My experience as a young saver
Hello, my name is Nicole, and I am a young saver!
I am constantly looking for my next new experience, such as travelling and attending different events. I have gone to several events such as Halloween Reggaeton party dressed as Jasmine; comic con dressed as Alice in the wonderland. I also enjoy doing creative activities such as coming up with games and making cards.
But enough about my interests, let’s delve into how and why my saving journey started.
How did my road to saving begin?
The road to saving was not easy as I had wanted to save since university but was always more of a spender than a saver. Therefore, I could not start my saving journey until after completing my degree in BA Sociology and Media. I also felt that I was not experiencing as much of life as I could.
However, in the last few years, I have set myself a few goals and activities to better myself as an individual and experience more of what life offers. As part of my mission to take actions that can positively impact my existence, I decided to start my saving journey in May 2021; I was unemployed at the time but decided to start saving what I could. I opened an Easy access saving account online, which was straightforward; I went for this option as this account does not have the restrictions that other saving accounts have, such as having to wait until an account matures before being able to access an account or paying a fee for accessing an account before the end of a fixed term. My savings are not for one specific purpose: my savings account has a muti-purpose as it is for potentially rainy days and holidays.
Perhaps the uncertainty of the last few years with Brexit and the pandemic inspired me to take those first saving steps.
Furthermore, In July 2021, I found a paid Internship, which enabled me to continue saving. I increased how much I saved per month once I started the Internship. Towards the finale of my Internship, I found out the verdict of whether I would be allowed to stay on, which I was. This meant that I did not have to return to save what I was saving at the beginning of my saving path.
The saving journey and being in employment also allowed me to reach another personal goal: to go to Tunisia, as I could put some of my savings towards my trip. I also have travel adventures in my sights for the oh so near future, and my savings will make it easier to turn them into reality.
Travelling was always a favourite pastime, but with the Covid-19 restrictions and not being able to travel for two years, it became even more poignant for me to have enough money to travel more regularly to make up for the lost time once the travel restrictions were lifted.
Struggles faced as a saver:
One of the challenges that I face as a saver is that I struggle to save the same amount every month, most months, I can save the amount I set myself, but there are also other times where I adjust the amount I save by decreasing or increasing depending on factors such as salary for the month, my expenditures and how much money will come out before the next payday. For instance, if I have more things to pay for during a specific month, I deposit less money into my savings account. However, if I have fewer things to pay for, I deposit the amount I initially set myself.
Another dilemma that I faced was when I made the arrangements for my holiday to Tunisia; I had to access my savings for the first time and saved less during this time, which meant I was not able to keep my savings untouched for longer as I had wanted to grow my savings pot more before getting my hands on my additional funds. However, I am aware that I will need to access my savings for most holidays and will not be able to save as much when I am due to go on holiday.
A further struggle I had recently was that because I had my savings, I did too much relaxing with my spending and had to access my savings twice in the same month. Therefore, maintaining discipline can sometimes be difficult when you know that your savings are there if you run out of money.
What lessons have been learnt:
I have learned that saving can bring me a lot closer to my goals if I am consistent with my saving and that saving first is the best strategy to save every month because although I am not able to save the same amount every month, I am still able to put some money aside every month. I also learnt that it does not matter how much I save because it will add up with regular savings and that circumstances can change for the better; therefore, the amount saved at the beginning of a saving journey can be increased and what matters is that we start the saving journey.
If I knew what I know now, I would have started saving earlier because the peace of mind that comes with saving and knowing that you have additional funds to fall back on if you need it is something I cannot put into words.
My advice to other young savers is to start saving now, do not focus on the amount you are saving; save what you can every month and your saving pot will begin to come together. I would also recommend saving first, as this is a strategy that has worked for me. I deposit money into my savings on every payday. Depending on the account you open, you can always transfer it back to your current account should you need to pay any remaining expenses.
I also recommend finding a happy medium between spending and saving so that you can save but still enjoy the fruits of your hard labour at the same time. For instance, after saving, I use what is left to pay for everything else, including outings; I calculate how much I may need for each expedition and how many times I can afford to go out, which means that I am still able to enjoy both sides of the coin without putting my ability to save in jeopardy.
Saving apps such as Intellisaving were applications that I was unaware of when I first started saving, but they are handy if you have multiple saving and ISA accounts that you would like to track, as you can track them all within the same platform. And within the app, you will be able to compare the best interest rates in the market. Therefore, saving apps are worth considering.
Saving makes what we deem impossible possible because regular saving becomes our financial cushion during the stormy days and brings us closer to making some of our dreams a reality.