This is #MySaverStory: Diary of a fashionista. I remember when I first started earning, it was a Saturday job and my Grandma said to me “You know, it’s tradition to give your first pay packet to your Grandma!” My thoughts at the time were “No way! I’ve got velvet hotpants to buy and a I’ve seen a sweet little satin bomber jacket that has my name on it!” But maybe Grandma was onto something…
When I left home at 18 and fully in charge of my own finances, my priorities after rent were the latest fashions. I’d earned my place at the London College of Fashion and was keen to show I could keep up with the trends. I got a Saturday job at Oasis (a fashion store- of course!) and I spent all my wages on clothes from the store. Hey, with my staff discount of a third off, I was actually saving money! Or at least this was my thinking at the time.
Back then, I saved for clothes and shoes. I didn’t have any real savings goals and the ones I did have were very short term. You can’t put an old head on young shoulders, but I wish I’d have been a little more careful, because what I’ve learned since then is that a little really can go a long way. If I could advise my younger self now, I’d say to ‘pay myself first’, meaning that when I got a pay slip, I should put 10% of it away to not be touched, because if I’d done that back then, I’d have a nest egg for when I was making the larger purchases in life like a car or our first home.
These days I still love the latest fashions! However I am more savvy about what I spend. I look for discounts, sales and vouchers and I will buy from wherever has the look I want. Back in the ’90s I only shopped at well known High Street stores and the odd charity shop. But these days we have the whole of the world to shop from in a way we didn’t have back then.
My money is now ‘our money’. I used to spend on just myself but now I’m a wife and mother and have other considerations to think about, so our latest savings venture is saving up the spending money for our upcoming holiday! Last year was an expensive year as we did some home improvements, so we are planning for this year to be a bit more about enjoying ourselves and building up some savings as a nest egg. A useful tool for this is the NatWest Budget Calculator which anyone can use to find out how much they could potentially save each month.
If you are already a NatWest customer then you can set a savings goal for your account, by using their Savings Goal Tool making it easier to keep focused on your overall goal. We have found that by plotting how many weeks we have until the holiday then deciding how much we need to save each week to achieve the target amount, we can ensure that we get to where we need to be without stressing!
For the future I’m taking my Grandma’s advice! Whilst she is no longer here to give my pay packet to, I’m thinking about family and that I need to have some money saved to meet the expenses that come up as our children get bigger. My eldest is at High School now and they have several high profile trips on offer including a class trip to New York that will be in the region of £1400 plus spending money and that is just for one child! I want her to be able to do these extra activities without worrying about cutting back on the family’s other spending, so savings ‘just because’ are a priority.
If saving for the future is on your radar too then check out the NatWest Fairer Savings page which contains resources for savers.
Hey, maybe if I put my mind to it and save more than I need, I might have some left for a little trip to New York of my own. I hear they have some great shopping there?!
Disclosure: This post was written in association with NatWest