When someone mentions to me that they’ve saved up enough money to buy a house, I have two reactions. The first is to congratulate them on achieving something that a lot of 30-year-olds in the current climate will struggle to do; the second, is to take a long sip of “holy shit, where are my savings and how the hell do I do that also” tonic.
If that situation sounds familiar, then it’s good to know that you’re not alone. The scares on Halloween 2017 were not those caused by ghouls, zombies, and assholes dressed up as Pennywise. Instead, they were created by the following tweet:
As you reach furiously for your mobile banking app to check your savings, let me tell you this. Don’t. Don’t cause yourself the mental anguish of what you already know. Instead, think of a way that you can save without realising it.
Technology advances industries in waves (unless you consider China where everything feels the pull of innovation simultaneously.), so it was only a matter of time before we saw the banking industry experience its overhaul. Here are my two tips for saving money and fast; hurrah for tech.
I started using Plum after noticing it on a Seedrs advert whilst descending slowly out of the tube (those small display screens grab your attention) and attempting to avoid the Trivago woman. Plum’s goal is simple - they want to help you save money without even realising it. Through an algorithm that tracks your spending habits, Plum really does that. I managed to save £300 for a trip to Canada by Plum just rounding up a few of my purchases and realising that I’d stopped spending obnoxious coffee money at Pret.
It’s free and works directly in Messenger, which means it’s a handy bot that is there for you whenever. Setup is relatively simple and just requires you to link your bank account. Get it. It will help you get towards that all important amount.
The bot game is not owned by Plum. If you want to shop around for other saving bots, Cleo & Moneybox.
The big one. Monzo is a revelation and completely deserves the success and the coverage (The Guardian, The Times, Wired) since the company launched in 2015. Tom Blomfield and his team decided once and for all that there needed to be a new kind of bank. A bank that is built for your smartphone. A bank that actually helps you track your spending and curb where you are possibly overspending. It’s a refreshing experience to bank with a bank that wants to help you save, instead of letting you know that they are extending your credit limit due to you being a great customer (I will not stupidly buy a 4K TV).
The success of Monzo now means that new, interested parties have to sign up to a rather long waiting list as the company rolls out current accounts to all of its signed up members.
Plus, their homepage also points out that you are not the only person who spends a lot of time at Shoreditch Grind.
If you’re looking for software that allows you to track your budget with a tad more detail, may I suggest You Need A Budget or YNAB to its friends. YNAB’s only premise is to stop you from living paycheck to paycheck, which is something it does very well.
So there are my two tips for financial security in a world where you’re already supposed to have saved your annual salary by the time you are 30. What are yours? How are you saving money. Let me know by tweeting me @baconchin.