In the past I've never been the best at saving. Growing up I started working at a local hotel at the age of 13 and didn't have the responsibility of any bills to pay until I was around 16 or 17. I would spend my money on anything I liked as I had nothing to save for. I could just never save for the sake of it. I was always able to save up for something if I really put my mind to it, for example a new phone, a laptop, my first car when I passed my test, holidays with friends and the first months rent and deposit on a flat when I finally moved out at the age of 20.
It was then when I found out I was pregnant with Amelia I knew I had to save for her future as well as ours. I would need to buy a pushchair, cot, car seat, all of the essentials and it wasn't just myself I had to think about. There are so many costs that come with a baby and with no savings behind me I had to start from scratch. Whilst on maternity leave I managed to save up enough not to go back until she was 14 months old which I am extremely proud of myself for doing as it allowed me to have another 6 months or so off work watching her grow and not missing out on those special first moments.
I've never been in debt as such although i've owned various store cards which did take me a while to pay off as the interest on those things are ridiculous. However I have learnt from my mistakes and haven't been pressured into signing up for one since. I learnt to save up if i wanted a new pair of shoes or to go on a spending spree and haven't owned one of those cards in years! I've also never owned a credit card and my credit rating is pretty good which I am glad about.
These days I find it a lot harder to save especially as I have far too many bills to account for, however I know that I can't splurge my money on anything I like even if I do make some irrational purchases. I like spending my money but I always put my children first and ensure that they have food, clothes and toys and then if I have any money left over I can treat myself. Although money isn't tight for us, we don't live beyond our means by any account however we do spend far too much on takeaways so I would like to budget our money better so we can build up our savings. So using tools like the NatWest Budget Calculator and the NatWest Saving Goals Tool will come in handy for working out our budget each month and deciding on how much is a reasonable amount to put aside after all the bills are paid.
Our future plans consist of saving up for a mortgage so we can own our own home instead of wasting money on renting, a family holiday later on this year and also building up the kids savings accounts. I would also really like to have a savings account on the side for anything we may need for example day trips out, or if the car breaks down or we need to replace the washing machine. It's always handy having cash put aside for those spur of the moments spends or unwanted bills.
So that's #MySaverStory, what's yours? What's the biggest thing you've had to sae up for? I'd love to know! You can share your story by using the hashtag #MySaverStory on Twitter with @NatWest_Help. For more information on Fairer Savings, visit the NatWest website.
*In collaboration with NatWest
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