There’s a strong element of truth in that old saying, “Look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”. If you are struggling to save enough money for that deposit on a house, or towards your next holiday, here are some tips for how you can build your savings as quickly as possible.
- Firstly, review your bank and savings accounts. Are you sure that you are getting the best deals and the best interest rates available? Banks often rely on customer inertia and assume that they need to be offering inducements to new customers, rather than building the loyalty of their long-term customers, who are unlikely to move. Prove them wrong! There are plenty of interesting offers on the market at the moment. Santander offer a Current Account that pays you cashback on household bills, and 3% interest on balances over £3,000.
- Next, either ditch your credit cards or use them only very, very sparingly, when you can guarantee to yourself that you will be able to repay the full amount at the end of the month, avoiding interest charges.
- Cut the cost of your fuel bills. The complexity of the charges and the deals offered make it difficult to work out if you are getting the best deal from your current gas and electricity providers. Use price comparison sites and consumer advice services to find your way through the system, and regularly check to make sure that you are not paying over the odds. Draught-proofing doors and windows, and researching the grants available for insulating older properties might also help reduce your fuel bills
- Work out your monthly income and expenditure, and look at where there might be opportunities to reduce your spending. Be tough on yourself, and be prepared to distinguish expenditure on essentials – what you need – from expenditure on non-essentials, or what you want. Everyone likes to treat themselves from time to time, but do you really need all those designer labels?
- Finally, work out short-term and long-term savings goals, and set yourself a time within which you will achieve them. When you reach a milestone, celebrate, to keep yourself motivated. But remember, don’t be tempted to dip into your hard-earned savings to do so!