No matter how much you earn, it’s a good idea to think about how you can maximise your savings. It may not feel like a big priority now, but by decluttering your finances, you’ll prevent unnecessary spending and have more money to put aside for things you really want.
It can sometimes be challenging to get excited about savings but think of it as a way to take care of your future self. Having savings means you’ll have options, whether that’s for where you live, travelling or retirement age.
There are a few simple ways to get the most out of your money and save more without sacrificing your quality of life in the meantime.
Organise Your Bank Accounts.
Most people have just a single bank account and try to keep track of their money mentally. This can take a lot of hard work and quickly lead to errors or overspending.
It’s much easier to keep separate bank accounts for different “pots” of money. How you separate the accounts is entirely up to you, but examples to consider include household bills, living expenses, short-term savings – such as holidays – long-term savings.
When you’re organising these accounts, it’s the perfect opportunity to review what you spend. It’s very easy to end up with subscriptions and payments that you no longer use but still pay for every month. Even small amounts quickly begin to add up, and over a year, you may be spending hundreds without realising.
Check Paypal as well as your bank account, plus any regular payments made through your phone contract. Decluttering your spending will free up some extra cash and help you move forward with a much clearer idea about your expenditure.
Consider Investing in the Stock Market.
Savings are important, but with rock-bottom interest rates, any money you keep in a savings account will be depreciating in value due to the cost of living. In other words, it will be worth less by the time you take it out than when you put it in!
It’s, therefore, a good idea to look for investment vehicles that have the potential to deliver higher returns. The stock market may sound daunting, but there are different types of investments suitable for everyone. Before you start, it’s essential to do your research and decide on what markets to invest or trade on. It would be advisable to start with the basics and get valuable information on FTSE 100 from a reliable source, or similar for whatever stock market you want to trade on
You can invest in a company, a sector, commodities, currencies – the list is endless. Some markets are more volatile than others, so when you’re starting out, it’s advisable to talk to an expert before taking the plunge.
Keep an Emergency Fund.
Although savings accounts in a bank or building society are offering dismal returns, it’s recommended that you build up an emergency fund that you can access immediately. An instant-access savings account is all you need. Don’t expect the money to grow; it’s about ensuring that you have surplus funds to get you through any difficulties that may arise.
The emergency fund should generally be the equivalent of three months of earnings. This means that if you lose your job unexpectedly, you will have the resources to keep you going until you find a new one. Of course, you could also use these funds for other emergencies too such as a car that needs repairs, or a broken boiler.
Once you’ve got sufficient funds in your emergency fund, any surplus should be directed to more profitable savings and investments.
Contribute to a Pension.
There are many different types of pensions available, so it’s a good idea to speak to a financial advisor to find out what’s best suited to your circumstances.
If you are employed, you may be able to join your employer’s pension scheme. By law, you must be given the opportunity to join the employer’s scheme. You will contribute, and you will receive extra contributions in the form of tax relief, bumping up the amount that goes into your pension every month. Your employer will typically also contribute to your pension, although this isn’t mandatory if you earn below a certain amount.
Your retirement may seem like a very long way away, so it may be tempting to ignore pension contributions. However, the sooner you start to contribute to a pension, the larger the sum you’ll have at retirement to enjoy your work-free years.