If you are anything like me, saving money seems like an impossible task. As soon as I see something, I feel possessed to buy it. It’s a terrible way of going around things, as I feel as if as soon as I put my mind on something shopping wise, I simply cannot stop myself from buying it. No matter if I have thought about it an hour, week or month, it will not leave my mind until I buy it. Why do I do it? I don’t know. Likeliness is, if it is not an item of clothing, I will probably use it once and get bored of it. Yeah, I’m one of those people. I wish I wasn’t. Terrible habit.
Recently, I’ve been trying hard to save money. At the very adult age of twenty, I now have full responsibility for my future (not that I didn’t the last 20 years of my life), but now it seems more serious and looming. The importance of finding a house and the best money-making job seems to be all the craze right now, as well as asking what my plans are for university. Those who ask, have pretty much a similar idea to me- no idea. Sometimes, its kind of disheartening. Going through all this time to get a degree and in the end, not even knowing what you want to do with it.
Anyway, this summer, I’ve been able to work! Its at a factory, and I do absolutely hate it, but you gotta do what you gotta do. A summer job is what it is, just for the summer. I keep thinking to myself, you’re not there forever! You’ll be done in a few weeks and you can go and finish third year and finally do whatever you choose to do. As I’ve been living at home, its been a lot easier to save money. I save a good 75-80% of my paycheck during the summer to have something in my savings for emergencies, but doing this on a budget (such as at university) is significantly harder and can seem daunting.
At university, I worked in events management and promotions. It was not as fancy as it sounds. I was simply the person behind the tills on events, making sure they were promoted out in the street and letting people know the information on them, too. It didn’t pay well, but it was better than nothing coming in. From this, I tried to also save a similar amount, knowing that my student finance also helped me keep myself afloat. Having a job at university helped me a lot! Even if the pay wasn’t the best, all in all it was a part time job, so my expectations aren’t that high. It is nice to have some disposable income to do something with, whether its save it, book a holiday, or whatever else you decide to do with it.
Saving at university, especially seems impossible. I constantly need something, whether something has ripped, broken or ran out. Food goes off quickly if you don’t eat it, paper for lectures runs out even faster, and something is ALWAYS broken. And of course, rent, funding nights out, taxis, going home and more, university sucks money out of your bank before it even gets there. 70p for crisps here, £3 on a meal deal there, and you don’t even realise that the money is gone. One day the money is there, and the next you have £5.10 in your bank account not knowing where it has all disappeared to.
So, I’ve been trying to find ways to try and save some money. Initially, I tried to budget my loan for the month, to the break it down into weeks and then days. I stuck to it for about a week, two at best most times, and then it would get out of control again. I do not know why I don’t have any self-control. It gave me about £3 a day to work with, but obviously between doing weekly shops and paying for the bus, it never worked out. I then tried to do it weekly, and at the end of the week would put what I didn’t spend into my savings account. It was all the same. It really didn’t work for me.
Instead, since it had failed me so many times before, I decided to try to find other methods of saving money. I have found a system where you save up 1p continuously and for every day you add one more p. For example, I started doing this on the first of July. On the first of July, I saved 1p, on the second, 2p, and you go so on and so forth for however long you want. After a year, you should accumulate £670.37. not bad, right? You could also, alter it if a daily amount is getting too much. For example, for myself, by next March, I will be saving over £2 a day, and if it gets too much, I can always alter it and go back to 1p and simply start again. But that also means that you would have to alter what your weeks savings are, as you won’t be receiving the same amount as you did if you planned it. Same goes for if you want to raise that amount up (if things are going well with money), you could always start just putting £1 in every day, and at the end of it get £365 for the year. The options are really never ending, but as long as you have a plan in place, you’re pretty much sorted for whatever you choose to do.
I feel as if this method is fool proof. You’re not sending out ridiculous amounts of money from your bank each week (just like I used to do) and its not that much of a hit, its almost unnoticeable. Sending big blocks of money never works because you’re keeping yourself skint for the following week, to then send a lump sum again. It then makes you re-send that money to your current account, and it’s a vicious, never ending cycle of going back and forth and scooping out your savings. I keep a sheet on excel of how much I save each week to make sure I transfer myself the right about of money each week. It makes it easier to track and make sure I’m sending the right amounts of money each week to keep to my goal.
I use a spreadsheet on excel to keep track of how much I save. I total up how much I should save every week, and then add all of next weeks savings on top, and usually pay up on the Sunday. I then block the week out on my spreadsheet in another colour, so I know how far I am in and how much I am due. I’ve found it easier this way as it is so much easier to keep track of, and if I choose to change something halfway through, I am able to easily. It feels so easy and refreshing to keep track of it that way, as I don’t have to wildly find the loose sheets of paper with all the sums written on, and then spend hours once again re-writing it when I’ve lost it.
Overall, money saving is a daunting but extremely important task. As much as I wish it didn’t, the world revolves around money. Buying houses, making investments, to simple living is all about money, and you can’t really do much without it. My goal is to have enough money next summer to travel to a new country (this year I’m going to Germany and The Netherlands!) and to be able to see something new. From there on, I would love to go and explore Asia and work my way through the world! A girl can dream, right?
I hope this can help some people save money, just as I’m trying to help myself. If anyone has any questions, or needs a template, feel free to contact me! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!