How Oliver Saved $400 a Month
Ollie amazes his wife when he shows just how much money they save every month
The story so far: Ollie has been using the free Solo Expenses money management app as a spending tracker for over a year, but until now hasn’t shared the details of just how effective it’s been with his pregnant wife Lizzie. He chooses his moment carefully, but isn’t expecting what happens in the airport departure lounge as they wait to take four-year-old-daughter Alice to Florida’s theme parks. Now read on…
Lizzie rolled her eyes and shook her head. It was her standard reaction when Ollie started talking about finance, which she knew was coming because he’d started as he always did, with the phrase: “I’ve been playing with money…”
What normally came next was some projection about how well his one-man business might be doing by the end of the financial year, if this or that continued to happen every month.
That’s why she was completely unprepared for when he said next as they waited in the airport departure lounge. “This Florida holiday is hardly going to cost us a penny!,” he exclaimed.
Lizzie couldn’t believe what she was hearing. She knew they’d spent ages surfing the net to find the best deal for flights, accommodation, and park passes, and knew what the total had come to. She raised her eyebrows. “I think you’ll find it already has,” she said. “Lots and lots of pennies.”
Ollie persisted in his claim. “Well, yes, we’ve had to pay for it, but that’s not what I mean. Take a look at this report.” He held out his iPhone for her inspection.
Once again, Lizzie knew what was coming. Perhaps being pregnant was making her a little tetchier than she might otherwise have been, or perhaps it was the prospect of keeping their excited four-year-old daughter Alice relaxed during the flight. “You’re going to show me that Solo Expenses money management app thing again, aren’t you? Every time there’s a receipt, out it comes, and in goes another entry. Tag this, export that. In the 18 months since you started using it it’s taken over your life.”
expenses manager app
Ollie gleefully pushed forward the phone. “No it hasn’t; don’t you see? It’s done exactly the opposite. Because it’s helped me to ‘tag this and export that’, as you say, it’s given us a life back, and it’s been so easy. It’s means we have more money to spend on things we need; more money for the baby, and for us, and for this holiday to Florida, every month for ever!”
She raised her eyebrows again. “How?”
“Look at what we were wasting. I couldn’t tell before; it was just money slipping out of the account, and we’d got used to it without really thinking about it. The Solo Expenses app has made it all plain. There were our gym memberships for a start. We never went, so I cancelled them! Then I was buying a skinny flat white every morning at the coffee shop. Didn’t need that; or the pastry that went with it! What about newspapers? Do you know how much they cost? And taxi fares, and… and … And have you noticed I’ve volunteered to cook meals in my free time instead of buying take-away? Saved a fortune! We haven’t missed any of it! I’ve totted it all up over the last 18 months, and because of the app I know we’ve saved enough for the flights and hotel at least! And we’ll go on saving hundreds every month, because I don’t intend to stop using it any time soon, so there can be more holidays, more baby stuff, and.. and… everything!”
Lizzie hugged him and smiled. “That’s brilliant! Who knew what a difference it was making? Well, apart from you, of course. I take back everything I said. I shall start looking at prams as soon as we get back.”
Alice meanwhile, was struggling to contain her excitement about the trip. Bored with looking out of the window, she announced to the lady sitting opposite them: “I’m going to see Mickey. Look!” She pointed to the Mickey Mouse stickers on her little red plastic suitcase. “I’ve got a Minnie Mouse outfit.”
“I’m sure it a very pretty outfit,” said the lady. “And I like your suitcase too.” Alice suddenly became shy, and buried her face against Ollie’s shirt. The lady understood. “It’s not a bad thing that she’s nervous of strangers,” she said. “But forgive me, I don’t feel like a stranger any more; I couldn’t help overhearing; none of us could.” She looked around at their fellow travellers. “About that money management app; do you really think Solo Expenses is so effective for managing your money?” Lizzie jumped straight in. “I should say it is, given what Ollie’s just been saying. I had no idea we could make such a difference to our finances. He uses it for tracking business expenses and VAT and tax as well, don’t you?”
Before Ollie was able to reply, their flight was called, and they started to gather their things together. “I’m so pleased,” said the lady. “You see, I’m Sunita Nigam, and my company created it.”
Ollie dropped his holdall. Open-mouthed, and with raised eyebrows, for a moment he was unable to speak. Lizzie stepped in. “Close your mouth, Ollie; you look ridiculous. And help the lady with her bag; I’m sure you have lots of questions to ask her.”
And so, with their bags gathered, and Alice in Lizzie’s arms, the quartet set off for the gate…