The Financial Times reports some unwelcome news: U.K. household savings rates hit record lows in 2016.
With economic uncertainty rising due to ongoing Brexit negotiations and slower growth in Asia and elsewhere, a depressed savings rate leaves Brits vulnerable to the unexpected: sudden job loss, working hours reductions, car or house troubles.That, in turn, impacts Brits’ preparedness for retirement, which is lasting longer than ever as lifespans increase.
Don’t leave your finances to an uncaring world’s whims. Follow these six tips to build your savings and secure your financial future.
- Grow Your Savings With Investments
Why leave your money in a deposit account that barely pays interest? Implement a balanced investments strategy to put your savings to work over time. If you’re planning for retirement or other long-term life events, it’s vital that you give your money every opportunity to grow. There’s no upside to delay: the earlier you begin investing, the longer your money will work on your behalf.
- Keep Close Watch on Your Personal Budget
CNBC contributor Brittney Castro advises consumers to keep a weekly ‘money date’: a brief but productive ‘sit-down’ with their finances. Each ‘money date’ is an opportunity to make budgetary adjustments, track progress toward savings goals, and look for opportunities to spend less and save more. Devoting a half-hour of your time to personal financial planning can pay off handsomely over the long term.
- Seek Out Coupons and Discounts
In our ultra-competitive retail environment, nearly every price is negotiable. No matter what you need to buy today, you’re likely to find it for less than full price. Look for manufacturer and merchant coupons online before you finalise your purchase, and try to time larger purchases to take advantage of seasonal, limited-time, or closeout offers. Calculate how much you’ve saved against full price and tuck at least half that amount away.
- Avoid Impulse Shopping
We’ve all made impulsive purchases we’ve later come to regret. One great way to reduce your chances of overspending at the shop is to make a strict list and buy only what’s on it. This might add to time to your superstore pre-plan, but your future savings balance will thank you.
- Buy in Bulk When It Makes Sense
You don’t have to buy everything in vast quantities. When applied to items you actually consume, bulk buying makes perfect sense. Coffee connoisseurs should buy the biggest bag possible; frugal families should look for family-sized packets of their favourite foods. If you don’t yet buy in bulk, stick to your current shopping scheme for another month and calculate your total spending, then switch to the bulk life the following months and record how much you save. Tuck the difference away in your savings account.
- Socialise at Home
It’s more enjoyable than you think. Instead of gathering at the restaurant or pub, invite your friends over for drinks and bites. You’ll slash your entertainment budget, boost your savings rate, and avoid gritting your teeth through that obnoxious exchange at the next table over.
Have a favourite bit of savings advice to share? Please add it in the comments box below.