I know nothing about investing, or saving for retirement or even credit scores. Why don’t they teach us any of this school? Well, I have my theories why not, but that’s for another day. My current financial status is pretty dire, as I’ve spend a lot of this year not working full-time and having a stable, regular income. While I’m lucky enough to live with my parents at the moment and don’t have any major expenditures, I need to get myself to a place where I am financially literate and stable, so that one day I can save properly, start investing and sort myself out for retirement.
My current set up is an “Everyday” account, which I use for all my daily purchases like shopping, parking, etc, and then my “Secondary” account, where my dividends go into and where I put money for savings that I can access easily. I also have a savings account at the Nationwide building society which I’ve had since I was a child, but I rarely dip into that unless it’s for a big holiday or something that I desperately need.
I know that these four small changes below aren’t going to make me a millionaire, or even begin to set future me up for retirement, but they will enable me to get a hold on where my money is going first, before I start messing around with anything more serious.
Always Take Packed Lunches + Water
This was one of my goals earlier on in the summer, but I still want to keep at it. While I do often bring my water bottle out with me, often on long days I completely forget, and then I have to waste money and use single-use plastic when I really, really don’t want to. Then I have to use double the plastic and spend even more money when I get hungry, so it’s a lose-lose situation. By remembering to bring lunch and my water bottle, I can cut down on spending extra money where I definitely don’t need to be.
Transfer Money To Savings Every Pay Day (And Keep It There)
While I’m quite good at putting money into my Secondary Account when it comes in, I often end up taking a bit back out again and spending it, which defeats the whole point of having a second account. I like to have a current account where I can keep immediate savings, just in case of any emergencies or rainy days, as I hate having to go down to the bank and physically take the money out of my building society account.
Track All My Income + Outgoings
I’ve been working with a Google Doc set up (as you can see below) for a couple of months, but I do often forget to put the little things in. I need to start inputting absolutely everything, from ASOS orders to parking. Hopefully this will help me see where I can easily cut my spending and make me accountable at the end of the month when I cry that “I’m soooo broke!”
At Least Two No-Spend Days Per Week
When I’m living at home, this is easy, but as soon as I live by myself/with flatmates, this gets tough. There’s always something I’ve forgotten to get at the supermarket, or lunch to be bought when I’ve forgotten to take it to work with me. There’s unexpected bills, spontaneous drinks and even books that beg me to buy them from shop windows. I want to get to a point where I’m having at least two no-spend days per week and actually stick with it.
Do you have any saving tips for me? Let me know!