Be resolute with your savings in 2016

This image supports the MoneyPlus Features team on how to be resolute with your savings in 2016

Savings

MoneyPlus Features Team

15th January 2016 at 4:13pm

“Regrets, I’ve had few” sang Frank Sinatra – however, according to some research we’ve just conducted, it would seem many of us have more than a few financial ones when it comes to reflecting on 2015.

Our survey showed a third of UK adults regret not saving more during 2015, and nearly a fifth admitted that one of the biggest financial regrets was not saving any money at all.

1/5 admitted their biggest regret was not saving money at all

Key regrets included not budgeting, overspending on eating out, buying too many clothes, ordering takeaways and spending too much on taxis.

So what were the top 5 financial regrets for 2015?

Not saving as much money as I wanted to (32%)
Not saving any money at all (18%)
Not budgeting (18%)
Not paying more into my pension (14%)
Spending too much money on eating out (13%)

A new year, a fresh start

If any of the above strike a chord with you, then the New Year is the time to get back on track and make a difference in 2016. Make a resolution to start afresh – whether that’s reviewing your spending habits, putting a budget in place or prioritising your savings pot.

There are lots of apps available to help with your budgeting and when it comes to saving, also if you’re worried about not paying enough into your pension or ISA then some providers will let you easily check and top up your ISA or pension online.

Something as simple as cutting back on a two lattes a day habit could save you in the region of £1500 a year.

Whatever it is that’s causing you guilt, setting goals and sticking to them will go a long way to making you feel happy and in control again.

Be resolute with your savings in 2016

To help get the savings ball rolling for 2016, we thought it might be handy to compile some simple steps to help cut what you spend and boost your savings.

Compile some simple steps to help cut what you spend and boost your savings

Work out your budget:

You’re likely to know what income you’ve got coming in but how aware are you of what’s going out? If you don’t know what you’re spending then it’s difficult to balance the books.

It’s worth using a budget planning tool, sites like MoneySavingExperts (MSE) and the Money Advice Service provide free planning  tools, they are simple to use and could help you see where you’re going wrong or what savings you could make.

Do a direct debit check-up:

Check you’re not paying any direct debits for things you don’t use or need anymore. It could be something as simple as some old mobile phone insurance for a phone you no longer have!

Are you getting the best deal?:

Take some time out and review any current deals you have to make sure you’re not paying top dollar.

Price comparison websites will let you compare hundreds of financial products and ensure that you have the best one for your circumstances. Whether it’s car insurance, credit cards or a broadband bundle, there is normally a huge difference between the cheapest and most expensive providers, so it’s worth browsing for the best offers on these websites.

Adopt a realistic timeline of when and how much you would like to save

Check, ditch and switch:

Many products like mortgages, energy fixes, credit cards and car insurance only give a good deal for the short term. So check now when things end, and put a big note in your diary/calendar a month before so you’ve time to ditch and switch.

Drop bad spending habits:

Something as simple as cutting back on a two lattes a day habit could save you in the region of £1500 a year.

It’s amazing when totted up how much certain immediate and short-lived gratifications can cost, reduce those treats and think about your bigger spending goals.

Learning to save sounds easy, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Keep track of the savings you are making to keep you motivated and transfer the money you save from into your savings account – then you’ll really see how it adds up.

Shop and save for next Christmas NOW:

Pre-Christmas is the most expensive time to buy, Jan sales the cheapest, so get in early and bag some deals.

Use cash:

Almost everyone now has a debit or credit card and it’s all too easy to just stick something on your card and worry about it later.

If you used cash more often like the good old days, handing over real money might just make you think twice before buying something you don’t need.

Think about the savings products that will work best for your needs.

Get into a regular saving habit:

Whether it is little and often or large and occasional, adopt a realistic timeline of when and how much you would like to save.

While vowing to save more in the New Year is commendable, setting up monthly standing orders into your savings account and earmarking key spending dates in your diary (such as birthdays or trips away) will help you achieve your saving goals in the long-term.

Think about the savings products that will work best for your needs.

Lessons worth learning

Learning to save sounds easy, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

Becoming accustomed to money-saving techniques can be a lengthy and involved process, especially for those of us who haven’t had much experience with it.

Shopping around for the best deal, looking for store discounts and sales, tracking our expenses, and utilising a budget are skills many of us have learned to do without until recently.

A fresh year provides the perfect excuse to buckle down and become familiar with the saving process. Good luck with your saving in 2016

Join the conversation

Join the conversation and follow us on twitter @StandardLifeUK and Facebook and let us know how you plan to manage your savings in 2016.

The information in this blog or any response to comments should not be regarded as financial advice.