Most of us will save up our money at some point, whether we choose to do it gradually to ensure security for our future, or in the short term for a major purchase. Once you've got a savings target in mind, it's time to start working towards it. Rather than feel intimidated by the challenge ahead, get excited about saving. Remember, it's all for a good cause. Saving is often a lot easier than you might think with good organisation, a clear goal and motivation. So that you can get a firm grip on your savings plan and feel confident in your spending, take a look at our guide below.
Discipline is key to achieving your savings target. As long as you stick to a realistic budget, hold back from any big spending sprees and keep your goal amount in mind (as well as the reason you're saving in the first place), your nest egg will soon begin to grow.
Start writing a spending diary to see where you can cut back on everyday expenses like cafe-bought coffees and snacks for work – this will help you to devise a budget that works for you and will make the transition to your new spending habits much easier. By factoring in the odd treat now and then, saving money won't seem like such a chore.
Where to save your money
While you could keep your savings in a current account, if you choose to deposit your money in one of the many savings accounts available, these often come with customer benefits such as the opportunity to earn interest tax-free for example, the tax benefits will depend on the individual's circumstances. You could opt for a regular savings account, an instant access account, a fixed rate account or an ISA. Your choice will ultimately depend on what level of access you want to your funds, how important interest rates are to you and how often you will be making deposits. You can find out what kind of account would best meet your needs by referring to our handy savings guide.
Keep your savings separate
Organisation is crucial when it comes to saving, and to help have real control over your finances you could consider having two separate accounts – one for your everyday spending such as a current account and another for your nest egg. If all the money is kept in one place, it could be more tempting to spend everything that's there, and you'll risk feeling confused about how much you're saving.
What's more, banks operate different interest rates for current and savings accounts, which can affect how much you make back from your savings over time.
The 'little and often' approach
As the saying goes, 'little and often fills the purse.' Even if you have a high savings target, you don't have to think big to save effectively – the 'little and often' method works just as well. This approach could be ideal for individuals who are able to start saving towards their goal early, and can save over a long period of time, for an expense like a car or a big trip abroad.
Being able to make regular deposits will give you greater confidence in your saving abilities. A good time to put money aside is right after you've been paid, so you could set up a standing order to go out on, or just after pay day. When you realise that you don't miss the amount you're setting aside each month, this will help you to develop more cost-effective spending habits for the future.