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2017: The Year of Saving...



Growing up I was always the kid who when they had money, it just burnt a hole in my pocket and I just had to spend it. Don't get me wrong, I understood the value of money but I was just a spender.
I never really had the motivation to save so never really knew how to go about it. Let's fast forward to the present day where I still find it difficult to keep my account out of the red and money just seems to run through my fingers.

If you read my last post, you will know I want to start seriously saving for a house so I'm getting my butt into gear and making 2017 the year I save so I've come up with a plan of action to get me onto the right path and hopefully in my own place by next year!

Now I know everyone has different circumstances when it comes to finances so I want to be as honest with you about my background so you have an idea of where I'm coming from so here goes, I'm 25 and I'm in debt. Don't worry it's not really serious and I am managing it but I hate owing money to people so any amount of debt for me is bad. I currently have a loan and a credit card to repay but my biggest concern is the loan as that eats away at a fair bit of my wage a month.

So... what is my plan of action? I've broken it down into three sections, my 'problems', my 'actions' and my 'goals' which should help to focus on what I actually need to do to kickstart my saving properly.

MY PLAN OF ACTION:

My Problems
- Repay my loan and credit card 
- Cut back on spending

For me, I have two main concerns that hinder me from my saving potential which are my repayments and my spending habit (told you I was a spender). As I said, I make monthly payments but I would like to get into the position where I can make more than just the minimum to clear the debt faster. My credit card isn't my biggest concern as I currently have a really good one that works for me - if you would like a more detailed post on credit cards and where to get them from etc than let me know.
I have to admit, my spending excluding Christmas (because who doesn't spend at Christmas) has been pretty good. I just really need to tighten my belt and stop purchasing pointless items. 

I have to say that there is one positive to all this debt and that is that my credit score is pretty darn good as I'm showing I have to ability to borrow money and pay it back on time. Upside to everything right?

My Actions
- Write my saving plan down so I can see it
- Treat myself once a month to relieve the pressure of saving
- Track my progress on a tri-monthly basis
Start my daily budget app again from 1st Jan
- Change my direct debits to come out on the same day

The fun part! How I'm going to achieve my actions! So I'm such a visual person, I can understand ideas in my mind but for me to action them or remember them I have to have it written down or drawn out. So if there is one thing I would recommend you do if you're not to go with saving is get yourself a budget book. For me, that's just a normal notebook but I like it as it gives me the freedom to write/plan exactly how I want which is great! I write all my saving ideas and little ways for me to keep track of my saving/spending.
The other day I was scrolling through Pinterest and came across the perfect saving plan for me which will work for me and my budget, again if you'd like to see that, just let me know. Even with saving there needs to be a healthy balance as too much will drive me crazy so I've decided to allow myself one treat each month. Whether that be a meal with my friends, a new lipstick or that new coat I've been eyeing up. You've gonna have a balance right?

If you want to keep motivated, having a tri-monthly tracker of all your bank accounts - savings, every day the lot, as well as any loans you have etc, is highly satisfying! Every three months I've written down the current state of my accounts which has motivated me to make them look better for the months ahead. No one wants to be in the red, do they?
If you're an Apple user then a great app to download is "Daily Budget", it gives you a daily spending allowance everyday based on your ingoings and outgoings. If you keep in the blue then that's good and any money you didn't spend that day rolls over to the next however if you overspent, you have money deducted from the following day. It's the best budgeting app I've come across so it's definitely worth a look. Sorry android users, I don't know if it's available to you guys.
I can't take the credit for my last action, this was one momma T! Thanks, momma! She thought it would be a good idea if I had all my direct debits come out on the same day so that I can focus the rest of my money on savings. I've only just changed my dates for this one so you'll have to give me a couple of months to see if it works out.

My Goals
- To save £5,000 in a year
- Clear my loan this year

As I mentioned earlier I'm going to start trialling a new savings plan and the outcome of it is to have saved £5,000 in a year if I can achieve it which would be amazing! It's a good starting point for house savings and it's one step closer than I am now. I feel like if I can crack the first £5,000 then the rest should be easy! With that in mind, I also hope to clear my loan by the end of the year and be somewhat debt free.

2017 is a big year for me and am expecting a lot but I really hope to get my feet well and truly on the saving ladder. I'm going to do a review of my action plan in 6 months to see what has worked/failed and where I'm at with my savings! Fingers crossed it all works out!


Are you saving this year?
Dionne

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