While my parents seem very good at putting up with a lot of my mental immaturity and complete aversion to adulthood (I woke up at 12:45pm today, own hundreds of plushies, do not dress or act my age in any way at all really…), one thing they do ask about is money. I’ve always been able to live within my means, but when I started my PhD my savings took a huge hit.
I had £5500 in savings gathered throughout the years of undergrad, given to me by parents and family members over the years, but in just one month that was halved. This is because, unbeknownst to me, I was only getting my first stipend payment at the end of my first month, and I had so many things I had to pay – my rent, a load of society membership fees, lots of start-of-year purchases of food, toiletries and other such things, and of course, not being adjusted to living in a more expensive city tripped me up on multiple occasions (and still does). With the extra money afforded to me by my PhD, I’ve said yes to more opportunities than I would have done before, and combining this with the fact my termly rent is more than the month’s payment I receive when it is due, my savings have been dwindling, to the point they were barely above £1200 last month.
I was lucky enough to get teaching work at the end of November, and put the payment from that and a bit more into my savings, and then found myself paid last week rather than this week, put some more money in as my bank balance was crazily big. Now, I’ve got just over £3000 saved. That’s a lot better, but still it pales in comparison to my pre-PhD levels.
But that’s when I was scrolling through my facebook feed (I get so much stuff from this) and saw a link from a page I liked ages ago to a 52 week money saving challenge. And it’s very simple. Each week, just put £1 (or appropriate amount of your local currency – $1, 100 yen etc) more into your savings, so on the first week of the year, you put in £1, the second week £2, up until the last week where you put in £52. It starts so small you won’t even notice you are doing it initially, and by the end you’ve saved £1378 very easily! With money talk on my mind earlier today in our group chat, I knew I had to sign right up, and I’m about to go and put this into my Google calendar to remind me to do this (and I now also have this post as a reference).
If anyone fancies joining me in what looks to be some very easy, stress-free saving let me know and we can motivate each other. It’s a lot of money to save up, what would you spend it on? I’ll save most of it for rent/deposit payments in post-PhD life, but might also dip into it to do my cosplays on less of a strict budget and buy some more games for my Switch!