As regular readers of Can’t Swing a Cat will probably know, in October 2015 I managed to reach my goal of saving £10,000 in the space of a year. It was a great achievement and one that I’m incredibly proud of but there was a catch… I’ve been living with my parents. Although I’ve been paying them £200 ‘rent’ each month, ditching ordinary living costs such as rent, bills, and council tax obviously made a huge difference. It made it so much easier for me to save money.
Last week I moved out of my parents’ house and into a rented flat with my boyfriend Jake. It was not an easy decision to make. When Jake first suggested moving in together I was reluctant at first. After all, I’m meant to be saving up to buy a house and for a long time renting has kinda seemed like a waste of money for me. “But it’ll be so much more difficult to save money!” I cried (I didn’t actually cry). But, after realising how much fun it’d be to live with him, deciding it’s time for me to grow up and get out of my childhood bedroom, and reassuring myself I’d still be able to save money if I stepped up my game, I decided to take the leap.
My next challenge…
I’m a firm believer that in order to achieve great things in life you need to set yourself goals. By setting goals you have something to aspire to and work towards. You can monitor your progress and celebrate little milestones on your journey to success. However, I don’t think that goals alone are enough to be amazing. Personally, I think your goals need to be huge (and sometimes unrealistic). By setting yourself ridiculously big goals that make people stop and think “Wow. You really are a naive idiot. You’ll never succeed” you can spur yourself on. You can lap everyone on the couch. You can stick two fingers up to your haters. So… I’m setting myself the challenge of saving £12,000 in a year…while renting!
“Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars”
I’m not entirely sure that I’ll manage it, to be honest. I’ve not even done that much planning into how I’ll achieve this astronomical fete. I’d even go as far as admitting that the thought of trying to save £12,000 in the space of year makes me feel a little bit sick. But it also makes me feel excited.
“£12,000 in a year is a little unrealistic, isn’t it?”
Yes. I’m bloody scared. You’re probably wondering why I don’t just set myself a more manageable goal like £6,000 or £8,000 or £10,000. Well, for me, £6,000 wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. That’s £500 a month which I know for a fact I can do if I’m sensible with my cash and do a little side hustlin’.
Saving £8,000 in a year doesn’t really have a ring to it and £10,000 in a year has already been done (by me). I wouldn’t want people to visit my blog and get my challenges mixed up.
And do you know what? Who cares if I don’t actually manage to save the full £12k in 12 months?
If I ‘just’ save £10,500 is anyone really going to criticise me? OK, they probably will because this is the internet, but am I REALLY going to care when I have an extra £10K in my bank account?
If I ‘only’ manage to save £7,321 is that really a problem? Hell no! It’s still a fantastic achievement.
I want to try & prove that renting doesn’t automatically mean you can’t save money or buy a house or save for retirement.
“Do you earn a shit ton of money or something?”
It’s probably worth noting that I don’t earn an above average salary. While I’m not going to disclose my wages, just know that I am certainly not earning more than the average UK salary. You might even earn more than me.
I don’t live in a dream world and I know that this won’t be easy. I know that renting is an obstacle to saving for a house and retirement and holidays and nice things. Saving money while renting is obviously going to be a hell of a lot harder than it would be to save money while living with mum and dad. But I also know that you can make more money than you think if you just put your mind to it.
“I don’t even earn £12,000 in a year”
Well, if you want to succeed at this challenge, that is going to have to change. So what if you earn minimum wage now? So did I 3 years ago! So what if you only work part time? Use the time you’re not working to errm…work on other things! Find other stuff to do that makes money. Hang on a second, I’m getting ahead of myself here. I’ll save the actual money making tips for another post.
I know that a lot of people would struggle to save £5,000 or £2,000 in a year, let alone £12,000. But just because you think you’ll struggle at something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t aim high.
What’s that cheesy phrase? ‘Shoot for the moon and even if you miss you’ll land amongst the stars?’ That. Let’s do that.
I hope you’ll join me on my journey to save a stupid amount of money while renting. You don’t have to save £12,000 in a year if you don’t want to. If that number scares you or you think such a high figure will discourage you, set a figure of your own. As long as you’re aiming high, you’re on the right track.
Over the next 12 months I’ll be sharing a ton of posts sharing tips and tricks to save £12,000 in the space of the year. I’m not completely sure how I’ll structure the series just yet, but I’ll probably link to each relevant post from the bottom of this one. So watch this space!