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Could you be saving more?

How much we save from our disposable income has fallen to a record low, with just 1.7% put aside according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

This works out as just £1.70 for every £100 left over after taxes have been taken and before you shell out on essentials such as housing costs, bills and food.

Though higher taxes are thought to have played a part in the amount left over to save, we know that day to day costs have been higher as inflation increases, and it looks like they’re putting pressure on households finances leaving less left over to save.

So if you want to save but are struggling to find the money, is there more you could do? We’ve a few tips you can follow to get yourself into the savings habit.

1. Pay your savings first

Rather than save what’s left at the end of a month, think about saving first. Every payday, work out what you need for your bills then save a proportion of what’s left BEFORE you start spending it on non-essentials.

To know how much you can afford it’s useful to create a budget. We’ve got a handy tool which will help you compile all your incomings and outgoings.

2. Find more money to save

Your budget will also show you where you might be overspending – or at least spending more than you are aware of. See if you can cut back on certain costs, or shop around for better deals. Any extra you find can go towards increasing your monthly savings amount.

3. Have a separate savings account

When the money you save is in the same account as the money you spend, well, you’re more likely to just eat into it with your regular expenses. It’s far better to transfer the money to a different account.

You can often open a savings account with your existing bank. However interest rates aren’t great at the moment you should shop around to maximise how much money you earn on top of your savings.

It also helps to set up a standing order for your savings. These automatically transfer the same amount of money from your bank account to your savings account.

4. Set a savings goal

It’ll help you to save if you know what you’re saving for. If you name the goal, and ideally how much you want to save, it’ll help keep you motivated and provide a target to aim for.

Your goal could be anything. It could an expense or luxury you don’t think you can afford, it could be to build a buffer so emergencies don’t force you to borrow or it could even be to ensure you are able to live comfortably in the future.

There’s no reason why you can’t have more than one goal, just make sure you know what money is for each goal.

5. Review your savings

It’s fine to change your savings goal. Life changes, and with it what you are saving for will too. It might be you suddenly have less money to save, or perhaps more. Or new priorities could appear which mean you need to reassess why you are saving. Set a date to review your goals and how you're doing that suits you, whether that's every month, in six months or even longer..

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