Tuesday, 19 June 2012

starting a savings plan

For a long time now, even before I became a blogger myself, I have always loved reading blogs, ones that inspire, and encourage you to do something different in your life, one such blog that I have read and followed for such a long time is Wondering Wanderers, If you haven't been to this blog yet then it is a must, there story goes that a couple of years ago they wanted to change their lives, so they set about a plan of travelling for a year in a motorhome WWoofing (which is volunteering on organic farms and such like in exchange for knowledge and a place to stay) to discover if it was possible to live an off grid minimalistic lifestyle, be more self sufficient and do the things they and their children loved. I followed them on their journey, reading the fascinating adventures, watching them plan and save, then find their trusty 30 year old motorhome and set off, reading their updates when the arrived in new places and learnt new things, looking longingly at the photos of the children doing what they so obviously love and now seeing them find a new goal and settle on a small island in Scotland managing and developing their own croft... It all seems idealistic, almost impossible,  yet they did it, they changed their lives leaving behind a 9 - 5 job and house in Sussex to travel and fulfil the dreams they had.

Why this is truly an inspiring story, and one that has captivated my imagination for ages, I just don't know if I'd ever have the courage to do something as ground breaking.

I do however know that when you want something you really have to set yourself a goal, put your mind to it and in doing that even the impossible can become achievable.

So we have set ourselves a goal. We want to get past the quick fix  activities spending £100 here and there that we are so used to doing and focus on saving up enough to fulfil a dream and give us a taste of the adventure, travel and outdoors we all crave.

We have a goal of around £3000 which we are hoping will enable us to buy a small cruiser boat to travel the beautiful canals on, not to live aboard, although that maybe a future goal once the children have flown the nest, but to certainly travel the 6 week summer break on.

Now that amount may not be alot, but when your income is ridiculously low in the first place it seems massive, and that is where we normally give up, the climb seems to tough even if the views at the top are amazing.

But I remember the Wondering Wanderers, I remember how they did something so much bigger and didn't give up to achieve their goals and realise that we can't give up either.

So how do you manage to create some savings when you're on a low income? well this may not be a fail safe plan but its a start and I am hoping that we can get to our goal for next summer.

  1. Have a clear out - declutter the book shelves, the game cabinets and toy boxes and try to sell everything that is no longer used but still in one piece, I have seen several posts on how to sell 1000 items to generate £1000 and the idea does appeal, but I am not sure I have 1000 items that we'd be willing to freely give up so I am aiming for smaller scales maybe 100 items for £100 to start with
  2.  Take advantage of money making schemes such as Top Dollar Mobile which is a quick and easy way to do the green thing whilst also getting a top price for your phone. Simply go to the website, search for your mobile phone model, find the price they will offer, request a free postage pack, send in your phone and receive your cash, if you have several old phones cluttering up the drawers then this is a great way to get some money and stop mobiles needlessly ending up in the landfill.
  3. Set a weekly spend total to keep within it. Meal Plan and use shops own brands too - we already use alot of budget labelled food and haven't got any complaints yet. Factor in everyday expense to the weekly budget but cut out all unnecessary treats.
  4. Do the main food shopping on line to save on impulse purchases, shopping on line also means you can watch the total as you go along and stick within a budget helping with the above point.
  5. Get a money box or glass bottle to use for loose change - the best ones are ones that can't be dipped into!

My hope is if we follow them 5 points for the next few months we should have managed to make a dint in our total, once we have started I think it will be easier to continue so the first two points are the ones I am focusing on this month  hoping an initial boost to our empty saving pot may encourages us to cut down in following months and continue to save.

This post is sponsored by Top Dollar Mobile


  1. This is such an inspiring idea. I wanted to hire a motorhome for a month and travel around England for my 40th but it was about £700 per week! Maybe having a declutter and putting aside the money specifically would be an idea - thanks for the inspiration and good luck with your own money goals :)

    1. I have often thought of trying to save for a motorhome too such a beautiful country we live in I would love to see more of it, but my other half has always dreamed of a boat so thats what we're saving for. I think having a declutter to give you a starting point is the only way to keep us on track otherwise the little each month seems to not make any impact and then it gets spent before its saved!

  2. That sounds like a wonderful adventure to embark upon!!! For me I save money by making as much food from scratch, making as many birthday and Christmas presents as possible and buying own label foods has made a huge difference to our food bill! You should print a picture out of your dream boat and stick it somewhere visible to keep you all focused of your dream. Good luck with the saving.

  3. Brilliant goal! I think when we set our minds on something, we will achieve it....go for it! Your 5 steps to achieving it are definitely doable :)

  4. What a great idea, and I love goal setting. Good luck with your dreams, but don't lose sight of real life as it is happening now x.

  5. Great post and a cruiser sounds like a great idea. Will definitely check out that other blog too .


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