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Saving little and often can be a great strategy to putting money away. Read on to find out why this could be a good idea.
The news surrounding how much we’re able to save in this country can often be a little dismal. According to This is Money, a quarter of us have no savings at all and 60% of households have less than £1,000 saved up. This lack of savings leaves us all vulnerable financially because it can mean that any shock to our finances from the relatively small – needing to buy a new tyre for the car perhaps – to more major, such as losing your job, mean that we have no savings cushion to fall back on. This in turn means that we may have to rely on credit to get by.
But there’s no need to get discouraged because you don’t manage to save hundreds of pounds every month. One of the best and most realistic ways to start your saving is to live by the rule “little and often.” Put something small away every month, or every week if you can manage it, and watch the pennies mount up.
Replace a “small spend” with a “small save”
We all have little things that we spend regularly on. Maybe it’s a drink down the pub or the morning latte? Or your favourite magazine? Have a really good think about what frequently eats up your money. (Keeping a spending diary can really help with this, so have a look at our blog on how to do this.)
Make a little sacrifice, and every time that you would have spent that money, save it instead. Remember that saving is just deciding not to spend the money so, so that you can spend it in future. It’ll feel more satisfying because you’re saving often and it can also be also a very revealing exercise about how much things cost over time. A great way to really bring this to life is to actually take the money that you would have spent out of your pocket or purse and put it in a jar. When you’ve got a few £s in the jar open a savings account and pay the money in – and keep paying it in.
It works the same as big and infrequent saving!
Setting and achieving a savings target feels absolutely great. Little and often can still work for you, even if you’ve got quite a high target. If you want to save £30 a month, does it really matter whether you put the whole £30 away at once, a £1 a day or £7 a week instead? No! But crucially, you’re less likely to think you’re losing out on a lot of money. A £1 a day probably seems quite achievable, but remember if you stick to it you’ll have over £350, plus interest, after a year. That’s a nice nest egg.
Just make sure that you’re putting that money into a savings account with the best interest rate you can find and you’re on your way!
Have a goal in mind
Now, we’d always advise having a goal for your saving to keep you excited about it. The first target should simply be a rainy-day fund.
We all know that surprises can come our way and make us spend money that we didn’t account for. When the washer breaks, or the car needs a new exhaust what choice do you have but to shell out? By putting something little away for a while you’ll find that when those disasters strike it’s not such a disaster after all, and importantly, doesn’t threaten your ability to pay your rent or other bills.
Once you’ve got that covered, think about what you really want to be able to buy for yourself. Now this could be something really big like a deposit for a house, or it could be smaller like a holiday or more modest like a good, warm, winter coat. This is where saving can get fun! Whatever it is, you should have a really clear idea of why you’re saving or your motivation will waver.
Cut down anywhere you can
There are so many areas where we could all be saving money if we really tried, such as utilities, television subscriptions, clothes shopping, travel, gym subscriptions, to name but a few. So, as well as being strict about the amount that you put aside every month, try looking at saving some money on other big areas. Have a look at our blog on how on general saving tips to get you going. Changing a few things about your lifestyle might take a bit of a motivational push initially, but after a while it will become second nature and you’ll be shocked at how much money you could save.
Now if you manage to cut down on any of these areas, don’t forget to actually take the money that you’ve saved and put it in your savings account. You won’t really see the benefit if you allow yourself to spend it on something else.
You can do it!
When surveyed on regrets, Brits were most sorry that they didn’t save up enough money during their lifetime! If you think about it, that’s not so surprising. Having something to fall back on gives you incredible peace-of-mind and savings for retirement are key if you plan on enjoying your later years.
If you’re focussing on saving, good for you! A little and often approach gives you lots of control and might be more enjoyable in the long term so why not give it a try? So good luck and get saving!
by Christine WalshBack to blog home