If you are struggling to make any savings at all it can feel isolating and frustrating, especially as we are constantly told how crucial it is to be putting money away each month. The truth is that one in four British adults have no savings, so you are certainly not alone.
There are a multitude of reasons as to why you may be struggling, but if any of the below sound like you then follow our top tips to make your life a little easier and start putting money away for the future.
1. You’re living beyond your means
Rent, bills, student loan repayment, food; the list is endless. You may feel that the amount of money you need to pay out each month leaves you no space to make savings, even of just a few pounds. You either have more going out than you have coming in, or you are just about breaking even.
Top tip: Make a budget
Sitting down and making a budget helps you focus on not only what you earn and what you spend, but it also clarifies the differences between your ‘wants’ and your ‘needs’. Put in your absolute essential spends and then see what you have left that you usually spend on fun, subscriptions, your gym pass, or anything else that could be potentially ‘cut out’ in order to free up some pounds to put towards saving.
2. You’re a ‘here and now’ person
Impulse control is a hard won habit. You crave that feeling of satisfaction that comes with buying something new. Living in the moment is great for many reasons, but when it comes to spending money it’s best to stop and ask yourself a simple set of questions to try and discern if you really need to buy it. Similarly, when it comes to saying ‘no’ to a night out, or a friend’s birthday, or a holiday in Spain, it can be difficult to deny yourself when you work so hard and want time to enjoy your life. However, if you never learn to say no you’ll never save a penny.
Top tip: Automate your savings
By automating your savings through the Oval Money app you not only put them out of reach and away from your main bank account, but the app does the hard work for you. All you need to do is set up an automatic step that saves a set amount of money for you each week and the app does the rest. Start with small amounts and gradually build up as you become more confident with your budgeting and new spending habits.
3. You’re paying way too much on your debt
If you don’t have debt then you’re one of the lucky ones. For the rest of us, debt is an everyday issue and is definitely one of the biggest drains on our finances. Make sure that your debt is not crippling you and ruining your chances to save. If you're only paying off interest without clearing your balance, then you're paying too much for your debt.
Top tip: Consolidate your debts and pay off high interest debt first
If you have multiple debts see what you can do about consolidating them; this potentially reduces the about of interest you pay, and gives you a simpler one off payment instead of multiple payments at different times throughout the month.
If you have debt with varying interest rates, then work to pay off your highest interest debt first.
4. You’re not earning enough
If you’ve looked at all your costs, controlled all your debts, automated your savings, and have done everything you can do in order to get your finances under control, but your outgoings are still higher than your incomings, then it comes down to the fact that you need to find a way to make a little more money. The more you earn, the more money you’ll have to save.
Top tip: Get a side hustle
Even if it’s just a part time job, maybe working in a bar one evening a week or freelancing on the side, getting a part time hustle can be the difference between having savings or not. If your main income barely covers your daily costs then all you earn on your side hustle can be put into your savings. If you need some inspiration on how to make some extra money then take a look at how you can turn your hobby into an income stream.