5 Tips for Savings

Everyone should have savings for a rainy day. Here are our 5 tips ...........

If you are made redundant, have a long period of sickness or are unable to work, what would happen? You could insure against these eventualities through a Critical Illness insurance policy or as a first step you could build a savings buffer. You could aim to have savings equivalent to 3 – 6 months’ salary to tide you over if the worse happens.

Easier said than done!!  Money is tight and saving difficult. Here are our top 5 tips to maximise the money you have available and make a start to building your savings buffer:

1. DEAL WITH YOUR DEBTS

First thing on your list is to deal with your existing debts. You will be paying interest on your debt far higher that the interest you will get from saving. So, it makes sense to pay off your debts first. Take a look at moving your Credit Card debt to a card offering 0% on balance transfers and use the interest that you save to reduce your debt faster. Consider consolidating your debt into one Loan.

2. CALMLY DEMAND A BETTER DEAL

Before spending your hard earned cash, find out where the best price is. By using the internet and comparison sites you can easily ‘shop around’ for financial products, gas and electric, and even compare food and clothing prices.Cashback sites are becoming ever more popular as a way of making your money go further

Armed with the best price you should then be confident to approach your chosen retailer and demand a better deal. Don’t feel embarrassed, you are giving your retailer vital pricing information

3. CUT THE COST OF YOUR WEEKLY FOOD BILL

Actively work, week by week, at cutting your food bill. There are several things you can do:

  • Consider supermarket own brands. They are cheaper
  • Slow cook cheaper cuts of meat. Just as rewarding
  • Skip luxuries. Skipping the morning coffee on the way to work could save £2 a day
  • Beware of Discounts. Only buy items you actually need and are likely to keep and use. End of day markdowns are another way make savings - but only if you know you'll use whatever you buy.
  • Buy what you can in bulk. Look at membership of wholesale retailers such as Costco Makro Bookers and Bestway.

4. EAT OUT FOR LESS

If you eat out a lot, there are several ways to make it more affordable:

  • Restaurant deals are available on the web through sites such as TopTable
  • Consider a card like Tastecard where you can get 50% off at over 5,000 restaurants all over the UK.
  • Sign up with the major chains… Pizza Express, Ask, etc who regularly offer free discount vouchers by email.

5. REDUCE ANY TAX ON SAVINGS

Between April 2012 and April 2013, you're entitled to save up £11,280 in an Individual Savings Account (ISA). Half of this (£5,640) can be cash. ISA interest is not taxed, so you'll be making your savings work harder. So, use your full cash ISA allowance before you start saving anywhere else.