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September Newsletter
Hi <<First Name>>!

Firstly I must welcome you to the best time of the year - the three week stint where the optimal clothing combination is a knitted top, jeans and sandals. It is perhaps my favourite three weeks of the year and I encourage you all to embrace this wonderful moment. It's fleeting, but brilliant. One thing that isn't so fleeting are budgets. Budgeting and finances in general are both things that have played a big part this year as everything has been thrown up into the air and I'm not saying I've been a saint when it comes to my spending, but I've made some changes that feel like they've made a considerable difference to my habits and attitude with money. Have a read below to see what they are...
 

Lesson #34

The Budgeting Tips That Have Worked For Me

It's a strange time for finances and with things looking shaky across the board, it feels like the right time to hunker down and squirrel away a little extra. Without the expenses of travel and entertaining, we've been able to save far more this year than we'd anticipated and I've noticed a huge shift in my spending habits as I've implemented the tips below over the past couple of months. The extra time on my hands has meant I'm more in tune with my spending than I have been in years and 'Do I *need* this?' question is more often than not a big fat no. WHO AM I?! Here's what I've been doing... 

Splitting my money. It might not make sense you for to split your money between accounts, but I like having a classic current account which I pay for all my household and utility-type payments from (a.k.a the boring adult stuff), then I transfer a monthly amount into my Monzo account which acts as my disposable income. Having this clear distinction between the two accounts and two types of money - what I can't touch and what I can - has really helped me curb my spending habits.  

Visual banking software. THIS IS NOT SPONSORED BY MONZO, but Monzo if you're listening... I know there are a few other app-based banking companies now in the U.K (I've heard great things about Starling Bank too), but not only is app-based banking ridiculously easy to use, it's extremely visual and as someone who gets off on data I find it so helpful to see a breakdown of my spending. Nine times out of 10 Monzo correctly guesses which category a payment falls into and if not it's easy to assign to the correct one. It basically creates a budget for you. So at a glance I can see how much I'm spending on eating out and takeaways, shopping, charity, groceries, gifts etc. It's a game-changer. 

Have something to save for. Saving without a purpose is smart, but it takes a special kind of person to have that discipline and that is not me. Whether it be a wedding, a big home move or something smaller like a weekend away or a renovation improvement, having a goal and a specific target in mind is waaaaaay more motivating than saving for a rainy day. One guess as to what we're saving for?! A GARDENNNNNNNNN! One day, eh? 

Straight into savings. This is a new game I'm playing and one that is working out extremely well for me. Anything that is leftover in my Monzo at the end the month goes straight into savings. It might seem like an unnecessary journey for my money to make - starting in my current account, then going into my Monzo, and then being put into savings - but there's something so motivating about seeing the savings pot go up that I find myself checking my Monzo total before I make any new purchase. Last month it got to the end of the month and I still had 40% of my disposable income to put into savings and that has never happened before. Madness. 

Cut down on the takeaways. A few weeks back we went Deliveroo CRAZY and you know what? It cost SO MUCH. Now I'm all for the odd takeaway here and there - eat out to help out and all that, I've done my fair share - but if it's creeping up in your weekly habits then it's time to log into BBC Good Food and start cooking from scratch again. I could eat a daily dose of the Five Guys BLT like the rest of them, but my budget says otherwise. 

Save on subscriptions. I didn't realise how many app subcriptions I had that I haven't opened in months. Mark has a detailed list of every subscription he's ever had in his entire life, but when he asked me what I was signed up to I was stumped. ERM. I had fitness subscriptions, foodie subscriptions, subscriptions for photo layout apps that I'd completely forgotten about - OOPS. If you're on iPhone they are very easy to view and manage in your settings, so I went through and only the ones I actually use are remaining. It's saved me about £20 a month - totalling £240 a year. A decent saving and one well worth looking into. 

A Point In The Right Direction

'Roast Tomatoes with Mint & Parsley Couscous Recipe' by Nigel Slater for The Guardian  In my 'I DON'T WANT TOMATO SEASON TO END' furore, this is my go-to recipe right now.
'Why Does Instagram Reels Suck' by Rebecca Jennings for Vox There's always backlash whenever a new tool is added on IG, but this is an interesting take. 
'The Death of Bon Appétit Is Proof Media Companies Have No Idea How Video Works' by Victoria Song for Gizmodo I'm here for all and any takes on the failings of B.A. Podcasts, articles, Reddit - it's both hugely sad and fascinating. 
'How The Beauty Industry Is Surving The Pandemic' by Cheryl Wischhover for Vox Is the beauty industry recession proof? KINDA. A long-read, but a detailed deep dive into the changing habits of beauty consumers. 

In case you missed it

My Summer 2020 Uniform Maybe one to bookmark for next summer, but here are the pieces I've worn all season long.
The HG Summer Edit Another one to bookmark till next year, but here are all my hot weather beauty FAVES; from tanning, makeup & cooling off.
My Favourite Cookbooks An updated post on all my favourite veggie cookbooks, baking books and the ones we use all the darn time.
What To Purchase Now The clothing items to purchase now, that will see you through the autumn season (and beyond).

Four THINGS I’VE BEEN LOVING THIS MONTH

ARKET Alpaca Jumper* I cannot get this jumper out of my mind.
ATP Melitto Flatform Sandals* Such a good dupe for The Row Ginza Sandals.
ARKET Elastic Waist Wool Trousers* The winter version of the linens I love.
H&M Cropped Top* A loungewear staple (that comes with matching bottoms!).
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