So, 2011. Here we go again. There's really not much to say: New Year, New You, How To Make Your Resolutions And Stick To Them. It's all been done, a million times over at that. So instead, a straightforward act of self-interest. My resolutions (the financial ones at least) written down in public as a means of self-enforcement.
I will save. I will, I will, I will. This should be an, erm, interesting challenge. I've been trying to save for quite a while. Each month, a direct debit takes £100 out of my account and puts it into an Individual Savings Account. Still, it doesn't seem to work. For one thing, every time I have a major expenditure (travel, Christmas, you know the story) I withdraw my savings. For another, the direct debit happens at the end of the month. Invariably, I don't budget it in and so, at the sight of £100 suddenly vanishing, I transfer it straight back. In 2011, not only will I not do this, but I will put away £300 a month instead – right at the start of the month, when I've just been paid. So there.
I bang on about budgeting, but if I'm honest I don't do an awful lot of it. Or at least I do, but hopelessly. Budgeting, in my experience, is an impossibly difficult task. Costs vary from month to month, buffeted by external expectations. Weeks will go by without any social obligations and then, suddenly, five trips to the pub become necessary. This year, I've resolved not to budget – simply to try and live more thiftily at all times.
I've never had a credit card (can you imagine?). Even my debit card is dangerous. It's just so easy, paying by card. You don't need to know how much you've got on you, you can just blindly hand over plastic. Sometimes, I don't even register bills I'm paying. This is madness. Carrying cash and using it to pay is much, much better. I've experimented with this in the past. It's inconvenient, but effective.
Quite how this happened I'm not sure, but everyone in the world appears to be selling. Whether on eBay or Amazon, we've all got our own little shopfronts marked out. Well, except for me. I'm still in the habit of dumping boxes of books in the corridor for neighbours to help themselves to. No longer! I too shall become a trader. I've already opened an Amazon account and an eBay one is soon to follow.