Post Summer Health Kick

1 09 2013

health kick

With the dreaded start of term fast approaching & the indulgences of the past 6 weeks weighing me down, I am on a bit of a health kick.

I have decided to implement a few changes to improve my overall well being (before I lapse again in the run up to Christmas).

This is not about losing weight – I got that T-shirt last term when my weight plummeted in the space of two months – it is more about a consistent approach to diet and lifestyle and embracing some good habits.

I have set myself the following goals:

  • To reduce my alcohol intake
  • To move onto decaf tea and coffee
  • To eat a small breakfast every day
  • To have a healthy lunch.
  • To snack on yogurts and fruit
  • To swap sugary carbonated drinks with fruit juice and water.

Anyone who knows me will know that I LOVE vegetables but have no great love of fruit and I cannot bear the idea of nibbling on dried fruit and seeds. I may however be tempted by a handful of peanuts or banana on toast – a favourite childhood snack – to introduce good alternative to sausage rolls that are my default snack at work.

I will miss my cherished latte but have found a tolerable brand of decaf coffee and Shloer is a good alternative to my beloved red wine.

I have managed to gain a few welcome pounds over the summer break and although do not wish to wave my curves goodbye again so soon after reclaiming them I want to achieve some consistency and not avoid meals and snacks during the day when stresses take over.

Wish me luck in my quest – I hope I have the necessary will power.

As for exercise…well, let’s try one thing at a time 🙂

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Viewing Our Potential Dream Home

1 02 2013

house_cartoon

It’s time once more for me to reflect on my progress towards achieving my dream of home ownership.

You may have noticed that a few months ago I started including a table at the bottom of posts relating to home ownership. These posts are my way of tracking my progress towards raising a deposit and the table shows the % of the deposit we have saved and the estimated months it should take until we are able to purchase – assuming we maintain the momentum and everything continues as planned. This is by no means an exact science and a million things could happen between now and then, but I am the type of person who needs clear goals and targets but I should still explain how these numbers were generated.

One of my personal barriers to raising a deposit has been the fact that owning a home costs a lot of money. As such it is prudent to have a large amount in savings before embarking in the process of viewing properties and approaching lenders. But with no end goal or exact figures in mind, I was finding it hard to retain focus and enthusiasm as it all seemed very abstract.

I am fully prepared to make sacrifices to achieve my dreams but I needed some sort of savings target and a deadline to work towards; otherwise how would I know how much of my income to set aside each month? “Lots of it” was not specific enough for me and I was struggling to commit  with no end in sight.

I discovered a local property being sold under a government scheme for first time buyers. I took my husband to see it – it was perfect!!!

We decided to use this property as a model altough we were not in a position to purchase at that point it gave us an idea of how far our money could go and more importantly the sort of deposit we should be aiming for. I got out my calculator and did some sums.

Of course, by the time we have raised the money we hope to save, it is highly likely these properties will no longer be available or the scheme may be cancelled but we now have something concrete to work towards. What we are currently saving each month amounts to about 3% of the total deposit that we would need. My aim is to gradually increase this to 5% (because I like round numbers) but 3% is perfectly acceptable for the time being.

The important thing is that by approaching it this way home ownership feels more achievable. As long as I save a minimum of 3% of the deposit needed every month I feel a sense of achievement. Anything over this amount is obviously a bonus but I don’t feel guilty about every penny I spend that does not end up in savings.

As things currently stand we have saved a total of 59 % of the deposit we think we need and could potentially be ready to purchase in 14 months.

Watch this space for “THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX

PROGRESS TOWARDS RAISING A HOUSE DESPOSIT

DATE

% OF DEPOSIT SAVED

ESTIMATED MONTHS TILL PURCHASE

JULY 2012

28%

23 – June 2014

AUGUST 2012

31%

22 – June 2014

SEPTEMBER 2012

33%

21 – June 2014

OCTOBER 2012

36%

20 – June 2014

NOVEMBER 2012

42%

19 – June 2014

DECEMBER 2012

47%

17 – May 2014

JANUARY 2012

54%

15 – March 2014

FEBRUARY 2012

59%

14 – February 2014