I've always had a difficult time keeping on top of my finances. Having my first daughter at 18 and being in a difficult relationship meant that I got into debt young. That also had the knock on effect that for a long time, anything to do with finances made me sick with anxiety. A lot of the time things would spiral out of control because I'd bury my head in the sand.
Ten years on and I have finally learned how to keep on top of most things, though there can still be the odd flare up of anxiety when I am dealing with certain problems. I also have found it far easier to deal with certain things via email and many systems are now online, whereas ten years ago it all had to be done with endless paperwork and phone calls.
I have to say, that I am so happy you can keep track of all your tax stuff online as well as online banking which offers a huge amount of instant information to help keep control of these things. Being on Statutory Maternity Pay now has taken it's toll, as it's bloody crap! Though I'm lucky that I have had some steady freelance work come my way, which is a big help.
That all said, we're all most into March and I admit that though I've been keeping a closer eye on my income and outgoings it has been a struggle to keep on an even keel, with a few unexpected payments going out and tripping me up. Plus, I hadn't made a start on our budget, so I hadn't a precise idea of where our money should be going and how much deficit I was in, just transferring money as and when we needed it.
Now though, I have completed a simple home budget which has made things a lot clearer, and we know exactly what we should be putting aside per week which is fantastic.
I also need to work on increasing my credit rating as it's currently horrendous due to my history. I have for the first time in my life got a credit card solely for this purpose. I have never, ever trusted myself before but now, at all most thirty I trust myself to use it responsibly!
As well as this, now I'm working freelance for actual money rather than just freebies I have set up as self employed and am keeping tract of my income and expenses using the Albert app which I would highly recommend if you're a small time sole trader.
On the whole, I feel really, really great to be at this point, and determined to make our lives a bit more stable. I have also had some super inspiration from some great bloggers who give us super tips for living both frugally and being more eco-friendly in our lifestyles. You must check out Lauren's blog Inspire Create Educate, Hazel at The Newhouse Family blog and the fabulous Thrifty Yorkshire Mum.