B Chatty with Ryan Crabbe

Ryan Crabbe might not be a familiar name to you, but round here he’s known as our mega lucky B Flat winner. In April 2017, B offered up the chance of a lifetime – to live rent-free for a year in a flat in the swanky area of Kensington, London. Not only that, we wanted to help Ryan get on the property ladder and save for a deposit to buy. So every month, we challenged him to save up to £2000, and we would match it – not a bad prize, right?

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Photographs by Matt Chung

Ryan, 32, a digital marketing consultant who also owns a tea business called Revolution, beat some tough competition to scoop his prize which marked the opening of StudioB. Over the course of the year, Ryan and his wife Kiera, rose to our challenge and managed to save a whopping £24,000. True to our word, B matched their savings and they’ve now moved out with £48,000 in savings under their belt. Phew!

Saving £24,000 in a year is no mean feat so we caught up with Ryan to find out how this amazing opportunity with B helped him get financially fit.

How did you first hear about B?

My wife and I were having breakfast near Studio B on High Street Kensington before the store launched. We spotted the competition signage so looked up B to find out more.

How do you think B compares to other banking services?

I think it’s the most attractive of all banking apps. I’ve always loved the savings pots and find these help me save up for different things. With B I can really manage my money and it’s so easy. Most other banking apps don’t offer you a reason to use them unless you are making a payment.

What kind of B savings pots have you set up?

Birthdays, the competition one to save £2,000 a month, tax for the month as I am self-employed – a whole host of things. Before I used B it wasn’t this straight-forward and I was a lot less regular with my savings. The savings pots have really helped me with planning and focussing on goals.

How has trying to save changed how you live?

Focussing on saving has changed our lifestyle – we’ve started buying all our food for the week so that we were making our own meals, we’ve cut down on the everyday things, such as eating out and coffees, and have hardly taken any trips. We’ve generally cut back in terms of our social life, because it can be hard to save money if your friends aren’t of the same mind set. We had to have a hard look at what was going in and out of our account and cut out anything we weren’t getting good value out of – we had so much rubbish coming out that we weren’t even aware of!

Has cutting things out been hard?

Not at all, in fact it’s made us even more determined to save! Watching your savings increase every month is a great feeling and really motivating. By being rent-free, we have been lucky enough to be able to see large savings building up, so it’s really made us get behind saving.

Where do you think people waste money the most?

Probably food – both in terms of food shopping and eating out. We saved 60-70% on our food bill by shopping once per week and making all our own food. We also found that by eating out less regularly, when we did eat out, it was much more enjoyable and felt like more of a treat.

What are your plans now you’ve moved out of the flat?

At the moment our plan is to move out of London for a few months (to Mallorca, where Kiera’s family are from and where rental prices are cheaper!) so we can keep saving as much as possible. We’ve realised that we both work for ourselves and can work remotely, so there’s no need for us to pay expensive London prices. However, we do want to buy in London, and so want to try and get as big a deposit as possible - that’s our goal for the next couple of years.

Which life lessons have you learnt over the past 12 months?

Everything I’ve learnt over the past year has made me realise that if I’d started younger it would have had such a positive impact on my life. I would love to see more help and support for children and young people. I also think that getting away from that need for instant gratification is important – and it’s tough, social media is such a big part of people’s lives now.

Lastly, what are your three top tips for getting financially fit?

1. Plan your meals, go food shopping once a week and cook everything at home – you’ll save a lot!

2. Check your spending carefully to really get a grip of what you’re spending and where – it can be quite surprising.

3. Try to have savings in your account, even if it’s only a small amount. It makes you feel so much more relaxed about things if you know you have a reserve fund.

If he's inspired you, there's lots of tips on our blog to help you start your own financial fitness journey. Check out our top B-Tox tips.

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