I remember the day I was offered an overdraft in Lloyds. I laughed at the thought of ever needing one. Eighteen months later and I am extremely deep in an overdraft and desperately contacting a girl I went on a date with who owes me £5. *Jess please find my bank details at the bottom of this page.
If I do a quick survey of every person I know in London, I can almost definitely confirm we are all living deep in an overdraft/credit card type situation. And for anyone that does not, please begin a seminar titled ‘I live in London, debt free with dignity’ I will sign up for the first 10 sessions.
Now normally by the third week of the pay cycle I would ignore the red flags of desperation, eating condiments spread thinly on an old cracker and smoking the end of cigarettes left by housemates. But the time may have come for us all to become better with our money. And yes, this may be due to the pension seminar I just sat through at lunch where I was informed that if I continue to ignore our pension plan, I will be eating cat food in a tent in a forest when I am 85. I do not like dirt, this cannot be my future. Also, my sister told me she no longer can fund my excessive spending.
Now I have one friend who is great with money. She is 26, owns a home and works in banking. So, the obvious answer was to pick her brain. She asked me to explain where I think I am failing in the world of money. I showed her a screenshot of my intimate relationship with Lloyds. We have been pen pals for months now.
So together we have put a list of ways that you can all start to be smarter with money.
- Monzo: FREE
Monzo is a start-up bank/ATM card that will keep you in check of your spending via a notification of each transaction you make. Every round of drinks you purchase, Monzo will be there to let you know. Sadly, there is currently a waiting list but you can still go online and add your name as they start to send more of their cards out.
One lucky FGRLS Club reader can use this URL to jump the queue: goo.gl/UvPz6b
- You Need A Budget: £3.50 a month
Okay so YNAB makes the claim that after nine months the average user will have saved more than £2326, I am sold. Sign me up, take my identity now thanks.
- good budget: FREE
Good budget is the free version that like YNAB will help you to divide your income into separate “pots” and help you get out of the pesky debt that haunts us.
- Chip: FREE
Chip is a savings app that works by calculating how much you can stand to save, based on your current outgoings and incomings. You can set the spending level to low, medium and high (based on how much of a baller you wanna be) and if you really hit the rocks you can pause your saving. Plus, it sends you cute gifs and has a live chat feature if you have any questions. Go to the app store to download this little beauty.
Use our code to sign up to Chip and get an extra 1% interest: DOVQSV
- TransferWise: FREE
- PayFriendz: FREE
It’s always going to be awkward asking a friend for the £5 you lent them two weeks ago. But sometimes that £5 is the difference between making it work the next day and giving up. Both these applications let you off from those awkward discussions with forgetful friends.
Finding extra ways to make money
At first, all the easy ways to make money on the side veered towards illegal. But with a little googling I have found various methods that will bring cash in whilst playing with dogs and Ikea furniture.
- Take surveys online
- Sell clothing on Depop, eBay etc
- Cat and dog sitting
- Take tourists sightseeing
- Complete other people’s tasks
- Rent space out on Airbnb/Vrumi
Small goals to save
Saving money is a constant uphill battle. Or perhaps it’s a constant struggle for a spending enthusiast like myself. To effectively save money each month you need to be realistic. Keep the saving goals small and gradually increase the amount each month. Soon you will have a lovely little pot winking at you for that holiday to Mexico.
Make a list of your outgoings
My friend went to my bank statement and highlighted unnecessary spending. She said that having Pret every morning is the most irresponsible thing I can do. I am still on the fence with this. But writing down what you are spending each month can be a wake-up call you probably don’t want. But need.
Look we all need to take baby steps to be better with our money. We are not going to overhaul our lifestyles straight away. I just forced my way through the train barriers at Liverpool Station to save £1.35. Don’t beat yourself up if you fuck up your budget or blow your wage on £200 trousers. Don’t let a woman called Susan from HR loom over your desk waving a pension plan at you. Ask the right questions and use what works for you.
I currently have a jar under my bed with bronze coins, so yup it’s probably time I implement a new system.
Follow Kate on twitter: @katesharp37