Principality. Where home matters.
21 November 2016
Seven Saving Tips
We all have different savings habits and more often than not understand what works best for us when it comes to putting finances aside for the future. But there are simple tactics that can be easily implemented at any time to help you make the most of your money. Here, Kate Murray, Principality Building Society’s Senior Savings Product Manager, shares her seven top tips for savvy saving.
Understanding income and outgoings
A simple way of staying on top of your finances is by getting familiar with your income every month against your regular outgoings, such as a mortgage payment, household bills and travel expenses. Being certain about the amounts of all of your direct debits and standing orders will leave less chance of you getting caught out by unexpected costs. Importantly you’ll have a clear idea of how much money will be leftover in your account each month, which could head straight into your savings.
Learning to say no
Impulse buying can be a saver’s greatest downfall, potentially throwing out all the hard work of putting away money every month for a purchase bought simply on a whim. Asking yourself ‘do I really need this?’ before hitting the tills could leave you with more money to save at the end of the month and a healthier current account too.
Keeping on top of competitive prices
Taking time every year to review your finances is a great habit to get in to; shopping around for deals, speaking to providers about a competitive price you have seen elsewhere, and checking you’re not being charged above the odds are all effective ways to audit your finances. Breakdown your monthly bills and you never know, you could score yourself a much better deal in the long run.
Once you have sufficient emergency savings, then consider using any surplus to pay off debts with the highest interest rate first. This is a good habit to live by, ensuring you don’t get into spiralling debt. Always review your existing debt before thinking about large purchases or making other large financial commitments such as taking out a mortgage or buying a new car. Consider whether you have enough savings to make the purchase for some items rather than increasing your level of debt.
Being savings savvy
There are simple savings that can be made around the home, which could help to save precious pennies. While there are obvious things like turning all lights and electrical products off when they’re not in use, installing energy saving products in the house could see your bills reduce too. Think about low energy lightbulbs, thermostats and insulation.
Auditing your finances
Going through your bank statement with a fine-tooth comb could pull up some payments you might not have realised you were making. Old subscriptions to magazines, gym prices that have been hiked up or online shopping payment plans you’ve been added to without your knowledge- these are all things which can sneak through. Be sure to follow up on any payments you don’t think are right – just think, that could be money that belongs in your savings account. At the same time, ask yourself if you really need that subscription anymore, or is that money that could be saved elsewhere?
Finally, planning for the future is a savings rule that can be applied at any stage of life, but the sooner the better. Do you have a big holiday coming up? Are you preparing for your children or grandchildren heading off to university? Or is your car MOT due next month? Pre-planning over the longer term could avoid one month being thriftier than the next and mean you could have sufficient funds in your savings accounts to cover any unexpected costs.