Since joining Monzo late last month, I have become a lot more conscientious with my spending. As well as this, I hope to build my savings to the point where I could get a good return on investment. Not exactly sure how I’d do that, so it’d be interesting to hear your thoughts.
Monzo is great because I’m much more likely to check my balance more often just because it’s a hell of a lot easier to.
Definitely use the recurring pots to save a small amount every day/week. The IFTT 365 1p Savings Challenge is great - I don’t notice the money going out and I’ve saved £252 by doing nothing.
I also use automatic round ups for ‘treats’ and nonessential things - with the rule that 50% of the amount amassed has to go into savings. This has significantly reduced impulse purchases - I’m more likely to reconsider if I actually need something if I have to wait until my coin jar fills up enough.
On payday I transfer a set amount each month into a savings pot. You might have to figure out how much you can afford to save each month. I only dip into the savings pot for things that are an emergency.
I also have a cash ISA which I top up every 6 months or so from accumulated savings.
I also have a stocks and shares ISA which I top up weekly with a small amount.
I can’t say I use the budgeting/categories to decide any of this a whole lot as I feel at this stage they’re a bit too generic and vague. However, I’m excited by the possibilities all this data aggregation will produce in the future.
Monzo has changed my financial life immensely.
I worked out that 10% of my net is enough for monthly spending money (including food). This is my monthly overall budget amount on Monzo. (Pick a number that works for you, but the idea is that your spending money scales with your income.)
I set spending limits for other items, but the total of those is greater than my assigned 10%. The idea here is that I have flexibility in my choices, but shouldn’t overindulge in any one thing and still have a monthly cap.
I then worked out my committed spending. This is monthly bills and stuff.
I then set a lump sum savings amount to put in a pot at the beginning of the pay cycle.
After these three amounts, I leave a bunch of cash free. Not a lot, but enough to play with. A buffer, if you will.
At the end of the pay cycle, whatever is left from my budget and my buffer, gets split into short term savings pots.
This part is the magic. You have a friends birthday coming up in a few months? Make a pot for it and save some each pay cycle in preparation for the event.
You wanna buy a games console or appliance? Put some away each month. Car needs an MOT? You get the idea.
These events or items that you have saved for can be paid for using money from these pots and as such, they don’t need to be in the budget.
By doing this, you control your day to day spending, save a bunch each month for security/rainy day/whatever and you also plan for larger expenditures that would otherwise derail your budget.
I use YNAB to track my spending, and try to reduce it. For example, last month I spent £80 on chocolate alone… (addicted, right?). I try to reduce my spendings every month to save more money.
100% of my income from jobs / freelancing stuff goes straight into investments. I’m a student and I live on my student loan, so any extra money I earn goes straight into a stocks & shares ISA at Vanguard into Life stratergy 80.
20% of my student loan goes into savings. There isn’t really any emergencies that could happen to me, as my loan pretty much covers it so I don’t try to save much - I try to maximise my investing as much as possible.
I hold some ETH & BTC, but that’s becasue I’m friends with people who are like “I WILL ONLY USE CRYPTOCURRENCIES UNLESS THERE IS LITERALLY NO OTHER WAY TO USE THEM” and I end up buying them food in exchange for the right amount of btc / eth.
I think that if you just want to invest and not obsess over the perfect mixture or right investments, a vanguard life stratergy will do you well
Great news ! Being conscious of your spending is a really great start to saving money . I felt exactly the same as you after I joined Monzo and was really inspired to save. As I looked around the market I found that there were loads of great innovative products out there that really helped me literally put the fun into being financially mindful
I have 4 products including Monzo that have completely transformed my habits around savings and spending, I won’t go I to them in detail, instead I encourage you to spend a minute on each and do your research.
Moneybox: round up and save your change, then auto invest this money into stocks and shares. Also benefit from some great offers like £20 paid into your account free if you spend a min of £15 at gusto.
Plum: an AI bot that lives in Facebook Messenger, connects to your account and intelligently works out how much money you can save every 5 days, takes out the cash via DD and saves it in a separate account, you can if you choose, invest your savings in really interesting funds like Tech, cash etc
Curve card: consolidates all your bank cards I to a single card, it’s free and it’s incredibly easy to use. You can ever move transactions over to a different card up to 14 days after you have made a purchase. I love curve.
Monzo pots and IFTTT:, create Incredible applets or choose from existing ones to really make saving fun. E.g the 1p challenge which will set aside 1p on day 1, 2p on day two, 3p on day 3. At the end of the year you then have £665 with minimal effort.
I agree about checking my balance more frequently. One might even suggest that it is slightly addictive (who knew an addiction could be a good thing! )
I really like IFTTT implementation and the 1p savings challenge. However, as a student who usually spends in excess of 10 hours day, 7 days a week revising, I can’t hold up a job, even part time. So I don’t earn consistently enough to make the 1p savings challenge work for me.
Right now, I have a summer job and the 1p savings challenge works fine, but in October, I won’t have a job and therefore won’t be making the money needed to fund the pot.
I feel like, for me seperating money into a pot, away from spending money might be the best solution. Potentially, I would like to get investing once my paycheck comes in, so I have a decent amount to make return on.
Wow! How long have you had that saved away? That’s amazing! I’m so tempted to throw a good amount of my paycheck into moneybox and see what i can get out of it!
I have a curve card, but personally I haven’t found it to be useful yet. However, in the future the number of cards I will have will grow to about 6-8 and perhaps it might be useful at that point to use my Curve card to lighten my wallet aha!
Just out of curiosity and hope you don’t mind my asking, but are you earning quite a bit then or just a very frugal spender?
I ask mostly because as a student I don’t earn much and not on a regular basis. If i lived off 10% of my earning I wouldn’t last very long I don’t think!
But I do like the way you’ve sectioned your money, it definitely seems like it would help you know where everything is!
I put a lump sum in a while ago (£500 at tax year end) and do a weekly £5 plus roundups from my Account. I think I started Nov 2017 after following a recommendation in here
I’m so intrigued that I’m gonna throw about £30 in there now and start building! That’s some really nice return!
Did you use a balanced profile, if I may ask?
Same allocations as I’ve got mine on! Might throw in more once I get my next paycheck to make better returns
I don’t mind the question but don’t want to post the answer online to be honest.
I’d say that the answer here is a bit of both. My career is coming into its own now but I still have to be careful to keep to this budget.
Should I get kids or whatever then that 10% would need to increase, reducing savings as a trade off. Conversely, should I earn more, I can indulge a bit more, buying nicer food or whatever.
You should also be aware that this budget is designed to curb my previously excessive daily spending (sandwiches, takeout, games and apps) and impulse buys. Also, I do have more money for things that I plan for and save up for steadily.