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My Money Journey – the route to saving £15,000

When I was 19, I got my first full-time job. My starting salary was £12,000 and I remember thinking WOW, that is so much money, am I like rich now?

My (original) plan was to be an actress; get in a Hollywood film and become a star.

Then when I was 22, I made a last-minute decision to go travelling with two of my best friends. I was working at the same company, so quit my job, got a one-way flight to Australia, and travelled for 7 months around the other side of the world, experiencing the most insane things: Scuba-diving in the Great Barrier Reef, sky diving in one of the only places where you actually land on the beach (you get a lot of sand in your knickers), sailing around the Whitsunday Islands for 3 days, feeding Elephants… you get the point!

(left to right) – Hugs with an Elephant in Thailand. The sunrise from the boat on Whitsunday Islands. Scuba Dive in Great Barrier Reef. Surfing in Australia. View from the top of Ben Lomond in New Zealand

And to make it even better, I only had to work for the last 6 weeks out of the 7-month trip.

How?! Because I managed to save £15,000 in 3 years and decided to spend all of it to fund the trip.

Initially, I ‘quit’ my job in July with the intention of starting a full-time acting course in September of 2015. Then in August just before I was due to leave work, the opportunity came up to go travelling, but I only had two weeks to decide.

Fortunately, I had been saving my money (at the time, with no real goal or plan on how to spend that money…) so the final decision was not a question on whether I could afford to go or not. The decision was literally a choice of if I wanted to go or not.

Had I not saved that money; the decision would have been made for me. And it most certainly would have been a no to travelling. From that day, I have truly understood the importance of saving and the freedom that money can give you, both mentally and physically.

It is not about how much money you earn; it is all about how you manage that money.

Timeline of events:

October 2009 – 16th birthday, got a job at Argos and didn’t save a penny of my money #regretz

October 2011 – 18th birthday, opened an ISA (Savings Account) at Barclays

October 2012 – 19th birthday, had about £37.62 in my ISA (got to start somewhere…)

November 2012 – Started my first proper job (as an Account Exec for a data company)

October 2013 – 20th birthday, had a total of £2,100 in my savings account

October 2014 – 21st birthday, had increased my savings to £7,408.89

July 2015 – Planned to quit my job to start a full-time acting course in the September

August 2015 – Changed my mind (very last minute) and decided to go travelling instead

October 2015 – 22nd birthday, reached my savings goal of £15,000

December 2015 – Flew to Australia and my travels began (lived in Sydney for 3 months, travelled for 5 weeks up the East Coast to Cairns. Went to Asia, spent 6 weeks in Bali, Malaysia, Thailand and Cambodia then flew back to Australia and lived in Melbourne for 10 weeks, finished in New Zealand)

July 2016 – Flew back to the UK and spent my last bit of savings on a car

August 2016 – Had £0 in savings, moved back home and got my old job back

October 2016 – 23rd birthday, set a savings goal of £15,000 within 3 years (again)

October 2017 – 24th birthday, had £5,002.30 in my savings

July 2018 – Moved out of the family home and into a flat in London with two of my best friends

October 2018 – 25th birthday, had £16,226.00 in savings… but also had £4,300 on a credit card

April 2019 – Half-way to my 26th birthday, completely debt-free and aiming for £15,000 savings

It may seem an impossible task to save money and still do fun things with your life. But learning how to manage your money makes anything possible.

Over and above the 7 months I spent travelling 6 countries, I have also had fun experiences, holidays, festivals, trips away, and even made some big purchases:

  • 11 holidays (Greece three times, Ibiza three times, Cyprus twice, Malta, Turkey, and Nice)
  • 4 weekends away in Europe (Berlin for Xmas markets, Dublin for NYE, Amsterdam and Lisbon)
  • Weekends away in the UK (Bath, Bristol, Wales to climb Snowdon, Lake District to climb Scafell Pike and more)
  • 6 Festivals (V Festival twice, Creamfields twice and We Are FSTVL twice)
  • Bought two cars (both Vauxhall Corsa’s, both died)
  • Moved out of the family home and into a flat in London

I am super savvy with my purchases. I love researching and scouting out the best deals. I am that girl who tells everyone she is going on hols but follows up with “oooh it was a right bargain, it only cost us £___”.

Please do not think I am just boasting about all the stuff I have been able to do, but I am proud of what I have achieved because all of it was funded out of my own money. And I want to show you it is possible for you to do the same, regardless of your current financial situation.

I am still figuring stuff out (I still have no clue how a mortgage works, or the best place to invest).

Sometimes I buy things I don’t need, I dip into my savings, I go way over on my monthly budget, but I am learning every day and having a good time doing it. And I hope sharing my experiences will help others along the way.  

Laura x

Author: Laura Moore

I am a 26-year-old living in London and currently learning how to live my absolute best life whilst still being financially stable… everyone’s dream right? That is the journey I am on and I learn something new every day, so I am documenting and sharing my experience. I want to show you how you can have fun and still have money, at the same time. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. My mission is to help you become financially free. After making a very last minute to decision to go travelling in 2015, with the money I had saved ready for Drama school, it was then that I realised the freedom that money can give you. I want to demystify money and help you all feel empowered by your finances. Talking about all aspects of saving, budgeting, clearing debt, investing (and many more), I am here to help you take control of your money.  

11 Replies to “My Money Journey – the route to saving £15,000”

  1. Ben says: April 25, 2019 at 7:15 pm

    I find it so hard to save money and spend it as soon as i get paid. I get paid weekly and its all gone by the time next weeks pay packet comes around.

    How can i save easy?

    How long do you need to leave it in a ISA. can you take the money out whenever? Does that effect interest?

    1. Laura Moore says: April 25, 2019 at 10:44 pm

      Hi Ben,
      Thank you for your feedback, hopefully my blog can help you out.
      That is a problem I used to have at the start, I used to be paid weekly when I was 18 (when I waitressed before my full-time job) and it is easy to lose track of what you are spending. I will be releasing a blog soon about my top tips to save so hopefully that will help you – If you subscribe to my blogs (there is a button in the top right hand corner of the website) you will get an email when each blog goes live! I will definitely look to cater a blog to top tips for people who get paid weekly, instead of monthly.
      The money can stay in an ISA as long or as little as you like – there is a limit on how much you can add and take out of an ISA in one year, and the main thing that affects interest is how much money is physically in the ISA.
      Hope this helps.
      Thanks
      Laura x

  2. Davina says: April 25, 2019 at 7:30 pm

    Literally going to open an isa tomorrow now. Thank you Laura for words that are easy to understand and ultimately make you feel like you can achieve something.

    1. Laura Moore says: April 25, 2019 at 10:41 pm

      Hi Davina,
      So glad to hear this has inspired you to open up your own ISA, it really is a great start to saving.
      You are so welcome, thank you for your feedback.
      You really can achieve anything and I hope my future blogs inspire you even more.
      If you want to subscribe to my blogs and get notified when I post a new one, there is an option to do so in the top right hand corner.
      Thanks,
      Laura x

  3. Muno says: April 25, 2019 at 8:56 pm

    Great blog. What are your saving tips. Also how much did you save each month

    1. Laura Moore says: April 25, 2019 at 10:39 pm

      Hi Muno,
      Thanks for your comment!
      My next blog will be all about top tips for saving, and I also plan to give a breakdown on what I was saving each month and how I did that. It is all to come, so keep if you subscribe to my blogs (in the top right hand corner of the website) I will send you an email when each blog is out, and hopefully this will be helpful for you.
      Thanks
      Laura x

  4. Florence says: April 25, 2019 at 9:54 pm

    Didn’t learn anything from this… telling people how much you’ve saved will not help people save! Why don’t you share money-saving tips instead?

    1. Laura Moore says: April 25, 2019 at 10:37 pm

      Hey Florence,
      Thanks for your feedback!
      This is my first ever blog post, so the aim of this one was just to give a bit of background into myself and what I have done so far. But completely agree with sharing that information and the plan for the next blog is to be my top tips for saving, and hopefully that will be helpful for you and everyone.
      Thanks,
      Laura x

  5. Luciana says: April 25, 2019 at 10:58 pm

    Well done for saving such an amount! How did you do it?
    I found it easier to save when I lived with my parents now that I live alone and have a car it’s so hard!

    1. Laura Moore says: April 27, 2019 at 9:21 pm

      Hi Luciana,
      Thanks, I have learnt loads of tips and tricks along the way that I plan to write blogs about to share with everyone. I didnt always get it right… and I am still learning and I have more to pay for no, than ever, (rent, bills etc) so I completely get it. This time round it is SO much harder, but I am learning as I go!!!
      Should have a blog up about my top tips next week
      Thanks
      Laura x

  6. Ewan says: October 19, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Hey,

    Nice blog. I did something very similar. I went traveling for a year and came back with more money than I went with (10k) – I found a job in Brisbane that gave me a flat as part of the job!

    I’m very minimalist. I always ask myself “Do I need this?” and “Will it change my life?” – usually the answer is “no” and I don’t purchase it. In this world of online shopping and marketing it’s very easy to get suckered into believing that buying this “stuff” will make your life happy. When in reality I’m happier without these things. Just being with friends and family make me happy.

    Keep up with the nice posts.

    Ewan

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