The advent of summer is usually met with sunny holidays, long evenings in beer gardens and a whole new wardrobe to make sure the inevitable Instagram pictures are all on point. This post will give you four top tips on how to save more money this summer.
It’s unlikely we’ll be jetting off abroad anytime soon and even with pubs and bars now open again in the UK, strict social distancing measures are in place, making the experience quite different.
For most people, this summer will probably be quieter than usual. However, after months of lockdown, the allure of spending is becoming more and more tempting. To help you all manage this, I thought I’d share my top summer saving tips on how to use this extra time to become more in control of your personal finances and stay in control of your budget, while still managing to treat yourself every now and then!
In this post I will cover the following:
- The importance of still saving
- Why you should shop local
- The benefits of taking control of your pension
- Whether you should consider writing a Will
It’s important to note this does not constitute financial advice and I am not a qualified financial adviser.
After months of lockdown, the temptation is there to go out and spend large sums or make lots of online purchases. Of course, it’s good to treat yourself from time to time but try not to neglect your savings while doing so. Many of us have made great progress in recent months, saving more than usual due to having less opportunities to spend – it would be a shame for all this progress to go to waste in a matter of weeks of excessive spending
1. Keep Saving
Using a simple budget each month can really help you keep saving more money as it can help you keep track of what disposable income you have left to spend. It doesn’t have to be incredibly complex, even just making a division between funds for saving and income for spending can help.
One tip I’ve found that works really well for me is transferring the total amount I want to save into my savings and investment accounts at the start of the month, then I know I can spend the money left in my current account without compromising my savings.
Everyone is different when it comes to budgeting though, so I would recommend spending some time working out the best method for you that you can reliably stick to. For different examples of budgeting techniques check out this post from Budgeting For Students.
2. Shop Local
When you do decide to make purchases, which of course you should do sometimes, why not try and shop local. So often, it’s easy to get sucked into a cycle of mindlessly scrolling and ordering from large brands online. On sites where I’ve saved my payment details, sometimes I find I’ve bought something without fully realising what I’ve done until the parcels arrive at my door the next day.
By making a conscious decision to support a smaller business you are helping to boost the local economy and making a genuine difference to local firms – one of my friends who has her own local business says she does a happy dance every time she receives an order, I’m fairly sure Jeff Bezos doesn’t do the same at Amazon!
You’re not just helping the business though; you’re also helping yourself by actively thinking more about what you buy. It is likely that this may result in you buying less, but what you do buy will be more useful and beneficial to you and you will value you it much more.
3. Take control of your pension
Even with some relaxations in the government’s guidelines, you could make the most of a quieter summer by using the extra time to check in with the parts of your finances you tend to ignore. Pensions are some of the most ignored assets, perhaps because we don’t immediately benefit from them, but they are so important for everyone in retirement.
Now could be a good time to sort through old workplace pensions and combine them into one pot so you have a clearer idea of your total savings. Having done this, if you’re not happy with the amount you’ve saved so far, you could also consider increasing your contributions into your current workplace pension or look into setting up a private pension.
If you’re interested in pensions, I’ve spoken more in depth about pensions and how they can help you save more money in this previous post.
4. Consider writing a Will
This is another topic I’ve spoken about before, but it is really important and so often neglected by people. Even if you have very little in your bank account, you still have assets to leave to your loved ones if the worst was to happen and I’m sure you’d like some say in where these assets went.
It’s important to remember that if you don’t have a Will you have no say in what happens to your property or money when you die.Tweet
If you already have a Will, it may be worth checking it is up to date. Have you had children, got married or divorced or even bought a house since you made your Will? If the answer is yes to any of those, then it is definitely worth updating it to make sure it reflects your current situation.
The process of Will writing shouldn’t be rushed, as there’s a lot to consider. I would also recommend using a solicitor to make sure it is legally valid and therefore will be followed correctly.
If you’re worried about funding this, there are many charities, including Cancer Research UK and The Stroke Association, who offer a free Will writing service in return for a charitable donation.
I hope these summer saving tips will help you. If you found this post interesting, please like it and share across social media or send it to your friends. I’d also love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so please do leave a comment! How do you look to save more money?