It’s been over a month now since the hubby and I paid off the last of our debts. I can say that debt freedom so far has been very peaceful and every now and then I feel a rush of happiness as I realise that we no longer have to answer to our creditors (with the exception of a mortgage on our rental property).
So now the debts are gone, we can concentrate on getting some savings in place and to explain this more, here are our new goals that we’re working towards:
New financial goals
Emergency fund savings goal – £2000 by Christmas 2014
In order to clear the last of our debts, the hubby and I took the decision to empty our emergency fund to finally be rid of our debts once and for all. It wasn’t a decision we took lightly since we knew that if an emergency did happen, we’d be in trouble. So our first financial goal is to save money for our emergency fund up to £2000. I’m pleased to say that after just one month of working like trojans and saving hard, we’re back up to £1700, so we’re not far off our goal – hopefully, next month we should hit that easily!
House deposit savings goal – £50,000 by November 2017
Because we’ve just come out of a debt management plan, the hubby’s credit rating is in tatters (the DMP was in his name). I’m self employed so with that magic combination, the chances of us getting a mortgage for a home to call our own are slim to none. Still, not to worry because the last thing we want to do right now is get tied into a whole heap of borrowing anyway. We need a huge deposit to buy a home for ourselves now and that’s all fine.
We’ve set ourselves a target of saving £50,000 in three years. That’s an average of £16,666 per year or £1,388 per month from now! A couple of years ago, I would have said that was impossible for us especially as our basic income is fairly average (actually it’s more low here in the UK), but now I think it’s perfectly doable providing we carry on working really hard and trying to make as much extra money as we can. That’s our plan. If we were to save what little money we have spare from our basic salaries, we wouldn’t stand a chance of reaching this target, so hard work and lots of side hustling will be the key to success with this goal.
The good news is that now the debts are gone, we can just about survive on the hubby’s wages. Which means anything I earn can technically be saved unless any major problems that arise. So far though, we don’t have any savings for a house deposit because the emergency fund has to come first!
Retirement savings – £300 per month by January 2015
We’re in the process of setting up a meeting with a financial adviser to figure out the best way (for us) to save for retirement, whether that be a private pension or some kind of regular investment. I’m self employed so I don’t get a work pension and the hubby is a director of his company but he doesn’t have a work pension either.
We’re hoping to get this meeting sorted before Christmas but the hubby is away with work so much right now that realistically it will probably be January. I know that £300 per month probably doesn’t sound like all that much to be saving for retirement but the plan is to increase contributions with the more we earn going forwards plus we do also have a rental property that could become part of our pension pot in the future, so I’m going to see what the financial adviser thinks about that and how that side of things would work with tax issues. Anything to do with tax really confuses me!
Saving to invest – £1000 by March 2015
We’re complete investing newbies but we want to have a go. First of all though, we need to raise some money that we’re prepared to take some risk on. So as soon as the emergency fund is sorted, we’ll be saving some money for an initial investment too.
I’m not going to lie, since we paid off the debts, both the hubby and I have thought about whether to buy the odd thing here and there. The hubby hasn’t bought anything at all. For me, I decided to buy a couple of pairs of jeans and jumpers for Winter. All from Primark though, so the cost came to £40 for everything. And seeing as I’m fessing up here, I may as well admit to buying a new coat, but technically I used birthday vouchers to get it so I only ended up spending £30 on it.
This is the first time I’ve had a new coat since 2008! For the last few years, I just swapped the buttons over on my old coat to give it a new lease of life! It felt very strange buying a few things and I did feel guilty – old habits die hard. Still, I think I genuinely did need a new coat… and some new clothes since I’ve been wearing the same clothes now for the last few years… so the guilt has faded and the great news is that we still managed to stock up savings for our emergency fund too.
Extra income update!
My work life has been really busy lately which is all good! Hence why I’m only posting twice a week right now though instead of three times. I’m still doing some freelance writing and social media management and I’ve taken on some extra work from my next door neighbour which I’m really happy about.
You know, it really pays to let people know what you do for a living! I saw my neighbour whilst out walking my dog one evening and he asked me whether I’d be interested in writing up some product descriptions for his commercial website to make them SEO friendly. Of course, I practically bit his hand off and thanks to him I’ll be earning at least £200 during November for this work plus hopefully some money in December too.
In addition to this, one of my eBooks has been doing very well on Amazon. 101 Ways to Earn Money from Home is still selling copies every day and I’ve just worked out that the royalties I earned from sales in October total £520! I think November will be less but even so, I’m really happy with that!
I’m due to receive October’s royalty payment at the end of December as Amazon pay 90 days after the royalties are earned, so this will be a pretty amazing bonus actually to close the year out. My other eBooks aren’t doing quite so well mind you but I’ve seen the potential earnings that good eBooks can bring and so I’ve decided to put some more eBooks on Amazon to see if I can make some money. I’m in the middle of outsourcing a number of books to be written (quite cheaply) on a range of topics. I’ll keep you posted as to how it goes!
A few thank yous
Lastly, I wanted to thank the following bloggers for mentioning my posts recently:
- Kalen at Money Miniblog for taking the time to write an amazing review about my 101 Ways to Earn Money from Home eBook.
- Tonya at Budget and the Beach and Tre from House of Tre for including my recent post about Debt and Depression on their blogs.
- Kayla at Shoeaholicnomore for mentioning one of my debt elimination tips in her recent post.
If anyone else has mentioned me lately, please let me know so that I can thank you in a future post.
How are you doing? What have you been up to lately?