Sometimes the hardest part of a journey is getting started - but it doesn’t need to be. Here are the 3 steps to getting started.
1. Understand your money situation right now
First of all, get to know your numbers. Be honest with yourself about how much money you have in your current account, how much you have coming in each month and how much you really need to pay out.
If you currently have any debt on credit cards or loans or store cards, take a look at how much you owe and the interest rate. If it is high interest debt you will want to consider creating a plan to pay this back, either before or alongside your savings journey (depending on what you can afford).
2. Create a budget
After getting to know your numbers, creating a budget will help you work out how much you can afford to comfortably save each month.
Calculate the money you have coming in, minus the money going out on bills, to give you your total leftover disposable income. You then get to choose how much of this disposable income you want to put towards savings and how much you want to go towards monthly spending (on things like going out, leisure activities, shopping etc).
It is important to be honest about how much you are comfortable saving each month - there will be things you might want to cut back on to really make savings, like subscriptions you don’t really use, but it is important to make sure you have enough to cover your essential bills as a priority.
And on the other hand, you don’t want to save too much, leaving you with not enough to live on!
3. Open a savings account
Time to open a savings account!
There are lots of different options for accounts and it depends on what you’re looking for. For example, is it important for you to be able to start with saving low amounts? Or be able to pay in money regularly? Or to have immediate access to your money?
Zopa’s Smart Saver account can be opened with just £1 and is all managed within the easy-to-use Zopa app.
There’s more on the different options of where you can save your money here.
Once you have these three things in place, you can really get started on your savings journey!
And remember, it is never too late to start saving money. We all have to start somewhere, so if you can only afford £5 a month, don’t worry! That’s a great start and you can build it up over time.