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I’m a student and so, of course, money has always been somewhat elusive. I’m always relying desperately on birthdays and Christmas for an injection of cash that would disappear just as soon as it arrived in my bank account (and that’s if it even made it there). But I’ve finally taken a step into the real world, pulled up my big girl pants, and got a part time job that I can fit around studying. I have to admit, getting a regular income went to my head slightly in the first few weeks, but now that I’m semi-used to seeing actual money in my bank account, I’ve decided to make another big girl decision and start saving. But who knew it would be so overwhelming?
Firstly, I need to start a rainy day fund. Founder of MoneySavingExpert.com, Martin Lewis says that you should have an emergency fund that could cover you for at least ‘six months worth of bills’ – this is a pretty large amount for the average person. Next, I’d like to start saving for a deposit on a house, which needs to amount to at least £10,000… but you’ve gotta start somewhere, right? Of course, I’d like to save for a summer holiday for me and my partner, so that’s going to be around £2,000 plus. Then we’d also like to save for our Vegas wedding one day and maybe some other things along the way…
I know it can’t just be me that’s overwhelmed by the thought of saving for so many things. Seeing twenty quid in a savings account marked ‘House Deposit’ seems to do everything but motivate me. How do people do it? How do you successfully save for everything you might want or need in your life?
Separate your savings
One great tip is something I do already – separate your savings into different accounts for different goals. This way you can pick and choose which savings account you’re going to contribute to each month, this way they can all steadily grow together.
Another way to make it all feel much less overwhelming is to prioritise. Say you want to save up for a holiday this year and also your wedding that isn’t till 2019, still continue to add to your wedding fund but perhaps put larger amounts into the holiday fund when you can as that occasion will arrive sooner. Then, once you’ve reached your goal and successfully gone on your well earned holiday, you can get back to concentrating on the wedding fund.
Maybe even try saving money the old fashioned way, like in a tin under your bed. I purchased one that can’t be opened without a tin opener, and every now and then I raid my purse, my boyfriend’s wallet and the back pockets of our jeans for small change and add it to the tin, hide it away, and forget about it. Last year, we ended up saving £250 from this, which was a great unexpected bonus!
So yes, I’m new to the savings world and still very easily overwhelmed by it all, but I’m eager to learn and do my research to find out about the best savings accounts, tips to save money, and how to resist blowing it all on a pair of shoes that would probably just hurt my feet anyway.
If you want to spend it, save it or make it, I’m here to help. I'm the Undercover Money Reporter and I’ll tell you how you should really manage your money.