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Saving money and planning ahead

I always feel like I am constantly in battle with myself, I want to save money and save for the future, but there is also so much I would love to pick up and splurge on that it can be a struggle some months to not go and do a huge shopping spree with all my spare money, and other months I want to save every bit I can and not spend. Over the past few years I have saved up and bought some amazing things, and I thought I would share how I save every month in order to give you some ideas and inspiration if you are looking to save money, no matter how much you want to save. 

One thing I did last year and have been doing this year is to buy one of the money box tins that is like a baked bean tin. The ones you have to cut open to get into it and I decided I would just fill it and cut it open when full. The first year I did this I managed to get just under £300 out of the tin and to do that I save any change I had just at the end of the week or the end of the month and it took me about a year and half to fill the tin, but I wasn't too strict on it, and I saved everything except 1p's 2p's and £2 coins, I didn't want a tin full of pennies, so saved the separately, and £2 coins my husband would swap me for £1 coins as he saves £2 in a jar and then I can put the £1's in my jar. This year I am saving just £1 coins, I hope that this will help to have a lot more in the tin by the time I am finished, and I have been slightly helped along the way as my brother owed me £100 for something I bought on eBay for him and so he paid me in £1 coins and I put most of it in my tin as it was right by the end of the month and could afford to put a chunk of it in my tin.

I sat down and really looked at my income and outgoings, I made a list of every single outgoing I had to pay, this is things like food shopping, gas and electric, rent or mortgage, that kind of thing. I then did my monthly income minus the sum of all my bills and necessary outgoings together, this gave me a final figure of 'spare' money I have a month. I then decided how much I want to put aside every month as a set figure. This could be £50, it could be £300 it all depends what you earn and what you have spare. I always like to put a little bit less in my savings than I feel like I should, so for instance, if I wanted to save £100 a month, I might put £80 in and aim to have a spare £20 at the end of the month to put in on the next pay day. I then divided it by 4, I get paid monthly and there are roughly 4 weeks a month so that gave me a 'allowance' to spend each week if I was to spend it all. I feel if I am still able to stumble into Superdrug and buy a lipstick I see and like I want to be able to feel like I can still shop and buy things and not be too restricted on my spending as if I restrict myself that's when I want to move it back from my savings into my account. 

Another thing I do is live 'pay check to pay check', this sounds like the exact thing saving should stop us doing, and something we all wish to avoid, but hear me out. I pay my bills, put some into my savings, have some to spend over the month and then on the day before pay day, or the day of pay day I put any spare money, weather it be a pound or £50 into my savings, meaning I only ever have one months wage, or whatever is left of it in my account at one time. I do this because if one month I was to say have £100 left it would sway my spending in the next month as I would feel like I have £100 more wages, then the month after I would miss the extra £100. I am honestly just using random figures as I don't want to tell you my full spending habits, but I think these figures highlight it well. I then do feel like say I put £50 of left over money from last month into my savings, but then an unexpected bill comes up, or I need something and have to go into my savings, that £50 was never properly allocated to my savings as I could have spent it anyway in the previous month and I feel less guilty if I do have to go into my savings, which does happen. 

My husband and I bought our first house at 20 and the saving we had to do to make that happen was insane! We honestly sacrificed so much to save, I was at uni and in my third year I lived at home to avoid accommodation costs and commuted, my husband was working and put so much money aside while living at his parents and we just piled as much into our savings as we could and cut out as much as we could that we didn't need. I am so glad we did and to be home owners is something I thought we still wouldn't have achieved at 24, so its been incredible! in 2016 I spent the whole year saving for my wedding, I handed the bills over to my husband so he took care of that and I saved up for the wedding, it was easier than me paying half the bills and him paying half and then him paying half the wedding and me paying half the wedding, and I have to say some months I scraped by and felt like I was so poor, I couldn't meet my friend and pay £3 for a Costa some months, but our wedding, though I despised planning, (let me know if you want to know if you want to know more) I loved the day and the savings were all worth it, and while I'm glad I don't have to be so strict with it now. 

One of my best savings advice is just save what you can, even £10 a month will grow and add up and its all about doing what you can and having a little but, if you don't feel you can save a lot, or you get tempted to dip into your savings, why not try a tin like I mentioned earlier, they are about £1 I got mien from the Pound shop and I think it was a great buy as I find it so satisfying knowing I am saving even tiny amounts, and you could even label the tin. Holiday fund, handbag fun, or even something like driving lessons and then start taking lessons when its full and you have some savings to start lessons with. I don't want this to sound like I am saying you should save loads, or anything like that, my husband and I have worked incredibly hard to save and get to where we are, but we still have months where we feel like we are skint, and some months we feel like we have loads spare, its all relative. Sometimes its someone birthday and you have to spend money on that, there is Christmas which is always quite costly! I have really taken to saving money and get so satisfied seeing my savings grow, it spurs me on every month and when I go to buy things it makes me question do I want it, or do I want to save the money instead? I said on Instagram I have a crazy goal I want to hit with my savings, and I wan you to bare in mind this may not happen, and it is a crazy one. I want to save £30,000 by the time I hit 30. I have just under 6 years to do that, 5 year and 11 months to be exact and I just did the calculation of what I need to save to hit that and I'm not so sure this was a wise goal, but hey, if I don't hit it, at least I tried. If I am still blogging at 30, I will show you if I hit that goal, maybe I'll do sporadic updates every now and again with updates on this goal over the years if you want to, as I definitely feel like I am going to fail.....

Let me know your best tips for saving money in the comments as I love having new suggestions and tips on money, also if you want to share when you are saving up for, let me know in the comments as I would love to know! I have to say the money I want to save has no purpose yet, but it would be a pretty good deposit if we move house, or would be a great store of money if or when we have children! 

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