How I Save: The 25-year-old writer who earns £23k a year and has £800 saved

How Bella spends:

Monthly expenses:

  • £500 rent
  • £50 phone contract
  • £30 gym
  • £10 Spotify
  • £8 Netflix

A week of spending:

Monday: Oyster top up (£10), coffee and pastry (£5), lunch (£5).

Tuesday: A weekly shop at Tesco for £25.

Wednesday: I buy makeup for £15 and a £5 lunch

Thursday: Social drinks (£15).

Friday: Birthday card for a friend, £4.

Saturday: Brunch (£15), Starbucks (£3), opticians (£60), UberEats (£5).

Sunday: Home to my parents’ for Sunday lunch – free!

Total spent this week: £167



How Bella could save:

We spoke to the experts over at money tracking app Cleo to find out how Bella could save better.

Note: the advice featured is specific to one individual and doesn’t constitute financial advice. Especially on a London budget.

Main vice:

You’re killing me. Your biggest splurge was £60 at the opticians which makes it really hard to roast your spending. You deserve to see, Bella.

You’re on track to spend just half of your after bills income. That’s epic. I’m meant to be picking holes in your budget, but I just literally can’t do it.

Unless we’re talking about that mad Friday night £4 birthday card. Calm down!

Where you’re going wrong:

This isn’t on you, I’m blaming London. Or your parent’s generation. Or the increasing gap between interest rates and house prices.

Get mad about it. This is bleak AF because it just is.

Living a rented lifestyle does have some costs you should probably stack up. Think flat deposits, referral fees, credit scoring, and a financial cushion if a landlord turns you out.

Otherwise, let the rage fuel your savings. Feeling powerless isn’t an option. At £800 you’ve got a head start. Don’t let them think you shouldn’t afford a home.

Action plan:

Safe to save: Monthly £400

Judging by this week’s spending, you could be putting aside a fair amount. Split that into £200 for holidays or big fun spends, and dump the other £200 in a savings account that you don’t touch (for a distant utopia where you can buy a London 2 bed flat for less than £850k)

Safe to spend: £15 Daily / Weekly £100 / Monthly £430

Social events, groceries, vision. All the normal stuff.

Safe to burn: Weekly £25 / Monthly £100

For low energy days, when you need a coffee or take out to get you through the deadlines.

End game: Set a goal. And go get it.

How I Save is a weekly series about how people spend and save, out every Thursday. If you’d like to anonymously share how you spend and save – and get some expert advice on how to sort out your finances – get in touch by emailing [email protected].

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