September summary and goals for October


It’s a week into the month but, because I was updating my website last weekend (yay – see goal # 5!), I didn’t get time to write as well! So, better late than never, how did I fare with the goals I set myself in September?

These were the goals for the month:

  1. Pick the funds for my stocks and shares ISA.
  2. Increase my income by selling on eBay.
  3. De-clutter, and specifically attempt the 30-day Minimalism Game #MinsGame.
  4. Investigate which of the ideas I have for making money have ‘legs’.
  5. Redesign my blog and choose a new WordPress theme.

How did I do?

1. Still to do…this is becoming a bit ridiculous. I put money into my ISA in April, it’s now October, and I have yet to decide which funds I am going to use. Five months, with a slight hiccup in the middle as I moved provider, but still no action. This is an example of successfully avoiding something I haven’t felt quite ready to do! Opening a stocks and shares ISA was a big deal for me. I have a pension, but other than picking a broad ‘lifestyle’ theme based on my risk profile and age, all I do is hand over the money and let someone else worry about the funds. The ISA is the first time I’ve had to think about investment strategy and choose individual funds, and it’s felt more real because I’m more involved.

2. Yes, items have been sold! I made £66.23 on eBay, but also sold books via Zapper and Ziffit for £27.68 (more on that in another post I think!). That’s a grand total of £93.91 over the month, I’m pleased!

3. Yes! The 30-day Minimalism Game was unsurprisingly too ambitious. The aim is to get rid of 1 item on the 1st, 2 on the 2nd, 3 on the 3rd, and so on. It’s a LOT of stuff to get rid of, 496 in fact, I just counted. However, it was the motivation I needed, and I did get rid of 166 things! Over 100 of these were books, sold, given away, or thrown. I’ve also sorted a number of other items still to get rid of, including a huge pile of vinyl, so more to come on that front.

4. Yes, I’ve started! You can read my thoughts on buy-to-let in my earlier post, where I concluded I don’t have the funds, and it’s not profitable, in my local area of London. I may still look further afield, and may look at crowd-property investing, but my initial plans are a no-go.

But, I’ve come up with a name for a cat-sitting business! This was a stumbling block for a few weeks as I wanted a website, and finding a domain name that isn’t already taken is HARD WORK! However, I’ve finally found a name I like, am the proud owner of a new domain name, and I can get on with the next steps.

This is where I realised that I have actually learnt a few new things with this blog over the course of this year. I use Siteground for my blog hosting, and have a package that allows me to add extra websites at no extra charge. Compared to setting up this blog earlier this year, I definitely found it quicker and easier to buy the new domain name, and get the website live.

5. Yes, done! For those of you interested in blog themes, I’m using the Hueman free WordPress theme, which I picked because it allows a huge amount of customisation compared to other free themes, and it had good help pages online.

I couldn’t work out why none of my images were displaying correctly when I was previewing new themes, and the Hueman help pages actually did just that – helped! I realised after lots of googling that it was because none of my images had been set as ‘featured images’, so they were displaying as grey squares. If you ever encounter the same problem, the ‘Easy Add Thumbnail’ plug-in sorts the problem, followed by the ‘Regenerate Thumbnail’ plug-in to get them to the right sizes.

I’m not completely happy with the new look, I have no idea for example why you can’t change the font colour of the title in the same way as you can the backgrounds. However, I can fiddle around with possible header logos and the layout in weeks to come. For now I’ll just be happy that it’s better than before, progress has been made!

So 4 out of 5 is not bad!

On that positive note, what are my goals for October?

  1. Yawn….choose the funds for my stocks and shares ISA (I honestly think I’m nearly there!).
  2. Design a logo and leaflet for the cat-sitting business, also write some content for its website.
  3. More de-cluttering and hopefully selling.
  4. Work out exactly how much extra I need to be saving / earning per month in order to stand a chance of retiring at 55.

There are only 22 days left until the end of this month, best get cracking! Interested in hearing what goals you’ve achieved or have set for the month!


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