I have always worked hard since I was 16 years old to help out with the bills at home, Mum needed the extra help, and for a long time I didn’t really spend it on myself. I am still the same now some 12 year later, and I can actually say that I do save my pennies, especially with having had two jobs; I am now in a comfortable position! Saying that though, I now have got to the point that when I do treat myself, or use my money for things, I start to feel guilty and then save extra hard the following month. Maybe I am a little too strict haha. In the past year I have really knuckled down to close the distance with David, and thankfully all the overtime and long days and weeks have paid off! I have been known to work a 14 day straight between my two jobs just because the hours were going… madness I know.. and due to my health it never did me many favours but now I smile because.. David and I are closing the distance in less then 9 days!!!
When I think about it, saving money to go on trips or towards closing the distance has never been a chore.. it has meant I’ve missed some days I could of spent with David online, but when I get home all stressy and tired, I know thats another days wage into the pay packet for that month, then more money in my account to save up. I guess I have always been that way inclined as my Dad left home when I was 11 and I grew up seeing my Mum struggle for money at times, hence why I got a job as soon as I could.
There have been a few things I have done on top of working to help me save money for this occasion, and as the suggestion for this prompt included giving tips on how to help others, I decided to write a few points down, and hopefully they’ll help and inspire:
1 – Have a clear out
This one has only become clear in the last month. I have found so much in my cupboards, on my bookcase and under my bed in clear tubs that I seriously did not want or need! I ended up taking way over 100 items to CEX and getting some money for it all. I know not everything is going to be sellable, I have given to charity as well, but decluttering in your life will help.
2 – Be organised and budget
Plan your time and your money well. Each month I know how much I am paid roughly from each job, before commission and overtime is paid, and I budget purely on that. That includes my rent, my travel, my coffees [I have one a week and still feel bad for buying take out haha] etc. I find it helps, because whatever is left over can be put away with the visits in mind. That’s not to say that if I do earn a little extra one month I don’t treat myself to a top, or a magazine, but I do try my hardest to resist even with the wiggle room. I did go as far as creating a budget spreadsheet on Excel some time ago.. haha
3 – Have a separate account/money bank
I ended up with two accounts over the years, mainly because I wanted to keep my student loan money and my first jobs wages separate. When I starter really saving hard to close the distance, I ended up making one account purely for my savings and making sure I only dipped into it when needed. It is a nice feeling seeing that account build up and up.. and if you are unable to have an account in that manner, even a piggy/money bank that you can slip notes into will have the same effect.
4 – Earn money through hobbies
If I only had the damned time, but I have looked into Etsy and Ebay a few times. I know not everyone is into crafty things like Crochet or Card making, Loom Band creations.. but if you do have a hobby that you could maybe turn into money, think of all those pennies that would go into the fund?
5 – Food and Meal Menu’s
Now I started to do this to help me lose some weight [2 stone and counting!] but I soon realised that actually, it was helping me save money, because I was budgeting for it, and I wasn’t just spending out on food when I had tons at home. It does mean spending a little more of my time in the evenings preparing lunch, maybe, for the next day, but having a menu from Sunday-Friday even, using whats in the fridge and freezer, Saturday being your off day. I also find that a lot of expensive branded stuff isn’t always as nice as the cheaper options.. of course.. not everything tastes fantastic, sometimes you do have to buy for taste, but experiment! You never know!
Well! I hope these points come in handy for some people! Please comment and let me know of other ways you have found to help save money.. and good luck!