Saving – or at least trying to – is something that’s important to all families. As we all know, though, it isn’t easy at times. NatWest got in touch recently to tell me about its mission to make saving fairer – including offering the same savings rates to new and existing customers, as well as providing savings accounts with no introductory teaser rates – and asked me to share my saver story; past, present and future. Happy to oblige!
I imagine the first big thing most people save for would be a car. I’ve never learned to drive so my first significant purchase was actually relatively recent. It was the flat that Kate and I bought when we first moved in together. As the place we wanted to move to was in commuter belt territory, it was overpriced for what it was. We’ve always been very disciplined with saving though and had put together a solid deposit.
Looking back, I would tell my younger self to be much bolder with negotiating the price. In hindsight, we probably could have shaved another couple of thousand from the amount we paid. That would have come in handy for the improvements we had to make to the frankly horrible bathroom and kitchen. We were probably too enthusiastic and ended up stumping up more because of it, but learned from the experience.
At risk of being boring and repeating myself, we’re saving for a new home at the moment! Ours feels like it’s becoming smaller as Dylan and Xander get bigger, so we’re putting away as much as we can to afford one with more living space.
While there are lots of affordable options in nearby towns, we need to stay where we are due to school places. Typically, the jump from a two-bedroom house to one with three is around £40,000 here, which I find obscene.
We’ve been really cutting down on things like wine – sob – and looking at ways of making more money – hello, blog! We’ve also been keeping track of bills on a spreadsheet – we’re so rock and roll like that – so we’re hopeful of being allowed to borrow more on the strength of the extra funds we’ve squirrelled away. NatWest’s Budget Calculator could be of great use to us here too.
Our long-term saving goal is to be able to provide for Dylan and Xander when they grow up. Especially if they decide to go to university. Having seen how much debt some of my friends are still in due to student loans, now is the time to start thinking about this. We opened bank accounts for them soon after they were born and pay a small amount into them every month, so that should help.
We also managed to open a child trust fund for Dylan just before they were withdrawn. So, all being well, that will also amount to something one day. Of course, we’ll have to do a whole lot more to supplement these funds so things like NatWest’s Savings Goals Tool* will help focus our thinking and calculate a savings plan.
What are your savings goals and how are you going about achieving them?
*Please note that you need to be a NatWest customer to use the Savings Goals Tool, but the Budget Calculator can be used by anyone.
Disclosure: this is a sponsored post.