drag on forever, with no paycheck at the end of the month to look forward to!
BBC 5 Live with Laura Whitmore
I kickstarted the year being invited on to BBC Radio 5 with the lovely Laura Whitmore. January is a month where many people are broke. So this opportunity was the perfect time to discuss being broke, how to survive the month and what free things to take advantage of. It really helped me to focus on updating Broke Girl in the City for the start of the year!
Started saving with Chip
I am a massive fan of automated savings accounts. Especially, if I can’t access my money easily and money is taken from my account automatically. This has proven to be the best way of saving for me.
Chip offers a £10 welcome bonus for anyone who signs up using my promotional code ‘BROKE10’, to be granted after two ‘auto-saves’ (i.e. when you have saved twice using the app).* It seemed an ideal way to kickstart my own savings this year. A savings account will help to act as a buffer for any emergencies.
Monthly Savings: £87.46
Martin Lewis, mocktails & me
I have always been a massive fan of Martin Lewis, from Money Saving Expert. Having applied for tickets to his show last year. I was emailed with confirmation that I had 2 tickets to the first live The Martin Lewis Money Show of the year on ITV. I had worked in TV for many years, but more on the marketing side. It was great fun being part of the live TV audience. Martin and Danielle are incredibly charismatic and knowledgeable. I took my friend Amber who is also a huge fan, as I thought she would appreciate the experience just as much as me.
Cost Savings: Priceless
Free mocktails courtesy of DrinkUp London
Amber and I headed to The Zetter Townhouse in Clerkenwell after the show, which was just around the corner from filming. DrinkUp London gave away 2,000 FREE mocktails to celebrate Dry January. So we each had an amazing mocktail to celebrate being on the show. The Zetter Townhouse is simply amazing too.
Cost Savings: £14
Clif Free workout party & mocktail
Mocktails are the theme for dry January. A great night was spent at Clif’s FREE pop-up bar in Shoreditch, with Laura Whitmore on the decks at a workout party. I don’t think I have ever had such a health evening! Leaving with an amazing goody bag of protein bars and a branded water bottle on the press evening, provided my motivation to kickstart my exercise routine.
Cost Savings: £30 mocktails
I costed out the savings based on an average mocktail costing £5. Although it’s Shoreditch. No doubt, it would have cost more!
Tim Baker, London Sold-Out gig
The Canadian lead singer Tim baker was fronting a solo sold-out gig in London. Lucky me was able to go down and review the evening. Whilst I was on the guest-list for tickets, I couldn’t resist the 2-4-1 cocktails.
Servant Jazz Quarters is an amazing boutique cocktail bar! Looking back on the evening. My friend bought me dinner at the New York-style pizza eaterie, Voodoo Ray’s in Dalson and then bought other rounds of cocktails. Despite me splashing the cash on a cheeky round. It was one brilliant evening and I didn’t spend too much money.
Cost Savings: Quids in.
Wonga…not paying out
I was just as frustrated and disappointed by Wonga. Many of us who were waiting on the final payment, were exasperated to learn that the payment itself would be another 4 weeks or so. We have all been waiting for the final sum, which was confirmed, but not paid into our accounts. It made me more determined to keep writing about all of the other deadlines, so myself and others would not miss out on any monies owed.
Verdict: Time to set new goals
It’s not just a New Year, it’s a new decade! Most of us are quite broke following Christmas festivities and the New Year. This is the time of year to make New Year resolutions. Introduce new positive money habits, clear our debts (even if it takes the rest of this decade), and look after ourselves better both mentally and physically.
January proved to be great for meeting old friends and discussing what plans we can all put into motion to make our lives great this year. I think January is a great month to evaluate what is working and not working out in our lives. The fact that it is also a new decade, seems to have made this year seem even more important to set life goals.
The advantage of January is that many people are broke. Many people are giving up booze for Dry January or looking at ways to introduce exercise into their lives. Veganuary was promoted everywhere, with many people turning to Vegan and plant-based diets. So it seemed a month of transformation everywhere.
Having no salary paycheck at the end of the month was hard. Not receiving that small payment from Wonga was a blow to many people, including myself. It made me even more determined to set and keep to a budget. Minimise any outgoings.
Make more money and spend less. I have been looking at so many ways to diversify my income this year. 2020 is going to be a year of setting new goals. Time to put all of these ideas into action.
February is the month of love. Whether you have a significant other or are self-partnered. This month is when we make plans. Look to the future and our happiness. I have lots of things to write about this month! Exciting times ahead.
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