So, its January, we all make resolutions.. Get fit, lose weight, travel on certain holidays, get a new car etc… and if your anything like me… to get my finances looking more attractive never mind my body!
So this year I swore to myself I was giving proper savings a go. Last year I had the Post Office & Credit Union thing going on, and it felt so good but I started late in the year, knew full well with certain events on, I was aiming to put a few bob away to cover these occassions… and it wasnt going to be there coming into 2018 😂
Now anybody who knows me knows Im desperate with money and I probably have a neck like a jockeys you know what even touching on this subject because it actually burns a hole in my pocket… (I also blame being paid by the month one of the reasons I was so bad).. We can all relate to this image ⬇
So without me harping on about how crap I am with money I’m going to share what I’ve kicked into gear this week, and how I intend to build on it all this year.. 💸💸
Bills Bills Bills: In order to stay ahead of Direct Debits heres what I done to stop the big payments coming one after the other.. You can do this through a standing order or lodging cash at the Post Office with your paper bill. I paid double on my bills one mth, as in I allowed the lump of the due amount to come out then divided my bill up over its frequency. For example, a €160 Gas bill, hits down every 2 months, 160 ÷ 8 = 20 so I start lodging €20 a week off the bill in the post office, done the same with the ESB and UPC. This meant I paid out €50 a week instead of €370 in one lump when the bills came together. If you choose to pay more, for example, €25 off the bills it will eventually build up and you can have bill free weeks like when you go on a holiday, or Christmas comes round you wont need to do “bill money” because your bill is in credit.
*Tip: The standing order (excuse the pun) will really stand to you on your credit rating, its all on your terms, its not a direct debit so you can change your amount and frequency as much as you please and its proof of payments on your account.
Credit Union: Now please don’t go all central bank and political on me with this one but where would the population of Ireland be without the oul Credit Union.. I’m not getting into interest rates, APR, or any of that jazz.. Its simple, open your book and put €20 a week in, by the end of the year you will be €1040 better off. Now one thing I found is to give it in cash works me, simple because I’ve noticed this, when I go in if I have €10/€5 in me purse with the €20 I’m inclined to put that in with it.. now don’t leave yourself broke, don’t put the fiver and the tenner in (well do if you want) but I just see it as I wont miss that €5/€10 so in it goes and it can make a huge difference on the final sum!
Another thing my Credit Union offer (I don’t know if all do) but the stamp machines. You have a choice to fill a €2 or €5 book. Each book has 50 spaces on it. I only do the €2 book, I am always conscious now of holding all my €2 coins aside and I go in with a bundle of them each week (well always at least 5 or 6 anyway) and the books fill up so quick and you can either save or spend your €100 (€250 for the €5 books) Its so handy and you defo don’t miss the €2…
*Tip: This is another opportunity to empty the change in ur purse or pocket, don’t be afraid to put in an extra €4.39 that’s sat in your change compartment #ItAllAddsUp
Post Office: This is the same idea as the credit union, When I do my bills at the Post Office, I always throw at least €5 into the savings book, this is my coming and going money. As in, I use the Credit Union now to build and save, I don’t want to keep withdrawing from it for silly things, so with the Post Office, If I have an occasion coming up, like a wedding or big function, I want to buy a new dress, I’m also paying out for Hair, Make Up, money for on the night.. I’m not having to scrape on one thing that week i.e. my bills and I can just withdraw from this to use the money for the extra costs.
*Tip: While your there, buy a €4 television licence stamp, save another lump sum having to hit your account… or inspector hit your door (I’m always conscious of this as much as I don’t even watch the telly, I don’t fancy a B&B in the joy for the night)
Savings Club: Most jobs, societys & families all engage in the savings clubs.. Esp for the silly season. By again, putting away a certain amount each week from as little as €5 you can take back €260 at the end of the year or €20 you get back €1040. It can cover a lot for Christmas, your food shop, nights out fund, present money… You can split it to cover 2 or 3 things. We all know how much of a financial burden the Christmas can be so let this lighten your load.
*Tip: Everyone saving together is a great incentive to not lose track or fall behind on payments.
Coin Jar: Ah the good oul coin jar, are you even Irish if there isn’t a coin jar in your house? These work best for the Holidays.. I loved even years ago my Da always had one and a week or so before every holiday we poured this huge glass bottle of coins onto the bed and we all took a coin each like all the 1p or 10p coins, and counted it up. The best way to keep this going 1. If your anything like me don’t make it accessible to take money out of, only putting it in (I was lethal for always taking me bus fair from mine every morning before work) and 2. Its even better if you put limits on it i.e. only from 10c up, no coppers, or only a €2/€1 jar. You would be very surprised at how quickly these fill up and what they can add to holiday spends.
Tip: If you have kids, get them a jar to save even their coppers in and hold it until the likes of a holiday comes round or they are saving for a specific toy/game. It will teach them the value of their own money. One thing I always find is how reluctant kids can be in spending their own money but have no issues wen it comes to Mammy and Daddys 😂
Overall Tips and ideas
As we all deal with online banking now this is a simple one. Everytime you log into your account and your balance is for example €462.78… Take that €2.78.. If you have a loan account, credit card account or even set up a second current account.. Transfer it in, it could add up to a lot of money on the loan or credit card or like my post office “in and out” money it can act as this for you too.
I have also came across a page on Facebook last year, in light of many clothing, meme or piss take pages, this is a straight to the point no jargon or jibberish advice page on finance/money/mortgages AskPaul is a great page to add and I just seen hes on Snapchat too. I defo recommend adding this page, he may not agree with all of the above but the images below have defo spurred me into wanting to save as best I can in 2018. Check out the totoally doable 52 week money challenge, If you start somewhere start with this..
and if your really into it this 5k challenge…
I know it may of sounded like I was blabbing on saying yeah, €20 here, €20 there another €10 over here and I know how hard financially some people still have it but if theres one thing to remember and not let it put you off its this IT ALL ADDS UP. Even if all your saving is €5 a week with a coin jar its still extra money.. Between bill and saving money mine is totalling €75 a week. Ive no lump sum direct debits and I am in so much more control of my money I feel its my own again and not my bills.
A not so broke anymore,