When Steve and I decided to live together we had the decision of two things to choose between: saving for a mortgage or saving for a travel trip. After weighing up the pros and cons, we decided we wanted to go travelling first because that works out better for us.
So after the previous couple of months that included a holiday, two birthdays and lots of summery meals out, we’ve decided to really knuckle down and start putting away our money!
When I was working out our budgets, monthly spends and outgoings it all felt really daunting to me. How on earth were we going to manage to save enough money!? It was a little tricky to work out as we both have different spending habits to try and cut down on. For example, one of us owns a car (so a lot of money goes on that) but then the other one eats out for lunch during the week so a lot of money also goes on that. But we’ve come up with some ground rules so that hopefully we can reach our goal quickly!
- Clothes buying ban – Haha, I’m going to struggle with this one. But the truth is, neither of us need any more new clothes so unless it’s absolutely necessary we’re going to stop buying clothes. Unless something like my boots split and I desperately need new ones. Or unless we have a voucher. (Although the other exception is buying clothes *for* travelling. Like vest tops!)
- “Goodies” buying ban – No more cushion covers, little knick knack or other homely buys for me now. Basically no more buying unnecessary things. *sigh*.
- Stick to your weekly budget – My personal plan is to take out my weekly budget in cash so that it’s a physical remind of how much I have left to spend that week. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and this works so well for me, as it lets me actually watch the money go and be mindful of what it’s spent on!
- Spare change to go in the piggy bank – my bestie recommended this idea and it seems to be going well for her and her boyfriend so we’re stealing it. 😉 The idea is that any spare change will soon add up and we can spend it on a treat (like dinner out) or we could put it towards our travels. I’ve been doing this and the weekly budget for the last couple of weeks and I’ve already managed to put £15 in there!On the other hand, if you’re good with watching your online banking (like Steve is) then you might not feel the need to take out your weekly budget. Steve just watches his balances and then transfers the left over money straight into his savings, so that can work out equally as well!
- No more takeaways – As people who appreciate nothing more than a decent domino’s, this might be tricky.
- Saying “no” – I love going on meals out with the girls or a cinema date but this is costly. Sometimes you just need to think of the bigger picture and say “no” to the meals out, or suggest cheaper options! Or just head out to meet everyone afterwards for a couple of hours. There’s no reason to miss out on the fun times, but equally don’t flitter your money around!
So far we’ve managed to stick to our guns on a lot of these, but we’ll see how effective they are in the long run…