7 spending habits sabotaging your savings and how to get back on track
We all want to save more money for the things that matter most to us, but sometimes when it comes to putting the pounds away, we’re our own worst enemy.
Sure, there’s no right way to save, but if you do want to get on track with your goals, it’s good to be prepared for any potential bumps along the road.
We know it's easier said than done. It’s all too simple to fall off the wagon on our savings journeys, but not to worry - we’re on hand with some helpful tips!
So, in seven simple points, here are the habits to crack if you want to get on track:
1. Dipping into your savings
We're not talking about a trip to the dentist or emergency fix. For those - check point #4 below! We're talking about dipping into your savings for those little things you don't actually need. We've all done it. You need a bit of extra cash for something nice you’ve spotted, so you use your savings – just this once. But before you know it, you’ve made a habit of using your savings for everyday purchases and then you feel stuck in a spending spiral.
You don’t need to lock all your money away in a vault, but making your savings a little harder to access could be the key to stronger savings. So, set up a dedicated account for savings, and hook it up to your Yolt. Rename the account to reflect your goal or something to keep you from dipping in, like `Savings – don’t touch!' Then, you can check up on how your savings are growing, with less of the temptation.
2. Failing to keep it frequent
You’re topping up your savings every week, but then a few months go by and you realise you haven’t added anything for far too long!
When it comes to savings, routine is definitely key. Don’t just top up your savings when you feel like you’re doing well, try and aim for regular transfers – automate it if you can! Even if it’s just a small amount each week, it’ll rack up rapidly. Before you know it, your budgets will be in the black and you’ll have a healthy pot of savings. Nice one. We have a handy blog all about this mindful approach to your money - check it out here and fall in love with your money routine!
3. Putting off planning
You’ll start tomorrow, no wait, next week. Ok, this week for real.
You want to save, but you just keep putting it off. Making a plan of where you want to be with your money just isn’t on the top of your to-do list right now...
We’re a big fan of having a plan. We call it future-proofing you finances. Getting your goals in early means more time, and more potential to grow. Remember – compound interest is your friend, so push the procrastinating aside, and get planning now...and let time do the rest! What's that about future-proofing your finances? We've got more info on that here, here, and here!
4. Neglecting your emergency fund
Yep, back to that point about dentists and car dents. Putting a bit of money aside should things go awry might be a low-priority. But life’s full of unexpected and expensive events, and should something crop up, it’s likely that your savings will have to come to the rescue.
Make sure you have some money set aside for a rainy day -- saving expert, Maria Nedeva, recommends three months of your salary. We realise that's a lot, so just start with what you can. Every little bit helps towards establishing your emergency fund. This Emergency Fund should sit sperately from your other savings, reserved for short-term and long-term savings goals.
5. Forgetting about your goals
Why are you saving? What’s your end goal? Maybe it’s something big like a wedding or house deposit, or maybe it’s just for that peace of mind. But not having a clear goal, could really be muffling your motivation to save.
Write down your goal, including the amount you're saving for and what you want to do with the money. Then check in regularly to remind yourself why you're saving. Focus on what you're aiming for and work backwards to be sure you will get there. If habit #1 is creeping up on you, keep reminding yourself of the end goal and why you are saving in the first place. Set up your Saving tile in Yolt to watch your savings grow over time.
6. Overspending here and there
Lots of little purchases may seem like innocent spending, but chances are you don't plan for them in the same way you do for larger expenses like holidays or a new TV. A coffee every day? Lunch out a few times a week? The little costs can really rack up.
Track your spending so you can see your true money habits. Try and identify those spending triggers and find cheaper alternatives, where possible. It may not seem like much, saving a few pounds a day here and there, but if you put that towards your savings goal you’ll get to where you want to be that much more quickly!
7. Losing track of your money
If you have multiple bank accounts, keeping track of them all can be like herding cats. Your budgets too. You might have a main account with one bank, and your savings account with another. But not knowing where you’re at can reek havoc on savings.
Get a clear overview of your money. So, that’s everything that’s coming in and everything going out each month. Now you know how much you can really afford to save and where you could be cutting back. Hooking up your accounts in Yolt, is a great way to get a true over view of your money.