Struggling to save? A simple payday trick could prioritise your savings
4 min | 21 September 2021
Just saving what’s left over at the end of the month means you could be missing out. We've gathered some useful tips and tricks to help jumpstart your balance.
Do you ever feel like your friends and family have their financial lives together, while you're still out here staring at a balance you wish was bigger? Saving can be hard, and sometimes it can feel like an uphill battle. If you find yourself setting a target, getting a little way towards it and then giving up, you're not alone. The brain can resist change, and possibly more so with something as emotive and important as money.
But all is not lost. There are many ways you can trick yourself and hopefully make things a little bit easier. Read on to find out how you could get your brain to behave, hit your goals and build your balance.
Visualise your goals
Studies show that the more we visualise our goals, the easier we find it to achieve them, so it pays to be clear about what you want and why. If you're saving up for something tangible, like a holiday, make plans that feel as concrete as possible. Start up a moodboard - digital or real - with destination ideas, flight times, day trips. Having a clear vision of what you're saving for can make it easier to resist dipping into your savings for more instant gratification.
But what if you're saving for an emergency fund, rainy-day fund or just in general for the future? You can help make your goals feel more concrete if you name your savings account - try something fun like 'Break glass' if you need some extra joy. Plan how much you're aiming to save every month and how good it will feel to have that financial security behind you.
Successful saving starts on payday
Start by working out your monthly budget, add a bit of a buffer and move the remainder to your savings account on payday. Give yourself bonus points if you move the amount by standing order so you don't have to think about it (or stop yourself!).
The tricky bit is getting that amount right, so you don’t have to move money back to cover bills later. Once you've got into the habit of taking money back, it can be harder to stop yourself dipping in for fun things. After you've paid your bills, that earmarked money should be allocated to your savings first before you buy anything. You can always start moving more into your savings if you find you have money left at the end of the month.
Out of sight, out of mind
If you can't see your savings pot, you're probably less likely to pilfer from it. Set up a new account to keep your savings in, either with a different bank or one you can hide the balance on. By keeping it out of sight and only checking the balance on payday, you'll hopefully forget there's a pot of money until you need it.
Of course, things change. Even the most stable situation can get blown off course when the unexpected happens. Keep an eye on your current account balance and make sure you always have enough to cover the bills, as well as some money to play with. (All savings and no play can make it harder to stick to a plan long term and could make it more likely you'll go off track.)
Does your bank round up?
A standing order to your savings is a powerful ally in your savings quest. But there are other tools your bank might offer to make it even easier to save without thinking. Check if your bank offers round-ups, where they'll allow you to automatically save your spare change every time you make a purchase. For example, if you buy a coffee for £2.60, 40p will be transferred to a separate account. These small amounts add up over time and the service can often be free.
Savings: gain without the pain
Hitting your financial goals could become a bit addictive. As you get close to your goals and hit them, you might find yourself aiming higher. Using these tips and tricks can help you get there faster.
- prnewswire.com Article dated 20 January 2016 "Visualizing Goals Influences Financial Health and Happiness, Study Finds"