How much have you saved???

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Baron_Dale
Baron_Dale Posts: 1,024 Forumite
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edited 8 April at 11:15AM in How much have you saved?
Just a quick comment about this section of the forum. I visit here from time to time interested in how people save, sometimes from lower incomes. However, people rarely seem to talk abut figures, amounts saved and how they achieve them. Maybe I am missing the point of this part of the forum. Many of the posters write extremely interesting lifestyle diaries but they seem to drift away from the title of the forum. I am not criticising, just making an observation. I am genuinely interested in how people on more typical incomes build up their savings. I avoid the savings and investment threads as, a bit like the pensions forum, they contain too many posts from much better off folk.
Best wishes.
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  • savingwannabe
    savingwannabe Posts: 16,610 Forumite
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    edited 7 August 2021 at 12:26PM
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    Hello welcome Baron, well done in being so prepared you sound like MF. We tend to put up the financials on payday but tend to post about day to day things to motivate each other.

    I save the grand sum of £250 a month. My salary was £27k in my old job i am just moving jobs so this will increase from Sept.  My savings are in ISAs. I will get a state pension eventually at 65, (or 75 85 whatever Boris moves pension age to) lol but also a work one of only £11k a year from 60. I also earn £6k from a lodger which is saved. My house has been virtually rebuilt since i moved in 15 years ago except for the kitchen when i ran out of money as i had to go part time due to ill health. My dream is to do up kitchen and retire, I don't think  i will be able to travel abroad when i retire but a newer kitchen will be wonderful. My garden is nice so i dont need to travel and i did plenty of this when i was younger. I have another 3 years of paying mortgage.

    It would be great to retire at 55,  and I can do so to access my job pension but i would like to have more savings behind me so am still deciding. I am moving to a better paying job and am hoping to save more. I have a handy man who does all my house jobs, he is retired and earns a good few thousand a year from me but nothing since lockdown when any house jobs had to stop due to Covid risk. 

    I would like to learn how to drive as then I think i will be able to open up earning and social opportunities but will be busy prepping for my new job this year so that will be left till next summer unless i procrastinate which i have done for years. I am 50 and a happy old boot. Pleased to meet you. swx
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,921 Forumite
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    As SW explained, it's a monthly financial update we all do and generally plan for the year ahead, or have an outline idea. We've all been running our diaries a while, therefore we don't tend to repeat all our accounts, unless we find a good one worth sharing and are mindful we're all on similar salaries, but with different outgoings and disposable income.

    We do discuss savings, pensions and budgeting, but not on a daily basis like in other areas. We also like taking about the bargains we find or stretching money, cooking tips and recipe ideas.

    Due to the diaries being quite informal and a way of mooting ideas, we all keep the technical jargon out of them as most of us regulars probably wouldn't even know the proper name of things we do. Using jargon means having to put an explanation to avoid alienation and that can spoil the main reason for the post IE we are saving on a smaller income.

    Most of us have some form of health issue(s), which impact day to day and our earning capacity. At times there will be a flurry of activity as one of us starts something, then it triggers the rest to do something. Seeing one able to do something provides confidence it can safely be done or it's not actually a big job, another will start, then another. Before we know it we've all done a bit of gardening, decluttering, decorating, selling / giving away or something else. 

    I guess to most people our diaries don't make much sense, but to us they are like having a quick phone call with a friend, nattering over coffee or even having somewhere to sound ideas out. We are accountable for what we write and can revert back to a plan or idea and build on it, or pinch an idea and tweak it to suit us.

    Most of all we support each other through good and bad times, happy and sad and give hope that just because we don't earn much, doesn't mean we can't afford a lifestyle, we just do it on a budget.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,921 Forumite
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    I was in debt when I first relocated but paid that off while saving to buy my home. That taught me to assess how many hours I have to work to buy things, do one in one out with purchases, differentiate want from need.

    I'm getting a payrise this month which will push my salary to under £24,200 before deductions. That's enough for 2 of us plus a cat and I only budget based on my salary. We agreed LHA rate from his wages, when he works, and that goes into savings / early retirement; it really doesn't cost anything having 2 people in one property aside from a bit extra council tax and food. When my OH isn't working there's no financial worries as that money was never part of the annual budget.

    With my savings and outgoings I have an annual spreadsheet, set up over Christmas for the forthcoming year, detailing fixed outgoings eg bills, food budget and that allows me to see what potential savings I can put away each month. I don't budget for things like birthdays and Christmas, just reduce my savings budget for that month.

    I've got numerous savings accounts, regular savers and each one has a purpose from paying the mortgage if I lose my job, a general repairs and maintenance account, to a modernising my home account, paying utility bills and food in case of job loss account. Each one has an upper budget I'm saving towards. I generally plan to save £200pm across them all.

    On top of that I have a current account dedicated to every expense relating to my car and the home insurance. It means I can walk into a garage and instantly pay a bill or not worry about finding insurance premiums when it's renewal time. Everything is paid in full each year. I plan to save £100pm.

    I also have a dedicated current account in case of a home emergency such as a leak. That's full, so no money to be paid in each month, I just move the interest out.

    I overpay my mortgage each month as it's a sub-prime lender. £300 extra on top of my contractual amount. I might be remortgaging next year, which requires ERCs to be paid. My overall plan is to clear it within 10 years of it starting.

    At the moment I'm saving to modernise / update the flat, set a limit of 5 years from when I got the keys to start the work. It also provides the opportunity of moving instead with the savings used as a deposit with the equity from the flat.

    I do a lot of offsetting, saving money in one area means it frees up money for another. Also with my food budget, if I've not spent all of it for that week then I transfer the surplus into savings. The money does build up.

    I will be retiring early and it's viable to save up, cash, SIPP, PBs as each £6k means 1 less working year. 

    As I currently have car finance I've jiggled my savings and SIPP savings around a bit while I quickly overpay that and it will be cleared by April at the latest. On retirement my outgoings are low enough that state pension is more than enough to fund the lifestyle we have and I pay into a DB pension at work.

    I currently have a 10 year financial plan and my annual plans allow me to stay on track.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • MovingForwards
    MovingForwards Posts: 16,921 Forumite
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    Thanks Baron_Dale. I do spend a lot of time planning, working and reworking numbers until I'm happy and I work out a back up plan. Admittedly, I rework them a few further times after just in case I can come up with a better plan.

    I always think of 'what if I lose my job' or 'what if I have to cut my hours for health reasons' which are good enough reasons for ensuring I'm on top of everything and have failsafe back up plans, for my back up plan. It really does focus the mind and make me even more determined to clear things quickly.

    When I'm writing my diary up, I frequently stop midway as an idea has popped in my head, meaning I'm then reworking numbers again, returning to my post, rewriting it with my new and improved plan.

    When I knew what the contractual mortgage payment would be I worked out my year 1 plan and beyond. After a couple of months I was paying it off as I had planned for year 2. I've not even lived here 18 months and even further ahead.

    Until work became chaos I would spend time doing surveys, earning upto £40pm in vouchers. These have paid for many useful things from food to things for my home. At some point soon, I hope to have the mental energy to pick up where I left off.

    Aside from the mortgage, I have a personal rule of never borrowing more than I have in the bank.
    Big items I borrow over a longer term, but quickly pay them off, taking advantage of an ongoing offer my main credit card company give me.
    Lastly, when I do use my credit card for smaller purchases it's done on the day the statement appears online to get the maximum interest free period.
    Mortgage started 2020, aiming to clear it in 2026.
  • Bluegreen143
    Bluegreen143 Posts: 3,054 Forumite
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    edited 20 August 2021 at 2:43PM
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    I can’t believe I’ve been using this forum on and off for about 8-9 years and I never knew there was a savings section!

    I have a diary on MFW but it’s a bit fraudulent because I’m more building savings just now and doing very little overpaying. Had I realised there was a savings section I’d have done my diary here.

    At the moment my aim is to up my emergency fund (currently nearly £1,800) to £5k. We do have £700 I think in our Help to Save accounts so I may add these into the totals as I go. 

    I should be able to allocate about £250 a month to these emergency savings (on top of the monthly £100 to Help to Save) but I’ve gotten very lax at tracking lately so I’m going to try to be much more methodical. It would be great to be up to target in a year (unless we have an emergency and need to use it!).

    My temporary work contact is up in 5/6 months but I’m hoping to be made permanent as I keep getting told that’s the aim - if I’m not then that will obviously slow progress! However on the flip side, from January I will have almost no childcare costs as my youngest will be 3.
    Part time working mum | Married in 2014 | DS born 2015 & DD born 2018 | Allegedly attempting to be mortgage free - diary here
  • Skint_yet_Again
    Skint_yet_Again Posts: 7,567 Forumite
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    edited 21 August 2021 at 6:03AM
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    Hi Bluegreen 🤗 I don’t think anyone could describe your diary as fraudulent as you appear to be a very genuine person. I am a lurker on your diary and love to hear about you & red, monkey and bambi. From DFW to MFW your money saving activities are inspiring and I love to hear about you making pjs for the children & red’s woodwork skills. Hope that doesn’t make me sound like a stalker 😆

    Anyway I don’t think it matters which board you post on, it’s all about money savings and being supportive/ feeling supported by likeminded people. 

    Glad to hear your job is still going well and you are likely to be made permanent and free childcare will be great. Your savings are looking great well done so far 😁
    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 https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/5597938/get-a-grip/p1

    Living off savings diary
    https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6429003/escape-to-the-country-living-off-savings/p1
  • Bluegreen143
    Bluegreen143 Posts: 3,054 Forumite
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    @Skint_yet_Again you are so lovely!! Thank you ❤️❤️❤️ And you’re right it doesn’t really matter which board you’re on, and hopefully I’m not the only MFW who isn’t yet doing much overpaying 😅 we will get there but saving is definitely our priority right now.
    Part time working mum | Married in 2014 | DS born 2015 & DD born 2018 | Allegedly attempting to be mortgage free - diary here
  • savingwannabe
    savingwannabe Posts: 16,610 Forumite
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    Bluegreen welcome! Good luck in saving for the emergency fund and dont worry i slipped with tracking this month too. Good luck with work contract. 
    Aiming for a minimal spend 2022
  • jennystarpepper
    jennystarpepper Posts: 695 Forumite
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    edited 30 September 2021 at 5:13PM
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    Little bit late posting, I agree with what you have said about the other boards and the 'better off folk'.

    2 Current accounts
    S&S ISA  - regular amount paid monthly
    Premium bonds
    Savings account.
    Paying off mortgage - try for £300 min a month

    Other accounts have what is left split or sent to them depending on what is left or needed.

    I also keep a 'buffer' account, i keep this at about £700 to £1500 and top it up, frrom this I pay the TV, MOT, dentist, flights, travel / holiday funds - Money is taken out and topped-up when needed.

    Pensions are increased by 1/2/3 % everytime a pay increase is given (% depends on amount awarded).

    We are 50 and 51, money is being saved with the intension of living off of it, as others are, until SP kicks in.  

    Things we don't do, no subscriptions, no services such as Nexflix, no phone or gym contracts, no coffee bought (I don't drink, Mr P will have a black coffee at work), no takeaway food (I say none, but if I am honest it is about 4 times a year and would probably cost the same as the ingredients bought to eat at home).  Use home internet for most calls, about £20 x 2 a year spent on credit for mobiles.  Parks and beaches are free and I enjoy them.  I don't like the pub now I am an ex smoker (they smell of chip fat). No pets, the ones I have lost in the past spoilt me for getting another and holidays are not ok for leaving fluffs at home as no family to care for them.

    We have a double sized allotment, onions and spuds grown last us for about 7 months of the year, fresh veg and salad through summer months so main buy would be good quality meats, I also do bake sessions (i do enjoy) so pies and things which are costly in say a farmers market are made and frozen (YS kidney, lamb, steak are frozen until I have a good batch).  I will point out that these things are not done to save us money, although they do, but the money they save us and enjoyment are a bonus.  Extra goes to the shelter for the homeless so it is our way of giving back. 

    Christmas, our main cost / treat  - We now go away, worked out the first time went, what I spent on a turkey and real tree the year before would cover the cost of one persons flight one way.  This year will be 3 weeks in the sun, (helps with medical problems) I look for cheap flights, go to Lidl when we are away, lucky where we stay is a great price, eating out will be a breakfas, lunch or dinner out every other day, a pile of charity shop books and the apartment owners TV sub for entertainment, walks are free and the odd euro on an ice cream.  About £100 is spent on gifts for others.

    We have a Japanese car which will pay for itself, ( I am shocked at what people are asking for used cars the same as ours).  I do not skimp on good quality clothing / shoes, but do buy in the sales and look after what we have.

    When the mortgage is gone, hopefully in 4 years I hope to be able to put away a min of 1k per month, Mr Pepper has said he does not want to work part time, he would rather work an extra couple of years full time and go ASAP.  
    MFW -  01 10 21. £63761 01.10.22 £50962 01.10.23 £39979

  • Baron_Dale
    Baron_Dale Posts: 1,024 Forumite
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    A belated many thanks for all your previous responses.
    As some of you may know I contribute regularly to a thread in the Over 50s Money Saving section called How Much To Live On. I am considering creating my own thread now that I have entered full retirement. I am not sure whether to create it here or at the Over 50s section. I will have a think. Decisions, Decisions lol!  ;)
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