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Saving for..?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in How much have you saved?
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JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
314 posts
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edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in How much have you saved?
I'm not quite sure yet! But I would like to stop wasting money and be more accountable with it!

A little bit of background context:

I'm 26 and live alone with no family around me. I left an abusive relationship 2 years ago and became homeless. I spent most of my then £8000 savings, some necessary some not. I went on several holidays and outings, bought a nice computer, furnished a property I got and bought myself a whole new wardrobe. Sometimes I feel guilty at the amount of money I spent but a lot of it was a coping mechanism. I am now in a much more stable and happy situation and would like to start being more accountable with my money.

I recently moved, having been placed in the roughest council estate of my town and the anti-social behaviour was really bad. I am nearing the end of my biggest debt so I put it towards renting a nicer property. Not MSE but so much better for my mental health!

I am also in a new relationship. My partner is here on a study visa for the next 1-2 years. After that, who knows? Maybe he'll get a job here, maybe we'll move somewhere else, maybe we won't be together. As such, I have no idea where my life is going to take me in the next few years so I don't want to commit to anything but I also want to be prepared because life has taught me it doesn't always work out the way I plan!

Until then, my goals are to:

1) Stick to budgets and save the rest.
2) Get a better paying and more stable job.
3) Only buy what I can afford - no more financing/debt. Save for what I want.
4) Have fun with my money! I don't want to lambaste myself for having an occasional treat.
5) Learn to cook more and bake.. at all :o

I'm going to pop up a SOA in a bit and would love if anyone could point out where I could be saving or maximising my savings. I also sometimes see people my age (and younger) being married, owning homes, having families etc and feel a little bit bad about it so if anyone could tell me that I'm doing fine too that would be a massive help :o

Thanks for reading (or at least allowing me the bandwidth to post my dull life :D)
Saving for:
Emergency Fund: Complete :j
House Deposit: On-Going
Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
And whatever else the future brings... :)
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Replies

  • edited 15 January at 7:46PM
    JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
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    edited 15 January at 7:46PM
    SOA Updated 15/1/20: https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/showthread.php?t=6027565&page=12#223 Statement of Affairs and Personal Balance Sheet

    Household Information

    Number of adults in household........... 1
    Number of children in household.........
    Number of cars owned.................... 1

    Monthly Income Details

    Monthly income after tax................ 1194.12
    Partners monthly income after tax....... 0
    Benefits................................ 0
    Other income............................ 85
    Total monthly income.................... 1279.12


    Monthly Expense Details

    Mortgage................................ 0
    Secured/HP loan repayments.............. 0
    Rent.................................... 395
    Management charge (leasehold property).. 0
    Council tax............................. 83
    Electricity............................. 53
    Gas..................................... 0
    Oil..................................... 0
    Water rates............................. 0
    Telephone (land line)................... 0
    Mobile phone............................ 10
    TV Licence.............................. 12.54
    Satellite/Cable TV...................... 5.99
    Internet Services....................... 27
    Groceries etc. ......................... 100
    Clothing................................ 10
    Petrol/diesel........................... 55
    Road tax................................ 1.66
    Car Insurance........................... 27
    Car maintenance (including MOT)......... 35
    Car parking............................. 10
    Other travel............................ 35
    Childcare/nursery....................... 0
    Other child related expenses............ 0
    Medical (prescriptions, dentist etc).... 0
    Pet insurance/vet bills................. 0
    Buildings insurance..................... 0
    Contents insurance...................... 10
    Life assurance ......................... 0
    Other insurance......................... 9.99
    Presents (birthday, christmas etc)...... 25
    Haircuts................................ 10
    Entertainment........................... 60
    Holiday................................. 0
    Emergency fund.......................... 0
    HelpToBuy Isa........................... 200
    Spotify................................. 9.99
    Total monthly expenses.................. 1185.17



    Assets

    Cash.................................... 8722.6
    House value (Gross)..................... 0
    Shares and bonds........................ 0
    Car(s).................................. 1000
    Other assets............................ 0
    Total Assets............................ 9722.6


    No Secured nor Hire Purchase Debts


    Unsecured Debts
    Description....................Debt......Monthly...APR
    Sofa...........................640.......20........0
    Carpets........................0.........0.........0
    Total unsecured debts..........640.......20........-



    Monthly Budget Summary

    Total monthly income.................... 1,279.12
    Expenses (including HP & secured debts). 1,185.17
    Available for debt repayments........... 93.95
    Monthly UNsecured debt repayments....... 20
    Amount left after debt repayments....... 73.95


    Personal Balance Sheet Summary
    Total assets (things you own)........... 9,722.6
    Total HP & Secured debt................. -0
    Total Unsecured debt.................... -640
    Net Assets.............................. 9,082.6


    Created using the SOA calculator at https://www.stoozing.com.
    Reproduced on Moneysavingexpert with permission, using other browser.


    My other income is the expenses I get paid monthly in arrears from my job. This ranges between £70-£120 and is mostly petrol. I was planning on saving the difference between my petrol usage and expenses received when I get paid (eg I spent £55 on petrol, I get paid £100 in expenses so I save the £45 difference) and eventually build up to saving the whole expense amount which I should be able to as my petrol is accounted for in my SOA.

    Rent is non-negotiable. I private rent and chose my area/home carefully as I have sensory processing issues and mental health issues and spend most of my time outside of work here so it needs to be quiet. So far so good (except my neighbour who wakes up around 6:30am and listens to their TV quite loud :o but better than my previous neighbour who blasted bass music all day and night and turned up at my door when I complained for example..)

    I pay £53 a month for electricity/gas which I imagine could be too high for a one-person one bedroom flat? I was using up to £68 in the winter months. I no longer have a bath and my new place is better isolated I think so I might be able to reduce this hopefully. I already don't use the heating much nor use the tumble drier, anything else I can do? Come September my boyfriend will also be here on the weekends so it might go up slightly but I've already told him to cut his showers and turn off things he isn't using :p. He will eat whatever I have in the house and any treats will come out the entertainment budget plus his own contributions. We want to cook and bake together and maybe treat ourselves to a date night once a month.

    My car is 10 years old and is really quite reliable, it usually passes its MOT quite easily. It's a toyota and around 75000 miles. Unfortunately I've been told I need a new clutch so that's coming out of my savings on Monday, around £300-£500 :eek: But otherwise I haven't had much bother with it..

    I pay £10 a month to park for work - this is needed as I am in and out of my office several times a day and there is no free park elsewhere. I'm happy to pay this and I can also use the car park at weekends instead of paying for those extortionate street and big car park fees!!

    Other travel will come into effect in September. This will be for busses for my partner and I to see each other at the weekends. It's £35 for a monthly bus pass which will be well used.

    The £9.99 other insurance is for my laptop. I paid around £900 for this laptop 2 years ago and its had to be repaired around 4 times! I was about to cancel my policy when it broke again! In the same place it keeps breaking. I was thinking of getting quotes to sell it and buy a cheaper one or at least cancel the policy. What do you think?

    Contents insurance was sorted out by the letting agency for this property... do I need this? I'll probably shop around for another deal.

    As you can see, I put £200 into a HelpToBuy ISA a month. I set this up 2.5 years ago when I was with my ex and had more disposable income. I now don't know whether or not I will be buying a house in the UK. I have £6584.95 in this. It will max out to the £12000 at the current £200 a month in 2 years 3 months. It is unlikely I will be buying a property at this time unless I have a better job and I'm no longer with my partner. If I am with my partner he will only be newly out of University so unlikely we would get a mortgage together and with his visa status I'm unsure how that will work if I bought a house for both of us. Should I maybe reduce this to £100 and put the other £100 into my savings account which currently has £2137.65 @ 0.20% and change the savings account to a higher interest rate? Or just continue putting in the Help to Buy in case I decide to buy once maxed out?

    I have another debt but it'll be cleared by August so didn't include it. I may also have some debt from my previous tenancy and energy company so awaiting that. Hopefully no more hidden costs going to pop up any time soon (except my brothers girlfriend getting pregnant with their 4th baby :eek::eek: do they not know how skint I am?! :rotfl: Probably not as skint as they're going to be!)
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • MovingForwardsMovingForwards Forumite
    6.3K posts
    1,000 Posts Second Anniversary Name Dropper Photogenic
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    Your SOA looks pretty good!

    Is your council tax paid over 12 months?

    Electric - do you switch and unplug things when not in use (everything bar fridge and freezer)?

    The £9.99 insurance is that the landlord one or something else?

    TV licence - do you watch live TV / iPlayer? If not you can wave goodbye to that!

    If you are only saving in the H2B consider having a different account for your yearly spends and an emergency fund.
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    15K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    Hello welcome JennyJukes and thank you for posting. It looks as though you are pretty careful anyway I echo what Moving Forwards has said and see if you can find a cheaper insurer. Plus if you pay this in one chunk rather than monthly it is much cheaper. Maybe you can get a cheaper mobile provider. Spotify is your only luxury and this is fine.

    I don't know anything much about help to buy so I hope someone is able to give you advice on this. Is it worth asking for overtime at work?
    Well done on your v good budget.
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
  • Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    Hi JennyJukes :wave:
    You have done so well turning your life around and finding a home and happiness and managing to have savings left is such an achievement after all you've been through. Don't beat yourself up about spending some of your savings. Life throws things at us and the fact that you had savings has helped you through.

    Your SOA looks very similar to mine. Well done on saving £200 a month :T:T You haven't mentioned water rates are they included in your rent ? Or medical ...any dentist or prescriptions ? As others have mentioned saving some to an emergency fund may be wise, I am trying to do this at the moment.

    It's surprising how much men can eat so you may want to get your boyfriend to bring food / snacks with him for the weekend. My food bill has gone down from £300 to £100 a month now I no longer feed my 24yo (he did pay for his share once working at age 18). Are there any free parks, museums or a beach etc nearby where you can go at weekends if you feel able and take your own food or a picnic if the weather is nice to save on costs ? Good luck with everything.
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £191 / £1000
  • JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
    ✭✭
    Thanks guys!
    Your SOA looks pretty good!

    Is your council tax paid over 12 months?

    Electric - do you switch and unplug things when not in use (everything bar fridge and freezer)?

    The £9.99 insurance is that the landlord one or something else?

    TV licence - do you watch live TV / iPlayer? If not you can wave goodbye to that!

    If you are only saving in the H2B consider having a different account for your yearly spends and an emergency fund.
    Oh my council tax is being paid over 10 months, always forget it can be done over 12! I paid my tax on the first of this month and haven't yet received a bill for my new address but it's the same tax band. The council said they will put my remaining balance onto the bill for the new address so when that happens I'll try set up a direct debit for over 12 months - also apparently if you do a direct debit you're in with a chance of getting your council tax paid for a whole year!

    I do switch off and unplug already though I keep the internet on overnight as I like to talk to my boyfriend on call to help me sleep.

    The £9.99 insurance was for my laptop which I was about to cancel then it broke for around the 4th time in 2 years. I'm going to cancel because I think I can live without my laptop whilst I save up to repair it. It's just one of those where you have to call up and they try to get you to stay and eugh. I'll get onto that before it comes out my bank account again.

    I do watch TV tbh so I'm not bothered paying the license.

    I have a savings account for savings outside of my H2B but it's only at 0.20% and I'm not really putting much into it so something needs to be done! I was thinking of splitting with putting £150 into my H2B and £50 into my savings, changing it to a higher interest one. I'll look into it - I'm not sure about all these bank accounts and savings.
    Hello welcome JennyJukes and thank you for posting. It looks as though you are pretty careful anyway I echo what Moving Forwards has said and see if you can find a cheaper insurer. Plus if you pay this in one chunk rather than monthly it is much cheaper. Maybe you can get a cheaper mobile provider. Spotify is your only luxury and this is fine.

    I don't know anything much about help to buy so I hope someone is able to give you advice on this. Is it worth asking for overtime at work?
    Well done on your v good budget.
    Thanks, reason I never pay insurance for a year is because I'm worried things will break before the year is up - never crossed my mind until now that I'd probably get a refund if that was the case? facepalms. I'm tied into my mobile provider for another year yet I think but will look into it afterward. I did put Netflix in these @ 5.99 and sometimes I feel spotify is quite expensive tbh. I'm going to monitor how much I'm using it and if I need it. I was hoping to maybe get the family package and split costs with my boyfriend when he's here but being a student I think he gets a discount if he buys it alone anyway. And he already has a netflix log in through someone else.

    No overtime available at work. I work 9-5 and that's our opening times. There's a department that works nights and weekends but I need a higher qualification. I'm doing my own qualification currently and once that's done it should open up higher roles within or outside of the company, so I really need to crack on with that! Sometime next year.
    Hi JennyJukes :wave:
    You have done so well turning your life around and finding a home and happiness and managing to have savings left is such an achievement after all you've been through. Don't beat yourself up about spending some of your savings. Life throws things at us and the fact that you had savings has helped you through.

    Your SOA looks very similar to mine. Well done on saving £200 a month :T:T You haven't mentioned water rates are they included in your rent ? Or medical ...any dentist or prescriptions ? As others have mentioned saving some to an emergency fund may be wise, I am trying to do this at the moment.

    It's surprising how much men can eat so you may want to get your boyfriend to bring food / snacks with him for the weekend. My food bill has gone down from £300 to £100 a month now I no longer feed my 24yo (he did pay for his share once working at age 18). Are there any free parks, museums or a beach etc nearby where you can go at weekends if you feel able and take your own food or a picnic if the weather is nice to save on costs ? Good luck with everything.
    Thank you! :j
    Part of the reason I was able to save so much was because my ex limited my social time and kept track of my finances, telling me off if I even bought a top on sale because I was being irresponsible ... meanwhile he buys expensive computer parts and high quality foods. So when we split up it was a case of me realising I was an adult who can spend what I want on what I want if I earnt it :o. It feels pretty bad when I see how well hes done, how he now has a house and goes on holidays all the time whereas I've had to struggle just to keep my head above water. But I just remember that having a house and expensive things doesn't necessarily make you happy. I have less money but I'm so much happier now and if I make any money mistakes they're mine to make!

    I'm in Scotland so water rates are included in my tax. No prescriptions but they would be free I believe, thank god because my eyesight gets worse every year. Dentist again I'm lucky in that I've never needed dental treatment, I just sometimes get a scale and polish but that's inconsistent. I do need mouthguards due to my grinding and that costs around £75 :eek: but I currently have two that are in decent shape.

    Yeah, my boyfriend is very understanding of my situation. With him being a student he understands low funds. That's why we want to learn to cook and bake to save some money. We also agreed we'd only go on a date night once a month, either for food or the cinema or something. When we've been out previously we always fight to pay, last time I popped to the bathroom and he paid before I could even try! So I'm not worried - we'll probably choose something to cook and pay for it together. And we're both real homebodies so would spend our weekend at home watching TV, baking, or him doing his University coursework :)

    Thanks guys!

    I need to now look into where my savings go, starting at looking at different bank account savings and maybe switching up my H2B ISA. I will also start from my next paydate putting the difference between my mileage and expenses straight into the savings account. Currently I just try to stick to budgets then the day before payday I put the extra money into savings but that ends up not being much as if there's money I'll spend it and I need to start putting some away more often.

    I think I'll stick to doing my grocery by budgeting £25 per week rather than monthly otherwise I'll lose track. I'll update this every Sunday.

    Oh, hey it's Sunday. So:

    Groceries: £0/£25
    Petrol: £20.83/£55
    Extra: £10 for a new extra test at the opticians. It takes pictures of the back of your eyes. Apparently my eyes themselves are in great shape physically, just the actual vision is poor :o. 26 and I have a cataract! :eek: It was found around 8 years ago and isn't ready for surgery yet. I won't be doing this test every time, I was just interested and apparently my eyes are healthy so that's good to know. I did avoid temptation of their bake sale and tombola... come on you just spoke to me about diabetes harming the eyes and you have a bake sale?!
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
    ✭✭
    So not long after that last post a neighbour came to my door to tell me my car window has been smashed.

    Looks like they've tried to pry open my door but couldn't so smashed the window. Nothing was stolen even though there were things there that could have been stolen for a quick fix. Felt really personal because of that but I think they've just targeted my car because it's older and doesn't have an alarm whereas the rest of the cars do. It's a nice area and my neighours said nothing like this has ever happened here before. Really not sure what to think - if it was personal there would be slashed tyres. If it was desperation there would have been things stolen. Was clearly premeditated (maybe not my car in particular) or someone with experience because they went for the least secure car and tried to pry it open with something first. Just really odd and don't know what to think. Of course I have to pay to get it repaired and take time off work which is incredibly frustrating and yes my budget is going to be messed up but damn, why would someone do this?

    It's really hard being on your own and having to figure these things out. Luckily my neighbours were very kind and helped me clean up and cover up the window until it gets fixed. One of them even gave me a number for a mechanic to do my clutch when the window is fixed. So it's nice to know I have that. I only moved in a week ago!

    I'm very upset I've been having quite a bad few weeks but it really does help knowing I have the support of neighbours, work,family etc.

    Police of course were useless. I got crime numbers but they won't be out for 5-7 days and of course I've cleaned up all the evidence.. Not sure what they can actually do to be fair but oh well. It could have been worse. Something valuable could have been stolen, the actual car could have been stolen (and worth more). I guess I just have to move on.
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
    ✭✭
    My manager let me "work from home" today as I didn't have any clients and I can do paperwork from here. Means I don't have to take a holiday off work because of some vandals.

    Window screen is getting fixed tomorrow then I'll need to reschedule to get a new clutch.

    Sigh.

    Could have been worse I suppose and thankful I have supportive colleagues and neighbours.
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • Skint_yet_AgainSkint_yet_Again Forumite
    4.6K posts
    Eighth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭
    Oh JennyJ that's terrible news about your car. It's more likely to be mindless vandals or kids on summer holidays than targetting you. We once had kids walking the streets with a baseball bat smashing wing mirrors and we live in a "nice" area. There are some horrible people around who don't care what it costs you, money or peace of mind which is worse. I am glad your neighbours were lovely and helpful too.
    0% credit card £1360 ~ paid in full
    0% Car Loan £7500 ~ paid in full
    JAN 2020 = NOW DEBT FREE
    Emergency fund £191 / £1000
  • edited 23 July 2019 at 5:22PM
    JennyJukesJennyJukes Forumite
    314 posts
    100 Posts I won, I won, I won!
    ✭✭
    edited 23 July 2019 at 5:22PM
    Thanks Skint yet again
    I got my window sorted-ish. The seal is completely broken too - the repair guy reckons they tried to push my window in with a screwdriver so it would pop out and not make noise but they made a hell of a mess. So basically my window screen is repaired but it can't go down until the seal is fixed and I think I need to source that myself or go to a dealership. Just what you need in this heat eh?

    I have since realised that my lunchbox is missing so that might have been the target. Nothing was in it but I do remember having it in the car on the Friday and since can't find it anywhere!

    Although I topped up my car on Friday and only drove around 6 miles since it has also gone down a bar too which is really confusing. So I guess I'll need petrol sooner than I thought *sigh*. My car had been doing so well too but it's everything at once eh?

    Also got my virgin media bill which will be an extra £20 due to moving.

    I'm going out for leaving meal on Friday and have been roped in for a "few drinks" after too - I don't mind as I'm not a big drinker and I think I need it after this week. This comes from my entertainment budget anyway.

    So this month is going to be a dip into the savings pot to cover my car vandalism and my moving charges (probably more to come)! I tried to contact my old energy supplier as they took out a direct debit today (though I don't mind as I had debt with them so that should cover most of it) but I tried to call them to ensure no more payments would be taken after I cancelled the DD and to ask for my final bill as I've heard some horror stories on here about getting a big bill or paying for the other tenants! I gave up after being on hold for 30 mins though - will try again tomorrow.

    So this months saving is going to be a total fail. I did only spend £10.98/£25 on groceries today and that will last me this week I think as I have enough food in for lunch, tea, breakfast and snacks. So shouldn't need to spend much this week and don't want to fall into the "well I'm under budget so I'm getting lunch out!" when I have a meal on Friday and there will surely be other expenses that come up, they always do!

    Next month I should only need my hair cut and eyebrows waxed - haven't since April and I have a wedding plus my boyfriend will be coming back in September! Hopefully no unnecessary spending from that point forward - as long as I can resist my colleagues peer pressure of eating out. I was going to head out with them today as they were popping to the shops and I wanted to catch some rays but they came back with shoes and shirts so I'm glad I didn't go or else I probably would have too :o

    Feeling much better now and just want to get back into working and hopefully start saving (at some point!) :beer:

    I do feel privileged when I think that I at least can get my car fixed whilst someone was desperate enough to break into my car looking for food. I am grateful that I have a roof over my head and an income, even if it's not much.

    And I promise my diary won't be this long in future hopefully! I think I've had enough bad luck to last me a while so bring on the boring mundane posts!
    Saving for:
    Emergency Fund: Complete :j
    House Deposit: On-Going
    Second-Hand Replacement Car: On-Going
    And whatever else the future brings... :)
  • savingwannabesavingwannabe Forumite
    15K posts
    Tenth Anniversary 10,000 Posts
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    hey don't apologise for the length of your post. It was actually v interesting. I am glad your car has been sorted. Good luck with the Virgin Bill. I have freeview now and don't miss Virgin as they have the channels I watch it has saved me loads.
    Trying to be frugal 18/31Jan; 15/29 Feb 26/31 March 23/30 April 18/31 May 20/300 Jun NSDs.
    Saving change in money box.
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