Wednesday, 26 June 2013

The truth about budgets

This is a post I have been putting off for a VERY long time, because it acknowledges something that I don't (and I don't think anyone) wants to think about too hard, but here goes:
I set aside money in my budget for doing FUN THINGS

There, I said it/typed it. The painful truth is that because I am a human I NEED to do fun things, and give myself  "a break" at least once in a while. For me this could be anything from buying a takeaway (takeout for my american readers) to buying a comic book or going to the cinema (Just went to see man of steel, its AWESOME!) but the point is, If I didn't do these small relatively cheap things, then I would pretty much wind up in a lunatic asylum, "all work and no play make onemanmade a very crazy boy!"

When I first started budgeting I took it wayyyyy too seriously, I took literally every penny that I had spare after paying my mandatory outgoings, and put it into my savings account, about halfway through the month I had to take the "extra" (after saving a decent amount) out and just spent it all on stuff I didn't even need, just because I had to relieve the tension and the pressure of saving so much and not giving myself any slack to play with.

So my advice to you readers is, use your budget to pay your mandatory outgoings and savings, but try to set a little aside (it could be £20 a month just to let yourself buy a takeaway/takeout and a dvd or magazine) just so you don't go nuts!

P.S The reason I don't like thinking about the fact that I need to have fun with money sometimes is that I know that it puts me a little further away than I potentially could be to my goals, but it does mean I will be a happier person when I do reach my goals, and appreciate them more because I haven't had to give up my life to achieve them.

Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Am I "Lucky" to have a good job?

A couple of years ago a "friend" of mine (who is still unemployed btw) told me that I was "Lucky" to have got a job when I did. At the time I got my current job, (after working for 6 months in an office for £50 a week doing 40+ hours a day of high stress steel and fixings ordering, as well as cleaning and whatever else I was asked to do)  my peers were at university, studying things like "Media studies" and "party planning" and taking out crazy amounts of student loans. He said that it was so much harder to get a job now that the recession has taken a firm hold.

This REALLY annoyed me, should I be considered lucky because I have a good permanant job that allows me to work overtime and has good working conditions?

My personal view on it is that I worked VERY hard in my first job, then transfered my acquired skills to my current job (which I have held for 7 years) gaining a permanant contract after a successful interview merely 6 months into my working there. I worked hard, and continue to work hard to achieve my goals both inside and outside of work. I work overtime in the evenings and at weekends I valet (american readers read wash) cars for money to reach my goals faster.

I realise that the current financial climate makes it extremely difficult to get a job, but when I got my current job in 2007 it wasn't exactly easy! I had to go for many interviews, and try for all types of job, I just wanted to be working and earning money! I guess at the time my "friend" would have been having a much easier time doing a waste of time course at College to avoid working, and to party and have a good time. I have done without a lot in my life so I could get to where I want to be. Do I consider my fortunate position now luck? HELL NO I made my own luck, and I don't see why anyone else couldn't do the same. Im fortunate yes, but I made my own fortunes, my own opportunitys and my own "luck" (I don't believe in luck as such) through hard work and doing without things which my peers took for granted and are now paying the price for, whereas I have no debt. They all laughed at me 8 years ago, but I bet the majority of them wish they had done the same as me now.

What do you think? Does luck come into it?

Monday, 3 June 2013

An expensive drink which paid for itself! Competitions/Comping/Freebies

I don't know about you guys, but I LOVE competitions and freebies! (Only if they are free to enter though, but more on this in a bit) The above picture is of a cheque that I received because I bought a small bottle of tropicana orange juice which was £1.30 which is MADNESS but when I got to the till I decided because I like the juice I would treat myself with it. Tropicana are currently doing a promotion whereby the give a code on the labels of their bottles and you enter it online to POTENTIALLY win £5. And I was one of the lucky ones! 

I love competitions and freebies because generally they don't cost much (if anything) to enter and you could win some pretty amazing stuff! I currently use as you can enter the television competitions online FOR FREE rather than paying for it by using your phone. Also coca cola have codes on their cans and bottles which you can enter online at collect your points and buy things with the points or enter to win prizes! So far I have had a pair of headphones and a tshirt from coca cola. I drink cola anyways so its a win win situation!

What competitions do you enter?