January is a great time of year. Maybe not for great weather or for making many plans with friends, but for a fresh start, its wonderful. I firmly believe that everyday is a new opportunity for a new start and for better things. However, I love that with the start of a new year, many of us feel motivated and ready to really set goals and achieve them. Whilst a big goal of mine is to recommit to fitness and improve on toning up my body, I have a bigger aim in mind this year. My main focus is sorting through my finances and making a real effort to get myself in a great position.
This means paying off my credit card and focusing on saving as much as possible. I really want to have funds in the bank for a rainy day, a holiday, a house down the line, just to feel secure in where I am putting my money. I can’t tell you how many times I have looked at my bank account and see Tesco and similar shops listed. I have no recollection of what I actually purchased, and this has to change. Beyond my finances, I also want to make sure I am managing my time well. Now that I am settled in my new job, I want to make sure that I have a schedule, at least during the week.
There are a number of things I am using to help me with these goals, and I wanted to share these with you and hopefully you can benefit from one or two as well!
Daily budget App
I downloaded the daily budget app late last year and have found this very useful, though it’s very important to be consistent. The idea is that you enter in all of your recurring expenses, and what your regular income is. The app then works out how much you can spend each day. You also have the option to add any saving goals you have and this will also change the daily budget you have. From there, you then need to log each time you spend money and what it was for. If you go over budget, you will have less to spend the next day, and of course if you don’t spend anything, you will have more to spend the next day.
Of course when you do things like your weekly shopping, this will go over budget, but if you are not buying lunch every day or spending on anything else, then eventually your daily budget will match again, and by the end of the month you will have stayed in budget. When using the app properly, I definitely saw an improvement and even managed to have spare cash, having been in my overdraft the previous month.
Whilst the daily budget app is a great tool, I also decided this year that I wanted to be as consistent as possible and see exactly what I am spending. Therefore, along with the app, I decided to purchase this great little planner from Boxclever Press.
Not only is it beautiful in design, it was exactly what I was looking for! This has pages for each month to log your daily expenses, monthly out goings, savings, direct debits and a little slot to keep all your receipts. As someone who can easily spend more than I even realise, this is perfect. It’s also a great size to keep in my handbag and make sure I am updating. Using this alongside with the daily budget app will be perfect for those times when I may not be able to bring the book with me, on a night out for example or at a meal. With the app I can use it and update in the planner later on. This means there are no excuses.
If you are trying to cut down on spending, I highly recommend writing down everything you spend. Suddenly that coffee from Costa becomes a weekly treat instead of daily, those extra little items that sneak into your basket becomes less frequent and more than anything, you feel in control, instead of out of control.
Now my finances are not the only thing in my life I want to organise a little better. I have a few areas where I want to be sure I am being productive, managing my time well and keeping on track. Many of us have 2018 diaries/ planners to note down our schedules and I knew that for this year I wanted something a little extra special.
I decided to search the web for a planner I could create myself and customise. I found Personalplanner.com and fell in love. Not only do they have amazing covers for the exterior of your planner, the content you can have is what really made me want a planner. You can choose the colour of the pages, the layout of the dates and any extras you would like. As the gym and being healthy is something I really want to focus on, I decided to include a training and meal plan log at the bottom of the page, as well as a space each day for what I am doing in the gym.
Along with helping me keep on track of my fitness and eating, I also wanted to keep track of my blog and therefore the extra ‘To do this week’ space allows me to keep track of blog posts I need to do or pictures I need to take. The are a number of other lovely pages you can add such as pages to doodle, monthly summary and maps. The process was easy and quick in designing my perfect planner and I am thrilled with how it turned out.
What do you do to stay organised?