How I saved it, how I spent it

6 min | 15 May 2023

Chanté Joseph
Chanté Joseph

That feeling when you pay for an item you love after saving up for it is wonderful. Hear from those who've reaped the rewards of their hard work.

I could have hugged the mailman when he handed over the leather loafers I spent ages saving for; I’ve never been more proud of myself. I couldn’t believe that I – someone who was otherwise an impulsive spender – had focused on saving for nine months for a pair of shoes I’d adored for ages. The delayed gratification felt incredible, and I knew I needed to feel it again.

One of the best motivators for reaching your goal is remembering what it feels like to achieve a great personal win. If you haven’t got there just yet, hopefully these stories will give you the feeling of second-hand joy to help you stay on track.

I spoke to people about their saving journeys for items big and small, about how they did it and what it felt like to win. The other side of sacrifice and struggle is the feeling of success, which can trigger a lifelong habit of saving that will positively shape your relationship with money forever. It only takes one small win to get started.

In April 2022, I launched my own fine jewellery brand. To do this, I spent two years saving a total of £40,000. Lockdown meant I couldn't travel or spend as much as usual, which was a major factor in helping me save. I lived at home with minimal outgoings, so could put away a significant chunk of my freelance income each month. Still, in addition to this, I had a few strategies that helped along the way: I avoided impulse spending by waiting at least 24 hours before buying something, and that made me realise how many things I wanted, as opposed to needed. I also switched from fast fashion to investing in quality products, which saved me money in the long run. While preparing to launch my business, I worked with a coach to help keep me on track. Together we created a rewards system that meant I could only spend money when I'd completed specific tasks, which worked well for saving and productivity. Plus, getting closer to my goal motivated me to stay focused and save more. Once I hit my target, I could afford the bigger investments like a photo shoot and location. My savings meant things came together quickly, and I was excited and proud of everything I’d accomplished.

Priya, 27

I'm currently a student at a Northern university and I've spent the last six months saving up to take a history course at a history university in Paris that boasts some inspiring alumni. The course cost £330, and it was a dream of mine to go. This was important to me because I’ve never travelled internationally by myself or seen a French university. Saving for this goal required one simple sacrifice: taxis! I stopped taking taxis for a few months and managed to pocket £20 a week until I hit my savings goal. Once my place was confirmed and I'd saved the money, I was elated. This was money well spent for me.

Triumph, 19

I took a few members of my family on a shopping spree as a small way to say thank you for everything they do for me, it takes a village to raise a child, of course. I saved about enough for £100 each person to make the day enjoyable. When it comes to saving, I aim not to think too much about it – it should be more than a habit, just a part of my finance routine. I set informal goals to put away a chunk each month, often manually but sometimes with standing orders to my savings account. I'm also motivated by the satisfaction of saving for safety and, ultimately, stability – so it comes naturally to me. One helpful thing is setting up a feature in my account that rounds up my pennies into a separate savings account. Beyond this, I'm also relatively strict with my spending, always cutting costs like doing otherwise expensive beauty treatments at home. For example, I’ve learned how to do my hair myself to save money. Taking my family on a shopping spree felt completely fulfilling. It's great to make those little gestures of appreciation when you can.

Nyasha, 27

In 2019, I was given the opportunity to do a summer internship in Florida. I love to travel, and I’m always seeking new experiences. In preparation for the trip, I knew I had to save for travelling activities because I didn’t want to miss out on fun memories. At first, I felt guilty about spending the money, but my mum reminded me that money always comes back but time making memories doesn’t. Once I knew my internship was coming, I started putting aside a consistent amount into my savings account at the start of every month. This is an account that I had to discipline myself to never touch and that money was never to be seen until my internship kicked off. I reminded myself that this money was an investment into me because I knew future me would be thankful for every penny I got to spend on trips to Miami, theme parks, and so much more. I still use the same practice when I have a new goal in mind and, most recently, I used it to buy my new car! It always feels good because investing in yourself is worth every single penny.

Mercy, 24

It can sound quite arbitrary to some, but saving for my first winter coat at 17 was my most monumental achievement. The days of expecting my parents to provide for me were over, and winters in the UK were only getting longer and colder. The coat cost £200 and I remember going into the department store, having never been able to afford anything from there before, putting it on and thinking I wouldn’t take it off. To save, I set up a pot of money and slowly topped it up, with the target being more than the coat was worth. Of course, there was the occasional setback here and there, but I was really determined. I kept my goal in mind, used a physical piggy bank – which I still have today – found extra income by doing odd jobs for my neighbours and sold unwanted items online. I eventually met my goal, and, at 26, I still have and rock that beautiful, significant coat.

Tina, 26

Whatever you decide to do, look after your money. Chase's easy-access saver account lets you start saving with as little as you like.

18+, UK residents. A Chase current account is required to open a saver account. T&Cs apply.

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