21 November 2019
Struggling to get the best out of your savings? You may find you’re getting little return for the money you’re putting aside, or perhaps you’re struggling to put away any money at all, with no savings cushion to fall back on.
The good news is there are several ways you can grow your savings with minimal effort, and you may not even realise you’re doing it!
1. Track your Spending
Arguably the most important step to getting the most out of your savings, and the first thing you should think about doing (if you’re not already), is to track what you spend. It is absolutely vital that you have a good understanding of where your money is actually going every month, especially if you’re trying to develop positive financial habits.
Many of us will find that by changing up our providers of various services, such as Insurance services or Mobile Phone contracts, could easily save us up to hundreds of pounds a year, which over time will add up to a huge saving, and all by doing something relatively simple. If you can get into the habit of checking what you’re being charged on all of your regular and ongoing bills, you could find that your general financial health and ongoing disposable income could improve.
You might also find keeping a budget of your monthly spending to be helpful; you can read more about how to effectively budget with our Guide to Budgeting.
2. Slash Household Bills
Taking a look at your household bills is another key-step to growing your savings; and there are plenty of tools out there that can help you in cutting down your outgoings on common household bills like gas, electricity, broadband and more. A good way to achieve this is through comparison sites such as Moneysupermarket or uSwitch, who allow you to simply and effectively compare a range of prices for all sorts of day-to-day household services.
3. Put Savings in the Right Place
The best savings accounts on the market at the time of writing (November 2019) pay a maximum of around 2% in interest. Whilst this doesn’t sound like a lot (and by historical savings rates it really isn’t!) this can still add a decent additional amount to your savings over a period of time, especially if you’re able to top-up those savings on a fairly regular basis.
Many of the top savings accounts require a low minimum deposit and don’t charge any monthly maintenance fees. If you’re not putting your savings into the right account, such as the ones that pay less than 1% interest, you could be missing out on opportunities to earn more interest and achieve your savings goals more quickly.
4. Automate your Savings
One of the easiest and best ways to meet your saving goals is to make saving money something that happens automatically.
You can set up a direct deposit or Standing Order, so that a portion of every pay packet you receive automatically goes into a savings account.
In addition, in the UK, employers are compelled to offer all employees a workplace pension scheme by law; and in many cases, they have to make contributions to your workplace pension, too.
5. Find an Accountability Partner and Assess your Progress
You might actually be quite naturally switched on when it comes to saving money and knowing what you need to do. But if you need someone else to help to stop you from spending, then you might be interested in finding an accountability partner. This could be either a family member or close friend that you trust, who you can check in with, to help you to stick to your savings plans.
As well as this, you should also take the time to check in with yourself (or your accountability partner) to see how well you’re sticking to your spending plan. If you can, try to do this as regularly as possible, as this will help you to spot problem habits and mistakes in your savings strategy before they get out of hand; and if you’re making progress toward achieving your goals, reward yourself (sensibly of course!). That will drive you to keep moving forward and make good financial choices.
These are just a few simple, beginner steps to help you to get the most out of your savings. At Buffa we always strive to encourage financial responsibility. If you’d like some more in-depth financial guidance, you can visit our general Debt Advice hub here.