As you know from my previous posts I am trying to simplify my finances and the third piece of financial advice I have read that resonated with me is –
‘Each month put a small amount from your income into a savings account by standing order or direct debit’.
Putting money away from your income immediately, before you have chance to spend it, is good advice and far better than thinking you will put away any money left at the end of the month –it probably won’t happen. I could easily spend any spare cash on the above Household Shopping list – although this is an old list and some items I have bought and some turned out to be more wants than needs so have been removed from my list in my move to simplify and reduce stuff.
Therefore, doing it automatically by direct payment means there is absolutely no chance of spending it first and I think you adjust to the fact that your remaining disposable income is less and helps to keep your spending within this new limit.
Interestingly, there are a few accounts out there that offer a higher interest rate for saving a regular monthly amount and are perfect for this idea of putting away a portion of your income at the beginning of the month before you start to spend it.
I chose a Nationwide Flex Regular Saver account which has a 5% interest return over the year and I have set up a direct payment to put an amount into it at the beginning of each month. You can put in any amount up to £500 a month so it accumulates over the year. According to Martin Lewis’s savings calculator if I managed to save £500 a month over the year I would have a return of £160 interest. To save that much would entail some serious economising on my part!
So there you have it – of all the books, articles and internet advice I have read I think this captures the ideas I think are most helpful –
- Spend less than you earn
- Devote an hour a week to staying on top of your money
- Each month put a small amount from your income into a savings account by standing order or direct debit
Incorporating these 3 simple steps into my daily finances should help me keep on track.
This weekend although many lucky bloggers have been out digging their gardens we have had rain and wind but I have used this indoor time to follow step 2 to stay on top of my finances and give my savings accounts a thorough overhaul. As well as opening the Regular Saver account I have an ISA account recently matured and the money is just sitting in a very low 0.05% instant access account now and I need to reinvest. I have looked at numerous possibilities – but should I go for 1 year, 2 year, 3 year, 4 year or five-year fixed rates? In such indecisive circumstances I opt for the middle ground so I am edging towards a 3 year fixed.
My next project is to get rid of some stuff and make some extra money.
I have various large household items that I am going to try to sell on eBay (try being the operative word here!) – I have never done this before so if anyone out there is an experienced seller and can offer some good advice to a novice I would welcome your comments to get me started.