Handling my finances in 2019
Money makes the world go round, am I right?
I've never been great with money. I think it's because I never had much of it growing up, which meant I often couldn't buy the same things my friends were. Once I got a job and started earning my own money, I was a spendaholic. I'm ashamed to say that at 23, I have no savings to speak of. None. Every month, I am fortunate enough to have a lot of disposable income. More than I could ever have imagined of having at this age. Yet every month, I'm left with nothing by the next pay day. Where the heck is it all going?
Now that both Jonny and I have a full time job with an incredible combined income, we want to make 2019 the year we start saving for a house, with a goal of saving at least £12,000 between us by the end of the year. To do that, I'm going to have to get used to having about half of my usual disposable income. But if I currently use up all my disposable income without a second thought, how am I going to be able to do this without struggling?
It's something I really want to work on in 2019 - handling my finances and getting better with money, learning to live on less than I do now in order to save for my future.
Looking through my bank statements I can see similar trends - or, rather, problems - straight away. Small purchases on my card on my lunch break on things I really don't need - post it notes, snacks, pick n mix, notebooks, candles. All bought just because I'm bored on my break, work in town and don't like leaving a shop without buying something - lol.
Food is another huge issue. Like I just said, snacks and pick n mix on my lunch break take up a massive quantity of my cash, along with takeaways, dinners out, buying additional food throughout the week from the shop up the road despite doing a weekly shop... it seems like small quantities of money at the time but all these £1's and £2's quickly add up to a whole lot more.
Finally, clothes. Throughout 2018 I changed my style, my weight and body shape changed and I went on lots of holidays - all of which resulted in a whole lot of new clothes being bought.
I actually spent more on stupid, random crap and food than on holidays, which surprised me a lot because when you think of the cost of a holiday and then think of the cost of a nice candle or a packet of sweets, it just doesn't seem to make sense! But like I've said... small prices keep on adding up and resulting in more than you think!
I need to be more conscious of what I'm buying
I need to stop making stupid purchases on my lunch break at work. I can either avoid town or just not take my purse with me, so then I physically can't buy anything! I also need to think about buying additional food for Jonny and I during the week - are our cupboards really empty or do we just not fancy what we have in them right now? We can definitely be a bit more mindful of the food we're buying, especially when we seem to end up wasting so much of it (food waste is definitely something else I want to work on in 2019...).
I need to keep track of my spending
It feels like disposable income is endless when you don't check your bank balance, you can tap away with contactless payments and you can forget that you're actually spending any physical money. I often forget to even check my bank statement and then when I do, am met with a pretty awful shock like, how dare all that money I've been spending actually come out of my account?! Rude.
In 2019, I'm going to check my statement weekly. I'm going to write down what I spend too, to hold myself accountable. I'll write it down somewhere Jonny can see, so he can also hold me accountable if he see's me spending £27 on candles or something ridiculous like that. I'm not saying I won't ever treat myself, but I'm definitely going to be keeping an eye on my spending more.
I need to split my money sensibly
I once saw someone say that your money should be split three ways - you should save a third of it, spend a third of it and invest a third of it. I don't have any investments to make right now, so I'm definitely going to split my money 50/50 after my bills have been paid. I'll save half, across two different savings accounts (a LISA for a house, and just another savings account for the rest, as LISA's have limitations as to how much you can put in) and then spend the rest. Anything I don't spend, I'll put into one of my three savings accounts - the LISA, the other 'house fund' savings account or my own private savings account.
2019 is the year I get responsible with money, because it's about damn time!! I won't not be going on holidays or days out - but if I do that, I just have to accept I won't have money for other things, like weekly take aways! It's about making choices if I want to save as much as I do this year. Obviously, I could save less and spend more, but I don't want to! I've lived lavishly for the last year and so now I'm going to settle down a little and save more!
As they say... look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves, right?
Do you have any money tips? Send them my way!