The last week before payday usually feels like the longest week in the month, but you can avoid this by making your money work for you, and saving a little extra. Mark Evans, independent financial advisor at Properity Wealth, spoke to Express.co.uk to share his top tips for saving big and investing more.
“Before you start to think about saving money, you should always ensure that you have paid off any short term debts,” he began.
“A student loan can also be a form of long term debt that is better to service, a low interest rate is usually charged on this sort of loan, percentages are paid back depending on your income and the loan is even written off after 30 years in some cases.
Budgeting is also an undeniable part of a savings plan, but many still struggle to budget properly.
“There are budgeting or banking apps that help with this sort of thing but if you want to do it yourself then look back over the previous three months’ bank statements or credit card bills and calculate what your fixed costs were.
“Include things like rent or mortgage costs in this and any bills that you have to pay.
“Hopefully calculating your income will be a little more straightforward, if you are employed then simply check your pay slip,” he added.
“If you are self employed then use an average of the last 12 months’ worth of income paid in to your account, you may need to make allowance for the tax you have to pay when doing this.”
Where many get lost in their own savings plans is the concept of ‘saving to save’, in order to feel like your saving efforts is actually doing something set a goal first.
Mr Evans continued: “Start with a small and realistic goal, there is no point trying to save 50 percent of your income from day one and then dipping in to your savings as the month goes on.
“Take an amount from your current account, as close to pay day as you can and transfer it to another account.
“Try to make sure that this account is paying a competitive level of interest and is accessible should you need to withdraw it.
“Once you are comfortable with the amount you are saving or if you receive a pay rise then increase the amount gradually.”
“Do you have any direct debits that you have forgotten about? Are you spending £100s of pounds a month on coffees or on lunches that could be made at home or at work.”
Mr Evans added: “Make sure that you join your employer’s pension scheme, this will likely mean that you receive more money from your employer in the form of a pension contribution.
“Claim any tax relief available to you. You may be a higher rate tax payer who could receive an additional 20 percent as a refund from HMRC.
“Inflation is the general rise in prices over a period of time. If you do not invest or save in to an account that pays interest then the amount of money you have is going to be reducing in ‘real’ terms over time,” he concluded.