As baby is beginning to get into a routine of going to bed earlier in the evening I’ve had a few pockets of time to finally get around to sorting out my savings accounts and plans. I have several savings accounts attached to my current account and, over the last few months, I’ve been experimenting with the best ways to use them. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not great at saving up for Christmas, for example, and it seems that that hasn’t changed much. It also seems that I’m no good at putting money back for a holiday fund when I don’t actually have anything booked. In fact, I have found that the bigger variety of savings funds that I have, the more confused I get and the less I actually save. Since the next year is going to be a bit of an odd time financially (my income is the basic maternity allowance) I don’t have the potential to save very much. But just because I can no longer put back £500 or so a month doesn’t mean I don’t want to keep going so I wanted to get my savings accounts organised thus, if I do manage to put back £20 here and there I know exactly where to put it. I have shifted various funds around, reallocated accounts and have come up with the following:
- Maternity leave fund: This is solely for the money I saved to contribute to the joint account each month (which pays all of our bills by direct debit and standing order) while on maternity leave.
- Baby account: We now receive £81.20 every 4 weeks in child allowance/benefit. It took me a while to decide what to do with this but, for the duration of my paid maternity leave or unless circumstances change, I will transfer the full amount to the baby account to be used for all baby supplies and activities.
- Joint savings: Earlier this year I mentioned that I had reorganised our payments into our joint account. We put the same amount in each month but this frequently includes overpayments (for example, payments for the TV licence, around £37, are only taken out quarterly but we put £37 back every month). Also the phone bill varies each month so we have budgeted a higher figure than we anticipate using each month. At the end of each month whatever funds are left over are now transferred to the joint savings which we use for various odds and ends such as dental treatment and car maintenance. It is unlikely to ever add up to a great amount but it is good to know we have a bit of back-up for essentials!
My emergency fund is sitting in an ISA and we still have a savings account for the last of our home improvements money (just enough left to do the front door). The biggest change has been getting rid of various accounts allocated for things like Christmas, holidays or whatever project I’ve had on the go and instead having a much more simple…
- General savings fund: Basically anything I do manage to save will go here and, as it builds up, can be used for Christmas, birthdays, going out, holidays, clothes, the future – whatever really! This is the easiest option until I’m earning a significant amount of money again.
How do you organise your savings? Do you find it easier to have one main savings account or do you prefer to have different accounts for differents fund (such as Christmas, holidays, deposit for a house, home improvements and so on)?