Do you struggle to set aside money each month? Or lack the willpower to save? With a recent survey showing that more than a quarter of UK households don’t even have an emergency savings pot in place, it’s worrying how financially exposed many people are.
Seven tips to help with saving for the future
Want to start setting some money aside each month? We’ve got some ideas to help get you started.
However, the sooner you can start saving the better. We share a few top tips that you can put into practice to make a difference to your finances – and future.
- Set up an automatic regular payment
If money is left in a current account, you may well be tempted to spend it. If you have it automatically marked for saving, you’ll have less opportunity to fritter it away, with little or nothing to show for it.
- Set up a regular transfer of money from your current account to a savings or investment account the day after you get paid. That way, the money will simply transfer over and you’ll know exactly how much you have left to spend. Just make sure you can comfortably cover your bills and other household expenses.
- Set your sights on something to save for.To inspire yourself to save, it’s good to have a clear end goal in mind, otherwise saving can become a bit aimless. It could be a deposit for a house, new car, home improvements or just simply a nest egg for the future.
- Print a picture of what you’re saving for: Visualising what you’re saving for can really motivate you, for example, search online for a photo of something you want, stick it on the fridge or a noticeboard to give you a constant reminder of what you’re working towards.
- Consider the stocks and shares ISA option: With interest rates at an all-time low, many savers are turning to investing as a way to achieve greater returns for their money. Investments generally perform better than cash over time, but remember that their value can fall as well as rise so you have to be prepared to take on some risk. If you don’t have a lump sum to invest, you can still make regular payments into our stocks and shares ISAs from £50 a month.
- Reassess everything you pay for: Are there things you’re paying for that you don’t need or no longer use? Maybe you’ve forgotten to cancel that gym membership you don’t use? You might not even realise how much you’re spending each month until you examine it closely. Give your current account a thorough audit, and consider cancelling things you no longer use or need. And always shop around for utilities, insurance, bank accounts, broadband etc. It will almost certainly be time well spent!
- Take up a money-saving hobby: You might assume hobbies won’t save you money. After all, you may have to spend on equipment. But think of it this way – what would you normally be doing with your spare time? Spending time in the pub? Eating out regularly at restaurants? You don’t have to give up your little treats entirely, but you might find you’re going out less if you have a hobby to take up more of your time.
Stick to the 50-30-20 principle
If you’re determined to get serious about budgeting and saving, there’s a rule that could help you.
Finance experts recommended that you devote 50% of your monthly income to essentials, 30% to wants and 20% to savings.
This means you can still save without giving up the fun things in your life. If you find that one of your allocations exceeds those percentages, you can always adjust the principals to suit your circumstances.
Please note the information, data and any references in this article were accurate at the time of writing. Please check the date of the content if you’re looking for up to date investment commentary or tax-year related information.