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New Financial Year – How my last year went

This week marks the start of a new financial year. Given this year hasn’t offered many reasons to celebrate so far, I think a new financial year merits a celebration.

My next post is going to focus on my top tips to start the new financial year as well as possible – let me know if you have any tips you’d like me to include!

But, before we get to that, I’d like to take a look back at the past year and what I’ve learnt from it. I try to be as transparent as possible on this blog, so I hope this insight into my past year is helpful, or at least makes an entertaining read!

The new financial year isn’t met with quite the same celebrations…
  1. What didn’t go to plan
  2. What went well
  3. My top lessons from the financial year
  4. My goals for the new financial year

What didn’t go to plan

Let’s get the negatives out the way. It would be absurd to pretend it had all been smooth sailing, we’re living through a global pandemic!

My year didn’t get off to the best start. In April, like many others, I was put on furlough. At first, I took this really hard. I felt as if it was a personal decision and that if I was better at my job it wouldn’t have happened. I moped around for a few days, feeling lost and frustrated. But, then I decided it was time to pull myself together.

With time, I came to realise that the decision wasn’t about me at all. It was simply about my company’s need to survive while we all adjusted to the online world.

Having been back at work for quite some time now, I realise how lucky I am to enjoy my job – I genuinely missed it while I wasn’t working.

I also still live with my parents. This isn’t a negative as such – they’re very nice people! – but certainly wasn’t part of my plan a year ago.

There’s a few reasons for this. Primarily, it’s a financial decision. Living at home means I can save much more money and hopefully be able to buy a property sooner.

I am also concerned about the prospect of moving out and facing a future lockdown on my own. I like to be independent, but I also like having people around me. While I hope the restrictions reversal really will be permanent, I don’t want to make any moves until the situation is much more certain.

Putting a face to the name

What went well

Despite still being in the same job, my working and financial life looks very different to how it did a year ago.

This year was the first year I ever seriously thought about creating multiple income streams. Through my blog and writing I made over £1,500 – so I get to have the pleasure of completing a tax return this year! This isn’t a lot for some, but the first step is always the hardest to take, so I’m pleased with the progress.

Not only has this increased my income, it has also given me invaluable experience and skills which I can use to benefit my career going forward.

Speaking of this blog, this has gone better than I could have ever imagined! I actually won an award?! (Well I was runner-up, but I’m counting it!) I came second in the Best New Money Blog category at the UK Money Bloggers SHOMOS Awards.

I’ve learnt so much from blogging and continue to develop my skills every day. Hopefully this growth will continue into future years too.

Financially, I have also made strides this year. I started investing for the first time (outside of my workplace pension). I’ve taken baby steps with this so far, but am applying the old principal of ‘little and often’ and am hoping to make lasting habits. It’s a marathon not a sprint after all.

My top lessons from the financial year

The lessons I’ve learnt this past year have been endless. But, to keep this post a manageable length – and to avoid boring you all to death – I’ve decided to cut it down to my top three lessons.

Support

The power of support cannot be underestimated. Don’t be afraid to accept help and support. It doesn’t make you weak, it makes you wise. You’ll be amazed by the difference it will make and the knowledge you can gain.

It’s also important to offer support, whether through charitable initiatives or to friends and family members. Be generous with your time and help those that reach out to you. You’ll be shocked by how much you can benefit from this too.

See opportunities not obstacles

It’s so easy to get caught up in all the doom and gloom, particularly in the current situation. While it may not always be possible, try and see the positives rather than the negatives.

My personal goal is to stop talking about things and start doing them. Now, I acknowledge that I’m scared and do whatever it is that scares me anyway. This attitude has led to me being on Times Radio, multiple podcasts and published in a range of different news outlets.

Always have something to fall back on

If the past financial year taught me anything, it’s how precarious any situation is. From housing to employment, even to relationships.

This means having something to fall back on is essential. An emergency fund of 3 to 6 months expenses will make any future crisis or unexpected event much easier to deal with.

If you can’t manage that much right away, don’t worry. Start by putting away something each month – even just £5 – to help you in the event of a rainy day.

My goals for the new financial year

A new financial year brings new opportunities and I’m determined to stay positive about what it might bring, despite the grim news cycle and the obvious difficulties we are all facing.

I’d like to at least double the amount of freelance income I made this year. This should be possible, seeing as I only started seriously looking to freelance in the latter part of the last financial year, but it won’t be easy either!

Blog wise, I’d like to continue to grow and improve my site. I want to build up a larger audience and start working with brands I believe in for sponsored posts and similar (let me know if you’re interested…)

It would also be good if I’m in a position to move out and buy a property in the next year. This is going to be a tough ask, but I’m doing my best so you never know. Although if you know what next week’s winning lottery numbers are, do send them my way!

If you found this post interesting, please like it and share across social media or send it to your friends. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences. How did you find the past financial year? What are your top tips for the new financial year? Comment below!

Don’t forget to follow me on social media @Katie20Percent to keep up to date with all my latest posts and content!

By The Twenty Percent

Hi I'm Katie and I use my blog to help young people take control of their personal finances.

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