Do You Save For Special Occasions?

As many people do, I have savings accounts for various different things. I currently have my main savings account which I save money in for all different things – whatever I need to save for at that exact moment – and then I also have the savings account connected to my current account where I place 25% of my income for tax. Until this past year, I had never made enough to pay tax but I know that I definitely will be in a position to pay tax when it comes to my next tax return so am saving up to have the funds ready.

But do I save for special occasions? Do you? I do, depending on the actual situation. When you have one child born exactly three weeks before Christmas, then Christmas, then your daughter’s birthday exactly two weeks after (and then my birthday exactly three weeks after that!!), sometimes you do have to save a little to make that money stretch a little further. We have other birthdays in and around December and January also but our main focus is making sure we have money for presents for the children and then focusing on others afterwards – however, when it is your siblings and parents birthdays so soon after, you do have to spend a little and get them a nice present.  are currently in the process of creating an infographic talking about how we spend money on these occasions. Women are more likely to save money for gifts and men rarely do save. This is definitely true in my case – I am always the one saving up for gifts whereas Steve just tends to buy based on what is in his paycheck that month that doesn’t need to be spent on bills. With 68% of people saying there are societal pressure, I would have to agree. However we only buy for a select few people and a select few occasions and try to ignore any societal pressure that comes out way.

They have even found out about people’s thoughts on Christmas gift giving. 38% of people give food and drink as gifts – making these the most popular type of gift given, Whilst we don’t always give food, I can honestly say that drinks form a large part of our gift giving at Christmas, whether it be whisky, vodka or coffee! Gadgets are at 28% and I do buy those occasionally – but only for Jack and Steve – we don’t fork out for anyone not in this household unless we are splitting the cost with someone else.

I now save money and vouchers throughout the year for the kid’s birthdays and Christmas – if I didn’t, I’d never get them anything once the time rolls around. I also enter competitions for things I know people like and would want and give them as extra gifts. When it comes to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Easter, we just see what is in our budget and what gifts we can afford – we have never had any complaint yet.

Do you save for special occasions?


How To Save More (And Spend Less) In 2017

When it comes to our savings, it is well known that plenty of people cannot resist a little dip into the pot when the going gets tough.

Despite promising themselves they won’t, they often find their savings depleted by the end of the year with nothing to show for it. But we all want to save more and spend less, don’t we? Saving more can be easily achieved. There are a variety of ways in which this can be done.



Cut back on any unnecessary expenses.

Is that Netflix subscription really needed? If not, cancel it and put the subscription cost into a savings pot. It wasn’t missed anyway so better to boost the savings than keep up an entirely unnecessary subscription.

Empty pockets of change everyday.

Whilst it may seem like a small amount, this will soon add up and make a nice addition to a savings account.

Develop some side hustles.

People often have hobbies that can be monetized – these should be taken advantage of. Homemade jewelry sales, dog walking and even shopping can be made into monetized hobbies. Who wouldn’t love being paid to shop? Make some money and save it for a rainy day. Even better if the hobby is free or fairly cheap!

Get cashback.

When I say this, I mean in one of two ways. Use a cashback site like TopCashback or Quidco when buying online. Why not generate some extra cash when you are spending some? Another way of saving is to get cashback out when paying in store for something and putting it away in a savings pot. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend this if a large amount of cash or if you are really struggling, it is also a quick way of saving up some money if in need of a quick fix.

Sell your unwanted things

An obvious choice but something people are reluctant to do. I have resisted selling some stuff ‘just in case’ but realised that this was not helpful to me or my savings account. Plus it left my house cluttered and left me feeling down as it just seemed to be everywhere. I’ve made almost £80 in the past few days which I will be placing in my savings account for a couple of months to gain some interest (as well as a little extra here and there when I can afford it) and then paying back my last remaining debts (that aren’t my credit card) to my dad and my friend. I hope to be debt free this year or even debt free apart from my credit card and will do whatever I can to achieve that.

There are plenty more ways in which people can save more and spend less in 2015. It is all about taking a step back and taking a long, hard look at your finances. Cut out any unnecessary spending, develop some side hustles and getting rid of spare change into a money pot can all lead to a bigger, better and bulging savings account come the end of the year.


Best Places To Find Budgeting Advice

Budgeting advice.. we all get given it, sometimes by people we don’t want to hear it from. But where exactly are the best places to find budgeting advice?

I’ve had my fair share of unwarranted budgeting advice given to me over the years. Normally by people who are budgeting worse than me! Whilst our household hasn’t exactly got a cast iron budget for everything, we do have averages and try to keep to them. There are obvious places like debt planners who help with budgeting but that isn’t what I mean. So where do I go for budgeting advice?

First things first, I would definitely check out the Budget Planner on MoneySavingExpert. I go through phases of using MSE but I have found it can be really helpful in assessing where I am going wrong. Whilst Steve has a fairly certain income every month (if there is any difference, it will be an increase from overtime rather than less money), I am self employed and working from home so my income isn’t concrete, much as I would like it to be. I always make enough to just about cover my share of the bills and then a little bit more but it can often be tight which means pulling tighter on the purse strings wherever possible. The MSE forums are also fantastic – speaking to like minded people and sharing budgeting tips is great!

Another place I find useful for budgeting advice is Pinterest. It sounds crazy but you can find plenty of pins on the site leading to great articles about budgeting and moneysaving. I even have a dedicated board set up so I can pin all these helpful articles to read at a later date.

Best Places To Find Budgeting Advice | Information On Where You Can Educate Yourself Budget-Wise |

Another odd place that I find amazing budgeting advice is on various Facebook groups. Two such groups that I love for budgeting tips in regards to every aspect of life are FMFOAB Budget Matters and Frugal Homemaking & Living. I don’t necessarily check in every single day but I will read any posts that pop up on my newsfeed – and I’ve taken some amazing advice on board from these pages.

My Nan also offers me some budgeting advice – things she did in the 50’s, 60’s etc that worked for her. Of course some things aren’t going to be relevant to life today but she has given me food for thought over the years.

Finally, my last place to gather budgeting advice would be personal finance and money saving blogs. There are so many out there, all who offer a unique aspect on budgeting. I often find information on these blogs that I would never have thought to have taken on board. I’ve then tried them and had success with them. Find a few blogs that you love and subscribe to them – they will be very handy in the long run.

Where do you go for budgeting advice?