Wednesday, 14 October 2009

FAQ v.1


I decided to do something of a first draft of an FAQ for this project to sort out in my own head how it is going to work. This may change yet, but it's a start.

Goals

The project is, that over a timespan of a year, find out if it is possible for a normal guy like me to find particular amounts of savings and extra earnings (above and beyond my currently frozen salary). These will be defined/explained later.

The two targets I am aiming for are:

1) £6000 - hitting this much will let me clear my more troublesome debts, hence getting rid of the monthly repayment for them and so helping get me back into the black within a few months

2) £10k - hitting this much will pretty much wipe all my debts, meaning none of my monthly salary goes towards debts, and gives me enough left over to get a few essentials out of the way and some money in the savings pot.

Why am I trying to do this?

Simple one - my quality of life is as good as it could be at the minute, I'm finding I'm having to pass on some of the things I want to do, and a good portion of my monthly salary is used up by rent, food and loan repayments. Getting rid of my major loans/debts in one go over the course of a year will free enough up in the monthly finances that I can start doing new things and start getting the savings built up.

I believe that I do throw money away at times for conveniences sake, but that is proving counter productive. I am better off learning and applying how to make savings now, so that I benefit later on down the road.

Another reason is that I wish to go and work abroad for a while - I cannot do this while I have a significant level of debt. I need it cleared, and I need to start saving. This is the 'long term goal' that I might refer to vaguely every so often.

Why make it public?

Because some of what I come up with, try out and get working might be useful to someone else trying to save some cash. There are too many 'get rich quick' schemes out there, I thought it would be good to have a blog where something realistic was attempted by an honest-to-god average joe with an average salary and an average level of debt. I'll be focusing on things that people can actually do, rather than my life story or what I'm up to.

I know full well there are other, very extensive, websites out there. I will be picking and choosing ideas from them, and reporting them here if they will work for me (or even if I have tried them and failed).

Donations / Ads

At the moment I do not accept donations.

If I *do* though, please only donate if you have managed to save some cash through applying some of the tips I've come up with in this blog. E.g. If you save £100, feel free to fire me £10-20 say. I'd rather see you be better off before you send something my way. I personally don't feel comfortable taking money unless I have provided value to that person.

I will have ads on the site, but I do not expect them to earn me anything significant. If they do prove to be an easy way of making some earnings though, that anyone can repeat, I may very well change my mind on this.

I will not count any donations or ads intake in the project total, at least not until the very end of the project. Reason for this is I'd rather go for my targets and hit/miss them based on my own effort and sacrifices. That isn't to say that I don't want the extra money, in fact I'd be super grateful for it (because in the end, I do need the cash, hence the reason for the project).

Savings

I will keep a total, representing how much reductions I have found in my annual spending.

If I find a one-off saving then I will add that number to the total saved only once.

If I find something that can be applied regulary, I will work out how much it will save me if I applied it over a whole year, and add it to the total. this means if I find something in month 6 that could have saved me money if I had used it from the start, I will still add it to the total at the end assuming that I did it over all 12 months.

Reason for doing it this way is for simplicitys sake - makes it easier to track for me without counting pennies every week. Besides, I don't mind waiting an extra month or two for me to see the money in my pocket. So the goal isn't necessarily to get the cash in my pocket right there and then, the goal is the ability to make these consistent savings. I will be applying these savings, and I will see the money from it.


Extra Earnings

All extra earnings I find will typically be added to an earnings total as a one-off. Reason being is that for the most part any new income I find will probably not be regular from month to month. There *may* be exceptions to this however.

I will try and find extra income that most other people can do, or if something does apply to my situation only I'll try and find parallels so that others can apply it.

Updates

I will typically update once a week with what I have saved/earned that week. I will also update when I find a new source of income or a new way of saving money.

Starting

So when is the start date?

It hasn't started in full *quite* yet. At the time of writing I'm in the 'preparation' phase where I will still blog about savings, but I cannot aim for the extra revenue that I will need to take a fair shot at this target (temporary time constraints)

I will probably spend a few months researching savings, and then hit a point where I say, "Year starts NOW" where I will be applying those savings, keeping track of totals, and looking for extra revenue to add to the total. Any savings I've identified from before the start will be in the total right at the start. The 'year' will probably start on the actual new year, but could start sooner if I feel ready.

Finishing

The project will finish exactly one year after I start, or I hit my target without counting donations/ads, which ever is first.

Once the year is up. I'll add the Savings and Earnings together into the final total. As mentioned, £6000 will see me hit where I need to get to clear the more annoying debts, and hitting that £10k target will be a massive bonus that will let me kickstart my life a little, and hopefully get on the track to doing a bit of travelling and working around the world.

Again, worth mentioning that as per the 'savings' section above, the cash from savings may not be in my pocket at the finishing time, but if it is a consistent saving then all I need to do is wait a couple of months while applying that saving to get it. So I'm perhaps cheating a tiny bit, but at the same time, it's not like I won't ever see that money. If I hit the 10k total here, I will see 10k go into my bank account.

Once it's over, well I'm not going to say the blog will stop, but it will perhaps be retooled a bit and/or incorporated into a new project.


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