Sometimes, it’s hard to put aside money every month towards your savings goals. It might be time to ask yourself – are you being smart with how you’re saving money?
The one piece of advice you’ve probably heard thousands of times is to save money – but we all know it’s easier said than done, right?
Whether that’s saving for a once-in-a-lifetime travel adventure (2020, you hurt us), a new car or a rainy-day fund, there are definitely ways you can save those pennies every month to take control of your cash.
But TotallyMoney said that almost a quarter of Squigglers still tend to run out of money before
It begs the question we need to ask ourselves – could we be smarter with how we save? Is there anything more we could be doing to add those zeroes to our bank account?
At the end of the day, we’re Squigglers. We know how to take smart shortcuts, to save money and otherwise – we pretty much invented cheap pre-drinks sessions and typing in “promo codes” in a new tab for online shopping. So, the answer is yes, there are clever ways you can get your savings on track quicker – and here are five of them.
Don’t settle for low interest rates
It’s true that traditional savings account interest rates are pretty low right now (NerdWallet reported interest rates went as low as 0.1% in March 2020). 46% of Squigglers have been saving less since the drop.
Interest rates work in two ways – one to benefit you and one to benefit the bank or provider.
Interest rates on loans (like mortgages and debts) means you not only have to pay back the initial loan amount you borrowed, you also have to pay a percentage of that amount on top of the loan amount back to your bank or provider. Kind of like saying cheers for letting me borrow the money when I needed it.
Interest rates on savings accounts work the other way around. Banks pay you a certain percentage of how much you put into those accounts – kind of like saying cheers for trusting us with your money (although 0.1% doesn’t seem like enough, does it?)
Over half of Squigglers are now looking to other types of investments to grow their money, like stocks and shares ISAs. But it doesn’t mean traditional savings account are bad (don’t cancel them, please). Shop around and do your research to find a good savings account with a decent interest rate (they’re still out there!).
Keep an eye on your direct debits
They always creep up on you, don’t they?
And I’m not just talking about the usual suspects like Amazon Prime, Netflix or Spotify. With these guys, we know what it’s like – just keep an eye on those that aren’t really benefitting you and cancel those subscriptions (maybe cancelling your Deliveroo Plus will help you save on your subscription and curb that takeaway habit?).
Most of our monthly payments like mobile phone bills or car insurance are set up as direct debits – make sure you check your monthly statements to see how much and how often you pay, and spend a bit of time shopping around online. You never know, you may be able to find a cheaper deal!
The right way to treat yo’ self
Look for those cashbacks, rewards and discounts (time to bring out the old Nectar card) whether you’re shopping online or IRL.
If you’re a student, I’m sure you’re aware of all the student discounts available to you (I mean, brands practically shout about them from the rooftops). Or if you’re someone who travels on trains quite a bit, consider getting a railcard – it saves one-third of your ticket price!
You could even consider getting a credit card. As long as you strike the right balance (and don’t swipe away like it’s Bumble or Tinder), a credit card can help you earn points, cashbacks and rewards in the long run.
Bring in those side hustles
We love a good side hustle to bring in some extra cash on top of the day job earnings.
And that can be anything, from freelance writing to selling your old clothes (#cancelfastfashion) or records online. It’s just that extra bit of money to complement your main day job, that could add up in the long run. Multiple sources of income are never a bad thing (unless you’re too stressed or overwhelmed with the extra work, nothing is more important than your mental health!).
Get a little extra protection for your existing savings
You’ve worked hard to build that savings pot and the last thing you want is for something unexpected to start eating into it!
Living expenses rarely stop, regardless of whether your income has. Perhaps you lose your job, quit your job or just decide to “take a break”.
Of course, we’re responsible enough to make logical decisions when it’s our choice to quit our job or take a break. But what if something unexpected were to happen (2020 is that you?), like an illness or accident, which puts you out of work for a while? The expenses are still going out, but the income isn’t coming in, and our savings or sick leave can only cover us for so long. And I’m sure you’d rather use your savings for something far more exciting than this anyway, like that life-changing trip to Southeast Asia (or those new trainers, no judgement).
One of the ways you can protect your savings is by getting income protection insurance. It’s a financial product that replaces your income (and safeguards your savings) for as long as you need it if you can’t work due to illness (physical or mental) or accident. You can find out more about income protection insurance here.
I’ll keep this one simple: Do your research, there are always smart shortcuts to help you cut costs, and even the small steps add up!
And I mean, like I said, we’re Squigglers – we live for doing things smarter!