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Ready for the next stage!

edited 20 September 2020 at 9:25PM in How much have you saved?
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riotladyriotlady Forumite
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edited 20 September 2020 at 9:25PM in How much have you saved?
Hi everyone :) 
Things have been a bit stressful around here lately (as they have been for everyone!)- I'm in my second year of an msc and I'm juggling placements, assignments and a research project, as well as a lovely 2 year old- and we've let spending get a bit out of hand. I've started using Emma to track our spending, and last month we spent £420 on food shopping for the three of us and £150 on takeaways, eating out, lunches in the work cafeteria etc. I'm a student and my partner earns part-time minimum wage, so we definitely don't have that sort of money to throw around and I really want to get on top of it before it gets any more out of hand. I will hopefully be in proper employment early next year, and we're also saving for our wedding and to buy our first house, hence we're ready for the next stage of our lives! 

Current situation: No debts, aside from my student loans, which I plan to ignore as a. they're scarily high b. I'll never pay them back in full and c. I'm not earning enough to have to pay anything back yet anyway. 

Savings:
Emergency fund: £600 (goal £1000)
Wedding fund: £2000 (total budget is £5000, but we've already paid £800 in deposits etc. so remaining £2200 to save) 
Lisa: £210 (goal: ??? We were hoping to pay a 5% deposit, for which we'd need £6-7k, but that depends if £5% mortgages are back on the market by the time we hope to buy at the end of 2021. Also want to save a couple of grand for fees and moving costs). 
Help to save 1: £950
Help to save 2: £650
We pay £50 (the max) into each of the help to saves each month + will receive a 50% bonus on our contributions next year, which will then go into the LISA for our house fund) 
Total savings: £4410 
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Replies

  • edited 4 August 2020 at 6:16AM
    Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
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    edited 4 August 2020 at 6:16AM
    Hi Riotlady welcome back 🤗
    Well done on your savings so far. That shopping / takeaway spend is rather large but you’re not the only one to let things run away with you during lockdown. I’m sure with a bit of planning you could halve the shopping bill & maybe limit the takeaways to 1 a month. 

    Have you tried the grocery challenge and there are lots of ideas for lunches & snacks on the Old Style board. I think the trick is to eat nice food but on a budget, I know I’m more likely to stick to it if I have home made tandoori chicken, fajitas, chicken & peppers in black bean sauce etc, rather than trying to have just beans on toast all the time.  I try to keep takeaway costs to a minimum by buying packs of microwave rice around 69p instead of buying takeaway rice which is usually over £2. I try and get frozen pizzas, garlic bread & chicken pieces in the freezer instead of ordering in which costs 3 times more. If I do have a takeaway then I try to use special offers or vouchers. 

    I’m sure you will get there and have a lovely wedding and get your first home. As you have already paid deposits for the wedding I guess you have set a date. I hope all goes ahead as planned, so sad for some having to cancel / postpone theirs due to lockdown/ covid. You sound determined and I’m sure now you have a date it gives you a target to work towards. Good luck 😊
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £1000 / £1000
  • riotladyriotlady Forumite
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    Hi Riotlady welcome back 🤗
    Well done on your savings so far. That shopping / takeaway spend is rather large but you’re not the only one to let things run away with you during lockdown. I’m sure with a bit of planning you could halve the shopping bill & maybe limit the takeaways to 1 a month. 

    Have you tried the grocery challenge and there are lots of ideas for lunches & snacks on the Old Style board. I think the trick is to eat nice food but on a budget, I know I’m more likely to stick to it if I have home made tandoori chicken, fajitas, chicken & peppers in black bean sauce etc, rather than trying to have just beans on toast all the time.  I try to keep takeaway costs to a minimum by buying packs of microwave rice around 69p instead of buying takeaway rice which is usually over £2. I try and get frozen pizzas, garlic bread & chicken pieces in the freezer instead of ordering in which costs 3 times more. If I do have a takeaway then I try to use special offers or vouchers. 

    I’m sure you will get there and have a lovely wedding and get your first home. As you have already paid deposits for the wedding I guess you have set a date. I hope all goes ahead as planned, so sad for some having to cancel / postpone theirs due to lockdown/ covid. You sound determined and I’m sure now you have a date it gives you a target to work towards. Good luck 😊
    Thank you! 
    I have done the grocery challenge previously, definitely need to get back into it! 
    We did have to postpone our wedding, funnily enough- we were originally meant to elope in July very cheaply and had to cancel, but instead of rearranging the same thing for next year, decided that we wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate with everyone after all. 
  • riotladyriotlady Forumite
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    Have been reading back through my old thread + reminding myself of how little we had to live on then, and we still managed to save a bit! Good to remember that we can be frugal, just need to flex that muscle again. And to feel proud of having achieved that last savings goal- I wanted to save for driving lessons and a car, and I passed my test in February and bought my car outright. 
    Had my partner's family round today and made chilli and garlic bread from stuff we had in, so that's a no-spend day today :) Might need to go to the shops for some bread soon but hoping to stretch out as long as possible without going! I dream of one day having a massive chest freezer so I can have loads of stuff stashed and ready to go. 
  • edited 4 August 2020 at 11:09PM
    Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
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    edited 4 August 2020 at 11:09PM
    Its great that you made a meal
    from stuff you had in rather than ordering a takeaway 😊 Also cheaper to cook a meal like chilli etc than have a bbq where most people eat a weeks worth of meat in one meal ! 

    I just have 2 drawers in my fridge freezer so have to try to use them wisely. At the moment I have a loaf of seeded bread, frozen oven chips, individually wrapped chicken breasts & batch cooked meals.

    When I made a meal I cook double the amount and eat 1 / freeze 1.

    I find the chicken breasts can be quickly defrosted in the microwave & cooked in various ways to make a quick tasty meal & packed out with veg to go further. 
    I use old plastic takeaway containers 😁 saves money & less plastic to landfill. 

    Well done on passing your driving test & buying your car outright. 

    You can do this ! 😊
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £1000 / £1000
  • riotladyriotlady Forumite
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    Nearly made it through today without spending any money until riotdude decided to pop to the shops for bread and ended up spending £20! 
    On the bright side, I've cleared out a couple of subscriptions and added the £20 saved to my monthly direct debit into the LISA. Also managed to do £9 worth of surveys- I'm hoping to do a few more over the next few weeks as my placement ends on Friday and I'll be at home working on my research project for the next 8 weeks. 
  • Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
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    Do you still do matched betting ? Great result on the surveys 
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £1000 / £1000
  • riotladyriotlady Forumite
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    No, I don't, went through all the welcome offers then struggled to keep it going after that. 
    Lovely day today, and no spends! Spent it all in the garden (which is more of a small concrete yard) and made saag paneer for tea. 
  • atrixaatrixa Forumite
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    Well done on the no spends! I'm also trying to keep the grocery bill down after going a bit mad in lockdown. I'm trying to keep mostly to simple batch cooking- currys and chilli sin carne etc with boiled rice for tea.
  • riotladyriotlady Forumite
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    atrixa said:
    Well done on the no spends! I'm also trying to keep the grocery bill down after going a bit mad in lockdown. I'm trying to keep mostly to simple batch cooking- currys and chilli sin carne etc with boiled rice for tea.
    Good luck! We're trying to do the same thing.
    Had to buy ant powder today so not a no spend day, but otherwise quite reasonable (of course tomorrow I am going to go and get a new tattoo, so that will be a pretty expensive day!)
    Also cut my phone bill from £10 to £8 by switching to giffgaff, every little helps! 
  • Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
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    Oooh what tattoo are you having ? 🦋 🌹 😈 ??? Well done on the phone savings. Once you’ve done the big cut backs it gets harder to save so even £2 a month adds up. 
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £1000 / £1000
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