For the last few years, I’ve been taking a big chunk of money out of my pay cheque and putting it a savings account. I was earning a pretty decent wage at Student Money Saver, so could afford to put away at least £500 – or more if I wanted to.
The plan at one stage was to save 20k in one year (between me and the boyfriend) and we managed it, getting used to putting most our potential spending money away with the hope of buying a flat.
But it’s all gone wrong…
But here’s the problem. I lost my job the same day I bought a flat in London (I’m *almost* ready to write a post on this, eight months later). I went freelance, as in writing for papers and magazines from the comfort of my home – as well as spending most of my time on my blog.
And look – I’m making it work! I’ve got brands paying me to write articles, my blog is getting decent traffic (phew) – but my money situation is a mess right now.
Honestly, I didn’t even know what was coming in and going out till I tried out the Yolt money-management app (it’s free) recently and got a kick up the bum.
I’ve finally decided to quit saving
As it stands, and I’ve only properly been self-employed for six months. One month I’ll get in a ‘huge’ amount of money and assume I’m super rich, then the next just enough to cover my mortgage payment.
I got an exciting amount this month, but by the time I paid the mortgage, bills, and credit card bill (not even all of it) for the month – I’m skint again.
I know it’s not huge compared to a lot of people, but I managed to rack up my credit card bill to £1,500 over the last few months. I’ve had a credit card for years and would pay it off in full every month, so not being able to do that now is pretty stressful to me.
So this month, I was able to pay £500 off it then I put £500 into my savings (because you have to save right?!).
Well no, within 20 minutes, I’d thought about it and realised that I was better off putting it towards paying off my credit card rather than saving any money.
DO NOT TRY TO SAVE IF YOU HAVE DEBT TO PAY OFF. Look, I know there are going to be some of you out there who are like, ‘Well, if it’s a 0% credit card and you get XX% on your savings card etc.’ Well, yeah that’s fine if you have everything under control. But I don’t. The quickest way to get under control, and to make good financial decisions is to be in a non-debt state.
I need to be paying myself a wage. I’ve not decided what this is yet but I need to be putting money away for lean months and tax.
I also need to get back into the green with the credit card, so going to prioritise that and consider ditching the credit card altogether (it’s 0%) if it’s getting me into trouble (though not sure it is really).
It’s early days with my new business and I need to let my finances settle a bit. I’m super eager to get saving for an extension on the flt but I’m holding off for a bit.
The plan is to get saving again by September. I’ll keep you updated.
Any self-employed people out there got any money management tips? Let me know in the comments!