Many of us will have started the new decade determines to become more financially savvy than we were over the last ten years. We’ve realised that money is a tool which enables us to reach our goals – and whether that is a happy retirement, saving to travel the world, further your education, start your dream business, or buy your first family home, taking control of your personal finances is a way to set yourself free and achieve your ambitions. You may never have seriously tried to save up a large amount of capital before, or you might be feeling that now is the time to turbo charge your savings. Perhaps you’ve realised how much you’ll need to accumulate as a deposit or maybe you’re wondering ‘why my 401k isn’t growing‘? Whatever your personal situation, it’s time to step up the savings for 2020 – so where can you get started? 

Secure The Best Rate On Your Savings Account 

The first step is to make sure that the savings you already have are working as hard as possible for you. After all, if you can make your money work better while it simply sits there, what could be better? Saving money is very hard if what you save only accumulates a small amount of interest annual. Start off by searching the market for the highest rate interest savings account that you can find. The best ones usually have some sort of stipulation, such as a minimum monthly deposit or conditions making it harder to access money instantly. So bear in mind that some accounts may only be suitable if you know that you can stick to minimum savings plan or if you don’t plan to dip into your savings pot for a while. Even just a small difference in percentage can add up to a lot more extra money over the course of a year. Research has shown that most people tend to stick to just one savings account, and never consider moving their balance to achieve a higher rate of interest. However, it’s a really simple process – a lot of accounts can be opened online – and it really could give a boost to what you’re able to save. For just a little extra work, you could hit your savings goal much faster. And if you know your money is working much harder, there is much more motivation to get saving! 

Opt For Card Round-Ups

Fewer of us than ever now use cash for our daily transactions. We shop online, make card payments and use Apple Pay on our smartphones. But did you know that you can make this reliance on tech work harder for you when it comes to your savings. There are now money management apps out there which allow you to opt into round-ups. This means that every time you make a purchase on your card, and it adds up to an uneven amount, the difference is taken and added to your savings account. So, if you spend $1.98 on your card, the two cents goes to savings. Generally, you can select round ups on either the cents or the dollar amounts. Combine this with your regular savings and it can really start to add up. A few banks have cottoned on and now offer round up schemes of their own, as well. Digitally based banks like Monzo and Starling usually offer this facility as standard or you can use an app like Moneybox to do it for you. It’s a great way to top up what you’re saving on a daily basis without even noticing the difference. 

Use A Virtual Financial Advisor

You may have used the services of a financial advisor in the past on a big transaction. But few other than the super rich will deal with one every single day. But what if you could access low-level financial advice on your daily transactions? Using a virtual financial assistant could help. While it doesn’t replace more complex advice matters, it does have a role to play in helping you to become more mindful of your financial transactions. An app like Plum works by keeping an eye on your balance and sending advice or suggesting savings via text message. It will work out what you can afford to save and give you the option to make transfers. Other apps will go through your transactions and help you to cancel unused subscriptions or cut back on recurring transactions. It’s just a little daily reminder to be more mindful of spending and to have your savings goals at the top of your agenda. 

Bookmark A Cashback Website 

With more and more of our purchases happening online, if you aren’t using a cashback website then you need to be! You could be earning back money every time you make a purchase, and that money can be used to add to your savings pot. A lot of websites such as TopCashback now offer Internet browser extensions, so that when you’re on a qualifying website, it will remind you that you can get cashback on your purchase. There are also credit cards available which give you cashback on purchases that you make. If you use one of these cards to shop, along with a cashback website, that means that you’re making money back double each time that you purchase. The key is to make sure that you clear the credit card balance each time you shop, and don’t let any debt build up. In that way you can enjoy all the benefits without any of the drawbacks! 

Always Ask For A Better Deal

A lot of us simply haven’t been brought up to haggle or to question existing prices, and that means we’re often missing out on hundreds in savings. Simply by making a list of all your essential suppliers – electricity, cable, broadband, mortgage – and calling up to ask for the best deal available you can make savings. Most of these providers have a margin that they are able to discount by. Apply some negotiation skills and you could be making big savings. And if your current supplier won’t offer a discount? Switch to one that will! Moving suppliers is generally a lot easier these days than it was, and an hour or so invested in switching your accounts to make you a lot more money to put towards your savings goal.

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

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