Easy ways to save your coin

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tips, money saving, uni, school, blogger, lifestyle blogger, young worker, mortgage

It’s been a while since I’ve done a work / school / uni or money related type of post over here – so I thought I’d wind it all back today with a little refresh of my tips for “saving money”, especially now that I’ve been working full-time for three years (bleurgh)!

Let’s be honest – saving money and also wanting to live your best-young-life isn’t always easy. You want to save to buy and property and invest your money because, well, that’s what smart people say you should do. At the same time, you want to be doing up baecation in Bali just like all these insta celebs. It’s definitely possible to save and enjoy, but it’s all about living within your means. Which brings us onto tip #1…


Make a realistic plan

When I first started getting full-time pay a few years back, the first thing I laid out for myself was: how much do I need to spend per month? At the time, I decided on splitting my monthly income into ~thirds and putting one third towards living, one third towards monthly spending and one third towards savings. I’d try and stick to this as stringently as I could but would at times dip into my savings if I had a non business-as-usual expense such as a holiday I wanted to book. I still sort of do things in a similar way except my split of income and what goes where has changed slightly as over these past three years my pay has increased but I still live in the same place and live in pretty much the same way bar a fancier hotel here and there. It’s important to be realistic – for e.g. I see people on Twitter sometimes vowing to spend just £300 or so a month on general life expenses. Now, if you live in London, this just isn’t that realistic. TfL alone I can chop up to £10 in a day if you don’t tap in and out correctly. And if you’re living out, you could end up going shopping one day for dishwasher tablets and spices for your meals and that zaps £10 out of your account just like that. Let’s not even mention car insurance, phone bills, gym payment etc – it stacks up very quickly. I would divide it in this way and in this order: (1) how much do you need to live (i.e rent a bills)? (2) what can you spend a month on “life” and general travel without absolutely restricting yourself but also not living too lavishly above your means and (3) what’s left for savings? Is it much at all? Which takes me onto point 2…


Decide on your priorities

If you divide up money for rent, gym, insurance, day-to-day living, food etc and the end balance is £0 – then it’s time to prioritise. Are you perhaps due a pay rise in a few months or years which means that for now, you’d rather continue to live as you do and start saving later down the line? Do you prioritise living out and renting and therefore you’d rather have that balance say £0 for the time being as long as it means you get to be independent? Is your #1 priority to save up money to buy your own property within the next 3 years? I think once you can prioritise, you can better decide on where you want your expenses to go. For example, some people decide they’d rather live at home for a few years than rent, so that they can save up as much as possible to buy their own property ASAP. Some people decide to ditch the rent and spend that money on travelling the world. Some people would rather forgo that gym membership and expensive phone contract if it means they can save up for a new Chanel. It can even be as little as picking Better Gym over Third Space Gym and saving yourself over £100 monthly in the process. Basically – what’s important to you? That’s the question.


Start saving on the small things

There are little things you can very easily cut down and out in your life that could lead to way more savings. The truth is, other than a few random big payments here and there, most of what drowns our accounts is money paid out to big corporations – two big culprits being TfL (i.e. public transport) and Deliveroo (i.e. food delivery services). Here are a few things you can do to make a big difference fast:

  • Walk more instead of constantly getting public transport
  • Cook more – limit Deliveroo to 1 or 2 times a week (have you seen the amount they charge to deliver these days?! It used to be £2.50)
  • Pack your own lunches for work
  • Shop less – spend less time at Missguided and spend money instead on quality pieces that last longer (although more expensive at the time of purchase)
  • Uber less (unless you really have to / it’s the safest option (sometimes, we all just get lazy))
  • Buy the same thing cheaper (for e.g. sometimes Tesco’s own ketchup can taste just as good as Heinz ;))


Set targets

When I first started work, I’d tell myself “I want to save £x amount by the end of the year”. I met my goal, then last year, I made a big investment and I reset my goal. Recently, I told myself “I want to save £x amount before I start paying down my student loan voluntarily” (I just hit it this month, eek, time to slowly stop letting SFE take all my money via interest). When you have a goal – maybe it’s to get a mortgage, pay for an expensive holiday or even buy a designer bag (but, definitely, mortgages/investments over designer bags!), there’s more motivation behind your saving each month, you’re more likely to actually save.

Stuff to remember:

I always say that whilst saving is important – you should always feel free to treat yourself. A few years ago I heard of guy that spent his whole first year of full time work living at home, going on no holiday breaks, no nights out, never eating out, never shopping, barely seeing his friends and basically falling into exile because he wanted to spend every last drop on paying off his student loan. Perhaps, that is commendable – what I can say is that I simply can never do that. I’m in my 20s, I work hard, I don’t want to suffer ya’ll. I’ll treat myself with a weekend break, a nice hotel, or evening at a night restaurant if the opportunity presents itself, because these things make memories for when we’re older with real things to worry about like children and a family! It’s the same way reason why after a night out I’ll always get an uber – I don’t want to suffer ya’ll. An uber is usually safer at 4am and also, at 4am after the club, I’m probably hellllaaa tired – I’m not rolling onto the night tube! Saving money is important – but living is important too.

Another thing to remember is that once your bank account does start to stack up, the question is – what next? Most wealthy people hold their cash in diversified places – put money into a mortgage, hold some in an ISA, invest in some stocks and/or bonds, keep some money in cash in their bank account etc. Now I’m no master investor but this is definitely something to keep in mind – do more with your money. One of my New Year’s Resolutions was actually to start investing my money (and not just in bitcoin ha – yes I still have some money in cryptocurrencies from just before the hype last year) – I hope to be able to come back to you with a nice juicy post on what you can do in this sense at the end of the year!

Andddd with that – have a great week people!

Sep 4 2019 at 7:02 am   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Lifestyle

The Little Things

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fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell


I’m reading a book currently called Outliers: The Story of Success – and although it sounds like your typical self help book it’s actually not quite what you’d expect. The book delves into the lives of successful people and asks what factors contributed towards their success? I think it’s typical to see a super successful billionaire business owner and decide that they must be different – some sort of super human super motivated genius that is certainly different to the rest of us normal folk. But this book kind of breaks that down. Yes, super successful people are all that you’d expect – hard working, determined, driven, smart, etc, etc. But there are other factors that contribute to success such as upbringing, being in the right place at the right time and social class that aren’t weighted as heavily when we’re singing people’s praises… the little things.

Now I’m only half way through the book – but it made me think of all the little things (and lucky things) that have seriously contributed to where I am now in my life – that were just circumstantial things I probably never realised would have such a significant impact over the long term.

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell


Going to a grammar school made me hard working
Some many years ago an anti grammar school campaign meant that all grammar schools were wiped out of the area I grew up in (for those that don’t know – you have to take exams to get into grammar schools). Growing up therefore, I really had not much clue about what a grammar school even was and neither did my parents, until one day they stumbled upon a parent who encouraged them to prep and send my older brother to a grammar school out of the area. A few years and some intense prep later, and all three of us kids had made it into grammar schools and we had also moved areas to be closer to our new school.

Our new area had grammar schools all over the place and it was at school that I then realised most of my peers had been studying to get in for years and prepped by their primary schools, vs. people like myself and my brothers that had to seek out private tuition and fork over a lot of money for it in order to get the right prep to get into the school. Now the grammar school or not debate is one for another day – but without a doubt going to that school and being surrounded by a bunch of bright kids is what initially brought out the hard working nature within me. I was lucky to be afforded that chance that of course not everybody is, and lucky to have parents that were willing to give up a lot of free time to teach us to get us in (and to be able to pay for extra tuition on top of that). There were only 3 of us in my year in my primary school that went on to a grammar school, and it wasn’t necessarily because we were smarter than all the other kids, in my case – it was all due to that one random conversation my parents had many years back, and my parents having the tools to get us to pass the exams.

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell


My dad working in IT is probably one of the main reasons I run a blog
I have been using computers since the days of dial up internet – the days where you couldn’t use your house phone whilst using the internet. Yup – it’s been that long. I’ve been on a computer either writing stories, making websites, playing some sort of game etc since before I’d even hit double digits in age. It’s one of the reasons I can literally type with my eyes closed. It’s also a lot of what afforded me the luxury of being able to develop this prior addiction into a hobby at such a young age; and both of those are really in my case attributable to the fact that my dad works in IT. Growing up we had 2 computers but also a handful of laptops that would lie around in the living area – just because of my dad’s profession – so we’d all always be using them and up to something or the other. Eventually, my cousin helped me set up a free website, and because I was constantly on the computer, over the years that has led to what you see here. I still benefit a lot from my dad working in IT, for example, if something ever goes wrong with my laptop I never have to call an engineer – it’s dad to the rescue. So whilst it may seem impressive that I’ve been using the computer before it was cool (and wireless), or even that I was able to teach myself to code HTML, the truth is that a lot of that is all down to just the job of my dad. If it wasn’t for my dad and his career choice, maybe Skylish wouldn’t exist at all.

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell

Having involved parents got me to choose a career path
Parents / upbringing play such a huge role in where life takes you and that’s touched on in the book I’m reading. Sometimes your parents may not even have the time to give all the attention they want when you’re growing up as they’re working around the clock tying to make ends meet; sometimes people’s potentials are really never brought out because the situation they are in doesn’t allow it to be.

I had very involved parents – they still remain super involved and I’m in my 20s. Maybe not everyone needs this if you’re very self motivated, but growing up I definitely needed this support as thinking about the future was something I never liked to do – it absolutely terrified me and I only ever wanted to live in the “now”. I never really gave much thought to what I want to do and of course the way school is set up, being able to seek something out and plan ahead can really help to achieve it. I didn’t necessarily get into LSE because I was super ambitious and sought it out, a lot of it was really due to support from my parents.

fblogger, blogger, think pieces, bblogger, lifestyle, Outliers, Outliers by Malcom Gladwell


I met my boyfriend by accident
I met my boyfriend at a club five years ago. And actually, after we met, we had to re-meet a few months down the line. The event we met at was called a “Carnival pre-party”, i.e. just a club night before Nottinghill Carnival the next day. Now it was totally “by accident” because (i) I literally was so close to not even going to the event but also (ii) because when we met again a few months later, now at university, he wasn’t even meant to be at LSE – actually LSE had been his second option. If either of these minor choices hadn’t happened, then maybe we never would have met at all.

Once upon a time I read a book about how a man had travelled back in time, stepped on a butterfly, and found that this had completely changed how things developed in the future – leadership changed, languages changed, the environment changed. Of course it was a fiction book and maybe somewhat far fetched – but it highlights “the little things” better than I ever could. Often time, there’s little that tears us each apart from eachother, or even a Bill Gates, than the little things such as parents, social class and even year and country of birth, which have such a huge impact on what path life takes all of us on.

Outfit: Zara
Photography: Marianne Olaleye

Aug 19 2019 at 8:53 pm   ·   Leave a Comment   ·   Posted Under Think Pieces