Since my last update, I haven’t got much further but I thought I’d update on you how I have been doing since the update.
Save The Change is working well for me – I’m managing to save quite a bit simply by having this set up. I am also saving 25% of any income into my bank account for tax – I’m being extra cautious and making sure I have more than enough money to pay any tax that’s due.
I am still partial to the coffee shop but the takeaways are pretty much non existent since we properly got back on Slimming World. However, buying more ingredients to cook from scratch has proved to be a little bit expensive but hey, at least we are being healthy!
I am working even more. I seem to be picking up clients left, right and centre and I am loving it. Whether it is blog work, freelance writing, proofreading or virtual assistant services, I am constantly busy and I love ot/
I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov – I’ve had two cheques from Populus already this year! Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.
Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. I’ve been selling tons on Shpock and Facebook groups too – determined to declutter my house whilst earning some cash at the same time!
If you are in a similar position, how are you doing?
I mentioned I had five debts to pay: my friend, a large utility bill from when we had our water leak, tax credit overpayment and two credit cards. Well, since I wrote that post I managed to get sent another large water bill but I am glad to say both that and the utility bill are completely gone. I have almost finished paying my friend and have been making some headway with the tax credits and credit cards.
So how have I been doing this?
I mentioned I would be saving more through three ways: skimming my bank account, using the Chip app and reducing my outgoings. I recently opened a new savings account with Lloyds and set up Save The Change to skim my current account with them. I actually deleted my Chip account this morning as I no longer had a need for it and disconnected all my information – Save The Change now does it all for me. I also managed to reduce my outgoings by cancelling any payments for things that I rarely or no longer used.
I must admit this has been quite hard and I am still partial to the odd coffee shop trip or takeaway but gone are my magazine subscriptions and subscriptions to anything else I don’t use regularly enough. No point wasting money on things I am not using!
I am so proud to say that this really seems to be working for me. I have a few long term freelance clients and few long term blog clients but am always happy to take on more work if it fits in my schedule. I’ve also branched out into Virtual Assisting; helping bloggers when they really need an extra pair of hands because they are so busy or away on holiday. I still need to do some work on my work website and get promoting the blogger outreach side of what I have to offer but I’m doing well and once bills are paid, debts are going down, down, down!
Hustling, Hustling, Hustling
Finally..how am I getting on with my side hustles? I’m still checking my daily lotteries (my favourites are Free Lucky Lottery, NumberPlateLotto (which I have won on before and been paid THE SAME DAY), The Selfie Lottery, Free Postcode Lottery, Lucky Phone and DOB Lotto. I’m still completing online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live, New Vista Live, Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov. Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know! I’ve managed to cash out over £150 this year so far – all going towards debt.
Swagbucks has taken over my life again – you can sign up here – I’ve made almost £100 since getting back into it. I’ve also been selling our unwanted items. Facebook and GumTree seem to have gone a bit quiet so I’m now going to try eBay once again. They say the average person has around £4k of stuff in their house that they could sell so I’m definitely going to try and get some of my old stuff shifted.
I’m feeling so positive about the year ahead and I know I can do this -wish me luck!
I’ve spoken about my financial goals in more detail here but my main goal for 2017 is to be debt free by the end of it or as close to it as possible. Right at the end of 2016, I managed to completely wipe two and just last week I managed to wipe another. I currently have five debts I need to repay – a loan to a friend, a utility bill that spills over from when we had the massive water leak, tax credit repayment and two credit cards. I am planning to adopt the Dave Ramsay Snowball Method to get rid of these – paying off the smallest one first then using my monthly repayment amount for that one to repay the next one and so on. So my friend will be paid back first, then the utility bill, then the tax credits, then the credit cards. I will still be making my usual monthly payments to them all but just focusing more on one than the others in order to get it paid off quicker.
But how do I plan on getting debt free?
By saving more, spending less.
It sounds so simple, doesn’t it? But it really is about doing both of these to really start to get things paid off. Of course, using side hustles to add to my income is another way in which I am planning to do this – with all ££ earned from these to go towards debt – but just how am I going to do this?
I am planning to save more money through a variety of ways – by skimming my bank account; by using the Chip app as recommended by Be Clever With Your Cash – I earned £10 for signing up via his link, if you sign up here via mine using the code ZUCX07, you get the choice of an extra 1% interest (up to 5%) or a tenner; by getting rid of any unnecessary outgoings and putting the money into my savings. Once a month, I will be using whatever I have saved from these avenues to put towards my debt. Whether it is £5 or £100, every little helps.
I’ve already managed to cut down my spending a lot – gone are the coffee shop trips down my local High Street unless I am invited out by my Mum and she’s paying (cheeky, I know); gone are the subscriptions to magazines I barely have the time to read. The main thing I still need to cut down on are takeaways as they’re just so convenient rather than cooking when you’ve a newborn and a poorly child like I’ve had this week – but I always regret it afterwards, thinking about what I could have used the money towards.
Obviously most of the time I have to wait for the work to come to me – I’ve now got a long term client who pays a decent amount each month for web content which is great – but I also need to be extremely proactive. I search social media, I check job websites, I even go on PeoplePerHour (sign up via me here) and apply for jobs on there – the jobs I have been doing recently have pushed me up in visibility and I have now secured another long term client who found me via the site and is buying bulk amounts of work.
I’m free for content writing, blogging, proofreading, blogger outreach, social media management and more. I need to do some work on my work website and promote it more to really get the work coming in. Any extra left over after my bills? Going towards debt.
Hustle, Hustle, Hustle
Finally, I’m going to side hustle like mad. But how am I going to do this?
Complete online surveys – I’ve recently scaled down the sites I use but I still use Populus Live (I’m currently due a £50 cheque in the post), New Vista Live (ditto), Panelbase, Opinion Outpost, OpinionBar, Pinecone Research, Prolific Academic and YouGov. Some of these offer an email referral scheme so if you’re interested in signing up to Panelbase or OpinionBar under me, just let me know!
Swagbuck it up – I’ve really got back into Swagbucks so I will be using the site to help me towards my goal. Sign up here.
Sell, sell, sell – I will be selling unwanted items on Facebook selling groups and Shpock, perhaps even eBay. They say the average person has around £4k of stuff in their house that they could sell so I’m definitely going to try!
I’m so hoping that 2017 is my year – it is going to be a hard old slog but I’m sure I can do it! Do you have any other tips for me so that I can pay it off faster?