Owning your own home may feel like you’ve achieved financial nirvana. However, achieving one life goal shouldn’t mean you lose sight of others. See our advice for #NoSpend participant, Rebecca, on future proofing her finances.
What is your financial goal? 2 weeks in Norway (£1,500 – £2,000)
Do you feel this is currently obtainable? Hopefully before I’m 30!
What’s your biggest financial fear? Not having a big enough “rainy day” fund
What do you estimate your weekly ‘bits and bobs’ spend to be? £25
How did you feel completing the challenge?
I don’t think I fritter a massive amount of money usually, although I know there are areas I can cut back on, but this month has involved a lot of being out and about and a few events that have all added up. That said, I’ve spent a lot of time in the past in a position where I had to be very strict with my finances, so I don’t feel bad allowing myself the occasional splurge now that things are more comfortable (hello, new teeth!).
What did you learn?
I’m pretty bad at remembering my lunch. And packing in general. A fair amount of my spending was due to poor organisation!
Will there be any aspects you will be taking forward?
I’m going to try harder to make sure I have enough time to prepare food in the evenings and pack it in the mornings. It’s not a huge cost each time, but the little spends add up over the month and this should be a “quick win”.
Do you think you will continue to keep a spending diary?
I don’t think I’ll do it all the time, but I will keep track of things every few months if I’m finding that my savings aren’t increasing the way I’d hoped.
Do you feel you have a better understanding of your finances as a result of completing the challenge?
I think so. I always set myself a “spend” budget from my income, after bills and savings, but it’s been interesting to see where it actually goes!
Do you feel that, after completing the challenge, your financial goal is now achievable?
I hope so. I’ve saved up for my Invisalign this year, so now that is out of the way, as long as I don’t let things slip and I keep myself in check, I’m hopeful to get to Norway at least in time for my 30th. I’ll be sure to share some pictures!
Given Rebecca’s profession, we’re pleased that she has such a firm grip on her financial spending! As she identifies, however, poor time management and the tendency to lean towards grab and go options at lunchtime will soon all add up and impact of her ability to meet her financial goals.
The positives are that Rebecca has set objectives that she’s aiming towards, which is vital to creating saving patterns and good money behaviour. We know that she uses tools like the Monzo card.
There are some key things that we would talk about with Rebecca to move her financial planning forward, firstly, to ensure that she has the right protection policies in place to repay any debt (mortgage and any other credit cards or loans) – which will provide her with financial confidence and peace of mind, if she was ill and unable to work. She should also as a priority look to save to ensure that she has at least 3-6 months net income set aside as an emergency ‘buffer’ – to dispel her biggest financial fear. This is the first step, before then setting money aside for the nice things, like the Norway trip.