Welcome to the blog that aims to help you earn and save more rickety tick. I gathered all the information here while saving for a deposit for my first house. If you are a first time buyer with a financial mountain to climb, then make yourself at home here in the meantime…on the way to buying your own!
I can’t tell you where you should spend your money. I can however give you options to get better value from the spending you do anyway. We all have to eat, right?
While a complete shopping ban might be what some of us need, I’m not convinced that’s practical for everyone. I favour spending priorities. These require three steps to work.
- We have to get get really clear on what’s our essential spending and what’s “disposable” income.
- Then we pick one or two things that are priorities, but which aren’t necessary for survival.
- Then we find the best value way to enjoy those things, and let anything less important fade into the background.
A budget might help, it might not. Cutting back on everything without earning more will only get you so far. Quitting lattes might save you a bunch, while your money trickles out the door elsewhere on something that doesn’t really matter to you in the long term.
Everyone’s priorities will be different. I’ll help you choose yours, and the right system for you, and share with you all the areas where I’ve found better value for money.
Who Save Like A Bear Is For
You should find something here for you if:
You feel like you are living beyond your means, but aren’t sure where to start saving
You have some savings already, but need a serious boost to reach your goal
You are closer to buying a house, but want every last bit of help to reach the finish line
You like a challenge and experimenting with earning more
If any of these apply to you, get on the mailing list rickety tick and see if you can’t save more by following the blog.
Prefer to listen to tips and ideas?
You’ll want the podcast instead to get a grip on your finances and your future. The show is about the mindset and tricks needed for big savers with side hustles or business dreams. Listen if you want to make more while getting the best value for money from your spending priorities in the meantime.
What to expect on the blog
I’ve been a TV fiend previously, so I plan to recap a lot of shows for the blog that have taught me something about value for money. These include property shows, some finance, and a lot of shows about food and fitness, as this seems to be a money pit for most of us. There’s also not much point in saving all your cash by ruining your health, and I think it’s possible to have health goals and savings goals that compliment each other.
I’m a bit of a nerd, hence the quotes from some cult classic television too. For reasons that are either obvious or inexplicable depending on your music tastes, I also seem to include a lot of Harry Styles references when I write. Je ne regret rien! I guess that’s what happens when he’s playing on repeat around the house, so I take no responsibility for that.
Also, although my posts tend towards the long side, I hope they are a actually shortcut for you. This is because I had to read so many different things to get clued up on the homebuying steps, it felt like no one had the bulk of the essential information in one place.
Want to know how to save your best deposit so you can get a (competitive) mortgage offer? Or how to choose a property within your budget without saying goodbye to the lifestyle you want? Then you’ll want to check out the posts that kicked the blog off:
What You Need To Get The Best Mortgage Offer
Is Buying A House The Worst Financial Decision Ever
Epic Ways To Save For A House
Help To Buy Vs Shared Ownership Vs A Fleetwood Mac Song
The Only Wealth Philosophy You’ll Ever Need?
The Number One Thing No One Tells You About Saving For A House
How I Saved Half My Wages (For A Deposit While) Renting in London
How To Choose A Conveyancer Or Solicitor You Don’t Hate
The UK’s Best Place To Live (Recap)
Subscribe at the bottom of this page if you want to keep up with more posts like these and get savings and earnings ideas straight to your inbox.
Where did I buy my house?
I bought my house in the southeast of England because that’s where I grew up and most of my family and friends are based there. I’ve lived and worked in London in the past and can still get there without too much effort for entertainment. I wanted to prove to myself that it was possible to buy in an expensive part of the country. I’m sure owning your own acre in Scotland is very nice (and affordable), but my priority was staying close to the people who matter to me the most.
When did I start saving?
I’ve been a saver since I was a young cub, so I went to university with savings from work and I left university the same way I arrived (well, some other things changed that weren’t financial. I got shortsighted, for one). I saved close to 50% of my wages most of the time I was working after graduating, so even if you’re starting from scratch, it’s possible to create a nice wedge of moolah.
It hasn’t always been easy. When I first moved to London, my job went away almost as soon as signing my rental contract. I was mostly unemployed for several months. It was supreme to have some savings aside, but I also resolved to buy a house as soon as possible because a monthly mortgage payment was going to cost me far less than my rent. I worked out I needed a deposit of at least £50000 though to qualify for a mortgage on my salary and buy within an hour of family.
When a relative told me I’d never be able to do it, that only made me more determined. I needed to get really serious about what I was spending and why, and earn more through work and interest.
What if we live in London and can’t save anything?
I was renting in London when I saved nearly 50% of my wages despite not being on a high salary. 40% of that was my rent, no bills included. I didn’t learn overnight how to stop buying things I didn’t really need, or how to get the best deal on the things I did. I can show you all the tips I picked up over time though, and making even a few changes can go a long way to helping you achieve your goal.
What you class as a high salary is definitely relative. One mortgage adviser also definitely referred to me as being on a low income. I had chosen other benefits at work besides money to gauge whether my job was satisfying. If you don’t want to do a job you despise to chase a higher salary, or you’ve chosen a vocation that doesn’t pay well, or your industry is in a dip currently and it would cost you more to retrain than to stick at it, then that doesn’t mean you have to rent forever.
What if we live in London and want to buy in London?
Erm…I don’t want to say abandon all hope ye who enter…so I’ll say I can help you consider the alternatives.
Other Questions You Might Have
Why is the blog called Save Live A Bear? Don’t they just eat people and salmon? Since when are bears interested in personal finance?
Bear has been a nickname that keeps returning to me; every time I think someone who calls me Bear has walked out of my life, I meet someone new who thinks they’re the first person to christen me Bear. I also like to hibernate. I’m not so good at the running, climbing and swimming, but I do really like porridge.
What’s your real name?
The deep answer is that you can be your real self without using your “real” name. There are two main reasons I write under an alias though.
One, an actress has the same name as me and I suspect she’d like to separate her work from me as much as vice versa.
The second is that I still work full time and it’s better for everyone involved if my employer doesn’t know I run this blog. What we do outside work is up to us, but I don’t want to represent their brand when I’m off the clock, and that means drawing a line between work and my offline persona. waves to the suckers who pay me who think I’m a sucker because they pay me
For the same reason, I don’t plan to put my face about the blog either, but let’s just say I think Holland Roden is my doppelganger. Also: I don’t eat people, and food on the blog will be mostly plant-based.
P.S. I’ve left out a major fact about me, but listeners of the podcast will know what I’ve omitted. It’s not my defining feature, but it does explain my approach!
Become A Fellow Bear!
I will be posting a lot at first, but I suspect I will post less frequently in future so that no one gets overwhelmed (including me!), so the mailing list will always be the best way to keep up with new content regardless of my schedule.
If you want help to spend better and hit a massive savings goal like saving your best deposit, then subscribe below, and see if your friends want to join in too.
If you’re more interested in how this fair website exists, then below is a list of what I use to keep everything up and running so far.
For more information about these, visit the Bear Resources page.