Thursday, 6 June 2013

Day Zero Project: Put some money in Premium Bonds

When Mr Click and I got married I was the Dowry Bride for the year. On the island, if the bride lives on the island and the couple is marrying locally in the month of December, they can apply for the Third Marquess of Bute's Dowry. It was established way back in 1897 when £1000 was invested, the interest on which was to be used as a dowry. Another stipulation of the application was that the story of Jesus turning water into wine at a wedding in Cana was to be read at the wedding ceremony.

We applied and were the first couple for several years to be awarded it. We also received some gifts of money from friends and family and we invested it all into Premium Bonds. For a long time we called that our 'Baby Fund' and planned on using it when we were ready to start a family. It was a good place to keep our money, it was safe and we couldn't spend it too easily, though it was still accessible in the event of an emergency.
With Premium Bonds you have the added bonus of occasionally having a win and maybe getting the odd £25 if you're lucky, which is better than the interest you'd get if you put it in the bank. We never got a win, but at least we didn't fritter away the money we'd been given.

In the end we cashed them in when we moved and that funded our move and bought us our fridge for our first proper home together. It was ironic in a way that we used our dowry money in this way, because the house we live in is owned by the Marquess of Bute and we live on the Marquess's estate. It just seems like it was meant to be.

Although we spent all the Premium Bonds money, I was determined that we would do it again, because it's a lot less tempting to leave money where it is if you can't see it when you log into your online banking. This year I set myself a challenge of transferring £10 a week from my personal account into my savings account. Before I'd been putting larger amounts across whenever I could, but I missed those larger sums a lot more than I miss the odd £10 a week.

I thought whenever I got to £100 I'd put £100 into Premium Bonds, but what I'd noticed was that if I built up an amount in my savings, then emptied it, it was much harder for me to fill it back up again. So now I've been getting up to £150 or £200 before I buy some Premium Bonds. It's taking a lot longer than it might have done otherwise, but as I said above, it's a lot easier to transfer the odd tenner here and there than vast great big sums.

This time the Premium Bonds really are a 'Baby Fund'. I'm hoping that all being well I can avoid cashing them in this time until we actually have a baby to spend the money on. We're off to a good start at least!

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