Let’s Talk About Money. NatWest** in Leeds recently organised a money discussion event which I attended. On the panel was Kat from @wearsitatkat, Laura Hateley (writer of the book: Money – A User’s Guide) and Michael, NatWest’s Leeds branch manager discussing money and giving tips on how to be better with it. It was a really interesting talk and I took away some learning I’d like to implement going into 2020. Here are the key topics discussed.
Use discount codes and sales wisely. I don’t know about you but as soon as a sale is on, I want to buy things. Things I don’t even want or need but I feel like I’m saving money buying something that’s on offer. This needs to stop. Only if something I want or need is on sale am I allowed to buy it. Instead of looking for things in a sale, I’ll be looking for a sale or discount on things I really want and need.
Invest in a capsule wardrobe with key items that you can mix and match to make several outfits. It happens that I buy a lovely piece of clothing but when I get home, realise it doesn’t match with anything else. Make a list of key clothing you want and when you go out shopping, make sure it’s one of those things you buy. Don’t go for a cheaper version as if it’s not 100% what you want, you risk ending up buying the original later anyways and that way spend more money than originally anticipated.
Only save for emergencies. Money is there to enjoy yourself. There is no need to be saving up money for times that might never come. As long as you have money to cover unexpected emergencies, use the rest to go on holidays, go out for a nice meal, or whatever it is that you find happiness in.
Save for special occasions. For instance Christmas. You’ll most likely celebrate Christmas but waiting till December to spend all your money isn’t the best idea. Instead, decide on how much you want to spend in total and save away a little bit of money each month to get there.
Debt and loans
Don’t worry about your student loan. Unlike other loans, it works like tax. In the UK, you only pay off a small amount each month when earning over £25k and after 30 years it disappears completely, so there’s no need to rush to pay it off. Focus on other loans instead, especially the ones with interest.
Pay off your credit card! If you decide to get a credit card or already have one, make sure to pay it off properly. There are interest free cards but if you’ve got one with interest, make sure to pay off more than minimum each month. As an example, if you have maxed out a credit card to £3000 with a 19% interest rate, paying minimum will take you 27 years to pay it off AND you will have spent an extra £4000 in total.
Talk about Money
Don’t be afraid to talk about money! Especially not with your bank. The bank is there to help you. They’re not trying to scam you, nor do they get a commission for suggesting you should sign up to something. If you need advice with how to best handle your money, they’ll help you. I’m going in next year to chat to them about what I need to do in order to buy my own property. I’m also going to ask for help about how to quickly and least painfully pay off my credit card.
Don’t be afraid to say no to your friends. We sometimes end up spending money on things we don’t even want to do, just to be nice to friends. They will understand if you’re having a tough month and can’t go out for yet another brunch or meal. Invite them around to your home instead. If everyone brings something to eat and drink, it’s ccheaper but you’ll still enjoy the company.
**This post is written in collaboration with NatWest. I attended their ‘Let’s Talk About Money’ event and as part of that was asked to promote it across my social media channels pre, during and post event.