"Why is there so much month left at the end of the money?"
I’m sure it hasn’t escaped your radar that the financial year ended on 5th April 2023. This often means a lot of scrambling around …
Have I paid as much as I can into my pension?
Have I taken advantage of my capital gains allowance?
Or paid into an ISA?
Or made the most of any tax breaks available to me?
But let’s be honest … many of us are a bit MEH when it comes to the end of financial tax year as we are STRUGGLING TO SAVE ANY MONEY, let alone top up pensions and ISAs.
Ready for some sobering facts?
The average person in the UK has £17,365 in their savings.
34% of adults had either no savings, or less than £1000, in a savings account.
Almost two-thirds (65%) of people believe they wouldn’t be able to last three months without borrowing money.
23% of savers don’t check the interest rate before opening an account.
Men have more savings on average than women across every age group.
So how can we move from struggling to save to financially fit? Here are 10 reasons you might be struggling to save, and how to turn things around:
1️. You don’t have a budget
Whether you love structure, or recoil from it, a budget is a bloomin’ important tool to use and stick to when it comes to sorting those savings.
Ultimately, the reason for a budget is to tell your money what to do and where to go. And sticking to a budget (as opposed to just having one!) means that you can be INTENTIONAL with your money.
Otherwise, I’m afraid that it likely that money will slip through your fingers without you realising where it is going, until it’s gone. Without control of what your money is doing, saving will be much more challenging.
2️. You have a lot of debt
You may have credit cards or loans bubbling away that could really do with some focus to reduce and clear them. It is important to build debt repayment into your budget so that you can CLEAR THE B*GGERS and move on.
Take stock of what debts you have, what the interest rates are and create a plan to get you ahead, and out, of debt.
3️. You don’t earn enough money
Tricky. You can only cut back so much. So ask yourself, what can you do to increase your income? Can you sell things that have been lingering in your cupboards that you don’t need to use? Could you apply for a better paying job? Maybe you could start a side hustle (gotta love a side hustle!)?
It’s time to GET CREATIVE and think about ways you could increase your income to help you reach your savings goals.
4️. You are living beyond your means.
Lifestyle creep has a lot to answer for here. But ultimately, if you are regularly spending more than you have coming in then you are either dipping into savings to cover shortfalls, or getting yourself into debt. This can be very stressful and can cause us to stick our heads in the sand or feel ashamed and embarrassed.
It’s ok. You can change this. Have a look back over the last few months and do an assessment to spot areas where you could cut back immediately. A QUICK SHARP SHOCK works really well here. Make an informed decision to make a change and stick to it. The improvement from month to month will be very reassuring.
5️. Saving is not a priority for you.
Is saving a priority for you? Do you think about it? Is it built into your budget? Do you have dedicated pots for savings?
The earlier you start saving, the easier and more natural it becomes. And it’s totally ok to START SMALL. Get clear on your savings goal to motivate you and make savings a priority.
6️. You don’t have a saving goal
Have you given yourself much time to think and dream about what you would like to do if you had savings? What are your values? What is important to you? What are your dreams and ambitions for you and your family? What do you want to save for? How much money will you need for that goal? And by when?
Having a saving goal (or goals) that excites you and gives you joy is great for MOTIVATION. Make sure you build those savings into your budget and watch that savings goal pot grow.
7️. You don’t have a dedicated emergency fund.
I talk about the importance of an emergency fund here. Look … life happens. Sh*t happens. `And having an emergency pot for those unplanned financial emergencies truly takes a lot of pressure off a difficult situation.
What’s more, is having an emergency pot means you don’t have to dip into your savings goal pots when sh*t happens because you have a DEDICATED EMERGENCY FUND all ready. And, in terms of priority, if you have nothing saved, start with the emergency fund savings and then when that’s in place then start to put money aside for other goals.
8️. You are paying for subscriptions that you don’t use.
My goodness, did I kick myself when I found I had been paying for a stupid online newspaper subscription I didn’t use! Argh! Such a waste. It is so easy to sign up to streaming channels, magazines and goodness knows what else. And then forget about them. Which means you probably don’t need them!
Small amounts can add up, especially if you are not using them. Do an assessment. What can you CANCEL AND REDIRECT into savings?
9️. You are an impulse shopper.
You see, you like, you buy. Sound familiar? Put some buffers in to prevent you doing this. E.g. put money into an account that you don’t have a debit card for.
Or look at my earlier blog on MINDFUL SPENDING and be inspired to create meaningful changes!
10. You aren’t paying yourself first.
I know I go on about this one … but it really is the most important of all these tips. If you don’t prioritise saving each month, or wait until the end of the month to ‘see what is left’, which is likely not very much (sound familiar?) then you will be hard pressed to reach your savings goals.
Paying yourself first means prioritising your goals. Each time you get paid, I encourage you to first put money towards savings and investment goals before you pay for anything else. AUTOMATION IS YOUR FRIEND here. Set up the pots and set up the standing orders. Boom.
Want to find out more?
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