At the beginning of the year, I started a series of blog posts loosely based on a similar project over on Consumerist Commentary, the idea being to report back on my rather large credit card debt, examining where I’m spending and trying to reduce that where possible.I set the goal of reducing my debt by £3000. In January, this seemed like a stretch goal but one that was at least within the possibility of achieving. As I sit here in January 2013, I can report that I missed my goal by a long shot.
Take a look at the final results for my debt at the start of December 2012, and then the final results on 31 December.
So you can clearly see that instead of a healthy £3000 reduction, I’ve managed to increase my debt by £1100. Needless to say I’m not happy but when I reflect on the year it’s clear why.
I took a look at my spending this year and categories it. Unsurprisingly the biggest category was car related. As I mentioned earlier this year, I bought a car for work. That’s when it all went wrong.
I paid too much for the car and very quickly had to fork out £250 for repairs within the first month. During this time I spent two weeks in hospital after some major surgery and then was off work for 6 weeks for recovery. This meant that I wasn’t earning my usual money for two months total and wasn’t claiming any business mileage back to help pay for the car. After my stint in hospital I decided I needed to change what I do and reduce my travel meaning I didn’t need a car. So I sold it, at a bit of a loss, more than I hoped to.
So let this be a lesson. Cars are REALLY expensive.
The other big expense category was dining out. I think I spent a out £240 on dining throughout the year (that excludes any business related dining) which is probably a bit too much.
I’ve come out of 2012 being both unhappy about the results and understanding them. But 2013 had been another change and I really believe I can feasibly clear £1000 in six months. So I will report back later in the year with my progress.