Whether it’s how to save or the smartest ways to spend, there’s a lot to consider when it comes to money. The last thing you need is a money myth getting in the way. Here are four common ones to avoid – and some myth-busting tips to help.

I can’t save money

Small amounts add up and it does get easier once it’s a habit. Here’s how to get started:

  • Set a goal. Motivate yourself with a target – anything from a holiday to a mortgage deposit. Track progress online, or by keeping a saving diary or bullet journal.
  • Save at the start of the month. Make it one of the first things on your budget, not the last.
  • Every penny counts. Save your loose change at the end of each day – or try the ‘penny challenge’. Put aside 1p on day one, 2p on day two, 3p on day three and so on. By day 365 you’re putting aside £3.65 so it gets trickier, but stay on track and you’ll save £667.95 in a year.

Cash is king

Cash was toppled from its throne by debit card payments last year1 - partly due to the popularity of contactless. While coins and notes remain in the mix, there are many advantages to paying by contactless.

  • Quick and easy. Rather than rummaging about for cash, you can make payments up to £30 for anything from a pint of milk to a train ticket.
  • Convenient. There's no need to worry about having the right money on you, or finding the nearest cash point. The number of places accepting contactless payments is increasing every year.
  • Secure. Contactless cards have the same anti-fraud protection as regular ‘chip & pin’ cards.
  • Track every purchase. Unlike cash, your statements will tell you exactly how and where you’re spending money. So you’re even more in control.

It’s rude to talk about money

It’s terribly British to avoid discussing money, but financial know-how is a great thing to share. Here’s how:

  • Don’t be shy. If a friend or relative has great money skills, ask for pointers.
  • Pass it on. Got a great tip? Share it.
  • Keep talking. Hold regular household meetings to discuss managing budgets. Encourage everyone to share ideas.
  • Join in. Social media is full of money conversations. Try following some personal finance bloggers, or search for ideas using hashtags like #moneysavingtips. Just don’t share personal information.
  • Talk to us. We could help you make the most of your money with a personal financial review.

I should put my money in bricks and mortar

Property can be an excellent investment, but it’s not the only way to put your money to work. Finding the right mix means doing a bit of homework – and potentially taking expert advice. You could consider:

  • Start with the basics. There are lots of ways to invest, from tax-efficient accounts such as stocks and shares ISAs and pensions, to investment funds and bonds. You could even pursue a passion and explore investments in art, fine wine or classic cars. If you’re new to investing – or want a refresher – you might find our step by step guide helpful.
  • Establish your comfort zone. Consider your personal attitude to different types of risk. Common factors include: how long you intend to invest for, your income level, the cost of maintaining your existing lifestyle, your financial goals, and the percentage of your total assets that any investment represents. Our guide to investing could help you consider your options.

1 Source: UK Finance.