Half way there but mentally drained!

Right after dealing with quite a few personal issues last year I got my act together and started building an emergency fund.
I read into it and decided 6 months of expenses is a sensible figure. This equates to £7000. I feel having an emergency fund is especially important because I have a mortgage and being single means there is only one source of income. If I were to loose my job I would be in a mess.
My job is 9-5 and the only way to save was to get a second job. I have now reached the £3500 mark which took 6 months.
I continue to pay into a pension. I started when I was 24 so I took the half your age rule so 12% of salary is still being paid into Aviva. I am now 28.
I feel as if I am mentally drained and all I do is work. No social life and I'm shattered. I have been living off caffeine:(
Has anyone been in a similar situation before and how they managed 2 jobs without going nuts?
Is there any other ways people can add to an emergency fund rather than working crazy hours a week?


  • Kendall80
    Kendall80 Forumite Posts: 952
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    12% is quite a bit to pay into your pension I would think. You'll no doubt benefit from it greatly when you come to draw it but if it had been say 6% would it make a difference to your life? Im 35 and only have 8% going into mine - although I do have other savings plans.

    Yes an emergency fund is always a good idea. Are you able to make any savings on your outgoings. I always find this a much easier option in lean times.

    Getting a working partner would help you immensely. I'm not saying that's a good reason to go out and get hitched but a little bit of love, some extra money coming in - everyones a winner! :)

    Make your emergency fund work as hard as possible - put it in 5% current accounts. Maybe stooze a 0% purchases credit card for a few extra £100 a year if you are good with that kind of thing. Every little bit extra does make a difference.

    If you are getting down with work and finances its always good to get some exercise - walk, ride, weights etc. Almost always improves my mood.
  • mgdavid
    mgdavid Forumite Posts: 6,705
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    very good so far. Maybe now is the time to ease off on the second job, and take out insurance to cover basic living expenses in case you get ill or injured and cannot work. Depending on your location, industry and profession it should be possible to get another job relatively quickly so don't worry unduly.
    The questions that get the best answers are the questions that give most detail....
  • Ryan_Futuristics
    Ryan_Futuristics Forumite Posts: 795 Forumite
    Have you considered starting a small business?

    I know not everyone's cut out for it, but there are books out there that can give you ideas

    Tim Ferris' The 4-Hour Work Week may contain some slightly out-of-date advice (although it was only published in 2007) but I think it's very good at illuminating a certain entrepreneurial mindset and giving you confidence to go and try things out

    I've not worked a day job since 2001 - most of this year I've just been managing my funds and investing (hardly a full-time job)

    If you've got a passion, perhaps think whether there's a service or product you can offer people related to that

    It may be a silly sounding analogy, but I always think when you look at independent filmmakers (the amount of money they'll raise to get a project off the ground) or heroin addicts (the amount they manage get - legally or illegally - to support their habit): when you've really got the motivation, it's amazing how much even non-business-geniuses can make
  • PenguinJim
    PenguinJim Forumite Posts: 844
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    I was writing a long post about financial independence and diversity of investments and a 20-year-plan blah blah blah, but it sounds like you just need a week off.

    Use some of your jobs' holiday allowance. And blow through a couple of hundred from your Emergency Fund. :)

    (If it was me, I'd do two weeks: five days in a quiet cottage enjoying the peace, then a week of high-octane activities, and an extra day or two back home to catch up on housework / enjoy a movie marathon.)

    Also, sell all of your useless rubbish which we all cannot avoid accumulating over the years. :)
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  • edinburgher
    edinburgher Forumite Posts: 13,357
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    The Christmas I graduated I found myself panicked, without a real job and underemployed in my part-time job that I had hope would become full-time. I ended up working a 55 hour week in 3 different part time jobs (music shop/poncy home fittings shop/data entry). That wasn't fun :D

    It does sound like you need a break, but it also sounds like you need to make some more money.

    For minimal effort ways to make a few thousand pounds in a year, look at the Matched Betting board, or consider taking in a lodger? If you're already paying the mortgage, it will reduce your costs, is tax free up to a point and might become a built in way to socialise (if you get on with your lodger).
  • kangoora
    kangoora Forumite Posts: 1,193
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    edited 26 November 2014 at 12:22PM
    Get a wife who works and don't have any kids :D

    No seriously, you do realise that the recommended 12% total at 24 is net of employer contribution and tax relief. So, just by going by auto-enrollment (you don't say if your employer contributes) it would be you (4% of salary), employer 3% of salary and HMRC 1% of salary. Thats 8% contributed with you only contributing 4% leaving you to add only another 4% if that helps. With a better employer with more generous contributions and it would be better. If you're currently putting away 12% of your salary then with any employer and HMRC contributions you could, in reality, be putting away almost 20% and not 12%.

    Also, have you looked into what you are spending and what isn't necessary.

    Finally, you're at around your lowest earning potential at 24, it should get better over time. It's not worth risking your health to squirrel away an extra couple of percent and you need to live a little whilst single and you don't have the aforementioned wife and kids. You don't want to be regretting all you've missed out on when you are sat on wads of cash in your 50's.

    So, keep up sensible saving, accept what is possible to do without working yourself into an early grave and look to increase pension payments incrementally over time i.e. get a 2% payrise and increase you payment into pensions/savings by 0.5% - it'll soon catch up (over a few years) as long as you keep an eye on it.

    Hope this helps a bit

    Edit: I just noticed you are still saving for your emergency fund as well as contributing into a pension. Maybe tough it out for another 6 months to get to your emergency target then take a break from the 2nd job? Alternatively, you could get some cheap unemployment insurance for about £20/month (you'd need to check on what you can get, this is what mine costs me for covering my mortgage) to cover half your salary and then you're at your emergency target already :) Ideally, you'd want savings earning interest and not be paying insurance but that could come later if 2 jobs is getting difficult.
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