As I mentioned in my post the other day, in the past few months some unavoidable bills mean I have had to borrow a little bit of money, meaning I’ve found myself in a small amount of debt again. It’s nothing major but, having been in such a horrendous position in the past with my finances, even owing a tiny bit weighs heavily on my mind.
Whilst working out my financial plan to get this paid off in the coming months, it hit me with a mighty WHACK – I’m 30 years old and I don’t have any savings. Nothing. Not a bean. And that really bothers me.
Add to this the fact that Ben and I have set ourselves a deadline of 2020 to save up for and buy our own home, and I decided it was time to formulate a money saving plan. I’m not going to talk about our plans to save up enough for a deposit for a house today, but something much more manageable and – potentially – something that can be tweaked for different people depending on their own circumstances.
This savings plan has been put together using a few tips from my days of paying back my debts and utilising an idea I saw floating around on Facebook that I decided to kick in to action. It’s not going to be big money, but it will be enough that when we get to the end of the year, there should be a nice little balance of cash which can be used for those little extras in life that we sometimes need to find money for – Christmas, vets bills, or new tyres for the car. It’s these little things that come along and surprise us, and can really make getting through the month difficult, so to have a savings account sitting there and ready for action will really make a difference to our lives and hopefully remove any potential monetary panics further down the line.
Save All £2 Coins
This is one I saw mentioned by a friend of mine and immediately thought, “Yep! I’m having that!” Last year her and her husband saved every single £2 coin they got and put it into a pot. When she counted it up at the end of the year it came to over £300! Obviously this will vary depending on how many £2 coins happen to cross your path, but it’s definitely worth doing!
Empty Your Purse Every Payday
This is one of my old debt-clearance tips and is surprisingly effective. Every payday, whatever change you have in your purse, put into your savings pot. Some months it will be a few pence, other months it may be a £20 note with a few other coins, but by the end of the year you should have a nice little pile of cash that would otherwise we burning a hole in your pocket. This small change is the sort of money we spend without really thinking and usually on things we don’t really need!
Choose Another Denomination To Save
Another tip from my debt-clearance, I used to save 1p, 2p, 5p and 10p coins throughout the month. Any time I had them in my purse, I would take them out and add them to the savings pot. It’s surprising how much these little bits and pieces add up to over the course of 12-months!
365-Day Penny Challenge
This is one that’s been floating around on social media channels quite a lot over the past few weeks, so you may well have seen it, but if not prepare to be amazed because it is GENIUS and I can’t believe it’s only this year it seems to have become popular! The premise is that each day, for the entire 366-days of this year (it’s a leap year after all) you save the appropriate number of pennies equivalent to the day of the year it is – for example:
Day 1 – save £0.01
Day 2 – save £0.02
Day 100 – save £1.00
Day 366 – save £3.66
By the end of the year, this will add up to a grand total of £667.96!
I will be doing all of these and guesstimate that, if all goes to plan, I should get to the end of the year with around £850.00 – although it would be great to have more than that, obviously! I’ve also given Ben his instructions to do the same, so with his added 366-Day Challenge monies, we could be looking at saving £1500.00! Not bad, eh?
Obviously, you should only save what you can afford but the great thing about this way of saving money is that it’s flexible and can be bent and shaped to fit your own circumstances. Save as little or as much as you can each month, and if you find one month you can’t save anything that’s no big deal – that’s what’s so brilliant, you can make this saving scheme your own!
If you have any other great savings ideas I’d love to hear them, I’m always looking for new ways to squirrel away a little cash for rainy days!