A few years ago, my boyfriend and I saved up a total of £10,000 in one year. When we realized that we achieved this goal, it was pretty amazing to think about. We were earning a lot less money then than we are now, yet we were able to put that together.
The reason we did this was so we had enough to pay for a 5 week trip to Asia. We had both never been there before, and given the opportunity from both of our workplace situations, we were so fortunate to be able to do it.
Over time, I will go over some of the amazing things we saw out in Asia (I’ve already posted some of it in my travel posts here.) However, today, I will give you some tips from our experience and how we managed to save that amount in the first place.
Plan How Much and When You’re Saving
Before you start, make sure you know what your target savings amount is. Whatever the number, it’s key to plan this from the beginning.
If you plan this, you can calculate a more realistic time frame for how much you can save, and how many weeks or months it will take. This needs to be balanced against your regular daily spending. So calculate your total bills, your average food spend and other outgoings.
From there, you can work out the upper limit of how much you can realistically save.
Separate The Money From Your Regular Accounts
Fortunately before we started saving, I already had a savings account with my current account. This made it physically easier to keep the money separate in some form to my regular income, since it could be moved out the way. So we agreed we’d put it into my savings account every month.
It’s also pretty helpful if the money is in an account that can’t be as readily accessed as your normal current account. My savings account doesn’t have a bank card, so the only way to get to it is through online banking.
This might be helpful to think about. I’ve recently got a joint bank account with Monzo, and they do a feature where you can divide your money into ‘pots’. There’s no need to open another new account, and actually having a lot of new accounts in a short space of time can initially affect your credit score.
With banks like Monzo and Starling, those two are pretty good for managing your money in an easy and concise way. I don’t think Monzo was around when I was first saving, but right now that’d be a good option. (By the way I’m not advertising Monzo or Starling, I’ve just used Monzo personally and really like it.)
Pay Into Savings Immediately
Since we were serious about saving this money, the first most important thing was making sure we actually put money towards this.
As soon as we were paid, we took a portion of our pay and put it straight into that savings pot. That way, the rest of our budget could be worked around what we had left.
This is such a useful thing to do, as you know that you have that money saved straight away. There’s less likely to be a worry about having anything left to add to the pot, and of course it saves you from over spending in your regular day-to-day life. So I high recommend this as it worked well for us.
Lower Your Expenses
This one is probably the hardest one to consider. Not just because life can be costly, but because you have to consider how much space and what situation you’re willing to live with.
The latter might not necessarily be true. In our situation, we lived with my partner’s family. This was a good way to keep our rent down, since it was slightly cheaper than renting. Of course the only thing to consider was having a lot of adults living under one roof with potentially not a lot of space. Every situation is different, and of course you can also opt to live in a smaller place in return for paying less rent.
But by trying to lower the expenses that are normally pretty set in stone, you could find it easier to find my spare cash to save. And living with parents can definitely be the cheapest option, as well as rewarding as you get to spend more time with them!
So these are just a few of the ways we managed to get up to £10,000 in around a year. We dedicated about 50% of our monthly pay checks towards these savings, which I think is quite a lot. It was definitely a be ask, but in the end it was very rewarding. Once saved, we were able to travel around parts of Asia without worrying too much about being able to afford it.
Saving can apply to anything in your life too. It could be for paying off debt, saving for a rainy day or saving to invest. At the end of the day, there’s usually a small sacrifice to meet that goal, whether it’s more hard work, less spending, or losing your free time. But at the end, it will be worth it.