To save money you need a suitable account and the right one depends on:
your goal and what you’re looking to achieve with your savings.
when you'll want to take out the money you've saved.
Answering these questions will help you decide what sort of account you need.
Here’s a quick summary of the different types of accounts on offer:
Easy access accounts
These are ideal if you need money to be available quickly. For example, this would be a great place to save your emergency fund! An emergency fund is the money you put aside for financial emergencies - for example if you lose your job, this money could be used to pay your bills.
Fixed term accounts
Your money is locked away for a few years to receive a better interest rate, but you cannot touch it within the agreed time frame.
Find out more about Zopa’s Fixed Term Savings account here.
These are half-way between an easy access and fixed term account. You lock your money away but then have to ‘give notice’ - ie say you’re going to withdraw in advance - to access it. The notice period is usually much shorter than a fixed term account, and could be anywhere between a few days to a few weeks.
This stands for Individuals Savings Accounts. Depending on your income, you have to pay tax on the interest you earn, but within an ISA you can currently save up to £20,000 a year and not pay any interest. You can find out more about ISAs on the government website.
This account offers free money when you pay into it. For every £1 you put in, the government tops it up by 25%. But this type of account can only be opened by people under 40 and can only be used for specific reasons - to help you save towards a property deposit or for your retirement. You can find out more about LISAs here.
How to choose?
Now you need to go back to those first questions to understand what you are saving for, and when you need the money. This will help you open an account that is right for you!
Zopa's Smart Saver account lets you split your money between easy access savings pots and boosted interest notice pots - giving you the perfect ‘best of both worlds’ account to start your savings habit.
By splitting your money between your main pot (which is like an easy access account) and the boosted pots (which are like notice accounts) you can have some money accessible for emergencies and some earning more interest towards your savings goals.
And the great thing about this account is you can get started saving with just £1.