Let’s Start at the Very Beginning…

…It’s a very good place to start! So, here I am – I’ve made the decision to take ownership of my finances and reduce waste – step 1 done. However, now it’s a matter of putting that into action and I’m learning it’s easier than it sounds. It’s rather easy to simply say “stop spending money and save it instead” – but when you’ve a lifetime of bad habits to change, starting off with a solid plan is going to be key to my success. Sure, I’ll make some mistakes along the way – but hey, nobody’s perfect… 

So first things first – where is my money going? I know for sure that I am spending far too much at the supermarket, we are a 2 person household and could easily host a banquet at any given moment. One thing I recognise is that this is simply not necessary and I don’t need to keep an Armageddon-style stock of fresh food in the kitchen. This will be a huge area of focus for me in my journey. One that I hope we will all take some tips from. But where does the rest of the money go to and why do I struggle to make it safely to payday every month…? 

Taking a brief look at the breakout of my spending on my banking app for last month (AIB’s app has a great way of breaking down your spending behaviour over various periods of time) – I am initially amused, then very quickly annoyed. There is only a 60 cent remainder when comparing the Money In with the Money Out. So, with the exception of a very small amount going to an online savings account, a grand total of 60 cent was saved last month!!! If I keep this trend up, I’ll be just about able to afford a cheap tent from Lidl to enjoy my retirement. If that’s not the wake up call I needed to see, then I don’t know what else could do it! 

So, though it may not seem like I am making great progress, I am now a lot more aware of how dire my saving habits have become and even more determined to make some serious changes. My immediate next tasks I am setting out for myself now are: 

  • Review every single debit from my bank account to actually see where it’s all going 
  • Using the knowledge gained from above, identify where I can make cutbacks 

This is obviously the start of a huge journey for me and I’m hoping to learn some really great tips and tricks to help me, and all of you too, along the way. In some ways, deep down, I know those tips and tricks already – it will be more about putting them into practice, setting my savings goals and cutting out waste. 

Stay tuned to hear how I get on with my tasks! I really hope to keep you all on this journey with me! 

My First Step from Spender to Saver

So let me start by introducing myself, along with a quick home truth! My name is Emer and I’ve become a terrible saver, but rather good at wasting. There – I’ve said it. Now to do something about it…. 

I should, I suppose, elaborate a little. It’s not that I’m running up huge debts, or can’t afford to buy the things I need. But, like a lot of us, I’m living paycheck to paycheck and it’s something I’d like to change. Who doesn’t love that elated feeling the week after pay day – when you feel you can afford to splash out. But then come two weeks before the next payday – that feeling is long gone and it’s time to tighten the purse strings. 

I have read about some folks in their 30’s and 40’s who have managed to live a frugal life, make sound choices, take early retirement and travel the world. Given that I’m in my mid-30’s and have no plans (or means!) to retire in the next ten years, I don’t see this as a feasible goal for me. However, after a recent review of my pension pack, noting the retirement date of 2048 and picking myself up off the floor; I have decided I can at least try work towards a goal where I am not going to the zimmerframe store on the way home from my retirement party! Or at least be in a position to buy the fanciest zimmerframe there is!! 

I want to work towards making changes to my life that will result in me having a rainy day fund – a financial comfort blanket if you will. I no longer want to waste money and I want to get out of the pattern of overspending at the start of the month, leaving me scrimping in the week (or often weeks) before payday. 

Along with saving money, I really want to reduce my waste. I don’t enjoy having to throw away uneaten food, see items go past their sell by dates or have a kitchen full of food with “nothing for dinner”. I also want to use what I have – I have a skincare & makeup stash that would rival any Boots pharmacy. And lastly, I need to start wearing what I have. Thanks to social media and it’s many fashion influencers, along with the ease of buying online, I have bulging wardrobes with enough clothes to dress an army. Albeit, a rather stylish army! 

So I’m starting this blog as a way of helping – helping me stay on track towards my goals and hopefully helping some of you as I share my tips and tricks along the way. I’ll have money saving tips, bargain finds, recipes, reviews and lord knows what else. So stick around, say hello, follow my pages and enjoy our saving journey together! It’s not about perfection, it’s about making better choices!