SavingsDrive - How Can You Save Money Regularly?

When you ask people in surveys “Do you think you need to save money for the future?”,  over 85% say yes but yet it never happens. 

So do we really need to save money? Attitudes have changed. We hear about old people living in run down large houses, wearing clothes from a charity shop and yet when they die you find out they have left millions in a will.

In the UK we are now classed as a credit driven economy. Governments make credit and loans and cards easily available to spend, with the view that we pay back what we have spent. It’s like saving in reverse, and keeps the economy moving!

It’s a HUGE gamble for us though, on the fact that we will continue to work to earn a living to pay off the credit. But what would happen if you could not work or your income stopped?  You would struggle to pay your creditor and suddenly credit and loans are not so easily available.

When purchasing most large items such as a car or a house then you need some form of collateral or deposit. Young people in particular are losing the savings habit see our post from BBC News,  and see our post to see how income affects savings.

Savings and credit are all about balance.  
SavingsDrive is all about learning to save a little bit each month. How best to save it and what are the options.

Saving Facts

These facts are taken from a number of sources, listed below.

£ 1
saved

by each family would reduce the number of families falling into problem debt by half a million (Step Change charity)

£ 1

is the amount 4 in 10 UK families don’t have in savings (Money Advice Service)

1
million

British adults, have less than £10 a month left over each month after paying essential bills (MAS)

£ 1
more

spent by UK households in 2017 than they received in income (ONS)

Saving

How Can I save?

 So how can I save if I have very little money left over each month? That is a key question most people ask, so we recommend you have a look at the videos below for some ideas, and you can also take a look at BudgetDrive.

To start with the average UK family wastes over a £1,000 a year in out of date food. 25% of people impulsively buy something at the supermarket each week, this rises to 33% when you have kids. So we can save but we just don’t put our mind to it.

There are so many savings vehicles on the market from ISAs to Endowments to Unit linked or Trust Policies to traditional savings accounts.

These all offer various interest rates which tend to be on the low side at this present time. But the key is not so much the amount of interest you get but the ability to save money each month. A sure fact is: if every month you had to take cash to the bank and deposit it into a savings account very few people would be bothered. Therefore a regular savings amount coming out of the account automatically into the savings account is more likely to happen and if it’s an amount that you won’t miss the savings can build very quickly. Most people are pleasantly surprised how after a few years the money has built up.

This is your safety net for emergencies and for times when you really need it. Many employers run employee benefit and share schemes at work and these are often enhanced in terms of interest and benefits.

UK Savings Rates

household saving rate

Source: Macrobond – The Independent

There are 2 types of regular savings – long term 5-10 years plus and short term savings with immediate access.  It helps if you can save a small amount into an online account each month for those items 10 to 15 years ahead such as perhaps university fees or a special anniversary, weddings or special events. 

Short term savings is totally different and isn’t a luxury but a necessity.  The average savings for those who are saving is £4,212.40 which is roughly two month’s salary. But for those who do not save at all they have less than two weeks money. Having a safety net for you and your family is really important. 

How can I save?

Different types of saving

You can save at home in a piggy bank

You can save in the bank

Save from your salary straight into a deposit account

Do a regular savings plan with a leading provider

Savings app adhoc

Saving via an ISA product

…and their impact

– easy to get hold of and it never comes to much

– you will get practically nothing in interest rates

– good as it keeps savings separate

– regular commitment and better returns generally

– easy, convenient, can make saving easy and convenient

– tax advantages and info available

Savings

You do have to remember when taking out a savings plan what the risks are. Some schemes might offer higher rates of return but this may be riskier in terms of losing some of your money so it is important to read the fine print.
Kris Brewster, head of products for Skipton Building Society, which commissioned the research, said: “Having a healthy savings account is something everybody dreams of, whether it’s money put aside for a rainy day, helping fund your child through university or money saved for comfortable retirement.”
“These dreams cannot become a reality without taking time to save in the first place. Very often things like unexpected bills can crop up and have an impact on your savings balances. But our results found people are more prone to splurging money on things they don’t need, rather than saving it and it’s this that has the greatest impact.”

You also need to consider pensions and tax. You need an emergency pot or safety net, a medium term savings plan (10 years plus) and to think about saving into your pension. If you have any doubts about how much you need to be saving then look below and  / or get professional advice. The links below will help you learn about all the different saving plans, the advantages and disadvantages.
Click on the link to give you a full range of companies that supply savings products.

Also check out the government Money Advice Service for savings advice

You can use our MAS savings calculator

This video is very US based and you may find it annoying, but there are some interesting things you can do which are covered in the money saving tips.

Laws of Savings

This video from the Phillipines might sound quaint and out of a different time, but the enthusiasm and ideas are infectious, even though you might disagree with some of the choices involved.

How to make saving money feel good

A Savings Habit That Works

This US video is completely different in style from the last one, but some of the messages are strangely similar (albeit in a different order!).  Perhaps there’s something in this…..

It’s great you are taking the steps to start looking at savings.  You can do the research and choose the right vehicle yourself, or get some advice.  Whatever you decide it’s necessary to see how much you can afford to save, and how to do it.  Look at BudgetDrive for more information on this.

"Never spend your money before you've earned it.”
thomas jefferson
Thomas Jefferson
US Founding Father & 3rd President

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See what other things can help

More information

Our post from PoliticsHome shows a report from the Building Societies Association shows that people on lower incomes are just as likely to save when essentials are dealt with.

Our post from BBC News has a lot of information on young people’s savings habits

Find an Independent Financial Adviser near you

Have a look at our budget planner from the Money Advice Service which sets out your budget and shows you how to organise your money

Have a look at our calculator from the Money Advice Service which shows how much you can save

Finder.com have a range of statistics on saving in the UK – this report is dated July 2019

Which? have an interactive guide showing 50 ways to make extra money

Money.co.uk have an article giving 9 free apps that will save you (time and) money

Our Money Advice Service guide looks at universal credit

This report from Toynbee Hall supported by JP Morgan Chase Foundation looks at savings for lower income households; download here.

This report from Toynbee Hall supported by Building Societies Association looks at encouraging savings behaviours – ‘beyond age and income’; download here.

The Office of National Statistics have quarterly sector accounts – section 5 shows the savings ratio, which fell to 4.1% in the quarter to March 2019; download here.

This Excel spreadsheet from the Building Societies Association compiled from Bank Of England data shows the balances with Building Societies, National Savings and Banks – it also shows the changes in these balances.

Download the Office for National Statistics bulletin on family spending from April 2017 to March 2018 shows that the household savings ratio in 2017 fell to its lowest level of 3.9% since records began in 1963.

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