Whilst savings rates may be extremely low, there are still several great reasons to start saving.
Perhaps you’d like to upgrade your car, go on a cruise or simply create an emergency fund.
The trouble is many of us are struggling to make ends meet, so finding cash to put away may seem like a far-off reality.
With that said, it’s important to remember that no amount is ever too small. You’ll be amazed how ambitious you become once you just start saving.
Here are 4 simple ways you can start saving today.
Prioritise clearing debt
Having debt (especially in the form of credit cards) will be costing you dearly every month. You may feel that by covering the minimum balance each month you’re slowly chipping away at the debt. But unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
By only ever making the minimum payment of 1% of the balance plus interest, it would take 18 years to get debt free! What’s more, over the course of that 18 years, you’d accrue £1,138 in interest!
Alternatively, making fixed monthly payments of just £50 you’d be debt free in 2 years, accruing just £168 interest in the process and ultimately saving over £950.
Look for quick wins
We all have subscriptions and direct debits set up for products or services that we rarely use. Maybe it’s a movie or music streaming app or even a magazine subscription.
By identifying and cancelling these unused subscriptions you could quickly find yourself £20+ better off at the end of the month. This may not sound like a lot, but it adds up to annual saving of £240.
Other quick wins could be found in the essential outgoings. So, that’s your broadband, energy bills and mobile phone contract. If you’ve been with your current provider for over a year, then the chances are you’ll no longer be getting their best deal.
Often, energy and broadband providers will lure you in with a cheap 12 month introductory tariff but then drop you back to their regular variable tariff once that offer is over. By switching providers (or at least threatening to) you could find yourself making significant annual savings on your bill.
Set your target
Failing to set yourself a goal is one of the biggest mistakes people make with their finances.
Setting a target allows you to generate a plan. For example, if you’d like to save £5000 for the deposit on a new car and can afford to put away £150 per month, you know you’ll be on track to hit your goal in just over 2.5 years.
That alone may be enough motivation to try and speed up the process. Perhaps by removing those Saturday night takeaways or meals-out you could save an additional £50 a month? After-all, it would mean that you get your new car within the next 2 years rather than 2 ½.
Collect your loose change
It may seem menial but collecting your loose change is a great way to start your savings. If at the end of the month you find yourself with a reasonable amount, it may be worth putting it into an account to avoid the temptation of spending it.
If you’re saving for a holiday, then this loose change could be converted into the local currency and be used for spending money. If you’re saving for a car, this could go towards an upgrade such as heated seats, cruise control or alloy wheels.
Creating significant savings may not be easy, but starting is.
By clearing your outstanding debt, removing unused subscriptions, haggling better deals on your essential outgoings and setting yourself realistic yet ambitious targets, you could find yourself closer to your savings goal than you initially expected.
So, start today – you’ll thank yourself later.