HOW I SAVED £1000 IN TWO MONTHS

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I always feel like I go through “financial phases”. Sometimes I feel like setting a huge goal and heading straight for it, and other times I just want to treat myself… 7 times in a month. I’m in my third and final year of uni and the prospect of graduating and finding The Job at the end is looming over me and is quite frankly, a freaking scary thought.

Back in July I discovered SugarMamma.TV, a YouTube channel created by Australian financial advisor Canna Campbell, and in August, I decided to completely overhaul my whole outlook on my finances.

Canna is all about creating financial independence for yourself and not having to rely on anyone to provide for you. When I started watching SugarMamma.TV I was coming towards the end of my last loan from 2nd year and still over a month away from receiving my next loan through, and as I didn’t work over the summer I wasn’t in a position to put money into savings there and then like I would’ve loved to. Instead, I created a budget using the SugarMamma spreadsheet available here on Canna’s website, it’s so easy to use and really makes you think about how much you really spend on particularly frivolous everyday items.

This brings me on to my favourite tips that I learnt from Canna that have helped me to save £1000 in under 2 months…

  1. Set a Goal
    When I first started thinking seriously about my finances, I didn’t have a set goal, mainly because I didn’t really know how well I would do – whether or not that goal would even be a realistic one. But looking back, I would definitely say that if I had set a goal from the start, I would have probably underestimated just how much I could save in such a short space of time. £1000 in two months, for me, is a lot of money! Set a goal that is high but achievable if your mind is set. Make the goal realistic, but still a number high enough for you to be proud of when you reach it.
  2. Open a Savings Account
    This might seem like a bit of an obvious point, it certainly seems obvious to me now, but I’d never had a separate savings account before now. This is probably my favourite out of all the tips as it really allows you to see exactly how much money you aren’t spending! It also acts as a barrier if you are an impulse spender like me!
  3. Create a Budget
    When I first used the budget spreadsheet on the SugarMamma website, I tried to put in the truthful (and shameful) amount of money that I’ve been spending on things like extra data for my phone, Starbucks, magazines, and mid-week leisurely lunches. As an example, it worked out that I was spending almost £700 a year on Starbucks! Like I said, shameful. Whilst I’m particularly embarrassed about admitting that, I also am not committing to completely cut out those things altogether, I would like to have a life! However, it just really does make you more mindful about how much you spend on things that really add up, but don’t really count for anything. I’d much rather spend that money on something that is actually going to bring me joy than just a few Starbucks’ a week. So creating a budget is a HUGE lifesaver when you are saving, it also allows you to work out how much money you’ll have leftover at the end of the month so you can put that in your savings account.
  4. Download a Banking App
    Having a banking app on my phone has really helped me check my balance more often which, in turn, stops me from spending as much! It’s also a tool which makes it easier for you to transfer money from your everyday account over to your savings account.
  5. Put Money Into Your Savings Every Time You Check Your Balance
    I always, always do this and it makes so much difference. For example, if my balance is standing at £854.67, I would put £4.67 into my account. I call it “clearing down” my balance, but it’s basically just rounding it down to the nearest 10. If I’m in a particularly “rich” phase, I’ll round it down to the nearest 100, but every little helps, so even if you only put the £0.67 into your savings, it’s better than nothing! Get into this habit every time you check your balance and your saving will creep up so quickly!
  6. Sell Unwanted Items On eBay
    This is a tip that has killed two birds with one stone for me. Being a fashion obsessive I have accumulated A LOT of clothes. That is including stuff that I don’t wear, things that have never been worn and still has tags on (*sigh*), things that I no longer like and things that don’t fit! It can be a bit of a pain taking photos of everything, writing up descriptions and putting it all up, but it is so rewarding once you start getting bids. Watching people in the middle of a bidding war for your old crap is rather entertaining! The money I’ve earn on eBay has gone straight into my savings account, and this has greatly helped my goal. Plus, it’s given me breathing room in my crowded wardrobe…
  7. Ask Yourself If You Really Need it
    Like I said before, creating a budget has really helped me to be aware of how much I spend on things that I don’t really need. Do I really need a 56th lipstick? No. Do I really need an 8th pair of black skinny jeans? No. Etc. I’ve definitely become more aware when I’m shopping – even though I don’t deprive myself as such, I’m not out to completely change who I am, I’m merely trying to be more intelligent with my finances.

So there are my (well, really Canna’s) top tips for saving money! I’ve saved over £1000 since the end of August – the most amount of money I’ve ever saved before, and it wasn’t even hard. I feel like these are tips for life and I am so grateful that I found SugarMamma.TV to teach me these financial tips and tricks!

This post is in no way affiliated with SugarMamma.TV, I’m just so thankful and proud of myself for having saved as much as I have, and that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for Canna!

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UPCOMING LIFE CHANGES: GETTING READY FOR UNIVERSITY!

So in the space of two weeks I moved to university in Epsom where I’m studying Fashion Journalism. That is one of the most exhilarating, exciting, scary, ridiculous and utterly fabulous sentences I’ve ever really written about myself. For me, uni has always been something that I’ve never really been all that interested in. The career path I want to go down (fashion journalism) doesn’t actually require a degree; more so experience. But I applied for uni anyway not even all that confident that I would even be accepted; but my school kind of forced the application process on us (because it clearly makes them look better the more of us that get into uni) and so I went along with it, not COMPLETELY keen with the idea, but not knowing what else I would do at that point. So I applied to three places, was invited to interviews and created portfolios (with one helluva fiasco involving my whole portfolio and a broken motherboard ONE WEEK before my interview at my first choice university!!!)

The universities I applied to were:

– The University for the Creative Arts – BA Hons Fashion Journalism
This was my first choice uni, I went to the open day and really felt a good “vibe” from it, the course looked perfect and the points expectation weren’t that high, which was appealing. (I only need a minimum of 240 points or three C’s at A Level)

– Southampton Solent University – BA Hons Writing Fashion and Culture
This was my second choice uni, I really liked it; the course leader was really friendly, the uni had a nice atmosphere and it was centrally located. However it was a looooong way from home which is why it was my second choice.

– Northbrook College – BA Hons Fashion Media and Promotion
I was offered a place at this uni which I ultimately declined. The course seemed fine, but it wasn’t a proper university, just a college with some degree level courses. It was situated in a sleepy-town and had no student accommodation, it was also a looooong way from home.

So to cut a long story short, as I mentioned earlier, I declined my place at Northbrook and had UCA as my first choice with Solent as my second choice with an unconditional offer from UCA. I always planned on taking a gap year out of education to earn money, gain CV recognition and also gain self esteem and come into myself more. School kind of took the life out of me and I needed a break to become more of myself. So having taken that gap year I can now fully vouch for the fact that I am a much more confident person than I was a year ago, much more motivated and emotionally stronger than I ever thought I could be.

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So now I’ve been at uni for a week. What are my first thoughts?

Well…. The run-up to the “big day” (i.e moving day) wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it’d be. At this point, I was really looking forward to going to uni to actually study and gain a degree in something that I absolutely love. As of right now I feel very motivated and excited with, I’m not going to lie, a bit of anxiety mixed in! The first 5 days of being here I suffered with really bad nausea; to the point where even standing up was vomit-inducing. Luckily, all traces of my vomit and pre-vomit have disappeared and I can now enjoy my first weekend as a student! (Sadly, no alcohol for me!)

As much as I miss home comforts such as the security of having my parents around, home cooked meals (!!!), my bed, familiar surroundings and a job with a steady pay; I really do love the idea of living (semi) independently. I’m loving the course, made some cool new fwends, and living 30 mins away from London is a MASSIVE bonus!

Any comments or questions about my course, other fashion-related courses or just uni in general, just leave below or drop me an e-mail! I’d be more than happy to help in such a tiresome and stress-ridden process!

xoxo

p.s. I apologise for the long rambling post!!

LAST CHANCE ALLSAINTS SALE!

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There’s only a short amount of time left before the AllSaints sale ends and everything has gone down in price again! It’s so tempting!!! I’ve just bought two more things from the website which I will blog about when they arrive! I bought these boots from there last week and it’s really naughty of me to be buying more, but as it’s AllSaints I really can’t resist! Check out the sale HERE!!! It’s ends really soon so get in there quick!!

OF COURSE I BOUGHT SOME NEW SHOES.

I made a vow to myself a while ago that I’d stop spending. I spent some more and re-established the vow. I then spent more money and tried to work on my marriage with my bank balance, but it seems it is not meant to be, because I’ve spent more. You could say I’m having a marital tiff with my bank account. We’re on the brink of divorce. The cause of all this pain and upset (on my bank account’s part) is a shopping trip I took today where I bought these darling shoes from Zara (amongst other things…. I know, I KNOW).

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I’ve been eyeing them up for a while and I saw them today and practically ran and skidded on the floor to get to them, like some kind of torpedo was going to come along and whisk them all away in the time it would take me to walk over to them like a normal person. But I had to have them, obviously, so in a rather dramatic fashion I dropped everything, shoved my foot inside and decided they were mine.

I cannot wait to wear these, I literally have a million outfits planned to wear them with, both summer and winter versions. Lace skirts with leather jackets, black skinnies and scruffy tees, pencil skirts and button up shirts, shorts & tights; endless outfits. They are the definition of perfection.

BROKE & MY WEEK IN PICTURES: COMING SOON.

17th July 2012. 19th July 2012. 8th September 2012. Probably just three insignificant dates to those reading this. And yes, they do seem rather random. However these three dates have a bittersweet meaning to me. On the one hand, they will most likely be the best days of the year for me, and on the other hand… Well, let’s just say that they’ve made my bank account look like it was bombed in a world war. Sparse to say the least. The two dates in July are when I will be seeing Madonna and the other date in September is seeing Lady Gaga. I don’t expect you all to be as eye-wateringly excited at this as me, just keep in mind that I’ve saved up for near enough a year for this.

Once the tickets were bought, I felt a mix of euphoria of finally having the tickets in my hand (well, for the deliriously annoying ticket maverick that is Ticketmaster to send them) and the relief and panic of ticket-buying finally over, to the thought of the tiny-but-still-significant number that sits heart-wrenchingly alone at the bottom of my wishfully rich bank account.

Since having the money ceremoniously wrenched from my being by said ticket maverick, my soul has felt empty. Okay maybe that was piling on too much philosophy for the dire state of my bank account, but still. I hate not having money, makes me feel insignificant and well, poor. And that’s not to say I feel superior to others when I have money, because I don’t. It’s totally a personal thing, I feel superior to myself when I have money in my account.

I recently laid out onto my bed all my purchases from that week and almost cried (wiping my tears with a lonesome £5 note). The amount of silly purchases that I realised I didn’t really need was incredible. This gave me scope for a blog post… I’ve decided to spend the next week taking photos. Photos of everything that happens in my week, boring or interesting. I’ll capture purchases, outfits, happy moments, sad moments. Everything. Well, almost everything.

I’ll let you into my extremely interesting and lively world. A world where you will no doubt wish you were a part of. (Note: sarcasm is my main source of humour, detect it in the last two sentences I wrote).

So come back next week to read all about my week and see the photographic evidence!