One of the main reasons for me starting this blog was to keep myself accountable.
Whilst I haven’t done anything stupid (he says) in the past few months, I must admit, it feels like I could have done better. There is always room for improvement.
So I figured I would try and commit to writing one post each week detailing something I’ve done that week to help towards my goal. It could be anything, big or small, that contributes to becoming Financially Independent. My constantly questioning what I have done, it should help focus my mind for the week ahead, also thinking about what I can do.
In week 1 of Constantly Questioning, a few things have happened.
I received cashback from my Utilities Supplier switch I did back in November. Considering your energy usage and searching online for the best deal is something that most of the personal finance community are well aware of, and site such as http://www.moneysavingexpert.com do an excellent job of promoting this fact. I moved from a two bedroom flat to a two bedroom house when I did the switch. As well as the cashback I’m claiming as my Good FI Deed of this week, my monthly payment for Gas and Electricity reduced from a combined £88 to a combined £71 back in November when I moved, despite having a bigger home. This month, it reduced again to £56 as we enter the summer months and I had overpaid slightly over the winter. This could also be partly due to the fact I am more vigilant with the new smart thermostat I have at home, being able to control it on my smart phone and turn it off with ease.
I was also lucky enough to land a payout from a PPI claim. I was firmly in the camp that always claims to have never been stupid enough to accept PPI, so there was no reason for me to try and claim. I can recall a moment over 10 years ago when I was at work and made a phone call to Mr Bank Man to cancel the insurance to save a few quid a month. How very frugal of me. What a proud moment to notice and cancel this ludicrous insurance. A few weeks ago, I though ‘what the hell’ and wrote to my bank using a handy template (again from Money Saving Expert) and awaited their response, secretly hoping I had been duped in the past and my self proclaimed alertness to the insurance was, in fact, false. Within ten days, I had received eight letters. Yes, I had had eight loans with my friend Mr Bank Man, always taking these with the assurance he was looking out for me, looking at my best interests. With the excitement of Charlie opening his Wonka Bars, I worked my way through the letters, each one confirming the smarmy but disappointing truth that no PPI was ever taken on these accounts. Until the last letter. My face lit up as I realised I had found my Golden Ticket with an offer to settle for £2,294.30. I was flabbergasted. Whilst this cash was unfortunately not able to make it straight to the Golden Pot, I has indirectly fed straight into it. Two holidays for the year have been paid off, my fiancees wedding ring was purchased and I have some spending money for my upcoming Stag Do. All of which I would have had to pay for anyway, meaning a decrease in my savings rates over various months or eating into emergency funds. This would now not be the case. The flip side is that it hasn’t felt like a windfall as I have not seen the benefits, they are purely theoretical. But, as I never really saw it in the first place because I had allocated the spending before I received it, I’m actually no worse off. Nothing has been lost, only theoretical gains.
Another very small thing I have managed to do it actually record any business mileage I have done with work. I receive a very small refund per mile I travel for business. Whilst what I have recorded will amount to no more than about £5, all these marginal gains count. The reason for these posts is to ensure I keep looking for these, as we all know they add up.
Hope everyone else out there has had productive week.