Saving an Emergency Fund for Retirement | Saturday Savers Club NO-BUY Month
Image by Gerhard G. from Pixabay
Over in Saturday Savers Club (hosted on the @eddie-earner account), club members are having a no-buy month - this seemed a good chance to give my emergency fund savings a little boost. No-buy is a little bit of a misnomer - it's more about looking at where you have abundance and choosing how you want to use it.
I regularly find that a trip to the shop to buy a pint of milk costs me £20 on buying things I didn't need when I went in the shop but I'm coming out with them all the same. Or putting myself in the way of temptation around books, fabrics, yarns and notions when I already have plenty I haven't used yet. Even checking household bills occasionally can reveal abundance.
You make your own rules for a no-buy month, everyone's circumstances are different as well as what is important for each person. Of course, you continue to pay for essential items - housing, utilities, loans and insurance. After that, you decide what you want to allow as an expense and which things are going to go on your NO-BUY list.
Here's mine for September:
- Food - but aiming to use up items in the pantry, freezer and garden.
- Replacing toiletries, household and cleaning products.
- Essential repairs or replacements (or where it would cost more not to attend to them as soon as).
- 1 eat-in or take-out each week, including coffee and going to the pub.
- 2 performances or films during the month.
- Adult education classes or workshops.
- Postage/carriage (lots of birthdays in September).
- Travel or fuel.
- Non-essential shop bought treats.
- Books, stationery, yarn, fabric or notions.
- No new clothes (ie not replacements).
- No new household, office or IT items.
- No garden stuff - seeds, plants, tools, compost.
I had two other budgeted items that were already accounted for in my savings: a pair of winter boots and a possible UK Hive meet-up. My aim was to save 10% of my monthly food and leisure spending.
Here's the mid-month forecast: there are a few things I hadn't accounted for but overall, it's looking good. The biggest thing I hadn't factored in is that my sewing group is starting again this month, so there will be travel and meeting expenses plus the annual subscription. I'd also forgotten about my Audible subscription (one book a month) and I did buy some yarn. I've factored in the forgotten items and a little margin for essential food or household items I may need. It looks like actual savings will be nearer 38% of regular food and leisure spending.
I've bought fresh food - dairy and produce to supplement the food from the garden - and some fresh and frozen fish. We bought our wine and beer in one trip at 25% discount. Everything else has come from the pantry or the freezer. September was a great month to choose as we are getting two or three portions of vegetables from the garden every day.
Toiletries, household and cleaning products
We've had to re-distribute handwash around the house, sharing contents between several bottles, but we should have enough to last the month. Otherwise, we have an abundance of everything including light bulbs, batteries and Sugru for fixing things.
Repairs and replacements
Two repairs this month, a charging cable and a shelf that had come adrift - Sugru fixed both.
Eat-in or take-outs
I was in Liverpool for the last day of the Don McCullin exhibition and used my month's allowances for eating out, coffee shops and going to the pub in 24 hours!
Well, no spending on anything else including travel to Liverpool - the car was already full of petrol, the hotel was paid for in July and entry to the exhibition was part of the annual membership. There is provision in the forecast for the sewing group starting again. We're watching free films and dramas on BBC iPlayer, ITV hub and Channel 4.
Two skeins of yarn in the sale to go with the three I already had from the sale in Leicester - £4.50.
Completely forgot about the Audible one book a month subscription - £7.99.
I did make a planned purchase this month from my savings account. I've been procrastinating for several years about buying a cordless vacuum cleaner. Several years ago, I spent an entertaining afternoon in a local department store testing various models. The store had a handful of grit that they emptied over and over on a dark carpet so you could try each model. They had so many, though, and the sales assistant was overly helpful, rather than letting me have time to let my thoughts settle.
At the end of August an offer came through from the Money Savings Expert site: one make, three models and a saving on the price of each one. I was looking for something very light and simple - like the Bissell carpet sweeper my grandmother had - that you could quickly pull out and run under the table and round the kitchen floor after a meal; and that was easy to use on the stairs. The one I bought fits the bill wonderfully: the floor head is easy to move round, the handset weighs less than 1kg and it has a run time of 16 minutes - exactly the amount of time I want to spend cleaning.
Let's see if we make it through to the end of the month as planned. There could be a butter crisis, or maybe the hand-wash. I've got some cash put aside so I only take what I need for my purchases!
Saturday Savers Club
I run a savings club every Saturday over on the @eddie-earner account. We're aiming to save £670 ($800) by the end of the year using the 365 day savings challenge. You can join any time of the year and set your own goals and plans (some people are saving Hive, others Bitcoin, some their local currency). We share savings tips and there's a free giveaway every week.
Wednesday Wellbeing Club
I'm hosting a Wellbeing Club on Wednesdays from 11 August until 24 November 2021 in the Natural Medicine community. It's for anyone who wants to make a lifestyle change. We have a weekly check-in and share wellbeing tips, and a weekly giveaway. Here's the back story and the launch post with more information. Everyone is welcome.
First Monday - NeedleWorkMonday Community
Every First Monday of the month, I host a Live Chat for an hour from 7pm for the Needlework Monday Community. Bring your knitting, sewing, crochet (or nothing, that's okay, too), a nice cup of something, and join us for a relaxing hour of chat. Find our more in this post
Three things newbies should do in their first week and, for most things, forever afterwards!