When trying to sort out my own budget I read lots of different articles and bits online which all influenced my decisions. One thing I kept seeing was people saving 10, 20, 30% or even more of their monthly income.
As someone who hadn’t previously been in a position to save before, as we were paying off previous debts and expenses, this seemed daunting. 30% of income was a lot to suddenly not see.
It got me thinking- maybe I needed to try harder. Maybe I needed to earn more to make this possible. Maybe I needed to sacrifice other areas. With all these thoughts I then realised that these are just what other people suggest. I don’t have to do any of these things. Actually working in percentages doesn’t work for me at all. I work with round numbers, multiples of 10, 50 or 100. Sticking to a certain percentage wouldn’t give this to me.
Using my new and current budget that myself and hubby currently have would work out at about 8% being put into a regular saver. I started to tell myself off a little thinking this isn’t good enough and I had a little internal rant back and forth. All said and done though, this is 8% that I wasn’t saving in January, February or March. It is 100% more than I was saving for my retirement in 2017 or 2016 and it is my starting point. It’s only my first month using this budget and was also the month I finally got my £1000 emergency fund together. I would rather start small and build up in a month or so rather than feeling restrained from the start as I think this would lead me to resent it all and give up.
Basically, what I’m saying is my 8% is good enough and it would have been good enough if it was 5% or 0.5%. Is doesn’t actually matter. The thing that matters is that I have started. I’ve got something that is achievable. That I won’t regret and that I’m likely to be able to grow over time. I’m happy with my savings.
If anyone is reading this, I hope they take away that starting small is ok if it works for them. Starting big is ok if it works for them. But the main thing is start when it is right for you and with the amount that is right for you. Whether that be £1 a week or 10% a month.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.