From a young age my relationship with money has been ‘complicated’; from being in my overdraft 95% of the time to having been on the verge of homeliness, me and ‘finances’ haven’t always got along. I grew up having to work for my money and not much has changed over the years. While I had disposable income as a teen and even at university at times, graduating from university and moving to London, truly opened my eyes to what it really meant to be ‘poor’. I lived in squalid accommodation that was infested with bed bugs and mice, until I had clocked enough hours in a job that had made me unhappy to be able to afford to move to a nicer home and when I eventually found it, and quit my full time job(s) to blog full time, I found that money was even tighter than it had been previously. My rent was (and still is) so expensive that I would barely have enough money to eat, let alone pay my rent, bills, travel, photography and blog costs. But what I came to realize, was unlike my ‘childhood self’ who had no money because she ‘didn’t know how to save’ I was quite literally spending every penny on living costs.
I worry about how I am going to pay my rent each month and even going on dates gives me anxiety, because although I want to meet someone I am A. too proud to let a guy pay for my meal and drinks and B.broke 99.9% of the time. But despite my less than savory relationship with money, by quitting my multiple jobs to blog full time, not only am I more happy but also it has taught me the value of money and how blogging helps me out in so many different ways. For a start blogging has given me a beautiful set of friends, has had a positive impact on my mental health and has allowed me to become a better person. Yet despite the positive changes that blogging has brought into my life, I very much want to be able to earn enough money to not scrimp each month and instead have a savings account, where I can go on the holidays that I have dreamed of going on, buy a good camera and learn how to take better photos and best of all be able to afford to treat my loved ones to special presents that I know they will cherish and love.
Which is where Squirrel comes in; like it’s friendly and inquisitive alter-ego, Squirrel is a savings account and app that is there to give you a helping hand. Whether you struggle to save because you spend all your money on rent and have been dreaming of a sunshine holiday break or want to pay off your student loan, Squirrel creates ‘personalized money pots’ that motivate you to save until you can afford to cash out on your dream. For me personally I have always had a difficult relationship with saving accounts as many of them A. charge interest and B. have no motivational features that are designed to aid you towards your goal so I really liked that Squirrel even gave you the option to add your own names and pictures to savings and set goals and track progress which are proven ways of staying motivated about your saving. So if you are saving towards a holiday in Madeira, you can stick a picture of its beautiful island on your ‘personalized money pot’ and the same being said for wanting to save for a dog. Sadly for me I am not allowed any pets in my room, but I still have imaginary pugs and cats to keep this part time mermaid happy!
But what exactly are my financial targets for 2018 I hear you ask and how will I use Squirrel to give me the motivation to save?
Faded Spring’s Financial Targets For 2018
Be Able To Travel To At Least Three Countries In 2018
While 2017 was meant to be my year of travel with trips planned to Tuscany (Italy), Burachrest (Romania) and Spain, unfortunate personal circumstances meant that I was unable to travel this year. However I am optimistic that 2018 will open some doors for me and while I know that I have no savings for travel as of yet because of said ‘dire financial situation’, I am hoping that even saving a little bit each week and cutting back on travel expenses might give me the dream holiday I have always wanted. The great thing about Squirrel is unlike taking out a loan which can be both costly and with added interested on top, your Squirrel account is held in a non-interest bearing account and isn’t lent out, so neither Squirrel, nor your account gets any interest. Plus once you enable Squirrel your pay is diverted into your Squirrel account, where they hold back money for savings and budgeting. So this means that your dream of travelling can truly become a reality as you are genuinely saving money each month. The rest of your pay then goes straight into your bank account as normal. Once you’re ready to receive your savings then these get paid out into your bank account too.
So in 2018 where exactly will Faded Spring be heading too? I am planning to go to Alicante at the end of January for a short getaway in Europe, want to travel to alternative city break destinations like Ljubljana in Slovenia and quite fancy soaking up some much needed sunrays in Algarve. After all I haven’t had a holiday in 5 years, so its about time that I treated myself for once.
Financial Targets For 2018:
Save Up To Buy A Good Camera
I only shoot once or twice a month as my photographer works full time and only has a few days off, so I have been teaching myself to take photos- so some of the nature and product photography has been done by me- but in order to improve I need a better DLSR with a bigger sensor display in a small format camera, equipped with a good macro lens so that I don’t always need to rely on a photographer to take my photos. I would also need a tripod that I could take with me around East London and learn more about ISO, shutter control and lighting, some of which I have basic knowledge of. This will come in handy for when I review restaurants and hotels, as at the moment I rely on my phone a Sony Experia XZ which while has a 23 MP rear facing camera, it is not great in ‘low light conditions’ and definitely needs improvement in blurring out backgrounds to create an Al Bokeh effect, when the lighting is dark.
Financial Targets For 2018:
Pay Off My Overdraft
The last time that I was out of my overdraft was most likely a year and a half ago when I first came to London and was working 12 hour days Monday To Friday and blogging at the weekends and working a part time night job too. But working that amount of hours was not only exhausting but also made me unhappy and while I actually do work even more hours now, I definitely earn less as a freelancer then I was before. So I am hoping that in 2018, more companies will start paying me through my bank account as opposed to Paypal which will finally get me out of my overdraft, especially as my graduate account will change into a classic account next year and thus starting charging interest. I already have to pay interest when my account is ‘over my overdraft’ which is often so fingers crossed everything will change for the better in 2018.
To Buy A New Laptop
Unfortunately I have had my laptop for a very long time so not only is it incredibly slow, but I have to keep it plugged in to have the ‘computer on’, it crashes and turns itself off sometimes in the middle of my work and best of all likes to take 5 million years to edit photos which is always fun when you have a deadline to complete. While it’s still going at the moment, having a computer that isn’t on its last legs would definitely help give me peace of mind that is for sure! Plus my entire life is on my laptop, so if it breaks down I’m gonna need some big ol’ tissues and some sanity as it is quite literally my child.
While there are plenty of other things that I would like to save for like a mattress, physiotherapy for my bad back and gifts for loved ones, ultimately-asides from the luxury of travelling abroad- all the items above are neccessary in my line of work and will as an added bonus help me become A. less stressed worrying about money and the things I cannot afford and B. make me a more refined blogger, with better images, the ability to get deadlines done quicker and have a little holiday treat at the end of my saving cycle to help truly get me motivated.
What Are Your Financial Targets For 2018? Is There Anything That You Would Like To Save Up For?