I officially paid off my wedding loan two years after getting married and then the mortgage saving started. I’m 6 years married in November and I feel like I’ve been saving or paying off loans for all of my adult life so far. I have to admit, it sometimes it gets on top of me. I see friends going on holidays, buying loads of gorgeous clothes and it’s enough to make you weep! I feel I can’t enjoy my thirties now because I’ve robbed myself of a social life! Working my ‘posterior’ off in full time work, saving 75% of my salary each week, no concerts, no shopping spree’s no vacations or sun holiday’s, cheaper everything, even down to generic body products. I’m starting to forget what the inside of an airport looks like, never mind Brown Thomas! We’re even holding off on starting a family until we have a house and I have to admit, at 34, I hear a very loud clock ticking away in the background… I’m as broody as hell!!!
Okay so my twenties were during the Celtic Tiger, my release was going out to nightclubs, drinking Champagne, wearing Manolo’s and falling into work-hungover, only to do it again a couple of days later. I cannot tell you how much I regret that, all that money I spent on overpriced booze and stupid material things.. I could have had a pretty hefty savings account and had a house by now…. we never learn! I suppose your twenties are for learning life’s lessons, right?
All that moaning aside, I have managed to find ways to make me feel like part of the living again. There’s only so many “Netflix & Chill’s” you can do… staying within the same four walls night in night out. If you’re in the same boat, perhaps you can identify.. Get out there, be part of the land of the living and enjoy the little things in life that make you smile. Our lives are so short and life is there to be lived, so get out there, or you’ll look back and regret it.
Here are my top tips on having fun on a budget.
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Pick a “Date Night” once a month:
There are some great restaurants out there, many with an early bird menu that’s cheaper than the dinner menu. Going out at night will help you feel like you have a nightlife again and hey… a reason to get the heels and perfume on. You can also check out websites like Groupon and The Taste for dining packages, even get up to half price off!
Set Milestones & Celebrate:
Put a little money aside every week and every time you get another €1,500 in your savings, buy yourself something nice and reward yourself for your hard work, ’cause goodness knows, saving is NOT easy.
Just Because You’re On a Budget, Doesn’t Mean You Can’t Feel like Royalty:
If you’re like me and love the fine things in life, check out the fabulous estates that we have here in Ireland, Killruddery House, for example or Powerscourt House & Gardens. Check out the websites of great Irish houses around Ireland and watch out for upcoming events. I love the Last of The Summer Fling at Kilruddery House in Bray, at the end of each Summer, the formal gardens are open for picnics, simply pay a small fee in and you can sit like a Duchess on the lawn with your picnic of (Aldi) Prosecco or Champagne, cucumber sandwiches and hey, even bring china teacups.. Downton Abbey? You CAN be Downton Abbey!
This years Last Of The Summer Fling takes place on Sunday August 28th from 11am
Check the Killruddery events page for more information on other events on the estate
Take a Road Trip:
Once again, in Ireland, we’re blessed with incredible sights and attractions, the Cliffs of Moher, Aran Islands, Newgrange, The Giants Causeway. Even our museums are free, pack up a picnic and go see something incredible. The Newbridge Silverware Museum of Style Icons in Kildare is even free.
Have a “Me Day” Once In a While :
I love to get dressed up , feel really special and go into Dublin City, buy myself a bunch of flowers, pop in to a salon and get my hair done, go to a French cafe and have a cup of coffee and a pastry, go to the National Gallery and do things that I want to do. You’d be surprised how much it can revive you. Just taking time out to enjoy the things YOU love and not having to worry about whether anyone else is happy.. I find it completely re-balances me.
Above All, Keep The Romance Alive:
All the saving can really get on top of you, it’s really important to keep the romance, remember what brought you together and keep that alive. Saving for your first house is one of the hardest and most stressful things you’ll do. Face it, it’s not easy being a hermit for a few years… once you get that key to your house, it’ll be worth it. Take time to listen to your significant other, talk, speak your mind, remember to show them how much you love them because that doesn’t cost a cent.
The benefit to saving at this level, it re-educates you on the value of money. I find myself being tighter and now question myself as to “Do I really need it?”. Please feel free to share your thoughts on this and your own experiences and tips on mortgage deposit savings, I’d love to hear other stories.
Thanks for reading,