Knowing how much, and when, to save can prove difficult at times. It might seem like the cost of living is always increasing, or the list of your outgoing commitments might never subside. But, there are some small changes that you can make in your life that might help you when it comes to saving your hard-earned cash.
You might be getting tired of hearing about unsustainable debt amongst young people, or the fact that house prices in the UK keep going up, but the facts remain the same. In 2017, figures show that nearly a third of young men (32%) are still living at home with their parents when aged 20-34. This figure is slightly lower for young women, but it’s still as high as 20%.
Now, you might feel like you’re going to be one of the people on the other side of these statistics, but, without engaging in good practices now, you might find these goals, such as getting your own place, further away than you think.
There a few small things that you can do to get on your way to better saving for your future.
It’s all well and good, putting a little money aside regularly for a rainy day, but saving ‘smart’ can make those savings go further. Tax Efficient savings tools, such as ISA’s, can help enhance your savings without you really needing to do much else. Most banks and building societies will offer ‘Tax Efficient’ accounts, which may also offer you a better interest rate on your money, simply for having it in the bank. The ‘tax-efficient’ element, ensures that these gains remain completely tax-free and that you don’t have to give a portion of these gains to the government. Check out the ‘Save Smart’ page for more details on what’s available.
If you’ve spent your recent years as a bit of a Social Butterfly, your friends or family might be confused if you suddenly elect to not spend so much time out and about in a bid to save money. Being proud of the fact that you’re saving for the future can help. Tell these people your plans, and be honest about your reasons for doing so. You might find that you gather support for your savings plans, and certain friends might want to join the movement.
Finding like-minded friends that are thinking about the future can be a great help. Not only can you share ideas on how to save, or discuss what’s not going quite as well as you might have hoped, but you can come up with fun things to to do together, without breaking the bank.
In this wonderful world of technology, you can get more from nearly all your spending. Whether it’s through store loyalty cards, cashback or comparison sites you can always ensure that you’re getting the best deal. Shop around online and do plenty of research before making any purchase. You might find that you’ll be able to get bonus cashback in return for buying a product in a certain way, or get money off next time if you shop at the retailer regularly. As with anything though, make sure you read all the details carefully, there might be some disadvantages to these methods as well.
When it comes to saving, planning is key. Setting out what you want to achieve, and verifying the feasibility of your plans could help avoid unnecessary disappointment. Write down a list of questions: What do I want to achieve? How can I achieve my goal? When do I want to achieve it by?
Writing these down and displaying them somewhere that prominent can serve as a good reminder of what you’re doing. At the same time, track your progress against them. Breaking down longer-term goals into short chunks makes them more manageable. Achieving these short term goals is no mean feat, so be sure to give yourself small rewards for overachieving against them.
Re-use and recycle wherever you can. This is not just better for the environment, but it can be better for your bank balance. Even if it’s as simply as taking your own plastic bags with you when you go to the shops; or taking your own cup with you when you grab a coffee; making small changes to cut out unnecessary expenditure could surprise you over the long-term.
September 2018 – Matthew Pocock
Your Favourite Teacher is here to help you with some topics that might not be covered in the classroom. Whilst we hope that you find it useful, the decisions that you make about your financial future will be your own, and we won’t be responsible if things don’t go as planned. Ensure you do plenty of research before making decisions.