Ah that tricky 21st Century question that hits onto the wonderfully taboo subject of money. Us British folk are far too polite to talk about such subjects openly, especially on the internet, but I got ta thinking, if we don’t, how do we actually help each other? You see I am a single woman in her late twenties about to move into her own flat. Not just that, it’s a flat that needs to be furnished gulp. Instead of bumbling along in the shadows eyeing up cutlery sets online, I thought I would put together a post demystifying some of the tips/tricks I’ve discovered along the way to help me plan for such a big commitment.
Being the organised obsessive that I am, I’ve had everything planned. Starting with my Word Document wish list here I grouped together items of furniture I loved to see if they looked together side by side. Next I’ve got a Google Doc Spreadsheet where I track down each and every cost alongside my planned future budget from a spot more saving. This all may seem extreme but it’s actually worked in my favour. Take the sales for example, usually this transpires into my panicked self buying things I don’t need or use. Instead, this time around I’ve been able to compare my pre-defined wish list to the sale sites hunting down that that coveted reduced sign. If it was, I purchased! So far I’ve been able to buy a bookcase, dining table, plates & toaster all in the sale. Win!
Another thing I’ve done is saved little and often, easy to say I know but not always easy to put in practice. I am saver, however I’m a saver who is happy to spend. That means my little pot of money never amounts to much but is there for a rainy day. To help keep the balance bubbling away I split my money out as soon as it comes in. First: put away everything I need to cover bills. Second: take out what I need to live on (I give myself a set amount per week to live off and take this away from my salary so I know that money is secured). Next, with whatever is left, I either transfer it all to an ISA or split it to put towards a more frivolous purchase. Granted this final amount can be pretty tiny but something is better than nothing.
My final piece of advice is to budget, everything. Budget your new living costs, your weekly food shop, how much it will be to pay for Netflix each month. The more you plan & budget the more secure you will feel knowing where your money is going and whether you have enough. I try and over budget as unexpected costs always like to rear their ugly head so by doing so you have a small buffer to play with when that electricity bill comes in and bites you in the butt.