*This is a paid post sponsored by Fidelity
Important Information: The information in this article is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser. Please also be aware that the value of investments can go down as well as up, and you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future.
Do you have a dream? When I was younger my dream was always to own my own home, have a family and go on holiday once a year. Now, I feel so lucky to be living that dream. But, we still have goals.
This year we’re doing a loft conversion with the focus on making our home into one that our family will be happy in forever. It’s the last big job in our home and one that will completely change my work/life balance and how we live as a family. It will completely change our lives.
To afford the loft conversion we’re having to cut back in other areas of our lives. Our mortgage payment has increased and we need to be able to afford that extra outgoing but also save for a rainy day, for holidays and for the little treats we have through the year. I don’t want to have a beautiful big house but not be able to enjoy life and make memories with the children too.
With the start of a new tax year almost here we’re making small changes that will really help us plan for the loft conversion and everything else we want to do in the future.
Did you know that £14 of random spending each day adds up to over £5000 per year? When I realised that I was so shocked. £14 feels like no money at all but £5000 is a huge amount of money. It’s an amazing summer holiday. A car. It’s breathing space to not worry about your finances as much. It’s a trip to Lapland over Christmas!
It’s that random spending I need to rein in to be able to have the holidays, our loft conversion and the bigger treats of days out or weekends away. So, this year I am focusing on reducing all those little spends to focus on the things that really do matter.
I’m looking to save a minimum of £50 a month to invest into a stocks and shares ISA with the aim of leaving it there for a long period. Fidelity have what they call the ISA Cappuccino Plan which many people can relate to. Ditching your £2.50 coffee shop latte each day would save you £50 a month which could turn into more than £7000 over 10 years! I don’t drink takeaway hot drinks very often but I’ve promised myself I will take a flask of tea with me when I go out or a bottle of water whenever I leave the house to stop me from buying drinks away from home to see what a difference that will make this year.
We’ve already done all the big things we can to save chunks of money each year – reviewed our insurance policies, switched our mortgage onto a lower rate, switched energy provider and cancelled subscriptions we don’t use – as well as the gym membership I hadn’t used in months. So how else can we cut back on the small things to focus on the moments that matter?
Here are some other ways I’ll be looking to save money day to day this year:
- Meal plan and use what we have. I will often have a vague idea of the meals we’ll have each week but won’t think about the food we already have in the freezer and cupboards. We spend £80 a week on food shopping and I think by being more savvy with the meals we plan we could shave at least £10 a week off our food shop regularly.
- Don’t pay for parking. We always get sucked into driving to town when we could walk. There are also free parking options close to most places rather than paying parking fees. All those £2.50 parking charges add up! It will also save us a lot of money in petrol if we walk more and drive less – which is definitely easier as spring appears!
- Make treats instead of buying them. We’ll often impulse buy a cake or a nice pack of biscuits. Instead this year I’ll be making cakes and sweet treats with the children at every opportunity. It’s so much cheaper and the children love getting into the kitchen too.
- Take a picnic. We’ve got into the habit of eating out on days out and it’s at least £25 for lunch for a family of four at a typical tourist attraction. Instead we’ll pack drinks to take with us and a picnic to enjoy whilst we’re there.
- Only buy things when we need them. Now, this sounds obvious. But, quite often I’ll see something advertised and think ooooh that looks nice, and buy it. But, we didn’t really need it. Purely buying things when we need something will make a huge difference to our spending this year.
I have every confidence that we can save £50 a month minimum as a long term savings plan. It would be a pot of money as a nest egg for the children’s future and that rainy-day fund or contingency plan if something crops up.
I know that by making small changes we can really focus on those big things that matter. Are you looking to save money this year? How much are you aiming to save? It would be great to hear about your own goals and how you’ll be looking to achieve them.
You can find out more about Fidelity’s Stocks and Shares ISA over on their website.
Please keep in mind that the value of investments can go down as well as up, so you may get back less than you invest. Tax treatment depends on individual circumstances and all tax rules may change in the future. This information is not a personal recommendation for any particular investment. If you are unsure about the suitability of an investment you should speak to an authorised financial adviser.