How I Save: The HR analyst who has saved £17,000 in two years

How I Save: The HR analyst who has saved £17,000 in two years

December 10, 2020

Our weekly series How I Save is all about money – how we save it, how we spend it, and how we can improve our personal finance skills.

Each week we ask a different person to track their spending for a week and share it here.

Then we get an expert to give them some tips on how they can save better.

This time around we’re chatting with Sadie*, 26.

Sadie is an HR analyst living in London, who’s managed to save up a sizeable chunk of money despite having a tendency to impulse buy.

How Sadie saves:

I earn £27,000 a year and in my savings account right now I have £17,000.

I’ve saved this much money by budgeting and trying to control my spending. I also live at home with my parents.

It has taken me about two years to save this much.

I’m saving for a mortgage deposit and aiming to buy within the next two years

The main way I save is by putting away £500 to £1,000 a month. When it comes to saving, I save, spend and invest, in that order. I haven’t automated my savings because I like the feeling of topping it up myself each month.

I struggle with saving because I’m an impulse buyer and I like to buy luxury, inessential items. For example, I bought an £155 Louis Vuitton silk bandeau that I’ve only worn once

I’ve been working from home since March so I’ve been able to save an extra £140 a month which I previously spent on my monthly commute.

I also saved an extra £225 a month, previously spent on driving lessons which were on-hold due to lockdown.

Now I want to have an emergency fund, separate to the money I’m saving for a mortgage deposit, but I have a habit of spending money before I have it using a credit card – although I do pay it off each month before it attracts interest.

I also started investing and trading during lockdown as a result of the low bank interest rates.

How Sadie spends:

Monthly expenses:

  • Phone bill: £58.40
  • Bank reward scheme: £4 (I pay £4 and get a £7 reward so a £3 profit)
  • Contacts: £6.50
  • Virtual office: £18 (For a dormant company)
  • Groceries: £55 (I live at home so don’t have to spend too much)
  • Contribution: £60 (Money I spend helping others e.g. charity or supporting small businesses)
  • Driving lessons: £225
  • Rent: £0

A week of spending:

Monday: I didn’t spend any money today because I try to wait until the new month starts (after payday) before I start spending. This doesn’t always work.

I live and work at home so I ate leftovers.

Total spent on Monday: £0

Tuesday: I bought a gold watch for £156.58 during the Cyber Week sales as an early Christmas gift to myself. I’ve wanted a watch for ages so it’s not an impulse buy, but it’s definitely inessential and I bought it using my credit card.

I ate leftovers again because I haven’t had the time to plan out my meals and order groceries.

Total spent on Tuesday: £156.58

Wednesday: I didn’t spend any money today.

Total spent on Wednesday: £0

Thursday: I ordered Caribbean food for £14 because I didn’t fancy eating what was available in the house.

Total spent on Thursday: £14

Friday: I bought a personalised Christmas book for my niece for £36.97.

Total spent on Friday: £36.97

Saturday: I finally ordered groceries for £56.33.

Total spent on Saturday: £56.33

Sunday: I bought two pairs of jeans for my nephew for £31.98 and two balloon cocktail glasses for Christmas festivities for £9.50.

Total spent on Sunday: £41.48

Total spent this week: £305.36

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