18 months to £25k. September savings review

18 months to £25k. September savings review

The second month of our savings challenge is gone. If all of them pass by so quickly, we won’t even notice when it’s March 2019, and we need to draw the line! In case you’re new here, we decided to set ourselves the goal of saving £25000 by March ’19, which means around £1390 every month. If you think that’s a lot, you’re not the only one! If you want to know how we did in August, here’s the blog post.

September was a concern because it had one big challenge – we went on a 4-day break in Stockholm. Well, a break might be a bit of an overstatement since we ran a half marathon there. The flights and hotel were already paid for, but the city is expensive. We tried to keep a balance between enjoying ourselves and watching our spending.

What’s the result? How did we save this month?

Food

Almost everything that we did last month still applies. You can read the full description in the August savings review, but I’m just going to list them here:

  • Free food from the allotment
  • Foraging for fruit (apples in particular)
  • Clearance foods
  • Meal prepping
  • No alcohol
  • Less treats

Monthly payments

During August I stopped a few memberships, and direct debits and the result was a £57 saving in September! I was surprised to see that a small change can make such a big difference. Right now 57 pounds can feed us for about two weeks.

The Stockholm trip

We wanted to enjoy it, so we decided to do everything we can to avoid spending until we get there. To save on food, we packed sandwiches, biscuits and a reusable bottle of water to refill after going through security at the airport. To save some money on transportation, we took the tube to the airport and spent the night on a chair instead of going back home after work and then back to London the next day. Sleeping on a chair was not comfortable, but it wasn’t too bad either. We chose the cheaper form of transportation from the airport to our hotel, which was a bus. During the four days there, we had big breakfasts at the hotel and only one other meal during the day in the city.

An excellent little help we got with our expenses came from our forgotten Scottish pounds. We had some cash we took out from an ATM in Edinburgh last year. You can’t use Scottish pounds everywhere in England, so we just decided to keep them in an envelope somewhere. We exchanged them for Swedish Krona for our trip, so we eventually spent less from the bank account!

How we saved and how much we saved in September. Second month of our savings challenge - £25000 until March 2019

Selling stuff

We listed a lot of items on eBay last month and they slowly started selling. We sold things we didn’t even imagine we could sell. For example, we had a box with small electronics – like memory sticks or old video cameras – and cables. Some sold for £1, but some sold for £5-6. I also sold an old carpet that we stopped using when we moved house. The rug sold via the Shpock app for £30 and everything on eBay made £42, so when you do the math, that’s a nice little profit for just getting rid of things you don’t use! Together with the savings from the memberships I stopped, that’s £130.

What’s going to help next month

I made two affiliate sales during September! Whoop whoop! It takes time to process them, so that will land in my bank account mid-October. It’s not a lot, it will be something like £20, but everything counts.

Results

Towards the end of the month, I realized that I need to book our stay in Chester because Alin is running their marathon on the 8th. Hotels get very expensive the night before an event in the city, so I was disappointed to see that we need to pay £200 when I only have 1500 left. That would mean I’d be past the 1390 goal of the month. I was lucky to find a website where I could book the hotel, but pay later. And I used Quidco, so I’ll get a £24 cashback. Yessssss! The month ended with £1452, goal achieved for the second month in a row.

Savings in September: £1452

Total savings for the challenge: £3125

I think October will be much quieter regarding spending, but only time will tell. I’ll be back in a month for a new review!

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