NB: This is not moneysavingsexpert, it’s what I’ve done and has worked for me because of my lifestyle. I encourage saving and discourage unnecessary spending. Now continue reading and share…
I learnt from the CEO/founder of Can’t Stay Put to write your goals out daily until you achieve them. This is an example of me doing that at the start of the year, some are not tangible and others are more experiential.
I had a savings goals of 2016 for 2017 to “save 3k”, as seen in this post image. It was a simple and basic goal. By the end of March, I had done that. BUT not how I expected. Because my goal was so simplistic it didn’t actually become the full dream that I had for it. I saved it in Euros but brought it over twice and lost out, I then paid tithes and flights from it. Today, it’s gone. I didn’t specify an account, a currency, it’s purpose and how I could make it work for me. All things I will take into 2018:
Save a minimum of £3k by 01/12/2018 in a cash ISA to move into a help to Buy ISA for January 2019 (it won’t be as easy this time due to my initial flights of 2018 = £500+ and there are 3 more flights and 5 sets of spending money to save for too),
I love monetary goals because it works with what I do anyway and I beat it. I then set another goal in July when I started to work in the UK to save 3k by October to buy a new car. I saved just under as I paid for flights that I wanted else I would have had that goal ticked too. I still bought a car, the car is mine, custom plates and all (tint soon). Thanks to a credit card transfer, it made it doable to buy it outright from the dealer and I’ll have it paid for by October 2018 (ask me about it then).
Saving for me kind of is easy but I do recommend using free and simple budget apps where possible or keeping a little notebook that you update daily. You can also use spreadsheets on your tablet or laptop to map your:
- Monthly income
- Tithes (10% of income that you don’t even think about)
- Saving (10% minimum or a specific amount on standing order of £20 for example)
- Average on bills
- Flights (your hobby costs)
- Clothes, gadgets
- Household/emergency goods
- Debt payments (loan repayments or student loans)
- Grocery shopping
- Gas and car maintenance
-then work out if you are in the positive or negative, are you spending more than you have or is there some left for some fun or further saving?
I stopped using an app because I know how much I spend on all areas, I can tell you how much I spent in a specific area for the month. However, I can’t tell you about the previous month but once I save I’m happy. I check my bank app every other day or so to see if transactions have cleared, like the pay at pump diesel or supermarket withdrawal. October for me was a lot of groceries, less petrol and a lot of saving.
- Goodbudget (looks similar to one I used to use) but one great thing is it divides your cash into pots for a visual rep of what types of things you buy. There’s a free and better paid version in the app stores.
- On trees. Desktop and Apple version is a read only to view your bank accounts in one place and categorise them for you. It’s more about seeing where money has gone.
- Bluecoin. Recommended by a friend abroad who’s just getting into saving, it budgets and helps you analyse your spending. Free too!
I know when I need to save more for a flight, normally the month before I’ll cut back on entertainment and where I drive so I can put an extra £50-100 to the flight for the following month. I buy flights on a credit card and pay it off before the bill has time to be generated, just for the ATOL protection. I will start to buy gas on a separate card (or cashcard not sure as yet) to create a routine of dates I top up and not drive everywhere as my gas budget is quite large. But hey I now drive a diesel car so my ass has to drive on the motorway for the engine’s sake, haha!
I had some sessions in church on wealth, power and just having more. We should have more in life, we should strive for higher pay brackets to afford better quality items in life. It’s not about showing off, just be smart with money and make it work for you! That’s what I’m going for next you, working smarter with money and creating networks of international individuals for a greater level of intellect as well as more access to those with greater levels of income and can influence or give me opportunities. Plan your money, budget it accordingly to your needs (not wants). With my church hat on, I’ll say that’s where God honours you and gives you greater.
- Use a different account for savings, or set up an ISA that you can continuously add more money in. Don’t’ make it too difficult to take out if you can’t trust yourself. Don’t keep the savings card in your purse.
- Have a separate account for all the bills, even a different bank.
- Have a separate account for basic spending or a cash card for the groceries and petrol. I have a bpay and tend to do specific shopping with it (normally under £30 for that week). I’m not endorsed by Bpay and they don’t always work but their customer service is decent.
- I don’t walk around with cash but I know people that set aside £50 in cash to use for their shop, entertainment every week. If there’s any left, they move it over to the next week or save it.
- Track your spending!
- Get help from citizens advice bureau or read online help sites to give you a better handle on crazy spending or if you’ve amounted a massive amount of debt. If in despair, book an appointment to speak with your bank to see if they can help you forecast or create special payment plans to reduce debts or anything.
Hopefully this wasn’t too extensive or boring, but my friend in Saudi and I were talking about saving and thought it would be useful to share with others around my age. If I were younger I would’ve saved more to travel from 18 so that now I’d be saving more for big trips and acquiring assets.
Are there any apps that you would recommend or use personally? Did you save a lot in your 20’s or was it mostly in your 30’s for the 40’s? What’s the monetary goal for the next 6 months or year?