Friday, 2 March 2012

Resolutions Recap

Every now and then I set myself a set of goals. If I don't revisit them, I forget them quite quickly! Here's how I'm getting on with various tasks I've set myself on this blog.

New Year's Resolutions
  1. 100 No Spend days – At the end of February, I have had 27 No Spend days out of a possible 60 days of the year so far. I thought that was pretty good, but people like Saving For Travel are putting me to shame with nearly every day being No Spend! I wondered whether this challenge would encourage me to spend more on days that I'd already spent, but so far I don't think that is the case.
  2. Record every penny saved and earned – I really enjoy doing this! It's a great way to stay in control of your wallet. At the end of each month I can tally up how much I spent on what and possibly manipulate the next month's budget accordingly.

  3.  Reducing waste and helping the planet – I wrote a post of how to help the planet for free with a variety of ways to reduce waste and live green. This year I have dug over the vegetabe patch ready for planting next year, cycled more (although it's usually not possible for me to cycle to work, because I don't feel safe cycling at 4am down dark country lanes!), made gifts from free materials, donated to Freecycle, made cloth shopping bags and did some much-needed car maintenance.
  4. Find a PhD – This is going very well. I've met a lot of important scientists in my field and my applications have had some very positive feedback. I should be hearing back from Universities towards the end of March.
  5. Spend more time with friends – I've been trying to say yes more to opportunities that arise.
  6. Weight loss – I didn't actually get on the scales until last week, but I don't think I would've lost any weight before then anyway. I am now throwing myself back in to healthy eating and continuing hiking and cycling, the two forms of (free!) exercise I most enjoy.

Eat British
Following the Eat British challenge, we have been eating more locally. We always buy Hovis now (usually on offer), which uses entirely British wheat. All our cheese, eggs, milk, meat etc. is generally British anyway. We've also been eating a lot more seasonal root vegetables. When it's time to harvest our vegetables later in the year we'll have even more local produce! :D

Towards the end of last year I set a few priorities. Some have already been covered above, but these haven't:
  1. Repay my debt and build some savings for next year – The only debt I have now is a small 0% interest overdraft, which is slowly being whittled away at. More importantly, I have an emergency fund as well as savings for car repairs and road tax (currently drained by Jools' naughtiness), gifts and the dentist! My net worth increasing slowly but surely.
  2. Visit my Nana more often – I see my Nana a lot more now, which is ace because she is an amazing lady. She does all sorts of charity work, is a fantastic friend to LOTS of people, always has a great story to tell and was described by a local newspaper as keeping ”everyone in stitches” and the life of the party!
  3. Get rid of clutter – I've sold two textbooks on Amazon, which made me £20 after the expensive postage costs! I've also donated a lot of old stuff and am working on getting more out of the way! (I can't take it all back up to Uni!)

These goals are really motivating me to use my time wisely this year. As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, I have a bit more free time now that I just have the one job so it is important that I make the most of it. 

How are your New Year's resolutions going, if you made any? Got any challenges going on at the minute? 


lizzie said...

We are into March and you are doing really well, would you like to come and dig in my garden, no you dont have to as I have raised beds so never dig just five minutes weeding every week.
Writing down every penny is the key.

Frugal Living UK said...

Good post. My challenges continue to be to live on £100 a month (or less) for food. I think I can reduce this even more this month. February was an enormous spend month in that I had car insurance and new windows and doors so it is even more important for me to spend less and save more. I like the idea of no spend days. I think I have plenty, but I will try and record them I think.

Meanqueen said...

I am doing quite well with my £10 a week on food challenge. The few items I have bulk bought has meant I haven't had to go shopping quite so often. The downside is it's potatoes and carrots, tuna fish and evaporated milk, every day. I haven't been shopping for over a week. Will go next week though, I have a £4 off voucher.

kelley said...

I've followed up on many resolution this year...cancel cable TV, make all my gifts or sell something to pay for what must be purchased, donate more to animal shelter through ebay sales...

My challenge this month is to follow Frugal Living UK's lead and spend $100 or less a month on food...

Frugal is work but fun gald you've found out so young how worthwhile it is...