#284 // Monumental Moments

It was The Flintstones that did it.

I've not one clue what they've got to do with banking, but Fred Flintstone catching my eye on a billboard urged me to pay off the remnants of my overdraft this weekend.

The overdraft that I've languished in since I left uni. Almost twelve years ago. It's gone. Finally.

There were the years where I completely ignored it; the year where I was a 27-year-old intern and probably spent the most while earning the least. And there were the years where I tried to cut it down, only to extend it back to the same amount (if not more), often for a temporary want, rather than genuine need.

That financial noose is gone. And even though in some ways it's hard to celebrate something that I should have done about a decade ago, a win is still a win. Especially a win that you know signifies a lesson well and truly learnt. I'm never going back there.

I started hacking away at it just before Christmas, determined it would be gone, whilst simultaneously trying to pay off my other credit card and save all the money.

The problem is that when you have a character like mine, you want to do all the things at the same time and at speed.

I was moving in the right direction in all three races, but stretched and at a snail's pace in each. Which in truth, was a bit demoralising. Going at full pelt for mediocre results, is the kind of thing to put me in the "what's the point?" mind frame that's had me making financial missteps for the last decade.

Target, focus, obliterate

I'd been planning on switching current accounts (purely for the financial incentive) when I cleared my overdraft, so when I saw the Halifax advert offering £125 for switching, I took the hit and used some of my savings to pay off my overdraft and just be done with it.

I had literally earnt 83p in interest on my savings balance, can put the money back within seven weeks and rather than paying £5 a month to service the overdraft, I'll get £3 a month just for having my new account. And they've paid off almost 18% of my overdraft for me. So thanks for that!

But most importantly, that's one big tick off my list, one less thing to focus on, and a quick win to boost my money morale.

So while it may not be much to some, whatever race you're running, celebrate your monumental moments and mini-wins, because they give you the endurance to get to the major milestones.

2018: You are the year of my financial uprising. Finally. And I am so ready.


#284 // Levelling Up

Photo by Jez Timms on Unsplash

I've been thinking about something for a little while: the phrase "settling down."

I've been thinking about what would happen if, instead of viewing long term relationships as "settling down", we framed them instead as "levelling up."

To clarify: this isn't to say that everyone wants to be in a relationship, or that you are in any way not whole or on a lower level not being coupled up. There is absolutely nothing wrong with not wanting to be in one. My partner and I have discussed the benefits of being single, and actually, if we hadn't met when we did, we'd probably have spent a lot more of the developmental twenties single and figuring out who and what we were really about as individuals, rather than growing intertwined.

But, I do really enjoy my relationship overall, which is why the long time bad PR around long-term relationships bugs me. And specifically, the term "settling down." 

Granted, in some regards, settling down is in reference to laying solid foundations and building on them with someone. But largely, I hear the term settling in a much more negative tone, and more often referred to as making do. 

I view long-term friendships and relationships as some of the most valuable "ships", if you will, that I'll ever navigate the sea of life with. 

People who truly have your back, who you know you can rely on, who you can have some of your most ambitious plans with, and most of all, be your true self with. What in all of this is a bad thing? Settling into the freedom of being able to be my authentic self, come good or bad? If that's the definition, I will take that. 

Relationships are not a consolation prize. The mutual decision of two people to choose each other every day, and craft something entirely unique to them is a beautiful thing. They're not something to do when you think it's about time, or there's nothing better going on.

So, in my relationships and friendships, I'm not settling down, I'm levelling up. I've found a wonderful tribe to do life with, and I intend on doing life with them to the absolute max.