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Budgeting /saving advice please(4 Posts)
Hi money savvy Mumsnetters,
Please can you tell me how to save more, go on more holidays etc. My partner and I live in London and have fluctuating incomes which makes it hard to budget properly. I’d say we know that we will earn at least £40k a year and anything extra is a bonus. Some months we are extremely low and other months we have a false illusion that we’re earning loads.
We are thinking about TTC (we may even leave London in a few years for our home country) so really want to start learning how to budget before we have another human to look after.
The thing that puts me off budgeting is the lack of spontaneity, I’d be keen to hear from other people who enjoy a spontaneous meal out or a spontaneous weekend break but also don’t earn a whole lot. How do you do it? Is budgeting very rigid? I can’t imagine counting every single penny and wonder if it would be better to save a certain amount each month and live off the rest.
We have Monzo so we sometimes use the pots for our grocery budget, rent etc. I’ve also heard good things about the money saving expert’s spreadsheet.
Also what do you do if you have very unorganised parter? He will listen to me and budget his money but I can’t really police his daily expenditure can I? Like if he buys lunch or an odd coffee at work. Or am I wrong, should I be controlling every penny?
I do feel we have been sucked into the middle class spendy lifestyle of London, so we definitely eat out way too much. I’d rather eat out less and go on more trips away. Our rent is quite cheap for London so cuts there aren’t really possible. We don’t have a car but might get one soon (which I’m actually agains but my partner insists).
We both come from disadvantaged/ working class backgrounds so witnessed our parents relying on benefits and living pay check to pay check, This is all new to us. Just to give you context, my mother thinks we are rich.
No judgmental posters please, I’m really not in the mood, just asking for constructive advice from people who’ve been there and done that. As I said it would be nice to hear from people who have a spendy nature and live in an expensive city as people who are naturally frugal, introverted and living rural won’t understand where I’m coming from.
We also get paid at different times, me at the end of the month and my partner, the second week of the month.
Well firstly I think you both need to have a talk and decide what your priorities are. If you aren’t agreed it won’t work. Sit down together an work out a monthly budget. Decide what your money is going to do and give every £ a job. To me it sounds like you’re both subconsciously hell bent on spending all your money - for instance, you’re talking about swapping meals out for trips away. If you want to save you will need to cut back on meals out AND trips away!
Honestly though the reason I can afford a spontaneous trip or meal out is that I have enough spare money to pay every bill, save well and still have surplus. When I was on a much, much lower income (about £20k) I could not afford those things - I had to prioritise my spending on my daughter’s needs and I went without the luxuries. I still use the same budgeting spreadsheet as I did then and now the numbers are much less agonising to look at.
Savings wise it works well if you treat your savings as another bill to pay - so when I get paid my savings go on a standing order to my savings account and I never really see the money. I have quite a bit of spare money over and above what I automatically save and what I allocate as spending money, and I do find that’s easily frittered away because it’s not really allocated to anything in particular. I put my spending money in a separate account and just use that card to make sure I don’t overspend. A lot of it is about self discipline, and saying when it’s gone it’s gone.
You could open a “start to save” account (nationwide do one) where there is an incentive (prize draw) to help you get in the habit of saving a set amount monthly.
Can’t help with the different pay cycles thing as have never experienced it!
Thanks, I’ve never heard of that savings account so will check it out. We kind of want to afford the odd trip away so want to save for long term(which we already do) and then also have a savings account for ‘fun.’ I just think if we’re working hard and earning money we should spend it on the things we like doing instead of going on random London outings that we rarely enjoy these days.