Like a lot of families, we planned a long time ago to get up to date with bills and start planning financially for our future. Unfortunately, a series of events hit, which meant our financial plans went out of the window.
In pretty quick succession, we had a baby, I experienced mental health issues. Upon returning to work, there was a two-year global pandemic. At the same time, my workplace was applying unnecessary pressure and I ended up experiencing a mental breakdown. This resulted in having four months off work. I was then made redundant soon after this. And it would take a further six months to fully recover.
Essentially we have been in survival mode ever since when it comes to finances. If you follow this blog, you will know I now prioritise happiness over finances. I do this because I’ve learned the hard way, that there are so many circumstances outside of our control in life. The one thing we can control and will remember is the fond memories with our loved ones. Whatever my financial circumstances are, I want time to be my main currency. It’s all about striking a balance. Because I am also conscious we need money to live.
That said, it would also be lovely to achieve some of the financial goals we planned. However, with the cost of living crisis in the UK only set to get worse, we face unstable times. Why not check out my post on side hustles you can use to supplement your income?
I want to put my list out there, to manifest this for myself. And to give anyone else out there hope that things will improve. And hopefully soon, a day will come when you can start financial planning. However small your steps are, you can start to achieve these goals.
Pay into a pension
It is a requirement in the UK that all employers have a mandatory workplace pension, and they match contributions for workers. However, this isn’t going to sustain us in retirement. With me working fewer hours, in order to prioritise family life, I am also not paying as much into a pension.
The plan was to take out a joint private pension plan or separate ones, which we pay into, regardless of where we work. In order to achieve this, we need to talk to a pensions adviser and start putting a plan in place.
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We are renting at the moment and the goal is to eventually have a family home. This will take some disciplined savings, but it will be worth it in the end.
I constantly look at house prices and what we could afford in the area.
I would love to have a backup of savings. Unfortunately, any savings we did have was spent on trying to navigate the circumstances I described above. Whilst I sometimes look back and wish we had that money, allowing me to fully recover mentally was money well spent. It annoys me life had to happen that way, but my focus is now on the future.
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A holiday home
The ultimate dream would be to have a holiday home. Something like a caravan in a great, relaxing location. I did think about investing in this to rent it out and make money, but it might be something we do much further down the line. This blog is all about our travels and making memories as a family. With the amount we all spend on caravan holidays each year, it would be great to have somewhere of our own to go.
In order to significantly reduce costs, I have recently been looking at tents and how much it would cost us to go on these holidays. There is a huge saving to be made. Whilst it isn’t my personal preference to go camping, it would be fun for the whole family.
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You may have seen my recent travel bucket list. As a family, we do love a good trip somewhere and the odd holiday abroad. But there are some destinations I really want to visit. Hopefully, we can eventually plan this into our lifestyle.