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A delightfully talented friend of mine blogs about her quilts at smashingquilts.com and, having a form of food envy which extends to pretty much anything that anyone else has or does, I thought why shouldn’t I likewise delight readers with my goings on?  Obviously I didn’t consider the keenly crafted counterarguments that I don’t make quilts and am not delightfully talented.  Added to that my age-inappropriate technophobia and it could sensibly be suggested that I just keep my musings to myself.  Well, no I say, if anyone else can do it so can I.  (If this were true my time would be much better spent searching for a cure for cancer.)

For the past few years I have made a point of keeping my new year’s resolutions.  The first of these was becoming vegetarian which I have now so completely assumed as part of my identity that upon waking after an evening of excess and gasping to my friends “I didn’t eat meat did I?!” I am always assured that my conduct, while not beyond reproach, was at least animal friendly.  Karma points: +4 (1 per year).

The following year I resolved to try my very best not to swear.  After months of CBT (consisting of the purple elastic band from the asparagus being worn around my wrist and snapped with every foul utterance) I managed to limit my expletives to such occasions as being unexpectedly scalded by water from the hot tap at the Uniorn in Canterbury or pinching a tiny piece of my finger tip in the hinge of my (polarising) sunglasses and I find it beneficial to exclude my infrequent pain related lapses from my reflections on success or failure.  Karma points: +3

Last new year, I resolved to exercise more.  Given that “more” is a term describing a relative relationship I can happily say that I did indeed exercise more last year than I ever had before.  However, in absolute terms it could be described as approaching failure. I will keep trying with this one.  Fitness points: 0

As of New Year’s Day 2012, I am resolving to be financially sensible.  By the end of the year I will have paid off my overdraft, paid off my credit card and saved some money.  I will keep track of my progress by means of Financial Responsibility Points (FRPs) similar to Karma Points but the rate of exchange is objectively determined as 1FRP per £10 saved.

I decided to get a head start and made preparations for my new lifestyle from the middle of December.  I ordered a copy of my credit report from Experian to make sure all was in order, although I only did this following refusal for a 0% balance transfer credit card.  My credit rating is good, with very little mismanagement so this decision is more likely a reflection of the current reluctance to lend rather than my credit rating.  After further investigation I found I could transfer the balance of one of my cards to the other for an interest free period of 6 months.  I then set my monthly direct debit amount so that the entire balance will be paid off in 6 months.  Altogether the savings on interest from the balance transfer would be about £137 while paying off the credit card early (as opposed to paying the minimum payment) saves me £1579 over the course of 20 years.  I found the following both useful and amusing in calculating this: Moneysavingexpert’s minimum repayment calculator and Nationwide’s balance transfer calculator.  So, one twentieth of £1579 + £137 = £215.95 or FRP: +21.6

I also applied for an annual season ticket loan from my employer and applied for tax relief on expenses related to my employment, more on this when I have something in writing.

The £150 of sales shopping done last week, while still in December, most definitely does not count.  Since I am not counting anything prior to 1st Jan 2012, I will generously discard the 7 Karma Points I have so far accrued and I will start the year from 0.  Karma points +1 (for honesty and generosity)

It occurred to me that if I were being responsible financially, I should also be responsible with other aspects of my life.  Relationships, family, friends, career, general etc.  I will hopefully be racking up points in all these arenas as the year progresses.

Note to self: Attempting to move the lap top with a plateful of pie and mash in one hand – general responsibility points: -1

Total so far:

  • Karma: +1
  • FRP: +21.6
  • Relationships: 0
  • Family: 0
  • Friends: 0
  • Career: 0
  • Fitness: 0
  • General: -1
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