Financial Fitness For 2016

By Issy Goode - 18:38

My age is really beginning to show on this here blog. A year ago I was talking about dissertations, and the year before that I was probably talking about the latest event I'd been to at Keele SU or the up and coming ones I was sincerely looking forward to. Now, here I am thinking about my finances. 

I'm only 22 but I'm certainly feeling the pressure to start saving. As many of you know my boyfriend and I live at home with his parents and we've already started saving for a mortgage, with the intention of renting somewhere first. But we're not under any impression that affording both of those will be a walk in the park, so here is how I plan on staying financially fit in 2016.
Continue saving £200 a month in my ISA
My boyfriend and I recently opened Help-to-Buy ISAs - this is a savings account for first time buyers that is supported by the government. This scheme can add an extra £3000 onto your savings and really help you towards your mortgage deposit. It's great that both Michael and I can have one and put it towards just the one mortgage. 

Save my expendable income
I've set up a direct debit to ensure my ISA payments are kept up to date, but at the end of each month I still have a little left over. My aim for 2016 is to continue to leave that little bit of leftover money in my account rather than be tempted to spend it on little bits and bobs I probably don't need.

Track my spending
I use an app on my phone called, quite simply, Spending Tracker, and this has really opened my eyes. I started using it last year and have since kept pretty up to date with it. I update it with each thing I spend money on and it's all categorised too. As I can track it so closely, my aim is to reduce my spending to an average below £500 per month including the rent I pay my partners parents. 

Get a credit card
Now, how is this becoming financially fit? I despise the idea of credit and store cards but I understand the necessity of a credit rating when it comes to getting a mortgage so both my boyfriend and I are getting credit cards so we can begin to build that credit rating up. Michael's already taken the plunge but I'm yet to, so I've found Credit Card Insider, which you can check out here, particularly useful. This site has really helped me to better understand credit cards because I've always been taught to avoid using them. I own a store card and used it only once out of fear of abusing it and getting into debt. I think now I'm a few years older, I can learn to use it sensibly without that concern.  

Stop buying so many clothes
I don't own a lot of clothes, but when I buy new ones I never get rid of the old. I also don't tend to spend small amounts when I do buy clothes. Because of my tracking app I know last year alone I spent over £800 on clothes, which is quite frankly, ridiculous. My aim this year is to cut that in half - if not lower. If I can't stop buying so many clothes, I'm going to instead have to start buying them somewhere cheaper!

Keep my coins
This is something that I see more and more people doing these days, and I quite like the idea of it. Instead of spending every penny in your purse after you've broken into a note, why not just put your small change away into a tin? Having a few quid on you is always convenient, but the silvers and coppers can always be put to one side and can really add up! I used to save 5ps and within a year or so I had enough to buy myself a small compact camera.

So, how do you plan on staying financially fit this year?

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  1. I love putting the coins into my jars and although we are saving each month mainly for Christmas time, I spend £10 a month again at park for £100 vouchers so I know the children will def have something if something came up near that time of year. I think it's great you're getting this all sorted now I mean the practice of saving it'll be so handy for other future events ;)
    Ps that £100 will go down nicely ta, you know if it's just for photo purposes!

    1. I just counted mine and Michael's up that we've been saving since last year and we've already got a few hundred! Aha oh god don't - I need a nice furnished house before anything else comes along! x

    2. And to your request for my money - it's my muse so you can't have it ;)

  2. Apologies for the self-promotion Issy, but private tutoring is great way to earn money as a student/graduate. I started a few years ago and I'm trying to do it full-time because I love it so much! I actually founded a website ( to help others do this too.


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