Learning to be a saver rather than a spender

This post is in collaboration with Leeds Building Society.

I strongly believe that the person who said “money can’t buy you happiness” was either rich or a liar. Money isn’t just for buying things. It can provide security, safety, and experiences. In fact, money is pretty great (if you have it). Unfortunately, I’m definitely more a spender than a saver when it comes to handling finances. That’s why I’ve accepted the Leeds Building Society‘s challenge to train myself to be a saver!

At this stage in my life I’m wanting to do all those ~adult~ things like buy a car and start saving for a house deposit with Rhianna. Instead we’re eating out far too often (because food is life) and frittering away money on pointless purchases. That’s why we’re excited for this challenge – we’re totally capable of saving money, we just need to get into the mindset of doing it.

Leeds Building Society has teamed up with Consultant Psychologist and author of the book ‘Willpower for Dummies’, Dr Frank Ryan, to provide us with some advice (and a few lifestyle tweaks) to help us become better savers. It all makes a lot of sense and it’s weird how obvious things become when someone actually says it to you. The main focus is on setting targets and having the willpower to reach them, which means planning in advance and avoiding tempting situations. So there will be no more buying lunch at work, or getting a lazy Uber home. Instead, that’s all extra pennies for the “I’m an adult” fund.

I can’t speak for Rhi here, but I’m definitely not known for my willpower, so I do think I’ll struggle a bit with the challenge. My issue is that I get major FOMO, so I don’t like to miss out on new games, or nights out. Whilst it’s fun, it definitely isn’t healthy for my wallet! That’s why having goals will be so important for me in this process. It’s so easy to spend more when you aren’t working towards something, which is why I’m setting myself some manageable targets!

MY TARGETS:

  • Set up a savings account and put aside at least £250 a month.
  • Plan my lunches rather than buying at work.
  • Change my gym membership and start actually going again.
  • Enjoy a cost-free experience, rather than an expensive day out.

Using the tips from Leeds Building Society I’ve made these targets as achievable and personal as possible. That way, I should actually be able to manage them, whilst also setting myself up properly for life after the challenge!

I’ll be doing a proper evaluation of the challenge and how we manage in a few weeks, but in the meantime you can keep up to date with Rhi and I via Twitter.

Would you class yourself as a saver or a spender? Let me know in the comments!


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This post is in collaboration with Leeds Building Society. All words and opinions are my own. 

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  • I’m definitely a saver. Since I’ve moved around so much in my life I shun excess stuff because I know I will just have to move it or get rid of it later, both of which require effort and time that I don’t want to spend. Maybe thinking of stuff in that way can help you avoid temptation.

    My mom recently got really intense about her finances in order to get out of debt, and she succeeded with a variety of small (and large) lifestyle adjustments that saved money all over the place. Not eating out so much, as you said, is a huge one. Another thing that can save a lot of money is downgrading or eliminating TV service (if you still pay for something like cable) and switching to Netflix. If you are willing to even eliminate Netflix and switch to free things like YouTube, podcasts and library books for entertainment, all the better. Finding a cheaper internet and/or electricity provider can also save a lot of money in the long run, and doing small things like turning off lights when you’re not in a room, turning the heat down a degree or two and not using air conditioning (if you have it) can lead to huge savings in energy costs. I’ve also found that little things like really using up each bottle of shampoo, lotion and other beauty products before buying another one can add up to a fair amount of savings. When I think my shampoos, toothpastes or lotions are empty I cut open the bottles/tubes and always find way more left than I thought, sometimes enough to last for an extra week or two. Those extra weeks add up at the end of the year.

    The savings account is also huge! If you can, set it up as a certificate of deposit (CD, at least that’s what it’s called in America). That’s a savings account that you agree to put a certain amount of money in over a predetermined length of time (anywhere from a few months to multiple years) and you are not allowed to withdraw anything from it until that predetermined length of time has passed. That prevents you from dipping into it in “emergencies” or when your willpower is at a low. There is usually a minimum starting deposit (for me it was $1000), and after that you can put in as much as you want. CDs also earn way more interest than normal savings accounts, so your money will be making money while it sits in the bank. It’s a win-win.

    You could also ask your bank if they have any special account for saving for a house. Germany offers an account specifically to save for building or putting down a deposit on a house, and the government kicks in a few euros if you regularly pay into it.

    I wish you all the best with your financial goals! Money is tough but you are tougher! 😉

    Danielle | solongusa.blogspot.com

    • Thank you so much for your comment Danielle, you definitely have plenty of experience on the matter!

      I’ve just set up a normal access savings account and I plan on getting a lifetime ISA when more banks make them available in the coming months, that should help me get the money together for a deposit!

      Joe x

  • Abigail Huggan

    I’m very much a saver, although my boyfriend is more of a spender. I’ve always been that way really, I’ve never wanted to spend too much on something unless it’s been worth the money. I’ve also been living on student finance for the past three years and although I don’t have to pay bills and stuff out of it as I live at home I’ve still had live off of it to some extent so that has made me cautious about how much I spend as well

    Abbie • overpeachchic.com

    • I was the same as you, except I used my finance to help support my girlfriend!
      I definitely don’t like spending large amounts, it’s the small repetitive payments which catch me out!

      Joe

  • I would say I’m both. When I have something to save for, I’m pretty damn good at it. When I don’t, my savings account is lucky to see £100 a month. I like having savings as a comfort blanket. I always say it’s for a ‘rainy day’ but I’ll never let it drop below a certain amount. I definitely agree that whoever said ‘money doesn’t buy happiness’ was rich or lying. At this point, it’s hard to believe that I wouldn’t be happy with a few extra pennies in my purse.

    Great post, good luck! X

    Hollie | ItsHollieAnn.com

    • At least you put money in every month, regardless of if you have an aim! It sounds like a good idea to keep it there as a safety blanket, I’ll definitely keep that mindset!

      Joe x

  • I’m definitely a spender! But I’m trying to be more responsible and become a saver. Now I have a car I really need a savings fund for repairs, MOT and services! Good luck! x http://www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

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