blogger saved £75,000
Putting money away for the future can feel tricky, whatever you earn. But some people manage it. While we can be baffled and filled with resentment by their money habits, we can also learn from their saving and spending ways.
In our weekly series How I Save, we track a person’s spending for a week and take a look at the nitty-gritty of their finances, whether they’re expert savers we can all learn from or those struggling to budget.
This week we’re following Frida (not her real name), who’s a pretty great example for saving up. She’s a 24-year-old blogger, writer, and consultant with far more saved than most people her age.
How Frida saves:
In my savings account right now I have £75,000. I try not to think about it too much because I’m worried I’ll spend it. I earn around £55,000 a year but being freelance it varies a lot! I’ve saved this much money by working hard, of course, but also by being extremely lucky with my job. I blogged for four years without earning a penny, back when Instagram first started and when I was still at school, so it’s nice that the work is finally paying. Before it did, I was working as a waiter and hostess in my university holidays, as well as during less busy times at uni.
I worked for a year before starting university too so I would have some savings. I’m saving to be able to move in with my partner – currently we live over three hours apart but have been together for over four years (two of which have been long distance), so we’re hoping to buy a place together within the next couple of years.
The main way I save is by spending less. People always talk about earning more, but I was able to save even when I was earning much less, because I try to spend very little (less so now that I’m earning more, but certainly when I was younger). I’m also lucky that I’ve not had anyone else to support at home – I’m sure this would be different if I were to have a family or dependent parents. In London saving is easier said than done, but I still have the student mentality when it comes to money.
I’m also lucky that my job involves a lot of food at events, so often I can reduce spending on groceries this way. Frida is able to save money by grabbing free meals at events and eating leftovers
I’ve just about got to the point with my job that I will ask for more money if I think I am providing value to a brand/person/publication. For so long I was embarrassed to even bring up the topic of fees, but I can’t imagine there are many other professions where the expectation is that you’ll do things for free, and if you ask for money it’s seen as grabby. I have a savings account and an ISA as of quite recently because I was fed up of being money illiterate, so I did some research on how best to save for the future.
I still have no idea if I’m doing the right thing, but it feels good to have some money going into a deliberate savings account each month. I still don’t really know what an ISA is but I have one and I think that’s good? I sometimes struggle with saving because it’s hard to keep the end goal in sight when it’s so big. Sometimes I’ll want to go on a big holiday, but knowing my end goal is a house, I have a long way to go until I’ll hit that. Obviously it’s all about balance, not living a miserable existence, but there’s plenty of fun to be had in the UK, so I’m trying to enjoy staycations more than travelling abroad.
I’m not a big spender when it comes to frivolous things like new clothes, alcohol and takeaways – I prefer to just wear what I already own (which is also more sustainable), drink gin I get given as presents and I love cooking, so takeaways are reserved for emergencies and special treats, maybe once a month. There are pros and cons to being freelance too. Because I never know when my next work is coming, I’m permanently in ‘survival mode’ when it comes to spending. I’ve finally got to the point where I have regular consultancy clients and writing work month to month, which helps, but my income is so variable that if I had big monthly expenses I think it would quickly become impossible to save.
Also as a blogger (probably one of the most hated professions), I don’t know how long my job will be able to earn me what it does now, so I don’t want to be silly with money when social media could crash tomorrow and take the majority of my income with it. I’m slowly moving away from it all, but obviously want to enjoy it while it’s here. Strangely, being freelance therefore makes me a better saver, which I don’t mind, but I also wouldn’t mind a bit more predictability of income.
How Frida spends:
Monthly expenses: £700 on rent £80 for bills (water, wifi, gas and electricity, council tax) £240 on an editor £100 on lashes. This is my most shameful spend but it’s oh so freeing to not have to wear makeup, which is my justification. I realise the makeup savings don’t exactly offset the spending, though… £3.99 on carbon offsetting £67 on a Soho House membership (which is also my gym) £13.39 phone bill £12 ‘Who Gives a Crap’ loo paper subscription (eco-friendly and long-lasting.
This is for my whole flat and they pay me back for some of it. I foot any small extra cost compared to non-eco loo paper because I know they don’t care if it’s sustainable or not) £5.99 Netflix £3 on my bank account (it’s a sustainable bank so there’s a monthly charge for their current account) Groceries – price varies hugely, as I’m not always at home, so often don’t buy lots.
I always have things in the freezer/dried/tinned foods and tend to buy fresh veg and bread at the beginning of every week depending on how much I’m around and throw together easy meals that I can eat throughout the week with various additions. Thankfully vegan food takes a long time to go off! A week of spending: Monday: £6.50 on lunch and a coffee – a nice café near me does 50% off on Mondays,
so I tend to treat myself (I need it on a Monday!). I always get something I know I couldn’t make at home myself. £1.50 goes on a Tube journey to a meeting. I have leftovers and homemade cake for dinner. Source:https://metro.co.uk
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