So recently Olivia’s dad passed his driving test. Whilst we were sunning ourselves in the glorious Gran Canaria a text came through telling me to tell his sweetheart he had passed. His sweetheart promptly rang him she was so excited. It made me think that I should crack on with saving for a car too!
Let me tell you a story…….
You see, almost 11 years ago, Olivia’s dad and I made the decision that one of us needed to learn to drive. We couldn’t afford for it to be both of us and as I had taken, and failed, a test at 18, we decided it should be me. More so as I would be the one at home mostly with Olivia, doing the shopping etc, it just made more sense.
So when Olivia turned 9 months I passed my driving test on the 3rd try (including that ill-advised one at 18). I was the proud owner of a 51 plate Vauxhall Agila. After ‘Aggie’ came a Nissan Almera Tino. My first foray into the ‘soccer mom’ car and I fell in love. This was my baby for the next 18 months.
My 30th birthday hit and using the money I got for my birthday, and a lottery win, I purchased a T Reg Clio. Oh, she was cute. She needed some TLC and leaked like a sponge in the rain. But I paid for her myself and I loved my little blue/green iridescent Clio. That was until she went to Renault Heaven.
My last car lasted me around 6 months. Another Agila. ‘Aggie2’. Not red like my first car but silver. A £200 bargain from Ebay she did what I needed her to do. After 6 months with me, she checked out to the big Vauxhall dealership in the sky.
Is There A Point To This Story?
Well, yes. Olivia’s dad passing his driving test has made me want to get a car again. It’s been almost 5 years since ‘Aggie2’ passed and I have been shuffling around via my feet and public transport. Sure, over the years I have had urges, but the lack of funds and a real motivation stopped any thoughts in their tracks.
But recently Plus Net got in touch to help me out with reaching my savings goal. Did I have a savings goal? I’d just returned from a holiday so as of yet I don’t need to save for another one. All major birthdays are now passed for this year. And even though I should really put money aside for that it wasn’t something I was currently prioritising. But a new car……. that would take some serious saving, wouldn’t it?
It’s a big purchase buying a car, which makes saving for a car all the more important. Yes, there are many ways you can finance a new set of wheels but having been down that road before it wasn’t something I wanted to do again. Especially being a single parent with a low income. I don’t really want to stretch my finances that way, especially with the costs of having to run a car and insure it too. Plus I want to be able to go places in the car not just use it for work!
Saving For A Car with Plus Net.
With their great broadband and sim deals, Plus Net is all about helping the Great British public save a few pennies for a rainy day! Or any day in general really. Who doesn’t love a good bargain?
They provided me with some tools they thought would come in handy to help me on my saving journey. I’m not going to lie I’ll need all the help I can get, I am literally the worst saver ever.
How I’m Saving for A Car.
Obviously, the most important thing is to have a good idea of your incomes and outgoings. Making a budget is paramount for any type of major savings and knowing where you can trim the fat, and reduce waste in your income is the best thing you can do before you start saving.
I currently bank with Think Money. I am terrible with money and budgeting for bills but these guys make sure I have all the money set aside for my bills each month. Yes, I do pay a fee for this luxury but in my eyes and for me, it is totally worth it.
Another way I have saved some money is by getting smart energy meters installed. It means I can top up from an app on my phone and no going to the shop. A trip which will no doubt cost me more through buying sweets, drinks and so on that I didn’t go there for! Worth considering if you are looking to cut down.
Another great way is to have a budget planner. This will enable me to see exactly where I waste the most money (Costa Coffee) and take steps to reduce this. Like taking my own coffee to work in a travel mug or basically cut down!
By writing down what is going out and coming in I can get a clearer picture of what I am actually paying for .
Any Other Ways to Save Money?
Food waste is a major issue in my house. We really are bad for this and need to cut down on how much we spend each week. For 2 of us, the amount is pretty ridiculous. Plus Net provided me with a great meal planner so I can get to grips with what food we already have in and what meals we can make with it. No more getting home from work, can’t be bothered cooking and ordering takeout. I will be making my slow cooker my new best friend!
Doing this, in turn, will also help to reduce the number of taxis I get home from work each week due to unnecessary food shopping. If I know what I am having I will be less likely to splurge out on food I just don’t need. BTW the top line is always Olivia, she stays at her dad’s from a Thursday night to Saturday evening.
It All Adds Up!
It’s not always the big amounts that can lead to big savings. By making small changes to my lifestyle I am pretty sure I can get started on saving for a car in no time at all without waiting for that all elusive lottery win that won’t come as I always forget to buy a ticket.
By making the small changes I have seen that I can comfortably save around £130 amount a month. Without having to go without, just by cutting down. It’s crazy when you write it down like this, isn’t it! If you are struggling with budgeting you absolutely need to jot down this information. This is over a whole week’s wages from my day job for me. The savings will be coming from;
- Around £10 a week from taking my own coffee to work.
- Around £10 buying sandwiches/lunches for myself and Olivia at work.
- Approx £15 per week on changing my food shopping habits.
- £10 a month by swapping my sim card to a Plus Net sim.
- Any extra money from the blog once bills are paid will also go into the fund.
So there we go! This is my saving for a car plan. No, it’s not going to happen overnight, yes I do need to be patient. I have in my head I would ideally like around £2,550 – £3,000 to buy a decent second-hand car and pay a years insurance upfront. The last quote I got was around £1,000 due to an accident a few years back .I’m hoping it comes down before I need to buy it though.
So saving at approx £130 a month it will take me around 2 years ish to save up. If I can put an extra £100 a month into this pot I can get this down to a year. Less if a) my insurance quotes come down and b) I find a cheaper car. So taking that into account if I lower my expectations to around £2,500 I can purchase my new wheels in around 10 months. Slow and steady wins the race people. Slow and steady. It’s about making sure you can comfortably afford to save that money so you don’t just abandon all efforts and lose sight of your goal!
What are your savings goals for this year? Are you saving for a car too, or maybe a holiday? I would love to know along with any tips you might have for a bad saver like myself!
*Disclaimer: I was provided with items as mentioned above to help me plan a savings goal. All words are my own*