Chances are, you’re reading this on your laptop or phone. And we’re guessing you might have used an app at some point today too – perhaps to book parking, pay a bill or set your heating at home.
You might have listened to a podcast, or popped on social media to catch up with your friends, family, or the news.
The fact is, tech is part of daily life for many of us now. And the great thing is that it gives us access to much more information than ever before: including guidance to manage our finances and help us plan for the future.
But with so many resources out there, what are the best ways to use tech to help us reach our savings goals? We’ve picked seven tech-savvy ways to make saving easier:
1. Set your sites to make saving easier
Knowledge is power, as the saying goes, so gather as much information as you can about saving.
Our MoneyPlus site is a great starting point but there are great resources elsewhere online with lots of sites full of tips, resources and general information, as long as you choose wisely. The Money Advice Service website was set up by the Government and offers free and impartial money advice. Also worth checking out are MoneySavingExpert.com and Which? Money-saving Tips.
There are some good bloggers out there too. For ‘millennials’, Young Money is straightforward and helpful and covers everything from Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) to getting cheap festival tickets.
Bookmark your favourite sites or, better still, sign up for their regular updates.
2. Simple support from your phone apps
Many bank accounts and savings apps now have useful functions that allow you to ‘round up’ a transaction and put the extra away as savings. So, for example, if you spent £3.82, your account would be debited with £4 and 18p would be added to a savings ‘pot’. It doesn’t seem much but savings build up when you use it every day.
Check out Monzo or Plum. And don’t forget to download the Standard Life app, which lets you view and manage any pensions and investments you hold with us directly on your mobile device. You can also open or top up your Standard Life ISA on your app. Remember, pensions and stocks and shares ISAs are investments and their value can go down as well as up. You could get back less than you pay in.
3. Follow the experts
Even if you don’t want to set up your own Twitter account, you can still “follow” this great social media channel and get up-to-date information, news and tips.
You do however need an account to properly follow hashtags such as #retirementplanning, #saving, #savingstips and #moneysaving, and look out for the Guardian Money Twitter feed (@guardianmoney), The Humble Penny (@TheHumblePenny), Penny Golightly (@PennyGolightly) who has written books on making money management easier and, of course, Standard Life (@StandardLifeUK).
Step Change MoneyAware (@MoneyAware) has plenty of useful tips on saving, budgeting and avoiding debt.
4. Listen up
Podcasts are getting more and more popular, and if you have a smartphone and a pair of headphones, they make an interesting – and informative – way to pass the time on your commute, at the gym or when you’re out for a run.
Our favourite podcasts for saving guidance include Money Box (not strictly a podcast but you can download episodes of the BBC radio show), and Informed Choice Radio, a bi-weekly personal finance podcast aimed at helping you achieve your financial goals.
Have a listen to our audios too on our MoneyPlus website, covering popular topics.
5. It all adds up
Online calculators are a really useful tech tool for working out how much you’ve saved so far – and how much you might need to save to live comfortably in retirement. Do you wonder if your pension savings are on track for the retirement lifestyle you want?
Find out how they are shaping up using our simple pension calculator.
6. Get guidance straight to your inbox
Email newsletters can be invaluable if you want to get up-to-date savings news and information – and you get to read it at your leisure. It’s like getting a magazine in the post – without the paper to recycle after you’ve read it.
Money Saving Expert’s Free Money Tips regular email claims an impressive 12 million subscribers and one of our writing team has just saved a lot of money by switching energy supplier online thanks to this one. She has set up an ISA with some of the savings, with the rest going on a mini-break.
Money Weekly delivers the latest news, views, deals and money-saving tips. And of course, there’s our very own MoneyPlus newsletter, packed with useful tips and guidance, which you get straight to your inbox every month.
7. Be inspired by the ‘grammers’
Instagram isn’t just about selfies and cups of coffee. Be inspired to reach your savings goals by following these ‘grammers’: The Frugality (https://www.instagram.com/thefrugality/) gives you stylish ideas for spending less, Skint Dad (https://www.instagram.com/skintdad/) shares money saving family tips, while Clever Girl Finance (https://www.instagram.com/clevergirlfinance/) delivers a daily dose of encouragement to help you reach your financial goals. And you can find Standard Life at @StandardLifeUK.
Elle Tucker is a freelance journalist writing on behalf of Standard Life.
The information here is based on our understanding in May 2019 and should not be taken as financial advice.
Standard Life accepts no responsibility for the information contained in the websites referred to in this article. These are provided for general information only.