One of the first things I did this month after starting my new job was to set up a new bank account. It’s not that new work necessitates a change of banking details, I’m just slightly paranoid that my old details are splashed all over every invoice etc from self-employment. Plus, a better rate of pay means I can get a supposedly better bank account… that is, until childcare fees are deducted (whine!) I’ve gone with First Direct because they have the best reviews for customer service, easy online & telephone access and £100 cashback for any new customer who switches their account. Free money, yay!
Talking of money: I’ve also started basic planning for my new budget. The past 12 months or so as self-employed meant that although budgeting was super important, I didn’t actually get the time to keep on track of mortgage overspends, extra savings, extra passive income streams etc basically because I’ve had NO TIME. We’ve stuck to a low food budget but not gone much further. The grand plan now is to start pushing my mortgage-free goal in the hope that we really can be mortgage free in 5 years (and we have some catching up to do).
Although I’ve been profitable since I went self-employed I’m a little paranoid about the months where things were not so great; where I slipped into my overdraft (and that’s another reason to move bank account – my old one was charging!) or had to move money around to make sure things were on an even keel until a strong month came along again. I’m keeping an eye on my credit rating using the Experian CreditExpert service (who are on topcashback if you’re a member) and everything is – touch wood – fine. Our fixed mortgage term ends this year though and I’m not sure how important it is that your credit rating remains strong in case you want to move your mortgage? I’m guessing “very” is the answer to that question. I am acutely aware that the interest rate we’ve got was the best on the market at the time and it’s not going to stay that way (and that we should have put more against the mortgage 2 years ago!)
The rest of the budget plan is basically about making money rather than – as well as, should I say – saving it. I need to make my websites self-sufficient in terms of hosting and domains costs, which means pushing revenue streams from premium support or paid downloads and the like. I’ve got monetising ideas for my mail form and desperately need to do something about WAHMweb. GirlsWhoGeek, rev.iew.me, my Jem on WordPress blog – it’s make or break for several of my sites this year. I can’t afford to spend upwards of £1000 on hobby sites that are only bringing in a few pence a month (if that). Ideas on a postcard…