Today is the day so many of us get paid. I used to get so excited about pay-day. The emails have usually started working their way into my inbox, promising me items and discounts that I just can’t live without. Things that I NEED to spend my money
Well, I’ve recently started unsubscribing from a lot of those emails that usually lure me in. I don’t need to be told that I must buy this cheap top that will actually only be in fashion for 5 minutes and that will look bloody awful on me anyway. I don’t need to be told about those seriously expensive, trendy sheets that are 10% off – so naturally I must buy them, even though actually they are still an extortionate price. My Primark and Asda sheets are serving me just fine thank you, and actually they look pretty trendy.
My Dad has been telling me for years that I need a back up, a ‘Plan B’, emergency money to fall back on just in case. Now I have my mortgage, I am finally listening. I’ve always tried to keep a couple of thousand pounds to one side, just in case. However it usually ends up funding a trip to the Caribbean or another equally sunny destination. Don’t get me wrong, I still LOVE travelling. This year though, it’s not going to happen so frequently. Yes we are saving for our wedding which is mere months away, but on top of that which is most important, we have to save for our future.
If something were to happen to you, if you couldn’t work for several months due to illness, due to injury, due to losing your job – how would you cope?
This actually happened to me over the course of several months in 2010/2011 and then I returned to work on reduced hours for another few months. It was hard. It was embarrassing not being able to pay my way. It made me feel worse than I already did. Luckily I was living with my parents but even though I actually earned a semi decent wage, I spent my late teens and early 20’s racking up the debt. Living a lifestyle that I couldn’t afford. How many of us are guilty of doing that? For our egos, for our friends, to make ourselves feel better. Without even realising that we are doing it – with that M&S lunch, the daily latte, those frequent, even daily supermarket trips. That £20 top here, that £30 pair of shoes there?
This month stop and think before you scream ITS PAYDAY and order all of those clothes and start making it rain in the club (lol). Think about your ‘Plan B’, your emergency fallback. Try making a budget and monitor your spending. Go through last months bank statement and add up all of those little purchases that you didn’t even think twice about. Write down everything you buy for one month and how each purchase no matter how big or small made you feel. I’m not saying don’t ever shop or buy yourself a coffee again, just to be more mindful of those little purchases.
Find a notebook, if you’re like me you probably have one just lying around, or pick up a cheap one. When you get your pay slip work out your monthly budget:
Write down your total income for that month, and then your total outgoings. I like to write down each individual bill and direct debit so that I don’t forget anything. After you have deducted your outgoings, work out a realistic food budget. Can you perhaps save money by taking in your own packed lunches to work? By using a travel coffee mug, making your own coffee and taking that on the train to work?
Don’t forget to include your travel – petrol, train fare, bus fare. Will a railcard make a difference? Do you really need to get that Uber – I am definitely extremely guilty
of this one.
Give yourself a small leisure budget, for those trips to the pub, maybe a dinner or a takeaway with the girls, for when you REALLY want those shoes. Don’t use it every single day though, be mindful even when you are out for drinks. Do you need to go out on Friday AND Saturday? Can you cut those nights out down?
Finally, work out what you can afford to SAVE, even if you can only afford to save a small amount -no matter how insignificant it seems to you, just do it.
It will soon add up and if you ever need it for an unexpected payment – you will be so thankful that you have those savings.
Do you have any tips and tricks for saving those pennies? What do you do to put some extra cash away each month? Do you have a ‘Plan B’ fund to fall back on? Let me know in the comments.