Something I didn't mention in my last post is that one of the reasons I'm *so* pleased with my bonus is that I've been rolling around the very slight possibility of having to ask my friend/ex-Roomie E to move back in with her. Things are tight and I've been struggling a bit to the point that I had to take a £100 cash advance from a CC to make to the end of May (I can hear the horrified gasps from here). Trust me, I know. I haven't done that since the '80s and was an even bigger idiot with money. While I'm glad I had the resource to hand, it's not ideal by any stretch.
Saying that, however, I had a gander at my food budget last month and saw that I'd DOUBLED it (my monthly grocery budget, FYI, is £130). No wonder I'm feeling so squeezed! Geez.
I don't want to move back in with anyone. I'm not kidding when I say that this place was meant to be (I legitimately said 'no' to it, and I still got it), so to give up because I can't, for some reason, stick to my own budget is admitting defeat to my lifetime of bad habits. I'm better than this, I just know it.
Also, next year I turn 55. I can access my locked-in RSP in Canada, for better or worse. I had a plan to dip into my LOC (again - I'm still paying this off) and use the funds from that to cover/clear some payments, bolster a savings account or two, etc. Then, once I could access the RSP funds, I'd clear everything. Again. And start over. Again.
But having had a chance to faff endlessly the past couple of days with my budget, now that I have an extra £800 (I took a couple of hundred for taxes, etc. for now) to work with, I now have a loose plan that does not involve dipping into my LOC.
Basically, I'm not going to use it to throw at any one debt, but to help me to carry myself from month to month.
This is my new June budget. This incorporates my current salary + overtime + bonus (selling surveys, not my review one).
The Visa and Barclaycard payments are sort of 'one-offs', as I want to round down the balances.
Any leftover each month will roll over to the following month.
So. My plan, which if I'm very, very careful with and which will see me comfortably through to next year without touching my LOC (ideal), is as follows. It's a bit 'borrowing from Peter to pay Paul'-like, but gives me breathing room, plus increases a couple of payments a bit.
- Transfer my outstanding Visa balance to the Barclaycard. There is currently an offer that'll allow me to have 0% to 1 June 2023. I want to take advantage of this for that debt, and this is why the Visa line is blank in the July budget.
- You'll notice I've increased my food budget a bit as well. I will try to move to cash only for this, and stay out of Waitrose...!
- The Canadian debt amount will go up £30 and the Barclaycard £30 as I continue to pay over the minimum for those. The Lendable payments are fixed (I can pay more if I choose, however) and I'm happy leaving that alone for now. I've got two more years on that.
- Saying that, I can claw back overpayments a bit if I need to adjust elsewhere and eliminate the flat deposit option altogether.
- Currently, I pay £30 a month towards charity: cats, cancer and the RSPCA. The Post Code Lottery I joined on a bit of a whim, so not as invested in that as the others. But this is something I am able to continue to do for these charities, so all is staying as is.
Those are more or less the changes I want to make at the moment. Then, everything that's left over at my birthday next year will get wiped clear when I cash out my RSP.
While I'm able, I want to take advantage of not paying bills over and above my rent (which are all included). I won't be as lucky at the next place. Having debt in addition to paying all of that simply wouldn't be possible for me. Not that I have any plans to move (!!), it's just a reality that I need to bear in mind, and this seems like the best, most comfortable scenario for me.
I resent having to pay so much for the car when I'm not really using it, but getting rid of it isn't an option, unfortunately. I simply can't get to all the places I want to go on the bus or train, and having a car is an expensive convenience. At least I'm not still paying £85 a month for petrol! I'm not quite at the of the tank I had when I moved in here in October - 8 months is a pretty decent run for a tank, eh? I'll have to fill up next month, however, as I'll likely be going to visit my sister in Devon.
So just wanted to put this down 'on paper' while I thought about it, and so I have somewhere to be kept accountable. It seems a reasonable plan too, so fingers crossed!