Couples choose to manage their individual and combined finances in many different ways, most having individual savings accounts and pension pots acquired from an assortment of jobs. Understanding the financial contribution that both parties are bringing to the retirement phase of life can be tricky.

I’ve created a google sheets spreadsheet so that my wife and I can track our investment pots, current, and future income and expenditure to determine how long our money will last. It enables us to do some scenario planning such as the impact of retirement age or monthly expenditure on our long-term financial stability.


If you want to attain mastery of anything you are going to have to accept that you start out being pretty useless. If your end goal falls under the remotely ‘challenging’ remit, then you need to accept that you will repeatedly stumble and look like a bit of a newbie for a long time.

My current challenge is to become a coding rock star, unfortunately at the moment I’m more like an irritating kid learning the violin — I’m producing a lot of screeches and not a lot of rock.

I am deep in the middle of my Imposter Syndrome…

Photo by Lewis Ngugi on Unsplash

I’ve messed up my life choices before. I started a medical degree and discovered I would never be the compassionate carer that I aspired to be. After that, life went somewhat haywire as I totally bummed out and by the time I was ready to reclaim my future I noticed that I’d somehow pissed on my chips.

Luckily the Open University appeared on the horizon as a beacon for almost lost causes. I got my chemistry degree while working my way through warehousing jobs, packing delights ranging from pigs ears to bleach.

That degree wasn’t totally wasted though. Soon I…

It’s Engineering Project week at Makers and I have had a mightily frustrating day…

I’ve been trying to figure out how to save images uploaded using carrierwave into a remote database hosted by Amazon Web Services.

That comes directly after another very seriously frustrating day where I managed to crash our production site, hosted on Heroku, because (who knew?) it didn’t store image files.

Apparently it is ephemeral.

I was apoplectic.

The team weren’t best pleased either.

Photo by FuYong Hua on Unsplash

I signed up for AWS yesterday, handed over my credit card details and then scoured the internet for helpful tutorials, while waiting for…

Today I discovered that javascript dealt in promises.

I’m afraid that information did my nut in. My already overloaded, tiny-brain decided to curl up in a corner and quietly implode. I’ve stumbled forward from a crisis of coding confidence and gone from thinking I might be getting it before falling back to a floundering heap of incomprehension.

We are in Week 6 at Makers. The first week of group work. That I have to say, is terrifying stuff.

It may seem like a relief from the intensity of daily pairing but group work carries with it, it’s own emotional and…

Photo on Visual hunt

I’ve been dreading the new language week at Makers. Up until now I have probably been in the comfortably average camp in terms of my Ruby abilities. That position has given me confidence and space to breathe and the flexibility to experiment with my learning.

Week 5 has been a turning point though, and my confidence has plummeted.

I think its been particularly acute because we aren’t learning an obscure language like Haskell or Go or Clojure where we would all be on a (zero experience) level playing field. …

Photo by Tony Butler on Unsplash

We are being bombarded with new concepts on a daily basis and oscillate between panic and excitement.

While last week I suggested that all we need to do is to cling onto forward momentum like our lives depended on it, this week I am faced with a new obstacle to progression — the building of mental hurdles or blocks.

We have retros every week where we look back across the journey and pick out the highs and lows. Each week there seems to be a new, most-hated buzzword that threatens to prevent forward progress.

In week 2 most people were…

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

In my earlier post I was recapping week one at Makers and discussing the joys of Test Driven Development. Riveting stuff!

In management speak, individuals can apparently be categorised into one of nine different Belbin personality types such as: Implementer, Co-ordinator and Resource-Investigator.

Image credit — Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

In my earlier post I described how Sourdough production could be the next best thing in coding productivity hacks.

Oh blimey, this course is whizzing past. I’m trying to reflect on the whirlwind that was week 1, while week 2 is already dissolving before my eyes.

While day 1 was consumed with introductions and general settling in, the rest of the week was a chaotic charge to the weekend.

The focus of week 1 was Test Driven Development (TDD) and pairing.

Pair Programming

Pairing as it sounds, involves working side by side with another person. You may have defined roles such as…

Photo by Jonathan Pielmayer on Unsplash

In my earlier post I explained why I quit the NHS to join the Makers coding bootcamp.

I’m into the final week of the pre-course and am now experimenting with both the Pomodoro technique and sourdough production for enhancing my coding environment.

Part of the appeal of Makers is the focus on ways to learn rather than traditional education methods which tend to get fixated on the ‘what’. So today I ‘got with the program’ and dabbled with the soon to be patented, sourdough technique to enhance focus.

For those in the know, sourdough production (and sometimes code production) is…

Angela Wolff

Ex-NHS Accountant, now a coder at the V&A. Makers July 2018 cohort.

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