Budgeting: The Great Big Tax Bill and Recurring Payment Hell

After the touch of reality reflected in the last post — how my over-spending and wastefulness was contributing to an unsteady financial future w/r/t buying a new house — I was already feeling a touch the poorer. So as you can imagine, when my accountant (well worth the spend) did my tax return for the ’15-16 tax year a couple of weeks ago, you could say that the paperwork hit me like a ton of bricks.

I knew the tax bill was incoming, but I’d been ignoring the potential size of it (especially since I blew my savings on a website) and holy shit was that a mistake. With tax owed, tax on account for the ’16-17 financial year and accountant fees I suddenly had just over two weeks to find £3,000. And here I am, a couple of days from the dreaded tax deadline, and I’m only able to pay off the back of a loan from my husband and a big credit card bill. (I am a responsible adult, honestly.)

So… up shit creek without a paddle I sat down and thought to myself: my ‘half’ of monthly expenditure (household bills, mortgage etc) is about £750. I make plenty more than that each month — certainly enough to live comfortably and be putting money aside for tax bills! — so why am I sat here in such a terrifying position? Where the hell is all my money going that I constantly in my overdraft and only have £9 in my ISA to pay my tax bill?

Wine and eating out and frivolities, yes… but that doesn’t eat through hundreds of pounds a month in income, surely? (Even with my wine consumption levels?!) To Excel!

I started adding up all of the yearly expenses that aren’t on my basic month-to-month budget. Hosting bills, domains (again!), WordPress plugins, memberships, magazines, software and SAAS ‘apps’. I’ve not finished logging and I’ve already totted up over £3,600 worth of yearly expenditure which totals over £300 per month. Start adding wine and eating out and frivolities to that and it’s not too hard to see where my income is going.

It’s an easy trap to fall into: pay off an expense in one lump sum, and forget it exists until next year. But it does exist, and it is chipping away at the money I could be using to pay off debt and my mortgage. It’s no wonder I’m up shit creek when I’m easily spending nearly £4k a year on things I don’t give a second thought to.

Am I the only one this disorganised? How many people actually have a handle on their irregular / yearly expenses? It’s probably about time I started using YNAB again…

Back to Budgeting Basics

Feels like ages since I’ve talked about budgeting, and for a reason… with excess spend on frivolities, a loan to pay off two credit cards one of which I didn’t close and am steadily filling back up, an expensive honeymoon (which I barely contributed towards) back in October 2016 and the increased cost of US-based… read full entry »

What a day.

Gaz is away til late tonight so I have 3 options: Catch up on some more work, which I need to do. Catch up on some housework, which I should do. Have a bath and go to bed with a bottle of wine and a book, which I want to do. Unfortunately after today the… read full entry »

Depressing money crap

I’ve just come off the phone to my current mortgage provider. I rang up to see how much I’d likely be able to borrow if I wanted to purchase a larger house using equity in this house as a deposit. I was hoping that because of my regular overpayments to my mortgage as part of… read full entry »

Mortgage Free in 5 years: half of every invoice goal

Having announced my intention to return to 100% freelance from October, it might therefore be surprising to hear that I’m also going to be attempting a pretty radical goal to try and drastically increase the amount saved to use against my mortgage balance: I am going to try and put away half of every paid… read full entry »


Earning ‘passive’ income

I talk about passive income every now and again on my blog, so I thought I’d talk about what it means to me. What is passive income? Passive income is money I ‘earn’ without the need to specifically do anything to get it. That is, income that just drops straight into my bank or PayPal… read full entry »

Hoard Mode

As I woke up to another sale on my premium mail form yesterday, I felt like I’d received a fresh kick up the bum to start actively working towards my mortgage free in five years goal again. It’s not that I’ve not been working at it — all sales of the form (minus PayPal’s extortionate… read full entry »

Kick up the arse: update #1

As promised, I’m documenting my progress following my big kick up the arse… This week I: Unlocked my online banking account Entered nearly 4 months worth of transaction data into YNAB Paid in both a cheque (which I’m notoriously lazy about) and some cash (which I’ve never done before, I just spend notes!) So, numbers… read full entry »

Kick up the arse

I spent nearly an hour on the phone on Tuesday night with a friend of mine who’s asked to remain nameless (I don’t know why, maybe he thinks you’ll all call him up asking for financial advice too?) Following my comfort spending confession he’s given me a bit of a virtual kick up the arse… read full entry »

Mortgage Free: Bumps in the Road

One of the biggest barriers to me being mortgage free in 5 years is a bad habit I don’t tend to talk about too often: I’m a comfort spender. If I’m stressed, I spend money on anything and everything. The ironic thing about this unnecessary splurging is that it ultimately leads to me adding to… read full entry »

To be mortgage free: overpayments and stuff

Tomorrow marks a month since I secured a new mortgage on my home, giving me the funds I needed to complete “project £20k” thus buying Karl out and transferring the deeds to solely my name. In total: £97,617.23 — £77,617.23 to pay off the old mortgage and £20,000 for Karl. This week the first mortgage… read full entry »