Planning my Finances for 2016

My year in Cologne was quite expensive for me and in 2016 I have to be a bit more careful with money. At the moment I am sitting down to plan my finances in 2016 and I am trying to stick to a budget every month. I also want to save up money to go travelling again and this year I didn’t plan at all. Most of my time in Cologne, I didn’t feel well and many times I would take taxis when I was too exhausted lazy to walk and I spent nearly 1k in takeaways in 2015. Yes, I am as shocked as you are.

In December 2014 I gave up my job in London for a better sounding job in Istanbul. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out and instead of going back to London, where I had given up everything, I went back to Cologne to stay with my family for a while. I thought in Cologne I have time to apply for a new position, thinking it’s an advantage that I can start straight away and don’t have to give notice.

How wrong I was. Before I never had an issue finding a new job, I actually could always choose from a few job offers, but this time it was different. I applied for every position in my career out there, everywhere in the world. I went two days to Abu Dhabi, a week to Doha, a few nights to Milan – endless phone and Skype interviews. However, I wasn’t right for any of the positions out there. Either I was too young or they wanted an English native speaker. It was really frustrating and without any savings, money was running out fast.

Luckily, I found a great position directly in Cologne and I thought it would be nice to stay in Germany for a little bit, have access to great health care and stay close to my family for a year or two. However, all my old positions were offered with accommodation. I never had to worry about buying furniture, paying rent or putting down a deposit before. The family that I am close to, mostly my grandmother, couldn’t help me financially and my parents, who could do it easily, didn’t want to. We have a very difficult relationship, so asking them was not really an option.

In the end, I had to take out a loan with a huge interest rate as I didn’t have any credit history in Germany. This loan costs me almost 2€ in interest every day, but luckily it’s a flexible loan. I have a fixed rate every month that I need to pay off and if I don’t pay off more, it will take me seven years to pay it off. Of course, I want to pay it off sooner than that, considering how much I have to pay in interest every month. I also have an overdraft, that I want to pay off as soon as possible next year.

In my new job, I don’t have to worry about rent, paying bills and I also have a food allowance that is very generous. The only thing I have to pay is my private health insurance and that is not much considering that my new salary is higher than my current one and I have to pay rent, bills and food at the moment myself. Switzerland is of course more expensive than Cologne, but I live very close to Italy and I am in Milan every week, so I want to buy everything over there and then I can even claim the VAT back at the border as I am a Swiss Resident.

Then of course, I am travelling to Las Vegas in June next year again, that’s will be expensive too. The last three times I went to Las Vegas I always stayed in 5* hotels, but I might consider something really cheap this year, so that I can still go but save some money on the hotels. My choice will depend on how money conscious I am until then.

It’s wasn’t all that bad though, I actually started saving some money every month into a private pension plan.

Did you plan your finances for 2016 yet?

1 Comment

  1. December 28, 2015 / 2:25 pm

    I dread to think how much I spent on takeaways last year too! Ouch x

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