Sunday, 17 May 2015

LIFE: Do you have savings?

I announced to all of my facebook mentioned the other day to a couple of friends that the Lad and I have been accepted for a mortgage. This sparked the two sided financial debate that my situation has riled in almost all social scenarios.

In the red corner you have the non-savers. The believers of 'if you have it spend it.' The every weekend party-goers. The flashy new car drivers. The we've just been to Tenerife for the fourth time this year-ers.

In the black corner you have the savers. The 'lets sit in and watch xfactor' people. The 'it gets me from a to b car' drivers. The Scarborough day trippers.

When I first started really saving a portion of my wage every month, it wasn't simple. I was working two part time jobs, closely followed by me securing a third and my wage changed due to the amounts of overtime I was a) offered by each company and b) how many work hours I could fit into one day.

I started with just £50 a month. Judging by the statements, I probably only saved £30 a month after withdrawals, but I always, always put a lump sum of £50 in. And if I didn't have it in my current account then I looked at it as if was already spent, unless I really needed it. And in those days, I did.

Now, I put in £300 a month. Again, some months (especially around Christmas) I probably only save £100, but I've put the effort in to make sure that I budget efficiently. It wasn't that efficient, but I don't beat myself up. I still saved £100.

Sometimes, I push myself and put in £500. Those months are nothing months - no birthdays, no days out, no holidays. I literally do nothing and spend nothing.

As I begin to earn more, I'll rise the amount I put in. I think, financial advisors say to save between 10% and 20% of your earnings each month as it's a realistic sum. Like training to run marathons working by the time not the distance. If that works for you, then do it! I'm a distance girl, I like to see the figures and see how much I can raise them by in one go. It works for me.

If you're wanting to save, try it. Open an online account and transfer some money in. Set up a standing order (there are really helpful How To's all over the internet). It's surprising how easy it is to forget about it through the months and before you know it, you're a saver and you're now sitting in the black corner!

NOTE: I researched this topic and many websites used the 'saving for retirement' title. At first I bypassed them, but after reading a few, they're very true and very eye opening. I'm saving for a goal of a house, but what happens after the house? A wedding? Babies? All further costs - so how am I going to juggle these financial issues? Before or after I land in the shit? Hmm. Well worth a think about.

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