David first contacted us in January 2016 to see if there was anything he could do to save some money. His story wasn’t a happy one; after jumping from job to job since 2011 and taking up occasional freelance work, he had eventually depleted all of his savings. He couldn’t make up the rent in his one-bed Brixton flat, and eventually made the decision to head home with his cat, Jerry, to live with his parents in Surrey.

At his lowest point, he couldn’t afford to feed Jerry properly, and had been giving him scraps - which Jerry wasn’t a huge fan of.

His plan was to find work which paid well, save up, move back to London and and start from scratch. However, David (and Jerry!) soon realised that life at home was pretty comfy, and eight months after moving back to the family house, David realised that he would have to get his act together. He’d managed to land a great job, which he was doing well at – but part two of his plan had stalled.

When we asked David what he spent his money on, he was a little sheepish. He paid his parents no rent, and didn’t contribute towards bills or food – so he should have been able to save aggressively after his first month in his new job. However, being close to all his friends at home meant that David was going out a lot, and spending money in the pub, eating out, and going to gigs and clubs. He admitted that he loved his lifestyle, and it was a lot of fun – but it was probably time to knuckle down, and start standing on his own two feet again.

We asked David to break down his take home pay, and be brutally honest about what he was spending his money on. When we spoke to him two weeks later, he told us that he was shocked by the amount of money that was going on socialising – and that he’d started to offer his parents some rent, and money towards the bills. He’d just been paid, and rather than organise a big night out to celebrate, he had popped a sizeable chunk of his earnings into a savings account, and decided to only go out twice a week.

We keep in touch with David regularly to see how he’s getting on. He’s been able to save enough to get a deposit together to rent a modest flat in Streatham, which allows pets – and he’s got a savings plan in place to make sure he’s able to support himself if he ever finds himself out of work again. He’s also looking forward to spending some quality time with Jerry, and working hard at his job – as opposed to flitting from role to role, hoping for the best.

David’s feeling a lot better about his situation, and his next goal is to start saving towards a car, so he can head home at weekends and see his parents, who, he says, claim they will miss him. Jerry is looking forward to getting back to London, and not having to share the sofa with David’s dad.

Would you like to figure out how your psychology affects your spending and saving habits? Our simple 5-minute LIFEMIND test will reveal your strengths and weaknesses - and show how you can start to control your financial life.

Have you ever found yourself in dire financial straits, and did you need to make some changes to your lifestyle to sort yourself out? Have you ever had to head home and 'reset' to get your money situation straightened out? We'd love to hear your stories. You can contact us here, or tweet us @TheLifehouseCo.