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There are ways to make saving easier

The Best Ways To Save

Wouldn’t it be nice to relax, knowing that you had a little nest egg somewhere in case you hit hard times? You could have a little stash of money that you could dip into now and again to pay for the occasional treat, or even a holiday.

Sadly, savings are not always easy to accumulate, especially when everyday demands can make simply existing feel like a challenge at times. There are ways to make saving easier, but these will only work if your practical situation allows and if you really want to make it happen.

There really are no secrets to saving money. You probably know what you need to do, but the challenge is committing to the reality and how it will affect you and your family’s life in the short term. This is easier once you consider how you would feel if you or your family faced an emergency situation but did not have the finances to sort things out.

Getting Started

Starting to save is the hardest part. There are often so many demands on your time and money that it can be hard to even think about saving, let along make it happen. Making a logical plan of action, however, can get you started and perhaps pave the way for you to enjoy a more positive financial future.

Start by creating a budget. This may be time-consuming but it is the best way you can work out how much money you have left after you have paid out your regular expenses, such as your mortgage, utilities and repayments on homeowner loans, and highlight where it is possible to make cuts and savings.

Could switching energy or broadband suppliers save you cash? Perhaps you will see how much you ‘waste’ each month on clothes you don’t really need, or on magazines or at that expensive coffee shop close to work? This is likely to be a real eye-opening experience, but it will only work if you are truly honest with yourself. Many people do not save because they have convinced themselves they cannot afford to, when in fact they could if they walked to work instead of taking the bus, made a packed lunch or dropped the top brand names when doing their weekly supermarket shop.

Be realistic, however, as if you plan to save and cut back too much, you are more likely to fail in the long run. If you currently have a takeaway every other night, perhaps you could cut this back to once a week. If you have your hair cut every six weeks, consider whether it could actually wait for another couple of weeks. Consider one of the many debt consolidation loans on offer to cut your outgoings and avoid other charges, or think about whether you really need your landline. It is amazing how quickly these little savings can add up.

Pay Yourself First

This is a common phrase in the financial world, and it simply means that you should not treat your savings as an extravagance but as a bill like any other. Avoid the temptation to not put any money away by setting aside a proportion of your income to be saved before you pay any other bills. As you have already done a budget plan and assessed your income and outgoings, you should know exactly how much you can afford to put away.

Set up a dedicated savings account and an automatic transfer from your current account every week or month. This means you cannot forget to do it, and it will ensure that your savings are not left wallowing in your current account, where they are just waiting to be frittered away.

Where to Save

You may be put off saving because you quite simply do not know where to put your extra cash. Under the bed is not an option, however, and you need to consider how much interest you are losing every day by putting off making a decision.

There is a range of different investment opportunities out there, but if you are new to saving you may want to start off with a simple savings account. Having a dedicated account will prevent you from dipping into your savings to pay for everyday items, and some will even request that you give notice before making a withdrawal. This ensures that you do not take out money simply on a whim, and this sort of account can offer some of the best rates around.

Warning: Late payment can cause you serious money problems. For help, go to moneyhelper.org.uk

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