Life’s tough enough without having to think about money. In fact, just the thought of my bank balance makes me want to go and spend like I’ve a Kardashian-style income. I’ve not – which is why I usually add hundreds of items to my ASOS basket, get to checkout, then cave and drown my sorrows with *another* glass of supermarket wine.
But saving money doesn’t have to be tough – if you go the right way about it. Here are 3 ways to build up your savings fast.
When I started to get serious about building my savings I knew I needed something that I could integrate into my everyday life that would, in effect, do the majority of the work for me. Because manually transferring money to a savings account is OK, but having it done for you without you knowing is so much better.
Luckily, there are so many apps out there that do exactly that. Mobile banks like Monzo and Revolut all have options where you can round up your purchases and transfer the difference into separate accounts. For example, if you spend £3.75 on lunch, they’ll round it up to £4 and transfer the remaining 25p into your separate account. Might not sound like much, but over the course of the week you could save around £5 just from your everyday spending – or more than £250 per year.
Another great app is Chip. Instead of rounding up every purchase, this calculates how much you can afford to save each month and deposits it into savings on an ongoing basis. Not for everyone, but if you have a steady income and still struggle to save, this could do it for you.
Saving for a new phone or a shopping spree in Selfridges is one thing, but planning for your future is a whole other story which, when you’re in your early 20s and just trying to get through the day, isn’t your number one priority. But, it could be – and it’s not hard to get into.
Lifetime ISAs are fixed accounts to help you save money for your future. You have to be under 40 to open one, and can only withdraw the cash when you’re either buying your first house, or after your 60th birthday. However, the benefits make it worthwhile. You get:
- 25% interest on all deposits from the government
- Rolling interest (usually 1% – 1.5%) after that
You can only deposit up to £4,000 per year, meaning your total afterwards will be £5,000. Yes, the government gives you free money. Personally, I think everyone should open one of these ASAP – but only deposit what you can live without now because you could make a loss if you withdraw prematurely.
Weekly trips to the supermarket can be a nightmare – but do them right and you could save a small fortune. Because shops aren’t just a random selection of products shoved wherever they land. There’s a method to the madness that’s a burden on your bank balance if you don’t crack it right away.
Some simple things to remember:
- The cheaper products are usually on the lower shelves
- Check the reduced aisle – if it can be frozen, you could save up to 50%
- Loose fruit and veg that’s charged by weight is usually cheaper
- Special offers are only good value if you’re going to use them up
- Look at the price/per value – the more you buy, the more you save
The trick, of course, is to hold on to the difference and not spend it all down the booze aisle (#guilty).