Finding more money to save
Saving money can be a daunting task, but with the right mindset and dedication, it's a manageable one.
There are some obvious tips (which we cover in detail in this blog post: 7 money-saving life hacks), but start by creating a budget and determining how much money you can realistically set aside for savings each month.
Additionally, take a look at any extraneous expenses which could be cut out in order to free up some extra money for savings.
But another top tip, and something we want to talk about here, is looking at ways to increase your income.
The savings rate has skyrocketed in recent years, and with a top regular savings account now offering 7%, now is the time to take the initiative and hunt for extra cash to add to your savings pot.
Regular saving can have both practical and emotional benefits; a Money & Pension Service's survey revealed that 44% of people who saved regularly were more satisfied with life overall.
So read on for some top tips on finding more money to save.
Buy it / sell it
Recent Gumtree data suggests people plan to increase their purchase of secondhand goods.
On average, people earn £186 a year by selling items they no longer need. And what's more, you can also save money using platforms like Depop, Vinted and eBay to purchase excellent pre-owned products.
Many of these items are new and are often priced lower than their retail counterparts.
Don't pay interest on a debt
Obviously, debt is best avoided if you can - but if you are stuck in credit card debt, take a moment to plan how to become debt-free and set a timeframe for achieving this.
If you don't have a large sum of money to clear off your entire debt, consider transferring the debt to a 0% balance credit card for a fixed time frame (generally you'll be able to find offers for two years or more), and making a set payment each month in that period.
Once the 0% period has finished, shift the remaining debt to another provider.
Remember, some cards will have a small balance transfer fee, and you should also avoid adding to the debt, so avoid using them for shopping.
The importance of saving should not be underestimated - it really can make all the difference to your financial security in the future.
Evidence shows around 60% of us are successfully saving regularly.
A great way to get started is to employ the 50/30/20 approach.
This technique recommends allocating 50% of your income to necessary expenses, 30% to non-essential purchases and 20% to savings.
If this ratio doesn't quite work with your financial situation, don't worry - adjust it until it's more suitable.
But try and make sure you prioritise saving over non-essential purchases.
It's simple to watch your hard-earned money dissipate with the mere tap of a card, so there are various approaches you can use to make sure every spend has a visible impact on your wallet.
Consider trying a few of these to see what system works best for you.
Some have adopted the jam jar method, piggy banking, saving pots, or cash stuffing to control their finances more.
All of these techniques involve allocating specific amounts to different expenses, simplifying managing your budget and avoiding the need for extra funds.
Additionally, prepaid cards such as Clubcard Pay+, HyperJar, and SuitsMe Essential enable you to place a limit on your spending by loading only the necessary funds. Be aware, though, that certain prepaid cards can be associated with a monthly fee.
You can also set up a day-to-day spending account at your existing bank with a related card and arrange a direct debit to transfer a designated amount from your salary each week.
Tracking lost funds
Could you be sitting on a hidden fortune?
With My Lost Account, you can use the online search form to track down forgotten bank accounts, building society accounts, and National Savings and Investments products.
Alternatively, if you're looking for a workplace pension, the Pension Tracing Service offered by the government is free.
The Association of British Insurers estimates around £19.4 billion in pensions have gone missing or been forgotten, with an average pot size of £13,000.
When your fixed term, tracker or discounted mortgage deal has ended, you'll automatically be switched to your provider’s standard variable rate, which could be considerably more than you have been paying.
This is the perfect time to look at remortgaging; you could save thousands a year.
Get cashback on purchases
It's an easy decision to make!
These can come in especially handy when making large purchases, such as insurance or a new phone, with the potential to make hundreds of pounds a year in cash and vouchers, depending on your spending.
However, it's essential to remember to pay the card off in full each month, or you risk paying off the benefit with interest charges.
In these challenging times, you may find it difficult to change your gas and electricity provider; however, you can still find much better rates on your broadband, phone plan, streaming services, and insurance.
According to a study by Topcashback, those who haggled for better deals reported a success rate of 39%, and each person saved, on average, £155.
These gains were most commonly found with broadband (59%), cell phone plans (55%), and insurance (50%). Therefore, consider utilising comparison sites to work out if you can decrease the cost of these essentials by changing providers.