5 Ways to Spring Clean Your Finances

Spring is the perfect time to get your finances spruced up for the months ahead. Whether your savings goals are looking a little worse for wear or you just want to get on top of monthly spending habits, our 5 top tips can help you on your way.

1. Plan ahead

Venturing out in the nice weather on days out with the kids or for long weekends away with friends can be costly but being internet savvy can save you more than a pretty penny. Check to see if there are promo codes online or better yet call directly, whether its accommodation, travel or park entry fees – there are usually gems to be found.

2. Alternative transport

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), public transport costs account for our highest weekly outgoings – taking up a huge 14.1% of our income. Although it may not be an option for everyone, changing up your daily commute can help save money. Cycling, walking or even running to or from work could be an option, and for longer journeys car sharing is another great way to save on fuel.

3. Set a budget and stick to it

A budget can help you control your spending and show you where you need to make improvements. Helping you to think about money a little bit harder so that you can reach those sought-after financial goals. The key is to make sure you don’t spend what you don’t have; credit cards and overdrafts can give us a distorted view of how much money we actually have.

4. Don’t add to current debt

Once you’ve got your budget in place, it can help you identify ways to reduce your outgoings so that you free up some money to help you start saving or to help you clear existing debt instead of adding to it. A good place to start is by looking at your direct debits and decide if you could live without them, like gym memberships or online streaming services. The money saved will add up over time and can be put towards something much more worthwhile.

5. Make your money work its hardest

No matter what your savings goals are, finding the most suitable products to meet them, is key. There are lots of different saving vehicles out there, each suited depending on who you’re saving for, the length of time you’d like to save, your risk appetite and whether you need access to your money.

Here at Foresters Friendly Society we have a range of affordable saving and investment products to help you save for your or your child’s future. Take a look here to find out more.

This blog is intended to provide information, not financial advice, to help you make an informed decision about savings and investments. We do not offer financial advice. You should contact a financial adviser, who may charge a fee, if you want financial advice.

75% of parents sacrifice their savings to support kids

  • A third of adults (33%) sacrifice how much they spend and save for themselves to support younger family members, with 42% cutting back occasionally
  • Of the money that’s saved, 57% would be unhappy if it was spent on expensive gifts, going out (55%) or expensive clothes (51%)
  • More than two thirds would prefer savings were spent on a house deposit (75%), university (77%), or a pension (67%)

High living expenses, poor wage growth and uncertain economic times has made more adults feel financially responsible for family members under 18 years old.

One third (33%) of the population are often sacrificing how much they both spend and save money for themselves to divert funds to support their children, with 42% following suit on occasion, according to new research from Foresters Friendly Society.

Conscious of how financially hard up younger family members might be later in life, increasing numbers of adults are having to financially support younger family members to achieve short and longer-term milestones when they reach adulthood. That said, of the money that’s saved, well over half (57%) would be unhappy if funds were blown on frivolous expenditures including expensive gifts for others, on big nights out (55%) or expensive clothing (51%) by their children.

Indeed, more than two thirds of adults would prefer savings were spent on a deposit for a first home (75%), university (77%), or towards retirement (67%).

That said, 49% talk to younger family members about the importance of good money-saving habits on a regular basis and 31% talk through their own budgeting strategies and explain how they plan to meet them. This indicates that while support is needed, parents are looking to encourage younger members to stand on their own two feet as soon as they’re able.

But that’s not to say all parents are without a sense of fun, with only 25% being upset by the idea dedicated savings were spent on a trip around the world. However, surprisingly or not, 51% of dads would be pleased to see their child’s funds spent on gigs and festivals, whereas just 29% of mothers would share the same reaction. 

Paul Osborn, Chief Executive for Foresters Friendly Society commented:

“Saving enough for life’s big milestones can prove tricky, particularly for those on the cusp of adulthood who are starting to come to terms with making big financial decisions for the first time. Knowing there is ongoing parental and guardian support is comforting but ensuring all money that’s saved works its hardest is key. It’s true, older generations are going to have to financially support their offspring for longer but that’s not to say they’re on their own in the process. There are a range of saving vehicles out there that can help with the heavy lifting. For example, the flexibility of the Junior ISA or Lifetime ISA means young people can save up for something meaningful, knowing what they are able to put away is tax-efficient and will give them that added boost when they need it.”

Methodology

 2,000 UK adults were surveyed by Atomik research company, between April to May 2018.