Don’t be a piggy bank raider

Almost half of us dip into our savings. Find out how to resist temptation and carry on saving for the things that matter…

Frequently find yourself dipping into your hard-earned savings? Well you’re not alone. Almost half (48%) of Brit’s recently surveyed by admit to using a part of their savings every month to pay for regular expenses. In fact, of an average £2,045 being saved each year, £312 is taken out again to cover items such as household bills, increased food costs, running a car, debt and rises in rent.

If you’re trying to save for something big, say a cash lump sum for your child’s future, skimming off that 15% every month can make a real difference. So how can you make sure you’re not undoing all your good work? Take a look…

Save small regular amounts

Try using a savings plan that requires you to save small, more manageable amounts over a longer term, rather than one that takes large chunks out of your income.

“What drew me to the Foresters Tax Exempt Savings Plan was that the contributions are so manageable,” says Laura, 33, a Foresters Friendly Society account holder. “£25 might sound like a lot, but in reality it’s only the occasional takeaway at the weekend, so it’s easy enough to put by.”

Keep track

Most of us fall foul of extra spending when we get caught unawares by an unexpected expense. Draw up a monthly budget by keeping track of your spending. Simply carry a notebook with you, or make a note in your phone, and you might be able to spot problem patterns in your outgoings. Nip any nasty habits in the bud and make sure you know what’s coming up each month before you decide how much you can afford to save.

Put money out of reach

Using a savings account that limits your access to your money can be a good way to be strict with yourself.

“I found early on that it was difficult to resist dipping into the money if I knew it was there,” says Gemma, 35 from Southampton, who holds a Foresters Tax Exempt Savings Plan “I like a plan that keeps my money out of reach of any frivolous spending.”

Take care of the pennies

If you often find that you’re dipping into savings, or even your child’s own savings pots, to take care of small everyday items such as the window cleaner and the kid’s lunch money, why not start your own small change jar? If you’re often short on cash, pop a jar in the hall and add your loose change to it at the end of the day. Only dip into it when you really have to.

Set yourself a goal

Having a specific goal to save for can help you save more. Do you want to give your child a cash gift on their 21st birthday? Perhaps you’d like to help them buy a new car or put down a deposit on a house?

“When it comes to saving, what really worked for us was having a set financial goal. You need more than a rainy day fund or you might be tempted to cash your plan in,” say Foresters customers Nigel and Anne. “Take on something manageable that you can see building up and then keep striving towards your goals.”

Looking for a plan that will help to keep you on target? Take a look at our saving & investing options here.

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.

You should also be aware that in some investment conditions and depending on the savings product you have chosen, you may get back less than you have paid in.

Source: dailystar – Britons dipping into savings

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