Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Money - Saver Stories with RBS

As part of my New Years Resolutions to get organised & get fit, I've been giving a bit of thought to my finances which also need to get in better shape!

Past

I vividly remember getting my first current account and debit card with RBS when I was a teenager. My mum came with me into the branch on Union Street in Aberdeen and we successfully managed to get the account set up - it was all very exciting and grown up. I was soon going on my first solo trip abroad!

At the beach in Boston :)

I had various part-time jobs through school and university (chamber maid, shop assistant and lifeguard if you're interested!) and was able to save money each month. I had a cash ISA and used to try to save my maximum allowance each year (interest that you earn on the balance of a cash ISA is tax-free). I was rather sensible in my teens and twenties!!

At my graduation with my gran

I purchased my first property when I was 21 and used my savings to help furnish the flat. I was really pleased to get on the property ladder and having my savings certainly helped somewhat (as did the various family members that donated furniture and other bits and pieces and I also couldn't have done it without the help of my dad who guaranteed my mortgage for me - thanks dad).

What advice would I give to my younger self now if I could?

Hmmm... this is a tough question as I think I was possibly a bit more savvy when I was younger than I am now when it comes to savings!

My top tip, which I should pay attention to now, is to not spend money unless you have it. It's really disheartening having to pay fees for using an overdraft or paying interest on a credit card; I make sure that I pay off my credit card balance in full each month so that I don't have to pay interest.

Present

Over the past few years I have tried to save money where possible.

A big spend each week for me is food. On the advice of a friend I've tried Money Saving Expert's Downshift Challenge. Items in the supermarket fit into four levels - premium (finest, extra special); branded (e.g. Kelloggs, McVities); own brand; and value (basic, savers). The theory is that you drop one brand level on everything then see if you can tell the difference of not. If not, stick with the cheaper one. I've also been shopping online and meal planning which has also helped me save my pennies.

I also previously had accounts with BT, Sky, Virgin and Orange for my landline, TV, broadband and mobile respectively. I've streamlined this now and just have one account with Virgin which covers them all. I've also ditched premium channels on the TV - I wasn't really watching them anyway.

One final thing I've done to save money is that I've stopped having my hair cut and coloured as frequently (I went brunette for a while and was dying my hair in the house as blonde was proving to be too high maintenance).

All of these 'everyday savings' have allowed me to spend money each week on some luxuries. Everyone is different, but for me at the moment my luxuries are my personal trainer and I've also hired a cleaner. The exercise is so important for my wellbeing and I'm slowly getting motivated to keep up with it in my own time. The cleaner is already making my life so much easier. I also have extra outgoings these days because of our kittens, Rhubarb & Crumble... but they're worth it!



I keep track of my finances in an Excel spreadsheet on my computer. However I've recently discovered the RBS Budget Calculator which does the job for you... all you need to do is enter your income, and then input your monthly expenditure (mortgage/rent, food, bills, childcare costs etc.) and it will tell you what your saving potential is each month. It's really straightforward to use and this way I can see if I can afford any of my other luxuries, like a night out or some new clothes.

RBS are on a fairer banking mission. To prove they mean business, they are offering the same savings rates to both new and existing customers, as well as waving goodbye to the short term teaser rates on savings accounts. 

Future

I'm hoping that with the increased hours at my new job I will be able to save a bit more each month as my take home salary will be a little bit more than I'm used to. I think the easiest way to commit to this is to set up a Standing Order to a separate Savings Account. If the money is in my Current Account then I'm more likely to spend it! When I was a bit more flush I had an ISA, and this is something that I'll need to start using again.

My ultimate goal is to have our first family holiday in the sun. I'm yet to venture out of Scotland with the kids, so we are all looking forward to an adventure somewhere new this year. The kids went to Turkey with their dad last summer, and I'd love to be able to take them somewhere myself. I'm going to use the RBS Savings Goal Tool (only available to RBS customers) to create a savings plan and assign it to my RBS Savings Account. I'll then be able to track my progress really easily when I log into my digital banking.

My bags are packed, I'm ready to go ;)

I also have a few debts that I need to pay off, and this is on my to-do-list for the future. I've still got a student loan despite having left university over 10 years ago now! I'd like to get this cleared asap.

What are your savings goals?

Disclaimer - This paid/sponsored post is in collaboration with RBS.

2 comments:

  1. Completely off topic but love your hair short - rocking it! Love it long too :) x

    ReplyDelete

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