Tag Archives: finance

I did my taxes last week, and it was chaotic

I did my self assessment taxes last weekend. This is where I declared all the money I had earned in the 2016-17 tax year through doing self employed contract work at an Arts company, and also all the money I had earned through my market research and ‘money making scams’ as the boy calls them.

Yes, all those Amazon vouchers I had earned through apps and doing surveys, I hate to break it to you but you do have to declare them as earnings. I am ridiculously honest when it comes to my taxes, I even declared the money I had earned as tips when I was a waitress. I have spoken about it before but I will declare everything I earn on my taxes, as people’s taxes paid to look after me (when I was a child in a single parent on benefits home) so I will pay every penny I am due to in order to give back the same to society.

I don’t say any of that to be all ‘holier than thou’, I’m just explaining that this is my particular principle I stick to. As I usually say at this point, do what you like.

Now, normally doing my taxes is one of my favourite days of each year (yes, I am a complete weirdo and really I should have been an accountant) but this year was a little different.

I made a mistake.

In the last tax year I held two different jobs at the company I am working for now. There was a four month gap between the two roles. I wrongfully assumed that the P60 I received earlier this year covered all the earnings I had earned in those two roles, as they were both in the same tax year at the same company.

So I input my earnings on the self assessment online form, and due to earning so little in the last year (due to the four month gap of unemployment) I was due a nice fat rebate of around £490.

Which for me is like winning the lottery.

So I was coasting on a sea of happiness for several hours until I remembered something.

I had been issued a P45 for the first job when the contract there ended.

Which I hadn’t declared.

So I got in a bit of a mental state, embarrassingly in front of my accountant (also known as my father in law), as I was petrified the ‘tax man’ would come after me and get me.

To cut a long story short, I could easily amend the form, and I was still due a rebate, but of £180. Nothing to sniff at, but I’m sure we all would prefer nearly £500 to nearly £200.

And, to complicate things, I was paid the original rebate amount first, so then I had to phone up the tax helpline to pay back the rest of it.

But I am all up to date now, I have paid what I owe to society/the country, and the rebate means that I could pay £100 off my overdraft, and I could give the boy £100 which means I now only owe him £40, which is down from over £1000 earlier this year.

I should point out, the rebate was actually more, but due to not having paid enough national insurance contributions in the past tax year (due to not earning enough) I had the option of voluntarily paying what I owed in National Insurance contributions. Now this is voluntary. I would not, necessarily, get into trouble if I didn’t (what I mean is no one would come after me demanding money if I chose not to pay them).

BUT, in the UK, and don’t ask me to explain it in too much detail because I will fall flat on my bum if I do, you pay national insurance contributions so that you can be eligible to receive things like your state pension or job seekers allowance if and when needed.

And as I am one of those ‘artistic’ people, who typically don’t earn very much money, I chose to pay the national insurance contributions because it could potentially save my skin in the future.

Of course, it’s a gamble, as the world could all go to hell by the time that day comes. But if everything is to stay the same then it was a good decision to have made.

Well, that’s the story of my taxes. Can’t wait till next year when I get to do it all over again.

Financial Review of Week 32

Hello everyone.

Delayed due to internet issues, here is the financial review of the week previous to this one (7th – 13th August)

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Orange Juice, Twirl Bars, Cucumber £2.35

Danish Pastries, Frozen Broccoli, Milk, Celery, Courgette, Bananas, Leeks, Cereal Bars, Carrots, Bread, Pasta Sauce £10.44

Chicken Tikka, Steak Pies, Frozen Peppers £6.29

TOTAL SPENDS = £19.08

 

DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

GIFTS

Gift bag £1.29

Lip balm and hand cream £4.90

Cookies £1

Wine £5

Card for my Mum £2.50

TOTAL = £14.69

TRAVEL (VISITING)

Train fare to visit family = £33.75

TOTAL DISPOSABLE/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING = £48.44

 

TOTAL SPENDING WEEK 32 = £67.52

 

FINANCIAL REVIEW OF WEEK 31

So you have just read about how I wasted my money in the whole of the month of July, but how did I do this week?

Let’s take a stroll through my spending.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Milk and ‘healthy’ crisps £2.49

Mouthwash £3.99

Cucumber, Celery, Courgette, Chocolate, Cereal Bars, Ice Cream, Sausages, Tomatoes, Bread Rolls £9.34

Takeaway Chips £1.80

Face wipes, Naan Bread £1.49

Frozen Peas, Frozen Sweetcorn, Blueberries (which I froze) £4

Hay Fever Tablets, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Interior Dehumidifier x 2 £2.81

Bread, Poppadoms, Carrots, Baking Potatoes, Mozarella x 2, Sweet Potatoes, Bananas £6.59

Milk and Scampi bites £2.45

TOTAL SPENDS THIS WEEK = £34.96

 

DISPOSABLE INCOME/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

CONTRABAND/I F***** UP

Coffee and Gum £1.79

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

Bus ticket £1

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING

Postage box and envelope £2.88

Posting two presents £6.30

(Total = £9.18)

GIFTS

Wrapping paper x 2, Gift Bag, Anniversary Cards x 2 = £6

SOCIAL

Burger, Coke and Pint of Bitter £10.70

Coffee Bean Ice Cream Sundae (I have no regrets) £5.95

Berry Soda £3.85

(Total = £20.50)

TOTAL DISPOSABLE INCOME/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING = £38.47

TOTAL COMBINED SPENDING THIS WEEK = £73.43

Things are about to get a whole lot tighter because I have to do my taxes next week, yowza’s.

I actually love doing my taxes. It’s one of my favourite days of the year. I definitely should have been an accountant.

 

 

JULY 2017 EXPENSES ANALYSIS

Hi everybody,

A new month has begun, autumn is on the way which means by extension WINTER IS COMING!

I know, we are still in Summer, but I am always very excited for Autumn. I don’t know why but maybe because a school year always begins in September the start of Autumn always feels like a new beginning to me.

Anyways, time to analyse the disaster that was July.

If anyone is reading my blog for the first time I’ll give you a little bit of context. I am doing my version of a ‘No Spend Year’ with many things being off limit for purchasing, which I totally threw aside in July.

Also in July I was half way through a 28 day sick leave absence from work due to stress and anxiety. So that may have affected why I disregarded my No Spend Year rules.

Final bit of context is I am doing a No Spend Year because I am in debt. Boooo!

So here is how I spent my money in the month of July.

Let’s start off with the contraband purchases:

CONTRABAND/I F***** UP

(Ahem) £77.73!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (This was made up of takeaway coffees, work canteen lunches, a couple of breakfasts I had to buy as I was lazy/unorganised)

Moving swiftly on…

HOMEWARE £1.98 (Batteries and white board markers)

GIFTS £6.37 (A selection of cards for various occasions and a packet of biscuits for a friend)

SOCIAL £72.64 (So really I could have socialised twice as much if I wasn’t wasting money on the things in the contraband category)

POSTAGE £43.05 (I sold a lot of things on ebay, and yes, I charged for postage, but they way I see it is I had to have that money in order to post things in the first place)

HEALTH £14 (I went to the dentist)

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) £18 (This I feel bad about as I didn’t actually need to do any of these bus journeys, I could have walked if I had been more organised with my time)

So July, it happened. It happened badly. But I am making good progress in August and have had 4 No Spend Days out of the first 6 days of August (A ‘NSD’ is exactly what it sounds like, it’s a day when I didn’t spend any money on anything, not even something like milk).

 

 

 

I have applied for another credit card, but wait, hear me out…

If you haven’t signed up for the Money Saving Expert newsletter then you are an idiot  I greatly recommend doing so.

In today’s email they mentioned all the best ‘Free Cash’ offers for doing things you were going to do anyway.

Including a Marks and Spencers 25 month 0% purchase card, which if you spend £100 on it before the end of September they will reward you with a £50 gift card.

Did I mention it was 0% on purchases?

So the little cogs in my tiny brain started whirling…

One thing I am confident about is that I manage the food shopping budget well.

And I will easily be spending £100 on a card on food payments before the end of September.

And I trust myself that if I buy something with credit that is carefully budgeted for, then I will have the money in cold hard cash in my proper account in which to pay it back.

I had to explain my plan to the boy, who is afraid of anything that involves spending money, particularly on credit, but he just asked if this is what the founder of Money Saving Expert, Martin Lewis, recommended. When I said yes he simply nodded and I knew he had blessed me with his permission to apply.

But I wouldn’t just blindly apply and risk hurting my credit rating if I was rejected, f*** no. I used the Money Saving Expert soft search credit card eligibility checker first, which said I had a 70% chance of being accepted.

So I have made my application.

And now I play the waiting game.

I would normally not tell anyone about applying for a credit card as I don’t want people to make the same terrible mistakes I did.

BUT if you are not financially incompetent and can trust that you will only buy with credit what you can afford to pay back in full each month, then occasionally taking advantage of a deal like this so you can buy a pair of shoes that aren’t Doc Martens to wear to work this winter is not the worse thing to do.

I still have to see if I am accepted, but considering I applied and was accepted for my balance transfer cards with only 20% chance of being accepted at the time, then I have dared to raise my hopes.

I have a confession to make, I know it’s not cool, but I LOVE Marks and Spencers. It is my dream to go food shopping there. I would put on a ton of weight since the reason why their food is so great is because it is full to the brim with fat, sugar and salt but I don’t care. Their chocolate treat pots are like crack to me, and I say that with only a passing interest in chocolate (seriously, give me a hunk of cheese over chocolate any day).

I love Marks and Spencers clothes as well. Again, not cool, but I don’t care. They make me feel like a proper person.

So I will be eagerly checking all forms of mail correspondence in order to find out if I am accepted.

Also I really hope I don’t need to tell any of you that obviously my plan is to get card, spend £100, get voucher, and then close the card. I am not a fool twice in life. Well, hardly ever.

Financial Review of Week (Checks Calendar) 29

HI EVERYBODY

We are nearing payday, which is always exciting, but lesser so in this case because my wages this month will be severely hindered due to my month of madness (sick leave).

This means the money is running out.

And there is no way around it, if the definition of a No Spend Year is to, you know, not buy things you shouldn’t.

Which I have been.

What was even more embarrassing I went into a coffee shop to kill time before my counselling session on Thursday and I ran into a friend I know through The Boy who gleefully pointed out I was breaking the rules.

We have £4.51 of the food budget left which is a f*** load better than we have been doing in some months.

Anywho, here goes.

FOOD AND HOUSEHOLD SHOPPING

Spring onion and naan bread £1.44

Milk, Bread, Pizza, Cheese, Cucumber, Ready Meal £10.45

Cereal Bars x 4, Sweet Potatoes, Potatoes, Mozzarella, Bananas £5.85

Courgettes and carrots £2.85 (I bought these from a farmers market and f*** me the courgettes were huge!)

TOTAL SPENDS £20.59

 

DISPOSABLE INCOME/DISCRETIONARY SPENDING

Let’s get the bad stuff out of the way first.

THE I F***** UP CATEGORY

5 Takeaway coffees = £6.80

5 packets of chewing gum = £3.95

Several sandwiches for lunch and/or breakfast as I was too inadequate to prepare beforehand = £10.39

TOTAL = £21.14

 

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY)

5 X Bus tickets = £7

 

POSTAGE

Posting gifts and ebay parcels and buying envelopes = £8.44

 

SOCIAL

Dinner at spoons £7.15

Coke £1.99

Gin £4.60

2 x beers £5.95

TOTAL = £19.69

 

GIFTS

2 x special occasion cards = £2.08

 

TOTAL DISPOSABLE SPENDING = £58.35 (YOWZA!)

TOTAL SPENDING THIS WEEK£78.94

I have £2.55 left in my wallet so I will have to tread carefully till Thursday and probably even more carefully after that.

 

6 MONTH SPENDING ASSESSMENT

Hi guys,

We are now halfway through the year, scary times at Ridgemont High!

So although I tend to assess my spending mainly across a tax year, I have also been keeping track of my spending across a more standard January – December 2017 year because why have one spreadsheet when you can have two!

Lets have a look at how I wasted/invested my money in the first half of 2017.

HEALTH = £15.79

GIFTS = £214.64

POSTAGE AND PACKAGING = £26.95

TRAVEL (VISITING) = £42.50

TRAVEL (DAY TO DAY) = £91.10

HOMEWARE = £31.75

SOCIAL = £714.76

DEBT (LIBRARY FINE) = £0.60

WORK EXPENSE = £24.23

BEST FRIEND’S WEDDING = £335

TOTAL 6 MONTH SPENDING = £1497.32

I am also £17.05 over budget on the, ahem, I F***** UP category.

So, £1514.37 is a more accurate total.

BUT, BUT, BUT …..

My total debt repayments this year so far, across my credit cards, overdraft and the money I owe the boy are:

£2094.37

So yes, if I had been doing a true No Spend Year like Michelle McGagh did then I would have nearly doubled my debt repayments, but I certainly wouldn’t have been as happy.

And I think nearly £2100 is good, isn’t it?

I mean, it’s certainly not bad, considering my expenses each month.

So whilst I may have a broken mind that likes to see danger in every situation, at least I have done good on my debts.