6 top tips on saving money (and making your cash go further)
PUBLISHED: 16:33 06 August 2019 | UPDATED: 16:33 06 August 2019
With so much up in the air, it can be hard to find time to think about your savings - so here are some handy tips to cash in
We all know how hard it can be to save when we've got so many demands on our money. And the uncertainty in these political climes makes it all the harder to know exactly what you'll need to do...
Work out how much you can afford to save
When you're looking at how much you can save it is really important to set achievable targets, rather than leaving yourself stretched every time an unexpected bill lands on your lap. 'If you've got money left over at the end of each week or month then you've already got your starting point,' Andrew Johnson, advice manager at the Single Financial Guidance Body, says.
Clear any debts or loans first
While it might seem like a good idea to save at all costs, Andrew points out that you'll rarely be able to earn more on your savings than you'll pay on borrowing. Therefore it's really important to pay off your debts before you start saving. 'If you have several debts to clear, aim to clear the most expensive ones or those secured on your property first,' he advises. 'Once you've cleared your debts you're freed up to save more and faster.'
Set up an emergency savings fund
Unfortunately in life, there are plenty of unexpected payments that come up, and your savings can help you pay these without landing yourself in financial difficulty. 'Ideally you should aim to have three months' money in reserve as part of your savings,' Andrew advises.
Set a savings goal
'People who have a goal in mind tend to save money faster than those who don't,' Andrew explains. It's a great idea to have an achievable aim that you can see yourself working towards each month, which will hopefully help you stay on track.
Make the most of tax-free savings
One way to make the most of your savings and investments is to place them in tax-efficient ISAs. These are savings accounts that you can invest cash or stocks in. 'You pay no Income Tax on the interest or dividends you receive from an ISA and any profits from investments are free of Capital Gains Tax,' Andrew explains.
Think about risks of investment
There is a lot of advice out there encouraging you to invest your money to protect it in the future, but Andrew is keen to point out that this really depends on your financial goals and situation. 'Some kinds of savings and investments are very safe with little or no risk of losing your money, but it can take more time for your money to grow savings in a bank account for example,' he explains. 'Other types of higher risk investments may grow your money faster, but only if the investment works out. And you don't know for sure how it will turn out.'
For more information, visit moneyadviceservice.org.uk.