It’s never too late to start saving and it’s not just about putting something aside for that rainy day. Getting into the savings habit, at a pace that’s right for you, will pay dividends in the long run.
UK Savings week takes place 26 September – 2 October this year, aimed at positively promoting saving as a way of improve people’s financial strength and their mental wellbeing.
Why have a UK Savings Week?
Research suggests an estimated 11.5million people in the UK have less than £100 to fall back on in an emergency. Having something set aside can help people deal with those unexpected costs that crop up, and help get life back on track sooner.
Not everyone will be in a position to start their savings journey right now – but if you are able, getting into the habit of saving is a positive step even if you’re only able to put away a small amount each month.
And with interest rates rising, now is also a great time for anyone already saving to review what interest they’re earning and find out what other options are out there.
So, what really are the benefits of saving?
Having some savings set aside gives you peace of mind and helps you deal with unexpected costs, things like repairing your car or fixing a leak at home. Even replacing the kids’ school shoes can come as a financial shock if you weren’t expecting it.
Saving can help put you in control. By having savings available you can choose how you want to pay and help avoid having to rely on overdrafts and credit cards which can be expensive if they aren’t repaid quickly.
They can also help you make more of life by having your own money to pay for something special whether it’s a new phone or a weekend away, a new car or the deposit for a house – it doesn’t always have to be saving for a rainy day!
How to start the savings habit?
Firstly, think about your income and expenditure – people tend to avoid it because they’re worried about what it might show, or simply because they’re not interested in their finances.
Either way, stay calm and set aside some time to consider your finances – you might be surprised at some of the positive changes you can make quickly and easily.
Try to focus on your “needs” and “wants” – needs being the essentials like rent, food and household bills and wants, being the things we’d like but could live without.
Be sensible and realistic though: if you can make some cut-backs that’s great, but keep it realistic, start small if necessary and increase the amount you save, as and when you can.
Remember – it’s better to reduce the amount you save each month rather than saving nothing and breaking the habit. If you’re looking for help to reduce your expenditure, look for support online that can help you switch and save, comparison sites and services like Money Saving Expert may provide a good starting point.
I have a number of loans and credit cards – is saving right for me?
If you’re thinking about saving but have outstanding credit, it’s always wise to consider paying this off first as it could save you more in interest than you’ll be earning on your savings – you might be surprised by what you could save in interest by paying off your debt first.
Secondly, if you can afford to, try and get into the savings habit by making it a regular commitment – for example, set up a monthly standing order which you’ll get used to saving regularly, even if it’s a small amount.
Set yourself financial goals and have a clear purpose for your savings – visualize what you want to spend it on. This can help motivate you to save, especially if it’s something exciting like a new car or a holiday for example. Seeing yourself debt free may also inspire you to save more.
What types of savings account is best for me?
Whatever your situation, there are many different types of savings account available to meet your financial needs. For example, those wanting to save for a rainy day often prefer to keep their money where they can get at it easily. On the other hand, those savings for a special purpose, like buying a new car or saving for the deposit on a new house, tend to be ok tying up their savings for a longer period, earning them more interest.
Higher rate tax payers often prefer tax-efficient savings whilst the Bank of Mum and Dad and Grandma and Grandad tend to prefer to put a little aside each month to give their children and grandchildren the best start in life.
It doesn’t matter what you’re saving for, or whether you’re a regular saver or lump sum investor, the options are endless and your local building society, bank or credit union is here to help.
As well as offering a wide range of savings accounts, Mansfield Building Society actively support the local community through sponsorship, charitable support and the active engagement of its staff.
Friendly experts are on hand at The Mansfield to talk you through your options and find the account that’s right for you.
To find out more about what Mansfield Building Society can offer visit their website here or pop into your local branch or simply call 01623 676350.