‘Saving in the 21st century is near enough impossible’, ‘wages haven’t gone up to meet the rise in cost of living’, ‘you’ll never save enough for a deposit’. All things I’ve heard from just about everyone that I’ve ever told I’m saving for a house deposit.
And whilst I completely agree to all of these points, I also completely disagree. Yes it is hard to save, yes property is beyond expensive, but it’s not impossible. Ben and I have been saving for the best part of 3 years for the deposit on our house, and we’ve finally saved enough to start looking at houses (EEK). If there’s something you really want, it’s time to put on your big girl pants and work for it. But for those who don’t know where to start, or just need help staying on track – I got choo boo.
Whatever you’re saving for, whether it’s a house deposit, to go travelling, or saving up to treat yourself to something out of your usual price range. You have to make it your focus. As lovely as it is splashing the cash, going to fancy holidays, having lovely watches, bags, cars, whatever – is it more important than what you’re saving for? I’m 25 years old, the majority of my friends and people my age have or have done all of the above. But I will be one of the first that has my own home. And to me, I can do all the other stuff when I’m settled in my house. It’ll be Ben and I’s space, our little sanctuary, that we know we’ve really hustled for.
It’s silly to say; ‘right I get £x amount every month, I’m going to put ¾ in my savings account and I’ll live off the other ¼’ – because you’ll get incredibly bored, you’ll resent saving and you’ll chuck your cares into the ‘fuck it bucket’. And you’ll have to start all over. The key to long term saving is to allow yourself to have some wiggle room. Put away an amount that will change your disposable income, but you can still go out every now and then or treat yourself to a little something in between pay days. Whilst saving is the main goal, you simply can’t work, save and watch Netflix. You’ll get cabin fever, trust me.
Take a long hard look at your current account on payday, as it’s not going to be as pretty in a couple of minutes time. For me this is so important, and yet so obvious. Put the money you’ve allocated to your savings straight in on payday. That way it’s almost like you never had it. You won’t feel as cheated and it’ll give you a little insight into what it’ll actually be like paying bills (sad right?). And another obvious one, DO NOT PUT YOUR HAND IN THE COOKIE JAR. It’s so tempting to just dip in and out of your savings, but I can guarantee when you say ‘I’ll put it back’ you’re a filthy liar. It’s off limits until you’ve reached your goal amount.
Trying to be organised with what money you have left is also fundamental to not losing your marbles whilst saving. Make the most of deals, vouchers, codes, everything. If you decide you want to go out for dinner, look up to see if they have any deals on. Buy your travel in advance as it’s usually a little discounted. Do online comparisons if there’s something you want to buy; i.e. if you wanted to buy a lipstick, look on FeelUnique, Cult Beauty, Debenhams or a simple Google search and see where you can get it the cheapest. Never pay the first price on anything. It just makes good sense, and y’know with whatever money you have left to play with, you’re going to want to make the most of it.
It’s going to be hard. You’re going to want to chuck it in. But just think of the accomplishment you’ll feel when you get your house keys, board that airplane or use that special item for the first time. It’s gonna be SWEEEEEEEET, and you’ll forget about all the boring nights you spent getting mad at Netflix. ‘Are you still watching?’ of course I am Netflix, I didn’t come here to be judged.