Savings Diary: BDays, Xmas, Controlling Impulsive Spending

lindsay54v3 Posts: 58 Forumite
First Anniversary First Post Name Dropper Photogenic
edited 19 February 2021 at 11:00AM in How much have you saved?
After spending a week trawling through different forums and seeing how well everyone is doing and all of the advice, I've decided to join!

All through my teen years I saved almost everything without fail. Now I'm in my early twenties, living away from home with some housemates, and have to admit the boredom of furlough has hit me hard. In just the first 9 days of February I spent over £200 on non-essentials and realised I need to get a grip  :neutral:
I'm a student that also works part-time in retail. I have a Lifetime ISA account to help me save for a home and it's going well so far. However wanting to move out with my boyfriend in a couple of years I have a long way to go!
I have made a conscious decision to spend less on non-essentials and make the most of Multibuy Offers and discounted prices on essentials and gifts.

Any money that I have saved from discounts and offers is going into a separate savings account for B-days and Xmas (keeping an eye on clearance sales for the best deals on potential gifts for those closest to me - although have to be careful not to be tempted into buying for myself!). Any leftovers will just roll-on to next year.

I'm also including the cost of any luxury buys that I come perilously close to purchasing or when my housemates buy takeaway, I include the cost of what I would purchase if I were also ordering. This in itself is motivational as I can immediately see how much money I'm saving from avoiding impulse purchases! :wink:

As of yesterday (11/02/2021) I have already put away £91.43 into this separate account!
£49.99 of that simply comes from not purchasing a skincare/make-up set that's currently on offer! I have never used their products before and realised if I liked anything from the bundle I will only end up spending more as a result as each item is roughly £10-£20 each!

Being so new I'm unsure of categories but wanted to keep myself a little online diary to hold myself accountable and stay motivated, will probably update progress every time I've saved up a decent wee bit :smiley:

SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100


  • Welcome to the first day of the new you!

    I highly recommend writing down a budget of income / expenditure of all fixed outgoings and bills, the allocate some 'pocket money' to yourself for treats; that can be weekly or monthly but when it's gone, it's gone. 
    - I've got mine on a spreadsheet, set up for the whole year so I know in advance what everything is and where the money will be going.

    With saving, treat it like any other bill and pay it on payday or when your bills come out. If you wait until closer to your next payday the risk is there won't be anything left to save.

    Set a budget for food shopping. With my budget if I don't spend it, or don't spend all of it, I move it to savings.

    Another thing I do when my bills come out or I use my debit card, is round up the pennies to the next pound, those pennies get moved to savings whether it's 1p or 99p. It really does mount up.

    Learn the difference between 'need' and 'want'. 
    'Needs' are new tights as your only pair have laddered, your boots have holes in the sole and you've no others, pasta or other food item because there's none in the cupboard.
    'Wants' are things like spare tights, another pair of boots but in a different colour, make-up where you've already got some. Have a think for at least a day, ideally a week or longer, then see if you still want it.

    We can offer many money saving hints and tips. Our diaries are not just for updating when we have reached a target, but for supporting others and also chatting. So don't feel like you can't update with happy news, when you've had a bad day or if you feel ill. Your diary is yours so make good use of it, as it will keep you on track.

    Have a read through other diaries in this section, just have a huge cup of coffee and settle in, some ideas may be of use to you.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • Well done on your savings so far lindsay54v3 🤗 I think saving the money you are not spending on items is a great idea. 

    The forum is a great place to pick up ideas and advice & you can pick & choose whichever suits you. Every little helps towards savings. Do make sure you have some fun too, you are only young once so you still need to live a little (covid restricted at the moment of course, but things will get better!)
    0% credit card £1360 & 0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE 🤗
    House sale OCT 2022 = NOW MORTGAGE FREE 🤗
    House purchase completed FEB 2023 🥳🍾 Left work. 🤗

    Retired at 55 & now living off the equity £10k a year (until pensions start at 60 & 67).

    Previous Savings diary

    Living off savings diary
  • Well done on your savings so far lindsay54v3 🤗 I think saving the money you are not spending on items is a great idea. 

    The forum is a great place to pick up ideas and advice & you can pick & choose whichever suits you. Every little helps towards savings. Do make sure you have some fun too, you are only young once so you still need to live a little (covid restricted at the moment of course, but things will get better!)
    Thank you! 
    I'm really loving reading through the forums and am so grateful for all the tips I find! I have plenty of games for my console, a small stockpile of booze and studying for college to enjoy myself during lockdown  :lol: 

    Savings is designated just for gifts and home deposit at the moment, but once the world is back to somewhat normal I'll swap unnecessary luxury purchases with occasional nights out and/or date nights, experiences/memories are better than an item of clothing I'll barely wear :blush:
    SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100
  • Now have £175.30 in my gift savings, a few quid from not buying a takeaway, and a bit more for avoiding buying some makeup online!
    In just over a day I wanted to spend £83.87 on non-essentials! :open_mouth:

    I also struggle with my mental health and deal with obsessive tenancies, unfortunately my most recent one has been spending! But I've had 3 whole days of not spending any money and I'm really proud of myself :blush:

    Instead of spending to alleviate boredom, I've: organised my makeup box to see how much I own so I can remind myself I don't need anymore, decanted makeup samples into small travel pots so they can stay sealed instead of just sitting in a sachet, decanted my shampoo and conditioner into pump bottles so I can better control how much I use, and organised all my makeup/Skincare samples and gifts into a seperate box just to visually see the little freebies, presents and discounts I've managed to nab since December :lol:

    For the past two years or so I've had a lump sum just sitting in a savings account accumulating very little interest and I'm fortunate enough to not need a large emergency fund, so I've bit the bullet and put half of it into my Lifetime ISA account so it will gain more interest and count towards my government bonus! My biggest goal is to save for a house so if I'm not using it for anything else and watching a few pennies add on each year I'm not doing myself any favours! The other half I'm retaining in that savings account I will slowly add to bit by bit for things like furniture etc when I do get my own house.

    SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100
  • It is so easy to spot non essentials and think that would be nice, I like that, oooh it's on sale. You've done the hard thing in stepping away and seeing how much that would have cost.

    Have you visited the freebies section?
    Often items / vouchers are given away by companies on a first come first served basis. I've used it a few times for things I would normally use and it saved me a few quid.

    If you continue checking and organising everything, you'll know what you have and what you need, maybe even spot things you don't use anymore. 

    You've done really well not buying things, organising and taking the big step of moving money to your LISA. Saving for a home is exciting!
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • @MovingForwards in reality I have every non-essential I need right now, and adding up the cost of everything I want to buy is definitely good motivation not to waste my money!

    I've had a look at the freebies section but I'm a bit anxious about submitting my details of name and address to things, but I did join a group on FB about bargains and coupons so if anything good for dinners or gifts come up I can have a look :) going to keep an eye on after seasonal sales as well and keep checking clearance sections on various sites for any gifts I could give out rather than paying full price as I usually do!

    Also have a 3ds XL that I haven't used in years which I'm planning to sell, silly me already did my spring clear out before finding this site so could have kept a few other things to sell but I'll know for next year :lol:

    Thank you so much for the advice and encouragement! 
    SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100
  • That FB group sounds very useful. It's definitely worth picking up seasonal items after the last one has finished, bargains can be snapped up. Spreading picking up gifts throughout the year is better too, instead of one big spend in November; subject to space at home.

    It's all coming together for you 🤗
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • savingwannabe
    savingwannabe Posts: 16,610 Forumite
    First Anniversary First Post
    Lindsay, hello and welcome. OMG you are so switched on. I didnt learn anything till 10 years ago when i had a salary cut. Just saving as you are is a brilliant way to purchase property.
    I have a few suggestions - Take sandwiches to work and avoid fizzy pop i saved £10 a day when i did that. I keep a spending diary and that has been a real eye opener as last year my cutting back enabled me to pay for things like insurance without raiding my savings. I also think taking online shops from your desk top is a good idea!!! 
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • @MovingForwards That group has already more than paid for itself, I had cheesecake for the first time at Xmas and since have ordered in cheesecake about 4 times which is pricey! However someone posted that you can purchase a 4.5L tub of strawberry cheesecake ice cream for between £4-£5, and it's Ben and Jerrys! So that is feeding my craving and saving me money :lol:

    @savingwannabe Hi, thank you so much! I definitely owe it to my dad, as soon as I got my first job he sat down and spoke to me about savings, recommended a minimum percentage to put away on payday, then anything leftover also got went into savings :) I haven't stuck to the method but my savings always get paid first and definitely making the most of my living situation to save as much as I can before I have proper adult bills  :sweat_smile:
    I have a spreadsheet set up to track how much I spend every month, and when I do go back to work I'll make sure on the days I'm entitled to lunch that I take something in, even a pizza slice from Greggs does add up! For fizzy drinks I'll only ever purchase multipacks that are part of a deal so it isn't as expensive!
    SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100
  • Have tried my luck entering some competitions, all for things that I could use myself or gift to others, never done so before but the forums on here got me interested to try!

    I've been looking more into money required to go towards buying a home, didn't realise how much had to be paid for alongside the mortgage, so many fees and checks to be done :astonished:

    I'm definitely getting some spending withdrawals, OH treated me to a McDonalds today as Valentines lunch (doesn't sound super romantic but he knows me well and I do love McD's :lol: ) but this didn't stop me spending £5.30 on a takeaway for dinner. More disappointed in how unhealthy my choice was over anything else, but I did get a smaller pizza than usual at least. Definitely finding boredom hard to cope with, I have class tomorrow to take up some time but very excited for my wool to arrive so I can start knitting a couple of Xmas scarves for two of my friends :blush:

    And finally making use of some skincare samples I've received recently, skin is feeling rejuvenated :love:
    SPC #072 ~ £8.37 ----- FEB NSD ~ 10/10 ----- Declutter2021 ~ 4/100
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