14 January 2019

It’s never too late, or too early to save for tomorrow.

The future… a magical place, where today's money worries will quite literally be a thing of the past. But is that even possible when there always seems to be a lot more month left than wage?

The answer is yes. No matter your age or where you are on your financial journey, just know this, it is possible for anyone to turn their financial life around for the better. Sometimes all we need is a little push in the right direction and before you know it, you’ve saved up for that holiday, quit that expensive habit or paid off some of that troublesome debt!

Ok, so there are of course many ways to save money, and you will find countless articles & posts showing you how to do it. Sometimes though, the simplest advice is the easiest to follow but also the easiest to forget. So, cut through all that noise with our 5 top-tips to help you save for that bright and wonderful future.

Move money on payday

Set up a transfer from your current account to an account that is not linked to your day to day debit card. You can even set up more than one and use them as virtual piggy banks to save for individual goals, like a holiday or a deposit for your first home. Most banks will allow you to set up more than one savings account, however, some may charge you for it. Alternatively, you could opt for an account with an online bank like Monzo or Loot that allow you set up as many “pots” or “goals” as you like.

Saving money from your wages before you start your monthly spending is much more effective than waiting until the end of the month to save what you have left-over and the chances are you won’t even notice that extra money missing from your account.

Sell stuff you don’t need

We all have stuff, most of us a lot more than we need. Who really needs 9 black t-shirts or 3 different games consoles?! Even if you think no-one will want it, chances are someone out there is looking for another black t-shirt to add to their collection of stuff! There are lots of apps out there that make it effortless to sell those unwanted items, eBay, shpock, depop to name just a few. It’s simple enough too, just snap a few pictures, upload to them to the app, set a price, then sit back and watch as you make money from the things you didn’t even want anymore.

The trick, of course, is to not spend what you make on any items you sell, but to move it straight to one of your savings accounts. Remember those pots and goals and remember the bigger picture.

Quit one expensive habit

We’re sure you’re now thinking, it's hard enough trying to live and save…now I have to quit something I enjoy too?

Well no not necessarily. You just need to quit one thing that eats into your cash. We all have guilty pleasures, but you only need to choose one. It could be anything… a magazine subscription you’re actually not that into or barely ever read, having your nails done once every week, or if you smoke you could try to quit; not only will you save a lot of money you will also feel and look better for it. Again, whatever you would have spent on this one habit, put that away into one of those saving accounts or ‘pots’ you’ve set-up.

Boost your pension pot

If you’re working, the best way to build savings is through your employer. As part of “automatic enrolment,” your employer is now legally required to set up and contribute to a pension on your behalf. Some employers will agree to pay more into your pension pot if you also agree to increase your contributions. This is known as ‘contribution matching’.

Fidelity says those who can afford to save more could be significantly better off by the time they retire. A 30-year-old earning £30,000 could save an extra £58,273 by the time they retire at age 68, by contributing an extra 1% of their salary. That’s the equivalent of just £6 a week, and even less when tax relief is considered.

So, have a conversation with your employer about your company pension scheme and if possible, increase the amount you put away each month.

Manage your debt

Debt seems to be a normal part of everyday life for so many of us these days, be it credit cards, loans, overdrafts, hire purchase agreements. However, it doesn’t have to be an emotional or financial strain. Managing your debt wisely will give you some control over the situation. Wherever possible, transfer debts to interest-free or at the very least lower-interest options.

Balance transfers on Credit Cards for example are very easy to set-up and with online resources like Moneysupermarket, it has never been easier to compare other options and find yourself a good deal.

Go through your finances and make a plan, the less interest you’re paying on any outstanding debt, the more you’ll have to pay off the debt or save towards something you really want or need.

And there you have it, 5 simple ways to make some financial wellbeing changes that your future self will definitely thank-you for!