Top savings tips

    Saving isn't as hard as it seems. If you're looking for some smart savings guidance, these money saving tips should help you start to build up a handy nest egg.

    • Create a budget by adding up your monthly spend on essentials like rent, utility bills, food shopping and car costs, to see if you have any spare money that could be moved into a savings account
    • Start saving with a basic savings account. Saving even a small amount will give you peace of mind and get you into the savings habit
    • If you have more money available, consider a higher-interest account or invest in an ISA. If you already have an ISA, maximise your allowance for this year
    • Start long-term savings as soon as you can. Speak to your employer about possible pension schemes to join
    • If you get a windfall of money, think about putting a percentage of it into your savings.

    Make saving money a habit

    Saving money doesn’t have to be a chore. There are some easy ways you can get into the habit of saving money on a regular basis.

    With a standing order, you tell your bank to pay money from your chosen account to another account at regular intervals – for example, once a month. If you've taken the time to work out how much you can save each month, make sure the money leaves your current account straight after you get paid. This way, there's no temptation to spend the money you plan to save.

    Some banks now offer you the ability to round up the amount you spend on your debit card to the nearest pound and transfer the difference into your eligible savings account. This is a painless way to start adding to a savings account.

    Get smarter with your bills

    • Are you using all your minutes on your current mobile phone deal? If not, see when your contract expires and get ready to switch to a cheaper one.
    • And what about utility bills? Could you pay less for electricity and gas? What about home or car insurance? Some financial comparison websites have tools that let you work out if you could find a cheaper deal. Less spent on bills, leaves more to save.
    • Some companies offer discounted rates when you pay by direct debit.
    • Many companies (e.g. mobile phone companies, broadband providers, etc) offer short-term bonuses or incentives. Just make sure you know when these run out so you can check you're getting the best deal.