So, this blog has been pretty unloved for a while. Years in fact. And a HUGE amount has happened in my life since then. I’ve changed jobs…several times. I’ve had a couple of major injuries to deal with. And biggest of all, I decided on a complete whim to up and move half way across the country and managed to achieve that within the space of about four or five weeks. Nearly killed myself doing it, but I got there…and what a wild six months it has been since.
I’ll probably get into a little of what that involved later, but for now, I’m doing a bit of planning for the year ahead while I have the time to think about it. In doing that, my mind turned back to my little website, and I wondered how I could utilise it to help me stay focused and succeed in my goals this year.
I had been toying with the idea of resurrecting this site for a little while, mostly as a vehicle for writing rather than recipe sharing. However there could be a little bit of both still happening, I think. I’m no great goal-setter or resolution junkie, but I did undertake this big move in order to change a few things in my life (for the better, in case that isn’t implied!) and also to get on track to achieving a few of those ‘big life dreams’…which frankly, I’ve left it very late in life to do. I’m staring a very, very big age milestone in the face and it really is now or never for me. So…time to get serious. About everything, really.
First up is giving some serious thought and more than that, ACTION to my finances this year. I do this every year but intention goes out the window when expenses come calling, or something pops up on eBay I just have to have. But there’s no getting around it…i’m in a precarious financial state. I earn a decent wage, but always seem to be struggling from one pay cheque to the next, and any unexpected expense (like last year’s car dramas, which I’m still paying for) absolutely throws me for a six. I’m carrying far too much debt and have no emergency ‘cushion’ in case things go wrong…and if there’s one thing life has taught me in the past couple of years, it’s that things can and do go wrong, often at the worst possible time. I’ve never really learned how to save, and apart from my car, I have no assets to speak of. At my age, that’s sort of embarrassing. Its something i’m really committed to fixing this year…better late than never. I hope, anyway.
So to that end, I’ve been drawing up a budget and trying to sort out where my money goes so that I can squirrel more of it away for a rainy day. Hell, who am I kidding – there’s no ‘more’, there’s nothing, so I’m starting from scratch here. With that in mind, I’ve given myself a savings goal and I’m absolutely determined to stick to it. I am realistic enough to know that I’ll need to dip into it for things like car registration or repairs, but the point for me will be the commitment of putting that certain amount aside each pay day, without fail, and learning to live on what’s left.
One of the things I know I already spend far too much money on is food – in fact, it would probably be true to say that food is my second major expense, after rent. I don’t really plan, I just randomly buy, and as a result I don’t eat properly, and I throw away far too much food. Which is a massive pain, not to mention expensive and a bloody waste. And when I do cook, I cook far too much, and I end up overeating so I don’t feel like it’s going to waste.
Something has to give.
I live alone and while I wouldn’t change this for the world, not only is it expensive, it’s very hard to plan meals effectively for just one person. In the spirit of preparation, I’ve done a bit of Googling, and hit my old friend Pinterest up to see if I could follow someone else’s well-worn footsteps in this regard…but surprisingly there is very little out there in the way of tasty, healthy, cost-effective meal planning for one. I guess we’re a bit boring as a target market…far more hits involved when you put ‘family meal plan’ in there I suppose…and let’s face it, it’s far easier to plan meals when you can buy in bulk and stretch a little to go a long way and across multiple meals. It’s a lot more difficult to save money and not waste stuff when you’re only buying for one.
Anyway…I’m going to do my best to really plan ahead food-wise this year, and save some money in the process. As well as hopefully lose some weight. Which I’m hoping will just be a welcome side-effect, rather than the purpose for what I’m doing. I also want to cut out refined sugars this year also, but once again not from a weight loss perspective…rather from a health one. So while I’m going to do my best to be ‘sugar free’, I’m not going to bang on about it. At least, I don’t think I’m going to. Might have to put a pin in that one and reassess in a month or so 😉
So that’s this year in a nutshell. Writing, eating better, and saving money. Shouldn’t be a big ask, right?