The Monzo Saving Squad is a growing community of Monzo users on Facebook supporting each other to meet their savings goals with clever tips and tricks. We'd like to get to know them a little better, so we chatted with squad member Bekki about her financial journey, and how Monzo's helping her along the way.
Bekki's a money-saving 20-something living in London. She's also on Instagram as @thelittlespender - where she shares her tips for spending less while living in London.
What made you first start sharing money saving tips on Instagram?
I moved to London just over five years ago, for a job that I really wanted, but that didn’t pay the best salary. I was keen to not let a low salary stop me from having fun, so I began finding lots of little ways I could save money.
I’ve always loved social media, and spent quite a lot of time on Instagram, so I decided that starting The Little Spender would be a better use of my time, and I hoped I might even help a few people along the way! I’ve loved finding so many great deals around London, and everyone always seems so surprised about the pure volume of deals out there!
How has Monzo helped you on your money saving journey?
I’ve had a Monzo account for just over two years now, but before that I managed all my finances using an Excel spreadsheet. Each month I would download my bank statement and spend hours categorising and analysing where and how I spent my money. It was incredibly boring! I now use a Monzo account for all of my “fun” spending (rent & bills are still managed through my current account).
Each month I transfer 20% of my salary into my Monzo account and I then try to make this last the month. Monzo has completely removed the need for any tedious spreadsheets, and I love how easy it is to track your spending in-month. If I’m overspending on a certain category, I’ll be able to see – which means I can then decide which areas I need to cut back on to make sure I don’t go over budget.
What surprised you the most about your spending after using Monzo?
How much money you can easily spend on nothing – a few snack runs to Sainsbury’s and before you know it you’ve spent £20! I also started categorising the money I spent on coffee under the “expenses” tab, and seeing the total sneak up really helped me evaluate if this was the best way to be spending my money – I now bring my own coffee into work and spend the extra on meals out with my pals.
Which category do you spend most money on?
Eating out (as you might be able to tell from my Instagram account). London has so many incredible, yet affordable restaurants and I love finding cheap eats around the city. I don’t spend a huge amount on clothes, and I’m fortunate enough to have cheap travel into work, so most of my outgoings are food related!
What's your favourite thing about Monzo?
Other than the set categories for budgeting, it’s the ease of transferring money to friends. “I’ll just Monzo you” is so much easier than logging into online banking, adding all the details and then realising you don’t have your card reader!
I also love how Monzo has encouraged conversation about money between my friends – a couple of years ago we would have never discussed our finances, but the casual nature of Monzo has allowed us to openly discuss money – which is great when it comes to planning nights out, or choosing restaurants that we can all afford.
Are there any features that you want to make more use of?
I really love the Shared Tabs feature but have only used it a couple of times. I went to Lisbon earlier in the year with three other people and we used it quite religiously. Again, it just removes any stress of remembering who paid for what, and avoids any awkward conversations around who owes who money.
And lastly, you seem to be great at balancing money saving with having fun. What’s the best thing about sticking to a budget?
A lot of people think that having a budget is really limiting, but I’ve found it actually allows me to do more. Tracking how I spend my money helps me to make sure I’m spending it in the best way possible – it’s really encouraged me to find ways of spending less, so I can go out more!
Want to join Bekki and the thousands more using Monzo to save money?
We hope to see you soon!