General

Adulting: Savings

Money. We all need it everyday, and yet lots of us are really bad at keeping some back for the harder times. I’ve been thinking about saving a lot over the past few years. First I saved to go to Kenya in 2010, then I saved at University to travel the world for a year, and for the last 2 1/2 years, my savings efforts have been split towards having a proper adult life and having enough money to see places. There’s so many different types of savings accounts, methods, not to mention pensions, that it’s been a couple of years of trying and testing different methods.

So, with that in mind, I have a set of 2018 Savings goals and some methods to try and help me achieve them!

Goals

  • Save £2500 for Florida: I will probably mention this a lot over the next year. Emma and I are visiting Disney World in Orlando at the end of October/November this year, and I therefore need to save a lot of money for it. There are hotels, flights, park tickets, transports, souveniers, food and drink to buy, and I know how crazy I can be when face with Disney and Harry Potter merchandise.
  • Save £2000 for Adulting: I’ve heard adults talking about rainy day funds, and I have been looking into the amounts needs to do things like buy a house, decorate, and for big projects within a house, so I need to start putting money away for adult things in my life.
  • Understand my pension: I am of the age that may never get to retire due to the increasing retirement age, but, I save a good amount of my monthly paycheck in the hope that one day I will have a large enough pension to retire and actually enjoy life. I don’t have a clue how my pension actually works, or how much I am actually saving at the moment, so I would like to work it out.

Ways to Get There

I have been thinking about all of the different ways to save money, and have decided that a multitude of different ways and rules is probably the best way to reguarly save without seeing a huge negative impact on my day to day life.

  • Post Office Savings: I was reading an article online by Martin Lewis about different savings accounts. After considering my position in life currently, and the best way for me to save in my current stage of life, I decided to take out an online Post Office Savings account. I thought it through, and decided that if I automatically removed £100 from my bank account on the same day that my pay check goes in, then I won’t ever realise that I had that money and will be able to save without worrying. It’s almost like taxing myself, or that’s the way I think about it.
  • Monthly Bank Savings: On the last day of the month prior to payday, I remove any money that I have left in my bank account and put it in an easy access savings account that is connected to my current account. This means that I am only ever spending the wages that I have earned that month, and it means that I can save anything that I don’t end up spending. It also gives me a little flexibility if I have a particularly expensive month, or if I decide that I want to treat myself to something in particular. It also means I can forget about my post office savings account and just let that money build. Or that’s the plan at least.
  • Work Pension: My work actually pays in a reasonable percentage into my pension each month, so I decided to contribute nearly the double the amount they do to try and build my pension pot. I don’t understand my pension, but decided when I started my current job, that I would pay in quite high now so that I never knew anything else. I don’t know for certain it’s the best plan, but I don’t notice it at the moment, so I feel like it’s the right thing to do. Each year, I try to have a meeting with the pension’s adviser, and I think about whether the amount i’m contributing is right for me, but without the understanding that goes with it I am going in a little blindly at the moment.
  • Bookish Savings: I read absolutely loads last year, and bought a shed load of books, so when I was thinking about savings bits of money here and there, I thought about combining it with my love of books. How have I done this? Well, I’ve created a savings jar for the following bookish activities:
    • Every time I read a book I am going to add £1 to my savings jar
    • If it is a re-read, I am going to add an extra £1 to my savings jar
    • Every time I haul a book I am going to add £1 to my savings jar
    • Every time I partake in a reading challenge/readathon I am going to add £1 to my savings jar
  • Untidy Savings: Every time I tidy my room (I know this should be done more often than it is) I put all lose money found on floors/side boards/in clothing, into a savings jar. I also do this with loose money that is found in coat pockets and handbags etc. If I didn’t know or care about it being there before, I won’t notice it being added into a savings account now.
  • Gringotts: My parents bought me a Harry Potter money box decorated with Gringotts emblems. Every since, I sometimes put in loose change from my purse, or money I was given for a birthday that I haven’t spent, or money left from a previous holiday that I didn’t spend into this jar to have as extra spends on my next holiday.
  • Avios/Virgin Flying Miles/Card Rewards: I think you probably all know that I love to travel, that I love books, and I have discovered working in travel makes you realise that there are ways of saving for future holidays/purchases  that doesn’t just involve saving money. So, wherever possible I am going to try and earn Avios points, Virgin Flying miles, and any other sort of rewards that I can to make my future purchases as low costs as I possibly can! Let’s be honest, this is common sense, but if I can do it, I will save myself a lot in the future too!

I’m not that short of money, and I have quite a good track record for saving, but probably don’t save as much money as I could do if I put my mind to it, so 2018 is the year that I put my mind to it! How do you save money? What method do you use?

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