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My Savings Journey - Blog Post from Jill 'HomeatRoseCottage'

Hi there!

I am Jill from Homeatrosecottage and am delighted to be collaborating with Progressive Building Society to celebrate their fourth year of Savings Week! 

Back in September 2018, Progressive set Savings Week up to support a savings culture across local communities and with relevant stakeholders in Northern Ireland.  As the campaign goes from strength to strength this year is all about encouraging people to ‘Open Up’ and to make small swaps or changes to better their financial and mental health and wellbeing.

This could not be more relevant to life over here at Rose Cottage as we have had a bumpy few years, following job uncertainty and then redundancy.  This forced us to strip everything right back and really look closely at our finances.  Earlier this year, the Consumer Council’s 2021 consumer insights survey found that only half (54%) of people in Northern Ireland say they always have money saved for a rainy day. I know COVID has been challenging for many people, causing changes to personal circumstances so maybe you can relate to this also? 

I wrote a blog post with Progressive back in April 2021 (Read it here - https://homeatrosecottage.com/2021/04/28/what-a-year-its-been-in-collaboration-with-progressive-building-society/ ).  After publishing it, my inbox was flooded with people thanking me for opening up and being so honest as they too were in a similar situation.  I totally understand that having money on your mind can be stressful but opening up can really help your mental wellbeing.  That good old saying a problem shared is a problem halved could not be more relevant!

Being out of work, I thought more carefully about money coming in and out of Rose Cottage, cut back on unnecessary purchases and made swaps to save money.  One thing that really helped us manage our food bill was creating a weekly meal planner.  Each week I check all the kitchen cupboards, fridge and freezer to see what produce and food items we have.  I then make a list of meals for the week using what we already have in the house.  I then only buy the extra ingredients needed.  Not only has this saved us a lot of money but it’s also massively cut down on our food waste, so it’s been a real win win! 

Thankfully we had a ‘nest egg’ savings account in place to lean back on, which we set up with Progressive when we got married.  This definitely helped us through the uncertainty, and I was lucky that my period of unemployment didn’t last too long.  Although being made redundant was a hard time for us, I am grateful for the financial eye opener that it was for me.  It has made me determined to keep on top of our spending, stick to the simple swaps we made, and continue cutting out unnecessary spending.  By doing this we have been able to start our plans for the exterior of Rose Cottage (much to my Hubby’s delight!!).  We are making slow progress and, as with most things here, there has been a few bumps in the road, but the Savings Account with Progressive has allowed us to keep things going.

Research shows 69% of us do worry about our expenditure.  During Savings Week I will be sharing more of my own savings journey over on Social Media – https://www.instagram.com/homeatrosecottage as well as some hints and tips around the changes and swaps we have made.  I’d love to see you joining in and getting involved with Savings Week!

Why not call into your local Progressive Building Society or go online and find out about the saving options available to you.  The staff are so helpful and encouraging and it may be the first step in you opening up to your own positive financial health and wellbeing.

Jill

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