It is easy to think everyone should have some savings to help them get by. It’s not that easy to make this happen: common advice is to have at least 3 months of living costs in an accessible savings account. This is out of reach of over half of the adult population and we are frequently enticed by ‘buy now pay later’ deals or monthly plans to ‘help spread the cost’.
For those who are non-savers, the Money Advice Service found that just over a third (35%) were confident in managing money. Surprisingly almost half of these non-savers (47%) have financial goals, but just 20% plan to meet them.
One of the easiest ways for people to start saving is simply to start small, and to consider those extra expenses which may seem ‘essential’ at the time – such as a daily takeout coffee. Saving £2.25 five days a week, for 48 weeks of the year, adds up to £540. Actions like these may seem like a big change at first, but once the habit has been formed you’ll be more aware of where each and every pound is going.
For those struggling to save you can also think about what you are saving for. Once you’ve built up a savings buffer, is there something big in mind? Do you have plans for a holiday, or do you need a new sofa? It is often easier to have a goal and something to aim for. There are many different ways to save, too. Sometimes the old ones are the best and if you are saving your cash little and often why not consider bringing back the piggy bank or coin jar!
Top savings tips:
Small change – check your coins and consider saving up a certain one from your change. You could ‘collect’ shiny new twelve sided one pound coins, or go for a two pound or 50 pence piece.
Automate your savings – consider opening a regular saver account or making monthly scheduled transfers into a separate savings account. You can always start off small and increase your payments as you wish, and your savings will then build up in the background.
Separate your stash – many people have different savings accounts for different things, helping them to keep on track and know when they reach their goal. For example, this can include special items such as the latest piece of technology, or Christmas spending, or funds for long term or rainy day saving.
Research source: Money Advice Service ‘Closing the savings gap’ report published September 2016