Last week was the first week of the month with lots of regular bills being paid but its also when I make a lot of savings. I wanted to share the simplicity of my automated savings and how easily it adds up over time.
Stock and Shares ISA
Every month a transfer of £100 goes off to my Stocks and Shares ISA. This is a longer term savings strategy as the money is invested in the stock market, into a fund which contains lots of different companies. I check it occasionally, every few months and its amazing to see the money building up over time.
This money is put away for the long term, it actually money in place for my children when they turn 18, whatever they choose to do. Be that house deposit, car or university. My stocks and shares ISA is with Vanguard, no affiliation, just cheap fees and a good choice of Vanguard funds.
Every week an auto savings amount leave my current account and goes to my Plum Savings. This is based on my balance and spending during the week, if its a healthy balance then more goes into my auto savings. I use this money for holidays and let it build through the year. I rarely check it and get a nice surprise of some spare cash sat in there.
I’ve currently got £136 stashed away. I will let this build up until July and use it for our summer holidays spending money.
I love the simplicity of this auto-savings app, saving with no effort and not noticing, but then having a nice chunk of money building up for when you need it. It could be a great place to hold emergency money too. Set up an account using my referral link here.
Over-Payment of Mortgage
I have more coming on this later this week, but I have been trialling a new app called Sprive where money is auto-saved similar to Plum and then transferred as an over payment to my mortgage. I have been aware for many years that I have only ever paid the monthly payment on my mortgage so this is my first steps towards small over payments. The interest savings are huge!
If you want to check it out before I share my thoughts you can grab yourself a £5 bonus for signing up and connecting your up your mortgage setting up auto over payments using this code MUMPENNY, download the app from here.
A Monthly Check of my Top CashBack account
I use Top Cashback for all my online purchases and occasionally get refer a friend payments. This is a great little saving strategy, I check it at the beginning of each month to see what savings have stacked up and transfer them into my current account. I am keenly waiting for a £105 payment to clear that I recently grabbed after switching my broadband. It is definitely worth setting up a Top Cashback account for the FREE money!
I make all of the above saving only after being satisfied that my emergency fund is fully topped up. I keep this money set aside in a separate savings account, three to six months worth of essential expenses.
I have made no mention of my pension yet as I treat this slightly differently. I assess my cash flow at the end of each quarter on this one and make a transfer into my PensionBee pension of an appropriate amount. My goal is put at least £3000 each quarter into my PensionBee personal pension. This is of course very long term savings that I cannot access until at least 57 (this age changes from 55 to 57 in 2028) so I have to be sure that I don’t need the money for now. It is definitely a balancing act.
As it was the beginning of the month it was a high spending week with £1450 going on regular bills, a bit less than normal as its another council tax free month. My other notable spends this wee were on eating out where I spent £200 mainly because of a day in London on Saturday with lunch and dinner and lots of drinks. We ate at Brat on Saturday evening and it was amazing as usual. Total spend for the week was £1850.
My Weekly Article for the Mirror
Last week I wrote about my debt story for my column in the Mirror. I focusses on how it made me feel and what I did when I hit my rock bottom, how I got through it, how I kept going and paid off the debt. An inspirational read if you are struggling with debt. There is always a way out, always a way to pay it back, even if it takes longer than you hoped.