Many of us will have the resolution to save more money in 2018, but what sort of saving styles exist and how do you know which one you fall into? This fun categorisation might give you pause for thought.
A Total Non-Saver
This group of savers never actually gets very far with their financial plans at all. Why? Because they either don’t know very much about saving or don’t have sufficient motivation to save. Yes, most people feel as though they need to put something away each month to build up an emergency fund or to save for something special, but without having clear goals or a method to save, you may not get very far at all. A good strategy is called ‘paying yourself first’. It means doing a budget and working out how much you can afford to save each month, and then making a payment into savings account before you pay for anything else at all. This prioritises your spending as an activity and means that you cannot fail to save your target amount. Once those bills are also paid, whatever is left will be what you have to play with. There are plenty of financial advisors who write great accessible personal finance books. One good author to try is David Bach, who writes guides for singles, couples and families alike. Find his titles on Amazon and start to learn the tricks of truly great savers. Here’s one to get you started >>
A Struggling Saver
This individual has the intention to save but feels that they cannot do it because they lack money and don’t know how to start. Yes, it’s always difficult to find something extra to put aside, but it is usually possible to tighten belts a little further and become more savvy about where your money is going. Start by keeping a spending journal (found a pretty one here to inspire you) and recording all of your outgoings. Look at whether you could earn extra, either by asking for a pay rise or taking on a side-gig. Look for better deals on your utilities and other bills, and drop branded goods in your supermarket shopping. Together these measures will add up and allow you to keep a little aside for your savings pot. Try opening a regular saver which automatically takes an agreed sum each month to earn a healthy amount of interest. Santander has a regular saver account that offers up to 3pc.
This category deserves a pat on the back for being motivated about saving, and for regularly reviewing their income and outgoings to check that they are on track. Savvy savers look for great deals on products, find cheaper alternatives and seek out opportunities to earn a little more or spend a little less – whether that’s by selling unwanted clothes on eBay or switching regular takeaways for home-cooked food. Here’s an example of a great ‘tweak’: if you regularly buy a coffee on your way to work, make one at home instead and carry a thermos. John Lewis has a lovely range – why not ask for a stylish one for your next birthday? You’ll also reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfill.