Top savings tips

At a glance

  • Clear your debts. Interest charges on loans and credit cards could cancel out any interest you might earn on your savings
  • Do a budget to see if you have any spare money that could be moved into a savings account
  • Start saving with a basic savings account. Saving even a small amount will give you peace of mind and get you into the savings habit
  • If you have more money available, consider a higher-interest account or invest in an ISA. If you already have an ISA maximise your allowance for this year
  • Make sure you have at least three months' salary set aside in case of difficulties
  • Start long-term savings as soon as you can. Speak to your employer about possible pension schemes to join
  • If you get a windfall of money, think about putting a percentage of it into your savings

Make saving money a habit

Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore. There are some easy ways you can get into the habit of saving money on a regular basis. Here's how:

With a standing order, you tell your bank to pay money from your chosen account to another account at regular intervals – for example, once a month. You could set up a standing order into your savings account once you’ve been paid, which is an easy way to save.

Some banks now offer you the ability to round up the amount you spend on your debit card to the nearest pound and transfer the difference into your eligible savings account. This is a painless way to start adding to a savings account.

Taking the first step to sorting out your finances

Sorting out your finances seems so simple when you read about it, but when it comes to putting ideas into practice, it can be difficult to know where to begin. In fact, the more good advice you get, the more daunting it can seem to actually do anything at all. And that’s enough to put a lot of people off getting started in the first place.

It’s far more important to just do something than to try to do everything perfectly. The first step is easy – just write down one or two sensible things to do and put a date in your diary to do them. Here are a few suggestions:

Budgeting

Start asking yourself questions about where your money is going and why. By working through a monthly budget to see where your spending goes, you'll know where you can make cutbacks. You can then use any money you save to start or add to a savings account.

Targets

Give yourself targets for the maximum you want to spend in different areas such as transport, food, rent, bills and entertainment. You'll be amazed at how much you spend on these things when you add it all up.

Set up a standing order

Set up a standing order to go out of your account and into a savings account as soon as you get paid. And don't forget, if your income increases, by increasing the amount of your standing order at the same time, you will be able to save more without noticing it in your monthly budget.

Short term saving tips

  • Switch to cheaper gas or electricity providers
  • See if companies offer discounted rates when you pay by direct debit
  • Many companies (e.g. mobile phone companies, broadband providers, etc) offer short-term bonuses or incentives. Just make sure you know when these run out so you can check you're getting the best deal
  • Look for a better deal on your home or car insurance

Energy Helpline

Check to see if you’re paying too much for your gas and electricity bills

Directgov

Make sure you’re not paying too much tax

Benefits

Make sure you know which benefits you're entitled to claim